Saturday, December 31, 2011

Posts of interest - 2011

Did a summary of summaries in December 2019. Started metrics a little later: the metrical.  


As a means (an attempt) to freeze a point in time (which we know is not possible), the last post of 2011 will list the top four posts in terms of having been read (well, views, anyway). Perhaps, this will be a yearly event.

Aside: As said in Mission and Method, posts are to contribute to a theme, though there may be divergent ones from time to time. Blogs allow categories, but these are problematic since they collect and present in a time order. From time to time, there ought to be a super-post that gives a more coherent view (here is an example - Truth, Fiction, and Finance). Perhaps, that type of thing will be done more often in the coming year.

Of course, I would be derelict if I didn't opine on why the interest.

Posts of interest, as of today:
  • -- Gardners and Gardners -- what's in a name? I have found off-spring for a lot of those on Dr. Frank A's list. Some writers have suggested relationships between these Gardners. Of course, there are some not in the book (they now appear in internet searches -- what would Dr. Frank A. think of the new resources?). One of our goals is to look further at these types of things. It cannot be done without going back across the water. Following paperwork can be problematic, as the genealogists know. Conjectures are nice, if supported; in fact, we'll have an example of that shortly in regard to Thomas and Margaret. There are too many gaps, in many cases. We can't just fill these in without some thoughtful reason. Some families have on-going research that is supported by DNA analysis. One that I found to be interesting is the Gordon family's work. 
  • Historical genealogy -- it is interesting that a very recent, and popular, series of books (at least, one of these was filmed) by a Santa Fe writer was based upon the War of the Roses. However, the tales were fantasized such as to appeal to the modern mind. Actually, just re-looking with a new eye ought to be very informative. That is one of our goals.
  • Welcome -- being a new blog, this post would still pop up. At some point, hopefully, another thread will supersede. Any predictions? 
  • Two generations -- we use nine children, as did the Great Migration study (six pages on Thomas). Some have added others. We will include all of the grand-children here, at least in a list, this coming year. We, inadvertently, had one featured this year: Ruth Gardner. That was due to my happening upon Frances Hill's book.  
Recaps: 2018, 2017 (missing), 20162015201420132012, 2011.

Remarks: Modified: 07/30/2021

12/29/2012 --  Summary - 2012.

02/26/2013 --  See Wikipedia for a discussion about William Gardner whose page has been deleted.

12/15/2018 -- Added in links to recaps from the beginning.

12/29/2018 -- This post is the 2nd most read of all time, after the post on the marriage of Thomas and Margaret.

01/12/2019 -- To support an indexing by thumbnails, we needed an image. This post was multi-themed, so none stood out. However, motivations are always on the table as is the 'whence' issue. The image is from a post in 2013, however this post is still on the most-read list and is a good marker for us in continuing our work. The post: Origins - motivations. We started this blog from a blank state; we found out in our research that Thomas is a hard nut to crack. He was here, left progeny, but never left us his writing (beyond a signature). But, he was supportive of Conant when he arrived, Endicott when he arrived, Winthrop when he arrived. But, Thomas could only endure one session of the General Court. That is a story to look further into (we will). Later, changed to the image of Archbishop Gardiner.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Gardner-Pingree house (and murder)

This house is just east of the Essex Institute; actually, it is now part of the Peabody Essex Museum. Some of the features of the house, with a very nice description, can be seen at an arts blog: Part 1, Part 2.

In a brochure for the Hawthorne in Salem walking tour, the house is mentioned as the site of a crime whose trial caught the attention of Nathaniel (Thomas descendant) and everyone else in the area. Capt Joseph White was found murdered in the house in April, 1830. It turned out that the crime had been committed by a member of a prominent family; two brothers from another well-known family were involved in the planning. The prosecution was handled by Daniel Webster who, despite difficulty related to the case, got the jury to convict. The perpetrator had killed himself before the trial; the other two were hung after their conviction.


The Salem brochure says that this house was built in 1804. Then, it says that Joseph White bought it in 1814. Elsewhere, we see that John (descendant through sons, Samuel and George) and Sarah (West) Gardner were the builders. Too, we see that John bought the land from his father.

