Friday, September 27, 2019

A Pretty Spanish Lady in New York City, 1965 - Vintage Family Photo Friday

When Vincent's parents married in Madrid, Spain, they left right after the wedding to live in New York City, where my father-in-law worked at the United Nations.  These photos were taken in February 1965 in New York, and on the backs of each photo my mother-in-law wrote notes to her parents about the apartment and the furniture. She was always very careful to note the dates, people, and descriptions on the backs of most photos.  This has been very helpful in going over all the old family photo albums while we scanned the images! 

This note on the back is dated February 1965

"As you can see we have covered the sofa with black leather. We covered the chairs with blue leather (that is what we were doing in the other photo that the kid was with a hammer, and us on the floor)."


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "A Pretty Spanish Lady in New York City, 1965 - Vintage Family Photo Friday", Nutfield Genealogy, posted September 27, 2019, ( accessed [access date]).

Thursday, September 26, 2019

The Penrose Heritage Museum and their Abbott Downing Coaches from Concord, New Hampshire

The Penrose Heritage Museum is located at the Broadmoor Hotel and Resort in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  Yesterday I blogged about the weathervane at the hotel, and today I have photos from the museum, especially the two Abbott Downing coaches on exhibit.

Originally this little museum was "The Carriage House Museum" and it featured many antique carriages and coaches, some used by the hotel to transport guests and others were just collected by the Penrose family who owned the hotel.  In 2005 this museum was expanded to include the collection of antique automobiles used in the Pikes Peak Climb.  The museum also has Native American artifacts on the second floor.

This Concord Coach was built around 1857 by the Abbott Downing Company in Concord, New Hampshire.  Before the railroads, Concord Coaches were popular transportation in the American West.  You have seen them in Western movies, but there are very few of these original Concord Coaches on display in museums.  There are two at this museum in Colorado Springs.

This second coach was built by Abbott Downing in Concord around 1895.  The "Yellowstone" model coach was a sightseeing carriage used in Yellowstone National Park.  In the 1890s this wagon was used at the hotel for excursions to tourist spots like Pikes Peak and Garden of the Gods.  William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody bought this wagon in the 1890s for $1,800 (quite a sum in those days!) and used it to entertain guests at his Pahaska Tepee Ranch near Cody, Wyoming. His notable guests included President Teddy Roosevelt, millionaire "Diamond Jim" Brady, and members of European royalty. 

Here are some of the other objects on display at the museum:

Goat Cart for children

The Penrose Heritage Museum: 

The Broadmoor Hotel: 

Previous posts about the Abbott Downing Company that built Concord Coaches in New Hampshire:

A weathervane from Concord (with a history of the Abbott Downing Company) 

A weathervane with a connection to the Abbott family: 


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "The Penrose Heritage Museum and their Abbott Downing Coaches from Concord, New Hampshire", Nutfield Genealogy, posted September 26, 2019, ( accessed [access date]).

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Weathervane Wednesday ~ At the Broadmoor Hotel

A few weeks ago we were in Colorado, and Vincent took me to have dinner at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs, where he used to attend the Space Symposium before he retired.  This elegant hotel near the Rocky Mountains reminds me of the Bretton Woods grand hotel in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. It is located 6,230 feet above sea level (almost the same as the height of Mount Washington) and was built in 1918.  It is close to Pike's Peak and Cheyenne Mountain.

The unique lantern weathervane over the front lobby of the hotel lights up at night. It's shape reminds me of Aladdin's lamp in the old story from 1,001 Arabian Nights.   Scroll down to see this eleven story tower and weathervane in the day, and at night.  A lantern is often a symbol of hospitality.

An interesting connection between the Broadmoor Hotel and New Hampshire is the painting of the hotel by Maxfield Parrish.  This painting is often reproduced on gift items at the hotel - T shirts, mugs, calendars, magnets, etc.  I have a coffee mug with this painting Vincent brought me about 15 years ago.  Maxfield Parrish (1870 - 1966) was born in Philadelphia but lived in Cornish and Plainfield, New Hampshire near the Cornish Art Colony until his death at age 95.  The Currier Museum of Art in Manchester, New Hampshire has many of his paintings and has held exhibitions of his work.

