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:
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? 😉