Then, we learn that the Gardners sold the house in 1811 because of financial difficulties. Which were?

Essentially, it turns out that these were due to losses incurred during events that led up to the War of 1812. John and his father lost several ships to the British. They didn't go broke; but John and Sarah had to sell this magnificent house. We will look at the details later, but John is covered as #162 (his father is #110) in Dr. Frank A.'s book.

Now, we learn further that John sold the house to Nathaniel West who was related to his wife. As well, they lived in the house until 1814, so they did get a chance to enjoy their effort in getting it put together. Then, when the house was sold to Joseph White, they moved.


John and his father owned land in several areas of Essex county. There were other Gardner owners, too. It might be interesting to pull these together. The Dr. Frank A. book might be a start as he did a thorough review of records.


Too, the interplay of families will be a subject worth pursuing. For instance, in this case, the two brothers were of the Knapp family. The perpetrator was a Crowninshield. How do the Knapps relate to Samuel?


Recently, the Smithsonian published an article about the trial.


01/07/2020 -- While looking for information on Joseph Gardner and Ann Downing, I found a reference that seems to conflate the two ladies: The murder that led to the murder of two Presidents. Need to look into that further. See Gardner's gate.

12/25/2019 -- Found out about the Lost New England blog, today (Gardner-Pingree House).

06/19/2019 -- Remembering pending research such as this one. Left comment at Streets of Salem: The Most Beautiful House in America (and the Power of the Place)

10/10/2018 -- This house was on land owned by Thomas. We are looking at where he was and where he is now.

07/11/2012 -- A recent issue of Gardner's Beacon looks at the War of 1812.

01/05/2012 -- John Sr was first cousin of John Gardner who was the grandfather of John Lowell Gardner, I.

12/31/2011 -- Kudos to Louise DuPont Crowninshield for her preservation efforts. Too, we have her to thank for the gardens.

12/31/2011 -- David Pingree bought the house from Nathaniel West (brother of Sarah) in 1834. The house was donated to the Essex Institute in 1933.

12/30/2011 --  The Pingree family preserved the house and donated it to the Essex Institute. 

Modified: 01/07/2020

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Remembering Thomas

Today, we pause to reflect on the legacy of Thomas Gardner of Salem. Thomas, as an old planter, moved his family in 1626 from Cape Ann and helped to settle the area which is known today as Salem.

Thomas died on December 29, 1674 and was buried on Old Gardner hill in Salem. Some of the graves in that area were moved to the Harmony Grove Cemetery in the 1840s to allow re-routing of streets in Salem.


03/18/2021 -- After some research, there is a new view of the status of grave at Old Gardner Hill. Details gathered via research are reviewed in this post: 29 December 1764. We do not know the status of Thomas' grave (or any of the others, as, essentially, stones were move). However, Essex County has many more examples of the type of cemetery destruction that we saw in Salem. 

12/31/2016 -- Two days late. Lots to report: looking at Cape Ann; The Gardner Annals; Sherborne, Dorset; NEHGRAll things Gardner; ...

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.

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?).

Modified: 03/18/2021

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Gardner's Beacon, Vol. I, No. 5

Christmas has become an integral part of our modern society, though there are continuing efforts to lose some of its characteristics related to Christ. So, let us offer you "season's greeting" on this day. Tudor society did celebrate Christmas, as probably did Thomas' and Margaret's families. And, there were things related to the season that had old northern heritage.

So, what was Christmas, in New England, like at that time? We know that some effort may have already been exerted to remove the more 'pagan' influences. In fact, some may have wanted to ignore the season altogether due to difficulties in establishing Christ's actual birth date. Others wanted more spiritual modes to be followed.

The Christmas season helps start off the winter months during which there can be issues resulting from the cold. Those early pioneers had to actually show that the English could survive in that environment. And, many did demonstrate this.

See Vol. I, No. 5 of Gardner's Beacon for our perspective on those times and trials. Too, we take a moment to list some of Thomas' granddaughters, such as Mary (Gardner) Coffin.  

