Ebenezer Wheeler's Family
Ebenezer is the father of Delanah Wheeler and is our great-great-great-great grandfather.
He was married to Harriot [Harriet] Foster and his daughter, Delanah Wheeler, was the wife of Royal Wheeler. A chain of evidence backing up this relationship is described on Delanah's page.
He is named as an early settler in two different histories of Delaware County, New York.
In the chapter on the Town of Hancock in his History of Delaware County, N.Y. : with illustrations, biographical sketches and portraits of some pioneers and prominent residents. (published in New York, 1880), W.W. Munsell writes about Ebenezer and his brothers, beginning at the bottom of page 211:
“PARTRIDGE ISLAND AND ITS PIONEERS
This is an old lumbering and farming hamlet, some six or eight miles above Shehocken, on the east branch. ... Ebenezer Wheeler came about 1792 from Massachusetts. ... They next located at the mouth of Sands creek near Shehocken, and in 1798 we find them at Partridge Island. Here the Wheeler brothers settled and married, except John, who lived a bachelor and was finally, drowned. Major Ebenezer Wheeler had one son, Ransom, and several daughters, all of whom married respectably. He died in 1814, aged 44."
Munsell also names Ebenezer's brothers, "He [Ebenezer] and his brother were remarkable for physical strength and endurance. William, in 1804, married Eleanor Knox, of Massachusetts, a descendant or relative of General Knox, the aid [sic] of Washington, and lived at Partridge Island till 1814, when he removed to Deposit. James had three sons, Leroy, Ebenezer and James; the first a physician, the second a lawyer, and the other a farmer, who occupies the homestead. The father died in 1854. Joseph Wheeler had three sons. Franklin, Milton and Rensselaer, the first two lawyers and the latter a farmer. He died in 1858."
Ebenezer is named twice in Delaware County, New York; history of the century, 1797-1897; centennial celebration, June 9 and 10, 1897, by Murray, David, 1830-1905, ed, (published 1898). On page 368: “One of the worshippers at this first church [in Deposit, New York] was sometimes brought by her only son in a canoe from Hancock. She was the widow of Ebenezer Wheeler, a soldier in the war of 1812.” The widow was Harriet Foster Wheeler, the only son would have been Ransom Wheeler.
Again, on page 408: “About the year 1792 Ebenezer Wheeler, emigrating from Massachusetts, settled in the town and built a sawmill at Partridge Island. The Wheeler house, now standing upon the banks of the river there being the oldest house in town.” Ebenezer and his brothers didn't build the sawmill, but bought shares in the property.
These histories are supported by deeds for property purchased by Ebenezer and his brothers on file in Delhi, New York:
Deeds on file at Delhi, New York: Deeds (Book A).
Ebenezer Wheeler, William Wheeler and Jonathan Weller, town of Colchester, Delaware County, NY, on August 15, 1799, purchased from Joel Larkin, town of Colchester, Delaware County, NY, 1/6 part of the Partridge Island Sawmill. Witnesses Jonas Lakin and William Horton. Recorded May 11, 1801. Page 190.
Ebenezer Wheeler, William Wheeler and Jonathan Weller on July 11, 1800, purchased from Thomas Gilmore and Martha his wife, and Lemuel Mallory, land in Delaware County, Great Lot 35, part of lot 11 as per map by Jonas Smith, surveyor, 150 acres. Witnesses Jonas Larkin, Henry Sands and John Winchel. Recorded May 11, 1801. Pages 189-190.
William Wheeler, Ebenezer Wheeler, and Jonathan Weller of Colchester, Delaware County, NY, yeomen, on July 11, 1800, purchased from Lemuel Mallory of Colchester, Delaware County, NY, carpenter, 3/16 part of the Partridge Island sawmills. Witnesses John Winchell, Jonas Lakin, and Henry Sands. Recorded May 11, 1801. Page 191.
Ebenezer Wheeler, William Wheeler, and Jonathan Weller of Colchester, Delaware County, NY, husbandmen, on July 11, 1800, purchased from Thomas Gilmore, of Colchester, Delaware County, NY, yeoman, 7/16 of the Partridge Island sawmills. Witnesses Jonas Lakin, Henry Sands, and John Winchel. Recorded May 12, 1801. Page 191.
Ebenezer Wheeler, James Wheeler, William Wheeler, Joseph Wheeler and Jonathan Weller, all of Delaware County, on April 15, 1801, purchased from Ray Sands, late of Ulster County, now of Long Island, land in Great Lot 35, part of lot 11, distinguished by #4, on a map made by Jonas Smith, 110 acres. Conveyed to Ray Sands by Cornelius Ray and Elizabeth his wife. Witnesses John Winchel and Benjamin Pine. Recorded August 5, 1803. Pages 354-356.
Munsell also writes on page 212, in his history: “The ancestors of the [Town of] Hancock and [Town of] Tompkins Wheelers were among the early settlers in Massachusetts. … One branch of the family settled in Brantford, Mass., before the Revolution. One, named William, had five sons, Ebenezer, James, William, John and Joseph, and died in Brantford. The widow married George Hubbell, who by his first wife had three sons, Edmund, George and Silas."
