Monday, December 28, 2020

Gardner's Beacon, Vol X, No 2

This issue of Gardner's Beacon provides an overview of things accomplished in the difficult year of 2020, discusses the state of affairs with respect to the web and what it can be (see Web'ing), and looks at a few expectations for the future. Such as? Tackling the huge subject of AI and Ethics, where AI serves in (and demonstrates many ways) the roles of 'avatar' for that whole affair (applied mathematics, folks, gone wild). We take a brief look at the children of Thomas and Margaret and, then, feature a look at John Gardner (4th son). 

GB X, 2 (PDF)

See Vol. X, No. 2 of Gardner's Beacon for ... Sources.

Remarks: Modified: 11/28/2021

11/28/2021 -- Added links to material for a more full presentation of information. 

Thomas Gardner

TL;DR -- 29 December 1674, a day to remember.  


This post is a reminder of 29 December 1674 which is the day that Thomas Gardner died in Salem, MA. He led the team in 1623/24 that landed at Gloucester (Cape Ann) for the purpose of establishing farming and fishing that would return goods back to England. A few years later, the effort moved to the region that became Salem, MA. Later, still, John Endicott came with his new emphasis. Not long after that, John Winthrop arrived with the inception of the Great Migration

Thomas Gardner's origins have not been adequately identified sufficiently for confirmation, however there are several ongoing research efforts (see WikiTree). Thomas married Margaret Friar. Margaret was as unknown as was Thomas until recently. Her family seems to have been identified in Sherborn, Dorset, England. 

Thomas and Margaret had nine child, eight of whom have descendants. There is an active research project to identify their offspring: Descendants of Thomas (chain of posts starting with the eldest son). 

When Thomas died, he was buried on Gardner Hill. But, that location was landscaped away during road work in the early 1800s. One of his descendants sold the land which was in the possession of son, Samuel. Another descendant visited the area in 1830s and reported on the consequences at the time of his visit of graves lost with stones moved or destroyed. We researched this topic for a few years: Our summary of the situation is in this post (Gardner's Beacon, Vol. IX, No. 1). 

We are the Thomas Gardner Society (see About Us). Our 'portal to truth' is a vehicle to provide information, interact with our supporters, and demonstrate a simplified web presence. 

Remarks: Modified: 12/29/2020

12/28/2020 -- 

Revolutionary experiences

TL;DR -- Some Patriots and the Rhode Island event.  


So, finally, to the work of the other day after a few diversions: Recognition of Dr. FrankCharles Alcott Flagg, and, then, Thomas Franklin Waters. These three were related to the motivations for this post which includes looking around for details that might be of interest. 

Below is a collection of entries related to service during the Revolution that was  documented after the fact. Partly, this is motivated by the interests of DAR and SAR, but there are larger issues that we wish to address, in the future. There are entries from the records of two individuals. The records start in 1775. There are several entries for one of the individuals. Finally, we end up with the Battle of Rhode Island and after. It may be interesting to note that there were three more years to go. The conflict went until 1783. 

Too, this is a cursory look which is meant to suggests where we will put some attention, since we can no longer ignore the details. For one thing, the 250th is coming up. So, we would like to be prepared. Then, as we mentioned earlier, history is told by the upper crust. Looking at some details related to other folks is something that can now be facilitated by the computer.  

In our work, we would not look through related documents such as Dr. Frank did with his study of Massachusetts regiments. Unlike Dr. Frank's day, we now have printed or digital records to access, thanks to those forward-looking people who got this work done. Too, like the RI event, we need to stop and consider what the record entry was referring to. Given that, our focus will be on the individuals, who will not be identified in the beginning.

The examples are 1) an older Major (Essex Co) and 2) a younger Private (Plymouth Co) who became a Corporal, both lived in Massachusetts. 

  • Ipswich. Major, Col. Henry Jackson's regt.; Continental Army pay accounts for service from Jan. 1, 1777, to July 9, 1778 ; reported resigned July 9, 1778;
    also, return certified at Camp near Morristown, April 30, 1780, of officers and men belonging to Col. Lee's, Col. Henley's, and Col. Jackson's regts., and men belonging to Massachusetts in Col. Henry Sherburne's regt., who were incorporated into a regiment under the command of Col. Henry Jackson, agreeable to the arrangement of April 9, 1779; rank. Major; residence, Ipswich;

