Thursday, June 30, 2011

Colonel William Gregg of Londonderry

William Gregg was the son of Captain John Gregg, and grandson of Captain James Gregg, who both emigrated from Northern Ireland to Londonderry, New Hampshire. He was born here in Londonderry on 23 October 1730.
The Bennington Monument
Before the American Revolution, William Gregg was the head of the local Londonderry militia. Upon the Lexington alarm in 1775, he went to Boston until he was called to muster a regiment from New Hampshire for the Continental Army in New York. In 1777 he went to Baltimore to bring back money to help New England fight the war, and then later that year to the Battle of Bennington with General Stark, who was also from Londonderry.

After the war Colonel William Gregg retired back home to Londonderry, where he died on 16 September 1815.

Londonderry and Derry have produced many famous officers of the American Revolution, including General John Stark, Colonel George Reid, and Colonel William Gregg. Also, six early governors were from Londonderry, including Dr. Matthew Thornton, who signed the Declaration of Independence.  Robert Rogers of the Rogers' Rangers regiment spent much time in Londonderry among the Scots Irish settlers, and his father, James Rogers is buried in Derry's Forest Hill Cemetery.

In Parker’s history of the town of Londonderry, he waxed eloquently about the fighting spirit of the Scots Irish warriors, who fought first at the siege of Londonderry in Northern Ireland and then here in the New World. Some of what he writes is highly racist and stereotypical of the Scots Irish.   However, it is very interesting to note that such a tiny township produced so many officers and soldiers for our War of Independence. It is probably due to the rigors of living on the frontier (Londonderry was the frontier between English territory and French territory in the 1700s), more than their being from Ireland and Scotland.


For more information see:

Rev. Edward L. Parker’s History of Londonderry, pages 220-1.


Gregg Family Lineage:

Gen. 1. Captain James Gregg, born about 1670, and emigrated from Ayr, Scotland to Northern Ireland in 1690, and was an original grantee of Londonderry, New Hampshire in 1719, died in January 1762 at Peterborough, New Hampshire; married Janet Cargill, born in Illa Scotland, the daughter of Captain David Cargill. James Gregg received a captain’s commission and commanded the first militia recruited in Londonderry. He also built the first grist mill.

Gen. 2. Captain John Gregg, born about 1702 in Ireland, left at age 16 with his parents for Boston; married 1 March 1724 in Londonderry, New Hampshire to Agnes Rankin, daughter of Hugh Rankin.

Gen. 3. Colonel William Gregg, born in Londonderry on 21 November 1730, died on 16 September 1815 in Londonderry. He married three times, first Barbara Aiken, second to Agnes McClure and third to the widow Abbott. Five children.


Another Gregg Family Lineage (this Gregg family lived in Nutfield (later Windham) but they were Irish in ancestry, not Scots-Irish like the other Gregg’s):

Gen. 1. John Gregg, son of David Gregg, born at Ballarynet near Londonderry, Northern Ireland. He was killed with his parents during a raid on his homestead in April 1689, but his wife and children were safe inside the walled city of Londonderry.

Gen. 2. John Gregg, born about 1680, merchant in Londonderry, Ireland; married to Mary Guage.

Gen. 3. Children of John Gregg include:

     1. Samuel, b. about 1682, immigrated to Boston, had descendants in Windham, New Hampshire

     2. David, b. 1684 near Londonderry, Ireland. He settled first in Watertown, Massachusetts and then in the part of Londonderry, New Hampshire that is now known as the town of Windham. He married in Ireland to Mary Nevins.

     3. Rachel, b. about 1686; m. in Ireland to Solomon Walker, settled in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania

     4. Andrew, b. about 1688, also settled in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania

     5. Jacob, b. about 1710, removed to Groton, Massachusetts

     6. William, b. about 1715, removed to Pennsylvania

Copyright 2011, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Mom and Dad in Washington DC - Not So Wordless Wednesday

Remember those Saturday night slide shows, shown the living room wall because we didn't have a proper screen? I guess there was nothing on TV back then, because we always enjoyed the family slide shows more, especially those showing family photos from before we were born!  We would hoot at the fashions and hairstyles, and sigh at the romantic old cars, and remember relatives who were no longer with us.

