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.

Devon at the time of the Domesday in 1086

Since so many of our Wheaton/Wheadons etc. harken from Devon I thought perhaps you might like a snapshot of Devon at the time of the Domesday Book about the year 1086. Yes a long time ago.

Approximately 9-10,000 farms of which approximately 8,500 were small outliers worked by “villeins” (bonded peasants)

About 1200 Manor houses

Population ranged from 10-15 per square mile around Exon (Exeter) and Berry Pomery near Totnes) to the sparsely occupied areas of Dartmoor with 2 or less per square mile. The vast majority was in the 5-10 persons per square mile category.

Total population was about 7,000 with Exon having about 1500 of that total.

This would be before the advent of surnames. It does not take much to imagine how manors, farms and occupations would be a source of surnames when they became more prevalent in the 13th and 14th centuries.



Although I have emailed you all I thought I would post here as well in case you are looking for a holiday gift for yourself or a family member at the last minute and already deleted the email. A DNA test is a test that can keep on giving as samples are stored for 25 years and they are thinking of expanding that to 50 years!  If you haven’t done so already please log onto your FTDNA pages and update your personal information and especially your Beneficiary Information. It is helpful to list your last known ancestor and places of origin.  For those of you who have done the Family Finder Test looks like there are some cool updates and improvements in the interface coming next year.

If you need advice on what to order feel free to contact me directly or post here so others will learn as well.

New Kits Current Group Price SALE PRICE
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Y-DNA 67 $239 $199
mtFullSequence (FMS) $299 $199
SuperDNA (Y-DNA 67 and mtFullSequence) $518 $398
Family Finder $289 $199
Family Finder + mtDNAPlus $438 $318
Family Finder + mtFullSequence $559 $398
Family Finder + Y-DNA 37 $438 $318
Comprehensive (FF + FMS + Y-67) $797 $597
Upgrades Current Group Price SALE PRICE
Y-Refine 12-25 Marker $49 $35
Y-Refine 12-37 Marker $99 $69
Y-Refine 12-67 Marker $189 $148
Y-Refine 25-37 Marker $49 $35
Y-Refine 25-67 Marker $148 $114
Y-Refine 37-67 Marker $99 $79
Y-Refine 37-111 Marker $228 $188
Y-Refine 67-111 Marker $129 $109
mtDNAPlus $149 $129
mtHVR1toMega $269 $179
mtHVR2toMega $239 $179
mtFullSequence Add-on $289 $199

To order this special offer, log in to your personal page and click on the Order An Upgrade button in the upper right corner. A link to the login page is provided below. ALL ORDERS MUST BE PLACED AND PAID FOR BY MONDAY, DECEMBER 31, 2012 11:59:00 PM CST TO RECEIVE THE SALE PRICES.

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Click Here to Order a New Kit.



Wheadons in Newfoundland, Canada

Our family name is Wheadon, though I have seen several variations of the spelling in earlier times.

The only records we have seen containing the name are parish records and in one instance a Voter’s List. Of course, during my years of research in genealogy I have come to realize that many names have been spelled whichever way the particular clergy decided  it should be; in some instances several children of the same family were baptized, each with  a different spelling of the surname, depending on which clergy performed the baptism.

On a Voter’s List for 1832 Henry Weydon is listed in Ochre Pit Cove, Newfoundland. Later Henry and Rachel’s childrens’ baptisms are listed in parish records as: Whedon, Wadon, Weedon, Wheaton and  Wheadon. There is also a record of a Susannah Wheadon and Henry was witness to the marriage. I would think, because of the close proximity in age, that they were siblings. They are the only Wheadons of that generation who seem to be recorded in our area. Church records show that Henry Wheadon of Ochre Pit Cove died June 2, 1852 at age 48 years. Our records don’t go back beyond 1815 so I don’t know if Henry was born in Newfoundland or who his parents were.

The name Wheaton is prevalent in other areas of our province, but not in this area.

On my own side, I have done a fair bit of research into the name Diamond/Dimond; in fact some relatives have undergone DNA testing. There seems to be a link between the Diamonds of our area and the Marblehead Diamonds. One theory is that a New England Diamond may have come here on a schooner and settled since the name seems to have appeared in New England before appearing in Newfoundland. Again, the roots are in Devon. I noticed on this site Marblehead was also mentioned.

