Saturday, September 23, 2017

Surname Saturday ~ BEARSE of Cape Cod


My 9th great grandfather, Augustin (AKA Austin) Bearse (1618 – 1686) arrived on the ship Confidence from Southampton, England on 24 April 1638.  He came to Barnstable on Capt Cod with the first settlers in 1639, and had a twelve acre house lot bounded by John Crocker and Isaac Robinson (another one of my 9th great grandfathers).  He joined Rev. Lothrop’s church in Barnstable in 1643.  The road from the town of Hyannis to his land was known as “Bearse’s Way”, and is now Bearse Road, near Iannough Road at the Airport Rotary.  He was made a freeman in 1652.

Augustine Bearse’s name is at the head of the list of members of Rev. Lothrop’s church.  His wife was Mary, and they had eleven children, with baptisms all recorded at the Barnstable church on the first Sunday after their birth.  These babies include who was carried 2 miles to church at 2 day old in the cold of January for his baptism.  Apparently he was a very devout Puritan to want to save the souls of his children so promptly.  These are the facts we know about him from primary source material.  He was living in 1686, but dead sometime before 1697. There is no death record for Augustine Bearse.

Most of the compiled genealogy books and local histories of Barnstable written up until the 20th century repeat these simple facts about Augustine Bearse.  Then another story began to emerge that described Augustine Bearse as a Gypsy, who had to leave England because of his Romany origins, so he came to Massachusetts.  No Puritan woman would marry him, so he married “Mary Hyanno”, the daughter of the sachem Iannough (Hyannis), who was a red headed princess with Viking blood.  Yes, these fantastic details were told and repeated about the Bearse family in several books, journals and online. 

These stories originated with a paper written in the 1930s by Frankin Bearse, also known as Ele-watum, “From Out of the Past – Who Our Forefathers Really Were, A True Narrative of our White and Indian Ancestors” who filed this with the State of Connecticut to obtain benefits as an American Indian.   These claims were based on a diary written by a Zerviah Newcombe, a descendant of Augustine Bearse.

“Austin Bearse and His Alleged Indian Connections”, by Donald Lines Jacobus, The American Genealogist, 1938,  Volume 15, pages 111 - 118  rejects these claims of an Indian marriage, based on the fact that the supposed diary of Zerviah Newcomb has never been examined, and is perhaps false. No record of this diary has ever been found.  Jacobus wrote 8 pages in TAG refuting each detail of the Indian and Gypsy story written by Franklin Bearse.

Even so, the Indian princess story continued to flourish.  You can read about it in books like Bearse-Bears-Barss Family: Genealogy of Augustine Bearse (1618 – 1697) and Princess Mary Hyanno (1625 – 1702) of Barnstable, Massachusetts, by Dale L. Burley, 1979.  This myth of Mary Hyanno, “the flame haired princess of the Wampanoags”, is even repeated in a 2005 book Kindred Spirits: A New World History of the Families of Henry Wickoff Rogers & Grace Dean McLeod, by Geordon Hartt Rogers.   The genealogy of the descendants of Augustine and Mary Bearse is accurate in these books, but the origins of the original immigrant husband and his native wife are lacking in evidence.

However, there is an interesting essay in the NEHGS journal NEXUS, 1985, Volume 2, pages 95 -96, “Keeping an Open Mind” by Rev. Robert J. Good, Jr.  This essay about Austin Bearse and his supposed Wampanoag wife refutes some of the claims made by Jacobus.  “We tend to take the word of those who have rightly earned a position as unassailable as Jacobus’s.  Yet there are mysteries like this one which continue to haunt us and remain unresolved.  They require that we make our own decisions.”  Rev. Good makes several good points about mixed marriages during the 1600s in Massachusetts between the Puritans and the native people.  It was not as improbable as Jacobus imagined. 

I encourage you to read ALL these journal articles, and the primary source material, before making up your own mind.

