Thursday, April 19, 2018

Nutfield’s Sixteen First Families – Are you a Descendant?

Next year marks the 300th anniversary of the founding of Nutfield, which became the towns of Londonderry, Derry, Windham and Manchester, New Hampshire.  I'll be featuring stories on the first sixteen families, and some of the other early Scots Irish settlers.  These stories will become part of the celebrations in 2019 when we celebrate here in "Old Nutfield".   Are you a descendant? Would you like to share these stories on this blog?  I'm looking for guest bloggers to help out with these feature stories.  Contact me at  

Rev. James MacGregor, brought his flock to the New World from Aghadowey, Northern Ireland in 1718.  They first landed in Boston, and then went by boat to Maine over the winter.   In the spring some of them went up the Merrimack River to where Methuen is located today. That April they traveled over land fifteen miles north to seek out land that was available, called Nutfield.  On April 12, by the east side of Beaver Lake, Rev. MacGregor gave his first service to his flock, under a large oak tree.  

The first sixteen families to settle in Nutfield built their first rough homes side by side along West Running Brook.  The heads of these first families were:

Randall Alexander
Samuel Allison
Allen Anderson
James Anderson
John Barnett
James Clark
Archibald Clendenin
James Gregg
James McKeen
John Mitchell
John Morrison
James Nesmith
Thomas Steele
James Sterrett
John Stuart
Robert Weir

In April of 1719 there were sixteen families, plus Rev. MacGregor’s family. By September of 1719 there were seventy Scots Irish families!  The first 20 lots were laid out, to the families above and to Goffe, Graves, Simonds and Keyes, as well as to Rev. McGregor. 

In June 1722 Nutfield was chartered as a town called Londonderry. It covered ten square miles and stretched all the way to Amoskeag Falls in current downtown Manchester, New Hampshire.  By 1734 there were 700 residents in Londonderry.  Eventually the town of Londonderry split off sections that became the towns of Derry, Windham and Derryfield (now Manchester).  In the next 50 years ten towns were settled by Scots Irish from Londonderry in New England.  Many families moved from Londonderry west to the Green Mountains, north to Nova Scotia, and south to Pennsylvania and the Appalachian Mountains.

The list of proprietors in Londonderry in 1722 lists about 100 Scots Irish land owners, and also several English names:  John Wheelwright, Benning Wentworth, Richard Waldron, Edward Proctor, John Senter, John Robey, Elias Keyes, Stephen Peirce, Andrew Spaulding, Benjamin Kidder, and Joseph Kidder.

For a great, condensed version of why these families came to Nutfield, see Paul Lindemann’s blog post at this link:

Also see this excerpt of Richard Holmes’s history book Nutfield Rambles, reprinted at the Londonderry Hometown Online News (Rick Holmes is the past town historian for Derry, New Hampshire):

Recommended Books:

The Scotch Irish In America, by Henry Jones Ford, 1915

The History of Londonderry, by Rev. Edward L. Parker, 1851

Nutfield Rambles, by Richard Holmes, 2007

Willey’s Book of Nutfield, by George F. Willey, 1895

Scotch Irish Pioneers in Ulster and America, by Charles Knowles Bolton, 1910


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Nutfield’s Sixteen First Families – Are you a Descendant?", Nutfield Genealogy, posted April 19, 2018, ( accessed [access date]).

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Weathervane Wednesday ~ Above the Library

I post another in 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 was photographed in New Hampshire.

Do you know the location of weathervane post #359?  Scroll down to find the answer.

 This graceful, three dimensional blue heron weathervane can be seen above the Whipple Free Library in New Boston, New Hampshire.  This weathervane is near the Piscatquog River, where blue herons can often be seen.  The library is fairly new, built in 2010, and located at 67 Mont Vernon Road, Route 13, behind the post office. According to the 2010 New Boston Town Report, the weathervane is located above a "sun scoop".

The crane weathervane was designed by Karen Salerno and made by the SkyArt Studio in Meriden, Connecticut.  It is interesting to know that all the artisans at the SkyArt studio are women!  While looking at their website I found several weathervanes I have already featured at "Weathervane Wednesday" including LaBelle Winery in Amherst, New Hampshire,  and Mann Orchard in Methuen, Massachusetts.

SkyArt Studio - 

Whipple Free Library, New Boston - 

Click here to see ALL the "Weathervane Wednesday" posts!


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Weathervane Wednesday ~ Above the Library", Nutfield Genealogy, posted April 18, 2018, ( accessed [access date]).

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Tombstone Tuesday ~ Elizabeth (Spear) Clark, buried 1836, Windham, NH

This tombstone was photographed at the Cemetery on the Plains, Windham, New Hampshire.

Memory of
Wife of
Died May 31, 1836
AET. 78


Elizabeth (Betsey) Spear was born about 1760 in Windham, New Hampshire, the daughter of Robert Spear and Jennet Armour.   She married James Clark of Windham and had eleven children (from the History of Windham, by Leonard A. Morrison, pages 378 – 379.):

      1Polly, d April 15, 1790, 2 yrs, 6 mos
      2. Robert, d. single, March 20, 1815, age 25
      3. Samuel, m. Jennie McFee, lived in Danvers, Mass
      4. Eliza, d. Sept. 6, 1802, 1 yr, 7 mos
      5. Margaret, single, d. Lawrence, Mass.
      6. Jane, d. young
      7. Mary, m.  ----- Brown, res. Salem, Mass.
      8. Betsey, single, d. Lynn, Mass.
      9. Sally, m. Sylvester Forbush, of Lawrence, Mass.
     10. Matthew, lived in Lynn.
     11. William, lived and d. in Lynn.

