Wheelock’s in Western Australia

We arrive at the 6th of Blog and a change of pace from Latin America and United Kingdom, my research has also to taken me to Western Australia where most Australian Wheelock’s originate.

I will return to the Origins of Wheelock in the next blog but it has taken me longer to write up. This an extract of the research which I am just starting to build a picture but it will take me sometime.

We do know the two migrants came from Ireland and settled in the Colony of Western Australia, previously known as the Swan River Colony in 1839.

Extract taken from “The Bicentennial Dictionary of Western Australians Pre 1829-1888”

WHEELOCK, John, b. County Wexford, Ireland c.1822, d 4.12.1888 (Chapman Bay district), arr 20.4.1839 per Hindoo  with brother (George or James), m 3.6.1840 (Perth) Elizabeth Matilda BARRON, dtr of Edward & Jane, d 21.1.1866 (Ellen).  Chd Isaac b August1842, Edward b July 1844 (d May 1846), John Boxwell b April 1845 & bp 1845, John b July 1847, Jane Pearson b June 1848 d 1934, Samuel b August1850 (Toodyay), James b 1852, Elizabeth Matilda b 1853 d 1938.  Farmer & grazier, tenant at Toodyay 1840’s & 1850’s at “Roesland”.  Greenough, Champion Bay 1860’s.

WHEELOCK, Charles Thomas, B 6th of January 1858 Toodyay, d 15.5.1916,  m 16.6.1885 (Carnarvon) Jessie Nevin McJANNET.  Chd Elizabeth b 1886 d 1964 ((carnarvon owned drapery store), Darcy, Gerald d 1964 Shepherd at Irwin, drover  of flocks into Gascoyne district.  In patnership with C J Gooch, established “Wandagee Station” 1880.  Was at meeting there when 1st Gascoyne Rd. Bd. was formed 1882.  To Carnarvon, built “Red House” 1883.  Town council employee as well  at station manager, town butcher, Presbyt.

WHEELCOK, Edmond, son of John & Elizabeth (nee BARRON), m 1st 23.5.1883 (RC Geraldton) Margaret HENNESSY b 1864, dtr of Loughlan, m. 2nd 26.1.1888 Rosanna Agnes Mcdonnell B 2.6.1864 d. 22.1.1906, dtr of John & Ellen (nee McCABE).  Droverr & labourer Mt Magnet.

WHEELOCK, Edward, b 1854 m Mary Ann b 1854.  Chd Veronica Maud b 1891 d 1891 (Champion Bay district).  Mounted Police Constable Albany 1879-1884.  Transferred to Bunbury 10.9.1884, resigned 1.2.1885 having been appointed to “Mt Wittenoom”.

WHEELOCK, Elizabeth Matilda, b 1853, dtr of John, m 1873 Thomas BROAD

WHEELOCK, George (=?James), arr 20.4.1839 per HINDOO  with brother John.  Employed as a caretaker Middle Swan district.

WHEELOCK, Isaac, b 8.1842, son of John & Elizabeth Matilda (nee BARRON), of Greenough, employed a s T/L labourer 1868.

WHEELOCK, James.  Witness at marriage of John Wheelock 3.6.1840 (Perth).

WHEELOCK, James Lowe White, Bp 29.3.1852, son of John & Elizabeth Matilda (nee BARRON).  m 6.4.1893 (Dongara) Florence Josephine FOGARTY, b 1868, dtr of Joseph & Harriet.  Farmer, Greenough (1884-6 Alm).

WHEELOCK, Jane Pearson, b 1848 dtr of John, m Thomas CRAINE

WHEELOCK, John b 7.1847, son of John & Elizabeth Matilda (Nee BARRON), m ?Maria HOGAN, chd. Edward.

WHEELOCK, Margaret, d .19.6.1883 (Geraldton).

In a different edition of this book it states:

WHEELOCK G. “ ……..Was employed as a Caretaker in the Middle Swan district”

WHEELOCK John “………In November 1840 signed a petition with his wife for a Methodist minister’s stipend at Perth.  Was mentioned in the 1849 Toodyay census as a farmer.  In 1850 signed a petition for a publican’s licence at Toodyay.

