Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday ~ Seen at Disneyland, Anaheim, California

Just for fun, we photographed these funny tombstones seen at Disneyland in Anaheim, California.  We thought you'd enjoy the puns and bad jokes...

This first bunch is from the pet cemetery behind the Haunted Mansion ride.

the Bat
(upside down) We'll Miss You

He Croaked
August 9,

She was a poor little
Pig but she bought 
the Farm

Fi Fi


In Memory of My Rat
Whom I Loved
Now He Resides
in the Realms Up Above

Long Legged
Got tangled
up in his
very own Web

October 10

(the long squiggly inscription)
Here lies my snake whose fatal mistake was frightening the gardener who carried a rake

Did you know there was a second cemetery at Disneyland?
It's located behind Fort Wilderness on Tom Sawyer's island, a short boat ride across the river from New Orleans Square.  This wooden stockade fort has been closed for many years, and serves as a staging area for the nightly fireworks show.  It used to feature stairs and ladders to the ramparts, and re-created a frontier era outpost dating from the days of Davy Crockett.  It looks very authentic, except for the two rubbish bins next to the fort gate!

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Copyright (c) 2014, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Monday, September 1, 2014

Amelia! What is your maiden name?

For many years I have been researching Amelia, my 4th great grandmother.  In the 1970s, when I was a teenager, I found my first record of her through her son’s birth record (Thomas Russell Lewis, is my 3rd great grandfather) in the published Salem, Massachusetts Vital Records.  According to the “Tan Books”, Thomas Russell Lewis is listed as “LEWIS, Thomas Russell, s. Amelia, bp. June 26, 1825. CR 10”.  The notation CR10 refers to the Howard Street or Branch Church.   Two sons were baptized on the same day. 

Thirty five years ago I am still finding odd records about Amelia, but none give her maiden name.
This baptism record was odd, since most of the births and baptisms list both parents.  Why was Amelia listed as the sole parent of these boys?   I could not find a marriage record, and there was a death of a Thomas Lewis listed on August 21, 1821 in the Salem records.  Was this her husband?    There was also a death announcement in the Salem Gazette, 24 August 1824 for “Mr. Thomas Lewis, aged 54”.  Was this her husband?  He is another brickwall, and I don’t know his parents or ancestry.

There are two Thomas Lewis’s listed in the book Old Marblehead Sea Captains and the Ships in which they sailed by the Marble head Historical Society, page 87
     1)      Thomas Lewis born 15 June 1776 master of the schooner “Hawk” 90 tons in 1792
     2)      Thomas Lewis, Jr. born 28 May 1775, master of the schooner “Susanna and Lucy” in 1812

In the Gloucester death record of the other son, Frederic Augustus Lewis, Thomas Lewis was listed as the father.  I also found Thomas Lewis listed as the father on both Thomas Russell Lewis’s and Frederic Augustus Lewis’s marriage records.  Which Thomas Lewis is my 4th great grandfather?

couldn't find a death record for an Amelia Lewis, and so I searched to see if she had remarried and gained a new name.  Yes! She had been married three times!  First to Thomas Lewis.  Second to Thomas Johnson on 16 October 1827 in Salem, and then a third time on 11 June 1843 in Topsfield, Massachusetts to John Adams.  Amelia is listed as Amelia Adams on her death record in Wayland, parents unknown, died 22 April 1860 as a paralytic in the poorhouse, born in Stoughton.   Since she died in a year ending with a zero, I searched the federal census mortality schedules and found this sad entry (both husband and wife died the same month in the poorhouse):

1860 Federal Census Mortality Schedule
Wayland, Massachusetts
Amelia Adams, age 72, married, d. April, b. Mass.  pauper, paralysis, 4 days
            John, age 69, married, d. April, b. Mass, pauper, lung fever, 3 weeks

1850 Federal Census, Topsfield, Massachusetts
John Adams, age 60, m, shoemaker, b. Mass.
            Amelia, age 60, f, b. Mass
            Joseph H, age 18, m, shoemaker, b. Mass
            Susan S., age 16, f, b. Mass
William H. Garrett, age 16, m, shoemaker, b. Mass

The clue here in the 1850 census is the names of the children, Joseph H and Susan S.  With this information I was able to find this family record published in the Essex Antiquarian journal, Volume 1, Number 6, 1897, page 92


