Wednesday, September 18, 2019

New infrastructure

We have all heard this over the past couple of decades. Well, we can finally say that things are at a crux, especially with the emergence of DL's facilities. They were always there; of late, people learned how to exploit.

Create or discover? Well, like the chicken and egg, which is first? I'm of both minds where 'discover' is given respect. So, Poisson's name is on stuff. He created this. Or, was he describing what he saw and we labelled it with his name as if the underlying ability came about with observation?

With the internet, we get to reason on these things, again, albeit with some practical focus as the intent is to use the thing properly, smartly, and to the best of our ability. I've put out a few posts about this. In July, it was Techie stuff. There were things before, say the technology blog. This started at WordPress[dot]com but, recently, moved to be under our 'portal to truth' (lots to discuss there). At that site, we have continued our blogging about decisions.

I have been working alone, for the most part, just following my intuition. 'Minimal' was one goal. Last fall, I mentioned some Google discussions that were right on (in this old guy's mind) and comforting, actually. Though, as an aside, they own this blog space. We're looking to pull it, too, under our portal.

In the meantime, AI is going bonkers. It's obvious, to me, that the black box can be tamed. It'll take us getting back to logic. What the hey? Minsky of MIT went to his grave arguing that the aNN (no matter the variations, thereof) as not the way. Not that I agree with him entirely, but he was not off the mark. Everywhere, we see AI this and AI that. Makes one wonder if some parts of the populace have lost their marbles.

As an aside, our portal thoughts make use of the fact that Thomas Gardner is almost a tabula rasa given that we know only a little but have the huge set of progeny to ponder. That means, in other words, the 'every man' is the theme or meme. We'll get back to that.

This blog has been going for 10 years. We started the WordPress one due to the details being handled with regard to choices. Of course, as we studied, we had to see where the crowd was going (below). And (yes, this is real), every time, we looked at what led to the current state (our's and the world of computing's) and tsk'd (want to know why? paying attention to the messes?). Sheesh. Do we ever get anything right? For anything of benefit, there are a slew of side-effects, costs (what have you) that are negatively imposing. This is without fail.

AI came on the scene, again, the past few years. Gaga time. This time, though, the older minds were saying, wait, let's talk: ACM, IEEE, etc. So, that's something else to discuss.

But, with regard to what the TGS needs, we have to develop. I have run across roll-your-own schemes. Guess what? The monied crowd does this to remove dependencies upon others. I'm stressing it due to issues of truth engineering. In any case, code will be to the fore. What? Yes, too many are being led down paths to perdition, it seems. We have been right so far in that assessment. I don't see glowing examples, yet.

As an aside, with regard to the below, we were doing Microsoft in the (mis-guided?) notion of going with ASPX and its way of the world. We'll mention this again.

But, the tools are there for us to do things better. Metrics, in other words, used wisely can be quite helpful. The benefits that have accrued properly to technology are examples. Lots of them. So, getting back to the theme of the post, here is an example.

This image comes from a post that is worth reading: How WordPress Changed the Internet - 17 Facts about WordPress. I like it if only it shows that the old guy isn't off the wall.


In the 2012 time frame, as we were being kicked off of Microsoft's site, I looked at all three of these. In fact, I prototype'd a TGS site. At the time, I was up to my ears in new information having started to really get into the history and genealogy of the Cape Ann crew. So, there wasn't time to play with configuration when 'content' was the key thing. Notice the comparative growth of these three.

Aside, content and configuration? These differ (the media is not the message).

I looked at WordPress, again, in 2014. Those prototypes had been done under our own server. In the new mode, I went and built under WordPress' site (in the beginning, there were no ads; they came later; hence, we're moving). But, in 2012, I fell back to HTML, tables, icons, and mouse handling. It worked. On the 2014 go around, I brought in CSS and some javascript. The latter was, finally, made more central as it builds the page.

Now, what was one problem in 2012? The database. Too much of it (let's discuss). We can go into this, but the TGS site uses Linux and files. Guess what? Recently, after reading some UBerkeley stuff on AI, I went to GitHub, finally. Ah, the choices, related to text or graphics, etc., were all there for daily discussion while people were, at the same time, doing useful stuff within their chosen framework.

Talk diversity. This is one type that we need and can handle. Though, there are always forces pushing for homogeneity. Mathematicians love this.

BTW, on the latest look at WordPress, as I was bringing it into our portal, I looked at the 'biz' aspects of its use. Nickel and dime'ing was my reaction; like the menu that is ala carte. Nice, but, I want to see what's under the cover (or hood or ... - we used to say). Too, I want more than mere parametric influences. BTW, that is one issue with DL and AI, right now.

