Pioneer Period and Pioneer
People of Fairfield Co., Ohio.
by C. M.
Publ. F. J. Heer Printing Co., Columbus, O.
THE WELLS FAMILY
Pgs. 268 - 277
The ancestry of
Gen. James Wells and Col. Richard Brown:
James Wells, an Englishman, was founder of the
family in the United States and lived in or near Baltimore,
St. Paul's Parish Register of that city gives his
wife's name as Ann, and children as
James, born 27th
January, 1716; P
Mar. 16, 1720;
son, born 13th March, 1722;
Ann, born 17th
12th March, 1727 (father of Bezaleel Wells, of
Honor, born in
October, 1724 (Brown Bible gives this date Dec. 10, 1824-5).
This last named child, Honor, married, first
Wm. M. Holmes, founder of the family of that name in
Ohio. As his widow, she married Col. Richard Brown,
Nov. 17, 1759.
There were three children of this marriage:
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Rachel, born Dec.
29, 1760, became the wife of Gen. Jas. Wells, in
Pennsylvania, April 24, 1775.
Richard, only son,
was a surveyor, member of the Virginia State Legislature,
etc. Married, settled and died in the Panhandle, where
his descendants live at present.
youngest, married ____ Madden and settled in Indiana.
The Brown ancestor, also English, married
Nancy Stevenson, in Baltimore County, Md., and settled
there. Their family numbered sixteen. Edward
one of these children, was grandfather of Mrs. Eli H.
Holmes. Another was Col. Richard Brown.
A third Nancy, was mother of Gen. James
The husband, Richard (James?) Wells was a
brother of Honor Wells - Holmes - Brown and son of
the founder of the family of James Wells.
Honor was both aunt and mother-in-law to Gen.
James Wells and his brother, George, who married
Elizabeth Holmes, sister of James Holmes, Sr.
- children by her first husband.
Nancy Brown, wife of Richard (or
James?) Wells, (son of the founder) and family
probably, resided in Frederick County, Md.
Nancy Stevenson was no doubt related to
Daniel Stevenson of Richland.
1. Richard, who was likely their oldest son,
married a Miss Holmes, then Miss Brown, moved
to Kentucky, thence to Missouri, where he died.
2. Alexander, a volunteer in the army of Gen.
St. Clair, was killed by the kick of a horse at Ft.
Washington (Cincinnati), Ohio.
3. George, born in1745, was the father of
William Wells, the founder of Wellsville, Ohio.
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4. James, born in 1751, married Rachel,
daughter of Col. Richard Brown, in Pennsylvania,
April 24, 1775, etc.
5. Thomas, born in 1748; farmer, settled near
Maysville, Ky.; paid remembered visits to his relatives in
Ohio; owned slaves and held those belonging to his brother,
Gen. James Wells.
6. John, born in 1764, youngest son, was a
man of great prominence in Somerset, Pa., where he died.
He laid out the towns of Bedford and Somerset, that State,
as surveyor; was justice of the peace, associate judge, etc.
His descendants are worthy successors.
Next to nothing is known of the six sisters of these
men. Mary, born in 1748, married John
Doddridge. Patience, born in 1758, married a
Baptist minister, named Kerr, and settled in
The father of this family, Richard (or James?)
Wells, married a second wife and had another six sons
and six daughters - 24 children in all.
Most, if not all, of both families came West.
The father lived, after leaving Maryland, in
Pennsylvania, in the "Panhandle," in Kentucky, and died in
Ohio in 1808, in Ross county.
Gen. Wells settled in Somerset county, Penn., a
year or two before the Revolution. He served in that
war, as did his father-in-law, Col. Richard Brown,
and his cousins, James and Alexander Holmes.
He was once surprised by the Indians and pursued
for a long distance, finally securing a horse he made his
escape, not, however, until wounded four times by the
bullets of the Indians.
He was a prominent man in Somerset county and filled
position of honor and trust. In April, 1795, he
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was made in associate judge of Somerset County,
From Somerset County he moved to Holiday's Cove, on the
Ohio, where his father-in-law then lived. This must
have been in 1798 or 1799. Here his daughters,
Sarah, married Samuel Tallman, and they took up
their residence in Wellsburg, Va., a town near the old home,
and named for the Wells family. The exact date
of Gen. Wells's coming to Ohio can not be given, but
it must have been in the fall of 1801. He built a
cabin on what is now known as the Trimble or
Hooker place, in the woods; and when the land sales took
place he purchased, 1,280 acres in one body. He was a
justice of the peace for Greenfield at one time, and gave
his attention to farming.
General Wells was a member of a very
distinguished family, and his own reputation was that of an
able, upright man. His sister, Mary, married
John Doddridge. Their son, Joseph, was a
clergyman of the Episcopal church. Philip was a
distinguished lawyer and had few equals in the West.
