Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Weathervane Wednesday ~ A Pelican in Florida

Every Wednesday for two years Vincent and I have been photographing weather vanes located in or near the Nutfield area (the land where the towns of Londonderry, Derry, Windham and Manchester are now located).  Most are historically interesting or just whimsical and fun weather vanes.  Today's weather vane was sent in by a fellow genealogist who was traveling through Florida.  Have fun guessing where you may have seen this weather vane.

Do you know the location of weather vane #152?  Scroll down to see the answer...

Today's weather vane was sent to me by fellow genealogist Carol A. Bowen Stevens.  She was vacationing in Florida and photographed this in Daytona Beach, Florida.   She didn't get a photo of the entire building, but she thinks it was on Downlawton Boulevard, Daytona Beach Shores.

I love this wonderful three dimensional pelican.  It looks quite lifelike.  I've only been to the Florida coast a few times, and each time I was there I was very amused watching the pelicans on the beach.  We don't have any waterfowl like them in New Hampshire or New England!

If you know this "mystery location" please leave a comment below!

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

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Copyright (c) 2014, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday ~ Wilkinson Monument, Peabody, Massachusetts

This tombstone was photographed at the Monumental Cemetery in Peabody, Massachusetts

This gravestone is also a family mystery

1830    ROBERT W. WILKINSON 1874
1831    PHEBE C.  HIS WIFE          1895
1856    WALTER                              1858
1855     R. HENRY                           1884
1884      EDWARD POOR               1884
1860     ALBERT M.                        1908
18        ISABELLA B.                      1935

This is not the original gravestone for the Wilkinson family.  About fifteen years ago a volunteer through the Genealogical Acts of Kindness website transcribed the epitaphs for the three stones at this family plot and they read:

Robert W. Wilkinson
died March 23, 1874
aged 43 years, 8 months and 27 days
"Gone to that spirit land,
We are waiting to meet you there"

R. Henry 

[I assume this might have been for Edward Poor Wilkinson, R. Henry's child?]

Now there is a large monument to the entire family at Plot #950 at Monumental Cemetery.  I don't know who bought the new monument, or what happened to the original gravestones.  It is a mystery.  Apparently 15 years ago many of the family members did not have individual stones, or they had been lost, broken or stolen.

The Wilkinson Family

Robert Wilson Wilkinson, son of Aaron Wilkinson and Mercy F. Wilson, was born on 26 May 1830 in Salem, Massachusetts, died 23 March 1874 in Peabody, Massachusetts; married on 24 November 1853 in Danvers to Phebe Cross Munroe, daughter of Luther Simonds Munroe and Olive Flint.  They had three sons:

   1.  Robert Henry Wilkinson, born 14 January 1855 in South Danvers (now Peabody), died 22 September 1884 in Peabody; married on 18 April 1883 in Peabody to Eliza Harris Poor, the daughter of Nathan Holt Poor and Abigail Morrill.  She was born on 27 October 1854 in Danvers, and she married second to Moses Bailey Page on 18 July 1893 in Peabody.  Robert's only son, Edward Poor Wilkinson, died at two months old on 10 October 1884, just two weeks after Robert's own death.

   2.   Walter Wilkinson was born 3 November 1856 in South Danvers and died on 2 April 1858 in South Danvers.

   3.   Albert Munroe Wilkinson was born 7 November 1860 in Danvers, and died 12 May 1908 at the Corey Hill Hospital in Brookline, Massachusetts; married on 18 October 1894 in Salem to Isabella Lyons Bill, daughter of Caleb Rand Bill and Ann Margaret Bollman.  Isabella was born in January 1863 in Machias, Maine and died 19 January 1935 in Beverly, Massachusetts.  They had two children.

All of Robert Henry Wilkinson's sons died young.  The only one who had children who lived to adulthood was the youngest son, Albert, my great grandfather.  Of his two children, only my grandfather, Donald Munroe Wilkinson, had descendants.  None of us know who bought or erected this monument, which is quite large and very grand.  It is a mystery.

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Copyright (c) 2014, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter!

