The Kellett - Dickinson connection

Updated: Jan 26, 2019

This old family photo, shared by James H. Dickinson, shows Harry & Annie Dickinson with five of their children (W.H., Elizabeth, Emma, John and Lucy). Aunt Emily Robinson, Annie's sister, lived with Harry & Annie for years. She was an invalid (sick or disabled) from birth, and Harry continued to care for her after his wife's death.

Noah Kellett is the man standing in the center. His son Leslie Kellett, born abt. 1908, is shown in the photo (blurred), and "Hayden" Kellett (front left, according the photo's label - appears to have been William H., the son who traveled from England with them in 1907 at the age of 7 years. He would have been 12 when this photo was taken). Noah's son Edgar Kellett, born 1913, (not born yet at the time of this photo) was in the bridal party of Ruth Dickinson and James Lindsey in 1937, indicating a strong bond between the Kelletts and Dickinsons for several decades.

An old typed genealogy mentions the following about Noah Kellett, claiming he is connected to the family of Elizabeth Reynolds, wife of John Dickinson and mother of Harry Dickinson, saying exactly the following:

"Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Reynolds, had a brother, Thomas, and two sisters Mary Ann and Elizabeth. The latter married Noah Kellet and bore him three sons. Thomas married and whose daughter married a Mr. Hill, England."

There seems to be some confusion here. It starts off accurate, with Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Reynolds. She did have a brother named Thomas, as a photo of him is on file. The names of her sisters, if any, are unknown to me. It does not seem likely, however, that she had a sister with the same name, Elizabeth. John Dickinson, had a brother who "married and whose daughter married a Mr. Hill in England". It was his brother, William Dickinson whose daughter, Caroline, married George Henry Hill in England. Was the writer confusing Elizabeth's siblings with John's?

The typed genealogy does confirm one thing - Noah was a cousin of one of our ancestors and being that he was born abt. 1871, he was in the same generation as Harry Dickinson. It therefore appears that Harry had an aunt who married a Kellett.

The following is what little information I've gathered about Noah Kellett:

England and Wales Marriage Registration Index (Vol 9C, P 99, Line 326) shows a record of Noah Kellet marrying Sarah Elizabeth Whitworth, daughter of Allen Whitworth, between April and June of 1898. Nine years later, passenger records show Noah and Sarah Kellett, both age 36, traveled from Liverpool, England, to New York, on the ship Caronia (July 1907). Their son William, age 7, was the only other Kellett on the ship. They came from Wakefield, England. Noah gives "cousin, W. H. Dickinson" of 216 South 11th St., Newark, NJ, as his final destination. William, brother of Harry Dickinson, was living at that address when the census was taken in 1910, with his wife Lucy and daughter Beatrice. Therefore, on the ship record, Noah Kellett is saying he was the cousin of William and therefore also a cousin of Harry.

Noah and his wife "Sarah" were counted on the census in Newark, New Jersey, in 1920 and 1930. From the census, we learn of three sons born to them:

  • William H. Kellett born abt. 1901 in England

  • Leslie Kellett born abt. 1908 in New Jersey

  • Edgar Kellett born abt. 1913 also in New Jersey

Was Sarah called "cousin Lizzie" in the photo above? If not, Noah's wife is missing from the photo, despite two of their sons being present.

Did John Dickinson have a sister named Mary Ann or Elizabeth who married a Kellett?

Identifying Noah Kellett's relationship to our Dickinson family could provide valuable clues as to the identity of John's mysterious brother or perhaps Elizabeth Reynolds family. Clues may be found written on old family photos, genealogies, Bibles, or notes.

Anyone with information or clues, please contact me or comment in the Dickinson Genealogy Forum!

#dickinson #harrydickinson #annierobinson #williamhenrydickinson #noahkellett

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