Henry and Rachel Wheadon’s son Mark is my husband’s great grandfather. Mark married and moved a few miles up the road to the village in which his wife lived – Bradley’s Cove.  Mark and Martha had several sons, one of whom was Charles, my husband’s grandfather. Charles and Annie also had a large family. Some of their descendants live in various parts of Canada and the UK.

We are quite keen to find out the lineage of this family and my husband (Robert) intends to do a DNA test.

In Newfoundland the only Wheadons that I am aware of are those of my husband’s family.

Thank you so much for inviting me to join this site.  I am the researcher (amateur) in our family but my husband has a keen interest in all that’s happening.

Warmest regards from Newfoundland, Canada

Marilyn & Bob


Robert Wheaton in Salem part two

Nothing more is recorded in the Salem records of Robert Wheaton until a town meeting with Mr. Endecott, Mr Conant, Mr Woodbury, John Balch and William Hathorne in attendence.1 Obviously by this time Robert has been accepted as inhabitant otherwise he would not have been granted lands.

“At a Town Meeting on the 26th of the 9th month the several proportions of Land laid

out at the Marblehead this 14th of the 9th month 1638 (i.e. 14th November 1638 on the modern calendar) being formerly granted:

To Mr. Walton2 on the maine 8 acres

To Moses Mavericke3 at the same place 10 acres

To John Coitt4 one the Necke 3 acres

To Will Keene & Nich. Liston [Lissen]5 on John Peaches neck 3 acres. more to them on the great neck 5 acres.

To Rich. Sears 4 acres wher he had planted formerly

To John Wakefield 4 acres on the Necke.

To John Gachell & Samuell Gachell6 6 acres on the Necke

To Tho Sams 3 acres on the Necke

To John Lion [Lyon] 4 acres near his house

To the Widow Blancher [Blanchard] 6 acres on the Necke

To Ralph Warren 2 acres on the Necke

To George Ching 3 acres on the Necke

To Phillip Beare 3 acres neare Widow Tomsons

To John Bennet 4 acres vpo John peaches Necke

To Rosmund James 4 Acres vpon the maine

All the above written in the hand of William Hathorne. The following in the hand of John Endecott:

To Robert Wheaden granted X acres of land

Also granted to Richard Stackhouse ten acres of land

Also to illegible Gardner granted ten acres


It is not completely clear whether the ten acres granted to Robert Wheaden was at Marblehead or was closer to Salem proper as it is written by John Endecott and it is not certain this happened at the same meeting as those above. An argument could be made either way. First that those granted at Marblehead were mostly fisherman and/or those not in agreement with the religious teachings of the Salem fathers and among them several from Devon. On the other side is the change in hand and that the other grants appear to be in various locations around Salem including Winter island, Kettle Island Cove and near Mr Endecott’s meadow. In general fisherman were allotted smaller 2-4 acre lots at Marblehead but not larger 10 acre plots.

1Mr Endicott’s family was from the Chagford area. of Devon. Mr.Conant was from the parish of East Budleigh, Devon; Mr Woodbury was from East Coker, Somerset about 15 miles east of Taunton, Devon; John Balch from Horton, Somerset less than 10 miles from Taunton and finally William Hathorne of Bray, Berkshire.

2Mr William Walton said to be first Minister on Marblehead. His first four children baptized at Seaton, Devon. His son Samuel married Sarah Maverick.

3Moses was the son of the Rev. John Maverick Sr who was born in Awliscomb, Devon. Rev. John was Rector at Beaworthy from 1615 to 1629.

4 Believed to have been born in Chopstowe, Glamorgan, Wales. Coyte appears in 1332 Lay Subsidy for Devon

5A Scottish Presbyterian who fled from persecution. He moved to northern Ireland and came to America in 1637. First at Salem in the lumber business. In 1646 he applied to the Court for permission to operate a business in Marblehead but was denied.

6Also spelled Gatchell of West Monkton, Somerset, England

Robert Wheaton in Salem Part one

Why Context matters. When we look at records or individuals in isolation it is easy to be misled. The first record of Robert Wheaton in New England is in 1636 in the Salem town meetings records where it reads.

The 16th of the 11th month 1636 (i.e.16 January 1637 on modern calendar)

“Robt Wheato refused to be an Inhabitant”

First it is important to note that these records are recorded in a shorthand so that Wheato would be shorthand for Wheaton. In this case the recorder was Governor John Endecott, a Devon man who would have known how the name was generally spelled. Please note other abbreviatios below. It has been interpreted that the refusal was on the part of Robert. This is possible but other possibilities have come to light. In the years from 1634-1637 I have located several other men who “refused to be inhabitant” and all were subsequently received. Examples:

“Mathew Waller Received for an Inhabitant p a Certifficate from Mr Atherton haugh.”