In the possession of Mr. William C. Peabody of Georgetown is a book entitled "Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul," by Philip Doddridge, D.D., and published in Boston in 1818, having on the first fly-leaf the following words, written in ink: "John Adams from his brother Joseph Adams," and on two other blank pages the following family records:

John Adams Born Sept. 17th, 1789.
Sarah Adams Born Decr. 5th, 1790.
John Quincy Born March 17th, 1815.
Abigail Bowles Born April 25, 1816.
Sarah Ann Born Nov. 8th, 1817.
Ruth Bowles Born Augt 11th, 1819.
Nathl Hayward Born April 24th, 1821.
Lydia Towne Born Febry 18th, 1823.
Abigail Bowles 2 Born Janry 30, 1824.
Nathl Niles Hayward Born June 29th, 1825.
Susan Hayward Born April 1st, 1828.
George Washington Born Janry 27th, 1830.
Joseph Hayward Born Decr 30, 1831.
Susan Irene Born Oct. 28, 1833.

My wife Sarah Adams Died April 9th on Fryday at 6 1-2 Clok 1841 P.M.  Intered on Monday Following.

Abigail Bowles 1st Died July 2d, 1817.
Nathl Hayward Died Sept. 10th, 1822.
Abigail Bowles 2d Died March 2d, 1824.
Lydia Towne Died Sept. 14th, 1824.
George Washington Died May 1st, 1832.
Susan Hayward Died May 5th, 1832
Sarah Ann Wildes Died July 14th, 1853.”

This fleshes out her 3rd husband’s family, but provides no clue to his marriage with Amelia, two years after the death of Sarah.  No maiden name, no birthdate. 

I have been unable to find any information on the 2nd husband, Thomas Johnson. But here is a big clue from the Essex County probate records.  These have recently been added to the online database of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, 35 years after I started my search for Amelia.

The image of the probate record for Amelia Johnson
from the New England Historic Genealogical website database
of Essex County, Massachusetts probate records at americanancestors.org 

To the Honorable Daniel A. White Esquire, Judge of
Probate for the County of Essex
HUMBLY shews Amelia Johnson of Salem
In said County, widow that Thomas Lewis, last
An inhabitant of Salem in said county, ropemaker, has lately viz.
1821, August 31 died intestate, leaving goods and estate, of which administration
Is necessary: - That your petitioner is a widow, and was the widow (the children being not of the commonwealth) of
Said deceased, and has a legal right to take such administration, and is ready to give bond with sufficient sureties for the faithful discharge thereof.  Wherefore he prays, that your honor would appoint her administratrix as aforesaid, agreeably to
Law in such cases made and provided.
Dated at Salem this seventeenth day of August, A.D. 1841

                        Amelia Johnson
ESSEX, ss. At a Court of Probate holden at Salem in and for said
County, on the third Tuesday in August, A.D. 1841
The foregoing petition being duly considered, it is thereupon decreed by the Court here, that administration, as therein prayed for, be granted to said Amelia Johnson, she giving bon
According to law her faithful discharge of that trust.
                        D. A. White JUDGE OF PROBATE

Know all Men by these Presents, That we Amelia Johnson, widow, as principal
And John Downs, trader, as surety, both of Salem, and John I. Baker, of
Beverly, esquire, as surety, - all in the county of Essex.
Within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, are holden and stand firmly bound and obliged unto Daniel A. White
Judge of Probate of Wills, and for granting administration with the County of Essex, in the full
and just sum of one thousand dollars, to be paid to the said Daniel A. White,
and his sucessors in said office; to the true payment whereof we do bind ourselves and each of us, and each of our heirs, exec-
utors and administrators, jointly and severally, by these presents, sealed with our seals.
dated the seventeenth day of August in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred
and forty one.

