Monday, February 28, 2011

Ten Hours Until Dawn - The Blizzard of ‘78

Last summer a distant cousin I never knew or met contacted me via my blog, having seen my Wilkinson family tree. We have been emailing, exchanging photos and Facebook messages, but had never met even though we live only an hour apart. It was great to find a missing branch of the Wilkinson family tree.  One of the tidbits of genealogical trivia I learned via my “new cousin” was that a Wilkinson cousin had died during the Blizzard of 1978.

This cousin’s name was Donald Wilkinson, and he was part of the crew of the pilot boat Can Do out of Gloucester harbor. The five men on board were attempting to rescue a Coast Guard cutter which was attempting to rescue an oil tanker, Global Hope, off Salem, Massachusetts. This was a disastrous chain of events, and the Can Do sank during the height of the storm. I had learned that a book named Ten Hours Until Dawn, by Michael J. Tougias, had been written about the incident. You can read this book online through Google Books, or pick up a copy at your local book store.

Last week I read that Michael Tougias was speaking on his book at the Cove Community Center in Beverly. This building is just blocks from Hospital Point, which overlooks the scene of the disaster.  The Can Do disappeared just off shore near Misery Island and Baker’s Island. I contacted several Wilkinson cousins, and my new cousin I had never met, and we all went to hear Tougias’s lecture.  At the lecture I picked up an autographed copy of Ten Hours Until Dawn, and another book he co-authored with Eric Schultz King Phillip’s War. Tougias is a prolific history writer of maritime and local history, and a very engaging speaker.

A whole row of Wilkinson cousins
at Tougias's lecture in Beverly 14 February 2011
Besides having a mini Wilkinson family reunion, I learned a lot about the Great Blizzard of 1978, and about the disaster at sea. I lived in central Massachusetts during the storm, so I only saw snow and didn’t witness the destructive two day coastal storm, which generated several days of destructive waves and tides along coastal New England. Many homes were lost, property damaged, and the coastline was permanently changed and damaged during this storm. It is amazing that more lives weren’t lost at sea that week.

I also learned several new bits of historical trivia. You can read the list of the over 5,000 names carved on the Gloucester Fisherman’s memorial online. Even if you haven’t any ancestors in Gloucester you probably remember the names carved under 1991- the men of the Andrea Gail who perished at sea during the Perfect Storm. But, did you know that only fishermen are listed here? You won’t find the names of the men lost from the Can Do in 1978, or any other Gloucester men, or women, lost during rescue missions, shipping, naval exercises or pleasure boating.

I never knew that the disaster that claimed Donald Wilkinson’s life took place right off Hospital Point. The Can Do was attempting to locate the Coast Guard cutter which foundered right off Manchester just offshore from the beach club right across the street from where my uncle Bob Wilkinson lived on Raymond Street. And Hospital Point Lighthouse was my parent’s favorite spot for “parking” before they were married. They were engaged to be married right there next to the lighthouse. Right next door is Lynch Park where they met on the beach in the 1950s. My father, John Wilkinson, loved that view, but he never knew that a cousin died there nine years after we removed from Beverly, Massachusetts.
Hospital Point Lighthouse
Beverly, Massachusetts

The five men lost from the Can Do February 7, 1978:
Frank E. Quirk II
Charles Bucko
Kenneth Fuller, Jr.
Norman David Curley
Donald R. Wilkinson


Generation 1.  Thomas Wilkinson "of London", born about 1690, died before 1739; married in August 1715 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire to Elizabeth Caverly, daughter of William Caverly and Mary Abbott, born about 1696 in Portsmouth. Two children.  Elizabeth remarried to Phillip Jewell on 27 November 1739.

Generation 2. James Wilkinson, born about 1730 in Berwick, Maine, died between 1796 and 1805 in Berwick; married to Hannah Mead, daughter of Thomas Mead and Hannah Stilson, born 9 August 1730 in Wakefield, New Hampshire, died before 1759.  Seven children.  James remarried to Mary Unknown, named in his will.

Generation 3. William Wilkinson, died after 1840 probably in South Berwick, Maine; married on 7 February 1788 in South Berwick to Mercy Nason, daughter of Richard Nason and Mary Thompson, born aobut 1764 in Kittery, Maine. Three sons.

Generation 4. Aaron Wilkinson, born 22 February 1802 in South Berwick, Maine, died 25 November 1879 in Peabody, Massachusetts; married on 23 June 1829 in Danvers to Mercy F. Wilson, daughter of Robert Wilson and Mary Southwick, born 17 June 1803 in Peabody, died 9 October 1883 in Peabody.  Eleven Children.

Generation 5. George Washington Wilkinson, born 10 February 1832 in Salem, Massachusetts, died 1865; married on 28 September 1856 in Danvers to Sally Richardson Peasley, daughter of John Peasley and Dorcas Osborn, born 25 January 1832 in South Danvers, died 24 December 1914 in Peabody. Two children.

Generation 6. Frank Augustus Wilkinson, born 1 December 1856 in Peabody, Massachusetts, died 1941; married on 24 November 1877 in Peabody to Laura E. Tucker, daughter of Charles E. Tucker and Emmeline A. Stone, born 13 Jan 1958 in South Danvers,  died 1940. Two children.

Generation 7. Charles Erastus Wilkinson, born 16 December 1880 in Peabody, Massachusetts, died 27 March 1921, married about 1911 to Annie May Robinson, daughter of Charles E. Robinson and Minnie Bertha Heald, born 10 March 1897 in Lowell, Massachusetts.  Charles was married first to Abigail Frances Ravel on 29 August 1906 in Beverly.

Generation 8. Sumner Kirkland Wilkinson, born 17 August 1918 in Salem, Massachusetts, died 31 January 1996; married on 29 May 1938 to Jane Lucille Cobb, daughter of Willis Lester Cobb and Grace Ellsworth Manning.  One son, Donald.

Generation 9.  Donald R. Wilkinson, b. 11 August 1941 in Massachusetts, declared dead 8 February 1978, married with children

UPDATE 14 August 2013
An email from Scott Ellis:

"So very glad you found a new part of your family tree. Just a point of technical fact for your blog.  The Pilot Boat Can Do was not heading out to rescue a USCG cutter.  They headed out in support of two USCG small boats, one a 41 foot patrol boat and a 44 foot motor life boat.  These units were attempting to reach the tanker Global Hope which was reporting a may day.  The Pilot boat became lost due to loss of radar and loran.  And was subsequently lost in the storm.  Thanks so much."


