Saturday, March 31, 2012

Surname Saturday ~ Trask of Salem, Massachusetts

from the website 

We often hear “there were four brothers who came to America”, one of the popular genealogy myths that is often disproven.
 The myth is that there were four Trask brothers: Henry, John, William and Osmond.  All the these Trasks left records and descendants in Salem and Beverly, Massachusetts, but there is no proof they were all brothers or even kin.

Osmond Trask married Elizabeth Gully on 22 May 1663 in Beverly, Massachusetts and had six children who all married and left descendants.  John, Henry and William Trask lived in Salem.   Captain William Trask arrived first on “Zouch Phenix” in 1624, as the military leader of a Dorchester Company fishing station on Cape Ann.  It is very likely he made several trips back and forth across the Atlantic in the early 1620s.  He settled in Salem and had six children.  Pope and Savage attributed some of Henry Trask’s children to William Trask, so be careful when looking up his family record.  There is a Trask Burial Ground in Peabody, Massachusetts (formerly Salem).

In the records it states that William Trask operated a windmill for grinding grain. According to the Great Migration “Ownership of the mill and the surrounding plain was a subject of great controversy in the August 1686 term of the Essex court [ EQC 46:21].”   In the Great Migration Begins, Robert Charles Anderson does not think that Henry Trask is a relation to William, and I tend to believe his conclusion over other books.  Anderson also states that “The mill was a lasting bone of contention with some of his neighbors, and at court 30 November 1652 Capt. Traske was presented for having no suitable weights in his mill [ EQC 1:274]. “ and other matters in court to do with the windmill.  This windmill and the land it sat on would be in present day Peabody, Massachusetts.

Will of William Trask, SR.

The will of William Trask, sr., of Salem, was proved in the court held at Salem June 28, 1666. The following copy is transcribed from the original instrument on file in the office of the clerk of courts at Salem, volume XI, leaf 134.

Theƒe pƒents testifie That I william Traske senior of Salem hauiug at this time my sense & memory Though weake in bodie do make this my last will & Testament this 15th of may 1666
Imprimis I giue unto Sarah my wife the north end of my dwelling house during the tearm of her life I doe allso apoint that shee ƒhall haue some of the fruit of the orchard for her owne use & a little ƒspot for a garden if ƒshee desires it during the time of her life
Item I giue unto Sarah my wife ƒsixteene pounds p annum to bee paided unto her yearelie for her maintenance during the time of her life, & allƒsoe I giue her a cow, which cow is to bee sommerd & winterd for her, by the executors during the time of her life
Item I giue unto my ƒson william all the meadow that lyeth vpon the ƒside of the riuer betweene the upper & the lower mills & allƒo the upper mill pond to william
Item I giue unto my two daughters Sarah & Sussan ƒsixteene pounds a peice
Item I giue unto my daughter mary twentie ƒix pounds & this to bee paid out of my estate by my executors in the ƒspace of three yeare after my decease
Item I giue unto my grandchildren 10s a peice
Item I doe apoint my two sons william & John to be executors of this my last will & testament giuing them all the rest of my estate to bee equalli deuided betweene them

William m Traske senior

Item as concerning my household ƒtuff I apoint that none of it ƒhall bee made away or disposed of so long as my wife liues but she to haue the free use of it as formerly & after her decease I giue vnto my daughter mary the great brasse pan & to my ƒon william my bed & bedding that I now lye upon & the reƒt to be devided as above ƒsaid in the presenceSignum

William W Traske senior
Joseph O Boice
John Hill

My Trask Lineage:
Generation 1: William Trask, son of Nicholas Trask, born 14 December 1585 in East Coker, Somersetshire, England, died before 18 May 1666 in Salem, Massachusetts; married to Sarah Unknown, and she died after 1666.  Six Children:
1. Sarah Trask, born January 1634 m. Elias Parkman
2. Mary Trask, born January 1637 m. John Loomis
3. Susanna Trask, born 10 June 1638 m. Samuel Eborne
4. William Trask (see below)
5. John Trask, born 18 September 1642, m1 Abigail Parkman, m2 Mary Clarke
6. Elizabeth Trask, born 21 September 1645

