Monday, April 30, 2012

Amanuensis Monday ~ A Letter to Hawaii, 1849

Sarah Ann Moore
Novr. 1849

Mr. John O. Dominis
Sandwich Islands


Boston, Novr. 1849

My Dear Cousin

Not wishing to lose the correspondence
of so “nice a young man” as yourself – I hasten to
improve this opportunity of answering your kind
letter, which owing to the press of – not business
but domestic cares have been suffered to remain
unanswered for a while.  The last I heard of
you, was that you was making preparations
to go to San Francisco.  I understand since
that you have returned to the Islands.  Thinking
probably that there is “no place like home”
The next time you start I hope you will be
bound towards this part of the world.  It
would do good to our eyes to see you.  I im-
agine you to be grown ever so tall and handsome
don’t be flattered.  Do send us a daguerreotype
of yourself- and I will hang it in my best
parlor.  You probably will wish to know how
many little responsibilities I have, to keep me
so much engaged all the time.  They number
three, their names are Sarah Ann, Ella Frances and
Helen Augusta, perfect beauties of course.  Father
and Augustus are in business together, the
dying business.  They have a great deal of
work more than they can cleverly manage.

They have two Dye Houses and two offices.
The idea was suggested at the time, the Cochituate
Water was introduced into the city- and being
the first and only thing of the kind here- they
have an abundance to do.  The girls Annie and
Lizzie, and Charlotte are still boarding at Fathers
and are waiting anxiously to hear which way
their Father has decided upon sending for them
or having them remain where they are.  A and E.
have finished their education and left school
quite young ladies I assure you.  I long to hear
how you made out with that charming young lady
Miss Mott that you wrote of.  Did she refuse or
accept if the former don’t lay it to heart mustn’t
for there is some beautiful girls in these parts
which are patiently waiting for offers and they
are ready and willing to accept.  But seriously
Time travels fast and those most beautiful
are the soonest to fade.  I must not forget to tell
you of the death of our Cousin Lawrence Younger
a young man of great promise.  He died in
the Hospital of this City of hip complaint.  He has been
wasting away for a long time.  And Aunt Agnes has
also lost a little boy – he died with the summer
complaint which has been quite prevalent here this
past summer.  Grandfather was quite sick with the
same, but has recovered and takes his usual
walks occasionally from Boston to South Boston. But
I must now close, by hoping to hear from you soon

And don’t forget the daguerreotype.  Give my love
 to your Mother.  I will endeavor to write to her
soon.  Augs and myself join in wishing to be
remembered to all.

Your affectionate Cousin
Sara Ann Moore

This letter was full of new information for me.  The recipient of this letter was John Dominis, about 17 years old, from his first cousin, Sarah Ann (Snelling) Moore of Boston.    First of all, John's cousin Sarah mentions the courtship incident with Charlotte Mott I blogged about previously at this link.   No, he didn't marry "that charming young lady Miss Mott" but in 1862 he married Lydia Paki, the future Queen Lili'uokalani.  

Sarah mentions her own daughters, but not her sons. This may have been a sensitive subject since in September 1849 she lost two of her little boys.  In fact by December Sarah herself will be dead at age 31, and her little daughter Ella will be dead the following year.   She mentions the death of a cousin, Lawrence Younger, which made me jump up and down with excitement.  My 4x great grandmother was her aunt, Catherine (Jones) Younger.  I found Lawrence's death record in Boston, age 25, on 23 October 1849, of an abcess (a hip complaint "wasting away for a long time" in the letter).  Lawrence was the brother of my 3x great grandmother, Mary Esther (Younger) Emerson.  I didn't know he existed until I read this letter. 

The grandfather Sarah mentions, who was ill, is Owen Jones, who died 22 April 1850, just a few months after this letter was mailed to Hawaii.  And what was a "summer complaint"?  

The historical part of this letter was the mention of the Cochituate Aqueduct which brought water to Boston between 1848 to 1951.  It must have been brand new when the letter was written.  

