Saturday, May 30, 2015

Surname Saturday ~ BASSETT of Lynn, Massachusetts


The first BASSETT in this family to come to America was William Bassett (1624 – 1703), my 8th great grandfather, who was baptized in Dorking, Surrey, England.  He was about ten or eleven years old when he immigrated to New England on board the ship Abigail with his mother and stepfather, Hugh Burt.     

About 1646 William married Sarah, maiden name unknown.  William and Sarah had twelve children born in Lynn, Massachusetts.  William served as an ensign in Captain Gardner’s company in Salem, and later he was raised to Captain and granted three acres in Lynn. 

WILL OF WILLIAM BASSETT, proved 22 May 1703

"In the name of God everlasting Amen: I William Bassett Senr. of Lyn in ye County of Esex in Newengland being of good & perfect memory & Rationally Disposed And having attained to ye years of a good old age & being very sensable of ye decay of nature & ye many Distempers & Infirmities that do attend my outward (mein?) not knowing how soone my great & last chang may come have therefor taken this opportunity to settle ye affaires of my family & so leave this as my last will and testament. Impr: as for my precious mortall soul I freely resign it to him that gave it & to my Redeemer Jesus Christ which by his precious blood hath ransome my soul from Death. as for my body which is fraile I comend it to ye dust willing a decent Interment thereof suitable to my Rank & quality. Although worms my skin destroy yet in my flesh I shal see God - Amen. As for the disposall of my outward Estate which God of his Goodness hath given me - my will is that after my funerall charges & lawfull debts bee paid I bequeathe to my deare & loving wife who hath bin carefull of mee & industrious in her place for ye procurement of what outward Estate I have I bequeath unto her the Improvement of my whole Estate during her naturall life and all the moveable estate in my house which is mine to be at her disposall - as shee shall see cause: Item: I give to my eldest son willm Bassett all ye housing land meddowes marshes and movalbes within y bounds of Lyn township or Elsewhere to bee at his absolut disposall: further it is to bee under stood that my son willm Bassett is to pay out of such Estate all such Legasies as I shall give to ye rest of my children as followeth: Item: I give to my son John Bassett five pounds in mony: Item: I give to my son Elisha Bassett fivetie shillings in mony: Item: I give to my son Samuel Bassett fivetie shillings in mony: Item: I give to my daughter Elizebeth Bassett allias Richards forty shillings in mony: Item: I give to my daughter Sarah Elwell fortie shillings in mony: Ittem: I give to my daughter Merriam Sandy fortie shillings: Ittem: I give to my daughter Mary Ruck fortie shillings in mony: Ittem: I give to my daughter Rachel Silsbe fortie shillings in mony: Ittem: I give to my daughter Rebeckah Bassett fortie shillings in Mony: Ittem: I give to my Hannah Lille fortie shillings in mony -- and if any of ye above named Children Except my son Willm should then to be divided Equaly amongst them all. It is to be understood that these legasies are to be paid with-in a one yeare after my disease and my wives and my will is that neither str? nor waste be made But to the end foresaid. Ittom my will is that my son William Bassett bee sole Executtor to this my last will and testament. Heare unto I have sett to my hand and seale this tenth day of february in the yeare of our 1701. Sighned William Bassett with a seale--Wittnessed by Before sighning it is to be understood that my son William Bassett is to have my whole Estate as is above mentioned to him & his heirs for ever."  

Witnesses: Samuel Johnson, Lois Rogers, Ezekiel Rogers.

In the third generation, William Bassett (1647 – 1732), my 7th great grand uncle, married Sarah Hood (1657 – 1729).   They were early Quakers.  Sarah was accused of witchcraft in 1692 and sent to prison in Boston with her 22 month old child (possibly Ruth).  After her imprisonment she had another daughter she named Deliverance.  I descend from his sister, Hannah (born about 1670), who married John Lillie of Reading.

William and Hannah’s sister, Elizabeth Bassett (1650 – after 1703), married my 8th great grandfather, John Proctor (1631 – 1692) who was hanged as a witch on 19 August 1692.  Elizabeth was John Proctor’s third wife, and I descend from his first wife, Martha.  Elizabeth (Bassett) Proctor was also condemned to be hanged but was finally pardoned because she was pregnant.  Her child was born January 27, 1693.  This family was plagued with witchcraft accusations and imprisonments.  

After she was set free, Elizabeth and her children and step children were impoverished, her house had been looted while she was in prison with John, and she was considered legally dead because she had been condemned to hang and she couldn’t claim her husband’s property.

Some sources for information on the Bassett family:

The Great Migration:  Immigrants to New England 1634 - 1635, Volume I, pages 190 to 195.  

