William  Kelsey

William Kelsey (abt. 1609 - bef. 1676)

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William Kelsey
Born about in Englandmap [uncertain]
Son of [father unknown] and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married about [location unknown]
Died before in Killingworth, Middlesex County, Connecticutmap
This page has been accessed 2,258 times.

Categories: Puritan Great Migration | Founders of Hartford.

The Puritan Great Migration.
This person migrated to New England during the Puritan Great Migration (1620-1640).
If you are interested in this profile,
please check out the Puritan Great Migration Project!


Disputed Origins

Some say, without citing their source, that he was the son of George Kelsey and Elizabeth Hammond, born in Wanehester, Braintree, Essex, England. What is the source of this information? Anderson (below) does not identify origins for William. Following wikitree policy, we are detaching these parents until sufficient evidence can be provided.

Other disputes: The mistaken notion that William Kelsey's wife was a "Bethiah [?Hopkins]" can be traced to early reporting by a number of authors. In 1846, she was mis-identified by Hinman as "Bethia" the woman who married second to David Phillips.[1]


Unless otherwise noted, the information that follows was abstracted from Robert Charles Anderson's 1995 work on the immigrant, William Kelsey.[2]

William KELSEY[3] [4] [5][6] [7][8] [9]

William Kelsey was born about 1609, based on estimated date of marriage; origins unknown. He migrated in 1633, settling initially in Cambridge, Massachusetts, but removing first to Hartford, Connecticut in 1635 and Killingworth, CT by 1668.

He married by 1634 _____ ____, who was "born about 1613 and living at Hartford in December 1666" [TAG 68:213-214]. (Several false leads regarding the identity of the wife of William Kelsey have been carefully examined and discarded by George E. McCracken and Gale Ion Harris [TAG 37:38-42, 68:211-14]. Based on onomastic evidence Harris suggests that her given name was Hester.)

Original proprietor of Hartford, CT. William Kelsey, born ab. 1600; Cambridge, 1632; freeman, Mass., March 4, 1635; removed to Hartford, where he was an original proprietor; his homelot in the distribution of 1639 was on the road from Centinel Hill to the North Meadow (now Village Street.); removed to Killingworth, ab. 1663; rep. in 1671 from K.; he was living in June, 1674. - Ch.: i. John; Killingworth. ii. Abigail, b. April 19, 1645. iii. Stephen, bapt. Nov. 7, 1647; m. Nov. 15, 1672, Hannah, dau. of John Ingersoll; his father gave him his dwelling-house, and he remained in Hartford; d. Nov. 30, 1710. iv. Daniel, b. July, 1650.[10]

On 21 Sept 1676, his will and inventory were presented at New London County Court; these documents do not, unfortunately survive. [TAG 69:28, citing New London County Court Records, Trials, 3:83]


  1. Mark, b say 1634; m1 in Windsor 8 Mar 1658/9 Rebecca Hoskins [WiLR 1:58]; m2 in Windsor 26 Dec 1683 Abigail (____) Atwood, widow of Capt. Thomas Atwood [WiLR 1:58; CTVR 52 (giving only the year of the event)].
  2. Hester, b abt 1636; m1 by 1656 James Eggleston, son of Bigod Eggleston; m2 in Windsor 29 Apr 1680 James Eno; m3 Windsor 10 Jun 1686 John Williams. (See TAG 68:208-10 for a detailed discussion of her marital career, which includes full documentation.)
  3. John, b abt 1638; m by 1668 Hannah Desborough [TAG 38:210-11, 68:214]
  4. Priscilla, b abt 1640 (aged 17 on 22 Dec 1657 [TAG 68:214, citing WMJ 74]); m by Jan 1659/60? Cornelius Gillett, son of Jonathan Gillett [TAG 68:214].
  5. Mary, b abt 1644 (aged 14 in May 1658 [TAG 68:215, citing WMJ 109]); m in Windsor 23 Apr 1661 Jonathan Gillett [Grant 39], son of Jonathan Gillett.
  6. Abigail, b Hartford 19 Apr 1645 [HaBOP 575]; m Killingworth 3 Dec 1668 John Hull [TAG 68:215]
  7. Stephen, bp Hartford 7 Nov 1647 [HaBOP 578]; living 1670/1 [HaBOB 141-44]
  8. Daniel, b Hartford July 1650 [HaBOP 581]; ;m1 Killingworth 27 Mar 1672 Mary Stevens [TAG 68:215]; m2 by 1693 Jane Chalker [TAG 68:231].


