Saturday, August 1, 2015

Surname Saturday ~ WILDES of Topsfield and Salem, Massachusetts


John Wild (1619 – 1705), my 9th great grandfather, and his brother, William, arrived in New England on board the ship Elizabeth on 10 April 1635.  John was listed as 17 years old, William was age 30.  They both first lived in Ipswich, and then John removed to Topsfield, Massachusetts. In several documents he was listed as a carpenter.   Although it appears that the brother, William, left no children, there are extensive records to be found on him in the court, land and probate records.

 About 1648 John Wild married Priscilla, the daughter of Zacheus Gould and they had eight children, who are listed in land records and in John’s last will and testament.  Priscilla died in 1663, and John remarried that same year to Sarah Averill, the daughter of William Averill of Ipswich.  Sarah was hung as a witch during the witchcraft hysteria of 1692.  John then remarried to Mary, the widow of George Jacobs, who was also hung as a witch.   George and Mary Jacobs were my 9th great grandparents in another lineage.  It is interesting that these two “witch widows” married each other, don’t you think?

Sarah Wilde, born about 1651, was my 8th great grandmother.  She married Edward Bishop, Jr. about 1675.  Edward Bishop (1648 – 1711) was the son of Edward Bishop (1620 – 1705) the third husband of my 9th great grandmother, Bridge (Playfer) Oliver Wasselbee Bishop, who was also hung as a witch on 10 June 1692.   You can see that this extended family was very affected by the witchcraft hysteria, and it touched many of the family members.  Sarah and Edward relocated to Rehoboth, Massachusetts during the time of the witch trials, to get away from the hysteria.  Rehoboth is more than 60 miles away from Salem. 

There are many good books out there on the 1692 Salem witch trials, and many include good sketches of the Wildes family. 

Some WILDES resources:

The Great Migration:  Immigrants to New England 1634 – 1635, by Robert Charles Anderson, Volume VII, pages 402 – 407 (sketch of John Wild)

The Ancestry of Dudley Wildes, 1759 - 1829, of Topsfield, Massachusetts, by Walter Goodwin Davis, 1959.

A Wildes Genealogy: The family of John Wild of Topsfield, Mass., and his descendants in Old Arundel, compiled by Douglas Wright Cruger, 1990

The Historical Collections of the Topsfield Historical Society, by the Topsfield Historical Society, 1920, several volumes including John Wild’s probate papers in Volume 25, pages 115 -116, etc.
My WILDES genealogy:

Generation 1:  John Wildes, born about 1619 in England, died 14 May 1705 in Topsfield; married about 1645 to Priscilla Gould, my 9th great grandmother.  She was born about 1625 in Great Missenden, England and died 16 April 1663 in Topsfield.  He married second on 23 November 1663 to Sarah Averhill who was hung as a witch on 19 July 1692, and married third to Mary Unknown (also my 9th great grandmother, widow of George Jacobs who was hung as a witch on 16 August 1692, my 9th great grandfather in another lineage).   John and Priscilla had eight children.

Generation 2:  Sarah Wildes, born about 1651; married about 1675 to Edward Bishop.  He was born 23 February 1648 in Salem and died 12 May 1711 in Rehoboth, Massachusetts.  Three children.  Edward Bishop was the son of Edward Bishop (1620 – 1705) who was married three times, once to Bridget Playfer, who was the first woman hung as a witch in Salem on 10 June 1692.

Generation 3:  James Bishop m. Sarah Holmes
Generation 4:  Sarah Bishop m. Daniel Poland
Generation 5:  Martha Poland m. Alexander Mears
Generation 6:  Samuel Mears m. Lydia W. Burnham
Generation 7: Samuel Mears m.  Sarah Ann Burnham
Generation 8: Sarah Burnham Mears m. Joseph Gilman Allen
Generation 9: Joseph Elmer Allen m. Carrie Maude Batchelder
Generation 10: Stanley Elmer Allen m. Gertrude Matilda Hitchings (my grandparents)

Published under a Creative Commons License
Heather Wilkinson Rojo,  "Surname Saturday ~ WILDES of Topsfield and Salem, Massachusetts", Nutfield Genealogy, posted August 1, 2015, ( accessed [access date]).

Thursday, July 30, 2015

August 2015 Genealogy and Local Events Calendar

August 1, Saturday and August 2, Sunday, 9am – 5pm  17th Century Encampment, an outdoor interpretive weekend at Colonial Pemaquid in Maine.  Re-enactors showcase civilian and military life with equipment, crafts, cooking, games, etc.  Sponsored jointly by the Friends of Colonial Pemaquid and the State of Maine.

