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Parents of Wells W Lake

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Presumption: Wells W. Lake is almost certainly the grandson of David Lake and Sarah Welles.
  1. His given name Wells would, of course originate with the last name of his grandmother Sarah Wells. The name was unknown in the family before the marriage of David and Sarah.
  2. David and Sarah named a son Wells Lake. This Wells moved to New York where he was a prominent and respected politician. This Wells Lake was a state senator for New York.
  3. From the 1855 NY State Census, we know Wells W. Lake was born in Green County, New York. Several sons of David and Sarah moved to this area.
  4. Ancestry.com DNA tests specifically link him as a descendant of Sarah Welles.
Question: Can we determine which son of David and Sarah Lake is or might be the father Wells W. Lake?


David and Sarah Lake

Married: 9 August 1763 in North Stratford, Connecticut.[1]
Sons of David Lake and Sarah Wells:
The candidates to be the father of Wells W. Lake:
  1. David Lake Jr.
  2. Wells Lake.
  3. Edward D. Lake.
  4. Matthew Lake.
  5. Phineas Lake.
  6. Eli Lake.
  7. William Lake.

Identifying the children

This is not straight forward as there are multiple families who all used the same name. All lived near each other in Connecticut and then moved to New York.
1. David Lake Jr. This is greatly helped by his pension record where he his birth date and place, his father's name as David, his move to New York, and his wife's name. He is positively identified as the David Lake who married Jerusha Kelly.
Samuel Orcutt's book is also incorrect in listing David Jr., Abiah and Dolly as children of David Lake, b. 1724. This is why, perhaps, McMillan also listed them that way. We now have proven otherwise.
2. Sons Phineas, Eli and William baptized together as the children David and Sarah Lake.
3. Which Edward lake?
4. Which Matthew Lake?
Stephen Lake: Confirmed as a son by his death record.[2]
- Died 25 June 1877; aged 59 yrs, 11 mos, 15 days (calculated birth 10 June 1817)
- Parents Wells and Harriett Lake, born in New York.

Who can we eliminate

  • David Lake. Born August 1766 in Stratford, Connecticut.[3] His will names wife Jerusha Lake, sons Ransom, Ralph and Russell, and daughter Amanda - no Wells. The family is fully accounted for; he did not have a son Wells Lake.
  • Wells Lake. Family accounted for. Will does not have a son Wells.
  • Matthew Lake. Baptized in 1779. Appears too young to have son born in 1796.
  • Phineas Lake.
  • Eli Lake.
  • William Lake.

Best guess

Edward D. Lake
  1. Edward was the right age to have a son born in 1796.
  2. He may have been married at the time if we can prove Minerva and Malinda were his daughters, then Wells could be his son.
  3. He had a son and daughter the correct ages listed in his 1810 census record.
  4. He lived in Greenville, Greene County, NY; Wells was born in Greene County, NY.
  5. He lived in Gorham, six miles from Wells and family who lived in Farmington, so they lived close to each other.
  6. His son, who died in 1825, was the namesake for Wells’ next born son, Myron, who was my great-grandfather.
Daughters of Edward Lake:
Part of the argument that Edward D. Lake is the father of Wells W. Lake is that he must of had a first marriage before his marriage Lois Dennison. And that this unknown first wife was the mother of Minerva, Malinda, Wells and Sally. Therefore, it is important to prove that the girls were daughters of Edward D. Lake and that they born before 1800. It is a problem then that the 1810 census says the 3 daughters were under age 10 - they would be daughters of Lois Dennison. If they were daughters of Lois Dennison, then we have no reason to think that Edward D. Lake had a first wife to be the mother of Wells.
Sally Lake proof of parentage:
- Dennison Lake married Harriet Arnold
- Richard Osborn named in his will his granddaughter Harriet Lake.
- Jonathan Arnold named his granddaughter Harriet Lake wife of Dennison Lake.
- These two will firmly prove wife of Dennison Lake and her parentage.
- Harriet Lake's will names her brother Dennison and her niece Minerva McThurson (sic).
- Minerva McThurson was the daughter of James and Sally McPherson.
- For Minerva McPherson to be a niece of Harriet Lake, Sally must have been her sister.

Record Extraction

New Horizons Genealogy website: 1789 - 1824 Marriage Records Presbyterian Church Town of Greenville Greene County New York Transcripts.

