Sunday, September 20, 2020

Members, NEHGS

 The recent American Ancestors magazine from the NEHGS looks at their history given that this year is the 175th anniversary. We learned several things from this overview which will lead to a little more attention to be paid to the group, their history, and work. For one, the tan books which are the vital records of Massachusetts towns were a NEHGS project. Early on, we saw that those books were available via the NEHGS membership. These was a very important endeavor. There was a latter on-line effort that we used a lot (Early Vital Records of Massachusetts). The NEHGS did the Great Migration series. There are other great things done in 175 years. 

We only have 10 years and do acknowledge that the research membership has been quite helpful in terms of having access to records plus hearing from researchers. Too, their staff help with the WikiTree project concerned with documenting early immigrants. 

Also, they have several databases, one of which contains images of the applications presented by members. We had not paid attention but went to look. How many included Thomas Gardner in their application as an ancestor? A quick search brought up over 300 mentions. On taking a closer look, some popped up as being of Thomas and Margaret. We can look at what membership entailed and the qualifications. The first member was President John Quincy Adams. Several other Presidents applied. 

Here are a few folks with Thomas Gardner in the past. This is just a random pick. We will find out more about the members as their auto-bios are included. The early ones are hand-written. 

As we were sampling, we saw Dr. Frank's name mentioned. He became a member in 1898. 

Pending is getting the rest of the descendants pulled out of Wikipedia to a post here on this blog. 

Remarks: Modified: 09/20/2020

09/20/2020 -- Something to research. If one looks at Dr. Frank's record, it says 'dropped' in 1930. Let's see, that was about 12 years post his TMM. Too, another record that I saw said 'resigned' (these notes are marked in red). Dr. Frank did good work. So, did he raise some hackles at the NEHGS? Why the drop? You know, we wondered why Anderson, et al, did not use him in the Great Migration work. Books (and their work) from lots of other families were used. Back to the TMM. It did look like some competitor to whatever the NEHGS was doing. BTW, is genealogist even a valid occupation? Or, an example of ways to tramp on people's dreams with lead feet? Partly serious. Search on this blog for Bayes. 

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Technology and content

There were other posts on this theme: technology as search. For the most part, these followed our movement from the initial ASP world into the fray of webbing (2012) where we picked up the older technology, for several reasons. That is, HTML was the choice (we actually cut images from the pre-cloud setup - high end - and built our own menus, etc.). It worked. And, we were able to work content for two years. 

Content? Yes, the crux of the matter. As we look around all of the populace with those mobile devices (some amount greater than 5B altogether), we watch. Note, this is from the position of not going any more mobile than the laptop. Until now, where this is being written in a 1/2 mode. The work is being done on a small 2-in-one with weds the laptop with the tablet. And, the mix is a multi-core device, with large memory, fairly sophisticated graphics, and solid state support for that which was the file system. 

As an aside, using a light pen for more accuracy and falling back to former modes, it's almost like using high-end graphics from a few decades ago with the manual input mode so loved by those who code (say, vi and such) but in a manner that was only dreamt of before. 

Also, not for gaming. We're being serious here in the context (related to content) of the futures of the TGS where a focus toward research at the heart of artificial intelligence and truth engineering is being proposed. Hence, our little humorous use of 'portal to truth' which is not really tongue-in-cheek. 

We have used our technology blog to write on this. But, the transition was from HTML to HTML/CSS in order to be mobile friendly. Then, we brought in JS in order to be process efficient. There have been several iterations on this. For doubters, we saw a demo of high end computing using html/css/js (yes, almost like the new Lisp, some say, alluding to the era when those machines were top of the line). We have seen the descent to numeric spaces, where logic is pushed away from being nimble. That will change as we see discussed now. 

Many see genealogical modeling and DNA as the top of the line. We beg to differ. Heck, some of the techniques show a lack of appreciation for Bayes and his kind. The whole of the industry (tell us if we are wrong) has no clue about philosophical issues let alone anything about ethics. Thomas, being Tabula Raza, gives us a good basis: the whole of the American experience needs more looks other than those driven by the top-down thinkers. 

This is brief. Before, we used an emulator to match up (or attempt to) the mobile experience. Mind you all, apps is the thing there. Most (all, except for a few) are pure trash. Yes, indeed. We will discuss that. Quite frankly, the work of the TGS is being seen as an operational arm of the larger picture which deals with a sustainable economy in which we have mature computing. No small chore, to look at all of this. 

