Saturday, December 24, 2022

Happy Holidays 2022

 1906 advertisement for Londonderry Lithia Water


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Happy Holidays 2022", Nutfield Genealogy, posted December 24, 2022, ( accessed [access date]). 

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

A Walk Through Abandoned Monson, New Hampshire

Ten years ago I posted a similar story about a walk through Monson.  It was time for another walk... (see my post at

Monson was a town in southern New Hampshire between the 1730s and 1770s, originally part of the state of Massachusetts, but it became part of New Hampshire in 1746.  It was abandoned, and this site now belongs to the two towns of Hollis and Milford, New Hampshire.  It is like stepping back into time.  There are no signs of anything modern except for the information kiosk at the entrance.  All that exists are stonewalls, and one surviving homestead, the Gould house.  This land was donated by Russ and Geri Dickerman. 

There are thriving chestnut trees along the road into Monson Center.  

The Gould House is a small home in the center of Monson, open by chance or by appointment by. We were lucky, Russ Dickerman and his friends were there for a clean up day, and we were able to peek inside for the first time. We also met his dog, Niki II.  

We walked through the fields and forest along these roads and paths to see the cellar holes (which are well marked) for families such as the Wallingford, Brown, Nevins, and Bayley families. There is a stone enclosure that was an animal pound. 

Russ Dickerman's dog, Niki, is buried along the stone wall that circles the meadow. 

Across from the Gould homestead is the cellar hole for another home.  There is a photo of this home, and inside the Gould house is a painting of this home in the early 20th century when a family lived here.  The man who owned this home was Russ Dickerman's uncle. 

This map is on the kiosk at the entrance to Monson Center,
and it is also available online (see the link below)


For the truly curious:

The Abandoned Town of Monson, New Hampshire, 2012   

Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, Monson Center:  

Map of Monson Center:  

I've blogged about exploring other "ghost towns" - Monson, NH; Dogtown, MA; Chinese Camp, CA; and Zealand, NH.  You can find them at this link:  

New Hampshire Magazine, "The Mystery of Monson", 2019:  


To cite/link to this blog post: Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "A Walk Through Abandoned Monson, New Hampshire", Nutfield Genealogy, posted December 20, 2022, ( accessed [access date]). 

Thursday, December 15, 2022

Edmund Littlefield's Grist and Saw Mills, Wells, Maine

Webhannet Falls, Wells, Maine
Where Edmund Littlefield was granded land for a 
grist and saw mill in 1643


Edmund Littlefield (1592 - 1662), my 10th great grandfather, is called "The Father of Wells, Maine".  Edmund was baptized in Titchfield, Hampshire, England on 22 June 1592.  He arrived in Boston in 1635 with his two sons, and his wife and six more children arrived in 1638 on board the ship Bevis.  Edmund Littlefield was in New Hampshire to sign the Exeter Combination in 1639, and in 1643 he joined Rev. John Wheelwright on the coast of Maine, in what is now Wells, Maine. 

This little wayside marker for Edmund Littlefield's mill is next to the Webhannet Falls on the side of Route 1, south of 876 Post Road. There is room to pull off the road and park to explore this site. 

Edmund Littlefield was granted this land from Thomas Gorges, son of Sir Ferdinando Gorges on 14 July 1643.  [NEHGS Register 105:262].   There appears to be a time discrepency between his land grant for the mill on the river, and the sign mounted on the boulder (see below). 

Wells Town Officials                        Goodspeed Family   
June & Roger Messier                            Gray Farms       
Elizabeth & Bruce Parker                     Hayway Vales    
Ester Miller                                         Jo-Ann's Gardens
Cindy Brockway                           Nickersons 9B Ranch
Gail Lynde                                           Garden Club       
Wells Highway Dept.                           Wells Rotary      
Historical Society


For the truly curious:

Wells [Images of America Series], by Hope M. Shelly, Arcadia Publishing, Dover, NH, 1996, page 7.

The Historical Society of Wells and Ogunquit, Maine - Littlefield Gallery webpage:  

My blog post on Edmund Littlefield for Surname Saturday (showing my lineage):    

Tombstone Tuesday, Josiah Littlefield, buried in Wells, Maine:  


To cite/link to this blog post:  Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Edmund Littlefield's Grist and Saw Mills, Wells, Maine", Nutfield Genealogy, posted December 15, 2022, (

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Wells, Maine Town Hall - Weathervane Wednesday

 Today's weathervane was photographed over the Town Hall, 208 Sanford Road, Wells, Maine.

This terrific weathervane is a highly detailed three masted ship with white sails.  It is located on the cupola above the Wells Municipal Building or town hall.  The original meetinghouse was a small wooden building built in 1662, which burned in 1692 during a raid by the indigenous people of the area.  A second meetinghouse was built in 1699, and a third one in the 1770s.  The current meetinghouse was built in 1862 as a church known as the First Congregational Church of Wells,  and is now used by the Historical Society. 

