Showing posts with label Danvers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Danvers. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday ~ Mary Munroe and Jonathan Clough, Peabody, Massachusetts

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

wife of
Jonathan C. Clough
Feb. 4, 1888
AEt. 78 yrs.

Mar. 2, 1877
AEt, 66 years

Mary Munroe is my first cousin four generations removed.  Her father, Isaac Munroe (1785 - 1822) was the brother to my 3rd great grandfather, Luther Simonds Munroe (1805 - 1851).  Mary was born 30 November 1808 in Danvers, Massachusetts and died 4 February 1888 in Peabody.  She married Jonathan C. Clough on 5 June 1836 in Danvers.

Jonathan C. Clough was the son of Stephen Clough and Betsey Carr.  He was born 16 December 1810 in Weare, New Hampshire and died 2 March 1877 in Peabody.  He was listed as a tanner in the 1850 census and as working in a morocco factory in the 1870 census.  Peabody was known as the "Leather City", and morocco is a fine leather used in book binding.  


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Copyright (c) 2014, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday ~ Sally Peasley Wilkinson

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


1831 - 1914
1859 - 1946
1886  GEORGE O. POTTER    1974

Sally Richardson Peasley was the daughter of John Peasley and Dorcas Osborn, born in South Danvers (now the city of Peabody), Massachusetts on 25 January 1832, and she died on 24 December 1914 in Peabody.  She married my 2nd great grand uncle, George Washington Wilkinson, on 28 September 1856 in Danvers, Massachusetts.

George was born 10 February 1832 in Salem, Massachusetts.  He was the son of my 3rd great grandparents, Aaron Wilkinson and Mercy F. Wilson  I descend from his older brother, Robert Wilson Wilkinson (1830 - 1874).  George Washington Wilkinson died in 1865, but I don't know where he is buried. 

Sally and George had two children, Frank Augustus Wilkinson (1856 - 1941) and Helen Augusta Wilkinson. Helen is listed on this stone, too, under her married name.  She was born 22 November 1857 in South Danvers and died 13 March 1945 in Danvers.  Helen married Stephen Franklin Potter on 14 November 1880 in Salem.  I don't know where he is buried either!

Helen and Stephen had three sons, Frank Taggard Potter (1882 - 1966), George Osborn Potter (1886 - 1974) listed on this stone, and Chester Wilkinson Potter (1890 - after 1930).   It appears that George O. never married and died a bachelor.  

Where are the men in this family buried?  These would be 2nd cousins once removed to my father, John Warren Wilkinson (1934 - 2002).  


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Copyright (c) 2014, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday ~ Mr. and Mrs. Isaac Munroe, Peabody, Massachusetts

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

In memory of
wife of 
Mr. Isaac Munroe
who died 
Dec. 7, 1842
Aged 57

In Memory of
Mr. Isaac Munroe
who died
Feb. 18, 1822
Aged 38.

Isaac Munroe is my 3rd great grand uncle.  I descend from his youngest brother, Luther Simonds Munroe (1805 - 1851).   Isaac and Luther were the sons of Andrew Munroe, a Revolutionary War patriot from Lexington, Massachusetts, and his wife Ruth Simonds.  Isaac was their eldest child, named for Andrew's brother.  Isaac was born 19 July 1785 in Woburn, Massachusetts and died 18 February 1822 in Lynn, Massachusetts.  He was killed "by his team [of horses] in Lynn" according to his Danvers death record, and he was only 38 years old.

He married Mary Curtis on 8 September 1807 in Danvers, Massachusetts.  She was the daughter of Andrew Curtis and Hannah Small, born 14 March 1783 in Danvers and died 7 December 1842 in Danvers.  They had seven children.  Isaac's occupation was cordwainer (shoemaker).

According to the complied Munroe genealogy book by Joan Guilford "Isaac d. intestate and on 4 March 1822 w. Mary declined admin., which was given to Nathan Poor and approved by Andrew, Edmond and Uriah, Isaac's bros.  On 2 Apr. 1822 Mary petit. ct. for support stating she 'is left destitute with seven children, six of them daughters, the eldest a cripple, youngest a son of four months.'  Court allowed her $150 Essex probate No. 19099."

These are lovely gravestones, quite identical with intricate carving.  I wonder who paid for them if Mary was left destitute?

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Copyright (c) 2014, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Phebe's Sampler, 1844

This sampler hangs in my cousin’s house.  We have tried several times to take photographs of this sampler, and it’s not easy through the glass. The sampler is much too fragile to risk handling it or taking it from its frame, so this is the best we could do for an image.

Phebe Cross Munroe (1830 – 1895), my great great grandmother, sewed this sampler when she was 13 years old, starting on 30 August 1844.  But it is unfinished. I have searched the family tree for a reason why she never finished the sampler.  Perhaps there was a death in the family (the verse is from a very depressing hymn about death)?  But she hadn’t lost a parent, sibling or grandparent in 1844.  Her namesake, Aunt Phebe Upton Munroe who married William Cross in 1828, didn’t die until 1891. Her father died of diabetes, very young at age 46 in 1851. Was he first diagnosed with this fatal disease in 1844? 

On the brighter side, perhaps Phebe tired of this mournful verse, and tossed this sampler aside for another one with a less depressing hymn or poem.  I don’t know what happened to any other sampler.  This is all we have to remember Phebe.

