Saturday, October 31, 2015

Surname Saturday ~ Parkhurst of Boston and Watertown, Massachusetts

Parkhurst / Parkis / Parkes / Parkisse / P’rust

Not all immigrants to the New World stayed here. Many went back and forth.  My ancestor Isaac Allerton  (1586 – 1659)made as many as five voyages back and forth to England.  Another ancestor, Rev. Thomas Mayhew (1621 – 1657), died on a trip back to England when his ship disappeared and he was never seen again. Another ancestor, Rev. Stephen Bachiler, went back to England to escape an unfaithful wife, and died there in 1656. The subject of this post, George Parkhurst (1588 – 1675), my 10th great grandfather, also returned to England after living here in New England for more than 10 years.

No one knows exactly when George Parkhurst arrived in Massachusetts.  We don’t even know if his first wife, Pheobe, immigrated to Massachusetts.   His first record of owning property was 1642 in Watertown, when a highway was laid out near his house. In 1644 he married a second wife, Susanna, widow of John Stimson of Watertown.   

George had nine children with his first wife, Pheobe, and five more with his second wife.  Of his children,  Deborah, my 10th great grandmother, married John Smith of Watertown and went to Martha’s Vineyard,  and Elizabeth, my 9th great grandmother, married Emanuel Hilliard and lived in New Hampshire and then married second to Joseph Merry and went to Martha’s Vineyard, too.   The names of all the children were puzzled out by William H. Whitmore in an article in the NEHGS Register, Volume 27, pages 364-369 “The Dalton and Batcheller Pedigree”. 

On 23 May 1655 George petitioned the General Court for permission to return to England.  His second wife, Susanna had already gone back to England with six of her children (five from George).  George wanted to go back to aid his elderly wife.  He was about 67 years old.  A few weeks later, a deed was recorded on 13 June 1655 when he sold his land, his last record in New England.

It is thought that the “Old George Parkhurst” buried 18 June 1675 in Ipswich, England is my 10th great grandfather.  He was probably living with his cousin Nathaniel Parkhurst, who was taxed there in 1674.

Some resources for George Parkhurst information:

Fifty Great Migration Colonists to New England & Their Origins, by John Brooks Threlfall, 1990, pages 256-288.

The New England Ancestry of Alice Everett Johnson, 1899 – 1986, by Willard Marshall Bollenback, Jr. , 2003, pages 275-276.

"The Family of George Parkhurst of Watertown and Boston, Mass.", by Edson Salisbury Jones, NEHGS Register, Volume 68, page 370 - 375.

Also,  The History of Martha’s Vineyard by Dr. Charles E. Banks, Volume II, pages 111 – 113.  You can also use the Genealogical Dictionary of Maine and New Hampshire, and The Ancestry of Margaret Brooks Threfall, by John Threlfall, 1985.

My PARKHURST lineages:

Generation 1:  George Parkhurst, born about 1588 in Ipswich, Suffolk, England and died about 1675 in Ipswich, England;  married first about 1612 in England to Pheobe Leete; married second about 1644 in Watertown, Massachusetts to Susanna, widow of John Stimson.  Eleven children with Phoebe, five more with Susanna.  I descend from two daughters of Phoebe, Deborah and Elizabeth.

Lineage A:

Generation 2:  Deborah, born 1 August 1619 in Ipswich, England, died about 1686 on the island of Martha’s Vineyard; married about 1638 in Watertown to John Smith.  He was born about 1616 and died before 16 June 1674 in Edgartown, Massachusetts on the island of Martha’s Vineyard.  Five children.

Generation 3:  Deborah Smith m. Nathaniel Batchelder

Linage A1:

Generation 4: Nathaniel Batchelder m. Elizabeth Foss
Generation 5: Josiah Batchelder m. Sarah Page
Generation 6: David Batchelder m. Elizabeth Swett
Generation 7: Elisha Batchelder m. Sarah Lane
Generation 8: Jonathan Batchelder m. Nancy Thompson
Generation 9: George E. Batchelder m. Abigail M. Locke
Generation 10: George E. Batchelder m. Mary Katharine Emerson
Generation 11: Carrie Maude Batchelder m. Joseph Elmer Allen
Generation 12: Stanley Elmer Allen m. Gertrude Matilda Hitchings (my grandparents)

Lineage A2:

Generation 4: Abigail Batchelder m. John Dearborn
Generation 5: Elizabeth Dearborn m. John Garland
Generation 6: Elizabeth Garland m. Richard Locke
Generation 7: Simon Locke m. Abigail Mace
Generation 8: Richard Locke m. Margaret Welch
Generation 9: Abigail M. Locke m. George E. Batchelder (see above)

Lineage B:

Generation 2: Elizabeth, born 18 May 1628 in Ipswich, England, died 6 October 1727 in Edgartown on the island of Martha’s Vineyard; married first to Emanuel Hilliard on 10 April 1640 in Watertown and had four children;  married second on 14 December 1659 in Hampton, New Hampshire to Joseph Merry. Four children.

