Monday, January 16, 2012

Amanuensis Monday ~ Great finds at

Albert Munroe Wilkinson
born 7 November 1860, Danvers, Massachusetts
died 12 May 1908, Brookline, Massachusetts
I wonder if this is how he dressed up at weddings?
He's very dapper in his white tie!
I recently renewed my subscription to and have been looking up ancestors in the Historical Newspapers collection.  To my surprise there were several news articles about my great grandfather Albert Munroe Wilkinson I hadn't seen before. 

Boston Herald, 3 June 1892
page 5
"Munroe- Mansfield
Mr. William F. Munroe of Peabody and Miss Clara B. Mansfield of Salem were wedded in the First Church at Salem last evening.  The young couple stood beneath a handsome floral arch, and Rev. George C. Cressey performed the ceremony.

The Bride was given away by her uncle, Mr. Hubbard Breed.  Miss Alice Hubbard Breed was the maid of honor, and Mr. Albert Wilkinson was the best man.

There was a reception at the home of the bride's uncle on Federal Street, and the couple left on a late train for a wedding trip.  Returning, they will reside in Peabody."

In this news clipping Albert served as best man at his cousin's wedding.  In the next, I found an announcement of his own engagement to my great grandmother... followed by a little article about their wedding reception.

Boston Journal

27 September 1894

Page 4

The engagement of Miss Isabella Bill, daughter of Prof. C. R. Bill of Salem, and Albert M. Wilkinson of Peabody is announced.  The marriage will take place on October 18 next.”

Boston Herald
21 October 1894
Page 27
“At the wedding of Mr. Albert Munroe Wilkinson and Miss Isabell Lyons Bill, daughter of Prof. Bill of Salem, which took place on Thursday evening last in that city, among the many costly and elegant gifts, was one that was simple, elegant and decidedly unique.  It was present by the aunt of the groom, Mrs. Munroe Grout of Boston.  It consisted of a set of table spoons, seven in number, in a handsome case, marked on the inside “Genealogical.”  Following back from the name of the bridegroom, each spoon was engraved with the name, date and place of birth of an ancestor in direct line to the old days of Scotland, in the history of which the Wilkinson family claims a proud place."

The "Genealogical Spoons" mentioned above are still in my family, and my uncle in California has them in his possession.  We have often wondered where they came from, and who had them engraved.  Now, because of this little article in the social pages of the Boston Herald we now the story.  By the way, the spoons trace the Munroe family names back to William Munroe, who came to Massachusetts from Scotland as a prisoner of war in 1651, and was sold into servitude [they do not have the name WILKINSON].  Each of the seven spoons names a Munroe ancestor.  I spent several hours on GenealogyBank and other websites trying to figure out who was this aunt "Mrs. Munroe Grout".  It is an interesting story I will post on Thursday.

click here for Part 2: 

for more information about Genealogy Bank see the website 

Copyright 2012, Heather Wilkinson Rojo


  1. What an amazing story about the spoons! And it is so cool that they are still in the family :)

  2. Wow, how nice! What a find! Do you have a picture of the spoons?

  3. Hi Mary, thanks for the comment. I don't have a photo of the spoons, but I'm working on it! They are in California and I'm in New Hampshire, but I'll see what I can do...

  4. Spoon envy! What a great story!

  5. Fascinating about the spoons! Sterling of course and quite a treasure to be handed down. By all means, I would see about getting a good quality photograph of them from your uncle! And don't forget to share the photos with us here!

    I am fortunate to have GenealogyBank through my local library to access at home with my card number. What a plethora of great little pieces of genealogical data, and stories that add character to that data!

  6. I remember previous mentions of the spoons. What a delight to find their history in the wedding story. Shrieks or dancing? I might have done both!

  7. GenealogyBank is so neat, isn't it? I discovered it a few months ago, and decided to subscribe. I had been looking for proof that a 4th great-grandmother was the daughter of the couple she was purported to be the daughter of, and I found her obit that showed that she was.

    Albert does indeed look very dapper :-)

  8. Ok, Heather whom are your family in California named Wilkerson, any chance they are from the Tomales, Point Reyes, Valley Ford, Bodega area Marin Sonoma County? I went to high school with Wilkersons.

  9. I'd be interested in the spoons as well. Also, now I'm rethinking my recent decision not to renew GenealogyBank, based on your good luck.

  10. Envy indeed! How exciting to be able to follow up on this genealogical treasure! Happy geni-dancing indeed. I hope you are able to view and photograph those spoons soon.

  11. Great success and the spoons are so cool! Most of us can only dream of having such a treasure! Very exciting stuff!

  12. What a great story, Heather! Isn't it amazing how the internet helps us find things in the most unexpected places? Happy for you!

  13. What a NEAT story!! Thank you so much for sharing it!! I must get back out to and do more research!