Friday, April 15, 2022

The American character

TL;DR --We saw a story about the missing riverman earlier but did not look further. There was a review of a recent recap by the New Yorker writer who had interviewed Richard Perry Conant several years prior to his accident. We took the time to trace Conant's pedigree back to Roger Conant of Cape Ann and Salem of MA. This is an example of others searches that we have done and plan to put the results of this type of activity into a better framework. Why? The 400 years of the U.S. (prior to and after the events of 250 years ago) tell many tales that (ought to) have an interest for us and our future. 


We have highlighted several individuals who were descendants of New England or Massachusetts or Cape Ann families and some of whom were descendants of Thomas Gardner. There is no special category, as of now, though there may be as we expand upon our research. 

Is there an American character? We think so. At some point, we'll start a category and discuss the unique qualities of each. Today's post looks at a recent example. 

We were reminded of Richard Perry Conant by a book review in the WSJ. The book was Riverman: An American Odyssey which can be previewed at Google and dealt with a canoeist who went missing in 2014. The journalist (Ben McGrath) who had interviewed Conant and others for an earlier book went back and completed the story. 

One of our interests, of course, was the rivers that he had traveled on in the west and in the east of the U.S. as we spent some time looking at rivers as they influenced the expansion of the American Frontier (Rivers and more). But we wanted to see if Conant was a descendant of the Cape Ann family. McGrath's books on Conant did have some information about his family and his life, but the information was sparse. Since Conant's father was Col. Perry Elmer Conant, we had a good start using military records.  

As an aside, Conant has a cousin of the same name who was from Greenfield, MA and who was born in 1949 and died in 2001. His ancestry is in the Conant book. We will look at the book, too, with respect to the canoeist's lineage. 

We found information about Col. Conant (for instance, Col. Perry Conant's findagrave) and can confirm that some see the link to Cape Ann. Findagrave mentions son John who died in 1981, so that matches. We will be looking further. Later in the post, we list Conant's ancestors back to a Profile in WikiTree. From there, we can look at the American stories. 

Here are some links with information: 

These provide lots of material about Conant and his solitary travels. We will get back to those stories. 

For now, we give a list of generations back to the WikiTree Profile. The family was in Canada, for a while, as the result of Loyalist's leanings. Col. Conant was a veteran of WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. He served in Germany. Knew Gen. Patton. 

So, this is an example how we would like to see research expand as we tell the tales covering 400 years and many generations. 

From Abel Conant, one gets back to New England via the 'Ancestors' chart. Richard Perry Conant, the canoeist, comes in as a descendant of Roger Conant via son Lot. 

Note: this is provisional until checked, again. 

Remarks: Modified: 04/12/2022

04/12/2022 --

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