Gabriel Wheldon

Gabriel WHELDON (~1590 – 1655) was Alex’s 10th Great Grandfather; one of 2,048 in this generation of the Shaw line.

Weldon Coat of Arms

Weldon Family Coat of Arms

Gabriel Wheldon was born about 1590, based on the 1612 baptism of his first child Thomas probably in Basford or Arnold, Nottinghamshire, England.  These are now adjoining suburbs just north of Nottingham, and about 10 miles south of “Shirewood Forest,” traditional home to Robin Hood some 400 years earlier.  His father was probably Henry WHELDON.

Gabriel’s Uncle Thomas made his will 8 March 1609/10 and was buried at Basford 11 April 1610. Thomas was a blacksmith.  The will indicates that Thomas Whelden had a brother Henry Whelden and  two sisters: Helen, wife of Mr. Stamford, and Jane, who had a daughter Mary Crampton, suggesting that Jane was the wife or widow of a Mr. Crampton. Evidently, Thomas Whelden had no children of his own and was quite fond of his nephew Gabriel Whelden. While the will does not identify Gabriel’s father, it is probable Henry was Gabriel’s father. Apparently Thomas was careful to leave something to all nieces, nephews, and godchildren, but he did not mention any children of brother Henry. Gabriel’s oldest son was named Thomas, presumably for his uncle, and the next son was named Henry, presumably for Gabriel’s father

…. I give unto Christobell myne espowsed wife for the Tearme of her life the occupation of this howse and the close adioyninge & one garden that is payled, reservinge that smithy and chamber with all the tooles belonginge to my trade of farryer And one garden att the howseend there wch I give and bequeath to Gabraell Whelden my Nephewe Itm I give vnto my sayde nephew Gabraell Twelve swathes of meadowe lying in Daboreck [Daybrook?] and moreover one close commonly called the longe close, to him & his heires for ever and after the decease of my wife, I doe give vnto my sayde Nephew the whole howse & close lyinge thereunto Also I give my land in Bagthorpe field to my sayde Wife & Nephew to occupye and enioye the same Ioyntly and equally between them, And after my wives decease to my sayde Nephewe and his heires I doe give the same Whollye for ever…..

He is reported to have married Mary Davis on 3 Aug 1617 in Arnold.  But no documentation has been offered, and no record found in the Parish Registers of Arnold, Basford, or Nottingham.  His first known wife JANE [__?__] was living on 15 Aug 1637.  He immigrated in 1638 or 1639.  He married again in Massachusetts about 1649 to Margaret Matthews.   Gabriel died 4 Apr 1655 Malden, Middlesex, Mass.  Burial: Bell Rock Cemetery, Malden.

Jane [__?__] was born about 1595. Jane died aft. 5 Aug 1637 in Nottingham, England.

Margaret Matthews was a sister of sister of Rev. Marmaduke Matthews and returned to Wales with her brother after Gabriel’s death in 1654

Children of  John and Jane:

Name Born Married Departed
1. Thomas Whelden bapt.
1 Feb 1611/12  St. Leodegarius, Basford, Notts
15 Apr 1615
St. Leodegarius, Basford, Notts
2. Katherine Whelden bapt.
6 Mar 1616/17
St. Leodegarius, Basford, Notts
Giles Hopkins (son of Stephen HOPKINS)
9 Oct 1639 Plymouth, Plymouth Colony
aft. 5 Mar 1688/89 Eastham, Plymouth Colony
3. Henry Wheldon bapt.
21 Feb 1617/18
St. Leodegarius, Basford, Notts
Eed or Edith [__?__]
25 Jan 1647/48 Yarmouth
28 Oct 1694 Yarmouth, Barnstable, Mass
4. Mary Wheldon bapt. together
23 Dec 1621
St. Leodegarius, Basford, Notts
Richard Taylor
by 1648
found dead in a boat off Duxbury, Mass. bef. 4 Dec 1673, when there was an inquest
5. Martha Wheeldon bapt. together
23 Dec 1621
St. Leodegarius, Basford, Notts
17 June 1639, drowned Dedham, Mass.
6. John Whelden bapt.
5 Nov 1623
St. Leodegarius, Basford, Notts
before 4 Oct. 1630
7. Ruth Whelden bapt.
5 Jul 1626
St. Leodegarius, Basford, Notts
Richard Taylor
27 Oct 1646
btw. 28 Oct 1699 will & 6 Oct 1703 probate
8. John WHELDON bapt.
4 Oct 1630
St. Leodegarius, Basford, Notts
Mary FOLLAND 20 Nov 1711 in Yarmouth

The more common spelling is din or den although there were dozens of variations of spelling.


Gabriel inherited a blacksmith shop and tools of the farrier trade (horse-hoof care) from his uncle Thomas Whelden in July, 1610, along with a kiln, horse-powered mill, and land in Basford.  Other land in Bagthorpe Field went first to Thomas’ wife Christobel, then to Gabriel. Thomas’ daughter Margaret Fellowe received only a pewter dish and 12 pence.  Gabriel was co-executor of his uncle’s will, and therefore at least 21 years of age in 1610.  Christobel remarried Thomas Huitt 6 Apr 1611 in Basford.  She made her will 1 Feb 1618/9, which was proven 22 Apr 1619.  Thomas Whelden had a brother Henry Whelden and sisters Helen Stamford and Jane Crampton. Henry was mentioned in Christobel’s will in 1619.