Click on this link to see a gravestone of three infant Clark children:


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, “Tombstone Tuesday ~ Elizabeth (Spear) Clark, buried 1836, Windham, NH", Nutfield Genealogy, posted April 17, 2018, ( accessed [access date]).  

Monday, April 16, 2018

An 1871 Advertisement for the 150th Londonderry Anniversary Celebration Booklet

page 114 of Londonderry Celebration
Transcribed from the vintage newspaper Mirror and Farmer, Saturday, March 4, 1871, Manchester, New Hampshire, page 3.


Third Edition Now Ready
150th Anniversary
-of the-
Settlement of Old Nutfield
Comprising the towns of LONDONDERRY, DERRY,
June 10, 1869
ADDRESSES by Hon. G. W. PATTERSON, President of the Day; Hon. J. W. PATTERSON, HORACE GREELEY; Dr. S. H. TAYLOR, Hon. E. H. DERBY, Rev. Dr. WALLACE, Dr. N. BOUTON, Hon. A. F. STEVENS, Rev. C. M. DINSMORE, and Hon. A. H. CRAGIN.
POEMS, &c, &c.
STEEL ENGRAVINGS of Hon. G. W. Paterson, the late Judge Bell, Hon. J. W. Patterson, Dr. Taylor, Hon. E. H. Derby, Gen. A. F. Stevens, Rev. C. M. Dinsmore, Gen. Natt Head, ex-Gov. F. Smyth, and Hon. James A. Weston.
Description of Articles in the Antiquarian Tent; Picture of the famous McGregor Gun.
FAC-SIMILES OF AUTOGRAPHS, with brief notices of john Goffe, Rob’t Rogers, the Ranger; John Wallace, Rev. James McGregor, Robert Clark, James McKeen, Jona. Morrison, the first born in Londonderry; Rev. D. MCGregor, John Dickey, Dr. Isaac Thom, Rev. Dr. Morrison, Hon. E. H. Derby, Henry Campbell, Dea. John Fisher, Peter Patterson, Alanson Tucker, John Duncan, Dea. John Holmes, and other prominent Londonderry men.
Also, Silhouettes of Hon. John Prentice and Gen. George Reed.
For Sale at the Mirror Office
PRICE, $1.00
Sent by mail to any address, free of charge, on receipt of one dollar. Address
Manchester, N.H. “

You can read this book being advertised here at Google Books and at

The Londonderry Celebration: Exercises on the 150th Anniversary of the Settlement, compiled by Robert C. Mack, printed at Manchester, New Hampshire, 1870.

For more about this book, see this blog post: 


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "An 1871 Advertisement for the 150th Londonderry Anniversary Celebration Booklet", Nutfield Genealogy, posted April 16, 2018, ( accessed [access date]). 

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Surname Saturday ~ WESTON of Duxbury, Massachusetts


My 8th great grandfather is Edmund Weston (about 1605 – 1686), who is of unknown origins.  He arrived in New England on 8 May 1635 aboard the Elizabeth & Ann.  He was a servant to John Winslow and to Nathaniel Thomas before setting in Duxbury, Massachusetts where he took the oath as a freeman in 1639.  The name of his wife is unknown.  His will names his four children.

In the second generation, my 7th great grandfather is Edmund Weston (about 1660 – 1727) who removed to Plympton and owned a grist mill.  He married Rebecca Soule, the granddaughter of Mayflower passenger George Soule.  They had six children.

Their son, Nathan Weston (1689 – 1754) is my 6th great grandfather.  He was listed as a laborer.  He married Desire Standish, the granddaughter of two more Mayflower passengers, Captain Myles Standish and Edward Doty.  Nathan and Desire had four children born in Plympton.

Nathan Weston, Jr. (1723 – 1780), my 5th great grandfather, was granted 500 acres of land in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia in 1766.  He arrived in Melbourne (10 miles from Yarmouth) in 1767 and is on a list of grantees dated 7 April 1767.  His wife was Hannah Everson, and they had nine children born in Plympton and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.

Zadoc Weston (about 1761 – 1849) , my 4th great grandfather, was probably born in Plympton, and he owned a grist mill there.  In Chester, Nova Scotia he was listed as a laborer, and he married his wife, Mary Pratt there in 1785.  His second wife was Sarah MacDuffie.  His third wife was Mary Clements, mother of my 3rd great grandmother, Matilda Weston (1825 – 1909).

Matilda was born in Yarmouth, where she probably married my 3rd great grandfather, Joseph Edwin Healy, who was also born there.  They had four children born in Beverly, Massachusetts.  My Weston line daughters out here, but my family stayed in Beverly until I was born there, too.  Matilda was left a widow when her husband died in 1862 at the Battle of Saint Charles, Arkansas during the Civil War. She remained a widow until her death in 1909. 