THE CONDITION of this Obligation is such, That if the above bounden Amelia Johnson
Administratrix of all and singular the goods and estate of Thomas
Lewis, late of Salem in said county, ropemaker, deceased, do make,
or cause to be make, a true and perfect inventory of all and singular the real estate, goods and chattels, rights and credits of said de-
ceased, which have or shall come to the hands, possession or knowledge of her the said administratrix or into the hands or
possession of any other person or persons for her and the same, so made, do exhibit, or cause to be exhibited into the Registry
of the Court of Probate of the said county of Essex, at or before the seventeenth day of November
next ensuing; and the same goods and chattels, rights and credits and all other the goods and chattels, rights and credits, of the said
deceased, at the time of his death ^ and two deeds of real estate which may be sold for payment of debts which at any time after shall come to the hands and possession of the said administratrix
or into the hands and possession of any other person or persons for the said administratrix do well and truly administer ac-
cording to law; and further do make, or cause to be made, a just and true account of her said administration upon oath, on or
before the seventeenth day of August, which will be in the year of our Lord one thousand eight
hundred and forty-two:- and all the rest, residue and remainder of the said goods and chattels, rights and credits, which
shall be found remaining upon the said administration account, (the same being first examined and allowed by the Judge, for the time
being, of Probate of Wills and for granting administrations within the County of Essex aforesaid,) shall deliver and pay unto such
person or persons respectively, as the said Judge, by his decree or sentence, pursuant to law, shall limit and appoint: - And, if it shall
hereafter appear, that any last will and testament was made by said deceased, and the executor or executors therein named do exhibit
the same into the Court of Probate of the said County of Essex, making request to have it allowed and approved accordingly; if the
said Amelia Johnson above bounden, being thereunto required,
do render and deliver the said letter of administration (approbation of such testament being first had and made) into the said court:-
Then the before written Obligation shall be void and of none effect; or else shall abide and remain in full force and virtue.
Sealed and delivered in presence of us:-
Charles Kimball                                   Amelia Johnson
Nathan. Lord Jr.                                  John Downs
                                                            John I. Baker

ESSEX, ss. At a Court of Probate holden at Salem in and for said County, on the
Third Tuesday in August, A.D. 1841
The foregoing bond, having been duly examined, in approved, and ordered to be recorded in the probate office.
                        D. A. White     JUDGE OF PROBATE
John S. Williams esq.
John Downs
James Odell
                                                Sal. Reg.

This document gives the date of death of Thomas Lewis as 1821, four years before the boys were baptized, and two years before her marriage to Thomas Johnson.  It says that her children, Thomas Russell and Frederic Augustus (maybe more children?), lived “not of the commonwealth”, so did the Johnsons live in another state?  Another country?  I’ve found no records of Thomas Johnson, her husband.  It also states that in 1841, the year of this document, she was twice widowed.  She did not marry John Adams until 1843 in Topsfield. It also lists that her husband Thomas Lewis was a ropemaker, which was interesting to learn.  Was he former sea captain, too?

My 3rd great grandfather, Salem sea captain Thomas Russell Lewis (before 1821 – 1853) died in Surinam, West Indies.  I found a death notice in the Salem Register (newspaper) dated 6 October 1853 “Mortuary Notice.  At Surinam, August 22, of erysipelas, Captain Thomas R. Lewis of this city, master of the brig Gazelle”.  Erysipelas is a strep infection of the skin, and deadly in the ages before antibiotics.

I had often wondered why Captain Thomas Russell Lewis was not buried with his family at the large family plot in Salem’s Harmony Grove Cemetery. It took me many, many years to find this newspaper notice.  I suppose he was buried at sea off the coast of Surinam in South America.  He was married twice.  His first wife was Hannah Phillips (abt 1821 – 1851), daughter of James Phillips and Sarah Cree of Topsfield. 

Hannah (Phillips) Lewis was my 3rd great grandmother.  His second wife was Lydia S. Pickering (1834 – 1866), daughter of Benjamin Pickering and Lydia Stanley, who lived for thirteen years after her husband’s death.  None of Thomas Russell Lewis’s records list his mother’s maiden name, nor do they give any clues to his father’s origins.

Over 35 years the clues to build this sketch of Amelia have slowly been uncovered. I had to use books, vital records, newspapers, census records, probate records, cemetery records, journals and online resources.  These are all resources YOU can use to help identify the missing maiden names of you female ancestors, too.  I hope that in the next few years I might learn her maiden name and origins.  I just hope it doesn’t take another 35 years to learn more about Amelia and Thomas Lewis!

