When Aidan Kelly recently emailed me about his relative James Kelly of Blantyre who used to own a pub, I immediately thought of James Kelly of Thornhill, Blantyre, the Celtic co-founder and Director and who owned Kelly’s Pub at the corner of Auchinraith Road. I’ve written plenty about that particular man and have photos of him, still to put up online for the first time. However, when Aidan told me more, I realised this was a completely different man, just sharing the same name at a similar time in Blantyre. Aidan’s relative, a three times great Uncle was as follows:
Aidan told me that James Kelly was born 2nd January 1865 in Dalserf, Lanarkshire. He was the son of James Kelly and Ann Curley.
There’s something strange going on with this birth location though. I retrieved the birth certificate and agree James was born in Dalself and his parents were indeed James and Ann. However, in the 1871, 1881 and 1891 census, he is listed as being born at Woodside, Blantyre, a former large house just off Station Road. It is the same James, same parents. So what’s going on here. Why did James and his parents want to disassociate themselves with the actual birthplace of Dalserf? I don’t think we’ll ever know, but knowing his father and mother were Irish Immigrants, they may have been treated badly at Dalserf or wished deliberately to distance themselves from the short time they spent there. There is a mystery here and when I checked for James Kelly being born in Blantyre anytime between 1864 to 1867, there is no births recorded.
This James Kelly should not be confused with the other James Kelly, Justice of the Peace and spirit ,merchant who DID once have an association with Woodside.
James was recorded living at Muirhead’s buildings, Stonefield road, Blantyre by the 1871 Census. He married Agnes Tonner and had 5 children: