Wells Family Genealogy

The study of my Family Tree

28 Sept 2015: Hopkinton, RI Fall Festival September 28, 2015

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I thought I’d pass on to those of you who live in the RI/CT border area that the Hopkinton Land Trust is sponsoring a Fall Festival in Hopkinton on October 10th.

Since I’ve donated to the Land Trust I guess I’m on their email mailing list.  Sure wish I was up there to go, but living in Florida, it would be a but much of a trip for the day.  However, it’s a wonderful cause and if you can attend, I’m sure you’ll have fun and also be supporting a good organization, not to mention spending some time in Hopkinton, the ancestral home of the Wells family here in America.


Have fun for me!  I sure wish I could go as I wrote a Fall Festival into my novel, The Purity of Blood, which is the book with Randall Wells and Lois (Maxson) Wells as characters in it.  Fall Festivals here in Florida just aren’t the same.  After all, palm trees don’t change color in the fall 😦



26 Sept 2015: The Marriage Certificate September 26, 2015

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Not that it has anything to do with Wells Family Genealogy, but today I thought I’d share with you a great book I read this past week.  It’s called The Marriage Certificate by Stephen Molyneaux.


Why am I recommending it?  Because it’s a lot of fun to read if you’re a die-hard genealogist as I am.  Here’s what it’s about:

What prompts amateur family historian Peter Sefton to buy the marriage certificate he sees on display in an antiques arcade? Is it because he thinks it should be private and he wants to remove it from public view? Is it the prospect of researching the individuals named upon it? Or is it something else, happenstance perhaps, which leads him towards a potentially lucrative discovery and a long forgotten family secret?

When John and Louisa marry in January 1900, who could foretell how their lives and those of ambitious Rose, the bridesmaid, and confident Frank, the best man, would be changed that day?

Follow their story, through Peter’s research and find out how, with investigative skill and a certain amount of luck, Peter finds himself pulled along to uncover a series of sad and tragic events … events, which connect the marriage certificate to a modern day mystery. But … there’s a complication. In his quest to complete the family tree he learns that he has competition. It’s not just a matter of pride; there’s money at stake too. Should he the amateur give up, or can he really beat the professionals at their own game? 

I read it as an ebook on my Kindle, (Click here for link to book on Amazon) but the author has a website and it looks like you can buy hard copies of the books as well.


The novel takes place in England which was an added bonus for me.  It was really interesting to get the inside scoop on how the English trace a family tree.  What resources they consult, etc.

Check it out!



20 Sept 2015: Rev. John Maxson 1714-1778 September 20, 2015

I’ve been spending my morning cleaning out my email inbox.  Between emails about my books and genealogy stuff, I tend to get backed up and have to spend a day untangling the web that is my in and to do boxes.  While weeding through my emails from findagrave.com, I found that someone had fulfilled a photo request for a great family member of mine, the Reverend John Maxson, born 1714 and died 1778.

Here’s the photo they kindly provided:

John Maxson: 1714-1778 Common Burying Ground, Newport, RI

John Maxson: 1714-1778 Common Burying Ground, Newport, RI

Isn’t it a lovely example of the carving used at the time?  John is buried in the Common Burying Ground in Newport, RI.  He is my First Cousin 7 times removed (Being the son of Johnathan Maxson and Content Rogers.)  John married Tacy Lucy Rogers (1715-1753) who was my 5th Great Grandaunt (being the daughter of Jonathan Rogers Jr and Judith Potter)

Here’s a link to John’s memorial page on Findagrave.com:  CLICK HERE FOR LINK

On the Rogers sides of their families John and Tacy were not only husband and wife, but first cousins as well.  I keep telling my friends that marrying your first cousin wasn’t uncommon back in the 1700’s but they don’t believe me.  I site that in Jane Austen’s books it happens quite a bit, but still … they think it’s weird.  Weird it is today, but back then, not so much.

Anyway, as I said above, I got this photo through findagrave.com.  If you’re familiar with this site, as a member (which is free) you can go on a memorial of a person and if there is no photo of their headstone posted, you can request a photo.  when you do this, it sends the request out to other members on the site who live in the area of that cemetery.  If you’re lucky, one of them will trot on over to the cemetery and take a photo that they will then post on the site for you.  You then get an email alerting you that your request has ben fulfilled.  Hence my cleaning out my email inbox and find old John there.



19 Sept 2015: Visiting a Texas Cemetery on Vacation September 19, 2015

I went on a research trip/vacation to Texas last week.  It was research for my latest book project.  As I’ve mentioned before I write novels as a side job.  Despite the fact that this was a working vacation, I couldn’t help but drive into a cool looking cemetery when I happened upon one in Bandera, Texas.  Located in Bandera County in Texas Hill country, Bandera claims that it is the Cowboy Capital of the World.  So naturally when I pulled into the cemetery I was kinda hoping for some headstones in the shape of cowboy hats, boots or maybe even some horses.  I was sadly disappointed.

The first thing you notice driving onto the cemetery is that there isn’t a spec of green grass to be seen.  It’s all dead, but that isn’t surprising given the heat.

Bandera Cemetery, Bandera Texas

Bandera Cemetery, Bandera Texas

I did see some peculiar things in this my first Texas cemetery.  Like this poor stone strangled out by a cactus bush!  Don’t see this a whole lot in New England!

A prickly situation ....

A prickly situation ….

Here was an interesting stone.  From a distance I thought it was an odd-looking boulder, but upon closer inspection, it turns out it’s a headstone, but the stone says it’s from Maunalei Lanai Hawaii.



Here was a neat little enclosure.  I’m still not sure if the chain is supposed to be purely decorative of it it’s supposed to serve a purpose.  Still interesting though.


Here was an interesting juxtaposition between the rustic and refined.


I’d never seen this sort of half barrel over a plot before.  Saw a bunch of them here though.


I’d never seen this where the main Surname stone for a plot rested on top of the stones naming the individuals in the plot.  Saw this a few times as well.


Just thought I’d share these pictures from my vacation.  It was interesting to see how similar and yet how different a cemetery in a different part of the country can be from what we’re so familiar with in New England.