Monday, February 29, 2016

17th and 18th Century Graffiti

Vincent at the Castillo San Cristobal, the largest fortress in the walled city of San Juan, Puerto Rico

This is a dungeon cell, with an open window in the castle wall at the end of the passage.

This tunnel system is part of the Castillo San Cristobal in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  Off one side of the main tunnel is a dungeon where prisoners, pirates, and political dissenters were jailed.  In one cell Vincent photographed the remains of some 17th century graffiti.  Experts believe that a naval officer must have been the artist of the five ships scratched into the plaster because the level of detail in the ship rigging is very accurate. The graffiti is mostly Spanish, but also English and French. 

The recognizable Spanish word mierda  ( in English this translates to "shit") was scratched by an unfortunate prisoner inside the dungeon off tunnel 1A in San Cristobal.  

There are several large and small fortresses and castles as part of the defensive system of San Juan.  They were built between 1539 and the 19th century.  You can find both linguistic and figurative graffiti on the walls of these forts.  The written graffiti is in several languages, and the drawings include shops, soldiers, horses and other animals.   The scholarly paper described below is a report on this graffiti and other graffiti found in the forts around San Juan.

We were fascinated with the graffiti, and by the fact that it has survived the ages in a fortress built in the 1600s.  This dungeon cell is also exposed to the elements by a large open window that overlooks the waves crashing onto the rocks at the foot of the castle walls.  All sorts of tropical humidity, rain, hurricanes, and other adverse weather have not faded these drawings and words.

The National Park Service gives guided tunnel lantern tours several times a week at Castillo San Cristobal.  Otherwise, the tunnels are open for self guided tours during the regular National Park hours.

This is the main passage of tunnel 1A under San Cristobal
fortress.  The dungeon cell can be seen on the left.

For the truly curious:

"Historical Ship Graffiti on the Walls of San Juan's Spanish Defense System: An Interim Report", by Isabell C. Rivera Collazo, The International Journal of Nautical Archaeology, (2006), Volume 35, pages         (available online at   )

Wikipedia article Castillo San Cristobal

A five minute video tour of Castillo San Cristobal 


To cite/link to this blog post:  Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "17th and 18th Century Graffiti", Nutfield Genealogy, posted February 29, 2016, ( accessed [access date]).

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Surname Saturday ~ GARLAND of Charlestown, Massachusetts and Hampton, New Hampshire

Charlestown, Massachusetts


The first immigrant ancestor in this line may be “Peter the Mariner” Garland, my 10th great grandfather.  His origins are unknown.  He lived in Charlestown, Massachusetts and sailed ships between Massachusetts and Virginia.  According to the compiled Garland genealogy (see below), he “died in the South while on a voyage” about 1687.  He had requested his sons to take his body North (New Hampshire?) for burial, but his coffin was washed overboard during a storm.  Peter Garland lived in land bounded by Edward Converse, my 9th great grandfather on my paternal side.  His name is mentioned in early Charlestown records and in Note-book Kept by Thomas Lechford, Esq. Lawyer, in Boston, Massachusetts Bay, from June 27, 1638 to July 29, 1641, by Edward Everett Hale, 1885, where on pages 60 – 61 you can find this note which also mentions my 9th great grandfather Isaac Allerton, Mayflower passenger:

“Thomas Beech, I pray you to pay unto my good friend, Mr. Isaac Allerton, above somme of thirty-three pounds four shillings and six pence.  And I further desire you to demand, recover and receive for me the above somme £6 3s 6d of the same partys, who owe the same unto me, and upon payment, give them acquittance, which when you have received, pay over to my said friend, Mr. Isaac Allerton, according to my Letter of Attorney to him made the Date hereof in that behalf.

Witness my hand the twenty-nynth of March, Anno Dni, 1639
(Signed)     PETER GARLAND”

Peter’s son, John Garland, is my 9th great grandfather removed to Exeter, New Hampshire where he was recorded in 1650.  By 1653 he was taxed in Hampton.  His son, Peter Garland, my 8th great grandfather, was a mariner like his namesake, and made weekly trips between Boston and Hampton on a packet.  His sloop was named after his wife, Sarah Taylor.  The records also show vessels named Nonesuch, New Design and Adventure.  His son, John Garland, my 7th great grandfather, removed to Rye and owned land in Hampton, Portsmouth, Gilmanton, Nottingham and Barrington.  John was a representative to the General Assembly in 1737 and served at Fort William and Mary in 1708.  

Notable descendant:  Senator Bill Frist of Tennesee, who is also a heart and lung transplant surgeon [ see

Some GARLAND resources:

Garland Genealogy: The Descendants (the Northern Branch) of Peter Garland, by James Gray Garland, 1897 (available online at 

History of the town of Hampton, New Hampshire: From its settlement in 1638, to the autumn of 1892 by Joseph Dow, edited by Lucy Ellen Dow, 1894.

See also the New Hampshire Provincial and State Papers, volume 10, page 701 and Volume 40, page 17. Consult the Genealogical Dictionary of Maine and New Hampshire, by Noyes, Libby and Davis, page 254.

My GARLAND genealogy:

Generation 1: Peter Garland, origins unknown, died 1687; married to Elizabeth Unknown. At least two sons, Peter and John.

Generation 2: John Garland, born about 1622 probably in England and died 4 January 1672 in Hampton, New Hampshire; married first on 26 October 1652 in Hampton to Elizabeth Chapman (no children); married second on 26 October 1654 in Hampton to Elizabeth Philbrick, daughter of Thomas Philbrick and Elizabeth Knapp and the widow of Thomas Chase.  Three sons. Elizabeth remarried to Henry Robie on 19 January 1674.

