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Thomas Welles (1590–14 January 1659, OS/1660, NS) 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).

Biography

Life

Welles was born in Stourton, Whichford, Warwickshiremarker, England around 1590, the son of Robert Welles and Alice (Unknown) . He married Alice Tomes soon after 5 July 1615 in Long Marston, Gloucestershire, 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 Worcestermarker.

After the death of Alice, Welles married again about 1646 in Wethersfield, Connecticutmarker. His second wife was Elizabeth (Deming) Foote, who was a sister of John Deming and the widow of Nathaniel Foote. 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 Hartfordmarker was on 28 March 1637, according to the Connecticut Colonial Records. Welles came to Hartfordmarker 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, Connecticutmarker.

It is thought that he was buried in Wethersfield, Connecticutmarker. 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.

Children

  • John (1622–7 August 1659), settled in Stratfordmarker 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.




  • Samuel, became a Captain and settled in Wethersfield, Connecticutmarker.. 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.




Descendants

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

Notes

References

  • William Richard Cutter, New England Families, Genealogical and Memorial, Lewis Historical Publishing, NY, 1914
  • Frederick Calvin Norton, Governors of Connecticut, 1905
  • Reverend Samuel Orcutt, History of the Old Town of Stratford, Connecticut, 1886
  • Edmund Welles, The Life and Public Services of Thomas Welles, Fourth Governor of Connecticut, 1940
  • Lemuel Welles, The English Ancestry of Gov. Thomas Welles of Connecticut, New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 1926
  • Calhoun, John D. & Lewis G. Knapp. Stratford: A Pictorial History, 1850-1970, (Images of America Series) Arcadia Publishing, 1999. ISBN 0738535796
  • Knapp, Lewis G. In Pursuit of Paradise: History of the Town of Stratford, Connecticut. West Kennebunk, ME: Phoenix Publishing, 1989. ISBN 0914659421
  • Wilcoxson, William Howard. History of Stratford, 1639-1939, Stratford, CT: Stratford Tercentenary Commission, 1939.


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