The Wells Municipal Offices Building was built in the 1960s.  There were several previous town halls built in the 1800s and 1900s after town government separated from the churches.  Most "meetinghouses" in New England were formerly used as churches.

For the truly curious:

The Town of Wells, Maine  

The Historical Society of Wells and Ogunquit, Maine  

Click here to see nearly 500 weathervane blog posts:


To cite/link to this blog post:  Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Wells, Maine Town Hall - Weathervane Wednesday", posted December 7, 2022, ( accessed [access date]). 

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

My 10th Great Grandmother, Judith Greenleaf Somerby Coffin, d. 1705, Newbury, Massachusetts - Tombstone Tuesday

 These tombstones were photographed at the First Parish Burial Ground, Newbury, Massachusetts. 

To the memory of Mrs. Judith
late vituous wife of Deacon Tristram Coffin, Esq.,
who having lived to see one hundred and seventy-seven
of her children and children's children to the third generation,
died 13 Dec. 1705, age 80.
Grave, sober, faithful, fruitful vine was she,
A rare example of true piety;
Widowed awhile she waited, wished for rest,
With her dear husband in her Savior's breast.


Judith Greenleaf, daughter of Edmund Greenleaf (1574-1671) and Sarah Dole (1588 - 1663), was born 2 September 1625 in Ipswich, Suffolk, England and died 15 December 1705 in Newbury, Essex County, Massachusetts.   She married first to Henry Somerby in 1644 and had four children, and I descend from her second daughter, Elizabeth Somerby (1646 - 1716) who married Nathaniel Clark.  She married second to Tristram Coffin and had ten more children.  Tristram Coffin had been her first husband's apprentice. Both men were merchant tailors. 

The headstone is mostly illegible now in the midday sun when we visited, and her elaborate footstone is very legible.  

Click here to see a blogpost about the tombstone of Tristram Coffin:   


To cite/link to this blog post: Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "My 10th Great Grandmother, Judith Greenleaf Coffin, d. 1705, Newbury, Massachusetts - Tombstone Tuesday", Nutfield Genealogy, posted November 29, 2022, ( accessed [access date]). 

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

2022 New Hampshire Thanksgiving Proclamation


At the statehouse, in Concord, New Hampshire, at 10am on Tuesday, 22 November, 2022 the New Hampshire Governor Christopher T. Sununu signed and presented the annual Thanksgiving Proclamation with members of the New Hampshire Mayflower Society. 

By His Excellency

Christopher T. Sununu, Governor

And the Honorable Executive Council

A Proclamation

In the year of our Lord Two Thousand and Twenty-Two

Thanksgiving Day

November 24, 2022

Whereas, in the autumn of 1621, the Pilgrims held a three-day feast to celebrate the pentiful harvest they reaped following their first winter in North America, and

Whereas, the first national Thanksgiving Day, proclaimed by President George Washington, was November 26, 1789, and President Abraham Lincoln, proclaimed the first annual national holiday in 1863, establishing the date as the last Thursday of November at the behest of nationally celebrated editor and author, and daughter of New Hampshire, Sarah Josepha Hale, and

Whereas, on Thanksgiving Day, New Hampshire citizens and all Americans come together to enjoy the fellowship of family and friends with a feast that symbolizes the many blessings of our lives, and

Whereas, while Thanksgiving is a time to gather in a spirit of gratitude with family, friends and neighbors, it is also an opportunity to serve others and to share our blessings with those in need, and

Whereas, as citizens we pause to consider our good fortunes, and are especially mindful of the heroic men and women who serve and have served our country;

Now, therefore, I, Christopher T. Sununu, governor of the state of New Hampshire, do hereby proclaim November 24, 2022 as Thanksgiving Day in the State of New Hampshire, and call this day to the attention of all citizens.

Given during Executive Council session, this 22nd day of November, in the year of Our Lord, two thousand twenty-two, and of the independence of the United States of America, two hundred forty-five.


To cite/link to this blog post: Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "2022 New Hampshire Thanksgiving Proclamation", Nutfield Genealogy, posted 23 November 2022, ( accessed [access date]). 

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Stephen Greenleaf, died 1743, Newbury, Massachusetts - Tombstone Tuesday

 This tombstone was photographed at the First Parish Burial Ground in Newbury, Massachusetts


This is the tombstone of Stephen Greenleaf, my 9th great grandfather.  He was known as Captain for his service in the local militia, and for his fame serving in the Indian wars of the time.  In 1689 he was "appointed agent of the state to treat with the Indians at Penacook".  He was wounded in 1694 and petitioned for relief by presenting the bill for Dr. Humphrey Bradstreet on 18 May 1695.  His petition to the General Court "The petition of Capt. Greenleaf, of Newbury, Humbly Showeth: That upon the Seventh of October last, about three o'clock in afternoon, a party of Indians surprised a family at Turkey Hill in said town, captured nine persons, women and children, rifled the house, carrying away bedding and dry goods. Only one person escaped, and gave notice to the next family, and they the town; upon the alarm your petitioner with a party of men pursued after the enemy, endeavoring to line the river Merrimac to prevent their passage, by which means the captives were recovered and brought back. The enemy lay in a gully hard by the roadway, and about nine at night made a shot at your petitioner, and shot him through the wrist, between the bones, and also made a large wound in his side, which would have been very painful and costly to your petitioner in the cure of them, and have in a great measure utterly taken away the use of his left hand, and wholly taken off from his employment this winter. Your petitioner therefore honorably prays this honorable court that they would make him such compensation as shall seem fit; which he shall thankfully acknowledge, and doubts not but will be an encouragement to others, and possibly to relieve their neighbors when assaulted by so barbarous an enemy. And your petitioner shall ever pray. (signed) Stephen Greenleaf

