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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Witches, Halloween and Genealogy


"The Trail of George Jacobs" (my ancestor)
painting by T. H. Matteson,
this artwork depicts teenager Margaret Jacobs
accusing her grandfather, to save her own life


As someone with a family tree that goes back to Salem in the 1630’s, I have many ancestors who lived through the Salem witchcraft trials.  Now, anyone with colonial Essex County ancestry might have ancestors who lived through this infamous time period, and believe me, if they were alive in 1692 they were involved.  Everyone had an opinion, thousands attended meetings, and hundreds were imprisoned.  There were hundreds of citizens imprisoned on witchcraft charges, which meant that many hundreds more gave evidence against them, as neighbors and witnesses.

            Writers from 1692 tell us that so many people attended the trials and meetings cows were left to wander though the lanes, and children languished at home unfed and uncared for.  In the summer of 1692 farmers left their fields to attend hangings, court testimonies and inquiries, and their fields were left untended.  The Salem witchcraft hysteria was more popularly attended and gossiped about than any modern sports event or sensational TV trial, because people were afraid of their own family members being accused.  Like an insidious plague, the accusations were flying in Essex County, and even ministers and people from the highest social orders were being found guilty of witchcraft.

            I can’t imagine what life was like that summer of 1692, and the fear that people must have felt as their friends and neighbors were being led off to prison.  Very few people spoke against the trials, nor did they want to stand up in defense of their neighbors’ innocence.  Remember that when John Proctor spoke up for his own wife, he himself was hung as a witch.  When the popular Andover minister Frances Dane spoke against the trials, most of the female members of his extended family were arrested. 

            However, in the end, only 19 people were hung, several others died in prison, and one was tortured to death.  These are the names you will find in the history books.  By looking further into the trials, at the transcripts of the meetings and on the lists of the witnesses, you can find thousands of other names.  There were jurors, jailors, and even people who signed their names (bravely!) on petitions against the evidence.  Considering that the entire population of Salem Village (now Danvers) at this time numbered only 600 people, and 200 Essex county people were jailed.  This was a high percentage of citizens were involved in the hysteria, especially since this number didn’t include witnesses and complainants.

            The archives of Danvers hold most of the trial transcripts, and you can access some of them online at http://etext.virginia.edu/salem/witchcraft/home.html  The rest are in the Essex County archives.   Many good books about the Salem witchcraft hysteria are available in bookstores, libraries including “Salem Village Witchcraft: a Documentary Record of Local Conflict in Colonial New England” by Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum, which is a collection of primary source documents from 1692.  My favorite is “The Wonders of the Invisible World” by Reverend Cotton Mather, written in 1693.   Mather’s book is one of the only firsthand accounts of the Salem witch trials, written mostly to defend his position as the chief persecutor of his neighbors, the supposed witches.

            By searching for surnames in the indexes of these databases and books, it is surprising how many family members and distant cousins I could find were involved with the trials.  Of course, no one kept track of the audience members and witnesses to the trials and hangings.  If there had been a guest book at these events, I suppose most of the adult citizens of Essex county would be found on the lists.  Remember that if you had Massachusetts ancestors during this time period, they might have been involved since trial and hearings took place in Gloucester, Andover, and even in Boston.  Just like everyone tuning into their TV sets to see the latest crime news, or just like neighbors who run downtown to see the latest thing going on in town (the Bruins in their Boston duck boat parade after winning the Stanley Cup?), our 17th century ancestors were no different from us.

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Copyright 2011, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Surname Saturday- Brown

BROWN

There are conflicting bits of information on John Brown of Maine in reference books.  In the book Maine Made Guns & Their Makers by Dwight B. Demerritt, Jr. John Brown is described as a blacksmith.  In Savage he is described as a mason.  A James Phipps was apprenticed on March 1, 1625/6 to John Brown and his wife Joan for 8yrs as a blacksmith in Bristol, England.  In 1625 land was sold by Samoset to a fur trader named John Brown, including Damariscotta and Bristol, Maine, according to the History of Bath, Maine.

In 1639 John Brown and Edward Bateman signed a deed with the Indian Manowomet of "Negwasset, in America" for all the land between Sagadahoc and the Sheepscot River.  John Brown's family lived there for seven years and then removed to New Harbor. There are depositions and deeds by Brown's grandchildren which show they knew the Indians and early settlers of this region by name.  There are references to the family in Pioneers on Maine Rivers, by Wilburn Daniel Spencer, 1992.

The Brown Family Genealogy:

Generation 1: John Brown, born 12 April 1604 in Bristol, Gloucestershire, England, died in 1670 in Damariscotta, Maine; married in 1628 to Margaret Hayward, daughter of Francis Hayward. Seven children:
      1. Francis, born about 1632, sold land in 1666, mentioned in a deed in 1674
      2. John, born about 1635, had a son John Brown
      3. Margaret, born about 1638 (see below)
      4. Mary, born about 1641, m. Richard Redding
      5. Elizabeth, born about 1642, m. Richard Pierce
      6. Emine, born about 1645
      7. Emma, born about 1645, m. Nicholas Dennan

Generation 2. Margaret Brown, born about 1638 in Pemaquid, died about 1675 in New Harbor, Maine; married first about 1659 in New Harbor to Alexander Gould.  Four children.  Married second to Morris Chamblet, one son, Samuel Champney. This name can be found spelled many ways in the records: Champett, Champrise, Chamlet, etc.

