Friday, January 18, 2019

Were Your Ancestors Founding Members of the First Church of Salem?

First Church,
Salem, Massachusetts

On 6 August 1629 the following thirty men in Salem, Massachusetts signed the covenant to establish the First Church.  The Records of the First Church in Salem states “A Catalogue of the names of those person that are joined in full Comunyon.”  At the bottom of this post I’ve transcribed the spellings exactly as spelled in the book. 

According to the website for the First Church in Salem (now a Unitarian Universalist Congregation) "thirty of the newly arrived Puritan settlers of the Massachusetts Bay Colony gathered together to form a church on August 6, 1629.  Among the members present were Roger Conant, the founder of Salem, and John Endicott, the first Governor of the Colony.  On that day, the church called two Puritan ministers who had made the voyage from England with the other colonists.  The Rev. Samuel Skelton became the church's first Pastor and the Rev. Francis Higginson was called as the church's first Teacher.  it was Rev. Higginson who composed the now famou Salem Covenant at its founding, the very same covenant that has been used by each generation of church members down through the centuries and is recited even today during the weekly Sunday services:

We Covenat with the Lord and one with another,
And doe bynd our selves together in the presence of God,
To walke to gether in all His waies,
According as he is pleased to reveale him self unto us,
In his Blessed worth of truth."

I was surprised to see how many ancestors I had in this list, as well as Rev. Samuel Skelton (1593 - 1634), who is my 10th great grandfather.   I’ve highlighted the names that are my ancestors. You might want to see how many you have on this list, too! 

   1.     Samuell Sharp
   2.     John Endecott
   3.     Phillip Veren
   4.     Hugh Laskin
   5.     Roger Connant
   6.     Laurance Leach
   7.     William Auger
   8.     Francis Johnson
   9.     Thomas Eborne
  10. George Williams
  11. George Norton
  12. Henry Herricke
  13. Peeter Palfye
  14. Roger Maurye
  15. Thomas Gardner
  16. John Sibly
  17. John Baulch
  18. Samuell Moore
  19. John Holgrove
  20. Ralph Fogge
  21. John Horne
  22. John Woodberye
  23. William Traske
  24. Townsend Bishop
  25. Thomas Read
  26. Richard Rayment
  27. Jeffry Massy
  28. Edmond Batter
  29. Elias Sileman
  30. Edmond Giles

The book The Records of the First Church in Salem also lists the names of the men and women who signed the covenant up until 1659.  I found many, many ancestors and relatives on these lists.  You might want to check these lists, too.

Click here to see the book The Records of the First Church in Salem, pages 1 – 41 (including baptisms up to 1692):

For the truly curious:
The Records of the First Church in Salem Massachusetts 1629 - 1736, edited by Richard D. Pierce, 1974

The First Church, Salem, Massachusetts website:


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Were Your Ancestors Founding Members of the First Church of Salem?", Nutfield Genealogy, posted January 18, 2019, ( accessed [access date]).

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Weathervane Wednesday ~ A Weathervane at Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, England

I post a series of weather vane photographs every Wednesday.  This started with images of weathervanes from the Londonderry, New Hampshire area, but now I've found interesting weather vanes all across New England and across the globe.  Sometimes my weather vanes are whimsical, or historical, but all are interesting.  This series of 400 weathervane posts is almost complete, and will be posted by the end of this month.

Today's weather vane was photographed in England.

Do you know the location of weathervane post #398?  Scroll down to find the answer.

The local songbirds enjoy
perching on this!

Mayflower and Great Migration historians and genealogists will recognize Scrooby as the birthplace of the Pilgrim Father William Brewster ( 1568 - 1644).  Brewster was the elder and leader of the Pilgrims in Plymouth, Massachusetts.  William Brewster's father was the Bailiff of the manor house at Scrooby.  Scrooby Manor is famous in Mayflower history as the place where secret meetings of the Separatist movement took place between 1606 and 1607, before the Separatists fled to Holland.

This weathervane is over the village Anglican church, St. Wilfrid's, built in the 15th century.  The steeple has an octagonal spire. William Brewster probably worshiped in St. Wilfrid's before attending services at All Saints Church in Babworth where the Separatist Rev. Richard Clyfton inspired William Brewster and William Bradford to form their own congregation at Scrooby Manor.

I visited Scrooby and Scrooby Manor last year with the General Society of Mayflower Descendants Historic Sites tour.  We were given a private tour of Scrooby Manor by author Sue Allan, and lunch at the nearby Separatist Inn by the members of the Pilgrim Fathers UK Origins Association.