Some WESTON resources:

Mayflower Descendant, Volume 15, pages 186 – 189 (corrects an earlier sketch of Edmund Weston’s descendants in the NEHGS Register Volume 41, pages 285 – 286)

National Genealogical Society Quarterly Volume 71, pages 41 – 63

Yarmouth Genealogies, page 410

My WESTON genealogy:

Generation 1:  Edmund Weston, born about 1605 in England, died between 18 April and 3 June 1686 in Duxbury, Massachusetts; married about 1658 to Unknown.  Four children.

Generation 2:  Edmund Weston, born about 1660, died 23 September 1727 in Plympton, Massachusetts; married in 1688 to Rebecca Soule, daughter of John Soule and Rebecca Simonson.  She was born in 1656 in Duxbury, and died 18 November 1732 in Plympton.  Six children.

Generation 3:  Nathan Weston, born 8 February 1689 in Plympton, died 11 October 1754 in Plympton; married on 21 February 1716 in Plympton to Desire Standish, daughter of Alexander Standish and Desire Doty.  Four children.

Generation 4:  Nathan Weston, born 11 July 1723 in Plympton, died after 29 February 1780 in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia; married on 29 August 1751 in Kingston, Massachusetts to Hannah Everson, daughter of John Everson and Silence Staples.  She was born 6 July 1732 in Kingston, and died 26 April 1814 in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.  Nine children.

Generation 5:  Zadoc Weston, born about 1761 probably in Plympton, died 1849 in Nova Scotia; married first to Sarah MacDuffie, second to Mary Pratt, and third to my 4th great grandmother, Mary Clements.

Generation 6:  Matilda Weston, born in October 1825 in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, died 19 August 1909 in Beverly, Massachusetts; married on 3 February 1848 in Canada to Joseph Edwin Healy, son of Comfort Healy and Rebecca Crosby.  He was born 12 August 1823 in Yarmouth and died 17 June 1862 at the Battle of Saint Charles, Arkansas during the Civil War.  Four children.

Generation 7:  Mary Etta Healey m. Peter Hoogerzeil
Generation 8:  Florence Etta Hoogerzeil m. Arthur Treadwell Hitchings
Generation 9:  Gertrude Matilda Hitchings m. Stanley Elmer Allen (my grandparents)


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, “Surname Saturday ~ WESTON of Duxbury, Massachusetts”,  Nutfield Genealogy, posted April 14, 2018, ( accessed [access date]). 

Thursday, April 12, 2018

April 12, 1719 ~ The First Sermon at Nutfield

Illustration of the first sermon in Nutfield from Willey’s Book of Nutfield

In 1718 Reverend James MacGregor left his church in Aghadowey, Northern Ireland with a large number of his parishioners.  They came to Boston, and eventually to Maine and then to Haverhill, Massachusetts.  In April 1719 a group of these Scots Irish men came to investigate an area north of Haverhill that was “abound with nut trees”.  They brought Rev. MacGregor and their families back with them to this land, which they called Nutfield.  On 12 April 1719, since there were no buildings, Rev. MacGregor gave his first sermon under a large oak tree on the banks of Beaver Lake in what is now East Derry, New Hampshire. This is considered the founding of Londonderry, New Hampshire, and the founding of the first Presbyterian church in New England.

Reverend MacGregor’s first sermon was based on the bible passage from Isaiah XXII 2 “And a man shalt be as a hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest, as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.”

Happy 299th Birthday, to Londonderry and Derry!

"This cairn marks the place where the first sermon in Nut-
field was delivered by Rev. James MacGregor, April 12,
1719.  Near by, Hannah Dustin spent her first night in cap-
tivity, March 15, 1697."
[This cairn no longer exists on the banks of Beaver Lake]

Click here for a list of the original sixteen families in Nutfield:

Click this link for news about the big 300th anniversary celebration in 2019: 


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, “April 12, 1719 ~ The First Sermon at Nutfield”, Nutfield Genealogy, posted April 12, 2018, ( accessed [access date]). 

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Another Blogging Milestone!

Londonderry, New Hampshire Town Common

Wow!  I just hit 2 and a half million views to my blog! 

When I started my blog back in 2009 I didn’t think anyone except my Mom would read my stories.  At first, that was true.  Then, slowly I began to see comments from complete strangers on my blog and I remember thinking “Why are these folks reading my stories?”  “Who are these people?”

Well, it’s been almost nine years and I’ve had a lot of fun entertaining people I don’t know and making lots of cousin connections along the way. Thank you to all my readers, and especially to everyone who has made a cousin connection, sent email, or commented on my blogs. 

