Sir Thomas Wheler was born in Cranfield, Bedfordshire, England in 1465 to Henry Wheler and Mary Elizabeth Cole. About 1490, Thomas married Joan Jane Buckingham in Cranfield, Bedforshire, England. They had seven children: Thomas, Edward, William, Alys, Henry, John, and Richard. On May 27, 1556, Thomas died in Wing, Buckinghamshire, England. His place of burial is unknown.
During the last battle in the War of the Roses, Thomas valiantly fought at the battle of Stoke(Field) in the Simnel’s Rebellion. For his bravery, King Henry VII knighted Thomas on June 16, 1487. After being knighted, Thomas changed the spelling of his name to Wheeler.
While researching the meaning of the name Wheeler, I found different versions. First, Wheeler was an occupational name; it meant wheelright, a maker of cart wheels. It came from the Old English word Wealere. Other spellings included Whealer, Whaler, Wailer, Waylor, Wielher, and Whiler.
Still, another meaning was also interesting. In light of his knighthood, Wheeler also has some unique meanings found in the early spelling of Wielher which is a compound word of two Anglo-Saxon words. The words wel or wiel mean prosperous or fortunate. Our modern version of the word would be wealth. The second part of the word, hari or heri, means warrior. Today’s version of the word is hero. Therefore, Wheeler also suggest that the bearer of this name is fortunate warrior or hero.
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