Capt. Henry Wells1,2

M, #5072, b. 28 January 1753, d. 14 October 1823
  • Reference: W002 ID132

Family: Nancy Shirtleff b. 23 Apr 1760, d. 24 Apr 1815

Citations

  1. Wells Surname DNA Study,Orin Wells, Wells Surname DNA Study.
  2. Charles F. Wells, as submitted in GEDCOM file C:TMGWDNADON~1ID132_~1.GED and imported on 05/14/2008 at 21:51:23.,_ID132 _Researcher.
  3. Vital Records: Birth, Baptism, Christening, Marriage, Divorce, Death and Burial, Vital Records: Birth, Baptism, Christening, Marriage, Divorce, Death and Burial, CT Marriages to 1800, Early Connecticut Marriages: Sixth BookAshfordFrom Fair Haven Church Recordspage 84 Capt. Henry Wells of Hopkinton & Nancy Shirtleff, Nov. 29, 1779 #.

Nancy Shirtleff1,2

F, #5073, b. 23 April 1760, d. 24 April 1815
  • Reference: W999 ID132
  • (Researcher) ResAddr: Researcher=_ID132 _Researcher2
  • Name Variation: Nancy Shurtleff3,2
  • Married Name: 29 November 1779; Mrs. Wells (Shurtleff)

Family: Capt. Henry Wells b. 28 Jan 1753, d. 14 Oct 1823

Citations

  1. Vital Records: Birth, Baptism, Christening, Marriage, Divorce, Death and Burial, Vital Records: Birth, Baptism, Christening, Marriage, Divorce, Death and Burial, CT Marriages to 1800, Early Connecticut Marriages: Sixth BookAshfordFrom Fair Haven Church Recordspage 84 Capt. Henry Wells of Hopkinton & Nancy Shirtleff, Nov. 29, 1779 #.
  2. Wells Surname DNA Study,Orin Wells, Wells Surname DNA Study.
  3. Charles F. Wells, as submitted in GEDCOM file C:TMGWDNADON~1ID132_~1.GED and imported on 05/14/2008 at 21:51:23.,_ID132 _Researcher.

Judge Thomas Wells Esq.1,2

M, #5074, b. 5 April 1723, d. 11 August 1795
  • Reference: W002 ID132

Family 1: Sarah Thompson b. 17 Nov 1722, d. 23 Jun 1785

Family 2: Mrs. _____ Griffing (_____) b. c 1740

Citations

  1. Wells Surname DNA Study,Orin Wells, Wells Surname DNA Study.
  2. Charles F. Wells, as submitted in GEDCOM file C:TMGWDNADON~1ID132_~1.GED and imported on 05/14/2008 at 21:51:23.,_ID132 _Researcher.
  3. Unknown author, Members.
  4. Gary Russell Welles, as submitted in GEDCOM file C:TMGWGEDCOMSID126_~1.GED and imported on 07/28/2008 at 11:08:15.,_ID126 _Researcher.
  5. Unknown author, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, Patriot Index,Subject: Military - American Revolution, Film: http://www.nsdar.org.
  6. Ronald Harry Wells as submitted in GEDCOM file C:TMGWBACKUPSID788C~1.GED and imported on 08/19/2008 at 12:37:41.,_ID788 _Researcher.
  7. Emmett Rouse Wells, IV, as submitted in GEDCOM file C:TMGWDNADON~1ID079_~2.GED and imported on 05/14/2008 at 14:44:04.,_ID079 _Researcher.

Thomas Wells1,2

M, #5075, b. 12 February 1699/0, d. circa 1770
  • Reference: W002 ID132

Family: Pheobe Greene b. 1698, d. c 1770

Citations

  1. Charles F. Wells, as submitted in GEDCOM file C:TMGWDNADON~1ID132_~1.GED and imported on 05/14/2008 at 21:51:23.,_ID132 _Researcher.
  2. Wells Surname DNA Study,Orin Wells, Wells Surname DNA Study.
  3. Gary Russell Welles, as submitted in GEDCOM file C:TMGWGEDCOMSID126_~1.GED and imported on 07/28/2008 at 11:08:15.,_ID126 _Researcher.
  4. Joan Wells Richards as submitted in GEDCOM file C:TMGWGEDCOMSDNATOP.GED and imported on 07/25/2008 at 12:32:39.,_ID099 _Researcher.
  5. Cemetery Records, RI Births 1636-1931, Phebe Wells Thomas Wells Phebe Wells 07 Oct 1718
    Lewis Wells Thomas Wells Phebe Wells 30 Nov 1720
    Thomas Wells Thomas Wells Phebe Wells 05 Apr 1723
    Benjamin Wells Thomas Wells Phebe Wells 23 Nov 1727
    Caleb Wells Thomas Wells Phebe Wells 15 May 1731
    Joshua Wells Thomas Wells Phebe Wells 29 Oct 1733
    Nathan Wells Thomas Wells Phebe Wells 12 Feb 1737.
  6. Emmett Rouse Wells, IV, as submitted in GEDCOM file C:TMGWDNADON~1ID079_~2.GED and imported on 05/14/2008 at 14:44:04.,_ID079 _Researcher.