Now, we can do more than mere simulation and exercise things as they ought. A young person showed us a benchmark which has descended to a type of competition such that one of the players (a company offering a benchmarking tool) actually pulled a Volkswagen move (yes, tuned their app to meet and beat benchmarks). See what we mean? 

Of course, there will be the more normal activities dealing with TGS descendants and those of the whole of the Cape Ann part. But, there is a Gairdner (Gairdner, Gairdner Awards FB) group that started a few decades ago and took up a role in medical research. They have a yearly affair where the best of the papers are discussed and prizes awarded. We'll have a post on this. 

Diversity and Excellence in Science

Think that computers, especially when you look at the total picture where embedded has become a whole industry in itself and where people are both the users and the used, offer many challenges where a perspective across a longer time frame just might be wanting now but necessary. 

Oh yes, content? Versus configuration? The latter is the focus on the computer which requires a whole lot of support. All the cloud did was push this behind a veil. Ourselves? We went with server which has lots of potential. We're doing a minimalistic approach by choice. It'll be discussed as needed. Content is that which is curated. And, it's the larger issues, notwithstanding AI (and the current hype - oh yes, let us weigh in on that) and its supposed wonders. The full of the content approach usually cares naught for configuration (hence the evolution of the cloud); the full of the configuration cannot understand the needs of content. Such is why there is a friction. The latest IEEE Spectrum had a wonderful article that can be used to discuss this: under the guise of discussing legacy (sheesh).  

Remarks: Modified: 09/20/2020

09/20/2020 -- Added links to the Gairdner Awards group, Scottish family in Canada. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

175th for the NEHGS

We have mentioned the NEHGS several times. For one, they did the Great Migration Project. Also, they were involved heavily with the planning of the Mayflower 400th which was this year. We also looked to their work for inspiration. Recently, they started a blog with an endless number of pertinent posts: How long is a generation?

Buried 'neath all of the goings on was the approaching anniversary. The recent American Ancestor had a brief history of the NEHGS starting with the founders who are listed below (Wikipedia has a few links):
    Charles Ewer (1790-1853)
    Lemuel Shattuck (1793-1859)
    Samuel Gardner Drake (1798-1875)
    John Wingate Thornton (1818-1878)
    William Henry Montague (1804-1889)
Familiar names. As well as looking at the early years, the brief history came forward in time with information that deserves a closer look.

Congratulations to the NEHGS.

Remarks: Modified: 09/16/2020

09/16/2020 --

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Spectral issues

The topic? Lots of meanings. For now, we will focus on the technology choices that will be coming up. We have had lots of post dealing with technology, in fact, two this year, already (Technology, as search); and, there is a blog with this focus (same post, Friendly to the mobile crowd) which came about due to issues of content versus configuration.

Or, for the older people, discussion of whether the "medium is the message" or not. We say not, emphatically.

Back then, when we were moving from Microsoft's experiment to Linux, there was a sampling of techniques. We liked none and went with our own (see discussion at our portal) approach which has been content driven, until now. It's time to re-evaluate and make changes. We have had a discussion going through these past few years as we switch configuration for various reasons while keeping our content curating (and researching) going.

Albeit, the content will still be related to Thomas and Cape Ann. However, there are larger views that ought to come into play, and philosophy is not that focus due to its normal mode of academic playground bullying. No, the computer will be key. Again, though, it'll be more than chasing that which is out of our grasp.

Frankly, the future looks daunting given all of the turmoils seen in 2020. Nevertheless, we are not much different in this respect than were those here in 1918, like the great and grand parents of many.

We are talking more than web design for superior information flowing, though that will be part of the focus. Our emphasis has to be across the whole of the spectrum, even though many might just be thinking of the personal genealogy and family history. There were thousands of families a few years after the Cape Ann experience.

From there, the Fifth generation was the core of the conflict that set the U.S. loose. That was 250 years ago. We need to be looking down that whole line, too. Purpose and motivation and such? Mere choices that can be made now once we start to get a technical basis set.

Thomas as capable in so many ways. Those who will keep things going now and in the future need to extend that in ways that Thomas could fathom. Even his generation only had one mind that touched upon the subject, adequately. Yes. Spinoza. We'll look at that.

