Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday ~ Deacon Thomas Crosby

This tombstone was photographed at the Old Burial Ground in Brewster, Massachusetts

ye 21st 1731
IN ye 69th YEAR

Deacon Thomas Crosby is my 7 x great grand uncle.  His parents, Reverend Thomas Crosby (1635 - 1702)  and Sarah, were my 8 x great grandparents.  Thomas was born 7 April 1663 in Eastham, Massachusetts, and died on 12 April 1731 in Harwich, Massachusetts.  He married Hannah Unknown.  He was elected deacon in Harwich on 25 March 1716. 

Copyright 2012, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Monday, July 30, 2012

A Genealogist Visits the DNA Learning Center

Dolan DNA Learning Center
Cold Springs Harbor, Long Island, New York
Lucky me to visit the Dolan DNA Learning Center in Cold Springs Harbor, New York!  According to their website, it is the “first science center devoted entirely to genetics education”.   It is a combination museum and educational lab, serving field trips, summer camps, teacher training, and all sorts of classes.  There are Saturday DNA classes for the general public, and several DNA and genetics related films in their theater.  They also offer fellowships for college and university students and staff.

In my peek at the facility, I not only enjoyed their current exhibit, “The Genes We Share”, but I learned about how scientists James Watson and Francis Crick, who discovered and described the double helix shape of the DNA strand, were aided by Cold Springs Harbor Lab scientists.  James Watson made his announcement of his discovery at the Cold Springs Harbor symposium in 1953.  Later he became the director for thirty five years.

The model made by Watson and Crick
to show the double helix structure
of the DNA strand

A photo of Watson and Crick
with their DNA model
The facility was full of elementary and high school aged students on the afternoon I visited.  They were busy in state of the art laboratories and computer labs, learning things I wish I had learned at their age.  If I lived closer I would definitely be taking classes at the Dolan DNA Learning Center.  I remember taking a half year class in high school on genetics and DNA, but it was back in the 1970s, before all the current wonderful discoveries and genome mapping projects.  Since this facility is associated with the Cold Springs Harbor Laboratories, I’m sure that the latest discoveries are explained to the students, teachers and public here.

There are also Dolan DNA learning centers in Harlem and Lake Success, New York.  Check their website for several online classes, too.

For more information:
Dolan DNA Learning Center www.dnalc.org
334 Main Street
Cold Spring Harbor, NY  11724
Phone (516) 367-5170

Cold Springs Harbor Laboratory http://www.cshl.edu/about-us/

Image Archive on the American Eugenics Movement (circa 1910 – 1940) at Cold Springs Harbor Laboratory, (some of these images and text use offensive words for 21st century tastes, but are historically accurate) http://www.eugenicsarchive.org/eugenics/list3.pl/  Included are archives on sterilization laws and immigration restrictions all imposed on the public due to research flaws and racism.

Copyright 2012, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Surname Saturday ~ Platts / Gawkroger of Massachusetts


The Platts - Bradstreet House in Rowley
The Platts family can be difficult to trace due to the fact that the name was originally not Platts but Gawkroger!   The “Gawkrogers of Platts” lived in Sowerby, Yorkshire, England had several family members come to New England.  Some descendants were known as just Platts when they arrived here.  I’m descended of two of the family members who came to Massachusetts.

Samuel Platts arrived in Rowley, north of Boston, about 1653 with his first wife, Sarah and several children.  More children were born in Rowley, and he remarried in 1681 to Phillippa Andrews, widow of George Felt of Salem.   She married third to Thomas Nelson.   His house is still standing in Rowley, and is owned by the Historical Society.   It was previously owned by Joseph Jewett.  

Mary Gawkroger was born in Halifax, Yorkshire, and married John Prescott in 1629 in Sowerby.  They came with their first children to Watertown, Massachusetts and eventually settled in Lancaster, Massachusetts.  They had eight children in all, and endured many Indian raids in Lancaster.  Mary was the cousin of Samuel Platts, their fathers were the brothers Abram and James Gawkroger. 


My Gawkroger lineage:

Generation 1: James Gawkroger, born 1546 in Halifax, Yorkshire, England, died in March 1592; married on 2 December 1571 in Halifax to Joan Fairbanks, daughter of George Fairbanks and Sybil Wade.  Two sons, Abram and James.

A. Generation 2:  Abram Gawkroger, baptized 21 November 1574 in Halifax, died 1625 in Warley, Yorkshire; married on 16 May 1604 in Halifax to Martha Riley, daughter of Thomas Riley. 

Generation 3:  Mary Gawkroger, born 15 May 1607 in Halifax, died after 1678 in Lancaster, Massachusetts;  married on 11 April 1629 in Sowerby, Halifax to John Prescott, son of Ralph Prescott and Helen Unknown.  He was born about 1604 in Standish, Lancastershire, England, and died 20 December 1681 in Lancaster, Massachusetts.  Eight children.

