Saturday, March 31, 2018

Surname Saturday ~ HOOGERZEIL of Holland and Beverly, Massachusetts

Grote Kerk "Great Church" in Dordrecht
where Peter Hoogerzeil was baptized

Peter Hoogerzeil, my immigrant 3rd great grandfather, was born in Dordrecht, in Holland, on 28 October 1803 under the name Pieter Hoogerseijl.  He was the son of a whaling sea captain, Simon Hogerseijl (1776 – 1829) and his wife, Lissa Van Epenhuizen.  Dordrecht is an island on the banks of several rivers that flow into the Rhine delta.  It is near Rotterdam, which was a big whaling seaport where the ships sailed for the rich whaling in Greenland.   

Family stories say that Peter Hoogerzeil, the youngest son, stowed away on a ship loaded with hemp, which was headed for the ropeworks in Salem, Massachusetts.  He married Eunice Stone, the daughter of the ship captain, Josiah Stone.  I don’t think a sea captain would have been happy if his daughter married a stowaway, but perhaps the captain knew Peter as a mariner before taking him to Massachusetts?  There are family letters which repeat the stowaway tale, dating back to the 1800s. Perhaps there is a grain of truth to the story?

There are records of Peter Hoogerzeil in ship’s registers out of Salem and Beverly in 1826, 1827, and 1828.  He married Eunice Stone on 30 December 1828 in Beverly.  I found Peter listed in other ships registries until 1835,  when he was listed as a carpenter.  In the 1850 census in Beverly his occupation is listed as a caulker, and in the 1860 census he is listed as a day laborer born in “Ireland?”  By the 1870 census Peter was working as an expressman, which was the family business until the 1930s. 

Peter and Eunice had six children, all named in his will.  He died on 12 May 1889 in Beverly. I descend from his son, Peter Hoogerzeil, Jr. (1841 – 1908).   Over the years Peter, Jr. worked as a fisherman, a quartermaster and then as a teamster.  He began the Hoogerzeil Express Company in 1867 and employed his father and brothers.  After his death he passed the Express business on to his brother-in-law, John Healey.  Peter was also an inventor and world traveler.  He had patents for many inventions, which he sold out of his home on 43 Bartlett Street in Beverly.  As a sailor he sailed the South China Sea several times, and one of his last voyages was to Holland to visit his relatives.

I descend from Peter’s daughter Florence Etta (1871 – 1941), my great grandmother, who married Arthur Treadwell Hitchings.  She had eight children, including my grandmother, Gertrude Matilda (1905 – 2001).   Florence was known by her middle name “Etta”, and she was not well. She had “consumption” or tuberculosis, and spent a lot of time in a sanitorium during my grandmother’s growing up years.  My mother remembers visiting her “Nana” at 43 Bartlett Street, which was later occupied by “Aunt Belle” (my great grandmother’s sister Isabelle Hoogerzeil Sorenson (1888 – 1960).  Aunt Belle continued to correspond with the cousins in Holland all her life, and my uncle visited with some Hogerzeil relatives in occupied Holland during World War II.

 My HOOGERZEIL genealogy:
(see the blog post link below for Peter’s ancestors in Holland)

Generation 1:  Peter Hoogerzeil, son of Simon Hogerseijl and Lissa Van Epenhuizen, born 28 October 1803 in Dordrecht, South Holland and died 12 May 1889 in Beverly, Massachusetts; married on 30 December 1828 in Beverly to Eunice Stone, daughter of Josiah Stone and Susanna Hix.  She was baptized in Beverly on 15 May 1807 and died in Beverly on 21 October 1886. Six children.

Generation 2:  Peter Hoogerzeil, born 24 June 1841 in Beverly and died 10 May 1908 in Beverly; married on 14 March 1870 in Salem to Mary Etta Healey, daughter of Joseph Edwin Healey and Matilda Weston.  She was born 19 May 1852 in Beverly and died 23 July 1932 in Beverly.  Six children.

Generation 3:  Florence Etta Hoogerzeil, born 20 August 1871 in Beverly and died 10 February 1941 in Hamilton, Massachusetts; married on 25 December 1890 in Beverly to Arthur Treadwell Hitchings, son of Abijah Franklin Hitchings and Hannah Eliza Lewis. He was born 10 May 1868 in Salem and died 7 March 1937 in Hamilton.  Eight children.

Generation 4:  Gertrude Matilda Hitchings m. Stanley Elmer Allen (my grandparents)

For the truly curious:

A blog post about Krimpen aan de Lek, with my Hoogerzeil/Hogerzeil lineage back to 1631

A blog post about Dordrecht, where Peter Hoogerzeil was born:

A blog post about my Uncle visiting the Hogerzeil family in occupied Holland after World War II:


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, “Surname Saturday ~ HOOGERZEIL of Holland and Beverly, Massachusetts”, Nutfield Genealogy, posted March 31, 2018, ( accessed [access date]).   

Friday, March 30, 2018

April 2018 Genealogy and Local History Calendar

Genealogy Events Calendar

For last minute updates, see the “Nutfield Genealogy” Facebook page at this link:    Please send new events to me by commenting here at the end of this post, or email

 I've included the most popular Patriot's Day events here. For more Patriot’s Day activities see this website: 


April 2, 10, 17, and 24, Tuesdays, 2pm and 5:15pm, Hands on Genealogy with Alan Doyle Horbal, at the Polish Center of Discovery and Learning, 33 South Street, Chicopee, Massachusetts.   Space is limited.  Bring your own laptop. To register call 413-592-001.  $15 per person.  Attendance at the May 1st session (see below) is optional but encouraged. 

April 3, 20, 27 and 24, Tuesdays, at 2pm or 5:15pm, Genealogy Classes with Alan Doyle Horbal and the Western Massachusetts Roots Events Team, at the Polish Center for Discovery and Learning, 33 South Street, Chicopee, Massachusetts. Participants much attend all four classes, have basic computer skills, and an active email account.  $15 for all five sessions. Call 413- 592-0001 to register. 

