Wells Family Genealogy

The study of my Family Tree

10 Oct 2012 – Randall Wells and the Hopkinton Militia October 10, 2012

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 One of my quests while in the DAR library was to try to find information on what my 4th Great Grandfather, Randall Wells, did in the Revolutionary War.  I know he was in the Hopkinton, RI Militia but little information is known about what his company of local Militia did during the war.  When I asked the nice gal behind the counter at the library if she knew of any books that might give me information she said there really wasn’t anything in the library that could help me but she pointed me in the direction of the computers and helped look Randall up on a website called fold3.  Fold3 has military records and I was able to find info on the Hopkinton Militia and Randall by looking at the Pension Applications of Revolutionary War soldiers.  soldiers had to fill out statements of exactly what they did in the way and in the process ended up giving little histories of the movements of certain militia units. 

So I found several applications that mentioned Randall.  They do however take some time to read and transcribe.  Below is a transcription of the pension application of a man called Daniel Knowles and below the transcription are images of the document itself.  You will notice a lot of xxx in the transcription which were parts that I was unable to make out the handwriting.  There was actually many, many more pages to Daniel’s application but I only transcribed the relevent parts.  I can tell you from what I’ve read so far of the different applications is that the Hopkinton Militia was chiefly occupied with guarding the shores of Narragansett Bay from the English.

Here are two things that I learned from this specific application about Randall and the Hopkinton Militia

November 1776: Randall Wells is an Ensign.  Militia was in Hopkinton City

March 1777: Randall Wells is a Lietenant.  Militia marches from Little Rest (now called Kinston) to Narragansett Bay and are stationed at the Bonnet Farm

There’s a lot more information here and if I was able to make out what all the “xxx”s were there would be a lot more.  So… if you’re up for a challenge, have a go at it and see if you’re able to make out anything I haven’t been able to.  Post what you’re able to make out in a comment and I’ll post an update in an upcoming blog post.  I’ll be posting on the other pension applications when I have a chance to transcribe them.  

Pension Application of Daniel Knowles of Washington in the state of Rhode Island who was a Private

Resident of North Kingston in the county of Washington and State of Rhode Island, aged 80 years (Sept 1832)

He was born in South Kingston in said county of the 10th of March 1752, his age is recorded in the family bible in the Spring of the year 1776, he marched from South Kingston into the town of Hopkinton in said County.  There he lived for years.  In November 1776, the Company of Militia to which he belonged of which George Thurston was Captain, Matthew Randall Liut and Randall Wells Ensign, was called out to meet at Hopktinton City so called.  Joseph Noyes now Colonel of the Regiment to which the Company belonged Jesse Champlin, Col, Joseph Maxson Major, Thomas Noyesxxx, xxx.  The Company xxx Post Road, where they met Colonel Noyes, xx xxxx then to forces to the South for in South Kingston, they proceded xxx it was so late they could not get there, xxx right, they gathered that night at the house of Samuel Perry and next day marched to the South Fery and quartered at different houses xxxxx stationed guards along shore until Spring, he was xxx xxxx the last day of March 1777 returned home.  Towards the end of May in that year, the Company on a … … …. …. Were again called out and marched to Point Judith xxx xxxx  month at the xxx house so called at the end of that month they were xxxx to the xxx place where they continued another month  and were discharched.  In November 1777 the company xxx of the same, of which xxxx xxx xxx was again called out, George Thurston was still Captain, Randall Wells Leit and Joseph Thurston Ensign, they were marched xxx Little Rest now called Kinston xxxx to the shores of the Bay, to join the shores and stationed at the Bonnet Farm xxxx at the house of Colonel John Gardiner in Boston Neck two months and xxxx two more months at the xxxx house near the same, at the end of that time, they were discharged.  In xxxx xx 1778, the company was again called out, with xxx of the xxxxx Joseph Noyes was Colonel, Jesse Maxson xxx Xols, Thomas Sheffield Major, the officers of the company, were the same as before, they marched to Little Rest where they made a xxx from hence to Providence, hence Petuxet xxxx for the night, the next day they went xxx xxx and quartered at a Meeting house all night, the next day they went to Boston, and were transported across Bristol Fery to Rhode Island and arrived to the American forces on the xxx xxx command of Genreal xxxx. Xxxx xxxx xxx had xxxx been called the French Stormon account of the French Fleet which was to xxx with General xxxx xxx xxx The storm lasted three of four hours was violent with xxx xxx xxx night they first landed on the island, the only other xxx his associated xxx from the rain was an orchard he got very wet and did not get dry for three days , xxx storm grew xxx xxx on the xxx the enemy xxx xxx xxxx xx on the lines an xxx xxx until the Americans xxx  xxx the island, xxx xxx were transported xxxx the xxx in boats for the xxxx and landed at xxxx neck in north Kinston, from there they marched to Hopkinton and were discharged, we has absent from hom in xxxx xx at least one month.   Whilst on the island he was one of the guards xxx the xxx of General Sullivan.  In the spring of 1780 he moved from Hopkinton into South Kingston and in August or September 1780, the company of Militia in which he was then enrolled, as a xxx of the same xxxx which he was one, was called out with most of the regiment, Thomas potter was Colonel of the Regiment, the officers of the Company were Stephen Babcock Capt, Joseph xxxx Liet and Jesse Champlin was xxx.  Were xxx at Little Rest and left encamped some days  from thence they went to Jones Hill where they staid some days from thence marched to what is now called Wickford then called xxxx xxxx from thence were transported across the Bay xxx the north end of the island of Conanicut, and landed on Rhode Island and stationed at Boston Neck, he was gone this time one month.  He xxx in the whole one year of which he is xxxx.  He never served under any xxx xxx   General Sullivan xxxx to none of the Contenental xxx officers in that expedition.  H has no documentary evidence of his service.  Solomon xxxx is xxx to most of his services he being in his xxx son Randall Family a great part of the time, and being with him xxx on the shores some xxx Sullivan’s xxxx – most xxx will likewise to his services.  He is not xxxx with any xxx, in his xxx who can testify to the xxx of his services