Generation 4:   Mary Prescott m. Thomas Sawyer
Generation 5:  Joshua Sawyer m. Sarah Wright
Generation 6: Mary Sawyer m. Robert Convers
Generation 7: Susanna Converse m. Caleb Simonds
Generation 8: Ruth Simonds m. Andrew Munroe
Generation 9:  Luther Simonds Munroe m. Olive Flint
Generation 10: Phebe Cross Munroe m. Robert Wilson Wilkinson
Generation 11:  Albert Munroe Wilkinson m. Isabella Lyons Bill
Generation 12:  Donald Munroe Wilkinson m. Bertha Louise Roberts (my grandparents)

Generation 4: Lydia Prescott (sister to Mary above) m. Jonas Fairbanks
Generation 5: Grace Fairbanks m. Ephraim Bullen
Generation 6: John Bullen m. Sarah Underwood
Generation 7: Grace Bullen m. Ebenezer Healey
Generation 8: Comfort Haley m. Abigail Allen
Generation 9: Comfort Haley m. Rebecca Crosby
Generation 10:  Joseph Edwin Healy m. Matilda Weston
Generation 11: Mary Etta Healey m. Peter Hoogerzeil
Generation 12: Florence Etta Hoogerzeil m. Arthur Treadwell Hitchings
Generation 13. Gertrude Matilda Hitchings m. Stanley Elmer Allen (my grandparents)

B. Generation 2: James Gawkroger, baptized 7 September 1578 in Sowerby, died 6 October 1628 in Sowerby; married on 5 September 1601 in Sowerby to Margaret Ainsworth.  Eleven children.

Generation 3: Samuel Platts, born 10 January 1617 in Sowerby, died before 1690 in Rowley, Massachusetts; married in 1647 to Sarah. She died on 10 April 1671 in Rowley, and he remarried on 19 December 1681 in Rowley to Phillipa Andrews, widow of George Felt.  She remarried, after Samuel Platts’s death, to Thomas Nelson on 9 April 1690 in Rowley.  Thomas Nelson was previously married to Ann Lambert and Mary Lunt.  Samuel Platts and Sarah had six children.

Generation 4: Abel Platts, born about 1650, died in 1690 on an expedition to Cape Breton, Canada; married on 8 May 1672 in Rowley to Lydia Bailey, daughter of James Bailey and Lydia Emery.  She was born in September 1644 in Rowley, and died 24 November 1722 in Rowley.

Generation 5: Moses Platts, born 4 February 1673 in Rowley, died 30 March 1739 in Rowley; married on 22 November 1693 to Hannah Platts, daughter of Jonathan Platts and Elizabeth Johnson.  [I suspect that Jonathan Platts is a member of the same Platts family but I have not determined how he is related]  Nine children.

Generation 6: Moses Platts, born 9 April 1707 in Rowley, died before 1753 on an expedition to Louisburg, Nova Scotia, like his grandfather, Abel Platts.   Moses married Ruth William on 2 December 1731 in Gloucester, Massachusetts, daughter of Daniel Williams and Alice Allen, born on 13 June 1710 in Manchester, Massachusetts.  Seven children.

Generation 7. Sarah Platts, born 26 August 1735 in Gloucester, died after 1803; married on 18 December 1760 in Danvers, Massachusetts to George Southwick, son of John Southwick and Mary Trask, born about 1726 and died before 1808 in Danvers.  Seven children.

Generation 8: Mary Southwick m. Robert Wilson
Generation 9: Mercy F. Wilson m. Aaron Wilkinson
Generation 10: Robert Wilson Wilkinson m. Phebe Cross Munroe
Generation 11: Albert Munroe Wilkinson m. Isabella Lyons Bill
Generation 12: Donald Munroe Wilkinson m. Bertha Louise Roberts (my grandparents)


Copyright 2012, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Friday, July 27, 2012

Happy Blogoversary to Me!

I started this blog three years ago today.  In the beginning I wrote stories just for myself and my family, but Nutfield Genealogy just grew and grew and grew...

At first only family read my blog, and then a great bunch of people known as the "GeneaBloggers" started following my posts and commented.  We all became Facebook friends, and tweeted and G+ed each other's posts.  Then the general public began to read, and well... the rest is history.  Those first few months hardly anyone read my blog, and I didn't post much.  But as I practiced, it became easier to write and format posts and now I publish a post six days a week.

Over three years my readership has grown to almost 300,000 page views according to the statistics on Blogger.  Most of those hits were in the last year.  I'm not sure if that counts readers on Facebook, Networked Blogs or other blog readers.  I've posted almost 1,000 posts, and received almost 2,000 comments. As of today I have 181 followers.  I remember that in the beginning the only little faces that appeared under the follower widget on my blog were myself and my husband, and now I have pages of smiling friends to look at!  Thanks everyone!

