back Oliver III and Hannah Wheeler in Salem next
About 1805, toddler Harriet (one can’t help wondering what sort of a handful she may have been as a two-year-old) began forty-plus years of major personal and familial mobility, as she accompanied her young parents to Salem, Hannah’s home town, where they moved in with the Ashbys.
In 1808 (26 February, for $587.50), the Wheelers purchased1 from Hannah’s brother 5GU George Ashby (1784-1850) and his wife 5GA Nancy (Hartwell 1789-1873) an undivided equal share of George’s houselot and the eastern half of his house, located in a new development area styled (then and now) Salem’s “Northlands.”

The neighborhood looks like this, nowadays: a rather gritty residential area of double- and
triple-decker tenements, about a hundred years too new to have been shared by the Ashbys and the Wheelers, with the city’s largest cemetery (unsurprisingly, the “North Cemetery”) just across North Street to the north.2

The deeds describe both George and Oliver as “housewrights.” Wonder whether George “got Oliver a job” in the building trades, or whether that was already his line of work in Hillsborough.
1Essex County Deeds, Book 182, leaves 219-220
2I spent my 61st birthday (15 February 2002) poking around Salem in the hope of finding primary records about the Wheelers—maybe even their graves. I knew they’d moved there, and I had a copy of the 1808 deed. This report summarizes what I found.

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