Wells Family Genealogy

The study of my Family Tree

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



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

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


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)


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.


28 Sept 2014: Wells Wheat Flakes September 28, 2014

Filed under: Wells Family — jgeoghan @ 4:53 pm
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While antique shopping on my genealogy road trip, I came across this burlap sack in the Burning Bridge Antique Mall in Columbia, PA.  Not sure exactly which Wells’ these were.  I goolged Wells Wheat Flakes but nothing came up.   Anyone out there ever heard of them??

Wells Wheat Flakes

Wells Wheat Flakes


26 Sept 2014: My Family Tree in a Book Cover September 26, 2014

Today my fourth novel went up for sale on Amazon.com.  YEAH!! You may know that I have written in a considerable amount of Wells family and Rogers family history into my book series.  I took my real life ancestors and wrote their stories into the fictional story of my characters.  I even have Randall Wells and his wife Lois Maxson, my fourth great grandparents as main characters.

If nothing else, I thought I’d share my book cover with you.  Not only a writer, I’m a bit of an artist as well and on this book, I took the time to illustrate my own cover art work.  If you look click on the cover and look closely at the big tree to the right, you’ll notice the names of my family in it.  At the top is Randall and Lois.  Below that is Russell and his wife Lydia.  Then Jonathan and Martha Ann, followed by Williams and Pauline, Elliott and Florence.  At the bottom is Myra and Raymond, my parents.  My complete Wells family line.  Mom back to Randall.

The smaller sapling of a tree has the names of my character in the leaves.



Purity's Progeny: The Purity of Blood Volume IV by Jennifer Geoghan

Purity’s Progeny: The Purity of Blood Volume IV by Jennifer Geoghan


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.



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