Chris & Julie Petersen's Genealogy

Thomas Wells

Male Abt 1694 - 1760  (~ 66 years)


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  • Name Thomas Wells 
    Born Abt 10 Jan 1694  of Dudley, Worcester, England, United States Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 4 Feb 1760  Hebron, Tolland, Connecticut, United States Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I4470  Petersen-de Lanskoy
    Last Modified 25 Feb 2014 

    Father Edmund Wells 
    Family ID F2021  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Eilizabeth Merrill,   b. 13 Dec 1685/1686, Hartford, Hartford, Connecticut, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 13 Dec 1770, Hebron, Tolland, Connecticut, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 84 years) 
    Married 13 May 1720  Saybrook, Middlesex, Connecticut, United States Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
    +1. Edmund Wells,   b. 8 or 9 Feb 1720/1721, Saybrook, Middlesex, Connecticut, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1 Jun 1805, Cambridge, Washington, New York, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 84 years)
     2. Thomas Wells,   b. 27 Aug 1723, Saybrook, Middlesex, Connecticut, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Bef 1 Sep 1805, Hebron Township, Tolland, Connecticut, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age < 82 years)
     3. Joseph Wells,   b. 28 Aug 1726, Hebron Township, Tolland, Connecticut, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 6 Nov 1819, Cambridge, Washington, New York, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 93 years)
     4. John Wells,   b. Abt 1728, of Hebron Township, Tolland, Connecticut, United States Find all individuals with events at this location
     5. Samuel Wells,   b. Abt 1730, of Hebron Township, Tolland, Connecticut, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Aft 1800, Greenwich, Washington, New York, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 71 years)
     6. William Wells,   b. Abt 1732, of Hebron Township, Tolland, Connecticut, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 22 Mar 1779, Johnstown, Fulton (now Montgomery), New York, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 47 years)
     7. Daniel Wells,   b. Abt 1735, of Hebron Township, Tolland, Connecticut, United States Find all individuals with events at this location
    Last Modified 22 Oct 2015 
    Family ID F1858  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • RESEARCH_NOTES:
      1. The book "History of Washington County, New York," reprinted 1979 by Heart of the Lakes Publishing, Interlaken, NY, copy in public library of Cambridge Village, Washington Co., NY, pp. 252-253:
      "Edmund Wells was descended from an English stock. His father, Thomas Wells, was born in Dudley, Worcestershire, England, in 1694, and came to America in 1712, and settled in Saybrook, Conn. where he was united in marriage with Elizabeth Merrill, in May, 1720. Edmund Wells, one of the original propietors of the Cambridge patent, was born in Saybrook, 19 Feb 1721. In 1773 he removed with his family from Hebron, Conn., and settled in what is now the town of Cambridge, on the farm now owned and occupied by Thomas Cornell. He is the only one of the patentees who came to live upon the patent. His children were John Howell Wells, lived and died in Connecticut, Edmund Wells, Jr., born in 1746; graduated at Yale College, Sept. 14, 1768; came with the family in 1773. He was a prominent man in the town. He died on the homestead, 26 Sep 1826, aged 80 years. Mary Wells, married Walter Raleigh, and lived and died in Cambridge. Henry Wells, died young. James Wells, was a lieutenant of dragoons in the Continental service. he died at Croton River, Sept. 23, 1701 [date looks wrong - porb. 1781], aged 30 years. Sarah, married Joseph Peters, and lived and died in Cambridge. Austin, lived and died on his farm in White Creek, Dec. 8, 1849.
      Captain Daniel Wells was born in Hebron, Conn., in 1754; in April, 1776, enlisted and joined the army then stationed on Long Island under the immediate command of General Washington. He held the rank of orderly-sergeant, and was selected as the bearer of a dispatch from General Washington to General Sullivan, containing sealed orders apprising him of the intended retreat. The duties were discharged with promptness amidst darkness and storm. Sergeant Wells' term of enlistment having expired while in the army was at White Plains, he received his discharge, and returned to Hebron, Conn., where he stood as a minute man. In 1779 he removed with his family to Cambridge and settled on the farm now owned by William Curtis. Here he lived with the companion of his youth for more than half a century, and was blessed with a family of sixteen children. He died May 6, 1840, aged 86 years. He was a man of stong mind. Respected by his fellow-citizens, he had been honored with various posts of office, both civil and miltary, which he filled with fidelity.
      Descendants of the Wells family are yet living in this and the adjoining towns."

