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Heather Wilkinson Rojo's Blog (118)

The Sneaker King, Marquis Mills Converse

When I was just a teen aged kid, I started tracing our genealogy.  I had some help from a night class I took, and then I was on my own in the genealogy stacks of the reading room at the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester, Massachusetts.   I was lucky because it was the mid-1970s, and I had interviewed my grandparents, who had been born in the 1890s.  They knew all about their own parents and grandparents, which took me right to the “Tan Books”.  In those days (pre-internet),…


Added by Heather Wilkinson Rojo on September 1, 2013 at 8:19am — No Comments

Derry, New Hampshire Civil War Memorial

The Derry Civil War Memorial is located in front of the First Parish Church in East Derry. The other war memorials to Derry soldiers are all located at MacGregor Park, next to the public library on Broadway.

According to T.J. Cullinane of the "Friends of the Forest Hill Cemetery" group, there are about another 100 missing names that should be on the Civil War monument. He is working on identifying all the Civil War tombstones in the Forest Hill Cemetery, which is located right…


Added by Heather Wilkinson Rojo on June 13, 2013 at 8:09am — No Comments

A Meeting with NARA about digital records access

I heard about this workshop through one of my husband’s MIT alumni networks, and then I heard again from Kate Theimer of the Archives Next blog on Twitter.  She wanted to know if anyone was going to the discussion, and I decided “Why not?”  Perhaps someone from the genealogical community should be there, listening in.  I love going back to the MIT campus, and the subject was right up my alley:…


Added by Heather Wilkinson Rojo on March 10, 2013 at 6:03pm — No Comments

Pinterest, Ancestry and Copyrighted Images

 I was concerned about creating a Pinterest “bulletin board” for an ancestor, and then pinning a census image from Ancestry to that board. Although clicking on that image links back to Ancestry, and although I had cited the image source as I wasn’t sure if I was violating some sort of term of agreement with Ancestry. I had seen bloggers post an image to a blog, but was this the same at Pinterest?




Added by Heather Wilkinson Rojo on August 7, 2012 at 3:52pm — No Comments

Women of the Mayflower Project

You missed a good one!  The Women of the Mayflower Project
Well, you didn't miss it completely, because its an ongoing project.  On Saturday, 10 September 2011 in Plymouth, Massachusetts I attended a wonderful…

Added by Heather Wilkinson Rojo on September 20, 2011 at 8:30pm — No Comments

Happy Patriot's Day! Cousins at the Battle of Lexington

My 5x great grandfather, Andrew Munroe was not at the Battle of Lexington. He had died in 1766, and his wife had remarried to Caleb Simonds in 1774. At the time of the conflict on 19 April 1775, my 4x great grandfather, Andrew Jr., would have been only about eleven years old. Was he there? I’ll never know. It is known that many townspeople witnessed the event from their homes or from behind stone walls and trees. It is my bet that an eleven year old boy couldn’t have resisted watching history… Continue

Added by Heather Wilkinson Rojo on April 19, 2011 at 11:47am — No Comments

The National Archives- Good News/ Bad News!

Last weekend we were in Washington DC, and at the top of my list of things to do in our capital city was to visit the National Archives.  If you read my blog story from last October, “Did George Washington Sign Here?”  you will know that I was questioning the authenticity of George Washington’s signature…


Added by Heather Wilkinson Rojo on April 11, 2011 at 3:08pm — No Comments

George Washington Signed Here? A Mystery Document

My 5x great grandfather Abner Poland served in Revolutionary War, but so did his father, Abner Poland, Sr., and so the records have always been difficult to separate when I started to research the Poland family.   He was born in 1761, and was only fifteen when the Battles of Lexington and Concord occurred in 1775.  He enlisted not long after, on 15 January 1776 as a private in Captain Abraham Dodge’s Company in Ipswich, Massachusetts.   He reenlisted in 1777 for another two years, and…


Added by Heather Wilkinson Rojo on April 11, 2011 at 10:58am — No Comments

Manuel Fenollosa, Spanish Immigrant to Salem, Massachusetts 1838

My great great grandfather Caleb Rand Bill was a music professor in Salem, Massachusetts before the turn of the 20th century.  Whilst researching his story, I found out about two other early music teachers in Salem, who were both Spanish immigrants.  It is interesting that they became ardent abolitionists around the time of the American Civil War.

