Monday, May 29, 2023

Military Appreciation

TL;DR -- This month's focus is on the military. 


Appreciation requires awareness. This year, we have been more faithful in recognizing the various months. This is the theme for May: National Military Appreciation Month. States make Declarations about the month. 

This is Hawaii's 23rd, but they started their appreciation efforts in 1985. 

In the U.S., about 7% serve in the military. To truly explore the American dream, we could have a National Service requirement of many types, not just military.  

Remarks: Modified: 05/29/2023

05/29/2023 -- 

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Literary Gloucester

TL;DR -- Activities continue in Gloucester in commemoration of their 400th. Coming up this weekend is a tour related to literary activity that took place in the area. Familiar names were mentioned, so we went to look at our posts. 


We share this as a marker of the 400th of Gloucester which has been going on this year. With the warmer weather, a serious of tours are planned. One caught our attention as some of names have been mentioned in this blog. First, a quote from the site:

Gloucester has been home to great writers since at least the early nineteenth century when Judith Sargent Murray penned her feminist poems. T.S. Eliot, Nobel Prize winner, spent nearly every summer of his boyhood in Gloucester and themes of the sea often turn up in his poetry. Charles Olson and Vincent Ferrini maintained a poetic dialogue in the 20th century on just what it meant to be a good citizen. Add to these the authors who blew into Gloucester to write one work, like Rudyard Kipling and his “Captains Courageous,” Henry Wordsworth Longfellow with “The Wreck of the Hesperus,” or even genre horror author H.P. Lovecraft with “The Shadow over Innsmouth.”

The first name that comes to fore is Charles Olson about whom we wrote in 2014 and whom we mentioned a few times after that. T. S. Eliot had been mentioned as a friend of Ezra Pound. Then, we ran into H. P. Lovecraft as a possible subject late last year. H. W. Longfellow had been mentioned in the context of the start of The Atlantic. Too, he is related to Benjamin Wadsworth, former Head of Harvard. 

We will look further into the matter, starting with getting acquainted with the work of the Gloucester Writers Center


Note: See the post "In summary" with regard to pending changes in the stories of Thomas Gardner and Margaret Frye and their origins. 

Remarks: Modified: 05/23/2023

05/23/2023 -- 

Memorial Day, 2023

TL;DR -- Memorial Day represents many things. We will have this as a focus along with other themes as we go forward. This post looks at our thoughts, in May, for the past XII years. 


We have had a regular postings about Memorial Day since 2019 when we matched up a grave site of a Civil War veteran with his family. That is, using the new means, we got links in place to support further work. As we mentioned in the last post (Three years ago), we are in the post-Covid period where recovery looks to have started, many uncertainties still remain, and we all are watching how the future will develop. 

Normal human affairs, one might add. Carrying on with the review of the past decade's activities, we will look at a post from the month of May for each year. 

  • Memorial Day, 2022; Memorial Day, 2021; Memorial Day, 2020; Memorial Day, 2019
  • Old friends, 2018 -- we wondered what led to the demise of The Massachusetts Magazine which ceased publishing in 1918. We saw two possible factors: WWI; Spanish flu. In two years, we were to find out more about the latter from personal experience. 
  • May, 2017 -- we had a couple themes to look at. For one, Dr. Frank's sister, Lucie took over for Sidney Perley who had been involved in Essex County research. As well, we looked at the beginning of The Atlantic in Boston. 
  • Virginia, 2016 -- we called the settlement, New England south. There are interesting parallels including the emphasis on the west which was to become a regular focus in a couple of years. 
  • May, 2015 -- we had several research themes going from the Magna Carta, to the activities involved with the War of Roses. Finally, Rev. Hubbard got some attention. 
  • May, 2014 -- we incorporated and kept origins in mind. 
  • May, 2013 -- we considered an early writer, John Farmer. 
  • May, 2012 -- we looked at Col. Worth, namesake of a city in Texas, plus Hawthorne's Merry Mount. 
  • May, 2011 -- we had seen Prince William and Catherine marry which motivated looks at England. Who were the Gardners? But, a visit to Salem had us asking this question: where was Thomas? 
Before 2019, we had plenty of catching up to do with respect to Essex County of Massachusetts and the families involved in its founding. We expect to recognize the patterns of life as we continue our work adjusting the view to meet new data. 

