WALTER KELWAY wrote his Will in Chelmsford, Essex, England on 1st October 1650. The Will was granted Probate on 28th February 1650/1.

The Will is particulary interesting because he makes bequests to his three daughters in New England who were by that time married with their own children. It seems these three had braved the eight week voyage to Boston about 1635. It is not known if any of them was married before they left (no records of this found) or whether they all travelled together or arrived on diferent ships (no passenger lists found).

We know little of Walter but this record would suggest he was in charge of a “House of Correction”.
Essex Record Office Q/SO 1/834 dated 1661:
Whereas the summe of Twenty pounds, heretofore given by the Right Hono(ura)ble The Lord Peter to be imployed as and for a Stock in the house of Correcc(t)ion in Chelmesford in this County, (and deleted) was deposited into the hands of M(aster) Walter Kellway, formerly Maister of the said house, and after his death it was by order of Sessions paid over into (th)e hands of M(aste)r John Wheely whoe did succeed him in the Governershipp of the said house....

The Will

Walter Kelway of Chelmsford, Essex PCC
Date: 1 Oct 1650; Probate 28 Feb 1650/1
Executrix: Wife Joanna
Supervisor: Richard Holborough
Witnesses: Richard Holborough, Sarah Kellum
Wife: Joanna – household goods & my land in Writtle
Daughters in New England: Margaret Mountague, Melcas Snow, Mary Lane
My wife to have regard to my children and grandchildren now in New England and to my grandchildren now borne in Old England that is the children of the above named daughters, and grandaughter Elizabeth Kelway, and grandson John Roper.
Two houses in Rayleigh, Essex, which by right belong to my daughters, Ruth Cannte and Mary Lane of Boston in New England shall be sold and the proceeds divided between my three daughters in New England, but if I cannot sell the above two houses then it must rest to be disposed of by my daughter Mary Lane after my death.
To my grandchildren already born before this 1 Oct 1650 in New England – money
To my grandchild Elizabeth Kelway, daughter of my son Jonathan Kelway, deceased – money
To my grandson John Roper – money

Research in Parish registers shows that Walter and Joan Shelton were married in 1636 Chelmsford so clearly his children were by a previous wife. His daughter Joan was also married to Richard Roper in 1636 and there is a likely marriage for son Jonathan to Mary Riggs in 1640 and a burial in 1645. Daughter Ruth married Joseph Cannte in 1650 and possibly remarried to Fothergill in 1654.

In USA Savage states that the three daughters were the wives of Griffin Mountague, Thomas Snow and William Lane.

So this brings us to a family as below:

	WALTER KELWAY ~1585		&		1)??	2)Joanne Shelton m.19.04.1636 Chelmsford (property: Writtle and Rayleigh)
(Will 01.10.1650 Probate 28.02.1650/1)
	Margaret			~1608		m.Griffin Mountague ~1637 Boston MA (carpenter d.Cape Porpoise)
	Joan				~1609		m.Richard Roper 17.05.1636 Chelmsford	(son John Roper)
	Milcas				~1613		m.Thomas Snow ~1637 Boston MA
	Jonathan			~1615		?m.Mary Riggs 09.11.1640 London Licence?
	Mary				~1618		m.William Lane ~1640 Boston MA
	Ruth				~1620		m.1)Joseph Cannte 06.06.1650 Blackfriars, London	2)_____ Fothergill 23.07.1654

	JONATHAN KELWAY			&		?MARY RIGGS m.09.11.1640 London Licence
	d.11.08.1645 Stepney
	Jonathan		20.08.1641 Stepney (died? Not in Will 1650)
	Elizabeth			~1642
But who was Walter Kelway? The most likely candidate is Walter Kelwaye of Sherborne, Dorset.
	WALTER KELWAYE			&	MARGARET STOITE m.xx Jun 1607 Sherborne
	Margaret		16.01.1608 Sherborne
	Jone			10.09.1609 Sherborne
The dates and names of his daughters would seem to fit very well although a move right across the country at that time would have been unusual. There were Kelway/Kellaway families in Sherborne from very early times but Walter′s parents are not known.

The New England Families

Margaret Kelway married Griffin Montague in Boston about 1637. Griffin was a carpenter, Muddy River, Boston 1635 but the family later moved to Cape Porpoise where Griffin Montague was one of the first settlers. He swore allegence to the state of Massachusetts on 5 July 1653 and was made a constable of Cape Porpoise in 1653.
They had at least one son, John who died before his father. Griffin Montague died 1672 and left bequests to wife Margaret. He asked to be buried by his deceased son, John.

Margaret (Kelway) Montague died in 1682 and her Executor was Samuel Snow of Boston.

Milcas Kelway married Thomas Snow about 1637 in Boston. They had 4 children including a daughter Milcha Snow born 30 Sept 1638 who married Samuel Fisher 22 March 1658 and Samuel Snow presumably the executor to Margaret Montague. Milcas (Kelway) Snow died 1669. Milcha (Snow) Fisher died 1710. She and Samuel Fisher had several children in Boston.

Mary Kelway married William Lane in Boston. There are two Boston records for children: Samuel Lane 23 Jan 1651, John Lane 05 Feb 1653. Mary (Kelway) Lane died 1656 Boston.

So Walter does not seem to have had any Kelway heirs in England or New England. However he did have three rather brave female pioneers as daughters and no doubt there are descendents in America to this day.

Refs: The Pioneers of Maine and New Hampshire, 1623 to 1660: A Descriptive List ... By Charles Henry Pope
The History of the State of Maine: From Its First Discovery, A.D ..., Volume 1 By William Durkee Williamson

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©Lesley Haigh 2014

Walter Kelway
Last updated February 2014
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