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Thomas Welles

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Preceded by  Edward Hopkins
Name  Thomas Welles
Preceded by  Edward Hopkins
Role  Elected official
Nationality  British
Religion  Congregationalist

Preceded by  John Winthrop the Younger
Children  John Welles (1622–1659) Thomas Welles Samuel Welles Anne Welles Sarah Welles Mary Welles
Died  January 14, 1660, Wethersfield, Connecticut, United States
Spouse  Elizabeth Foote (m. 1646), Alice Tomes (m. 1615)

Succeeded by  William Whiting Boardman

Thomas Welles (circa 10 July 1594 – 14 January 1660) is the only man in Connecticut's history to hold all four top offices: governor, deputy governor, treasurer, and secretary. In 1639, he was elected as the first treasurer of the Colony of Connecticut, and from 1640–1649 served as the colony's secretary. In this capacity, he transcribed the Fundamental Orders into the official colony records on 14 January 1638, OS, (24 January 1639, NS).




Welles was born in Stourton, Whichford, Warwickshire, England around 1590, the son of Robert Welles and Alice Robert Hunt of Stourton, Warwickshire, England, born about 1543. He married Alice Tomes on September 28, 1615 at St. Peter's Church, near Banbury, Oxfordshire, England. She was born around 1593 in Long Marston, Gloucestershire, England, the daughter of John Tomes and Ellen (Gunne) Phelps. A brother of Alice Tomes-Welles, also named John Tomes like his father, was a faithful royalist who during the escape of Charles II sheltered him in his home on the night of 10 September 1651 when the king was a fugitive after the Battle of Worcester.

After the death of Alice, Welles married again about 1646 in Wethersfield, Connecticut. His second wife was Elizabeth (Deming) Foote, who was a sister of John Deming and the widow of Nathaniel Foote (Who founded Wethersfield). Elizabeth had seven children by her previous marriage; there were no children from the second marriage.

The first appearance of Governor Thomas Welles's name in Hartford was on 28 March 1637, according to the Connecticut Colonial Records. Welles came to Hartford with Reverend Thomas Hooker in June 1636. Some believe a copy of a grant in which he is named confirms this statement. He was chosen a magistrate of the Colony of Connecticut in 1637, an office he held every successive year until his death in 1660, a period of twenty-two years. He was elected deputy governor in 1654, and governor of the Connecticut Colony in 1655, and in 1656 and 1657 was deputy governor to John Winthrop the Younger; in 1658 governor, and in 1659 deputy governor, which position he held at his death on 14 January 1660 at Wethersfield, Connecticut.

It is thought that he was buried in Wethersfield, Connecticut. Some sources indicate that his remains were later transferred to the Ancient Burying Ground in Hartford. In either case, his grave is presently unmarked. His name appears on the Founders of Hartford, Connecticut Monument in Hartford's Ancient Burying Ground.

  • John (1622 – 7 August 1659), settled in Stratford in 1645, serving as a magistrate and a probate judge there before his death in 1659. His son, John, married Mary Hollister the daughter of Lt, John Hollister and Joanna Treat, the daughter of Richard Treat.
  • Thomas, settled in Hartford, Connecticut; his daughter Rebecca married Captain James Judson and settled in Stratford, Connecticut in 1680 James and Rebecca's son David, also a Captain, built the Captain David Judson House, located on the same spot where his great grandfather William had built his first house, made of stone, in 1639.
  • Samuel, became a Captain and settled in Wethersfield, Connecticut. He married as his first wife Elizabeth Hollister, the daughter of Lt. John Hollister and Joanna Treat, the daughter of Richard Treat. Elizabeth and Samuel were the parents of six children. Elizabeth died in 1659 and he married as his second wife Hannah, the daughter of George Lamberton of the New Haven Colony. There were no children by the second marriage. His son Samuel married Ruth Rice, daughter of Edmund Rice, on 20 June 1683 and they had six children.
  • Captain Samuel's daughter Sarah married Ephraim Hawley of Stratford and settled in what is now Trumbull in 1683. Sarah and Ephraim's great-granddaughter was Abigail Wolcott (1756–1818) who married Oliver Ellsworth (1745– 1807), a lawyer and politician who was a drafter of the United States Constitution and the third Chief Justice of the United States.
  • Descendants