Ten Hours Until Dawn: The True Story of Heroism and Tragedy Aboard the Can Do, by Michael J. Tougias, New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2005

Names on the Gloucester Fisherman’s Cenotaph:

King Phillip’s War: The History and Legacy of America’s Forgotten Conflict, by Eric B. Schultz and Michael J. Tougias, Woodstock, VT: The Countryman Press, 2000

Michael Tougias's website


To Cite/Link to this post:  Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Ten Hours Until Dawn - The Blizzard of '78", Nutfield Genealogy, posted February 28, 2011, ( accessed [access date]). 

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Born Fighting Documentary is to Air in the USA

Earlier this month I posted a story about Born Fighting: How the Scots Irish Shaped America. Since Nutfield was founded in 1718 by the Ulster Scots Presbyterians, I knew that this documentary from the UK would be of great interest in the United States. It is based on the book by the same name written by Virginia Senator James Webb.

On Senator Webb’s website a media alert was published stating that the documentary will air on the Smithsonian Channel on Sunday, April 10, 2011 at 8PM Eastern Time. It will be a two hour program – the same on that aired in the UK in the beginning of February.

You can read the press release at

My original post “The American Scots Irish Viewed from Across the Pond” at this link:

Copyright 2011, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Betty’s Boneyard – Surname Saturday

I had a nice surprise from Betty Tartas of Washington State yesterday. She informed me that she went through all the names in my online family tree, and matched up many of them with her own family tree. In looking at our shared colonial immigrant ancestors she found that we shared 111 ancestors!

This is an incredible amount of ancestors to share, and it took Betty an incredible amount of work and effort to pore through the records matching up names. Please take a moment to look at her post “Surname Saturday: New England Ancestors Shared with Heather Wilkinson Rojo” at this link

You can also peruse her very interesting blog. She has a very interesting genealogy blog called “Betty’s Boneyard” with a lot of New England genealogy stories, as well as ongoing African American posts, DNA genealogy information, and ethnic European genealogy from Switzterland, the Netherlands, Scotland, etc. She describes herself as “a retired elementary school teacher with a passion for research and a love of history. I have been actively researching my family tree for ten years.”

Betty’s Boneyard


Copyright 2011, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Friday, February 25, 2011

L'Town AKA Londonderry, New Hampshire

Whilst perusing for historical and genealogical resources I came across this video tour of Londonderry, New Hampshire by our own Al Brenner.   He shows the town pound, the common and other landmarks I have featured here at Nutfield Genealogy, plus more highlights of our town history.  Al told me that he made the video about five years ago, and that he is a retired teacher from Merrimack College, now traveling about making videos.  Thanks Al for sharing it under a Creative Commons license!

------------------------ link to "L'Town"  by Al Brenner at

Thursday, February 24, 2011

World War 1 German Surname Changes

Boston Latin School
founded in 1635
The Schallenbach family members were German immigrants to Boston. John P. Schallenbach was born about 1820 in Cologne, Germany. He must have immigrated with his wife, Mary Frances Lamberts, to America before 1855 because their five children were all born in Massachusetts after that date. He was a cabinetmaker. His son Ernest went to the Boston Latin School, and to Harvard Medical School, and endowed a scholarship at the Latin School in honor of his mother, to be awarded to the graduate with the best work in Latin during the year. According to the Latin School website, this prize is still being awarded.  Megan Pitts, of the Latin School, wrote me "...considering that scholarship was given out in 2009 and years prior, it is safe to assume that it is in fact still given out to graduating seniors.  Pretty amazing, isn't it?"

Another son, John Adolph Schallenbach, born 1 August 1855, married Sarah Burnham Emerson, who was my Great Great Grandmother Mary Katherine’s sister. They lived on Nixon Street in the Dorchester section of Boston, and had a son named Albert Emerson Schallenbach, born 9 August 1887 in Boston. Albert was another scholar, and he graduated from MIT. On 15 September 1915 in Boston Albert was married to Eunice A. Shiverick.

I couldn’t find any records on Albert after 1920. He wasn’t listed in the census or vital records, and any references to Schallenbach in Boston after this time were usually for the Latin School scholarship. However, in the Volume XXI “Technology Review” (the MIT Alumni magazine) of 1919, on page 634 I found him listed under the name Emerson, and that he worked with the Vacuum Oil Company in Chicago. “Albert Emerson Schallenbach, 1911, writes that he had his name changed by court order to Albert Emerson”. Using these clues I was able to find him in the 1920 Census in Chicago, Illinois, and the 1930 Census in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania.

Obviously, when the war broke out in 1918 Albert Emerson Schallenbach was influenced by popular opinion and “anglicized” his German name. There was much anti-German sentiment at the time of World War I. In Chicago some street names were changed to English names in an effort to appear patriotic. Michigan Representative John M. C. Smith even introduced a bill to the US House to ban German geographic names from the United States. The British Royal Family also changed their name from Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to Windsor at this same time, and thousands of German-American families followed suit. The vast majority of families, however, kept their German surnames.

If your German ancestor or family member seems to disappear from the records after 1918, this might be a significant clue. In the case of Albert, he simply took his very familiar Yankee middle name of Emerson as a new surname. I find this very sad, since the Schallenbachs were a very well known family who contributed much to Boston.

The image of the Boston Latin School is from by Cliff1066

Copyright 2011, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - I was left speechless!

Seen at Forest Hill Cemetery, Derry, New Hampshire...dozens of illegible, broken or misplaced gravestones piled up on top of a boundary wall, and nearby...

click to enlarge
and you will see gravestones on top of the wall

According to Dorothy Goldman of the Friends of Forest Hill Cemetery, this is where the groundskeepers keep the stones as they try to identify the engravings and then replace them in the proper spots. Please be aware that this is Derry's only cemetery, dating back to 1722 with the first burials of the original Ulster Scots settlers in Nutfield, New Hampshire. The Friends of Forest Hill Cemetery website

Click here for a previous post about the "First Settlers" buried at Forest Hill Cemetery

Copyright 2011, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

February 22 – Thinking Day

Betty Clay and my daughter
at Pax Lodge, London 1996

I was a Girl Scout for eleven years, and then a Girl Scout Leader for 13 years, for a total of almost 25 years in Scouting. I became a lifetime member sometime along the way and heard about the World Centers. There are four World Centers in Girl Scouting, located in England, Switzerland, Mexico and India. The one in England is called Pax Lodge, located in London.

When my daughter was about nine, and then again when she was eleven years old, we stayed at Pax Lodge, as a family, on our way to Spain to visit relatives. This was in the days before direct flights from Boston to Madrid. We took a flight that changed planes in London and thought, “Next time, let’s layover a few days and see the city!” The most frugal way to do this was to either stay in a hostel (I was past the age for hostels) or to stay at a World Center. There is a Boy Scout house in London, too, located very close to the British Museum and Albert Hall.