8 Oct 2012 – Road Trip Report: Stonington, CT Cemetery Map October 8, 2012

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While in Stonington, CT on my vacation, I purchased this map of all the cemeteries in the town.  It sure would have come in handy for some pre-trip planning so I thought I’d pass it on to you, my readers, in hopes that it might be of use to you as well.  If you click on the images (when on the page on the blog) you will enlarge them.


7 Oct 2012 – Road Trip Report: The Thurston – Wells House of Hopkinton October 7, 2012

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One of my stops on my trip was a stop in to visit the Thurston-Wells House built about 1848 on Main Street in Hopkinton, RI.  Built by Benjamin Thurston, he sold the house to Augustus L. Wells in 1864.  Augustus was the son of Edward Sheffield Wels Jr. and Deborah Hoxsie Lewis and my 3rd cousin 5 times removed.    I have to admit that I nicknamed him “Unlucky Gus” sometime back when I found the following articles about him:

Providence Evening Journal (Providence, RI)25 Feb 1863:  Accident in Hopkinton – Augustus L. Wells in going out of his barn on Tuesday evening of last week, stumbled and fell, striking his head on a stone with as much force as to render him insensible until the next morning.  He was recovering at last accounts. – Westerly Weekly.

Providence Evening Journal (Providence, RI)11 Nov 1863, Page 3:  Hopkinton.  Mr. A.L.Wells of Hopkinton, met with a serious accident on the 31st ult.  He had placed in his pantaloons pocket a paper containing about half a pound of powder.  Having occasion to try a fuse he lit a match, the fire from which, by some means, communicated with the powder in his pocket,and he was badly though it is hoped not dangerously burned.

The Thurston – Wells house is currently for sale.  Here is a link to the website with the listing.  http://www.historical-home.com/2012/05/historic-hopkinton-ri-home.html 

In the 1950’s and 60’s the house had fallen into a deplorable state and certainly would have eventually been demolished if it weren’t for the efforts of a buyers who spent a lot of time and money of many years to get the house back into the lovely condition that it now enjoys.  When they actually started renovating the house, the tore down about 5 rooms off to what in the photo below would have been to your right.  You can kind of see this in the old black and white photo of the house if you scroll down

Here is a photo of the house from Page 70 of Images of America: Hopkinton by Kirk W. House.  If you aren’t aware of the Images of America books you should check them out.

Here is a picture of Augustus L. Wells:

From: History of Washington and Kent Counties, Rhode Island by  J.R. Cole.  Published in 1889

“Augustus L. Wells was born November 7th, 1820, in Charlestown, where he resided with his parents until the age of twelve years, when his sight became so much impaired as to preclude study.  At the age of sixteen, having to some extent recovered from his malady, he began farming, and continued this occupation until 1851.  He then, in company with his brother, Edward S., under the firm name of A.L. Wells & Co., established a carriage manufactory at Hopkinton City.  They grew from small beginnings to large proportions, until in the excellence of its work and its capacity, the establishment, with steam power and all the modern improvements for expediting labor, was second to none in the state.  On the 21st of April, 1888, this factory was consumed by fire, much valuable property destroyed, and the structure has never been rebuilt.  Mr. Wells and his partner are at present engaged in closing the business thus suddenly arrested in its successful progress”   (This was published in 1889, shortly after the fire)  Mr. Wells and his brother, Edward S., now reside together in Hopkinton.”

