Friday, September 30, 2011

Follow Friday: New Blogs I’m Following, How about You?

Earlier this year there was a lot of activity on the Facebook group “Descendants of John Howland” led by a young college student, David Larsson. He posted many photos and stories about some of his ancestors.  Finally I asked him “Why don’t you start your own genealogy blog?”  He didn’t take much more prompting, because before I knew it he had several posts up at the "McRae and Anderson Blog"   I’m impressed that as a busy young person he has some great information on his family, many followers, and is still blogging even though I’m sure college classes have started up already. David Larsson’s blog follows his family tree all around southern Massachusetts. He recently deserted Facebook, and all his photos and stories on the Howland group disappeared with him. Be sure to follow him on his blog to keep up!

A Google alert for the words “Londonderry” and “Genealogy” led me to another new blog "Forgotten Journeys" by T. T. McQuaid at this link     I left him a comment, and we ended up as Facebook friends.   Serendipity!  He is my Londonderry neighbor, and started blogging in March, although I only recently discovered his website.   I hope to bump into Tim somewhere around Londonderry - in person, not just in cyberspace!  He was listed on the Geneablogger website in August. 

Another Google alert for the word "Londonderry" helped me to find “Uncontained Multitudes” by Robert Burnett at    The name of his blog was inspired by one of Walt Whitman’s poems, “Song of Myself”.   He was recently listed on the Geneablogger website.  He has an ancestor from the Revolutionary War,  Captain Samuel Cherry, born in Londonderry, New Hampshire.

And I want to wish a special "Thanks!" to Nancy Loe for mentioning me on her own Follow Friday post last week at her blog “Sassy Jane Genealogy” at this post   I’m so flattered!   I met Nancy briefly at the Southern California Genealogy Society's Jamboree earlier this year.

Copyright 2011, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Weathervane Wednesday- A Rooster

I've been collecting photographs of the many, many weathervanes in the Nutfield area (Derry and Londonderry, New Hampshire). I decided to start a new meme at my blog called "Weathervane Wednesday" to feature some of this photography. If you want a challenge, I'll post the locations at the bottom of the page so you can scroll down far enough to see the photo, but not the location, and try to guess where you may have seen these lovely weathervanes.

Weathervanes are a form of folk art now featured in fine art museum such as Boston's Museum of Fine Arts, and at the Currier Gallery Museum in Manchester, New Hampshire. Prices for weathervanes have risen dramatically at recent auctions, and many have become victims of theft and vandalism. By appreciating their beauty and history, perhaps we can preserve the weathervanes of New Hampshire.

Can you guess the location of weather vane #8?

This weather vane is located at Merrill Farm, on Old Mammoth Road, Londonderry.  It is the prime place in town for farm fresh eggs, U-Pick apples and a great farm stand.  Perhaps they are honoring their laying hens with this proud rooster?


To cite/link to this blog post:  Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Weathervane Wednesday- A Rooster", Nutfield Genealogy, posted September 28, 2011, ( accessed [access date]). 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday- Lucy Gregg

In Forest Hill Cemetery, Derry, New Hampshire

According to local legend, Lucy died on the morning she was supposed to wed.  
There are theories that the white picket fence still guards her virginity. 
This is the only grave in the cemetery with a white wooden fence.

daughter of
Oct. 4, 1843
aged 22 yrs
so fades a summer cloud away
so sinks the gale when storms are o'er
so gently shuts the eye of  day
do dies a wave along the shore

The story of the volunteer who replaced Lucy Gregg's dilapidated picket fence can be found here

Copyright 2011, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Monday, September 26, 2011

Rebranding History

The first William Munroe arrived in Boston in 1651 as a Scots prisoner of war, sold in chains as an indentured servant by the British government.   William Munroe, the fourth (1742 – 1847), ran a tavern in Lexington.  On the morning of 19 April 1775 William also served as the second in command at the battle on Lexington Green.   Many family members, Munroes and extended kin, participated in the fight.

New signage at the Munroe Tavern
After a defeat in nearby Concord, the British were on the retreat as they came through Lexington a second time, later that afternoon.  Most of the townspeople were hiding.  With her husband William off fighting, Anna (Smith) Munroe abandoned the tavern, and hid in the woods with her children, and one was only about a week old.  The British met up with Earl Percy and his reinforcement troops and took over the tavern as a field hospital for about two hours.  They nursed wounded soldiers, and rested before retreating back to Boston.  Before they left the Munroe home they killed the caretaker, John Raymond, and tried to torch the tavern.  Several other homes in Lexington burned to the ground, but the tavern was saved.