I have two lineages from Margaret Brown and Alexander Gould, by two of their daughters, Margaret and Elizabeth.  See the blog post on the Surname GOULD for these two lineages at this link: http://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2011/10/surname-saturday-gould.html

There are no books on John Brown of Maine, and the only genealogical article that references him in in the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, Volume 51, page 29.  He is mentioned in the history of Bath, Maine and Savage's Genealogical Dictionary.  There is a short sketch of John Brown in the Genealogical Dictionary of Maine and New Hampshire,  page 115.

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Copyright 2011, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Friday, October 28, 2011

Autumn Genealogy Calendar


Genealogy Club Meeting, 1:30 PM every second Friday of each month at the Rodgers Memorial Public Library at 194 Derry Road, Hudson, NH 603-886-6030 or http://www.rodgerslibrary.org/

Genealogy Club Meeting, 1 p.m. every 3rd Tuesday of each month, at the Kelley Library, 234 Main St., Salem, N.H. in the Beshara Room. The ongoing group explores genealogy topics and use of the library's online resources. 603-898-7064 or http://www.salem.lib.nh.us/

Icons of History: Objects that Define New Hampshire, through December 31, 2011 at the New Hampshire Historical Society, 6 Eagle Square, Concord, NH. An exhibition of objects reflecting NH’s rich history, character and culture.   Museum admission required, please see the website www.nhhistory.org or call 603-228-6688.  

Genealogy and the Treasures of the New Hampshire Room,  Thursday, October 27, 2011, 6:30 PM, at the Derry Public Library, Christine Sharbrough Reference Librarian and Certified Genealogist (SM) presents a lecture on the hidden gems and unique local genealogy materials in the Library's local history room.  All ages and skill levels. 

Ghosts of the Winter Street Cemetery, Saturday, October 29, 2011, 4PM at the American Independence Museum, One Governor’s Lane, Exeter, NH  603-772-2622infro@independencemuseum.org  Here’s your chance to meet some of Exeter’s famous departed residents, John Taylor Gilman, Elizabeth Folsom, Ann Taylor, and many others.  $10 adults, $8 under age 12.  Pre-purchase tickets through the website and dress appropriately for the weather http://www.independencemuseum.org/   May not be appropriate for young children.

3rd Annual Battle of the Red Horse Tavern, Saturday, October 29, 2011, at the historic Wayside Inn, 72 Wayside Inn Road, Sudbury, Mass.  Website www.wayside.org  phone 978-433-1776  FREE.  12PM Fife and Drum music, Noon- meet and greet re-enactors, 1PM formation of the armies, 1:30PM Assault of the fortifications.   

New Hampshire Open Doors, Saturday and Sunday, November 5 and 6, 2011, Statewide.  Visit www.NHopendoors.com for a listing of statewide open studios of craftspeople and artisans, local farms, orchards, wineries, shops and galleries filled with NH made products.  The website contains listings, maps and information. FREE

Historical Tour of St. Joseph Cathedral, Sunday, November 6, 1PM, FREE, Manchester, NH


A Grateful Nation, Saturday, November 12, 2011, American Independence Museum, Exeter, NH, See a re-enactment of NH Governor John Taylor Gilman’s proclamation of November 15, 1804 for a “day of public thanksgiving and praise”.  Seatings for lunch at 11AM or 1PM, reservations required at the Folsom Tavern, 164 Water Street, Exeter, $15 per person or $12 members, includes lunch, museum tour and craft,  see the website www.independencemuseum.org to purchase tickets or call 603-772-2622.

Meet Nathaniel Hawthorne on Thursday, November 10, 2011, at 7:00 p.m., at the Londonderry Leach Library.  The library presents Rob Velella as Nathaniel Hawthorne. In this program, actor Rob Velella portrays author Nathaniel Hawthorne. As Hawthorne, he will briefly introduce himself and then read from several of his well-known short stories, such as "The Minister's Black Veil" and "The Birth-Mark.”

The “Fighting Ninth” Massachusetts Infantry:  Boston’s Irish American Regiment and the Civil War  Wednesday, November 16, 2011, 6 PM  Boston Public Library, Orientation Room.  The Ninth Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry was a unit of Irish Bostonians who chose to bear arms for the Union. Boston's Irish American soldiers exhibited their loyalty to the United States and acted as citizens, strengthening their identity as Americans in the process. The wartime experiences of Irish Americans helped bring about recognition of their full citizenship through naturalization, and also caused the United States to pressure Britain to abandon its centuries-old policy of refusing to recognize the naturalization of British subjects abroad.  Presented by lawyer Christian G. Samito, instructor at Boston College and Boston University School of Law.  http://www.bpl.org/news/local_family_history_series.htm

Nashua Holiday Stroll, Saturday, November 26, 2011, 5 – 10PM  The 18th Annual Winter Holiday Stroll features over 100 performances up and down Main Street in a variety of indoor and outdoor venues.  Food, crafts, and a collection of canned goods for local charities.   Check the website for more details at http://downtownnashua.org/calendar2-2/stroll/   


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Copyright 2011, Heather Wilkinson Rojo


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Happy Halloween!




