Thursday, September 3, 2015

Discovery of Scots Prisoners of War at Durham Cathedral in England! How is this important to New England Genealogical Research?

William Munroe, born in Scotland about 1625
Died in Lexington, Massachusetts 1718

The news hit the media just yesterday.  Two mass graves found next to Durham cathedral in England were found to contain the skeletal remains of Scots prisoners from the battle of Dunbar on 3 September 1650.  During the English Civil War the Puritans battled the Scottish Covenanters who supported the monarchy.   It was estimated that 6,000 prisoners were taken, and marched from Dunbar to Durham, but 1,000 died on the march.  Another 1,700 died during imprisonment at the Durham cathedral.  150 survivors were put on board the ship Unity and sold into servitude in Puritan Massachusetts.  Of these men, about 20 went to Richard Leader and his saw mill at Berwick, Maine.  62 men were sold to John Gifford for hard labor at the Saugus Iron works.

On 3 September 1651, exactly one year later, during the Battle of Worcester, again the Scottish Royalists were defeated, and thousands taken prisoner.  About 272 men were again sold into slavery and taken to Massachusetts aboard the ship John and Sara.  I had two ancestors,  Alexander THOMPSON and William MUNROE,  on the passenger  list dated 11 November 1651. 

Today is the anniversary, 3 September 2015, of both battles.  There will be commemorative services at the Durham cathedral in honor of these prisoners who died and were exiled.

I don’t know where my SPOW ancestors served their indenture, but Alexander Thompson settled in Ipswich, Massachusetts and married Deliverance Haggett in 1662.  He died between 21 November 1693 when he signed his will, and April 1696 when his estate was settled.   William Munroe settled in Cambridge Farms, now the town of Lexington, Massachusetts and had three wives and fourteen children.  His descendants spread throughout the area, and his grandsons and great grandsons were on the Lexington Green on the morning of 19 April 1775.

Many of these prisoners had names you might not recognize as Scots surnames (names like Jackson, Lowe, Jones, Wilson, Gunn, Perry,  Simpson, Robinson, etc).  You can read the passenger list for the John and Sara HERE.  There were about 422 prisoners sold into slavery, and most survived to have descendants.  I know that the 50 surviving Mayflower passengers from 1620 are estimated to have millions of possible descendants, so how many people could possibly be descendants of these Scottish Prisoners of War from 1650 and 1651?  

If you check the John and Sara  passenger list, you might find a familiar ancestral name.  Most of these men’s biographies will tell you where they lived and settled, which will be a clue for your research.  There are many books, websites and other resources listed below.  Local town and county histories in New England also have biographies and genealogies of these families. 

“Skeletons found near Durham Cathedral were Oliver Cromwell’s Prisoners”, The Guardian, posted 2 September 2015, accessed 2 September 2015.

Affectionately known as “SPOW”, the online research community is administered by Teresa Hamilton Rust at these three separate websites: 

Scottish Prisoners of War Facebook Community

Scottish Prisoners of War website by Teresa Rust

Some books:

Emigrants in Chains, by Peter Wilson Coldham, 1992

Directory of Scots Banished to the American Plantations 1650 – 1775, by David Dobson, 2010

Some of my blog posts:

My John and Sara passenger list blog post:

My blog post about William Munroe (about 1625 – 1718), SPOW,

My blog post about Alexander Thompson (about 1636 – about 1696), SPOW

I have many, many blog posts about William Munroe and the Munroe family.  You can use the search bar at the top of this blog, or click on the keyword MUNROE


Published under a Creative Commons License
Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Discovery of Scots Prisoners of War at Durham Cathedral in England!  How is this important to New England Genealogical Research?", Nutfield Genealogy, posted September 3, 2015 ( : accessed [access date]).

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Weathervane Wednesday ~ In a Museum

This is an on-going series of blog posts on local weathervanes I post every week on Wednesdays.  Some of the weather vanes are whimsical, some are historical, but all are interesting.  Often my readers tip me off to some very unique and unusual weathervanes from their own areas!  If you know an interesting or historical weather vane, please let me know.

Today's weathervane is from New Hampshire.

Do you know the location of weather vane #224?  Scroll down to see the answer!

Today's weather vane was photographed inside the Millyard Museum, operated by the Manchester Historic Association.  According to the sign on this exhibit, this weather vane dates from the 19th century "This weathervane stood atop the Fire King Engline Company house on Manchester's west side -- today the West Side Library.  The firemen and horses are factory made, but the steam fire engine was made by the men of the engine company."

The library building still stands and I photographed it from the parking lot behind the Manchester Senior Center.  On the tower you can see the cardinal points and where this weathervane used to be installed.

Millyard Museum, 200 Bedford Street, Manchester, New Hampshire

West Side Community Branch Library, 76 Main Street, Manchester, New Hampshire    

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

Published under a Creative Commons License
Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Weathervane Wednesday ~ In a Museum", Nutfield Genealogy, posted September 2, 2015 (  accessed [access date]). 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday ~ Captain Alexander Todd, d. 1807, Revolutionary War Veteran

This tombstone was photographed at the Riverside Cemetery, 
on Route 3A, Hooksett, New Hampshire.