Easter Morning
Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

This photo was taken at La Plaza de la Barandilla.
The statue is a bust of Patricio Rijos "Toribio", famous for playing the "guicharo"
(a hollow gourd played as a musical instrument)

Other Easter posts at this blog:

2013 Easter Parade 1963, 5th Avenue, New York City

2010  Easter Photo 1965

The URL for this post is

Copyright (c) 2014, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Surname Saturday ~ LEACH of Salem, Beverly, and Manchester, Massachusetts

Lawrence Leach was born in England in 1589 and died in Salem, Massachusetts in 1662.  He was one of the “Old Planters”, who came to Cape Ann before Roger Conant and Endicott settled Salem. His farm and land are located in what is now the city of Beverly.  Governor Craddock wrote a letter  to John Endicott in 1629: “We desire you to take notice of one Lawrence Leech who we haue found a painfull & carefull, man, and we doubt not butt hee will continue his diligence; let him haue deserving respect.”

Lawrence’s son, Robert, my 9th great grandfather, settled in Manchester, Massachusetts.  He was given land by his father in 1639, and he died intestate with a wife, Alice, and two sons before June 1674 according to Essex Quartly Court records.  According to Robert Charles Anderson in his sketch of Robert Leach in The Great Migration Begins: “In 1924 F. Phelps Leach published a genealogy of this family which claimed ten children for the immigrant [Lawrence Leach].  This author inserted in to the family of Lawrence Leach many persons of the same name from all parts of New England (and even some from old England) who could not have been his children.  The Robert each presented in this volume as son of Lawrence is a chimaera, created by mixing records for Robert Leach of Charlestown and Robert Leach of Manchester, the later of who was the son of the immigrant.”

Estate of Robert Leach of Manchester

This writing is to inform the Court, that though Robert Leach late of Manchester died without perfecting his will, yet sometime beofre he died he declared in the presence of some neighbors as witness that his mind was "that after some legacies as follows were paid to his daughters, that is to say to his maried daughters: Sara and Elizabeth, fiue pounds apeece, to his daughter mary ten pounds & to his two youngest daughters: Bethia and Abigaile eight pounds apeece, that then his whole remaining estate should be left with his beloved wife, Alce Leach, & his two sons Samuell & Robert Leach to be equally proportioned amongst them.

"This is farther to certifie, that although this was the last will and testament of the aforesaid Robert Leach, yett upon farther consideration, Alce Leach the widdow & her two sones Samuell & Robert Leach have agreed within ourselves freely & Joyntly together, tomake an adition to these legacies out of our owne estates, as to the two eldest daughters, Sara & Elizabeth what they received from theire father, as theire portions, with the lagacies given them by theire father, in his last will & testamt: as aboue written, & the adition made there vunto by their mothr Alce Leach the widdow, & their brothers Samuell & Robt Leach is to amount to fifteene pounds appeece, to each of them they being married haveing received som portion alreddy with that then receiued & the legacies due by theire fathers last will & testament, with the adition made by theire mother, & brethren doth make up fifteen pounds apeece to Sara & Elizabeth, for the rest of the daughters, Mary, Bethiah, & Abigaile what theire father left hem as legacies in his last will & testament & the adition made by the widdow Alce Leach there mother, & Samuel & Robt: there brothers, comes to fifteene pounds apeece, to each of them: Mary, Bethiah & Abigiale.

            "This farther to informe the Honrd Court wt is agreed upon within ourselves, alce Leach the widdow & her two sons Saml & Robt Leach, that Samuel and Robert Leach taking into consideration theire mothers condition, shee being left a widdow, wee haue consulted together for her comfortable subsisting, for som way to continue her maintenance in this her condition, And that ye widdow Alce Leach with her free consent hauing resigned her interest in said estate as left by her husband Robert Leach, in his last will & testament, the which her interest shee hath, resigned up to her sons Samuell & Robert Leach, upon condition as followeth, That Samll:& Robt Leach haue taken that whole estate, as left by our father Robt Leach late deceased in Manchester, upon the resignement of the widdow alce Leach our mother, haueing resigned up her interet in that estate soe left by our father into our hands in consideration wheareof wee the aforsd Samuell & Robert Leach, haue engaged to pay to our mother, the widdow Alce Leach, ten pounds by the yeare in such pay may be for her use & shee stands in need of, & the house left by our father where shee now lives with the stuff now belonging thereto is to remaine to her out of this esat: soe that the yearly pay ingaged by her sons to be pd her with the house & household stuff, is to maine to her if shee continue in a widdowes condition, but if shee marry then all the whole estate fals into the hands of her sons: Samuell & Robert Leach they to continue or ramaine ingage to paye, but fiue pounds by the yeare to there mother Alce Leach duering her lifetime.

