Wednesday, October 13, 2021

A Deer in Deerfield - Weathervane Wednesday

 Today's weathervane was photographed in Deerfield, Massachusetts.

This three dimensional weathervane of a leaping stag was spotted over the Yankee Candle shop at 25 Greenfield Road in South Deerfield, Massachusetts.  There were actually several cupolas with deer weathervanes above this sprawling store.  Inside the shop we found a Lego model of the building (yes, with a tiny Lego weathervane) so, of course, I included a photo below!

Deerfield, Massachusetts is a very historic town settled in the 1700s several times, but due to conflict with the French and nearby native tribes permanent settlement was delayed.  The museum known as Historic Deerfield documents the early days of settlement, loss, and resettlement. The land grant was first known as Pocumpatuck after the local Indians, which became the towns of Deerfield, Greenfield and Gill.  A History of Deerfield, Massachusetts, Volume 1, page 41 suggests "An abundance of deer in this locality may have suggested [the name of] Deerfield".  

Click here to see over 425 other weathervane posts at this blog:   

Yankee Candle website:   

Historic Deerfield museum website:  


To Cite/Link to this blog: Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "A Deer in Deerfield - Weathervane Wednesday", Nutfield Genealogy, posted October 13, 2021, ( accessed [access date]). 

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Seen at Chauncey Creek, Kittery, Maine - Weathervane Wednesday

 This weathervane was spotted while dining at the Chauncey Creek restaurant in Kittery, Maine. 

Whilst enjoying our lobster dinner on the river front deck of the Chauncey Creek restaurant, Vincent looked up and saw this interesting weather vane above a building next door.  It is located above piles of lobster pots, and was turning in the summer breeze.

This two dimensional figure of a Native hunter has a nice patina, although it is probably not particularly old.  Some of these weathervanes of aboriginal people have become controversial in recent years, and some institutions and residences have removed them.  

See the blog post about the controversial weather vane at Dartmouth College, which has been removed due to it's depiction of a native person with a barrel of rum:   


To Cite/Link to this blog post:  Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Seen at Chauncey Creek, Kittery, Maine - Weathervane Wednesday",  Nutfield Genealogy, posted October 6, 2021, ( accessed [access date]). 

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

An Old Howard Johnson's Weathervane

 This weathervane was photographed in Williamstown, Massachusetts.  

This "Simple Simon Met a Pie Man" weathervane is a giveaway that this building is a former Howard Johnson's restaurant at 795 Main Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts.  It probably had an orange roof and ice cream parlor with 28 flavors of treats, like most of the HoJo's in years past.  This building is currently a jeweler and an insurance office.  By coincidence, there is a Howard Johnson hotel across the street and few hundred yards away at 213 Main Street.  

In Massachusetts, years ago, the most famous Howard Johnson restaurants were located on the Massachusetts Turnpike, offering sit down meals and a rest stop to travelers.  These restaurants were eventually replaced with quick service fast food outlets.  The last known Howard Johnson's restaurant closed in Lake George, New York in 2017.  

Most of the Howard Johnson restaurants had the "Simple Simon" or the lamplighter weathervanes.  Some featured the little dog you see to the side of the lamp, some were missing the lamp post, and some were missing the dog.  All of these weathervanes were simple, two dimensional designs cut out of sheet metal. A few had a three dimensional lamp post.  Occasionally these weathervanes come up for auction, and a Google search will show you that they are highly collectible. 

If you see a building with one of these weathervanes, you know it was a former Howard Johnson franchise. I've blogged about these weathervanes in the past, check out this link:

2014 - West Boylston, Massachusetts (still has the orange roof and the lamplighter weathervane!):

Click here to see over 425 other weathervane posts at this blog:   


To Cite/Link to this post: Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "An Old Howard Johnson's Weathervane", Nutfield Genealogy, posted September 29, 2021, ( accessed [access date]). 

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Sandwich Quaker Meeting House

The Sandwich Quaker Meeting was first gathered on 13 April 1657 at the home of William Allen on Spring Hill Road in East Sandwich, about 500 yards from the present meeting house.  Among the attendees was Nicholas Upsall who had been expelled from Boston for his heretical beliefs.  By 1658 there were sixteen Quaker families in Sandwich, meeting secretly to avoid punishment.  But in 1694 the town granted the Quakers land on Spring Hill for a burial ground and meetinghouse. This structure was built in 1810.   Today it is considered the home of the oldest continuous Quaker meeting in America.

This building was originally made on the Kennebec River in Maine and shipped to Sandwich.  It was reassembled according to the numbered timbers.  There are original carriage sheds on each side of the meetinghouse, and the privies behind were used until 1992 when the community house was connected to the town water.  The burial ground is behind the meetinghouse, but the earliest burials were unmarked by gravestones.  There is no known record of early burials.

