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William Kelly


Family Links

1. Julia Singleton

2. Mary Keleher

William Kelly

  • Born: possibly, Mallow, Cork, Munster, Ireland
  • Marriage (1): Julia Singleton in Mallow, Cork, Munster, Ireland
  • Marriage (2): Mary Keleher on 7 Sep 1837 in St James Church of England, Sydney, , New South Wales, Australia

bullet  General Notes:

Kelly was a convict and was transported in about 1829 from Ireland. It is likely that he was the William Kelly on the Larkin which arrived in that year. This William Kelly had been convicted of stealing wine from his Master and transported for Life. He had a wife and 4 children that he left behind. He received his certificate of freedom on 30 April 1836.

Mary's marriage to William Kelly by license at St James Church of England in 1837 resulted in him being found guilty of perjury and bigamy in the Supreme Court of NSW in November 1837. At the time of his marriage, Kelly, a labourer, claimed to be a bachelor, but it became evident during the trial that his wife, Julia Singleton, had remained in Ireland. The case was taken to court by Mary's parents and by Rev Robert Cartwright as she was still under 21 and considered to be a minor. Kelly had signed an oath that he was a bachelor.

In his evidence, Michael Kellaher stated that he had known William Kelly for 25 years, that he was transported about eight years prior to the 1837 trial, was married in the town of Mallow near Cork and had four children. A few days before he left Cork in November 1836, Kelly's wife applied to him to obtain a passage for her to the colony and he stated that he would have done so if it had not been contrary to the regulations of the emigration committee at the time.
Source: "Quarantined! The 1837 Lady McNaghten Immigrants" by Perry McIntyre & Elizabeth Rushen, Anchor Books, 2007.

It was subsequently reported in The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser on Saturday 3 March 1838 that The A-G decided against trying Kelly for bigamy due to the difficulty of proving his first marriage, but he was convicted of taking a false oath to the Reverend who conducted the wedding to Mary. Kelly apparently was released after four or five months imprisonment as a consequence of a legal flaw in his conviction. According to the newspaper report "During Kelly's confinement, Mistress Kellaher or Kelly, who seems rather inclined to the "melting mood", has been "woo'd and won" by some gallant youth who, it seems, took pity on her misfortunes; and Kelly, on his liberation, found that Mary had a second time submitted to the connubial bonds. As no step of the former proceedings annulled Kelly's marriage with the faithless mary, he swears that he will turn the tables now in "right down airnest," and put her through a course of the same treatment that he has himself just undergone, and on the same charge, - that of bigamy." !! Mary had indeed remarried to Edward Hayward on 26 January 1838, 2 days after her marriage to William Kelly was annulled. Her Marriage certificate contained a lengthy explanation of the circumstances of the Kelly marrige and confirmation of the annulment. The marriage certificate records her name as Mary KELLAGHAR.


William married Julia Singleton in Mallow, Cork, Munster, Ireland.


William next married Mary Keleher, daughter of Michael Keleher ** and Mary Sullivan, on 7 Sep 1837 in St James Church of England, Sydney, , New South Wales, Australia. (Mary Keleher was born in Aug 1818 in Mallow, Cork, Munster, Ireland.)

bullet  Marriage Notes:

Witnesses were William Bickmore of Market Wharf, and Elisha Hayes of Pitt St.

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