On our first trip, it was February school vacation week here in New Hampshire, and so our visit at Pax Lodge happened on the same weekend as Thinking Day. This day is celebrated not only as the joint birthdays of Lord and Lady Baden-Powell, the founders of Boy Scouts and Girl Guides, but as a day of international understanding and reflection on Scouting. It was a perfect day to explore Pax Lodge, meet Girl Scouts and Girl Guides from all over the world, and celebrate Thinking Day.

In order to stay at Pax Lodge, I needed a letter of introduction from our local Girl Scout council. The women at this office were thrilled to find out I would be there on Thinking Day, and they told me not to miss the big celebration at Westminster Abbey. We had only three days to explore London, so to combine seeing Westminster with a ceremony sounded great! We flew to Heathrow, jumped on a train to Victoria Station and walked to the Girl Guide’s main London headquarters, conveniently close to Buckingham Palace, another site on our touring list.

After touring the Girl Guide museum and picking up our tickets to the Thinking Day ceremony, we checked into Pax Lodge. It was a wonderful place to stay with a little girl, for it was full of girls from all over the world. There were Guides from all over England, Scotland, Canada, Australia and other countries I can no longer remember. We had a two bed room for my daughter and husband, and I bunked in with the leader of a Shropshire Brownie troop. In the room between both of us there was an elderly couple, and the woman’s name was Betty Clay. I knew I would remember her name, for Betty Clay was the same name as my own Girl Scout leader from Holden, Massachusetts when I was a girl.

One of the Girl Guides on the house staff whispered to me that Betty Clay was Baden-Powell’s daughter and I almost fell off my chair! She was the sweetest woman, who always remembered everyone’s name at breakfast and dinner, and chatted me up about Scouting in America. She had visited Boston during World War II and was impressed that Mrs. James Storrow had knitted socks for soldiers during their “official visit” meeting. What a memory had Betty Clay! Helen Osborne Storrow was a prominent supporter of Girl Scouting in the early days of scouting, and Storrow Drive in Boston is named for her husband. It was so much fun to have Betty Clay right next door for two days that weekend.

We thoroughly enjoyed the celebration in Westminster Abbey, and my daughter and I wore our US Girl Scout uniforms. All the elderly women in our section of the seats wanted to photograph us. Of course, we wanted to see all the uniforms of all the Boy Scouts and Girl Guides from all around the world, too, that were part of the ceremony. My daughter, only age nine at the time, promptly fell asleep from jet lag as soon as the ceremony started and missed the whole thing. I stayed awake, and I’ll never forget all the British pomp and ceremony. It was magnificent, and our seats had a wonderful view of the children who laid a wreath on the memorial of Lord and Lady Baden-Powell.

We spent the rest of the weekend sightseeing around London, but also spending time with the other residents at Pax Lodge. We went to sing-alongs, and learned new,fun games and folk songs to share with the New Hampshire Girl Scouts. My daughter’s favorite past time was swapping badges and pins, and she expertly bartered for some wonderful items to pin to her Girl Scout vest from Australia, Russia, Japan and other faraway places. We made good friends with the Shropshire girls, who were my daughter’s age, and had tea with Betty Clay. It was a wonderful experience.

The Baden-Powell Family

Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell (22 February 1857 – 8 January 1941), son of Reverend Baden-Powell and Henrietta Grace Smyth, married Olave St. Clair Soames on 31 October 1912. He is buried at the St. Peter’s Cemetery in Nyeri, Kenya. They had three children:

1. Arthur Robert Peter, later 2nd Baron Baden-Powell (1913 – 1962) married Carine Crause-Boardman.

2. Heather (1915-1986) married John King

3. The Honourable Betty Clay CBE (Commander of the British Empire) (16 April 1917 – 24 April 2004) was the youngest child of Lord Robert Baden-Powell. She was married to Gervas Clay in 1936, and had four children. She was vice president of the Guides in 1978 and vice president of the Scouts in 1985. She was awarded the CBE in 1997, just about the same time we met her in London. Every February 22nd I reflect on our first trip to Pax Lodge, and our wonderful experience. The official Pax Lodge website the website for the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, headquartered at Pax Lodge the website for World Thinking Day, celebrated by both Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts the website for the International Thinking Day Postcard exchange, where troops/packs/units can exchange postcards from around the world, and earn patches for participation


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "February 22 – Thinking Day", Nutfield Genealogy, posted February 22, 2011, ( accessed [access date)].

Monday, February 21, 2011

Not so Amanuensis Monday

Most Wednesdays on this blog I post a photograph for “Wordless Wednesday” but I find I am unable to not write a long story about it, so over the past year it has developed in to “Not So Wordless Wednesday” here at Nutfield Genealogy. Today's post is usually developed to fit into the Amanuenis Monday meme, but it would also be appropriate for the "Madness Monday" or "Mystery Monday" blogging memes.

This document has rendered me speechless, and also “transcription less”. I am not fluent in Spanish, and even my native Spanish speaking husband is unable to transcribe this. At the Spanish National Archives website we searched for the surname Rojo and the names of some of the villages near Aranda de Duero, in the province of Burgos, Spain where his ancestors lived. When we received a hit, we were initially excited, but then flabbergasted when we saw this document.

Our only solace is that this is not unusual for a document from Spain. Scribes purposefully made their handwriting illegible so as to preserve their jobs. Only they could transcribe or read back their own documents, thus ensuring they wouldn't be dismissed. Job security. Also "a scribe’s handwriting style was registered with the Royal Chancellery, and a copy of each scribe’s scribal signature and handwriting was kept on file and used to “verify” documents written and authorized by that particular scribe" [from Papal Bulls, Expirtadors, and the Madrid Codex, by John F. Chuchiak, page 67 at the website ]

However, five hundred years later we are struggling to read this post Visigothic script (a secretary style called Cortesana or Procesal?). According to the Spanish National Archives it describes a Jew and a Converso with the surname Rojo, and a lawsuit over some oxen in the village of Peñaranda. It is dated 1491.

Can anyone help?

Source: Reclamación de unos bueyes que le prendaron a Mahir Corcoz, judío de Peñaranda. Archivo General de Simancas RGS. LEG.149103.506 via the website Portal de Archives Españoles for the National Archives of Spain

Copyright 2011, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Friday, February 18, 2011

Captain Humphrey Choate Allen, Mystery Man!

Captain Humphrey Choate Allen (1825 – 1881) is a mystery to me. He was the brother to my Great Great Grandfather, Joseph Gilman Allen. I often wondered about both brothers middle names, since they were not maiden names of any grandmothers or other ancestors, which was the pattern of everyone else in the family, before and after. In fact, there has been a Joseph Gilman Allen in the next four generations and no one has questioned where the “Gilman” came from- they just chalk it up to tradition. I have a first cousin named Joseph Gilman Allen!

