Saturday, November 1, 2014

Surname Saturday ~ FOLGER of Watertown, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket, Massachusetts

A replica of the Pope Valuables Chest
at Plimoth Plantation


John Folger (my 9th great grandfather), his wife Meribah, and son Peter arrived in New England on board the ship Abigail with the Reverend Hugh Peter in 1635. He lived first at Watertown, and then removed to the island of Martha’s Vineyard with Thomas Mayhew (my 10th great grandfather).  He died intestate about 1660. 

In the second generation, Peter Folger was my 8th great grandfather, and his wife Mary Morrill was an indentured servant for Rev. Hugh Peters.  Peter saved his money for seven years and paid 20 pounds to buy her out of servitude and declared “it was the best appropriation of money he ever made”. 

Peter went to Nantucket in 1663 to be an Indian interpreter for Tristram Coffin.  He was very influential in assisting the first settlers on this island with negotiations with the native people.  In the records Peter appears as a surveyor, miller, weaver, blacksmith, school master, and the clerk of the records.  His poem “A Looking Glass for the Time” was published on 23 April 1676. This poem gives his opinions on religious freedom and government, including freedom of speech.  
In the next generation, Peter had 12 children. One daughter was Bethshua, my 7th great grandmother, and another was Abiah, mother of the famous Benjamin Franklin.  Several authors have attributed Benjamin Franklin’s wit to his grandfather, Peter.  Others have compared Franklin’s concepts of religious freedom and free speech in the Articles of Confederation with his grandfather’s writing. 

My 7th great grandmother, Bethshua Folger, married Joseph Pope and lived in Salem, Massachusetts.   Their initials and wedding date is carved upon a "Valuables Chest” that was passed down in the family and auctioned off at Christie’s in 2000 for a record breaking $2,422,500.00  [see the link below for the full story].  The Popes were wealthy Quakers, who had been persecuted by the Salem authorities in earlier days.  During the witch craft hysteria of 1692 Joseph and Bethshua were accusers against John Proctor (also my ancestor), and Bethshua claimed to be tortured by some of the accused witches, including Giles and Martha Corey, and Rebecca Nurse (sister to another ancestor, Edmund Towne, my 9th great grandfather).   When he died, Joseph Pope’s gravestone was described as “a pretentious stone of slate” by Jasper Marsh  [in the Historical Collections of the Danvers Historical Society, Volume 10, page 93].

Some sources for more information on the Folger family:

Mayflower Quarterly, Volume 72, pages 243- 264 (Peter Folger and his descendants)

Away Off Shore: Nantucket and Its People, by Nathaniel Phibrick, New York: Penguin Books, 2011

History of Martha’s Vineyard by Charles Edward Banks, Boston, 1911

History of Watertown, by Henry Bond and Horatio Gates Jones, Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1860.

“The Folger Family” by William Coleman Folger in the NEHGS Register July 1862, Volume XVI, pages 269 – 274.

The Devil Hath Been Raised: A Documentary History of the Salem Village Witchcraft Outbreak of March 1692, by Richard B. Trask, Danvers, Massachusetts: Danvers Historical Society, 1992, pages 38 and 57.

A previous blog post about Joseph Pope and Bethshua Folger’s “Valuables Chest”

My Folger lineage:

Generation 1:  John Folger, born about 1590 in Norwich, Norfolk, England, died about 1660 on the island of Martha’s Vineyard, in Massachusetts;  married before 1618 in England to Meribah Gibbs, daughter of John Gibbs and Alice Elmy.  She was born about 1595 in Freyn, Norwich, Norfolk, England and died about 1635 on Martha’s Vineyard.  They had five children.

Generation 2:  Peter Folger, born about 1618 in Norfolk and died about 1690 in Edgartown on Martha’s Vineyard; married on 23 June 1644 in Watertown, Massachusetts to Mary Morrill.  She was born about 1623 in England and died 1704 on Nantucket.  They had twelve children.