Recently we scanned these vacation slides.  In the late 1950s my parents chaperoned a teenaged church trip to Washington DC.  Mom was an RN and she was an excellent choice for chaperone. When I was a kid, these were fascinating slides for me, since I didn't go to Washington DC until I was a teenager myself.
Since we grew up in Massachusetts
we always thought Mom looked like
Jacqueline Kennedy in this photo

Don't you love the fashions?

The flag at half staff because someone important had died!
This could be a clue to dating this photo.

How this view has changed!
I noticed right away that the newer Smithsonian Museums
such as the Air & Space, and the Native American Museums
are missing from the right hand side... as well as other buildings
Copyright 2011, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Munroes in Lexington, MA - Tombstone Tuesday


Here Lyes ye
Body of
about 92 years
Died Jan. 27 1717 

William Munroe was born in Scotland about 1625, and transported to the New World as a prisoner of war about 1650.  He died in Lexington, Massachusetts on 27 January 1717, and had three wives.  He married first about 1665 to Martha George (my 7x Great Grandmother), second in 1672 to Mary Ball (her gravestone is pictured above), and third about 1693 to Elizabeth Johnson, the widow of Edward Wyer.  He had a total of fourteen children, including my 6x Great Grandfather, George Munroe (1672 - 1747).   William Munroe's descendants fought in the Battle of Lexington Green, where many participated and several were killed in the first volleys of the Revolutionary War. 


To cite/link to this blog post: Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Munroes in Lexington, MA - Tombstone Tuesday", Nutfield Genealogy, posted June 28, 2012, ( accessed [access date]). 

Monday, June 27, 2011

Wyman House - Before and After Photos

This is a progression of "Before and After" photographs that shows how the Wyman Family Association has been caring for the Francis Wyman House over the years.  When the Family Association aquired the property over 100 years ago (it is not owned by the town, a museum, or a historical society) the house was in very sad shape.  Then after some renovations, it suffered a fire in 1996, but has been undergoing a series of restorations.  Please see my blog post yesterday at this link: 
or click on the key word "WYMAN" in the right hand column of the blog to read other stories about the Wyman family and the Francis Wyman House.

Wyman House 2005 Family Reunion

Stairwell 2005

Stairwell 2011

Front Parlor Fireplace 2005

Front Parlor Fireplace 2011

If you would like to donate to the on-going restorations, and for Phase III of the Wyman House rennovations, please click on the link


To cite/link to this blog post:  Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Wyman House - Before and After Photos", Nutfield Genealogy, posted June 27, 2011, ( accessed [access date]). 

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Grand Re-opening of the 1666 Francis Wyman House

The Francis Wyman 1666 House
 The Francis Wyman Family Association recently completed Phase II of the restoration project of the 1666 house, following a devastating fire in 1996. There was a ribbon cutting ceremony on Sunday, June 26th, 2011 at the homestead. Wyman descendants, Burlington residents, history buffs and curious on-lookers all viewed the newly restored stairwell, flooring and wall panels on the first floor.  You can read more about the house, Francis Wyman, the fire and the restoration project at the website

Wyman Association President
Virginia Mucciacio, and her restoration team!

From left to right, historical architect John Goff, restoration carpenter Paul Ham, Burlington Historical Commission member Richard Hosford, and Wyman Association President Virginia Mucciacio.  Behind the front row are Jonelle and John Kenagy, descendants of Francis Wyman and members of the Wyman Association board.  The ribbon cutting ceremony was performed by one of Virginia Mucciacio's grandson's who helped to cut the  ribbon at the  ceremony in 1996 for Phase I of the restoration.

Jonelle Kenagy shows a trap door in the back parlor floor.  Under the floor this interesting lump made of celing plaster, black cloth, glass pieces and newspaper scraps was found.  There was evidence of also on the floor boards of a fire from the 1930s.   The newspaper articles were about Boston Mayor Curley's re-election, which helped to date the fire.

the main stairwell was restored

a hidden hinge was added to a panel
at the side of the kitchen door
to allow wheelchair access
As you can see, there is still much restoration work
to be done on the interior paneling,
fireplace mantels, and trim work around doors and windows
The basement stairs are interesting
formed out of large beams sliced on the diagonal.
They were undamaged in the recent fire.  The Francis Wyman Association  Plans for Phase III of the Francis Wyman Homestead in Burlington, Massachusetts  The Francis Wyman House Restoration Fund