Pheobe Greene1,2

F, #5076, b. 1698, d. circa 1770
  • Reference: W999 ID132

Family: Thomas Wells b. 12 Feb 1699/0, d. c 1770

Citations

  1. Wells Surname DNA Study,Orin Wells, Wells Surname DNA Study.
  2. Charles F. Wells, as submitted in GEDCOM file C:TMGWDNADON~1ID132_~1.GED and imported on 05/14/2008 at 21:51:23.,_ID132 _Researcher.
  3. Cemetery Records, RI Births 1636-1931, Phebe Wells Thomas Wells Phebe Wells 07 Oct 1718
    Lewis Wells Thomas Wells Phebe Wells 30 Nov 1720
    Thomas Wells Thomas Wells Phebe Wells 05 Apr 1723
    Benjamin Wells Thomas Wells Phebe Wells 23 Nov 1727
    Caleb Wells Thomas Wells Phebe Wells 15 May 1731
    Joshua Wells Thomas Wells Phebe Wells 29 Oct 1733
    Nathan Wells Thomas Wells Phebe Wells 12 Feb 1737.
  4. Ronald Harry Wells as submitted in GEDCOM file C:TMGWBACKUPSID788C~1.GED and imported on 08/19/2008 at 12:37:41.,_ID788 _Researcher.
  5. Unknown author, Cemetery Records, RI Births 1636-1931, Phebe Wells Thomas Wells Phebe Wells 07 Oct 1718
    Lewis Wells Thomas Wells Phebe Wells 30 Nov 1720
    Thomas Wells Thomas Wells Phebe Wells 05 Apr 1723
    Benjamin Wells Thomas Wells Phebe Wells 23 Nov 1727
    Caleb Wells Thomas Wells Phebe Wells 15 May 1731
    Joshua Wells Thomas Wells Phebe Wells 29 Oct 1733
    Nathan Wells Thomas Wells Phebe Wells 12 Feb 1737.
  6. Gary Russell Welles, as submitted in GEDCOM file C:TMGWGEDCOMSID126_~1.GED and imported on 07/28/2008 at 11:08:15.,_ID126 _Researcher.
  7. Emmett Rouse Wells, IV, as submitted in GEDCOM file C:TMGWDNADON~1ID079_~2.GED and imported on 05/14/2008 at 14:44:04.,_ID079 _Researcher.

Thomas Wells1,2

M, #5077, b. 4 December 1661, d. 29 June 1716
  • Reference: W002 ID132

Family: Sarah Rogers b. 1675, d. a 29 Jun 1716

Citations

  1. Charles F. Wells, as submitted in GEDCOM file C:TMGWDNADON~1ID132_~1.GED and imported on 05/14/2008 at 21:51:23.,_ID132 _Researcher.
  2. Wells Surname DNA Study,Orin Wells, Wells Surname DNA Study.
  3. Joan Wells Richards as submitted in GEDCOM file C:TMGWGEDCOMSDNATOP.GED and imported on 07/25/2008 at 12:32:39.,_ID099 _Researcher.
  4. Gary Russell Welles, as submitted in GEDCOM file C:TMGWGEDCOMSID126_~1.GED and imported on 07/28/2008 at 11:08:15.,_ID126 _Researcher.
  5. Caulkins History of New London - 1860.
  6. Emmett Rouse Wells, IV, as submitted in GEDCOM file C:TMGWDNADON~1ID079_~2.GED and imported on 05/14/2008 at 14:44:04.,_ID079 _Researcher.

Sarah Rogers1,2

F, #5078, b. 1675, d. after 29 June 1716
  • Reference: W999 ID132
  • (Researcher) ResAddr: Researcher=_ID132 _Researcher2
  • Name Variation: Sara Rodgers3,2
  • (Researcher) ResAddr: Researcher=_ID099 _Researcher2
  • (Researcher) ResAddr: gary_AT_wellesway.com; Researcher=_ID126 _Researcher2,3
  • Married Name: 1691; Mrs. Wells (Rogers)
  • Married Name: before 17 February 1719; Mrs. Toplis (Rogers)

Family: Thomas Wells b. 4 Dec 1661, d. 29 Jun 1716

Citations

  1. Charles F. Wells, as submitted in GEDCOM file C:TMGWDNADON~1ID132_~1.GED and imported on 05/14/2008 at 21:51:23.,_ID132 _Researcher.
  2. Wells Surname DNA Study,Orin Wells, Wells Surname DNA Study.
  3. Gary Russell Welles, as submitted in GEDCOM file C:TMGWGEDCOMSID126_~1.GED and imported on 07/28/2008 at 11:08:15.,_ID126 _Researcher.
  4. Ronald Harry Wells as submitted in GEDCOM file C:TMGWBACKUPSID788C~1.GED and imported on 08/19/2008 at 12:37:41.,_ID788 _Researcher.
  5. Emmett Rouse Wells, IV, as submitted in GEDCOM file C:TMGWDNADON~1ID079_~2.GED and imported on 05/14/2008 at 14:44:04.,_ID079 _Researcher.

Thomas Crandall Wells1,2

M, #5079, b. 1626, d. 12 February 1699/0
  • Reference: W002 ID132

Family: Naomi Marshall b. 24 Nov 1636, d. 12 Feb 1709/10

Citations

  1. Charles F. Wells, as submitted in GEDCOM file C:TMGWDNADON~1ID132_~1.GED and imported on 05/14/2008 at 21:51:23.,_ID132 _Researcher.
  2. Wells Surname DNA Study,Orin Wells, Wells Surname DNA Study.
  3. Gary Russell Welles, as submitted in GEDCOM file C:TMGWGEDCOMSID126_~1.GED and imported on 07/28/2008 at 11:08:15.,_ID126 _Researcher.
  4. James Stanley Wells, as submitted in GEDCOM file C:TMGWGEDCOMSC214.GED and imported on 03/26/2008 at 15:10:18.,_Top _W015.
  5. Emmett Rouse Wells, IV, as submitted in GEDCOM file C:TMGWDNADON~1ID079_~2.GED and imported on 05/14/2008 at 14:44:04.,_ID079 _Researcher.

