Nielsen Hayden genealogy

Rev. Ralph Wheelock

Male - 1684


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  • Name Ralph Wheelock  [1
    Prefix Rev. 
    Gender Male 
    Died 11 Jan 1684  Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 3
    Person ID I23201  Ancestry of PNH, TNH, and others | Ancestor of DDB
    Last Modified 22 Nov 2020 

    Family Rebecca Clarke,   b. Bef 26 Aug 1610,   d. 1 Jan 1681, Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age > 70 years) 
    Married 17 May 1630  Wramplingham, Norfolk, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Children 
    +1. Capt. Eleazer Wheelock,   b. 3 May 1654, Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 24 Mar 1731, Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 76 years)
    Last Modified 27 Jan 2019 
    Family ID F13960  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • A founder of Dedham and the founder of Medfield.

      "On 1 February 1644 a Dedham town meeting voted for the first free (public) school in Massachusetts, to be supported by town taxes. Ralph Wheelock was the first teacher at this school, and hence the first tax-supported public school teacher in the colonies. Three years later, in 1647, the General Court decreed that every town with 50 or more families must build a school supported by public taxes." [Wikipedia]

      "RALPH WHEELOCK, A.M., b. Shropshire, England, 1600; Clare Hall, Cambridge, A.B., 1626/7; A.M., 1631; ordained deacon by the Bishop of Peterborough, Sept. 20, 1629; came to New England, 1637; resided first at Watertown and Dedham; a founder of the First Church in Dedham, 1638; Deputy to the General Court, 1639, 1640, from Dedham; preached at Dedham and Medfield; admitted freeman, 1638; founder of Medfield, 1650; Rep. General Court from Medfield, 1653, 1663, 1664, 1666, and 1667; appointed, Sept. 27, 1642, by the General Court, Clerk of the writs, and one of the commissioners to end small causes, in Dedham; authorized to 'solemnize marriages,' Oct. 1645; great-grand-father of Rev. Eleazer Wheelock, D.D., founder and first president of Dartmouth College who was the father of Rev. John Wheelock, D.D., the second president of Dartmouth College ; d. Medfield, Jan 11, 1683/4, a. 84." [The Colonial Clergy and the Colonial Churches of New England by Frederick Lewis Weis. Lancaster, Massachusetts, 1936.]

      Note that no proof has been found that he was born in Shropshire, and that the records of Cambridge University show him beginning his studies there in 1623, which suggests he was more likely born about 1605.

  • Sources 
    1. [S4089] Richard Bowen (1594?-1675), of Rehoboth, Massachusetts, and His Descendants, volume 1, by William B. Saxbe, Jr. Hope, Rhode Island: Rhode Island Genealogical Society, 2011.

    2. [S2929] Vital Records of Medfield, Massachusetts to the Year 1850. Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1903.

    3. [S3018] Christopher Gleason Clark, "The English Ancestry of Joseph Clarke (1613-1683) of Dedham and Medfield, Massachusetts." The New England Historical and Genealogical Register 152:3, Jan 1998.