I don’t know where the Choate came from, although there was a Choate family in Essex. John Choate (1624 – 1695) was my 9x great grandfather, and he lived in Ipswich and his descendants in Essex. However, unless my Allen forebears were also genealogists, I doubt that they even knew they had Choate ancestors. This line daughtered-out right away. There were many, many “Humphrey Choates” in the Essex records. Perhaps he was just named for a good neighbor?

Another mystery is that Captain Humphrey Choate Allen died on the Isthmus of Panama. It states this right on his gravestone. I haven’t found a death record in Massachusetts to confirm this, nor a newspaper story about the incident. Most of the seafaring men in this generation were “coasters”, meaning they sailed the coast of New England and the maritime provinces of Canada. Some of the earlier Allens and other Essex residents sailed further away, whaling or in the war of 1812, or even earlier they went to the Caribbean. What was he doing in Panama, and what killed him? Was he laid low by the lowly mosquito? Was he digging the canal? Or did he die at sea?


Just for fun, I found this Londonderry connection to the Choate family:

From the book The heroes of the American Revolution and their descendants by Henry Whittemore, 1897 (via Google Books), page 164

“William Choate (2), son of Capt. William and Mary (Gedding) Choate, was born Aug. 10, 1759; died January 4, 1835. He sold half his farm on Hog Island to George Choate and removed, August 30, 1785, to Londonderry, NH. He was selectman six years and representative to the legislature, 1796-7. He married Susannah, daughter of Humphrey Choate. They had a son, William (3).

Capt. William Choate (3), son of William (2) and Susannah Choate, was born in Chebacco, Ipswich, April 18, 1785. At the age of twenty he made a voyage of three years on the ship Reserve, and afterwards commanded the same vessel. The War of 1812 so endangered his business that he sold his ship in a foreign port and returned home on a French vessel. The ship was shortly afterward captured by a British privateer and burned. He represented the town of Londonderry two years in the legislature. He was moderator of the town meeting in Londonderry for four years and fifteen in Derry. He was five years director of the Derry Bank and forty three years trustee of the Pinkerton Academy. He was a man of kind and generous impulses and Christian character. He married Mary Burnett Pinkerton, daughter of James and Elizabeth (Nesmith) Pinkerton. They had six children…”

There is a Humphrey Choate, died on 29 April 1838, buried at Derry’s Forest Hill Cemetery, no doubt he is probably the son of William Choate, Jr. See this entry at FindAGrave


Humphrey Choate Allen, son of Joseph Allen and Orpha Andrews, born 23 September 1825 in Essex, Massachusetts, died 7 July 1881 in San Blas Bay on the Isthmus of Panama; married on 16 November 1847 in Essex to Fanny Larcom Burnham, daughter of Richard Burnham and Thankful Andrews, born 8 September 1825 in Essex, and died on 16 November 1900 in Essex. Five children born at Thompson’s Island, Essex, Massachusetts:

1. Edgar Allen, born 25 July 1848; married on 1 January 1871 in Gloucester to Mary F. Smith

2. Humphrey Choate Allen, born on 20 November 1852, died on 26 December 1904 in Minneapolis, Minnesota

3. Erving Willis Allen, born on 11 March 1859; died between 1920 and 1930 in Beverly; married on 14 January 1885 in Beverly to Mabel Griffin.

4. Clarinda Burnham Allen, born 27 January 1865, (she may be a twin to Cora) and died on 20 December 1924; married on 5 January 1884 in Essex to Lewis Rowe.

5. Cora Fanny Allen, born about 1865, died on 15 July 1885; married on 2 Feb 1884 in Essex to Alva Burnton Reed, as his first wife. She died after giving birth to two twins, Cora and Roy, on 14 July 1885.

UPDATE 22 April 2013 - Part of this mystery was solved!  Read this link:

Copyright 2011, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Flora Stewart - Black History Month in Londonderry

Here is a selection of conflicting stories about Londonderry’s most famous black citizen of the 19th century. Flora Stewart’s photograph was published in 1867, but the stories that accompany her image vary from book to book. There doesn’t seem to be much in common with these myths. Even her age at death seems to be incorrectly recorded in the town records, just like Ginger Harvey, another black woman living in Londonderry at about the same time. (Please click here to read the post for the story of Ginger Harvey, who died in 1865.)


Stewart Clan Magazine, by the Clan Stewart Society in America, Inc, Volume II, No. 2 (August, 1923) page 56 has a short paragraph on Flora Stewart of Londonderry, New Hampshire, “…Flora Stewart of Londonderry, a negress, who died Aug. 17, 1868, at the age of 118. It is thus recorded in the published vital records of Londonderry, but few of us will believe it: she would have been 61 years old when her son George was born. This Flora Stuart was liberated from slavery about 1815 by some member of the Stuart family who had settled in Virginia, and with her pickaninnies Isaiah, George Washington and Salona sent for security to Londonderry, where they lived out their lives.”


Londonderry, by the Londonderry Historical Society, Acadia Publishing, 2004, page 29

“ “Old Flora” Stewart came to live in Londonderry on Rockingham Road in 1810, when she was 60. She was said to have been freed from slavery by the Windham man who bought her. Gov. Fredrick Smyth invited her to his home in Manchester in 1867 and had her photographed in a studio. She was a faithful member of the Methodist Church and was loved by those who knew her. She died in 1868 at age 118 and is buried in Valley Cemetery.”


History of the Town of Candia, Rockingham County, NH, by Jacob Bailey Moore, Manchester, NH: George W. Browne, 1893, pages 459 – 460.

“An Aged Colored Woman- Mrs. Flora Stewart, who lived several years in Candia as a servant for William Duncan the trader, was born a slave in Londonderry in the family of a man by the name of Wilson. She took the name of Wilson from her owner and lived with this family until her marriage with a colored man named Stewart. She had two sons who also lived with Mr. Duncan and worked upon his farm several years. After leaving Candia, about the year 1835, Mrs. Stewart returned to Londonderry where she resided until her death, nearly twenty years ago. From the circumstance that she was born on about the same day as that upon which a child of her master’s came into existence, it is known that she lived to a very remarkable old age. Many of the people of Londonderry and others who were well acquainted with her history are confident that she was about 118 years old when she died. A few years before she passed away she was brought to Manchester by John D. Patterson of that place and a photograph was taken of her form and features.”


