Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Henry D. Gardiner

Earlier, a post (Places) mentioned that a query had arisen about the origins of Gardiner, OR. There had been a well-documented shipwreck (1850) without loss of lives and with the load being saved and the ship being salvaged for its lumber. Win-win, so to speak.

At the point where the goods were stored on land (nine miles from the wreck site), covered by the ship's tarp sails, a town arose. It was given its name since the person who had commissioned the ship's journey was named Mr. Gardiner. This loose naming was used in several stories, over the long years though there was mention of Boston as his place of business.

Much later, in 1994, an effort to document the town as a historic place resulted in a nice write up (see the "Places" post). That work identified the the owner, Henry D. Gardiner. Now, who was he? It was said that he lived in Boston.

Too, we were told about the motivation for the shipment and a few other details, but, somehow, anything about Mr. Gardiner was never filled in.


We have found Henry D. Gardiner and provide a few bits about his life and times. He did live in Boston and can be found in both the 1855 Massachusetts and the 1860 US Census. His business was said to be lumber which relates to the purpose for the ship, Bostonian, being dispatched around the Cape to Oregon.

Note: A pre-fab house was aboard that was put up by George L. Snelling (who served as postmaster).

The following is a list of brief notes that can be expanded when the information is fully assembled.
Dr. Silvester Gardiner
  • He was born Silvester Henry Dearborn Gardner in 1814 in Pittston, ME (near Gardiner) to John and Phebe Gardiner. His mother was a daughter of Benjamin and Rebecca (Luce) Cartwright.  
  • Henry died in May of 1876 in Marshfield, MA. His death record identifies his parents. At the time, he was the Treasurer of the Butter and Churn Association. 
  • His grandfather, Gideon, was a first cousin of Dr. Silvester Gardiner (physician, pharmaceutical merchant). The good Doctor (image) was a Tory during the Revolution. Both Gideon and Silvester were born in Rhode Island. Silvester is the namesake of Gardiner, ME and is mentioned in Dr. Frank's book. 
  • They were descendants of George Gardner of Rhode Island through son Benoni. 
  • The family book is Gardiners of Narragansett.  
  • In the 1855 Census, Henry was living next to his brother, C.F. They were in the same business. All of the stories mentioned that George Snelling who was commanding the Bostonian was a nephew (this still to be confirmed). 
  • Henry is mentioned in Eliza's database (i7172). There is no information beyond his father. In the 1855 Census, Henry was living with Emily whom he had just married. 
  • Henry dropped Silvester from his name. Even Eliza did not have it.  
  • Boston directory, 1855. C.F. & H.D. Gardiner
1855, Boston Directory

Originator of the original query was Dr. Stuart Gardner Garret of Oregon with whom I corresponded as we focused in on Mr. Gardiner's identify. Altogether, over a period of a couple weeks, there were about 4 to 6 (multi-tasking so elapsed time, not effort) hours put into the work, as a few minutes were available here and there. The resolution, post the hunt-and-gather phase, of the issue was dependent upon, and is indicative of, the power of the Internet as it was conceived prior to the wild-west themes of the world-wide web.


This work, done under the auspices of Gardner Research, was an interesting puzzle (example of a very large set). We want to solve these types as they allow disparate data to be linked; too, resolving these type of issues can help give insight to similar problems.

Remarks: Modified: 11/21/2014 

11/20/2014 -- There are several stories that could be told. Firstly, though, a few questions remain to be resolved. Is this the Henry D? Why did he commission the shipment? For that matter, why was this story not told earlier? What is the Henry D. Gardiner and George L. Snelling connection (the latter was the nephew of the former according to the tale of a passenger on the Kate Heath)? ... What was the loss incurred by the Gardiners (not win-win, as someone took a haircut, using the modern parlance)?

11/20/2014 -- On George L. Snelling: Joseph Lane papersAncestry discussion, Postmaster, ...

11/21/2014 -- Further work: ship manifests of the period; GLS did not die in Oregon, did he go back to MA?; itemize cargo, identify crew, try to value a lost (to Gardiner's company) as Gardiner, OR would be on the other side of the balance sheet - near zero; why did HDG fade away?, later, he was involved with another endeavor (early example of entrepreneurship)?; other HDG's: one was military and friend of President Chester A. Arthur (also, New York), ...; ...

