Saturday, December 31, 2016

Surname Saturday ~ FOSTER of Gloucester, Massachusetts


I have another line of descent from Reginald Foster (1595 – before 1681), an early immigrant to Ipswich, Massachusetts. You can read all about this lineage at this blog post here:

Today’s sketch is about Bartholemew Foster, (about 1646 – 1689), my 8th great grandfather, an early settler at Gloucester, Massachusetts – which is located very near Ipswich with my other line of FOSTERs.  He was the brother of Thomas Foster who settled in New London, Connecticut.  In 1669 he married Hannah VERY and also bought a house lot on what is now Front Street in Gloucester.   He owned a sloop (mentioned in his will) and was a mariner.  Apparently it was rare for a mariner in Gloucester (at this time period) to own property, and this fact was mentioned both in the Foster compiled genealogy book and in the History of Gloucester by Babson.

The Foster family was blessed with sons.  I found ten sons listed in the births for Gloucester, Massachusetts, and eight of those sons were mentioned in his will, along with his wife, Hannah.  They had no daughters.

I descend from Bartholemew’s youngest son, Benjamin (my 7th great grandfather), who was born just a few months before his father Bartholemew’s death in 1689.  My 8th great grandmother, Hannah (Very) Foster, remarried to Thomas Sawyer (b. 1674).  He was the great grandson of John Sawyer (1582 – 1660) and Agnes Sharpe of England, who was also my 9th great grandfather.   You can read all about my Sawyer lineage at this blog post here:

My FOSTER lineage daughters out early with Lucy (Foster) Younger.  Benjamin Foster’s daughter Lucy (b. 1723) married William Younger of Gloucester.  They had four children, and I descend from their son Levi Younger (1756 – 1806), a mariner in Gloucester, my 6th great grandparents.

Some FOSTER resources:

The Foster Genealogies, by Frederick C. Pierce, page 60 and page 1015

Torrey’s New England Marriages Prior to 1700, Volume 1

The History of the Town of Gloucester, Cape Ann, by John James Babson, page 94

The Genealogist, Volume 17: 96-108, 234 – 248.

The Foster family sketch, in Jacobus, Donald Lines. Families of Ancient New Haven. 1974, 3:620.

My FOSTER genealogy:

Generation 1:  Bartholemew Foster, born about 1640, died on 5 December 1689 in Gloucester, Massachusetts; married on 9 September 1668 in Gloucester to Hannah Very, the daughter of Thomas Very and Hannah Gyles.  Ten children.

Generation 2:  Benjamin Foster, born 13 September 1689 in Gloucester; married on 23 August 1711 in Gloucester to Susanna Andrews, daughter of Ralph Andrews and Abigail Very (sister to Hannah Very above).  Eight children.

Generation 3:  Lucy Foster, born 15 June 1723 in Gloucester; married on 6 March 1750 in Gloucester to William Younger.  Four children.

Generation 4:  Levi Younger m. Mary Wotten
Generation 5:  Levi Younger, Jr. m. Catharine Plummer Jones
Generation 6:  Mary Esther Younger m. George Emerson
Generation 7: Mary Katharine Emerson m. George E. Batchelder.
Generation 8:  Carrie Maude Batchelder m. Joseph Elmer Allen
Generation 9:  Stanley Elmer Allen m. Gertrude Matilda Hitchings (my grandparents)


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Surname Saturday ~ FOSTER of Gloucester, Massachusetts", Nutfield Genealogy, posted December 31, 2016,  ( accessed [access date]). 

Friday, December 30, 2016

Christmas Books from Santa 2016!

Santa Claus outdid himself this year. Every year I post the genealogy books I receive from Santa (at least on the years when I was a good girl!).  This year I received a varied bunch of books.  Some were purchased from the New England Historic Genealogical Society holiday catalog (the best gift catalog for genealogists!), the Blas Bleu website, and some from used book stores.  One was a family heirloom passed down from generations of family members in Spain.  You might find one or two that interest you, too.

In no special order:

by Elise Lathrop


This page has a photo of Retire Becket's house in Salem,
which is now located in the courtyard of the museum of
The House of Seven Gables.  See below for more about 
Retire Becket, a member of my family tree. 
I have also seen plates inside this book of the Fairbanks
and Whipple houses, both built by my ancestors. 