For more information:

See the books and journal articles mentioned above

“Bearce/Bearse/Bierce Descendants” group on Facebook (where the argument continues!):

My BEARSE genealogy:

Generation 1:  Augustine Bearse, born about 1618 in England, died about 1686 in Barnstable, Massachusetts; married to Mary Unknown.  Eleven children.

Generation 2:  Sarah Bearse, born 28 March 1646 in Barnstable, died 30 March 1712 in Barnstable; married in August 1667 in Barnstable to John Hamblin, son of James Hamblin and Anne Unknown. He was born 26 June 1644 in Barnstable, and died in 1718 in Barnstable.  Twelve children.

Generation 3:  Benjamin Hamblin m. Hope Huckins
Generation 4:  Hannah Hamblin m. Jonathan Crosby (removed from Cape Cod  to Nova Scotia)
Generation 5:  Ebenezer Crosby m. Elizabeth Robinson (descendant of Isaac Robinson above)
Generation 6:  Rebecca Crosby m. Comfort Haley
Generation 7:  Joseph Edwin Healey m. Matilda Weston (removed from Nova Scotia to Massachusetts)
Generation 8:  Mary Etta Healey m Peter Hoogerzeil
Generation 9:  Florence Etta Hoogerzeil m. Arthur Treadwell Hitchings
Generation 10:  Gertrude Matilda Hitchings m. Stanley Elmer Allen (my grandparents)


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, “Surname Saturday ~ BEARSE of Cape Cod”, Nutfield Genealogy, posted  September 23, 2017, ( accessed [access date]). 

Friday, September 22, 2017

A Visit to Plymouth Plantation

The view from the Fort/Meetinghouse of the 17th Century English Village

Last month we visited Plimoth Plantation with my mother-in-law from Spain. It is always fun to bring visitors from other countries here.  I find that our relatives in Spain are especially interested in the Native American site.  We had a lovely day, not too hot for August, and lots of sunshine.

The wooden Fort/Meetinghouse served both
purposes for the English settlers
Interior of the Standish home

Pilgrim women watching the men drill with muskets

Another hearthside view of a home, note the triangular chairs

Rev. John Lyford was at the colony this day,
giving some controversial opinions on religion (his trial
is set to occur later this month at Plimoth Plantation). 
You can read more about the controversy with Lyford at this link:

Pottery like this seen in a settler's home
is available for sale in the Artisan Craft Center

Militia drills in the pasture

This lovesick cow would bellow when she saw the
re-enactor playing William Bradford, competing for his attentions.
From the settler's village we traveled to the Wampanoag Homesite...

This winter house is a "nush wetu" and will be replaced with a larger structure later this year

Interior view

Preparing for the new wetu

A native Wampanoag meal of porridge with berries, rabbit soup, and herbal tea

Plimoth Plantation Museum


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "A Visit to Plymouth Plantation", Nutfield Genealogy, posted September 22, 2017, ( accessed [access date]).

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Weathervane Wednesday ~ A College Fieldhouse

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 #329?  Scroll down to find the answer.

This weathervane is located on the clock tower above the Dillon Fieldhouse at Harvard University.  The Dillon is home to the offices of the Harvard Football team, as well as locker rooms, offices and storage.  It was built in 1930 on Soldiers Field Road, near Harvard Stadium.

This weathervane is a gilded, swallow-tailed banner, similar to the weathervane on Dunster House.  There are no cardinal points.  The finial is a gold ball.  There are four clocks, one on each side of the clock tower, and a red cupola.
The field house was built with an endowment from Clarence Dillon, Harvard class of 1905, in memory of his son, C. Douglas Dillon, class of 1931, and US Treasury Secretary.

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


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Weathervane Wednesday ~ A College Fieldhouse", Nutfield Genealogy, posted September 20, 2017, ( accessed [access date]). 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Woburn, Massachusetts First Burial Ground

I did it again.  I visited an urban cemetery and forgot to call ahead.


