- Henry Wheeler (d. 1577) m. Isabel ____; Cranfield, Beds., Eng.
- (poss.) Thomas Wheeler (d. 1648?) m. ____; Cranfield, Beds., Eng.
- George Wheeler (1606bef. 1686) m. (2) 1630 Catherine Pin (d. 1685); Concord, Mass.
- Capt. Thomas Wheeler (16331686) m. 1657 Hannah Harwood (d. aft. 1686); Concord, Mass.
- John Wheeler (16611721) m. 1684 Elizabeth Wells (d. aft. 1725); Concord, Marlborough, Mass.
- Rachel Wheeler (b. 1689) m. 1711 Charles Rice (b. 1684); Marlborough, Westborough, Mass.
209, 3345. Rice
No additional information on the Pin and Wells families is available at this time.
Comment 1: The Origin of George Wheeler
For all the expert attention that the Wheeler families of Concord, Massachusetts, have received, they remain all too frequently shrouded in confusion. Especially troublesome is the position of George1 Wheeler, whose relationship to the other Wheelers has been subject to much speculation.
- George Tolman, the earliest authority I have seen, implies that George was the brother of Capt. Thomas1, who was clearly Georges contemporary.
- By 1914 the origin of Thomas1 Wheeler Sr. of Milford, Connecticut, had been found in Cranfield, Bedfordshire. George was believed to be the brother of the other early Wheelers of Concord, including Timothy1, Capt. Thomas1, and Joseph1.
- Donald Lines Jacobus studied the Concord records in the 1930s as they related to the same-surnamed families of Milford and Fairfield, Connecticut. He identified Capt. Thomas1 Wheeler of Concord with the brother Lt. Thomas Wheeler named in the will of Thomas1 Wheeler Sr. of Fairfield. This study never mentioned George in connection with the brothers Thomas Wheeler, even after grounds to contest the kinship had been discovered.
- In 1935, after examining the Cranfield parish registers, Homer Worthington Brainard could list among the children of ThomasA Wheeler of Cranfield: George, bapt. March 28, 1605; d. at Concord, May 1687; probably married (1) May 12, 1628, Mary Studd, (2) Catherine , and had William, bapt. Aug. 8, 1630, d. young; William, bapt. July 20, 1631.
- The will of ThomasA Wheeler, dated 7 December 1627, codicil 18 June 1633, and
proved 24 February 1634[/5], was first published in full two years later. Although this document validates Jacobuss
identification of Capt. Thomas Wheeler, it
also casts doubt on the identification of George of Concord as son of Thomas WheelerJacobus appended a corrected family summary, in which is listed:
the elder.Such a son was baptized, and at the right date for such identification; but lack of mention of the son George in the will, which mentions every other surviving child by name, makes it doubtful whether this identification can now be sustained.
George, bapt. 28 Mar. 1605; prob. d. young.
- The best general treatment of the English Wheeler family appeared in the early 1950s. Combining, abstracting, and
frequently correcting records treated elsewhere, John Insley Coddington assembled all known Wheeler records in Salford
and Cranfield, Bedfordshire, but did not attempt to extend the pedigree back of ThomasA
or George1. Three baptisms of George Wheeler were
found prior to 1628, the year of the immigrants first marriage:
- George son of Henry Wheler, bp. Salford 17 Oct. 1602.
- George son of Thomas Wheler, bp. Cranfield 23 Mar. 1605 [1605/6].
- George son of John Wheeler, sen., bp. Cranfield 13 June 1613.
- More recently, John Brooks Threlfall suggested that George1 was indeed the son of Thomas Wheeler, baptized in 1606, but that his father is not identical with the testator of 1627. According to Threlfall, the presence of another Thomas Wheeler is shown by baptismal records that are too chronologically close for all the infants to be siblings. The possibility is intriguing, but it appears contrived to re-establish Georges parentage by disassociating the 1605/6 baptism from the 1627 will. Aside from this, there is no indication that the severance is warranted.
- Indeed, the hypothesis is indirectly disputed by Dean Crawford Smith and Melinde Lutz Sanborn. Although Georges one recorded statement of age in America does put his birth at ca. 1606, he was also never referred to as a brother, a cousin, or even a kinsman by any of the other Wheeler men in Concord. On this basis, Smith and Sanborn argue that there is insufficient evidence to link him to any member of the larger Wheeler clan or justify assigning him the 1605/6 baptism. To dismiss this record as insignificant, however, one must also negate the fact that Georges known, undisputed English documentation places him in Cranfield by 1628, and simply pointing out a lack of connection with the other Wheeler family does not necessarily achieve this purpose.
Threlfalls hypothesis demands a reassessment of the evidence presented by Coddington. The
latters extracts from the Cranfield parish register show that the
child of Thomas baptized before George was
Timothy, on 28 December 1604, and the child after was Susan, on 31 May 1607. The
difference is 15 months between Timothy and George, and 14 months between George and Susan. These intervals are
closer than normal and particularly unexpected, at first sight, in view of Timothys outstanding postnatal health (he
died in Massachusetts in 1687). Still, there is no reason to believe this pattern
uncharacteristic of the testator of 1627. According to tradition, his last two children were baptized 13 months apart, and
both of them lived to marry.