Benjamin Franklin

New Haven & London

I've always enjoyed this book by Benjamin Franklin because he and I share ancestors.  His mother, Abiah Folger Franklin, and my 7th great grandmother, Bethshua Folger Pope, were sisters.  In his autobiography he explores his genealogy, and even describes a trip to England to trace his Franklin roots.  I love reading his notes about Peter Folger and Mary Morrill (his grandparents and my ancestors), who lived on the island of Nantucket.  This is a very nice edition of his autobiography, with a lovely slip cover.

New England Stonecarving and its Symbols
1650 - 1815

A Guide to Massachusetts Public Records: Parishes Towns and Counties
by Caroll D. Wright, originally 1889
a reprint by NEHGS 2014

The Stranger in My Genes
by Bill Griffeth, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2016

I missed seeing Bill Griffeth speak about this new book at several NEHGS events this past fall.  This book topped my list for Santa.  

The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens who made England
by Dan Jones, Penguin Books, 2012

I've been reading quite a few books on the Plantagenets.  I have several "Royal Lineages" from Puritan immigrant ancestors that go back to the Plantagenets, including Richard Lionheart and Eleanor of Aquitaine.  

Santa got me a subscription to The Mayflower Descendant, which is published by the Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants.   This is not the same journal as The Mayflower Quarterly

Santa Claus was very sneaky with these two books from a used book store in Massachusetts called "Manchester by the Book".   My distant relative, Retire Becket, of Salem, built this impressive yacht Cleopatra's Barge in 1816 for America's first millionaire, George Crowinshield, Jr.   Later the yacht was sold to King Kamehameha II of the Kingdom of Hawaii.  So much of the history of this ship touches American history, and my own family history!  

The first book (white cover):  Cleopatra's Barge: The Crowninshield Story, by David L. Ferguson, Little, Brown and Company, Boston, 1976. 

The second book:   George Crowninshield's Yacht Cleopatra's Barge by Walter Muir Whitehill and a Catalogue of the Francis B. Crowninshield Gallery, published by the Peabody Museum, Salem, Massachusetts 1959. 

This tiny book is smaller than a stick of lip balm.  My mother-in-law from Spain gifted it to me for Christmas.  She remembers her mother and her grandmother both reading prayers from this book.

Su author Pablo Minguet


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Christmas Books from Santa 2016!", Nutfield Genealogy, posted December 30, 2016,  ( accessed [access date]).

January 2017 Genealogy and Local History Calendar

For last minute updates, see the Nutfield Genealogy Facebook page at this link: 


January 1st. Sunday, 1 – 4pm, Brickwall  Sunday Meeting at the American Canadian Genealogy Society,  4 Elm Street, Manchester, New Hampshire.  Please email your brickwall challenge a few days prior to  Confirm for inclement weather 603-622-1554.  For more information see 

January 4, Wednesday, 10am,  New Visitor Tour of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, 99 – 101 Newbury Street, Boston, Massachusetts.  Free orientation and tour of the country’s oldest and largest non profit genealogy library and archive.  Attendees are welcome to use the library resources following the tour.  No registration required.

January 6, Friday, noon, First Friday Lecture:  Unexpected Genealogy Adventures in the Czech Republic, at the New England Historic Genealogical Society, 99 – 101 Newbury Street, Boston, Massachusetts.  Free to the public.  Presented by Alex Woodle.

January 6, Friday, 1pm, Unexpected Genealogy Adventures in the Czech Republic, at the New England Historic Genealogical Society, 99 – 101 Newbury Street, Boston, Massachusetts.  Free to the public.  Presented by Alex Woodle.  Please register at this link:

January 7, 14 and 21, 2- 3:30pm, Building Your Genealogical Skills (Three Week Class), at the New England Historic Genealogical Society,  99 – 101 Newbury Street, Boston, Massachusetts.  Presented by Ann Lawthers, NEHGS genealogist.  Take your research skills to the next level!  Register at this link:

January 11, Wednesday, 12 noon, The Early American Bookseller:  A Network History, at the Massachusetts Historical Society, 1154 Boylston Street, Boston, Massachusetts, presented by John Garcia of Boston University.  Free to the public.

January 12, Thursday, 1:30pm, Getting into Genealogy, at the Raytheon Room of the Wayland Public Library, 5 Concord Road, Wayland, Massachusetts. Presented by Seema-Jayne Kenney, professional genealogist. Free to the public.

