Was Dorothy Wheatley Bliss really dau of Frank of Maiden Newton? Or John of Daventry?

+3 votes

WikiTree currently, and many online trees, list Dorothy (Wheatley) Bliss as the daughter of Frank Wheatleigh of Maiden Newton, Dorset.  Wheatley baptisms  including a Dorothy, are listed in Genealogy of the Wheatley Family 1902, pp. 12-13, but this book says nothing about Dorothy marrying a Bliss or anyone else. (According to the note on Dorothy's profile, the book's hint that Mary (Fiennes) Wheatleigh was Dorothy's mother is baseless.)

Do the Maiden Newton baptism records actually exist?  What's the primary source for them?

Is there proof that this Dorothy Wheatleigh/Wheatley is the same Dorothy Wheatley who married Thomas Bliss (later emigrant to Braintree and Rehoboth) in 1614 in Daventry, Northamptonshire?  There might be, I just haven't seen it.

On the other hand, Hoppin's Bliss Book 1913, p. 158-9, gives Dorothy's father as John Wheatlye, mercer, who is recorded in Daventry in 1615, served as bailiff in 1619, and is further recorded there in 1617, 1623, 1626, 1629, 1631, and 1634.

The Bliss Book has some serious problems as outlined by the respected Donald Lines Jacobus in Hale, House and Related Families 1952, pp. 476-7.  But Hoppin's parish and town records are well-researched - it's his interpretation of certain records that is sketchy.

John Wheatlye of Daventry is more thoroughly documented in records of the time than most of the Blisses in the Bliss Book, and like many members of the Bliss family, he's a prominent mercer.  This gives us a good explanation as to how/why a Wheatley daughter might have met and married a Bliss son.  Meanwhile, the records for Frank Wheatleigh are in Maiden Newton, which is nowhere near Daventry, and no theory is offered to explain how/why that Dorothy got from one town to the other or how she would have crossed paths with Thomas Bliss.

In other words, there appears to be a lot better evidence for Dorothy being the daughter of John Wheatlye of Daventry than of Frank Wheatleigh of Maiden Newton.  And even that evidence is pretty thin, since no actual records connect her to John either.

It seems to me that if the evidence for John isn't solid enough to link him as Dorothy's parent on WikiTree, then the evidence for Frank definitely isn't, in which case all her parents should be detached.


(While we're at it, is there any actual evidence for Dorothy's death or burial?  I've seen 1631 in Daventry thrown around with 1646 in Rehoboth and I believe both are bogus.  1646 surely came from someone forgetting to copy the word "before", since Thomas' 1647 will doesn't name her.)

Thanks everyone!

WikiTree profile: Dorothy Bliss
in Genealogy Help by Cheryl Hammond G2G6 Mach 2 (24.8k points)

Oh ho.  The disputed Fiennes parentage would connect the alleged Frank Wheatleigh family to a wishful-thinking royal pedigree.  No wonder some enterprising Bliss descendant felt motivated to link Dorothy to them.

That's the last nail in the coffin for that theory, in my view.

1 Answer

+6 votes
Best answer

Just to answer part of your question. Baptisms for 1591 are missing from the Maiden Newton register. The register as bound today suggests that these dates were never entered. The bottom left hand page ends with 1579. The top right hand page with 1592 (and it really looks like a double page rather than two loose pages.

see https://www.wikitree.com/photo.php/b/b8/Snippetts-5.png

But note the book cited doesn't say baptised in Maiden Newton, just that the father lived there.

Edit spent a little while looking for these people from  https://archive.org/stream/genealogyofwheat00whea#page/12/mode/2up and just didn't find anything . I might have missed something, but I'm not usually that bad at finding things.

There is no Tingsboro or anything like it in Somerset (Timsbury is the nearest) There is a Tyngsborough in Massachusetts

Cannot find this family in any of the visitations of Somerset as published (they are supposed to be there) He wouldn't have found them at Somerset House in any case.

Nor in Volume 1 of the Genealogist

Maiden Newton does exist,  but p12  quotes the will of John Wheatleigh d 1609  suggesting that he holds the manor of Maiden Newton.  Hutchins has quite an extensive section on the parish but no Wheatleigh  or anything like it (see volume 2, in particular p 684 which refers to the consolidated Manor from 1589 (Eliz 32) onwards)

 I looked for the  2  PCC wills  mentioned on p11 and 14 in the National archives, again nil result .eg, there is supposed to be the will of a Lady Precilla Throgmorton Wheatleigh , 1630  and Skynner is mentioned..Presumably this means the Skynner quire, there were 2  but date from 1627. I checked them anyhow no Priscillas, Prisilla, Prisila, Precilla. No Throgmortons or Throckmortons, Definitely no  Wheatleigh or Wheatley or Whately

I gave up!  (and wonder if there is any truth in the early pages of this book)

by Helen Ford G2G6 Pilot (376k points)
selected by Cheryl Hammond
More success in Northamptonshire

 Daventry Parish Register 1560-1630

 1614, image 18

Thomas Blisse and Dortity Wheatle both of this p'isse married the 25th of November

Register 1630-1700

1631 (image 71)

Dorothy Bliss wife of Thom burid May 10

Note on next page  in 1632, one of the Churchwardens was Thomas Bliss

1632 marriages (image 133)

Thomas Blisse & Abigail Southam both of this parish

doesn't seem to be indexed on Ancestry, day faded and not  legible, date betweeen 13 and 17 Feb 1632/3

Note in 1637 the minister signing the page is a John Wheatly (but there seem to be a lot of different ministers, suspect probably curates and ministers from elsewhere with an absentee vicar/rector)
YOU ARE A WIZARD. I don't even understand the skills you used to find those records and decipher the handwriting. I am not worthy. :) :) :)

"both of this parish" seems conclusive as well.

Thank you!!
Done: spurious parents detached, profile updated with explanation and our sources. I did not add John Wheatley as a parent because I don't think he's proven either, just more likely.

Dorothy and Thomas have a few surplus children attached that I have not seen in any Bliss records, but I do not have the energy to go research and clean them up at this time.

PGM: does Dorothy need a PPP to prevent reattaching inappropriate parents? (Thomas Bliss emigrated by 1642 and she's his spouse.) I leave it to your good judgment. :)
Thanks Cheryl and Helen, I've added a ppp to the profile and also the project account. It's a little tricky since she's not PGM, but I added a note.
But what should be done about  Frank's profile?  I doubt his existence.

The more I look at the book source used for this family the more I am convinced that at least the English part of it is a complete fiction.

Today I looked up a couple of clergymen mentioned, a few pages further on.  Both were supposed to have Oxford degrees but weren't in alumni Oxoniensis. (Ok that isn't  complete)  Both were supposed to be rectors but they don't appear on the lists of clergy from the CCED  for the parishes concerned (the lists aren't complete either but in both cases there was another clergyman in place at the dates stated)
Perhaps you should start a new thread about Frank, to get the attention of other England researchers and the fraud folks (add the tag fraud).  Or... Place {{Uncertain Existence}} at the top. Summarize what the book says. Add what you didn't find that the book claims to be true.

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