The Bassett Family Association   

The Essex Genealogist, Volume 18, pages 28 - 39. 

My BASSETT genealogy:

Generation 1:  Roger Bassett, married on 27 April 1623 at St. Martin’s church, Dorking, Surrey, England to Ann Holland. 

Generation 2:  William Bassett, baptized on 30 May 1624 in Dorking, died 31 March 1703 in Lynn, Massachusetts;  married about 1646 in Lynn to Sarah Unknown.  She was born between 1623 and 1627 in Dorking and died after 1700 in Lynn. Twelve children.

Generation 3:   Hannah Bassett, born about 1670 in Lynn; married to John Lillie.  He was born 5 December 1662 in Reading, and died in Woburn, Massachusetts.  Six children.

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

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

Thursday, May 28, 2015

June 2015 Genealogy and Local History Event Calendar

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

May 30, Saturday, 1pm Summer Walking Tours of the Black Heritage Trail in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.  Meet up at the Discover Portsmouth Center, 10 Middle Street, Portsmouth, New Hampshire from May to September.  There will be a fee involved.  Stay tuned or call for more information.

May 30 and 31, Blacksmith Weekend at the Fort at No. 4, Charlestown, New Hampshire. 

May 31, Sunday,  Home Sweet Home Event,  come celebrate some maverick Massachusetts families North of Boston, Massachusetts. Four locations at historic homes, presented by the Trustees of Reservations, and learn the stories of the Crane, Appleton, Dodge, Coolidge, and Emerson families. Click here for the details...

June 3, Wednesday, 7pm, Moved and Seconded: Town Meeting in New Hampshire, at the East Kingston Public Library, 47 Maplevale Road, East Kingston, New Hampshire.  Free to the public.  Humorist Rebecca Rule tells the stories of the rituals, traditions and history of town meeting, including the perennial characters, the literature, and the wisdom of this uniquely New England tradition.  Contact the library for more information:  603-642-8333. 

June 4, Friday, noon, Lunch and Learn:  The American Plate, at Plimoth Plantation, Plymouth, Massachusetts, Free to members, $8 non members, Bring or buy lunch and learn about the evolution of the American diet.   Click here to register

June 5 – 7, Trimmings: Adorning the Fashionable Figure in the 17th Century, at Plimoth Plantation, Plymouth, Massachusetts.  Discover the process and purpose of decorating and embellishing wardrobes in the 1600s.

June 6, Saturday, 10am, From the Roots Up: The Basics of Climbing Your Family Tree, at the Nevins Library, Garden Room, 305 Broadway, Methuen, Massachusetts, sponsored by the Merrimack Valley Chapter of the Massachusetts Society of Genealogists.  Presented by Lucie LeBlanc Consentino.  Free to the public.

June 6, Saturday, 11am – 1pm, Beacon Hill Walking Tour, meet at the Otis House, 141 Cambridge Street, Boston, Massachusetts, $10 Historic New England members, $15 non-members.  Tickets required, click here:

June 6 and 7,  French and Indian War Encampment at the Fort at No. 4, Charlestown, New Hampshire.   One of the biggest re-enactment weekends with battles at 1:30 both days, open hearth cooking, blacksmithing, textile productions, joinery, tours of the fort, and colonial vendors.

June 9, Tuesday, 7pm, Cows and Communities: How the Lowly Bovine has Nurtured New Hampshire, at the Merrimack Public Library, 470 Daniel Webster Highway, Merrimack, New Hampshire. Free to the public.  Call 603-424-5021 for more information.

June 9,  Tuesday, 7pm, Dick Eastman Returns, sponsored by the Worcester County Chapter of the Massachusetts Society of Genealogists.  Free to the public.  See the website for more details

June 10, Wednesday, 6pm, Boston Historical Societies, at the Massachusetts Historical Society.  A public program on the neighborhood organizations, with representatives of local organizations telling about the great projects they have started or recent accomplishments. Register by phone 617-646-0578 or email 

June 10, Wednesday, 1pm, That Reminds Me of a Story, at the Goodlife Programs and Activities Center, 254 N. State Road, Concord, New Hampshire. Join Rebecca Rule, who has made it her mission for the past 20 years to collect the stories of New Hampshire.  She’ll tell some stories, and invite the audience members to contribute a few of their own.  Free to the Public. 603-228-6630 for more information.

June 10, Saturday, 10am, From the Roots Up- The Basics of Climbing your Family Tree, at the Nevins Public Library, Route 28/ Broadway, Methuen, Massachusetts, sponsored by the Merrimack Valley Chapter of the Massachusetts Society of Genealogists, and presented by Lucie LeBlanc Consentino.  Free to the public.

