Saturday, January 31, 2015

Surname Saturday ~ FULLER of Ipswich, Massachusetts

John Fuller's signature on his will


John Fuller (about 1620 – 1666) immigrated to Massachusetts on 4 May 1635 on the ship Abigail when he was about 15 years old with his older brother William.   John, my 8th great grandfather,  settled in Ipswich, Massachusetts and William went to Hampton, New Hampshire. 

John Fuller married Elizabeth Emerson.  They lived in Salisbury until about 1648 when they were back in Ipswich.  He had land, but does not appear in any record as a freeman, church member nor did he hold any public office.  He does appear in several court records, and he did file a will shortly before his death.  When he died he had nine children named in his will and one unborn child mentioned in his will.  No record of the name of this child exists.  He was an educated man because he not only signed his name, he left an inventory of books valued at 10 shillings.

John’s son, James Fuller (about 1644 – 1725), my 7th great grandfather, inherited his father’s house and land on Rocky Hill in Ipswich.  It was next to his brother, Nathaniel Fuller’s, land.  His daughter, Dorothy, granddaughter of the immigrant John Fuller, is the last Fuller in my lineage.  Dorothy married Josiah Stone of Beverly, Massachusetts in 1715. 

For more FULLER information:

Fuller Genealogies, by William Hyslop Fuller, Volume III Genealogy of some descendants of Captain Matthew Fuller, John Fuller of Newton, John Fuller of Lynn, John Fuller of Ipswich, and Robert Fuller of Dorchester and Dedham, with supplements to Volumes I and II, 1914, page 175

“John Fuller of Ipswich, Massachusetts, 1634” by Edward F. Everett, from the New England Historic Genealogical Register, Volume 53, (1899), pages 335 – 341.

“The English Origin of John and William Fuller of Ipswich, Massachusetts” by Leslie Mahler, The American Genealogist, Volume 77, pages 267 – 70.

The Great Migration: Immigrants to New England 1634 -1635, by Robert Charles Anderson, Volume II, pages 598 – 602.

History of Ipswich, by Joseph B. Felt, printed by Charles Folsom, 1834, pages 9 – 10.

My FULLER genealogy:

Generation 1: John Fuller, son of Roger Fuller and Jane Gowan, born about 1620 in England, died 4 June 1666 in Ipswich, Massachusetts; married to Elizabeth Emerson, daughter of Thomas Emerson and Elizabeth Brewster.  She was born about 1623 at Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire, England and died 1700. Ten children.

Generation 2:  James Fuller, born about 1647, died 21 June 1725 in Ipswich; married on 20 October 1672 in Ipswich to Mary Rindge, daughter of Daniel Rindge and Mary Kinsman.  She was born about 1648 and died 16 October 1732 in Ipswich. Nine children.

Generation 3: Dorithy Fuller, born 18 December in Ipswich, died 1756 in Beverly, Massachusetts; married about 21 October 1715 in Ipswich to Josiah Stone, son of Nathaniel Stone and Mary Balch.  He was born 27 August 1681 in Beverly, and died after 1757. Six children.

Generation 4:  Josiah Stone m. Martha Ashby
Generation 5:   Josiah Stone m. Susanna Hix
Generation 6:  Eunice Stone m. Peter Hoogerzeil
Generation 7:  Peter Hoogerzeil m. Mary Etta Healey
Generation 8:  Florence Etta Hoogerzeil m. Arthur Treadwell Hitchings
Generation 9:  Gertrude Matilda Hitchings m. Stanley Elmer Allen (my grandparents)

The URL for this post is
Copyright © 2015, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Thursday, January 29, 2015

… Read how a family history fib spread in 1889, and is still spreading today!

The Munroe Tavern, Lexington, Massachusetts

Genealogy fibs spread on the internet, but this is nothing new… Read how a family history fib spread in 1889, and is still spreading today!

Several years ago I wrote a blog post about a fake letter written in 1889.  This “letter” was written by James Phinney Munroe, a recent MIT graduate and the new president of the Lexington Historical Society.  The Munroe family had a long history in Lexington, including being involved in the Battle of Lexington and their family tavern being used on the day of the battle as a field hospital by the British Troops.  When George Washington decided to visit all the states (all 13 of them) in 1789 one of his stops was in Lexington, where he had dinner at the Munroe Tavern.

The visit to the Munroe’s was fact.  You can visit the tavern in Lexington today and see the china dishes used by Washington for his dinner.  The dinner was served by Sarah Munroe and her sister, the daughters of the innkeeper, William Munroe.  The dishes were carefully preserved by the Munroe family, and donated to the Historical Society along with the entire tavern.  And so, when James Phinney Munroe, a descendant of this family, was celebrating the 100th anniversary of Washington’s famous dinner at the Munroe tavern he decided to have a bit of fun and produced a delightful letter written by “Sarah Munroe”, along with a story about finding it in the attic.  This was published in the Proceedings of the Lexington Historical Society 1889.

Ha Ha!  The joke was on him.  The “letter” was reproduced all over New England, and all over America, but not with the accompanying explanation of how it was a joke for the anniversary celebration.  J. P. Munroe spent years writing to magazines and newspapers explaining the provenance of the “letter” but to no avail.  The story kept cropping up all over, even after his death in 1929.  And it spreads today, faster than wildfire because of the internet.

Just last week, J. L. Bell of the blog Boston 1775, questioned the fake letter by Sarah Munroe.  Of course it was fake!  A reader left him a comment, and she turned out to be a staff member of a Lexington museum.  He was set straight, and produced a second blog post for Boston 1775, see below for all the links.

I have seen the fake “letter” produced in genealogies online, even though the same James Phinney Munroe wrote the definitive genealogy on the Munroe family A Sketch of the Munro Clan: Also of William Munro who Deported from Scotland, Settled in Lexington, Massachusetts and some of his Posterity in 1900 and explained the provenance of the letter.  But I guess people would rather copy what they see online instead of checking with the Historical Society or books. 