  • Pembroke. Private. Capt. Freedom Chamberlain's co., Gen. John Thomas's regt.; muster roll dated Aug. 1, 1775; enlisted May 3, 1775; service, 3 mos. 6 days; also, company return dated Roxbury Camp, Oct. 6, 1775; also, order for bounty coat or its equivalent in money dated Camp at Roxbury, Nov. 9, 1775;
    also, Private, Capt. Amos Turner's co., Col. Titcomb's regt.; service from April -, 1777, to the middle of June, 1777, 2 mos. 6 (also given 2 mos. 7) days, including travel (120 miles) out and home; company detached from militia and marched to Tiverton, R. I.;
    also, list of men mustered by James Hatch, Muster Master for Plymouth Co., to serve until Jan. 1, 1778, or during the war, endorsed " July -, 1777;
    " Col. Robinson's regt. ; enlisted by Capt. Stowers ;
    also, Corporal, Capt. Seth Stowers's co., Col. J. Robinson's regt.; enlisted July 1, 1777 ; service, 6 mos., at Rhode Island;
    also, descriptive list of men raised in Plymouth Co. for the term of 9 months from the time of their arrival at Fishkill, agreeable to resolve of April 20, 1778;
    Capt. Bonney's co., Col. Cushing's regt.; age, 19 yrs.; stature, 5 ft. 11 in.; complexion, light; residence, Pembroke; arrived at Fishkill June 10, 1778 ;
    also, list of men returned as received of Jonathan Warner, Commissioner, by Col. R. Putnam July 20, 1778 ; engaged for town of Pembroke ;
    also, Private,Capt. John Turner's co., Col. John Jacobs's regt. ; enlisted Sept. 4, 1780 ; discharged Oct. 30, 1780 ; service, 1 mo. 27 days; regiment detached from militia to reinforce Continental Army at Rhode Island for 3 months.
Both records specify the organizations that the person was associated with. The records in the enlisted example indicate multiple musterings, through time which agrees with the history of the organization (Wikipedia). We see several things to research further: Massachusetts Line was used for the military organizations of that state; Morristown, NJ was considered the headquarters across the colonial States; the relationships, and how closely they might be, as we continue our studies of collateral families.

This was a brief look at military records as detailed by the Massachusetts project. From that, we can consider other details of the individual's life. For instance, taking the private, what did he do between his militia stints? And, in the locations where the service is depicted, what were the events? How did the locals fare? 

There is really no end to what can be considered of interest. McCullough, with others, has shown us that. And, we have on-line resources with which to do the work, including publishing research results. 

Remarks: Modified: 12/16/2022

12/16/2022 -- Changed pointer on the Battle of "Rhode Island" to Wikipedia. 

Friday, December 25, 2020

Thomas Franklin Waters

TL;DR -- About Ipswich, MA which was the hometown of T. F. Waters and the subject of his research.  


T.F. Waters was the first editor of The Massachusetts Magazine (first issue was January 1908) that was started by Dr. Frank and friends who were Charles Alcott Flagg (last post), Albert W. Dennis, Lucie M. Gardner, and others. We will spend a little time looking at some of the details concerning the publication of the TMM by looking at those involved, including their lives. 

In an earlier post (Sings of the times, 2014), we were discussing research in Ipswich and mentioned a few families that were in focus. We heard from Gordon Harris who does several things, including work to restore properties in Ipswich about which we will write more. But Gordon has a website that is loaded with information (Historic Ipswich) in which he has a list of houses. His earlier note mentioned one house that was connected with the families that we were researching: 5 County Street

Today, we looked at that more thoroughly as we are going to concentrate on the time around the Revolution which is coming up for another memorial (250th). And, that will involve  looking at the related properties. As we were enjoying the look at the writeup on the house, a map was shown that is reminiscent of what Sidney Perley did in Salem and elsewhere. 

But, the author of the map was T.F. Waters. That got our attention. He was a major writer on Ipswich and will feature more in the future as we expand on the expected themes. 

Ipswich - land grants

As we mentioned before, it was the 4th and 5th generations which saw the Revolution through by enduring the turmoil and hardship. 

Remarks: Modified: 12/26/2020

12/25/2020 -- 

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Charles Alcott Flagg

TL;DR -- Correcting oversight of old friend of Dr. Frank's who contributed regularly to The Massachusetts Magazine.  


Charles A. Flagg (1870-1920), C.A., is an example of someone with no progeny who is forgotten. We ran across him first within the context of The Massachusetts Magazine. He was a regular contributor starting with Vol. 1, No. 2 with an article on "Massachusetts Pioneers in Michigan" that we will look at further. 

In our last post, we mentioned that C.A. gave a nod to Dr. Frank's in the introduction of his book, Alphabetical Index of Revolutionary Pensioners Living in Maine, with respect to Dr. Frank's work on Massachusetts regiments. 

Two things motivate this post. 

