Monday, December 31, 2012

January Genealogy and Local History Calendar

Local Club Meetings

Hudson Genealogy Club, at the Rogers Memorial Library, 194 Derry Road, Hudson, NH  every 2nd Friday of the Month, at 1:30 PM contact Gayle St. Cyr 603-886-6030

Genealogy Roundtable, at the Derry Public Library, 64 East Broadway, Derry, NH  every first Tuesday of the Month, at 1 – 2:30 PM.   contact: Christine Sharbrough 603-432-6140

Greater Lowell Genealogy Club meets at the Pollard Memorial Library, Lowell, MA 10AM to 1PM once a month. 

Newton, NH Genealogy Club- Gale Library, Newton, NH, 603-382-4691, 3PM on the third Wednesday of the month. 

Chelmsford Genealogy Club, at the Chelmsford, MA Public Library, first Tuesday night of the month at 7PM in the McCarthy Meeting Room, contact Judy Sylvia 978-256-5521
Rye Genealogy Club, at the Rye Public Library, first Tuesday of the month at 2PM.

January 2, Wednesday, 7:15pm,  Songs of Old New Hampshire, First Baptist Church, 122 Main Street, Plaistow, NH sponsored by the NH Humanities Council.  Ballads, love songs and comic pieces reveal daily life in the days before movies, and television. FREE.  603-382-5843 for more info.

January 3, Thursday, Noon to 1PM, 1704 Deerfield Captive to Congregational Missionary Interpreter for the Mohawks, at the Congregational Library, 14 Beacon St., Boston, Massachusetts. FREE.  For more information see  Eight year old Rebecca Kellogg was captured and adopted into the Mohawk community in Canada.  She was an interpreter for Rev. Jonathan Edwards when he preached in Stockbridge.

January 8, Tuesday, 7pm, True Stories from New Hampshire’s Black History, at the Hampstead Public Library, 9 Mary E. Clark Drive, Hampstead, NH. 603-329-6411 for more info. Sponsored by the NH Humanities Council. FREE

January 8, 7:30pm, Old Time Rules will Prevail: Fiddle Contests in New Hampshire and New England, at the Exeter Historical Society, 47 Front St., Exeter, NH, 603-778-2335.  FREE.  The history of fiddling contests, along with live sampling of the tunes from the past.

January 9, Wednesday, 10am Using at the New England Historic Genealogical Society, 99 – 101 Newbury Street, Boston. FREE.  Learn to use the NEHGS website with over 200 million searchable names. See for more information.

January 12, Saturday, 3pm – 6pm Old Newbury Day Open House at the Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm, 5 Little’s Lane, Newbury, Mass, FREE, $5 parking, celebrate the official purchase of the town of Newbury on January 13, 1701 with a tour of the house, hot cider, donuts and then walk to the town sponsored bonfire.

January 16, 6pm – 8pm Getting Started in Genealogy (also January 23 and 30) at the New England Historic Genealogical Society. $30 for all three sessions with genealogist Rhonda McClure. Register online at

January 16, 7pm, All Aboard the Titanic, at the Nesmith Library, 8 Fellows Rd, Windham, NH, sponsored by the Windham Historical Society and the NH Humanities Council.  FREE. A lecture about the experiences aboard the doomed Titanic, including passengers and crew with New Hampshire affiliations.

January 22, Tuesday 11am – 4pm Opening Reception at the West End Museum, for the new exhibit “Connections: Bridges of the West End”  FREE, 150 Staniford Street, Suite 7, Boston.  For more information see

January 23, Wednesday 7pm, Moved and Seconded: Town Meeting in New Hampshire, at the Sandown Town Hall, 320 Main St., Sandown, NH, sponsored by the Sandown Public Library and the NH Humanities Council, 603-887-3428.  A talk by Rebecca Rule on her recently published book on the humor, history and characters behind this uniquely New England tradition.  Snow date January 30, 2013.

January 31 – February 2, Winter Weekend Getaway – African American Family History Research, at the New England Historic Genealogical Society. $300 for the full program, day rates available.  See for more information.

February 5, Tuesday, Noon to 1pm,  A Free Negro who Also Owned the Covenant with Us, , at the Congregational Library, 14 Beacon St., Boston, Massachusetts. FREE.  For more information see   This discussion addresses African American affiliation with churches in the eighteenth century.

