Tuesday, January 12, 2021

The Old Manse in Concord, Massachusetts

Last week we took a walk by the Old Manse in Concord, Massachusetts.  I have never seen the inside of this historic house museum, even though I am related to the Emerson family of Concord.  It was built in 1770 by the Reverend William Emerson, just in time to experience one of the first battles of the American Revolution.  It is located by Concord’s Old North Bridge where the battle of April 19, 1775 was fought between the American patriots and the British.

First, a little family history! The Rev. William Emerson is my 2nd cousin, seven generations removed. We share Joseph Emerson (about 1621 – 1680) and his wife Elizabeth Bulkely (1638 – 1693) as our common ancestor.  My line of Emerson ancestors lived nearby Concord in Reading, Massachusetts until the 1800s when my ancestor Romanus Emerson (1782 – 1852) removed to South Boston.  He was from a family of eleven children, and eight brothers.  Of those eight brothers, four lived to adulthood and became ministers. Romanus studied for the ministry, too, but due to a “speech impediment” (according to a compiled genealogy of the family) he went to Boston and became a famous atheist!

The great writer and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882) lived in Concord and was the grandson of Rev. Phebe Bliss. Ralph Waldo Emerson was from a line of five out of six generations of minister Emerson ancestors in a row, and he studied to be a minister, too. His brief ministry included being ordained at Boston's Second Church and being the chaplain of the Massachusetts legislature, but it all ended when he began to doubt his faith. He went to Europe and returned to Concord to become a popular lecturer, and later a philosopher and writer.  It was perhaps the influence of this famous writer and his transcendentalist friends, including Nathaniel Hawthorne, that made this house so important and historic. 

From this sign by the Old Manse:

"The Reverend William Emerson (1743 - 1776), grandfather of writer Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 - 1882), built this house in 1769-70.  On April 19, 1775, family members watched from the house as British soldiers and local militia fought the battle that started the American Revolution.

The Old Manse then played an important role in America's literary and cultural revolutions.  Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) wrote Nature here in 1834-35, an essay that sparked the Transcendental movement.  Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804 - 64) lived here from 1842 - 45).  His collection of short stories, Mosses from an Old Manse, gave the house its nickname, a Scottish term for 'minister's house." 

Rev. William Emerson became a chaplain to the Continental Army, then died in October 1776 on his way home from Fort Ticonderoga. His widow remarried to his successor, the Rev. Ezra Ripley, and continued living at the Old Manse.  Ralph Waldo Emerson lived here with his step-grandfather in 1834 while writing Nature

Nathaniel Hawthorne and his new bride, Sophia Peabody, moved here in 1842, and Henry David Thoreau dug them a garden.  One famous legacy that Hawthorne and his wife left at the Old Manse was a a short passage they etched in the window of his study with her wedding ring diamond. He also wrote many of his tales here, some which were included in Mosses from an Old Manse (1846), and others published later. New Hampshire's only US president, Franklin Pierce, was a guest of the Hawthorne's while they lived at the Old Manse.  Hawthorne removed to Salem in 1845, and returned to Concord in 1852 to live at the historic house called The Wayside.  

The house was owned by the Ripley family until 1939 when it was donated to the Trustees of Reservations.  It was a National Historic Landmark in 1966.  The house is open for guided tours by the Trustees of Reservations in the summer, see the website (below) for more information. It is located adjacent to the Old North Bridge, the Minuteman Statue, and the battlefield.  There is a restroom across the path to the Old North Bridge, and if you follow across the bridge and up the hill, you will reach the US National Historic Site interpretive center with more restrooms, giftshop, and small museum. It is also within walking distance of the Concord Common and the Sleep Hollow Cemetery with Author's Ridge where Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ralph Waldo Emerson, William Ellery Channing, Louisa May Alcott and others are buried. 

