Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Family Search

TL;DR -- Looking at the Northwest Territory, which is far east of the Northwest Territories of Canada, we saw questions arise that we can pursue further. For instance, tracing a family some of whose members went west we got back to Connecticut and then Philadelphia. Some of the tracking issues involve changes in governmental overview over the 150 years to the Revolution and the 250 years after. Technology has offered the means to tie information together, across time and space, in interesting ways. An example is Family Search which we have used from the beginning. 


We have used Family Search from the beginning our endeavors, which led to the Thomas Gardner Society, Inc., such that it's now our first line of research after WikiTree. Of late, we have been researching families that moved inward starting with the creation of the new nation. But, to get the proper perspective, we found that we need to step back a decade or two which would include New Spain and New France. But, too, we need New Netherlands and New Sweden. More on that later in the post. 

U.S. and its interior

So, we got this feed which showed two guys talking about a video which had been run on a computer. The video showed a ship going from the Dutch country in Europe that ended up at Long Island. Then, there was mention of house built in an area or on a road with the name of Greenwich. Turns out that the builder of the house was the eighth-great of one of the men, an actor. The other? Not associated with ancestry[.]com or NEHGS, such as we saw with WDYTYA or Finding your roots or several others. 

No, this scene had been sponsored by Family Search and published on Youtube (it was CEO Steve Rockwood). Here is the video: Matthew Modine Discovers His New York Roots. It is a short bit. We didn't look further but recognized an interesting fact. The actor lives in Greenwich village That's several generations later. Too, that we have associations with people over the water cannot be forgotten. 


Now, New York. Just the other day, we were looking at the area of the Dutch settlement. One reason was looking at some activity in the Northwest Territory in the very early 1800s and noticing New England names. You see, both in the 1600s and in the 1700s, New England (north - Plymouth Colony and Cape Ann) expanded several times. Two of interest are when New York came under the Province of New England. Later, the nebulous notion of who owned what settled and we got areas with names and took up the duties of management. We will be looking at all of this more closely. 

Here is a related map.  

There are several versions of this map, but we used it in a post with respect to the early times that helped hone the carving of land discipline (see Practice for carving). Notice all of the cede activities that went on. States in the east though they owned land out west (see Connecticut Western Reserve). Virginia thought it extended to the Rockies though they had not been that far out. 

Now, let's look at one more. This is from the same post and shows the U.S. in its entirety at the time of the Revolution with only New England marked. Lot of the area in red had been under New France and was seriously changed after the French-Indian event. We can see the extent of New Spain.  

Now, the point is that in the red and orange, later, came families from the east (and overseas), with our focus, for now, being on New England (in its extended mode). After all, Ohio country is in the red and was there at the time of Revolution. As in, settlement had started. Going further west, the Territory of Michigan was in the red abutted by the Territory of Missouri in the orange. 

When we get to the orange, we are talking a later time and different technology, yet the same types of families were involved. We used the Bents a couple of years ago (see Trapper, trader, rancher). And, the mode of arrival had been by land (see Western expansion). Some was by sea (see Water and air). One focus has been to track families out of New England, to the West, Southwest and South (recognizing that there had been movement northward, too). 

But, looking further at the water ways (other than the multitude of rivers), we know about the Islands, such as Gardiner's. We saw that the southern territories had their island counterpart (see Fifteen colonies). We wondered about travel from Nantucket to Salem, for instance, by water, which would be faster than by land give the right boat and sailor. Too, though, all of those regions near Long Island are accessible by water, including Philadelphia. A ferry from Nantucket to Philadelphia nowadays takes somewhat over seven hours. 


One interest, as mentioned, came from following a family back from the Northwest Territory, in particular Michigan which was covered in The Massachusetts Magazine) to CT and then PA. In the beginning, administration of an area was run from the east coast. This is one of many examples. As we were doing the work, we made sure to identify Gardners out of Essex County when we could, including Thomas of Salem descendants. So far, we have barely touched upon the topic. But, we see parallels, as we did with the Southern folks (see The almost forgotten). As well, we will watch for existing research, as we see with the Biddle family of Philadelphia. There was a personality of this family mentioned in the news a while back whose ancestry include Plymouth Colony (Mayflower). Too, we see evidence of the family's presence in various ways, such as a house (on Mackinaw Island). 

