SPELLIN’ BE WARE! And a bit of News.
Wheaton, Wheeton, Whetene, Wheten, Wheaten, Weeton, Weaton, Wetton, Whetton, Wheadon, Whedon, Wheedon, Wheden, Wheaden, Weedon, Weadon…..
We all get hung up on spelling. I should have learned my lesson long ago…..forty years ago to be more precise, when I learned that a branch of the Thomas Wheadon family of Branford, CT changed the spelling of their name to Wheaton. So those of you in the US who see a Wheaton Van Lines Moving Truck, those are really Wheadons. Or the actor Will Wheaton he’s also a Wheadon. However Wheaton College of Norton, MA or the town of Wheaton, IL can be rightfully ascribed to the descendants of Robert.
But did you know one of the first references to Robert Wheaton of Rehoboth, MA was in the early records of Salem where his name was spelled Wheadon?
Or Jean’s 25 year search for her husband’s Wheaton line, DNA connected him to the Wettons of Staffordshire with many spelling variations along the way
Then there is Susan’s discovery of Upper and Lower Wheaton now known as Upper and Lower Whiddon in Devon.
The fact of the matter is that early spelling of surnames until perhaps the last 100 years was anything but consistent. Pronunciation, literacy, convention and the whim of the recorder all seem to enter into the equation. In the example of Upper and Lower Whiddon it’s likely this was changed to be more “consistent” with the “knighted” family of Whiddons from nearby Chagford. And for all we know the spelling may have switched back and forth several times.
As a reminder to myself and all of you: ignore alternate spellings at your own peril: a change in spelling does not, a change in family make. Or the corollary just because they have the same name it doesn’t mean they are related!
Still waiting for the last two panels for Paul of Nova Scotia origins, but he is definitely of the Robert Wheaton group but her threw us a couple of new mutations just to spice things up! These mutations happen occasionally and randomly. They can help us to identify who is more closely related to whom. I’ll have more on his match when the remaining markers are back.
The latest test results for Charles Wheaton of Australia who tracks back to a very early 1500’s line in Exeter, Devon do not initially match any of the other Wheaton lines. So our hopes of tying more Wheaton lines in Devon are again confounded by yet another Wheaton Line! I have placed him in D2 for now just so you can see what a 9/12 marker match looks like. This may be one one of those cases where extending markers makes a match or that it falls apart completely. 12 markers is sometimes enough to prove a match and other times it just tantalizes us with possibilities. One of his marker values is quite rare at 2% of R1bs so he has only two matches and they are of other surnames. This would be a nice signature for his line. two of the other markers that don’t match any of our existing groups are on faster mutating markers so I can not rule out that they are indeed related.
In other exciting news I have heard from a descendant of Robert’s son Samuel!!!! And I have made contact with a descendant of Christopher, alleged son of Robert. So I remain hopeful that two of my wishes for this year may come true! This leaves Robert’s son Obadiah whose son Obadiah had 3 sons who seem to have vanished into thin air. We have nothing more on them or possible descendants. So they could have moved to Canada like many of the Wheaton/Wheadon families did or like one Jean and I were looking at recently they may have succumbed to a tragedy. In one Wheaton family the father and all 5 children died the same year. It is important to remember all the odds our forbearers had to overcome for us to be here today…..