            "It is further to certifie that Samuell & Robert Leach doe freely consent that theire mother Alce leach the widdow shall reserve to herself out of the estate afore mentioned, shee to reserve to herselfe twenty pounds, without any exception made of condtions, only that when she dyes, shee to bequeath it to her children according as ashe please, vnto whome to bestow it vupon as legacies from herselfe.

            "To that is heare agreed upon as afore mentined wee the pties aforesaid doe sett our hands."

Alce (her U mark) Leach, Samll (his S mark) Leach, Robt. Leach
Witness: Sam: Friend, John Elathorpe, this 29 June 1674
Allowed by the court 1: 5m: 1674 and the saide Alce, widow and the two sons Samuell and Robert Leach appointed administrators.

Essex County Probate Records, vol. 301, pp. 51 - 53

My Leach genealogy:

Generation 1: Lawrence Leach, born about 1593 in England, died before 24 June 1662 in Beverly or Salem, Massachusetts; marriedto Elizabeth Unknown.  She died about 1674 in Beverly. 

Generation 2: Robert Leach, born about 1615, died before June 1674 in Manchester; married Alice Unknown. Four children.

Generation 3: Samuel Leach, born about 1653 in Manchester, died 14 October 1696; married first about 1672 to Arabella Norman, daughter of John Norman and Arabella Baldwin. She died 8 May 1681 in Manchester.  Three children. He married second Hannah Norman, her sister.

Generation 4: Catherine Leach, born 1 October 1680 in Manchester, died 1711; married 28 October 1696 to Joseph Allen, son of Samuel Allen and Sarah Tuck.  He was born 26 June 1672 in Manchester, died 17 August 1727 in Manchester.  Seven children.

Generation 5: William Allen m. Mary Ingalls
Generation 6: Isaac Allen m. Abigail Burnham
Generation 7: Joseph Allen m. Judith Burnham
Generation 8: Joseph Allen m. Orpha Andrews
Generation 9: Joseph Gilman Allen m. Sarah Burnham Mears
Generation 10: Joseph Elmer Allen m. Carrie Maude Batchelder
Generation 11: Stanley Elmer Allen m. Gertrude Matilda Hitchings (my grandparents)

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Copyright © 2014, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Friday, April 18, 2014

Eyewitness to the Battle of Lexington, 19 April 1775

The Munroe Tavern, Lexington, Massachusetts

This is the deposition of William Munroe made 7 March 1825, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord.  He was a second cousin to my ancestor, Andrew Munroe.   There were nine Munroe men present at the Battle of Lexington, and two of the eight men killed at the village green were Munroes.   The Jonas Parker mentioned in this deposition was married to Andrew Munroe’s younger sister, Lucy.   William Munroe (1742 – 1827) was the sergeant of the Lexington militia and an innkeeper.  He died on 30 October 1827, just two years after making his statement:

“I, William Munroe, of Lexington, on oath do testify, that I acted as orderly sergeant in the company commanded by Captain Parker, on the 19th of April, 1775; that early in the evening of the 18th of the same April, I was informed by Solomon Brown, who had just returned from Boston, that he had seen nine British officers on the road, traveling leisurely, sometimes before and sometimes behind him; that he had discovered, by the occasional blowing aside of their top coats that they were armed. On learning this, I supposed they had some design upon Hancock and Adams, who were then at the house of the Reverend Mr. Clarke, and immediately assembled a guard of eight men, with their arms to guard the house. About midnight, Colonel Paul Revere rode up the road and requested admittance. I told him that the family had just retired, and had requested, that they might not be disturbed by any noise about the house. "Noise!" said he, "you'll have noise enough before long. The regulars are coming out." We then permitted him to pass. Soon after, Mr. Lincoln came. These gentlemen came different routes, Revere came over the ferry to Charlestown, and Lincoln over the neck through Roxbury; and both brought letters from Dr. Warren in Boston to Hancock and Adams, stating that a large body of British troops had left Boston, and were on their march to Lexington. On this, it was thought advisable, that Hancock and Adams should withdraw to some distant part of the town. To this Hancock consented with great reluctance, and said, as he went off. "If I had my musket, I would never turn my back upon these troops." I however conducted them to the north part of town, and then returned to the meeting-house, where I arrived at about two o'clock on the morning of the 19th. On the arrival of Colonel Paul Revere, the alarm had been given, and, on my return, I found Captain Parker and his militia company paraded on the common, a little in the rear of the meeting-house. About this time, one of our messengers, who had been sent toward Cambridge to get information of the movement of the regulars, returned and reported, that he could not learn, that there were any troops on the road from Boston to Lexington, which raised some doubt as to their coming, and Captain Parker dismissed his company, with orders to assemble again at the beat of the drum. Between day-light and sun-rise Captain Thaddeus Bowman rode up and informed, that the regulars were near. The drum was then ordered to be beat, and I was commanded by Captain Parker to parade the company, which I accordingly did, in two ranks, a few rods northerly of the meeting-house.

When the British troops had arrived within about a hundred rods of the meeting-house, as I was afterwards told by a prisoner, which we took, "they heard our drum, and supposing it to be a challenge, they were ordered to load their muskets, and to move at double quick time." They came up almost upon a run. Colonel Smith and Major Pitcairn rode up some rods in advance of their troops, and within a few rods of our company, and exclaimed, "Lay down your arms, you rebels, and disperse!" and immediately fired his pistol. Pitcairn then advanced with his troops, and finding we did not disperse, they being within four rods of us, he brought his sword down with great force, and said to his men, "Fire, damn you, fire!" The front platoon, consisting of eight or nine, then fired, without killing or wounding any of our men. They immediately gave a second fire, when our company began to retreat, and as I left that field, I saw a person firing at the British troops from Buckman's back door, which was near our left, where I was parading the men when I retreated. I was afterward told, of the truth of which I have no doubt, that same person after firing from the back door, went to the front of Buckman's house, and fired there. How many of our company fired before they retreated, I can not say; but I am confident some of them did. When the British troops came up, I saw Jonas Parker standing in the ranks, with his balls and flints in his hat, on the ground, between his feet, and heard him declare, that he would never run. He was shot down at the second fire of the British, and, when I left, I saw him struggling on the ground, attempting to load his gun, which I have no doubt he had once discharged at the British. As he lay on the ground, they ran him through with the bayonet. In the course of the day, I was on the ground where the British troops were when they first heard our drum beat, which was one hundred rods below the meeting-house, and saw the ends of a large number, I should judge two hundred, of cartridges which they had dropped, when they charged their pieces. About noon I was at the north part of the town, at the house Mr. Simmonds, where I saw the late Colonel Baldwin, who informed me, that he had the custody of some prisoners, that had been put under his charge, and requested to know of me what should be done with them. I gave my opinion, that they should be sent to that part of Woburn, now Burlington, or to Chelmsford. On the return of the British troops from Concord, they stopped at my tavern house in Lexington, and dressed their wounds. I had left my house in care of a lame man, by the name of Raymond, who supplied them with whatever the house afforded, and afterwards, when he was leaving the house, he was shot by the regulars, and found dead within a few rods of the house.”

