Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Hazen Saltmarsh and Sally Batchelder of Hooksett, New Hampshire - Tombstone Tuesday

This tombstone was photographed at the Davis-Cate Cemetery in Hooksett, New Hampshire

both stones read "Rest in Peace" on the front
with "Father" and "Mother" on the top

Wife of
Hazen Saltmarsh
Jan. 17, 1855
AE. 46 yrs. 6 mo.

Nov. 10, 1890
AE. 84 yrs. 4 mos.

Hazen Saltmarsh, son of Edward Abbott Saltmarsh and Sally Story, was born about 1806 in Goffstown, New Hampshire and died 10 November 1890 in Bow, New Hampshire.  He was first married to Sarah (Sally) Sargent Batchelder about 1829 in Goffstown, New Hampshire. He married second to Mary Matthews on 29 October 1856.

Hazen and Sally had nine children:  John Linden Saltmarsh, Hazen Wilbur Saltmarsh, Elizabeth Blaisdell Saltmarsh, Rebecca Wentworth Saltmarsh, Abigail Burnham Saltmarsh, Gilman Saltmarsh, Sarah Saltmarsh, Sarah Ann Saltmarsh, Alonzo Putnam Saltmarsh, Mary Jane Saltmarsh, and Luella Idora Saltmarsh.

Hazen's father, Edward Abbott Saltmarsh was born about 1768 in Goffstown, and died 11 March 1854.  He married Sally Story, daughter of Nehemiah Story and Sarah Gould, born 19 May 1768 in Essex, Massachusetts.  Nehemiah Story is my 7th great uncle, brother of Deborah Story (1723 - 1821), my 6th great grandmother.  I descend from two of her children, Westley Burnham (1747 - 1835) and from Sarah Burnham (about 1759 - 1846).  Our common ancestor is Nehemiah and Deborah's father, Zachariah Story (1684 - 1774) who married Rachel Andrews.

Hazen Saltmarsh buried above is my 2nd cousin, six generations removed.

For more information:

The Saltmarsh genealogy:  http://www.saltygen.com/files/thomasdesc.pdf    (see #128 for Hazen Saltmarsh)


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Hazen Saltmarsh and Sally Batchelder of Hooksett, New Hampshire - Tombstone Tuesday", Nutfield Genealogy, posted December 31, 2019, ( https://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2019/12/hazen-saltmarsh-and-sally-batchelder-of.html: accessed [access date]).

Saturday, December 28, 2019

What did Genea-Santa Bring? Christmas Books 2019

I usually post the books my Genea-Santa brings every Christmas. This year was a big haul of delightful books that will keep me busy during all of 2020!  Thank you, Santa!

You might find a few good books for your Santa list next year in this blog post!

This is the 2015 version of the George Soule Pink Book from the General Society of Mayflower Descendants.  It will replace my dog-eared old pink book published in 1995.  The GSMD has not yet published a Silver Book for the descendants of George Soule (1593 - 1680), my 9th great grandfather. He arrived in Plymouth, Massachusetts on the Mayflower in 1620. 

This book is available through the Plimoth Plantation gift shop.  It is full of stories and photos of the restoration of the Mayflower II, in preparation for the 2020 400th anniversary commemoration.  

Santa found this book at one of the souvenir shops along the waterfront in Plymouth, Massachusetts, not far from the usual berth of the Mayflower II.  It is full of photos of the historic sites in the town of Plymouth, and only some are Pilgrim related.  The photos of the old homes are especially lovely, and poignant since many are no longer standing. 

This little book was written in 1997, and was bought at the Plimoth Plantation book shop. It is all about the construction and history of the Mayflower, and contains copies of many primary source documents from England. 

I don't know where Santa got this book, and it is not by any of the usual Pilgrim scholars or authors that I know.  Rod Gragg's book on the Civil War was made into a PBS documentary.

This book was first published in 1841, and is now reprinted by the New England Historic Genealogical Society, with a forward by Robert Charles Anderson.  It is a collection of documents about the separatists in Scrooby and Leiden, and their migration to New England.  The documents include works by William Bradford, Edward Winslow and Robert Cushman.

Santa doesn't remember where he bought this little CD "Colonial New England Maps 1550 - 1783".  The website is www.old-maps.com in West Chesterfield, New Hampshire.  I can't wait to see what is on the 30 maps included on this disk, published between 1550 and 1775! (Update:  Santa remembered that he bought this CD at the Plimoth Plantation bookshop)

This book will complete my collection of books by Robert Charles Anderson, plus it includes lots of information on my Mayflower ancestors.  It must weigh almost 4 pounds!

