Monday 15 October 2018

John Kelsall, Grandson of Jennett

I have 'found' another second cousin who is also following the history of the Kelsall side of the family, hi to Pete and Family. He has kindly shared this extract from the diary of Jennet's son John Kelsall who was the only brother of our ancestor, Joseph. Remember it was John and Joseph's grandmother who rode to London to collect them as toddlers when both parents had died?

1737 Chester, when his children had smallpox.
He was a Quaker, teacher and merchant for Abraham Darby.
18 Our daughter Sally very ill, wch proved to be the Small Pox wch appear'd next day.
19 This morn. I went for Salop, baited at Whitchurch, and got there abt. 7ho.
20 Met with young Mr Lloyd, could not finish the Commission today. Son Benj. came to see me, as also son Amos. Rec'd a letter by him from Cous. James Gough of Bristol.
21 This day finish'd our busness and left the Town abt. noon. Before I reach'd Whitchurch had a sore Fit of my old Pain, and the weather being very hot & sultry had a great Hardship to reach the Plume of Feathers, Thorn-Hill 21 miles where I stay'd that night.
22:3mo.1737 Being pretty well this morn. set out abt. 7ho and got home abt. 9ho. Went to the meets. fore & afternoon.
23 Met this morn with Jos. Gill, Saml. Watson and several other Friends from Ireland who were going to the Y. Meet at London.
25 Great thunder and rain P.M. Our daughter Sally very ill of ye Small Pox.
26 Some thunder at a distance, the weather still very hot.
27 Rec'd a letter from son Thos. & Hugh Rowland.
28 Wrote to son Thos. at Dolegelley. Was in the evening wth R.W & M. Oaks. This day our Sally's eyes were opened having been blind 9 days.
29 Went to meets. Last night our daughter Suzy was taken ill.
31 Wrote to Bro. Jos. Kelsall. The children very bad so yt I was oblig'd to be up all night.
1:4mo. The Small Pox appear on Suzy, Molly very bad and raving. Was up again all last night.
2 Small Pox appear on Molly.
3 The children very ill especially Molly. Was up all night.
4 Great rain this morn. and last night, met with Cous. R.M. The children as before, both of them blind.
5 Went to meet P.M. Was up all night with the children.
6 The children much as before.
7 Saw this morn. Dr. Saml. Reploe Bp. of Chester. Wrote to son Amos. Rec'd a letter from Ow. Lewis. Daughter Betty came here, the children very indifferent.
8 Wrote to son Thos.
9 Suzy much better, Molly very badly.
12 Went to meets. where were Saml. Watson & Jos. Gill from Dublin and Gerrard from Hertford, a Dutch-man formerly of Utrecht convinced abt. 5 years ago. Jos. had a brave opportunity among ye people there being a burial of a GrandChild of Nathn. Ashbrook.
13 J. Gill & Gerrard called at our house to see us. The children somewhat better.
16 Was this evening with Cous. Abrm. Merrick at the Castle he being a Prisoner there for Debt.
17 Not much material, the children now beginning to sit up a little.
18 Had last night a sore Fit of my old Pain &c., not much material this day.
23 This day a ship of abt. 150 Tuns, but empty, came up the New-Cutt: it had been . . .ing, [torn] and they were obliged to dam and pound up the water below it before they could bring it. Spent sometime with Cous. Abm. Merrick at ye Castle &c. Son Thos. came home.
24 The Fair begins in this City. Met with many of my Acquaintances & Relations &c.
25 Spent some time wth Abrm. Darby, Serjeant Harvey, Jos. Fothergill, old Ed. Hall, J.H. &c. Met wth Dr. Parry Attorney near Carnarvon & agreed wth him for two Girls to come to school.
26 Went to meets. Spent the Evening wth Jno. Toft & Joshua Toft [who] were kind to me and presented me with a Guinea.
27 Wrote to Cous. Jno. Dilworth.
28 Spent the evening with D. Evans, Jos. Chamberlain &c.
29 Wrote to Ellis Humphs. and Owen Lewis.
30 Was at the Ship at the Crane with all my Family, the weather still very fine & fair.
1:5mo. Wrote to Cous. J. Merrick.
3 Went to meets. and afterwards with my Family to Barrel Well, the Cherry Orchard and Jno. Lambs.
4 Was let Blood yesterday and my wife today. Was with R.W & M.O in ye evening.


  1. My father wrote a diary like that, very little but the basics but that is enough to have you reading it through word by word with great interest. I'm glad the girls seem to have survived.
    Blood letting, small pox and prisoners for debt. What days. Mind you prisoners for debt are still around especially here

  2. Just love finding this sort of window into the past and the lives of ancestors! Hope you find more.