Gabriel Wheldon

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Gabriel Wheldon (Whelden)

Also Known As: "Gabriell Weilden"
Birthdate: (64)
Birthplace: of, Basford, Nottinghamshire , England
Death: between February 11, 1654 and April 4, 1654 (64)
Malden, Middlesex, Massachusetts
Place of Burial: Malden, Middlesex County, MA, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Henry Whelden and N.N.
Husband of Margaret Wheldon (Wampanoag); Margaret Weeks; Jane Whelden and Margaret Wheldon
Father of Mary Taylor; Thomas Wheldon; Ralph Whelden; Henry Whelden; Martha Whelden and 6 others
Brother of Mr. Whelden

Occupation: Blacksmith, husbandman, miller, yeoman, Freeman
Managed by: Elwin C. Nickerson
Last Updated:

About Gabriel Wheldon

Brief biography

Catherine Wheldon/Wheldin/Whelden is the daughter of Gabriel Whelden founder of the Whelden, Welden, Wheldin families in America. "The American Geneologist" Vol 48 1972 throughly documents this family. The more common spelling is din or den although there were dozens of variations of spelling.

Added by E. C. Nickerson : NOTE: First Scouting Party Gov. Bradford 1622 Went to Mattacheese For food so the Pilgrims would not die that winter, which the Native Population as always gave what the had to feed them. First Settlement attempt was by REV. Stephen Bachilor 1637- which Failed!! Yarmouth Town Records-Very First Settler in Mattacheese was STEPHEN HOPKINS (1638) Recorded as building first house) next came Gabriel Whelden (Gabriel Whilden) was one of the first settlers along with ( *Gregory Armstrong No other mention of descendants in records.* ), September 1638-May have played a part in the Hopkins/ Weldon marriages in what was then a purely Native American Villiage, and in what is now YARMOUTH ( Mattacheese)in Barnstable County on Cape Cod.ECN/ He was given permission on 3 September 1638 by Plymouth officials to settle on Cape Cod, which included a land grant. At the time the area was called "Mattacheeset". It was organized into Yarmouth in 1639. Gabriel appears in the Yarmouth records, 6 October 1639, so he settled in Yarmouth between September 1638 and October 1639. In 1793/4 Dennis was formed out of Yarmouth. Modern day researchers need to look in Dennis town records as well as Yarmouth town and Barnstable County records.

The actual location of Gabriel Whelden's homestead was on the north bank of Follins Pond on the Bass River near the intersection of Setucket Road and Mayfair Road. It straddles the Dennis - Yarmouth line and the neighborhood is sometimes called "The Head of the Point." According to Nancy Thacher Reid in "Dennis Cape Cod: from Firstcomers to newcomers 1639 -1993" published by the Dennis Historical Society, descendents of Gabriel Welden resided on the property until the 1960's. Richard 'the Taylor' Taylor and Thomas Folland, also "Firstcomers" and future relatives by marriage settled next to Gabriel.

In receiving the land grant, Gabriel must have been first declared a "Freeman" in Plymouth even though there is no record of this declaration. A freeman is an adult male who has met rigid requirements and been accepted and designated as a "freeman" by the ruling officials of church and state. Only a freeman is fully franchised to vote and hold office in that local jurisdiction. To qualify in Plymouth, a person must be 21 years old, a member of the church in good standing and be a "freeholder" in possession of considerable property. The property requirement was sometime waived if the person was given a land grant of the "Committees" of the place to be settled. We know that Gabriel was a landowner because he later sold land in Nottinghamshire, England. Even if a person could become a freeman, that still did not insure a land grant. The committees that screened applicants for land grants rejected far more that they accepted. Gabriel had to be judged of good character by the committee selecting settlers to receive land grants in Yarmouth before he could get the grant.

The maiden name of Gabriel's wife Margaret is unknown. She may even be his second wife.

In 1641 and 42 Gabriel served as town officer, "Supervisor of Highways" in Yarmouth.

