Monday, April 27, 2015

Today is General John Stark Day in New Hampshire

The New Hampshire Revised Statutes 4:12-1 "And the governor... shall urge cities and towns throughout the state to observe this day in commemoration of General Stark's gallant and illustrious service to New Hampshire and his country".  For those who need to brush up on their American history, General Stark not only was a hero at the Battles of Bunker Hill, Bennington and Saratoga, he was the one who first wrote our state motto "Live free or die: Death is not the worst of evils".

April 27th is General John Stark Day in New Hampshire.  Manchester, New Hampshire, my newly adopted home, is where the Stark farm was located.  The Stark family, like me, came from Londonderry to Derryfield (now Manchester) and lived along the banks of the Merrimack River for generations.  The Stark descendants donated part of this land, along with the family burial ground, to the city for a park.

Canons and flagpole at Stark Park

The Stark Family Burial Ground at Stark Park
(stay tuned tomorrow for details on "Tombstone Tuesday")

Stark Park is now a real gem, but suffered from neglect in the end of the 20th century.  A group of concerned citizens formed "The Friends of Stark Park" and transformed this land back into a lovely memorial, and also placed it on the National Register of historic places.  As one volunteer told me yesterday, "... after all, General Stark is buried here" as she lovingly watered the pansies planted for ceremonies which took places today.

The Stark family farmhouse burned many years ago, but it once stood on River Road not far from the park.  The childhood homestead of the General, now owned by the Molly Stark Chapter of the DAR, known locally as the "Molly Stark House" for the General's wife, was moved away from the riverside to 2000 Elm Street.  He was born Londonderry (now Derry).

This 30 acre tract along the Merrimack River
was the family farm of Revolutionary War hero
General John Stark and his wife Molly.  When
soldiers were stricken with smallpox at Ticonderoga,
the General sent them here to his farm to recover.
General Stark returned here at the end of the war.
He died in 1822 and is buried in the family plot
in the park.  The city of Manchester purchased 
this site from Stark descendants in 1891, and it
was dedicated as a public park in 1893.

There is also a bronze statue of General Stark in front of the New Hampshire Statehouse in Concord, dedicated in 1890, and another statue at the Bennington Battle Monument in Vermont.


Friends of Stark Park

Manchester Historical Society's John Clayton's address today for Stark Day at Stark Park:

"Happy General John (AKA Molly Stark's husband's) Day" from Janice Webster Brown's Cow Hampshire blog:

A previous blog post about Dunbarton, New Hampshire, home of Molly Stark

Click here for the Stark family genealogy

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Copyright (c) 2015, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

May 2015 Genealogy and Local History Calendar

Genealogy Events Calendar

April 29, Wednesday,  6pm, Sex, DNA and Family History, a lecture by Shellee Morehead at the Abbey Room of the Boston Public Library, Boston, Massachusetts.  Certified genealogist Shellee Morehead will explain genetic genealogy- the use of DNA for defining ancestral relationships.  Free to the Public. 

April 29, Wednesday, 10am, The Court Martial of Paul Revere, at the Pilgrim Hall Museum, presented by Michael Greenburg, on his new book about Revere and “America’s forgotten military disaster”.

May 1, Friday, 2pm,  Lecture and Exhibit:  Katharine Gibbs: Beyond the White Gloves, at the New England Historic Genealogical Society, 99 - 101 Newbury Street, Boston, Massachusetts,  Free to the public.  Join Rose Doherty, author, for this illustrated talk and exhibit of memorabilia.  She will provide a brief history of the school and graduates.  Book sales and signing to follow.  Click here to register:   

May 2, Saturday, 10am - 3pm, Heifer Parade at the Canterbury Shaker Village, 288 Shaker Road, Canterbury, New Hampshire.  Parade at about 11am. Free admission.  The heifers will parade to the pastures for their first spring grass, maypole dancing, barn dancing, may baskets and guided tours of the Shaker community for $10 per person at 11am, 1pm and 3pm.  Register here  

May 2, Saturday 11am to 1pm, Beacon Hill Walking Tour, meet up at the Harrison Gray Otis House, 141 Cambridge Street, Boston, Massachusetts.  $12 per person, you must register ahead at this link:

May 2, Saturday, 12 noon – 4pm, Ipswich Back in Time, Commemorating the 1657 Alexander Knight House, A Fun Family Day of Exploring Where History Comes to Life, The Ipswich, Massachusetts Historical Society.

