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Wells, Bethia, who married Gershom Terry, 1749, is daughter of Solomon Wells
Wells, Bethia, who married Joshua Terry, 1765, is of unknown parentage
Wells, David-4 (Solomon-3, Joshua-2, William-1) - "Blind David" - Identity of Wives
Wells, David-4 (Samuel-3, Joshua-2, William-1) - Identity of Wife(s?)
Wells, Deborah-4 (Samuel-3, Joshua-2, William-1) Married John Griffin or Christopher Robinson?
Wells, Keturah, b c 1760 - Two Keturah's? Two Husbands?
Wells, Samuel-3 - Who is his wife: Martha Vail? Martha Goldsmith?
Wells, William-1 - Not son of the Vicar William Welles of Norwich, England

Wells, Bethia, married Gershom Terry 1749, is daughter of Solomon Wells
Wells, Bethia, who married Joshua Terry, 1765, is of unknown parentage

There seems to be confusion about the respective wives of Gershom and Joshua Terry, who are both shown to be women named Bethia Wells in their Salmon Marriage Records on Mar 09, 1749, and Apr 07, 1765, respectively.

Both the 1878 and 1986 Wells Genealogies show that Bethia, daughter of Solomon and Esther (Wines) Wells, could have married either one and draw no conclusion.

There can be no doubt that Bethia Wells, daughter of Solomon, married Gershom Terry, not Joshua Terry.

In the will of Barnabas Wines, father of Esther (Wines) Wells and grandfather of Bethia (Wells) Terry, written on 3 Feb 1762, we find: "To my granddaughter, Bethiah Terry, 150. To my great grandson, Gershom Terry, Jr., 50.

First, and conclusively, we need look no further than the dates: the marriage of Joshua Terry did not occur until 1765, AFTER the date of the 1762 will of Barnabas Wines.

Aside from this conclusive piece of evidence, the timeline fits better (Bethia's birthdate not known, but it was before 1730 - therefore, would have been over 35 in 1765, but something over 19, probably 22 or so in 1749) - and we know that Gershom Terry had a son named Gershom (named as administrator of his father's estate with his brother-in-law, Benjamin Moore) and I have no record of Joshua having a son named Gershom - who would have been referred to as greatgrandson in Barnabas Wines' will - and certainly not by his wife, Bethia Wells, by 1762 - when Barnabas Wines made his will.


The Bethia-4 Wells who married Gershom Terry 1749. is daughter of Solomon-3 Wells
The Bethia Wells who married Joshua Terry, 1765, is of unknown parentage

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Wells, "Blind" David-4 (Solomon-3, Joshua-2, William-1) > Wives

The 1878 Wells Genealogy, pp 262-3, shows "Blind David" Wells, and mentions only one wife:

"Sarah (perhaps Corwin, daughter of Matthias and sister of Rev Jacob, who was his brother-in-law), who died June 26, 1791 by the Index of 1775; but either this date or that of the will must be wrong. I have the name of only one child: David, born Apr 11, 1776."
This Genealogy goes on to show the son as the Rev David Wells who married Huldah Tuthill Paine about 1797 and succeeded the Rev Jacob Corwin, his uncle, in ministry duties: "from 1785 lived with his uncle, the Rev. Jacob Corwin; in 1809 became the Pastor of the "Strict Congregational Church" at Riverhead (Wading River), which had been organized in 1785 by the Rev. Daniel Youngs, and of which the Rev. Jacob Corwin had charge from 1787 to 1800. The Rev. David Wells retained this charge until his death, twelve years, and was the last settled minister."  The uncle/nephew relationship of the Rev Jacob Corwin and the Rev David Wells is also mentioned in the Corwin Genealogy, but how David Wells was a nephew of Jacob Corwin was not mentioned there.

In a footnote, the 1878 Wells Genealogy says: "One David Wells m March 1, 1750 Bethia Parshall. The same, or another, m May 20, 1764, Mary Moore. Either or both of these may have been "Blind David", son of Solomon. I find no others likely to have married this early unless the second was the son of Joshua III, pg 212 above." In this second conclusion, the author was wrong, as Joshua named his sons in his 1761 will, naming no David. The author of the Wells Genealogy, at page 212; shows a son David for Joshua, with no dates or any information given. This entry shows no reason for including such a son for Joshua, when Joshua named no such person in his will. At any rate, such a son, if he existed, was not alive in 1761, three years before the 1764 Mary Moore marriage.

