An American Family History

Abigail Warner Wells

The town of Ipswich was established on August 5, 1634, from common land called Agawam. On October 18, 1648, that portion called the "Village" at the New Meadows was set off as Topsfield. The boundary line between Ipswich and Topsfield was established, February 28, 1694.

Abigail Warner Wells was born in England. Her father was William Warner. She came to Ipswich with her family in 1637.

Abigail married Thomas Wells. Thomas was born in 1605 in Colchester, Essex, England.

Thomas and Abigail's children included:
Nathaniel Wells (1636, married Lydia Thurley),
John Wells (1638),
Sarah Wells Massey (about 1640, married John Massey),
Abigail Wells Treadwell (1642),
Elizabeth Wells Burnham (1646, married John Burnham),
Thomas Wells, (1646/47),
Hannah Wells (1649), and
Lydia Wells Rogers (1651).

Thomas was admitted as a freeman on May 17, 1637.

Thomas died October 26, 1666 and Abigail died in Ipswich, July 22, 1671.

Old Style Calendar
Before 1752 the year began on Lady Day, March 25th,. Dates between January 1st and March 24th were at the end of the year. Old Style (O.S.) and New Style (N.S.) are used to indicate whether the year has been adjusted. Often both dates are used.
Children of William Warner
  • Abigail Warner Wells
  • John Warner
  • Daniel Warner
  • Women played an essential role in American society as mothers and homemakers.




    A yeoman was a man who owned and cultivated a small farm. He belonged to the class below the gentry or land owners. A husbandman was a free tenant farmer. The social status of a husbandman was below that of a yeoman.

    Historic Homes and Places and Genealogical and Personal Memoirs Relating to the Families of Middlesex County, Massachusetts by William Richard Cutter, Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1908

    Thomas Wells, the immigrant ancestor of Judge Henry Jackson Wells, of Cambridge, Massachusetts, was born in Colchester, Essex, England, in 1605. . .He was thirty years of age when he took passage in the company of Richard Saltonstall, his own brother Deacon Richard Wells of Salisbury, and probably another brother, Nathaniel Wells, who settled in Rhode Island, on the ship Susan and Ellen bound for the Massachusetts Colony, and he settled in Ipswich where he married Abigail, daughter of John [ ? ] Warner, another immigrant of Ipswich, and the first grant of land was received by him as a proprietor in 1635. He was admitted as a freeman May 17, 1637, and he joined his fellow farmers in the cultivation of the common lands known by the Indians as "Aggawam," and as success attended his efforts as a husbandman he received other grants of land in 1651.

    He was a leading man in the town and appears to have been interested in the education of not only his own children, but of those of the other early settlers; his third son, Thomas, born in Ipswich, January 1, 1646, was a student at Harvard College under a provision of the will of his father...

    The other children of Thomas and Abigail (Warner) Wells were:
    John, who settled and founded the town of Wells, Maine.
    Sarah, who married John Massey, of Salem.
    Abigail, who married Nathaniel Treadwell.
    Elizabeth, who married John Burnham.
    Lydia, who married a Mr. Rogers.

    Abigail (Warner) Wells died in Ipswich, July 22, 1671. She outlived her husband nearly five years, as he died in Ipswich, October 26, 1666.

    Any man entering a colony or becoming a a member the church, was not free. He was not forced to work, but his movements were carefully observed to see if they followed the Puritanical ideal. After this probationary period, he became a "freeman." Men then took the Oath of a Freeman where they vowed to defend the Commonwealth and not to overthrow the government.

    Essex County, Massachusetts was created on May 10, 1643 by the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, when it ordered "that the whole plantation within this jurisdiction be divided into four sheires."
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