Thursday, March 24, 2011

My Large Kelly Brick Wall. (or is it Kelley?)

My maternal grandfather, Truman Udell Kelly, grew up knowing very little about his past. He knew that he was placed in a St. Louis orphanage because he was redheaded at a very young age. He was placed with a family in Kentucky and then was sent back at the age of eleven but he did not return to the orphanage he ran away and lived the life of a hobo until he meet and then married my grandmother Margaret Ann Arendell on June 22, 1934.

Grandpa grew up thinking his name was Red Kelly. It was not until he met Granma and he started searcheing for his mother Susie Catherine Shelton that he found out his name was really Truman.

So I began trying to find those oh so common roots of a John Kelly (it does not get any more common.) so here is what I know from family stories from my grandpa and from internet searches.

My granpa's mother Susie Shelton was born 26 September 1879 in Bollinger, Missouri. She was the daughter of John Bunyon Shelton Jr and Mary Elizabeth Poston. She married her first husband, Orlando Dennison in 1897 at the age of 17. He was many years her senior. They divorced and she married John Kelly February 21 1910 in Marquand, Madison, Missouri. In the 1910 US Census from St Francois Township, St Francois, Missouri she lived with her husband father and one of her children from her first marriage. The name on the 1910 census was John and Susen Killey. My grandfather Truman was born in November 25, 1910. Then his only" full blood" brother is Robert Harry Kelly. Robert was born June 13, 1914. It is unclear when John died but Susie married again to William Luther Chumley on April 7, 1915.

I have found the marriage certificate for Susie and John and the 1910 Census but that is all I can find I have looked for the death certificate for John in Missouri and Illinois and none of the John Kellys that fit the age.

This is a very large brick wall I would love to scale.


  1. I noticed on the 1910 census that you attached Susan claims she is the mother of 4 children in which all 4 are living in 1910. Hmm...I would say then Truman has more than one biological brother, but 4 others (half brothers), all sharing the same mother.

    I am also curious where the other 3 are? The eldest if born upon day of marriage might be out in his own, but the other two in between the eldest & the one listed on the census.....

    Very interesting little man he is.. so curious as to more of his life story :) Thanks for sharing!

  2. I am sorry I failed to mention that Susie(Shelton) had five children from her first marriage to Dennison and four children from her third marriage.
    Ruthie Iva Denison
    1899 – 1931
    Boy Dennison
    1900 – 1900
    Alford Andrew Dennison
    1903 –
    John Wesley Dennison
    1904 –
    William Arther Dennison
    1906 – 1950

    Edward Luther Chummlly
    1915 –
    Grace Elizabeth Chumlly
    1918 – James Oren Chumley
    1919 – 1989
    Bessie Opal Chumley
    1924 – 2002