Thomas Welles

Thomas Welles (c. July 10, 1594 – 14 January 1660) is the only person 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]

Thomas Welles
1st Treasurer of the Colony of Connecticut
In office
Succeeded byWilliam Whiting
2nd Secretary of the Colony of Connecticut
In office
Preceded byEdward Hopkins
Succeeded byJohn Cullick
Deputy Governor of the Colony of Connecticut
In office
In office
In office
17th Governor of the Colony of Connecticut
In office
Preceded byEdward Hopkins
Succeeded byJohn Webster
20th Governor of the Colony of Connecticut
In office
Preceded byJohn Winthrop the Younger
Succeeded byJohn Winthrop the Younger
Personal details
Born10 July 1594
Stourton, Whichford, Warwickshire, England
Died14 January 1660
Wethersfield, Connecticut
Spouse(s)Alice Tomes
Elizabeth Deming Foote


Welles was born in Tiddington, Warwickshire, England around 1590, the son of Robert Welles and Alice Robert Hunt of Stourton, Whichford, County Warwick, England, born about 1543.[2][3] He married Alice Tomes on September 28, 1615 at St. Peter's Church, near Banbury, Oxfordshire, 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, 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,[4] who was a sister of John Deming[4] 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.[5]

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.


The children of Thomas and Alice Welles who lived into adulthood were:[3]

  • Mary (circa 1618 – 1647)
  • Anne (circa 1620 – 1680)
  • John (circa 1622 – 7 August 1659), settled in Stratford in 1645, serving as a magistrate and a probate judge there before his death in 1659.[5][6][7] His son, John, married Mary Hollister the daughter of Lt, John Hollister and Joanna Treat,[8][9] the daughter of Richard Treat.[10]
  • Thomas, Jr. (circa 1625 – 1668) settled in Hartford, Connecticut; his daughter Rebecca married Captain James Judson and settled in Stratford, Connecticut in 1680.[11] James and Rebecca's son David, also a Captain, built the Captain David Judson House, located on the same spot where his great grandfather William had built his first house, made of stone, in 1639.
  • Samuel (circa 1628 – 15 July 1675), became a Captain and settled in Wethersfield, Connecticut.[11] He married as his first wife Elizabeth Hollister, the daughter of Lt. John Hollister and Joanna Treat,[8][9] the daughter of Richard Treat.[10] 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. His son Samuel married Ruth Rice, daughter of Edmund Rice, on 20 June 1683 and they had six children.[12]
  • Sarah (circa 1631 – 12 December 1698)

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Norton, pp. 19–21
  2. ^ Siemiatkoski, Donna H (1990). The Descendants of Governor Thomas Welles of Connecticut, 1590–1658, and His Wife, Alice Tomes. Gateway Press.
  3. ^ a b Mathews, Barbara Jean (2015). The Descendants of Governor Thomas Welles of Connecticut and his Wife Alice Tomes, Volume 1, 3rd Edition. Wethersfield, CT: Welles Family Association. ISBN 9781312874794.
  4. ^ a b Deming, pp. 3–8
  5. ^ a b Mathews, Barbara J. (April 2000). "The Wills of John Welles and his Father, Governor Thomas Welles" (PDF). Welles Family Association. Retrieved 19 March 2010.
  6. ^ Raymond, Marcius D, p. 17
  7. ^ Case, L. W., p. 35
  8. ^ a b Treat, p. 31
  9. ^ a b Treat, p. 33
  10. ^ a b Treat, pp. 20–31
  11. ^ a b Siemiatkoski, Donna Holt (1990). The Descendants of Gov. Thomas Welles and his Wife Alice Tomes Through their Son Thomas Welles (c. 1625–1668) of Hartford Connecticut. Gateway Press.
  12. ^ "Ruth Rice (1659–1742)". Edmund Rice (1638) Association. Retrieved 19 March 2011.


  • 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.
  • Mathews, Barbara Jean. The Descendants of Governor Thomas Welles and his Wife Alice Tomes, vol. 1, 3rd edition. Wethersfield, CT: Welles Family Association, 2015.
  • 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 linksEdit

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