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Copyright © 2014, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy - The 4th Commandment

On Genealogy Bank I found that my 9th great grandfather, the Reverend William Homes (1663 - 1746), had written a book on the Sabbath.  This is a small advertisement, dated 1727 for his book Religious Observation of the Lord's-Day.

from GenealogyBank.com
New England Weekly Journal, Boston, Massachusetts, Thursday, 10 July 1727, Issue XVI, page 2

I have read excerpts from Rev. Homes's personal journal, but I didn't know he had written a book.  You never know what you're going to find in historic newspapers.  I almost didn't look for his name at Genealogy Bank because I considered it too early in American history to find anything about him.  Now I know better!

Do you think I can find a copy of this little book on eBay?

You can read all about the life of the Reverend William Homes at this blog post:


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Copyright (c) 2014, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Surname Saturday ~ Emanuel Downing of Salem, Massachusetts

from the Peabody Essex Museum, dated about 1819
The Emanuel Downing mansion on Essex Street in Salem,
This house was taken down in 1753. 

Emanuel Downing (1585 – 1658), my 10th great grandfather, is a fascinating ancestor who seemed to be related to lots of historic figures from New England history.  Because he touched so many historic events and knew so many important figures, it is easy to find information on his life and genealogy.  His lineage goes back to the time of the Magna Carta in 1215, and he descends from one of the sureties Saire de Quincy, Earl of Winchester.

Emanuel Downing graduated from the University of Cambridge in England.  He first married Ann Ware in 1614 and had three children.  He then married Lucy Winthrop, sister of Governor John Winthrop of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and his famous son, George, was born in 1623.  George Downing, brother to my 9th great grandmother, Lucy Downing (1625 – 1697), graduated from Harvard and was the Ambassador to the Netherlands under Cromwell and Charles II.  He lived at Number 11 Downing Street, which is now the residence of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.   Samuel Pepys was his clerk.  George Downing was knighted in 1661 and became Secretary to the Treasury.  He became a baronet in 1663.

One of Emanuel’s daughters, Anne, married first to Joseph Gardner, and second to Governor Simon Bradstreet.  Simon was a Cambridge University graduate, and a founder of Cambridge, Massachusetts.  He was Secretary of the United Colonies of New England, and an envoy to King Charles II in 1661.  He was deputy Governor of Massachusetts from 1673 – 1679, and Governor from 1679 – 1686, and again from 1689 to 1692. 

Emanuel Downing lived in Salem, in what is now Peabody, Massachusetts.  He had a tavern on the Ipswich Road, and a house in Salem he bought from Governor Simon Bradstreet.  He returned to England in 1656 and rented his tavern in what is now Peabody to John Proctor (1631 – 1692).  John Proctor is also my 8th great grandfather, and was hung as witch on 19 August 1692 during the Witch Hysteria.

On a sad note, Emanuel Downing is infamous for penning a letter in 1645 to his brother-in-law, Governor John Winthrop, "A war with the Narragannsett is verie considerable to this plantation... if upon a Juste Warr the Lord shall deliver them into our hands, we might easily have men, women, children enough to exchange for Moores... For I doe not see how we [white men] can thrive until wee get into a flock of slaves sufficient to doe all our business".  He advocated trading the native Indians of New England for black African slaves. [Emanuel Downing to John Winthrop, August 1645, Massachusetts Historical Society Collection,  Winthrop Papers, 5: 38 - 39]

After Emanuel Downing returned to England he was made Clerk of Council of State to Scotland. He removed to Edinburgh, where he died on 26 September 1660.  He was buried at St. Martin’s in the Field in London.  Lucy, his wife, removed to England to live with her son Sir George and died in London on 10 April 1679. Emanuel Downing had several famous descendants, including William Tecumseh Sherman,  US President John Quincy Adams, and Vice President Aaron Burr (who killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel in 1804).  He is also the ancestor of Reverend Johnathan Edwards, Puritan theologian. 

For more information:

You won’t find Emanuel Downing in any of the volumes of The Great Migration series by Anderson, but you will find several of his children there.  He is mentioned in several local history books, including The History of Salem by Sidney Perley, and in books about the Winthrop and Bradstreet families.

Emanuel Downing, by Frederick Johnson Simmons, 1958 

The Ancestry of Dr. J. P. Guilford, Volume I: Seventeenth Century New England Colonials, by Joan S. Guilford, Orange, CA, 1990, pages 253-258 are about Emanuel Downing.

The American Genealogist, Volume 74, pages 161-174, and 299 – 308) for the English ancestry of Emanuel Downing.

