Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Gardner's Beacon, Vol. I, No. 3

Some of the early arrivals, such as Higginson, wrote about their experiences. Then, there were the later lookbacks by others, like Conant.

The first researcher who wrote about the early times of Massachusetts was Rev. William Hubbard. And, he mentioned both Thomas Gardner and John Tylly. Was he the first? The Reverend wrote in the late 1600s. Luckily, the only copy of his work was saved by those who knew how.

Later, there were other lookbacks, such as Felt's who went through the records of towns, such as Salem and Ipswich and others.

Then, with the advent of organized work on records about mid-1800s, families started to put together their stories. We have the works of Frank A. Gardner, MD in this category. As well, there was a flurry of activity around the 300th anniversary of the Cape Ann venture.

Now, we're almost 400 years out. It's time for another go-around. See Vol. I, No. 3 of Gardner's Beacon for our view of Margaret's perspective.

Expect that there will be a continuing threads on this, and related, topics.


12/17/2011 -- Tim Lambert's A World History Encyclopedia will be used much in this blog and in related material. Here is his take on the life in the colonial times

06/04/2019 -- Added image and put this on our image list at the portal to truth

Modified: 06/04/2019

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Miriam (Gardner) Hill

Thomas and Margaret had three daughters. We have detailed some information on Sarah, the oldest daughter. The next two daughters were Miriam and Seeth.

Miriam married, around 1657, John Hill of Salem. Whereas Miriam was born in New England, John was from Bristol, England.

Miriam and John had two daughters.
There is another Miriam Gardner who was the niece of this Mariam and was the daughter Miriam's brother, Richard Gardner. This Miriam Gardner married John Worth of Nantucket.


Children (according to the NEHGS and the Great Migration Project - as represented by WikiTree): ThomasGeorgeRichardJohnSarahSamuelJosephMiriamSeeth.

Remarks: Modified: 07/29/2022

11/27/2019 -- Removed stale pointers. We are working the 2nd generation through the 5th generation. John Hill remarried when Miriam died and had children. Also, added in Miriam's niece, Mariam (Gardner) Worth.

12/13/2020 -- Added link to list of descendants. 

07/29/2022 -- Added WikiTree link for William Haskell, spouse of Miriam Hill. Today, showed that Wally (Tony Lee Dow) is a descendant of Susannah Hill as is Charles Henry Dow. Added link to the Haskell database record for William Haskell and Miriam Hill. Dudley Chase Haskell (found of the Haskell Indian institute in Lawrence KS is a descendant). 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

True gentleman

About a hundred years ago, there was an effort to recognize a 'forgotten' man who had been overlooked since he was overshadowed by the 'gentlemen' of the times. Ah, to whom does that refer?

Well, it could apply to many, as 'forgotten' is probably more apropos in the contexts being discussed here than not. Only a few rise to the level of general awareness. By doing so, are they of a better sort? Ah, philosophy coming to fore here?

Now, if we limit the context to the Cape Ann venture, Dorchester Company, we could think of many. In fact, only a few of the 'old planters' have been looked at. John Tylly is still a mystery, as we see from the 'Great Migration' effort of late. The fact is that he was a 'lead' in the effort, for a year, and then cast'd aside. Getting that position has some implications that bear study; the subsequent times still need a good look or two.

And, we'll be doing that.

But, there was one gentleman who got recognized a hundred years ago. He has a statue in Salem, plaques in various places (like Gloucester), and the story of this ancestry filled in.

There is another who is still under the radar who is the subject of this blog. Thomas. I have been pondering what would be the proper way to address what Thomas' life means. 'backbone' of the economy came to mind. 'forerunner' is another, as one hundred and fifty years after his time, we had the major shift, that was permanent, called the American Revolution.

Yes, both Thomas and Margaret were ahead of their time having to bear the shackles of the theocracy so desired by some of those who flitted across the skies.

But, what exactly are gentlemen? We can look at various classes of men or perhaps just realize that these pertain to role. Yet, are not effective actions within a role associated back toward the individual's characters?

This is a brief introduction, as we'll go into this more. The gentleman is not by necessity aristocratic. That is mere pretension, even if it is followed by the sword. Nor, ought the property rest solely on those of the military elite. For now, there is an efficacy that comes from this; however, one has to think that somehow the masses of those who really serve (mostly of the enlisted variety) need recognition, to boot. How about adequate pay, for starter?

Nor ought the property relate to the clergy. Oh no. Thankfully, we had the likes of Reverends Stephen Bachiler and John Wise countering that theocratic trend. Yes, we must not forget Anne Hutchinson and many others.


