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Oliver and Abigail
These are Granny Hepzibah’s in-laws: the parents of her husband Oliver Wheeler II
“of Acton,” who married his neighbor Hepzibah Munroe
“ of Billerica” in 1773 and moved to Hillsborough, New Hampshire, in 1778.

This is 6GGF Oliver Wheeler I (1722-1804). He was apparently the second of our Wheeler line to make his home in this northern corner of Acton that later became southwestern Carlisle.

As the site of his grave, Acton has a strong claim on Oliver. So has Lancaster, where he was born. It appears, though not yet conclusively, that his homestead was in the District of Carlisle, by the time he died. Folks there are proud of him, too.

I used to believe that he was probably the “Oliver Wheeler of Acton” whose sword, “worn by him April 19, 1775,” was displayed at the centennial of the Lexington-Concord alarm. Now it appears that this must have been his son, our 5GGF Oliver II. Explains why, on every patriotic occasion, the veterans decorate the son’s New Hampshire grave but not this one.


Abigail Woods (1726-1786) was daughter to (7GGP) Samuel Woods III of Groton, Middlesex County, and Patience Bigelow. It is through the New England pioneer ancestry of Samuel’s mother (8GM) Hannah Farwell that we’re descended from the Plantagenets and therefore, in common with a goodly fraction of the inhabitants of Western Europe) from the alarmingly-prolific Charlemagne.

(6G) Grandpa Oliver I clearly prospered in Acton: Grandma Abigail’s stone is large and elegantly tooled in early post-Puritan style. Has to have cost him a bundle.

Oliver lived 18 years as Abigail’s widower. Her epitaph expresses a lot more of a classical memento-mori Puritan attitude than does his. The winged human face surmounting her stone catches in flight a transition from the Puritan winged death’s-head to the 19th-century urns and willows on Oliver’s.
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Updated Jul 2020
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