Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Two cousins

The descendants list for Thomas and Margaret holds a lot of potential stories, from the early times onward. As mentioned before, we want to look at some of these before coming forward with Dr Frank A.'s tree (RD, et al). In some cases, we have separate lines merging back together.

So, we can talk about the meeting of two cousin lines. The first of the cousins, General Adolphus Greely (ancestors) is from John and Sarah (Gardner) Balch through their son, Freeborn. After serving in the Army in the Civil War, he became an explorer. He led, as a First Lieutenant, the Lady Franklin Bay Expedition (1881-1884) that found itself stranded because of the inability of supply ships to reach their location. There were follow-up attempts, but his wife succeeded in her efforts to keep the interest up. What was left of the team was rescued by Admiral Schley.

Now, the second of the cousins commanded one of the rescue vessels. He was Captain George William Coffin (ancestors). He is a descendant of Richard and Sarah (Shattuck) Gardner through their son, John. George was a US Naval Academy graduate and spent much of his career at sea. For the rescue, George captained the HMS Alert which had been lent to the US by Britain for the specific purpose of the relief mission.

3 -- Coffin, 22 -- Greely
July 1884, USS Thetis
Needless to say, the Schley attempt was successful, as one descendant, of Thomas and Margaret, came to the aid of the other in an event that was five generations removed from the early times.

Remarks:

10/31/2014 -- AnceSTORY archives.

07/06/2013 -- While researching for Gardner's Beacon, Vol. III, No. 2, I ran across this photograph (Wikipedia) that has both of the cousins in close proximity on the USS Thetis. The team lost several men (there is another photo of the team in 1881), but there were some accomplishments. For instance, a new farthest north was attained by two of the members: 83°24′N 40°46′W.

05/21/2011 -- Sarah (Gardner) Balch.

Modified: 02/18/2015

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