This page discusses some of the mysteries associated with the study of
the Wheelock surname. If you have any clues, please send me an email.
I would love to correspond with you! These mysteries are presented in order
corresponding to the number of people that might be interested in solving the
- When was Rev. Ralph Wheelock born? And who were his parents?
There is record of Ralph Wheelock born on 17 May 1600 in Dorrington,
Shropshire, England, son of John Wheelock and Elizabeth Rogers. The records
of the Lyth Hill-Dorrington Chapel show that a Ralph Wheelock married
Rebecca Wilkinson on 17 Jun 1631. Except for the proximity of these two
records, there is no other evidence that these Ralphs are one and the same,
and little evidence that the Ralph Wheelock born 17 May 1600 is the same
Ralph that came to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1637.
There is a Wramplingham, Norfolk, England record of Ralph Wheelock, cleric,
marrying Rebecca Clarke on 17 May 1630. There is substantial evidence
that this is the same Ralph Wheelock that later moved to the Massachusetts
Unfortunately, the vital records of Medfield, MA give no clue to Ralph
Wheelock's age when he died, nor has any headstone been found that might
shed light on his origins. The best information regarding his birth comes
from family records, the earliest being the "Memoirs of Reverend
Eleazar Wheelock, DD, Founder and President of Dartmouth College and Moors
Charity School", by David Mclure and Elijah Parish, published in 1811.
This volume states that Ralph was born 1600 in Shropshire. It was not
written by Wheelock himself, but rather by close associates with whom he had
long relationships. The information is most likely first hand. Eleazar's
father was heir to the family bible
which may have been the original source.
It is likely that there was more than one Ralph Wheelock in England in the
early 1600s. Whether the Ralph Wheelock that crossed the Atlantic in 1637
was the son of John Wheelock and Elizabeth Rogers, or of some other
parentage is not yet known.
- On what ship did Rev. Ralph Wheelock travel to the
Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1637?
No record of Ralph Wheelock's passage to America could be found in "The
Complete Book of Emigrants, 1607-1776" by Peter Wilson Coldham. A
privately published article by Victor Peskett, entitled "Wheelock,
founder of Medfield", 1992, states that Ralph, his wife Rebecca, and a
daughter, appears on a passenger list for the second voyage of the Transport
to New England. However, Christopher Gleason Clark, in his January, 1998 New
England Historical and Genealogical Society article "The English
Ancestry of Joseph Clark (1613-1683) of Dedham and Medfield,
Massachusetts" reports that no such passenger list could be found, and
that several other "facts" in Peskett's pamphlet have proven to be
- Where was Peregrina Wheelock, daughter of Rev. Ralph Wheelock
and Rebecca Clarke of Medfield, Massachusetts born?
A 1669 marriage record of Peregrina Wheelock to John Warfield is found
in the Medfield, Massachusetts Vital Records. This is the daughter of Rev.
Ralph Wheelock and Rebecca, as recorded by William S. Tilden in "The
History of Medfield, 1650 - 1886". But no record of her birth is found,
either in Massachusetts, or in England. Some Wheelock genealogists have
reported that a daughter was born to Ralph and Rebecca while enroute to New
England. Since the birth (or baptism) of all other children of Ralph and
Rebecca are accounted for, could it be that Peregrina was born at sea?
It is interesting to note that the word peregrinate means "to
journey or travel from place to place". It is derived from the latin peregrinari
which means "to travel in foreign lands". As one reader asked, is
it possible Ralph and Rebecca were trying to give us a clue to this mystery?
- Is there any connection between the
Wheelocks/Whitlocks/Whillocks of Virginia and Tennesse with Rev. Ralph
Wheelock (1600 - 1683/84), of Medfield, MA?
"Viginia Colonial Soldiers", by L. D. Bockstruck, pg
21, lists James Wheelock in the County Militia Roster on 21 July 1758. There
are records of John Wheelock ( b. 1750 in Virginia, d. 1843, in
Washington Co., Tennesse) married Sarah Kincheloe (b. 1750/60 in Prince
William, in Virginia, d. after 1837, in Tennesse). Are James and John
somehow descended from Rev. Ralph Wheelock?
- Of what relation (if any) is Lucy
Wheelock, founder of Wheelock College, in Boston, MA to Rev. Ralph Wheelock?
Lucy Wheelock, founder of Wheelock College in Boston, was born in
Cambridge, Vt. on 1 February 1857. Her father Edwin Wheelock, was born in
nearby Waterville, Vt. on 17 Nov 1822. Edwin Wheelock was a Superintendent
of Schools, a representative to the Vermont Legislature, and a state
senator. The birth of Lucy's grandfather, Samuel Wheelock, is recorded in
Waterville, VT, 21 June 1797, but the record does not specify where he was
born or who his parents were. Samuel was an early settler of Eden, VT, and
later moved to Cambridge. He married Polly Adams, in 1820. Lucy Wheelock
claims that she was closely related to John Adams, probably through her
Her relationship to Ralph has become clearer after
a thorough perusal of the Vermont statewide vital records, which show that
she descends from Stephen Wheelock and Lucretia Newton on her mother's side.
In fact, her mother's mother was her namesake, Lucy J. Wheelock,
granddaughter of Stephen and Lucretia (Newton) Wheelock. Her grandfather's
ancestry is less certain, but he is probably the son of Stephen and Lucretia
(Newton) Wheelock. For a thorough discussion of the evidence, click here
for a PDF file outlining her genealogy, or browse to Stephen Wheelock (b. 22
Feb 1750/51, Shrewsbury, MA) under "Descendants
of Rev. Ralph Wheelock"
- Of what relation (if any) is Brigadier General Charles
Wheelock, founder of the "Conkling Rifles" 97th Regiment NY
Volunteer Infantry to Rev. Ralph Wheelock?
General Charles Wheelock, Civil War veteran and hero, was born in
Claremont, NH, 14 Dec 1812. He was the son of Daniel Wheelock and Lucinda
Stewart, who were married in Claremont 28 Aug 1796. The ancestry of Daniel,
who is thought (without proof) to have been born in Uxbridge, MA, is