January 13, Friday, 10am, “You Never Know What You Will Find In Your Attic”,  at the Chelmsford Public Library, Chelmsford, Massachusetts, a presentation by Ellen Alden, author.  Her novel Yours Faithfully, Florence Burke, portrays the struggles of first generation Irish immigrants. The talk includes the original letters, tintype photos and historical documents she used to write her book.  Free to the public.

January 14, Saturday, 11 am – 2pm,  So I Have a FamilySearch Account – What next? , at the Family History Center, LDS Church, 110 Concord Street, Nashua, New Hampshire,  Free to the public.  Bring a lunch and explore the various features of  Please feel free to bring your own device since computer resources are limited.

January 14, Saturday, 10am - 5pm, Volunteer Living History Workshop at Minute Man National Historical Park, 174 Liberty Street, Concord, Massachusetts.  Historical content and hands-on workshops for and by our living history volunteers.  You will also have the opportunity to visit the newly opened Wright Tavern in Concord.  Free to the public.  Register at Facebook  

January 17, Tuesday, 7pm,  "All the Real Indians Died Off": and 20 other Myths about Native Americans, at the Harvard Book Store, 1256 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, Massachusetts.  Presented by author Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, author of An Indigienous People's History of the United States.  Free to the public.  Includes book signing. 

January 18, Wednesday, 6pm, Penobscot County Genealogy Society Meeting, at the Bangor Public Library, 145 Harlow Street, Bangor, Maine.  For chapter information please see 

January 18, Wednesday, 12 noon, The Fight for Women's Equality in the Anti-Slavery Movement, 1833 - 1840, at the Massachusetts Historical Society, 1154 Boylston Street, Boston, Massachusetts.  Present by Louise Knight, author of Jane Addams: Spirit in Action.  Free to the public. 

January 18, Wednesday, 7:30pm, A Revolution in Color:  The World of John Singleton Copley, at the Royall House & Slave Quarters, 15 George Street, Medford, Massachusetts.  Presented by author Jane Kamensky, who will discuss the book by the same title.

January 18, Wednesday, 7:30pm, Jordan Marsh: Victorian Boston’s Department Store, one of the Wednesday Evening Lectures in the Appleton Room of  the Ipswich, Museum Heard House, 54 South Main Street, Ipswich, Massachusetts. Presented by author Anthony Sanmarco.  Members free, non-members $10.

January 19, Thursday, 1pm, Strategies for Tackling Your Genealogy Brickwall presented by Jake Fletcher, at the Wayland Free Public Library, 5 Concord Road, Wayland, Massachusetts.  Free to the public.

January 19, Thursday, 7pm,  “North and West Chelmsford (Images of America)” at the Chelmsford Public Library, Chelmsford, Massachusetts.  Presented by author and local historian Fred Merriam.  Free to the public.

January 19, Thursday, 6:30pm,  Vanished Veterans- NH’s Civil War Monuments and Memorials, at the Dunbarton Public Library, 1004 School Street, Dunbarton, New Hampshire, presented by George Morrison.  Free to the public.

January 21, Saturday, 1 – 3pm, Using the Gallery on Family Search, at the LDS Church, 110 Concord Street, Nashua, New Hampshire.  Free to the public. Bring your Family Search account information, digital media to add to your account (photos, documents, audio files), and your own device (laptop, iPad, etc.)

January  21, Saturday, 10am,  New Visitor Tour of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, 99 – 101 Newbury Street, Boston, Massachusetts.  Free orientation and tour of the country’s oldest and largest non profit genealogy library and archive.  Attendees are welcome to use the library resources following the tour.  No registration required.

January 21, Saturday, 11am, Lecture:  The Blush of Success, at the Millyard Museum, 200 Bedford Street, Manchester, New Hampshire.  Included with museum admission.  Presented by MHA executive director John Clayton, who will speak about Manchester's own Charles Revson, who started with one bottle of nail polish and then built an empire - the Revlon Company.  

January 22, Sunday, 2pm, Chickering House – Dedham’s Temporary Home for Women and Children 1864 – 1969, at the Dedham Historical Society and Museum, 612 High Street, Dedham, Massachusetts.  Presented by Andrea Gilmore.  Free for members, $5 non-members.