My five most popular stories over the past three years are (according to the Blogger statistics):

#5- Publishing a Book for my Blog (I still get email asking about Blurb and the blog to book process)

#4  Canobie Lake Park, this post gives a brief history of our local amusement park which is over 100 years old, but I'm sure that most of the people Googling the park name are looking for directions or hours:

#3  1940 Census Sneak Peek for Genealogists, written back in April 2011 (a full year before the release) this post gained a lot of hits because I gave lots of hints about what to expect from information I gleaned at the 2011 NERGC workshop:

#2  Pinterest, Ancestry and Copyrighted Images, this post was popular because it hit on such a sensitive subject, and it also gave a sense of relief to lots of folks who wanted to use those great images on social media: http://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2012/04/pinterest-ancestry-and-copyrighted.html

#1  Hezekiah Wyman and the Legend of the White Horseman, this post puzzles me more than any other strange hit my blog receives from Google and other search engines. It has received nearly three times the hits than my #2 story.  I have no idea why this local legend about the Battle of Lexington and Concord is so popular.  Check it out for yourself!

With nearly 6,000 hits, my surname page  http://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/p/surnames-to-9-generations.html has had three times as many readers as the Hezekiah Wyman story!  I suppose this is all thanks to Google, and the fact that people LOVE to Google their own names and surnames.


Copyright 2012, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Iberia Airlines, about 1965

This photo was taken about 1965.  Remember when flying was a big deal, and there was a photographer at the doorway to take your photo?  Remember when everyone flying dressed up in suits, even the little boys? This is my father-in-law and my husband as a little boy.  My father-in-law worked in New York City at the United Nations, and they would fly home to Madrid several times a year on Iberia Airlines.  Later, my mother-in-law became a ticket agent and manager for Iberia, and they were able to continue flying home to visit family several times a year- even after my father-in-law stopped working at the UN and became a professor.

I often wonder if all this intercontinental flying my husband did as a little boy influenced his desire to become an aeronautical-astronautical engineer?

We found this photo in a box of memorabilia in Madrid, and scanned it with my Flip-Pal scanner.

To cite/link to this blog post:  Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Iberia Airlines, about 1965", Nutfield Genealogy, posted July 26, 2012, ( https://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2012/07/iberia-airlines-about-1965.html: accessed [access date]). 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Weathervane Wednesday ~ Moo!

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.   Today's weathervane is in Hudson.

Do you know the location of weathervane #53?   Scroll down to see the answer.

This weathervane is located at the former Nadeau Dairy Farm on Old Derry Road.    Emery Nadeau ran a dairy farm that was the last herd of cows in Hudson, New Hampshire, aside from the cows at Alvirne High School's agricultural center.  He was the third generation of his family to raise cows on this property since 1902.  The farmhouse is over 200 years old.  The dairy herd and equipment were sold in 2002, and over the past ten years the barns have been converted over to rental business storage, offices and garages. 

A 12 December 2004 AP story in the Boston Globe about the Nadeau farmland sale:

Copyright 2012, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday ~ Mrs. Judith (Cobb) Crosby

 This tombstone was photographed at the Old Burial Ground in Brewster, Massachusetts

Died Sept. 26, 1850
AEt. 78

Here on earth no more I wander
My communion is on high
Kindred spirits greet me yonder
Jesus calls me to the sky.

Her Husband
Benjamin Crosby
Died in Africa 1795
AEt. 27

Judith Cobb was born about 1772 in Eastham, Massachusetts, baptized on 3 August 1772.  She died on 26 September 1850 in Brewster.  She married Benjamin Crosby on 14 September 1793 in Harwich to Benjamin Crosby, just two years before he died in Africa.  He was born on 1 February 1768 in Harwich, the son of Elisha Crosby and Phebe Hopkins.  

Elisha Crosby is my first cousin, 7 generations removed.  His grandparents, John Crosby and Hannah Bangs, are my 7 x great grandparents.  Elisha's mother was Mary Crosby.  Her grandparents, Thomas Crosby and Sarah Unknown are my 8x great grandparents.  Phebe Hopkins's great grandfather, Giles Hopkins, came on the Mayflower in 1620 with his father, Stephen Hopkins! 

Copyright 2012, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Monday, July 23, 2012

Boston Red Legged Boys

by guest blogger Dave Pasquarello

The Boston Red Legged Boys story begins with my grandfather, Ragnar Benson, who worked as a hawker at Fenway Park from 1914 through 1918. He was only 10 years old when he attended opening day at Fenway in 1912. The hawkers (vendors who yell out and sell popcorn, peanuts, crackerjacks, etc.) had to arrive at Fenway Park early, in order to get their section assignments for each game.

Well, at one of those games, Babe Ruth was scheduled to pitch for the Red Sox and his catcher wasn't ready to warm him up. So what did The Babe do about that? He looked right at my grandfather and said, "hey kid, grab a glove!”  My grandfather didn't hesitate, and he proceeded onto the field and warmed up Babe Ruth! He re-told that story every year when he would take me to opening day, which was always played at Fenway Park on Patriots Day/ Boston Marathon Day. And the Red Sox always opened up against those dreaded Yankees!