Yes, again, anyone interested in machine learning in the context of TGS, pipe up, please.

Closing this out, we have lots of things pending. See this blog that will move (https://jmswtlk.github.io/GitHub-ing/) which will cover the deeper technical issues as we go along. So, indeed, we're talking infrastructure in a new sense, actually senses.

Oh yes, ASPX. Recently, I have been helping in a situation where this is the framework. Not as a developer, but rather as a late tester of a new process. Interesting. Some things I liked, others not. How to get the proper balance will always be a key thing? And, whose balance?

Aside, again. The earlier post pointed to a project management scheme that has gotten a lot of attention. It reminds me of the old Apple package that was card-based. That is, one had cards that linked in a manner that was fairly powerful (we're talking 80s, folks). I see it referenced from time to time. Lift the covers, and you'll find old routines still supporting the computing world. Trouble is, though, that it's in the GUI world. Most stuff is. Developers? Many stay away from that. Actually, WikiTree is balanced and a joy to use. GitHub is more textual with add-ons for the GUI'ness.

How ought we to go? Decisions will be made. None will be in concrete.

When looking at Drupal and Joomla, I also looked at Concrete 5. It's still around. The Army picked it. Okay. How does one decide in all of this? Want to know. Computational sustainability. That'll be a future topic.

Remarks: Modified: 09/18/2019

09/18/2019 --

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Charter Street Cemetery, Salem, MA

Seems that this year, we're looking at cemeteries. Early on we were considering what happened to the one at Gardner's Hill. This will feature in our 400th planning. We were also looking at some grave decisions in Lynn, MA.

In this case, one of the oldest cemeteries in the U.S. (1637) is being closed before the Halloween season. Many of us are happy about this as we have heard stories of misuse for several years. Thousands descend upon Salem in order to celebrate various views. This year, the cemetery will be off limits, as the city of Salem had planned some renovations (Preserving Salem) to start soon. This will also give them a chance to further assess ways and means. Some renovations will be established paths through the area which is adjacent to the Witch Trials Memorial (lots to study in that regard: Dr. Frank's grandmother - Lucy Foster Wilson Gardner).


The blog, Streets of Salem, looked at the subject which motivated this post: Cemetery under siege.

The Cemetery has a Gardner Annex which we will be looking at further. Jonathan Gardner #105, for whom Rev. Bentley preached a sermon, was buried there along with his wife, Sarah Putnam. We will research burials of others, in this cemetery, who are related. Dr. Frank mentions several Gardners with stones in the cemetery.

This cemetery is also known as Burial Point Cemetery (findagrave). The 'Famous Memorials' comes up with five names, all related: Simon Bradstreet, John Hathorne, Francis Higginson, Samuel McIntire, and Capt. Richard More. There are 18 graves with the name 'Gardner' associated with them. There are 12 graves with the name 'Higginson' on as last name.

---

Part of the renovations concerns headstones. This image is of Mary Blakeman Higginson's stone being reset. She was the wife of Rev. John Higginson who was the son of Rev. Francis Higginson (Wikipedia). A grandson of Rev. John, named John Higginson (WikiTree), married Hannah, daughter of Samuel Gardner who was son of George who was son of Thomas and Margaret. A descendant was Col. Thomas W. Higginson.


Remarks: Modified: 09/16/2019

09/14/2019 -- Updated material about the Higginson family. Rev. Francis is the one who wrote, glowingly, of the Great House (Cape Ann) that had been moved to Salem by John Endicott.



Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Planning, TGA, Vol V, No 1

Earlier, we had notes about the research for this issue of TGA. Now, we're to considering having two issues, again, as we did with earlier releases of the report. As we pull things together, we remind those interested that we can accept submissions for publication.

As well, after this volume is completed (Vol V), we will pull the first five volumes together into a book suitable for gifting to libraries. Support  would be appreciated.

This is a sketched table of contents for this volume that is provided to promote discussion and help keep us organized.
  • recap our 10 years of work and give a look at the different means that we are using to provide information.
  • finalize our review of Dr. Frank's lineage as we found his notes about his mother's family.
  • write up an appreciation for Sidney Perley's work which was carried on by Dr. Frank's sister after Sidney quit his Essex Antiquarian efforts and went on to write the History of Salem.
  • initiate a biz section that will provide a status, starting with a look at 5 years of Incorporation.
  • initiate an art section, starting with a narrative of old Ipswich, that will be a regular feature and will look at, and use, art as information.
  • initiate a tech section, starting with an overview of issues related to technology and media especially in the climate of growing uncertainty about web-based information.
  • initiate a details section, starting with an update to the index to cover the 10 volumes of Gardner's Beacon.
Given the decade of work, we need to stop to pull things together. Or start to do that. As well, we have gathered lots of information about Dr. Frank. There is more pending. So, we will offer that in a cohesive manner.