Here is a close up of the front door.  The side panels on either side of the door are made of beautiful cranberry glass.  The next photo shows them from the inside where you can see the light shining through.

Here is a side view and a view from the rear of the house.

At the back of the house still stands the original outhouse.  The outhouse was a six seater, spots for 3 adults and 3 children!

Here is a view from the out house to the carriage house out behind the main house.

Here is the carriage house.

Here are a few pictures I took under the carriage house where you can see the support structure of the building.  While out and about in the area, I saw several large stones like the one that is holding up the building below with the notched groves in it about ever 5 or so inches.  I saw them used laying on their side a few times as steps.  Anyone familiar with what they may be??

Here is what is inside the carriage house.  I took this photo at night with no lights so the only in the picture is from my flash.  Not the best picture in the world.  The owner who game me the tour said this was a Spicer Carriage.

At this point, I’ll mention that the present owners where in the process of packing so their home was in something of an understandable state of disarray so please forgive their clutter in the following photos.

This blue room is the front room of the house and if you were standing where I was when I took this picture the front of the house would be to your left.

behind to the blue front sitting room is a dining room that is separated from the front blue room by a pair of sliding pocket door. 

Behind the dining room is a more newly renovated a modernized kitchen.  However it still is in character with the house.

Here is the main staircase leading from right behind the front door up to the second floor.

The second floor was bedrooms and bathrooms and a staircase leading up to the Belvedere or Cupola up top.

Here is the Hopkinton 1850 Census showing Augustus L Wells living with George Thurston when they lived in the house together.

Here is the 1860 census for Hopkinton showing Augustus and family living in the house.

Here is a copy of an advertisement for the A.L. Wells & Co., Carriage Manufactory that I bought on EBAY. 

From:  Narragansett Weekly, 26 April 1888.   FIRE AT HOPKINTON: A disastrous fire broke out in Hopkinton City shortly after 10 o’clock Saturday evening, April 21st, which quickly destroyed the carriage shop of A.L. Wells & Co., the “Jerry Thurston” house, the “Spicer Tavern,” and two barns.  Smoke was seen coming from the carriage shop by both E. Sterry Holdredge and Nathan Holloway at about the same time, and immediately an alarm was given.  The fire must have been under strong headway when discovered, as it quickly broke through the roof, and, fanned by a northwest wind, swept over the carriage shop and the other doomed buildings quickly.  The carriage shop was filled with carriages, old and new, and a large amount of material was at hand.  Efforts were made to get the completed work out , but they were only partially successful, more than seventy carriages, including the best, being destroyed.  There was nothing with which to fight the fire except by carrying water in pails, and it was quickly seen that such protection could not save the Thurston nor the Spicer houses.  Accordingly an attempt was made to remove the furniture of Mr George K. Thayer, who owned and occupied the former, Mr. E. Sterry Holdridge and Rev. L. F. Randolph, who occupied the latter, Mr Holdredge being the owner,  Mr. Thayer and Mr. Randolph each secured about one half of their goods, but Mr. Holdredge saved very little, his wife having hardly any time to dress her small children.  In Mr. Thayer’s house was stored the household goods of Mrs. Adeline Wilbur, and they were burned.  Across the street from the Thurston House is the residence and store of Mr. E.R. Allen, and as it  thought that was also sure to go, all of the furniture and goods were taken out, but by hanging carpets over the building, and keeping them fairly drenched with water the house was saved. The same method was successfully used to prevent the firing of Mr. John Wells’ house, which stood next to Spicer Tavern.  By 3 o’clock Sunday morning the fire was out, though smouldering, and hardly a trace of the building which had stood there so short a time before was to be found.