August 1, Saturday, 1pm, Discover Mount Auburn – A Walking Tour, at Mount Auburn Cemetery, 580 Mount Auburn Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts. A 1.5 mile walking tour will focus on the history, monuments and lives of those buried here. Register online at this link:   This tour will be repeated September 5th.
August 1, Saturday, 10am  Walking Tour: Abolitionists in Lowell, a 90 minute walking tour of Lowell with Bob Forrant, Professor of History at UMass Lowell. Free to the public.  Meet at the Lowell National Historic Park Visitor Center in Lowell, Massachusetts.

August 1, Saturday, 11am – 3pm, 17th Century Saturday, at the Ipswich Museum, Ipswich, Massachusetts,  The 1677 Whipple House, reproduction Alexander Knight House, and the Heard House will be open for tours.  Spinner Leslie Wind and friends will hold a spinning demonstration on the lawn of the Whipple House.  $15 tour of three houses, $10 for a tour of one house.

August 1 and 2, Saturday and Sunday, Redcoats and Rebels, At Sturbridge Village Museum, Sturbridge, Massachusetts.  This is the largest military re-enactment in New England with nearly 1,000 soldiers playing British, Irish, Spanish, Scottish, French and Colonial troops. Events and activities including extended hours until 8pm are all listed at this link:

August 2, Sunday, 2:30 and again at 4pm, Stamp Act Reenactment - 250th Anniversary, at the Boston National Historical Park, Boston, Massachusetts, visitors can join Park Rangers and recreate a Town Meeting set in 1765.  Free to the public.  

August 3, Monday, 9:30am to 4:30pm  Tracing Your Essex Ancestors, at the New England Historic Genealogical Society, 99 – 101 Newbury Street, Boston, Massachusetts, $35.  Join Neil Wiffen and Allyson Lewis from the Essex Record Office in the UK to learn how to explore your English roots.  A full day workshop that will include lectures, a deomonstration of the website Essex Ancestors, and a special display of original records.  The NEHGS library and archives will not be open for research during this event.  Please pre-register at 617-226-1226. 

August 3, Monday, A Visit with Queen Victoria, at the Meredith Public Library, 91 Main Street, Meredith, New Hampshire, contact 603-279-4617 for more information. Free to the public. Sally Mummey performs this living history in proper 19th century clothing resplendent with Royal Orders.

August 3, Monday, 7pm, Beginner Genealogy Classes - Class 2: Records and Resources, at the Londonderry Historical Society, Parmenter Barn, 140 Pillsbury Road, Londonderry, New Hampshire, taught by certified genealogist Amylynne Murphy, register at or call 603-820-6706.  $20 per class, $50 for all 4 classes (July 27, August 3, August 10, and August 17th).  Proceeds to benefit the Londonderry Historical Society.

August 4, Tuesday, 6:30pm, Historic Broadway, Beverly, Massachusetts, sponsored by the Beverly Historic Society, Beverly, Massachusetts, walk this architecturally significant street in Beverly with local historian Ed Brown.  Meet at the corner of Cabot and Broadway in Beverly.  $5 non members, free for members. 

August 4, Tuesday, 1pm,  The Records of the Essex, England, Records Office, at the National Archives Boston facility at 380 Trapelo Road, Waltham, Massachusetts.  Essex, England archivists Allyson Lewis and Neil Wiffens will demonstrate their new webpage, and how to begin research with their online collection.  FREE to the public, please register at the reference desk 1-866-406-2379 or by email to

August 6, Friday, Noon, Lunch and Learn:  The Yale Indian Papers Project, at Plimoth Plantation, Plymouth, Massachusetts.  Free to members, $8 non-members, bring or buy a lunch and learn about the cultural significance and potential historical impact of the Indian Papers Project.  Click here to register:   Click here for the Indian Papers Project 

August 6, Thursday, 6pm, Shipwrecks of the North Shore, sponsored by the Beverly, Massachusetts Historical Society.  Join noted shipwreck historian Ray Bates for a two hour boat tour of the coast.  Boat leaves promptly at 6pm from Glover's Wharf in Beverly, Massachusetts.  $30 non-members, $25 members. Limited capacity.  Click here for tickets:  

August 6, Thursday, 7pm, Vanished Veterans – NH’s Civil War Monuments and Memorials, at the Third Congregational Church, 14 River Street, Alstead, New Hampshire, Contact 603-835-7900 for more information. Free to the public.  Historian George Morrison presents a diverse selection of New Hampshire’s commemorations.

