Friday, December 9, 2016

Cousin Steve as a little boy

Photo Friday!

When I was a little girl, my first cousin Steve was a teenager.  We moved to Holden, Massachusetts and they lived nearby in Worcester, and he was already in high school.  I thought he was very grown up.  He was almost ten years older than me, and a very serious young man.

When my cousin in California sent me some of my grandmother's photographs it was fun to see lots of cousin pictures.  I had a lot of fun finding photos of Steve as a little boy.  I didn't even recognize him, and had to ask his sister to identify these pictures!  It's also fun to see my Dad as a young man in this photo, before he was married.

Happy Birthday, Stephen!  March 24th (unknown year)
Photographed at 7 Dearborn Avenue, Beverly
Left to right: Robert Wilkinson (my uncle); Jack Wilkinson (my Dad), 
Donald and Bertha Wilkinson (my grandparents), cousin Steve


Published under a Creative Commons License

Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Cousin Steve as a little boy", Nutfield Genealogy, posted December 9, 2016, ( accessed [access date]).

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Weathervane Wednesday ~ Three weathervanes on top of one restaurant!

It's Weathervane Wednesday!

I post a series of weather vane photographs every Wednesday.  This started with images of weathervanes from the Londonderry, New Hampshire area, but now I've found interesting weather vanes all across New England and across the globe.  Sometimes my weather vanes are whimsical, or historical, but all are interesting.  Often my readers tip me off to some very unique or unusual weathervanes, too!  If you know a great weather vane near you, let me know if you'd like to have it featured on this blog.

Today's weather vanes are from a reader, and were photographed in New Hampshire.

Do you know the location of weathervane post #288?  Scroll down to find the answer.

photo by June Butka

photo by June Butka

Today's weather vanes were photographed at the Tuckaway Tavern in Raymond, New Hampshire by both Vincent and June Stearns Butka.   The Tuckaway is a restaurant and butcher shop located near Pawtuckaway State Park, and operating since 2012.  We often go shopping at the butchery, and I love the restaurant for three reasons - 1.)  Two for one lobster rolls on Mondays and Tuesdays!  2.)  The kitchen cam which offers live views of the goings on in the kitchen via a large screen TV inside the dining room (the barn in the photo above), and 3.)  The Trappist Brewery at St. Joseph's Abbey in Spencer, Massachusetts bottles the beer served at the Tuckaway.  I grew up near this abbey, and we used to visit here for the jams and jellies prepared by the monks.  Now they are offering beer in the style of Trappist monasteries found all over Europe.  Good food and good drinks all in one spot in southern New Hampshire.

The weathervanes here are terrific three-dimensional sculptures of the food you will find in the butcher shop and restaurant -  a pig, a cow, and (of course) a giant lobster.  While you are there checking out the food and the weathervanes, don't miss the veggie and herb gardens out back.

The Tuckaway Tavern website

The Tuckaway Tavern and Butchery
58 Route 27
Raymond, New Hampshire
(near the end of Route 102)

Thanks again, June!

June Stearns Butka's genealogy blog   

Click here to see the entire series of Weathervane Wednesday posts!


Published under a Creative Commons License

Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Weathervane Wednesday ~ Three weathervanes on top of one restaurant!", Nutfield Genealogy, posted December 7, 2016,  (  accessed [access date]).

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Pearl Harbor 75th Anniversary

These are interviews my daughter conducted in 2003 of older relatives, and she asked them about their recollections of the day Pearl Harbor was bombed, 7 December 1941.  This is a re-post of a blog story from 2011.

The Arizona memorial at Pearl Harbor

Today is the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, on 7 December 1941, a day President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed "a date which shall live in infamy." In 2003 my daughter interviewed several relatives about the bombing of Pearl Harbor for a class assignment. Here are her transcribed notes of those interviews.  Her first question "Where were you when you heard that Pearl Harbor had been bombed and what was your reaction?"

