About My Ancestors · California Genealogy · Census Research

Is This My Martin Kelly in the Tax List

In my last post, I wrote about the entries I found in the San Mateo County Index to Deeds that referred to my Gr Gr Gr Grandfather, Martin Kelly.  My next step is to determine what the property was that Martin Kelly owned in San Mateo County since his address from 1860 to 1899 when he died was given as San Francisco.

I decided to compare this new information to data I found in the 1864 and 1865 Tax List for the State of California.  I found Martin Kelly in two place in both indexes.  The information is basically the same.

The first instance is exactly where I expect to find Martin Kelly on Jessie street.  This matches what I learned from the city directories and the census.

(click on image to see larger version…Martin Kelly is on line 36, 4 from the bottom)

The other entry differs considerable.  This Martin Kelly is owner of the 7 Mile House.  I don’t know where this district is, but the towns around it (Redwood City, for example) are in San Mateo County today. The sheet doesn’t say San Mateo County, but I am assuming that is where district one is located.

(click on image to see larger version…Martin is on line 23)

In this entry Martin Kelly owns the 7 Mile House, a Hotel/Retail log (lodgings?).  In the 1865 entry “hotels” is dropped and it is described as lodgings only.

This intrigues me a great deal!  If this is my Martin Kelly, it proves two things.

1.  He owned the 7 Mile House as family lore has told.

2.  This is at least of the properties he owned in San Mateo County.

It is possible he lived at the boardinghouse on Jessie Street and, also, ran the one in San Mateo County.

But, how would I know there wasn’t another Martin Kelly roaming between San Francisco and San Mateo counties running boardinghouses?

I decided to take a peek at the 1860 census.   There are no Martin Kelly’s living in San Mateo County.  There are two Martin Kelly’s living in San Francisco.  The Martin Kelly in District 7 is mine.  The other Martin Kelly lives in District 4.  He is a laborer.  So, that’s good news!

But, what if another Martin Kelly snuck in between censuses and owned that other boardinghouse?  That wouldn’t be very nice of him at all!  I had to see 1870 as well.

In 1870, once again, there are no Martin Kelly’s living in San Mateo County.  There are three living in San Francisco County.  Martin Kelly number one is a retail liquor merchant (saloon owner, perhaps?) Martin Kelly number two is a baby, so we can eliminate his competition in this matter. Martin Kelly number two is mine.  He is listed as a laborer.  This complicates things a tad.  However, I’ve been able to follow my Martin Kelly in city directories and newspaper articles by address (as well as some of his children).  I believe the “laborer” notation is wrong.  He owned stables and boardinghouses throughout this period.

My Martin Kelly dropped out of the 1880 Census.  At this point, it appears he was living in one of the Mile Houses that he owned, most likely out on Mission Road.  I suspect he either avoided the census taker or because this area was not very safe and it was outside the city the census taker decided no one would miss a couple of families living out on this stretch of road.

My instincts tell me that Martin Kelly in the tax records is one and the same as mine.  Hopefully, at some point I’ll be able to prove it without a doubt.  In the meantime, I’ll hold on to this paperwork as I think it will come in handy one day.

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