(signed) William Munroe

Here is William Munroe's obituary 15 November 1827 in the Pittsfield Sun, Pittsfield, Massachusetts 

"Death of another Revolutionary Hero

Died, at Lexington, on Monday the 29th ult [i.e., of last month], Col. WILLIAM MUNROE, aged 86 — Col. M. was orderly sergeant in the battle of Lexington, April 19, 1775, the commencement of the revolutionary war.—

On the night of the 18th previous, when several British officers were seen proceeding on horseback towards the town, with the supposed intention of arresting John Hancock and Samuel Adams, Col. M. commanded the sergeant’s guard, stationed for their protection at the house where those proscribed patriots were residents in Lexington. On the receipt of intelligence that 800 British troops were secretly marching the same route, Messrs. Hancock and Adams were persuaded to retire to Woburn, and Col. M. with his party joined the Lexington company, who were immediately after attacked, before sunrise of the 19th, by the whole British force, and about 20 of the Lexington militia killed or wounded.—

The company were ordered by their commander to disperse; and the British troops proceeded to Concord, where they destroyed the provincial stores. Their triumph, however, was of short continuance; the British guard of 100 men, stationed about a mile beyond Concord village, at the North Bridge, were attacked by the militia of Concord and the neighboring towns, and forced to retire upon their main body, leaving two killed, and the same number wounded. About two hours afterward, when the British commenced their return march to Boston, they were again assaulted by the militia until they arrived at Lexington, where they were waylaid and harassed by the Lexington company, and would probably soon have been forced to surrender, had they not been reinforced by Lord Percy’s brigade of 1500 men.—

They were, however, beaten back to Boston. Col. M. participated with his company in the events of the day, leaving the care of his public house [shown above] in the superintendance of a neighbor, whom the British killed on their retreat.

Till within a year or two past, like Cincinnatus, Col. M. labored on his farm.—On the occasion of the visit of Lafayette to Lexington, three years since, arm in arm these aged veterans reconnoitered the field of battle, previous to the delivery of the address to Lafayette from the Lexington committee; and he assisted at the laying the foundation stone of the Bunker Hill Monument on the 17th June 1825.

Col. M. has been ever esteemed by his fellow townsmen as well as by strangers, for his urbanity of manners and hospitality. As a member of the legislature and in municipal stations, he was respected for information, judgement and rectitude; and as a military officer, from a subaltern to a colonel, to which grade he rose, he was distinguished as an able tactician.

It is productive of a melancholy and heartfelt sensation, to follow to the grave “the house appointed for all the living,” one after another, those vast vestiges of “the times that tried men’s souls.” It seems like tearing from us our “household gods;” like removing the “ancient landmarks” of our nation’s birth; the objects of all that is venerable and sacred, till scarcely one is left to tell the tale of revolutionary prowess. But the consolation is, that they are gathered “like a shock of corn fully ripe,” blessed with the grateful recollections of their enfranchised countrymen, full of honors and good works, to a better and happier state of existence.

His funeral was attended by a large concourse of relations and friends."


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Copyright (c) 2014, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Weathervane Wednesday ~ Five Weathervane Stamps

Every Wednesday for more than two and a half years Vincent and I have been posting photographs of weather vanes located in or near the Nutfield area (the former name for the land where Londonderry, Derry and Windham, New Hampshire are now located). Most are historically interesting or just whimsical and fun weather vanes. If you know an interesting weather vane, please send me an email or leave a comment below.

Today's weather vanes were found in a New England museum, as well as on a recent series of US postage stamps.

Do you know the location of weather vanes #147, #148, #149, #150, and #151? Scroll down to see the answer....

On 20 January 2012 the US Postal Service held a ceremony at the Shelburne Museum in Vermont to celebrate the release of five postage stamps featuring some examples from their weather vane collection.  One of these stamps was the centaur featured last week (click HERE to see the centaur), and the others are all shown above.  This display is currently at the Stage Coach Gallery at the Shelburne Museum.

This is not the first time weather vanes have been on postage stamps.  Here are some others...

1974 Eagle Weather Vane Airmail Stamp

1998 H Rate ( 1 cent) Stamp

1974 Christmas Stamp
The Weather Vane from atop Mount Vernon,
George Washington's estate home

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

The Shelburne Museum - 

The USPS Issues Weather Vane Stamps

Silhouettes in the Sky: The Art of the Weathervane, by Jean M. Burks, The Shelburne Museum, 2006 [available at the main gift shop at the Shelburne Museum - this is the only book on their collection of weather vanes]

Copyright 2014, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday ~ Sarah Sargent and Mary March, Portsmouth, New Hampshire

These tombstones were photographed at the Point of Graves, Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Here lies Interred
the Body of
Relict of
who Departed this Life
April 7  1759
AEatis 80

Here lies Interred the Body of
who Departed this Life
August 21st 1771
AEtat 74
In honor of & Filial Respect
& Affection to her Memory
this Stone is here Placed
by her Children.
The Memory of the just is Blessed.