Just for fun, Santa renewed my subscription to the Mayflower Descendant for 2020.  Yay!

This fun, laminated bookmark was in my Christmas stocking. It is the same $10,000 bill I blogged about several years ago, depicting my ancestor Rev. John Robinson and the departure of the Mayflower Pilgrims from Holland.  This painting is also at Pilgrim Hall and on the inside of the dome of the Capital Building rotunda in Washington, DC.  You can read more about this painting by Robert W. Weir at my blog post:  https://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2010/08/treasure-chest-thursday-great-grandpa.html  

I'll let you know later what I think of all these new books!  It will take me some time to read them all!


To Cite/Link to this blog post:  Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "What did Genea-Santa Bring?  Christmas Books 2019", Nutfield Genealogy, posted December 28, 2019, ( https://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2019/12/what-did-genea-santa-bring-christmas.html: accessed [access date]). 

Friday, December 27, 2019

Surnames From My Family Tree

Over the past ten years I have written over 350 "Surname Saturday" blog posts.  Each post takes an immigrant ancestor from my family tree, and I trace my lineage up to my grandparents.  I give a detailed (as detailed as possible!) family sketch of the first few generations that carry this surname until it daughters out.  Each sketch also gives the genealogy and some resources for tracing that name.  Be aware that these families all immigrated to New England or Nova Scotia between 1620 and 1915.

These 350 sketches have provided me with many cousin connections!  I've enjoyed meeting new cousins virtually online, and in person at genealogy and blogging events over the years.  I've shared more family information with many of these cousins and interested researchers, and in return they have shared resources, family reunions, photographs, and lots of other ephemera and family heirlooms.  It has been a wonderful way to share family history.

Since the beginning of this blog in 2009 I have had a link to a page at the top of the homepage called "Surnames".  It gets many hits, probably from people searching for genealogy information.  I recently expanded this list of surnames and edited the lists so it is clickable. When you click on the name, it brings you to the "Surname Saturday" post.  I hope this has been helpful.  Since I got many comments about this change, I decided to write up this post so more readers would be aware of the new links.

Just peek up above to the top of the page, to the pages listed under the photo of Londonderry's Morrison House museum.  You will find "Surnames from My Family Tree" right there!  This is a permanent page, and will always be available every time you log onto my blog.  Names highlighted in red are "clickable" and will take you right to the Surname Saturday sketch of that lineage. 

You can also use the search bar in the upper left corner to search for any name, geographic location or topic in my blog.  Or you can click on the long list of keywords in the right hand column (this does not appear in the mobile version of my blog on phones and some devices).

Good luck!  I hope you find a cousin connection!

The link to my Surnames page:

A link to a blog post from 2015 "How I write up my Surname Saturday Posts":


To Cite/Link to this post:  Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Surnames From My Family Tree", Nutfield Genealogy, posted December 27, 2019, ( https://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2019/12/surnames-from-my-family-tree.html: accessed [access date]).

Thursday, December 26, 2019

January 2020 Genealogy and Local History Calendar

For last minute updates, see the “Nutfield Genealogy” Facebook page at this link:  https://www.facebook.com/nutfield.gen/    Please send new events to me by commenting here at the end of this post, or email vrojomit@gmail.com


January 1st, 2020, noon to 1pm, First Day Hike, Salem, Massachusetts, at the National Park Service Regional Visitor Center, 2 New Liberty Street, Salem, Massachusetts.  Sponsored by the National Park Service, the City of Salem, The Essex National Heritage Commission, and the Salem Historical Society.  This year’s hike will focus on the importance of the Custom House to Salem history.  The tour will be led by David Moffat from the Salem Historical Society. Free and open to all ages.

January 4, Saturday, 10am, From Worcester to the Little Big Horn, at the Massachusetts Society of Genealogists, Worcester Chapter, meeting at the First Unitarian Church, 90 Main Street, Worcester, Massachusetts.  Come hear Joy Hennig, from the genealogy department of the Worcester Public Library discuss a Worcester soldier who fought with General Custer.  Business meeting at 9:30am.  Free to the public.  

January 4, Saturday, 10am, New Visitor Tour of the American Ancestors Research Center (New England Historic Genealogical Society), 99 – 101 Newbury Street, Boston, Massachusetts. FREE to the public. You do not need to be a member to participate. Tour attendees are welcome to use the library following the tour. No registration necessary.

January 5, Sunday, 2pm, Votes for Women: A History of the Suffrage Movement, at the Tucker Free Library, 31 Western Avenue, Henniker, New Hampshire.  Presented by Liz Tantarelli using historic photos and documents. Free to the public. (repeated on January 9th and 28th, see below)

January 7, Tuesday, 7pm, Ambrose Swasey – Exeter Philanthropist, at the Exeter Historical Society, 47 Front Street, Exeter, New Hampshire. Presented by curator Barbara Rimkunas.  $5 suggested donation for non-members. Doors openat 6:30 for light refreshments.

