Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Acworth, New Hampshire Meeting House - Weathervane and Horse Sheds

 It's Weathervane Wednesday!  Today's weathervane was photographed in Acworth, New Hampshire at the meetinghouse which still retains its horse sheds behind the building. 

This simple banner weathervane is original to the Acworth Meetinghouse, built in 1821. It appears to have been regilded and restored when the steeple was removed and renovated in 2011.   It is currently the Acworth Congregational Church, also known as The Church-On-The-Hill.  This Federal style steeple and cupola hold up the gilded weathervane.  Banner weathervanes are very common on meetinghouses and churches of this era in New England. 

The meetinghouse was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975, and restored with LCHIP monies in 2011.  The original congregation was founded in 1773, and this is the second meetinghouse erected in Acworth.  Last year the congregation celebrated its 200th anniversary with a concert, bellringing, books sale, crafts and a chicken barbeque.  

Acworth Meetinghouse
This property has been protected
with assistance from the
NH Land and Community
Heritage Investment Program

The horse sheds behind the meetinghouse

The little red convertible visits the horse sheds.
Behind the reflective glass was a
horse drawn carriage used by parishioners 

The sign reads:
This property has been protected with assistance from
LCHIP  Land &Community Heritage
Investment Program
[Known in NH as the "Moose Plate" project,
monies collected from moose license plates for preservation]

For the truly curious:

Preservation Timber Framing led the effort to restore the Acworth Meetinghouse in 2011.  Click here to see their webpage on this restoration:    

Preservation Timber Framing also completed the restoration of the steeple at the First Parish Meetinghouse in East Derry, New Hampshire:   

More photos from my blog about the East Derry project:

A very nice video of the Acworth Meetinghouse, by drone with closeup views of the weathervane:

From the United Church of Acworth, a video on the history of the meetinghouse:

Click here to see over 475 other weathervanes featured at this blog:  


To cite/link to this blog post: Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Acworth, New Hampshire Meeting House - Weathervane and Horse Sheds", Nutfield Genealogy, posted September 28, 2022, ( accessed [access date]). 

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

John Beahan, died 1816 Portsmouth, New Hampshire

This tombstone was photographed at the Old North Cemetery in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.


Here rests in peace
the Body of
John Beahan
A native of Ireland
who emigrated to this happy land
AD 1809 died July 31, 1816,
AEt 31
Stranger; Brother; Companions Gone
To join the Royal Arch above,
Where the Great High priest will sure reward
His acts of Kindness, Charity & Love.

 In researching the life of John Beahan I found the website for the St. John's Lodge of Freemasons from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, with an explanation of the symbols on this tombstone.  The initial letters HTWSSTKS are for Royal Arch Masons.  The letters are "Hiram, Tyrian, Widow's Son, Sent to King Solomon", which is a reference to the mason and architect of the Temple of King Solomon.  John Beahan was a member of the Washington Chapter, No. 3, Royal Arch Masons in Portsmouth.  He became a master mason on July 7, 1813.  

John Beahan was a hatter.  He learned this trade in Ireland and he continued with this occupation here in New Hampshire. According to the Portsmouth Freemason website, his gravestone was carved by Samuel Treat. 

For the truly curious:

"John Beahan" by Alan Robinson, Historian for the St. John's Lodge, Portsmouth Freemasons, accessed June 24, 2022:   

North Cemetery Epitaphs:  

John Beahan's entry at the Find A Grave website:   

An explanation of HTWSSTKS:  


To cite/link to this blog post:  Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "John Beahan, died 1816 Portsmouth, New Hampshire", Nutfield Genealogy, posted September 20, 2022, ( accessed [access date]). 

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Jacob Sheafe, died 1791 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire - Tombstone Tuesday

 This tombstone was photographed at the Old North Cemetery, Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

This Stone is erected
in Memory of
who died June 26th 1791
in the 76th Year of his Age.

His useful life was deservedly esteemed
And his death sincerely lamented.
As a man,
He was humane, just and generous.
As a merchant, 
which business he followed for upwards of fifty years, 
he was ever esteemed for his honesty and punctuality. 
His conduct in private and public life,
Will erect the best statue to his memory. 