May 2, Saturday, 10am – noon,  Shared Spaces:  Maintaining History in Condo Living, at the Phillips House, 34 Chestnut Street, Salem, Massachusetts, $15 Young Friends and Historic Homeowner members, $20 members of Historic New England, $25 non-members, bring pictures and info on your own home and project for short consultations; learn about historic colors, details and furnishings; work with your condo association on preservation issues; take home a packet of resources.  Light refreshments served. Click here to purchase tickets:

May 3, Sunday, 2pm, Meet Louisa May Alcott – Not Such a Little Woman, at the Shirley- Eustis House and Gardner Carriage House, 33 Shirley Street, Roxbury, Massachusetts, a living history portrayal by Jan Turnquist.  $10 per person.  Call 617-442-2275 for more information.

May 4, Monday, The 35th Annual Marjorie Gibbons Lecture with Speaker Bill Brett, at the South Boston branch of the Boston Public Library, free to the public with a reception following the program.  Bill Brett will present his latest book on the Boston Irish. 

May 6, Wednesday, 7pm, Unlocking the Clues of your own Family Photos, a lecture by Maureen Taylor, the “Photo Detective”, at the Norwood Historical Society, 93 Day Street, Norwood, Massachusetts. 

May, 6, Wednesday,  Robert Love’s Warnings: Searching for Strangers in Colonial Boston, at the Boston Public Library.  Free to the public.  Between 1765 and 1774 Robert Love issued warnings in Boston to four thousand itinerants, including migrant workers, demobilized soldiers, and other newcomers.  This program is presented as part of “Revolutionary Boston”

May 6, Wednesday, 7pm, Colonial New Hampshire, at Charlie’s Barn, 29 South Village Road, Loudon, New Hampshire, A talk by Jere Daniell.  For more information contact Michele York at 603-396-2362. 

May 7,  Thursday, noon, Lunch and Learn: In Modest Attire – Clothing the Pilgrims, at Plimoth Plantation, Free for members, $8 non-members, Speaker Kristen Haggerty will describe how the clothing of the colonists has been portrayed throughout history, and why today’s interpreters wear what they do!

May 7, Thursday, 7pm, A Walk Back in Time:  The Secrets of Cellar Holes, at the Stephenson Memorial Library, 761 Forest Road, Greenfield, New Hampshire.  Adair Mulligan lectures on the rich history behind cellar holes and how one town has created an inventory of its cellar holes.  Contact Adele Hale for more information 603-547-3403.  Free to the public.

May 8, Friday, 7:30pm, Call the Midwife!  A Look at Colonial Midwifery, a lecture by Dr. Abby Chandler, sponsored by the Topsfield Historical Society, FREE to the public, at the Gould Barn, 1 Howlett Street, Topsfield, Massachusetts.

May 9, Saturday, noon - 1pm, NEHGS Art and Architecture Tour, at the New England Historic Genealogical Society, 99 - 101 Newbury Street, Boston, Massachusetts. Free to the public, and you are welcome to use the library after the tour. Register here:    

May 9, Saturday, 1:30pm, Evernote vs Zotero for Genealogists, at the Acton Memorial Library, 486 Main Street, Acton, Massachusetts, sponsored by the Middlesex Chapter of the Massachusetts Society of Genealogists, presented by Denise Picard Lindgren.  Free to the public. 

May 9, Saturday, 11:30am, The Battle of Bunker Hill, at the Brighton Branch of the Boston Public Library, Free to the public, a slide lecture by John Horrigan, historian. 

May 9 and 10, Opening Weekend at the Fort at No. 4, Charlestown, New Hampshire.  The 25th Continental Regiment and the 3rd Massachusetts Regiment will garrison the fort.

