Wells Family Genealogy

The study of my Family Tree

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


Randall Wells and the Revolutionary War

Filed under: Uncategorized — jgeoghan @ 12:22 pm
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One of the reasons I love genealogy is just when you think you’ve found it all, up pops something you never expected to find. While looking over the documents on http://www.fold3.com yesterday, I came across this pension application for John Button.  What was surprising was that there was a letter in his application (see below) that was written by Randall Wells himself.

What I find odd about his letter in support of the application of John Button is that he says that John wasn’t in the Militia but enlisted in the regular Army.   From the tone of the letter, I’m guessing he wouldn’t get a pension for just being in the Hopkinton Militia. The problem is, John was in the Militia. He was listed along with Randall as being in the Second Hopkinton Militia roll that I posted just yesterday. Who knows, maybe he was in both the Militia and the regular Army. I’d prefer to think that than to think Randall was stretching the truth.

Here’s Randall’s letter and the transcription below. Again I have (?) or xx’s denoting words I’m either not sure of or just wasn’t able to make out the handwriting of at all.

Revolutionary War Pension Application of John Button Page 13

Revolutionary War Pension Application of John Button Page 13

Revolutionary War Pension Application of John Button Page 14

Revolutionary War Pension Application of John Button Page 14

Revolutionary War Pension Application of John Button Page 2

Revolutionary War Pension Application of John Button Page 2

Came before me one of the Justices of the Piece for the town of Hopkinton in the County of Washington and State of Rhode Island – George Thurston Esquire of Hopkinton in said County of Washington of aged about Seventy Six years and on oath said he has been acquainted and lived in the same town and neighbor to John Button, Samuel Button + James Phillips and their family as they all belong to Hopkinton and been acquainted with them from their youth as to this time, and that he was knowing to the said John Button, Samuel Button, James Phillips all of Hopkinton Enlisting into the Army in the Revolutionary War and that they the said John, Samuel and James was absent from home for years and further remembers of their coming out of the Army towards or at the close of the war, and they was clad in the United Sates clothing remembering (?) the trimmings Button of that was on their clothes, the town of Hopkinton being located within one mile of the Connecticut line they enlisted under officers of the Revolution that lived in that state apart or all of them / and further that he was active in assisting to raise troops for the army was concerned in classes(?) when we were classes of to raise class of man and that he served many tours in the Malitia as a Captain and that the said John, Samuel and James was not in the Malitia as has been inserted on some of their applications Returned but that they were enlisted soldiers in the Revolutionary War and on the Continental Establishment, as I accepted (?) as they was a long time from home – further that they are very poor and very ignorant xxxx Remember as particular as to the service rendered as many do, the officers and soldiers whom they serve with are many of them Dead, and other emigrated to the Western Country which makes it almost impossible for them in their helpless situation to make the proof required – John Button and James Phillips application I understand is made before the Secretary of the War Department, Samuel Buttons Application has been returned, with the indication that he perform Militia duty only which must be a mistake, and from my knowing and being well acquainted with the various kinds of services rendered by officers and soldiers at the time as XXXX Malitia, State Service and Continental Service, the said John, Samuel and James did enlist into the Regular Army of the United States and was absent for a long time and I have not the least doubt, on the Continental Establishment, and I do recommend them to his Honor the Secretary of the War Department fair Claimants xxx within the manning of the Act of Congress of the 18th day of march 1818 making provision for the officers and soldiers of the Revolutionary War who are in Indigent Circumstances.

Pasonally affirmed the xxx George Thurston xxx George Thurston of the 2 Day of February 1819 and made solemn oath to the above and within xxxx xxx or deposition

Randal Wells Justice Peace


Here is the Pension paperwork of James Stansbury mentioning Captain Randall Wells of Hopkinton.

James Stanbury Pension Paperwork Page 28

James Stanbury Pension Paperwork Page 28


In order to obtain the act of Congress, passed June 7, 1832.