A new plaque laid in memory of
John Raymond, tavern caretaker
The Munroe Tavern in Lexington, Massachusetts has been a museum showcasing the 18th century Munroe family and life as tavern keepers during the American Revolution.    It was donated by the Munroe family to the Lexington Historical Society in 1911, along with family mementos, including items used by George Washington when he visited the tavern in 1789, family china, portraits, documents, and furniture. Thousands of tourists and school children were able to tour the tavern.  On a middle school field trip I remember hearing the story of the battle, and the family, and how the British tried to destroy the home before moving on down the road.  A British bullet hole in the ceiling was a favorite. On a family visit I remember viewing documents and family items, and the docents would show me where other Munroe descendants had signed the guest books.

Over the weekend I attended the museum house re-opening.  Since my last visit to the Munroe tavern over five years ago the Lexington Historical Society has changed the focus of the museum. According to their website it has undergone “an extensive restoration that included rebranding the Munroe Tavern with the new subhead: ‘Museum of the British Redcoats and Munroe Family Home’” Rebranding!  That word seems cold, just like the decision by someone to remove all the family items I found so charming. Now the museum tells the Munroe family story second to the story of the British Regulars.  With the new changes I will now need an appointment to see items donated from the Munroe family.  The sign outside now reads “British Field Hospital and Headquarters, April, 19 1775”.   Two hours of occupation by the British trumps centuries of Munroe family history?

I’m not against telling the story of the British soldiers in the American Revolution.  In fact, I love discussing the war as more of a civil war, with brother against brother and stories of how families were torn apart by the politics.  There were many, many Loyalists in Boston and Massachusetts, and it’s about time some of their stories were told at museums showing this side of the conflict.  However, this was an odd decision to take a family home, owned by a family who was so staunchly anti-British, who suffered greatly at the hands of the regulars, and turn it into a museum focusing on the soldiers who tried to burn down their home.  And to take all the mementos donated with love, and to put them into permanent storage?  According to Elaine Doran, the collections manager for the Lexington Historical Society, there are no plans to display them anymore, other than possibly loaning a few to an exhibit in Concord next year.

Dr. Phil Budden, UK Consul-General to New England
After promising I wouldn’t rush off and write a rant about my visit to the Munroe Tavern grand re-opening ceremony, I thought carefully about this story before posting.  I still haven’t changed my mind about how history has been re-written here.  In order to show two sides of the war, the Historical Society has put the “Museum of the British Redcoats” in a house where there were no good feelings about the British before, during or after the war.  The public will think there was some sort of reconciliation with the Munroe family.  School children will learn how the British suffered, but not about the suffering the regulars caused?  Even the United Kingdom Consul General to New England, Dr. Phil Budden, who spoke at the grand re-opening, gave incorrect information about the Munroe family and the events on that fateful day.  No one corrected him.  The Boston Globe reported “the historical society has renovated the tavern to accentuate the plight of the redcoats on April 19” but the article has only one short mention of the townspeople’s plight. 

Munroe family members signed depositions about the events on the day of 19 April 1775 that mirror the same horror eyewitnesses expressed at Ground Zero in New York City on 11 September 2001.  Our understanding of what happened in New York in 2001 reminds me of the battle of Lexington in 1775.  It will never be a “feel good story” because there really aren’t two sides of the tale, black and white, but many, many sides colored by all shades of gray because of different opinions and interpretations of what happened. And there has been no resolution or reconciliation yet to either story, even though the United Kingdom is now our greatest world ally.   I used to think that building a mosque at Ground Zero would be a healing gesture, but now seeing a British Redcoat museum in the home where my family members suffered, I’m not so sure… especially not if it means rewriting history. 
A colonial honor guard fires three guns to dedicate
 the memorial to John Raymond,
 killed at Munroe Tavern 19 April 1775

For more information:

Lexington Historical Society

Some of my previous blog stories about the Munroe Family:


To cite/link to this blog post: Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Rebranding History", Nutfield Genealogy, posted 26 September 2011, ( accessed [access date]). 

Fall Genealogy Calendar

Genealogy Club Meeting, 1:30 PM every second Friday of each month at the Rodgers Memorial Public Library at 194 Derry Road, Hudson, NH 603-886-6030 or

Genealogy Club Meeting, 1 p.m. every 3rd Tuesday of each month, at the Kelley Library, 234 Main St., Salem, N.H. in the Beshara Room. The ongoing group explores genealogy topics and use of the library's online resources. 603-898-7064 or

Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouses open house, 1-5 p.m., Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse in New Castle, every Sunday through Columbus Day weekend, no reservations; guided tours first come, first served, children under 42 inches tall are not permitted to climb to the top, and adults are not permitted to carry children up the stairs, 44 stairs and a 7-rung ladder to the lantern room, $4/adults, $2/12 and under,

Icons of History: Objects that Define New Hampshire, through December 31, 2011 at the New Hampshire Historical Society, 6 Eagle Square, Concord, NH. An exhibition of objects reflecting NH’s rich history, character and culture.   Museum admission required, please see the website or call 603-228-6688.  