February 6, 6pm – 7:30pm One Colonial Woman’s World: The Life and Writings of Mehetabel Chandler Coit, at the New England Historic Genealogical Society at 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston, FREE to the public.  For more information see
February 9, 1:30 pm New Visitor Welcome Tour, at the New England Historic Genealogical Society, 99 – 101 Newbury Street, Boston.  FREE to the public. See the website

February 14, 1pm, Crosscut: A Spoken Documentary, at the Rye Congregational Church, 580 Washington Road, Rye, NH, sponsored by the NH Humanities Council 603-964-6281.  Rebecca Rule will discuss the oral histories of North Country people to tell the story of logging in the Androscoggin Valley in the 1880s through the boom years. FREE

February 15, Friday, 10am Mary Todd Lincoln: Wife and Widow, at the Community Church of Durham, 17 Main St. Durham, NH 603-868-7364, sponsored by the NH Humanities Council.  Join Mary Todd Lincoln as she reflects on her life. FREE

February 19, Tuesday, 7pm, New Hampshire’s One-Room Rural Schools: The Romance and the Reality, at the Merrimack Public Library, 470 DW Highway, Merrimack, NH 603-424-5084. FREE.  A discussion about the lasting legacies of the hundreds of one-room schools that dotted the landscape of New Hampshire.

February 23, 10am – noon, Behind the Scenes in Collections and Conservation, at the Historic New England Facility at 151 Essex Street, Haverhill, Massachusetts.  Free to Historic New England members, $25 nonmembers, $15 Haverhill residents.  Registration is required, please call 617-944-5959.

March 2, Saturday, 8:30 am – 5pm Ancestry Day at the Sheraton Boston Hotel, sponsored by the New England Historic Genealogical Society and  $30 registration fee, $19 parking at the Prudential Center. or email education

March 2, Saturday, 1pm Baked Beans and Fried Clams: How Food Defines a Region, at the Derry Public Library, 64 E. Broadway, Derry, NH  432-6140 A celebration of the regional favorites, and a discussion on the many foods distinctive to New England. FREE

March 4, Monday, 1pm A Visit with Queen Victoria, at the First Baptist Church of Nashua, 121 Manchester St., Nashua, NH  603-886-7201.  Sponsored by the NH Humanities Council.  Sally Mummey performs as her royal highness, to reveal the personal details of a powerful yet humane woman. FREE

March 4, Monday, 2:15pm Vanished Veteran’s- NH’s Civil War Monuments and Memorials, at the Havenwood Heritage Heights Auditorium, 33 Christian Avenue, Concord, NH 603-229-1185.  A discussion on the earliest obelisks, to statues, artillery, murals, cast iron, stained glass and buildings from the 1860s through the 1920s in New Hampshire. FREE

March 6, New Visitor Welcome Tour, at the New England Historic Genealogical Society, 99 – 101 Newbury Street, Boston.  FREE to the public.  See the website

March 6, Wednesday, 6:30pm If I am Not for Myself, Who Will Be for Me?  George Washington’s Runaway Slave, at the Kimball Public Library, 5 Academy Avenue, Atkinson, NH  603-362-5234.  FREE The story of Ona Judge Staines, who ran away from Martha Washington to New Hampshire.  Presented by Gwendolyn Quezaire-Presutti.

March 8, 6:30pm – 8:30pm The Irish Experience at the Phillips House, 34 Chestnut Street, Salem, Mass.  $10 Historic New England members, $15 nonmembers, Discover the daily lives of the Phillips family’s Irish domestic staff.  Registration recommended, please call 978-744-0440 for additional information.

March 28, Thursday, 2:30pm The Abolitionists of Noyes Academy, at Heritage Heights- Tad’s Place, 149 East Side Drive, Concord, NH  603-229-1266 In 1835 the first racially integrated school was opened in Canaan, NH, but outraged citizens raised a mob that dragged the academy off its foundation and ran the African American students out of town. This is the story of three extraordinary Afrian American leaders, Henry Highland Garnet, Alexander Crummell and Thomas Sipkins Sidney.  FREE

April 17 – 21, New England Regional Genealogical Conference, at the Raddison Hotel and Conference Center, Manchester, NH  For more information see the website

April 21st, Wednesday,10am  FREE Vacation Week Genealogy For Kids Program at the National Archives,  38Trapelo Road, Waltham, Massachusetts.  Participants research their family history with volunteers and staff available to help out.  Reservations are required, please call 866-406-2379 2379 or email

April 21st, Wednesday, 2pm, Behind the Scenes at the National Archives, a 45 minute tour to see original documents of our nation’s history.  Reservations suggested, please call 866-406-2379 or email

Copyright 2012, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Happy New Year!