Family Sketch:

Phebe Cross Munroe, daughter of Luther Simonds Munroe and Olive Flint, was born 28 October 1830 in Danvers, Massachusetts, died 31 January 1895 in Salem, Massachusetts; married on 24 November 1853 to Robert Wilson Wilkinson, son of Aaron Wilkinson and Mercy F. Wilson.  He was born 26 May 1830 in Salem, and died 23 March 1874 in Peabody, Massachusetts.  They had three children born in Danvers:
     1. Robert Henry Wilkinson, born 14 January 1855, married Eliza Harris Poor
     2.  Walter Wilkinson, born 3 November 1856, died 2 April 1858
     3.   Albert Munroe Wilkinson, born 7 November 1860, married  on 18 October 1894 in Salem 
           to Isabella Lyons Bill (my great grandparents)

The full lyrics of the verse on Phebe’s sampler:

When youth and age are snatched away
By Death’s resistless hand,
Our hearts the mournful tribute pay,
And bow at God’s command.

While love still prompts the rising sigh,
With awful pow’r impressed,
Let this dread truth “I too must die!”
Sink deep in every breast!

May this vain world o’ercome no more
Behold the opening tomb!
It bids us use the present hour;
To-morrow death may come.

The voice of this instructive scene
Let every heart obey!
Nor be the faithful warning vain
Which calls to watch and pray.

O let us fly, to Jesus fly,
Whose pow’rful arm can save!
Then shall our hopes ascend on high,
To triumph o’er the grave!

From A Selection of Psalms and Hymns, with many new Compositions, adapted to Public Worship,  by Richard Whittingham, Vicar of Potton,  1835, pages 144 – 145

A closeup of the stitching on Phebe Munroe's sampler.
Her name is on the top, in faded thread.
It is all worked in tiny cross stitches.


Copyright 2013, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Who are you calling a “Huckster”?

Whilst researching my Great Great Grandfather Robert Wilson Wilkinson (1830 – 1874), I looked for his occupations in the US Census records.   He died in 1874, and so I looked first in the 1870 census where I found him listed as a “huckster”!  This seemed to me to be a pejorative statement, so I checked in the American Heritage Dictionary where I found the definition to be “One who uses aggressive, showy, and sometimes devious methods to promote or sell a product.”  Fortunately I stopped to also look at the archaic definition, which stated “One who sells wares or provisions in the street; a peddler or hawker”. 

Working backwards in time, the 1865 Massachusetts State census his occupation says cryptically “periodical depot”.  In 1860 it says “clerk”.  The 1855 state census has him listed as a “shoemaker”.  In 1850 he was 20 years old and listed as a shoemaker. He lived his entire life in Peabody, Massachusetts (even though the earlier censuses list him in Danvers, before the town split into two bodies in 1855 and South Danvers became Peabody in 1868).  Peabody is known as the “Leather City”, and other family members were also shoemakers, tanners, hide cutters, etc.  But his later occupations puzzled me.

I looked next at city directories. In the 1864 Salem City Directory (Danvers, thus Peabody, too, split off from Salem) there is a listing on page 97 for “Wilkinson, Robert W., Main, Periodicals”.   In the 1866 Salem City Directory, there is a listing on page 229 for “Wilkinson Robert W. 13 Main Fruits and Vegetables”, on the same page under “confectionaries” and on page 230 under “Periodicals” at the same address.  Apparently he had a store or stand at Main Street where he sold these small articles? But in the 1873 Danvers City Directory he is listed on page 199 as “watchman”, just a year before he died.

Just for fun, I checked out 13 Main Street, Peabody on Google maps, and switched to street view. I couldn't find number 13, but number 14 is now a dollar store. Some things never change!

I checked the advertisements in the back of the Salem Directories and other nearby cities.  Periodical stands and “depots” sold newspapers, magazines, stationary, and other paper items (including cardboard collars!).  I’m guessing that for a while he sold newspapers and then switched to fruits and vegetables.  All are small items sold from carts or stands.  Perhaps this was too strenuous and he became a watchman?

As a younger man, my ancestor Robert Wilson Wilkinson was a shoemaker, like so many other young men in Peabody.  Why was he reduced to being a peddler? He died of “heart disease” at the age of 46. Had he been ill for a long time and not able to do manual labor?

These answers won’t be found in census records or directories…


Etching is "Pushcart Peddler"  by Samuel Johnson Woolf, 1880 - 1948, American

Photo "Toronto News Stand, Spadina Avenue", September 1938,  Fonds 200, Series 372, Subseries 58, Item 1500, from the City of Toronto Archives, via Wikimedia Commons


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If you don't see this URL in your browser, you are reading stolen content from a splogger who has stolen my copyrighted work. 

Copyright 2013, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Surname Saturday ~ Jacobs of Salem, Massachusetts

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


George Jacobs arrived in Salem and bought the house and ten acre lot belonging to Richard Waters on 25 November 1658.  He lived as a farmer for more than thirty years when he was arrested, along with his granddaughter, Margaret Jacobs, and accused of “sundry acts of witchcraft.”  Later his son, and his wife Rebecca were also arrested.  Their four little children were left behind and cared for by neighbors.  Rebecca was aquitted on 3 January 1693.  Margaret could not pay her jail fees, and so languished in prison for several months after her acquittal.