Although I was able to answer a few genealogy questions with this letter, I found another mystery.  I don't know the three young ladies, Annie, Lizzie and Charlotte, and I searched through the family tree for three sisters with these names.  I wasn't able to find who they are.  They were living with Sarah's father,  Enoch Howes Snelling.  I also don't know the child lost by my great aunt Agnes (Jones) Hart, but he must have died before the letter was written.  I haven't found this Hart child in the Boston records. 

Hawaii State Archives, Queen Liluokalani Collections,
M-93, Box 11, Folder 105,
Letter from Sarah Ann Moore to John O. Dominis, November 1849

Copyright 2012, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Surname Saturday ~ Jacobs of Salem, Massachusetts

"The Trail of George Jacobs" (my ancestor)
painting by T. H. Matteson,
this artwork depicts teenager Margaret Jacobs 
accusing her grandfather, to save her own life


George Jacobs arrived in Salem and bought the house and ten acre lot belonging to Richard Waters on 25 November 1658.  He lived as a farmer for more than thirty years when he was arrested, along with his granddaughter, Margaret Jacobs, and accused of “sundry acts of witchcraft.”  Later his son, and his wife Rebecca were also arrested.  Their four little children were left behind and cared for by neighbors.  Rebecca was aquitted on 3 January 1693.  Margaret could not pay her jail fees, and so languished in prison for several months after her acquittal.

One of the “afflicted girls” was teenaged Sarah Churchill, his servant.  This group of teens accused her of witchcraft, too, when she expressed sorrow at wrongly accusing George Jacobs.   Granddaughter Margaret Jacobs was tortured until she accused her grandfather, which she later recanted.  She was only sixteen years old.   

Evidence at the trial showed that George Jacobs was quite elderly.  He was hunchbacked and walked with two canes.  He must have been over eighty years old during the trial. George was found guilty and hung on 19 August 1692 along with the Reverend George Burroughs, John Proctor (also my ancestor), John Willard and Martha Carrier.  In 1703 the General Court repaid the heirs of the condemned, and the Jacobs family received 79 pounds.

All the victims hung at Salem had their bodies thrown into a crevice on Gallows Hill because they were not allowed a decent burial.  It is well known that the bodies of George Jacobs and Rebecca Nurse (and perhaps others) were secretly reburied by family.  In 1854 his bones were found on the Jacobs homestead.   In 1992, the 300th anniversary of the hangings, and also the same year the Jacobs homestead was demolished, his bones were reburied at the Rebecca Nurse homestead at 149 Pine Street in Danvers.   Forensic evidence showed the bones belonged to a tall arthritic man with no teeth. 

A quote from George’s testimony at his trial: “Well, burn me or hang me I will stand in the truth of Christ. I know nothing of it.”

The day after her grandfather was hung, Margaret Jacobs wrote this letter:
Honored father--After my humble duty remembered to you, hoping in the Lord of your good health, as blessed be God I enjoy, though in abundance of affliction being close confined here in a loathsome dungeon, the Lord look down in mercy upon me, not knowing how soon I shall be put to death, by means of the afflicted persons. My grandfather having suffered already and all his estate seized for the king. The reason of my confinement is this, I having, through the magistrates threatenings, and my own vile and wretched heart, confessed several things contrary to my own conscience and knowledge, though to the wounding of my own soul, the Lord pardon me for it. But O, the terrors of a wounded conscience, who can bear ? But blessed be the Lord, he would not let me go on in my sins, but in mercy, I hope, to my soul, would not suffer me to keep it in any longer, but t was forced to confess the truth of all before the magistrates who would not believe me, but 'tis their pleasure to put me here, and God knows how soon I shall be put to death. Dear father, let me beg your prayers to the Lord on my behalf, and send me a joyful and happy meeting in Heaven. My mother, poor woman, is very crazy, and remembers her kind love to you and to uncle, viz. d--A--, so leaving you to the protection of the Lord, I rest your dutiful daughter.

