Thomas Wheeler, first wife & Rebecca

Father of the Concord Wheelers:

Thomas Wheeler “the elder” 1560/65 – 1634/35
& first wife
& Rebecca
of “the blakehouse” Cranfield, Bedfordshire, England

My working hypothesis – the way I see it as of this moment!!

the old parish church in Cranfield
Cranfield Village

Thomas Wheler of the blakehouse was buried 11 Feb 1634/35. parish register.

About 1637 five of these Wheeler brothers Thomas, Sr, Timothy, Joseph, Ephraim, and Thomas Jr and two of their sisters Elizabeth and Susannah emigrated to New England and settled in Concord Massachusetts. In 1644 the two Thomas Wheelers and Ephraim moved with Rev John Jones to found Fairfield CT. Their sister Elizabeth and her husband Allen Breed settled in Lynn MA.

Children of Thomas Wheeler ca 1565 – 1634/35 and 1st wife:
1. Thomas Wheeler ca 1591 Cranfield Bedfordshire – 1654 Fairfield CT
in Cranfield was known as Thomas of Worley – listed as freeman 13 May 1640
his home was at the head of Black Rock Harbor. “He built his house of stone with a strong plank roof, and upon this roof he placed two small cannon. One pointed out down the harbor against possible Dutch invasion by sea; the other was directed at the Indian fort that stood north on the hill. The Indians were friendly and the Dutch invisible, but Thomas was a cautious man.”
married Cranfield 5 May 1613 Ann Halsey d 1659 Fairfield CT
a. Ann bp 30 Jan 1613/14 – bur 14 July 1615 [twins?]
b. Richard Wheeler bapt 13 June 1614 Cranfield – prob dy
c. Alice Wheeler bp 7 April 1616 – 17 April 1640 Concord MA [17th 1mo]
d. Anna [Hannah] Wheeler bapt 20 Feb 1617/18 Cranfield – bef 1654
married James Bennett
married 2nd Joseph Middlebrook
e. Thomas Wheeler bapt 8 Dec 1621 Cranfield – 24 Dec 1704 Concord MA 84th yr
called Sergeant listed as freeman 18 May 1642
married 1st Sarah Merriam
married 2nd Sarah [Beers] Stearns
f. Elizabeth Wheeler bp 4 Nov 1622 – may d y
g. John Wheeler bapt 27 Feb 1624/25 Cranfield – ca 1690 Fairfield CT
fathered 13 children – Deputy to the Conn Leg. 15 terms
married 1st Judith Turney
married 2nd Elizabeth Rowland
h. Sarah Wheeler bapt 10 Aug 1628 Cranfield – 1654/59
married Thomas Sherwood Jr. [he married 3 more times]
i. Thomas Sherwood d 1699
ii. Sarah Sherwood
married John Whitlock
2. Priscilla Wheeler ca 1592 –
married 17 June 1612 Stephen Cocks of Stagsden
3. John Wheeler ca 1595 Cranfield –
4. perhaps Deborah Wheeler buried 30 Mar 1600

Children of Thomas Wheeler & 2nd wife Rebecca:
5. Elizabeth Wheeler bp 18 July 1602 Cranfield – bef 1656 Lynn MA
married Pullohill Beds. 14 Nov 1622 Allen Breed ca 1601 – 17 Mar 1692 Lynn
settled in Lynn Mass
a. Joseph Breed
b. John Breed
c. Timothy Breed
d. Allen Breed bp 27 Jan 1630 Pulloxhill – 20 Sept 1706
married Mary
e. Elizabeth Breed bp 26 Dec 1634 Pulloshill – bef 7 Oct 1676
married ca 1653 William Merriam
he married 2nd 7 Oct 1676 Anna Jones
6. Timothy Wheeler bp 28 Dec 1604 – 1687 Concord MA aged 86
executor of his father’s will – listed as freeman13 May 1640 Concord
7. Susannah Wheeler bapt 31 May 1607 – 24 March 1649 Concord