One of the “afflicted girls” was teenaged Sarah Churchill, his servant.  This group of teens accused her of witchcraft, too, when she expressed sorrow at wrongly accusing George Jacobs.   Granddaughter Margaret Jacobs was tortured until she accused her grandfather, which she later recanted.  She was only sixteen years old.   

Evidence at the trial showed that George Jacobs was quite elderly.  He was hunchbacked and walked with two canes.  He must have been over eighty years old during the trial. George was found guilty and hung on 19 August 1692 along with the Reverend George Burroughs, John Proctor (also my ancestor), John Willard and Martha Carrier.  In 1703 the General Court repaid the heirs of the condemned, and the Jacobs family received 79 pounds.

All the victims hung at Salem had their bodies thrown into a crevice on Gallows Hill because they were not allowed a decent burial.  It is well known that the bodies of George Jacobs and Rebecca Nurse (and perhaps others) were secretly reburied by family.  In 1854 his bones were found on the Jacobs homestead.   In 1992, the 300th anniversary of the hangings, and also the same year the Jacobs homestead was demolished, his bones were reburied at the Rebecca Nurse homestead at 149 Pine Street in Danvers.   Forensic evidence showed the bones belonged to a tall arthritic man with no teeth. 

A quote from George’s testimony at his trial: “Well, burn me or hang me I will stand in the truth of Christ. I know nothing of it.”

The day after her grandfather was hung, Margaret Jacobs wrote this letter:
Honored father--After my humble duty remembered to you, hoping in the Lord of your good health, as blessed be God I enjoy, though in abundance of affliction being close confined here in a loathsome dungeon, the Lord look down in mercy upon me, not knowing how soon I shall be put to death, by means of the afflicted persons. My grandfather having suffered already and all his estate seized for the king. The reason of my confinement is this, I having, through the magistrates threatenings, and my own vile and wretched heart, confessed several things contrary to my own conscience and knowledge, though to the wounding of my own soul, the Lord pardon me for it. But O, the terrors of a wounded conscience, who can bear ? But blessed be the Lord, he would not let me go on in my sins, but in mercy, I hope, to my soul, would not suffer me to keep it in any longer, but t was forced to confess the truth of all before the magistrates who would not believe me, but 'tis their pleasure to put me here, and God knows how soon I shall be put to death. Dear father, let me beg your prayers to the Lord on my behalf, and send me a joyful and happy meeting in Heaven. My mother, poor woman, is very crazy, and remembers her kind love to you and to uncle, viz. d--A--, so leaving you to the protection of the Lord, I rest your dutiful daughter.

From the dungeon
in Salem prison,
Aug. 20, 1692


 There is much information on the Jacobs family and the witch hysteria in Sidney Perley’s three volume set The History of Salem.  The English origins of George Jacobs were written up in The American Genealogist, Volume 79, pages 3-12, 209 – 217, 253- 259.  

There are many good books about the witch hysteria, but my favorites are:

In the Devil’s Snare: The Salem Witchcraft Crisis of 1692, by Mary Beth Norton, New York: Knopf, 2002.

Salem Possessed by Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum, Boston: Harvard University Press, 1974.

Salem Village Witchcraft by Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum, Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1993.

There is a webpage devoted to the story of George Jacobs and the genealogy of his descendants at this link:


My lineage from George Jacobs:

Generation 1:  George Jacobs was born about 1612 in England, died on 19 August 1692 when he was hung as a witch in Salem, Massachusetts; married to Mary Unknown.  She remarried to John Wildes,  whose first wife, Sarah Averill, was hung as a witch on 19 July 1692, in Salem.  Two children.

Generation 2: George Jacobs, Jr., who died before 1718; married on 9 February 1675 to Rebecca Andrews, widow of John Frost.  She was born 16 April 1646 in Watertown or Cambridge, Massachusetts daughter of Thomas Andrews and Rebecca Craddock.   Six children.

Generation 3.  John Jacobs, born 18 September 1679 in Salem, died 1764 in Salem; married first on 6 April 1704 in Salem Village (now Danvers) to Abigail Waters, daughter of John Waters and Sarah Tompkins.  She was born on 6 May 1683 and died before 1721 in Salem.  He married second on 21 May 1721 in Salem Village to Lydia Cooke. 

Generation 4: Abigail Jacobs married Malachi Felton
Generation 5. Sarah Felton married Robert Wilson
Generation 6. Robert Wilson married Mary Southwick
Generation 7. Mercy F. Wilson married Aaron Wilkinson
Generation 8.  Robert Wilson Wilkinson married Phebe Cross Munroe
Generation 9. Albert Munroe Wilkinson married Isabella Lyons Bill
Generation 10.  Donald Munroe Wilkinson married Bertha Louise Roberts (my grandparents)


Copyright 2012, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Surname Saturday ~ Felton of Salem, Massachusetts

The Nathaniel Felton, Sr. House, Peabody, Massachusetts

Nathaniel Felton settled in Salem in 1633 with his mother “Misstress Eleanor Felton”, and his sisters Judith and Margaret, along with his Uncle Benjamin Felton. He was about 17 years old when he arrived in New England.  He married Mary Skelton, daughter of Salem’s first minister, Reverend Samuel Skelton.  

