Oliver Wells

Oliver WELLS (1732 – 1810) was Alex’s 6th great grandfather, one of 128 in this generation of the Miner line.

Oliver W ells was born 19 Jun 1732 in Groton, CT.  His parents were Thomas WELLS and Elizabeth HOWLAND.  He was married to Azuba  FITCH on 7 Feb 1760 in Norwich-Bozrah, CT by Rev. James Fitch.   Oliver died 25 Oct 1810 in Colchester, CT and is buried in Wells Cemetery , Colchester, New London County, Connecticut,

Oliver Wells Gravestone — Inscription: aged 79 – Wells Cemetery , Colchester, New London County, Connecticut — Thank you to findagrave for headstone photos,

Azubah (Fenbor) Fitch was born 7 Apr 1742 in Lebanon, CT. Her parents were John FITCH and Hannah SCOTT. Azubah died 26 Aug 1814 in Colchester, CT.

Azubah Fitch Wells Gravestone —  Inscription:
relict of Oliver, age 73 –Wells Cemetery,
Colchester, New London County, Connecticut

Children of Oliver and Azuba:

Genealogies have wildly different dates of birth for the Wells children. A primary source doesn’t have any birth dates.   I’ve rearranged according to my best guess that Oliver Jr. came first, the later dates are more reliable than the earlier ones and the unknown birthdates at the end.

Name Born Married Departed
1. Oliver Wells Jr Married  Age 40
2. Abigail (Abbie) Wells 1765 Unmarried 13 Feb 1833
Colchester, New London, Connecticut
3. Jesse Wells c. 1767
Groton, New London, CT
Esther Witter 12 Oct 1810
Groton, CT
4. Annie C WELLS 1774 Joshua POLLEY
bef 1792
21 Dec 1844 in Lisbon CT.
5. Roswell Wells 1775
Colchester, New London, CT
Content Lamb
Abt 1795 – East Hampton, CT
18 Feb 1824 Chatham, Middlesex, CT
6. Nathan Wells 1780
Groton, CT
Desire (Deiah) Knowles 2 Feb 1824
Colchester, CT
7. Elias Wells abt 1781
Mehitable Sweeney 1 Nov 1821 New Haven, Connecticut
8. (14th) George Wells 19 June 1784
Colchester, New London, CT
Mary Babcox (Babcock)
12 Mar 1810
North Stonington, New London, CT
Plainfield, Union, New Jersey
9. William Wells Colchester, CT Eunice Clark
15 Jan 1797 
Preston, CT
Betsy Meyer
10 Jedial Wells Rhoda Chelsea
11. Hannah Wells Jason Coleman
m. “Betsey Wells”
28 Aug 1780
Colchester, CT

[OWBR] Family records list OW and FF and their 11 children (ACW is the 10th in the list) but no dates. OW Sr died at age 79; FF died at age 71. Children: Oliver Wells Jr was a Baptist minister, married, died age 40; Wm Wells married Eunice Clark, afterwards Betsy Meyer; Elias Wells married Mehitibel Sweeney; Roswell Wells married Content Lamb; Jedial Wells married Rhoda Chelsea; Jessee Wells married Esther Witter; Nathan Wells married Desiah Knowls; George Wells married Mary Babcox; Abbie Wells, unmarried; Hannah Wells married Jason Coleman; Annie C.?. Wells married Joshua Polley [born in Bozra Ct 1765 – in a later hand]; Eunice Wells died aged 4 years.

Here is a different list of children from the Wells Surname DNA Study.  It’s very different, but at least Ann Wells is in both lists and born about the same time

Several DAR lineages are given for Ensign Oliver Wells: 137:68, 148:271, and 152:261. Oliver was an Ensign in the 7th Regiment in 1780.

On the 9th of July 1779, an alarm at Saybrook called for help from this town.  Captain John Ventres, with his company, responded, and repaired to the defense of that place. Nothing serious appears to have resulted, however, and the company was retained in the service only two days. This company was then attached to Colonel Worthington’s regiment. The pay roll for that expedition shows that the following wages—remarkably high, on account of a depleted currency—were paid, per day, for service: To the captain, £2 8s.; lieutenant, £1 12s.; ensign, £1 4s.; sergeants, £1 9s. 2d.; corporals, £1 7s. 3d.;
privates, 10s. 6d.

The company was then composed of: Captain John Ventres; Lieutenant James Arnold; Ensign Oliver WELLS ; Sergeants Thomas Shailer, Charles Smith, Reuben Smith, and Jonathan Smith; Corporals Samuel Arnold, Samuel Lewis, David Arnold, and Augustus Lewis; Drummer Daniel Smith,  and Privates Frederick Smith, Obadiah Dickerson, Elibu Bates, James Arnold, Roger Thomas, James Merwin, David Higgins, George Kelsey, William Ely, Samuel Ray jr., Josiah Scovel, Nathan Brooks, Hawes Higgins, Jesse Brainerd, Noah Clark, Ezra Shailer, Jesse Tinker, Jeffrey Smith, John Porter, Samuel Bates, Samuel Shailer, Jethro Smith, Oliver Brainerd, James Smith, Peter Ray, David Dickerson, Jonathan Smith, Hezekiah Shailer, John Smith, Zachariah Brainerd, John Church, Abraham Tyler jr., and Daniel Ray.