April 3, Tuesday, 7pm, Throat Distemper in Exeter 1735, at the Exeter Historical Society, 47 Front Street, PO Box 924, Exeter, New Hampshire. An illustrated presentation by curator Barbara Rimkunas.  Free to the public.

April 3, Tuesday, 7pm, A Walk Back in Time: The Secrets of Cellar Holes, at the Merrimack Public Library, 470 Daniel Webster Highway, Merrimack, New Hampshire. Presented by Adair Mulligan.  Free to the public.

April 3, Tuesday, 5:15pm, Committees, Conventions and Political Violence, 1780 - 87, at the Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston, Massachusetts.  RSVP required:  email  Author Brendan McConville of Boston University will give a brief statement, and  then the commentator and audience discuss the precirculated paper.  Visit the website for more information on research seminars:  

April 4, Wednesday, 10am, New Visitor Tour of the New England Historic Genealogical Society Library, at 99 - 101 Newbury Street, Boston, Massachusetts. FREE to the public.  No registration needed.  Attendees are welcome to use the library following the tour. 

April 4, Wednesday, noon - 1pm, Native Americans in the AntiSlavery Movement, at the Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston, Massachusetts.   Free to the public, bring your brown bag lunch! Presented by Natalie Joy of Northern Illinois University.  

April 4, Wednesday, 7:30pm, The Abolitionists of Noyes Academy, at the Enfield Community Building, 308 US Route 4, Enfield, New Hampshire. Hosted by the Enfield Public Library.  Presented by Dan Billin, who will lecture on the men who opened one of the nation’s first integrated schools in 1835 in Canaan, New Hampshire, which attracted eager African American students from as far away as New York City. Free to the public.

April 5, Thursday, 6:30pm, Spring History Talk:  Dr. Joseph Warren and King's Chapel, at King's Chapel, 58 Tremont Street, Boston, Massachusetts.  Free to the public. Presented by Samuel A. Forman marking the anniversary of patriot leader Dr. Warren's funeral at King's Chapel, held on April 8, 1776. 

April 6, Friday, noon, The World of Credit in Colonial Massachusetts, at the New England Historic Genealogical Society, 99  -101 Newbury Street, Boston, Massachusetts. Presented by historian James E. Wadsworth, who researched a 325 year old ledger passed won through generations of a New England family. Free to the public. 

April 7, Saturday, 10:30am, Bedford Liberty Pole Capping, at Willson Park, Bedford, Massachusetts.  This ceremony is free to the public.  It features a march, displays of musketry, and fife music.  The main event is the raising of a liberty pole, which is climbed by a Bedford minute man and affixed with a red knit cap.

April 7, Saturday, 9am – 3pm, Minute Man National Park Day 2018, 174 Liberty Street, Concord, Massachusetts. Family Friendly.  Come help spruce up the park in advance of the Battle re-enactment on April 19th.  Get a free t-shirt and refreshments! For more info email

April 7, Saturday, 1pm, New England Quilts and the Stories They Tell, at the First Congregational Church, 1 Concord Street, Nashua, New Hampshire.  Hosted by the Women’s Association of First Church, Nashua.  Presented by Pam Weeks. Participants are invited to bring in one quilt for identification or storytelling. Free to the public. Please enter by the wrought iron gates on the north side of the church building.

April 7, Saturday, 2018 New England Family History Conference, at 91 Jordan Road, Franklin, Massachusetts. Sponsored by the Blackstone Valley and Hingham Stakes of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Free to the public.   This conference has been continuing for 40 years with nationally recognized speakers and presenters.  The keynote speaker will be Brian Moncur, Founder and CTO of 

April 7, Saturday, 3pm, Paul Revere’s Capture Ceremony, at 200 North Great Road, Lincoln, Massachusetts.  The Lincoln Minute Men observe the historic capture of Paul Revere with a dramatic re-telling of Longfellow’s famous poem, fife and drum music, and a musket fire salute. Free to the public.

April 7, Saturday, 9am – 5pm, Indoor Scottish Festival, at Nashua High School South, Nashua, New Hampshire.  Tickets for $10 on sale starting at February 3rd. Bagpipe competition, Highland dancing, fiddle competitions, Pipe Bands, Scottish vendors, clan booths.  Kid friendly. Sponsored by Scottish Arts. 

April 7-8, Massachusetts Genealogical Council 2018 Seminar, at the Courtyard by Marriot, Marlborough, Massachusetts.  DNA track with Jennifer Zinck on Saturday, and an all day track on genealogy with Dr. Thomas Jones on Sunday.  Register online for one or both days. 

April 7 -8, Regency Intensive Dance Weekend, at the Old Town Hall and Hamilton Hall in Salem, Massachusetts.  Hosted by the Commonwealth Vintage Dancers. Tickets at   Dance like Jane Austen, party like Napoleon, or socialize like Dolley Madison.  Dance classes, promenades, teas, receptions and a grand ball. All within walking distance of several hotels, so you can make it a historical weekend.

April 9, Monday, 10am – 11:30am, General John Stark Day, at Stark Park on River Road, Manchester, New Hampshire. A grave side ceremony to honor the memory of Revolutionary War hero General John Stark.

April 9, Monday, 1pm, Songs of Emigration:  Storytelling Through Traditional Irish Music, at the Lake Sunapee United Methodist Church, 9 Lower Main Street, Sunapee, New Hampshire.  Hosted by Sunapee Seniors.  Presented by musician Jordan Tirrell-Wysocki with his fiddle and guitar.  Free to the public.

April 9, Monday, 6:30pm, Family Stories:  How and Why to Remember and Tell Them, at the Boscawen Municipal Library Complex, 116 North Main Street, Boscawen, New Hampshire.  Hosted by the Boscawen Public Library.  Presented by storyteller Jo Radner. Participants will practice finding, developing and telling their own tales. Free to the public.

