Thursday, April 19, 2018

Nutfield’s Sixteen First Families – Are you a Descendant?

Next year marks the 300th anniversary of the founding of Nutfield, which became the towns of Londonderry, Derry, Windham and Manchester, New Hampshire.  I'll be featuring stories on the first sixteen families, and some of the other early Scots Irish settlers.  These stories will become part of the celebrations in 2019 when we celebrate here in "Old Nutfield".   Are you a descendant? Would you like to share these stories on this blog?  I'm looking for guest bloggers to help out with these feature stories.  Contact me at  

Rev. James MacGregor, brought his flock to the New World from Aghadowey, Northern Ireland in 1718.  They first landed in Boston, and then went by boat to Maine over the winter.   In the spring some of them went up the Merrimack River to where Methuen is located today. That April they traveled over land fifteen miles north to seek out land that was available, called Nutfield.  On April 12, by the east side of Beaver Lake, Rev. MacGregor gave his first service to his flock, under a large oak tree.  

The first sixteen families to settle in Nutfield built their first rough homes side by side along West Running Brook.  The heads of these first families were:

Randall Alexander
Samuel Allison
Allen Anderson
James Anderson
John Barnett
James Clark
Archibald Clendenin
James Gregg
James McKeen
John Mitchell
John Morrison
James Nesmith
Thomas Steele
James Sterrett
John Stuart
Robert Weir

In April of 1719 there were sixteen families, plus Rev. MacGregor’s family. By September of 1719 there were seventy Scots Irish families!  The first 20 lots were laid out, to the families above and to Goffe, Graves, Simonds and Keyes, as well as to Rev. McGregor. 

In June 1722 Nutfield was chartered as a town called Londonderry. It covered ten square miles and stretched all the way to Amoskeag Falls in current downtown Manchester, New Hampshire.  By 1734 there were 700 residents in Londonderry.  Eventually the town of Londonderry split off sections that became the towns of Derry, Windham and Derryfield (now Manchester).  In the next 50 years ten towns were settled by Scots Irish from Londonderry in New England.  Many families moved from Londonderry west to the Green Mountains, north to Nova Scotia, and south to Pennsylvania and the Appalachian Mountains.

The list of proprietors in Londonderry in 1722 lists about 100 Scots Irish land owners, and also several English names:  John Wheelwright, Benning Wentworth, Richard Waldron, Edward Proctor, John Senter, John Robey, Elias Keyes, Stephen Peirce, Andrew Spaulding, Benjamin Kidder, and Joseph Kidder.

For a great, condensed version of why these families came to Nutfield, see Paul Lindemann’s blog post at this link:

Also see this excerpt of Richard Holmes’s history book Nutfield Rambles, reprinted at the Londonderry Hometown Online News (Rick Holmes is the past town historian for Derry, New Hampshire):

Recommended Books:

The Scotch Irish In America, by Henry Jones Ford, 1915

The History of Londonderry, by Rev. Edward L. Parker, 1851

Nutfield Rambles, by Richard Holmes, 2007

Willey’s Book of Nutfield, by George F. Willey, 1895

Scotch Irish Pioneers in Ulster and America, by Charles Knowles Bolton, 1910


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Nutfield’s Sixteen First Families – Are you a Descendant?", Nutfield Genealogy, posted April 19, 2018, ( accessed [access date]).

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Weathervane Wednesday ~ Above the Library

I post another in 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 New Hampshire.

Do you know the location of weathervane post #359?  Scroll down to find the answer.

 This graceful, three dimensional blue heron weathervane can be seen above the Whipple Free Library in New Boston, New Hampshire.  This weathervane is near the Piscatquog River, where blue herons can often be seen.  The library is fairly new, built in 2010, and located at 67 Mont Vernon Road, Route 13, behind the post office. According to the 2010 New Boston Town Report, the weathervane is located above a "sun scoop".

The crane weathervane was designed by Karen Salerno and made by the SkyArt Studio in Meriden, Connecticut.  It is interesting to know that all the artisans at the SkyArt studio are women!  While looking at their website I found several weathervanes I have already featured at "Weathervane Wednesday" including LaBelle Winery in Amherst, New Hampshire,  and Mann Orchard in Methuen, Massachusetts.

SkyArt Studio - 

Whipple Free Library, New Boston - 

Click here to see ALL the "Weathervane Wednesday" posts!


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Weathervane Wednesday ~ Above the Library", Nutfield Genealogy, posted April 18, 2018, ( accessed [access date]).