Back to Family Search and its way. We have used WikiTree to expand the graphing portion of our work, such as presenting Dr. Frank's research about his material ancestry. Too, we have been working on expanding the children's progeny out to five generations or so. Besides RootsTech, we will be appreciative of the support that Family Search gives to the study of history and the families involved. 

Remarks: Modified: 11/29/2022

11/29/2022 -- 

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Plymouth Colony

TL;DR -- Hist of Mass always comes across with good information. Today, the FB feed pushed a 2017 blog post our way to which we paid attention. Nice timeline. With a map, of the area. One could probably think of the feed's logic (algorithmic rumblings) should one choose. Not. A theme can be mentioned, though, farming. 


Or the timeline, thereof. We have several timelines, such as the one related to the 400th commemorations that started this year with Weymouth and next year with Gloucester. 

This post has a Thanksgiving theme (who was first? ;>), as it involves foods and feasts. We will be looking at farming in the northern colonies as one focus on technology. Subsistence farming was the norm until the early 1800s. But, that means more than a family providing for itself. We had local (even regional) markets for farm goods early on. Too, the Cape Ann crew's intent to come over was mainly to farm and ship produce back. So, we cannot leave that theme. Besides, going forward into the grand future, people will be eating. 

In 2017, History of Massachusetts blog created a timeline for the Plymouth Colony. The feed at FB showed it to us today (don't we love being driven by algorithms?). It has a real good graphic which will become the norm with the internet maturing (finally). As one looks around at papers and discussions, one sees systems thinking coming forth as opposed to that make-havoc-break-china mode of the past two decades. 

BTW, with respect to our themes, 'feed' was only mentioned once. That had to do with an early shortage which caused rations to be to be more strictly rationed. Cape Ann had a similar problem after more people came with Endicott and without proper thought for supplying themselves. Before then, the colonists were making it though the capitalist's expectations may not have been met. 

Also, earlier, Virginia had a real hard time trying to get started. Oh yes, it as the Berkeley Hundred that thought to celebrate after twelve long years. 

The details are great, in the map. It took a moment to get the drift as Essex wasn't there. Well, it's clipped and under the "Massachusetts Bay (1630)" label. 

In our last post, see Lydia Maria Child, we were looking at the Francis family which is Lydia's ancestry. The family is mentioned in a large number of Counties including Barnstable which is visible in this graphic. Nantucket was mentioned, too, which is visible in the lower portion. 

Remarks: Modified: 11/24/2022

11/24/2022 -- 

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Lydia Maria Child

TL;DR -- Over the 400 years of our interest, we will be looking at people and events, here, there and everywhere. That goes with the long reach of New England. This post looks at someone from the seventh generation who was involved with several matters of long-standing concern. L. M. Child is of long New England pedigree as is her husband.


Book reviews can be a great resource. We don't always pay attention, as life is full of multiple areas of concern that need attention. But, the WSJ (weekend edition of the Wall Street Journal) has been a constant supplier of reviews of good books, that is, ones pertinent to our interests. For this post, we can point to three of these. One is that the childless can become lost as who pays attention down the pike? Lydia and her husband had no offspring. We have mentioned this interest several times, say with respect to Joseph and Ann - see Aunts, Uncles, Cousins which is from 2012 and needs some updating. Note, though, others have been added, such as Charles Alcott Flagg, friend of Dr. Frank and contributor to The Massachusetts Magazine

There are a couple more interests of many which we will itemize and discuss next year being motivated by the next 100 after the 400th commemorations cease, down the pike. The other two interests deal with identifying Essex County (Cape Ann) influences over the U.S. and the world, even today. So, that entails recognizing names of New England families in various contexts and looking for the specifics. The other is to find family associations within the large collection related to Thomas and Margaret (Fryer) Gardner. In this case, we have already found some but will keep those particularities out of focus for later. 