Copyright 2011, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Friday, June 24, 2011


1861 was a busy year!  The following things are 150 years old this year:
F.O. Stanley was one of the first to drive the Mt. Washington Auto Road
in one of his newfangled steam powered automobiles!
[from the Mt. Washington Auto Road Archives]

1. The American Civil War

2. Longfellow’s poem “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere”

3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

4. The Mount Washington Auto Road

5. Color Photography

6. The Pony Express delivers a letter from New York to San Francisco, July 3

7. The US Government imposes the first income tax to pay for the Civil War on August 5th

8. The flush toilet was patented Jan. 17th

Famous Births in 1861:

Solomon R. Gugenheim, 2 February 1861, philanthropist

Motilal Nehru, 6 May, 1861, Indian Freedom Fighter

Alice Hathaway Lee Roosevelt, 29 July 1861, 1st wife of Theodore Roosevelt

Edith Kermit Carow Roosevelt, 6 August 1861, 2nd wife of Theodore Roosevelt

James A. Naismith, 6 November 1861, invented basketball

Lillian Russell, 4 December 1861, US singer/actress

Famous Deaths in 1861:

Elisha G. Otis, 8 April 1861, US elevator tycoon

Stephen A. Douglas, 3 June, 1861, US senator

Elizabeth Barrett-Browning, 29 June, 1861, writer

Eliphalet Remington, 12 August, 1861, designed the Remington rifle

Prince Albert, 14 December 1861, consort to Queen Victoria

Copyright 2011, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Tsienneto- One of the Wee Folk?

On 12 April 1719, the Reverend James MacGregor gathered his newly arrived flock of Ulster Presbyterians under a large oak tree at the east end of Lake Tsienneto, now called Beaver Lake in Derry, New Hampshire. This was the first act of the new settlement, called Nutfield at first because of the oak tree. It was also the first sermon heard and the beginnings of the First Parish Church, which still stands in Derry today.

From the 1930s to the 1950s, my mother’s uncle, Arthur Russell Hitchings, owned a large summer farmhouse on the north side of Beaver Lake, on the corner of North Shore Road and Chester Road (Route 102). The farm house still stands. Her uncle used to ride the “Milk Train” from Derry to Chelsea, where he was the CEO for Forbes Publishing Company. This was the train that carried Hood’s milk from Derry to the bottling plant near Boston. My mother remembers swimming in the lake, across the street from the summer house, but after her uncle retired he removed to a house in Mont Vernon, New Hampshire.

It is unknown what the word Tsienneto means in English. According to urban myth, Tsienneto was one of the local Indian spirits of the lake. Others say it was a word from Northern Ireland for one of the fairy folk. Both meanings are similar enough to have some basis in a fact which has long been lost to time… Although the lake is now commonly called Beaver Lake, there is still a Tsienneto Road nearby.  I found two poems about Tsienneto at the Google Books Search…. Both poems have imagery of canoes and Native Americans.

Poems by Ralph Henry Shaw, Lowell: Press of the Morning Mail Company, 1885, pages 23 and 24.


Sweet water glade!
I come once more to gaze on thee,
And in the maple’s branching shade,
To listen to the wild-bird’s glee
That, in each little, margent wood,
Befits the heart’s ease of my mood.

Here in thine edges hyaline
I see the leafy maples green
Inverted, till I seem to be
Now gazing on the spirit realm;
As when but sleep is at the helm
Our craft of though, all silently
Glides into realms of fantasy.

I see the belt of sunshine gleam
Like silver, midway on the thy wave;
And in my fancy’s idle dream,
The glancing paddles in thee lave,
Still dipped by them who knew of yore
They gentle wave and pebbly shore.

Their wigwam still is nestled here;
Their birch canoe is still on thee,
Tsienneto, like the birch’s shade;
For fancy makes our fancy clear;
For things unseen may sometimes be
So plainly in our mind’s eye made.

Found in Granite State Magazine, edited by George Waldo Browne, Volume 4, (July to December, 1907) pages 19 and 20.


By Henrietta W. R. Frost

Tsienneto (pronounced Shaw-ne-to), which word means “Sleeping in
Beauty”, in the Indian name applied to the beautiful sheet of water
Nestling in among the hills of Derry, N. H., and commonly called Beaver
Lake, whose outlet, Beaver River, flows into the Merrimack- Author

O calm, serene Tsienneto!
Asleep at break of day.
The birches bend still nearer
To hear the winds at play.