You can see three of Maxfield Parrish's paintings in the Main Mezzanine, including this painting of the hotel. It is to the right when you ascend the escalator from the main lobby.   Parrish was a guest of the Broadmoor Hotel in 1920.

The Broadmoor Hotel website:

Click here to view over 400 other Weathervane Wednesday posts: 


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Weathervane Wednesday ~ At the Broadmoor Hotel", Nutfield Genealogy, posted September 25, 2019, ( accessed [access date]).

Monday, September 23, 2019

Part Two of The Brewster Book Manuscript book launch

The original cover of the Brewster Book
and the rebound, restored edition.
This page inspired the cover of Caleb Johnson's book

Last weekend I posted a blog post full of photos from the reception hosted by the Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants at the Mayflower Society House in Plymouth, Massachusetts where Caleb Johnson revealed his new book The Brewster Book Manuscript.  The official book launch was today at Pilgrim Hall Museum, where the general public was invited to hear Caleb talk about the book, and purchase copies.

It was very exciting to see the original manuscript!  I watched (and photographed) Donna Curtin of the Pilgrim Hall Museum unpack the book from a locked box and set it up for temporary display (that afternoon only) in the Mayflower House.  The MSMD has given the manuscript to Pilgrim Hall on permanent loan.  Check out the last blog post for the photos.

At the reception last weekend, I swore I would not publish online the new findings Caleb uncovered in his book.  Many of you have emailed me and caught me in person to ask about the new book.  But, I promised I would wait until today, after the public book launch.  Here is what I learned!

This little book (about 7.75” x 6”) was a blank book where 7 different authors (seven different handwritings) kept notes on genealogy, Plymouth settlement, history and other topics (including copies of books and letters) from the early 1600s predating the 1620 settlement at Plymouth until the late 1800s.  There was lots of speculation about the authors, and it was hoped that since the book was passed along in the Brewster family perhaps the original author was Mayflower passenger William Brewster himself.  It has never been researched or examined by contemporary scholars.

The book was edited by Caleb Johnson with transcription assistance from Simon Neale on the bits written in Latin. Some of the genealogies in the middle of this book had been previously transcribed and published in the first four volumes of the Mayflower Quarterly.  The rest of the manuscript has been largely ignored.

Authors Sue Allan, Simon Neale and Caleb Johnson
with Deputy Governor Barbara Kelly and Governor Bill Tinney
of the Massachusetts Mayflower Society

The first section of the book, written by a previously unknown author, included copies of letters from 1618 – 1621, patents to the Plymouth Colony 1620 – 1621 including a patent from Gorges dated 4 November 1620, letters about Tisquantum written before contact at Plymouth, pages on how to ship cattle to New England, information about Virginia and New England, and more copies of letters and the Latin Text (20 pages) taken from a Latin pamphlet written in Leiden, Holland in 1617 by Friar Tommaso Campanella  (1568 – 1639) “The Subjugation of Belgium by Spain”.

These first items in the first section of the book all point to some interesting new views of the Pilgrim story.  Obviously the Pilgrims knew all about New England, as well as Virginia, so they were prepared to land in New England.  They knew about Tisquantum (Squanto) well before he stepped out of the woods and introduced himself to the settlers in 1621.  Did Brewster publish a copy of Campanella’s pamphlet on his printing press in Leiden?  These are interesting new views and new questions about our Pilgrim ancestors!

And who wrote these entries in the manuscript?  After much research and comparisons to known handwriting of Brewster, Winslow, and other Mayflower passengers it was discovered that the original author who penned the first section of this book was most likely Edward Winslow.  He was a prolific writer, and many other examples of his penmanship exist, and he was one of the few passengers who knew Latin.  This week Caleb Johnson had some time to examine documents in the Pilgrim Hall Museum, and he found some examples of Brewster that did not match the manuscript. 