Generation 3:  Bethshua Folger, born about 1650 on Nantucket island and died in Salem, Massachusetts; married in 1679 in Salem Village (now Danvers), Massachusetts to Joseph Pope, son of Joseph Pope and Damaris Unknown.  Nine children

Generation 4:  Jerusha Pope m. George Flint
Generation 5: George Flint m. Hannah Phelps
Generation 6: Phebe Flint m. John Flint
Generation 7: Olive Flint m. Luther Simonds Munroe
Generation 8: Phebe Cross Munroe m. Robert Wilson Wilkinson
Generation 9: Albert Munroe Wilkinson m. Isabella Lyons Bill
Generation 10: Donald Munroe Wilkinson m. Bertha Louise Roberts (my grandparents)

The URL for this post is

Copyright ©2014, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween ~ A visit to "Blood Cemetery"

Pine Hill Cemetery in Hollis, New Hampshire is also known as “Blood Cemetery” not because of anything violent that happened here, but because of the Blood family.  This cemetery unfortunately has become quite famous online as the site of paranormal activity.  Because of this “fame” there has been vandalism and loitering in this remote cemetery.  The town has erected surveillance cameras and the place is off limits between dusk and dawn.  The Hollis town police patrol this area especially near Halloween to keep out the vandals and thrill seekers.

Abel Blood’s tombstone has attracted many teenagers over the years due to myth and rumor.  The local historians haven’t found any connection between poor Abel Blood and any violent act or the occult, but nonetheless over the years many believe he haunts this cemetery.  The town had to remove Abel's tombstone because of all the damage and vandalism.   Local teens leave coins on the graves of the other Blood family members, perhaps as a bribe or offering to free them from his haunts?

During my visit there were coins on these two gravestones, and on several others. 

What is funny is that very near there is a real Blood Cemetery in Dunstable, Massachusetts- just over the border and a ten minute drive from Pine Hill Cemetery in Hollis, New Hampshire.  This smaller cemetery is labeled Blood Cemetery, has a sign, has some Blood family gravestones, and yet the local believers in spooky things seem to leave it alone.

Go figure!

The real "Blood Cemetery" located in Dunstable, Massachusetts
ten minutes from Pine Hill Cemetery

 “Blood Cemetery” , a webpage by the International Organization for Paranormal Activity all about Pine Hill Cemetery in Hollis, New Hampshire “is believed to be the most haunted and active cemeteries in the region” 

On YouTube  “Creepy Places of New England: Blood Cemetery”

Blood Cemetery (actually the Pine Hill Cemetery) is on this list of the spookiest places in the state of New Hampshire by Yankee Magazine: 

New Hampshire Magazine, October 2012 “Spooky Stuff: Blood Cemetery” by Barbara Coles   

The URL for this post is

Copyright ©2014, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Haunted Hannah Jack’s Tavern

The Common Man Restaturant, formerly the Hannah Jack Tavern, in Merrimack, New Hampshire

This building was constructed by Edward Goldstone Lutwyche, a Tory whose property was seized during the American Revolution.  Dr. Matthew Thornton, signer of the Declaration of Independence, bought the property at auction and it was inherited by son James.  He named it Hannah Jack’s Tavern, after his mother.  She was born in Chester, New Hampshire in 1742.  Today this restaurant is known as The Common Man Restaurant on the Daniel Webster Highway in Merrimack, New Hampshire, but until 2004 it was known as Hannah Jack’s Tavern. 

Hannah and Dr. Thornton are buried across the street at the Matthew Thornton cemetery.  You can read all about their gravesite HERE at this blog post.

Hannah Jack Thornton's gravestone in Merrimack, New Hampshire

Over the years many restaurant workers have claimed to see ghosts in the building.  Some have reported seeing an Indian; some see servants in colonial clothing.  A few of the sightings have been in the basement, and some on the stairs.  I’ve been to this restaurant many times, and it seems bright and sunny, not at all dark and creepy, but I admit that I’ve never been down in the basement.   In October 2008 the Nocturnal Society of Paranormal research and Investigations surveyed the restaurant for "ghostly activity".  People believe that James Thornton hung himself off a rafter in the dining room, but I hadn’t seen proof of a suicide in any historical record.  Then reader and fellow genealogy blogger Janice Webster Brown sent me this item from the 5 July 1817 Farmer's Cabinet newspaper!

"DIED- .... - In Merrimack, 3d inst. Capt. James Thornton, aet. 53 - (suicide
from derangement.)"

Thanks, Janice!

For more information:

Ghosts and Legends of the Merrimack Valley, by C. C. Carole, published by Haunted America, A Division of The History Press, Charleston, SC, 2009, pages 66 -69.

