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The Wheatley Connection

Open Book

One of the many family history puzzles to be solved is the parentage of the Mary Fienes who married Frank Wheatleigh.   Their daughter, Dorothy Wheatley, married Thomas Blisse on November 22, 1614 at Holy Cross Church in Daventry, Northampton. This Thomas is the emigrant ancestor to Rehoboth, MA.  

In the book, Genealogy of the Wheatley or Wheatleigh Family by Hannibal P. Wheatley, M.D., (1902) the author states that Dorothy Wheatley is the granddaughter of the Thomas (Fiennes) Lord Dacre who was executed in 1541.  Several sources agree that this Thomas (Fiennes) Lord Dacre and his wife, Mary Neville (daughter of George (Neville) Lord Dacre and his third wife) had three children:  Thomas Fiennes who died at age 15 in 1553, Gregory (Fiennes) Lord Dacre, and Margaret Fiennes. When Gregory (Fiennes) Lord Dacre died without issue in 1594, his sister Margaret (Fiennes-Lennard) inherited Hurstmonceaux and the Barony.  The title then passed down through the Lennard/Leonard family. 

If Mary Fienes is indeed the granddaughter of Thomas (Fiennes) Lord Dacre and his wife, Mary Neville, then who are her parents?  Is Mary perhaps a child of Thomas, Gregory's unmarried brother, who died at age 15, or is she an illegitimate child of Gregory's?

 Margaret (Fiennes) Lennard and her husband Sampson Lennard are the parents of Thomas Leonard (1577-1638) who married Lydia White. This Leonard line is connected with the descendents of Thomas Bliss of Hartford and will be featured at a later date.