Thomas Wheelock – Peru

The Peru branch of the Wheelock name was established by Thomas Wheelock known as the “Migrant”.

Thomas was the youngest of a family of 7 and it seems when he was very young he decided to migrate to South America like many other Europeans of the era to make his fortune in commerce. at the time in the years immediate after independence Peru was the cornerstone of commerce through the Port Callao.

The sons of his sister’s family (Emma Buckley nee Wheelock) also migrated to Peru and setup a family, a member of the graham family also married one of the daughters of Thomas Alfredo Wheelock.

He married Maria Osambela heiress to one of the richest Families. of the country,  From their union they had 8 children, to fit into Latin American society; he converted to Catholicism from Anglicanism.

Carlos Wheelock (1841-1883) was the most notable of the first generation he served with distinction during the war of 1866 against Spain when it tried to re-conquer the Viceroy of Peru and was part of the army that defeated the Spaniards in the region of Callao on the 2nd of May 1866.

When Chile invaded Bolivia and Peru in the late 1870’s as part of its expansionist policies. He was a Captain of the 1st Company of the Army reserve and posted as part of the Lima Garrison.

After the War due to his prominence he was assassinated by anti-government Forces.  His involvement in local politics seems to have been great as he was awarded posthumously a Medal for his involvement in the war of 1866. The inscription says “To the Greats of Callao”. A family member recently provided a copy of the certificate that shows the inscription and has the signature of the President of the day.

Due to the war against Chile, most Europeans fled the country among them some of the first generation of Wheelock’s.

The only known Wheelock’s from the first generation born in Peru to have gone back to the United Kingdom were Thomas Alfred and Henry Thomas

Thomas Alfred and his family is listed in the 1881 census as living in Middlesex.

Henry never married and died in 1918 in France.