Wells Family Genealogy

The study of my Family Tree

3 July 2018: Let’s be Social! July 3, 2018

Filed under: Wells Family — jgeoghan @ 7:34 am
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Hello friends and family members,

As an offshoot of this blog, I decided to start a facebook group for members of the Wells family of Hopkinton, Rhode Island. Why? Well, I get to post lots of great info on my blog, but I’d love to also have a forum where we can be more social and share information back and forth more freely. I will still continue to keep up my blog as usual, but will also be posting tidbits on the facebook group as well.  I encourage you to join the group and get to know the other members of our family!

Here is a link to the group on Facebook. The name of the group is “The Wells Family of Hopkinton, Rhode Island.” You can also type that in the search box in Facebook to find us.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/2107003152906080/

-Jennifer

 

26 April 2018: The Will of Randall Wells of Hopkinton, RI April 26, 2018

Filed under: Wells Family — jgeoghan @ 12:55 pm
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Continuing with the theme of wills, here is the will of Randall Wells, my 4th great grandfather (and vampire hero of my novel series: The Falling Series.) Randall was born 1747 and died 1821 and was married to Lois Maxson. His father was Edward Wells’ whose will I published in my last post.

Here is the will as a PDF. Click on the link here: Will of Randall Wells

The will is only 3 pages long so I also inserted it as JPGs at the very bottom.

From: Hopkinton Probate Book 5, Pages 168-170, Dated July 2, 1821. Probate book is located in the Hopkinton Town Clerks Office.

Be it remembered that I, Randall Wells of Hopkinton in the County of Washington and State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.. Yeoman, being aged and infirm as to bodily health but of sound disposing mind and memory, and calling to mind the mortality of my body and knowing that it is appointed to all men once to die and feeling desirous to set my house in order do make and allow this my last Will and Testament that is to say first and principal of all I commend my soul to the hand of God who gave it, and my body to the earth to be buried in a decent Christian burial at the discretion of my Executors herein after to he named, and as touching such worldly Estate as it has pleased God to bless me with in this life I give and dispose of the same in the following manner and form.. .that is to say                

Item — I give and bequeath to my beloved daughter Sylvia Wells, wife of Joseph, fifty dollars to be paid to her in three year after my decease by my Executors herein after to be named…

Item – I give and devise to my beloved son Randall Wells the use and occupancy of my dwelling house, and garden belonging thereto formerly owned by John Maxson Esq. Deceased so long as he shall wish to live in said house and occupy the same himself and no longer. I also give and bequeath to my son Randall Wells, fifty dollars to be paid to him in three years after my decease by my Executor herein after to be named.

Item — I give and bequeath to my beloved son Harris Wells eleven acres of the west end of the farm wherein I now live bounded westerly by Land which I deeded to the said Harris and Thomas V. Wells, northerly by Land of Hannah Reynolds, southerly by a highway and easterly by a line which shall be parallel with that on the west, said line to be so far east as for said Lot A contain eleven acres to him the said Harris his heirs and assigns forever with his performing what I may herein after assign upon him to do.

Item — I give and devise to my son Harris Wells ten acres of the South east part of the farm wherein I now live bounded easterly by the highway. Southerly by land of Joseph Potter, and westerly by Land of the said Potter and perhaps by land of the heirs of Rogers Crandall deceased and northerly by a line parallel with that on the south so as to contain ten acres.

Item —I give and devise to my beloved sons, Russell and Harris Wells, all the land which I own that formerly belonged to John Maxson Esq not herein before disposed of and the Recursion of so much of the same as I have herein before given to my son Randall to be owned or divided equally between them including what of said farm I have hereto deeded to the said Russell.

Page 169

On my will and meaning is that what I have deeded to the said Russell should be deducted from his share in the said land to them his heirs and assigns forever.

Item – I give and devise to my said sons Russell and Harris Wells all the land which I own in the upper end of this town near the long bridge (so called) equally between them to them, their heirs and assigns forever.

Item – I give and devise to my beloved son, Russell Wells all the farm where I now live which lies XXXX of the lands belonging to the heirs of Rogers Crandall deceased and likewise XXX of a line from the Northwest corner of said Crandalls land to the Southwest Corner of a small XXX lot on the opposite side of the land running from my house westward thence northly about as the wall and fence now stand on the west side of the lane to Harris Wells land.  I mean all the farm westward as aforesaid which I have not herein before given away all which I give to the said Russell his heirs and assigns forever.

Item – I give and devise to my said son Russell Wells five acres of WaaXXXX lying in the northeast corner of my homestead farm bounded easterly on the highway northenly on land of Benjamin Green to be sets of in a lot of equal sides as near as may be to him his heirs and assigns forever.

Item – I give and devise to my said son Russell Wells the undivided one half of my now dwelling house XXX where I now live to him, his heirs and assigns forever.

Item – I give and devise to my beloved son Thomas V. Wells all the rest and residue of my real estate not herein before given away to him his heirs and assigns forever with his performing what I shall herein after assign upon him to do.  My will is in case what my daughter Sylvia Wells should become in a destitute situation by having left a widow or otherwise and should choose to come into these parts to live again in such case my will is that my said son Thomas V. Wells XXX to her fifty dollars in consideration of what I have herein before given to him.

Item – I give and bequeath to my said son Thomas V. Wells my best desk and best case of drawers and XX wooden bottomed chairs one large fall leaf table and one good bed XX and CC two blankets and two sheets and one good XX XX bolster and pillows to be delivered to him in a convenient time after my decease by my executors herein after to be named.

Item – I give and bequeath to my beloved son Barton Wells two dollars to be paid him in three years after my decease by my executors herein after to be named.

Item – I give and bequeath to my grandson Randall Wells, son of Barton, one hundred dollars to be paid him in three years after my decease by my executors herein after to be named

Item – I give and bequeath to my three sons (Viz) Russell Wells, Harris Wells and Thomas V. Wells and to my grand daughter Sylvia Wells, daughter of Russell all my beds, bedsteds + cords, bedding XX not heretofore given away to be equally divided between them.

Item – I give and bequeath to my son Thomas V. Wells my young boy mare.

Item – I give and bequeath to my three sons (Viz) Russell Wells, Harris Wells and Thomas V. Wells all the rest and residue of my household furniture, farming utensils, live stock XX together with all others of my personal estate whatever it may be (not herein before given away to be equally divided between them, which together with all the other XXX and requests herein before made to them the said Russell, Harris and Thomas V. Wells are on conditions that they pay equally between them all my XX XX-XX and funeral charges and in all matters concerning the same perform according to the true intent and meaning of this my will.

Lastly – I hereby constitute and appoint my three sons VIZ- Russell Wells, Harris Wells and Thomas V. Wells my sole executors of my last will and testament hereby revoking and annulling all other and former wills by me made and establishing and confirming this and this only as my Last Will and Testament.  In testimony whereof I do hereunto set my hands and seal this second day of July in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty one 1821 –

Signed, sealed, published and declared

by the said Randall Wells as and for his

last will and testament in the presence                             Randall Wells   Seal

of us who at the same time at his request

in his presence and in the presence

of each other hereunto set our names

as witnesses to the same.

Benjamin Green

Caleb Maxson

Christopher C Lewis

 

Will of Randall Wells, Page 1

Will of Randall Wells, Page 2

Will of Randall Wells, Page 3

-Jennifer

 

24 April 2018: The Will of Edward Wells (1694-1764) April 24, 2018

As I continue through my paperwork, I came across a bunch of Wells’ wills for me to post. Here is the will of Edward Wells (1694-1764) as recorded in the Hopkinton, RI Probate books. These books are located in the Hopkinton Town Hall. Below is a transcription as well as a PDF of the original document. Edward was married to Elizabeth Randall (1704-1772) and was the son of Thomas Wells Jr. and Sara (Maiden name unknown.)

Below is a link to click on to open a PDF of his will:

Will of Edward Wells

From: Probate Book 1, Hopkinton, Rhode Island

The Will of Edward Wells – Page 72

In the Name of God Amen, I Edward Wells of the town of Hopk

inton in Kings County in the Colony of Rhode Island in New England

yeoman Being weak of Body but sound of mind and memory Bles

sed be God for the same and calling to mind the mortality of my body.

and that it is appointed for all men once to die and I do ordain this

to be my Last Will and Testament in manner so followeth (Viz)-

first and Principlely I Recommend my Soul into the Hands of God that

gave it and my Body to the Earth to be decently buryed at the –

Direction of my Executor Hereafter Named & as Touching such world

my Estate as it hath pleased God to Bless me with I give and Dispose of

the same as followeth (Immimit?) my will is that my just Debts and for

such charges be first paid out of my estate. – – – –

Item – I give and bequeath to my wife the Best room in my house and a pri

vilege in the cellar & a good bed & furniture and my mare & one cow and

the (xx) of one third of my real estate During her Widowhood –

 

Item-I give and bequeath to my son Randall Wells, thirty acres of land

where my house stands bounded as followeth Beginning at a corner of a wall

near the southeast Corner of a stable & from thence Running North to Land

belonging to the heirs of Matthew Green & from thence running Easterly

to my Northeast corner and from thence Bounding by John Robinson

and to the heirs of Joseph Wells Land and Still westerly so far that a

North Line to a fence now standing westerly from the first mentioned

Bound will make thirty acres and from thence Running by said fence

Easterly to the first mentioned Bounds unto him & his heirs and assigns for

ever. Except a privilege I give to my son Thomas in the East End of my

Shop and cellar & a privilege to work in the shop a privilege to the( L?)

of the House to make a Wood pile so long as He or his family shall Think

it proper to live in Said House.. -.

 

Item-I give to my son Edward the house he now lives in, in conside

ration of his paying to my widow the sum of one hundred pounds

lawful money to him, his heirs and assigns forever, further I give to

my grandson Stephen Wells twenty four acres of land more or less

Bounded as followeth Beginning at the corner of the stable first mentioned

and from thence running westerly as the fence now stands, until it comes to

the meadow & from thence running to the same course to a white oak tree in

the meadow to the west of a brook and from thence the same Course

to a fence and from thence bounding by said fence to Cpt. Reynolds,

his land and to bounding easterly by said Reynolds and running south by

my son Randalls south to the first mentioned boundary-

further-

Page 73

Further I give my grandson Stephen Wells a lot of land –

by Ashawog River Beginning at the river where William Clarks

line comes to the river between Mr. Clarks land and David Wells

land and from thence to run east so far that at North line –

to Cpt. Reynolds his land, will make thirty acres including

the above mentioned Lott of land unto him the said Stephen

Wells, his heirs and assigns forever. Excepting a quarter of an acre

of land whare the burying place now is for the provision –

of a burying place- – – –

 

Item-I give and bequeath to my son David Wells a Lott of

land by Ashawog River Beginning whare Stephens lot begin

and thence running East by said lot to the edge of the

upland and from thence Running Southerly to the River so as to

make six acres & so bounding upstream by Said River to the

first mentioned bound unto him the said David Wells his heirs

and assigns forever. And all the Remainder of my Homestead

Farm I give to my two sons Matthew Wells and Thomas Wells

to be equally divided both in quantity and quality between

them unto them their heirs and assigns forever —

 

Further I give to my son Matthew Wells. two third of my –

right in the Town of Westerly in Co-  Lyddyes his Patant

unto him, his heirs and assigns forever and the other third of the

above mentioned Right I give to my son Randall Wells, his –

heirs and assigns forever.—

 

item-I give to my daughter Sarah Wells a priviledge in my

chamber to work in & Keep her things in so long as she –

shall live single. Likewise, [give to my three daughters-

each of them a cow – – further my will is that my daug

hter Sarah have part of my house hold goods to make

her equal with her sisters, they having had some of my estate

already and all the remainder of my household goods I give –

to my wife and three daughters to be equally divided between them.

 

Item-I give to my five sons the whole of my farming

utensils & carpenter tools to be equally divided between them-

further my will is that the remainder of my stock after

my debts & funeral charges are paid be equally divided –

between my children, five sons and three daughters- –

Likewise I give to my son Randall my Smith Tools.