Generation 3: Elizabeth Hilliard m. John Mayhew (son of Rev. Thomas Mayhew mentioned above)
Generation 4: John Mayhew m. Mehitable Higgins
Generation 5: John Mayhew m. Ruth Davis
Generation 6: Mary Mayhew m. Caleb Rand
Generation 7: Mary Rand m. Asahel Bill
Generation 8: Reverend Ingraham Ebenezer Bill m. Caleb Rand Bill
Generation 9: Isabella Lyons Bill m. Albert Munroe Wilkinson
Generation 10: Donald Munroe Wilkinson m. Bertha Louise Roberts (my grandparents)


Published under a Creative Commons License
Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Surname Saturday ~ Parkhurst of Boston and Watertown, Massachusetts", Nutfield Genealogy, posted October 31, 2015 ( : accessed [access date]).

Friday, October 30, 2015

November 2015 Genealogy and Local History Calendar (Including Historical Thanksgiving Feast Information)

October 31, Saturday, 9am, NEHGS Irish Genealogy Study Group, at the New England Historic Genealogical Society, 99 – 101 Newbury Street, Boston, Massachusetts.  The Irish Study group meets on the last Saturday of the month to discuss research problems and share solutions.

October 31, 2015, 10am - 3pm, New Hampshire Society of Genealogists, annual meeting, at the Holiday Inn, Concord, New Hampshire, with guest speaker Nancy Charest to present twice, first on Civil War Papers and then after lunch on advanced online research techniques.  A continental breakfast will be available in the morning and a lunch buffet.  $15 members, $20 non-members.  You must register in advance by emailing Hal Inglis at or call (603) 664-9080.  Seating is limited so please register early. 

November 1, Sunday, 6:30 pm, Cradle to Grave: Lamplight Tour of the Coffin House and First Parish Burying Ground, at the Coffin House, 14 High Road, Newbury, Massachusetts.  Tour the 1678 Coffin House, and then the burial ground.  Hear tales of murder, heroism, and heartbreak.  $15 Historic New England members, $30 non-members. For more information 978-462-2634.

November 3, Tuesday, 7pm, Brick Walls?  Try This, at the Chelmsford Public Library's McCarthy Meeting Room, Chelmsford, Massachusetts, presented by Peg Plummer and sponsored by the Chelmsford Genealogy Club.  Free to the public. 

November 3, Tuesday, 7pm, Poor Houses and Town Farms:  The Hard Row for Paupers, at the Wilton Public & Gregg Free Library, 7 Forest Road, Wilton, New Hampshire. A presentation by Steve Taylor.  Free to the public.  Contact Mary Ann Moran at 603-654-7415 for more information.

November 4, 11, and 18, 6 -9pm, Picture It: Publish a Family Keepsake, at the New England Historic Genealogical Society, 99 – 101 Newbury Street, Boston, Massachusetts, Cost $125, A three week workshop to walk you through the steps of creating an 8” x 11” annotated photo book.  The experts at NEHGS will guid you as you define the scope of your project, scan and organize photos, layout your story and images, and print a one-of-a-kind publication.  Students are encouraged to bring a laptop.  Questions 617-226-1226. Register today at

November 4, Wednesday, Stirring Up the Past:  Puritan Beliefs About Food, at the New England Historic Genealogical Society, 99 – 101 Newbury Street, Boston, Massachusetts.  FREE. Presented by Judy Lucey and Dr. Lori Stokes. This event is co-sponsored by the Partnership of Historic Bostons and NEHGS as part of the 2015 Charter Day celebrations. Register here:  

November 4, Wednesday, 11am, Mary Todd Lincoln: Wife and Widow, at the Marion Gerrish Community Center, 39 West Broadway, Derry, New Hampshire, presented by living historian Sally Mummey. Contact Andrea Lee for more information 603-434-4073. Free to the public.

November 4, Wednesday, 7pm, Researching the History of Your House, at the Watertown Public Library's Watertown Savings Bank Room, 123 Main Street, Watertown, Massachusetts, Free to the public, presented by House Historian Marian Pierre-Louise of Fieldstone Historic Research. 

November 5, Thursday, 5:30pm, Film Screening of “America’s Forgotten Heroine: Ida Lewis, Keeper of the Light”, at the Newport Historical Society, 127 Thames Street, Newport, Rhode Island, $5,  This historical documentary focuses on the life of the country’s most famous lighthouse keeper and unlikely heroine. Please RSVP as seating is limited. 

November 6, Friday, noon - 1pm, Mapping Your Ancestors, part of the First Friday Lecture Series at the New England Historic Genealogical Society, 99 - 101 Newbury Street, Boston, Massachusetts.  Presented by Evan Thornberry, Cartographic Reference Librarian of the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library.  Free and open to the public.  Register here:  

November 6, Friday, 7pm Our National Thanksgiving: With Thanks to President Lincoln and Mrs. Hale, at the Claremont Opera House, 58 Opera House Square, Claremont, New Hampshire, Call 603-542-4433 for more information.  Steve and Sharon Wood present a living history program about Sarah Josepha Hale’s 30 year effort to have Thanksgiving declared a national holiday and the proclamation by Lincoln that made her dream a reality.  Free to the public.

