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The Wells Family of Gloversville & Johnstown

The following has been researched, written and submitted to this web site by Marcia Buffet. Thank you! Hopefully this information will help someone. You may also refer to another Wells posting of this same family: Click here.

First Generation of Wells.

JOHN WELLS was born 1739 in Hartford, Connecticut and died September 10, 1806 in Gloversville. His wife Lois was born 1745 and died June 11, 1815. John is buried in Kingsboro Cemetery.

I have five children listed for them.
1.  James Wells (1760 - June 16, 1811)
2.  Nathan Perkins Wells
3.  Eleazer Wells (March 30,1782-November 26,1860)
4.  Hezekiah (1783-September 18, 1811)
5.  Gurden (1786 - August 25, 1811).

These last two sons were 28, and 25 years old respectively when they died within weeks of each other. I haven’t found Gurden’s grave, but Hezekiah is buried in the Kingsboro Colonial Cemetery with his father.

Second generation of Wells Family

1.  The oldest son, JAMES WELLS, was a Revolutionary War soldier in Grosver’s Pennsylvania Militia. He served from 1775-1788. He was married to a woman named Lydia. At the age of 51 he died and is also buried in Kingsboro Cemetery.

James and Lydia had a daughter, CHARLOTTE WELLS (1784-January 19, 1862). She married JOHN WALLACE who was born in 1783. He died just before Christmas of 1867.

Her brother, JAMES WELLS, JR., was married December 31, 1811 in the Congregational Church in Gloversville to Nancy Wells. I haven’t researched these two lines; if anyone has information, I’d greatly appreciate it. Their younger sister, LYDIA, married ALVAN ROBBINS, and is listed in the next generation.

2.  NATHAN PERKINS WELLS was born about 1780. He married Sarah who was born in 1789. After Nathan died Sarah lived with her son John (1850 census of Johnstown Township).

They had two sons:
JOHN WELLS (July 1, 1817 - March 30, 1877)
EDWARD WELLS (b abt. 1818 and died in 1869).

3.  ELEAZER WELLS was born March 30, 1782 and died November 26, 1860 in Johnstown. He married AMY AKIN on June 15th of 1809 in the Congregational Church.  Amy was born May 6, 1788 in Johnstown and died Christmas Eve 1858. They had six sons and eight daughters. Eleazer was engaged in milling and farming. He became a large owner of real estate which included the historic Johnson Hall. It was in that building that his son David Akin Wells was born.

Children of ELEAZER WELLS and AMY AKIN are:
 i.    SALLY M. WELLS, about 1810
 ii.   GEORGE W. WELLS, b. July 15, 1811; d. May 31, 1892.
 iii.  ELEAZER H. WELLS, JR., b. March 27, 1815; d. August 17, 1837, Johnstown, Fulton Co., NY.
 iv.  ALMIRA WELLS, b. abt. 1818.
 v.   ANN S. WELLS, b. abt. 1820.
 vi.  ELIZABETH WELLS, b. abt. 1821.
vii.  JOHN E. WELLS, b. August 7, 1822.
viii. RHODA WELLS, b. abt. 1823.
 ix.  LOUISA WELLS, b. October 27, 1825; d. October 3, 1874.
 x.   CATHARINE WELLS, b. March 20, 1825; d. August 15, 1900.
 xi.  DAVID AKIN WELLS, b. May 17, 1828, Johnstown, Fulton Co., NY; d. November 29, 1903, Johnstown, Fulton co., NY.
xii.  NATHAN P. WELLS, b. December 20, 1826; d. October 27, 1855.
xiii. EDWARD AKIN WELLS, b. October 6, 1830, Johnstown, Fulton Co., NY; d. June 19, 1910, Johnstown, Fulton Co., NY.
xiv. MELINDA WELLS, b. 1835.

Third generation of Wells Family

LYDIA WELLS (daughter of James and Lydia Wells) married ALVAN ROBBINS on January 9, 1811 in the Congregational Church. He was the son of THOMAS ROBBINS and ROSANNA WOODWORTH. Alvan was born August 6, 1790 in Tyringham, Berkshire Co., Mass., and died November 1867 in Gloversville. Lydia was mentioned in her father’s will which was dated June 11, 1811 and probated the following month. In the 1860 census, Alvan’s unmarried sister Sally was living with them. Alvan’s father, Thomas was a Revolutionary War soldier who served in the Eighth Regiment of the Albany County Militia under the command of Col. Robert Van Rensselaer.