In September 1781 another alarm appeared at Saybrook, and Capt. John Ventres and his company again entered the service. They were under the regimental command of Col. John Tyler, and used six days—from the 7th to the 12th, inclusive—in the expedition.


1. Oliver Wells Jr.

Oliver was a Baptist minister, married, died age 40;

2. Abigail Wells

Abby never married and was buried at age 68 in the family cemetery in Colchester.

Abigail Wells Gravestone — Wells Cemetery, Colchester, New London County, Connecticut

3. Jesse Wells

Hezekiah Douglass married Esther Witter, April 11, 1771 in Preston, Connecticut

Children of Jesse and Esther

i. Benjamin Geer Wells b. 1 Jun 1802, Colchester, New London, CT; d. 22 Dec 1875, Colchester, New London, CT; m. 7 June 1826, New York City to Rebecca Long

Benjamin Geer Wells Bio — Source: History of the Welles Family in England and Normandy: With the Derivation from Their Progenitors of Some of the Descendants in the United States (Google eBook) 1875

4. Annie WELLS (See Joshua POLLEYs page)

5. Roswell Wells

Some genealogies say Roswell was born in 1763 instead of 1775.

Roswell’s wife Content Lamb was born 1772 in Middlesex, Connecticut. Her parents were Silas Lamb and Eunice [__?__]. Content died 25 Dec 1845 in Chatham, Middlesex, CT.

History of Luzerne County Pennsylvania

Members of the lower house of the legislature have been sent from the district, including or consisting of Luzerne county, as follows, the district comprising Luzerne, Bradford and Susquehanna, from 1814 to 1828. inclusive: Roswell Wells, 1797-8

District No. 1, for which the first appointment was made in 1806, was composed of Huntinoton, Nescopeck, Salem and Sugarloaf townships until 1811; then of Huntington, Nescopeck and Salem townships six or seven years; then of Wilkes-Barre borough and township and part of Covington township till 1835, when it comprised only Wilkes-Barre borough and township; part of Covington township also belonged to it in 1836 and 1837. Justices for this district were commissioned as follows: John Myers and Roswell Wells; 1823,

Children of Roswell and Content

i. William Wells b. 29 Feb 1796 in Middlesex, Connecticut; d. 12 Aug 1855 in Chattam, Middlesex CT;  m1. 24 Aug 1818 East Hampton Middlesex Connecticut to Lydia Ann Clark (b. 16 Nov 1800 in Middlesex, Connecticut – d. 08 Oct 1852 in Chatham, Middlesex CT); m2. 18 Mar 1853 to Pamelia Skinner (b. 20 Jun 1800) In the 1850 census, William and Lydia were farming in Chatham, Middlesex, Connecticut with four children at home ages 8 to 26.

ii. Oliver Welles b.  1808 Connecticut; m. 8 Dec 1826 Marlborough to Lydia Brown (b. 1806 CT –  bef. 1870 census)  In the 1860 census, Oliver and Lydia were living  in Hebron, Tolland, Connecticut with five children,  ages 14 to 31, at home. Oliver was a mechanic.  In the 1870 census, Oliver was farming in Hebron with only Eliza (b. 1830 CT) and Ellen (b. 1848 CT) at home.

6.  Nathan Wells

Some genealogies say Nathan was born c. 1762 Colchester, but his 1824 gravestone states he was aged 44 years.

Nathan Wells Gravestone — Wells Cemetery, Colchester, New London County, Connecticut

Nathan’s wife Desire “Dessie” Knowles was born 1794 in Connecticut. Her parents were Robert Knowles (1766 – 17 Dec 1838 Colchester) and Desire [__?__] (1769 – 9 Oct 1820 Colchester). Desire died 20 Feb 1873 in Colchester, New London, CT.

Desire was a widow for almost fifty years. She seems to have lived with different families every decade. In the 1860 census, “Dessie” was living with her daughter Eliza Perry in Colchester, CT.

Desire Knowles Wells Gravestone — Wells Cemetery, Colchester, New London County, Connecticut

Children of Nathan and Desire:

i. Mary Wells b. 1817 Connecticut; d. 8 Jul 1843  burial Wells Cemetery  Colchester New London County Connecticut; Inscription: age 26, wife of Ogden & daughter of Nathan & Desire Wells, m. 26 Mar 1837 – Bozrah CT to Odgen Crouch (b. 1804  New London, CT- d. 12 Dec 1859 burial Wells Cemetery  Colchester )  In the 1850 census, Odgen was a widower farming in Colchester, New London,Connecticut.

ii. Elizabeth “Eliza”  Wells b. 1818 Connecticut; d. 1882 in Pawnee Co, Kansas; m. 24 Jun 1844 Colchester, CT to George Perry (b. 1815 Connecticut – d. betw. 1860 – 1870 census) In the 1860 census, George and Eliza were farming in Colchester, New London, Connecticut.

iii. Nathan Wells b. 1819 d. 18 Jul 1835 Wells Cemetery,  Colchester New London County Connecticut; Inscription: son of Nathan & Desire, age 16

iv. George Lyman Wells b. 1824 Connecticut; d. 24 Jul 1843 burial Wells Cemetery  Colchester New London County Connecticut  George and his sister Mary died as young adults, two weeks apart

Inscription: son of Nathan & Desire, age 19 yrs.