      2. FHL book 929.273 W462c "History and Genealogy of the Wells Family. Some Ancestors and Descendants of Thomas Wells of Saybrook and Hebron, Connecticut, who had come from Dudley, Worcestershire, England in 1712. Supplementing: "The History and Genealogy of the Wells Family" by Philip L. Cobb, 1897"; compiled by John. L. Cobb, 1999, pp.4-8:
      "My father Philip Lothrop Cobb, as a young civil engineer in the 1890's and later, collected material about his Wells ancestry, particularly in Cambridge, Washington Co., NY, where a number of members of the family had settled in the late 1700's. He had contact with a few of those of the family, and in 1913 with his wife, copied gravestone inscriptions there.
      Albert Welles's "History of the Welles Family(s) 1876: 161-4," gives some information about our immigrant ancestor Thomas Wells who had come from Dudley, Worcestershire, England to Saybrook, Connecticut in 1712, and eventually removed to Gilead parish in Hebron, CT in 1725. Tradition was that he was born in Dudley, in the Black Country Midlands of England, January 10, 1694; he was called variously: sailor, farmer, in his will: husbandman. Saybrook, CT Town Records Vol. L2, page 512 show that Thomas Wells and Elizabeth MerrillS were married 13 May 1720, and Vol. L2, page 269, their son Edward (Edmund) was born 8 Feb, 1721/2; Elizabeth (daughter of a Thomas and Elizabeth (ROE) MERRELLS Jr. of Hartford, CT) was born there 13 Dec. 1685 or 6, and died at Hebron, CT 13 Dec. 1770 age 84 years old. April 10, 1721 he bought of Joseph Whittlesey, a dwelling house and lot of five acres in Saybrook. By 1725 the family had moved away to Gilead parish in the town of Hebron, CT, where he purchased a small property (at least 55 acres, as by the legacies in his will), and died Feb. 4, 1760 age 66 years. (His will made 20 Dec. 1745 and proved 16 June 1760, E. Haddam, CT pro. dist. court rec., vol. 3, pages 58-9; mentions wife Elizabeth and son Thomas executors, and sons Edmund & Joseph; (tradition says there were other sons: John, Samuel, William, and Daniel; no mention of any daughters).
      Going into the English ancestry of our Thomas Wells, back in 1968, a John G. Hunt of 821 N. Jackson, Arlington, VA 22201 had sent me abstracts of a couple of wills of Wellss who lived in Dudley, Worcs., England in the 17th century: a Thomas Chandler, will 1687, and an Edmund, innholder, bur. 8 Jan. 1701/2, speculating that these might be of my Wells family. In 1978 I was in England with a group interested in family history, and the opportunity came for my wife and I to go to Worcester to the county record office, where I was able to examine microfilm of the parish registers of the two churches of Dudley: St. Edmunds, and St. Thomas, as well as other documents in the archives there. In both parishes I found records of baptism, marriage and burial of members of this Wells family: the earliest in St. Edmunds Church: Richard and Ann (Reynolds) Wells and Children, and then later, in St. Thomas church: an Edmund and Ann (HICKMAN) Wells where the births and baptisms of seven children appear including the Thomas of the aforesaid 1687 will, and Edmund, b. 16 Jan. 1653/4, whose marriage banns were published 4 June 1681 to a Margery BATE apparently dau. of John & Margery (LEE) BATE of Rowley Regis, Staffs. This Edmund had a least seven children whose births and baptisms are there recorded from 1683 to 1703. Margery died 27 Jan. 1704/5, and Edmund whose occupation is given in the records as edgetoolmaker, appears to have been alive in 1723. (His name appears in the Feet of Fines of Stourbridge in 1705.) My immigrant ancestor Thomas does not appear in this P.R. of births and baptisms. Those appearing are in order: John, Joseph, William, Samuel, Mary b. 26 Oct. 1693, bur. 4 Jan. 1697/8. Ann, bp. 1 June 1696, and Daniel. The gap of about 2.5 years between Mary and Ann suggests to me that my Thomas Wells belongs here, but was not recorded for some reason or another.
      Through use of the International Genealogical Index microfiche for the counties of Worcs., Warwicks., Shrops., and Staffs., I speculate that the senior Edmund Wells innholder, b. guess ca. 1625, was son of another Edmund bp. 26 Apr. 1606 at Alveston, Warwicks., (near Stratford-on Avon), m. there 20 July 1620 to a Jane ANGE, bp. there 21 Aug. 1608, dau. of an Edmond ANGE, bp. there in 1571; this Edmund Wells, in turn possibly son of a John WillES of Welford-on-Avon, Warwicks., and Alicia MILLES of Fellongley, Warwicks., b. 1558. The above Richard Wells in the St. Edmunds Ch., Dudley record appears to have been the Richard "an old man", bur. 8 Nov. 1656 from St. Thomas Ch., Dudley, ... and was another son of John and Alicia (MILLS) Wells, WillES.
      Reference: "Wells Chronicle (Wells Family Research Association) Orin R. Wells, P.O. Box 5427, Kent, WA 98064: 1995, 1997."
      p. 17: "No mention of any daughters of Thomas Wells the immigrant ancestor, has been found in the records. References: "Hist. and Gen.: Wells Fam.," by P.L. Cobb 1897:4; Mrs. James Edson (Mary Elizabeth Houghton) Wells, Munson Rd., 8243 U.S. Rt. 20, Westfield, NY 14787. Feb. 21 and Mar. 21, 1995."

