Thursday, March 26, 2015

Robert Frost’s Birthday ~ 16 March 1874

The Frost Farm, Derry, New Hampshire

Although we all think of him as a New England poet, did you know that Robert Frost was born in San Francisco, California on 26 March 1874?  His father was a Southern sympathizer during the Civil War, and so he was named after Confederate General Robert E. Lee.  Frost’s roots run deep in the Granite State. He is a descendant of Nicholas Frost who arrived in New Hampshire in 1634.  You can read more about his ancestry at my previous blog post HERE.

Nothing Gold Can Stay

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

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Copyright © 2015, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Weathervane Wednesday ~ A collection of Weathervanes from a famous Amusement Park

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! If you know an interesting or historical weathervane, please let me know.

Today's collection of weather vanes is from a famous California amusement park.

Do you know the location of weather vane collection #201?  Scroll down to see the answer!

The ship weather vane is atop the Haunted Mansion in Disneyland, Anaheim, California.
It is slightly different from the ship weather vane atop the Haunted Mansion in 
DisneyWorld's Magic Kingdom theme park.

This Mississippi paddleboat was seen atop a snack bar near 
Disneyland's Splash Mountain ride. 

If you hadn't guessed this one already, it is a cute Mr. Toad weather vane
from atop the towers of the Mr. Toad's Wild Ride attraction in Disney land.  

This is the pirate ship weather vane from atop the clock tower
on the Peter Pan ride in Disneyland

This cute heart weather vane is on top of Minnie Mouse's house in 
the Toon Town section of Disneyland, over looking a fountain
of Minnie's sweetheart, Mickey Mouse!

I wasn't sure about this Disney character until I Googled the name.  The chipmunk figure on the weathervane
is Gadget Hackwrench, a female character from the Rescue Ranger's cartoon series 
that starred Chip N' Dale.
The name of the ride is "Gadget's Go Coaster", a kiddie roller coaster in Toon Town, Disneyland. 

This pretty gilded horse weathervane can be seen atop an information booth 
on Disneyland's Main Street.

This weather cock is above a new section of Fantasyland in Disneyland.
It was currently under construction when we were there, but is near two new
rides being built- "Ariel's Undersea Adventure" starring the Little Mermaid and 
"The Seven Dwarf's Mine Train" roller coaster. 

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

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Copyright (c) 2015, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday ~ A Crosby child on Cape Cod, died 1840

dau. of
Hatsel and J. H.
died Oct. 18, 1840
AEt. 3ys.  8 ms.

I saw this little tombstone when I was looking for CROSBY ancestors at the Ancient Burying Ground in Brewster, Massachusetts.  This one intrigued me with the name “Hatsel”.  Who was Hatsel Crosby?  I couldn’t wait to get home to find out!

A google search led me to the Google Book search and the book History of Barnstable County, Massachusetts: 1620 – 1890, edited by Simeon L. Deyo.  On Pages 491 and 492 was this paragraph:

Hatsel Crosby, born in 1807, is the only surviving child of Abijah and Desire Crosby, and grandson of Elisha Crosby.  He was a shoemaker in Brewster for fifteen years, prior to 1848, when he came to South Yarmouth, where he was engaged in salt making until 1883.  He was married in 1836 to Jerusha S. Homer, who died in 1854, leaving five children: Susie, Abbie, Hattie E., Herbert F., and Nellie P., who died November 2, 1864.  Mr. Crosby was married in 1856 to Elizabeth S. Bangs who died the same year.  He was married in 1858 to Hannah, daughter of Jabez Nye.  They have two sons: Benjamin B. and Chester L..

From this little family sketch I was able to figure out how Hatsel Crosby and his little daughter Ellen fit into my Crosby family tree. 

History of Barnstable County, Massachusetts: 1620 - 1896, edited by Simeon L. Dayo, New York: Blake, 1890, preprinted by Higginson Company, Salem, Massachusetts,  available to read online at and through the Google Book search. 