From the dungeon
in Salem prison,
Aug. 20, 1692


 There is much information on the Jacobs family and the witch hysteria in Sidney Perley’s three volume set The History of Salem.  The English origins of George Jacobs were written up in The American Genealogist, Volume 79, pages 3-12, 209 – 217, 253- 259.  

There are many good books about the witch hysteria, but my favorites are:

In the Devil’s Snare: The Salem Witchcraft Crisis of 1692, by Mary Beth Norton, New York: Knopf, 2002.

Salem Possessed by Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum, Boston: Harvard University Press, 1974.

Salem Village Witchcraft by Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum, Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1993.

There is a webpage devoted to the story of George Jacobs and the genealogy of his descendants at this link:


My lineage from George Jacobs:

Generation 1:  George Jacobs was born about 1612 in England, died on 19 August 1692 when he was hung as a witch in Salem, Massachusetts; married to Mary Unknown.  She remarried to John Wildes,  whose first wife, Sarah Averill, was hung as a witch on 19 July 1692, in Salem.  Two children.

Generation 2: George Jacobs, Jr., who died before 1718; married on 9 February 1675 to Rebecca Andrews, widow of John Frost.  She was born 16 April 1646 in Watertown or Cambridge, Massachusetts daughter of Thomas Andrews and Rebecca Craddock.   Six children.

Generation 3.  John Jacobs, born 18 September 1679 in Salem, died 1764 in Salem; married first on 6 April 1704 in Salem Village (now Danvers) to Abigail Waters, daughter of John Waters and Sarah Tompkins.  She was born on 6 May 1683 and died before 1721 in Salem.  He married second on 21 May 1721 in Salem Village to Lydia Cooke. 

Generation 4: Abigail Jacobs married Malachi Felton
Generation 5. Sarah Felton married Robert Wilson
Generation 6. Robert Wilson married Mary Southwick
Generation 7. Mercy F. Wilson married Aaron Wilkinson
Generation 8.  Robert Wilson Wilkinson married Phebe Cross Munroe
Generation 9. Albert Munroe Wilkinson married Isabella Lyons Bill
Generation 10.  Donald Munroe Wilkinson married Bertha Louise Roberts (my grandparents)


To Cite/Link to this post:  Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Surname Saturday ~ Jacobs of Salem, Massachusetts", Nutfield Genealogy, posted April 28, 2012, ( accessed [access date]). 

Friday, April 27, 2012

Another letter to Hawaii, 1887

Hawaii State Archives, Queen Liliuokalani Collections,
M-93, Box 11, Folder 94
Letter from Alice Lee to Mary Dominis, 17 May 1887

Boston, May 17, 1887

My dear Aunt Dominis,
Have been intending to
write to you for years,
but I have hesitated
fearing that I might
not be able to write
much that would
interest you, now,
after seeing “Cousin
John” again and
becoming acquainted
with “Cousin Lydia”
I feel that I must
write and tell you
what a pleasure it
had been to us all
to see them and
have them here.  I
think “The Princess”
Is one of the most
charming women I
have ever met and
I congratulate you
on having her for
a daughter.  Both
she and the Queen
made a most
pleasant impression
here and I hope
they enjoyed their
visit as much as
we did.  As infirm
John didn’t go
to many of the re-
ceptions given in
their honor, Papa
and I had the
pleasure of expending
a good deal of time
with him, and it
was a great pleasure,
The memory of which
will linger with
me all my life.
Although I am you
niece only by adoption
yet I have known
and loved you all
since I was a little
girl and one of
my greatest desires
has been to see you.
I feel ?? I shall
sometime, if not here,
then, perhaps, in the
world beyond.  I
have such a nice
plan in my mind
I want Papa to
Take Grandmother Lee
And make you a
visit next winter.
Grandmother is so
well and strong, she
could easily bear
the journey and what
a joyful meeting it
would be between
you two!  And I know
Papa would enjoy
It.  Grandmother Lee
Is the dearest grand-
mother in the world
and I love her
dearly, she and I
have thought about
you for hours, haven’t
your ears burned?
if they have that
was when we were
??thing about you!
And now I must
say “Goodbye”, I hope
you will not try
to answer this letter
for I know how hard
it is for you to
write and as much
as I should enjoy
Hearing from you
I would rather that
you didn’t give your-
self the trouble.
I send you much
Love and I am
Your affec. niece,
 Alice Lee

