Saturday, August 13, 2022

Cornelius Conway Felton

 TL;DR -- With Cornelius Conway Felton, we are at the start of the U.S. Civil War. By this time, too, we had the western expansion in full swing. Post the conflict, the railroad started to cover the whole of the country. One of Felton's brothers was involved in those events. So, our theme of Harvard and the U.S. continues. 


Last time in our look at the Heads of Harvard (Wikipedia), we brought in Nathaniel Eaton for several reasons. For one, our focus is 400 years. Then, there have been many changes over those years with respect to worldviews, some of which involve issues unresolved today. 

With Cornelius Conway Felton (Wikipedia), we deal with a time of major upheaval. His time in the position saw the start of the U.S. Civil War. Harvard writes that most southern students left and never returned. Our theme, of course, is heavily oriented to New England, however the scope covers area far beyond that little collection of colonies and New England was of the south, too. 

Quincy, Everett
Sparks, Walker 
As we look at the Heads, we have done some research related to their families (mostly using WikiTree). Felton was born in Massachusetts, but no other specifics are given. Actually, that was one reason that we waited to look at him. However, as we looked at the Dickens visit to Harvard, we saw that Felton was there, as well as was Josiah Quincy, III and Ralph Waldo Emerson

We started to look at Massachusetts records, but, thankfully, Rutgers provides details to start with. His parents: Cornelius Conway Felton; Anna Morse. Rutgers also mentions two marriages, 1838 and 1846. Then, West Newbury (Essex County, btw) put up a plaque noting his birth place.  One might wonder of our interest: the 400th, as mentioned; too, the 250 of the U.S. (D.A.R./S.A.R.(see Langdon), etc.). 
Later, we will post more about Felton's life. For now, a Morse uncle (Moses Morse - WikiTree) can serve as a proxy representing some of his New England heritage.   

Felton died in 1862 leaving, at least, one milestone: the 1860 Harvard class had "more than 100 graduates." 

Remarks: Modified: 08/13/2022

08/13/2022 -- 

Sunday, August 7, 2022

New Missouri

TL;DR -- Who has the longest river? Who cares? But, it's nice that these work horses get some attention beyond those worries like flooding or effects of droughts. For the U.S., these waterways were highways as well as inhibitors. Friends and foes. To be tamed. The dams of the west are an example. 


As in, Missouri River as the focus. Why was the Mississippi first? 

Recently, we asked, Who's on first?, with respect to the first Governor of Massachusetts and thereby a larger scope of the future U.S. Today, we were reminded that there is some issue of definitions with respect to the longest river in the world. Who cares? 

The New Missouri would be consider the upper part of the Mississippi River which would really be the southern part of the Missouri. Interesting. I ask, which longest rivers flows through the most arable land? That is important for several reasons. 

But, looking at this Quora answer reminded me of some work to be done.

When I was a kid I was taught that the Mississippi-Missouri was the world's longest river (I went to school in Belgium). Now it appears to be the Nile or the Amazon. What happened?

Answer by David Gray (not recent, but apropos). 

When we were looking at rivers, we showed a map of watershed where that of the Missouri filled the whole of the center of the U.S. reaching from Pennsylvania to Idaho. 

Watersheds, U.S.

The upper Missouri area had major flooding this summer at Gardner River. We will look at that further. 

 Remarks: Modified: 08/08/2022

08/08/2022 -- Added link to Gardner River and its flooding of the Yellowstone River. 

Friday, July 29, 2022

Celebrity threads

 TL;DR -- There are several site that stress celebrity genealogy. We have referenced these from time to time. But, early on, we started a list of descendants of Thomas and Margaret Gardner that we saw referenced on the web. Some of these site no long exist, so we are going back through and doing proofs. This post looks at a recent episode of a well-known program that came back from an hiatus. Then, we consider the genealogy of an actor who recently passed away.  


When we first started this work, we found that looking for celebrity cousins helped, somewhat. They had public interest and could be used for demonstrations. There have been lots of books written about celebrity biographies and their family ties; TV had a few shows appear the last decade with that theme. We look at one example; too, an actor recently died who looks to be of New England heritage. First, we consider the subjec to of a WDYTYA episode; then we look at Wally of Beaver fame. 

"Who do you think that you are?" is a TV series that showed personalities tracing their heritage. It ran for a while and then left the air. We watched some shows and had a post back in the time when Cindy Crawford (May 2014) was the adventurer. There was discussion after that episode about what type and how much research had gone into the episode which is less than an hour considering the time taken by TV ads but would have involved lots of work by several persons.  

