Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Rev. Ralph WHEELOCK, 1600-1684, Shropshire to Massachusetts

The Reverend Ralph WHEELOCK is the 8th great-grandfather of my ex-husband's RICE line, 9th to the children of the brothers Jack & Bill, and 10th great-grandfather to the Lewis grandchildren. He and his wife and first few children emmigrated in 1637, part of "The Great Migration".

The Wheelock surname is variantly spelled: Whelock, Wellock, Wholock, and is traced back to the 10th century in Wheelock Village in Cheshire county. Although it is suggested his family must have been well-educated and of the 'gentry', there are no verified details of his parents or family. to date.

Born around 1600 in Shropshire, Ralph WHEELOCK entered Clare Hall/College at Cambridge, [image above, CCO, public domain]. He matriculated in 1623, BA in 1626, and a MA in 1630.  It is important to know that Cambridge was a centre of the religious movement from which came Puritanism, and his fellow students included John Milton, John Eliot and other well-known men who were active in the religious dissension.

Ralph was ordained priest on May 6, 1630, by Francis White, Bishop of the Norfolk Diocese. Less than two weeks later, he married Rebecca CLARKE on May 17th in Wramplingham at St Peter & St Paul Church. This church is one of the round-towered churches, many of which can be found in East Anglia.  

Rebecca was one of 7 children of Thomas CLARKE and Mary CANNE, bap Aug 26, 1610 in Banham. At least one other sibling, Joseph Clarke, also immigrated to the new colony in Massachusetts.

Children of Ralph and Rebecca follow, the first three children were baptised apparently in Banham, Norfolk, at St. Mary the Virgin Church. This church from the 14th Century, is known for its beautiful stain glass windows. [© Evelyn Simak, CCO] 

   1.   Mary, bap Sep 2, 1631, m. Joseph Miles in Medfield, MA; no further research done.
   2.  Gershom [ancestor], bap Jan 3, 1631/32; m. May 18, 1658 to Hannah STODDER in Medfield, MA; 7 known children
   3.   Rebecca, bap Aug 24, 1634, d. Nov 28, 1667 in childbirth, Roxbury MA; m. 7 Jun 1654 in Roxbury MA, to John Craft
   4.   Peregrina, b. 1637 onboard ship to New England, d. Apr 1, 1671 Medfield MA; m. Oct 26 1669 to John Warfield; no further research done.
   5.   Benjamin, b. Jan 8 1639/40 Dedham MA, m. May 21 1668 to Elizabeth Bullen, in Medfield MA; no further research done.
   6.   Samuel, b. Sep 22 1642 Dedham MA; d. Oct 23 1698 Medfield MA; m. Apr 3 1678 to Sarah Kendricke in Medfield MA; no further research done.
   7.   Record, bap Dec 15 1644 Dedham MA, d. Jul 26 1726 Marlborough MA; m. Oct 3, 1672 to Increase Ward, in Medfield MA, 7 known children
   8.   Experience, bap Sep 3 1648 Dedham MA, d. Feb 27, 1709/10 Medfield MA; m. May 21 1668 to Joseph Warren, in Medfield MA; no further research done.
   9.   Eleazar, b. May 3 1654 Medfield MA, d. Mar 24 1729/30 Medfield MA; m. Apr 17 1678 to Elizabeth [Fuller?] Rehoboth MA; 3 known children.

Ralph WHEELOCK, although ordained a priest [in the Church of England], and occasionally did preach, he preferred to teach. He was very active in the running of the the new church as well as the new town of Dedham in Massachusetts. He was given the prefix of "Mr." - of which only a few men in the town were given this - an example of his status. He also was appointed to assist the measurer in laying out the town, and did a variety of other town business and court activities. He appears to have been highly regarded. The town decided to have a school, supported by a town tax, rather than supported by the students as was more normal in Massachusetts. That is, this school was the very first free school in MA, and Mr. WHEELOCK was the first teacher of that famous school, from 1644 to 1651. As stated in the book, "Mr. Ralph Wheelock, Puritan", "...he had in his school the ancestors of at least five college presidents." A number of his children were teachers, as were several grandchildren as well.