  1. R. R. Hinman, ‘’A catalogue of the names of the first Puritan settlers of the colony of Connecticut; with the time of their arrival in the colony, and their standing in society, together with their place of residence, as far as can be discovered by the records. Collected from the state and town records’’ (1846), 44; digital images, ‘’Hathi Trust’’ (accessed 2014).
  2. Robert Charles Anderson, Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620-1633, Vols I-III (1995), 3 vols., 2:1117-1119 "William Kelsey."
  3. Source: #S197 Page: p. 768 Text: Mary Kelsey...daughter of William Kelsey [TAG68:209, 210, 215]
  4. Source: #S197 p. 768 Text: Priscilla....daughter of William Kelsey [TAG 68:214; Grant 39]
  5. Source: #S401 Page: p. 768 Text: Mary Kelsey...daughter of William Kelsey [TAG68:209, 210, 215]
  6. Source: #S401 p. 768 Text: Priscilla....daughter of William Kelsey [TAG 68:214; Grant 39]
  7. Source: #S197 page 768 Text: ...daughter of William Kelsey.
  8. Source: #S401 Page 768 Text: ...daughter of William Kelsey.
  9. Source: #S369 Page: 32
  10. Society of the Descendants of the Founders of Hartford--William Kelsey

  • George E. McCracken, "The Wife of William Kelsey," The American Genealogist 37 (1960):38-42; digital images, AmericanAncestors.org (accessed 2014). [Note: This work is referred to and cited by Gale Ion Harris in "The Family of William^1 Kelsey of Hartford, Connecticut ..." The American Genealogist 68 (1993):208-215.]
  • The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620-1633, Volumes I-III. (Online database: AmericanAncestors.org, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2010), (Originally Published as: New England Historic Genealogical Society. Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620-1633, Volumes I-III, 3 vols., 1995). Pages 1117 - 1119
  • Society of the Descendants of the Founders of Hartford.
  • Barbour, Lucius Barnes, 1982, Families of Early Hartford, Connecticut, Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co. Inc. (1982), Baltimore, Maryland and Glastonbury, Connecticut: Connecticut Society of Genealogists, Inc. (1982), p.351
  • The Kelsey Genealogy Book 1, pages 24 to 38; Harleian Society Publications, Volume XIV, page 588; Bysshe's Visitation of Essex, page 55; Burke's General Armory Kelsey Family Website
  • Source: S197 Great Migration Begins : Immigrants to New England 1620-1633, Anderson, Robert Charles, Great Migration Study Project, New England Historic Genealogical Society ; Boston, 1995 Date: 09 Apr 2004, Vol. II, G-O Repository: #R175 Call Number: Gen Ref 974 An24g v.2 (G-O) Repository: R175 Saint Joseph County Public Library, 304 South Main Street, South Bend, IN 46601 USA, URL: www.libraryforlife.org
  • Source: S401 Great Migration Begins : Immigrants to New England 1620-1633; Vol. II, G-O, Anderson, Robert Charles, Great Migration Study Project, New England Historic Genealogical Society ; Boston, 1995
  • Source: S276 S369 Search for the Passengers of the "Mary & John 1630, Volume 1: Passengers & their children, Publication: Burton W. Spear, 5602 305th Street, Toledo, Ohio 43611, copyright 1985 - B. W. Spear, Fourth Printing - revised Date: 12 Aug 2006, Repository: #R209 Call Number: Gc 974 Sp3s v.1 Repository: R209 Allen County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza, Fort Wayne, IN 46801-2270 USA, E-Mail Address: Genealogy@ACPL.Info URL: http://www.genealogycenter.org/Home.aspx


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Memories: 1

On April 17, 2013 Sharon Meeds wrote:

William Kelsey was one of the original "Braintree Company" followers of the Reverend Thomas Hooker, who came to America and they were the first settlers of "New Towne" (now Cambridge) Massachusetts in 1632

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DNA Connections
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with William by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. Y-chromosome DNA test-takers in his direct paternal line on WikiTree:

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Images: 3
Founders Monument (1986)
Founders Monument (1986)

Hartford 1640
Hartford 1640

Center Church - First Meeting House
Center Church - First Meeting House


On March 24, 2016 at 23:04GMT Deirdre Lavieri wrote:

Kelsey-1043 and Kelsey-7 appear to represent the same person because: I believe these are two listings for the same person. It would be simpler if they were merged! Thank you!

On December 26, 2015 at 20:53GMT April Dauenhauer wrote:

Good idea, Jillaine. It took a little while (18 months) but the changes have been made per your suggestion. Thank you for the idea!

On June 19, 2014 at 11:55GMT Jillaine Smith wrote:

I've suggested on her profile that she be detached not from William, but from her supposed parents, then merged into Hester Unknown, as there appears to be no evidence that her current supposed parents had a daughter named Bethiah.

On June 19, 2014 at 03:16GMT Dan Thompson wrote:

I agree, Bethia should be detached

On June 18, 2014 at 20:39GMT April Dauenhauer wrote:


Please read the profile Mark Kelsey.

Documentation has been added proving that Berthia Hopkins-173 is not his mother, and not the wife of William Kelsey-7.

I'm asking managers of related profiles if they agree on removing her from wife to William Kelsey.

Please let me know your thoughts on this.

April Dauenhauer

PS I see Jillaine already has documented her thoughts. see message below:)

On May 6, 2014 at 22:08GMT Jillaine Smith wrote:

This profile has some challenges. It includes a wife Bethia Hopkins not recognize by Anderson; it includes a daughter Bethia, also not included in Anderson, and a son William also not included. There may be other inconsistencies as well.

William is 15 degrees from Kevin Bacon, 19 degrees from AJ Jacobs, 28 degrees from Gene Kelly, 14 degrees from Maureen O'Hara and 16 degrees from Queen Elizabeth II of the Commonwealth Realms on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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