Thursday, August 14, 2014

Whence, again

This post is a comment about a recurring subject about which there is not as much known as one might hope, after so many years. However, there is interest in getting the necessary work accomplished to fill in (some of) the blanks.

Recently, there have been queries about Thomas and his pedigree. Each of these generated a little discussion. In one case, the discovery of the remains of Richard III helped bring one of these (a Tudor connection) to the light of rational explanation and some type of closure. There are several others.

We intend to gather all of the views, considered so far, and their related material. Why? Just as this Wiki page demonstrates, it can help to have the discussions very visible for current and future use (if you can ignore the derisive tone of many commentors, especially of experts who, many times, seem to lose their patience).

So, that type of thing will be a continuing bit of work. However, let's look at one example since it has interest from several viewpoints. For one, it is the work of another family, so we need to see what is what here. Too, it brings to fore the work that is needed. So, this is what we discuss below.


Earlier, we mentioned that several proposals have been made about Thomas' sister, Rachel (2nd bullet). The image shows her and her pedigree (which, of course, if there were a relationship would implicate Thomas). I have marked the image which shows a gap. The problem generally is that many will close gaps without proper support for their argument (age-old problem).

Now, having said that, just like we let experts make grand claims about life thousands of years ago, based upon current observations (as in fossils, etc.) and what is known (as in, very large extrapolation, folks), so, too, can (ought) families be allowed to explore their ancestral space (all sorts of metaphysical notions can come into play) in a rational fashion and do it safely. It is a meme issue (and, one goal is to explore this issue more deeply).

Safely? Yes.

Again, having said that, some fortunate (?) ones have (or can show) lines that do have documentation. This is nice as we can, at least, look, homologically, and find parallels. That means a couple of things. For anyone, relating to past events for your ancestors by looking at someone's experience (vicariously) is a human right.

Now, for the genealogists, there is only this comment. Life is not documentation (notwithstanding the idiots of the cloud attempting to record/store everything - oh, they even record themselves recording?). In fact, we can look at Thomas, given the blank slate, from a more full phenomenological sense than those who left trappings from either their writings or their doings. Trappings? Yes. Doings? Consider John Endicott thinking of Mary Dyer as he went before St. Peter. Writings? A whole other realm to ponder.

Additionally, though, genealogical experts, what was does not need documentation in order to make it right.

Now, that statement ought not be misconstrued as condoning fictional presentations (that are labeled as fact, as fiction is a proper human endeavor - we see historical fiction everywhere being written). What it means is that the posturing, and such, of the experts has very little to do with the being-ness (then and now) of the ancestors. Have a little humility, gals and guys. Even if you bring in science, be a little philosophical about it.


So, back to the image; there are several open generations that need attention. I recently read a 1921 paper (NEHGR, v79, p 358 - pointer to by G. Andrews Moriarty titled The Royal Descent of a New England Settler. He is talking about William Sargent of Malden. But, there are many other examples that could be used. The paper gives one a very good idea of the depth of attention that is required.

Too, if this paper were rewritten today, it would be different. William Sargent is not on a lot of lists (of which there are many).

Now, that, then, brings up the end of this. There have been many books and authors dealing with this subject. Frankly, I like to query those that are on-line. I am only going to use one book, for now.

Thankfully, Richardson's books are available. At least, in the preview mode, on Google, one can see a summary of results, even if the page cannot be seen. So, here is one of Richardson's books (there is a search box - Neville, a whole lot to look at). Now, let's use Wikipedia. This page points to the Ralph Neville born in 1456 (you can trace back his pedigree, if you like, just follow both parents at each node - yeah, Wikipedia, from the world's oldest wiki'an). He did have a son, Ralph. But, the information on Wiki stops there (see image, and the upper arrow - there are five generations to prove). Has some researcher filled in the information? Notice the references, on which list you will find Richardson.

Aside: There are people who go missing from family trees. I have several examples to show for this. But, getting them back into the tree requires making a strong case (lots to discuss there). On the other hand, lots of unfounded insertions have been claimed, as in children not known to have been of a couple's issue. Then, some of these are out of whack as biological facts are not considered; miraculous births are not expected to be accepted in genealogy (but, see the above comments on rational explanations).

In short, there is work to do. What is not well-founded are any notions that the questions raised so far have been properly resolved. The important thing, though, is not all questions have been asked.

The adage: When does a mathematician give up on trying to prove a theorem? Unless it is something pretty trivial, never, as long as there is reasonable interest, of course.