This tombstone is located just inches behind the Mitchel family tombstone, and so I found it was difficult to photograph.  Check out the Find A Grave entry for this tombstone, and you will see that someone else had the same difficulty getting a good angle!  I was intrigued by the DAR flag waving in front of the more modern tombstone, and then I noticed the older slate stone behind it.  

In memory of
Born December 
25, 1731
and died June
14, 1807

The story of Captain Alexander Todd is a wonderful story of the inter-connected nature of the towns of Nutfield and the surrounding towns, and about the Scots Irish and their affinity for military service.  Alexander Todd was born in Londonderry, removed to Chester (a small part of Chester was a section of the Nutfield grant) which became the town of Hooksett, New Hampshire. 

from A Report of the Adjutant General of the State of New Hampshire for the year ending June 1, 1866, Volume II,  pages 216 - 217.

"Captain Alexander Todd, born Jan. 2, 1730, was the son of Andrew Todd of Londonderry, who came to that town from the north of Ireland, in 1720.  Andrew Todd was in the French and Indian war of 1746 as a captain; in the campaign of 1755 in "the Seven Years' War" as major, in Col. Gilman's regiment of reinforcements, and was colonel of the 8th regiment of the Provincial Militia in 1767.  About this time he moved to Peterborough, where he died Sept. 15, 1777, in the 80th year of his age.  His eldest son, James, born August 1, 1724, was captain of the 3d company in the same regiment, and died probaby soon after of hemorrhage of the lungs.  Alexander, his second son, settled upon a farm in Chester, now known as the "Todd Farm", and situated on the west bank of the Merrimack, i that part of "Old Chester" or "Cheshire" now Hooksett.  He was an ensign in the campaign of 1755, in Capt. John Mooer's company, Col. Blanchard's regiment; again held that office in Capt. John Shepard's company, Col. Meserve's regiment, in the campagin of 1756; was lieutenant in Capt. Herculese Mooney's company, Col. Meserve's regiment, in the campaign of 1757; was probably in Col. Lovewell's regiment of 1759; and was captain of the 2d company in Col. Goffe's regiment in teh campaign of 1760.  After the close of the war, in 1760, Capt. Todd removed to Londonderry, and resided until his death upon the homestead of his father, being probably in ill health, contracted in the war.  He died of consumption, aged about 45 years.  A younger son, John, was lieutenant in Capt. Amos Gage's company, Col. Meserve's regment, in the campaign of 1757, and was drowned at Amsokeag Falls, in the spring of 1759, at a narrow passage of very swift water, through a cleft seemingly in the rock, known ever after as the "Todd Gut".  Thus this "Scotchman from the north of Ireland" furnished four officers for "the Seven Year's War" for the defense of his adopted country, having doubtless imbibed the military spirit from his friends who had experienced the one hundred and five days of excruciating horrors at the siege of Derry." 

There are several discrepancies in this story.  The birth date was off by a year and a few days, and Captain Alexander Todd was not 45, but about 75 when he died.  A typo?  A misreading of numbers?  And no mention of his Revolutionary War service, but there was a DAR flag marker at his grave with a Revolutionary War veteran flag holder.

An online genealogy of the Todd family of Londonderry, New Hampshire has Captain Alexander Todd's birthday at 2 June 1730.

The book Londonderry, New Hampshire Vital Records 1722- 1910 has Alexander Todd, son of Andrew and Beatrice, as "Jan. 2, 1730-31" but it doesn't list whether this was a birth, baptism or christening.

Published under a Creative Commons License
Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Tombstone Tuesday ~ Captain Alexander Todd, d. 1807, Revolutionary War Veteran", Nutfield Genealogy, posted September 1, 2015 ( :  accessed [access date]).

Monday, August 31, 2015

September 2015 Genealogy and Local History Calendar

September 2, Wednesday, 6pm, History of Stepfamilies in Early America, at the New England Historic Genealogical Society at 99 – 101 Newbury Street, Boston, Massachusetts, Free to the public.  A book talk by author Lisa Wilson who examines the early stereotypes and actualities of colonial stepfamilies, shares stories of real stepfamilies in early New England, and discusses their impact on early United States history.  Book sales and signing to follow.  Click here to register:

September 2, Wednesday, noon, Intro to the Maine Historical Society: Library Tour, at the Brown Library of the Maine Historical Society, Portland, Maine.  A 45 minute tour of the library’s reading room and behind the scenes.  Will cover the basics of doing research in the library. (Monthly on the first Wednesday at noon in Jan, March, May, July, September, November)  FREE and limited to 10 persons.  Sign up in advance by email to

September 3, Friday, 7pm, New Hampshire Cemeteries and Gravestones, at the Franklin Public Library, 310 Central Street, Franklin, New Hampshire, contact Leigh Webb at 603-934-8222 for more information.  Free to the Public.  Glenn Knoblock presents the art, craftsmen and how to read the stone “pages” that give insight into the vast genealogical book of New Hampshire.