For nestled on thy bosom
Sweet Nature loves to rest,
And only those who bend to hear
Can learn the song in quest.

I fain would learn the story
The birds have sung so long.
O tell it me, I pray thee!
I’ll give it back in song.

I’ll don the spirit of repose
And lay me down and dream,
And watch the clouds float airily
Above this spot serene.

Where “Jenny Dickey’s” waters
Come tumbling o’er the hill,
The maiden-hair and columbine
Have flourished long at will.

The beech and birch and hemlock
Have shaed pool and fall,
And heaven’s cerulean blueness
Has tenderly crowned all.

Primeval forests long ago
Surrounded ev’ry shore,
And red men roamed the uncut way
And sailed these waters o’er.

This was the “happy hunting ground”
Where Wonnolancet brave,
And chief of all the Penacooks,
His hunting lessons gave.

And Hannah Dustin walked these shores
In days of dire distress;
When life meant action to the hearts
Who stood for faithfulness.

Methinks I hear the paddle’s sound,
And see beneath the trees
The war-time dance; the wigwam’s smoke
That came from such as these.

But ‘tis a dream. Tsienneto sleeps
In beauty undismayed.
The “pipe of peace” still burneth;
We need not be afraid.

The white man claims these borders
Where once the red man trod,
And bird and beast and tree and flower
Still live to worship God.

For more information:

Nutfield Rambles, by Richard Holmes, Peter E. Randall Publisher, Portsmouth, NH, 2007 page 12 says that Tsienneto was an Indian word for a local fairy or wood nymph.

Tsienneto: A Legend of Beaver Lake, by R. N. Richardson, 1907

A blog post about Tsienneto by Peter M. of the blog New England Folklore at


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Tsienneto- One of the Wee Folk?", Nutfield Genealogy, posted June 23, 2011, ( accessed [access date]).

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Mom and Dad in Mexico, 1959 - Not so Wordless Wednesday

It's summertime!  Let's post some vacation photos from the past...

When my parents first married in 1958 Dad was a salesman for Encyclopdia Britannica.  He won a grand prize of a first class trip to Mexico City and Alcapulco.  This was quite the treat for two young married people from Massachusetts (Mom was about 23 and Dad was 24)!  My mother still talks about the red carpet that was rolled out across the tarmac when they boarded the plane, and how it was rolled up again before the tourist class travelers boarded the plane!

At the shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Mom showing off her knees in Bermuda shorts!

My parents' first (and last) bullfight

My Dad always called this photo of Mom
"Esther Williams"
This one makes me laugh because by the 1980s
we still had this towel at home!
Copyright 2011, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Top 8 Genealogy Books on my Bookshelf

This is "Nutfield Genealogy Central", looking quite busy today!
Most of my most used books are right there next to the keyboard...

This post is inspired by Marian Pierre Louis and her post this morning at her blog “Marian’s Roots and Rambles”   We both do research in New England, but she has a different list of books.  I wasn't able to limit myself to just five, as Marian did, but listed my top 8 most used books. 

I didn’t have to look far for my favorite, most used books. They are all piled up next to my computer! I should have named this post "The Books piled up on my Desk".   This was a good exercise, because it showed me that several of my books are quite out of date, and I should start purchasing newer editions.

1. History of Londonderry, by Reverend Edward L. Parker, by the Town of Londonderry, New Hampshire, 1974 (originally published by Perkins and Whipple, Boston, 1851)

This is the first book I grab when I receive inquiries about Londonderry families and history for the Londonderry Historical Society, or for Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness. It is out of print, but a friend found me a copy in a yard sale, and it’s my most used book on the book shelf. There is also a four volume set of small paperback updates to this book, published by the Londonderry Historical Society in the 1970s, which reside next to my Parker on my desk.

2. Genealogist’s Handbook for New England Research, by Marcia D. Melnyk, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1999

This book is on Marian’s list, and I’m badly in need of a later issue. I’ve penciled in changes to phone numbers, hours and addresses in all the margins, because these things are changing all the time. My copy is dog-eared and full of post-it note flags and bookmarkers! It is very handy for research anywhere in New England, and I usually phone or email ahead of visiting any repository anyways since I have been unpleasantly surprised several times!

