Wells Family Genealogy

The study of my Family Tree

3 Aug 2014: The Rogers family … Truth in fiction August 3, 2014

So I thought I’d share a snippet from my third novel, the one that delves into the history of the Rogers family.  For those of you who don’t know, I have written a series of five novels that interweave my true family history in with the story of my fictional characters.  This snippet is from The Purity of Blood Volume III: The Blood that Binds and is available for sale on Amazon.com.  I will advise that if you’re interested in reading more, the books are all sequels and just reading the third book will be mighty confusing as you pick right up in the middle of the story.

In this snippet, Sara (my protagonist) is telling her brother about the Rogers family history.  For reasons you’ll have to read the book to find out, the current descendants of the family are very much involved in Sara’s brother’s life.  His name is Roger (just to confuse you more :-)  This part of the book is meant to give the reader the proper perspective on the Rogers family as later on we introduce the story you never knew about the family, the story I make up for the book.   Anyway, I hope you enjoy.


When I finished around four, I headed back to the house and as I came up the front steps found Roger sitting on the porch. Sliding down into the chair next to him, I asked if he’d been waiting for me. He laughed and said no, but by the guilty look in his eyes I wasn’t so sure I believed him.

After a minute of watching the cars go by, he said “When I first met Henry, he asked me how I got interested in maritime history so I mentioned our uncles, the Rogers’ brothers who were whalers. I was wondering, what else do you know about that family, the Rogers family.”

I glanced his way with a raised eyebrow. It was an unusual question coming from Roger who’d never shown much interest in my research before.

“Quite a bit. What do you want to know?”

“I don’t know. They lived around here, didn’t they?”

“Yes, for the most part. The Rogers family moved to New London County back about the mid 1600’s when James Rogers came down to work the Old Towne Mill in New London. The mill’s still there, if you’re interested. Believe it or not it’s directly under Interstate 95, just north of the city and south of Connecticut College.”

“It’s still there? That’s a pretty old mill.”

“Well, it’s been rebuilt a time or two, but I’m pretty sure it’s basically about the same. Anyway the more interesting family history comes from his son John. John founded a religious movement in the area that continued for a few generations after him.”

“Like a cult?”

“No, more like a real Bible believing church from what I can tell. Anyway, from what I’ve read John was a gentleman farmer sort of guy with a wife and son. Then one day he saw the light. Like he had this religious revelation or something. I think in today’s terminology we’d say he was saved. I think he realized that God can’t be contained in a building or by rules created by a church established here on earth. He realized God is in His word and that His church on earth should be established as set forth in the Bible.

“The church that people attended back in his day was different. It defined a lot of who you were – your status in society, and it had odd rules that were created by men to control the behaviors of its parishioners. I think when he realized that what was being imposed on them had nothing to do with what God had intended His church to be, he rebelled. He spoke up and tried to make others see what he’d been shown by God.

“I have to say of all our ancestors, he’s probably one of the ones I wish I could have met the most. He must have been a fascinating individual. Anyway, his father-in-law was appalled at what John was doing. He took him to court and had his daughter divorce him on the grounds that he was a heretic. It will tell you something about what John was fighting against that the town granted his wife the divorce and she left him and took their son along with her.

“John had a lot of woes in his life. Lucky for him, he was already a pretty wealthy man when all this was happening. I guess he could afford to support himself on his farm. I think they must have been pretty self-sufficient because I don’t think many of the town’s folk would have associated with him too much after all this.

“So eventually he married for a second time, but it didn’t take long before the town moved against him again. You see, he never stopped organizing little protests against the church. John had a following now and became a continual thorn in their side. He’d send women into the church services to do something radical like knit in the back row. It would cause an up roar and the women were kicked out of the church. People weren’t allowed to do anything on the Sabbath, not even knit. These were some of the man-made rules the church imposed that he would protest against.

“Some time later, the town went to his second wife and told her that she was never legally married to John, that in the eyes of God, he was still married to his first wife, and that if she didn’t admit that they were living in sin and leave him, well, let’s just say there’d be consequences. I’m sorry to say, she caved in to their threats and left him. Poor guy, when he’d married her, he’d taken her into a town meeting, walked up to the front of the assembly and announced in front of the entire town that they’d been married. He threw it out there on day one to make sure something like this would never happen, but it did.

“I think they thought he’d give up eventually, that they could wear him down, but he just kept chugging along. Eventually, they locked him up. Not that it was the first time they’d done that. He’d been locked up and fined who knows how many times. But his son, John Junior, that was his son by the first wife, the one who’d left him, had come back to live with his father when he came of age. Well, John Junior got wind that the town leaders wanted to execute his father. So he went and broke him out of jail in New London and sent him across the Sound in a boat in the dead of night. While hiding out there, he met another woman. They later married and stayed together for the rest of their days.