Our tour group at Scrooby Manor

You can read about our trip to Scrooby at this link:    


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Weathervane Wednesday ~ A Weathervane at Scrooby Manor", Nutfield Genealogy, posted January 16, 2019, ( accessed [access date]). 

Monday, January 14, 2019

Big Changes at Nutfield Genealogy

I’ve been writing at Nutfield Genealogy for almost ten years now.  I started this blog as an experiment in 2009. The original plan was to write up small stories of my family history, instead of writing one big genealogy book.  The idea of a book was a very scary, overwhelming project, but when I learned about blogging I thought “I can do that!”.  And I did. For much longer than I ever though I would blog!

My blog has changed over the years.  I’ve added a lot of local history, especially with the 300th Anniversary of the settlement of Nutfield by the Scots Irish in 1719 approaching.  And I’ve added a lot of local New England history as I travel around doing my own family research, including trips outside of New England to places like Nova Scotia, Hawaii, Spain, England and The Netherlands.  These are all places I never dreamed of visiting more than ten years ago!

And my Weathervane Wednesday posts have come and gone.  I already announced that soon I will post my last weathervane story and photo.  It will be the 400th weathervane post!  It all started with my husband, Vincent’s, love of photography as we travel around New England, and, somehow he started taking weathervane photos along the way. Then I found out I was related to the renowned weathervane artist Shem Drowne.  And then I found lots of my own family history in weathervanes on top of churches where ancestors were married, baptized or buried.  And weathervanes on the barns and homes of ancestors. And on the town halls and civic buildings where they lived. And on.. and on… and then it was enough.  Enough weathervanes!

And I’ve written almost 400 “Surname Saturday” posts for almost 400 immigrant ancestors.  I’ll try to finish my way through my ahnentafel chart this year, and then that will be the end of “Surname Saturday”.  And the end of “Tombstone Tuesday” because, I’ve done almost 430 tombstone posts and although I might continue to post a few more gravestone photos, I won’t feel obligated to do one every single Tuesday anymore.

Yes, I will still post, but not four or five days a week.  Maybe just once a week?  That will be a big change for me! 

Why the big changes?

Well, Vincent is retiring.  We plan to travel. And do family history research. And pursue other hobbies. And I’ve found that when he is home, I just can’t find time to write and research blog posts every day.  It’s a new chapter in our lives.  We want to make memories with our family, too, to pass on to our descendants. 

But I’m not retiring Nutfield Genealogy.  It will still continue – in a new way!


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Big Changes at Nutfield Genealogy", Nutfield Genealogy, posted January 14, 2019, ( accessed [access date]).

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Surname Saturday ~ LITTLEFIELD of Wells, Maine


Edmund Littlefield (1592 – 1661) was my 10th great grandfather.  He was baptized in Titchfield, Hampshire, England on 22 June 1593, the son of Francis and Mary Littlefield.  He was a clothier, and on 16 October 1614 he married Annis Austin, the daughter of Richard and Agnes Austin, in Titchfield. They had ten children born in Titchfield.

Edmund probably came to New England in 1635 with his two oldest sons.  He was in Boston in 1637.  His wife and six more children immigrated on the ship Bevis in 1638, along with two servants John Knight and Hugh Durdal. 

On 5 June 1639 he was in Exeter, New Hampshire to sign the Exeter Combination, where he was granted 21 acres of land.  Edmund Littlefield joined in with the followers of Rev. John Wheelwright in 1643 and bought land on the Maine coast.  This became the town of Wells.  There is a plaque mentioning Littlefield as the first settler in Wells, on Route One, near 876 Post Road, and it states that his sawmill and gristmill on the Webhannet Falls were the first permanent structures.  One 14 July 1643 he was granted 100 acres of land next to his mills on the Webhannet River. 

His will was dated 11 December 1661 in York County, Maine.  It names his wife Annas; his sons Francis, Thomas and John; and his daughters Mary Barrett, and Hannah.  The will was recorded on 16 July 1662.  I descend from his son Capt. John Littlefield (1624 – 1696/7) who married Patience Unknown.  He ran a mill, just like his father, in Wells.

His son, Josiah Littlefield (about 1662 – 1712) is my 8th great grandfather.  Josiah married Lydia Masters and had seven children. She was killed by Indians on her way home from Boston on 10 August 1707.  Josiah was killed by the Indians on 26 April 1712 in Wells just a few years after spending two years in captivity in Canada.  His second wife, Elizabeth Hilton remarried to Malachi Edward in 1716, and then she, too, was killed by the Indians in 1738. The Josiahs River in Ogunquit, Maine is named for him. 

