Monday, August 26, 2013

Benjamin Peirce

We have Benjamin's son, Charles Sanders Peirce, the logician and pragmatist, on our descendants list. I had run across the work of Charles in my younger years in an academic environment and found his work to be useful throughout my working years. So, Charles had to be on the list when I ran across his name while doing descendants searches a while ago.

Memoir of Benjamin Peirce
Essex Institute Historical Collections
Today, while researching the Quaker involvement of the Gardners (note earlier John Goff article), I ran across this memoir by Charles' father, Benjamin Peirce. The memoir can be found in the Essex Institute Historical Collections. Benjamin Robert S. Rantoul read this memoir at the May 16, 1881 meeting. Here is a link to the digitized version (points to pg 172, where the charts start) of Memoir of Benjamin Peirce [1881, Essex Institute Historical Collections], at Google.

The image shows part of page 172 which deals with the earliest generations in colonial New England. I thought the whole chart to be interesting due the familiar families. But, the Gardner part of the tree is especially interesting.

I'm doing this post to add to the material related to the early Thomas Gardners (see last post). In fact, there may be several of these as we look at what is behind the different viewpoints and assess how to clarify the matter for future researchers.


Aside: I recently ran into an error that is in a known book. This error has been propagated widely. Now, I have established the problem. From a brief search, some know of the problem; many others seem to not to have stumbled upon it. But, you know, those who have skirted the problem didn't leave any marker for later travelers. Why do we have to let people fall into the quicksand themselves? There ought to be some published errata that is available for access (perhaps it exists already somewhere). Of course, web-based presentation is implied here. I still rankle at the notion that Gutenberg's technology is the forever means for publication. It may be that people are saying that fluidity is only one state of matter; as in, we need to solidify things (which is what print does) now and then, even if it just allows a snapshot of a point-in-time state of knowledge.


12/03/2017 - Benjamin died in 1880. The Memoir was read by Robert S. Rantoul. We will see him, again, as he was a contributor to Dr. Frank's The Massachusetts Magazine.

08/03/2017 -- Benjamin Peirce was instrumental in getting the Harvard school of science and engineering started when Jacob Bigelow resigned as the Rumford chair.

07/15/2015 -- We have a project that is looking at Sherborne, Dorset (note references to records of a marriage of Thomas and Margaret plus baptism of the kids - also, note reference to abductive reasoning which Benjamin's son, Charles, helped establish) as place of origins. As one would expect, there have been many views on this subject over the past 350 years. One of these is expressed in the above image, from Benjamin's perspective. It has son, Thomas, as the one whose wife was Margaret Fryer (see Number of wives and John Farmer's view). ... Not only is Benjamin a descendant of Thomas through his first son, he is also a descendant of Seeth (see Table IV, pg 175). ... An analog of the required method might be paleoichnology (large tales from little data).

08/29/2013 -- WDYTYA episode has an estimate of 1000 person hours having been used for research.

Modified: 12/02/2017


  1. With reference to "Benjamin read this memoir at the May 16, 1881 meeting." This would be extremely hard to do since he died in the year earlier.

  2. Thank you. It was read by Robert S. Rantoul (channeling Benjamin ;>).