Sunday, June 16, 2019

Chronicles of Old Salem

In Gardner's Beacon, Vol. II, No. 6 (December 2012), we had our first collection of 'annals' entries with respect to the interests of the TGS, Inc. This particular collection went from before 1623/24 to 2009. One purpose was to show references to Thomas and the Cape Ann crew over time. The last entry was 2009 and pointed to John Goff's book about the Witch House in Salem. He included a few details about Thomas and Margaret.

Subsequent issues of Gardner's Beacon had more entries. All of these were obtained from taking notes while reading and putting them in relation by the year. See our Bibliography for some of our readings. Too, early issues had entries in our Sources page.

By August of 2014, we had about eight pages of these entries which we pulled together and collated for our Vol. I, Issue 1 of The Gardner Annals. The name was appropriate. In subsequent issues, we have been publishing research articles and notes. Starting in 2017, we provided a print version of Gardner's Beacon and The Gardner Annals. So far, there have been two printings (see Publications). We can provide details about ordering our print versions.

Earlier this year, we added a presentation on our portal of entries in our 'annals' collection. We started these with only those entries that were of years within the span of Thomas' life (from 1592 to 1674). And, we added in the other years later. All of these reference TGA, Vol. I, No. 1 (August 2014).

Chronicles of Old Salem
We are now going to add in more entries. These will come from Chronicles of Old Salem by Frances Diane Robotti which published 1948. The publisher was Bonanza Books, of New York. In this book are entries in an 'annals' form that cover the early period down to 1948. I first saw this book in the 2012 time frame after we had received it from Ann's sister. She had found the little gem in a used bookstore. Of course, at the time, I didn't know much about Salem.

However, I did appreciate the format. As, Rev. Felt's writings were similar. Also, Felt was not mentioned, except briefly, and Perley seemed to be ignored. There was no reference to Thomas. Joseph, his son, was mentioned, but that was only because of Bradstreet's house which was really Ann Downing Gardner's that she shared with Joseph before he was killed in the King Philip conflict.

The book sat on the shelf for a while, until I opened it a couple of days ago. What a joy. I'll be quoting from this as well as doing posts. Little tidbits stand out. Such as? Well, the 50th of the American Revolution coincided with the 200th of Salem's start.

Yes, from our current position, we see lots of attention on a 400th coming up. I have been suggesting that we look at the 300th (which was celebrated a century ago, where Dr. Frank was involved). Too, we have the 200th (early 1800s, early times that were partly covered by articles in Dr. Frank's "The Massachusetts Magazine"), and the 100th which would have been of the time of Dr. Frank's and of our grandfathers.

Another thing learned was that there had been many fires in Salem that destroyed multiple buildings, except that we think of the Fire of 1914. There are other pieces of information across the whole of the book that are interesting. These will be added to our scroll on the portal.

We'll report as we add in more text items. This is an example from our Portal (to truth). At some point, we will add some more from Felt's look at Salem's History.

We will identify these.

Remarks: Modified: 06/17/2019

06/16/2019 -

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Sidney, his discontinuance

Earlier, I wrote of Dr. Frank's effort at The Massachusetts Magazine and his last issue. In looking at the TOCs for all issues that we printed in two issues of The Gardner Annals, one could see that there was less and less content. Too, Dr. Frank, and his sister, Lucie, were providing more and more of the content. However, the Spanish Flu coming into New England would have been a contributing factor.

Now, of late, Sidney Perley's work has been of interest: links to all of the issues of The Salem Antiquarian. It ran from 1897 to 1909. I mentioned that I was going through all of the issues. Sidney had access to records. Too, he was thorough. In the last issue, he covered the Brown families of Essex county. That is an area of research, so I found it interesting. He had started with the A's and got to the B's before his energy ran out (below). Sidney published Dr. Frank's early work. I have one example where Dr. Frank changed his material, yet the original work is there. And, it has been digitized. So, that is another story to tell. Lucie picked up Sidney's work and published it in the TMM. Sidney mentioned the TMM a couple of times in his issues.