The New York Times, Published 19 May 1867, accessed by Google News Archives

“The Oldest Person in New Hampshire

A correspondent of the Manchester Mirror furnishes the following facts about FLORA STEWART, who has lived half a century beyond the allotted three score and ten. He says:

“In Londonderry, NH, about two miles northwest of Derry Village, near the line of the Manchester and Lawrence Railroad, resides FLORA STEWART, a negress, one the slave of the the grandfather of SAMUEL WILSON SIMPSON, now 80 years of age, whose mother at his birth was nursed by FLORA. She is reputed to be 120 years of age. Mr. SIMPSON has data proving it to be not less than 119. FLORA is full of vim, with remarkably retentive memory. She has been a long time a member of the Methodist Church, and on one of my visits to the lady I learned that she had just completed the rereading of the Testament. Mr. SIMPSON gave her a bill, and without spectacles she looked at it and said, “Why, WILSON, this is $5.” Her memory embraces the incidents of a century.” “


Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 33, Number 5060, 15 June 1867, page 3

“A negress named Flora Stewart is living at Londonderry (N, H.) who is 120 years old. She was the slave of the grandfather of Samuel W. Simpson at that town, who has reliable data establishing her age. She is vigorous, and can read without the of; aid of spectacles, and her memory retains; with clearness the incidents and events of a century”


To Cite/Link to this post:  Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Flora Stewart -  Black History Month in Londonderry", Nutfield Genealogy, posted February 17, 2011, ( accessed [access date]).   

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Plymouth, England - Not so Wordless Wednesday

Last month I left a comment on a blog from England, and the blogger replied and we began a long conversation back and forth via e-mail. Although my original comment was not about Plymouth, or the Mayflower Pilgirms, our conversation developed about the ship the Mayflower II. We were comparing notes about Plymouth, Massachusetts and Plymouth, England.

The Mayflower Steps
where the Pilgrim Fathers disembarked
for the New World

click to enlarge and read the inscription

The Mayflower Steps in the foreground
and modern Plymouth Harbor surrounding it
Photographs copyright: Annie Barnes of Hibbitt Family History

According to Annie: "I thought you might like to have these photos from Plymouth, England. There are lots of references to the Mayflower and the Pilgrims over here. Our local football team (that's soccer to you) is called Plymouth Argyle but it's nickname is the Pilgrims. The memorial is situated on the Barbican which is one of the oldest parts of Plymouth, much of the city having been heavily bombed during WWII."

Annie also adds "Mayflower II was built a few miles up the coast from here in a town called Brixham. It's a pretty little ship but the original must have been very cramped for the Pilgrims. There was an idea muted a few years ago to build another replica and have her moored here in Plymouth at Sutton Harbour where the Mayflower Steps are located but nothing seems to have come of it.

Our Plymouth is a reasonably big city with more than 250,000 people living here ( It's been a historic port for centuries and continues to accommodate the Royal Navy at Devonport Dockyard. There have been a lot of flats built around Sutton Harbour and the waterfront in general, in the last 20 years or so which has made Plymouth appear even more built-up than what I can remember as a child.

The Barbican is still a popular attraction for tourists with its cobbled streets and the Plymouth Gin Distillery ( is said to be where the Pilgrims spent their last night before leaving on the Mayflower."

Thanks, Annie Barnes!

UPDATE!  -  Annie wrote a complementary blog post at her website, and you can read it at this link:

Copyright 2010, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Crombie Double Gravestone - Tombstone Tuesday

 This double gravestone is located at East Derry, New Hampshire in Forest Hill Cemetery.   It is near the First Settler's plot, right behind the First Parish Church.   There is a strange hole in the left side of the stone, almost as if a rope had worn it out over time by rubbing against it.  

According to the Derry Town Historian, Richard Holmes, a suspect was caught trying to cut off the top of this tombstone with a stone cutter.  At the time, the fine for this vandalism was very small, but since then the fine has increased to thousands of dollars.  I'm glad to hear that this has stopped such senseless theft and vandalism, but sad to see that this beautiful stone has suffered.

ERECTED                  LIKEWISE
In Memory of                 In Memory of
Mrs. Jane Crombie         Mr. John Crombie
     wife of                       who departed this
Mr. John Crombie        Life Sept ye 25th
who departed this           AD 1772
LIfe  August ye 8th               In the 75th
AD 1772.  In the                  Year of
76th year of her                  his age

Copyright 2011, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

I found these Valentine birthdays in my family tree…

Ebenezer Wilkinson, born 14 Feb 1762 in Dedham, Massachusetts

Ezra Wilkinson, 1801 Wrentham, Massachusetts

John Hitchings, 1804, Malden, Massachusetts

James Wilson, 1820, Danvers, Massachusetts

Solomon Perkins Mears, 1829, Essex, Massachusetts

Eliza Strong Snelling, 1838, New York City

Robert Crooker Allen, 1847, Essex, Massachusetts

Christopher Frances Snelling, 1846, Chelsea, Massachusetts

Howard Merton Wilkinson, 1889, Ashby, Massachusetts

Onno Pieter Hogerzeil, 1951, Marseille, France


Last year I posted some marriages on Valentine’s Day at this link:

More Valentine’s Weddings

Silas Green and Nancy Batchelder, 1844, Hampton, New Hampshire

John Tyler Hassam and Nelly Batchelder, 1878, Salem, Massachusetts


Love Stories on my blog:

A Love Story Too Sad for Valentine’s Day- the story of Deborah Wilson, persecuted Quaker in 1662 Salem, Massachusetts

Have a Cow? Win a wife! - The story of William Cogswell, b. 1659 and how he and a little girl rescued a cow, only to marry her (the girl, not the cow!)  later in 1685.

Copyright 2010, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Londonderry’s Grange Halls

Grange Hall No. 44 and the Mayflower Grange Hall
Grange #44
located on Mammoth Road
Throughout the records of the citizens of Londonderry, the Grange halls feature prominently in the obituaries and wedding announcements in the Derry News. Many people, both men and women were members of the Grange organization. Wedding receptions, funeral dinners and scout meetings were held in the two Grange halls in Londonderry, which still stand today. Both halls are still rented for private parties, and well used by many social and volunteer organizations.

The National Grange Order of Patrons of Husbandry began as an agricultural organization in 1867. Their peak membership was over one million members in the early 20th century. Men, women and children were all allowed to become members, and entire families participated in types of activities, not only agricultural pursuits. Today there are still over 300,000 members of the Grange. In many small towns it was the only social organization available, and many built Grange Halls for their exclusive use. Over time, many of these halls became the center of entertainment, especially in rural areas, and are still rented out for many community uses.

The Mayflower Grange
now the Londonderry Senior Center
The Mayflower Grange Hall is located in North Londonderry, on Mammoth Road near the north fire station. This building also dates back to the early 1900s. At one point masses were celebrated here whilst St. Jude’s parish was being organized back in the 1940s and early 1950s. The Mayflower Grange has served as our town Senior Center since 2007, and monthly the “Nutfield Sessions” sponsors open mic events on Saturdays, free to the public.  On Monday 7 February 2011 the Senior Center was closed due to concerns over the heavy snowload on the roof, but town officials planned to remove the snow and ice and re-inspect the building's safety.