Josiah wrote this letter while he was in captivity:

"Dear and loving children, my kind love remembered to you all, and my kind love to my brother and sister, and my kind love to all my friends att Wells, and to Mr. Emery in particular, dasiaring of him prayers for me and for my children, hoping in God they are in good health as I am att this present writing, blessed be God for it.

Aprel the 23 I was taken by foer Indans, and may the 3 I arrived att nongonuay (Norridgewock), and from thence to caback (Quebec), and arrived at caback may the 26 and from thence to Moriel (Montreal), and arrived at Moriel June the 2, and now I have liberty granted to me to rite to my friends and to the governor, and for my redemtion and for Wheelrite’s child to be redeemed by two Indena prisoners that are with the English now, and I have been with the governor this morning and hee have promised that if our governor will send them that wee shall be redeemed, for the governor have sent a man to redeem Wheelrites child and do lookes for him in now every day with the child to Moriel where I am, and I would pray whilrite to be very brief in the matter, that we may come home before winter, for we must come by Albany, and I have allso aquainted our Gofnear dedly (Dudley) with the same, no more at present but remain yours to command."

I descend from Anna Littlefield (born 1702), my 7th great grandmother, daughter of Josiah.  She married Jacob Perkins in 1717.  In four generations of my lineage, three Littlefields had ten children each, and Josiah had nine children by two wives. 

Some LITTLEFIELD sources:

The Littlefield Family of England, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Maine, by Franklin Emery Littlefield, 1983

NEHGS Register, Volume 105 (1951) pages 261 - 263. 

Genealogy and Family History of the State of Maine, by Henry Sweetser Burrage and Albert Roscoe Stubbs, 1909.

The History of Wells and Kennebunk from the earliest settlement to the year 1820, by Edward Emmerson Bourne, 1875.

My LITTLEFIELD genealogy:

Generation 1:  Edmund Littlefield, son of Francis Littlefield and Mary Unknown, baptized on 22 June 1592 at Titchfield, Hampshire, England, died between 11 December 1661 and 16 July 1662 at Wells, Maine; married on 16 October 1614 at St. Peter’s Church, Titchfield to Annis Austin, daughter of Richard Austin and Agnes Unknown.  She was baptized at Titchfield on 1 February 1597.  Ten children.

Generation 2: John Littlefield, baptized on 1 November 1624 at Titchfield, died 2 February 1696/7 at Wells; married about 1660 to Patience Unknown, mother of ten children.  She died 13 January 1674/5 at Wenham, Massachusetts. 

Generation 3:  Josiah Littlefield, born about 1662 in Wells, died 26 April 1712 at Perkins Cove in Wells; married to Lydia Masters, daughter of Nathaniel Masters and Ruth Pickworth, mother of seven children.  She was born about 1633 in Salem, Massachusetts and died 5 April 1716.  He remarried to Elizabeth Hilton.

Generation 4: Anna Littlefield, born before 28 June 1702 in Wells; married on 12 October 1717 in Hampton Falls to Jacob Perkins, son of Jacob Perkins and Elizabeth Sparks. He was born 15 February 1685 in Ipswich, Massachusetts and died 19 March 1770 in Wells.  Ten children.

Generation 5: Stephen Perkins m. Comfort Chesley
Generation 6:  Mary Perkins m. Nathaniel Batchelder
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:  Carried Maude Batchelder m. Joseph Elmer Allen
Generation 11: Stanley Elmer Allen m. Gertrude Matilda Hitchings (my grandparents)

Heather Wilkinson Rojo, “Surname Saturday ~ LITTLEFIELD of Wells, Maine”, Nutfield Genealogy, posted January 12, 2019, ( accessed [access date]).

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Weathervane Wednesday ~ Weathervanes in Wales!

I post a series of weather vane photographs every Wednesday.  This started with images of weathervanes from the Londonderry, New Hampshire area, but now I've found interesting weather vanes all across New England and across the globe.  Sometimes my weather vanes are whimsical, or historical, but all are interesting.  This series will be ending with post #400 later this month.

Today's weather vanes were photographed in Wales.

Do you know the location of weathervane post #397?  Scroll down to find the answer.

This first weathervane was spotted over the train station in Betws y Coed in Wales.  We passed by this little village on our way through Wales on the way to Snowdonia with the General Society of Mayflower Descendants Historic Sites tour last year.  The train station was build in 1868, and it is quite a tourist attraction.  Many tour buses were parked here, and there were plenty of folks milling around the shops and restaurants even on a rainy day.

This little bird weathervane caught our attention right off the bus.  I guess the local song birds like it, too!