This has happened to me in Nashua, Boston and Hartford, Connecticut - so you would think I had learned my lesson.  But who would have thought of suburban Woburn, Massachusetts as an urban area that locked up their historic burial grounds?  Apparently, now Woburn has taken that step.

This is your warning.

I was tipped off about the new renovations at the First Burial Ground in the Francis Wyman Family Association newsletter that arrived earlier this month.  The front page had a nice color photo of the new monument at the cemetery.  2017 marks the 375th anniversary of the founding of Woburn, and the First Burial Ground was re-dedicated with a survey done by ground penetrating radar, a map, and directory of the burial sites, a new fence and gate.  And a nice big lock!

This new sign has a listing of burials on the front
and a map of the burial sites on the back.
Very handy --- if you can get into the cemetery!

Transcription (partially obscured in photo taken with telescopic lens):

First Burial Ground Gravesite Legend
1642 - 1794

Name                            Date of Death      Map Number
Alexanders, Philip        05/13/1754             544
Baker, Thomas             03/17/1715              491
Baldwin, Loammi        10/20/1807              Obelisk
Barret, John F.              10/14/1903              350
Bateman, William         07/07/1692             492
Blanchard, Jonathan      09/14/1727             545
Blogget, Elizabeth         05/24/1713             429
Bordman, Martha          08/25/1752             360
Brooks, Abigail             08/01/1778             561
Brooks, Benjamin          09/01/1749             570
Brooks, Benjamin          03/01/1749             532
Brook, Benjamin            01/06/1769            557
Brooks, Betty                 07/03/1764            374
Brooks, Elizabeth           06/08/1755            327 & 329
Brooks, Elizabeth           02/12/1756            327 & 329
Brooks, Hannah              04/14/1742            348
Brooks, Hephzibah         01/01/1746            572
Brooks, Isaac                  03/23/1768            316
Brooks, Jabez                 01/30/1747            571
Brooks, Jemima              11/05/1774            547
Brooks, Nathan               01/06/1751            312 & 325
Brooks, Nathan               01/25/1758            310 & 323
Brooks, Nathan               04/24/1774            322
Brooks, Sarah                  02/21/1747           313 & 326
Bruce, Rose                     09/21/1723           440
Burbeen, Joseph              01/08/1713           529
Carter, Abigail                 02/03/1772           370
Carter, Elizabeth              05/06/1691           455
Carter, John Capt.            09/14/1692           454
Carter, John Lt.                04/07/1727           373
Carter, Joseph Johnson    09/15/1775           372
Carter, Margery               09/23/1728           368
Carter, Margery               09/27/1769           367
Carter, Ruth                     01/11/1724           369
Carter, Sibyl                    08/27/1775           371
Carter, Susanna               08/12/1751           510
Carter, Thomas                02/17/1753          509 & 525
Carter, William                10/06/1728          559
Cleveland, Aaron             09/14/1716          436
Coggen, Joseph                09/22/1698          482
Cogin, Henry                   08/21/1697          486
Cogin, Henry                   03/29/1703          488
Cogin, John                     03/16/1693          487
Cogin, John Capt.           02/17/1725          397
Convers, Ann                  08/10/1691          465
Convers, Ebenezer          11/09/1693          466
Convers, Edward             10/28/1691         463
Convers, Edward             07/26/1692         459
Convers, Elizabeth          07/27/1694         464
Convers, James, Major    07/08/1706         460
Convers, James Lt.          05/10/1715         461
Convers, Josiah Capt       07/15/1717         471
Convers, Josias Deacon   02/03/1689-90    475
Convers, Josias                12/30/1693         474
Convers, Pashence           07/23/1707         599
