Thursday, January 31, 2019

Configuration issues

In the mode of continual progress, we are firming up some points, such as the use of native mode (html/css/js) at our main site. Along with this, we got SSL rolling so that we could have private business exchanges. Too, we added in Search at the main site and the blog. At the main site, there are no ads. For the blog, they are there until we get them turned off due to our non-profit status.

The main benefit is that they are formatted the same which gives us opportunity to build an index and much more. The image shows a search on 'Cape Ann' at both sites. One returned 36 results; the other gave us 56 results.

 Another development is that the NEHGS now has a genealogical tree builder. So, we will be looking at that this year. Last year, we finally got back to WikiTree and found it very useful. For instance, we go the Thomas/Margaret issue raised up and settled. As well, once I received some hand-written material that was done by Dr. Frank, I updated a tree for him that is almost complete. This goes back to Thomas and Margaret.

Dr. Frank featured
At the same time, findagrave has upgraded itself. So, I put in a virtual record for the Gardner burial plot (the theme of remain status will be prominent this year). There is a lot more to report. Our tenth year will be really busy as we get ready for the upcoming 400ths.

Remarks: Modified: 02/02/2019

02/02/2019 -- Search at the main site and on this blog are ad-free non-profit. We can start to build indexes. That is one task. What would they look like? 

Friday, January 18, 2019

Tenth year

The first diving into this type of work was in 2009, and the blog started later, in 2010. So we can take this time as an opportunity to do reviews and can offer this as the first post of the type that we will continue to do and update all year.

This list is brief. We will looking for other examples as we review all of the posts.
  • One of our first look-abouts was back in 2013 with a view to the 400th anniversary. At the time, the year was expected to be 2024, but one might, we learned later, argue for 2023. So, 400 is significant as we see from the already celebrating Plymouth folk. We will keep earlier activities in mind. 
  • One activity the past month has been to create and update an image index that maps each image into a blog post (see Right now, the images are in order by the year and month of the post, but we will are working toward a general search capability. In late December, we updated the chart of post counts by year and month and expect to map to over one-half of the posts. 
  • We also have the unfortunate task of following up on the question of "Where is Thomas?" As such, we'll leave no stone unturned. For starters, we have collected posts about Thomas and his character.  
  • There have been several contributors to our work. One example is John Goff who has provided several articles and commentary.
  • Another goal will be to get the first few generations documented which has been a standing wish for some time. We have one means, via WikiTree. We will be looking at the tree service being offered by the NEHGS. Other means (not ancestry)? 

On our site, other buttons are planned. Anyone interested in the development process can assist. Let us know. At some point, we'll start to itemize the new functions and their status as some will be more easily done than others. Too, though, the future issues will continue to be on the table. 

Remarks: Modified: 01/18/2019

01/18/2019 --

Monday, January 7, 2019

Gems of Salem

Gardner Research started in 2010 from a blank slate, more or less, using the wonders of the www; in other words, trolling the waters of the internet to see what we could find. The result? Lots of stuff, some of which we have organized. And, there is a lot more work to do.

As we have seen, records get digitized and come online. Sherborne, Dorset is an example as their records allowed us access to lots more about Margaret and Thomas. See the discussions on WikiTree. Notice two things: this is a profile of Thomas sponsored by a Great Migration Project using Anderson's book (1986); Margaret is given as Thomas' spouse and mother of the children. As well are records coming on-line, people write.

A very good example, that is relevant, is Early on, we saw an article by John Goff: Looking at Salem’s beginnings: The White and Gardner family contributions. This article published in 29 Dec 2007. That was eleven years ago; we saw it four years later and noticed that it mentioned Rev. John White.

One of our first activities was to start the Thomas Gardner (planter) page on Wikipedia and have added several other pages or links. A good example might be when there were news stories about Amelia Earhart's plane. Gardner Island was mentioned; so, we had to look at that (as we have with other areas: Gardner Junction, Gardner, CO, Gardiner, OR). And, John got into that story, too.

I well remember John's first email. He congratulated us as he had run across our Wikipedia tagging. I do not know if he wrote about Gardner Island, but we did discuss Gardner's Beacon. And, John was kind enough to contribute articles as well as provide other information to support our research (thank you, John). I thought that it might be a good task to itemize John's work, especially as it relates to Gardner studies. See the list below which is provided as a reminder to us to look further into the articles. On the list, too, are Salem articles that mention Gardner.

First, though, here are a couple of examples of overlap interest. On our Gardner Gate page (portal to truth), we just did a summary of some pre-arrival information (1 March 2013 - the 2nd most read post) pulling information from a series of Gardner's Beacon issues. Then, I just found this article by John -- Salem’s forgotten French heritage (7 June 2008) -- in which he details French activities in the area that became Salem. He mentions the discussions with the Native Americans. There are several articles that we will look at further.