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

References: Lambert, Tim  A World History Encyclopedia (Tudor Christmas); Wikipedia, Christmas; Nantucket Town  Nantucket Insurrection


12/19/2011 -- Added source listing from this page (scroll down). Will do this for all issues. 

Modified: 04/23/2012

Friday, December 2, 2011

Backbone and more

These posts, of which this is the first to tie in the category, will be collected into a separate group. What will be the content? An outsider's assessment of those early years and Thomas' legacy from such. 'outsider' means in-law, basically.


Backbone has already been used with a different context: fedaerated. Why? The study of those times that were 150 years prior to the Revolution are very much apropos to understanding of the current problems. Even Naisbitt thinks so, though I don't agree with his slant.


Disclosure: The author is a 3rd generation American whose ancestors were basically post the Civil war. Hence, looking at Thomas and Margaret affords a new view into the history of northern Europe and the new world. As an aside, there has been a lot written about the past 400 years, even about that New England locale. Hence, one can easily get lost in all of the verbiage. And, there are conflicts in what was written. So, we seriously need some new overviews that try to help guide one through the mess (more below).


So, today, while I was reading the Annals of Salem (the overview) by Felt, I had some thoughts that will be expanded upon further. First of all, there were tyrannical doings almost from the beginnings. True, the aboriginal peoples were trampled. But, there was serious infighting among the settlers, even though they were from a common background.

Earlier, I had noted to myself that Thomas seemed to be above the fray (we'll expand upon this thoroughly). However, let me say that he was there, and of notice, even without corroboration of those writing the historical accounts (meaning, of course, that we can thank Rev. Hubbard (he died in 1704) for the first real reference -- it is said that he had talked to all of the principals -- Thomas, Roger, and John). In other words, Thomas, and Margaret, had been successful in bringing up their kids in the midst of turmoil and peril (we'll characterize this, to boot). Of course, many other families were equally adept. For this, we can be grateful.


It is of definite interest that the first year that Thomas deigned to undergo the 'freeman' yoke (1637), he was elected, with William Hathorne (Samuel's father-in-law), to be Deputy to the General Court. We'll go more into that later.

Some have wondered about what happened to Thomas after the group left Cape Ann because he's not in the record (see Remarks 12/03/2011). One author (Paine family) considered that the family might have gone back to England. As we know, some did. Rev. Lyford went to Virginia.

Think of it, though, that Thomas was the ultimate example of a self-sufficient, mature person. In other words, he was an archetypal New England'r before it had even become popular to think of those good traits. He was able to guide himself and his family through those dark times (and, we'll be getting into this in depth). When it became apparent that he had to conform to the powers that be in a public sense for the sake of his children, he did so. Then, his kids all excelled. Joseph stands out in that he married the sister of Sir Downing (there are several messages there). Samuel's wife had in-laws (the Corwins) who have royal descent. Richard and John did very well on Nantucket. George has his memorial (kidding). The girls have their esteemed offspring, too.


Of course, this brings up things related to the background. How did Thomas get his position from Rev White? And then, how could Rev White forget him so soon? When Conant came on the scene, Thomas showed a lot of maturity even though Conant is more touted for his acceptance of Endicott when he stormed on the set.


By the way, we'll go into some of the other parties who have their names blasted upon the pages of history. From where I sit (and that does mean that you can infer personal knowledge), some of these people were not much better than were their Christian brothers who sustained the energy behind the Inquisition for so long. What were the English doing? Trying to show up the Spaniards? Yes, a few things might be discussed along that line.

From what I've seen, Thomas has no recorded peccadilloes of this nature. In fact, given that the American Indians on Nantucket really liked John, we can assume something about John's upbringing.


Now, another thing that came up today was seeing a reference (in Felt's work) to the Magna Charta at a 1635 meeting (finally, I thought -- hey, that's 11 years later -- same issues as we face now with our leaders, don't you think?). Whoever brought that up may have had to duck (I'll research this more). But, it was wonderful to see the reference. In case it has not been noted, we're coming up on the 800th anniversary (2015) of this very important document.

Yes, it was brought up, in the meeting, that by-the-seats-of-the-pants governance, by second-rate people, was not conducive to a sustainable society, more or less. But, the U.S. did emerge, eventually.