Page 74

I likewise Do Constitute ordain and appoint my wife-

Elizabeth Wells Executrix & my son Edward Wells Executor to this

my last Will and Testament. Ratifying this and no other to be my

Last Will and testament and I do hereby Disanull, Revoke & –

Disallow of all other Wills or Bequeaths heretofore made by me in

Westerly. Whan of I the Said Edward Wells have hereunto set my

hand and seal this 20th Day of December in the fifth year of

his Majesty Reign George the Third King of Great Britain &

AD 1764. Signed, Sealed, Published, Pronounced & Declared

by the Said Edward Wells to be his Last Will and testament..

In the presence of­

Edward Wells       {Seal}

Joshua Wells

Thompson Wells

John Maxson Jun.

 

 

December 17, 1765 – Appeared in Council,

Joshua Wells, Thompson Wells and John Maxson Jun.-

The witnesses to the before written will and made an oath

that they saw the Testator, Edward Wells, sign, Seal, Publish

and Pronounce said will to be his Last Will and Testament

and that he was in perfect mind and that they signed as

withesses in the presence of the Testator at the same time.

Before Hezekiak Collins — President

 

Voted that the before written will be excepted proved

and the same be recorded. —

Witness Joshua Clarke Council Clerk

 

The before written will is a True Copy of

the original Will.  Just Joshua Clarke Council Clerk

Recorded December 18, 1765

Page 75

The following is a True Inventory of the personal

Estate Rights and Credits of Mr. Edward Wells-

Late of Hopkinton Dua(?) preputed to an inventory

On the 4th & 5th Days of December AD 1765

 

In Lawful Money                                                                                                  £              S              D

 

7 Stacks of flay                                                                                                      15            12            –

I stack of oats                                                                                                        2              5              –

Comstalks & flax                                                                                                   1              5              –

Seed Hay & Hay Seed                                                                                         1              2              –

Corn 55 Bushels                                                                                                    8              5              –

Casks & Syder in the cellar                                                                                 3              –               –

Potatos, pumkins & turnips                                                                                0              6              –

I Mare at 12L-                                                                                                        12            –               –

2 pair oxen at 12L-10/xx(?)                                               ______                    25            –               –

5 Cows at 4L-                                                                                                         20            –               –

4 Yearlings (or yearlands) a 45/                                                                          9              –               –

2 Calves a 20/                                                                                                        2              –               –

3 fat hogs & 4 shoats                                                                                           8              –               –

7 geese & six fowls & 7 sheep                                                                            3              8              –

I cart & 2 plows & one choice pin                                                                     4              –               –

2 chains, 2 copyoaks & grindstone                                                                   1              14            –

Bitte wedges & sling yoke                                                                                  0              6              6

1 harrow & ox bowes                                                                                           0              14            0

Blacksmith, tools, bellows & stake                                                                    5              0              6

Carpenter tools                                                                                                     1              14            –

2 hoes and one iron doge                                                                                    0              1              6

A right in one syder mill                                                                                      1              5              –

I old saddle at 12/1 dito at -70/new                                                                    4              2              –

I foot wheel a 12/1 Dito a 11/                                                                              1              2              –

Page 76

Brought forward                                                                                                  £              S              D

one bed stead 2/ Shoemaker tools w2/-                                                           0              4              –

1 coverlet a w/3 bedsted & 2 cord a 25/                                                           1              15            –

1 bed a 3 o/ Some Beding a 43/                                                                          3              13            –

1 Case of Drawers a 42/ 1 seder tub a 10/-                                                       2              12            –

Some Beding and one bed and furniture                                                         7              15            –

I stand a s/ Sunday glass & Earthan a 8                                                          0              11            –

Been & tub a 6/1 cask and Ria & c a/10/                                                          –               16            –

1 Churn & flaxseed                                                                                              –               6              –

5 rakes a 5/ 4 Sycthes & tacklin a 16/                                                               1              1              –

Sole leather a 8/ ox bows a 3/                                                                             –               11            –

upper leather a 1/ 6 and one fenct a 1/                                                             0              2              6

Loom & Tacklin                                                                                                   1              11            –

Sail 8/ 1 set of spokes a 5/                                                                                  0              13            –

1 chest a 3/ 1 pair hand iron a 8/                                                                         0              11            –

1 pair worsted comb a 10/                                                                                    –               10            –

1 box Iron and heeters (or hides?)                                                                     0              4              –

1 flat a 5/ 1 hatchet a 11/ 1 pr.stelyand 10/                                                        1              6              –

1 pair hand irons a 12/ 1 (?) hook a1/              ______                                   0              13            –

1 pair tin tongs a 3/ 2 trammels a 14/                  ______                                0              17            –

1 flue a 3/ 1 warming 12/                                                                                      0              15            –

1 frying pan a 6/  3 candlestiks a 1/6                                                                  0              7              6

10 chains a 24/ 1 table a 11/ 1 Do a 6/                                                                2              –               –

1 looking glass a 12/ 1 case & bottles a 9/                                                        1              1              –

2 chests a 12/ a piec-                                                                                            1              4              –

1 small chest of drawers a 5/ 1 box a 2/                                                             –               7              –

1 Box a 5/ 2 brass kettles a 27/                                                                            1              12            –

2 iron pots a 11 / 1 tea kittle a 12/                                                                       –               11            –

1 large Bible and other books a /12/                                                                  1              3              –

Earthen Ware & Glass –                                                                                      –               12            –

1 pipe box a 2/ tobaco knife and stool                                                               –               5              –

1 pilyon cloth a 6/ 1 state a 8/ card a 2                                                              –               8              8

2 bridles a 7/ 1  grid iron a 1/ 1bell a 4/                                                              –               12            –

Spools a 2/ 1 woolen wheels a 8/                                                                       –               10            –

1 pair hand bellows 1 morter 1 prikle calk                                                         0              4              –

Page 77

Brought over                                                                                                         £              S              D

3 plates, I tub and pigens all at 8/                                                                      –               8              –

sundry old things                                                                                                 1              11            –

1 barrel a 2/  Sundry old things more       _____                                          1              10            –

Pewter ware a 25/                                                                                                  1              5              –

4 Silver spoons                                                                                                     2              16            –

Sundry Old things a 3/ 2 old baskets all a                                                        –               5              –

1 calk a 2/  10 wood a 13/                                                                                     –               15            –

1 pawcat book & cask Equal to                                                                          2              19            11

worsted & yarn a                                                                                                  0              16            –

1 spring trap a 3/ Sundry old things 20/                                                            1              3              –

2 boxes & 1 pair shears                                                                                        –               3              6

1 bed & furniture                                                                                                  9              5              –

sheets & pillow cases                                                                                          2              15            –

1 meal bag a 2/  Towels and Table cloth                                                           –               4              –

1 bed and furniture                                                                                               1              10            –

1 chest and box                                                                                                     –               12            –

2 cedar tubs a 12/ 1 bed and furniture                                                               5              6              –

sundry old things                                                                                                 0              13            –

cash due                                                                                                                 1              17            10

Due on debts                                                                                                         7              17            8

3 Pitchforks                                                                                                            0              7              –

Chest                                                                                                                      –               9              –

2 Napkins a 6/                                                                                                        –               6              –

1 Calves Skin & 4 sheep skins a 8/                                                                    –               13            –

1 chest a 6/  tobacco a 3/                                                                                     –               9              –

Butter Honey and Shugar                                                                                   –               5              –

side of leather                                                                                                        –               10            6

Coffey pot a 2/                                                                                                      –               2              –

1 knife, old spindle & whir                                                                                  –               1              9

1 shilling money & pair leather taps                                                                  –               1              9

To sorn Rum, I yard stick 2 oz indigo                                                                –               3              –

To one (Chup pref?)                                                                                             –               4              –

216          3              7

Thomas Wells Jun. } Inventory

Joseph Green

Page 78

Addition to the Inventory of the Estate of Edward Wells deceased.

Voted in Council to be recorded February 11th 1766 –

                                                                                                                                £              S              D

(Viz) Four sheep a 7- per sheep                                                                         21,6         3              7

                                                                                                                                                8              0

to 3 sheepskin pelts a— 2 money due by book                                                              4              0

to Baskits and kniting needles                                                                          0              1              6

to 4 pairs of stockings a—                                                                                 0              10            0

to 2 pair britches                                                                                                  0              4              0

to five shirts a                                                                                                      1              7              0

to debts due equal to eighteen Pounds (16.2) Lawful money                      18            16            2

to three jacoats and 3 Coats                                                                              7              2              0

to 2 pair britches and one great coat                                                                2              10            0

to Leather Boor legs and one pair old shoes                                                  0              4              0

to one handkerchief and 2 hats                                                                         2              6              0

to 7 1/2 of Tabaco                                                                                                                2              6

£235        5              9

Addition Recorded February 16th 1766

 

Hopkinton appeared in Council December 17, 1765.

Elizabeth Wells Executrix and Edward Wells Executor to the

Last Will and Testament of Edward Wells of Hopkinton deceased

and made oath that they had and would present all the –

personal Estate of Said Edward Wells Deceased in order to ______

and likewise appeared Thomas Wells jun. and Joseph Green

the pricer of said deceased Wells Estate and made oath that

they had put a True Estimate upon the personal Estate of Edward Wells deceased according to ready money

price and if anything more was presented to their view

that they would do the same sworn in Council—

Before Hezekiah Collins Pres.-

 

The before written inventory is a true copy

Of the original inventory & recorded December 18th

AD 1765 Just Joshua Clarke Council Clerk –

 

Hope you enjoyed it! Interesting stuff!

-Jennifer

 

22 April 2018: A Hopkinton, RI Wells Lot Update April 22, 2018

I’ve spent most of my day sorting through the boxes of genealogy info I have in my closets. Yes, it’s time to finally organize. And no, I’m not terrible excited about it.  But you should be because I’m looking for all sorts of new items to post here.

Here’s an interesting item I discovered today. It’s a survey I did of the Wells Lot (Hopkinton Historical Cemetery #25) home of Randall Wells and his wife Lois Maxson, my 4th great grandparents back on my 2012 Genealogy Road Trip.

A survey of the Wells Lot in Hopkinton, RI. Done Sept 2012 by me, Jennifer Geoghan.

That archaeology class I took in college finally paid off.  I remember one of the projects I had to do for that class was an archaeological survey of my dorm room.  Had to grid it out and draw the entire contents of my room (much to the dismay of my roommate, Laura.)  Much like I did back then, I walked back and forth, starting at what is on the above map, the bottom right and worked left.  When I got to the rock wall (the edge of the cem) I walked back to the far right and started again.  This is how the numbers work. Right to left, starting at the bottom.

First of all, you have to know you couldn’t do this sort of survey as the cemetery stands today. Back in 2012, there was moderate growth, but now the area is totally overgrown, like you can barely see any stones.  Here’s what I’m talking about:

Me, standing in the center of the lot in 2012.

Here’s me standing in the middle of the lot in 2012.  Note how you can see the ground.

Wells Lot – Oct 2017

Here is a shot I took this past fall (Oct 2017). The area is totally overgrown with some sort of pricker covered vines that have choked out most everything but the trees and stand waist-high. In the above photo you can kind of see the rock wall that runs on the left of my hand drawn map.

Overgrown … with a capital O!

DISCLAIMER: Please be aware that the Wells Lot is on PRIVATE PROPERTY. Although I tell you where it is located, I am not giving you permission to go on private property. Also be aware that the hunters in the area are usually drunk and shoot anything that moves.  OK, now I feel better.

One of the reasons I went to visit Randall and Lois’ graves last October was to collect the GPS coordinates for it.  Here’s the coordinates as collected by my phone:

When you enter these coordinates on Google Maps, this is what you see. What was a farmer’s field was a construction site when I was there last fall. Looked like they were building something down on Gray Lane.

So back to how I’m a bit of a geek for the survey I did. A circle with a T in it is a tree. A circle with a number in it is a headstone.  A field stone really as there are no inscribed headstones standing at this time.  I also noted the distance between stones. Since I forgot my tape measure, I paced it out so a foot is the actual length of my foot. I found 33 stones that I suspected might be field stones marking a burial, but I might be wrong on a couple of them. On my survey, you can see how many of them are in neat rows like any headstone in a cemetery would be.  Here’s what the large boulder at the bottom left of the map by the rock wall looked like in 2012:

Here’s what it looked like in 2017:

Not geeky enough for you? Well, I also photographed each stone with its number on the map. Here’s a few samples.  Can you find them on my map?