 I'll never forget those days with my grandfather! And I'll never forget how animated he became when he told me about "Catching The Babe"!!! I know that there are millions of stories about the Red Sox out there and they're all woven together throughout Red Sox Nation. One is just as special as the next, all connected, and all very special! I hope that you'll add Boston Red Legged Boys to your playlist and think of your own special Red Sox story, while you're listening to a little bit of mine. A share of proceeds will go to The Karen A. Martin 9/11 Memorial Fund and to The Jimmy Fund.

 "Boston Red Legged Boys" Words and Music by Dave Pasquarello (c) 2008 Piano and Vocals by Dave Pasquarello Bass, Drums & Guitar by.The Darkroom Blues Band (Featuring Pete Morse on Lead Guitar). Recorded @ Red Vault Recording, Portland, Maine on Patriot's Day 2012 Released on May, 2, 2012. Produced by Pete Morse and Dave Pasquarello.

Here are some links for my music and videos:

Please visit the official 9/11 Memorial Museum and view my portfolio; http://registry.national911memorial.org/view_artist.php?aid=1178

Please check out my 9-11 tribute song "Towers" on YouTube  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRjgF_BrkxM

An additional note from Dave Pasquarello: “Boston Red Legged Boys is being featured in a new documentary film called Brick by Brick, Stories of Fenway...My Mother and I were interviewed and will be in the film. They love the song and the story about my grandfather too. My songs Towers and Freedom Soldier are also being featured in a documentary film called One Tuesday Morning......and Towers (song & video) is archived at the official 9/11 Memorial & Museum in NYC. Both documentary films are to be released this fall. My connection to 9/11 and the story of my music making is posted at the 9/11 Memorial/Museum site.”

You can hear a clip of Red Legged Boys at these links:

Ragnar Benson on "Haughty Girl"
from Dave Pasquarello's Myspace page

There is a long history between my family and the Pasquarello family.  Dave’s Mom (maiden name of Benson) and my Dad went to high school together, in Massachusetts at Beverly High School.  Then Dave’s Mom went on to Beverly Hospital School of Nursing, where she was in the same class as my Mom.   Dave’s parents introduced my parents to each other at Lynch Park in Beverly.  My Mom and Dad were married in 1958. 

I always called Dave’s grandparents “Nana and Papa Benson”, as if they were a third set of grandparents.  Dave and his brothers and sister were close in age to me and my sister.  When we were all living in Beverly, we lived nearby each other.  Even after moving away to central Massachusetts, whenever we came back to Beverly to visit relatives we would visit the Pasquerellos and Bensons.

Dave’s grandfather, mentioned above, was recorded as Ragnar Wagner Napoleon Benson on his birth record in Boston, Massachusetts on 30 January 1902 (Mass. VR, volume 523, page 7)  The page of the record book is in very poor shape, and it is torn so much of the good genealogical information is missing.

Ragnar's birthname is listed on line 5

In the 1910 Census Ragnar was 8 years old, living in Revere with his father, Robert, and mother, Ragnhild, immigrants from Sweden.  In the 1920 Census Ragnar was living at 52 Astor Street in Boston with his mother and brother.  He was 17 at the time, and his occupation is listed as a clerk at a leather manufacturer.   In the 1930s he is listed in Boston Directories as a leather sorter, living at 22 Rowell Street in Dorchester with his wife Catherine Elizabeth, and then by 1934 Ragnar and Catherine Elizabeth had removed to 25 Abington Avenue in Salem.  By 1950 they appeared in the Beverly directories, living at 17 Winthrop Avenue, which is the address I remember for Nana and Papa Benson.

According to the Florida Death Index online at Ancestry.com, Ragnar Werner Benson died on 6 February 1978. 

Copyright 2012, Heather Wilkinson Rojo and Dave Pasquarello

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Illuminating Blogger Award

Today I received the Illuminating Blogger Award from Leslie Ann, the author of the genealogy blog "Ancestors Live Here" at this link: http://ancestorslivehere.blogspot.com/    Thanks, Leslie Ann!  I'm very honored to be on your list of recommended blogs!  I like this award badge because of the lighthouse.  I grew  up in the seacoast town of Beverly, Massachusetts, and my parents were engaged at Hospital Point Light in Beverly, and my ancestors all lived in Beverly and towns nearby as mariners and fishermen and ship carpenters.  I wouldn't be surprised to someday find a light house keeper in my family tree.

I feel badly because in the past I have been offered blogger awards by readers and genealogists and I have turned them down. At first I turned them down because I was offered the same awards over again, and then there seemed to be a flood of awards and I was overwhelmed. Each time I found it difficult to select more bloggers to pass on the award, and I wanted to give it to everyone!   It made me feel like a real curmudgeon to say "no" to readers who obviously liked to read Nutfield Genealogy, and so now I'm not going to say "no" anymore.  It feels good to play along!

