Norris & Wells Families of Maryland and Kentucky

Forward: Norris Families of England & Maryland by Harry Alexander Davis was the source of the lineage below. Kentucky Descendants of Thomas Norris of Md., 1630-1953 by Gertrude Cleghorn Josserand (Mrs. Guy D.) was sent by Pearl Hyles of Fall River Mills, California.

"Descendants of Thomas Wells" by Mary Celine Scott found on the US GenWeb Baltimore County, Md. web page's "First Families of Anne Arundel & Baltimore Counties," url:  Lineage of colonial Wells family of Prince George's Co, Md., found in "Colonial Settlers of Prince George's Co, Md., compiled by Elise Greenup Jourdan, p. 368; "Early Families of Southern Maryland," Vol 3, by Elise Greenup Jourdan, pp. 190-194; and "Baltimore County Families" by Robert Barnes. Compilations by Jourdan and Barnes contain acronym sources in brackets from "Reference Key" in front of each book. For example, Thomas Wells II [WC2:50,57] means citation in Md. Land Records Liber/Book No. WC2, p. 50 and 57.  For Md. Land Records research, consult "Settlers of Maryland: 1679-1700," by Peter Coldham, Chart, p. vi.  

First Generation:  Thomas Norris and Ann Hynson Norris in America.

Thomas Norris, the immigrant, was born c1608 in Congham, county Norfolk, England. He was son of GeoffreyCong.jpg (88458 bytes) Norris. He went to sea at age eleven. By 1630, Thomas was in Nansemond County, VA; by 1634, he was in St. Mary's Co MD. Thomas Norris came to Maryland with William Claiborne and lived on Kent Isle. He married Ann Hynson, d/o Thomas Hynson of Nansemond Co and Kent Isle, about 1637. (Ann Hynson Norris d. c1660.)   After his marriage, Thomas Norris and his brother-in-law, Daniel Glover, whose wife was a sister to Ann Hynson, were transported to Talbot Co Md. in 1663. They assigned their headrights to John Morgan. Morgan did not make use of these headrights until 1665. (Land Grants Liber 9, f. 313)  Investigating the transactions of John Morgan, the records disclose he specialized in transporting persons to & from Va. to St. Mary's Co, Md., and from SMCo to Talbot Co., thus securing headrights which he disposed of for a consideration.  In 1665, Thomas Norris & John Glover jointly purchased 400 a. of land. (Deed Lib 1, f. 43) In 1673, Thomas Norris had a grant of 200 a. called "Norrisderry" on the Chester River. Thomas d. before November 1675. A land sale which he was negotiating at that time was concluded by his eldest son and heir-at-law, Thomas Norris, Jr., a bricklayer.  Children: Thomas Jr., Edward, Geoffrey, Daniel, Alice, Cuthbert, Ann, Robert, & John Norris.

Second Generation: Edward Norris 1639 of Thomas 1608.

Edward Norris was born Oct 1639 in St. Mary's Co Md. He married (1) Mary Freeman, d/o William and Mary Freeman, by 1661. Mary d. c1678, and he mar. (2) Sarah Wichel Kemp, widow of John Kemp, about 1689. He removed to Baltimore County. He had seven children by first wife: William, *John, Mary, Thomas, Elizabeth, Geoffrey, and Ann; by second wife he had daughter, Sarah Norris.

Third Generation:  John Norris 1663 of Edward, of Thomas.

John Norris was born c1663 in Anne Arundel County, Md. He married before 1685 (1) Elizabeth Parsons, d/o Thomas & Isabel Parsons of England. She was born c1666/67 in Md.  John made extensive land purchases in Anne Arundel & Baltimore Cos. In 1691, "in third year of reign of King William & Mary," he purchased from Benjamin Hooker "for 5500 pounds tobacco," land named "Hooker's Addition" on Herring Creek. In 1726, he patented from Benj. Leon Calvert "Norris Addition," being 32 a. in Herring Creek, which he later willed to his grandson Thomas Norris. In Balto. Co in 1716, he bought 243 a. of "Prospect" from Peter Bond for 30 pds. sterling money; and in 1718, 365 a. from Thomas Preston called "Everly Hills" for 50 pds. In 1726, he purchased from Wm. Parish 150 a. of "Spring Garden" on the Patapsco River in Balto. Co for 30 pds.