Excerpts from “the letter” (How much would you like to bet that someone will copy this part of my blog post and ignore the above explanation?):

My ever deare Mary:-
I crave your patience in this Episle, as I must finish it to go by the Sunday Coach, and therefore indight it by a bad candle, dip’d I warrant, by Brother Jonas, who is ever slack in all except his play.  We have had great doings here.  Our Loved President has journied here to Lex. & has took dinner at our very House. I suppose you, in the great city of New York can have little interest in the small haps of a Country Town, but remember it is the birth-place of you, and of American Freedom!...
…Betimes Mr. Washington appered, bestriding a most handsome White horse.  He wore a military Habit, much like that of my Worthy Father, only gayer and with fine things, I mind not what they call ‘em, on the showlders.  His Hat he wore under his arm, and he bent himself to one side and the other as he Passed.  I promise you we huzzared stoutly, but he bowed not, only leaned, as one shd say, towards us… Then followed some Speech which I heard not, daring to venture no nearer than I was, being that I had an old Frock, and compeled to hold back Lucindy.  Soon the whole Troupe betook themselves to the Spot where the Blood was spilled…
…When we come to the house there stood my Father and step-mother at the tap-room Door, Anna and the naybors skulking in the parlour.  My Father looked grandly in his rejimentels and proud indeed I was of him as he led the way to the Dinner-room prepar’d for Mr. Washington in the upper room, looking toward your house.  ‘Twas arrang’d that my Step-mother dish the vittles in the kitch’n, yours should bring them to the stares the short way, thou knows’t, thro’ the shop & the Tap-room) and then my Father shod serve them to the gests.  ‘Twas permited me to stand in the corner betwixt the windos, to give what help was needed.  We had right fine feast, I can tell you…
…not just then arose a great cracking and howling.  We rushed to the Window and there in the butt’nwood Tree was Jonas, clinging to the frill of Lucindy’s skirt, and she dangeling in mid-air.  Before we could get out of the room one of the Black-men had climed the tree and caught Lucindy by the Neck like a Cat, and carried her down. The silly child had led Jonas into climing the Tree with her to look in at the dinner-room Window, and a limb having snapped she wod, but for Jonas, have broke her neck…
… I have burned 3 Dips, which is sinfull, & have set up long beyond Bell-ringing to send you this, so now I must stop.
Your ever affectionate

The genealogy of the Munroe family members in this story:

Generation 1:  William Munroe (1625 – 1718) m. Martha George (my 7th great grandparents)

Generation 2:  William Munroe (1669 – 1759) m. Mary Cutler

Generation 3:  William Munroe (1703 – 1747) m. Sarah Mason

Generation 4:  William Munroe (1742 – 1827) m. 1. Anna Smith,  m.2.  Polly Rogers
Children: William, Anna, Sarah, Lucinda, Jonas, Edward

Generation 5: Jonas Munroe (1778 – 1860) m. Abigail C. Smith

Generation 6: James Smith Munroe (1824 – 1910) m. Alice Bridge Phinney  (“bequeathed to the Lexington Historical Society, on behalf of his brother William and himself, that part of the real estate known as “Munroe Tavern” and a parcel of land surrounding it, to be kept forever as a token of Colonial and Revolutionary Lexington”  from page 217 of The Genealogy of the Lexington Munroes, compiled by Richard S. Munroe, Florence, Massachusetts, 1986)

Generation 7: James Phinney Munroe, born 3 June 1862, the author of “the letter” to the Lexington Historical Society, supposedly written by his great aunt, Sarah Munroe, sister of his grandfather, Jonas (the one who didn’t make very good candles).


My blog post from Monday, November 5, 2012 “5 November 1789, George Washington Dined Here!”, where I mention James Phinney Munroe’s fake letter  

J. L. Bell’s Boston 1775 blog post “President Washington in Sickness and in Lexington”, Friday, January 16, 2015 (where the author suspects the Sarah Munroe letter is fake)

J.L. Bell’s blog post “The Real Story of the Fake Sarah Munroe Letter”, Wednesday, 21 January 2015 (more details about James Phinney Munroe’s fake letter by his dead great aunt, Sarah Munroe)

The Proceedings of the Lexington Historical Society (online version)  and James Phinney Munroe’s entry with "the letter", pages xxxvi - xxxvii

The URL for this post is
Copyright © 2015, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A New Hampshire Heroine, Christa McAuliffe (1948 - 1986)

Back in BC (before children) I was a teacher of technology. I had taken computer classes in high school, however, back in the 1970s we had counselors who still encouraged girls to go into traditional careers, like teaching, instead of engineering and computer programming. So, upon graduation I went into teaching. Fortunately, I went to Lesley College, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which not only gave me the chance to hang around with MIT students (and marry one!), Lesley had a vision of teaching teachers to use computers in their classrooms.

I found this was quite timely. In 1982 Cambridge elementary school principals were being given PCs and no one knew what to do with them. No one even knew how to turn one on! After several student teaching experiences, principals heard that I was computer literate. Then they heard that I actually had lesson plans for students, and in-service workshops to teach teachers. I was so popular for teaching workshops my senior year, I had to farm out jobs I couldn’t fulfill to other undergraduates. Those were the days!

And then in 1984 President Ronald Reagan announced a “Teacher in Space Program” and I eagerly asked for the application. I was a graduate student living in New Hampshire and still commuting to Cambridge and the Lesley campus. I had no real classroom experience (just hours and hours of part time experience). Thus, I was disappointed to read that there was a minimum requirement of three years teaching experience to apply for the program. I put away the application, and that was that… but not the end of the story…

Finally I found a full time teaching position, integrating computers into a language arts program in a Massachusetts school system. I heard that a teacher in New Hampshire had won the spot on the space shuttle scheduled for early 1986. I was on the board of the NH-ACES (New Hampshire Association for Computer Education Statewide). We were busy trying to convince school boards and teachers that technology had a place in the classroom. Time passed and I almost forgot about the Teacher in Space.