November 6 and 7, Tide Mills Institute 11th Annual Conference: “Tide Mill Archaeology and Heritage” to be held in the Cummings Center, Beverly, Massachusetts (site of a 17th century tide mill). For more information see the website

November 7, Saturday, , 8:30 am - 4:30 pm. Massachusetts Society of Genealogists, Inc. Annual Meeting & Program, at Marlborough Country Club, 200 Concord Rd., Marlborough, MA. Join us for our 40th anniversary, with great speakers, Barbara Mathews, Drew Bartley, Thomas MacEntee (via webinar), exhibitors, door prizes, networking. Our raffle prize is three DNA test kits. Registration opens Tuesday, September 8.

November 7, Saturday, 1pm, Discover Mount Auburn – Walking Tour, at the Mount Auburn Cemetery, 580 Mount Auburn Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts. $5 members, $10 nonmembers.  This tour will focus on stories of history, monuments and the lives of those buried here.

November 8, Sunday, 1:30 - 3:30pm, Road to Independence Live Wax Museum, at the Portsmouth Public Library, Portsmouth, New Hampshire.  Free to the public.  Local children, dressed in period costume, will act as historical figures in a live exhibit.  Presented by the National Society of the Children of the American Revolution. 

November 8, Sunday, 2 pm, Welcome to the Graveyard ~ Focus on Ashland Cemeteries, at the Ashland Historical Society, 2 Myrtle Street, Ashland,  Massachusetts, hosted by The Gravestone Girls, and sponsored by the Ashland Cultural Council. Free to the public.

November 9, Monday, 6 - 7:30pm, The Value of Open Public Records, at the Commonwealth Room of the Boston Public Library, Copley Square, Boston, Massachusetts, sponsored by the Massachusetts Genealogical Council and the Boston Public Library.  This is a panel of experts (Robert Ambrogi, Melinde Lutz Byrne, and Leah McGrath Goodman) who will discuss how open public records benefit our society.  Free to the public. 

November 9, Monday, 7pm 12,000 Years ago in the Granite State, at the Nashua Public Library, 2 Court Street, Nashua, New Hampshire, sponsored by the NH Humanities Council, Free to the public, Presented by Robert Goodby, this talk is about how the depth of Native history was revealed when tan archaeological dig in Keene discovered traces of four structures dating to the end of the Ice Age. 

November 10, Tuesday, 4 – 5:30pm, Our Ancestors in the Revolution: Telling the Story to Family Members,  at the Boston Public Library, Copley Square, 700 Boylston Street, Boston, Massachusetts, presented by Barbara Matthews.  Free to the public.

November 10, Tuesday, 7pm, Paddy on the Net:  Irish Genealogy Databases with Michael Brophy, at the Andover, Massachusetts Memorial Hall Library.  Contact 978-623-8401 x 31 for more information.  Sponsored by the Friends of MHL. 

November 10, Tuesday, 6pm, (light refreshments at 5:30) Jordan Marsh – Boston’s First Department Store, at the Old South Meetinghouse, 310 Washington Street, Boston, Massachusetts, $12 general admission, $10 for members of Old South Meeting House, VSA/NE, or the Boston Preservation Alliance.  A raffle is included with price of admission.  Co-sponsored by the Victorian Society of America, New England Chapter and the Boston Preservation Alliance.  This will be a “sneak peek” at author Anthony Mitchell Sanmarco’s upcoming book on Jordan Marsh.  Also, a special opportunity to see memorabilia from Sanmarco’s extensive archive documenting Jordan Marsh’s colorful history.

November 11, Wednesday, Veteran’s Day at Old Sturbridge Village, 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road, Sturbridge, Massachusetts, Special activities celebrating the nation’s military history. Free to all active and retired veterans and their families, see the webpage for more information:

November 12, Thursday, 7pm, Colonial Midwifery, at the Hamilton-Wenham Public Library, 14 Union Street, South Hamilton, Massachusetts.  Presented by Dr. Abby Chandler, she will discuss the role of the midwife as medical assistant, and also as a legal representative in Puritan society which closely scrutinized births for impropriety.  She will present her extensive research on the training, professional and personal lives of many Essex County midwives, including Wenham residents, Elizabeth and Mary Kimball.  Free to the public. 

November 12, Thursday, 8:30 am to 5pm, Reimagining the Cemetery as Museum, at the Mount Auburn Cemetery, 580 Mount Auburn Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Free, registration closes on October 23rd. This program is designe for professionals and students working with or for historic cemeteries and landscapes

November 14, Saturday, 9am - 12:30pm, Taking Your Family History Hobby to the Next Level, at the New England Historic Genealogical Society, 99 - 1010 Newbury Street, Boston, Massachusetts. Presented jointly with staff from NEHGS and the New England Association for Professional Genealogists (NEAPG). Learn how to hone your genealogical skills, write for a journal, and even begin your own study project. $25, Free to NEAPG members. Register online 

November 14, Saturday, 2pm, How to Discover Your Family and Community History, part of the “Exploring the World War One Home Front” series at the National Heritage Museum in Lexington, Massachusetts.  This workshop will support you in exploration of family stories from the World War 1 era, and help you find the documents and resources to uncover your family narrative.  Free to the public, registration required by November 5th, contact

November 14, Saturday, 11am, Second Saturday @ Museum, at the New Hampshire Aviation Historical Society, 27 Navigator Road, Londonderry, New Hampshire, A video presentation of Robert Fornam’s experiences in WWII to be shown for the first time. Bob, a B-17 copilot, was shot down on his second mission, captured and spent 19 months in a German prison camp.  Included with regular admission.

