Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Weathervane Wednesday ~ A Thanksgiving Turkey?

I post a series of weather vane photographs every Wednesday.  This started with images of weathervanes from the Londonderry area, but now I've found 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 or unusual weathervanes, too!

Today's weather vane is from a vacation spot in New Hampshire

Do you know the location of weathervane #236?  Scroll down to find the answer.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and I've been saving this photo of the weather vane from a top the cupola at the Hart's Turkey Farm Restaurant in Meredith, New Hampshire.  This local landmark has been operated by the Hart family since 1954.  It is located near Meredith Bay on Daniel Webster Highway at the junction of Routes 3 and 104, so it draws a lot of tourists, even busses full of leaf peepers!

Here you can get a traditional turkey dinner with all the fixings, turkey pot pies, turkey sandwiches, turkey chili, poutine with turkey gravy, turkey nuggets, turkey meatloaf, and lots of other turkey specialties! I'm sure they will have a full house tomorrow for the Thanksgiving holiday!

The third generation of the Hart family is now running the restaurant.  It has grown from an actual farm with a 12 seat dining room, to a huge business with nearly 500 seats that also provides functions and local catering. Check out the website link below for a complete history, and also a memory page where customers post their fondest remembrances of visits to Hart's Turkey Farm Restaurant.

The weathervane is a two dimensional silhouette of a turkey, with nicely carved feather details we could only see with a zoom lens. It is the only turkey weather vane I've ever seen.  How about you?  

Hart's Turkey Farm Restaurant website:   

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


Published under a Creative Commons License
Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Weathervane Wednesday ~A Thanksgiving Turkey?", Nutfield Genealogy, posted November 25, 2015, ( : accessed [access date]).

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday ~ Augustus and Martha Dodge, Beverly, Massachusetts

Died February 2, 1858
Aged 45 ys and 5 mos

The carving inside the chain reads 

widow of 
Died Oct. 10, 1878, 
aged 63 yrs.

Augustus Dodge, born 17 August 1812 in Wenham, Massachusetts, son of Nicholas Dodge and Prudence Edwards.  He married Martha L. Knowlton on 17 November 1834 in Wenham.  Augustus died 2 February 1858 in Wenham and is buried next to Martha in the Dodge’s Row Burying Ground in North Beverly.  He is a distant cousin to me through his Woodbury and his Herrick ancestors. 

Martha Knowlton was born 20 August 1815, daughter of Ivers Knowlton and Sarah Patch.  She was born 20 August 1815 and died 10 October 1878 in Hamilton. She is a distant cousin to me through her Dane, Kimball, Friend, and Balch ancestors. She was also a descendant of the Mayflower passenger, Richard More (1614 - about 1696). 


Published under a Creative Commons License
Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Tombstone Tuesday ~ Augustus and Martha Dodge, Beverly, Massachusetts", Nutfield Genealogy, posted November 24, 2015  ( accessed [access date]). 

Monday, November 23, 2015

Clues to finding Dodge’s Row Burying Ground, Beverly, Massachusetts

Dodge's Row Burying Ground, off Dodge Street, Beverly, Massachusetts

I dare you to find this little gem of a cemetery!  Even with a map, a GPS and a written description of how to find this cemetery we had a lot of trouble finding this cemetery.  “Dodge, shared right of way on right and driveways on left, opposite and in between Norwood’s and Beaver Pond Roads (North Beverly), park in cemetery.”  These were the only clues I could find online at the Beverly, Massachusetts US GenWeb Project.  

There are no signs off Dodge Street to tell you where to turn, and even once you pull into a private home driveway you are faced with several signs stating “PRIVATE DRIVE”, but you have to be brave enough to drive right through on the driveway, which is really a right-of-way through private property to the burying ground.

It was only later when we pulled up Google Earth’s satellite images of Dodge Street in Beverly and carefully viewed the woods between and behind the houses along the road- when we found it!  It's well hidden, but worth the drive if you have North Beverly ancestors.  The oldest stone I found was 1705.  The newest one I saw read 1922.  Many are broken or illegible. 

Here is a screen shot of how this cemetery looks via satellite image on an iPhone.  You can see the cemetery in the woods to the left of the tree farm (which is a big clue to finding this burying ground).  The private drive way is between two houses, with two more homes behind them on the way to the cemetery.  Be brave and keep driving! 