For the truly curious:

The Old Manse, 269 Monument Street, Concord, Massachusetts

The Old Manse website:   https://thetrustees.org/place/the-old-manse/   

The US National Park Service website:  https://www.nps.gov/places/the-old-manse.htm   

My EMERSON Surname Saturday sketch, with eight generations of Emersons from Thomas Emerson the immigrant to Ipswich, Massachusetts down to my great great grandmother, Mary Katharine Emerson (1847 - 1932):  https://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2015/01/surname-saturday-emerson-of-ipswich.html    


To Cite/Link to this post: Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "The Old Manse in Concord, Massachusetts", Nutfield Genealogy, posted January 12, 2021, ( https://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2021/01/the-old-manse-in-concord-massachusetts.html: accessed [access date]).

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Two new versions of Bradford's "Of Plimoth Plantation" for you to consider

I have many versions of William Bradford's first person journal
Of Plymouth Plantation.  Why more?

Santa brought me a new 2020 edition of William Bradford's journal of the first years of the Plymouth Colony known as Of Plimoth Plantation.  Then their majesties, Los Reyes Magos (The Three Wise Men), brought me another 2020 edition of Of Plimoth Plantation on January 6th!  These were two different books.  How were they different from previous editions, and why do I need more versions of this important book? See the end of this post for a full list of these books, all editions of the same manuscript.

We know so much about the Plymouth Colony, the Wampanoag people, the passengers and their history because of Bradford's first hand account known as Of Plimoth Plantation.  No other early English colony in the USA has as much first hand documentation as Plymouth. (Although the Spanish and French colonies had excellent records)  We have Bradfords's journal, Mourt's Relation, and Edward Winslow's Good Newes from New England all written by people who lived through those first difficult years at Plymouth.  Because of these wonderful manuscripts we can reconstruct the history, along with new archaeological evidence, and other documents and artifacts from this time period. Interpretation of these documents, including Bradford's manuscript, has changed over the years as we learn more about 17th century Plymouth Colony. 

If you look above, I have a big stack of my different editions of Bradford's journal.  I also have an old version of Of Plymouth Plantation printed in the 1950s and edited by Samuel Eliot Morison.  Each book is a transcription of Bradford's original manuscript, which is in the Massachusetts State Library in the statehouse in Boston.  This manuscript has an interesting history, including being missing for more than a century.  It was hidden in the Old South Church of Boston during the American Revolution, but disappeared after British soldiers occupied the building.  Then the manuscript was found in Bishop of London's library, and returned to Massachusetts in 1897. A copy was published in 1912.  

Since that time many versions of Bradford's journal have been published since 1912. The most famous was Morison's 1952 edition, with his notes and transcription.  Since then many editors and historians have published new transcriptions, with new discoveries to mention in notes, and some new transcriptions based on new evidence.  In the photo above you can see my 2002 or 50th anniversary reprint of this classic book by Morison.  

I cherish my 1981 paperback copy of Of Plimoth Plantation, even though it is a small, textbook version because it was gifted to me when I became a member of the Mayflower Society.  I enjoyed Caleb Johnson's 2006 version because he signed it, and I heard him speak about it at an event in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Caleb's edition includes many supplementary documents, which makes it very interesting for Mayflower research. 

I knew that the 400th anniversary of arrival of the Mayflower would probably be the year another edition would be published. However, I was very surprised to learn that two books would be published! I didn't know how they would differ until I actually held them in my hands this week.  

First,  I received the book Of Plimoth Plantation by William Bradford, 2020, edited and introduced by Kenneth P. Minkema, Francis J. Bremer, and Jeremy D. Bangs.  I knew about this book last year from attending several Mayflower events at the New England Historic Genealogical Society before the pandemic hit.  It was advertised in their journals, and anticipated by many genealogists and historians. It was published by both NEHGS and the Colonial Society of Massachusetts.  This book not only has three introductions, but also a special introduction by Paula Peters of the Wampanoag Nation, and a special edition of Bradford's Hebrew Lists (he was teaching himself to read Hebrew) with an introduction by Eric D. Raymond of the Yale Divinity School.  It contains 755 pages, and is the biggest book of all the editions of Bradford's journal.

