Louisiana Genealogical
& Historical Society

First Families of Louisiana
Certificate Program

Colonial Ancestor: Samuel Wells

(Submitter: Mary David Baker)



1. Samuel Wells

Residence: Manchac, West Florida — before April 1780
                    Opelousas District — April 1780 - March 1796
                    Rapides Parish — 30 March 1796 until his death, c.1800

Evidence: "Index of Spanish Judicial Records of Louisiana, Philip Barbour vs. Samuel Wells, No. 3542," Louisiana Historical Quarterly 14 (January-October 1931): 471-74; Louisiana Colonial Documents, Opelousas Post 1766-1803, Louisiana State Archives Accession No. P-1985-4, Microfilm Reel #1, filmed by Genealogical Society of Utah, Opel: 1780 April 11, Land Sale from Jean Carateh to Samuel Wells, Baton Rouge; Louisiana State Land Office, Claim Papers S.W.D. T4N, R3W, Vol. 134, pp. 238-41, Baton Rouge.
     Samuel Wells is identified in a lawsuit in April 1780 as an established resident of Manchac who had recently purchased a plantation in Opelousas. The Opelousas land sale from Jean Carateh to Samuel Wells is dated 11 April 1780. According to Louisiana State Land Office records, Samuel Wells purchased property in the "County of Rapide on Bayou Rapide" from the widow of Vincent Poiret, 30 March 1796.

Birth: Date & place unknown.

Death: 1800, probably in Rapides Parish, Louisiana.

Evidence: Louisiana Colonial Documents, Opelousas Post 1766-1803, Louisiana State Archives Accession No. P-1985-4, Microfilm Reel #8, filmed by Genealogical Society of Utah, Opel: 1800 February 13, Succession of Samuel Wells (French & Spanish), Baton Rouge. The succession record for Samuel Wells indicates that he was a resident of "Rapide" at the time of his death. His widow's name is given as "Dorcas Hugh." Along with her son, "Levy Wells," she applied for administration of the estate of Samuel Wells, 22 September 1800. During the inventory of the Opelousas Post records by the Louisiana State Archives, the date of 13 February 1800 was ascribed to this succession record, perhaps indicating the actual date of Samuel's death.

Married to: Dorcas Huie, date & place unknown.

Evidence: See under Death, above.

2. Samuel Levi Wells

Evidence of Relationship to #1: Louisiana Colonial Documents, Opelousas Post 1766-1803, Louisiana State Archives Accession No. P-1985-4, Microfilm Reel #8, filmed by Genealogical Society of Utah, Opel: 1800 February 13, Succession of Samuel Wells (French & Spanish), Baton Rouge; George Mason Graham Stafford, The Wells Family of Louisiana and Allied Families (Baton Rouge: Claitor's Publishing Division, 1976; originally published, 1942), pp. 11 & 13. No birth record is known to exist today for Samuel Levi as the first-born child of Samuel Wells and Dorcas Huie. However, with his mother, he was the administrator of the succession of his father, Samuel Wells, as recorded in the Opelousas Post records in 1800. He was generally referred to as " Levi Wells," to distinguish him from his father. His signature is found on numerous surveys (conducted in his capacity as a surveyor) and on other documents as S. L. Wells, Samuel L. Wells, and Samuel Levi Wells.

Birth: 27 June 1764, probably in or near Manchac, West Florida.

Evidence: George Mason Graham Stafford, The Wells Family of Louisiana and Allied Families (Baton Rouge: Claitor's Publishing Division, 1976; originally published, 1942), pp. 11 & 13. As reported by Stafford, the names and dates of birth for the ten children of Samuel Wells and Dorcas Huie were conclusively established by several family documents which he personally reviewed, including the papers of General Montfort Wells and the Benjamin Cuny Family Bible.

Death: June 1815 (or 1816) Bayou Boeuf, Rapides Parish, Louisiana.

Evidence: Samuel Levi Wells, Last Will & Testament, Rapides Parish Clerk of Court Records, Book A (Miscellaneous REcords), pp. 85-87, Accession No. P-2001-31, Louisiana State Archives, Baton Rouge; George Mason Graham Stafford, The Wells Family of Louisiana and Allied Families (Baton Rouge: Claitor's Publishing Division, 1976; originally published, 1942), p. 17. From Stafford: "Departed this life on the 10th of June, 1816 at Prospect Hill on Bayou Boeuf, Parish of Rapides, Louisiana, Samuel Levi Wells, the husband of Elizabeth Wells deceased, and father of the above named children." Samuel Levi's will was signed 28 May 1815 and recorded 19 June 1815. His executors took the oath required by law on 8 July 1815, indicating that he had died before that date. Due to the destruction of the original records in Rapides Parish, this will was re-recorded in 1867.