June 11, Thursday, 6pm, Lowell Lecture: Joseph J. Ellis,  at the Boston Public Library, free to the public.  Pulitzer Prize winning author Joseph Ellis will discuss the years between the end of the American Revolution and the start of the Federal Era. A book sale and author signing will follow the lecture.

June 13, Saturday, 1:30pm, Dick Eastman, sponsored by the Middlesex Chapter of the Massachusetts Society of Genealogists.  Free to the public.  See the website for more details 

June 15 to June 21, Monday to Sunday,  Freedom Week: Celebrating African American Emancipation, at Sturbridge Village Museum, Sturbridge, Massachusetts. See more at this link:

June 15 – June 20, Monday – Saturday, Program in New England Studies, $1,500 Historic New England members, $1550 non-members, an intensive week-long learning experience with lectures and tours on history, architecture, preservation, decorative arts, workshops, and specialized tours of properties, museums and private homes.  Purchase tickets here: 

June 17, Wednesday, 6pm, Book Event:  Soldier, Engraver, Forger – Richard Brunton’s Life on the Fringe in America’s New Republic, at the New England Historic Genealogical Society, 99 – 101 Newbury Street, Boston, Massachusetts.  Free to the public.  Join author Deborah M. Child for the launch of NEHGS’s newest publication.  Book sales and signing to follow the program.  Click here to register:

June 17, Wednesday, 7pm, Genetic Genealogy, by the Martha’s Vineyard Chapter of the Massachusetts Society of Genealogists, at the Family History Center in Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts. Free to the public.  DNA analyst Clint Richmond will speak about genetic genealogy. 

June 17, Wednesday, 7pm, George Washington Spied Here:  Spies and Spying in the American Revolutionary War (1775 – 1783) at the Freedom Town Hall, 12 Elm Street, Freedom, New Hampshire.  A talk by Douglas Wheeler about Nathan Hale and the Culper Spy Ring of New York, Long Island and Connnecticut.  Free to the public.  Call 603-539-5799 for more information.

June 18, Thursday, 7pm, New England’s Colonial Meetinghouses and their Impact on American Society, at the Bow Bog Meeting House, 11 Bow Bog Road, Bow, New Hampshire.  Paul Wainwright will tell the story of the society that built ad used meetinghouses, and the lasting impact they have had on American Culture.  Free to the public.  Call 603 – 228-8149 for more information.

June 18, Thursday, 6:30 pm, A Well-Worn Path: Migration from Dobrzechow and Kozuchow to Massachusetts, 1898 - 1924, at the Chicopee Public Library, 449 Front Street, Chicopee, Massachusetts, sponsored by the Polish Genealogy Society of Massachusetts.  A presentation by Patricia Yocum.  Free to the public.

June 19, Friday 8:30 – 4pm  Celia Thaxter’s Garden Tour, a walking tour of Celia’s restored garden on beautiful Appledore Island.  Learn about the history of the Isles of Shoals and the famous garden described in the 1893 book An Island Garden. The boat departs and returns to New Castle, NH.  Tour includes lunch and expert guides.  $100 per person.  Phone 603-862-5346.  Click here for more information  Tour repeated on June 26, July 16, July 25, July 26, July 30, August 7 and August 9th

June 20, Saturday, 2pm, Baseball in Boston Before the Red Sox, at the Concord Museum, 53 Cambridge Turnpike, Concord, Massachusetts. Baseball historian and vintage base ball player Brian Sheehy, Captain of the Essex Base Ball Club will lecture on base ball in the 19th century.  $10. 

June 20 and 21, Saturday and Sunday, Stark’s Muster and Garrison at the Fort at No. 4, Charlestown, New Hampshire.  Check the website for schedule and details  During the American Revolution, Charlestown was an assembly point for 1,500 troops under General John Stark who will appear again and make his call for the men of New Hampshire to fight for freedom.  Drills, recruitment, dance instruction, inspection and marches. 

June 21, Sunday, 10am – 5pm, New Hampshire’s Birthday! At Strawbery Banke Museum, Portsmouth, New Hampshire.  Celebrate 400 years of American history.  New Hampshire residents receive FREE admission! ID required.

June 21, Sunday, 5:30pm  The Way They Were, at the Hamilton House, 40 Vaughan’s Lane, South Berwick, Maine, $8 Historic New England members, $15 nonmembers.  Go behind the scenes to learn about the daily routines of domestics, groundskeepers, and others who worked at the Hamilton House.  Purchase tickets here:

June 25, Thursday, 6:30pm, Vanished Veterans: New Hampshire’s Civil War Monuments and Memorials, at the Hooksett Library, 31 Mount Saint Mary’s Way, Hooksett, New Hampshire.  Historian George Morrison presents a diverse selection of New Hampshire’s Civil War monuments from the 1860s to the 21st century.  Free to the public.  Call 603-485-6092 for more information.