April 9, Monday, 7pm, “If I am Not For Myself, Who Will Be for Me?” George Washington’s Runaway Slave, at the Proctor Academy Stone Chapel, 204 Main Street, Andover, New Hampshire. Hosted by the Andover Public Library. Presented by living historian Gwendolyn Quezaire-Presutti, who will portray Oney Judge Staines, the slave who ran away to New Hampshire.  Free to the public.

April 10, Tuesday, 2pm, Meet Lucy Stone:  Enter the Antebellum World of the Abolition and Woman’s Rights Movements, at the Lawrence Barn, 28 Depot Road, Hollis, New Hampshire.  Hosted by the Anna Keyes Powers Chapter DAR.  Presented by living historian Judith Black as Lucy Stone.  Free to the public.

April 10, Tuesday, 6:30pm, Songs of Emigration:  Storytelling Through Traditional Irish Music, at the North Hampton Public Library, 237A Atlantic Avenue, North Hampton, New Hampshire.  Presented by musician Jordan Tirrell-Wysocki on guitar and fiddle.  Free to the public.

April 10, Tuesday, 7pm, New Hampshire on High: Historic and Unusual Weathervanes of the Granite State, at the Elkins Public Library, 9 Center Road, Canterbury, New Hampshire.  Hosted by the Canterbury Historical Society.  Presented by Glenn Knobock.  Free to the public.

April 10, Tuesday, 7pm, Robert Rogers of the Rangers, at the Hampstead Public Library, 9 Mary E. Clark Drive, Hampstead, New Hampshire.  Hosted by the Friends of the Hampstead Public Library. Presented by historian George Morrison.  Free to the public.

April 11, Wednesday, 3pm, A Soldier’s Mother Tells her Story, at the Bedford Public Library, 3 Meetinghouse Road, Bedford, New Hampshire.  Presented by living historian Sharon Wood, who will portray Betsey Phelps, the mother of a Union soldier from Amherst, New Hampshire.  Free to the public.

April 11, Wednesday, 7pm, A Tour of Boxborough's Cemeteries, at the Sargent Memorial Library, 427 Massachusetts Avenue, Boxborough, Massachusetts.  A presentation by the Gravestone Girls.  Free to the public. 

April 12, 19, 26, May 3, 10, Thursdays, 6pm, Spring Lecture Series: Natural Disasters in the Granite State, at the New Hampshire Historical Society, 30 Park Street, Concord, New Hampshire.  This five-lecture series includes the year without a summer (by Historian Howard Coffin), the Willey Slide (by Professor Marcia Schmidt Blaine), the 20 most significant storms that changed NH (by WMUR meteorologist Kevin Skarupa), the 1903 fires in the White Mountains (by forester David Govatski), and the Hurricane of 1938 (by author Stephen Long).  Free to members, but space is limited and registration is required. Non-members are welcome for a fee of $50 which includes a one year membership to the Society.  Register online at or call Wendy Olcott at 603-856-0621 to register by phone.

April 12, Thursday, 1pm, A House on the Bay:  Life on 17th Century New Hampshire’s Coastal Frontier, at the Rye Congregational Church, 580 Washington Street, Rye, New Hampshire. Hosted by Rye Recreation.  Presented by Neill DePaoli.  Free to the public.

April 12, Thursday, 2 - 4pm, Genealogy Research for Beginners with Linda MacIver, at the Concord Free Public Library, 129 Main Street, Concord, Massachusetts.  This is a six week course, April 12, 26, May 3, 10, 17, and 24.  The first two classes are mandatory and require basic computer skills. Limited to 12 participants. Register at  Free to the public. 

April 14, Saturday, 10am and 1pm, Meet the Past: A Walk with Nathaniel Hawthorne, at the House of Seven Gables, 115 Derby Street, Salem, Massachusetts.  $15 tickets available at this link: 

April 14, Saturday, 11am, Welcome to the Graveyard - A Virtual Tour of Attleboro's Cemeteries, at the Attleboro Public Library, 74 North Main Street, Attleboro, Massachusetts.  Presented by the Gravestone Girls.  Free to the public. 

April 14, Saturday, 10am – 3pm, Civil War Living History Encampment and Presentation, at the Millyard Museum, 200 Bedford Street, Manchester, New Hampshire. Included with regular admission.  The 1st New Hampshire Light Battery Historical Association will present an all day event with an artillery demonstration and original artifacts and displays. 

April 14, Saturday, 9am – 12:30pm, Workshop: Caring for Books, at the New Hampshire Historical Society, 30 Park Street, Concord, New Hampshire. Care, and handling, for old books.  How to store them.  Presented by Sean Ferguson of the Northeast Document Conservation Center. $35 for members, $50 for nonmembers.  Register online at or call Wendy Olcott at 603-856-0621.

April 14, Saturday, 1pm, Battle Road Demonstration:  Parker’s Revenge, at the Battle Road Trail behind the Minute Man Visitor Center, Lexington, Massachusetts.  This free event features hundreds of re-enactors, musket firing and a fast paced battle along a stretch of the actual Battle Road of 1775.  Parking is available at Minute Man Regional High School, 758 Marrett Road, Lexington, Massachusetts.

April 14, Saturday, 1pm, 1:45pm, and 2:30pm, Rachel Revere: A Revolutionary Woman, at the Paul Revere House, North Street, Boston, Massachusetts. A costumed re-enactor will portray Revere’s second wife, Rachel.  Included with admission to the Paul Revere House.  See the website for more information:   

April 14, Saturday, 1:30pm, African American Genealogy, at the Framingham Public Library, 49 Lexington Street, Framingham, Massachusetts.  Sponsored by the Middlesex Chapter of the Massachusetts Society of Genealogists. Presented by Cheryll Toney Holley.  Free to the public.  For more information please use this link:  

April 14, Saturday, 2pm, New Hampshire Heritage Lecture: The Dunlap Broadside and American Independence, at the New Hampshire Historical Society, 30 Park Street, Concord, New Hampshire. There are only 26 copies of the Dunlap Broadside, the official printing of the Declaration of Independence, in the world, and the American Independence museum in Exeter, New Hampshire has one. Emma Bray will present how this small museum ended up with such an important document. Price of the program is included with admission to the museum.