January 24, Tuesday, 7pm, Immigration and Naturalization, at the Central Massachusetts Genealogical Society, American Legion Post #129, 22 Elm Street, Gardner, Massachusetts.  Presented by genealogist Seema Jayne Kenney.  The public is invited and a $2 donation is appreciated from non-members.  For more information, please contact Janet Fortunato at  

January 27, Friday, 3pm,  The Faith of a Father and Son in the War for a More Perfect Union, at the Harvard Book Store, 1256 Mass. Ave, Cambridge, Massachusetts.  Presented by local historian and teacher, William F. Quigley, for a discussion of his first book Pure Heart: The Faith of a Father and Son in the War for a More Perfect Union.  Free to the public

January 28, Saturday, 6pm, Hearthside Bounty, at the Old Sturbridge Village, Sturbridge, Massachusetts.  Experience an evening in a 19th century tavern with a meal cooked over a hearth, old fashioned entertainment, and a look at table manners in the 1800s.  Music and stories, period games and entertainment.  $54.95 per person, OSV members $49.95.  Registration required at this link:

February 3, Friday, First Friday Lecture: Introduction to Heraldry in America, at the New England Historic Genealogical Society, 99 – 101 Newbury Street, Boston, Massachusetts.  Free to the public. 

February 8, Wednesday, 6:30pm,  New England Quilts and the Stories They Tell, at the Wadleigh Memorial Library, 49 Nashua Street, Milford, New Hampshire.  Presented by Pam Weeks, free to the public. 

February 23 – 25, Winter Research Getaway at NEHGS.  Escape to the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston for three days of research, consultations, lectures and social events.  Register here:

March 5, Sunday, 11:30am,  Boston Massacre Re-enactment, at the Old State House, 206 Washington Street, Boston, Massachusetts. Sponsored by the Massachusetts Council of Minutemen and Militia.  Free.

March 18, 2017 History Camp Boston, at Sargent Hall, Suffolk University Law School, Boston, Massachusetts.

April 2017, NERGC 2017, at the Mass Mutual Center, 1277 Main Street, Springfield, Massachusetts  


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "January 2017 Genealogy and Local History Calendar", Nutfield Genealogy, posted December 30, 2016, ( accessed [access date]).

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Weathervane Wednesday ~ Above a former fire station

It's Weathervane Wednesday!

I post a series of weather vane photographs every Wednesday.  This started with images of weathervanes from the Londonderry, New Hampshire area, but now I've found interesting weather vanes all across New England and across the globe.  Sometimes my weather vanes are whimsical, or historical, but all are interesting.  Often my readers tip me off to some very unique or unusual weathervanes, too!  If you know a great weather vane near you, let me know if you'd like to have it featured on this blog.

Today's weather vane is from a reader, and it was photographed in Maine

Do you know the location of weathervane post #291?  Scroll down to find the answer.

Today's weather vane was photographed by genealogy blogger Thomas Tufts in Kennebunkport, Maine.  This weathervane of a two dimensional fire fighter is located at the Landmark Gallery, which was a former fire station.   This is a great contribution by Tom, who is a former firefighter, and who volunteers at the Firefighting Museum in Exeter, New Hampshire. 

The weather vane at the Old Fire House features a very tall pole.  Perhaps this is to catch the ocean breeze?  Or perhaps so that the wind direction can be seen by sailors in the nearby harbor? 

The Landmark Gallery website

The Landmark Gallery
31 Ocean Avenue
Kennebunkport, Maine

Tom Tuft's genealogy blog "Tufts Family Genealogy"

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


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Weathervane Wednesday ~  Above a former fire station", Nutfield Genealogy, posted Dec 28, 2016, ( accessed [access date]).

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Tombstone Tuesday ~ Samuel Clark, died 1790, Londonderry (now Derry), New Hampshire and his wives

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

In Memory of
Mr. Samuel Clark
who departed this Life
Augst ye 19th 1790
Aged 59 Years
and 1 month

Since he is gone we have no more to say
But here he must Remain unto ye Judgement day

Samuel Clark was the son of Scots Irish immigrants to Nutfield (Londonderry, New Hampshire) Robert Clark and Letitia Cochran.  I previously posted the parents' tombstones HERE.  Samuel was born about 1738 in Londonderry, New Hampshire and died 9 August 1790 in Londonderry.  He married first to Sarah Holmes, and second to Janet Barnett.  He had seven children:  Robert, Daniel, Sally (Sarah), Moses, William, John and Janet.

