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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Wells

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 1143-1145 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.]

Mrs. Catherine (Wells) Argersinger descends from Governor Thomas Welles (as the name was then spelled), born in Essex county, England, in 1598, during the latter part of the reign of Queen Elizabeth, and died at Wethersfield, Hartford county, Connecticut, January 14, 1660. He was descended from the Lincolnshire branch of the de Welles family of England, one of those Norman-English families who were the founders of English liberty, and have ever been the strength and glory of the English realm. For refusal to subscribe to the oath of conformity to the Established Church of England, Thomas Welles and wife were "recusant," summoned before the star chamber to answer to the following charges: "They had declared that all children were within the covenant of God, and would be saved even if they had not been baptized; that Christians might lawfully go from their own parish if they had not two sermons on Sunday; that they had spoken against the ceremonies of the church of England, against the use of surplice, against baptism and the marriage ring, and had refused to bow at the name of Jesus." For these offenses they were tried and sentenced, and the greater portion of their property confiscated, and in 1636 Thomas, his wife and seven children sailed for America, where they arrived early in the spring. He is first of record in Hartford, Connecticut, May 1, 1637, where on that day he was chosen magistrate, so continuing until his death, a quarter of a century later. In 1639 he was chosen the first treasurer of the colony of Connecticut, under the consitution, serving until 1651. In 1641 he had been elected secretary of the colony. In 1649 he was one of the commissioners of the United Colonies, and a member of the first federal congress. Upon the death of Governor Hayes, he was placed at the head of the government with the title of moderator of the general court. In 1654 he was chosen deputy governor, but discharged all the duties of governor, the elected Governor Hopkins remaining in England. In 1655 he was elected the fourth governor of the colony. In 1656-57-59 he was deputy governor, and in 1658 governor for the second term. By a law of the colony no one could be chosen governor two terms in succession. He married, in England, about 1618, Elizabeth Hunt, who died in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1640. She bore him nine children. He married (second) Elizabeth Deming, widow of Nathaniel Foote, of Wethersfield, Connecticut, and sister of John Deming, of England. She died July 28, 1683, without issue. Children of first wife:

  1. Ann, born 1646; married (first) Thomas Thompson; (second) Anthony Hawkins.
  2. John, married Elizabeth Curtis.
  3. Robert, died about 1658.
  4. Thomas, married Hannah Tuttle; he was killed in 1668 by falling from a tree; he was the largest and tallest man in Hartford, where he resided.
  5. Samuel, see forward.
  6. Sarah, married Captain John Chester.
  7. Mary, died about 1656.
  8. Joseph, born at Hartford, 1637.

(II) Samuel, fifth child of Governor Thomas and Elizabeth (Hunt) Welles, was born in Northamptonshire, England, about 1630, and died at Wethersfield, Connecticut, July 15, 1675. He was a lad of six years when his parents brought him to America. The records state that in 1657 he took the freeman's oath. He was ensign in 1658, lieutenant 1665, captain 1670, deputy magistrate 1657-62, and in 1675. He was also a member of the general assembly, and is frequently styled the "Hon. Samuel Welles." He was either killed by the Indians or drowned while crossing the Connecticut river. He married (first) in 1659, Elizabeth, daughter of John Hollister, of Weymouth, Massachusetts, and Wethersfield, Connecticut. She died in 1673. He married (second) in 1675, Hannah Lambertson, who survived him, and married (second) Hon. John Allyn, of Hartford. Children of first marriage:

  1. Samuel (2), married Ruth Rice; they are the progenitors of Gideon Welles, secretary of the navy under Presidents Lincoln and Johnson.
  2. Thomas, see forward.
  3. Sarah, married (first) Ephrahim [Ephraim?] Hawley, (second) Angers Tomlinson.
  4. Mary, married Samuel Hale.
  5. Ann, married (first) Captain James Steele, (second) James Judson.
  6. Elizabeth, born 1670; married, April 4, 1692, Daniel Shelton, of Stratford, Connecticut.

