The McKelvies are descended from an ancient and formidable Scottish clan, noted in the middle ages for their prowess, and in modern times for their sturdy application to the peaceful pursuits of agriculture, commerce, etc. The Geneva, New York family of this name were pioneers in the fruit growing industry of that locality.
Early in the last century Charles McKelvie, aged eight years, emigrated from Scotland with his parents, who settled in Geneva when that city was but a small hamlet. The McKelvies were industrious farming people who firmly adhered to the precepts of the established church of Scotland, and their children were reared according to the strict tenets of that faith. Upon reaching manhood Charles McKelvie purchased a farm in the vicinity of Billsborough, and he resided there for the remainder of his life. He married Charlotte Graham, a sister of Dr. James Graham, of Geneva. She died in 1831, leaving one son.