I'll be posting something this weekend for Halloween, but in the meantime here is a compendium of spooky, scary or other frightening posts from the Nutfield Genealogy blog.  Don't read them just before going to bed tonight! Woooooo.....


Ghosts...

The Ghost Town of Chinese Camp, California
http://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2011/09/chinese-camp-tuolumne-county-california.html

The Ghost Town of Zealand, New Hampshire
http://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2010/10/where-heck-is-zealand-new-hampshire.html

A Ghost seen in the Towne Family Burial Ground, Londonderry, New Hampshire
http://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2010/09/tombstone-tuesday-towne-family-burial.html

The "Lady in Black", Fort George, Boston Harbor
http://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2010/02/fort-warren-boston-harbor.html

A Haunted Londonderry Restaurant
http://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2010/01/coach-stop-restaurant-and-tavern.html

A Haunted Derry Restaurant
http://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2009/10/pinkerton-tavern-ghosts.html


Witches...

Tammy Younger, the Witch of Dogtown, Massachusetts
http://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2010/02/tammy-younger-witch-of-dogtown.html

The Truth about the Salem Witch Trials
http://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2011/08/august-19-1692-salem-massachusetts.html

Rebecca Nurse, Hung as a Witch in Salem in 1692
http://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2010/03/visit-to-rebecca-nurse-homestead.html


Other Scary Stories...

Landslide in Crawford Notch, New Hampshire
http://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2010/10/happy-halloween-story-of-willey-family.html

The 1819 Grave Robber in Essex, Massachusetts
http://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2010/04/body-snatchers-1819.html

The Pirate and Ocean Born Mary
http://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2009/10/ocean-born-mary-londonderry-character.html

Josie Langmaid, Murdered in 1875 and immortalized in a Ballad
http://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2009/10/murder-of-josie-langmaid-pembroke-new.html

Halloween Photos Past and Present
http://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2011/10/ghosts-of-halloweens-past.html

Image courtesy of http://creepyhalloweenimages.com

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Copyright 2011, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Weathervane Wednesday- A spider web


I've been collecting photographs of the many, many weather vanes in the Nutfield area (Derry and Londonderry, New Hampshire).  If you want a challenge, I'll post the locations at the bottom of the page so you can scroll down far enough to see the photo, but not the location, and try to guess where you may have seen these lovely weathervanes.

Do you know the location of weather vane #13?





This weather vane is located on the barn at the Alvirne High School in Hudson, New Hampshire.  There is quite a history to this weather vane!  I had driven by hundreds of times, thinking that perhaps this weather vane was inspired by E. B. White's book Charlotte's Web, which took place in a barn.  I thought it was an appropriate choice for a school.  But the truth is even better!  The Alvirne agricultural school was founded by Wilbur H. Palmer, whose nickname was "Web".  The school honored Mr. Palmer with this weather vane on the barn.  A superb choice!  Mr. Web Palmer is still alive and has read this blog post. 

(Did you notice that Web's real name Wilbur, was the name of Charlotte's porcine friend, too?)

The Alvirne High School website http://www.alvirnehs.org/

Click here to see the other weather vanes in this series 

UPDATE 5 April 2013
I received two email messages from Wilbur Palmer... "Just want you to know that I am Webb (Wilburn Palmer and I am sitll kicking.  All info is correct about Alvirne Weather vane except I have not passed away"  ... and  "The original [barn] was destroyed by fire in 1993, and when I had the barn rebuilt the school district suprprised me by erecting the weather vane.  They said I would be retiring in a few years and they wanted Web to remain looking after the property."  Webb Palmer. 

Thanks, Webb!

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Copyright 2011, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday- Greenlawn Cemetery, Nahant, Massachusetts

Ellingwood Chapel
at Greenlawn Cemtery, Nahant, Massachusetts
Nahant, Massachusetts is a coastal community in Essex County.  It is almost an island, but it is reached by a mile long causeway from the city of Lynn.  From Nahant one can see the North Shore up to Marblehead, or south towards Winthrop and Boston.

The Greenlawn Cemetery was founded in 1858, and previous Nahant residents were buried in the city of Lynn.  It is listed on the Register of Historic Places by the United State Department of the Interior.  If you need help finding a burial at Greenlawn Cemetery you can contact the town hall or the Nahant Historical Society.

I had fun exploring Nahant with my godfather.  His mother was from the Gove family, which lived in Nahant since the early 1800s, when the first Gove came down the coast from Seabrook, New Hampshire.  My godfather knew his mother's grave, and her immediate family, and we were able to find all the Nahant Goves in his lineage in this one little cemetery.

The other side reads simply GOVE
The first stone we saw was my godfather's mother, who is listed with her parents. 




Charles Edward Gove and Elvira Elizabeth Whitney were his great grandparents


Worthen Gove and Emeline Spencer were his 2x great grandparents
The sides of this obelisk also list children and Worthen's mother, Elizabeth Chase, the 3x great grandmother.

