Saturday, February 6, 2016

Surname Saturday ~ WEARE of Newbury and Hampton, New Hampshire


The two brothers, Nathaniel and Peter Weare, first settled in Newbury, Massachusetts.  Nathaniel wear was one of the 91 proprietors of Newbury (first grantees of land) in December 1642.  Nathaniel later removed to Nantucket, where he died in 1681, and Peter removed to York, Maine where he died about 1690. Nathaniel Weare (1605 – 1681) was my 10th great grandfather.

Nathaniel’s daughter, Hester, married Capt. Benjamin Swett in 1647 and removed to Hampton, New Hampshire with her brother, Nathaniel Weare, Jr. and his family.  They settled in what is now Hampton Falls.  Both Captain Swett and Nathaniel, Jr. had been leasing land in Newbury from John Woodbridge.   Hester’s husband, Capt. Swett, died fighting the Indians in 1677, during King Philip's War, and she remarried to Ensign Stephen Greenleaf of Newbury.   He was from the same family as the famous poet Stephen Greenleaf Whittier.  It is a coincidence that the poet Whittier died years later at the same farm in Hampton Falls that was the Swett homestead. 

Nathaniel Weare’s deposition 26 October 1695 “…that about the year of our Lord God 1655 my brother in-law Capt. Benjamin Swett and my self had a lease of the honorable Mr. John Woodbridge of Newberry his farme for seven years, the Northerly or northwesterly side of the sd. Farme was bounded in part with ye land of old Mr. Pike, at the South or the southeasterly corner of the s’ Pik’s land was a springe that was called the watering place nere to which those that had to doe or sd they had to do with ye sd Mr. Pik’s land, did I remember clame a litell pece of land, the quantity or bounds thereof I know not, but the slipe of land, so claymed and the watering place was within the fence of the sd woodbridge’s farme and improved by us that dwelt on the sd farm and by no other as I know of while wee lived on the farm which was to ye yeare 1661 or 1662, and to the best of my remembrance the fence that is betwene the farm of ye sd wood bridge and the sd Pik’s land stands in the same pace as it did for about forty years agoe”.   The signature of Nathaniel Weare, Jr.  [above] is from this deposition at that date.

Some WEARE resources:

“The Swett Family”, New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Volume 6 [1852], pages 49 -  61.

“The Nathaniel Weares”, by F. B. Sanborn of Concord, Mass.  Reprinted from The Granite Monthly, 1909, pp.157-166, online at the website for the Hampton Public Library   

Descendants of Thomas Farr of Harpswell, Maine and Ninety Allied Families, by Edith Bartlett Sumner, 1959, pages 311 – 313. 

Genealogical Dictionary of Maine and New Hampshire, by Noyes, Libby and Davis, page 726.

My WEARE genealogy:

Generation 1:  Nathaniel Weare, born about 1605 in England, died 1 March 1681 on Nantucket Island; married about 1629 in England to Sarah Unknown.  Five children.

Generation 2: Hester Weare, born about 1630 in England, died 16 January 1718 at Hampton Falls, New Hampshire;  married on 1 November 1647 in Hampton to Benjamin Swett, son of John Swett and Phebe Unknown.  He was baptized on 12 May 1624 in Wymondham, Norfolk, England and died 29 June 1677 during an Indian raid at Black Point, Scarborough, Maine. Eleven children.

Generation 3: Joseph Swett m. Sarah Andrews
Generation 4: Benjamin Swett m. Elizabeth Norton
Generation 5: Elizabeth Swett m. David Batchelder
Generation 6: Elisha Batchelder m. Sarah Lane
Generation 7: Jonathan Batchelder m. Nancy Thompson
Generation 8: George E. Batchelder m. Abigail M. Locke
Generation 9: George E. Batchelder m. Mary Katharine Emerson
Generation 10: Carrie Maude Batchelder m. Joseph Elmer Allen
Generation 11: Stanley Elmer Allen m. Gertrude Matilda Hitchings (my grandparents)


Published under a Creative Commons License
Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Surname Saturday ~  WEARE of Newbury and Hampton, New Hampshire", Nutfield Genealogy, posted February 6, 2016, ( accessed [access date]). 

Friday, February 5, 2016

The Francis Wyman House turns 350 years old this year!

The Francis Wyman House, 2015

There is a lot of news coming from the Francis Wyman Association.  Francis Wyman is my 10th great grandfather.  He was born in Westmill, Hertfordshire, England in 1617 and settled in Woburn, Massachusetts (his homestead is now located in the town of Burlington).  He had two wives and twelve children, and a lot of descendants.  The Francis Wyman Association has owned the Francis Wyman house since 1900, and was founded for the preservation of the historic homestead.  It is not owned by the town or a historic society.

