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The Wells, or Welles, family, in England is of very ancient origin, clearly traceable back, it is claimed, to the time of the Norman conquest. About 1635 several families of that name (which was then sometimes spelt Wells, but oftener Welles) emigrated from England to Massachusetts. Some of these families remained in the eastern part of that State, others went to Rhode Island, others to Hartford and other towns in Connecticut, and still others to Hatfield and Hadley, in the western part of Massachusetts. So that we find at a very early day -- before 1660 -- persons bearing that name in many towns of New England. It is probable that (1) Thomas Wells of Ipswich was the earliest emigrant of that name who settled in this country. He came as early as 1635, and perhaps a year earlier. Savage, in his Genealogical Dictionary of New England, states that he came in 1635, on the "Susan and Ellen," from London, with young Richard Saltonstall, when thirty years of age. Mr. D. W. Hoyt, of Providence, R. I., has published the genealogy of his third son, Thomas (N. E. Gen. Register, vol. 12, page 157), and I have endeavored in these pages to trace as well as I could, especially through the earlier generations, the descendants of his second son, John; and I hope some other person will do the same in regard to the descendants of his eldest son, Nathaniel.
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Thomas Welles (born circa 1570), John Wells (died 1677), Wells Genealogy
Wells, Charles Kimball, "Genealogy of the Wells family, of Wells, Maine" (1874). Books and Publications. 65.