Our kinship:

                                           Simon Crosby (1609 - 1639) m. Ann Brigham (1606 - 1675)

                                                  Thomas Crosby m. Sarah Unknown

                                                     John Crosby m. Hannah Bangs
Thomas Crosby m. Mary Crosby                                 John Crosby m.  Hannah Bangs
                        I                                                                                 I
Elisha Crosby m. Pheobe Hopkins                                Jonathan Crosby m. Hannah Hamblin
                         I                                                                                I
Abijah Crosby m. Desire Crosby                                   Ebenezer Crosby m. Elizabeth Robinson
                        I                                                                                 I
Hatsel Crosby m. Jerusha S. Homer                               Rebecca Crosby m. Comfort Haley    
                        I                                                                                 I
          Ellen P. Crosby                                                    Joseph Edwin Healy m. Matilda Weston
                                                                                        Mary Etta Healey m. Peter Hoogerzeil
                                                                                        Florence Etta Hoogerzeil m. Arthur Hitchings
                                                                                        Gertrude M. Hitchings m. Stanley E. Allen
                                                                                        (my grandparents)

P.S.  Mary Crosby and Desire Crosby above, both wives of men named Crosby, are also descendants of Thomas Crosby (1656 - 1702), the ancestor born in Holme-on-Spaulding-Moor, Yorkshire, England who removed to Boston when he was 8 weeks old with his parents, and is buried in the Granary Burying Ground. 

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Copyright (c) 2015, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Monday, March 23, 2015

The Woeful Life of a Colonial Woman

My 5th great grandmother, Mary (also known as Lucy) Mixer was born 21 November 1727 in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts.   Her parents, Joseph Mixer and Mary Ball, were from Watertown (near Boston), married there, and had eight children in Shrewsbury, thirty miles inland.

At age 22 Mary married Daniel Simonds  “of Westborough” on 13 November 1749 in Shrewsbury, and removed to Lexington where her five children were born.  Her marriage was recorded in Shrewsbury, Westborough and Lexington, Massachusetts.  She lost her husband on 9 February 1761, at age 41 years.  Mary gave birth to a daughter, Lucy, posthumously on 18 August 1761. 

Two years later she married Andrew Munroe, my 5th great grandfather on 25 May 1763 in Lexington.  She had Andrew, Jr. in 1764 (my 4th great grandfather), and then her husband died on 16 September 1766.  He was only 48 years old, and Mary gave birth to her second posthumous child, Ishmael, on 9 October 1766.  She was destitute this time, a second time widow with seven children.   She administered Andrew’s estate with her brother in law, Jonas Parker (who was later killed in the Battle of Lexington Green on 19 April 1775).  Mary had to ask the town for a pauper’s allowance for lying in with a posthumous child and for care of two minor children by Andrew. 

Mary married her third husband, Caleb Simonds, on 6 December 1774 in Lexington, just two short years before the start of the war, and the big Battles of Lexington and Concord.  During the battle on Lexington Green, Jonas Parker was killed, and so was Andrew's brother Robert Munroe.

Caleb Simonds, Mary's third husband, was a cousin of her first husband, Daniel Simonds.  He also served in the Revolutionary War.  After such a hard life, Mary seemed to have found a good husband, who only served in the war for six months and came home safely to their house in Woburn, Massachusetts.   The Revolutionary War, that affected so many lives in Lexington, ended in 1783. 

But on 3 September 1783, according to family tradition, Mary went for a pail of water at the well and was kicked by a horse.  She fell and struck her head on the door stone, and was instantly killed.  She was 55 years old.  This family story is verified by the town records written by Reverend Mr. Marrett of Woburn, Massachusetts “She was instantly killed by a runaway horse while standing at her own door”, and in the Lexington Vital Records where next to her death date it read “Killed by a horse running over her killing her instantly”.

Mary’s child, Andrew Munroe, Jr (1764 – 1836) married a girl named Ruth Simonds.  Ruth’s parents were Caleb Simonds and Susanna Converse.   Caleb was Mary Mixer’s third husband, and so my 4th great grandparents were two step siblings who married each other. 

Although Mary had a tragic life, she must have eventually made a happy home for her seven children and her eight step children from her three marriages.  It is nice to think that something good came from her woeful story.   Andrew, Jr. and Ruth  removed to Danvers, Massachusetts and had eleven children who all married and had children of their own.  During the Revolutionary War, Andrew Jr. rose to the rank of Colonel and was granted land in New Grafton, New Hampshire.   They were able to pass on quite a legacy from Mary. 

The photograph is from Vincent Rojo, taken at Plimoth Plantation 2008. 