So who’s buried here?  We only know the names of three for sure and they are:

  • Randall Wells: 1747 – 1821
  • Lois (Maxson) Wells: 1748 – 1819
  • Elizabeth Pendleton: 1747 – 1819

They rest are a bit of a mystery. Personally, I think they are Randall’s family. The land would have been in the Wells family for a few generations prior to Randall. It’s entirely possible that his parents and grand parents are there with him. Sadly, the only thing we know for sure is that we’ll never know.

-Jennifer

 

15 Nov 2017: A mill with a Wells history November 15, 2017

I was just working on the project of filling in the gaps in the notes in my genealogy program database when I happened upon this reference below. It was in the notes I’d gathered for Ruth Wells, daughter of Thomas Wells and Naomi Marshall. Thomas and Naomi are my 7th great grandparents, Ruth my 6th great grand aunt. The funny part is I visited the Gilbert Stuart birthplace while on my vacation last month! …. but had no idea that Ruth and husband James Kenyon worked the grist mill next to the Gilbert Stuart house!

Thankfully, I took lots of pictures!

Here’s the reference:

Matthew James of New Hampshire and his known descendants: with the related families of Pugsley, Ivers, Wells, Davis, Rasmus, Alford, and Weller, by Markley, Janet James; Burnett, Mary Lou James, 2002, Page 211

RUTH 2 WELLS (Thomas 1), b. ______ mentioned in her father’s Will. Ruth mar. ca 1692 James Kenyon, Jr., of Kingstown and Westerly, RI. He was b. 4 July, and bp. 12 July, 1657 at Oldham Parish Church, Lancashire, England, the son of James (Sr.) and Ester (Smith) Kenyon.

Both James Sr. and Jr. were millers. James, Sr., had the first grant to the mill privilege in Washington Co., RI, a place where the artist Gilbert Stuart was born in 1755. James, Jr., was taxed in RI in 1687. In 1700 an earmark was granted him for his sheep. James, Jr., and Ruth were in possession of the mill in 1702 when they conveyed it to Joseph Smith. In 1706, “James Kenyon, Sr.” and wife Ruth deeded to George Thomas of “Conanicut” 36 acres for 25 pounds.

In 1722 James and wife Ruth deeded to Jeffery Hazard 300 acres and housing in South Kingstown for 800 pounds.He bought land in Westerly in 1723. He wrote his Will 18 March 1720 and it was proved in Westerly 4 May 1724. In it he mentions his wife Ruth and makes her and son Peter executors. [Howard N. Kenyon, English Connections and Genealogy of American Kenyons of Rhode Island, (1935), hereafter”Kenyon,” pp. 47-56.]

The gray wooden building to the right is the mill

Selfie with the sun in my eyes. Red house is the G.S. birthplace. Gray is the Mill

Awesome photo I took of the Mill.

Photo taken across the mill-pond created by the dam. Mill on left. House on right.

Looking down on the wheel from the bridge over the damn

An old mill stone.

Sorry, they don’t allow you to take photos on the inside of the mill.

-Jennifer

 

20 Oct 2017: What ever happened to the Carriage Manufactory? October 20, 2017

While on my vacation in Hopkinton, I went in search of the location of A.L. Wells & Co. According to their advertisement, they were the largest carriage manufactory in the state of Rhode Island.

It was located on Clarks Falls Road, just west of Main Street (Route 3) in Hopkinton City.  It was quite large and took up the lots of at least three or four of the current house lots you will walk past.

Here is the site of the manufactory today:

August Lewis Wells Sr. (the A.L. of A.L. Wells and Co.) lived in what we now call the Thurston Wells House, which is this lovely yellow house on Main Street in Hopkinton City.

When you’re standing on Clarks Falls Road looking at the site of the manufactory, if you turn around, you can see a side lane that leads right down to Augustus’ old barn.  You can see it as the yellow building way back there.

From the front page of the Narragansett Weekly 19 May 1859.   It reads: Wells Carriage Factory.  The above is a very correct view of the Carriage Factory of Messrs. A.L. Wells & Co., at Hopkinton City, R.I.  The main building is 112 by 23 feet, two stories high.  The wing is 35 by 19 feet, also two stories.  The sales rooms in the upper story of the main building is 86 by 23 feet and is kept stocked with every kind of wheel vehicle from a democrat wagon to a Prince Albert Rockaway.  The present proprietors have carried on their business in this place since 1850.  They employ generally about a dozen hands.  Their carriages are mostly sold in the vicinity, where a ready market is found.

Here is a new engraving of the factory and house I found.

-Jennifer

 

14 Oct 2017: Death, Taxes and the Wells family. October 14, 2017

Old Ben Franklin was right when he said death and taxes were the only things certain in life.  While on my vacation I came across this small, paper booklet from 1855 listing the “Valuation of Taxable Property in the Town of Hopkinton” for the year 1855. Quite a few Wells family members on the list.

Here are all the Wells’ on the list:
Wells Horace: Real Estate $0 … Personal Estate: $300 … Total: $300 … Tax: $0.96
Wells Thomas R.: Real Estate $1200 … Personal Estate: $2000 … Total: $3200 … Tax: $10.84
Wells, Thomas R & Co., machinery in Valley Mills: Real Estate $9000 … Personal Estate: $0 … Total: $9000 … Tax: $28.80
Wells Jonathan R: Real Estate $1200 … Personal Estate: $3000 … Total: $4200 … Tax: $13.44
Wells Russel: Real Estate $1700 … Personal Estate: $0 … Total: $1700 … Tax: $5.44
Wells Edward S.: Real Estate $300 … Personal Estate: $0 … Total: $30 … Tax: $0.96
Wells Edward S. Jr., and wife: Real Estate $0 … Personal Estate: $1700 … Total: $1700 … Tax: $5.44
Wells Henry M: Real Estate $2000 … Personal Estate: $1500 … Total: $3500 … Tax: $11.20
Wells Peter C.: Real Estate $2400 … Personal Estate: $0 … Total: $2400 … Tax: $7.68
Wells Betsey: Real Estate $700 … Personal Estate: $0 … Total: $700 … Tax: $2.24
Wells Denison: Real Estate $200 … Personal Estate: $600 … Total: $800 … Tax: $2.56
Wells Augustus Lewis: Real Estate $1200 … Personal Estate: $1500 … Total: $2700 … Tax: $8.64
Wells Silas C.: Real Estate $1700 … Personal Estate: $0 … Total: $1700 … Tax: $5.44
Wells William R.: Real Estate $0 … Personal Estate: $100 … Total: $100 … Tax: $0.32
Wells A.L. & Co.: Real Estate $200 … Personal Estate: $0 … Total: $200 … Tax: $0.64
Wells Thomas P.: Real Estate $200 … Personal Estate: $0 … Total: $200 … Tax: $0.64
Wells Albert, house and lot: Real Estate $700 … Personal Estate: $0 … Total: $700 … Tax: $2.24

Remember that there were two Wells’ families in Hopkinton at the time so folks like Denison, Peter and Albert are not related to my family of Jonathan R, Thomas R, Silas, Russel, etc.

So, who was the richest Wells in town in 1855? That would be my great, great grandfather, Jonathan R. Wells (1819-1864), with a total of $4200 in taxable property. This is for an individual as the highest taxes were actually paid by Thomas R. Wells Machinery in Hope Valley, a business, not an individual.

Jonathan Russel Wells

Russel Wells (1780-1859) son of Randall Wells and Lois Maxson, is on the list as well. His total estate came to $1700.00 and he paid only $5.44.

Other Wells’ in our family listed are:

Children of Russel Wells and Lydia Rogers Crandall:

  • Jonathan Russel Wells (Mentioned above)
  • Silas Crandall Wells (1813-1907)
  • Thomas Randall Wells (1816-1903)

Capt. William Randall “Bill” Wells (1816-1872) son of Randall Wells Jr. and Patience Coon.

Edward Sheffield Wells Jr (1793-1870) son of Edward Sheffield Wells Sr and Tacy Hubbard. (Note he is listed as Sr., not Jr. on the list.)

The children of Edward Sheffield Wells Jr and Deborah Hoxsie Lewis:

  • Augustus Lewis Wells Sr. (1820-1906)
  • Elizabeth Perry “Betsey” Wells (1825-1888)
  • Edward Sheffield Wells 3rd (listed as Jr. 1822-1893)

I find it odd that they published this book at all really.  I mean today, would you want the town to publish a book stating your net worth? Seems like privacy laws wouldn’t allow such a thing in 2017.

-Jennifer

 

21 Sept 2017: Seaweed Pudding probably tastes better than it sounds September 21, 2017

Today I continue my series of posts on the traditional local foods prepared by our ancestors in Hopkinton. Rhode Island isn’t called the Ocean State for nothing. Mom’s cousin Dorothy remembers her mother (Sylvia Wells, daughter of Williams R Wells and Pauline Stillman Wells) making pudding from seaweed they would gather off the beaches down near Quonny. This would be back in about the mid 1930’s. Although it seems this is a real thing, after scouring the internet I as only able to come up with one recipe for such a pudding called Blancmange.

Blancmange as defined by Wikipedia: “Blancmange (from French blanc-manger) is a sweet dessert commonly made with milk or cream and sugar thickened with gelatin, cornstarch or Irish moss(a source of carrageenan), and often flavored with almonds.”

Blancmange: A pudding made from Irish Sea Moss

  • 1/3 cup Irish Sea Moss
  • 2 cups of milk

Gather fresh moss on the beach. Rinse well in cold water and spread in the sun to dry.

When ready to use, soften 1/3 cup of moss by covering it in cold water for fifteen minutes.

Drain and add 2 cups of milk. Cook in a double boiler for thirty minutes without stirring.

Strain into a bowl or molds, and cool—it thickens only on cooling.

Serve with jam, light flavored cream, boiled custard, chocolate sauce, or fruit, fresh or stewed. The blancmange is rather tasteless by itself and depends on the sauce for flavor.

* * * * *

There are several different types of edible seaweeds that grow off the coast of Rhode Island that our ancestors probably harvested to use as food. Here are a few:

Irish Sea Moss – Contains carrageenan and is used to thicken and stabilize ice cream, puddings, cream cheese, cottage cheese, frozen yogurt, pie fillings etc.

Irish Sea Moss

Bladderwrack/Knotted Wrack/Rockweed – Used in between layers of New England clam bakes for flavor and steam.

Bladderwrack

Oarweed and Sugar Kelp are two varieties of kelp that grow in Rhode Island. Oarweed (or Kombu as it is called in supermarkets) is cooked and enjoyed in salads and soups. Sugar Kelp can be cut into strips to make an Asian seaweed salad.

Sugar Kelp

Sea Lettuce – Used in fresh salads.

Sea Lettuce

Now, who’s ready to go foraging down at the beach?  🙂

Have you ever tried seaweed pudding? if so, where and what was it like?

If you have a recipe for Seaweed Pudding you’d like to share, send it my way!

-Jennifer

T minus 9 days til I leave on my Rhode Island/Conn vacation!  YAY!

 

6 Sep 2017: Foraging for dessert on the beaches of Rhode Island. September 6, 2017

Today I continue my series on food traditions of the Hopkinton/Westerly, RI area. What did our grandmothers and great grandmothers cook? From what I can tell, they drew heavily on foods that grew locally or even in their own back yard. My mother’s cousin Dorothy (from the Wells side of the family), remembers her mother making jelly from Beach Plums which would grow down by the water. From what I’ve read, they sound like they taste bitter, so I’m wondering what this Jelly would taste like.

First, lets talk about exactly what is a Beach Plum.  For this, I’ll borrow some text from Wikipedia:

The beach plum, is a species of plum native to the East Coast of the United States, from Maine south to Maryland. … It  is a deciduous shrub, in its natural sand dune habitat growing 40–80 inches high, although it can grow larger, over 13 feet tall, when cultivated in gardens. The leaves are alternate, elliptical, 1.2–2.8 inches long and 0.8–1.6 inches broad, with a sharply toothed margin. They are green on top and pale below, becoming showy red or orange in the autumn. The flowers are 0.4–0.6 inches in diameter, with five white petals and large yellow anthers. The fruit is an edible drupe 0.6–0.8 inches in diameter in the wild plant, red, yellow, blue, or nearly black.