Lydia and Alvan’s son, ALVAN CYRUS ROBBINS, was born in Massachusetts 1820.  This son, Alvan C. married ELIZA WHITAKER on April 10, 1845 in Mayfield and died in Fulton Co. I haven’t found Eliza’s parents yet but know that she was born in Scotia, Saratoga County, NY.

After Alvan was born, the Robbins family moved to the Gloversville area where JAMES WELLS ROBBINS was born. According to Lydia’s will, James was living in Beloit, Wisconsin at the time of her death.

Their daughter, MARY ALMIRA ROBBINS, was born September 16,1827. She married DAVID S. QUACKENBUSH on a June day in 1847. He was born the day after Christmas in 1825 and died on May 29, 1897. Mary was baptised as an infant in the Kingsboro Presbyterian Church.

JOHN WELLS, son of Nathan Perkins Wells, was born July 1, 1817. He married MARGARET STEWART (January 7,1820 - November 27, 1867). After Margaret died he married CATHERINE D. HAGAMAN in January of 1869. All I know about Catharine is that she was born January 7, 1820 and died November 27, 1867 and that Hagaman is not her maiden name as the marriage record states "Mrs. Catherine Hagaman". John survived both of his wives and died in 1877. There are some little graves near John in the Johnstown Cemetery which states:

John "in his third year", Elizabeth S. "in her second year", another John "in his first year".

John Wells graduated from Union College in Schenectady in 1835 and entered the office of Daniel Cady and was admitted to the bar in 1839. He began his law practice in the village of Palmyra, NY but returned to Johnstown where he opened an office . He later formed a partnership with Donald McMartin. He was elected county judge and started serving in this capacity in July of 1847. John resigned this office in 1852 to take a seat in the House of Representatives.

John must have liked law practice better than politics, because he did not seek re-election and instead entered into to co-partnership with James M. Dudley. Judge John Wells died on the 30th of May 1877.

i. NATHAN J. WELLS, b. May 27, 1844; d. January 15, 1868.
ii. RUTHANNA WELLS, b. 1848.
iii. CATHERINE WELLS, b. May 28, 1848; d. December 4, 1932; She married PHILETUS ARGERSINGER, March 31, 1875, Johnstown, Fulton Co., NY; He was born April 10, 1842, Johnstown, Fulton Co., NY; d. February 2, 1909, Johnstown, Fulton Co., NY. Philitus served in the Civil War. He enlisted at Albany in the 24th Regiment. He later was a glove manufacturer and had his own business. P.P. Argersinger and he took in his brother James as a partner.
iv. S. MARGARET WELLS, b. October 6, 1850; d. November 14, 1920.

EDWARD WELLS, son of Nathan Perkins Wells, was born Abt. 1818, and died 1869. He married MARIA which I have no dates for, nor parents. Edward had a will which was probated in 1869. It mentions his wife Maria as living in New York City. When the will was proved, Nov 24, 1869, Edward’s daughter, Frances was living in New York City, and Maria L. Hewlett his other was daughter living in Great Neck Long Island. Edward and Maria also had a son Nathan born in 1839 who was living with his parents in the 1850 census.

JOHN E. WELLS, son of Eleazer, was born August 7, 1822. He married (1) SABRA MARIA STEELE, probably in 1845. Sabra was the daughter of FREDERICK STEELE and SUSAN GREEN. She was born about 1825, and died April 30, 1846. John E. owned a gristmill which he purchased from his father and operated it for about twenty years. Sabra and John had one daughter SABRA MARIA STEELE WELLS born in 1846 who was Baptized by her grandparents F. & S. G. Steele because her mother died in April. The infant was baptised Nov. 22, 1846 in the Kingsboro Presbyterian Church. Sabra later became Mrs. R. D. Burr.

John married (2) MARGARET E. BURTON January 31, 1848, daughter of JACOB BURTON and MARIA GREEN. She was also born about 1825, and died November 17, 1869.

I found a will which offered the following information:  Margaret Burton Wells died Nov 17, 1869, wife of John Wells petitioner. Next of kin: Catharine Wells, Sarah Margaret Wells, Walter Wells, and Anna Wells all her children and all minors under 21.

LOUISA WELLS, daughter of Eleazer, was born October 27, 1825, and died October 3, 1874. She married MCINTYRE FRASER, ATTY., son of GEORGE FRASER and CATHARINE MCINTYRE. He was born March 30, 1822, and died April 6, 1895. See Fraser genealogy.

