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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Wells

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[This information is from Vol. I, pp. 121-125 of Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs, edited by Cuyler Reynolds (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1911). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 929.1 R45. Some of the formatting of the original, especially in lists of descendants, may have been altered slightly for ease of reading.]

The Wells family of Johnstown descend from Hugh Wells, of Connecticut. The name is an old and honored one in England, where it dates from 1120 in Cumberland and Norfolk. Adam Welles was summoned to parliament February 6, 1299, as first Baron Welles. He was constable of Rockingham Castle and warden of the forest. There are only four English peerages older than this now in existence. In New England the family is an early and prominent one. In the early history of Johnstown and Fulton county the family appear as first settlers, manufacturers, business and professional men, and has been closely identified with the development and progress of that locality.

(I) Hugh Wells, born in Essex county, England, 1590, died in Wethersfield, Connecticut, about 1645. He came to America in 1633, probably in the ship "Globe." He was of Hartford, 1636, and appears in Wethersfield records 1645,where he is supposed to have died about the same time. He married, in England, Frances ————, who survives him, and married (second) Thomas Coleman of Hartford, Connecticut. She died in 1678. Children:

  1. Thomas, see forward;
  2. Ensign Hugh, born about 1625, married Mary Roscoe;
  3. Mary, married Jonathan Gilbert, of Hartford Connecticut, an innkeeper, who died in 1682, and she continued the inn until her death, July 3, 1700;
  4. John, born about 1628, was of Stratford and Hadley, Massachusetts.

(II) Thomas, son of Hugh and Frances Wells, was born in Colchester, England, about 1620, died between September 30 and December 14, 1676. He was one of the first "engagers" or settlers of Hadley, Massachusetts, where he went from Wethersfield in 1659, after having been a house and land owner there nine years. He was a surveyor and farmer. He owned lands in Connecticut and also property in England. He married, May, 1631, Mary, daughter of William Beardsley, of Hartford. She survived him, and married (second) Samuel Thomas. Children of Thomas and Mary Wells: Lieutenant Thomas, born January 10, 1652; Mary, Sarah, John, Jonathan, John, Samuel (see forward), Mary, Noah, Hannah, Ebenezer, Daniel, Ephraim and Joshua, born April, 1673.

(III) Samuel, seventh child of Thomas and Mary (Beardsley) Wells, was born at Hadley, Massachusetts, 1622, died August 9, 1690. He married Sarah, daughter of Nathaniel Clark of Northampton, December 11, 1682. Child: Samuel, of whom further. Sarah Clark was a granddaughter of Lieutenant William Clark, born in Dorsetshire, England, 1609, settled in Dorchester, Massachusetts, before 1640. In 1639 he was of Northampton, where in 1661 he organized the train band of sixty men and commanded them in King Philip's and other Indian wars. He was an incorporator of Northampton, and for twenty years selectman and judge of county court. He married (first) in England, Sarah ————; (second) Sarah Cooper, 1676. He died July 18, 1690. His son, Nathaniel Clark, was baptized in Dorchester, "11 month 1640." He married, May 8, 1663, Mary Meakins. Sarah, daughter of Nathaniel and Mary Meakins Clark, married Samuel Wells (1).

(IV) Samuel (2), only child of Samuel and Sarah (Clark) Wells, was born in Hartford, Connecticut, July 7, 1688. He settled in the town of Farmington, just over the line. He married, May 26, 1709, Rachel Caldwell, great-granddaughter of Deacon Edward Stebbins, an original proprietor of Hartford, and deputy to the general court several sessions, from 1639 to 1656. He had a home lot in Hartford, extending from the meeting house square to Front street. He married and had a daughter Elizabeth. Thomas Caldwell married, in 1658, Elizabeth Stebbins, widow of Robert Wilson. Edward Caldwell, son of Thomas and Elizabeth (Stebbins) Caldwell, was born November 1, 1660, and married Elizabeth ————. Their daughter, Rachel Caldwell, married Samuel Wells (2).