married 20 Jan 1633 Obadiah Wheeler bp 5 Dec 1609 – 27 Oct 1671 Concord
son of John Wheeler of Cranfield
a. Joshua Wheeler bp 15 Sept 1637 Cranfield – 4 Feb 1725 Plainfield CT
married Elizabeth Hayward dau of George issue
b. John Wheeler 23 Jan 1640 Concord – dy
c. Ruth Wheeler 23 April 1642 – bef 1671
d. a son 25 Nov 1643 – 29 Nov 1643
e. Samuel Wheeler 22 Nov 1645
married Concord 10 Nov 1673 Mary Perry
f. Susanna 17 Mar 1649 –
married Chelmsford 23 Sept 1672 John Shipley
the family moved to Groton MA where all except John Jr were killed by the Indians in 1677.
Obadiah married 2nd 28 March 1656 Eliza Knight
a. Obadiah Wheeler Jr
married Concord 17 July 1672 Elizabeth White dau of Resolved
b. John Wheeler
c. Josiah Wheeler
slain in Indian Battle at Sudbury 21 April 1676
8. Joseph Wheeler bapt 18 Feb 1609/10 – aft 1678 Concord MA
listed as freeman13 May 1640
married 1st Elizabeth bur 19 May 1642 Concord
a. Ephraim Wheeler bp 14 April 1640 – bur 19 July 1642
b. Joseph Wheeler bp 1 Dec 1641 – bur 18 July 16?2
married 2nd Sarah Goldstone Merriam died 12 March 1670 Concord
daughter of John Goldstone and widow of Joseph Merriam
c. Mary Wheeler bp 20 Sept 1643 – 20 Sept 1643
d. Rebecca Wheeler 6 Sept 1645 –
married 1st 16 april 1667/8 Peter Bulkeley son of Edward
married 3rd ca 1668 Frances Watson Wheeler Cook Green as her 4th husband
9. Abiah Wheeler bapt 17 Jan 1612/13 – bur 18 April 1637 Cranfield
10. Mary Wheeler bapt 20 Oct 1615 –
11. Ephraim Wheeler bapt 16 Mar 1618/19 – 1670 Fairfield CT
made freeman13 March 1638/9
married Ann Turney d bef 1708
a. Isaac Wheeler ca 1638 – dy
b. Isaac Wheeler 23 Dec 1642 Concord –
married 1st unknown
married 2nd Susannah Hall dau of Samuel
c. Mary Wheeler dy
d. Ruth Wheeler
married Samuel Treadwell
e. Hannah Wheeler
married 1st Concord 1667 Samuel Smedley
married 2nd 8 Nov 1676 Samuel Perry
f. Rebecca Wheeler
married Samuel Gregory
g. Judith Wheeler
h. Samuel Wheeler
i. Timothy Wheeler
married 11 April 1689 Rebecca Turney
married 2nd Margery
j. Abigail Wheeler
married ca 1685 Sgt Samuel Welles
k. Ephraim Wheeler
married 1st Sarah Turner dau of Robert
married 2nd Sarah Sherwood dau of Matthew
12. Capt. Thomas Wheeler bapt 9 April 1620 – 10 Dec 1676 Concord MA
listed as freeman 7 Oct 1641
carried title of Lieutenant; later Captain – Indian fighter
married Ruth Wood dau of William of Concord