We must next consider how far Threlfall is justified in postulating more than one Thomas Wheeler in
Cranfield. To be sure, there are two Thomas Wheelers listed in the Lay Subsidy for 16278, distinguished as
de Ameley, each assessed 20 shillings for lands and four shillings for goods.
If we take Thomas senior to be identical with ThomasA, we almost necessarily presume Thomas
de Ameley to be his eldest son, later of Fairfield. In effect, Threlfall is inviting us to assume the existence of a
third Thomas, who would have been of age at the time of the Lay Subsidy where Capt. Thomas1 was not.
If this third Thomas shows himself in the baptisms registers as Threlfall alleges, he would have to do so before the 1613 marriage of Thomas1 Sr. Although the children of Thomas appear in unusually rapid succession, however, there is no inherent conflict until after that date:
- Elizabeth, bp. 18 July 1602 to Thomas
- Thomas, bp. 20 Nov. 1603, interval, 18 months
- Timothy, bp. 28 Dec. 1604, interval, 13 months
- George, bp. 23 Mar. 1605[/6], interval, 15 months
- Susan, bp. 31 May 1607, interval, 14 months
- John, bp. 23 Oct. 1608, bur. Cranfield 27 Dec. 1611, interval, 17 months
- Joseph, bp. 18 Feb. 1609[/10], interval, 16 months
- Elizabeth, bp. 27 Feb. 1610[/1], interval, 12 months
- Abia, bp. 17 Jan. 1612[/3], bur. Cranfield 18 Apr. 1637, interval, 23 months
- Ann, bp. 30 Jan. 1613[/4] to Thomas
jun.,bur. Cranfield 16 July 1615, interval, 12 months
- Richard, bp. 13 June 1614 to Thomas
of the Towne ende,interval, 5 months
- Mary, bp. 20 Oct. 1615 to Thomas
of Bornend,interval, 16 months
- Alice, bp. 5 June 1616 to Thomas
of Warley,interval, 8 months
- Ann, bp. 15 Feb. 1617[/8], interval, 20 months
- Efferham, bp. 16 Mar. 1618[/9], interval, 13 months
- Thomas, bp. 9 Apr. 1620, interval, 13 months
- Thomas, bp. 8 Dec. 1621, interval, 18 months
- Elizabeth, bp. 4 Nov. 1622 to Thomas
of Wharley,interval, 11 months
- John, bp. 27 Feb. 1624[/5], interval, 27 months
- Mary, bp. 17 Feb. 1627[/8], interval, 36 months
- Sarah, bp. 10 Aug. 1628, interval, 6 months
- Susan, bp. 4 Apr. 1630 to Thomas,
tenant to ye Lordship,interval, 20 months
- Sarah, bp. 20 June 1630 to Thomas
of ye Woode,, interval 2 months
- Mary, bp. 24 Feb. 1635[/6], interval, 68 months
- Elizabeth, bp. 7 Jan. 1637[/8] to Thomas
joiner,interval, 23 months
Threlfall has apparently gone through this list in search of children who have no evident connection to either ThomasA or Thomas1 Sr. On this basis he gives a third Thomas as father of Thomas (1603), George (1606), John (1608), Elizabeth (1611), and Richard (1614). Certain it is that none of them, if children of ThomasA, could have lived as late as 1627, and only the last can possibly be attributed to his eldest son. Even attributing their parentage to ThomasA is difficult without supposing that he desired another son John or daughter Elizabeth as well as a second son Thomas. Also striking is the manner in which these baptisms alternate with those of the documented children of ThomasA. The dates of baptism are not technically in conflict with each other, but they very nearly are, and the onomastic patterns further militate against assigning all these children to one household.
Threlfall proceeds to speculate that Thomas was the son of Henry Wheeler of Cranfield. Henrys will, dated 9 July 1577 and proved 11 October 1577, implies that his children, including son Thomas, were all under age. This will was not abstracted by Coddington, and the incompleteness of pre-1600 records gives further reason to take this identification cautiously.
Comment 2: Hannah Harwood
John Harwood of Bednall Green, Middlesex, England, in his will dated 13 November 1684, gave equal cash
bequests to his brother Thomas Harwood, Nathaniel Harwood, Hannah Wheeler of Concord, and Sarah Tucker
formerly Scotto. Although the testator specified his kinship only to Thomas, all four of the recipients are widely presumed
to be siblings of John, being relatively close to him in age and date of first marriage.
A deed of 4 November 1657, in which John Harwood calls Sarahs first husband Thomas Scottow a
strengthens the presumption.