Haunted Happenings- A month long celebration of Halloween during the month of October in Salem, Massachusetts.   Silly, fun, scary, interesting events as well as historical plays and lectures.  Check the schedule for more information.

Hurrah!  Abraham Lincoln, September 24, 2011, 1 PM, Exeter Town Hall Gallery, 10 Front Street, 2nd Floor, Exeter, NH.  A commemoration of Lincoln’s 1860 speech in Exeter, New Hampshire.  603-772-3101

Maine Genealogical Society’s 2011 Family History Conference, Saturday, 24 September 2011, at Spectacular Event Center in Bangor, Maine.  $40 for MGS members, $50 for others, $15 for the luncheon.  Send registration to Maine Genealogical Society, c/o Celeste Hyer, 69 Loop Road, Otisfield, Maine, 04270.

Genealogy 101,  Thursday, September 29, 2011 6:30 PM at the Derry Public Library.  Christine Sharbrough Reference Librarian and Certified Genealogist (SM) presents a lecture on the basics of genealogy research for beginners.  All ages and skill levels welcome! 

Colonial New Hampshire, October 3, 2011, 7PM  A lecture by Professor Jere Daniell at Stevens Memorial Hall, 1 Chester Street, Chester, NH, for more information contact Web Anderson at 603-887-4911

Genealogy and Using Census Records, Thursday, October 6, 2011 at 6:30 PM at the Derry Public Library. Christine Sharbrough Reference Librarian and Certified Genealogist (SM) presents a discussion of federal and state census resources, special census schedules, and more!  Beginners welcome, best for intermediate and expert researchers.

Polish American Heritage Month at St. Joseph Church in Claremont, New Hampshire open to the public. On Thursday, October 6 at 6:30 pm, the 20th Annual Polish Cooking Class will be held in St. Joseph Church Hall. A $5 donation is requested to cover the cost of food served. Please call Sharon Wood at 603-542-6454 or Arline Marro at 603-543-5933 to register ahead of time so that enough food can be prepared. Please do not wait until the last minute to call, since the cooks need to have an accurate count to prepare enough food for sampling. Photo Scanning Days will be held on Saturday Oct 8 after the regular 5pm Mass and on Sunday Oct 16 after the 10am Mass, Do you have photos of events at St Joseph Church from years gone by? Are you willing to help preserve our church history by allowing them to be scanned and saved to CD? Please bring them to one of our photo scanning sessions. Refreshments & entertainment will be provided while photos are scanned and returned to you. 

Leif Ericson Parade, Durham, NH  Celebrate your Scandinavian Heritage!  Sunday, October 9, 2011 at 6:30 AM .  Meet at the laundromat on Main Street and march 25 feet to Young's restaurant for the breakfast celebration!

Genealogy and On Line Resources - Thursday, October 13, 2011 at 6:30 PM at the Derry Public Library. Christine Sharbrough Reference Librarian and Certified Genealogist (SM) presents a lecture on genealogy research using a variety of online databases including, HeritageQuest, and  All ages and skill levels welcome!

Silent Movie Performance with Richard Hughes,  Thursday, October 13, 2011 at 7PM, at the Londonderry Leach Library, Mammoth Road.   Pianist Richard Hughes will provide a glimpse into cinematic history as he discusses the silent film industry and performs several sample musical pieces of the day.  He will present several short comedy films with their musical accompaniment, including a Buster Keaton Film, a Charlie Chaplin Film, and Laurel and Hardy’s Habeas Corpus

Pine Grove Cemetery Walking Tour – Honoring Manchester’s Greek Community, October 16, 2011, 2 – 4 PM, Pine Grove Cemetery, Brown Avenue, Manchester, NH  $5 Manchester Historic Association members, $10 general public, 603-622-7531 history

Front Row Seat in the New Hampshire Primary, Tuesday, October 18, 2011, 7:30PM at the Florence Speare Memorial Museum, 5 Abbott Street, Nashua, NH  603-883-0015  Mike Pride, Editor Emeritus of the Concord Monitor, will outline the history of the New Hampshire Primary and share stories of the eight presidential primaries he covered.

Genealogy and Vital Records, Thursday, October 20, 2011, 6:30 PM at the Derry Public Library.   Christine Sharbrough Reference Librarian and Certified Genealogist (SM) presents a lecture on the history of vital records in the USA and strategies for finding evidence of births, marriages and deaths pre-civil registration.  Best for intermediate and expert genealogical researchers and those interested in the history of the development of US vital record keeping.