According to Leslie Ann, this award has several rules, including:

  • The nominee should visit the award site (http://foodstoriesblog.com/illuminating-blogger-award/) and leave a comment indicating that they have been nominated and by whom. (This step is so important because it’s the only way that we can create a blogroll of award winners).
  • The Nominee should thank the person that nominated them by posting & including a link to their blog.
  • The Nominee should include a courtesy link back to the official award site (http://foodstoriesblog.com/illuminating-blogger-award/) in their blog post.
  • Share one random thing about yourself in your blog post.
  • Select at least five other bloggers that you enjoy reading their illuminating, informative posts and nominate them for the award. Many people indicate that they wish they could nominate more so please feel free to nominate all your favorites.
  • Notify your nominees by leaving a comment on their blog, including a link to the award site (http://foodstoriesblog.com/illuminating-blogger-award/).

  • The random thing about me that I can share here is that I'm a complete math phobic person, even though I enjoy technology and minored in Computers in college, and earned a Master's Degree in Technology in Education.  However, I married an MIT rocket scientist.  This is our ying-yang relationship.  It all balances out because he helps me with math, and I help him with American History.  He went to prep school in Puerto Rico and never took an American History class!  Believe it or not...

    The fun part of this award is selecting five other bloggers to nominate for the award.  I love passing on the gift!  However I'm going to select some very different blogs here... not all are genealogy blogs.  You'll have to check them all out yourself to see what the common thread is between this eclectic selection of blogs.

    1.)  Diane MacLean Boumenot at "One Rhode Island Family"  http://onerhodeislandfamily.com/
    2.)  Scott Powell at "Lake WicWas"  http://wicwaslake.blogspot.com/
    3.)  Constant Belcher AKA Tim Abbott at "The Journal of Constant Belcher" http://constantbelcher.blogspot.com/
    4.) Karen K. at "The Road Backward" http://www.theroadbackward.com/
    5.) Pam Carter at "Digging Down East" http://diggingdowneast.blogspot.com/

    Copyright 2012, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

    Saturday, July 21, 2012

    Surname Saturday ~ George of Charlestown, Massachusetts


    First Baptist Church
    Boston, Massachusetts
    In A Sketch of the Munro Clan by James Phinney Munroe you can read:
    …John George, a man of Watertown descent, who created a great scandal in Charlestown by his Baptist leanings. Indeed he was one of the founders of what is now the First Baptist Church in Boston, and for this and other heterodox behavior was driven out of Charlestown..."  

    John George lived in Charlestown.  His neighbor was Thomas Gould, who in 1665 refused to bring his child to meeting for infant baptism.  Gould was excommunicated and a Baptist church was organized in Charlestown on 28 May 1665.  The first to be baptized were adults Thomas Gould, Thomas Osborne, Edward Drinker and John George, soon followed by more Charlestown adults Richard Goodall, William Turner, Robert Lambert, Mary Goodall and Mary Newel.  Gould had services at first in his home in Charlestown, and then removed to Noddles Island, in Boston harbor, where he could conduct Baptist services in secret.  

    On 17 April 1666 Gould, Osborne and John George were sent to Cambridge to be presented to a grand jury on the charges of being absent from the established Puritan meeting for an entire year.  They were found guilty, fined and then thrown into jail for not paying the fines. They were finally released after the judge concluded that the ongoing fines and imprisonments did not change “error of their way, and their return to the Lord”.  This was the beginnings of what would become the First Baptist Church of Boston.

    To read more about John George and the early Boston Baptist church, please see From Deference to Defiance: Charlestown, Massachusetts 1629 – 1692 by Roger Thompson, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2012 and also see A history of the Baptists: traced by their vital principles and practices from the time of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to the year 1886 by Thomas Armitage, Harvard University, 1887. No genealogical articles have been published on John George of Charlestown.


    My George lineage:

    Generation 1:  John George, born about 1615 in England, died 12 September 1666 in Charlestown, Massachusetts; married to Elizabeth Unknown.  Two daughters.

    Generation 2: Martha George, born about 1636 in Charlestown, died about 1672 in Lexington, Massachusetts; married about 1665 to William Munroe as his first wife (he was married three times).   Four children.

    Generation 3: George Munroe, born about 1672 in Lexington, died 17 January 1747; married to Sarah Mooer, daughter of Jonathan Mooers and Constance Langthorne.  She was born about 1677 in Newbury, died 4 December 1752 in Lexington. Nine children.

    Generation 4:  Andrew Munroe m. Lucy Mixer
    Generation 5: Andrew Munroe m. Ruth Simonds
    Generation 6: Luther Simonds Munroe m. Olive Flint
    Generation 7: Phebe Cross Munroe m. Robert Wilson Wilkinson
    Generation 8: Albert Munroe Wilkinson m. Isabella Lyons Bill
    Generation 9: Donald Munroe Wilkinson m. Bertha Louise Roberts

    The website of the First Baptist Church of Boston, link to their history page: 

    Copyright 2012, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

    Friday, July 20, 2012

    Mount Wachusett

    Easter Morning 1973 at the summit of Mount Wachusett

    Wachusett Mountain in the Fall of 1975

    The Wachusett Mountaineer

    I grew up in Holden, Massachusetts, near Mount Wachusett.  The high school I went to was called Wachusett Regional High School, and it included the towns of Holden, Paxton, Princeton, Rutland and Sterling, Massachusetts.  Our school mascot was the Mountaineer, which is still the mascot.  In the past he was interchangeably carrying a jug of hooch or a gun, neither one was very politically correct for a high school mascot.

