Benjamin Wheelock

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Benjamin Wheelock

Birthdate: (76)
Birthplace: Dedham, (Present Norfolk County), Massachusetts Bay Colony
Death: September 13, 1716 (76)
Mendon, Worcester County, Province of Massachusetts
Immediate Family:

Son of Rev. Ralph Wheelock, America's First Public School Teacher and Rebecca Wheelock
Husband of Elizabeth Wheelock and Elizabeth French
Father of Mary Bacon; Abiah Albee; Benjamin Wheelock, Jr.; Obadiah Wheelock; Elizabeth Wheelock and 4 others
Brother of Gershom T. Wheelock; Mary Or Nancy Miles; Rebecca Crafts; Peregrina Wheelock; Samuel Wheelock and 3 others

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Benjamin Wheelock

Notes for Benjamin Wheelock: Benjamin Wheelock, b. 8 Jan 1639/40 in Dedham, Massachusetts, was

probably the first Wheelock born in the American colonies. The Dedham Vital Records record the birth

date of Benjamin as follows: "Benjamin born 8 of the 1[0] Month of 1639". His baptism date is given as

follows: "ye 12 of ye 11th month 1639".

He lived for about ten years in Dedham, where his father, Rev. Ralph Wheelock, was an active leader in

town affairs. He moved with his family to Medfield, MA in 1651, the year of its founding and first

settlement. He married Elizabeth Bullen in 1668. The Medfield Town records indicates that he owned a

house in that same year. [1]

In 1669 he received a small grant of land in Medfield "between his house and the brook, taking in some

part of the brook". [2] In 1675 he is listed in the Medfield town records as a proprietor, along with his

brother Gershom, and his father, Ralph. [3]

Sometime around 1688 he removed with his family to Mendon. [8] The first notice of him in the Mendon

records is in 1688 when he aquired land from Mathias Puffer: "Mathias Puffers forty Acre Lott Now

Benjemin whelocks with all the Rights and Priuelidges there unto belonging or any wayes Appertaining:

As appears by A Deed of Sale baring Date Aprill 25: 1688". [4] A year later, he appears on a list of those

paying taxes to "defray Mr. Rawson's Salary." Benjamin Wheelock's name appears as a proprietor on a

historical plaque in the center of Mendon, amongst the third group of settlers. In 1693 Benjamin served

the town as a "Tything Man", along with two others. According to the Annals of Mendon "tithing men

were to present all the idle and disorderly persons, profane swearers or cursors, Sabbath-breakers and

disorderly persons, that they may be duly punished and discouraged." In 1696 he served as a

Constable, in 1700 as a selectman, and in 1701 on a special committee to "give the selectmen


In 1706, or thereabouts, Benjamin Wheelock acquired posession of the "ancient" Benjamin Alby corn

mill, which he purchased from Mathias Puffer. In 1713 he deeded mill priveledges to his sons Obadiah

and Benjamin, Jr. Later, in 1719, all three deeded the mill to Josiah Wood. [6] Benjamin is reported to

have lived on the "Old Rehoboth Road, near where Andrus Wheelock lived and died". [6,7] According to

the proprietors records, "The House Lott being forty Acres Laid out upon the East side of the Road

Leading to Rehoboth Nere the Round Medow : and bounded as followeth Weasterly on the Aboue sd

Road Northerly upon the Land of Samuel Thayer Easterly Partly upon the Mill Riuer : and Partly on

Medow and southerly upon Comon Land -- Laid out by Joseph White --" [4]

There is some uncertainty about the second wife of Benjamin. The Mendon Vital Records indicate that

his first wife, Elizebeth, died in 1689, yet show two additional children born to "Benjemen and Elizebeth"

in 1693 and 1695. There is no marriage record for Benjamin indicating a second marriage. Walter T.Wheelock, in "The Wheelock Family in America, 1637-1969" asserts that Elizabeth French, widow of

Jonathan Thayer, was "probably" his second wife, but cites no sources. Charles Pope, in his book "The

Pioneers of Massachusetts" indicates that "John French [father of Elizabeth French] died 1692, age 80

years. Division of estate was made to Dependence, Thomas, Samuel, to Temperance, wife of John

Bowditch, to Elizabeth Wheelock of Mendon, and the child of Mary Lamb, deceased." The Elizabeth

referenced here was probably his daughter, Elizabeth French. By process of elimination, it seems likely

that Elizabeth French must have married Benjamin Wheelock. Torrey agrees with this conclusion, and

lists the marriage in "New England Marriages Prior to 1700".

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Benjamin Wheelock's Timeline

November 12, 1639
Dedham, Norfolk, Massachusetts
January 8, 1640
Dedham, (Present Norfolk County), Massachusetts Bay Colony
February 12, 1640
Dedham, (Present Norfolk County), Massachusetts Bay Colony
January 25, 1671
Age 31
June 11, 1674
Age 34
Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States
September 30, 1676
Age 36
Mendon, Worcester County, Massachusetts, United States
September 30, 1676
Age 36
December 12, 1678
Age 38
Medfield, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States
April 21, 1685
Age 45
Medfield, Suffolk County, Massachusetts Bay Colony