Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday ~ William Waugh, 1770, Windham, New Hampshire

This tombstone was photographed at the Cemetery on the Plain, Windham, New Hampshire

Here Lyes Buried the Body
of Mr. William Waugh Who
Departed this Life Octb
ye 25th 1770 in ye 45th
year of his Age

William Waugh was born about 1725 on his father's land and married a woman named Leah.  His widow lived there until she sold the land to Ebenezer Hall on 23 September 1776.  According to the History of Windham, page 807 "She was very poor and in a despairing tone, in answer to an inquiry if the place was a good one to make a living on, said, "Yes; for one could make a soup of hte gravel-stones in the bottom of the brook," which flowed near the house.  Their after history unknown.  The family is supposed to have gone to New Boston." 

The family's poverty might be why this tombstone is so tiny.  It is barely noticeable in the cemetery, and very crudely carved and lettered. 

William's father was Joseph Waugh, of Scots ancestry.  He was an early settler, bought land in Windham in 1733 on Lowell Road, and was a selectman in 1742.  


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Copyright (c) 2013, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Monday, December 30, 2013

Genealogy and Local History Events for January 2014

Local Genealogy Club Meetings

Amesbury, MA – A new genealogy club has started, every last Monday of the month.  No registration, come to as many meetings as you would like.  For info contact Margie Walker, Local History Librarian, Amesbury Public Library, Amesbury, MA  978-388-8148 or mwalker@mvlc.org

Barrington, NH Genealogy Club, meets the first Wednesday of the month at 6pm at the Barrington Public Library, 105 Ramsdell Lane, Barrington, NH http://barringtongenealogy.weebly.com/  or email Wendy at genealogyclub@gmail.com

Chelmsford Genealogy Club, at the Chelmsford, MA Public Library, first Tuesday night of the month at 7PM in the McCarthy Meeting Room, contact Judy Sylvia http://www.chelmsfordlibrary.org/programs/programs/genealogy_club.html 978-256-5521

Genealogy Roundtable, at the Derry Public Library, 64 East Broadway, Derry, NH  http://www.derry.lib.nh.us/  every first Tuesday of the Month, at 7pm to 8:15pm in the downstairs meeting room.  Contact: Alan Howard at 603-432-6140 for more information.

Hudson Genealogy Club, at the Rogers Memorial Library, 194 Derry Road, Hudson, NH http://www.rodgerslibrary.org/  every 2nd Friday of the Month, at 1:30 PM contact 603-886-6030 for more information.  (on summer hiatus until September)

Littleton Genealogy Club, at the Couper Room in the Littleton, Massachusetts Reuben Hoar Public Library, third Monday of the month. For more information see the website at http://www.littletonma.org/content/19459/19471/26579/26595/default.aspx

Greater Lowell Genealogy Club,  http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~maglgc/  meets at the Pollard Memorial Library, Lowell, MA 10AM to 1PM once a month. 

Meredith NH, Genealogy Club  http://www.meredithlibrary.org/genealogy.html

Newton, NH Genealogy Club- Gale Library, Newton, NH, 603-382-4691, 3PM on the third Wednesday of the month. 

North Hampton, NH Genealogy Club, at the North Hampton Public Library, 237A Atlantic Avenue, North Hampton NH 603-964-6326   http://nhplib.org/?p=1386
Rye Genealogy Club, at the Rye Public Library, first Tuesday of the month at 2PM.  http://ryepubliclibrary.org/

RISE Genealogy Group at the Nashua Public Library, Hunt Room, on the first Friday of the month at 1pm http://www.nashualibrary.org/  (Rivier College Institute for Senior Education, see http://www.rivier.edu/rise/default.aspx?id=1619 )

Southborough, MA Genealogy Club, at the Southborough Library, 25 Main Street, Southborough, MA  508-485-5031 or info@southboroughtlib.org   Third Thursday of the Month.  See the website www.southboroughlib.org for a schedule

South Shore Genealogical Society, at the John Curtis Free Library, Rt. 139, Hanover, Mass at 1:30pm ever second Saturday of the month from September to June.

Shrewsbury, Massachusetts Genealogy Club, meets third Monday of the month at the Shrewsbury Public Library, contact George C. Brown at 508-841-8531 or gbrown@cwmars.org

Wednesday Night Jewish Genealogy, Every 3rd Wednesday at NEHGS, 99 – 101 Newbury Street, Boston, Mass. http://www.americanancestors.org/Event.aspx?id=29156

January 7, Tuesday, Starting your Family History, at the National Archives facility in Waltham, Massachusetts, 380 Trapelo Road, Free to the public.  This workshop will provide you the strategies for collecting and organizing what you have found, and the methodology for embarking on this meaningful and engaging pastime.

January 13, Monday, 6:30pm Derry’s Medal of Honor Winners, at the Derry Public Library, Derry, New Hampshire, in the main meeting room,  presented by TJ Cullinane, contact Sherry Bailey at 603-432-6140 for more information. Free to the public.

