Humphrys genealogy

Genealogy research by Mark Humphrys.

My wife's ancestors - Wells - Contents

Joseph Leonard Wells

(Left) Joseph Leonard Wells. See larger and full size.
(Right) Eliza Jane Ruffles (died 1878). See larger and full size.

Joseph Leonard Wells,
born 27th June 1839.
He is Joseph Leonard Wells, farmer, of Levington, Suffolk (his father's farm), who was executor of will of John Ruffles in 1863 (he later married his daughter).

Farmer at Tannington, Suffolk:
He became farmer at Tannington Lodge, Tannington, Suffolk.
At mar 1865 he is listed as "farmer", living Tannington.

He mar 1stly, 8 Nov 1865, to Eliza Jane Ruffles [born 27 Oct 1843].
They lived Tannington Lodge.
He is listed as farmer, Tannington, at children's births 1866 to 1867.
He is farmer, Tannington Lodge, as at 1868-78.
They are listed in [UK census, 1871] at "The Lodge", Tannington. They have one nursemaid and one other servant. He is listed as landowner and farmer of 192 acres, employing a number of workers on the farm.
He is listed as "farmer" at wife's death 1878.
Eliza Jane died 11th Mar 1878 (2 months after child), Tannington Lodge, age 34 yrs, of "phthisis pulmonalis" [GRO.UK].
She was bur Tannington graveyard.
Left 9 children under the age of 12 motherless.
Joseph had issue by 1st wife:

  1. Leonard Wells,
    Joseph Leonard Wells, NOT Joseph L.W. Wells,
    born 12th Aug 1866, Tannington [GRO.UK].

  2. Roland Wells,
    Roland John Wells,
    "Rowland" in 1871 and 1881 census,
    born 26th Aug 1867, Tannington [GRO.UK],
    bapt 29 Sept 1867, Tannington.

  3. Alice Wells,
    Alice Jane Wells, born 13 Nov 1868, Tannington Lodge, Tannington, Suffolk [GRO.UK], NOT 3 Nov,
    listed in 1881 census at school at 105-107 St.Helen's St, Ipswich, see p.1 and p.2,
    living with her widowed father in [UK census, 1891], she is "House Keeper",
    listed in 1901 census as housekeeper at St.John's Institute, Droitwich, Worcestershire, see p.1 and p.2,
    did not marry,
    later confined to wheelchair with rheumatic arthritis, later bedridden,
    later lived at "Tanton", Walton, Suffolk, with her father,
    died 24th Dec 1933, Ipswich, age 65 yrs,
    bur St Mary's Church, Walton, with father.

  4. Ethel Wells,
    Ethel Mary, born 27th Dec 1869, "The Lodge", Tannington [GRO.UK],
    at home in [UK census, 1891], listed as "Draper's Assistant",
    listed in 1901 census at a large business at 14-24 Kirkdale, Sydenham, SE London (see map), she is "Draper's Assistant",
    staying with her sister's family in Eltham, London, in 1911 census, she is "Draper's Assistant",
    died unmarried, 11th Apr 1951, "Surrey SW", age 81 yrs.

  5. Herbert James Wells,
    Herbert Wells,
    born 14th Jan 1871, Tannington Lodge [GRO.UK].

  6. Marian Wells,
    Marian Beatrice, pron. "Mary-an",
    born 30th Jan 1872, "The Lodge", Tannington [GRO.UK],
    listed in 1901 census as "Draper's Assistant", visiting at St.Jerdes Home, 70 South Hill Park, Hampstead, NW London (see map),
    listed in 1911 census as "Draper's Assistant" and "Saleswoman in Gloves", lodger at 4 Johnson St, Old Trafford, Manchester (see map),
    died unmarried, 20th Sept 1952, "Surrey NE", age 80 yrs.

  7. Ernest Wells,
    Ernest George Wells, born 17th May 1873, "The Lodge", Tannington [GRO.UK].

  8. May Wells,
    May Gertrude Wells,
    some family notes have her as Gertrude May Wells,
    born 25th June 1874, Tannington Lodge, Tannington, Suffolk [GRO.UK].

  9. Wilfrid Wells,
    Wilfrid Arthur Wells, or poss. Wilfred,
    born 28th Dec 1875, Tannington Lodge [GRO.UK],
    in 1881 census, he is living with his sister May at home of the Burgess family in Dennington, Suffolk,
    at home in [UK census, 1891], listed as "Grocer's Apprentice",
    living with father at Tower House, Belvedere, in 1901 census, he is "Banker's Clerk",
    mar 1904, Dartford, Kent, to Lily Belcher [born 1866, Islington, perhaps sister of Florence Belcher], no issue,
    they lived Whitstable, Kent,
    she died 1956, age 90 yrs,
    he was living Whitstable as at 1961,
    he died 2nd Dec 1962, Bridge, Kent, age 86 yrs.

  10. Kathleen Margaret Wells,
    born 29th Mar 1877, "The Lodge", Tannington [GRO.UK], or poss. 28th,
    died 18th Jan 1878 (2 months before mother), Tannington, of hydrocephalus, age 10 months [GRO.UK],
    bur Tannington graveyard.

