Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Walking on Burial Hill in Plymouth, Massachusetts


In July 2022 I visited Burial Hill with a group of Mayflower descendants from the General Society of Mayflower Descendants.  Only some of us went to the top of Burial Hill to visit the cemetery and see the sights.  It was a lovely summer day, and quite a climb to the top (lots of stairs) and another long climb back down the hill.  It was well worth it, especially since I wanted to see the memorial to John Howland, which was at the very top of the hill.  I had visited Plymouth dozens of times previous to this tour, but had never made the climb to the top of Burial Hill.  

FYI! If you plan to visit, there are long stairs up to the top of Burial Hill.  There are stairs behind the meetinghouse, and also behind Burial Hill with a large parking lot. But no matter which direction you use to approach Burial Hill, there are stairs! 

Among the gravestones are historical markers for important people, and the location of the first fort the settlers built in 1621 (replicated at the Plimoth Patuxet museum as a wooden garrison also used as a meetinghouse.) 

An old postcard of Burial Hill.  The view hasn't changed much, has it?

This is the Meetinghouse at the foot of Burial Hill.  Next to the meetinghouse, on the grassy slope you see to the right of the parked cars, are several memorial stones to Mayflower passengers.  These men are probably buried somewhere on Burial Hill, but the actual locations have been lost to time.  Descendants have placed the three memorials (cenotaphs) next to the meetinghouse. I have photographs below. 

Edward Doty, the Mayflower passenger, is buried somewhere on this hill.  Descendants placed this memorial stone here in the 1800s.  There is also a cenotaph to Edward Doty at the Winslow Burying Ground in Marshfield. The back of this memorial stone lists his children.

This is the memorial stone to Mayflower passenger John Alden.  The actual location of his grave is unknown, but believed to be somewhere on Burial Hill.  

This rather big stone to Mayflower passenger Elder William Brewster is also at the foot of Burial Hill next to the Meetinghouse.  I didn't show the entire memorial stone because it is full of inaccurate information (including the wrong name for his wife!).  This stone was placed by a descendant. 

For the truly curious:

Burial Hill Cemetery, from the Plymouth, Massachusetts town website (There are links to maps):  https://www.plymouth-ma.gov/cemetery-and-crematory-management/pages/burial-hill-cemetery   

Find A Grave, Burial Hill, Plymouth, Massachusetts    https://www.findagrave.com/cemetery/310849  

My ancestor, John Howland, A Mayflower passenger, buried here at Burial Hill -  https://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2023/02/john-howland-mayflower-passenger-died.html  

Here is a link to my blog post about our tour to Plymouth and Burial Hill.  We visited on Day Four of our tour, on the same day as a trip to Duxbury and Pilgrim Hall Museum -   https://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2022/07/day-four-on-path-of-pilgrims-tour-by.html  


To cite/link to this blog post: Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Walking on Burial Hill in Plymouth, Massachusetts", Nutfield Genealogy, posted February 28, 2023, ( https://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2023/02/walking-on-burial-hill-in-plymouth.html: accessed [access date]). 

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

John Howland, Mayflower Passenger, died 1673 - Tombstone Tuesday

 This tombstone was photographed at Burial Hill, Plymouth, Massachusetts. 

Here ended the Pilgrimage of
who died February 23, 1672/3
aged above 80 years.
He married Elizabeth daughter of
who came with him in the 
Mayflower Dec. 1620.
From them are descended a 
numerous posterity.
"Hee was a godly man and an ancient
professor in the wayes of Christ.  Hee was
one of the first comers into this land and
was the last man that was left of those
that came over in the Shipp called the
Mayflower that lived in Plyouth."
                      Plymouth Records.

