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Reverend Ralph Wheelock

Male 1600 - 1683  (82 years)


Personal Information    |    Media    |    Notes    |    Event Map    |    All    |    PDF

  • Name Ralph Wheelock 
    Title Reverend 
    Born 14 May 1600  Donnington, Shropshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Immigration / Naturalization 6 May 1630  Dedham, Norfolk, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Ralph was educated at Cambridge University, Clare Hall. He obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1626. On 6 May 1630, he was ordained priest by Francis White, Bishop of the Norfolk, England Diocese. In 1631 he earned his Master of Arts degree.

    At that time, Cambridge was the center of the dissenting religious movement that gave rise to Puritanism. The persecution of those with Puritan beliefs ran high during this period, which undoubtedly motivated Rev. Wheelock to leave England for the new world.

    Rev. Wheelock, his wife Rebecca, and at least three children sailed for the Massachusetts Bay Colony in about 1635. Some historians have suggested that Rebecca gave birth to a daughter aboard ship, but no definitive proof is available. 
    Biographical Information 1635  Dedham, Norfolk, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Reverend Ralph Wheelock became one of the signatories of the Deedham Town Covenant. 
    Dedham Covenant.
    Dedham Covenant.
    As the original Massachusetts Bay colonies grew in population many of the residents sought to branch out. The first town meeting was held August 18, 1636. 125 men signed their name to the town Covenant. They swore that they would "in the fear and reverence of our Almighty God, mutually and severally promise amongst ourselves and each to profess and practice one truth according to that most perfect rule, the foundation whereof is ever lasting love.
    Dedham Covenant Signatures.
    Dedham Covenant Signatures.
    Dedham Covenant Signatures.
    Ralph Wheelock Signature.
    Ralph Wheelock Signature.
    Ralph Wheelock Signature.
    Occupation Although Rev. Wheelock was an ordained minister, his greater inclinations were toward teaching, which he did with great fervor and in various capacities throughout his life. Though the records are sketchy, it is likely that Rev. Wheelock was the first public school teacher in America. On 1 Feb 1644 a Dedham town meeting voted for the first free school in Massachusetts, to be supported by town taxes. Rev. Ralph Wheelock was the first teacher at this school. Three years later, in 1647, the General Court decreed that every town with 50 families or more must build a school supported by public taxes. 
    1st Schoolhouse.
    1st Schoolhouse.
    Drawing of the first free public Schoolhouse made from historical specifications.
    Died 18 Jan 1683  Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Medfield Deaths 240.
    Medfield Deaths 240.
    "Vital Records of Medfield Massachusetts to the Year 1850" by the New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, Massachusetts 1903. Page 240.
    Buried Vine Lake Cemetery, Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I219  Nagel
    Last Modified 23 Jan 2017 

    Father Joseph Wheelock,   b. 17 Oct 1563, Donnington, Shropshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 11 Sep 1639, Biddulph, Staffordshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 75 years) 
    Relationship Birth 
    Mother Elizabeth Rogers,   b. Abt 1568, Nesse Strenger, Shropshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Relationship Birth 
    Married 3 May 1595  Donnington, Shropshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F1176  Group Sheet

    Family Rebecca Clarke,   b. Abt 1610, Norfolk, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1 Jan 1680, 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 
    Children 
     1. Mary Wheelock,   c. 2 Sep 1631, Banham, Norfolk, England Find all individuals with events at this location
     2. Gershom Wheelock,   c. 3 Jan 1632, Eccles, Norfolk, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 28 Nov 1684, Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 52 years)
     3. Rebecca Wheelock,   c. 24 Aug 1634, Eccles, Norfolk, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 28 Nov 1667, Roxbury, Suffolk, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 33 years)
     4. Peregrina Wheelock,   b. Abt 1637,   d. 1 Apr 1671, Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 34 years)
     5. Benjamin Wheelock, Sr,   b. 8 Jan 1639, Dedham, Norfolk, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt 1720, Mendon, Worcester, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 80 years)
     6. Samuel Wheelock,   b. 22 Sep 1642, Dedham, Norfolk, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 23 Oct 1698, Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 56 years)
     7. Record Wheelock,   b. 15 Dec 1644, Dedham, Norfolk, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 26 Jul 1726  (Age 81 years)
     8. Experience Wheelock,   b. Abt 1648,   d. 27 Feb 1710, Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 62 years)
     9. Eleazar 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)
    Family ID F78  Group Sheet