Generation 3:  Peter Garland, born 25 November 1659 in Hampton, died 1704 in Rye, New Hampshire; married first to Elizabeth Unknown, who died 16 Feb 1688 (two sons); married second about 1688 to Sarah Taylor, daughter of John Taylor and Deborah Godfrey (five children).  Sarah remarried to Samuel Dow on 13 February 1708 in Hampton.

Generation 4:  John Garland, son of Peter Garland and Sarah Taylor, born 13 April 1692 in Hampton, died about 1741; married on 12 January 1716 in Hampton to Elizabeth Dearborn, daughter of John Dearborn and Abigail Batchelder. Eleven children.

Generation 5: Elizabeth Garland, born 13 March 1724 in Rye, died 1818; married about 1745 to Richard Locke, son of John Locke and Sarah Unknown.  He was born 28 July 1720 in Rye, and died 15 May 1804.  Eleven children.

Generation 6:  Simon Locke m. Abigail Mace
Generation 7: Richard Locke m. Margaret Welch
Generation 8: Abigail M. Locke m. George E. Batchelder
Generation 9: George E. Batchelder m. Mary Katharine Emerson
Generation 10: Carrie Maude Batchelder m. Joseph Elmer Allen
Generation 11: Stanley Elmer Allen m. Gertrude Matilda Hitchings (my grandparents)


To cite/link to this blog post:  Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Surname Saturday ~ GARLAND of Charlestown, Massachusetts and Hampton, New Hampshire", Nutfield Genealogy, posted February 27, 2016, ( accessed [access date]).

Friday, February 26, 2016

My, How the family has grown! Photo Friday

These are my husband's cousins from Spain.  This photo was taken in about 1976 in Madrid, Spain.  Here you see his cousin, José, in his military uniform (military service was compulsory in Spain from 1770 until 2001), and his little sister, Marta, with their parents.

This second photo was taken a few years ago when Marta, the little girl in the photo was married in Seville, Spain.  This photo contains her parents (at the far left), her brother, José, and his wife and son, and Marta's new husband and his two young sons from a previous marriage.  I remember this day very well, because it was the first time I had ever been to a wedding in Spain!

And two years later my daughter had a wedding reception in the Plaza Mayor of Madrid.  Here she is posing with the same auntie, uncle and cousins.  Recognize everyone?  Little Marta and her husband are on the far right, standing next to José and his mother, with my daughter and her new husband in the middle. José's father is next to the bride on the right.


To cite/link to this blog post:  Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "My, How the family has grown!  Photo Friday", Nutfield Genealogy, posted February 26, 2016, ( accessed [access date]).

Thursday, February 25, 2016

March 2016 Genealogy and Local History Event Calendar

( FYI  I try to edit this with updates during the month, and I also post additional events as I learn about them at my Facebook page "Nutfield Genealogy" at this link:  )

February 25 – 17, Winter Weekend Research Getaway at the New England Historic Genealogical Society, 99 – 101 Newbury Street, Boston, Massachusetts.  Register at this link:  Escape to NEHGS for three days of research, consultations, lectures and social events.

February 27, Saturday, 2pm, American Sweepstakes:  How One Small State Bucked the Church, The Feds and the Mob to Usher in the Lottery Age, at the NH Historical Society, 30 Park Street, Concord, New Hampshire.  Presented by author and TV journalist Kevin Flynn as he talks about his new book.  Free to the public.

March, 2016,  Beginning the Journey of Genealogy, a four week genealogy course at the the Montachusett Regional Vocational Tech School, 1050 Westminster Street, Fitchburg, Massachusetts by genealogist Jake Fletcher.  See this link for more information:

March 1, Tuesday, 7pm, I Can’t Die But Once – Harriet Tubman’s Civil War, at the North Hampton Public Library, 237A Atlantic Avenue, North Hampton, New Hampshire, presented by living historian Gwendolyn Quezaire-Presutti.  Free to the public.

March 1, Tuesday, 7pm,  New Hampshire’s One-Room Rural Schools:  The Romance and the Reality, at the Exeter Historical Society, 47 Front Street, Exeter, New Hampshire.  A presentation by Steve Taylor on the lasting legacies of the one-room school and how they echo today.  Free to the public.

March 1, Tuesday, 5:30 – 7:30pm, Introductory Genealogy Research Assistance, at the Worcester Public Library, Worcester, Massachusetts.  One on one assistance with a librarian.  Allow at least one week lead time for research on specific topics.  Please register online at the library website.

March 2, Wednesday, 11am, New Hampshire's One Room Rural Schools: The Romance and the Reality, at the Marion Gerrish Community Center, 39 West Broadway, Derry, New Hampshire. Sponsored by the Amoskeag Mills Chapter of Questers and the NH Humanities Council.  Presented by Steve Taylor.  Free to the public. 

March 3, Thursday, noon, Lunch & Learn: "So Hemmed in": Land and Identity Among the Middleborough Indians, at the Hornblower Visitor Center at Plimoth Plantation, Plymouth, Massachusetts, a lecture presented by speaker Jon Green.  Bring a bag lunch. Free for members, $8 for non-members, For more information see this link: 

March 3, Thursday, 6 - 8pm, Genealogy Gathering, at the Montague Public Libraries, 201 Avenue A, Turner's Falls, Massachusetts.  A casual drop-in session to talk about genealogy, our successes and brick walls.  Use all the resources in the library because the building is closed except for the genealogy group. 

March 4, Friday, 2pm,  Fellow Laborers: The Friendship of Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, at the Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston, Massachusetts.  Presented by Sara Sikes, Associate Editor of the Adams Papers, and Sara Georgini, Assistant Editor.  Free to the public.