Nathaniel Wells1,2

M, #5080, b. 29 October 1600, d. 18 December 1681
  • Reference: W002 ID132

Family 1: _____ Welles b. 1604

Family 2:

Family 3: Lydia Thorley b. 1 Feb 1640, d. 1674

Citations

  1. Cemetery Records, Old Families of Salisbury and Amesbury [New Hampshire], Page 348.
  2. Wells Surname DNA Study,Orin Wells, Wells Surname DNA Study.
  3. GEDCOM.
  4. Ronald Harry Wells as submitted in GEDCOM file C:TMGWBACKUPSID788C~1.GED and imported on 08/19/2008 at 12:37:41.,_ID788 _Researcher.
  5. Unknown compiler, unknown short title, Old Families of Salisbury, New Hampshire, pp 348-49.
  6. James Stanley Wells, as submitted in GEDCOM file C:TMGWGEDCOMSC214.GED and imported on 03/26/2008 at 15:10:18.,_Top _W015.
  7. Carolyn L. Wells, as submitted in GEDCOM file C:TMGWGEDCOMSID745_~1.GED and imported on 07/28/2008 at 11:30:41.,_ID745 _Researcher.
  8. Charles F. Wells, as submitted in GEDCOM file C:TMGWDNADON~1ID132_~1.GED and imported on 05/14/2008 at 21:51:23.,_ID132 _Researcher.
  9. Gary Russell Welles, as submitted in GEDCOM file C:TMGWGEDCOMSID126_~1.GED and imported on 07/28/2008 at 11:08:15.,_ID126 _Researcher.

John Welles1,2

M, #5082, b. 1630, d. 1677
  • Reference: W002 ID132

Family: Mary Greenleaf b. c 1650

Citations

  1. Gary Russell Welles, as submitted in GEDCOM file C:TMGWGEDCOMSID126_~1.GED and imported on 07/28/2008 at 11:08:15.,_ID126 _Researcher.
  2. Wells Surname DNA Study,Orin Wells, Wells Surname DNA Study.
  3. Charles F. Wells, as submitted in GEDCOM file C:TMGWDNADON~1ID132_~1.GED and imported on 05/14/2008 at 21:51:23.,_ID132 _Researcher.

Mary Greenleaf1,2

F, #5083, b. circa 1650
  • Reference: W999 ID132
  • Birth*: circa 1650
  • (Bride) Marriage*: 5 March 1668/69; Newbury, Essex Co., Massachusetts, USAG; Massachusetts Marriages, 1633-1850
    about John Wells
    Name: John Wells
    Gender: Male
    Spouse: Mary Greenleafe
    Marriage Date: 5 Mar 1668
    City: Newbury
    County: Essex
    Source: Family History Library, Salt Lake City, UT, Film # 0886202 item 3.
    ; Groom=John Welles1,2
  • (Researcher) ResAddr: Researcher=_ID132 _Researcher2
  • Nam-Std: Mrs. Wells (Greenleaf)
  • Married Name: 5 March 1668/69; Mrs. Welles (Greenleaf)

Family: John Welles b. 1630, d. 1677

Citations

  1. Charles F. Wells, as submitted in GEDCOM file C:TMGWDNADON~1ID132_~1.GED and imported on 05/14/2008 at 21:51:23.,_ID132 _Researcher.
  2. Wells Surname DNA Study,Orin Wells, Wells Surname DNA Study.

Mary Wells (1)1,2

F, #5084, b. 16 December 1669, d. 1670
  • Reference: W002 ID132

Citations

  1. Charles F. Wells, as submitted in GEDCOM file C:TMGWDNADON~1ID132_~1.GED and imported on 05/14/2008 at 21:51:23.,_ID132 _Researcher.
  2. Wells Surname DNA Study,Orin Wells, Wells Surname DNA Study.
  3. Emmett Rouse Wells, IV, as submitted in GEDCOM file C:TMGWDNADON~1ID079_~2.GED and imported on 05/14/2008 at 14:44:04.,_ID079 _Researcher.

Mary Wells (2)1,2

F, #5085, b. 16 February 1672/73
  • Reference: W002 ID132

Citations

  1. Charles F. Wells, as submitted in GEDCOM file C:TMGWDNADON~1ID132_~1.GED and imported on 05/14/2008 at 21:51:23.,_ID132 _Researcher.
  2. Wells Surname DNA Study,Orin Wells, Wells Surname DNA Study.
  3. Emmett Rouse Wells, IV, as submitted in GEDCOM file C:TMGWDNADON~1ID079_~2.GED and imported on 05/14/2008 at 14:44:04.,_ID079 _Researcher.

William Wells1,2

M, #5086, b. 15 January 1674/75
  • Reference: W002 ID132

Citations

  1. Charles F. Wells, as submitted in GEDCOM file C:TMGWDNADON~1ID132_~1.GED and imported on 05/14/2008 at 21:51:23.,_ID132 _Researcher.
  2. Wells Surname DNA Study,Orin Wells, Wells Surname DNA Study.

Thomas Wells1,2

M, #5087, b. 30 June 1677
  • Reference: W002 ID132

Citations

  1. Charles F. Wells, as submitted in GEDCOM file C:TMGWDNADON~1ID132_~1.GED and imported on 05/14/2008 at 21:51:23.,_ID132 _Researcher.
  2. Wells Surname DNA Study,Orin Wells, Wells Surname DNA Study.

Naomi Wells1,2

F, #5088, b. 1631, d. 1688
  • Reference: W002 ID132

Citations

  1. Charles F. Wells, as submitted in GEDCOM file C:TMGWDNADON~1ID132_~1.GED and imported on 05/14/2008 at 21:51:23.,_ID132 _Researcher.
  2. Wells Surname DNA Study,Orin Wells, Wells Surname DNA Study.
  3. Gary Russell Welles, as submitted in GEDCOM file C:TMGWGEDCOMSID126_~1.GED and imported on 07/28/2008 at 11:08:15.,_ID126 _Researcher.