I was surprised to see the second book I was gifted of Of Plimoth Plantation was a slim volume of 317 pages.  This 2020 book was published by the Plimoth Patuxet Press of Plymouth, Massachusetts (formerly known as the Plimoth Plantation Museum).  The introductory materials and forward are from the Massachusetts State Library, and run only ten pages. What makes this book remarkable and completely different is that the rest of the book is a facsimile of the original book, completely restored and digitized between 2012 and 2014.  The images of the digitized pages are almost the same size as the real book, which makes this edition very close to Bradford's journal. It's easy to imagine you are reading his historic journal while holding this book. 

In 2019 I attended a reception in Plymouth when an edition of The Brewster Book Manuscript was published, and the original, restored volume of this book was displayed. You can read all about the Brewster book at my two blog posts HERE and HERE.  This amazing edition has each digitized page on one side and the transcription on the opposite page, so the reader can compare the original to the printed text.  I knew the new Bradford book would be a digitized edition of his journal, and at first I was disappointed that there was no printed transcription of his ancient handwriting. However, now I'm glad it is completely original, with no interruptions of transcriptions or notes. After a day of figuring out his script, I can easily read straight through the book with no trouble. If I can do it, you can do it, too! If you already own a transcribed version of Bradford's Of Plimoth Plantation, this might be a good choice for you. 

Pages 288 and 289 of this edition have the Mayflower passenger list

Page 288 close up 
Including my Allerton, Standish, 
and Tilley ancestors

For the truly curious, a listing of the Bradford Journals on my book shelf (newest to oldest):

Bradford, William, Of Plimoth Plantation: A Facsimile of his Original Manuscript. Plimoth Patuxet Press: Plymouth, MA, 2020

Bradford, William, edited by Minkema, Kenneth P.; Bremer, Francis J.; Bangs, Jeremy D., Of Plimoth Plantation by William Bradford: The 400th Anniversary Edition. Colonial Society of Massachusetts and New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2020. 

Bradford, William, edited by Caleb Johnson, Of Plimoth Plantation: Along with the full text of the Pilgrim's Journals for their first year at Plymouth.  Xlibris Corporation, 2006. 

Bradford, William, edited by Samuel Eliot Morison, Of Plimoth Plantation 1620 - 1647 by William Bradford Sometime Governor Thereof.  Alfred A. Knopf: New York, 2002. (A 50th anniversary edition or reprint of the 1952 edition)

Bradford, William, edited by Francis Murphy, Of Plymouth Plantation 1620 - 1647.  Modern Library College Editions by Random House, 1981. 

Also mentioned above:

A Sneak Preview of the New Brewster Book Manuscript in Plymouth, Massachusetts:  https://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2019/09/sneak-preview-of-new-brewster-book.html

Part Two of the Brewster Book Manuscript: https://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2019/09/part-two-of-brewster-book-manuscript.html 

My annual list of Christmas gift books 2020 (is there a book in this list that you need to read?):



To Cite/Link to this post:  Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Two new versions of Bradford's 'Of Plimoth Plantation' for you to consider", Nutfield Genealogy, posted January 9, 2021, ( https://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2021/01/two-new-versions-of-bradfords-of.html: accessed [access date]). 

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Three Kings Day

Three Kings Day, 2020

 Usually my family gathers for a large holiday party on this day, but the pandemic has changed that tradition.  January 6th is celebrated across the globe as Epiphany or Three Kings Day.  This tradition is forgotten in the United States, but a favorite holiday in most Spanish speaking countries. In Spain and other countries, the children don't receive gifts from Santa, but they receive gifts from "Los Reyes Magos" on the night before January 6th.  

It is rather fun to wait twelve days to celebrate a family reunion after Christmas.  Twelve days later, at least here in the USA, I'm beginning to miss the holiday spirit. And the dreary January weather in New England makes life seem so dull.  And all the after Christmas sales offer gifts at big discounts. It's the perfect time for a family party.    