4 Apr 1617 – Gabriel was a blacksmith in Basford, when he rented land from William Stafford,   tailor of Somercotes, Derbyshireon a 21-year lease [expired 4 Apr 1638].

“Gabriel Whelden, husbandman of Basford, and Jane his wife” exchanged the land in Bagthorpe Field for tracts in Quarry Field, Middle Field, and Neather Field from John Hutchinson 5 August 1637

1622 – Gabriel Whelden served as churchwarden at Basford in 1622.   His uncle Thomas Whelden had previously held this position in 1603.

15 Aug 1637 – John Hutchinson, gentleman of Basford, drew a deed of exchange of land in Basford and surrounding areas with Gabriel Whelden, “husbandman of Basford,” and his wife Jane.

10 Mar 1638 –  “Gabriel Whelden, yeoman of Basford,” leased his kiln, mill, and land in Basford to John Holles, 2nd Earl of Clare.  Since Jane is listed in the first transaction but not in the second, she probably died in the time between them.  There is no record of Gabriel having a wife in America until he married Margaret.  On 20 Apr 1638 The Earl of Clare assigned the lease of the mill house and three acres “currently in the occupation of Gabriell Wheld” to Robert Wright for the next 21 years.

Thus Gabriel Whelden was putting his affairs in order, disposing of some of his property, and gaining capital so that he could depart for New England. Spring was the optimum time to set sail before the hurricane season began, and so it is likely Gabriel and his family emigrated in the spring of 1638. However, since the first certain record of the family in Massachusetts was not until June 1639, their emigration could have been in the spring of 1639.

The “wife of Gabriell Wheeldon, miller,” was one of two residents of Basford presented as “sectaries” (religious sectarians) before 1642. ] Persecution of those who failed to follow the tenets of the established Church of England was a major reason for the Great Migration to New England 1620–1640, and this record suggests that Gabriel Whelden’s immigration to New England may have been largely because of this religious persecution.

Legend of Gabriel’s Wampanoag Wife

There is a persistent but quite apocryphal story that Gabriel and one or two of his brothers arrived soon after the Mayflower, seamen who deserted ship, escaped to the Wampanoag Indian village at PoKoNet [Pokanoket?], and took wives among the daughters of Chief Massasoit’s brother Quadequina.

According to legend, Gabriel's wife was a Wampanoag woman

According to legend, Gabriel’s wife Margaret was a full blooded Wampanoag

Returning to Plymouth after the birth of several children, he was tried by the court at Plymouth and “sentenced to exile” at Mattacheese, on land donated by the Cape Tribes, regaining “Freeman” status only after many years. This “legend” appears to have started with a 1935 article by Franklyn BeArce, a claimed descendant of Massasoit, “From Out of the Past, Who Our Forefathers Really Were, Our White and Indian Ancestors Back to 1628,” supposedly based on information handed down for 300 years by word of mouth.

Wampanoag Map

Wampanoag Map

Historians and genealogists have demonstrated many fallacies in this story, such as documentation of Gabriel’s presence in England in 1637-8, and his grant of lands in Mattacheese as a Freeman, and holding office there within three years. That town was, in fact, not a place of exile, but a prestigious expansion community as Plymouth grew. There also is no record of a trial or sentence or sanctions of any kind in Plymouth; nor of the three-way, top level negotiations that would have been needed to obtain land for him from the Indians. A search of the records of Massachusetts Bay Colony also found no reference to any legal action against Gabriel under any spelling of his name. BeArce also identified Gabriel’s wife Margaret as a full-blooded Wampanoag, and mother of all of his children, when she is known to have been the sister of Reverend Marmaduke Matthews, Yarmouth neighbor and friend of Gabriel Whelden, and married Gabriel in 1649, and was possibly the mother of only his daughter Sarah.

However, one researcher quotes a note from Plimoth Plantation Records, yet to be found, that “Gabriell Wheildon – a fisherman came 1629 – ship Lyons Whelp to Salem (the voyage that brought my paternal ancestor Thomas MINER – see my post Lyon’s Whelp) Later in 1638 moved to Yarmouth” Whether this is the same person is not determined. But, as noted above, Gabriel is documented as still resident in England on 20 Apr 1638. Charles Banks’ The Planters of the Commonwealth names 14 of the 40+ passengers on the Lyon’s Whelp, (but not Gabriel), which sailed from Gravesend, east of London, 25 Apr 1629, arriving in Salem in the middle of July. She also brought “six fishermen from Dorchester,” without the usual fee, on a special agreement that they help feed the passengers, and spend some time fishing for the colony. They would then be allowed to return to England if they wished. Since the record at Plymouth says that Gabriell Wheildon was a fisherman, he was probably from Dorchester, and not the Gabriel Whelden, blacksmith and farmer, from Basford.