Some photos of New Year's celebrations in the past years... 

New Years Day 2004 in Londonderry, New Hampshire.  That's my Mom and I intently watching the Londonderry High School Band march in the 2003 Rose Bowl Parade.  My daughter was a member of the color guard, waving flags for the entire six miles and marching and dancing.  The entire town watched proudly.  It was the band's third Rose Bowl parade, and they have marched in it once again since 2003.  Yes, the tree is still up and presents are still wrapped because we open some gifts on Three King's Day (January 6th- Epiphany).  

New Years Eve 2006/2007 in Madrid, Spain.  As you can see, we are watching TV, just like in the United States.  But instead of watching the ball drop on Times Square, New York, we are watching the festivities taking place at the Puerta del Sol in Madrid.  You can see all the champagne is poured and ready for a New Year's toast, but also each person has a dish with twelve grapes on it.  In Spain everyone eats twelve grapes at the stroke of midnight before any toasting. Kissing is optional.

Copyright 2012, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Sunday, December 30, 2012

A Favorite Christmas Gift! You might want one, too!

I received a lot of lovely gifts this Christmas, and I love them all.  This was one I just had to share since it is such wonderful present for family history.

click to enlarge, it's easier to see the handwriting

My daughter had my husband "borrow" a recipe card out of my files, which she scanned.  It is a precious recipe written in my mother's own handwriting for our favorite coffee cake.  This sour cream coffee cake is a special treat in our family, and at Christmas we all make it with red and green maraschino cherries on top. My grandmother used to make this recipe, too.  The original recipe card is very stained and worn.  My daughter had an Etsy artist wood-burn the recipe onto a wooden cutting board, using the scan of the original recipe card. 

Imagine the possibilities   You can take a favorite family recipe and create one of these treasures, too.   The recipe could be something that has been passed on for generations, or a favorite recipe from the "old country".  It is not only a great Christmas gift, but would make a lovely Mother's Day or wedding shower gift.

I looked on and there are several artists there offering the same service, to reproduce recipe cards on wooden cutting boards.  I don't know which one my daughter used, but all of them look similar.  If you are a wood-burn artist perhaps you can reproduce this handicraft yourself with a scanned image of a hand written recipe.

I plan on hanging this board on my kitchen wall.  It's too precious to use as a cutting board!

Try this link to find an artisan to make one for you


Cite/Link to this post: Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "A Favorite Christmas Gift!  You might want one, too!", Nutfield Genealogy, posted December 30, 2012, ( accessed [access date]). 

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Surname Saturday ~ Fowle of Charlestown and Woburn, Massachusetts

Lt. James Fowle's tombstone
at the Old Burial Ground, Woburn, Massachusetts

George Fowle was an early immigrant to New England. He was made a freeman in Concord, Massachusetts on 14 March 1639 and living in Charlestown by 1648.  He was a tanner.  His double gravestone, with his wife Mary, at the Phipps Street Burying Ground in Charlestown states that he died at age 72.  Together, they had eleven children and left a will probated on 3 October 1682. 

Lieutenant James Fowle, the second son, was born at Concord and died at Woburn, Massachusetts. He was a cordwainer (shoemaker).   His gravestone states he was forty-nine years old.  He married Abigail Carter, the daughter of Captain John Carter.  She married second Ensign Samuel Walker, and married third to Deacon Samuel Stone.  He was the lieutenant of the local militia, originally appointed as ensign by Governor Andros, which met with some opposition since Andros was an unpopular  leader.   Lt. James Fowle enlisted in the1690 unsuccessful  Phipps Expedition to Quebec, Canada.  He died shortly after returning home, probably due to complications of exposure to the cold weather.   His will , written before the expedition, reads “being a call of God bound for Canada in the Expedition against the French Enemy, and not knowing whether I shall ever return home alive…”

The best source for information on the Massachusetts Fowle family is the book Descendants of George Fowle (1610/11? – 1682) of Charlestown, Massachusetts by Eugene Chalmers Fowle,  New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1990.