The plant is salt-tolerant and cold-hardy. It prefers the full sun and well-drained soil. It spreads roots by putting out suckers but in coarse soil puts down a tap root. In dunes it is often partly buried in drifting sand. It blooms in mid-May and June. The fruit ripens in August and early September.

The species is endangered in Maine, where it is in serious decline due to commercial development of its beach habitats.”

Beach Plums

Beach Plums grow on the shores of Long Island as well. My cousin Sharon did a report in grade school about cooking and included some information from my Grandmother (on the Geoghan side of my family.) She lived only a short distance from the Sound, in Mount Sinai, New York. Here is the page out of Sharon’s report that talks about Beach Plums.

Beach Plums. As mentioned in my Cousin Sharon’s grade school report on cooking.

Here are a few recipes for Beach Plum Jam that I found.

Beach Plum Jam

Wash beach plums.  Cook in water to barely cover until soft.  Strain through colander, add sugar, cup for cup, to pulp and juice. 1lbs. of lemon juice may be added if desired.  Boil until drops “string out”. Delicious with all kinds of meats.

Beach Plum Jam

Makes 4 cups

  • 4 cups whole beach plums
  • 4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup medium-bodied red wine, such as Merlot

Put a ceramic plate in the freezer to chill. Meanwhile, combine all ingredients in a 5- to 6-quart heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat.
Bring to a simmer so that the plums release their juices. Let cook 5 more minutes. Then pour mixture into a strainer set over a bowl, and press on the solids to extract the juice and fruit.
Return extract to heat and simmer, stirring often, 25 minutes. Reduce heat as needed to keep from boiling up. Remove the chilled plate from the freezer and spoon a small amount of jam onto it. It should thicken when it hits the cold. If it’s thick enough, stop there. If not, return the plate to the freezer and continue cooking the puree, checking it at 5-minute intervals, until it reaches the desired thickness (it should form a skin when chilled).
Pour into hot, sterilized jars to within 1/4 inch of the top, adjust lids, and process in boiling water 5 minutes. Let cool at room temperature and check seals.

_____

Have you ever tried Beach Plum Jelly?

If so, where and who made it?

What did you think of it?

I’m in search of a recipe for the sea weed pudding I’ve heard was another dish cousin Dorothy’s mother made.  If you have one stashed away in the back of a kitchen drawer, I’d love it if you could send it my way.

-Jennifer

 

30 Aug 2017: The case of the missing cemetery August 30, 2017

Filed under: Cemeteries,Wells Family — jgeoghan @ 2:34 pm
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The case of the missing cemetery.  It sounds like the title of a mystery novel in the vein of Nancy Drew or Sherlock Homes.  In this case, it’s a missing Wells Family cemetery in Ashaway, RI.

This past weekend I was up visiting my mom.  We went over to visit her cousin Dorothy who lives around the block.  We were talking about recipes and the produce they grew around the old Wells house when she started talking about this cemetery, one she was sure was a really, really old Wells family cemetery, that was located right off of Route 3 just south of the old Wells house (the one that was in Crandall Field.) When I showed her the area on Google earth, she pointed out the spot where it was.  I circled it in red.

Missing Cemetery should be located here.

She says that it was just south of the driveway to the house her father built, which is the one hidden by the trees in the google pic.

She also said it was surrounded by HUGE rocks, so tall she couldn’t see the inside of the cemetery.  (Mind you, she was a child at the time.) The cemetery was pretty sizable as well. About the size of a house lot. The stones, she thinks, were placed there on purpose to protect the cemetery.  I asked her if she remembered headstones, but she doesn’t. She said she never climbed up the rocks to look over them.

Right now, there is no physical evidence at this location to ever suggest there was a cemetery there at any point in time.  Dorothy remembers it being there around the time she lived in the house whose driveway is just north of Wells Street which would be around 1935. She couldn’t remember when the stoned disappeared. Dorothy says the rocks were very close to the road, easily visible to anyone passing by.  

I’ve searched through all my old photos of the Old Wells house to see if there were any signs of large stones in the distance.  Unfortunately, all the photos seem to be facing the other direction, north up Route 3, not south.

The question is, who’s buried in this cemetery? Dorothy seemed convinced it was a Wells family plot as it was on Wells land, land that had been in the family as long as anyone could remember.

So, anyone out there have any information about this cemetery? I’d LOVE to hear from you if you do. I’ve reached out to my friend, Lauri, who wrote the Hopkinton Historical Cemeteries book to see if she can lend a hand, but she’d never heard of it either.

-Jennifer

 

27 Aug 2017: The continuing search for the food of my family August 27, 2017

This weekend I continued my search for recipes the were regulars in the kitchens of my Rhode Island ancestors.  A reader of this blog suggested I should see if Indian Pudding, a Rhode Island staple of sorts, might be among the recipes in the Wells family cookbooks.  She was right, it was!  When my mother and I asked her cousin Dorothy about it, she remembered her mother (A Wells) did indeed make it. I also found a recipe for it in my grandmothers old cookbook as well.

Indian Pudding

Indian Pudding from my Grandmother’s old cookbook

  • ½ cup corn-meal
  • ¼ cup flour
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • ¼ cup Sugar
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ½ tsp Ginger
  • ¼ tsp Cinnamon
  • 4 cups Milk, scalded
  • 1 egg, well Beaten

Combine corn-meal flour, molasses, sugar, egg, salt and spices.  Beat thoroughly.  Add milk slowly, stirring constantly. Cook slowly, stirring constantly, until mixture begins to thicken.  Pour into well-oiled baking dish.  Bake in slow over (325 degrees) about 30 minutes.  Serve warm with cream or with lemon or orange sauce.  If desired, ½ cup of raisins may be added before pudding is baked.  8 Servings.

 

Here is the recipe Cousin Dorothy had in her cookbook. It included a few different sauces that could be put on top of the pudding as well.

Cousin Dorothy’s recipe for Indian Pudding

Makes 8 servings

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

Boil in the top of a double boiler over direct heat: 4 cups milk

Stir in ½ cup corn meal.

Place these ingredients over boiling water.  Cook them for about 15 minutes.  Stir into them and cook for about 5 minutes ¾ cup dark molasses.

Remove from heat. Stir in:

  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 well-beaten egg
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon

Pour the batter into a well-greased baking dish. To have a soft center, pour over the top: 1 cup of milk. Bake the pudding 1 ½ to 2 hours. Serve pudding hot with hard sauce, cream or vanilla ice cream. This dish is sometimes made with apples. In that case, add 2 cups of thinly sliced apples and use

 

Hard Sauce

Makes about 1 cup. The basic ingredients of hard sauce are always the same, although proportions and flavoring vary. In this recipe, the larger amount of butter is preferable.  An attractive way to serve hard sauce on cold cake or pudding is to chill it and mold it with a small fancy cutter – or to put it through an individual butter mold.

Sift: 1 cup powdered sugar

Beat until soft: 2 to 5 tablespoons butter

Add the sugar gradually.  Beat these ingredients until they are well blended.

Add: 1/8 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla or 1 tablespoon coffee, rum, whisky, brandy lemon juice, etc.

Beat in: 1 egg or ¼ cup cream.

When the sauce is very smooth, chill thoroughly.

 

Spicy Hard Sauce

Makes about 1 cup.

Prepare: Hard Sauce

Beat into it:

  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon cloves
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon sale
  • (Liqueur, to taste)

Chill.

 

Brown-Sugar Hard Sauce

Makes about 1 2/3 cups

Sift: 1 ½ cups brown sugar

Beat ½ cup butter until soft

Add the sugar gradually.  Beat these ingredients until well blended.

Beat in 1/3 cup cream slowly:

Beat in, drop by drop: 2 tablespoons dry wine or 1 teaspoon vanilla

Chill well.  Add for garnish: ¼ cup chopped nuts

 

So, does any out there have any memories of eating Indian Pudding when they were growing up in Rhode Island?

I did find a few Rhode Island restaurants that still serve it and plan on visiting them for samples while I’m up there in October. If you know of any places that serve it that I should check out, let me know and I’ll add them to my list.

As always, I’m looking for more traditional South County food to add to my recipe file for future testing.  I’ve heard tell that I should investigate Clam Cakes.  Any thoughts???  

Cousin Dorothy, who is 93 years old, remembers that back when she was a girl, they grew all sorts of produce in the area around Hopkinton and Westerly.  On the old Wells homestead (the current location of Crandall Field in Ashaway) they grew apples and pears and had a grape arbor. She remembers fields upon fields of corn and her mother making jams from beach plums, as well as a pudding from sea weed.  Never heard of sea weed pudding before.  Anyone out there heard of that one?

-Jennifer

UPDATES:

From Ronald: “Hi. I tried the Indian pudding from your grandmothers old cook book, and it was delicious.”  Thanks, Ronald.  I’m sure Grandma Wells would be happy to hear that!  I’m looking forward to picking me up some cornmeal while I’m up in RI on vacation in a few weeks.  I’ll be trying this recipe when I get home. -Jennifer

 

20 July 2017: Great Summer Read featuring the Wells Family … and it’s FREE July 20, 2017

Hello friends, fans and family.

Just wanted to let you know that the ebook version of FALLING for Death is free on Amazon until Sunday. This is the novel I wrote featuring Randall Wells, his wife Lois Maxson and a host of other Wells family members. It’s the first in a five book series but is also a full length, stand alone story.  If you’re a fan of Hopkinton, RI and the Wells Family and …. happen to like vampires, you’re in a for a real treat!

Check it out!

-Jennifer

 

20 April 2017: Randall Wells and Lois Maxson’s book has changed April 20, 2017

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll know that I wrote my 4th great grandparents, Randall Wells and his wife Lois, as characters into my novel series. I thought I’d announce that I have rebranded that series, giving it new titles and new covers.

I now introduce you to The FALLING Series.

As a promo for the new brand, book one in the series, FALLING for Death, is free on Amazon for the ebook version for the next couple of days.  Here’s the link.  Check it out and download your free copy today to see what Randall and Lois may have been like.

-Jennifer

 

29 Oct 2016: Celebrate the spookiness of Halloween with the Wells vampires. October 29, 2016

For those of you who have read my blog long enough, you know that not only am I a genealogist, but I’m also an author.  Among my novels is a series I wrote where I used my real life Wells ancestors as actual characters, mainly Randall Wells (1747-1821) and his wife Lois Maxson (1748-1819) of Hopkinton, Rhode Island.   To grant myself my fondest genealogical wish of meeting my 4th great grandparents, Lois and Randall, I took the facts we know of their lives and weaved a story around them, breathing literary flesh over those dry bones of the dates of birth, marriage, death.  Then I brought them ahead a few hundred years and made them living people in the modern age we live in today.

How did I do that?  Well … I made them vampires.  Each book in the five book series reveals more of their story, like peeling back the layers of an onion. So for Halloween, I thought I’d share with you a little of how their story begins to unfold in book one of the series, The Purity of Blood.

To set up the quote below, I will introduce Sara Donnelly, the protagonist of my novels.  Like me, she is also the 4th great-granddaughter of Randall and Lois, at least the literary versions of them.  It is through her eyes that we enter the hidden world of vampires that secretly coexists with the humans of the Earth.  But these vampires are not like the ones of popular culture.  Vampires are not immortal.   They can walk in the sunlight.  For the most part the are solitary creatures that have an innate need to hide their existence from the world.

In this conversation, Sara is talking to Daniel Bennett.  Daniel is the adopted son of Randall and Lois.  He is also a vampire, but though he is well over a hundred years old, he has never killed a human.  He was raised by Randall to be as close to human as a vampire can possibly be, and because of this unique lifestyle, they have extended their lives well past the accelerated aging most vampires experience.

Now read as Daniel explains the beginning of Randall and Lois’ back story.

The Purity of Blood, Vol I, by Jennifer Geoghan. Available now on Amazon.com

Excerpt from The Purity of Blood, Volume I, by Jennifer Geoghan

“So, Randall and Lois. You promised to tell me their story when there was time.”

“I did, didn’t I.” His smile faded a little. “It’s not a very happy one, are you sure you want to hear it now?”

“Well, give me the highlights; you can fill in the details some other time.”

He settled back in his chair and began.