Apparently he lived a long time after being wounded, for he lived to be 92 years old and had twelve children! 

 For the truly curious:

Capt. Stephen Greenleaf- Wikipedia:  


To cite/link to this blog post: Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Stephen Greenleaf, died 1743, Newbury, Massachusetts - Tombstone Tuesday", Nutfield Genealogy, posted November 22, 2022, ( accessed [access date]). 

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Church of the Presidents, Quincy, Massachusetts - Weathervane Wednesday


The Church of the Presidents, or the United First Parish Church of Quincy, Massachusetts is located on 1306 Hancock Street.  It is a Unitarian Universalist congregation today.  The building was erected in 1828, with funding by President John Adams, who contributed the granite.  The original building was a wooden meetinghouse with a congregational church.  It is now known as "The Church of the Presidents" because both presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams were parishoners.  Both presidents are buried in the crypt along with their wives, the First ladies Abigail Adams and Louisa Catherine Adams.  Their pews are marked with ribbons and plaques in the sanctuary.

I had previously visited Quincy and the National Park sites here associated with John Adams and John Quincy Adams, but I had never visited this church.  We toured the church as part of a Mayflower Society tour in July 2022, because both presidents Adams were descendants of Mayflower passengers John Alden and Priscilla Mullins.  

Built in 1828, this church is the fourth edifice to
house the town's earliest congregation and is the
resting place of two United States Presidents and
First Ladies.  The building was endowed by John
Adams, who specified it be a "Temple of stone"
built of Quincy granite.                                     
In 1826, John Quincy Adams proposed that the 
church become the permanent resting place of his
parents: "A plain and modest monument" that "may
yet be as durable as the walls of the Temple, and as
the Rocks of his Native Town."  In 1852 the church
also became the resting place of John Quincy and 
Louisa Catherine Adams.                                  

This iron weathervane is on display in the church basement, near the crypt where the Adams presidents lay in rest.  It was originally installed on one of the former wooden church steeples that preceded the current stone church.  

Our tour guide took us inside the crypt under the church to see the final resting place of both Presidents Adams and their first ladies.  It is a simple, unadorned space.  The only other president laid to rest in a church is President Woodrow Wilson, who was buried in the Washington, D. C. National Cathedral with his First Lady, Edith Wilson. 

The church is open to the public for tours, including the crypt.  Every year there are wreath laying ceremonies on the birthdays of John Adams and John Quincy Adams.  Please see the links below for contact information for the First Parish Church to arrange for a tour.  There is no fee for a tour, but donations are welcome.  The crypt is wheelchair accessible (elevator) and there is a virtual tour for those who cannot visit in person.

For the truly curious:

The Church of the Presidents - United First Parish Church, Quincy, Massachusetts - 

The Church of the Presidents, Wikipedia -  

The Church of the Presidents, Facebook group -  


To cite/link to this blog post:  Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Church of the Presidents, Quincy, Massachusetts - Weathervane Wednesday", Nutfield Genealogy, posted November 16, 2022, ( accessed [access date]).  

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Seen along the Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad - Weathervane Wednesday

 This summer we took a ride on the Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad in Meredith, New Hampshire. The train road along the shore of the lake to Laconia and back to Meredith.  Along the way we saw a quite a few weathervanes, but they were difficult to photograph from a moving train.  Here are two of the most interesting weathervanes we spotted!

Several lakeside houses and cottages had moose weathervanes

This was the most unique weathervane we saw.  There were lots of fish and waterfowl weathervanes.

For the truly curious:

The Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad -  

Click here to see over 475 other weathervanes!   


To cite/link to this blog post: Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Seen along the Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad - Weathervane Wednesday", Nutfield Genealogy, posted November 9, 2022, ( accessed [access date]). 

Monday, November 7, 2022

A walk through Plimoth Colony

These photographs were taken in July 2022 at the Plimoth Patuxet Museum's English village during the "Path of the Pilgrims" tour sponsored by the General Society of Mayflower Descendants.  

For the truly curious:

The Plimoth Patuxet Museums, Plymouth, Massachusetts:   

My blog posts about the "Path of the Pilgrims" tour 2022


To cite/link to this blog post: Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "A walk through Plimoth Colony", Nutfield Genealogy, posted November 7, 2022, ( accessed [access date]).