Sunday, September 21, 2014

Diversion, Gloucester - Charles Olson

First, how could Gloucester be a diversion? In fact, it is where the Cape Ann crew, led by Thomas Gardner (1624), spent their "almost" idyllic time. And, it is from there that the crew, now led by Roger Conant (1626), went to Naumkeag, soon to be Salem. So, the area ought to be of interest to the TGSociety.

Further, the area was visited by people from Winthrop's boat (1630) when they were partying in celebration of making a successful voyage. Notwithstanding that, the place (Essex County's southern shore) was seen as disagreeable, so the power core moved west. Those who partied at Cape Ann, picked, and enjoyed, the fresh strawberries (extolled by Anne Dudley Bradstreet) of June. And, there are many more stories to tell.

Speaking of which, in the context of earlier research, I ran across Charles Olson (Worcesterite by birth, but Gloucesterite by choice) a couple of times. Then, I ran across him, again, today on another topic. This time, I stopped to look more closely.

And, the look motivated several things, a couple that we follow up on here. The following links are a good introduction. The first link is to a guide; the last two are a description of a meeting and a book review. The other three are to Charles' own writings (small sampling).
Having run across this, the notion strikes me that we need to encourage, support several types of works that would relate to Thomas and the Cape Ann crew. And, this approach would allow for a better presentation of insights in a persistent manner (not talking technology). 

Now, that is a fairly open bit, yet, we'll contrast it further (below). However, there is enough given to motivate (I might dabble myself).  

As opposed to some more logistic/numeric approaches (consider, if you would, the emphasis on DNA (and similar studies) to fill in our being as it has been framed and given to us by the collective of our ancestral mix, we need to not lose our soul, so to speak (no disrespect to genealogy's attempts to make itself more empirical). Too, though, the above suggestion would help in creating emergent views from the minimal basis (see earlier reference to Tabla Raza). We also used paleoichnology as an example; principally, the ability to use knowledge, plus limited data, to develop a reasonably founded view of a complex system, such as were the dinosaurs.

This is sketchy, from certain aspects. It is not from the tone of someone such as Charles.

Aside: Essex County, of course, is the principal focus, where we let Salem (rightly or wrongly) shine (Gardner's Beacon has many meanings). We mentioned Ipswich, earlier. As it were, Gloucester was as important in that research (adjointness). So, we are giving it more attention. But, there will be more to come: Newbury and the other northern "buries" (several); Lynn, of course; Andover, well, we did mention that; and more.

Remarks: Modified: 09/21/2014

09/21/2014 - Idyllic? No church, no state, benign leader, adults surviving, effectiveness on display. First occurrence within the English culture? Albeit, short of duration. As Roger brought John L. and more. When Roger came, the boisterous group was not cowered by the elements nor by the natives. ...

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Gardner's Beacon, Vol. IV, No. 3

Recently, we introduced The Gardner Annals & Research. The use of Annals has several meanings, one of which was demonstrated in Vol. I, No. 1 and has been a regular feature of Gardner's Beacon issues since late 2012. Another use relates to reports of activities and, as we will allow, presentation of research results.

Our purpose is to have material available on-line to support work related to the extended family of Thomas and Margaret Gardner. At the same time, some of the research work sponsored by the Thomas Gardner Society, Inc. will appear in The Essex Genealogist (


In regard to research, we will publish a list of open issues regarding the first three generations (let's say, in order to set an initial limit) that require attention. Now, what might be an issue? Well, it can be of a range of things that we hope becomes more clear as we gather material.

Some of the issues have already been addressed in posts in this blog (say, How many wives?). Of late, there have been many queries about origins, or the "whence" issue. Today, a researcher pointed to a source for the baptism records of son, Thomas and George, implying, of course, that Thomas, Sr.'s location would be known.

Too, though, one emphasis has been on collecting all of the Gardner-related works (and their conclusions) that have accumulated over the years. Of these, some have stood the test of time. Why this is so needs to be explained. Others may have some element of truth but are problematic.

As an aside, the method would cover all. If something is swampy, then it'll be noted as such.

Pet peeve: People running down research paths, learning lessons, taking what they want, but, then, leaving no records as they venture elsewhere. Some things seem to be quicksand; markers ought to be left behind in these areas. Now, how this type of thing might be done is not clear. Is it necessary? That can be shown, given enough time.

By the way, hence we have the leaning toward on-line access and marking.


See Vol. IV, No. 3 of Gardner's Beacon for a consideration of interests and goals of the Thomas Gardner Society, Inc. related to research and publication.

References: see Sources (Current Issue)  

Remarks: Modified: 09/19/2014

09/19/2014 - Ann Downing and Sarah Kimball are mentioned as being subjects of further research. One of Sarah (Kimball) Leatherland's grandmothers was Sarah (Whipple) Goodhue (yeah, Stories from Ipswich). Upcoming article in The Gardner Annals and TEG 34 (November).

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Next Gardner's Beacon issue

The next issue of Gardner's Beacon, Vol. IV, No. 3, is in the works. Per usual, there will be an update to the historic record in the "annals" format. Also, some details regarding the Corporation are provided.

A couple persons of interest who are mentioned in the issue are Ann Downing who married Joseph Gardner. They are an example of those who did not leave offspring and whom we ought to make a special effort to remember. Ann is a fascinating subject and will be featured again.

Perley provided maps of Salem with his book. On one map, he used Ann Bradstreet to mark the owner of a lot. Ann had married Simon Bradstreet after Joseph was killed in the Pequot War. It was her property prior to the marriage and belonged to her mother, Lucy, earlier.

