GENERATION 4 - ELIZABETH QUINE KELLY : 1797 - 1854

With contributions from P. S. A.

Elizabeth Quine was probably born in the new farmhouse at Arderry, (now in ruins), the first born child of John and Mary (Quine) Quine. She was named after her maternal grandmother, and her name has been perpetuated in every generation since her birth. Elizabeth would have gone to school further down the valley of East Baldwin. The little school there had been built by subscription, and run since the 1760's under the supervision of the Vicar of the parish The schoolmaster in Elizabeth's day may have been a William Killey, who left it an endowment of 10 when he died in 1820.

Elizabeth's father had a great interest in religious questions, and the family probably attended the Methodist meetings as well as the parish church near Douglas, where the family would have attended Sunday service, and celebrated baptism, marriage and burial..

Elizabeth married a man some years older, but from much the same background as herself, John Kelly of the Crossvalley (now The Rhyne) some two miles away from Arderry in the West Baldwin Valley. John's family, the Kellys of Ballabrew, West Baldwin, in the parish of Braddan, were a very long established and respected farming family in the area, owning two farms, various crofts or cottages, and a share of the local corn mill. His father Robert apparently tried to enter trade, and moved to Douglas for a time, but he suffered financial set-backs of some kind, and had to mortgage and then sell the main farm. They moved back to Crossvalley, (actually over the parish boundary in Marown) and it is assumed that Robert would have built the Kelly farmhouse at that time. John took over the farm from his father shortly before his marriage to Elizabeth. After Robert's death, his mother Jane retired to live in a thatched cottage in the village at West Baldwin.

John and Elizabeth were married at Old Kirk Braddan on 17th December 1816, the witnesses being Robert Kelly and Matthias Cain. They raised their family at their farm of Crossvalley, eight sons, 'each of whom had a sister' - the only daughter Elizabeth. John bought additional land nearby and built the traditional range of outbuildings near the house which bore his initials IK and the date 1829. Most of the children were taken across the central valley to the little old parish church of St. Runius to be christened. After St. Luke's church, Baldwin, was built between the valleys in 1836, the youngest children were baptised there. John Kelly reserved burial plots there, close to those of his brother in law John Quine, and sadly the Kelly's youngest child Caesar, was soon laid there in 1840.

Above: The Rhyne Farmhouse - home of John and Elizabeth Kelly

 

The Kellys must have had worries about how to provide for all their family, and when the 1841 census was taken, the two eldest boys John and Robert had moved out to sleep in an outbuilding. John was the heir to the farm, and had left school to help his father. Robert had become apprenticed to a joiner nearby, Caesar and probably Edward had died, and the other children were still at home and attending school.

It was soon after this that the Kellys must have heard the teachings of the 'Mormon' missionaries, who were active in Douglas. The family joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, along with neighbours and associates. The Kellys were among the most prosperous of the converts, but like many others they responded to the call to join the other 'Saints' in their city of Nauvoo in Illinois. This meant selling the farm which had passed down in the family for so many generations. On 12th July 1843 John and Elizabeth sold their lands for 1200 to J.S. Shaw. As John's mother was still alive, on 24th February 1844 John Kelly appointed John Quine of Ballachrink (Elizabeth's brother) and another neighbour as trustees to receive certain of the sale proceeds which would not be paid over until her death. The family plots at St. Luke's were also apparently made over to John Quine. On 28th February 1844 the family left the Island from Douglas on the Liverpool steamer, embarking for America on the ship "Glasgow" on March 5th. Neither John nor Elizabeth saw the Island again. They reached Nauvoo via New Orleans on 26th April that year.

Paradoxically, they reached their destination as the affairs of the Latter Day Saints were approaching a crisis. Rumours were circulating regarding the practice of polygamy by Church leaders, and locals had formed vigilante groups. It was on 27th June 1844 that Joseph Smith was killed at Cathage, Illinois, by such a group, precipiating the subsequent exodus from Nauvoo under Brigham Young's leadership.

Having reached Illinois, John and Elizabeth put down roots in Hancock County, acquiring house and farm property. Their family dispersed throughout the west of America; William joining the Mormon Battalion, and then following the Mormon leadership to the Salt Lake Valley. In 1850 John and his brother Robert joined a wagon train headed for Yuma and California. Robert worked on Government projects on the Colorado River and then in San Diego before finding his niche as a rancher in southern California.He was the only one of Elizabeth's children to make a trip back to the Island, in 1879. John settled further north, at Vallejo in the Bay area near San Fransisco. Matthew settled first at Dodgeville, Wisconsin, and then headed for California where he homesteaded adjacent to Robert's ranch. Thomas and Elizabeth both married and raised their families in Hancock County, staying behind with John and Elizabeth after Brigham Young led the main body of the Church away from Nauvoo on the epic trek to the Salt Lake Valley.

Elizabeth survived her husband, dying early in March 1854. Some contact was maintained with the Island, but we do not know whether 'Old' John Quine knew that his daughter Elizabeth had pre-deceased him. Nor do we know whether she maintained her allegiance to the beliefs which had inspired her emigration.

Elizabeth's son William (or William Edward) was the only member of Elizabeth's family to remain a member of the Latter Day Saints Church, end even he eventually disagreed with certain of its economic decrees towards the end of his life. William had married in the Mormon fashion to three wives, and his 27 children leave a numerous progeny.

Descendants of Elizabeth Kelly junior still live in Hancock County, Illinois, farming Kelly land, and some too live on the old lands of the Rancho Agua Hedionda in San Diego County, California.

 

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