Haunted Pubs of New England: Raising Spirits of the Past by Roxie J. Zwicker, published by Haunted America, A Division of the History Press, Charleston, SC, 2007, pages 73 – 77, and it is also readable online at Google Books.

“Ghost hunters look for proof Merrimack eatery is haunted”, on the website of the New Hampshire Business Review, published 10 October 2008, accessed 21 October 2014

Nutfield Note:

It is interesting to note that Edward Goldstone Lutwyche’s unusual surname was the middle name of Reverend Edward Lutwyche Parker, the Nutfield, New Hampshire historian and the author of The History of Londonderry in 1851.  Rev. Parker was a graduate of Dartmouth College and ordained in 1810.  He served as pastor at the First Church in Derry until his death in 1850, and his son published his history posthumously.  Rev. Parker's father was a great friend of Edward Goldstone Lutwyche, and named his son after him.  

Edward Goldstone Lutwyche was also one of the Loyalist men who assembled a posse to arrest the protesters at the “Pine Tree Riot” in Weare, New Hampshire.  This was one of the first acts of resistance to British authority in the American Colonies, taking place on 13 April 1772.  His loyalty to the crown must have made Lutwyche very unpopular with his neighbors.  Thornton and Lutwyche also had a long standing feud over the rights to a ferry across the Merrimack River to Litchfield.  This area was known as Lutwyche’s Ferry, but is now known as Thornton’s Ferry in Merrimack, New Hampshire.

Other ghostly haunted locations posted at this blog:

The Coach Stop Restaurant in Londonderry:

Pinkerton Tavern in Derry (no longer standing):

The Towne Burial Ground in Londonderry:

Fort Warren in Boston Harbor:

The URL for this post is
Copyright © 2014, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Weathervane Wednesday ~ from a New Hampshire Winery

Weathervane Wednesday is an on-going series of photographs I post weekly.  I started by publishing weather vanes from the Londonderry, New Hampshire 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 #180? Scroll down to the bottom to see the answer!

Today's weather vane was spotted on top of the beautiful LaBelle Winery in Amherst, New Hampshire. This custom weather vane is a replica of the figure on wine label produced here at 345 Route 101.  This facility has the wine production, a shop and a restaurant, as well as beautiful rolling countryside planted with neat rows of grapevines.

This winery was founded by Amy LaBelle, who experimented with making wine for many years in her kitchen, and at an orchard in Walpole, New Hampshire.  She broke ground for this facility in 2012, and it has become a popular destination for fine dining, wine tasting and elegant functions. The wines here are made from local fruit and grapes from the Finger Lakes region of New York state.  The grape vines planted in Amherst have been growing and maturing, and finally this fall will be made into their first batches of local New Hampshire grape wine.

LaBelle Winery website

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

The URL for this post is

Copyright (c) 2014, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday ~ Hoogerzeil and Sorenson

This cemetery plot was photographed at the Central Cemetery in Beverly, Massachusetts.  Peter Hoogerzeil, son of Peter Hoogerzeil of the Netherlands and Eunice Stone of Beverly, was born on 24 June 1841 in Beverly and died 10 May 1908 in Beverly.  On 14 March 1870 in Beverly he married Mary Etta Healey, daughter of Joseph Edwin Healey and Matilda Weston.  They were my 2nd great grandparents and they had six children:

1.  Florence Etta Hoogerzeil, my great grandmother.  She was born 20 August 1871 in Beverly, and she married Arthur Treadwell Hitchings.  She died on 10 February 1941 in Hamilton, Massachusetts.  She is not buried here.

2. Lillie May Hoogerzeil. She was born on 29 September 1872 in Beverly and died on 17 May 1874 in Beverly.  She is not buried in this plot.  Since she was less than 8 months old when she died perhaps she is buried in the infant section of this cemetery?

3.  Alonzo Hoogerzeil, born 29 May 1875 in Beverly and died 23 January 1946 in Beverly.  He was married to Mabel Thurston Cressey, who died in 1951 in Salem.  He is listed in the 1930 census as divorced.  He is buried here without his wife or children.

4.  Edward Peter Hoogerzeil, born 27 July 1877 in Beverly, and died 11 October 1907 in Beverly of "hemiplegia" (paralysis of half the body).  He was unmarried and is buried here.