April 15, Sunday, 1 – 4pm, “Warlike Preparations” and the Search of the Barrett Property, at the Colonel James Barrett House (448 Barrett’s Mill Road, Concord, Massachusetts).  Visit the home of Colonel James Barrett and his family.  Learn about the intense military preparations that took place in the weeks leading up to to April 19, 1775. Help make cartridges for the minute men, keep watch for British soldiers, and help hide supplies before they arrive!

April 15, Sunday, 1:30pm, Planning a Future for your Family’s Past, at the Temple Sinai, 41 West Hartford Road, Newington, Connecticut.  Hosted by the Jewish Genealogical Society of Connecticut, and presented by Marian Wood.  How to organize family history materials, analyze to identify clues, write a “genealogical will”, and share family stories and photos with the next generation.  

April 15, Sunday, 2 - 4pm, Dorchester in the 1960s and 1970s: Interesting Times, at the Dorchester Historical Society's William Clapp House, 195 Boston Street, Dorchester, Massachusetts.  Presented by community organizer Lew Finfer and local historian Jim Vrabel, who will discuss some of the political, social, economic, and demographic forces in Dorchester, Massachusetts up to and since that time. Free to the public. 

April 15, Sunday, 2 – 4pm, Genealogy Workshop:  The Adopted, the Illegitimate, and DNA, at the Portsmouth, New Hampshire public library, Levenson Room.  Presented by genealogist Mike Maglio. Free to the public.  

April 16, Monday, Patriot’s Day Observed
          5:30 am  -  Lexington Battle Re-enactment, Lexington Green, Lexington
          8:45 am -  North Bridge Fight, Concord, Massachusetts
          9:30apm -  Concord Patriot’s Day Parade, Concord, Massachusetts

April 17, Tuesday, 7pm, Immigration and the Granite State, at the Londonderry Public Library, 276 Mammoth Road, Londonderry, New Hampshire.  Hosted by the Londonderry Historical Society and presented by an educator from the NH Historical Society who will talk and bring a collection of artifacts related to the people who came to New Hampshire during the great wave of immigration from the mid 1800s to the early 1900s.  Free to the public. 
April 17, Tuesday, 7:30pm, Searching for Barton Carter, at the Nashua Historical Society, 5 Abbott Street, Nashua, New Hampshire.  Nancy Clough spent seven years researching her ancestor, Barton Carter, who disappeared fighting in the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s when he was only 23 years old. Free to the public. Seating is limited. 
April 17, Tuesday, 6:30pm, Family, Memory, Place: Writing Family Stories, at the Griffin Free Public Library, 22 Hooksett Road, Auburn, New Hampshire.  This is an interactive workshop presented by Maura MacNeil. Participants explore the themes of family, memory, and place through sample narratives and a series of short writing exercise.  Free to the public.

April 18, Wednesday, 6pm, The Critical Backstory to Colonization from the Native Perspective, at the New England Historic Genealogical Society, 99 - 101 Newbury Street, Boston, Massachusetts. Free to the public. Presented by Paula Peters of the Mashpee Wampanoag Nation.  

April 18, Wednesday, 7:50pm, Patriot Vigil at the North Bridge, Concord, Massachusetts.  Lantern procession steps off at the North Bridge National Park Visitor Center at 7:50, and there is a ceremony at the North Bridge from 8 – 8:45 pm.  Lantern procession, poetry, music, and a recitation of the names of the fallen soldiers.  Bring your own enclosed candle lantern. No flashlights please.

April 19, Thursday, 7pm, Every Picture Tells a Story: The History of the Toppan Family in Hampton, at the Tuck Museum of Hampton History, 40 Park Avenue, Hampton, New Hampshire.  Presented by Lori White Cotter, a Toppan descendant who will present a visual history of her family while telling stories. Free to the public, light refreshments. 

April 19, Thursday, 6pm, Lexington and Concord: The Battle Heard Round the World, at the Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston, Massachusetts.  Author George C. Daughan wil discuss his book.  Pre-talk reception at 5:30.  $10 per person. Register at the website:  

April 19th, Thursday, Events at the North Bridge in Concord, Massachusetts
          6am – Dawn Salute
          10am -  Remembering the Ladies
          11:30am – Arrival of the Sudbury Militia
          12:30pm-  Henry Knox Color Guard Salute

April 21, Saturday, 9 am – 4pm, 2018 Spring Workshop of the Maine Genealogical Society:  Writing Your Family History, at the Elks Lodge, 397 Civil Center Drive, Augusta, Maine.  Guest Speaker, Joseph C. Anderson, II FASG.  Registration includes lunch.  Members $45, non members $55.  To register and for more information   

April 21, Saturday, 10am, New Visitor Tour of the New England Historic Genealogical Society Library, at 99 - 101 Newbury Street, Boston, Massachusetts. FREE to the public.  No registration needed.  Attendees are welcome to use the library following the tour.

April 21, Saturday, at 10:30am and also held again at noon, Meet the Past:  Caroline Emerton’s Gables Tour, at the House of Seven Gables, 115 Derby Street, Salem, Massachusetts.  Tickets at   In 1910 Miss Emmerton used proceeds from tours of the house originally to fund a settlement house that offered educational opportunities for newly arriving immigrant families.  Join Miss Emmerton (on her birthday!) for an interactive tour of The Gables.  General public $15, members $10. 