Memento Mori
Memory of Mrs.
Sarah Clark (wife
of Mr. Samuel Clark)
she departed this
Life May ye 7th
1776 In the 39th
Year of her

Memory of
Wife of
Died April 15, 1833
AEt. 85.

Click here to see the tombstones of Samuel's parents, Robert and Letitia Clark:


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Tombstone Tuesday ~ Samuel Clark, died 1790, Londonderry (now Derry), New Hampshire", Nutfield Genealogy, posted December 27, 2016, ( accessed [access date]).

Monday, December 26, 2016

My Grandmother's Diary ~ Part 4

My grandmother and her siblings sledding in Beverly, Massachusetts
Probably around the same year as the diary
left to right: Mildred b. 1909, Gertrude b. 1905, Eunice b. 1904, 
and perhaps Gordon b. 1907,  and an unknown boy

Earlier this month I started to scan and transcribe my grandmother's tiny 3" diary and publish those pages on my blog.  Gertrude Hitchings was fourteen years old, and kept this little diary for the year 1920.  You can read the first installment HERE.  I'll be posting sections of this diary every week for Amanuensis Monday.

Mon. Feb. 9, 1920
Got up at 6.45 had to
walk to school and walked
home cars started running.
Went sliding over Crosby’s in
afternoon.  Went sliding after
supper over Crosby’s came
home 9.00 went to bed 9.45


Tuesday 10
Got up at 6/45 went to
School but had to walk halfway
Home all afternoon Mrs. Butler over
Home all evening  Eunice and I
Went over to Mrs. Butlers.  Mildred
Got up today.  She is lots
Better.  Wen to bed 10.00


Wednesday 11
Got up at 7 went to
School home at 1.15
Stayed home all afternoon
Ma and Pa went over to Butlers
Home all evening bed at 9.15

[NOTE:   It appears that Mildred is over the mumps (she was very sick in the last few diary entries last week).  I would love to know where the "Crosby's" is that the kids used for sledding, or who is Mrs. Butler? 

There are missing pages here.  On 13 February 1920 Gertrude's eldest brother, Arthur Russell Hitchings married Ethel Elizabeth Coleman in Washington, D.C.]  

Tues. Feb. 24, 1920
Got up at 7.30 had break-
fast went over to North
Beverly helped Mr. Lowell
Came home at 6.00
Went out sliding after supper
but didn’t stay, came home
and played games bed at 10.PM


Wednesday 25
Got up at 7.45. Snowing
hard.   Home all morning
Mrs. Butler over after dinner and
made Ouija board go.  Russell
and Ethel came down.  Took pictures.
home all evening played with
Ouija board went to bed 10.30


Thursday 26
Got up 8.45 stayed
Around house all day
Home alone all evening played
Victrola folks over to Mrs.
Butlers went to bed
At 10.15 PM

[NOTE:  The mysterious Mr. Lowell appears in this diary entry again.  And it was very interesting to read about the "ouija board", I didn't know that they were popular in the 1920s!  I'd love to see the photos Gertrude took of this evening of games.  It's fun to read about the victrola, too.

Russel and Ethel are home in Massachusetts after their wedding in Washington D.C.   I don't know if any family members were in attendance at the wedding.  ] 

Fri.  Feb 27, 1920
Got up at 8.30 had break
fast stayed around the house all morning.  After
dinner Eunice, Gordon, Millie and I
went over to Mrs. Butler’s.  Stayed
home all evening and
went to bed at 10.PM


Saturday 28
Got up at 8.15 worked
around the house all
day.  Russell & Ethel gone to
Lynn. Mill and Gordon down town.
Rus got a room.  Home all
Evening went to bed at 10.30


Sunday 29
Got up at 8.45 took a
bath had breakfast. Gordon and I
went down to the depot with R. trunk.
After dinner went sleding up reser-
Voir.  Russell & Ethel gone housekeeping

Home all evening bed at 8 PM.

[NOTE:  There is more visiting with Mrs. Butler here.  Apparently Russell and Ethel removed to a room in the city of Lynn, because Gertrude and Gordon helped deliver his trunk on the 29th to the Beverly depot.  

[Out of order]
Thurs. Mar. 25, 1920
Got up at 6.45 went to
school went to Salem with
Ma after school to get my hat
fixed over.  Came home 4.30 had
dinner.  After supper went down
A&P with Marion and then
Went down ??  bed at 10.