6 Oct 2012 – Road Trip Report: John Rogers’ Book in CT College Library October 6, 2012

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One of the reasons I wanted to visit Connecticut College (besides the fact that the land it sits on was once part of the farm of John Rogers) was to visit the college library and see a copy of the book  “A mid-night-cry from the temple of God to the ten virgins slumbering and sleeping, Awake, awake, arise, and gird your loyns, and trim your lamps, for behold the bridegroom cometh, go ye therefore out to meet him” written by John Rogers (1648 to 1721) my 6th Great Grandfather.  To my knowledge this book has never been digitized and the only copy I’ve seen for sale on EBAY was listed for like $400 so it was obvious I wasn’t going to be getting my own copy any time soon.  John is one of my favorite ancestors just because we know so much about his personal life.  Boy, did that man have troubles!!  But I admire him for sticking to his beliefs no matter what the cost. 

Unfortunately the book is very brittle and there was no way to photograph each page or time to read it through but was fascinating none the less. 

Here are a few pages to look at. 

To give a little context of the author, below is an excerpt from the History of Montville, CT about him.

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.  In May, 1675 after having two children born to them, she applied to the General Court for a divorce, grounding her petition not only upon the heterodoxy of her husband (that of being a Quaker), but upon certain alleged immoralities. The court, after a delay of nearly a year and a half, granted her petition, but in less than two years she mad married again.  This marriage was to Peter Pratt, 5 Aug., 1679.  She had by him one son,Peter.  Her second husband, Peter Pratt, died 24 march, 1688, and shortly afterwards she married a third husband, Mathew Beckwith, 2d, by whom she had one daughter, Grisell.  Elizabeth Griswold, the wife of three husbands, died in 1727.

Mr. Rogers was greatly incensed at the decision of the court in granting a divorce to his wife. He lived a single life about twenty-five years,and then married himself to Mary Ransford. She is reported to have been a servant, whom be had bought, and probably of the class of persons then called Redemptionists. Mr. Rogers would not united in the marriage rite by any minister or magistrate, and proposes to his intended that both go in to the county court room while the court was in session, and there publicly declare their marriage intentions, which proposal was agreed to by the intended.  He, leading the bride by the hand, entered into the presence of the assembled court, and there requested the whole assembly to take notice that he took the woman he held by the hand to be his lawful wife, the bride also assenting.  This connection was however, an unhappy one, violent quarrels afterwards arising between the reputed wife and the youngest son of Mr. Rogers. To preserve peace and quiet, the law in several instances was invoked. The elder Rogers himself was compelled to apply to the court for assistance in quelling their domestic broil.

In 1703, upon the presentation of the grand jury, the court summoned the reputed wife of John Rogers, Sr., before them, declaring her marriage invalid, and sentenced her to pay a fine of forty shillings or receive ten stripes, and prohibited her return to her reputed husband under still heavier penalties. Upon receiving the sentence she came around to the side of the court; acknowledged her marriage illegal, cast off the protection and authority of Rogers and refused to regard him as her husband.  Soon after this she escaped from the confinement in which sire had been placed by order of the court end fled to Block Island, leaving her two children by Rogers with him. She was afterwards married to Robert Jones of Block Island.

In 1714, John Rogers was again married to Widow Sarah Cole of Oyster Bay,L. I., the ceremony being performed in the State of Rhode Island. With this connection there was no trouble- He died of small pox 17 Oct., 1721, and was buried upon the bank of the Tames River within the bounds of his mamacock farm, where he had set aside a place for a family sepulcher.

Children by first wife,

23.       Elizabeth, b. in New London 8 Nov., 1671; m. Stephen Prentice.

24.       John, b. at New London 20 March, 1674; m Bathsheba., dau, of Richard Smith.

Children by second marriage.

25.       Gershon, b. at New London 24 Feb., 1699; died at sea

26.       Mary, b. at New London 6 March, 1702; m. John Hobbs.. She died 5Oct., 178l, leaving two children, James b. 3 Oct 1721; Jonathan, b. Aug.,1723



5 Oct 2012 – Road Trip Report: Mills of Ashaway / Westerly RI October 5, 2012

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Located at approximately 58 High Street in Ashaway, I discovered the location of Williams Rogers Wells’ mill.   I did a post about it a while back.  Here is the link to it: https://wellsgenealogy.wordpress.com/2011/01/06/jan-6-2010/

Here is what the mill used to look like:


And here is the site today:  I suspect the above photos were taken from about 20 feet or so into the paved area in front of me in the photo below.

While out driving around Hopkinton/Westerly with my friend I spotted the old burned out mill in the photos below.  The photos were taken in Ashaway/Hopkinton from the corner of Laurel Street and Maxson Street looking across the river.    The mill was on the other side of the river putting it in Westerly right as Potter Hill Road goes over the bridge.  Does anyone know what mill this was.  I would have loved to have investigated it further but the padlocked fence kept me out with the limited amount of time I had.