Nathaniel Felton built the house on Felton Hill in 1644, which still stands and is used every summer for the Felton Family Association reunion.  This grant of land now sits in Peabody, Massachusetts, overlooking the North Shore Mall and Routes 114 and 128.  The Nathaniel Felton, Jr. house is next door, surrounded by apple orchards.   Both Felton houses are the property of the Peabody Historical Society.

Nathaniel Felton can be found in the records on juries, as a constable, and in military positions.  His house on Felton Hill was considered the frontier, and it served as a garrison.  He witnessed several wills found in the Essex County records.   His son John was constable in 1685 and 1687.   The grandson, Nathaniel Felton was a weaver, and there is a large floor loom on display in the Nathaniel Felton, Jr. House.  His son, Malachi Felton was appointed administrator of his will on 26 February 1733, with guardianship of the two youngest children, Isaac and Samuel.

The Peabody Historical Society has much information on the Felton family, and maintains a family museum with artifacts and furniture inside both Felton houses in Peabody.  The Felton Family Association historian, Cora Felton Anderson, is updating the old Felton genealogy written by Cyrus Felton in 1886. 

The 2002 Felton Family Reunion, Peabody, Massachusetts

For more information:

Peabody Historical Society  and the page for the Felton houses is

Cora Felton Anderson can be reached at

The Felton Family Association website

A Genealogical History of the Felton Family: Descendants of Lieutenant Nathaniel Felton, by Cyrus Felton, Marlborough, MA: Pratt Brothers Printers, 1886

There is also much information on the Feltons and their descendants in Perley’s History of Salem, the published vital records of Salem, Danvers and Peabody, Volume II of Savage’s Genealogical Dictionary of New England, and in Torrey’s New England Marriages Prior to 1700.

Felton Genealogy:

Generation 1:  John Felton, son of John Felton and Judith Damrell, born before 3 January 1584 in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England, died 17 October 1629 in Great Yarmouth; married on 22 April 1612 at the St. Nicholas Church in Great Yarmouth to Eleanor Thrower, daughter of John Thrower and Margaret Unknown,  who died in Salem, Massachusetts.  Four children born in England:
1. Benjamin Felton, born about 1613, married Mary Unknown, died in 1668 in Salem, Massachusetts
2. Nathaniel Felton (see below)
3. Judith Felton, born about 1621, married John Ingersoll
4. Margaret Felton, born 1623, married first to Christopher Waller, married second to Robert Fuller

Generation 2: Nathaniel Felton, born about 1615 in Great Yarmouth, England, died on 30 Jul 1705 in Salem (now Peabody), Massachusetts; married about 1643 to Mary Skelton, daughter of Reverend Samuel Skelton and Susanna Travis, baptized on 28 June 1627 in Tattershall, Lincolnshire, England, died on 8 May 1701 in Salem (now Peabody).   Eight children:
1.  John Felton (see below)
2. Mary Felton, born about 1651, died young
3. Elizabeth Felton,  born 18 March 1653, married Thomas Watkins
4. Nathaniel Felton, born 15 August 1655, married Ann Horne
5. Mary Felton, born 15 January 1657, married John Gloyd
6. Hannah Felton, born 20 June 1663, married Samuel Endicott
7. Susannah Felton, born about 1665
8. Ruth Felton, married James Houlton

Generation 3:  John Felton, born 3 September 1648 in Salem (now Peabody), died 19 February 1717;  he married first on 29 September 1670 in Salem to Mary Tompkins, daughter of John Tompkins and Margaret Goodman, baptized on 29 April 1649 in Salem, died 12 December 1688.  Seven children with Mary.  He married second to Hannah Unknown and had two more children.
1. Nathaniel Felton (see below)
2. Mary Felton, born 31 March 1674, married Freeborn Reeves
3. John Felton, born 22 March 1676, died 6 April 1676
4. Hannah Felton, born 18 Apri 1677, married Arthur Chamnes
5. Elizabeth Felton, born 28 February 1678, died about 1763
6. Samuel Felton, born 1 January 1681, married Sarah Goodale
7. John Felton, born 22 August 1686, married Mary Waters
8. Ruth Felton, born 15 September 1693
9. Susanna Felton, born 15 September 1693

Generation 4: Nathaniel Felton, born 8 June 1672; married on 29 June 1698 to Elizabeth Foot, daughter of Isaac Foot and Abigail Jeggles, born in April 1675. Ten children:
1. Abigail Felton, born 12 May 1699, married James Taylor
2. Samuel Felton, born 7 August 1701, died 1718
3. Malachi Felton (see below)
4. Mary Felton, born 16 March 1707, married Caleb Balch
5. Elizabeth Felton, born 17 May 1709,
6. Benjamin Felton, born 9 September 1712, married Joanna Ruggles
7. Nathaniel Felton, born 9 May 1714, married Anna Jacobs
8. Isaac Felton, born 6 March 1716, died 2 February 1718
9. Isaac Felton, born 1719
10. Samuel Felton, born 21 May 1721

Generation 5: Malachi Felton, born 14 May 1705; married on 5 February 1726 in Salem to Abigail Jacobs, daughter of John Jacobs and Abigail Waters, born about 1706. Four children:
1. Abigail Felton, born 30 April 1738, married Joseph Richardson
2. Mary Felton, born about 1742, married Benjamin Kent
3. Malachi Felton, born about 1745
4. Sarah Felton (see below)

Generation 5: Sarah Felton, born about 1750 in Salem, died 20 November 1836 in Danvers, Massachusetts; married on 23 March 1775 in Danvers to Robert Wilson, son of Robert Wilson and Elizabeth Southwick, born about 1746 and died 4 June 1797 in Danvers. Nine children.