3. Index to Genealogies in New Hampshire Town Histories, by William Copley, New Hampshire Historical Society, 2000

This book indexes New Hampshire families by surname, and gives the town histories where there are genealogical write ups for each family. I wish there was a similar book for Massachusetts and Maine! This book also needs a good update, but I still refer to it almost daily.

4. New Englanders in the 1600s, by Martin E. Hollick, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2006

This is a guide to research published between 1980 and 2005. I’m hoping there will be an update, soon. It is a good compliment to other books, since it gives lots of articles and books on early New England families.

5. Evidence! Citation and Analysis for the Family Historian, by Elizabeth Shown Mills, Genealogical Publishing Company, Baltimore, 1997

This is the book I use for correctly citing sources. I don’t write articles or professional reports but its good practice to always cite correctly according to Mills’s good examples! Marian cites Elizabeth Shown Mills’s latest book Evidence Explained, which is an updated version of this book. I really need to go through my bookshelf and update some of these books. When I need to cite newer types of sources, such as websites, blogs, etc., I can usually find that information online at someone else’s blog, like “Dear Myrtle”.

6. A Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England, Four volumes, by James Savage, Genealogical Publishing Company, Baltimore, 1969

This is an invaluable resource for New England genealogy. It is old, and you will need to read up on Martin Hollick’s New Englanders in the 1600s to see if your particular ancestors have had any new research published lately, but start with this book and you’ll be on the right path!

7. New England Marriages Prior to 1700, by Clarence Almon Torrey, Genealogical Publishing Company, Baltimore, 1985 (reprint, the original was written in 1962). There have been several supplements to Torry, including one I own from 2003 by Melinde Lutz Sanborn.

This is another classic resource like the Genealogical Dictionary above, but always double check to see the latest research that has been published on your particular ancestors, since it is rather old now. The supplement gives most of the marriages up to 1700, and includes information on descendants. The entire collection, including a 2006 supplement is available on

8. New England Court Records, by Diane Rapaport, Quill Pen Press, 2006

This is another book on Marian’s list. I use it mostly for the list of repositories, and the stories Diane uses to explain why court records can be so useful for New England genealogical research. I have an autographed copy!
My Mayflower Silver Books,
Munroe, Batchelder, Felton genealogies, etc.
Books on Salem and Plymouth, etc.
Hampton, NH VRs, Perley's History of Salem
mixed in with cookbooks and other stuff
more history and reference books
and one of my Dad's autographed McCullough's

Copyright 2011, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Tombstone Tuesday- Snellings in Boston's Copp's Hill Burial Ground

Copp's Hill Burial Ground is located in Boston's North End neighborhood, right in front of the Old North Church made famous in the story of Paul Revere.  There are more than 10,000 people buried here, but only about 2,300 tombstones.  Many graves are unmarked, and some tombs hold up to ten people, so the number of graves doesn't match the number of inscriptions. It was first laid out as a burial ground in 1659.

In researching the Jones/Lambert family of my family tree, I found that my 4x great grandmother Catherine Plummer Jones (abt 1799 - 1828)  had a sister, Sarah Dargue Jones (abt 1794 - 1875), who married Enoch Howes Snelling (abt 1790 - 1866).  The Joneses lived in the North End, and so did a plethora of Snellings.  There were many more Snelling tombstones than I have posted here today.   There is a Snelling Alley still located between the burial ground and the church. 

For more information on the Copp's Hill Burial Ground, and a listing of gravestones, please see the book Boston's Copp's hill Burying Ground Guide by Charles Chauncey Wells, Chauncey Park Press, 1998

Here lyes ye Body
Died Novbr. 6 Anno
Domi 1739 in ye 40th
year of His Age.