This tradition in the Wilkinson family started many years ago when my daughter was very small.  My husband's family is from Spain, we celebrated this holiday in a small way with gifts from the kings and a tiny "Roscon de Reyes" (Three Kings Cake).  My cousin had married a woman from Mexico, and they were celebrating the holiday, too.   Our Dads (two Wilkinson brothers) had birthdays near this holiday.  My father was born on January 3rd, and his brother was a New Year Baby born on January 1st, 1927.  Our first few Three Kings parties were celebrated with Spanish traditions and a birthday celebration.  

Three Kings Day, 1990

Roscon de Reyes - Kings Cake

The Birthday Boys blow out candles
on their birthday/King cake
Jack and Robert, 2002

And so in 2020 I suppose we all will be celebrating Three Kings Day safely while sheltering at home. Children all over Spain will watch the Kings arrive in Madrid safely distanced on TV instead of attending a parade, and still put out their shoes or a box for their gifts, with a glass of wine for the magi.  In Mexico and all over Latin America children will be checking for their gifts near the nativity, eating tamales, and looking for a tiny baby in their King Cake.  It will be different, but the tradition lives on!

Happy Three Kings Day!  A peaceful Epiphany!  Felices Dia De Los Reyes!

My daughter with one of the Three Kings,
at a Madrid department store 1998

For the truly curious:

A video of the 2014 Cabalgata de Los Reyes Magos (The Three Kings Arrive in Madrid, Spain):

A recipe for rosc√≥n de reyes (Three Kings cake):   https://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2009/12/advent-calendar-three-kings-bread.html

My 2017 Three Kings Day post:


To Link or Cite this post:  Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Three Kings Day", Nutfield Genealogy, posted January 6, 2021, ( https://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2021/01/three-kings-day.html: accessed [access date]). 

Monday, January 4, 2021

What did Genea-Santa Bring? Christmas Books 2020

I usually post the books my Genea-Santa brings every Christmas.  Again, Santa was very generous and brought me a pile of books to keep me busy while "safe at home" this winter.  One book never made it from the North Pole to our home, and has been stuck in a USPS warehouse in New Jersey for several weeks.  I'll let Santa's friends, the Three Kings (Los Reyes Magos) deliver it from the warehouse to me in a few days.

I hope you find a few good books in this post for your Santa list next year!

Death of an Empire:  The Rise and Murderous Fall of Salem, America's Richest City - I have been looking forward to reading this book ever since my first cousin told me about it last summer.  The author, Robert Booth, is a well known maritime historian, and the founder of the online Salem Historical Society.  The story of how Salem fell from being one of the richest cities in America is one I know only a little about, so I'm looking anxious to read this book.  My ancestors lived through all of this fascinating history! 

Forgotten Wolves of Wilkinaland - I've been fascinated by J. C. (Max) Wilkinson's theory for writing this book ever since following him on the Facebook group "Wilkinson Family Lineage".  In short, his theory is that Wilkinson is surname based on a place, not a diminutive for "Son of Wilkin" or "Son of Will" or "Son of William".  I started this book Christmas night, and it is fascinating!  I highly recommend it for anyone with a variation of the name Wilkinson (Wilkerson, Wilkins, Wilkens, Wilkie, etc.).  

Mayflower Migration: Immigrants to Plymouth, 1620 - Here is yet another book in Robert Charles Anderson's Great Migration series.  I already owned his book The Pilgrim Migration 1620 - 1623, 2004, and this new book was just published this year by NEHGS.  This Mayflower book focuses exclusively on the Mayflower passengers, and no other Plymouth settlers, and includes new research.  Each passenger has a sketch including a biography with comments and notes by Anderson just like in the other Great Migration books. 

This Land is Their Land: The Wampanoag Indians, Plymouth Colony, and the Troubled History of Thanksgiving - In 2020 I vowed to read more books about the Wampanoag and the other native people of New England. This 2019 book by David J. Silverman was one of the top books recommended to me by Plimoth Plantation staff.  I'm looking forward to reading it and learning more from the original people of the land where my ancestors settled and lived with side by side. 

