We have mentioned that we look to the NEHGS as a 'mentor' from afar. That is, we pay attention to what they do. For one thing, their NEHGR is still around; Dr. Frank's TMM ran into the events (pandemic) of 1918. Too, the NEHGS did well getting the various parties to coordinate with respect to the Mayflower lookback. The conditions of Covid-19 got in the way of the partying, but the acknowledgement has taken place. Lots of good information was brought out that will facilitate further work.
In addition, we have looked at the methods used to establish membership criteria for various groups, such as the GSMD. Their efforts at proving lineage is captured in a set of books that cover five generations. In the past, one found these in libraries. Now, the NEHGS provides on-line access through their American Ancestor database. Another research group of note is the LDS (Family Search). There are many others, but the list is too long for this post.
Before getting to the specifics (this and the next post), we need to mention the Hereditary Society Community. The HSC consists of societies whose purpose is honoring heritage and, for one thing, the culture of the U.S.A. HSC society members gather each spring, in Washington DC, for their annual meeting. An example member would be Mrs. Philip Wendall Bernstoff (Betty Jane James) who was in the same DAR Chapter as Ann.
Ann has just completed a series of tenures as Historian, Librarian, Treasurer and Registrar for a local DAR Chapter. For several months this year, Ann did the work of both Treasurer and Registrar. Now that this work is winding down, we will have more time for the Thomas Gardner Society, Inc.'s work which would include documenting descendants of Thomas. So far, we have been posting a list of names that came from the Wikipedia collection. The latest post was "Descendants of Samuel". But we want to expand upon the work of Dr. Frank as well as get several generations filled in.
Part of the work this year as Registrar included working on over twenty applications in the NSDAR context, completing most of them, and concluding with acceptance via the review process. Some of the applications were for new members. The majority were what are called supplemental applications that are done by after membership is attained. That is, one uses a Patriot to join. Then, other Patriots in one's tree can be identified and proven. For an effort related to process improvement, Ann worked on almost twenty supplemental applications with eleven of these being completed for a review process. Ten have already been verified and are in the final stages.
That depicts work effectivity. As well, we have completed over thirty applications in other contexts for various individuals. Too, we have done preliminary work for a score of others. Given the experience, we are ready to set up some conditions for applying to the Thomas Gardner Society, Inc. Stayed tuned.
With regard to approaches, we have had discussions on this topic where technology is brought into play. Many efforts seen on the public approaches (Ancestry, ...) follow less rigor than one would like to see. As we mentioned earlier, we took the notes that Dr. Frank wrote up about his mother's genealogy and compared it with what had been done on WikiTree (WT). WT is where the Great Migration Project (NEHGS) has been working. For instance, the Thomas Gardner profile there is owned by the GMP. There are lots of missing pieces, including descendants. Samuel's line is fairly sparse.
Where does one go to find good information. Take an organization, for instance, which supports genealogy studies with their database which is public (Genealogical Research). One limit is that the database is based upon applications. With respect to the supplemental effort, this will fill in lines over time. In fact, it is quite possible now for one to build an application without needing any additional sources since one just matches up existing trees.
On WT, there has been an effort to identify those involved with the American Revolution (example: Joseph Swazey 1750 - 1816). But, getting beyond New England, there are studies with respect to other interests, such as Magna Carta. As technology improves, we would expect to find better and better representations that can be trusted. That is one goal of the TGS, foster this work and the related discussions. It's one of our many goals.
And, given that we're back to work, we'll be more regular: Gardner's Beacon, Vol X, No 1, soon.