But, another example, is the work that we did to track down information about the owner of the barque, Bostonian, that wrecked (Oct 1850) at what became Gardiner, OR (update - 30 October 2018). The original work was done in 2014 with an article published in The Essex Genealogist. The owner was a descendant of George of Rhode Island, though, two of his wives were descendants of Thomas Gardner of Salem. But, as well as the family information, there is a whole lot to discuss about the time (More on the Gold Rush 31 Mar 2016).

Here, I see that John wrote about a response to a query (1990s) from San Francisco (NAUMKEAG NUGGETS: Salem in the California Gold Rush 5 Jun 2015) about a ship that they discovered. It had been built in Salem.

From what I have seen, hundreds of ships were abandoned as crews rushed off to pan gold. That makes the Bostonian different in that not only did it bring supplies from Boston to San Francisco (July 1849 to January 1850 voyage - only four passengers - it was loaded), it went then to New Zealand (that was interesting, verifying that part of its journey), returned to San Francisco, and wrecked in Oregon is October of 1850.

Many went to California by land. We have researched that avenue, as well, due to our interest in the western expansion. Too, New England (and Salem) had the reach of a long arm. A third way to the gold fields was boating down to Central America, trudging across, then boating back up to what is now known as the Left Coast. This went both ways (many lost their fortune in that journey).

There are other examples in an endless set of things to research. So, gems, indeed. Finally, to a partial list of John's Gardner touch. Each item is marked by date; there is no obvious order, yet.
Remarks: Modified: 02/08/2019

02/08/2019 -- Recently, we got registered with Google as non-profit and have put a search facility on the sites. They are (will be) ad-free, once I get the administrative stuff completed. On the search page, I mention our manual effort at indexing. Now, we can get more serious. I extended the above list with some hits from searching on John Goff.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

29 December 1674

That date is the date of Thomas' death in Salem, MA and is 344 years ago (this past week). It will be a while before it has its 400th anniversary: 400 or so. But, there are things that we can do now with the 400th of the arrival coming up.

One thing is that we will have a rolling bit of information in brief snippets. On our new site,, we had a paragraph taken from the WikiPedia article on Thomas. It has been the same since we started that site. Today, we changed the text to look at what was going on prior to 1623/24. When one looks at this, one sees that lots of stuff was going on. There was almost regular traffic across the Atlantic, mostly looking for fish. The issues related to round-tripping in one year, plus preserving the catch, motivated the commercial interest that got Thomas and Margaret to these shores.

Gardner's Gate
(portal to truth)

The snippets will bounce around in time. Overall, they'll be collected coherently. Soon, we will start some about Thomas' whereabouts. We have written a lot about this subject. Expect some overview posts this month, as well as a timeline of what we know and why we know.

The Thomas record on findagrave quotes a web site that says that Gardner's Hill is in Harmony Grove. Below is a map that shows Perley's view over 100 years ago against a modern overview from photos. The markings detail the relationship in a manner that we can measure. Actually, we intend to walk it just like Sidney Perley did over 100 years ago. Ann's childhood home is right there in the clipped region, so we will be getting into the details.

Gardner's Hill (per Perley) and
Harmony Grove
(on different sides of the river)

We'll start with this little bit from the NEHGS overview of Thomas. Notice the use of "painful" cast down for a historic view. By this time, Thomas was deceased. It says elsewhere that many had been buried on Gardner's hill. Who might these be? Until when were there burials?
You see, Samuel Pickering Gardner, about whom we will write more (ancestor of John Lowell Gardner II), recorded his visit in 1830 to Gardner's hill. And, he noted that grave stones had been moved and piled. Some had already been broken. Suggesting? Grave locations lost, for one thing. He, too, told us who sold the land. I have followed that lead (as well as, looked at what Dr. Frank wrote of the person).

Since the first look in 2010, I have been picking up pieces. So, I'll put together a summary and suggest where we look. It must be done for the 400th anniversary. Okay?

We have three types (at least) of grave disturbance.
  • Some like the grave of Thomas, himself, are unknown. His stone had been moved by the 1830s. And, it was broken. How many of this case are there? Where are the bones? 
  • Some were moved over to Trask. This is per Perley who was a sleuth of major proportions. His work was picked up by Lucie Gardner, sister of Dr. Frank. Did their stones go with them?
  • Some were moved with their stones to Harmony Grove. 
Now, we know, in some cases, just stones were moved. This needs to be made visible. Sheesh, the NEHGS blew right by this. 

