Sunday, January 18, 2015

Benjamin Brown Gardner

We're working on an article about Benjamin Brown Gardner who was the grandfather of Dr. Frank A. and who was married to Lucy Foster Wilson. While doing the research, we have started to fill an ahnentafel (see draft).

One name that came up was Nathaniel Eaton (#84) whose story has been told many times and ways; these stories, too, lead to even many more interpretations. So, we will have to weigh in, from the position of descendants.

For now, here is a little preview.
  • Nathaniel was an interesting character who deserves more study. He was the brother of Theophilus Eaton (Deputy Governor of the Eastland Company) and of Samuel Eaton (A.B. Harvard 1649) and a scholar. 
  • He was the “first head of Harvard College; removed from office September 1639, fled to Virginia, ... took degrees of Ph.D. and M.D. at Padua in 1647” and was arrested for debt.  
  • After the move to Virginia in 1640, he sent for his wife and kids; their ship disappeared, and Nathaniel's family never arrived.  
  • Nathaniel's son, Benoni, was left behind, when his mother left for Virginia, in Cambridge under the care of Dea. Chesholme and the Church and has descendants.   
As with many persons who are not around to argue their position, a lot has been said and written without retort or clarification. Per usual, we are gathering all that we can find. However, even in the discovery state, the discussion can proceed.

Remarks: Modified: 01/24/2015

01/21/2015 - All sorts of juxtapositions existed then which can tell us about now (nothing new under the sun?). Nathaniel's life seems a crux of several of these. His accomplishments at the University of Padua denote talent that is beyond the norm. Was his experience "the first witch hunt" as some claim? "Just what are the real tales" and "how we ought to view them?" are still open issues. ... As said, we are gathering all references to Nathaniel that we can find, in order to tell the definitive story (as much as we can, so long after the fact). ... The WSJ, last year, reviewed 'Ebony & Ivy' in which we see that Nathaniel owned a slave who served Harvard students. Too, though, note one student, later, talking of trading slaves from his dorm room. Also, an abolitionist thrown out due to his view in the 1830s? 'Bondage' is the theme, in one sense, as in, are we not all bond servants of something (note: are birds free from the chains of the skyway? - or such, thanks BD). ... One fact? The 400th will be much more interesting than the anniversary a century ago. Have you noticed all of the Magna Charta (800th, this year) mentions coming out of the woodwork? ... Speaking of which: Harvard and Slavery (event).

01/21/2015 -- Nathaniel Knapp, grandson of Benoni Eaton.

01/22/2015 -- Eaton Genealogy. ... Nice writeup on Nathaniel.

01/24/2015 -- February 2015 issue of TEG will have the article on BBG which shows his line to Nathaniel.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Zouch Phoenix

Work until last week, for the most part, used Dr. Frank A.'s 1907 book. Why? It was available on-line at several places. Last week, we found out that the 1933 book is available, too (post on Heather's brick wall - Benjamin Gardner). It was so good to see this book so that we can continue apace.

Here is the link:
By this time, Dr. Frank A. had gathered a little more information (26 years of work). He mentions the ship on which the family came. And, the Zouch Phoenix is on the list of ships at the Weymouth, UK site.

Notice that the UK site says that the family of Martock, Somerset. Earlier, we saw a Thomas and Margaret married in Sherborne, Dorset. These two places are only about 14 miles apart.

Also, there is a list of passengers: Thomas Gardner and his wife, George Gardner, Richard Gardner, Joseph Gardner (all either of Weymouth or of Martock, Somerset), John Balch of Horton, Somerset, Mrs Agnes Balch, Benjamin Balch, John Balch, Thomas Gray, Walter Knight, William Trask of East Coker, Somerset, John Tilley, Peter Palfrey of Horton, Somerset, John Woodbury of Dorchester, Dorset.

Supposedly, there were some people were left at Cape Ann in the fall of 1623 to over winter. This needs a little more attention.

Remarks: Modified: 01/10/2015

01/10/2015 -

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Benjamin Gardner

Heather Wilkinson Rojo, descendant of Thomas and Margaret through Sarah Balch, has documented a "brick wall" (see below list, Surname Saturday - 3 Jan 2015) regarding Benjamin Gardner (ca 1720 - 1797) of Boston and Salem (MA) who was known to, and mentioned in the diary of, Rev. William Bentley. The following links summarize, briefly, what has been written so far.

Links added after the initial post (in chronological order by the posting). 
  • Ancestry board (8 Dec 2003) -- Hitchings connection, Benjamin's daughter married into the family.  
  • Ancestry board (10 Jul 2007) -- Information about the puzzle. 
  • ...

Gardner Research has a lot of interest in how Gardner families might relate or not.  

Remarks: Modified: 01/06/2015

01/03/2015 - Note, Dr. Frank A.'s Gardner Memorial book is digitized and on-line (Hathi Trust). I have been using the 1907 book since it is digitally available. From a brief review of this later book, I can see that Dr. Frank A. made some additions related to Thomas, specifically, as one would expect given the time lapse from 1907 to 1933. So, expect comments, and articles, on differences (see the table of person in the books, side by side). The latter book, Memorial, followed George's line. The first book detailed Dr. Frank A.'s lineage and a few others. Expect an article soon with information about Nathaniel Eaton, who is in the line of Benjamin Brown Gardner.