I’ve posted over 2750 stories including:

342 Weathervane Wednesday posts
312 Surname Saturday posts
394 Tombstone Tuesday posts

My all time most popular post was called “A Favorite Christmas Gift! You Might Like One, Too!” published way back in 2012.  It still receives over one hundred hits every month, and more near Christmas for some strange reason.  As of this week it has received over 225,000 total views.  I think Pinterest has made this post so popular.  I rarely use Pinterest, but someone posted it there and it went viral for a while. You can read that post at this link:

I can also tell that there are a lot of Mayflower descendants reading my blog.  A story I wrote about visiting the church where Stephen Hopkins was baptized in Upper Clatford, Hampshire, England is one of my top ten blog posts.  It has received nearly 3,500 hits since October 2017.  Just last week the New England Historic Genealogical Society contacted me to use one of my photos from this same blog post in an upcoming issue of American Ancestors magazine.  All you Hopkins descendants will recognize the photo!  Click here for the story about the picturesque church at Upper Clatford:  

A story I wrote about visiting the church where Mayflower passenger John Howland was baptized in Fenstanton, Cambridgeshire, England has received over 2,200 hits.  This story was recently surpassed by a story I wrote about his son’s homestead in Plymouth, Massachusetts (almost 2,500 hits since just 19 March 2018 and getting at least a dozen or more every day this month).    It seems that Howland descendants are almost as numerous as the Hopkins descendants!  

Lately, my stories about the 300th anniversary of the founding of Nutfield, New Hampshire by the Scots Irish in 1719 have been extremely popular. I’m hoping that some of the upcoming stories about these Ulster Presbyterian settlers hit the top ten most read stories in the upcoming year. 

Thanks for reading Nutfield Genealogy!


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Another Blogging Milestone!", Nutfield Genealogy, posted April 11, 2018, ( accessed [access date]).

Weathervane Wednesday ~ Above a Baptist Church

I post another in 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 was photographed in Massachusetts.

Do you know the location of weathervane post #358?  Scroll down to find the answer.

Today's weathervane was spotted above the steeple of the First Baptist Church in Rowley, Massachusetts.  This church is on Route 1A, so if you have traveled the seacoast of Essex County north of Boston, you might have passed right by here.

This church building was built in 1830.  The steeple and weathervane are probably original to the building, and the scroll work weathervane is appropriate for the time period.   There have been Baptists worshiping in Rowley since the first community in 1816 was dismissed from nearby Georgetown.

Scrollwork weather vanes like this one evolved out of the more simple banner and swallowtail weathervanes of the 1700s.  As the steeples of New England churches became more elaborate with windows, balustrades and fancy trim, the weather vanes became more elaborate with scroll work, lyre shapes, and stars.  This weathervane has all three fancy details.

First Baptist Church of Rowley:

Click here to see ALL the "Weathervane Wednesday" posts!


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Weathervane Wednesday ~ Above a Baptist Church", Nutfield Genealogy, posted April 11, 2018, ( accessed [access date]).

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Tombstone Tuesday ~ Miss Naomi Hemphill, d. 1839, Windham, NH

This tombstone was photographed at the Cemetery on the Plains, Windham, New Hampshire.

Memory of
in the assurance of hope
Jan. 3, 1839,
AET. 48

"She hath dispersed, she hath given
to the poor." 

B. Day.  Lowell

Naomi was the daughter of Nathaniel Hemphill (1727 - 1796) and Agnes Parke.  She was the granddaughter of Nathaniel Hemphill, born in Antrim, Northern Ireland.  She was the youngest of eighteen children who all survived to adulthood. Naomi died unmarried.  According to the History of Windham by Leonard A. Morrison "she was noted for her piety, benevolence, and kindness; she was a person of rare excellence of mind and character."  Her epitaph is from Psalms 112 verse 9 "He hath disperse, he hath given to the poor; his righteousness endureth forever, his horn shall be exalted with honor.  The godly are not stingy, but distribute liberally, as the need or the poor requires and as his power is able."

Naomi's tombstone was carved by Benjamin Day of Lowell, Massachusetts.  He was a prolific gravestone carver, and many of the tombstones in Derry and Windham were carved by Benjamin Day.

See this blog post for photos and information on the tombstones of Naomi's parents:


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Tombstone Tuesday ~ Miss Naomi Hemphill, d. 1839, Windham, NH", Nutfield Genealogy, posted April 10, 2018, ( accessed [access date]).

Monday, April 9, 2018

Another Nutfield Anniversary Account from an 1869 Gloucester, Massachusetts Newspaper

West Running Brook
from a Robert Frost book of the same title
published 1928, woodcut by J. J. Lankes

Transcribed from The Cape Ann Light and Gloucester Telegraph, Saturday, June 12, 1869, Gloucester, Massachusetts, page 2.