Convers, Timothy            09/14/1693         474
Convers, Esther               11/07/1703         468
Convers, Benjamin          08/19/1729         462
Converse, Ebenezer         09/06/1765         451
Cooper, Anna                  03/09/1713         425
Cotton, Elizabeth            10/12/1742         417
Cotton, Susanna              08/03/1748         416
Eames, Judith                  01/10/1766         333 & 337
Eames, Nathan                07/21/1773         332
Eames, Samuel Deacon   01/20/1775        334 & 335
Evans, Andrew               12/18/1778         483
Evans, Mary                    08/31/1781        479
Flagg, Ebenezer              07/10/1746        363
Flegg, Eleazer Col.         07/12/1726        399
Flegg, Esther                  09/18/1744         400
Fowl, Dority                   05/28/1704        502
Fowle, Elizabeth            03/04/1699         499
Fowle, Hannah              10/03/1710         500
Fowle, James Lt            12/17/1690         493
Fowle, James Capt.       03/19/1713         364
Fowle II, John               12/08/1856         300
Fowle, Jonathan            11/21/1714         501
Fowle, Susanna             11/11/1767         347
Fox, Ann                       08/05/1746         472
Fox, Jabez Rev.            02/28/1702          457
Fyfeild, Abraham Capt 09/12/1711         405
Gardner, Dorothy          02/11/1787         539
Gardner, Elizabeth        06/03/1703         444
Gardner, Henry             02/20/1713         534 & 535
Gardner, Henry             12/16/1763         537
Gardner, Richard           05/29/1698        437
Giles, John                    06/20/1761        341
Green, Hannah              08/14/1713        560
Hartwell, John                 05/01/1734      423
Hartwell, Joseph Deacon 11/15/1743      432
Hartwell, Priscilla            08/28/1725      435
Hayward, Jonathan Dr.    08/13/1749      309 & 321
Heartwell, Ruhamah        07/11/1756      431
Hill, Isaac Dr.                   01/09/1723     395
Holdin, John Jr.               01/23/1753      408  
Holdin, Mary                  11/21/1749       407
Johnson, Esther               12/27/1707      438
Johnson, Martha              08/25/1716      375
Johnson, Matthew Lt.      07/19/1696      439
Johnson, Sarah                10/14/1710      406
Kendall, Elizabeth           01/10/1741     565
Kendall, Elizabeth          12/11/1787      496
Kendall, John                  10/17/1697     550
Kendall, Samuel Lt.        12/13/1764     495
Lock, Elizabeth               02/23/1720     393 & 394
Lock, Thomas                 11/26/1717     422
Payn, Daniel                   08/21/1712     443
Peirce, Benjamin            11/27/1713     366
Peirce, Hannah               10/23/1755     551
Peirce, Hannah               12/24/1762     552
Peirce, Mary                   11/11/1753     410
Pool, Jonathan                02/08/1755     398
Poole, Eleazer Flegg      03/17/1776     401
Poole, Mary                    03/24/1776    401
Porter, Asahel (non combatant)  04/19/1775   342
Reed, Abigail                  09/09/1719   442
Reed, Abigail                  12/07/1736   379
Reed, Elizabeth               12/09/1747   351
(obscured in photo)
Richardson, Abigail          10/02/1747   546
Richardson, Abigail          07/23/1768   521
Richardson, Asa               03/17/1752    353
Richardson, Bridget         09/26/1736    426
Richardson, Bridget         07/01/1750    354
Richardson, Daniel          04/20/1749    336 & 558
Richardson, Ebenezer      02/24/1708    428
Richardson, Edmund Dr.  05/30/1761   522
Richardson, Esther           11/10/1727   404
Richardson, Eunice          04/13/1748   528
Richardson, Hannah         09/07/1748   528
Richardson, Ichabod        03/12/1768    553
Richardson, Isaiah           02/16/1723    505
Richardson, James Capt  03/23/1722    396
Richardson, Jerusha        04/10/1782    414
Richardson, John Lt.       01/01/1697    450
Richardson, John            10/29/1749     536
Richardson, Joshua        11/05/1748     562
Richardson, Joshua        03/13/1774     531
Richardson, Lucy          12/92/1741      527
Richardson, Lucy          07/21/1761      520