June 26, Friday, 6:30pm From Seed to Tree:  Growing Memories into Stories, at the New England Telephone Museum, 1 Depot Square, Warner, New Hampshire.  This is an active workshop where participants will experiment with a toolbox of storytelling techniques to make their family stories more vivid and engaging.  Free to the public.  Call 603-456-2234 for more information.

June 29, Monday, 5:30pm Family Search, a lecture by genealogist Lori Lyn Price, at the Amesbury Public Library Genealogy Club, 149 Main Street, Amesbury, Massachusetts.  Registration is required, call 978-388-8148.  Free to the public. 

Coming Soon!  Plan ahead

July 3 to 5, Independence Day Celebration at Sturbridge Village Museum, at Sturbridge, Massachusetts.  Old fashioned family fun, parade, a patriotic reading of the Declaration of Independence, crafts, drill with the militia, learn dances from the 18th century, and play 19th century “base ball”.  See this link for more information:

July 4, Saturday, 10am – 5pm, An American Celebration!  At Strawbery Banke Museum, Portsmouth, New Hampshire.  An old-fashioned 4th of July celebration with children’s bike and wagon parade at 2:30pm, a visit by Abraham Lincoln, traditional games and crafts, garden tours, live music by Bedford Big Band, living history exhibits, hands on activities, food and fun for all! Active military families FREE. 

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.

July 8-9, Hermione in Newport, Rhode Island, Lafayette’s replica ship will be in Newport. See the website

July 11, Saturday, 8:30pm,  July Evening Lantern Walk, at Colonial Pemaquid in Maine. Step into the past as you tour a 17th century village, meet some of the inhabitants and be challenged by an 18th century soldier on guard duty at Fort Frederick.  Rain date is Sunday, July 12.

July 11 and 12, Hermione in Boston, Lafayette’s replica ship will be in Boston. See the website

July 14, Tuesday, 4 – 5:30pm, DNA Testing and Revolutionary Ancestors,  at the Boston Public Library, Copley Square, 700 Boylston Street, Boston, Massachusetts, presented by Jennifer Zinck.  Free to the public.

July 14 – 15, Hermione in Castine, Maine, Lafayette’s replica ship will be in Castine. See the website

July 26, Sunday,  Massachusetts Genealogical Council Annual Meeting and Seminar, Mansfield, Massachusetts

August 1 and 2, Saturday and Sunday, Redcoats and Rebels, At Sturbridge Village Museum, Sturbridge, Massachusetts.  This is the largest military re-enactment in New England with nearly 1,000 soldiers playing British, Irish, Spanish, Scottish, French and Colonial troops. Events and activities including extended hours until 8pm are all listed at this link:

September 19, Saturday, 7:30 pm, Talking Baseball with Doris Kearns Goodwin and Ken Burns, sponsored by the Concord Museum,  at the Fenn School, Concord, Massachusetts. Join Doris Kearns Goodwin, curator for the Art of Baseball exhibit, and filmmaker Ken Burns for a lively conversation about their shared love of baseball moderated by Jeff Idelson, President of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.  Registration required.  priority seating for members opens on July 15th.

September 19 and 20, Return to No. 4: Revolutionary War Weekend at the Fort at No. 4, Charlestown, New Hampshire. One of the biggest re-enactments of the year at the Fort at No. 4, with battles both weekend days at 1:30pm.  Fortified village tours, sutlers row for shopping, and self tours of the camps where you can see drills, open hearth cooking and demonstrations of colonial camp life. See the website for more information and a schedule of events

September 26 and 27, Saturday and Sunday,  from 11am – 3pm both days, rain or shine, The 11th Annual Portsmouth Fairy House Tour, the world’s largest fairy house tour, held in Portsmouth, New Hampshire’s historic South End at the Governor John Langdon House, Strawbery Banke Museum, Prescott Park and Peirce Island.  More than 100 handcrafted fairy houses made by local artists, florists,  garden clubs, and businesses on display.  A great way to expose your children to historic homes and gardens.  Advanced tickets are highly recommended.  For more information and to purchase tickets click at this link:  

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

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Weathervane Wednesday ~ Above a former insane asylum

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

Today's weather vane is from somewhere in Massachusetts.

Do you know the location of weather vane #210?  Scroll down to see the answer...