 Obituary Charles Thomas Wheelock

The late Charles Thomas Wheelock was born at Newcastle, now called Toodyay, in the Northam district, on January 6, 1858. As a young man he worked on the station of the late Mr. C. D. V.

Foss, who was later Resident Magistrate of Gascoyne Police District. At nineteen years of age, with the late Charlie Brockman, he journeyed to Boolathana from the Upper Irwin (now Mingenew). In

1879 he brought sheep to Doorawarrah, for Messrs. Gale and McNeil, and in 1880 he entered into partnership with the late Mr. G. J. Gooch, at Wandagee station.

It was on July 30, 1880, that the two partners discovered Wandagee. Up to that time no white man had ever trod on this part of the State. On the station they placed 2,000 sheep in November, 1860. About five years later

Mr.Wheelock sold out his interest in Wandagee and settled in Carnarvon, where he established a butchering business. It is now being conducted by the Carnarvon Traders, after passing through many hands.

While settled in Carnarvon he married Miss Jessie Nevin, daughter of the late

Williiam Hogan McJannett, and two sons and five daughters comprised his family,

most of them living today in Carnarvon district.

The late Mr. Wheelock was a grandson of Major Barron, a pioneer of this State whose wife is said to be the first white woman to arrive in Western Australia.

Although a resident of Carnarvon for many years, Mr. Wheelock took no active part in public affairs of the town and district. He was a keen lover of the bush, where he spent the major part of his life engaged in pastoral pursuits. He was a man of happy disposition. No matter what the hardship and difficulties he would always face them with a joke and a good hearty laugh. In that spirit he lived and helped very largely in the settlement of the Gascoyne.


Wheelock Origins and Alternative Definitions

We arrived at the 5th Blog and we discuss the origins of the name:

The accepted definition of the origins of the Wheelock name by all bodies including the College of Arms is:

The Name of the village is first recorded as Hoileck, and Hoiloch in the Domesday book then Changed in 1316 to Quelock and again in 1382 to Whelock, in 1384 to Welock, finally in 1390 it seems to have settled, and recorded as Wheelock as it is known today. The main reason for changes stem from people spelling as they sound it.

The word come from the word Chevel-og meaning winding, twisting, turning and the conclusions seem to be the river with its many twists and turns until they reach the central body of the river outside the village. Sketch of the locks: (History of Sandbach and District”, Cyril Massey, Published 1982).

Wheelock Village

The word come from the word Chevel-og meaning winding, twisting, turning and the conclusions seem to be the river with its many twists and turns until they reach the central body of the river outside the village. Sketch of the locks: (History of Sandbach and District”, Cyril Massey, Published 1982).

Mr. Massey did not identify the language for “cheval-og” nor did he cite the source of this information.

When a Welsh-English dictionary was consulted, neither “cheval-og” nor “cheval” could be found.

However, the following was found

“Cheval” in French means “horse”

“og” in Norwegian means “and”

“òg” in Irish Gaelic and Scottish Gaelic means “young”

Further research has revealed A more obscure definition of the name is as follows:

The development of Wellock via Wailock, Wallock from walok in 1379. This is the form which requires investigation and the evidence suggests that it was a diminutive of a personal or Christian name “Wal” in Yorkshire This may have been meaningless when used in the 1300s, but etymologically it is probably the Old High German word “walh” meaning Romance Speaker (Roman Empire) to Old English welisċwælisċwilisċ, (Meaning Romano-British)

The following examples, whilst not being directly connected with the Wellock family in Linton ,illustrate the use of such a personal name

1297 Walkoc in the Wra    )

Monkton.  Subsidy Roll

Alienora Walkoc      )

1305 Peter, son of Walcok,(Long Preston) Yorkshire Inquisition

1313 Emma Walhoc (Stanley, nr Wakefield) Court Roll.

1323 Thomas Wallesone (Horton) Bowland Deeds.

The suffixes ‘cock’ and ‘ock’ were interchangeable as diminutives.

©RRRA, 2018

According to the Oxford Dictionary there is also an obscure definition coming out of Surrey the origins are unknown but is acknowledged as  14th cent. Whelok [lack of suff. early forms makes this unique name difficult to elucidate: prob. the second element is Old English loc(a, enclosure, stronghold, and the first for Old English hwít, white]

The problem with the accepted definitions is the locations of some of the original Wheelock’s across the United Kingdom and the phonetic use of Chevel-og.