The Nahant Gove lineage:

Generation 1.  William Gove, born 15 February 1794 in Seabrook, New Hampshire, died 1834 in Seabrook (we need to find his burial place next!), son of Levi Gove and Mary Chase; married in 1815 to Elizabeth Chase, daughter of Aquila Chase and Anna Moulton, born 28 November 1796 in Seabrook, died 1882 in Lynn, Massachusetts.

Generation 2. Worthen Augustus Gove, born 12 July 1819 in Seabrook, New Hampshire, died 28 March 1885 in Nahant; married on 15 January 1836 in Lynn to Emeline A. Spencer, daughter of William Spencer and Mary Gale Homan, born 12 April 1819 in Beverly, Massachusetts, died 9 February 1897 in Dorchester, Massachusetts.  Worthen walked to Lynn from Seabrook, New Hampshire when he was only thirteen years old, to find work in the shoe factories. 

Generation 3. Charles Edward Gove, born 23 July 1839 in Lynn, died 26 January 1920 in Nahant, married Elvira E. Whitney, daughter of Charles Whitney and and Adeline Strong, born 26 November 1833 in Dublin, New Hampshire, died 15 April 1901 in Nahant.

Generation 4. George Alvah Gove, born  17 September1870 in Nahant, died 1945 in Beverly, Massachusetts; married  on 16 April 1894 to Frances L. Harris, sister to the wife of George's brother Charles,  born 12 April 1873 in New London Connecticut, died 1962 in Beverly, Massachusetts.  He was once secretary to Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, who summered in Nahant, and founded the Gove Lumber Company in Beverly, Massachusetts with his brother Charles Gove. 

Generation 5. Grace Mildred Gove, born 18 October 1897 in Nahant, died 18 March 1934 in Beverly; married Erwin McKenney as his first wife. 

This genealogical information was gleaned from the cemetery, vital records and from the book History and Genealogy of the American Family of Gove and Notes of European Goves, by W. H. Gove, 1922.  The Gove book can be read at Ancestry.com, and reprints are available from Higginsons. 

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Copyright 2011, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Monday, October 24, 2011

Ghosts of Halloween's Past

My Dad, late 1930s
Beverly, Massachusetts

Yours Truly, 1965
Beverly, Massachusetts (same house as above!)

Little Sister and Your Truly, Halloween 1974
My hair had been up in rollers, but they all fell out whilst trick or treating!
Holden, Massachusetts

Daughter, Halloween 2000
Londonderry, New Hampshire

Kimana and Nelly (Little Sister's Dogs) Halloween 2010
West Tisbury, Massachusetts
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Copyright 2011, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Autumn Genealogy Calendar


Genealogy Club Meeting, 1:30 PM every second Friday of each month at the Rodgers Memorial Public Library at 194 Derry Road, Hudson, NH 603-886-6030 or http://www.rodgerslibrary.org/

Genealogy Club Meeting, 1 p.m. every 3rd Tuesday of each month, at the Kelley Library, 234 Main St., Salem, N.H. in the Beshara Room. The ongoing group explores genealogy topics and use of the library's online resources. 603-898-7064 or http://www.salem.lib.nh.us/

Icons of History: Objects that Define New Hampshire, through December 31, 2011 at the New Hampshire Historical Society, 6 Eagle Square, Concord, NH. An exhibition of objects reflecting NH’s rich history, character and culture.   Museum admission required, please see the website www.nhhistory.org or call 603-228-6688.  

Genealogy and the Treasures of the New Hampshire Room,  Thursday, October 27, 2011, 6:30 PM, at the Derry Public Library, Christine Sharbrough Reference Librarian and Certified Genealogist (SM) presents a lecture on the hidden gems and unique local genealogy materials in the Library's local history room.  All ages and skill levels. 

Ghosts of the Winter Street Cemetery, Saturday, October 29, 2011, 4PM at the American Independence Museum, One Governor’s Lane, Exeter, NH  603-772-2622 info@independencemuseum.org  Here’s your chance to meet some of Exeter’s famous departed residents, John Taylor Gilman, Elizabeth Folsom, Ann Taylor, and many others.  $10 adults, $8 under age 12.  Pre-purchase tickets through the website and dress appropriately for the weather http://www.independencemuseum.org/   May not be appropriate for young children.

3rd Annual Battle of the Red Horse Tavern, Saturday, October 29, 2011, at the historic Wayside Inn, 72 Wayside Inn Road, Sudbury, Mass.  Website www.wayside.org  phone 978-433-1776  FREE.  12PM Fife and Drum music, Noon- meet and greet re-enactors, 1PM formation of the armies, 1:30PM Assault of the fortifications.   

New Hampshire Open Doors, Saturday and Sunday, November 5 and 6, 2011, Statewide.  Visit www.NHopendoors.com for a listing of statewide open studios of craftspeople and artisans, local farms, orchards, wineries, shops and galleries filled with NH made products.  The website contains listings, maps and information. FREE

Historical Tour of St. Joseph Cathedral, Sunday, November 6, 1PM, FREE, Manchester, NH

A Grateful Nation, Saturday, November 12, 2011, American Independence Museum, Exeter, NH, See a re-enactment of NH Governor John Taylor Gilman’s proclamation of November 15, 1804 for a “day of public thanksgiving and praise”.  Seatings for lunch at 11AM or 1PM, reservations required at the Folsom Tavern, 164 Water Street, Exeter, $15 per person or $12 members, includes lunch, museum tour and craft,  see the website www.independencemuseum.org to purchase tickets or call 603-772-2622.

