Robert where art thou? Group B

I’m not sure if or when we will be able to solve the riddle of Robert Wheaton’s origins but that doesn’t stop me from trying.

What I believe we have proved is that Robert Wheaton’s ancestry lies in Devon, England. To whit:

  • The oldest document written by Robert’s great-grandson states Robert came from England and was in his 90th year in 1696 when he died.
  • Our Wheaton Group B DNA matches that of a Hancock from South Molton (north Devon).
  • The 1332 Lay Subsidy Rolls have only one Hanecock  a Richard in Devon, in the parish of Esse Abbatus (Ashford). About 12 miles northeast from South Molton.
  • Also in the 1332 Lay Subsidy Rolls there is a Thomas de Whitton in South Molton as well as Roger de Weydon in nearby Meshaw (5 miles), a William Whetena in Woolfardisworthy (20 miles) and a William Whetene in Halberton (35 Miles). There are a total of 9 Wheton/Whiddon/etc in Devon in 1332 plus another 6 Wootons.

Vowels “e,” “i” and “y” seem to be used interchangeably. Consonants “t”, “tt,” “d,” & “dd” seem to be used interchangeably as well as “w” and “wh.” Assumptions based on spelling are fraught with error, so at this point nothing can be ruled out. Also this is just around the time of surname adoption. The Richard Hanecock and The William Whetna are showing surnames but the Thomas de Whitton and Roger de Wheydon we can not be sure they adopted these as last names or not. It is not impossible that two brothers adopted very different names or that two men of the same name were known for having come from somewhere they had in common rather than any familial relationship. That is why a combination of traditional research and DNA is our best hope of sorting our Wheatons into family groupings.


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