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* The Barnabe Wells & Related Families of Virginia*

Updated July 2, 2005

Barnabe Wells arrived in this new World in October, 1662. His passage had been provided by John Buck of Virginia. For the passage to America, Barnabe had become an Indentured Servant for a term of four (4) years. Upon the expiration of his Indenture, Barnabe was given CORNE and forty (40) acres. Thus began over 340 years of the Wells lineage in Virginia.

The lineage prior to Barnabe's arrival is clouded at best. The manifest records of voyages to this Hemisphere failed to list the area from which Barnabe resided. The major Port for immigration to the new world was through Bristol, England.

He resided most of his life in Old Rappahannock County, Virginia and the subsequent Wells' to follow resided in many areas of Virginia before finally settling in Pittsylvania County. The other areas include, Richmond, Prince George, Amelia, Lunenburg, Campbell, Henry Counties and then to an area in Pittsylvania County (then) known as Grady (Turkey Cock Mountain).

Barnabe was one (1) of twenty-four (24) families of Wells to arrive in the New World. Orin Wells, who resides in the State of Washington, is heading a DNA Research Project in United Kingdom, Canada, France, United States, Australia and New Zealand of male descendants of each of these families in association with Brigham Young University in Utah. I will be a DNA donor for Barnabe's research, along with Charles (Chuck) Wells of Pell City, Alabama, Mark L. Wells who resides in Florida and a fourth donor who confirms he is a descendent of James Wells, one of Barnaby's sons.

Cindy Headen (Cindy's Wells line is through Leslie S. Wells, my grandfather, Peter Thomas Wells' son and my Uncle), has provided substantial names and dates of our Ancestor's lineage, in our efforts to complete a detailed, thorough, and historical account of these families as possible.

We are all waiting with a great deal of anticipation for the results which will either link the 24 Wells families or at least assist in or attempts to trace our Families origins to the British Isles and perhaps to present day relatives.

Phase I of the project has been completed. On to Phase II where all participants will provide a detailed Family Tree. This will also assist in determining if all involved have followed the correct Wells lineage. The initial results of Phase I will be available, approximately, at the end of June, 2002.

Phase II is under way. Total participation of 229 with current collections reflecting the following: Australia 20, Canada 4, New Zealand 4, UK 16, France 1 and the United States 184. You can access and follow the progress by logging onto:

The family tree has been blessed again. We have found Charles (Chuck) Elliott. Chuck is the great-grandson of John Wells, brother to my great-grandfather, Matthew Clay Wells. Chuck has several photographs of his family and is providing them for this Home Page. Numerous photographs are available for your enjoyment. If you have photographs, clippings, etc. that you want displayed please contact us, we'll make every effort to accommodate all.

Upon working on the Fuller family whose connection is through Great-GreatGrandfather Joseph Wells' wife, Sarah Fuller. I found John Wesley Fuller, Jr. in Georgia who is the Seventh generation of Fullers back to Ezekiel (circa 1650). John has furnished another complete family for us. Our relations connection is through Arthur Fuller (ours) and John Fuller, Sr., sons of Ezekiel Fuller. There were ten (10) other siblings in this family.

On July 23, 2004, I received email from Mary Beth Majesty whose family origin is through the Shorter family, namely, Booker Shorter. Our Great-Grandfather, Matthew Clay Wells married Mary Shorter, Booker Shorter's daughter. Mary Beth is a reservoir of family lore on the Shorters.