“I guess I have to go back farther than just when Randall became what we are now. You should know that their marriage was arranged by their parents. In those kind of small isolated communities like Hopkinton, most of the time marriages were partnerships more than emotional relationships. Randall will tell you he fell in love with Lois the moment he first laid eyes on her. She, on the other hand, was a sensible woman and only agreed to the marriage because she thought Randall would be a good provider and partner in life. She didn’t love him, but she also didn’t think it was important that she did either.

“He married her knowing this, but he was convinced that in time she would eventually grow to love him. Her sensibilities and his expectations were more common than you would think back then. The lifelong journey together often took two people from strangers to friends, and from friends to lovers. This was what Randall hoped would happen for them in the end.

“Years passed and Lois was an excellent wife providing for all his needs, raising his children and supporting him in every way she could. But he knew she still didn’t love him the way he wanted her too. Still he loved her with all his heart and believed that someday she would return his love with her own.

“Their life went on like this for many years so I’ll skip ahead to 1819 when he was bitten. Randall was an older man when it happened, seventy-four. He had gone out of town for a few days to settle some business up in Providence, I think it was. He was travelling back to Hopkinton in his carriage when he came across what looked like a body in the middle of the road. He got down to see if he could help, but the body was a vampire lying in wait for him. He sprang up, attacked Randall then left him for dead deep in the woods.”

He paused when he saw the look on my face. “You’re wondering why the trap. Why not just drag him down off the carriage and kill him.

I shrugged my shoulders as I chewed.

“Vampires are people too, Sara.”

Then he kind of chuckled when he realized what he’d said. “They get bored and find new ways to capture prey. I have to assume that was why. Anyway, there in the forest, Randall went through his transformation. It took a couple of days he thinks, but you can’t keep track of time when all this is happening to you. The pain is too excruciating.”

“Do you think his attacker meant to leave him alive?”

“He doesn’t know and there’s no way to say for sure now.”

“What do you think?”

Daniel paused for a moment then said “Yes, I think it was probably on purpose. But I’m the only one who thinks so.”

Then he turned to watch a couple at another table kissing in the corner. Although I had no clue why, I think it was clear he didn’t want to talk about it anymore, so I changed the subject.

“So what happened next?”

“When he regained his senses he knew something was wrong. He felt the remains of the bite marks on his neck and when he held his hand up to his chest, he couldn’t feel his heart. Even though his throat burned with an overwhelming thirst he didn’t understand, none of it mattered, his only thought was for Lois.

“He ran back to the house only to find her sitting on the back porch waiting for him. She took one look at him and knew something was terribly wrong.

“He told her what had happened, that he’d been attacked and had woken up in the forest. Of course at this point he had no idea what had really happened to him. Then he reached out, took her hand and placed it on his chest so she could feel that his heart no longer beat.

“Did he look younger then?”

“Yes.”

“That must have freaked Lois out.”

“Yes, I believe it did.” He sighed, I think uncomfortable with the subject.

“So what happened next?” I asked as I twirled my fork around in my pasta.

“She started to cry and told him she didn’t want to be a widow. I think part of her thought he was dead already – some kind of a ghost. She broke down and told him how she’d desperately loved him for years, but had kept it hidden from him because of her pride. She’d thought that if she ever told Randall how much she loved him, that things would change between them. She said she wouldn’t be able to stand it if he ever tired of her and looked at another woman. She knew that by denying him what he’d always wanted most, her heart, that she’d kept him all to herself. And here in the end, she finally realized she should have confessed her love for him years ago.

“Randall was stunned, he’d had no idea. He said in that moment of revelation, he could feel the warmth of her hand on his bare chest. Swept up in his lack of understanding of what was happening to him, he felt her blood as it surged through her hand faster and faster, her pulse quickening under her emotions. He could hear her heart beating so loud and so strong. And in that singular moment, he realized that after all these years, it finally beat only for him. He said he’ll never forget how his eyes stared at her hand on his chest, and how he followed the blood in it up her arm until he looked up to see the desperate emotion that filled her eyes. That was when he lost control. The thought of a life without her overwhelmed him and … he bit her.”

Daniel paused for a moment, waiting for me to take in the enormity of what he’d just said.

“Suddenly realizing what he’d done, he dropped her and ran off, leaving her barely alive. He still didn’t know what he’d become, but he knew what he’d done to Lois, and unable to live with the knowledge of it, he fled.

Totally wrapped up in the story, I stared at Daniel.

“You’re not eating, please finish,” he softly urged.

I cut up a meatball and took another bite.

“So then what?”

“I suppose you could say that’s where their story really begins, but let’s save that for another time.”

He reached over and gently placed his hand on mine, and for a moment ran his thumb across my knuckles. It was the smallest of contacts, but even this small sensation generated a tingling down deep inside me. When I looked up into his eyes, he smiled, then pulled his hand back to pretend to take a sip of water as our waitress passed.

I was satisfied for tonight, but I wouldn’t let him forget to tell me what happened next. It would give me something to look forward to. Of course, I was also wondering how I was going to translate all this new information into my genealogy program. I’d have to give that some more thought as well.

I hope you enjoyed this spinet of my novel.  If you’d like to read the entire novel and the four more that follow to experience the entire story of Randall, Lois, Daniel and Sara, go to Amazon.com to purchase the books as either paperback of ebooks:

https://www.amazon.com/Purity-Blood-I-Jennifer-Geoghan-ebook/dp/B00J142WK2

The Purity of Blood, Vol I, by Jennifer Geoghan. Available now on Amazon.com

The Purity of Blood, Vol I, by Jennifer Geoghan. Available now on Amazon.com

-Jennifer

 

23 Feb 2016: Will the surnames Wells and Geoghan die out? February 23, 2016

Can a name die?

You wouldn’t really think so, but it’s surprising how close both my parent’s surnames have come to extinction. Reasons why? Mostly not enough sons having sons.

Can a name die

Let’s start with the Geoghans.

John Geoghan (My Grandfather) had five children:

  • Daughter
  • Son 1
  • Son 2
  • Son 3
  • Daughter

Son 1 had one son with the last name Geoghan

Son 2 had one son that does not have the last name Geoghan

Son 3 had two sons, one with and one without the last name Geoghan

So from John Geoghan, of his 12 grandchildren, 8 boys and 4 girls, only TWO BOYS have the last name Geoghan to carry it on to the next generation. Yep, you read that right, only two! Why only two of the four you ask? Those are two really long stories of family drama you wouldn’t believe!

Now let’s go back another generation to my Great Grandfather, Thomas Geoghan.

Thomas had six sons and one daughter. Of all of those children, the only one to produce a son was my grandfather John. So now my brother and cousin are left to carry yet another generation of Geoghans!

My brother has two boys and my cousin has one. So it’s up to those three boys to carry on the name Geoghan if we want to see it survive for our family line.

No pressure there!

Producing an heir ... it ain't just for royals anymore.

Producing an heir … it ain’t just for royals anymore.

So how about the other half of my family, the Wells side. I’m sorry to say they’re not fairing much better.

My grandfather, Williams Rogers Wells, had nine children, six boys and three girls. Here’s how he fared for name carrying male grandchildren:

  • Son 1: 3 sons
  • Son 2: No Children
  • Son 3: No Children
  • Son 4: 3 daughters
  • Son 5: 2 daughters
  • Son 6: 1 daughter

No pressure on “Son 1”, my mom’s uncle Everett Stillman Wells!

So how did Everett’s boys do?

  • Son 1: 1 son and 1 daughter (this son has 2 daughters) DEAD END
  • Son 2: 1 son and 3 daughters (This son has 2 sons and one daughter!!)
  • Son 3: 2 daughters

So it’s down to the two sons of Everett (son of James Wells) to carry on the Wells name!

yayitsaboyfront_1[1]

If you go back another generation in the Wells family, to Williams Rogers Wells’ father, Jonathan Russell Wells, Williams was the only son who produced any children.

If you go back yet another generation to Jonathan Russell Wells’ father Russell Wells, it’s not much better. Russell had three sons, Silas Crandall Wells, Thomas Randall Wells and Jonathan Russell Wells.

Silas had two sons, Wallace Ray Wells and Ray G Wells. Ray died when he was ten. Wallace Ray Wells had a son named Edward Gray Wells, but so far as I know, Edward only had one daughter. So Silas is a DEAD END.

large_itsagirl

Thomas Randall Wells had three sons. Sounds promising, but sadly they all died under ten years of age. So again, DEAD END.

You have to go back to my 4th great grandfather, Randall Wells (my personal favorite ancestor! Read my books to find out why!) to find a wealth of sons with sons. Randall had five sons. His son Russell (my ancestor) as we know only has two male descendants that carry the Wells name.

Randall Wells Jr doesn’t seem to have any living descendants bearing the Wells name. It is possible that the other three sons may have produced enough male heirs to carry on the name. More research on those branches of the family is necessary though.

Anyone looking for a project to take on???? 🙂

-Jennifer

Jennifer Geoghan, author of The Purity of Blood novel series and If Love is a Lie: A Partly True Love Story.

I’d love to hear from you! So click on “Leave A Comment” below and let me know what’s on your mind.

 

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

Filed under: Uncategorized — jgeoghan @ 8:10 am
Tags: ,

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.

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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 😦

-Jennifer

 

5 July 2015: Randall Wells: Making a Fictional Character out of a Real Person July 5, 2015

If you didn’t already know, I have two blogs.  This one and one that is dedicated to my career as a writer.  (https://jennifergeoghannovels.wordpress.com) It’s about what I’ve learned on my journey to becoming the world-famous novelist I’m destined to be (Keep your fingers crossed on that one 🙂 )  This morning, I was working on my post for my writing blog, and as finished, I realized I could just as easily use that post on this blog about the family.  So here’s a preview of tomorrow’s post on my writing blog:

Yesterday I talked about how I used my family tree on Ancestry.com to promote my book series.  Today I thought I’d talk about exactly how you take a person long dead and gone and pull them into the living.  No, I’m not making zombies in my spare time, I’m too busy writing for that nonsense.

Zombies?  Who’s got time to fiddle with that?

In my book series, The Purity of Blood, the general gist is that Sara, my protagonist, is a pure.  A pure is someone whose blood is especially appealing to vampires because of the lack of genetic impurities in  their blood.  This makes them tastier than your average human.  Because they’re pure, people in these families enjoy exceptionally good health, actually they never get sick at all and usually only die of old age.   I go into this more in the books, but suffice it to say, Sara’s family is one of these rare families.

because I’m a genealogist on the side, I love to study the members of my family tree in detail.  It was that dream of meeting some of my long dead ancestors that inspired me to write my novels to begin with.  Problem is, how do you talk to someone who died well over a hundred years ago???  Easy, make them a vampire.  🙂  So in my novels, I give Sara my exact family tree.  Same names, same dates, same everything.  I only changed the names of my actual parents, but other than that, everything I mention in my novels if pretty close to all the research I’ve done on my family tree for the last 25 years.

Exactly how do you do that?

So when I started creating the ideas that would be the crux of my novels, Randall Wells and his wife Lois Maxson were at the heart of it all.  Randall and Lois are my 4th Great-Grandparents.  For unknown reasons, I’ve always had a fondness for them.  Maybe it’s because the house that Randle built still exists today.  Maybe it’s because he’s a patriot ancestor of mine.  Who knows, but for whatever reason, if I could meet any of my ancestors face to face to have a sit down and get the real story of their lives, it would be Randall and Lois.

So enter The Purity of Blood novels …

The Purity of Blood Volume I by Jennifer Geoghan

How do you take real people like Randall and Lois and make them believable characters in a novel?  I mean, what do I really know about who they were as people?  These are the things that puzzle me, that I ponder when I work on my family tree.  Were my ancestors good and kind people?  Were they jerks?  Were they good husbands and wives?

Well, to start with, you start at the beginning, what we know for fact.

Randall Wells Sr.:  Born 30 Sept 1747 In Hopkinton, RI … Died the Fall of 1821 in Hopkinton, RI … Married Lois Maxson (1748-1819) in 1770.  Randall was the son of Edward Wells and Elizabeth Randall, also of Hopkinton for many generations.  Lois and Randall had 6 children.  History books of the area list Randall as a successful farmer with at least 148 acres.  He served in the Rhode Island assembly for a few years and was the Hopkinton Town Treasurer as well as a Justice of the Peace.  Military records show he served many years in the Hopkinton Militia during the Revolutionary War rising at least to the rank of Captain. In his will, he remembers all his children.