Derry, N.H., is familiar to many of our people from a variety of causes: made familiar by the reminiscences of the fathers – of the Londonderry women who sought our town on horseback to dispose of the products of their spinning wheels, looms and dairies; by the Derry linen handed down by the careful mothers as an heirloom; by intermarriage; and by reminiscences of the school hours of those who claim Pinkerton Academy or Adams’ Female Academy as their alma mater, including, by the way, not a few of the present generation. It is also known to many as a desirable summer resort, and these recall pleasant hours among its shady retreats and attractive drives over forest roads.
                The dust of our kindred moulders in its quiet church-yards, and the ever hearty welcome and country cheer of living representatives of the family makes it a second home to us.  It is with pleasure therefore that we antedate our vacation by an early summer holiday, spent amid scenes rendered familiar by visits neither few nor short.
                Our route lies along our old sea line to Salem, thence through the brown leather fields of Peabody and almost as brown canker worm ravaged orchards of Danvers, the meadows of Middleton golden with butter cups, on to Lawrence with its hum of spindles, thence over the line into the Granite State to the scotch-irish settlement of Derry nee Londonderry nee Nutfield.  Here at Windham the boys have dug through a sawdust bank into a bed of preserved snow, and are having a game of snowball on the ninth of June – snowballing, while further on at Derry the jaded horses are struggling through pulverized sandheaps and blinding clouds of dust.
                And this is Derry, where we pass the night and wake in the morning at the summons of joyful bells and booming cannon. – Is this your quiet country town, with a constant stream of teams pouring in from early dawn, and the railroad trains landing carload after carload of passengers, until they are numbered by thousands.  Or is this ancient muster-day, or the still more antiquated and equally famous Londonderry Fair, celebrated in ancient legend.  Is yonder canvass the cattle-booth, and are the crowd that fills the plain engaged in wrestling matches and sack races and all the unique Irish games brought to this section by the first settlers?
                No!  the days of the Londonderry Fair are among the things of the past, and the young men of our day have known service on other grounds than the muster-fields of their fathers.  To-day (Thursday) we meet to celebrate the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the settlement of ancient Nutfield.
                One hundred and fifty years ago to-day sixteen families, toilsomely and wearily, with ox-teams doubtless, and such rude house-hold effects as were suited to their time and condition and long journey, made their devious way over these hills and across these vales, then tree-covered, to the brookside where a few rough huts had been put up for their accommodation, and there set up their household goods, and founded new homes in an untried country.  They left their mother country, as long before their ancestors had left the heaths of Scotland and emigrated to the north of Ireland.  A whole colony them, five ship-loads, had arrived at Boston in the late summer of 1718, and had scattered to various settlements of the colony of Massachusetts Bay.  These sixteen families had passed a severe winter, mostly on shipboard, in Casco Bay, and when spring opened had sailed up the Merrimac to Haverhill whence pioneers had come over the hills to Nutfield, and prepared the way for the infant settlement.
                Sixteen families then.  Now the rough places have been made smooth, fertile fields and fruitful orchards have driven back the walnut, chestnut and butternut from which the old town took its name, and substantial farm buildings and handsome villas have taken the places of the rude log hut.
                Less than a hundred souls a century and a half ago, - today ten thousand people gather from far and near, some across a continent, to do honor to the occasion.
                Gilmore does not save all his music for the Peace Jubilee, but enlivens this day with melody worthy of his fame, and Arbuckle adds to the musical treat as Arbuckle can.  The Manchester Veterans are here, with their black velvet knee breeches and yellow top boots, their blue swallow tails with white lappels, and old fashioned cocked hats, accompanied by the Manchester Concert Band.
                Here are horses and teams enough, and varied enough, for a camp meeting, tied in every yard and along every fence and under nearly every tree:  here is the knife sharpener and the ballad vender, the soap man and the pop corn peddler, and all the auxiliaries of the muster field: and here is the diluted lemonade and the spiritless soda and leathery sponge cake and all the requirements for a picnic; here also is an antiquarian tent,  worthy of a modern fair.
                And here are people, people, people, to be talked to and played for and fed- yes, fed, with more to be gathered up at the close of the feast than in the days of the five small loaves and two fishes.  To be taked to, hour by hour, by those who have gone out, or whose ancesters have gone out from the old township, and who have earned a position and influence in the country at large.
                Here is the sage and benign Horace, himself born in Londonderry, who write for more readers daily through the Tribune than we shall reach in a lifetime.  Here is Senator Patterson and ex-senators and ex-governors and dignitaries, almost without number, all of whom claim a scotch-irish ancestry, but, paradoxically, disclaim Irish blood.
                And the burden of their talk is the same, the glorification of their ancestors, and through their ancestors of themselves.  One might well wonder where would have been free schools, and religious toleration and civil liberty, but for this little settlement in New Hampshire.  The Scotch-Irish were honest- they bought their lands the Indians; they were brave – their ancestors fought at Marathou; they were patriotic, - their fathers starved rather than surrender at the siege of Londonderry; they were witty – they had lived in Ireland, the home of wit.  What, then! Shall we claim no virtue, no valor, no humor, because our ancestors reached these scenes via Agawam and the banks of the Merrimac instead of more directly from the old country?
                It is a great day for Derry, whose like will not be seen for a half century to come.  It is to Derry what the Peace Jubilee will be to Boston, the event of the century, to be looked back upon and talked of for a lifetime to come.  And Derry has given her visiting sons and daughters such a generous and abundant welcome as the importance of the occasion demands; such a welcome as few small towns can equal and none surpass. 
                The show is not over, but we turn our back upon the busy scene and upon friends who would fain detain us longer, and hastily write out this sketch of our holiday, while we are “jogging along” homeward in the cars.
                Back over the Boston & Maine to Lawrence rolls the heavily laden train, with steadily decreasing numbers, disgorging its living freight at station after station, so numerous that it is a matter of surprise that any were left for other conveyance than by rail.  Salem in one State is left far behind, and now we approach Salem the first.  There just ahead is the tunnel into whose gloom we are about to plunge, with full faith however of reaching the light beyond; and here, on the left, speeds the merchandize train which was to have taken us to our journey’s end, leaving us a night’s delay and Whittier’s refrain ringing in our ears – but for the thronging depots, but for the crowded train, but for the unavoidable delays of large travel – “it might have been.” "


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Another Nutfield Anniversary Account from an 1869 Gloucester, Massachusetts Newspaper", Nutfield Genealogy, posted April 9, 2018, ( accessed [access date]).