The Grange No. 44 built their hall in Londonderry on Mammoth Road, on the corner of Pillsbury Road, in 1909. It is listed in the New Hampshire Registry of Historic Places. This picturesque building has been the site of many wedding receptions, concerts, and meetings over the years. In the 1930’s my mom’s cousin, Betty Hitchings, had her wedding reception there. Boy Scouts still hold weekly meetings, even though the building still lacks bathroom facilities. Recently I attended an art fair in the old building, which attracted many people from out of town. Folks from in town and from away marveled at the original interior they had never seen before, even though they had driven by the old building many times.

This year the Grange No. 44, which still has 36 members, started a restoration project to renovate and reside the cedar building. In Londonderry, well known Grange Master Hank Peterson and long time Historical Society member Marilyn Ham are actively raising $20,000 to cover the cost of re-shingling the building. Donations may be sent in care of Gladys Woodin, 580 Charles Bancroft Highway, Litchfield, NH 03052.

For more information: The National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry website the website for Londonderry Grange #44

Copyright 2011, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Samuel Chapin Monument - Not So Wordless Wednesday

"The Puritan" Deacon Samuel Chapin
at Boston's MFA
The Samuel Chapin Monument stands in Merrick Park at Springfield, Massachusetts. It is located about two blocks from the Springfield Marriott and the Springfield Monarch Place, where the NERGC New England Regional Genealogical Conference will be held on April 6 - 10, 2011. Ruth Himan of the blog "Genealogy is Ruthless without Me" and I would like to invite any Chapin descendants attending the NERGC, or any Chapin descendants in the Springfield area, to be part of a large group photo. The exact time is still to be determined, so if you are interested in participating, please leave your email or contact information here in the comments. I'll try to post more details before NERGC.

Deacon Samuel Chapin (October 8, 1598 – November 1, 1675) was one of the founders of Springfield, Massachusetts. According to Wikipedia "He had many famous descendants, including Presidents Grover Cleveland and William Taft, John Adams' uncle Seth Chapin, actor Spencer Tracy, abolitionist John Brown, financier J.P. Morgan, and singers Harry Chapin and Jen Chapin." He is my 10th Great Grandfather, and also an ancestor of Ruth Himan.

a detail of Chapin's buckled shoe

The statue, by New Hampshire sculptor Augustus St Gaudens, is formally named "The Puritan". It was commissioned by a descendant in 1881 and was installed in Merrick Park in 1887. I've seen several smaller versions, including one about two feet tall in Boston's Museum of Fine Arts and also at the Metropolitan Museum in New York City. St. Gaudens is also well known for the Shaw Memorial in Boston and the image on the "Double Eagle" gold coin. My favorite statue by St. Gaudens is the "Diana", a copy is in the Metropolitan, but the original stood atop of the old Madison Square Garden and at the time was the highest structure in New York City.
[the statue above was photographed at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts]
Copyright 2011, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

New England Regional Genealogical Conference April 6 - 10, 2011 - Josh Taylor

D. Joshua Taylor “Josh”

Here is a brief interview with D. Joshua Taylor who will be presenting three times at the April 2011 New England Regional Genealogical Conference: at the opening session Thursday April 7 “Family History in Primetime”, on Friday April 8 “Discovering your Ancestor’s Live: Political Affiliations and their Records”, and on Saturday April 9 “Creating Your Family History Website”. Josh is Director of Education and Programs at the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS).

Josh was a genealogist on the series premiere of NBC’s Who Do You Think You Are? with actress Sarah Jessica Parker. He is a popular speaker at conferences and recently spoke at RootsTech in Salt Lake City and he will speak at Who Do You Think You Are? LIVE in London. His genealogy articles have appeared in American Ancestors, UGA Crossroads, FGS Forum, Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly, and New England Ancestors. Josh has won awards such as the Distinguished Service Awards from the Utah Genealogical Association and the Federation of Genealogical Societies, the Rubincam Youth Award from the National Genealogical Society, and an Award of Merit from the Federation of Genealogical Societies.

Question 1. The big question! Are you on WDYTYA? again this season? Everyone is dying to know!

I am not on the show this season, I can tell you that from what I have seen the season looks like it is going to be full of interesting surprises – and some terrific research!

Question 2. You speak all over the United States, and in February you will speak in London. What is it like to address genealogists right here in New England? Does the proximity to NEHGS/Boston change your talks in any way?

Speaking to genealogists in New England certainly has its advantages – though I often encounter folks who have never heard of NEHGS. It is always easier to reference places and historical events that occurred in the area where your audience lives – as it gives them an immediate reference point. Because New England is my primary “home” for research, I am often able to guide audience members to resources that I am readily familiar with at a library or archive. Also, it is nice to know that they can always visit a repository like NEHGS to follow-up with additional questions or examine some of the sources discussed.

Question 3. I understand you just graduated with your MLS degree. How did you come to make that choice over any other degree? (My daughter just graduated from Simmons in May 2010 with her master's degree in Communications, and I saw your name in the printed graduation program!)

I decided to do a dual-degree masters program (MLS – Archival Management and MA in History) a few years ago after seeing the need to understand the library and archive systems, while also grounding myself in a knowledge of historical writing and methodology. I also choose the degree because it hinged on “information science,” which is important in today’s digital world. Throughout the process I came to understand the importance of bridging the two fields of “genealogy” and “history,” as both are closely related along with the importance of developing libraries and archives capable of handling digital resources.

Question 4. How important is continuing education and NERGC to genealogists?

Continuing education is vital for genealogists. There is always something new to learn (a new resource, website, database, etc. ) – even for those who have been researching for 20 years. Conferences like NERGC also serve as the backdrop for networking with other genealogists, which can be a great way to discuss research problems, share findings, and meet others who are researching similar topics. My favorite part of conferences is meeting others who share my hobby (and profession) and are open to exchanging ideas (and it is always fun to hear stories about research successes!).

Disclaimer- I have not been paid by NERGC nor I have I recieved any in kind benefits of any type to write this blog post.

Copyright 2011, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Gravestones as Art? - Tombstone Tuesday

The head and footstones of John Foster, buried at the Dorchester, Massachusetts North Burial Ground were removed and are currently displayed at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.  Replica stones were placed in the cemetery.  Foster was a Harvard educated mathematician and astronomer, who died young in 1681.  These are the only gravestones on display in the new American Wing, although there are plenty of mummies and other funerary pieces on display in the Egyptian and other ancient art galleries.