August 8, Saturday, 10am, Walking Tour: Honoring Manchester’s Greek Community, a tour of the Greek section of Pine Grove Cemetery, Manchester, New Hampshire.  Meet at the chapel.  $5 Manchester Historic Association members, $10 general public, please pre-register at 603-622-7531.

August 8, Saturday, 2pm, Daughters of the Samurai, at the Mabel Louise Riely Seminar Room (Meeting Room 156) of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts, the tale of five young ladies sent by the Japanese government to the USA in 1871 to learn Western ways and help the next generation of Japanese men to lead Japan. Presented by Janice Nimura, author of Daughters of the Samurai: A Journey from East to West and Back.  MFA members $10, non members $12, call 1-800-440-6975 to order tickets by phone.

August 8, Saturday, 10am – 12:30pm, Preparing Your Own Home Remedies, at the Watson Farm, 455 North Main Road, Jamestown, Rhode Island, join herbalist Kristin Minto to for a workshop to learn the historic ways to make teas, tinctures, medicinal oils, and to correctly prepare plants to use in oils. $15 Historic New England members, $20 non-members.  Register at 401-423-0005. 

August 8, Saturday, 12:30, The Value of Using Blogs for Sharing Genealogy and Family Stories, presented by the Greater Portland Chapter of the Maine Genealogical Society at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 29 Ocean House Road, Cape Elizabeth, Maine.  Craig Siulinski will demonstrate how to share your family history online via blogging.  Free to the public.

August 9, Sunday, 2:30 and again at 4pm, Stamp Act Reenactment - 250th Anniversary, at the Boston National Historical Park, Boston, Massachusetts, visitors can join Park Rangers and recreate a Town Meeting set in 1765.  Free to the public. 

August 9, Saturday, 1:30pm, A Visit with Abraham Lincoln, at the Alton Historical Society, 13 Depot Street, Alton, New Hampshire, contact 603-875-5456 for more information.  Free to the public.  A living history presentation by Steve Wood.

August 10, Monday, Beginner Genealogy Classes - Class 3: Sourcing and Organization, at the Londonderry Historical Society, Parmenter Barn, 140 Pillsbury Road, Londonderry, New Hampshire, taught by certified genealogist Amylynne Murphy, register at or call 603-820-6706.  $20 per class, $50 for all 4 classes (July 27, August 3, August 10, and August 17th).  Proceeds to benefit the Londonderry Historical Society

August 11, Tuesday, 4 – 5:30pm, Mustering Military Resources for Revolutionary War Genealogy Research,  at the Boston Public Library, Copley Square, 700 Boylston Street, Boston, Massachusetts, presented by David Allen Lambert.  Free to the public.

August 14, Saturday, 8pm,  Stamp Act Reenactment, Boston National Historic Park at the corner of Washington and Winter Street in Boston, Massachusetts, join historic reenactors in placing lanterns near the "orginal" Liberty Tree. 

August 15, Saturday, 1 – 5pm, Fletcher’s Scouting Company Re-enactment at Colonial Pemaquid, New Harbor, Maine. Historical re-enactors will set up camp on the grounds of the state park and demonstrate 17th century activities such as cooking, wood working, military drills, weaponry, etc.  Rain date is Sunday, August 16. Free to the public.

August 15, Saturday, 11am to 4 pm, Living History Event at Former World War II Coastal Artillery Fort, Fort Stark State Historic Site, 211 Wild Rose Lane, New Castle, New Hampshire.  Living historians will bring the World War II era to life with camp set-ups, military vehicles, field offices, home front and militaria displays.  Re-enactors will be dressed in period military and civilian attire. Free to the public. Not handicapped accessible.

August 15, Saturday, 11am, Harnessing History: On the Trail of New Hampshire’s State Dog, the Chinook, at the Lyndeborough Old Town Hall, 1131 Center Road, Lyndeborough, New Hampshire.  Contact Karen Holland at 603-654-2480 for more information.  Bob Cottrell presents the history of Arthur Waldren and his Chinnooks.  A dog may accompany the speaker, please inquire.  Free to the Public.

August 15, Saturday, 10am - 1pm, Genealogy 101 Workshop:  How to Begin, at the Maine Historical Society, Portland, Maine.  Cost $35 MHS members, $45 general admission.  Space is limited so register now  Refreshments included.  Note: intermediate researchers may want to take advantage of Genealogy 201 event on September 26.  See the website for details. 

