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  • Thomas Wheeler and the Olive Branch

    Raymond David Wheeler

    Published Date : December 1987
     In my “John Jones’s Widow” (NEXUS 1[l984]: 44), I posed the question about the prenuptial relationship of John Jones’s widow to her second husband, John Wheeler.  Now I have placed that relationship into a fabric displaying the powerful appeal of the name “Olive” among descendants of Olive, wife of Cutler Overton, grandmother of the Olive Irby atop the chart.  Our purpose is to identify the wife of one of Thomas Wheeler’s descendants.  Who was Sarah, wife of Thomas Wheeler’s great-great-grandson Jonathan Wheeler? Was she one of those on “the Olive Branch”?

    An Olive branch extends down from Asa Douglas, founder of Hancock, Berkshire County, Massachusetts, a town which split into Stephentown, Rensselaer County, New York.  Douglas is better known, however, as the great-grandfather of Lincoln’s debater, Senator Stephen Arnold Douglas from Springfield, Illinois.  This branch seems to spring from the wife of Asa Douglas, rather than from the Douglas kinfolk back at Plainfield, Connecticut, who were clearly affixed to the Olive branch.  Asa Douglas married at Concord, Massachusetts, Jonathan Wheeler’s eldest daughter, Rebecca.  They extended an Olive branch to their daughter Olive, wife of General Samuel Sloane, from whence it grew.  But it is the naming of Rebecca’s sister Olive that suggests extension of the Olive branch by way of their mother Sarah, wife of Jonathan Wheeler.

    Who gave Sarah her “Olive Branch”?
    Thomas Wheeler and the Olive Branch

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