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On 6 March 1815, Essex Deputy Sheriff William Mansfield sold to Lewis Tappan and George Searle of Boston the Wheelers’ right in equity to the property. It fetched ten dollars at public auction. The formal deed2 certifying the transfer refers to Oliver in the third person only; I conclude that the family had moved away by then. By 1820, they are residents of Farmington, Ontario County, New York.

By 1820, it’s clear that Oliver and Hannah Wheeler had left Salem, “removing” to Farmington, joining a sizable migration to that area, where the construction of the Erie Canal was spawning many employment opportunities and boosting the economy generally.1

1The family of Vermont-born Joseph Smith found itself in a similar situation, by the way. Joseph, the founding prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was aged 11 in 1816, when the Smiths responded to successive crop failures by moving from Vermont to nearby Palmyra. Where, over the next few years, the saga of the “Mormons” had its historic beginning, with our kin in the very center of the action.
2Essex County Deeds, Book 206, leaves 181-182
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