Around this meetinghouse there was a large Quaker village with a Quaker school, the Wing and Hoxie family homesteads (now museum houses open to the public in the summer), and homes of other early Quaker families. Surnames include Bowman, Crocker, Holway, Gifford, Jones, Ewer, West, Russell and others.  The Religious Society of Friends is still continuing services at this meetinghouse, and worship is 10am every Sunday. Visitors are welcome. 


Sandwich Monthly Meeting of Friends, established in 1657, is the
oldest continuous Quaker meeting in North America.  It consists
of congregations here, in West Falmouth and in Yarmouth.

This meetinghouse, the third on this site, was built in 1810.
Meetings for worship are held here at 10:00am each Sunday.

Meetings for worship are also held each Sunday throughout the
year at 10:00 am at the South Yarmouth Meetinghouse and
10:00am at the West Falmouth Meetinghouse.
Visitors are always Welcome

For the truly curious:

East Sandwich Friends Meeting House
6 Quaker Road
East Sandwich, Massachusetts 02537

Sandwich Monthly Meeting history webpage (from the Cape Cod Quakers website): 

A listing of burials in Sandwich Quaker Cemetery 

“The Quaker Way of Life”, Cape Cod Times, 20 August 2007,


To Cite/Link to this post: Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Sandwich Quaker Meeting House", Nutfield Genealogy, posted Sept 21, 2021, ( accessed [access date]). 

Thursday, September 16, 2021

The Mayflower Silver Book Project Update


Silver and Blue Books on my bookshelf
(Read below for big changes to both!)

There is some exciting news about the Silver Book Project!  At the 2021 General Board of Assistants meeting of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants in Plymouth, Massachusetts last week, Bonnie Wade Mucia gave a great presentation on the new changes at the Silver Book Project.  She was appointed Director of the Silver Books project in January 2021.  In April this year, she also gave an overview of the changes at the Extreme Genes podcast (see below for the link).

The Silver Book Project is over 100 years old, and started out as the Five Generations Project.  Many books have been produced over the years, and some are still "In Progress", and others have become outdated.  Now, over a dozen new editions of the Silver Books are under research or being prepared for publication soon!  This includes a new Silver Books Directory, which will be an index of all the Silver Books.  It also includes a new 60 page style guide for the current and future silver books. 

To keep up with all the coming changes you will be able to see some of this new information soon on the updated website for the General Society of Mayflower Descendants, which will available this fall.  There will be a dedicated Silver Book page on the new website.  Bonnie Wade Mucia also has started a new Facebook page for the Silver Books that went live on the day of the announcement in Plymouth.  See below for the links.  Another big change is that all Silver Book changes/edits/corrections are all going to be listed in the Mayflower Quarterly magazine, which will also be available online at the new website.

My favorite new change to this project is that the GSMD will now be listing the wife’s names on the cover of the Silver Books for Volumes 16 which will now read John Alden and Priscilla Mullins, and the Volumes 23 which will read John Howland and Elizabeth Tilley. 

The website will contain a future form for submitting corrections, and the GSMD will be vetting those corrections for future editions of the Silver Books.  If you have new documentation on a Mayflower line, contact Bonnie Wade Mucia!  Her email is

Some of the works in progress (there are a lot more changes coming!):

Currently Chilton and More descendants are combined in Volume 15.  This will change since two new children of Chilton (Christian and Ingle) have been discovered in Leiden with generations of descendants. 

Volume 16, page 7 – John Alden and Priscilla Mullins, 5th generation naming the 6th generation descendants of Rebecca (Alden) Delano.

Volume 23, includes descendants of John Howland and Elizabeth Tilley. There were ten children, all with descendants. The four eldest children (Desire, John, Hope and Elizabeth) had blue bound books published by Picton Press, now out of business (out of print!). There will be new Silver books for these volumes, and the numbering for the other Howland volumes will be changed.  

Funds are required to complete the Silver Book for Moses Fletcher, who also left family in Leiden, and has living descendants, today. Funds are also required to update Volume 14, Standish, and several other books.  Bonnie is hoping that some of the family societies will come forward with donations towards the Silver Book Projects for these volumes that need updating.    

Bonnie Wade Mucia
speaking at the Governor General's Forum
September 10th, 2021 Plymouth, Massachusetts

A mock up of the new cover for 
Volume 23, part 5 of the new Silver Book
which will add the name of John Howland's
wife Elizabeth Tilley
For the truly curious:

Extreme Genes Podcast Episode 370 (April 2021) “The Mayflower Silver Book Project Expands”

The Mayflower Silver Books Project Facebook Group:

The General Society of Mayflower Descendants website (new version coming soon with the Silver Book pages):

The Reference Guide to the GSMD Silver Books (this file is available as PDF file via the Facebook group).  It details all the Silver Books and what is included in each one.  This is invaluable for people searching for which book might include their family’s branch, or which book to purchase for your lineage. 