(III) Captain Thomas, second son of Hon. Samuel and Elizabeth (Hollister) Welles, was born at Wethersfield, Connecticut, July 29, 1662, died there December 7, 1711. His days were passed in the midst of events that threatened the life of the colony his grandfather had governed. Governor Andross, harsh and tyrannical, was the royal governor of New England. He it was who demanded of the colonial assembly of Connecticut that they surrender their charter, and at the moment of taking it, all lights went out and the charter disappeared, this incident giving name to the famous "Charter Oak," in which it was concealed. Afterward the oak was carefully guarded and preserved until 1856. Thomas Welles was a soldier of the colonial army, and is designated in the records as "Captain Thomas Welles." In 1708 he was admitted to practice as an attorney by the Hartford county bar, the fourth person thus qualified for legal business in the county. He married (first) January 7, 1697, Thankful Root, died 1703, daughter of John Root, of Wethersfield, Connecticut. He married (second) May 17, 1705, Jerusha Treat, born 1678, died January 15, 1754, daughter of Lieutenant James and Rebecca (Lattimer) Treat, and granddaughter of Richard and Joan Treat, the emigrants. She survived her husband, and married (second) Captain Ephraim Goodrich. Children:

  1. Thomas, born January 10, 1698; married Mary Curtis.
  2. Hezekiah, died at age of ten years.
  3. William, married Mary, daughter of Samuel Hunn, of Wethersfield.
  4. Wait, see forward.
  5. John, born February 10, 1710.
  6. Ichabod, married Mary, daughter of Eliphalet and Mary (Grimes) Hall, of Guildford, Connecticut.

(IV) Wait, son of Captain Thomas and Jerusha (Treat) Wells (his second wife), was born January 4, 1708. He married, January 10, 1734, Jerusha Treat (his cousin), daughter of James (2) and Prudence (Chester) Treat. Children:

  1. Samuel, born February 4, 1735;
  2. John, see forward;
  3. Jerusha, September 12, 1738;
  4. Oliver, October 31, 1742;
  5. Abigail, March 7, 1745;
  6. Prudence, July 16, 1747.

(V) John, second son of Wait and Jerusha (Treat) Wells, was born in Wethersfield, Connecticut, August 25, 1736. He lived in Farmington and Hartford, Connecticut, in the latter place belonging to the ecclesiastical society. About the year 1784 he removed with his family to Johnstown, New York, where he died. He married, in 1770, Lois Foote, widow of Eleazer Merrill, of Farmington, Connecticut, and daughter of Samuel Foote, of Simsbury, Connecticut, and Lois Loomis, who were married November 24, 1743. Lois Foote was a granddaughter of Daniel and Mary (Collyer) Foote, of Hartford, Connecticut, who were married November 19, 1718. She was a great-granddaughter of Samuel and Mary (Merrick) Foote, of Hatfield, Massachusetts, who were married in 1671. Samuel Foote was a son of Nathaniel (2) and Elizabeth Foote, and a grandson of Nathaniel (1) Foote, the "first settler." Nathaniel (1) Foote married Elizabeth Deming, who survived him and became the second wife of Governor Thomas Welles. Five generations later a direct descendant of Thomas Wells (John), by his first wife, and a direct descendant of Elizabeth Deming, by her first husband, Nathaniel Foote (Lois), are married. Children of John and Lois (Foote-Merrill) Wells:

  1. Lindy, died aged five years;
  2. Thoda, married John Herring and had issue: John, died in infancy;
  3. John (2), died at Kaskaskia, Illinois;
  4. Lindy (2) (Melinda), married ———— Rood, of Johnstown, New York;
  5. Lucy, twin of Lindy, married Charles Easton;
  6. Eleazer, a farmer and owner of the old Sir William Johnston farm at Johnstown, New York;
  7. Clarissa, married M. Mason;
  8. Nathan Perkins, see forward.

(VI) Nathan Perkins, youngest son of John and Lois (Foote) Wells, was born in Johnstown, New York, 1786. He was named for Nathan Perkins, D.D., pastor of the church to which his mother belonged in Connecticut, and who had baptized all her children except himself. He was for many years cashier of the People's Bank at Johnstown. He married Sarah Aikin; children:

  1. Edward, married Maria Livingston; children: Nathan P., Maria and Frances.
  2. John, see foward.
  3. James, married Helen McKie; children:
    1. Helen;
    2. Sarah;
    3. Grace, married David Fox;
    4. James;
    5. Peter McKie, married Mary Congdon; children: Jean, Charles, Grace, Helen, James, Peter McK.
  4. Nathan P., married Anna Maxwell; child, N. William.

(VII) John, son of Nathan Perkins and Sarah (Aikin) Wells, married Margaret Stewart. Children:

  1. Nathan J., died aged twenty-four;
  2. Catherine, see forward;
  3. Sarah, unmarried;
  4. John, died young;
  5. Elizabeth, died,young;
  6. Walter S., married Caroline Quackenbush and left a son, John W.;
  7. Anna, married Dr. J. H. Glass, of Utica, New York;
  8. John, died in infancy.

(VIII) Catherine, daughter of John and Margaret (Stewart) Wells, married Philetus Pierson Argersinger (see Argersinger IV).

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