State of Rhode Island   County of Washington

On this 4th day of September 1832 personally appeared in open court, before Judges or Justices of the Court of (Crossed out) now sitting, James Stanbury – – a resident of Hopkinton in the county of Washington and State of Rhode Island, aged 79 years, who being first duly sworn to law, doth on his oath make the following declaration, in order to obtain the Act of Congress passed June 7, 1832.

That he entered the service of the United States under the following named officers, and served as herein stated

Was born in the town of Hopkinton February 1759. We have no other XXXX But our family XXX, XXX always lived in said Hopkinton before and since the Revolution. Entered the service of the Revolution 1776 a substitute for one Jonathan Rogers. Went on the shores of Point Judith and Boston Neck Long Island Sound under Capt George Thurston, Col Jesse Maxson Three months then was drafted west under Capt Randall Wells. I don’t recollect whether Col Maxson or Noyes Command. Served X months I xxx went as a substitute for my brother John Stanbury. Went to New London State of Connecticut. Was in and about Fort Trumbull and the shores of Long Island Sound. Served six months under Capt Christopher Brown – Then I went a substitute for John Williams and served three months in Fort Griswold on Groton Bank. My time was xxx xxx before the xxx of Col Ledyard xxxx Capt William Lathom – Then afterward served as a substitute for a Mr. Homes in Fort Griswold under Capt Hull. Served one month.

He hereby relinquishes every claim whatever to a pension or annuity except the present, and declares that his name is not on the Pension Roll of the Agency of any State.


The Hopkinton, Rhode Island Militia May 24, 2014

Below is a list of the men who served in the Second Company of the Hopkinton Militia in the Revolutionary War. If you see any X’s in my transcriptions, they are a placeholder for words/names I wasn’t able to make out.

2nd Company Hopkinton RI Militia Page 1

2nd Company Hopkinton RI Militia Page 1

2nd Company Hopkinton RI Militia Page 2

2nd Company Hopkinton RI Militia Page 2


A List of the 2 Company in Hopkinton

Capt George Thurston Jr

Lieut Matthew Randall

Ensign Randall Wells

Sergt Joseph Thurston

Sergt Clark Maxson

Sergt Joseph Maxson

Sergt XXXXX Sweet

Daniel Peckham, Clerk

Caleb Potter, Drummer

Willet Clark, Fifer

Nathaniel Kenyon, Armor

Corp John XXXXX

Corp Stephen Potter

Gideon Allen

XXXXX XXXXX (Name is unreadable. Might be David something)

Joshua Coon

William Coon Jr

John Coon Jr

John Vilot

Benajah Crandall (Probably really Benjamin Crandall)

Peleg Crandall

David Crandall

Stephen Randall/Crandall (I’m thinking it looks like Randall but seeing as he comes after a Crandall and before a Randall, it could go either way)

Joshua Randall

Clark Reynolds

Matthew Lewis, XXXX Lewis, Asa Lewis, Randall Lewis, Paul Lewis, Green Lewis

Job Thurston

John Burdick Jr, Jabez Burdick, William Harris Burdick, Amos Burdick

Perry Maxson

Thompson Wells

Joshua Collings, Jabez Collings, Nathan Collings, John Collings

Peter Kenyon Jr, Arnold Kenyon, George Kenyon, Wells Kenyon

Stephen Clark

XXXX (Henry?) Clark

Joshua Lanfier Jr, Rawlan Lanfier

Joshua Tanner, Nathan Tanner

Isiah Button, Rufus Button, John Bullon

Timothy Larkin

Francis Palmer, Nathaniel Palmer

Moses Hall

Ephraim Rogers, Amos Rogers

Benjamin Colgroove

John Stanbury (?), John Stanbury Jr (?)

Asa Hill

Briant Cartwright Jr

Samuel Witter

Joshua Nie

Daniel Crumb

Samuel Perry

Caleb Nie

James Braymon, Henry Briteman, Thomas Briteman, Joseph Briteman

David Davis

Jeffrey Champlain

Jonathan West

William XXXXX

Caleb Church

Elijah XXX (Miller/Millard?)

Amos Patersson (?)

Edward Harvy

Woodmon Wilber, Clarke Wilber

Joseph Cole Jr

Phineas Crandall

David Nichols


Nathan Crandall

Abraham Utter (?)