“Eventually, he came back to New London and died on his farm. He’s buried there in the family burial ground but his stone is gone. His farm was pretty large from what I could tell. Connecticut College sits on most of it now. Take note, don’t start a cemetery so close to a river. It’s on the bank of the Thames and has flooded several times. Most of the stones have washed away over the years. Only a handful remain. The students of Connecticut College did a ground penetrating radar study of the area a few years back and found at least forty burials there, but there’s only like four of five stones left. We know several names of those buried there, but like I said, there’s not much left of it now.

“John Junior kind of picked up where his father left off as the head of the Rogerenes. That’s what they were called. He led the movement until he died. We assume his son Alexander was also a member of their church because his wife Rachel was buried in the Rogerene Cemetery in Ledyard. I’ve been there too. It’s totally cool; it’s in a suburban neighborhood in these people’s back yard. How neat would it be to have an ancient burial ground in your backyard?” When he gave me a look that said only I would think that, I ignored him and continued. “Alexander was our … let’s see … I think fourth great grandfather.”

Humm … the same as Randall.

I looked over to see if he was still listening. We were way past the point where his eyes usually glazed over before he politely turned his attentions elsewhere. But to my great surprise, he was still listening, rather attentively too. Talk about strange. Since he seemed in the mood to listen, I decided to enlighten him a little more.

“Anyway, the beginning of the story actually starts a lot earlier than that.   I believe it really starts in the year 1555 in London, England when John Rogers was burned at the stake by Queen Mary, better known as Bloody Mary. He was our twelfth great grandfather. She burned him alive because he wouldn’t convert to Catholicism.   He was raised in an affluent catholic family in London and entered the church as a profession. He gets sent to Antwerp by the Catholic Church to be a priest and while living there ends up being converted to Protestantism by William Tyndale. They say he even helped Tyndale translate the Bible into English.

“So years later here he comes back to London and everyone is like, ‘Hey, wasn’t he catholic when he left?’ John set up a protestant church and starts to get a big following. Now there’s nothing wrong with this until Queen Mary takes over and tries to convert the country back to Catholicism. Her father, Henry the Eighth had set up the Church of England. You know, so he could get his divorces and all. So here’s poor John. He sort of stands out like a sore thumb, so Mary has him arrested. He had plenty of opportunities to recant and convert back to Catholicism, but he wouldn’t do it. In the end, she burned him to death in front of his family.

“There are some people who say the paper trail of evidence isn’t there to prove conclusively that this John was our grandfather. They may be right, but I still believe it’s true.”

“Why is that?”

“Because I believe God rewards that kind of faith, a martyr’s faith. If you look at our family line, the one consistent thing about the Rogers family is that they were all deeply religious men and women who refused to turn their backs on God. When you examine the pattern of their lives, I think it’s fairly obvious.”

“That’s an amazing story.”

“Martha Ann Rogers, the Rogers who married into the Wells family was a deeply religious woman. The Wells family was a very prosperous family in the Hopkinton community, but as much as you see them in town records, they’re all secular records. After Martha Ann married into the family, the name Wells fills the church records with a vengeance. I think Martha Ann brought her family’s blessing with her into the Wells family and that blessing continues to this day. I know I believe it’s what continually draws me back to God.”

He leaned back in the chair and looked out at the top of the lighthouse poking up from the roof of the house across the street.

“I think I understand why you’re so into genealogy now. Its history, but with such a personal view point. You can follow a family and see how they were affected by history, and how the forces of that history changed and molded the family for generations. It’s like a God point of view in a way.”

“I suppose so. It’s also being able to stand in that cemetery and know that where I’m standing was the original Rogers farm. That John himself probably stood in the exact same spot almost four hundred years ago. When I stood there myself, I had to wonder did he have any idea that all those centuries later his descendant, me, would be standing in that very spot thinking about him.”

“So you’ve really been there?”

“Sure, it’s on the river bank down by the Connecticut College sports fields. I can take you there some time if you’d like. There are lots of other cool Rogers family places like that around the area as well. Really what I’ve told you is the ancient history of the family, but I’ve got a lot more data on them. They sure were an interesting bunch. – I probably gave you a lot more information than you were looking for. Sorry about that,” I added, realizing I’d been babbling.

“Don’t be. I think it’s fascinating. I had no idea we came from that kind of stock. I wonder what the Wells family was like way back when.”

I kind of snorted and said “An ornery bunch, that’s for sure, but not that much different from us.”

“Sounds like you’ve got stories about them as well.”

“You could say that … You know you’re named after the Rogers family.”


Want to read more? check out this book and my others on Amazon.com.  Just put “Jennifer Geoghan” in the search box and they all come up.