May 9, Saturday, 10am – noon, Uncovering Your Family History in Federal Publications, speaker Connie Reik, professional genealogist, sponsored by the Genealogy Group at the Kennebunk, public library, 112 Main Street, Kennebunk, Maine, call 207-985-2173 for more information. Free to the public.

May 10, Sunday, 10am – noon, Women of Beacon Hill Walking Tour, meet at the Otis House, 141 Cambridge Street, Boston, Massachusetts, $7 Historic New England members, $15 non-members.  Reservations required, click here to purchase tickets:

May 12, Tuesday, 7pm, Massachusetts Record Repositories, at the Zion Lutheran Church, 41 Whitmarsh Avenue, Worcester, Massachusetts, sponsored by the Worcester County Chapter of the Massachusetts Society of Genealogists.  Free for members, $3 for non-members.  Presented by genealogist Michael Brophy, who will emphasize major genealogical resources in Eastern Massachusetts and Boston.  

May 13, Wednesday, 6pm, Women and Physical Culture in Nineteenth Century Boston, a talk by Helaine Davis and Linda Stern at the Abbey Room of the Boston Public Library, Boston, Massachusetts.  This lecture is about how several pioneering women changed the face of sports and recreation in Boston at the close of the 19th century.  Free to the public.

May 14, Thursday, 7pm, Espionage in the American Revolution, at the Wellesley Free Library, 530 Washington St, Wellesley, Massachusetts, Free, a lecture by Kenneth Daigler, retired CIA officer. 

May 14 and 16. Events all day, Pirates Ashore in Plymouth, at the Mayflower Society House, 4 Winslow Street, Plymouth, Massachusetts 10am, the pirates land at State Pier, 3pm Murder Trial at the Mayflower House, 7pm lecture “Caribbean Buccaneers in Early Plymouth” at Pilgrim Hall.  Plymouth colony was attacked by privateers in May 1646, come celebrate and learn more about pirates and privateers in early New England.  Rain date May 17th.  Sponsored by the Plymouth Historical Alliance, the Mayflower Society, and the New Plimmoth Gard

May 16, Connecticut Society of Genealogists Annual Meeting with Marcia Melnyk, open to the public, luncheon will be served.  See the website  for more information. 

May 16, Saturday, 10am – 11:30am, Those Were the Days:  A Look Back at the Historic Chestnut Street Days, at the Phillips House, 34 Chestnut Street, Salem, Massachusetts. $8 Historic New England members, $12 non-members.  A lecture by Jim McAllister about the most beautiful street in America using journals and correspondence. Learn about the characters that lived here.  Reservations required.  Click here to purchase tickets:

May 16, Saturday, tours at noon, 1:30pm, 3pm, Heart of the Home:  Family Life in Downtown Boston, tours at the Otis House, Gibson House, Nichols House, Prescott House and Paul Revere House.  Learn the stories and view the collections that tell about childhood and the families of Boston.  Tickets sold separately at each site.  Call 617-994-5920 for more information or click here for tickets: 

May 18, Monday, 6:30pm, The Loyalists: The Other Side of the American Revolution, at the Derry Public Library, Derry, New Hampshire.  Free to the public.  Contact the library for more information:  603-432-6140.

May 18, Monday, 5:30pm, Evacuation Day 1776:  Enslaved Africans and the “Freeing” of Boston, at the Dudley branch of the Boston Public Library, free to the public, presented by Joel MacKall, a local historian and educator who will lead an illustrated talk outlining the developments facing Africans in Boston and abroad during the birth of the United States.

May 18, Monday, 6pm, Lost Boston Tour: Old Scollay Square and Vicinity, led by Anthony Mitchell Sanmarco, Author and Historian and sponsored by the Victorian Society, New England Chapter.  Meet under the Steaming Tea Kettle at Cambridge and Court Streets, $12 or $10 members of the Victorian Society. 

