Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Old, and new, planter

TL;DR -- We heard new information two days ago. In the spirit of progressive steps, we did a post summarizing the finds and how they were to influence our positions. With further reading and research, we note that our course was not off the line. We need minor corrections. But, questions answered are only a few compared to the questions that just opened. So, that's the fun of life and research. 


Two days ago, I saw that changes had been made to the Thomas Gardner profile on WikiTree. The discussion was in an adjoining G2G which is the mean to coordinate discussion, research, and modifications. 

Bob Dunlap, four-times descendant of Richard, spend a few hours going through several years, from the late 1500s through the 1630s, of the parish records in Sherborne, Dorset, England where we had seen the marriage record of Thomas Gardner and Margaret Fryer. We had a post in 2014 which announced the discovery that digitization had been done by John Cook. 

See our post from two days ago: New not old planter. It has links to sources for referenced material. Too, please bounce to the Remarks for this day, 03/15/2023, where we start to add to our list of questions which were in a FAQ.  

After having some time for review, we are stating that our position to this new information: Old, and new, planter. The difference between these is discussed in the post (above link). As well, this discovery of Bob's is great for several reasons. 

Thomas, Margaret, 
marriage, the children

It got the debate back on the table. WikiTree has split the profile in two. One deals with the Thomas Gardner of this organization who is the father of the children. The other is about the Thomas Gardner who was associated with the Dorchester Company's effort at Cape Ann. This is great, as we can separate the focus for research. 

Our initial reaction? Again. Old, and new, planter. 

Another benefit is that we now know where to go to research the origins of Thomas and Margaret. Too, we can broaden our research in that area so include collateral families that might be from the region. We had already spent some time learning about the area. 

Too, we have heard from Thomas Gardner descendants whose ancestor went back to England. That could open the door to further investigation, locally. 

Here is the start of new questions. As well, we will close out questions that are resolved now. The FAQ will be updated. 

  • Does the gap (three years) between the births of John and Samuel allow time for participation in the activity of the Dorchester effort at Cape Ann? 
  • Too, could Thomas Gardner not being in the "old planter" list indicate his status of having left after being at Cape Ann and not being involved with Salem? 
  • Associated with this would be: what was the status of Margaret and the kids (Thomas, George, Richard, and John) while Thomas was away from Sherborne? 
  • Was she and the four boys here, enjoying the idyllic life of Cape Ann? 
  • Did the bap record for John indicate a delayed (giving him as a minor?) report by Thomas after he (or even they) got back? 
  • Could Thomas have left before Margaret was in child with John (not knowing)? 
  • ...

Again, thanks to Bob Dunlap for the work. He looked at hundreds of images, but, as he wrote, he only had to look for a couple of names per image. Then, thanks to Joe Cochoit for editing the profile for Thomas. It had been a mess for a while as there was no clear way through the controversies developed over the years. We intend to revisit these as the history of the research is of interest to us, as well. 

Remarks: Modified: 03/26/2023

03/26/2023 -- See not Square one? We will rearrange the knowns and the discussion of the unknowns and what to do. Then, proceed from that place. We' ll put more effort into the 1st generation and the connection to the families of the time. 

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