It has been further conjectured that they were the children of one John Harwood of London, testator of 1654. In the course of their research on the Wheeler family, however, Dean Crawford Smith and Melinde Lutz Sanborn re-examined the will and found its description of Johns family to be inconsistent with the one that later established itself in Boston and Concord.
1 George Tolman, The Wheelers of Old Concord, Mass. (1908; reprint, Concord, Mass.: Joseph Wheeler, 1981), 1, 47.
2 American College of Genealogy and Albert Gallatin Wheeler Jr., The Genealogical and Encyclopedic History of the Wheeler Family in America (Boston: American College of Genealogy, 1914), 200.
3 Ibid., 134, 350, 573.
4 Donald Lines Jacobus, History and Genealogy of the Families of Old Fairfield, Connecticut, 3 vols. in 4 (Fairfield, Conn., 193034; reprint, Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1976), 1:663-4. Jacobuss further identification of Capt. Thomas with the man of the same name who died 18 December 1686 was later found to be mistaken (ibid., 2:1077-8).
5 Donald Lines Jacobus, Additions and Corrections to History and Genealogy of the Families of Old Fairfield, Connecticut: Supplement to The American Genealogist, October 1943 (Fairfield, Conn., 1943), 37-9.
6 Homer W. Brainard,
Captain Thomas Wheeler and Some of His Descendants, American Genealogist 12 (1935/6): 4-17, 135-51 at 5.
7 Donald Lines Jacobus,
The Father of the Concord Wheelers, American Genealogist 14 (1937/8): 1-4 at 1.
8 Ibid., 2.
9 John Insley Coddington,
The Wheelers of Bedfordshire and New England, American Genealogist 27 (1951): 35-40, 119-25, 28 (1952): 139-48, 257-9.
10 Ibid., 27:38.
11 Ibid., 27:119.
12 Ibid., 27:120.
13 Ibid., 27:125, 28:146-7.
14 John Brooks Threlfall, The Ancestry of My Children: Anna Maarit Threlfall, John Hyyrylainen Threlfall, Margaret Ellen Threlfall, Robert Andrews Threlfall, 3 vols. (Madison, Wis., 197097), 2:no. 1044.
15 Dean Crawford Smith, The Ancestry of Eva Belle Kempton, 18781908, Part III: The Ancestry of Henry Clay Bartlett, 18321892, ed. Melinde Lutz Sanborn (Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2004), 439.
Wheelers of Bedfordshire, 27:119.
Father of the Concord Wheelers, 2.
See also Concord, Massachusetts Births, Marriages and Deaths, 16351850 (Concord: town, n. d.), 432.
Captain Thomas Wheeler, 5; Jacobus,
Father of the Concord Wheelers, 2; Coddington,
Wheelers of Bedfordshire, 27:120; Jacobus, Families of Old Fairfield, 1:663, 665.
It is probably for chronological consistency that Threlfall assigns this Thomas, bp. 8 April 1620, to Thomas1 Sr. (Ancestry of My Children, 1:nos. 262, 524), and instead assigns to ThomasA
the son Thomas who was bp. 8 December 1621, nearly 21 months after Ephraim (ibid., 2:no. 1048), but was traditionally assigned to Thomas1 Sr.
Wheelers of Bedfordshire, 28:258.
20 Threlfall, Ancestry of My Children, 2:no. 1044. The appearance of Richard in this list signifies acceptance of an earlier supposition of Coddingtons regarding Ann, bp. 30 Jan. 1613/4:
It is suggested that this child, who was buried 16 July 1615, may have been the eldest child of Thomas and Ann (Halsey) Wheeler, later of Fairfield, Conn., rather than the Richard who was bapt. 13 June 1614 (
Wheelers of Bedfordshire, 27:120).
The only self-evident fact about Ann and Richard is that, being baptized five months apart, they could not have been siblings.
21 As by Brainard,
Captain Thomas Wheeler, 5.
22 Threlfall, Ancestry of My Children, 2:no. 2088, citing Bedfordshire Will ABP /W 1577/52.
23 Henry F. Waters, Genealogical Gleanings in England: Abstracts of Wills Relating to Early American Families, with Genealogical Notes and Pedigrees Constructed from the Wills and Other Documents, 2 vols. (1907; reprint, Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1981), 1:256-7.
24 Annie Haven Thwing, Inhabitants and Estates of the Town of Boston, 16301800, CD-ROM (Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society and Massachusetts Historical Society, 2001), refcode 54010, citing Suffolk Deeds, 3:361a.
25 See, for example, Watson H. Harwood, A Genealogical History of the Concord Harwoods: Descendants of Nathaniel Harwood, Son of John Harwood, of London, England, New England Harwood Genealogy, vol. 3 (Chasm Falls, N. Y., 1912), 4-6.
26 Dean Crawford Smith, Ancestry of Eva Belle Kempton, Part III: The Ancestry of Henry Clay Bartlett, 18321892, ed. Melinde Lutz Sanborn (Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2004), 187.
Austin W. Spencer | email: email@example.com