Too, those with the real sense, such as Williams and Bachiler, went off to found Rhode Island and New Hampshire, respectively.


What? Did I read that Cromwell almost came over? It seems that the king prevented this, to his dismay a little later. That little bit sort of indicates that we must not forget some of the motives for coming over here (not just freedom, religious or otherwise). England was a mess, in many ways. So, would not New England exhibit that messiness, too?


There is a lot to read. So, at some point, a bibliography related to the 'backbone' theme will be presented. These posts will be like notes with a theme, hopefully.


07/12/2015 -- Of course, when Roger brought his people to Salem, Thomas was not there. Why? He and Margaret kept the Cape Ann house. Of course, when John Endicott came over, he saw Mr. Gardner in his nice house. John said, that is mine. Take it over to Salem. So, by splitting his time (Salem is not that far), Thomas had an idyllic time with his wife and kids; too, he had time to get himself and his family settled in the new realm.

04/20/2015 -- Yes, Cape Ann's life was idyllic, except any cohesive group must always endure the changes brought by new arrivals. Thomas and Margaret got to enjoy their house, once again, after Conant and crew left and Endicott saw the house and wanted it moved.

07/17/2014 -- The book about the Invisibles (the unsung heroes) offers another viewpoint. Of course, it is set in the modern context. But, we all know that history covers only a fraction of reality. What we see now is that technology will allow us suitable ways to go back and fill in the blank slates.

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.

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

05/01/2012 -- 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?).

03/07/2012 -- Where was Thomas? 1626 or so and 1641 or so.

12/03/2011 -- The thing that grates? Thomas led the group into Cape Ann. When the group went to Naumkeag, Gardner is not on the list of planters. We see Conant, Balch, Woodbury, and Palfrey (each got 1K acres -- as well, all of the families have inter-married with the Gardners). When I say 'grate' I'm referring to my initial reaction a couple of years ago when I first started to read about this stuff. Gardner forgotten, ignored, shunned, what? And, Rev White was the instigator of that division. Well, it'll bear more scrutiny, no doubt.

Modified: 04/23/2021

Mary (Gardner) Coffin

This post has some information about one of the Nantucket Gardners. Earlier, we took a brief look at the Whaling Gardners. We will have to gather more information about John and Richard who were sons of Thomas and Margaret.


Mary was the daughter of John Gardner who had moved to Nantucket at the offer of some land. She was born in Salem in 1670. The Nantucket Historical Association has a painting of Mary (see Search Collections) that was done in 1717 by the Pollard Limner (see Timeline).

In 1686, Mary married Jethro Coffin (example descendants list). Also, their house is the 'oldest house' on Nantucket.


There is a painting at the NHA that shows Mary, as a young woman, running from an Indian. It will be interesting to find the story behind this painting.


01/07/2020 -- While looking for information on Joseph Gardner (brother of John) and Ann Downing, I found a reference to Thomas. It was written a year ago - The Gardners: Cape Ann planters that they were called. Also, there was some information on the Coffin family. In particular, there is a post about Mary (Coffin) Starbuck with the photo (above) of Mary (Gardner) Coffin. NHA and the National Gallery of Portraits say that the painting of of Mary Gardner. Looks like a task for Gardner Research to look into. See Gardner's gate.

04/20/2015 -- John helped map the Merrimack, as a young man. ... Mary in Eliza's database.

06/02/2012 -- Search results expired so brought in the image.

03/28/2012 -- Mark E. Miner's site has an interesting look at the Coffin/Gardner conflict that was related to full, versus half, ownership.

12/18/2011 -- Cotton Mather described John Gardner as being well acquainted with the Indians. Nantucket Town provides an interesting story about the Coffin and Gardner families and about the feud that went on between the family heads. The marriage of Mary and Jethro helped to settle, it is said, the controversies (as did the demise of the older guys). Her uncle, Richard, is said to have been of considerable education. John and Richard were both Magistrates, several times. Too, they performed many roles within the community.

12/18/2011 -- Added snapshot of the page with Mary's portrait. The site has over 600 images related to the Gardner family, including historical photos. 

Modified: 01/07/2020