The second writer was probably William Brewster, grandson of the Mayflower passenger, who also drew an image of a horse as a young boy.  The third writer was Jonathan Brewster, son of William the passenger – he included an inventory of his father’s books, a genealogy through 1651, a history of New England copied from Edward Johnson’s book Wonder Working Providence of Sions Saviour in New England, and alchemy notes starting about 1657. 

Caleb Johnson also revealed that the fourth author was Benjamin Brewster (third generation) with his own family record, a letter to his brother-in-law Daniel Wetherell, and an account of a visit to George Geres in 1684.  The fifth author was Daniel Brewster (fourth generation), the sixth was Jabez Fitch (sixth generation), and the seventh, and last, author was Cordila Walker Fitch (seventh generation since the Mayflower) writing until October 1899. 

The Brewster Book Manuscript will be sold at the website for the Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants and book orders on this webpage:  

Caleb Johnson's presentation at the
Mayflower Society House last weekend

For the truly curious:

The Brewster Book Manuscript, edited by Caleb Johnson and Simon Neal,, Raleigh, North Carolina, 2019. 

Pilgrim Hall Museum  

My original blog post (Part One) “Sneak Preview of the New Brewster Book Manuscript”

Wonder-Working Providence of Sions Saviour in New England by Captain Edward Johnson, 1654, available to view online at this link:  

Tommaso Campanella at Wikipedia

Part One of this blog post, dated September 15, 2019

Thanks to Barbara Lee Foley Kelly for the photos above!


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, “Part Two of The Brewster Book Manuscript book launch”, Nutfield Genealogy, posted September 22, 2019, ( accessed [access date]). 

Friday, September 20, 2019

It's Not Too Late to Attend the Highland Games and Scots Prisoner of War Reunion!

We spent a lovely day up at Loon Mountain at the New Hampshire Highland Games today.  I just got home a few minutes ago, and I'm writing up this quick blog post so you can read all about the genealogy and historical seminars being given this year.  Besides the fantastic music, dancing, heavy athletics (caber tossing and stone throwing), sheep dog trials, over 60 clan tents, whiskey tastings, Scottish foods, Scottish gifts, and viewing lots of fellow visitors in kilts we also attended three historical seminars.

The first seminar we attended was "The Origins and Growth of Clan Tartans" by speaker Peter Eslea MacDonald. Peter is a famous Tartan Historian and Head of Research and Collections Scottish Tartans Authority.  He is also the author of the book The 1819 Key Pattern Book - One Hundred Original Tartans.  This was a very interesting history of Scotland, highland dress, and the origins of what we think of as clan tartans.  The history of clan tartans is fairly recent, just originating in the late 1700s or early 1800s, not in ancient times.  Nonetheless, half the audience was wearing their clan tartans!

After some shopping, watching the sheep dog trials, and sharing a delicious meat pie called "bridie", we attended another seminar "Lost Lives, New Worlds: Unlocking the Story of the 1650 Scottish Soldiers Buried on Palace Green in Durham (UK)" presented by Dr. Christopher Gerrard.  Dr. Gerrard is a Professor of Archaeology at Durham (UK not NH) and the team leader for the Scottish Soldiers Project.  He also designed the exhibition on view now at the Saugus Ironworks National Historic Park in Saugus, Massachusetts. I have attended a presentation by University of Durham members at Saugus in the past (You can read all about that HERE), but this presentation had some new information from the book of the same name as the lecture, which was published after I last visited Saugus, and since these prisoners of war were re-interred in Durham.  That meeting in Saugus had about 30 attendees, and this presentation today filled an entire tent.  Many of the attendees today were descendants of Scottish Prisoners of War (SPOW) from the battles of Dunbar and Worcester.

After a nice lunch and more shopping at the vendor tents, we attended our third seminar "Involuntary American: The Scottish Prisoners of 1650 and 1651" by Dr. Carol Gardner.  This is the title of her new book, too.  Dr. Gerrard's talk focused on the history of the battle, and the identification of the bodies found in Durham near the cathedral where the prisoners were locked up.  Dr. Gardner's presentation focused on the forced migration and servitude of the Scottish teens and young men who were brought to New England.  I also learned that other SPOWs went to Ireland, France, Barbados and Virginia, as well as to forced labor in England and Scotland.  I bought a copy of her book (I already owned the book on the Durham archaeological dig) and I can't wait to read it.  Two of my ancestors were SPOWs from the battle of Worcester - William Munroe (who went to Lexington, Massachusetts) and Alexander Thompson (who eventually went to Ipswich, Massachusetts.)