My DOWNING genealogy:

Generation 1: Emanuel Downing, son of Reverend George Downing and Dorcas Bellamy, was born 12 August 1585 in Ipswich, Suffolk, England, died 26 July 1658 in Scotland; married first on 7 January 1614 in Edinburgh, Scotland to Anne Ware (three children); married second on 10 April 1622 in Groton, Suffolk, England to Lucy Winthrop (five children).  Lucy was the daughter of Adam Winthrop and Anne Browne.

Generation 2: Lucy Downing, daughter of Emanuel Downing and Lucy Winthrop, born in 1625 in Salem, Massachusetts, died on 2 May 1697 in Ipswich, Massachusetts; married to William Norton, son of William Norton and Alice Browest.  (five children)

Generation 3: Bonus Norton m. Mary Goodhue
Generation 4: Elizabeth Norton m. Benjamin Swett
Generation 5: Elizabeth Swett m. David Batchelder
Generation 6: Elisha Batchelder m. Sarah Lane
Generation 7: Jonathan Batchelder m. Nancy Thompson
Generation 8: George E. Batchelder m. Abigail M. Locke
Generation 9: George E. Batchelder m. Mary Katharine Emerson
Generation 10: Carrie Maude Batchelder m. Joseph Elmer Allen
Generation 11: Stanley Elmer Allen m. Gertrude Matilda Hitchings (my grandparents)

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Copyright © 2014, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Friday, August 29, 2014

The Demoulas Family Tree

Did you feel like you needed a scorecard to keep track of the Demoulas cousins during their latest Market Basket family feud that aired in front of the public?  I know that when I read historical novels, I love authors that put genealogies right in the front cover so I can keep track.  Sort of a cheat sheet for genealogists.  Authors like James A. Michener and Edward Rutherfurd were especially good at including a family tree, which was handy because their books would go on for generations.  Just like the Demoulas saga.

So, here it is!  This is the Demoulas clan chart, showing both Demoulas brothers who started the supermarket chain, and both cousins named Arthur who continue to feud. The names and dates here were gleaned from Ancestry.com, vital records, and New England newspapers.

George Demoulas                                                          Evangelos Souleimanis
m. Ecaterine Athanasoula                                               m. Marina
                  |                                                                         |    
Anthansios"Theoni" Demoulas                                        Efrosine  Soulis
b. 3 Jan 1883 Kalambaka, Greece                                b. 27 Aug 1899 Kalambaka, Greece
d. 30 Apr 1958  Lowell, Mass.                                     d. 12 Aug 1964 Lowell, Mass
                          |                                                                                      |
                              |                              |                                    |
Telmachus "Mike" Demoulas                4 other children             George A. Demoulas
b. 10 Oct 1920                                                                         b. 1919
d. 24 May 2003 Boston                                                            d. 27 June 1971 Greece
m. Irene Psolinos                                                                       m. Evanthea Koukias
                   |                                                                                          |
  ------------------------------------------                                      ---------------------------------------
|                    |            |                  |                                  |               |                  |                      |
Francis    Glorianne   Arthur T.    Caren Lee                  Fotene       Evangelos       Diana     Arthur S.
b. 1950   b. 1952    b. 1955     b. 1959                        b. 1954      b. 1955          b. 1956    b. 1958
                                                                                                      d. 1993

Athanasios Demoulas opened his first store in Lowell, Massachusetts in 1916.  The store was sold to two sons, Telemachus and George, Demoulas in 1954.  The Demoulas brothers expanded the chain to 15 stores before George died in Greece on vacation in 1971.  Today the chain has spread out of the Merrimack Valley to 71 locations in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

As a genealogist I find this family bickering to be a fascinating case study.  On one hand I like supporting a local, family business, but on the other hand I see how feuding families can absolutely drive a good business into ruin.  Some day the students at Harvard Business School will make this one of their most complicated case studies.

The feuding is not new.  There was a family rift that started back in 1971 when George A. Demoulas died young at age 51, and the evenly divided family shares in the supermarket business had to be redistributed.  There was another scandal in 1991 involving some "questionable accounting", accusations of bugging devices and some of the cousins lost some of their shares.  In 1994, Judge Maria Lopez (of the TV court show fame) found that Mike Demoulas had defrauded his brother's family of shares.