Phyllis: (My mother, age 67 years at the time of the interview): I remember that day because I was six years old and the only thing I remember about it really is my mother crying because my brother was..., I had five brothers and the oldest one was sixteen I think at the time... and she knew that he was going to have to go to war. That really upset my mother. [Two of her five brothers ended up in the service; one in the Pacific and the other in Occupied Europe, her brother-in-law served in China]

Shirley (age 76 years at the time at the time of the interview, she is my aunt): I remember that. I was standing in the kitchen, ironing, I was ironing a blouse, getting ready to go to church. I heard the news, and I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t absorb what it actually meant to me. It really didn’t all sink in until later, but then I heard Kate Smith coming on and singing “God Bless America.” And standing there crying my eyes out as I ironed, because it was so touching. I was beginning to realize what it was going to mean to the country.

Robert (age 77 years at the time of this interview, he has since passed away, he was my uncle - my father's big brother): I was listening to a football game at my house on 7 Dearborn Avenue. I was about your age, in high school. And my reaction was “Japan? Attacking us? We’ll have them wiped out by Christmas time.”

Shirley: At the time.... I’m a nurse. And I was taking care of a lady whose father was the ambassador to Japan. At the time of the war, before, and during the war. And Ambassador Grew, his name was, from Manchester (MA), and he was... She showed me lots of papers and things that he had written about what he claims in writing. And they showed me a copy of the letter, the family owns. That he had told the president, that Japan was about to do something, he didn’t know that Pearl Harbor was actually going to happen, but it was going to be Pearl Harbor. But he knew because of his position, and contacts, that there was about to be some sort of a war with Japan, and he was ignored completely. When he went and had an interview, I saw the letter that he wrote to the president, Roosevelt, and told him what was happening, and what steps he thought should be taken. Because, perhaps, president Roosevelt was old and ill at the time, he wasn’t using good judgment and he never furthered that information on. And then Pearl Harbor happened.

I still have the audio tapes of my daughter's interviews. I remember she was very serious about the assignment, since September 11th, 2001 was only just two years earlier during her first week of high school.  This is especially memorable because my uncle has passed away since the interview. My aunt, uncle and Mom spoke for over an hour about the Great Depression, Pearl Harbor and the home front during World War II. By the end of the war, my uncle Robert was serving as a paratrooper medic in Europe.

After interviewing relatives we took our daughter
to Patton Park in Hamilton, Massachusetts (where my Mom
grew up- and General Patton lived in retirement)
General Patton donated this Patton tank to the town. 

Published under a Creative Commons License

Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Pearl Harbor 75th Anniversary", Nutfield Genealogy, posted 6 December 2016, ( accessed [access date]). 

Tombstone Tuesday ~ Nathaniel Raymond, died 1789, North Beverly, Massachusetts

This tombstone was photographed at the Old North Beverly Cemetery in Beverly, Massachusetts

In Memory of
Mr. Nathaniel Raymond
Who departed this Life
June 11th 1789
Aged 79 years

Nathaniel Raymond, son of Nathaniel Raymond and Rebecca Conant, was born 1 April 1712 in Beverly, and died 11 June 1789 in Beverly.  He married Martha Balch, daughter of Samuel Balch and Mary Colburn Baker on 3 October 1735 in Beverly.  They had seven children - Hannah, John, Sarah, Samuel, Martha, Hepzibah, and Nathan.  

Nathaniel's wife, Martha Balch is my 2nd cousin, 7 generations removed.  We are both descendants of Benjamin Balch (1628 - after 1715), son of the immigrant ancestor John Balch, who died in 1648 in Beverly.  Martha's mother was Mary Colburn (b. 1673), granddaughter of Edward Bishop, my 9th great grandfather.  Edward Bishop (1620 - 1705) had three wives, and his second wife, Bridget Playfer Oliver Bishop was hanged as a witch in 1692.

This slate tombstone was broken, and to save the pieces from being lost it was encased in cement so it could stand upright, and reconstructed.  There are several other tombstones in this cemetery (Old North Beverly Cemetery) that were repaired this way.  I've seen this method used all over New England.


Published under a Creative Commons License

Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Tombstone Tuesday ~ Nathaniel Raymond, died 1789, North Beverly, Massachusetts", Nutfield Genealogy, posted December 6, 2016,  ( accessed [access date]).