Generation 2: William Trask, born before 19 September 1640 in Salem, died before 26 March 1691 in Salem; married first on 18 January 1666 to Ann Putnam, daughter of Thomas Putnam and Ann Holyoke, born 25 August 1645  and died 14 September 1676 in Salem; married second to Anna Unknown (my ancestress). 
Five children with Ann Putnam:
1. Ann Trask, born 1668 m. Isaac Brooks
2. Elizabeth Trask, born 16 March 1670 m. Benjamin Hanson
3. Sarah Trask, born 1672 m. John Williams
4. William Trask, born 7 September 1674 m. Ann White
5. Susanna Trask, born 3 November 1676 m. Jonathan Fuller

Four children with Anna:
1.  John Trask, born 1678 m. Hannah Osborn
2. Mary Trask (see below)
3. George Trask, born January 1691
4. Elizabeth Mary Trask

Generation 3: Mary Trask, born March 1683 in Salem, died before 1767 in Danvers; married on 8 January 1710 in Salem to John Southwick, son of John Southwick and Hannah Follett, born on 13 December 1688 in Salem, died before 7 October 1771. Seven children.

Generation 4.  George Southwick and Sarah Platts
Generation 5. Mary Southwick and Robert Wilson
Generation 6. Mercy F. Wilson and Aaron Wilkinson
Generation 7. Robert Wilson Wilkinson and Phebe Cross Munroe
Generation 8. Albert Munroe Wilkinson and Isabella Lyons Bill
Generation 9. Donald Munroe Wilkinson and Bertha Louise Roberts (my grandparents)

For more information:

EQC  (Essex Quarterly Court Records), many entries

The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620 -33, by Robert Charles Anderson, Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1995, Volume 3, pages 1834-1837.

The Essex Genealogist, Volume 21, pages 24 -27.

History of Salem, by Sidney Perley, Volume 1, pages 94 -96 for a sketch of the early generations of the Trask family.

Copyright 2012, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Friday, March 30, 2012

NEHGS to be featured on PBS series!

NEHGS to be featured on new PBS Series
“Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.”
Show helps to uncover the mysteries of who we are and where we come from

Boston, MA – March 30, 2012 – The New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) is pleased to announce that it will be featured on the next episode of the new 10-part PBS series, Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.NEHGS and Senior Researcher Rhonda McClure will be featured on the next episode of the show scheduled to run on Sunday, April 1st at 8pm ET on PBS. 

On this episode, McClure helps uncover the family mysteries of Geoffrey Canada, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Harlem Children’s ZoneGeoffrey Canada has become recognized internationally for his ground-breaking work helping children and families in Harlem and as a passionate advocate for education reform. In addition, television journalist and former co-host and chief correspondent of ABC News’ “20/20” as well as current creator, co-owner, executive producer and co-host of “The View,” Barbara Walters will learn and discover her fascinating ancestral background.

This season, Professor Gates examines the fascinating family histories of celebrities including Samuel L. Jackson, Harry Connick Jr., Condoleezza Rice, Kevin Bacon, Martha Stewart, Robert Downey Jr., Maggie Gyllenhaal, and many more.

“It is truly an honor and a privilege to have this opportunity to work closely with Professor Gates,” says NEHGS President and CEO, D. Brenton Simons. “All of us at NEHGS are thrilled to be a part of such an incredible television series and we wish Professor Gates and the rest of the production team a most successful season!”

The basic drive to discover who we are and where we come from is at the core ofFinding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., the 12th series from Professor Gates, the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard University and director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research. Filmed on location across the United States, the series premiered nationally on Sunday, March 25th, and will continue to run through May 20th on PBS. Be sure to check out the next episode on Sunday, April 1st. Please check local listings for times.