Nathaniel Welles1,2

M, #5089, b. circa 1632
  • Reference: W002 ID132

Citations

  1. Gary Russell Welles, as submitted in GEDCOM file C:TMGWGEDCOMSID126_~1.GED and imported on 07/28/2008 at 11:08:15.,_ID126 _Researcher.
  2. Wells Surname DNA Study,Orin Wells, Wells Surname DNA Study.

Edward Welles1,2

M, #5090, b. circa 1635
  • Reference: W002 ID132

Citations

  1. Gary Russell Welles, as submitted in GEDCOM file C:TMGWGEDCOMSID126_~1.GED and imported on 07/28/2008 at 11:08:15.,_ID126 _Researcher.
  2. Wells Surname DNA Study,Orin Wells, Wells Surname DNA Study.
  3. Emmett Rouse Wells, IV, as submitted in GEDCOM file C:TMGWDNADON~1ID079_~2.GED and imported on 05/14/2008 at 14:44:04.,_ID079 _Researcher.

Mary Wells1,2

F, #5091, b. 15 April 1665
  • Reference: W002 ID132

Family: Ezekiel Main b. c 1670

Citations

  1. Charles F. Wells, as submitted in GEDCOM file C:TMGWDNADON~1ID132_~1.GED and imported on 05/14/2008 at 21:51:23.,_ID132 _Researcher.
  2. Wells Surname DNA Study,Orin Wells, Wells Surname DNA Study.
  3. Emmett Rouse Wells, IV, as submitted in GEDCOM file C:TMGWDNADON~1ID079_~2.GED and imported on 05/14/2008 at 14:44:04.,_ID079 _Researcher.
  4. Gary Russell Welles, as submitted in GEDCOM file C:TMGWGEDCOMSID126_~1.GED and imported on 07/28/2008 at 11:08:15.,_ID126 _Researcher.

Sarah Wells1,2

F, #5092, b. 1696, d. 1770
  • Reference: W002 ID132

Citations

  1. Charles F. Wells, as submitted in GEDCOM file C:TMGWDNADON~1ID132_~1.GED and imported on 05/14/2008 at 21:51:23.,_ID132 _Researcher.
  2. Wells Surname DNA Study,Orin Wells, Wells Surname DNA Study.
  3. Emmett Rouse Wells, IV, as submitted in GEDCOM file C:TMGWDNADON~1ID079_~2.GED and imported on 05/14/2008 at 14:44:04.,_ID079 _Researcher.

Phebe Wells1,2

F, #5093, b. 7 October 1718
  • Reference: W002 ID132

Family: Christopher Edwards b. c 1710

Citations

  1. Charles F. Wells, as submitted in GEDCOM file C:TMGWDNADON~1ID132_~1.GED and imported on 05/14/2008 at 21:51:23.,_ID132 _Researcher.
  2. Wells Surname DNA Study,Orin Wells, Wells Surname DNA Study.
  3. Joan Wells Richards as submitted in GEDCOM file C:TMGWGEDCOMSDNATOP.GED and imported on 07/25/2008 at 12:32:39.,_ID099 _Researcher.
  4. Emmett Rouse Wells, IV, as submitted in GEDCOM file C:TMGWDNADON~1ID079_~2.GED and imported on 05/14/2008 at 14:44:04.,_ID079 _Researcher.
  5. Vital Records: Birth, Baptism, Christening, Marriage, Divorce, Death and Burial, Vital Records: Birth, Baptism, Christening, Marriage, Divorce, Death and Burial, RI Births 1636-1930, Phebe Wells Thomas Wells Phebe Wells 07 Oct 1718
    Lewis Wells Thomas Wells Phebe Wells 30 Nov 1720
    Thomas Wells Thomas Wells Phebe Wells 05 Apr 1723
    Benjamin Wells Thomas Wells Phebe Wells 23 Nov 1727
    Caleb Wells Thomas Wells Phebe Wells 15 May 1731
    Joshua Wells Thomas Wells Phebe Wells 29 Oct 1733
    Nathan Wells Thomas Wells Phebe Wells 12 Feb 1737.

Lois Wells1,2

F, #5094, b. 30 November 1720, d. 1738
  • Reference: W002 ID132

Citations

  1. Charles F. Wells, as submitted in GEDCOM file C:TMGWDNADON~1ID132_~1.GED and imported on 05/14/2008 at 21:51:23.,_ID132 _Researcher.
  2. Wells Surname DNA Study,Orin Wells, Wells Surname DNA Study.
  3. Gary Russell Welles, as submitted in GEDCOM file C:TMGWGEDCOMSID126_~1.GED and imported on 07/28/2008 at 11:08:15.,_ID126 _Researcher.

Lorinda M Wells1,2

F, #5095, b. 7 November 1826, d. 5 October 1831
  • Reference: W002 ID132

Citations

  1. Charles F. Wells, as submitted in GEDCOM file C:TMGWDNADON~1ID132_~1.GED and imported on 05/14/2008 at 21:51:23.,_ID132 _Researcher.
  2. Wells Surname DNA Study,Orin Wells, Wells Surname DNA Study.
  3. Unknown author, FINDAGRAVE.COM, Record Type: CEMETERY.

Harriet Cheney Wells1,2

F, #5096, b. 2 October 1828, d. 26 October 1832
  • Reference: W002 ID132

Citations

  1. Charles F. Wells, as submitted in GEDCOM file C:TMGWDNADON~1ID132_~1.GED and imported on 05/14/2008 at 21:51:23.,_ID132 _Researcher.
  2. Wells Surname DNA Study,Orin Wells, Wells Surname DNA Study.

