Friday, February 24, 2017

March 2017 Genealogy and Local History Calendar

For last minute updates, see the Nutfield Genealogy Facebook page at this link: 

Notice:  The Friends of the Little Library in Littleton, Massachusetts are sponsoring an “Evening Genealogy Series” this month – see below on March 9th, 15th, and 23rd.


March 1, Wednesday, 10am, A Soldier's Mother Tells Her Story, at the Marrion Gerrish Community Center, 39 West Broadway, Derry, New Hampshire.  Hosted by the Amoskeag Questers, presented by living historian Sharon Wood who will speak as Betsey Phelps, the mother of a Union soldier from Amherst, New Hampshire who died heroically at the Battle of Gettysburg.  Free to the public, sponsored by the New Hampshire Humanities Council. 

March 1, 6pm, Book Event: Darkness Falls on the Land of Light, at the New England Historic Genealogical Society, 99 - 101 Newbury Street, Boston, Massachusetts, Free to the public, presented by author Douglas L. Winiarski.  

March 3, Friday, noon, First Friday Lecture: Using Manuscripts for Family History Research, at the New England Historic Genealogical Society, 99 – 101 Newbury Street, Boston, Massachusetts.  Free to the public. 

March 4, Saturday, 2pm,  Tea & Sweets:  A Colonial Tea, at the Concord Museum, 53 Cambridge Turnpike, Concord, Massachusetts.  Non members $20, members $15 includes museum admisstion. Space is limited, please reserve a seat at 978-369-9753 ext. 216. 

March 4, March 11, 25 and April 1st.  Saturdays, 4:30- 5:30pm, The Course of Irish History:  The History of St. Patrick, at the Irish Cultural Center of New England, Canton, Massachusetts.  The course will be taught by Sean Murphy.  $65 for 4 weeks/ members $50.  Walk ins on the day $20.  Call 781-821-8291 to sign up today.  This course will cover his life, recorded works and his legacy.

March 4, Saturday, 1pm, The DAR Genealogical Research System, at the East Bridgewater Public Library, 21 Union Street, East Bridgewater, Massachusetts.  Sponsored by the Plymouth County Genealogists, Inc.  Presented by Gail E. Terry, Honorary State Regent of the Massachusetts Daughter of the American Revolution, and Vicent President General of the National DAR. Join PCGI members at the meeting (FREE and elevator accessible).  Socialize with refreshments at 12noon.  Visit PCGI at and on Facebook. 

March 4, Saturday, 1pm, Greater Portland Genealogical Society Meeting, at the First Congregational Church of Christ, 301 Cottage Road, South Portland, Maine.  Free, but donations are requested.  Refreshments at 12:30.  A program is planned.

March 5, Sunday,  2pm, “If I am Not for Myself, Who will Be for Me?” George Washington’s Runaway Slave,  at the Discover Portsmouth Center, 10 Middle Street, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, hosted by the Portsmouth Black Heritage Trail and sponsored by the NH Humanities Council.  Presented by living historian Gwendolyn Quezaire-Presutti portraying Oney Judge Staines who ran away from Mount Vernon to freedom in New Hampshire.  Free to the public.

March 5, Sunday 1pm – 4pm, American Canadian Genealogical Society Brick Wall Meeting, at the ACGS Library, 4 Elm Street, Manchester, New Hampshire.  The first Sunday of every month.  Please email your brickwall challenge a few days prior to  For more information see 

March 5, Sunday, 11:30am,  Boston Massacre Re-enactment, at the Old State House, 206 Washington Street, Boston, Massachusetts. Sponsored by the Massachusetts Council of Minutemen and Militia.  Free. 

March 6, Monday, 6:30pm, Songs of Emigration: Storytelling Through Traditional Irish Music, at the Kimball Public Library, 5 Academy Avenue, Atkinson, New Hampshire. Hosted by the Friends of the Kimball Public Library, Free to the public.  Presented by award winning fiddler Jordan Tirrell-Wysocki. 

March 6, Monday, 7pm, The Washington's Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge, at the Harvard Book Store, 1256 Mass. Ave, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Free to the public. Presented by historian and professor Erica Armstrong Dunbar and author Annett Gordon-Reed for a discussion on Dunbar's latest book "Never Caught: The Washington's Relentless Pursuit of their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge".  

March 7, Tuesday, 7pm, The History of Squamscot Soda, at the Exeter Historical Society, 47 Front Street, PO Box 924, Exeter, New Hampshire.  Presented by Tom and Dan Conner.  $5 suggested donation for non-members.  Refreshments at 6:30pm.

March 8, Wednesday, 6pm, The Fun of Writing Oral History and Biography:  Lessons from Author and Historian Larry Ruttman, at the New England Historic Genealogical Society, 99 -101 Newbury Street, Boston, Massachusetts.  Free to the public.  Book sales and signing to follow the presentation.

