Saturday, March 3, 2012

Surname Saturday ~ Wells, Ipswich, Massachusetts

Ipswich, Massachusetts

There is an article about Thomas Wells in the 1850 issue of the New England Historic Genealogical Society Register, Volume 4, pages 11 and 12, but it is full of errors that have been corrected in other books written since 1850.  Joseph B. Felt’s History of Ipswich also erroneously states that Deacon Thomas Wells was a physician.  In his will he left some “physicke” books to his son Thomas, but there is no proof he was a physician.   This was error was repeated in James Savage’s Genealogical Dictionary of New England, 1969, Volume IV, page 478.   There was a Dr. Richard Wells in Salem, Massachusetts, very nearby, at this time period.  So, you can see how genealogical errors can spread, even without the use of the internet!

Thomas Wells took the freeman’s oath in Boston in 1637, and had a house lot granted to him in Ipswich in 1635.   His son, Thomas, earned an honorary degree from Harvard and was ordained as a minister in Kittery, Maine.   His son, John, was killed by Indians in Wells, Maine on 11 April 1677.   All of Thomas Wells’ children are named in his will dated 1666.  

The Wells Genealogy:

Generation 1: Deacon Thomas Wells, born 11 December 1605 in Colchester, Essex, England, died on 26 October 1666 in Salisbury, Massachusetts; married on 23 July 1639 in Boxtead, Essex, England to Abigail Warner, daughter of William Warner and Abigail Baker.  She was born 2 June 1614 in Boxtead,  died 22 July 1671 in Salisbury. They had seven children, and I am descended of two daughters,  and twice descended of Abigail:
1. Nathaniel Wells  m1. Lydia Thurley; m2. Elizabeth Unknown
2. John Wells  m. Sarah Littlefield
3. Elizabeth Wells (see below)
4. Thomas Wells, b. 11 January 1647 m. Mary Perkins
5. Hannah Wells, b. about 1648 m. Richard Simons
6. Lydia Wells, b. abt 1659 m. John Ropes
7. Abigail Wells (see below)

Generation 2: Elizabeth Wells, born 31 July 1646 in Ipswich, Massachusetts, died 9 June 1731; married on 6 June 1668 to John Burnham, son of Thomas Burnham and Mary Lawrence.  He was born in 1648 and died 12 January 1704 in Chebacco Parish, Ipswich. 

Generation 3: Thomas Burnham m. Susannah Boardman
Generation 4: Stephen Burnham m. Mary Andrews
Generation 5: Joshua Burnham m. Jemima Wyman
Generation 6: Jemima Burnham m. Romanus Emerson
Generation 7: George Emerson m. Mary Esther Younger
Generation 8: Mary Katharine Emerson m. George Batchelder
Generation 9: Carrie Maud Batchelder m. Joseph Elmer Allen
Generation 10: Stanley Elmer Allen m. Gertrude Matilda Hitchings (my grandparents)

2nd Lineage
Generation 2: Abigail Wells m. Nathaniel Treadwell
Generation 3: Mary Treadwell m. Samuel Stone
Generation 4: Mary Stone m. Isaac Wilson
Generation 5: Robert Wilson m. Elizabeth Southwick
Generation 6: Robert Wilson m. Sarah Felton
Generation 7: Robert Wilson m. Mary Southwick
Generation 8: Mercy F. Wilson m. Aaron Wilkinson
Generation 9: Robert Wilson Wilkinson m. Phebe Cross Munroe
Generation 10: Albert Munroe Wilkinson m. Isabella Lyons Bill
Generation 11: Donald Munroe Wilkinson m. Bertha Louise Roberts (my grandparents)

3rd Lineage:
Generation 2: Abigail Wells m. Nathaniel Treadwell
Generation 3: Nathaniel Treadwell m. Hannah Unknown
Generation 4: Jabez Treadwell m. Lucy Haskell
Generation 5: Nathaniel Treadwell m. Mary Hovey
Generation 6: Jabez Treadwell m. Betsey Jillings Homan
Generation 7: Eliza Ann Treadwell m. Abijah Hitchings
Generation 8: Abijah Franklin Hitchings m. Hannah Eliza Lewis
Generation 9: Arthur Treadwell Hitchings m. Florence Etta Hoogerzeil
Generation 10: Gertrude Matilda Hitchings m. Stanley Elmer Allen (my grandparents)

Some sources for Wells genealogy research:

Genealogy of the Wells Family, of Wells, Maine, by Charles Kimball Wells, 1874

The History of Wells and Kennebunk, by Edward E. Bourne,

The Old Families of Salisbury & Amesbury, Massachusetts, Volume 1, page 348, Volume II, p. 808

The Wells Family Research Association, PO Box 5427, Kent, Washington  98064

Copyright 2012, Heather Wilkinson Rojo


  1. I don't think we knew this, but I have this line too. I think you are missing my line...Thomas had another child, Sarah, per TGM.

  2. I'll have to see the newest volume of TGM. I haven't seen a copy all winter and all my names seem to be T-Z (in that volume!)

  3. Well, we're 10th cousins on this line-- Thomas Wells Sr. and Abligail Warner are my 9th great grandparents (through their son Thomas and his wife Mary Perkins).

    This makes us both cousins of George Washington too, via the Warner line. :-) I wrote about my connection here:

  4. Heather, it isn't in the latest TMG, it's in his first series, Vol. 11, under Massey. Sarah Wells m. John Massey, and it states her parents were Thomas W. and Abigail W. You probably wouldn't catch it, because I have that Massey line.