Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday ~ Revolutionary War Patriot Elkanah Crosby, Brewster, Massachusetts

This tombstone was photographed at the Ancient Burial Ground in Brewster, Massachusetts

In memory of
who died April 30, 1806
AEt 46
An Infant died July 21, 1790
Sophia died May 19, 1805
AEt 2 years and 4 mos
Daughters of
Capt. E. & Mrs. M. Crosby

memory of
wido' of
Capt. Elkanah Crosby
who died
March 4, 1833
AEt. 71

Elkanah Crosby, son of James Crosby and Sarah Hopkins, was born 10 May 1761 in Harwich, Massachusetts on Cape Cod, and died 30 April 1806.  He married on 26 March 1784 to Mercy Cobb, daughter of Eleazer Cobb and Keziah Crosby.  She was born 28 September 1762 and died 4 March 1833 as his widow. 

On his mother's side of the family Elkanah was a descendant of Stephen Hopkins, a Mayflower passenger and a Jamestown, Virginia survivor.  Stephen Hopkins also survived the shipwreck of the Sea Venture in Bermuda in 1609.  He is a celebrated adventurer of early colonial America. 

Captain Elkanah Crosby served as a seaman during the American Revolutionary War.  There was an SAR (Sons of the American Revolution) bronze marker on his grave, as well as an American flag. The honorific "Captain" refers to his profession as a mariner, not to his military service. 

The URL for this post is

Copyright (c) 2014, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Monday, July 21, 2014

Just in Time for Summer ~ The Lawn Sprinker song written by a Queen

Liliuokalani outside (her house) Washington Place

Ka Wiliwili Wai  (Twisting Water)

As I have written many time on this blog, Queen Liliuokalani (1838 - 1917) was a wonderful music composer, as were all four of her siblings.  One summer, as Queen Lili’uokalani was sitting on her lanai at Washington Place in Honolulu, she saw something new next door.  Her neighbor, Dr. McKibben had a newfangled lawn sprinkler!  The Queen watched the sprinkler spinning for a long time, and composed this tune.  This story was told to her lady in waiting, Mrs. Pukui.  I know I have been mesmerized by lawn sprinklers, and I can see this story in my mind's eye every time I hear this music. 

If you are a regular reader of my blog you know that the Queen married my first cousin 4 generations removed, John Owen Dominis (1832 - 1891) .  His parents built the house, Washington Place, in Honolulu, in the 1840s.  Many members of his mother's family, some of her sisters (but not her sister, Catherine, my 4th great grandmother who had died young before this time) sent the building materials from Boston for this house, which still stands. So this story is not just fun, it contains a lot of family history, too!

Music, photographs, and the history of household labor saving devices were all used to put this family history story together.  It took me a long time to find the book of Liliuokalani's music (see below).  I finally found it at the Iolani Palace gift shop in Honolulu.  Sometimes historic sites have hard to find books like this, or can order them for you. If you know one of your ancestors or family members composed music it can sometimes be difficult to find that music.  I'm still looking for any books or sheet music by my ancestor Caleb Rand Bill (1833 - 1902), the music professor from Salem, Massachusetts.

Queen Liliuokalani's music is very popular around the world. One of her compositions, Aloha 'Oe, has been recorded by everyone from Elvis Presley, to Disney, to Israel Kamakawiwo'ole.  You might not think you've heard it, but if the tune played you would immediately recognize Aloha 'Oe. After I received my copy of The Queen's Songbook, I was happy to see that she wrote music about many ordinary things, love, friendship, her garden and... lawn sprinklers. 

E ka wiliwiliwai

O lawn sprinkler
Ko`iawe i ka la`i
Circling quietly
A heaha kau hana
What are you doing
E naue mâlie nei
As you silently revolve?

Ei nei, ei nei
Say there, say there
’E poahi mai nei
You revolving object
Ahea, ahea
When, oh when
`Oe kaohi mai
Will you slow down

O kîpau o ia la
Unusually active
Ua nihinihi
Sending out sprays like rain
Ku`u iki iho ho`i
Lessen your speed
I inu aku au
That I may drink

You can hear the Galliard String Quartet play Ka Wiliwili Wai at this link (I have this CD “Songs of Liliuokalani” and it has some of the best recordings of her music):

This music was also recorded by Yo Yo Ma on his CD “Obrigado Brazil”

If you prefer to hear it played on Hawaiian slack key guitar, here is a link to the song played by Atta Isaacs, Al Ka’ailau and Norman Isaacs at Spotify:

The Queen's Songbook, by Her Majesty Queen Lili'uokalani, Honolulu: Hui Hanai, 1999

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

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Surname Saturday ~ WHIPPLE of Ipswich, Massachusetts

The Whipple House, Ipswich, Massachusetts circa 1677


Matthew Whipple of Bocking, Essex, England left a will in 1618 naming his children.  I descend from two sons named in this will, Matthew and John.  The will was transcribed in “Genealogical Gleanings in England” The New England Historic Genealogical Society Register (October 1890) Volume 44, page 389.