Before I knew it, it was launch day for local teacher Christa McAuliffe, January 28, 1986. I had finished teaching a computer class at a junior high, and I ran back to the high school for a meeting with the superintendent. When I got to the central office, everyone was watching a TV in the corner. Instead of a meeting, we watched the space shuttle Challenger fall from the sky. I was glad I hadn’t stayed to watch it with the kids at the junior high school. We all wept.

Right after school I had to drive to Concord, New Hampshire for a NH-ACES meeting. I knew that a board member was the principal of the Kimball School where we usually met, and he had a class of third grade students at the launch at Cape Canaveral. One of them was Scott, Christa’s little boy. Upon arriving at the Kimball School parking lot, I was met by an official looking man dressed in black, with an earpiece and a badge. He told me the school was cordoned off to visitors and the NH-ACES meeting had been moved to another school in Concord. I later learned that the third graders were being rushed back from Florida to the Kimball School at that same time as our meeting.

I remember driving home on Rt. 93 that winter night, after the meeting. On January 28, 1986 the clear, dark sky was bright with stars and the radio was full of reports from NASA. I watched to see if a school bus full of third graders was driving north as I drove south towards Londonderry. It seemed to be a very long drive home.

We dedicated our next NH-ACES conference to Christa, and her husband Steven McAuliffe was our keynote speaker. Efforts went into building a planetarium in Concord, in her honor, and it is now a New Hampshire landmark attraction. Steven became a judge, son Scott grew up to be a teacher, too, of marine biology, and a younger daughter, I heard, was studying early childhood education.

There has been a Christa McAuliffe Technology Conference every year now in New Hampshire since 1986. The conference motto is still a quote from Christa: “I touch the future, I teach.” NH-ACES are no longer a group, since we obviously no longer have to convince schools to use computers. The new group is called NHSTE (the NH branch of the International Society for Technology in Education). I haven’t been involved since my daughter was born and I “retired” from the classroom.

I never met Christa, but I remember her story… It is now part of history. Her legacy lives on through her memory, through the New Hampshire programs in her honor, and through her children.


Sharon Christa Corrigan, daughter of Edward Christopher Corrigan and Grace Mary George, born 2 September 1948 in Boston, Massachusetts, died 28 January 1986 off Cape Canaveral, Florida, buried at Blossom Hill Cemetery, Concord, New Hampshire; married in 1970 to Steven J. McAuliffe, two children: Scott and Caroline. Her unusual, but very pretty gravestone may be seen at

Helpful websites:

McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center, Concord, New Hampshire

McAuliffe Technology Conference


To cite/link to this blog post:  Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "A New Hampshire Heroine, Christa McAuliffe (1948 - 1986)", Nutfield Genealogy, posted ( accessed [access date]).  
Originally posted 2010, Copyright (c) 2015,  Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Weathervane Wednesday ~ Central Fire Headquarters

Weathervane Wednesday is an on-going series of photographs I post weekly.  I started by publishing weather vanes from the Londonderry area, but now I've been finding interesting weather vanes all across New England.  Sometimes my weather vanes are whimsical, or historical, but all are interesting. Often, my readers tip me off to some very unique and unusual weather vanes, too!

Today's weather vane is from somewhere in New Hampshire.

Do you know the location of the weather vanes featured in collection #193? Scroll down to see the answer!

Today's weather vane was photographed at the Concord, New Hampshire Fire Headquarters and Communications Center on 24 Horseshoe Pond Lane.  This old building used to be the waterworks building, dating from 1892 as you can read on the banner.  There are three old buildings here, renovated in 2000 when the old Central Firehouse was renovated into public housing.  Besides the water works building, there was an old garage that is now administrative offices, and a new training center.

From 1888 to 1981 the large bell hung in the tower of the central fire station.  It was removed when new technology replaced the bell alarm.  The bell was discovered in Conway, New Hampshire and bought by the Local 1045 and brought back to Concord.

This renovation of three historic buildings won the 2001 NH Historic Preservation Achievement Award from the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance. You can schedule a tour by calling he Battalion Chief at 603-225-8514.    This center serves as a 911 emergency communications center for 26 communities in New Hampshire, as well as the headquarters for the city fire department.

Concord, New Hampshire Fire Department

Click here to see the entire Weathervane Wednesday series

The URL for this post is

Copyright (c) 2015, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday ~ Another Nathaniel Treadwell in Ipswich, Massachusetts

This tombstone was photographed at the Old North Burying Ground in Ipswich, Massachusetts

Lost at sea
February 1821
Aged 33 yrs
His wife
August 11, 1872
Aged 85 yrs  9 mos.

Nathaniel Treadwell is my 4th great grand uncle.  I descend from his brother, Jabez Treadwell (1788 - 1840).  Nathaniel was born 23 April 1787 in Ipswich and was lost at sea in February 1821.  He was a veteran of the War of 1812, and was a prisoner at Dartmoor in England.  He married on 21 September 1809 in Ipswich to Elizabeth Smith, the daughter of Daniel Smith and Hannah Lord.  Elizabeth was born 27 November 1786 in Ipswich and died 11 August 1872 in Ipswich.

Nathaniel was the son of Nathaniel Treadwell (1753 - 1822) and Mary Hovey (1751 - 1832).  I have photographed several other Nathaniel Treadwells at this same cemetery.  You can see those posts HERE and HERE.   I can count eight Nathaniel Treadwells in my family tree database, as well as several Nathan Treadwells.  I would bet there are probably more Nathaniel Treadwells from this same family to be found in the vital records of Ipswich and elsewhere in Essex County, Massachusetts.

The URL for this post is
Copyright (c) 2015, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Monday, January 26, 2015

February 2015 Genealogy and Local History Calendar

January 27, Tuesday, 1:30pm, Intro to Genealogy in the computer lab at the Haverhill Public Library, Haverhill, Massachusetts.  Free to the public, but requires advance sign up.  To reserve a spot call the reference and information desk at 978-373-1586 ext. 608.