Today’s weather vane photos were sent to me by reader and fellow genealogist Sharon Gillis.  She photographed the Medfield State Hospital and sent me the weathervane photo via Facebook.   Her photos of the entire hospital campus were wonderful, and I asked her for permission to use a few for this blog post.

According to Wikipedia this hospital was originally the Medfield Insane Asylum, established in 1892 as the first public facility in Massachusetts for mental patients.  The campus was developed between 1896 and 1914 and had 58 buildings and a capacity to care for 2,200 patients.  It was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1994, and closed in 2003.  The grounds were used for filming major motion pictures such as Shutter Island and The Box.   Several buildings have been demolished.

The town of Medfield has plans to re-develop the campus.   No plans have been made public yet.

Wikipedia “Medfield State Hospital”

Wicked Local Medfield “Medfield Owns State Hospital:  $3.1 Million land deal finalized” , posted 4 December 2014

Youtube video “A World Apart: A History of Medfield State Hospital”   (30 minutes) 

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

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday ~ Tombstones at the Derry History Museum

The following tombstones, fragments and rubbings from the 
Forest Hill Cemetery in Derry, New Hampshire were photographed at the
Derry History Museum
29 West Broadway
Derry, New Hampshire

The label reads:
Willow and Urn Fragment circa 1790
This gravestone fragment from an unknown burial
site at Forest Hill Cemetery is in the "Willow and
Urn" style that was common in the late 18th - early
19th century.  Its design is related to the re-discovery
of the classical writing, art and philosophy of the 
ancient Greek and Roman cultures. 

The label reads:
Elizabeth McKeen - circa 1752
The gravestone of Elizabeth McKeen (1725 - 1752)
is carved in the "Death Head" style - a common motif
in puritan New England.  Her broken stone has since
been replaced by a large family memorial stone. 

DIED  ??? YE 17TH

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

Monday, May 25, 2015

Honoring Your Veteran Family Members and Ancestors ~ For Memorial Day and All Year Long

Here is Vincent's grandfather, José García Rivero (1908 - 1994).  His father was a military man- a carabinero in Spain.  José was a military cadet and served first as a carabinero, then in the Spanish Civil War (1936 - 1939) and was a captain in the Guardia Civil under Franco's government in Spain.  His brother Joaquin was a Guardia Civil, too.

1950s in Madrid, Spain

1971 in Madrid, Spain

After José passed away, Vincent inherited his sword, spurs, uniform and hats.  We have tried several ways to display some of these items.  Finally we decided to have the uniform, medals and the dress hat preserved and professionally framed.  Here are some photos of how we discussed laying out the uniform with the specialist at the framing store.

And here is the final result.  We decided to do a frame for the uniform, and then a deep shadow box for the dress tri-cornered hat, with a photo from the 1950s.  It was expensive since it used all acid free materials, UV Plexiglas, and a lot of labor since the uniform and medals were stitched to the backing (no metal pins or plastic parts).  This framing display will preserve the uniform, and also proudly display it in a basement family room with no windows.

I think José would have enjoyed this!

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

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Surname Saturday ~ KENDALL

Middlesex County, Massachusetts
Library of Congress


The Kendall Family goes back for many generations in Cambridgeshire, England.  John Kendall (1580 – 1660) had ten children, and seven came to Massachusetts.   They all lived near each other, often in contiguous communities.   I descend from Mabel and Thomas.

These Kendall children all came to Masachusetts:
1) Mabel (about 1606 – 1690) married William Reed and lived in Woburn, Massachusetts
2) John (about 1608 – 1690) married Elizabeth and lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts
3) Thomas ( about 1616 – 1681) married Rebecca and lived in Reading, Massachusetts
4) Francis (1620 – 1706) married Mary Tidd and lived in Woburn, Massachusetts
5) Elizabeth (1623 – 1696/7) married Morris Somes and lived in Gloucester, Massachusetts
6) Bethiah (d. 1668.9) married Theophilus Phillips and lived in Watertown, Massachusetts
7) Mary married Thomas Whitney and lived in Watertown, Massachusetts

Mabel and her husband William Read, my 10th great grandparents, came to Massachusetts on the Defence with three children in 1635.  They settled in Woburn, where her brother Francis was living.  Eventually they had a total of nine children born in England, Dorchester, and Woburn.  William eventually returned to England and died at Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1656.  Mabel married second to Henry Summers on 21 November 1660 in Woburn.  I descend from her daughter, Abigail, born 1634 in Dorchester, who married Francis Wyman as his second wife.

