Immigration – Street – 1908

This is the border-crossing document showing my great grandparents’ entry into the US. It comes from the Detroit Border Crossings and Passenger Crew List database. The card is filled out for William Street, and indicates that his was accompanied by his wife Caroline Sarah and a daughter (known to be Florence, but not listed by name on the card). The document specifically mentions the names and addresses for two siblings (James and Eliza).



  • This document was apparently filled out on 8 Jul 1908.
  • William Street was born in London, Middlesex, England.
  • His age at the time of entry was 28 years.
  • His occupation is listed as “laborer”.
  • The form indicates that he is able to read and write.
  • His last permanent address before coming to the US was in Toronto, Canada.
  • Nearest relative or friend in country from which he came is listed as his brother James Street, “The Milford Tavern” Park Lane, Tutton, England.
  • His destination is to meet with his sister, Eliza Foyle, 615 South 16th St., Omaha, Nebraska.
  • He had not been in the US previously.
  • Passage was paid by himself.
  • He arrived with $2.
  • He had not been arrested or deported.
  • He is listed as being 5′ 7″ tall, with a dark complexion, brown hair, green eyes, and no disfiguring marks.
  • Seaport, date of ship landing, and name of steamship is listed as Halifax, 13 Mar 1906, SS Kensington, Detroit Michigan, C.P. 3.

The original source documents are provided below. Most browsers will let you “right-click” on these links and then “Save Link As” to save a copy of these documents to your computer.

WW1 Draft Registration – Street – 1918

This is my great grandfather’s WW1 draft registration card. Family members do not believe that he ever actually served in the armed forces. This document, however, provides useful about him.



  • This document was apparently filled out on 12 Sep 1918.
  • William Street claims that he was born 23 Jan 1880.
  • His age at the time of registration was 38 years.
  • He claims to be an “Alien Declarant” from England.
  • He claims that his occupation was that of “Laborer” for (Sunderland Brothers Company?) located at 20th and (Center?) in Omaha, Douglas, Nebraska.
  • He was identified as having gray eyes and dark brown hair.
  • He lists his address as being 3211 Leavenworth (Drive?) Omaha, Douglas, Nebraska.
  • He lists Caroline Street as living at the same address.



The original source documents are provided below. Most browsers will let you “right-click” on these links and then “Save Link As” to save a copy of these documents to your computer.

US Census – Street – 1910, 1920, 1930

These records contain information about my great grandparents’ household in the early part of the 20th century, and illustrate the fact that records of this sort are indeed subject to original errors (in addition to present-day interpretation errors).


April 1910 – Omaha City, Douglas, Nebraska


According to the 1910 census, William Street (31), Caroline S. (31), and Florence G. (3) lived at 3125 (Berndeth Street?) in Omaha. William and Caroline had been married 4 years and had one child (and that child was still living). William and Caroline were were born in England, as were their parents. Their daughter Florence had been born in Canada. This document indicates that all three had come to the US in 1908. William’s occupation is listed as that of a laborer in a lumberyard. They are listed as owning their home (with a mortgage). It appears that they had a 49-year-old male boarder living at the house, by the name of John H. Badger.


January 1920 – Omaha City, Douglas, Nebraska


According to the 1920 census, William Street (38), Caroline (38), Florence (13), Dorothy (8), and Wilbur (3) lived at 3211 Leavenworth Street in Omaha. It is interesting to note that Florence’s age looks consistent with the previous census, but the parents’ true ages at this time should have been about 41. Their year(s) of entry into the US also seem inconsistent with the previous census, as they are now listed as being 1889 for William and 1899 for Caroline. Their citizenship status is not entirely clear, but it looks like they were naturalized in 1915. William’s occupation is listed as a laborer at a cement company.


April 1930 – Omaha City, Douglas, Nebraska


According to the 1930 census, William Street (51), Caroline S. (51), Florence C. (23), Dorothy M. (18), and Wilbur (14) lived at 2139 49th Avenue in Omaha. They owned their home and it was estimated to be worth $2500. They owned a radio set. William and Caroline are listed as getting married at 27 years of age. Florence is listed as being born in Canada, while Dorothy and Wilbur are listed as being born in Nebraska. William, Caroline, and Florence are listed as coming to the US in 1909, and are naturalized citizens. William’s profession is listed as cement finisher, doing construction work. Florence and Dorothy as listed working as bakers in a bakery.

The original source documents are provided below. Most browsers will let you “right-click” on these links and then “Save Link As” to save a copy of these documents to your computer.

Kelly-Evans Marriage (1873)

This is the marriage certificate for Michael Kelly and Joanna Evans. The license was signed on 19 May 1873, and the ceremony performed on 26 May 1873, in Oakland, Burt County, Nebraska. Michael was 26 years old at the time, and Joanna was 16 years old (verbal consent of her father is indicated on the license). The document itself contains several pieces of key genealogical information, but the handwriting is difficult to read.