January 14, Tuesday, New Hampshire’s One Room Rural Schools: The Romance and the Reality, at the Hampstead Public Library, 9 Mary E. Clark Drive, Hampstead, New Hampshire, Steve Taylor explores the lasting legacies of the one-room school house and how they echo today.  Contact the library at 603-329-6411 for more information.

January 15, Wednesday, 6pm Ethic Enclaves, Edge Gateways, and the Global Boston, at the Boston Public Library, Commonwealth Salon presented by James Madden, free to the public. 

January 16, Thursday, 11am Desteenation for Teens:  Library Tour and Beginning Genealogy, at the Boston Public Library, a tour and a focus on those areas of the library that are helpful when working on family trees.  For ages 12 - 18.  See the website http://www.bpl.org/programs/calendar.htm#/?i=2   Free to the public.

 January 16, Thursday, 5:30pm, When Subjects Talk Back:  Oral History, contemporary Biography, and the Runaway Interview, at the Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston, Massachusetts, a conversation with Joyce Antler of Brandeis University, Clair Potter Professor of History at the New School, and Ted Widmer, senior advisor to former secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. Free to the public.

January 22, Wednesday 6 -7pm, Can’t Make it to Hartford?  Power Researching Connecticut Genealogy Online, at the New England Historic Genealogical Society, 99 -101 Newbury Street, Boston, Massachusetts.  Genealogist Barbara J. Matthews on Connecticut genealogy resources that are accessible from home.  Free and open to the public.  Registration is required.  Please email education@nehgs.org or call 617-226-1226 to reserve a space.  Space is limited.

January 25, Saturday, 10am - 12pm,  Research at the Concord National Guard Museum & Archives sponsored by the Massachusetts Society of Genealogists- Merrimack Valley Chapter Meeting in the Great Room, upstairs at the Nevins Memorial Library, 305 Broadway, Methuen, Massachusetts. Keith Vezeau, Archivist at the Concord National Guard Museum and Archives will be the speaker.  For more information contact merrimackvalley@msoginc.org or see this link: http://www.msoginc.org/merrimackvalleynews.php 

January 29, Wednesday, 6pm, Researching Your Ancestral Homesat the Boston Public Library, Commonwealth Salon presented by Kim Tenney, Henry Scannell, and Gail Fithian, library staff members. Free to the public. 

February 5, 12, and 19, at 6 – 8pm, Getting Started in Genealogy, at the New England Historic Genealogical Society, 99 – 101 Newbury Street, Boston, Massachusetts.  Genealogist Rhonda McClure will share her knowledge in this three part course.  Sessions held on three consecutive Wednesdays.   $30 for all three sessions.  Click here for registration information http://www.americanancestors.org/Event.aspx?id=29746&utm_source=twgnewsletter&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_campaign=664

February 8, Saturday, 1:30pm, The Underground Railroad in New England, at the Derry Public Library, Derry, New Hampshire, presented by Eleanor Strang in honor of Black History month. Contact Sherry Bailey at 603-432-6140 for more information.  Free to the public.

February 10, Monday,  6:30pm, Local History Series: The Day that Made Robert Frost, at the Derry Public Library, Derry, New Hampshire, presented by the Derry Town Historian Rick Holmes. Contact Sherry Bailey at 603-432-6140 for more information.  Free to the public.

February 12, Wednesday, 6pm, History of People, Places and Plans that Shaped East Boston, at the Boston Public Library, Commonwealth Salon presented by  Antonio Di Mambro.  Free to the public.  

March 10, Monday, 6:30pm,  Local History Series: Houses of Derry, at the Derry Public Library, Derry, New Hampshire, presented by Karen Blandford Anderson of the Derry Heritage Commission and Director of the Derry Museum of History. . Contact Sherry Bailey at 603-432-6140 for more information.  Free to the public.

April 1, Thursday, Researcher Forum, at the National Archives facility in Waltham, Massachusetts, 380 Trapelo Road, Free to the public. Researching original records has changed in recent years, no longer are you winding the microfilm, and the resources and strategies have expanded.  Learn about the new and exciting initiatives for researchers, and use this open forum opportunity to tell the National Archives how researching can be made better for you.

April 5, Saturday, Maine Genealogical Society Spring Workshop, at the Elks Club, 397 Civic Center Drive, Augusta, Maine, Featuring Maureen Taylor, the Photo Detective, co-hosted by the Maine Historical Society.

April 14, Monday, 6:30pm, Local History Series: A History of Derry, at the Derry Public Library, Derry, New Hampshire, presented by Elizabeth Ives, Library Trustee and retired theater professional.  Contact Sherry Bailey at 603-432-6140 for more information.  Free to the public.

May 31, Saturday,  9am to 4pm. Southern Maine Genealogy Conference, to be held at Keeley’s Banquet Center, 178 Warren Avenue, Portland, Maine, the keynote speaker will be Joe Anderson.

