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Here’s the line of descent from our distinguished 10GGF John Prescott to 5GGF Oliver Wheeler II. Grandpa John had quite a story. Lots of people have written about it. Cheryl Haas has collected and posted some fascinating details, from a variety of sources.
Briefly, it appears that John Prescott, blacksmith, was born in Lancashire in England around 1604. He married Mary Platts there and soon emigrated to escape religious persecution. They had four children (including our 9GGF Richard Wheeler’s wife, our 9GGM Sarah) in England or perhaps in Barbados, on their way to take up residence in Watertown in 16401. Two more kids came along while they lived there.
Five years or so later, he left with the founding party of Lancaster, in what is now Worcester County, Massachusetts, naming the new settlement after Prescott’s English home (the General Court having refused permission to call it Prescott for fear of “man-worship”). One more child, Jonas, was born there, despite continuing deadly warfare with the Indians, who destroyed the town completely in 1676, “…and the town was wholly abandon. for sev. yrs. so that no white man liv. betw. the towns on Conn. riv. and those of the Concord.”2 The Prescotts were back in residence in Lancaster by 1682. The date of John’s death is conjectural and disputed.
1A full decade, you’ll have noticed, after Richard Saltonstall. Despite which, he rates Founder status on the Monument.
2Genealogical Dictionary of New England Settlers, Vol. 3, Pg.480.

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