(As a footnote: neither the 1878 Wells Genealogy or the 1872 Corwin Genealogy appeared to be cognizant of, or utilized, the Salmon Records.)

The 1986 Wells Genealogy, pg 88, shows this David Wells as having four wives. Further, it shows two children: Solomon (nothing further and no dates or info) and Deliverance (1769-1853), married Benjamin Paine (1751-1838) - no mention of a son named David Wells that I can find there. The four wives given in the 1986 Wells Genealogy are:

Sarah Corwin:  ?? - 1763
Mary Moore:   ??  - 1774
Mary Case Hart:  ?? - 1783
Sarah Hand:    ??  - 1793
In the Salmon Records, we have:
1774 Aug 03  David Wells Wife Mary
1776 Apr 23  David Wells wife Patiance
1793 Jun 26   David Wells wife Sarah

1750 0301 David Wells Bethia Parshall
1775 0504 David Wells Patience .
1777 0619 David Wells Sarah Osborn
1793 0725 David Wells Mary wid Hart

Note the 1878 Wells Genealogy adds a May 20, 1764 marriage for a David Wells to Mary Moore. I do not know the source that information. It is not in the Salmon Records, but may be in church or bible records that I am not aware of.

Note that the death of Patience, Apr 26, 1776, is 15 days after the birthdate given by the 1878 Wells Genealogy for the son David Wells. Note that the Patience marriage is less than a year after the death of the wife Mary. Also, the Sarah Osborn marriage is in the second year after the death of Patience, and that the Mary Hart, widow marriage is one month after the death of Sarah.

The 1878 Wells Genealogy lists, without citing any evidence, a daughter named Patience Wells, for David Wells, the son of Blind David. The 1878 Wells Genealogy gives her date of birth as Apr 13, 1798, and adds that she married George Hudson. No further information given there. This daughter's name would serve as corroborating the assertion that the wife named Patience was the mother of David Wells, the preacher, son of Blind David.

Note also the 1878 Wells Genealogy says the will of "Blind David" was written and proved in 1792, but then expresses doubt over the date. The 1986 Wells Genealogy gives the date of death of "Blind David" as 1816.


I suggest the sequence of these marriages and deaths indicate the wives of "Blind David" Wells to be:

1) Mary Moore, marriage given as May 20, 1764 by the Wells Genealogy (not in Salmon Records), but parents unknown, first name agrees with Salmon Death Record. Died Aug 3, 1774.

2) Patience Corwin, married May 4, 1775, died Apr 23, 1776, 15 days after birth of Rev David Wells, preacher, giving status of nephew of Rev Jacob Corwin (relationship of nephew coming from the Corwin Genealogy sketch of Rev Jacob Corwin), assuming she is a sister of the Rev Jacob. Her last name is not given in the Salmon Records, and comes from the identity of her son as a nephew of the Rev Jacob Corwin.

3) Sarah Osborn, married Jun 19, 1777. Name could be a married name, but "widow" not used by Salmon Records, as it often was. Parents, or first husband if any, unknown. Died Jun 26, 1793. (SR).

4) Mary Hart, widow, married Jul 25, 1793.

The above marriages are corroborated by the entry by Rev Zachariah Green in his marriage entries. Note this comment would have been made by a contemporary: the preacher who married them:

"04/25/1793: David Wells & Mary Hart; She was his fourth wife and he never saw the light of the sun. both of Southold."

The reference to "never saw the light" indicates this is Blind David. This marriage therefore belongs to Blind David. The preacher's reference to fourth wife would tend to corroborate the three prior marriages we have identified above.

The identity of the David Wells who married Bethia Parshall (in the Salmon Records above) is not given by either the 1878 or 1986 Wells genealogy. His identity remains unknown. In my opinion, he is NOT the David Wells who married Abigail Youngs, as the errata/corrections to the Youngs Genealogy, page 352, indicates. I submit that that David Wells was only married to Abigail Youngs, and she was the mother of all of the children of that David Wells.

The identity of the David Wells who married Sarah Hand is probably David-5 (Joshua-4,3,2, William-1) Wells.

I still have no documentation that shows that "Blind David" also had a daughter named Deliverance who married Benjamin Paine, although her estimated date of birth of 1769, would fit for the first wife; nor do I yet know the parents of Huldah Tuthill Paine, wife of the Rev David Wells. It would also be helpful to find the death or cemetery records for Blind David and his wives.