Remarks: Modified: 09/11/2019

09/11/2019 --


Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Families, sites and such

On 26 Sept 2010, I did the third post of this blog: Families, related families, sites and questions.
  • 'Families' were other Gardners; this was taken over by a well-read post: Gardners and Gardners. This was written two days later. 
  • 'related families' had to do with websites of families who have Gardner in their index.  This was partly handled by the post, Electronic footprint, from 4 Feb 2014. Several sites have considerable information about Thomas, on-line. 
  • 'sites' point to information by other families. Pointing to this resource is part of our What we know? series which started on 27 Nov 2012. 
  • 'questions' were many from the beginning, however we did establish a FAQ on 04 March 2015. Well, at least, we waited almost five years before assuming to know enough to start answering questions, as well as asking them. 
The following is a list of sites that have Gardner. We are restarting the list since technology changes and websites reconfigure. Updates here will be reflected in the original material.

Gardner
Collateral
Leveraging off the work of others has benefits for the several parties involved.

Remarks: Modified: 09/14/2019

09/10/2019 --


Monday, September 9, 2019

Edward III and Boris

I couldn't resist this. Earlier, I did an answer on Quora to this question:
First, note that it says 'related to' not 'descendant from.' So, that is one key. Another is that modern technology allows a little more precision in this type of search. Of course, there are more things to discuss, but let's avoid those this time. The answer allowed me to feature WikiTree using Dr. Frank A. Gardner's lineage to the extent that we know it (we extended this last fall using his notes about his mother's heritage). Later, I was able to see his father's notes in an early copy of the 1907 book (given to Stephen Wilson Gardner by Dr. Frank).

The work, notes, books and such went along with a burst of energy and activity related to genealogy and family history motivated, in part, by the 300th celebration. Now, we have the 400th look-backs either coming up or having already started, such as the Mayflower activity. Due to several factors (location, family ties, and more), the Mayflower descendants have been more scrutinized than many others. Yet, the information is not entirely complete according to one blog post. We will get back to that, take the case of Richard More who will be mentioned in a coming post. We looked at him earlier: seemingly lost, rediscovered, related to the family, etc.

In fact, Richard came up as I was going through notes to find the earliest Mayflower connections with the children of Thomas and Margaret, eight of whom had children. Richard's daughter married the son (Joshua Conant) of Thomas' daughter (Seeth) and her daughter. Further, Richard's sister-in-law married a Woodbury so there are all sorts of relationships to follow through on. Even with technology, those things are tedious and error prone: tired/or eyes, say, or quality of the provenance of the material being used.

Oh for a good database to start with. Well, there are several, hence the Mayflower reference. We can use those as a yardstick for comparison. There is more, as many who came over had known histories. The Mayflower look back is considering their ancestors in this regard. And, their data can be used for studies, such as mentioned in this answer:
There is a chart to a related theme of 'How long is a generation?' The data from the 'fifth generation' from the Mayflower one provides a view that only technology can give us. We need to keep that in mind.

Everyone, for the most part, has Edward III as some focal point, for Americans. Later ties are clearer and less prevalent. Earlier ties are associated with huge amounts of hits. BTW, WikiTree's efforts at their Magna Carta Gateway study are apropos. Lineage path by lineage path, the route from Gateway Ancestor to a Baron is being confirmed, using Richardson's books, for one.

What of the other side of the waters? Well, this recent blog post looks at one person of current interest: Edward to Boris, how many times? The author did the generation length study mentioned above. He references work by both Douglas Richardson (mentioned above) and Gary Roberts.

Relevance? This same type of work and technology needs to be done with Thomas, Margaret and all who relate to them. What Edward III studies allow is sufficient material that has been scrutinized for centuries. Getting away from that brings in all sorts of uncertainties that can be interesting in themselves.

BTW, Boris, of course, is the newly appointed (as of August 2019) U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson. He has an American Ancestry. But, we can use this work for other families, too, as Gateway Ancestors left family in the old country.

It's nice to see this type of thing where news motivates research and holes close. Then, the small folk can leverage off the work of the big-time folks ;>).