Elijah Hall, Ezekiel Hall Jr

Simeon Perry Jr

Stephen XXXXX (Millard?)

Asa Coon

Paul Maxson

Benjamin Langothy (Probably really Benjamin Langworthy)


Nathan Larkin


Here is part of the Pension Application of Elizabeth Palmer, Widow of John Palmer.

John Palmer Pension Application Page 29

John Palmer Pension Application Page 29


John Palmer Pension Application Page 33

John Palmer Pension Application Page 33

John Palmer Pension Application Page 34

John Palmer Pension Application Page 34

Application of Elizabeth Palmer widow of John Palmer

Dated 3 February 1853

A coppy of the declaration of John Palmer

states that in January 1776 he inlisted into the services of the United Stated at Hopkinton county of Washington and State of Rhode Island under Capt Abel Tanner, Lieut Randall Wells and Ensign Joseph Maxson of the term of six months and marched with the forces to South Kingston and at Boston neck and near those places and continued in the service in guarding the shores six months and was discharged in South Kingston in July 1776 after serving the full term of six months as a private. His regiment was commanded by Col Joseph Noyes and Major Thomas Sheffield. Col Ray Sand commanded a Regiment part of the time at the time near him. That in April 1776 he was drafted into the service of the United States at Hopkinton aforesaid under Capt Elnathan Wells in a regiment commanded by Col Jesse Maxson and removed to South Kingston and Boston Neck where he continued for the full term of three months and was discharged at South Kingston as a private discharged in July 1777, that in May 1778 he was drafted at Hopkinton aforesaid and went into the service of the United States as a sergeant under Capt Abel Tanner in a Regiment commanded by Col Jesse Maxson and xxxx to South Kingston Boston Neck and continued at and near these places three months and a half and was discharged at South Kingston the first of August or first of September 1778 after serving the full term of three months and a half was on the main land at Point Judith through the engagement on Rhode Island in XXXX XXXX that in May 1780 he received a XXXX and commission from the Governor of the state of Rhode Island and in the same month to xxx in May 1780 he continued as Lieutenant in the service of the United State at Hopkinton County of Washington and State of Rhode Island under Capt Abel Tanner, Joseph Maxson was Ensign. Cal Shenbenn (?) commanded the regiment he marched with the forces to Warwick and xxx to Bristol to Tiverton Howlands ferry and to Foglan and continued at Foglan Howlands Ferry and near their in guarding the shores six months and was discharged at Howlands Ferry in November 1780. They had no general engagement in this o any xxxx while he was in the arm. There was no continental officers stationed with him but xxxx Col Ray Sands, Col Jesse Maxson, Col Joseph Noyes and Col or Major Charles Dyer were all in the militia service while he was in the service of the United Sates


Deciphering the handwriting gave me a bit of an education. What looked like “Now lands Gerry” turned out to be Howlands Ferry. Which in googling different permutations of that I came across this:  http://www.preservation.ri.gov/pdfs_zips_downloads/survey_pdfs/portsmouth.pdf

State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations Preliminary Survey Report: Town of Portsmouth (January 1979)


In 1640, the town voted to establish a ferry, which operated at the narrows of the Sakonnet River between Portsmouth and Tiverton. Eventually it became known as Howland’s Ferry after the family which operated it through most of the eighteenth century. The Bristol Ferry, established in 1680 between Portsmouth and Bristol, was one of the most important in Rhode Island, affording direct communications between Aquidneck and Providence, and a tavern and a wharf at a public landing were established in the seventeenth century.

Okay, that explained Howlands Ferry. It was figuring out that the “F” in ferry was really an “F” and not a “G” as it looked to me that lead me to figure out that what looked like “Gagnon” was really “Foglon”. After a little googling, I found that there is a place called Fogland Point south of what was Howlands Ferry. Located on the mainland, it juts out into the water. Google maps has 3 Rod Way/Fogland Point Road as the one road that leads out this outcropping of land.