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Tombstone Tuesday ~ Elizabeth (Spear) Clark, buried 1836, Windham, NH

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

Memory of
Wife of
Died May 31, 1836
AET. 78


Elizabeth (Betsey) Spear was born about 1760 in Windham, New Hampshire, the daughter of Robert Spear and Jennet Armour.   She married James Clark of Windham and had eleven children (from the History of Windham, by Leonard A. Morrison, pages 378 – 379.):

      1Polly, d April 15, 1790, 2 yrs, 6 mos
      2. Robert, d. single, March 20, 1815, age 25
      3. Samuel, m. Jennie McFee, lived in Danvers, Mass
      4. Eliza, d. Sept. 6, 1802, 1 yr, 7 mos
      5. Margaret, single, d. Lawrence, Mass.
      6. Jane, d. young
      7. Mary, m.  ----- Brown, res. Salem, Mass.
      8. Betsey, single, d. Lynn, Mass.
      9. Sally, m. Sylvester Forbush, of Lawrence, Mass.
     10. Matthew, lived in Lynn.
     11. William, lived and d. in Lynn.

Click on this link to see a gravestone of three infant Clark children:


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, “Tombstone Tuesday ~ Elizabeth (Spear) Clark, buried 1836, Windham, NH", Nutfield Genealogy, posted April 17, 2018, ( accessed [access date]).  

Monday, April 16, 2018

An 1871 Advertisement for the 150th Londonderry Anniversary Celebration Booklet

page 114 of Londonderry Celebration
Transcribed from the vintage newspaper Mirror and Farmer, Saturday, March 4, 1871, Manchester, New Hampshire, page 3.


Third Edition Now Ready
150th Anniversary
-of the-
Settlement of Old Nutfield
Comprising the towns of LONDONDERRY, DERRY,
June 10, 1869
ADDRESSES by Hon. G. W. PATTERSON, President of the Day; Hon. J. W. PATTERSON, HORACE GREELEY; Dr. S. H. TAYLOR, Hon. E. H. DERBY, Rev. Dr. WALLACE, Dr. N. BOUTON, Hon. A. F. STEVENS, Rev. C. M. DINSMORE, and Hon. A. H. CRAGIN.
POEMS, &c, &c.
STEEL ENGRAVINGS of Hon. G. W. Paterson, the late Judge Bell, Hon. J. W. Patterson, Dr. Taylor, Hon. E. H. Derby, Gen. A. F. Stevens, Rev. C. M. Dinsmore, Gen. Natt Head, ex-Gov. F. Smyth, and Hon. James A. Weston.
Description of Articles in the Antiquarian Tent; Picture of the famous McGregor Gun.
FAC-SIMILES OF AUTOGRAPHS, with brief notices of john Goffe, Rob’t Rogers, the Ranger; John Wallace, Rev. James McGregor, Robert Clark, James McKeen, Jona. Morrison, the first born in Londonderry; Rev. D. MCGregor, John Dickey, Dr. Isaac Thom, Rev. Dr. Morrison, Hon. E. H. Derby, Henry Campbell, Dea. John Fisher, Peter Patterson, Alanson Tucker, John Duncan, Dea. John Holmes, and other prominent Londonderry men.
Also, Silhouettes of Hon. John Prentice and Gen. George Reed.
For Sale at the Mirror Office
PRICE, $1.00
Sent by mail to any address, free of charge, on receipt of one dollar. Address
Manchester, N.H. “

You can read this book being advertised here at Google Books and at

The Londonderry Celebration: Exercises on the 150th Anniversary of the Settlement, compiled by Robert C. Mack, printed at Manchester, New Hampshire, 1870.

For more about this book, see this blog post: 


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "An 1871 Advertisement for the 150th Londonderry Anniversary Celebration Booklet", Nutfield Genealogy, posted April 16, 2018, ( accessed [access date]). 

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Surname Saturday ~ WESTON of Duxbury, Massachusetts


My 8th great grandfather is Edmund Weston (about 1605 – 1686), who is of unknown origins.  He arrived in New England on 8 May 1635 aboard the Elizabeth & Ann.  He was a servant to John Winslow and to Nathaniel Thomas before setting in Duxbury, Massachusetts where he took the oath as a freeman in 1639.  The name of his wife is unknown.  His will names his four children.

In the second generation, my 7th great grandfather is Edmund Weston (about 1660 – 1727) who removed to Plympton and owned a grist mill.  He married Rebecca Soule, the granddaughter of Mayflower passenger George Soule.  They had six children.

