Newsletter #21 , December 1997

New Officers in 1998

Message from the President

Jon Hagee

Dearest Wells Cousins,

First of all, let me say it was wonderful visiting with those of you who attended the Reunion. Iím also looking forward to meeting more of you face to face that I have already heard from via letters, phone and email. Some of you we haven't seen for quite a while and we look forward to seeing you this summer if possible.

As you know by now, I am in my first year as President and I am so grateful to have such wonderful associate officers to work with. We already have much to thank them for, this newsletter and arranging a new site for the 1998 reunion.

Also on my list are Bill and Nicky Wells who have done so much for us. I look forward to being able to visit with them in a more relaxed atmosphere. It seems like they were always so busy working on our projects! Thanks!!!

Some issues that have come up are:

Annual Meeting Activities

I would like to see us include more activities in addition to our regular reunion meal. Sometimes I feel like we just rush in, eat and rush back out again! I, for one, want to get to know you all better. So, this year, expect to spend a little more time at the reunion! We'll give you more details later about that.

Another issue is making our get-together more interesting to young people. I have asked my first cousin, Patricia (Patt) Alderdice Senseman to help out with some ideas to help all of us get to know each other better and for the young people to have more fun. Patt is Miriam Wells Craig's granddaughter (Phyllis Craig Alderdice's oldest child) and has just written a book on celebrating family events. I am also looking into some live music. Here's how you can help:

1. Invite your cousins, children, grandchildren, etc. And not just young people, everyone!

2. Ask them to bring favorite games, musical instruments and sports equipment. We intend to use it.

3. Tell them they'll have a good time. (They will!)

We are planning to have a variety of activities throughout the afternoon and early evening for all ages: music, games, sports, genealogy, crafts.

If you don't consider yourself to be in the "kid" category, feel free to bring along one of your favorite projects, artwork, knitting, crafts and hobbies. We're your cousins, we want to know what you're doing!!!

Please consider bringing musical instruments. One of my favorite memories as a child was sitting in a circle with banjo, fiddle and guitars playing bluegrass music.

New Location/Date

As you now know, we canít use our regular location at Blue Licks State Park. Cousin Betty Jo Wells has found an excellent facility in the 4-H camp. Although we'll be a little more open to the weather, I think this will also give us some flexibility that we wouldn't have otherwise. If it is too hot, we will look into changing the date, So let us know if you have any suggestions.

LASTLY, although I reserve the right to make some decisions, I very much depend on your wants and needs. I am very receptive to suggestions to improve our family association. Thank you for your confidence in me. With your continued support I will do my best to live up to the challenge.


Your cousin,



Robertson County Historical Society

Of interest to some of you may be the organization of the Robertson County Historical Society. The next meeting will be Tuesday, January 20th. You may contact Mr. William Wheaton at (606) 724-5894 if you would like more information.


The Heritage of Aaron Wells and Ruth Wiggins

The completion of our family history book was a great accomplishment. You can look up any of those mentioned in our newsletter and see just where they fit on our family tree. Nicky has sent me the database from which the book was prepared and now the task is to continually update it with corrections and additions. Please send yours in to be included in future issues of the newsletter.


Excerpts from the following biography of Riley Wells [#32] have been published in previous issues of the newsletter. The biography, now in its entirety, supplements the other biographies that appear on p. 17 of The Heritage of Aaron Wells and Ruth Wiggins. It was copied from The Kentucky Biographies Project which is a part of the Kentucky GenWeb Project on the Internet. Volunteers are entering older uncopyrighted biographies, which have appeared in state and county histories, into a database. A helpful added feature is an every-name search capability. You can find this web site at

It also has a much longer biography of Riley Wells?son, Joseph E. Wells M.D., which will be printed in a future newsletter. If you know of any historical biographies of other Wells descendants which havenít been printed in either our book or the newsletter please send them in to share with us.

Battle, Perrin & Kniffin. Kentucky: A History of the State. 1887. Robertson County

Riley Wells, M.D.3, [William W.2, Aaron1] of Mt. Olivet, Robertson County, Ky., was born October 5, 1830, and is a son of William W. and Matilda (Collins) Wells, the latter a relative of Collins, the Kentucky historian. William W. Wells was born near Washington, Mason County, and was a son of Aaron Wells, of Irish birth, who came from Pennsylvania and settled near Washington, on what is now known as Wells Creek, and who came down the Ohio river under the fire of ambusorded [sic]1 Indians; subsequently he took an active part in the war of 1812. Edmund Collins, maternal grandfather of Dr. Wells, was of English descent, and an early settler of Mason County, Ky. William W. was born December 16, 1800, and died June 11, 1872, having been a farmer all his active life. Riley Wells was reared on the home farm, received an academical education and in 1854 began the study of medicine under Dr. Holmes, of Mt. Olivet. He at once began practice, which he has since continued with more than ordinary success. In December, 1860, he married Miss Elizabeth Brown, daughter of John Brown, of Nicholas County, and to this union have been born two children: Joseph E., a graduate of the Ohio Medical College, and Mary M. The Doctor is United States examiner of applicants for pensions, is the owner of six hundred acres adjoining the town; is a Freemason, a Republican, and a member of the Christian Church.

1[editorís note: this is probably a typographical error of the old word ambuscaded, past participle of a verb meaning to lie in a wood, concealed, for the purpose of attacking an enemy by surprise, in other words, lying in ambush.]