Thomas Kelton, #16 on the “Scots at Lynn 1653. Iron Works Inventory”

Every attempt has been made to ensure accuracy; please independently verify all data.

Published on: 16 Jan 2015
Updated: 15 Sep 2016

Descendants and Researchers

Scottish Surname:
“Kelton. of local origin from the village of Kelton in the parish of the same name, Kirkcudbrightshire. John Keltone in Bordland, 1685 (Dumfries),” page 391.
From: Black, George Fraser, 1866-1948. The Surnames of Scotland, Their Origin, Meaning and History, (New York : New York Public Library & Readex Books, 1962.)

The surnames of Scotland, their origin meaning and history ... Black, George Fraser, 1866-1948.

The surnames of Scotland, their origin meaning and history … Black, George Fraser, 1866-1948.

First Generation in the New World

1. THOMAS¹ KELTON, was born in Scotland and died at Dorchester, Suffolk, Massachusetts on 18 Oct 1699. He married at Boston by 1661, SUSANNA (_____).

Biographical Notes:
Thomas is believed to be a Scottish prisoner of war from the Battle of Dunbar at Dunbar, East Lothian, Scotland on 3 Sep 1650, arriving at Charlestown, Massachusetts Bay Colony on the ketch, Unity, in late December 1650.

“*Kelton, Thomas – In 1651 was hired out to collier Thomas Looke for three years. In 1653 he made twelve loads of charcoal, and also had mining tools purchased for him. He was living at Lynn in 1657, and may be the Thomas Kelton who was later at Reading.” ~ transcribed from document below. [The ship Unity arrived in late December 1650 so Thomas being hired out in 1651 fits for him being on the Unity rather than the John and Sara, as the John and Sara did not arrive until the spring of 1652.~Teresa]

Children of THOMAS and SUSANNA (_____) KELTON:
2. i.      THOMAS² KELTON, born at Milton, Norfolk, Massachusetts in 1658
2. ii.     JOHN² KELTON, born at Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts on 15 Aug 1661
2. iii.   ELIZABETH² KELTON, b. at Reading, Suffolk, Massachusetts on 21 Dec 1663
2. iv.    SUSANNA² KELTON, b. at Reading on 23 May 1666
2. v.     JANE² KELTON,  born at Massachusetts in 1667
2. vi.    SARAH² KELTON, born at Boston on 16 May 1671
2. vii.  MARY² KELTON, b. at Boston in 1675
2. viii. LYDIA² KELTON, b. at Boston in 1676

Second Generation

2. i. THOMAS² KELTON, (Thomas¹), was born at Milton in 1658. He married at Milton, on 25 Mar 1685, JANE BLAKE.

Children of THOMAS and JANE (BLAKE) KELTON:
3. i.   THOMAS³ KELTON, b. Milton 1687
3. ii.  JONATHAN³ KELTON, b. Milton 1691
3. iii. SOLOMAN³ KELTON, b. Milton 1693
3. iv. JOHN EDWIN³ KELTON, born 1695
3. v.  EDWARD³ KELTON, b. Milton 1699

2. ii.     JOHN² KELTON, born at Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts on 15 Aug 1661
2. iii.   ELIZABETH² KELTON, b. at Reading, Suffolk, Massachusetts on 21 Dec 1663
2. iv.    SUSANNA² KELTON, b. at Reading on 23 May 1666
2. v.     JANE² KELTON,  born at Massachusetts in 1667
2. vi.    SARAH² KELTON, born at Boston on 16 May 1671
2. vii.  MARY² KELTON, b. at Boston in 1675
2. viii. LYDIA² KELTON, b. at Boston in 1676

SOURCES AND NOTES:

Torrey's New England Marriages to 1700 (15)

Regan, Janet and Curtis White. Hammersmith Through the Historical Texts, 
“About 17 Scots were subcontracted to the colliers (charcoal makers) and other plant workers. Accounting records show that a few of the Scots received wages from the Company for skilled work. For example, James Adams was paid for managing ox teams, James Gourdan for mining, Thomas Kelton for mining and coaling,…”