Was Thomas at Cape Ann? See "In summary" for a discussion. 

Remarks: Modified: 05/23/2023

05/23/2023 -- 

Monday, May 22, 2023

Three years ago

TL;DR -- Three years ago, we were coping with changes due to the pandemic that cropped up and circled the world. One lasting theme was that we got into specifics. Starting with movement to get over the barriers from the east to the west (say, Boone), we incrementally have followed families as they ratcheted west (move, settle for a while, move). The interior is full of such families. 


We are approaching the Memorial Day weekend which starts the summer season. It's the first of three holidays with July 4th and Labor Day being the other two. School is out for most students. Vacations are on the horizon, usually. 

But, as a reminder, three years ago, a pandemic arose worldwide, with awareness of the situation becoming to the fore in March. Pandemic? We had already written of two: Throat distemper, Spanish flu. The latter coincided with the last issue of The Massachusetts Magazine. But, this was something new: sheltering in place with little public exposure. We adapted to new ways, that were supposedly temporary. 

These posts in these three months depict some reactions of the time:
  • March 2020 - This was the first effort at adapting to the new way. Where we lived, we have wide-open spaces and were out every day. Being older, lots of events in the public sphere managed access and time (a carry-over are the carts being filled with orders to be delivered that one see while shopping). But, the themes this month were retrospective, anyway since we were in our tenth year of blogging. 
  • April 2020 - Like being house bound, we took the time to review our ten years of research. One thing that came of that was the focus, for a few months, on the interior of the U.S. as it was carved under the control of St. Louis. We sampled various times and places related to the movement out west.  
  • May 2020 - Tales from the westward movement started to crop up. Just getting out of the east was problematic. The below quote? Trying to conquer the western portion of an Atlantic State. 
    • "One lady was quoted that she would hide her infant by a bush and follow the wagon up hill (with one task of chocking the wheels of the wagon if the horses tired). Once the hill (very large one) had been conquered, she went back down and came up with her child." A huge name involved with the escape was Boone of the south, who got people over the mountains into the area that launched the western movement. Boone himself, as an old guy, was all the way to what is now known as Kansas City. But, that was not even half-way to the west coast. 
There was a change in focus that has continued. We did not have an explicit post on Covid until later (June 2020 - Modes and protocolsThe future). We did several retrospectives over that time. Then, we wrote of a 100+ year old lady who application to the Mayflower Society (Deeper dive) never took, for several reasons (we have written of that here). She is now gone (and knows, Mayflower people). 

Actually, about that, one wonders how well the computer will be in doing some of this work (that is, genealogy). We already have many examples, so the topic will be on the table. 

Remarks: Modified: 05/22/2023

05/22/2023 -- 

Sunday, May 21, 2023

Left coast, by water and land

TL;DR -- From and to New England, there was regular traffic from the beginning. Land movement started early too with the lure of the west. San Francisco has been related to many posts that we have had, with travelers arriving there by land or by water. We recently looked in detail about the changes after the earth quake of 1906. Too, we have been researching the early periods. This post provides links to further information and to images created over the timeframe. In one case, we find a close New England relative there early (1831), by water. Too, we have more information on involvement with the Gold Rush. 


Technology, especially that related to or supported by computing, allows new ways of looking at things, one of which is an emphasis on numbers as seen in the emphasis on measurement, for one. So, take the cloud (internet), ever notice how every possible metrical view is offered? A new field, called data science, likes to facilitate this approach to viewing the world around oneself.