In 1970 J. McN. Dodgson (John McNeal ) correctly identified the Old Welsh word chwyl-og to be what the Welsh used for the proper noun of “Whelock” and “Wheelock.” Chwyl-og translates to “winding river” and is based on the Old Welsh word chwyl, part of which means “a turn, a rotation, a course,” with an adjective suffix of og.  Unlike “cheval-og,” chwyl can be found in the Welsh-English dictionary. In addition, the pronunciation of chwyl-og is similar to “Wheelock.”

The Welsh pronounce ch as in the Scottish loch or German bach, wy is usually “oo-ee” and l-og would sound like “log” in English. Chwyl-og would be pronounced as “ka oo-ee log”. If said fast enough, it starts to sound like “ka-wheelog.”

However, a more obscure comment from the author alludes at a possible connection to the old English word suilaco which means turn, rotate and thus the winding river.

The Towns close to the English-Welsh border frequently have both English and Welsh names, and the dominance of one name over the other reflects the cultural tensions between the two entities. probably Leominster (Llanllieni), the English name seems to have derived from the Welsh name. In other cases, such as Llwydlo (Ludlow) and Henffordd (Hereford), the Welsh name derived from the English name of the settlement.”

The village of Wheelock was no exception, and the Welsh used their word chwyl-og to pronounce, as best as they could, the Norman name of this English village. In addition, the use of the Welsh ch with its hard consonant pronunciation in chwyl-og could explain why the village changed its spelling from “Whelock” to “Quelok” and “Qwelok” during the 1300s.

While J. McN. Dodgson for identifying the possible correct Welsh word, I disagree with any notion that the phonetically-spelled word “cheval-og” or the Old Welch word chwyl-og was anglicized into “Whelock” and became the name for the family, the village and the river Wheelock. There are two opposing questions in this debate: First question did “Wheelock” derive from the Welsh adjective chwyl-og? Since these surnames appear throughout England, are all of these surnames connected? And how?

Professor Melville Richards says that the word is chwil (beetles))and then and adjective of Chwilog (abounding with beetles), assuming the English form represents OWelsh  then OEnglish to Middle English, He also states that the adjective chwelog is not to be found in the University of Wales Welsh Dictionary, But he finds the stream of Chwilogen. This is a lost name in Llanystumdwy, Caernarvonshire, but the name of a village Chwilog remains.

Here the professor is on surer ground. Welsh chwil means “beetle, chafer”, and the adjectival compound chwilog “abounding with beetles”. This then is our Cheshire Wheelock, with the -ee representing the long Welsh /. Chwilogen is a diminutive in en from chwilog. Chwil and its compounds is very common in Welsh place names, and is often found with an anglicised spelling wheel, particularly in South Wales where chw- in dialects becomes wh-.

However the flaw in this argument is the progression of Wheelock, using the Richards argument we end up in Whylock (Wailok) instead of Wheelock (Wi:lok)

Finally Dodgson identifies the use of Weloc in France in 1260 but cannot find the source of attribution

For next Blog on the subject:

Second Question: Did the Norman surname “Willoch” or “Willock” become anglicized into “Whelock” and then “Wheelock”? is Wheelock a Norman name and not Welsh?

To answer this question, one must consider the origins of all surnames similar to Wheelock (including “Wheelocke,” “Wheeloc,” “Whelock,” “Whilock,” “Whillock,” “Willock,” etc.). Since these surnames appear throughout England, are all of these surnames connected? And how? What is the connection.


1.- A Dictionary of Yorkshire Surnames – George Redmonds – 1935

2.- The Place-Names of Cheshire by J.McN Dodgson – 1970

3.- Cheshire Place Names by Anthony Poulton Smith – 2012

4.- The National Archives, Domesday Book

5.- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walhaz

6.- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/River_Wheelock

7.- http://roadsofromanbritain.org/gazetteer/yorkshire/historical_background.html 


The Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland

Finishing the month with my fourth blog and starting with my next series I will discuss the origins of Wheelock name and its evolution. In 2016 Oxford University Press published this huge dictionary and according to them is the ultimate reference work on family names of the UK, covering English, Scottish, Welsh, Irish, Cornish, and immigrant surnames.

