Saturday, July 11, 2020

American Ancestor database

We will be getting back to our bibliography and other collections in the near future as we work toward defining our 'app' view. There was a query the other day about the motivations for people coming here. We mentioned Albion's seed where the Plymouth, Cape Ann and are Massachusetts efforts were seen as reconnaissance. Nice to be pigeon-holed. But, we have written other posts on this theme: Black deathOrigins - motivations, and more.

But, the discussion got back to this History of Massachusetts post: The Great Puritan Migration. We like the site; too, we get a local focus which is nice, albeit we do have to broaden the scope as we go forward. That is, of the underlying database which needs to be inclusive. Then, filters would be one of the many options offered to tailor views. Of course, always have some thread back to Thomas Gardner, Cape Ann, and those early times. With we need to add, filler material that follows families all the way to now. We have already started this with The Gardner Annals.

Recently, the American Ancestor's database was updated with TEG vol 34 issues. It was in the Spring of 2014 that we put out our first article in a common framework. That went on for over a year after which we got involved in activities that were associated with the purpose of a wider view. Too, it was then that the Quora facility became more popular, hence we have published many posts there that relate to the themes of our research. Plus, Quora is an interdisciplinary framework upon which are great looks at any of the technological advances that face us while many times being a puzzle. One truth is, 'code' is needed for proper management of truth, or maintenance, in other words.

So, due to the availability of the first three articles, here is a pointer to them within TEG v34 (each link requires one to be logged into NEHGS' site). Next up, we hope would be Vol. 35 with more articles, one on Dr. Frank.

Remarks: Modified: 07/12/2020

07/12/2020 -- Earlier notifications dealt with the articles being indexed within the NEHGR: v34 in 2016, v35 in 2017

Friday, July 3, 2020

7th Generation

In the last post, we looked at a lineage for the GSMD and decided to pay some attention to the parents, first. That got us to looking a the 7th generation which is motivated by the Mayflower 5th generation project which we looked at with respect to the question of "how long is a generation?". In the case of the Plymouth folk, that generation went from before 1698 until after 1757. That is, much longer than people talk about a generation. 

However, here, we are looking at a broad-scope generation rather than for the 25-year assumption that can be used for a family. Before getting back to the 7th generation, we have to note that the 5th generation from Thomas' time was responsible for the start of the U.S. Here are some posts related to the theme of the Revolution and its follow-on conflict, 1812. 
There have been several issues of Gardner's Beacon with the theme of the Revolution. Given the sacrifices of the 5th generation, we can set the tone for looking at the 7th. In this list, some are related to the time of Thomas and Margaret. Otherwise, they may be related to another colonial which we will identify. 

The original list has been pared down to two entries. We will update this list for the near future as we write several posts as we look closely at the issues of identity, lineage, and such. 
  • Lyman was born in 1819 in New England and died, and was buried, out west. In between, he was in several states, so we have to go through that. Too, Lyman's father was out west, died there, but was taken back east for burial. Some of Lyman's brothers were out west too; enough were in the east so that we can do a major east-west (least-best) summary of things. After all, this is mandated by the 'flyover' thinking that is still around. 
  • Another family of that era had a traveling preacher (see below) who was born in 1814. This was the time when the data of frontier was captured in church records. We will look at that family more closely, later, as it involved Mayflower, to boot. 
  • For Dr. Frank, the seventh generation is his father, Stephen Wilson Gardner (a late 1835). BTW, Dr. Frank is related to Lyman who was from the same Porter family as was Dr. Frank's ancestor who was married to the sister of John Hathorne and who tried to help Rebecca Nurse before she was 'hung' (using that, folks, as this is an old word - modern connotations are bogus) by the neck. 
  • In his tree, John Lowell Gardner, born 1804, is in the seventh generation. Dr. Frank wrote of this family in his 1933 book, so we'll be back to them. 
  • Tying into the look at Elizabeths, we would have Elizabeth (Gardner) Blanchard as the fifth generation with the seventh being her granddaughter: Elizabeth Cabot Blanchard (born 1809). 
  • The daughter of Lucretia Mott would be of the early seventh generation having been born in 1793. 
  • Aldophus Greeley, of the Two cousins, would be seventh, too. However, he is of the later time, having been born in 1844. We will look at his cousin.
  • Last year, we saw a photo in an on-line situation where old photos were discussed and detailed. We identified the person: Thomas Needham Gardner who was born in 1804.  
  • ... many, many more will be added
The 7th generation is a nice start since we now have people approaching the 12th generation. Too, we are close to the 250th of the U.S. Revolution. Next up, we will look at Lyman and his wife, Caroline, prior to revisiting their daughter, Chloe. 

Remarks: Modified: 07/04/2020

07/04/2020 -- The 4th was involved with the Revolution, as well. They were trained for this via their support Crown in the French Indian War of the 1750s. We will look at that generation, next. 

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Deeper dive

This post will start a more close look at the lonely grave out west in which is a descendant of the group that came into Plymouth in 1620. And, he is noted in the GSMD books as is one of his daughters as well as is his brother. So, the theme deals with the issues and problems of the western expansion that was the reality of the U.S. whose start is celebrated this week.

Now, this will get involved, but we are going to take a couple of decades and look at part of the life of a young woman who is the daughter of the above descendant, however she came about before those western locales were doing records correctly. In many cases, they were destroyed. But, we saw this back in those eastern realms of so much pride, too, say Essex County. In any case, the overarching framework is the U.S. which has been doing the Census from the get-go. So, we will look at that part of the deal as well as some other bits of data.


Before we take the deep dive into the short life of the young lady, let's set up a more grand scope with which to have a discussion. Like, GSMD is un-American? Kidding, only in part. We'll go into this quite extensively, hang on as we set up the situational aspects. We mentioned the lonely grave. It is occupied with the remains of Lyman Porter who was the father of Chloe. Chloe, of course, is the young lady with whom we are concerning ourselves.

May we have a photo?
Silver Book, Alden

This introduces Noah Porter who is in the Silver Books. That's five generations. And, he is the grandfather of Lyman Porter, so Lyman is the seventh generation. We will pick that one generation and do a sweep across the landscape of the U.S. in terms of the conditions of life, technology, etc. Where, too, we use known families, including Gardner to set the tone. 

Now, that is 7th from the first entrant. For Lyman, we have Ruth Alden, Sarah Bass, Sarah Thayer, Marcy (Dorman) Porter, then his grandfather. This list has the first two entries. See the subsequent post (7th generation) for the list that is more full. 
  • Lyman was born in 1819 in New England and died, and was buried, out west. In between, he was in several states, so we have to go through that. Too, Lyman's father was out west, died there, but was taken back east for burial. Some of Lyman's brothers were out west too; enough were in the east so that we can do a major east-west (least-best) summary of things. After all, this is mandated by the 'flyover' thinking that is still around. 
  • Another family of that era had a traveling preacher (see below) who was born in 1814. This was the time when the data of frontier was captured in church records. We will look at that family more closely, later, as it involved Mayflower, to boot. 
  • ... many, many more (see 7th generation)  
So, this might be a good generation to look at. So, we will be expanding this list across the children and the related families.