Dear Aunt Dominis,
My “big baby” has of
her own free will and
accord written you how
Glad we were in having
John and Lydia here
with us.  I am intending to
write you and tell you of
the nice reception all
the relatives had.  Some
fifty of us cousins- first,
second, third and friends.
The baby being Christopher
Snelling’s son’s child.
The Queen and the Princess
were very popular with all
of the family.  And all speak
In high praise of John and
his nice wife.  Mother had
the best time.  Affectionately
            William Lee

This letter needs a lot of historical background.  I’ll start with a family tree.

Gen. 1.   Owen Jones (abt 1768 – 1850)  m. Elizabeth Lambert (abt 1775 – 1834)
             My 5x g. grandparents in Boston.  They had 8 children including:

   Sarah Jones               Catherine Jones              Laura Jones
 m. Enoch Snelling      m. Levi Younger               m. John Lee
(children in letter)   (my 4x g. grandparents)    had eight children including
                                                                          William Lee ((1826 – 1906) m. Anna Leavitt
                                                                           His adopted daughter Alice Gookin Lee
                                                                (daughter of Anna’s sister Mary & George Gookin)

Another Jones sister (one of the eight children of Owen Jones and Elizabeth Lambert) was Mary Lambert Jones (1803 – 1889).  Mary married a sea captain, John Dominis (d. 1846) who took her to live on the island of Oahu in Hawaii.  He built her a big New England style home in Honolulu, and then was lost at sea.  Their only surviving son was John Owen Dominis (1832 – 1891) who married Lydia Paki, a native Hawaiian with noble blood.  When Lydia’s brother, David Kalakaua (1836 – 1891) became King of the Kingdom of Hawaii, she became Princess Lili’uokalani.    During Queen Victoria’s Jubilee (50th Anniversary year on the throne), King Kalakaua, his wife Queen Kapiolani, and Princess Lili’uokalani went to London via Boston.  During the stop in Boston the Royalty visited with the Jones family.

The visit to Boston in 1887 is described in this letter.   I have several other letters from family members about this visit.  This visit was a family story passed down to my generation, but no one believed it until we found letters like this one.  This one is especially poignant to me because you can understand how the family felt so estranged from each other in the 1800s.  Hawaii was thousands of miles away by ships that had to go around South America, and this voyage took months and months. 

Alice and her grandmother never made the trip to Hawaii to see Auntie Mary Dominis.    Mary died just a few years later.   Queen Lili’uokalani succeeded her brother to the throne in 1891, and her husband John O. Dominis died later that same year.  After the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii in 1893 she lost the throne.  Queen Lili’uokalani again came to Boston in 1897 on her way to Washington DC to petition the president to reject the US annexation.   During her second Boston visit she again visited the Lees, Snellings and other family members.

Alice Gookin Lee was born 20 February 1854 in Hampton, New Hampshire, and she died on 4 March 1926 in Forest Hills, Massachusetts (a part of Boston now known as Jamaica Plain).  She is buried at the High Street Cemetery in Hampton, New Hampshire where her adopted father, William Lee, is also buried.   She never married, but was an accomplished woman who studied botany.  Alice was about twenty three years old when she wrote this letter.

Copyright 2012, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Thursday, April 26, 2012

American - Canadian Genealogical Society Spring Workshops - April 28th 2012

American-Canadian Genealogical Society 
Spring Workshops - April 28th 2012

It’s Free! It’s Free! It’s Free! It’s Free! It’s Free! It’s Free! It’s Free! It’s Free!