WBUR (news station, Boston) provides the following quote. 

BTW, we are finding that becoming stale is the norm for the web links and their offspring. This usually is only an inconvenience until one considers that what gets into place after the target of the scale link disappears. That can be problematic and will be covered under the topic of technology going forward. 

Here's the quote: 

  • Lydia Moland: "Lydia Maria Child: A Radical American Life" tells the story of what brought Child to this moment and the extraordinary life she lived in response. Through Child’s example, philosopher Lydia Moland asks questions as pressing and personal in our time as they were in Child’s: What does it mean to change your life when the moral future of your country is at stake? When confronted by sanctioned evil and systematic injustice, how should a citizen live? Child’s lifetime of bravery, conviction, humility, and determination provides a wealth of spirited guidance for political engagement today. 

The Frugal Housewife
by Lydia M Child
Information about Lydia Child is available many places (Wikipedia, WikiTree). She is the author of a popular poem; too, she wrote The Frugal Housewife, an early example of self-help. Her parents were Convers Francis and Susanna Rand. With respect to point #1, WikiTree does not have her heritage filled in as it could be since she does had New England families in her tree. So, we'll look at that. 
It ought to be an interesting bit of research. We can start here, with the VR of Medford which is in Middlesex County under the "Francis" surname for which there are several entries. 
  •  Lydia, d. Convers and Susanna, Feb. 11, 1802. ["took, when baptized, the name Lydia Maria" [w. David L. Child, Esq.] "the author of several valuable works," PR13]
The 'Francis' surname appears in Barnstable, Berkshire, Bristol, Dukes, Essex, Hampden, Middlesex, Nantucket, Norfolk, and Worcester Counties of Massachusetts. Okay?


We have looked a little at Lydia and her family. Let's stop to consider the times that she was born into. Recently, we did a look at veterans throughout the time of the U.S. (see Veterans Day) and showed a graphic of the conflicts. According to that source, the Revolution ran from 1775 to 1783. Lydia was born 21 years after the end of the revolution. The next conflict started in 1812, so she would have been aware of that war. Also, we had next the Mexican War and the Civil War. Now, Lydia was an early abolitionist as was her husband. We will get back to that as the extended family had a lot to do with the opposition to slavery. 

As an aside, Great Britain started the anti-slavery effort which we will look into. The U.S. had some involvement in the industry of slavery but pulled out of it. Needless to say, slavery still exists in our world. We really need to give credit to the folks of New England (they are legion) who worked and gave their lives for the effort, as we continue the efforts toward a more just life for everyone.   

So expect that we will continue our efforts at identifying abolitionists and other positions to be applied to new material about new people plus we will be going back for another look at what has been done so far in this regard. 


On the other side of things, 1804 was the year that Lewis & Clark got their sojourn going. They went down the Ohio River to St. Louis before running up the Missouri River. People were already going west, mostly for fur trading and exploring in the beginning. Boone himself was doing interesting things. We will be touching upon these themes as we continue our research. 

One category to keep in mind as we go forward deals with generations. The fifth were the core of the Revolution. The sixth were born but too young. The early seventh is where we would place Lydia. As we fill in more information about her, we will post updates. 

We will look at the family of Lydia's husband as well as that of the Francis family using the time of Lydia as a reflective point. 

Remarks: Modified: 12/29/2022

12/29/2022 -- Ipswich, MA led the way in settling Ohio post the Revolution.  

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Rails of steel

TL;DR -- In the territory of the U.S., whether the colonial times or after, people have trekked along trails leaving tracks. Technology brought us several ways to make tracks more permanent, namely the railroad and the road are examples. The rails? In the1880s (later part), there was rail from coast to coast (let's say, one thread of such though there was already a network of such) that supported passable traffic, to a degree. Mountains and rivers continued to be an inhibitor of traffic. Accomplishments related to these facilities took lots of blood, sweat and tears. And, remembrance of that is important; first, though, we need acknowledgement of the deeds. That suggests knowing details beyond mere generalization. 