As an aside, Lyman is the 2nd after the Revolution. This will be important as one of our projects is to map early settlers with their offspring during the time of the upheaval (DAR's bailiwick) and down to now. As in, the stories abound, many have been ignored, some of the ignored ought to be raised to awareness, and, folks, this stuff does not get done without someone stepping up (TGS, Inc.) and actually making an effort. 

Next up, we will pursue this generation a little with a further look at Lyman and his wife, Caroline Hopwood who was a native of Virginia. This is setting the stage for looking at Chloe and how notionally wrong is the GSMD in many senses. If they don't see this, well, we'll hope to detail issues to get the proper discussion taken place with necessary changes (bringing science to genealogy in unexpected ways). 


Being exposed to the ways of the GSMD and running into families that were of the north and the south, what arose was an interest in western expansion which started with those who arrived on these shores, was constant throughout the early periods, accelerated after the jaunt of Lewis & Clark, and continued apace even into the middle part of the 20th century. People who were at the forward edge were always outside of normal reporting schemes. So, what we might know of them is sparse, in fact, and can be considered as missing. The above case? A girl being born before a western state started to collect vital records.

There were various ways that people might have left traces, such as the family bible. But, another was the circuit rider who was a minister who visited remote folk in a periodic fashion. His notes would have been recorded in church records. The Wikipedia article is Methodist in orientation, but other denominations did this, too. And, for those families, the church is the primary source for information. It's funny. In a family with several brothers, two are well-documented. I need to try to see  how to leverage this information for the unknown brother who was a circuit rider, too. Of course, he's in the church records but has little known about him otherwise.


As well as lonely graves, we have run across several instances of defunct cemeteries of late. That topic was hot and heavy early last year (2019) as we determined that Thomas' grave had been lost.  Then, we learned that Essex County had several examples of burials being moved, etc. to the extent of losing any information of the current whereabouts of the remains. 

Remarks: Modified: 07/03/2020

07/03/2020 -- Split out the 7th-generation work. As, with the 5th (U.S. Revolution), we can juxtapose with the 7th which  might have been the start of the thing of 'spoiled brats' that is so much American. Wait, we might go back to the start of Harvard (early animal house), but that can wait for a reawakening of the theme. 

Monday, June 29, 2020

Of the times

On the portal (, we scroll textual information that runs through the timeline of interest to the TGS, Inc. which is the gamut from here back to the time of the Magna Carta. Right now, there are several modes, that are not connected. We'll be looking at an app approach to organizing this a little more, say where the portal does open to a type of 'semantic web' under which would be an unending supply of information, both curated and not.

We are looking now at the 400th of the start of colonial effort. Soon, there will be the 250th of the beginning of the U.S. And, there are many other milestones that we can pinpoint. In the meantime, part of the activity of the blog will be to collect material which we have been doing for ten years now. A couple of years we were looking at the 1918 Spanish Flu. Who would have forecast the current situation?
Scene near Gardner's bridge. 

And, given that many have just had an experience with a constrained type of living, there ought to be some better understanding of The First Year. That post was just last year (2019) in April. At the time, we were settling, finally, on the absence of Thomas' grave, plus we were looking for paintings that showed early Salem and its surrounds.

The left painting is the area where the bridge went over Gardner's brook.

Gallows Hill
The painting on the right is from the high point just southwest of where Gardner's Hill was. The view includes Gallows Hill as there was a U that looped over to where Harmony Grove is now. However, the point is that Thomas said that he could see the water from his favorite spot on Gardner's Hill. And, we can think that he wasn't talking Gardner's brook or Strong Water brook. There are other paintings scattered through the posts that will come back into focus from time to time.

Keeping with the COVID-19 theme, we can consider this photo of the English adaptation of the wigwam that would have been the living situation for the early arrivals. Imagine being crowded into this situation with howling winds outside plus several feet of snow accumulated by the time spring was about to arrive.

English wigwam
Some of us might have had similar conveniences in the camping mode. But, this was the reality for Thomas and Margaret during the early times, except for when they might have been in the Great House after Roger moved everyone over to the Salem area (Cape Ann, Retrospective).

Salem has had many house themes over the years. These stories deal with the families who owned and lived in the houses. There are many other themes that can provide insights about how we are now in terms of the whys and what nots. Technology has progressed sufficiently for us to try to bridge generational information in ways that are unprecedented and formerly beyond reach.

Remarks: Modified: 06/29/2020

06/29/2020 --

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Hundred years

The person for whom I was doing some research related to her Mayflower ancestry turned 100 years old this month. I thought that a recap of some of the posts related to that might be in order. As well, this will allow me to look at the posts and tie them together.

Incidentally, the lady is a descendant of Thomas and Margaret through their son George.

In brief, the issue with the Mayflower group was absence of primary documents for one generation, however there were plenty secondary ones that allowed analysis of the lineage. We can start with a later analysis.
  • Genealogy and Bayes (November 2019) -- It is encouraging to see papers being written on this subject. Lots of  attention has turned to chemical biology (DNA); however, we still have the 'meme' side of things with a strength that has not been understood. Lots to discuss on this matter. 
  • Mayflower pure (November 2016) -- When I started, there were two. Now, there is only one who reached a major milestone. Of course, this post is a reaction to the response by the authority figure. We all know of vanity genealogy. Well, the TGS, Inc. is not about that. Rather, we need to look at the total of the history of the U.S., what it might mean, and what the future entails. Lots and lots to look at. So, in this case, 2020 was to be a huge series of huge affairs. But, the virus came around. From another view, I have seen many who go back to the beginning and who have no Mayflower links, except for those of a 'step' relationship, or an in law, or such. That is what the 'pure' means, in this sense. Let's celebrate that 'rare' (or not) set of events (coming 'oh so close' through the years and generations. 
  • About generations (October 2019) -- There have been continual efforts at research in this vein from early on. With the explosion of interest related to the 300th (a 100 years ago), we saw this type of thing become more organized. The 'silver' books were published, for instance, covering five generations. Now, speaking of which, the NEHGS had a nice post that looked at the question of 'How long is a generation?' It's interesting from several views. For one, we need the computer and data. The silver books plus updates gave the second. The computer's prowess with respect to crunching provides the first. And, that nexus is at the core of both good things to come and terrible stuff. In that latter regard, we look to consider, what would Thomas think?, a post from 2015 that will be a central theme. 
  • NEHGS as mentor (April 2018) -- About this time, several years had gone into planning the 400th. Trips were coming up, related to looking at particulars of the European experience of those involved prior to the sailing of the Mayflower. There was an early look at the parties which included the Native American tribe that lived in the area. So, we were looking at a coordination between four nations: Native American, England, Netherlands, plus the U.S. 
  • Flyover country (November 2016) -- The red/blue aspects really were at the forefront at this time. However, from the perspective of the lady applicant, there was the personal history of her families moving westward. Of late, I have had the opportunity to study many of these families. One organization has it right; the U.S. Census is full of good information about the people out west. Some might quibble nuances, however, if you are a U.S. citizen interested in history, then, the U.S. Census would be part of this. On a regular basis, the government tried to assess the citizenry; good citizens participated. Say, name the head of the household, the spouse, then the children in order of birth. Time, and again, this was true. And, you can see it in this case. Too, there is a lonely grave out west in which was interred the body of a Mayflower descendant. Do those back east care? Well, again, this theme is part of those meme'ish deals that we will look at. 
There are more posts. But, this gets the look back started. And, there is a dissing going on here with respect to a lady who died too young to leave much of a paper trail. A complication was that a step-mother came into the scene not long after the lady died. Of  course, this lady was 1st-ggp of the one who recently got the three digit age accomplished. And, the sister of this one being dissed is in the rolls of the Mayflower organization plus are her children; as well, an uncle of this lady is in with his progeny.