Michael’s age is given to be 26 years of age in May 1873. This would imply that he was born in late 1846 or early 1847, which again complicates the question of his actual date of birth. His place of birth is listed as being in Ireland, although I am unable to decipher the name of the town. Joanna’s age is given to be 16 years of age in May 1873. This would imply that she was born in late 1856 or early 1857. Her birth place is listed as being in Canada.



Their parents’ names are also listed on the license. Unfortunately, deciphering their mothers’ maiden names is a challenge.

The original source documents are provided below. Most browsers will let you “right-click” on these links and then “Save Link As” to save a copy of these documents to your computer.

Michael Kelly Obituary (1921)

The following obituary appeared in the The Bancroft Blade On September 2, 1921. I have attempted to recreate the text here in its entirety, although some of the original text is difficult to properly recognize.



Michael Kelly, Nebraska pioneer who departed this life at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Alvin Browning in this city Monday evening, August 22nd, 1921, at eight o’clock, was born near Tralee, County Kerry, Ireland, November 1, 1849, and was thus 71 years, 9 months and 21 days old.

Orphaned at an early age by the death of both father and mother, he with his elder brother, Patrick Kelly, immigrated to America at the age of about ten years, landing in New York and going to the home of an uncle near London, Ontario, Canada, where they remained for some years. Learning of the great West in the United States, they decided to cast their fortunes there and, in 1867 Mr. Kelly in company with Joseph Henzy set out for Nebraska, planning to meet up with Captain Michael Evans, a pioneer settler near where Decatur, Nebraska, is located. Arriving in Omaha and finding their funds almost exhausted, they set out on foot for Decatur, then the metropolis of North Eastern Nebraska and vieing with Omaha as one of the first cities of the state. It was here he met up with and became acquainted with S.R. Fletcher, in charge of one of the relays of the stage line from Omaha to Decatur, the only transportation line of that part of the country of that time, an acquaintance that broadened into a friendship that was maintained through life.

His brother, Patrick Kelly, later joined him and they were employed on various construction projects that were then having their beginning in the great west. Later both acquired homesteads southwest of Bancroft. During the pioneer development of these places, the returns from which were meagre and wholly insufficient to sustain them, he in company with other pioneers of the district, found work through a period of years in railroad construction and bridge building of the pioneer transportation companies of Western Iowa and Eastern Nebraska, including the first bridge across the river at Omaha, the North Western Railway west from the river, railroad construction in and about Fort Dodge, Iowa. Through the long winter months with construction work at a standstill, he in company with two other Nebraska pioneers, John Conlin of Bancroft and a brother, the late James Conlin, contracted the cutting of timber along the Missouri river near Decatur, much of which was used in the construction of the pioneer buildings of that time, with quantities shipped from that point on boats that then plied the Missouri with the regularity of our train service of the present.

Among his employers and associates were the late Count John A. Creighton and John L. Blair, both pioneer builders of the west.

For years prior to the construction of the present M. & O. railway, Fremont, Decatur, and West Point were his trading places and the pioneers residing between his neighbors.

Pioneer neighbors have told and re-told incidents to show of his wonderful endurance, his strategy and ability to meet with the obstacles of a then unsettled country and its elements and quoteing, in the words of one of these, “The night was never too dark or the road too long for Mike Kelly to go on the way of [???] to a [???] neighbor.”

He was privileged to live [???] this community and to see the frail attempt of development of his own hands broaded and multiply into a picture of prosperous homes and farm lands and enjoyed no more pleasing time than when in the later years of life he stood or walked about the grounds of his home, which, on a high elevation, overlooked the Logan Valley and neighboring towns which once he knew as an endless prairie and over which he hunted the wild game for his sustenance, marveling at the progress made, and content that the dreams of the pioneer had come true.

Friends will long remember and picture to themselves again and again this rugged kindly man whose life was interwoven into and a part of every step of progress of this community, and who walked through it so that to know him was to call him friend.

He was wedded to Hannah Evans in the early days of his settlement here and for a number of years resided on their farm southwest of this city. To this union was born two daughters and two sons, Mary Browning of Bancroft, Ellen Flock of Regina, Canada, J. R. Kelly of Angora, and Edward Kelly, who died in infancy at the time of the death of the mother in 1881. After this time, Mr. Kelly removed to Bancroft and has been actively engaged in the business and community life of this district ever since. In later years he was united in marriage to Mary Cronin and to this union were born Mildred Monaghan of Dalton, Neb., Lucille Carey of Bancroft and B.M. Kelly of Strong City, Kansas, all of the children being with him during his last sickness and burial.