Road Trip Report: Rogers Articles from the New London Historical Soc. October 4, 2012

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For the past few days I’ve been transcribing the items below from the New London Historical Society library.  It is a folder of misc. articles written by I don’t really know who about Waterford and the Rogers Family.  There is a handwritten name of Mary Stillman Anderson who may be the author.  A google search of her name didn’t come up with anything.  I’m not sure when it was written except that it talks of something still standing in 1947 giving me the impression that it was probably written about that time.  Below are the photos I took of the articles and my transcriptions of them.  I wish I could say that the information the author gives is sourced but is not.   It is however information that can be used to follow up on and see if we can find proof of it farther down the line.   I wish I knew the authors connection with the Rogers’ family as he/she gives some interesting personal anecdotes especially about Mary Jordan.   If anyone has any further information on any of the houses mentioned, I’d love to know and be able to follow up more on them.



Roger’s Houses

The Goshen section of Waterford was t one time the home of many of the descendants of James I who has been already mentioned having many heirs saw to it they had homes as near his own house at Magonk as possible.  Besides that of John just across the home driveway there was one yet standing farther to the east and another just a stones throw to the North and father east at one time stood a sizeable structure near where now stands the Bascomb home.  While across from it a two story house, home of Squire David Rogers which while it has been altered has kept the Colonial style with white pillars supporting the high piazza, dormer window in the south roof and even a box bordered flower garden.  It is not he home of Col. W. Ellery Allen, the name of Rogers having entirely disappeared from the Goshen section.  The name David seems to have been very popular among the Rogers heirs for besides Squire David there was David first and second and David P. whose house now is summer hotel at Pleasure Beach and follows the design of that of the homes already mentioned as well as that of two houses somewhat altered on the Harkness estate once owned by a David Rogers.

The remains of a cellar can be seen near the house once occupied by Deacon Gilbert Rogers later the home of Mr. Harkness’ mother which built many years previous to those already mentioned was of the square story and half type and was at one time owned by Peleg Rogers of whom no other mention is made in annals of the Rogers one may safely conjecture he was lost at sea as so many of that section were.  Another very old house of that style has been repaired and furnished after the style of its period by Mr. Nathaniel Holmes while across from it a two story sizeable house has been repaired yet the style within and without carefully preserved by Mr. and Mrs. Wikin Brown.

Daughters of James Rogers were provided homes nearby as in the case of the Maxson and Darrow houses, the latter now the home of Albert B. Perkins Jr.

These in that section may well be pleased that a man of wealth was led to settle at Mogonk which like all acreage bordering Long Island Sound offers picturesque building sites for the houses Mr. Rogers built so solidly have needed but little alteration to make them artistically worthy of their setting.


(I did find this vintage postcard from the 1920’s of Pleasure Beach near Waterford, CT on line)

Solomon Rogers

Grandson of James I by James II as nearly as can be determined at least the one who inherited Poquyogh and was also owner of the Jordan Mill.  He was born in 1754 and his mother is mentioned “as a notable woman” altho no further act to that title is mentioned having eight children and the care of other duties pertaining to many acres and a large number of slaves – well perhaps the husband was not as efficient a manager as she was, yet in those days it would not have been correct to say the least or even mention that.  Certain it was that when son Solomon married Lucretia Parker, he was given 650 acres known even then as Miner Hill and extended a long distance south along Miner Lane.  His house built on the site now occupied by the commodious home of Mr. Arthur H. Davis was a smaller one which was moved around the corner from the Post Road into Clark Lane when Mr. Davis bought the site.

Nearly every one of that period engaged in fishing but Solomon who has been described as a large portly man liked better to smoke a huge pipe: altho moved to plant three large Elms in front of his residence in commemoration of the birth of three sons.  Later he decided and easier way of livelihood than even overseeing the tilling of his large farm or grinding corn for farmers was to turn the house into a Tavern where travellers along what was then known as the Turnpike could stop for rest and refreshment for travellers by stage coach, oxcart and on horseback were increasing and when his wife provided such refreshment as spicy gingerbread and cookies and Solomon added mugs of medford rum, they no doubt attracted many customers.

