Thursday, October 23, 2014

Treasure Chest Thursday ~ Four Generations in one photograph

Thanksgiving 1987, Londonderry, New Hampshire 
4 generations of females
Yours Truly, my Mom, my daughter, my grandmother

Last week the New England Historic Genealogical Society's online "Weekly Genealogist" featured a survey asking the largest number of generations of your family were pictured in a single photograph.  The largest number of participants (59%) reported that four generations were pictured in a single photograph. I could only find four generations, not a single one with five generations, in my family photos, although I know some of my cousins have photos with five generations with grandmother.  However, I was able to find many examples of four generations of women featuring my grandmother, too.  Here are some of them. 

1990, Hamilton, Massachusetts
Yours Truly, my grandmother, my daughter, my sister and my Mom

1994, 4 generations again, in Hamilton, Massachusetts
My daughter, grandmother, Mom and Yours Truly

After this my grandmother went in to a nursing home and I don't remember taking anymore group photos like this.  She died in 2001 when she was over 96 years old. 

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Copyright (c) 2014, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

STOLEN Dolphin Weathervane, $1,000 reward

The Chatham, Massachusetts police need the help of the public in locating a stolen dolphin weathervane.  It was stolen from a private home in Chatham this month.  The weathervane is a three dimensional copper dolphin plated in 24K gold, worth about $1000.  It is about 40 inches long.

Please contact the Chatham Police Department with any information at the following numbers:
508-945-1217 or leave an anonymous tip at 508-945-TTIP (8847)

You may also call the homeowner, Tamara Bazzle, at 404-231-5953 or email

This dolphin weathervane has been on the roof of this private home in Chatham for more than 50 years.  The homeowner contacted me directly because of the Weathervane Wednesday post of this very same weathervane here on December 4, 2013.  One of my readers from the Windham, New Hampshire Historical Society sent me the original photo you see above.  I was glad to post it on my blog, and I immediately replied to the email by the homeowner to spread the news of the theft. 

Please share this via social media.  I hope she can recover this very special weathervane.

According to the homeowner, their home was built in 1916 by Joseph Lincoln, the author of many novels, stories and poems set on Cape Cod.  The architect Howard Rich designed the weathervane for the house in 1969.  It was considered a local Chatham landmark.

Related stories on the stolen weathervane:

Cape Cod Online
Cape Cod Times 

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Copyright © 2014, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Weathervane Wednesday ~ Seen at a Highway Rest Area

Weathervane Wednesday is an on-going series of photographs I post weekly.  I started by publishing weather vanes from the Londonderry area, but now I've been finding interesting weather vanes all across New England.  Sometimes my weather vanes are whimsical, or historical, but all are interesting. Often, my readers tip me off to some very unique and unusual weather vanes, too!

Today's weather vane  is from New Hampshire.

Do you know the location of weather vane #179? Scroll down to see the answer!

This is a photograph of the Hooksett Rest area on the northbound side of Route 93.  It was photographed at the end of September when the new liquor store and the shop just opened.  The Common Man restaurant is scheduled to be open sometime soon.  The weather vane shaped like the state of New Hampshire over the state liquor store was made by the Common Man founder Alex Ray.

This new rest area will feature New Hampshire themed exhibits, New Hampshire made products, and expanded visitor services.  The project is running about eight weeks ahead of schedule.  The southbound side of the highway will have identical services and will be completed after the northbound side.

The rest area on the southbound side of Rt. 93 has a similar weathervane

Click here to see the entire series of Weathervane Wednesday posts!

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Copyright (c) 2014, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday ~ WYMAN in Hollis, New Hampshire

This tombstone was photographed at the Pine Hill Cemetery in Hollis, New Hampshire

In Memory                    In Memory
of Lieut.                     Mrs. Abigail
Jesse Wyman                       his wife      
who died                        who died
April 16, 1801            Oct. 29, 1808
AE. 64                           AE  62

What through our in bred sins require
Our flesh to see the dust
Yet as the Lord our Saviour rose
So all his followers must.

the inscription is still very legible on this slate stone

Jesse Wyman, son of Zebadiah Wyman and Abigail Pierce, was born on 18 March 1736/7 in Woburn, Massachusetts (in what is now the town of Billerica).  He married Abigail Johnson, daughter of Samuel Johnson and Priscilla Emery, on 18 September 1764 in Woburn, Massachusetts.  