My lineage from George Fowle:

Generation 1: George Fowle, born 27 January 1610 at Sandhurst, Kent, England, son of George Fowle and Ann Draper, died on 19 September 1682 in Charlestown, Massachusetts; married about 1634 to Mary Tufts, daughter of Peter Tufts and Frances Unknown, born about 1613 in England and died 15 February 1676 in Charlestown.  Eleven children.

Generation 2: Lieutenant James Fowle, born about 12 March 1643 in Concord, Massachusetts, died on 17 December 1690 in Woburn; married in 1666 to Abigail Carter, daughter of John Carter and Elizabeth Kendall, born 21 April 1648 in Woburn, died 11 May 1718 in Woburn. Eight children.

Generation 3:  Captain James Fowle, born 4 March 1667 in Woburn, died 19 March 1714 in Woburn; married on 2 October 1688 in Woburn to Mary Richardson, daughter of Joseph Richardson and Hannah Greene, born 22 March 1669 in Woburn and died 23 October 1748 in Woburn. Twelve children.

Generation 4: Mary Fowle, born 18 June 1689 in Woburn, died 9 March 1762 in Woburn; married on 17 June 1714 in Woburn to James Simonds, Jr., son of James Simonds and Susanna Blodgett, who was born 1 November 1686 in Woburn and died 30 June 1775 in Woburn. Nine children.

Generation 5: Caleb Simonds m. Susanna Converse
Generation 6:  Ruth Simonds m. Andrew Munroe
Generation 7:  Luther Simonds Munroe m. Olive Flint
Generation 8: Phebe Cross Munroe m. Robert Wilson Wilkinson
Generation 9: Albert Munroe Wilkinson m. Isabella Lyons Bill
Generation 10: Donald Munroe Wilkinson m. Bertha Louise Roberts (my grandparents)

Copyright 2012, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Friday, December 28, 2012

Follow Friday ~Recommended blogs for the New Year

These are blogs I’ve enjoyed this year, and you might want to check them out in 2013… all come highly recommended!   Maybe some will become your favorites, too.


History Blogs:

Boston 1775 by J. L. Bell This blog concentrates on stories concerning the start of the American Revolution, especially in Boston in Massachusetts

Nupepa   translations of vintage  Hawaiian Language Newspapers

The Historical Society edited by Randall Stephens  a group blog by the Boston University Journal of the Historical Society

Two Nerdy History Girls by Isabella Bradford and Susan Holloway Scott observations on American History by two historical fiction authors

William & Mary Barrett Dyer by Christy K Robinson  observations on 17th century New England culture as it might have been seen by Mary Barrett Dyer, a Quaker martyr

Blog, or Die by Michael Aubrecht  “this site deals specifically with the politics, rebellion, and military affairs that guided our nation’s path toward securing liberty and freedom”

PastIsPresent by the American Antiquarian Society   stories about objects and documents found in the AAS archives in Worcester, Massachusetts

Early American Crime by Anthony Vaver   “an exploration of crime, criminals, and punishments from America’s past”

Around the Mall by the Smithsonian Museums

New England Blogs:

Boatbuilding with Burnham by Laurie Fullerton “stories, advice and information about wooden shipbuilding”  especially about Harold Burnham boatbuilders of Essex, Massachusetts

New England Folklore by Peter Muise  posts about New England myths, legends, folklore and traditions

Historic Buildings of Massachusetts by Daniel   and also Historic Buildings of Connecticut

Epsom, NH by the Epsom, New Hampshire Historical Society   daily photos, stories, documents and history from the small town of Epsom, New Hampshire

Plimoth Plantation, a loving history museum,  has several blogs at - these are my favorite three

    1)      The Riven Word the artisans department at Plimoth Plantation
    2)      They knew they were Pilgrims  what it is like to be a re-enactor at the 17th century English village at Plimoth Plantation museum

     3)      Pilgrim Seasonings stories from the culinary research department at Plimoth Plantation

“New to Me” Genealogy Blogs: 
      (I read many genealogy blogs, these are just the new ones I've enjoyed lately)

Past-Present-Future by smadar Belkind Gerson

Reflections by Kathryn Smith Lockhard

The Legal Genealogist by Judy Russell

The Pye Plate by Bette Wing

Tufts Family History by Tom Tufts

The Family Connection by Jeanie Roberts

La Zarza Pumareda by Francisca Martin

Massachusetts and More by Chris

My Maine Ancestry by Pam Carter

Copyright 2012, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Thursday, December 27, 2012

A 25th Wedding Anniversary in Spain

When we were in Spain last month my mother-in-law brought out a few old photo albums I had never seen before.  This one had lots of wonderful photos, and many of them were taken the day she hosted a 25th wedding anniversary party for her parents.  