It includes every surname that currently has more than 100 bearers, and those that had more than 20 bearers in the 1881 census.

It also explains the historical background, formation, and typology of surnames and a guide to surnames research and family history research. Additional material also includes a list of published and unpublished lists of surnames from the Middle Ages to the present day.

Having given the Dictionary a plugging what have I found for the Wheelock’s reinforces some my own research even though I have some alternative definitions but that’s for next blog and my reasons.

The accepted definition of the origins of the Wheelock name is:

The Name of the village is first recorded as Hoileck, and Hoiloch in the Domesday book then Changed in 1316 to Quelock and again in 1382 to Whelock, in 1384 to Welock, finally in 1390 it seems to have settled, and recorded as Wheelock as it is known today. The main reason for changes stem from people spelling as they sound it.

The word come from the word Chevel-og meaning winding, twisting, turning and the conclusions seem to be the river with its many twists and turns until they reach the central body of the river outside the village. Sketch of the locks: (History of Sandbach and District”, Cyril Massey, Published 1982).

Here are pages from the dictionary with details from the Wheelock name and variations:

A more obscure definition of the name is as follows: The development of Wellock via Wailock, Wallock from walok in 1379. This is the form which requires investigation and the evidence suggests that it was a diminutive of a personal or Christian name “Wal”. This may have been meaningless when used in the 1300s, but etymologically it is probably the Old High German word “walh” meaning “stranger” or “foreigner”.

Next Week: Alternative Definitions of Wheelock and it’s origins.



The Guano empire and Britain’s other Informal empire.

Let’s start this blog with a bit of controversy! Most people do not associate the British Empire with South America.  However, some of England’s very first footsteps into empire building took place along the Northern shore of this Continent. Some influenced by the new diaspora of American Exiles (loyalists) who fled in 1783 after the last British forces pulled out of New York. (1)            

Furthermore, Britain was to play a leading role in challenging Spanish control of the vast continent and provided help and expertise to revolutionaries and nationalists in the wake of the Napoleonic Wars. (2)

South America was to become a key part of Britain’s ‘Informal Empire’ especially in the Nineteenth but also into the first half of the Twentieth Century. Britain provided investment, expertise and technology throughout most of the continent as she gained much of the value of Empire without the unnecessary costs and burdens of formal control and governance. Britain’s relationship to South America was to be very different from her relationships to most of the rest of the World – but no less influential. (3)

In this environment Peru rose from the ashes on the back of Guano exports and became a period of stability for Peru and the foreigners known as the Guano era. Thomas Wheelock found his opportunity to make his fortune.

The term “Guano” applies to natural mineral deposits consisting of excrements, eggshells and carcasses of dead seabirds found in almost rainless, hot-dry climatic regions and corresponding fertilizers. The most significant nitrogen Guano is the Peru-Guano, which has been used over 2000 years as agricultural fertilizer in Peru. (4)

The age of guano

A decisive turning point came in 1838 when two merchants sent samples of the Peru Guano to William Myers, a successful businessman from Liverpool, who was also interested in agriculture. The fertilization trials he has carried out with these samples must have been successful that Myers invested in Guano trading and ordered a larger quantity for the first time.

On July 23, 1839, 30 bags of Guano reached the port of Liverpool with the ship “Heroine” from Valparaiso, and Myers distributed the Guano to other interested farmers for experimental purposes.

For the first time, crop yields skyrocketed, and the bird fertilizer proved to be far superior to the hitherto common manure and the “Night Soil” harvested from the city latrines. At the instigation of William Myers, his local Peruvian business partner, Don Francisco Quirós, in Lima, signed a treaty with the Peruvian state on November 10, 1840, for the monopoly on all Guano mining.

The demand for Guano rose rapidly in England and shortly thereafter in the rest of Europe. The Guano boom began, what began as a rental contract system granted to an investor, Francisco Quirós, resulted in an agreement that granted the State 64 percent of the profits and finally agreed to give the latter 75 percent of the liquid income. (5)

The commercialization of guano attracted new traders, adventurers and craftsmen not only British but from all over Europe. In the mid-1840s, guano was the main product of Peruvian exports. The guanera islands of Peru were spread across the different provinces of the coast and had accumulated over the year’s immense amounts of bird manure.