But there are more interesting facts that have made their way through time as well. Hopkinton town records books also say that “Voted that Randall Wells have License to sell all sorts of spiritous liquors in his now dwelling house for the space of 6 months from this day (November 1, 1773)”  Him and some other also formed the “Hopkinton Horse Insurance Company,” where you could insure your horse for $1 against theft.  I’m guessing that was the car insurance of the day.

So when I sat down and wondered how all this could tell me what kind of a man Randall was, I took into account the legacy of what he left behind with his children.   The most direct account I have of the legacy Randall left behind is from my Great Aunt Dot.  In here memoirs, she writes of her grandfather Jonathan Wells, who was Randall’s grandson.  She writes Jonathan was a kind considerate courageous man from my father’s point of view and judging from the strict way my father brought us up, yet tender and loving and full of care especially to the ill or competent.”  I like to think that since this tradition of child rearing was passed down to me through my mother and she was a Wells, that perhaps this was how Randall raised his children.  Is this true?  How’s to say, but I chose to believe so and made Randall that way in my novels.

So in my novels, Randall is a young man growing up in Hopkinton.  His father and brothers are all in the farming trade.  The same with Lois’ family.  But how would they have met?  Well, Hopkinton is a small town and probably would have been a small town back then.  However, they were a religious bunch and I have to assume probably didn’t socialize much with the neighboring families outside of church functions.   With this in mind, I wrote it that Randall had only been formally introduced to Lois on one occasion, but that he’d had a crush on her for years.  When he was old enough to marry, he and his father rode over in their carriage to the Maxson house and his father proposed the idea of an arranged marriage between Lois and Randall to Mr. Maxson.  Lois agrees, but she’s not in love with Randall.  She thinks Randall’s very handsome and a man with good prospects, but she only agrees to marry him because it’s a good match for her and she thinks Randall will be good to her.  Love?  Did too many folks marry for love back then?  I don’t know, but I have to imagine that many married in a small town like Hopkinton because it was a “good match.”  Besides, it makes for a better story if the learn to love each other.  Well, in this case, if Lois learns to love Randall, because he’s already head over heals for her.

In my novels, I try to progress the back story of Randall and Lois a little in each book.  When we first meet them, they have a strained and somewhat bizarre relationship.  How did they get this way?  What happened since they met, married, died, became vampires, and the next couple hundred years?  This is what you slowly find out.

What was the hardest part of writing the truth into the books?  Truthfully, it was writing around the fact that Lois dies first!   I hadn’t factored that into my original outline, but if I wanted to be faithful to the realities of their real lives, I had to do some creative thinking.  I have to say, given what I had to work with, I came up with some great reasons why the family WOULD THINK … Lois died first.  But did she???    Actually, in my books, Randall died and became a vampire before Lois did, but the family never knew it.

I really loved how I wrote scenes where Randall would reminisce for his fourth great-granddaughter about live in Hopkinton back in the late 1700’s/early 1800’s.  He tells stories about fighting in the Revolution,  about what life was like on the farm with Lois.  Lois tells the story of how she agreed to marry Randall and how she eventually fell in love with him.  She talks about raising their children and watching them grow, seeing them die, and then watching the next and the next generation of progeny bloom and wither.  Until she’s there talking to Sara, her 4th great-granddaughter.  What would that do to a person, to experience the joy of birth and to know you’d see that baby die?  That would have to take an emotional toll on even a vampire.

So these are some of the thing I thought about when brining Lois and Randall to life.  It’s a lot to consider and I pray that I did them justice.

-Jennifer

I Am Randall

 

 

4 July 2015: Wells items in the Narragansett Weekly July 4, 2015

Happy 4th of July all!  On this day I like to remember Randall Wells, my favorite patriot ancestor, my 4th great-grandfather who served in the Hopkinton Militia during the Revolutionary War.

Now on to today’s post.  Again while cleaning up my computer files this week, I came across a series of articles from the Narragansett Weekly.   To put them in context, I dug up a little information on this publication:

  • Title: The Narragansett weekly (Westerly, R.I.) 1858-1878
  • Place of publication: Westerly, R.I.
  • Geographic coverage: Westerly, Washington, Rhode Island
  • Publisher: J.H. Utter & Co.
  • Dates of publication: 1858-1878
  • Description: Vol. 1, no. 1 (Apr. 29, 1858)-v. 20, no. 51 (Mar. 21, 1878).
  • Frequency: Weekly
  • Preceding Titles: The Westerly echo, & Pawcatuck advertiser. (Westerly, R.I.) 1854-1858
  • Succeeding Titles: Westerly Narragansett weekly. (Westerly, Washington Co., R.I.) 1878-1899

Now that we know a little about the paper they come from, here’s the little tidbits I found this week:

From the Narragansett Weekly: March 3 1859

In the year 1757 the road from Potter Hill to Hopkinton City was laid out by a committee appointed by the Colony of Rhode Island. Several houses then standing in this vicinity yet remain. The red house on the corner, known as the “Babcock House,” and the old “Egypt house” now owned by Russell Wells, who is one of our oldest inhabitants… The old “Egypt” house is the same size that it ever was, but in shape a little different as the wind has sagged it to an angle of eighty-five degrees. I should say. I am inclined to think that it is one of the oldest houses in the state… The old house at Bethel was for a time occupied by the miller of the old mill. In laying out the road from the city of Potter Hill, the surveyors found no difficulty until they arrived at where is now a turn in the road, not far from Deacon Daniel Lewis’ before coming to the school house. Here was a field of potatoes, and to keep their course would be to go through them. The deacon’s grandfather Maxson persuaded the surveyor to go around his potato patch, as the distance would hardly be perceivable, but no sooner had they don so, when another obstacle presented itself. John Mascon (grandfather of Russell Wells before referred to,) owned and lived in the “Egypt” house. He was known as “Egypt John Masxon.” He raised large crops of corn, and sold quite large quantities every year; he gave this peculiar name to the place from this fact, and it is quite an appropriate one too, as a man was hardly ever known to go there to corn and come away empty… He met them and in not the smoothest language, gave them to understand that he was the king of Egypt, that the land they were then upon was his, and that he would not consent for a road just to be laid out. Finding that they were somewhat independent, and fixed too in their purpose, he somewhat softened down, and as night was coming on, invited, and rather insisted that they should go home with him and spend the night – they would be welcome, and after a good night’s rest would be better able to resume their duties…In the morning after a hearty breakfast the cloth was removed and the decanter set on. “Egypt John” bade his guests help themselves… there was no question in their mind but what the road should be laid out by Mr. Maxson’s house, and it was so laid out, and has so remained….”Should the reader in passing over this road hereafter, wonder why such a bend should have been made from the red house to the residence of Deacon Daniel Lewis, let him call to mind the bender enjoyed by that committee, one hundred and two years ago, in the old “Egypt” house. “Egypt John” has long been dead. “Peace to his ashes.” But could he have lived in these “degenerate days” what a political leader he would have been.

**********

From the Narragansett Weekly: May 6, 1886

An Historic House is being torn down at Ashaway. A correspondent of the Providence Journal tells the following story about the old house: The oldest house in this immediate vicinity, known as the “Egypt” house, is being torn down, having been vacant for some time, and being in a dilapidated state. It was at the corner where the road to Niantic (now Bradford, RI) turns from the old state road, and was sometimes called the Old Maxson house, from former residents. It is supposed to be 200 years old, as was the only house in this vicinity which had its great stone chimney built partly outside of the house. It is said to have acquired the name of “Egypt” from the fact that in the “Frosty Year,” 1814-15 when nearly all the Indian corn in this section was cut off by early frosts, a good crop was ripened on this farm, and people came from all directions for seed corn, even sending from Newport for it. It was once owned by a John Maxson, who at the time the state road was laid out is said to have induced the surveyors to make a sharp crook in it to clear his potato patch, by the persuasive eloquence of certain black bottles. It was last occupied by Mr. Silas C. Wells, whose son, Wallace, is having it torn down.

**********

From the Narragansett Weekly: 14 Mar 1859

A letter from “Pequot” (a pseudonym for someone) printed in the 14 Mar 1859 issue of The Narragansett Weekly states that this house was sold by Capt. Thomas Wells, brother to Randall Wells (and who moved to Muskingun Co, Ohio in 1789) sold the premises to Mr. Babcock. He quotes the following parody: “We from Egypt’s slavish ground, unto ‘HIO we are bound; But as we journey let us sing Halo-dantum to Musking!”… He further relates that Clark Wells, son of this Capt. Thomas Wells, remained behind: “This Clark Wells lived at the famous Egypt House, having married Betsey Maxson, the daughter of “Esquire Egypt John,” but died in early manhood. His widow went out to Ohio with her nephew, Barton Wells and there perhaps remained until her death.”… “I think I can nearly fix the removal of the old Red House from its first site to its present location. It had stood, as your correspondent remarks, upon the other side of the street leading to Egypt, a little distance from the road, and, as I have understood, with its back to the street, having been built before the road was laid out. The removal of the old house was an event in the history of the town, and called together much of the available cattle-power, curiosity, engineering, and, of course, the children of the neighborhood, to witness it. Mrs. Daniel Babcock, then a child of four or five years, was present, with other spectators, to see the moving. She was born in 1756. This would fix the event about 1770. But from some other evidence we can safely say it was in 1769, the very year George Potter removed to otter Hill… “Let me suggest to your correspondent that Deacon Babcock refused two thousand dollars for the premises more than half a century ago, when it contained less area than it subsequently did by additional purchase….”

**********

From the Narragansett Weekly: 16 Jun 1859

Letters from Ashaway- No. 9: … Randall Wells, who married Egypt John’s daughter {this was Lois Maxson}, was the last one for the family that lived there.

**********

From the Narragansett Weekly: 21 Jul 1859

Letters from Ashaway- No. 10: “Thomas Wells Esq., alias Capt. Tom, alias Rally Tom, after his brilliant and successful exploits in the war, returned to his native town, and pursued the avocation of farming at Wellstown. A few years later, he purchased the estate upon which the red house on the corner is located, where he lived up to the time of his removal to the state of Ohio, in the fall of 1791 (note: Thomas Wells died in 1790 in Ohio and his wife, Sarah (Clarke) died the winter of 1789/90 so this date of 1791 is wrong)

***********

Don’t forget, if you ever have any interesting family history to share, feel free to send it my way and I’ll be happy to do a post about it here on my blog.

Also don’t forget, I’m also an author whose last book was just released yesterday on Amazon.  Check it out!  It’s called “If Love is a Lie, Finding and Losing Love Online.”

If Love is a Lie, by Jennifer Geoghan.  Click on image for a link to the book on Amazon.

If Love is a Lie, by Jennifer Geoghan. Click on image for a link to the book on Amazon.

 

1 July 2015: City Directories (a look inside the Wells house of 1924/5) July 1, 2015

So have you discovered cities directories as a great resource into your family history yet?  I love them because you can really track people’s movements on the census off years.  Take this page out of the 1924-1925 Hopkinton, RI city directory.  It lists just about every adult with the last name of Wells in the town.  Handy, no?

1924-1925 Hopkinton RI City Directory

1924-1925 Hopkinton RI City Directory

The first Wells listed is Dorothy Pauline, school teacher.  She’s my Great Aunt and the only Wells of her generation I was ever able to meet.  I love how it says she boards with W.R. Wells.  That’s Williams Rogers Wells, her father.  I’m assuming “Boards” implies she was paying Dad some rent.  🙂

The same is said of my Grandfather, Elliot Wells, boarding with dad.  They must have taken this info for the directory before he got married in May 1925.

Williams, Dad, was probably about 70 when this directory went to press.  It doesn’t list an occupation for him so I’ll assume he’d already retired from being a “manufacturer” as he was usually listed.  He died the next year in 1926.  I’d always heard that my grandfather Elliot and his wife Florence stayed living with him at the Wells House, taking care of him until Williams passed away.  This seems to support that.

Strangely, the other son, my great-uncle Williams Jr. was not living in that BIG old house, but lived elsewhere with his wife.  They moved to California at some point and from what I understand didn’t return very often to RI.  For such a close-knit family, I’ve always found that odd.

