89. Heald–Hale


  1. John Heald (ca. 1606–1662) m. (2) Dorothy ____ (d. 1694); Wakefield, Yorkshire, Eng.; Concord, Mass.
  2. Israel Heald (1660–1738) m. ca. 1685 Martha Wright (1659–1746); Concord, Stow, Mass.
  3. Oliver Heald (1686–1755) m. ca. 1714 Hannah Gates (b. 1689); Stow, Mass.
  4. Oliver Heald (Hale) (1721–1799) m. (2) 1758 Catharine Boutell (1732–1821); Leominster, Mass.
  5. Betsey Hale (1771–1844) m. 1795 James Carter (1768–1850); Leominster, Mass.


The fullest treatment of my ancestral line appears to be Clarence Almon Torrey, “The Heald–Hale Genealogy: John Heald of Concord, Mass., and Some of His Descendants (Six Generations),” typewritten manuscript (Boston, 1940). Copies are available at the Library of Congress and the New England Historic Genealogical Society.

Torrey had also proposed an English origin for John Heald at Alderley, Cheshire, based on a 1636 marriage there between a John Heald and Dorothy Royle, in “Marriages in England of Early American Immigrants,” American Genealogist 10 (1933/4): 14-5, at 15. John Brooks Threlfall expanded on this proposal in Twenty Six Great Migration Colonists to New England and Their Origins (Madison, Wis., 1993), 133, and The Ancestry of My Children: Anna Maarit Threlfall, John Hyyrylainen Threlfall, Margaret Ellen Threlfall, Robert Andrews Threlfall, 3 vols. (Madison, Wis., 1970–97), 2:nos. 754, 1508, 1510. In the process, Threlfall at different times proposed two different baptisms for Dorothy and one for John, all in parishes other than Alderley.*

Unfortunately, Torrey’s proposal was incorrect. John’s first three children actually were baptized in Wakefield, and their mother was a wife prior to Dorothy. These details are given in full in Randy A. West, “The Correct English Origin of John¹ Heald of Concord, Massachusetts,” New England Historical and Genealogical Register 177 (2023): 85-8.

* For the record, I have examined three different copies of Threlfall’s The Ancestry of My Children. One was formerly housed at the Arizona State Research Library in Phoenix, which has since closed. This copy had a 1970 title page at the head of volume 1, and a 1997 bookplate. As early as 2003, I noted that it made three different statements concerning Dorothy Royle.

Another copy is held by the Daughters of the American Revolution Library, Washington, D. C. It has a 1970 title page, and its bookplate is dated 31 January 1996. It makes the same statements above quoted at 2:no. 754 (daughter of Henry), and at 2:no. 1508. This copy has no counterpart to 2:no. 1510.

The third copy, held by the FamilySearch Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, is placed online in the FamilySearch Digital Library, from a copy performed for microfilming, 12 May 1994—a fact recorded by library staff on its 1970 title page. Its 2:no. 754 does not speculate on the parentage of either John or Dorothy. However, this copy does contain an identical 2:no. 1508, speculatively placing Dorothy’s baptism “perhaps” at Eccles, though not a 2:no. 1510.

The exact time at which Threlfall devised this account of Dorothy and came to prefer Eccles over Northenden is not directly stated, but it is likely to have occurred in the early 1990s. Fifty Great Migration Colonists to New England & Their Origins (Madison, Wis., 1990), 199-202, once again does not speculate on the parentage of John and Dorothy. Threlfall appears to have introduced these claims for the first time in Twenty Six Great Migration Colonists to New England & Their Origins (Madison, Wis., 1993), 133, reprinting in every detail the same account of John’s proposed parents as in Ancestry of My Children, 2:no. 1508.

Related surnames

179. Boutell · 11. Carter · 355, 357. Gates · 713. Wright

Created 25 May 2003; last updated 7 April 2023.
Austin W. Spencer | email: spencer@rootedancestry.com