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Subject: [Zachariah Wells] Zachariah Wells' father
Date: Mon, 13 Jan 2003 10:20:03 EST


With all the renewed activity on this list, I thought I would throw in
something I found several years ago at Clinch Valley College.

In a small book titled "Early History of Wise Co. VA" by Hugh L. Sufferage
dated 1929, I copied two pages. On pages 24 and 25 was the following
paragraph:

It will be observed that Wise County was just off the main routes of
travel during the days of westward migration. The old Wilderness Road ran
south of it; while the other main gateway to the west down New River and the
Great Kanawha was far to the north. Therefore, the first settlers probably
came into the region more by accident than in accordance with any well
ordered purpose. So far as we have been able to ascertain, there were no
settlers in the present limits of the County prior to the Revolution. But we
do know there were numerous settlements in Powell Valley just southwest of
the boundaries of Wise County, and some of the first settlers in the valley
came up from the older settlements in the lower part of Powell Valley. These
Powell Valley settlers, some of them at least, were people who attempted to
follow Boone into Kentucky; but finding the journey long and difficult, they
stopped and built their log cabins in Powell Valley. For example, by this
route came Richard Wells from the lowlands of North Carolina, about the year
1792 (footnote 23). Bringing with him a large family, he settled in upper
Powell Valley in the present limits of Wise County. William Wells who was
probably one of the sons of Richard Wells, was one of the first men to
purchase land in the Wild Cat Valley. The land was purchased from James
Shepard, he had secured it by patent on the 6th day of August, 1810. James
Shepard was another one of the first settlers in Wise County, and his name is
mentioned with land transfers along the upper branches of Powell River.
Zachariah Wells, another one of the sons of Richard, purchased a tract of
land at the mouth of Looney's Creek in the year 1805. The lower part of the
town of Appalachia is now built on the land. In the year 1819, Zachariah
Wells sold to Robert Wells 100 acres of land "near the three forks of Powell
River", and one line of the boundary of this tract touched the land of Thomas
Wells. Jeremiah Wells, another member of this large family of brothers, was
the grandfather of the late Tazwell J. Wells, whose father was James Franklin
Wells. Numerous descendants of the Wells family still live in the County.

Footnote 23 reads: "Wells, Judge T. J. Wise, VA. Notes on Wells Family and
Organization of Wise County, in an interview".

While I believe some of the statements in this paragraph may be inaccurate, I
have tried, unsuccessfully to find the source for the "interview" mentioned
in this footnote in order to verify a reference to a Richard Wells. I don't
know if Mr. Sufferage was the interviewer or there is another source for it,
such as a book titled "Notes on Wells Family and Organization of Wise County"
in which Tazwell was interviewed.

According to what I have, Tazwell would have been Zachariah's great grandson,
not grandson. Also, according to my records, Tazwell Wells died in 1929.

Just some food for thought. I welcome any suggestions here.
Judy Stephenson


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