As mentioned in this Wiki article, there are many types of 'old planters' that are worthy of attention. In New England, an early Maine group was particularly effective: came very early (into Popham), established a colony, and built a boat (Virginia) that was seaworthy sufficiently to cross the Atlantic several times. There are more examples. Time lines (Wiki article) show several settlements in the Massachusetts area prior to 1630.
In particular, we might ask about the Dorchester group that came in under Thomas Gardner and John Tilly, in 1623/24. For this, we can collect, and comment on, reports related to the topic. As a reminder, let's use The Winthrop Society's list of names (1623-27, where is Tylly?).
- Allen, Balch, Conant, Cushman, Gardner, Gray, Jeffrey, Knight, Lyford, Norman, Oldham, Palfrey, Patch, Pickryn, Winslow, Woodbury
We can find some reports that do not reference Thomas Gardner, such as this one -- Woodbury family's book (in the context of old planters, four are named): Hubbard is precise that Mr. White solicited Conant, Woodbury, Balch and Palfrey because of their character, to undertake a new settlement at Nahumkeag, promising them men, goods and supplies, a commendation sustained by his associates. Neither did Mr. White reference Thomas in his Plea.
Now, we do find later references to Thomas, such as that of Rev. Hubbard who had talked, it is believed, to all of the principals and such as this 1869 Bulletin (George D. Phippen) of the Essex Institute. Felt's look at Salem has many references.
There was an Old Planters Society concurrent with the attention brought by the 300th celebration. The group seemed to have met regularly (meeting notice June 28, 1905 -- Dr Frank A. in attendance). Lucie M. Gardner (Dr Frank A's sister) wrote this report (notice the mention of pre-1630 for membership) for the Massachusetts Magazine.
06/15/2013 -- John Farmer wrote that Thomas was from Scotland. Origins are, and will be, a focus. ... As of today, Historical genealogy is the all-time, most-read post. Coming in second is Old Planters, Beverly.
12/22/2012-- We need to differentiate between Old Planters of Beverly (see The Old Planters of Beverly in Massachusetts, 1930, Alice Gertrude Lapham, The Riverside Press) and the Old Planters of Massachusetts. One could even talk, Old Planters of New England.
05/01/2012 -- We'll need to talk singularity in the context of Alan. The computer has as many holes as do we; however, we can cut out of the fog. Genealogy (historic, biologic, and more) will be a basis for looking at this concept and its importance. That is a forward look. Going backward, we'll find a way to adopt memes, as a necessity. We are, one might say, meme readers. Too, we express what they convey. That is supposed to suggest something that we need to understand: parallel to we being expressions of our genes. Now, within that framework, our look back at Thomas is apropos.
05/01/2012 -- Will pull together sketches for those on the list. John Tylly has been mentioned, in brief. We'll try to find more about John (no offspring?). There is a lot of material about Woodbury, Conant, and Balch. I have seen some things about Norman and Allen, who both had offspring. It'll be interesting to read about the rest. Of course, verifying this list (or, at least, justifying it) is one necessary task.
05/01/2012 -- Backbone, in particular, this overview. Two things to be thankful for: Rev Hubbard's look back (his brief mention is sufficient) and the fact that the manuscript was not lost (otherwise, would Thomas had been even more unknown?).
04/30/2012 -- Major update to the post. Is the topic of interest in the context of the HSC?
04/26/2012 -- The sketches from the Great Migration data will be an interesting collection.
11/30/2011 -- Good description of the early voyages, including Popham's.
08/22/2011 -- John Tylly.
08/15/2011 -- Balch News link at the Beverly Historical Society has been removed. Added link to published minutes at Internet Archive.
05/15/2011 -- We will collect a representative example that will support future discussions.