In the Shadow of Men: The Lives of Separatist Women - I heard Sue Allan speak about her research on this book last year, and when it was published this year, 2020, I had a hard time getting a copy.  The NEHGS bookstore ran out several times!  But Genea-Santa came through with a book just in time for Christmas.  I have four female ancestors who were passengers on the Mayflower, and I was a tiny bit disappointed to see that none of them had a chapter in this book.  But I know Sue is always researching more Pilgrims every year, so perhaps there will be a Volume 2?  

Of Plimoth Plantation by William Bradford: The 400th Anniversary Edition - This new 2020 edition of the famous journal by Bradford was edited by a star studded panel: Kenneth P. Minkema, Francis J. Bremer, and Jeremy Bangs, with an introduction by Paula Peters of the Wampanoags.  It was published by the Colonial Society of Massachusetts and NEHGS (The New England Historic Genealogical Society).  Be aware that there is a second 400th Anniversary Edition of Bradford's Journal published by Plimoth Plantation and the Massachusetts State Library also for this year, 2020.  This is the book that Genea-Santa ordered from the museum in Plymouth, Massachusetts that was sent to a warehouse in New Jersey by the USPS and never arrived in Manchester, New Hampshire in time for Christmas.  Why own both editions?  I'll let you know in a later blog post!  

The History and Antiquities of Every Town in Massachusetts - this 2014 book edited by John Warner Barber is a new edition of an 1839 book.  There is a sketch for every town in Massachusetts that existed at the time of the original book (there were 306 towns then minus the four towns drowned by the Quabbin reservoir and the four towns annexed by Boston, and now there are 351 towns).  

The Mayflower Descendant - is the journal from the Massachusetts Mayflower Society published twice a year by the New England Historic Genealogical Society.  Anyone can subscribe to this through the NEHGS website, even if you are not a member of the Massachusetts Mayflower. Thank you for renewing my subscription another year, Santa!

Genea-Santa also added this Delft mug of the Mayflower II from the Plimoth Plantation gift shop! 

For the truly curious - check out the books I received from Genea-Santa in the past years:

Christmas Books 2019


 Christmas Books 2018  


Christmas Books 2017

Christmas Books 2016:

Christmas Books 2015:

Christmas Books 2014:


To Link/Cite this blog post:  Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "What did Genea-Santa Bring? Christmas Books 2020", Nutfield Genealogy, posted January 4, 2020, ( https://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2021/01/what-did-genea-santa-bring-christmas.html: accessed [access date]). 

Friday, January 1, 2021

Happy New Year! Reasons to Appreciate 2021


A vintage advertisement
for Londonderry, NH Lithia Water

Well, here we are in 2021 and our annus horribilis is behind us. What can we hope for and expect in the New Year?  I know I'm looking forward to this new year with much hope.  Dwelling on the unfortunate events of 2020 is fruitless.  I'm not even going to list my usual "Best of 2020" blog posts, or photos of the past year.  Let's see what we have in store, or at least imagine it!

A dozen things I am looking forward to in 2021:

1 .    Hugs

     2.       Smiling faces (without masks)

     3.       Visiting family.  All the family. Those cousins you have not seen in years – well, 2021 is the year to drop in.  Those old aunties in nursing homes who went months without visitors.  The elderly who survived by not catching this awful virus, but missed human connections all year. The relatives you usually saw only at Christmas and Thanksgiving. They would love to see you, too. Stay in touch.

    4.       The vaccine being freely available to everyone whenever they need it.  No lines, no age limits, no qualifications.

    5.       Travel!  We cancelled nine vacations in 2020, from an 18-day Bucket List trip to South America (including a cruise through the Panama Canal), to weekends in New England.  Let’s hope it is safe in 2021 to travel, even locally.

    6.       Visiting family.  Did I say this already? 

    7.       Visiting archives, repositories, libraries, county courthouses, historical societies, etc. in person to browse for hours, no time limits, no reservations.  Ahhhh!  I can smell the books already!

    8.       Write more snail mail.  I started sending more cards in 2020. I became pen pals with my granddaughter. Why stop now?