After viewing Snowdonia we stopped to see Caernarfon  Castle, and then the town of Llangollen, where we saw this weathervane above the storefronts.

This is an elaborate banner style weathervane with fancy cardinal points.  Perhaps at one time it was painted with a date or name?  We enjoyed poking about the town, and the tour included a canal boat ride over the Pontcysllte Aqueduct, which was very interesting.  It is the longest canal aqueduct in Great Britain, and the highest canal aqueduct in the world at 126 feet above the River Dee.  Poncysllte is Welsh for "Cysllte Bridge" which connects the Cysyllte township with Trevor in Llangollen parish.

A passenger looking down from the canal boat
to the Dee River Valley below the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct
Kayakers crossing the aqueduct

The local sheep were unfazed by our canal boat


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Weathervane Wednesday ~ Weathervanes in Wales!", Nutfield Genealogy, posted January 9, 2019, ( accessed [access date]).

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Tombstone Tuesday - Benjamin Bulkley, died 1822 at Wethersfield, Connecticut

This tombstone was photographed at the Wethersfield Village Cemetery in Wethersfield, Connecticut

In Memory of
died August 16th
Aged 91 years.

Benjamin Bulkley, the son of Charles Bulkely and Mary Sage, was born 1 August 1731.  He married twice, first on 3 November 1757 to Susanna Kirby who died on 27 May 1776, and then on 6 February 1777 to Elizabeth Brownell, who died on 30 January 1816.  He survived both wives and died on 16 August 1822 in Farmington, and was buried at the Wethersfield Village Cemetery. 

Benjamin Bulkley is the great grandson of the Rev. Peter Bulkeley, of Concord, Massachusetts, who is my 10th great grandfather.  He descends from the Reverend's son Gershom, and grandson, Edward.  

Click here to see my BULKELEY lineage:


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Tombstone Tuesday - Benjamin Bulkley, died 1822 at Wethersfield, Connecticut", Nutfield Genealogy, posted January 8, 2019, ( accessed [access date]). 

Monday, January 7, 2019

Christmas Books from Santa 2018

Santa was very good to me this year!  Again!  My Santa has developed a very good relationship with NEHGS’s bookstore, and with several used book shops. I hope you enjoy peeking at the books under my Christmas Tree, and if you scroll down to the bottom of this post you can find links to my previous "Christmas Books from Santa" posts in previous years.

Puritan Pedigrees: The Deep Roots of the Great Migration to New England, by Robert Charles Anderson, 2018.  This is just a piece of paper, but it represents the newest book coming soon from the author of The Great Migration project.  All colonial New England genealogists have been waiting for this one, and I’ve looked forward to it ever since visiting England last year with the GSMD Historic Sites tour.  I balked at the price when I saw it in the NEHGS catalog, but Santa was very generous! 

The Illustrated Story of How Mayflower II Was Built, by Stuart A. Upham, the Builder, 2018.

The Mayflower: The Families, the Voyage, and the Founding of America, by Rebecca Fraser, 2017

These two books above remind me of a lecture I heard years ago by the author and researcher Jeremy Dupertuis Bangs, who said that there were “never enough Mayflower books”.  Isn’t it true?  There are so many books about our Pilgrim ancestors, and new ones come up all the time. I like to check them all out. The Mayflower II book was from the Plimoth Plantation bookshop (look online at )  It’s a small 64 page paperback, loaded with vintage and new photos. It’s a new edition of what the original English builder, Stuart Upham, wrote in the 1950s.  Rebecca Fraser’s book is one that I have heard mentioned at many Mayflower meetings, on social media, and from Mayflower cousins. Now I can read it for myself.

Robert Dinsmoor’s Scotch-Irish Poems, with an introduction by Frank Ferguson and Alister McReynolds, 2012

I wrote about this book six years ago, but never had the chance to have my own copy because initially it was only available in the United Kingdom!  Believe it or not.  Robert Dinsmoor (1757 – 1836) “The Rustic Bard” was the son Scots Irish immigrants to Windham, New Hampshire (part of the Nutfield grant of land).  He was quite famous in early America, and inspired other New England poets like John Greenleaf Whittier.  This is a new edition of his collected works. You can read more about Dinsmoor at my blog at these several blog posts:   

Leonard Weeks, of Greenland, N.H., and Descendants 1639 – 1888, by Jacob Chapman, 2018 facsimile of the original book.

I just wrote up my Surname Saturday post on the WEEKS family in November 2018 ( ) and I used a copy of this book.  Now I have my own copy for future reference, and for when I visit the WEEKS house in Greenland, New Hampshire sometime in the summer of 2019!