(The library building is next door to Blessed Sacrament Church – PARKING: in lot behind building)
TELEPHONE: 603-622-1554

8:00 -REGISTRATION [enter at back of building – lower lever] No pre-registration required.
9:00 -Welcome: Primary, secondary & tertiary sources, assessment and evaluation.
9:15-10:15 – Some Online Resources the best and worst; Library vs. home editions
Heritage Quest: Persi (periodical source index for journals) books and more
Family Search - Mormon website now searchable online

10:30-11:30 -Library Tour: Six stations, four 15 minute blocks, you choose!
Indexes, repertories and references, Canada and US
Available Computer Databases
Vital records &other sources on film and fiche
Family genealogies, family files
Periodicals, obituaries, directories
In the stacks: Loyalists, Indian captives, Soldiers, Acadians

11:30-1:00 - Lunch out or bring your own and join others in our lunch room

1:00-2:00 - Online and about
Websites – with a dedicated focus (Gen Web, Library & Archives Canada and many more)
NH libraries, town & city offices, museums and societies.

2:15-3:15 - Results: Seriously? A French Canadian in the DAR
Persistence, many records and luck: Scaling a Wall.

Refreshments will be served. There will be a used book sale.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Weathervane Wednesday ~ another Eagle

This is part of an on-going series of photographs of weather vanes in the Nutfield, New Hampshire area (formerly Derry, Londonderry and parts of Hudson, Windham and Manchester).  Some of the weather vanes are historical, some are whimsical, and all are interesting.

Do you know the location of weather vane #41?  Scroll down to the bottom to see the answer!

This eagle taking off (or landing?) on a ball is located on the Londonderry/Hudson border at 7 Tracy Lane, Hudson, New Hampshire, on top of the Mailhot Industries building.   Mailhot is a company based in Quebec, Canada, and it manufacturers hydraulic cylinders.   This is a very small facility, so it must be used for distribution or service in the United States.

The Mailhot Industries website

Please click here to see the entire series of Weathervane Wednesday posts!

Copyright 2012, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday ~ St. Casimir's Cemetery, Hudson, NH

Holy Cross Cemetery,  founded by St. Casimir's church, is located on Ledge Street in Hudson, New Hampshire.  It is tucked in back of St. Patrick's cemetery.  Both cemeteries were established by large Roman Catholic churches across the river in the city of Nashua.  The parish of St. Casimir's was located on Temple Street, and most of the parishioners were Lithuanian immigrants who came to work in the nearby mills.   Casimir was the patron saint of Poland and Lithuania, and the statue in his image was moved to St. Patrick's when the church closed more than ten years ago.   The church property in Nashua was converted into a large apartment complex.  

I enjoyed reading the names in this cemetery.  You don't see these names in the typical rural New Hampshire burial grounds!

The former St. Casimir church on Temple St, Nashua, New Hampshire

Casimir Place Apartments

The Dioceses of Manchester, New Hampshire website

Copyright 2012, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Monday, April 23, 2012

A Day with Roger Thompson

I have been a member of the New England Historic Genealogical Society for a long time.  Every year I receive the invitation to the Annual Meeting Gala Dinner, and we drool over the famous speakers, and wish we could afford to go schmooze with the esteemed genealogists at a luscious dinner in Back Bay.  This year we read about a special opportunity this same weekend, on Sunday April 22, 2012, named the 2012 Annual Meeting Trustee Seminar.  It was a chance to spend from 9:30 in the morning until 5 in the afternoon with Roger Thompson.

The only Roger Thompson book I had previously read was Sex in Middlesex: Popular Mores in a Massachusetts County, 1649 – 1699.  I had used it for reference when I looked up an ancestor, and I read the entire book because was written so well and the stories were so compelling (and the title was so interesting, too!)  I knew he had written other books, and the Middlesex County book as well as three others were the subject of his seminar.  Two of these had been published and advertised by NEHGS journals and flyers.  His other books were about the Middlesex Towns of Cambridge and Watertown, and the neighboring town of Charlestown in Suffolk County.