A past blog post "Why are there blue Silver Books?":   


To Cite/Link to this blog post:  Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "The Mayflower Silver Book Project Update", Nutfield Genealogy, posted September 16, 2021, ( accessed [access date]). 

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

A Horse and Buggy! For Weathervane Wednesday

 This weathervane was photographed in Sandwich, Massachusetts. 

This very intricately detailed three-dimensional horse and buggy weathervane was spotted on the cupola above a barn in Sandwich, Massachusetts.  Of course, the wind would not cooperate and turned the weathervane slightly away when we stopped to take a photograph.  We always try to stay on the public way, and never enter private property unless invited. 

Click here to see over 430 other Weathervane Wednesday blog entries: 

Click here to see several other horse and buggy weathervanes:





To Cite/Link to this post: Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "A Horse and Buggy!  For Weathervane Wednesday", Nutfield Genealogy, posted September 15, 2021, ( accessed [access date]). 

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

The Wing Fort House, Sandwich, Massachusetts

While we were exploring Cape Cod a few months ago we had a serendipitous discovery.  We were lost on a back road, searching for the Quaker cemetery, when we stumbled across this historic home.  It was the Wing Fort House on Spring Hill Road in Sandwich, Massachusetts.  Of course, we stopped to take a few photos before continuing our search. This house was built by an a relative who became a Quaker, so we knew we were very close to our destination!

This garrison home was built in 1641 by Stephen Wing.  (I descend from his grandfather, the Reverend Stephen Batchelder (1561 – 1656) through his two children Nathaniel (1590 – 1630) and Ann (b. about 1603) who married John Sanborn).  It is puzzling why this was built as a garrison, since the native Wampanoags were friendly to the English settlers on Cape Cod.  Stephen Wing lived here with his family and his mother, Deborah Batchelder (my 10th great aunt) who was the wife of the Reverend John Wing.

Stephen Wing was one of the first Quakers in Sandwich, Massachusetts.  The Plymouth Court records have some of the first legal proceedings against the early Quakers in Sandwich.  On March 2, 1657/8 “Lieut. Ellis, Stephen Winge and Thomas Butler, being summoned to answer for tumultuous carriage as aforesaid, [at a Quaker meeting] being examined, and not found so faulty as was supposed, were admonished and cleared.”  He was fined many times for refusal to take the oath of Fidelity because Quakers believed it a sin to take any oath. 

Descendants of the Wing family have lived in this house until 1942 when it was sold to the Wing Family of America (the family association) as a museum house.  Unfortunately, the tours run from June through September, so we missed seeing the inside of the house.  During the rest of the year the house is available by appointment to members of the Wing association.

 There have been several archaeological digs at the site of the Wing Fort House.  Most recently was an archaeological dig at this house in 2010 that revealed a small addition to the north side (a possible milk house?) and many 17th, 18th and 19th century artifacts.  See the link below for a report on what was found. 




For the truly curious:

The Wing Family of America website: 

“Tour the Wing Fort House from Your Own Home with Caretaker, Dave Wheelock”  (two parts)  via YouTube 

Click here to see the reports on the 2010 archaeological dig (report and artifacts)  

“Mystery of Missing Family Members Still Unsolved After Archaeological Dig”, The Sandwich Enterprise, July 28, 2017, 

A slide show of a visit to the Wing Fort House (no narration or captions): 


To Cite/Link to this post: Heather Wilkinson Rojo, “The Wing Fort House, East Sandwich, Massachusetts”, Nutfield Genealogy, posted September 7, 2021, ( accessed [access date]). 

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

An Antique Automobile! For Weathervane Wednesday

 This weathervane was photographed at the Heritage Museum and Gardens at Sandwich, Massachusetts.

This two dimensional early automobile weathervane had a lovely patina.  It was difficult to photograph because it was inside a glass display case next to a wall of windows inside the J.K. Lilly Automobile Gallery at the Heritage Museum and Gardens in Sandwich, Massachusetts.  This weathervane is located right next to the front entrance.  

A tag on the display case reads "Touring Car Weathervane.  Unidentified Manufacturer probably Massachusetts or New York c. 1910 - 1930.  Copper, iron.  Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Peter Nicholas". This automobile gallery is home to over 40 antique vehicles from an 1899 Winton to a 1965 Ford Country Squire station wagon.  

For the truly curious:

The Heritage Museums and Gardens, 67 Grove Street, Sandwich, Massachusetts website:   

The Automobile Collection webpage:   

Click here to view over 430 Weathervane Wednesday blog posts!   


To Cite/Link to this post:  Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "An Antique Automobile!  For Weathervane Wednesday", Nutfield Genealogy, posted September 1, 2021, ( accessed [access date]).