The Purity of Blood Novels by Jennifer Geoghan

The Purity of Blood Novels by Jennifer Geoghan


8 July 2014 – An interesting Article on the Rogers Family July 8, 2014

Filed under: Rogers Family — jgeoghan @ 7:41 pm
Tags: , , ,

To show you how behind I am on my reading …. I finally got around to reading my New London Historical Society Newsletter for March.

In it is an interesting article on the members of the Rogers Family buried in what they call the Antientest Burial Ground.  In my records I call in The Ancient Burial ground in New London.   One of the interesting things they discuss in the article is how many of the dates on the headstones are incorrect.

I scanned the article.  Click on the links to below to open up each of the pages ( 2 pages in all)

NLHS Newsletter March 2014 Article on Rogers Fam page 1

NLHS Newsletter March 2014 Article on Rogers Fam page 2

It’s interesting.  I have to say in all my travels in the area, I’ve never visited this cemetery that I recall.  I’m just now starting to prep my itinerary for my big genealogy road trip up to CT, RI, PA and NY in the fall.  I may have to add this on list of places to stop by and visit.







5 July 2014: An Unusually Judgmental Census of 1880 July 5, 2014

Filed under: Wells Family — jgeoghan @ 11:56 am
Tags: , , ,

Okay, here’s something I’ve never seen noted on a census before.

I’ve been helping someone who contacted me asking for more info on her Wells family.  While poking around ancestry.com, I came across this census record that may or may not be the man in question.  She thinks that the Bart Wells listed on the 1880 Census  for Olive Township, Meigs County Ohio is Russell Barton Wells son of Barton Wells and Nancy Barnhart.  First of all, because this Fellow is much younger than the Russell we know of as the son of Barton and Nancy, this would only make sense if they had two sons names Russell.  This could be true.  I have no info on the “first” Russell beyond two census records.  He could have died before this one was born.  Putting that aside, this census says that this Bart Wells and his brother Charles are the grandchildren of George and Julia Congrove.  Unless they were Nancy Barnhart’s parents that wouldn’t make sense and since George and Julia are about the same age, well, he’s obviously not her father.

Okay, now let’s get to the really strange notation on the census ….

Next to the list of children, 6 grandchildren and one great-grandchild it says “A generation of Bastards in one house.” 

Huh?  That’s very judgmental for a census.    I’m not sure exactly who Bart and Charles Wells are.  If anyone out there knows, I’d love to hear from you.

1880 US Census Olive Twnshp Meigs Co OHIO George Congrove

1880 US Census Olive Twnshp Meigs Co OHIO George Congrove

So have you seen any strange notations on a census before?  Send me your stories and I’ll post them.  I’d love to get a little collection of oddities like this going.  You can send them to me at jegeoghan@hotmail.com


Author of The Purity of Blood Novels.  Genealogy, romance, adventure and vampires.


27 June 2014: What ever happened to Mary? The story of a brick wall toppled June 27, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — jgeoghan @ 7:27 pm
Tags: , , , ,

I’ll start with saying this story has a more or less happy ending.  As with anyone who works on tracing their family history, I too hit the occasional brick wall.  They can be amazing frustrating things and tend to linger on the fringes of my mind for days like some annoying song that you can’t seem to shake.

Many years ago I encountered one such wall with my father’s cousin Mary.  Mary’s father Thomas and my father’s father John were brothers.  I’d never heard that my father had any cousins so when I’d discovered Mary on the 1920 Census I was shocked to say the least.

1920 US Federal Census: 42 Maujer Street, Brooklyn, NY, 9 Jan 1920

Thomas Geoghan: Age 31… Born: Conn … Parents born: Scotland … Occ: Ticket Agent

Josephine Geoghan: Age 22 … Born: NY … Parents Homeland: Russia … Father: Mother Tongue: Polish … Mother: Mother Tongue: Germany

Mary Geoghan: Age 4 … Place of Birth: NY … Fathers Place of Birth: CT … Mothers Place of Birth: NY


My father’s family wasn’t of much help I’m afraid.  Mary was born about 1915 and my father’s eldest sister was born in 1927 so there would have been quite an age difference in the cousins.  But still ….

Mary and wife Josephine were nowhere to be found on the 1930 census.  Thomas was back living with his parents, divorced.   So what happened to Mary?   Search as I did for a very long time, I could find no trace of her in any records.  Was she alive?  Had she died?  All was a mystery … that is until a few weeks ago when I got an email from ancestry.com.  Ever get an email with some reminders that you have “hints”?  Well, I did.  It for Thomas, a new census record for him.