WDYTYA  just returned. In this case, there is a blog post that says that it took months of research to fill in the line. The recent subject was Allison Janney (Janney-406 on WikiTree) who is a descendant of Stephen Hopkins through her mother, Macy Brooks (Putnam) Janney. This is fairly recent research which was done by Ancestry[dot]com. We looked at her WT Profile which only showed her father's lineage (as of yesterday - we will watch for updates). Too, a 2012 write up of the actress did not have much to say of her mother. So, this TV episode did follow her mother's line; however, they did not do the Putnam line which we hope gets some attention, as it goes back to Essex County MA. 

A recent death caught our attention. Beaver's brother died. His Dow name had a huge possibility of being of New England. On looking at the WT Profile (Dow-3550) for Tony Lee Dow, we saw that his mother's line had been expanded but not his father's.  

As an aside, we like the one-profile approach of WT and their stressing of sources for the material. Generally, material on WT that is without a warning label can be taken as not being erroneous. So, using WT material, we can see that Tony has New England and New York pedigree from his mother that included Taft, Bradford and more. The more public the family, the more scrutiny it gets on WT. 

On WT, Tony's grandfather is noted to be John Stevens Dow (1886-1956) who was born in IA. On looking at Family Search, we find a researcher who notes that John was the son of John Fremont Dow who does have New England pedigree. We pulled out part of that lineage to show the families. 

This Dow family is a descendant of Thomas and Margaret Gardner through daughter Miriam who married John Hill. The image shows the first eight generations of the family of Tony. 

We wrote of the family earlier (Lorenzo and Peggy). He was a circuit rider for the Methodist Church; she was a noted Quaker author.  

Remarks: Modified: 07/29/2022

07/29/2022 -- The Gen 5 patriot record at the SAR database. 

Friday, July 22, 2022

Rev Nathaniel Eaton

 TL;DR -- The year of 1636 followed Winthrop's arrival closely. There are many factors to consider with respect to those times and their interests to the problems of today. We have another go-around coming up with a new twist, technology. Going forward, new ways to know will be emerging; yet, reflection on history will be a continuing theme. We will continue to look backward and forward. 


Our Heads of Harvard (Wikipedia) work is progressing. It was only recently that we thought to bring in Nathaniel Eaton (Wikipedia, WikiTree). We now know sufficiently enough to discuss him and his times. Of late, Nathaniel came to fore while we looked to add Edward Holyoke to our list.  

Portrait of Nathaniel Eaton
accidentally painted on a
John Harvard Olympus Cigar label
in place of Harvard's founder
John Harvard 

We learned early in our work that Nathaniel Eaton (Benjamin Brown Gardner) needed to be on the ancestor list having been ignored for several generations. Once we made this find, we started to consider why he had been cancelled (using the modern  concept). We looked at his academic record, for instance (The Hebraist). We read lots of stories, some of which were fairly new rehashes of questionable value. But, at the time, we were in a position of trying to fill in gaps. 

Then, we realized that others had been looking at the guy, too. In fact, they referenced our digging into the details concerning the son left behind and his progeny. That citation was in The American Genealogist. This article and the referenced article are now in the database of the NEHGS with appropriate bit of index information to support future research. The below image shows the first page of the TAG article plus the page that references the article that Thomas Gardner Research, Inc. published in The Essex Genealogist. 

There has been more research done since then which we will get back to. But, all along, our thought was about the veracity of statements, especially from the youngsters. Some have studied the relationships twixt the institution and the students along Harvard's history. We will look at that, as well. Let's leave this, for now, with a quote from the prior post dealing with Holyoke. 
    Edward was also associated with changing the "intellectual climate" through several means such as having a focus on merit rather than pedigree, stressing scholarship, and removing flogging (which was a very much unanticipated theme). With regard to the last, Eaton ran into issues due to being abusive. In her article titled "The Dilemma of Corporal Punishment at Harvard College" that appeared in the History of Education Quarterly ( 1974, Cambridge University), K. C. Moore looks at the issue which is easy to "pass over" for several reasons. With respect to the Eaton incident, one might make comparison with other situations such as the U.S. Navy (and other organizations of the like). We have an eye witness account by Richard Henry Dana (Two Years Before the Mast), who had been at Harvard, of a flogging at sea almost two hundred years later. 
On another note, this series of posts has been quite instructive for several reasons. It's 400-year coverage of the U.S. allows us to relook at themes that are broad and deep. For instance, New England turned out to have a very long reach both across the interior of the country as it was developed and around the world. As the 250th looms, this viewpoint will be significant. Too, though, we are at the threshold of the remembrance of things related to the Cape Ann's venture. Hence, we can say that we are looking forward to the next few years (decades). 