Although . . . The Court Orders of Plymouth Colony, 17 June 1641, record: “It is ordered by the Court, that Willim Lumpkine & Hugh Tilly shall pay to Gabriell Wheildon [15 shillings] for his third part of the skiffe or boate they were partners in, & his damnag sustayned in the want thereof to fetch fish to fish his corne wthall, and the boat or skiffe to be theires.” This would indicate that Gabriel Whelden of Yarmouth was, at least sometimes, a fisherman, as well as a blacksmith and a farmer. However, “to fish his corn” indicates that he used the fish he caught to fertilize his corn crop. Commonly in that time period, a hill of corn would be planted with a fish, or part of a fish, on top of the seeds as fertilizer.

A variation of the Indian story, seeking to claim Indian ancestry, tries to explain the birth of Gabriel’s half-Indian children in England by the claim that Oguina, daughter of Quadequina, was six years old in 1608 when she was picked up off the beach on Cape Cod (alternate story says Rhode Island) by a British fishing vessel, taken to England, baptized Margaret, and eventually married Gabriel Whelden.

Oguina’s descent is as follows:   1- WASANEGIN, born by 1554     2-QUADEQUINA, born 1576. This year is determined from the fact that he was born in the year when the “Great Light” went out. European astronomers noted in 1576 that there was a Solar Eclipse. He, QUADEQUINA begot     3-OGUINA, born 1602 @ Wampanoag village in what is today Rhode Island.

No explanation is offered of how she could have gotten from the fishermen on the coast to Nottinghamshire, no baptismal nor guardianship nor any other records. This myth derives from Gabriel’s will mentioning his wife Margaret, but ignores his wife Jane, party to the land exchange in 1637. The mention of “fishermen” in this story merely allows contact with the Indians on Cape Cod prior to 1620. The use of the same occupation in the Lyons Whelp story is entirely coincidental.

There is no record of Gabriel having a wife between his arrival in Plymouth in 1638 and his marriage to Margaret Matthews in 1649. If he had a alliance with an Indian woman during that time, no record has been found. One of the guesses of the birth of the alleged Oguina is 1614, which could have been possible; but she would still not have been the Margaret in Gabriel’s will, nor the mother of any of the children listed below, who were born in England before 1638.

The Wampanoag tribe of south-east Massachusetts and Rhode Island currently includes a prominent Weeden family. But they would more logically trace back to James Weeden (1585-1673) who settled in Portsmouth, Rhode Island; or to a slave belonging to one of his descendants, who assumed his last name when freed.

New England

Gabriel Whelden was one of the first settlers in what is now the Township of Dennis in Barnstable County on Cape Cod. He was given permission on 3 Sep 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 Oct 1639, so he settled in Yarmouth between Sep 1638 and Oct 1639.

Dennis, Barnstable, Mass.

Dennis, Barnstable, Mass.

Dennis was first settled in 1639, by John Crowe (later Crowell) and Thomas HOWES, as part of the town of Yarmouth. The town officially separated and incorporated in 1793. It was named after resident minister, Josiah Dennis. There was not enough land for farming, so seafaring became the town’s major industry in its early history, centered around the Shiverick Shipyard.

Map of Old Yarmouth 1644 - Our Ancestors 13 Thomas Howes, 5 Edmund Hawes, 10 Edward Sturges and 9 William Hedge were pioneers in Yarmouh, Mass on Cape Cod.  Unfortunately, I can't quite make out the numbers on this map. Do you have better eyes?

Map of Old Yarmouth 1644 – Our Ancestors 13 Thomas Howes, 5 Edmund Hawes, 9 Edward Sturges and 10  William Hedge were pioneers in Yarmouh, Mass on Cape Cod. Unfortunately, I can’t quite make out the numbers on this map. Do you have better eyes?

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.”

Gabriel Whelden’s homestead was located near Setucket Road and Mayfair Road, Dennis, Barnstable, Mass (“A” on Map)

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.

Nine of our ancestral families were first comers in Dennis:  1 . Francis Baker, 2.  Daniel, Baker, 3. William Chase,  4. Thomas Folland, 5. Thomas Howes, 6. John Joyce, 7. David O'Kelley, 8. William Twining, 9. Gabriel Weldon.  Map courtesy of Lynn Keller and Cape Cod Genealogical Society

Nine of our ancestral families were first comers in Dennis: 1 . Francis Baker, 2. Daniel, Baker, 3. William Chase, 4. Thomas Folland, 5. Thomas Howes, 6. John Joyce, 7. David O’Kelley, 8. William Twining, 9. Gabriel Weldon. Map courtesy of Lynn Keller and Cape Cod Genealogical Society

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.

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. 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.

Abstract of Will from New England Historical and Genealogical Register 1862 vol 16 page 75 The spellings are as transcribed.

Written Maulden 1653, 11, 12. (this can be read as 12th day of the 11th month. Since 1 March was considered the New Year, the date would be 12 Jan 1653) In the name of God and in obedience to his comand (according to my boudend duty), I, Gabriell Whelding, of the Towne and Church of Maulden, being weake and sicke in body, do make my last will. My body to be layd asleepe in the bed of the grave, in the Comon buriing place for the Inhabitants of this Towne.

