Friday, April 22, 2022

William S. Barstow

TL;DR -- As we look at how New England grew up and expanded, our focus will always contain families as well as the more abstract notions that are always involved after being conjured up by the brains. That is an universal dynamic. A look at one family and a town with their name brought up some "notables who lived there" lists that led to specific companies and activities. Of course, associations over the years accumulate to an almost endless potential for research. Filters, such as relevance, then kick in. But, for lessons to learn, an "a priori" position is almost never sufficient. 


For now, we'll just have some pointers to material that will support further research. Essentially, while looking at the upcoming 250th, with respect to origins (say, the Society of Cincinnati), we got back to New Hampshire. So, we can tie Patriots back to Cape Ann and other sites. Per usual, families are key in their many relationships over the decades and centuries. 

One of the Founders of the Society was a Gilman which is an early family, but later than Cape Ann. However, they are mixed in everywhere. For focus, we can start with Gilmanton which is a NH burg west of Exeter (btw, the researcher is a westerner used to wide-open skies (east is east, and west is west), so directions with respect to the geographic features of New England are to be considered fuzzy). Let's use two books:

The History of Gilmanton - from 1845, this can be read for free at Google. The opening index reads like a who-is-who. Pg 20 has a list of the Proprietors with a little bit of information about each. Some families, such as Cogswell (pg 258 on), Dudley and Eastman, give a little history of their colonial experience. 

Genealogy of the Greely-Greeley Family - from 1905, gives lots of detail in 911 pages. Access to this got us information about General A. W. Greeley whose crew was left in the Artic. He was a descendant of Sarah (Gardner) Balch. The team that later rescued what was left of his crew had one ship captained by a Coffin who Richard Gardner and Sarah Shattuck. This book has more information about how Gilmanton families relate. Again, freely readable. 

Now, taking this further, we mentioned Eastman who founded Eastman Kodak, now known as Kodak. As well, there was an Eastman Chemical company. Eastman's New York connections will be of interest, as well as those in other places in the U.S. and the world. 

For instance, following links are about a company founded by New Englanders who went south to New York. On looking further, there was Essex County involvement, as well. 

Three Mile Island
plant fact sheet
Gilbert was an engineering company that got caught up in the Three Mile Island incident but not in a direct fashion with their product. They were a consulting architect. So, this type of situation is worth looking at further, especially since there is a New England association. 

Too, we learn from history; bringing in family information is a new aspect; how all of the types of research that used digital sources pan out is an open issue and will be for a long while. 


After Gilbert Associates failed, many employees started new companies using the name. However, this link from a report by Oak Ridge indicates the work of the former company: Feasibility of an unattended nuclear power plant. The image is from a Fact Sheet that mentions Gilbert Associates with respect to Three Mile Island.  


A few more links give a brief overview of the transitions of the Company. The technology connection is interesting along with the New England originators of some involved parties. However, these links are to show the inception of the last name. 

  • 1934 (NYTimes) - Barstow changes name to E. M. Gilbert Engineering Corporation. This was the manager who came in after Barstow. 
  • 1936 (Department of Labor lawsuit) - Shows both names.  
  • 1942 (Federal Register, NYTimes) - Now Gilbert Associates; notice of lawsuit (July); then, action dropped(August) due to actions by parties concerned. 

Example of several things related to technology, complexity, information and more. Views of history and family interleave. 

Remarks: Modified: 04/23/2022

04/22/2022 -- On two of the links, the paper might have seen our query as resurrecting a page that was to go stale. Or, on closer look, there may be a subscriber step involved.  So, added a reference from Oak Ridge National Laboratory with references to Gilbert Associates as well as pointed to a Fact Sheet about the facility. 

04/23/2022 -- Added notes about the Company's transitions. Next, we'll look for some specifics of the New England ties as well as notice of the GA designs for components for nuclear plants. It would be interesting to see all of the offshoots from this one business. 

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