November 14, Saturday, 4pm, Musical Concert at the Newent Congregational Church, 12 South Burnham Highway, Lisbon, Connecticut, featuring the vocal group Nrembega Harmony led by Professor of Religion at Wellesley College Stephen Marini.  He will also speak about the history of early hymnody in Connecticut.  The music will feature music by Daniel Read and other Connecticut composers of the late 1700s.  It will be the "world premiere of several unpublished tunes from Daniel Read.  $10 per ticket, please call and reserve tickets by calling Rev. Carboni at 860-639-9444. There will be a dinner in the Parish Hall following the concert $10 per person, please make a dinner reservation in advance with Rev. Carboni.  

November 15 -20, Sunday – Friday, Uncovering Your Family History- A Genealogical Immersion, at the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, Stockbridge, Massachusetts.  Join in at a genealogical retreat with Joshua Taylor.  See this webpage for details:

November 15, Sunday, 2 - 4pm, Genealogy Workshop: The Unofficial Family Archivist, at the Portsmouth Public Library, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, this is a monthly meeting on a variety of genealogical and family history topics.  Today's topic will be "A Guide for Creating and Maintaining Family Papers, Photographs, and Memorabilia" presented by Melissa Mannon.  

November 15, Sunday, 2pm Our National Thanksgiving: With Thanks to President Lincoln and Mrs. Hale, at the St. James Masonic Lodge, 77 Tide Mill Road, Hampton, New Hampshire, Call 603-929-0781 for more information.  Steve and Sharon Wood present a living history program about Sarah Josepha Hale’s 30 year effort to have Thanksgiving declared a national holiday and the proclamation by Lincoln that made her dream a reality.  Free to the public.

November 17, Tuesday, 7pm – 8:30pm,  Genealogy, at the Peter Rice Homestead, 377 Elm Street, Marlborough, Massachusetts, presented by the Marlborough Historical Society.

November 18, Wednesday, 1pm, The Great Salem Fire of 1914: Stories within the Story, sponsored by the Peabody Historical Society, at the Smith Barn, Felton Street, Peabody, Massachusetts.  $5 non members, free for members.

November 18, Wednesday, 7pm 12,000 Years ago in the Granite State, at the at the Milford Town Hall, 3rd Floor, 1 Union Square, New Hampshire, sponsored by the NH Humanities Council, Free to the public, Presented by Robert Goodby, this talk is about how the depth of Native history was revealed when tan archaeological dig in Keene discovered traces of four structures dating to the end of the Ice Age. 

November 19, Thursday, 7pm, Family Stories: How and Why to Remember and Tell Them, at the First Presbyterian Church, 73 Main Street, Antrim, New Hampshire. Free to the public, contact Stephen Ullman 603-588-2005.  Presented by storyteller Jo Radner, who will share some foolproof ways to mine memories and interview relatives for meaningful stories and oral history.

November 20, Friday, 1pm, Terra Firma: From Bunker Hill to Yorktown, at the Massachusetts Historical Society, 1154 Boylston Street, Boston, Massachusetts, a lecture by Ronald Grim, curator of maps at the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library.  Free to the public.

November 23, Monday, 6pm, Lucy Stone, at the Massachusetts Historical Society, 1154 Boylston Street, Boston, Massachusetts, A talk by Sally McMillen, a history professor from Davidson College about this famous American woman suffragist, to go along with her book, “Lucy Stone: An Unapologetic Life”.  $10 fee. To register call 617-646-0578 or visit  There is a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm.

November 24, Tuesday, 1:30pm, Intro to Genealogy, at the Haverhill, Massachusetts Public Library.  Learn to use the special collections room, which has a wealth of genealogy and local history resources.  Advance registration required, call 978-373-1586. 

November 26, Thursday,  HAPPY THANKSGIVING:
It’s not too early to plan for a Thanksgiving dinner in New England.

This is the link for Thanksgiving feasts at Plimoth Plantation in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Reservations REQUIRED.  Choose between the two a buffet feast or the classic “America’s Thankgiving Dinner” (many are already sold out!) visit this link below:   or call 1-800-262-9356  ext. 8353, 8364, 8365


This is the link for the two different Thanksgiving feasts at Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge, Massachusetts. Again, reservations are required for a Traditional Thanksgiving feast at the Bullard Tavern (call 508-347-0285), or a buffet at the Oliver Wight Tavern (11am to 6pm call 508-347-0285).

Salem Cross Inn, Route 9, 260 West Main Street, West Brookfield, Massachusetts holds a traditional thanksgiving dinner, with hearth cooking.  Call 508-867-2345 for reservations. $10 non-refundable deposit per person to hold your spot.

Other famous landmark restaurants that serve Thanksgiving Dinner (all prix-fixe, reservations required):

Legal Seafood, most locations open for Thanksgiving, choice of roast turkey or stuffed lobster and other delicious offerings.