I give 10s as a Small testimony of my true Love to the Church of Maulden, to be payd into the give hands of the Deacons within a mo after my decease. I give all my estate in Maulden, consisting of house, Frame [farm?] Lands, cattle, and corne, (together [with] what money is due vnto me from Wiliam Croffts, of Linne) to Margaret Whedling, my wife, whom I appoynt my sole executrix. signed Gabriell Whedlon

In the presence of Nathaniell Vphame, james larnard, michaiah mathews, with others.4 (2) 1654 Jn Vphame and Nathaniell Vpaheme deposed. Invetroy of the goodes, Chattels and Chattell of Gabriell Wheldon lately of the Towne of maulden, prized by Edward Carrington & John Vphame. Amt. L40.11.08. Mentions William Crofts.In the original records the Whelden name is spelled Welden, Welding, Weldon, Wheeling, Wheilden, Whelden, Whelding, Whielding, etc.


4  Apr 1639 – A letter by Katherine Weelden to Mr John Shanvat of Nottingham touching the Death &c. of Martha Weelden of Dedham, Mass. who was Drowned about 12 Dayes before. She was a godly mayde by all probabilites in this letter testified. This letter is the only evidence found that Gabriel Whelden lived at Dedham before moving to Yarmouth (then called Mattacheeset)

The surname Shanvat (or Shamvat) has not been found in English records reviewed. It is possible that the surname was actually Chamlet, and that John “Shanvat” was related to Gabriel’s Uncle Thomas’ wife Christobel [__?__] (Whelden) Hewitt, whose will, mentions a sister Morris Chamlet.

6 Oct 1639 – “Gabriell Wheildon” was “lycensed to dwell at Mattacheese wth the consent of the committes of the place, & to haue land there.”

17 Jun 1641 – The Plymouth Colony Court ordered William Lumpkin and Hugh Tilly to pay “Gabriell Wheildon” fifteen shillings for his third part in their boat that was damaged.

1642 – Gabriel was surveyor of highways for Yarmouth and was reappointed for the same post 1 June 1647.

Bef. 14 May 1648 – Gabriel sold his property in Yarmouth to [our ancestor] Edward STURGIS.  Probably about this time Gabriel moved to Malden, Massachusetts

21 Oct 1653 – Not long before his death, Gabriel and his youngest son John sold to William Crofts of Lynn, Massachusetts, their property in Arnold, Nottinghamshire, England.  All of Gabriel Whelden’s children were baptized at St. Leodegarius Church in Basford,  three miles southwest of Arnold.


All of Gabriel Whelden’s children were baptized at St. Leodegarius Church in Basford, Nottinghamshire,  three miles southwest of Arnold. Both parishes are in Sherwood Forest, just north of Nottingham.

  • Thomas Whelden the sonne of Gabriel Whelden was baptized the first day of ffebruarie [1611/2]
  • Thomas Wilden the sonne of Gabriel Wilden was buryed the 15 of April [1614]
  • Kathren Weelden the daughter of Gabriel Weelden baptized the 6 of march [1616/7]
  • Henry Wheeldon the sonne of Gabriel Wheeldon baptized the one and twentieth day of ffebruarie [1618/9]
  • Mary Wheeldon the daughter of Gabriel Wheeldon [and] Martha Wheeldon the daughter of Gabriel Wheeldon [;] Both of them together baptized the third and twentieth day of December [1621]
  • John Wildon sonne of Gabriel Wildon was baptized the fifth day of November [1623]
  • Ruth Wheelding baptized fifth july the daughter of Gabriel Wheldon [1626
  • John Weelding son of Gabrill baptized 4 Oct 1630

St. Leodegarius Church, Old Basford. It dates from the 1180s but has been heavily restored and rebuilt between 1858 and 1859 by Arthur Wilson, and then when the tower collapsed in 1859, by Thomas Allom. In 1905 a new church of St. Aidan’s Church, Basford was created in the parish.

St. Leodegarius Church, Basford

St. Leodegarius Church, Basford in 1831.   The new tower erected in the Victorian Restoration of 1859-60 is the dominant feature today

St. Leodegarius Church, Basford  (Restored)

St. Leodegarius Church, Basford  (Restored)  The new tower is in Early English style, topped off wtith eight tall pinnacles.  Other alterations in 1859-60 led to a sharply pitched roof, a new north aisle, north porch and clerestory

It is one of only four churches named after St. Leodegarius. The other three are Ashby St Ledgers,Hunston, West Sussex and Wyberton.

2. Katherine Whelden

Katherine’s husband Gyles Hopkins was baptized 30 Jan 1608 Hursley, Hampshire, England. His parents were our ancestors Stephen HOPKINS and Mary [__?__]. His will is dated 5 Mar 1689 Eastham, Plymouth Colony with probate 16 Apr 1690.