Mabel’s brother Thomas Kendall is my 9th great grandfather.  He first settled in Charlestown with his brother Francis.  Later Thomas removed to Lynn and settled in the area that was later known as Reading.  This area became South Reading, and later Wakefield.  He was a Deacon of the church and selectman for many years.  He had ten daughters, and the Kendall name was not passed on in his line as a surname.  However, Sewell’s History of Woburn, pages 619 - 620 remembers him like this:

“Francis Kendall remembers likewise in his will the eight children of his brother Thomas (one of the first settlers of Reading, and a deacon of the church there) who were living, when he, said brother died.  It seems that this brother of Frnacis Kendall, of Woburn, Deacon Thomas Kendall of Reading, and Rebecca his wife, had ten daughters, but no son that lived.  But these daughters, in order to preserve their maiden name, Kendall, among their posterity, directed, eath of them, when married, that her first born son should have the given name Kendall, prefixed to his surname; as Kendall Peirson, Kendall Boutwell, Kendall Eaton, Kendall Briant, etc., etc, etc., which gave occasion to the following lines respecing these daughters in a Poem written by Lillie Eaton, Esq., of South Reading, and published with Flint's Historical Address upon the 200th anniversary of the founding of Reading.  In mentioning the vernerable matron, their mother, he observes:
"She had ten daughters; and each one
When married, christened her first son
Kendall; and thus we many infer
Why 'tis these names so oft occur"
                     -- Flint's Address, p. 64"

Thomas Kendall and his wife, Rebecca, were originally buried the old cemetery in Reading and then his grave was removed to the Wakefield Old Burial Ground.  His tombstone is described in Graven Images: New England Stonecarving and its Sybols, 1650 – 1815, by Allen Ludwig, Wesleyan University Press, 1999, page 84.  His gravestone has no dates, and the epitaph is:

Fugit Hora                               [Time Flies]   
Memento Te Esse Mortalem    [Remember that you are mortal]
Upon ye death of Thomas Kendel
Her in ye Earth is layd on of ye 7 of this Church Foundation
So to remaien tel ye powerful voice say ris, in her I a Gloris
A Patarn of piati & Love & for peace
But now alas how short his race
Here we mourn & mourn we moust
To se zion sons like gold now laid
In dust

Rebecca’s epitaph reads:

Here lyeth the mother of ten
Who had 175 grand and great-grandchildren

Some Kimball Sources:

A Mills and Kendall Family History: American Ancestry and Descendants of Herbert Lee Mills and Bessie Delano Kendall, by Helen Schatvet Ullman, Boston: Newbury St. Press, 2002

The Kendall Family in America, by William Montgomery Clemens, reprinted by Higginson Book Company, 1919. Online at 

New England Kendalls website

Notable descendant:  President Calvin Coolidge

The Deacon Thomas Kendall House survives at 1 Prospect Street in Wakefield, Massachusetts.  It is a federal style house, but the central chimney and inner rooms date back to Deacon Kendall, who lived there until 1681.  The house is on the National Register of Historic Places, but is privately owned.   See a photo at this Wikipedia article 

My KENDALL genealogy:

Generation 1:  John Kendall of Cambridgeshire, England

Lineage A:

Generation 2:  Mabel Kendall, born 1606 in England, died 5 June 1690 in Woburn, Massachusetts; married about 1625 in Brocket Hall, Hertfordshire, England to William Reed, son of Thomas Reed and Mary Cornwall.  He was baptized on 18 April 1601 in Brocket Hall, and died 9 April 1656 in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England.  Nine children.

Generation 3: Abigail Reed married Francis Wyman
Generation 4:  Nathaniel Wyman married Mary Winn
Generation 5:  Increase Wyman married Deborah Pierce
Generation 6:  Increase Wyman married Catherine Unknown
Generation 7: Jemima Wyman married Joshua Burnham
Generation 8: Jemima Burnham married Romanus Emerson
Generation 9:  George Emerson married Mary Esther Younger
Generation 10: Mary Katharine Emerson married George E. Batchelder
Generation 11: Carrie Maud Batchelder married Joseph Elmer Allen
Generation 12: Stanley Elmer Allen married Gertrude Matilda Hitchings (my grandparents)

Lineage B:

Generation 2: Thomas Kendall, born about 1616 in England, died 22 July 1681 in Reading, Massachusetts; married Rebecca about 1640 in Charlestown, Massachusetts.  Twelve children.

Generation 3: Rebecca Kendall, born 10 February 1644 in Reading, died 30 August 1713 in Reading; married 15 June 1665 in Reading to James Boutwell, son of James Boutwell and Alice Unknown.  He was born about 1642 and died 5 December 1716 in Reading.