March 8, Wednesday, 6:30pm, Songs of Emigration: Storytelling Through Traditional Irish Music, at the New Boston Community Church, 2 Meetinghouse Road, New Boston, New Hampshire. Hosted by the New Boston Historical Society. Free to the public.  Presented by award winning fiddler Jordan Tirrell-Wysocki. 

March 9, Thursday, 5:30pm, The Vernons of Newport in the River of Silver:  US Slave Trading in Buenos Aires and Montevideo, 1795 – 1809, at the Newport Historical Society Resource Center, 82 Touro Street, Newport, Rhode Island.  Presented by Alex Borucki, author.  $5 per person.  RSVP online at or call 401-841-8770. 

March 9, Thursday, 1pm, Rally Round the Flag: The American Civil War Through Folksong, at the Rye Congregational Church, 580 Washington Road, Rye, New Hampshire.  Hosted by the Town of Rye Recreation Department.  Presented by Woody Pringle and Marek Bennett.  Free to the public. 

March 9, Thursday, 7pm, The Culinary Lives of John and Abigail Adams: A Cookbook, at the Salem Maritime National Historic Site, National Park Visitor Center, 2 New Liberty Street, Salem, Massachusetts.  Doors open at 6:30pm.  Free to the public.  Call for more information 978-740-1650.  Presented by author/historian Rosana Wan. 

March 9,  Thursday, 7pm, Documentation Without Tears, at the Littleton Public Library, 41 Shattuck Street, Littleton, Massachusetts, for more information 978-540-2600  Sponsored by the Friends of the Reuben Hoar Library, and presented by Denise Picard Lindgren, MSOG state President. 

March 11, Saturday, 9:30 am – noon, NEHGS/TIARA Irish Genealogy Seminar, at the New England Historic Genealogical Society, 99 – 101 Newbury Street, Boston, Massachusetts.  Registration is necessary and seating is limited.  Register at 617-226-1226.  Speakers Deborah Sullivan Gellerson, Margaret Feeney LaCombe,  Jean Maguire, and Eileen Pironti.   $20 per person.  

March 11, Saturday,  10am, Sandy River Chapter of the Maine Genealogical Society Meeting, at the Farmington Public Library, 117 Academy Street, Farmington, Maine.  See the website

March 11, Saturday, 11am, Textile Conservation, at the Millyard Museum, 200 Bedford Street, Manchester, New Hampshire.  Sponsored by the Manchester Historic Association and presented by Camille Myers Breeze, director of Museum Textile Services in Andover, Massachusetts. Included with admission to the museum.

March 11, Saturday, noon – 1pm, Irish Genealogy at the Middlesex Genealogical Society, at the Darien Library, 1141 Post Road, Darien, Connecticut.  Irish genealogy will be presented by Jonathan Shea.

March 11, Saturday, 6pm,  Hearthside Bounty, at the Old Sturbridge Village, Sturbridge, Massachusetts.  Experience an evening in a 19th century tavern with a meal cooked over a hearth, old fashioned entertainment, and a look at table manners in the 1800s.  Music and stories, period games and entertainment.  $54.95 per person, OSV members $49.95.  Registration required at this link:

March 11, Saturday,  9:20am – 4:30pm,  Hacking Heritage Unconference, at the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities at Smith Buonanno Hall, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island.  Who decides what is preserved? How are these decisions made? Who funds heritage preservation? Why? See this link for more information

March 12, Sunday, 1pm, Notable Women of Watertown Tour , at Mount Auburn Cemetery, 580 Mt. Auburn Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts.  Join volunteer docent Rosemarie Smurzynski to visit graves and learn about the painters, writers and sculptors buried here.  Get tickets at this link:

March 15, Wednesday, 1pm, New England Quilts and the Stories They Tell, at the Kimball-Jenkins Estate Carriage House, 266 North Main Street, Concord, New Hampshire. Hosted by the New Hampshire Weaver's Guild.  Presented by Pam Weeks.  Participants may bring in one quilt for identification and/or story sharing.  Free to the public. 

March 15, Wednesday, 4pm, Which Matthew O’Neill is Mine?:  Approaches to Irish Genealogy, presented by Jake Fletcher, for the Eagle House Senior Community Center, 25 Memorial Drive, Lunenburg, Massachusetts.  Free to the public.
March 15, Wednesday, 6pm, Penobscot County Genealogical Society Meeting, at the Bangor Public Library, 145 Harlow Street, Bangor, Maine.  Meets on the 3rd Wednesday of each month.  See 

March 15, Wednesday, 6pm, Finding your Revolutionary War Ancestors at the Massachusetts Archives, to be held at the Boston Public Library, Copley Square, Boston, Massachusetts.  Free to the public. Presented by John Hannigan, the head of reference services at the Massachusetts Archives, and a PhD. Candidate in the History Department at Brandeis University.  

