(1598 – January 14
) is the only man 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 January 14 1638 OS
, (January 24 1639
Welles was born in Essex County, England
circa 1598 and married Alice Tomes soon after July 5, 1615 in Long Marston, Gloucestershire. The couple had eight children and came to Boston in 1636. After his first wife's death, he married again about 1646 in Wethersfield
to Elizabeth, sister of John Deming
and widow of Nathaniel Foote
. 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 March 28, 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, Jr.; in 1658 governor, and in 1659 deputy governor, which position he held at his death on January 14, 1660.
Welles' eldest son, John, settled in Stratford in 1645, serving as a magistrate and a probate judge there before his death in 1659. Another son, Thomas, settled in Hartford; his daughter Rebecca married Captain James Judson and settled in Stratford in 1680. 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. Welles' other son, Samuel, became a Captain and settled in Wethersfield. Samuel's daughter Sarah married Ephraim Hawley of Stratford and settled in what is now Trumbull in 1683.
- William Richard Cutter, New England Families, Genealogical and Memorial, Lewis Historical Publishing, NY, 1914
- Frederick Calvin Norton, Governors of Connecticut, 1905
- Reverend Samuel Orcutt, History of the Old Town of Stratford, Connecticut, 1886
- Edmund Welles, The Life and Public Services of Thomas Welles, Fourth Governor of Connecticut, 1940
- Lemuel Welles, The English Ancestry of Gov. Thomas Welles of Connecticut, New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 1926