Thomas Wells signed up as a passenger on 13 April 1635 on the ship Susan & Ellen, heading to New England as a single man. His English origins and parentage are unknown.
Thomas married Abigail Warner, daughter of William Warner either in late 1635 or early 1636 in Massachusetts, based on the estimated year of 1636 for the birth of their first child.
Abigail was baptized at Boxted, Essex, England on 2 June 1614, the daughter of William Warner and his unknown wife.
Thomas died on 26 October 1666 and left a will which was proved in November of that year. Abigail died five years later and left a will proved on 26 September 1671.
Thomas and Abigail were the parents of eight children.
Children (All BMD thought to be Ipswich unless noted):
1. Nathaniel, born c1636; married Lydia Thurlow, 29 October 1661
2. Sarah, born c1638; married John Massey, 27 April 1658, Salem, Essex, Massachusetts
3. John, born c1640; married Sarah Littlefield, by 1666
4. Abigail, born c1642; married Thomas Tredwell, 19 June 1661
5. Thomas, born 11 January 1646/47; married Mary Perkins, 10 January 1669/70
6. Elizabeth, born c1649; died after 12 December 1713, when she signed a deed: married John Burnham, 9 June 1669
7. Hannah, born c1651; perhaps is the one who married Richard Simonds, 16 August 1679, Salem, Essex, Massachusetts
8. Lydia, born c1653; married John Ropes, 25 September 1669, Salem, Essex, Massachusetts
Will of Thomas Wells, 1666
Essex County, MA Probate File 29317
Source: American Ancestors
NOTE: Robert Charles Anderson abstracted the will. I’ve added in missing words in the first several sections, but the online image is blurry and this will is lengthy, so most of this is an abstraction;
“Know all Men By These PrSents, that I, Thomas Wells, of Ipswich, in the county of Essex, being weake of body, yet of pfect memory blessed be God make this my last will and testament in maner follwing. Viz I comend my soul into the hands of My Blessed Redeemer, in hope of a Joyfull resurrection, into Eternal life att the last day: and my body to be decently buried.
Itm. I give and bequeath unto Abigaill my wife eight pounds yearly, to be payd unto her out of my Lands where I now dwell dureing her life, in (?) of her Dowry; and this is to be payd yearly in wheat, malt, porke and Indian corne in equal proportion and be good & (merchantable?) and paid at ye current merchantable price as such is then paide at (???) Also I give unto her to have one of the best roomes in the house, viz: either the hall or the parlour (at her choice) and to enjoy the Same dureing her widdowhoode and to have free liberty to bake, brew and wash etc. in the kitchen, and free liberty to lay her corne, meale, and mault etc in the hall chamber, and free use of garden ground where she liketh best and to have it well fenced in and to have land duly tilled to sow flax seed on and that yearely as she shall (?) cause, & freedom in both cellars as shee needeth and shall have suficiency of firewood pvided and seasonably layd in & that yearely, att the cost of my Executor, & free liberty to keepe three or four hens and a pigg or hogg in ye ground and yards; and shall have the sixt part of the fruite that shall yearly grow in the orchyard & Shall have the free use & libty of all this dureing her widdowhoode.
Ite I give unto my said wife the old bay mare (she uses to ride on) and the bridle, pillion seate, and pannell, and two cowes (att her choice) and to have the keepeing of a horse or mare and two cowes for her use both sumer and winter and good houseroome for them in winter & (?) to be well kept, att the cost of my executor durring her widdowhoode. allsoe I give unto her the bible she uses and the booke called the Soule’s prparation for Christ and that of Perkings upon the Creed and the bedsted we lye on, and the beding, curtaines and valens thereunto belonging (exsepting the blue rugg) and to have the best green rugg in leiw thereof; and I give unto her the best chest and the inlayd box with TW upon the lidd and to have one halfe of the lynen and lynen cloth and the third of the woolen cloth yt is in the house or in yarne or cloth at the weavers and the (?) of the wools in the (?) at my dicease; and one halfe of the pewter that was her own fathers and the pewter pint pott and a brase or iron pott at her choice; and I give unto her the iron skillet and some of the best spoones and a good poringer and a coopell of saucers at hir choice and the best low chaire and hir little chaire and a good cushen and one of the great wheeles and a little spinning wheele and the warming pan, as legacies.
Ite My will is that my said wife shall have the free use of any kettles of mine in the house or milke vessells &c. shee needeth and of any other small things in the house… and to have freedome at the well for water and liberty for hir clothes or anything elce to be spred &c. where she pleaseth and (?) durring her widdowhoode.