Hiram Cheney Wells1,2

M, #5097, b. 8 September 1830, d. 21 November 1907
  • Reference: W002 ID132
  • (Researcher) ResAddr: Researcher=_ID132 _Researcher2
  • (Household Member) Census: 1850; Woodstock, Windham Co., Connecticut, USAG;
    1850 United States Federal Census
    about John W Wells
    Name: John W Wells
    Age: 55
    Estimated birth year: abt 1795
    Birth Place: Rhode Island
    Gender: Male
    Home in 1850 (City,County,State): Woodstock, Windham, Connecticut
    Family Number: 698
    Household Members: Name Age
    John W Wells 55
    Maria Wells 43
    Hiram C Wells 20
    Elizabeth P Wells 17
    Lewis J Wells 13
    Albert W Wells 11
    John W Wells 7
    George W Wells 4

    ; Head of Household=John Ward Wells
  • Note*: 1852; Southbridge, Worcester Co., Massachusetts, USAG; (Much of the information and the nearly all of the images on this page were assembled with the kind assistance of Dick Whitney, curator of the Optical Heritage Museum.)
    Ingenious and courageous men laid the foundations of America’s optical industry. Spectacles, for which all Americans depended upon foreign countries, were very costly as to be in the luxury class. William Beecher (1805-1892) moved to Southbridge in 1826 to start a jewelry and watch business. In 1833, his small optical business originated in an upper room of the jewelry store on Main Street. Robert Cole, age 14, was his apprentice. Beecher felt that New England workmen were capable of making spectacles that could compete with the foreign variety. By 1843, he had created the first steel eyeglasses in America. Steel-framed spectacles outranked all others in demand, and he developed an inexpensive method to produce them there in Southbridge. Beecher sold his business to Holdridge Ammidown in 1840 but repurchased an interest again in 1851. Finally in 1862 Beecher retired and the firm became Robert H. Cole and Company. Hiram C. Wells had joined the firm in 1852, the first of many members of the Wells family to be associated with this industry.


    George Washington Wells (1846-1912), younger brother of Hiram C., was born on a farm in South Woodstock, Connecticut. In 1864 he entered the employ of Robert H. Cole and Co. as a lad of just 18. He was a genius in mechanics and rapidly gained great respect. There was no manufacturing problem he could not solve. George Wells purchased an interest in the company and because of this, he later became one of the incorporators of American Optical when negotiations led to a merging of all the various interests of several spectacle shops.

    The business was organized and incorporated under the name of American Optical Company on Feb 26, 1869. The real estate and water privilege had become the property of A.O. Co. earlier that year. The company’s defined object was “to manufacture and sell spectacles and eyeglasses of gold, silver, steel and plated metals, also rings and thimbles, and such other like articles as said company may from time to time desire to make.”

    The total stock of A.O. Co. was 400 shares, capitalized for $ 40,000, of which George Wells owned 40 shares. Robert H. Cole was the largest shareholder with 150 shares. By Feb 1870, 20 additional shares were transferred to Wells from Cole. George Wells became Treasurer in 1879 and President in Feb. 1891.

    George W. Wells had responsibility over the lower Spec Shop, where goods other than gold were manufactured, and he also had charge of setting the lenses into the frames. His experience in machine work and tool-making enabled him to do much to innovate and invent newer machines and methods of producing goods. His skill and ingenuity allowed him to become a chief contributor to the growth and success of the company. By 1909, he had taken out 26 patents and 27 others had been granted to the company. Wells discovered a new method of edging split bifocal lenses. He made eccentric rolls to taper spectacle stock; he built the first lens cutting machine, even now only slightly modified; he built an apparatus for fitting in end pieces; another was for automatic milling and tapping of spectacle end pieces; another was for jumping and forming spectacle bridges, and many other developments were to shorten and improve the method of manufacture.

    Rimless goods were first made in 1874. By 1883, they began making ophthalmic lenses. In 1893, cylindrical and compound lenses were first manufactured and the Dioptric system was adopted. Other improvements offered by the Southbridge works were the Lensometer, 1921; Tillyer Lens 1925; Ful-Vue frames, 1930; and Ful-Vue bifocals, 1931. Only the scientist and the optician can estimate the value of these changes, improvements, and inventions to man’s most priceless faculty – eyesight.

    By 1933, plants covered 17 ½ acres of floor space in thirty six connected structures. AO was the oldest optical company in the U.S and one of the era’s stories of industrial success. They owned and controlled many patents. Until just recently they were one of the largest optical manufacturing companies in the world.

    Their collection of spectacles was organized in the early 1980’s as the Ocular Heritage Museum. Materials had been accumulated over a 150 year period, although the collection of eyewear was actually begun in the 1880’s by George Wells with a significant group of spectacle cases. Eventually there were over 3,000 frames going back several centuries. And when it was opened, in conjunction with the 150th birthday of American Optical. on 6/18/83, there were nearly 800 frames on display for the public to view. The most valuable piece, a centerpiece and highlight for any collection or display, was a sparkling diamond-studded iridium platinum frame by Schiaparella. It was worth $ 21,000 at the time. It had 201 diamonds totaling 7.75 karats. Five jeweled frames had been cast in 1955 to introduce the Madame Schaparielli ‘signature design’ series, the first of its kind offered by anyone for any product in the world.