Zebadiah Wyman was the son of Benjamin Wyman and Elizabeth Hancock.  Benjamin's brother Nathaniel (1665 - 1717) was my 8th great grandfather.  That makes Jesse Wyman my second cousin 9 generations removed.  

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Copyright (c) 2014, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Monday, October 20, 2014

An Autumn Visit to Dunbarton, New Hampshire

We recently moved to Manchester, New Hampshire.  Nearby, almost next door except for a sliver of Goffstown, is the small town of Dunbarton.  We had never been there, and enjoyed our visit very much.  It was a lovely fall day, and just barely warm enough for a ride in the little red convertible with the top down.  We found this statue on the common next to the town hall (the white building in the background).

In 1759 Major Caleb Stark, the first child of General John and
Molly Stark, was born in Dunbarton at the home of his 
grandfather now known as the Molly Stark House.  At age 15, 
he left this house and his grandfather, Capt. Caleb Page, on
the eve of the battle of Bunker Hill to join in the American
Revolution.  He represents Dunbarton's own minuteman and
his likeness is embossed on the Town Seal.  He was wounded
 at the Battle of Saratoga and, during the closing stages of the
conflict, served as an adjutant to his famous father.  After the
war, he married Sarah McKinstry and built the Satrk Mansion
where he entertained General Lafayette in 1825.  He was tireless
in his pursuit to arrange for payments for service of Revolutionary
War officers and his efforts suceeded when lands in Ohio were
granted as compensation.  He died in Ohio in 1838 and is buried 
at the Stark Cemetery on Mansion Road in Dunbarton.

Statue donated by Laraine and Herbert Allen

Pedestal donated by Marion Crosby from land formerly
part of the estate of Capt. Caleb Page

Memorial Day 2002

This is the Dunbarton, New Hampshire town seal mentioned on the plaque above.

The Molly Stark House is located just a few miles away from the center of Dunbarton, where the statue and town hall are found.  

Built by her father, Capt. Caleb Page, c. 1759, 
this was Molly Page's home in her youth and
as the wife of Gen. John Stark.  Their first
son, Caleb, who served with his illustrious
father during the Revolution, was born here, 
as was Molly's brother, Jeremiah Page, later 
a Superior Court Justice and delgate to
the first Constitutional Convention (1778).
This structure also housed the first Dunbarton
Post office (1834). 

This sign is on the corner across from the Molly Stark House, on the intersection of the Stark Highway (which leads to the center of Dunbarton and the statue) and the road to Concord, New Hampshire.  

General John Stark was born in Londonderry, New Hampshire, and he was a member of Roger's Rangers.  He became an officer in 1757, just before the French and Indian War.  He married Molly Page and had eleven children.  He joined the Revolutionary War right after the Battle of Lexington, and saw action at Bunker Hill, the Battle of Trenton, the Battle of Bennington, all the way to the end of the war when he returned to Manchester, New Hampshire.  General Stark is famous for the phrase "Live Free or Die", which now the New Hampshire State motto.  He lived to the age of 94, and was the last surviving Revolutionary War general. 

Click here to read a previous blog post about General John Stark:

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Copyright (c) 2014, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Sunday, October 19, 2014

2014 New England Geneablogger Bash

The New England Genealogy Bloggers assembled in Farley, Massachusetts for another bash!  We had a wonderful time and Sarah Campbell was again a terrific hostess.  Her home was quite historical, and she led tours from the attic to the basement.  Quite a few bloggers attended this year, along with some other local genealogists and historians that Sara had invited.

Besides eating and chatting (and chatting, and chatting, and more chatting), we heard a delightful tale from Shari Strahan about the genealogist Joe Manning and his genealogy projects on the child laborers seen in the famous photographs of Lewis Hine.  It turns out that Joe’s genealogy mentor was Sara!  It’s a long story and I'm so glad she put it into a blog post at this link: .  We also had a long discussion about NERGC 2015 in Providence, Rhode Island (Midge smuggled in an early copy of the schedule and conference brochure).   No keynote speakers at NERGC 2015? Hmmmm….

The fall foliage was spectacular, there was a little rain but it didn’t dampen spirits, and a pumpkin took a nose dive off Sara’s front porch… In other words, we had a terrific time!