March 5, Saturday, 11:30am and 2:30pm, Trial of the Century: Boston Massacre Trial Reenactment, at the Old State House, 206 Washington Street, Boston, Massachusetts.  Watch lawyers John Adams and Josiah Quincy defend the British soldiers accused of murdering Bostonians during the Boston Massacre. $10 (admission to the Old State House) space is limited, tickets for both performances are available with museum admission. 

March 5, Saturday, 7pm, Boston Massacre Reenactment, at the Old State House, 206 Washington Street, Boston, Massachusetts. Free to the public. 

March 5, Saturday, 2pm, Midnight Ride, Industrial Revolution:  Revere’s Evolution from Craftsman to Entrepreneur, at the Scottish Rite  Masonic Museum, 33 Marrett Road, Lexington, Massachusetts, Free.  A lecture by Robert Martello, Professor of the History of Science and Technology at Olin College of Engineering.  Book signing to follow.

March 5, 5, 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, and 27, Saturdays and Sundays, Maple Days at Sturbridge Village, see the entire maple sugar making process- from tapping the trees, to "sugaring off" and learn why maple sugar was more commonly used than maple syrup in colonial New England. See demonstrations of traditional Native American methods, early 19th century New England, 20th century metal buckets and contemporary tubing used to gather maple sap. Included with museum admission. For more information see   

March 6 (and more), 2pm, Sundays, Sundays at the Forsyth, at the Forsyth Chapel, at the main entrance to Forest Hills Cemetery, 95 Forest Hills Avenue, Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts.  Two Sundays in February, March and April.  Each presentation covers a topic that highlights the residents or grounds of Forest Hill Cemetery.  Light refreshments. $10 per person. Email or 617-524-0128 for more information.
Mar 6: SS Pierce: A Boston Tradition- by Anthony Sanmarco
Mar 20: Women of the Theater - by Dee Morris
April 3: The History of Forest Hills Cemetery- by Anthony Sanmarco
April 17: The Other New England Patriots- by Dee Morris

March 6, Sunday, 1pm to 3pm, Using Gedmatch: A Third Party Tool for Genetic Genealogists, at the Maine Irish Heritage Center, on the corner of State and Gray Streets, Portland, Maine.  For more information 207-232-2001 or $5 members, $10 non-members.

March 6, Sunday, 9am – 4pm, Irish Family History Day, at the Courtyard Marriott, 275 Tremont Street, Boston, Massachusetts, sponsored by the New England Historic Genealogical Society, cost $85.  Register for a 20 minute one-on-one consultation session with an expert for an additional $30.  Questions?  Call 617-226-1226 or email  Register online at

March 8, 15, 22, 29, Tuesday, 9am, 10:15am, noon and 1:15pm, Researching Your Family History, at the SeniorsPlus Education Center, Lewiston, Maine, presented by Carroll N. Holmes, researcher, one-on-one, one hour class using several genealogy web sites to help find your family tree. For more information call 1-207-795-4010. 

March 8, Tuesday, 5:30 – 7:30pm, Introductory Genealogy Research Assistance, at the Worcester Public Library, Worcester, Massachusetts.  One on one assistance with a librarian.  Allow at least one week lead time for research on specific topics.  Please register online at the library website.

March 11, Friday, 5:30 – 9:30, The Annual Genealogy Lock In, at the Memorial Hall Public Library, Andover, Massachusetts. Register for an evening of after hours genealogy research with exclusive access to databases, computers, microfilm and the Andover Room.  A light dinner will be served. $10 fee. Space is limited.

March 11, Friday, 7pm, Did Grandma Have a Filling Station?, at the Sloan Theater, Greenfield Community College, Greenfield, Massachusetts.  Tickets available through  Please register at this link.  Presented by Shari Strahan and Sara Campbell. Learn how to use Married Women's Business Certificates, historic newspapers, maps, and town directories to learn about the women business leaders in your family tree. 

March 11, Friday, The Irish Experience at The Philips House, 34 Chestnut Street, Salem, Massachusetts, Find out about the daily lives of the Phillips family Irish domestic staff.  Space is limited. $20.  Registration required, please call 978-744-0440 

March 12, Saturday, 10am – noon, Masonic Genealogy Workshop, at the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum and Library, Lexington, Massachusetts.  Led by Jeffrey Croteau, Director of the Library and Archives, and John Coelho, Archivist, they will discuss different types of Masonic records, where they are located, and how they may be useful to genealogical research.  $15 museum members, $20 non-members.  Registration required by March 5, email

March 12 and 13, Saturday and Sunday, The New Hampshire Old House and Barn Expo, at the Center of New Hampshire, Radisson Hotel, Manchester, New Hampshire.  $10 for adults, $7 for seniors and kids.  Presented by the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance, dedicated to preserving historic buildings, communities and landscapes.  Have fun and learn from the experts at this one-stop-shopping trade show that helps old house and barn owners with appropriate and affordable solutions.  Over 60 exhibitors, hourly lectures, and demonstrations on gardens, architecture, history and preservation strategies. Children's expo scavenger hunt and crafts.

March 12, 19, and 26 (Three consecutive Saturdays), 2p m to 4pm , Workshop:  Getting Started in Genealogy with the New England Historic Genealogical Society, held at the New Hampshire Historical Society Library, 30 Park Street, Concord, New Hampshire. This class will introduce basic concepts in genealogy, tools for organizing your research, standard records and hints for conducting research.  For more information and pricing for members and non-members, visit or call Wendy Olcott at 603-856-0621 to register by phone using a credit card.

March 13, Sunday, 3pm, Revolutionary Justice: Law and Society in the American Revolution, at Bemis Hall, 15 Bedford Road, Lincoln, Massachusetts.  Free event by the Friends of Minuteman National Park, presented by Professor Bruce Mann of the Harvard University School of Law. 