August 15, Saturday, 10am - 4pm, The Wedding of William Bradford, at Plimoth Plantation in Plymouth, Massachusetts.  Included with museum admission.  The honor of your presence is requested at the wedding of Governor William Bradford to Alice Southworth.  Please join the Sachem Massasoit, his wife and leaders from surrounding Wampanoag communities and their entourage for a reenactment of the actual wedding that took place almost 400 years ago.  Learn how 16th century weddings were celebrated.  
August 15, Saturday, 4pm, Stamp Act Reenactment, Boston National Historic Park, at the corner of Washington and Winter Streets, Boston, Massachusetts, join historic reenactors in a raucous through the streets of Boston to the Old State House to protest the Stamp Act. 

August 16, Sunday, 2:30 and again at 4pm, Stamp Act Reenactment - 250th Anniversary, at the Boston National Historical Park, Boston, Massachusetts, visitors can join Park Rangers and recreate a Town Meeting set in 1765.  Free to the public. 

August 16, Sunday, 11:30 am Runaway Wives:  When Colonial Marriages Failed, at the Deering Community Church, 736 Deering Center Road, Deering, New Hampshire, contact Don Johnson at 603-529-7764 for more information.  Free to the public.

August 16, Sunday, 2pm, Liberty is Our Motto: Songs and Stories of the Hutchinson Family Singers, at the Wilmot Town Hall, 11 N. Wilmot Road, Wilmot, New Hampshire, contact Nola Aldrich for more information 603-526-2942.  Free to the Public.  Steve Blunt portrays John Hutchinson in this living history presentation.  He tells the Hutchinson’s story and shares their music with lyrics provided.  Audience members are invited to sing along “The Old Granite State”, “Get off the Track” and “Tenting on the Old Campground” and more.

August 17, Monday, Beginner Genealogy Classes - Class 4: Discussion & Sharing, at the Londonderry Historical Society, Parmenter Barn, 140 Pillsbury Road, Londonderry, New Hampshire, taught by certified genealogist Amylynne Murphy, register at or call 603-820-6706.  $20 per class, $50 for all 4 classes (July 27, August 3, August 10, and August 17th).  Proceeds to benefit the Londonderry Historical Society

August 23, Sunday, 3pm, Boston Middle Passage Ceremonies and Port Markers Project, at Faneuil Hall, Boston, Massachusetts.  For more information, see this website:

August 23, Sunday, 10am, Walking Tour:  Manchester Hebrew Cemetery, meet inside the entrance to the cemetery chapel on Beech Street, Manchester, New Hampshire.  $5 Manchester Historic Association members, $10 General Public, please pre-register at 603-622-7531. 

August 25, Tuesday, 7pm, Acadian History and Genealogy including mtDNA genealogy tidbits, at the Central Massachusetts Genealogy Society, at the American Legion Post #129, Gardner, Massachusetts. Members free, guests $2 donation.

August 25, Tuesday, 1:30pm, Intro to Genealogy, at the Haverhill, Massachusetts Public Library.  Learn to use the special collections room, which has a wealth of genealogy and local history resources.  Advance registration required, call 978-373-1586. 

August 27, Thursday, 6pm, Historic Beer in a Historic Place, at the Bostonian Society in the Old State House, 206 Washington Street, Boston, Massachusetts.  Come taste beers, hear talks about the pubs and drinking in the 18th century, and listen to Master Brewers speak about their craft.  $15 includes 3 beer tokens.  Order tickets online at
August 29, Saturday, 10am Walking Tour:  Lowell Monuments a 90 minute walk visiting some of the city’s most interesting monuments with Richard Howe, the Register of Deeds of the Middlesex North District and the official tour guide of Lowell Cemetery.  Free to the public. Meet at the Lowell National Historic Park Visitor Center in Lowell, Massachusetts.

August 29, Saturday, 10:30 - noon, Genealogy Workshop, at the Millyard Museum, 200 Bedford Street, Manchester, New Hampshire.  Led by Muriel Chabot Normand and Pauline Cusson of the American Canadian Genealogical Society.  Please pre-register at 603-622-7531 or email  $5 for Manchester Historic Association members and $10 general public.  

August 29, Saturday, all day, Newport Stamp Act Protest Reenactment and Party, at Washington Square, Newport, Rhode Island.  This is a large scale reenactment celebrating the 250th anniversary of the Stamp Act Riots, including a colonial city illustrating daily life in the colonial era, an upper class lady's tea, an effigy demonstration, and a "rank sacking" of the Newport Historical Society museum. 

Future Events

September 17 – 19, The New York State Family History Conference, an FGS regional conference at the Syracuse/Liverpool Holiday Inn, 441 Electronics Parkway in Liverpool, New York.

September 18 – 20, 40th Annual New Hampshire Highland Games and Festival, at Loon Mountain, Lincoln, New Hampshire, See the website for a complete schedule of events and information.  Competitions, lectures, workshops, music, food, vendors, dinners, and a gala ball are highlights of the many things happening this weekend.