Jacob Sheafe, son of Sampson Sheafe and Sarah Walton, was born 21 October 1715 at New Castle, New Hampshire, and died 26 June 1791 in Portsmouth.  He married Hannah Seavey, daughter of James Seavey and his wife Abigail Pickering.  They had eleven children:

1. Matthew Sheafe, shipmaster, born 13 August 1741, died at sea, married Abigail Hart

2. Abigail Sheafe, born 26 April 1744, died 10 December 1805, married John Pickering

3. Jacob Sheafe, IV, merchant, b. 6 September 1745, died 25 January 1829, married Marcy Quincy

4. Sarah Sheafe, born 1 August 1748, died 8 June 1839, married John Marsh

5. Hannah Sheafe, born 24 April 1750, died 1 September 1845, married first Hugh Henderson and married second William Hart. 

6. Thomas Sheafe, merchant, born 16 April 1752, died 4 September 1831, married first Mary Bell, ad second Mary Hale.

7. Mary Sheafe, born 22 November 1753, died 6 March 1826, married Joseph Willard (President of Harvard College).

8.  James Sheafe, merchant, born 16 November 1755, died December 25, 1829, married first Sarah Merserve, and second Sarah Fisher.

9. William Sheafe, merchant, born 11 September 1758, died 1839, married Anna Wentworth.

10. Mehitable Sheafe, born 12 April 1760, died 4 September 1843, married Eben Smith.

11.  John Sheafe, born 13 July 1762, died 24 January 1812, married Elizabeth Bunbury.

Jacob Sheafe was a successful merchant in Portsmouth, like his father and grandfather before him.  He had a large house which formerly stood near the southwest corner of Market and Deer Streets. When he died he left each of his ten surviving children a house and a farm. The family warehouse (built about 1705 by his grandfather Sampson Sheafe) still stands on the waterfront next to Prescott Park.  

Sheafe Warehouse, photographed 2013


To cite/link to this blog post: Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Jacob Sheafe, died 1791 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire -  Tombstone Tuesday", Nutfield Genealogy, posted September 13, 2022, ( accessed [access date]). 

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Mr. and Mrs. John Mushaway, Portsmouth, New Hampshire - Tombstone Tuesday

 This tombstone was photographed at the Old North Cemetery, Portsmouth, New Hampshire

In memory of
who departed this life
April 4th, 1826
aged 72. 

In memory of
Mrs. Mary Mushawy,
Consort of
Mr. John Mushaway,
who departed this life
July 13th, 1819
aged 67
Refrain my friends and cease to weep,
For I in Christ have fell a sleep

We photographed this tombstone because of the unusual surname MUSHAWAY.  While doing some research on the family I found that the name was spelled many ways in the Portsmouth records - Masseure, Massuerre, Masoury, Masury, Massua, etc.  Perhaps it was a Huguenot family? 

John Mushaway (Jean Francois Masoury Giron?) was born about 1754.  He married Mary Libbey on 30 March 1774 in Greenland, New Hampshire.  Mary Libbey was the daughter of Theodore Libby and Deborah Shackford.  She was first married to Samuel Lamson, Jr. 

John Mushaway is listed as a mariner, boatswain, and as a pilot in several records. He was recorded on a list of Naval pensions on January 1st, 1820 with a monthly pension of $10.  There is a Peter Mushaway in the records, who married Sarah Loud before 1754 in Portsmouth (brother? cousin?) 

John and Mary Mushaway had one son and one daughter:  

1. John Francis Mushaway, born about 1776 in Portsmouth, died 8 May 1859 in Boston, and married to Susan Draper. They had three children: George, Lucy Ann and Caroline. 

2. Rebecca, born 23 March 1785 in Portsmouth, married first to William Leighton and second to Samuel P. Hutchings.  


To cite/link to this blog post: Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Mr. and Mrs. John Mushaway, Portsmouth, New Hampshire - Tombstone Tuesday", Nutfield Genealogy, posted September 6, 2022, ( accessed [access date]).