September 3, Friday, Noon,  Lunch and Learn:  One Colonial Woman’s World, at Plimoth Plantation, Plymouth, Massachusetts, free to members, $8 for non-members. Bring or buy lunch and learn about Michelle Marchetti Coughlin and her book which chronicles the life and times of Mehetabel Chandler Coit (1673-1758) and her diary, which may be the earliest surviving diary by an American woman.

September 4, Friday, 1pm, A Visit with Abraham Lincoln, at the Godnick Adult Center, 1 Deer Street (off Woodstock Ave), Rutland, Vermont, a living history presentation by Steve Wood. Free to the public.  Call 802-775-1246 for more information.

September 7, Monday (Labor Day), starting at 4:30pm, Charter Day, 2015, Commemoration of the Naming of Boston, Dorchester and Watertown, 1630,  4:30 bell ringing throughout the towns, 4:35 Food and Founders Tour leaves from the Old South Meeting House, 6:15pm, Wreath Laying at the Founders Memorial on the Boston Common with remarks by Robert Allison, Chair of the History Department at Suffolk University.  See this webpage for more information and registration for the tour: 

September 8, Tuesday, 2pm, Gwendolyn Quezaire-Presutti as Oney Judge, at the Adams Square Branch of the Boston Public Library, a living history presentation of Oney Judge, who was George Washington’s slave but escaped to New Hampshire.  Free to the public.

September 8, Tuesday, 6pm, Rebels, Redcoats and Revolutionary Maps, at the Central Library of the Boston Public Library.  Presented by author Richard Brown, a lecture about the maps of the Revolutionary War period.  Ronald Grim, of the Leventhal Map Center, will also discuss the maps of the first two decades following independence.  Free to the public.

September 8, Tuesday, 6:30pm, Gwendolyn Quezaire-Presutti as Oney Judge, at the Field Corner branch of the Boston Public Library, a living history presentation of Oney Judge, who was George Washington’s slave but escaped to New Hampshire.  Free to the public.

September 8, Tuesday, 7pm, Using Society Journals, at the Zion Lutheran Church, 41 Whitmarsh Avenue, Worcester, Massachusetts, presented by Charlene Key Sokal and sponsored by the Worcester Chapter of the Massachusetts Society of Genealogists.

September 9, Wednesday, 7pm, African American Soldiers and Sailors of New Hampshire during the American Revolution, at the Folsom Tavern 164 Water Street, Exeter, New Hampshire, presented by Glenn Knoblock.  Free to the public.  Contact Abby Pietrantonio for more information, 603-772-2622.

September 9, Wednesday, 6pm, Paper Love:  Searching for the Girl my Grandfather Left Behind, at the New England Historic Genealogical Society library at 99 – 101 Newbury Street, Boston, Massachusetts.  Free to the public.  A book talk by Sarah Wildman, who will present her research journey across many years and five countries after stumbling upon a cache of her grandfather’s letters to a woman he left behind after fleeing Nazi occupied Austria.  Held in conjunction with the AJHS-NEA exhibit on the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society.  Click here to register:

September 9, Wednesday, 6pm Survival: Boston 1630, an illustrated lecture at the Boston Public Library, Copley Square, Abbey Room, 2nd floor.  A lecture by PHB President Rose Doherty to hear about the challenges the Boston settlers faced in the early years.  Free to the public.  Pre-register here  

September 10, Thursday, 7pm, Martha’s Vineyard Chapter of the Massachusetts Society of Genealogists meets at the Family History Center, Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts.

September 12, Saturday, 1pm, “Early New England Church Records and Beyond: introducing the Genealogical Resources at the Congregational Library and Archives” a lecture by Steven Picazio sponsored by the Plymouth County Genealogists, at the East Bridgewater Public Library.  Free to the public.

September 12, Saturday, 1:30pm, Exploring Family Search at the Acton Memorial Library, 486 Main Street, Acton, Massachusetts, presented by Helen Schatvet Ullmann and sponsored by the Middlesex Chapter of the Massachusetts Society of Genealogists.

September 15, Tuesday, 10am, Researching Your Civil War Ancestors, at the Brewster Ladies Library, 1822 Main Street, Brewster, Massachusetts, sponsored by the Cape Cod Genealogical Society.  Fred Wexler will discuss little known sources of information for researching elusive Civil War family members. Come early for socializing, coffee and donuts at 9:30am. Free to the public. 

September 15, Tuesday, 4 – 5:30pm, Beyond Historical Records: The Old Colony Historical Society Revolutionary War Collection,  at the Boston Public Library, Copley Square, 700 Boylston Street, Boston, Massachusetts, presented by Andrew Boisvert.  Free to the public.