March 14, Monday, 7pm, New Hampshire's Grange Movement:  Its Rise, Triumphs and Decline, at the Stratham Fire Station, Morgera Meeting Room, 4 Winnicutt Road, Stratham, New Hampshire.  Sponsored by the Stratham Historical Society and the NH Humanities Council.  Presented by Steve Taylor.  Snow date is March 21.  Free to the public. 

March 15, Tuesday, 6:30pm, Finding Your Female Ancestors, at the Worcester Public Library, Computer Lab, 3rd Floor, Main Library, Worcester, Massachusetts. Contact librarian Cynthia Bermudez.

March 15, Tuesday, 7pm, An Evening with John Clayton, in the McAllister Room at the Bedford Public Library, Bedford, New Hampshire.  Sponsored by the Friends of Bedford Cemeteries, John Clayton, the executive director of the Manchester Historic Association will present his well known book You know you are in New Hampshire When. Free to the public, donations welcome. 

March 16, Wednesday, 7:30, Mad for Glory:  USS Frigate Essex, at the Ipswich Museum, 54 South Main Street, Ipswich, Massachusetts.  Speaker, Robert Booth, $10 for non-members. 

March 16, Wednesday, 7:30pm, Paper Piecing:  a Quilt, a Doctor, a Widow, and Eliza, at the Royall House and Slave Quarters, 15 George Street, Medford, Massachusetts, presented by author/quilter Rachel May.  Free to the public.

March 16, Wednesday, 9:30am, Poor Houses and Town Farms:  The Hard Row for Paupers, at the Messiah Lutheran Church, 303 Route 101, Amherst, New Hampshire.  Steve Taylor will present how paupers were treated in these facilities and how reformers eventually succeeded in closing them down.  Free to the public. Sponsored by the New Hampshire Humanities Council and the Nipmugs Chapter of Questers.

March 17, Thursday, 7pm, Poor Houses and Town Farms: The Hard Row for Paupers (see above), at the Francestown Town Offices, 27 Main Street, Francestown, New Hampshire.  Sponsored by the George Holmes Bixby Memorial Library and the NH Humanities Council.  

March 19, Saturday, 1pm, Online Resources for Irish Research, sponsored by the Essex Society of Genealogists, at the Centre Congregational Church, 5 Summer Street, Lynnfield, Massachusetts, presented by Mary Ellen Grogan, a professional genealogist from Boston.  There will be a brown bag luncheon prior to the lecture.

March 19, Saturday, 10am - 2pm, Photo ID Day at the Manchester Historic Association Research Center, 129 Amherst Street, Manchester, New Hampshire. Ever wonder where that old photo of Manchester was taken? Bring your photos and we will help you identify them! We will have local historians and MHA staff on site to help nail down some of your mystery photos.  FREE to the public! 

March 19 - 20, Saturday and Sunday, Opening Day at Plimoth Plantation:  All things Irish, at Plimoth Planation, Plymouth, Massachusetts.  The nation's premier living history museum opens for the 69th season! Discover the history sites and renovated craft center, traditional Irish music, 17th century Irish history, bread baking demonstrations and fun for the whole family. Free with museum admission. for more information. 

March 19, Saturday, 9am to 3pm, Telling Your Family Story, at the Nackey S. Loeb School of Communications, Manchester, New Hampshire.  Registration is $50, including lunch, Register at or 603-627-0005.  Presenters will include WMUR's Fritz Wetherbee, John Clayton director of the Manchester Historic Association, and Meg Heckman a UNH journalism professor.  Archivist Lori Fisher of Bow's Baker Free Library will bring advice on preserving and protecting photos and family papers.  John Gfoerer of the video production company, Accompany, will demonstrate techniques to help put your stories on video.  

March 20, Sunday, 2pm, Winter Lecture Series: In Harm’s Way: Conflict and Captivity Before the French and Indian War, at the Deerfield Community Center, Deerfield Massachusetts, Free to the public.  Today’s lecture will be “Colonization and Captivity in Native Space” by Lisa Brooks, Associate Professor of English and American Studies, Amherst College, Amherst, Massachusetts.

March 20, Sunday, 2pm, Oral History- Family Stories:  How and Why to Remember Them, at the Levenson Meeting Room of the Portsmouth Public Library, Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Presented by Jo Radner.  The importance of capturing and passing on family stories, bringing life to genealogical research.  Free to the public.

March 22, Tuesday, 7pm, "Did Grandma Have a Filling Station? - Recovering Hidden History from Married Women's Business Certificates", at the Central Massachusetts Genealogical Society membership meeting, at the American Legion, 22 Elm Street, Gardner, Massachusetts.  Presented by Sara Campbell and Shari Strahan.  Guests are welcome for a $2 donation which is applied to membership if they join at that same meeting. For more information contact Janet Fortunato at 

March 22, Tuesday, 5:30 – 7:30pm, Introductory Genealogy Research Assistance, at the Worcester Public Library, Worcester, Massachusetts.  One on one assistance with a librarian.  Allow at least one week lead time for research on specific topics.  Please register online at the library website.

March 24, Thursday, 6:45pm, Margaret Bourke- White: America's Eyes, at the Hooksett Library, 31 Mount Saint Mary's Way, Hooksett, New Hampshire.  Sponsored by the Hooksett Library.  The Hooksett Historical Society's business meeting will begin at 6:30 with the program to follow at 6:45.  Presented by living historian Sally Matson.  Free to the public. 