(V) John, son of Samuel (2) and Rachel (Caldwell) Wells, was born in Farmington, Connecticut, October 8, 1710, died January 28, 1795. He settled in West Hartford, where he was a member of the church. He married (first) Jemima Smith, June 13, 1731; (second) Sarah Saylord, December 23, 1735 (third) Hannah Baker, July 20, 1738. He had fifteen children by his three wives. Hannah Baker, third wife of John Wells, was a great-granddaughter of John Baysey, an original proprietor of Hartford, died August, 1671, and his wife, Elizabeth, who died 1673. Lydia Baysey, died May 16, 1700, daughter of John and Elizabeth Baysey. She married John Baker. Baysey Baker died September 4, 1723, son of John and Lydia (Baysey) Baker, married, April 1, 1696, Hannah Willet, daughter of Nathaniel. Hannah Baker, daughter of Baysey and Hannah (Willet) Baker, married John Wells (1), and was his third wife.

(VI) John (2), son of John (1) and Hannah (Baker) Wells, was born August 23, 1739, at West Hartford, Connecticut, where he belonged to the Ecclesiastical Society. About 1784 he removed to Johnstown, New York, where he resided until his death. He married Mrs. Lois Foote, daughter of Samuel and Lois (Loomis) Foote, and widow of Eleazer Merrill, of Farmington, Connecticut. (see Foote). Children:

  1. Lindy, died at age of three years.
  2. Rhoda, married John Herring, of Auburn, New York.
  3. John, died in infancy.
  4. John, married and died at Kaskaskia, Illinois.
  5. Lindy (2), married ———— Rood.
  6. Lucy, twin of Lindy, married Charles Easton, of Utica and New York City.
  7. Eleazer, see forward.
  8. Clarissa, married M. Mason of Kingsboro, New York.
  9. Nathan Perkins, born 1786, in Johnstown; was many years cashier of the Johnstown bank.

(VII) Eleazer, son of John (2) and Lois (Foote) Wells, was baptized in West Hartford, Connecticut, 1782, by Rev. Dr. Nathan Perkins, pastor of the church to which his parents belonged, and who baptized all his brothers and sisters except Nathaniel P., his namesake. He died November 26, 1860, at Johnstown, New York. He was an infant of two years when his parents removed to Johnstown, where he was educated and ever afterward lived. He engaged in milling and farming, owning a great deal of real estate in the county, including the historic farm and residence of Sir William Johnson, known for a century and a half as "Johnson Hall." He resided at the "Hall," where he was married and where his children were born. He was a prominent, influential man. He married, June 15, 1809, Amy Akin, born May 6, 1788, died December 24, 1858 (see Akin). Children:

  1. Sally Maria, born April 22, 1810, married Daniel Edward.
  2. George W., July 15, 1811; married Helen Yard.
  3. Almira W., March 30, 1813; married Hiram Yauney.
  4. Eleazer H., March 27, 1815; died and buried at Pine Bluff, Arkansas, aged twenty-one years, unmarried.
  5. Ann Sarah, born January 2, 1817; married Colonel Rodney Hall Johnson.
  6. Elizabeth, December 6, 1818; married Jacob Burton.
  7. Louisa, October 27, 1820; married McIntyre Fraser.
  8. John E., August 7, 1822; married (first) Sarah Steele, (second) Margaret Burton.
  9. Rhoda, December 25, 1823; married Major John Henry Gross.
  10. Catherine, March 20, 1825; married Judge John Stewart.
  11. Nathan Perkins, December 20, 1826, died 1853, unmarried.
  12. David Akin, see forward.
  13. Edward Akin. see forward.