Generation 4:  Sarah Boutwell married John Townsend
Generation 5:  Sarah Townsend married Brown Emerson
Generation 6:  John Emerson married Katherine Eaton
Generation 7: Romanus Emerson married Jemima Burnham (see above)

The URL for this post is 

Copyright © 2015, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Before and After

before restoration

after restoration, hanging in our house in New Hampshire
We call her "Madonna of the Half Moon"!
We have no date for this painting, and the artist is unknown

detail of the Madonna's face

My husband and I brought many pieces of art, books, family photographs, and other small objects from his family home in Puerto Rico to our new house in New Hampshire.  The tropical rain forest weather there was damp and hot.  The house was located in San Juan, with open windows to the weather and dirty city air.  It was only a block from the beach, so the salt air ruined appliances, plumbing and many other objects in the home.  The heat, humidity and time (over 30 years) had damaged some of the art, and spoiled many of the family photographs.

These professional movers packed up and flew the household objects
 from Puerto Rico to New Hampshire.
You can see the Madonna painting behind the movers head in this photograph.
It was so dirty we could barely see the image! 

This was one painting that we decided we should have restored.  One of my friends from the Londonderry Historical Society had been a conservator at Sturbridge Village, and he recommended that I find a fine art conservation lab through the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC).

My father-in-law was orphaned as a little boy, so he was raised and educated by the Jesuit Fathers in Cuba and South America. Later, he used to travel around South America and Europe and collected art.  This painting is one he bought in Peru about 25 years ago and brought back to Puerto Rico.

Through the AIC directory we found Mary Lou White, of the Fine Arts Conservation Lab in Raymond, New Hampshire.  She took on the project of cleaning up this painting.  My mother-in-law and husband remembered what it looked like, but I had never seen the image.  The heat and humidity of San Juan, Puerto Rico had darkened many layers of natural resin varnish on this painting, which Mary Lou estimates to be from the 1800s.  She cleaned off the many layers of varnish and applied a modern, synthetic varnish which will not darken over time.

Doesn't the Madonna look great!  The texture of the fabric on her dress is amazing.   If you have a work of art you need restored, I highly recommend you find a restoration expert through the AIC.  There is probably one near you.

The American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works: 

Mary Lou White, Fine Arts Conservation Lab in Raymond, New Hampshire 603-895-9351

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

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Weathervane Wednesday ~ Above the fire station

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! If you know an interesting or historical weathervane, please let me know.

Today's weather vane is from New Hampshire.

Do you know the location of weather vane #209?  Scroll down to see the answer!

Today's weather vane was photographed above the Bedford, New Hampshire fire station on Route 101, and it's physical address is actually 55 Constitution Drive (the road behind the fire station, not visible from Route 101).  This one is hard to see since it is a busy intersection and if you are driving you have to pay attention to the traffic.  It is also hard for passengers to see since it is a very small two dimensional fire engine see against dark pine trees.  I rarely see weather vanes of modern fire engines, so this was a fun one for me to find.  I think I've driven by dozens of times and never noticed it!

Bedford, New Hampshire Fire Department

Click here to see the entire Weathervane Wednesday collection! 

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

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday ~ STEEL, buried at Derry, New Hampshire (then Londonderry)

These tombstones were photographed at the Forest Hill Cemetery in Derry, New Hampshire.



These two gravestones are typical of the early Scots Irish in Nutfield.  One is plain with no adornment, and the child's tombstone has a simple geometric design.  The lettering on both is crude and unplanned for the space.  

The Thomas Steel buried and photographed above is the son of Charter Thomas Steel.    He arrived with his wife Martha Morrison with the original group of Ulster Scots from Aghadowey, Northern Ireland in 1718 and went to Maine where they suffered great deprivations.  A group of them came first to Methuen and then to Nutfield (later called Londonderry) in 1719.  This burial ground is now in the town of Derry, because of the schism in the early 19th century. 

I'm not sure about little Naomi Steel, buried next to Thomas.  Who are her parents? 

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

Monday, May 18, 2015

Cochecho Massacre, 27 June 1689, Dover, New Hampshire

The Damm Garrison House in Dover, New Hampshire
is located inside this pavilion at the Woodman Institute

This map is located inside the Damm Garrison at the Woodman Institute in Dover, New Hampshire
It explains the events of Cochecho Massacre, and maps out the locations of the garrisons

The first recorded captives carried to Quebec, Canada to be sold to settlers and native Indians occurred at the Raid on Dover, also known as the Cochecho Massacre, in Dover, New Hampshire on 27 June 1689.  This makes this raid very interesting to genealogists, since some of the women and children who were taken north converted to the Catholic religion.  These same English people later married French spouses and left descendants in Canada.  Some of the captives were redeemed and came home, and some of the redeemed refused to return because they preferred life in Canada!