Iron Works Document supplied by James McCall

Iron Works Document supplied by Ray Rolla McCall

Massachusetts Historical Society: Lists of Scots Removed to New England as Prisoners by Oliver Cromwell in 1651

RootsWeb: Noma L. Kelton Henderson’s File 31 Dec 2015

Pamela Greenwood wrote:
“I had started my research on the Keltons with Dwight H Kelton’s genealogy published in 1895, “Kelton Family Items” (KFI), and an historical fiction authored by Jean Ardyce Kelton titled “The Saga of Thomas Kelton,” which has been useful in its own way. The author chose Parish of Kelton, Presbytery of Kirkcudbright, Synod of Galloway, Scotland as the possible birthplace for Thomas Kelton, and I have found that many family trees have taken that as fact, seemingly without any other source. Seeing that one of the goals of the group is to establish the lineage in Scotland, I am eager for ways I can begin that research, or participate in any ongoing activity. 

To my knowledge, no birthdate for Thomas Kelton has been passed down. Nor has the lineage of his wife Susanna, including her birth, death, or even their marriage. Their first documented child, John, was born in Boston in 1661. Recorded births of four subsequent children are in Reading and Boston. A few children are added by KFI on speculation. And as far as I’ve discovered, there is not a birth or death record for the son Thomas, who married Jane Blake in 1685 and is the main descendant whose line is followed. In trying to confirm birth, marriage, and death dates (as found in town records), I’ve raised as many questions as are answered. 

I am also trying to document as well as I can my own line back to Thomas. I can confidently trace back to Stephen Smith Kelton, said to be born in 1802, 1803, or 1805 in the Boston, Massachusetts, area. There doesn’t seem to be an official birth record for him. The only source I can find for his parentage and birthdate is a Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) application made by a great-grandson in 1942, which gives his parents as James Kelton Jr and Sally Merrifield, along with dates for their births and deaths and marriage. This James Kelton Jr is said to be an American Revolution patriot. However, no official vital records have been found to match any of the dates provided. Any connection to a patriot in the American Revolution does not seem to be proved by today’s standards. 

Most Kelton family trees have Stephen Smith Kelton’s parents as James Kelton Jr and Sally Merrifield, then trace James Jr as son of a James Kelton who is the son of Solomon, the son of Jonathan, the son of Thomas, the son of Scots POW Thomas. 

Meanwhile, I continue to search for all the official and contemporary to the time source information I can find. I’m wondering if there are other Kelton researchers in the group. Also looking for tips from others regarding new avenues of research for their SPOW ancestors. And I’m simply enjoying and learning from the ongoing discussions! ~ Pamela Dickinson Greenwood, SPOW Ancestor Thomas Kelton (abt 1630-1699)

3 Responses to Thomas Kelton, #16 on the “Scots at Lynn 1653. Iron Works Inventory”

  1. Lorie says:

    Thank you so much fort posting this! Genealogists who share are wonderful people!

  2. Kristy Garrison says:

    Hi. My maiden name is Kelton and I am helping my 10th grade son with a genealogy project. I have found conflicting information on the family’s history and I am so confused! I have seen where some sources which the spelling from Kelton to Kilton in Scotland, Keelton in Ireland, and Chilton in England. This leads me to the assumption the name started out as Chilton in England, then when the family left, depending on what country they went to, they changed the spelling. Would Kelton be the Americanized version? Also, I thought the Scottish, so why were they in England? So confusing!! Lol

    • I’ve added something to Thomas Kelton’s page which should help you. Scottish Surname:
      “Kelton. of local origin from the village of Kelton in the parish of the same name, Kirkcudbrightshire. John Keltone in Bordland, 1685 (Dumfries),” page 391. From: Black, George Fraser, 1866-1948. The Surnames of Scotland, Their Origin, Meaning and History, (New York : New York Public Library & Readex Books, 1962.)

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