March 26, Saturday, History Camp Boston 2016, at the Harriet Tubman House, 566 Columbus Avenue,  Boston, Massachusetts (Near the Mass. Ave T stop).  See this link for more information registration and schedule:

March 28, Monday, 6pm, Family Stories: How and Why to Remember and Tell Them, at the Conway Public Library, 15 Greenwood Avenue, Conway, New Hampshire, Jo Radner shares foolproof ways to mine memories and interview relatives for meaningful stories.  Participants will practice finding, developing and telling their own tales.  Free to the public.

March 29, Tuesday, 5:30 – 7:30pm, Introductory Genealogy Research Assistance, at the Worcester Public Library, Worcester, Massachusetts.  One on one assistance with a librarian.  Allow at least one week lead time for research on specific topics.  Please register online at the library website.

March 30, Wednesday, The Black Community in Colonial Dorchester and Boston, at the Commonwealth Salon, Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston Street, Boston, Massachusetts.  Presented by historian Alex Goldfeld.  Free to the public.

April 3, Sunday, 1pm to 3pm, Gleanings from Ireland’s Griffith’s Valuation, at the Maine Irish Heritage Center, on the corner of State and Gray Streets, Portland, Maine.  This valuable resource for Irish family history contains information for genealogy research.  Learn how to tap into this data set.  $5 for members, $10 for non-members. For more information call 207-232-2001 or or email

April 9 and 10, Saturday and Sunday, Sleep in the 17th Century: A Bi-Cultural Overnight at Plimoth Plantation, at the Henry Hornblower Visitor Center, Plimoth Plantation Museum, Plymouth, Massachusetts.  This program is for Girl Scouts only.  Please register through the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts.   

Looking ahead:

April 16 and 17, Massachusetts Genealogical Council 2016 Seminar, at the Courtyard Hotel, Marlborough, Massachusetts.  Register online, see the website

April 23, Saturday, Maine Genealogical Society Conference, keynote and workshops on “DNA Genetic Genealogy” with genealogist Blaine Bettinger, blogger at at the Elks Club in Augusta, Maine, $40 members, $50 non members, lunch included. Send checks by April 1 to Maine Genealogical Society, c/o Deborah Nowers, 72 Achorn Road, Belfast, Maine 04915. Register online or find more info at

April 30, The 2016 New England Family History Conference. For details see the website

May 21, Saturday, 11am – 3:30pm, Connecticut Society of Genealogists 48th Anniversary Celebration, at the Connecticut Historical Society, One Elizabeth Street, Hartford, Connecticut.  More info at

May 21, Saturday, Southern Maine Genealogical Conference, featuring genealogists D. Joshua Taylor, at Keeley’s Banquet Center, 178 Warren Avenue, Portland, Maine,  For more information:

September 9 – 10, Western Massachusetts Genealogical Conference, details coming soon.

September 15 – 17, New York State Family History Conference, at the Holiday Inn Syracuse, 441 Electronics Parkway, Liverpool, New York.

September 17,  Saturday, Maine Genealogical Society, 40th Anniversary Conference, Jeff’s Catering, Brewer, Maine, for more information see this link or MGS, Box 2062, Waterville, Maine, 04903

October 15, Connecticut Society of Genealogists Seminar.  Details to come at

April 25 - 29, 2017, NERGC 2017, at the Mass Mutual Center, 1277 Main Street, Springfield, Massachusetts 


To cite/link to this blog post:  Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "March 2016 Genealogy and Local History Event Calendar", Nutfield Genealogy, posted February 25, 2016, (  accessed [access date]).

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Weathervane Wednesday ~ Over a waterfall!

I post a series of weather vane photographs every Wednesday.  This started with images of weathervanes from the Londonderry area, but now I've found 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 or unusual weathervanes, too!

Today's weather vane is from a quaint town in New Hampshire.

Do you know the location of weathervane #249?  Scroll down to find the answer

This weather vane was spotted by my friend, who spotted another weathervane nearby. when she was house sitting near Lake Winnipesaukee.  We investigated the first weathervane together, and also found this one.  It's fun to find new weathervanes, and on that day I discovered six new weathervanes all in downtown Meredith, New Hampshire!

This gilded, scroll weathervane sits on the cupola of the Mill Falls Inn in Meredith, New Hampshire.  It is a restored 19th century linen mill, once powered by water.  In the Victorian period, new machinery and tools made fancy scrollwork popular, both in metal and woodworking.  The early banner style weather vanes evolved into more elaborate scroll style vanes.  They were also flat and simple to reproduce. I don't know if this weathervane is original to the the 19th century mill, but it is historically appropriate.

Today this mill building is one of four inns, all adjacent to each other, that are part of the Mill Falls at the Lake resort on the edge of Lake Winipesaukee.

There were several weather vanes in or near this resort.  I'll feature a few more next week.  I also featured the Hart Turkey Farm weather vane last Thanksgiving, which was part of this same photo safari in Meredith with my friend.

Mill Falls at the Lake website:

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


To cite/link to this blog post:  Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Weathervane Wednesday ~ Over a waterfall!", Nutfield Genealogy,  posted February 24, 2016 ( :  accessed [access date]). 

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Tombstone Tuesday ~ Joshua Herrick and his two wives, Beverly, Massachusetts

These tombstones were photographed at the Abbott Hale Cemetery in Beverly, Massachusetts

Here lyed ye Body
of Lydia Wife of Joshua
Herrick who died
Augt. 19, 1736 in her 27 
year.  The memory of ye just is Blessed
[the rest has sunk underground]

In Memory of Mr
who departed this
Life Decr. 7th
1782.  In the
84th year of 
his age.

In Memory of
Relict of
who departed this life
April 26th 1784
Aged 75 years.