January 9, Thursday, 6pm, A Foray into Forgery and the Boston Athenaeum's Role in Exposing It, at the Boston Athenaeum, 10 1/2 Beacon Street, Boston, Massachusetts.  Presented by independent scholar Bettina Norton. $15 for visitors. Free to members. 

January 9, Thursday, 6pm, Votes for Women: A History of the Suffrage Movement, at the Lincoln Public Library, 22 Church Street, Lincoln, New Hampshire.  Presented by Liz Tantarelli using historic photos and documents. Free to the public.

January 10, Friday, 10:30am, New England Lighthouses and the People Who Kept Them, at the Hooksett Public Library, 31 Mount Saint Mary’s Way, Hooksett, New Hampshire.  Presented by historian Jeremy D’Entremont. Free to the public.

January 11, 18 and 25, Saturdays, 2pm – 4pm, Building Your Genealogical Skills (Three Session Class), at the American Ancestors Research Center (New England Historic Genealogical Society), 99 – 101 Newbury Street, Boston, Massachusetts.  Presented by genealogists Ann Lawthers and Melanie McComb. $75 for all three sessions.  Register today at https://my.americanancestors.org/1224/1401 

January 11, Saturday, 2pm, Jennie Powers: The Woman Who Dares, at the New Hampshire Historical Society, 30 Park Street, Concord, New Hampshire.  This one hour illustrated presentation introduces us to Jennie powers of New Hampshire, who used her camera to document animal cruelty, family violence, and wide-spread poverty in the Monadnock Region from the 1890s- 1920s.  Free to the public.

January 12, Sunday, 7pm, Transcendentalists, Abolitionists, John Brown and Beyond: The New Englanders Who Made John Brown a Hero, at the Royall House & Slave Quarters, 15 George Street, Medford, Massachusetts. Presented by historian Richard Smith.

January 13, Monday, 7pm, Songs of Old New Hampshire, at the Stratham Fire Station, 4 Winnicutt Road, Stratham, New Hampshire. Presented by Jeff Warner with songs from lumber camps, sailing ships, textile mills, and the war between the sexes.  Snow date will be January 27.  Free to the public.

January 14, Tuesday, 6pm, Indigenous Stories: The Abenaki, at the Portsmouth Public Library, 175 Parrott Avenue, Portsmouth, New Hampshire.  Co-sponsored by Strawbery Banke, Portsmouth 400, and the Indigenous NH Collaborative Collective.  Presented by Paul & Denise Pouliot, Cowasuck Band of the Pennacook Abenaki People.  Free to the public. 

January 14, Tuesday, 6pm, William Martin with Bound For Gold: A Novel of the California Gold Rush (Part of the American Inspiration Author Series), at the American Ancestors Research Center (New England Historic Genealogical Society), 99 – 101 Newbury Street, Boston, Massachusetts.  Presented by author William Martin.  $12.50 Admission, $17.50 Admission and book.  Register here:  https://my.americanancestors.org/1137/1351

January 15, Wednesday, 10am, (Snow Date, Jan 22)  Mayflower II Diary: Sketches from a Lost Age: Book Discussion at the Mayflower Society House, 4 Winslow Street, Plymouth, Massachusetts.  This book is a record of the 1957 voyage of the Mayflower II from Plymouth, Devonshire, England to Plymouth, Massachusetts written by Peter Padfield.  The discussion will be led by Peggy Baker, historian, director emerita of the Pilgrim Hall Museum, and the editor of the Thomas Rogers GSMD Silver Book.  Call Cynthia Tinny at 781-878-5273 for more information. 

January 15, Wednesday, 10am, New Visitor Tour of the American Ancestors Research Center (New England Historic Genealogical Society), 99 – 101 Newbury Street, Boston, Massachusetts. FREE to the public. You do not need to be a member to participate. Tour attendees are welcome to use the library following the tour. No registration necessary.

January 15, Wednesday, 5:30pm, History at Play Presents: A Revolution of Her Own!  Deborah Sampson, at the Massachusetts Historical Society, 1154 Boylston Street, Boston, Massachusetts.  Free to members, $10 general public.  Suitable for all ages, family friendly.

January 15, Wednesday, 6:30pm, Songs of Emigration: Storytelling Through Traditional Irish Music, at the Pease Public Library 1 Russell Street, Plymouth, New Hampshire.  Presented by musician Jordan Tirrell-Wysocki on fiddle and guitar.  Free to the public.