Monday, December 5, 2016

Amanuensis Monday ~ My Grandmother’s Diary

Gertrude Matilda Hitchings
(1905 - 2001)
Her high school graduation photo
My aunt recently found my grandmother’s diary and gave it to me.  It was dated 1920, and was one of those little diaries given out by banks and businesses years ago, with three days per page and five blank lines for each page.  It had lost its cover so I couldn’t tell what business gave out this little book (only three inches tall!).  It had sewn pages, and many were missing. In 1920 my grandmother turned 15 years old.  She kept her notes in pencil with tiny, neat, miniscule handwriting.

My grandmother was Gertrude Matilda Hitchings, born 1 August 1905 in Beverly, Massachusetts.    Her parents were Arthur Treadwell Hitchings (1868 – 1937) and Florence Etta Hoogerzeil (1871- 1941).  Her father was a draftsman at the United Shoe Corporation, and the family lived nearby in corporate housing, near the USMC country club, at 45 Elliott Street in Beverly.  According to the 1920 Federal census, she was living at home with her parents and five of her seven siblings (one had died young, and her sister Helen had married a few years previous).  Her brother Arthur Russell Hitchings married during 1920.  The siblings at home in 1920 were Russell, Hollis, Eunice, Gertrude, Gordon and Millie (also known as Skeet).

I wanted to read the diary, but since it was so tiny I figured I would scan it first and then transcribe from the images.  This was better than handling the fragile pages.   Here is the first surviving pages in the book (January 1 – 6 are missing).

Page 3
Wed. Jan. 7, 1920
Up at 7 went to school
Home alone all afternoon
Ma gone to the Empire.  Went
Skating down to Crosby’s meadow
at half past four.  After supper
went down to the shoe, home
At 9:30 went to bed at 9:45
Thursday 8
Got up at 7 went to
school home all afternoon. Belle
came up 5:15 staid to supper
She was awfull sick after supper
Went home 9 o’clock car
Played baseball with
Papa and went to bed 9pm
Friday 9
Got up at 7 went to school.
It has snowed hard all day.
Home all afternoon and
worked.  Marian came up after
supper went to bed 9:30

[Notes:  On January 7th Gertrude wrote that her mother went “to the Empire”.  This was a department store in downtown Salem.  Also  “the shoe” is the factory where her father worked, the United Shoe Machinery Corporation.

On January 8th the visitor “Belle” was Gertrude’s aunt Isabel Hoogerzeil (1888 – 1960), her mother’s youngest sister.   Belle remained single until she married George Sorenson in 1936.  She was 32 years old the year of the diary, and married at age 48.  The “car” she went home on was a trolley car, not an automobile.]

Page 4
Sat. Jan. 10, 1920

Up at 8 o’clock worked
around the house all the
morning.  Went sliding over
at the golf link in the afternoon home
at 5.  After supper Gordon and
I went down to the pictures. home at
9:45 went to bed 10:15

Sunday 11
Up at 10:15 took a bath got
breakfast at 11. Stayed home all
morning.  Went sliding over to
to the golf links, Mr. Wilkins
came down.   Mr. Lowell came over
went home at 8:45.  Mr. Wilkins and Russ
down to Helen’s.  went to bed at 9:45

Monday 12
Up at 7 o’clcok went to
School got home 1:15 went back for French 2:15 got home 3:45
Home all the evening and
Studied went to bed at 8pm
Have got an awful cold.

[Notes:  The golf links mentioned on January 10th were probably the USMC golf course, which is now the Beverly Municipal Golf and Tennis Club on McKay Street near the Cummings Center.  "Gordon and I went to the pictures" means she went to the movies with her little brother.  I have no clue to the identity of the Mr. Wilkins or Mr. Lowell on the January 11th entry. ]

 Page 5
Tues. Jan. 13, 1920
Up at 7 o’clcok went
to school all morning home at
1:15 stayed home all the
afternoon.  Stayed home all
evening Mildred and Eunice
Went sliding.  Cold is about the
same went to bed at 9:15


Wednesday 14
Up at 7 Gordon has got the
Mumps.  I went to school.  Had
two exams this morning. Home
at 1:15.  My cold is some better.
Ma has gone down to Helen’s the baby is
sick.  Stayed home all evening
and studied went to bed 9pm


Thursday 15
Up at 7 went to school
Awful cold this morning
10 below 0.  Home at 1:15 got
dinner.  Mabel came up home all
afternoon and evening.  Gordon a
little better, bed at 8 o’clock.

