Birth: ABT 1595, in Colchester,Essex,England
Death: 28 JUL 1683
Children: Seven Children
Genration: First Generation In America
Father: John Demming
Mother: Honor Treat
First Marriage Nathaniel Foote In January of the year 1616 in Colchester, Essex, England.
Second Marrage: GOV Thomas Wells In 1646, Wetherfield, Hartford,Connecticut
Elizabeths Will: Will Elizabeth Deming
The Deming Family
Very little is known of the Deming family before they left England. Since the first Puritans left England to secure a better place to practice their religion. It might be assumed that the Demings left England for similar reasons.
That they held strong religious convictions is evident in the records they left in Connecticut. Elizabeth was born in England in the last part of the 16th century.
In January of the year 1616, a short time after he finished his apprenticeship training, she married Nathaniel Foote in Colchester, Essex, England.
After the birth of their sixth child Nathaniel decided to sell his grocer business in Colchester and immigrate to the New World. According to the "Wethersfield Historical Society," Nathaniel Foote is considered to be one of the first settler of Wethersfield.
We do know he was one of ten men who settled along the bank of the Connecticut River and named their settlement, Wethersfield. They are know as the "Ten Adventurers"
Elizabeth was the sister of John Deeming, who was one of the first settlers of Wethersfield Conn. in the year of 1630. John
Deeming was for many years one of the magistrates of the " Colony of the Connecticut " and one of the patentees named in it's charter.
Since Elizabeth Deming married Nathaniel Foote who spent his early life in Shalford, Colchester, England, it can be assumed that
(1.) John and Elizabeth lived in the same area of England.
(2) Elizabeth and Nathaniel were known to have been in the Colony of Massachusetts Bay and residing in Watertown when it is recorded Nathaniel took the oath of a freeman.
(3.) The Foote family must have joined with the Demings in feeling some dissatisfaction with the manner of life in Watertown and joined with others in making the 100 mile trek in 1635 through the forests of the New World until they arrived at Pyquag on the western shore of the beautiful Connecticut River.
Nathaniel Foote was one of those named in the charter of patentees of Wethersfield. The Foote family became one of the leading families of the little Connecticut Colony. He became a magistrate, a leading land owner, eventually owning more than 500 acres of land in Wethersfield, some of the great meadow, and his home on the south end of the green, next to the present Broad Street.
Children of Nathaniel and Elizabeth Foote
Elizabeth's Second Marriage
The family was saddened by Nathaniel's death at age 52. Elizabeth was so respected that she was allowed to be executor of his estate. Elizabeth was left a wealthy widow, but did not remain in that status for long. In
Gov Thomas Wells -
1646 Elizabeth married Thomas Wells who was a widower with several children from his first marriage. Thomas Wells served as Governor of Connecticut Colony for two terms, 1655-1658. When he was not serving as governor he was a Deputy Governor. She was unwilling to leave the homestead of many acres she was managing after her husband's death.
As a result, one of the highest officers in the colony left his home in the center of Hartford and moved to Wethersfield with his younger children, Samuel and Sarah who were raised with her younger children Frances, Sarah, and Rebecca.
Thomas wrote his will on 7 Nov 1659. He seemed to be in good health on the evening of 14 Jan 1660, being well after supper, but dead by midnight. His will left his wife the use of half his housing and orchard, with her own land to be returned to her. His own land and house went to his grandson Robert, the only child of his oldest son to live in Wethersfield.
He left land to sons Samuel and Thomas, and to Thomas son of the deceased son John, 20 pounds to Thomas, Samuel, Mary's children, Anne, Sarah, and 10 pounds to Mary Robbins' children. Elizabeth lived another 22 years, leaving her estate to her children and grandchildren by Nathaniel Foote.
Elizabeth was again a widow, having two families instead of one. She was in control of a large estate from both husbands.
Elizabeth Welles was a tenacious and feisty old woman. She had not only survived a perilous voyage from England but while tending to six exuberant children and a husband, she had made a new life for herself and her family in a world they knew nothing about.
This world was inhabited by Indians who were not always friendly with those pale face people. The rigors of life and managing a household did not daunt her.
Things went quite well through the intervening years since arriving on shores of the newly discovered continent, until she reached old age. In 1676 as she approched the age of 80 years, she ran into trouble with one of her step-grand children.
This was Robert Welles, a favorite of grandfather, Governor Thomas Welles when the governor was alive. Robert had arrived at the Governor's home, there to be taken care of and educated.
But now his grandfather was dead and Robert and his step-grandmother disagreed. Maybee she did not think him old enough to be married at age 24. Never-the-less it was 1676 when Elizabeth brought Robert Welles to court, because he "...hath dammyfield her Barne by Parting with the other part of the Barne that did adjoin to it."
Exactly what he did to her barn is not clear. The court's decision was clear. He was ordered to repair the barn and also to pay his step-grandmother rent for it. Elizabeth made sure the barn incedent was not here last word.
Two years later, in 1678, she made sure all of the Welles were taken care of when she made her will. She left them nothing. She stated someone outside the family would be executor of her will. Everything she had she left to her own family. That is the family she and Nathaniel has raised and nurtured. The Welles family got nothing.
Elizabeth died in 1683, at the age of 88. The estate was devided among the Footes. One of the documents in the Probates Court was that of the final disposition, that during that same year Robert Welles won a lawsuit against his step-grandmother's will that he would have to be paid by those who had been named in the will.
- Tthe article "The Descendents of Gov.
Thomas Welles of Connecticut, of Connecticut 1590-1658, By Donna
Holt Siemiatkoski, Gateway Press, Inc, Baltimore, Maryland 1990 pp
- Article in Footeprints - Spring 1999 Issue - The Foote