Meet Nathaniel Hawthorne on Thursday, November 10, 2011, at 7:00 p.m., at the Londonderry Leach Library.  The library presents Rob Velella as Nathaniel Hawthorne. In this program, actor Rob Velella portrays author Nathaniel Hawthorne. As Hawthorne, he will briefly introduce himself and then read from several of his well-known short stories, such as "The Minister's Black Veil" and "The Birth-Mark.”

The “Fighting Ninth” Massachusetts Infantry:  Boston’s Irish American Regiment and the Civil War  Wednesday, November 16, 2011, 6 PM  Boston Public Library, Orientation Room.  The Ninth Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry was a unit of Irish Bostonians who chose to bear arms for the Union. Boston's Irish American soldiers exhibited their loyalty to the United States and acted as citizens, strengthening their identity as Americans in the process. The wartime experiences of Irish Americans helped bring about recognition of their full citizenship through naturalization, and also caused the United States to pressure Britain to abandon its centuries-old policy of refusing to recognize the naturalization of British subjects abroad.  Presented by lawyer Christian G. Samito, instructor at Boston College and Boston University School of Law.  http://www.bpl.org/news/local_family_history_series.htm

Nashua Holiday Stroll, Saturday, November 26, 2011, 5 – 10PM  The 18th Annual Winter Holiday Stroll features over 100 performances up and down Main Street in a variety of indoor and outdoor venues.  Food, crafts, and a collection of canned goods for local charities.   Check the website for more details at http://downtownnashua.org/calendar2-2/stroll/  

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Copyright 2011, Heather Wilkinson Rojo


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Surname Saturday - Gould

GOULD

I have two lineages descending from Alexander Gould of Maine.  I also have two more Gould lineages descending from Richard Gould, whose children lived in Essex County, Massachusetts.  Considering that Alexander Gould's children removed to Marblehead, in Essex County, it has been fun keeping all these Goulds in line!

A map of Muscongus Bay, Maine
Alexander Gould was deeded a tract of land dated August 8, 1660 at Broad Bay, Maine from his father-in-law, John Brown of New Harbor. The book The History of Ancient Sheepscot and Newcastle, Maine states "Sander Gould had three daughters, Margaret, Mary and Elizabeth.  William Stilson married Margaret and resided on the premises till killed by the Indians. Their children James and Margaret survived and in the next cetury laid claim to these lands."  Alexander Gould's origins are unknown.  There are several deeds filed in Essex County, Massachusetts that mention Alexander or Sander Gould.

Generation 1. Alexander Gould, born about 1636, died about 1672 at Muscongus, Maine; married about 1659 in New Harbor, Maine to Margaret Brown, daughter of John Brown and Margaret Hayward, born aobut 1638 at Pemaquid, Maine, died about 1675 at New Harbor. Four children.  Margaret was previously married to Morris Chamblet and had one son, Samuel.

1st Gould lineage:
Generation 2. Margaret Gould, born about 1661 in New Harbor, died about December 1750; married about 1675 to her first husband, James Stilson, son of Vincent Stilson and Grace Unknown, who died on 2 August 1689 at Muscongus Island in an Indian attack.  Five children.  She married second on 30 March 1696 to Thomas Pitman, son of Thomas Pitman, born 1652 in Marblehead, Massachusetts, died in April 1736 in Marblehead.

Generation 3. James Stilson (about 1680 - 1772) m. Hannah Odiorne
Generation 4. Hannah Stilston (1706 - 1776) m. Thomas Mead
Generation 5. Hannah Mead (1730 - before 1759) m. James Wilkinson
Generation 6. William Wilkinson (d. after 1840) m. Mercy Nason
Generation 7. Aaron Wilkinson (1802 - 1879) m. Mercy F. Wilkinson
Generation 8. Robert Wilson Wilkinson (1830 - 1874) m. Phebe Cross Munroe
Generation 9. Albert Munroe Wilkinson (1860 - 1908) m. Isabella Lyons Bill
Generation 10. Donald Munroe Wilkinson m. Bertha Louise Roberts (my paternal grandparents)

2nd Gould lineage:
Generation 2. Elizabeth Gould, born 1667 in Marblehead, died after 26 December 1719; married on 27 October 1692 in Marblehead to Edward Homan, son of Edward Homan, born 1668 and died in July 1714 in Marblehead.  Six children.

Generation 3. Peter Homan (b. 1699) m. Mary Hoyle
Generation 4. William Homan (b. 1725) m. Elizabeth Unknown
Generation 5. Thomas Homan (b. about 1758 - 1832) m. Tabitha Glover
Generation 6. Betsey Jillings Homan (1792- 1874) m. Jabez Treadwell
Generation 7. Eliza Ann Treadwell (1812 - 1896) m. Abijah Hitchings
Generation 8. Abijah Franklin Hitchings (1841- 1910) m. Hannah Eliza Lewis
Generation 9. Arthur Treadwell Hitchings (1868 - 1937) m. Florence Etta Hoogerzeil
Generation 10. Gertrude Matilda Hitchings m. Stanley Elmer Allen

No books or articles have been written about Alexander Gould, but he is mentioned in deeds and local histories.