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Copyright (c) 2015, Heather Wilkinson Rojo 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Surname Saturday ~ RANDALL of Saco, Maine

1872 Map of Cape Porpoise, Maine


My 8th great grandfather, Richard Randall (about 1633 – 1713) is a mystery to me.  There are no new articles about him listed in Martin Hollick’s New Englanders in the 1600s, nor are there any Randall family articles in the journals in the NEHGS database collections.   He arrived too late to have a sketch in The Great Migration series.  He has brief mentions in local histories of Saco and York County, Maine.   There are brief mentions in books like The Genealogical Dictionary of Maine and New Hampshire (page 576).

I’ve had to piece together the life of Richard Randall from vital records, court records and the local histories.  My line daughters out right away, since I descend from his daughter Priscilla, but it was a struggle to learn anything about the Randall family.

Richard Randall settled in Cape Porpoise by 1658.  He was in the town records for serving as constable in 1688 and selectman in 1688 – 1689.  He married Elizabeth Irons and had three children.  His daughter Sarah was married with children when she was captured by Indians and taken to Montreal. She became a Catholic, and her daughters took the names Madeleine and Therese and married two French Catholics and stayed in Montreal.  Sarah returned, and remarried.  Later, when Sarah was widowed, she lived with her widowed sister Priscilla, my 7th great grandmother, in Beverly, Massachusetts.  

In 1727 these two widowed sisters went to court as the only heirs of Richard Randall.  The record states they were “…the Children & only Heirs of Mr. Richard Rundal late of Cape Porpus Mariner…”.   [From York Deeds, by the Maine Genealogical Society, Book 12, Part 1, page 177.   They inherited his land.  This is interesting, because it also means that their brother was dead and left no heirs.

Priscilla Randall (about 1661 – 1752) married William Preston of Beverly and had nine children.  I descend from two sons, Nehemiah and Randall Preston. 

My RANDALL genealogy:

Generation 1: Richard Randall, born about 1633 probably in England, died after 1713 in Saco, Maine; married to Elizabeth Irons, daughter of Matthew Irons and Anna Brown.  She was born 15 April 1641 in Boston, Massachusetts, and died about 1701 in Saco, Maine.  Three children.

Generation 2:  Priscilla Randall, born about 1661 in Saco, Maine, died 23 April 1752 in Beverly, Massachusetts;  married to William Preston/Presson/Presbury, son of John Presbury and Dorcas Besse.  He was born about 1664 and died about 1718 in Beverly, Massachusetts.  Nine children.

Lineage A:

Generation 3:  Nehemiah Preston married Abigail Allen
Generation 4:  Hannah Preston married Robert Woodbury
Generation 5:  Molly Woodbury married Westley Burnham        

Lineage A1:

Generation 6:  Asa Burnham married Polly Bray
Generation 7:  Lydia W. Burnham married Samuel Mears
Generation 8:  Samuel Mears married Sarah Ann Burnham
Generation 9:  Sarah Burnham Mears married Joseph Gilman Allen
Generation 10: Joseph Elmer Allen married Carrie Maude Batchelder
Generation 11: Stanley Elmer Allen married Gertrude Matilda Hitchings (my grandmother)

Lineage A2:

Generation 6: Henry Burnham married Sally Poland
Generation 7:  Sarah Ann Burnham married Samuel Mears (see above)

Lineage B:

Generation 3: Randall Preston married Susanna Stone
Generation 4:  William Presson married Abigail Sargent
Generation 5:  Lucy Presson married James Andrews
Generation 6:   Orpha Andrews married Joseph Allen
Generation 7: Joseph Gilman Allen married Sarah Burnham Mears (see above)

The 1872 map of Cape Porpoise, Maine is from the website   

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Copyright © 2015, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Friday, March 20, 2015

Photo Friday ~ Iberia Airlines staff dinner in San Juan Puerto, 1972

[In my mother-in-law's handwriting on the back of the photo]

Hotel Caribe Hilton,  San Juan, PR
Abril 28, 1972
Inaguracion vuelo IB947 (Jumbo) con destino a Madrid
1er vuelo Mayo 5, 1972

Marian Pages
Brandariz Frank / Isabel
Zapata  Rosita/ Jaime
Aguilar  Gloria / Tolin
Amato  Raquel/ Santiago
Marti  Manuel / Provi
De la Torre  Mary / Casimiro

My mother-in-law was terrific about labeling photos.  And when I scanned them, she had a story for each one.  This dinner was on the occasion of the first flight of a jumbo jet from San Juan to Madrid for Iberia Airlines.  All the office staff was here at the dinner, and my mother and father-in-law are in the back row (Maria AKA "Pepita" is the second from the left with the shawl, her husband is on her right in the light colored suit).   My mother-in-law worked for Iberia Airlines for more than 20 years, in New York City and in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

About ten years ago Iberia closed their central hub in San Juan and now has its offices and flights based out of Santo Domingo.

