Wells Family Genealogy

The study of my Family Tree

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:

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.

 

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.

http://www.amazon.com/Puritys-Progeny-Purity-Blood-IV-ebook/dp/B00NX9FO38/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1411731672&sr=8-1&keywords=the+purity+of+blood+purity%27s+progeny

 

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.

 

5 July 2014: An Unusually Judgmental Census of 1880 July 5, 2014

Filed under: Wells Family — jgeoghan @ 11:56 am
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Okay, here’s something I’ve never seen noted on a census before.

I’ve been helping someone who contacted me asking for more info on her Wells family.  While poking around ancestry.com, I came across this census record that may or may not be the man in question.  She thinks that the Bart Wells listed on the 1880 Census  for Olive Township, Meigs County Ohio is Russell Barton Wells son of Barton Wells and Nancy Barnhart.  First of all, because this Fellow is much younger than the Russell we know of as the son of Barton and Nancy, this would only make sense if they had two sons names Russell.  This could be true.  I have no info on the “first” Russell beyond two census records.  He could have died before this one was born.  Putting that aside, this census says that this Bart Wells and his brother Charles are the grandchildren of George and Julia Congrove.  Unless they were Nancy Barnhart’s parents that wouldn’t make sense and since George and Julia are about the same age, well, he’s obviously not her father.

Okay, now let’s get to the really strange notation on the census ….

Next to the list of children, 6 grandchildren and one great-grandchild it says “A generation of Bastards in one house.” 

Huh?  That’s very judgmental for a census.    I’m not sure exactly who Bart and Charles Wells are.  If anyone out there knows, I’d love to hear from you.

1880 US Census Olive Twnshp Meigs Co OHIO George Congrove

1880 US Census Olive Twnshp Meigs Co OHIO George Congrove

So have you seen any strange notations on a census before?  Send me your stories and I’ll post them.  I’d love to get a little collection of oddities like this going.  You can send them to me at jegeoghan@hotmail.com

-Jennifer

Author of The Purity of Blood Novels.  Genealogy, romance, adventure and vampires.

 

24 June 2014: An exciting day for the Stillman Family! June 24, 2014

Filed under: Stillman Family — jgeoghan @ 2:46 pm
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I consider today a wonderful day for me genealogically speaking.  I finally got a reply to a request I made for the photo below.  Some good folks with the Town of Alfred NY sent me a copy of this photo of my great, great, great grandparents, Maxson Stillman (1774-1857) and his wife Esther Crandall (1775-1864).

Maxson is the son of George Stillman IV (1739-1817/9) and Esther Stillman (1740-1824).

Esther Crandall is the daughter of Phineas Crandall (1743-1821) and Ruth Rogers (1748-1783).  Esther is also the sister of Lydia Crandall Roger who married my 3rd great grandfather Russell Wells.  So this make Esther and Maxson not only my 3rd great grandparents, but also my 3rd great aunt and uncle as well!

I’m just thrilled to be able to add it to my photo collection, especially since it replaces their headstone photos as their photos in my genealogy program.

Maxson Stillman Sr and with Esther Crandall

Maxson Stillman Sr and wife Esther Crandall

The Stillmans definitely have some of the best photos in my collection.  I have to imagine they weren’t too hard up for money as they do seem to have taken quite a few portraits of the family.

Here’s a few more photos of the family.  Their son, Phineas Crandall Stillman (my great great grandfather)

Phineas Crandall Stillman Back and Front 1

Phineas Crandall Stillman (1809-1892)

This is Phineas’ daughter Pauline Rudiger (Stillman) Wells (1855-1922) and her twin sister Corinne Edgerton (Stillman) Rudiger (1855-1902)  They’re cute, but it’s a little creepy too if you ask me.  Pauline is my great grandmother.

Stillman Corinne and Pauline circa 1860 a

Twin sisters: Pauline Rudiger and Corinne Edgerton Stillman. Born 1855

Here’s Pauline all grown up.

Pauline Stillman in her wedding dress

Have any great Stillman family photos you’d like to share?  I’d love to see them.  I think it’s important for us as folks who share a love of our family history to come together and share what we have.  When families move from generation to generation, the history gets split up.  One son gets the photo album, another gets the family papers.  One moves across country and one stays close to home.  Before you know it, the family history is scattered to the winds, with each distant cousin holding only a small fraction of the family’s once proud history.

-Jennifer

jegeoghan@hotmail.com

 

Randall Wells and the Revolutionary War May 25, 2014

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

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

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

Revolutionary War Pension Application of John Button Page 13

Revolutionary War Pension Application of John Button Page 13

Revolutionary War Pension Application of John Button Page 14

Revolutionary War Pension Application of John Button Page 14

Revolutionary War Pension Application of John Button Page 2

Revolutionary War Pension Application of John Button Page 2

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

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

Randal Wells Justice Peace

_____________________________________________________

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

James Stanbury Pension Paperwork Page 28

James Stanbury Pension Paperwork Page 28

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.

 

 
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