Tuesday, June 21, 2022

400th, finally

TL;DR -- It's been a long time coming, that is, the 400th, albeit Florida (New Spain) had its 500th. So, we do a little recap. Technology now differs tremendously from when the Salem group did their little pageant. We can jump the waters to research. Interesting articles are popping up. Veracity? Provenance? Those are continual issues needing constant attention. The days of dreaming of internet heaven might have produced somethings of note but not as much as we would like. Chimeras abound. Despite all of that, the 400ths (across the board in MA, we are talking decades of partying) ought to be fun and full of promise of better things to come. 


Our first post on the 400th was early on our website: Recent 400th Anniversaries. That had been motivated by reading about the 300th anniversary. And, of course, we had to mention Florida's 500th. Then, as time went along, the Pilgrim's 2020 came along. 

With that, there was cooperative efforts between those here and those in the older realm. Earlier, we saw Virginia with it look back. But, the difference now is technology. So, expect a much wider variance in activities, analysis, and reports. An example is the post at Enduring Gloucester by Mary Ellen Lepionka who is researching the history of the Cape Ann endeavor. That post gave us a chance to make comment in which we pointed to Gardner Research and its efforts. 

One thing that we did was try to establish some notion of what we know. That effort started in 2012 after we got a little bit of experience. There was lots of ground to cover. By 2014, we had attention brought to Margaret as mother of the children that we know. At the same time, we made contributions on WikiTree to Thomas Gardner's profile and that of his descendants. Too, we attempted a FAQ that needs updating. 

As said, there is a lot to do. One task will be reviewing work over the past decade and firming up the material due to the changes that occur as one studies a topic. Some of the earlier references are not longer of the same identifying scheme (results of what can be called refactoring) or are missing (or perhaps moved). 

So, it is the first day of summer and 1/2 of the year is gone. Weymouth's 400th was this year. According to some, Cape Ann (via Gloucester) will be next year. There may have been people there before; definitely, we have seen 1624 used, as well. So, that is something that will be firmed up this time around. As in, the 200th was of the time of the period between the Revolution and the 1812 conflict. Going back, the 100th was just post the Salem madness associated with witches. 

Then, the 300th? WWI and the Spanish Flu. For the Gardners, Dr. Frank's works stand tall. His The Massachusetts Magazine was phenomenal and will get more attention. He got a lot of old Salem to participate and contribute to that effort. But, 1917/8 was the last issue after a decade of continual work. As we go forward from here (after a brief pause that was not a hiatus), we will attempt to be several things including a clearing house for research, note counsel on things Cape Ann and Gardner, at the forefront of using technology to close information gaps, and more. Part of the regular activity will be looking at current themes. 

Here are two that came from the same search related to "Dorchester Company - Cape Ann - arrival" a (reminder: this is Google'ish; results will differ by the search facility or parameter mix). There are so many hits to wade through, that we'll have to figure out a newer method (hint, ML might be of interest - without the AIn't baggage). 

So, on Roger Conant, we have a new site and a recent post: 56. ‘A whirlwind and wonderful trip’ to Roger Conant’s birthplace. With photos galore, this deals with the visit by a descendant to Roger's stomping grounds. Okay, the Mayflower group had done that. One thing that came from the effort was coordination with regard to what was worth seeing as well as historically established veracity (have to use that as Harvard will play heavy in our future schemes). 

Roger Conant
the Peacemaker
But, there was, too, this gem: Roger Conant on Cape Ann -- Part I: The Dorchester Company. It is from 2019 and by Mary Ellen Lepionka (noted above). It mentions the relationship between Rev. John White and Thomas Gardner which is an open issue in the sense of several views are extant, none of which have entirely proven their case. But, not to bother too much, as this is what John does; he has no ax to grind being of late-coming families (post the Civil War). Too, Ann has both Conant and Gardner (and many others) on her bundle of ancestors. 

Our conundrum, having looked at years of research and writing (all the back to Hubbard and before - plus the later stuff, say Anderson's work), what framework is there for dealing, more or less (and point in time - btw, that's not a waffle) permanently with regard to various factors such as provenance, with the subjects of such interest. You know, when we started there were lots of sites from the older days that looked to have interesting data. Well, wayback modes might apply. 

Otherwise, we are facing no more of a problem than any other discipline that has gone through adjustments brought by technology. 

BTW, the Conant site has some interesting pictures that we will use, with attribution. We have a recent example of a photo (western railroad theme) taken by the father of a member of a FB group for which we make full declaration of source; yet, he tells me that his father's photos have been used without any notice all over the place. Not on the topic? Wrong. We have messes that need attention in order to have a sustainable future, such as the one set by the likes of Thomas and Margaret Gardner. 

Remarks: Modified: 06/21/2022

06/21/2022 --

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