Father Time wrestles with the Grim Reaper
as he reaches over to snuff out a candle

Mathematician and Printer

[in latin]
Living thou studiest the stars; dying mayst though, Foster
I pray, mount above the skies and learn to measure the highest heaven

I measure it, and it is mine; the Lord Jesus has bought it for me
Nor am I held to pay aught for it but thanks

on the footstone:

According to the book Artists of Colonial America, by Elisabeth Louise Roark, Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2003, page 34, "Foster's will lists 20 to 30 shillings to 'pay for a pair of handsome Gravestones'."   The City of Boston Historic Burial Grounds Website, link to the Dorchester North Burial Ground
Copyright 2010, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Monday, February 7, 2011

Will the correct Isaac Wilson please stand up? - Amanuensis Monday

To all people to whom these presents shall come,
Know ye, that I Isaac Wilson of Salem in ye County of Essex
and province of ye Mass. Bay in New Enlgand Husbandman
For and in Consideration of the Sum of Ten pounds thirteen shillings and 4 pence
to me in Hand before the ensealing hereof, well and truly paid by John Osborn of Salem
affd. Husbandman the receipt whereof I do hereby acknowledge and ?? sel therewith
fully satisfied and contented, and thereof, and of every Part and parcel thereof, do exonerate, acquit and
discharge him w/ said John Osborn his
Heirs, Executors and Administrators for ever by these presents: HAVE
Given, Granted, Bargained, Sold, Aliened, Conveyed and Confirmed, and by these Presents, Do freely
fuly and absolutely Give, Grant, Bargain, Sell, Aliene, Convey and Confirm unto him the said
John Osborn his Heirs and Assigns for ever,

source for this receipt -1751 Colonial Salem. Colonial document concerning Isaac Wilson of Salem in County of Essex & province of Mass. Bay in New England, sum of Ten pounds thirteen shilling to be paid by John Osbon of Salem. Dated Sept. 23rd, 1751. Signature of Isaac Wilson. Printed form filled in hand. 8 X 12-1/2" 
This document was found at the website


This receipt is a family mystery.  There were five Isaac Wilsons and five John Osborns in Salem between 1700 and the mid 1800s.  Both sets of Isaac Wilsons and John Osborns were either my great grandfathers, their sons, their nephews or other descendants.   They lived in the part of Salem, Massachusetts that is now known as the town of Danvers or Peabody.   This slip of paper is not dated, making it even more confusing.  The Wilsons were potters and farmers (husbandmen).  There were several marriages between the Wilsons and Osborns, too, which makes this an even bigger tangle.

Copyright 2011, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Friday, February 4, 2011

Frost Festival February 12 and 13, Derry, NH

Derry: Pinkerton students, and volunteers helping out at the Frost Festival, from left, Teddy McCarran, 16, and Mark Kissel call Frosty over for a photo with him when they spot him from across the ice during Sunday's fun on Beaver Lake. Photo by Jan Seeger/Derry News Monday, February 16, 2009

Pinkerton Academy students, and volunteers helping out at the Frost Festival, from left, Teddy McCarran, 16, and Mark Kissel call Frosty over for a photo with him when they spot him from across the ice during Sunday's fun on Beaver Lake. Photo by Jan Seeger/Derry News Monday, February 16, 2009

The Frost Festival has a long history in Derry, New Hampshire. For three generations residents have celebrated winter fun since 1924. It used to be called the Winter Festival, but now the new name seems to be a double entendre, referring to the famous resident poet of Derry, Robert Frost. Check out some of the great antique photographs of the old Winter Festival hanging at the Derry History Museum, especially the old fashioned beauty contests that used to be a big part of the weekend celebration!

This year the festival takes place February 12 and 13, 2011 in locations all over Derry. From sledding and skating at the Alexander Carr Park to an ice fishing derby on Beaver Lake be prepared to put on your mittens and have fun! If you have never cross country skied or snow shoed, Benson’s Hardware will be providing free equipment at Hoodkroft Golf course, so you have no excuse, and from 2-4 PM you can see the dog sledding demonstrations on the snow covered golf course, too.

The chilly air will make you hungry. On Saturday you can partake of a free spaghetti lunch for senior citizens at the Hood Middle School, or the big fundraiser “Frost Festival Ball” at the Promises to Keep restaurant (this is the only event that costs money $30). There will be a chili cookoff at Galien’s Beach.

Pocket Park on Broadway will show five ice sculptures. A shuttle bus will run between Hoodkroft Golf course and Galien’s beach at Beaver Lake so you won’t miss any of the action. If you need to warm up, there will be a bonfire at the Alexander Carr Park, and indoor shows at Veterans Hall on Broadway.

Don’t forget to bring a few cans to donate to the First Baptist Food Pantry. Collection boxes will be placed at all the areas where events are taking place. Check with the Derry Parks and Recreation for updates on the schedule since many events are weather dependent 603-432-6136.

Weather permitting, the abridged schedule of events for Frost Festival 2011 is:

[UPDATE 10 FEB 2011- all event at Gallien's Beach are cancelled and the chili cookoff has been moved to Alexander-Carr Park. The ice is unsafe on Beaver Lake. Too much snow.]

Feb. 11: Free spaghetti supper and entertainment for senior citizens at Gilbert H. Hood Middle School cafeteria. 5 p.m. Sponsored by Derry Village Rotary. Call 432-6136 to register.

Feb. 12-13: Snowboard competition at Alexander-Carr Park. Free registration at 9 a.m. Competition both days is 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Finals will be held Feb. 13. There are boys and girls divisions by age, from 7 to 18. All participants must wear a helmet. Bonfire at noon. Arts, crafts and face painting at 1 p.m. Frost Fest King and Queen registration and crowing Feb. 13 by Miss Derry at 2 p.m.

Feb. 11: Family Performance Showcase from noon to 3 p.m. at Veterans Hall, featuring Let’s Play Music; Bob McLaughlin’s Magic for All Occasions; and Wildlife Encounters.

Feb. 12: Noon to 4 p.m. Snowmobile rides and demos at Hoodkroft Golf Course, sponsored by Derry Pathfinders Snowmobile Club. Also crosscountry skiing and snowshoeing. All equipment provided free of charge by Benson’s Ski & Sport. Sled dog demonstration from 2 to 4 p.m. by Pam Lacombe-Connell and her dog team.

Feb. 12: At Galien’s Beach, noon to 3 p.m.: Ice fishing clinic and chili contest, with sampling, sponsored by the Beaver Lake Association (donations welcome). Open ice hockey with the Pinkerton Academy ice hockey team and skating (bring your own skates/sticks/helmets).

Feb. 12: Ice sculpting at Pocket Park on West Broadway, across from the old Depot Steakhouse, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. by Ice Breakers of Manchester.

Feb. 12: Puttin’ Families First Indoor Mini Golf sponsored by The Upper Room at Barka Elementary School, 21 Eastgate Road. Registration forms are online at, and includes 9 holes of mini golf, raffles, ice cream sundae bar, games, DJ entertainment and T-shirts for those who preregister by Feb. 1.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Local History Fair, 13 February 2011, Nashua Public Library

Hunt Memorial Building
built in 1903 as Nashua's public library

Free for the whole family!