These New England Genealogy Bloggers attended the bash:

June Stearns Butka  “Dame Gussie’s Genealogy Rants”

Sara Campbell (our hostess again!)  “Remembering Those who Came Before Us”

Midge Frazel  “Granite in my Blood”

Tim Firkowski  “Sherlock's Genealogical Adventures”

Barbara Matthews, blogger for the Mass. Genealogical Council  “The MCG Sentinel”

Elizabeth Pyle Handler “From Maine to Kentucky”
And she also writes “A Jewish Genealogy Journey”

Lori Lyn Price  “Bridging the Past”

Barbara Proko “Basia’s Polish Family: From Wilno to Worcester”

Heather and Vincent Rojo “Nutfield Genealogy”

Pam Seavey Schafner  “Digging Downeast”

Sheri Strahan

Bill West  “West in New England”

To see a complete list of New England genealogy bloggers, go to the Facebook Group “New England GeneaBloggers” and click on the “about” button to see a long list of wonderful blogs.   If you are a blogger who lives in New England or blogs about mostly New England topics, please join the group and introduce yourself!

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Copyright © 2014, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Surname Saturday ~ SPARKS of Ipswich, Massachusetts


The first record about John Sparks dates from 24 July 1650 when “John Sparke” was apprenticed to Obadiah Wood “bisquit maker” (baker) in Ipswich, Massachusetts.  [“Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, Massachusetts”, 1911, 1:200] Obadiah Wood was married to Margaret Spark, John’s sister.  In 1664 John was a renter in half of a house owned by Thomas Bishop, an Ipswich merchant.  In this house he had a bake shop and a tavern.  When Bishop died, John had to leave this house and he bought a lot in 1671 where he set up another bakery and “ordinary” (tavern).  He received his first license to “sell beere at a penny a quart, provided he entertain no Town inhabitants in the night, nor suffer any to bring wine or liquors to be drunk in his house.”  He kept this tavern for 20 years until he sold this property to Colonel John Wainwright.  [The Early Homes of the Puritans: And Some Old Ipswich Houses, by Thomas Franklin Waters, 1997, page 49]

There is no mention of John Sparks of Ipswich in either The Great Migration series, or in the book New Englanders in the 1600s by Martin Hollick.

My SPARKS lineage:

Generation 1: John Sparks, born about 1630 probably in England, died before March 1704 in Ipswich, Massachusetts;  probably married first on 26 November 1661 in Boston to Mary Sinnet, daughter of Walter Sinnett; married second about 1666 to Mary Roper, daughter of Walter Roper and Susan Unknown. 

Generation 2:  Elizabeth Sparks, born about 1666 in Ipswich, died 10 April 1692 in Ipswich; married on 25 December 1684 in Ipswich to Jacob Perkins, son of Jacob Perkins and Elizabeth Whipple, as his first wife.

Generation 3:  Elizabeth Perkins, born 18 March 1691 in Ipswich, married David Burnham

Lineage A:

Generation 4:  David Burnham m. Elizabeth Marshall
Generation 5: Amos Burnham m. Sarah Giddings
Generation 6: Judith Burnham m. Joseph Allen
Generation 7: Joseph Allen m. Orpha Andrews
Generation 8: Joseph Gilman Allen m. Sarah Burnham Mears
Generation 9: Joseph Elmer Allen m. Carrie Maude Batchelder
Generation 10: Stanley Elmer Allen m. Gertrude Matilda Hitchings (my grandparents)

Lineage B:

Generation 4: Westley Burnham m. Deborah Story

Lineage B1:

Generation 5: Westley Burnham m. Molly Woodbury
Generation 6: Henry Burnham m. Sally Poland
Generation 7: Sarah Ann Burnham m. Samuel Mears
Generation 8: Sarah Burnham Mears m. Joseph Gilman Allen (see above)

Lineage B2:

Generation 5: Sarah Burnham m. Abner Poland
Generation 6: Sally Poland m. Henry Burnham (see above)


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If you are reading this post without this URL, you are reading stolen content


Copyright © 2014, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Friday, October 17, 2014

Photo Friday ~ Two Cousins in Spain

The photograph above is my mother-in-law, María Josefa, and her first cousin,  José Manuel in Spain about 1935.  The photograph below was taken of the same two children a few years later, 
during the Spanish Civil War. 

These two cousins had an especially close relationship.  Their parents were two brothers who married two sisters, so they are considered double first cousins. My mother-in-law was an only child, so her playmates were her cousins.  You can see in the photographs below, that although they are both now in their 80s, they are still very close.

Click here to see another blog post with a photo of the same two cousins:  

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Copyright (c) 2014, Heather Wilkinson Rojo