Lieut/Capt. Thomas Wheeler
Facts and Events
||Lieut/Capt. Thomas Wheeler
||8 APR 1620
||Cranfield, Bedfordshire, England
||to Ruth Wood
||Concord, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United StatesCaptain
||2 Aug 1675
||Wounded in King Philip's War
||10 DEC 1676
||Concord, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States
- Assumed to be the Thomas Wheeler christened 8 Apr 1620 in Cranfield. (1951 article in The American Genealogist (TAG) "The Wheelers of Bedfordshire and New England. II. The Parish Registers of Cranfield" by John Insley Coddington. Also: July 1937 TAG article "The Father of the Concord Wheelers" by Donald Lines Jacobus)
- Mentioned in the 1627 will of Thomas Wheeler (the Elder) of Cranfield as "my youngest son" and that he was a minor at that time)
- Is appointed overseer in the 1654 will of his older brother, Thomas Wheeler, Sr. who calls him "brother, Lieut. Thomas Wheeler." (Jacobus, 1930)
Jacobus' information is critical to sorting out the various Thomas Wheelers.
(From Rebecca Walch's notes)
- Wheeler Family in America believes the Lieutenant Thomas Wheeler was son (not brother) of Thomas Wheeler, Sr.
- In The American Genealogist in 1935, an article was published by Homer W. Brainard entitled, "Captain Thomas Wheeler and Some of His Descendants." Brainard's article built on Jacobus' research to establish that Lt. Wheeler of Fairfield was the half-brother of Thomas, Sr. He stated, "Thomas Wheeler Junior, Lieutenant, was older than Thomas, son of Thomas Senior. The latter returned to Concord and was there called Thomas Senior until Thomas Lieutenant, returned to Concord. After the latter's death he is again Thomas Senior of Concord, Sergeant." Brainard went on to say, "Thomas Wheeler, Lieutenant, and later Captain, was baptised in the parish of Cranfield, April 8, 1620, and died in Concord, Mass., Dec. 10, 1676...married Ruth Wood."
- Others (who? Orcutt?) believe this Thomas was Thomas Wheeler of Milford. But the Thomas who was appointed Ensign in 1653 by Conn. Colony was distinctly called "Lt. Thomas of Fairfield." The Milford Thomas was living in Milford by 1640, and until 1657 continued to have his children bapt. there with great regularity at two year intervals...
Life in New England
- Initially settled in Concord, MA (Jacobus, History and Genealogy of the Families of Old Fairfield, Volume I, 1930, pp 662-)
- Likely he who requested freeman status on 7 Oct 1641 (The History of New England from 1630 to 1649... by John Winthrop, James Savage - 1853 - Massachusetts)
- 1644: Believed to have gone with other Wheelers and Reverend Jones to Fairfield, CT, where this Thomas was referred to as Thomas Wheeler Jr. (Jacobus, 1930)
- Lieutenant (Jacob, 1930)
- Considered to be "Wheeler, Thomas. Ens., Conn. Col. Troop, May 1653, having previously held title of Lt." (Jacobus, 1930)
- likely Capt. Thomas Wheeler of King Philip's War, wounded there (along with his son by the same name, both of whom died probably of their wounds by the end of 1676).
Theory of Rebecca Walch
(Extracted from GenForum post, citing mostly Homer Brainard's July 1935 The American Genealogist article.)
Theorizes that Lieutenant Thomas Wheeler of Fairfield, CT was also the Lieutenant Thomas Wheeler who was the commanding officer in Westchester Village (now part of The Bronx), based on the following:
- In June 1654, Thomas Pell bought land from the Siwanoy Indians.
- About November, settlers began moving onto the land.
- A Lieutenant Thomas Wheeler was the commanding officer in Westchester.
- When the Dutch learned of the settlement on land they claimed according to the 1650 Hartford Treaty, they warned the English to leave; the settlers stood firm behind Wheeler and insisted the land was under English jurisdiction.
- In September 1655, after the Peach War uprising, Lt. Wheeler was dealing with the Indians and trying to help the English remain safe.
- In March 1656, the leading men of the village were arrested by the Dutch. They were released on the 15th and instructed to leave the settlement. On the 16th, Wheeler and others petitioned the Dutch for permission to remain; they agreed to swear an oath of allegiance to the Dutch. Wheeler was named commanding officer by the Dutch.
- In early March 1657, Wheeler received a gift of land from the Paugassett Indians in Connecticut (now Derby).
- In early 1664, Wheeler went to Massachusetts. Once settled in Concord, Wheeler became a captain.
During King Philip's War, both Capt. Thomas Wheeler and his son (yet another Thomas Wheeler) were caught in a fight/siege in what is now Brookfield. First the son was wounded, then the father was wounded; the wounded son goes back for the wounded father, gets re-wounded, and while they both survive the immediate battle, they both died within two months of each other later that year (1676).
Interesting note from researcher Rebecca Walch:
- The aspect of the ambush called "Wheeler's Surprise" that really captivates me is the Hutchinson connection. In Concord, Thomas Wheeler (I believe Sr.) signed the petition in support of Anne Hutchinson. After she was banished, she settled in Dutch territory and was murdered by an Indian. In 1654, Thomas Pell bought land from Indians; one of them is believed by many to be the Indian who murdered Anne. So, Lt. Thomas Wheeler settled on land near where Anne died. Then, in 1675 Lt./Captain Wheeler escorted Anne's son, Edward, into what became an ambush.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Jacobus, Donald Lines, Editor, and N. Grier (Compiler and Publisher) Parke. The Ancestry of Lorenzo Ackley & his wife Emma Arabella Bosworth. (Woodstock, Vt.: N.G. Parke, 1960), 53.
- ↑ Wheeler, Albert Gallatin. The Genealogical and Encyclopedic History of the Wheeler family in America. (American College of Genealogy , 1914), 1,12.
First written record of him in America is oath of freeman taken at Concord, 18 May 1642. Died Concord 10 Dec 1676. Wife was Ruth Wood, but when and where they were married is not known. [However, this source shows daughter Alice who d. Concord 17 Mar 1640/41 (which may be found in Source:Concord, Massachusetts, births, marriages, and deaths, 1635-1850, p. 3: "Allice the daught'r of Thomas Wheeler dyed 17 (1) 1640") and it seems that this provides insight on both his arrival in America and the possible time of his marriage. Source:Wheeler Families of Old Concord, Massachusetts, which is a good source on the Wheelers, does not show this daughter Alice in Capt. Thomas' family (or any other family either), presumably because it is not provably clear which Thomas Wheeler is her father, and since she died young, there is no great importance in placing her.]
- ↑ Town of Concord, Massachusetts. Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1635-1850. (Boston: Beacon Press, 1891), 19.
Capt. Thomas Wheeler husband to Reuth his wife died. 10. desem'r 76.