José García and María Consuelo Martín were married on 8 September 1933 in the tiny village of Villar de Ciervo, Salamanca, Spain.  By the time of their 25th anniversary they were living in Madrid.  The wedding vow renewals were held at the Madrid church of Santa Teresa and Santa Isabel. What is fun is that everyone atttending the lunch signed the book, and the signatures are still legible! 

José and Consuelo

Messages and congratulations from guests at the anniversary.  Most are family members!

My mother-in-law with her parents.
She hosted the festivities on 6 September 1958.
She looks so young here! 
It looks like the guests had a good time!

This is José García  and María Consuelo Martín on their wedding day on 8 September 1933!

Copyright 2012, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Weathervane Wednesday Wrap up for 2012

This gilded centaur can be seen at Mack's Apples in Londonderry.
It is the first weathervane I posted in this series.

I’ve posted 75 weathervanes in this series, and there are several dozen more to go!  I’m inviting any reader to email me at if you spot an unusual, historic or whimsical weathervane I have not yet posted online.  Just drop me a quick message with the location and a description, and I’ll try to make your contributions part of the Weathervane Wednesday series in 2013. 
Most of these weathervanes have been in the Nutfield area (Londonderry, Derry and Windham, New Hampshire, but there have been a few from far away including Spain and Disney World in California!

Since I’ve been posting these photographs and stories for more than a year now, I thought it would be fun to tally up what sorts of weathervanes I’ve covered so far…

Angels - 2
Arrows and Banners - 9
Cats- 1
Birds (other than ducks or eagles)- 1
Boats and ships - 4
Cows – 3
Dogs- 3
Ducks and Geese- 3
Eagles – 6
Fish and Whales – 3
Horses – 10
Horse and vehicles – 2
Human figures - 2
Letters, numbers and words - 2
Roosters – 5
Vehicles (bikes, motorcycles, tractors, trolleys, cars, etc.) – 7
Misc – one each of a saw, phone, spider web, centaur, deer and “The Old Man of the Mountains”

The clear winner so far is horses, with an additional two horse drawn vehicle weathervanes makes the equestrian theme the most popular weathervane in Weathervane Wednesday series.   Did you have a favorite?  Please comment below about your favorite shape of weathervane.

Click this link to see the entire Weathervane Wednesday series of posts!

Copyright 2012, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas in my family over the years

Christmas celebrations throughout the years, from all over!

1950s, Hamilton, Massachusetts
My Mom with her seven siblings,
her parents and other relatives
(a total of four generations of Allens!)

1966 Queen's, New York
My husband was five years old, and
Santa brought him a covered wagon from
the "Bonanza" TV show!  He wishes he still had it. 

1974, Holden, Massachusetts
Many families in Holden were Swedish, and they all celebrated
opening presents with Santa on Christmas Eve.  For several years
 my Dad was recruited to deliver gifts to the family next door.

Christmas morning 1985, Londonderry, New Hampshire
We were married only two years and recently
moved up to New Hampshire

1993, Londonderry, New Hampshire
My daughter, and her grandfather who came
from Madrid, Spain to spend Christmas

2000, Londonderry, New Hampshire
Bringing home the Christmas Tree

2004, San Juan, Puerto Rico
We brought the little Christmas Tree in our suitcase
to my in-law's house.  Most people in Puerto Rico
do not put up Christmas Trees.   We also brought the
poppers for my daughter to open with her grandparents!


Copyright 2012, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Monday, December 24, 2012

Top Ten 2012

Every year I publish the following stats in late December.  It’s interesting to see what people are Googling and which posts elicit the most comments.  It’s also fun to see what people enjoyed reading and sharing.  Maybe you will find something here you missed reading the first time around!

Thank you to everyone who read my blog this year, and thanks for the comments, too! 

Top Referring Web Sites:
  1.     Google  (no surprise)
  2.      Facebook
  3.       Bing
  4.       Yahoo
  5.       Networked Blogs
  6. (links from other posts I suppose)
  7. (Thanks, Randy!)
  9.  (Google+)
10.  (Thanks to my British readers!)