Monday, November 17, 2014

Historic Nantucket

As an example of contributions by Thomas descendants, we can use the Massachusetts Magazine that was started by Dr. Frank A. Remnants of this can be seen in The Essex Genealogist. Dr. Frank A.'s ancestral tree is a current focus of research.

Today, we wanted to provide additional information related to Nantucket where sons Richard and John lived. From what we have seen so far, Nantucket records are very thorough and ought to be the envy of less organized locations.
  • Nantucket Historical Association (NHA) - They had their 100th anniversary in 1994. It is nice that the NHA has many articles from their Historic Nantucket on-line for easy use. 
  • Eliza Starbuck Barney (Vol. 50, No. 3) - The NHA database presents Eliza's years of work in a modern manner. She is one of many examples that we have run across where someone spent their life and energy doing work for genealogy and history (too, 
  • Nantucket Lands and Land Owners (Vol. 2, 1906) - Henry Barnard Worth was an early contributor for NHA's Bulletins. Chapter II, The Nantucket Insurrection, is a must read. 
Both Eliza and Henry are Thomas and Margaret descendants.

Remarks: Modified: 11/18/2014 

11/18/2014 - After seeing Eliza's database, I put out some notes based upon Dr. Frank's two books: person table. As one would expect, son Samuel was more in focus for the 1907 book. The 1993 book was George's family (not complete). Progress is being made on the expected ahnentafel format. Too, The Gardner Annals, Vol. II, No. 1, in process. 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Documenting research

The overall discussion is what is necessary to show lineage (this post has a link to the prior post). There are two examples provided: verbose and very terse (is not the strong, silent type an American icon?).

We are close to proposing a reasonable approach, based upon the ahnentafel format and a hyper-linked set (ah, hypercard, where art thou?) of supporting material. Granted, there will be some missing information such as one would like to know (sensitive stuff about individuals), however there are many ways to go about this (G+, FB, etc.) such that duplication of effort is not necessary.

Too, we take the security/privacy issues to heart, strongly (as would Thomas, I would be). So, that larger picture will continue to be in focus.

Aside: popular media abounds with stories of hacking, et al. Where was the media interest over the time frame of the internet's expansion/evolution(?) from the wild west frontier to its current state of disarray?


Earlier, I used Dr. Frank's line: grandmother and aunt. I have just completed the ahnentafel for his grandfather, Benjamin Brown Gardner which will be published soon. In his 1907 book, Dr. Frank has a summary of ancestors, and early arrivers, for each of the spouses who married into the Gardner family. Except for one, Rebecca Knapp's (spouse of Simon Stacy Gardner) heritage is strangely missing.

We have filled that in and have found it to be interesting (for one, Nathaniel Eaton - who needs to have his story retold and appreciated).

Mind you, when I say ahnentafel, I mean a fully sourced lineage. Too, thankfully for Dr. Frank, the vast majority of the material is on-line (which is to be expected as we (and society) progress).


Dr. Frank did seminal work. It is very much appropriate that we use him as the focal point to describe, analyze, discuss, and, hopefully (as in not be like Congress) resolve these matters.

Remarks: Modified: 11/18/2014 

11/16/2014 - For the two ahnentafel charts mentioned above, we intend to have a hyperlinked version on-line. Some of the source material is freely available; others of it are not (we will provide the URL anyway as a point in time marker). Persistence is the name of the game; fluidity seems to be the major vogue; ...; structure ought not be held as inimical (not categorically) by web heads (old guy talking here) or anyone else.

11/18/2014 -- Inspired by Nantucket work.

Friday, November 7, 2014


This week, there was a query from Dr. Stuart Gardner Garrett of Oregon about the "1850 Gardner connection" with the ship, Bostonian. Did we know?

Well, no; however, there is an interest in places as they involve people. And, this story is very interesting. Too, Gardner Research has this as one of its foci.

From one account, a ship coming up from San Francisco found another that had run up on a sand bar in a river in Oregon. One story was told by a descendant of a passenger on the later ship, Kate Heath. The ship that was lost was the Bostonian.