September 15, 7:30, Tuesday, Harnessing History:  On the Trail of New Hampshire’s State Dog, the Chinook, at the Speare Museum, 5 Abbott Street, Nashua, New Hampshire.  Bob Cottrell presents the history of Arthur Waldren and his Chinooks, the State Dog of New Hampshire.  Inquire whether the speaker’s dog will accompany him.  Contact the Nashua Historical Society 603-883-0015.  Free to the public.

September 16, Wednesday, 7pm, A Tribute to Sarah Josepha Hale, at the Milford Historical Society Banquet Room, 1 Union Square, Milford, New Hampshire, a living history presentation by Sharon Wood as Ann Wyman Blake, Free to the public, call 603-673-1946 for more information.

September 16, Wednesday,  7pm, Harnessing History:  On the Trail of New Hampshire’s State Dog, the Chinook, at the Francestown Town Offices (In back), 27 Main Street, Francestown, New Hampshire.  Bob Cottrell presents the history of Arthur Waldren and his Chinooks, the State Dog of New Hampshire.  Inquire whether the speaker’s dog will accompany him.  Contact Carol Brock at 603-547-2730.  Free to the public.

September 17 – 19, The New York State Family History Conference, an FGS regional conference at the Syracuse/Liverpool Holiday Inn, 441 Electronics Parkway in Liverpool, New York.

September 17, Thursday, 2pm, Never Too Late:  The Powder Alarm of 1774, at the Central Library of the Boston Public Library, presented by John Horrigan, part of Revolutionary Boston, a citywide commemoration.  Visit

September 18, Friday, 6pm, Repast from the Past: A Taste of 17th Century New England, at the First Church in Boston, Marlborough and Berkeley Streets, Boston, Massachusetts.  Fee to cover expenses of food and beverages served.  Kathleen Wall, Culinarian at Plimoth Plantation, will prepare and discuss 17th century food.  Please pre register here:   

September 18 – 20, 40th Annual New Hampshire Highland Games and Festival, at Loon Mountain, Lincoln, New Hampshire, See the website for a complete schedule of events and information.  Competitions, lectures, workshops, music, food, vendors, dinners, and a gala ball are highlights of the many things happening this weekend.

September 18, Friday, 7pm, Mary Todd Lincoln: Wife and Widow, at Stevens Hall, 1 Chester Street, Chester, New Hampshire, presented by living historian Sally Mummey.  Free to the public.  Contact Don Brown 603-887-3842.

September 19, Saturday, The Maine Genealogical Society’s Annual Conference and Membership Meeting, in Brewer, Maine.  Keynote speaker will be Michael Strauss.  See  for more information

September 19, Saturday, 7:30 pm, Talking Baseball with Doris Kearns Goodwin and Ken Burns, sponsored by the Concord Museum,  at the Fenn School, Concord, Massachusetts. Join Doris Kearns Goodwin, curator for the Art of Baseball exhibit, and filmmaker Ken Burns for a lively conversation about their shared love of baseball moderated by Jeff Idelson, President of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.  Registration required.  priority seating for members opens on July 15th.

September 19, Saturday, 1pm, Begin at the Beginning: Boston's Founding Documents, at the Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston, Massachusetts.  A discussion group with the Partnership of Historic Bostons with an illustrated presentation and discussion of readings, led by Neil Wright, of Lincolnshire, England.  Free to the public, please RSVP

September 19, Saturday, 9am - 3pm  Hard Core Hearth Cooking Workshop, at the Colonial Education Site of Plimoth Plantation, Plymouth, Massachusetts, led by Plimoth's Foodways Culinarian Kathleen Wall. Perfect your techniques for frying, boiling, roasting and baking, with a round table discussion about period food and the significance of the hearth to modern and historic communities.  $140 for members, $215 for non-members.  See the website for more information: 

September 19, Saturday, 1:30pm City Directories Seminar- A Great Source for Locating Information on that Ancestor that May not be Found Elsewhere, at the Connecticut Society of Genealogists Library, 175 Maple Street, East Hartford, Connecticut for a presentation by CGS president Carol Whitmer.  Free to the public, please pre-register at 860-569-0002 or by email 

September 19 and 20, Return to No. 4: Revolutionary War Weekend at the Fort at No. 4, Charlestown, New Hampshire. One of the biggest re-enactments of the year with battles both days at 1:30pm.  Fortified village tours, sutlers row for shopping, and self tours of the camps where you can see drills, open hearth cooking and demonstrations of colonial camp life. See the website for more information and a schedule of events

September 20, Sunday, 1- 4pm Planting and Growing Your Polish Family Tree, at Dom Polski/Polish National Home, 10 Coburn Street, Lowell, Massachusetts.  Sponsored by the Lowell Polish Cultural Committee.  Alan Doyle Horbal will speak on "Beginning Your Genealogy", and Sara Campbell will speak on "Overloked Municipal Records", also free translations of Polish documents, photo scanning and network with other family historians.  Please pre-register here:   

