Friday, August 16, 2013

The 123rd Locke Family Reunion, Concord, New Hampshire

Last weekend I attended one day of the three day long Locke Family Reunion.  There has been a reunion of the descendants of Capt. John Locke of Rye, New Hampshire (1627 - 1696) and of William Locke of Woburn, Massachusetts (1628 - 1720) since 1891.  Although DNA has proven that the two families are unrelated, there have been many marriages between both lineages, which make this an interesting family tree!  This year the reunion was held in Concord, New Hampshire.

I was late to the Saturday meeting, but I got there just in time to participate in the raffle.  I even won one of the donated items!  Half of the table was covered with Locke Family Association genealogy books, T-shirts, mugs, etc, and some interesting photos.  One very fascinating item was this engraving of London's Whitechapel, England, where my ancestor Capt. John Locke was baptized on 16 September 1627.  His brother Nathaniel was baptized there on 11 November 1629.  Their parents, Thomas Locke and Christena French were married there on 26 July 1624. 

 After a nice lunch together, the Locke descendants visited the New Hampshire Historical Society Museum in Eagle Square.  We saw many fascinating items from New Hampshire history, and four very special items from the Locke family.  The first one, the famous scythe Capt. Locke used to defend himself in 1696, is on display on the third floor.  The other three items were pulled from storage by the curator, and shown to the group in a classroom.  The museum was very kind to do this special presentation for the Locke Family Association.

Locke family members viewing Captain John Locke's sword, a piece of needle work and a chintz counterpane made in the 1800s by Locke descendants.  The curator described the items, gave their provenance and the family history of the original owners who made the textiles and the descendants who donated them to the museum. 

"This is the Sword of Capt. John Locke who was killed by the Indians Aug. 26, 1696 on Josselyn's Neck, also known as Locke's Neck, Rye, N.H.

Given to the N. Historical Society by Harvey Lock Alexandria who is the great-great-great-grandson of Capt. John Locke.

Presented to the Historical Society by George Locke, Manchester, N.H."

After viewing the Locke artifacts at the museum, it was a short walk to the New Hampshire Historical Society Library, where the librarian Bill Copley gave us an overview of the many Locke compiled genealogies in their collection of over 5,000 genealogies on New Hampshire families.  He also had pulled several Locke manuscripts for us, including a diary and an autograph book. There was a large file of Locke photographs and many maps of Rye and Epsom, New Hampshire which featured Locke family member's grants and plots of land from the 1600's through the 1900's.  After his presentation, we were free to use the reading room and to explore the building. 

Saturday ended with a nice meal at the Newick's seafood restaurant in Concord.  Many of the reunion members were from out of state and from outside of New England, including New York, Pennsylvania and as far away as Oregon.  I noticed that nearly everyone enjoyed lobster, or other New England seafood for supper!  It was fun to shared meals and meetup with "new cousins".  The 2014 Locke Family Association Reunion will be in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.  

For more information:

The Locke Family Association website

Or on Facebook

A History and Genealogy of Captain John Locke (1627 - 1696) of Portsmouth and Rye, New Hampshire and His Descendants, by Arthur H. Locke, 1916, The Rumford, Press, Concord, New Hampshire.   There are two supplements to this volume.

Copyright 2014, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

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