Joshua Herrick, my first cousin 10 generations removed, was born 22 February, 1699 in Beverly, Massachusetts, the son of Joseph Herrick and Mary Dodge.  He married Lydia Cushing on 30 June 1726 in Beverly.  She was the daughter of Theophilus Cushing and Mary Thaxter of Hingham, Massachusetts.  They had five children:  Mary, Lydia, Theophilus, Joshua and Deborah.  Only Lydia lived to marry, and the rest died young.  According to Find A Grave three children - Mary, Joshua and Deborah are named on this stone, but I could only see two names.

Joshua Herrick remarried second to Abigail Jacobs, who was also from Hingham!

Joseph Herrick, Joshua's father, married Lydia's mother, Mary (Thaxter) Cushing in Beverly in 1722.  Lydia's sister, Deborah Cushing, married in Beverly in 1726 to Joshua Corning.  This solves the mystery of how these young people from such distant towns on the Massachusetts coastline came to marry!


To cite/link to this blog post:  Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Tombstone Tuesday ~ Joshua Herrick and his two wives, Beverly, Massachusetts", Nutfield Genealogy, posted February 23, 2016, ( accessed [access date]).

Monday, February 22, 2016

The New Hampshire State Papers – You can’t do Colonial NH research without them!

Probate Records of the Province of New Hampshire
Volume 9, 1767 - 1771, State Papers Series, Volume 39

This post was originally written in 2010, but the links needed updating- and so did the message!

If your ancestors lived in Colonial New England, or if you suspect that your ancestors lived in New England any time up until 1800, then you must have used the New Hampshire State Papers for your genealogical research. I first came across this wonderful resource years ago (before the internet) at the Portsmouth Atheneum library. Now, when I run across a new name in the family tree, I can go to the NH State Papers online at the website for the State Archives.  

The NH State Papers were published in forty volumes between 1867 and 1943. The websites below have indexes to names about 2070 pages long. The project has been made available on microfilm and CD-ROM to libraries and repositories worldwide. The first seven volumes are sometimes referred to as The Provincial Papers. Their contents include town papers, the Revolutionary Rolls (in volumes 14 to 17), other military records, land grants, town charters, probate and court records.

Please remember that the “Association Test” (also known as “The Patriot Test”) during the American Revolution was a document by the Committee of Safely that required every male over age 21 to sign in 1776. This was a loyalty oath to the Patriot cause.  It is considered as valuable as a census record since both signers and non-signers (usually with a reason why they would not sign, for example Quakers did not sign) are listed.  It is the best list of NH residents before the first Federal census in 1790.  You can find the Association Test signatures in Volume 30, and also at this link grouped by county and town:      

These Association Test names are also available in a book called Inhabitants of New Hampshire, 1776, by Emily S. Wilson, Baltimore, MD, Genealogical Publishing Co., 1993 and online at (look In the card catalog of online books).

Links for the complete set of New Hampshire State Papers:   The New Hampshire State Papers page at official State of New Hampshire website.  The top link is an index, where you can search surnames by then clicking on the correct volume and page.  Rootsweb’s PDF index to the NH State Papers.  Use the index to find the name you are interested in researching, and then the links to the correct Volume and page.  It is cumbersome, but the only way to search the NH State Papers online right now.

The Rutland Historical Society, (Rutland Vermont) has a list of links to all forty volumes of the New Hampshire State Papers, but no index here:

Any link you may have to the University of New Hampshire Archives and Library is a broken link.  They are trying to fix their links now (on my request as of February 1, 2016.  If you feel like browsing through the historical collections for volumes of the NH State papers, you might want to try this link: and click on "NH State Publications" and then click on "Historical" (sorry, no other link will work). 

You may find various volumes of the New Hampshire State and Provincial papers online with Google or other search engine (searchable images or text) but for access to all 40 complete volumes I would recommend using the links above.


To cite/link to this blog post:  Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "The New Hampshire State Papers – You can’t do Colonial NH research without them!", Nutfield Genealogy, posted February 22, 2016, ( accessed [access date]). 

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Surname Saturday ~ BAKER of Ipswich, Massachusetts


There were three men named John Baker living in New England in the early 1600s.  One lived in Charlestown, Massachusetts, another in Dover, New Hampshire, and the third was my 10th great grandfather, John Baker of Ipswich.  He arrived in Massachusetts in 1637.  He was listed as a “grocer” from Norwich, Norfolk, England on the passenger list for the Rose of Yarmouth.  His first three children were baptized at St. Peter’s, Mancroft, Norwich, England.

"Aprill 8, 1637. The examination of John Baker, borne in Norwich in Norffolkke, Grocar, aged 39 yrs, and Elizabeth he wife aged 31 yrs, with three children, -Elizabeth John and Thomas, -and four servants, Marcy Alxasrson aged 24 yrs, Anne Alxarson aged 20 yrs, and Bridgett Boulle aged 32 yrs, and Samuell Arres aged 14 yrs, as all desiroues to goe for Charles Towne in New England ther to inhabitt and remaine." (New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Volume 14, page 32.)  Note that he was NOT the John Baker who settled in Charlestown, which often causes confusion!   

John Baker settled in Ipswich.  He was made a freeman there on 2 June 1641 (two men named John Baker were on that list!).  He had a house lot on High Street.  He was licensed to sell wine in 1644 and 1647, and in 1652 to sell beer, and was an inn-holder in 1664, 1665 and 1666. He had three more children born in Ipswich.  

"He appears to have been a man of property, his name standing one of the forty-four highest of one hundred and fifty-seven subscribers to the compensation of Major Denison, the military leader, in 1648." (Hammatt's Papers 1:22.)

John Baker bought land in Topsfield, adjacent to Ipswich, and conveyed a 150 acre farm to his son Thomas Baker in 1661, on the condition that Thomas pay ten pounds a year to his father John; his mother, Elizabeth;  and daughter Elizabeth.  John Baker died in the 1680s, probably in Ipswich.