September 20, Sunday, 1pm Food and the Founders, a walking tour to meet on the steps of the New State House, Boston, Massachusetts.  This tour of Central Boston will explore key sites of Puritan Boston.  Please pre-register here:  

September 21, Monday, 7pm The Proof is in the Pudding:  New England's First Food Fight, at the Old State House, 206 Washington Street, Boston, an exploration of Native American and Puritan food ways by Katherine Grandjean of Wellesley College and Loren Spears, executive director of the Tomaquag Museum, moderated by Nathaniel Sheidley director of the Bostonian Society. Free to the public.   Please pre-register here:  

September 21 – October 12, Monday nights, 7 – 8:30pm, Beginner Genealogy Classes by professional genealogist Amylynne Murphy, of to be held at the Londonderry Historical Society’s Parmenter Barn, Londonderry, NH.  Register online at www. for $50.  To benefit the Londonderry Historical Society.

September 22, Tuesday, 7pm, Poor Houses and Town Farms: The Hard Row for Paupers, at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 270 Stark Highway, Dunbarton, New Hampshire, presented by Steve Taylor.  Free to the public.  Contact Gary Attalia 603-774-0069.

September 22, Tuesday, 7pm From Sicily to America: A Daughter’s determination to unravel the mysteries surrounding her father’s life, by the Central Massachusetts Genealogical Society, held at the American Legion Post #129, Gardner, Massachusetts. Members free, guests $2 donation.

September 23, Tuesday, 1:30pm, Intro to Genealogy, at the Haverhill, Massachusetts Public Library.  Learn to use the special collections room, which has a wealth of genealogy and local history resources.  Advance registration required, call 978-373-1586. 

September 23, Tuesday, 6pm  A History of Step Families in Early America, at the Central Library of the Boston Public Library, presented by author Lisa Wilson. Free to the Public.

September 24, Thursday, 7pm, Poor Houses and Town Farms: The Hard Row for Paupers, at the Madison Library Chick Room, 1895 Village Road, Madison, New Hampshire  presented by Steve Taylor.  Free to the public.  Contact Jan Eskedel 603-367-8758.

September 24-25, Thursday and Friday, One Name Studies and Early New England & Atlantic Canadian Research, at the New England Historic Genealogical Society Library at 99 - 101 Newbury Street, Boston, Massachusetts, cost $80.  A two day seminar to teach you to create, organize and share a one-name project- while deepening your knowledge of early New England and Atlantic Canadian research.  Lectures by David Allen Lambert (NEHGS) and Paul Howes (The Guild of One-Name Studies).  Breakfasts and lunches included.  Registration open to the public after August 5, 2010.

September 24, Thursday, 7pm, A Visit with Abraham Lincoln, at the Greenfield Town Meetinghouse, Forest Road, Greenfield, New Hampshire, a living history presentation by Steve Wood.  Open to the public.  Call 603-547-2790 for more information.

September 26, Saturday, 8am – 4pm, American Canadian Genealogical Society Fall Conference, at the Puritan Restaurant, Manchester, New Hampshire, speakers include Lucie LeBlanc Consentino, Jennifer Zinck and Ed McGuire.

September 26, Saturday, 10am, Making Old Photos Look Like New:  Tricks to Restore your Pictures to Tell Your Family Stories, at the Georgetown Peabody Library 2 Maple Street, Georgetown, Massachusetts. Presented by Walt Howe and Hope Tillman. sponsored by the Merrimack Valley chapter of the Massachusetts Society of Genealogists.

September 26, Saturday, 8am – 4pm, Fall Genealogy Conference, The Chelmsford Genealogy Club presents a conference with genealogist Michael Strauss and other well known genealogy speakers.  Register on the Chelmsford, Massachusetts Library's calendar beginning July 1st.  Registration ends September 23.

September 26, Saturday, 9am – 4pm, Brick Walls and Missing Persons:  One on One Genealogy Assistance at the Maine Historical Society. Sign up for a 90 minute one-on-one genealogy research session with one of the Maine Historical Society reference librarians and genealogy experts.  Twelve slots are available.  Refreshments and discounts on genealogy materials in the museum store, too. $40 MHS members, $50 general admission.  Register online

September 26, Saturday, 1pm, From Amistad to Brown v. Board of Education: Mount Auburn’s Supreme Court Justices and Civil Rights Cases, at Mount Auburn Cemetery, 580 Mount Auburn Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts.  This walking tour will visit the graves of some of the 12 US and Massachusetts Supreme Court Judges, and a few others, whose beliefs and determination shaped the lives of a generation of Americans.  $7 members, $12 non-members. Register at this link: 

September 26, Saturday, 6pm, Family, Memory, Place:  Writing Family Stories, at the Olive G. Pettis Library, 36 Mill Village Road (Rt. 10 North), Goshen, New Hampshire.  Contact Cynthia Phillips 603-863-6921 for more information.  Free to the public.