  • C.A.'s work is quoted in the SSP of Maine (soldiers, sailors) quite extensively. However, there is also this little note by the editors (curators) of the work: 

      This list is full of errors. It contains names of men who did not serve in the Revolutionary War. The ages are wrong in many cases, as are the dates of death. 

    This SSP work was published in 1982 which was decades after the work of C.A. Too, technology was quite a bit different in the two periods. There is another factor, next bullet. But, this comment was done by the General Genealogist of S.A.R. (sorry bunch of guys?) who ought to have known better. It's one thing to make such remarks (which are without any foundation) in private; to leave them in a reference that is expected to get attention is another thing (very unprofessional).

    Reading the comment gave us pause. What was that? Why? We didn't know how to respond at the time. But, since then we have done a little research. We give a little bio of C.A. after this pause here. Plus, the image shows some of his work that is on-line. C.A. was the librarian for American History at the Library of  Congress, among other things. BTW, in favor of the S.A.R. folks, they did note that other people had errors and corrected them. Okay, editors are for that purpose, for one thing. We could go on but won't. 
  • A couple of years ago (January of 2018), we noted that it was 100 years before that "The Massachusetts Magazine" published its last issue. At that time, we surmised about the Spanish Flu, especially in how Dr. Frank would have been busy. Very much so. There was also the drain of resources and funds related to WWI. But, then, we looked at C.A.'s biography and saw that he had died in 1920. We will look at the specifics, but it is very likely that the publication of his work was after he died. The S.A.R. folks could have looked that up. Also, given that it was within the period of the flu, did he have complications related to the pandemic? 
Anyway, C. A. Flagg's work stands on its own. He was a graduate of Bowdoin. Then, he did post-graduate studies in Library Systems. We are talking the latter part of the 19th Century, so it would be interesting to see what was involved. But, C.A. served as a librarian at the New York State library in Albany, NY. Too, he spent time at the Library of Congress in DC. There he was the expert in American History. Then, C.A. went to Bangor, Maine and was librarian there. That is where he did a lot more research, some of it resulting in the index of pensioners mentioned in this post. 

This graphic lists some of C.A.'s work (from uPenn). 

We'll get back to work looking at specifics of the Revolutionary period. History is told top down by the victors and mostly ignores the small people. Technology, now, can revert that and lift proper views to focus. That's one of our goals. Or, from another view, events from 400 years ago and 250 years ago can still have relevance to our lives. 

There ain't nothing new under the sun, essentially. 

Remarks: Modified: 08/05/2021

12/25/2020 -- C.A. was part of the editorial board for the TMM from the beginning. T.F. Waters was the Editor. 

08/05/2021 -- We will be using the work of CA as we study the History of Michigan and surrounds. As well, here is the Find A Grave record for CA. 

Recognition of Dr. Frank

TL;DR -- Run into C.A. Flagg while researching a Patriot who served in Maine.  


We were researching in the context of DAR and SAR and stumbled upon a nice surprise. Fortunately, the focus was Massachusetts and its derivative, Maine. Though, we have researched other states and will (ought to) do more of this. But, Lexington and Concord is taken as the origin of the turmoil that went on for several years. It may be that we do not appreciate that effort. Lots of history is told top down, by the victors. There is some bottom-up work, such as McCullough's look using Col. Hodgkins and his letters to his wife. The connection there is that he is the brother of one of Ann's GGPs. Sometimes, we have diaries. One diary connected to Gardners that we have mentioned is that of Nathaniel Knapp. But, this was from the prior conflict, the French-Indian affair, where the King trained the colonial leaders to rebel and to do it successfully. 

With technology, we can do a better job of telling the tales, many of which have relevance today. And, lots of resources are on line with which to do this work. Let's look at some. 

  • SSP of Massachusetts - This 17-volume tome was addressed earlier (Resources and more, timeframe of Sept 2013). We included a link to all volumes in a post. The SSP link goes to the volume that has the Gardners (pages 254 to 282). Each of those entries tells a story. We will look at a couple examples, one Gardner, one not. 
  • SSP of Maine -  This volume is the work of SAR. Some of the entries are also in the MA books as there is overlap. We look at an example below. Now, one of their sources is a book by C.A. Flagg who researched Revolutionary pensioners living in Maine (next bullet).  
  • An Alphabetical Index of Revolutionary Pensioners Living in Maine - C.A. Flagg's 1920 publication that is fully readable, thanks to the University of Southern Maine. In his forward, C.A. mentions Dr. Frank with whom he worked on The Massachusetts Magazine. C.A. was a librarian at Bangor, ME, NY State Library in Albany, NY, and the Library of Congress in DC. 