Friday 26
Got up at 7.00 went to school
Had a swell play home at 1.15
Worked part of the afternoon
Then went out with Bertha
?? on the bicycles cam in
got supper stayed home all
evening and read went to bed 9.30


Saturday 27
Got up at 7. had breakfast
Eunice went to North Beverly
Worked all morning and after
noon went riding 4. O’clock
took a bath before supper home
all evening wrote letters bed at 9.30

[NOTE:  Gertrude and her mother (my great grandmother Florence Etta Hoogerzeil (1871 - 1941) went shopping in Salem.  Gertrude had her hat made over for springtime, which was a frugal way of saving money instead of buying a new hat.  There is another mention of the A&P grocery store, and of her friend Marion.  This is the first mention of Bertha, probably another school friend.  It is the end of March, and the girls are riding bicycles instead of skiing and sledding.]

Read Part 1 of Gertrude's diary at this link:


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "My Grandmother's Diary - Part 4", Nutfield Genealogy, posted December 26, 2016,  ( accessed [access date]). 

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas!

Happy Holidays!  Feliz Navidad!  Joyeux Noel!  From our family to yours.

Cape Porpoise, Maine

Chilmark, on the island of Martha's Vineyard
photo by Laurie Conn

Plymouth, Massachusetts


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Merry Christmas!", Nutfield Genealogy, posted December 25, 2016, ( accessed [access date]).

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas Past

These old black and white photos were sent to me by a cousin in California. She found them in my grandparents' photo albums after they passed away in Long Beach.  I had never seen many of these photos of my first few Christmases.  The nice thing is that my parents had labeled most of these before mailing them to California.

Merry Christmas!

1962, Beverly, Massachusetts

1963, Hamilton, Massachusetts

1965, Beverly, Massachusetts
Little Sister and Yours Truly

1969, Holden, Massachusetts

Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Christmas Past", Nutfield Genealogy, posted December 24, 2016,  ( accessed [access date]).

Friday, December 23, 2016

Grammy's Christmas Tree ~ Photo Friday

My cousin in California sent me a box full of photographs from my grandmother's photo albums.  This photo of my grandmother decorating her Christmas tree in Long Beach must date from the 1970s.  I had never seen this photo, nor did I ever visit Long Beach, California until nearly 30 after her death.


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Grammy's Christmas Tree ~ Photo Friday", Nutfield Genealogy, posted December 23, 2016,  ( accessed [access date]).

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Blog Caroling ~ "Oh Holy Night"

The creche at Ste. Marie's parish
in Manchester, New Hampshire

For the past six years I have participated in Footnote Maven's blog caroling event.  I've enjoyed researching the local history, and sometimes a little genealogy, behind each Christmas carol.  Usually the songs I choose have New England connections, but this time I chose a French carol.

When I was in high school we always sang carols in French class. It was a fun way to learn new vocabulary and pronunciation.  "O Holy Night", or rather "Cantique de Noel", was my favorite.   Last week I heard this song sung in English on a PBS TV special, sung by a choir of adorable little Irish boys.  There was a verse I hadn't heard in years, and it made me think of my abolitionist ancestors from Boston and Salem, Massachusetts.

Upon researching this song, I learned that an American pastor and abolitionist named John S. Dwight did the original translation of this song from French into English.  Verse 3 was his political statement, which made the song popular in the North during the Civil War.  He was born in Boston, graduated Harvard, and became a Unitarian minister in 1840.   Dwight's 1855 translation, as well as Phillips Brooks' song "O Little Town of Bethlehem" are both Christmas carols written by Boston abolitionists in the midst of that same war.

O Holy Night!
The stars are brightly shining.
It is the night of the dear Savior's birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
Till he appear'd and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary sould rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!

Fall on your knees
Oh, hear the angel voices
Oh, night divine!
Oh, night when Christ was born
Oh, night divine!

Led by the light of Faith serenely beaming
With glowing hearts by this cradle we stand
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming
Here come the wise men from Orient land
The King of Kings lay thus in lowly manger
In all ur trials born to be our friend.

Truly He taught us to love one another
His law is love and His gospel is peace
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother
And in His name all oppression shall cease
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy name.