Founded in 1845, New England Historic Genealogical Society is the country's leading resource for family history research. We help family historians expand their knowledge, skill, and understanding of their family and its place in history. The NEHGS research center, located at 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston, houses millions of books, journals, manuscripts, photographs, microfilms, documents, records, and other artifacts that date back more than four centuries. NEHGS staff includes some of the leading expert genealogists in the country, specializing in early American, Irish, English, Italian, Scottish, Atlantic and French Canadian, African American, Native American, and Jewish genealogy. Our award-winning website,, provides access to more than 135 million searchable names in 3,000 collections.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to reach me by phone,617-226-1261, or e-mail,

Many Thanks!

Alessandra Magno
Marketing Assistant
New England Historic Genealogical Society
99-101 Newbury St.
Boston, MA 02116
Visit us at our new site
We collect, preserve, and interpret materials that document and make accessible the histories of families in America.

Disclosure-  I received no compensation from the New England Historic Genealogical Society for this press release, although they did request that I put this on my blog.  I am a longtime member. 

Copyright 2012, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Friday Funny ~ Watch out for Lobsters!

Photographed at a General Store on Cape Cod, run by a rather crabby proprietor (pun intended!).


To Cite/Link to this blog post:  Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Friday Funny ~ Watch out for Lobsters!", Nutfield Genealogy, posted March 30, 2012, ( accessed [access date]). 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Save the Date! Londonderry’s 290th Birthday Party 23 June 2012

Londonderry Old Home Day 1920

Although Nutfield was settled in 1718 by Scots Irish Presbyterians from Ulster, Northern Ireland, it was chartered as “Londonderry” on 21 June 1722.    Later, the town was divided into Derry, Windham and parts of other towns such as Manchester (Derryfield), Hudson and Salem. 

To celebrate, there will be 290th birthday party for Londonderry on the town common on 23 June 2012, being organized currently by Deb Paul of the Londonderry Times.  She plans an old fashioned gathering, similar to what would have been celebrated in colonial times when the Scots Irish lived here.  There are plans for Scottish and Irish traditional dancing demonstrations, bag pipers, and children’s games such as the 3 legged races, sack races, and frog jumping contests with prizes.    There will be a cake raffle (birthday cakes?) and a cow patty contest.  The Londonderry fire department will put on an old fashioned fireman’s muster, and hopefully there will be a display of Highland Games.   Local organizations such as the Historical Society will be selling Londonderry themed gifts.

A video of Londonderry history is being planned to help celebrate the 290th birthday. 

Stay tuned here for more information in the future… but in the meantime “Save the Date!” 

Copyright 2012, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Weathervane Wednesday ~ on a Church

I've been photographing the weather vanes in the historic area of Nutfield, New Hampshire.  Nutfield used to be where Derry and Londonderry are located today, but also covered Windham and parts of Hudson and Manchester, New Hampshire.  This is my first photograph of a weather vane in Windham.

Do you know the location of weather vane #36?  Scroll down to see the answer!

This banneret style weather vane is located on top of the steeple at the Windham Presbyterian Church.  This style of weather vane can also be seen on church steeples in Londonderry and Derry.  This church has been located at the historic Windham common for over 175 years.  For more information see  “History of Windham in New Hampshire, 1719 to 1883” by L.A. Morrison, and its supplement, “Rural Oasis, 1883 to 1975”, researched and written by the Town History Committee.

The Windham Presbyterian Church website

Copyright 2012, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday ~ Campbell in Windham, New Hampshire

These gravestones were photographed at the Cemetery on the Plains, in Windham, New Hampshire. 

The Campbell Family plot is marked out with
four short, granite posts marked "C"

OCT. 1, 1868

DIED OCT. 18, 1881
DIED OCT 17, 1890
A brief look at  shows that Albert A. Campbell was the son of Abner and Mary Campbell, born in Bedford, New Hampshire in 1847 and died on 1 October 1868 in Nashua.  He married Lucinda Clement on 8 July 1866 in Nashua.  The 1870 census shows her alone with a 2 year old son named Forest.  On 13 September 1870 in Hudson, New Hampshire she remarried for the second time to Smith P. Davidson.  Apparently Alice is the daughter from her second marriage.  Notice that husband, son and daughter all died before age 25.