In our context, probably of all cities in the U.S., San Francisco would show up as having the most hits. We will do a search sometime. But, that "city by the bay" (from a song, know it?) figures for several reasons. Wanderers from the east, including Canada, were out there before New Spain, one might argue. We do not know the real early Europeans on that scene, but they got there two ways. One was by water. The other was by land. Some might have come up from the south which we pay attention to. 

But, our initial take on the matter was those who got to the left coast from New England. At some point, we will collect these names, but here are three: Jedediah Strong Smith (Jul 2018), F.M. Thompson (Jun 2017), and Grizzly Adams (Nov 2020). The month/year is for the post on that subject. F.M.Thompson was first in our studies as he wrote of his travels in The Massachusetts Magazine. Then, we got to Jedediah when we started to look at the vast interior of the country. Finally, the post on Grizzly was of the Covid time which will be an upcoming theme as we approach the U.S. holiday of Memorial Day (29 May 2023). 

We spent more time looking at San Francisco in reference to the Barque (Bostonian) that wrecked off the coast of Oregon, in 1850. There are many stories pending on that theme which we will get to, at some point. In the meantime, let's continue with the best of the west. 

The following links are to material dealing with San Francisco before the Gold Rush. As well, we wanted to find photos from the period before the quake of 1906.

  • San Francisco History - Index - The timeline at this site from the Museum of the City of San Francisco covers it all with five major themes. They start with the Gold Rush. The first category is from then to the Civil War. With respect to the three gents mentioned above, we have three periods: Jedediah was there in the 1820s/30s when it was New Spain territory; F.M. was there for a few months during the early stages of the Civil War; Grizzly showed up after the Civil War.  
    • San Francisco - Before the Gold Rush - This section has lots more information about the early years. It reports that William Heath Davis (WikiTree) visited in 1831 having come by a ship that was from Boston. William, born in Honolulu, was a descendant of Thomas Gardner of Roxbury. William's presence offers a chance to consider comparisons with Jedediah's experience. By water and by land, each has their purpose and perils. Jedediah died in mid-country on his way back to St. Louis. William lived to see the 1900s. 
  • Images - early San Francisco - Below, we show an image from the National Park Service of ships in the marina. Many were abandoned as crews went after their fortune. We will look at some of these tales, including ones known about personally. 
  • Images from - This site offers images from over the years, including early paintings of the area. 
There is not a shortage of photographs to review. However, it was reported that San Francisco had many ships that had been left and were taken apart. That's a story to look at. 

Gold Rush changed San Francisco

In our normal fashion, we will identify links to New England as we expand upon this theme. 

Remarks: Modified: 05/29/2023

05/29/2023 -- Jedediah met his fate along the Cimarron River in KS in the same year (1831) that young William arrived in S.F. from Hawaii.

Thursday, May 11, 2023

Research and consequences

TL;DR -- Research in February found records for all of the children born in Sherborne, Dorset except for Joseph. But, Seeth was born here, in the mid-1630s. How is this? Right now, the solution is to split the Thomas Gardner record into two. The first deals with the father of the children and the husband of Margaret Fryer. The second is for the Dorchester Company's man who participated in the venture in 1623/24. Same guy? Other questions abound. This is a status.  


The "In summary" post pulls together an overview of recent events and our status. Our response to the findings of a record search was one month late. How did this happen? We look at that below. But, we did get the research going as this image shows. It can be found in the "Research Notes" section of the Thomas Gardner profile on WikiTree. The original find was in 2014 by John Cook who was browsing ancestry[.]com's report on digitization. 

At that time, we did the post and redid the commentary in this blog as well as noting that we were expecting more data as transcription work progressed. Our next involvement was to argue that Margaret ought to be the mother of the children. That was done via a G2G where people discuss matters after looking at the data. Once things settle on an action, the change is done. See "Should all of the children of Thomas Gardner-159 be detached from his second wife, Margaret ____? [closed]" on WikiTree. Yes, that discussion was about the 2nd wife who was Margaret and her status as mother.  