Sarah Pierce was the daughter of Captain Joshua Pierce and Elizabeth Hall (the sister of Mary Hall March).  This aunt and her niece were buried side by side, and the stones look like they were made by the same carver. It is interesting that both women were married to doctors. 

Sarah first married John Winslow and had three children with him before he died in 1731.  She married second to Dr. Nathaniel Sargent.  

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Copyright (c) 2014, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Surname Saturday ~ NORMAN of Salem, Massachusetts

According to Sidney Perley’s History of Salem, “Old Goodman Norman and his son” were already at Salem before Governor Endicott arrived in 1628.  My 10th great grandfather, Richard Norman (1580-1653) arrived at Cape Anne, Massachusetts with the Dorchester Company in 1624, as part of a fishing fleet.  Some of these fishermen returned to England, and others stayed with Roger Conant at Naumkeag (now Salem, Massachusetts).  Richard and his son, John, were considered “Old Planters”.  His wife and daughter-in-law were members of the Puritan church in 1637, after Winthrop Fleet arrival. 

Richard Norman was a shipwright, and also a fisherman.  There is a sketch of his life in The Great Migration Begins.  He was married, but the name of his wife is unknown.   He was granted twenty acres of land in Salem in 1636.  In the 1637 division of marshland he was given ¾ of an acre.  The next year he was granted another twenty acres “that was Mr. Thorndeck’s”.  In 1653 he deeded his son, Richard Norman, his house and 10 acres “in Marvelheade upon Derbe Fort side” along with his rights to cow commons.

My NORMAN genealogy:

Generation 1: Richard Norman, born about 1580 in England, died 22 April 1653 in Marblehead, Massachusetts; married and five children.

Lineage A:

Generation 2: Alice Norman, born in England, died 8 March 1632 in Salem, Massachusetts; married about 1629 to William Allen.  He was born 1602 in England and died 30 January 1678 in Manchester, Massachusetts.

Generation 3: Samuel Allen m. Sarah Tuck

Lineage i
Generation 4: Joseph Allen m. Catherine Leach
Generation 5: William Allen m. Mary Ingalls
Generation 6: Isaac Allen m. Abigail Burnham
Generation 7: Joseph Allen m. Judith Burnham
Generation 8: Joseph Allen m. Orpha Andrews
Generation 9: Joseph Gilman Allen m. Sarah Burnham Mears
Generation 10: Joseph Elmer Allen m. Carrie Maude Batchelder
Generation 11: Stanley Elmer Allen m. Gertrude Matilda Hitchings (my grandparents)

Lineage ii
Generation 5: Alice Allen m. Daniel Williams
Generation 6: Ruth Williams m. Moses Platts
Generation 7: Sarah Platts m. George Southwick
Generation 8: Mary Southwick m. Robert Wilson
Generation 9: Mercy F. Wilson m. Aaron Wilkinson
Generation 10: Robert Wilson Wilkinson m. Phebe Cross Munroe
Generation 11: Albert Munroe Wilkinson m. Isabella Lyons Bill
Generation 12: Donald Munroe Wilkinson  m. Bertha Louise Roberts (my grandparents)

Lineage B:
Generation 2: John Norman,  born about 1612 in England, died about 1673 in Manchester, Massachusetts; married about 1629 in Salem to Arabella Baldwin, daughter of Sylvester Baldwin and Sarah Astwood.  She was born about 1613 in England and died 23 November 1679 in Salem. Nine children.

Generation 3: Arabella Norman, born 13 February 1644 in Salem, died 8 May 1681 in Manchester; married about 1672 in Manchester to Samuel Leach.  He was the son of Robert Leach and Alice Alls.  He was born about 1653 in Manchester and died 14 October 1696.  Three children.

Generation 4: Catherine Leach m. Joseph Allen (see above)

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Copyright ©2014, Heather Wilkinson Rojo