In 1637, Giles volunteered to go with his father and brother, Caleb, to fight against the Pequot Indians in 1637. By early 1639, he had moved from Plymouth to Yarmouth on Cape Cod. He and Catherine lived in the first house built by the English on Cape Cod south of Sandwich. Giles was made a surveyor of Highways in Yarmouth in 1643. He moved to Eastham on the Cape in 1644 where he also served as highway surveyor.

Giles signed a will on 19 Jan 1682 and also a codicil to the will dated 5 Mar 1688/89. His will was admitted to probate 16 Apr 1690.

Click here for the Last Will & Testament of Gyles Hopkins, 1682/1683

Children of Katherine and Gyles:

i. Mary Hopkins b: Nov 1640 Yarmouth, Plymouth colony; d. 20 Mar 1700 Eastham, Barnstable, Mass.; Burial:Cove Burying Ground Eastham; m. her cousin Samuel Smith (b. 26 May 1668 Eastham – d. 22 Sep 1692 Eastham) Samuel’s parents were Ralph SMYTH and Grace [__?__]. Samuel and Grace had eight children born between 1667 and 1678.

Early in life, Samuel Smith engaged in the whale and mackerel fishery business, and was very successful at it. Later he was a trader and inn keeper in Eastham. He owned at one time more than a 1000 acres of land, 400 acres being in the South side of the town of Eastham and was known for many years afterwards as the “Smith Purchase.” He also bought two farms in Chatham, Mass, one at Tom’s Neck, comprising a considerable part of the present village of Chatham. His estate at his death was valued at more than 1200 pounds. The inventory shows he was in possession of over fifty head of cattle, 60 sheep and a number of horses. He held various local offices in Eastham, was styled “mister” in the records and Judge Samuel Sewell mentions him in his diary. He has been descrided as a “resolute and determined man.”

It seems Samuel Smith experienced considerable trouble from the law: He sued a Stephen Merrick for unlawfully taking a horse (25 Oct. 1668). The next year he appeared in Plymouth Colony Court to answer suits brought against him, Ralph Smith and Daniel Smith by Josias Cooke. He served as constable of Eastham in 1670 and the next year was sued by Joseph Harding for abuse of his duties in that position. On 7 July 1682 Thomas Clarke Sr of Plymouth sued Samuel Smith of Eastham for unjustly detaining profits of a Cape Cod fishing venture. On the first Tuesday in Oct. 1686 Samuel Smith and John Mayo of Eastham were charged with netting mackerel at Cape Cod in violation of a court order.”

ii. Stephen Hopkins b: Sep 1642 Yarmouth, Plymouth colony; d. 10 Oct 1718 Harwich, Barnstable, Mass.; m1. 23 May 1667 Eastham to Mary Merrick (1650 – 1692); Stephen and Abigail Hopkins married Mary and William Merrick on the same day. The Merrick parents were William Merrick (1602 – 1688) and Rebecca Tracy (1625 – 1686) Stephen and Mary had ten children born between 1667 and 1692. Mary may well have died after giving birth;

m2. 7 Apr 1701 Eastham to Bethiah Linnell (b: 7 Feb 1641 in Barnstable – d. 25 Mar 1726 Harwich) Bethiah’s parents were Robert Linnell and Penninah Howse. Her maternal grandparents were Rev. John HOWSE and Abigail LLOYD. She first married 25 Mar 1664 Eastham to Henry Atkins (b. 1617, England – d. 24 Aug 1700 Eastham)

iii. John Hopkins b: 1643 Yarmouth, Plymouth colony; d. 1643

iv. Abigail Hopkins b: Oct 1644 Eastham, Plymouth Colony; d. 1691; m. 23 May 1667 Eastham to William Merrick b: 15 Sep 1643 Duxbury, Plymouth Colony – 30 Oct 1732 Harwich ) Stephen and Abigail Hopkins married Mary and William Merrick on the same day. The Merrick parents were William Merrick (1602 – 1688) and Rebecca Tracy (1625 – 1686) Abigail and William had eight children between 1668 and 1691.

v. Deborah Hopkins b: Jun 1648 Eastham, Plymouth Colony; d. Bef Dec 1727 Eastham; m. 27 Jul 1668 Eastham to Josiah Cooke (b: 1645 Eastham – d. 31 Jan 1732 Eastham ) Josiah’s parents were Josiah Cooke and Elizabeth Ring.  Some say his grandparents were our ancestors Francis COOKE and Hester le MAHIEU but serious genealogists don’t believe in this connection.  Josiah’s maternal grandparents were our ancestors William RING and Mary DURRANT. Deborah and Josiah had eight children born between 1669 and 1686.

vi. Caleb Hopkins b: Jan 1651 Eastham, Plymouth Colony; d. 22 May 1728 Harwich; m. Mary Williams (b: 1660 Eastham – d. 27 May 1709 Harwich) Mary’s parents were Thomas Williams (b: ~1615) and Elizabeth Tart (b: ~1620). Caleb and Mary had four children born between 1784 and 1709.