7. Elias Wells

Elias’ wife Mehitable Sweeney origins are not known

8. George Wells

George’s wife Mary Ann Babcock’s was born in 1791 in Gales Ferry, CT.   Her parents were Ichabod Babcock and  Dorcas Hoxie.  Mary Ann died in Plainfield, NJ.

George was a merchant.  He removed to New York in 1810 and from there to Plainsfield, New Jersey in 1829 where he died in 1856.

In the 1850 census, George and Mary were farming in Plainfield, Essex, New Jersey.  In addition to daughter Adelia, Sarah Smith (b. 1833 NJ) and John Wells (b. 1843 NJ) were living with the family.

Children of George and Mary Babcock

i. Albert Wells b. 1818, Palymra, Wayne, New York; d. 1881, prob., New York City, New York; m. 02 Dec 1844, Palymra, Wayne Co., New York to Catherine Matson Beckwith (b. 02 Jun 1826 in Palmyra, NY – d. 23 May 1886 in Palmyra, NY) Her parents were George Beckwith (b. 16 Oct 1789 East Haddam, CT – d. 29 Nov 1868 Palmyra, Wayne, NY) and Ruth Matson (b. 2 Feb 1793 – d. 29 Jan 1882) Ruth’s father was Grurdon Clark

Palyrma is in Wayne County, NY 20 miles southeast of Rochester. Mormon. founder Joseph Smith, Jr., whose family lived on a farm that straddled the line between Palmyra and Manchester, claimed to have been visited by God the Father and Jesus Christ in 1820, an event known as the First Vision.

In the 1850 census, Albert and Catherine M J were living New York Ward 8, New York, New York in a large household. Albert and Catherine had a daughter Catherine (b. 1845 NY). Albert’s profession is listed as “express” Other adults in the household include: Robert Mitchell (b. 1805 CT), Julia Mitchell (b. 1832 NY), Julia Munson (b. 1810 CT), Sarah Walker (b. 1825 NY), William Bush (b. 1827 NY) and Morris Bado (b, 1821 NY) The 8th Ward was bounded by Houston Street on the north, Broadway on the east, Canal on the south and the Hudson River on the west.

In the 1870 census, Albert and Catherine were living in Palymra, Wayne, New York. Albert was an insurance agent (F & L). The household also included Ruth Beckwith (b. 1793 CT) , Amelia Wells (b. 1840 NY) Albert’s sister? and a domestic Mag Hogan (b. 1854 Ireland)

ii. Mary Ann Welles b. 1821 in Elmira, Chemung, NY (Connecticut?); d. 1897 in Plainfield, N.J In the 1860 census, Mary was living with her sister Adelia and brother-in-law Jared Sparks in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

iii. Adelia Hoxie Wells b. 31 Jan 1831, Plainfield, NJ; m1. 16 Oct 1850, Plainfield, NJ to Jared Sparks; m2. 15 Feb 1873, Williamsburg, Kings., New York to John West Esq.

In the 1860 census, Adelia H and Jared lived in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Jared was working as a lawyer. In the 1870 census, Adelia was living in the large household of Rev. David Morris (b. 1789 Wales) in Brooklyn Ward 13.

Adelia Hoxie Wells Bio — History of the Welles Family in England and Normandy:.

9. William Wells

William’s first wife Eunice Clark’s origins are not known.

William’s second wife Betsy Meyer

The town of Preston was named about Oct  1687. The Congregational Church was organized Nov. 16, 1698 with Rev. Salmon Treat, pastor until 1744.  Marriages by Rev Lemuel Tyler — William Wells of Colchester & Eunice Clark, Jan. 15, 1797

11. Hannah Wells

Hannah’s husband Jason Coleman was born 4 May 1758 – New London, CT. His parents were John Coleman and Hannah Gay. Jason died 9 Nov 1796 – Colchester, Connecticut Inscription: age 38 Burial: Scott Hill Cemetery, Colchester, New London County, Connecticut,

The Barbour Collection marriage record shows Jason married “Betsey” Wells 28 Aug 1780 by Icabod Allyn




Early Connecticut marriages as found on ancient church records …, Volume 5 edited by Frederic William Bailey


History of the Welles Family in England and Normandy: With the Derivation from Their Progenitors of Some of the Descendants in the United States (Google eBook) By Albert Welles  1876


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