The stories of two, three, four, and even five brothers who left the Old World and came together to settle in the New World are legend.
But have you heard about the Wheeler clan of Cranfield, Bedfordshire, England? The adult children of Thomas Wheeler and his second wife, Rebecca [Sayre] — six sons and two daughters — Timothy, George, Susannah, Joseph, Elizabeth, Richard, Ephraim, and Thomas — some with spouses, some with children, left their homes in Cranfield between 1635 and 1640. The majority of them settled in Concord, Middlesex, Massachusetts.
That’s a lot of Wheelers! In fact, that’s a very powerful community of Wheelers — which multiplied more abundantly than any other immigrant family that settled in Concord.
. Richard Wheeler emigrated in 1635, a passenger on the Thomas as “Ricr Wheeler.” He was baptized June 13, 1614, in Cranfield, and died February 10, 1676, in Lancaster, Worcester, Massachusetts. He reportedly was the “victim of a massacre.” Richard married first, May 4, 1644, in Dedham, Norfolk, Massachusetts, Elizabeth Turner, and second, August 2, 1658, in Lancaster, Sarah Presscott.
. Capt. Thomas Wheeler emigrated in 1635 as a passenger of the James of London. He was baptized April 9, 1620, in Cranfield, and died March 4, 1686, in Concord. Thomas married October 10, 1657, in Concord, Hannah Harrod (Harwood). Thomas came as a servant to August Clement. He was first at Salem, Essex, Massachusetts, and moved next to Lynn.
. Sgt. Ephraim Wheeler emigrated in 1638. He was baptized March 16, 1619, in Cranfield, and died November 11, 1670, in Concord. He married Ann Turner in 1641 in Concord.
. Elizabeth Wheeler emigrated in 1638 with her husband and two children. She was baptized July 18, 1602, in Cranfield, and died before 1656 in Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts. Elizabeth married Allen Breed of Pulloxhill, Bedfordshire, on November 14, 1622.
. Capt. Timothy Wheeler emigrated in 1639. He was baptized December 28, 1604, in Cranfield, and died July 30, 1687, aged 86, in Concord. Timothy married three times. He married his first and second wives in Cranfield: Susan Knight, April 30, 1632, and Jane (___) in 1633. Following Jane’s death February, 12, 1642, in Concord, he married third Mary Brooks, daughter of Thomas and Grace Brooks, founders of Concord.
. George Wheeler emigrated in 1639. He was baptized March 25, 1606, in Cranfield, and died about June 2, 1687, in Concord. He married Katherine Penn/Pin on June 8, 1630, in Cranfield. Katherine’s parents, Henry Penn/Pin and Katherine Hull, both emigrated and died in Concord. At least three of George’s eight children were born in England and emigrated with their parents.
. Lt. Joseph Wheeler emigrated in 1639. He was baptized February 18, 1610, in Cranfield, and died about 1681 in Concord. His wife was Sarah.
. Susannah Wheeler emigrated in 1640. She was baptized May 31, 1607, in Cranfield, and died March 24, 1649, in Concord. She married Obadiah Wheeler, son of John Wheeler and Elizabeth Breed. It is most likely Susannah and Obadiah married in England. He died October 27, 1671, in Concord.
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. Great Migration Directory for dates of emigration, if known.
. A History of the Town of Concord, Massachusetts.