Some additional BAKER resources:

Ancestry of the Children of Robert Croll Stevens and Jane Eleanor (Knauss) Stevens, Volume II: The Genealogy of John Christian Croll 1707 – 1758, by Robert Croll Stevens, 1985, (unpaginated, families are numbered- Baker is 164) available online at a Family History Center Library.

Great Migration Begins, Volume I, by Robert Charles Anderson, 1995, page 74

Ancestry of Priscilla Baker, by William S. Appleton, 1870, pages 3 – 5.

My BAKER lineage:

Generation 1:  John Baker, son of John Baker, born about 1598 in Norwich, Norfolk, England and died in the 1680s in Ipswich, Massachusetts; married to Elizabeth Unknown, born about 1612.  Six children.

Generation 2:  Martha Baker, born 1643 in Ipswich, died after 1670 in Ipswich; married on 22 June 1670 in Topsfield to Thomas Andrews, son of Robert Andrews and Grace Melburn.  He was born about 1645 in Boxford, Berkshire, England and died 1 April 1724 in Boxford, Massachusetts.  One child for Martha Baker and Thomas Andrews. 

Generation 3: Sarah Andrews m. Joseph Swett
Generation 4: Benjamin Swett m. Elizabeth Norton
Generation 5: Elizabeth Swett m. David Batchelder
Generation 6: Elisha Batchelder m. Sarah Lane
Generation 7:  Jonathan Batchelder m. Nancy Thompson
Generation 8: George E. Batchelder m. Abigail M. Locke
Generation 9: George E. Batchelder m. Mary Katharine Emerson
Generation 10: Carrie Maude Batchelder m. Joseph Elmer Allen
Generation 11: Stanley Elmer Allen m. Gertrude Matilda Hitchings (my grandparents)


To cite/link to this blog post:  Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Surname Saturday ~ BAKER of Ipswich, Massachusetts", Nutfield Genealogy, posted February 20, 2016, ( accessed [access date]). 

Friday, February 19, 2016

Fairhaven Protecting Society ~ Photo Friday

This building was photographed on Washington Street in Fairhaven, Massachusetts

The Fairhaven Protecting Society was organized in 1887 as an association of volunteers.  They worked along side the fire department by going into buildings after the firefighters left, to try to save household goods. The Fairhaven Protecting Society moved into this little white building in 1894.  It was previously the town jail!

Today this historic building houses an old fire engine that gives rides to children on the town's "Harvest Fun Day".  It is maintained by the Fairhaven Historical Commission.

History of the Fairhaven Fire Department


To cite/link to this blog post:  Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Fairhaven Protecting Society ~ Photo Friday", Nutfield Genealogy, posted February 19, 2016, ( accessed [access date]).

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Weathervane Wednesday ~ A Great Big Apple!

Weathervane Wednesday is an on-going series of photographs I post weekly.  I first started by publishing posts about weathervanes from the Nutfield area, but now I've been finding interesting and historical weathervanes from all over New Hampshire and New England.  Sometimes my weathervanes have an interesting history, and sometimes they are just whimsical.  Often, my readers tip me off to some very unique and unusual weathervanes outside of New England.

Today's weathervane is from Massachusetts.

Do you know the location of weather vane #248?  Scroll down to see the answer!

This big apple weathervane was photographed above the farm stand at Brooksby Farm in Peabody, Massachusetts.  This is a city owned orchard and farm located at the former Felton homestead, built by my ancestor Nathaniel Felton in 1644.  You can read all about Nathaniel Felton at this link HERE.   As you approach the farm stand where this weather is located, you will pass the two Felton homesteads dating from the 17th century, the Smith barn (with a cow weathervane), and a re-located Peabody fire house, Engine Company Number 3, (with a centaur weathervane).   A plethora of weather vanes for fans!

Brooksby Farm is now a recreation area, with orchards, vegetables, berries and opportunities to pick your own produce.  There are also summer camps, a petting zoo, field trips, and rentals for weddings and other functions.

The website for Brooksby Farm:

Click here to see the entire series of weathervanes at this blog!


To cite/link to this blog post:  Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Weathervane Wednesday ~ A Great Big Apple!", Nutfield Genealogy, posted November 25, 2015, ( : accessed [access date]).

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Tombstone Tuesday ~ Mary (Ayer) Spofford, d. 1781 Beverly, Massachusetts

This tombstone was photographed at the Abbott Hale Cemetery in Beverly, Massachusetts

Near this place lye the remains
Deceased 6th Decer 1781
AE. 25 

Unblemished innocence, ingenious truth
Religion pure & rational & mild
Engaging manners, charity & all the
affections that embellish & exalt
the human heart.

d.  ye Nov.              Deceased J. --  6th 
1781                             1783
                              AE. 3 1/2 years

Mary Ayer was born in Haverhill, Massachusetts on 10 May 1756, the daughter of John Ayer and Elizabeth Hale.  Mary is my 3rd cousin, 8 generations removed.  We are both descendants of immigrant ancestors, John Ayer (1582 - 1657) and Hannah Webb (1598 - 1688), early settlers at Haverhill, Massachusetts.

Mary Ayer married Dr. Isaac Spofford as his first wife.  She died of complications of childbirth on 6 December 1781, after giving birth to a daughter, Sally, on 1 July 1781.   Their son, John Chandler, died young in 1783 at age 3 1/2.  He was baptized in Beverly on 11 July 1779.