In May 1651, the new town of Medfield was granted independence by the General Court of Massachusetts, and Ralph WHEELOCK along with other colonists, moved with their families to Medfield. All signed "An Agreement" - apparently chiefly the work of Ralph Wheelock. Because of his activities regarding the work to have Medfield granted independence as a town, and the Agreement, he is regarded as "the founder of Medfield." He was chosen to be one of the town's selectman for 5 years, as well as taking other actions relating to the Great and General Court in Boston for a number of years, as a Deputy. His house-lot was the first granted in Medfield, at the corner of now Main and North Streets, including 12 acres of land.

However, aside from his social/political activities there are records and various statements which indicate his principal endeavours and passions were in education: "instruction of youth". This was to the point that he also financially supported not only the school in Medfield, but the early Harvard University.

On Jan. 1st, 1680/81, his wife, Rebecca, died, aged 70 years.

Three years later, Ralph died on Jan 11th, 1683/84, aged 83 years. He and his wife were apparently buried in Vine Lake Cemetery, Medfield, MA, but no gravestones are found.

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If you have further information or questions about the WHEELOCK family, I am happy to share and hear from you. Contact me via the email address at the bottom of the blog posts.

Blogger is not allowing me to reply to comments, but do know that I am thrilled you came and took the time to comment. You make my day!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Margaret TINKER, 1598-1643, Windsor, Berkshire, England

My weekly #genealogy post for today, is on an early ancestor, my 9th great-grandmother. Both her son, Miles, her brother John, and her stepmother Mary, were early New England immigrants.

The church to the left, St John the Baptist, is an 19th century reconstruction and addition to the 12th century original church. Just a quick note: this is the main church in Windsor... yes, just a very short walk down the hill from the Windsor Castle where the Royals stay regularly. Photo by John Salmon, Creative Commons licence.

Margaret TINKER, the only daughter of Robert TINKER and Anne/Agnis BERRINGTON, was baptised February 5th, 1597/98. Margaret's mother died aged 32 yrs, in childbirth along with her 4th child; both were buried on Dec 5th, 1599. Margaret's father, Robert TINKER, took a second wife, Mary Merwin, January 26th, 1599/00, with whom he had 8 children. Margaret grew up as the eldest girl in this blended family, and married about a year before her youngest step-sister was born.

On June 12th 1617, Margaret married Walter [alternate spelling, Gualter] MERWIN in Windsor, after banns were called, in their church, St John the Baptist. After their marriage, they lived a mile away in the village of Clewer, Berkshire, where their first 4 children were baptised. Clewer was the original name for Windsor, but after the Windsor Castle was built, it became a small borough on the outskirts.

I need to be doing more searching for church records for their 9 children, as the only child I have details on is my direct ancestor, Miles MERWIN, the immigrant. Children of Walter and Margaret are as follows, not necessarily in order, although since Walter and Margaret married in 1617, Miles likely was the second or third child:
   1.  Thomas
   2.  Joseph
   3.  Miles [immigrant ancestor], bap 1 Feb 1622/23, Windsor, m. abt 1647 Elizabeth POWELL [d.10 Jul 1664 in CT], 7 children; m. abt 1664 Sarah Platt [d. 15 May 1670 in CT], 5 children; m. 30 Nov 1670 Sarah Youngs.
   4.  Benjamin
   5.  Nicholas
   6.  Anthony
   7.  Mary
   8.  Rhoda
   9.  Sarah

After 1634, they moved to New Windsor, less than 2 miles from Windsor. Walter seems to have been well thought of and twice served as Mayor of Windsor Borough. Some of these details are from The English Ancestry of the Merwin and Tinker Families of New England, as well as from the Miles Merwin Association[click on the link at the bottom of this landing page, Miles Merwin bio, for more details]

Walter was an overseer to the will of his father-in-law, Robert TINKER, and also witnessed a codicil to that will dated 1624. Robert died June 2, 1624 in Windsor. Robert bequeathed to Walter and Margaret and their son Thomas, the unexpired term of the lease which Robert held in a tenement at Clewer which the Merwin family occupied at that time.  By 1634, Walter and Margaret were living in a house at New Windsor owned by Humphrey Collins and bequeathed to his wife Mary (Margaret's stepmother) to satisfy her dower rights to his estate.