    Thomas Welles's descendants number in the thousands today. Some of his notable descendants include;

  • James Phinney Baxter III, PhD, Litt.D., L.H.D., D.Sc., LL.D., (1893–1975), American historian, educator and academic, He won the 1947 Pulitzer Prize for history, for his book Scientists Against Time. He was the Director of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) (1942–1943). He also served as president of Williams College from 1937—1961.
  • Lyman Beecher, was a Presbyterian clergyman, temperance movement leader, and the father of many noted leaders, including Harriet Beecher Stowe, Henry Ward Beecher, Charles Beecher, Edward Beecher, Isabella Beecher Hooker, and Catharine Beecher, and a leader of the Second Great Awakening of the United States.
  • Robert Foster "Bob" Bennett, is a former United States Senator from Utah and a member of the Republican Party. He is the son of Frances Marion Grant and U.S. Senator Wallace F. Bennett.
  • Emily Newell Blair, a U.S. political activist, American feminist, suffragist and writer. From 1925 to 1934 she was an Editor of Good Housekeeping magazine.
  • Dr. C. Loring Brace IV, Biological anthropologist.
  • Gerald Warner Brace, was an American writer, educator, sailor and boat builder.
  • Seth Wells Cheney, an American artist, a pioneer of crayon work in the United States
  • Lydia Cornell, (born 23 July 1953) is an American actress, writer, novelist, comedian, blogger and talk-radio host.
  • Bruce Dern, is an Academy Award-nominated American film actor.
  • Laura Dern, is an American actress, film director and producer.
  • Gerald R. Ford, was the 38th President of the United States, serving from 1974 to 1977, and the 40th Vice President of the United States serving from 1973 to 1974.
  • Dr. John Franklin Gray, the first practitioner of Homeopathy in the United States.
  • Dr. Jethro A. Hatch, was the first physician in Kentland, Indiana and a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Indiana's10th district.
  • William Welles Hollister, (1818–1886), a Californian rancher, entrepreneur and founder of Hollister, California.
  • Archibald MacLeish, was an American poet, writer and the Librarian of Congress. He is associated with the Modernist school of poetry. He received three Pulitzer Prizes for his work.
  • Helen Schermerhorn Morris, 5th wife of American film director, screenwriter, producer, actor, and film historian, Martin Scorsese.
  • Raphael Pumpelly, was an American geologist and explorer
  • Nancy Davis Reagan, is the widow of former United States President Ronald Reagan and served as an influential First Lady of the United States from 1981 to 1989.
  • Roxana Barry Robinson, is an American novelist and biographer.
  • Henry Shelton Sanford, was an American diplomat and businessman who founded the city of Sanford, Florida.
  • Gideon Welles, the United States Secretary of the Navy, 1861–1869.
  • Sumner Welles, U.S. Undersecretary of State, 1937–1943.
  • Daniel H. Wells, (1814–1891) was an apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) and the third mayor of Salt Lake City, Utah Territory, United States.
  • Dr. Henry Wells, was an American author, professor and leading expert on Latin America politics.
  • Henry Wells, (12 December 1805 – 10 December 1878) founded the American Express Company, Wells Fargo & Company and Wells College, a liberal arts college located in Aurora, New York.
  • Wilford Woodruff, (1 March 1807 – 2 September 1898) was the fourth president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) from 1889 until his death in 1898.
  • Utica Celestia Welles, Lady Beecham, 1st wife of Sir Thomas Beecham, 2nd Baronet, CH was a British conductor and impresario. From the early twentieth century until his death, Beecham was a major influence on the musical life of Britain and, according to Neville Cardus, was the first British conductor to have a regular international career.
  • References

    Thomas Welles Wikipedia

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