Remarks: Modified: 09/16/2020

09/15/2020 --

Descendants of Richard

Descendants of: Thomas, George, Richard, John, Sarah (Gardner) Balch
Samuel, Joseph, Mirian (Gardner) Hill, Seeth (Gardner) Grafton

This series will go through all of the children and identify some descendants. The list originally was on Wikipedia's page about Thomas Gardner (Planter). We'll put a header into each so that these can be linked, easily.

 For these lists, we will be adding more names. Chronological order:
  • Mary Gardner (c. 1660s) – wife of Jethro Coffin
  • Timothy Folger (c. 1700s through son, Richard) – studied the Gulf Stream with his cousin, Benjamin Franklin
  • Nathaniel Gorham (c. 1730s) – Signer of US Constitution
  • Mayhew Folger (c. 1770s) – rediscovered Pitcairn Islands in 1808
  • Lucretia Coffin Mott (c. 1790s) – early abolitionist, feminist, and co-founder of Swarthmore College
  • George Pollard, Jr. (c. 1791) – Captain of the Essex and the Two Brothers
  • Ezra Cornell (c. 1800s) – founder of Cornell university
  • Emily Lee (c. 1800s) – wife of U.S. Civil War General Daniel Tyler
  • Edwin M. Stanton (c. 1810s) – Secretary of War, American Civil War
  • Rowland Hussey Macy (c. 1820s) – founder of Macy's
  • Phillips Brooks (c. 1830s) – author of a well-known carol.
  • Charles Francis Adams II (c. 1830s) – Union General, President of Union Pacific Railroad
  • James A. Folger (c. 1830s) – founder of Folger's
  • Henry Clay Folger (c. 1850s) – head of Standard Oil of New York, founder of the Folger Library
  • George William Coffin (c. 1840s) – Commander of 'Alert', Greely Relief Expedition
  • Edith Kermit Carow Roosevelt (c. 1860s) – 2nd wife of Theodore Roosevelt
  • William Sydney Porter (c. 1860s) – author
  • Charles Austin Beard (c. 1870s) – historian, co-founder of The New School
  • Harold M. Stratton (c. 1870s) – founder of Briggs & Stratton
  • Esther Williams (c. 1920s) – American swimmer and movie star
The order of the children is that used by NEHGS' Great Migration (Anderson) and Dr. Frank.

Remarks: Modified: 09/16/2020

09/15/2020 --

Wednesday, September 9, 2020


At the five year mark, we were reviewing the work done so far, especially with respect to technology's influence on how one works, what one can do, what means are there to present information, and so forth. With 'what?' as the chief component of the query. We gathered some thoughts in this post (WDTT?) which was a copy of WWJD, somewhat. Using Thomas for discussing the old and the new, and for setting some notion of understanding, technology was a proper focus (it touches everything).

We have had a few posts with this theme (latest one, Technology as imperative; search on technology). We have a technology blog which has been lagging of late but will be back in business soon. What does technology deal with?

Think back to Thomas' time and, then, think of today. Huge differences, though we the same people, more or less. As the above look was 'what' which is a common theme, technology demands that we look at 'how' in detail of varying sorts depending upon the mode and role. That is one focus of ours, since we want to contribute to the related spaces in an interesting way. How is this? We'll get to that.

Oh yes, that will bring up 'why?' and similar queries. So, this theme will recur, albeit the technology blog and the our portal will cover the more specific issues. 

Remarks: Modified: 09/09/2020

09/09/2020 --

Thursday, September 3, 2020


While updating the Metrical page today, it seemed appropriate to look at some numbers. For instance, there is a count of accumulative posts through August of 2020 for the TGS blog. Then, there is a total count of reads across all of the activity, of which the TGS blog is one. Finally, there is the count for each of the 1st five reads sorted by the amount of reads.
We will do more of this as we go along. Nothing has been viral, however some things did get an interest. 

When looking at the Metrical, be aware that we don't have a huge post count. Many posts are fairly large, as there is the notion of collecting these into some type of organized document, at some point. In fact, we have from time to time. 

Per usual, we would like to discuss contributions of material. We are putting together the next Gardner's Beacon as well as the nest issue of The Gardner Annals.

In terms of the children, we have started with Sarah, Thomas and George. Next up is Richard. 

Remarks: Modified: 09/03/2020

09/03/2020 --