In 1634, Walter witnessed the will of his uncle Anthony Merwin, Yeoman, of Clewer, as well as the will of his wife's stepfather, Humphrey Collins.

In 1640, their son, Miles MERWIN, emigrated from New Windsor to New England, settling in Dorchester Massachusetts, now a neighbourhood of Boston. He did well in New England and was a shipping merchant and tanner. I wonder if his parents heard from him after that time?

Two years later, Walter was buried on February 8th, 1642/43 in Windsor, aged 48 years. Administration of Walter's estate was granted to his son Thomas Merwin, on March 11, 1642/43, with the signed consent of his widow [rel = relict], Margaret.

However, Margaret died on that same day, March 11, 1642/43, aged 45 years. Perhaps there was a disease in the area which they both succumbed to, to die so close in time. Burial indexes or registers rarely ever gave the cause of death. I have not seen Walter's will, nor hers, nor abstracts, although wills are referred to in the book mentioned earlier.

Reading these old 1600s wills can be a challenge, with archaic terms, Latin and old English mixed together, formal sentences, random spellings and all.  I hope to find images of the wills this year using the Index of the Prerogerative Court of Canterbury, where it would have been sent. Perhaps I might find parish registers showing the deaths/burials of both Margaret and her husband, Walter.

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If you have more information or corrections to offer on this TINKER-MERWIN family, please contact me [at bottom of page]. I am always happy to hear from other 'cousins' no matter how far away.

Blooger has a glitch in it stopping me from replying to your comments, but please do know that I appreciate your comments very much. You make my day! Thanks so much for stopping by to read my family blog.   

Thomas BOSTOCK, 1789-1848, Weaverham, Cheshire, England

This week, I'm back to my favourite son-in-law's family lines. [he's the only one!]  Here we have his 4th great-grandfather (his children's 5th great-grandfather), Thomas BOSTOCK, the second one in the line that I'm relatively confident about. This Thomas' parents were Thomas and Mary, and so far I've found four possible ones in Cheshire, England! Genealogy research is never done.

Thomas BOSTOCK, born June 6th, 1789 in Weaverham, Cheshire, England, and baptised on July 5th, 1789, the following month. The parish church, St Mary's Church for over 1000 years, was known at the time of the Norman invasion, and many details are found in the link, including photographs. The photo of the church is above on the right. [© Copyright Sue Adair and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence]

Weaverham is a small village beside the Weaver River, scarcely 10km to the west of the Mersey River and the west coast. Thomas and his wife Mary appear to have lived in the Weaverham Parish for the majority of their lives. Nearby was the Forest of Delamere, a "forest by the lake" [Latin phrase: foresta de la mera]. The link for the forest has interesting stories and facts about the forest and lakes.

In the Parish Church on April 29th, 1811, Thomas married Mary, possibly Mary Birtwisel although this is not yet confirmed definitively. Children of this couple appear to be the following, although it is possible there are more not yet found and confirmed:

  1.  Elizabeth, b. 7 Jan 1812, bap. 9 Feb 1812; nothing further researched to date.
  2.  Thomas, b. 1815, d. 9 Apr 1819 aged 4 yrs of age
  3.  George [ancestor], bap 19 Feb 1817, d. bef 1871; m. 29 Dec 1841 to Hannah "Ann" PICKTON, 8 known children
As far as I have been able to find out, Thomas seems to have been a farm worker, or "Ag Lab" worker [agriculture labourer]. There was a mill in Weaverham which was used until late in the 19th century, and there was much farming in the region. At the time Thomas and his family lived there in the early 1800s the population was not much over 1000 people, although after WWII the post-war boom brought the population up to about 7500.  

