Wells Ancestry

A work in progress.

Hugh Welles ??
B: 1590
M: Abt 1619, Colchester Eng.
D: 1645 Wethersfield, CT
Frances ??
Thomas Welles
B: Eng
M: Abt 1651
D: 1676
Mary Beardsley
B: 1631
D: 1690
Noah Wells
B: 26 Jul 1666 Hadley, MA
M: 1686
D: 1712 Colchester, CT
Mary White
B: 1664 Hatfield, MA
D: 1712 Colchester, CT
Jonathan Wells
B: 1695 Colchester, CT
M: 11 Jul 1717 Colchester, CT
D: 25 Jan 1756 Colchester, CT
Mary Newton
B: 26 Jun 1730 Colchester, CT
Simeon Wells
B: 17 Jun 1720 Colchester, CT
M: 27 Jun 1751 Colchester, CT
Lydia Knight
B: 26 Jun 1730 Colchester, CT
Judah Wells
12 Dec 1767 Colchester, CT
M: 1814
D: 1833 Kirtland, OH
Temperance Meacham
B: 1797 Canaan, NH
D: Bef 1842 Kirtland, OH
Nelson Wells
B: Abt 1816 NY
M: Abt 1850 Dryden, MI
D: 23 Jan 1882 Dryden, MI
Julia Ellen Van Kleeck
B: 24 Apr 1832
D: 17 Jan 1924 Sherman, CA
Orson Wells
B: 27 Jul 1863 Dryden, MI
M: 20 Jul 1884 Sandusky, MI
D: 1 Aug 1942 Centralia, WA
Hannah Huldah Hall
B: 28 Oct 1866 Washtenaw, MI
D: 4 Dec 1940 Centralia, WA

The Wells/Welles family in America


This is an overview of what I have learned in researching the Wells line of our family tree. I can’t guarantee that it is 100% accurate but I believe that it is reasonably accurate (or is at least close). Think of it this way – if it were complete and accurate, there would be nothing left for the next generation to research or verify!

Executive Summary

This story traces our Wells family from our ancestors that immigrated to the American colonies to our great grandparents.

Hugh and Francis Welles (our 8th great grandparents) came from England to Boston, Massachusetts aboard the ship “Globe” in 1635. There is some confusion about whether Thomas's parents were Hugh and Francis or Thomas and ?? But, our ancestor, Thomas (our 7th great) was born in Colchester, Essex County, England in 1620. He and three of his siblings immigrated with their parents.

The family moved to Hartford, CT and then nearby Wethersfield, CT in the late 1630’s. Thomas and his wife, Mary Beardsley, moved their family to Hadley, MA in 1659. Their son, Noah, married Mary White and moved the family to Colchester, New London County, CT sometime between 1686 and 1695.

Noah & Mary’s son Jonathan (b. 1695, d. 1756) was born, married Mary Newton, raised 5 kids, and died in Colchester, CT. Our 4th great grandfather (just to remind you of where we are in the countdown), Simeon Wells was born in Colchester in 1720, married Lydia Knight, had 13 kids, and died in Colchester.

Judah, their 7th child, was born in Colchester, CT in 1767. He married Ethelinda Otis and had two kids there. Around 1795 or 1796, they moved to Canaan, Grafton County, New Hampshire where a number of Wells relatives already had farms. They had six more kids there then Ethelinda died (around 1814). Judah married Temperance Meacham (our ancestor) and had six more children, including Nelson Wells (our 2nd great grandfather). Around 1814 to 1816, they left New Hampshire and settled in Onondaga County, NY (Finger Lakes region) where Nelson and Lydia were born. The family moved on to Erie County, PA and were there at the time of the 1820 and 1830 US censuses. Sometime while there, they and, at least, a couple of their children converted to the Mormon faith. In late 1830, Judah and Temperance moved to a Mormon colony in or near Kirtland, OH. They died there by 1833.

Nelson stayed in Washington Township, Erie County, PA when his parents moved. He married Julia Ellen Van Kleeck around 1850 in Dryden, Lapeer County, MI and moved back to Erie Co, PA for five or six years. They were back in Dryden by 1860. After moving around that area a bit, they were living in Sanilac County, MI when they were caught up in the Thumb Fire of 1881. Nelson died shortly thereafter from complications resulting from the smoke and heat of that fire..

Julia and Nelson’s son, Orson Wells, was born in Dryden, MI in 1863. Orson married Hannah Huldah Hall in Sandusky, Sanilac Co, MI in 1884. They lived there, raising 9 children (7 daughters and two sons), until 1909 when they went west. After a brief time in Monroe, Snohomish Co, WA, they moved to Kalispell, Flathead Co, MT. In 1918, they moved to Camas, Clark Co, WA and then, by 1930, Centralia, Lewis Co, WA. They lived there until their deaths in the 1940’s.

Colchester, Essex County, England to Centralia, Lewis County, Washington in just under 300 years! Quite a trip!

The next sections are a more detailed view of the ancestors and that trip. Most family histories start with the earliest known ancestor and work forward. The story that follows reverses the above summary and starts with my great grandparents and their family and works backward. That way, the best known information is at the front and the hazy stuff is at the end. I think that makes for a better read.