75th Anniversary – Manchester: The City that Wouldn’t Die!  Saturday, October 22, 2011 10AM to 4PM at the Millyard Museum, 200 Bedford Street, Manchester, NH   A special event to celebrated the flood of 1936, the worst flood in Manchester history, and the same year the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company, the city’s largest employer, declared bankruptcy- all during the height of the Great Depression.  603-622-7511  Tickets included with regular admission to the Millyard Museum. 

Family History Day “What’s YOUR Ancestral Story?”  Saturday, October 22, 2011, 9 AM – 1PM, Concord LDS Church, 90 Clinton Street, Concord, NH.  This workshop is FREE, open to the public, over 16 classes to choose from!  Please pre-register since there is limited seating.  For more information see the website

Genealogy and the Treasures of the New Hampshire Room,  Thursday, October 27, 2011, 6:30 PM, at the Derry Public Library, Christine Sharbrough Reference Librarian and Certified Genealogist (SM) presents a lecture on the hidden gems and unique local genealogy materials in the Library's local history room.  All ages and skill levels. 

Ghosts of the Winter Street Cemetery, Saturday, October 29, 2011, 4PM at the American Independence Museum, One Governor’s Lane, Exeter, NH  603-772-2622  Here’s your chance to meet some of Exeter’s famous departed residents, John Taylor Gilman, Elizabeth Folsom, Ann Taylor, and many others.  $10 adults, $8 under age 12.  Pre-purchase tickets through the website and dress appropriately for the weather   May not be appropriate for young children.

New Hampshire Open Doors, November 5 – 6, 2011,  A statewide shopping, arts and touring event.   Check the website and plan your own day on the scenic roads of New Hampshire past farm stands, artisan shops, galleries and sample local cuisine. 

Meet Nathaniel Hawthorne on  Thursday, November 10, 2011, at 7:00 p.m., at the Londonderry Leach Library.  The library presents Rob Velella as Nathaniel Hawthorne. In this program, actor Rob Velella portrays author Nathaniel Hawthorne. As Hawthorne, he will briefly introduce himself and then read from several of his well-known short stories, such as "The Minister's Black Veil" and "The Birth-Mark."

The “Fighting Ninth” Massachusetts Infantry:  Boston’s Irish American Regiment and the Civil War  Wednesday, November 16, 2011, 6 PM  Boston Public Library, Orientation Room.  The Ninth Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry was a unit of Irish Bostonians who chose to bear arms for the Union. Boston's Irish American soldiers exhibited their loyalty to the United States and acted as citizens, strengthening their identity as Americans in the process. The wartime experiences of Irish Americans helped bring about recognition of their full citizenship through naturalization, and also caused the United States to pressure Britain to abandon its centuries-old policy of refusing to recognize the naturalization of British subjects abroad.  Presented by lawyer Christian G. Samito,  instructor at Boston College and Boston University School of Law.

Copyright 2011, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Surname Saturday- Wilkinson

Janet and Donald M. Wilkinson
(my great aunt and grandfather)

After blogging for more than two years, I finally decided to try participating in the Surname Saturday meme.  I usually don’t blog on weekends, but thanks to the magic of blogger, I can post this ahead of time.  Yes, it took me two years to learn how to do this!  Don’t laugh.  I'll be working my way through the family tree, tracing each surname in order. 

WILKINSON (my maiden name)

The first recorded Wilkinson in my line is Thomas Wilkinson.  He appears in the Portsmouth, New Hampshire records as marrying Elizabeth Caverly in August 1715.   The record reads “Tho. Wilkinson of London in Great Britain and Elizabeth Caverly of Portsmouth were married August 1715”.  From this I can see that he was probably an immigrant, with no other Wilkinsons before him in New England.  However, there were other Wilkinsons living nearby, including a Samuel Wilkinson born about 1722 who was living in Deerfield (a son? A cousin?) and a Wilkinson in New Castle (an island off Portsmouth), where his brother in law Moses Caverly lived.    These are important clues I continue to research, since all the New Hampshire/Maine Wilkinsons lived in close proximity and had similar naming patterns for their children.

Thomas Wilkinson was taxed for land in Barrington, New Hampshire in 1722, and in Portsmouth in 1727.  He was last taxed in 1732.  He died sometime before 1736 when his son is listed as “William Wilkinson, son of Elizabeth,  Oct. 17, 1736" (Records of the South Church of Portsmouth, New Hampshire).  His wife remarried to Phillip Jewel on 27 November 1739.