LAKE, Aaron, married Rebeckah TUTTLE, both of Coxackie, May 25, 1800.
LAKE, Charles, married Miranda JOHNSON, both of Greenville, Mar. 17, 1816.
LAKE, Daniel, married Polly SQUIER, both of Coejemans Patent, June 16, 1790.
LAKE, David, Jr., married Jerusha KELLY, both of Greenfield, Jan. 26, 1794.
LAKE, Edward D., 3d of Coeyman, married Lois DENNISON, of Freehold, July 12, 1800.
LAKE, Edward, Jr., of Freehold, married Lucy BALDWIN, of Coxhackie, Mar. 20, 1792.
LAKE, Eli, of New Paltz, married Ruth HURD, of Greenville, June 13, 1811.
LAKE, Gershom, of Rensselaer Ville, married Hannah LAKE, of Coxhackie, Apr. 20, :1792.
LAKE, Gideon, of Greenfield, married Desire DENNISON, of Litchfield, Conn., Dec. 25, 1804.
LAKE, Israel, married Jemima ROBBINS, both of Coxackie, Nov. 24, 1802.
LAKE, Lewis, married Eliza SPENCER, both of Rensselearville, Oct. 12, 1806.
LAKE, Matthew, Jr., married Eunice BOTSFORD, both of Coxhackie, Jan. 29, 1792.
LAKE, Phinehas, married Patty TUTTLE, both of Greenfield, Apr. 8, 1804.
LAKE, Reuben, married Rhene THOMPSON, both of Newry, July 20, 1796.
LAKE, Silas, of Westerlo, married Sophronia GYLES of Greenville, Apr. 3, 1822.
LAKE, Trueman, married Clarissa BROWN, both of Freehold, Feb. 25, 1802.

Letter of Edra Lake

  • I have a copy of a letter dated May 17, 1937, that was written by Edra Lake. It was sent to me back in abt. year 2000 from the Michele Boniface, grand daughter to Sarah (Boulter) Boniface. Edra Lake is the daughter of Chas. W. Lake and grand daughter of Allen Lake. The letter included the marriage & death dates for Wells W. Lake and Harriet Sabin and the birth dates for their children. Included were the death dates for Isaac Sabin and Wealty Jackson Sabin. It states that Isaac and Wealthy were the parents of Edra's great grandmother Harriet Sabins. (she is the Harriet that married Wells Lake).

Edra, mentioned in the letter that she had located a Bible at Lydia (Moore) Howard's, daughter of Lucy Lake and Zara W. Moore. Lydia Moore was married to Foster M. Howard. Lucy Lake is the daughter of Wells Lake. Confused yet? I am ! (Email communication from Jo Ann Brohl).


Questions and Problems

Jo Ann said Minerva died 24 July 1804, age 15 years 5 mos; this website says she died July 24, 1804, age 11 yrs? Need to fix the disparity.
Birth dates:
1850 Census Gender Age Birth Edra Lake letter
Welles Lake Male 52 New York 15 Apr 1796
Hariet Lake Female 52 New York 6 Dec 1797
Sally Lake Female 28 New York 10 Feb 1828
Davis Lake Male 22 New York 6 Apr 1835
Hariet Lake Female 20 New York 20 Apr 1838
Isaac Lake Male 18 New York 25 Apr 1822
Myron Lake Female 17 New York 26 Mar 1834
Allen Lake Male 16 New York 29 Oct 1832


  1. Connecticut. Connecticut, Church Records, volume 115: Trumbull Congregational Church (formerly North Stratford), 1730-1791, (Connecticut State Library, 1962): page 90.
  2. Michigan, Death Records, 1867-1952, Registers, 1867-1897 10: Kent - Wexford, 1876, Alcona - Ingham, 1877 (Ancestry.com online database). Image 480 of 641.
  3. U.S., Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, 1800-1900, Ancestry.com database on-line. R6088: David Lake, Conn.
Source list:
  • Connecticut. Connecticut, Church Records, volume 115: Trumbull Congregational Church (formerly North Stratford), 1730-1791, (Connecticut State Library, 1962): page 89-93. Available on ancestry.com
  • U.S., Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, 1800-1900, Ancestry.com database on-line. R6088: David Lake, Conn.

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