January 27, Tuesday, 7pm, Italian Genealogy Research Techniques, presented by Virginia Gerante Cater and sponsored by the Central Massachusetts Genealogical Society at the American Legion, 22 Elm Street, Gardner, Massachusetts.  Free to the public, all ages and levels of experience are welcome.  For more information contact Mary Hasselmann at 978-730-8344 or

January 28, Wednesday, 6pm, Get started on your Family History, at the Abbey Room of the Boston Public Library, Central Library.  Genealogist Rhonda McClure outlines the first steps to uncovering your genealogy.  FREE to the public.  

January 31, Saturday, 10am, Mastering Evernote for Genealogy, a video presentation by Thomas MacEntee and Lisa A. Alzo presented by the Merrimack Valley Chapter of the Massachusetts Society of Genealogists at the Nevins Memorial Library, 305 Broadway, Methuen, Massachusetts.  Free to the public. 

January 31, Saturday, 2 - 3pm, Sporty Saturday at the Phillips House, 34 Chestnut Street, Salem, Massachusetts, $5 Historic New England members, $10 nonmembers.  Kick off Super Bowl Weekend with a viewing of historic family films showing events like the Harvard football games and the Boston Marathon, canoeing and camping.  Registration required, please call 978-744-0440.  

February 4, Wednesday, 6 – 8 pm, Rogues, Rascals and Rapscallions: The Family Black Sheep, presented by Judy G. Russell, “The Legal Genealogist”, sponsored by the Western Massachusetts Genealogy Society. At the Agawam Senior Center at 945 Main Street in Agawam, Massachusetts. Learn how to play detective with court records to unmask those black sheep in the family tree.  Understand the criminal process in both federal and state courts, and find the records to put meat on the bones of the skeletons in your family’s closet.

February 6, Friday, noon - 1pm,  Stories of Life in Records of Death: Discovering Mount Auburn Cemetery's Historical Collections, part of the First Friday Brown Bag Lecture Series at the New England Historic Genealogical Society, 99 - 101 Newbury Street, Boston, Massachusetts. Presented by Meg L. Winslow, the curator of historical collections at Mount Auburn, you will learn about the cemetery's collections, the stories they hold and how to access them.  Free to the public.  Registration required call 617-226-1226 or email 

February 7, 10am New Visitor Tour of the New England Historic Genealogical Society at 99 – 101 Newbury Street, Boston, Massachusetts.  FREE to the public.  This tour introduces the resources available at the NEHGS research facility.  Founded in 1845, NEHGS is the country’s oldest and largest non-profit genealogy library and archive.

February 11, Wednesday,  6pm, The Eliot School and the Catholic Exodus of 1859, by historian Alex Goldfeld at the Abbey Room of the Boston Public Library, Boston, Massachusetts.  Goldfeld explores the 1859 incident of a Catholic schoolboy who was severely beaten for not reciting the required Protestant prayers in a Boston public school classroom.  Free to the Public. 

February 11, 4pm, Wednesday, The Arc of Memory: Bending the Future of Historic Preservation, a distinguished faculty lecture by Professor Max Page, free to the public at the Bernie Dallas Room, Goodell Hall, UMass Amherst Campus.

February 13 and 14, 6:30 pm , Friday and Saturday, (also Sunday, February 15th at 4:30pm) Unconditional Love: The Letters of John and Abigail Adams, at the Boston Tea Party Museum, Boston, Massachusetts, $35 each or $50 couple.  Includes a glass of champagne, unlimited tea, fruit and cheese, advance ticket purchase recommended by calling 1-617-338-1773 or at the museum ticket booth.

February 15, 10am to 3:30pm, Sunday, Taking Needle to Fabric, a workshop for re-enactors and history buffs presented by “The Hive” The Ladies of Refined Taste & Friends of Minute Man National Historical Park, Free to the public, at the Minute Man Vocational Technical High School in Lexington, Massachusetts.  Follow the Hive signs.  If you have questions email or check the website

February 16 - 19, Monday to Thursday, 10 am to noon, February Kid's Week at the Pilgrim Hall Museum, Plymouth, Massachusetts.  Craft sessions for children (make dream catchers, basket weaving, write with quill pens, drawing) and games. See this link for more information     Fee to students and children under 18, children must be accompanied by an adult.  

February 18, Wednesday, 10 – 11:30am for grades 2 – 8, Back in the Day Adventures!  National Archives at Boston (Waltham) Free February Vacation Program.  On Wednesday the program for kids and their chaperones will help kids find their true family stories in historic records, and to explore genealogy in the reference room where there are free online subscriptions to various online resources. FREE with required registration 781-663-0130 or email  Free parking and handicap access at the National Archives, 380 Trapelo Road, Waltham, Massachusetts.

February 18, Wednesday, 7:30pm, Reflections on Firm and Family: Augustine Heard & Company and the Nineteenth Century Opium Trade, a lecture by Anne Page at the Ipswich Museum, 54 South Main Street, Ipswich, Massachusetts.   Free to members, $10 to not yet members. 

February 19, Thursday, 7pm, New England Powder Houses, presented by local author Matthew Thomas at the Beshara Room of the Kelley Library, Salem, New Hampshire.  FREE to the public.

February 21, Saturday, 10am to 4pm, Family Day at the Millyard Museum, 200 Bedford Street, Manchester, NH – learn about the history of Manchester while enjoying some crafts and games including weaving, old fashioned games, scavenger hunts, children’s books, and more.  Included with regular admission, children must be accompanied by an adult.

February 22, Sunday, 2pm, Boarding in Boston: Education, Embroidery and Refinement in the Late Colonial Period, a lecture at the Deerfield Community Center sponsored by Historic Deerfield in Deerfield, Massachusetts.  Free and open to the public. Call 413-774-5581 for more information. 

February 24, Tuesday, 1:30pm, Intro to Genealogy in the computer lab at the Haverhill Public Library, Haverhill, Massachusetts.  Free to the public, but requires advance sign up.  To reserve a spot call the reference and information desk at 978-373-1586 ext. 608.

