The Mary Kelsey - Ellen Gill Connection

? Ellen Gill (1740-1795) supposedly married Hugh Cooper (1720-1801) in 1745, per Roberts; Lillian Lesbia Word. Hugh Cooper 1720-1793 Fishing Creek So. Carolina and His Descendants, McMillan Publishing Co., Dallas, TX, 1976, pg. 67, 278, 487, 495, 521, 529, 573, 603 611 .

? Mary Kelso/Kelsey (1723-1800) supposedly married Hugh Cooper (1720-1801) in 1745 and divorced by Nov. 1762 (per Joyce Amberson Roger). NOTE: Additional proof discovered on this marriage. See The South Carolina Magazine of Ancestral Research SCMAR, Volume XIII Number 3, Summer, 1985 The Cooper-Amberson Connection SCMAR, Vol. XIII, Summer 1985, No. 3,

p.130. See also Legal Advertisement of Hugh Cooper, stating that Mary had left him, dated October 26, 1762, in The New-York Mercury, Headline: [No Headline]; Article Type: Advertisements

Paper: New-York Mercury, published as The New-York Mercury; Date: 11-22-1762; Issue: 538; Page: [4]; Location: New York, New York

? Elinor Kelso/Kelsey (1721-1801), sister of MARY KELSEY, married Robert David Gill (1720-1804), brother of ELLEN GILL (per York-Chester, Fishing Creek, South Carolina Gills at

2. Elinor - Resided in PA prior to moving to SC. Married Robert GILL (b. 1720;  d. Jun. 30, 1804, Chester Co., SC). Children of Elinor and Robert GILL:

  1. Thomas married first Nancy BARR, and second Agnes DOWNING;
  2. Jane married John C. CALDWELL; John married Nancy Agnes DICK;
  3. Margaret Agnes married James CRAWFORD;
  4. Robert married his first cousin Elizabeth KELSO, daughter of Samuel KELSO and Susannah MILLS;
  5. George married Jennette HAMILTON; William married Mary; Capt.
  6. James married Mary Louise GASTON; Col. Archibald D. married first Mary Ann MILLS, second Catherine DENTON, and third Mary Agnes DENTON;
  7. Mary married John MILLS; and
  8. Eleanor married her first cousin Samuel KELSO, Jr., son of Samuel KELSO and Susannah MILLS.

5. Mary - b. about 1722, probably in Northern Ireland. She came to America with her husband Hugh COOPER, weaver, and family about 1760(?), settling first at Basking Ridge, Somerset Co., NJ. In announcement in the New York Mercury in Nov. 1762, Hugh states that Mary had left him.  Hugh moved to Chester Co., SC before Jan. 1722? when he purchased 300 acres of land on the South Fork of Fishing Creek from Samuel PORTER.  Mary married about 1745, Hugh COOPER (1720-1793), and they were divorced by Nov. 1762. Mary, with her children by Hugh COOPER, moved to PA to be close to her sister Elinor GILL. Children of Mary and Hugh COOPER:

  1. Robert (1746-1798) married Jane HAMILTON (1752-1823);
  2. Elizabeth (1749-1803) married James FERGUSON (1735-1778);
  3. Jane (b.1752) married James McGAUGHEY;
  4. John (1755-1804) married Elizabeth WALKER (b. 1765); and
  5. James (1758-1780) never married.

The above indicates that Mary Kelso/Kelsey was married to HUGH COOPER and bore his children. What proof is there of Ellen Gill's marriage to HUGH COOPER, as well as her parentage of his children? Clearly, there was a close connection between the Gill/Kelso-Kelsey families, especially in the marriage of Ellen's brother to Mary's sister. Did HUGH COOPER marry Ellen Gill after the divorce of Mary Kelsey and Hugh Cooper? The above indicates that Mary Kelsey came to America with Hugh Cooper and married him about 1745. The first child, Robert was born in 1746, which further indicates that Mary was the mother of Hugh's children, at least to the extent they were born prior to November, 1762, when Mary and Hugh were divorced; which all of the above noted children were, in fact, born during that timeframe.

Mary Kelsey was the wife of Hugh Cooper from 1745-1762 and the mother of all of his children. Thereafter, Mary Cooper remarried Matthew Amberson in 1763.

SCMAR, Vol. XIII, Summer 1985, No. 3, p.133

A persistent legend that Hugh Cooper's wife was a "Miss Ellen of Scotland" must be dismissed as having no documentary proof, and only possible, if Hugh married her after 1762 and before 1790 when he is shown as having no wife. There is no evidence that he was accompanied to South Carolina by a wife, and one is not named in his will in 1793.

The information regarding the Ellen Gill/Mary Kelso-Kelsey connection was taken from York-Chester, Fishing Creek, South Carolina Gills <>

The above quoted paragraphs on the Kelso/Kelsey family was taken from The Kelso/Kelsey Siblings

The analysis of the family links are my own.


Prove/disprove the marriage of ELLEN GILL to HUGH COOPER via reliable and authoritative sources, including any available documentation. Roberts seems the most authoritative source on this marriage. What was Robert's proof and source(s)?

Prove the parentage of each of HUGH COOPER'S issue.

Prove/disprove the marriage of MARY KELSO/KELSEY to HUGH COOPER via all available, authoritative means, as well as the divorce, including any available documentation. Joyce Amberson Roger seems the most authoritative source on this marriage. Her information clearly conflicts with that of Lillian Lesbia Roberts. What made Roberts so sure that she would publish the information?

Research Samuel Kelso's arrival in the U.S. (the so-called 'progenitor of this line). "It is believed that Samuel KELSO, the progenitor of this line, was one of several siblings who came to America in the middle of the 18th century and who resided in western SC during the Revolutionary era."

As you can see, there were definite connections between the Fishing Creek Gills and the Kelseys. Additionally, Col. Robert Melville Cooper, son of Capt. Robert Cooper, grandson of Hugh Cooper, stated as follows:

"My father had 13 children, I being the 12th & all lived to be grown & have families, 8 boys & 5 girls. He had but two brothers, both younger than himself, the youngest one James was never married, but was captured by the British and taken to Charleston & died in one of the prison ships – his other Brother John married & raised a family all girls … All the Mills, Gills, Kelseys, Straights, McGaugheys & Fergusons were connections of ours."

SCMAR, Vol. XIII, Summer 1985, No. 3, p.131

As I am working on a several volume family history, which is anticipated to be published, I would prefer that you not post my research to your site. However, you may feel free to use the information I have provided to enhance your personal research and, as you see warranted and fit, post changes or notes on your site, where indicated. Again, this line of my research and this analysis remains a work in progress and until fully and completely verified and documented, will not be published by me.

Submittecd by Cindi Gibson 27 August 2008

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Copyright ©2009, Cindi Gibson, all rights reserved. These documents may be freely used for private purposes, and included in your own genealogy. However, this document is copyrighted and may not be sold, nor given to anyone who may attempt to derive profit from same. Please send any errors, corrections, conjectures, updates, etc. to Frank O. Clark, Ph.D.