In fact by 1776 the household was greatly excited by the coming of a company of soldiers led by General Washington and further stirred as they stopped for refreshment, the General tieing his horse under the shade of the, by then, sizeable Elms.  Even the small daughter Hannah remembered the event as long as she lived.  It is further recorded of her that upon her marriage to a man named Merriman, her Father gave her a number of parcels of land among them the Joel Hill Farm later the property of the Holt brothers the old house home of William Holt probably the Merriman homestead.  The Merrimans unlike most early families left no descendants and the others of Solomon’s heir’s have left only the house the great Elms to perpetrate the memory that the stones in the old part of Jordan Cemetery substantiate.



James Rogers I

This no doubt should have preceded the short biography of the sons, but beside some of the characteristics of the Father have been noted with that of the sons, we return to James Rogers the first noting that through the help of Governor Winthrop he was by 1666 assessed double as much as any other person in the Town that included New London and Waterford.  He seems to have then reached the heights of his prosperity and popularity for soon after he became involved in a lawsuit with Mr. Wintrop, thereby suffering a reprimand from the general Court for laxity in grinding the farmers corn which must have been especially hard to bear since he had been of the Court Officials for six consecutive terms.  Another cause of hostility was the leaving the Congregational Church then the ruling one throughout New England to join the Sabbartarians, largely the influence of his sons James and John.  In fact they and other members of his large family became so enthusiastic with that faith, the members were for some years called Rogerines.

Their house of worship being in Waterford, Mr. Rogers looked about that Town for a building spot deciding upon Magonk as near the Church and also the Sound which offered much allurement to his sons as means of livelihood extending over many generations of his descendants.  Therefore from the time he had decided to build, he transferred his activities from New London to his large land holding in Waterford and the establishment of the Church for all his belief, his zeal extending to those outside of its membership whom he tried to win my strenuous arguments, especially those who shared the use of the Church building, often it is said sitting on the doorstop to argue with the Preacher altho it is not recorded who with Philip Taber when he forced the Rev. Gorton from the pulpit, undoubtedly James both Jr. and Jr. as well as son John were among them.

All of which did not hinder the building of a sizeable gambrel roofed house, mostly of stone with large center beams and a number of fire places.  Soon after moving from New London he began to dispose of some of his land holdings beginning with the 2400 acre tract in Groton which he had held with Col. John Pyncheon of Springfield and next the large grant in Montville gained from Uncas thro is being one of a committee on fortifications in the Indian war of 1675 while his Waterford holding extended from Jordan Cove or Robin Hoods Bay ( as has been previously noted) eastward to Alewife Cove.

As his sons married he provided homes for them, the first shown by a cellar built for his son John in 1679 while a short distance east of the driveway that led  to the beautiful beach, the connection of the drive is broken by high stone pillars and a sizeable flower garden and many shrubs added to the beauty of a truly picturesque building spot so noticeable where later the immediate home was purchased by Mr. Erastrus N. Smith of Brooklyn Bridge fame, and ell was added to the west side bringing an inlet from the Sound yet closer to the terraced flower garden.  Miss Mary Sussman, a teacher of art, painted a picture of house and grounds much cherished by the Smith Family.

As to the Rogers heirs, Jonathan born in Milford in 1656 was drowned near Gull Island trying to kill a seal Mar 2, 1678.  His wife being Naomi daughter of the Burdicks of R.I.  He followed the steps taken by his brothers James and John and was baptized in New London by Elder Hiscox of New port as there was then only a few Sabbatarians outside of R.I.  Many of the houses yet standing in the Goshen section of Waterford were built by heirs of James Rogers even the Harkness Mansion was designed by James Gamble Rogers noted New York architect who like Mrs. Harkness can trace their ancestry back to the first James Rogers of Waterford whose will covers seven pages of sizeable paper so thoroughly itemized as to show that he was still a man of intellectual ability as well as spiritual foresight convinced as was Roger Williams of the need of the need of greater freedom of conscience willing to pay the price of loss of friends, suffer criticism, and ay the fines then exacted by the Congregationalists.  His aggressiveness becoming more peaceful as the years passes helped no doubt as the Sabbatarians moved to a Church building farther west on land given by some of his descendants.  He passed to his reward Feb. 1688.

           (Handwritten on this pave is Mary Stillman Anderson but I don’t know if she is the author or not.)



James Rogers Jr. and the Waterford Mill.

According to records, some years before the division of Waterford from New London, one may find the extent of the large land holdings of James Rogers who came from Milford to settle in New London in 1658 and was soon after friendly with John Winthrop from whom he received the privilege to operate the Town Mill yet standing in New London.  As he was a baker he secured the contact of making se biscuits for the many boats sailing from the New London harbor and also later for the Colonial troops so that he soon became a notable personage, and when later he added grinding corn for the farmers over a wide territory, it was little wonder that in 1666 he was assessed double as much as any other person.