His wife Elizabeth d. Nov 1712. In Apr. 1714 "a petition of John Norris setting forth that he is fined 500 pds. tobacco for not attending as a juror at the court held Nov last, for said co; that during the sitting of said court the petitioner's wife lay very sick and died so that he did not neglect his duty out of any contempt, but was induced by his affection & care of his wife...the truth of said petition being certified by two of the Commissioners of the afs. co. Court thought reasonable, and was granted that said fine be remitted & unlevied. (Md. Archives)

John Norris mar. (2) Mary Newman on 3 April 1716. He had nine children. By first wife he had Elizabeth, Susannah, John, Hannah, Benjamin, Edward and Joseph I, and by second wife: Thomas and Mary. 

Fourth Generation:  Joseph Norris I c1705 of John 1663, of Edward 1639, of Thomas c1608.

Joseph Norris I was born 20 February 1705/6. He removed to Harford Co, then Balto. Co Md. He married Mary Talbott about 1734. He inherited part of "Prospect" from his father. He sold this  land in 1753 to John Bond for 50 pds.  He had twelve children: Elizabeth, John, Rachel, Susannah, Mary, Hannah, Joseph II, Willimen, Benjamin, Edward, Temperance, and James. He died testate. His will was written 2 April 1781 and probated 14 May 1784 in Baltimore County, later Harford County, Md.

Children: Elizabeth (1736) mar. Ezekial Bosley; John (1737) m. ?; Rachel (1739) mar. Gist Vaughn; Susannah (1741) mar. Walter Wyle; Mary (1742) mar. Wm. Sinclair;  Joseph II (b. 1745) mar. Eliz. Cole; Wm. (b. ?); Benjamin (1749) mar. ?; Edward (1750) mar. ?; Temperance (1753) mar. ?; James (1756) mar. ?.

Fifth Generation: Joseph Norris II 1745 of Joseph c1705, of John 1663, of Edward 1639, of Thomas c1608.

Joseph Norris II was born 18 April 1745. He married Elizabeth Cole on 25 January 1770 in St. John's Parish, Baltimore County Md. Elizabeth Cole Norris d. 1823 in Bracken Co KY. They had five children including Joseph Norris III. Joseph Norris II d. before 7 August 1879 in Bracken Co Ky. 

Sixth Generation:  Joseph Norris III (d. 1848) of Joseph II 1745, of Joseph I 1705, of John 1663, of Edward 1649, Thos. c1608.

Joseph Norris III married Ann Nancy Wells, d/o John Wells & Diana Cromwell, on 6 July 1797 in Bracken Co, Ky. They had eight children: Diana, John, *Eleanor "Ellen," Joseph IV, George, Elizabeth, Edward, and Lucy A.

Sixth Generation:  Eleanor "Ellen" Norris (1807-1876) of Joseph III, of Joseph II, of Joseph I, of John 1663, of Edward 1649, and of Thomas c1608.

Eleanor Norris was born 13 May 1807 in Bracken Co, Ky. She married Purnell Burch Redden 20 January 1825 in Bracken Co Ky. She died 11 January 1876, and is buried in Mt. Zion Cemetery, Gertrude, Bracken Co Ky. Her children may be found on the Redden page.

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First Generation: Thomas Wells I ( b. c1620) and his wife Elizabeth Mellows (b. c1620) of England & Prince George's Co, Maryland.