April 21, Saturday, 11am - 1pm, House History Workshop, at the UMass Lowell Center for Lowell History, 40 French Street, Lowell, Massachusetts. Hosted by the Lowell Historical Society.  As an added bonus, if you send an exterior photo of your home we will add it to the presentation and discuss its architectural features.  Send photo via email  

April 21, Saturday, 1pm - 4pm, Locate!  Research! Analyze!: Getting Started in Family History Research, at the American Independence Museum, Folsom Tavern, 164 Water Street, Exeter, New Hampshire.  Hosted by the AIM and NEHGS with a grant from the Treat Foundation.  Other workshops will be offered June 9, September 22, and November 10.  Workshop fee, $10 members, $30 not-yet-members OR entire series $70 members, $110 not-yet-members.  This workshop will be presented by Lindsay Fulton of NEHGS.

April 21, Saturday, noon – 3pm, A Needle in a Haystack: Discovering Boston’s 19th Century African American Police Officers, at the Centre Congregational Church, 5 Summer Street, Lynnfield, Massachusetts. Hosted by the Essex Society of Genealogists, and presented by Margaret R. Sullivan.  Bring your lunch and socialize at noon.  Lecture begins at 1pm.  Free to the public.

April 21, Saturday, 1:30 pm, Connecticut Society of Genealogists Program, at the CSG Library, 175 Maple Street, East Hartford, Connecticut.  Register for one workshop:  French Canadian presented by Diane Lenti, Irish presented by Nora Galvin, Polish or Eastern Europe presented by Jonathan Shea, or Italian presented by Monique Heller.  Preregistration due by April 16. 

April 22, Sunday, 3pm, George Daughan presents “Lexington and Concord”, at the Concord Bookshop, Concord, Massachusetts. An author talk and book signing, with a Q&A after the presentation.  Free to the public.

April 24, Tuesday, 7 - 8:30pm, Research Your Family Tree with Linda MacIver, at the Milton Public Library, 476 Canton Avenue, Milton, Massachusetts.  Free to the public.  Pre-register at   

April 25, Wednesday, noon, Using, at the New England Historic Genealogical Society, 99 - 101 Newbury Street, Boston, Massachusetts.  Free to the public.  Learn how to use the NEHGS website and databases and access more than 1.4 billion records.  

April 25, Wednesday, 6pm,  The Jew Who Made Confederate Monuments:  Moses Jacob Ezekiel, at the New England Historic Genealogical Society, 99 - 101 Newbury Street, Boston, Massachusetts.  Free to the public.  Presented by Dr. Michael Feldberg.  

April 26, Thursday, 6pm, Behind the Scenes in Library and Archives, at the Historic New England, at the Otis House, 141 Cambridge Street, Boston, Massachusetts.  $10 members, $20 nonmembers. Advance tickets required, call 617-994-6678.

April 26, Thursday, 6:30pm, Unlocking the Cemetery Gate - Tombstones as a Genealogy Resource, at the Franklin Public Library, 118 Main Street, Franklin, Massachusetts. Presented by the Gravestone Girls.  Free to the public. 

April 27, Friday, Genealogy Lock-In, at the Memorial Hall Library, 2 North Main Street, Andover, Massachusetts.  Spend an uninterrupted evening using MHL’s genealogy resources.  Reference librarians will be on hand to help your research. A dinner of sandwiches, chips and cookies is included.  $10 per person.

April 28, Saturday, 8am – 4pm,  American Canadian Genealogical Society Spring Conference, at the Blessed Sacrament Church Hall, next door to the ACGS Library, 4 Elm Street, Manchester, New Hampshire.  Three sessions with speakers. Time to research in the library.  $5 at the door.  $10 prepaid bag lunch orders. or 603-622-1554 for more information. 

April 28, Saturday, 2pm - 4pm, Pilgrim Chronicles: Exploring the Origins and Legacy of the Mayflower, at the New England Historic Genealogical Society, 99 - 101 Newbury Street, Boston, Massachusetts.  Free to the public. Presented by Robert Charles Anderson and Dr. Francis Bremer.  

April 29, Sunday, 1:30pm, Marblehead in World War II: Over Here, at the Abbott Public Library, 235 Pleasant Street, Marblehead, Massachusetts.  Presented by Sean Casey, author of two books on WWII.  At 3pm, following Sean's presentation, there will be brief remarks by local VIPs, music and a 140th anniversary cake for attendees to share. Tickets available at the library. 

April 29, Sunday, 10am – 7pm,  The 2018 Little Poland Event, 202 Broad Street, New Britain, Connecticut.  Folk dancing, live music, food, shopping, costumes and family fun!  Free to the public courtesy of the Polonia Business Association and other sponsors.  

April 29, Sunday, 9:30am -- 4:30pm, Researching Early New York, at the New England Historic Genealogical Society, 99 - 101 Newbury Street, Boston, Massachusetts.  Free to the public. A full day seminar presented by NEHGS staff, includes six lectures, breakfast and lunch.  $125 per person.  

April 30, Monday, 7pm,  Welcome to the Graveyard - A Virtual Tour of Dedham's Cemeteries, at the Dedham Public Library, 43 Church Street, Dedham, Massachusetts.  Free to the public.  Presented by the Gravestone Girls.

Looking ahead:

May 1, Tuesday, 5pm,  Polish Genealogy Research Session, at the Polish Center for Discovery and Learning, 33 South Street, Chicopee, Massachusetts.  Call 413-592-0001 to register.

May 18, 19, 20, Roots 2018: An International Conference on Family History, presented by the Quebec Family History Society at McGill University, New Residence Hall, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. For more information

May 19, Saturday, Blaine Bettinger (Genetic DNA expert) at the New Hampshire Society of Genealogists in Concord, New Hampshire.  More information coming soon.

May 19, Saturday, 9am, Genealogical Society of Vermont 2018 Meeting at the Middletown Springs Historical Society, 4 Park Avenue, Middletown Springs, Vermont.  Luncheon included.