We will take a specific look at CA Flagg this year, especially his contributions to The Massachusetts Magazine where he had a regular column dealing with Massachusetts pioneers to Michigan. CA died in 1920. One wonders if that was due to some lingering impact of the Spanish Flu. He would have been 50 years old. 

The next post on this subject will look at a couple of examples of Revolutionary War service as detailed in the SSP of MA and SSP of ME. We'll use a time frame that maps to service events over several years, using some actual records. After MA and ME, we'll drop south and look at a couple of states there. This is, somewhat, carrying on for Dr. Frank. 

Remarks: Modified: 07/30/2021

12/23/2020 --

Saturday, December 19, 2020


TL;DR -- Look at a 25-year-old blog dealing with a deep subject which is modernizing.  


This is a little aside dealing with technology, in particular how the web was, is, and will be (including ought to be). Our last post on technology dealt with Ethics and AI and had some pointers to earlier posts (several). The main reason for that is the importance of AI and how it will impact everything (and everyone). 

A good analog is 5G which deals with communication. But one does not have to go far, and one runs into the internet of everything which deals with computing at the edge whose results will be an inundation of data which will drive us crazy (and be ignored) or will be of some use (perhaps a lot if we are smart about choices). Lots to discuss; however, we can punt this down the road, for now. 

This post will have a collection of example sites that are full of content yet without the flash that presupposes the need to cover up for no substance. As in, these are not those empty shells that we see, some of which are purely plagiarizing material for the purpose of wrapping ads as if mostly for nefarious purposes. 

The first two show the leaning that applies to our goals (TGS, Inc.). It'll be interesting to see how many more will be added. 

  • Theories of Aether and Electricity -- Baez's blog as an effort to report on mathematical physics, his findings thereof. He started early and carried the same textual (enhanced with graphics) mode for years. We always pointed to it as a favorite site. Then, Baez moved to an updated format: Azimuth. It still maintains the clean, simple look offering the most information on the most fundamental of knowledge being studied. 
  • nLab -- Baez, again. Not sure of his current involvement, but he got it started. nLab has several functions but is, generally, an example of how web'ing ought to be. 
  • Math Central -- Just ran into this while tracking down some sources. Nice format, if you look closely, there use of CSS and JS, as well as implementing some of the basic notions of HTML. 
  • ...

We will have more on other subjects. The motivation? At our portal ( which we see as an example of 'portal to truth' (several modes) there is some discussion of our sites. The first attempt was in the ASP world until the damper of Office 365 came about. We looked around (2012 timeframe) and went with our own hack (HTML and some images scraped from the Microsoft offering). But, then mobility became Job'influenced, so CSS came forward. Finally, JS. 

We have found lots of sites that are minimal in that sense. Too, they remove some of the onus of worrying about the heavy foot of the boss (buy a package and get their oversight - it's not ethical - but the web never was - alas). 

It's encouraging to see that some semblance of sanity and decency is still around. 

Remarks: Modified: 12/29/2020

12/28/2020 -- Gardner's Beacon Vol, X, No. 2 points to this post. Let the discussion begin on how to have sustainability and how the TGS, Inc. can demonstrate/discuss issues/alternatives as well as explain how we got to where we are. 

12/28/2020 -- With respect to progress here and there, we can use Thomas' time here to map to there. We already have mentioned Spinoza and Descartes as cohorts of Thomas. Now, We need to add Pascal. He developed a calculator to help his father with his tax work (France). That is when Thomas and crew were working on getting over here. You know, I don't think that it was until Charles Sanders Peirce that we had someone over here getting intellectual attention over there. Tell us if we are wrong. 

01/25/2021 -- Added image for our portal ( 

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Ethics and value

TL;DR -- The ACM which is an old computing organization takes on ethics and its absence from the everyday decisions.  


We have had a few posts on technology. A recent one looked at an ongoing bit of discussion: content versus configuration (which is a type of recurrent thing that is so common). Then, we just relooked at a dilemma related to technology of a particular sort, namely that wild-west thing of the internet. Also, we noted that genealogists 'foot drag' which is fine. Nothing that we're doing here will harm anything other than egos. 

Wait, was that just or was it harm causing? Or, was it necessary? Those types of things get ignored in the day to day, especially in the business world behind the doors. Oh yes, ethics is a subject that we can go on about without end but won't. 

It is important, though. The latest CACM has an article on AI and Ethics. The ACM is an old group involved with computing from the beginning. They even had the opportunity to have an annual prize titled Turing Award. The 2020 winners - Hanrahan and Catmull - worked on 3D graphics (including getting Pixar going). 