September 19, Saturday, The Maine Genealogical Society’s Annual Conference and Membership Meeting, in Brewer, Maine.  Keynote speaker will be Michael Strauss.  See  for more information

September 19, Saturday, 7:30 pm, Talking Baseball with Doris Kearns Goodwin and Ken Burns, sponsored by the Concord Museum,  at the Fenn School, Concord, Massachusetts. Join Doris Kearns Goodwin, curator for the Art of Baseball exhibit, and filmmaker Ken Burns for a lively conversation about their shared love of baseball moderated by Jeff Idelson, President of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.  Registration required.  priority seating for members opens on July 15th.

September 19 and 20, Return to No. 4: Revolutionary War Weekend at the Fort at No. 4, Charlestown, New Hampshire. One of the biggest re-enactments of the year with battles both days at 1:30pm.  Fortified village tours, sutlers row for shopping, and self tours of the camps where you can see drills, open hearth cooking and demonstrations of colonial camp life. See the website for more information and a schedule of events

September 24-25, Thursday and Friday, One Name Studies and Early New England & Atlantic Canadian Research, at the New England Historic Genealogical Society Library at 99 - 101 Newbury Street, Boston, Massachusetts, cost $80.  A two day seminar to teach you to create, organize and share a one-name project- while deepening your knowledge of early New England and Atlantic Canadian research.  Lectures by David Allen Lambert (NEHGS) and Paul Howes (The Guild of One-Name Studies).  Breakfasts and lunches included.  Registration open to the public after August 5, 2010. 

September 26, Saturday, American Canadian Genealogical Society Fall Conference, Manchester, New Hampshire, speakers include Lucie LeBlanc Consentino.  

September 26, Saturday, 8am – 4pm, Fall Genealogy Conference, The Chelmsford Genealogy Club presents a conference with genealogist Michael Strauss and other well known genealogy speakers.  Register on the Chelmsford, Massachusetts Library's calendar beginning July 1st.  Registration ends September 23.

September 26, 1pm, From Amistad to Brown v. Board of Education: Mount Auburn’s Supreme Court Justices and Civil Rights Cases, at Mount Auburn Cemetery, 580 Mount Auburn Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts.  This walking tour will visit the graves of some of the 12 US and Massachusetts Supreme Court Judges, and a few others, whose beliefs and determination shaped the lives of a generation of Americans.  $7 members, $12 non-members. Register at this link: 

September 26 and 27, Saturday and Sunday,  from 11am – 3pm both days, rain or shine, The 11th Annual Portsmouth Fairy House Tour, the world’s largest fairy house tour, held in Portsmouth, New Hampshire’s historic South End at the Governor John Langdon House, Strawbery Banke Museum, Prescott Park and Peirce Island.  More than 100 handcrafted fairy houses made by local artists, florists,  garden clubs, and businesses on display.  A great way to expose your children to historic homes and gardens.  Advanced tickets are highly recommended.  For more information and to purchase tickets click at this link: 

November 14, Saturday, 2pm, How to Discover Your Family and Community History, part of the “Exploring the World War One Home Front” series at the National Heritage Museum in Lexington, Massachusetts.  This workshop will support you in exploration of family stories from the World War 1 era, and help you find the documents and resources to uncover your family narrative.  Free to the public, registration required by November 5th, contact

Published under a Creative Commons License
Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "August 2015 Genealogy and Local Events Calendar", Nutfield Genealogy, posted July 30, 2015, ( accessed [access date]).

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Weathervane Wednesday ~ A Fraternal Organization

Weathervane Wednesday is an on-going series of photographs I post weekly.  The first weathervanes I published were from the Nutfield (Londonderry) area, but now I've found interesting weather vanes from all over New England.  Some weathervanes are historical, some are whimsical, but all are interesting.  Often, my readers have sent me photographs of unique and unusual weather vanes from all across the USA and around the world.  If you know a historical or interesting weather vane, please let me know!

Today's weathervane is from New Hampshire.

Do you know the location of weather vane #219?  Scroll down to see the answer!

Today's weather vane was photographed in Hampton, New Hampshire.  You can see this weathervane from the causeway leaving Hampton Beach going west on Route 101.  The Saint James Masonic Lodge is located on a parallel street, at 77 Tide Mill Road. 

This weathervane is the typical mason's square and compass you see used everywhere in Masonic symbology.  These are the tools of the stone mason.  The letter "G" inside the square and compass stands for both "God" and "Geometry".  I've seen this symbol on Masonic halls, on Masonic insignia and jewelry, and on gravestones.  I'm sure you've seen it, too, but this is the first time I've seen it on a weathervane!