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Wells, David-4 (Samuel-3, Joshua-2, William-1)

Wife of David Wells, son of Samuel

I believe the errata correction in the Youngs Genealogy, pg 352, to be wrong. It says:

"[correction to] pg 127. Abigail (No 374). She was the second wife of David Wells, whose first wife was Bethiah, (dau of Israel & Bethiah (Case) Parshall, b 1741; d 1772. Charlotte and Mehitable  were the first wife's children. Abigail, in addition to Abigail, had..." Then, adds details of Benjamin, Samuel, Moses, Joannah, Harma, and James Youngs Wells.

The apparent cemetery record of the above "first wife" is:

Cemetery: Baiting Hollow Cemetery , SUFFOLK CO, NY

 Surname, First:WELLS, Bethiah
 Maiden Name:
 Date  of  Birth:
 Date of  Death: 21 Apr 1772
 Age  at  Death: 71st year
 Grave Location:

 Notes: Wife of David Wells
 Source: Frost 'L. I. Cemeteries' vol. 8, pp. 1-36; LDS microfilm #0017118

The Salmon marriage for a David Wells and Bethia Parshall is dated 03/01/1750, meaning that a woman born 1741 could not be in that marriage. Israel and Bethia (Case) Parshall were married Nov 16, 1732 (SR). If that date of birth was estimated and it is closer to 1733, it is possible that a daughter of Israel Parshall could be in that marriage, but the above death record indicates she was born in 1701 or 2.

This could also be an approximate date of birth for Bethia (Case) Parshall, wife of Israel. The Parshall Genealogy is very tentative on events in Israel Parshall's life and looks for records which could be his after 1750 in Orange Co, New York - but no definite connections. Thus, it is possible that Bethia (Case) Parshall could have been a widow by the 1750 Salmon Record marriage of David Wells to "Bethia Parshall".

The David Wells who married Abigail Youngs was born May 1744 (1878 Wells Gen), 1744 (Youngs Genealogy), and 1744 (1986 Wells Genealogy) - died 06/14/1828, giving an "outside" birthdate of 100 years earlier, which would be 1728; but his parents were married Jul 27, 1739, so 1740 is the absolute earliest he could have been born - and ineligible for a 1750 David Wells / Bethia Parshall marriage. Also, again, the Bethia, presumably Parshall, was born 1701 or 2 (cemetery record) -making it very unlikely the David Wells, husband of Abigail Youngs, married Bethia Parshall.

Further, we have some "name" connections for the daughter Mehitable to the Youngs family. Mehitable Wells married Nathaniel Downs and had children Daniel Youngs Downs and James Youngs Downs. James was the name of Abigail Youngs father. Furthermore, Daniel Youngs Downs had a son named Christopher - Abigail Youngs was the granddaughter of Christopher Youngs. This is the Mehetable that the Youngs Genealogy claims belongs to first wife Bethia Parshall.


The errata correction in the Youngs Genealogy is in error. Abigail Youngs was, in all likelihood, the only wife of David Wells and the mother of all of his children.

All of the evidence about the David Wells who married Bethia Parshall is very muddy, indeed. There is no real indication who that person was, he is not identified by either of the published Wells Genealogies, and he appears to be clearly much older, possibly as much as 50 years older, than Abigail Youngs. That David Wells married Bethia Parshall in 1750, the same year Abigail Youngs is reported to have been born; and, the wife of that marriage, if the above cemetery record is hers and is accurate, was born in 1701 or 2, 50 years before Abigail Youngs was born. If that is her age, she is likely to be the Bethia Case, as a widow of Israel Parshall. We do not have a firm date of death, or record of events of Israel Parshall after 1750 to affirmatively confirm this, however.

We may not know all of the facts bearing on this situation, but the errata correction in the Youngs Genealogy does not correspond with the facts we do know.

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Wells, Deborah-3 (Samuel-3, Joshua-2, William-1)

Did Samuel-3 Wells have a daughter named Deborah; and if so, did she marry Christopher Robinson, or John Griffin, or both?

The 1878 Wells Genealogy (Hayes, pg 218) states she married Christopher Robinson, son of Christopher and left two children: Ann md James Hulse of Setauket, LI and John, who married had two sons: Joshua and Israel Franklin Robinson.