The other two sides of this obelisk are empty.

Copyright 2012, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Monday, March 26, 2012

Annie Maria Holt (1832 - 1851)

A mockup of how the Annie Holt plaque
will look after it is cast in bronze
Calling all descendants of Hawaii Holts! 

Announcing a family fundraising project that we hope you will be a part of.

Please go to to learn more and hopefully donate a little to the cause!

Just a few years ago it was discovered that one of Robert William Holt's daughters lay in an unmarked grave in Oahu Cemetery. Various family members thought it would be appropriate to place a marker in her honor and to mark her final resting place.

So that as many family members as possible can participate, we have created a website that will be launched today (March 26, 2012 Prince Kuhio Day) where you can learn more about this ancestor and more about the project.

Committee Members
Charles T. Holt (Edward Holt)
Keith Ridley (Elizabeth Holt Richardson)
Chelsea Pirker (Elizabeth Holt Aldrich)
Owen J. Holt Jr. (George Holt)
Heather Rojo (Jones family of Boston)
Gretchen Killeen (James Robinson Holt II)
Hilulani Holt-Hansen (Owen Holt II)
Chris Holt Curnan (Christopher Holt)

from the website:

"Boston, early 1830s:  Robert William Holt's first wife, Ann Jones, dies, leaving him the single father of 2 young daughters, Elizabeth and Annie Holt.   When his brother-in-law, Captain John Dominis, asks him to come along on a voyage to the "Sandwhich Islands," Robert W Holt leaves Elizabeth and Annie with his late wife's family which includes three of his late wife's five sisters.  Whether he intended to send for them later or not, we don't know, but the girls remain in Boston for the next 18 years.  

Although the girls grew up fatherless, they no doubt heard about their father from their Aunt Mary Jones Dominis, wife of Captain John Dominis, who also lived in Honolulu.    Still, traveling to Hawaii at that time was no easy task.  Federated states existed only from the eastern seaboard to the Mississippi with California (1850) and Texas (1845) having just recently joined the Union.  The areas from the Mississippi to California were unorganized, undeveloped and unsafe.  The "easiest" way for two young women to get from Boston to Hawaii was to sail around South America and the infamous Cape Horn. 

Even for seasoned sailors of the 1800s, making it around Cape Horn was a high achievement.   From Wikipedia;  "A sailor who had rounded the Horn was entitled to wear a gold loop earring — in the left ear, the one which had faced the Horn in a typical eastbound passage — and to dine with one foot on the table;  A sailor who had sailed around Cape Horn was also able to brag by showing off his tattoo of a full-rigged ship.   One particular historic attempt to round the Horn, that of HMS Bounty in 1788, has been immortalized in history in the novel, Mutiny on the Bounty. This abortive Horn voyage has been portrayed (with varying historical accuracy) in three major motion pictures about Captain William Bligh's mission to transport breadfruit plants from Tahiti to Jamaica. The Bounty made only 85 miles of headway in 31 days of east-to-west sailing before giving up, by reversing course, and going around Africa." 

In the summer of 1850, these two young Holt sisters set out on a treacherous 5 month voyage aboard the sailing ship, Gentoo, for the sole purpose of reuniting with their father.   There was no refrigeration.  There was fresh water for drinking but not for showering.  There was no external communication.  They arrived in Honolulu harbor on January 13, 1851 and took up residence with their Aunt Mary Jones Dominis at Washington Place.  

Unfortunately, and with scarce details of the circumstances, Annie Maria Holt died in March of 1851, just a few months after arriving in Honolulu.  She died at home at Washington Place where her funeral was also held.  She was buried at Oahu Cemetery the same day, which could suggest that she died from a communicable disease such as tuberculosis or influenza.   Annie Maria Holt was the first Holt to be buried in Oahu Cemetery.   