January 15, Wednesday, 7:30pm, Slavery’s Descendants: Shared Legacies of Race and Reconciliation, at the Royall House & Slave Quarters, 15 George Street, Medford, Massachusetts.  Co-editors Dioone Ford and Catherin Sasanov will discuss this collection of writers from a variety of backgrounds- all members of “Coming to the Table” a national racial reconciliation organization.

January 16, Thursday, 6pm, Spinning Gold – Shaping Family Research into Compelling Stories, at the Concord Public Library, 45 Green Street, Concord, New Hampshire.  Presented by author Christine Halvorson. This 90 minute program is free to the public.

January 16, Thursday, 6pm, Wicked Pissed: New England's Most Famous Feuds, at the Boston Athenaeum, 10 1/2 Beacon Street, Boston, Massachusetts.  Presented by Ted Reinstein who will present his new book.  Visitors $20, BA members $15.  

January 18, Saturday, noon, Researching Your Scottish Ancestors, at the Massachusetts Society of Genealogists, Bristol Chapter meeting at the Somerset Public Library, 1464 Country Street (Route 138), Somerset, Massachusetts.  Business meeting at 11am, presentation at noon. Free to the public. Presented by Richard Reid.

January 18, Saturday, 1pm, Tracing Your Female Ancestors, at the American Ancestors Research Center (New England Historic Genealogical Society), 99 – 101 Newbury Street, Boston, Massachusetts.  Presented by genealogist Ann Lawthers.  Free to the public. Register here:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/genealogy-workshop-tracing-female-ancestors-registration-83995074529

January 19, Sunday, 1pm, Stories from the African American Heritage Trail, at the Mount Auburn Cemetery, 580 Mount Auburn Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts.  Non-members $12.  Register here:  https://mountauburn.org/event/stories-from-the-african-american-heritage-trail/ 

January 19, Sunday, 2pm, A History of the New Hampshire Presidential Primary, at the Rodgers Memorial Library, 194 Derry Road, Hudson, New Hampshire.  Presented by John Gfroerer. Free to the public.

January 20, Monday, 3pm, All Eyes are Upon Us:  Racial Struggles in the Northeast, from Jackie Robinson to Deval Patrick, at the Hooksett Public Library, 31 Mount Saint Mary’s Way, Hooksett, New Hampshire. Presented by Jason Sokol.  Free to the public with a grant from the New Hampshire Humanities Council. 

January 21, Tuesday, 7pm, Local History: Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, at the Portsmouth Public Library, 175 Parrott Avenue, Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Presented by Joseph Gluckert, historian and museum director at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.  Free to the public. 

January 22, Wednesday, 6pm, The Puritans: A Transatlantic History, at the Massachusetts Historical Society, 1154 Boylston Street, Boston, Massachusetts. Presented by David Hall of Harvard University.  Pre-reception talk at 5:30pm. Please register here https://www.masshist.org/calendar/event?event=3129&fbclid=IwAR2Mja04sR1HQImDWeWgJUg80cSs9sWVI6AyF-ngRkEgHOYeFLVTytlMXmI $10 per person fee. 

January 22, Wednesday, 6pm, Introduction to Jewish Genealogy, at the Boston Public Library, First Floor Commonwealth Salon.  Presented by Carol Clingan, chair of research projects at the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Boston.  Free to the public.

January 23, Thursday, 6:30pm, A History of the New Hampshire Presidential Primary, at the Brookline Public Library, 16 Main Street, Brookline, New Hampshire.  Presented by John Gfroerer. Free to the public

January 25, Saturday, 8am - 4pm, Shays Rebellion Symposium, at the Springfield Armory National Historic Site, One Armory Square, STCC Building 2 Theater, Springfield, Massachusetts.  Eight presentations on the 1786 and 1787 Shays Rebellion in Massachusetts. Hosted by the Friends of Springfield Armory National Historic Site.  Snow date January 26. Tickets $6, box lunches available $10 at shaysrebellion.eventbrite.com  

January 25, Saturday, 1pm, Discovering New England Stone Walls, at the Pembroke Town Library, 313 Pembroke Street, Pembroke, New Hampshire.  Hosted by the Pembroke Historical Society, and presented by author Kevin Gardner. Free to the public.

January 25, Saturday, 1pm, Family Fun Day at the New Hampshire Historical Society, 30 Park Street, Concord, New Hampshire. New Hampshire history themed crafts, trivia, and activities.  Geared for children 6 to 10 years old, but all ages are welcome. Admission is $5 per family, members free.  