The 1986 Wells Genealogy (Wells, pg 88) states Deborah, the daughter of Samuel-3, belongs to the  Salmon marriage record of a Deborah Wells to John Griffin on Mar 02, 1758.

Neither source gives any evidence supporting these marriages for her, or even that there was a daughter named Deborah that belongs to Samuel.

I have no information to refute or confirm either assertion.

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Wells, Keturah - Two Keturahs or two Husbands?

The 1878 Wells Genealogy shows Keturah Wells, daughter of Thomas and Keturah (Jennings) Wells, born Mar 1764, married William Downs. Nothing further shown. (Pg 273). That Thomas son of Fregift and Anne (Booth) Wells.

The Salmon Records does not show a marriage to a William Downs, but shows a marriage:

26 Aug 1787: "Samll Dains & Cattury Wells"
The Salmon Records are not a complete record of all marriages. I don't find the "Cattury" Wells, with that spelling variation of Keturah, in the Wells Genealogy.

The will of Thomas Wells of Southold, 8 Jun 1817, lists a wife named Abigail (second wife Abigail Youngs) and a daughter named Katury, wife of Samuel Dains.

Thomas Wells married Keturah Jennings Jul 14, 1763 (SR), and her death is recorded about nine months later, Jul 14, 1763 (SR); followed by a marriage record to Hannah Youngs, Apr 26, 1766 (SR).


Keturah Wells, daughter of Thomas and Keturah (Jennings) Wells, married Samuel Dains in the above recorded Salmon Record entry. If the Mar 1764 date of birth is accurate, she would have been 23 at the time of that marriage. Whether she married a William Downs for a year or two before that marriage, I do not know; but it looks rather doubtful.

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Wells, Samuel-3 (Joshua-2, Wm-1) > Who is his wife: Martha Vail? Martha Goldmith?

Wells Genealogy has:

Goldsmith, Martha (Vail)
I don't know if that means Vail is maiden or Goldsmith???
Salmon Records shows Martha Goldsmith...

Pioneers of Riverhead has Martha (Vail) Goldsmith, the daughter of John and Hannah, but John & Hannah Landon md Feb 28, 1716.

Vail Genealogy says Martha, Salmon Marriage Record to Griffin, 1756, belongs to John & Hannah (Landon) Vail. Samuel Wells lived to 1776.

The Jeremiah Vail Genealogy does not show any Samuel Wells marriage to a Martha Vail.

None of the Goldsmith Genealogies I have consulted, or other genealogies involving Goldsmiths, have turned up any Goldsmith she is the daughter of... ??

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Wells, William-1 - Not son of the Vicar William Welles of Southwold, England

The 1878 Wells Genealogy (William Wells of Southold and His Descendants, Charles Wells Hayes, 1878) reports: "According to family tradition", the American immigrant was the son of William Welles of Norwich, Rector of St. Peter of Mancroft's Church, Norwich. A baptism, generally accepted as the son of this Williiam, is reported in the Register of "Christninges" in St. Peter Manscroft, 17 Mar 1604/5. This rector named a son William in his 1622 will.

As a result, although the Mr. Hayes says: "Of the probability of this tradition the reader can form his own conclusion..." It is evident from the book that Mr. Hayes believed the tradition to be true.

This "tradition" was accepted by many descendants of William Wells, and some even to this day.

Mr. Walter M. Wells, Jr, in his 198x version of a genealogy of William Wells includes a reprint of a letter addressed to "Mrs. J. W. Wells", dated 7 Mar 1979, from the County Archivist of the Norfolk Record Office, in which he states: "There seems to be no doubt that William Wells the son of the rector of St. Peter Mancroft was ordained and died as vicar of North Elmham in 1680." He was admitted to Cambridge 1624-5, ordained by the bishop of Norwich in 1625, Rector of Bawdeswell in 1647, and vicar of North Elmham from 1659-1680. The letter goes on to state: "The ship's (Truelove) passenger lists, dated 10 Jun 1635, and published in J. C. Hotten includes William Wells aged 17 years. If William gave his age fairly accurately, his date of birth would have been approximately 1618, more than ten years later than the Rev William Wells birthdate.


And so much for tradition.... William Wells of Southold was not the son of the rector William Wells of Norfolk, England.

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Copyright, Norris Taylor, 2000