Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Notre-Dame de Québec Basilica-Cathedral for Weathervane Wednesday

This weathervane was photographed in the Old Quebec City, Canada.

Last week I featured a weathercock above the Quebec City church Notre Dame des Victoires, and today I'm featuring another weathercock from Quebec City also from a church named Notre Dame.  This building is the basilica catheral of Notre Dame de Quebec.  This Roman Catholic church was originally built at the site of a chapel built by Samuel de Champlain in 1633. The tower with the weathercock was built in 1744, and you can see in the plans below, the weathercock was included.  

This church building was destroyed twice, first during the Siege of Quebec in 1759 during the French and Indian War, and then in 1922 it was destroyed by fire.  At first the Ku Klux Klan was blamed for the destruction, but the American thief Ray Marsden confessed to the crime, to cover his burglary. In 1874 it was the first church in North America to be elevated to a basilica.  It is the oldest parish in Canada and celebrated it's 350th anniversary in 2014.  Quebec's first bishop, Francois de Laval, is buried in the crypt. 

The weathercock is an important Christian symbol, often found on Roman Catholic churches.  This one is particularly fancy and detailed, in three dimensions with an elaborate cross.  

These are the plans for the cathedral from 1744, used to reconstruct the church in 1759.
The weathercock was included in the original plans.

By Gaspard-Joseph Chaussegros de Léry - Élévation de la basilique de Québec, Chaussegros de Léry, 1744, BAC, FR CAOM 3DFC 424A. -, Public Domain,

For the truly curious:

Cathedral Basilica of Notre Dame de Quebec at Wikipedia -   

The parish website for Notre Dame de Quebec  -   

Click here to read over 500 more Weathervane Wednesday posts:


To cite/link to this blog post: Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Notre-Dame de Québec Basilica-Cathedral for Weathervane Wednesday", Nutfield Genealogy, posted July 17, 2024, ( accessed [access date]). 

Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Missing Vessel in the Pacific Ocean, 1846


Newsclipping from The New Bedford Mercury, New Bedford, Massachusetts, Friday, May 21, 1847, Volume XL, page 3. 


"MISSING VESSEL - On the 5th of August last, the Brig Wm. Neilson, of this port, Capt. Weston, sailed from Honolulu, Sandwich Islands, for Manilla and Canton, since which nothing has been heard of her, although there are dates from Manilla to Feb. 11.  As this run is usually made in about 30 days, it is feared that she foundered in a typhoon, and all on board perished.  The dates from the Sandwich Islands are to Dec. 26, and if she had been lost at any point between the two places, it is altogether improbabable that accounts should not have been received from her at one or the other.

The Hon. Geo. Brown of Beverly, late US Commissioner to the Sandwich Islands, was a passenger, with his son.  Capt. John Dominis, formerly a highly repectable shipmaster of this city, but more recently a merchant of Honolulu, was also a passenger.

When the Wm. Neilson sailed from this port, Nov 5, 1845, her roll of equipage contained the names of the following persons, who, it is believed, were all in her at the time she left Honolulu; they were mostly young and enterprizing New England men: Church Weston, of Duxbury, master; Ovander M. Hammett, of Chilmark, 1st officer; Joseph M. Bryant, of Nobleboro', Me, 2d do.; Amherst Peterson, of Marshfield; Seth F. Peterson, of do; David J. Mann, of Hanover, Walter S. Tribou, of do; Joseph Gilbert, of Salem; John Pitts, of Bell Haven (supposed a foreigner) seamen; Alfred Dorsey, of Baltimore, colored man, cook; Moses H. Ganges, of Philadelphia, colored boy, steward.

The Wm. Neilson was a fine clipper brig, built, we believe, in Baltimore.  She had some cargo on board, and a considerable amount of specie belonging to the owners of the vessel and others.  There is insurance in this city for $8000 on the vessel, $2000 on freight money, and $17,850 on cargo, specie, &c, amounting in all to $27,850. - [Boston Daily Advertiser]"  

Captain John Dominis

Who was Captain John Dominis?  According to the world famous genealogist Donald Lines Jacobus, he was an Italian who married a woman from Boston (and Jacobus could not find her ancestry). I'm happy to say that I have solved this mystery that Jacobus could not. [See The American Genealogist, New Haven, CT: D.L. Jacobus, Volume 32 (1956), page 70.]