      3. TAG 46:180-183: "The Wells (Welles) Family of Hebron, CT. and Cambridge, N.Y.," by John G. Hunt:
      "Writing in September 1848, Dr. Asa Fitch, tireless biographer of Washington County, New York, recorded the account furnished him by Austin Wells of Cambridge, N.Y., at that time, as follows:
      "Grandfather Thomas Wells came from Dudley in Worcestershire, England, to Saybrook, Connecticut, in 1712. He there married a Miss Merrill and had three children."
      In 1898, however, there appeared a variant version, titled "A History of the Ancestors and Descendants of John Howell Welles." In that it was said that Thomas Welles, born at Dudley, England, in 1694, came to America in 1712, marrying Elizabeth Merrill at Saybrook, Conn.; died in 1760 at Hebron in the same colony, having had seven sons. See also Wm. H. Cutter, "Genealogical and Family History of the State of Connecticut" (1911), 4:1905.
      The will of Edmund Wells the elder of Dudley, England, innholder, dated 22 May 1699, was proved at Worcester, England, 16 June 1701. After naming wife Elizabeth, the testator left to son John Wells land in Dudley; to three grandchildren (Children of Thomas Wells, dec'd), the testator left £100 and three silver spoons. Further he referred to "my son Edmund Wells' Children" to whom he left £50 of money. Next a shaky signature he placed on this will an armorial insigne [a chevron between three flames of fire] in wax.
      Dated 20 April 1687, the will of the deceased son of the previous testator was proved at Worcester in August 1687. In it Thomas Wells of Dudley, aforesaid, chandler, left to his two children, Thomas and Mary, all his houses and lands whenever they should reach the age of 21 years; named his loving father Edmund Wells the elder, and his loving brother John Wells of Bridgenorth.
      Thus it seems that the Thomas Wells who was born in 1694 was son of Edmund Wells the younger of Dudley. If so, this would account for the fact that Thomas Wells, progenitor of the family of Wells of Saybrook and Hebron, Conn., named his eldest son Edmund. The elder Edmund Wells of Dudley is found in Worcestershire records as early as 1657. Was he akin to that Edmund Wells named in 1645 and 1650 in Great Britain's Calendar of Proceedings of the Committee for Compounding with Delinquents (Papists), and in the Proceedings of the Committee for Advance of Money? Was the latter Edmund (seemingly a papist) akin to that Swithin Wells, noted papist, who was hanged in 1591 for non-conformity? See the "New Catholic Encyclopedia" (1967), 14:869. The family of the last named is outlined in Berry's "Hampshire Genealogies" 110, as well as in John Hutchins' "History of the County of Dorset" (3rd ed.) 1:668. Arms of this family were a chevron between two martlets.
      As before noted, the accounts of the Wells family printed in 1898 and 1911 claimed that Thomas1 Wells, who died in 1760 at Hebron, Conn., had seven sons. On the other hand, his will, dated there in 1745 and proved there in June 1760, names wife Elizabeth and three sons only, Edmund, Thomas and Joseph. The question therefore arises as to whether this progenitor had lost four sons before drawing up his will in 1745, or whether he had given their portions before that date.
      It is not practicable to list the numerous descendants of the last testator, for they are scattered far and wide. A fair list of the descendants of Joseph2 and of Edmund2 appears in the Asa Fitch Manuscript History of Washington County, N.Y., a copy of which is in the hands of the historian of said county. The family of Thomas2 Wells is discussed in J. R. Coles' "History of Tolland County, Conn." (New York 1888), 339..."