5.  Lucy May Hoogerzeil, born 18 June 1882 in Beverly, died 3 September 1931 in Beverly.  She died unmarried and is buried here.

6.  Isabel Hoogerzeil, born 3 August 1888 in Beverly, and died 29 February 1960 in Beverly.  She was married to George Sorenson, a Norwegian immigrant, and they had no children.  They are both buried here.

PETER              MARY

GEORGE             ISABEL

From the side you can see that the smaller stones
in this family plot have sunk and are unreadable

The Hoogerzeil/Sorenson plot is #2 on this map, highlighted in pink

A detail of the map above.
The Hoogerzeil-Sorenson plot is outlined in pink

No. 261  Sub-Div No. 7  ---------- Avenue   Endowed
Name:  Peter Hogerzeil

Interments                                                           Removals
Month  Day  Year                 Name                     Age                             
                                                   Yrs. Months         
 -  11   1907  1.  Edward P. Hogerzeil         30  2                             
4  10  1909   2.   Peter Hoogerzeil               65  10                          
           September 5  1931   3. Lucy M. Hoogerzeil          49 2                                                     
July 25 1932   4. Marietta Hoogerzeil          80 2                                
January 25 1946   5.  Alonzo Hoogerzeil           71 7                                      
August 11 1949   6. George Sorenson               79 7                                     
Mar 2 1960  7. Isabelle H. Sorenson          71  6                             

The URL for this post is

Copyright (c) 2014, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Monday, October 27, 2014

2014 Seven to Save

Last week the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance announced its “2014 Seven to Save” list of historical buildings or sites worth preserving.  For the past eight years this list has raised support and awareness for endangered historic places in New Hampshire.  In many cases, this list and the awareness of these places in the media has saved these buildings from loss, demolition or ill planned renovations.

Of the over 50 structures on this list, half were saved.  Many are local buildings in southern New Hampshire, such as the First Parish Church of Derry, which was on the 2009 list, or the Derry Upper Village Hall, which was on the very first list in 2006.  Both buildings still need expensive structural renovation and restoration.  The publicity this event raises every year helps in the necessary fund raising for buildings like these.

Major success stories include the Pandora Mill in Manchester, the restored Acworth Meeting House, and the Mill Pond Dam in Durham.  According to the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance “some past listees like the Balsams in Dixville Notch and the Gas Holder in Concord still have uncertain futures.”

The announcement was made on 22 October 2014:

1.  Brown Company House, Berlin
2.  Kimball Lake Cabins, Hopkinton
3.  Hill-Lasonde House, Manchester
4. Poor Family Farm, Stewartstown
5. Bradford Town Hall, Bradford
6.  Washington Meetinghouse/Town Hall, Washington
7. Watson Academy, Epping

*8. (A bonus for 2014)  Historic Family Farms and Agricultural Landscapes, statewide

For more information:

The New Hampshire Preservation Alliance: 

The 2014 Seven to Save Listees:  

The URL for this post is

Copyright © 2014, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Surname Saturday ~ WARNER of Ipswich, Massachusetts

The Great Migration Series


The English origins of William Warner were laid out in a book The History of Peter Parker and Sarah Ruggles of Roxbury, Mass., and Their Ancestors and Descendants, by John William Linzee (Boston, 1913) but disputed by Robert Charles Anderson in his book The Great Migration, Volume VII (T-Y), pages 243 -247.  He was born about 1587 and had two children baptized in Boxted, Essex, England.  His origins are unknown.

His wife is unknown, but the following excerpt from The Great Migration is interesting because both William Warner and Simons Stone are my 10th great grandfathers :

“Richard Lumkin and Sarah Baker were married at Boxted, Essex, on 20 October 1614.  After Lumkin's death, Sarah married SIMON STONE {1635, Watertown} [Great Migration 2:6:553-58].  In her will of 25 March 1663, "Sarah Stone wife of Simon Stone of Watertowne... and the relict of Richard Lumkin deceased sometime of Boxstead in the County of Essex,  in England and last of all Ipswich in New England" ordered that the residue of her estate "be equally divided between my kinsmen John Warner, Daniel Warner, and Thomas Wells" and made these three men her executors [Middlesex County Probate Records 2:128-30, Case #21723].  Given this close connection between Sarah (Baker) (Lumpkin) Stone and the children of William Warner, and the baptism of the tow children of William Warner at Boxted, most writers have proposed that William Warner married a sister of Sarah, but no further evidence has emerged which would confirm that this is the precise relationship between the two families.”