(VIII) David Akin, fifth son and twelfth child of Eleazer and Amy (Akin) Wells, was born at "Johnson Hall," near Johnstown, Fulton county, New York, May 17, 1828, died November 29, 1903. He was educated in the public schools and at Johnstown Academy. He worked on the farm with his father until 1845, when he became a clerk in the dry goods store of Yauney & Edwards, and later was clerk in the store of Burton & Gross, Johnstown. In 1848 Mr. Gross retired and Mr. Wells was admitted a partner, continuing until 1851, when he disposed of his interest to his brother, Edward A. Wells. David A. then formed a partnership with Marcellus Gilbert, as Gilbert & Wells, and began the manufacture of gloves. They continued in successful operation for eighteen years until 1869, when the senior partner died. Mr. Wells carried on the business alone for a year or two, when his factory burned, entailing a heavy loss. Close attention to business had undermined his health, and he now enjoyed a period of complete rest for several years. He was then chosen vice-president of the Fonda, Johnstown & Gloversville Railroad Company, just inaugurated, and entered actively into the building and equipment of the road. He was active in its management after the road was opened for business in 1870, and may justly be given a large share of credit for its successful career. He was a director of the Peoples' Bank of Johnstown; president of the Savings Bank since organization; president Gloversville Foundry and Machine company; president of the Opera House Company since organization. He was actively interested in many other business enterprises of the city, giving to all not only his financial support but the benefit of his mature judgment and long business experience. He was always an active Republican, and while never aspiring to office held several public positions of trust and honor. In 1860 he was elected treasurer of Fulton county. In 1880 and 1881 he was chosen to represent his district in the state legislature, and has served as trustee and president of the village corporation. He married, April 10, 1850, Alida G. Johnson, born May 17, 1832, daughter of George and Frances Johnson. Children:

  1. A babe, dying at birth.
  2. Marcellus Gilbert, died February 16, 1869.
  3. Eleazer Merrill, born February 1, 1853, see forward.
  4. Nathan Perkins, born July 23, 1855; associated in business with his father.
  5. David Akin (2), born December 21, 1858, see forward.
  6. Anna G., born May 7, 1862; married Joseph D. Oliver, one of the proprietors of the Oliver Chilled Plow Company of South Bend, Indiana.

(IX) Eleazer Merrill, son of David Akin and Alida G. (Johnson) Wells, was born in Johnstown, New York, February 1, 1853, and died March 20, 1909. He married, July 3, 1872, Elsina F. Mills, born in Gloversville, New York, August 6, 1851. Child: John E.

(IX) David Akin (2), youngest son and fourth child of David Akin (1) and Alida G. (Johnson) Wells, was born in Johnstown, December 21, 1858. He was educated in the public schools. After finishing his studies he entered the superintendent's office of the Fonda, Johnstown & Gloversville railroad, and remained there several years. He then formed a connection with the Coal Company of Fulton county, which existed for twenty-eight years, when Mr. Wells retired from active business life. He resides in Johnstown, where he lives the retired life of a gentleman of culture and means. He married, December 16, 1909, in Johnstown, Katherine, daughter of John and Mary Hogan. They had other children:

  1. Austin,
  2. Walter,
  3. Agnes, married John Howell;
  4. Anna, married E. W. Shults;
  5. Jane, married William Mathis.

(VIII) Edward Akin, thirteenth child and sixth son of Eleazer and Amy (Akin) Wells, was born in "Johnson Hall," Johnstown, Fulton county, New York, October 6, 1830. He was educated in the public schools and under private tutors, graduating under Professor Bannister at Johnstown. He was connected with the dry goods business of his brother, David Akin Wells, in Johnstown, and later purchased the business, which he conducted successfully many years. He was at the same time deeply interested in other business enterprises to which he gave personal attention and direction. He superintends the cultivation of the home farm and estate "Johnson Hall," containing between 500 and 600 acres, and operated the grist mill belonging to the estate. This active business life included glove manufacture, and continued throughout many active years until failing health compelled his retirement. His business responsibilities precluded all participation in public official life, and he took no active part in politics, although he had always given hearty allegiance to the Republican party. He was a member of the Presbyterian church. He died June 19, 1910, in Johnstown, New York, conscious of having borne well his part in the growth and development of the city in which his activities lay.

He married Ann Elizabeth Burton. Children:

  1. Eleazer, died at age of nineteen years.
  2. Elizabeth, died at age of six years.
  3. Elias Burton, died at age of twelve years.
  4. Edward Akin (2), now of Rochester, New York; married Bessie Parish.
  5. Jennie, married Edwin L. Fonda.
  6. John E., died aged twelve years.
  7. Elias Burton, see forward.
  8. Charles, died in infancy.

