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Thomas Welles

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Subject: Connecticut State Treasurer, Henry Wells, John Deming, Founders of Hartford, Connecticut, Gerald Warner Brace
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Thomas Welles

Thomas Welles
1st Treasurer of the Colony of Connecticut
In office
Succeeded by William Whiting
2nd Secretary of the Colony of Connecticut
In office
Preceded by Edward Hopkins
Succeeded by John Cullick
Deputy Governor of the Colony of Connecticut
In office
In office
In office
17th Governor of the Colony of Connecticut
In office
Preceded by Edward Hopkins
Succeeded by John Webster
20th Governor of the Colony of Connecticut
In office
Preceded by John Winthrop the Younger
Succeeded by John Winthrop the Younger
Personal details
Born 1590
Stourton, Whichford, Warwickshire, England
Died 14 January 1659/1660
Wethersfield, Connecticut
Nationality British
Spouse(s) Alice Tomes
Elizabeth Deming Foote
Children John Welles (1622–1659)
Thomas Welles
Samuel Welles
Anne Welles
Sarah Welles
Mary Welles
Religion Congregationalist

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).[1]



Welles was born in Stourton, Whichford, Warwickshire, England around 1590, the son of Robert Welles and Alice (unknown) of Stourton, Warwickshire, England, born about 1543.[2] 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 Worcester.

After the death of Alice, Welles married again about 1646 in Wethersfield, Connecticut. His second wife was Elizabeth (Deming) Foote,[3] who was a sister of John Deming[3] and the widow of Nathaniel Foote (Who founded Wethersfield). 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 Hartford was on 28 March 1637, according to the Connecticut Colonial Records. Welles came to Hartford 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, Connecticut.[4]

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

  • John (1622 – 7 August 1659), settled in Stratford in 1645, serving as a magistrate and a probate judge there before his death in 1659.[4][5][6] His son, John, married Mary Hollister the daughter of Lt, John Hollister and Joanna Treat,[7][8] the daughter of Richard Treat.[9]
  • Samuel, became a Captain and settled in New Haven Colony. There were no children by the second marriage. His son Samuel married Ruth Rice, daughter of Edmund Rice, on 20 June 1683 and they had six children.[10]


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

See also


  1. ^ a b Norton, pp. 19–21
  2. ^ a b c
  3. ^ a b Deming, pp. 3–8
  4. ^ a b
  5. ^ Raymond, Marcius D, p. 17
  6. ^ Case, L. W., p. 35
  7. ^ a b Treat, p. 31
  8. ^ a b Treat, p. 33
  9. ^ a b c Treat, pp. 20–31
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ Johnson, pp. 163–175
  13. ^
  14. ^ a b
  15. ^ Raymond, Marcius D., 64
  16. ^ Jordan, 372
  17. ^ Laas, 10–12
  18. ^ a b c Raymond, pp. 20–22
  19. ^ a b c d Raymond, M D., pp. 84–97
  20. ^ a b c Raymond, Marcius D., pp. 34–35
  21. ^
  22. ^ a b c
  23. ^
  24. ^ Raymond, Marcius D., 18
  25. ^ Case, pp. 247
  26. ^ Case, pp. 473
  27. ^
  28. ^ Pumpelly, p. 783
  29. ^
  30. ^ McGhan, p.385
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^
  35. ^ Welles, p. 7
  36. ^
  37. ^
  38. ^


  • Case, Lafayette Wallace. The Hollister family of America: Lieut. John Hollister, of Wethersfield, Conn., and his descendants Publisher Fergus printing company, 1886
  • Cutter, William Richard. New England Families, Genealogical and Memorial, Lewis Historical Publishing, NY, 1914
  • Deming, Judson Keith. Genealogy of the descendants of John Deming of Wethersfield, Connecticut: with historical notes University of Wisconsin – Madison: Publisher Press of Mathis-Mets Co., 1904
  • Johnson, Alfred. The Hon. James Phinney Baxter, A.M., LITT.D. The New England historical and genealogical register, Volume 75. Publisher New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1921
  • Jordan, John W. Genealogical and personal history of the Allegheny Valley, Pennsylvania. New York: Lewis Historical Pub. Company 1913.
  • Laas, Virginia Jeans Bridging two eras : the autobiography of Emily Newell Blair, 1877–1951. Columbia, Missouri : University of Missouri Press 1999.
  • McGhan, Judith. Genealogies of Connecticut families: from the New England historical and genealogical register Baltimore: Publisher Genealogical Publishing Company, 1983 ISBN 0-8063-1030-8.
  • Norton, Frederick Calvin The governors of Connecticut: biographies of the chief executives of the commonwealth that gave to the world the first written constitution known to history, Publisher Connecticut Magazine Co., 1905.
  • Pumpelly, Raphael. My Reminiscences, Raphael Pumpelly. Publisher: H. Holt and Company, 1918.
  • Raymond, Marcius Denison. Gray genealogy : being a genealogical record and history of the descendants of John Gray, of Beverly, Mass., and also including sketches of other Gray families. New York: Higginson Book Company, 1887.
  • Raymond, M D. Souvenir of the Sherburne Centennial Celebration and Dedication of Monument to the Proprietors and Early Settlers, held on Wednesday, 21 June 1893. New York: M.D. Raymond, 1892.
  • Raymond, Marcius D. Sketch of Rev. Blackleach Burritt and related Stratford families : a paper read before the Fairfield County Historical Society, at Bridgeport, Conn., Friday evening, 19 Feb 1892. Bridgeport : Fairfield County Historical Society 1892.
  • Siemiatkoski, Donna Holt. The Descendants of Governor Thomas Welles of Connecticut, 1590–1658, and His Wife, Alice Tomes Baltimore: Publisher, Gateway Press, 1990.
  • Treat, John Harvey. The Treat family: a genealogy of Trott, Tratt, and Treat for fifteen generations, and four hundred and fifty years in England and America, containing more than fifteen hundred families in America Publisher The Salem press publishing & printing company, 1893.
  • Welles, Benjamin. Sumner Welles: FDR's global strategist : a biography. New York: M.D. Raymond, 1892. Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan, 1997. ISBN 0-312-17440-3.

External links

  • Welles Family Association, Inc.
  • Biographical sketch of Thomas Welles Connecticut State Library
  • Stratford Historical Society
  • The Society of the Hawley Family, Inc.
  • National Archives biography
  • Oliver Ellsworth Homestead
  • Oliver Ellsworth at Supreme Court Historical Society
  • Thomas Welles at Find a Grave
Political offices
Preceded by
Edward Hopkins
Governor of the Connecticut Colony
Succeeded by
John Webster
Preceded by
John Winthrop the Younger
Governor of the Connecticut Colony
Succeeded by
John Winthrop the Younger
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