So if you haven’t already looked, I highly recommend checking out these city directories.  I’ve found them for every decent sized city when I’ve looked.  Ancestry.com has a lot of them scanned and you can search for them easy enough.

Don’t forget, my latest novel, If Love is a Lie, comes out on Amazon in only TWO DAYS, this Friday.  Check it out!

-Jennifer

Only Two Days left until is Love is a Lie is available on Amazon

Only Two Days left until is Love is a Lie is available on Amazon

 

 

29 June 2015: Who are these old Men? June 29, 2015

A friend up in Hopkinton gave me a copy of this photo.  I can identify who one and maybe a second of the elder gentlemen of Hopkinton, RI are, but not the others.

Group of Old Men in Hopkinton, RI

Group of Old Men in Hopkinton, RI

Here’s who I can identify out of the photo:

This is Silas Crandall Wells (1813-1907) son of Russell Wells and Lydia Rogers (Crandall) Wells.  He’s my second great grand-uncle.

Silas Crandall Wells 1813-1907

Silas Crandall Wells 1813-1907

The other man I have a lead on is:  I was told his name was Randall R Wells, but I don’t have a Randall R Wells in my database or any Randall that would fit the dates of the photo.  I’m guessing it was taken pretty close to 1907 as that’s the year Silas (above) died.

Randall R Wells??

Randall R Wells??

So if anyone has any lead on who any of these men are, let me know (jegeoghan@hotmail.com) and I’ll update this post for all to see.

Thanks,

-Jennifer

PS: Don’t forget, my latest novel, If Love is a Lie, is going to be released on Amazon this Friday!!

Only Four Days Left!!! Until If Love is a Lie is released on Amazon!

Only Four Days Left!!!
Until If Love is a Lie is released on Amazon!

 

 

22 June 2015: Editing those old family photos June 22, 2015

Filed under: Wells Family — jgeoghan @ 8:16 am
Tags: , , ,

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while.  I’ve been devoting a ton of my spare time to getting my writing career off the ground.  I still work on little genealogy projects when I need a break from the work of being an independent writer and publisher.  This weekend I was working on findagrave.com adding info and family links to Wallace Ray Wells and his children.  I also work on email questions I get from this blog.  I’m always happy to try and help any Wells in genealogy distress!

So this week while trying to find the best way to edit photos for book promotional images, I came across a site that is great for editing family photos as well. It’s called picmonkey.com.  I highly recommend that you check it out.  Here’s a few photos I played with yesterday:

Before:

The little girl is my mom and the lady next to her in the glasses is my grandmother Florence (Weber) Wells

The little girl is my mom and the lady next to her in the glasses is my grandmother Florence (Weber) Wells

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After:

Wells family in a row

 

 

 

 

 

Before:

Children of Williams Rogers Wells: Forest, Elliot, Nathaniel and Dorothy

Children of Williams Rogers Wells: Forest, Elliot, Nathaniel and Dorothy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After:

Forest  Dot Ellio Nat ad dog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 May 2015: It’s been a long time … May 10, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — jgeoghan @ 8:51 am
Tags: ,

Hello,

It’s been a long time since I last posted on this blog.  Sorry about that.  I got majorly sidetracked with a few things.  Writing my novels is a big one.  I also had surgery a few months ago and it’s taken me a while to get back into the swing of things.

So anyone from the Hopkinton RI area recognize this house??

Hopkinton Postcard on EABY 5-10-2015I don’t know anything about the house, but found this postcard for sale on EBAY this morning.  It’s dated April 26, 1906 and it looks to say “Does it look old fashioned Out in the Napthar Launch in a hale storm  E.M.H.

Unfortunately there was no photo of the back or further description on the card on EBAY, but the title of the auction listing is “Real Photo Postcard of a House postmarked Ashaway RI.”

I googled “Napthar Launch” and found this on Wikipedia: A naphtha launch, sometimes called a “vapor launch”, was a small motor launch, powered by a naphtha engine. They were a particularly American design, brought into being by a local law that made it impractical to use a steam launch for private use.

But whatever it is, it’s part of Hopkinton’s past, so I throw it out there into cyber space to see if the house looks familiar to anyone in the area.  Just trying to preserve some of the town’s history.

-Jennifer

 

18 Oct 2014: Randall Wells’ Grist Mill on the Ashwog River October 18, 2014

Here is a land transaction I transcribed from photos I took at the Hopkinton Town Clerks office of the sale of a piece of land Randall Wells sold to Theodoty Popple for $225 dollars. The location of the land was somewhere on the “Ashwog River” (Now called the Ashaway River) is about all I know. Somehow I doubt the same White Oak, Black Oak, Red Oak, Maple Tree and pile of stones that marked the other boundaries still stand today for us to reference.

Besides containing a portion of the river, it was also very close to the highway as it ran through Hopkinton back in 1772. It says “bounded as followeth Beginning at a White oak tree standing on the West bank of Ashwog River and from thence running Near South to a Stake + stones by the bank of said river four rods south of the Highway”.  A rod is 16.5 feet, so if the point they are measuring is “four rods south of the Highway” it is only 66 feet from the highway.

************

Hopkinton Land Evidence Book #2, Page 357

To all people to whom these servants shall come greeting know ye that I Randall Wells of Hopkinton in Kings County yeoman for and in consideration of the sum of two hundred and twenty five good dollars to me in hand will and truly paid by Theodoty Popple of the same town County and Colony aforesaid yeoman the receipt where of I do hereby acknowledge myself there with fully satisfied contended and paid and have given granted and doby (?) these presents freely fully and absolutely given grant + bargain sell alien convey and confirm until him the said Theodoty Popple his heirs executors administrators + assigns forever a certain lot of land situate lying and being in Hopkinton aforesaid containing by estimation half an acre by the same more or less butted and bounded as followeth Beginning at a White oak tree standing on the West bank of Ashwog River and from thence running Near South to a Stake + stones by the bank of said river four rods south of the Highway from thence running Easterly Across said river to a Maple tree standing on the East bank of said river about five rods South of the afore said highway thence Near Southeast about five rods to a White Oak tree marked thence Near Northeast to the afore said Highway thence running across said highway to a stake + stones thence north about four rods to a Black oak tree with the top cut of thence near Northeast about five rods to a white oak tree from thence running near Northwest to a Red oak tree and from thence across said river to the first mentioned bound TO HAVE AND TO HOLD this said granted bargained premises with the Grist Mill + Dam + shop thereon standing + all other privileges and apparted xxxx to the same belonging on in any wise appertaining unto him the said Theodoty Popple his heirs and assigns forever except a highway that runs through said lot furthermore the said Randall Wells for my self my heirs Executors and administrators do covenant promise and grant to and with said Theodoty Popple his heirs and that before and until the ensealing here of I am the true sole and lawful owner of the before granted and bargained premises and am lawfully seized and possessed of the same in my own right as a good perfect and absolute estate of inheritance in xxx simple and have in my self good right full power and lawful authority to grant bargain sell + convey the same afore said and that the bargained premises and every part of the same is free and clear from all manner of incumbrances of what name or nature forever that might in any nature or degree make void this perfect deed — furthermore I the said Randall Wells for myself my heirs executors and administrators do here by covenant and engage all the before bargained premises unto him the said Theodoty Popple his heirs and assigns against the lawful claims or demands of any person or persons whatsoever forever hereafter to warrant secure and defend by the presents and Lois Wells wife to the said Randall Wells both for the consideration afore said giving xxx up and surrender her right of dower and power of thirds as in and unto the before granted and bargained premises unto him the said Theodoty Popple his heirs and assigns forever In witness whereof we have hereunto set out hands and seals the 31st day of March in the twelfth year of his Majesties reign George the Third King of Great Britain 1772.

Signed Sealed and Delivered.

Randall Wells (seal)     Lois Wells (seal)

In the presence of

John Lewis Jur      John Maxson Jur

Kings County xx personally appeared the subscriber Randall Wells in Hopkinton on the day and date above written and acknowledged the above and foregoing xxxx to be his voluntary act and xxx hand and seal thereto affixed before me.

John Maxson Jur Justice of the Peace

The above is a true coppy of the original deed and entered on record the 15th day of June 1772 by John Maxson jur Town Clerk.

*************

I though t this a curious statement:

“Lois Wells wife to the said Randall Wells both for the consideration afore said giving xxx up and surrender her right of dower and power of thirds as in and unto the before granted and bargained premises”

I did a little goggling and found this:  dower n. an old English common law right of a widow to one-third of her late husband’s estate, which is still the law in a few states. In those states the surviving wife can choose either the dower rights or, if more generous, accept the terms of her husband’s will in what is called a widow’s election.

This would seem to be the reason Lois signs this document. It is because with her signature she is relinquishing and future claim she might have on the land after Randall’s death.

Hopkinton Land Evidence Book #2, Page 357

Hopkinton Land Evidence Book #2, Page 357

Hopkinton Land Evidence Book #2

Hopkinton Land Evidence Book #2

 

 

 

17 Oct 2014: Randall Wells’ good will and natural affection October 17, 2014

While on my road trip, I stopped in the Hopkinton, RI Town Clerks office and was allowed to look at some documents in the Land Evidence Books.  Here is the transcription of one of Randall Wells’ land transactions, giving a piece of land to his son Russell.  Randall is my 4th great-grandfather and Russell is my third great-grandfather.  X’s denote words I wasn’t able to make out.

****

Town of Hopkinton, RI: Land Evidence Book, Volume 6: 1803-1815

To all People to whom these presents shall come greeting. Know ye that I Randall Wells of Hopkinton in Washington County in the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantation Yeoman for and in consideration of the love and good will and natural affection I have and do XXX my son Russell Wells of Hopkinton in the Town, County & State aforesaid Yeoman Have given and by these presents do give and convey unto him tho said Russell Wells and to his Heirs and assigns forever, a certain tract of land situated in said Hopkinton, Containing fifteen acres butted and bounded as follows. Northerly Easterly and Southerly by land belonging to Peleg Carr, Westerly by the Grantors Land – TO HAVE AND TO HOLD the said granted xxx is with all the privileges and Appurtenances belonging thereto to him and his heirs forever to his and them only benefit and use forever. And I the said Randall Wells of Hopkinton, do give and grant the above named premises clear of all incumberances whatsoever and do warrant and secure the afore granted premises unto him the said Russell forever. In witness whereof I have set my hand and seal this third day of December AD 1811

William Tanner                                 Randall Wells (Seal)

Job B. Clarke

Washington Se. At Hopkinton the day and date above written Personally appeared the within named Randall Wells and acknowledged the written instrument to be his voluntary Net & Deed hand & Seal before me —   Job B. Clarke Just Peace

The preceding is a true copy of the original deed and entered on record the 3rd day of December AD 1811 by Caleb Potter, Town Clerk.

Hopkinton Land Evidence Book

Hopkinton Land Evidence Book

Hopkinton Land Evidence Book

Hopkinton Land Evidence Book

 

 

15 Oct 2014: Hopkinton, RI Taxes for 1902 October 15, 2014

I was lucky enough to get a copy of the Hopkinton Tax Book and Town Treasurer’s Report for 1902.

Hopkinton Tax Book 1902

Hopkinton Tax Book 1902

Hopkinton Tax Book 1902

Hopkinton Tax Book 1902

Here’s what it had to say about the Wells family:

Hopkinton Tax Book 1902

Hopkinton Tax Book 1902

Williams R. Wells is listed with his mother Martha Ann (Rogers) Wells with holding of real estate valued $4500 for which he paid $36 in taxes.  Martha Ann is also listed separately with real estate valued at $3100 for which she paid $24.80 in taxes.  In 1902, the real estate Williams would have owned (although it might not have been the only real estate) would have been his house that was located in what is now called Crandall Field in Ashaway.

Wells House, Ashaway, RI

Wells House, Ashaway, RI

 

 

13 Oct 2014: The Mystery Cemetery ….. October 13, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — jgeoghan @ 7:07 am
Tags: , , ,

While on my vacation up in Hopkinton, my host and I came across this old negative of an unknown cemetery.  It’s a very old large format negative that I brought home with me to scan on my scanner.  Yes, I bought my scanner because it was the only one I could find that scanned old large format negatives.  Sometimes I think I should have ‘genealogy geek’ stamped on my forehead.