Like other early settlers he had a large family among whom James Jr. appears to have been a favorite for altho he was a seafaring man, he was given a large tract of land in Waterford which probably stimulated his decision to sail to Ireland having with him a number of sailor lads whose purpose was to induce a number of redemptioners to embark to the New World where according to terms of the voyage, they would become betrothed of Captain James Rogers Jr.

There seems to have been no family objection to the simple marriage ceremony upon their arrival in Waterford, and very soon after the grant of land the sizeable two story house was built with the assistance of local builders and James many relatives, the roof having an octagon shaped cupola not only for ornament but also as a watch tower from which to watch the slaves working on the distant farm acres which then extended as far west as Jordan Cove and this now called Pleasure Beach.

To the house a number of buildings were added, a wood shed, corn house and out house after the manner yet common in northern New England and as yet customary house and outbuilding were painted white giving the estate the name White Hall Farm for many years.

Before the arrival of Mary Jordan the Rogers family had severed their connection with the Congregational Church in Milford and joined the Sabbatarians, James and John, his brother, being among the first converts in Rhode Island led the family to that decision which is cited as one reason of their building a home in Waterford where others of like faith built a Church on Pepperbox Hill, but as in other lands, the State Church sent their excise men to collect annual dues whatever the landowners faith might be which appeared to James Rogers Jr. and his fiery Irish wife an outrage, therefore as the excise men were rolling away a barrel of beef, James assisted by his wife threw scalding water upon them wich act so aroused the hostility of the town that James was obliged to stay on his farm for the protection of it, as well as that of his family and slaves.  

His son James became the chief inheritor and also first Townsman of New London which there included Waterford.  His advancement beyond that of his Father as a Townsman led him to develop his home tract making a driveway through it from east to west, marking the entrance with two high granite posts (yet standing 1947) and on the grass plot around the house, he planted fruit trees.  Elms and old time shrubs including silver leafed maples whose dancing leaves still shimmer in the breeze.  He with his wife became a member of the Congregational Church.  Because of this and also of his having built a windmill in Ocean Avenue his Grandfather in 1712 gave him the grant to the Jordan Mill one tract was not only a lucrative one then, but that has continued to make Waterford history over a long period of years under many different managers for in 1727 james Rogers sold his homestead to Philip Taber for 2970 lbs. having moved to Norwalk the previous year.  His reason for Selling his farm being largely due to the loss of his wife in 1713 due to his marriage to Freelove Hurlburt who owned a home there.  Solomon Rogers one of his sons who lived in a house on the Post Road was an inheritor of the mill. 


1 Oct 2012 – Road Trip Report: Frances Latham Dungan Clarke Vaughan October 1, 2012

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While I was at the Paradise School with the lovely ladies from the Middletown Historical Society I asked them if the photo I had below from findagrave.com of my 8th great grandmother Frances Latham Dungan Clarke Vaughan looked like it could have been taken in the Common Burial Ground (God’s little Acre) in Newport, RI.  I asked because the photo shows the place as completely unkept and overgrown and when I’d visited there a few years ago, it’s a very well taken care of cemetery and even though I searched, was unable to find the stone in the vast burial ground.  They told me that about 20 years ago it was completely overgrown and they finally went in there and were taking care of it now but that the photo did reflect the state it was back then.  After we finished checking out Samuel Hubbard’s stone (see previous post) one of the ladies was kind enough to go over to the Common Burial Ground with me and show me the spot.  Here is a picture of me with the stone.

I am related to her through her son Jeremiah Clarke Jr. ( 1643 to 16 Jan 1729) and his wife Ann Audley, who are my 7th Great Grandparents.

Jeremiah and Ann’s sons Jeremiah Clark III and Samuel Clark are both my 6th Great Grandfathers.  Jeremiah III married Elizabeth Sisson and had my 5th great grandmother Sarah Ann Clark.   Samuel Clark (1675 to 1761) married Hannah Wilcox and had my 5th great grandmother Hannah Clark.

Here’s some info on Frances and her husband Jeremiah Clark I found:

The New England historical and genealogical register, Volume 74, Henry Fitz-Gilbert Waters, New England Historic Genealogical Soc., Vols. 37-52 (1883-98) include section: Genealogical gleanings in England, by H. F. Waters., Page 132-133. 

 8. Jeremiah or Jeremy Clarke, of Newport,RI, son of William (7), baptized at East Farleigh, co. Ken, England,1 Dec. 1605, died a Newport,and was buried there in Jan. 1651/2.  The Friends’ records contain the following entry.