Top Posts of the past Three Years:
  1.       Surname to 9 Generation (It’s a page, not a post, but with over 6,000 hits in 3 years)

  2.       Descendants of Thomas Wilkinson (another page, but with over 3,000 hits in 2 years)

  3.       Hezekiah Wyman and the Legend of the White Horseman (nearly 2,000 hits since last year)

  4.       Pinterest, Ancestry and Copyrighted Images

  5.       1940 Sneak Peek for Genealogists (posted on 16 April 2011, a year before the big census event!)

  6.      My Mayflower Passengers  - (this was fun because so many bloggers participated with me!)

7.       And then what happens to their Websites?
  8.       The Carole Brinkman Unsolved Murder Mystery

  9.       Pirate Thomas Tew ~ Guest Post  (Thanks,  guest blogger John Tew!)

  10.   Publishing a Book for my Blog

Top Searches of the past Three Years:
  1.       White Horse
  2.       Maria del Rosario Cayetana Alfonsa
  3.       Nutfield Genealogy
  4.       Thanksgiving Proclamation
  5.       1940 Census
  6.       Villar de Ciervo Salamanca
  7.       William Dawes
  8.       Josie Langmaid
  9.       Born Fighting Scots Irish
  10.   Duchess of Alba   (see number 2)

Top Posts with comments 2012 only:
 1.       Happy Blogoversary
  2.       Who owned Melissa’s Trunk
  3.       Untangling a Blog Mistake
  4.       Weird search Terms for my Blog
  5.       Yes, I’m a Closet 1940s Music Fan!  Are you?
  6.       Pinterest for Genealogy
  7.       That Little Notch on the Massachusetts Border…

Copyright 2012, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Surname Saturday ~ Blodgett of Cambridge and Woburn, Massachusetts


Thomas Blogget was born about 1605 in England and arrived in Massachusetts in 1635 on board the ship “Increase” with his wife Susanna and two of his children; Daniel age 4 and Samuel, age 1.   He had been a glover in England.  He was made a freeman and admitted to the church in Cambridge on 3 March 1635/6.   He owned many parcels of land before his death in 1641.  His house is believed to have been located between Massachusetts Avenue and Oxford Street, near Wendell, which is now located exactly where I went to school at Lesley College (My senior year dorm was one block over on the corner of Oxford and Mellen).

His wife remarried to James Thompson on 15 February 1643/4 and resettled in Woburn with her children.  Thomas had six children, one daughter, Susanna, married her stepbrother, Jonathan Thomson, and one of their descendants was Count Rumford (Benjamin Thompson (1753 – 1814).   Another Blodgett descendant is President Calvin Coolidge.

In his will, dated 10 August 1641 and probated in 1643, he left all his estate to his wife.  The phrase “father-in-law” in the will refers to a possible future stepfather.

      "I, Thomas Bloggett, being at this time in my right mind, give to my wife Susan my whole estate after my decease as well within as without. She to bring up my Children in such learning and other things as is meet for them and pay to oldest son Daniel 15 pounds, when one and twenty or in one month after decease. To second son Samuel 15 pounds as above. To daughter Susanna 15 pounds. Should they have a father-in-law how does not treat them well, my will is that the Deacons and our brother Fessington and our brother Edward Winship they or either of them shall have power to see unto it and reforme it by one means or other.
      Written this 10th day of the 9th month, 1641.
                                          Thomas Blogget
      In presence of us,
            Thomas Harris
            John Meena"

You can read a sketch of Thomas Blodgett in The Great Migration: Immigrants to New England 1634 – 1635, by Robert Charles Anderson, George Sanborn and Melinde Lutz Sanborn, Volume 1,  pages  324 – 325, 2001.  There is also a six volume set of books with an index called Blodget-Blodgett Descendants of Thomas of Cambridge, by Bradley DeForest Thompson and Franklin Condit Thompson, 1954.  If you are lucky, you might find your Blodgett line in the papers of Isaac Dimond Blodgett which are stored in the manuscript collection at the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston.  Isaac Blodgett was born in 1828, elected a member of NEHGS in 1903 and died in 1916. 

