The story began in 1685 when a French Huguenot named Abel Heurteleu moved to England. He had two sons. The youngest, Charles Abel Heurteleu, was born in 1707 and was married twice. His first wife, Dinah Stone, died in 1742. We know very little about the descendants of this first marriage, other than the fact that they were, in the words of my Great Uncle Frank Reed, "scholars and intellectual men."
After the death of his first wife, Charles Abel Heurtley (having Anglicized his name) eloped with Margaret Wenman, the only daughter of wealthy landowner William Wenman who promptly disinherited her. In 1819 Eliza Heurtley, one of the grand-daughters of Charles & Margaret, married Anthony Reed, my great-great-grandfather.
Due to seemingly solid research by Uncle Frank, we Reeds have always believed ourselves to be the only descendants of this second marriage. We kept the Heurtley name, in true Victorian fashion, out of a notion that we might someday get the inheritance back. The Wenman fortune was apparently not trivial. After perusing some genealogical material sent to me by my distant kinsman Richard Heurtley (of Richford, Vermont) I've discovered that both our famiilies descend from the same marriage as the Heurtley Reeds: ours from Eliza Heurtley, theirs from her brother Archibald Heurtley. This means that, even had the inheritance been somehow restored, it wouldn't have come to the Reeds. Sigh.
I'm preparing a definitive Heurtley Reed family tree from the materials I have on hand; I'll put it on this site as soon as it's ready, along with Uncle Frank's material, which, for the most part, is accurate.
and my Dad, Robert Charles Heurtley Reed.