January 26, Sunday, 2pm, Mayflower Double Feature, at the Atwood Museum, 347 Stage Harbor Road, Chatham, Massachusetts. A 2pm lecture about the crew of the Mayflower followed by refreshments and discussion.  After the break is a sneak preview of the film Stephano: the True Story of Shakespeare’s Shipwreck, a documentary film about the life of Stephen Hopkins the Mayflower passenger.  Tickets at the door, seating is limited. $10 for non-members.

January 26, Sunday, 4pm, Songs of Old New Hampshire, at the Amherst Congregational Church, 11 Church Street, Amherst, New Hampshire. Presented by Jeff Warner with songs from lumber camps, sailing ships, textile mills, and the war between the sexes. Free to the public.

January 28, Tuesday, 6:30pm, Votes for Women: A History of the Suffrage Movement, at the New Ipswich Library, 6 Main Street, New Ipswich, New Hampshire.  Presented by Liz Tantarelli using historic photos and documents. Free to the public.

January 30, 6pm, Historical Perspectives on Today's World, at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the US Senate, 210 William T. Morissey Blvd, Boston, Massachusetts. A panel discussion with author Stephen Fried. 

February 4, Tuesday, 2pm to 7pm, Winter Doldrums Genealogy Mini-Camp, at the Maine State Library, State Street, Augusta, Maine. Library tours, help with research, and other fun activities. All ages welcome. Family friendly. https://www.maine.gov/msl/services/genealogy/index.shtml

Future Events:

February 15, Saturday, 10am, The Colonial Wedding Expo: A History Space Event, at the Colony House, Washington Square, Newport, Rhode Island. Free to the public, donations welcome.  Activities include, talking to a bride dressing for a colonial wedding, recipes and foods commonly served in the colonial period, see a ceremony portrayed by living historians, discuss wedding traditions for different religious groups represented in 18th century Newport, and much more!

February 26 – 29, RootsTech Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah

March 14, Saturday, History Camp Boston, at Suffolk University Law School.  https://historycamp.org/boston  

May 21, Thursday, noon – 5pm, Welcome Home, Mayflower II, at Pilgrim Memorial State Park, Plymouth, Massachusetts.  Come celebrate the return of the newly restored Mayflower II to her home berth in Plymouth harbor.  The celebrations will continue all Memorial Day weekend.

April 14, 2021 – April 17, 2021, NERGC 2021 (The New England Regional Genealogical Conference), at the Mass Mutual Center, 1277 Main Street, Springfield, Massachusetts. http://nergc.org/ 

Monday, December 23, 2019

Merry Christmas! Lobster Pot Christmas Trees

Merry Christmas!  Feliz Navidad!

Here is a selection of Lobster Pot Christmas Trees from all over New England and Canada...

Cape Porpoise, Maine

Chilmark, Massachusetts
Photo by Laurie Conn

Gloucester, Massachusetts Menorah
Temple Ahavat Achim

Marblehead, Massachusetts

Plymouth, Massachusetts
Gloucester, Massachusetts

Portland, Maine

Provincetown, Massachusetts

Rockland, Maine

York, Maine
Stonewall Kitchen store and restaurant
Photo by Sharon Gillis
York, Maine
Barrington, Nova Scotia

Saturday, December 21, 2019

The Flying Santa- Edward Rowe Snow

Many years ago I saw a TV newscast about the work of Edward Rowe Snow and the Flying Santa program in New England. It was a service provided by Wiggins Airways, and every time I pass by the Manchester Airport and see the Wiggins sign, I think of the Flying Santas – even in the heat of summer!

Since colonial times the New England lighthouses were manned by families. In 1929 William Wincapaw started a tradition of dropping presents from Santa from planes to children of lighthouse keepers. In the footage I saw on the television special, most of these lighthouses were on isolated islands or other inaccessible points of land. Over the years the program was expanded to more lighthouses and Coast Guard stations. Edward Rowe Snow participated in the program for more than forty years as a pilot.  He paid for the gifts – a toy, a candy cane, and a copy of his latest book – out of his own pocket.

Edward Rowe Snow is a familiar name to New England Yankees. He attended Harvard, and studied under historian Samuel Eliot Morrison, who was a maritime expert. Snow wrote over 100 books on the maritime history of New England, with subjects as wide as pirates and ship wrecks. There is a boat named for him plying the waters of Boston Harbor, and providing ferry service to George’s Island and the state parks. He was a driving force behind saving Fort Warren, on George’s Island as part of the state park system. He led ghost story tours of the Civil War fort, and used to tell the story of the “Lady in Black”, which I think of every time we are in the dark tunnels there!