I understand that there had been a court case at the time. 1840s? This needs to be researched. And, there are other subjects to look at. 

Our take on the matter is that this has been known and put in the closet. Why not look at it further? There are several things that might have been left unsaid. That is, then, especially given the times. 

This is now. And, we have the resources of all sorts to get this story told. Stay tuned. 

Remarks: Modified: 01/18/2019

01/04/2019 -- The Perley image had a typo. Also, added more text.   Too, the next issue of Gardner's Beacon will have the bit of the graves as its main theme. We will also post updates to WikiTree (see link on the sidebar), as well, as get others involved via a G2G.

01/18/2019 -- Joseph died in combat on 19 December 1675, about one year later, leaving his wife, Ann Downing, as a widow. They had no progeny, so we will remember them specially.

Monday, December 31, 2018

Posts by month by year

Back in September, we looked at an old chart that showed posts by month by year and brought it up to date (see post, Review and news). At the time, we were reviewing posts in order to present an index from our web site: This is our last post of the year.

With 2018 coming to a close, we can update the table through December.
We started the blog in 2010 and did not count the month with the greatest number of posts for that year. In the "Review and news" post, for each month, we looked at what was going on as that is a huge factor in the number of posts.We will be looking at that further. 

So, this month, we had the largest number of posts at 11. The highest before then was 8 posts which happened in two months: July of 2015 and November of 2016. In July of 2015, we were first looking at The Massachusetts Magazine. Subsequently, we went through every issue and its articles, did several posts on articles in the TMM, wrote articles for The Gardner Annals which were printed, and captured the Table of Contents. In November of 2017, we were writing the first article for Volume III of The Gardner Annals where we looked at contributors plus provide the TOC for the first five volumes of the TMM. 

We will continue to use the blog to report on research as well as to keep track of current items as we go through our work. The blog has proven itself, and uses of the tool are found everywhere. The 11 posts for December show some of the range that has been covered by Gardner Research. 

Remarks: Modified: 12/31/2018

12/31/2018 -- 

Sunday, December 30, 2018

400 or so

The theme of 400 has been constant for a few years, covered in many posts. Some of these posts are mentioned below, in no particular order. Each will be revisited for updates.

An example would be Plymouth's plans (both sides of the pond). We can use that as a something to watch and learn from. Our first mention of 400 years (we have a page listing various 400th celebrations - from 2013) was in 2011 while musing about Thomas as an example of the backbone of the country. The thinking still applies but can be improved with the new insights gained since then (a boatload - after all, I was still a newbie in 2011). By 2013, we were thinking about specifics: 400 anniversaries. We had read of events in Salem a 100 years ago, in which the family participated: Dr. Frank, Ann's grandfather, others. Unfortunately, by this time, Dr. Frank's The Massachusetts Magazine had hit the dust. We will have much more on that.

We all remember Jamestown's shindig (2007). The Popham Colony of Maine would have been celebrated, too. Naturally, we had to mention that Kansas had a 400th back in the mid-1900s, celebrating the Spanish explorers who were looking for El Dorado (now a town).

So, by generation (using an average of 25 years) count, we would have sixteen. I looked at one line that consists of fifteen generations. Of what? The American experience which we will have as a topic next year. One of our topics, too, will be Historical Puzzles of which there seems to be no end. A very important one will be addressed, initially, in January of 2019 (please, stay tuned).

But, we would be remiss without mentioning the Final Migration. Yes, just as we look at the arrival by water, we can look at the western migration. Those early attempts will be in focus, as movement away from the coast happened almost immediately both in Massachusetts and Virginia. Of course, the 'final migration' was after the Revolution. So, that theme will continue (Dr. Frank's TMM had an article on this conflict every issue for a decade quarterly), too.

And, Gardner is found everywhere. In Kansas, where the Sante Fe and Oregon (California) trails split was at Gardner, KS. The Oregon wagons went just south of Mount Oread, home of the University of Kansas (founded, of course, by New Englanders as was the town of Lawrence). One can think of the students seeing the itinerants go by (actually, stopping there at a major camp site). But, we find that all locales, 100 years ago, got interested in their history. That has been constant. This book was written by a Chapter of D.A.R.: Illustrated History of Early Wichita.

BTW, the long reach of New England is part of our research interest: Col. Higginson, LyceumJudge Thompson, and more. We even carry it down to New Zealand and other places.

Of course, the overall theme is culture/history/technology which will be further discussed as the overarching concept for carrying research into the future. In that will be people, leading to genealogy. Of late, we have rediscovered WikiTree (original look, 2014). It was used to settle, somewhat, the wives issue (Margaret anew). We also have used it to expand Dr. Frank's tree using his hand-written notes for his mother's line. Turns out that he is descendant from both wives of Thomas.