You can see Dr. Isaac Spofford's elaborate tombstone here at his link:


To cite/link to this blog post:  Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Tombstone Tuesday ~ Mary (Ayer) Spofford, d. 1781 Beverly, Massachusetts", Nutfield Genealogy, posted February 16, 2016, (  accessed [access date]),

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Surname Saturday ~ ANDREWS of Boxford, Massachusetts


Note:  I have previously blogged about another ANDREWS family from Essex, County, Massachusetts at this post “ANDREWS of Essex, Massachusetts(Ipswich’s Chebacco Parish” – the descendants of John Andrews and Jane Jordan,my 8th great grandparents.    This sketch of Robert Andrews (about 1612 – 1668) of Topsfield and Boxford, my 10th great grandfather,  is not to be confused with Robert Andrews (1593 – 1634/5) of Ipswich.

Robert Andrews was in Boxford, Massachusetts in 1656, and he owned land in both Rowley and Topsfield.  He died in Topsfield on 29 May 1668.  His will names his wife, sons and daughters.

Estate of Robert Andrews of Boxford (Rowley Village)
Essex Probate Docket # 709

In the name of God amen Know all Christian people this may or shall concearne yt I Robart Andrews of Rowley village in the County of Esex being verey sick & weack of body but blesed be god in prfect cence & memorey doe mack this my last will & testiment revoking all other former will wtsoever.
Impr. I bequeath my soule to Allmighty God that gave it me in whome I trust through the merits of Jesus Christ to be receaived into Eternall happiness forever and my body to the earth from whence it came to be deciently burried in ye burring place of Topsfield according as my wife and Children shall see meet.

It I give & bequeath unto my eldest sonn Thomas Andrews the house yt I now Live in and nine(s)core Ackers of Land being upland & Medow & yt Land yt I bought of Zacheus Gould only my well beloved wife is to have duering her life time, the kiching and hall & Kiching Chamber & halfe the seller & the new feeld & the eight Ackers peeice & halfe the orchard & if ther be not Land enufe for her to manuer then my sd sonn with ye help of my son Robart is to breack her up three Ackers more or let her have three Ackers yt is allready broacken up and the same to injoy duering her life without the Lett hinderanc or molestation of my sd sonn or aney other prson under him and my sonn Thomas is to shingle the house and at my wives deceas the said land orchard and rooms is to returne to my son Thomas & his haires forever my said sonn Paying unto my three youngest daughters Rebeckah, Sarah & Ruth twenty pound pr each when she shall be twenty yeares of Age and if eaither of them shall die before yt time then yt prt shall be equally devided between the other two and allso his is to pay unto my Daughter Mary the wife of Isack Comins five pound three years after my deceas & for the new whip saw and all other Carpenters tools shall be for the use of my wife sonn Thomas & Robert.

It. I give and be bequeath unto my sonn Robart Andrews eight(s)core Ackers of Land from Piebroock to ye clay pits and ye fatti medow and the fishing broock medow & becaus my sonn Thomas & Robart should not wrong one another in wood I desier ther Land may be ped by them selves & two other honest men and Robart is to pay unto my Daughter Elizabeth the wife of Samuell Symons five pounds three years after my deceas and to my daughter Hanah Pebody five pounds fouer years after my deceas.

It. I give unto my sonn John the Lot comonly called the seller Lott and the Medow belonging unto it but the medow shall be for the use of my wife & Thomas untell my sonn John shall be one and twenty years of Age and then to returne to him without aney further truble he paying to my seaven Grandchildren twenty shillings pr each when they shall come to the age of fourteen years.
It. I give unto my sonn Joseph ye Land in the Topsfeeld yt I bought of John Wilds, Senr. with all the previledgs therunto belonging.

It. I give unto my well beloved wife all my Cattell & other moveable goods and the Doung that is now in ye yard & half the barne & Lintos and my sonn Thomas the other halfe and he and his brother Robart is to set up the other Lintoos & Lay in for the use of ther mother eavery year duering her Life twelve Loads of hay and if eaither of my sonns should die before they are married then yt Land yt is given to them to be equally devided amongst the Survivers Leaving my said wife sole Executrix and in Testimony hereof I have Set my hand and Seale this Sixteenth day of May in the yeare of our Lord one thousand Six hundred Sixty & eight.

Robart (his / mark) Andrews, Senr (seal)
Robert (his G mark) Smith
James Hanscombe
Proved in Salem court 2: 5m: 1668 by the witnesses. Essex County Probate Files, Docket 709
Inventory of the estate was taken by Frances Pabody, Isack Comings, and Edman Towne. Attested 1:5m: 1668 by Grace Andrewes wife of the deceased

[Source: Essex County Quarterly Court Files, vol 13 leaf 67]

My ANDREWS genealogy:

Generation 1:  Robert Andrews, born about 1612 in England, died 29 May 1668 in Topsfield, Massachusetts; married about 1637 to Grace Unknown.  She died on 25 December 1700 in Topsfield, Massachusetts.  Eleven children.

Generation 2: Thomas Andrews, born abut 1645 and died 1 April 1725.  He married first to Martha Baker, daughter of John Baker and Elizabeth Unknown.  She died about 1670.  He married second to Mary Belcher, and married third to Rebecca Unknown.  One child with Martha Baker.

Generation 3: Sarah Andrews, daughter of Thomas Andrews and Martha Baker.  She was born about 1670 in Boxford, Massachusetts, and died about 1763; married on 20 November 1701 in Hampton to Joseph Swett, son of Benjamin Swett and Hester Weare.  He died before January 1721 and Sarah remarried second to Charles Treadwell, my half 7th great granduncle in a different lineage.

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


To cite/link to this blog post:  Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Surname Saturday ~ ANDREWS of Boxford, Massachusetts", Nutfield Genealogy, posted February 13, 2016,  ( accessed [access date]).