Richardson, Mary          01/11/1742      413
Richardson, Mary          11/22/1783      358
Richardson, Mathew     02/11/1722      517
Richardson, Noah         06/23/1756      555
Richardson, Noah, Jr.    07/06/1761     514
Richardson, Phebe        04/02/1776     540 & 554
Richardson,  Rebeckah 02/13/1717     519
Richardson,  Rebeckah 04/11/1771     338, 340 & 563
Richardson,  Samuel     04/29/1712     419
Richardson,  Samuel     09/03/1754     391
Richardson, Sarah         12/14/1717     420
Richardson, Sarah         12/09/1767     515
Richardson, Sarah         06/12/1784     411
Richardson, Stephen     09/21/1703     430
Richardson, Stephen     03/20/1717     384
Richardson, Stephen Lt.  07/18/1783  357
Richardson, Stephen     03/06/1787     359
Richardson, Susanna    08/06/1726     392
Richardson, Susanna    10/07/1754     339 & 564
Richardson, Susanna     Footstone      377
Richardson, Tabitha      11/25/1739    480
Richardson, Thomas     02/22/1769    526
Richardson, Thomas    01/12/1774     328
Richardson, Willing     03/14/1704     448
Richardson, Wyman     06/22/1841     361
Russell, Jonathan          06/20/1708     424
Salter, Thomas              08/02/1748     415
Saltonstall, Nathaniel    06/23/1739     418
Sawyer, Joshua              03/01/1738     315
Sawyer, Mary                10/23/1751     497
Simonds, Benjamin       12/24/1783     485
Sims, Mary                    08/09/1717     473
Skinner, Joanna             06/05/1782     530
Snow, Daniel                 07/07/1717     383
(obscured in photo)
Snow, Timothy              09/20/1775     305 & 317
Snow, Zachariah           09/21/1754     307 & 319
Stone, Abigail               05/11/1718     598
Symmes, Ruth              11/16/1758      470
Symmes, William         05/24/1764     469
Symmes, Zachariah      04/19/1793     467
Tay, Abigail                  09/26/1778     349
Tay, Mary                     05/05/1747     518
Thompson, Abigail       09/21/1768     542
Thompson, Benjamin   11/07/1755     573
Thompson, Daniel        04/19/1775    549
Thompson, Esther        01/03/1761     409
Thompson, Hannah      06/16/1754     489
Thompson, Jonathan    06/09/1752     494
Thompson, Lydia         10/19/1788     543
Thompson, Mary          03/11/1755     490
Thompson, Samuel       05/13/1748    548
Thompson, James Lt    09/04/1693     421
Tomson, Richard          01/07/1719     385
Tyng, Jonathan Colonel  01/19/1723  478
Tyng, Judith                  06/05/1736    458
Tyng, Sarah                  02/28/1713     477
Vinton, Abigail            05/20/1720     381
Walker, Abigail            03/01/1713    386
Walker, Esther              09/23/1761    533
Walker, Judeth              11/14/1724    388
Walker, Mary               10/23/1748     365
Walker, Samuel Deacon   01/18/1703  449
Walker, Timothy          06/19/1706     451
Waters, Mary               12/11/1721     376
Winn, Elizabeth           05/14/1724    390
Winn, Increase             07/01/1713    402
Winn, Sarah                 01/17/1767    352              
Winn, Timothy            01/05/1752    389
Wood, Joseph              12/30/1713    523
Wood, Ruth                 08/02/1736    524
Wright, Abigail           04/06/1726    481
Wright, James             01/06/1735    378
Wright, John               04/30/1714    511
Wright, Josiah Deacon   01/22/1747   504 & 516
Wright, Phoebe           12/07/1724    433
Wright, Rachel            06/21/1750    434
Wright, Ruth               02/18/1717    387
Wyman, Abigail          08/03/1772    343 & 344
Wyman, Benjamin Capt.   05/26/1774   513
Wyman, Elizabeth       01/06/1773    508
Wyman, Elizabeth      08/12/1776     311 & 324
Wyman, Esther           03/31/1742     498
Wyman, Francis         11/28/1699     446
Wyman, Huldah         05/28/1768     330
Wyman, Jesse            11/02/1754     506
Wyman, John             07/09/1721     452
Wyman, Lucy            12/24/1785     538
Wyman, Nathan         02/04/1773     331
Wyman, Phebe           11/24/1750     503
Wyman, Samuel         05/17/1725    403
Wyman, Samuel Ensign    12/18/1743    346
Wyman, Susanna        Footstone       447
Wyman, Susanna        11/24/1752    345