Generation 6. Robert Wilson m. Mary Southwick
Generation 7. Mercy F. Wilson m. Aaron Wilkinson
Generation 8.  Robert Wilson Wilkinson m. Phebe Cross Munroe
Generation 9.  Albert Munroe Wilkinson m. Isabella Lyons Bill
Generation 10. Donald Munroe Wilkinson m. Bertha Louise Robert (my grandparents)

Copyright 2012, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Surname Saturday ~ Buffum of Salem, Massachusetts


Robert Buffum was born about 1590 at Buffum, Yorkshire and was married twice in England before coming to Salem, Massachusetts.  In October 1649 he was granted 40 acres in what is now known as “Buffum’s Corner” (near Boston and Essex Streets in Salem).   The Buffums were early Quakers.  His family was fined regularly for not attending the preferred meetings of worship (they skipped Puritan services), and so they show up in court records. 

Robert Buffum’s will was witnessed by his Quaker friends and neighbors who would not “swear on the book” and so the document was refused by the court.   His wife Tamosin was administrix of his estate.   The inventory was made on 15 November 1669 and this named his children.

“On Nov 25 1668, Mary Neale testified that when her father, Robert Buffum was sick, she tended to him until he died, and heard her mother, Tamosin asked her father several times to make a will: of which he seemed to take little notice till a little before his death when he said that he would have his son Joshua have a double portion, and for the rest of the children, he would make no difference betwixt them, for, he said, that they are yours as well as mine. About the same time other testimony was taken, Gertrude Pope, widow, testified that being at the house of Robert Buffum, while he lay at his death bed, he would have me and Elizabeth Kitchen take notice of what he has said, as to his estate, he would leave to his wife, for she had helped him to get it and the children were hers. Testimony of Elizabeth Kitchen to the same effect. Petition of john Wilson, William Beanes and Jeremiah Neale, children and heirs of Robert Buffum humbly showth that 'whereas our father Robert Buffum died intestate and an inventory of his estate was brought in by relict Tomosin and she appointed administratrix, etc, who since that time has disposed of the same according to her fancy or affection led her, or else keepeth the same still in her hands; we your petitioners, being children of the deceased, humbly conceive that as children, we ought to according to the law of God and this jurisdiction each of us to have a share or portion which is our right, and therefore humbly do supplicate this honored Court as fathers of this country to our causes into your pious and Christian consideration and be fathers to us in helping us to that we who are the children may not be deprived of which we humbly conceive according to law of God and this jurisdiction is ours. We subscribe yours in all service to command.”  From One Hundred and Sixty Allied Families by John O. Austin, Salem Press, 1893.

Robert Buffum was buried in the Old Burying Ground in Peabody, but his remains were removed to Harmony Grove Cemetery near the western entrance.   In 1991 the Buffum Family Association erected a memorial stone which you can see at this link to his sketch at

The Buffum genealogy, showing my lineage from Robert Buffum:

Generation 1:  Robert Buffum, born about 1590, son of James Bougham and Margery Raylton, died before 2 December 1669 in Salem, Massachusetts; married first to Margaret Blessing on 23 August 1613 at St. Nicholas Church, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England (no surviving children); married second to Tamoson Ward on 11 August 1634 at the Church of St. Lawrence,  South Walasham, Norfolk, England.  She was the daughter of George Ward and Dionis Burrow, born about 1606 and died 23 March 1688 in Salem, Massachusetts.  She married first to John Thompson on 29 November 1632 at the St. Nicolas Church, Great Yarmouth, and had one child, Margaret, born about 1632. 

Children by Tamosen, born in Salem:
1.  Joshua Buffum, born 22 February 1635, married Damaris Pope
2.  Mary Buffum, born about 1637, married Jeremiah Neal
3.  Deborah Buffum, born 1639 (see below)
4. Damaris Buffum, born 30 January 1641
5.  Robert Buffum, born 30 November 1643, died June 1645
6. Lydia Buffum, born 19 February 1644, died 1718
7.  Sarah Buffum, born about 1648, married William Bean
8.  Caleb Buffum, born 29 July 1650, married Hannah Pope, sister to Damaris above.

Generation 2:  Deborah Buffum,  born 1639, died about 1668; married on 12 August 1658 in Marblehead, Massachusetts to Robert Wilson, born about 1630 and died on 18 September 1675 in Deerfield, Massachusetts at the Bloody Brook Massacre.  Two children.   You can read about the tragic story of Deborah Buffum, persecuted for showing up naked to the Salem village Puritan meeting and for being a professed Quaker, at this link:

Generation 3:  Robert Wilson married Elizabeth Cook
Generation 4: Isaac Wilson married Mary Stone
Generation 5: Robert Wilson married Elizabeth Southwick
Generation 6: Robert Wilson married Sarah Felton
Generation 7: Robert Wilson married Mary Southwick
Generation 8: Mercy F. Wilson married Aaron Wilkinson
Generation 9: Robert Wilson Wilkinson married Phebe Cross Munroe
Generation 10:  Albert Munroe Wilkinson married Isabella Lyons Bill
Generation 11:  Donald Munroe Wilkinson married Bertha Louise Roberts (my grandparents)

For more information:

Buffum Family History, compiled by Owen A. Perkins, Fort Worth, TX,  1975  (two volumes)

Buffum Family Association
2945 Peppertree Drive
Lexington, KY  40513

Buffum Family Museum
8335 Boston Colden Road
Colden, NY 114033

There is a sketch in Massachusetts and Maine Families in the Ancestry of Walter Goodwin Davis, by Walter Goodwin Davis, Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co, 1996, Volume III, pages 405-8. 

