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Joshua Ells (1712 - 1797)

Joshua Ells
Born in Milton, Suffolk, Massachusettsmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married about 1742 in Connecticutmap [uncertain]
Descendants descendants
Died at age 84 in Cornwallis, Kings, Nova Scotiamap
Profile last modified | Created 1 Oct 2009
This page has been accessed 2,197 times.



Joshua Ells was born on November 9, 1712 in Milton, Suffolk, Massachusetts. He was the son of Thomas Ells and Abigail (Glover) Ells[1] The specifics of his marriage to Mary Bill have not yet been documented, but various online trees state that they were married in Connecticut in 1742 or 1744.

Joshua, Mary, and their family were part of the New England Planter migration to Cornwallis Township, Kings, Nova Scotia in 1759-1760.[2] A weaver by trade, Joshua received Lot 5 (44 acres) in Division Nine of Cornwallis. This area of the township became known as Lower Canard. Grant 1761(123,23) Joshua appears as the head of a household in the 1786 census of Cornwallis.[3] His will was made in Cornwallis, January 1, 1780, and registered January 25, 1797.[4]

Eaton's account of Ells origin & children

"THE ELLS FAMILY The Ells family in King's County is descended from Joshua Ells, the Cornwallis grantee, and his wife Mary. The progenitor of this family in America was John Eells, who was made freeman at Dorchester, Mass., May 14, 1634. His son Samuel Eells, bap. May 3, 1640, removed to Newbury,. Mass in 1645, m. Aug. 1, 1663, Ann, dau. of Robert Lenthall, of Newport, RI, and had children: Samuel; John; Samuel; John; Mary Robert; Robert; Rev. Nathaniel (the 3rd ordained minister of Stonington, Conn., grad. at Harvard in 1728). The precise place of Joshua1 Ells of Cornwallis in the Ells family of Conn, has not been ascertained, nor has any record been found of his marriage, or of the births of all his children. In his will the testator mentions his wife Mary, and his children: Joshua, Jr.; Samuel; Jedediah; Daniel; Abigail; Mary....

  1. Hannah, m. Oct. 21, 1764, by Rev. Joseph Bennett, to Joseph Chase. She d. Apr. 17, 1815.
  2. Mary, b. May 25, 1745, m. Oct. 22, 1767, as his 2nd wife, to Perry Borden, b. Nov. 9, 1739, ...
  3. Joshua, Jr., m. (1) Mehitable Rand, (2) Mrs. Sarah (Rockwell) Stiles.
  4. Abigail, m. Dec. 23, 1773, to Oliver, son of Hezekiah and Susanna (Bailey) Cogswell...
  5. Samuel, m. Dec. 2, 1784, Amelia, dau. of Benjamin and Amelia Borden...
  6. Daniel, b. Apr. 2, 1765, in Cornwallis, m. Nov. 7, 1787, Elizabeth, dau. of Zadoc and Mary Bennett...
  7. Experience, m. Jan. 8, 1788, to Prince Coffin....
  8. Jedediah, m. Apr. 17, 1794, Sarah, dau. of Robert and Jerusha Kinsman..."[5]

Joshua Ells's Will

"In the name of God, Amen. I Joshua Ells of Cornwallis in the Kings County and Province of Nova Scotia Weaver, being weak in Body, but of Sound Mind and Memory (blessed be God) Do this day Make and Publish this my Last Will and Testament in the Mannor following, (that is to say) Imprimis, I give to my Well-beloved Wife - Mary Ells, one cow to herself and one third Part of What Remaineth of my Estate, Itim, I give to my Son Joshua - Ten acres of Land on the North Side of the Road - where he now liveth Beginning at the Road and taking the Whole Width of he Lot so far as to include the said ten acres, Itim, I give and bequeath the rest of my Lands to be Equaly Divided Among my four Sons vis Joshua, Samuel Jediah & Daniel, Itim I give and bequeath to Each of my Daughters one cow or the Value of one cow Whose Names are as Followeth viz Anna, Hannah, Mary, Abigail, Elizabeth, and Experience to be Paid at the End of three years from the Date hereof, Itim, I give to my Grand-Children the Heirs of Sarrah Huntly one cow or the Value of one Cow, to be Paid at the End of three years, Itim, all the rest of my goods, Chattles and Personall Estate, Whatsoever, I Give to Pay off my Just Debts and Discharge my funeral, and the residue to my three youngest sons, Samuel, Jediah, & Daniel and I Make and Constitute and ordain my two Oldest Sons viz, Joshua and Samuel, to be my Executors in trust for my Said Legatees. and that the said Executors Shall be Paid for all Nececary Charges and expenses what Soever, in relation to their Said trust - In Witness Whereof The Said Joshua Ells have to this my Last Will and Testament Set my hand and Seal this first Day of January in the Year or our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eighty..

a. Sam Willoughly

n. Alex Hathorn Witness of Joshua Ells.

Jethro Chase .

This copy of Joshua's will shows the wording, spelling and style of the original which is on file in the offices of the Court of Probate, Municipality of Kings County, Kentville, N. S. This typed version was interpreted from the original and prepared by Marilyn and Dale Ells, August 17, 1991..."[6]


  1. Massachusetts Town Vital Collections, 1620-1988; Milton Vital Record Transcripts, p. 23
  2. Smith, p. 78.
  3. Nova Scotia Archives; Census, Assessment and Poll Tax Records 1767-1827; RG 1 vol. 443 no. 38.
  4. Eaton, pp.659-660
  5. Eaton, pp. 659-660
  6. shared with me from a mutual descendant, Sandra Carr Dunphy. Rob Hoyt)

See Also:

  • Eaton, Arthur Wentworth Hamilton. The History of Kings County, Nova Scotia. Salem, MA: 1910.
  • Smith, Leonard H. Jr., and Norma H. Smith. Nova Scotia Immigrants to 1867. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1992.
  • Massachusetts, Town Vital Collections, 1620-1988
  • Nova Scotia Archives; Census, Assessment and Poll Tax Records 1767-1827
  • WikiTree profile Ells-66 created through the import of Where Did Mike Reynolds Come F.ged on Jul 1, 2011 by Mike Reynolds. See the Changes page for the details of edits by Mike and others.
  • Jamie Swindells, firsthand knowledge. See the Changes page for the details of edits by Jamie and others.

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