Saint James Masonic Lodge 102 -  

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

Click here to read an old 2012 blog post "Was Your Ancestor a Mason"

The URL for this post is
Copyright (c) 2015, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday ~ Robert and Sarah Peebles, double tombstone, d. 1760 and 1772, Bedford, New Hampshire

This double tombstone was photographed at the Old Bedford Cemetery,
established 1737 in Bedford, New Hampshire

Death like an over flowing flood      Doth sweep us all away
The old the young the middle age      To Death becomes a Prey.

Here lies                        Here lies
Interr'd  the                  Interr'd the
Remains of                   Remains of
Mr. Robert                    Mrs. Sarah
     Peebles,                       Peebles, wife
  who departed                  of Mr. Robert
   this Life                          Peebles who
Sept. 3d, 1772               Depated this
Aged 97 Year                  Life Novr 13, 1760

Robert Peebles was born about 1675 in Northern Ireland.  He married Sarah (Gray?) and had eight children:  Anna, Mary, Sarah, Patrick, John, Sarah, Mary and Anna.  Robert Peebles arrived in 1718 from Northern Ireland to Boston and was an early settler at Worcester, Massachusetts.  

In 1758 he sold his farm in Pelham, Massachusetts to his son Patrick and removed to Bedford, New Hampshire to live with their youngest daughter Anna Peebles Houston, the wife of Reverend John Houseton.  Sarah died two years after the move, and Robert died in Bedford, New Hampshire in 1772.  


Published under a Creative Commons License
Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Tombstone Tuesday ~ Robert and Sarah Peebles, double tombstone, d. 1760 and 1772, Bedford, New Hampshire", Nutfield Genealogy, posted July 28, 2015 ( : accessed [access date]).

Monday, July 27, 2015

Happy 6th Blogoversary to me!

Several years ago I started to write local history stories for the Londonderry news website. I didn’t know it was a blog.  I didn’t even know what the word blog meant.  After my first few posts, the editor gave me a password to edit my own stories in Wordpress, and that’s when I learned more about blogging.  I decided that if I could do that, why didn’t I start my own blog about my special interest in genealogy?  On 27 July 2009 I designed my blog and published my first post using Blogger.  The rest is history.

I had fun last night perusing some old blog posts.  Back in December 2011 I wrote that my most popular blog post had over 1,200 pageviews and I was feeling quite happy.  Through the power of the internet, and the incredible phenomenon of social networking online, my numbers have grown exponentially.  In December 2012 my top post had 6,000 hits.   My top post now has almost 145,000 hits, and my second most popular post lags behind at 28,325 pageviews, the third at 18,448.  Quite a jump in readers in 6 short years!

Over the past six years I have had six guest bloggers. None of them had ever written a blog post before I extended them the invitation to try a guest post.  Three of them enjoyed the experience so much that they started their own blogs, and have been very successful!  These are Bette Pye Wing at The Pye PlateJohn Tew at Filiopietism Prism, and Tom Tufts at Tufts Genealogy.   They are all still blogging away, gaining more followers every day, and making lots of cousin connections online.

My very first weathervane post was on 24 August 2011.  It was a story on the gilded centaurweathervane on top of Andy Mack’s barn in Londonderry, New Hampshire.  It was a terrible photo because I couldn’t get near enough to take a good close up.  But it was the start of something great, because now I have posted 218 “Weathervane Wednesday” stories, with weather vanes from all over Nutfield, and from all over New England, the US, and from around the world!

In the past six years I have posted:

51 Wordless Wednesdays
52 Women’s History stories
56 “Amanuensis Monday” posts (mostly transcribed letters)
57 posts that mention “Liliuokalani”
65 stories based in the town of Ipswich, Massachusetts
66 posts with the keyword “Spain”
66 stories with the surname ALLEN
72 stories with the keyword “Revolutionary War”
92 stories with the surname WILKINSON
96 posts about the city of Beverly, Massachusetts
114 posts about historic sites inside and outside of New England
130 posts with the keyword “Derry”
170 posts with the keyword “Londonderry”
176 Surname Saturday posts
228 posts with the keyword  “cemeteries”
255 Tombstone Tuesdays

Thank you to all my blog followers!  I love the blog comments, email and Facebook discussions.  Please continue to send your notes, comments and suggestions - and especially your cousin connections.  Thank you also to all the blog followers who have joined my “Nutfield Genealogy” Facebook page.   There are 441 people at that page, maybe by next year’s blogoversary I will have reached 500.  Fingers crossed!