September 26, Saturday, 10:30am, Fueling New England's Iron Age:  Food at the Saugus Iron Works, 244 Central Street, Saugus, Massachusetts.  A tour and hearth cooking demonstration in the forge of the iron works by Neil Wright, industrial archaeologist.  Free to the public.  Please pre-register here:  

September 26 and 27, Saturday and Sunday,  from 11am – 3pm both days, rain or shine, The 11th Annual Portsmouth Fairy House Tour, the world’s largest fairy house tour, held in Portsmouth, New Hampshire’s historic South End at the Governor John Langdon House, Strawbery Banke Museum, Prescott Park and Peirce Island.  More than 100 handcrafted fairy houses made by local artists, florists,  garden clubs, and businesses on display.  A great way to expose your children to historic homes and gardens.  Advanced tickets are highly recommended.  For more information and to purchase tickets click at this link: 

September 26 and 27, 9am - 5pm, How Do You {Craft} History:  2015 #{Craft}hisoryfestival, at Plimoth Plantation, Plymouth, Massachusetts, more than 50 artisans, musicians and foodies will have demonstrations, classes and more from potters, woodworkers, bakers and painters inspired by 17th century Plymouth and Patuxet. Click here for more information and a schedule of activities:

September 30, Wednesday, 7pm, Tracing Your Irish- American Catholic Genealogy with Michael Brophy, at the Andover, Massachusetts Memorial Hall Library.  Contact Kimberly Lynn at 978-623-8401 for more information.  Free to the public.  Learn how to access existing vital records and census records, and other research materials online and at nearby repositories without the time and expense necessary to travel to Ireland.

September 30, Wednesday, 6pm, Daisy Turner’s Kin: An African American Family Saga, at the New England Historic Genealogical Society library at 99 – 101 Newbury Street, Boston, Massachusetts. Free to the public.  An author talk by folklorist Jane Beck that combines storytelling with historical research to build and authenticate a family saga.  Book sales and signing to follow.  Click here to register:

October 1, Thursday, 6:30pm, New Hampshire Cemeteries and Gravestones, at the Lincoln Public Library, 22 Church Street, Lincoln, New Hampshire, presented by Glenn Knoblock.  Contact Carol Riley for more information 603-745-8159.  Free to the public.

October 3, Saturday, Family History Day: Share the Story of a Lifetime, at the Boston Sheraton, Boston, Massachusetts sponsored by the New England Historic Genealogical Society and FindMyPast, a one day seminar to discover new resources, chat with professional genealogists, purchase books, and network with other family historians. Visit for more information. 

October 13, Tuesday, 4 – 5:30pm, Using the DAR Genealogical Research System to Find Revolutionary Patriots and Descendants,  at the Boston Public Library, Copley Square, 700 Boylston Street, Boston, Massachusetts, presented by Carolyn Holbrook.  Free to the public.

November 4,  Wednesday, 6pm  Stirring up the Past:  Puritan Beliefs about Food, at the New England Historic Genealogical Society, 99 - 101 Newbury Street, Boston, Massachusetts,  Lori Stokes of the Partnership for Historic Boston will talk about the Puritan's complex relationship to food, which was a gift from God.  NEHGS Archivist Judy Lucey will introduce a display of NEHGS treasures related to food in early Boston.  Free to the public.  Please pre-register here:

November 7, Saturday, 8:30am - 4pm, Massachusetts Society of Genealogists, Inc. Annual Meeting and Program, at the Marlborough Country Club, 200 Concord Road, Marlborough, Massachusetts.  Join us for our 40th Anniversary with great speakers, Barbara Matthews, Drew Bartley, Thomas MacEntee (via webinar), exhibitors, door prizes, networking.  Our raffle prize is three DNA test kits.  Registration opens Tuesday, September 8 

Published under a Creative Commons License
Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "September 2015 Genealogy and Local Events Calendar", Nutfield Genealogy, posted August 31, 2015 ( : accessed [access date]).

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Surname Saturday ~ HERRICK of Salem and Beverly, Massachusetts

Henry Herrick (1688 - 1755)
Abbott Street Burial Ground (Ancient Burial Ground),
Beverly, Massachusetts


There are lots of myths about Henry Herrick's origins.  He was not a Virginia planter, and he was not the son of an upper class gentleman in Leicester, England.  He was of humble origins, and a literate freeman in Salem, Massachusetts.  The Henry Herrick of Massachusetts and the Henry Herrick of Virginia may be related, but the kinship has not been established. 

Henry Herrick, my 11th great grandfather,  was part of the original Puritan settlement of Salem, Massachusetts that arrived with Reverend Higginson, and Reverend Skelton in 1629.  It is thought that perhaps he arrived on the ship Lyon’s Whelp.  He applied for freeman in 1630 and was sworn as a freeman in 1631.  He was recorded as a member of the Salem First Church in 1636, along with his wife, Editha. 