Their son, Nathan Weston (1689 – 1754) is my 6th great grandfather.  He was listed as a laborer.  He married Desire Standish, the granddaughter of two more Mayflower passengers, Captain Myles Standish and Edward Doty.  Nathan and Desire had four children born in Plympton.

Nathan Weston, Jr. (1723 – 1780), my 5th great grandfather, was granted 500 acres of land in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia in 1766.  He arrived in Melbourne (10 miles from Yarmouth) in 1767 and is on a list of grantees dated 7 April 1767.  His wife was Hannah Everson, and they had nine children born in Plympton and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.

Zadoc Weston (about 1761 – 1849) , my 4th great grandfather, was probably born in Plympton, and he owned a grist mill there.  In Chester, Nova Scotia he was listed as a laborer, and he married his wife, Mary Pratt there in 1785.  His second wife was Sarah MacDuffie.  His third wife was Mary Clements, mother of my 3rd great grandmother, Matilda Weston (1825 – 1909).

Matilda was born in Yarmouth, where she probably married my 3rd great grandfather, Joseph Edwin Healy, who was also born there.  They had four children born in Beverly, Massachusetts.  My Weston line daughters out here, but my family stayed in Beverly until I was born there, too.  Matilda was left a widow when her husband died in 1862 at the Battle of Saint Charles, Arkansas during the Civil War. She remained a widow until her death in 1909. 

Some WESTON resources:

Mayflower Descendant, Volume 15, pages 186 – 189 (corrects an earlier sketch of Edmund Weston’s descendants in the NEHGS Register Volume 41, pages 285 – 286)

National Genealogical Society Quarterly Volume 71, pages 41 – 63

Yarmouth Genealogies, page 410

My WESTON genealogy:

Generation 1:  Edmund Weston, born about 1605 in England, died between 18 April and 3 June 1686 in Duxbury, Massachusetts; married about 1658 to Unknown.  Four children.

Generation 2:  Edmund Weston, born about 1660, died 23 September 1727 in Plympton, Massachusetts; married in 1688 to Rebecca Soule, daughter of John Soule and Rebecca Simonson.  She was born in 1656 in Duxbury, and died 18 November 1732 in Plympton.  Six children.

Generation 3:  Nathan Weston, born 8 February 1689 in Plympton, died 11 October 1754 in Plympton; married on 21 February 1716 in Plympton to Desire Standish, daughter of Alexander Standish and Desire Doty.  Four children.

Generation 4:  Nathan Weston, born 11 July 1723 in Plympton, died after 29 February 1780 in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia; married on 29 August 1751 in Kingston, Massachusetts to Hannah Everson, daughter of John Everson and Silence Staples.  She was born 6 July 1732 in Kingston, and died 26 April 1814 in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.  Nine children.

Generation 5:  Zadoc Weston, born about 1761 probably in Plympton, died 1849 in Nova Scotia; married first to Sarah MacDuffie, second to Mary Pratt, and third to my 4th great grandmother, Mary Clements.

Generation 6:  Matilda Weston, born in October 1825 in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, died 19 August 1909 in Beverly, Massachusetts; married on 3 February 1848 in Canada to Joseph Edwin Healy, son of Comfort Healy and Rebecca Crosby.  He was born 12 August 1823 in Yarmouth and died 17 June 1862 at the Battle of Saint Charles, Arkansas during the Civil War.  Four children.

Generation 7:  Mary Etta Healey m. Peter Hoogerzeil
Generation 8:  Florence Etta Hoogerzeil m. Arthur Treadwell Hitchings
Generation 9:  Gertrude Matilda Hitchings m. Stanley Elmer Allen (my grandparents)


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, “Surname Saturday ~ WESTON of Duxbury, Massachusetts”,  Nutfield Genealogy, posted April 14, 2018, ( accessed [access date]). 

Thursday, April 12, 2018

April 12, 1719 ~ The First Sermon at Nutfield

Illustration of the first sermon in Nutfield from Willey’s Book of Nutfield

In 1718 Reverend James MacGregor left his church in Aghadowey, Northern Ireland with a large number of his parishioners.  They came to Boston, and eventually to Maine and then to Haverhill, Massachusetts.  In April 1719 a group of these Scots Irish men came to investigate an area north of Haverhill that was “abound with nut trees”.  They brought Rev. MacGregor and their families back with them to this land, which they called Nutfield.  On 12 April 1719, since there were no buildings, Rev. MacGregor gave his first sermon under a large oak tree on the banks of Beaver Lake in what is now East Derry, New Hampshire. This is considered the founding of Londonderry, New Hampshire, and the founding of the first Presbyterian church in New England.

