Wheeler in Massachusetts

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Founding Wheelers of Massachusetts

The Cranfield Wheelers

The earliest Wheelers who settled in Massachusetts appear to have all hailed from Bedfordshire, England, with several of them being sets of siblings from two different (but probably related) Wheeler families:

1. The emigrating children of John Wheeler and Elizabeth Bread included:

a. Henry Wheeler emigrated to Virginia
b. Isaac Wheeler emigrated to Concord shortly after his 1635 Cranfield marriage to Frances Watson.
c. Obadiah Wheeler emigrated to Concord shortly after his 1634 marriage to Susanna Wheeler (see below)

2. The emigrating children of Thomas Wheeler and (1)Mary Unknown & (2)Rebecca Sayre. Almost the entire family emigrated to the colonies immediately after the probate of their father's will in 1634 (although they left behind their mother who lived another 20 years).

(By wife Mary):

a. Thomas Wheeler emigrated initially to Concord after starting a Cranfield family with wife Anna Halsey. But in 1644, he left Concord for Connecticut. See Wheelers in Connecticut.

(By wife Rebecca):

b. Elizabeth Wheeler emigrated to Lynn, MA with her second husband, Thomas Payne. (She was first married to Allen Bede.) [is this correct?]
c. Timothy Wheeler emigrated first to Watertown (where he was an early proprietor) and then removed to Concord.
d. George Wheeler emigrated to Concord.
e. Susanna Wheeler emigrated to Massachusetts shortly after her marriage to (cousin?) Obadiah Wheeler (see above).
f. Joseph Wheeler emigrated to Concord.
g. Richard Wheeler emigrated to Dedham.
h. Ephraim Wheeler emigrated initially to Concord, then in 1644, removed with his older brother Thomas to Fairfield, CT. (See Wheeler_in_Connecticut.)
i. Thomas Wheeler, the younger emigrated to Concord. He married Ruth Wood. He became the Captain Thomas Wheeler who served in King Philip's War, was wounded with his son Thomas in a bad route by the Indians near what is now Brookfield, and who died in late 1676 of illness related to his injuries.

Mystery Wheelers

Here we list those early Wheelers in Massachusetts that we have not yet tied to the Cranfields above.

  • Thomas Wheeler of Boston, married to Rebecca, who died 16:3:54 in Boston (NEHGR 10:218) and whose will was proved 25 July 1654. (NEHGR 5:305). He had a daughter named Rebecca who married John Curtis 26 Dec 1661 (NEHGR 20:43).
  • Grace Wheeler married Thomas Brooks of Concord. Not only do we not yet have confirmation of which Wheeler family she belongs to (she was not mentioned in Thomas the Elder's will), we do not even have confirmation that she was indeed a WHEELER.

See also


1. The Wheeler Families of Old Concord, Massachusetts

2. Jacobus, "The Father of the Concord Wheelers," The American Genealogist, vol 14, #1, July 1937.

3. Molyneaux, M. Wheeler, "The Wheeler Family of Cranfield England and Concord, Massachusetts and some Descendents of Sgt. Thomas Wheeler of Concord"

4. Brainerd, Homer W., "Captain Thomas Wheeler And Some Of His Descendants," The American Genealogist, vol 12, July 1935.