Remarks: Modified: 08/12/2014

08/12/2014 - To complete this post, let's take the Neville line three generations further, Ralph, grandson of the Ralph above, had a daughter, Margaret (d. 1559), who married Henry Manners (1525-1563) as his first wife. They had issue. Source: Cokayne, George Edward (1949). The Complete Peerage, edited by Geoffrey H. White XI. London: St. Catherine Press.

Henry Manners is not mentioned in Richardson's book which implies that no one over here has claimed he and his wife, yet. One complaint that I have seen is that a lot of effort has gone into proving lines that relate to people of interest (not my description), such as the rich and famous. But, even if that were not true, there would be many lines still unexplored after all of this time. In just five years, over here, I have found plenty of ignored people and, in fact, just completed a paper on one of these.

There is an adage. Would you rather be of the set of those who are still looking or of those who made early claims that were later shown to be problematic (no need, really, to provide examples)?

So, the work is, by no means, over.  

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Gardner Annals

This post introduces the premier issue of The Gardner Annals (Volume I, Number 1). In the interests of the Society's purpose "to honor the accomplishments of the Cape Ann party and to promote, and to sponsor, scholarly research of a cultural, biographical, historical, and genealogical nature, with an emphasis on, but not limited to, the origins and the lives of New England immigrants," the Annals will allow presentation of results and materials related to the research that is sponsored by, or is of interest to, the Thomas Gardner Society, Inc.

This issue provides a chronological view of some events of interest. The items have appeared in Gardner's Beacon issues starting with Volume II, Number 6.

Accompanying the Annals will be a repository for information that will be of assistance to researchers. For example, we intend to post ahnentafels that have been fully referenced. Additionally, we will collect information about Patriots who may be documented, such as having entries in Massachusetts Soldiers & Sailors in the war of Revolution, but who may not appear in any approved ancestor lists, such as the D.A.R. database.  The information in the repository has a purpose of encouraging further research.

Remarks: Modified: 08/07/2014

08/07/2014 - With respect to the use of Margaret Fryer, see How Many Wives? and About Margaret. ... This, of course, is subject to research and discussion, but a strong case can be made that Margaret was busy with kids and not inclined to endure puritanical posturings. Too, Thomas did (deigned to do) his freeman's oath when it became advantageous for his children that he do so. When Thomas signed up, in 1637, he was immediately thrown with Hathorne into the General Court. I would love to hear (have heard) Thomas' reaction to machinations of the Johns (and their cohorts). Again, one research mode will look at who contributes more (age-old issue, but very much of interest today and into the future).

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Sign of the times

Researching Ipswich is an interesting task. They have the largest collection of early 1700 (plus or minus) houses in one area (see Ipswich walking tour). Each of these houses has a history which, then, can help build the picture of a family. And, Ipswich had enough of these houses that one could be disassembled and put in the Smithsonian Museum of American History.


Mother obtaining guardianship
The image is from a 1761 Ipswich court record of a case in which a mother obtained guardianship of her son. Now, this son was over 14 years of age but was still a minor. And, his father had died, leaving three small children (but, he left land for his wife), when the boy was one year old. So, the mother had raised him for 13+ years prior to this request. Okay, she did have to establish her right to the obligation, given the times. As well, she had to have a couple of character witnesses. 

Another point, though, is the next thing we know is that the young man is in the Ipswich military; the time frame was the latter days of the French & Indian war. He is on several rolls including that of Capt. Nathan Brigham's company. So, being a minor, the young man needed someone to sign him up; his father was deceased. 

As an aside, some have said that this bit of friction involving the French was a training ground for the Revolution as many younger males were enlisted, trained, and learned from the experience. So, England trained its own rebels, so to speak. But, too, the revolution could have started in Ipswich, a recent columnist noted, almost a century earlier, to wit, Rev. John Wise's (1687 arrest by Gov. Andros - see Remarks, 08/02/2014) experience (he married Abigail Gardner who was a descendant of Thomas Gardner of Roxbury). 


There are more details in an upcoming article (TEG 34). But, the young man was signed up as John Leatherland, son of Sarah. Usually, the younger enlistees were noted as son of the father. That type of recorded association can be a nice genealogical boost. John, the enlistee in 1761, had been born in 1744. His parents were John Leatherland and Sarah Kimball, of Ipswich.

His great-grandniece married a Thomas Gardner of Salem descendant. 