The Republic of Peru was in fiscal crisis as it had failed to cover the costs that had been generated since the battles of independence in 1811.Neither the state nor national capitalists could compete with European and American companies in the investments that meant the exploitation of guano. The dominance of foreigners and the absence of Peruvian investors were questioned in the 1850s by Congress, which decided not to sign new contracts if domestic capitalists were not included. Thus, foreigners formed joint ventures, but without allowing national participation to exceed them.

The Profits were incredible, of the records that have survived in one shipment alone: earned around £ 100,000 in the first large quantities of Guano supplies, which, according to current purchasing power, amounts to around £13 million in today’s currency. It was recorded that at one time 1 pound (453 grams) of Guano cost $76 ($2500 in today’s money) (7)

Thomas Wheelock became member of one of the syndicates.

A list of British Investors living in Peru at the time shows the following people:

John Blacker, Alexander Blacker, Stephen Henry Sulivan, John Barton, Edward Robertson, Charles Wilthew, George Hodges Nugent, Charles Higginson, Henry Swayne, Clements R. Markham, Charles Edward Stubbs, Charles Eggert, Samuel Went, William Pitt Adams, William Russell Grace, Thomas Eldredge, Thomas Wheelock, Pedro Terry, John Rowe, Charles Rowe, John Mathison, Thomas Conroy, Joseph Brown, James Henry, George Logan, Charles Thomas, G. J. Rodewald, Gerald Garland, John Gallagher, John Robinson, Charles Williams, Chas. Browne, John and Francis Bryce, John Black, Archibald Smith, J. A. Burnett, J. W. Clarke, John Mackie, Adam Butters, Henry Humphreys, John and Charles Edwards, Thomas Dawson, Gerrit S. Backus, Douglas Hastings, Horatio Bolton, James Graham, Hugh Torrence, James Wingate, Samuel Duncan, Norman Evans, John Ward, John Gunner, Henry Hammond, Charles Kemish, Alex E. Prentice, Walter S. Church, José P. Davis, José Hindle, Thomas Buckley, Max Blum, Henry Hilton Leigh, Thomas Cole. (8)

The investors had to bear all expenses, from extraction to sale. The gross income was denoted for expenses and the net proceeds were divided between the tax office and the Investors. The export enabled Peru to pay their external debt (especially to England) and the payment of internal debt to families and traders who had contributed to the wars of independence or the uprisings that subsequently happened. To claim payment, individuals or families who had collaborated with patriotic causes had to provide consolidation bonds, which were documents certifying the debts and who in some cases bore the signatures of the liberators José de San Martín and Simón Bolívar. (8) (9)

Some reports indicate that some of the investors were making a profit between £30,000.00 to £100,000.00 a year (roughly £4 Million to 13 Million in today’s money), Thomas cashed in around 1862 and moved to Bordeaux, France. Diaries show he made a fabulous fortune leaving his oldest son (Thomas Alfred) in charge of his Peruvian affairs.

The Guano Boom rush was short-lived (20-30 years) partly because the supplies dipped and the discovery of fertilizers through mining and by industrially producing replacing the need to scoop the excrement from the rocks. The new chemical fertilizers could take nitrogen out of the air and deliver it straight to the soil.  It’s thought that artificial fertilizers now feed about half the world. The market wasn’t big enough for the both of them, and guano’s star descended as it had risen, bringing the Peruvian economy down with it.

But while it lasted, the money made by all parties was a fabulous amount that could be compared to the California Gold Rush and Thomas Wheelock took advantage of the opportunity.

