Sgt. Thomas Wheeler, Sarah Merriam & Sarah Beers Stearns

some in the past have confused this man with Thomas Wheeler of Milford CT
also confused with his uncle Capt Thomas Wheeler

Sgt. Thomas Wheeler 1621 – 1704 | his parents
& Sarah Merriam 16?? – 1676
& Sarah Beers Stearns 1639 – 1724
of Cranfield England, Fairfield CT and Concord MA

This is my working hypothesis – the way I see it as of this moment!!

The Wheeler House on Virginia Road in Concord MA
Sketch by Mary Wheeler signed 1897

built ca 1730 by Deacon John Wheeler 1655 -1736 about the time of his 2nd marriage.
It was sold to Jonas Minot, the step-grandfather of Henry David Thoreau, who was born in this house.
appeared in “The Wheeler Families of Old Concord, Mass” compiled by George Tolman.

e-mail 29 Mar 06 – We now think the Thoreau Birth House was probably built by John Wheeler rather than by his father Sgt. Thomas. We put a date on it of about 1730 which would have been about the time he married his second wife, Sarah Farwell Jones, widow of John Jones. Since his first wife died 29 Dec. 1727 and John died 1 Dec. 1736, we guess he probably married Sarah Farwell about 1730. She and his children inherited the farm and later sold it to the Minots. Jonas Minot was Thoreau’s step grandfather. See my article under See also the documentation related to the listing on the National Register of Historic Places.. Sincerely, Joseph C. Wheeler, Thoreau Farm Trust

“I am a 13th gr-gr granddaughter of Sarah Beers Stearns Wheeler, who married Sgt Thomas Wheeler after her first marriage to Isaac Stearns. Just thought I’d let you know that there’s an article at about the Wheeler-Minot house. Apparently it is NOT the same house built for John Wheeler and Sarah Stearns. They think the original one was torn down and the one you have pictured as “the Wheeler house on Virginia Road” replaced it and was removed to another site. But it’s a wonderful connection to Thoreau–and did you know his best friend at Harvard was Charles Stearns Wheeler? Must be a relation somewhere! Thanks for your great site!
– Barbara

Thomas Wheeler bapt 8 Dec 1621 Cranfield, son of Thomas Wheeler and Ann Halsey.
He may have come with his parents in the Rev. John Jones’ Company in the ship Definance that landed in New England 3 Oct 1635. His father Thomas was listed as a freeman in Concord 13 May 1640
– This Thomas was listed as freeman 18 May 1642
– He was appointed Sergeant in 1642 and on the Concord Records from that time until his death, his name generally appears with that prefix, though sometimes called Thomas Wheeler, Sr
– When his parents and uncle Thomas removed to Fairfield with the Rev John Jones, this Thomas apparently remained in Concord where he had married by 1648 Sarah Merriam and six of their children were recorded in Concord starting in 1649 through 1662.
His father Thomas died in 1654 leaving his son Thomas all of his property in Concord.
His mother Ann died in 1659.
His 1st wife Sarah Merriam died 1 Feb 1676.
Thomas married 2nd 23 July 1677 Sarah Beers Stearns 5 Dec 1639
widow of Isaac and dau of Richard Beers [her daughter Sarah married his son John]

He died.- 24 Dec 1704 Concord MA in his 84th yr
His widow Sarah Beers Stearns Wheeler died 21 Jan 1724

