Friday, September 23, 2022

Blended family

TL;DR -- Along the way, we have noticed that the family of one father and one mother, through all time, was more unusual than the blended type of family. We look at a couple of examples. Too, researching along a parallel path between families can help one find data. 


Thomas had two spouses, Margaret and Damaris. Margaret had one husband and was the mother of the Gardner children. Damaris has two husbands. Her children were with the first. Even with that, there has been some controversy over the years. Gardner Research got more information about Margaret, her parents, her birth, plus the marriage record. There still are open questions about the first husband of Damaris (see Samuel Shattuck). 

Part of the problem is that sources are sparse many times. Too, the 20th century gave us means and time and motivation to research. In the latter part, the computer brought complication. Yesterday, we were looking at some possible descendants. For instance, see Brig Gen J G Swift who had been on a descendants list a decade ago but which we could not prove. Now, we can show that there are Gardners (descendants of Thomas) who are closely related. But, the General is not a descendant. 

There have been other cases like this where the husband had multiple wives and the wives had multiple husbands. And, some had children by multiple spouses. And so, the fun. Let's look at two. 

We can start with Col. T.W. Higginson, who was the President of the Old Planters Society, helped support John Brown and the establishment of Kansas (State and University), who worked with Dr. Frank on The Massachusetts Magazine, and more. We will be paying more attention to him as we structure the Gardner story that will persist while being supported. His case is the blended family where the wife who was a Gardner died; Col T.W.H was from the second wife (see the 1st image in the Col TWH post). So, blended family with step relationships. 

This may also have been the case with Brig Gen Swift.  

Another example is the namesake of Fort Worth, namely General W. J. Worth. Notice, in 2012, we took him off of the descendants list as he has the "step" relationship with family members who were descendants. 

Williams Jenkins Worth
In many cases, the work is to map the children with the parents. When there is some importance involved, one family may make the effort to clarity these situations. Say, like the Dudley family, whose work has been helpful on several occasions. One adage is that by looking at the more prominent and public persons, one can find more information many times that might be useful. 

This situation was more common than not, perhaps even the norm, for the time. Given that we are going to honor collateral families, we will use a broad definition which is more than in-law. However, for lineage, of course, one has to follow the sources and what they say about the relationships which need to be biologically framed. 

Remarks: Modified: 09/28/2022

09/24/2022 --  Updated Col. W. J. Worth's post (from 2012) using information from WikiTree. 

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