Top of the Hub, 52nd floor of the Prudential Tower in Boston, 4 course Thanksgiving menu, call 617-536-1775

Omni Parker House Hotel, 60 School Street, Boston, Thanksgiving buffet, with seatings at 12 noon and 2:30pm call 617-725-1660

Concord’s Colonial Inn, Concord, Massachusetts, call 978-369-9200

Longfellow’s Wayside Inn, 72 Wayside Inn Road, Sudbury, Massachusetts 978-443-1776


November 28, Saturday, 9am, NEHGS Irish Genealogy Study Group, at the New England Historic Genealogical Society, 99 – 101 Newbury Street, Boston, Massachusetts.  The Irish Study group meets on the last Saturday of the month to discuss research problems and share solutions.

December 1, Tuesday, 7pm, Finding Cousins Using DNA, at the Chelmsford Public Library's McCarthy Meeting Room, Chelmsford, Massachusetts, presented by Pam Holland and sponsored by the Chelmsford Genealogy Club.  Free to the public. 

December 2, Wednesday, 7pm, Family History Research Workshop, at the Watertown Public Library, 123 Main Street, Watertown, Massachusetts. Free to the public, but please register- space is limited to 8 people. Call (617) 972-6436. Presented by local genealogical researcher Liz Kolster. 

December 2, Wednesday, 6:30pm, Family Stories: How and Why to Remember and Tell Them, at the Plaistow Public Library, 85 Main Stree, Plaistow, New Hampshire. Free to the public, contact Brianna Sullivan 603-382-6011.  Presented by storyteller Jo Radner, who will share some foolproof ways to mine memories and interview relatives for meaningful stories and oral history.

December 3, Thursday, noon, Lunch and Learn: Victorian Era Nutrition, at the Visitor Center at Plimouth Plantation, Plymouth, Massachusetts, speaker Tani Mauriello will explain how families 150 years ago made healthy food choices.  Free to members, $8 non members. Register here:

December 4-6, 11- 13, 18 – 20, Friday to Sunday, 5pm – 10pm, Christmas by Candlelight, at Old Sturbridge Village, Sturbridge, Massachusetts. An enchanted evening of gingerbread, roasted chestnuts, music, dance and a slight ride (weather permitting).  Meet Father Christmas and Santa Claus.  $15 admission for entrance, see the website

December 5 and 6, Saturday and Sunday, Candlelight Stroll, at Strawbery Banke Museum, Portsmouth, New Hampshire. $20 adults, $10 children, $50 for families, Tickets can be pre-purchased by phone 603-433-1107

December 5, Sunday, 12pm – 2pm, Music in the Meetinghouse, at the Rocky Hill Meeting House, 4 Old Portsmouth Road, Amesbury, Massachusetts.  UMass Lowell’s Connexion singers bring the meetinghouse alive with holiday music from the period in which it was built.  No restroom.  Building is unheated.  Call with concerns or for more information  978-462-2634.  Free to Amesbury residents and Historic New England members, $5 nonmembers.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Boo! Some Scary Stories for Halloween!

Derry, New Hampshire's Civil War Monument

Here is a list of spooky ghost stories, ghost towns, witches, body snatchers, and other scary stories from the Nutfield Genealogy blog over the past six years!

The Murder of Josie Langmaid, Pembroke, NH, posted October 14, 2009:

The Haunted Pinkerton Tavern, Derry, NH, October 28, 2009 (since demolished):

The Haunted Coach Stop Restaurant, Londonderry, NH, January 22, 2010:

The Lady in Black at Fort Warren, Boston, MA  February 15, 2010:  

Tammy Younger, the Witch of Dogtown, February 22, 2010:  

A visit to the Rebecca Nurse Homestead, March 9, 2010:  

Body Snatchers, 1819, posted April 30, 2020:

Ghosts at the Towne Family Burial Ground, Londonderry, NH  September 28, 2010:  

The Willey Family of Crawford Notch, October 28, 2010:  

The Ghost Town of Chinese Camp, California, September 5, 2011:

The Abandoned Ghost Town of Monson, NH  September 6, 2012:    

Haunted Hannah Jack’s Tavern, Merrimack, NH  October 30, 2014:  

A visit to “Blood Cemetery”   October 31, 2014:  



To Cite/Link to this blog post: Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Boo!  Some Scary Stories for Halloween!", Nutfield Genealogy, posted October 29, 2015, ( accessed [access date]). 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Weathervane Wednesday ~ A Majestic Eagle

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 #232? Scroll down to see the answer!

We spotted this weathervane pulling out of the Fuller Gardens parking lot in Rye, New Hampshire.  This three dimensional eagle is on the top of the house across the street.  Rye has more weathervanes than any other town I've visited in New Hampshire.  Perhaps it is because it on the ocean and is nice and windy most of the time, folks here like to put up weather vanes.

There are also many, many weathervanes missing their turning figures along the coastal roads of Rye.  Perhaps they blew off in hurricanes or winter storms?  Never to be found again or replaced?  This homeowner is lucky to still have their majestic eagle.

Click here to see the entire Weathervane Wednesday collection! 