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Surname Saturday ~ HEALEY of Lynn and Cambridge, Massachusetts

Comfort Healy, d. 1821
Chebogue, Nova Scotia


My 8th great grandfather, William Hele, first arrived in Massachusetts about 1640 when he joined the church at Lynn.  In 1643 he was dismissed from the church at Lynn to join the church in Cambridge.   He lived near where the Harvard Observatory is located, and there is still a Healey Street nearby off Concord, Avenue.  William Hele was a controversial figure. He had five wives and twelve children. His wives all died young, and he bragged of killing them. He was the Cambridge jailor from 1672 until 29 December 1682, when he was found with a pregnant inmate inflagrante delicto. Hele was arrested, “sentence to be severely whipped 20 stripes”, was imprisoned in his own jail, where he later died.

His fourth wife was my 8th great grandmother, Phebe Green.  Her brother and father filed a complaint against him in 1666 for abusing his wife.  Two servants gave testimony against William Hele, as well as Elizabeth Green, her mother. Phebe died in childbirth a few years later.  In 1677 he married his last wife.

In the second generation I descend from Paul Healy (about 1664 – 1717), my 7th great grandfather, who served in the militia with his brother in New Hampshire. Paul eventually removed to Rehoboth, where he married a woman named Elizabeth and had 14 children. 

Next, I descend from Paul Healy’s son, Ebenezer (1708 – 1777) who first lived in the 3rd parish of Dedham, which is now the town of Norwood, Massachusetts. He was part of the building committee to construct the first Norwood meetinghouse.    He married Grace Bullen and had 8 children.

In the next generation I descend from Comfort Haley (1754 – 1821), my 5th great grandfather, who removed to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.  He owned a fleet of ships and is buried at the Old Cemetery in Chebogue, near Yarmouth, behind the Congregational Church. I visited his grave in 2008.  He married Abigail Allen in 1777, near Chebogue.  She was a descendant of William Allen of Manchester, Massachusetts. They had seven children born in Chebogue.

Comfort Haley, Jr. (1787 – 1874), my 4th great grandfather, was a mariner like his father, and he operated the fleet of ships with his brother, Jeremiah.  He is listed in a census record as a tanner.  He married Rebecca Crosby in Chebogue in 1808.  She was the descendant of Cape Codders.  They had eleven children.

Their son, Joseph Edwin Healy (1823 – 1862) was my 3rd great grandfather.  He removed back to Massachusetts with his wife, Matilda Weston (another descendant of Cape Codders and Mayflower passengers).  They settled in Beverly, Massachusetts where they had four children.  Joseph Edwin Healey was another mariner and fisherman.  He enlisted in the navy during the American Civil War, where he died aboard the iron clad ship Mound City when it was hit with bombs during the Battle of Saint Charles in Arkansas.  He died, as did most of the men aboard the Mound City, when it exploded and burned or scalded most of the sailors, on 17 June 1862.  He was 40 years old and has a Civil War gravestone in the Central Cemetery in Beverly, next to his wife, Matilda.

My great great grandmother was Mary Etta Healey (1852 – 1932), who was born and died in Beverly, Massachusetts. She married Peter Hoogerzeil, Jr. and had six children. Peter was the son of a Dutch immigrant and his mother, Eunice Stone, had Colonial roots going back to the 1620s in Massachusetts. Peter Hoogerzeil was another fisherman, and he started an express business (moving merchandise by wagons) with his brother-in-law John E. Healey in 1867 on Bartlett Street in Beverly. Peter was also a prolific inventor and tinkerer.  He held at least seven patents for his inventions.

Some HEALEY resources:

The New England Historic Genealogical Society Register, Volume 27 (1873), pages 138 - 140.

Haley & Healy Family Ancestry of Ebenezer Haley, by Col. James Bayard Haley, 1964

Yarmouth Genealogies, page 131

My HEALEY genealogy:

Generation 1:  William Hele, born about 1613 possibly in Devonshire, England, died on 18 November 1683 in Cambridge, Massachusetts; married on 15 August 1661 in Cambridge to Phebe Green, my 8th great grandmother, daughter of Bartholomew Green and his wife Elizabeth.  She was born about 1629 and died before 1677.  Phebe was his fourth wife, he was also married to Grace Ives about 1643, Mary Rogers in 1650, Grace Butterice on 14 October 1653, and his fifth wife was Sarah Cutting, widow of James Browne, on 29 November 1677.  He had thirteen children in all.

Generation 2:  Paul Healy, born about 1664 in Cambridge, died 3 December 1717 in Rehoboth, Massachusetts; married about 1695 to Elizabeth Unknown.  Fourteen children.

Generation 3:  Ebenezer Healy, born 21 January 1708 in Rehoboth, died 14 February 1777 in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia; married to Grace Bullen, daughter of John Bullen and Sarah Underwood.  She was born about 1727 in Brimfield, Massachusetts.  Eight children. 