We spent the rest of our time at The Highland Games actually watching some of the heavy athletics (the hammer throw).  We also saw the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Pipe & Drums and Dancers in the parade square.  We heard the Red Hot Chili Peppers, lots of pipers, and other Scottish music.

It's not too late to attend these seminars!  There is a full schedule of events at the website but here are the other genealogy and history seminars you might find interesting (including the Sunday SPOW descendants gathering):

Saturday, September 21st
10:15    A Tour of Gaelic Languages by Dr. Emily McEwan (repeated)
10:30   Lost Lives, New Worlds by Dr. Christopher Gerrard (repeated)
11:45 Get Started Digging up your Roots by Joan Barnes (repeated)
1:30   By Different Routes: Scottish Prisoners & Ulster Scots in New England by Dr. Carol Gardner (repeated)
4:15   Involuntary Americans by Dr. Carol Gardner (repeated)
4:30   The Buchanan Tartans by Peter Eslea MacDonald

Sunday, September 22nd
10:30 Lost Lives, New Worlds by Dr. Christopher Gerrard (repeated)
10:30 The Use of Tartan as a Jacobite Symbol by Peter Eslea MacDonald
11:00  Dunbar (and Worcester) Descendants Gathering
12 noon  By Different Routes: Scottish Prisoners & Ulster Scots in New England by Dr. Carol Gardner (repeated)
1:30  A Tour of Gaelic Languages by Dr. Emily McEwan (repeated)
1:30 Get Started on Diggin gup your Roots by Joan Barnes (repeated)
2:30  The Food and History of the Burns Supper by Gary Maclean
3:00  The Scottish Prisoners of 1650 & 1651 by Dr. Carol Gardner
3:00  Outlander and the Real Tartans of 1745 by Peter Eslea MacDonald
4:30  Key Online Sites for Scottish Genealogy by Joan Barnes

For the Truly curious:

The New Hampshire Scots Official Website (including Highland Games information):

My blog post "The Discovery of Scots Prisoners of War at Durham Cathedral!  How is this Important to New England Genealogy?" 

My blog post "The University of Durham Team is Reaching Out to Descendants of 17th Century Scottish Prisoners": 

My blog post about William Munroe, Scottish prisoner of war: 

My blog post about Alexander Thompson, Scottish prisoner of war:

The Clan Thompson Tent

The RCMP (the Mounties) Pipe & Drum Band

The Sheep Dog Trials


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "It's Not Too Late to Attend the Highland Games and Scots Prisoner of War Reunion!", Nutfield Genealogy, posted September 20, 2019, ( access [accesss date]).

Machu Pichu, Peru 1986 - Vintage Family Photo Friday

Vincent's Dad became a travel writer later in his life, and attended conferences on travel writing all over the world.  In 1986 he went to Peru for a conference, and was lucky enough to visit the ancient ruins of Machu Pichu high in the Andes mountains.  He was always famous for wearing a suit and tie in all his travel photos, including hiking in Machu Pichu.  

Although many of the family photos that were stored in sticky magnetic albums in Puerto Rico resulted in faded and discolored images, these photos are still clear and colorful.  

Machu Pichu is known as "The Lost City of the Incas" built about 1450 and unknown to the outside world until the American explorer Hiram Bingham discovered it and posted images in the National Geographic magazine in 1911.  It is a very rough tour, high in the mountains, and a dangerous climb or bus ride up there.  There is risk of altitude sickness, floods, hiking accidents, landslides and earthquakes.  The ancient structures also cause risks of falling debris and rocks. In 2011 and 2012 restrictions were placed on tourism to stabilize the structures, and to reduce the effects of tourism.  There are strict restrictions on the number of visitors per day.  My father-in-law was in Machu Pichu many years before these restrictions took place. 