More statistics for the truly curious:

I've written a total of 1961 posts
There have been nearly 4,000 comments (a dearth of comments this past year.  No clue why?)
A total of 1,563,669 (at the time I wrote this last night) pageviews to my blog.
My best month for readership was April 2015, with 59,394 pageviews 


 Published under a Creative Commons License
Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Happy 6th Blogoversary to me!", Nutfield Genealogy, posted 27 July 2015, ( accessed [access date]).

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Surname Saturday ~ Joseph METCALF of Ipswich, Massachusetts


Joseph Metcalf (1598/9- 1665), my 11th great grandfather, is another ancestor who has a lengthy sketch in The Great Migration series, and an equally lengthy sketch in the compiled genealogy The Driver Family, so it seems very silly to repeat it all here.  I’ll just give you the abridged version since my lineage daughters out in four generations in early Ipswich, Massachusetts.

Joseph Metcalf’s origins are from Strood near Rochester in Kent, England, where he was baptized in 1598/9, and where he was married in 1626.  He was made a freeman in Ipswich, Massachusetts in 1634/5.  He served many offices such as Deputy to the Massachusetts Bay General Court, juror and several committees. He was granted land in January 1634/5 before he was even made freeman, and granted more land in 1639.   In 1650 he was excused from the militia “on account of his lameness in one arm and deafness on one side of his head”.  He died in 1665, and his will was signed (so he had some education). 

Apparently he had only one child, my 10th great grandfather Thomas Metcalf, born about 1629 probably in England.  I don't know his wife's maiden name.  Three of his children: Joseph, Mary and Elizabeth were mentioned in their grandfather’s1664  will.  Another child, Thomas, was born in 1667. I descend from Joseph (1660/1 – 1702), and I don't know his wife's maiden name either.  His daughter, Abigail Metcalf (1686 – 1720) my 8th great grandmother,  married James Davis in 1704. 

Two generations of great grandmother's are in this lineage, without any maiden name or identification.  If anyone has a clue as to their parentage please leave me a comment here or an email at  

Some METCALF resources:

The Great Migration: Immigrants to New England 1634 – 1635, Robert Charles Anderson, 2007, Volume V, pages 114 – 117 for a sketch of Joseph Metcalf of Ipswich.

The Driver Family: A Genealogical Memoir of the Descendants of Robert and Phebe Driver, of Lynn, Massachusetts, by Harriet Ruth (Waters) Cooke, (New York, 1889), see pages 394 – 405 for the Metcalf information. This book is available to read online at Google Book Search.

The Hammatt Papers: Early Inhabitants of Ipswich, Massachusetts, 1633 - 1700,  by Abraham Hammatt, 1854,  is available to read online at and

My METCALF genealogy:

Generation 1:  Joseph Metcalf, son of Thomas Metcalf “age about sixty”, baptized on 28 January 1598/9 at Strood near Rochester, Kent, England; died 21 July 1665 in Ipswich, Massachusetts; married on 29 May 1626 at Strood near Rochester to Elizabeth Baker, mother of one child.  She married second on 8 November 1670 in Salem to Edward Beauchamp.

Generation 2: Thomas Metcalf, baptized 26? April 1629 at Strood near Rochester, died 1702 in Ipswich; married about 1658 to Abigail Unknown, mother of three children.   He remarried to the widow Lydia Davis.

Generation 3: Joseph Metcalf, born 27 January 1660 in Ipswich; married first to Rebecca Unknown, mother of one child; married second in 1670 to Ann Chickering, widow of Stephen Paine.

Generation 4:  Abigail Metcalf, born 29 March 1686; married on 5 January 1704 in Ipswich to James Davis, son of James Davis and Bethiah Leach.  He was born 7 May 1685 in Gloucester, died 5 March 1742 in Gloucester.  Two children.

Generation 5:  Abigail Davis m. John Poland
Generation 6:  Daniel Poland m. Sarah Bishop
Generation 7:  Martha Poland m. Alexander Mears
Generation 8:  Samuel Mears m. Lydia W. Burnham
Generation 9:  Samuel Mears m. Sarah Ann Burnham
Generation 10: Sarah Burnham Mears m. Joseph Gilman Allen
Generation 11:  Joseph Elmer Allen m. Carrie Maude Batchelder
Generation 12: Stanley Elmer Allen m. Gertrude Matilda Allen (my grandparents)

Published under a Creative Commons License
Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Surname Saturday ~  Joseph METCALF of Ipswich, Massachusetts", Nutfield Genealogy, posted July 25, 2015 (  accessed [access date]).