Therefore, we need to, after 400 years, find some way to honor Thomas and his contributions. This blog can be considered a start.


11/06/2013 -- While working on the next Beacon issue, I ran across some books. The one by Staloff was timely; imagine, I was wondering why the backbone series? Has the talented set ever allowed the lessors to have some semblance of a good life? Oh, you say yes? Winthrop, et al, were against this from the beginning. The stalwart of what could be (or could have been)? Thomas Gardner, of course.

12/24/2012 -- Thomas, unlike Conant, was not overshadowed in the world of being. We'll spend some time characterizing this fact and what it means to reasonable folks.

11/27/2012 -- Let's itemize what we know, re-iterate some basics, and the proceed constructively.

09/13/2012 -- About Margaret. We'll honor her as the ancestor, with Thomas, of the Gardner family.

05/01/2012 -- Backbone, in particular, this overview. Two things to be thankful for: Rev Hubbard's look back (his brief mention is sufficient) and the fact that the manuscript was not lost (otherwise, would Thomas had been even more unknown?).

12/02/2011 -- Start a category, Backbone, which will be used for historical comment.

Modified: 11/05/2013

Monday, August 22, 2011

John Tylly

John deserves recognition for several reasons, not the least of which is that no account of Thomas' and Margaret's arrival and subsequent time at Cape Ann can be complete without mentioning John. We'll look at his background which seems to be as unknown as Thomas' might be. We also know that John was killed in 1636 at the time of the Pequot War.

John was in charge of the fishing effort. There has been much written about Cape Ann, including White's little Plea. Some, including White, cast aspersions on those who were there. Others have offered a more reasoned view, as we see depicted in this chapter on the Fisher Plantation and this report to the US Treasury, 1853.

Rev. Hubbard on
Tylly and Gardner
By the way, William Hubbard (1621-1704), in his retrospective, was the first to mention John and Thomas. One can envision those in that later 17th century time asking what happened; that is, what were the real people doing during the time; that is, those who did not spawn off countless words during their time here.


John and Thomas were part of the movement from Cape Ann to the Naumkeag area. Then, John seems to disappear. The Great Migration look (pg 1823) tries to make some sense. John was in the Dorchester area in the mid-1630s. He had a wife but no offspring.

John was active in coastal trade, seemed to go as far as Bermuda, and was killed in Connecticut as he tried to venture, despite warnings by Lion Gardiner, up the river to Hartford.


All sorts of questions remain to be answered, and old Rev White isn't here to say. How did these two men become leads in an effort that had such importance? And, then be pushed aside so easily? Ah, many, many more questions.

As said before, 'speculation' requires magical gains. In less than a decade, Massachusetts was shipping tons of fish to Europe. How could this happen in a year's time? Even with the Plymouth help (as they were there in Cape Ann, to boot, hence the conflict that Conant is supposed to have avoided), how could one expect for gains to accrue so quickly?

So much to deconstruct here. Thankfully, some have already started. Winthrop, and perhaps Rev White, wanted theocracy as a way of life. Though they were ahead of their time, John and Thomas were seen as 'irreligious' according to some. Actually, events 100 years in the future showed these two to be on the right path.

Hopefully, time and resources will get some of these types of things better answered.

Remarks: Modified: 03/21/2022

05/01/2012 -- Interest in the Old Planters is being assessed. Also, we'll do a sketch of John at this site

12/22/2012-- We need to differentiate between Old Planters of Beverly (see The Old Planters of Beverly in Massachusetts, 1930, Alice Gertrude Lapham, The Riverside Press) and the Old Planters of Massachusetts. One could even talk, Old Planters of New England.

10/11/2018 -- Some argument over who was first, in New Hampshire. Rev Hubbard was mentioned. As mentioned, he was the first one to mention Thomas Gardner. Too, his manuscript, though written in the 1600s, was not published until about one hundred and thirty years later. And, we almost lost it due to the mob rioting and doing damage to Hutchinson's dwelling, which, btw, was the Governor's mansion. So,  the good Reverend the Rodney Dangerfield of his time?

01/07/2019 -- Add snip from Rev. Hubbard's history that mentioned Tylly and Gardner.

03/21/2022 -- Our first post on John Tylly was on 22 Aug 2011 when we were newbies. We just did another post today under the name of John Tilley which is how the NEHGR identified him in an article in their Winter 2022 issue. In that post we link to research on the other Cape Ann families. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Thomas' house

Firstly, we have no photo of the house. The attached drawing has appeared in several publications. We'll run down its source.

The house was put together by material brought over by the Cape Ann party. With such a small crew, there would have been room for a lot of material on the boat.