March 15, Wednesday, 7pm, A Tribute to Sarah Josepha Hale, at the Marion Gerrish Community Center, 29 West Broadway, Derry, New Hampshire. Hosted by the Londonderry Women's Club.  Presented by living historian Sharon Wood.  Free to the public. 

March 15, Wednesday, 7:30, The Renaissance of the Railroads, one of the Wednesday Evening Lectures in the Appleton Room of  the Ipswich, Museum Heard House, 54 South Main Street, Ipswich, Massachusetts. Presented by speaker Darius Gaskins.  Members free, non-members $10.

March 16,  Thursday, 7pm, Navigating Online Genealogy Research, at the Littleton Public Library, 41 Shattuck Street, Littleton, Massachusetts, for more information 978-540-2600  Sponsored by the Friends of the Reuben Hoar Library, and presented by Claire Smith, certified genealogist.

March 17, Friday, 7:15pm, The Lost Gettysburg Address:  Charles Anderson's Civil War Odyssey, at the Epping Town Hall, 157 Main Street, Epping, New Hampshire.  Free to the public.  Presented by David Dixon and sponsored by the Civil War Roundtable of New Hampshire.  There were two orators on stage with Lincoln at the Gettysburg dedication.  The concluding speech by Anderson was lost until recently when an anthropologist found it in a cardboard box on a remote ranch in Wyoming.  

March 18, 2017, Saturday,  History Camp Boston, at Sargent Hall, Suffolk University Law School, Boston, Massachusetts.   Sold out, but there is a waitlist. 

March 18, Saturday, 9:30 - noon, Irish Genealogy Study Group, at the New England Historic Genealogical Society, 99 - 101 Newbury Street, Boston, Massachusetts.  Free to the public. The Irish Genealogy Study Group meets every month to talk about research problems and share solutions.  Contact Mary Ellen Grogan at for more information.  No registration neccessary. 

March 18, Saturday, 1:30 – 3pm, Connecticut Society of Genealogists Meeting, at the CSG Library, 175 Maple Street, East Hartford, Connecticut.  Please join us for a special event just in time to prepare for the 14th New England Regional Genealogical Conference in April.  Free, but please pre-register at  or call 860-569-0002.

March 18, Saturday, 9am – noon, Half Day Members Meeting of the Rhode Island Genealogical Society

March 19, Sunday, 2pm – 3pm, Taconnet Falls Chapter Maine Genealogical Society Meeting, at 10 Lithgow Street, Winslow, Maine.  Visit 

March 20, Monday, 1pm, Vanished Veterans - New Hampshire's Civil War Monuments and Memorials, at the Bow Mills United Methodist Church, 505 South Street, Bow, New Hampshire.  Hosted by the State Employees Association Chapter 1 (Retired).  Free to the public.  Presented by historian George Morrison.  

March 22, Wednesday, 7pm,  New Hampshire on High:  Historic and Unusual Weathervanes of the Granite State, at the Kensington Public Library, 126 Amesbury Road, Kensington, New Hamsphire.  Presented by Glenn Knoblock, and hosted by the Kensington Public Library.  Free to the public.  

March 22,  Wednesday, 7pm,  German Genealogy Workshop, at the Memorial Hall Library, 2 North Main Street, Andover, Massachusetts.  Katherine Schober, a professional German translator and handwriting expert will share her experience helping genealogy clients decipher old German handwritten documents.  978-623-8436.  Free to the public.

March 23,  Thursday, 7pm, Legacy Preservation: How to Archive Personal History, at the Littleton Public Library, 41 Shattuck Street, Littleton, Massachusetts, for more information 978-540-2600  Sponsored by the Friends of the Reuben Hoar Library, and presented by Rhoda J. Chadwick.

March 25, Saturday, 9:15 - 12:45 am, New York and Connecticut: Finding Records, Telling Stories, at the New England Historic Genealogical Society, 99 - 101 Newbury Street, Boston, Massachusetts.  Join NEHGS and the New England Association of Professional Genealogists (NEAPG) for a half day seminar.  $20 per person.  NEAPG members FREE.  email to register. 

March 25, Saturday, 10am, Utilizing DNA in your Genealogy Research - A Workshop, by the Merrimack Valley Chapter of the Massachusetts Society of Genealogists, at the Georgetown Peabody Library, 2 Maple Street, Georgetown, Massachusetts. If you have had DNA testing, bring your results and the name of your testing company.  Free to the public.  

March 25, Saturday, 1 pm, Songs of Immigration:  Storytelling through Traditional Irish Music, at the Millyard Museum, 200 Bedford Street, Manchester, New Hampshire. Sponsored by the Manchester Historic Association,  and presented by Jordan Tirrell-Wysocki, who will relay some of the adventures, misadventures, and emotions experienced by Irish immigrants.  Free and open to the public.