NEXT Blog : The Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland

1.- Liberty's Exiles: American Loyalists in the Revolutionary World - Maya Jasanoff ISBN-10: 9780007180080
2.- https://www.britishempire.co.uk/resource/southamerica.htm
2.- https://www.britishempire.co.uk/maproom/southamerica.htm
3.- Informal Empire? An Exploration in the History of Anglo-Argentine Relations, 1810–1914 – Volume 24,Issue 2 May 1992 , pp. 419-436 Andrew Thompson
4.- https://www.intechopen.com/books/seabirds/guano-the-white-gold-of-the-seabirds
5.- Fertile Fortune – The Story of Tyntesfield James Miller (25 May 2006). . ISBN 1905400403.
6.- Peruvian Ministry of the Environment
7.- https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/when-the-western-world-ran-on-guano 
8.- https://elmisteriodelpasado.blogspot.com/search?q=Guano
9.- The Diary of Heinrich Witt, Volume 3 & 5
10.- Article in Webblog Intheboatshed.Net. 2011 Jenkins H. Guano trade by W. Myers—. http://intheboatshed.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Myers-Co.pdf 
11.- In: mare – Die Zeitschrift der Meere, No. 53. Kanter O. Kleckern und klotzen. 2005. http://www.olafkanter.de/pdf/geschichte/ok_kleckernklotzen.pdf

Thomas’s rise to power and the advent of the Guano empire.

Thomas Wheelock Walford (mother’s maiden name) arrived into Lima, Peru circa 1834.  He was around 21 years of age; he is better known as the founder of the Wheelock line in Latin America.

Thomas Wheelock (Circa 1850s)
Thomas Wheelock (Circa 1850s)

After Peru’s Independence (from Spain) the British merchants achieved to place themselves in key (strategic) places of Chile and Peru, in the big cities and in the main seaports from where the British Companies controlled the local and regional trade. It has been estimated that 10% of the British Empire export market reached this new burgeoning market. (1)

There were many Agencies and merchants of the companies of London, Liverpool and Hull such as Gibbs and Co., Read, Huth Gruning & Co. and Bates and Stokes Co. (3) In these booming economies of South America, Thomas arrived into Peru just after his twentieth birthday.

He was born in Market Drayton, hence the connection to Tayleurs House (See first Blog) Shropshire on the 13th of December 1813, the youngest of seven Children the son of Mr. Thomas Wheelock Sherratt and Mrs. Elizabeth Walford. He was baptized in the Independent Methodist Church. Thomas’ Wheelock Walford Family were merchants and farmers.

His father was the steward for the Earl of Lichfield and he was one of the innovators for modernizing of the English Agriculture and some of the modern machinery of the time can still be seen at Park Farm inside the grounds of Shugborough Hall (4)

Entrance to Park Hall Farm in Shugborough

Plaque at the Farm


It is noteworthy that also residing in Peru there were direct relatives to him, Jonathan Buckley from Liverpool who married his older sister Emma and whose daughter (his niece Emma) would have a profound influence in the years to come….. At one point he switches employments to Henry Reed & Co (In other documents known as Henry Read) a subsidiary and representatives of Tayleur House. He worked as Chief Clerk.

The Agency rented out Casa Osambela at the time the grandest house of Lima (three floors Painted Blue in the photo) build in 1793 (by Don Martín de Osambela y Osambela Descendant of one of the grand families of Navarra at the time of his death in 1825 at the Battle of Ayacucho and the last Royalist stand at the Real Felipe Fortress ending Spanish Empire Domination. he left a fortune of at least 1.5 Million pesos Fuertes = ($F) ….17 “Pesos Fuertes” = to one ounce of gold (27.06 grams) ). A fascinating history for another blog but one of the many myths of this gentleman is that he left Spain due to a dalliance with one of the Kings Daughters! (5)

House of Osambela
Main Courtyard of the House Osambela

After Martin Osambela’s death His family was financially ruined and had to find ways to ends meet. Due to the demands of the new republican government and the confiscation of properties. (5)

The house was therefore either sold or rented out to Henry Reed & Co while the Osambela live there, Thomas Wheelock settled in his new employment and there he met around 1836-37 Mariana Osambela a young widow (Her Husband passed away in 1834) and second Daughter of Martin Osambela. Thomas Wheelock married Mariana in 1839, Her full name: Mariana Osambela Ureta was 25 years old. Her mother was Mrs. Mariana Ureta y Bermudez, born in Lima belonged to a well to do family of second-generation Spanish (“criollos”) Despite the financial and political downfall for Martin’s family, Thomas’s marriage to Mariana Osambela Ureta placed him as a prominent family man in Lima’s Society.  (6) (8)