Besides these interesting controversies over William Warner’s origins and the possible identity of his wife, not much else is known about him.  He was made a freeman in Ipswich by 1638 and he received one of the original 1635 grants of land.  In 1637 he was granted a house lot and farm land.  He left no will, and no tombstone, nor a death record.

For more information on the WARNER family:

“Posterity of William Warner, one of the Early Settlers of Ipswich, Massachusetts”,  in the New England Historic Genealogical Society Register, Volume 20 (1866), pages 64 -66

The Great Migration, by Robert Charles Anderson, Volume VII T-Y, pages 243 – 247.

You may also want to consult with a manuscript “Research on William Warner” by Elizabeth L. Nichols, call number Mss C3457 in the R. Stanton Avery Special Collections at the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston. These are the typed research and charts on several men in New England all named William Warner.

My WARNER genealogy:

Generation 1: William Warner, baptized 10 March 1586 in Boxted, died before 1648 in Ipswich, Massachusetts; married about 1611 to Unknown – possible surname Baker.  Five children.
Generation 2: Abigail Warner, born 2 June 1614 in Boxted, died 22 July 1671 in Ipswich; married before 1636 to Thomas Wells.  He was born about 1605 in England and died 26 October 1666 in Ipswich.  Seven children.

Generation 3: Elizabeth Wells m. John Burnham ( I descend from three of their nine children)

Lineage A:

Generation 4:  John Burnham m. Sarah Choate
Generation 5: J ohn Burnham m. Rachel Smith
Generation 6:  Dorothy Burnham m. Abner Poland
Generation 7:  Abner Poland m. Sarah Burnham
Generation 8:  Sally Poland m. Henry Burnham
Generation 9: Sarah Ann Burnham m. Samuel Mears
Generation 10: Sarah Burnham Mears m. Joseph Gilman Allen
Generation 11: Joseph Elmer Allen m. Carrie Maude Batchelder
Generation 12: Stanley Elmer Allen m. Gertrude Matilda Hitchings (my grandmother)

Lineage B:

Generation 6:  Thomas Burnham m. Susannah Boardman
Generation 7: Stephen Burnham m. Mary Andrews
Generation 8: Joshua Burnham m. Jemima Wyman
Generation 9: Jemima Burnham m. Romanus Emerson
Generation 10: George Emerson m. Mary Esther Younger
Generation 11: Mary Katharine Emerson m.  George E. Batchelder
Generation 12: Carrie Maude Batchelder m. Joseph Elmer Allen (see above)

Lineage C:

Generation 4:   David Burnham m. Elizabeth Perkins

Lineage C1:
Generation 5:  David Burnham m. Elizabeth Marshall
Generation 6: Amos Burnham m. Sarah Giddings
Generation 7: Judith Burnham m. Joseph Allen (see above)

Lineage C2:
Generation 5:  Westley Burnham m. Deborah Story

Lineage C2a:
Generation 6: Westley Burnham m. Molly Woodbury
Generation 7: Henry Burnham m. Sally Poland (see above)

Lineage C2b:
Generation 6: Sarah Burnham m. Abner Poland
Generation 7: Sally Poland m. Henry Burnham (see above)

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Copyright © 2014, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Friday, October 24, 2014

Happy Birthday to me!

I won't say how old, or the year I was born...
but here is a cute photograph of a birthday long gone by.

I remember that my early birthdays always had a Halloween theme.  The birthday hat was decorated with pumpkins and black cats.  My sister was about ten months old. That old sofa was around for years and years, and it was covered with little scenes of colonial New England.  I can remember spending lots of time as a small child looking at all the houses, horses and trees all over the sofa.  We had it in the living room in our home in Beverly, Massachusetts, and in Holden, Massachusetts. By the time I was in high school it had been moved to the basement rec room.  The sofa was black and white, so no detail is missing in this old photo.

Isn't it funny the memories you find in old photographs?

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Copyright (c) 2014, Heather Wilkinson Rojo