    9.       Indoor and outdoor activities such as museums, theaters, weddings, fundraisers, conferences, board meetings, riding trains and planes, eating in restaurants, simply going somewhere without worrying about getting sick (deathly sick).  And participating in all those postponed Mayflower 400th anniversary events!  

    10.   The virtual NERGC 2021 Conference beginning 1 April 2021.  You can browse the conference brochure here:  https://39j.9e3.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/VIRTUAL-NERGC-2021-BROCHURE.pdf

    11.   The RootsTech conference, too, beginning 25 February 2021, which for the first time will be entirely virtual and completely free:  www.rootstech.org   (don’t forget to register ahead!)

    12.   I am looking forward to attending genealogy and local history events LIVE and IN PERSON!  I miss all my genealogy and local history friends and neighbors.


To Link/Cite this post:  Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Happy New Year!  Reasons to Appreciate 2021", Nutfield Genealogy, posted January 1, 2021 ( https://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2021/01/happy-new-year-reasons-to-appreciate.html: accessed [access date]). 

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

No More Nutfield Genealogy Calendar Posts


I have decided to discontinue the calendar posts on my blog in 2021.  This may not be a permanent change, but with all the new webinars, online classes, virtual history tours, and other genealogy and local history events moving to the internet I cannot keep up with all the offerings.  Moving classes and events online makes the entire world of virtual events available to any one in New England, and all the virtual events in New England are available to anyone in the world outside our six little states.  It doesn’t make sense to try to capture all of them on one blog post.

Many, many people have been emailing me messages about how much they will miss my calendar posts, and “What do I do now?”.  I’ve been telling them to do what I do – search online for what types of classes you’d like to attend, and you’ll find plenty of options. 

I spend hours and hours putting together my calendar posts.  One thing you can try is to look back at my calendar posts from 2020 and see the host organizations, then check their websites. Here are some of the places I go to for compiling those posts (There are many others! This list is just a suggestion.).  You can do this, too!  (Remember that my blog is centered around New England genealogy and local history.  You might have different needs while searching for online education opportunities)

P.S.  You can always check on the Nutfield Genealogy Facebook page for links to events I post:  https://www.facebook.com/nutfield.gen

American Antiquarian Society (Worcester, MA):  https://www.americanantiquarian.org/programs-events

American Canadian Genealogical Society (Manchester, NH)  https://acgs.org/

Conference Keeper  https://conferencekeeper.org/    

Connecticut Historical Society: https://chs.org/   

Connecticut Society of Genealogists:  https://ctfamilyhistory.com/events/

GeneaWebinars:  http://blog.geneawebinars.com/ 

The General Society of Mayflower Descendants:  https://www.themayflowersociety.org/  

History Camp:  https://historycamp.org/

The History List:  https://www.thehistorylist.com/  

Legacy Family Tree Webinars just announced their 2021 events, see this link: https://familytreewebinars.com/upcoming-webinars.php  

Maine Historical Society:  https://www.mainehistory.org/

Maine Ulster Scots Project:  https://www.maineulsterscots.com/

Massachusetts Genealogical Council:  https://www.massgencouncil.org/

Massachusetts Historical Society: https://www.masshist.org/calendar

Massachusetts Society of Genealogists:  https://www.msoginc.org/msogwp/events-2/events/

New England Regional Genealogical Consortium: https://nergc.org/

New England Historic Genealogical Society (American Ancestors): https://www.americanancestors.org/education/online-classes 

New Hampshire Humanities Council:  https://www.nhhumanities.org/programs/upcoming

Pilgrim Hall Museum:  https://www.pilgrimhall.org/museum_events.htm

Plimoth Plantation Museum:   https://www.plimoth.org/calendar 

Plymouth Antiquarian Society: http://plymouthantiquarian.org/events/   

Rhode Island Historical Society:  https://www.rihs.org/

RootsTech:  https://nergc.org/

Vermont Historical Society:   https://vermonthistory.org/

The Virtual Genealogical Association:  https://virtualgenealogy.org/


Some New England Libraries that hold online genealogy events (You may know more!)

