52 Ancestors 2015: #48 Thankful – Samuel Eells

Week 48 (November 26-December 2) – Thankful. November 26 is Thanksgiving in the U.S. Interpret the “thankful” theme however you’d like.

American 19th Century, Samuel Eells, , c. 1800, oil on canvas, Gift of Edgar William and Bernice Chrysler Garbisch

American 19th Century, Samuel Eells, , c. 1800, oil on canvas, Gift of Edgar William and Bernice Chrysler Garbisch

I am thankful I kept digging! I found more information on my 8th great grandfather, Samuel Eells (also spelled Eelles and Iles).

Samuel was the son of Mary and John Iles of England. He was born in Dorchester, Massachusetts on May 1, 1640 and baptized in the Church of Dorchester on July 3, 1640.

According to records, he returned to England with his father “at the time of the Cromwell War” or the English Civil War. The war, fought in three parts, went first (1642-46), second (1648-49), and third (1649-51) ending with a Parlimentarian victory at the Battle of Worcester on September 3, 1651.

Samuel returned to New England when he was twenty-one – around 1661. Again, according to records, this coincided with the escape of the regicides, Whalley & Goff, who took refuge in West Haven and Milford, Connecticut. Whalley was the brother-in-law of Reverend William Hooker, who was Cromwell’s cousin and eventually pastor in New Haven. “It is assumed that Samuel went there (instead of Dorchester or Windsor) because he came as a bodyguard to these two judges, now exiles, with a price on their heads. He built the Eells-Stow house, still in Milford CT, to hide these men.

For more information on Whalley & Goff, two of the fifty-one members of The Regicides, go here (http://colonialwarsct.org/1660.htm). “At the Restoration (1660), Whalley, with his son-in-law, William Goffe, fled to New England. He lived successively in Boston, New Haven, Milford (Conn.), and Hadley (Mass.), hunted by English agents but never betrayed.”

On August 5, 1663, in Milford, CT, he married Anna Lenthall (1649-1686) of Newport, Rhode Island, daughter of Reverend Robert Lenthal, Jr and Cicely Gey. Anna gave him twelve children, four of whom died young.
Samuel (1664-1665), John (1665-1665), Samuel (1666-1765), John (1668-1698), Mary (1670-?), Daniel (1670-1698), Robert (1672-1673), Robert (1675-1675), Thomas (1676-1724), Nathaniel (1677-1750), Elizabeth (1678-1713) and Patience (1680-?).

“In 1677 he was one of a committee to transcribe the “old books.” He held many local offices, was frequently a member of the General Court, and prominent in military affairs. He appears to have been a weaver. The “History of King Philip’s War” by Benjamin Church, second edition, Newport RI 1772 shows that the Indians captured by him in Dartmouth were “carried away to Plymouth, there sold and transported out of the country, being about eight-score persons.” He was admitted to the Milford, Conn., church, May 15, 1670, and his wife on July 10th of that year.” – The Eells Family

Anna died in February of 1687 in Milford, CT.

On August 22, 1689, Samuel married Sarah North in Hingham, Massachusetts – daughter of John and Hannah Bateman and widow of Edward North. He then relocated to Hingham where Anna (1699-1778) was born.

Sarah Bateman had been married twice before, first to Joseph Peck and second to Edward North.The Peck family were well known in Boston and Edward North was uncle of Lord North, Prime Minister of England. The marriage to Sarah Bateman Peck North was performed by Captain John Smith assistant ye 22nd August 1689 and is recorded on page 82 of the first volume of Births, Marriages, and Deaths in Hingham, Massachusetts.

According to “The Eells Family” book, “In 1700, he was “major.” In 1705 he was deputy to the General Court. The town records say: “Maj. Samuell Eells one of Her majesties Justices of the peace for the county of Suffolk: dyed the 21st day of April: 1709:” His will is dated Aug 1, 1705. The widow removed to Scituate to reside with her son, Rev. Nathaniel, where she died Feb 9, 1717.”


In reality, Nathaniel was her step-son, although she raised him from the time he was eleven years old. In “The Eells Family” book, it also mentions that Mr. Nathaniel Eells of Scituate was married to Mrs Hannah North of Hingham on the 12th day of October 1704 by Major Samuel Eels Justis of the peace.” – So, Nathaniel and Hannah were married by his father, Samuel a year before Samuel died.

Samuel was not only a bodyguard for Whalley & Goff and a means of hiding them from the King’s men who searched for them, but he was also a militia officer in King Philip’s War, Town Clerk of Milford, Connecticut, a deputy to General Court Assembly for twelve sessions, a weaver, shopkeeper and scribe.

(Enc. Brit. 28 p. 574: Noble, “Lives of the Regicides” “Members of the Protectoral House of Cromwell: Peck “Deserta Curiosa 1779”: Ezra Stiles “History of the Three Judges”: Firth in “Dictionary of National Biography”: Mass. Hist. Soc. Papers: The Hutchinson Papers: Atlantic Monthly VI 89-93: Pennsylvannia Magazine I, pp. 55-56, 230, 359: The New Haven Collection of Historical Society Papers, Dexter’s Memoir concerning Whalley and Goff.The History of New England, Palfrey: Notes and Queries 5th Series VIII p. 359 American Bibliography.)
Re: the Eells-Stow House

eells-stowe-house2 eells-stowe-house eells-stowe-house-1 eells-stowe-house-1

“The Eells-Stow House is believed to be the oldest house in Milford, Connecticut and takes part of its name from the Eells family, who arrived in Milford in the later 17th century from the Boston area.
Samuel Eells, born c. 1640, came to Milford with his bride in 1668. After his wife’s death, he moved to Hingham, Mass. Upon his death, the Wharf Lane property was inherited by his son, Col. Samuel Eells. Col. Samuel Eells was very prominent in the affairs of both Milford and New Haven Colony. He married Martha Whiting Bryan (his second wife) who bore him a son, Nathaniel. Nathaniel married Martha Stow who unfortunately only lived for seven months after the wedding.”


Samuel Eells ,Captain & Major (1640 – 1709) 8th great-grandfather
 Anna Eells (1699 – 1778) daughter of Samuel Eells ,Captain & Major
 Isaac Wilder (1737 – 1810) son of Anna Eells
 Submit Wilder (1766 – 1850) daughter of Isaac Wilder
 Rachel Gardner (1796 – 1875) daughter of Submit Wilder
 Mary Ann Wilder (1828 – 1905) daughter of Rachel Gardner
 John Milton Roberts (1858 – 1939) son of Mary Ann Wilder
 Hazel Pearl Roberts (1900 – 1990) daughter of John Milton Roberts
 Helen Adelaide Reynolds (1920 – 2003) daughter of Hazel Pearl Roberts


About T.K. Eldridge

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