    Currently most the “AO” museum belongings are in storage, with items on display at several locations in Southbridge. The Optical Heritage Museum, Inc. is a functioning organization, and is actively pursuing the establishment of a permanent home in the Historic District of Downtown Southbridge.; Principal=George Washington Wells
  • (Head of Household) Census*: 1860; Southbridge, Worcester Co., Massachusetts, USAG;
    1860 United States Federal Census
    about Hiram C Wells
    Name: Hiram C Wells
    Age in 1860: 29
    Birth Year: abt 1831
    Birthplace: Connecticut
    Home in 1860: Southbridge, Worcester, Massachusetts
    Gender: Male
    Post Office: Southbridge
    Value of real estate: View image
    Household Members: Name Age
    Hiram C Wells 29
    Ellen P Wells 26
    Edwin P Wells 1

    ; Household Member=Ellen Maria Perry, Household Member=Edwin Perry Wells
  • (Head of Household) Census: 1870; Southbridge, Worcester Co., Massachusetts, USAG;
    1870 United States Federal Census
    about Hiram Wells
    Name: Hiram Wells
    Birth Year: abt 1832
    Age in 1870: 38
    Birthplace: Connecticut
    Home in 1870: Southbridge, Worcester, Massachusetts
    Race: White
    Gender: Male
    Value of real estate: View image
    Post Office: Southbridge
    Household Members: Name Age
    Hiram Wells 38
    Ellen Wells 36
    Edwin P Wells 11
    Herbert E Wells 4

    ; Household Member=Ellen Maria Perry, Household Member=Edwin Perry Wells, Household Member=Herbert Eugene Wells
  • (Head of Household) Census: 1880; Southbridge, Worcester Co., Massachusetts, USAG;
    1880 United States Federal Census
    about Heron C. Wells
    Name: Heron C. Wells
    Home in 1880: Southbridge, Worcester, Massachusetts
    Age: 49
    Estimated birth year: abt 1831
    Birthplace: Connecticut
    Relation to Head of Household: Self (Head)
    Spouse's name: Ellen M.
    Father's birthplace: Rhode Island
    Mother's birthplace: Massachusetts
    Neighbors: View others on page
    Occupation: Spec. Manfr.
    Marital Status: Married
    Race: White
    Gender: Male
    Household Members: Name Age
    Heron C. Wells 49
    Ellen M. Wells 46
    Herbert E. Wells 13
    Clemmie Harrington 28

    ; Household Member=Ellen Maria Perry, Household Member=Herbert Eugene Wells

Family: Ellen Maria Perry b. 1834

Citations

  1. Charles F. Wells, as submitted in GEDCOM file C:TMGWDNADON~1ID132_~1.GED and imported on 05/14/2008 at 21:51:23.,_ID132 _Researcher.
  2. Wells Surname DNA Study,Orin Wells, Wells Surname DNA Study.

Elizabeth Phebe Wells1,2

F, #5098, b. 30 January 1833, d. 13 August 1905
  • Reference: W002 ID132
  • (Researcher) ResAddr: Researcher=_ID132 _Researcher2
  • (Household Member) Census: 1850; Woodstock, Windham Co., Connecticut, USAG;
    1850 United States Federal Census
    about John W Wells
    Name: John W Wells
    Age: 55
    Estimated birth year: abt 1795
    Birth Place: Rhode Island
    Gender: Male
    Home in 1850 (City,County,State): Woodstock, Windham, Connecticut
    Family Number: 698
    Household Members: Name Age
    John W Wells 55
    Maria Wells 43
    Hiram C Wells 20
    Elizabeth P Wells 17
    Lewis J Wells 13
    Albert W Wells 11
    John W Wells 7
    George W Wells 4

    ; Head of Household=John Ward Wells
  • (Household Member) Census: 1860; Woodstock, Windham Co., Connecticut, USAG;
    1860 United States Federal Census
    about John W Wells
    Name: John W Wells
    Age in 1860: 65
    Birth Year: abt 1795
    Birthplace: Rhode Island
    Home in 1860: Woodstock, Windham, Connecticut
    Gender: Male
    Post Office: Woodstock
    Value of real estate: View image
    Household Members: Name Age
    John W Wells 65
    Lewis Wells 23 (married)
    Ellen A Wells 22 (dau-in-law)
    Elizabeth P Wells 27
    Albert W Wells 21
    John W Wells 18
    George W Wells 14; Head of Household=John Ward Wells

Citations

  1. Charles F. Wells, as submitted in GEDCOM file C:TMGWDNADON~1ID132_~1.GED and imported on 05/14/2008 at 21:51:23.,_ID132 _Researcher.
  2. Wells Surname DNA Study,Orin Wells, Wells Surname DNA Study.

Caroline A Wells1,2

F, #5099, b. 22 May 1835, d. 16 June 1837
  • Reference: W002 ID132

Citations

  1. Charles F. Wells, as submitted in GEDCOM file C:TMGWDNADON~1ID132_~1.GED and imported on 05/14/2008 at 21:51:23.,_ID132 _Researcher.
  2. Wells Surname DNA Study,Orin Wells, Wells Surname DNA Study.
  3. Unknown author, FINDAGRAVE.COM, Record Type: CEMETERY.

Lewis Judson Wells1,2

M, #5100, b. 29 March 1837, d. 28 April 1904
  • Reference: W002 ID132
  • (Researcher) ResAddr: Researcher=_ID132 _Researcher2
  • (Household Member) Census: 1850; Woodstock, Windham Co., Connecticut, USAG;
    1850 United States Federal Census
    about John W Wells
    Name: John W Wells
    Age: 55
    Estimated birth year: abt 1795
    Birth Place: Rhode Island
    Gender: Male
    Home in 1850 (City,County,State): Woodstock, Windham, Connecticut
    Family Number: 698
    Household Members: Name Age
    John W Wells 55
    Maria Wells 43
    Hiram C Wells 20
    Elizabeth P Wells 17
    Lewis J Wells 13
    Albert W Wells 11
    John W Wells 7
    George W Wells 4