Gerald W Wells

2536 Melaway Drive
Richmond, VA 23228-3048
United States
Fax: 804-261-2798

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My Family History




Family Photos

  • Court House, Callands, Pittsylvania Co. ,Virginia (215 KB)
    The Court House built here in 1789. The Town was named for Samuel Callands who had opened a store here and the town took his name. The town of Chatham was here before and is now 12 miles to the East along State Route 57.
  • My Great-Grandfather Mathew Clay Wells (207 KB)
    He is in the Pittsylvania County Militia Uniform at the outbreak of the War Between the States. He served honorably with the 21st Virginia Infantry, Company I for four years. Paroled at Appomattox, April 12, 1865.
  • Clerk's Office, Callands, Pittsylvania Co., Va. (240 KB)
    The Clerk's Office and the land was donated to the County by Landon Oakes, life long resident of the area.
  • John Wells is my Great-Uncle (377 KB)
    John Wells appears in his Confederate Uniform where he served with his brother, Mathew Clay, my Great-Grandfather, in the 21st Virginia Infantry Company I. He survived those four years also.
  • Grandmother Nannie Bell (Palmer) Wells (89 KB)
    Grandmother Wells is shown in the front yard of her home in Callands with Tommy Stanford, my cousin. What memories I have of my grandmother serve me well, as she is one of only a handful who STAND HEADS ABOVE all as a truly GREAT, CARING and LOVING LADY!
  • My Great-Grandmother Mary Shorter Wells (128 KB)
    Mary mothered 12 children, five of which were born prior to the War, and my Grandfather, Peter Thomas, shown here from left rear row (head showing), the first after Mathew returned home from the War. She had managed to raise those five and maintain the farm during his service to Virginia.
  • Grandparents Charles & Pearl (Smith) Palumbo (138 KB)
    This photo shows my Grandmother early in life where the picture of my Grandfather is in his later years. My Grandmother here like my Grandmother in Callands is part of that handful of Ladies that I mentioned in the previous description under GrandMother Wells.
  • Mathew & Mary's Family 1875 (94 KB)
    Fortunately, we have Mary in pose by herself as she was unable to sit for this portrait.
  • Anne's Mother Anne (Orr) Shankland (74 KB)
    Anne is shown here on vacation at SALTCOATS in Scotland a favorite resort with her. Residing in Glasgow, Scotland her entire life, she too is one of the handful of Ladies of great strength and love that extended to our family here in the U.S. with her many visits.
  • Mathew Clay Wells in 1887 (71 KB)
    Mathew lived until 1893. One true trait we share in common, "We both started life thin as rakes and in our latter stages of life, well the pounds start to emerge, just good family life."
  • GreatGrands James & Lillian (Smith) Smith (98 KB)
    Photo taken at South Laurel Street, Richmond (Oregon Hill).
  • Chuck Elliott's Father (162 KB)
    Chuck's Father is shown Back Row, L. to R., next to last. Chuck's Grandma Elliott's father was John D. Wells of Sandy Level, Virginia.
  • Clerk Office Callands, Pittsylvania Co. Va. (old) (242 KB)
    The building was used from 1767-1771 as a Debtors Prison and from 1771-1777 as an Office for the Clerk of the Court. The picture here is many, many years before the current picture shown on this site.
  • GG-Grandparents Booker Shorter, Tabitha Hubbard (322 KB)
    Booker Shorter 6-1809/10-1865 and Tabitha Hubbard Shorter 12-1811/abt 1883. They had 12 children and 54 grandchildren. Sent four Sons to the War Between the States, all served with Mathew and John Wells, 21 Va. Inf. Co. I.
  • The Wells Family Coat of Arms (188 KB)
    Best known Wells coat of Arms. It has been used (abused) by so many Wells families that it has become almost the Wells Family Coat of Arms. The first mention of the Coat of Arms was at the siege of Carlaverock in July of 1300. If you purchase this Coat of Arms anywhere, this is what you will receive most likely.
  • Charles A. (Chuck) Elliott (18 KB)
    Chuck is the Great-Grandson of John D. Wells and resides in Culpeper, Va. He was raised in Schoolfield, Va. which is near Danville.
  • Turkey Cock Mountain (134 KB)
    So many families that comprise this Family Page are from the Turkey Cock Mountain region. Areas such as Grady, Sandy Level, Museville, Pigg River, or Callands. Mathew Wells' home place is approximately 1/2 mile from this spot.

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