Susan’s Cause for Celebration! Long research pays off.
Susan I have taken the liberty of posting your comment directly to the Blog.
Cause for celebration. Susan of Group D has finally traced back her family to Nathaniel Wheaton of Coldridge/Winkeigh, born c. 1605, via Thomas of Chulmleigh c 1767, his father Nathaniel of Chulmleigh, and his grandfather Lewis, born 1681 Coldridge. Lewis’s father was also a Nathaniel, son to the one born c. 1605 and believed to be the son of Paul Wheaton of the same village.
The story of my find after several despairing weeks in Exeter Record office is very interesting, and shows one should never give up hope.
Having checked dozens of parishes, I had been unable to find a baptism for Thomas, married in Iddesleigh in 1789. In the nearby small town of Winkleigh was a Nathaniel, married to a Grace, surname unknown, and several children. There had been a vague idea that they might be brothers. I then came across a Resettlement Examination for a Nathaniel Wheaton of Winkleigh which linked him to Chulmleigh. An exhausting bog-eyed trawl through the Chulmleigh microfiches had already turned him up, plus some brothers and sisters, and his father, Nathaniel, married to Ann Slade in 1760. but I had discarded him because there was no Thomas. Last week a more scrupulous examination seemed to indicate that there were some years missing. What to do? Was there a link? Was he, in fact, linked to a Nathaniel born in 1741? Should I go and have a cup of tea and call it a day?
Don’t ask me what happened but I decided to check the lists of the Chulmleigh Overseers of the Poor. And I found apprentice indentures for every single one of those children, except the youngest, Mary. They were dated in matching order to the dates of the baptisms, except that John and Nathaniel were apprenticed in the same year. And there was Thomas.So he did exist after all. At the time poor children were apprenticed at around 7-9 years of age, so this set him in the right year according to his death certificate.
Bit between my teeth, on the next morning I set to again and the first thing I turned up was Thomas’s father, Nathaniel, born to Lewis Whiddon and Elizabeth. I later found Lewis’s marriage to Elizabeth Gribble plus a few more children, all in Chulmleigh.
I now knew who Lewis was as I had him on my data base. Talk about going on my way rejoicing. I was due to catch the bus into Bideford at 2.10 so I was on cloud nine as I travelled through that beautiful countryside where my ancestors had lived for 300 years or more until they started moving to Exeter and the bigger towns.
When I next write in I will copy the Resettlement Examination of Thomas’s older brother, Nathaniel. It reads like something out of Dickens.