I recently acquired naturalization papers for a Thomas Kelty, who I believe to be my great great grandfather.  They were executed in Exeter, New Hampshire on 28 February 1859 with an inital application date of 3 March 1859.  While these papers don’t positively identify this Thomas Kelty as my great great grandfather, I have concluded through research there were no other Thomas Kelty’s in New Hampshire area between 1850 and 1880.  The Kelty name is extremely unusual in any early records as it is.

These papers also state that Thomas Kelty was born on or about 28 October 1919.  They do provide us with a location of where this Thomas Kelty was born (see the image below), but I have not been able to match it to an actual County in Ireland.

Thomas was 40 years old at the time of the naturalization. According to the 1841 United Kingdom Census and the 1860 & 1870 United States Census, Thomas Kelty was born between 1811 and 1818 . This makes the Thomas Kelty in these papers a reasonable match for the Thomas Kelty in our family tree.

According to this filing, Thomas first came to New York on or about the 2nd day of October 1835 at the age of 17 years old.  It does not tell us the name of the ship he was on.

These papers do raise several interesting questions.

  1. If this is indeed the Thomas Kelty from the Hayes Family Tree, how did  his first five children come to be born in the United Kingdom between 1841 and 1858? Did he return to the United Kingdom before bringing his family back to the United States?
  2. If this is not the same Thomas Kelty, then who is it?  There are no other Thomas Kelty’s in New Hampshire.
  3. Could he have lied to protect his family from deportation?

View the Thomas Kelty Naturalization Papers in PDF format by clicking this link.

Follow-up To The Original Article

My friend, Bob Naughton, has identified the County of Birth as Roscommon.

County Roscommon (Irish: Contae Ros Comáin) is one of the traditional counties of Ireland and is located within the province of Connacht. It was named after the town of Roscommon. The county covers an area of 2,547 square kilometres (983 sq mi).

Roscommon is the 11th largest of Ireland’s 32 counties in area, the fifth least populous county in Ireland and has the second least population density after Leitrim. It’s the third largest of Connacht’s 5 counties in size and fourth largest in terms of population. In 2008 it was revealed that statistically, Roscommon has the longest life expectancy of any county on the island of Ireland.