(The last line is illegible in photo)

First Burial Ground
1692 - 1794
This ancient burial ground holds the remains of
Woburn's earliest citizens. They were brave men, women
and children who went into the wilderness looking 
to fulfill their dreams of a new and better life.
They were our founding families, named Johnson,
Richardson, Brooks, Convers, Carter, Peirce, Reed
and Wyman. These ministers, soldiers, farmers, doctors
and statesmen established a strong and vibrant town.
Among the distinguished death that are interred here
are the ancestors of eight United States Presidents,
military leader Loammi Baldwin, and
Daniel Thompson, the first Woburn soldier killed
in the Revolutionary War.
We honor their determination and courage.
May it always be remembered by future generations.
The First Burial Ground is on the National Historic Register
Dedicated on the 375th Anniversary of Woburn
May 29th, 2017
Mayor Scott D. Galvin
Woburn Cemetery Commission
Alfred Autenzio     John M. Sawyer     Christopher Kisiel
Joseph McDunough    Catherine B. Shaunessy


The First Burial Ground of Woburn is located on Park Street, behind the Baptist Church on the town common.  To make arrangements for the gate to be unlocked call the Woburn Cemetery Commission during business hours, Monday to Friday, from 9am to 5pm, at (781) 937-8297.  No weekend hours.


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Woburn, Massachusetts First Burial Ground", Nutfield Genealogy, posted September 19, 2017, ( accessed [access date]).

Monday, September 18, 2017

20th Century Americana ~ The New England Telephone Museum in Warner, New Hampshire

This is another post in my series of stories about 20th Century Americana, which I use as story starters and for helping with oral histories.  Most of these subjects bring back great memories to the people who lived through the 20th century, maybe even YOU!

Since we spend many weekends driving around New England in the little red convertible in search of cemeteries, churches and repositories of family history, we often run across many quirky, small museums, too.   New England seems to be full of small yet fascinating small museums and historical societies with great collections.  In Warner, New Hampshire, just off Route 89, we found the New England Telephone Museum.

This great little museum holds phones from the very earliest versions to modern cell phones.  You can't walk around this museum without saying "I remember that one!" or "We had that phone!" or "Remember that?".   Everyone has owned at least one or two or more of the phones in this collection, or your friends and neighbors or workplace had a few more. 

The New England Telephone Museum started as the personal collections of two families who worked in the telephone industry.  Then the collection grew to over 1000 artifacts with donations and gifts.  You can see this museum in about an hour if you are just peeking, or spend hours oohing and ahhhing and asking questions of the very knowledgeable docents.  There is a great movie about the history of the telephone, and also a downloadable app with a mobile tour of the museum. Check the website for special events, too. 

One of the highlights of this museum was a demonstration of how a switchboard worked.  If you ever lived on a party line, or had one in your office, or remember calling a business with a switchboard, this demonstration was fascinating.  In the days before digital computer, the use of mechanical wires in switchboards was the latest in "high technology".  It was actually quite clever to learn how they worked.  The docent also had some funny and true stories about the operators who used to run these devices.   Was there a telephone operator or switchboard operator in your family tree? 