Sometime in the 1920s, the roads within and around Oahu Cemetery were widened to accommodate the new automobiles in addition to the old horse and buggies.  When that was done, dozens of individuals were moved from their original burial places to other areas within the cemetery.  Oahu Cemetery records show that Annie Maria Holt was moved to an area across Nuuanu Avenue, not far from the Hanakaulani Holt plot -- along the stone wall that borders present day Nuuanu Memorial Park near the Cunha family plot. If there was an original grave marker, it was likely damaged since it was in a location prone to foot, horse, buggy and automobile traffic.  With no direct descendants to tend to her grave site, Annie Maria Holt's final resting place has been unmarked for at least 90 years.   With no direct descendants, we are her only family."

Amanuensis Monday ~ Letter from Sara White Lee

In this blog post last month  I wrote about several newspaper articles written in 1894 which rumored that Queen Liliuokalani had "gone crazy" after being deposed from the throne of the Hawaiian Kingdom.   This letter, which is undated, may date from about that time period.  It was written to the Queen by my cousin's wife, Sara White Lee (1849 - 1925).  William Lee is a first cousin several generations removed.  His mother (Laura Jones Lee), the Queen's mother in law (Mary Jones Dominis) and my 4x great grandmother (Catherine Jones Younger) were all sisters.   The Queen Liliuokalani visited the Lee cousins during her visits to Boston in 1887 and in 1897. 

My dear Cousin,
The enclosed clipping must be my ex-
cuse for breaking the long silence it has pleased
you to maintain but which I am sure is due
only to your illness and unhappiness.
                When the daily press reported your illness I
took it as an idle tale false as all else it has
written of you, but when the report is repeated in
our Medical Journals I fear there is some grounds
in the rumors of your physical trouble.
                (The Mail and Express had a long article reputed
to be an interview with Mr. Lee on the subject which
was false from beginning to end as neither Mr. Lee
nor I had been interviewed )
                One of my friends has an aunt, who has been
a great sufferer from cancer and has lost the bridge
of her nose the physicians even saying she had
but a short time to live.  Upon hearing the rumor
of your illness I went to her and found she was
taking treatment from a different physician.  Ne
who a few  years ago in experimenting with “germs”

(page break)

exposed and heated, but the patients all as-
surred me that the treatment (which is by the
hypodermic needle) is almost and in most
cases entirely painless.
                In reply to my inquiry Dr. Alexander said that
fully a thousand patients had come to him this
past year.  In addition to the Sanitarium he
has an office where he sees outside patients who
require only occasional treatment.
                He is very much interested in your case
and also thinks that the establishment of one
of his institutions at Honolulu might be of
great service to your beloved subjects.  It was
my suggestion that it might possibly be as su-
cessful with Leprosy if applied early that dis-
ease.  I enclose a personal letter to me
from Mr. Dudley (Dr. Alexander’s lawyer) that you may
see what the Doctor thinks about going to Hawaii.
                From the letter I would judge that the Doctor
would defray his own expenses to Hawaii if as-
surred that you would be his patient.  I do not
know what he would charge but by casual questions
I ascertained that treatment at the Sanatarium
was $25.00 a week, upward depending upon the
room and how much extra attention it was nec-
essary to devote to the patient.  His occasional
patients who go to the office for treatment are charged
from $2.00 upward for each treatment – according
to the case.  He does not know I have