Generation 4:  Comfort Haley, born about 1754 in Brimfield, died 15 May 1821 near Chebogue, Yarmouth, Nova Scotia; married on 21 July 1777 in Chebogue to Abigail Allen, daughter of Jeremiah Allen and Eunice Gardner.  She was born 23 July 1753 in Manchester, Massachusetts, and died 16 June 1799 in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.  Seven children. 

Generation 5: Comfort Haley, Jr. , born 9 October 1787 in Chebogue, died 3 December 1874 in Chebogue; married on 12 August 1808 in Chebogue to Rebecca Crosby, daughter of Ebenezer Crosby and Elizabeth Robinson.  She was born 19 December 1789 in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia and died in 1889.  Eleven children.

Generation 6:  Joseph Edwin Healy, born 12 August 1823 in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, died 17 June 1862 at the Battle of Saint Charles in Arkansas during the Civil War; married on 3 Feb 1848 in Canada to Matilda Weston, daughter of Zadoc Weston and Mary Clements.  She was born in October 1825 in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, and died 19 August 1909 in Beverly, Massachusetts. Four children.

Generation 7:  Mary Etta Healey, born 19 May 1852 in Beverly, died 23 July 1932 in Beverly; married on 14 March 1870 in Salem, Massachusetts to Peter Hoogerzeil, son of Peter Hoogerzeil and Eunice Stone.  He was born 24 June 1841 in Beverly, and died 10 May 1908 in Beverly.  Six children.

Generation 8:  Florence Etta Hoogerzeil m. Arthur Treadwell Hitchings
Generation 9:  Gertrude Matilda Hitchings m. Stanley Elmer Allen (my grandparents)


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, “Surname Saturday ~ HEALEY of Lynn and Cambridge, Massachusetts”, Nutfield Genealogy, posted April 7, 2018, ( accessed [access date]). 

Friday, April 6, 2018

A Roadside Plaque You Have Probably Never Noticed in Pelham, New Hampshire

In 1718 a group of Scots Irish settlers from Aghadowey, Northern Ireland left with their minister, Rev. James MacGregor, and sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to Boston, Massachusetts. They had permission to settle in Maine, but after spending a cold, hungry winter there, they looked for a new settlement.  In 1719 Rev. MacGregor accepted a temporary position as minister in Dracut, Massachusetts, west of Haverhill on the Merrimack River.  The settlers heard of a grant of land about eight miles north, and wanted to investigate it for their settlement.  Some of the men joined MacGregor and walked from Dracut north.

Along the way these men rested by these rocks for a short Sunday service with Rev. MacGregor.  This spot is known locally as Pulpit Rock.  It is on the east side of Route 38, just north of the Dracut, Massachusetts border, in what is now the town of Pelham, New Hampshire.  I imagine that these Scots Irish settlers must have followed roughly along the current road of Route 38 through the towns of Pelham and Windham up to Beaver Lake in East Derry, New Hampshire.  This is where they approved of the land, and brought their wives, children and families to what became known as Nutfield, and later known as Londonderry, New Hampshire.  On Sunday 23 April 1719 Rev. MacGregor gave another sermon to these families on the banks of Tsienneto or Beaver Lake, which is symbolically the founding date for Londonderry.



This is not a bucolic, scenic spot along the highway for tourists tracing their roots, or the routes of the Nutfield settlers.   This spot is located in a busy industrial retail area about one mile north of the border on Route 38, with no parking.  I had to pull over into the mud, between a pile of snow and the roadkill remains of a large raccoon.  Be careful, because there is a very steep ditch along the road.   Once you have found a place to park, be careful walking down the side of the ditch because there is loose soil and gravel and you can tumble down the grade.

At the bottom of the ditch I surprised a basking snake.  I wasn't prepared for this on April 2nd, between two snow storms and in the cold weather.  I actually prefer this time of the year for exploring landmarks, cemeteries and historical markers because it is usually between mud season and poison ivy/snakes/mosquitos.  Usually.

If the town of Pelham is expecting this marker to be an attraction in the wake of the 300th anniversary celebrations of Nutfield (neighboring towns of Windham, Londonderry and Derry), they might want to spiff up this historic marker a little bit this year.

For more information see:

Willey’s Book of Nutfield, by George Franklyn Willey, page 51

Fritz Weatherbee’s version of the story of Pulpit Rock, from WMUR TV’s “Chronicle”:

“Our Scotch Irish Roots”, by Richard Holmes, at the Londonderry Online News website, posted July 2014:


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "A Roadside Plaque You Have Probably Never Noticed", Nutfield Genealogy, posted April 6, 2018, ( accessed [access date]).

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Celtic Connections Conference 2018 in Boston

Press Release:

Registration is now open for the Celtic Connections Conference, “Pathways to our Past”, to be
held on August 10-11 at the Boston Newton Marriott Hotel. This is the 3rd biennial conference co-
sponsored by TIARA (The Irish Ancestral Research Association) and IGSI (the Irish Genealogical
Society International).