I have several ancestors from the early days in these towns, and I was curious about the subject matter and time period advertised in the advertising for these books.  It was interesting to me to spend an entire day listening to one author, so I signed up for the seminar.  It would be five lectures for $85, which seemed like a reasonable price.

Roger Thompson is emeritus professor at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, England.  He taught American Colonial History for thirty years, and is married to an American.  He has written ten books, including the one on Middlesex County, as well as the books about the Middlesex Towns of Cambridge and Watertown, and the neighboring town of Charlestown in Suffolk County.  During his discussion of these four books he also mentioned a book on East Anglia migration to New England.  I’ll list all the titles below.

Too bad for you if you missed this seminar on Sunday, April 22nd!  You missed a great day!  Roger is such a compelling story teller that the whole day slipped by before I knew it, and suddenly it was 5 PM and time to go home.  He kept his audience captivated, including my husband who had tagged along and thought he could sneak in an after lunch siesta.  For one man to keep everyone interested without the use of a single illustration or power point image is a real achievement.  His engaging speaking style translates to his writing, and so although his books look like textbooks you would find them very readable.

I sat near several members of the NEHGS board of trustees and councilors.  One or two explained to me that they take suggestions from members very seriously.  Earlier in the year one of them heard Roger Thompson speak in England, and thus NEHGS brought him all the way from East Anglia to Boston for this seminar.  The recommendation was taken seriously, and the invitation was extended to all members as an all day event.  I suggest that next time you hear about one of these seminars you should take advantage and attend!

My non-genealogist husband bought all four of Roger’s books!

These four books were the subjects of Roger Thompson’s series of lectures:

Cambridge Cameos: Stories of Life in Seventeenth-Century New England,  NEHGS, 2005

Divided We Stand: Watertown, Massachusetts, 1630 – 1680, University of Massachusetts Press, 2001

From Deference to Defiance: Charlestown, Massachusetts, 1629 – 1692, NEHGS,  2012

Sex in Middlesex: Popular Mores in a Massachusetts County, 1649 – 1699, University of Massachusetts Press, 1986

Other books by Roger Thompson mentioned at this seminar:

Mobility and Migration: East Anglian Founders of New England, 1629 – 1640, University of Massachusetts, 2009

Women in Stuart England and America: A Comparative Study, Routledge and K. Paul, 1974

The New England Historic Genealogical Society 

Copyright 2012, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Surname Saturday ~ Foote of Salem, Massachusetts

You can see Winter Island at the top.
This is where Pasco Foote was granted land.
I still have relatives living on Salem Neck! 

Pasco Foote arrived in Plymouth, Massachusetts aboard the “Ann” about 1630.  He removed to Salem by 1636 and was granted 40 acres of land.  On 16 January 1636/7 the town of Salem granted him another half acre on Winter Island.  He was a fisherman and merchant.   On 14 March 1640 he signed a petition to remove to Jefferyes Creek (later known as Manchester.)  On 26 April 1649 he took the oath of fidelity and was sworn as constable of Manchester.  He lived in Manchester from 1649 to 1652, then removed back to Salem.  On 6 February 1653 he joined the First Church of Salem (1st Church, Salem, Church Records).  Pasco Foote had eight of his children baptized 6 December 1653: John, Malachi, Samuel, Elizabeth, Mary, Isaac, Pasco, and Abigail. (Essex Institute Vol IV, (5 Oct 1864) page 243).

His will was proven on 30 April 161 and mentions his son (one unnamed, probably Isaac,  Samuel and Pasco, and his daughters Elizabeth, Mary, and Abigail.   My ancestor, Isaac Foot, lived in Salem and was made a freeman in 1678.  He was also a fisherman.