[Note:  Helen was Gertrude’s eldest sister, and the baby would have been Clemont Lowell born 17 November 1919 (almost two months old on the date of this diary entry).   Gordon (with the mumps) was only 12 years old.  Can you imagine 10 below zero degrees in Beverly, Massachusetts in the days before good insulation, warm clothing and central heat?]

I plan to scan and transcribe a little bit of this diary every Monday for Amanuensis Monday on my blog.  Stay tuned for more next week!


Published under a Creative Commons License

Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Amanuensis Monday ~ My Grandmother’s Diary", Nutfield Genealogy, posted December 5, 2016,  ( accessed [access date]). 

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Happy Birthday to my Little Sister

Recently my cousin sent me a box full of photos.  They had belonged to my grandmother, who lived in Long Beach, California.  Among the many treasures inside this box, was this photo labeled "Laurel 1964 - Heather's first Picture".   I'm guessing that they handed me the camera for this photo.  I was only three years old!  My sister was supposed to be a Christmas baby, but she was born a few weeks early.  I also noticed that this photo wasn't processed until March 1965.  How things have changed! We have instant photos now that can sent electronically around the world when new babies are born.


Published under a Creative Commons License

Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Happy Birthday to my Little Sister", Nutfield Genealogy, posted December 4, 2016, ( accessed [access date]).

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Surname Saturday ~ LOCKWOOD of Cambridge, Massachusetts

The famous genealogist Donald Lines Jacobus thought that the Lockwood family originated in Combs, Suffolk, England and that brothers Edmund and Robert Lockwood arrived in New England with the Winthrop Fleet in 1630.  But the author of the Great Migration series, Robert Charles Anderson, believes that there is not any proof of this.  Edmund Lockwood, born about 1600, my 10th great grandfather, is of uncertain origins.

Edmund’s first record in New England was 19 October 1630 when he was made a freeman.  He was third on the list of “Newtowne inhabitants” in 1632 (Newe Towne is now known as Cambridge, Massachusetts.   He was made the constable on 9 May 1632. 

Edmund Lockwood was married twice.  His first wife died before 1630, probably in England.  He was married by 1632 to Elizabeth, the widow of John Masters of Cambridge.   Edmund died soon after his second marriage, before 3 March 1634/5, and the court in Watertown was ordered on 2 June 1635  to “dispose his elder children” to their uncle, Robert Lockwood, who was living in Stamford, Connecticut.  These elder children were probably the offspring of the first wife.

Many Lockwood descendants believe that they are descendants of Robert Lockwood because of a very erroneous genealogy compiled in 1889 Descendants of Robert Lockwood (see below).    Donald Lines Jacobus (see above) corrected the mistakes, especially the children of Edmund who were previously assigned to be children of Robert Lockwood.  However, Jacobus’s journal articles were not read by the general public, who have perpetuated the mythical lineages online. 
This is a case of READ THE LATEST RESEARCH!  No one should depend on an 1889 genealogy without checking for more recent research. 

Also, in The Great Migration:  Immigrants to New England 1634 – 1635, Volume 1, page 234, Anderson states “Mary Lockwood [wife of Jeremy Belcher) was probably a previously unidentified daughter of EDMUND LOCKWOOD of Cambridge… These children of the immigrant’s first marriage were to be ‘disposed of’.  Since the son of Edmund, even though he eventually resided in Stamford, married a woman from Ipswich, this may be where he was placed, so it would not be surprising if we found other children in that town as well.)”
Mary Lockwood Belcher (about 1625 – 1700) is my 9th great grandmother.  You can read all about the BELCHER family HERE

Some Lockwood resources:

The Great Migration Begins, by Robert Charles Anderson, Volume II, pages 1192- 1194 for the sketch of Edmund Lockwood.  See also Connecticut Ancestors, Volume 27, pages 9 – 18.