On September 24th, 1848, Thomas Bostock died, and was buried the same day, according to the Burial Records for the Parish.  I have no information about his wife, Mary, whether she was still alive or not. The lack of children's birth records for this couple might indicate she died at some point after son George's birth in 1817.

More research in the Weaverham parish needs to be done to tease out more details of the several Thomas Bostock individuals and their respective families.  Although I have found there are several families of Thomas and Mary in the region on the 1841 Census for Weaverham and surrounding hamlets, the names and ages of their children are very confusing, when looking at ages of the parents. 

If you have any information on this particular Thomas and Mary or corrections to offer, please do contact me at the address at the bottom of the page. I'm happy to share whatever I have found to date, as well.  

Blogger has a glitch in it stopping me from replying to your comments, but please do know that I appreciate your comments very much. You make my day! Thanks for stopping by to read my family blog.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Abel RICE, 1792-1846, from MA to TN to IL

Abel RICE is my ex-husband's second great-grandfather, my children's third great-grandfather. The line goes from Abel to son Joel, to son Henry Luther to Reba to the Lewis brothers.

Abel RICE, born September 5, 1792 in Hubbardston, Massachusetts, was the eldest son of the 2nd wife of Ebenezer RICE, Ruth Henrietta EVELETH. They had married just over a year after Ebenezer's first wife, Sarah Taynter [Tainter] died, leaving 4 children. Ruth and Ebenezer had 5 more children. Abel as a first name was relatively common - I have found over a dozen born within 10 years of his birth year, in the United States.  The image here is of the Library in Hubbardston, MA. Note the coloured tiles on the angled roof.

Abel's older step-siblings were born in Princeton, then in Hubbardston, Worcester county, Massachusetts, where his parents and siblings seemed to stay until about 1800 when he was approximately 8 years of age. I have found one unsubstantiated [to date] family story stating that his father, Ebenezer RICE, seems to have been a circuit Minister or Missionary, and moved the family to Maury county, Tennessee, about 1,000 miles southeast. Ebenezer and Ruth stayed in Maury county, TN until he died in 1834, Ruth in 1831.

On October 11, 1815, Abel married Lydia GHOLSON, in Maury county, TN. Lydia's parents were Francis and Mary [CRAIG] GHOLSON; Lydia was the 6th of 10 children. Note that Tennessee was the 16th State, joining the Union in 1796. It seems as if both the RICE and GHOLSON families moved to Tennessee soon after Tennessee's statehood.

Although their first two children were born in Maury co., TN, Abel, Lydia, and their young family moved 180 miles north, up to the new territory of Illinois [southeast corner] by late 1818, where they remained. You can track their movements on Google maps: Hubbardston Massachusetts, to Maury Tennessee, finally to White county Illinois.

Children of Abel and Lydia:
   1.  Tolliver Gholson Rice, b. 12 Aug 1816 Maury co. TN, d. 7 May 1889, White co., IL; m. 20 Nov 1838 to Elizabeth Miller; 4 known children
   2.  Eliza R. [Ruth?] Rice, b. 12 Oct 1818 Maury co. TN; m. 29 Oct 1840 to William Johnson; not researched children nor found death dates
   3.  Hulda Rice, b. 1819 White co. IL; m. 9 Mar 1843 to Abel Varnery; not researched children nor found death dates
   4.  Martha Rice, b. 25 Apr 1820 White co. IL; m. 23 Aug 1848 to George L. Bayley; not researched children nor found death dates
   5.  Sarah M. Rice, b. 18 Dec 1821 White co. IL; d. 13 Jul 1912 [90]; m. 12 Dec 1840 to John M. Veach; 8 children known
   6.  Allan N. Rice, b. 1824 White co. IL; m. bef 1848 to Susannah Pearce; no death dates researched; 2 children known
   7.  William Emerson Rice, b. 7 May 1826 Stokes Station IL, d. 7 Mar 1863; m. 16 Mar 1847 to Martha A. Gossett; 3 known children
   8.  Henry C. Rice, b. 22 Nov 1827 Stokes Station IL; m. 30 Jan 1850 to Arletta M. Healy; 4 known children; no death dates researched [see #10 for sister's Rice husband]
   9.  Elizabeth I. Rice, b. 28 Mar 1829 Stokes Station IL; m. 28 Jan 1847 to Richard M. Johnson; not researched children nor found death dates
  10.  Mary Ann Rice, b. abt 1830 Stokes Station IL; m. 17 Sep 1848 to James S. Riley; not researched children nor found death dates
  11.  Joel RICE [ancestor], b. 11 Mar 1832 Stokes Station IL, d. 24 Jan 1894 Norris IL; m. 19 Aug 1854 to Arletta's sister, Charlotte L. HEALY; 5 known children