But, please, read his little explanation (Notice of discontinuation - pg 210).

As Sidney mentioned, he did ninety-five percent of the work. The guy got older over those thirteen years of publication. His walkabouts were phenomenal, as we have said. And, Gardner Research will be using them. Already, looking at one map opened up a little avenue of unexpected research which resulted in several posts and a stack of things to do.

To facilitate the discussion, we will be putting out a list of things to do. Some will be easy enough like writing a little bit. There may be some technical things for those who are interested.

Incidentally, after he left his hard work at the Antiquarian, Sidney did more writing, including his History of Salem in three volumes (see copy at the University of Virginia - Volume I, Volume II, Volume III). The text is quite extensive in its handling of the witch trial. 

Remarks: Modified: 06/06/2019

06/06/2019 -

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Call for articles, membership news

This is a call for articles for the upcoming issue of Gardner's Beacon, Vol. IX, No. 2 which we would like to have out before the 4th of July. One theme will be the Old Planters Society for which we will start a membership drive (snail mail, in the beginning) plus initiate a regular research focus under auspices of the Thomas Gardner Society, Inc. and Gardner Research. Too, we are in the process of planning a meeting.
  • Post on the Old Planters Society which included a link to the Constitution, the By-laws, and a listing of Officers and Early Members. 
These are thoughts expressed at the first meeting of the Old Planters Society (see page 11 in the above post) with which we concur. 

At the same time, The Gardner Annals, Vol. V, No. 1, is being put together, and articles would be appreciated. Print copies are available for Volumes I & II and III & IV.
With regard to membership, we will publish details at our website: as they are settled.  

Please write to John M. Switlik, President / Researcher, TGS, Inc. at

Remarks: Modified: 06/05/2019

06/05/2019 -

Out of sight

These are images used in the various posts related to Thomas' burial. This list serves a couple of purposes, at least. For one, it gets them into one place. Probably, a pseudo-montage might be in order. Another thing is that gathering these got me to readdress the posts. I have been doing this to build the image index at our 'portal to truth' that will be extended as we go along.  
  • The first post was in October of 2010. In it, we asked: Where is Thomas? Note, this was after being in the Salem area and traipsing around Harmony Grove Cemetery. I came away with more questions than answers, however the WikiTree Profile of Dr. Frank has a photo of the plot where he is as are several other close family members.
  •  Next up was a post in May of 2011: Where is Thomas, II? We were still running along with the general view of grave movements. However, someone who had visited the Cemetery sent me a picture of where Thomas' remains were (in a crypt). Not. As, the desk person told me another story. And, the reports that I saw (including what Dr. Frank wrote) mentioned the Peabody Gate area. However, at the time, there was still the notion of things having been done right. 
  • ... <skipping>
  • Coming forward, there was the side trip of determining how far was Gardner Hill from Harmony Grove. One joker said that they were congruent. Not. Sidney had a better grasp. Except, we need to puzzle out what Dr. Frank wrote, too. There is some disagreement. What is clear (confirmed by Dr. Frank) is that some stone were moved due to commercial reasons. And, there had been an unnecessary sale. We have written of this. By the 1933 book, Dr. Frank had dropped the issue of the sale. I wondered about that in March of 2015. It was not until August of 2018 that I made the connection (The remains of Thomas) as I reread the 1933 book. Finally, after talking to some Gardner families (two of them, from Maine), I got informed that people knew of lost bodies. What? On peeking further, I see one researcher (now deceased) had identified lots of graves that were just left after the stones were moved. Do we not have the responsibility to follow up on this.  

Why this? Salem makes hay with its witch connection. But, look, people, hundreds of graves were trashed. Is that not a more gross story? This was done during the commercial mania of the early 1800s. Yes, we have the period in focus and will be providing more commentary as we go along. 

Remarks: Modified: 06/05/2019

06/05/2019 -

Note: This mapping is incorrect, done by a newbie. See the last image which is a correction.

Note: The next two are not Sidney's maps.