The Francis Wyman House was built in 1666 and still stands on 56 Francis Wyman Road.  Read below about how you can attend a public open house.   On the grounds of the Wyman home, next to the driveway, is a stone wall and a mysterious stone chamber.  No one has been able to explain the purpose of the stone chamber, which is topped by a two ton flat piece of granite. It is presumed that the chamber was built before European contact.

The Stone Chamber at the Wyman Homestead, Burlington, Massachusetts
The "roof" of the stone chamber, seen from the side of the stone wall

The FWA has set up a new Facebook page.  If you are interested in historic homes, or if you are a WYMAN descendant, or just a fan, please go to this link and click “Like” to receive all the newest information about the house, history and events going on in 2016.

Here is an excerpt from an email from Jon Wyman, the president of the Francis Wyman Association:

“The big news this month is that the Boston ABC station, WCVB will air a show about new England stone and stone walls (possibly including our stone chamber) on their nightly show called Chronicle this Thursday evening, February 4th at 7:30PM [this aired last night].  That's 7:30 on Ch 5 in Boston for those of you in our viewing area.  For the rest of you, they stream the show live on their website  

Fair warning: streaming can be a bit sketchy at times, but they also post the individual segments on their site the following day, under the heading "Chronicle HD Videos"    Those links are up only a few days, but if you bookmark them you will have access forever and can share with far-flung friends, family. “

Here are some upcoming events at the Francis Wyman House, located at 56 Francis Wyman Road, Burlington, Massachusetts.   The house Is open to the public on the second Saturday of the month from May to September.

May 14th -  Preservation Month celebration

June 11 -   Open house day in Burlington for historic sites

June 9 -   To be announced

August 13 -  “Celebrate Burlington Day”, open house and colonial games and crafts on the town common

September 10th -  To be announced

October 8th -  Francis Wyman Association annual meeting and family reunion.  Our 350th birthday!

Francis Wyman Association website

“Thursday, February 4: Romancing the Stone on the Main Streets and Back Roads of New England”, HD video of WCVB Channel 5 Boston’s Chronicle TV show featuring the stone chamber at the Francis Wyman House in Burlington, Massachusetts.


Published under a Creative Commons License
Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "The Francis Wyman House turns 350 years old this year!", Nutfield Genealogy, posted February 5, 2016, ( accessed [access date]). 

Steamtown USA, Bellows Falls, Vermont 1971 ~ Photo Friday

The following images were scanned from photographic slides stored in our basement for almost fifty years.  First they were in the basement of my childhood home in Holden, Massachusetts.  After my Dad died, my Mom gave me the slides and they were in our basement in Londonderry, New Hampshire.  You can see how they faded and deteriorated while in storage.

My Dad and little sister at Steamtown USA in 1971

Your Truly at Steamtown.  I was about 8 years old

I remember my Dad posing us for this photo.  We both thought that if we pumped hard enough, maybe we could get it to move.  Of course, we were both pushing down, so we never got anywhere...

That's my Mom looking out at the train yard. 

Another posed photo of the Wilkinson girls! 

Steamtown USA was a railroading museum in Bellows Falls, Vermont.  The owner, Nelson Blount, died in 1967 and his museum fell into disrepair in the 1970s.  By 1984 it was sold off and moved to Scranton, Pennsylvania.  Steamtown USA went bankrupt in 1986 and the National Park Service acquired the collection.

You can read more about Steamtown USA at the following links:

Steamtown, National Park Service


Published under a Creative Commons License
Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Steamtown USA, Bellows Falls, Vermont 1971 ~ Photo Friday", Nutfield Genealogy, posted February 5, 2016, ( accessed [access date]). 

Thursday, February 4, 2016

2016 New Hampshire Mayflower Scholarship!

The deadline for applications to the 2016 New Hampshire Memorial Mayflower Scholarship is February 15, 2016.   You don’t need to be a member of the Mayflower Society, but members and close relatives of members will receive preference.  It is open to all students, from high school seniors through undergraduate and graduate students.

This is one of the few Mayflower scholarships in the USA awarded to non-members.  Applicants must be able to attend the award ceremony, in person, during May 2016 in New Hampshire.  It is expected that at least two to four scholarships of $500 to $1000 will be awarded.

Applications and instructions are available at the links below. 