Published under a Creative Commons License
Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Weathervane Wednesday ~ A Majestic Eagle", Nutfield Genealogy, posted 28 October 2015, ( : accessed [access date]). 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday ~ Martha Nason, died 1716 Ipswich, Massachusetts

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

MAY Ye 22th, 1716

Although I have a plethora of ancestors from Ipswich, Massachusetts, I'm not descended from Martha Nason, nor her father Willoughby Nason.  Willoughby turns out to be my 1st cousin 8 generations removed, and I descend from his uncle, John Nason (1640 - 1719).  Our common ancestors are Richard Nason (1607 - 1695) and his wife Sarah, who came from England and settled at Kittery, Maine.  My line stayed in Maine and New Hampshire, and so did most of Richard Nason's children except for a son Joseph who died in Nantucket.  Another son, Charles Nason married Abigail Willoughby and had a son who was Willoughby Nason who removed from Maine to Ipswich.

Martha Nason was born about 1695 and died 22 May 1716 in Ipswich, Massachusetts.

For more information on this family, see the Ipswich Vital Records and the book Descendants of Willougby Nason of Ipswich, Massachusetts, by Douglas W. Chase, 2006. 


Published under a Creative Commons License
Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Tombstone Tuesday ~ Martha Nason, died 1716 Ipswich, Massachusetts", Nutfield Genealogy,  posted October 27, 2015, ( : accessed [access date]).

Monday, October 26, 2015

Would You like to contribute to the Honor Roll Project for Veteran's Day, 2015?

Veteran's Park, Hooksett, New Hampshire

Please join me in the Honor Roll Project.  Volunteers are taking photos of war memorials and honor rolls, posting them on their blogs and websites, and transcribing the names of all the people listed.  These transcriptions make the names available for search engines, and the names will be available for people searching for family, ancestors and friends.

I started this project in 2010 with the photos of the Londonderry Civil War monument, and then followed with the other war monuments on the town common, Derry’s MacGregor Park and other local honor rolls.  Other bloggers and photographers were invited to participate.  The email and comments I have read are truly inspiring, and it makes it well worth the effort to transcribe names when you read how family members found their fathers and grandfathers online, or how families searching their family trees find ancestors who served in the Civil War or World War I. 

"I never knew my ancestor was in the Civil War until I Googled his name and found it on your blog! Thanks so much for your project - Charles Chase" 13 Dec 2011

" Thank you! Aina Bernier- daughter of Ernest Albert Bernier, Jr." 27 Jan 2011

If you would like to participate this year, I will be posting a compilation post of all the participating bloggers on Veteran's Day, Tuesday, November 11th.  I will also make those posts permanently available on the page link “Honor Roll Project” above at the top of my blog home page (scroll up to the top of this page to see the link)  or go to the new website    Every November for Veteran’s / Armistice Day I publicize this project, and again in May I publicize the project for Memorial Day .   Eventually I would like to see project evolve into its own website.  (Any volunteers who would like to help with that?)

To participate, leave me a comment below or an email at   All you need to do is photograph a local honor roll or war monument, and transcribe the names.  If you have a blog, post the story, photos and transcriptions and send me the permanent link for the Honor Roll Project.  If you don’t have a blog, I can post the photo and names for you and add it to the Honor Roll Project, giving you full credit for the photography and transcription.

This is a simple way of saying “Thank You” to all the veterans in our communities- past and present. 

The Honor Roll Project Page (a new website)    

Sunday, October 25, 2015

The 2020 Coin Initiative

Images by George McKay, with permission, 
from the March 2015 Mayflower Quarterly

This coin was issued by the US Mint in 1920 and 1921
There is no photo yet of the proposed 2020 commemorative coin

The General Society of Mayflower Descendants’ first major project for the 2020 Commemoration of the 400th Anniversary of the Mayflower voyage is to push for the United States Congress to pass a bill directing the US Mint to issue a commemorative coin.   The bill HR 2980 is now before Congress sponsored by Bill Foster (D-IL).  In the senate it is S.1715 sponsored by Senator John Hoeven (R-ND).  If at least 287 members of congress and 67 senators co-sponsor this bill it will pass.

This is a bi-partisan effort, and members from both parties (and independents) are being asked to co-sponsor this bill.  Whether or not you are a Mayflower descendant, or from a New England state, it does not matter because this commemoration is part of all our history, in support of an important American historical event that has made genealogy and family history popular across all ages, ethnic groups and cultures. Please support this effort to make the 2020 coin a reality!

You can help by sending a letter to your congress member and to your senator.  Sample letters for the senators and for your representatives in congress are available (see the links below).  You can find your representative by entering your zip code HERE, or for your senator HERE.   Just cut and paste the sample letters into the appropriate email.   A personal letter is even better (include a reference to HR.2980 for US Representatives or S.1715 for US Senators), but not necessary.

The 2020 Commemoration will be a joint effort between The General Society of Mayflower Descendants, the State of Massachusetts, the National Park Service, the Town of Plymouth, the Wampanoag Nation, and several other groups.   We have already applied for a US commemorative postage stamp, and there are plans for other events in Plymouth and around the United States.  All 52 of the member societies of the GSMD will be participating in 2020 Commemorations to share the story of our Pilgrim ancestors with the world.

For further information on the 2020 Coin Initiative (including sample letters) please see this link:

Find your US Representative

Find your US Senator 

GSMD 2020 Commemorative items for sale:

Plymouth 400 (Plymouth Chamber of Commerce)

Mayflower 400 UK

Mayflower Society members can check the March and September 2015 issues of the The Mayflower Quarterly for more information on the 2020 commemorative coin initiative.