March 25, Saturday, 1:30, Genealogist’s Handbook for Irish Research, at the Chelmsford Genealogy Club, at the Chelmsford Library, 25 Boston Road, Chelmsford, Massachusetts.  Presented by author Marie Daley.  Free to the public.  Marie will not be selling her book at this meeting.  It is available at NEHGS and Amazon.

March 25, Saturday, 1 – 4pm, Tracing Irish Roots Workshop, at the New Hampshire Historical Society, 30 Park Street, Concord, New Hampshire, taught in conjunction with the New England Historic Genealogical Society of Boston.  This workshop is  $35 members, $50 nonmembers. Space is limited, please register at this link:  or call 603-856-0621

March 27, Monday, 6:30pm, Robert Frost Program, at the Derry Public Library, Derry, New Hampshire.  Join the Derry town historian, Rick Holmes, for a birthday celebration for Derry’s most famous poet.  Contact 603-432-6140

March 28, Tuesday, 7pm, Central Massachusetts Genealogical Society Meeting, at the American Legion Post #129, 22 Elm Street, Gardner, Massachusetts.  Speaker Patricia Perry will be discussing "Under the Petticoats".  Guests are welcome for a $2 donation.  See  For more information email 

March 30, Thursday, 6:30pm, Italian Genealogy Research: Records and Resources in Italy,  at the Franklin Historical Museum, 80 W. Central Street, Franklin, Massachusetts.  Hosted by Mary Tedesco.  For more information 

March 31, Friday, Memorial Hall Library Genealogy Lock In, at the Memorial Hall Library 2 North Main Street, Andover, Massachusetts.  This annual after hours event has been very popular.  For $10 you will have an evening of genealogy research with exclusive access to databases online, computers, microfilm, and the Andover room.  A light dinner will be served.  Registration is limited, please preregister at the library or call 978-623-8436.

Looking ahead:

April 1, Saturday, 10:30pm,  Family Stories:  How and Why to Remember and Tell Them, at the Hooksett Library, 31 Mount Saint Mary’s Way, Hooksett, New Hampshire.  Hosted by the White Mountain Woolen Magic Rug Hooking Guild.  Presented by storyteller Jo Radner.  Participants will practice finding, developing and telling their own tales.  Free to the public. 

April 1, Saturday, 1pm, Greater Portland Genealogical Society Meeting, at the First Congregational Church of Christ, 301 Cottage Road, South Portland, Maine.  Free, but donations are requested.  Refreshments at 12:30.  A program is planned.

April 4 and May 2nd, Tuesday, 7pm, DNA and Genealogy, by the  Chelmsford Genealogy Club at the Chelmsford Public Library, 25 Boston Road, Chelmsford, Massachusetts.  Presented by Dr. Sandra Murray.  Free to the public. On April 1st she will discuss DNA biology, the four different kinds of DNA tests and the 4 types of DNA.  The May 2nd meeting will be a worksheet format and will look at DNA results and how to transfer your test to GED match.

April 8, Saturday, New England Family History Conference, at the LDS Church, 91 Jordan Road, Franklin, Massachusetts.  508-553-0977 or email  

April 26 -29th, 2017, NERGC 2017, at the Mass Mutual Center, 1277 Main Street, Springfield, Massachusetts

Published under a Creative Commons License

Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "March 2017 Genealogy and Local History Calendar", Nutfield Genealogy, posted February 24, 2017,  ( accessed [access date]).

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Weathervane Wednesday ~ Seen at a Family Reunion

Weathervane Wednesday is an on-going series of photographs I post weekly.  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's weather vane is from somewhere in Massachusetts.

Do you know the location of weather vane #299?  Scroll down to see the answer...

I have to thank Vincent for this weathervane.  We were attending the annual Wyman family reunion at the circa 1666 Francis Wyman homestead, 56 Francis Wyman Road in Burlington, Massachusetts in October. It was a chilly, rainy day so the whole clan was huddled under a tent.  We were talking and listening to a history lecture, when suddenly he saw this weathervane over my shoulder.

This weathervane is installed on the roof of a neighbor's house, next door to the Wyman homestead. It is not located on a cupola, but attached directly to the roof. It is a finely detailed, three dimensional eagle. It has above average detailing in the feathers and features, and I especially like the ruffled wing feathers as if the eagle is about to take off.  Or did it just land?  Even the arrow's feathers are detailed, which is unusual.

You never know where you will find the next weathervane!

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


Published under a Creative Commons License

Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Weathervane Wednesday ~  Seen at a Family Reunion", Nutfield Genealogy, posted February 22, 2017, ( accessed [access date]).