    We could see Mount Wachusett from our back porch in Holden, until the trees grew up too big and someone built a new house behind ours.  We took our ski lessons there when it was a tiny ski hill with only a snack shack and outhouses.  Wachusett was a great place to hike as Brownies, or to pick blueberries.  It was always fun to see the seasons change on the summit.

    My Dad used to like to drive up to the summit on Easter morning.  No particular reason, just a little excursion that turned into a family tradition.  It was one of the first places he would bring out of town guests. From the summit you could see three states, and the towers of Boston glinting in the sunlight.  On a very, very clear day you could see Mount Washington in the distance, in northern New Hampshire.

    Now I live in New Hampshire, and when I leave Londonderry for Nashua I have to drive up a big hill.  In the winter, from the top of this hill I can see Mount Wachusett in the distance, with the ski runs all lit up.  Even though New Hampshire is famous for its White Mountains and Mount Washington, I still love the sight of little Mount Wachusett.  It is the highest point in Massachusetts east of the Connecticut River, and it's summit is only 2,006 feet (611 meters).  Henry David Thoreau wrote about a walk to the summit in his A Walk to Wachusett.

    Is there a mountain in your childhood memories?

    Thoreau's Walk to Wachusett at this link:

    Copyright 2012, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

    Thursday, July 19, 2012

    Update on Nutfield Genealogy

    The last two weeks have been hard since my old computer died a slow death with a deteriorating hard drive.  Fortunately all the data was recoverable, and I didn’t need to use my cloud storage or my external hard drive storage.  It took days to move the data (literally) since we have many gigs of photos and documents.  It took a professional to do all the fine tuning, which is fine by me since I wanted it done fast and “right the first time”.   

    Thank goodness for pre-posting two weeks of blog posts ahead of time!

    Several emails and messages kept me busy on my laptop while all this was happening.  First, Jeanie at The Family Connection blog http://www.jeaniesgenealogy.com/ wrote to me about my blog post “John Locke ~ He Cut Off an Indian’s Nose with his Scythe” at this link: http://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2012/07/john-locke-he-cut-off-indians-nose-with.html
    She questioned my statement that John Locke was not married to Elizabeth Berry.  She was correct, and I was wrong in my post.  John Locke definitely did marry Elizabeth Berry, daughter of William and Jane Berry, about 1652.  I was thinking of statements seen all over the internet that his wife was Elizabeth BOLLES or BOWLES.  See, I almost perpetuated that myth with my boo boo.  Sorry, Jeanie, but thanks for making the comment so I could correct the blog post!

    I had my guest blogger Bette Pye Wing write up a second blog post about Fort Banks, Winthrop, Massachusetts at this link: http://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2012/07/fort-banks-winthrop-massachusetts.html .  She will be creating her own genealogy blog soon, and it will be titled “The Pye Plate” (cute name ‘eh?)  I’ve never met Bette, but she is a cousin to a very good friend.  Bette’s research on her lineage to the Mayflower passenger Stephen Hopkins helped me to complete an application for membership for my friend’s Mom just two year before she passed away.  She was thrilled to become a member, even though she was only a member for a very short time.  Now her children and grandchildren and descendants will be able to apply for member in the Society of Mayflower Descendants, all due to Bette’s hard work.

    I also heard from Paul A. Clark, who is researching Esther Wines, wife of Nicholas Hodson, married about 1639.  He is looking for a connection to the Wincoll family and is also looking for a will written by a cousin with the fantastic name of “Faintnot Wines” from Charlestown, Massachusetts.  This will mentions the cousin connections. Has anyone out there done any research on the WINCOLL or WINES families?

    A mysterious message by “ Fr. Garcelon” left me a link to a GARCELON family tree on an excel spreadsheet.  Thanks, for the link and I have checked out the large pedigree chart!  I know I haven’t blogged about this family, but I did leave a message on a bulletin board a few years ago when I was looking for information on a Peter James Garcelon who married my third cousin Anna M. Wilkinson on 14 August 1875 in La Grange, Maine.   The pedigree chart was very helpful.

    I am finding Connecticut research maddening.  There are two Charlotte Mathers  (a daughter in law and her mother in law) who appear to have flown under the radar and their records do not appear in any of the usual places for vital records.  I’ve never done any research in Connecticut before.  I hope I don’t have to make a trip down there!  Help! Any research tips or RAOGK would be appreciated now.   Maybe now that I have my computer I can write to a dozen possible towns clerks for information!