When I opened up the record I found the 1915 New York State Census:

1915 New York State Census: Brooklyn, NY, Assembly Dist 14, Election Dist 13, Block 4 (or 11), Page 61, 137 North 7th Street

Ambrose, Kate (wife) white female age 34 … Born in German

Ambrose, Charles (head) white male age 32 … Born in Russia

Dundrowski, Starby(?) (head) white male age 42 … Born in Poland, Rus … # of years in US: 25 … Status Citizen … Occ: Steamfitter

Dundrowski, Stella (wife) white female age 35 … Born in Germany … # of years in US; 32 … Status Citizen … Occ: Housework

Dundrowski , Martha (daughter) white female age 15 … Born in US … Occ: School

Dundrowski , Frank (son) white male age 13 … Born in US … Occ: School

Geoghan, Lutta (daughter) white female age 18 … Born in US … Occ: Housework

Geoghan, Thomas (son in law) white male age 28 … Born in US … Occ: Inspector R.R.


I knew Thomas worked for the Rail road and lived in the area, so I decided to assume this was him and see where it would lead.  Seeing that he was living with his in-laws, I know had his wife’s maiden name.  Deciding to see if I could find this family on another Census, I found this 1925 New York State Census:

1925 New York State Census: Brooklyn, NY, Block 2, Election Dist 46, Ward X, Assembly, Dist 20, Can’t read street name but house number is 1403

Domrbowski, Starle (head) White Male Age 55, Born in Poland … Occ: Steam Fitter

Domrbowski, Stella(wife) White female age 47 … Born in Germany … Occ: Housework

Geoghan, Loretta (daughter) white female age 28 … Born in US … Occ: Clerical Work

Geoghan, Maril (granddaughter) white female age 10 … Born in US … Occ: At School


Okay, so after Thomas and his wife divorced, she seems to have moved back in with her parents.  So I decided to keep looking for her parents and found them on the 1940 US Federal Census:

1940 US Federal Census: Queens, NY, SD 2, ED 41-142J, Sheet 6A, April 9, 1940

8245 133rd Avenue, Family 106

Dombrowski, Stanislov (head) Age 68 … Widowed … Born in Poland, parents born same place … Occ: Steam Fitter BMJ Retired

Klima, Loretta (daughter) Age 42 … Married … Born in NY

Klima, William (husband) Age 44 … Married … Born in NY … Occ: Machinisht Shops PW


Right father but daughter seems to have remarried if it’s the same woman.  Deciding to see where she might lead, I searched again but just for this Klima family.  And then I found this:

1930 US Federal Census: Brooklyn, Kings Co., NY, 433 Lincoln Avenue, ED 24-543, Sup Dist: 29, Sheet 11A, Dated April 10, 1930, Family 253

Klima, William (head) White Male Age 35 … Born in NY, Parents in Austria … Occ: Machinist in Factory

Klima, Loretta (wife) White Female Age 33 … Born in NY, Father Poland, Mother Germany … Occ: None

Klima, Mary (daughter) White Female Age 15 … Born in NY, Parents in NY … Occ: None


Huh??? Mary Klima??  Well, that’s why I could never find Dad’s cousin Mary Geoghan, they’d changed her last name to that of her step-father, Klima.

Not long after that discovery, I found this death record for Mary’s mother:

California, Death Index, 1940-1997

Name: Josephine Loretta Klima (Josephine Loretta Dombrowski)

Birth Date: 11 Nov 1897 … Birth Place: New York

Death Date: 4 Jan 1981 … Death Place: Los Angeles

Mother’s Maiden Name: Wiza … Father’s Surname: Dombrowski


This explained why she was called Loretta sometimes and Josephine others.  How annoying is that!!!

Unfortunately, the next thing I found was Mary’s death record:

California, Death Index, 1940-1997

Name: Marie Theresa Rhoades [Marie Theresa Klima] 

Birth Date: 15 Aug 1915 … Birth Place: New York

Death Date: 4 Sep 1993 … Death Place: Los Angeles

Mother’s Maiden Name: Dumbrowski … Father’s Surname: Klima


That’s when I decided to do something I’ve never done before.  When this record came up, it gives you the option on Ancestry.com to order a copy of the original.  It’s just the info above on Ancestry, no scanned image.  I’ve never order a copy of a record like this from them before.  Cost me about $25 but with no other info to go on, I have no idea if I have cousins in California or not.  Hopefully the original record will give me some clues like where she’s buried.  If so, I can contact the cemetery and funeral home for more family info.

Anyway, I thought I’d share my story to give you hope that brick walls can be toppled.  So don’t give up!

Have any great brick wall stories to share?  If so, I’d love to hear them :-)



UPDATE: August 2, 2014

The copy of the death certificate I ordered through Ancestry.com finally came in the mail from the state of California.