CATHARINE WELLS, another daughter of Eleazer, was born March 20, 1825, and died August 15, 1900. She married JOHN STEWART in 1848, son of JAMES STEWART and MARGARET MCFARLAN. He was born October 30, 1820 in Mayfield, Fulton Co., NY, and died November 20, 1882. He is buried in the Johnstown Cemetery.

John studied law under Clark S. Grinnell of Northampton. He taught until 1850 when he was admitted to the bar. He was elected to the Assembly in 1851. In 1855, he was chosen for the office of county judge and surrogate of Fulton co. He was president of First National Bank of Johnstown in 1879.

i. CATHERINE STEWART, b. Abt. 1850; d. 1867; m. H. B LIVINGSTON; b. Abt. 1849. Catherine died shortly after her marriage.
ii. MARGARET STEWART, b. Abt. 1853; m. JAMES PIERSON ARGERSINGER, Aft. 1874; b. September 22, 1834, Johnstown, Fulton Co., NY.
iii. JAMES STEWART, b. August 29, 1858; d. July 2, 1919; James married EMMAROY BRADLEYwho was born about 1855 in Little Falls, NY.
iv. ISABELLE STEWART, b. 1863; m. JOHN B. JUDSON; b. 1861.

DAVID AKIN WELLS, son of Eleazer, was born May 17, 1828 in Johnstown, Fulton Co., NY, and died November 29, 1903 in Johnstown, Fulton co., NY. He married ALIDA GILBERT on April 10, 1850, daughter of MARCELLUS and GERTRUDE GILBERT. She was born May 17, 1832, and died March 20, 1908 in Johnstown, Fulton co., NY.

About 1845 David went to work as a clerk in the dry goods store of Edwards and Yauney (who were his brothers-in-law). Later, he was in the store of Burton & Gross and in 1848 became a partner with Jacob Burton after Mr. Gross retired. The partnership continued until 1851 when David sold his interest in the business to his brother Edward and formed a co-partnership with Marcellus Gilbert a manufacturer of gloves. His father-in-law and partner died in 1869. David kept the business going for about two more years and then the factory burned down. He later became the vice-president of the Fonda, Johnstown, and Gloversville Railroad Corporation. He became active in a lot of other businesses, i.e., director in the People’s Bank of Johnstown, President of the Savings Bank, director of a knitting mill, and president of Gloversville Foundry and Machine, just to mention a few. During this time he was also elected to the State legislature in 1880.

According to "History of Fulton County" by Frothingham, David was born at Johnson Hall as stated above under Eleazer. Frothingham also lists Alida’s parents as George and Frances Johnson. But I don’t think that is true. This obviously needs to be researched further.

Children of DAVID WELLS and ALIDA GILBERT are:
i. MARCELLUS GILBERT WELLS, b. 1850; d. February 16, 1869, Johnstown, Fulton co., NY. He died at the age of 19 and is buried in Johnstown Cem.
ii. ELEAZER M. WELLS, b. January 31, 1853; d. February 17, 1918, Johnstown, Fulton Co., NY; married ELSINA M. born August 6, 1851; d. April 23, 1933.
iii. NATHAN P. WELLS, b. July 23, 1855; d. January 26, 1916, Johnstown, Fulton co., NY.
iv. DAVID A. WELLS, JR., b. December 21, 1858; d. May 8, 1928, Johnstown, Fulton co., NY; m. MARY CATHERINE HOGAN; b. October 8, 1863; d. January 22, 1945, Johnstown, Fulton Co., NY. They are both buried in the Johnstown Cemetery.
v. ANNA GILBERT WELLS, b. Abt. 1860; m. JOSEPH D. OLIVER; b. Abt. 1860.  Joseph D. Oliver was the proprietor of Oliver Chilled Plow Works of South Bend, Indiana.

EDWARD AKIN WELLS, son of Elezaer, was born October 6, 1830 in Johnstown, Fulton Co., NY, and died June 19, 1910 in Johnstown, Fulton Co., NY. He married ANNA E. BURTON June 15, 1853. She was born July 10, 1836 in Gloversville, Fulton Co. New York, and died December 3, 1911 in Johnstown, Fulton co., NY. He was also born at Johnson Hall.

Children of EDWARD WELLS and ANNA BURTON are:
i. EDWARD AKIN WELLS, JR., b. June 26, 1854; d. December 3, 1873; married BESSIE PARRISH
ii. JENNIE WELLS, b. Abt. 1858; married EDWARD L. FONDA
iii. E. BURTON WELLS, b. October 28, 1866; d. February 2, 1943; married JANE B. HOLMES who was born on April 7, 1872 and died on August 4, 1946.

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