This is the same William named in The Genealogical and Encyclopedic History of the Wheeler Family in America by Albert Gallatin Wheeler (Boston : American College of Genealogy, 1914.). On pages 715-716, Entries #12407-12048, William Wheeler and his wife Hannah French are recorded with their children: Ebenezer, James, William, John, Joseph and Hannah Wheeler. This entry also states that William senior died at New London, CT, in 1782. His wife, Hannah French, then married Silas Hubbell."
The handwritten autobiography of George Downs Wheeler of Deposit, New York is archived with the Wheeler Family Papers at Cornell University. This autobiography names George’s father as William and George’s grandfather William and he names his grandmother as Hannah French. “I [George Downs Wheeler] was born at Deposit, N.Y., June 24, 1818. My father, William Wheeler, was born at New London, Conn. May 21, 1774. His father, William Wheeler, was of Welsh origin. He died at New London in 1782, “ … “My grandmother, whose maiden name was Hannah French …”. “His [William Wheeler] mother [Hannah French] was subsequently married to Silas Hubbel and moved to Unadilla, Chenango county, N.Y.” George goes on to name his grandfather’s children: “He [William Wheeler] had six children [with Hannah French], five sons and one daughter. Their names were Ebenezer, James, William, John and Joseph and the daughter Hannah, who died young at New London. The brothers all came to the east branch of the Delaware River in the town of Hancock, Delaware county, New York, in 1795 and commenced a lumbering business at a place called Partridge Island.” … “Ebenezer moved to the Little Falls on the west branch of the Delaware where he died in 1813. He was buried at Partridge Island. He was a soldier in the war of 1812, …”
Munsell states, towards the bottom of page 212, “Several other Wheelers. relatives of the former, also came to Hancock early from Massachusetts. Frederick Wheeler, father of Marvin and Royal Wheeler, first settled near Knight's, below Shehocken, and then went to Partridge Island. Marvin Wheeler married Emily, daughter of Captain Conrad Edick, of Deposit. He left two sons, Frederick and Marvin D. One son, Clinton, had died before the father, and two daughters unmarried. Royal Wheeler, a brother of Frederick, came to Hancock at the same time. He had two sons, Earl and Royal, the former a distinguished lawyer at Honesdale, Pa., now deceased. One James Wheeler was known as "Fiddler Jim," to distinguish him from the other James, who was called "Tailor Jim." Little is known of his history. One Joseph Wheeler was known as "Hatter Joe," while the other was called "Innocent Joe." John Wheeler, cousin to bachelor John, after residing for some years at Partridge Island, removed to or near Barryville.”
The Frederick Wheeler named above is also named in the Genealogical and Encyclopedic History of the Wheeler Family on page 582, entry #10135. He is identified as having "removed about 1800 to Hancock, New York.” This entry names Frederick as son of James Wheeler and Thankful French and that he was born “at New London, CT” in 1773. What this Encyclopedia fails to do is connect James Wheeler, father of Frederick, with William Wheeler, father of Ebenezer, as Munsell had in his history. It is no coincidence that James was married to Thankful French and William married to Hannah French.
Thankful and Hannah were sisters. The French sisters are documented at the French Family Association (FFA) website: [Chart 46, Third Generation for Thankful and Hannah French, entries 3.7 and 3.8]. The Encyclopedia states that William Wheeler, father of Ebenezer, died at New London, CT in 1783. It also states that Frederick Wheeler was born at New London, CT in 1773, ten years earlier. This means that Frederick’s father, James, was in New London within a few years of Ebenezer’s father, William. The proximity of these Wheelers and the fact that they had each married one of the French sisters strongly suggests that they, too, were closely related. I believe they were probably brothers and their sons, Ebenezer and Frederick, were first cousins. I have not found primary evidence to support this belief, yet.
Ebenezer Wheeler, of Montgomery MA; born MA, 1769-1770, died Hancock NY 1813.
Grave at Partridge Island cemetery.
Father: William Wheeler (probably brother of James Wheeler)
Mother: Hannah French (sister of Thankful French)
Probably cousin to Frederick Wheeler of Hancock (father of Royal Wheeler, son of James Wheeler & Thankful French)
Married Harriot Foster, (born 1773-1774, of Montgomery MA); May 11, 1794 (bans published in MA) Documentation: Find a Grave ; Massachusetts vital records .
Harriet, Born abt 1795 in MA; Died July-Aug 1865, Tompkins Twnsp,
Delaware Co. NY;
Buried Hales Eddy, Sandford Twnshp, Broome Co. NY.
Married Gilbert Dickinson
Hannah, Born abt. 1797, probably MA
Married George Young; son Thomas?)
see 1850 Fed census, Damascus
Ransom F. , Born abt. 1801 in MA
Married Adeline D. Wheeler
Almira, Born 27 Feb 1803 in MA;
Died 14 Feb 1874 in Damascus Township, Wayne, PA. Buried
Damascus Township, Wayne, PA (Overlook Cemetery).
Married John Tyler Mitchell, brother of Nathan Mitchell
Delanah Born 1805, Hancock, Delaware Co. NY.
Married Royal Wheeler
Emalinda, Born abt. 1807
Married Nathan Mitchell, brother of John Tyler Mitchell