Ite Whereas John Wells (my second sonn) hath received of me a deed of gifts of all the lands I had at the town of Wells in the province of Maine being the quantity of thre hundred and fiftye acres (more or less) arrable meddow and pasture together with two cowes and ten pounds fifteene shillings yt I have payd (at his request) unto Stephen Kent of Haverill, in cattle upon a bill due from Francis Littlefield (his father-in-law) with several other things all wch he hath received of me in liew of his portion…
Ite I give unto my sonn John Wells ten pounds to be payd unto him or his assigns within three years next after my decease five pounds thereof in cattle, neate and in good condition and the other five pounds in wheat, malt and Indian corne in equall p’portion… and I give unto him my cloke, and one of the great pewter candlesticks wth the top thereof and two great saucers and two little saucers more and I give unto Sarah his wife (my daughter-in-law) one five shilling piece of gould…
Ite. Whereas my two eldest daughters viz: Sarah Massie of Salem and Abigaill Tredwell of this towne hath eache of them had thirtye pounds in leiw of there portions my will is that Sarah Massie or her assignes shall have a good cow or to the value of four pounds ten shillngs in other cattle… and alsoe to have the benefitt of the grase of a little peace of salt marsh ground adjoyneing to the northwest end of Mr. Wades neare unto Hogg Iland and my daughter Sarah to enjoy the use of this until the decease of my brother Massie her father-in-law and then to returne unto my executor. Allsoe I give unto Abigail Tredwell my daughter my six acre lott of salt marsh &c that lyes in Plumb Iland… or a good cow…
Ite. I give and bequeath unto Thomas Wells my youngest sonn two hundred and fiftie pounds sterl. in leiw of hir portion to be payd unto him… out of my housen and lands where I now I dwell within seven years, foure month and nyne or ten days next after the sayd Thomas Wells my sonn doe come to the full age of one and twenty yeares Viz: one hundred pounds to be payd at or before the twentieth or one and twentieth day of the third month comonly called May next com twelvemonth after the sayd Thomas Wells my sonn doe come to the age of one and twenty years (whose birth day was upon the eleaventh day of the eleaventh mo. Anno Dom: one thousand six hundred forty-six); forty pounds thereof to be paid in cattle… and in horse-kynd viz: in geldings and the horse-kynd not exced the sum of eight pounds… and thirty-six pounds thereof to be payd in wheate and barley malt… and twenty-foure pounds thereof to be payd in Indian corne, pease, porke and sheepe… and the other hundred pounds to be… payde… wth in three yeares next after the…day… of payment of the former hundred pounds… and the remaining fiftye pounds to be… payd… within the prementioned seaven years, foure months and nyne or ten dayes…
Ite. My will is that if my executor… doe not duly and faithfully pay and discharge this two hundred and fiftye pounds… the sayd Thomas Wells… shall… take possession of the housen and lands where I now dwell… until the whole be discharged…
Ite. My will is that if the said Thomas… shall dye and decease this life before he come to… full age… yn ye executor of this my last will shall pay unto the rest of my children the full sum of one hundred and forty pounds viz: unto John Wells or his survivers the full sum of forty pounds and the other hundred pounds to be equally porportionned and divided among my other five daughters… Viz: to Sarah Massie of Salem, to Abigail Tredwell of this towne, to Elizabeth Wells, Hannah Wells and Lidia Wells my daughters… the forty pounds to my son John Wells and the twenty pounds apeece to Sarah Massie and to Abigaill Tredwell and Elizabeth Wells (my three eldest daughters) to be payd unto them accordingly as is engaged unto their Bro: Thomas Wells, both for kind and quality… and the other twenty pounds apeece to Hannah Wells and Lidia Wells my own daughters shall be payd unto each of them… in wheat, barly, malt, porke, pease and Indian corne…
Item. My will is that Thomas Wells my youngest son, shall quietly posses and enjoy for his use the parlour chamber of this house where now I dwell and have free liberty for fire wood until he marry and yt he shall have his diate and washing while he keeps here at the cost of my executor untill he come to the age of 22 years, 4 months and ten days.