Here lyes Buried ye Body
Dautr of Mr. JOSEPH and
Who departed this life
Jany the 30th 1766
Aged 20 Years

Here lies ye Body of
Daur of Mr. JOSIAH &
Died April ye 20th
Aet 5 Years & 10 Days

In Memory of
son of JOSIAH
decd April 27th 1799
Aged 24 Years

on the left


on the right

Rebeckah         Hannah
Snelling          Snelling
Died June 9th    Died June 22nd
1730 Aged     1730 Aged
1 Years & 1 Years &
1 Mo.    1 Mo
ye children on Joseph
& Elizabeth Snelling

MARY SNELLING Died Janry 26 1748 Aged 2 years
2 Mo.  also SARAH SNELLING Died Janry 13th
1749 Aged 7 Years

for another post with Snelling's buried at Copp's Hill, click here:

Copyright 2011, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Monday, June 20, 2011

Amyes Colle Maverick Thompson - Amanuensis Monday

It is rare to find a letter from an ancestor from 1635, and even rarer to find one by a woman!  (Found in the Trelawney Papers, Volume III of Maine Historical Society, Second Series. Portland, Maine, 1884)

"Nottells Island in Massachusetts Bay the 20th of November, 1635

Good Sir:-

I kindly salute you in the Lord. I am given to understand by divers that my father is verie much incensed againsts me, but by what meanes I know not, and that he hath offered to make sale of his land, notwithstanding he conveyed it to me by his deed (which I doubt not but will prove sufficient,) and had of me fifty pounds in consideration of it, that so the land might remaine to me & my children after my ffathers decease. And now I am enformed that my ffather would fayne dispose of the land & repay this fifty pounds. Now my humble request unto your worship is, that as you loved my first husband, so you would be pleased to doe that favor for me and my ffatherless children as to speake to my father concerning this thing, for I am perswaded your good word to him in our behalfe will much prevaile, and whereas my father (as I am told) would dispose of the land and have mee to take the fifty pounds againe, I shall desire you to intreate him that it may remaine with him, for my children, & that he would not goe about to put the land from us contrary to his deeds and promises. As for the house which I lived in, my father gave it me presently in marriage, and I have left it wholy to his disposeing since I came thence, without haveing any benefitt of it, only to give my father content. And thus craveing pardon for my greate boldnes, not doubting but that you will be pleased to doe me this favour, wherein both I and mine shall ever rest obliged unto you, and thus with my best respects to your selfe & your loveing wife, I humby take my leave, and remaine, your ffriend.


I shall intreate you to remember me kindly to Mr. Clemett.

To the worshipfull and my much respected ffriend, Mr. Robert Trelawney, merchant, give these, in Plymouth. Per the way of Bristoll."


Amyes Colle (abt. 1592 – 1649) was born in Plymouth, England and married Samuel Maverick. She is my 9x Great Grandmother (along with her first husband, David Thomson (1592 – 1628)) and lived on Noddles Island in Boston Harbor, which is now Boston’s Logan Airport.  In this part of Boston, known as East Boston, there is still a neighborhood called Maverick, with a subway station named Maverick. There was an article written about this letter in the 1893 NEHGS Register, Volume 47 “The Widow of David Thompson” by Frank W. Hackett. At this time, the author did not know that Amyes was the widow of David Thomson. He thought that the letter was sealed with a G, not a C., which was her father’s seal.

The Great Migration Begins by Robert Charles Anderson, Volume II, pages 1241-43 covers John Maverick, Samuel Maverick, Amias/Amyes Cole, and David Thomson in great detail, straightening out the marriages, dates and stories. Also I found this connection in the book Mayflower Families Through Five Generations: Volume 17: Isaac Allerton, by Robert S. Wakefield and Margaret Harris Stover (Plymouth, MA; General Society of Mayflower Descendants, 1998) where I first read that Maverick’s son, Moses, married Mayflower passenger Allerton’s daughter, Remember Allerton, my 10 x Great Grandmother. Yes, I have a Thomson line as well as a totally separate Maverick lineage!

Another good book on the Maverick Family:

The Royal Descents of 600 Immigrant to the American Colonies of the United States, Who Were Themselves Notable or Left Descendants Notable in American History, by Gary Boyd Roberts (Baltimore, MD, Genealogical Publishing Co, 2004) page 377.

Other sources for David Thomson / Thompson:

Great Migration Begins, Volume III, pages 1807 -9.

New Hampshire Genealogical Record, by the New Hampshire Genealogical Society, Volume 9, pages 110 -116.