My lineage from Thomas Blodgett:

Generation 1: Thomas Blodgett, born about 1605, died between 10 August 1641 (date of will) and 10 December 1642 (date of his inventory); married Susanna Unknown

Generation 2: Samuel Blodgett, born 12 July 1633 in England, died 3 July 1687 in Woburn, Massachusetts; married on 13 December 1655 to Ruth Eggleton, daughter of Stephen Eggleton and Elizabeth.  She was baptized on 8 November 1632 at All Saint’s, Biddendon, Kent, England and died 14 October 1703 in Woburn.

Generation 3:  Susanna Blodgett born 17 February 1663 in Woburn, died 9 February 1715 in Woburn; married on 29 December 1685 in Woburn to James Simonds, son of William Simonds and Judith Phippen.  He was born 1 November 1658 in Woburn, and died on 15 September 1717 in Woburn.

Generation 4: James Simonds m. Mary Fowle
Generation 5: Caleb Simonds m. Susanna Converse
Generation 6: Ruth Simonds m. Andrew Munroe
Generation 7: Luther Simonds Munroe m. Olive Flint
Generation 8: Phebe Cross Munroe m. Robert Wilson Wilkinson
Generation 9: Albert Munroe Wilkinson m. Isabella Lyons Bill
Generation 10: Donald Munroe Wilkinson m. Bertha Louise Roberts (my grandparents)

Copyright 2012, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Friday, December 21, 2012

2013 New Hampshire Mayflower Society Memorial Scholarships

Deadline for scholarship applications will be February 15, 2013

The 2013 New Hampshire Mayflower Society Memorial Scholarships are available to any college student (undergraduate or graduate) or high school senior. You don’t need to be a member of the Mayflower Society, but members and relatives of members will receive preference (defined as members, junior members, siblings, children, grandchildren, great grandchildren). Applicants with no affiliation to the NH Mayflower Society are also invited to apply. This is one of the few Mayflower scholarships in the USA awarded to non-members. Applicants MUST be able to attend the award ceremony, in person, in New Hampshire. It is expected that at least two to four scholarships of $500 to $1000 will be awarded in May 2013.

Applications and Instructions are available at the website , and applications and all required paperwork is due strictly before February 15, 2013. Or you may email Heather Rojo at for more information and further instructions. The New Hampshire Mayflower Society can also be found on Facebook.

The requirement to attend the spring meeting may be waived at the discretion of the NH Mayflower Governor due to such issues as travel distance, illness, or death in the family. Should the recipient receive a waiver from the Governor due to a hardship, a letter from the recipient to the Society must be submitted to be read at the meeting, as well as a photograph of the recipient for display. In such cases, parents or relatives may attend the award ceremony to accept the award on the recipient’s behalf.

The General Society of Mayflower Descendants also gives an annual $5,000 scholarship to a junior member.  Please send your inquiries to

(Photograph of my daughter, from Plimoth Plantation, 2008. She was also a 2007 NH scholarship recipient!)

Copyright 2012, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Harvest Time in Spain

My husband's grandparents were born in small villages in Spain.  Sometime after the Spanish Civil War they all moved to Madrid.  When we visit, we stay in Madrid, but sometimes we visit cousins who still live in those small villages.  His paternal side lives near Aranda de Duero in the province of Burgos, in the rich wine region known as "El Duero", near Rioja.  His maternal side lives in Salamanca, in tiny villages along the Portuguese border with names like Villar de Ciervo and Puerto Seguro.

While my mother in law was growing up in Madrid, they would sometimes visit the villages.  The most popular time for visiting would be August, when the harvest fiestas would be taking place.  Often there would be a bullfight and other very Spanish festivities in honor of the village patron saint.  The harvest would be going on, which was described to me as "La trilla", which took some figuring out to translate with out a dictionary.  In English this would be "the threshing" of the wheat.  Of course, grapes and other crops would be harvested at this time, too, but there seemed to be lots of photos of the threshing.

A picnic during the harvest
near Villar de Ciervo, Salamanca, Spain, 1940s

Hungry men cooking in the fields

My husband's great aunt during the threshing
at Puerto Seguro, 1950s

My mother-in-law with her family at Puerto Seguro
sometime in the 1940s- four generations!

Puerto Seguro harvest time 1940s

These photos are a great example of family reunions, even though in Spain it was not considered a formal gathering.  It was just an annual event, and in the 20th century folks who had moved to the cities came back to the "pueblo" to reconnect at harvest time.  This reminds me very much of Old Home Day in New Hampshire.  These photos were scattered through my mother-in-laws photo album.  I had to pick through the more formal portraits, weddings, school photos and first communions, to find these precious photographs.  It was great discussing them with my mother-in-law and husband to find out what was going on in the photos, and identifying the family members.

