My name is Donna Marie Wheeler. As most of you have seen through the initial email I sent out back in December 2005, am a direct descendant of Thomas Wheeler, one of the founding fathers of Stonington, Connecticut.
Since forth or fifth grade, my father would make mention about one of our ancestors being a signer of the Magna Carta; it was signed in 1215. Another story was that an ancestor had to hide his wife and baby in the trunk of a tree while he attempted to fight off Indians somewhere between Stonington, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. Both of those stories had intrigued me so much that there was no other way to find out about them; I had to dive into genealogy. I had no idea of how far and long I had to "dive". It has taken many years since I started my research, but there was such a drive in me to find out about each of these stories. I had to dive deeper. Due to this, I found many lines of family members that brought me closesr to the end goal; or so I thought. The stories were true and correct. I was hooked! It was documented in black and white throughout many books, web sites and a ton of online research. I decided to "note" my findings with other larger families through a book my couisn wrote, Richard Anson Wheeler, "History of Stonington Connecticut 1649-1900". I made contact with a number of "family" member web sites that cover these "distant cousins". I just had to let them know that some of these sources of information, even my cousin, Richad Anson Wheeler, wrote about were totally and completely incorrect. Throughout the years, I have come across some amazing stories in just about all the founding families, including my ancestor who signed the Magna Carta. I will never have my lines researched enough, go to cemeteries enough or ask elder family members of what they remember.
In 2002 I moved to France with my now ex- husband due to his occupation. It was quite interesting to live in another culture, I thoroughly enjoyed the two years that I lived there. I continue to have pangs of living there again. We traveled through out France, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Italy, and many of other countries. One place in particular that I will never get over and was such a special treat, was going to England. We traveled to a few certain places "back home", one in particular was to see where the Magna Carta was signed, Runnymede. There is nothing there, as far as the field goes, but I felt such a connection. There are two memorials there, one is a monument from the American Bar Association for the Magna Carta, the other, for President John F. Kennedy.
I purchased a book that confirmed the family stories of my ancestor signing the Magna Carta. I had hit pay dirt. What a thrill!
I'm still working on this page and many more at the same time. I'll continue to add when I can find some more TIME!