July 8, Tuesday, Passenger Lists, Censuses and Naturalizations: The Big 3 Sources for Family History, at the National Archives facility in Waltham, Massachusetts, 380 Trapelo Road, Free to the public.  Learn how to locate and use these resources, and there will be assistance from archives staff and volunteers.

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Copyright 2013, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Happy New Year, 1758

From the Boston Gazette, Boston, Massachusetts, Monday, January 16, 1758, Issue 146, page 1.
image from GenealogyBank.com 

(and Sold by the Printers hereof:)
A New Year’s GIFT:
Being a DISCOURSE on Jeremiah 8th,
 20th.  Preached on the LORD’S-DAY Morning
January 1, 1758. At Brookline.  Wherein is briefly
attempted – A Discovery of the Causes of our late
National Calamities, Disappointments and Losses-
That they are owing to our Sins, which, not only ren-
der us obnoxious to the divers Indignation and Wrath;
but in their own Nature tend to produce such Distresses
and ??? – That the only probable Way to Peace,
Safety and Prosperity, is to remove them, and turn
to God and Goodness- Several Considerations pro-
ported to rouse and awaken our Attention to it.  By
NATHANIEL POTTER, A.M., Pastor of the Church
in Brookline.
Where way also be sad just Publish’d
An excellent SERMON Preached at the Interment
Of his late Excellency JONATHAN BELCHER,
??? Governour of his Majesty’s Province of New-
Jersey, who departed this Life at Elizabeth-Town,
Aug. 31, 1757, Aged 76.  The Sermon being En-
titled- “A Servant of God dismissed from LABOUR
in REST”; from Daniel xii, 13.  By the late Rev.
Mr. AARON BURR, A.M.  President of the College
Of New Jersey, [Being the last he ever Preach’d.]
With an agreeable Preface by the Rev. Mr. CALEB

Sermons used to be published by newspaper printers, especially sermons delivered on holidays, for funerals and for special occasions.  These sermons sometimes survive and can be excellent genealogical resources, especially funeral sermons.  This advertisement in mid-January 1758 describes two sermons for sale that were delivered earlier, one for a New Year’s service and the other for the funeral of Governor Jonathan Belcher of New Jersey.   How would you like to receive a sermon as a New Year’s Day gift?

The Boston Gazette was published 1719 – 1798.  Some famous contributors to the Boston Gazette include Samuel Adams, Paul Revere and the poet Phyllis Wheatley.  Paul Revere served as an engraver for the Boston Gazette, including the masthead vignette. The first publisher was James Franklin, brother to Benjamin Franklin, and Ben served as an apprentice at this printing office before he ran away to Philadelphia.

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Copyright © 2013, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Surname Saturday ~ BUTLER of Martha's Vineyard


Nicholas Butler, my 11th great grandfather,  arrived in Massachusetts in June 1637 aboard the ship Hercules with his wife, children and five servants.  He lived at first at Dorchester, and his son, Henry, went to Harvard College.  By 1651 the Butler family was in Edgartown, on the island of Martha’s Vineyard.  Nicholas was a magistrate and later assistant to the chief magistrate.  He is called Mr. Butler in the records, and Governor Thomas Mayhew signed his will.

Nicholas Butler signed a brief will on 12 August 1671 and died the next day.  His will has a note “his sight as it were gon” and he signed with a mark, which might mean he had gone blind at this time.  His short will does not name any children, and he leaves permission for his wife to decide how his estate will be divided.   His wife left a longer will in 1689 which named her grandchildren.

This doth testify that I Nicholas Butler Being at present Sound in memory doe Now by this my last will give my Estate Whatsoever that I left after I Shall be buried like a Christian wholly unto my wife Joyce Butler, uppon serious consideration for her to dispose of to hir children and my children as shee shall see good, and hereunto I praise [god] being of memorie as aforesaid Sound. I doe witness with my hand this 12th of August 1671.
This will is witnessed
by us
The marke of Nicholas Norton
His sight as it were
the mar  X  of

In the second generation, Henry the Harvard graduate returned to England, and John was the only son to remain in New England and produce descendants.  John is my 10th great grandfather. He died very young, but had five children.  His son, John, my 9th great grandfather, was born in Dorchester and lived in Edgartown on the Great Neck.  He was called a gentleman and captain in the records.  The next John, my 8th great grandfather, lived in Tisbury on Martha’s Vineyard.

For more information on the BUTLER family:

The History of Martha’s Vineyard by Dr. Charles E. Banks, Volume II Annals of Edgartown, pages 54 – 58.  You can read this online at this link: http://history.vineyard.net/nickbutler.htm

My BUTLER genealogy:

Generation 1:  Nicholas Butler, born about 1590 in Ashford, Kent, England,  died on 13 August 1671 in Edgartown, Massachusetts on the island of Martha’s Vineyard;  married first on 18 July 1613 in Canterbury, England to Mary Cotterell;  married second on 22 January 1624 in Ashford to Joyce Baker, daughter of Richard Baker and Margaret Elkes.  Four children.