 (page break)

written you these terms and I wish you would
not mention it unless later you find it necessary.
                He evidently is confined he can help if not
cure you since he is willing to try for it is a
great risk to his future prospects as to cure you
would be everything in his interest, and a
failure would mean the loss of everything to
him, for of course the world would watch this
progress in your case.  I do not know what
arrangements you can make with him, but if
you decide to try the treatment (and it does
seem to me as though he had discovered the great
remedy) I hope you will insist upon his com-
ing, instead of sending anyone to represent him.
                As he is the discoverer, and the medicine is a
secret, no one can apply it and watch it as he
can.  He is a Homeopath, a graduate of the Phila-
delphia College and others.
                By this mail in another envelope I send
you some typewritten testimonials and a letter
to me from Dr. Alexander.  I do not advise you
what to do judging from what I have seen and
heard I have faith in the remedy.  What I have
done in the matter is from pure, disinterested
love for you.  From now I leave it with you
and God.  I can but pray that He will help and
comfort you.
                Some reports of your cordial welcome from your
loyal people have reached me and it must have made

(page break)

your heart happy (as well as ache) to see their love
for you.   Mr. Lee is not at all well, and
has retired from business, so that he is as rest-
less as a cat in a strange garret, having nothing
to do with his time.
                Alice is doing well and graduates in April.
I am as usual.  You know how happy a letter
from you always makes me – but do not mind
if it fatigues you.  I hope you received my
last letters at Washington, to which I have had
no reply.  I miss you more than you can
imagine and send you lots of kisses.
                Mr. Lee joins me in much love,
                                Your loving cousin
                                Sara White Lee

Mrs. William Lee
1382 Beacon St.
Brookline, Mass.

This is a transcription of a letter from Sara White Lee to Lili'uokalani, undated, Bishop Museum Archives,  MS MC Liliuokalani,  Box 1.47.    I cannot show a reproduction or copy of the letter on my blog without written permission from the Bishop Museum, which was quite a process I outlined last year in this blog entry  As a private archive, the Bishop Museum has strict rules about the images in its collection.

Sara White Lee was a very interesting person.  I previously blogged about her at this link   In this post I transcribed a newsclipping, and it describes how Sara stood up at a social event in Boston to defend Queen Lili'uokalani against some racist remarks and some anti-Hawaiian sentiment being expressed in the Boston newspapers.  She was a very brave woman, and although she risked ridicule she stood up for the Queen and made her anti-annexation views well known.

Although she was a socialite, and a member of many organizations like Daughters of the Revolution, the New England Historic Genealogical Society, and frequently in the social pages of the Boston newspaper, I have never seen a photograph of Sarah White Lee.  

Copyright 2012, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Happy Birthday Girl Scouts!

My sister and I early in the morning before the 1973 Memorial Day Parade in Holden, Massachusetts.  She was about eight and I was about twelve years old.  I was a Girl Scout until my junior year of high school when I earned the Gold Award (the equivalent of Eagle Scout for boys).   I then joined an Explorer Troop (run by the Boy Scouts, this program is co-ed).  As a student teacher in college I helped out with a Brownie troop run by my dorm. 

Our big Senior Girl Scout trip to
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania in 1975

When I had my own daughter, I became a Girl Scout Troop leader for twelve years.  Here we are in 2003 selling Girl Scout cookies at the local Londonderry Dunkin' Donuts drive through.  The big box on the ground was for donated boxes of cookies for the soldiers in Iraq and Afganistan.  The girls were super saleswomen and made enough money for a spa weekend on Cape Cod, complete with lobster dinners, a day on Martha's Vineyard island, and a day of biking on the rail trail to the National Seashore.  (that's some of them below, posing at Gay Head, Martha's Vineyard in 2004)

Yes, before genealogy blogging I was writing up
stories on Girl Scouting activities for the Derry News!
This story is from September 2003

Click here to read about the day I met Lord Baden-Powell's daughter in London

Click here to read about the time I attended a Scouting Thinking Day ceremony at Westminster Abbey

Copyright 2012, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Surname Saturday ~ Black of Salem, Massachusetts


John Black and his wife, Susanna, arrived in Salem, Massachusetts on board the ship “Talbot” in 1629.  We don’t know his origins or birth date, but it is set at about 1591 because in 1645 the court exempted him from militia training “John Black being poor & aged 54” [ Essex Quarterly Court 1:84]  In 1636 he was granted 30 acres at Jeffrey’s Creek, near Salem.  On 13 May 1640, John Black and sixteen other Salem men wrote a petition “to erect a village there” at Jeffrey’s Creek.  [Essex Quarterly Court 7: 201-2]