Do you remember any of these telephones?

The Telephone Museum also has a small library with a large collection of telephone books.  This collection might be useful to anyone researching family members in New England. I also believe that this would be a great place to bring older, and even younger, family members and then listen to the stories that come pouring out as they tour the museum.  We brought Vincent's Mom here, and she had fun recognizing some of the older phones and telling stories about some of the office phones she recognized, and about switchboard operators and party lines at home.  This could be some great oral history for your family history files!  

In the basement of the same building you can find the Warner Fire Fighters Museum.  This is one large exhibit hall filled with historic objects and memorabilia from the Warner Fire Department.   There are three vintage fire engines and lots of photographs of the fire department which was founded in 1830.  It is open by appointment and admission is FREE!  Call the phone number 603-456-2222 to schedule a visit to coincide with your next trip to the Telephone Museum.  

1927 Chevrolet Fire Engine

The New England Telephone Museum: 

The Warner Fire Fighters Museum:


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "20th Century Americana ~ The New England Telephone Museum in Warner, New Hampshire", Nutfield Genealogy, posted September 18, 2017, ( accessed [access date]).

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Surname Saturday ~ HUCKINS of Barnstable, Massachusetts


Thomas Huckins, my 9th great grandfather, first appears as a member of the “Military Company of Massachusetts” muster roll in 1637 in Boston.  In 1659 this company became known as “The Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts”, which still exists.  He was the 6th man  (out of 23 original members) to sign the muster in 1638, and was an ensign in 1639.

By 1640 he removed to Barnstable on Cape Cod as one of the first settlers in town.  He was a freeman in Barnstable in 1647 and was granted a house lot in 1661. Over the years he held many civil positions including tax collector,  representative to the General Court, selectman, and a member of the Council of War in 1671.  He was in the military expedition to Kingston, Rhode Island in December 1675.

Thomas Huckins was a member of Rev. Lothrop’s church.  In 1642 he married first to Mary Wells, who died in July 1648.  His second wife was the widow Rose Hyllier, who was my 9th great grandmother.  He was accused of abusing a servant, but no fine was paid.

Thomas died at sea in 1679 when his vessel sank with his son, Joseph Huckins aboard, too. The records read “Mr. Thomas Huckens was cast away ye 9 of Nvemb 1679 & died in ye 62 year of is age. His Son Joseph Lost with him at ye Same time aged 24 years 1679”  [“Barnstable Mass Vital Records”, Mayflower Descendant, Volume 6, No. 3, July 1904].

Thomas Huckins, Jr., my 8th great grandfather, was a carpenter and farmer in Barnstable.  He married Hannah Chipman in 1680 as his first wife (my 8th great grandmother), and took a second wife, Sarah Pope, widow of Samuel Hinckley in 1698. His daughter, Hope Huckins (1689 – after 1730), is my 7th great grandmother, who lived in Barnstable with her husband, Benjamin Hamblin, and had four children, and two more children with her second husband, Ebenezer Childs.

President Rutherford B. Hayes was a descendant of Thomas Huckins.

Some HUCKINS resources:

The History of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts, Volume 1, page 28

Genealogical Notes of Barnstable Families, by Amos Otis, 1888, Volume 1, pages 58 - 63 [available online at]

My HUCKINS genealogy:

Generation 1:    Thomas Huckins, born in Dorsetshire, England, died at sea 9 November 1679; married first about 1642 in Barnstable, Massachusetts to Mary Wells.  She was born about 1624 in England and died on 28 July 1648 in Barnstable (she gave Thomas three daughters).  He married second on 3 November 1648 in Barnstable to Rose Unknown who was the wife of Hugh Tilley.  She gave him four children.

Generation 2:  Thomas Huckins, born 25 April 1651 in Barnstable, died before 15 October 1714 in Barnstable; married first to Hannah Chipman, daughter of John Chipman and Hope Howland.  She was born 14 January 1659 in Plymouth and died 4 November 1696 in Barnstable (nine children).  He married second to Sarah Pope, the widow of Samuel Hinckley (one daughter).