We might say that this is the house that Thomas built. Evidently, the building job was completed in 1624. Possibly, that would have allowed some shelter for their first winter. Who lived in the house?

One researcher suggested that the overseers used the house. Tilly didn't have a family. Did other families share the warmer space over that first winter?


We need to pull together all of the stories that have been told over the years.


Of course, we can say this is the house that Roger Conant took over with his coming into leadership at Cape Ann, in 1625, after his sojourn in Plymouth and Nantasket.

Too, we can say that this is the house that John Endicott had taken over to Salem for his use. See Higginson's description of Salem including the 'fair house' for the governor.


Obviously, it was the first 3-story house in New England, perhaps even in the eastern U.S. Before saying that, we would have to look at what the Spanish did in Florida. Jamestown put more into their fort than the houses.


Of course, what did the other houses that use locally fabricated material look like? And, to what did Thomas and Margaret move when Conant 'confiscated' the house?

We can surmise the construction style by comparing the Thomas house with the one (shown below) of George Soule (a re-creation) which illustrates both the material and the construction technique.

A little later, there would have been houses like we see with Balch (Beverly) and Whipple (Ipswich).


By 1626, the crew was on the move to what became Salem. Did they leave anyone behind in Cape Ann?

The house was not moved until later; was it occupied during that time? We know its location in Salem after the move. What eventually became of the house?


Finally, let's look at some of the economic realities, that will be addressed more fully, here and elsewhere, until we get the real story out there about Thomas and his kind (the real contributors).
  • The crew came into the area in the spring. Given that planting requires preparation, was there really enough time to do anything (even if there were good ground) that first year beyond sustenance? Hint: did not the group sustain itself? We did not hear of food problems of a major sort until the mass influx later that overwhelmed the supply.
  • The house took some of the effort from the crew. Even if all of the material was there, construction takes time, energy, and knowledge. Did this diversion impact fishing efforts, to boot? Again, the sustenance issue comes to fore.
  • I have said elsewhere that 'capital' was asking for its profit before giving enough time to the planters. Given what we know now about start up costs, were they not underestimated for this effort (or was the presence of the Church mindset necessarily associated with over-optimistic views -- of course, selling one's nephew down the river seemed to fit well that Church-obsessed mind)? One can also imagine all of the logistical nightmares? Just because this group was better prepared than their neighbors to the south did not lessen the difficulties that those who came over faced.
  • Asking for unreasonable profits still exists today (why else the impetus behind globalization -- and leaning, that is, push costs to your suppliers while not listening to their pangs as you squeeze out their blood); at this time, it would have been worse due to the nature of that aristocratic bent that had God's approval (Church, again, supposedly).
  • Of course, we know that Roger was no more capable than Thomas. How did those two relate (their offspring married, we'll get into that)? It is interesting that Roger, and his Old Planters, went off to what is now Beverly. Thomas and Margaret were still very much part of Salem (we'll put out, soon, a post on their 1641 location).
  • As said before, Thomas' offspring are strong evidence for him and Margaret. We'll detail each more fully. Too, he was referenced as 'Mr' and performed a whole lot of civic duty. Some have gone on about Roger's grace as he yielded to John (the Endicott, of course) for the greater good. Thomas, too, was graceful, in many more ways (we'll have to tell this tale -- essentially stayed well enough under the radar for all of his offspring to become effective adults).
That these economics considerations are pertinent in today's world seems to increase their potential interest.


03/19/2022 -- Nice to see research on the family of John Tilly. NEHGR, Winter, 2022 has an article on John and his family by Clifford L. Stott. The title is "Rev. William Tilley of Broadwindsor, Dorset, and His Sons in New England: John, Nathaniel, and William." Identifies his child and more. 

09/28/2014 -- A week ago, the record for the marriage of Thomas Gardner and Margaret Friar was discovered in Sherborne by John Cook of Minneapolis, Dorset files. This sets a type of focus. Looks as if some transcription work might be in order.  

01/25/2013 -- By the way, we're going to document this more thoroughly on Wikipedia - Great House (Cape Ann). We have John Goff's expertise available to assist us. This house was the first of its kind in New England.

11/27/2012 -- Let's itemize what we know, re-iterate some basics, and the proceed constructively.

10/28/2012 -- September issue had a theme of houses.

10/24/2012 -- John Goff (Salem's Witch House ..., pg 24) writes: After his arrival downtown in 1628, Endicott ruled that the old Thomas Gardner "Governor's House" from Cape Ann (built about 1623) be dismantled, moved by sea from Cape Ann to Naumkeag and be re-erected in earliest Salem to serve as a new Governor's House here. It stood north of the old shawmut on what is now Washington Street.