Henry Herrick lived near the Bass River in Ryal Side in what is now the city of Beverly, Massachusetts, and in 1655 he witnessed the will of John Friend (my 10th great grandfather), and he conducted the inventory of the estate of Agnes [Annis] Balch (my 9th great grandmother) the same year.  These families all lived near the Bass River, which separates Salem and Beverly.   Henry Herrick’s will, proved on 28 March 1671, describes his land in Ryal Side.

"Henry Herrick owned all the land from what is now the intersection of Beckford and Cabot Streets, northwest, to a point about what is now Mason Street, thence westerly to the river, taking in the land west of Edmund Grover to the land where the drop-forge plant now stands. That portion of his land which was his 'english field' is now traversed by Grant, Simon, and Ropes Streets." [from Calvin P. Pierce, Ryal Side from Early Days of Salem Colony, (Beverly Historical Society, Cambridge, MA, 1931), pg. 87.]

If you look below, you will see that in the sixth generation, the great great great grandson of the original settler Henry Herrick, Humphrey Bray (b. 1756), married a young woman named Molly Herrick according to the Gloucester, Massachusetts Vital Records.   Who was Molly HERRICK?  Is this a possible cousin connection?  I have a lot of Beverly ancestors, and many HERRICK marriages in my family tree, right down to my mother’s first cousin, a HERRICK who still lives near the Bass River near the Danvers/Beverly town line.

For more information:

Herrick Genealogical Register:  A Genealogical Register of the Name and Family of Herrick from the Settlement of Henerie Hericke in Salem, Massachusetts, by Richard Leon Herrick, 2008, 3rd edition in four volumes.

Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620 – 1633, by Robert Charles Anderson, Volume II, pages 910 – 914 for a lengthy sketch on Henry Herrick. 

Dawes-Gates Ancestral Lines: A Memorial Volume Containing the American Ancestry of Rufus R. Dawes, by Mary Walton Ferris,  Volume II, pages 420 -424

The Herrick Family Association on Facebook

My HERRICK genealogy:

Generation 1:  Henry Herrick, born about 1598 in England,  died between 24 November 1670 and 15 March 1670/1671 in Beverly, Massachusetts; married about 1630 to Editha Laskin, daughter of Hugh Laskin and Alice Unknown.  She was born about 1613 in Weymouth, Dorset, England and died in 1677 in Beverly.  Nine children.

Generation 2: Henry Herrick, baptized on 16 January 1640 in Salem, Massachusetts, and died 20 June 1702 in Beverly, Massachusetts; married about 1660 to Lydia Unknown, mother of five children.  Married second on 25 May 1690 to Sarah Alcock, widow of John Giddings, and daughter of John Alcock of York, Maine.  No children.

Generation 3: Samuel Herrick, born 6 December 1668 in Beverly; married on 25 May 1691 in Salem to Sarah Leach, daughter of John Leach and Elizabeth Flint. Three children.

Generation 4: Abigail Herrick, born 13 November 1699 in Beverly, died 2 October 1754 in Beverly; married on 11 October 1722 to Isaac Woodbury, son of Robert Woodbury and Mary West.  He was born 18 June 1701 in Beverly and died 31 October 1775 in Beverly.  Four children.

Generation 5: Lydia Woodbury m. Humphrey Bray
Generation 6: Humphrey Bray m. Molly HERRICK  [possible cousin connection!]
Generation 7: Polly Bray m. Asa Burnham
Generation 8:  Lydia W. Burnham m. Samuel Mears
Generation 9: Samuel Mears m. Sarah Ann Burnham
Generation 10: Sarah Burnham Mears m. Joseph Gilman Allen
Generation 11:  Joseph Elmer Allen m. Carrie Maud Batchelder
Generation 12: Stanley Elmer Allen m. Gertrude Matilda Hitchings


 Published under a Creative Commons License
Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Surname Saturday ~ HERRICK of Salem and Beverly, Massachusetts", Nutfield Genealogy, posted August 29, 2015, ( : accessed [access date]).

Thursday, August 27, 2015

I’m removing a blog post image… because it was the right thing to do!

Senate Patents & Copyright Committee, 4/9/24

Exactly one week ago I published a blog post about a newspaper article I found via  You can see this blog post HERE.  It was a very popular blog piece seen by over a thousand viewers, and I had comments from friends, readers and seasoned bloggers on Facebook about this article.  However, only one person, a new blogger, noticed something important about this blog post.

She wrote to me via email that as a new blogger she was very interested in “how you were able to post a newspaper article from Genealogy Bank.  I thought that they owned the copyright.  Did you have to contact Genealogy Bank for permission?”  These are all wonderful questions, and I used to think about this a lot as a new blogger, too.

However, as a seasoned genealogy blogger I forgot that certain online services, like Ancestry, make it easy to share images.  Ancestry has share buttons that allow you to email, blog, use Pinterest, and other social media.  I knew that this was the case because I had researched and blogged about it HERE

Genealogy Bank doesn’t have those share buttons or easy access to sharing images.  I had signed up for Genealogy Bank years and years ago, and I had forgotten that they carefully control their images and even transcriptions of their newspaper images.  As soon as I received that email from the new blogger, I went to my favorite resource for checking copyright.  Not Google.  It was Judy Russell’s blog The Legal Genealogist, where I found this post “Terms of use: GenealogyBank”  HERE  at this link

This is a gentle reminder to frequently review the terms of use of the resources you use online.  
And, to remember, if there is not an easy “share button”, you probably shouldn’t be sharing!