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Machu Pichu, Peru 1986 - Vintage Family Photo Friday", Nutfield Genealogy, posted September 20, 2019, ( accessed [access date]).

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Derry Will Celebrate the Nutfield 300th Anniversary Saturday, September 21st

This Saturday, September 21st at the annual Derryfest celebration in MacGregor Park, the town of Derry will celebrate it's 300th anniversary.  This downtown festival, next to MacGregor Public Library features fun, food, entertainment, crafts, games and community spirit. For the Nutfield 300th anniversary there will be special events including Scottish music, a time capsule ceremony at 1:45pm, and two special booths.

Visit the Nutfield 300th booths (numbers 46 and 47) to:
-  Learn about the first Scots-Irish settlers and the founding of Nutfield (now the towns of Derry, Londonderry, Windham and most of current day Manchester).
-  See the new 300th Time Capsule and its contents
-  Record your own brief video interview for the 300th Time Capsule
-  Look at the other many 300th events held throughout the year 2019
-  Buy a new 300th T-shirt and the commemorative coins from Derry, Londonderry and Windham
-  See the Friends of the First Parish Meetinghouse book and learn more about the preservation project to restore and protect it.

At 1pm in the bandstand you can enjoy a performance by the traditional Scottish and Irish folk music band "Ulster Landing" followed by a brief talk about the 300th with the Time Capsule ceremony.

The day will end with a celebrations called "Derry After Dark" on Manning Street.  This is a festival of 120 unique craft beers and food from local Derry eateries.  Tickets are available at  This is an over 21 event. 

Click to enlarge

For the truly curious:

Derryfest 2019 official website: 

Friends of the First Parish Meetinghouse official website: 
                 Facebook page:   

Greater Derry Arts Council 

Derry After Dark tickets and information: 
                 Facebook page:

The Nutfield 300th webpage: 
                 Facebook page:

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Tobacco in Early Colonial New England

from the pamphlet "Tabaco"
by Anthony Chute, 1594
Whilst mining some early Massachusetts court records for my genealogy research, I was struck by how often my ancestors and their neighbors were mentioned along with documents mentioning tobacco use, abuse, and fines.  I found this very interesting, and I collected some of the stories to tell you in this blog post. You might want to mine the early court records, too!

Tobacco originated in the New World. Soon after European contact tobacco was traded, sold, and imported back to Europe where it was extremely popular.  King James I of England found tobacco to be extremely distasteful, and even penned a book A Counter-blaste to Tobacco where he mentioned on page 11 “That the manifolde abuses of this vile custome of Tobacco taking…” and condemned the practice of using tobacco.  The pope in Rome at this time period, Urban VIII threatened to excommunicate anyone who smoked in a church!

My ancestor, Isaac Allerton, a Mayflower passenger, was a merchant and trader.  He was a witness to the peace treaty with the Wampanoag people on 23 March 1620/21 “Captain Standish and Isaac Allerton went venturously, who were welcomed of him after their manner: he gave them three or four ground nuts and some tobacco." And on 8 June 1654, "Thomas Adams and Isaac Allerton gave a bond...for the delivery of 3000 pounds of tobacco to Director (Governor) Stuyvesant." Again, on June 11, 1649, "Mr. John Treworgie [of Kittery] did acknowledge to have received four thousand wt of Tobacco by Isaac Allerto[n] for the Account of Mr. Georg Ludlow.” [see the website ]

In 1637 in Plymouth County the first anti-smoking law was written in New England.  It threatened a 12 pence fine for smoking in any street, barn, outhouse or highway, and for smoking further than 1 mile from home.  A second offense was 2 shillings. One year later, on 4 December 1638, the Mayflower passenger Francis Billington was fined 12 pennies for “drinking tobacco in the highway.” [Records of the Colony of New Plymouth, in New England by Nathaniel B. Shurtleff and David Pulsifer, Volume 1, page 106.]

