Berlin seeks area descendants of early settler
The Berlin & Coos County Historical Society is looking for Bethel-area descendants of the owner of the first permanent residence in Berlin, N.H.
The society wants them to attend a dedication of an historical marker on the home site May 29.
The first house, a log home, was built around 1823 by William Sessions with the help of his nephew, Cyrus Wheeler, who was born in Gilead, according to a press release from the society. The marker will be placed on the East Milan Road on the east side of the Androscoggin River.
The society hopes descendants of Sessions will be interested in participating.
Although Sessions’ daughter Melissa married Thomas Wentworth and remained in New Hampshire, his youngest son, Sumner, returned to Maine with his wife, Victoria Crafts. They are buried in the Greenleaf Cemetery in East Milton, with William and Sarah. Some of their descendants lived in the Woodstock, Milton, and Norway area.
Representatives of the Wheeler family, now in Pennsylvania, plan to attend.
The 1 p.m. dedication is in celebration of National Preservation Month, and it coincides with the 200th anniversary year of Wheeler’s birth.
As part of preparations for the dedication, Lin Chapman of the Gilead Historical Society assisted the Berlin & Coos County Historical Society in gathering information on the Wheeler family of Gilead.
The Gilead records listed Thomas Wheeler and his wife, Sally Blodgett and two of their children, Thomas, Jr. and Cyrus, Chapman said.
Other Wheeler family background
Cyrus lived all his adult life in Berlin, dying there Nov. 20, 1893. He was married twice: first to Sarah Thompson, sister of Benjamin Thompson who purchased the farm from William Sessions; and second to Zeruah Blodgett, daughter of Samuel Blodgett, who was the brother-in-law of William Sessions as William's wife was Sarah Blodgett.
Cyrus Wheeler had eight children, four with each wife.
The process for obtaining a marker for the site was begun by New Hampshire state representative Merton Dyer, a descendant of Cyrus Wheeler through his second wife. He died before seeing his dream realized.
Though the Dyers remained in New Hampshire, most of the other children of Cyrus Wheeler relocated to Pennsylvania.
For more information, contact the Berlin & Coos County Historical Society at P.O. Box 52, Berlin, N.H. 03570; email firstname.lastname@example.org; or call (603) 752-7928.