Uniform from the War of Independence at Real Felipe Fortress

Mariana had a daughter from her previous marriage Juana Rosa Riera-Osambela (changed her name to Wheelock after adoption and who survived into adulthood) who married a Scottish engineer by the name of Alexander Prentice from Greenock, Renfrew, Scotland and had 12 or 13 children. (7)

Thomas became a very shrewd businessman with investments in Market speculation and loans to the local markets (many of these loans made for infrastructure were consumed in war and redrawing boundaries).  in the light and gas company of Lima and the Water works. By the mid 1840’s he became the head of the agency at the return of Henry Read back to England and that enable him to build British interests in the region and represent several agencies by the 1850’s. His real fortune would come when he decided to invest in Guano and the Rise of the British Informal Empire. (9)

NEXT Article: The Guano empire.


1.- “A New Economic History of Argentina” Cambridge Alan M. Taylor and Della Paolera Gerardo. University Press 2003

2.- British Trade with Latin America in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Victor Bulmer-Thomas

3.- Anglo Peruvian Commercial and financial relations. 1825-1865. William M. Matthew PHD. Thesis 1970

4.- https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/shugborough-estate/features/park-farm-at-shugborough

5.- “Don Martín de Osambela, comerciante navarro de los siglos XVIII/XIX, y su descendencia en el Perú” – Anuario de Estudios Americanos , Teodoro Hampe Martinez

6.- The Diary of Heinrich Witt, Volume 3

7.- The Diary of Heinrich Witt, Volume 4

8.- The Wheelock Family in Peru…during the XIX Century… Jaime Wheelock Roman

9.- “The Imperialism of Free Trade” Economic History Review John Gallagher and Ronald Robinson

New Series, Vol. 6, No. 1 (1953), pp. 1-15

Setting the scene and the building of South America -Introduction

Thomas Wheelock arrived in Peru in 1832 with opportunities to be made. Thomas had been hired by the Tayleur House, a merchant and shipping company out of Market Drayton, starting at the bottom of the ladder as a Clerk. Thomas arrives following upheavals in South America which would not be settled until 1850.

To understand the beginning of British influence in South America there needs to be an understanding of the political situation of the entire Latin region. British and European migration to South America was affected by events such as the Napoleonic Invasion of Spain which triggered the Wars of Independence in Latin America and opened new trade markets.

In 1825 Mainland Spanish America split into more than a dozen separate countries, following the administrative divisions of the colonial system. The difficulty for the inhabitants of these countries was not, however, as simple as the demarcation of geographic boundaries. Rather, the recently liberated countries of Latin America faced the much more daunting challenge of defining and consolidating new nations. The inhabitants of each country set out on programs to create a postcolonial political, economic, and social order. The obstacles confronting them were imposing. (1)

This was a land of opportunity due to the collapse of the Spanish Empire and the subsequent wars of Independence creating a political vacuum in the new countries.

To embark on the trip from Europe to South America you needed to have capital or a job secured, the trip took several months. Most Europeans would depart from Liverpool  to Tenerife,  then 5- 6 months across the Atlantic via Tierra Del Fuego to Valparaiso (Or Callao)  – Arica – Quilca. This was no trip for the faint hearted with deaths and seas sickness among common occurrences.

Sometimes a ship on arrival in South America would find their trip diverted to the nearest safe port that was not in battle. An entry from 1824 talks about the Grand Port of Callao and being unable to dock so they were forced to head to Valparaiso:

Samuel Duncan, whom Moens had left in charge of the Lima house when he left about twelve months ago, wrote that business was 50% worse than it then had been. Since February Lima and Callao were again in possession of the Royalists, commanded by Canterrac, to them Callao had been delivered up by mutinous black regiments. Also the Intermedios were occupied by the Spaniards and it was expected that Bolivar would shortly give them battle. The whole coast had been declared under blockade by the Patriots, but this Captain Maling of H.B.M.S. “Cambridge” was only willing to acknowledge as far as regarded Callao, the forces of the Patriots not being sufficient to effect the actual blockade of the other ports. Amongst the English in Valparaiso the embezzlement of about $8000 committed by the Captain’s clerk of H.M.S. “Tartar” gave rise to much talk and conversation. (2)

