In my previous post, Tombstone Have Errors Too: Part One, I showed how my skepticism about the date on Michael Kelly’s tombstone lead me to search further for information on his death. I found a newspaper article in the Daily Alta that told of a Michael Kelly who had committed suicide on the same day, but a year earlier. It gave the name of an Uncle, John Kelly, and the fact that John Kelly’s wife died just a couple days earlier. My next step was to find John Kelly.
My first stop was the 1880 Census. I found a couple of possible John Kelly’s living on Jessie Street who owned saloons. But, nothing really stood out and said “Yes, I am the one!”
I decided to do some background work in the San Francisco city directories. Since I knew where Kelly’s saloon was in 1881, I started there.
I found quite a bit of information from this search:
1881 City Directory shows this information Kelly, John, liquor saloon, 186 Jessie, r.632 Mission
Ah…this proves the John Kelly’s I found in the 1880 Census on Jessie weren’t him. None of the addresses match. More importantly, the Kelly’s resided on Mission. It’s interesting because this guy had caught my eye before. Martin Kelly, Michael Kelly’s Father, had lived on Jessie Street but moved to Mission Road where he owned 2 or 3 saloon/boardinghouses. I found it interesting that there was a John Kelly living out there, too.
The 1882 City Directory shows that John Kelly’s saloon was in the same place, but he no longer lived on Mission. His entry now shows: Kelly, John, liquor saloon, 186 Jessie, r. 184 Jessie (possibly the same building?)
There is no entry for Michael in 1882, which is a good sign if he’s the guy who died in 1881.
For 1881, I find this: Kelly, Michael F. bartender John Kelly, r. 632 Mission.
Well, this links Michael to John. They lived at the same address in 1881!
In 1879, Michael is listed as: Kelly, Michael, saloon keeper, 27 Minna. His father, Martin Kelly, is listed at the same adress but as a boardinghouse owner. There is no entry for a Michael Kelly working for John Kelly. Meanwhile, John Kelly appears as: Kelly, John (Kelly & Burns), dwl 186 Jessie.
In 1875, addresses change once again. John Kelly is listed as: Kelly, John (Kelly & Burns), dwl 400 Geary. He sure did move around alot!
I find this entry for Michael Kelly: Kelly, Michael, barkeeper, Kelly & Burns, dwl 111 Jessie. I didn’t find an entry for Martin Kelly. But, the address “111 Jessie” is important! It’s the address where Martin Kelly and family lived in 1869. They stayed on Jessie street for a few more years.
In 1874, John Kelly proved once again to be nomadic. His entry read: Kelly, John, (Kelly & Burns), dwl 320 Fifth. I think he was trying to live on every street in San Francisco. LOL
There is no entry for Michael in 1874, but his father Martin is listed as: Kelly, Martin, laborer, dwl 109 Jessie, rear.
1875 appears to be the first year Michael Kelly appears on his own. In 1873, Martin Kelly is listed as: Kelly, Martin, lodgings, 107 Jessie. John Kelly is listed as Kelly, John, laborer, dwl 111 Jessie. Once again, the address 111 Jessie comes up. Is it a coincidence that these Kelly’s all lived at the same address at one time or another?
The last city directory I checked before my eyes got bleary was 1869. There I find these entries:
Kelly, John, marblepolisher with Black & Mulaney, dwl 111 Jessie.
Kelly, Martin, boarding, 111 Jessie
I believe that this is what I was looking for! I have found a John Kelly and my Martin Kelly living at the same address in 1869. It’s possible this is another John Kelly. It would be interesting to see if marble polisher John is in the city diretories at the same time saloon keeper/boardinghouse John.
I think next I should look at the census to see if I can find the Kelly’s now that I know where they lived.
A good days work, don’t you think? I’ve established the possibility that all these Kelly’s could be related.