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Tombstone Tuesday ~ The children of John Karr, Windham, New Hampshire

This tombstone was photographed at the Cemetery on the Plain, in Windham, New Hampshire

In memory of four
Children of Mr. John &
Mrs. Anna Karr
Betsy, died Aug. 24, 1804,  AE 10
Daniel, died Aug
27, 1804, AE 5
Alexander, died July
2, 1793  AE 4
Asa died July
16, 1793  AE 2

From The History of Windham in New Hampshire by Leonard Morrison, page 376

“2. John Karr, his son [son of John Kerr, Scots Irish immigrant], was b. Jan. 31, 1747. He lived on the Can – farm; was a maker of cider as well as farmer.  He m. June 26, 1776, Annie Caldwell, b. Jan. 27, 1752, and d. Aug. 4 1804.  He m. 2d, Sept 19, 1805, Anna Barnet, of Londonderry.  She was for many years entirely helpless with the shaking palsy, and could move neither hand nor foot.  Death relieved her from suffering Jan. 23, 1836.  He d. Oct. 27, 1813, and is buried in the old cemetery on the plain.  Children, b. in Windham:-

3.  David, b. March 5, 1778; m. Anna Caldwell of Hudson and res. In Derry…
4.  John, born Dec. 11, 1779, was the owner and occupant of the Karr homestead.  He changed the spelling of his name from Karr to Carr.  He m. Dec. 23, 1817, Sarah, dau. Of John and Sarah (Burns) Campbell…
5. Sally, b. March 1, 1783.  Had a shock of palsy, and d. March 29, 1814.
6. James, b. June 19, 1785; d. June 25, 1810
7. Anna, b. April 30, 1787; m. Robert M. Campbell…
8. Alexander, b. June 2, 1789, d. July 2, 1793
9.  Asa, b. April 10, 1791; d. July 16, 1793
10.  Betsey, b. Feb. 25, 1794; d. August 28, 1804
11. Daniel, b. May 8, 1799, D. Aug. 17, 1804”

Note:   Two small children, Alexander and Asa died close together in 1793, and two more, Betsey and Daniel, died close together in 1804.  Their big brother, James, died at age 15 and probably has a separate headstone in this cemetery.


Published under a Creative Commons License

Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Tombstone Tuesday ~ The children of John Karr, Windham, New Hampshire", Nutfield Genealogy, posted February 21, 2017, ( accessed [access date]). 

Monday, February 20, 2017

My Grandmother's Diary Part 11 (May 9 - 20, 1920)

1920 advertisement for Doan's Kidney and Backache pills

This is the 8th installment of my grandmother's diary from 1920.  Her name was Gertrude Hitchings (1905 - 2001), and she was living on Elliott Street in Beverly, Massachusetts.  The diary is a tiny 3", and every Monday I publish a new section, with transcriptions of the tiny handwriting.  You can read the first installment HERE .  I'll post more of this diary every week for Amanuensis Monday.

In these two weeks of diary entries Gertrude was sick with a mysterious illness...

Got up at 9 o’clock had
breakfast stayed home all
morning.  Mr. Lowell stayed over-
night.  Took a walk with Marion
& Annie came home 5.45.  Russ & Ethel
came down but didn’t stay.
Home all evening went to bed 9.30

Monday 10
        Pa’s birthday         Fair
Got up at 7.45 went
To school home 1.15 Went to Salem with Ma
3.45 got a pair of shoes came
home 6.15.  Went out after
supper a little while
went to bed at 10.15

Got up at 7.00 went to
school at 7.45 home at 1.15
Stayed home all afternoon
Went out a while
after supper came in
9.30 went to bed at 9.45

[NOTE: This seems like a normal week for Gertrude with school and errands. The mysterious Mr. Lowell "stayed over", which makes me think he might have been the boarder my mother mentioned.  Marian is her first cousin, Annie must be a school friend.  Russ and & Ethel are her married brother and his new bride. ]

WED. MAY 12, 1920
Sick stayed in
bed all day, didn’t
go to school.  Got
soar throat and head
Parent’s day at the schools

Bed all day not
Much better

Feel a little better
today.  Ethel came
over 9.30  Helen and baby up
Ma & Ethel went to Danvers  John ???
Ellsworth & Rus up to supper

NOTE:   Gertrude's illness is a "soar" [sic] throat and head ache.  The diagnosis seems to be "Tonsilitous" [sic].  Her sister in-law, Ethel, visits, and so does her married sister, Helen and brother-in-law, Ellsworth.  Russell is Gertrude's brother.  John is a mystery. 

SAT. MAY 15, 1920
Lots better to-day got
up went down stairs at
12.30  Laid down all
afternoon have got
rheumatism in my back
and side.  Sick all night.
Mr. Lowell came over after supper.

A little better but still got an
awful pain in my back.
Nana up after
dinner.  Marion
came up to see me,

A little bit better
today after dinner
got up awhile Marian
up to see me at night
ma went to ???

[NOTE: The sore throat and headache have advanced to a backache.  She suffers from this all week.]