“Tho: Trace Recd. for Inhabitant vpon a Certificate from Divers of watter Towne.”

“Jno Tompkins is promised to be Recd. for Inhabitant in case he peure [procure] free Dismission”

“Ricd. Graves Refused to be an Inhabitant.”

“Robt. Baker refused to be acknowledged inhabitant heare [here].”

“Geo; Roaps cannot yet be recd. because he hathe a yr. to serue [serve].”

“Joshua Tidd is admitted for an Inhabitant provided he bringeth a certificate from ye magistrates for his appbation [approbation] in ye Jurisdiction.”

In addition in 1634 an oath was required of Salem residents to be Inhabitants. More on the reasons for the Oath later.

“At A Court holden att Boston, April Ith, 1634

It was further ordered, that euy man of or above the age of twenty yeares, whoe hath bene or shall herefter be resident within this juridiccon by the space of six monethes, as an householder or soiorner, and not infranchised, shall take the oath herevnder written, before the Gounr, or Deputy Gounr, or some two of the nexte Assistants, whoe shall haue power to convent him for that purpose, and vpon his refuseall the second tyme, hee shalbe banished, except the Court shall see cause to giue him further respite.


I doe heare sweare, and call God to witnes, that, being nowe an inhabitant within the lymitts of this juridiccon of the Massachusetts, I doe acknowledge myselfe lawfully subject to the aucthoritie and gouermt there established, and doe accordingly submitt my pson, family, and estate, to be ptected, ordered, & gouerned by the lawes & constitucons thereof, and doe faithfully pmise to be from time to time obedient and comformeable therevnto, and to the aucthoritie of the Gounr, & all other the magistrates there, and their successrs, and to all such lawes, orders, sentences, decrees, as nowe are or hereafter shalbe lawfully made, decreed, published by them or their successrs. And I will alwayes indeavr (as in duty I am bound) to advance the peace & wellfaire of this body pollitique, and I will (to my best power & meanes) seeke to devert & prevent whatsoeyer may tende to the ruine or damage thereof, or ye Gounr, or Assistants, or any of them or their successrs, and will giue speedy notice to them, or some of them, of any sedicon, violence, treacherie, or othr hurte or euill wch I shall knowe, heare, or vehemently suspect to be plotted or intended against them or any of them, or against the said Comon-wealth or goumt established. Soe helpe mee God.”

So now we have many possibilities for Robert Wheaton’s “refused to be Inhabitant.”

  • Lacked Certification from former residence
  • Was not free of servitude
  • Had not reached age of twenty
  • Had not sworn the oath within 6 months of arrival in Salem

Merry Christmas??

Okay it’s not Christmas yet, but I do have news for the Wheaton group B folks. The expected results for Jerry’s Walk through the Y is December 26th. Not quite Christmas but close. So hopefully it won’t be rocks and coal in our stockings.

Also in Group B news I have some revisions in commonly held assumptions about Robert Wheatons early time in Salem. This comes from reading through the Salem Town records page by page and research on various early families. Hope to have time to get more written on this soon.

Although I’ve been quiet it doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy.

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.



I have replaced the maps on my Devon Wheaton webpage with an interactive map which shows the earliest 1300’s Wheatons/Hancocks (point with dots). Those Push pins are DNA results and the other points (without dots) are records as I add them. This is a screen shot:

I hope you find it interesting. You can find the original here.

The map above is a screenshot but on the original you can zoom in and out and clicking or hovering over a point brings up more detail. Let me know what you think.

New Measures of Rare for Groups B, C & D

In my on-going effort to educate (translate= make your heads spin):
Taking the 3 Groups for which we have 67 Marker Results I have computed the “weighted averages” to determine how common are our “Haplotypes” for each group (remember Haplotypes are simply a given set of values at each marker as in DYS393=13, DYS390=24, etc. through each of the 67 markers).  Here is a rubric

  • under 100- very common
  • 100-300- common
  • 300-500- somewhat rare
  • 500-700-rare
  • 800 or above very rare

Group B Wheaton 1003

Group C  Wheadon 756

Group D Wheaton 878

What does that mean? It means that all three groups have rare Haplotypes with the Group B Haplotype being exceedingly rare. Just wanted you all to know you’re special!