"Mathewe Whipple the elder of Bocking, Essex, clothier, 19 December 1616, proved 28 January 1618.
"My capital messuage or tenement, with the yards, gardens, orchards, members and appurtenances, situate in Bradford Street in Bocking, now in the occupation of me and said Mathewe, from and after my decease shall remain to Mathewe Whippell, mine eldest son, upon condition that he shall pay or cause to be paid to my son John Whippell fourscore pounds within three months next after my decease, and to my daughter Jane thirty pounds within six months, and to my daughter Elizabeth thirty pounds within twelve months, and to my daughter Mary thirty pounds at one and twenty or day of her marriage, and to my daughter Amie thirty pounds at one and twenty or day of marriage, upon reasonable demand made by the said Jane, Elizabeth, Mary and Amye. To my daughter Amce (?) six silver spoons of the better sort, two high latten candlesticks, my biggest brass pot and three pounds six shillings and eight pence. To my daughter Johane forty shillings. To my daughter Jane two silver spoons, two pewter platters of the greater sort, one pewter candlestick, one half headed bedstedle, my best flock bed, a flock bolster, a coverlet and a pair of blankets. To my daughter Elizabeth two silver spoons, one pewter candlestick, two pewter platters of the greater sort, a half headed bedstedle, next the best, a flock bed, a flock bolster, a coverlet, a pair of blankets and the little chest which was her mothers. To my daughter Mary two silver spoons, two pewter platters and a pewter salt, a trundle bedsteadle, a flock bed, a flock bolster, a coverlet, a pair of blankets. To my daughter Amye two silver spoons, two pewter platters, a pewter salt, a trundle bedsteadle, a flock bed, a flock bolster and a pair of blankets. To my son John a joyned table and frame standing in my old parlor (and other movables). To my sister, wife of Richard Rathbone twenty shillings, To Hercules Stephens ten shillings. To my grandchildren Hercules Arthur, Margaret Arthur, Henry Caldham and Anne Caldham six shillings eight pence apiece. To the poor of Bocking twenty shillings. All the rest to my son Matthew, sole executor."
John Whipple came to America with Israel Stoughton in 1631, probably on the ship Mary & John.  He was the man who built the “Whipple House” still standing in Ipswich, Massachusetts and is a museum house operated by the Ipswich Historical Society.  John and his brother, Matthew, were granted two hundred acres in the part of Ipswich known as “The Hamlet” (incorporated in 1793 as the town of Hamilton). 

There is an interesting descendant, also named Matthew Whipple, who freed his slave Plato in his will of 1760:

This may satisfy whom it may concern that I the Subscriber in Consideration that my Servant Plato has been a faithful Servant that after my Death and my Wife's Death he shall be free if be desires it and if he don't he shall have Liberty to live with any of my friends whom he pleases. And I give him Liberty to live in my east Kitchen & have his feather Bed and Bedding thereto belonging & a Pot & Skillet & a Pewter Platter & Bason & Spoon & Tramel two Chairs, one Ax and one Hoe, and a Cow & he shall have good Pasture for her, and Liberty to cut bay sufficient for her, & have one Acre of Land, where it may be most convenient for him, and a Barrel of Cyder, & three Bushels of Apples a Year as long as he lives yearly & every Year, & have liberty to cut Wood lie necessarily shall want, & Barn Room for his Cow & hay & all other Priviledges necessary for him. In Case he should by any Providence be disenabled to support himself, or through old Age not able to support himself comfortably, my Heirs shall do it whatever he shall stand in need of, which is my Will.

Ipswich, Dec. 3, 1760. MATTHEW WHIPPLE.