vii. Ruth Hopkins b: Jun 1653 Eastham, Plymouth Colony; d. dates given online vary from 1693 to 1738, in Eastham or Harwich; m. 26 May 1681 Eastham to Samuel Mayo (b: 12 Oct 1655 Eastham – d. 29 Oct 1738 Eastham) Samuel’s parents were Nathaniel Mayo and Hannah Prence. His grandparents were Gov. Thomas PRENCE and Patience BREWSTER) Hannah Prence married our ancestor Jonathan SPARROW as his second wife. Ruth and Samuel had seven children born between 1682 and 1696. Later, Samuel married 31 Aug 1728 Eastham to Mary Sweat (b: 1701 Eastham)

viii. Joshua Hopkins b: Jun 1657 Eastham, Plymouth Colony; d. Aug 1738; m. 26 May 1681 Eastham to Mary Cole (b: 10 Mar 1658 Eastham – d. 1 Mar 1733 Eastham) Mary’s parents were Daniel Cole (b: 1614) and Ruth Collier (b: 1627). Joshua and Mary had eight children born between 1684 and 1702.

ix. William Hopkins b: 9 Jan 1660 Eastham, Plymouth Colony

The will of William’s father, Giles, indicates that William was incapacitated physically or mentally, because William’s brother Stephen was required to take care of him decently: “Unto my son Stephen Hopkins and to his heirs forever: and half my stock of cattill for and in consideration of ye above sd Land and half stock of cattel my will is that after my decease my son Stephen Hopkins shall take ye care and oversight and maintaine my son William Hopkins during his natural Life in a comfortable decent manner.”

x. Elizabeth Hopkins b: Nov 1663 Eastham, Plymouth Colony; d. Dec 1663 Eastham

3. Henry Whelden

Henry Wheldon’s wife name is unknown as the records are illegible Some interpret her first name as “Eed” others “Edith”

Henry served in the military in August, 1643 at Yarmouth Barnstable, Mass.  Henry was one of five men of a contingent of fifty who set out from Yarmouth to fight against the Narragansett Indians in August 23, 1645 after their chief, Ningret, attacked the Mohegan Tribe. The United Colonies came to the aid of the Mohegan Tribe. The colonial militia marched to Seekonk and returned home in September, 1645 after the dispute between the two tribes was settled peacefully without the Yarmouth men having to fight. (See my post – Uncas – War with the Narragansetts) Henry served again in the military during the Prince Philip’s War, 1675-1676.

Child of Henry and Eed

i. Sarah Whelden b. 21 June 1650 Yarmouth, Barnstable, Mass.

The Mystery of the Two Richard Taylors of Yarmouth – the “Taylor” and  the “Rock”

There were two contemporaneous Richard Taylors residing in early Yarmouth between 1643 and 1674 (the “tailor” and the “Rock”). I’m going with the theory that they married sisters Mary and Ruth Welden. I’ll try to sort out the children by family, but will present  in a single list.

James W. Hawes, Richard Taylor, Tailor and some of his descendants, Cape Cod Library History & Genealogy, #48, Yarmouthport, MA 1914:

“There were two men in Yarmouth in early times named Richard Taylor, the one, who appears to have been the older, was called Richard Taylor, tailor, from his trade, and the other, Richard Taylor of the Rock, from having built his house near a large rock near the boundary between Hockanom and Nobscusset in the northeastern part of the town.”

Frederick Freeman, The history of Cape Cod : annals of thirteen towns of Barnstable County, Volume II, Boston, MA 1862; Yarmouth chapter, p. 193 (footnote to 1674 death of Mr Richard Taylor):

“There were two contemporary Rd. Taylors. To distinguish them, one was called Rock, from the location of his dwelling; the other Tailor Taylor. We suppose this to have been the latter, and that his children were John, Joseph, Mary, Martha, Elizabeth, Anne, Hannah, and Sarah.” (Ironically, this same source, on p. 182, lists only one Richard Taylor as “liable to bear arms” in Yarmouth in 1643.)

A 1655 lawsuit was brought against Margaret Whelden, widow of Gabriel by four men, two of whom were: Richard Taylor, Taylor and Richard Taylor, Husbandman… [Source: Middlesex Court Files Folio 11; HLS #411 and/or Probate Court, Cambridge, Suffolk County]:

“To the Constable of maulden or his deputie. You are required to attach the body or goods of Margrett Weilden, late widdow of Gabriel Weilden, and to take bond of her to the value of fourscore plus tenn pounds with sufficient suerties for her appearance at the next Court holden at Cambrdge ye wd day of ye 8 mo. 55, then and there to anser ye complaynt of Henry Weilden John Weilden, Rich: Taylor Taylor and Rich: Taylor husbandman for withholding their parts or portions of an estate which their late father Gabriell Weilden was possessor or owner of in his life and soe make a true returne hereof under your hand. Dated the 28 of the 5th mo. 55. By the Court Tho: Starr”

4. Mary Welden (The “Taylor”)

Mary’s husband Richard Taylor was born about 1620 in England. Richard died in 1673 in Yarmouth, Plymouth Colony and his inventory was taken 13 Dec 1673.  No wife is named in his inventory. Named are children John, Joseph, Martha and Mary.