Reverend MacGregor’s first sermon was based on the bible passage from Isaiah XXII 2 “And a man shalt be as a hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest, as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.”

Happy 299th Birthday, to Londonderry and Derry!

"This cairn marks the place where the first sermon in Nut-
field was delivered by Rev. James MacGregor, April 12,
1719.  Near by, Hannah Dustin spent her first night in cap-
tivity, March 15, 1697."
[This cairn no longer exists on the banks of Beaver Lake]

Click here for a list of the original sixteen families in Nutfield:

Click this link for news about the big 300th anniversary celebration in 2019: 


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, “April 12, 1719 ~ The First Sermon at Nutfield”, Nutfield Genealogy, posted April 12, 2018, ( accessed [access date]). 

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Another Blogging Milestone!

Londonderry, New Hampshire Town Common

Wow!  I just hit 2 and a half million views to my blog! 

When I started my blog back in 2009 I didn’t think anyone except my Mom would read my stories.  At first, that was true.  Then, slowly I began to see comments from complete strangers on my blog and I remember thinking “Why are these folks reading my stories?”  “Who are these people?”

Well, it’s been almost nine years and I’ve had a lot of fun entertaining people I don’t know and making lots of cousin connections along the way. Thank you to all my readers, and especially to everyone who has made a cousin connection, sent email, or commented on my blogs. 

I’ve posted over 2750 stories including:

342 Weathervane Wednesday posts
312 Surname Saturday posts
394 Tombstone Tuesday posts

My all time most popular post was called “A Favorite Christmas Gift! You Might Like One, Too!” published way back in 2012.  It still receives over one hundred hits every month, and more near Christmas for some strange reason.  As of this week it has received over 225,000 total views.  I think Pinterest has made this post so popular.  I rarely use Pinterest, but someone posted it there and it went viral for a while. You can read that post at this link:

I can also tell that there are a lot of Mayflower descendants reading my blog.  A story I wrote about visiting the church where Stephen Hopkins was baptized in Upper Clatford, Hampshire, England is one of my top ten blog posts.  It has received nearly 3,500 hits since October 2017.  Just last week the New England Historic Genealogical Society contacted me to use one of my photos from this same blog post in an upcoming issue of American Ancestors magazine.  All you Hopkins descendants will recognize the photo!  Click here for the story about the picturesque church at Upper Clatford:  

A story I wrote about visiting the church where Mayflower passenger John Howland was baptized in Fenstanton, Cambridgeshire, England has received over 2,200 hits.  This story was recently surpassed by a story I wrote about his son’s homestead in Plymouth, Massachusetts (almost 2,500 hits since just 19 March 2018 and getting at least a dozen or more every day this month).    It seems that Howland descendants are almost as numerous as the Hopkins descendants!  

Lately, my stories about the 300th anniversary of the founding of Nutfield, New Hampshire by the Scots Irish in 1719 have been extremely popular. I’m hoping that some of the upcoming stories about these Ulster Presbyterian settlers hit the top ten most read stories in the upcoming year. 

Thanks for reading Nutfield Genealogy!


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Another Blogging Milestone!", Nutfield Genealogy, posted April 11, 2018, ( accessed [access date]).

Weathervane Wednesday ~ Above a Baptist Church

I post another in 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 Massachusetts.

Do you know the location of weathervane post #358?  Scroll down to find the answer.

Today's weathervane was spotted above the steeple of the First Baptist Church in Rowley, Massachusetts.  This church is on Route 1A, so if you have traveled the seacoast of Essex County north of Boston, you might have passed right by here.

This church building was built in 1830.  The steeple and weathervane are probably original to the building, and the scroll work weathervane is appropriate for the time period.   There have been Baptists worshiping in Rowley since the first community in 1816 was dismissed from nearby Georgetown.

Scrollwork weather vanes like this one evolved out of the more simple banner and swallowtail weathervanes of the 1700s.  As the steeples of New England churches became more elaborate with windows, balustrades and fancy trim, the weather vanes became more elaborate with scroll work, lyre shapes, and stars.  This weathervane has all three fancy details.

First Baptist Church of Rowley:

Click here to see ALL the "Weathervane Wednesday" posts!


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Weathervane Wednesday ~ Above a Baptist Church", Nutfield Genealogy, posted April 11, 2018, ( accessed [access date]).