Perley took the time to trace transactions for the property, including partitionings done during Joseph's time and later. When Ann died, part of the estate went to Joseph's heirs who were sons of his brother, Thomas.

Another interesting person is Sarah (Kimball) Leatherland who raised her kids after her husband, John, died when the kids were young. Sarah had to later go to court to get custody for son, John, who then joined, at a young age, the Ipswich military during the time of the French & Indian war which event some claim was practice for the later conflict with England.            

Remarks: Modified: 09/15/2014

09/15/2014 -  More references use Lucy than not.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Gardner research

Recently, research performed under the auspices of the Thomas Gardner Society, Inc. culminated in papers that were published in The Essex Genealogist (2014, Volume 34). 
  • "The Graves Family of Ipswich" TEG, Vol. 34, #2, Pg. 92 (Update of TEG (2000) Vol. 20, #4, Pg. 226)  
  • "The Trials of the Wilson Family" TEG, Vol. 34, #3, Pg. 155
A subsequent paper ("John Sayward/Soward of Gloucester/Ipswich") will be printed in the next issue of The Gardner Annals. 


See Annals/Research for an ahnentafel for Lucy Foster Wilson Gardner that accompanied the Wilson family paper. Lucy was the grandmother of Dr. Frank. A. Gardner, the original Gardner researcher.   

The ahnentafel is full through six generations and is fully sourced for births and deaths. At this time, the material is in a PDF file. The intent is to have a Gardner database that will be sourced (when possible), persistent and maintained.  

In the meantime, this format can be easily parsed and could be used to begin to collect information about Gardner roles in history. Dr. Frank A. is a descendant of son Samuel. It would be a good milestone to have one of these for each of the children of Thomas and Margaret.   


We are inviting contributions of data related to Thomas Gardner of Salem and his descendants (algswtlk [at] aol [dot] com). 

Remarks: Modified: 09/17/2014

09/17/2014 -- Modified the email.

09/17/2014 - The next issue of Gardner's Beacon (Vol. IV, No. 3) will have an Annals/Research focus. The use of Annals before Research denotes several things, one of which is that the Annals is expected to publish more than results from Gardner's Research. ... The next issue of Gardner's Annals will reprint an article from TEG Vol. 34. Too, it will print an article that is expected to be in the November, 2014 issue of TEG.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Content, again

A lot of focus has been on organizational issues, configuration, and such. So, one has to ask a question, motivated by McLuhan: is configuration the content? Some might argue so; it will be interesting to look at this further.

We're about ready to get back to the matters at hand. Right now, let's start a list of topics to discuss. Links will be put in later.
    On method, and being motivated by Anderson's work, we can say this: genealogy cannot be any more empirical than are the social sciences. As many with brick walls might say, it's as dismal as is economics. Yet, given the prominent worldview with which NEHGS deals, honoring the ancestors ought to be of prime-most importance. Of course, more on this.   
    Even if the biological is brought into the equation, there are still many things to cover that are outside of the mainstream. Now, the issue ought to be how to make these less problematic. Is that hard to do? Depends upon many things; it is worth the effort. In fact, it is just that sort of discourse where real insights into our past and those in it will (ought to) come into play. 
    On Puritan Roots, deep and otherwise (again, Anderson), we will have to weigh in. Why? Not being secular, so much, but Thomas and his crew were probably the FIRST (and, we can research this) occurrence of a peaceable, effective mix (this we can argue and will) of adult humans who were without state and church (to be defined and described as necessary). For this accomplishment, which would not be seen as such by Puritans, secularists, and other limited viewpoints, Thomas and the Cape Ann group ought to have our eternal gratitude (and for their role as one source of the being of the descendants). 
    The Cape Ann folks were without CHURCH and STATE despite machinations by their southern neighbors. Too, we can look at how Conant arriving with his minister in tow changed the environment. Yes, Roger the peace maker, it is said. For one thing, that shows that the Cape Ann crowd was healthy and boisterous. 
    Despite the ruminations of Rev. John White (a lot more to add here), Thomas and his crew were successful. Rev. John mixed in those who were mid-way twixt the Cape Cod bunch and those of Cape Ann (Merry Mount, if you must ask) plus a few others. That he could not see the truth very much needs another look or two. 
    John Endicott's arrival set the stage for the dire winters. Too many people at once swamping the resources is one thing that we will see. But, that influx could not be contained for almost a decade; no wonder the Natives (those who were here) were frictional in an increasing manner.
The upcoming Gardner's Beacon will deal with some of this. Too, The Gardner Annals will provide some genealogical looks which are intended to motivate Thomas Gardner descendants, and others, to submit material. 

More later. 

Remarks: Modified: 08/26/2014

08/26/2014 - The following is being added for future reference. Limits of Genealogical Research (Genealogy's Star blog asking this question: Are there limits to genealogical research?): Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five, Part Six, Part Seven.

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: 09/17/2014

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).

09/01/2014 -- Gardner Research announced. "The Trials of the Wilson Family" published (TEG (2014) 34:155).

09/17/2014 - The next issue of Gardner's Beacon (Vol. IV, No. 3) will have an Annals/Research focus. The use of Annals before Research denotes several things, one of which is that the Annals is expected to publish more than results from Gardner's Research. ... The next issue of Gardner's Annals will reprint the article from TEG Vol. 34. Too, it will print an article that is expected to be published in the November, 2014 issue of TEG.