The General Society of Mayflower Descendants (in Plymouth, Massachusetts) also gives an annual $5,000 scholarship to a junior member.  Please send your inquiries to

The website for the NH Mayflower Society:

The application form for the 2016 Scholarship:

For more information, please contact:

Dr. Lewis Overaker
NH Mayflower Scholarship Committee
Holderness School
PO Box 1679
Plymouth, New Hampshire  03264

Or find us on Facebook at:


Published under a Creative Commons License

Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "2016 New Hampshire Mayflower Scholarship!", Nutfield Genealogy, posted February 4, 2016, ( accessed [access date]). 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Dear MUNROE cousins, Revolutionary War Buffs, Scots Prisoner of War (SPOW) Researchers, and Family Historians

Munroe Tavern before the "Red Coat Museum" renovation

Earlier this week I received this very interesting email from a reader whose mother lives on Tavern Lane in Lexington, Massachusetts.  She read my blog post “Rebranding History”*  from 2011, which described the renovations of the Munroe Tavern in Lexington from a historical home of the Patriotic MUNROE family into “The Redcoat Museum”.    I’ve been watching how the home the Munroe family donated to the Lexington Historical Society has changed its mission from honoring this family that lost so much during the Battle of Lexington, into a museum honoring the British Regulars that attacked their homestead and village.

The Munroe Tavern was formerly a place to honor the MUNROE family.  It told the story of the William Munroe (1742 - 1827) Family, descendants of William Munroe (1625 - 1718) who was a Scots prisoner of War from the Battle of Worcester in 1650.  He was sold into servitude in Massachusetts, but ended up being a property owner in Cambridge Farms, now the town of Lexington, Massachusetts.  William Munroe, 4th, was the militia leader during the Battle of Lexington in 1775.  His home, the tavern, was used by the British as a field hospital and headquarters on the day of the Battle.  The British Regulars then killed his handyman and set the house ablaze before abandoning it upon their flight back to Boston. 

This reader now wrote to me about more changes at Lexington’s Munroe Tavern:

“Since the rebranding of the Munroe Tavern and the opening of the new wing in 2011, the Lexington Historical Society has moved forward and is planning to construct another addition to your family's house.  They plan to expand Munroe Tavern with a barn-like structure featuring a massive display window typically found in retail stores.

 Last week the Society received a variance from the Lexington Board of Appeals to place the new 32 X 24 foot structure a distance of just 7.3 feet from Tavern Lane -- instead of the required 30 feet.  The new addition will house Lexington historical archives that are currently residing in the basement of the Hancock-Clarke house.  After being refused by other Lexington locations, the Society selected Munroe Tavern to build the archive structure.  The Tavern will continue to operate as the Redcoat Museum.

 My Mother lives on Tavern Lane and she is opposed to constructing another addition to Munroe Tavern because it will change the character of the Tavern and the neighborhood.  There is a meeting scheduled on Thursday, February 4, with Lexington's Historic Districts Commission (They oversee the Munroe Tavern Historic district and other notable town districts.) to review the Historical Society's expansion plans for the Tavern.

 We wanted to see if you would be interested in voicing your opinion regarding the changes planned to Munroe Tavern.   We also are interested in your advice on how we can persuade the Commission to stop the construction changes to the Tavern.

 In my Mother's title search documents for her Tavern Lane house there is a copy of the will from James S. Munroe.  In his January 26, 1911 will, as you know, he donated the Tavern to the Lexington Historical Society.  In reading his will I wonder how Mr. Munroe would have weighed in today on the new construction planned to his house.  His will states:

  “…This device is made upon the express condition that said Historical Society shall keep the premises in good repair and forever maintain the same in substantially their present or original condition, shall pay all taxes and other municipal charges and assessments, if any, which may be levied thereon, shall appoint a suitable custodian to have charge thereof, and shall at stated and suitable times open the house for the inspection of the public.  Said Society shall make reasonable rules and regulations for the care of said Munroe Tavern as it may deem expedient, and shall have the right to charge a reasonable admission fee.  If, however, said Society shall refuse to accept this devise, or in case of such acceptance, shall cease to exist, or shall fail to comply with the conditions herein set forth, I give, devise and bequeath said real estate to the Town of Lexington upon the same conditions, but if said Town shall refuse to accept said devise, or having accepted said devise, shall not comply with the conditions herein set forth, I devise said real estate to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts upon the same terms and conditions as above set forth but if said Commonwealth shall refuse said gift, then I device said real estate to my heirs at law… " "

In a separate email she also wrote:

“Here are details on this week's meeting:  The Historic Districts Commission will be holding a public hearing on Thursday, February 4, at 7:10 pm "with respect to the exterior architectural changes of 1332 Massachusetts Avenue (the Tavern), which is located within the Munroe Tavern District."  Also here is the email address for submitting letters to the Commission:

The Public Meeting Notice is at this link: 
and will be held at the Selectman's Meeting Room, 1652 Massachusetts Avenue, Lexington, Massachusetts at 7 PM.  