Remarks: Modified: 08/02/2014

08/02/2014 - Book Review, WSJ, 07/25/2014: The Revolution might well have happened a century before it did. When word reached Boston in April of 1689 that James II had fled England and that William of Orange had arrived from the Netherlands to take his place (the colonists didn't learn the news until months after it had happened), riots broke out across Boston. "The Body of our People," one observer noted, were encouraged to "assert our Liberties against the Arbetrary Rulers that were fleecing them." Already many colonists could think of colonial authorities—governors, even local authorities—as agents of a foreign power.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

John Gardner and the Merrimack River

John Gardner was a son of Thomas and Margaret who was born at Cape Ann in pre-Conant times (1624). We have mentioned him a few times, such as for his roles in Nantucket, but he also was involved with Essex County and Massachusetts.

Gardner's map
In 1638, Gov. John Winthrop wanted a survey of the Merrimack River. Nathaniel Woodward (NEHGR, Vol. 51, 1897), a mathematician and surveyor, led the effort. John Gardner was part of the crew (Browne, G.W. (1906) "The Merrimack River: Story of its First Survey" Granite State Magazine, Vol. 1, p 133). Later, John annotated a copy of the map that was drawn using survey results.

See the image which can be found at Salem Deeds (John's signature is on Section C).


John would have been young, of apprentice age, but this had to be a good experience. Dr. Frank (1907, pg 52) wrote that he "was first mentioned in the records of the 'General Court' at Boston" when the treasurer was "ordered to pay John Gardner ... for witness charge & carrying Goodman Woodward, his instruments to Ipswich."

This crew's map was used until 1652's effort at determining the northern extent of Massachusetts.


Note: I ran across the map while researching another topic involved with Ipswich. One intent is to gather as much as is available, and can be found, for each person of the 1st generation. Then, providing a persistent means for presentation is (will continue to be) on the table.  

Remarks: Modified: 07/262014

07/27/2014 - In 1638, there was a Harvard class in progress. From the viewpoint of effectiveness required for successful establishment of a community, one can, easily IMHO, ask whether John's experience might have some, a lot IMHO, advantages over the classroom discussions related to the number of angels on a pin head (sorry, had to write that)? This is an age-old argument, very much apropos to some modern problems. We expect to address this topic, and related topics, again. For now, look at Staloff's book (see preview at Google books): The Making of an American Thinking Class (oh Lord, deliver us). I have mentioned him several times in posts. I would take 100 Thomas' as backbones and brains over any intellectual as would anyone who has to deal with reality and problems that have to be HANDled.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

1st Governor?

This post goes along with our efforts at organizing all of the material that has been collected. For one thing, we expect to have the bibliography documented more extensively than what we have done so far. For many topics, we want to have an annals unfolding of the discussion. Gardner's Beacon, Vol. II, No. 6 - Issue, Post, is an example.

Today, I got to reading Hutchinson's work (Vol. I, Vol. II) that he finished after going back to England (as a Loyalist). He, of course, had Hubbard's manuscript which we almost lost due to fire (and riot). That would have been a real disaster for the Gardner viewpoint, as Rev. William Hubbard was the first to write (we will check this - was Cpt. Johnson, first?); and he had talked to all of the principals (Rev. William's work was published in the early 1800s over 160 years after he did his work). And, we can see how extensively Rev. William talks about the early years (as in, pre-1620 - see Gardner's Beacon, Vol. III, No. 1 - Issue, Post).

Let's look at one little item.


If one asks the question (Who was the first Governor of Massachusetts?), the most general answer will be John Winthrop who came over in 1630. Others, who might be more considerate of specifics, will answer John Endecott since he had a Royal charter in 1629. For more information, look at Wikipedia which has a nice list of colonial governors of Massachusetts.

Now, considering Plymouth, one can add John Carver at the top. However, what about George Popham? The Popham effort was successful in many ways and was thirteen years prior to the advent of the Mayflower Compact.

Then, we get to Ferdinando Gorges who supported Popham. He, and his son, Robert, were involved with several attempts.

We must not hold that they moved locations against them. That was the reality in Virginia, too. And, the Cape Ann crew moved.

Now, speaking of which, some might say, Roger Conant. This is mentioned in the family book (note that this link goes to their discussion of what we called Margaret's house - Gardner's Beacon, Vol. II, No. 4 - Issue, Post - Note: there is no mention of Thomas Gardner). Rev. William talked about Roger's lament of being ignored (-- future post -- this quote plus the late 1800s meeting that included the noted descendants, such as William Crowinshield Endicott, Jr, Henry Cabot Lodge, and others).


Now, in his book, Dr. Frank touches upon this, very briefly. But, in a section of Vol. II, No. 6, there is a look at the original source: Elizabeth Gardner Amory. Elizabeth's granddaughter, Dorothy Winthrop Bradford, writes about discussions with her. The image is from the book, Reared in a Greenhouse (preview mode at Google books) by Dorothy B. Wexler.