Copyright 2012, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Mysterious Mrs. Munroe Grout

On Monday I posted some news clippings I found about my Great Grandfather Albert Munroe Wilkinson (1860 - 1908).  In one, a mysterious aunt named "Mrs. Munroe Grout" in the article, had given him a gift of seven silver table spoons for his wedding gift.  The news story mentioned that there were "many costly and elegant gifts" but it made special mention of Mrs. Grout.  As a clue to finding her identity, I noted that although my Great Grandfather was married in Salem, Massachusetts, this was written up in the Boston Herald newspaper.

Why would a Salem wedding be written up in the social pages of the Boston newspaper?  At first I considered that Great Grandfather had married the daughter of a prominent music professor, which was also mentioned in the paper.  Then I wondered if Mrs. Grout was herself a socially prominent Bostonian?

The next clue was the name Munroe.  The spoons mentioned in the article were engraved with names of Munroe ancestors.  Albert's mother was Phebe Cross Munroe (1830 - 1895) daughter of Luther Simonds Munroe and Olive Flint, who resided in South Danvers, now Peabody, Massachusetts.  When I looked through all the siblings of Phebe, none married a Grout.  In fact, none of the Munroe's in my database had married a Grout. I was stumped.

So, I did what most people do when it is late at night and the local library is closed.  I turned to the internet, and tried to find vital records for marriages and deaths with the Grout name.  I also used Google, and found this interesting excerpt in Google Books from Genealogical and Personal Memoirs relating to the families of Boston and Eastern Massachusetts ,  by William Richard Cutter,  1908, Volume 1, page 264,  “Olive Adeline, born Salem, [daughter of Luther Simonds Munroe and Olive Flint]  January 18, 1836, died Charlestown, Massachusetts, November 29, 1905; married John H. Grout."

This stumped me again because I already had a marriage for Olivia Adeline Munroe in the 1851 Danvers Vital Records, listing her as marrying someone named Corydon B. Green, as a first marriage at age 16.  Then I found this:

Mass VR, Volume 88, page 171
Town of Brookline, Mass.  Marriages
April 22, 1855,  groom -John H. Grout, res. Beverly, teamster, b. Danvers, parents John and Sally, first marriage; bride - Ada Munroe, age 19, res. Beverly, b. Danvers,  parents, Luther S. and Olive,  first marriage

Well, Auntie Grout claimed both were first marriages.  And they are both obviously Olivia Adeline Munroe, who was born in Salem on 18 January 1836 to parents Luther Simonds Munroe and Olive Flint.  There must be a good story here, but I haven't found the answer to this one yet.  But back at I did find some interesting news clippings...

Boston Journal
22 December 1896
Page 10
Mortuary Notice
“Mrs. Grout’s Funeral
     The funeral of Mrs. John H. Grout, Jr. was held at the Little Church Around the Corner on Bullfinch Place yesterday at noon.  Rev. C. Elliott conducted the exercises.
      The casket in which reposed the remains was literally buried beneath a wealth of floral tributes from members of the family, newspaper men and intimate friends of the family.  The pall bearers were E. S. Anderson, Dr. F. F. Roby, W. M. and J. F. Nickerson and Albert Wilkinson.
      The interment was in the family lot at Danvers.”

Comment from 18 July 2014, from a descendant of this branch of the Grout family:
"Just wanted to point out that the funeral of Mrs John H Grout Jr in Boston that is described in the above post, was in fact the funeral of my grandfather’s first wife, Josephine Buzzell (or Bussell), who died on 18 Dec 1896.  She, too, was from Massacusetts, although I think her family was originally from Canada.  He then went on to marry my grandmother, who was English." 

The Little Church around the corner was “The Bullfinch Place Chapel” , a Unitarian Universalist church in the West End of Boston.  The papers for this now gone church are at the Harvard Divinity School Call number bMS 2, Bullfinch Place Church Records 1826 – 1957.  The  Rev. Christopher   Rhodes Elliot (1856 – 1945) was pastor from 1894 – 1927 and his papers are also at the Harvard Divinity School, call number bMS75.  

1870 Federal Census, Boston, MA, Ward 4,
Grout, John , H, age 38, stable keeper, b. Mass.
                Addie M, age 32, keeping house, b. Mass.
                Jr. John H, age 12, attends school, b. Mass.
                Frank B., age 10, attends school,  b. Mass.