Friday, July 24, 2015

Felton Family Reunion 2015, Peabody, Massachusetts

Mary Kate Felton, President of the Felton Family Association,
welcomed everyone to the 27th annual Felton Reunion in Peabody, Massachusetts

Cora Felton Anderson, from Washington state,
gave a genealogy talk to the attendees,
on new information about Ellen/ Eleanor (Thrower) Felton,
mother of early Salem settler, Nathaniel Felton, Sr.

My first cousin, Sue Wilkinson Parker,
showing the Phebe Cross Munroe sampler.
Phebe was our great- great grandmother,
and a Felton descendant
There were twenty one attendees today at the first day of the 27th annual Felton Family reunion at the Felton homesteads in Peabody, Massachusetts.  We enjoyed breakfast, lunch and dinner together, with genealogy talks and tours of the Nathaniel Felton, Sr (1615 - 1705) home and the Nathaniel Felton, Jr. (1655 - 1733) homesteads.  It was a beautiful day, and great weather for exploring the grounds.

Tomorrow will be the family association business meeting, and another luncheon.

Felton descendants visiting the Nathaniel Felton, Sr. House on Felton Road, Peabody, Massachusetts
built circa 1644

This is hanging in the Nathaniel Felton, Jr. homestead.
John Proctor is my 8th great grandfather, and Nathaniel Felton, Sen. is my 10th great grandfather

"We, whose names are under written,
having several years known John Proctor and his wife,
do testify that we never heard or understood that they
were ever suspected to be guilty of the crime now charged
upon them, and several of us being their near neighbors,
do testify that, to our apprehension, they lived Christian like
in their family, and were never ready to help such as stood 
in need of their help"

[signed] Nathaniel Felton, Sen., and Mary his wife
Smeul Marsh, and Priscilla his wife
James Moulton, and Ruth, his wife
John Felton, Nathaniel Felton, Jr.
Samuel Frayll, and Ann, his wife
Samuel Endicott, and Hannah his wife
Samuel Stone, George Locker
Samuel Gaskill, and Revidal, his wife
George Smith, Edward Gaskill"

[in the original paper, there were some, perhaps many, names cut 
off by scissors, according to C. W. Upham's History of Witchcraft)

"Court of Oyer and Terminer, Essex County, File Papers 1, 110, Petition for John and Elizabeth Proctor, 1692 (on deposit at the Essex Institute, Salem, Mass.) Courtesy of James D. Leary, Clerk of Courts for Essex County"

This family tree hanging in the Nathaniel Felton, Jr. home
shows Sarah Felton, my 5th great grandmother, daughter of
Malachi Felton, and wife of Robert Wilson

A beautiful back garden behind the Nathaniel Felton, Jr. House

The Nathaniel Felton, Jr. Homestead, built circa 1685,
located right next door to the Nathaniel Felton, Sr. Homestead
My 6th great grandmother, Sarah Felton (1750 - 1836) was the last Felton born here.

Nathaniel John Felton, a direct descendant of Nathaniel Felton
enjoyed his first visit to the Felton homesteads and the family reunion! 
The Felton Family Association website

The Peabody Historical Society (who own and operate the two Felton homesteads

Published under a Creative Commons License
Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Felton Family Reunion 2015, Peabody, Massachusetts", Nutfield Genealogy, posted 24 July 2015, (  accessed [access date]).

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Weathervane Wednesday ~ When Pigs Fly!

Weathervane Wednesday is an on-going series of photographs I post weekly.  I started by publishing weathervanes from just the Londonderry area, but now I've found interesting weather vanes from all across New England.  Some of the weather vanes are whimsical, or historical, but all are interesting.  Often, my readers will send me some photos of very unique and unusual weathervanes from all across the United States and the rest of the world!  If you  know an interesting or historical weathervane, please let me know.

Today's weather vane is from New Hampshire.

Do you know the location of weather vane #218?  Scroll down to see the answer!

Today's weather vane was photographed on Hackett Hill Road in Hooksett, New Hampshire.  This farmhouse is right around the corner from me, and I've passed it dozens of times.  However, the weather finally turned warm so Vincent and I went out in April with the little red convertible and got these photographs.  It's easy to take weathervane photos when the top is down!

This is a three dimensional flying pig.  The weathervane is bright and shiny copper or brass, so it must be fairly new.  I could see this weathervane every time I passed by because it catches the sunlight.  It's adorable, and I'm so glad that Vincent was finally able to get a photo of this weather vane!

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

Published under a Creative Commons license
Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Weathervane Wednesday ~ When Pigs Fly!", Nutfield Genealogy, posted July 22, 2015, (  accessed [access date]).