There are several hundred mappings from Boris to Ed III. The post's image looks at one. That is one aspect of the situation. Say, for lineage? One maps directly. Or with the one with the most documentation. Maybe, later, one goes back and fills in collateral information. But, other people (cousins) can leverage off of this work, if they have siblings of someone on a pedigree line.

We'll have several posts later related to this 'open issue' for Gardners.

Remarks: Modified: 09/10/2019

09/09/2019 --


Monday, September 2, 2019

3 trails

We have had several posts looking at places with the Gardner name. One of these is Gardner, KS near which is Gardner Junction which was on the three trails: Santa Fe, Oregon, California. This is unique, to be where the travelers all were at the same place. The research query was in regard to some particular places, but we know that we need to get a more full list (pending).

Recently, we were in the area where the Trails were going toward Gardner. As well, we thought to look at more details (below). This same route was taken by the New England party (men and women) that left via a port in New York and sailed to Chicago before traveling over to St. Louis and west to Kansas City. They got to an area and established Lawrence, KS (Final migration, Lawrence and Kansas).

On looking deeper, we found the 3-Trails Corridor. This was funded by a school initiative that looked to be associated with the Lewis and Clark celebration: 3-Trails Village Community Improvement District. We will look at this further. But, here are a couple of maps. One is from our earlier post. The other depicts points along the route.

Gardner, KS
3-Trails
We have had several posts on this theme and will be adding more. It's about time for a summary look which will appear in the next issue of The Gardner Annals, Vol. V, No. 1. The trails played a major role in the western movement. Too, we need to add in the Mormon experience.

As mentioned in an early post, there were to sea routes to California: around the Cape, two  voyages linked by a trek across Central America.

The gist is that this type of detail work is what one expects from a location. Same goes for a family. There may be major overviews, but a lot of the grunt work needs to be done by the family. Dr. Frank showed us one example. We still have lots of work to do.

So, there are several pending bits of work with Gardner Junction which is the southern trek out of the Kansas City area. This route was fine for the folks going to Santa Fe. But, it was out of the way for the California (gold rush) and Oregon trekkers. It went too far south. Young bucks figured out that they could continue north by water to St. Joseph, MO. This area became last stopping point where dry goods and other merchants had supplies at hand. The travelers still had to cross the Missouri river.

As an aside, some earlier posts looked at the trek from New England to Lawrence, KS. The movement was by foot, for the most part, in the last part of the journey. And, there was a river to be forded prior to arriving at Lawrence. So, this was practice for something that would be a continual source of grief all of the way across the country.

Far cry, one might say, from the easy of rushing down the Interstate. BTW, that subject is of interest, too, since many of those merchants were Yankees.

Perspective: From the KC area to Fort Larned (see the Kansas part of the Santa Fe trail - about 2/3 across the State), the experience was a daily grind for three weeks (makes "are we there yet?" known from another perspective. At least, at some point, those same persons saw the Sangre de Cristo mountain range. We have a post on that, too.

This image shows the area near Gardner KS where one finds a kiosk with information about the 3 Trails and Gardner Junction.

Remarks: Modified: 09/02/2019

09/02/2019 --

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Thomas Needham Gardner

On FB, there is a group where people post interesting photos (Images of yore). Recently, there was one of a Thomas Gardner (Cutter's Memoirs). He is mentioned in Dr. Frank's book as the son of Daniel Gardner #338 on page 275. He married Agnes Littlefield. On a closer look, Thomas is a great-uncle of Dr. Frank. FindAGrave for Thomas N. Gardner.

Follow the discussion about Thomas via the New England Family Genealogy and History FB group.

His mother was Elizabeth B. Manning. Thomas lived from 1804-1875, so he is of the same time frame as is Nathaniel Hawthorne whose mother was Elizabeth C. Manning. Any connection? It will be interesting to look at this; it is nice to see the interconnections between the families of Salem. On his father's side, Nathaniel was a descendant of sons, George and Thomas, of Thomas and Margaret.

Thomas married 1) Mary E. Fabens, daughter of Joseph Fabens and Elizabeth Curtis. She died in 1857. He married 2) Agnes Leslie Littlefield, daughter of Edson Lysander Littlefield and Lydia (Smith) Davis. Find A Grave, for Agnes' mother: Lydia Smith Davis Littlefield.

Note: Some work needs to be done with the FindaGrave records. Thomas' FAG only shows his first wife, Mary. Lydia's FAG does not show Agnes (she died as Winchester).

Remarks: Modified: 08/16/2019

08/16/2019 --