Stupid is what I call this type of thing. Oh yes, there has been a move by the NEHGS to provide material support in these cases (for huge fees - I work pro bono) where the Mayflower organization had to accept the determination of the NEHGS researcher, despite the Mayflower group's supposed superior processes. So, perhaps, there is some learning going on here.

Remarks: Modified: 06/27/2020

06/27/2020 --

Friday, June 19, 2020

The future

The 2020 festivities have been muted all around. Everywhere one looks, there is something about COVID-19 and its impact. We lost our spring this year of which this is the last day.

Here is a collection of COVID-19 articles from the IEEE Spectrum (COVID-19 -- Your IEEE Resources). I wanted to point to another article dealing with Control Theory which is apropos to our work, several ways. However, that is a discussion for another time as we, basically, are stumbling toward the future as a whole. These times show that looking forward is hard, virtually impossible, except we seem to forget that (the sun rises in the east in the morning). No one expert, or set of experts, can tell us how this will unfold.

So, we look backward. Which is what the TGS, Inc. has been touting since its beginning. One post of note would be this one: A new science. As well, we need to dampen anything vanity. Of late, we have been using WikiTree for our work due to its open nature. Many ways to work are heavily controlled which can limit. We need to work a balance.

Notice that in the above article from the IEEE Spectrum they mention GitHub, in particular, a model. We ventured into GitHub and its technology (see link at our portal - last year and will be using it more (or some equivalent, perhaps, at some point). It's a way to handle management of content, usually thought of as being technical in nature. That does not have to be, as any type of content can be managed.

If you look, you will see that lots and lots of ways to do things have been offered. Some type of acceleration took place after the mobile approaches got enabled. We did our initial look a few years ago and will pivot that way more due to the lessons learned the past few months. That is, apps are in the future, but we will be looking at issues of sustainability through time. There has been enough done the past decade and one-half to make decisions that can lead the way into the future.

We are still looking forward to 2023/24 (400th) and 2026 (250th) with a perspective of establishing a more solid presence via media (in ways un-thought of, yet). Lots to do.

Remarks: Modified: 06/19/2020

06/19/2020 --

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Back to DNA II

A recent comment at a post that was done last fall (Back to DNA) does redirect our attention back to DNA, in a timely fashion. Briefly, there are so many people that some of the matches are almost inevitable. Too, underlying the whole basis of this work is micro-biology and its chemical reality. We might impose our thinking top-down which is what science does from its theoretical sense, yet the reality of the situation is always something to consider respectfully and with caution. Lots to discuss. In short, though, we are more than our chemical selves. How this might be will be part of the discussion. It turns out that genealogy and history as a focus can allow a more full look. Stay tuned for how we'll introduce those topics. Or, one might say, the cultural unconscious cannot be reduced to mere memes though we have seen lots of attempts arise the past decade.
Gardner R-U106 DNA Project

On the other hand, the genetic studies do tell us something which needs to be respected. The comment by Bob Gardner, pointed to his WikiTree page on Gardner DNA which we are happy to see. A few gents related to Thomas Gardner of Salem (subject of this blog) are noted toward the bottom of the list with a J2 haplogroup. Whereas, the DNA project that Bob is doing has a focus of R-U106 (R1b) which relates to an ancient European line that is much older than many considered earlier.

One Thomas Gardner descendant that we know has done two DNA tests. One of these matched up with the FamilyTreeDNA study. On the other hand, another descendant, via Samuel, and closely related did not match up, at all. There are many more stories to pull together, as well as getting a good reading list together.

As a reminder, we are pursuing the 'science' of the matter and want to remove the marketing influences. Actually, as we have said, this stuff ought to be non-profit. There are enough examples to show that this can work. In the meantime, we will work to help establish a 'neutral' position that we see as necessary to remove some of the contrived contention that people like to create when they are motivated to do such, for many reasons.

Looking forward to digging deeper into this work thanks to Bob's reminder.

Remarks: Modified: 06/04/2020

06/04/2020 --

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Modes and protocols

We are about three months into a new world. A young guy, weeks ago and before the reality really set in, mused that our world had changed, in ways that we could not yet see. Since then, in that milieu, protocols have been put into place that are somewhat onerous.

Like everything human, 'knee jerk' comes into play. Lots of this really is just the effect of that old mode of playing against the average. So, there cannot be smoothness until things are ground down like peanut butter which then can spread everywhere in equally. Except, that would be the 'smooth' type, whereas the nutty type would have its lumps. But, we don't handle those well.

Look closely, and you'll see that the higher order, say medicine, might put people through the paces in terms of the gauntlet needed for access and completion, yet, day to day, it's peanut butter.

Want an example? I was put under the 'scope' today in terms of the new mode's emphasis on one's temperature for rating go or no go. Too high, go away; within the limit, go forward. So, I score almost 2 degrees (F, of course, we're talking this side of the pond with celebration of independence coming up soon) higher than my normal which is still above normal but below the upper threshold.

As an aside, if we take some number as the average, there will be those who are above and below this number. How the spread goes is of importance. People argue these points; unfortunately, with the computer's prowess, one sees 'knee jerk' adoptions of modes, where a deeper look might suggest caution. Want a parallel here? Two things: Bayes and genealogy, Benjamin Peirce (consider his son, Charles Sanders Peirce - about whom we will hear more in the future).

So, we have the notion that there is an average about which we can make decisions; the most recent example of this is the quick assessment of people with respect to their being under the influence of some viral infection while making decisions that could have impacts beyond those seen by the 'mode' definers.

Okay, was there some decision today that was deleterious? Nope. The contributing factor was my having waited outside an office (new protocol) in heat approaching three digits (in the shade). I said, let's wait a few minutes. Retest. The number was a couple of digits lower which is the norm for myself and others that I know. Cool cats? At the same time, I pointed to another spot and said, measure there. A digit higher. Yes. The forehead was picked for various reasons, mostly due to  maximizing operational ease. However, what of those whose temperatures are above normal, by nature?

And, remove the attention from the screening now being done and consider all of those types of things from which decisions are made. We've made a mess, actually. But, those things will be discussed, in time. Just like, I might add, we will be back to Olson (see Diversion, Gloucester -- Charles Olson).