The article motivating this post is titled: Operationalizing AI Ethics Principles. Frankly, this is nice to see since many discussion about AI are seemingly unethical in the sense of the potential for AI to do harm (of very many varieties). One possible excuse might deal with complexity's hardness which is true. So, computing and ethics still have a lot of open areas needing discussion. One might say that's human nature. 

Over the past decade, we have tread through the valleys, so to speak, even that one of silicon. Gosh, would the wild west of the internet have even happened if ethics were on the table? Of late, there seems to be an interest, so we'll pay attention. Not to get too deep now, let's close with pointers to ethics and a few topics. 

As said, no end to the subject. We are in a new age, technically enhanced or challenged depending upon one's view. Before the internet, we had TV and before that radio and ... Of late, some seem to have lost their manners. Is such an observation unethical? Is snarkiness a matter of not being ethical? 

Going back to Thomas and Margaret and their time, we have noted that there is little that we know of the couple except for what they wrought via their children. We are actively documenting that. We noted, too, that Thomas did not even bother to join the church until later (about 1636 - we have that year mentioned in one of these posts) which might look, in hindsight, to have been a move to keep his children out of trouble with the local society. We know, those Puritans (was that snarky?). 

One thing that we can know is that the 400 years of history can have some importance to today's world. And, looking about, there is no end to the amount of work that one can do. We will just be as ethical as we can be. 

Remarks: Modified: 12/12/2020

12/12/2020 --

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Feet dragging

Or one might say, of genealogists, that they have their "lead feet" still. There's a lot to say. Being and life does not come from documents. Oh, they're doing DNA, now? Well, that's not a completely closed issue, either. Lots and lots of automated (thereby, computer controlled) work is done with this type of analysis. 

Wait, mathematical analysis has solved all of the problems that we might face. Well, not. 

You know, the SAG published, in part, via the internet. Lots of people do. Your bank wants you to go paperless. So many examples. 

What's the theme? Well, the focus now is going back through ten years of stuff and pulling out those things that will continue to need attention going forward. And, there is a specific intent behind this post, albeit we'll not mention the particulars. Rather, there was a recall that we had seen something about a decision. 

And, it's around the 2010 time frame. We were newbies yet knew the significance of this choice. And, look at the last year. Yes. On-line it is, except people are meeting, sometimes in groups that are larger than is suggested as a limit. 

The milieu then? Well, we would have had a decade and one-half of the internet having gone through several stages from the early days of Mosaic. And, we would have seen lots and lots of problematic results coming from unexpected behavior which would have been known had people paid attention to American History. 

In particular? The Wild West. Yes, we're getting to that now with real families as the focus. 

Anyway, we had a blog post: On blogs and other modern means. This is from June of 2011. We were still in the honeymoon era with respect to the Thomas Gardner Society, Inc. work. And, we left a comment at the Slavak Yankee site where we first read the news about no internet. 

With respect to current events, one motivation for the post is something that recurs. As newbies, we usually took it as some oversight on our part when we bumped up against some genealogical wall. After all, there are those brick walls that people write about. On the other hand, some of the walls that we have seen were not brick at all, in fact, one is an ongoing affair with resolution pending several factors clicking. Not genealogical; rather, we seem to be seeing issues of personalities and their differences (see Ethics, the next post). As said several times, one of  us has no pedigree so cares less for those games that relate to that type of one-up-man-ship (who's better?). We'll get back to this. 

BTW, want to contribute, we are updating the Thomas Gardner Profile on WikiTree with regard to Thomas and Margaret and the kids and more. We have a couple of G2G posts that are on-going. 

Oh yes, what's scholarly (back to Slavak Yankee's post)?  Our offering is Gardner Research and The Gardner Annals. Contributors, of all fashion, are welcomed. 

Remarks: Modified: 05/02/2021

05/02/2021 -- We need to move to a focus on the frontier century where lots of families obtained their hole in the paper trail. But, these can be bridged. As well, we can look at modern examples as a type of juxtaposition: Two different times

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

11th December

We completed our tenth year in 2019 and did a list of posts going backward to the 2010 start: 

In the images in those three post, the posts are in reverse order by year, month, and the day of the post. 

The following image has the proper order and shows the post title for those that were published in December of each year from 2010 to 2019. From this, we can get some sense of the focus as each of those year ends. Too, we can pick some of these themes and expand upon them. 

Most years, we had an issue of Gardner's Beacon in December. That would be a regular occurrence. We have another issue of Gardner Annals in preparation which ought to be more regular. Every year we had had a summary of posts that reported the most-read posts within 30 days and from the start. In years when this did no appear in December, it was published in January of the next year. 

Remarks: Modified: 12/09/2020

12/09/2020 --