At the Nashua Local History Fair the speakers will feature Susan Fieneman discussing Nashua’s One Room Schoolhouse #1, Steve Daly on the Nashua Dodgers, Amy Prouty Gill will speak of the Mine Falls Gatehouse and Hunt Memorial Building restoration projects, and also Bill Veillette discussing “Researching Your Old House.” There will also be a talk on the library’s local history and genealogical materials, repeated at 2PM and at 3:30 PM.

The exhibit area will feature booths by the Nashua Historical Society, the New Hampshire Historical Society, The Nashua Family History Center, and authors of books about local history.

You can pick up a signed copy of “The Nashua Experience: A Three Decade Upgrade, 1978 – 2008” for $25, written by three of Nashua’s librarians. This is a sequel to the “The Nashua Experience”.

You can also see two Nashua themed films. One is “New Hampshire Remembered” which features long gone landmarks such as Pine Island Park of Manchester, Benson’s Animal Farm and the Bedford Grove Dance Hall. The second film features movies of the centennial parade of 1953, and the sesquicentennial parade of 2003, where you might recognize some of the faces!

For more information:

Nashua Local History Fair, at the Nashua Public Library, 2 Court Street. For directions Sunday, February 13, from 1:30 to 4:30, Snow Date March 6.

Please click on for details about the Local History Fair schedule, or call Carol at (603) 589-4610. If you would like to provide an exhibit related to Nashua history, please email

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The American Scots-Irish Viewed from across the Pond

Born Fighting: How the Scots Irish Shaped America, is a new television documentary based on a book by Senator James Webb of Viriginia, who is a direct descendant of Ulster Scots who immigrated to America. However, this two part program was first broadcast in the United Kingdom yesterday on 1 February 2011 on STV. It is produced by Scottish and Ulster Television and the Smithsonian Channel.

Before the siege of Derry in 1689, Scots Presbyterians flooded Northern Ireland, lured there by King James I who wanted to transfer land ownership to Protestants. They suffered at the hands of the Catholic and Protestant strife, and tried to build a new life. After Derry, most of the Ulster Presbyterians lost their jobs and when new laws stated that office holders must be members of the Church of England. The Ulster Scots saw the New World as an escape from the Northern Ireland troubles.

The first Scots Irish to leave were led by Rev. James McGregor from County Londonderry who brought his flock to Boston in 1718. In Puritan Massachusetts anti-Irish sentiment made them unwelcome, even though these were not Irishmen. They turned to the wilderness of Nutfield, Londonderry, New Hampshire in 1719. Thousands of Ulster Scots followed, some stopping in Londonderry and most moving on to settle Maine, Pennsylvania and areas south along the Appalachian Mountains.

Webb’s book traces the Scots journeys from the invading Romans, through their fight for independence with William Wallace, to Northern Ireland and then to the New World. He follows their influence on language, culture, music, and religion. Part of this fascinating book is the story of the descendants of the Scots Irish, and the 17 presidents who are descended of Scots Irish settlers.

Since the Smithsonian is one of the producers of this documentary, I hope it will be shown here in the United States soon.

For more information:

The Drum, a UK website article “STV and UTV Partner Up for New Documentary Simulcast” article “The Roots of a Nation: The Scots Irish that Built America

Copyright 2011, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Flint Family Portraits - Not so Wordless Wednesday

Last Wednesday I posted a story about the Flint farmhouse in Lyme, New Hampshire.  It was build by Moses Flint, pictured below with his wife.

Elizabeth (Spaulding) Flint (1774- 1850)

Moses Flint (1769 - 1843)

According to Jim Uicker, "(Their paintings are on the wall of my den.) Did you know that Moses brother Samuel lived on the next farm over? I believe that would be the Prout Pond Road. I was there about 15 years ago but couldn't quite identify his house....Family story was that they were painted by a traveling artist who stayed the winter at the farm and painted several family members. If so there are others around that I have not seen. I would think they date from around 1810. They are on homespun canvas. The weave is fairly irregular."

Moses and his brother Samuel built the homestead in Lyme Center. Samuel Flint married Elizabeth's sister, Mary Spaulding, and settled in a nearby homestead in Lyme Center. They are sixth generation descendants of Thomas Flint of Salem Massachusettes (see Flint Genealogical Register):

(1) Thomas Flint and Ann Unknown
(2) Sergeant George Flint and Elizabeth Putnam
(3) Ebenezer Flint and Tabitha Burnap  (Ebenezer is brother to George Flint, my ancestor)
(4) Capt. John Flint and Joanna Farnham, served in the American Revolution
(5) Lieut. John Flint and Molly Worcester, also served in the American Revolution
(6) Moses Flint and Elizabeth Spaulding (portraits above)
(7) George Flint and J. Newhall
(8) Walter Moses Flint and Elizabeth E. Marston
(9) Elizabeth J. Flint and John Joseph Uicker

My own Flint ancestry:
(1) Thomas Flint and Ann Unknown
(2) George Flint and Elizabeth Putnam
(3) George Flint and Jerusha Pope
(4) George Flint and Hannah Phelps, served in the American Revolution
(5) Phebe Flint and John Flint
(6) Olive Flint and Luther Simonds Munroe
(7) Phebe Cross Munroe and Robert Wilson Wilkinson
(8) Albert Munroe Wilkinson and Isabella Lyons Bill
(9) Donald Munroe Wilkinson and Bertha Louise Roberts (my grandparents)

and also
(1) Thomas Flint and Ann Unknown
(2) Thomas Flint and Mary Dounton (3d wife)
(3) Jonathan Flint and Mary Collston
(4) Jonathan Flint and Lydia Proctor
(5) John Flint and Phebe Flint (same as 5 above)

Thanks to Tom Uicker for the photos of the Flint portraits, and Jim Uicker for his comments.  Tom Uicker provided the Flint genealogy information.  my story from 26 January 2011 about the Flint Family in Lyme, New Hampshire, with photos of the house.

A Genealogical Register of of the Descendants of Thomas Flint by John Flint and John H. Stone, Andover, Massachusetts: W. F. Draper, 1860.

Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

More Snellings, buried in Boston- Tombstone Tuesday

Each of these graves has the same winged skulls
All of these Snellings are from the same extended family in Boston.

Here lyes ye Body
Died Novbr 6, Anno
Domi 1769, in ye
46 year of His Age

Here lies ye Body of
Dautr. of Mr. JOSIAH and
Died April ye 20th
AE 5 Years and 16 dys

In Memory of Here Lyes Buried
and MARY SNELLING Who Decd Augst
Died Feb 11th 1783 ye 15th 1726 Aged 59
Aged 5 Years
10 Months and 10 Days

Copyright 2011, Heather Wilkinson Rojo