TUES. MAY 18, 1920
Not as well today
had to have the
doctor at 2.30
Mrs. Butler over after
supper feel a lot
better now

Better this morning
Doctor came in at 12.30
He thinks it is my kidney
Marion up all afternoon

Not much better this
morning Dr. Didn’t
come in today. Marion up
and Mr. Lowell came over

??? better tonight.

[NOTE:  Finally the doctor is called, not once, but twice.  He thinks it is a kidney problem.  This could be serious in the days before antibiotics, and before pain killers (well... they had morphine in those days).  Poor Gertrude!]

Part One  posted December 5, 2016

Part Two posted December 12, 2016

Part Three posted December 19, 2016

Part Four posted December 26, 2016

Part Five posted January 2, 2017

Part Six posted January 16, 2017  

Part Seven posted January 23, 2017   

Part Eight posted January 30, 2017  

Part Nine posted February 6, 2017

Part Ten posted February 13, 2017


Published under a Creative Commons License

Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "My Grandmother's Diary ~ Part 11 (May 9 - 20, 1920)", Nutfield Genealogy, posted February 20, 2017, ( accessed [access date]).

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Surname Saturday ~ DAVIS of Watertown, Boston and Chelsea, Massachusetts


I’ve written about the DAVIS family of Cambridge, Concord and Barnstable Massachusetts, begun by the immigrant Dolor Davis (about 1583 – 1672), and I’ve written about James Davis (about 1583 – 1678/9) who settled in Haverhill, Massachusetts.  Today’s blog post is my third DAVIS family, headed by Samuel Davis (about 1615 – 1672), my 9th great grandfather.

Samuel Davis is my 9th great grandfather, who married his wife, Anna Norcross, on 20 November 1631 at Allhallows,  London, England [The Registers of All Hallows, Bread Street and St. John the Evangelist, Friday Street, London, England, page 107].  This church was destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666. 

Samuel and Anna settled first at Watertown, and later on 31 May 1646 the Watertown church wrote him a letter to transfer to the Boston church.  He later settled at Rumney Marsh, now Chelsea, north of Boston.  His will is dated 2 May 1672 [Suffolk County Probate Docket 598, Volume VII, page 219 and 236] and was probated 4 July 1672.  It mentions his wife, Anna, daughter Hannah Griggs, daughter Abigail Townsend,  son Gerhom Davis, daughter Mary Townsend (my 8th great grandmother), daughter Priscilla and grandchild Hannah Griggs. 

Mary Davis married Thomas Townsend on 30 October 1661 at the Old North Church (2nd Church) in Boston’s North End.  Thomas was described as a “husbandman” (an archaic term for a farmer or small landowner), and left a will proved at Lynn, Massachusetts on 22 July 1700.  They had thirteen children!

Some DAVIS resources:

The Ancestry of Dr. J. P. Guilford, by Joan S. Guilford, Orange, CA: 1990, Volume II, pages 288-293.

An old book but mostly accurate, Davis Families of Early Roxbury and Boston, by Samuel Forbes Rockwell, Boston: Andover Press, 1932.

Dolor Davis (about 1583 – 1672) of Cambridge, Concord and Barnstable, Massachusetts

James Davis (about 1583- 1678/9)  of Haverhill, Massachusetts

NORCROSS Surname Saturday blog post

TOWNSEND Surname Saturday blog post

My DAVIS genealogy:

Generation 1:  Samuel Davis, born about 1615 in England, died between 2 May and 4 July 1672 in Massachusetts; married on 30 November 1631 at the All Hallows Church in London, England to Anna Norcross, daughter of John Norcross.  Nine children

Generation 2: Mary Davis, baptized on 31 May 1646 in Roxbury, Massachusetts, died after 1700; married on 30 October 1661 in the Second Church (Old North), Boston, Massachusetts to Thomas Townsend, son of Thomas Townsend and Mary Newgate.  He was born about 1636 and died before 22 July 1700 in Lynn, Massachusetts.

Generation 3: Susannah Townsend m. Daniel Hitchings
Generation 4: Daniel Hitchings m. Hannah Ingalls
Generation 5:  Abijah Hitchings m. Mary Gardner
Generation 6:  Abijah Hitchings m. Mary Cloutman
Generation 7: Abijah Hitchings m. Eliza Ann Treadwell
Generation 8:  Abijah Franklin Hitchings m. Hannah Eliza Lewis
Generation 9: Arthur Treadwell Hitchings m. Florence Etta Hoogerzeil
Generation 10: Gertrude Matilda Hitchings m. Stanley Elmer Allen (my grandparents)


Published under a Creative Commons License

Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Surname Saturday ~ DAVIS of Watertown, Boston and Chelsea, Massachusetts", Nutfield Genealogy, posted February 18, 2017,  ( accessed [access date]). 