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Copyright 2011, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Friday, October 21, 2011

Happy Birthday, Old Ironsides!


Old Ironsides at dock in the Charlestown Navy Yard, near Boston

The USS Constitution was launched on 21 October 1797 from Hartt’s Shipyard in Boston, Massachusetts.
  
In researching my 4x great grandmother, Catherine Plummer Jones (1799-1828), I learned that her sister Agnes (1816 -1890) married William N. Hart (1812- 1878) on 5 November 1837 in Boston.   The Joneses and Harts all lived in Boston’s North End, and are buried in Copp’s Hill Burial Ground.    Edmund Hartt, a distant relative and the owner of Hartt’s Shipyard, is also buried at Copp’s Hill.  He built the USS Boston, the USS Argus and the USS Independence.   Most of the relatives in this branch of my family were mariners, ships carpenters, sailmakers, ropemakers or from other sea faring occupations.

The USS Constitution (Old Ironsides) was designed by Joshua Humphrey and built out of pine and southern live oak.   Her name was chosen by President George Washington.   During the War of 1812 she earned her famous nickname "Old Ironsides" when British soldiers swore they saw cannon balls bounce from her sides.   In this era wooden warships were expected to last about fifteen years.  In 1830 an article in the Boston newspaper Advertiser erroneously gossiped that she was about to scrapped, which began a letter writing campaign to save her.  Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote his famous poem “Old Ironsides” during this time.   The Constitution was saved, and her sister ship Congress was scrapped.
Your tour guide is a US Navy crew member
in 1812 uniform

During the Civil War the USS Constitution was saved by the Union Navy and towed to New York City from Annapolis, where it was feared she would fall into the hands of the South.   See this link for that story:   http://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2011/04/old-ironsides-during-civil-war.html.    Again, by 1900 her fate was up in the air as it was suggested she be used for target practice and sunk.  Protests led to another restoration in 1906, and then she began to serve as a museum ship in the Charlestown Navy Yard.  She was restored in 1925, and reconstructed in 1995 and 2010. The USS Constitution is still a commissioned warship of the US Navy, and will participate in a re-enactment of the famous battle versus the HMS Guerriere for the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812.
The USS Constitution is still a commissioned
warship of the US Navy

For the truly curious:

Genealogical History of Samuel Hartt from London, England to Lynn, Massachusetts, to 1903, by James Morrison Hart, Printed and bound by the Rumford Printing Company, Concord, NH, 1903  available at the New England Genealogical Society CS71.H326.1903.

For more information on the USS Constitution see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Constitution

The story of Old Ironside's rescue during the Civil War http://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2011/04/old-ironsides-during-civil-war.html

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Copyright 2011, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Mystery Little Boy

If anyone can help identify this little boy, or give an age to this photograph, it would be greatly appreciated.  It was found among some papers for my family.  This appears to be a tintype photograph, very small (about 3 inches tall) printed on a thin metal sheet.  The back names a photography studio on Essex Street in Salem, Massachusetts. The child appears to be very young, only about three years old.  His rosy cheeks are the only thing colorized on this photograph.

My only clue is that George K. Proctor, the Salem photographer, was murdered by his wife in 1882.  He was born in 1837 in Townsend, Massachusetts. You can read about the crime at this link http://www.houseofproctor.org/genealogy/getperson.php?personID=I35384&tree=hop   G. K. Proctor was a prolific photographer.  If you Google his name, you will find dozens of hits for cartes de visite, stereoscope slides and other interesting and historic images of Salem and Massachusetts.




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Copyright 2011, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

New Hampshire History Week- October 16 -22, 2011


On 12 July 2011 New Hampshire Governor John Lynch signed House Bill 585 proclaiming that the third week of October be recognized as “New Hampshire History Week”.    Historical societies, schools and museums across the state are presenting special events this week, October 16 -22 for the first celebration of the new “New Hampshire History Week”.    Last night in Concord there was a special presentation and press conference at the New Hampshire Historical Society.
Representative David Watters of Dover, a major sponsor of the bill, was at the signing and said “If we are to have historical resources so today’s history can be understood, we must rely on families with full attics, local libraries and historical societies, and our great museums, colleges and universities, and indeed, on the state government, to collect and preserve them.”  For more information, contact Representative Watters at 603-969-9224 or david.watters@leg.state.nh.us

Events for New Hampshire History Week

October 19th at the Exeter American Independence Museum www.independencemuseum.org  The 230th anniversary of the surrender of British troops at Yorktown will be observed.  On display will be the surrender document created by Nicholas Gilman, Jr. who served on General George Washington’s staff at the time.  Visitors will learn more about the Battle of Yorktown and tours will be offered at 10 a.m., 12 p.m. and 2 p.m.  Regular tour fees will apply.

October 20th, the Hooksett Historical Society will present “Night at the Prescott Museum” featuring an open house, trivia games and puzzles from 5:30 to 7:30PM 

October 21 and 22 at the Exeter American Independence Museum www.independencemuseum.org  A 280th birthday party for the senior Nicholas Gilman.  Gilman lived at what is now known as the Ladd-Gilman House, c. 1721, and was a key player in NH’s role during the American Revolution.  Birthday cake, a quill writing craft, and a birthday card will be part of the festivities.  Regular tour fees of $5 per adult, $3 per student will apply; children under 6 are admitted at no charge.

