Posted By:Rebecca Walch
Email:
Subject:Re: Captain Thomas Wheeler-baptized Apr 1620, commanding officer in Westchester
Post Date:November 30, 2008 at 17:18:43
Message URL:http://genforum.genealogy.com/kingphilipswar/messages/99.html
Forum:King Philip's War Forum
Forum URL:http://genforum.genealogy.com/kingphilipswar/

I have spent hooooouuuuurrrrrs trying to identify the Lieutenant Thomas Wheeler of Westchester Village! Long story, but I consider Donald Line Jacobus' information in his 1930 publication,"History and Genealogy of the Families of Old Fairfield" Volume I, as the place to start. Beginning on page 662:

Wheeler, Thomas "Sr."

...came to Concord...to Fairfield...adjacent land to Thomas Jr. in 1649. This Thomas Jr. we take to be the brother named 1654 in his will...Will 5 May 1654, proved 23 Aug. 1654; wife Ann; elder son Thomas, property in Concord...brother Thomas Wheeler Lieutenant, Robert Lockwood, and Andrew Ward, all of Fairfield, overseers. Ephraim Wheeler was an appraiser...Will of Ann Wheeler, 21 Aug. 1659;...The Wheeler Family in America, which we cannot follow implicitly with regard to this Wheeler family, states that Thomas m. at Cranefield, co. Bedford, Eng. 5 May 1613 Ann Halsey...

Wheeler, Thomas. Ens., Conn. Col. Troop, May 1653, having previously held title of Lt.

For all his activity and prominence, the identity of this man has been an enigma. Savage identifies him with Thomas, Sr. of Fairfield, which is certainly wrong, as the Lieutenant was living after the death of Thomas Sr. Orcutt makes him son of Thomas Sr., and then proceeds to identify him further with Thomas of Milford; and the Wheeler Family in America follows this solution.
Now the Thomas who was appointed Ensign in 1653 by Conn. Colony was distincly called "Lt. Thomas of Fairfield.: But the Milford Thomas was living there by 1640, and until 1657 continued to have his children bapt. there with great regularity at two year intervals...

Jilliane, do you have Jacobus' information? He goes on to identify Ephraim Wheeler brother of Thomas Sr. died 1670, John Wheeler son of Thomas baptized 27 Feb 1624, Isaac Wheeler son of Ephraim, Timothy Wheeler son of Ephraim, Ephraim son of Ephraim, John son of John, Joseph son of John, Jonathan son of John, David son of John...then goes into the Stratfield Wheelers, the Stratford Wheelers, the Milford Wheelers and the New Haven Wheelers.

Jacobus' information is critical to sorting out the various Thomas Wheelers.

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." He 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."

I'll stop here and you can let me know if this addresses your questions.

My focus is the missing years: 1655 and 1656. I am absolutely convinced that it was Lt. Thomas Wheeler of Fairfield (baptized 8 April 1620) who was the Lt. Thomas Wheeler in Westchester Village. I contacted the Connecticut Genealogical Society and in response I was invited to submit an article for their consideration. I am currently working on that article and hope to be done within two weeks. I love having my theory challenged because it forces me to explain myself better.

One example of the circumstantial evidence:
Thomas Sr. named three overseers in his will - his brother Lieutenant Thomas Wheeler, Andrew Ward and Robert Lockwood. Andrew's son William Ward was arrested with Lt. Wheeler in Westchester in March 1656. Robert Lockwood's son took the oath of allegiance to the Dutch on Jauary 1, 1657 in Westchester. William Ward married Robert Lockwood's daughter.