Snow served as a Flying Santa from 1936 to 1980, and some years he brought his little girl, Dolly, along for the rides to help drop the packages to the children waiting below. She loved to see the faces of the island children when her father buzzed the lighthouses. When a memorial to Snow was established in 2000, a granite marker was placed at the pavilion for tourists on George’s Island, and the plaque reads “Author, historian, and ‘Flying Santa’ to lighthouse keepers, Edward Rowe Snow was the president of the Society for the Preservation of Fort Warren and led the fight to preserve the fort as a public park. The presence of Edward and his wife, Anna-Myrle, will always be felt on George’s Island.” Dolly Snow Bicknell, his daughter, was part of the memorial committee.

At the dedication of the memorial marker Seamond Ponsart Roberts read a letter about how when she was little, Snow dropped a gift from Santa on Cuttyhunk Island, where her father was lighthouse keeper. Inside the package, the doll broke during the fall from the plane. The next year Snow personally rented a helicopter and directly handed her a new doll. She wrote, “He is my Flying Santa, a man I’ll love forever. I know this because I know he cared very much for people and gave of himself. I hope this will be a big part of what people remember him for when they see this monument to Edward Rowe Snow.”

Eventually, lighthouses became automated and children were no longer living on the isolated islands off New England. Now helicopters provide the flights as a tradition to Coast Guard stations as a gift of thanks for the work performed by these brave men and women. Edward Rowe Snow’s tradition is still alive, and being carried on by George Morgan and the Friends of the Flying Santa.

I learned about Edward Rowe Snow because I had a Civil War ancestor who served six months as a guard at Fort Warren on George’s Island, when it was a prisoner of war camp. We enjoyed several Civil War reenactments and encampments on George’s Island, and my daughter (she is now 32 years old!) used to love exploring the tunnels of Fort Warren and searching for the Lady in Black when she was little. Only later did I find out that one of my favorite historians was also the “Flying Santa!”

Also, when you visit the Boston Harbor islands, you are onboard a ferry named "The Edward Rowe Snow"!  Look for this ferry which is usually moored near the New England Aquarium at Long Wharf when it isn’t out in the harbor.

A Mayflower Lineage:                 

Gen 1: Nicholas Snow, born 25 January 1598 in England, died 15 November 1676; married to Constance Hopkins, daughter of Mayflower Passenger Stephen Hopkins and Constance Dudley, born before 11 May 1606 and died October 1677.

Gen 2: John Snow, born about 1638 in Plymouth, Massachusetts, died 1692 in Eastham, Massachusetts; married 19 September 1667 to Mary Smalley, born 1647.

Gen. 3: John Snow, born 3 May 1678; married to Elizabeth Ridley

Gen 4: Isaac Snow, born 11 February 1713/4 in Eastham, died 15 February 1799; married to Apphia Atwood

Gen 5: Reverend Elisha Snow, born 26 March 1739, died 30 January 1832; married on 6 December 1759 at Cape Elizabeth, Maine to Betsey Jordan.

Gen. 6: Elisha Snow, born 29 May 1769, died 20 January 1843;  married Nancy McKown as his second wife.

Gen. 7: Larkin Snow, born 27 September 1799 in Maine, died on 19 October 1861; married Alice Small

Gen. 8: George L. Snow, born in 1828 in Rockland, Maine, died 1891 in Rockland; married to Lucy Ann Snow (also descended from Nicolas Snow, common line through Isaac Snow (above), she descended from Elisha's (1739 -1832) brother Robert- so they were 2nd cousins).

Gen. 9. Edward Sumpter Snow, born 26 April 1861 in Rockland, Maine  and Alice Rowe

Gen. 9: Edward Rowe Snow, born 22 August 1902 in Winthrop, Massachusetts, died 10 April 1982; married on 8 July 1932 to Anna-Myrl Haegg. One daughter, Dorothy (Dolly) Caroline Snow. He is buried in Marshfield, Plymouth County, Massachusetts and his grave can be seen at www.findagrave.com #7295384 Snow’s gravestone is beautifully engraved with a lighthouse!  https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/7295384/edward-rowe-snow


For more information:

Friends of Flying Santa:   https://www.flyingsanta.org/ 

The History of the Flying Santa program (including a cute photo of little Seamond Ponsart and Santa Snow!)

This article from the archives of ‘Lighthouse Digest’ has the letter from Seamond Ponsart Roberts.