 Jeremiah Clarke, one of the first English Planter of Rhode Island, he died at Newport in said Island and was buried in the tomb that stands by the street by the water side of Newport, upon the – day of the 11 mo., 1651.

He married, perhaps secondly, in England,about 1637, Frances (Latham) Dugan, who was baptized at Kempston, co. Bedford, 15 Feb 1609/10,(Blaydee’s Genealogia Bedforsienais, p. 159) died in the first week of Sept. 1677, in her 67th(sic) year, and was buried at Newport, her gravestone in the Newport Cemetery bearing the following inscription:  Here Lyeth ye Body of Mrs. Frances Vaughn, Alius Clarke, ye mother of ye only children of Capt’n Jeremiah Clarke.  She died ye 1 week in Sept., 1677, in ye 67th year of her age. 

She was the daughter of Lewis Latham, Gent., Sergeant Falconer to King Charles I, by his wife Elizabeth, and widow of William Dungan, Gent., perfumer, who was son of Thomas Dungan, Gent., of Lincoln’s Inn, and nephew of Sir Walter Dungan, Bart., of Castletown Kildrought, and Possecktown, co. Kildare, Ireland, ancestor of the earls of Limerick and of royal descent.  Frances (Latham) (Dungan) Clarke married thirdly, on or before 18 Jan. 1656 (?1655/6), *Rev. William Vaughan, who died on or before 2 Sept. 1677, a letter of that date from Samuel Hubbard of Newport to his children at Westerly, RI, stating that “Mr. Vahan is gone to his long home and his wife is like to follow him if not dead.”

     About the year 1637 Jeremiah Clarke, accompanied by his wife and her four children by her first husband, William Dungan, and also probably by his wife’s widowed sister,Ellen Sherringham, emigrated to New England, and in 1638 was admitted an inhabitant of the island of Aquidneck.  On 28 Apr. 1639 he and eight other signed the well-known compact of Pocasset (later Portsmouth),RI, prepatory to the settlement of Newport.  On 25 Nov. 1639 he was chosen constable, and was reelected in the following spring, and on 29 Jan. 1639/40 he was selected to supply the treasurer’s place “till his returne from the Dutch.”  On 10 Mar. 1639/40 he had land recorded to the amount of 116 acres, and a few days later he and two others were chosen to lay out the remainder of the lands at Newport.  On 16 Mar. 1640/1 his name appears in the court roll of freeman.  On 17 Mar. 1641/2he was elected lieutenant of the militia of Newport,and on 13 Mar. 1643/4 he was chosen captain for Newport, then the highest rank attainable.  On the same date he was elected treasurer of Newport,and held this office for three years, and in May 1647 he was elected general treasurer of the Colony, and served in this capacity until 22 May 1649. On 16May 1648 he was chosen an assistant, and in the same year pending the clearance of President William Coddington of certain accusations, he was authorized to act,and did act, as President.


i. Gov. Walter, of Newport,b. about 1638; d. 23 May 1714, in his 77th yea; in the Clifton Burial Ground, Newport; m (1) in 1660 Content Greenman, b about 1636 ……………………

ii. Mary, b. in 1641; d. 7 Apr 1711; m. (1) in 1658 John Cranston, Governor of Rhode Island, 1678-1680, b. in 1626, d., while serving as Governor, 12 Mar 1679 …………….

iii. Jeremiah, b. in 1643; d. 16 Jan 1728/9; m. Ann Audley,who d. 15 Dec. 1732, probably dau. of John and Margaret of Boston, Mass.  Nine children.

iv. Latham, b. in 1645; d. 1 Aug 1719; m. (1) Hannah Wilbur,dau. Of Samuel and Hannah (Porter) …………

v. Weston, b. 5 Apr (or 2 July) 1648; d. in 1728; m. (1)  at the Rhode Island Monthly Meeting of Friends, 25 Dec 1668, Mary Easton,  ……………..

vi. Rev. James, of Newport,b. in 1649,d. at Newport1 Dec 1736; m. Hopestill Power ………..

vii. Sarah, b. in 1651; d. about 1706; m. (1) John Pinner,who d., probably s.p., in 1674; m. (2) Caleb Carr …………

(the ….. indicate there was more info in the book that I didn’t transcribe.)


Here’s the photo on findagrave.com.  You can see how wild the cemetery looked.  Below is the photo I took just a few weeks ago for comparison.