Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Middle and out

TL;DR -- Lucie and DAR tells us a lot.  


Our lives have two views that are archetypal, up and down. The wag might say, well, there's around, like the clock. That is true. But, we are going to look, for now, at lineage in relation to people who have helped the U.S. get to where it is. We can use DAR for establishing some mileposts as lineage moved along. Basically, we have a tree with up and down. We are all looking at the 250th coming up based upon 1776. We are interested from there back to the early 1600s and before. 

Actually, we will look this way, too; but, that brings in the around, namely, spanning across trees. One benefit of the modern modeling modes, using the computer, facilities like that of ancestry[.]com can give you these little shaking leaves. Early on, we learned that a lot of those are bosh. And, until some method gets established for common proof schemes, there will be issues. So, table that, for now, as we look to link from the Revolution back to the beginning. 

Take their database, as a start. At this page (genealogy), one can get to a search option on their database. Now, this is open with general information about the persons noted. To get more specific, one has an option to purchase a copy of a record. We are not looking at anything other than the bare necessities provided by the default display, right now, so let's use an example. Lucie M Gardner, Dr. Frank's sister, is a member (can be retrieved publicly) with Simon Stacey Gardner (available off of Lucie's record) as her Patriot. Now, let's look at Simon, first. What you see is some detail about Simon such as his wife (Rebecca Knapp) and children, albeit only the ones for which there have been applications are listed. The database can provide a record copy for each of these that can be purchased that will provide more information. Sometimes, that would include all of the children and their spouses. 

So, let's look at Lucie, next by picking her number. She was the first application for Simon and through his son, Jonathan. Now, if you scroll though the lineage (Lucie's lineage), between Lucie and Simon Stacey Gardner are her father (Stephen Wilson Gardner), grandfather (Benjamin Brown Gardner) and great-grandfather (Jonathan Gardner). There are dates and places, usually, provided by the lineage report. 

Aside 1: This information has been scrutinized quite a bit. One can read about the application process (see above node) and get an idea. However, after more than 100 years of honing the process, the databaser has good data. 

Aside 2: We have been working to document Benjamin B Gardner back to Thomas and all of his other ancestors on WikiTree (Gardner-5912). Between Benjamin and Thomas, we find Jonathan, Simon Stacey, Abel, and Abel. For some of the other family members, we have added them (see the Ahnentafel - handcrafted). But, there is a lot more work to do.  

A couple of years ago, we used Dr. Frank's handwritten notes to update his lineage on WikiTree. His father's lineage is the same as Ann's grandfather's Gardner line. What we did independently, starting in 2010, with nothing other than the 1907 book, filled in Ann's whole tree. This work agreed with Dr. Frank's work done 100 years before (that we did not have), except we had a lot more information. In the good Dr.'s day, there was no Xerox as we see now and no web (it required searching through physical files). In his notes, Dr. Frank had included the lineage of his mother, Marion Wallace Woods, which compared well to work that had been done on WikiTree. 

Before going on, one might pause and look at the state of the information. The data record for Lucie would be fairly sparse, and we will look to see if we can provide more information. Coming forward 100 years, though, later applications filled in the information further. 

Aside 3: If you look at Lucie's lineage (#82537) and some of the later ones, you will see the benefit of the process which improves the data as time goes on. The newer applications might have those  earlier and later generations further documented. And, those improvements would have been collected through other applications that happened during the 100 year period. 

As there can be other family members who are Patriots, the organization encourages members to do supplementals. Now, from that, one can talk about span (see above, archetypal) as future applicants would have more information to leverage. But, this is a work in process. 

Aside 4: BTW, Ann has done and assisted with ten successful supplementals this past summer. It is from that experience that we can tout that the database has good data. Also, we can mention that in one case there were no documents at all added to the application; basically, the application was done by matching up nodes from the database. As far as we know, there is no other organization that has accomplished what we see. That is, verified data being used rather than adhoc collections. 

Aside 5: As you look at the database, you might see comments in red which indicate that some problem has been found with an application. Ann had a chance to handle a couple of those, to boot.

Aside 6: Since we are dealing with generations going back and looking at both genders being descendants, there would be added complications. Some worry about those types of lines, to wit the Mayflower Society 5th generation books that carried lineages from 1620 through five generations. These have been digitized and are available at the NEHGS. Coming forward, we have a different concern. Ann has done several dozen applications for herself, family, and friends. In some cases, the same information has been sent (personal data being handled how?) whereas one could easily conceive of a database that would certify using once proven data. Most of these groups tout that they do not trust others and require their own thing. As does DAR, incidentally. So, we argue that such an attitude is actually quite limiting. The 100+ years of experience helps demonstrate some of the needed capability. A few years ago, we proposed this discussion under the auspices of the Hereditary Society Community and got some interest. Also, we heard the arguments (no one talked the technical issues which are there and real; no, the objections were of the habitual nature, if you look closely - not-invented-here). We'll continue to pursue the discussion.   

So, we're interested in a middle-out approach which we can describe and defend, as needed. But, for now, we're looking back. The forward look will only come from an new view, say another Thomas descendant whose tie to Thomas we need to assess. But, on looking back, there are lots and lots of people who are not members. Usually, they have to assess (then prove) their heritage, to the Revolution. 

We are interested in how many Patriots are missing. That is, just using the Massachusetts book, one can see that it's huge compared to who's been used to establish membership. And, in the work with supplementals, Ann has shown new children for an existing Patriot plus a new Patriot. Again, this type of thing is an ongoing work. 

So, Patriot? We need to look at DAR's definition. We have seen Loyalists of various types. After all, that whole time before 1776 was of the King or Queen (several). Notice that link uses plus or minus. Right now, we're looking back. Coming forward, we are going to go deeply into the frontier. Why? It's been botched, somewhat. Lots to discuss. 

Remarks: Modified: 11/10/2020

10/31/2020 -- Shift focus a little to be general. 

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