John Dominis was probably born in Trieste, in what is now Slovenia.  On 5 October 1824 he married my 5th great aunt, Mary Lambert Jones, in Boston. Mary was the daughter of  Owen Jones (about 1768 - 1850) and Elizabeth Lambert ( about 1775 - 1834).  Mary had 7 siblings, including Catherine Plummer Jones (abt 1799 - 1828), my 4x great grandmother.  Mary was born on 3 August 1803 in Boston, and died 25 April 1889 in Honolulu, Hawaii. Her father Owen Jones, was born in Wales, and was the son of a Boston customs collector, another Owen Jones (1735 - 1798). Elizabeth Lambert's ancestry is still a mystery to me. 

Captain John Dominis first appears in Boston records on 1 February 1823 when he declared his intention to become a US citizen at the US District Court. This record states "that he came from said Trieste to Boston AD 1819 ".  On 19 May 1825 he applied for his citizenship in Boston, and there was a statement signed by Josiah Marshall and Daniel C. Bacon "that the said John Dominis has resided with the US five years at least and within the State of Massachusetts during the five years last past except being absent occasionally on voyages at sea; and during the time he behaved as a man of good moral charcter, attached to the principles of the constitution of the US and well diposed to the good order and happenings of the same." 

John Dominis also obtained a Seaman's Protection Certificate that was issued in Boston on 28 October 1825.  This record lists him as being 28 years old, 5 feet 9 inches tall, and of dark complexion.  It states that he was from Trieste, Italy, and was a naturalized US citizen. 

Professor Samuel Eliot Morison, who wrote about maritime history including the Mayflower, wrote about Captain John Dominis, who became the master of the ship Owhyhee owned by Josiah Marshall of Boston. The Owhyee (the old spelling for Hawaii) explored the Pacific northwest, the Columbia River, and Willamette Valley.   Dominis also was the master of the brig Bolivar, the Nye, and the Joseph Peabody, which sailed to the Sandwich Islands from New York City in 1839.  

Captain John Dominis brought his wife, Mary, and his little son, John Owen Dominis, from Boston to live in Hawaii aboard the Joseph Peabody in 1839.  He left two small daughters at a boarding school in Schenectady, New York.  The captain and his wife began to build an impressive house in Honolulu. Mary sent to Boston for the windows, doors, and other parts for her new home.  Her brother in law, Enoch Snelling, designed the front entrance to this house. 

In 1846 Captain John Dominis set sail again for China to buy furniture for his new mansion in Honolulu.  He was never heard from again, and there were many newspaper accounts, like the one above, presuming he was lost at sea.  Mary was forced to take in boarders in her new house, to keep up the appearances of her status in society.  One of these boarders, Anthony Ten Eyck, consul to the United States, nicknamed her house "Washington Place" because it was similar to George Washington's mansion at Mount Vernon.  Many of these boarders were Americans and some foreign consuls. 

In 1862  John Owen Dominis married Lydia Kamakaeha Paki, the future Queen Liliuokalani. The married couple lived in Washington Place.  Mary Dominis died in 1889.  After the Queen was desposed in the illegal takeover of Hawaii, she spent her retirement years at Washington Place.  This home served as the governor's mansion for the governor of Hawaii for many years, and is now a museum. 


For the truly curious:

Hawaii's Story by Hawaii's Queen, Liliuokalani, by Liliuokalani (Queen of Hawaii), 1898, Lee and Shepard of Boston, reprinted by Kessinger Publishing, LLC, 2007. 

My very first blog post on July 27, 2009:  

I have written many blog posts about Washington Place.  You can scroll through these stories by clicking at this link:   


To cite/link to this blog post: Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Missing Vessel in the Pacific Ocean, 1846", Nutfield Genealogy, posted July 9, 2024, ( accessed [access date]). 

Wednesday, July 3, 2024

Bank of New England, Windham, New Hampshire for Weathervane Wednesday

 This weathervane was photographed in Windham, New Hampshire. 

I spotted this weathervane in Windham, New Hampshire, near exit 3 off Route 93.  Usually I see it while I'm entering or exiting the highway, so I don't have a chance to pull over and get a good photo.  Last month I was in the passenger seat of our convertible when we passed by, so I got a photo with my cell phone.  Sorry for the slight blur from zooming in from far away! 

This weathervane is two dimensional, but it appears as if the lighthouse is three dimensional.  There is also a silhouette of a sailboat to the left of the lighthouse, and a fish to the right.  I enjoy the details of this weathervane very much!  The sun often reflects off the lantern at the top of the lighthouse, so it is very noticable from a distance. It must be made of a glass prism, which is very interesting!

The Bank of New England in this location dates to around the time exit 3 was reconstructed around 2015 when Route 93 was widened to four lanes from the Massachusetts border to Manchester, New Hampshire. This project was completed in 2021.  The Bank of New England has been a privately held bank in Salem, New Hampshire since 2007, and it is not related to the now defunct Boston based Bank of New England. It's logo is the lighthouse, just like the old Bank of New England, symbolizing safety and shelter.  