And at the Massachusetts Vital Records available online at NEHGS

Mass VR  Volume 1905/23 page 96
Olive A M Grout
Boston, 17 Mouton St.
Nov. 29, 1905, age 69 y 10m 11d
Maiden name- Munroe
Husband’s name John H. Grout
Birthplace Danvers
Father- Luther S. Munroe
Father’s birthplace- Danvers
Mother- Olive Flint
Mother’s birthplace – Danvers
Occupation at home
Burial Danvers
Undertaker- John Bryant’s sons
Cause – Fibroid Tumor- at least a year
Contributory – exhaustion- 3 weeks
Signed – John Duff, MD

Back at
Boston Journal
June 29 1899
John H. Grout
At the residence of his son, Frank B. Grout in Andover, John H. Grout of Boston died yesterday.  He was born in Danvers in 1832.  Early in life he was engaged in the express business, and later as a hotel manager in Boston.  At the time of the great Boston fire he was a manager of the Winthrop House, and for the past 22 years of the Windsor Hotel.
For many years he was a familiar figure among the horsemen of this city, and nearly every day could be seen behind a good “goer” on the road.  He had been the owner of many fast horses.  While a faithful attendant at horse races about Boston for more than a generation, he always made it a rule never to bet.
Mr. Grout was a cousin of Congressman Grout and ex- Governor Grout of Vermont, and his son, John H. Grout, Jr., is now United States Consul at Malta.”

which led to finding this at Google Books:
Who’s Who in New England, by Albert Nelson Marquis, 1909
Page 437
“Grout, John Henry, consul, b. Beverly, Mass, 4 Dec. 1857, son of John H. and Olive Adeline (Munroe) G, descendant of Munroes of Lexington fame; ed. Pub. Schs., St. Johnsbury (Vt) Acad., Chauncy Hall Sch., Cambridge, Mass., and Boston Latin Sch., m. 1st Boston , Josephine Bussell (now deceased); m 2d, Ventnor, Isle of Wight, June 11, 1904, Kitty Emily Austin.  Served in editorial dept., Boston Herald 11 yrs, and later on other Boston papers; for a time in employ Mex. Central R. R., and paymaster La. Lighterage and Jetty Co. in const’n of jetties at Tampico, Mex.; apptd. Am. Consul, Bermuda, Jan. 14, 1893, retired, Oct. 1893; apptd. Consul at Malta, Jan. 10, 1898; promoted to Odessa, Russia, Jan. 9, 1908.  Mem. Mass. Militia 7 yrs. Mason (18 degrees). Home: Boston, Mass.  Adress: American Consulate, Odessa, Russia.

No wonder Auntie Munroe Grout could afford to give her nephew such a fine wedding gift!  But there is still the lingering mystery of her first husband, Mr. Corydon B. Green... why is it that one mystery always leads to another in genealogy?

Click this link to read about the original Boston Herald news article from 1894 that mentioned Mrs. Munroe Grout:

Copyright 2012, Heather Wilkinson Rojo 

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Surname Saturday - Wilson of Salem and Danvers, Massachusetts


Robert Wilson was born about 1630, and lived in Salem, Massachusetts.  It is unknown where he came from before he arrived in New England, and it is unknown when he arrived.  However, he left some very interesting, yet sad and sorrowful, records during his life. 

His first wife was Deborah Buffum, daughter of Robert Buffum and Tamosen Ward.  In 1662, as the mother of two infant children she professed to being a Quaker, which was dangerous in Puritan Salem, Massachusetts.  Not only that, she went naked to the Puritan meetinghouse to protest the “spiritual nakedness”.  She was sentenced to be tied to a cart and whipped until she came to her own house.  Daniel Rumball, the constable “was loathe to do it, but was ordered to do his duty.  Robert Wilson (it may be presumed in collusion with Rumball, though neither was a Quaker) followed after, clapping his hat sometimes between the whip and his wife’s back.”   (from the book The Peabody Story by John A. Wells, 1973, Essex Institute, Salem, MA, pages 136 -7)

Although kindhearted Robert Wilson helped his wife, she died soon after in 1668.  Robert remarried to Anna Trask, the widow of Joseph Perry Foster, in 1674. They had one child together before he was called to join the Essex County militia with Captain Thomas Lothrop to protect Deerfield, Massachusetts.  Seventy men, along with Robert Wilson, were killed at in a massacre at a brook near Deerfield on 18 September 1675.  Only seven or eight men escaped this massacre.  The brook was renamed “Bloody Brook”.

From the Essex Quarterly Court Records, volume 6, leaf 19

Administration upon the estate of Robert Wilson, intestate, was granted 28, 4m, 1681 unto Ann, the relict, who brought in an inventory amounting to about 150 pounds, and whereas there is some legacy or something of an estate of Tamosen Buffum's which of right is to belong to Robert and Deborah, children of the deceased, the court ordered that Ann should pay out of this estate into the inventory, to Robert the eldest son 14 pounds, and to Deborah aforesaid, children by his first wife, and to Anna, John, Mary and Elizabeth children by Ann, 7 pounds each, at age or marriage, the house and land to stand bound by security.