Other blog caroling entries over the years:

2009 "Christmas in Boston"

2010  "Jingle Bells"

2011 "The Holly and the Ivy"
2012 "O Little Town of Bethlehem"

2013  "Si Me Dan Pasteles"

2014  "Over the River and Through the Woods"


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Blog Caroling ~  "Oh Holy Night", Nutfield Genealogy, posted December 21, 2016, ( accessed [access date]).

Weathervane Wednesday ~ A visitor from the North Pole!

Weathervane Wednesday is an on-going series of photographs I post every week.  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 these weather vanes are whimsical, or historical, but all are very unique.  Often, my readers tip me off to some very special and unusual weather vanes.

Today's weather vane is from somewhere in Maine.

Do you know the location of weather vane #290?  Scroll down to see the answer...

This weathervane is a visitor from the North Pole, but it isn't Santa Claus...

Today's weather vane was photographed by my friend and reader Diana LeBlanc.  It is located above the new Wish Theater building on the campus of Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine.  This weathervane is a two dimensional polar bear, which is the school mascot.

Admiral Robert E. Peary, who discovered the North Pole in 1909, was a graduate of Bowdoin's class of 1877.  So, the polar bear is the mascot, and (another piece of trivia) did you know that the college official color is white!  The polar bear became the official mascot in 1913.  There is also a statue of a polar near the Sargent Gymnasium on the campus, and the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum is in Hubbard Hall.

Bowdoin College website -  

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


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Weathervane Wednesday ~ A visitor from the North Pole!", Nutfield Genealogy,  posted December 21, 2016, ( accessed [access date]).

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Tombstone Tuesday ~ Husband and Wife, Nathaniel Raymond, d. 1749 and Rebeckah Conant, d. 1760, Beverly, Massachusetts

This double tombstone was photographed at the Old North Beverly, Cemetery in Beverly, Massachusetts

Here lyes Buried
the Body of Mr.
Who Departed this
Life Janry. ye 8  1749
Aged 78 Years
& 10 Months

Here lyes Buried
The Body of Mrs.
Departed this life
Decembr ye 9th 1760
Aged 80 Years
& 11 Months

Nathaniel Raymond, son of John Rayment and Judith Glover, was born 15 March 1671 in Beverly, and died 8 January 1749/50 in Salem.  He was married before 1692 to Rebecca Conant, daughter of Lot Conant and Elizabeth Walton.  She was born 31 January 1671 in Beverly, and died 5 December 1760 in Beverly.  They had eight children.  

The brothers John and William Rayment/Raymond were immigrants to the New World and settled together in Beverly, Massachusetts.  They are mentioned in their father, George Rayment of Glastonbury, England, mentioned the two sons in his will as being in New England.  John's brother William Raymond married Hannah Bishop, my 8th great aunt, as his first wife.  

Last week I featured their son's tombstone, Nathaniel Raymond, Jr.  You can see that post at this link HERE .  


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Tombstone Tuesday ~ Husband and Wife, Nathaniel Raymond, d. 1749 and Rebeckah Conant, d. 1760, Beverly, Massachusetts", Nutfield Genealogy, posted December 20, 2016, ( accessed [access date]).

Monday, December 19, 2016

My Grandmother's Diary - Part 3

The Hitchings Family
The parents are Florence and Arthur Hitchings.
The children are (left to right):  Gertrude (the baby) b. 1905, Eunice (on
father's lap) b. 1904, standing Russell b. 1897,  Hollis, b. 1903 (with toy),
and Helen, b. 1900 (in chair).
There were two more children born after this photo -
Gordon b. 1907 and Mildred b. 1909

Two weeks ago I started to scan and transcribe my grandmother's tiny 3" diary and publish those pages on my blog.  Gertrude Hitchings was fourteen years old, and kept this little diary for the year 1920.  You can read the first installment HERE.  I'll be posting sections of this diary every week for Amanuensis Monday. 

January 28 - February 2, 1920

Page 10
Wed. Jan 28, 1920
Got up at 7 went to
school, home 1:15.  Home all
afternoon.  Went down Ella’s 3:45
Went sliding after
supper down Eastern ave came
home 9:00 went to bed at 9:30.


Thursday 29
Got up at 7 went to school
got our report cards today home 1:15
Home all afternoon and
stayed home all the
evening and read
went to bed at 9:15


Friday 30
Got up at 7 went to school
home stayed home and
worked all afternoon.  Went
sliding over to Friend street
Home 8:45 bed at 10:00

[Notes:  On the 28th Gertrude went sledding on Eastern Avenue, not far from where she lived on Elliott Street, and not far from the golf course where she usually sledded.  I wonder if she stayed home on the 29th to read because of her grades on her report card!  