Taken from the (Ipswich) Antiquarian Papers Volume I No. 3  Ipswich, December 1879

Some WHIPPLE resources:

Fifteen Generations of Whipples: Descendants of Matthew Whipple of Ipswich, Massachusetts, About 1590 – 1647: An American Story by Blaine Whipple, (Baltimore: Gateway Press, 2007, 4 volumes)

History and Genealogy of “Elder” John Whipple of Ipswich, Massachusetts: His English Ancestors and American Descendants by Blaine Whipple, (Victoria, B.C; Whipple Development Corp, 2003)

The Antecendents and Descendants of Noah Whipple of the Rogerene Community at Quakertown,  by Clara Hammond McGuigan with additional sections by Robert W. Merrian.

Whipple Family Tree by Dwane V. Norris (Jackson, Mich., 1996), p. 6-7.

"The Ancestry of Brigham Young," by Mabel Young Sanborn, The Utah Genealogical and Historical Magazine (1931), vol. 22, p. 16-17.

 "Genealogical Gleanings in England," The New-England Historic Genealogical Society Register (October 1890)  Volume 44, page 389.

One Hundred and Sixty Allied Families by John Osborne Austin (Salem, Mass., 1893; reprint ed. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1977), p. 262.

See also the Whipple Genealogy by Henry Waters at the Ipswich Historical Society library. 

My WHIPPLE genealogy:

Generation 1: Matthew Whipple, born about 1560 in Bocking, Essex, England, died 16 January 1619 in Bocking; married about 1582 in Bocking to Joan UNKNOWN.  She died 19 May 1612.

Lineage A:

Generation 2: John Whipple, baptized 29 August 1596 in Bocking, died 30 June 1669 in Ipswich, Massachusetts; married in England to Susannah Clark, who died after 13 July 1661. Eleven children.

Generation 3: Sarah Whipple, born 3 November 1641 in Ipswich, died 23 July 1681 in Ipswich; married on 13 July 1661 in Ipswich to Joseph Goodhue, son of William Goodhue and Margery Watson. He was born in 1639 and died 2 September 1697 in Ipswich. Nine children.

Generation 4: Mary Goodhue m. Bonus Norton
Generation 5: Elizabeth Norton m. Benjamin Swett
Generation 6: Elizabeth Swett m. David Batchelder
Generation 7: Elisha Batchelder m. Sarah Lane
Generation 8: Jonathan Batchelder m. Nancy Thompson
Generation 9: George E. Batchelder m. Abigail M. Locke
Generation 10: George E. Batchelder m. Mary Katharine Emerson
Generation 11: Carrie Maude Batchelder m. Joseph Elmer Allen
Generation 12: Stanley Elmer Allen m. Gertrude Matilda Hitchings (my grandparents)

Lineage B:

Generation 2: Matthew Whipple, born 19 December 1588 in Bocking, died 28 September 1647 in Ipswich; married on 7 May 1622 at St. Mary’s church, Bocking to Anne Hawkins, daughter of John Hawkins and Mary Levitt.  She was born 23 January 1590 at Kelvedon Near, Colchester, Suffolk, England, and died about 1643 in Ipswich.  Eight children.

Generation 3: Elizabeth Whipple, born about 1629 in Bocking, died 12 February 1685 in Ipswich; married about 1648 to Jacob Perkins.  He was baptized 12 September 1624 in Hilmorton, Warwickshire, England and died 29 January 1700 in Ipswich.  Nine children.

Generation 4:  Jacob Perkins m. Elizabeth Sparks
Generation 5: Elizabeth Perkins m. David Burnham, son of John Burnham and Elizabeth Wells. David was born 20 October 1688 and died 2 February 1770. Five children and I descend from two of them.

Lineage B1:

Generation 6: David Burnham m. Elizabeth Marshall
Generation 7: Amos Burnham m. Sarah Giddings
Generation 8: Judith Burnham m. Joseph Allen
Generation 9: Joseph Allen m. Orpha Andrews
Generation 10: Joseph Gilman Allen m. Sarah Burnham Mears
Generation 11: Joseph Elmer Allen m. Carrie Maude Batchelder
Generation 12: Stanley Elmer Allen m. Gertrude Matilda Hitchings (my grandparents)

Lineage B2a:

Generation 6: Westley Burnham m. Deborah Story
Generation 7: Westley Burnham m. Molly Woodbury
Generation 8: Asa Burnham m. Polly Bray
Generation 9: Lydia W. Burnham m. Samuel Mears
Generation 10: Samuel Mears m. Sarah Ann Burnham
Generation 11: Sarah Burnham Mears m. Joseph Gilman Allen (see above)