a will on file at Birmingham England

In the name of God amen. the seaventh day of december in the yeare of our lord god one thousand Sixe hundred Twenty and Seaven I Thomas Wheler sen of Cranfield in the County of Bedf. yeoman weake in bodie but of good and pfecte remembrance Gods holie name be praised doe make and ordayne this my last will and testament in manner and forme followinge That is to say ffirst I give and bequeath my soule unto allmightie god my Creator hoping assuredly through the merittes of Jesus Christ to be made ptaker of life everlastinge And my bodie to the Earth whereof it is made
Item – I give and bequeath unto Rebecca my wife [for and during the terme of her life if she keepe herself a widow] all that Capitall messuage or tenement with the apptenances lying and being in the Towne end of Cranfield aforesaid wch I lately purchased of John Vause Esquire And after the decease of the said Rebecca my wife or day of her marriage with any person whatsoever I give and bequeath the said Capitol messuage or tenements with all houses edifices buildings yards and gardens grounds commons pfitts and apptenances thereto belonging to Joseph Wheler my sonne and his heirs for ever upon theese condicons followings viz
– that he the said Joseph my sonne shall well and truly pay or cause to be payd out of my said messuage and pmisses the full sume of Thirtye pounds of lawfull money of England to my executor or executrix hereafter named or to such other pson or psons as my said executor or executrix shall nominate and appoynte of of debts where I owe
– And also pay or cause to be payd out of my said Messuage with the apputenances unto Thomas Wheler my youngest son the full sume of Twenty pounds of lawfull money of England wch sumes of Thirty pounds and twenty pounds are to be payd by the said Joseph when he cometh to the full age of one and twenty years within one yeare after my decease
– And for the better payment of the said sumes by him the said Joseph I have surrendered to his use Twelve acres of Coppie hold land Provided allwaies and my will and minde absolutly is that if the said Joseph my sonne or his assigns doe not pay the said sumes of Thirty and twenty pounds in such manner and forme at such dayes and to such pson or psons as afore is expressed then the gift and bequest of the said Messuage or tenement with the apptenances shalbe voyd and of none effect to all intents and purposes whatsoever And I give and bequeath the said Messuage wth the appetenances commons and pfitts whatsoever to the said Thomas Wheler my youngest sonne and his heirs for ever and for default of such issue the remaynder thereof to Efraim Wheler my sonne and his heirs for ever aniething herein to the contrarie hereof in anie wise notwithstanding
– Item I give and bequeath to Thomas Wheler of Warley my eldest sonne the sume of Twelve pence
– Item I give to Prisila Cockes my daughter twelve pence
– Item I give to John Wheler my sonne twelve pence
– Item I give to Elizabeth Broad my daughter twelve pence
– Item I give to Suzana Wheler my daughter one ewe lamb a table and fframe standinge in the plor at Borne end house
– Item I give to Abiah Wheler my daughter one whyte weanings calfe and Two table clootes
– Item I give to Marie Wheler my daughter one standingse bedsted and Two Table Clootes
– Item I give to the said Joseph my sonne one fframe scovell standing in the yard at my messuage at the towne end the old carte and ould wheels and a dung carte
– Item I give to the said Efraim Wheler my sonne one frame scovell at the ould Barne end ffower principall postes for a house And all the longe timber under the little scovelles in the close yard at Borne end and one weaning calfe
– And my will is that Thomas Tomkins shall lawfully convey and assure That ffrehold I bought of him to the said Efraim my sonne and his heires for ever
– Item I give to the said Thomas Wheler my youngest son one pott one Tegg and ffive pounds of lawful money of England to be payd him by my executor and executrix at the age of 24 years
– Item I give to Allin Broad my sonne in law one carte Bodie lying behind the stoles in the ould barn and 2 broad ristes
– Item I give and bequeath to the said Rebecca my wife all my movable goodes wthin my two dwelling houses at Borne end and the towne end [unbequeathed] and two heffers the one a red the other a little browne one and one ewe sheepe
– And also my will in that Timothie Wheler my sonne shall have halfe of my messuage closes lands and meadows at Borne end aforesaid and half the benefitt and pfitt thereof for three yeares next after my decease [for an ease or helpe towards the payment of my debts]
– All the rest of my goods and cattelles as well reales as psonales unbequeathed I give and bequeath to the said Timothie my sonne whome I make my full and sole executor of this my last will and testament. And if he the said Timothie refuse to be executor of this my will then I make Rebecka my wife executrix of this my last will and I doe hereby utterly revoke and annull in deed and in law all former wills testamentes legaces bequests and executors by me formely made
– And lastly my will is that the legacy of xx pounds shall be payd by the said Joseph to the said Thomas my youngest sonne out of my said messuage with the appurtenances when he cometh to the age of xxi years
In witness whereof I the said Thomas Wheler the elder have to this my last will and testament sett my hand and seale the day and yeare first above writ

signed Thomas Wheler the elder
tracing of his autograph from 1627 will
TAG XIV p1 – July 1937