The Descendants of Henry Sewall 1676 – 1656 of Manchester and Coventry England & Newbury and Rowley, Massachusetts: The Family in England and the First Six Generations in North America, by Eben W. Graves, 2007

Like the WEEKS family, I just recently found I was a SEWALL descendant, too.  I plan on using this book for lots of look-ups and research this year! This is volume 1 of a two volume set. 

A Place Beyond Courage, by Elizabeth Chadwick, 2007

The author Elizabeth Chadwick has published several novels about the Knight Templar, William Marshall, who is also my ancestor.  I learned about these books from a comment someone made on my blog post about my visit to the Temple Church in London.  Although this book’s cover looks like a real “bodice ripper” romance novel, these historical fiction books are fun to read!  I can’t wait to read this one. It’s extremely interesting to find an ancestor as a main character in a series of fiction books.

You can read all about my ancestor William Marshall, the Knight Templar and my visit to see his effigy at the Temple Church in London at this link:  

A subscription renewal to The Mayflower Descendant, the journal from the Massachusetts Mayflower Society.  You can subscribe to this journal through the NEHGS bookstore.

Christmas Books 2017

Christmas Books 2016:

Christmas Books 2015:

Christmas Books 2014:


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Christmas Books from Santa 2018", Nutfield Genealogy, posted January 7, 2019, (  accessed [access date]).

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Surname Saturday ~ ROLLINS of Dover (Newington), New Hampshire


My 9th great grandfather, James Rollins (about 1613 - about 1687) first lived in Newbury, Massachusetts and then removed to Dover, New Hampshire where he was made a freeman on 14 May 1634.  He was granted six acres at Dover on 18 March 1648.  His occupation is unknown, but sometime around 1661 he returned to London where "he received cloth to be delivered to Mr. Cogswell of Ipswich and Mr. Raynes of York" [Genealogical Dictionary of Maine and New Hampshire, page 595].  This is interesting to me because John Cogswell (1650 - 1724) of Ipswich is my 8th great grandfather.  James Rollins was back in New Hampshire again in 1663.

Around 16 December 1685 James Rollins made his will which mentioned his wife Hannah; sons Benjamin, Ichabod, and Joseph; and his sons-in-law Obadiah Morse and Phillip Chesley.  He must have died sometime between writing this will and 13 September 1689 when his son had a deed written that mentioned him as "Benjamin Rawlings son of James Rawlings deceased".  His will was not proven until 25 July 1691.

Very little is known of James Rollins' life, but he did sign the Dover Combination on 22 October 1640, and the May 1654 petition.  The Dover Combination was the document that established the town government, and a copy was found in the Public Record Office in London with the names of the men who signed (including my ancestors James Rollins, Thomas Leighton, John Heard, Anthony Emery, and Peter Garland).

I descend from James Rollins' daughter Sarah who married Phillip Chesley about 1678.  They lived at Oyster River (Durham), New Hampshire.

Some ROLLINS resources:

The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620 - 1633, by Robert Charles Anderson, Volume III, pages 1552 - 1555.

Records of Families of the Name Rawlins or Rollins in the United States, by John R. Rollins, 1874 [errors in the children of James Rollins in generation 1]

Granite Monthly: The New Hampshire Magazine, Volume 1 (September 1877), pages 129 - 134

My ROLLINS genealogy:

Generation 1: James Rollins, born about 1613, died between 16 December 1685 and 13 August 1687 at Bloody Point (now the town of Newington), Dover, New Hampshire; married about 1638 to Hannah Unknown; seven children.

Generation 2:  Sarah Rollins, born about 1658; married about 1678 to Phillip Chesley, son of Phillip Chesley and Elizabeth Leighton.  He was born about 1646 at Oyster River, New Hampshire, and died 18 December 1695 at Oyster River.  Six children.

Generation 3:  Jonathan Chesley m. Mary Weeks
Generation 4: Comfort Chesley m. Stephen Perkins
Generation 5:  Mary Perkins m. Nathaniel Batchelder
Generation 6:  Jonathan Batchelder m. Nancy Thompson
Generation 7:  George E. Batchelder m. Abigail M. Locke
Generation 8:  George E. Batchelder m. Mary Katharine Emerson
Generation 9:  Carrie Maude Batchelder m. Joseph Elmer Allen
Generation 10:  Stanley Elmer Allen m. Gertrude Matilda Hitchings (my grandparents)


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Surname Saturday ~ ROLLINS of Dover (Newington), New Hampshire", Nutfield Genealogy, posted January 5, 2019, ( accessed [access date]).