More immediately, if one surveys all that goes on under the name of genealogy and history, one can see lots of areas where further discussion might just be warranted. On a search, I saw one paper that brought Bayes to the fore. There will be more. But, professionals, are you really doing all that you can and ought to? BTW, vanity genealogy  might be making some people some money, however we definitely need to rise above that age-old dynamic.

We, at the Thomas Gardner Society, Inc., want to see these types of things discussed. Computing (and its muddy cloud) are more than a mess. The future will necessitate that these issues be regularly addressed.

Remarks: Modified: 06/03/2020

06/03/2020 --

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Going forward

No doubt, things looked dire 102 years ago when the pandemic (Spanish flu) was getting started. We know that things settled down, as the 300th anniversary was celebrated. Between then and now, there were other outbreaks. Some of these verged on being huge however were not. Until, this year, with the advent of COVID-19 which story is being told now and whose ending we know not.

The 'lockdown' put into place to stifle spread of the virus came and went, somewhat, having started in March. So, now, how to go? Loosen, is the watchword. But, be careful is another. An economy can't be based upon a vacuum might be another. How many more are these various views?

Some went ahead and partied. There are inklings of relapses. Others have been more circumspect.

Memorial Day came and went. The summer is appearing. Fall, a long way off, will be here before we know it and concerns many. How many more waves? We can look back to the Spanish Flu of 1918

But, technology is much different now. We see the daily bombardment of ourselves, through the various media whose extent seems to have to limit. As a way to found a viewpoint for ourselves, we look to 1900 as a basis from which to go back to the inception. In other words, put some personal touch to the stories to frame analysis in more concrete tones. We tried with with an earlier outbreak: Andover ordeal. Over the past 400 years, we could build tales related to the major events, beyond those of the patriotic type.

One promise of the new media is a retelling. If we do get relooks, can we do it right? Technology is one key thing. We have been discussing this using frameworks that lag, by choice. However, the withdrawal from public to private as we have just seen does indicate that some of the newer modes ought to be of interest. Not so much for notions of commerce as for means which will be suitable for providing a full spectrum related to information. One huge problem? We don't see that today; rather, we have these silos that seem to foster 'echo' more than truth.

Yes, have you noticed that we use 'portal to truth' for our website? Have for awhile? That can be discussed further. Technology can be seen as impersonal, has been. On the other hand, people are the key; the American experiment can show that. Our view of the 400 years offers a chance for this to looked at more fully. 

Bifurcations are a fact of life. How we handle these is something for us to learn. Just knowing how these dynamics come about seems to elude our best attempts at conquering. Frustration due to this reality sees over enthusiasm in looking for artificial means. Not that we cannot have tools. However, a 'more full' look can be applied to this type of endeavor as to any other that we engage ourselves in.

Remarks: Modified: 05/30/2020

05/30/2020 --

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Major players

This starts with a Memorial Day twist but merely touches on the topic of some necessary work.

Just like we look to the NEHGS as a focal for all things of that northeast part of the country, we look at DAR for a focus. So the span is from the start of the early seventeenth to around 1776. These two are important factors in the study of history of the U.S. from several perspectives related to our 100-year theme. Then, we need to get more of a focus on the post Revolution expansion.

The NEHGS is out of Boston and came into existence in the 1830s; DAR is from the latter part of the 1800s. So, they each have a heritage and an accumulation of material of importance. And, they both have genealogists on board and have been major players in how things are done.

Genealogy anew? I saw one paper dealing with genealogy and advanced methods without looking too hard. The Lord knows, there are plenty examples of computational support for these types of studies, say WikiTree and its peers. The following two links came up in a search this morning as I was trying to get some notion related to the public-ness issue. You see, the old and the new are going to need to adjust themselves. Some want to run after new media (say, the social type); others want to be a little more conservative.

Example (mainly  as there is a whole lot to discuss):
Wide spread of topics? Sure, and we can fill in the pieces as well as extend boundaries. On the former, we have broached on the subject of databases, virtual experiences, truth engineering (our thing) and more. Going into the future will not see any diminishing of complexity. Speaking of which, an old thought ties back to Rev. Bayes. Guess what? He's now the darling of the computational crowd. Lots to discuss. From a genealogy mode, we can speak of him, too: Genealogy and Bayes. That post was motivated by another group, not mentioned, who do several things wrong. Actually, I would argue that they are un-American which is a proper theme for the Memorial Day weekend.

Be that as it may, we are back to work and looking forward to 2023, 2026 and further. BTW, within the context of the Hereditary Society Community, I have proposed that we need a database with a particular theme brought to fore for discussion. Some like the idea; others were more adamant that they did it well already (I beg to differ); this mention is merely a reminder that the topic has not been closed and still requires some type of attention.

Hereditary societies are also known as lineage societies (Genealogy 105). 

Remarks: Modified: 07/08/2020

05/25/2020 -- DAR handled 23K 'applications and supplementals' last year (2019, through November) of which 19k were verified. Now, that is impressive work. BTW, 'Patriots' include people who performed all types of service supporting the inception of the U.S. Also, technically, this discussion relates to the 'scale up' that we have seen be so prominent the past fifteen years. All sorts of issues come to fore; almost, one might say, this represents a modern 'Babel' where the underlying problems now do map back to those former times where lessons to be learned were not.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Memorial Day

 A Memorial Day theme is apropos, again. Doing some research, we ran into another grave that disappeared. There have been many of these over the years, starting with our beloved Essex County of Massachusetts. We are still processing that; though, cousin Frank mentioned this, obliquely in the 1907 book. There is little in the 1933 book, probably because it dealt with a Samuel descendant. Essentially, we can pinpoint Gardner Hill first; then, as the Trask researcher noted (need to find out his current status), little Lynn (right there by Salem) had even more graves involved: A New Twist. There is mention that some of the bodies may have been moved to the Trask plot (which is still there).

In any case, we can think of actual memorials, say Greenlawn in our little Salem. Or, lots of virtual approaches can be taken. The younger folk might be interested in this discussion and work.

From the east coast, there was movement west early on. Post the Revolution, the energy going west really grew leaps and bounds. We had people going west by boat (the 1812 conflict perturbed this a bit), across land (trails), and even movement north and south. Some of the latter movers, eventually went west.

So, we have a landscape of lots and lots of families out of New England scattered around the country (and the world). We have been diving in that, of late, and came out to see what's what at the moment. The 250th of the US is coming around the bend, just after the Cape Ann relook.

Oh yes, some of the early movement was trying to get out of the east. Mountains intervened, though they are smaller than those west (look up the Sangre de Cristo ones). But, that way out locale was a little later with its pull of the left coast. Early on, we had closer examples. Follow I-68 in Maryland, for example. Between it and Pittsburg (and toward the west), we are talking major difficulty even in current travel. Families went west in that region. One lady was quoted that she would hide her infant by a bush and follow the wagon up hill (with one task of chocking the wheels of the wagon if the horses tired). Once the hill (very large one) had been conquered, she went back down and came up with her child. So, one can see how there was a very short life expectancy. One family we were looking at had several marriages over their life span. But, there were children with the couples, too. One family had been buried in a cemetery by a little church which changed hands and eventually was torn down with the graves being lost to time. We know some of those buried there. We need to find out who was interned on Gardner Hill. The thing is that those whose end was unknown ought not be forgotten if they left behind progeny who can now create some memorial. Findagrave can be great for that with caveats.