In 1979 some of the Demoulas and Psolinos family members bought the Farragut Hotel on the waterfront of Rye, New Hampshire.  After razing the old building and starting a new one, the hotel sat empty for 24 years as the family members fought over the property.  The derelict building was razed in 2003.  Because of the continuous feuding, the vacant lot on the corner of Ocean Boulevard and Central Road is still unimproved.  This lot must be worth millions now in 2014, but remains vacant because the family has not decided how to plan a profitable hotel or condo business here.

To read about the Farragut Hotel debacle, click here:

For another look at the Demoulas family, click on this link by Barbara Poole, a Lowell, Massachusetts genealogy blogger at “Life from the Roots” (some great photos, too!):

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Copyright (c) 2014, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Thursday, August 28, 2014

September 2014 Genealogy and Local History Calendar

August 29 – 31st, 30th Annual Gloucester Schooner Festival, at Gloucester, Massachusetts in the harbor and nearby. http://gloucesterschoonerfestival.net/ Fireworks on the 30th, parade of sail on the 31st.

August 29, Friday, 11am – 12:30pm Walk with Washington at the Gov. John Langdon House, 143 Pleasant Street, Portsmouth, New Hampshire.  $6 Historic New England members, $12 non members.  Walk the streets of Portsmoth in the footsteps of George Washington when he visited in 1789.  Registration required call 603-436-3205

August 30, Saturday, 10am – noon Face and Families: Folk Art Portraits at Cogswell’s Grant, 60 Spring Street, Essex, Massachusetts, $5 Historic New England members, $15 non-members.  Registration required 978-768-3632

August 30 – October 19, Weekends 10am – 6pm, King Richard’s Faire, 235 Main Street, Carver, Massachusetts, New England’s largest renaissance fair. http://kingrichardsfaire.net/

September 1 Discover Quincy Days, experience Quincy, Massachusetts and its rich history for the price of one $5 wristband.  http://thequincychamber.com/news/discover-quincy-days

September 2, 4 – 5:30pm, Treating Our Sources as Evidence: Let’s Get all Sherlock About Our Genealogy Sources, by Barbara Matthews, part of the Genealogist Lecture Series at the Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston Street, Boston, Massachusetts, in the Commonwealth Salon.  617-859-2261.

September 2- 7, Brimfield Antique and Flea Market Show, http://www.brimfieldexchange.com/

September 4, Thursday, noon, Lunch & Learn: The Restoration and Re-Launch of the Whaling Ship Charles W. Morgan, at Plimoth Plantation, Plymouth, Massachusetts.  Bring a lunch, or buy one in the visitor center, and listen to Dr. Elysa Engelman of the Mystic Seaport speak about the whaling ship Charles W. Morgan, originally launched in 1841.  Free to members, non-members $8.

September 5, Friday, 11am – 12:30pm Walk with Washington (see above)

September 6, Saturday, 11am – 3pm Jackson Hill Cider Day, at the Jackson House, 76 Northwest Street, Portsmouth, NH.  Free to Historic New England members, $6 non-members, $3 children.  Held grind apples and press cider. Watch artisans demonstrations, children’s games, crafts and seasonal refreshments, too. Tour the 1664 Jackson House.  Call 603-436-3206 for more information.

September 6, Saturday, 11am – 1pm Beacon Hill Walking Tour Otis House, 141 Cambridge Street, Boston, Massachusetts $6 Historic New England members, $12 non-members. Registration required 617-994-5920. 

September 6 and October 4, Discover Quincy Days (see above)
September 6 and 7,  Saturday and Sunday, noon and 1:30 pm The Way We Worked: Domestic Help Wanted, at the Roseland Cottage, 556 Route 169, Woodstock, Connecticut, $5 Historic New England members, $15 non-members.  See Roseland Cottage through the eyes of applicants of the house’s many domestic servant positions.  Registration required 860-928-4074

September 7, Sunday, noon, Vintage Baseball Double-Header, Lynn Live Oaks vs Newburyport Clamdiggers, at the Spencer-Peirce Little Farm, 5 Little’s Lane, Newbury, Massachusetts.  Watch two games play baseball with 1860s rules.  Grass field seating, bring blankets and lawn chairs, no reserved seating. Weather permitting, please call  978-462-2634 for more information.  Free to Historic New England members, $5 non-members.