09/13/2012 -- About Margaret. We'll honor her as the ancestor, with Thomas, of the Gardner family.

05/01/2012 -- There will be a 'house' category, soon. Too, house is mentioned in the Maypole post.

12/17/2011 -- Tim Lambert's A World History Encyclopedia will be used much in this blog and in related material. Here is his description of colonial homes. By the way, we'll look at this, too. In Connecticut, where the cast offs (kidding) from Winthrop's world went, in part, they started to build big houses early. As in, the prototype for the American Mansion (and the McMansions) was worked right there south of Massachusetts. What was different? Multiple fireplaces, many rooms, large square feet, multiple cooking areas, servant quarters, and so forth.

12/02/2011 -- According to Felt, in the Annals of Salem, Endicott purchased, when he arrive, the house and have it moved from Cape Ann. Felt writes "It was then two stories high. Some of the remains of it are said to be still contained in the Old Tavern, at the corner of Court and Church Streets." Felt also mentions the reference to the house made by Higginson ("we found a faire house newly built for the Governor") when he arrived in Salem.

10/13/2011 -- Er, Margaret's house.

08/21/2011 -- Going through White's Plea may take some time. See Remarks 08/21/2o11.

08/16/2011 -- We will be using the Planters' Plea (from White) to get some better sense of what happened in that early period. Only Endicott is mentioned by name.

Modified: 03/19/2022

Saturday, August 13, 2011

White and Gardner family contributions

The motivation for this post comes mostly from a nice article written by John Goff, a descendant of Thomas. John heads Salem Preservation, Inc. Fortunately, there has been this type of effort as, at one time, Salem was disappearing due to progress and re-building.

When I first read this article a few months ago, I thought that we need to put December 29 on the calendar. That was the day of Thomas' death in 1674 in Salem. So, let's not forget to get something on Salem's Twitter roll, or even their Facebook page, on that date.


We earlier looked at where Thomas is now.


John Goff talks about the family of John White who was one of the supporters behind the efforts of the Dorchester Company. Many do not think about White when they consider the development of New England and the U.S.A. Too, Thomas is more than under the radar. John's article helps us to overcome that deficiency.


Roger Conant got his statue, finally, the last century. He had been known as the 'forgotten' founder (with Endicott, of course, taking the limelight).


John Goff, then, mentions a little about the Gardner contribution, which is large. I like to point to the descendants list, as an example. Expect that this list will grow as research continues.

For instance, John mentions a few families who are not on the list, yet, such as Gedney, Parkman, Greenough, and, of course, Goff. We'll be looking into that.


08/06/2016 -- More on All things Gardners.

09/05/2013 -- Nice site with information related to Rev. John White.

06/15/2013 -- John Farmer wrote that Thomas was from Scotland. Origins are, and will be, a focus.

10/27/2012 -- John Goff looks at the Corwin House in his book which mentions Rev. John White.

05/01/2012 -- We ought to remember Hawthorne every year, on this day.

08/21/2011 -- Added in some comments about the house built on Cape Ann and about the party's description by White (in his Planters' Plea). Seems to me, from this write up (the badly led and ill-disciplined landsmen left at Cape Ann), that Rev John threw Thomas into a group that included those at Morton's shindig at Wollaston.

Modified: 08/06/2016

Sunday, August 7, 2011


It has always been the plan to include information about collateral families, as that information carries forward with the offspring from that union.


Isabella? Yes, Stewart; she is covered in a Wikipedia article about her museum. We have already mentioned the John Lowells a couple of times. Isabella married John "Jack" Lowell II in 1860. Their son, John III, died as an infant.

Some say that the art collecting efforts started about then.


There is a Stewart tradition, mentioned by Frank A, about King Fergus. However, Isbella's mother, Adelia Smith, has an interesting family history (Larson).


01/01/2019 -- Isabella featured in a New England Historical Society article: Isabella Stewart Gardner Holds a Champagne and Donuts Party on New Year's Day. Earlier, forgot to put in this link: 10 Sep 2016 - Stone from the Gardner-Wyman-Peabody Mill found in the low tide. Provided a summary of the history of the family that owned the mill to John Goff (who wrote of the mill in The Tide Mill Times). A member of the family was John Lowell Gardner II.

06/19/2013 -- Removed link for Larson tree at rootsweb. Database not there.

06/19/2013 -- See Nutfield Genealogy: Tombstone Tuesday ~ Isabella Stewart Gardner Mausoleum for photos. Find a grave for Isabella.

02/01/2013 -- Updated rootsweb references for Larson tree. 

Modified: 01/01/2019