Lots and lots to look at and discuss. We'll be back on track here ( will be updated, too) in the near future.

Remarks: Modified: 05/25/2020

05/25/2020 -- The Civil War was the original focus, but it was spread and now, also, includes the Revolutionary War.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

1900 back

In logic, using a tree, it is easier to trace back from some node (leaf) to a basis node. And, in trees, the basis can move around. The inverse is much harder; that is, trying to expand any tree forward. Same thing goes for lots of problems, in general. It is harder to find solutions than it is to check them (core of the complexity issues related to CompSci).

Do not believe me about this? Take armchair quarterbacks, as an example (or anyone being critical). In another view, look at the Mayflower group's Silver series; this work has been on-going for a century and is still being updated. Mind you, that is look forward only five generations. We have talked about such an effort for the descendants of Thomas and Margaret (search on 'generations') and have proposed two to three generations. And, one thought was to try to get up to 1900. If you look at Dr. Frank's books, his 1907 issue was mostly of Samuel with a little George thrown in; 1933 was of George's contributions.

Now, compare the coming forward with the ease (relatively) with the look back needed to prove some lineage -- I have done dozens of these and saw one estimate (same contextual framework) claiming 90% success when there is a good database, barring the conditions that we see leading to brick walls, whether these are real or of some attitudinal shortcoming.

Of late, we spent considerable time looking at heritage using a known database which supports applications. In one case, the merging of three lines (snip, paste) resulted in a documented line from an applicant to an ancestor about eight generations back. Usually, these new nodes (where the snip/paste happened) need some additional work. Why? The originals might have used one of the parents whereas the new look goes with the other. So, lessons learned there.

Too, we used WikiTree to do Dr. Frank's lineage back. It is fairly complete (Gardner-11627). Where there are holes, we have things to stuff in once they are confirmed. As well, we have run across several descendants of Benjamin Brown Gardner and Lucy Foster Wilson. There were papers related to this that got mention in the NEHGR 2017.

In one case, we have corresponded with a great-grandson of Dr. Frank. A post on Dr. Frank last Veterans' Day showed stones of another great-grandson. These were descendants of both wives of Dr. Frank. Then, part of the WikiTree work that we have adopted was done by another descendant of BBG. Starting with Jeffry's node on Abel, son of Samuel and grandson of Thomas who was buried near him in Gardner's plot, one gets to BBG. There, one finds two sons, for now: the father of Dr. Frank (Stephen Wilson Gardner) and his brother (Walter B Gardner). Ann's great-grandfather, Joseph D. Gardner, was their brother (see image).

From this generation, we can build family records and match up across the tree. For instance, we saw a descendant of Benjamin Brown's brother last year when a photo of him was published in a FaceBook group dealing with old photos: Thomas Needham Gardner. Thomas was a great-uncle of Dr. Frank and Ann's grandfather.

We started a series looking at people of a particular name. In one case, we used Elizabeth. We expect that a consistent approach like this will allow us to document a whole lot of the tree. We want to hear about the work of others, too.

Remarks: Modified: 05/13/2020

05/13/2020 --

Monday, May 4, 2020

Vanity genealogy

Seven years ago, we had a post titled "Endless genealogies." At the time, one motivation was the proliferation of sites dealing with genealogy. That is, personal family sites which abound though we see the likes of Wikitree and Ancestry (dot com). Too, though, genealogy is mentioned in ancient literature as well as having been an issue throughout history (say, confirming membership in the Royal Family - which PH wants to leave under the guidance of MM - this topic has gotten a lot of eyeballing via social media).

One Gospel has its 'begat these and those' as one of many references in the Old and the New Testaments. Along that line, we have brought up the subject, to boot (post mentioning genealogy) as it would apply to identifying the descendants of Thomas and Margaret. We did broaden the focus to Cape Ann and further, as did Dr. Frank who included all of Massachusetts outside of those connected with the Mayflower arrival which is celebrated this year (400th).

That's not the subject, though. We are interested in History and persons, thereof (last post), for another purpose related to what we can do now that has not been possible before. And, if we did it right, we could have a more full knowledge base where limits to science can be tested in a manner that needs some attention. Now, this new type of thinking requires some discussion. Be aware that we expect the Thomas Gardner Society, Inc. to be part of, and lead some of, the discussion and the adjoining work.

Example of DAR work
Supporting the
US Semiquincentennial
Having spent several months helping a DAR Chapter with some genealogy and registrar work (to get a sense of the current approaches and the problems of the past and of those related to change for technology), there are all sorts of complexities that will shuffle. Some of these will be paralleled with the general use of technology; others will be particularized (love that, comes out of the Poly Sci views) to tracing lineages.

Which we intend to do with membership with a larger focus of getting the descendants of Thomas and Margaret (and other families) identified down through 1900, at least. There have been many sites offering their genealogy which we have found useful. However, in the matter of proof, lots of things are still open issues. Rules from 100 years ago do not apply now without some adjustment for contextual changes. On the other hand, being consistent is a major factor many times.

But humans deal with, and actually bring to fore the need for, interpretation. Why else judges at several levels? We are suggesting that an unknown type of broader focus is possible; vanity might be human and unavoidable, however it is not a major motivation.

Remarks: Modified: 05/24/2020

05/07/2020 -- Added an image to support the index scroll on our portal.

05/24/2020 -- Other posts of the theme: Memorial Day.

Sunday, May 3, 2020

People and history

Our last post took a brief look at the reviews that will be part of our work for the next few months. Part of this will be a look at the themes that have come about over the past decade. For one thing, we will continue to blog, however there may be some adjustments, like the one that takes a technical view on matters. Recent events ought to resolve any reluctance to see that technology is part of our way of life now and even more into the future. Part of that is having people step up to responsibility for their freedoms (what else is the US about?) in the full sense that would fit the view of the dreamers who were here 400 years ago. But, there are other ways to have a presence, some of which have not  had much interest for many reasons. So, discussion of that (say, the overview of something like the ACM ( which has been involved with computing from the beginning. There have been several posts with a technology focus, and there will be more.

On another theme, we were looking at Elizabeths late last year (see December, for example). We got there through reading an article which mentioned a familiar family name (see Elizabeth Gardner Blanchard). So, looking at that led to a look at other Elizabeths. There are many. But, there are other names. As we read, we always look to see if there is some connection, usually in a broader scope: Thomas and Margaret Gardner, Essex County, Massachusetts, and New England. Doing that type of thing has led to several posts.

Actually, a decade ago, one of the first ventures was the Wikipedia page (it can use a little work). One section dealt with descendants. But, the focus is not just lineage as we deal with the larger picture of the long history of the US from the perspective of families. So, to the current post and its motivation.

The WSJ, recently, had this review of a book (Saint, Sinner, Troublemaker) on Dorothy Day. For starters consider, she may be put forth as a saint (Catholic). Note, too, the Church of England continued that tradition. In any case, it's a common story: young partying type who reforms and changes her life. Too, we always like to group people by generation. What comes to mind now is the one with the label dealing with the millennial change. Well, those also are on a century cusp which would have been the second one for the US. We had one a century ago.