The time frame to which Elizabeth refers would be (say) post-US-Civil War. Elizabeth claims to have been the first to make this statement about the first governor. Her discussion about the matter is on page 10 (see image).


This little example is one of many. The recent book about how "invisibles" hold the world together offers a few modern concepts that can be useful as we proceed with further analysis (more later - but, there is no shadow nor is there any lament).

Remarks: Modified: 07/23/2014

07/22/2014 - Captain Edward Johnson published, in London, in 1654. His book was redone, in Andover, MA, in 1867 (this is in the collection for the bibliography). ... How could I not mention Higginson whose comment about Endecott's house lives on?

07/23/2014 - Read a little more of the book. Interesting. Added Elizabeth to the descendants list (Wikipedia, which has a page for the Dudley-Winthrop family). This list will be getting more attention; the last exercise got rid of stale and suspect links. We will reorganize (with the intent to foster analysis and discussion) and add more descendants (we need more of Miriam's progeny, for example).

Saturday, July 19, 2014


We have started a Facebook page which is public (for now) to promote the interest. Please visit and comment. This is an informational page.

As the interest grows, we can take the matters to a private by invitation (or other type of) group. At that point, we could get more into the current genealogical studies.


If the access, for some material, ought to be in Facebook only and not public, please let us know.


The Forum, started in 2013 at the TGS site, is being retired.

Remarks: Modified: 07/19/2014

07/19/2014 -

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Web site - reconfigure

The context has been discussed for awhile (CMS, again, Website and CMS, ...). Until a few days ago, I was mostly in research mode (quite an involved study). For one, the whole computational framework is accelerating all of the time, almost to being out of control.

To wit, if you must ask, someone using the following metaphor brings out one big issue: A generation lost in the bazaar. If one looks at the framework, it is a horrible affair with most interest following the money. What other attempts are there that look at requirements, the more universal aspects, and such. Following the buzz, the apps count, for instance, is way over 1M.

Who can grasp that? And, we're not bringing into the discussion (as of yet) things like malfeasance, mis/dis-information, and the like.


Part of the study was getting a grip on all of the alternatives. There is a whole lot of stuff available. Many want more money than their stuff is worth. Some of the free stuff is phenomenal (see below). One can buy into someone's worldview (golden handcuffs, so to speak). One can piecemeal things.

And, the cloud? We are using some of that, yet the details related to things computational ought not be hidden too much. That leaves the wizards without oversight.

So, what the TGS, Inc. (we need an acronym) site uses now, one might characterize as about 1999. That is pre-2000 when all of the resources were going into handling the massive number of failures that were to occur (and did not, except to trivial amounts). After that, money was loosened, so the web stuff took off. Rushed forward (remember the tech crash?).

The next decade saw some interesting changes (remember FB was still small in 2008). So, there are a couple of pages at the beta site that get us up to, say, 2012.


I had some free time and decided to see how far I could get with just HTML/CSS. The example at Gardner's Beacon(TM)'s page illustrates this a little. Of course, at some point, one has to get to code (which is everyone's right). Now, dealing with such details can be extremely tedious (downright awful, sometimes), yet real advances will have the machine do the hard stuff in a way that is verifiable (singularity thoughts, notwithstanding).

We're still alpha, as there are a lot of things that need to be considered. At some point, the site will be reconfigured using one of the newer methods. But, that will not be the end. These things will continue to (ought to) be of interest forever (there is too much at stake to pull the ostrich's move).


Of course, in all of this, there is a major theme. What would Thomas think? Such as, how about FB's stumbling around and experimenting in questionable ways (because they could, and no one seems to grasp the issues any more)?

Remarks: Modified: 07/30/2014

07/14/2014 - Got an example banner using only HTML/CSS (but, may go to WebGL).

07/16/2014 - We pushed a lot of changes up today (not all pages are done, but the site is functional). Created a new page, devlog, that will talk "turkey" as in how a more complete view is required for truth engineering. Meanwhile, more improvements being researched. As an aside, D.A.R. recently changed their site's look (modernization that emphasizes the cover - one might say, PR view). But, when one goes to the functional aspects, things are still the same (as in, this page). Just as the cloud requires servers (services), there needs to be the intermediate frameworks that are not supported by tablet, or smaller, technologies (yet, ..., but can those devices ever be sufficient?).

07/18/2014 - Wikipedia page references (for one thing, using Vol. III, No. 2) being updated. About Us and 400ths being reworked. ... Main page changed (Beacon issues migrated to new format).

07/19/2014 - Mostly done with the reconfiguration. Now will be updating content.

07/30/2014 -- One page to go (Sources). Watch What's new and Facebook.