February 25, Wednesday, 6pm Paddy on the Net: Using Irish Genealogy Databases, by genealogist Michael Brophy, at the Abbey Room of the Boston Public Library.  Brophy will discuss the many resources now available online for discovering your Irish ancestors.  Free to the Public. 

February 25, Wednesday, 7pm, Remembering the Battle of the Crater, sponsored by the Civil War Round Table of Central Massachusetts at the Holden Senior Center, 1130 Main Street (Rt. 122A), Holden, Massachusetts.  Free to the public.

February 26, Thursday, 7pm, Digging Into Native History in New Hampshire, presented by Professor Robert Goodby of Franklin Pierce College, at the NPL Theater in the Nashua Public Library, Nashua, New Hampshire, FREE to the public.

March 3, Tuesday, 7am to 7pm, Genealogy Research Trip to Boston, Massachusetts sponsored by the Rhode Island Genealogical Society, a popular excursion to do family research in Boston with a choice of the New England Historic Genealogical Society library or the Massachusetts State Archives.  $25 per person for members and their guests.  See the website for more information.

March 4, Wednesday, 11am, John Perrault: The Ballad Lives!  at the Derry Public Library, 64 East Broadway, Derry, New Hampshire.  Free to the public, call 503-434-4073 for more information.  A program of traditional and original ballads and New England songs, John Perrault follows the traditional ballad from the British Isles to North America.  

March 10, Tuesday, 7pm, Researching Your Irish Ancestors with Mary Ellen Grogan, at the Memorial Hall, Andover, Public Library, Andover, Massachusetts.  Free to the public, register online or call 978-623-8401 presented by the Andover Genealogy Club

March 11,  Wednesday, 6pm Life Stories in White and Black from Forest Hills Cemetery, by historian Dee Morris at the Abbey Room of the Boston Public Library, Boston, Massachusetts.  Morris will describe the famous abolitionists and black citizens buried together at Forest Hill Cemetery - including William Lloyd Garrison, Edward Everett Hale, William C. Nell, and others.  Free to the public. 

March 14, Saturday, 10:30 to noon, Manchester, NH Public School Buildings 1785 – 2014, at the Millyard Museum, 200 Bedford Street, Manchester, NH, included with regular admission to the museum, free to members.  AARP members receive a $3 discount (bring your AARP card).

March 21, Saturday, 1:30pm Paleography: Reading Old Handwriting, sponsored by the Connecticut Society of Genealogists, presented by Edwin W. Strickland.  Free and open to the public, please pre-register at 860-569-0002 or email

March 24, Tuesday, 1:30pm, Intro to Genealogy in the computer lab at the Haverhill Public Library, Haverhill, Massachusetts.  Free to the public, but requires advance sign up.  To reserve a spot call the reference and information desk at 978-373-1586 ext. 608.

April 8, Wednesday, 7pm, Searching for Black Confederate Soldiers, sponsored by the Medford Historical Society,  10 Governor’s Avenue, Medford, Massachusetts. Free to the public.

April 15 – 18, Wednesday – Saturday, The New England Regional Genealogical Consortium Conference “Navigating the Past: Sailing into the Future”, at the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence, Rhode Island.  Registration for NERGC 2015 is now open online at

April 29, Wednesday,  6pm, Sex, DNA and Family History, a lecture by Shellee Morehead at the Abbey Room of the Boston Public Library, Boston, Massachusetts.  Certified genealogist Shellee Morehead will explain genetic genealogy- the use of DNA for defining ancestral relationships.  Free to the Public. 

May 13, Wednesday, 6pm, Women and Physical Culture in Nineteenth Century Boston, a talk by Helaine Davis and Linda Stern at the Abbey Room of the Boston Public Library, Boston, Massachusetts.  This lecture is about how several pioneering women changed the face of sports and recreation in Boston at the close of the 19th century.  Free to the public.

May 27, Wednesday, 6pm, Finding Living Ancestors: Being a Genealogy Gumshoe, by genealogist Michael Maglio.  A discussion on how sometimes it is necessary to find a living relative in order to track down records, get a DNA sample, return a rare photo or family Bible, but finding the living can be as challenging as finding a dead ancestor.  Free to the public. 

May 30, Saturday, 2015 Southern Maine Genealogical Conference sponsored by the Greater Portland Chapter of the Maine Genealogical Society will be held in Portland, Maine.  The keynote speaker will be Margaret Dube, CG.  For more information see

July 11, Saturday, The Maine Genealogical Society Fair at the Cultural Building, Home of the State Library, Archives and Museum, Augusta, Maine, Free admission. Visit with genealogical and historical societies from around the state of Maine.

On television!

Genealogy Roadshow, season 2 premieres January 2015 on PBS.  Check your local listings for times and channels in your area.

Who Do You Think You Are? on TLC new season premiere on Tuesday, 24 February 2015 at 10 EasternTime, 9 Central.  

Coming Soon!

New England Regional Genealogy Conference - NERGC- Providence, Rhode Island, at the Rhode Island Convention Center, 15 - 18 April 2015.

The URL for this post is
Copyright 2014, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Surname Saturday ~ BULKELEY of Concord, Massachusetts


Here in the house of the
Reverend Peter Bulkeley
First Minister and one of the
founders of this town
a bargain was made with the
squaw sachem and the sagamore Tahattawan
and other Indians
who then sold their righrts in 
the six miles square called Concord
to the English Planters
and gave them peaceful possession
of the land
A.D. 1636

The Bulkeley family is full of ministers, and clergymen leave terrific paper trails, so it is a lot of fun to research the Bulkeley family.  My 10th great grandfather, Reverend Peter Bulkeley (1583 – 1659) graduated from St. John’s College, Cambridge, England in 1604/5.  His father before him, the Reverend Doctor Edward Bulkeley, was also a St. John’s graduate and curate of St. Mary’s church in Shrewsbury, England and the rector at Odell, Bedfordshire.  Peter succeeded his father as rector at Odell from 1610 to 1635, and then came to New England with his family aboard the ship Susan and Ellen in 1635.  He was ordained in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and then bought six acres at Concord, Massachusetts where he established his church and was pastor there for the rest of his life.