We just had a post (Trails and tracks) on the trail of notoriety that crossed the middle U.S. and ended up at a terminus of another trail that came out of Mexico (New Spain) and was much longer. The New Spain route was part of the Camino Real system. We will look further at that topic. 

With respect to other types of tracks, the railroad (see Recap, again) comes to mind as it spread over the landscape. We have a graphic which show the growth by marking the post offices as they moved with the rails. See Pace of change. These two, the railroad and the post office, are types of technology that were (are and will be) of importance. 

Today, Woodbury Historical Tours shared a link to a monument on Donner Summit  The site is dedicated to the Chinese workers who came over to help build the railroad and were the largest group of laborers. Near the monument is the "China Wall" which is a retaining wall built by hand. There were two walls. Additionally, tunnels were dug out by hand.  

Of course the Pass was infamous earlier in the century. However, it still is fierce in the winter and creates havoc for traffic of all sorts. An interstate through that area experiences frequent closings. By April, snow banks are piled high on the side of the road. 

As mentioned, the Chinese workers were by far the largest group. Comparatively, several other groups stand out, such as the Irish. There is a monument to this group in the next state: Irish Railroad Workers

We might take a relook at the industry since John is from a railroad family. There are plenty of other jobs related to this accomplishment which is usually associated with names like Stanford in the West and Cornelius Vanderbilt in the East, of the U.S. 

We might use the Katy Railroad as an example as it has already come up in reference to the long reach of New England. Too, population centers shifted as the railroad made decisions about routes. Today, one finds long paths in many places where rails were lifted so that walkers and bikers can traverse the resulting trail. U.S. and railroads go way back. 

Earlier, we had a post about the Woodbury Historical Tours as we ran into their posts while browsing different subject. That was a nice thing to find. On the other hand, Woodbury was a Cape Ann family. We have not explored that aspect as of yet.  See Tours, of the real. One motivation for that post was something they wrote mentioning the Bents who we looked at earlier. And, their approach appealed for several reasons. A main one? In this day and age, we need to 'ground' lots of information and rhetoric by specific effort due to the influence that technology can have on our grasp of what is. 

That's another discussion best left for another day. 

Remarks: Modified: 11/16/2022

11/16/2022 -- 

Friday, November 11, 2022

Trails and tracks

TL;DR -- Trekking on the Santa Fe Trail started in 1821 at St. Louis MO. The traffic grew during the years up to the Civil War. Post the conflict, the railroad made its incursion which ended the majority of the traffic. Some still had this as their only recourse. However, the terminus of the Santa Fe Trail was on another trail that had been in operation since 1598 and was in New Spain that will be a continuing topic in our look at the long reach of New England. Too, going forward lots of effort by conservation groups has saved artifacts from the earlier periods. This focus will continue to be necessary.  


For awhile, we have been looking at the many commemorations that are in progress or will happen. The Cape Ann crew's arrival will be next up for the 400th. But, we have the 250th to consider, and even more, such as the 200th which is a few generations post the Revolution (250th). 

Last year was the 200th of the first trek by the eastern culture from St. Louis MO to Santa Fe NM along what became the popular trail. The trail went from the U.S., which had grown post Jefferson's purchase of the Louisiana Territory, to New Spain.  

To quote the Santa Fe Trail Association: "In 1821, the Santa Fe Trail became America's first great international commercial highway, and for nearly sixty years thereafter was one of the nation's great routes of adventure and western expansion." This association formed a few decades ago and has collected an astounding mixture of technology with which to tell the story of the times and the people who were involved. 

In terms of the later, they have been nominations for a Hall of Fame. On our review of the list, today, we saw many familiar names, some of whom are well-known characters of the American West, such as Kit Carson, Zebulon Pike, and more. The Bent family and others have been mentioned in this blog in the context of the long reach of New England. 

Also, the Association publishes a newsletter which is available online: Wagon Tracks (online list of issues). They have published since 1986. The latest issue (Wagon Tracks, Aug 2022) included an article on measuring distance traveled which looked at one invented by Ben Franklin. This article is an example of a technology focus which we will keep to the fore. In this case, miles were the enemy more so than others that are known, such as weather. We have looked at rivers and other waters as a means for travel as well as being a barrier.  

