In about 1898 William Fuller Kelliher came to the U.S. from Ireland as a young man of about 26. His father was a farmer but young William had been educated in a college in Dublin for two years. After he arrived in New York he became a policeman, serving from 8/1/1899 until retiring as a Captain on 12/8/1937. He had the Kelliher height and in later years the white hair. While a policeman in the early years he wore a handlebar moustache. He married Mamie (Mary Elizabeth) Cassidy and they had Marion, Helen, William and John. (See below for links to pictures.)

Our Kellihers are from Coolelieve (also spelled Cooleleave and sometimes seen as Coolclieve or Coolcleave), in Molahiff Civil Parish near what is now called Castlemaine, in County Kerry. Our portion of family legend had it that William's brother inherited the family farm, which is still in the family in Castlemaine on the River Maine, which flows into Dingle Bay. Census records suggest that was Michael.

Another brother, Timothy, became a priest and served in the parish of Ballybunion until his death.

An undocumented part of the story is that two brothers emigrated with their widowed mother to Australia but the fact that she was buried in Ireland makes this unlikely unless she went there and came back. The 1901 and 1911 Censuses of Ireland show her living in Ireland, in 1901 with Michael, Stephen and Denis, and in 1911 with Michael. There is some talk that they "had to leave Ireland under unusual circumstances" but no one knows what that might mean.

William's granddaughter (KBJ) remembers that during the 40s the two sons in Ireland (possibly Michael and Timothy) visited their brother in New York. That was probably for William's funeral: a few days after March 15 1945. Kathleen would have been 6. They were very tall men, she remembers, like William, who was 6' 4", and were wearing heavy tweeds and fedoras.

ML reports that William's father was called "Big Mike" because of his great weight, supposedly 36 stone, which is 504.45 lbs.

(While some of the information on this page about the Kellihers in Ireland has come to us through research, family tradition and first-hand memories, much of it has been supplied through Mary Leinenbach, who together with others, is engaged in an extensive cataloging project of Coolelieve families, including the Kellihers. In addition, some information has been gleaned from the 1901 and 1911 Censuses of Ireland. ) Here also is a site which offers general historical and genealogical information about County Kerry.

There is a small hotel in County Kerry (the Dingle Hotel?) which, according to John Barbieri, was built by the husband of Mary Kelliher, a Mr. Conner. John stayed at the Hotel Europe when he visited in the 1980's. He reports that a cousin, Michael Fuller, is a doctor (GP) in Killarney. He is John's age. When John visited there, it was said of him (John) that he looked "just like a Fuller."

Another cousin of William, Jack (John Joseph) Kelliher and his wife, Helen, lived in Long Island and retired to Largo, Florida. Helen was killed in an automobile accident on I-95. Jack died a few years later and was waked at a funeral home in Deer Park. An SS-5 indicates that Jack's parents were John P. Kelliher and Margaret Sullivan. In 1936 Jack was living at 1654 East 38th Street in Brooklyn. We have a funeral card for John P. which gives his death as 10/5/1944.

William junior was a Lieutenant in the New York City Fire Department, working in Manhattan.

John T. was a maitre de ' and a merchant seaman who worked as a food handler and cook. He was living in San Francisco, out of touch with his family, at the time of his death in 1993.

Chart of Kelliher Descendents

*Some of this information comes from the 1901 and 911 Census of Ireland

Brother Kelliher (from "over Laune," i,e.: Beaufort; settled in Callanafercy)
Brother Kelliher (from "over Laune," i.e.: Beaufort; settled in Ardmelode)

John "Jack" Kelliher (from "over Laune," i.e.: Beaufort; settled in Coolelieve) m. Biddy Fleming
..*Honora "Nanno" Kelliher 1841- >1911 m Cornelius "Corney" Flynn 1838->1911 of Knockbrack
......*Michael Flynn 1881- >1911
......*Mary Ellen Flynn 1885- >1911
..Michael "Big Mike" Kelliher m. *Ellen Fuller 1843-1919, from Glanoe (widowed <1901)
....... Living in Coolelieve, Molahiffe, at least 1868-1896-1911 See below for this family.

..Michael "Big Mike" Kelliher Coolcleave - 1901 m. *Ellen Fuller 1843-1919, from Glanoe
.................(Living in Coolelieve, Molahiffe, at least 1868-1896-1911)
......Brigid 6/27/1868 -
......John P. 3/13/1870 Milltown (bpt 3/19/1870)- d 10/5/44 Bklyn, m Margaret Sullivan
................John Joseph "Jack" b 12/12/1896 - d 02/??/1980 m. Helen View SS-5 and Funeral card
......William Fuller 5/10?14?/1872 Milltown -3/15/1945 m. Mary Eliz. "Mamie" Cassidy 11/9/1880-1954 See below.
......*Michael (2/26/1874 7/23/1874? Milltown- >1911)(farmer) m
................*Lena 1906- >1911
......Stephen 6/22 20?/1876 Coolcleave -1933 m Emily Nichols 1877 Gwenap - 1935 Neath, West Glamorgan, Wales
......Denis 3/1/1879 Coolcleave
......Timothy b1881 Coolelieve/Milltown - d1960 Ballybunion (Parish Priest)
......???Mary m. Conner

......William Fuller 5/10?14?/1872-3/15/1945 IRE >NY m. Mary Eliz. "Mamie" Cassidy NY 11/9/1880-1954
..........Marion E. 4/27/1908-4/17/1986 m. Bernard Cowles Gingrich
..............1 child
................1? grandchild
..........Helen Margaret 8/30/09-10/18/71 m.3/28/37 J.J. Barbieri 1/28/13-10/25/85
..............4 children
................9 grandchildren
..................9 great grandchildren
..........William 5/15/12-12/2/92 m Evelyn Corvi
..............1 child
................1 grandchild
..........John 7/20/16-12/22/93 (did not marry)

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