At the beginning of King William’s War (1688- 1697) there were many raids on New England settlements by the French, and the English raided French villages in Penobscot Bay and Chedabouctou (Guysborough, Nova Scotia).   In June 1689 several hundred Abenaki and Pennacook Indians raided Dover and killed more than 20 and took 29 captives.  This was one quarter of the Dover population. The raid was quite a blow to the English settlements in New Hampshire.

The Dover Raid was revenge on Major Richard Waldron who had  tricked and captured many Abenaki and Wampanoag in 1676 during King Phillip’s War.  These Indians he captured were taken to Boston where some were executed and some were sold into slavery in the Caribbean.  Twelve years later the Abenaki retaliated with the help of the French in Canada.

Waldron's garrison was attacked with a vengeance.  The Major was singled out for a particularly horrendous torture and execution.  His nose and ears were removed and stuffed in his throat.  Each Indian slashed his chest, and he was forced to fall on his own sword.  Waldron had been well known as a cheat at trade with the Indians and he had been a particularly cruel leader to the English settlers (especially to Quakers).  You can read more about Waldron at this blog post:

There were five garrison houses in town at Dover, and others in outlying areas.  Five Indian women came into town and asked to shelter at the garrisons, one at each.  In the middle of the night, each woman opened the gates of the garrison to the attackers.  The rest was history…

According to the book New England Captives Carried to Canada, pages 142 -  these are some of  the identified captives, all traced to French records in Quebec:

John Church (sometimes misspelled Chase)
John Evans
Sarah Gerrish,  7 year old granddaughter of Major Waldron,
Mrs. Elizabeth Hanson, wife of Tobias
----- Heard “a young woman of Cochecho”
Esther Lee, daughter of Richard Waldron, along with her child
Grizel Otis, wife of Richard, daughter of James Warren
Margaret Otis, rebaptized Christine in Quebec
Rose Otis
John Otis
Stephen (rebaptized Joseph Marie)
Nathaniel (rebaptized Paul), son of Stephen Otis and Mary Pitman
Joseph Buss
William Buss

Here is a list of some members of my family tree who were victims of the Cochecho Massacre:

I'm forced to admit that I'm closely related to Major Richard Waldron (1615 – 1689).  He was married to my 9th great aunt, Ann Scammon.  I descend from Ann’s sister, Elizabeth (about 1625 – abut 1680) who married Thomas Atkins.   Major Waldron, as I described above, was killed, along with most of his family, and his garrison was burned to the ground, along with his grist mills and trading post.

I'm proud to tell you about Elizabeth Hull Heard (about 1628 – 1706),  my 8th great grandmother.  According to stories in Cotton Mather’s Magnalia Christi Americana and Belknap’s History of New Hampshire and other books, she was a witness to Waldron’s deceit in 1676, and sheltered a young native Abenaki boy from death.   On the night of the Cochecho Massacre she was hiding In the woods when an Indian pointed his weapon at her, but suddenly spared her life and ran away.  The Heard garrison house was one of the few homes that were successfully defended that night by William Wentworth because Elizabeth's husband had died a few months before the attack.  It is suggested that the Indian who spared her life was the young Abenaki boy in 1675.   Elizabeth's children survived, too, including her daughter Mary (1650 - 1706), my 7th great grandmother, and her husband John Ham and children. 

[You can see that I am related to both the villain and the heroine of this massacre]

For more information:

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

From the Dover, New Hampshire Public Library website

An online article from Portsmouth, New Hampshire historian J. Dennis Robinson

Magnalia Christi Americana, or "The Ecclesiastical History of New-England, from its First Planting in the year 1620 Unto the Year of Our Lord, 1698", Cotton Mather, in seven books (reprint), New Haven, CT,1820

The Hull Family in America, Compiled by Col. Weggant, Hull Family Association 

"A Genealogical Memoir of the Family of Richard Otis" -- 1851 -- by Horatio N. Otis. NEHGR for July 1848 & April 1850 has the Genealogy of the Otis Family Descending from John Otis, who immigrated to New England & settled in Hingham, Mass. about 1635.

Click here for blog post about the DAMM family garrison, which survived the Cochecho massacre in 1689.  The DAMM garrison was built in 1675, and is the oldest surviving garrison house still standing in New Hampshire. 

UPDATE -  3 June 2015
Roger W. Lawrence has written a new book "English Captives and Prisoners Remaining in New France" (for those with ancestors who were carried to Canada from New England in the colonial period). You can pre-order this book from the American Canadian Genealogical Society at this link 


To cite/link to this blog post: Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Cochecho Massacre, 27 June 1689, Dover, New Hampshire", Nutfield Genealogy, posted May 18, 2015, ( accessed [access date]).