Remarks: Modified: 06/07/2019

06/07/2019 - Maps relate to the burial study. Some of these are not from Sidney Perley. I'll put in a link to the specific post where the map was used. 

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Technology as imperative

There are two entries in our Devlog dated yesterday and today that are reminders of a reorg in process. We use that for technical notes along with our technology-focused blog which is moving from WordPress[dot]com to be under the TGSoc[dot]org site. As we do this, we're looking at the main site, too (ThomasGardnerSociety[dot]org). This site started in 2010 under the 'apx' regimen of MicroSoft using their OfficeLive approach which was quite nice. We have documented that move with respect to research and decisions in the context of general technical discussions that pertain to technology and its influences.

TGS site over the years
What the graphic shows is our look over the years as we have improved upon a minimal basis. That is, we did not buy into any of the commercial thrusts. Why? Many reasons. Too, we have watched the state of the art with respect to the Open Source efforts. You know what? We avoided that, to date, but are seeing signs that are encouraging.

What? Say, old, experienced eye versus the over-enthusiasm of the youth. Turns out, my contrary way has not been solitary. I watched a video of a meeting at Google which got my old heart palpitating. The message was right on. Or as I just heard a FBI guy say, two days ago, the more complex something is the more it is prone to being misused. We all know that.

In any case, we have requirements that need to be brought together. The original focus was to cover 100 years of research which is since the time of Dr. Frank. And, to look closely at his and his peers efforts in the entirety. Modern means involve the computer (now? augmentation - we were doing that two and more decades ago). There have been enough mis-starts for us to learn. Too, we can show how to address issues and make steady progress, albeit at times things might seem like they are more in disarray than is actually the case.

Who walks into a newly framed house and sees what the end product will look like? Well, we have the modern gal now (Waco) who shows simulation. Not possible without the computer.

So, we are dealing with more than genealogy. History will be redone with newer looks using all sorts of media. In terms of family trees, it was nice to see 'wiki' applied (WikiTree). But, the NEHGS now has their own method which we will be trying and writing about.

Lots to do. Any help would be appreciated.


Note: With regard to technology, I went looking for material on the ancestry of Sidney Perley (Sidney's AntiquarianHow close is close? IILucie following SidneyEssex County, South (east and central) Essex County, and more). There was a little on rootsweb (at ancestry). However, WikiTree has a Profile on him. He has colonial New England roots. So, that link represents two types of technology that will be in focus. The first deals with presentation which was print for a long time. Various types of on-line presentation methods have evolved with new ones all of the time. I was pleased to see a good one re-emerge after a little absence. The second technology focus will be genealogy and its related history. We have used WikiTree enough to be impressed by its power and the ease with which an expert can work. One can get out of the mouse or touch mode, for instance. But, other technologies? Well, consider genetics. However, we will see more, perhaps, those dealing with the likes of paleoichnology (see note  07/15/2015) will come to fore sooner than we might expect. In any case, our intent right now is to demonstrate a minimal basis with a few extensions of note. Then, we'll be prepared to talk the future in a mode that is necessary. BTW, the NEHGS now has a tree tool, ancesTREES.

Remarks: Modified: 06/02/2019

06/02/2019 - Profile of Sidney on WikiTree.

06/02/2019 -- Current location of the new site (Technology blog). Formatting is not final. Too, we need to update pointers to the old site (at WordPress[dot]com). One benefit will be no ads. We will need to do tuning and other technical admin work while we try to determine requirements and performance specs.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Memorial Day

We have our first post tying together records for a member of the collateral family. In this case, a tersely marked gravestone has been associated with the record of the widow whose record we manage. So, we can update as we research further.

It's  Memorial Day on Monday. The record was of a burial in a G.A.R. plot in Saugus, MS. The widow is the sister of a great-grandparent. In looking at the family clustered around those records, we see several Patriots from the Revolution as well as participants in other events.

So, we'll make a special effort. In this case, the stone only mentions the name of the soldier and his Regiment. We will fill in the rest of the information on the web. His record is tied with that of his widow which then points to our continuing research work.