Joseph moves to London:
After his wife's death in 1878, Joseph moved to London. Some of the children came with him. Others were left in Suffolk.
He is described as "Licensed victualler" at 2nd mar, living parish of St.James, Paddington, London.

He mar 2ndly, 11 Apr 1880, parish church, Paddington, London [GRO.UK], see entry,
to Marion Abbenett [born 11 Jan 1850, Chertsey, Surrey, NOT Marian].
She was dau of Richard Abbenett, florist, by his wife Alice Scott.
She was apparently bapt Mary Ann Abbenett on 5 Feb 1854, Chertsey.
Wedding says "Abbenett" though family bible has her as "Abbenette".
She was living parish of St.James, Paddington, at mar.

Joseph ran the pub, The Devonshire Arms, 21a Devonshire St, London, for a short time.
He is listed in [UK census, 3 Apr 1881] as Licensed Victualler, running the Devonshire Arms, 21a Devonshire St, and living there. Only some of his children are with him. They have one servant.
He is NOT the Joseph Wells, Licensed victualler, who is listed in 1881 census at 314 Commercial Road, London.
He is listed as "Licensed Victualler" at dau's birth Oct 1881 and wife's death Oct 1881.
Marion died at The Devonshire Arms, of heart failure, 4 days after giving birth, 30th Oct 1881, age 31 yrs [GRO.UK].
Even after 2nd wife died, his eldest child was only 15.
See him listed at the Devonshire Arms in [Post Office London Directory, 1882, part 2, p.1346].
He is gone from the Devonshire Arms in [Post Office Directory, 1884].

At father's death 1887 he is living 27 Northampton Rd, Central London (see map).
He is listed in [UK census, 1891] as living Appleby Villa, 4 Venner Road, Sydenham, Beckenham par, Kent (see map). He is listed as "commercial traveller".
He lived Tower House, Berkhampstead Road, Belvedere, E side of London (beside Lessness Park, see 1915 map and modern map).
He is at Tower House at dau May's marriage 1898. He is listed as "commercial traveller".
He is listed in 1901 census at Tower House. He is listed as "commercial traveller". Some of his adult children with him. They have one servant.
He is listed as "Traveller" at son Ernest's mar 1903.
He lived as a widower to a vast old age.
Returned to Suffolk. Lived at a house called "Tanton", Back Lane, Walton, near Felixstowe, Suffolk. There from at least 1921 to death.
The Wells family owned a number of houses in Back Lane, Walton, and in High St, Walton.
Nearly lived to see great-grandchildren.
He died 14th Aug 1930, age 91 yrs, Woodbridge, Suffolk, NOT 1931. The story is that he died after falling out of a pear tree at "Tanton", Walton.
He was bur St Mary's Church, Walton.
See probate granted 15 Oct 1930.
He had issue by 2nd wife:

  1. Abbie Wells,
    Abbie Constance,
    born 26 Oct 1881, The Devonshire Arms, 21a Devonshire St, London [GRO.UK].
    Her mother died 4 days later, 30 Oct 1881.
    She was bapt 20 Nov 1881, St. Marylebone parish, London. See entry.
    Her bapt entry says she was born 26 July, but this is not true. Mother's death cert shows she died 4 days after giving birth.
    She wit her half-sister May's mar 1898.
    Living with father at Tower House, Belvedere, in 1901 census.
    She had bad arthritis, always used a stick.
    Lived in Inverness Terrace, Notting Hill, London (see map).
    Later lived Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire.
    Later lived Thames Ditton, near London, with her niece Brenda Wells.
    Later lived Bromley, London.
    She died unmarried, 1st Jan 1965, Bromley, age 83 yrs.

"Marion Wells".
Either Joseph Leonard's 2nd wife, Marion Abbenett (born 1850, died 1881) or his dau Marian Wells (born 1872, died 1952).
See larger and full size.

Joseph Leonard Wells and family, c.1906.
Back (left to right): UNKNOWN, UNKNOWN, Ernest Wells, (think Ethel Wells), Wilfrid Wells.
Centre (left to right): (possibly Abbie Wells), Joseph Leonard Wells, Herbert Wells, Jeanie Ross Gay, (possibly Muriel Wells).
Front (left to right): UNKNOWN, Roland Wells, UNKNOWN, UNKNOWN.
See full size. Courtesy of Richard Parker.

Labelled "At Felixstowe [Suffolk], Summer 1919".
Looks like Joseph Leonard Wells.
Others must be Wells family.
See larger and original and full size original.

Grave of Joseph Leonard Wells, Walton.
See full size.
From Gravestone Photographic Resource. See raw link. Non-commercial use allowed.




Alice Wells (born 1868) as a girl.
See larger and full size.

Alice Wells, bedridden in later life.
See full size. Courtesy of Richard Parker.

Marian Beatrice Wells.
See larger and full size.

Abbie Wells.
See full size. Courtesy of Richard Parker.

May Wells (left) and her half-sister Abbie Wells, 1962.
Scan 1999. Original photo has been destroyed.



Labelled as "Mary Cuddon".
See larger and full size.



Pictures of Joseph Leonard Wells





Sources yet to be consulted

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