This is what I received:

Marie Theresa Geoghan Klima Rhoades Death Cert

Marie Theresa Geoghan Klima Rhoades Death Cert

I contacted the funeral home via email to see if they had any additional family details on her or her husband who died about 7 years ago.  Still haven’t heard back from them so I guess I’m going to have to give them a call.  Wish me luck – Jennifer



24 June 2014: An exciting day for the Stillman Family! June 24, 2014

Filed under: Stillman Family — jgeoghan @ 2:46 pm
Tags: , , ,

I consider today a wonderful day for me genealogically speaking.  I finally got a reply to a request I made for the photo below.  Some good folks with the Town of Alfred NY sent me a copy of this photo of my great, great, great grandparents, Maxson Stillman (1774-1857) and his wife Esther Crandall (1775-1864).

Maxson is the son of George Stillman IV (1739-1817/9) and Esther Stillman (1740-1824).

Esther Crandall is the daughter of Phineas Crandall (1743-1821) and Ruth Rogers (1748-1783).  Esther is also the sister of Lydia Crandall Roger who married my 3rd great grandfather Russell Wells.  So this make Esther and Maxson not only my 3rd great grandparents, but also my 3rd great aunt and uncle as well!

I’m just thrilled to be able to add it to my photo collection, especially since it replaces their headstone photos as their photos in my genealogy program.

Maxson Stillman Sr and with Esther Crandall

Maxson Stillman Sr and wife Esther Crandall

The Stillmans definitely have some of the best photos in my collection.  I have to imagine they weren’t too hard up for money as they do seem to have taken quite a few portraits of the family.

Here’s a few more photos of the family.  Their son, Phineas Crandall Stillman (my great great grandfather)

Phineas Crandall Stillman Back and Front 1

Phineas Crandall Stillman (1809-1892)

This is Phineas’ daughter Pauline Rudiger (Stillman) Wells (1855-1922) and her twin sister Corinne Edgerton (Stillman) Rudiger (1855-1902)  They’re cute, but it’s a little creepy too if you ask me.  Pauline is my great grandmother.

Stillman Corinne and Pauline circa 1860 a

Twin sisters: Pauline Rudiger and Corinne Edgerton Stillman. Born 1855

Here’s Pauline all grown up.

Pauline Stillman in her wedding dress

Have any great Stillman family photos you’d like to share?  I’d love to see them.  I think it’s important for us as folks who share a love of our family history to come together and share what we have.  When families move from generation to generation, the history gets split up.  One son gets the photo album, another gets the family papers.  One moves across country and one stays close to home.  Before you know it, the family history is scattered to the winds, with each distant cousin holding only a small fraction of the family’s once proud history.




The Will of John Rogers Jr of New London, CT (1674-1753) June 19, 2014

Filed under: Rogers Family — jgeoghan @ 7:20 pm
Tags: , ,

So it’s been like a year and a half since I went on my Genealogy Road Trip and I’m just now getting to some of the cool things I found. What can I say, I was in the middle of writing my novels. Now that I’m half way done publishing them, I’m trying to get through some of my backlog of work.  Plus I got back into my study of the Rogers family since they figure so prominently in my third Novel (The Blood That Binds, The Purity of Blood Vol III available on amazon.com)

This week I’ve been working on the handwritten copy of the will of John Rogers Jr (1674-1753, husband of both Bathsheba Smith and Elizabeth Dodge) that I photographed while I was up at the New London County Historical Society. This copy is located in the Shaw Mansion where the Society’s little library is located. I have to say, it’s small but very impressive. I’m totally planning to stop back in when I take my next trip up to the area this fall.  Now that I think about it, I actually mention the Shaw Mansion and the Society in my third book as a place my main character want’s to visit.  She’s a genealogist too. :-)

So, down to the will …. This is what it says on their little library card slip that was in the file with the will:

Ms Q .R63jo   Rogers, John

Will of John Rogers, N.L., 11 Sept. 1750, witnessed by Joshua Hempsted, Joshua Rathbun, Abigail Ames, executors to be Andrew Davis, son John Rogers, John Waterhouse. Mentions wife Elizabeth, sons John, James, Ichabod, Alexander, Nathaniel, Jonathan, Daniel, daughters Elizabeth Whipple, Bathsheba Stoddard, Jemima Cooley, Deborah, Sarah.

4p., 12 ½ x 7 ½.


Here’s a recap of John’s family so you know the players:

John Rogers Jr (1674-1753)

Married 1700: Bathsheba Smith (?-1721)


John Rogers III (a) (1700-1721) Died before will was made.

James Rogers Sr. (1701-1754)

Samuel Rogers (a) (1703-1704) Died before will was made.

Samuel Rogers (b) (1704-1708) Died before will was made.

Elizabeth Rogers (1706-?) Married Zachariah Whipple

Bathsheba (1708-?) Married Robert Stoddard

Ichabod (1709-1771)

Jonathan (1711-?) Not mentioned in will so he may have died before September 1750.

