George R. Wheeler
George Wheeler is a key to the lineage in our Wheeler family.
His is the first name in government census records that is a verifiable link between Clinton D. Wheeler, our great-grandfather, and the names listed in The Genealogical and Encyclopedic History of the Wheeler Family in America. I haven’t found direct evidence of George’s relationship to Clinton, such as a birth registration document, but I am confident that our great-grandfather Clinton was George R. Wheeler’s son based on ‘consistent circumstantial evidence’ as a distant relative has said.
The earliest verifiable documentation of George Wheeler is from the 1850 Federal Census for the town of Scott, Wayne County, Pennsylvania. Scott township is in the northeast corner of Pennsylvania on the border with New York. George is listed as a son, aged 15, of Royal Wheeler and Delanah Wheeler. Royal Wheeler and Delanah are listed in the History of the Wheeler family on page 582. In this History, Royal is named as the son of Frederick, who moved from Connecticut to Hancock, New York. Hancock is about 10 miles east of Scott township. George’s age in the 1850 census would put his birth about 1835. He has an older brother, Ebenezer F. Wheeler and three younger sisters: Laura, Martha H. and Emily A. Wheeler.
Fifteen years later, in the 1865 New York State census, George is listed in the town of Sanford, Broome county, New York, living with his wife Jane and 2 year old son, Clinton. Sanford, New York borders Wayne county, Pennsylvania. The ages for George in both the 1850 and 1865 census records are only 2 years apart and no other record comes close for age, place and relationships.
The 1865 New York State census provides additional information about George Wheeler. The census form lists George as having fought with the 56th Pennsylvania regiment during the Civil War. The 56th Pennsylvania Regiment recruited men from Wayne county. This census identifies him as having enlisted on October 2nd, 1861 and serving 14 months. His health is listed as “permanently impaired”, he having been “shot through the body at [illegible] 2nd. The occasion of George’s wounding is the 2nd battle of Bull Run or Manassas which is verified in his Civil War pension records. That battle was fought in August 1862. The 56th Pennsylvania was engaged here and took heavy casualties. The muster rolls for the 56th Pennsylvania volunteers lists 2 George Wheelers in Company A: a George N. and George R. Wheeler. The muster rolls also list Ebenezer F. Wheeler and Orin Wheeler. The 1850 census listing Royal Wheeler’s family includes Ebenezer F. Wheeler as George’s older brother. In the 1860 census Orin Wheeler’s family and Royal’s family are living next door to each other in Wayne county, Pennsylvania. Orin’s family includes a daughter, Jane F. Wheeler, a son George and a son Adison.
Jane Wheeler, George’s wife in the 1865 New York census, is most likely the daughter of of Orin Wheeler and his wife Margaret. The 1880 Federal census shows that George has moved to Lehigh, Webster county, Iowa with his wife Jane F. Wheeler and son Clinton D. Wheeler. The 1880 census also shows that Orin, his wife Margaret and son Adison, have moved to Sumner, Webster county, Iowa, about 2.5 miles from Lehigh Iowa, where George and Jane and their son Clinton are living.
The 1850 census puts George Wheeler in northeast Pennsylvania, the son of Royal and Delanah Wheeler. The Civil war muster rolls for the 56th PA volunteers puts George R. Wheeler in the same regiment as brother Ebenezer and probable relative Orin. The 1865 New York State census identifies this same George as married to Jane F. Wheeler with a son, Clinton. This chain of evidence gives validity to the position of George as our great-great grandfather. Census records name several George Wheelers living near the northeast Pennsylvania border with New York in the early and middle 1800s. Untangling these Georges and clarifying the evidence for our great-great grandfather took some time, but these documents support our family connections.
By 1900, at the age of 66, George was living at 26 Chenango Street in Binghamton with his sister Adeline (Emily Adeline). He is listed in the census as married and as a pensioner, but there is no listing for his wife Jane. In 1900 Clinton is also living in Binghamton. Our great-grandfather, Clinton D. Wheeler, died in 1946. Clinton’s death certificate lists his father as George Wheeler and this information is verified by our grandfather, Ralph E. Wheeler.
George R. Wheeler's Family
George R. Wheeler born about 1835, Deposit (?), New York; died 1907, Rotterdam, New York. Find a grave.
Married: Jane F. Wheeler [daughter of Orin Wheeler], born about 1844;
Childen: 1. Clinton Dewitt Wheeler, born 18 Sept. 1863
m. Ella Clark
2. Oliver R. Wheeler, born 1867, died 1944
buried Lanesboro, PA
3. Viola M. Wheeler, born 1874
4. Claude R. Wheeler, born 1878
5. Earl R. Wheeler, born 1880
6. David John Wheeler
George and Jane were possibly second cousins. Jane's father, Orin, may have been first cousin to Royal Wheeler, George's father. Royal's father, Frederick and Orin's father, Joseph, were brothers, both sons of James and Thankful Wheeler.
1850 Federal Census, Town of Scott, Wayne County, Pennsylvania
1860 Federal Census, Town of Scott, Wayne County, Pennsylvania. Lists Royal, son George and also Orin, daughter Jane.
1865 New York State census, town of Sanford, Broome County.
1880 Federal Census, Town of Lehigh, Iowa
56th Pennsylvania Volunteers,Company A, muster rolls, Civil War.
56th Regiment in Bate's History of the Pennsylvania Volunteers