The funeral service was held at the Holy Cross church in this city on Thursday, August 25th, at ten o’clock, Rev. Father O’Donoghue of Kansas City, Mo., and Rev. Father Quinn officiating. People of the entire town and countryside, as well as large numbers from other towns, filling the church yard, gathered to pay their love and respect to this geodly man.

The honorary pall bearers selected were:

John G. Gannon, Rosalie, Neb.
F. C. Nielsen, Omaha, Neb.
J. E. L. Carer, Denver, Colo.
F. D. Hunker, West Point, Neb.
Guy T. Graves, Pender, Neb.
Oliver Waite, Lyons, Neb.

The active pall beares were J. O. Copple, J. H. Stream, R. E. Cates, A. G. Zuhlke, John Ronk and Terrence McKeegan.

His body was laid to rest in that long, peaceful sleep in the cemetery overlooking the valley and the land he loved so well.

(The following was apparently a note to the community included after the obituary.)

We wish to express our sincere thanks and appreciation to the many friends for their kindness, help and affection, and the many beautiful flowers during the illness and burial of our beloved Father.

The Family of M. Kelly

The original source documents are provided below. Most browsers will let you “right-click” on these links and then “Save Link As” to save a copy of these documents to your computer.

US Census – Kelly – 1880

Finding this 1880 census document for the Kelly family was not a straightforward process. The online database I use to search these records apparently had the last name entered incorrectly — but understandably given the original document — as “Kelby” instead of “Kelly”. I succeeded in tracking this down by searching for Michael’s neighbors from the 1870 census. If you look at the census documents side-by-side, you can see that this is the same community documented as “Township 23 Range 7 East” in 1870. By 1880, this area was apparently called Logan Precinct.


June 1880 – Logan Precint, Cuming, Nebraska


Again, we note the fact that reported ages — even for many of the neighbors — do not necessarily resolve nicely with those reported in 1870. Michael Kelly (38) is listed along with his wife Johanna (22) and children Mary J. (5), Ellen (3), and Robert J. (1). Michael’s profession is listed as “Farmer” and Johanna’s is listed as “Keeping House”. Michael is listed as being born in Ireland, as were his parents. Johanna is listed as being born in Canada, with her parents being born in Ireland. All children are listed as being born in Nebraska

The original source documents are provided below. Most browsers will let you “right-click” on these links and then “Save Link As” to save a copy of these documents to your computer.

US Census – Kelly – 1870

I believe this census document shows my great-great grandfather Michael Kelly, living next door to his brother Patrick in November 1870. The form indicates that Michael was 22 years old, Patrick was 24 years old, and they both worked as farmers. Patrick had an estate worth $210. Patrick could not read or write, but presumably Michael could.


November 1870 – Township 23 Range 7 East, Cuming, Nebraska


This document plays a pivotal role in my decision to claim that Michael was born in 1848, as opposed to 1849 as it has been commonly reported. The other document supporting my claim is the newspaper clipping from the Bancroft Blade announcing his death. There are several documents claiming his birth year was 1849. Notably, one of these documents is a US Census form from 1900, which states very clearly that he was born in November of that year.

My reasoning for claiming 1848 as his actual year of birth is as follows. (A) It is widely accepted that Michael came to the US with his brother Patrick in the mid 1800s and settled in Cuming County, Nebraska. (B) The population of Cuming County was small enough that I feel confident in my assumption that the Kelly’s on this census document are indeed my ancestors. (C) This document was filled out on November 3, 1870. (D) There is a very high likelihood that the census worker actually spoke with Michael directly. (E) The census worker documented Michael as being 22 years of age, on this date which was presumably just two days after his birthday. (F) Later documents, such as the 1900 US Census, may very well have been filled out through discussion with other family members such as his wife. (G) I would believe the information coming directly from Michael thirty years earlier to be more accurate than information being gathered thirty years later from perhaps another family member.

The original source documents are provided below. Most browsers will let you “right-click” on these links and then “Save Link As” to save a copy of these documents to your computer.

Michael Kelly Newspaper Clippings

The following newspaper articles discuss my great-great grandfather, Michael Kelly. The first article was published about his death in 1921. The second was apparently a history piece written in the mid-1980’s. Based partially on information in the first article, I believe that Michael’s birth year has been erroneously reported to be 1849. Instead, I believe he was born in 1848.



Grand Old Man Passes Away (from Bancroft Blade, August 26, 1921)

After months of patient suffering, Michael Kelly, a pioneer resident of this community, passed peacefully from this life Monday evening at 8 o’clock at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Alvin Browning, at the age of 72 years, 9 months and 21 days. Last spring he contracted a bad cold, which resulted in a serious attack of yellow jaundice, which with complications finally broke his health down and he succumed (sic) to the inevitable as above stated. The funeral was held at the Holy Cross church yesterday morning at 10:30 o’clock and burial made in the Catholic cemetery. Complete obituary next week.

