Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution - Weathervane Wednesday

 Today's weathervane was photographed in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution was established in 1930 for the study of marine science and engineering. You may remember the WHOI mentioned in the movie Titanic.  They maintain a fleet of research vessels that are berthed in Woods Hole on Cape Cod, as well as smaller vessels and underwater vehicles such as Alvin and the Deepsea Challenger from the movie Titanic, donated by the film maker James Cameron.    

There are two campuses for the WHOI, both in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.  The original buildings are located near and round Water Street in Woods Hole Village.  A second campus is located nearby, called the Quissett Campus, on Woods Hole Road closer to Falmouth.  Currently the Visitor Center and the Discovery Center are closed to visitors due to the COVID pandemic. 

The Bigelow building was the first laboratory built for the Institution in 1930.  It is located right on Water Street in the center of the campus. This three dimensional Viking ship is extremely detailed.  According to the Woods Hole museum, no one knows the symbolism of the Viking ship. 

Across the street from the Bigelow building we found this interesting piece of artwork (see below): 

For the truly curious:

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution website:   

Apparently there are three old weathervanes in Woods Hole, and we only caught one in a photograph during our recent visit to Cape Cod.  This document from the Woods Hole Museum describes all three weathervanes: 


To Cite/Link to this post:  Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution - Weathervane Wednesday", Nutfield Genealogy, posted July 28, 2021, ( accessed [access date]). 

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Happy 12th Blogoversary to Nutfield Genealogy!

 Happy 12th Blogoversary to Nutfield Genealogy!

Twelve years ago I was brave and pushed the button that posted the first story to this blog. It was the story of how I proved that Queen Liliuokalani of Hawaii married my first cousin many generations removed.  I had been working on the story for a few days, and didn't know when to go live on line.  We had cousins from Spain coming to visit for a few weeks, and I knew I was going to be busy, but I clicked on that link and...

I didn't know I'd still be doing this twelve years later!

The first people who read my blog were family members.  Then a few days (or weeks, I can't remember) later complete strangers were reading and commenting on the blog posts.  That was a weird, but fun experience. It was even more fun to find out some of those strangers were "cousins"!  Cousin connections are my favorite part of blogging. 

Then a great bunch of folks known as the "GeneaBloggers" started following my blog.  We all became Facebook friends, and tweeted and Google+ed (remember G+?) each other's posts. Then local people in New Hampshire and New England began to read Nutfield Genealogy.  Soon I began to meet up with some of my virtual friends in person, and at genealogy clubs and conferences.   And well... the rest is history.  Pun intended.

I've reached over 4 million page view on my Blog according to the statistics.  Which is great since my readership has declined as I have slowed down on posting over the past year.  I've posted 10,000 comments, and deleted a large number of spammy comments, too.

My five most popular blog posts (according to the Blogger statistics):

#1   "A Favorite Christmas Gift!  You might Want One, Too!" published 30 December, 2012:    This one isn't particularly genealogical (unfortunately), but more of a craft idea.  It went viral on Pinterest and social media and now has nearly a quarter million hits.  Check it out!

#2   "Flora Stewart - Black History Month in Londonderry" published 17 February 2011:  This is a story about a controversial photograph published about a former slave who lived to be over 100 years old in Londonderry over 100 years ago.  The vital records are conflicting on her real age.

#3  "2020 Events for the 400th Anniversary of the Arrival of the Mayflower", dated October 4, 2018.  I won't publish the link here for this blog post since most of the information on this is now incorrect due to the pandemic cancellations.  A more accurate version was published here:  and here 

#4  "10 Unexpected Places to Find Family History Online", was published 2 February 2015 at this link:  It is still popular, and receives smaller amounts of readers as the years go by.

#5  "University of Durham Team Is Reaching Out to the Descendants of 17th Century Scottish Prisoners" published 26 October 2016  at this link:   was a post I wrote after meeting up in Saugus, Massachusetts with the researchers from the UK who performed the archeological dig at the Durham Cathedral, finding the bodies of the Scots prisoners who died in captivity after the Battle of Dunbar in 1650.  I had two ancestors who survived being captured as SPOW at the battle of Worcester the following year.  It was a fascinating meeting, and my blog post still generates lots of reading among researchers and descendants of those SPOWs.  

