Genealogy research by Mark Humphrys,
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He is described as "mariner", of Ipswich, at 2nd mar.
He mar 2ndly, 1838, to Mary Baldry [born 1803, her 2nd mar too].
He is listed as "ship-owner", living St.Helen's St, St.Helen's par, Ipswich (see map) at son's birth 1839.
They are listed in [UK census, 1841] as living St.Helen's St, Ipswich, he is listed as "mariner".
They are listed in [UK census, 1851] as living Great Whip Street, St. Peter's par, Ipswich (see map), he is listed as "master mariner".
Abbie Wells said in a 1955 letter that: "Joseph Wells was a captain in the Merchant Service and owned two sailing ships of which paintings were in our dining room at "Tanton"".
Richard Ellison says: "It is recorded that Joseph once swam from Harwich to Felixstowe which, owing to very strong currents, was considered a great feat."
Farmer in Levington, Suffolk:
He gave up the sea for farming. He bought a farm at Levington, Suffolk (SE of Ipswich, see map).
He is listed in [White's Directory of Suffolk, 1855] as a farmer at Levington.
They are listed in [UK census, 1861] as living Watkins Farm (unidentified), Levington, Suffolk. He is listed as "farmer of 185 acres employing 8 labourers and 2 boys". They have 1 servant.
Mary did NOT die 1862, Ipswich, age 59 yrs.
She is NOT Mary Wells who died 4th qr 1862, Ipswich [GRO.UK].
Joseph was executor of will of John Ruffles in 1863 (his son later married Ruffles' dau). He is listed as farmer, of Levington.
He is listed as "farmer" at son's mar 1865.
He retired from farming.
[UK census, 1871] lists them both living 138 Norwich Rd, Ipswich St Matthew (see map). He is listed as "retired farmer", as is she. They have one servant.
[UK census, 1881] lists them both living 138 Norwich Rd, Ipswich. He is listed as "Retired From Sea (Master Mariner)". They have one servant.
He is listed as "retired farmer" at death.
He died 23 Apr 1887, 138 Norwich Rd, Ipswich, age 82 yrs [GRO.UK].
See probate granted 29 Nov 1892.
"Mary Wells", born Easton, Suffolk, widowed,
"Living On Her Own Means",
as living with (her son)
Joseph Leonard Wells
at Appleby Villa, 4 Venner Road, Sydenham,
[UK census, 1891].
This must be her, except she is listed as his
"mother in law" rather than mother
and as age 58 (could be a miscommunication).
She apparently died at Appleby Villa, 20 Jan 1892, age 89 yrs.
(todo) See death of Mary Wells, age 89, [GRO.UK] 1st qr 1892, Bromley, vol 2a p 391 or poss. 891.
Joseph had issue by 2nd wife:
Joseph Wells listed as farmer at Levington in [White's Directory of Suffolk, 1855, p.242].