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: 07/22/2020

07/22/2020 -- Add image for use with icon index at the portal to truth.

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 another group 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: 10/31/2020

05/25/2020 -- The organization 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, 2020

 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: 05/28/2022

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

05/28/2022 -- Memorial Day, 2022 - An Osage Mission

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: 07/28/2020

07/28/2020 -- Have done several posts related to generations: 5th generation6th generation7th generation1900 backAmerican 100sFirst five, and About generations.

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.