“In [Jan] or Dec 1673, the body of a drowned woman was found in a boat. An inquest in Duxbury identified her as “wife of Richard Taylor, sometimes of Yarmouth”, but the name of the drowned woman is not provided. [Plymouth Colony Records, Volume 5; pp.122-123]” There is evidence but no proof that this was Mary Whelden.

Richard’s estate was treated as though he were a widower.  Whether he died in the same shipwreck as his wife is unclear.

7. Ruth Whelden   (The “Rock”)

Ruth’s husband Richard Taylor was born about 1625 in England. Richard died 1 Aug 1703 in Yarmouth, Barnstable, Mass.  He was presumably called “of the Rock either because his house was  made of stone, or because he lived near the boundary stone between Hockanom and  Nobscusset in the northeastern part of town.  His will is dated 28 Oct 1699 and was proved 6 Oct 1703. He is known as Richard “Rock” Taylor.

The Original Will of Richard Taylor, Written Sep 6 1693 codiciled 1699, proved 1703

Before [our ancestor] Barnabas LOTHROP, Esqu. judge of probate etc. for this County of Barnstable at Barnstable, the will of Richard Taylor, late of Yarmouth, deceased, to whose property annexed (?) was proved, approved, and allowed, who, having while he lived and at the time of his deathk, goods, chattels, rights, and audits in said county. And administration of all and singular the goods, chattels rights and audits of the deceased committed to Richard Taylor, Samuel Eldred (Eldrige), and Elisha Taylor in said will named executors. As in witness thereof, I, the said Barnabas Lothrop, have set my hand and seal of office, October 6th, 1703.”

27 Oct 1646 A Richard Taylor married Ruth, daughter of Gabriel Whelding of Yarmouth, on or closely after 27 Oct 1646 [Source: PCR Volume 2, p. 110: “In the case betweene Gabriell Whelding and Richard Taylor, about his daughter Ruth, the said Gabriell pmiseth his free assent and consent to theire marriage.”]

Same source (Annals of Barnstable Co….) p. 208:] “In 1703… Mr. Richard Taylor died Aug. 1.” Footnote: “Mr. Richard Taylor, called Farmer Rock, to distinguish him from another of the same name, m., prob. Ruth Burgess, and had Ruth, July 29, 1647, d. inf.; Anne 1648; Ruth 1650; Rd. Jan. 9, 1652, who served in the Indian war, 1675; Mehitable 1654; Keziah 1656; Joshua May 9, 1659; Hannah 1661; Elisha Feb. 10, 1664; and Mary 1667.”

Alternatively, Richard married Ruth Burgess.

Children of Mary & Richard  and Ruth & Richard

i. Ruth Taylor (Ruth) b: 29 Jul 1647 Yarmouth, Plymouth Colony; d. 1648 Yarmouth.

ii.  Ann Taylor (Mary) b: 2 Dec 1648 Yarmouth, Plymouth Colony; d. 29 Mar 1650 Yarmouth

iii.  Ruth Taylor (Ruth) b: 11 Apr 1649  Yarmouth, Plymouth Colony; b. Bef. 1674

iv.  Mary Taylor (Mary) b: 1649 or 18 Dec 1640/41  Yarmouth, Plymouth Colony;d. 1 Feb 1718 Mass; m. 1673 in Yarmouth to Abisha Marchant (b. 10 Jan 1651 Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard – d. 1714)  Their daughter Elizabeth Marchant (1681 – 1718) married John WHELDON‘s  son  Thomas Whelden (1660 –Unknown)

v. Martha Taylor (Mary) b: 18 Dec 1650 Yarmouth, Plymouth Colony; d. 28 Jan 1728 Barnstable, Mass.; m. 3 Dec 1676 in Barnstable to Joseph Bearse (b: 25 Jan 1652 Barnstable – d. 28 Jan 1728); Joseph’s parents were Austin Augustine Bearse and Mary “Little Dove” Hyanno

vi. John Taylor (Mary) b: Abt 1652 Yarmouth, Plymouth Colony; Will proved 18 Jan 1722 at Chatham; m. 15 Dec 1674 in Yarmouth to Sarah Matthews (b: 21 Jul 1649 Yarmouth)

vii. Richard Taylor (Ruth) b: 9 Jun 1652  Yarmouth, Plymouth colony; d. 15 Nov 1732 in Yarmouth,; m. ~1670 to Hannah [__?__] (b. 1648 – d. 18 Nov 1733 Yarmouth) Richard and Hannah had at least three children born in Yarmouth between 1683 and 1695.  Some genealogies say they had a son Jasher Taylor (1685 – 1752) , others say that Jasher was a son of Jaspser TAYLOR and Hannah FITZ RANDOLPH

Confirm or deny that the Richard is the same Richard Taylor who married Hannah Rice Ward in Sudbury in October 1677 and had children, recorded as being born in Sudbury between 1678 and 1690.  Served in King Philip’s War.