Lineage B2b:
Generation 6: Westley Burnham m. Deborah Story
Generation 7: Westley Burnham m. Molly Woodbury
Generation 8: Henry Burnham m. Sally Poland
Generation 9: Sarah Ann Burnham m. Samuel Mears
Generation 10: Sarah Burnham Mears m. Joseph Gilman Allen (see above)

Lineage B2c:

Generation 7: Sarah Burnham m. Abner Poland
Generation 8: Sally Poland m. Henry Burnham (see above)


The URL for this post is

Copyright © 2014, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Friday, July 18, 2014

Blogger Meetup at Exeter, NH's Revolutionary War Festival

Genealogy Blogger Tom Tufts and Yours Truly

Tom Tufts is the author of the Tufts Family Genealogy blog.  We share the ancestor, Peter Tufts (1616- 1700) who settled in Malden, Massachusetts.  He is my 9th great grandfather.  Tom started by guest blogging on my blog, and then started the Tufts Family Genealogy blog in 2012.  We have met up a few times.  I knew that Tom was a long time volunteer at the Exeter, New Hampshire Fire Museum, and he told me that the museum was going to be open during the Exeter Revolutionary War Festival last weekend. It was time for my first visit to this extraordinary little museum.

This little museum used to be the old fire station.  There are two hand pumpers from 1835 and 1846, and a steam pump from 1873 build in Manchester, NH. The fire engines date from the 1920s and 1940s. The bays of the old fire station are full of memorabilia like fire extinguishers, air tanks, axes, patches, tools and lots of photos of firemen from the years past.  Many of the old photos have names on them, which is a great genealogy resource. 

If you are a regular reader of Tom's blog, you may not know that he is a retired fireman with 20 years of service in Manchester and five years of service in Exeter.  His grandfather was an Exeter fireman, and there are photos of him in the museum. Tom even showed me a group photo that includes his grandfather, and two other family members.  I'll let Tom post that on a future blog post, because the story behind the people in the group photo is a bit of genealogical serendipity.  

The museum is located on 30 Court Street in Exeter, New Hampshire.  It is open the first and third Saturday of the month from noon to 4pm.

The Tufts Family Genealogy blog

Read Thomas Tufts guest blog posts at Nutfield Genealogy

The URL for this post is

Copyright (c) 2014, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Genealogy through Artwork

 We recently moved, which gave us a great chance to dig out a lot of artwork and photographs from storage.  It also gave me a chance to be a bit creative in displaying the family artwork.  This "family tree" below was arranged my my daughter on our bedroom wall.  I love it!

Ignore the messy bed, we were walking all
over it to arrange the photos! 

This is the kit I bought at Bed, Bath and Beyond.
I added more photos, and didn't use all the parts of the kit.
You could also make similar branches out of black card stock
or cut out of plywood with a jigsaw, and then painted black.

More genealogy art! 
These two paintings now hang in my office.
They are Vincent's maternal grandmother's home in
the village of Villar de Ciervo, Salamanca, Spain

These four wedding photos hang between my
 new kitchen and dining room.  
Three generations of happy couples!

These portraits of my mother and father-in-law
now grace our dining room.
They are some of the artwork we moved from Puerto Rico.

The URL for this post is

Copyright (c) 2014, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Weathervane Wednesday ~ An Amusement Park Ride

Weathervane Wednesday is an on-going series of photographs I post weekly.  I started by publishing weather vanes from the Londonderry area, but now I've been finding interesting weather vanes all across New England.  Sometimes my weather vanes are whimsical, or historical, but all are interesting. Often, my readers tip me off to some very unique and unusual weather vanes, too! Today's weather vane is from Salem, New Hampshire.

Do you know the location of weather vane #165? Scroll down to the bottom to see the answer!

Today's weather vane can be see on top of the train station inside the historic Canobie Lake amusement park in Salem, New Hampshire. This park opened 23 August 1902.   This classic train, which runs with a steam propane engine, was built in the 1970s, and carries four train cars of happy passengers.  It takes a leisurely loop around the park, past all the rides, old and new.  The oldest ride in the park is the merry-go-round, which dates from the park opening in 1902.

The weather vane is a two dimensional gilded figure of a train engine and coal car.

The Canobie Lake Park website  http://www.canobie.com/

I previously blogged about this historic park at this link:

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

The URL for this post is

Copyright 2014, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday ~ CROSBY from Brewster, Massachusetts (Cape Cod)

This tombstone was photographed at the Ancient Burial Ground in Brewster, Massachusetts

In memory of
wife of
Capt. Nathaniel Crosby
who died June 17, 1855
AEt. 72 yrs. 17 days.