It. I give unto my son Thomas Wells all the bookes I bought for his use and my three phisicke bookes and the booke called the Orthodox Evangelist, the greate sermon booke, and Hyeling’s Geogripha, and the little chest and table (he made) that stand in the hall chamber and my white box, and the chist plankes to make him a chist on, and the little iron canlestick, my white rule, my red pensheare, and my penknife and my sword and scabbitt and my firelock muskett wth a square barrell, and the mould, worme and scourer &c. Alsoe I give unto him the little bedstead in the hall chamber, and the little fetherbed therto belonging, and a paire of good sheets, and the red blankett and the blue rugg, and a good pillow and pillow beere. Allsoe I give unto my son Thomas my silver bowle, and one two-and-twenty shilling peece of gould, and I give unto him all my right and interest of the bond that is due unto me from goodman John Andrews of this towne, carpenter save only six pound ten shillings therof to my son Nath. Wells and wch makes the rest that he hath already had yr of twentye pounds, and this I give unto my son Thomas, towards his charges of his goeing to the colledge and for bookes and apparrell &c. or to put him to Mr. Allcocke or the like, and I give the new picktures viz: of the King and Queene and of the Five Sences… Allsoe my stufe clothes and a paire of my best stockings.
Ite. I give unto Elizabeth Wells, Hanah Wells and Lidia Wells my three youngest daughters each and every of them thirty-five pounds a peece to be payd… within one year next after they marry or when they come to the age of one and twenty years; twenty pounds thereof to be payd in cattle… and in sheepe… and the remaineing fifteene pounds in each and every portion to be payd in wheate, barly, malt, porke and Indian corne, in equall p’portion… allsoe my will is that every of these my daughters shall have each of them a bible and every of them a good chest…
Ite. I give and bequeath unto Sarah Massie of Salem and to Abigaill Tredwell of this towne and to Elizabeth Wells and Lidia Wells my owne daughters, each and every of them two halfe crowne peeces of English money… and I give unto Hannah Wells my daughter one ten shilling peece of gould… all wch money… I have already given them into the hands and custody of Thomas Wells my youngest son whom I trust and confide in, to give the same as I have bequeathed unto his three younger sisters…
Ite. I give unto Abigaill my wife the third part of the English money wch shall remaine and be left and not payd unto the legatees yt is deceased in England and kindred of our Uncle Lumpkins; and my will is that my sayd wife shall have the tuission of my daughter Elizabeth Wells and my daughter Lidia Wells untill they marry or come to the age of one and twenty years… Item. My will is that Mrs Mary Rogers of Rowley shall have th tuission and education of my daughter Hannah Wells untill she marry or come to the age of one and twenty years, the sayd Mrs Rogers will please to doe me that favour
Ite. I give unto my cousin Mary Baker (alias Lowe) of Colchester, soe much New England money as equivalent to fiftye shillings Old England money and my will is that my executor doe faithfully endeavor to convey the same unto her it being in reference to an agreement between both my brother Warners and myselfe in answer to a request of our Aunt Lumkin (alias Stone) late deceased, and to take the advice of my Bro: Daniell Warner about the conveighing of the same…
Ite. I give and bequeath all the rest of my whole estate both moveable and unmoveable, p’sonal and reall, houses and lands, unto Nath: Wells my eldest son pvided he doth fully acept heerin to be my executor… Allwayes p’vided that if the sd Nath: Wells dye and cease this life wth out any issue of male… my will is that then… the sd housen and lands heire in Ipswich bounds shall returne unto the sd Thomas Wells my youngest son… and the sd Thomas my son then to pay unto Lidia, Nath: wife (my daughter in law) the sum of forty pound wth in one yeare and halfe next after the decease of Nath: her husband… And the sd Thomas… shall pay unto the sd Nathaniells children the sum of one hundred and forty pounds the one halfe in cattle… and in horse kind… and the other half… to be payd in wheate, malte, porke, pease and Indian corne… Alsoe my will is… that my son Nathaniells children shall have the sum of eight pounds yearly payd by my son Thomas Wells… towards there bringing up whilest they come to the age of fifteene years…
Ite. My will is that if the sd Nath… dy and cease this life without isue of male… then the sayd Thomas Wells… shall pay unto my son John Wells his Bro:… the sum of 40£…
Fynally I desire my liveing and faithfull friends Thomas Bishop, Senr and Mr. Thomas Andrews to be the overseers of this my last will and testament and to be the gardians of my sonn Thomas Wells dureing the time of his mynority and nonage to whom I give as a token of my respect and love ten shillings apeece.
In wittness wherof and to wch I the above named Thomas Wells Senr have heer unto set my hand and seal dated the 31 of the fifth mo: comonly called July in the eighteenth yeare of the raigne of or Soveraigne Lord, Charles the Second by the grace of God King of England, Scotland, France and Ireland in the year of our Lord God one thousand six hundred sixty-six…
Pr me Thomas Wells Senr
In the presence of
Thomas Bishop Senior
Thomas Burnam Senior
The 15th of novembar 1666 this will was proved