For the truly curious:

Wikipedia Bank of New England - 

Bank of New England

14 Bank Road (off Indian Rock Road near Route 93)

Windham, New Hampshire 


To cite/link to this blog post: Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Bank of New England, Windham, New Hampshire for Weathervane Wednesday", Nutfield Genealogy, posted 3 July, 2024, ( accessed [access date]). 

Wednesday, June 26, 2024

The Chateau Frontenac Hotel in Quebec City for Weathervane Wednesday

 This weathervane was photographed in Old Quebec City, Canada. 

A view of the Chateau Frontenac
from the ferry across the St. Lawrence River to Levis

In May we drove to Quebec City and stayed at the Chateau Frontenac hotel, recreating our honeymoon 40 years ago.  This massive hotel has 610 guest rooms, 18 floors, and many towers and turrets.  Even though it resembles a castle with many towers, this is the only weathervane I could see on the hotel.  The weathervane resembles a banner, which is appropriate for the castle theming.  The very first weathervanes are considered to be banners flying on buildings like castles and forts. 

The Chateau Frontenac sits above the Terrasse Dufferin overlooking the Saint Lawrence River.  It is considered to be the most photographed hotel in the world. It was designated as a National Historic Site of Canada in 1981.  It has been featured in movies, including the Alfred Hitchcock film I Confess. Many celebrities and political figures have stayed here, such as FDR, Sir Winston Churchill, Celine Dion, Queen Elizabeth II, and many Canadian prime ministers.  

For the truly curious: 

Chateau Frontenac at Wikipedia:  

Fairmont Chateau Frontenac website   

Click here to see over 500 more Weathervane Wednesday posts:  


To cite/link to this blog post:  Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "The Chateau Frontenac Hotel in Quebec City for Weathervane Wednesday", Nutfield Genealogy, posted June 26, 2024, ( accessed [access date]). 

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Chalmers Wesley United Church in Quebec City for Weathervane Wednesday

 This weathervane was photographed in Quebec City, Canada.

The Chalmers Wesley United Church is located on 78 Rue Sainte-Ursule, in Old Quebec City, Canada.  It is between Porte Saint Louis and the citadel.  This protestant, English language church was built between 1851 and 1853, and in 1925 became part of the United Church of Canada. 

Like most protestant churches, their weathervane is very simple.  It is a an arrow with no cardinal points. It was very difficult to photograph the church because of the narrow streets, but we did get some nice photos of the weathervane from many blocks away.  Most of the Roman Catholic churches in Quebec City featured weathercocks or more elaborate weathervanes. Click HERE to see the weathercock from Notre Dame des Victoires in Quebec, my June 12th Weathervane Wednesday subject.  

For the truly curious:

The website for Chalmers Wesley United -   

The Facebook group for the Chalmers Wesley United Church 

To see over 500 more Weathervane Wednesday posts, click here:  


To cite/link to this blog post:  Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Chalmers Wesley United Methodist Church in Quebec City for Weathervane Wednesday", Nutfield Genealogy, posted June 19, 2024, ( accessed [access date]).

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Notre Dame des Victoires, Quebec City for Weathervane Wednesday

 Today's weathercock was photographed in Quebec City, Canada.

The narrow streets and tiny square, Place Royale, in front of the Notre Dame des Victoires church in Lower Quebec City made this weathercock very difficult to photograph!  I had first visited this church during our honeymoon in Quebec over 40 years ago.  But now the church is closed except on Sundays and special days for mass only.  We could not visit the inside of this historic church when we were there in May this year.

This church is very old, and it was erected between 1687 and 1723.  According to Wikipedia "The church is one of the oldest in North America."  In September 1759 the church was bombarded by the British before the Battle of the Plains of Abraham.  It was restored and reopened in 1816. There is a model of a ship hanging from the ceiling of the church - it is a model of the Brézé which was commanded by the Marquis of Tracy. 

The weathervane above the steeple is a three dimensional weathercock above a pointer and some very fancy cardinal points marking the directions in French. The weathercock is a very common weathervane for Roman Catholic churches.  Weathercocks are weathervanes with roosters. There was a papal edict in medieval times that cockerels should be displayed on each church in memory of Peter's betrayal of Jesus "I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me." Luke 22:34.  Many of the cocks or roosters ended up on top of steeples as weathervanes.

We took this interior photo in 1983
on our honeymoon in Quebec City

For the truly curious:

Notre Dame des Victoires at Wikipedia:  

The parish of Notre Dame des Victoires:  

Click here to see over 500 more Weathervane Wednesday posts:   


To cite/link to this blog post:  Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Notre Dame des Victoires, Quebec City for Weathervane Wednesday", Nutfield Genealogy, posted June 12, 2024, (  accessed [access date]). 