On the 30th she went sledding on Friend Street, which is contiguous to Elliott.]

Page 11
Sat. Jan. 31, 1920
Got up at 7:30 had break-
Fast work around the
House all day.  Mr. Lowell come
Up at five and stayed
Until 9.  Eunice gone down to
Helen’s.  Awful cold tonight. Bed at 10


Sunday, Feb. 1
Got up at 10 had break-
Fast.  15 below this morning.
Went sliding after
Dinner over to Friend
Street.  Went sliding all evening
Came home 9:15 went to bed 10.


Monday 2

Got up at 7:00 went
To school.  Awful warm
Today.  Home all the
Afternoon.  Went sliding after
Supper.  No good sliding came
home 8:15 went to bed at 9pm

[Note:  Eunice is Gertrude's older sister by one year.  She went to Helen's house for a visit- Helen is the eldest sister who was married and had three very young children at this time.] 

February 2 - February 8, 1920

Tues.  Feb. 3, 1920
Got up at 7.00 went to
school.  Mildred is
awful sick.  Home all
afternoon and home
all the evening and
studied went to
bed at 9.15

Wednesday 4
Up at 7.00 went to school.
Mildred is awful sick
had to call Dr. Hyendian [sp?]
last night 2 AM she was unconscious
Went sliding at 4.15.  Went
sliding over Giles Ave after supper
Home 8.45 bed 9.30

Thursday 5
Got up at 7.  Terrible
Storm today no cars couldn’t
get to school. Home all day.
Trains late Pa & Russel home.
8.15 storm awful now and ???
Went to bed at 9.30 PM

[Note:   Mildred is the youngest sibling in the Hitchings family.  In last week's transcription she came down with mumps.  It must have been a very serious case, and she was extremely ill.  I'm sure that it was very scary in 1920, before antibiotics and modern medicine.  Does anyone know the name of this doctor in Beverly in 1920?  I checked the censuses and city directory, but can't figure out the surname.

It looks like a big snowstorm hit Beverly on Feb. 5 and 6, that left the city without trolley cars, trains and school for several days.  According to some reports I saw in newspapers online, the storm hit the northeast between February 4 - 7 and left 13" in Boston and 17.5" in New York, with very high winds.  It is a good thing the doctor arrived to treat Mildred before the big storm hit Beverly!]

Fri. Feb. 6, 1920
Got up at 7.30.  No cars to-
Day, didn’t go to school.
Mildred is some better to-
Day.  Rain and ?? all day
Went over to Mrs. Butlers
All afternoon.  home all evening
went to bed at 9.45

Saturday 7
Got up at 7:30.  Snowed
hard this morning there
has been no car today
Worked around the
house all morning.  Mildred is
better.  Went down A& P with
Ethel & Eunice went to bed 10.15


Sunday 8
Got up at 9 took a bath
Had breakfast at 10.  Men are
Digging out the car tracks.  Took
a walk up to see the big drift up
Danvers. Home all evening
and studied went to to bed at 9.00

[Note:  Thankfully, Mildred seemed to recover from her terrible illness with mumps.  The big blizzard still affected school and transportation all week.  The "A&P" was a big grocery store on Cabot Street when I was growing up in Beverly in the 1960s.  I don't know the location in 1920, but it must have been near Elliott Street (walking distance) since the trolley cars were out of service after this blizzard.   Gertrude mentions the "big drift up [at] Danvers" (the next town), which must have been quite a sight if she took a special trip to see it!] 

For photos of the big blizzard February 4 - 7 in Massachusetts and New England, see this link:  

Read Part 1 of Gertrude's diary at this link:

UPDATE 20 Dec 2016 8am - Thank you to reader Sandra Steele DeFord who identified "Giles Street" for me on the February 4th diary entry.  She also sent a list of names of physicians from the Beverly death records Jan - March 1920.  What a great idea!  I'm thinking that the doctor who was called to treat Mildred for her mumps was Dr. Hyman Yudin, a Latvian immigrant who lived on Rantoul Street in Beverly.


Published under a Creative Commons License

Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "My Grandmother's Diary - Part 3", Nutfield Genealogy, posted December 19, 2016,  ( accessed [access date]).