Generation 1.  Thomas Wilkinson, born about 1690, probably in London, England, died before 1739; married in August 1715 to Elizabeth Caverly, daughter of William Caverly and Mary Abbott.  Two known sons:  James and William (no further information). There were probably more children.

Generation 2.  James Wilkinson, born about 1730, died between 1796 and 1805 in Berwick, York County, Maine; married about 1753 to Hannah Mead, daughter of Thomas Mead and Hannah Stilson, born 9 August 1730 in Wakefield, New Hampshire, died before 1759.  Seven children.
                1. William, married Mercy Nason (my 4x great grandparents)
                2. James G., born 31 December 1753 in Newington, New Hampshire; married Mary
                3. Anna, born 16 June 1755 in Newington, New Hampshire; married Samuel Hearle
                4. Joseph, baptized 8 May 1757 in Berwick, Maine; married Dorcas Nason
                5. George, born about 1761; married Mehitable Whitehouse
                6. Samuel, born about 1761; married Hannah Turner
                7. Daniel, born about 1764; married Hannah Weymouth

Generation 3.  William Wilkinson, died after 1840; married on 7 February 1788 in South Berwick, Maine to Mercy Nason, daughter of Richard Nason and Mary Thompson, born about 1764 in Kittery, Maine. Three children.
                1. Willliam H., born about 1797, married Mary Lord
                2. George,  born about 1800, married Jane Furbish
                3. Aaron, born 22 February 1802, married Mercy F. Wilson (my 3x great grandparents)

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, Massachusetts to Mercy F. Wilson, daughter of Robert Wilson and Mary Southwick, born 17 June 1803 in Danvers, died 9 October 1883 in Peabody.  Eleven children.

                1. Robert Wilson, born 26 May 1830, married Phebe Cross Munroe
                2. George Washington,  born 10 February 1832; married Sally Richardson
                3. William Prescott, born 3 May 1833; married Sarah Ellen Proctor
                4. Samuel Warren, born 14 November 1835, died 28 November 1836
                5. Samuel Warren, born 15 November 1837, died 23 September 1844
                6. Henry Harrison, born 28 January 1841, died 4 Feb 1842
                7. Henry Harrison, born 30 May 1843, died 13 June 1917
                8. Margaret, born about Oct. 1844, died 4 September 1845
                9. Mary Elizabeth, born 1 Oct 1844, died 4 September 1845
                10. Abba, born about June 1846, died 23 December 1846
                11. Abby Wilson, born 17 June 1846, died 17 June 1846

Generation 5.  Robert Wilson Wilkinson, born 26 May 1830 in Salem, Massachusetts, died 23 March 1874; married on 24 November 1853 to Phebe Cross Munroe, daughter of Luther Simonds Munroe and Olive Flint, born 28 October 1830 in Danvers, died 31 January 1895 in Salem, Massachusetts.  Three children.
                1. Robert Henry, born 14 January 1855; married Eliza Harris Poor
                2. Walter, born 3 November 1856, died 2 April 1858
                3. Albert Munroe, born 7 November 1860; married Isabella Lyons Bill (my great grandparents)

Generation 6. Albert Munroe Wilkinson, born 7 November 1860 in Danvers, died 12 May 1908 at the Corey Hill Hospital, Brookline, Massachusetts; married on 18 October 1894 to Isabella Lyons Bill, daughter of Caleb Rand Bill and Ann Margaret Bollman, born January 1863 in Machias, Maine, died 19 January 1935 in Beverly, Massachusetts.  Two children.
                1. Donald Munroe, born 23 October 1895; married Bertha Louise Roberts (my grandparents)
                2. Janet, born 14 June 1898; married William John Blades


To Cite/Link to this blog post: Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Surname Saturday ~ Wilkinson", Nutfield Genealogy, posted 24 September 2011, ( accessed [access date]). 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Howland Spoon

When I was in Plymouth last week, one of my goals was to visit the Jabez Howland House to see if I could purchase one of their reproductions "Howland Spoons".  We found free time between meetings and fortunately, it was during the operating hours of this historic home.  It is the only house in Plymouth that is the former home of a Mayflower passenger, all of the others have succumbed to fire, destruction or removal.  

Jabez Howland was the son of Mayflower passengers John Howland and Elizabeth Tilley.  John Howland lived downtown, and there is a marker on the sidewalk in front of #16 Leiden Street showing the location of his home.  He and his family removed to Rocky Nook, Kingston, Massachusetts, in 1638/9 and lived there until 1672 when he died at his son Jabez's home in Plymouth.  The home in Rocky Nook burned to the ground in 1675. The land belonged to three generations of Howlands until 1725.  It was bought by the Pilgrim John Howland Society in 1920. 