Thomas Wells was born about 1620 in England. He married Elizabeth Mellows (b. c1620) about 1645 in England. He died about 1682 in Queen Anne Parish, Prince George's Co, Md. She died about 1681/82 in Queen Anne Parish, Prince George's Co, Md. They had two known children: Mary Wells b. c1650 who married John Parker about 1675 and Thomas Wells II who was b. 5 September 1653 Queen Anne Parish, PG Co Maryland.  [Source: Queen Anne Parish Register 1706-1773, St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, Leeland, PG Co Md. & Chapel of Ease, St. Paul's Parish, prior to 1706 on Microfilm MSA SC-N-687]

Second GenerationThomas Wells II (1653-1718) and Frances Smith (1657-1726) of Pr. Geo. Co Md.

Thomas Wells was transported to Maryland in 1679 (WC 2:50,57). On August 26, 1695, Thomas Wells, planter of Calvert Co, purchased Strife, 200 a., in Prince George's Co from Thomas and Mary Smith of Calvert County for 90 pds, tract located on west side of Patuxent River. His tract Strife was mentioned on 1704 deed as bounding Basingthorp Hall (PGLR). Sometime in 1696, he was a member of a Grand Jury acting on a petition for Philip Clarke's disbarment. Thomas Wells witnessed a deed in PG Co in 1703 (PGLR). Thomas Wells married (1) Mary Hopkins, d/o Gerard & Thomasin Hopkins. He married (2) Frances Smith. Thomas Wells of Herring Creek Hundred, PG Co Md, died before January 5, 1718, when his will was probated (MCW IV:186, Appendix). His Inventory named "next of kin" as Thomas Wells and Nathaniel Wells (I&A 2:236). A Mrs. Wells was a taxable in Patuxent Hundred, PG Co, in 1719. On May 23, 1722, Frances Wells, widow of PG Co, sold lot #54 in Queen Ann Town for L5/10/0 containing 1 a. to Thomas Lancaster, merchant (PGLR). On November 27, 1722, Frances Wells, widow, made deed of gift to her son Nathan Wells of PG Co, the dwelling house where he now lives and other building on 2 a. of land (PGLR).  Couple had ten children from will and church records: Thomas Wells III, Frances Wells, George Wells, Robert Wells b. 1693, Mary Wells, Nathan Wells, Joseph Wells (twin) b. 1697, Sarah Wells (twin) b. 1697, Elizabeth Wells b. c1699, and John Wells?.      

[Source: Jourdan, Elise. "Early Families of Southern Maryland," Vol 3, Westminster, Md: Family Line Pub, 1994, pp. 190-191 & "Thomas Wells of PG Co Md." by Mary Celine Scott, Baltimore Co Rootsweb www site. Orin Wells Wells Rootsweb Newsletter, points out sources in these two references need checking because secondary sources sometimes contain inconsistencies.]

Third Generation: Thomas Wells III (c1685-1751) and Martha Boyd (c1688-1721) of Pr. Geo. Co Md.

Thomas Wells III, planter of PG Co Md., died before June 25, 1751, when his will was probated. (MCW X:158) He mar. (1) Martha Boyd, d/o John & Mary Boyd. Mary Boyd Wells inherited 100 a. of Amphill Grange from 1705 will of her father (MCW III:60). The 1722 will of her mother called her Martha, wife of Thomas Wells (MCW V:123). The 1739 will of Martha Duvall leaves her personalty (MCW VII:104). In 1719 and 1733 Thomas Wells was a taxable in Patuxent Hundred, PG Co.  Thomas & Mary Boyd Wells had children: Thomas Wells IV b. January 28, 1710/1711 in Queen Anne Parish, PG Co MD; John Wells b. October 26, 1712; and Mary Wells b. 12 August 1715.   Thomas Wells III married (2) Mary Disney October 21, 1721 (All Hallows Parish Record, Anne Arundel Co, Md.) Their children: Ann, Cassandra, Elizabeth, Mary, Samuel, Sarah, William and Cavenah Wells. [Source: Jourdan op. cit. p. 191. & Scott www op. cit. "Thomas Wells of PG Co Md."]

Fourth Generation: Thomas Wells IV (1710-1804) and Elizabeth Howard of Baltimore, Baltimore Co, Md.  