Married to: Mary Elizabeth Calvit (daughter of Frederick Calvit), c.1794 near Washington, Adams County, Mississippi Territory.

Evidence: May Wilson McBee (comp.), Natchez Court Records, 1767-1805 (Greenwood, MD: The Author, 1953), Book A, p. 518; Book B, p. 173; Book C, p. 262; George Mason Graham Stafford, The Wells Family of Louisiana and Allied Families (Baton Rouge: Claitor's Publishing Division, 1976; originally published, 1942), pp. 16 & 265.
     From the papers of General Montfort Wells, as quoted by Stafford: "My mother was Elizabeth Calvit, marrying my father, Samuel Levi Wells, near Washington, Adams county, Mississippi. He came to Rapides parish, Louisiana, and opened a cotton plantation on the upper part of what is now the town of Alexandria, where I was born on February 7, 1800." Numerous entries in McBee's Natchez Court Records provide insight as to his residency during the 1790s, as well as the presence of the Calvit family in Natchez. According to Land Claim No. 288 (Book A., p. 518), Samuel Levi Wells obtained a Spanish land grant on Bayou Sara in the Natchez District in 1789. A record on 14 April 1795 (Book C, p. 262) refers to him as "Samuel Levi Wells, of Opelousas, now at this Post of Natchez." In 1799, the Natchez Land Records refer to him as "Wells of the District of Rapides." Land Claim No. 353 (Book B, p. 173) was a 1788 Spanish Land Grant to Frederick Calvet [sic], father of Mary Elizabeth Calvit; two of the claimants in 1804 were Elizabeth Wells and Levi Wells.

3. Elizabeth Malissa Wells (sixth child of Samuel Levi Wells & Mary Elizabeth Calvit)

Evidence of Relationship to #2: George Mason Graham Stafford, The Wells Family of Louisiana and Allied Families (Baton Rouge: Claitor's Publishing Division, 1976; originally published, 1942), p. 76. From Stafford, Chapter VI: "In the settlement of the vast landed estate of Samuel Levi Wells II, New Hope Plantation was inherited by his daughter, Elizabeth Malissa, and after her marriage to Smith Wadell Gordon they made their home there."

Birth: 31 January 1804 New Hope Plantation, Bayou Rapides, Rapides Parish, Louisiana.

Evidence: George Mason Graham Stafford, The Wells Family of Louisiana and Allied Families (Baton Rouge: Claitor's Publishing Division, 1976; originally published, 1942), pp. 16-17 & 76. Stafford states that Samuel Levi Wells himself recorded the names and dates of birth of his children in "an old book."

Death: 18 December 1872 New Hope Plantation, Bayou Rapides, Rapides Parish, Louisiana.

Evidence: "Death Notices Appearing in the Louisiana Democrat," Louisiana Genealogical Register II (April 1947): 267. From the Louisiana Democrat (Alexandria): "Wednesday, December 25, 1872: Died on the 18th of December, Mrs. Elizabeth M. Gordon, in the 67th year of her age."

Married to: Smith Waddell Gordon (son of John Gordon & Bettie Lee Ball of Virginia), 3 February 1820 Rapides Parish, Louisiana.

Evidence: Louisiana Herald (Alexandria), Vol. II, no. 20 (11 February 1820). From the Herald: "Married, on the 3d instant Smith W. Gordon, Esq., to the amiable Miss Elizabeth M. Wells, both of this Parish."

4. Martha Jane Gordon (eighth child of Smith Waddell Gordon & Elizabeth Malissa Wells)

Evidence of Relationship to #3: "Gordon-Harrison Connection," Louisiana Genealogical Register I (January 1946): 103-9; George Mason Graham Stafford, The Wells Family of Louisiana and Allied Families (Baton Rouge: Claitor's Publishing Division, 1976; originally published, 1942), pp. 77 & 80. No birth or baptismal record is known to exist. However, the ancestry abd children of Smith Waddell Gordon have been well documented.

Birth: probably 10 October 1835 New Hope Plantation, Bayou Rapides, Rapides Parrish, Louisiana.

Evidence: Martha J. Texada household, 1900 U.S. Census, Rapides Parish, Louisiana, Cotile Ward No. 7, District No. 2, Enumeration District 138, Supervisor's District 4, sheet 2, p. 223, dwelling 23, family 23, series T623, roll 578; "Deaths," Daily Town Talk (ALexandria), 18 February 1910. Stafford records her birth only as "1835." Her grave marker, however, gives her birth 10 October 1837. The U.S. Census of 1900 supports the month and year of her birth as October 1835. Her 1910 obituary gives her age at death as 75 years, also supporting 1835 as the year of her birth.

Death: 17 February 1910 Bayou Rapides, Rapides Parish, Louisiana.