He was also a very distinguished Congressman, and died in
Washington in 1832. The late Joseph G. Doddridge,
of Lancaster, was a grandson of Mary Wells.
Elizabeth Wells, a daughter of Richard Wells,
married George Hammond. They were the parents
of Charles Hammond, the most distinguished lawyer and
editor in the West of the early days. Upon the death
of Judge Sherman he took his son, Lampson, and
reared him in his family.
The Hammonds had a family of 16 children.
One of the daughters was the wife of the late Judge Hood,
of Somerset, Ohio, and the mother of W. C. Hood, once
State Librarian of Ohio.
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Bezaleel Wells, the founder of Steubenville, and
a distinguished banker and manufacturer, was a cousin of
James Wells and George, of Licking County.
Alexander Campbell, a very distinguished
preacher and founder of the Campbellite Church, married a
Wells. The descendants of Rev. Callahan (Pickerings,
of this town) claim that Rev. George Callahan married
a daughter of Bezaleel Wells. He had but two
daughters, who married - one, Katharine, married
John McDowell, and Rebecca married Rev.
Philander Chase. We have not been able to find the
name Callahan in the Wells history.
Mary Brown Wells, daughter of General Wells,
was born August 31, 1776, at 12 o'clock M. She married
Thomas McCall, a Scotchman. They lived upon a
farm in Greenfield. Mrs. McCall died in 1828,
aged 52 years. McCall died at Jones Gibbony's,
in 1853, aged 84 years. They were buried at Hookers.
Priscilla, a daughter of this couple, married
William McCleery in 1829. She died May, 1844, aged
38 years. Their daughter, Maria, married
Reason A. DeBolt, who became judge and a member of
Congress from Missouri. DeBolt was a son of a
pioneer Baptist preacher of that name.
Sarah McCleery married George W. Beck, of
Hocking township, in 1854.
Rachel Wells McCall married Jones Gibbony
in 1837. She died while this sketch was being written,
June 7, 1899. Gibbony died in 1883.
Emaletta married W. W. McCrea.
Philemon McCall Gibbony married Minerva L. Smith
in 1875. John T. Gibbony married Agnes
Wineburner. Richard Reeves McCall married
Juliet Wells in Jefferson City, Mo., in 1849, a relative
of his mother. Sarah,
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daughter of James Wells, married Samuel Tallman
at Wellsburg, Va., March 28, 1801, and came to Fairfield
county in 1804, and died November 13, 1837, aged 53 years.
Like the McCalls, both were buried at the Hooker
graveyard. Benjamin F. Tallman married Nancy
C. Tallman, of Virginia, in 1839, and died in Shelby
County, Ill., in 1877, aged 73 years. He was a son of
Richard Brown Tallman married Mary Boone
Taylor in 1834. James Wells Tallman
married Margaretta Minter, 1833; died in Knox County,
Missouri, 1859, aged 57 years.
Cynthia Ann Tallman married Levi White,
of Hughsville, Va., in 1859. This lady was a
granddaughter of Samuel Tallman. When a young
woman she was pronounced the most handsome visitor to
Fairfield County. She was the mother of 12 children.
Mary Tallman, daughter of Samuel and Sarah,
married Thomas B. Head in 1827. She died in
Stewart, Iowa, in 1875, aged 69 years.
Rachel Wells Tallman daughter of Sarah and
Samuel, married J. B. Dorsey in 1828, and died at
Kirkersville in 1832, aged 22 years.
Nancy Tallman married Reuben Evans, of
Zanesville, Ohio, in 1830. She is the only daughter of
Samuel Tallman living.
Cynthia Ann Tallman married Thomas Roe,
of Zanesville, Ohio, in 1847. She died in 1891, aged
77 years. They were the parents of Mary Josephine
Roe, a woman of education and culture, and the author of
a very good genealogy of the Wells family to which
the author is indebted for names and dates.
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[Annie Sophia, her other daughter, married
Dr. E. W. Mitchell, of Cincinnati, Ohio. He is an
only son of Rev. James Mitchell, a M. E. minister,
well known in this county.]
Honor Dianah Tallman married George W. Wilson
in 1835. She died in 1840, aged 25 years.
Margaret Elizabeth Tallman married Thomas
Coulson, of Rushville, in 1841. She died in 1844,
aged 20 years. Coulson subsequently married one
of the daughters of Joshua Clarke, and now lives in
Rachel Wells married William Wilson, son
of Nathaniel Wilson, Sr., Oct. 14, 1802.
She died in 1842, aged 55 years. Wilson
came with his father to this county in 1798, from Cumberland
County, Penn. He died Sept. 26, 1851.
Their daughter, Minerva Wells Wilson, married
Joseph Lynn. She died at the age of 36 years.
Nathaniel Wilson died in 1846, aged 38 years.
Honora Calista Wilson married James McCleery
in 1826. She died in 1890, aged 80 yeas.