Thursday, February 16, 2017

An Interview with NERGC 2017 Speaker Edwin Strickland

Edwin W. Strickland II
NERGC 2017 speaker

The New England Regional Genealogy Conference 2017 will be April 26 – 29 at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, Massachusetts.  There will be a 94 open sessions, 8 workshops, 3 luncheon, and 2 dinner banquets available for genealogists.  One of those featured workshops will be “Paleography: Reading Old Handwriting” by Edwin W. Strickland II on Thursday, April 27.  It is described in the NERGC brochure schedule as “hone your skills at hand-written documents with interactive games and hands-on practice”.  Are you intrigued?  You might want to attend!  Or learn more with this interview with Ed Strickland below…

Here are the questions and answers:

Question 1.  Although this will be my 5th NERGC conference, I don’t think I’ve met you before.  Can you introduce yourself for the readers of my blog, the NERGC blog, and for people thinking about attending NERGC 2017 in Springfield, Massachusetts?
Edwin - I am a charter member of the Connecticut Professional Genealogists Council; charter member, Past-President and nearly 30 years as Genealogist of the Descendants of the Founders of Ancient Windsor; and Past-President of Connecticut Society of Genealogists.

Question 2.  Your Thursday workshop “Paleography: Reading Old Handwriting” sounds intriguing.  What would you say to convince me to sign up for this special two hour hands-on experience with you?
Edwin - The ability to accurately reading cursive handwriting is essential when working with primary documents.  During with workshop we will look at the development of the roman alphabet, play a few interactive games (maybe with team prizes), and work on transcription of a variety of documents.

Question 3.  I understand you have been researching genealogy for over 40 years.  What first sparked your interest in family history?
Edwin -  I was raised by my paternal grandparents, on my 3rd great grandfathers farm in the Berkshires, so a sense of family history was always there but a wedding present is what really got me started.  When my brother was married in Florida (command appearance), I decided to copy my grandmother’s work on the Strickland family as a unique wedding present (who needs the sixth waffle iron).  This soon put me onto her sister’s work on the Jacob Carter family; a maternal great-aunts work on the Pomeroy, Searle and Strong families (3 of her grandparents); and my maternal grandmother pointing me to a published genealogy reporting the birth of her father.  The real hook then came when I figured out that 8 of Nathaniel Searle’s children married Pomeroys and 5 of those were siblings!

Question 4.  Why did you decide to return to NERGC again this year? How would you describe NERGC to a first time conference attendee? 
Edwin - I’ve attended every NERGC since Falmouth, and this will be my sixth conference as a presenter. In preparing a lecture, I come away with a better knowledge of that topic.  For the first timers, “You’re a kid in a candy store!” You can take something from every lecture!

Question 5.  How important do you believe continuing education, like NERGC, is to genealogists?
Edwin - I think continuing education is very important.  “You don’t know what you don’t know.” Conferences like NERGC give you a chance to explore topics, resources and methodologies with which you are unfamiliar. For experienced genealogists it is a chance to review basics and get new insights into the topics you thought you knew well.

Thank you, Ed Strickland   I can’t wait to meet you during NERGC 2017 [The New England Regional Genealogy Conference, April 26 – 29, 2017 at the MassMutual Center in Springfield.  See the website for more information, for the conference brochure, schedule and online registration at
The conference brochure and schedule can be seen online at this link:

Edwin Strickland will be the speaker at the following presentations:

Thursday T-111, 1:30pm  The handwriting workshop “Paleography: Reading Old Handwriting”

Thursday T-121, 4:30pm  “Saving the Past for the Future: Preserving Family Objects”

Saturday S-306,  8:30am  “Land Records:  More Than Metes the Eye”


Published under a Creative Commons License

Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "An Interview with NERGC 2017 Speaker Edwin Strickland", Nutfield Genealogy, posted February 16, 2017,  ( accessed [access date]).

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Weathervane Wednesday ~ Above an ancestral church in Europe

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 vane was photographed in Spain.

Do you know the location of weathervane post #298?  Scroll down to find the answer.

This church is St. Nicolas de Bari in the tiny village of Sinovas, Burgos, Spain.  It has a population of 134 according to the 2010 census!  This is the village where my father-in-law, Vicente Rojo Benito, was born and the church where he was baptized in 1931.  I have looked at the church records from this parish and traced all the ROJO family back to a Manuel Rojo (born about 1750) and his wife Juana Arauzo, both of Sinovas, and their son, Tomas Rojo, who was baptized here on 7 March 1783.  There are no earlier church records in the parish office, nor at the archbishop's archives in Burgos.  The people of Sinovas think that the earlier parish records were hidden during the Napoleonic wars and never returned to the church.

This church was built in the 1200s AD.  The bell tower (on the left) was built in the 11th century as a defensive structure.  The church was declared a national monument on 9 July 1964.  It was recently renovated and the ceiling frescos on the inside were restored.