    ; Head of Household=John Ward Wells
  • (Household Member) Census: 1860; Woodstock, Windham Co., Connecticut, USAG;
    1860 United States Federal Census
    about John W Wells
    Name: John W Wells
    Age in 1860: 65
    Birth Year: abt 1795
    Birthplace: Rhode Island
    Home in 1860: Woodstock, Windham, Connecticut
    Gender: Male
    Post Office: Woodstock
    Value of real estate: View image
    Household Members: Name Age
    John W Wells 65
    Lewis Wells 23 (married)
    Ellen A Wells 22 (dau-in-law)
    Elizabeth P Wells 27
    Albert W Wells 21
    John W Wells 18
    George W Wells 14; Head of Household=John Ward Wells
  • (Head of Household) Census*: 1870; Woodstock, Windham Co., Connecticut, USAG;
    1870 United States Federal Census
    about Lewis J Wells
    Name: Lewis J Wells
    Birth Year: abt 1837
    Age in 1870: 33
    Birthplace: Connecticut
    Home in 1870: Woodstock, Windham, Connecticut
    Race: White
    Gender: Male
    Value of real estate: View image
    Post Office: South Woodstock
    Household Members: Name Age
    Lewis J Wells 33
    Ellen S Wells 32
    Willis W Wells 7
    Arthur E Wells 4
    Nelson Henry 13
    John W Wells 75

    ; Household Member=Ellen Adelaide Arnold, Household Member=John Ward Wells, Household Member=Willis Ward Wells, Household Member=Edward Arthur Wells

Family: Ellen Adelaide Arnold b. 10 Dec 1837, d. 1 Aug 1915

Citations

  1. Charles F. Wells, as submitted in GEDCOM file C:TMGWDNADON~1ID132_~1.GED and imported on 05/14/2008 at 21:51:23.,_ID132 _Researcher.
  2. Wells Surname DNA Study,Orin Wells, Wells Surname DNA Study.

Wesley John Wells1,2

M, #5101, b. 29 October 1842, d. 15 May 1866
  • Reference: W002 ID132
  • (Researcher) ResAddr: Researcher=_ID132 _Researcher2
  • Name Variation: John Wesley Wells
  • (Household Member) Census: 1850; Woodstock, Windham Co., Connecticut, USAG;
    1850 United States Federal Census
    about John W Wells
    Name: John W Wells
    Age: 55
    Estimated birth year: abt 1795
    Birth Place: Rhode Island
    Gender: Male
    Home in 1850 (City,County,State): Woodstock, Windham, Connecticut
    Family Number: 698
    Household Members: Name Age
    John W Wells 55
    Maria Wells 43
    Hiram C Wells 20
    Elizabeth P Wells 17
    Lewis J Wells 13
    Albert W Wells 11
    John W Wells 7
    George W Wells 4

    ; Head of Household=John Ward Wells
  • (Household Member) Census: 1860; Woodstock, Windham Co., Connecticut, USAG;
    1860 United States Federal Census
    about John W Wells
    Name: John W Wells
    Age in 1860: 65
    Birth Year: abt 1795
    Birthplace: Rhode Island
    Home in 1860: Woodstock, Windham, Connecticut
    Gender: Male
    Post Office: Woodstock
    Value of real estate: View image
    Household Members: Name Age
    John W Wells 65
    Lewis Wells 23 (married)
    Ellen A Wells 22 (dau-in-law)
    Elizabeth P Wells 27
    Albert W Wells 21
    John W Wells 18
    George W Wells 14; Head of Household=John Ward Wells

Citations

  1. Charles F. Wells, as submitted in GEDCOM file C:TMGWDNADON~1ID132_~1.GED and imported on 05/14/2008 at 21:51:23.,_ID132 _Researcher.
  2. Wells Surname DNA Study,Orin Wells, Wells Surname DNA Study.

George Washington Wells1,2

M, #5102, b. 15 April 1846, d. 30 September 1912
  • Reference: W002 ID132
  • (Researcher) ResAddr: Researcher=_ID132 _Researcher2
  • (Household Member) Census: 1850; Woodstock, Windham Co., Connecticut, USAG;
    1850 United States Federal Census
    about John W Wells
    Name: John W Wells
    Age: 55
    Estimated birth year: abt 1795
    Birth Place: Rhode Island
    Gender: Male
    Home in 1850 (City,County,State): Woodstock, Windham, Connecticut
    Family Number: 698
    Household Members: Name Age
    John W Wells 55
    Maria Wells 43
    Hiram C Wells 20
    Elizabeth P Wells 17
    Lewis J Wells 13
    Albert W Wells 11
    John W Wells 7
    George W Wells 4

    ; Head of Household=John Ward Wells
  • Note*: 1852; Southbridge, Worcester Co., Massachusetts, USAG; (Much of the information and the nearly all of the images on this page were assembled with the kind assistance of Dick Whitney, curator of the Optical Heritage Museum.)
    Ingenious and courageous men laid the foundations of America’s optical industry. Spectacles, for which all Americans depended upon foreign countries, were very costly as to be in the luxury class. William Beecher (1805-1892) moved to Southbridge in 1826 to start a jewelry and watch business. In 1833, his small optical business originated in an upper room of the jewelry store on Main Street. Robert Cole, age 14, was his apprentice. Beecher felt that New England workmen were capable of making spectacles that could compete with the foreign variety. By 1843, he had created the first steel eyeglasses in America. Steel-framed spectacles outranked all others in demand, and he developed an inexpensive method to produce them there in Southbridge. Beecher sold his business to Holdridge Ammidown in 1840 but repurchased an interest again in 1851. Finally in 1862 Beecher retired and the firm became Robert H. Cole and Company. Hiram C. Wells had joined the firm in 1852, the first of many members of the Wells family to be associated with this industry.


    George Washington Wells (1846-1912), younger brother of Hiram C., was born on a farm in South Woodstock, Connecticut. In 1864 he entered the employ of Robert H. Cole and Co. as a lad of just 18. He was a genius in mechanics and rapidly gained great respect. There was no manufacturing problem he could not solve. George Wells purchased an interest in the company and because of this, he later became one of the incorporators of American Optical when negotiations led to a merging of all the various interests of several spectacle shops.