Eleven children and several moves into new territories. It seems quite challenging to me, but they clearly thought it well worth the moves. The married children tended to stay fairly close to their parents, as well, from what I have been able to research.

I was able to find several land purchase records by Abel RICE from 1824-1834, for land around Shawneetown in Galatin county, IL. To the right is the [Old] Courthouse in Shawneetown, photographer Russell Lee.

Abel seems to have been relatively prosperous in Illinois. Also, he is found as the County Commissioner for two terms: 1826-28, and 1843-45.

On Censuses, Abel and his family are found on the 1820 Census, with one boy (Tolliver) and 3 girls (Eliza, Hulda, Martha). On the 1830 Census, nine of the 11 children are shown, likely the other two are be out of the house, or the enumerator made an error - or whoever gave the information forgot a child or two!

On the 1840 Census, Tolliver is out out of the house, married. The rest of the children are apparently present, living at home.

At the age of only 53, Abel died on Feb 18, 1846, in McLeansboro, Hamilton, IL, where he and Lydia had moved a few years previously.

I was not able to find Lydia widowed, on an 1850 Census, after searching through all of the adult children and their spouses. It is possible that she was living with one of her siblings, as several of them also settled in Illinois.

Four years after Abel's death, his wife Lydia died on July 11, 1850, aged 58. I have not as yet found either Abel's will/probate, or Lydia's will/probate. I have found a probate index for Abel Rice, but I need to search/request a copy of Abel's actual will and/or probate.

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If you have more information or corrections to offer, please contact me [at bottom of page]. I am always happy to hear from other 'cousins' no matter how far away.

Blooger has a glitch in it stopping me from replying to your comments, but please do know that I appreciate your comments very much. You make my day! Thanks for stopping by to read my family blog.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Nathaniel MERRILL/MERRELL, 1601-1654/55 Early NE Settler

Nathaniel MERRILL is my 9th great-grandfather, tracing down through the PETTYGROVES to KUHN, in the Terwilliger-Kuhn lines.  

He was apparently the sixth of either 7 or 9 children of Nathaniel & Mary MERRILL. Two children are often added in 1609 and 1611, but they were born in a different place, and it seems quite unlikely. I'm assuming he was the sixth of 7 children.  It is thought Mary's surname is Blacksoll, but this has not been proven.

A book by Samuel Merrill titled "A Merrill memorial" may be found on Internet Archiveon pp 40-41, a 5 generation descendant chart can be seen, partially supported by baptisms, marriages, burials, as well as family details in wills.

Nathaniel was baptised on May 3rd, 1601, in St. Mary church [seen on the right], Wherstead, Suffolk, England, and likely was born a few weeks or less prior to this date. Two different databases indicate his baptism date as May 4th or May 1st. Original documents need to be found, if possible. St. Mary was founded in 1590, parts of the church date earlier, and parts from later in 1600s. Looking at the gravestones, I wish I could walk around there! 