If you have family or ancestry in foreign countries, perhaps you have found similar photos?

And so we continue to visit Spain in August!
This is my daughter in 2002 near Puerto Seguro,
in the tiny town of Villar de la Yegua.

Copyright 2012, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Weathervane Wednesday ~ Brought to you by the Letter "F"

I've been photographing the weather vanes in the historic area of Nutfield, New Hampshire.  Some are historic, others are just whimsical, but all are interesting! Nutfield used to be where Derry and Londonderry are located today, but also covered Windham and parts of Hudson and Manchester, New Hampshire.   Today's weathervane is in Manchester.
Do you know the location of weathervane #75?   Scroll down to see the answer.

This odd weather vane topped with the fancy letter "F" was seen atop the Friendly's restaurant on South Willow Street in Manchester.  How many times have you driven by a Friendly's restaurant and never noticed this weather vane?  If there is a Friendly's near you, perhaps it has the same (or similar) weathervane. The first Friendly's restaurant was opened in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1935.  They are famous for their ice cream, but also serve breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The Friendly's website

To see the entire series of all 75 weathervanes, click at this link:


Copyright 2012, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday ~ Frank H. Johnson, Derry, New Hampshire

This tombstone was photographed at the Forest Hill Cemetery in Derry, New Hampshire

FEBRUARY 24, 1884
32 YRS 6 MOS 2 DYS

According to Frank H. Johnson’s marriage record, in the New Hampshire Vital Records, he was married in Manchester, New Hampshire on 24 July 1883 to Lizzie Ansteard of Manchester.   It was both their first marriages, and both were 32 years old.  He was born in Derry, son of Hiram Johnson and his wife, Jane Stimpson.    Hiram and Jane’s marriage can be found in the Lowell, Massachusetts Vital Records, married on 9 June 1849. 

There is a local tradition in Derry for Pinkerton Academy students to slip a note into the hole in this zinc monument for good luck before exams.   You can see the hole under the inscription with Frank's name.  This tombstone is made of white bronze or zinc, and is known as a "zinker" among taphophiles (gravestone enthusiasts).   Zinc monuments are always hollow.  The inscriptions remain crisp and legible on a zinc monument much longer than on stone, but eventually they monuments will rust, or break if struck by mowing equipment.  

This zinc monument is marked
"Detroit Bronze Co. Detroit Mich."

Copyright 2012, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Monday, December 17, 2012

Not exactly a Barn Raising, but just as historical...

The carriage shed will be attached to the north side of
the Parmenter Barn at the Londonderry Historical Society
museum complex on Pillsbury Road

The Londonderry Historical Society has had an 1800 carriage shed in storage for many years, waiting for the funds to reconstruct it next to the Parmenter Barn at the museum complex on Pillsbury Road.  The posts and beams were deconstructed and carefully labeled with numbers.  The doors and other parts are all in storage, too.  This carriage shed originally stood at the Ned Reynolds homestead on 42 Litchfield Road.

Several years ago, when the Reverend Morrison house foundation was poured, the foundations for the carriage shed were poured next to the Parmenter Barn.  It has stood waiting for the carriage shed to be re-built while the Rev. Morrison house was started first.  Just this year Benson’s Lumber donated the manpower and materials to start the reconstruction project.  Last month they made progress reconstructing the wall beams.  Several of the 200 years old beams will have to be rebuilt or reworked because of rot.  The project will progress in phases as funds allow. 

Old Roman numerals are carved into the beams
the metal tags are a newer numbering system to
aid in reconstructing the post and beam structure

Traditional methods are being used in the reconstruction

Historical Society website says “The best part is that when the job is done we will have our barn back”.   The barn has been full of beams and parts of the carriage house, and unusable for events and activities. When the carriage shed it back up, a one-horse buggy, a racing sulky and a paint decorated  sleigh will be on display. It will be a great addition to the Morrison house, barn and blacksmith shop already part of the museum complex.  The Reverend Morrison house project will be a much larger, and more costly project to finish in the future. 

Londonderry Historical Society 

To make a donation towards the raising of the carriage shed or the Reverend Morrison House:

Londonderry Historical Society
PO Box 136
Londonderry, NH 03053

Copyright 2012, Heather Wilkinson Rojo