Hello, Grandfather!

If he was still alive, my maternal grandfather would have been 116 years old.

However, he died from tuberculosis in November, 1932 at the very young age of 34 and long before I was born. Consequently, I never knew him, and what I knew about him was very, very little.

That he was an American serviceman, that he and my grandmother married in London in 1918, and that they had one child, a daughter, my mother. They moved to his home in America, but the marriage failed and my grandmother returned to England with my mother, still a baby.

This is all I knew from my grandmother who rarely mentioned him. From the little she said, I had a mental image of a feckless, scruffy individual, stocky, with a thick mop of unruly hair.

With a surname like Kelly, trying to find more information about him through the genealogy sites was extremely difficult, and consuming time that I had to dedicate elsewhere, so I had relegated it to the bottom of other projects. But I had always wanted to know more about him. A friend who really knows her way around genealogy offered to do some research for me, and within an hour I was looking at his photograph and knew a lot more about him that I ever expected.

Here he is:

Vincent Allen Kelly

Vincent Allen Kelly

It was an emotional moment, and revealed nothing like the villainous scamp I imagined. I think he’s a handsome devil, mature for a 22-year-old, looks very Irish, and reminds me of Jeremy Paxman and Sean Penn.

I’m so grateful to the lovely Jenny Warren for the effort she has put into this.

And there may yet be more to come about Vincent Kelly, or should I say Frederick Mannering? 😉


12 thoughts on “Hello, Grandfather!

    • He died in 1932, when he was 34. Thanks for pointing out the date error in the related post. 🙂 I’ll correct it.

      Oh my goodness yes, you are so right about the McGann likeness. As he apparently aspired to be an actor, and called himself Frederick Mannering, who knows – perhaps there’s a distant family connection.

    • Thank you for leaving a comment, Janet. I hope there will be more to the story. But even if not, at least I know what he looked like. Although it’s really sad to know how young he died, and how I never met him. I am so lucky to have a friend who knows how to dig into the past for me.

    • I am hoping to be able to find out more, Helen. Have sent off for a marriage certificate for ‘Mr Frederick Mannering’, who married my grandmother at the same time and in the same place as Vincent Kelly. 🙂

    • I am waiting for a marriage certificate to arrive for Frederick Mannering, who seems to have married my grandmother at precisely the same time and place as Vincent Kelly. Hopefully the certificate will give an explanation or clue as to how this came about.

    • Time is the big problem, isn’t it, because once you get going the ramifications go on forever. With common names like Young and Kelly, it is very time consuming. I wish we’d had a unique double-barrelled name that would be easy to follow. And then of course with every relative you find, you have to add their parents and then their parents and before you know it your family tree is taking up all the wall space and you have to move to a larger house to accommodate it. 🙂

  1. Pingback: 5 – 3 – 1 | Susie Kelly - Writer

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