May 20, Wednesday, 6:30pm, How did Old North Become Old North?, at the Old North Church, 193 Salem Street, Boston, Massachusetts, a presentation by Robert J. Allison of Suffolk University, who will discuss how this Puritan meeting house became an Episcopal church.  Free to the public.

May 20, Wednesday, 6:30pm, Abraham & Mary Lincoln: The Long and Short of It, at the Bedford Public Library, 3 Meetinghouse Road, Bedford, New Hampshire. A living history presentation by Steve and Sharon Wood set in 1861 portraying the Lincolns.  Free and open to the public, with light refreshments.

May 21, Thursday, 7pm, The Shaker Legacy, at the Gordon-Nashu Library, 69 Main St., New Hampton, New Hampshire, FREE lecture by Darryl Thompson about the history of the Shakers and his personal memories of the Canterbury Shakers.

May 21, Thursday, 8pm, New Hampshire’s Grange Movement:  Its Rise, Triumphs and Decline. At the Lawrence Barn, 28 Depot Road, Hollis, New Hampshire.  Free to the public.  Steve Taylor discusses the rapid social and economic changes that forced the steep decline of the once-powerful movement.  Potluck at 7pm with program to follow at 8pm.  Contact Sharon Howe 603-465-3935 for more information.

May 23 and 24, Garrison Weekend at the Fort at No. 4, Charlestown, New Hampshire.  The Vermont Brigade garrisons the fort.

May 26, Tuesday, 7pm, Meet Eleanor Roosevelt, at the Wright Museum, 77 Center Street, Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, Elena Dodd’s living history interpretation of Mrs. Roosevelt offers a frank and humorous look at the woman who was eyewitness to the tumultuous events of her day.  Free to the public.  Contact Donna Hammill at 603-569-1212 for more information.

May 27, Wednesday, 6pm, Finding Living Ancestors: Being a Genealogy Gumshoe, by genealogist Michael Maglio.  A discussion on how sometimes it is necessary to find a living relative in order to track down records, get a DNA sample, return a rare photo or family Bible, but finding the living can be as challenging as finding a dead ancestor.  Free to the public. 

May 27, Wednesday, 6pm, Abraham & Mary Lincoln: The Long and Short of It, at the Upper Valley Senior Center, 10 Campbell Street, Lebanon, New Hampshire. A living history presentation by Steve and Sharon Wood set in 1861 portraying the Lincolns.  Free and open to the public, with light refreshments.

May 27, Wednesday, 7pm, Meet Eleanor Roosevelt, at the Moultonborough Public Library, 4 Holland Street, Moultonborough, New Hampshire, Elena Dodd’s living history interpretation of Mrs. Roosevelt offers a frank and humorous look at the woman who was eyewitness to the tumultuous events of her day.  Free to the public.  Contact Nancy McCue at 603-476-8895 for more information.

May 30, Saturday, 2015 Southern Maine Genealogical Conference sponsored by the Greater Portland Chapter of the Maine Genealogical Society will be held in Portland, Maine.  The keynote speaker will be Margaret Dube, CG.  For more information see

May 30, Saturday, 1pm Summer Walking Tours of the Black Heritage Trail in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.  Meet up at the Discover Portsmouth Center, 10 Middle Street, Portsmouth, New Hampshire from May to September.  There will be a fee involved.  Stay tuned or call for more information.

May 30 and 31, Blacksmith Weekend at the Fort at No. 4, Charlestown, New Hampshire. 

May 31, Sunday,  Home Sweet Home Event,  come celebrate some maverick Massachusetts families North of Boston, Massachusetts on May 31st? Four locations at historic homes, presented by the Trustees of Reservations, and learn the stories of the Crane, Appleton, Dodge, Coolidge, and Emerson families. Click here for the details...