The weather vane is a simple arrow, with no cardinal letters to show wind direction. Above the weather vane is an ornate iron cross.  Weathervanes are not common in Spain, but if you see one it will probably be on a church.

Three generations of our family
visited this church in 2016

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


Published under a Creative Commons License

Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Weathervane Wednesday ~ Above an ancestral church in Europe", Nutfield Genealogy, posted February 15, 2017, ( accessed [access date]).

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Tombstone Tuesday ~ Francis B. Davidson and wife, buried in Windham, NH

This tombstone was photographed at the Cemetery on the Plain in Windham, New Hampshire.

died Feb. 16, 1828
AEt. 77

his wife, died
Jan. 10, 1829
AEt. 67

There is a long (fanciful?) tale about Francis B. Davidson’s father, William Davidson, on page 422 and 423 in The History of Windham in New Hampshire, by Leonard Morrison.  The rest of the family genealogy extends to page 424.


This family is of Scotch descent.  The ancestor in the early part of the 17th century passed from Scotland and settled in the North of Ireland.  The father and mother of the emigrant, William Davidson, had taken a small Irish boy and brought him up from boyhood to manhood.  His name was McGraw (?).  He left when a young man, but afterwards returned for a visit with a companion.  The rest of the family were away, and the old people were alone, and they were invited to stay overnight, which invitation was accepted.  In the silent night-watches these men arose from their bed, and with an axe killed their entertainers, robbed the house of money and valuables, set it on fire and decamped.  But justice slumbered not in the case of one of the assassins.  When William Davidson returned the next day, saw his house, and the charred remains of his parents, and McGraw and his companion gone, search was instituted and McGraw captured.  He confessed the whole, was tried, convicted and publicly gibbeted.

1.  William Davidson, fearing more trouble from the revengeful people by whom he was surrounded, with his wife and family, and other relatives, in 1728 came to America and settled in Woburn, Mass.  He was b. in Mennemore, in Ireland; m. Mary Alexander, by whom he had 7 ch., b. in Ireland.  He lived in Woburn some 17 yrs, then settled in Tewksbury on a farm now within the limits of Lowell.  His wife, d. in Woburn Nov. 19, 1738.  He m. 2nd, Margaret McCartney; 4 ch.; he d. in Tewksbury, June 6, 1757.  Ch. By first wife, b. in Ireland: -

2. Robert, m. Margaret Walker of Woburn, and settled in Acworth about 1772…

3. Nathaniel m. Mary Walker (sister to Margaret) settled in Billerica, Mass, afterward in Windham and Londonderry; d. in latter place…

4.  William, m.; settled in Douglass, Mass; 1 son, Douglass.

5. Elizabeth, m. John Gorrell of Salem…

6.  John, b. Aug 10, 1720; lived in Windham; d. Sept. 27, 1799

7. George, m. Susanna Cristie; lived in Woburn

8.  Jane, m. Thomas Campbell and lived in Londonderry.

Children by second wife:-

9.  Mary, m. Mr. Nichols of Carlisle, Mass.

10.  Alexander, d. 1840, about 90 yrs old; m. Miss Mears of Tewksbury; one son, Alexander.  He m. 2d, Elizabeth Clark, b. July 6, 1760, whose dau. Mary m. James Lamson; res. 1841 in Freedom, Me.

11.  Francis- B., b. March 1752; d. Feb. 16, 1827;  m. Rebecca Richardson, of Chelmsford, Mass; one child.  He m. 2d, Janet, dau. of Joseph Eayers, of Dunstable, b. April 6, 1761, and d. Jan. 10, 1829.

Children [of Francis B. Davidson]: 

1. Rebecca, m. April 12, 1804, David, son of Samuel Anderson of Londonderry, NH

2.  Frances

3. Sarah

4. Jane m. James Davison; rem. to New Hudson, NY

5. Hamilton, b. Aug. 16, 1787; m. Dec. 17, 1811, Phebe Wilson, b. Hudson, Dec. 15, 1785, who d. 1857.  He d. 1847.  Was a blacksmith and axe maker; lived at Fessenden’s Mills and carried on a good business.  He had trip hammers whose strokes could be heard distinctly for 3 miles; re. to Charlestown, Mass…

6. Loammi, b. 1790; was the first lawyer in Windham; he d. May 11, 1819, ae. 29; he m. Mary -----, who d. Feb. 10, ae. 29

7. Fanny, m. Wm. Lancaster of Acworth, b. 1784; rem. to Cuba, NY…

8. Thomas, went to the West Indies; m. a planter’s dau….

9. Harriet, m. George Reid, of Sullivan, Me., son of Gen. Geo. Reid, of Derry.”


Published under a Creative Commons License

Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Tombstone Tuesday ~ Francis B. Davidson and wife, buried in Windham, NH", Nutfield Genealogy, posted February 14, 2017,  ( accessed [access date]).