Wells Family Genealogy

The study of my Family Tree

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!

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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.

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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.

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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

 

 

5 Oct 2012 – Road Trip Report: Mills of Ashaway / Westerly RI October 5, 2012

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Located at approximately 58 High Street in Ashaway, I discovered the location of Williams Rogers Wells’ mill.   I did a post about it a while back.  Here is the link to it: https://wellsgenealogy.wordpress.com/2011/01/06/jan-6-2010/

Here is what the mill used to look like:

 

And here is the site today:  I suspect the above photos were taken from about 20 feet or so into the paved area in front of me in the photo below.

While out driving around Hopkinton/Westerly with my friend I spotted the old burned out mill in the photos below.  The photos were taken in Ashaway/Hopkinton from the corner of Laurel Street and Maxson Street looking across the river.    The mill was on the other side of the river putting it in Westerly right as Potter Hill Road goes over the bridge.  Does anyone know what mill this was.  I would have loved to have investigated it further but the padlocked fence kept me out with the limited amount of time I had.

 

 

29 Sep 2012 – Road Trip Report: Comstock Cemetery in Uncasville September 29, 2012

So, one stop I really wanted to make on my trip was in Comstock Cemetery in Uncasville/Montville in New London County.  It wasn’t that I didn’t have photos of the stones but that the “person” who posted the pictures on findagrave.com is – how to I put this politely – an unrealistic fool.   I posted some of the pictures in conjunction with a post on the Newbury family there and he/she had wordpress yank them off my blog post because I didn’t have express  permission to use them.   I’m sorry folks, but if you upload a photo to the internet, don’t get upset when it makes its way across cyberspace uncontrollably.  That’s just how it is.  Whats funny is that it wasn’t that long after I posted that they got yanked so this person must be searching for other people posting them which leads me to believe that he/she obviously has issues to work out.  

While on my little rant, please feel free to use any of my photos to your heart’s content, really, I mean it.  I’m here to help you and share what I have.   So…. here are the photos I PERSONALLY TOOK A COUPLE OF WEEKS ago in Comstock Cemetery of the Newbury Family.

Captain Davis Newbury ( 4 Oct 1762 to 13 Aug 1822) my 4th Great Grandfather.  Davis is the son of Tyral or Trial Newbury (sometimes Newberry) and Anna Davis.

History of Montville,CT, by Henry A. Baker, page 472 …. Davis (17), b. 4 Oct., 1762, son of Trial Newbury and ____ Davis; married Lydia Williams. He was a resident of Montville. Several children died here of a contagious disease.

Lydia (Williams) Newbury (1763 to 19 Jan 1819) wife of Capt Davis Newbury and my 4th Great Grandmother.  I don’t know who Lydia’s parents are so if you know, boy do I want to hear from you.  While on the way to the cemetery, I passed Union Cemetery in Uncasville/Montville and stopped in to see my 3rd Great Grandmother, their daughter Sarah “Sally” Newbury who Married Daniel Rogers.  While parked at the back of Union Cemetery, I noticed another cemetery down the street, the Williams and Friends Cemetery.  I popped in and it didn’t have many surviving stones but it made me wonder if Lydia’s family was in there.  The Williams name did carry on in our family.  My Great Great Grandmother Martha Ann Rogers (Daughter of Sarah Newbury and Daniel Rogers mentioned above) Had a twin brother names Williams Newbury Rogers.  Williams for Lydia and Newbury for Davis, his grandparents on his mothers side.  Martha Ann Rogers married Jonathan Russell Wells and had a son (My Great Grandfather) Williams Rogers Wells.  Over time people just called him William and his gravestone says William (no “s”) but his name was Williams after his Great Grandmother and Uncle.  Confusing, No?

Connecticut Deaths & Burials, 1772 – 1934 (From Family History Center Records www.familysearch.org) … Name: Lydia Newbury … Birth Date: 1763 .. Age: 56 … Death Date: 19 Jan 1819 … Death Place: Montville, Connecticut … Marital Status: Married … Spouse’s Name: Davis Newbury … Indexing Batch #: B03523-4, System Origin: Connecticut-EASy, Source Film #: 3174 (B03743-3/Connecticut-EASy/3347/#29)

Betsey Newbury (12 Oct 1787 to 11 Aug 1822) daughter of Davis and Lydia Newbury, my 3rd Great Grand Aunt

Eunice Newbury (7 Mar 1802 to 9 Aug 1822) daughter of Davis and Lydia Newbury, my 3rd Great Grand Aunt.

Here is a newspaper mention of the deaths of the two daughters from the Connecticut Gazette from 14 Aug 1822:

Connecticut Gazette – 14 Aug 1822 – Eunice and Betsy Newbury Obits

And here are all four stones together:

 

6 Jun 2012 – More Wells Articles from Genealogybank.com June 7, 2012

Here are 3 more articles I found on genealogybank.com this past week.