(IX) Elias Burton, fifth son and seventh child of Edward Akin and Ann Elizabeth (Burton) Wells, was born in Johnstown, New York, October 28, 1869. He was educated in the public school and at Johnstown Academy. In 1888 he began business, dealing in real estate and insurance, operating in these lines ten years until 1898. In that year he established his present business, the manufacture and preparation of dye stuffs and chemicals used in dressing skins used in glove manufacture. In 1910 he added to his other lines a leather department and business. Among the many compounds and preparations which he manufactures for tanners and carriers is a process for making washable leather, invented by himself, that has proved very valuable to the glove makers, being especially adapted to gloves and mittens worn by persons exposed to wet weather. He is a most capable, successful business man, and is one of the substantial men of his city. He is a Republican in politics. He married, October 12, 1892, Jennie Holmes, born April 7, 1872, daughter of John Catlin (born September 3, 1829, died July 21, 1899) and Ellen E. (born October 9, 1840, died October 9, 1880) (Kirby) Holmes. Child: Elizabeth, born May 11, 1897.

(The Loomis Line)

Joseph Loomis, the emigrant, sailed from London, England, April 3, 1636, in the ship "Salem and Ellen." He settled first in Braintree, Massachusetts, then in Windsor, Connecticut. He died November 25, 1658. He married Mercy White, June 13, 1614. She died August 23, 1652, leaving issue.

(II) Deacon John, son of Joseph and Mercy (White) Loomis, was born in England in 1622, died September 2, 1688. He was deputy to the general court in 1666-67-75-87. He married, February 8, 1648, Elizabeth, born about 1625, daughter of Thomas Scott, who came in the ship "Elizabeth," 1634, died November 6, 1643. He was an original proprietor of Hartford, Connecticut.

(III) Timothy, son of Deacon John and Elizabeth (Scott) Loomis, was born July 27, 1661, died May 19, 1710. He married, March 20, 1689, Rebecca Porter, born March 8, 1666, died May 20, 1750, daughter of John Porter (2), born in England, 1620. He married (second) Mary, daughter of Thomas Stanley, in 1650. Rebecca was a granddaughter of John Porter, the emigrant, who came to America and settled at Windsor, Connecticut. He married Rose ————, and died April 22, 1648. His wife died July, 1647.

(IV) Ichabod, son of Timothy and Rebecca (Porter) Loomis, was born January 25, 1692-93, died February 21, 1776. He married, December 20, 1716, Hepzibah Loomis, born 1688, died May 20, 1750.

(V) Lois, daughter of Ichabod and Hepzibah (Loomis) Loomis, was born November 26, 1724; married Samuel Foote, November 24, 1743. Hepzibah Loomis, wife of Ichabod, was a great granddaughter of Joseph Loomis, the emigrant, through his son Nathaniel, born 1638, died July 23, 1728; married, November 24, 1654, Elizabeth Moore, daughter of John and granddaughter of Thomas Moore, the emigrant.

(III) David, son of Nathaniel and Elizabeth (Moore) Loomis, was born January 11, 1667, died January 9, 1751-52; married, December 8, 1692, Lydia, daughter of John Marsh.

(IV) Hepzibah, daughter of David and Lydia (Marsh) Loomis, married Ichabod Loomis, both being of the fourth generation of the Loomis family in America.

(The Akin Line)

The Akins were of Scotland, where they embraced the peculiar doctrine of the Society of Friends, or Quakers. On account of their religion the Quakers refused to bear arms or take the required oath. This subjected them to severe persecution, which they emigrated to America to escape. They settled in Dartmouth, Massachusetts, where they soon found that with the Puritans religious freedom meant freedom only for those of their own religious faith. The Quakers were banished from Massachusetts, some even suffering death.

(I) John Akin, founder of the family in America, born in Scotland, in 1663, came to America with others of his sect in 1680, settling in Dartmouth, Massachusetts, where, in 1687 he married Mary Briggs. When persecution again drove him from his home, he with others of his family settled in New Netherlands, where the Dutch did not disturb a man for his religious belief. He married a second wife, and died June 13, 1746, leaving eight sons and seven daughters.

(II) David, eldest son of John and Mary (Briggs) Akin, was born in 1689, and died 1779. He settled on "Quaker Hill," town of Pawling, Dutchess county, New York, a locality that has long been the family seat. He married, at Dartmouth, Massachusetts, in 1711, Sarah Allen, born 1692. They had six sons and four daughters.