I had to look up what is referred to as the “engagement on Rhode Island” and when I googled it found this image:

The Engagement on Rhode Island

The Engagement on Rhode Island


Using the date given as the date of the Engagement, I found the following on Wikipedia and surmise that what they’re really talking about is The Battle of Rhode Island

The Battle of Rhode Island, also known as the Battle of Quaker Hill and the Siege of Newport, took place on August 29, 1778. Continental Army and militia forces under the command of General John Sullivan were withdrawing to the northern part of Aquidneck Island after abandoning their siege of Newport, Rhode Island, when the British forces in Newport sortied, supported by recently arrived Royal Navy ships, and attacked the retreating Americans. The battle ended inconclusively, but the Continental forces afterward withdrew to the mainland, leaving Aquidneck Island in British hands.

The battle took place in the aftermath of the first attempt at cooperation between French and American forces following France’s entry into the war as an American ally. The operations against Newport were to have been made in conjunction with a French fleet and troops; these were frustrated in part by difficult relations between the commanders, and a storm that damaged both French and British fleets shortly before joint operations were to begin.

The battle was also notable for the participation of the 1st Rhode Island Regiment, a locally recruited segregated regiment of African Americans. It was the only major military action to include a racially segregated unit on the American side in the war.





Randalls Wells Muster Roll for the Hopkinton Militia May 23, 2014

In honor of both Memorial Day and the publication of my latest book, I thought I’d use this weekend to get back to work on the military records I have of Randall Wells and the Hopkinton Militia from the Revolutionary War.  When I was originally gathering these records I was in the midst of writing my books and so never really gave them the attention they deserved.  So I’ll be working on transcribing some more of them and we’ll see what gems we can uncover.  To start with, here is his Muster Roll.  He is listed as an Ensign in the 2nd company (Hopkinton) Rhode Island with Capt George Thurston Jr.

I say in honor of the publication of my books becuase if you’re not aware, this very Randall Wells is a main character in the novel series I’m publishing.  I just published the third of my five novels and they are available as e-books on Amazon.com.  They are called The Purity of Blood series and can be found by typing either that or my name, Jennifer Geoghan, in the search box on Amazon.

Muster Roll of Randall Wells of Hopkinton, RI

Muster Roll of Randall Wells of Hopkinton, RI

Page 2


Headstone where you’re not buried and none where you actually are … only in my family … May 21, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — jgeoghan @ 7:35 pm
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My great grandaunt, Corinne Edgerton Stillman (1855-1902), daughter of Phineas Crandall Stillman and Orpha Crandall has a strange situation.  Here is her headstone in Alfred Rural Cemetery, in Alfred, NY.

Corinne Edgerton (Stillman) Rudiger Alfred Rural Cemetery

Corinne Edgerton (Stillman) Rudiger Alfred Rural Cemetery

Corinne Edgerton (Stillman) Rudiger Alfred Rural Cemetery

Corinne Edgerton (Stillman) Rudiger Alfred Rural Cemetery

Now, Corinne is not buried in Alfred Rural Cemetery, but her sister Amelia whose stone she shares is.  Corinne is actually buried in Section 196, Lot 28587 of Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, NY along with her husband John Max Rudiger (1857-1933).

But … Corinne has no headstone where he body is actually buried.  Neither does her husband John.  The only specific stones belong to John’s parents John Max Rudiger Sr and his with Amanda Crandall.

Here’s his stone in the family plot in Green-Wood Cemetery:

Rudiger Plot in Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, NY

Rudiger Plot in Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, NY

So the question is, why?  I kinda feel bad for Corinne that there’s no maker for her grave.  I have to wonder why her husband, who died many years after her, didn’t buy one for her.  Was it for lack of money?  Was he lazy and just never got around to it?  Was it something else I’d never guess in a million years?  I’m going to ponder this one for a while, I can tell already.


The Publication of my 3rd Novel – The Rogers family one.

Filed under: Uncategorized — jgeoghan @ 6:02 am

I’m happy to announce that Book Three in my series, The Blood that Binds, The Purity of Blood Volume III, is now available for purchase on Amazon.com. I can’t tell you how happy I am to have one more book under my belt.