September 8, Monday, 6:30, American Agricultural Fairs, with a focus on Derry, New Hampshire, presented by Mark Mastromarino, at the Derry Public Library.  For details call 603-432-6140 or see http://derrypl.org/2014/08/local-fairs/ 

September 11, Thursday, 2:30 – 4:30pm Capturing Beauport, at the Sleeper-McCann House, 75 Eastern Point Boulevard, Gloucester, Massachusetts. $25 Historic New England members, $50 non-members.  Have you ever wanted to take photos of Beauport’s interior? Now is your chance for a regular tour with extra time for photography.  There is also a chance your favorite image will be chosen to be made into a postcard for sale in the museum shop.  Registration required 978-283-0880.

September 12, Friday, 11am – 12:30pm Walk with Washington (see above)

September 12, Friday, 8:30 – 10am Inside Haymarket, a tour departing from the corner of Congress and Hanover Streets, Boston, Massachusetts. $25 Historic New England members, $35 non-members.  Enjoy a behind the scenes tour of the market as it opens for the day, learn the history, and hear from the president of the Haymarket Pushcart Association.  Sample fruits, vegetables, cheese, and even pizza.  Registration required 617-994-5920

September 13, Saturday, Maine Lighthouse Day, at lighthouses all along the Maine coast, see the website http://www.lighthousefoundation.org/openlighthouseday.htm

September 13, Saturday, 11am – 1pm Beacon Hill Walking Tour (see above)

September 14, Vintage Baseball Double Header, Lowell Baseball Club vs. Portsmouth Rockinghams,  at the Spencer-Peirce Little Farm, 5 Little’s Lane, Newbury, Massachusetts.  Watch two games play baseball with 1860s rules.  Grass field seating, bring blankets and lawn chairs, no reserved seating. Weather permitting, please call  978-462-2634 for more information.  Free to Historic New England members, $5 non-members.

September 16, 4-5:30pm, The Many Faces of Evernote, by Alice Kane, part of the Genealogist Lecture Series at the Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston Street, Boston, Massachusetts, in the Commonwealth Salon.  617-859-2261

September 19 – 21, Friday – Sunday, New Hampshire Highland Games at Loon Mountain, Lincoln, New Hampshire, with a Gathering of the Clans (60 clans and societies), pipe bands, sheepdog trials, concerts, fiddling championship, atheletics, dance competitions, and more. http://www.nhscot.org/

September 19, Friday, 11am – 12:30pm Walk with Washington (see above)

September 20, Saturday, 11am – 1pm Beacon Hill Walking Tour (see above)

September 20-21, Saturday and Sunday, 11am – 3pm, The 10th Annual Portsmouth Fairy House Tour, on the grounds of Strawberry Banke, the Governor John Langdon House, Prescott Park and Peirce Island in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.  The tour occurs rain or shine. Introduce these historic sites to your kids while touring over 150 handcrafted fairy houses hidden in the gardens and landscaping.  Proceeds to benefit the museum’s “History in Reach” fund, advance tickets are $25 per family, $12 per adult, $8 seniors, $4 per child 3 -12, and tickets purchased on the day of the event are $30 per family, $15 per adult, $10 per senior, $5 per child 3 -12. Purchase tickets online at www.portsmouthfairyhousetour.com

September 20, Saturday, 2 – 3:30pm “Am I not a Man and a Brother?”: A recreation of an Abolitionist Meeting” at the Roseland Cottage, 556 Route 169, Woodstock, Connecticut.  Free to Historic New England members,  $5 non-members. Registration required 860-928-4074

September 26, Friday Walk with Washington (see above)

September 27, Saturday, 8am – 4pm, American Canadian Genealogical Society Fall Conference and Annual Meeting at the Chateau restaurant and event center, 201 Hanover Street, Manchester, New Hampshire.  Two morning workshops, buffet lunch included, one afternoon workshop, annual meeting.  Early Bird Fee $50 by September 15, Full conference fee $60 after September 15.  No registration required to attend the annual meeting. http://www.acgs.org/about/Fall%20Conference_2014.pdf

September 27, Saturday, 2pm, Colonial Garden Talk, by Roby Kanter, , at the House of Seven Gables, 115 Derby Street, Salem, Massachusetts, a lecture by Matthew Thomas, Free to members, non-members $15, reservations recommended 978-744-0991 ext. 104