(III) James, son of David and Sarah (Allen) Akin, was born October 18, 1728. He married Patience Howard. Children:

  1. Edward, see forward;
  2. Benjamin, married (first) Sarah Holloway, (second) Widow Canuff;
  3. Joseph, married Elsie Holloway;
  4. Beniah, married Hannah Tweedy;
  5. Susannah, married (first) ———— Haviland, (second) Abiel Allen;
  6. Rachel, married (first) David Ferris, (second) ———— Hitchcock.
  7. Phoebe, married Noble Bennett;
  8. Amy, married Joseph Hungerford;
  9. Annie, married Sylvanus Sammons.

(IV) Edward, son of James and Patience (Howard) Akin, married Elizabeth Russell, of Johnstown, New York. He had sons James, Ira, Elthan, Abram and David, living at the time of his death. One son, Consider, died young. His daughters were:

  1. Phoebe, married Abram Poole;
  2. Rhoda, married Abram Synder [Snyder?];
  3. Amy, married Eleazer Wells (see Wells VII);
  4. Sally, married Nathan P. Wells;
  5. Patience, married William T. Dodge;
  6. Amanda, married William Bowen.

(The Foote Line)

(I) Nathaniel Foote, the first settler, came from England, when and from what part unknown. The first record of him is in Watertown, Massachusetts, in 1633, when he took the oath of freeman. He is next found in the first records of Wethersfield, Connecticut. In 1644 he was appointed a delegate to the general court. He married, in England, about 1615, Elizabeth, sister of John Deming, one of the first settlers of Wethersfield. She survived her husband, and married "Mr. Thomas Welles, magistrate," about 1646, afterwards governor of the Connecticut colony. She died July 28, 1683. Children of Nathaniel and Elizabeth (Deming) Foote: Nathaniel, see forward; Robert, Elizabeth, Mary, Frances, Sarah, and Rebecca.

(II) Nathaniel, eldest son of Nathaniel and Elizabeth (Deming) Foote, was born in England about 1620, died 1655. He followed the fortunes of his parents, and with them settled in Wethersfield, Connecticut, where he married, in 1646, Elizabeth, daughter of Samuel Smith. Children: Nathaniel, Samuel, Daniel and Elizabeth.

(III) Samuel, second son of Nathaniel and Elizabeth Foote, was born May 1, 1649. He settled in Hatfield, Massachusetts, where he married, in 1671, Mary Merrick, of Springfield. He died September 7, 1689, and his widow died October 3, 1690. Children: Nathaniel, Mary, Samuel (slain by the Indians at Deerfield, February 29, 1704), Mary (2), Sarah, Eleazer, Thomas and Daniel.

(IV) Daniel, youngest child of Samuel and Mary (Merrick) Foote, was born February 6, 1679, died July 15, 1740. He was of Hartford, and of Simsbury, Connecticut, removing to the latter place in 1721. He purchased a large farm there, and met his death by falling from a load of hay under the wheels, which passing over him caused such injuries that he died an hour thereafter. He married, in Hartford, November 19, 1718, Mary Collyer, who died June, 1769, aged 71 years, daughter of Joseph Collyer. Children, all but the first born in Simsbury, Connecticut: Samuel, see forward; Mary, Daniel (2), Joseph, John, Rachel, Sarah and Rachel (2).

(V) Samuel, eldest child of Daniel and Sarah (Collyer) Foote, was born in Hartford, Connecticut, October 4, 1719, died September 18, 1775. He married, November 24, 1743, Lois Loomis. Children: Samuel, Lois (see forward) Mary, Lucy, Timothy, Elijah, Lucy (2), Grove, Hepzibah and Roger.

(VI) Lois, eldest daughter and second child of Samuel and Lois (Loomis) Foote, was born April 5, 1746. She was married (first) to Eleazer Merrill, of Farmington, Connecticut, May 29, 1765, son of Moses Merrill. He died May 16, 1769, leaving two children, Eleazer and Lois. She married (second) John Wells (2), October, 1770, and had nine children. (See Wells VI.)

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