An impressive slate of speakers from Ireland, Scotland, England, Canada and the U.S. will present
lectures about Irish, Scots-Irish, Scottish and Welsh genealogy, DNA, and culture. You’ll learn about
exciting new ways to discover and interpret your family history and ancestral roots.
The August conference will feature internationally-known genealogists Audrey Collins, Dr. Bruce
Durie, Fiona Fitzsimons, Maurice Gleeson, John Grenham, and Christine Woodcock, along with
Boston-area and national family history experts will introduce you to sources and research
methods. Offerings outside the classroom highlight Celtic traditions in music, storytelling and

Early bird registration is discounted until June 4, 2018. Lodging is available at a special conference
rate at the Boston Newton Marriot Hotel, Newton, MA. The 2014 and 2016 conferences drew
attendees from across the U.S. and Canada and received rave reviews. No other conference offers
this focus on Celtic ancestry and heritage, or such a stellar list of international presenters. Early
registration is advised.

For schedule and program information and registration see:

Contact: Celtic Connections Conference
P.O. Box 66010
Auburndale, MA 02466

Make a week out of your trip to New England for this conference by combining it with the August 14 - 16, 2018 Scots Irish Reunion at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Weathervane Wednesday~ Above an old Town Hall

I post another in 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 was photographed in Massachusetts.

Do you know the location of weathervane post #357?  Scroll down to find the answer.

Today's weathervane was photographed above the tower on top of the Town Hall in Rowley, Massachusetts.  We were driving down Maine Street, which is also Route 1A, when I saw this unusual weathervane.  According to the book Images of America: Rowley, 2002, by the Rowley Historical Society, this Indian Archer weathervane dates from the 19th century and was first installed on the building that was the old town hall and school on Central Street.  It resembles a weathervane made by Boston coppersmith Shem Drowne in the 1700s that used to be on the Old Province House in Boston, but it is now on display inside the Massachusetts Historical Society on Boylston Street in Boston. 

Click here to see ALL the "Weathervane Wednesday" posts:


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Weathervane Wednesday~  Above an old Town Hall", Nutfield Genealogy, posted April 4, 2018, ( accessed [access date]). 

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Tombstone Tuesday ~ Mrs. Hannah Moore, and her grandson Albert

These tombstones were photographed at the Cemetery on the Plain in Windham, New Hampshire

In memory of
Albert Son of
Mr. Silas &
Mrs. Hannah Moor
Who died
Jan. 18, 1828
Aged 6 months

Memory of
Died Oct. 10, 1832
AEt. 65

According to the website Windham, NH History by Derek Saffie, this is the grave of Mrs. Hannah Moor, even though the stone is carved with the word MISS.   She was the wife of Silas Moor Garland, who was granted a name change on 18 June 1828 to change his name to Silas Moor.  He states that Silas and Hannah Moor had “at least one child, Deacon Silas Moore”.  Saffie also proposes that the “Jeremiah Garland” and “Martha Garland” listed with the name change to Moor are probably two more children. [ see the blog page for an image of a document signed "Silas Moor Garlin"]

According to Leonard A. Morrison’s History of Windham in New Hampshire, page 652, this Hannah Moore who died in 1832 is Deacon Silas Moor’s mother, and he was grandson of Capt. William Moor, Revolutionary War veteran of the Battle of Bunker Hill.  Morrison states that Deacon Silas Moor married Hannah Hill in 1818 “and now (1882)… res. In Chicago, Illinois”.  They had five children listed in this book, and little Albert was born on 4 July 1827, and died 15 January 1828. 

There is a biography book found at the World Cat website Jeremiah Moore, son of Hannah Hills and Silas Moore, born 1823 at Windham, New Hampshire and died 1869 at Morley, Missouri, by author William Sanford Hills (a cousin?) and published at an unknown year.   This book probably answers the mystery of the name changes? 


Generation 1:  Charter James Moore, immigrant from Northern Ireland; married Elizabeth Gregg, daughter of Charter James Gregg.

Generation 2:  Capt. William Moore, born 1733 and died 13 Feb 1812; married Martha Mack, daughter of John Mack and Isabella Brown of Londonderry, Northern Ireland.  She was born 1734 and died 21 June 1808.

Generation 3:  Miss Hannah Moor, born about 1767, died 1832 (see gravestone above)

Generation 4:  Deacon Silas Moore, born 9 June 1793 in Windham; married Hannah Hills on 30 December 1818.  She was born 20 March 1800. 

Generation 5:  Albert Moor, the infant (see gravestone above)

It is curious that Deacon Silas Moore’s mother is listed as MISS Moor.  It is also curious that the husband changed his name from GARLAND to MOOR.    Was she an unwed mother with GARLAND children who took her maiden name? Divorced from the man named GARLAND and her name reverted back to “Miss Moor”? Was the "Silas Moor" in the name change document her husband or her son? 

For more information:

Derek Saffie, “The Name Change of the Garland Family”, Windham, NH History, posted March 26, 2016: accessed on March 12, 2018. 

Leonard Allison Morrison, The History of Windham in New Hampshire (Rockingham County) 1719 – 1883, published 1883.  A Sketch of Deacon Silas Moore’s Family is on page 652, and a sketch of James Moor and Capt. William Moor on page 650.  

To see a weathervane on top of a barn built by Deacon Silas Moore in 1815:


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Tombstone Tuesday ~ Mrs. Hannah Moore, and her grandson Albert", Nutfield Genealogy, posted April 3, 2018, ( accessed [access date]).