Amanda, their daughter, married Aaron Kistler in
1852, and died in one year. Lucretia McCleery
married Peter Hay; hey live near Sedalia, Mo.
Samuel McCleery married Mary Levering in
1869. William Wells McCleery married Mary
Norton, of Marion, Indiana, in 1877. William
is a successful merchant in his new home. He was,
in his young days, teacher of the North Grammar School,
Theodore McCleery moved to the West several
Charles W. McCleery is a rising young lawyer of
Lancaster, a man of character and ability. He married
Laura Acton in 1884.
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Lizzie Jennetta McCleery married Levi Hengst
in 1881. He is a very fine farmer and prospering.
Cynthia Elizabeth Wilson married Rev. Barnett
Miller in 1841, and moved to San Antonio, Texas.
Rachel Wilson married Owen Smith in 1839,
and moved to Montezuma, Indiana. She died in 1873,
aged 57 years. Their daughter, Minerva Louisa,
married Philemon McCall Gibbony in 1875.
James Wells Wilson married Rose Ann Wolf,
of Pickaway County, Ohio. Mr. Wilson owns the
old Wolf farm and other good land beside, in that
county. It is cultivated by his thrifty sons. Mr.
Wilson owns a splendid farm in Greenfield, and one in
Berne, this county. He is one of the sturdy,
industrious old farmers, who have come down to us from a
former generation, bringing with him the good old habits of
the early days - a plain, honest, straightforward man, who
attends to his own business and knows very well how to go
about it. He has prospered and is independent, but he
is the same James W. Wilson that we knew long ago - a
plain, unassuming old man. He is an intelligent man,
and can tell what he knows in very good English.
His sons are good farmers and good citizens.
William Harvey Wilson married Mary Skeeters in
1844; they lived at Montezuma, Indiana. He died in
1862, aged 41 years.
Maria Louise Wilson married Henry Pence
in 1846, and moved to Bradyville, Iowa. Ambrose
Whitlock Wilson married Elizabeth A. Leach in
1871 and died in Kentucky in 1881, aged 52 years.
James Wells, son of General Wells, was
born October 11, 1789, "betwixt the break of day and
sunrise" (Family Bible). He inherited a good farm.
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Cynthia Ann Reeves in Ross County, Ohio, in 1815.
He died May 9, 1834; his widow died in Jefferson City,
Missouri, July 26, 1874, aged 77 years. It was her
daughter who married Richard Reeves McCall.
Nathan Wells, her brother, was the only grandchild
of Gen. James Wells, being his sir name; there are
but three great-grand sons who represent it at present.
Honora B. Wells married Samuel Reeves,
June 12, 1812; her second husband was David Rank, of
New Salem, Fairfield County, married June 25, 1845.
She died November 18, 1874, aged 82 years.
David Rank was one of the best of men, true and
lovely in life and character. His first wife was a
sister of James McCleery, by whom he had a large
family of children.
A granddaughter married Captain John Wiseman,
46th Ohio Infantry. She was named for his second wife,
He was a native of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania,
and came at an early day to Fairfield.
John, son of Gen. Wells, at the age of 35
years was lost on the Mississippi river.
Ann Brown Wells married Aaron Foster, of
Ross County, Ohio, May 28, 1834. She died June 4,
1858, aged 59 years. She was buried at Lattaville,
Ross County, Ohio.
Margaretta Madden Wells married Benjamin
Mackerly, Mar. 7, 1828, and lived near Bainbridge, Ross
County, Ohio; she died Sept. 22, 1873, aged 72 years.
Thomas McCall came from Pennsylvania to Ohio.
He served some years as a justice of the peace. His
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large family is now widely scattered. Three of his
grandsons, Reeves, McCleery and Gibbony, were
soldiers. Samuel Tallman was the son of
Benjamin Tallman who moved from Bucks County,
Pennsylvania, to Rockingham County, Virginia.
Samuel Tallman and wife came to Fairfield
on horseback, bringing two small children. A brother -
William - relieved them of the burden and carried one
of them. She rode a gray horse, which refused to move
a step when it scented a rattlesnake, until it was
killed. Samuel was a cabinet maker by trade.
Thomas Head came from Bedford County,
Pennsylvania. He was a farmer and a contractor on the
J. H. Dorsey was a millwright by trade.
Reuben Evans came from Pennsylvania. He
was introduced to his future wife, Nancy Tallman, by
his uncle, Brumfield. After their marriage the
young couple were escorted to their Zanesville home, a
distance of forty miles, by a large party on horseback.
Thomas Roe was born in Ireland, and was brought
to America when a child. He was a merchant and a
farmer. He was introduced to his wife while both were
on a visit to Somerset, Ohio. George W. Wilson
belonged to the Somerset branch of that family.
Margaret Tallman Coulson, who died at 22 years
of age, was pronounced a very handsome woman.