    Surprise, surprise!  A very odd bunch of websites related to metal detecting have been referring readers to my blog.  I clicked on one of the links that showed up on my statistics page, and there was a running thread on a forum for metal detectors.  It seems that someone dug up a metal medallion related to an anniversary for the city of Springfield, Massachusetts.  On the front of this medallion was an image of Samuel Chapin, one of the city founders.  There is a large statue of Chapin in Springfield, and I blogged about it during the last NERGC conference in Springfield (see this link: http://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2011/04/mini-chapin-reunion.html)    My blog post and the accompanying photograph helped the hobbyists identify the medallion and the image of my 10 x Great Grandfather, Deacon Samuel Chapin.  You never know, do you, where all this blogging will lead?

    For the truly curious:

    The link to the metal detecting thread:

    Copyright 2012, Heather Wilkinson Rojo and Bette Pye Wing

    Wednesday, July 18, 2012

    Weathervane Wednesday ~ An Antique Business

    I've been photographing the weather vanes in the historic area of Nutfield, New Hampshire.  The weather vanes of New England are very historic and whimsical.  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 Derry.

    Do you know the location of weathervane #52?   Scroll down to see the answer.

    Today's featured weathervane can be seen on Rt. 28, Rockingham Road, in Derry, New Hampshire.  It is located on the cupola above a business, just north of Windham Depot Road.  The building looks like it was formerly used as a barn? 

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

    Copyright 2012, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

    Tuesday, July 17, 2012

    Tombstone Tuesday ~ An odd stone for the Bangs family

    These tombstones were photographed at the Ancient Burial Ground, in Brewster, Massachusetts on Cape Cod.  This odd cement case for these three old tombstones was apparently an attempt at protecting them from further erosion or weathering.  

    1719 IN THE 78th

    19th  1728

    DECd JANUary Ye 26th 1711
     IN THE 66th YEAR


    Copyright 2012, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

    Monday, July 16, 2012

    Fort Banks, Winthrop, Massachusetts

    Fort Banks – Winthrop MA
    by Guest Blogger, Bette Pye Wing

    As I mentioned in an earlier blog post, Winthrop is where I grew up. I never knew it at the time, but it was a super special place to live. As I moved to new places and visited others, I was able to make a fairly accurate assessment of each and Winthrop always came out the winner.

    For instance, how many kids grew up on a peninsula 1.6 miles square, with 7 miles of beaches, a view of the inner harbor and Boston skyline on one side and nothing but ocean and islands in any other direction?  For that matter, how many kids grew up in a town with two (2) forts and a third one near by on Deer Island? Yes, that would be as in military forts and not just historical ones, but actively occupied and maintained forts. It wasn’t unusual to see jeeps and Army trucks on the streets near the biggest fort, Fort Banks. It was usual to spend a day at the beach and see the Shore Patrol making their daily rounds. The Army was a definite presence in our town.

    Fort Banks started out as a Mortar Battery, originally built in 1892. It was named for the Civil War general and congressman, Nathaniel P. Banks. It originally had four pits with four, twelve inch diameter mortars each. These mortars were capable of sending an 800 pound shell, nine miles out to sea. This installation was meant to guard and protect Boston Harbor as part of the Harbor Defense. Later, anti-aircraft guns were added and Fort Banks became the base for the Army’s 9th Artillery Regiment. In preparation for WWII, by the end of June 1941, there 58 Officers, 18 NCO’s and 892 enlisted men stationed at Fort Banks. As we headed into the Korean War, Nike Anti-Aircraft Rockets were on the site.  The fort now served as part of the early warning system for all of New England. There was also a 250 bed hospital, barracks and officers housing. Today, only one pit and two underground bunkers remain of the original installation, which were added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2007. In the 40’s and 50’s military personnel had life pretty easy. Fort Banks became know as The Country Club, while Revere Beach Amusement Park and the hot spots in Boston provided plenty of entertainment.

    What once was an important defense installation bustling with military personnel and activity, became inactive September 30,1966. It has become a multi-use area, today, with a school, playground, condominiums, apartment buildings and a cemetery.

    I have access to the census records of Fort Banks from 1910 – 1940 and will do look-ups. Please use thepyeplate@gmail.com to request additional info or look-ups.

    The other two forts, Fort Dawes and Fort Heath will be the subjects of future blogs.
    personal observations and history

    Copyright 2012, Heather Wilkinson Rojo and Bette Pye Wing

    Saturday, July 14, 2012

    Surname Saturday ~ Longhorn / Langthorne of Rowley, Massachusetts


    Rowley First Church and Pharmacy
    photo by Fletcher6 at Wikipedia Commons
    Richard Langthorne arrived in the New World from Holme on Spalding, Yorkshire, England and he was granted 100 acres in Rowley, Massachusetts in 1666.  He received land in the Hog Island marsh in 1667.  Richard died in 1668, only a month and a half after his wife, and at about the same time as three or four children. I don’t know if some un-named disease swept through the family.  Six children were left orphaned.  Within five months the two youngest sons were also dead.  The children were taken in by relatives in Cambridge and Rowley. Richard’s brother in Cambridge was Thomas Longhorn. 