June 4, Friday, noon, Lunch and Learn:  The American Plate, at Plimoth Plantation, Plymouth, Massachusetts, Free to members, $8 non members, Bring or buy lunch and learn about the evolution of the American diet.   Click here to register

June 6, Saturday, 11am – 1pm, Beacon Hill Walking Tour, meet at the Otis House, 141 Cambridge Street, Boston, Massachusetts, $10 Historic New England members, $15 non-members.  Tickets required, click here:

June 6 and 7,  French and Indian War Encampment at the Fort at No. 4, Charlestown, New Hampshire.   One of the biggest re-enactment weekends with battles at 1:30 both days, open hearth cooking, blacksmithing, textile productions, joinery, tours of the fort, and colonial vendors.

June 10, Saturday, 10am, From the Roots Up- The Basics of Climbing your Family Tree, at the Nevins Public Library, Route 28/ Broadway, Methuen, Massachusetts, sponsored by the Merrimack Valley Chapter of the Massachusetts Society of Genealogists, and presented by Lucie LeBlanc Consentino.  Free to the public.

June 11, Thursday, 6pm, Lowell Lecture: Joseph J. Ellis,  at the Boston Public Library, free to the public.  Pulitzer Prize winning author Joseph Ellis will discuss the years between the end of the American Revolution and the start of the Federal Era. A book sale and author signing will follow the lecture.

June 15 – June 20, Monday – Saturday, Program in New England Studies, $1,500 Historic New England members, $1550 non-members, an intensive week-long learning experience with lectures and tours on history, architecture, preservation, decorative arts, workshops, and specialized tours of properties, museums and private homes.  Purchase tickets here: 

July 2, Friday, noon, Lunch and Learn:  Artisanry in the Modern World, at Plimoth Plantation, Plymouth, Massachusetts, Free to members, $8 non members, Bring or buy lunch and learn about the role of collegiate artisan programs and their applicability in a modern economy.  Click here to register  

July 11, Saturday, The Maine Genealogical Society Fair at the Cultural Building, Home of the State Library, Archives and Museum, Augusta, Maine, Free admission. Visit with genealogical and historical societies from around the state of Maine.

June 20 and 21, Stark’s Muster and Garrison at the Fort at No. 4, Charlestown, New Hampshire.  Check the website for schedule and details  During the American Revolution, Charlestown was an assembly point for 1,500 troops under General John Stark who will appear again and make his call for the men of New Hampshire to fight for freedom.  Drills, recruitment, dance instruction, inspection and marches. 

July 14, Tuesday, 4 – 5:30pm, DNA Testing and Revolutionary Ancestors,  at the Boston Public Library, Copley Square, 700 Boylston Street, Boston, Massachusetts, presented by Jennifer Zinck.  Free to the public.

July 26, Sunday,  Massachusetts Genealogical Council Annual Meeting and Seminar, Mansfield, Massachusetts

August 6, Friday, Noon, Lunch and Learn:  The Yale Indian Papers Project, at Plimoth Plantation, Plymouth, Massachusetts.  Free to members, $8 non-members, bring or buy a lunch and learn about the cultural significance and potential historical impact of the Indian Papers Project.  Click here to register:   Click here for the Indian Papers Project 

August 11, Tuesday, 4 – 5:30pm, Mustering Military Resources for Revolutionary War Genealogy Research,  at the Boston Public Library, Copley Square, 700 Boylston Street, Boston, Massachusetts, presented by David Allen Lambert.  Free to the public.

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 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 20 and 21, 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

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 10, Tuesday, 4 – 5:30pm, Our Ancestors in the Revolution: Telling the Story to Family,  at the Boston Public Library, Copley Square, 700 Boylston Street, Boston, Massachusetts, presented by Barbara Matthews.  Free to the public.

November 14, Saturday, 2pm, How to Discover Your Family and Community History, part of the “Exploring the World War One Home Front” series at the National Heritage Museum in Lexington, Massachusetts.  This workshop will support you in exploration of family stories from the World War 1 era, and help you find the documents and resources to uncover your family narrative.  Free to the public, registration required by November 5th, contact

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Copyright © 2015, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Surname Saturday ~ BOUTWELL of Lynn and Reading, Massachusetts


Not much is known about James Boutwell or his origins in England.  He was made a freeman in Salem, Massachusetts on 14 February 1638/9.  The Lynn, Massachusetts court records mention a wife named Mary in 1640.  His will dated 22 August 1651 lists his wife as Alice, and his children John, James and Sarah.  He must have died soon because his will was probated four days later on 26 August 1651. 