Generation 2: John Butler, born before 2 January 1625 in Dorchester, Massachusetts; died in 1658 in Edgartown; married about 1648 to Mary Lynde, daughter of Thomas Lynde and Elizabeth Unknown.  She was born about 1629 and died after 1693 in Edgartown.  Five children.

Generation 3: John Butler, born about 1650 in Dorchester, died between 10 November 1733 and 2 October 1738 in Edgartown; married to Priscilla Norton, daughter of Nicholas Norton and Elizabeth Isaac.  Twelve children.

Generation 4: John Butler, born about 1674 and died after 6 February 1754; married on 16 December 1708 in Edgartown to Elizabeth Daggett, daughter of Thomas Daggett and Elizabeth Hawes.  She was born about 1690 and died after 1754.  Six children.

Generation 5:  Keziah Butler, born 1710 in Edgartown, died in October 1768 in Edgartown;  married first to Samuel Osborn on 9 September 1731 in Edgartown;  married in 1752 to Matthew Pease, son of Matthew Pease and Mary Green.  He was born 5 June 1707 in Edgartown, and died about 1756 in Edgartown.   

Generation 6: Samuel Osborn married Sarah Wass
Generation 7: Sarah Osborn married Charles Skinner
Generation 8: Ann Skinner married Thomas Ratchford Lyons
Generation 9: Isabella Lyons married Rev. Ingraham Ebenezer Bill
Generation 10: Caleb Rand Bill married Ann Margaret Bollman
Generation 11: Isabella Lyons Bill married Albert Munroe Wilkinson
Generation 12: Donald Munroe Wilkinson married Bertha Louise Roberts (my grandparents)

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Copyright © 2013, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Favorite Christmas Gifts 2013

Last year I posted my favorite Christmas gift, the famous cutting board with the recipe wood burned into it in my mother's own handwriting.  It was a great hit, with lots of comments and great popularity since someone pinned it up at Pinterest.  I thought I would share with you three great gifts from this year.  They were all made by my artistic daughter with her recent wedding as a theme.

Don't you love it!  It's a wreath covered in little framed photos from the wedding in May.  She purchased three different types of frames from a wedding favor dealer, and made two of these wreaths, one for me and one for her new mother-in-law.  Each little frame was wired onto a grapevine wreath.  It has lots of photos taken of our side of the family, as well as some gorgeous portraits of the bride and groom.

This is a beautiful ornament with a secret.  Only family members will remember that the lovely curled paper inside is leftover wedding invitations, place cards and response cards.  You can see the colored print and floral designs from the paper goods, reminders of the wedding colors and wedding flowers.  Isn't that cute?

Of course the bride and groom also made up brag books for the family members. In our case we got three! There is the wedding in Massachusetts book, a similar book of the wedding feast in Madrid, and a third one with photos of the honeymoon in Morocco (with photos worthy of National Geographic).  These books were ordered from Artifact Uprising, and are the perfect size for popping into my pocket book.

I can't decide which one I love the most!

Last year's cutting board link:

Artifact Uprising   http://www.artifactuprising.com/site/home

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Copyright (c) 2013, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Weathervane Wednesday ~ Merry Christmas!

Every Wednesday for more than two years I've been posting photographs of weather vanes located in or near the Nutfield area (the former name for the land where Londonderry, Derry and Windham, New Hampshire are now located). Most are historically interesting or just whimsical and fun weather vanes. If you know an interesting weather vane, please send me an email or leave a comment below.

Today's weather vane can be found in Massachusetts, but similar ones are all over New England (that's a big hint!). Have fun guessing where you may have seen this weather vane.

Do you know the location of weather vane #130? Scroll down to see the answer....

Today's weather vane was photographed at the Christmas Tree Shop in Stoughton, Massachusetts.  It is a very merry little sleigh with red runners, and loaded up with a bright green Christmas Tree.  You have probably seen this same weather vane at a Christmas Tree shop near you.  I checked and the shops in Salem and Nashua, New Hampshire have the same weather vanes.

Merry Christmas from Heather and Vincent at Nutfield Genealogy!

Click here to see the entire collection of Weathervane Wednesday posts!

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Copyright 2013, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday ~ Captain Nathaniel Hemphill, Windham, New Hampshire, 1796

This tombstone was photographed at the Cemetery on the Plain, Windham, New Hampshire.

who departed this life,
Nov. 10th 1796
AEtat 59. ~
AGNES his wife died
July 3, 1838
AEt. 92
A mother of 18 children
Honored, this mother in Israel.

Nathaniel Hemphill was born 12 May 1727, son of Nathaniel Hemphill, born in Antrim, Northern Ireland of Scots ancestry, and Isabella Robinson.  He married Agnes Parke, daughter of Robert Parke and Jane Weare, on 28 Dec 1764.  She was born 9 July 1746 and died 3 July 1838.  Nathaniel Hemphill was one of the Windham signers of the New Hampshire Association Test before the American Revolutionary War, to show his allegiance to the colonists and he served in the Continental Army.