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Copyright (c) 2015, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Anne Allbright Phillips (1930 - 2015)

From the Blytheville Courier News, Arkansas,   

Anne Allbright Phillips
Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Anne Allbright Phillips of Little Rock, whose life was defined by her love for her children and in later life her grandchildren, died Sunday night, March 8, 2015, in her sleep with family by her side. She was 84.

Anne lived a full life marked by a profound curiosity in all things, a deep kindness for others and a love of nature.

"She was a master of revealing," her former husband and Blytheville native Russell Phillips of Philadelphia said. "If she said to me once she said 20 times, 'You know one thing I am continually amazed by, you are constantly seeing things.'"

"She had a kind of mind which was tuned," he continued. "She was adept at availing the tools of discovery. And she wouldn't put up with any maudlin conversation."

Anne was born May 17, 1930, in McGehee, Arkansas. The daughter of the late Nita and Fount Allbright of Little Rock, "Annie" was the youngest of three children. She had two brothers, the late Bryce Allbright and Charles Allbright of Little Rock.

Anne was a superb actor. She attended Hendrix College and the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville where she won the campus award for the best actress of 1952. "She was the only one not acting," read one review of her talent.

Always with a book, she came from a long line of attentive, even literary Arkansans -- granddaughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Finley Allbright of Valley Springs, Arkansas, and the late Mr. and Mrs. Ray Raymond Ramey of Mountain Home.

"She was loved by all who knew her," said her daughter Sally, all the more by her grandchildren, Michael, Katherine, Olivia, Theo, Emma and Matt.

Annie is with her mother and father, grandmother and grandfather. A longtime member of the Audubon Society, Anne is with all birds now. She is with her cat, Bea and is survived by her cat, Alice.

She carries on in all of nature and with her loving God. All who she knew, living and gone, echo her favorite words, "I love you."

She is survived by her children, Russ Phillips, Pat Phillips, Sally Phillips Scott-Rector and John Phillips; and her brother, Charles Allbright; all who now carry her love in their hearts and in their care for family and friends.

Before she died, Anne requested to be cremated and for a simple marker to be placed in the ground bearing the words "She Was."

A gathering for family and friends will be held at 2 p.n. Saturday at her home in Little Rock.

In lieu of flowers, Anne requested memorials go to the Audubon Society of Central Arkansas,

Arrangements are entrusted to Smith -- Benton Funeral Home. An online guestbook is at


Anne was my brother-in-law's mother. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Weathervane Wednesday ~ An Historic Church

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 Massachusetts.

Do you know the location of weather vane #200? Scroll down to see the answer!

Today's weather vane was photographed at the Dane Street Congregational Church in Beverly, Massachusetts.  This the church my father attended as a child, and where he joined Boy Scout Troop #2 .  I was baptized here as a baby and went to Sunday School here.  In generations past, my ancestors attended church here, and one distant cousin, Reverend Joseph Emerson, was the second pastor here in 1803.  In the 1970s we removed from Beverly to Holden, Massachusetts and joined the First Congregational Church there.  My father was thrilled to learn that Rev. Robert Little, the pastor he knew from the Dane Street Church in the 1950s, was the pastor of the church in Holden.

According to the church history on their webpage, in 1801 several families in Beverly decided to establish the Third Congregational Church in Beverly.  The First Church had become a Unitarian church, and these conservative members wanted to stay Congregational.  They built a church which was destroyed by a fire in 1832.  This church building was constructed in 1833, and in 1837 the congregation voted to change the name from the Third Church to the Dane Street Congregational Church.

Dane Street Congregational Church, Beverly, Massachusetts 

Troop 2, Beverly, Massachusetts

Click here to see the entire series of Weathervane Wednesday posts

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Copyright (c) 2015, Heather Wilkinson Rojo