May 19, Saturday, 11am, Connecticut Society of Genealogists Program, at the Casa Mia Restaurant at the Hawthorne Inn, 2421 Berlin Turnpike, Berlin, Connecticut.  Come celebrate our 50th anniversary.  Registration a 11am, brief business meeting and lunch, and a presentation by Walter Woodward.  Call the CSG office at 860-569-0002 or email  

July 7, Saturday, History Camp Boston, at Suffolk University Law School, Boston, Massachusetts.  and History Camp Weekend 

 August 14 – 16 Scots Irish Reunion:  Bringing the Ulster Diaspora To Life, at Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine. Hosted by the St. Andrews Society of Maine and the Maine Ulster Scots Project. Visit for more information. 

13 September, Thursday – Saturday, The 2018 New York State Family History Conference, at Tarrytown, New York.  More information coming soon.

 September 28 – 30, Old Planters Reunion, at Historic Beverly, 117 Cabot Street, Beverly, Massachusetts.  Save the date!  More information soon!

April 3-6, 2019,  New England Regional Genealogical Conference NERGC in Manchester, New Hampshire at the Radisson Hotel on Elm Street. for more information.

August 10 – 16, 2019, Founders, Fishermen and Family History Cruise, On Holland America’s ms Zaandam, departing Boston on August 10 for a 7 night trip to Canada, ports include Montreal, Quebec City, the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Charlottetown (Prince Edward Island), Sydney, Halifax, Bar Harbor, and Boston, Massachusetts.  Speakers include the genealogists Gena Philibert-Ortega, Tami Osmer Mize, and David Allen Lambert. See the website for more information:  


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "April 2018 Genealogy and Local History Calendar", Nutfield Genealogy, posted March 30, 2018, ( accessed [access date]).

Thursday, March 29, 2018

The Londonderry Celebration 1869, the 150th Anniversary

The Londonderry Celebration, 1870, pages 6 and 7

Apparently, in 1869, there was a huge commemoration of the anniversary of the founding of Nutfield, and the many speeches given by dignitaries were printed in a small book.  This book is The Londonderry Celebration: Exercises on the 150th Anniversary of the Settlement of Old Nutfield, and you can peruse it at your leisure at Google Books, or at this link:   or at the Hathi Trust website at this link:  

This book is also available at the public libraries in Londonderry, Derry, Windham and Manchester, and at the New Hampshire Historical Society library call number 997.8b L847m 

This book was announced in newspapers, like the transcription below. 

If you are truly interested, there is a “classic reprint” of this book available for $27.30 hardcover and $9.97 at Amazon.  See this link:  

Transcribed from the newspaper, Mirror and Farmer, Saturday, August 13, 1870, Manchester, New Hampshire, page 4.

Exercises on the 150th Anniversary of the Settlement of Old Nutfield

The Springfield Republican gives the following comprehensive notice of this work:
“’The Londonderry Celebration’ is a volume of 124 pages, containing the speeches, poems, and particulars of the celebration held last year in the old New Hampshire town of Nutfield or Londonderry, on the completion of its first century and a half. The present towns of Derry, Londonderry, and Windham, and the city of Manchester, are included within the ancient limits of Londonderry, and their citizens joined in the celebration, which took place in the lower village of Derry, June 10, 1869.  It was in April, 1719, that sixteen families from the Irish Londonderry came to Nutfield to settle, and they were followed, a few years later, by three or four times as many more, who colonized not only the New England Londonderry, but a great many other New Hampshire towns, either by themselves or their descendants.  They were Scotchmen of pure breed who had emigrated to Ulster to escape the persecution of the Stuarts in their own country, and who came to New England for a larger liberty than they found in Ireland.  Several of the early settlers, including the first two ministers, had borne arms at the famous ‘seige of Derry’ in 1689, and all of them were strict Presbyterians, fond of strong Calvinism and not averse to strong whiskey.  Among their descendants have been the Starks, Morrisons, Wilsons, Bells, Greeleys, Pattersons, Duncans, Dinsmores, Walkers, many of the Smiths, and men of other names prominent in the annals of New England.
                “The speakers at the celebration, whose remarks are here printed, were mostly either born in old Londonderry or descended from its people.  The chairman was George W. Patterson of New York, who was lieutenant-governor of that state twenty years ago, when Hamilton Fish was governor; the principal address was made by Charles H. Bell, of Exeter, a member of the distinguished Bell family, and other speeches were made by Senator Paterson, Horace Greeley, Dr. Taylor, of Andover, E. H. Derby of Boston, etc. and the volume contains beside their speeches, sketches of their lives and their engraved portraits, sketches and portraits of Chief Justice Bell, Gov. Smyth, Gen. Head, Gen. A. F. Stevens, and James A. Weston, and profile portraits of Gen. George Reid and the aged printer, John Prentice of Keene.  The work is edited by Robert C. Mack, and published in handsome style by John B. Clarke, of Manchester.”


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "The Londonderry Celebration 1869, the 150th Anniversary", Nutfield Genealogy, posted March 29, 2018, ( accessed [access date]).

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Weathervane Wednesday ~ A Boston Landmark

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 Boston, Massachusetts.

Do you know the location of weathervane post #356?  Scroll down to find the answer.

This weathervane is located on the cupola above the Old State House, 102 feet above the intersection of Washington Street and State Street in Boston, Massachusetts.  This old building was built in 1713 by the Province of Massachusetts Bay’s Royal Governor Joseph Dudley.  This was a government, and governor appointed by the British crown.  That is why you can see the symbols of the monarchy, the lion and the unicorn, at the front of the building.   Today, this building houses a museum run by the Bostonian Society, and the basement is the State Street subway stop on the blue and orange lines. 