These first two mention Martha Ann (Rogers) Wells (1825-1903) Wife of Jonathan Russell Wells and mother of Williams Rogers Wells.

Providence Evening Journal (Providence,RI) 2 Jan 1875, Page 3

ASHAWAY – The third “Social” was held on Sunday evening at the residence of Mrs. M.A. Wells, A large number of people were present.  The literary exercises were interesting and well performed.

 

Providence Evening Journal (Providence,RI) 23 May 1876

ASHAWAY – …. Wong Chin Foo, a Chinaman, in full Chinese costume gave a lecture at the Seventh Day Baptist church, Monday evening, upon “Domestic Life inChina”.

The ladies’ auxiliary tract society will meet with Mrs. Martha Wells, Tuesday afternoon, for the purpose of completing the organization of the society, election of officers, etc.

 

This last one is an obituary for Williams Rogers Wells in the newspaper in DeRuyter, NY where he lived for a few years going to school.

The De Ruyter Gleaner (DeRuyter,NY) 18 Jan 1927, Page 5

William Rogers Wells, aged 71, died in Ashaway, R..I., December 26th.  He was a student of DeRuyter Institute in 1869-70.  He was a manufacturer and prominently identified with the textile industry for many years as owner and manager of mills and as a commission broker.  His wife, who was Pauline R. Stillman of Alfred, died in 1922

Deruyter NY Gleaner 13 Jan 1927 Pg 5 WR Wells obit

 

3 Jun 2012 – More Wells Family in the Providence Evening Journal June 3, 2012

Here are three more articles mentioning the Wells family of Hopkinton, RI in the Providence Evening Journal that I recently found on genealogybank.com

This first one mentions Williams Rogers Wells and Thomas Randall Wells.  Thomas was Williams uncle as Thomas was the brother of Williams’ father Jonathan Russell Wells.  Jonathan and Thomas R were both sons of Russell Wells and Lydia Rogers Crandall.

Providence Evening Journal (Providence,RI) 1 Apr 1875, Page 3

ASHAWAY – …. A house formerly owned and occupied by William R. Wells was sold at auction, Monday, to T. R. Wells.

This article is also about the same Thomas Randall Wells as in the article above:

Providence Evening Journal (Providence,RI) 6 Apr 1875, Page 2

ASHAWAY – … Social – A society social was held at the residence of Mr. T.R. Wells, Sunday evening, 4th inst.  The weather was unpleasant, but those who attended spent a pleasant evening.

OK, this one is from the Newport Mercury and not the Providence Evening Journal but it also is about the same Thomas Randall Wells.  It is about the adoption of his daughter Altana M. Wells. 

Newport Mercury (Newport,RI) 25 Mar 1865

The following Private Resolutions were passed by the General Assembly at its recent session:

….. Resolution granting leave to adopt child to Thomas R. Wells and wife.

 

Jan. 6, 2010 – 100th Post!! Ashaway Mills January 6, 2011

So according to my blog dashboard, this is my 100th post on my blog.  Congratulations to me!   I wasn’t really sure how this was going to work out when I started but I’ve enjoyed getting comments from other folks researching my different family branches.  So on to today’s post….

While home at my folks place last fall, I came across this photograph of a mill.  It was together with the photo of Williams Rogers Wells and the workers at the mill he was owner and or superintendent of.  I noticed that the building in the back fo the photo of the men was the same building at the side of the mill.  They are mounted identically on heavy card stock like cardboard/paper and I’m going to hazard to guess they were taken at the same time.     I also realized that I’d seen this mill before and went digging in my postcard collection and came across the postcard of the Wolff Worsted Mill.  I’ve been doing some detailed research on Williams R Wells as of late and have come across the names of many mills that he was identified with but never the Wolff Worsted Mill so I’m guessing that the mill changed names after the time that Williams was there.  The postcard looks to be much newer than the photo so that seems plausible. 

Here I’m going to refer back to the article I talked about in my block on DECEMBER 30, 2010 detailing the history of the Bethel Mill of Ashaway, RI.  The article was from the newspaper “The Pawtucket Times” and was dated Nov. 3rd, 1899.  I’m not going to repost the whole article.  If you want to read it, go look at the 12-10-2010 post for that.  What I’m interested in here is this excerpt:

“This firm was succeeded by T.R. Wells & Co, who were later succeeded by W.R. Wells, who made extensive alterations and improvements, putting in an electric light plant and erecting a commodious office building.”

Is this “commodious office building” the building that they are standing in front of in the picture, the one next to the mill????  If so, that would make this the Bethel Mill.

This is where I reach out to you.  Do you have any pictures of the Bethel Mill? or do you know what mill is pictured below?  If so, please leave a comment and let me know.