Published under a Creative Commons License
Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "The 2020 Coin Initiative", Nutfield Genealogy, posted October 25, 2015 (  accessed [access date]). 

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Surname Saturday ~ IRONS of Boston, Massachusetts


Matthew Irons’ origins are unknown.  It is difficult to trace him in the records because of the many inventive spellings of his surname.  However, when I pronounce IRONS with my Yankee New England accent, it becomes easy to figure out why his name was spelled so many ways.  Just drop the “R”.  

Matthew arrived as a servant to William Colbron, and  was made a freeman in Boston in 1636 as “IVES”.   He was an innkeeper in Boston, and granted eight acres at Muddy River (what is now the Fenway and Brookline).  He left a will on 30 January 1661/2 that named some of his children, and an inventory was taken on 16 April 1661.  He had eleven children in the Boston vital records and church records (baptisms) with his wife, Anne, who was probably the sister to Watertown settlers Edmund and Abraham Browne.  [Great Migration Begins, volume II, page 1059].

I descend from the eldest daughter, Elizabeth who married Richard Randall.  They settled on Cape Porpoise in what is now Saco, Maine.  One of her daughters, Sarah also married a Saco settler, Joseph Cole. Sarah Cole and her three daughters were captured by Indians on 20 August 1703 and taken to Montreal.  The children remained in Canada and were baptized by the Catholic Church. Sarah returned to Beverly, Massachusetts with her sister, Priscilla and they lived together as widows. 
I descend from Priscilla Randall, sister to the captive Sarah Randall Cole, who married William Preston. They had nine children, and I descend from two sons, Nehemiah and Randall Preston.  Both lived in Beverly, Massachusetts, the town where I was born on this date (Yes, today is my birthday!) 

For more information:

Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to the New World 1620 - 1633, by Robert Charles Anderson, Volume II, pages 1057 - 1059.

My Surname Saturday blog post on PRESTON

My Surname Saturday blog post on ALLEN

My Irons genealogy:

Generation 1:   Matthew Irons, born about 1613 probably in England, died before 16 April 1661 (the date of the inventory of his estate); married by about 1638 to Anne (probably Anne Browne, sister to Edmund and Abraham Browne, brothers who settled in Watertown, Massachusetts).  Eleven children.

Generation 2: Elizabeth Irons, born 15 April 1641 in Boston, baptized 18 April 1641 in Boston, died 1701 in Saco, Maine;  married to Richard Randall.  He was born about 1633 in England and died after 1713 in Saco.  Three children.

Generation 3: Priscilla Randall m. William Preston

Lineage A:

Generation 4: Nehemiah Preston m. Abigail Allen
Generation 5: Hannah Preston m. Robert Woodbury
Generation 6: Molly Woodbury m. Westley Burnham
Generation 7: Henry Burnham m. Sally Poland
Generation 8:  Sarah Ann Burnham m. Samuel Mears
Generation 9: Sarah Burnham Mears m. Joseph Gilman Allen
Generation 10: Joseph Elmer Allen m. Carrie Maude Batchelder
Generation 11: Stanley Elmer Allen m. Gertrude Matilda Hitchings (my grandparents)

Lineage B:

Generation 4: Randall Preston m. Susanna Stone
Generation 5: William Preston m. Abigail Sargent
Generation 6: Lucy Presson m. James Andrews
Generation 7: Orpha Andrews m. Joseph Allen
Generation 8: Joseph Gilman Allen m. Sarah Burnham Mears (see above)


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Surname Saturday ~ IRONS  of Boston, Massachusetts", Nutfield Genealogy, posted October 24, 2015 ( : accessed [access date]). 

Friday, October 23, 2015

Seven to Save 2015 ~ The New Hampshire Preservation Alliance

The Honor Roll in the Hall of Flags, NH Statehouse, Concord

The tenth annual Seven to Save list from the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance was announced yesterday, October 21st, at the statehouse in Concord, New Hampshire.  There was a legislative and press gathering with a ceremony, followed by a reception at 7 Eagle Square.  Each of the seven projects had a local advocate on hand to discuss the benefits of saving their project. 

The Seven to Save list helps to raise support and awareness for endangered historic places in New Hampshire.  In many cases (the estimate is that in 50 percent of the list), being placed on the Seven to Save list has saved these buildings and structures from loss, demolition or ill-planned renovations.  Locally, the First Parish Church of Derry, which was on the 2009 list, and the Upper Village Hall in Derry, on the 2006 list, have received some funding for structural renovation.  In Manchester, the Pandora Mill was on the 2006 list, and now it is a thriving community recently restored as an award winning LEED certified facility. 

Here are this year’s Seven to Save:

1. Oceanic Hotel, Isles of Shoals, Rye
2. Hall of Flags, NH Statehouse, Concord
3. Pickering House, Wolfeboro
4. Rye Town Hall
5. St. Kieran Community Center for the Arts, Berlin
6. Chandler House, Manchester
7. Lane Homestead, Stratham

Locally I am most familiar with the Hall of Flags in the statehouse and the Chandler House.  We had the NH State Curator as a luncheon speaker at one of our recent Mayflower meetings.  He described the fragility of the flags on display at the statehouse, and the possibly expensive and extensive restoration process needed to preserve them.  There are 107 (some sources state there are 87 flags) battle flags here brought back from the Civil War, and all are rapidly deteriorating.   And the Chandler House has been discussed  on several Manchester history Facebook groups, with no resolution in sight as the Manchester Catholic diocese has set a November 30th deadline for it’s possible sale before demolition.   It will be quite a project to move a 30 room Victorian house through the streets of downtown Manchester if a buyer is found!