My ancestor George Soule was appointed in 1646 to a committee to deal with Duxbury’s problem of the disorderly smoking of tobacco.  They drew up strict limitations on where tobacco could be smoked and the fines to be levied. [History of Scituate, Massachusetts: From Its First Settlement to 1831 by Samuel Deane, page 308.]  In the Plymouth Colony records, from 1633 – 1643 there were 8 convictions for tobacco smoking, with 6 fines extracted from the guilty.  Compare this to 6 convictions for swearing and 6 convictions for Lord’s Day violations.  Smoking was more popular, but not as popular as drinking, with 13 convictions resulting in 13 fines.

Also in the Plymouth Colony records “Richard Berry, Jedidiah Lombard, Benjamin Lombard, and james Maker, fined for smoking tobacco at the end of Yarmouth Meeting-house on the Lord’s Day”  Faithful tradition informs us, that the early settlers were greatly addicted to smoking, and they would often disturb divine service by the klicking of flints and steel to light their pipes, and the clouds of smoke in the Church. Hence that law of the Colony, passed 1669: “It is enacted that any person or persons that shall be found smoking of tobacco on the Lord’s day, going to or coming from meetings, within two miles of the Meeting-house, shall pay 12 pence for every such default, for the Colonie’s use, to be increased,” &c.”

And from the book The Language of the Law by David Mellinkoff, 2004  “Tobacco smoking ‘gretlie taken-vp and vsed’ in late sixteenth-century England, troubled the Puritan law makers of the Massachusetts Bay Colonly.  It was a fire hazard, and bothered non-smokers (Laws and Liberties of Massachusetts, Farrand, 1929, page 50) Worse, it led to idleness ‘Tobacco takers’ bore special watching (Laws and Liberties of Massachusetts, Farrand, 1929, page 26”.

Eventually the profits from the cash crop tobacco and the profitable taxing of tobacco eased the Purtian fear of idleness.  Even when doctors and scientists began to identify tobacco as unhealthy, the profits won over reason and settlers began to plant tobacco for sale as a cash crop in New England, as well as all over the middle colonies and the south. 

In my own family history I find a story about Sarah Belden, daughter of Daniel Belden and Elizabeth Foote, about age 14, who in 1696 escaped the Deerfield massacre by hiding in a tobacco field.  Clearly the settlers were growing their own tobacco right from the beginning.  By the 1800s tobacco farming as a large cash crop was well established in the Massachusetts Connecticut Valley. [“History of Tobacco Production in the Connecticut Valley” by Elizabeth Ramsey, Smith College Studies in History, Volume 15 (Apr – July 1930), pages 133 – 134].

The Puritan fear of idleness and sin lead eventually led to the Blue Laws which banned all sorts of activities on Sundays, including smoking and alcohol.  The legacy of the Puritans was strict control over tobacco use, including taxes and fines.  These rules forbade the sale of Tobacco on Sundays until 1983.  The control over tobacco still persists through health codes and recent laws such as raising the age to buy tobacco to age 21 in Massachusetts in 2018.  Some blue laws remain on the books (yet unenforced) such as hunting on Sundays. 

For the truly curious:

A Counter-blaste to Tobacco, by James I (King of England), 1604 – available online through Google Books.

The Pennsylvania Mayflower Society “Isaac Allerton and Tobacco” by John M. Hunt, Jr.


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Tobacco in Early Colonial New England", Nutfield Genealogy, posted September 17, 2019, ( accessed [access date]). 

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Sneak Preview of the New Brewster Book Manuscript in Plymouth, Massachusetts

Donna D. Curtin, Executive Director of Pilgrim Hall Museum
carried the manuscript into the Mayflower House, in a locked box.

Today I was very fortunate to be at an "invitation only" reception held by the Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants at the Mayflower Society House in Plymouth, Massachusetts.  At this reception Caleb Johnson revealed his new book The Brewster Book Manuscript for the first time to a captive audience.  I can't reveal all the secrets inside this book until next weekend when this book is unveiled to the public at the Pilgrim Hall Museum on Sunday, September 22nd at 1pm.  This book launch and the reception will be seated on a first come, first serve basis, no reservations.  See the link below for more information.

