Surname:Wheeler

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Colonial Wheeler Emigration

(Some of the following draws from a post by Rebecca Walch at GenForum)

What's known?

  1. Thomas Wheeler, 1635, on the James, servant to Augustine Clement. (Source: "Whealer, Thomas, Clement servant #2 (Wheeler, from Reading to Boston as per 36 pg 6)...36. "Topographical Dictionary of 2885 English Emigrants to New England 1620 - 1650" by Charles Edwards Banks, Edited and Indexed by Elijah Ellsworth Brownell, Southern Book Company, Baltimore, 1957 (Lady Anne's Library)" See also [1]. This very early arrival compared to what's found in #3 below implies strongly that this Thomas was not of Cranfield.
  2. Thomas Wheeler of Wharley End, Cranfield, Bedfordshire, England born by 1591: The following is from Jacobus' July 1937 TAG article "The Father of the Concord Wheelers": To this we may add an item sent in 1932 by F. G. Emmison, Esq., Clerk of Records, Bedford, England, to the New-England Historic Genealogical Society, from the Trevor-Wingfield Collection: Roll of Arrears of payment of Ship-Money, 1637, County of Bedford, Parish of Cranfield: Thomas Wheeler gone into New England 01-05-00. British Archives employee thought the notation referred to the tax for 1637. This suggests one of the Thomas Wheelers (likely the "Sr" b abt 1591) paid the 1636 tax and left before attempts were made to collect the 1637 tax.
  3. The Cranfield Wheelers likely did not leave Cranfield before 1637 because:
  • Timothy's daughter Deborah was baptized in Cranfield on 12 April 1637;
  • Timothy, Joseph, Ephraim etc.'s unmarried sister Abiah was bured on 18 April 1637 and in her will (written 10 April 1637) she left one acre of land to Ephraim which suggests he was still in the area;
  • John Wheeler of the Bourne End died 9 June 1637 (the Bourne End implies he was the son of Thomas the Elder);
  • and Obadiah's son Joshua was baptized on 15 September 1637.

Unless Thomas Sr. went before the others, he was not in Massachusetts in April 1637. Ship-money tax may pinpoint when the notation was made. Thomas Sr. was older so it is possible that he took the oath earlier...or he was a stockholder...

The Many Thomas Wheelers of Colonial New England

  1. Thomas Wheeler "Sr." b abt 1591 probably Cranfield, son of Thomas Wheeler the Elder (1561-1634) by his first wife; referred to in father's 1627 will as "my eldest son, Thomas Wheler of Warley" d. ____ CT
  2. Thomas Wheeler "Jr." chr 1620 Cranfield, son of Thomas Wheeler the Elder (1561-1634) by his second wife, Rebecca; referred to in father's 1627 will as "my youngest son Thomas Wheeler". Mentioned in brother's (#1's) will as "my brother, [Lieut? Capt?] Wheeler".
  3. Thomas Wheeler, "Sgt." son of #1 (Thos. "Sr."); mentioned in his father's will as "my son Thomas Wheeler"...
  4. Thomas Wheeler, son of #2 (Thos. "Jr."); joined his father in what turned out to be an ambush in King Philip's war; both were wounded; both died within a year of their wounds and within a month of each other.
  5. Thomas Wheeler of Milford. Not sure who he was (yet).
  6. Thomas Wheeler of Stonington, CT. Not sure who he was (yet). See Source #1-2 below.
  7. Thomas Wheeler (1633-1686), son of George Wheeler of Cranfield; Captain; tythingman in Concord, Massachusetts in 1680.
  8. Thomas Wheeler, 1635, on the James, servant to Augustine Clement. (Source: "Whealer, Thomas, Clement servant #2 (Wheeler, from Reading to Boston as per 36 pg 6)...36. "Topographical Dictionary of 2885 English Emigrants to New England 1620 - 1650" by Charles Edwards Banks, Edited and Indexed by Elijah Ellsworth Brownell, Southern Book Company, Baltimore, 1957 (Lady Anne's Library)". He is not #1 above as TW=1591 was not in New England until after April 1637 unless he came before his siblings.

Sources for Researching Colonial Wheelers

  1. Wheeler, Albert Gallatin. The Genealogical and Encyclopedic History of the Wheeler Family in America, Albert Gallatin Wheeler; Madison, WI: American College of Genealogy (1914). 1257 pages. Free on Google Books.
  2. Wheeler, Richard Anson. History of Stonington, Conn. Claims that Thomas Wheeler of Stonington, CT was the same TW who showed up first in Lynn, MA in 1635, when and where he was elected constable, admitted freeman 1642 [why that date?], purchased a lot of land in Massachusetts, built a saw and grist mill; married 1645 in Lynn Mary ____; had three children (Isaac, Elizabeth, Sarah). 1667: left for Stonington, CT. Supposedly an intimate friend of Rev. James Noyes. Made freeman in Stonington in 1669 (why again?); 1673: nominated to General court; 1674: among the nine who organized the First Congregational Church of Stonington. Died 6 Mar 1686, age 84 (therefore born 1602).