John Black died in 1675, but on 20 April 1670 he sold “to my son John Black of the same” his house lot in Beverly for 8 pounds “except two acres of land out the said lot, which I do give and set over unto my son-in-law Isaack Davis, they to pay rent to John Sr.”  [Essex County Deeds 3: 140].  John had seven known children, but only four lived to adulthood.

Jeffry’s Creek settlement was part of Salem set off to become the smaller town of Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts in 1645. According to the “Manchester Cricket” newspaper, which has been printed since 1888, the original village was called Creekites, and the name stuck for many years.  After the name became Manchester, the inhabitants were called “crickets”.  This name was still being used in 1888 when the local paper was established. [see]

The Black genealogy:

Generation 1: John Black, born about 1591 in England, died 1 March 1675 in Beverly, Massachusetts, married Susanna Unknown. Seven children:
1. Unknown Black, born about 1629, died on board the “Talbot” 24 June 1629
2. Elizabeth Black, born about 1632; married first Humphrey Gilbert about 1655, married second William Raynor 24 September 1658, married third Henry Kimball about 1675, and married third Daniel Kilham about 1678.
3. Persis Black, see below
4. Lydia Black, baptized 25 December 1636, died young
5. Lydia Black,  baptized 3 June 1638; married Isaac Davis
6. Daughter Black, baptized 27 November 1640, died young
7. John Black, born about 1642, married first Freeborn Wolfe, widow of Robert Sallowes, married second Deborah Unknown.

Generation 2.  Persis Black born about 1633, died before 1704 in Salem; married on 29 November 1655 in Salem to Robert Follet, son of John Follett.  He was born 1625 in England and died 1708 in Salem: Ten children.

Generation 3. Hannah Follett married John Southwick
Generation 4. John Southwick married Mary Trask
Generation 5. Elizabeth Southwick married Robert Wilson
Generation 6. Robert Wilson married Sarah Felton
Generation 7. Robert Wilson married Mary Southwick
Generation 8. Mercy F. Wilson married Aaron Wilkinson
Generation 9. Robert Wilson Wilkinson married Phebe Cross Munroe
Generation 10. Albert Munroe Wilkinson married Isabella Lyons Bill
Generation 11. Donald Munroe Wilkinson married Bertha Louise Roberts (my grandparents)


Great Migration Begins,  by Robert Charles Anderson, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1995,  Volume 1, pages 175 – 177.

The Essex Genealogist, Volume 14, pages 110 – 111.

Copyright 2012, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Friday, March 23, 2012

Friday Funny ~ That's It!

Seen next to the cemetery in Alna, Maine...

I guess you know that Maine is known for very dry humor....

Copyright 2012, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Thursday, March 22, 2012

John Tufts: A Shipwreck Story of Londonderry Immigrants

John Tufts: A Shipwreck Story of Londonderry Immigrants

By Tom Tufts, Guest Blogger for Nutfield Genealogy 
from the Boston Evening Post  22 June 1737

Has anyone ever heard of Londonderry or Windham immigrants from Ireland in 1737 being shipwrecked off Nova Scotia or Maine?

Sometimes it’s really not clear what records to believe. I have been researching Tufts families for a few years and come across a lot of great stories and records but often the stories are conflicting or unclear. I always tell people to seek out the actual records and cherish those as accurate, but are they really? We have all seen errors in census and written histories.

 John Tuffts or Tufts was clearly in Windham by 1748 when he married and then bought a farm in 1752 from John Morison (whose wife was Ann (Tufts) Morison-his second cousin). He married (first) Catherine Moore had a family in Windham and a second family with Mary Campbell in Belfast Maine. His history from then is quite clear as he was a miller, selectman and led the families that removed to settle what is now Belfast Maine. They were all clearly of Scots-Irish descent and their stories are in several town histories.