His two sons, John and James Boutwell removed to Reading, Massachusetts from Lynn (a contiguous town).  I decend from Sargent James Boutwell and his wife, Rebecca, the daughter of Deacon Thomas Kendall.  Their gravestones are still standing at the Old Burying Ground in Wakefield, Massachusetts (formerly known as South Reading).    Their daughter, Sarah Boutwell, married John Townsend in Reading in 1698, and there my Boutwell line daughters out.

Sources for Boutwell research:

Descendants of James Boutwell of Salem and Lynn, by Donald Erienkotter

“Descendants of Abraham Bryant,” New England Historic Genealogical Society Register, Volume 137, October 1983, page 238.

Genealogical History of the Town of Reading, Massachusetts by Lilley Eaton, Boston: Alfred Mudge & Son, Printers, 1874.

Vital Records of Reading, Massachusetts

My BOUTWELL genealogy:

Generation 1:  James Boutwell, born in England, died in August 1651; married to Alice Unknown.  Three children possibly born in Massachusetts.

Generation 2:  Sargent James Boutwell, born about 1642 in Massachusetts; died 5 December 1716 in Reading, Massachusetts; married on 15 June 1665 in Reading to Rebecca Kendall, daughter of Thomas Kendall and Rebecca Payne.  She was born 10 February 1644 in Reading, and died 30 August 1713 in Reading.  Ten children.

Generation 3: Sarah Boutwell, born 7 July 1677 in Reading, died 18 September 1737 in Reading; married on 28 April 1698 in Reading to John Townsend, so of John Townsend and Sarah Pearson.  He was born 17 March 1675 in Lynn and died January 1757 in Reading.  Six children.

Generation 4: Sarah Townsend, born 25 March 1705 in Lynn; married on 17 June 1725 in Reading to Deacon Brown Emerson, son of Peter Emerson and Mary Brown.  He was born 16 April 1704 in Reading and died 16 March 1774 in Reading.  Ten children.  Sarah Townsend and Brown Emerson are the ancestors of astronaut Alan B. Shepard, Jr. of Derry, New Hampshire through two of their daughters.

Generation 5:  John Emerson m. Katherine Eaton
Generation 6:  Romanus Emerson m. Jemima Burnham
Generation 7: George Emerson m. Mary Esther Younger
Generation 8: Mary Katharine Emerson m. George E. Batchelder
Generation 9: Carrie Maude Batchelder m. Joseph Elmer Allen
Generation 10: Stanley Elmer Allen m. Gertrude Matilda Allen (my grandparents)

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Copyright © 2015, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Friday, April 24, 2015

Tour of Tokyo, Japan 1976 ~ Photo Friday

This photograph was found among my mother-in-law's collection in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  The heat and humidity of the tropical climate has faded this photo.  You can even see splotches of mold in the top left corner and in the bottom right corner (right on a woman's leg).  I spent a lot of time scanning some of the photos from Puerto Rico, and there are more in storage waiting to be scanned.

In this photo you can see my husband and his parents right in the middle of the front row.
His mother is sitting in front of the woman with the kerchief on her head.
Vincent was about fifteen years old, to her right. and his Dad is to her left. 
Vincent has a big camera bag on his lap.  
They took dozens of photos of this trip and bought a new camera on a side excursion to Hong Kong.

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Copyright (c) 2015, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Just When You Thought You Had Heard It All! More NERGC Blog Posts

Please see my previous post of links to blogger stories about NERGC 2015 at this link:


Jane E. Wilcox- interview of Marian Pierre-Louis

Blog posts

Liz Loveland “My Adventures in Genealogy”

Cheryll Holley “For All My Relations”

Pam Carter “My Maine Ancestry”

Dame Gussie AKA June Butka
Video Blogs

Links to Dear Myrtle’s 7  “AmbushCam” video Interviews

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Copyright © 2015, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Weathervane Wednesday ~ Brought to you by the letter "B"

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 weather vane is from New Hampshire.