About Margaret, wife
and mother of the children

That was settled. Then, in February of this year, we had this G2G: Comments on Thomas Gardner of Salem 1591-1674. Bob Dunlap had taken the time to browse transcribed records by the 100s. Earlier, we had records for the first three boys. After that, did the family come over to Cape Ann as Dr. Frank and many others thought? 

Well, Bob's search found records for the other children, except for Joseph and Seeth. The time of the baptism of Joseph had smudgy records. But, the following child was recorded. On the other hand, Seeth was not there, but she has records in Salem MA. So, they came over later? 

The WikiTree project in charge of the profile of Thomas Gardner decided to split out into two profiles. One is for the father of the children and husband of Margaret. The other profile is mostly without information awaiting more information on the Cape Ann adventure. 

For us, Rev. Hubbard's reference to these being the same guy has some credence. So, we will see. 

But, why the month's delay?  In November of 2022, OpenAI let loose ChatGPT upon us. John did not pay attention to that until February since there are plenty of other areas needing attention. Besides, he has established a position on AI and its current status as well as weighed in on the abundance of hype that is mostly unsupported. 

The Society had adopted technology as a focus for several reasons. One of the important ones is the growing influence, good and bad, of computing: technology search on this blog. ChatGPT came at a time of bifurcation and has acted as a Rorschach test: toy or tool. That is, what is this thing? John has been involved in research and discussion with respect to the OpenAI release and its aftermath. 

This post allows those two themes to be looked at together. The former deals with Origins which has been part of our quest from the beginning. One of our first steps will be to get back to the review of "What do we know?" with the additional information part of the research. 

Remarks: Modified: 05/11/2023

05/11/2023 -- 

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Coronado of the early times

TL;DR --  Coronado of New Spain traveled east out of New Mexico looking for the promised riches of the new land. His guides led him up to what is now northcentral Kansas. Three centuries later, travelers from the east passed through this region on their way west. 


One of our interests is New Spain for several reasons. A good example is the fact that New Spain controlled most of the land that was the interior of the U.S. As we know, the interior was not empty; there was a native population. In 1541, Coronado followed native guides deep within the interior looking for riches. This map shows his route; the map was used in a 2021 post on New Spain as we were first starting to consider the other cultures involved in establishing the U.S.                

Coronado's trek

This would have been of the time of Thomas Gardner's great-grandfather. Coronado reported back that he had encountered villages but no gold. 

This would have been the land of the Quivira who later were named Pawnee. Recent excavations, in Kansas, have recovered remains of a settlement of the Wichita people whose culture was "dubbed ... Quivira" by Coronado. The population size is estimated to have been about 20,000 persons. 

This area is where Gardner Junction, KS three centuries later arose as a stop along the trails, one of which had Santa Fe, NM as its destination. For a time, travelers heading for Oregon or California passed through the location. 

Remarks: Modified: 05/10/2023

05/10/2023 -- 

Sunday, May 7, 2023

Sherborn, MA

TL;DR -- So, there's a Sherborn, MA which was named this in 1674. Need to learn more of the area and its times. 


While reading the latest American Ancestors which had articles about the witch ordeal, there were maps, one of them showed an area with the name of Sherborn. We had an interest for several reasons. For example, it has been shown that Thomas Gardner, Margaret Fryer, and family had come from a town of that name which was located in Dorset, England. Also, John said that his father had told him that they had come from Sherborn. We now see that via records. 

Cranberries? Apples? The largest cider mill in the world? There's more. The Sherborn Historical Society has good information about the area which was rural. We will get back to the area which we have not looked at in detail, as of yet. 

There was no indication about the name choice. If anyone knows, please let us know. 

It's status? A former, very productive farming community became a "bedroom" type with tech firms scattered about. Well, given our technology focus, we will look into that, as well. 

With the heat of the summer upon us early, this is a perfect photo. 

The name is said to have been "arbitrarily" chosen by the General Court in 1674. That was the year when Thomas Gardner died. We'll look further into the matter. 

Remarks: Modified: 05/07/2023

05/07/2023 --