September 27, Saturday, 10am, Genealogy 101: From the Roots Up! Presented by Lucie LeBlanc Consentino, sponsored by the Merrimack Valley Chapter of the Massachusetts Society of Genealogists, meeting at the Nevins Library, Garden Room, 305 Broadway, Methuen, Massachusetts. Free to the public

September 27, Saturday, 11am – 1pm, Beacon Hill Walking Tour (see above)

October 1 – 31st, 33rd Annual Salem Haunted Happenings, all over Salem, Massachusetts, see the website http://hauntedhappenings.org/ Grand Parade, Street Fairs, Family Film nights, costume balls, ghost tours, haunted houses, live music and theatrical presentations.

October 15, Wednesday, 6:30pm, Reverend James MacGregor of Aghadowey, Northern Ireland and Londonderry, New Hampshire, presented by the Derry, New Hampshire town historian, Rick Holmes at the Derry Public Library. Call 432-6140 for more information.

October 25, Saturday, 10am, The Pirate Capture, Bold Escape, and Lonely Exile of Philip Ashton presented by author Greg Flemming, sponsored by the Merrimack Valley Chapter of the Massachusetts Society of Genealogists, meeting at the Nevins Library, Garden Room, 305 Broadway, Methuen, Massachusetts.

November 19, Wednesday, 6pm, The Schooner Fame, by Capt. Mike Rustein, , at the House of Seven Gables, 115 Derby Street, Salem, Massachusetts, a lecture by Matthew Thomas, Free to members, non-members $15, reservations recommended 978-744-0991 ext. 104

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Copyright 2014, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Weathervane Wednesday ~ A Firefighter in Virginia

Weathervane Wednesday is an on-going series of photographs I post weekly.  Three years ago I started by publishing weather vanes from the Londonderry area, but now I've been finding interesting weather vanes all across New England and ever further afield.  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 was spotted in Virginia by a reader.

Do you know the location of weather vane #171?   Scroll down to see the answer...

Today's weather vane was spotted and photographed by Thomas Tufts, who is also a genealogy blogger at "The Tufts Family Genealogy".   This weather vane can be found on the Friendship Firehouse Mueum in Alexandria, Virginia. It was established as the first volunteer fire department in Alexandria in 1774.  This museum sponsors a festival featuring antique fire fighting apparatus on the first Saturday in every August.  It is located on 107 South Alfred Street, Alexandria, Virginia.

This weather vane is a two dimensional fire fighter, holding an axe and a fire bucket.  That was state of the art equipment for fire fighting in 1774!  You can see the fire fighting helmet on his head.

The Friendship Firehouse Museum website http://alexandriava.gov/historic/friendship/default.aspx 

The Tufts Family Genealogy Blog   http://tuftsgenealogy.blogspot.com/

Weather vanes in the news!

The steeple of the 185 year old Congregational Church in Westhampton, Massachusetts was repaired and the weathervane re-installed.  Story from the Westhampton Gazette:

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Copyright (c) 2014, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday ~ Ebenezer Crosby and Sarah Richardson, Chebogue Cemetery, Yarmouth, Nova Scotia

This tombstone was photographed at the Chebogue Cemetery, at Town Point, Yarmouth, Nova Scotia

Nov, 1863
aged 91 yrs

Oct. 1823
Aged 47 yrs


Ebenezer Crosby is my 4th Great Grand Uncle, son of Ebenezer Crosby and Elizabeth Robinson.  He was born in 1772 and died on 13 December 1863 in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.  He married Sarah Richardson, the daughter of Reuben Richardson.  He was the brother of my 4th great grandmother, Rebecca Crosby (b. 1789), who married Comfort Haley (1787 - 1874).  Ebenezer lived to be 91 years old, which was quite a feat in those times!

Ebenezer Crosby, senior was an early settler at Chebogue.  He arrived in Nova Scotia with his parents, Jonathan Crosby and Hannah Hamblin, with the six families that sailed up the coast from Connecticut.  The Crosby family originally lived on Cape Cod, and they are Mayflower descendants.  You can see a blog post with a photo of Jonathan and Hannah Crosby's tombstone in the Chebogue cemetery HERE.

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Copyright (c) 2014, Heather Wilkinson Rojo