1703 – Item. I given and bequeath unto my son Richard Taylor about twelve or fourteen acres of my land, be it more or less according to ye bounds wherin mentioned

viii. Mehitable Taylor (Ruth) b: 23 Jul 1654  Yarmouth, Plymouth Colony; m. 29 Dec 1681 in Yarmouth to Jonathan Smith (b: ~1650 Yarmouth)

1703 – Item. I give and bequeath unto my daughter, Mehetabel four pounds.

ix. Elizabeth Taylor (Mary) b: Abt 1655 in Barnstable, Plymouth Colony; d. 4 May 1721  Barnstable; m. 20 Dec 1680 in Barnstable to Samuel Cobb (b: 12 Oct 1654 Barnstable – d. 7 Sep 1727 Burial: Cobb’s Hill Cemetery  Barnstable)

x. Keziah Taylor (Ruth) b: 18 Feb 1655 Yarmouth, Plymouth Colony; d. 20 Mar 1733 Yarmouth; m. 6 Feb 1681 Yarmouth to Samuel Eldridge (b: 1655 in Yarmouth – d. 3 Jan 1706 Yarmouth) Samuel’s parents were William Eldredge (1622 – 1679) and   Anne Lumpkin  (__ – 1676)

1703 – Item. I give and bequeath unto my daughter, Keziah Eldridge, four pounds.

1703 – Item. I give and bequeath unto my grandson, Samuel Eldridge, twenty shillings.

xi. Hannah Taylor (Mary) b: 1658 or 17 Sep 1649 Yarmouth , Plymouth Colony; d. 14 May 1743 Barnstable, Mass; m. 19 Jul 1680 to Deacon Job Crocker (b: 9 Mar 1645 Barnstable)

xii. Ann Taylor (Mary) b: Abt 1659 Yarmouth, Plymouth colony; d. Aft 1679; m. 25 Jun 1679 to Josiah Davis (b: Sep 1656  Barnstable)

xiii.  Jasher Taylor (Ruth)  b: 9 May 1659 or 9 Aug 1653 Yarmouth, Plymouth colony

xiv. Joseph Taylor (Mary) b: ~1660 Yarmouth, Plymouth colony; d. 13 Sep 1727 Marshfield, Mass; m. 25 Apr 1684 Experience Williamson; of Marshfield

xv. Sarah Taylor (Mary) b: ~1662 in Yarmouth, Plymouth colony; d. 31 Jul 1695 in Barnstable; Unmarried

xvi.  Hannah Taylor (Ruth) b: 17 Sep 1661 Yarmouth, Plymouth colony; m. Job Jenkins (b: ~1658)

1703 – Item. I give and bequeath unto my daughter, Hanah Jenkins, twenty shillings, if she come for it, but not else. And if she doth not come for it within two years after my decease, I do give it equally to my two other daughters, Mehetable and Keziah

xvii. Elisha Taylor (Ruth) b: 10 Feb 1664 Yarmouth, Plymouth colony; d. 3 Feb 1740 Yarmouth; m. Rebecca [__?__] ( b: ~1665 Yarmouth)

1703 – And… my will is that my said son, Elisha (Tailor) Taylor, shall pay the sums in currant pay within two years after my decease.

xviii. Mary Taylor (Ruth) b: 12 Jun 1667 Yarmouth, Plymouth colony

8. John WHELDON  (See his page)



The suggestion that Gabriel’s wife Margaret was an American Indian is discussed (and disproved) in Donald Lines Jacobus, “Austin Bearse and His Alleged Indian Connections,” The American Genealogist 15 (1938–39):111–18 at 114–15.

This entry was posted in 12th Generation, Immigrant - England, Line - Shaw, Pioneer, Public Office and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Gabriel Wheldon

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  9. Lynn Keller says:

    Please contact me. I have a map for you for Gabriel Wheldon.
    Your work is just wonderful. Thank you.

  10. Stephanie says:

    Just stumbled upon this while doing some research into my ancestry. Last year I discovered I’m a descendant of Gabriel Wheldon. This is a fascinating site you have – thank you for posting this!

  11. Sue Atkins says:

    Thank you for posting this information! I believe you have erroneously given Gabriel Wheldon’s year of birth as 1690 rather than 1590. Will share possible other error when I hear from you.
    Your cousin, Sue

  12. Pingback: Favorite Posts 2013 | Miner Descent

  13. Jean Duer Ashe says:

    Very good article… Cuzzin Jean Duer Ashe

  14. Glenn McLean says:

    You show John Wheldon as being born in England in 1830. Mother is Jane and he married Mary Follard. On John’s page you show him as being born in 1630 in Yarmouth with a mother of Margaret. Wife being the same. Elsewhere you indicate the Gabrial came to the Colony in 1638. Can you explain the differences?

  15. Adam Drexler says:

    Thanks for posting the maps of Barnstable, this family has always been an interest. Noticed a few others besides John in Salem during the witch Trials. The enigma around Gabriel is when he got here. No evidence on any of the Lyons Whelp ships in 1629 as a fisherman or in 1638. We know he sold his blacksmith interests March 1638 and granted permission to settle in Matachee September of 1638. We know he came with his kids from England. John would have been about 15. Would love to solve the mystery of how they got here

  16. Pingback: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. Week 8: Courting. My Ancestor Mary Wheldon Taylor. Her Life and Death. | Anna's Musings & Writings

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