My 9th great grandfather, Edward Bulkeley, came to New England before the rest of his family.  He was a young man, in his early 20s and he joined the church in Boston on 22 March 1635.  The rest of the family arrived later that summer.  Edward had attended St. Catharine’s College at Cambridge.  He was ordained at Marshfield in 1642/3, and when his father died he was installed at Concord as the pastor.  He died at Chelmsford and was buried at Concord.   His daughter, Elizabeth, my 8th great grandmother, was married to Reverend Joseph Emerson, who preached at Ipswich, Massachusetts; York, Maine; Wells, Maine; Mendon, Massachusetts and retired to Concord where he died in 1679/80.

There was a long line of Bulkeley and Emerson ministers from this family, including the famous Ralph Waldo Emerson of Concord, Massachusetts, who also studied to be a pastor.

UPDATE 25 January 2015

From reader John McEwen "Hi Heather, I have seen your info on this Rev.Peter Bulkeley 1582/83 d-1658/59. Peter wasn`t  the first minister of Concord it was his son Thomas`s father-in- law  Rev. John Jones who went to Fairfield,Conn in 1644. Rev.Jones is my 10th great grandfather.  John"   Well, John was absolutely correct.  Read the list of ministers at the website for the First Parish Church in Concord, Massachusetts.  This page even states "Many of us think of Rev. Peter Bulkeley as our first parish minister, but this was not the case.  "   

For more information:

The Bulkeley Genealogy compiled by Donald Lines Jacobus, New Haven, Connecticut 1933  (available to read online at and the Hathi Trust website)

“Reverend Edward Bulkeley’s Two Wives: Edward Bulkeley’s three betrothals and two marriages: a Correction to Jacobus’s The Bulkeley Genealogy” by Robert M. Gerrity, 2006 

My BULKELEY genealogy:

Generation 1: Reverend Peter Bulkeley, son of Reverend Doctor Edward Bulkely and Olyff Irby, born 31 January 1583 in Odell, Bedfordshire, England and died 9 March 1659 in Concord, Massachusetts; married first on 12 August 1613 in Goldington, Bedfordshire, England to Jane Allen, daughter of Thomas Allen and Mary Fairclough.  She was baptized on 13 January 1588 in Goldington and died about 8 December 1626 in Odell.  She was the mother of nine children.  Peter married second about 1634 to Grace Chetwood, daughter of Richard Chetwood and Dorothy Needham.  She was born about 1605 and died 21 April 1669 in New London, Connecticut and was the mother of four more children.

Generation 2:  Reverend Edward Bulkeley, eldest son of Peter Bulkely and Jane Allen,  born June 1614 in Odell, England and died 4 January 1696 in Chelmsford, Massachusetts; married about 1638 to Lucyann Coy. Five children.

Generation 3: Elizabeth Bulkely, born 1638 and died 4 September 1693 in Reading, Massachusetts; married on 7 December 1665 in Concord, Massachusetts to Reverend Joseph Emerson, son of Thomas Emerson and Elizabeth Brewster.  He was born about 1620 in England and died 3 January 1680 in Concord.  Seven children.

Generation 4: Peter Emerson m. Mary Brown
Generation 5: Brown Emerson m. Sarah Townsend
Generation 6: John Emerson m. Katherine Eaton
Generation 7: Romanus Emerson m. Jemima Burnham
Generation 8: George Emerson m. Mary Esther Younger
Generation 9: Mary Katherine Emerson m. George E. Batchelder
Generation 10: Carrie Maude Batchelder m. Joseph Elmer Allen
Generation 11: Stanley Elmer Allen m. Gertrude Matilda Hitchings (my grandparents)

The URL for this post is

Copyright © 2015, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Friday, January 23, 2015

Photo Friday ~ Vintage Boston 1981

These photos were taken in Boston in 1981 back in the college days.  
The skyline sure has changed a lot since then, hasn't it?  And so have the people! 

Above:  The Boston Skyline see n from the causeway to Moon Island

Above:  Boston skyline 2014, a different angle, taken from Boston Harbor
Many, many more buildings after almost 35 years!

Above: The North End seen from Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park
This view is almost exactly the same today

The URL for this post is
Copyright (c) 2015, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Weathervane Wednesday~ A converted fire house

Weathervane Wednesday is an on-going series of photographs I post weekly.  I started by publishing weather vanes from the Londonderry area, but now I've been finding interesting weather vanes all across New England.  Sometimes my weather vanes are whimsical, or historical, but all are interesting. Often, my readers tip me off to some very unique and unusual weather vanes, too!

Today's weather vane  is from somewhere in New Hampshire.

Do you know the location of weather vane #192? Scroll down to see the answer!

This weathervane was photographed on the Firehouse Block Apartments on Warren Street in Concord, New Hampshire. It is a four foot long horse drawn Amoskeag fire pumper, covered in gold leaf.  It was built by Cushing & White Company of Waltham Massachusetts around 1871, and cost $200 back then.  It is remarkably detailed, and a pair of binoculars is needed to see all the fantastic small details. The Central Fire Station opened in 1875.

In 1980 the firefighters, when this was the Central Fire Station, removed this weather vane during a rash of weather vane thefts throughout New Hampshire.  A weather vane just like this one was stolen from the Amherst Street fire station in Nashua.  They put it inside as part of a museum.  The city debated ownership of this weathervane for many years.

When this fire station was renovated for housing, the weather vane was restored and replaced on top of the bell tower, next to lightning rod, it's original position.

Star News, 24 July 1988, "Antique Weathervane stirs up trouble", by Martha Englert, Associated Press,2799035

Firehouse Block Apartments

Click here to see the entire Weathervane Wednesday series

The URL for this post is

Copyright (c) 2015, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday ~ Humphrey Family Plot, Derry, New Hampshire

The Humphrey Family Plot is located in the Forest Hill Cemetery (on Settler's Row), 
in East Derry, New Hampshire

died Jan. 11, 1835
AEt. 51
Dau. of Wm. &
Barbard Humphrey

In Memory of
Mr. Samuel F. Humphry
son of Mr. James &
Mrs. Jane Humphry
who died June 15, 1808
AEt. 24

died April 25, 1814
AET. 75

wife of
Wm. Humphrey
died Aug. 8, 1808
AEt. 63.