Manuel Fenollosa came to Salem from Spain with his brother in law, Manuel Emilio in 1838 on the US navel frigate United States. …


Added by Heather Wilkinson Rojo on March 15, 2011 at 1:30pm — No Comments

How to set your “Favorites” on the NEHGS search site

There has been an ongoing discussion about the “new” NEHGS website at  and on their Facebook group. Lots of folks are having trouble navigating the new search site, and finding their favorite databases.   Actually, this website is no longer new, since it has been around since late last summer.  The way things move so quickly with technology, I wouldn’t be surprised to see additional changes by now at the NEHGS site…


Added by Heather Wilkinson Rojo on March 10, 2011 at 9:26pm — No Comments

First Church, Nashua, New Hampshire

When we first moved to Londonderry, New Hampshire I was surprised to find there was no Congregational church.  Nearly every town in Massachusetts has one!  Almost every New Hampshire town has one, too, but since Nutfield was founded by the Presbyterians, the churches remained Presbyterian for a long time.  The First Church in Derry changed to Congregational in the 1800s, and I tried a few services there.  My husband was working in Nashua, and he said several co-workers attended the First…


Added by Heather Wilkinson Rojo on February 24, 2011 at 11:28am — No Comments

The Schooner Fame, and three Abner Polands

The schooner Fame is moored in Salem, Massachusetts at Pickering Wharf.  She was built in Essex, Massachusetts by Harold Burnham, and launched in 2003.  The Burnhams have been building boats in Essex since the 1640s.  The original schooner Fame was an Essex fishing schooner used as a privateer in the War of 1812.  

The interesting connection is that Abner Poland III served on board the Fame in the War of 1812 by Abner Poland III of Essex, Massachusetts.  I’m descended of his sister,…


Added by Heather Wilkinson Rojo on February 15, 2011 at 8:48pm — No Comments

American Descendants of the Ulster Scots Irish

Born Fighting: How the Scots Irish Shaped America, is a new television documentary based on a book by Senator James Webb of Viriginia, who is a direct descendant of Ulster Scots who immigrated to America. However, this two part program was first broadcast in the United Kingdom yesterday on 1 February 2011 on STV. It is produced by Scottish and Ulster Television and the Smithsonian Channel.

Before the siege of Derry in 1689, Scots Presbyterians flooded Northern… Continue

Added by Heather Wilkinson Rojo on February 7, 2011 at 11:56am — No Comments

Deadline Approaching for 2011 NH Mayflower Society Memorial Scholarships

Deadline February 15, 2011

The 2010 New Hampshire Mayflower Society Memorial Scholarships are available to any college student (undergraduate or graduate) or high school senior. You don’t need to be a member of the Mayflower Society, but members and relatives of members will receive preference (defined as members, junior members, siblings, children, grandchildren, great grandchildren). Applicants with no affiliation to the NH Mayflower Society are also invited to apply.

This is…


Added by Heather Wilkinson Rojo on January 28, 2011 at 3:07pm — No Comments

Matthew Taylor Descendants Reunion in Derry, August 2011

Matthew Taylor and his wife Janet Wilson came from Northern Ireland in 1721 and settled in Nutfield, now Derry, New Hampshire.   Matthew was one of the original proprietors of the settlement.  He was born in 1690 and he died 26 January 1770 near Beaver Lake.  They had ten children and many descendants who lived in New Hampshire and Nova Scotia.  Matthew and his sons, Adam and Samuel Taylor, are buried in Forest Hill Cemetery in Derry.

The descendants are planning a reunion for August…


Added by Heather Wilkinson Rojo on January 17, 2011 at 6:59pm — No Comments

One Letter from 1867= Dozens of New Names for the Family Tree

Boston July 24. 1867

Dear Aunt,

I received your letter dated May 22/67 and

It was gladly received day before yesterday.

We are having pretty warm weather here now

although it Is not quite as warm today as it usually

is. Sara has been married just one year ago last

Thursday, her husband’s name is William Pierce.

Grandma was very much opposed to the…


Added by Heather Wilkinson Rojo on January 11, 2011 at 9:47am — No Comments

Josiah Stone’s Revolutionary War Pension Papers

My 3x great Grandfather Peter Hoogerzeil was born on 28 October 1803 in Dordrecht, Netherlands. He had stowed away on a Rotterdam ship to America. It was supposedly full of hemp bound for the ropewalk in Salem, Massachusetts. According to family lore, he married the Captain’s daughter. This story always bothered me because of two…


Added by Heather Wilkinson Rojo on December 9, 2010 at 8:11am — No Comments

Baseball and Genealogy Research

Red Sox outfielder, Dom DiMaggio (brother to the more famous Joe DiMaggio), and current San Francisco Giant closer Brian Wilson both resided in Londonderry, New Hampshire. Brian Wilson, “The Bearded One” is well known recently for his popularity…


Added by Heather Wilkinson Rojo on December 4, 2010 at 9:54pm — No Comments

Ancestors in News Clippings

21 February 1873, Cape Ann Advertiser "On Friday afternoon, as one of the workmen in the shipyard of A. O. Burnham was hoisting the bow hasping, it got the best of him and fell striking Mr. Gilman P. Allen (about 63 years old) a glancing blow on the shoulder and head, and knocking him down. Fortunately no bones were broken, but it was a…


Added by Heather Wilkinson Rojo on November 26, 2010 at 5:37pm — 1 Comment

Abijah Franklin Hitchings’s Obituaries

Obituaries (on file at the Harmony Grove Cemetery, Salem)

May 20,…


Added by Heather Wilkinson Rojo on November 18, 2010 at 9:02pm — No Comments




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