At the age of 31, Nathaniel married Susannah [unproven surname] on September 23, 1633, in St. Mary, Wherstead. Wherstead is a very small village on the south-western outskirts of Ipswich, Suffolk, by the River Orwell. Shortly after their marriage, the couple apparently moved to an even smaller village: Lawford, in Essex county, about 9 miles away, in the northeast corner of Essex.

Somewhere between 1637-1639, Nathaniel, Susannah, and their four children, immigrated to Massachusetts, several of the first settlers in Newbury, Essex, MA. Nathaniel and his brother John, had immigrated in 1635 on the ship Hector, going to Newbury.  Although Nathaniel apparently came with John, he then returned to England and brought his wife and children back with him, likely by spring of 1639. It is known that in 23 Jul 1638, John Merrill held an adjoining homesite of four acres for his brother, who was still back in England at that time.

Children of Nathaniel and Susannah, first 4 born in Lawford, Essex, Eng; more research is needed to expand the children's marriages and descendents:
  1.  Nathaniel [ancestor], bap 25 May 1634, d. abt 1 Jan 1682/83 in Newbury MA; m. 15 Oct 1661 to Joanne NINIAN, Newbury MA; 2 known boys: John and Nathaniel
  2.  John [Deacon], bap 13 Feb 1635/36, d. 18 Jul 1712 Hartford CT; marriage/children not researched
  3.  Abraham [Deacon], bap 9 Apr 1637, d. 28 Nov 1722 Newbury MA; m. 18 Jan 1660/61 in Newbury MA to Abigail Webster; children, not researched
  4.  Susannah, bap 12 Dec 1638, d. 10 Oct 1690, Suffield CT; m. 15 Oct 1663 to John Burbank 
  5.  Daniel[l], b. 20 Aug 1642 Newbury MA; d. 27 Jun 1717 Salisbury MA
  6.  Abel[l], bap 20 Feb 1643/44, d. 28 Oct 1689; m. 10 Feb 1670/71 to Priscilla Chase
  7.  Thomas, b. abt 1648; no other information known.

It is believed that Nathaniel was a farmer, although little more is known about him. His will is transcribed into the Probate Records book of Essex County [Massachusett]. Although not dated in the transcription, it was likely written shortly before he died on 16 Mar 1654/55.  It was proved, 27 Mar 1655 by John Merrill [his brother] and Anthony Somerby.

In his will he names his wife Susanna, giving her "5 acres of plowable land lying next my brother Johns land, [as well as other lands,] cow, heifers and all my household goods." He appointed his son Nathaniell to pay his legacies, as sole executor. Sons John, Abraham, Daniell, Abell, were each given five pounds as soon as they became either 22 or 21 years. I am not clear why there was this  distinction. He did not name his daughter Susannah at all, who did not marry until Oct 1663, therefore staying at home with her widowed mother. An extensive inventory of absolutely everything of value in the house, as well as descriptions of all the lands and animals, amounted to a total of 37 li (pounds) 14s. 11d. The inventory was taken by Daniell Thurston, Richard Knight and Archelaus Woodman.

His widow Susannah married a second time to Stephen Jordan [Jourdain] on 16 Aug 1661. Stephen died in 1670 in Newbury, aged 81, leaving Susannah a widow a second time.  She died 25 Jan 1672/73 in Newbury, aged 58.

It is considered that a vast majority of "Merrill" descendants (sometimes spelled Merrell) in America, came from the children of Nathaniel and Susannah.

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If you have more information or corrections to offer, please contact me [at bottom of page]. I am always happy to hear from other 'cousins' no matter how far away.

Blooger has a glitch in it stopping me from replying to your comments, but please do know that I appreciate your comments very much. You make my day! Thanks for stopping by to read my family blog.


Family, friends, and others - I hope you enjoy these pages about our ancestors and their lives. Genealogy has become somewhat of an obsession, more than a hobby, and definitely a wonderful mystery to dig into and discover. Enjoy my writing, and contact me at celia.winky at gmail dot com if you have anything to add to the stories. ... Celia Lewis