The Great Migration, by Robert Charles Anderson, Volume IV, pages 308 – 315 for the sketch of Robert Lockwood.  See also Connecticut Ancestors, Volume 48, pages 53-58.

“Some Descendants of Edmund Lockwood 1594 – 1635”, by Harriet Woodbury Hodge, 1978

“Early Records of Boston (Cambridge)”, NEHGS Register, Volume 4, page 181.

Do not rely on Descendants of Robert Lockwood, Colonial and Revolutionary History of the Lockwood Family from AD 1630, by Frederick A. Holden and E. Dunbar Lockwood, 1889 (online at     See instead the article “An Atrocious Lockwood Blunder” by Donald Lines Jacobus in The American Genealogist, 1954, Volume 31, pages 222 – 228.

My LOCKWOOD genealogy:

Generation 1:  Unknown Lockwood, lived in England, had two sons, Edmund and Richard Lockwood.

Generation 2:  Edmund Lockwood, born about 1600 in England and died before 3 March 1634/35 in Cambridge, Massachusetts; married first to Unknown (at least two known children, probably more); married second to Elizabeth, widow of John Masters of Cambridge (one child named John).

Generation 3:  Mary, daughter of Edmund Lockwood and his first unknown wife, born before 1625 in England, and died October 1700 in Ipswich, Massachusetts; married on 30 September 1652 in Ipswich to Jeremy Belcher.  He was the son of Thomas Belcher and Anne Unknown, born about 1613 in Wiltshire, England and died 21 March 1693 in Ipswich.  Eight children.  (Jeremy Belcher had four children with a previous wife, Mary Clifford).

Generation 4:   Mary Belcher m. Thomas Andrews
Generation 5:  Thomas Andrews m.  Mary Smith
Generation 6:  Mary Andrews m.  Stephen Burnham
Generation 7: Joshua Burnham m. Jemima Wyman
Generation 8:  Jemima Burnham m. Romanus Emerson
Generation 9: George Emerson m. Mary Esther Younger
Generation 10: Mary Katharine Emerson m. George E. Batchelder
Generation 11:  Carrie Maude Batchelder m. Joseph Elmer Allen
Generation 12: Stanley Elmer Allen m. Gertrude Matilda Hitchings (my grandparents)


Published under a Creative Commons License

Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Surname Saturday ~ LOCKWOOD of Cambridge, Massachusetts", Nutfield Genealogy, posted December 3, 2016,  ( accessed [access date]). 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Weathervane Wednesday ~ An Ice Cream Cone

Weathervane Wednesday is an on-going series of photographs I post every week.  I started out by publishing only weather vanes from the Londonderry area, but now I've been finding interesting weather vanes from all over New England.  Sometimes these weather vanes are whimsical, or historical, but all are very unique.  Often, my readers tip me off to some very special and unusual weather vanes.  Today a reader and fellow genealogy blogger sent in this weathervane!

Today's weather vane is from somewhere in Maine.

Do you know the location of weather vane #287?  Scroll down to see the answer...

Today's weathervane was sent in by June Stearns Butka, the author of the New England Roots blog.   This colorful ice cream weather vane is located on a cupola above Dunne's Ice Cream near the Nubble Light House in York, Maine.  I know that I've been to Nubble Light dozens of times, and I never noticed this weathervane.  I was probably too busy looking at the fantastic view of the lighthouse.

But this is a fantastic weathervane.  Colorful weathervanes are hard to find.  It's a charming bit of advertising art, and the weather vane is in an appropriate place here high above the waves on the coast.

Dunne's Ice Cream, York, Maine

June's New England Roots blog:


Published under a Creative Commons License

Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Weathervane Wednesday ~ An Ice Cream Cone", Nutfield Genealogy, posted November 30, 2016 ( accessed [access date]).