In 1643, there were growing problems with the Narragansett Tribe, under their chieftain Ningret. This drove Massachusetts Bay Colony, Connecticut Colony, Plymouth Colony and New Haven Colony to form the United Colonies of New England and to discuss preparedness for war. Rhode Island was excluded from this union since they harbored dissenters and others who did not accept the the tenents of the orthodox church. The immediate result in Yarmouth was a listing of all men between the age of 16 and 60 to serve in the militia. Fifty two names were on the Yarmouth list. Gabriel Whelden was not listed, his son Henry was. This seems to indicate that Gabriel was over 60 and Henry was over 16. Having one son in service was not grounds for avoiding military service, since William Chase and his son William, Jr. were listed. Henry was one of the five Yarmouth men who were called up to serve against the Narragansetts in 1645 when the Narragansetts attacked the Mohegans and the United Colonies came to the assistance of the Mohegans. The five men as part of the 50 man contingent from Plymouth Colony, marched to Seekonk in August and returned 2 September. The dispute was settled peacefully without the Yarmouth men having to fight. Before the march they were issued: one pound of powder, three pounds of bullets, and one pound of tobacco. The tobacco wasn't just for smoking, it was also used as money, since hard cash was rare in the colonies.

The Plymouth Colony considered marriage a civil contract rather than a religious sacrament. The Pilgrims adopted this custom while in Holland. From this the court records reflect a romantic courtship involving Gabriel, his daughter Ruth and future son-in-law Richard Taylor. Richard Taylor, a single man, settled near the Wheldens, and in accordance with the law requested permission from Gabriel court his daughter Ruth. Although no reason is recorded, Gabriel refused possibly reluctant to part with a beloved daughter. Richard persisted in his suit, and Gabriel refused to relent. Finally, Richard filed suit with the Court in 1646. Apparently the wise old men of the Colony sided with Richard and persuaded Gabriel to reconsider Richard as a future son-in-law. Gabriel at last relented and the young couple were soon married.

Gabriel Welden moved from Yarmouth to Lynn, then to Malden where he died in 1654.

He and his youngest son John W. sold to William Crofts of Lynn, 21 Oct 1653, lands in Arnold and elsewhere in Nottinghamshire, England. In his will, Gabriel gave the money still owed from this sale to his wife Margaret. This caused his sons Henry and John to file suit in court for their portions in 1655. According to "The American Genealogist" vol 48: 1972 page 5 "The fact that the will does not mention, either directly or by implication, any children, is unusual, and the most likely explanation is that Gabriel gave them their portions of his estate either at marriage or by gifts of money or deeds to Barnstable County land. If Margaret was a second wife, there may have been a pre-nuptial agreement setting forth the reasons why she was to have the entire estate at Gabriel's death." According to Reid in "Dennis, Cape Cod" page 52, the custom was for one third of the estate to go to the widow as long as she was unmarried. Single daughters were allowed to live at home as long as they were single and frequently small legacies were given to married and unmarried daughters such as bedsteads and bedding, silver spoons or other valuable household articles. The real estate was divided up amongst the sons.


  • First known marriage to Mary Davis on August 3, 1617
  • Buried at Bell Rock Cemetery in Malden, MA
  • Date and means of arrival in U.S. not known
  • Daughter married Giles Hopkins (a Mayflower passenger)

Birth: 1590 Nottinghamshire, England Death: 1654 Malden Middlesex County Massachusetts, USA

He was probably the son of Henry Whelden of Basford, Co.Nottinghamshire, England.

His will was dated Feb 11,1653/4, and it was proved Apr 4,1654.

His first wife was named Jane according to early records, and, though not clear, she was possibly the mother of his children. She was living at Basford as late as Aug 5,1637.

His second wife was Margaret, whom he likely married after 1639 in Massachusetts. Margaret was the wife of Gabriel named as sole heir and executrix of Gabriel's 1653/4 will. Her step-children protested the will in 1655.

Children(by first marriage): Thomas Whelden, Catherine Whelden Hopkins, Henry Whelden, Mary Whelden Taylor, Martha Whelden, John Whelden, Ruth Whelden Taylor, and John Whelden.

Said to have married a woman of the Wampanoag named Oguina, a niece of the sachem Massasoit.

Sister of Oguina (Oguina was later renamed and baptized Margaret Wheldon by her husband).

Married the brother of Margaret's Husband.

Name currently: unknown.

Number and type of siblings: unknown. Documents state that "two of the daughters of Quadiquina" married the two Wheldon brothers, inferring that Quadiquina had several daughters and perhaps sons.

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Gabriel Wheldon's Timeline

Basford, Nottinghamshire , England
February 1, 1612
Age 22
Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England
Age 26
Of, Arnold, Nottinghamshire, England
February 21, 1619
Age 29
Basford, Nottinghamshire, England
December 23, 1621
Age 31
Basford, Nottinghamshire, England
December 23, 1621
Age 31
Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England
November 5, 1623
Age 33
Basford, Nottinghamshire, England
July 5, 1626
Age 36
Basford, Nottinghamshire, England
Age 37