Do you know the location of weather vane #205?  Scroll down to see the answer!

This weather vane is located above the Blake's Creamery ice cream restaurant at 353 South Main Street in Manchester, New Hampshire.  There used to be many Blake's located in Southern New Hampshire, but now this is there are only two and they are both in Manchester.

This weather vane is a simple letter "B".  I've seen these over businesses and even over homes, with the letter representing the surname of the homeowner.  The only other letter weather vane I'd seen in Manchester was a letter "F" over a Friendly's ice cream restaurant.  What a coincidence!  However, recently that Friendly's weather vane was changed to an ice cream cone.

Blake's Creamery website:

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

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Copyright (c) 2015, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Patriot's Day ~ 19 April 2000, the 225th anniversary of the Battle of Concord Bridge

After observing the Battle of Lexington at dawn (click HERE to see that post), we jumped in the car and raced to Concord to see the re-enactment of the Battle of Concord Bridge.  It didn't take long for the British troops we had just seen in Lexington to make it all the way to Concord.  The unit above was a fife and drum corps from Williamsburg, Virginia.  

There were many people at the Lexington dawn event, but even more at the Concord re-enactment.  The event takes place on the bridge across the river, so it was more difficult to get a good view.  

After the mock battle, all the tourists trooped across the bridge to celebrate.  The re-enactors portraying the British troops began a long retreat back to Boston, stopping to remake all the skirmishes along the way.  We did not follow them, but we saw a bunch of people on bicycles who were planning to follow the British actors all the way back to Arlington. 

The Concord Minuteman

This re-enactor was relaxing on the front porch of the Concord Inn, where we stopped for lunch. 

I was surprised by the large numbers of re-enactors who came to portray the British troops.  When I asked them, they appeared to have come from quite a long ways to have the chance to be in this anniversary event.  It was much easier to find local people to portray the minutemen than the British! 

The same day we photographed these scenes, we were at the Lexington Green at dawn.  Click here to see the post of that re-enactment:

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Copyright (c) 2015, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Monday, April 20, 2015

Patriot's Day ~ The 225th Anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord, 19 April 2000

“On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year”
                                From The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The original Battle at Lexington Green took place at dawn on 19 April 1775.  On the 225th anniversary of this battle, we lined up extra early that morning.  It's very cold in New England in April, so we had warm clothes and blankets.  It was still dark when the actors began to assemble. The men of the town militia lined up on the common, and the women and children withdrew to the sidelines, and we could hear the British advancing down the road from Boston toward us... very scary, even though we knew it was a re-enactment!

Here are some old images from our family slides that I digitized.  The quality is poor, but it brings back memories of that event…

The two sides exchanged some words. 
Suddenly, we heard "the shot heard 'round the world" and the battle had begun!

I knew that the first two men to fall in battle were the brother and brother-in-law of my 5th great grandfather, Andrew Munroe (1718 - 1766).  His brother, Robert Munroe (1712 - 1775) and Jonas Parker (married to his sister Lucy Munroe), were in the front lines.  This was a position of honor because they both were veterans from the French and Indian war.  Both were bayoneted.  I was surprised that my reaction to seeing their re-enactors "killed" was to burst into tears.

The Lexington militia withdrew to the woods, and the "dead" remained on the common. 

The women and children ran over to their "dead" family members.

The British fired a round before marching on to the town of Concord...

My daughter, only 13 years old at the time, covered her ears during the gun fire.

Then, a "miracle" happened!  The dead re-enactors rose up from Lexington Green, with applause from the audience.  We could hear the British marching away to the west towards Concord. 

The actors above and below were portraying Robert Munroe and Jonas Parker.   
Both are my 5x great grand uncles.  They were both the first two men killed in battle. 

I have a previous blog post about this experience (without photos)  at this link…

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Copyright (c) 2015, Heather Wilkinson Rojo