Copyright 2011, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Father's Day Tree

These photos were a hit last year, so I'm posting it again with a new photo at the end....  Last year I put all the photos into a Blurb book for my husband for a Father's Day gift, and the whole family enjoyed seeing the tree and the people change over the past 24 years.  If you want to see last year's post, which has almost alll the tree photos, please click on this link

1988, Father's Day, the day we planted this oak tree






2010, last year's Father's Day photo

Copyright 2011, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Friday, June 17, 2011

June Genealogy Bargains

The frugal Yankee in me can’t resist passing on these money saving bargains:

Save up to 30% on an membership

The US membership, usually $12.95 per month is now on sale for $9.45 per month (or $113.40 per year). The World Deluxe membership, which gives you access to everything on was $24.95 per month and is now only $17.45 per month (or $209.40 per year). You can call headquarters at 1-800-958-9081 (M – F 10AM – 10 PM ET, Sat and Sun 10 AM – 6 PM ET). For new subscribers only. Offer ends June 20, 2011 at midnight! I received this off via direct email from

Legacy Family Tree 20% anything in the online store

This offer includes Legacy software, add-on software such as Map My Family Tree, GenSmarts, e-books, webinar CDs, and even the Magnabrite magnifiers. The coupon code is GENBLOG20 at  and the offer ends June 30, 2011. DISCLOSURE- this offer is a gift to me and my blog readers from Geoff Rasmussen, fellow genealogy blogger at  who created a special coupon code for the SCGS Jamboree genealogy bloggers last week. I was given a gift set of webinars on CD videos.

Shutterfly 40% Off!

40% off create-your-own photo books with if you use promo code BOOK40. Offer ends June 22, 2011 so you must hurry to take advantage of this deal! Free shipping on select orders, too. This offer was received via direct email from

Great Migration Titles on sale 20% off at NEHGS

The New England Historic Genealogical Society Bookstore is extending its sale on all Great Migration books through June 22. The Great Migration Begins, by Robert Charles Anderson, normally $99 is on sale for $79.20, as well as the Great Migration Series, Volumes I – VI, which are usually $59.95 or 64.95 now only $47.96 and $51.96. Prices do not include shipping. Offer good through 12 noon EST, June 22, 2011. You can order at  and also order by telephone by calling Rick Park at (617) 226-1212. DISCLOSURE- I received no gift for this offer, I am merely an NEHGS member and am passing on the sale seen in their e-newsletter “The Weekly Genealogist”.

The Lilac and the Apple Tree

These are some of the field stone cellars seen along Windham, New Hampshire's rail trail

A few days ago I was listening to the folk music station on the radio when I heard this song by singer Kate Wolf (1942 – 1986). It reminded me of New Hampshire’s abandoned cellar holes. I love walking through the forests, following stone walls and thinking about when the landscape was bare of trees and the fields were full of crops. The stone walls will invariably lead to a cellar hole. These cellar holes, now swallowed up by thick woods, will sometimes be marked by a lilac bush planted by a settler woman possibly thinking of life back in England or Scotland. Kate Wolf's addition of an apple tree to the song, and mentioning the mills, only makes me think of Londonderry even more!

The Lilac and the Apple Tree

"A Lilac bush and an Apple tree
Were standing in the woods,
Out on the hill above the town,
Where once a farmhouse stood.

In the winter the leaves are bare
And no one sees the signs
Of a house that stood and a garden that grew
And life in another time.

One Spring when the buds can bursting forth
And grass grew on the land,
The Lilac spoke to the Apple tree
As only a good friend can.

Do you think, said the Lilac, this might be the year
When someone will build here once more?
Here by the cellar, still open and deep,
There's room for new walls and a floor.

Oh, no, said the Apple, there are so few
Who come here on the mountain this way,
And when they do, they don't often see
Why we're growing here, so far away.

A long time ago we were planted by hands
That worked in the fields and the mills,
When the country was young and the people who came
Built their homes in the hills.

But now there are cities, the roads have come,
And no one lives here today.
And the only signs of the farms in the hills
Are the things not carried away.

Broken dishes, piles of boards,
A tin plate, an old leather shoe.
And an Apple tree still bending down,
And a Lilac where a garden once grew."

Words and music Kate Wolf
Copyright Another Sundown Publishing Company BMI, 1977

A well tended Londonderry apple tree,
although there are many abandoned orchards around town....

For the truly curious, here is a series of blog posts I wrote about stone walls in New England:

Story 1- America's Stonehenge-

Story 2 - Stone Walls and Cellar Holes- 

Story 3- Dogtown, Massachusetts

Story 4 - The Stone Sheepcote in Burlington, Massachusetts


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "The Lilac and the Apple Tree", Nutfield Genealogy, posted June 17, 2011, ( accessed [access date]).