I have the links to five permanent pages (look up under the image at the top of this blog page to see the links) on my home page.  The most popular page is the first one "Surnames from my Family Tree"  There are hundreds of surnames listed in two groups (my Paternal lineage and my Maternal lineage) with links to the "Surname Saturday" post for that surname.  This page has received many hits and lots of email as folks make cousin connections.  Take a peek and see if we have a common ancestor!

Thank you for reading and following Nutfield Genealogy!


To Cite/Link to this post: Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Happy 12th Blogoversary to Nutfield Genealogy!", Nutfield Genealogy, posted July 27, 2021, ( accessed [access date]). 

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

The Fire Department in Sandwich, Massachusetts - Weathervane Wednesday

 This weathervane was photographed in Sandwich, Massachusetts.

This two dimensional fire engine weathervane can be seen above Station 1 of the Sandwich Fire Department, at 115 Route 6A Sandwich, Massachusetts on Cape Cod.  There is a similar weathervane above Station 2 located at 466 Route 6A in East Sandwich.  This weathervane has a beautiful patina from age, and seems to be made of several metals that have changed to different colors over time. 

The Sandwich Fire Department website:   

Click here to see over 425 other Weathervane Wednesday blog posts:   


To Cite/Link to this post:  Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "The Fire Department in Sandwich, Massachusetts - Weathervane Wednesday", Nutfield Genealogy, posted July 21, 2021, ( accessed [access date]). 

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

The Goddess Estia - Weathervane Wednesday

 This weathervane was photographed in Falmouth, Massachusetts.

This weathervane depicts "Estia" or "Hestia", the Greek goddess of the home and hearth.  She was the eldest daughter of the Titans Rhea and Cronus.  The Romans called her "Vesta".  

The Estia restaurant in Falmouth is well known for its Greek cuisine.  Food is cooked over open hearth coal ovens.  There is a second Estia restaurant at the Mashpee Commons nearby.  

We were in Falmouth recently and just as the sun was setting we drove down Main Street.  The setting sun glinted off this weathervane and lit up Estia's copper robes and her gilded flame.  It was beautiful! 

Click here to see over 425 other Weathervane Wednesday blog posts!   

The Estia Restaurant website:   


To Cite/Link to this post:  Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "The Goddess Estia -  Weathervane Wednesday", Nutfield Genealogy, posted July 14, 2021, ( accessed [access date]). 

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Hannah Chipman Huckins, died 1696, Barnstable, Massachusetts - Tombstone Tuesday

 This tombstone was photographed at the Lothrop Hill Cemetery, Barnstable, Massachusetts

AGE 1696

Hannah Chipman Huckins, my 8th great grandmother, is buried next to her mother, my 9th great grandmother, Hope Howland Chipman.  Hannah was born 14 January 1659 in Plymouth, Massachusetts.  Her grandparents were John Howland and Elizabeth Tilley, the Mayflower passengers.  Hannah married Thomas Huckins on 1 May 1680 in Barnstable, Massachusetts.  She had nine children with Thomas, and then she died young on 4 November 1696.  I descend from their daughter Hope Huckins (1689 - 1730) who married Benjamin Hamblin.  

Hannah's husband, Thomas Huckins has no known tombstone.  He remarried to Sarah Pope, the widow of Samuel Hinckley.  Thomas died before 15 October 1714. 

A previous blog post about my HUCKINS lineage:

A previous blog post with Hope Howland Chipman's tombstone:


To Cite/Link to this post:  Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Hannah Chipman Huckins, died 1696, Barnstable, Massachusetts - Tombstone Tuesday", Nutfield Genealogy, posted July 6, 2021, ( accessed [access date]). 

Saturday, July 3, 2021

Shirley Marion (Eaton) Wilkinson 1928 - 2021

Auntie Shirley Wilkinson, surrounded by her grandchildren
On her 90th birthday in 2018

Obituary from The Cricket, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts, July 1, 2021  

"Shirley Marion Eaton Wilkinson, age 93, died June 30.  She was born in Wakefield, MA, the daughter of Emory Nelson Eaton and Marion Wilson (Bullock) Eaton.  Shirley resided in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts, most of her life.  She was predeceased by her loving husband of 56 years, Robert Munroe Wilkinson.