William Humphrey ws born about 1739 in Londonderry, New Hampshire, the son of immigrant John Humphrey of Northern Ireland.  His wife was Barbara Unknown, born about 1745 and died 8 August 1808 in Londonderry.  They had six children, including Jane (see the photo above), who died unmarried on 11 January 1835.

I don't know the relationship of the William Humphrey family to the Samuel Humphrey buried in between Jane and her parents.  William Humphrey had a brother named James, who married a Margaret Stuart and they removed to Duanesburgh, New York.  This tombstones states that Samuel's parents were James and Jane.  There were several Humphrey families in Londonderry/Derry at this time period.

The URL for this post is
Copyright (c) 2015, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Monday, January 19, 2015

Who was Jenkins? What happened to his Ear? How did the War of Jenkins’ Ear affect the migration of my ancestors?

There really was a War of Jenkins’ Ear (1739 – 1748) It was a conflict between Spain and England, part of the bigger war known as the War of Austrian Succession.   This war didn’t involve France or England until they were also drawn in as allies of Austria.   To make this more confusing, this whole war was part of King George’s War, which was the third of four French and Indian Wars.  I’ll bet you didn’t know that there were four separate French and Indian Wars, did you?

King George’s War (1744 – 1748) involved New England, New York and the French in Nova Scotia.  It all wasn’t resolved until the fourth French and Indian War (just to be more confusing, this was known as the Seven Year’s War), when Wolfe defeated Montcalm and France at the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in Quebec, and France lost their claim to most of Canada.

What is important to know is that since King Phillip’s War (1675 – 1678) until the Seven Year’s War (1754 – 1763) there was almost continual fighting for the borders and territory between the French, English and Spanish which also involved the native Indian tribes and settlers trying to carve out homesteads.   In New England you can see this especially in the settlement of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.  Anyone who thinks that the first war in the colonies was the Revolutionary War is missing six or seven major international conflicts fought in North America and elsewhere.   This doesn’t include smaller wars like Father Rale’s War (1722 – 1725) fought only in New England.  See?  Another war that I bet you haven’t heard of, either, have you?

In tracing my family tree I often find someone born in 18th century  Maine has disappeared from the records.  Or someone suddenly appearing in Marblehead or Salem, Massachusetts in the early 1700s, but not born in England.  I’m always wary of making a leap in migration from one state to another, because most of my ancestors didn’t move around New England very much.  But there was a reason why some of these families fled Maine, came to Massachusetts, and then returned to Maine.

Maine was first settled by the French on St. Croix island in 1604, who called the area Acadia.  The first English settlement at Popham was in 1607, which was abandoned in less than a year. This was the beginning of constant conflict between the two nations.   In 1622 the land that is now roughly the state of Maine was divided into plantations between Sir Ferdinando Gorges and John Mason.  These plantations failed, and were abandoned.  After the four different French and Indian Wars, settlements were again abandoned, and then retried. Over and over.

During the 1692 witch trials, many of the accusing girls and women were refugees from the conflict north of Massachusetts. They had seen massacres, towns burnt, and other atrocities. There is an ongoing theory that their post-traumatic stress syndrome caused them to start the first witch accusations, which snowballed out of control.  After reading some of the first-hand accounts of these conflicts, kidnappings, scalpings, fighting and torture (by both sides, English and Indian) I can believe this theory much more than other theories I have heard (mass hypnosis, ergot poisoning, and jealousy). 

Don’t just look at the vital records for your ancestors’ names.  Read the town and regional histories.  Examine the records of conflicts to see who was involved, names of victims and aggressors.  Who fled?  Who returned? Who was kidnapped? Who was redeemed?  Who died?


So who was Jenkins? And what happened to his ear?   In 1731 the English ship Rebecca, captained by Robert Jenkins, was captured by the Spanish off the coast of Florida.  They accused Jenkins of smuggling, and cut off Jenkins’ left ear.  Jenkins testified in 1738 before Parliament about this incident, and supposedly displayed his severed ear.   The conflict over confiscated cargoes, strained relations, and anti-Spanish sentiment spilled over in the West Indies, Florida and Georgia.  

And who was the Father Rale I mentioned above?   The conflict known as Father Rales’ War (1722 -1725) was also known by at least five or six other names such as Lovewell’s War or Governor Dummer’s War (see the Wikipedia article below).  Sebastian Rale was a French Jesuit priest who lived along the Kennebec River in Maine with the Wabanaki people.  Massachusetts Governor Shute demanded he leave In 1717.  Rale remained, and so Shute sent an expedition in 1722 to capture Rale. There were ongoing retaliations and sieges of settlements as far away as Vermont, Nova Scotia and Deerfield, Massachusetts until peace was negotiated in 1726.

So you see- these conflicts affected human migration and immigration all over the 13 colonies, not just in New England and the northern states.

Keep that in mind if your ancestors seem to disappear from the records in one colony and reappear in another.  It could, and did, happen. 

For the truly curious:

Father Rale’s War from Wikipedia

War of Jenkins’ Ear from Wikipedia  

"Salem Witch Trials Still cast Haunting Shadow" by Deborah McDermott, 18 January 2015,  from, Author Emerson Baker on video and an article about the ongoing war and the beginning of the Salem Witch Trials. 

New England Captives Carried to Canada Between 1677 and 1760 During the French and Indian Wars, by Emma Lewis Coleman, first published 1925, reprinted 2012 by the New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, Massachusetts.