Postscript the 18 daie of June 1633
Itm I give and bequeath unto Efraim Wheeler my sonne one little pshtle late Tomas Tomkins containing one rood and halfe with the appurtenances to the heires and assignes of the said Efraim for ever signed Thomas Wheler the elder
signed and delivered in the psence of Tho: Arnald, Richard Arnald, Thomas Baker. No inventory. Probate 24 Feb 1634 granted to the executors named at the Archdeaconry Court of Bedford.
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.”

The American Genealogist vol 14 #1 July 1937 p1-4 by Jacobus “The Father of the Concord Wheelers.”
“The Wheeler Family of Cranfield England and Concord, Massachusetts and some Descendents of Sgt. Thomas Wheeler of Concord” by M. Wheeler Molyneaux

parish church

parish records of Cranfield – baptisms
1602 Elizabeth dau of Thomas Wheler of Warley 18 July
1603 Thomas son of Thomas Wheler 20 Nov
1604 Timothy son of Thomas Wheler 28 Dec
1605 George son of Thomas Wheler 23 Mar 05/06
1607 Susan dau of Thomas Wheeler 31 May
1608 John son of Thomas Wheeler 23 Oct
1609 Joseph son of Thomas Wheeler 18 Feb 09/10
1610 Elizabeth dau of Thomas Wheeler 27 Feb 10/11
1612 Abia dau of Thomas Wheeler 17 Jan 12/13 [buried 18 Apr 1637]
1613 Ann dau of Thomas Wheler jun 30 Jan 13/14 [buried 16 July 1615]
1614 Richard son of Thomas Wheler of the Towne ende 13 June
1615 Mary dau of Thomas Wheeler of borne ende 20 Oct
1616 Alice dau of Thomas Wheeler of Warley 15 June
1617 Ann dau of Thomas Wheler 15 Feb 17/18
1618 Ephraim son of Thomas Wheeler 16 Mar 1618/19
1620 Thomas son of Thomas Wheeler 9 Apr
1621 Thomas son of Thomas Wheeler 8 Dec
1622 Elizabeth dau of Thomas Wheler of Wharley 4 Nov
1624 John son of Thomas Wheler 27 Feb 1624/25
1627 Mary dau of Thomas Wheler 17 Feb 1627/28
1628 Sarah dau of Thomas Wheler 10 Aug
1630 Susan dau of Thomas Wheler tenant to ye Lordship 4 Apr
1630 Sarah dau of Thomas Wheler of ye Woode 20 June
1635 Mary dau of Thomas Wheler 24 Feb 1635/36
1637 Elizabeth dau of Thomas Wheler joiner 7 jan 1637/38
1613 Thomas Wheler & Ann Halsey 5 May
1635 Thomas Wheler & Mary Beckley 6 Apr
1600 Deborah Wheler dau of Thomas Wheler 30 Mar
1611 John son of Thomas Wheeler 27 Dec
1615 Ann dau of Thomas Wheeler 16 July
1634 Thomas Wheler of the Blakehouse 11 Feb 1634/35

2 thoughts on “Thomas Wheeler, first wife & Rebecca”

  1. I am interested in the birth dates of the Thomas Wheelers. In Concord we have Thomas “senior” b 1588 the first born of Thomas the Elder and his son “Sergeant” Thomas born 1620. Then “Capt” Thomas the (13th child) b 1621 and his son Thomas b. c. 1650, who is called “Jr” by the Massachusetts gov’t. You have the two dates of 1620 and 1621 reversed from our genealogies published by Albert Wheeler in 1917 and Raymond Wheeler pub in c.1991. Wondering if have seen these books or if you have other information.

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