We could start with the marriage of Thomas and Margaret, though we don't know the date. We do have the birth years (approximate?) of Thomas, George, and Richard that would be prior to the Cape Ann venture. One goal might be to get the arrival time a little more clear (I've seen quite a range of guesses) even if we can only identify the time that has the most support (to be discussed).
For starters, the below list is to be taken as cursory (see TGS site for an early start on this), for now. There is a whole lot that could be done; and, a lot needs to be done once decisions are made. The bullet order does not imply priority. Some things may need more immediate attention than do others.
- Set up a mailing strategy for Gardner's Beacon and for e-mail interchange and discussion, perhaps using a message center for the latter.
- Given Dr. Frank's effort at publishing 100 years ago (we cannot thank him enough), our effort now ought to be to establish a cyber presence for Thomas and Margaret that is persistent, well cared for, and known to be the best source of information going forward. The current web-site (TGS.org) is only a minor step. There will be technical discussions, related to the approach to take, in regard to resources, trends, and best approaches. We are talking more than genealogical studies (we like that the NEHGS has both "H" and "G").
- Document, thoroughly, the events related to Cape Ann and Salem in so far as they pertain to Thomas and Margaret. Some of this may be reasonable conjectures based what will be known once all the material is pulled together and organized. One might say that Anderson's (et al's) Great Migration (six pages for Thomas and family) is a little peek under the covers (so to speak).
- Start with the first few generations (three to five) and fill in the tree for the children of Thomas and Margaret (early attempt at this for two generations).
- The prior bullet (#3) was top-down. From the other direction, provide a means to collect information about current descendants, their stories, and tales of the sagas of their intermediate ancestors. Again, there are many ways to do this. Develop the descendants list further.
- In regard to the prior bullet (#4), present the coverage maps like one sees nowadays (but, with a way to control the timeline). Link this with the effort of the next bullet.
- Extending the idea of the first bullet (#1) and the prior (#5), develop a "game" approach (let's say, non-1st world (such as, Second Life) and educationally focused) that will allow Thomas and Margaret to be spokespersons for those times and more. This notion pertains to lessons to be learned from the experiences of those two (and, some of their cohorts) that are relevant to today (see Backbone series, as one person's opinion). One motivation might be to get the younger generations enthused about these "dead" people from their (ours') pasts. However, who knows what might flower out of new research efforts?
- Accomplish various tasks related to this type of organization (membership, 501(c)3, application process, research support, scholarships, etc.).
- Establish a regular publication schedule for Gardner's Beacon with themes determined in advance to allow for article calls.
- Gardners and Gardners will be of continuing interest. Associated with this, summarize the disparate information that one can find, provide an overview, and maintain the data going forward. This, somewhat, overlaps the first bullet (#1). Support other Gardner efforts (see #12, below).
- Organize, and maintain, a bibliography that facilitates efforts for the first (#1) and the prior (#9) bullets.
- Push the window backward from the Cape Ann (1623/1624) arrival in a manner that carry forward. For starters, collect everything done to date (books, family information, websites, ...) and handle much like the Gardners and Gardners effort (prior bullet - #9).
- DNA anyone (background, Gardner project)?
- Provide for, and support, regular maintenance of TGS information, such as testing for missing items (and a whole lot more), on an on-going basis.
Of course, technologies will change. Bridging these types of changes over time is an open issue. Perhaps, after the bursts of knowledge of the last 100+ years, or so, settles down, there will be better effort at preserving states of knowledge.
Actually, one talent that we humans have (not yet replicated by the artificial, yet) is creativity which can span across seemingly endless states without getting lost. So, our intent will be to foster the human side of creativity going forward. Perhaps, that might be one lesson of Thomas and Margaret.
01/08/2013 -- Added a forum to facilitate discussion, etc.
01/07/2013 -- There are many anniversaries to plan for. Also, to the above list, we ought to firm up the order of birth. Let's say that nine children is the agreed upon number. There will be a post on this, soon.
01/06/2013 -- Need to figure a good e-mail strategy that doesn't involve reply all.