Broke First Furrow in Neligh Township (from Heritage of Bancroft 1884-1984, A Centennial Project)

Michael Kelly, son of John and Ellen Kelly, was born in Ireland, November 1849. He had one brother, Patrick. Michael immigrated to Canada at age 12, remained six years and came to Cuming County. In 1872, he and Hannah Evans, a native of Ireland, were married. They had three children: Mary, Ellen, and Robert. In 1867, Michael Kelly homesteaded a quarter section in Neligh Township. He built a dugout 10 by 12 feet which he covered with prairie sod. A year later, he built a small frame house where he lived for six years until it burned. He built again and made substantial improvements upon his land, by adding a three acre grove. He broke the first furrow in Neligh Township. In 1881, he leased his farm and engaged in the mercantile business at Bancroft, where he carried a general stock of dry good and groceries. John Ronk, J. Cromin, J.R. Kelly and Miss May were clerks. The Central Telephone Office was located in this store.


The first article, if we assume the data to be factual as reported, can help us make a strong assumption about Michael Kelly’s actual date of birth. The article was apparently published on August 26, 1921, which was a Friday. Since the article states that he passed away on the previous Monday, we can deduce that his date of death was August 22, 1921. Assuming they accurately knew his date of birth, and used a straightforward calculation for his lifespan (72 years, 9 months, 21 days), we can conclude that Michael was born November 1, 1848. This contradicts other information we have about his birth year (US Census 1900, second newspaper article above), but is consistent with answers recorded on a US Census Form (1870) that I believe shows he and his brother Patrick in Cuming County, Nebraska.

The second article gives us a lot of information related to family members. Michael’s parents were named John and Ellen. His first wife’s name was Hannah Evans, with whom he had three children (Mary, Ellen, and Robert).

The original source documents are provided below. Most browsers will let you “right-click” on these links and then “Save Link As” to save a copy of these documents to your computer.

US Census – Kelly – 1900, 1910, 1920

These records contain information about my great-great grandfather and his family during the early part of the 20th century in Bancroft Township, Cuming County, Nebraska. These documents include information about the year he immigrated to the US, but it is difficult to draw meaningful conclusions from the conflicting data. Additionally, two of these documents support the argument that he was born in 1849. The third document supports the argument that he was born in 1848.


June 1900 – Bancroft Township, Cuming, Nebraska


According to the 1900 census, Michael (50) lived with his wife Mary (31) and his children Robert J. (21), Mildred M. (6), Lucille A. (5) and Bryan M. (3). Michael and Mary are listed as being married for thirteen years. Mary is listed as having three children, all of whom were still living at the time this census was taken. This most likely indicates that Mildred, Lucille, and Bryan were children she had in her marriage to Michael. Birth information is listed for all family members — Michael (Nov 1849), Mary (Jul 1868), Robert J. (Nov 1878), Mildred (Aug 1893), and Lucille (Aug 1894). Michael was born in Ireland, as were both of his parents. Mary was born in Michigan, while her father was born in Ireland and her mother was born in Canada. All of the children are listed as being born in Nebraska, with their father (Michael) being born in Ireland. According to this document, Robert’s mother was born in Canada, and the other three children had a mother (Mary) who was born in Michigan.

Michael is listed as a naturalized citizen who immigrated to the US in 1868 (being in the US for 32 years at the time of the census). Michael’s occupation is listed as a dealer for dry goods and groceries. Robert’s occupation is listed as a salesman for dry goods and groceries. Michael, Mary, and Robert were all able to read and write English. Mildred and Lucille had both attended school for nine months. Michael owned his house without a mortgage.


April 1910 – Bancroft Township, Cuming, Nebraska


The 1910 census shows Michael (60), apparently a widower for a second time, living with three children — Mildred (17), Lucille (16), and Bryan (13). He is living next door to his son Robert. The birthplaces for everyone’s parents is consistent with the previous census, with the exception of Robert (who is living next door). His mother on this form is listed as being born in Michigan, which was likely not the case. Michael’s year of immigration to the US is listed as 1856, which was ten years earlier than the reported date in the 1900 census. Michael’s occupation is listed as the proprietor of a general store working on his own account. He owns his house free of a mortgage.


January 1920 – Bancroft Township, Cuming, Nebraska


The census documents from 1920 show Michael (71) living with his daughter Mary Jane and her husband Alvin Browning (39). Michael’s year of immigration is listed as 1866, with his naturalization taking place in 1867. It appears that they live with another family in the same house (George Edward Anderson and ??? Myrtle).

The original source documents are provided below. Most browsers will let you “right-click” on these links and then “Save Link As” to save a copy of these documents to your computer.

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