Samuel (c) (1713-1805)

Jemima (1714-?) Married Unknown Cooley

Deborah (1716-?)


Married 1722/3: Elizabeth Dodge (1695-?)


John III (b) (1724-1799)

Mary (1725-Aft 1800) Married Ebenezer Bolles

Sarah (1725-?) Since only one Daughter Sarah is mentioned in the will, one could assume that this Sarah died before 1730 and they named their next daughter Sarah as well.

Sarah (1730-?) This daughter Sarah is probably the one mentioned and although I have no reference for a death date, since the will is dated 1750 and she’s in it, it’s safe to assume her death occurred after September 1750.

Alexander (1728-1817)

Nathaniel (1732-1802)

Elizabeth (1734-1804)

Jonathan (1736-?) Not mentioned in will so he may have died before September 1750.

Daniel (1739-1773)


(Words in BOLD are my personal notes and not in the original will)

John Rogers Will Page 1

John Rogers Will Page 1

The 11th Day of the 7th month called September in year 1750

I John Rogers of New London in the County of New London Colony of Connecticut being weak of body but of sound mind memory considering my age and the mortality of my body and that it is appointed for all men once to dye, do make and ordain this my last will and testament, that is to say that first I do freely submit and surrender my spirit to god that gave it and my body to the Earth to be decently buried at the discretion of my executors nothing doubting xxx xxxx said last day of judgment, by the mighty power of God my Spirit and body shall again be united together. And as touching such world estate where with it hath pleased God to bless me in this life I give devise and dispose of the same in the following manner and from – first for the payment of my just debts if any should be and the maintenance of my Beloved wife Elizabeth and the bringing up of our small children. In case I should die before our youngest son Daniel comes to the age of fourteen years that then an inventory shall be taken of the movables and my son John xxx xxxis to pay his own part and my son James —— xxx till my son Daniel comes of the age of 16 years together with all-

Implements and for managing the farm as carts plows taxes hoes chains and all other tools of husbandry what sowes as alto what stock of creatures he sees cause to take for stocking the farm, that part of it above mentioned also all my servants to be at his command during said time in Consideration where of he is to maintain the family in and same way and manner as it now is and to pay such a rent annually towards the legacy hereafter mentioned as John Walterhouse Broth, John Bolles and my son Ebenezer Bolles (I believe this is probably his son-in-law, husband of daughter Mary) shall judge moderate and shall appoint him

Item, after my son Daniel comes to the age of fourteen years (In 1750, Daniel would have been 11 years old) I would have him put out to a trade and my son James is the to take his part of the farm which I now give unto him and is Bounded as followeth being the South part of the farm where I now dwell bounded on the North with a line from the Cold Spring

John Rogers Will Page 2

John Rogers Will Page 2

Spring which runs into the Cove near the old barn near I xxx to a heap of stones at the road from New London to Norwich errected by Capt Joshua Hempsted near a niery? Cassway in said road and on the west with said road to John Prentiss s land and South with said Prentess s land to the river (Probably Thames River) and east bounded by the river and Cove to the first mentioned Cold Spring with all xxx ledges and appartinances to him my said son James Rogers and to his heirs and assigns for ever upon some small considerations hereafter mentioned

Item to my son Samuel I give and bequeath that part of my farm on which he now dwells bounded as follows North with land now in said possession of the Wheelers west with the road from New London to Norwich (Probably the current Old Norwich Road/Williams Street that runs parallel to the Thames River) to a heap of stones errected Capt Joshua Hempstead near about 20 rods (About 330 feet or 110 yards) northward of Bakers barns an apple tree standing in the place thence running north to a stone in a Crocthed tree on a side hill near the Round pond and to in said same line to a heap of stones att a stump on the back of the bank of the round pond thence northward a straight line about thirteen rods (about 214.5 feet or 71.5 yards) to a rock with stones on it by a bit of Salt marsh xx westerly from the narrowest place in the gut thence bounded by the river (Probably Thames River) and coves to the before mentioned land in the possession of the Wheelers all which I give my said son Saml his heirs and assigns for ever

Item to my son John I give and bequeath the middle part of my farm I now live upon bounded as following on the north with Samuels part on the west with the road on the south with James part on the east with the Cove and river (Probably Thames River) containing mamacock and the Round pond.