For more than ten years the Pilgrim John Howland Society, which owns the Rocky Nook site of his home and the Jabez Howland House, has had archaeological digs to learn more about the lives of Howland family.  The artifacts are displayed inside the Jabez Howland house.  One item is a complete pewter spoon, which has survived intact.  Most of the other items found are fragments.  This spoon exactly matches a 1690 spoon mold from the collection of a pewterer, who now produces reproduction spoons for the Society.  It has been my goal to see the original spoon from the excavation, and to purchase a newly poured copy from the original mold.  

There is one of these reproduction "Howland" spoons on display at St. Mary's church, Henlow, Bedfordshire, England, where the Tilley family worshipped before coming to the New World, and where their family baptism records can be found in the church registers. 
just a small sample of the artifacts on display

This is an exact copy in all respects to the original spoon, except for the quality of the pewter (no lead!)   It is dishwasher safe, and fun to use.  I don't think I'll keep it in a silver chest, but use it daily, just like my ancestors!  I'm so happy with the spoon that I think it will make nice wedding and baby gifts for other family members.  You can see that the spoon has many fine details, including a portrait of King William (1689 - 1702) on the handle, and fine details on the back of the bowl.  Anyone interested in the colonial time period, antiques, or pewter would love this spoon!

portrait of King William

The Pilgrim John Howland Society (contact them to purchase one of these reproductions spoons)

The Rocky Nook Excavation Blog

Copyright 2011, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Weathervane Wednesday- Another Twofer!

I've been collecting photographs of the many, many weather vanes in the Nutfield area (Derry and Londonderry, New Hampshire).  Last week I started a new meme at my blog called "Weathervane Wednesday" to feature some of this photography.  If you want a challenge, I'll post the locations at the bottom of the page so you can scroll down far enough to see the photo, but not the location, and try to guess where you may have seen these lovely weathervanes.

Weathervanes are a form of folk art now featured in fine art museum such as Boston's Museum of Fine Arts, and at the Currier Gallery Museum in Manchester, New Hampshire.  Prices for weather vanes have risen dramatically at recent auctions, and many have become victims of theft and vandalism.  By appreciating their beauty and history, perhaps we can preserve the weather vanes of New Hampshire.

On August 31st I blogged about a farm with two tractor weathervanes on its barns, and today I have another 2 for 1 deal.  These are photographs of two animal weather vanes at one farm.  A horse on the barn and a duck on the house. Can you guess the location of weather vanes #6 and #7?

These photos were taken at Fieldstone Farm on Litchfield Road in Londonderry, New Hampshire.


To cite/link to this blog post:  Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Weathervane Wednesday- Another Twofer!", Nutfield Genealogy, posted September 21, 2011, ( accessed [access date]). 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Family History Day - October 22, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday - Some Pilgrims in Plymouth

While in Plymouth, Massachusetts for the Triennial Mayflower Congress I was able to find a little bit of free time to find a few memorial stones at Burial Hill for passengers on the Mayflower.  These were erected by descendants, since no one knows exactly where their bodies lie in Plymouth.  The only known burial spot of a Mayflower passenger, with a grave marker contemporary to the time of death is that of Richard More in Salem, Massachusetts.

B. CA 1568-9 D. AT PLYMOUTH CA APRIL 17, 1627


We didn't find John Howland's memorial stone at Burial Hill, but whilst visiting the Jabez Howland House in Plymouth we photographed this rubbing of that same stone! 

Here ended the Pilgrimage of
who died February 25, 1672/3
aged above 80 years
married Elizabeth daughter of
who came with him on the 
Mayflower dec. 1620
from them are descended 
numerous posterity.

"He was a godly man and an ardent
professor of the wayes of Christ. Hee was
one of the first comers into this land and 
was the last man that was left of those
that came over in the Shipp called the
Mayflower that lived in Plymouth"
--Plymouth Records

After leaving Burial Hill we went to Cole's Hill, which is on the waterfront near Plymouth Rock.  This is where the Mayflower passengers had their first cemetery, burying the victims who died that first winter in Massachusetts 1620-1621.   There is a large monument here, containing the unidentified remains found during excavations.  It is inscribed with the names of those who succumbed the first winter.  There is also a statue to Massasoit and a plaque identifying this area as a National Historic Monument.   The Wampanoag Nation also laid a plaque to the National Day of Mourning next to Massasoit. 

ERECTED 1884."