Firstly, there were no lives lost; the crew had saved the cargo which was of a very useful variety. As well, the crew had begun to dismantle the ship which was used to build structures in the town that was to be. The cargo was stored on shore under the ship's canvas. At that place, the town was built using the ship's lumber and part of the supplies.

The town? Gardiner, OR. It was named after the New Englander, named Gardiner, who had funded the ship. The descendant's account said that Coffin was captain. Actually, the captain was George Snelling who was a nephew of Mr. Gardiner. Another thing of note is that Winchester, Payne & Co. was involved.

The History of the Pacific Northwest (Volume 1) had a nice coverage of the story. But, they did not have much about Gardiner. There were various suggestions in many later writings.

Finally, research done for the National Register of Historic Places pulled things together (see page 8) in 1994. They identified the owner as Henry Gardiner, also Coffin was captain of the Kate Heath. Later work, added an initial. So, we have Henry D. Gardiner.

But, who was, and whence came, he? To be studied further.

There will be regular "Places" posts, due, in part, to the stories associated with them. Descendants of New England's Gardners can be found everywhere in the U.S. New England towns drove all sorts of settlements (to wit, Ipswich Canada which covers the area near Gardner, MA but fairly remote in the 1600s). Lawrence, KS has a main drag of Massachusetts Avenue due to the influence of the founding folk. Not far away is Gardner, KS. Perhaps, a list of cities/towns named Gardner/Gardiner in every state ought to be done.

Back to Henry, though. Unfortunately, "Bostonian" was popular for names of all types of boats (oops). Too, did no one in Oregon ask particulars about Henry, at the time? This seems so much like the case of hidden information about Thomas.

Remarks: Modified: 11/19/2014 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Status and focus

As we continue our emphasis on research and review which can involve a long period of quiet, we thought that a status update might be in order. There are a lot of things on the plate.

As we proceed, we will continue to use this blog for posting general reports and for commenting of things of interest to the Thomas Gardner Society, Inc. The technical blog will be used for those things dealing with the details whether of content, configuration, or other.


The following addresses a few things that are of special interest.
    - This year, the Thomas Gardner Society will offer two types of membership: descendant and supporting. The former will offer a means for those who descend from Thomas and Margaret to provide supported documentation of their lineage. We are preparing the application process. 
    Those are interested in membership, or in making contribution to the Society, please contact Ann at algswtlk[@]aol[.]com. 
Vita Bevis image
Arrival, by year, ancestors
of NEHGS staff members
    - Some NEHGS offerings are of special interest, given that we are working on an application process. For one, a recent video talks about lineage societies and how one applies to them: How to Apply to Lineage Societies: Tips from NEHGS. This can be used as an introduction to the general ideas. 
    As an aside, we are going to ask for documentation from the applicant's great-grandparent out. That is, more recent information related to the applicant and spouse(s), the applicant's parents, and the applicant's grandparents ought to be considered private and privileged, and handled thusly. From what we have seen (to be discussed) so far (many applications), we wonder just how respectful are these storage methods. 
    There is much to discuss, but those pieces of recent information ought to be collected and verified once. By whom and how? Then, whoever might need the information would get redacted results. There are (ought to be) ongoing discussions on this matter.  
    So, the applicant can expect to offer a lineage from about three generations out to Thomas and Margaret. We will collect these into a fully-sourced, accessible, document (technical choices under review). 
    Prior to submitting an application, though, one needs to have details about one's lineage and its acceptability. We will address this further (technical post, soon). However, R.C. Anderson, recently, published a book on his methods (Elements of Genealogical Analysis) that were developed through the Great Migration effort. 
    The technical post (see Remarks, 10/31/2014) mentioned in the prior bullet will deal with the format for supporting documentation. We, personally, have submitted packets of 50+ pages in support of applications (with some complaining of the size - however, one genealogist did say that the application that we have submitted was one of the best that he has seen in terms of supporting material presenting a cogent story). 
    At the same time, an organization that allows use of another society's information can result in a much smaller packet. For one example that we can show, a D.A.R. Record Copy can replace 17 pages. In the 50+ case, that would leave 33+. For some reason, many genealogists don't seem to trust others (this is something to analyze, to boot). 
    On the other hand, we can also show an application with a mere 7 pages with the D.A.R. Record Copy. That later case may be too small, but not if it references easily accessible information. The support material, essentially, consisted of links to on-line material with a small snap-shot from each source. 
    Silly? No. Let's use Rich Hall's work (see below). He has the "famouskin" site (take off on some works by G.B. Roberts of NEHGS) which shows how celebrity and its attention motivate filling in genealogical pieces. So, finding famous cousins may offer help to researchers. we have found it to be so. 
    That is, have you not heard that the rich and famous get the genealogical attention? Or, the corollary? Many with pedigrees have been ignored due to several reasons, such as lack of resources, nobody interested, etc. 
    In the top box of the Edith graph, mouse-over either Emanuel Downing or Lucy Winthrop. Notice the drop-down menu. Also, notice that you can transition over to a lot of the sources and read the material. That will be a focus of the presentation that we expect to pursue. 
    Now, having said that about sources (prior bullet), we will use the ahnentafel of Lucy Foster Wilson Gardner who was the grandmother of Dr. Frank A. as the means to demonstrate the ideas. There are many ways to approach the task, but we will convert the PDF material to a linked HTML file. Notice that the ahnentafel is fully sourced with footnotes. Just about all of those source references are to on-line material. 
In the application process, we expect to use about a third of the pages (see above application reference, 50+ pages). That requirement comes from requiring a snapshot, in time, of the source material, principally to overcome the latent fallibility of the web, non-persistence - there until we see semantic approaches have more wide-spread use in genealogy and family histories.