This historic weathervane may have been made by Boston coppersmith Shem Drowne, but it has never been proven to be attributed to him.  [To see four other weathervanes made by Shem Drowne, who is my family tree, see these links:  Faneuil Hall, Old North Church, the Museum of Fine Art, and the Cambridge First Church].   In 2008 the cupola was restored and the weathervane was re-gilded.  When the weathervane was being restored, it was examined by Myrna Kaye, the author of the 1975 book Yankee Weathervanes.  Her findings can be read at this webpage:   A slide show, with photos of the re-gilding process on the weathervane, can be seen at this link:

This weathervane is the "swallow tail" or “long-john” style of banner (with two long tails) that was popular in the 18th century.    Shem Drowne’s weathervane on top of the Old North Church is also in the “long johns” style.  There are several weathervanes in this part of Boston, including ones at Faneuil Hall (a grasshoppen) and Quincy Market (a bull), because the waterfront used to be right in this part of downtown.  Weathervanes were useful for shipping, navigation, and weather forecasting.

Click here to see all the Weathervane Wednesday posts! 


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, “Weathervane Wednesday ~ A Boston Landmark”, Nutfield Genealogy, posted March 28, 2018, ( accessed [access date]).

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Tombstone Tuesday ~ John Hemphill and wife, Lydia, buried in Windham, New Hampshire

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

Died Aug. 26, 1848
AEt  82 yrs
his wife
Died Nov. 8, 1856
AEt 86 yrs

John Hemphill is the son of Robert Hemphill and Eleanor Clark, and the grandson of Nathaniel Hemphill from Antrim, Northern Ireland, the immigrant, and his wife Isabella Robinson.  John Hemphill was born 10 June 1766, and he died in Windham on 26 August 1848.  He married Lydia Merrill, who was born in Salem, New Hampshire on 17 August 1770 to her parents Amos Merrill and Lydia Giles.  John and Lydia Hemphill had eight children:  Polly Ellenwood (m. Giles Merrill), Sarah, John (married Mary Gibson), Sarah G. (married Mark W. Temple), Ruth Barnett (m. Washington W. Temple), Joseph, Amos M. (married Rebecca Eaton), and Silas. 

For more information:

Leonard Allison Morrison, The History of Windham in New Hampshire, a sketch of the Hemphill family on pages 575 – 584. 

To read more about the John Hemphill family, see this blog post by Derek Saffie,

Nathaniel Hemphill’s tombstone:

Isabella (Robinson) Hemphill’s tombstone:


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Tombstone Tuesday ~ John Hemphill and wife, Lydia, buried in Windham, New Hampshire", Nutfield Genealogy, posted March 27, 2018, ( accessed [access date]).

Monday, March 26, 2018

March 26 – Robert Frost’s Birthday

Although we all think of him as a New England poet, did you know that Robert Frost was born in San Francisco, California on 26 March 1874?  We also think that all New England Yankees were progressives and abolitionists, but Robert Frost's father was a Southern sympathizer during the Civil War.  His son was named after Confederate General Robert E. Lee.  Just like his life, Frost's poetry is full of layers of irony.

Frost’s roots run deep in New Hampshire. He is a descendant of Nicholas Frost who arrived in New Hampshire in 1634.  You can read more about his ancestry at my previous blog post HERE.  You can also search my blog for many posts written about his homestead in Derry, New Hampshire. 

Nothing Gold Can Stay
Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

                                                                                              - Robert Frost 


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "March 26 – Robert Frost’s Birthday", Nutfield Genealogy, posted March 26, 2018, ( accessed [access date]). 

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Surname Saturday ~ WAY of Dorchester, Massachusetts

Second Church of Dorchester


My 11th great grandfather, Henry Way (1583 – 1667), lived in Bridport in the parish of Allington, Dorset, England where his six children were baptized.   Some say that he arrived in New England aboard the ship Mary and John with his wife Elizabeth Bachelor, and five children, but there is no passenger list for that ship.   They arrived at Nantasket on 30 May 1630 and settled in Dorchester, Massachusetts. The first record of Henry Way is in 1631 when his fishing boat rescued three men from a sinking ship [from The History of New England from 1630 to 1649, by John Winthrop, volume 2, page 71].  He signed a document to support the Dorchester school teacher on 7 February 1641/2 and he was admitted to the Second Church of Dorchester on 5 May 1643. 

Henry Way was a merchant, and he is often seen in records that have to do with mariners or boats. There was another merchant named “Mr. George Way” who had business in New England and might have been a kinsman.  George Way made a trip to Dorchester.

In a 1632 record “A shallop of one Henry Way of Dorchester, having been missing all the winter, it was found that the men in her, being five, were all killed treacherously by the eastern Indians.  Antoher shallop of his being sent out to seek out the other, was cast away at Aquamenticus, and two of the men drowned.” [ from The History of New England from 1630 to 1649, by John Winthrop, volume 2, page 95] In his book Great Migration Begins, Anderson believes that the author William Hubbard, in his book A General History of New England from Discover to MDCLXXX, 1815, page 198”erroneously supposed that these entries indicated that Henry Way not only owned the shallops, but was in one of them when the tragedies occurred”.

I descend from Hannah Way (b. 1615/6), my 10th great grandmother who married Bray Wilkins.  You can read all about the WILKINS lineage at this link:  

Henry Way's youngest son, Richard Way (1624 - 1697) had four wives.  His second wife, Bethia Mayhew, is also my 10th great aunt.  I descend from her brother Rev. Thomas Mayhew (about 1620 - 1657) and her sister, Hannah Mayhew (1635 - 1723) who married Thomas Daggett in 1657. Yes, a double Mayhew lineage with a cousin connection, too! 

For more information on the WAY family:

The Great Migration Begins, by Robert Charles Anderson, 1995, Volume III, pages 1951 – 1953.

Way Family History, by Mary Elizabeth Way, published 1974.

The American Genealogist, Volume 61, pages 241 – 256.