As a pause, then, the US (and the world) had the Spanish Flu; now, we're dealing again with a viral conundrum. So, things recur, one might say. Then, one might ask, did we learn anything earlier? A more common cycle has been the boom and bust of business. Well, the US, as a whole, has been expanding since the beginning, with fits and starts. Guess what? All of those little intricacies can be looked at in terms of people.

NSDAR is a good example with its focus on the Revolution. We're coming up on the 250th. If one looks at any application, one will find clusters of patriots with a few loyalists thrown in. And, then, we have the following events (1812, etc.). But, another constant is what people face. Same now as then, in many ways. History abstracting out from human affairs glosses over lots and lots of knowledge bits that technology and the proper framework can help us recover. That is one area where we want to have an impact which would include improved technology for presentation and discussion.

So, Dorothy was interesting from several perspectives, but it was also her homies who are interesting. The WSJ review name-dropped John Dos Passos, Katherine Anne Porter, Eugene O'Neill, and others. The fact is that the US is always having newbies coming ashore from all points on the globe. But, with that, we always find threads that go back to the beginning. On a quick look, yes, Porter is an example of one. She is a descendant of Richard, son of Thomas and Margaret. Our first reaction was, did we see that a decade ago? Well, yes, as we noted her cousin: William Sidney Porter. We used WikiTree here as his ancestors are identified (several New England families). So, we see a literary family.

Additionally, they moved south (lots to look at here). Some went further to Texas. Yes, the coverage of the US from New England has been a theme for us from the beginning (see Western Expansion). Even  Ezra Pound, born in Idaho.

Getting back to Dorothy and Katherine, there have been several books and articles about them and their relationship. In the look back mode, the New Yorker looked at Dorothy. One might get bogged down in all of this due to the enormous amount of names that come up. But, there is a more important aspect. The themes (events, discussions, conflicts, etc.) are the same then as they are now. Hence, the comparison with the millennials who are now only to 2020. It was 1929 when the economic mayhem occurred. What do the youngsters face? Do we get better? Lots to look at and discuss.

Our thought is that the underlying streams of people's lives across time have more meaning that has ever been allowed to rise. One huge problem was technology. We have that now, somewhat. How about doing it right, in that case?

Remarks: Modified: 05/07/2020

05/04/2020 -- We are finally back to work after deep diving into genealogy and registrar considerations based upon a huge database. So, not a hiatus. See 'Vanity genealogy.'

05/07/2020 -- Added an image to support the scroll at our portal.

Thursday, April 23, 2020


Like spring cleaning, house arrest can offer time and means for the re-arranging that gets ignored in the rush of life as modern society allows us. Little things get attention, again. And, these things are consider 'little' many times due to lack of proper insight. But, that's nothing new. We had our first look-back last year (Tenth year) with a few follow-ons scattered throughout.

Part of the approach would be to ask (and attempt to answer) some questions: How would Thomas and Margaret look at our modern, self-imposed, perils (WDDT)? Are there still lessons to learn from the great sickness of 1918 (The last issue of The Massachusetts Magazine)? What might be the best strategy to get T & M's descendants written about (say, Five Generations)? When, and how, ought we meet (Support for TGS, Inc.)? What can we learn from Sidney Perley's experience (Sidney, his discontinuance)? Technology and people, especially as we see things changing with the latest development's demands on our attention (Techie stuff, New infrastructure)?

So many more questions and possible topics. In short, everything, to date, will adjust in ways that are unexpected. However, there are universals which will be part of our focus. The American experiment has been instrumental in exploring lots of new areas; the future will be more global, albeit with a better appreciation for localities and their rights and realities.

Remarks: Modified: 05/07/2020

05/07/2020 -- Added image to support scroll at our portal.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Historical significances

We will start a series of these. Today's theme? Handel? He was the inspiration for several huge talents, such as Mozart, Beethoven, and others. He is known for one piece (next) that gets attention, yearly, but wrote a huge amount of wonderful pieces. As well, when was this dude around? Well, remember George I. He came from Germany to fill in for the absence of a true English (Scotish) line, thereby starting the dynasty that is still there. Handel decided that he liked the place.

While he was there, things were going on here. We'll pass over that, for now, but recall that a little later another George allowed us (U.S.) to cast off a yoke, at the same time we took on several more that we have not yet learned to manage.

So, the well-known piece? His Messiah. While browsing today, I ran across a video that was impressive (comparative note, below) which is only a few months old (14 Dec 2019). But, it was getting hits as people were listening to it over the Easter weekend (oh yes, more to discuss there, as the heritage is old). And, it was from Sydney.
Now, the comparative note relates back to New England. Many of the characters from the western development are from families that came over early, with some being way before George I came along. In any case, the western expansion is a major theme for us. 

But, my first exposure to this was in the Dorothy Chandler Hall (early 60s, was much younger). The performance was by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. So, lots of trained voices and superb musicians, including six bass players. 

This work was first performed in Dublin in 1742. It's in English. Later, it was performed yearly as a benefit. In our annals scroll, we have some items that pertain to events across the waters, such as a few related to Shakespeare. We need to create a few more that associate what was happening in each place, through time, in terms of culture as well as in those other realms of so much interest (like knocking heads). 

Remarks: Modified: 05/07/2020

05/07/2020 -- Added image for scroll at portal.

Friday, April 10, 2020


Two themes pop out for this post. We are in a different time. A pandemic rages for the first time in 100 year. The last one was the Spanish Flu. We relate that to the end of the publishing of the Massachusetts Magazine. Probably, we could use associate and have things to discuss. The current mode of stay-home (social distancing) is meant to flatten the curve.

We mentioned the 'father of battlefield medicine' a little earlier. Post Gettysburg, he had a tent-city hospital put into place. We have seen that in NYC with both empty structures (to wit, the houses commandeered in the U.S. Civil War) being converted (one contributor of expertise was the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) as well as tents being raised (Central Park).

So, a new reality, lots say. One new trend is the digital/virtual; that is, almost universal work from home taking place. Except, again, those who deal with the real issues do not have this choice. And, the techies can learn that 'robotics' will not replace need for human qualities, of which compassion is not the most desired. TLC in the context of doing things right is the huge factor that got ignored in the supposed progress of the past decade and one-half.

So, that's one theme. Another deals with the TGS, Inc. and the future. Research has been a key focus with lots of accomplishments (which are found discussed in these posts - see Timelines which will be extended). As we see with 2020, the Mayflower's arrival is (will be) celebrated, though the state of affairs with respect to a virus has had an impact. There is a long list of pending task related to our interest. As seen by Sidney, there is an absence of support and assistance, somewhat like we're seeing with the onslaught of demands upon the front-line medical folks. With regard to Sidney, he stopped the Essex Antiquarian work which was picked up by Lucie (sister of Dr. Frank). Then, Sidney went on to write the History of Salem.