Thomas Wells IV was born January 28, 1710/11 in Queen Anne Parish, PG Co Md. He was christened at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church. He married Elizabeth "Eliza" Howard, d/o Joshua Howard & Joanna O'Carroll, on September 16, 1736, in Garrison Forest, Baltimore Co, Md. Elizabeth Howard was born April 27, 1714, in Garrison Forest, Baltimore Co Md. Thomas Wells IV died May 20, 1804, in Baltimore, Md. He is buried in St. Thomas Parish, Baltimore, Md. (St. James Parish Register 1797-1815: Thomas Wells, age 95, buried from St. Thomas 5/20/1804) Elizabeth Howard Wells died about 1785. Couple had six children: Francis Wells b. 26 June 1737, d. 13 Apr 1769 St. Thomas Parish, Balto. Md; Joseph Wells b. 29 May 1739, d. 4 Feb 1808 Frederick Co Md.; John Wells b. 25 March 1743 Balto. Md, d. ?; James Wells b. 5 Nov 1747, d. ?; Thomas Wells V b. 9 August 1750, d. ?; Ann Wells b. 11 March 1756, d. ?

[Source: FamilySearch Ancestral File v4.19; corrections by Scott's "Thomas Wells of PG Co MD" op. cit.]

Fifth Generation: John Wells (1743-?) and Diana Cromwell of Baltimore, Md. & Bracken Co Ky.   

John Wells was born March 25, 1743 in Garrison Forest, Baltimore, Md. He was christened at St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Garrison Forest, Baltimore, Md. He married Diana "Dinnah" Cromwell on October 11, 1761 in Garrison Forest, Baltimore, Md. Couple migrated to Bracken County, Ky., about 1794. A Bracken Co Ky. deed dated March 28, 1794, transfers land to John Wells & John Johnson from Joseph Wells. (Deed Bk B-1:192) Another deed dated 1797 shows John Wells purchased land on Locust Creek in Bracken Co Ky. (Deed Bk A:8) John Wells on 1799 Tax List for Bracken Co Ky. Couple had eight children: James Wells b. 25 Jan 1764 Balto. Co Md.; Constantine "Conna" Wells b. 26 May 1766 Balto. Co Md. mar. possibly (1) ...Sanford, mar. (2)  Henry Dawson of Bourbon Co KY & Clarke Co OH; John Wells Jr. mar. Sophia Norris; Richard Wells mar. Clarisa Feagins; Elizabeth Wells mar. Michael Sparks; Nancy Ann Wells (b. c1777) mar. Joseph Norris July 6, 1797, Bracken Co Ky.; Gemina Wells mar. Benjamin Chambers; and Eleanor "Ellen" Wells mar. Jacob Reed.

[Source: Laurie Sainsbury & www's FamilySearch Wells Ancestral File v4.19; Syphus, Mary. "Descendants of Joseph Wells," privately printed manuscript, 2000, p. 4; Dawson, Lee O. "Through Tree Centuries With a Dawson Family, Moline, IL, 1974, privately printed manuscript, pp. 39-42; Dawson, Carol. "Dawson in Revolutionary War," Vol. II, p. 372, cited DAR Papers of Mrs. Minnie Holladay, St. Joeph MO, No. 19316 for children of Henry Dawson and his two wives: Maria Wells & Constantine Sanford.]

Cromwell Family History url:

Sixth Generation: Ann Nancy Wells (1777-?) and her husband Joseph Norris of Bracken Co Ky.

Joseph Norris III (d. 1848) of Bracken Co Ky. married Ann "Nancy" Wells, d/o John & Diana Cromwell Wells of Baltimore, Md., on July 6, 1797, in Bracken Co Ky. Couple had eight children: Diana, John, *Eleanor "Ellie" Norris, Joseph Norris IV, George, Elizabeth, Edward, and Lucy Ann Wells. [*husband Purnell B. Redden]

Sources: Norris references above, Purnell Burch Redden FGR by John L. Dawson, Benton, Ky., dated 29 March 1995, listed Redden-Norris sources (a) pedigree chart by Charles L. May, descendant of Amos & Nancy Redden Wells; (b) Melissa Ann Wells, Waltonville, IL; (c) Carrie Mabel Wagel, Brooksville, Bracken Co Ky.; (d) pedigree charts by Eunice V. Redden, Dallas, Texas; (e)  Eleanor Norris, d/o Joseph & Ann Nancy Wells Norris, marriage record in Bracken Co KY Marriage Book 1, p. 110.