Press release “New Seven to Save Announced” by the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance:

The 2015 Seven to Save list with photos  

This list of the Seven to Save from the Manchester Union Leader newspaper yesterday is a more complete compendium of the seven different projects:   

New Hampshire Preservation Alliance
Eagle Square
PO Box 268
Concord, NH  03302-0268
(603) 224-2281

The real estate ad for the Chandler House, Manchester, NH 

Click here to access all my previous Seven to Save blog posts:


Published under a Creative Commons License
Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Seven to Save 2015 ~ The New Hampshire Preservation Alliance", Nutfield Genealogy, posted October 23, 2015 ( accessed [access date]).

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Chop Suey Sandwiches ~ Unique New England Foods

Yours Truly enjoying a Chop Suey Sandwich
at Salem Willows, Salem, Massachusetts

From time to time I write about unique New England food for this blog.  When doing oral history, food comes up often, and sometimes the food mentioned has disappeared or almost disappeared from today’s menus.  The chop suey sandwich is one of those foods.  Your parents or your grandparents might have enjoyed them all over New England in the 1920 until about the 1960s. Now they are available in just a few spots.

This is such a unique food that many New Englanders have never had it.  If you lived near Salem or Fall River, Massachusetts you probably grew up with it and have fond memories.  My mother has such great memories of chop suey sandwiches that she can’t visit Salem without mentioning dropping by Salem Willows to get one.  Salem Willows used to an amusement park more than 100 years ago.  It is now a seaside public park, and there is still a merry-go-round and picnic grounds.  In the 1900s through the Great Depression, this was a very popular area, and it was even busy in the 1950s when my parents were dating. My grandmother, born in 1905, loved chop suey sandwiches from Salem Willows, so they have been around a long, long time.  
Salem Lowe, where you can still
buy a chop suey sandwich in Salem, Massachusetts
The most famous place to buy a chop suey sandwich is a Chinese restaurant called Salem Lowe, at 197 Fort Avenue, at the Salem Willows Park.  This area is known as “Restaurant Row” and is made up of small establishments selling takeout food such as burgers, ice cream, candy, popcorn and fried seafood. Salem Lowe is famous locally, and has been featured on food blogs, TV, in the novel The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry and the non-fiction book The Fortune Cookie Chronicles by Jennifer 8. Lee.  A second restaurant, Ghengis, located at 177 Fort Avenue, still sells chop suey sandwiches, too.

Apparently the chop suey sandwich was the first international “fusion” food to become popular in New England.  This was back in the early 20th century when chop suey was an adventurous new food for New England Yankees.  It is a mixture of Chinese chop suey on a burger bun.  It is served with the bread rolled into a cone, filled with the chop suey and wrapped in wax paper. This makes it easier to walk around Salem Willows while eating your sandwich with a fork.  Yes, it is both delicious and messy!  And only $2.10 last July, too, at Salem Lowe.  If you want it served more sandwich style, you can get it in a Styrofoam box with the chop suey inside the bun. 

A closeup view of the chop suey sandwich

Emerill Lagasse, the celebrity chef with roots in New Bedford, published a recipe for it on the Food Network website, except that on the South Shore they call this “Chow Mein Sandwich”.  It appears to be similar, but served with crispy fried noodles on top of the hamburger bun instead of rolled in a cone. You can see that recipe   I found a video of him making a fancy version of a chow mein sandwich on Martha Stewart’s website    (fast forward to the second half of the video). 

The Hoo-Mee Chow Mein company, from Fall River that sells packaged kits of Chow Mein mix with crispy fried noodles.  Some New England grocery stores carry Hoo-Mee chow mein.  Don’t you love the name? People who move away from Salem or New Bedford have been known to beg their relatives to mail them kits from Hoo-Mee.  Moms send them to college kids as care packages. These kits are also available on or directly from the company:
Hoo-Mee Chow Mein Company
42 8th Street
Fall River, Massachusetts 02720
(508) 675-7711

I understand that at one time chow mein sandwiches were popular in New York, too, especially at Coney Island, which is a sea side park like Salem Willows.  I also understand that since Hurricane Sandy, these chow mein sandwiches are no longer served at Nathan’s at  Coney Island.  The end of an era!

For the truly curious:

Wikipedia “Chow Mein Sandwich”  (Believe it or not, Wikipedia did not have an entry for Chop Suey Sandwiches!)

PDF “The Chow Mein Sandwich: American as Apple Pie” by Imogen L. Lin,  , accessed October 13,  2015

Here is a school menu PDF from Dartmouth High School, November 2014 (near Fall River).  Check out what the kids ate on Thursday, November 6th!   Did they serve this at your school?


Other unique New England Foods from my blog:
Indian Pudding: 

Fourth of July Peas and Salmon


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Chop Suey Sandwiches ~ Unique New England Foods", Nutfield Genealogy, posted October 22, 2015 (  accessed [access date]).