TL;DR -- We revisit some work from a decade ago that we let go due to other demands on time and resources. But, having created a proper basis for future work, we can take a look again in all of these type of situations so as to tie up loose ends, somewhat. In this case, a name got our attention; but, we could not show a relationship. However, now we can in the more full sense that the 250th of the Revolution will allow. Assuming that technology continues to work, as well.
Back in the beginning, we were putting together a list of descendants on the Wikipedia page. This work was back in the 2009 timeframe and was done by browsing the internet, looking at the work of others. At that time, the queries were manual. Nowadays, things have changed quite a bit to the point where one can run apps to do something similar. This can be discussed. Lo and behold, get enough automated stuff and wonders ensue (or pigs fly - we'll go on about this, in the context that is being called AIn't).
Later, this approach was criticized, so we moved our list out. See References and Thomas, the son, as an example. Each of these descendant pages links to the other siblings. For the most part, we did not add anyone that we could not show support for. This post is about one of those possible descendants. Also, we changed the references to point to Anderson's work plus WikiTree which is using Dr. Frank's material. Of course, we need to reference and organize pointers to lots of work done by families over the years. That will be a major bit of work. Including, we might add, results from the work of Gardner Research.
Now, one name that we ran into was Brig-General Joseph Gardner Swift, the first graduate of West Point. The name is a tip off, but we couldn't find an association with Thomas Gardner of Salem, easily. After all, he could have been of one of the other Gardner families. So, we put off adding him to the list.
Finally, today (22 Sep 2022), as we were looking at work of others (one with a last update of 2013), we saw the name which looked familiar. He is Swift-4880 on WikiTree.
Looking at the General's record, one sees lots of Essex County and Nantucket families mentioned. Now, on WikiTree, we can see that he is not a descendant of Thomas Gardner of Salem. However, in the graph, if one steps back a couple of generations and does a descendants list, one see lots of Gardner nodes which indicate that the General had lots of aunts and uncles (and cousins) who were descendants of Thomas.
So, this case is a perfect example of looking at collateral families to find information about the times and places related to a research subject. Doing that can work the other way and help find ancestors via their relations.
Having been born in 1783, the General as too young to participate in the Revolution. But, he was actively involved with events prior the the western boom. He was in several places and has been associated with major projects. He was in Tennessee for a while trying to farm cotton. There is a lot more to discuss. Rather than go further west, the General went back to New York to apply his skills to railroading which became the backbone of the nation.
09/23/2022 -- This is an example, along with Col. TW Higginson and Prevet Gen. WJ Worth, of the blended family that was so common due to the problems of the time.