Some of the gravestones are illegible, sunken or facedown

This part of the cemetery seems to be in the process of being swallowed by the forest

Essex Antiquarian, July 1899, volume 3, page 105 “Dodge’s Row Burying Ground Inscriptions”.   [It’s a good thing that these gravestones were transcribed over 116 years ago, because they are very faded today. This article transcribed only pre-1800 stones.  A digital version of this volume is available online at Family Search ]

Inscriptions from the Old Burying Ground in Dodg’es Row, North Beverly, Massachusetts, 1888, [A small book of only 14 pages].

Some photos of Dodge’s Row tombstones [only those stones with the surname DODGE] from the Dodge Family Association website

Dodge’s Row tombstones by plot number

Good Luck finding Dodge’s Row Burying ground!  I’ll be featuring a few of these interesting tombstones starting tomorrow for Tombstone Tuesday.

For the truly curious:

The deeds to all the land comprising Dodge's Row Burying Ground were transcribed and published in The Essex Institute Historical Collections, Volume XXIV, 1887,  pages 116 -  122


Published under a Creative Commons License
Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Clues to finding Dodge’s Row Burying Ground, Beverly, Massachusetts", Nutfield Genealogy, posted November 23, 2015
( accessed [access date]). 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Surname Saturday ~ WALLIS of Rockingham County, New Hampshire


The first record of George Wallis is when he bought land in Rumney Marsh, now Chelsea, Massachusetts in 1656.  George Wallis next bought land in Little Harbor (part of Portsmouth, New Hampshire) in 1660.  The deed describes him as “sometime of Newfoundland”.  In 1685 administration of his estate was granted to his widow, Eleanor.  On 13 March 1785/6 his children William, George and Honor signed a deed dividing his land, as well as Walter Randall and James Berry for their wives, and “with the consent of Caleb, our youngest brother”.   This land is now near the state park and beach now known as Wallis Sands in Rye, New Hampshire.

I descend from the George Wallis’s daughter Eleanor, wife of James Berry.  I also descend from a completely different Wallis family, descendants of John Wallis (1627 – 1690) of Gloucester, Massachusetts at this link:   I also have a mystery Wallis – who is the unknown Wallis who married Sarah Wilkinson, daughter of Samuel Wilkinson (1722 – 1795) of Deerfield or Epping, New Hampshire?

Some WALLIS resources:

Martin Hollick, the blogger at The Slovak Yankee has written about the descendants of George Wallis extensively

My WALLIS lineage:

Generation 1:  George Wallis, born about 1619, probably in England, died 14 Dec 1685 in Little Harbor, New Hampshire; married to Eleanor Unknown. Six children.

Generation 2: Eleanor Wallis, born 1652 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire; married about 1673 in Rye to James Berry, son of William Berry and Jane Unknown.  He was born between 1650 and 1652 and died after 1712. Five children.

Generation 3: Samuel Berry m. Abigail Webster
Generation 4: Jotham Berry m. Mary Bates
Generation 5: Rachel Berry m. Ithamar Mace
Generation 6: Abigail Mace m. Simon Locke
Generation 7: Richard Locke m. Margaret Welch
Generation 8: Abigail M. Locke m. George E. Batchelder
Generation 9:  George E. Batchelder m. Mary Katharine Emerson
Generation 10: Carrie Maud Batchelder m. Joseph Elmer Allen
Generation 11: Stanley Elmer Allen m. Gertrude Matilda Hitchings (my grandparents)


Published under a Creative Commons License
Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Surname Saturday ~ WALLIS of Rockingham County, New Hampshire", Nutfield Genealogy, posted November 21, 2015, ( accessed [access date]). 

Friday, November 20, 2015

The Thanksgiving Plate

A while ago I bought this blue and white Staffordshire plate at Plimoth Plantation museum in Plymouth, Massachusetts.  I think souvenirs should be useful, as well as remembrances of trips.  This one is used at Thanksgiving, but most of the year it sits in my china cabinet. 

At the museum shop there were several similar plates. One had the Mayflower, and another had Plymouth Rock.  I liked this one because of the family crests around the edge, the Thanksgiving scene, and for the surprise on the back of the plate! 

