Sunday, May 17, 2009

Francis Kelly

Francis Kelly was born in 1834 in Roscrea or Rosecrea, Ireland.

Francis left Ireland sometime before the war broke out, and immigrated to the United States, eventually settling in western Michigan.

He stood 5’9” with blue eyes, light hair and a fair complexion and was a 25-year-old laborer possibly living in Kent County when he enlisted as Eighth Corporal in Company H on May 13, 1861. (Company H, formerly the “Muskegon Rangers,” was made up largely of men from the vicinity of Muskegon and Newaygo counties.) He was shot in the left hip on May 31, 1862, at Fair Oaks, Virginia, and hospitalized on June 2. By July 26, he was in the Wood Street hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he remained until he was discharged for his wounds on August 8, 1862. On April 16, 1890, he was examined by Dr. James Sweeny, a physician in Brooklyn, New York, who wrote in his report to the Pension Bureau, that Kelly was still “suffering from the effects of a gunshot wound in left hip,” and furthermore that the bullet had never never extracted from his leg, producing severe pain along with “atrophy of muscles of thigh and leg with loss of power. ”

It is quite possible that Francis never returned to Michigan.

On his discharge paper he listed his mailing address as Philadelphia, but by the summer of 1863, he was residing in New York City when he married Mary Lanigan nee Ingerton (1840-1906) on August 23, 1863, at the Church of the Assumption in New York City. They had at least three children: Annie (b. 1866), Kathi (b. 1868) and Josephine (b. 1873).

Francis and his wife eventually settled in Brooklyn, New York, where he probably lived the remainder of his life: in 1873 at 338 Third Street, and on Manhattan Avenue in 1880 when he was also working as a grocer and living with his wife and three daughters. He was still living in Brooklyn in 1890 next to one James Kelly, in 1892 at 84 Monitor Street, and in 1898 at 93 Nassau Avenue.

Francis received pension no. 133,309.

He died at his home at 93 Nassau Avenue in Brooklyn on November 17, 1899, and was presumably buried in Brooklyn.

In 1891 his widow applied for and received a pension (no. 517425).

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