BTW, the chapters on the witch hunt can be found at the University of Virginia. Mentioning this as someone expressed surprise on FB. Oh yes, FB. An example of the past decade and one-half that needs attention and will get it. But, it is an example of the new way mentioned above. Lots and lots of characteristics of the life of the early New Englanders have some applicability to this type of discussion. As in, the American experiment is not just related to the latest in-flow of those in need. Lots to discuss.

Too, though, history will be rewritten, many ways. We have seen glimmers of this. And, the U.S. and its experiences are a key item, starting from 400+ years ago and going back and forth in time. There are many technological approaches that will apply, some of which we have not seen due to improper foci by the parties involved. Oh yes, we have posts on that.

The past few months, we have had several posts here. This is the first for April, so that raised the question. How many posts have there been per month? Well, it might be better to look at the spread which goes from a min of 1 to a max of 12.  Those '1' months happened much more than we would want. The '12' months were from last year. So, the average varies by year. One thing brought by technology is the numeric overlay, but it can be carried too far (see above mention of the human element's forte - it's not number theory).

Remarks: Modified: 05/07/2020

05/07/2020 -- Added image for scroll at portal.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Necessary but invisible

This post continues several threads related to the early times and now. Consider that one of our foci will be expansion out of New England. Today, we're looking at an area that also was in the sights of the southern New Englanders (VA and its surrounds). As well, we mentioned the forgotten before in another context. But, we will continue to bring to light activity that is essential yet very much under appreciated. Say, like hospital and their issues, until some catastrophe happens.

Let's look at early, first. As we noted, John Gardner (son of Thomas and Margaret) was with a crew that map the Merrimack. Winthrop had requested the work, so it was later than 1630. The Gardners were involved with very early surveying in Salem (pre-1630). One son, Abel, of John's brother, Samuel, married Sarah Porter. Their in-law was Putnam. This is one link; there are several Putnam-Gardner links that we can look at.

So, let's now see what got us to this point. While browsing music on youtube, a George Jones tune came up. It said that Curly Putnam had been the writer. On looking further (and, we have had a series looking at places and their names - where New England families are involved - to wit, the whole of the Lawrence KS area), we got pulled in. Anyway, Putnam also wrote 'The Green, Green Grass of Home' which was a hit in the '60s (Welsh singer, Tom Jones, for one). Also, Curly had been born on Putnam Mountain, in Alabama. Well, that's far south. But, we know that the enterprising New Englanders went everywhere. So, what Putnams are these?

Well, looking at this brought up several facts, however there was a slight redirection as a real gem came up. It is a history of a type of surveying by the Bureau of Land Management. This is in the Department of Interior. It may be that westerners are more familiar with this organization, however it was mentioned in Dr. Frank's Massachusetts Magazine in the context of the more northern area (Montana, et al). Can we relate that western with the southern?
First of all, it mentions Ohio. This where the work of the expansion was coordinated. Mind you, it is also on the western side of the Appalachian lines. These go to Alabama. Then, the history goes into the 'events leading to the passage of the first land ordinance' which is of the time of the Revolution. We have mentioned the 250th anniversary coming up. 

Then, the history goes through the periods which eventually get to western Georgia that was first covered by Mississippi. Alabama was split from that. Given this great effort, details had to be read and appreciated. We will get back to the changes in technology and how they influence the activity. This type of work continues albeit largely different than in those days of Jefferson. There is still the meridian issue. We see a joggle all of the time where a correction was made to a road (essentially, two 90 degree turns, in one case). 

Some topics need further attention. The first area was the Seven Ranges. After the land was mapped, the American government made choices. Early on, debt relief was a major motivation. BTW, Ohio became a state in March of 1803. It was the 17th. 

Who was one of the "organizers" of the Ohio Company? General Rufus Putnam. He is the "Father of the Northwest Territory." Remember, he is cousin of Israel, the General, as well as closely related to Ann Putnam of Witch Trial fame. 

Back to  Curly Putnam. He mentioned that his family had been in the timber business. So, we will look at that more closely. Too, though, the railroad went into that area. A few decades later, the U.S. Civil War came about. We are looking at the periods before that. 

On another note, the Cherokee were in the area and forced west (Another Western Movement). We will look further in to that, as well. 

Remarks: Modified: 03/29/2020

03/29/2020 --

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Jonathan Letterman, MD

Everyone knows about the new enemy, Covid-19. This expression is meant to  suggest that we can learn from military experience. Given that the Army Corps of Engineers has stepped up to convert buildings in several cities into hospitals, we ought to look at that process and the players. The process involves meeting several requirements with respect to cleanliness and effectiveness. By way of comparison, this is a brief note about field hospitals which can be compared to the U.S. Navy's hospital ship that has been put into action.

In terms of context, we are talking the future where everyone is elated due to an initial flattening of the curve as they figure that we've won. Well, no. Down the pike will be recurrences. The current effort is to help handle those future cases. How permanent these need to be is unknown. Earlier this year, China put together a hospital in less than two weeks. These are consider temporary structures but met the requirement. What are the longer term necessities?

100 years ago, we had the Spanish flu. We have had a post or two about that (Ground zero). This coincided with the efforts at supporting Europe in WWI. So, there were lots of impacts from a reduction of the male population. England's ordeal has been covered quite well over the years. Now, we're seeing a resurgence of some type of threat that we ought not have lost sight of. Oh yes, inoculation? Cannot cover the basis. One contributing factor was technology and its child, globalization. So, there is nothing easy here.

Photo by Alexander Gardner
The interest of the TGS, Inc.? You bet. First, we will focus on Dr. Letterman. He is the namesake of the Army Hospital that was situated at the Presidio of San Francisco. So, lots of history. Too, Dr. Letterman is involved with the western movement. He was out in Kansas and other points west in the 1850s. This was before his real contribution. Which was? He is considered the 'Father of Battlefield Medicine' and is noted for his humane treatment of the wounded from both sides of the Civil War in the U.S. His introduction of improvements grew out of the experience of the Battle of Antietam. By Gettysburg, his contributions were seminal. There were heavy casualties. His methods saved a lot of people.

Dr. Letterman got his MD degree from the University of Washington and Jefferson in 1849. The U.S. Army offered him a commission. So, his career in the military and after will be of note. Hence expect several posts. He was later a coroner in San Francisco. This would have been after the wild times of the gold rush, however SF was a major port. Lots of tales there.

More information on Dr. Letterman.

We have taken several themes in the context of the groupings by year. As D.A.R. is telling us, we have the 250th coming up in 2026. So, we have that as a focus. Before that, we had the 100th of the coming over. Guess what? People were too involved in survival to celebrate, however we will look to see if any researcher/writer mentioned this. That was just a few years post the Salem idiocy (Andover ordeal). On the other side, it was post the Revolution and Lewis/Clark that we saw the major moves west. Some of this was by water; however, we need to look at those special situations related to moving by land (trails, et al). Dr. Letterman was further west (New Mexico). We can add efforts of the U.S. Army to our look at the western movement.