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Captain Peter Adolph, buried 1702/3 in Sandwich, Massachusetts for Tombstone Tuesday

 This tombstone was photographed at the Old Town Cemetery in Sandwich, Massachusetts.

16th OF MARCH, 1702/3 &

I found this interesting gravestone whilst wandering around looking for ancestors in this ancient burial ground in Sandwich, Massachusetts.  Located on Cape Cod, there were many tombstone for drowings and accidents at sea.  Who was Captain Peter Adolph?

Pieter Adolfz Van der Grost was baptized 8 July 1657 at the Reformed Dutch Church in New Amsterdam (now New York City), son of Adolph Pieterszen and Aefje Dircks.  He married Janneken Van Brosum at the same church on 1 January 1679, and they had eight children.  His will was proved on 29 May 1704. 

His 8 June 1696 will reads " Peter Adolph De Groot, being of perfect memory, do make this my last will and testament. First, I have nominated and appointed for my heir my beloved wife, Janeke Adolph, for one half of my estate of houses, lands and goods. And the other half to the four children which I have procured with her, named Adolph, Egbert, Agie, and Peter De Groot. I give to my son Adolph £10 for his birthright, and to my son Peter £5 for the sake of his name. My wife is not to be obliged to make any inventory or to give any account. Witnesses: Abraham Abrahamsen, Andries Abrahamsen. Timon Van Borsum and Cornelius Vielie are made executors. Proved 29 May 1704, and Cornelius Vielie is confirmed as executor"  [New York (County) Surrogates Court Abstract of Wills on file in the Surrogate's Office, City of New York (Volume 1, 1665 - 1707). Collections of the New York Historical Society (New York: Printed for the Society, 1892) pages 388-389.]

Captain Adolph was lost at sea in a shipwreck while sailing from Boston to New York.  The crew washed up on Scorton Beach in East Sandwich, and they all were buried in nearby cemeteries.  Adoph's widow gave a bell to the meetinghouse at Sandwich in gratitude for giving her husband's body a Christian burial.  It is known as the Captain Adolf Bell, and the meetinghouse is known now as the First Church of Sandwich, Massachusetts.  The bell is now on display inside the church. 

For the truly curious:

Find A Grave memorial for Capt. Peter Adolph:    

 More about this family from Rootsweb:  

Wikipedia article on the First Church of Sandwich, Massachusets:,_Sandwich_Massachusetts    


To cite/link to this blog post:  Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Captain Peter Adolph, buried 1702/3 in Sandwich, Massachusetts for Tombstone Tuesday", Nutfield Genealogy, posted June 3, 2024, ( accessed [access date]). 

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

The Mile Away Restaurant, Milford, NH for Weathervane Wednesday

 The Mile Away Restaurant is located on Federal Hill Road, Milford, New Hampshire.

The Mile Away Restaurant is one mile away from the location of where the locals were going to build the village meetinghouse in Monson, New Hampshire.  Monson was incorporated as a town in 1746, the same year this farm house was built.  But the town of Monson was abandoned by the 1770s and the meetinghouse was never built.  The land for the town of Monson was divided up by the nearby towns of Milford, Hollis, and Brookline.  This area is now a historic site with signs on the cellar holes and stone walls.  Only one house survives, and is open some weekends and by chance as an educational center about the history of Monson.  

The Mile Away was turned in to a restaurant by two families from Switzerland in 1967.  The Murphy family bought the restaurant in 1996 and continues to operate a restaurant, with some of the original recipes from Switzerland like Swiss potatoes and Viener Schnitzel. The current executive chef lived in Switzerland for many years. 

The banner weathervane atop the roof of the main restaurant has the cut out numbers of 1746, honoring the year this farm house was built.  It is a very simple weathervane, appropriate for the humble beginnings of this property as a farm over 250 years ago. 

For the truly curious:

The Mile Away Restaurant and Tented Venue


52 Federal Hill Road

Milford, New Hampshire

Click here to read two more blog posts about the ghost town of Monson, New Hampshire, which is "a mile away" from this restaurant.

2022 "A Walk Through Abandoned Monson, New Hampshire"   

2012 "The Abandoned Town of Monson, New Hampshire"   

Click here to read over 500 more Weathervane Wednesday posts!  


To cite/link to this blog post: Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "The Mile Away Restaurant, Milford, NH for Weathervane Wednesday", Nutfield Genealogy, posted May 29, 2024, ( accessed [access date]).