Generation 3:  Hope Huckins, born 21 September 1689 in Barnstable, died after 4 January 1730 in Barnstable;  married first on 29 May 1709 to Benjamin Hamblin, son of John Hamblin and Sarah Bearse.  He was born on 11 February 1687 in Barnstable, and died before 29 May 1718 (four children).  Hope married second to Ebenezer Childs, son of Richard Childs and Elizabeth Crocker, born March 1691 in Barnstable, and died 17 January 1756 in Barnstable (2 children).

Generation 4:  Hannah Hamblin m. Jonathan Crosby
Generation 5: Ebenezer Crosby m. Elizabeth Robinson
Generation 6: Rebecca Crosby m. Comfort Haley
Generation 7.  Joseph Edwin Healy m. Matilda Weston
Generation 8.  Mary Etta Healy m. Peter Hoogerzeil
Generation 9. Florence Etta Healey m. Arthur Treadwell Hitchings
Generation 10: Gertrude Matilda Hitchings m. Stanley Elmer Allen (my grandparents


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, “Surname Saturday ~ HUCKINS of Barnstable, Massachusetts”,  Nutfield Genealogy, posted September 16, 2017, ( accessed [access date]). 

Friday, September 15, 2017

Derryfield Town Pound

I've photographed several town pounds nearby, and here is another one.  All that is left here is the gate for the Derryfield Town Pound, which can be seen at Derryfield Park in Manchester, New Hampshire  It is near the corner of Belmont Street and Reservoir Avenue.


In colonial times, the town could hold stray cows and pigs and other farm animals in the pound and collect fines.  It was customary for farmers to brand their animals and let them loose to feed on common land.  If the animal was a nuisance, or wandered into fields during harvest time, the town had an elected official (known as pound keeper or hog reeve) who would impound the animal and collect a hefty fine from the owner.  This town pound was built in 1741, with stone walls to keep in the livestock.  Some famous local pound keepers were John Goffe and Archibald Stark.  It was a lucrative enterprise!

[from Early Records of the Town of Derryfield, 1751 - 1782, page 40]

Londonderry, NH Town Pound

Hudson, NH Town Pound


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Derryfield Town Pound", Nutfield Genealogy, posted September 15, 2017, ( accessed [access date]).

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Weathervane Wednesday ~ And yet another Harvard House!

I post another in a series of weather vane photographs every Wednesday.  This started with images of weather vanes 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 weather vanes, 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 at Harvard University, just like the last two weather vanes featured here.

Do you know the location of weathervane post #328?  Scroll down to find the answer.

Today’s weathervane was photographed at Lowell House at Harvard University.

Lowell House has been under renovation since 2016 and is scheduled to reopen for the school year in August 2019.  Lowell House has two courtyards, a distinctive dining hall, library and a junior common room.  It was built in 1930, and originally the tower was constructed to have four faces with clocks, but it was altered to carry bells.  The bell tower contains a carillon from Russia donated by Charles Crane.  The bells are rung for the Thursday 5pm high teas, 1pm on Sundays, special dinners, New Years, commencement, and winning football games.

The house was named for the Lowell family.  The first Lowell to graduate from Harvard was John Lowell in the class of 1721.  The Lowell house crest are based on the Lowell family coat of arms.  The house colors are blue and white, the same colors as the bell tower.

The weathervane appears to remain unchanged during the renovation project. It is a gilded banner, with an interesting X cut out.  Like the Eliot House weathervane, there are no cardinal points on this weathervane. 

Lowell House website:  (has an essay about the bells in the belltower).

Lowell House at Wikipedia:  

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


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Weathervane Wednesday ~ And yet another Harvard House!", Nutfield Genealogy, posted September 13, 2017, ( accessed [access date]).