Sunday, November 20, 2016

Flyover country

Last post, we mentioned a lonely grave. It is in Nebraska. This is a photo. As suggested, it's out in the middle of nowhere. And, the type of cemetery is a common thing in this part of the country. People drive by, at a high rate of speed. The stones sit.

But, this is not entirely wilderness. It is highly productive farm land.


Back east, settlement was dense, in terms of area being covered. Essex country in Massachusetts has no really open areas. That is, everything is identified by one of the communities. Granted, through time the boundaries of those communities changed, say as new ones were defined. But, no place was left untouched by human feet. 

Out here, it's wide open. The past century plus, things have been mapped. We have counties that cover the territory. These collect into states. And, given the recent situation (for instance, look at the red/blue map by county), these areas, and their residents, need some attention. You know, the "red" folk love it out here. Americans really ought to know this part of the country better. And, we can use New Englanders as the main thread in order to do this. 

As an aside this area is near the Oregon Trail as it wound its way from Gardner, KS to the Platte River. So, this area saw the travelers going by. Lots to tell, there. 

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Now, the grave is of a descendant of John Porter of Salem. Buried here was Lyman (d 1898) who was born in Wendell, MA (he is also a descendant of John Alden - his offspring, who precipitated the work, is also descendant of old guy Brewster and others). Why, and how, Lyman ended up here is a story that will be told, in part, in the next issue of The Gardner Annals. The story has more appeal in that his children represent a merge of lines from northern and southern New England (that part which we know as Virginia and its neighboring states - see Albion's Seed). This happened post the revolution, however the Virginian folk were from the very early times, to boot. In this case, the joining up was via Kentucky.

In terms of the Society, Lyman's ancestor (Joseph) married a daughter of William Hathorne. Joseph's brother married another daughter. These two lines merge in a descendant of Lyman. As well, one of William's sons (Joseph's brother-in-law) married a granddaughter of Thomas Gardner. That couple gave us Nathaniel Hawthorne. Joseph's sister married a granddaughter of Thomas Gardner. Joseph's niece (daughter of his brother) married a grandson of Thomas Gardner. And, this is not the whole shebang. So, you see, all of this relates from the beginning to what we are interested in. 

And, that little bit is only one of several other (actually, very many) threads that we can follow.  

Before, we mentioned the long arm of New England. Lawrence, KS ( Final migration, remember that, Jayhawk'ers) was formed in order to bring anti-slavery settlers out west. There were armed Quakers out here having fun. There were Quakers in Virginia (and other southern states). In short, a whole lot of American History was not (has not been) told, properly. New England researchers can help fill in. 

So, we get a chance to add to the mix. And, having these long threads of 100s of years are going to be important. All along, new folks were coming in, just as we see now. So, the fabric of the American people is a lot more than has been described.

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Aside: I have an interest due to being born in the west, having attended KU (whose students do not, for the most part, realize that their hill overlooked the major campground of the Oregon-bound trains), living all over the country, working in all aspects (government, business, non-profit) of our economy, seeing the interplay twixt us and the world (especially Europe), following the mischief of finance, and then falling into the opportunity to see the fleshed version of the long American experience.  

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It is interesting that Lyman's brother is already in the Mayflower organization roll. Too, one of his daughter's is in the roll. The thread that we researched was the eldest daughter of Lyman and his wife, Caroline. That daughter (d 1872) is the 3rd-great-grandmother of root of the thread being used for the study.  

Remarks: Modified: 11/20/2017

11/22/2016 -- Discussions (questions) on another forum brings up just how much this relates to the red/blue split that is dividing the country. So, we need to get to that, at some point next year.

12/18/2016 -- Article published in The Gardner Annals, Vol. III, No. 1.

11/20/2017 -- We will be looking more closely at the south.

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