John Howland is my 10th great grandfather, and was a Mayflower passenger.  His wife, Elizabeth Tilley, was also a young passenger on board the Mayflower, along with her parents, brother, aunt and uncle.  She was left an orphan when they all died that first winter, and married John Howland three years later in the new Plymouth Colony.  They had ten children.  You can read all about my lineage from John Howland and Elizabeth Tilley HERE.  Elizabeth Tilley was buried in Swansea, Massachusetts, where she went to live with her daughter Lydia when she was widowed. NOTE: This burial ground in what was once Swansea, Massachusetts is now East Providence, Rhode Island [thank you to reader Andrew Whipple for this edit!] 

This is the second known tombstone for John Howland.  It is unknown if any type of marker, stone or wooden, was place on his grave site in 1673.  Around 1844 a simple marker was erected, and then replaced with this current, more elaborate memorial stone in 1897.  

For the truly curious:

Surname Saturday - Howland -   https://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2017/08/surname-saturday-howland-mayflower.html  

A blog post about Rocky Nook, the homesite of John Howland and Elizabeth Tilley in Duxbury, Massachusetts   https://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2018/03/rocky-nook-site-of-mayflower-passenger.html   

Find A Grave, John Howland -  https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/6613808/john-howland  

A story about the two known grave markers for John Howland at Burial Hill in Plymouth -   https://pilgrimjohnhowlandsociety.org/The_history_of_John__Elizabeth_and_Yet_Mercy__s_Headstones    


To cite/link to this blog post:  Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "John Howland, Mayflower Passenger, died 1673  - Tombstone Tuesday", Nutfield Genealogy, posted February 21, 2023, ( https://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2023/02/john-howland-mayflower-passenger-died.html: accessed [access date]). 

Thursday, February 16, 2023

Top Ten Books about Nutfield History and Genealogy


Years ago I had a series of blog posts called "Top Ten".  I posted about my top ten favorite books, top ten genealogy blogs for New England, my top ten brick wall ancestors, top ten genealogy tricks and tips, etc. etc.  Back in 2016 I posted my Top Ten Books about Nutfield https://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2016/12/top-ten-books-about-nutfield-history.html  

I recently looked at this five year old blog post and decided it needed revising.  During the big 300th anniversary of the founding of Nutfield, some new books were published, and they really should be on this list, too.  Here is my new "Top Ten" list of Nutfield books!

1. History of Londonderry, By Rev. E. L. Parker, 1851.  This book is out of print, but widely available in used book stores and online book shops.  It is also available to read online at archive.org but there is nothing like having this good reference book right at your elbow. The back of the book is full of genealogies of early Londonderry families. 

2.  Vital Records of Londonderry, by Daniel Annis Gage, 1914 (covers 1719 – 1910) available online at the Internet Archive and the Hathi Trust websites for free.  There is also a PDF at the Pelham Library website http://www.pelhamnhhistory.org/library/pdffiles/neighbors/vitalrecords/LondonderryVitalRecords.pdf   This book is also searchable at Ancestry.com (check their card catalog. Yes!  Ancestry has a card catalog of books and resources!).

3.  Scotch Irish Pioneers in Ulster and America, by Charles Knowles Boston, 1910.  Available to read online at Google Book Search. 

4.  1718-2018: Reflections on 300 Years of the Scots Irish in Maine, first published 2019 by the Ulster Scots Agency in Belfast, and then published 2019 by the Maine Ulster Scots Project.  See the website www.maineulsterscots.com to order a copy. 

5. Researching Scots-Irish Ancestors: The essential genealogical guide to early modern Ulster, 1600 - 1800, by William J. Roulston, 2018, by the Ulster Historical Foundation. 

6.  Londonderry Tales: Glimpses into Londonderry, New Hampshire's Past, by Sandy Dahlfred, www.lulu.com   Sandy is a member of the Londonderry Historical Society.  https://www.lulu.com/shop/sandy-dahlfred/londonderry-tales-glimpses-into-londonderry-new-hampshires-past/ebook/product-124j24wv.html?q=londonderry&page=1&pageSize=4 

7. Nutfield Rambles, by Richard Holmes, Peter Randall Publisher, 2007.  This book, and the one below, are written by the Derry, New Hampshire town historian, Rick Holmes.  Both feature chapter length sketches from Nutfield and Derry town history. 