Amesbury Public Library (MA)  http://amesburylibrary.org/

Boston Public Library (MA)  https://bpl.bibliocommons.com/events/search/index

Chelmsford, MA public library:  https://chelmsfordlibrary.libcal.com/calendar/library/?cid=12853&t=m&d=0000-00-00&cal=12853&inc=0

Godfrey Memorial Library (Middletown, CT)  https://www.godfrey.org/scholar/godfrey-home.html

Portsmouth, New Hampshire:  https://www.cityofportsmouth.com/library

Rodgers Memorial Library (Hudson, NH)   https://events.rodgerslibrary.org/

Worcester Public Library (MA)  https://www.mywpl.org/?q=article/adult-classes-and-programs


To Link/Cite this post:  Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "No More Nutfield Genealogy Calendar Posts", Nutfield Genealogy, posted December 30, 2020, ( https://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2020/12/no-more-nutfield-genealogy-calendar.html: accessed [access date]). 

Friday, December 25, 2020

A World War II Christmas Card

"Best Wishes for a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
"Peace on Earth
Good Will
Toward Men"

Designed by
Tech. Sergeant, Victor P. Donahue, U.S.M.C.
Reproduced By - 1st Mar. Div.
Photo- Litho Section

This Christmas card was sent to my grandparents from their son, Stanley Elmer Allen, Jr. on Christmas 1944 from the South Pacific.  He was my mother's oldest brother, who served at the end of the war and during the Bombing of Tokyo at the end of the war.  Although the card mentions Guadalcanal (this campaign was fought between 7 August 1942 and 9 February 1943 in the Solomon Islands) and the Marine Corps, he did not enlist until after Guadalcanal when he turned 18 years old.

My "Uncle Al" served in the 501st Bomber Command under General Curtis Emerson LeMay at the Northwest Field, Guam, in the Mariana Islands.  He was the scanner on board a B-29 Superfortress.  The name of his plane was "Orpen's Orphans" named after Colonel Bud Orpen (Julius H. Orpen).

Nine days after the Atom Bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, one hundred forty three B-29 bombers left from Northwest Field on their secret mission now called "The Bombing of Tokyo".  This was the campaign that led to the Japanese surrender and the end of the war.  And it was the last combat mission flown by the US during World War II.  The Bombing of Tokyo was considered the most destructive action in human history.  Uncle Al never spoke of his service, and I'm sure that this battle was quite traumatic.  After the war ended, the B-29s carried supplies to the Allied POW camps in the Pacific region.

After researching Uncle Al's service, and learning more about the Bombing of Tokyo, the message of "Peace on Earth. Goodwill Towards Men" printed inside this little Christmas card seems so poignant to me.

For the truly curious:

A blog post about my Uncle Stanley Allen, Jr.'s military service:

A blog post about the B-29 photos, and a photo of my uncle, I found at a museum in Arizona:


Cite/Link to this post:  Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "A World War II Christmas Card", Nutfield Genealogy, posted December 25, 2020, ( https://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2020/12/a-world-war-ii-christmas-card.html: accessed [access date]).

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Christmas Eve, 1963


This photo was taken at in Hamilton, Massachusetts at Auntie Mamie and Uncle "Al" Stanley Allen's house.  They had a fireplace, and we didn't.  Perhaps that is why this photo was posed, even though we usually didn't hang our stockings at other people's homes!  It was taken by my father with his camera, and matches the rest of the roll of photographs of that Chrismas. 

I was surprised when years after my Grandmother died in California, my first cousin sent me a slightly different version of this photo she found amongst my Grammy's belongings!  Same pajamas.  Same fireplace.  Same Christmas stocking hanging behind me.  It must have been taken by someone else at the same time my father took the first photograph. 

You never know what photos you will find in a relative's photo albums!


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Christmas Eve, 1963" Nutfield Genealogy, posted December 24, 2020, ( https://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2020/12/christmas-eve-1963.html: accessed [access date]).