Item, my land on the west side of the road I give and bequeath unto my three sons James Samuel and John to be equally divided between them James to have said south part Samuel the north part and John the middle part and as to said maintenance of my beloved wife Elizabeth my will is that after my son Daniel comes to the age of 14tn years in case I should not be living that then my executors here after named shall have full power to let

John Rogers Will Page 3

John Rogers Will Page 3

Let her out such bedding and household stuff together with all such privileges and convenencey as my and executors shall from time to time judge most proper as garden or fowls or any other privilege for the comfort of her life and also my executors shall have full power to order my three sons which have my homestead (viz) James, Samuel and John to provide her with wood and summering and wintering a cow or two as and Executors shall see needful and help convenient to make fire or other business as they shall from time to time shall judge needful both for herself and to entertain her friends in a proper manner and in case any or either of my And sons shall refuse or neglect to perform their part as theX and Executors shall order them so much of his or their land as they shall to neglect or refuse shall be chargeable with it my will is that my wife shall have then Eastroom of my dwelling house at her command and chamber over it and bedroom joining to it only my two youngest daughters is to have the liberty of living in the afore said East chamber and keeping their beds in it and other XXX until such time as they can be married if their mother sees case and if she dies before they marry their priveledge to remain what is above mentioned concerning my wife is to understood while she remains my widow but in case she marry again my will is she shall have two hundred pounds old tenour? In the room & stead of her hew dowery in my house and lands,

Item, I give to my son Ichabod my land att alewife cove Commonly called our upper place which I bought of Thomas Williams being about twenty acres to him his heirs and assigns for ever—

Item, I give and bequeath unto my son Alexander the land which I bough of Joseph Bolles xxx head of alewife cove being six acres and some rods the deed from said Bolles to me will describe the bounds att large to him his heirs and assigns for ever also I give my said son Alexander twenty pounds equal to New York money out of said moveable?

Item, to my son Nathaniel I give one hundred pounds in or equivalent to new york money

Item, to my son Jonathan I give one hundred pounds in or equivalent to new york money

Item, to my son Daniel I give one hundred pounds in or equivalent to new york money

John Rogers Will Page 4

John Rogers Will Page 4

Item, to my daughter Elizabeth Whipple I give xxxx one hundred and thirteen pounds as may be seen by my book my wife is that after my death she shall have one cow more.

Item, to my daughter Bathsheba Stodder I have given sixty nine pounds as may be seen in my book my will is that she be made equal with her sister Whipple in quality and quality in respect to the fall of money and also to have a good cow in part.

Item, to my daughter Jemima Cooley I have given one hundred and thirty pounds as may be seen in my book my will is that she shall have xxx pounds in or equal to new york money and xxx

my son Ebenezer Bolles to lay xxx for her in what she sees cause the reason on my giving her more than her Elder sisters is for the loss of her tender mother when she was young

Item, to my daughter Deborah I give fifty pound in or equal to new York money to be paid out of the moveable or rent a soon after my death as conveniently may be as also to have full liberty to live in the house and use the cellar and other conveniency about the house as she may have occasion of and the Little Chamber wholly to her self so long as she sees cause to live single XXX what she hath had already is not to be rekond as part of the 50 this I do in consideration of xxx xxxx she was very young

Item, to my daughter Sarah I give thirty five pounds in or equal to new york money also one bed and furniture to it equal to the best bed that either of my three eldest daughters has had

Item to my daughter Eliz the younger (John had two daughter named Elizabeth, one by each wife) I give thirty pounds in or equal to new York money as also a bed and furniture as is above expressed to my daughter Sarah, also my will is that in case X moveables and rents do not answer to pay my debts and legacy that they my 3 sons viz James, Samuel and John shall be accountable for them and that my son James in consideration of seventy eight pounds XX which he has formerly had of me when money was much more valued than now it is which is to be seen in my book as also so that his part of land with the buildings is more valuable then his brothers for these considerations my will is that in case the moveables and rents as afore said should not answer said legacy then James shall pay one half and Samuel and John each one a quarter of what remains yet none of them shall be compeled to pay their part xxx

John Rogers Will Page 5

John Rogers Will Page 5

Item, my son Samuel is to enter upon his part of the farm immediately after my death yet to pay such a rent as those three persons above mentioned shall order him till his brother Daniel comes to the age of fourteen years the rent is for the payment of the legacy hereafter mentioned.


Trying to decipher exactly where the land that is bequeathed in this will is located is very difficult seeing as it’s hard to determine where the apple tree and heap of stones were located in 1750 that define the borders of land.

About the only place mentioned that I was able to locate with certainty is Alewife Cove. Here is a map showing where it is located:

Alewife Cove

Alewife Cove

John gives the land at the head of the cove to his son Alexander (My grandfather)

“Item, I give and bequeath unto my son Alexander the land which I bough of Joseph Bolles xxx head of alewife covebeing six acres and some rods the deed from said Bolles to me will describe the bounds att large to him his heirs and assigns for ever”

John leaves what I would presume is the land below the head of the cove to his son Ichabod:

“Item, I give to my son Ichabod my land att alewife cove Commonly called our upper place which I bought of Thomas Williams being about twenty acres to him his heirs and assigns for ever”

I find it odd that John calls this parcel of land by Alewife Cove to be his “Upper Place” as geographically it’s more of a lower place.