So, I’m removing the image from HERE, and also removing most of the transcribed text.  Short excerpts are OK. 

I’d love to hear from other bloggers and blog readers about this.  What are your thoughts?

The image above is "Senate Patents & Copyright Committee, 4/9/24", Library of Congress (National Photo Company Collection), call number LC-F81-29769, from the website accessed August 23, 2015.

UPDATE -  See in the comments below that Emily Moore has posted a link to another one of Judy Russell's posts that has updated information on GenealogyBank permissions on images 


Published under a Creative Commons License
Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "I’m removing a blog post image… because it was the right thing to do!", Nutfield Genealogy, posted August 27, 2015, ( :  accessed [access date]).

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Weathervane Wednesday ~ A replacement Eagle

Weathervane Wednesday is an on-going series of photographs I post weekly.  I first started by publishing posts about weathervanes from the Nutfield area, but now I've been finding interesting and historical weathervanes from all over New Hampshire and New England.  Sometimes my weathervanes have an interesting history, and sometimes they are just whimsical.  Often, my readers tip me off to some very unique and unusual weathervanes outside of New England.  Today's story was sent to me by a reader who was traveling through the state of Maine for a family reunion.

Today's weathervane is from Maine.

Do you know the location of weather vane #223?  Scroll down to see the answer!

A blog reader and fellow genealogist Sharon Gillis spotted this weathervane in Wilton, Maine.  She was up there attending an ADAMS family reunion.  This three dimensional eagle is located on the Academy Hill School, formerly known as Wilton Academy. When she pulled over to photograph the building and weathervane she also discovered a little cemetery across the street, Academy Hill Cemetery, and at least half a dozen family members buried there.  A win for Sharon and a win for “Weathervane Wednesday”!

The Wilton Academy building was originally a meeting house, and used by three different churches until about 1930. It was a high school from 1866 until 1967. The Wilton Academy was converted into a junior high school in 1968, and was destroyed by a fire in 1980.  It was rebuilt as a public school “The Academy Hill School” for grades 3 to 6, and apparently this new weathervane was installed then on the new tower. 

At the Adams family reunion Sharon met a distant cousin, Gary Adams, who told her “I was on the East Wilton Volunteer Fire Department back then.  We fought that fire along with more than 150 other volunteers from many towns in the area.  I graduated from Wilton Academy in 1967.  Our class was the 100th and the last class to graduate before consolidation of 9 area town schools that became School Administrative District #9.”  The fire occurred on a Sunday, Mother's Day, in 1980, so no children were in the building.  The cause was found to be faulty wiring.

Sharon Gillis with her Adams distant cousins
in Wilton, Maine for the Adams Family Reunion

The Academy Hill School website

A link to The Lewiston Daily Sun, Lewiston, Maine, May 12, 1980, page 1, with a story “Fire Guts Old Wilton Academy” that is continued on page 14.   Note the photograph on page 1 with another eagle weathervane.  It states that “the eagle, symbol of Wilton Academy high school teams, crashed in flames Saturday afternoon seconds after this picture was taken.”   This eagle is clearly a different weathervane, so it must have been replaced when the academy building was rebuilt.

Here is a link to the book Wilton, by Tamara N. Hoke, by Acadia Publishing, 2014,  page 64, with a photograph of the Wilton Academy in the aftermath of the fire (no weathervane in sight!)     

Click here to see the entire series of weathervanes at this blog!

Published under a Creative Commons License
Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Weathervane Wednesday ~ A replacement Eagle", Nutfield Genealogy, posted August 26, 2015, ( : accessed [access date]).

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday ~ 14 year old John Reid, died 1738, Londonderry, New Hampshire

This tombstone was photographed at the Forest Hill Cemetery in Derry, New Hampshire.  
In 1738 this was the town of Londonderry. 


Ledger stones (which lie flat, sometime on a pedestal like this one) are usually reserved for clergymen and prominent citizens.  This one was erected for a 14 year old boy.  There must be quite a story behind this death, but I have been unable to uncover it.  He could not be a son of James Reid, who born in 1695 in Scotland and came to Londonderry and had four sons- Matthew, b. 1728; Thomas, b. 1730; George, born 1733; and John, born 1745. (Unless James Reid had two sons named John- one named for a sibling who died young?)  John's tombstone is carved with typical 18th century symbols: crossed bones, a coffin, a skull and an hour glass. 

Published under a Creative Commons License
Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Tombstone Tuesday ~ 14 year old John Reid, died 1738, Londonderry, New Hampshire",  Nutfield Genealogy, posted August 25, 2015 (  accessed [access date]).