Nathaniel Hemphill's 18 children (from the History of Windham):

1. Robert b. 1 Oct. 1765 m. Annis Dinsmoor m2. Ava Betsey Hawkins
2. Alexander b. 30 March 1767 married and removed to Saratoga, New York
3. Nathaniel, b. 28 July 1768, d. 1794 at Ballston, New York
4. Isabella b. 20 Dec. 1769 m. John Dinsmoor
5. Jane b. 2 April 1771, d. 4 Jan. 1867 in Windham, age 95 years
6. Andrew b. 22 July 1772, removed to Troy, New York
7. Levi b. 27 Jan. 1774, d. 1841 in Malta, New York, m. Lucy Howland
8. Sarah b. 7 June 1775, d. 1855 m. Aaron Wilson of Cranbury, New Jersey
9.  David b. 16 July 1777 m. Nancy Merrill and removed to Haverhill, Mass.
10. Mary b. 25 Nov. 1778 m. Thomas Griffin of Derry, New Hampshire
11. Nancy, b. 18 August 1780 m. Moses Alexander of Derry, New Hampshire
12. Margaret, b. March 1783, m. John Cochran of Windham
13. Samuel b. 8 April 1785, went to sea and died in Boston January 1846
14. Hannah b. 8 April 1785, d. 1797 of lung fever
15. Persis, b. 23 April 1787, m. James Taylor of Derry, New Hampshire
16. Benjamin, b. 23 April 1787, d. about 1847 in Buffalo, New York
17. Elizabeth, b. 5 July 1789, m. William Dinsmoor of Windham
18. Naomi, b. 19 Feb 1791, resided in Windham with her mother for who she cared for in her declining years and survived only by a few months. "she was noted for her piety, benevolence, and kindness; she was a person of rare excellence of mind and character."

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Copyright (c) 2013, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Monday, December 23, 2013

Amanuensis Monday ~ The Obituary of Katherine (Eaton) Emerson, 1809

The Panolopist, June 1807

This obituary was found in The Panoplist, and Missionary Magazine United, Volume 2, No. 2, pages 151 - 152, August 1809

Mrs. Catharine Emerson, late wife of Mr. John Emerson of Hancock, N. H. was born A. D. 1743.  She was the youngest daughter of Mr. Noah Eaton of Reading, Massachusetts, and enjoyed the advantages of a religious education.  Under the faithful preaching of the Rev. Mr. Hobby, her mind early became subject to religious impressions.
            She was admitted a member of the first church of Christ in Reading September 24, 1769.
            Her subsequent life evinced the sincerity of her profession: that she was a christian, not in name only but in truth.  That divine charity, which Paul describes as the essence of true religion, was the principle that habitually governed her conduct.  Though possessed of superior judgment and lively sensibilities, they were so far under the influence of grace, which reigned in her soul, that even the profligate and profane were constrained to acknowledge the excellency and power of true religion.  The gentleness of her temper, the meekness of her mind, the cheerful sobriety of her deportment, the correctness of her sentiments, the piety of her conversation, her devout attendance on the institutions of the gospel, and unwearied exertions to do good, proved her a follower of Jesus Christ, and gain her the esteem and applause of every person, who enjoyed her acquaintance.
            In the education of her children, she exhibited equal wisdom and assiduity. Recognizing her covenant engagements, when she gave up her children in the sacred ordinance of baptism, she was faithful to that covenant by "training them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord."  She was a mother, who not only gave her children the best counsel and examples, but carried them on her heart to the throne of grace: and, in answer to her prayers and labors, the bessing of Abraham descended upon them.  Of nine children, who were spared to adult age, eight of whom survive; she had the satisfaction, several years before her death, to see five come forward and publicly profess their faith in that divine Redeemer, whom she had long embraced as her only portion.
            In no situation is a pious female more amiable, useful, or respectable, than in rearing a numerous family in the principles of true religion, and guiding them in the paths of virtue.  Mrs. E. did not deem it a service too arduous, or an office too low, to take the religious part of her children's education into her own hands.  Too well she loved them; too much she regarded the welfare of their souls, to neglect a concern of such infinite moment.  While she possessed their love, respect and obedience to an unusual degree, she was no less happy in keeping their consciences awake to an abhorrence of sin in every form, and to regard to every branch of religion, by affectionately instilling into their minds the most important truths in a manner adapted to their capacities.  A suitable proportion of every Sabbath day was devoted to this object.  That day she taught her children by precept, and by the devout manner in which she spent it herself, to reverence as a holy sabbath to the Lord.  The manner in which she taught them the Assembly's Catechism and explained the Scriptures, was peculiarly tender and engaging, and the salutory effects produced, proved that the high estimation in which she held the practice was judiciously placed.  After closing the business of the day, instead of permitting her children to go into vain or dissolute company, she would often call them round her and spend the evening in conversing with them on the great things of religion and particularly on the various dangers and duties peculiar to their age.  Noble exemption from prevailing practice!  In administering correction, she pursued a practice worthy of imitation.  She first retired into her closet to examine the state of her mind, and then prefaced the punishment with some calm, affectionate observations on the guilt of disobedience, especially as an offence against God.
            Mrs. E. had, several times, been reduced to the brink of the grave, and more than once had taken an affecting leave of her family and friends, in expectation of a speedy departure.  In that situation, a situation which tries the hopes of men, she manifested the utmost calmness and confidence in God, and patiently waited the expected summons. Her last lingering illness she bore with christian fortitude and submission.  That grace which sanctified her heart and life, softened her dying pillow.  In the calm triumphs of faith, she yielded her spirit into the arms of that Savior whom she had often recommended to others, and entered into her rest on the 21st of December, 1808, in the 65 year of her age."