Surviving Shirley are her son, Stephen Wilkinson, and his wife, Emma, of The Villages, Florida; her daughter, Susan Wilkinson Parker, and her husband, Jeffrey, of Manchester-by-the-Sea; her sister Mary Louise O’Brien; and her sister-in-law Phyllis Wilkinson.  Shirley leaves cherished grandchildren Amy Lyn Wilkinson and her fiancĂ© Christopher Merlino; Robert Gonzales Wilkinson and his fiancĂ©e Anna Lisa Vust; Christopher Schulte Parker and his wife Nicole Anne; and Brian Eaton Parker and his wife Rosaly; greatgrandchildren Ava and Anthony, children of Amy; Caleb and Benjamin, children of Christopher and Nicole; and William, Alejandro and Caroline, children of Brian and Rosaly; and special nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Shirley and the family are deeply grateful to Mary Hardwick as well as the care providers at The Linden and Ledgewood Rehab.

During high school, Shirley worked at Pioneer Village in Salem and was a soda jerk at Allen’s Drugstore in Manchester.  She graduated first in her class from Story High School in 1945 and entered the Beverly Hospital School of Nursing, graduating with her nursing diploma in 1948.  Shirley was a member of the WWII U.S. Army Cadet Nurse Corps.  She worked at Beverly and other hospitals, Oakwood Nursing and Retirement Home and was also a private duty nurse.  Shirley loved her career as a registered nurse.

Reading, music, gardening, knitting, traveling, playing bridge, Scrabble, walking, crossword puzzles, and volunteering were favorite pastimes.  She also loved genealogy and was delighted to be a granddaughter of Benjamin Bullock, Manchester’s old-time baker.

Shirley was an active member of the First Parish Church Congregational where she sang in the choir for 40 years, and served in a variety of roles, including deaconess and trustee.  She enjoyed The Manchester Woman’s Club, Manchester Historical Museum, the Council on Aging, the Lions Club, Golden Agers, Seaside Knitters and Beverly Hospital Nursing Alumni Association.   

Robert and Shirley loved hosting family vacations to Cape Cod, New Hampshire, the Caribbean and other places, providing the family with eternal wonderful memories. 

Shirley treasured her many friends and her beloved hometown.  She will be remembered for her smile, positive attitude during health challenges and pleasure in helping others.

A celebration of life will be held Saturday, August 14, 2021, at 10:30 a.m. at First Parish Church Congregational, followed by a reception at the chapel.  To those who wish, memorial contributions may be made to the music ministry of First Parish Church Congregational, PO Box 187, Manchester, MA. 01944."

For the truly curious:

A 2015 blog post about Aunt Shirley Wilkinson's service as a Cadet Nurse in the 1940s:

A 2020 blog post about Aunt Shirley Wilkinson's recognition as a Cadet Nurse by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts: 

Friday, July 2, 2021

Two Weddings in Holden, Massachusetts


We were married at the First Congregational Church in Holden, Massachusetts on this day, July 2nd, many years ago.  For a long, long time I thought that we were the first family members to be married this far west in central Massachusetts.  Then I found some interesting family history!

On 27 February 1787, my 5th great grandparents, Stephen Cree and Hannah Smith, were married in Holden, too.  Hannah was born in Worcester on 22 May 1763, the daughter of Joseph Smith.  Stephen Cree was born in Topsfield, Massachusetts on 30 October 1760.  There is no evidence that they lived in Holden, and all five of their children were born in Topsfield, where Stephen and Hannah both died and were buried.  In 1797 Holden was a new town in central Massachusetts, broken off from North Worcester in 1741.

In 1968 my family moved to Holden from Beverly, Massachusetts. We joined the First Congregational Church. My parents were very active members and joined many committees at this church. My mother still volunteers in the thrift shop.  I had my confirmation and wedding here, my nephew was baptized at this church, and my father had his funeral there.

I'm still wondering what brought my 5th great grandfather 70 miles from Topsfield to Holden to find his bride in 1787.  I'm glad he did, or I wouldn't be telling you this tale!  Vincent traveled 1,600 miles from Puerto Rico to Holden to marry me.  You can see us standing in the rain, in the photo above, taken nearly 40 years go, in Holden.  

For the truly curious:

First Congregational Church, Holden, Massachusetts:  

A blog post written on our 35th anniversary, about our wedding day:    


To Cite/Link to this post: Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Two Weddings in Holden, Massachusetts", Nutfield Genealogy, posted July 2, 2021, ( accessed [access date]).