01/06/2015 -- Verified that the links were going to the right place. Adding links as I find them during a get-acquainted set of searches.

Friday, January 2, 2015

The Gardner Jonah

The New England Historical Society has an interesting site (powered by WordPress). I ran across it, again, today, and could not resist this story. There are others of interest, too.

A whaler from Nantucket, Captain Edmund Gardner, fell overboard into "the mouth of a sperm whale" and survived to write about the incident. Edmund suffered some injuries, such as a whale tooth "entering his skull."

Edmund is a descendant of Thomas and Margaret, through both John and Richard. John M. Bullard wrote the story of his life (included is genealogical material).

The book is offered via "Plough Boy Journals" provided through the facilities of the University of Denver website.

Remarks: Modified: 01/02/2015

01/02/2015 -

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Summary, 2014

This is the third year for a summary: 2012, 2013.

Our post count by year from the beginning: 2010 (13), 2011 (38), 2012 (30), 2013 (32), 2014 (47).

This year, the most active of the months was September with six posts.

The image shows reader activity by post for the "Past 30 days" and for "All time."

Past 30 days                                  All time      
In the "All time" column, "Gardners and Gardners" continues to be the post that has the most reads, overall. In 2012, this post was second. "Historical genealogy" was #1 in 2012; now, it is #3 as it was last year. "Old Planters, Beverly" kept its #2 position.

It is nice that the top reads of the "Past 30 days" are recent, albeit there may be some implication there in regard to depth of reading which might indicate a need to make links more prominent.

Of the issues for Gardner's BeaconTM, "Vol. II, No. 6" is on the "All time" list. For one thing, the issue had a time-line (annals) related to the lives of Thomas and Margaret. Too, it was the most lengthy of the issues, to date. We identified Elizabeth Gardner Armory as being the first to make the "1st Governor" claim. The overview (post) starts the discussion about Cape Ann's continued interest to the party after it ended up in Salem. Essentially, Thomas and Margaret got to enjoy, again and for a brief time, "their house" in an almost idyllic circumstance (American dream - no church, no state, no frictional neighbors; the life of Thomas and Margaret (as clean as Tabula Raza, if you would) offers much opportunity to more properly study and understand our modern basis). Expect more on this in 2015, as Magna Charta mania floats about.

The "Andover ordeal" post was followed by publication of an article in the second issue of The Gardner Annals.

Remarks: Modified: 12/30/2014

12/30/2014 - In regard to historical genealogy, see recent Comment (November 17, 2014). Update of the discussion.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Pages for organizing content

We are adding in a feature (Pages) as it will allow collection of material in ways other than temporal or categorical.

First use, Gardner Research. More to follow.

Remarks: Modified: 12/23/2014

12/17/2014 - Neat, can use a tab format.

12/23/2014 -- Added Gardner's Beacon, Recent finds and What's new pages.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Gardner's Beacon, Vol. IV, No. 4

While researching for this issue, we were looking at the movement of Gardner families southward and westward. We know that Gardners went from Salem, MA to Nantucket, for instance. Too, there was migration from Nantucket to North Caroline. In short, we know that there are descendants of Thomas Gardner in every state of the US.

And, there are many Gardner families to consider. That subject is covered by our most-read post (Gardners and Gardners).  As Gardner Research works to identify all families and their relationships, the starting point is the list provided by Dr. Frank A. in his book.


On following Quaker migration, we ran across Gardner in New Jersey. Namely, Thomas Gardner arrived there from England in 1678. The below links provide some information about that community which was quite active.

Quakers of New Jersey: FoundingThomas Gardner house in Burlington1981 celebration.

Some settlers were new arrivals. Others had gone back to England from New England and returned further south. The Quaker tales such as these need to be told.


Introducing Janet Gardner's work: Quakers, the quiet revolutionaries. Janet has produced documentaries for several years. Her work is of interest to us.


During the effort to determine the namesake of Gardiner, OR who turned out to be a descendant of George of Rhode Island, we ran across another descendant of George. Jo Ann Butler has authored books using her ancestor, Herodias, as the focus. The viewpoint is appropriate, we feel. 


See Vol. IV, No. 4 of Gardner's Beacon for a recap of the accomplishments for the year, for a table of contents and an index for all issues, for a brief look at the Nantucket timeline, and more.

References: see Sources (Current Issue)  

Remarks: Modified: 12/14/2014

12/14/2014 - To follow the research about the namesake of Gardiner, OR and the owner of the barque that wrecked, the Bostonian, see the post on Henry D. Gardiner. A paper that summarizes the findings to date will be published by The Gardner Annals (and will be submitted to The Essex Genealogist). Recently, we learned that H.D., and his brother C.F, were also shipbuilders. They had quite an extensive commercial business, including the marketing of Gardiner's Rheumatic & Neuralgic Compound.