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Will of Thomas Wells II, planter, Prince George's Co. dated 26 Sept 1718/prob. 5 Jan 1718 [verbatim in "Md. Calendar of Wills 1713-1720, Vol IV, p. 186.]

To wife Frances, dwelling plantation Strife, and adj. tract Something, in all 218 a. during life; at her decease to four sons: Thomas, Robert, Nathan and Joseph Wells. Shd. all of sd. sons die without issue, lands to descend to son Joseph; shd. he die without issue, to 4 daus equally, viz.: Frances, Mary, Sarah & Elizabeth, and their hrs. To sd. daus, personalty. To son George Wells 5 shillings. Wife Frances, extrx. and heirs, house and lot in Queen Ann's Town and residue of estate. Wt. Richard Duckett, Wm. John Black, Thomas Howell.

Source: Md. Calendar of Wills Book IV, p. 186 or Md. Reg. of Wills 14:724.

Inventory & Accounts for Thomas Wells II, PG Co, dated 2 May 1719: Worth L196/11/5; next-of-kin: Thomas & Nathaniel Wells. [Source: Prerog. Court of Md. I&A Book 2:236]

Will of Thomas Wells III, planter, PG Co Md. dated 7 Oct 1748/prob. 25 June 1751.

To son John Wells and son Thomas Wells...66+ a. and to dau Mary Wells Duvall, cattle; Wts: Wm Denune, James Becks, William Goe Jr.. [MCW X:158 & Reg. of Wills Bk 28:81]

Inventory & Accounts for Thomas Wells III of PG Co Md. dated 3 July 1751/20 Aug 1752. Worth: L325.12.4. Next-of-kin: John Wells, Mary Wells Duvall; excr. Thomas Wells IV (I&A 51:25)

Wells Documentation in Colonial Settlers of PG Co Md by Elise Jourdan:

Thomas Wells II and wife Frances had children: Robert Wells b. 5 Aug 1693, Joseph & Sarah Wells (twins) b. 30 Oct 1697; Elizabeth Wells b. 11 May 1799 [Queen Ann Parish Records, "Births," p. 5]

Thomas Wells III and wife Martha (Boyd) had children: Thomas Wells b. 28 Jan 1710/11; John Wells b. 26 Oct 1712; Mary Wells b. 12 Aug 1715. [Q.A. Parish Records "Births" pp. 5, 8, 11]

Thomas Wells, age 61 on 14 Jun 1714 [Hooper, Debbie. Abstracts of Chancery Court Records of Md., 1669-1782, Family Line Pub. Westminster, Md.] 

Thomas Wells II, planter, 26 Sept 1718; 5 Jan 1718; wife Frances, sons: Thomas, Robert, Nathan, Joseph; daus Frances, Mary, Sarah, Elizabeth, tracts Strife & Something, from Md. Calendar of Wills Vol IV, p. 186. Widow Frances Wells 6 Sept 1720 from Abstracts of Adm. Acts. of Prerog. Crt. of Md, Liber 3:214 by V. L. Skinner, Fam. Line Pub., Westminster, Md.

Thomas Wells III, wife Martha (Boyd) Wells in Md. Calendar of Wills Vol VIII, p. 51.

Thomas Wells, planter, 7 Oct 1748/25 June 1751; sons John & Thomas Wells; dau Mary Duvall from Md. Calendar of Wills, Bk X:158 and Inventories of Prerog. Crt. of Md., Thos. Wells 3 July 1751, Bk 51:25.