Historic Nantucket Magazine, from the Nantucket Historical Association, Winter 2008, Volume 57, No. 1, page 18, an article entitled “Flying Santa: Edward Rowe Snow and the Romance of History”

Santa tells about the Flying Santa Program

A story written by Seamond Ponsart Roberts herself about her beloved Santa Snow

A delightful children’s book about Edward Rowe Snow, The Lighthouse Santa, written by Sara Hoaglund Hunter, 2011

From Harvard Magazine, a 2012 article about the life of Edward Rowe Snow, class of 1932, “Edward Rowe Snow: Brief life of a “Flying Santa”: 1902 – 1982”  https://harvardmagazine.com/2012/01/vita-edward-rowe-snow 

This is an updated version of the original blog post which was posted in 2009:


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, “The Flying Santa- Edward Rowe Snow”, Nutfield Genelealogy, posted December 21, 2019, ( https://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2019/12/the-flying-santa-edward-rowe-snow.html: accessed [access date]). 

Thursday, December 19, 2019

The First Christmas Tree in Hawaii 1858

2002 Washington Place ballroom
My great aunt (sister to my 4x great grandmother) was Mary Lambert Jones. She was born in Boston in 1803, married a sea captain, and removed to Chittenango, New York where her children were born. On April 23, 1837, aboard the bark “Jones” she arrived in Honolulu, Hawaii with her husband, Captain John Dominis, and their little boy, John Owen Dominis. They had left two daughters in New York at school. Her brother-in-law, Robert W. Holt preceded her to Hawaii, but her sister, Ann Marie, had died in Boston.  Aunt Mary’s two young daughters died in a boarding school in New York before joining up with the rest of the family in Hawaii.

Captain John Dominis was a trader who had traveled from Europe to North America, Alaska, and to China. He wanted to build the finest house in the Pacific for his wife and family. She wanted a house in the New England style, and he wanted to furnish it with imported pieces from China. Windows, doors and trim work were imported from Boston, from the workshop of a great uncle Enoch Snelling, a North End glazier (married to another Jones sister). In 1846 Capt. Dominis left for a voyage to China to buy her items for the new house, and his ship disappeared. He was never heard from again.

Mrs. Dominis moved into the Honolulu house in 1847 and, because of her reduced circumstances, she had to rent out rooms to dignitaries and visiting Americans. One boarder, Commissioner Anthony Ten Eyck, suggested the name “Washington Place” for her mansion, since it looked like the first president’s home at Mount Vernon. King Kamehameha III said "it has pleased His Majesty the King to ... command that they retain that name in all time coming." And so the name has remained as Washington Place for Aunt Mary’s house.

In 1862 her son moved his new bride into his mother’s home at Washington Place. Her name was Lydia Kamaka‘eha Paki. After her mother-in-law’s death in 1889, Mrs. John Owen Dominis was also known as Princess Lili’uokalani, who became the Queen and last monarch of Hawai’i in 1891. Washington Place was her home during her monarchy, and since 1921 it has become the home of the Hawaiian Governors. It is now a museum in Honolulu, open to the public for tours.

Washington Place is a much beloved landmark in Honolulu, but it is also famous for being one of the first places where Christmas was celebrated in Hawai’i. The New England missionaries in Hawai’i were descendants of Puritans. In the Calvinist tradition Christmas was not celebrated, especially not with Christmas trees and parties. But Aunt Mary was not a missionary, and she was the daughter of a Welsh immigrant to Boston.  Perhaps when she lived in Chittenango, New York (near Schenectady) she learned how the Dutch celebrated Christmas. 

On Christmas Eve in 1858 Mary Dominis brought 100 children to Washington Place to see her Christmas tree and Santa delivered gifts to each child. The Christmas tree was an imported Douglas fir. The children were later sent home and the parents held a grand ball and dinner. The missionaries frowned on her display, but it was the beginning of a Victorian Christmas tradition in Hawaii. Four years later, in 1862, the same year that John Owen Dominis married his royal bride, King Kamehameha IV proclaimed Christmas a national holiday in the Kingdom of Hawai’i. The past curator of Washington Place, Corinne Chun, said that Mary Dominis’s Christmas tree may have been the first Christmas tree in Hawai’i.

In 1863 there was another Victorian era style Christmas celebration at the home of Elizabeth Holt Aldrich, the daughter of Robert W. Holt, and niece of Mary Dominis. It is described in a series of articles written for the Honolulu Star Bulletin named “The Fabulous Holts.” Article number 17 is titled “An Aldrich Christmas” and it outlines how Elizabeth Aldrich had a Christmas tree arranged by building a wooden form and decorating it with maile and fern wreaths. Colored candles, toys and dolls were hung on the tree. There were 18 different dollies dressed in handmade outfits. According to the article “Thirty-eight children and forty adults attended the Aldrich party at 7 p.m. Christmas. The children let out many squeals of delight when the parlor folding doors were opened to display the lighted tree. Elizabeth Aldrich took Puritan Maria Rice to attend Episcopalian Christmas Eve services and the two hour high church service on Christmas day. Maria Rice thought the lighted candles and singing were beautiful.” Maria Rice was the wife of missionary William Harrison Rice who had come to Hawai’i in the ninth missionary company.