Lots to do. And, we can keep it fun.

Remarks: Modified: 01/12/2019

12/30/2018 -- 

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Historical puzzles

Inconsistencies can be tolerated, many times. Actually, the need for that might be a motivation for using fuzzy techniques such as those worked by Lotfi Zadeh. That is, what some might call ambiguity might just be a normal situation when strict numeric comparison can be a problem. So, we say our height in feet and inches (in some places on the planet) rather than some precise measurement using another scale. It is nice that medical milieus post weight in kilograms rather than pounds. People might think that they are lighter than they actually are. So, a fuzzy height can be as good as needed, unless one is trying to squeeze a semi with trailer under a bridge with a strict constraint.

Ralph might have used 'foolish consistency' at one time, however we have seen enough damage from drivers ignoring warnings, in western, isolated situations. Too, in the modern world with interchangeable parts, who cares about which nameless parts was involved. But, we do, in serious accidents where history of fabrication might come into play. That just might be more of concern in the future when the reality of contracting out through levels becomes even more prevalent.

Or, trying to track farm goods that might be causing problems. Generally, referencing some class involved with an object is sufficient, for starters. We, somewhat, default to that. Look at the success of the abstracted view of news that USA Today pioneered (well remember getting a copy of the initial printing). In historical accounts, there may, and ought to be, various views. Which is taken to the top? There is a saying related to the winners writing the history.

So, Gardner Research has seen several puzzles. One will be written about next month in detail, that is, as much as we can surmise at the moment. However, another one is intriguing since it involves western settlement bridges the whole of the country of the U.S. The post, The Gardiner that was (October 2018), relates to trying to resolve several puzzles. An interim report gave some of the details about a ship that wrecked and the owner, however several facts were overlooked since they seemed to be out of scope.

However, do this work opened the door to naval commerce, and that is directly related to areas of concern for Gardner Research. Too, it affords the opportunity to learn more about this aspect of our collective past. For one, it is astounding to read of the numbers of sailors lost whither for one town or for an area. We are talking a huge number, especially for whalers, which we mean to get back to.

Now, reducing this post to only one puzzle, we'll leave the others on the stack. Who was the pilot of the ship when it wrecked? There are, at least, three names that have been reported.
  • Thomas Coffin - This was told by some who were on the ship that first came upon the wreck. Too, the individual stayed in the area and helped settle the city of Gardiner. Now this is the official view, evidently, due to the various web sites that quote the name. 
  • ___ Boyling - This came from the captain (not a passenger) of the ship that came upon the wreck. The Captain reported what he knew when he returned to San Francisco a little later. The publication, Naval Journal, reports __ Boyling, too, following the Kate Heath? 
  • George Snelling - a supposed relation to the owner of the ship. We know a little more about him. He was on the Kate Heath when it went back to San Francisco. Too, he was post master in Gardiner for a while. There is some correspondence with him and a local leader. But, where was Snelling when these letters were interchanged? Back east. He got married. In fact, the local leader mentioned this, yet the writings seem to describe Snelling as a long-time resident of Oregon.  
Are these trivial issues? Not really. It is of interest in that we had our first real social media in the naval environment. Ships signaled each other. Or, the crews chatted if they were in the same area. Then, ships reported what they saw when they got to a port that could take reports. If we looked across these reports, we could map out things just like we can in virtual space.
See post, The Gardiner that was

So, we know that the barque Bostonian that wrecked had been in New Zealand a little before it wrecked. It reported who it saw, and these sightings were confirmed by Gardner Research. However, on the reports at various places, the usual method of naming the Captain of the ship was not always followed. The New Zealand mention of the Bostonian does not mention the pilot. But, there is more that we can look at, given time.

Also, it turned out that the wives of the owner of the ship were Thomas Gardner descendants. Too, we found out that there are some errors in the Barney database for Nantucket. Along with fuzzy determinations, one must consider how much effort ought to be devoted to correcting errors. Say, the newspapers put their misprint notices in small print on some interior page. But, we're dealing with more than just ink on the page.

The family of the owner of the ship contacted us. They had their own questions. So, the NEHGS is right on; one cannot do genealogy without looking at history. And, fleshing out the characters at events of history can sure tell us a lot.

Remarks: Modified: 12/30/2018

Reported by Captain of
the Kate Heath in December
of 1850 when it returned San Francisco
12/30/2018 -- The discussion will have to consider viewpoints. As perspective is not the monolith as thought and brought forward by groups and their group think. However, with the communication delays, one can hope that a timeline would help get things straight. That is, this 1851 report mentions Bowling as conveyed by the Captain of the Kate Heath which was the first to come to the site of the wreck.