You heard of augmented reality. This is that, in the sense of a physical gravestone being uploaded to the internet (Find A Grave) and then a link put in to his wife's information. Then, WikiTree is being used to support and help coordinate activities.

This is the stone that has sat there for over 120 years. There is no information about birth or death. But, after a little work today, I can add a few things. He was born in Scotland circa 1817. His death was before 1890 when his wife was documented to have a pension. She was Caroline A. (Blake) Ingalls. They had four children. Her family is out of New Hampshire. Need to check to see what might be in the cemetery records. In any case, we can 'augment' that.

Remarks: Modified: 06/02/2019

05/23/2019 -- BTW, this stone is of a Mayflower descendant and sits in a lonely, damaged way in the middle of the U.S. Of interest since it dates to about the same time as this one in Saugus. And, the burial was of a person of the Civil War time. I need to get back to this story. See Flyover Country. Also, he is a descendant of Major Hathorne.

06/02/2019 -- Happy to note that in-law FindAGrave records are being updated, too. Problems with that site? You bet.  Some have 1,000s and 1,000s of records under their control. Some have turned off email. I have put in a bunch of suggestions. Usually, these are done within a reasonable time. But, this case is good since no one seems to have touched this family. Meaning, lots of work to do. In some cases, I might put a virtual record under the control of the Thomas Gardner Society (after reading about the policies about such).

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Massey's Cove

As mentioned earlier, we're going through Sidney's "The Essex Antiquarian." This is on-line at the Peabody Institute Library. Remember, Sidney was a friend of Dr. Frank. Besides, we like his idea of a walk-about. Quite frankly, his stuff matches up well with modern views (example: How close is close? II).

So, we are not taking them sequentially. And, I am paying attention to the walk-abouts that Sidney did. As, we learned about Gardner Hill (and Gardner's Bridge) from this work. Sidney sketched a map of Salem and the area as he thought it might look in 1700 from his walk-abouts plus reading the official records. So, these volumes are interesting from the first word to the last.

So, in Vol. VIII (1904), we see the area where we have Massey's Cove and the area that leads to Essex Bridge. In all of these maps, we look for obvious Gardner references. Many times, we find this in the text. But, we saw that a Henry Lunt had his name on a lot. This is a Newbury family that came in 1635. It's a grandson of the original water crosser who received land from his father-in-law.

But, you see Massey's Cove mentioned. On the other side, you see 'The Cove' which is now known as Collins Cove. We'll get back to that. On a search, we see an entry in Streets of Salem about this area. It was supposed by Sidney to be where Conant's little crew landed after their move from Gloucester (Cape Ann). Too, there was a painting (I'm trying to collect these - see Gardner Bridge above). It's theme is the first winter. we just did a post on the first year.

The Hardships and Sacrifices, Massey's Cove, Salem, 1626
In the comments for the Streets of Salem post, there is one mention that this might not be correct. So, we'll have to dig deeper in that controversy. Whatever the situation at Naumkeag, Thomas and Margaret were cozy in Gloucester (house and all). As we mentioned, the first idyllic on the American shores (Cape Ann).

But, getting back to the work of Sidney, one of the lots, it is said, had been in the possession of Thomas Gardner, Jr. It was in the area marked "Old Planters Marsh" which is where they got materials, such as thatch. The ownership went Balch, Balch, Gardner, Higginson.

That reminded us of Thomas, Jr. We have not heard much of him. On looking further (Dr. Frank's 1907 book), we see that he had a wide-ranging bit of land, including some that was above Ipswich River. So, we'll be digging deeper to get a better sense, including looking at all of Thomas' children.

Before today, we had not looked at this area and find it very interesting. Hence, we'll be going back through Sidney's maps and digging a little deeper than before.

Remarks: Modified: 06/07/2019

05/16/2019 -- Put in a comment at Streets of Salem:

06/02/2019 - Profile of Sidney on WikiTree.