Wells Smith Ely, Birth 5 Jan 1817 in Middlebury, New Haven, Connecticut, USA Cannot find his parents..need help please..

+5 votes

Hello, Im stuck..My third great grandfather was Wells Smith Ely Birth 5 Jan 1817 in Middlebury, New Haven, Connecticut, USA Death 7 Oct 1903 in Butler, Branch, Michigan, United States, I cannot for the life of me find his parents..does anyone have any suggestion how I can find out this info, Im on ancestry.com, but cant come up with a proper match.

Thank You, 
Jennifer Ely Shelton
in Genealogy Help by Jennifer Ely Shelton G2G Crew (300 points)

5 Answers

+2 votes
Married Mehitable Knowles 3/20/1839 and later married Maria A King 12/29/1850.

Find A Grave  http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=67578861
by Frank Gill G2G Astronaut (2.3m points)
Thank you for your help Frank.
The same year that Wells Smith Ely was born, 1817, another Ely, Heman Ely, founded Elyria, OH.     http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elyria,_Ohio
+2 votes

hi Jennifer

I haven't found a connection for you, but suspect that your Welly Smith Ely is a descendant of Daniel Ely b.1693 & his second wife Ruth Wells b.1696. They had a son, Wells Ely b.1729, who had a son Wells Ely, b. 1751 who married Sarah Wells -- and I don't know about their children.

These Ely's were all from the Lyme, Connecticut etc. area and my data is from The Ely Ancestry book (https://ia601406.us.archive.org/19/items/elyancestrylinea00beac/elyancestrylinea00beac.pdf)

Hope this might help!


by Chris Flanagan G2G1 (1.1k points)

Good Morning Chris,

Thanks so much for helping me out, I just read that same link about 30 minutes ago, It does sound likley, but still at a stump..Following my lineage from my father Scott DeVere Ely of Mich, right up to Wells Smith Ely, it seems he fell off planet earth.. He Married Mehetable Knowles, Than Maria Amanda King. I have found cencus records throughout his life, than the death certificut , of course on death cert. unknown parents was listed..

Wells Smith Ely Obit

This has become an obsession and also such a let down..but Im still hunting..

Wells Smith Ely Headstone

Wells S Ely Death Certificate

Wells Smith Ely born 1817 in Connecticut has proven to me to be a challenge. However I have looked at several sites and the only thing I can say it that even on ancestry family tree pages, it did not list the mother, (mother unknown) but the last name of father is Ely. but  I will take this information and I will take it to the genealogy center tomorrow and go to New Haven Ct and see if I can find  his birth record.  or Fairfield county, Ct. Anyway I will try to find something for you. I will get back to you tomorrow late sometime after 6 pm. OK.
hi Jennifer

For a hot second, I thought that perhaps your Wells Smith Ely (Ely-1480) was actually Wells Gridley Ely (Ely-1645), b. 1818, son of Selden Ely.

It seems that both Wells Ely's lived in Michigan in their later years, however, I found several census records showing that they were different people (Wells Gridley Ely never married). Also, some of the records seem to indicate that Wells Smith Ely might have been born in New York (although census records can be notoriously unreliable).

I've added sources to both records.

hi Jennifer!

Just to let you know that Wells Smith Ely [Ely-1480] has been connected to parents Jacob Ely and Dorothy Scovil/Scofield on WikiTree by a cousin. Maybe that's a lead?
+1 vote
I took the liberty to check on this at my genealogy center today and I did not find his parents but I did find some things that I think are very interesting about the Ely family. I went for the books that I thought would give me more information, but I did not have much time but I will be going back.  Because I did not have time to go thru all the books. If you will send me an email then I can upload them thru my email to you.  This will give you some information to find his father. In fact, I have a 2 -page about the a " Mayflower" Line in the Ely family . It starts with Maj. Daniel Ely of Lyme, Ct. born 1693, by his fourth wife, Ruhama Turner born 1704, died 1788, had five children, numbered 8 to 12 inclusive, whose descendants are traced through several generations.I do have some other papers so I can scan them into my computer and then email them to you. So You let me know if you want these papers. Nancy
by Nancy Turney G2G6 Mach 2 (27.0k points)
Thank You So Much
+1 vote
Hi, Cousin.

Wells is also my G3 Grandfather. A lot of people have been stumped by this same question.

About all I have come up with is that the Wells Ely born 1754 in Southold, Suffolk County, New York is *not* part of the family tree. I have gone so far as to do very broad census searches for anyone named Ely living in Fairfield County, CT, that might be about the right age to be Wells' parents, and then trying to work them forward. No luck.

There is another cousin - Donald Ely - that had a pretty extensive family history. Unfortunately, at the moment I cannot find the link to his research. But he was stumped, too.
Thank you so much for answering. Iv'e been talking to Howard Ely's son Danny Ely. My Grandfather Wayne's brother is Howard. He said we are related. But I'm stumped on the birthday. I realize they wern't especially careful about records. Still looking...

Supposed to have a ELY reunion in August, in Michigan.
+1 vote


You may want to consider if not already, joining Facebook's group "DNA Detectives' at https://www.facebook.com/groups/DNADetectives/ read their intro files for new memebers-beginners to implement methods, while obtaining advice, encouragement, and support to overcome brick walls or reveal NPE aka unknown. 

Next, I suggest you visit and read the free eduational non profit website http://isogg.org/wiki/Beginners'_guides_to_genetic_genealogy to understand DNA testing. 

Additional, insightful advice is to join the free website for a free account & upload your current ancestry (atDNA) kit raw results for further matches at https://www.gedmatch.com/login1.php 

I encourage you to do so, since I am there and match with various Smiths tree/branches in differing place or origins, therefore we can perform a "triangulation" if you match with me, and we can discern out where to look next to overcome the ancestors' brickwall. 


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