“Letters should also be copied to  (the Commission's assistant who will make sure that everyone on the Historic Districts Commission gets a copy of the letter.)”

The Red Coat Museum in 2011

I will be writing to the Historic Districts Commission of Lexington with my opinions of the project.  I’m not optimistic because my email and mail from before the “rebranding” of the Munroe Tavern to the “Red Coat Museum” received canned replies not very sympathetic to Munroe family members and the descendants of William Munroe. It is my opinion that the original terms of the will were violated with the first rebranding of the Munroe Tavern, and this second renovation and addition are even further violations of the will. But, I'm not a lawyer. Just a descendant. 

I’d love to hear your opinions of the project, too.  Perhaps I will forward them all to the Historic Districts Commission in Lexington in another email.  Please leave your comments below.
For more information on the Munroe Tavern, you can scroll through all the blog posts I have previously written about this historic home here:

*”Rebranding History” my previous blog post on the renovation of the Munroe Tavern into the Red Coat Museum in Lexington, Massachusetts : 


Published under a Creative Commons License
Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Dear MUNROE cousins, Revolutionary War Buffs, Scots Prisoner of War (SPOW) Researchers and Family Historians", Nutfield Genealogy, posted February 3, 2016, (  accessed [access date]). 

Weathervane Wednesday ~ A Moose over a Hair Salon!

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

Today's weather vane is from somewhere in New Hampshire.

Do you know the location of weather vane #246?  Scroll down to see the answer...

This is a two dimensional moose weathervane photographed above a hair salon on Daniel Webster Highway in Merrimack, New Hampshire.  There are no trees obstructing the view of this weathervane, although it is very small and difficult to spot.  The hair salon has parking on the side and in front, so you can pull over to admire the moose.   Moose weather vanes are fairly rare, although I have spotted at least a dozen of them so far in New Hampshire.

This is another Merrimack weathervane reported to me by genealogy blogger June Stearns Butka, who lives right down the street from this weather vane!

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

Published under a Creative Commons License
Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Weathervane Wednesday ~ A Moose over a Hair Salon!", Nutfield Genealogy, posted February 3, 2015 ( : accessed [access date]).

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Tombstone Tuesday ~ William Ellingwood, died 1766 Beverly, Massachusetts

This tombstone was photographed at the Abbott Hale Cemetery in Beverly, Massachusetts

In Memory of
who departed this
Life July 13th
In the 51st year
of his age.

William Ellingwood, son of William Ellingwood and Abigail Woodbury,  was born 10 June 1716 in Beverly, Massachusetts, and died 13 July 1766.  He married Elizabeth Woodbury, his first cousin, on 12 May 1737 in Beverly. She was the daughter of Jonathan Woodbury and Elinor Ellingwood, borm 15 May 1716 in Beverly, and died 14 Jan 1800.  

William Ellingwood is my first cousin, 8 generations removed.  We are both descended from his grandparents (and my 8th grandparents) Benjamin Ellenwood and his wife Mary.  Elizabeth Woodbury is also my first cousin, 8 generations removed, since we are both descended of Benjamin Ellenwood, too, as well as our common WOODBURY and DODGE ancestors.


Published under a Creative Commons License
Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Tombstone Tuesday ~ William Ellingwood, died 1766 Beverly, Massachusetts", Nutfield Genealogy, posted February 2, 2016, ( accessed [access date]).

Monday, February 1, 2016

Genealogy Selfie Day!

Today is Genealogy Selfie Day!  Check on Facebook, blogs, Twitter, Instagram and other social media for the hashtag #genealogyselfie and see your favorite bloggers, genealogists, lecturers and genie friends.*

Here are the two faces behind Nutfield Genealogy, enjoying a winter sleigh ride in Candia, New Hampshire!  Yes, it was difficult to take a selfie on a bumpy, horse drawn vehicle, but after several tries here is the best one...   After all, if our ancestors could do it, we could, too!  LOL!


*GenealogySelfie Day is the brainchild of the Conference Keeper and Geneabloggers blogs.  You can read a press release here:  


Published under a Creative Commons License
Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Genealogy Selfie Day!", Nutfield Genealogy, posted February 1, 2016, ( accessed [access date]).