There are two Foote compiled genealogy books, The Foote Genealogy by Nathaniel Goodwin, 1849 and The Foote Genealogy by Abram W. Foote, 1907.  Ed Strickland of the Foote Family Association is working on an update to the book by Abram Foote.

The Foote Family Association has information on Nathaniel Foote of Connecticut and a small portion of the website devoted to Pasco Foote at this link  Harriet Rockwell, of the FFA, is interested in hearing from descendants of Pasco Foote at her snail mail address 1177 Fearrington Post, Pittsboro, NC  27312.  Her email is   It has not been proven that Nathaniel of Connecticut is related to Pasco Foote.

My lineage from Pasco Foote

Generation 1: Pasco Foote, born about 1608 in England, died 28 September 1670 in Salem, Massachusetts; married to Unknown.  Eight children.

Generation 2: Isaac Foot, born about 1644, died 1741; married Abigail Jeggles, daughter of Thomas Jeggles.  She was born 21 July 1648 in Salem and died after 1741.

Generation 3: Elizabeth Foot, born April 1675; married Nathaniel Felton, son of John Felton and Mary Tompkins.

Generation 4. Malachi Felton m. Abigail Jacobs
Generation 5. Sarah Felton m. Robert Wilson
Generation 6. Robert Wilson m. Mary Southwick
Generation 7. Mercy F. Wilson m. Aaron Wilkinson
Generation 8. Robert Wilson Wilkinson m. Phebe Cross Munroe
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, April 20, 2012

Friday Funny ~ A Garden Fountain

A fountain at the Jeanne d'Arc Garden in Quebec City
We were on our honeymoon
Notice the statue of Joan of Arc in the back of both of these photographs?

Our daughter at the same fountain
We were in Quebec for the 225th Anniversary
of the Battle on the Plains of Abraham

Copyright 2012, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Patriot’s Day, 19 April 1775 and 1975

“On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year”

-          From The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The year 1975 is one I always remember because it was the year I decided to trace my family tree.  I was only thirteen years old, and I lived in Massachusetts.  It was the prelude to the nation’s Bicentennial celebration, and in 1975 Lexington and Concord celebrated the 200th anniversary on April 19th.  There were re-enactments going on all around me that year, including the Knox Trail, Bunker Hill, etc.  It was an exciting time to be a kid in Massachusetts, and it really piqued my interest in American History and our family genealogy.  Two years later I found out that my Munroe ancestors participated in the Battle of Lexington, and several Munroes were killed that day. 

We took our daughter to see the 225th Anniversary of the Battle of Lexington re-enactment, which involved getting to the Lexington Green at o’dark hundred to get a good spot right by the ropes which marked off the battlefield.  We watched our ancestors fall to their deaths, which was an odd experience. You can read about that experience at this link: 

Here are some old images from our family slides that I digitized.  The quality is poor, but it brings back memories of the Bicentennial year…

Holden, Massachusetts Bicentennial Parade
This young man was in my high school class. 
He walked with his oxen during the winter 1976 re-enactment of the 
Knox Trail when they passed through central Massachusetts.
I remember visiting one of the encampments near my hometown.

We visited Disney World in Florida for the first time
in 1976.  The Main Street parade had an
American History theme that year for the Bicentennial. 

In 1975,  my family visited the
Mayflower II in Plymouth, MA.  It took me over 25 years to find 
out that my mother had eleven Mayflower passengers
in her family tree.  She couldn't believe it! 

In 1775 my Girl Scout Troop visited Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania.  We saw many things, and this is one
of the few photos I took.  Back then
the bell was in Independence Hall and we could touch it.  
A year later it was moved across the street to a well guarded pavilion. 
Twenty years after this trip I found out Ben Franklin was my
1st cousin 8 generations removed. 

As you can see, I started my genealogy research very early, but I found some fascinating connections between my family and American history!  

Copyright 2012, Heather Wilkinson Rojo