[on the other side]

"Here under cover of darkness the fast dwindling company laid their dead, leveling the earth above them lest the Indians should learn how many were their graves. Reader, history records no nobler venture for faith and freedom than that of this pilgrim band. In weariness and painfulness in watchings often in hunger and cold, they laid the foundations of a state wherein every man through countless ages should have liberty to worship God in his own way. May their example inspire thee to do thy part in perpetuating and spreading the lofty ideals of our Republic throughout the world."

Copyright 2011, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Monday, September 19, 2011

Women of the Mayflower Project

You missed a good one!  The Women of the Mayflower Project

Well, you didn't miss it completely, because its an ongoing project.  On Saturday, 10 September 2011 in Plymouth, Massachusetts I attended a wonderful presentation of research by three renowned genealogists, Caleb Johnson, Simon Neale and Jeremy Dupertuis Bangs.  Their work will be published in upcoming editions of the Mayflower Quarterly, so you can catch up.

The Women of the Mayflower is a project sponsored by the General Society of Mayflower Descendants to identify and investigate the maiden names and families of the wives of the male passengers on the Mayflower.  Only three women's lingeages have been identified, Mary Norris Allerton, Joan Hurst Tilley, and Katherine White Carver.  Several others are still nameless, and their identities are still lost to time.  In 2010 Governor General Judith Swan of the Mayflower Society came to New Hampshire and spoke about this project, and I've been very interested in the research ever since.

The first researcher who presented his research was Caleb Johnson, who has a wonderful website, and has authored books including Here I Shall Die Ashore (the story of Stephen Hopkins) and The Mayflower and Her Passengers.  He was assigned to find the ancestry of Alice Mullins, mother of Priscilla Mullins Alden.  He did exhaustive research in all the villages where William Mullins lived, including looking at the extended family of all the Mullins relatives, business contacts, and people named in other records.  This is what kind of research is possible when you are funded by the Mayflower Society! His charts and slides took my breath away, with his possibilities of extended kinship found in records. No definite conclusions were made, but many discoveries were made on the Mullins family.

Simon Neale is from Kew's National Archives in the United Kingdom.  He was assigned to research the two wives of Stephen Hopkins. He also did exhaustive research on Hopkins families in London. The last to present was Jeremy Bangs, who did research on the Walloon Mayflower families such as Delano and Cooke.  Jeremy is the author of many books including Strangers and Pilgrims, Travelers and Sojourners, 2009, and Indian Deeds, 2002.  If you have read his books, you know that he does meticulous work with many footnotes and details.  His research reflected this attention to leaving no stone unturned as he he traveled from France and Holland to England.  His story of finding kinships among the records in Norwich, England was fascinating. 

In Plymouth, Massachusetts, across the street from Plymouth Rock is a memorial to the Women of the Mayflower.  It was erected in 1920 on the 300th anniversary of the arrival of the Mayflower in the New World.  On the back of the memorial is the following list of names.  Remember, in 1920 this was all that was known of the women and girl passengers on the Mayflower.  Some of the women have been identified since 1920, but we have a long way to go.  As Caleb Johnson pointed out during the lecture, although this was exhaustive research, some women's names may never be known.  

Mary Norris Allerton
Mary Allerton
Remember Allerton
Eleanor Billington
Mary Brewster
-------------- Chilton
Mary Chilton
Sarah Eaton
--------------- Fuller
Elizabeth Hopkins          now identified as Elizabeth Fisher Hopkins
Constance Hopkins
Alice Mullins
Priscilla Mullins
-------------  Tilley            now identified as Joan Hurst Tilley
Elizabeth Tilley
Susanna Fuller White     "Fuller" is not her maiden name
Dorothy Bradford           now identified as Dorothy May Bradford
Katherine Carver           now identified as Katherine White Carver
Maid Servant of the Carvers, name unknown    now known only as Dorothy
Humility Cooper
Demaris Hopkins
------------ Martin            now identified as Mary Prower Martin
Desire Minter
Ellen More
Alice Rigdale
Rose Standish
Ann Tilley
------------- Tinker
Elizabeth Winslow         now identified as Elizabeth Barker Winslow

Women of the Mayflower, from Caleb Johnson's website

Jeremy Bang's American Pilgrim Museum in Leiden, The Netherlands

Copyright 2011, Heather Wilkinson Rojo 

Friday, September 16, 2011

More things to do in Plymouth, Massachusetts

On this day, 16 September 1620, the Mayflower left Plymouth, England and arrived in the New World with 102 passengers in November.  Happy Mayflower Day!  When in Plymouth, Massachusetts you might want to see the Mayflower II, built in England and sailed to America in 1957.  It is currently moored in Plymouth Harbor.  See

Visit the Plymouth Rock, moved many times, and now resting under a granite canopy built in 1920.   See

Don't miss Plimoth Plantation's Wampanoag Homesite, where you can meet Native Americans who will answer your questions about Wampanoag life today and in the 17th century.   See

