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Query Number: 1605-3 May 2016

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Requested Information:

Jane Seli is Mark’s wife’s 2nd great-grandmother, born in County Tipperary, Ireland to Joseph Sceli and Isabella Hodgins. She married Henry Cunningham and they moved to Ontario in 1850. He has found online information that she was descended from Edward Seely and Lucretia Gray as follows (with his comments in italics):
• William Sealy (1633-1707) married to Martha Abbott?, son of Edward Seely and Lucretia Gray. So far so good.
• Robert Sceli (1650 – ?) married to Elizabeth Marsh, son of Willam Sealy and Martha Abbott. According to this, William would have been 17 when his son was born. Young but possible.
Now it get interesting
• John Sceli (1730-?) married to ?, son of Robert Sceli and Elizabeth Marsh. According to this, Robert Sceli would have been 80 years old when his son was born. Is this correct?

Requester: Mark Barleben | mark.barleben@videotron.ca

Initial Response Information:

I found photocopies of the book “Hodgins…kindred forever” by Lester Hodgins, Hodgins Family History Society 1977 at the Seelye Research Center in Abilene.
Ch. 122 “The Sceli Family in Ireland”
It shows Edward Seely b. 18 May 1609, md Lucretia Gray and they had 3 sons: Henry, William and John.
Then it says “William Seely of Corker (county Devon, son of Edward) had a son who was born about 1650. In the year 1667, during the reign of King Charles the second, he went to live in County Kerry in Ireland. His son, Robert Seely, was born at Maugh in County Kerry. Robert grew up and married the sister of a certain General Marsh. There were three sons by this marriage: Armiger, George and John.”
“John Seely was born about 1730. He was married and lived in Richmond, County Cork. His son, Robert Seely, born in 1765 in Richmount but later lived at Bandon, County Cork before moving to Tipperary, where he lived first at the village of Scilly near Kinsale but later made his home at Ballymackey. Robert was a parish clerk … for many years at Ballymackey. …For some reason his surname went through various changes from Seely and Seeli but more commonly Scilly as in the village where he lived for a few years.
At Ballymackey Robert married Maryann Hodgins, either a daughter or niece of William of Ballymackey. The couple had at least 6 children. The first two sons, names unknown, grew up and joined the British Army. One served under Wellington at Waterloo and died in 1814.
Four children eventually emigrated to Canada: Robert Jr, Joseph, John and Jane. The following pages contain some history and chronology for only two: Robert Jr and Joseph”.
“Joseph Sceli, son of Robert Sr and Maryann Hodgins Seely was born at Ballymackey in 1794 and lived to March 25 1875. In 1821 he married Isabella Hodgins, daughter of John and Jane (Napier) Hodgins of Ballymackey. Isabella lived from Oct 1803 – April 24 1891. At least 6 of their children were born in Ireland.
Some notes tell us that Joseph and Isabella left Ireland for Canada in April 1834. They either spent a long period in Cork waiting for the ship or the trip was unusually long, for they arrived in Quebec City on Aug. 19, 1834. Their first child born in Canada was born that same day.” (It goes on to say that they joined Joseph’s brother in Biddulph ONT, on neighboring land where Joseph lived the rest of his life. They had 12 children but 3 died before adulthood.)
“Jane Sceli, first of the twelve children, was born at Ballymackey and lived from 1822 to Oct 19, 1900. She married Henry Cunningham, son of Thomas of Biddulph. Henry lived from 1818 to April 14 1876. The couple made their home in McGillivray Township, ONT. They had 10 children: Mary-Jane, Elizabeth-Emma, Ann-Harding, Isabella, Thomas, William-Henry, Robert, Wesley, James and Joseph.”
Information on other members of this extended Seely/Sceli family can be found here:
http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~aek740/hkf/HodginsKindredForever.htm beginning on page 365.
From the above information it looks like the line going back, starting from Jane is
• Jane who md Henry Cunningham
• Joseph who md Isabella Hodgins
• Robert Sr who md Maryann Hodgins
• John
• Robert Seely who md ___Marsh
• son b. 1650 to William Seely of Corker
• William of Corker
• Edward Seely who md Lucretia Gray
You can see there are still a few blanks. If you have further information on this Irish Seely/Sceli family please share it with us.

Responder: SGS Query Editor