[The Panoplist was a religious monthly magazine printed from 1805 - 1820 in Boston by Jedediah Morse, and edited by Jeremiah Evarts.   You can find an archive of this magazine at the website for the Congregational Library in Boston, at this link http://www.congregationallibrary.org/resources/digital/panoplist with links to the archived copies at Internet Archive and Google Book Search] 

Katherine Eaton Emerson (1744 – 1809) is my 5th great grandmother.  It is difficult to learn any personal information on my ancestresses before about 1900.  They often don’t have obituaries, and if they do they only mention them as wives and mothers.  This is a very early example of a rare personal obituary of a woman.  In reading through this several times, I still don’t learn a lot of personal information about Katherine.  It is very laudatory and wordy, but basically it states that she was a very pious woman who raised five children to accept Christ.  Considering that it was published in a religious magazine, this is more than I can hope to find on her life.  It doesn’t state who wrote the obituary, but then again, most obituaries are anonymous. It doesn’t state that three of her sons became Congregational ministers.

Her husband, John Emerson, died the same year, on 14 November 1809.  Perhaps he was the author?  He came from a long line of ministers and deacons, and his great grandfather was the Reverend Joseph Emerson of Concord, Massachusetts, who married Elizabeth Bulkely, the daughter of the famous Reverend Edward Bulkely one of the first ministers in Concord.

Katherine and John had eleven children, as stated in the obituary.  Their son Noah (1775 – 1777) died young, as well as a daughter Phebe (1780 – 1795).  Among the surviving children were two daughters and seven sons. Three of the sons became ministers:

1.  Reuben Emerson (1771 – 1860) graduated Dartmouth College in 1798 and was ordained in Westminster, Vermont. He was pastor of the Congregational Church of South Reading, now Wakefield, Massachusetts from 1804 until his death in 1860.

     2.  Brown Emerson (1778 – 1872) graduated Dartmouth College in 1802, and received a DD from Dartmouth in 1835.  He was ordained on 14 April 1805 as assistant minister to the Old South Church in Salem, Massachusetts where he stayed until his death 67 years later. 
     3.  Noah Emerson (1787 – 1860)  graduated from Middlebury College, studied at the Andover Theological Seminary from 1814 – 1817 and was a missionary in Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts and Georgia.  He was the Pastor of the Congregational Church in Baldwin Maine in 1825 and stayed there for 25 years.

Among the other sons, the eldest, John Emerson (1765 – 1835) became a wealthy farmer in Reading Vermont.  He died when a barn fell on him during a hurricane, and he left one thousand dollars for the Vermont Missionary Society.  Hiram (1767 – 1849) became a mason; Jacob (1773 – 1839) became a farmer in Keene, Ohio; and then there was Romanus (1782 – 1852). 

What about Romanus?  Well, out of a family of deacons and ministers, there were several who studied for the ministry and didn’t quite make it.  His cousin Ralph Waldo Emerson was a minister briefly before having a revelation and a change of heart to become a philosopher and author.  Romanus studied for the ministry, too, but according to several compiled genealogies he had a speech impediment which made preaching impossible so he tried teaching.  I guess this was impossible, too, so he came to South Boston and watched his farm become the center of a large, growing city.  Those compiled genealogies didn’t mention one other important thing about Romanus.

Sometime after his mother’s death he became a progressive, and must have followed in his cousin RWE’s footsteps in questioning the status quo.  Only one book mentions “He was especially peculiar in his views of religion.  Toward the end of his life he renounced all religious opinions whatever, deliberatively holding to his speculative belief.” [History of South Boston (It’s Past and Present) and Prospects for the Future with Sketches of Prominent Men by John J. Toomey and Edward P. B. Rankin, Boston, Massachusetts: 1901, pages 224 – 225]

Romanus Emerson, Katherine’s 9th child, was a self-proclaimed infidel.  He was the head of a large society of Boston infidels, otherwise known as atheists.  In Puritan Boston between the Revolutionary War and the Civil War, this was a very peculiar thing to be, as well causing legal problems.  Since this is a blog post about Katherine’s obituary, I won’t go into details here, but I’ll post links below to stories about Romanus Emerson you can read later.

Suffice it to say, I’m glad Katherine pre-deceased her son, because if she knew she would be rolling over in her grave. 