While at Plimoth Plantation you can also see the Craft Center.  Modern artisans use 17th century tools to create the objects you will see in all the Plimoth Plantation museums and interpretive sites, also for sale.   See

For research you can visit The Mayflower House Museum and Library, built in 1754 and donated by the Winslow family to the General Society of Mayflower Descendants for use as their headquarters.  The library is dedicated for genealogical research.  See

Pilgrim Hall Museum is the nation's oldest public museum, built in 1824 to preserve the story of the Pilgrims and the Mayflower passengers.  See

Yesterday I blogged about the 17th Century English Village at Plimoth Plantation with lots of photos at this link

For more things to do in Plymouth, Massachusetts (history related or not!) please see these links:

Copyright 2011, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Tech Savvy Genealogists' Meme

I invite anyone with an interest in genealogy to participate. If you don't have a blog and wish to participate you can write them up on Google+ or post them as a note on Facebook.  Or you can just create your own document to keep track of your own goals.

The list should be annotated in the following manner:
Things you have already done or found: bold face type
Things you would like to do or find: italicize (colour optional)
Things you haven’t done or found and don’t care to: plain type

Feel free to add extra comments in brackets after each item 

Which of these apply to you?

  1. Own an Android or Windows tablet or an iPad - my Windows tablet is no good, I so very much want an iPad!
  2. Use a tablet or iPad for genealogy related purposes - see above
  3. Have used Skype to for genealogy purposes - spoke to relatives in Spain!
  4. Have used a camera to capture images in a library/archives/ancestor's home  I have zillions of photos
  5. Use a genealogy software program on your computer to manage your family tree
  6. Have a Twitter account
  7. Tweet daily
  8. Have a genealogy blog    (!!!)
  9. Have more then one genealogy blog
  10. Have lectured/presented to a genealogy group on a technology topic
  11. Currently an active member of Genealogy Wise   - but use it less and less
  12. Have a Facebook Account  -  use it all the time
  13. Have connected with genealogists via Facebook - very useful!
  14. Maintain a genealogy related Facebook Page - NH Mayflower, etc.
  15. Maintain a blog or website for a genealogy society - NH Mayflower, etc.
  16. Have submitted text corrections online to Ancestry, Trove or a similar site
  17. Have registered a domain name
  18. Post regularly to Google+     becoming more and more useful!
  19. Have a blog listed on Geneabloggers   - Thanks, Thomas MacEntee!
  20. Have transcribed/indexed records for FamilySearch or a similar project
  21. Own a Flip-Pal or hand-held scanner  - use my camera
  22. Can code a webpage in .html   - not interested
  23. Own a smartphone - and now I'm spoiled
  24. Have a personal subscription to one or more paid genealogy databases
  25. Use a digital voice recorder to record genealogy lectures
  26. Have contributed to a genealogy blog carnival   - several times!
  27. Use Chrome as a Browser
  28. Have participated in a genealogy webinar
  29. Have taken a DNA test for genealogy purposes   - Someday I'll blog about this
  30. Have a personal genealogy website
  31. Have found mention of an ancestor in an online newspaper archive
  32. Have tweeted during a genealogy lecture
  33. Have scanned your hardcopy genealogy files
  34. Use an RSS Reader to follow genealogy news and blogs
  35. Have uploaded a gedcom file to a site like Geni, MyHeritage or Ancestry
  36. Own a netbook
  37. Use a computer/tablet/smartphone to take genealogy lecture notes
  38. Have a profile on LinkedIn that mentions your genealogy habit
  39. Have developed a genealogy software program, app or widget
  40. Have listened to a genealogy podcast online   - and was a guest on Genealogy Gems!
  41. Have downloaded genealogy podcasts for later listening
  42. Backup your files to a portable hard drive
  43. Have a copy of your genealogy files stored offsite
  44. Know about Rootstech
  45. Have listened to a Blogtalk radio session about genealogy - and was a guest, too!
  46. Use Dropbox, SugarSync or other service to save documents in the cloud - Google Docs
  47. Schedule regular email backups
  48. Have contriibuted to the Familysearch Wiki
  49. Have scanned and tagged your genealogy photographs
  50. Have published a genealogy book in an online/digital format
I notice that I've done many of the things on this list.  The things in red (which I would like to do next) all involve purchases of major technology items, all for a pretty penny.  I hope I win the lottery soon! 

This list was created by Jill Ball, the Australian Genealogy blogger at the blog "Geniaus" at this link:   Check out the new genealogy memes at Thomas MacEntee's GeneaBlogger website 

Copyright 2011, Heather Wilkinson Rojo