    The last will and testament of Richard Longhorne of Rowley in the county of Essex made Februarie 10.1668.

    First give to my daughter Elizabeth a Double portion whom also I constitute and appynt to be the executresse of this my last Will and Testament together with my beloved brother Thomas Longhorne whom also I constitute and appoynt to be the other Executor with my Daughter Elizabeth and if the sayd Elizabeth shall die without heirs of her owne body my will is that the one half of the Estate given her by this my last Will and Testament be equally divided between my other three daughters.

    I give unto Samuel Wood my servant the sume of 10 £ to be payd to him within the space of one yeare after my death and if Obadiah Wood the father of the said Samuel shall be willing that his son shall serve out his time untill he comes to the full age of Twenty one years with my brother John Johnson of Rowley then my will is that ten pounds more be added and the whole 20 to be payed unto (him) when he hath served out his full time and in case the said Samuell shall die before he hath served out his full time that then no part of the 20 £ be payd unto him butt that 20 £ shall be divided equally amongst my children then living. My will is also that my daught(er) Elizabeth shall have the 20 £ above forementioned over and above her double portion untill it shall be due unto the aforesayed Samuel and if the Sayd _______ Wood shall presently take away his son then 10 li: of the twenty shall be equally divided between my children and then all my estate both of lands houses cattle household stuffe and all my moveables to be divided equally (my debts being first paid) amongst my children, my daughter Elizabeth haveing a doube portion as aforesaid lastly

    I constitute and appoynt John Peckard, John Johnson and James Bailey (all of Rowley aforesaid) to be overseers to see this my will performed.

    [No signature]

    Anthony Crosbie
    Daniell Ela
    John Ward
    Proved in Ipswich Court Mar. 30, 1669, by the Witnesses.

    DEPOSITION of Jonathan Platts that going to Haverhill when Richard Longhorne was sick, with John Pickard, he left the latter on this side the river and went over with the daughter of Richard Longhorne to see him and told him his brother Pickard was on the other side. He told Deponent that he was very glad of it, for he had a great desire to speak with him, that he knew not how God might dispose of him and he desired Deponent to come to him again when his brother being with him, and he, having told his mind to his brother Pickard, the latter told Longhorne that he would relate what he said to Deponent for fear of spending him. Concerning his children's disposal, John Pickard said to leave them to the disposal of their Grandmother to which Longhorne replied that he would and also to their two Aunts, and that he would have them advise with Goodwife Bayly who was a good woman, whom he believed loved them Well. This was about three days before he died. John Pickard affirmed the same.

    Sworn 30.1m; 1669, Ipswich Court.

    For more information on the early Langthornes of Rowley, Massachusetts there are several good books to read, including The Pioneers of Massachusetts by Charles H. Pope [the entry for Constance Crosby Pope is wrong, Mary Crosby’s husband is NOT Nicholas Longhorne] and also The History of Rowley, Massachusetts by Thomas Gage.  In the Rowley and Cambridge vital records please see LONGHORN as well as LANGTHORNE. 

    There was an article on Richard Longhorn in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, Volume 68, pages 12 -13. 

    My Langthorne lineage:

    Generation 1: Richard Langthorne, born about 1662 at Holme on Spalding, Moor, Yorkshire, England, died on 13 February 1668 at Rowley, Massachusetts; married on 16 January 1647 in Rowley to Mary Crosby, daughter of Robert Crosby and Constance Brigham.  She was born before 4 December 1629 in Holme on Spalding Moor, and died 29 November 1667 in Rowley.  Ten children.

    Generation 2: Constance Langthorne,  born in September 1652 in Rowley; married on 10 May 1670 in Newbury, Massachusetts to Jonathan Mooers, son of Edmund Mooers and Anne Unknown.  He was born on 23 April 1646 in Newbury.  Nine children.

    Generation 3: Sarah Mooer m. George Munroe
    Generation 4: Andrew Munroe m. Lucy Mixer

    Generation 5: Andrew Munroe m. Ruth Simonds

    Generation 6: Luther Simonds Munroe m. Olive Flint

    Generation 7: Phebe Cross Munroe m. Robert Wilson Wilkinson

    Generation 8: Albert Munroe Wilkinson m. Isabella Lyons Bill

    Generation 9: Donald Munroe Wilkinson m. Bertha Louise Roberts

    Copyright 2012, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

    Friday, July 13, 2012

    Mission Sunday 1966

    This photo is labeled on the back "Mission Sunday 1966".  I know that at this time my husband was living in Brooklyn, New York.  He went to the Sacred Heart School.  According to Wikipedia the Catholic Church celebrates Mission Sunday on the fourth Sunday in October to remember missions around the world.  Children used to dress in the habits of missionaries and religious orders.

    My husband is the little guy on the left, holding the crucifix. He was almost six years old.

    Copyright 2012, Heather Wilkinson Rojo