And so would the author of the obituary!


Here are some links to blog posts about Romanus Emerson, the infidel:

The “Odd” Romanus Emerson

Romanus Emerson died an Infidel, 1852

Romanus Emerson, buried in a Christian Cemetery, whether he liked it or not!

Romanus Emerson, In His Own Words

Romanus Emerson- Part 5- A few words from the Infidels

The URL for this post is

Copyright © 2013, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Blog Caroling "Si Me Dan Pasteles"

Earlier this month we were in Puerto Rico.  My husband grew up there during his middle school and high school years, and I have spent a few Christmases there with his family.  I’ve learned to love the traditional Puerto Rican foods, and the Christmas music.  While we were there a few weeks ago, I was very happy to eat a few “pasteles” which are served at Christmas time.

Pasteles remind me of Mexican tamales because they are made of a dough, stuffed with goodies and meat, and then wrapped.  In Mexico the dough is made of cornmeal and the wrapping is corn husks.  In Puerto Rico a pastel is made of a dough from tropical tubers and bananas, and the wrapping is a banana leaf.  Both tamales and pasteles are steamed or boiled.  The inside can be vegetables, pork or chicken. Yum!  I wish I could find some in New Hampshire!  (The frozen Goya versions are OK, but nothing like homemade pasteles.)  

This is a traditional song about pasteles.  It is sung at Christmas, usually during an “asalto” or “parranda”, which is like caroling, but surprises someone who has to invite the singers in and feed them and give them drinks.  The homeowners than join the “asalto” and move onto the next house.   I suppose a song about the expected food for the revelers, pasteles, would be very popular!  Of course the English translation seems silly, because it doesn’t rhyme like the original Spanish lyrics.

Si Me Dan Pasteles

Si me dan pasteles, denmelos calientes
Que pasteles frios se empacha la gente


Si me dan arroz, no me den cuchara
Que mama me dijo que me lo llevara


Dios guarde a esta casa y guarde la familia
Y los Santos Reyes tambien la bendigan

English translation

If you give me pasteles, give them to me hot
Because cold pasteles give people indigestion.


If you give me rice, don’t give me a spoon,
Because my mother told me to bring my own.


God guard this house and guard this family
And the Three Kings will bless them.

You can hear this Puerto Rican Christmas folk song at this link:

This post is my contribution to Footnote Maven's annual "Blog Caroling" meme.  You can read more about this at this link:  http://www.footnotemaven.com/2013/12/fms-tradition-of-blog-caroling.html 


To Cite/Link to this blog post:  Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Blog Caroling  "Si Me Dan Pasteles"", Nutfield Genealogy, posted December 22, 2013, ( http://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2013/12/blog-caroling-si-me-dan-pasteles.html: accessed [access date]).   

Copyright (c) 2013, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Surname Saturday ~ NORTON of Martha’s Vineyard


Nicholas Norton arrived in New England in the 1635 company of Reverend John Hull.  The first record of him in Massachusetts in in 1637 in Weymouth.  He lived in Weymouth for twenty years before resettling on the island of Martha’s Vineyard.   

Nicholas Norton appears in many records on Martha’s Vineyard as “Goodman Norton”.  He was involved in several lawsuits and was both the plaintiff and defendant in the records.  In 1673 he joined the “Dutch Rebellion” with his townsmen.  This was an attempt by Holland to re-take New York.  When the English won New York back in 1674, it restored the authority of Governor Thomas Mayhew over the island.  He was officially “Governor for Life”.

The last will and testament of Nicholas Norton:

The last will and testament of me Nicolas Norton Being very weak in body but of perfect understanding and Souend memory After my death and desent Christian burial: I give and bequest my worry good as foloeth:-
Iprimes: I give my Son Izak Norton on half Comminig as also fouer Small Shares of medow
Secondly I give my Son Benjamin Norton all my medow at Saniacantick as also my medow at Morthals neck beach from the Crick dug into the Great pond westward as also my now dwelling hones and all my land aioyning to my Sayd houes after the deces of my wife Elizabeth Norton as also my lots at quompasha with all my devided land Elsewhere: provided my Sayd Son Beniamin deliver up his now dweling houes to my now wife Elizabeth Norton with the land aioyning to the Sayd houes: to be at my Sayd wifes sole will and pleseuer to dispose of at or before her desese, as also all that medow I have from a Creek to Izak Norton Medow
thirdly. I give Moses Cleveland the Remaynder of the Sayd medow to joyne with Weeks medow also on halfe Commonidg with all prevleges belonging there untoo
fourthly I give my Son in law Thomas Wolling on halfe Commonidg with all prevelidges belonging to it with a pese of medow from Izak Norton’s medow to the Creeke abofe named.
fifthly I give my Son Joseph Norton a tract of land lying at Saniacantacket joyning to the mill Creke which I bought of Mr Sam.
Sixtly I give that whole Commonidg which was Arys to my aforeSayd Son Beniamin Norton
Seventhly I give to Elizabeth Norton my wife all my Catle Coues oxen Steeres & Sheepe also all my hors kind & furder I give my Sayd wife Elizabeth Norton all my houeshold goods Beding pewter bras Iron tin wood wood as Chests trunks tables Chayers and all other things not named, also all plowes Carts Chayns yoks and all other utensells with all lumber: furder I leve my Sayd wife to give my dafter pese and my dafter wil (Wollong or Williams) and my dafter Stanbridg & my dafter Butler Something to Every one of them as much as shee sese cause: as also my dafter huxford to her my wife knows my mind
Eithly, my medow at the neck Caueled the Manado I leve to my wife Elizabeth Norton
Ninthly I doe apoynt my Sayd wife Elizabeth Norton to be my Sole Execitor and to performe my will as abof whritin.
The mark of N Nicklis Norton
Richard Sarson
Joseph Norton.