When we started our research in 2010, things were hugely different from what we see now. From time to time, we see older sites still extant. Hopefully, some of those may persist. Otherwise, we can hope to learn from "wayback" approaches. 

Remarks: Modified: 07/23/2022

07/22/2022 -- 

Saturday, July 16, 2022

Samuel Langdon

TL;DR -- With Samuel Langdon, we have a Patriot and the start of the Revolution. Langdon had served as a Chaplain in the French-Indian Affair. During the Revolution, Harvard moved to Concord while activities related to the war took place on campus. Langdon has a Profile in the D.A.R. database as an ancestor of members. 


Our look at the Heads of Harvard (Wikipedia) is getting interesting as we start to explore U.S. History. 

With Samuel Langdon, we have a real-life Patriot with respect to the Revolution as it followed the long period of colonial life. It is said that Langdon was "obnoxious to the Tory students." As well, Langdon was of the 4th generation and had been involved in the French-Indian affair during which time the Crown had trained the leaders who would rebel. 

Langdon was of a family (WikiTree) with some New England pedigree. He attended the Boston Latin School and Harvard. Shortly after he took his office at Harvard, the battles of Lexington and Concord took place. The College, which moved to Concord, closed for a time and barracked soldiers. Gen. Washington set up headquarters on the campus. The troops who had been bivouacked left a trail of damage from stripping metal from buildings to be used for the bullets.   

Later, British prisoners of war were placed at Harvard including in the Adams House. 

Langdon died in New Hampshire where he went after he was asked to leave Harvard by the students. 

Langdon had descendants, some of whom are members of the Daughters of the American Revolution organization. His D.A.R. Patriot record shows several members (A068943) through two of his children: Mary and Paul. 

Note: Finding a DAR entry is a first for us in this research. We will go back and determine if there ought to be other Presidents with this honor. 

Remarks: Modified: 07/16/2022

07/16/2022 -- 

Saturday, July 9, 2022

1900 forward

TL;DR -- As we head to the 400th of Gloucester, MA which will start at the end of December of this year, we can pull things together to start our next phase. We have several memes to discuss, but a continuing theme deals with generations. In 2020, we noted that the 5th generation work of a Mayflower descendant helps bring out some of the common issues through time (hence, modulo is very much apropos). 


Back in 2020, with Covid and other factors at work, we had a lot of time to do work dealing with generations as mentioned in our last post: 8th generation. It was in the work where we started to list generations from Cape Ann to events of U.S. History. And, the 5th generation was identified as the most involved of the U.S. Revolution which 250th is coming up. The 8th generation post came from looking in more detail at what we knew of Judge F.M. Thompson. F.M. was Civil War time. 

Another post of the time was 1900 back. In that post, we looked at Dr. Frank mentioning his father, Stephen Wilson Gardner, in his book. Stephen's father, Benjamin Brown Gardner, was the grandson of Simon Stacey Gardner, DAR Patriot, and of the 5th generation. That would make Benjamin to be the 7th generation, Stephen to be the 8th and Dr. Frank would be of the 9th (as is Ann's grandfather). Stephen, then, would be the cohort of F.M. (of the last post). 

Also, that allow us to establish some relations with what we know. Namely, this would be the two massive affairs driven by technology, somewhat: WWI and WWI. And, we get to Dr. Frank's generation and their WWI draft registrations. Too, back to Harvard, and its chemist involved with chemical warfare; he, kin, was a President of Harvard, later (James Bryant Conant was of the 9th gen). That establishes the parents of the boomers to be the 10th generation. 

Now, why all of this? One major meme deals with the 1960s where dynamics all over the world erupted in ways not seen before; those energies persisted in their ways until this very day where we have no seeming platform left in any of the classical senses; except, we do have an emerging focus that is related to technology having reared its head in the last decade and one-half, namely computational emptiness. 

As we saw with the New Yorker overview, there are different ways to look at generations. We will categorize and do simultaneous looks as technology allows us to do. But, the spread through time, almost modulo perfect can make a lot of sense. This graphics uses the four generations that the New Yorker article touched upon. Yes, the contents of graphic is taken from the periodical.  