An excerpt from a book about the first Christmas Tree party in Hawaii in 1858:

"Christmas passed off in good old fashioned style. The eve was ushered in by the assemblage of a large number of children and their parents at Washington Place, the mansion of Mrs. Dominis, where Santa Claus had given out that he would hold his court.... A magnificent Christmas Tree had been provided... and the little folks as they gathered about it...found it all lighted up with candles, and the branches bending with the weight of gifts. Prompt as old Father Time ever was, bells were heard at the windows... and in a moment old Santa Claus stood at the door before the youthful group, who greeted him with a volley of merry shouts. He was dressed in the garb in which children love to image the saintly old elf.  For an hour he bestowed his gifts with princely lavishness among the 100 children present, creating one of the happiest groups ever witnessed in Honolulu... who will long continue to talk of Santa Claus of Washington Place."  [from Hawaiian Annual for 1922, Thomas G. Thrum, compiler and publisher, Honolulu, Hawaii, 1921, page 60, available to view at Google Books.]

Washington Place, Honolulu, today


Jones/Dominis Family Tree

Gen. 1: Owen Jones, born about 1735 in Wales, died 28 February 1798 and buried in Aberstwyth, Wales; married to Anne (maiden name unknown) served as a customs inspector for some time in Boston where his daughter, Anne was born in 1769.  My 6th great grandparents.

Gen. 2. Owen Jones, born about 1768 in Wales, died 22 April 1850 in Dorchester, Massachusetts; married on 11 May 1793 at the 2nd Baptist Church in Boston to Elizabeth Lambert, born about 1775 in Boston, died on 6 February 1834 in Boston. Eight children.  My 5th great grandparents.

Gen. 3: Mary Lambert Jones, born 3 August 1803 in Boston, died 25 April 1889 in Honolulu, Hawaii; married on 5 October 1824 in Boston to Captain John Dominis, born in Trieste (now Slovenia) and died in 1846 at sea. Three children.  Mary is my 4th great aunt, sister to my 4th great grandmother, Catherine Plummer (Jones) Younger (about 1799 - 1828).

Gen. 4: Governor John Owen Dominis, born on 10 March 1832 in Chittenango, New York, died on 27 August 1891 at Washington Place, Honolulu, Hawaii; married on 16 September 1862 in Honolulu to Lydia Kamekeha Lili’uokalani, daughter of Caesar Kaluaiku Kapa'akea and Analea Keohokalole, born on 2 September 1838 and died on 11 November 1917 at Washington Place, Honolulu, Hawaii. They had no children. John O. Dominis also had a relationship with Mary Purdy Aimoku, and one son.

Gen. 5: John Owen Aimoku Dominis, born 9 January 1883 in Honolulu, died on 7 July 1917 in Honolulu; married on 27 June 1911 in Honolulu to Sybil Francis McInerny, daughter of Edward Aylett McInerney and Rose Kapuakomela Wond. Three children.

Washington Place, Honolulu, with Queen Lili'uokalani in the late 1800s



“Hawaiian Annual for 1921” by Thomas G. Thrum, Honolulu, 1920 (see pages 59 – 60 for information on the first Christmas party)

Honolulu Star Bulletin “The Fabulous Holts” (date unknown) (This was a series of newspaper articles written about the Holt and Dominis families of Hawaii).

http://hawaii.gov/govnat/washington_place/ Official Website of the Hawai’i Governor’s office

http://www.washingtonplacefoundation.org/  The Washington Place Foundation

The photo at the top is courtesy of the Hawaiian Star Bulletin, 2002, showing the Christmas Tree at Washington Place for the annual Holiday public tour.

Paula Rath, “Recreating Hawai’i’s first Christmas Tree”, Honolulu Advertiser, ( http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2004/Dec/03/il/il01a.html  December 3, 2004) 

And for the latest article I could find mentioning Mary Dominis’s Christmas Tree, here is one by Trustan Kekauoha, “Holiday Classic, with a Twist!”,  https://www.kaleookalani.org/3113/features/entertainment/holiday-classic-with-a-twist/ December 4, 2018.

This blog post is an update of one written originally on December 7, 2009:


To Cite/Link to this blog post: Heather Wilkinson Rojo, “The First Christmas Tree in Hawaii 1858”, Nutfield Genealogy, posted December 19, 2019, ( https://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2019/12/the-first-christmas-tree-in-hawaii-1858.html: accessed [access date]).