Some sources for Norton genealogy research:

The History of Martha’s Vineyard by Dr. Charles Banks, Volume III Family Genealogies:  pages 341 – 382  also available at this webpage http://history.vineyard.net/nortoni.htm

Also, the genealogy of Isaac Norton in the second and third generations at this link:

My Norton Genealogy:

Generation 1: Nicholas Norton, born about 1610 in Broadway, Somersetshire, England, died 1690 in Edgartown, Massachusetts on the island of Martha’s Vineyard; married about 1640 probably in Weymouth, Massachusetts to Elizabeth Isaac, born in England, died between 8 June and 8 October 1690 in Edgartown.  Eleven children.

Generation 2:  Isaac Norton, born 3 May 1641 in Weymouth, Massachusetts; died in 1723 on Martha’s Vineyard; married Ruth Bayes, the daughter of Thomas Bayes and Anne Baker. She was born 2 July 1643 in Dedham, Massachusetts; died after 1723 on Martha’s Vineyard. Eleven children.

Generation 3: Mercy Norton, born 1687; married on 30 November 1715 in Edgartown to James Claghorn, son of Shubael Claghorn and Jane Lovell.  Mercy had a child out of wedlock with Reverend Samuel Osborn.  

Generation 4:  Samuel Osborn m. Keziah Butler
Generation 5:  Samuel Osborn m.  Sarah Wass
Generation 6: Sarah Osborn m. Charles Skinner
Generation 7: Ann Skinner m.  Thomas Ratchford Lyons
Generation 8: Isabella Lyons m. Rev. Ingraham Ebenezer Bill
Generation 9:  Caleb Rand Bill m. Ann Margaret Bollman
Generation 10: Isabella Lyons Bill m. Albert Munroe Wilkinson
Generation 11: Donald Munroe Wilkinson m. Bertha Louise Roberts (my grandparents)

The URL for this post is

Copyright © 2013, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Friday, December 20, 2013

Photo Friday - A Photo Rescue Mission

Earlier this month we went to San Juan, Puerto Rico.  My husband's family has an apartment near the beach. The last time I visited this apartment, about four years ago, I had examined the family photo albums and I was dismayed to see their condition.  Each photo was discolored and faded.  The albums were falling apart.  I knew that someday soon I would need to rescue those photographs. It is a very hot, humid climate.  While we were there there was 11 inches of rain!  The windows are always open to the ocean breeze.  Salt, humidity, time and heat have done their damage to the "peel and stick" albums and to the photographs.  

So during this last visit, we spent some time every night removing the photographs from 22 large albums, and packing them up in ziploc baggies to be carried home in our luggage.  The photos are faded, foxed and even moldy.  I will spend a lot of time in the coming year scanning them, sorting them, and Photo Shopping some of the more precious family photographs to restore them.  Most of the originals will have to be destroyed.  I hate to get rid of them, but their condition is just that horrid - we can't keep them because of the mold and destruction. 

Fortunately most of the photos are labeled on the back, and some even had typed descriptions on the their reverse.  We wrapped up each set in paper, with a written description of the vacation, year, dates, people, etc.  My husband's mother worked for Iberia airlines in the 1960s to the 1980s so there were lots of fantastic photographs of trips to Spain, as well as Egypt, Japan, Hong Kong, Brazil, Argentina, and all over Europe.  I found some photographs of my first trip to Puerto Rico in 1980, and Vincent found some of his baby photographs.  It was a trip down memory lane to see these, even though they were faded and damaged by the tropical climate. 

My friend from New Hampshire helped us to recover the photographs.
We also spent a lot of time reminiscing about people and places!

Vincent was delighted to find this photo of himself as a newborn baby!

It was difficult to remove some photos from the sticky pages,
and others were already falling out, and the plastic
covering was breaking into pieces.

We bundled the photos in groups, labeled with
dates, geography, names of people, etc.

It took five nights to recover all the photos from over 22 albums

This is one of the oil paintings damaged by the tropical climate.
It has darkened and is almost totally obscured.  You can barely see the Madonna.
The artwork and books will be moved by an express company next year. 

The URL for this post is

Copyright (c) 2013, Heather Wilkinson Rojo