*(HBMS – Stands for His Britannic Majesty’s Ship)

Depending on social status a European with means and a secured future would meet the likes of Simon Bolivar or the British Consul, European Impressions of Simon Bolivar in 1825 are as follows:

Bolivar was a man of the middle size, and of a spare make. His face of a darkish tinge, His forehead is well shaped and very high. His eyes, the colour of which I could not distinguish are piercing, his nose long and straight, his mouth large; his mustachios thin and long, I thought to become him well; but when he smiled a harsh and deeply marked wrinkle from the nose down to the mouth, became apparent. Amongst his aides-de-camp was an extremely fair youth, with hair which might be called white; he was Belford Hinton Wilson, in later years British Chargé d’Affaires in Perú. (2).

NEXT Article: Thomas’s rise to power and the advent of the Guano empire.


1.- https://www.britannica.com/place/Latin-America/Building-new-nations-1826-50

2.- The Diary of Heinrich Witt, Volume 3

4.- Anglo Peruvian Commercial and financial relations. 1825-1865. William M. Matthew PHD. Thesis 1970

3.- Classwell Images


Happy New Year and Best wishes for 2020

Happy New year to all Wheelock’s, and all the best for 2020.

I’ve signed up to the Guild of One-Name Studies 2020 blogging challenge, and will be aiming to blog here more regularly over the coming months.

The long-term aim is to encourage me and others to blog more here about Wheelock’s research, history and other pertinent information, there will be an influx of posts over the next three months at least 2 a month.

Topics will vary.  Starting with South America before moving on to other regions.

Another theme will be to blog about the Boer War and WW1, two areas rarely discussed.

I will also publish Ancestry.com when appropriate and new family line blogs planned.

If all goes to plan this will be a very busy year. If you have any information or you want to contribute, please contact me.

Blogs returning in 2020

I know I haven’t written or given people news. but I am returning in January 2020 with new blogs and information.

Come back on January 5th the first of a series of 10 blogs will be published.

Have a Merry Christmas and see you in the New Year

How the Census Changed America

Everything has a beginning; Data Processing has its origins back to 1790.

The simple act of enumeration created data processing, led to the establishment of the National Archives, and rooted a rootless people.

From the New Yorker, publishes on the 1st of May

How the Census Changed America

On her 60th birthday, Barbie honours 20 Sheroes

For 60 years, Barbie has championed girls, inspired generations to believe through make believe and showed them that they have choices. With more than 200 careers, Barbie continues to evolve to be a modern, relevant role model for all ages. The brand believes that girls should never know a world, job, or dream, that women haven’t conquered. And as she turns 60 today, it is honouring 20 role models across 18 countries speaking 14 different languages only to inspire girls to follow their heart when it comes to deciding their career.

My own Cousin has been celebrated, Karla Wheelock

First Latin-American woman to climb the Seven Summits, the highest Mountains in the world, she is an Alpinist, author and Conference speaker.












The Full list:

  • Adwoah Aboah, Activist and model, UK
  • Yara Shahidi, Actor, model and activist, US
  • Naomi Osaka, Tennis player, US
  • Kelsea Ballerini, Singer and songwriter, US
  • Kristina Vogel, Cycling champion, Germany
  • Dipa Karmakar, Gymnastics champion, India
  • Chen Man, Visual artist, China
  • Melodie Robinson, Sports journalist and presenter, New Zealand
  • Karla Wheelock, Mountaineer, writer and lecturer, Mexico
  • Tessa Virtue, Ice skater, Canada
  • Lisa Azuelos, Director, France
  • Eleni Antoniadou, Nasa scientist, Greece
  • Rosanna Marziale, Chef, Italy
  • Ita Buttrose, AO, OBE, journalist and editor, Australia
  • Tetsuko Kuroyanagi, Actor, talk show host and author, Japan
  • Mariana Costa, Entrepreneur and activist, Peru
  • Iwona Blecharczyk, Professional truck driver, Poland
  • Gulse Birsel, Columnist, screenwriter and actor, Turkey
  • Maya Gabeira, Big-wave surfer, Brazil
  • Lyasan Utiasheva, TV show host and rhythmic gymnastics champion, Russia

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