Remarks: Modified: 10/31/2014 

10/28/2014 - The 400th anniversaries are a more remote focus. 

10/31/2014 - See start of technical discussion: Supporting material.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Savage et al

This is the first of many posts. It is basically meant to show what James Savage (wiki intro) wrote so many years ago (source for the following image:

Savage (1784 - 1873) pre-dated Dr. Frank's (1861 - bfr 1940) career.

Anderson (Great Migration) does use Savage's work; Dr. Frank's work is missing from the series (at least, from the part dealing with Thomas Gardner).

Notice, in the image, that Savage mentions Margaret Fryer. Now, this is not the first time that I looked at Savage's work. For the most part, it has been helpful. I marvel at his stamina (put yourself in his shoes, in his times, and in the limited milieu - technologically speaking - within which he worked --- by the way, same goes for Dr. Frank's later work) and productivity.

Remarks: Modified: 10/12/2014 

10/12/2014 - Subsequent discussions will consider the Tabula Raza issue, for one thing. Also, our focus on collecting what was known (or thought to be known, say, for example, whence) and when it was known (and how supported) and by whom (over the whole of the almost 400 years - see Annals, for starters) and all of that (including what the Great Migration project documented) is apropos to the state of knowledge. Savage did have his head in the 18th century as did Rev. Felt.

Friday, October 3, 2014

WikiTree and the like

During the past five years, I have seen lots of sites. Some of these have been around awhile and show their age. Others are too new to know how they will persist (as in, be more than a flash in the pan).

Now, Wikipedia has been evolving quite well: Thomas Gardner (planter) - the critical remarks will be there until we redo the page (imminent). Be aware that there are subsidiary pages to maintain, such as Old Planters, Great House (Cape Ann), and more. 

So, running across WikiTree (Thomas Gardner) today caught my interest. Notice that there have been comments introduced on the pages of Thomas and Samuel. 

Rather than start our own WikiTree (see discussion), ought we lean into what has already been done? 

Remarks: Modified: 10/06/2014 

10/03/2014 - I have seen this before, but it looked incomplete given what has been published. For instance, there was nothing for Samuel. Dr. Frank A. (1st cousin, twice removed) is a descendant and filled in the information in his 1907 book. That brings up a question: why did the Great Migration Project ignore Dr. Frank A.'s work?

10/06/2014 -- Early Families of New England study of NEHGS. We can do something similar for Thomas descendants. On a wildcard search, there were 7,289 records (some are mentions, only, in the profiles of others). Still, the project is moving forward. So, that means that I'll spend some time reviewing what they have for the trees that I know (Lucy, Susan, ...). Plus, some of the "planters" such as Humphrey Woodbury - he has five pages - and others related to Cape Ann. ... Introduction from American Ancestor, Spring 2013.