(inscription illegible)

died at Portland, Oregon
Aug. 20, 1851:
AEt. 29 yrs 3 mos.

Ruby Foster, daughter of Chillingsworth Foster and Sarah Freeman, was born 31 May 1783 in Brewster, Massachusetts on Cape Cod, and she died 17 June 1855 in Brewster. Her husband, Captain Nathaniel Crosby died in 1856 in Hong Kong, on a merchant voyage. 
Ruby and Nathaniel's daughter Elizabeth was born 13 April 1822 in Brewster and died 20 August 1851 in Portland, Oregon.  Capt. Crosby used to sail from Oregon to Hong Kong, leaving his family behind. He was sent to Oregon territory by the US government in the 1850s to supply the new settlers with goods from Boston. He took his whole family with him to Oregon, but apparently this young daughter died there and his wife eventually returned to Cape Cod.  Some of the family stayed in Oregon. 

Ruby Foster Crosby is a descendant of Edward Winslow of the Mayflower.  Ruby and Capt. Nathaniel Crosby have a famous descendant, too- Entertainer Harry Lillis "Bing" Crosby (1903 - 1977), raised in Oregon.

The URL for this post is

Copyright (c) 2014, Heather Wilkinson Rojo  

Monday, July 14, 2014

BERRY cousins reunion in Kittery, Maine

I belong to many genealogy Facebook groups. Some of these groups are formed for specific families, like Mayflower Descendants, Felton Family Association, Descendants of New England Phelps, Descendants of Mayflower Passengers John Howland and Elizabeth Tilley, and many others.  One lively group is Descendants of William Berry Strawberry Bank - Rye, NH.  We have a lot of fun online posting photos, drawing up lineage charts, and finding cousins.  No matter how much fun it can be to meetup with cousins on line, it is even more fun to meet up in person.  Jeane Berry, all the way over in Colorado, organized a mini-BERRY reunion at Warren's restaurant in Kittery, Maine.  This is the crew of cousins who showed up!

We had a lot of fun comparing notes!  Even though the restaurant was noisy and full on a Saturday night, we were a small group and able to carry on a conversation about our BERRY ancestors.  Jeane, from Colorado, and Susan Ann Schweim from Minnesota had spent Friday being toured around Rye, New Hampshire and the seacoast by Dave Wilson from Manchester, New Hampshire.  They came the furthest, and were able to visit some of the local cemeteries and places where the BERRYs had lived. 

Other local cousins included Priscilla Foss Littlefield, from Stow, Massachusetts and James Elliott Reid from South Hampton, New Hampshire. We found that many of us had other ancestors in common including PROCTOR, FOSS, CAVERLY, WATERS, and other New England surnames. 

It was great to meet up with these cousins for the first time.  We are already planning to do this again another time.  How many of you belong to chat groups on line for certain families, or to Facebook groups?  Do you ever "break the third wall" and decide to meetup in person instead of virtually on line? Did you have as much fun as we did this weekend? 

For the truly curious:

Descendants of William BERRY of Strawberry Bank- Rye, NH

My three BERRY lineages (from three of William Berry's children)!

William Berry (1610 - 1654)  & Jane Unknown
Elizabeth Berry (b. 1636) & John Locke (1627 - 1696)
John Locke & Elizabeth Unknown
John Locke & Sarah Unknown
Richard Locke & Elizabeth Garland
Simon Locke & Abigail Mace
Richard Locke & Margaret Welch
Abigail Locke & George Batchelder
George Batchelder & Mary Katharine Emerson
Carrie Maude Batchelder & Joseph Elmer Allen
Stanley Elmer Allen & Gertrude Matilda Hitchings (my grandparents)

William Berry & Jane Unknown
Mary Berry (b. 1641) & John Foss
Elizabeth Foss & Nathaniel Batchelder
Josiah Batchelder & Sarah Page
David Batchelder & Elizabeth Swett
Elisha Batchelder & Sarah Lane
Jonathan Batchelder & Nancy Thompson
George Batchelder and Mary Katharine Emerson (see above)

William Berry & Jane Unknown
James Berry & Eleanor Wallis
Samuel Berry & Abigail Webster
Jotham Berry &Mary Bates
Rachel Berry & Ithamar Mace
Abigail Mace and Simon Locke (see above) 

The URL for this post is

Copyright (c) 2014, Heather Wilkinson Rojo