Evidence: Martha Jane Gordon Texada grave marker, Castile Cemetery, Bayou Rapides, Rapides Parish, Louisiana; "Deaths," Daily Town Talk (ALexandria), 18 February 1910. No official death record has been found for Martha Jane; state records were not mandated until 1914. The Daily Town Talk published the following death notice: "Deaths — At the residence of her daughter, Mrs. F. H. Neal, near Quadrate, La., on Thursday evening, February 17, 1910, Mrs. Thos. Texada, aged 75 years."

Married to: Thomas Jefferson Texada (son of John Augustin Texada &Lucy Welsh), c.1852 Rapides Parish, Louisiana.

Evidence: "Gordon-Harrison Connection," Louisiana Genealogical Register I (January 1946): 103-9; Armistead C. Gordon, Gordons in Virguinia with Notes on Gordons of Scotland and Ireland (Hackensack, NJ: William M. Clemens, 1918), p. 58. No record has yet been located to substantiate the date of this marriage, though several sources (espeically the U.S. census) appear to confirm the fact of the marriage.

5. Elizabeth Lucy Texada (first-born child of Martha Jane Gordon & Thomas Jefferson Texada)

Evidence of Relationship to #3: Thomas J. Texada household, 1870 U.S. Census, Rapides Parish, Louisiana, Bayou Rapides Ward, Alexandria Post Office, p. 209, dwelling 1619, family 1763, series M593, roll 528; Letter from Margaret K. Texada to Felix Hadsell, 13 December 1885, Rapides Louisiana; "Gordon-Harrison Connection," Louisiana Genealogical Register I (January 1946): 103-9. The 1870 U.S. census enumerates Elizabeth L. Texada, age 15, with Thomas J. Texada, age 35, and Martha J. Texada, age 32, along with several of her known siblings. The 1885 letter from Margaret K. ("Mag") Davidson Texada (a sister-in-law of Thomas Jefferson Texada), identifies "Bettie Robert" as Tom Texada's daughter.

Birth: September 1854 Bayou Rapides, Rapides Parish, Louisiana.

Evidence: Elizabeth Robert household, 1900 U.S. Census, Rapides Parish, Louisiana, Cotile Ward No. 7, District No. 2, Enumeration District No. 138, Supervisor's District 4, sheet 2, p. 223, dwelling 23, family 23, series T623, roll 578. The 1900 census gives her month and year of birth as September 1854.

Death: before 17 February 1910, probably on Bayou Rapides, Rapides Parish, Rapides Parish, Louisiana.

Evidence: Elizabeth Robert household, 1900 U.S. Census, Rapides Parish, Louisiana, Cotile Ward No. 7, District No. 2, Enumeration District No. 138, Supervisor's District 4, sheet 2, p. 223, dwelling 23, family 23, series T623, roll 578; Edwin H. Robert household, 1910 U.S. Census, Rapides Parish, Louisiana, 7th Police Jury Ward, Cotile Ward, Enumeration District 92, Supervisor's District 3, sheet 18A, p. 527, dwelling 246, family 246, series T624, roll 527. Statewide vital records were not mandated in Louisiana until 1914; consequently, the exact date of Elizabeth ("Betty") Texada Robert's apparently was not officialy recorded. She is buried in Robert Cemetery on Bayou Rapides, in an unmarked grave. She was enumerated in the 1900 census but not in the 1910 census. Her son, Edwin H. Robert, is listed as head of the household in May 1910. The 1910 obituary for her mother, Martha Jane Texada (see above), indicates that she was preceased by her daugher.

Married to: John Willis Robert (son of Daniel Robert & Emily Jane Collier, his 2nd wife), 14 December 1874 Bayou Rapides, Rapides Parish, Louisiana.

Evidence: Louisiana, 1718-1925 Marriage Index, CD-ROM, Family Archive CD #1 (Provo, UT: Genealogy.com); Edwin H. Robert household, 1910 U.S. Census, Rapides Parish, Louisiana, Cotile Ward #7, Enumeration District 39, Supervisor's District 2, sheet 31, p. 590C, dwelling 294, family 297, series T9, roll 446. Marriage record for John W. Robert and Bettie Texada, 14 December 1874 Rapides Parish. Also, the 1880 census enumerates John W. Robert, age 30, and Bettie Robert, age 25, with three children; the oldes child is John W. Robert, Jr., age 4 years.




[Return to First Families Top Page]
Return to First Families Top Page


If you have questions, please contact the Program by email at: FirstFamiliesLGHS@gmail.com.

Postal correspondence should be sent to:
     Louisiana Genealogical & Historical Society
     ATTN: First Families of Louisiana Program
     PO Box 82060
     Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70884-2060

Copyright © 2004-2010 / Last updated: 24 Sept 2010