The Standish family crest

The Howland family crest

I was surprised to find this list of the "Pilgrim Fathers" stamped on the back of the plate.  It's always fun to have a souvenir with five ancestors listed on it! Are your ancestors listed here, too? 

Of course, there is no mention of the "Pilgrim Mothers" or the children here.  So I had to buy a mug with all the other names!

If you are interested in buying a plate like this, it is still for sale at Plimoth Plantation!  Perhaps you can still get it in time for your Thanksgiving table?

Here is the link to this item at the museum shop website:

(If you poke around the website you can find the other plates and the mug I mentioned above)

DISCLAIMER-  I was not paid by Plimoth Plantation to endorse their museum shop, or reimbursed in any way. But I am a proud member.  And a descendant of eleven Mayflower passengers.

Published under a Creative Commons License
Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "The Thanksgiving Plate", Nutfield Genealogy, posted November 20, 2015 ( accessed [access date]).

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

2015 New Hampshire Thanksgiving Proclamation

Today, November 18, 2015, at the statehouse in Concord, New Hampshire, Governor Maggie Hassan proclaimed the Thanksgiving holiday as November 26, 2015.  Members of the New Hampshire Mayflower Society sponsored the celebration and were in attendance at the ceremony.

Members of the NH Mayflower Society, Gov. Hassan (holding the proclamation), and members of the Governor's Council
at the Statehouse in Concord, New Hampshire 

The State of New Hampshire
By Her Excellency
Margaret Wood Hassan, Governor

A Proclamation

NOVEMBER 26, 2015

WHEREAS,  In 1621, Pilgrim Governor William Bradford issued the first Thanksgiving proclamation to recognize a day of reflection and celebration, to be shared between the Pilgrims and Native Americans; and

WHEREAS, President George Washington proclaimed the first National Day of Thanksgiving in 1789; and

WHEREAS, Beginning in 1827, Sarah Josepha Hale, a famous author and poet from Newport, New Hampshire, wrote thousands of letters advocating for a national celebration of Thanksgiving; and

WHEREAS, The tradition of giving thanks became official in 1863- at the height of the Civil War- when President Abraham Lincoln declared that the fourth Thursday in November should be set aside for personal remembrance as "A Day of Thanksgiving", and each president since has issued a Thanksgiving Day proclamation; and

WHEREAS, Thanksgiving marks the commencement of the holiday season, bringing increased expressions of love, compassion and service, and

WHEREAS, Thanksgiving has grown into one of our Nation's most honored days, a time celebrated with families and friends when we can express gratitude for our many blessings;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, MARGARET WOOD HASSAN, GOVERNOR of the state of New Hampshire, do hereby proclaim NOVEMBER 26, 2015, as THANKSGIVING DAY in the State of New Hampshire, and I encourage all residents to reflect upon the many offerings of life for which each of us, individually and collectively, can be grateful.

Given this 16th day of November, in the year of
Our Lord two thousand and fifteen, and the
independence of the United States of America,
two hundred and forty.

(signed) Maggie Hassan 
Margaret Wood Hassan

Weathervane Wednesday ~ A Mermaid Swimming by the Cove

Weathervane Wednesday is an on-going series of photographs I post weekly.  We  started by publishing weather vanes from the Londonderry area, but now We'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! If you know an interesting or historical weathervane, please let me know.

Today's collection of weather vanes is from Massachusetts.

Do you know the location of weather vane collection #235?  Scroll down to see the answer!

Juniper Cove, with a rising tide
Today's weathervane was see on top of a private home near Juniper Cove, on Columbus Avenue in Salem, Massachusetts.  It is not located on a tower or cupola.  This is a very beautiful three dimensional copper mermaid.  The weathervane is very bright and shiny, so it is probably fairly new.

The house is located right on the waterfront next to Juniper Cove, so the mermaid seems very appropriate for this spot.

Click here to see another weathervane photographed at Juniper Cove: 

Click here to see the entire Weathervane Wednesday collection!


Published under a Creative Commons License
Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Weathervane Wednesday ~ A Mermaid Swimming by the Cove", Nutfield Genealogy, posted November 18, 2015, ( : accessed [access date]).