October 22 the Hooksett Historical Society will host a Treasure Hunt from 12 Noon to 3PM.  For a donation of $20 per team, the contestants will locate town historic places and bring back answers based on the clues.  Prizes to the team with the most correct answers in the shortest time.  $100 worth of prizes to be given.

Press release from the New Hampshire Department of Cultural Resources http://www.nh.gov/nhculture/mediaroom/2011/history_week.htm


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Copyright 2011, Heather Wilkinson Rojo


Weathervane Wednesday - Two at one School

I've been collecting photographs of the many, many weather vanes in the Nutfield area (Derry and Londonderry, New Hampshire).  If you want a challenge, I'll post the locations at the bottom of the page so you can scroll down far enough to see the photo, but not the location, and try to guess where you may have seen these lovely weathervanes.

Do you know the location of weather vanes #11 and #12?







These two weather vanes are located at Pinkerton Academy in Derry.  The fish is on top of the steeple at the white Alumni Hall building, and the other one (what is it?) is located on top of the brick tower at the Main Pinkerton building.  These two buildings are located side by side on the Pinkerton campus.

Pinkerton Academy school website http://www.pinkertonacademy.net/

Click here to see the other weather vanes in this series

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Copyright 2011, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday - John and Mary Campbell, Derry

This stone was photographed at the Forest Hill Cemetery, Derry, New Hampshire.


ERECTED IN MEMORY
OF MR. JOHN CAMPBELL
AND MRS. MARY HIS WIFE
BY THEIR SON HENRY CAMPBELL
MR. CAMPBELL          MRS CAMPBELL
died March 11                  died August 8
1750                               1765
in the 34 year                    in the 33 year
of is age                           of her age
Hark, from the tombs a doleful sound 
Reader attend the cry
Ye living come and view the ground
where you must shortly lie.*


I'm always amazed at how big some of the Derry and Londonderry stones are! 
In photographs they look half as big. (I'm 5' 7")

* The prelude to the song "Amazing Grace" found in an old hymn book reads like this:
"Hark, from the tombs a doleful sound,  Mine ears attend the cry
Ye living come and view the ground where you must shortly lie." 

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Copyright 2011, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Monday, October 17, 2011

Amanuensis Monday - Bicentennial Poems by Family Members

In 1976 even Disney World
was celebrating the Bicentennial! * 

Do you remember The Bicentennial year of 1976?  I was only fourteen, but it was a big celebration in my home state of Massachusetts, and the rest of the country seemed to be in on it, too.

There were several budding poets in my family that year.  I was cleaning out several files from the Wilkinson Family and I found these poems written around the country's Bicentennial Year.  I am posting these for both the weekly Amanuenis Monday blogger theme, and for Bill West's Great Genealogy Poetry Challenge, which you can read about at this link:   http://westinnewengland.blogspot.com/2011/10/third-annual-great-genealogy-poetry.html

The first poem is by my grandmother, Bertha Roberts Wilkinson (1887-1990) She was born in Leeds, Yorkshire, England and came to Massachusetts in 1917.  She lived through World War II in Beverly, Massachusetts worrying about her home country, and then during the Bicentennial I'm sure she had conflicting feelings about America's relationship with England.  She was very proud to write this patriotic poem.


"Written for:
A Bicentennial Ball
Presented by the Long Beach Tenth Word Relief Society
Commemorating the 134th Birthday of the Relief Society
And the 200th Birthday of Our Country

Declaration of Independence
                       by Bertha Wilkinson

From tyranny and iron clad demand
The Pilgrims came and sought this land
Breaking soil, each building his homestead
Sowing and reaping grain for daily bread

Yet Mother England, her apron strings still tied
Her sons and daughters taxes now defied
Brave men who up to then this burden shared
Resolved that Independence must be declared

Let us honor these brave men
Who fought for freedom with sword and pen
And thank our God for this land of the free
That gives to each of us our liberty"

The second poem is from her son, my uncle Richard Albert Wilkinson.  He left Massachusetts in the 1950s and went out to Southern California, where he eventually settled in Long Beach.  He lives there still.  This poem, written about the same time as Grammy's poem, shows me how much he loved New England.  There are several patriotic themes here, too.  Both poems mention "sword and pen" which I find very interesting.  

"Springtime in New England
                        By Richard Wilkinson

‘Tis springtime in New England
At Plymouth Pilgrim’s shrine
Where settlers from the old country
Began your land and mine

‘Tis springtime in New Hampshire
The mountains and the hills
With over running rivers
And old decayed red mills

‘Tis springtime in the city
At Boston where brave men
Took the stand for liberty
And fought with sword and pen

‘Tis springtime on the Maine seacoast
Where flashing waters spray
And on the thousand lakes and streams
Where festive hamlets lay

‘Tis springtime in the Vermont woods
And outdoor woodsmen tap
The lusty towering maple tree
To get their fruitful sap

‘Tis springtime in the pasture
The cows are in the hay
And early in the morning
The farmer greets the day

‘Tis springtime in New England
And how each state does sheen
When nature with her artists brush
Daubs her realm with green."