My WAY genealogy:

Generation 1:  Henry Way, born about 1583, in Allington, Bridport, Dorset, England, died 24 March 1667 in Dorchester, Massachusetts; married 22 January 1615 in Bridport to Elizabeth Bachelor.  She was born about 1587 and died 23 June 1665 in Dorchester.  Six children.

Generation 2:  Hannah Way, baptized on 3 March 1615/6 in Allington, Bridport; married about 1636 to Bray Wilkins.  He was born about 1610 in Wales, and died 2 January 1702 in Middleton, Massachusetts.  Eight children.

Generation 3:  Margaret Wilkins m. Philip Knight
Generation 4:  Elizabeth Knight m. Samuel Towne
Generation 5:  Rebecca Towne m. Stephen Johnson
Generation 6:  Ruth Johnson m. Richard Cree
Generation 7:  Stephen Cree m. Hannah Smith
Generation 8:  Sarah Cree m. James Phillips
Generation 9:  Hannah Phillips m. Thomas Russell Lewis
Generation 10:  Hannah Eliza Lewis m. Abijah Franklin Hitchings
Generation 11:  Arthur Treadwell Hitchings m. Florence Etta Hoogerzeil
Generation 12:  Gertrude Matilda Hitchings m. Stanley Elmer Allen (my grandparents)


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, “Surname Saturday ~ WAY of Dorchester, Massachusetts”, Nutfield Genealogy, posted March 24, 2018, ( accessed [access date]). 

Friday, March 23, 2018

How Genealogy Literate Are You?

A fun quiz for family historians.  Add up your score and comment below!

One point for each of the following:
Have you ever…  
Attended a local genealogy workshop?
Visited your state vital records office?
Done the genealogy happy dance at home in your pajamas?
Googled your ancestor’s name?
Cursed under your breath when Ancestry changed its website?
Helped someone else online with a genealogy problem?
Left flowers at an ancestor’s grave at least 4 generations removed?
Wrote a query on Facebook page, on a website or message board?
Waited excitedly for the 1940 census records to appear online?
Trimmed a five generation branch off your family tree?
Got someone else interested in researching their ancestry?
Join a local genealogy society?
Stayed up until midnight researching online?
Became overly excited to find a black sheep ancestor?

Two points for the following:
Have you ever…  
Attended a regional genealogy event?
Visited your county probate court record depository?
Done the genealogy happy dance in a public library?
Googled your ancestor’s name using quotation marks, OR, AND or “-“ (minus sign)?
Helped someone else solve a genealogy problem in a library, archive or records repository?
Left flowers at the grave of an ancestor at least six generations removed?
Written a snail mail letter asking for genealogy information?
Own a copy of “Evidence Explained”?
Do you remember waiting for the 1930 census records to appear online?
Successfully used Steve Morse’s website to find an Ellis Island immigrant you couldn’t find any other way?
Ordered a microfilm to view at your local Family History library?
Found a book on the “re-shelf” cart at the genealogy society (it caught your eye) that solved your brickwall?
Got a young person (under 21) interested in researching their family tree?
Given a family tree chart to someone as a gift?
Join an ancestral society (surname society or family association)?
Participated in an online indexing project?
Stayed up until 2am researching online?
Gotten excited to find two ancestors shared a grandparent (it simplifies things, doesn’t it?)

Five points for each of these:
Have you ever…  
Attended a national genealogy event that involved taking a plane, train or bus to get there?
Visited the National Archives in Washington DC or the Family History Library in Salt Lake City?
Done the genealogy happy dance in a courthouse or federal building?
Googled your ancestors using quotation marks, wild cards, asterisks and dates?
Given a presentation about genealogy, even if it was only to the five people in your local genealogy club or library?
Tripped over a tree root at the cemetery only to look up and find the tombstone you’ve been searching for the past two hours?
Cold called someone you never met because they shared a surname with an ancestor in an ancestral village or geographical location?
Remember being excited when you finally got a copy of the microfilm for the 1920 census?
Bring cookies or donuts for the town or county clerk?
Visit the “vertical file” at every local library and historical society you visit?
Used a research log?
Given a copy of your genealogy research to the library or historical society where your ancestors originated?
Joined a national genealogical society that produces a scholarly journal ?
Written a short article for a genealogy club newsletter, family association email, local historical society newsletter or local newspaper or magazine?
Visited your ancestral village, stopped at the pub or diner, and met a distant cousin “by accident” with your surname or one of your ancestral surnames.  Extra points if this cousin leads you to more helpful information!
Pulled an all-nighter while researching online?

Ten points!:
Have you ever … 
Googled ancestors using the operator [site:  ]?
Applied for a court order to unseal records from an asylum, poorhouse, adoption or prison?
Developed research plans (and stuck to it)?
Joined a lineage society that required lineage papers?
Taken classes at genealogical institutes to improve your skills (certificate programs, weeklong institutes, guided research trips)?
Learned a foreign language just so you could translate your own ancestor’s documents?
Gone shopping with friends but explored the cemetery next door whilst the friends perused the mall?
Brought your own white gloves and magnifying glass to an archive?
Ever considered buying a roll of microfilm instead of constantly ordering it from Salt Lake City?
Knocked on a stranger’s door and asked to look around because an ancestor once lived there?
Started your own genealogy blog (even just a secret one for family members)?

Twenty points!
Have you ever...
Write a peer reviewed article for a national genealogy society journal, magazine or newsletter?
Were you accepted into a lineage society under a line no one had previously applied under?
Traveled across the Atlantic or Pacific Ocean to visit an archive in a foreign country for your genealogy research?
Cancelled plans for a national genealogy conference to attend a family event (wedding, bar mitzvah, reunion) because living family is more important than those who have passed on?
Accepted the position of historian for a lineage society?

What was your score? Who scored the highest?


To Cite/Link to this post:
  Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "How Genealogy Literate Are You?", Nutfield Genealogy, posted March 23, 2018, ( accessed [access date]).