    The business was organized and incorporated under the name of American Optical Company on Feb 26, 1869. The real estate and water privilege had become the property of A.O. Co. earlier that year. The company’s defined object was “to manufacture and sell spectacles and eyeglasses of gold, silver, steel and plated metals, also rings and thimbles, and such other like articles as said company may from time to time desire to make.”

    The total stock of A.O. Co. was 400 shares, capitalized for $ 40,000, of which George Wells owned 40 shares. Robert H. Cole was the largest shareholder with 150 shares. By Feb 1870, 20 additional shares were transferred to Wells from Cole. George Wells became Treasurer in 1879 and President in Feb. 1891.

    George W. Wells had responsibility over the lower Spec Shop, where goods other than gold were manufactured, and he also had charge of setting the lenses into the frames. His experience in machine work and tool-making enabled him to do much to innovate and invent newer machines and methods of producing goods. His skill and ingenuity allowed him to become a chief contributor to the growth and success of the company. By 1909, he had taken out 26 patents and 27 others had been granted to the company. Wells discovered a new method of edging split bifocal lenses. He made eccentric rolls to taper spectacle stock; he built the first lens cutting machine, even now only slightly modified; he built an apparatus for fitting in end pieces; another was for automatic milling and tapping of spectacle end pieces; another was for jumping and forming spectacle bridges, and many other developments were to shorten and improve the method of manufacture.

    Rimless goods were first made in 1874. By 1883, they began making ophthalmic lenses. In 1893, cylindrical and compound lenses were first manufactured and the Dioptric system was adopted. Other improvements offered by the Southbridge works were the Lensometer, 1921; Tillyer Lens 1925; Ful-Vue frames, 1930; and Ful-Vue bifocals, 1931. Only the scientist and the optician can estimate the value of these changes, improvements, and inventions to man’s most priceless faculty – eyesight.

    By 1933, plants covered 17 ½ acres of floor space in thirty six connected structures. AO was the oldest optical company in the U.S and one of the era’s stories of industrial success. They owned and controlled many patents. Until just recently they were one of the largest optical manufacturing companies in the world.

    Their collection of spectacles was organized in the early 1980’s as the Ocular Heritage Museum. Materials had been accumulated over a 150 year period, although the collection of eyewear was actually begun in the 1880’s by George Wells with a significant group of spectacle cases. Eventually there were over 3,000 frames going back several centuries. And when it was opened, in conjunction with the 150th birthday of American Optical. on 6/18/83, there were nearly 800 frames on display for the public to view. The most valuable piece, a centerpiece and highlight for any collection or display, was a sparkling diamond-studded iridium platinum frame by Schiaparella. It was worth $ 21,000 at the time. It had 201 diamonds totaling 7.75 karats. Five jeweled frames had been cast in 1955 to introduce the Madame Schaparielli ‘signature design’ series, the first of its kind offered by anyone for any product in the world.

    Currently most the “AO” museum belongings are in storage, with items on display at several locations in Southbridge. The Optical Heritage Museum, Inc. is a functioning organization, and is actively pursuing the establishment of a permanent home in the Historic District of Downtown Southbridge.; Principal=Hiram Cheney Wells
  • (Household Member) Census: 1860; Woodstock, Windham Co., Connecticut, USAG;
    1860 United States Federal Census
    about John W Wells
    Name: John W Wells
    Age in 1860: 65
    Birth Year: abt 1795
    Birthplace: Rhode Island
    Home in 1860: Woodstock, Windham, Connecticut
    Gender: Male
    Post Office: Woodstock
    Value of real estate: View image
    Household Members: Name Age
    John W Wells 65
    Lewis Wells 23 (married)
    Ellen A Wells 22 (dau-in-law)
    Elizabeth P Wells 27
    Albert W Wells 21
    John W Wells 18
    George W Wells 14; Head of Household=John Ward Wells
  • (Head of Household) Census*: 1880; Southbridge, Worcester Co., Massachusetts, USAG; 1880 United States Federal Census
    about Chancey M. Wells
    Name: Chancey M. Wells
    Home in 1880: Southbridge, Worcester, Massachusetts
    Age: 9
    Estimated Birth Year: abt 1871
    Birthplace: Massachusetts
    Relation to Head of Household: Son
    Father's Name: George W. Wells
    Father's birthplace: Connecticut
    Mother's Name: Mary E. Wells
    Mother's birthplace: Massachusetts
    Neighbors: View others on page
    Marital Status: Single
    Race: White
    Gender: Male
    Cannot read/write:

    Blind:

    Deaf and dumb:

    Otherwise disabled:

    Idiotic or insane: View image
    Household Members: Name Age
    George W. Wells 34
    Mary E. Wells 32
    Chancey M. Wells 9
    Albert B. Wells 7
    Joel C. Wells 5
    Mary E. Wells 2
    Lizzie Cadman 34
    Jennie Rich 16
    Bridjet Mahan 19

    ; Head of Household=Mary Eliza Mc Gregory, Head of Household=Channing Mcgregory Wells, Head of Household=Albert Bacheller Wells, Head of Household=Joel Cheney Wells, Head of Household=Mary Elizabeth Wells

Family: Mary Eliza Mc Gregory b. 27 Sep 1847, d. 19 Jun 1924

Citations

  1. Charles F. Wells, as submitted in GEDCOM file C:TMGWDNADON~1ID132_~1.GED and imported on 05/14/2008 at 21:51:23.,_ID132 _Researcher.
  2. Wells Surname DNA Study,Orin Wells, Wells Surname DNA Study.