*Disney World was rather new (it opened in late 1971) but we took our first big family vacation there during April vacation of 1976.  My Dad snapped this photograph during the Main Street Parade.

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Copyright 2011, Heather Wilkinson Rojo


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Surname Saturday - Stilson


STILSON

The first immigrant ancestor named Stilson was Vincent Stilson, from Herefordshire, England, who died sometime before 13 May 1690 in Milford, Connecticut when the inventory was dated for his will.  The Records of the Courts of Essex County, Massachusetts place him in Marblehead several times.  In Volume 6, pages 149-151 and 169, Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, dated June 1676, there are two pages of testimony in a defamation suit in which Vincent, (Vincon or Vinson) Stilson, son of the early Vincent, became involved.  Grace Stilson, wife of Vincent I, testified at the trial, and her age was given as "about 37". She is believed to have been the mother of perhaps four of the older children, and Mary, the second wife, was the mother of the second four.  The maiden names of both wives are unknown. According to Donald Lines Jacobus, the eminent genealogist, Vincent was the only early settler with the name STILSON.  

Generation 1. Vincent Stilson, born between 1620 and 1635 in Herefordshire, England; died before 13 May 1690 in Milford, Connecticut; married first to Grace, four children; married second to Mary, four more children:
            1. Vincent, b. about 1656; m. Sarah
            2. James, b. about 1658, see below
            3. Agnes, b. about 1660; m. Joseph Hawkings
            4. Mary, b. about 1670; m. George Barlow
            5. Moses, b. about 1676; m. Charity Bailey
            6. Hugh, b. about 1678; m. Martha Fenn
            7. Susanna, b. 9 November 1680
            8. Charles, b. about 1682

Generation 2. James Stilson, born about 1658, died on 2 August 1689 at Muscongus Island, now Bristol, Maine; married about 1675 to Margaret Gould, daughter of Alexander Gould and Margaret Brown,  born 1661 in New Harbor, Maine. Their children were baptized at Marblehead in 1686, but the same year James Stilson sold his land and moved to Pemaquid Maine.  Margaret had inherited the island of Muscongus and land in Bristol from her maternal grandfather, who had purchased it for “fifty skins” in 1625 from the Sagamores.  This is supposed to be the earliest Indian deed on record in Maine. In 1689 James was killed by the Indians, and  Margaret and the children were kidnapped to Canada (the infant killed on the way).  Margaret and two of the children came back with a rescue mission in 1695.  James, Jr. and Mary returned later. Margaret remarried to Thomas Pitman on 30 March 1696 in Marblehead.  Five children:
            1. James, b. about 1680, see below
            2. John, b. before May 1686
            3. Margaret, b. before May 1686
            4. Mary, b. before May 1686
            5. Infant, d. about 1689

Generation 3. James Stilson, born about 1680 at Muscongus Island, died about 1772 in New Durham, New Hampshire; married to Hannah Odiorne, daughter of John Odiorne and Mary Johnson, born at New Castle, New Hampshire.  While captive in Canada, he heard of Hannah Odiorne, who had also been a captive.  He went to see her, and gave a hat full of silver to marry her.  He has been found in the records of Quebec as Jacques Stilson dit Dutilly, and was baptized there as a Roman Catholic.  The wedding of James and Hannah is recorded in Quebec, along with the baptism of their first child. James was redeemed from the French in 1703.  Four children:
            1. Hannah, b. 2 August 1706 in Quebec, baptized “Marie Anne” (see below)
            2. Anna, b. about 1710; m. Abraham Trefethen
            3. Alice, b. about 1712; m. Samuel Clark
            4. James, b. about 1712; m. Mary True

Generation 4. Hannah Stilson, b. 2 August 1706 in Quebec, Canada, died 1776 in New Castle, New Hampshire; married on 2 May 1725 in New Castle to Thomas Mead, son of Nicholas Mead and Elizabeth, died between 23 June and 26 September 1759 probably in Portsmouth.  See my blog post about the Mead family here http://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2011/10/surname-saturday-mead.html .  Five children.

Generation 5. Hannah Mead m. James Wilkinson
Generation 6. William Wilkinson m. Mercy Nason
Generation 7. Aaron Wilkinson m. Mercy F. Wilson
Generation 8. Robert Wilson Wilkinson m. Phebe Cross Munroe
Generation 9. Albert Munroe Wilkinson m. Isabella Lyons Bill
Generation 10. Donald Munroe Wilkinson m. Bertha Louise Roberts (my grandparents)

The story of Vincent Stilson has been written up in several historical sketches of early settlers of Milford, Connecticut.  Savage, in his Genealogical Dictionary of New England Vol IV, page 196 gives the following information: "Stilson, Vincent, Milford 1646 D 1690 but more than half that interval, lived away from Milford and at Marblehead is seen 1668-74".   There is one book I know of about the Stilsons- Notes on the Genealogy of the Stilson Family, compiled by William Charles Stilson in 1939.   The Odiorne family has been written up many times, and these books and articles contain much information on the James Stilson and Hannah Odiorne story.  I’ll be writing about the Odiorne lineage soon in another Surname Saturday post.

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Copyright 2011, Heather Wilkinson Rojo