As many of you know, I’ve written a series of novels that have a main character similar to myself.  Not only is she an amateur genealogist, but she’s also a member of my Wells family.  Outside of herself and her parents, every member of the Wells family mentioned is a real ancestor of mine.   Books I and II in the series focus on the Wells family history, but Book III is the Rogers side of the family.  So, if you’re a member of the Rogers family out of New London County, CT, you may enjoy my telling of our families story (in my own unique way).  I warn you though, these are sequels and if you just read Book III and not I and II, you’re going to be a little a lot confused.

To celebrate the publication of Book III, I’m putting Book I on special until Sunday May 25th. It is FREE!! All you have to do is download it off of Amazon. And of course leave me a good review on Amazon after you read and love the book. (Insert Shameless plug)

Seriously, I hope you take advantage and get Book one (The Purity of Blood Volume I) I’ve poured my soul into these books and have been gratified and humbled by the reaction I’ve received from my readers. A few years ago I started writing and in a million years never thought the day would come when I’d be pursuing a career as a writer. I always knew I had the talent, but I think I lacked the drive. Somewhere, I have no idea where, that drive just finally materialized in me. It was as if I suddenly at the age of 43 discovered what I wanted to be when I grew up. I guess I’m a later bloomer. But the point is that I’ve bloomed, Baby!

The cover is an image of The Old Lighthouse Museum in Stonington, CT where a lot of the action in the book takes place. A big thank you to the good people at the museum for graciously allowing me to use their fine establishment in my novel.  I hope you enjoy it!!

The Blood that Binds: The Purity of Blood Volume III

The Blood that Binds: The Purity of Blood Volume III

The Blood that Binds: The Purity of Blood Volume III

After a tumultuous first year at New Paltz University, summer’s finally here for Sara Donnelly … but she’s not exactly excited about it. Heading off to spend the next few months at home in Wading River should sound like a good thing, but it also means she’ll be parted from her fiancé Daniel until the fall.

After only a few weeks at home, the summer takes an unexpected turn when Sara’s pulled from her job to spend the remainder of her break with her brother Roger up in Connecticut. But something’s amiss in the small museum where Roger’s just been hired as the new curator. When one of his employees mysteriously goes missing, Sara happily comes to Roger’s rescue by agreeing to fill the vacancy. But spending time with Roger isn’t the only reason she’s happy. From the small museum inside the lighthouse perched on the edge of the sea, it’s only a short drive to where Daniel will be spending his vacation at her grandfather’s house in Rhode Island.

Shortly after her arrival in Stonington, Sara finds things in the small seaside borough of Connecticut are not exactly what she’d expected. Roger’s unwittingly fallen into company with an ancient secret society bent of defending their ancestral lands from any and all vampires. Over his head and worried he’s unexpectedly brought Sara into harms way, Roger quickly realizes his shadowy new boss has designs on his beautiful little sister.

Caught in between two worlds, Sara has to find a way to keep the love of her life alive as well as decide exactly how much she’s willing to divulge to her big brother about the vampire that’s about to marry into the family.



Photo of Russell Wells (1780-1859) son of Randall Wells of Hopkinton May 20, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — jgeoghan @ 7:20 pm

So as a follow up to my post of a few days ago, I heard back from the person I contacted on ancestry.com about the photo of Russell Wells, my third great grandfather.  They said that they had an original copy of the photo and that it appeared to have been taken at the same studio in Westerly as the photo of Russell’s son Jonathan that they had.  Written on the back of the photo was Uncle Russell and since there aren’t any other candidates for an “uncle” Russell, I think it’s a safe bet this photo is of Russell Wells (1780-1859) Son of Randall Wells and husband of Lydia Rogers Crandall.

If anyone out there has other photos of Russell that we could compare this one to and get some confirmation, that would be wonderful.  I’d love it if all the distant Wells cousins could share their old photos here.  If you have any old photos that I could post, that would be wonderful.  Please feel free to email them to me at jegeoghan@hotmail.com.

Here’s the photo of Russell Wells.  Can anyone out there confirm/deny this is him??


Russell Wells