When I first got to editing on Wikipedia, I added information to Dr. Letterman's profile. We think of hospitals as permanent structures, but there are many times when a temporary structure is required. Say, post a tornado. I have seen many rise and function for a year or two while the rebuilding took place. The naval hospital ship has gone to many a port over the past decade or so.

Provisions have to be there, though, for future use which means warehousing. And, those things warehoused must be managed for replacement due to time, fatigue, or just orneriness by nature.

Personally, I remember that after Korea that the U.S. Army worked to improve the field hospital (think MASH). My role was in the operating room (surgical specialist) which consisted of a GP medium and small. The joy of it? Going out into the fields and mountains in blackout conditions (vehicles and flashlights were limited light; tents had entry way with flaps to conceal ins and outs) and setting up the operating room overnight in all types of weather. And, that whole set of material fit into a 2 1/2-ton truck with a trailer. The overall hospital had several wards.

Oh yes, what tent went up first? The mess, what else? You have to take care of the workers.


We see that Virginia hospital is setting up a field hospital in a parking garage. Good thinking.

Remarks: Modified: 04/04/2020

03/29/2020 -- Today, I listened to a MD (Respiratory specialist) talk about his experiences with Covid-19, on a daily basis for a while now, in an environment with hundreds of beds in a highly stressful place (U.S.). His message dealt with contagion and other aspects that will be answered eventually. Right now, there is a lot of mania/hype on the internet and other media (TV). So, it was good to hear an expert speak. And, the result of listening to the guy? A calming effect. I'll forgo the details, but, for the most part, there are clear rules that will assist mitigation of the spread. Hopefully, those will become more clear and accepted. And, on the next go-around, we'll do better. Any chance that?

04/04/2020 -- With regard to this Spanish Flu, this video provides a very good overview of the times and the situations. The MD mentioned as identifying the problem early was Dr. Loring Miner.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Long and short

We have been at this since 2009 (2010 conceptualization of the Thomas Gardner Society, later Inc.'d) and have watched the changes while continuously diving (some use trolling) into the huge bucket (seas and seas, in a sense). Along the way, we would find sites that stood out for various reasons. In some cases, they had lots of overlap of surnames being researched.

But, speaking of changes? Lots of these disappeared or seriously changed. In many cases, saved links became more than stale. Good example? The 'rootsweb' case a few years ago. After an initial launch by working on ancestry, we branched out and did our own thing. This approach ended up with a huge amount of stuff to be refactored at some point. Along the way, we pulled out material into posts with the intent of publishing, again, at some point.

We got a chance to write a few articles related to our work. The Gardner Annals grew out of that. BTW, Volume V is still being put together.

In any case, the web has been central both from the view of offering access to information and from the presentation side of things. Through time, additional stuff just came out daily. This was one reason that the Margaret study made progress. And, things did structure. WikiTree is an example of that. Too, the NEHGS now has a package and has linked to prior attempts which was a nice choice.

Anyway, in browsing after being off doing other work, for awhile, we ran into some old links. They still worked. You see, that is remarkable. You know how much the web software has changed over the last ten years? We have some technical discussions going in that regard and have taken to GitHub for a development view. Our portal is one mode for interface, albeit slowly coming along.

Going forward, we'll see two types being even more bifurcated. Setting aside the arena of website development (as, this has morphed several ways, to boot) and the browser wars, the world of the device provider has seen remarkable change, improvement somewhat. Now, those little things can run serious apps. And, the industry, in part, has worked to allow development with minimal technical knowledge. Yes, mind-boggling, as one company claimed that they had no serious software folks. No, the common user could just develop.

Want a parallel? Notice how the amateur has influence on genealogy? In fact, want me to take you down the paths of the internet and show you where there are problems both in the data and in its support structure? Everywhere, we are seeing this old/new dynamic. Nothing new there. But, it's more critical in computing. As we review the changes since '95, we cringe when we see the impact of choices made. At those decision points, we could have made other choices. No, we run along and, then, think that coping with consequences allows our talents to come forth and our smarts to be demonstrated. Not.

From time to time, we run into the work of some who are trying to have more sustainable ways. That is always nice to see. And, we want the Thomas Gardner Society, Inc.'s approaches to be of the more wise sort, albeit not much attention has really be applied to the necessary study and discussion.

But, getting back to sites, we'll look to getting back to having our own list. Many have tried this. In fact, it's a business model, somewhat. That is, folks make money doing the work; even if, many times, there are lots of issues (won't name them as it's obvious that the internet is a mess).

So, today's addition:
  • Ole Larson's Folks - ran into this early. It disappeared for awhile and came back. Now, there's a new look. 
  • Humphry's Family Tree - gosh, thirty-seven years of research. Like the site which comes from a comp sci view. 
Speaking of comp sci, we ran across a youngster who appreciates minimalism. He's not into genealogy, yet, however his custom/manual approach appeals. Much to discuss. 
  • Project Nayuki - really liked the clean work that comes out of the crafting the code (HTML/CSS/JS). As well, from the comp sci exposure (2007-2012), there is a great understanding producing results to be studied. In fact, his examples across several languages are the type of thing that a self-starter ought to really appreciate. 
As well as old/new, we need to look long, as well as, short. That latter has been the blinders; but, that can be seen as true with business, in general, many times.

A timely metaphor: biological perturbations, such as the latest virus, need continual attention; so too the world of the computational? You bet. People will be the focus (taming AI, for example) several ways; genealogy/history is a natural attribute of the more aware (not using woke) approaches.

Remarks: Modified: 05/07/2020

05/07/2020 -- Added image for portal scroll.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

The Commonwealth

The last post touched briefly upon Essex County and preservation. We have had several other looks at Essex. After all, that is where Thomas and Margaret came into the New World. Plus, Salem is still within the boundaries. So, we'll feature this little county lots and lots of times.
  • South (east and central) Essex County - This is from 2011. What did we know having just started our research in 2009? Not much. But, we were collecting source material like mad (still are) with the intent of having a good bibliography. Also, we had to get used to a County where the little towns covered the whole shebang. This is not like out west where some areas a lots and lots of empty spaces (Rt 66 comes to mind). 
  • Essex Institute - their Historical Collections was a great asset. Too, Sidney's work was central to a lot of research. 
  • Essex County -- Dr. Frank's The Massachusetts Magazine was based in the county. 
We have a lot more. Buy, let's switch gears a little. As, there was the Commonwealth in which Essex County was embedded. Rather, which grew around the county. We focus on Essex; several sites look at Massachusetts, New England, and the U.S. One example is 'Mass Moments' which we look at today.

On March 12, 1857, John Brown spoke in Concord. John was featured in several of our posts, such as the one on Col. T. W. Higginson who worked with Dr. Frank on The Massachusetts Magazine. In his talk, John mentioned Kansas which we have featured in our series on the western movement.

As we look at the American 100s (400th, 250th, 100th - as in Cape Ann, the Revolution, and the western swing), we will juxtapose views with Essex County being perpetually there. And, we have a huge collection of supporting material. On the broader scope, we will begin to collect similar support. Turns out that the 'Mass Moments' comes from the 'Mass Humanities' project. We will pay closer attention to this effort.

Remarks: Modified: 03/12/2020

03/12/2020 --