May 2021 issue of
Wagon Tracks
The image comes from an issue from 2021 (Wagon Tracks, May 2021). 

Another source for information is the Kansas Historical Society whose state is crossed diagonally by the trial. We have referenced this source before; an example was our earlier look at Col. Thomas W. Higginson who was from New England and was out in Kansas supporting abolitionism and John Brown.  

There are many persons to look at. Right now, let's consider Isaac Bowen and his wife Katie. He was in the military and brought his wife with him as he did his duties in several locations. She kept a diary and wrote to her mother on a regular basis. This is the KSH Overview of Santa Fe Trail Diaries - Katie Bowen. In 1996, the KHS published the diaries which is available for public reading: A Faithful Account of Everything

Their first visit out west was pre-Civil War and about the time of Col. Higginson. Post the conflict, there was another dynamic related to technology, the railroad. The National Park Service provides a timeline from 1866-1873 which is interactive and provide information by time and place with respect to the trail. As the railroad came in, people road the train to the endpoint of its rails and then continued in the mode of laborious travel. 

Unto this point, we have looked at New England and flow from east to west toward the southwest. We will be looking further at the northern route, too, as we take a deeper look at Oregon. Even up there, we will be considering New Spain as the extent of the U.S. was not the west coast until later. 

The Santa Fe Trail ended at a terminus of Camino Real in New Mexico whose existence needs more attention since it gets us more aware of European activity in Texas and points west. The trail used by Butterfield and others ran along those southern routes that were pioneered by New Spain and before them, the American Indians. The Camino Real is traversed today in a north-south direction from El Paso TX to Albuquerque NM. 

Just like we can see wagon wheel ruts today along the route of the Santa Fe Trail in areas where development has not blotted out the past, the same is true for those earlier travelers along the Spanish trails. An example can be see at Fort Selden with tracks along El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro still visible.  

Our interest is primarily New England but with scope large enough to cover the prior periods thoroughly. Our southern border, from TX to CA, has a lot of history still to be told, where generalization does not trump truth.  

The southern trail ran from 1820s to the 1880s. Putting this into the context of generations, that was post Jefferson's purchase and during the start of the push to the west where we had a century of frontier experiences in many places with results such as lost generations

Remarks: Modified: 11/12/2022

11/12/2022 --  We need to add New France into the triad in order to know how the U .S. is a phenomenal experiment in the experience of being, inner and outer. In other words, our focus will be on the long reach of New England but with a context filled in as only the internet will allow. 

Monday, November 7, 2022

Veterans Day

TL;DR -- Veteran? We forgot the connection to 'Armistice' that was there in the beginning. We have covered topics related to this theme from the beginning but mainly point to the work of late. Related to the conflicts are the generations involved. A chart looking at the timeline rolls several generations together in a range of birth years. Our view, taking that route, tries to pull out this detail, such as the 5th generation (say, from Cape Ann) bore the brunt of the Revolution while the 4th led, and some of the 6th participated. In any case, we can see the endless nature of this aspect of ourselves. 


In the spring, we have started posts related to Memorial Day (2019, 2020, 2021, 2022) which occurs on the last weekend of May, in the U.S. The holiday, early on, had a Civil War focus. Some of our posts were of that category: Jonathan LettermanYoung captain, Secret Six, STL to SFO (using a modern vernacular), and others. 

We only have had one with a Veteran's Day theme: Dr. Frank's burial place. Given the memorial focus, we also have had several posts on cemeteries and their issues: Howard Street Burial Ground. Several posts were involved with the theme of "Where is Thomas?" that involved a decade-long quest to understand what happened to the old burial plot noted by Sidney Perley and others. 

In particular, the focus of Veteran's Day is related to military service and the sacrifices thereof. Originally, this day was a remembrance of World War I: Victory Gardens, Ground zeroFrank Balch, James Bryant Conant, and more. 

Indirectly, we have mentioned other conflicts of a wider, than personal, nature. After all, the tragedies and turmoil of the western movement were huge individually and collectively. We who look back have no notion of the extent of this (say, pondering the English Wigwam of early New England). Too, conflict with the American Indian was almost constant. 

