We have seen that genealogy can involve a large number of families and individuals. That is, Thomas Gardner of Salem has thousands (100s of) descendants that could be named. So, one on-going exercise might be to look at the disparate trees that come from research by various families and try to merge these.
D.A.R. has a project that is along this line where threads, from the member to the patriot, are documented at each generation. Then, these ought to establish a tree that has some strength when joined together.
Our problem is that we have to go back before the time of the American Revolution which is the focus of D.A.R. For instance, in Dr. Frank A's tree, there is an ancestor who was at Bunker Hill, 1775 -- Thomas Gardner descendant of Thomas Gardner of Roxbury. What is the relationship between the Salem and Roxbury families? As well, there are many other patriots in the D.A.R database who are documented.
Now, if we could start with a database, like the D. A. R. one, then it might be a little easier. Then, assuming that the different families have done a good job going back from the D.A.R information, we could attempt the a merge, with caution. Some other groups seem to offer this type of possibility, such as the descendants of Newbury founders.
For several reasons, trees that have some RD link seem to be more full and better documented. But, too, having the RD list makes it easier as then the work is just going back to the gateways. Which, with a D. A. R. basis, one is only talking about 100 years or so to fill in.
In this post, we look at a couple of trees that show convergence to a royal gateway for a Thomas descendant. There are many more that we hope to itemize in a separate post.
In this case, the individual is Charles Francis Adams, Jr. (b 1835 - Civil War General) who is a descendant of Thomas Gardner of Salem through his son, Richard. Charles' maternal great-grandfather is Nathaniel Gorham, Jr (of course, also a Thomas descendant), who was a signer of the U.S. Constitution. One of Charles' paternal grandfathers is John Quincy Adams, the 6th U.S. President.
Now, let's look at two of the many trees that have Charles in them. And, remember, each family only expands to the extent necessary for their work (it is rare to find a fully developed tree; is one goal here to get all of Thomas' descendants to 1900, for example?).
Who is Elizabeth? She descends from Edward III of England. We will look for further information on her.
However, another tree (01/03/2013 - removed link as database is gone) expands the mother's side more and shows Myles Standish, who is also on some gateway lists. Myles is well-known from all the Thanksgiving stories in which he features.
07/20/2013 -- Interesting work, and related database, at PASE.uk, including a database built upon the Domesday Book (can identify old families).
01/06/2013 -- Ten years ago, The Atlantic had a nice article on Humphry's work. I ran across his site in the last couple of years, at some point, so it was nice to run across the article.
01/03/2013 -- One of the rootsweb databases disappeared which is good as it demonstrates the need to consider persistence (both short and the longer term).
04/30/2012 -- We see, in the tree examples, two of the early Thomases (of Salem and of Roxbury). That was not planned, but it is of interest for a couple of reasons. Many have these two related to each other; another view says not. After a couple of years of experience now, these types of nuances become more apparent.
01/14/2011 -- Improve the discussion of a ratcheted method where attempts at closing a gap (more extrapolation than not) would have a stronger basis. Added links.
11/23/2010 -- Necessary studies include prosopography. Charlemagne features so heavily in the royal trees due to the amount of sponsored work related to identifying his descendants.