MIRIAM HAWLEY WHEELER
Some sources claim Miriam Hawley to be Joseph Hawley’s sister, although Elias Sill Hawley was not supportive of this claim in THE HAWLEY RECORD.
Miriam married Moses Wheeler, probably in New Haven, and moved with him to Stratford. The records indicate that Moses was in Stratford in 1648, at least one to years prior to the earliest record of Joseph Hawley there.
Moses and Miriam are buried there in the Old Congregational Burying Ground. The location happens to be on the other side of the cemetery from Joseph, but not so far from some of Joseph’s childrens’ graves.
Moses was a carpenter who built ships. One wonders if perhaps he participated in the building of the John and Esther for Joseph Hawley. What is certain is that they would have been contemporaries and familiar with each other.
Moses Wheeler, of New Haven, Conn., died March 1, 1698, aged 100, and was buried in the churchyard of the Old Congregational Church at Stratford, Conn. Married Miriam Hawley. It is said that he came from Kent, England, his ancestors having originally lived in Hertfordshire, and that he came to New Haven from London in 1638, probably with the New Haven Company. He was among the first to receive an allotment of land at New Haven in 1643.
The date of his removal to Stratford is not known, but he was living there in 1648 when the privilege of the ferry across the Housatonic River was granted to him by the General Court. He was a ship carpenter by trade, and, in addition to building vessels, engaged in farming the lands of which he was an extensive owner, and he be came one of the leading and influential men of Stratford.
In 1670, the town leased to ” Moses Wheeler, ship carpenter, the ferry with thirty or forty acres of upland and six of meadow joining to the ferry, for 21 years, without tax or rate, except sixpence per annum during said lease,” and the inhabitants were to be ” ferried over for one half-penny per person, and two pence per horse and beast.”
About ten years before his death he gave most of his property to his children: to Moses Jr., Samuel and Jacob Walker he gave the tract near Derby that he had bought from the Indians about forty years before, and by his will dated Feb. 19, 1689-90, his son Samuel received the homestead and all pertaining to it. This homestead, according to Samuel’s will of Nov. 30, 1689, lay “at ye upper end of ye upper Island,” probably in the Housatonic.