The farm where John’s father & Grandfather (John Rogers Sr/James Rogers) lived is mentioned. Called Mamacock Farm (Sometimes spelled mamacocke or mamacoke) The farm was in the general vicinity of where Connecticut College stands as we know the family burial ground was located on its grounds and the Rogers Burial Ground is located down by the river just off the C.C. sports fields (see other blog entries I’ve done on this cemetery)

These entries in History of Montville and James Rogers of New London confirm that general location:

History of Montville, Connecticut, By Henry Augustus Baker, Published by, 1896, Pages 179-181

“II JOHN (4), b. 1 Dec., 1648, third son of James Rogers and Elizabeth Rowland; m. 17 Oct., 1670, Elizabeth, daughter of Mathew Griswold. The rite of marriage was performed by the father of the bride, and accompanied with the formality of a written contract and dowry, the husband settling his farm at upper Mamacock upon the wife in case of his death or separation from her during life.. This farm was situated about two miles north of New London, on the Thames River.”


James Rogers of New London, Ct: And His Descendants, By James Swift Rogers, Page 42

4. John Rogers (James), born Dec. 1, 1648 ……. John Rogers’ home farm extended on both sides of the Norwich road, two miles from New London, and was Mamacock farm, from the small rocky peninsula of that name which was one of it’s eastern boundaries. It was boarded for some distance by the Thames River. The central portion – Mamacock proper – was originally a grant to Rev. Mr. Blinman. It was but a part of his landed estate, much of which was disposed of in his life-time by gift. He was buried upon the bank of the Thames within the bounds of his Mamacock farm. This portion was set aside as a burial place, and was secured by his son John to his descendants for this purpose, by deed dated Nov. 13, 1751. (See page 23, supra.) It has been crossed by the railroad, and a portion bordering on the river was washed away by the great “September gale” (Sept. 23, 1815). A part of this burial place is still intact.


In his will, John leaves part of this land to his son John.

“Item to my son John I give and bequeath the middle part of my farm I now live upon bounded as following on the north with Samuels part on the west with the road on the south with James part on the east with the Cove and river containing mamacock and the Round pond.”

Here is a map showing what is now called Mamacoke Cove. On this map it is just a little north of where the cemetery is located and may be the cove mentioned in the above bequest to John from his father.

Mamacock Farm Location

Mamacock Farm Location


Round Pond is mentioned as being close to Mamacock but I have not been able to find any reference yet to where it might be other than what it say below:

“Item to my son John … part on the east with the Cove and river containing mamacock and the Round pond.”

“Item to my son Samuel … near about 20 rods northward of Bakers barns an apple tree standing in the place thence running north to a stone in a Crocthed tree on a side hill near the Round pond and to in said same line to a heap of stones att a stump on the back of the bank of the round pond thence northward a straight line about thirteen rods to a rock with stones on it by a bit of Salt marsh xx westerly from the narrowest place in the gut thence bounded by the river (Probably Thames River) and coves…”

What we can take from the above: Round Pond is …

Close to Mamacock

Has a stump on the bank on the pond with a heap of stones by it.

Lies 13 rods south of a rock with stones on it by a bit of salt marsh.

Not much to go on, is it L and so I still have no idea where Round Pond is. Anyone out there know??


Another place that is referenced several times is a cold spring.

From the will we can deduce that the Cold Spring ran into a cove near the old barn. It is north of the farm that John Jr lived on. Not terribly far from the River. I did a lot of googling to see if I could find any other references that would help me, but didn’t find anything. I think this might take a bit more in person research.

If anyone out there has any insights on the boundaries described in the will, I’d love to hear from you.



One last reminder – Last day to get my book for FREE! May 25, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — jgeoghan @ 3:01 pm

I just wanted to send out one last reminder out there that today is the last day of my FREE book offer on Amazon.com for the first novel in my book series called The Purity of Blood Volume I.

My books are definitely a good read for anyone intersted in the Wells family  of Hopkinton or the Rogers family of New London County.

Although set in a modern day setting, the story weaves in characters and stories of the Wells family in all five books in the series.  Randall Wells and his wife Lois Maxson are important characters in my books as well as my real life 4th great grandparents.  Book III in the series which I just published last week still has the Wells family but also has a strong storyline telling the story of the Rogers family in New London County, CT.

Today is your last chance to get Book I for free on Amazon.  It’s available as an E-Book for either a Kindle or the Kindle app which you can download onto your phone or computer.

I hope you take advantage of this offer and enjoy my books as much as I’ve enjoyed writing them.



The Purity of Blood Volume I by Jennifer Geoghan

The Purity of Blood Volume I by Jennifer Geoghan



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 63 other followers