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

“Maine, Indian Land Speculation, and the Essex County Witchcraft Outbreak of 1692” by Emerson Baker and James Kences, from Maine History, Volume 40, Number 3, pages 159 – 189, available to read online at

“The Refugee’s Revenge”, by Mary Beth Norton, from Common-Place, Volume 2, Number 3, April 2002 oniline at

The image above is from Wikimedia Commons, "Conference Between the French and Indian Leaders Around a Ceremonial Fire", by Emile Louis Vernier (1829 - 1887)


To cite/link to this blog post:  Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Who was Jenkins?  What happened to his Ear? How did the War of Jenkins’ Ear affect the migration of my ancestors", Nutfield Genealogy, posted January 19, 2015, ( accessed [access date]).  

Saturday, January 17, 2015

What I learned from another blog that helped me write this Surname Saturday post ~ TOMPKINS of Salem, Massachusetts

Recently I read on the NEHGS blog “Vita Brevis” that the Early New England Families Study Project database on the website had been updated with seven new family sketches.  I’m always excited by these updates, and carefully scan the listed names for matches to my own family tree.  This time I hit the jackpot when I saw the name of John Tompkins of Salem, Massachusetts.

I had a lot of information on John Tompkins gleaned from vital records, the Great Migration series, some local histories and compiled genealogies.  Of course, this new sketch mentioned lots of other interesting tidbits.  In fact, there were five pages in his sketch, so if you are truly interested in John Tompkins as an ancestor or as a historical figure, you might want to head over to the Early New England Study Project database and check it out for yourself!

Robert Charles Anderson’s work on the Great Migration series includes families up to 1635, and there are plans to include the families up through 1640.  The Early New England Families Study Project, according to the NEHGS website “will focus on individuals who emigrated in 1641 or later, but our sketches will be grouped by year of marriage rather than immigration.”  There will be some overlap as this project will treat all marriages, including the children and descendants of some Great Migration passengers, up through 1700.   This  includes the marriages listed in Clarence Almon Torrey’s New England Marriages Prior to 1700, as well as non-white and non-Puritan marriages, and new families identified since Torrey’s book was published. 

Ralph Tompkins(about 1585 – 1666), my 10th great grandfather, arrived in Massachusetts as a passenger on the Truelove on 19 September 1635 with is wife and three children.  He has an extensive sketch in the Great Migration Volume VII.   I descend from his eldest son, John Tompkins (1609 – 1681), my 9th great grandfather, who was not on that passenger list, was briefly mentioned in the Great Migration book, and followed with the longer sketch at the Early New England Study Project.    Ralph first lived in Dorchester, and then in Salem.  His son John was received as an inhabitant of Salem in 1637 and granted land for a household of two at the town meeting on 25 December 1637 (so he must have been married).  On 29 January 1637/8 he was granted 5 acres. 

I descend from two daughters of John Tompkins: Sarah, who married John Waters; and Mary, who married John Felton.   Sarah’s grand daughter married a descendant of the 1692 witch trial victim, George Jacobs (1612 – 1692), and Mary’s grand daughter married a descendant of the witch trial victim, John Proctor (1631 – 1692).  Both of my lineages from Ralph Tompkins stayed in Salem for  ten generations until my grandfather, Donald Munroe Wilkinson,  was born in Salem in 1895.  My Salem ancestors touched all kinds of early Salem history, from early settlement, through the witch trials, to the great age of the China Trade, abolitionists, industrialists, factory workers and ministers.  

My Tompkins genealogy:

Generation 1: Ralph Tompkins, born about 1585, died before 15 November 1666 in Massachusetts; married first on 6 November 1608 in Wendover, Buckinghamshire, England to Katherine Foster, daughter of Peter Foster, mother of the Tompkins children.  She died after 3 April 1642 and he married second to a sister of Samuel Aburne.  Six children.

Generation 2: John Tompkins, born about 1609 in England and died 23 June 1681 in Salem, Massachusetts; married first to Margaret Unknown, mother of his children; married second in September 1673 in Salem to Mary Unknown, widow of Thomas Read.  Ten children.

Lineage A:

Generation 3:  Sarah Tompkins, baptized on 1 January 1643 in Salem, died after 1707 in Salem; married on 1 August 1663 in Salem to John Waters, son of Richard Waters and Rejoice Plaise.  He was baptized on 27 November 1640 in Salem and died between 14 February 1706/7 and 1 March 1707/8 in Salem. Ten children.

Generation 4: John Waters and Mary Unknown
Generation 5: Lydia Waters and John Proctor
Generation 6: Lydia Proctor and Jonathan Flint
Generation 7: John Flint and Phebe Flint (first cousins)
Generation 8: Olive Flint and Luther Simonds Munroe
Generation 9: Phebe Cross Munroe and Robert Wilson Wilkinson
Generation 10: Albert Munroe Wilkinson and Isabella Lyons Bill
Generation 11: Donald Munroe Wilkinson and Bertha Louise Roberts (my grandparents)

Lineage B:

Generation 3:  Mary Tompkins, baptized on 29 April 1649 in Salem, died 12 December 1688 in Salem; married on 29 September 1670 in Salem to John Felton, son of Nathaniel Felton and Mary Skelton.  He was born 3 September 1648 in Salem and died 19 February 1717/18 in Salem.  Seven children.

Generation 4: Nathaniel Felton and Elizabeth Foot
Generation 5: Malachi Felton and Abigail Jacobs
Generation 6: Sarah Felton and Robert Wilson
Generation 7: Robert Wilson Wilkinson and Phebe Cross Munroe (see above)

For the truly curious:

"Vita Brevis"  the blog by the New England Historic Genealogical Society 

The Early New England Study Project database at the New England Historic Genealogy Society website (membership needed for access)

The Great Migration: Immigrants to New England 1634 – 1635, by Robert Charles Anderson, Volume VII, pages 68 – 72 “Ralph Tomkins”

“The Family of Jonas Humfrey of Dorchester, Massachusetts with notes on the origins of Ralph and Katherine (Foster) Tompkins of Dorchester and Thomas Foster of Weymouth, Massachusetts,” The American Genealogist, Volume 68, pages 14 – 22.

The URL for this post is
Copyright © 2015, Heather Wilkinson Rojo