Yet, there have been major conflicts that impacted the whole of the U.S. from before and after the frontier century. We are coming upon the 250th of the Revolution (see SAR/DAR). After that, there was the continuation in the events of the War of 1812. 

These recurrences are generational in scope. We will spend more time looking at this. The fifth generation bore the brunt of the Revolution; the sixth endured the 1812 problems. In general, generations will be of interest an almost uncountable number of reasons. The existence of Mayflower data has brought to fore several types of analysis: About generations

So, to the theme of the post, what is a veteran? We have the general definition related to being old or experienced. But, the norm now ties the word to a military usage, hence the Department of Veterans Affairs of the U.S. Rather than point to the [dot]gov site, we let Wikipedia show its stuff with respect to coverage of something. 

Today, on Facebook (which seemed to come from the blog post that references Flickr which shrugs its shoulders (404) - we need a new focus - show provenance, give credit), I saw this chart which shows the conflicts which the U.S. has been involved with. Then, for each, it provides the expected birth year and a range. At the same time, the span of time for serving in the military during the time of each conflict is given. 

The chart only goes to the Vietnam era. There, participants were born from 1914 to 1955. As we saw, there were some WWI, but mostly WWII and Korean veterans were serving in the military. The civilian population had a different mixture. Over a two-century span (remember, the Viet event is the context), the nine conflicts amount to over four conflicts per century which maps to conflict one per generation. 

Let's see, has that carried on or accelerated?  

We will continue to help document details from these past conflicts as we go forward with the several observances that are annual. At the same time, we have to bring in the world view, starting with our British cousins. Four hundred years ago, while our forefathers dabbled in a new environment and survived, that old world shook continually with conflicts, large and small. Some of that tension came over here over the long period.  

Remarks: Modified: 11/12/2022

11/12/2022 --  We will follow one veteran and his spouse as they venture west over the timeframe that included the Civil War and events before and after. That, too, brings in New Spain and New France

Saturday, November 5, 2022

Guy Fawkes Day

TL;DR -- Guy Fawkes may have supporters in the U.S. still. But, other events might have similar appeal. Do celebrating these aggravate folks and inhibit aggregative efforts? 


If one goes to Facebook (Meta's toy), one see lots and lots of organizations and people giving their contributions to the growing information pile. For good or bad? Well, we'll let Elon Musk fight that battle. 

What we see is that technology involved with the explosion is giving ordinary people the chance to tell their tales, of self or family or others. Too, some are using the mode for commercial purposes related to profit. There are too many permutations to list and keep focus. For us, we see that the TGS, Inc. is using the mode as a means for non-profit ways. And, in several ways is this being done. 

For one thing, we'll be contributing historical items of many sorts. Too, we will look across time and space in ordinary ways, and not, to discuss associations that history ignores. These are endless. What will filter, eventually if at all? Well, who knows. We are all on a learning trek. 

And, AIn't? It'll be seen as a tool when wisdom raises its head, again. In the meantime, we'll persist. 

So, FB's prompt today? Guy Fawkes (our post, last year, was British Cousins). For more information on the supplier of today's post, see 250 Years America's Founding. There are many sites dealing with this subject. One we like to remind people of are those related to the work of S.A.R. and D.A.R. Last year, there were four years left in the countdown; now, we have three. 

Guy Fawkes Night? The 1605 event is still celebrated. In the post, the 250-Years folk talk about the colonial aspects as well as Gen. Washington's efforts to control the emotion in the ranks of the military.   

Celebrating Guy Fawkes had become a habit in the colonies starting in 1623. Gen. Washington did not think it proper to continue this during the conflict especially if allies were offended. 

Of note is that William & Mary came to England on Guy Fawkes Day in 1688. 

So, today? Lots of analogs apply in this day of turmoil of types not seen before. 'How can we remain civil?", for one thing. 

Aside: last year, we did not stress Guy Fawkes enough. 

Remarks: Modified: 11/05/2022

11/05/2022 --