2002: Followup At NEHGS
Four days later, February 19, I followed up at 99-101 Newbury Street, in Boston’s Back Bay, the headquarters and superb library of the New England Historic Genealogical Society. Where, without undue strain, I obtained images of the deed that Grandpa Oliver and his brother-in-law George Ashby filed to set up their construction and joint occupancy of the house in the Northlands. Also a second deed, only months later, by which they dissolved that partnership, leaving Oliver as sole proprietor while George and Nancy “removed” with their children to New Hampshire. Also a mortgage, by which Oliver financed the buy-out. And finally the sheriff’s report of the liquidation at auction of Oliver’s residual equity in the place, after the Wheelers decamped in 1815, defaulting on their mortgage.
Armed with this new understanding about the Wheelers’ unsuccessful episode in Salem, I proceeded to incorporate the stories and photographs into the Section I’ve called “OliverAndHannah”. Now we feel we know why the Wheelers sought new opportunities under pioneer circumstances in upstate New York, where OliverAndHannah would struggle through the remainder of their lives and eventually achieve home ownership. We also feel we have a handle on interpersonal circumstances that may have militated against Oliver’s passing along to his children his glorious family history.
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