Just like we can track through Harvard's footprints on history, we can do the same thing with people (families) and with the imprint of technology. Our work of late showed us that there are several places where information gaps occurred. Post the Revolution, we had several generations, centered around the 7th, where descendants of early families seemed to have dropped off the earth. 

At the same time, newer families were arriving, constantly. Many times, with the same or similar names so as to create confounding moments. We will look at that further but, for now want to just identify that there is a major lost generation. Fortunately, many times we can tie together sufficient information to build back family relationships or to give someone a little recognition. There are many cases of the unidentified across the landscape. 

In particular, our next post will identify a few Gardner generations around the 1900 timeline. We picked that for privacy purposes where most things before then could become public knowledge if it had not already been lifted to view. However, looking this way from then, the release of the 1950 U.S. Census data does open several doors. 

Before proceeding, using F.M. as an example, we want to document some threads of families with the name of Gardner and folks of collateral families. 

Too, the upcoming 250th is important for many reasons. So, we will support DAR and SAR and others. Then, we will map families from Cape Ann to the Patriot and to now, as do several organizations. At the same time, we have some open business with regard to the Mayflower event which has a similar project of Passenger to Patriot. For us, we can use the Five Generations work for these comparative studies. As a reminder, we will venture into New Spain (first due to size) and New France as we work.  

Remarks: Modified: 07/09/2022

07/09/2022 -- 

Friday, July 8, 2022

8th generation

TL;DR -- We have several threads that relate families to events and their themes. For instance the 5th generation did the Revolution, guided by the 4th and assisted by the 6th. Post the Revolution, the western activity kicked into higher gear. The 7th generation was involve out west early. Now, with the 8th, we can bring in the Civil War and further looks at western activity. 


We have used generation often without much definition, example - Fifth generation (the Revolution). Then, we talked of others, such as the 4th (leadership during the Revolution) or later generations. Of course, this is a topic which will always be with us: "Generations" and its use, About generations. As well, we are using a thread about the History of Harvard to follow 400 years of the U.S. 

So, it's time to put 'generation' to work on a usual basis. Today, after looking at our post on Judge F. M. Thompson, we looked at his generation. F.M. contributed to the Massachusetts Magazine. Too, some of this material was collected into a book, Tenderfoot in Montana. Now, his mother was a Adams (WikiTree) so we will now use the Adams family to compare lives of cousins, like we did with those in the lineage of Grizzly and John Quincy and with Dr. Frank's book.  

In short, F.M. was of the 8th generation. As such, his western jaunt is of interest as this is the second wave where the first wave consisted of the earlier group, such as Jedediah Strong Smith. Jedediah's group were the early explorers out west; too, they got the carving of the land started with its result of a century of the frontier. If we were to pick a major event in the U.S. related to this generation, it would be the U.S. Civil War

Seal of the 
Territory of Montana
F.M. was in New England at the start of the conflict. He was on the west coast and at in-between locations for a lot of the duration of the war. We will let him describe his experiences for himself. For now, here are a few posts related to F.M. and his jaunts. 

We will be back to this post as we define more generations and their contributions. Generations overlap. So, we can talk a mid-point and spread. Then, how about some fuzzy logic, such as: mostly late 7th and somewhat early 8th? There are other methods that could be used. Too, we need to pick one of two choices: either the generation of Thomas and Margaret are in the count or not. We have mixed this a little, to date, and will get that issue settled before we bring generations further into our model for discussing dynamics of change in the sense of history. 

So, following up on John Quincy Adams, we find Mary Gardner (Adams) Quincy. On looking at the Gardner connection, she is a descendant of Thomas and Margaret of Cape Ann and Salem. In terms of Grizzly Adams, his son, Seymour Adams, served in the Civil War. That shows some credence for our counting this type of segregation. 

Let's check the Harvard connections. The two Presidents during the conflict were Cornelius Felton (1860-1862) and Thomas Hill (1862-1868). We have not looked at these two as of yet. For now, let's take Felton whose brother, Samuel, was a railroad engineer. He was President of the Philadelphia, Wilmington, and Baltimore Railroad during the "pivotal Civil War" era. 

Remarks: Modified: 07/09/2022

07/09/2022 -- Add NEHGS Proceedings entry for F.M. that appeared in the 1917 NEHGR.