If you look at the genealogy below, you will notice a lot of Robert Wilsons, and the Essex County records are full of even more Robert Wilsons.  How did I manage to figure out which Roberts belonged to what lines?  Not without help! I was at the New England Historic Genealogical Society library one day, and when I had trouble finding a book on the shelves the librarian, David Dearborn, asked me which surname I was researching.  When he heard I was looking for Salem, Massachusetts Wilsons he introduced me to a series of books written by researcher Ken Stevens of Walpole, New Hampshire.  Ken Stevens wrote all his books about Wilsons from all over New England.  I wrote to Mr. Stevens (it was before email) and he sent me all his research notes on the Salem Wilsons.  He had not included these particular Wilsons in a book yet.   He confirmed my line, too!   The NEHGS library has his papers on Wilson research in their manuscript collection.  Kenneth C. Stevens passed away in 2010.

My Wilson lineage (note the five Robert Wilsons and one Robert Wilson Wilkinson in the first eight generations!):

Generation 1:  Robert Wilson, born about 1630, died on 18 September 1675 in Deerfield, Massachusetts at the Bloody Brook Massacre; married first to Deborah Buffum, daughter of Robert Buffum and Tamosen Ward, on 12 August 1658 in Marblehead, Massachusetts.  She was born about 1639 and died about 1668 and had two children including Robert Wilson, Jr. (see below).  He married second to Anna Trask, daughter of Henry Trask and Mary Southwick, widow of Joseph Perry Foster, and had one child.

Generation 2: Robert Wilson, born about 1662, and died before 17 January 1717; married about 1685 to Elizabeth Cook, daughter of Isaac Cook and Elizabeth Buxton. Four children.  He is listed in his grandmother’s will (Tamosine Buffum, Essex County Probate #30139).  He was the first Wilson to own property near the Wilson Square area of what is now Peabody, Massachusetts.

Generation 3: Isaac Wilson, born about 1691; married Mary Stone, daughter of Samuel Stone and Mary Treadwell, on 9 January 1718 in Salem, Massachusetts. Six children. He was a carpenter.

Generation 4: Robert Wilson, born about 1724, died before 10 July 1782 in Danvers, Massachusetts (now Peabody); married to Elizabeth Southwick, daughter of John Southwick and Mary Trask on 26 May 1744 in Salem, Massachusetts. Four children.  He was a prominent potter who lived where Route 114 now crosses Route 128 in Peabody.  The Wilson family burial ground still exists there behind the Kappy’s Liquor Store.  The Wilsons were known for black pottery that can be seen on exhibit at the Peabody Historical Society.

Generation 5: Robert Wilson born about 1746 and died 4 June 1797 in Danvers (now Peabody); married on 23 March 1775 in Danvers to Sarah Felton, daughter of Malachi Felton and Abigail Jacobs.  Nine children.  He is buried at the Wilson burial ground, and Sarah was buried in 1836, forty years later, across the street at the Felton burial ground.

Generation 6: Robert Wilson, born 5 September 1776 in Danvers, died on 9 November 1803 in Danvers; married on 8 May 1800 to Mary Southwick, daughter of George Southwick and Sarah Platts.   Two children. Robert and Mary Wilson are buried at the Wilson burial ground.

Generation 7: Mercy F. Wilson, born 17 June 1803 in Peabody, died on 9 October 1883 in Peabody; married on 23 June 1829 in Danvers to Aaron Wilkinson, son of William Wilkinson and Mercy Nason, born in South Berwick, Maine on 22 February 1802, and died on 25 November 1879 in Peabody, Massachusetts. Eleven children.

Generation 8: Robert Wilson Wilkinson m. Phebe Cross Munroe
Generation 9: Albert Munroe Wilkinson m. Isabella Lyons Bill
Generation 10:  Donald Munroe Wilkinson m. Bertha Louise Roberts (my grandparents)


This Wilson family has not been written up in any compiled genealogy or articles in any genealogical journals.  Ken Stevens had notes on this lineage, but had not finished his research on the other lines of the Salem/Danvers/Peabody Wilsons for a book or article.   Most of what I put together here was gleaned from vital records and probate.  There is a bit of information on the Wilson potters to be found in books on the subject, such as this excerpt from Early New England Potters and Their Wares by Lura Woodside Watkins, Harvard University Press, 1950, pages 65-66.

"The Wilsons were a prominent family of artisans.  Their homestead included the land near 141 Andover Street and eastward where 128 now crosses it.  The first two potting Wilsons were sons of Robert, a farmer.  They were Robert, known as Robert, Jr. who remained in Danvers, and Joseph, who went to Dedham and thence to Providence, Rhode Island.  When Robert, Jr., died in 1782, he left property worth 627 pounds, including six lots of land, his house, barn, potter's shop, and cornhouse, a riding chair, and a large personal estate.  He seems to have done well in his trade.  His son Robert, known as Robert 2d, and a younger son Job were potters.  By an order of the court, Robert 3d, as administrator of his father's estate, was obliged to sell a large part of the elder Robert's property to pay certain debts.  This was not done until April 9, 1793, when two thirds of the land and buildings, and an interest in the business was aquired by Isaac Wilson 3d.  He, too, was a craftsman in clay.  The three Wilsons ran the shop together for a time, but Robert 3d, and Job both passed away before 1800, while Robert's son Robert, who had worked but a short time as a potter, died three years later at the age of twenty-seven.  Upon Isaac's decease in 1809, this early pottery must have come to an end."

For more information on Robert Wilson’s wife, Deborah, and her “Naked Protest” see my blog post about this story at this link:

For more information on the Wilson Burial Ground in Peabody, see this link:


Copyright 2012, Heather Wilkinson Rojo