This little book (about 7.75" x 6") was a 17th century wastebook or notebook of blank pages used as a copybook, genealogy, and other notes by 7 different authors from the early 1600s until about 1899, including 20 pages in Latin.  During this event Caleb Johnson revealed the original author (Shhh! It's a secret until the book reveal on September 22nd - but I'll write a second blog post!), and several members of the Brewster family who probably wrote the rest of the manuscript.

The manuscript was deeded to the Massachusetts Mayflower Society in 1907, and left unstudied for 100 years.  In 1897 Mayflower genealogist George Bowman transcribed all the genealogy information in this manuscript in 4 volumes of the Mayflower Descendant journal.  Most of the rest of the book was untranscribed and ignored. It was kept in a file cabinet until about 2011 when interest in the book resurfaced.  MSMD board member Barbara Lee Kelly found the book and showed it to Jim Baker, who verified that the book was valuable and it should be studied and stored in a vault.  The book was conserved and rebound.  Later it was transcribed by British researcher Simon Neale, and edited by Caleb Johnson for the book launch this week.

More to come in a second blog post after the official book reveal next week...!

Deputy Governor, Barbara Lee Kelly, of the Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants
was so excited to see this little notebook preserved and presented in a newly published book! 

Barbara Lee Kelly and Yours Truly

The original Brewster Book Manuscript

Can you imagine transcribing that handwriting?  Some in Latin, too!

Left to right:  Simon Neale, GSMD Governor General George Garmany,
MSMD Deputy Governor Barbara Lee Kelly, Caleb Johnson, and
in front author Sue Allan 

MSMD Governor Bill Tinney and Deputy Governor Barbara Lee Kelly
explained the provenance of the manuscript, and their delight at having it re-discovered, 
preserved, and transcribed in the new book. 

Caleb Johnson presented his findings, and the methods used
to transcribe and edit the new book.  His conclusions as to the authorship
will remain a secret until next week's official book reveal! 

Yours Truly examining the original manuscript on display for this afternoon only
at the Mayflower Society House.  It will be on permanent loan to Pilgrim Hall Museum

For the truly curious:

The Brewster Manuscript Book Launch with authors Caleb Johnson and Simon Neal (scroll down through the calendar to the September 22nd event for more information):  

The book will be sold at the website for the Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants (wait until the book launch on September 22nd to order):    (UPDATE Sept. 25- here is the link to the page for the book sale )

The Brewster Book Manuscript, edited by Caleb Johnson and Simon Neal,, Raleigh, North Carolina, 2019.

The Mayflower Society House, 4 Winslow Street, Plymouth, Massachusetts (the General Society of Mayflower Descendants famous library is located right behind this house!)  Open for tours May to October, Thursdays through Sundays 11am to 4pm.  


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Sneak Preview of the New Brewster Book Manuscript in Plymouth, Massachusetts", Nutfield Genealogy, posted September 15, 2019, ( accessed [access date]). 

Friday, September 13, 2019

Greece, 1975 - Vintage Family Photo Friday

Here are some more photos from Vincent's family albums rescued from their house in Puerto Rico just before Hurricane Maria.  They are in very bad condition because of the extreme heat and humidity in Puerto Rico, but at least we have them.  Many families lost everything, including their lives, as well as their family photo albums, in this storm.  

Vincent's mother worked for Iberia Airlines when he was growing up.  They were lucky enough to travel to some exotic places every summer, riding stand-by with free or greatly discounted seats on Iberia or partner airlines.  Often they would get stuck at connecting airports until stand-by seats became available - which was part of the great travel adventure (sometimes!).  You can see a list below of some other international photos from their family trips.  

In this trip the Rojo family was joined by another family from the Iberia office in San Juan for a trip to Athens and the Greek islands.  You can see how much fun they had exploring the ruins, and even sitting or standing on the artifacts, which is now forbidden.  

How many of you have similar family photos, pretending to topple trees or landmarks?

Other Rojo family excursions from around the world:

I'll be posting more photos from these albums soon!


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Greece, 1975 - Vintage Family Photo Friday", Nutfield Genealogy, posted September 13, 2019, ( accessed [access date]).