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Commodore Nutt, lived in fame, but died with an unmarked grave?

Commodore Nutt and his
sweetheart, Minnie Warren
George Washington Morrison Nutt (1848 - 1881), was a popular attraction at P. T. Barnum’s circus. He was well known by his stage name of “Commodore Nutt”.  I first learned about this diminutive actor when researching the history of the Colonel Burnham Tavern in Milford, New Hampshire. You can read my blog post about the Burnham house at   In this post you can read how General Tom Thumb (Charles S. Stratton), another famous dwarf from Barnum’s show, rode his little pony coach through the front door of Colonel Burnham’s home. These actors were local legends in their own time.  Tom Thumb and Commodore Nutt were exhibited at the Barnum Museum on Broadway in New York City in the 1800s. They also traveled worldwide, and met the crown heads of Europe. They were rivals for the affections of Lavinia Warren, a female dwarf in Barnum’s show, who eventually married Tom Thumb.

Near the current South Willow Street in Manchester there is a Nutt’s Pond. This section was also called Nutt’s Road. There is a small burial ground there named “Merrill’s Cemetery” by the entrance to the Mall of New Hampshire. Many generations of the Nutt family are buried here, including Commodore Nutt’s parents. Many descendents of Londonderry families are buried here, including Youngs, Vickerys, Harveys, McQuestons, and Boyces. It’s a great little cemetery! 

Merrill Cemetery, Manchester, New Hampshire

The Nutt Family Plot
Major Rodnia and Maria Nutt
the Commodore's parents
I had read in many sources that Commodore Nut was buried there at Merrill’s Cemetery. A recent visit there showed all the members of his family, parents and siblings, but no George Washington Morrison Nutt. This was puzzling to me since all sources stated he was buried there. He had received a huge wedding and funeral from P.T. Barnum, but no gravestone? Not even a small marker? His family had a large obelisk engraved with names, and his parents (listed on the obelisk) also had a nice double gravestone.  This seemed to be above average for a farmer family.  So where is the Commodore's stone?

I contacted the city and the Manchester Historical Society. Both stated that he was buried between his parents, Rodnia and Maria, but had no record of a stone. I returned to the cemetery to look again, and there is no marker next to the parents, or between the siblings. Can it be that one of the most famous actors and circus performers of the nineteenth century was buried in anonymity? Apparently this is true!

UPDATE 22 August 2012  Did you know that Lavinia Warren was a member of the DAR? And a Mayflower Descendant of Richard Warren  (and four other Mayflower passengers?)  See this post at the blog "The Educated Genealogist":

Commodore Nutt’s lineage:

Generation 1. William Nutt, born about 1698 in Londonderry, Northern Ireland, died 26 October 1751 in Chester, New Hampshire; married Jean Colbath on 29 May 1723 in Bradford, Massachusetts. Ten children. William was a weaver.

Generation 2: William Nutt, born January 1730 in Londonderry, died 26 April 1801 in Derryfield (now Manchester, New Hampshire); married to Sarah Elkins James on 26 August 1751 in Derryfield.

Generation 3: Thomas James Nutt, born 23 July 1763 in Derryfield, died 9 July 1843 in Manchester; married to Sally Boyles on 18 August 1789 in Derryfield. Ten children.

Generation 4: Major Rodney/Rodnia Nutt, born 12 June 1810 in Derryfield, New Hampshire, died 23 January 1875; married first to Maria Dodge on 15 March 1836 in Goffstown, daughter of James D. Dodge and Margaret Gordon. Five children, including “Commodore Nutt”. He married second to Ruany Call on 11 Oct 1859. Six more children.

Generation 5: George Washington Morrison Nutt, “Commodore Nutt”, born 1 April 1848 in Manchester, died about 24 May 1881 in New York City; married Lillian Elston of California. No children.

Sources:  An excellent post from Janice Brown’s “Cow Hampshire” , about Commodore Nutt with a page of genealogy on the entire Nutt Family.   The Nutt Family Genealogy   Wikipedia story about Commodore Nutt Commodore Nutt’s obituary published 26 May 1881 in the New York Times


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Commodore Nutt, lived in fame, but died with an unmarked grave?", Nutfield Genealogy, posted June 16, 2011, ( accessed [access date]).