Since we’re unable to identify the cemetery, I thought I’d toss it out into the wide world of the internet to see if anyone can help identify it.  Here it is:

Unknown Cemetery Negative

Unknown Cemetery Negative

All I know is that it is somehow connected with Hopkinton.  It may either be in Hopkinton or connected with a Hopkinton Family.  There are a few clues to go by.  There are hills in the distance.  It has telephone/power poles that run along side it.  They may indicate the presence of a road or possibly railroad tracks.

If anyone has any ideas, let me know.  Keep in mind that this is an old negative and there may be more burials since it was taken so that grassy area may now be filled with other stones.

-Jennifer

 

12 Oct 2014: The Thompson Wells Lot #44 in Hopkinton, RI October 12, 2014

Filed under: Wells Family — jgeoghan @ 10:29 am
Tags: , , , ,

One of the cemeteries I visited on my vacation was the Thompson Wells Lot, Hopkinton Historical Cemetery #44. I have to say, if my friend Lauri hadn’t of taken me back there, I’d never have found it myself. It’s pretty far back into the woods off of Route 3 in Hopkinton. You also have to go in sort of a round about to get to it as there is a big gully behind it where they dug out gravel to make Route 3 an actual road way back when.

Although there are many burial markers in the Thompson Wells lot (approximately 19), the only ones with names are Thompson Wells (1746-1811) and his wife Elizabeth Palmer (abt 1749-1791). Thompson was the son of Thomas Wells 4th and Sarah Thompson and would have been my second cousin 5 times removed.   His great-grandfather was Thomas Wells Jr. who along with his father, Thomas Sr., was the first Wells to come to Rhode Island from Massachusetts.  (I’ll also note that I mentioned Thompson yesterday’s post about the voting of the Constitution.)

Here are some pictures I took of the cemetery:

Thompson Wells Lot #44: Front view of Thompson and Elizabeth's stones

Thompson Wells Lot #44: Front view of Thompson and Elizabeth’s stones

Thompson Wells Lot #44: Thompson's stone

Thompson Wells Lot #44: Thompson’s stone

Thompson Wells Lot #44: Elizabeth's headstone

Thompson Wells Lot #44: Elizabeth’s headstone

Thompson Wells Lot #44: Thompson's footstone

Thompson Wells Lot #44: Thompson’s footstone

Thompson Wells Lot #44: Elizabeth's footstone

Thompson Wells Lot #44: Elizabeth’s footstone

Thompson Wells Lot #44

Thompson Wells Lot #44

Thompson Wells Lot #44: Panoramic View

Thompson Wells Lot #44: Panoramic View

Thompson Wells Lot #44: Side view with field stones

Thompson Wells Lot #44: Side view with field stones

Thompson Wells Lot #44: Field Stones

Thompson Wells Lot #44: Field Stones

Thompson Wells Lot #44: Headstones up from, footstones behind

Thompson Wells Lot #44: Headstones up from, footstones behind

Thompson Wells Lot #44:  Me and Thompson

Thompson Wells Lot #44: Me and Thompson

Thompson Wells Lot #44: Side view with fieldstones in foreground

Thompson Wells Lot #44: Side view with fieldstones in foreground

Don’t mind my orange hat.  Apparently it’s hunting season in October and you have to wear orange to not be shot by hunters.  Lauri insinuated that many of the hunters have been drinking and judging by the amount of small empty plastic liquor bottles we saw on the ground as we hiked back here, I’d say she might be right.

So who else is buried here?  Well, since all the other stones are field stones, they’re most likely older burials than Thompson and Elizabeth’s.  Either that or they were too poor to be able to afford stones like they were.  If they were other Wells family members, his parents might be there as we don’t know where they are buried.  Unfortunately, we’ll never know.

 

 

11 Oct 2014: Road Trip Discovery. Wells family split over the Constitution October 11, 2014

Filed under: Wells Family — jgeoghan @ 10:25 am
Tags: , , , ,

While on my road trip last week, I stopped in the Hopkinton, RI Town Clerks office and noticed this framed piece hanging on the wall. On closer inspection I spotted my fourth great-grandfather, Randall Wells, on it.

Hopkinton Votes on the Constitution March 1788

Hopkinton Votes on the Constitution March 1788

Hopkinton Votes on the Constitution March 1788

Hopkinton Votes on the Constitution March 1788

Hopkinton Votes on the Constitution March 1788

Hopkinton Votes on the Constitution March 1788

Here is a transcription of the document:

At a Town Meeting in March xx 1788. A List of Voters with their Yeas & Nays Respecting the late proposed Constitution.

At a Town Meeting held in Hopkinton, in the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, on the XX Day of March AD 1788 – By Order of the Hon. – the Gen. Assembly of the State at their Sepion (?) held at Providence in February last. ———– (viz)——

The following are the names of the Freeman + Freeholders and inhabitants of Hopkinton aforesaid who voted that the late proposed Constitution for the United States be Adopted.——

Yeas —-

Joshua Clarke Elder

Xxxx Palmer

Francis West

William West

Thomas West

Thompson Wells

Elnathan Wells

Thomas Wells Jr.

Samuel Wells

Amos Wells

Henry Wells

Jonathan Wells

Hezekiah Babcock

David Coon

Joshua Coon

Joshua Coon Jr.

Abram Coon

Oliver White

The following are the names of the Freemen + Freeholders and inhabitants of Hopkinton aforesaid who voted that the late proposed Constitution for the United States be Negatived —-

Nays —-

Grideon Allen

Lawton Palmer

John Palmer

Lawton Palmer Jr.

Edward Wells

Thomas Wells 2nd

Matthew Wells

Randall Wells

Clarke Wells

Edward S. Wells

Hezekiah Carpenter

Daniel Carpenter

Joseph Larkin

Aaron Davis

Zephaniah Brown

John Brown

Christopher Brown

William Coon

Samuel Coon

Elias Coon

Thomas Coon

Benjamin Coon

Daniel White

Thomas Barber

Joseph Barber

Moses Barber

John Coon

Samuel Maxson

Samuel Maxson Jr.

*******************************

Here are my best guesses as to who the Wells’ above are:

Yeahs:

Thomas Wells Jr. (Probably Thomas Wells 4th (1723-1795) son of Thomas Wells 3rd/Phebe Greene)

Thompson Wells (1746-1811: Son of Thomas Wells 4th/Sarah Thompson)

Amos Wells (1760-1819: Son of Thomas Wells 4th/Sarah Thompson)

Henry Wells (1753-1825: Son of Thomas Wells 4th/Sarah Thompson)

Elnathan Wells (1737-1804: Son of Jonathan Sr/Elizabeth Maxson)

Jonathan Wells (1735-1807: Son of Jonathan Sr/Elizabeth Maxson)

Samuel Wells (1758-1809: Son of Ensign Joseph Wells/Thankful Theft)

Nays

Edward Wells (Probably Captain Edward Wells Jr. 1726/7-1798: Son of Edward Wells/Elizabeth Randall)

Randall Wells (1747-1821: Son of Edward Wells/Elizabeth Randall)

Matthew Wells (Either Matthew Sr 1735/6-1818 son of Edward Wells/Elizabeth Randall or his son Matthew Jr 1765-1852 son of Matthew Sr/Bridget Burdick)

Clarke Wells (1762-1796: Son of Thomas Wells/Sarah Clarke… Also Randall aboves brother-in-law as they both married daughters of John Maxson/Sarah Burdick)

Edward S. Wells (Edward Sheffield Wells 1765-1806: Son of Edward Wells Jr/Elizabeth Sheffield)

Thomas Wells 2nd (Probably Thomas Wells 5th 1755-1829 son of Thomas Wells 4th/Sarah Thompson)

For the most part, the branches of the family seem to stick together on their opinions. All except Thomas Wells 5th who votes Nay where his father and brothers vote Yeah.

You can see by the tally that the town of Hopkinton voted not to approve the Constitution. Don’t hold it against them, when I did a little research I found that the entire state voted it down, so Hopkinton seems representative of the State at large. According to Wikipedia, by 1789, Rhode Island still hadn’t approved the Constitution.  On April 6, 1788 George Washington was unanimously elected to be the nation’s first President and John Adams is elected its first Vice President, receiving 34 of 69 votes cast. Only ten of the thirteen states cast electoral votes in this election. Rhode Island was one of them as they were ineligible to participate as they had not yet ratified the Constitution May 29, 1790, when they became the thirteenth and final state to ratify the Constitution (34–32). In addition to ratifying the constitution, Rhode Island requests that twenty-one alterations be made to it.

So why would they oppose the Constitution? Here are some reasons my research came up with:

The Country Party, Rhode Island’s anti-federalist political party, controlled the Rhode Island General Assembly from 1786 to 1790 and opposed the Federalist Party, which supported the U.S. Constitution. The Federalists were largely from the “town,” Providence, Rhode Island, while the Country Party members were from the surrounding rural areas. The rural Country Party which opposed the Constitution was suspicious of the power and the cost of a government too far removed from the grass-roots level. Among those in Rhode Island who opposed the Constitution were Quakers, who were opposed to the Constitution largely because of its sanctioning of slavery, and Baptists, one of the largest denominations in Rhode Island, who had historically been persecuted by various governments. Many were also concerned about the government created by the Constitution would violate natural rights and wanted a Bill of Rights to protect individual liberties. In the rural areas of Rhode Island, citizens wanted to ensure that their paper currency was redeemable as legal tender in the future.

 

10 Sep 2014 …. It’s genealogy road trip time again!! September 10, 2014

Yep, it’s time to hit the road again for more genealogy fun.  Every other year I drive up north from Sunny, hot and uber humid Orlando to enjoy the cooler fall weather of Connecticut and Rhode Island.

So what’s on the agenda this year?  Well, I thought I’d through out a few sites I’m planning on visiting and see if anyone has any suggestions of Wells, Rogers, Crandall, Stillman, etc, family sites to see.

In Rhode Island:

Visit Oak Grove Cemetery in Ashaway.  Time to do my check on the Wells family plot.  I’m pretty sure my grandparents stones are in need of a cleaning.

Visit the Thompson Wells Lot in Hopkinton.  Believe it or not, there are no photos on findagrave.com of this small cemetery, so I’ll stop by and snap a few pics of all the stones.  It’s small so shouldn’t take long.

Head through the woods to the Wells Lot where Randall Wells and Lois Maxson are buried.  It’s a fun hike through some treacherous underbrush, but I have a strong connection to those two grandparents seeing as they’re characters in my novels.  Besides, I heard the land the cem is on has changed hands.  Need to make sure the bulldozers aren’t on stand by …

I’m also planning on doing some hiking in Hopkinton on the Nature Conservancy trails up to Long Pond.  Absolutely beautiful trails to the most scenic spot in Hopkinton.   I’m thinking about going to Newport and wandering around as well.  I’ve driven through but have never really walked the town.

In Connecticut:

Visit the New London County Historical Society Library to see what goodies I can find.  Found tons of great stuff on the Rogers family last time.

Visit Cedar Grove Cemetery.  I got a message through findagrave.com that my entry for Moses Rogers was in error and he isn’t buried there.  thought I might go take me a looksy and see what Rogers are there.

Visit the Brown-Randall Cemetery in North Stonington.  Again, no photos on findagrave.com.  Lots of really old Randall stones.

Revisit the Burdick-Culver Cemetery in the Barn Island sanctuary over in Stonington.   Was a fun and easy hike to a lovely cemetery.  If I have time, I’ll squeeze it in.

There’s a Rogers Burying Ground in Salem I’d like to see.  No photos or map on Findagrave.com  All it says is it’s off of 82 about 1500 feet.  Gee, what a help…  Anyone know where it is?

I may also stop by the Rogers Cemetery at Mamacock Farm down on the grounds of Connecticut College.

I’ll also be doing a lot of wandering around Mystic and of course Stonington.  Since my third novel, the one about the Rogers family, mostly takes place in Stonington, I’m excited to revisit the town that inspired my writing journey.

So far, that’s all I’ve got.

So, got any suggestions.

 

Randall Wells and the Revolutionary War May 25, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — jgeoghan @ 12:22 pm
Tags: , , ,

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

Declaration:

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

XXXX XXXXX

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)

XXXXX XXXXX

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)

EARLY FERRIES

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.