1999—The Permanent Contagion:
Family History
Now, I knew that we had Wheeler ancestors who had been prominent in early “Mormon” pioneer history, but I boinged particularly on the Munroe part. Many of the signs in Lexington that don’t say “Minute Man”1 say “Munroe:” it’s a big Lexington pioneer family. Gee, thought I, wouldn’t it be fun if we were related to the Munroes of Lexington? MunroeTavern
Munroe Tavern
So, next morning, I bicycled a couple of miles up Mass Ave to Lexington Center and its Cary Public Library, walked into and across the Lexington Room, extended a hand, and pulled down a copy of Richard S. Munroe’s 1966 book, History and Genealogy of the Lexington, Massachusetts Munroes. Opened it in the middle and learned instantly that Hepzibah Munroe, my fifth great-grandmother, was a great-granddaughter of William “The Immigrant” Munroe, a founding settler of what was then called (until 1715) Cambridge Farms. So, ALL the Lexington Munroes, including several participants on Lexington Green, and the only officer who died there, are MY COUSINS!

Within a month and a half, with the help of TempleReady, a computer-based clearance system (cranky, but a great improvement over what Mammy had to deal with, and since then rendered obsolete by Family Search), I had cleared for Temple work 3,888 descendants of my eighth great-grandpa William Munroe. So much for my terrifying assignment to clear 35.

1There were, of course, NO minute men on Lexington Green, for the good reason that the Lexington Town Meeting, like some neighboring communities, chose to ignore the Provincial Congress’ order in 1774 to form a minute company. Towns still have a lot of autonomy, in Massachusetts.
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