The Tufts historians have differed over John’s ancestry. The latest was Herbert Adams who worked for 50 years on Tufts history and his result was recently published by the Tufts Kinsmen Association as Tufts Kinsmen. He shows that this John came from Medford as most of our Tufts descended from Peter Tufts who came from England around 1638.  He even mentions the bible of Peter Tufts was handed down through John’s family.

Recently a genealogist sent me a note questioning this connection. She has a transcript of a story handed down through a branch of this family that he was actually from Ireland (Scots-Irish) and shipwrecked as a boy when coming to this country and orphaned. This reminded me I had seen a similar story in; Tufts Family History 1963 by Jay Franklin Tufts. That story is from a third branch of John’s family and very similar to the transcript.

The genealogist also sent a news article from the Boston Evening Post in 1737 which details the wreck of the Catherine off sable Island near Nova Scotia. It was from Portrush, Ireland and headed for Boston with many families and said to be the “most richly laden that ever crossed the ocean”. Many perished but some were rescued and brought to “Piscataqua” (Portsmouth) and “thence to Londonderry”.

So my quandary is who to believe. The shipwreck stories can’t be denied. While there are differences, there are too many similarities, and the story comes from 2 different branches of John’s descendents. The bible story, if accurate, would prove he was related to Peter Tufts but where’s the bible?  There are other details in Tufts Kinsmen which relate him as well, including estate benefits from relatives wills. The other note in Kinsmen that is interesting is under another John who was said to be Irish, not from Peter, who settled in West Brookfield MA. There he states a John Tufts did try to come from Ireland but perished in the wreck of the Catherine! He quotes the ships manifest and has the notation (NEJ) which is not in the bibliography.

I really wonder why this story isn’t written about in more local or family histories. If anyone has heard of a similar shipwreck story please share. It was quite dramatic as nearly half perished. John’s mother threw him her purse to him as she slipped below the waves and this haunted him for years. Three others who perished were “Messr.s Archibald, Charles Mcneal (Macneal?) and Mrs. Margaret Snell”. They could have been coming to join others of their family already in Nutfield.  John’s survival was said to be with a brother and sister. What happened to them? Would some family have taken them in? The mystery remains to be discovered.
part two of the above newsclipping
part three
part 4
click to enlarge the images


My guest blogger is Thomas Tufts, of Raymond, New Hampshire, who is a descendant of John Tufts of Windham.  He contacted me a few weeks ago about this story, and I also received an email query from him through the Londonderry Historical Society.  I couldn't find any information for him in the papers in the Londonderry Leach Library, and he has been searching the files in many local archives, including the New Hampshire Historical Society Library.  I thought that maybe by putting his information on my blog someone out there might know more information about the wreck of the Catherine or this group of Scots-Irish immigrants, including John Tufts.  If anyone knows more, please leave a comment here or contact Tom at  Thanks!

UPDATE -  see additional information about the shipwreck from Christine Sharbrough at the Accessible Archives blog at this link:

Heather Wilkinson Rojo and Thomas Tufts, "John Tufts: A Shipwreck Story of Londonderry Immigrants", Nutfield Genealogy, posted March 22, 2012, ( accessed [access date]). 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Weathervane Wednesday ~ a Motorcycle

My weather vane series of posts has been going on since August 2011.  I've been trying to document all the weather vanes in Londonderry and in the former area known as Nutfield, New Hampshire.  I've almost completed all the weather vanes I know in Londonderry, but if you know one I've missed, please leave me a comment or drop me an email at

Do you know the location of weather vane #35?   Scroll down below for the answer!

This unusual motorcycle is on top of a cupola above a garage in Londonderry.  Motorcycling and racing is a favorite hobby of the family who lives here.  

Click this link to see the complete Weather Vane Wednesday series of blog posts:

Copyright 2012, Heather Wilkinson Rojo