8. The Road to Derry:  A Brief History, by Richard Holmes, History Press, 2009. 

9.  History of Windham, in New Hampshire 1719 – 1883: A Scotch Settlement (commonly called Scotch-Irish), embracing nearly one third of the ancient settlement and historic township of Londonderry, NH, By Leonard Allison Morrison, 1883, available online  at Internet Archive.   There was also a supplement to this book written by Morrison in 1892 which includes marriages, births and deaths 1882 – 1892 and some obituaries.  This book has a huge genealogy section in the back!  

10.   Index to Genealogies in New Hampshire Town Histories, by William Copely, New Hampshire Historical Society, 2000. This is my favorite place to look up surnames from New Hampshire.  Many New Hampshire town history books have genealogy sections in the back, for the early settlers. Since many of the early Nutfield settlers stayed briefly in Londonderry and then moved on to other towns in New Hampshire, and other parts of the United States, this is a good place to start. (Please, NH Historical Society!  This book needs a new edition with some updating after 23 years!)

If you know of any other great books about Nutfield that should be on this list, leave a comment below!


To cite/link to this blog post: Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Top Ten Books about Nutfield History and  Genealogy", Nutfield Genealogy, posted February 16, 2023, (http://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2023/02/top-ten-books-about-nutfield-history.html: accessed [access date]). 

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Weathervane Wednesday - Estrela Basilica, Lisbon, Portugal

 This weathervane was photographed on the belltower at the Estrela Basicila in Lisbon, Portugal. 

This photo is crooked because I was taking a "fly by" photo from a tuk-tuk! 

There are two bell towers on the Estrela Basilica, and each has a weathervane shaped like a flaming sword.  The full name of this church is Real Basílica e Convento do Santíssimo Coração de Jesus or "The Royal Basilica and Convent of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. In Roman Catholic iconography, the sacred heart of Jesus is pierced by a flaming sword and surrounded by a crown of thorns. This was the first church in the world to be dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Devotion to the Sacred Heart began in the 17th century with St. Margaret Mary Alacoque.        

The story behind this building is that Queen Maria I of Portugal prayed to an image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus for children.  She vowed to build a church if her wish came true. She bore a crown prince in 1761, but did not begin the construction until she accended to the throne.  The building was started in 1779 and took over ten years to construct.  

 For the truly curious:

Estrela Basilica at Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Estrela_Basilica    

Sacred Heart at Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacred_Heart    


To cite/link to this blog post:  Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Weathervane Wednesday - Estrela Basilica, Lisbon, Portugal", Nutfield Genealogy, posted February 8, 2023, ( https://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2023/02/weathervane-wednesday-estrela-basilica.html: accessed [access date]).                                 

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Weathervane Wednesday - Mystery Church in Lisbon, Portugal

 This weathervane above the church of Our Lady of Grace was photographed in Lisbon, Portugal.

This weathervane sits on the belltower of the Church and Monastery of Our Lady of Grace in Lisbon, Portugal.  It is one of the oldest convents in Lisbon and sits on Lisbon's highest hills overlooking the Tagus River.  Many churches were destroyed or damaged in the 1755 earthquake, and this convent was rebuilt then and restored again in the 21st century. It is a Portuguese National Monument. 

It is difficult to discern the weathervane itself.  Is it the wing of an angel?  Just a baroque banner? 

For the truly curious:

Graça Convent  -  at Wikipedia  -  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gra%C3%A7a_Conven


To cite/link to this blog post: Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Weathervane Wednesday - Mystery Church in Lisbon, Portugal", Nutfield Genealogy, posted February 1, 2023, ( https://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2023/02/weathervane-wednesday-mystery-church-in.html: accessed [access date]).