Children of Thomas Wheeler and Sarah Merriam:
1. Sarah Wheeler 10 July 1649 Concord – 1743
married 5 May 1669 John Smedley
2. Joseph Wheeler 18 Aug 1651 Concord – 16 March 1676 Concord
3. Ann Wheeler 20 Dec 1653 Concord – 20 May 1676 Concord
4. John Wheeler 18 Feb 1655/6 Concord – 1736
married Sarah Stearns 14 Jan 1662 Watertown MA – 19 Dec 1727
daughter of Isaac Stearns and Sarah Beers
married 2nd ca 1730 Sarah Farwell Jones, widow of John Jones
5. Mary Wheeler 20 Dec 1658 Concord – 26 May 1668
6. Thomas Wheeler 29 March 1662 Concord – 12 June 1695
7. Elizabeth Wheeler 23 Feb 1664 – 26 Oct 1744
married 15 June 1682 Samuel Fletcher
8. Timothy Wheeler 24 July 1667 – 14 April 1718 Concord
married 19 May 1692 Lydia Wheeler 1675 –
9. Rebecca Wheeler 3 April 1670 – 6 Nov 1710 Concord
10. Ruth Wheeler 10 April 1673 –
married 11 March 1696 Joseph Warren


Source: ‘History of the Wheeler Family in America’, 1914, Albert Gallatin Wheeler, Jr., p 200/1
“The Families of Old Fairfield” by Donald Lines Jacobus Vol I p 662/5
“The Wheeler Family of Cranfield, England and Concord, Massachusetts and some Descendants of Sgt. Thomas Wheeler of Concord” by M Wheeler Molyneaux
Captain Thomas Wheeler and some of His Descendants by Homer W Brainard TAG XII p4-17, 135-9

3 thoughts on “Sgt. Thomas Wheeler, Sarah Merriam & Sarah Beers Stearns”

  1. It would seem I am a direct descendant of Sgt Thomas Wheeler based on my research. An exciting find to be sure. The connection with HDT is very interesting.

  2. Thanks for this info. Old New England families cross so many paths! I was tracing my Fletcher Family history back to the immigrant Robert Fletcher of Concord and learned I descend from Samuel and Elizabeth (Wheeler) Fletcher. Elizabeth’s parents were Thomas & Sarah (Merriam) Wheeler.

    The “Merriam” surname caught my eye – I have a stash of old letters from the 1840s that were written to my ggg-grandmother, Nancy (Fletcher) Davis, dau of Ebenezer & Mary (Cummings) Fletcher…Ebenezer was a Revolutionary War hero. One of the letters Nancy saved was from a young man in Boston, William Merriam. From the letter, it can be assumed that Nancy and William’s mother were childhood – or early adulthood – friends when they lived in New Ipswich, NH. Apparently, the two once-friends hadn’t seen each other in years and hadn’t been in close contact. Nancy had sent a letter to Wm Merriam’s mother. William wrote back to Nancy and explained that his mother had sadly passed. The Concord Merriam Family Association helped me figure out exactly who this William Merriam was (he mentioned a brother by name in his letter) and gave me contact information re his descendants. Turned out after William wrote to Nancy, he went on to marry a Boston woman, became a Harvard-trained Congregational minister, and served as a missionary in Turkey. He and his wife had a year-old daughter when William was killed by Turkish bandits who held up a caravan returning from a missionary conference. William’s wife died a few months later when giving birth to twins (stillborn or died soon after birth). Abraham Lincoln sent a gift of pistols, with Tiffany silver inlay, to the Turkish government after the robbers were apprehended and convicted. William’s year-old baby was sent back to Boston to be raised by William’s brother and his family. Her Merriam descendants live in California now (I live in Maryland) and were extremely grateful to receive his letter that I had in my possession. They told me much of his story, as it had been passed down for generations.

    Until today, I didn’t know that I, too, descend from from a “Merriam”….through Thomas & Sarah (Merriam) Wheeler. Also didn’t know about my Wheeler family connection through Thomas Wheeler. I have visited Concord several times, but never knew my history with the early families in that community.

    Anything of historical importance I should know about my Wheeler family history?

    Thanks again,
    Susan Jaquith, descendant of 1643 Charlestown, MA, immigrants Abraham & Ann (Jordan) Jaquith

  3. Thank you for the information. It seems as though our paths cross in the past. on ancestry I have built a tree, Kermit wheeler family tree, feel free to vist or contact me.

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