Editing Margaret's past

+5 votes

When I started, one adage learned early was for the blokes here on this side of the pond to worry locally and to leave those thing prior to the arrival to those of the Isles. That is, too many from here (the north of the americas) botched things up, I suppose. But, now, I must venture into an area avoided too long. Thankfully, an easy task awaits. The Gardners will be more gnarly, from the looks of it.  

There are a few things that motivate this change, beyond the necessity to close up the deal:

  • we have a marriage of a Thomas Gardner and a Margaret Friar (appropriate timeframe - Felt was the furthest back printed source that I saw)
  • before that, we have a birth of a Margaret Friar, same area
  • then, we have a Will of a Walter Friar mentioning his daughter Margaret (before the marriage), too, he mentions his son Thomas - there is a daughter Grace - is the wife mentioned? if not, did she die? 
  • then, we have a marriage of a Walter Friar and a Grace Mullins, same area, appropriate timeframe
  • then, coming this way, we have births of boys to the couple (Thomas and Margaret) - later the family is not in the records
  • then, we see that Savage has a Thomas Frier/Friar as a brother, "perhaps", of Margaret, wife of Thomas Gardner

There's  more. But, given this, we can propose a change to this Profile. At the same time, we will be updating the Thomas Gardner (and associated) Profile. 

I am proposing a similar mode discussed for the Profile of her husband.  


Additional wrinkle: 

  • Duplicate Profile (Frier-125) which is older and Imported 12 Mar 2014
  • This profile (Fryer-892) was created 1 Aug 2018. It was here that the discontinued parents were introduced. But, this is PGM, the other not. 


This work is parallel to Coordinating coming edits of the Thomas Gardner (Gardner-159) page

WikiTree profile: Margaret Gardner
in Genealogy Help by John M. Switlik G2G2 (2.9k points)
recategorized by John M. Switlik
I think you should add the tag Puritan_Great_Migration to this question, as the profile is PPP.
Do we have profiles for Walter and Grace? Seems like sufficient evidence to attach them. Thanks John.
I would just note that Savage doesn’t say that Thomas Friar was “supposedly” her brother, but possibly. That says to me it’s pure speculation on his part.
I support the work being done with this/these families, as well as the end notes on the profile of Gardner-159, which will be removed once the family is fully researched and conclusions are drawn.  Volunteers will need to carefully following the research, since some are descendants, and ideas can be unintentionally distorted. (please no offence intended).

There are good comments on the profile of Gardner-159.  Thank you.

Cheryl Skordahl, PGM Leader
Thank you for your support. I have been on the fringes of HSC work (know some of the principals; the NEHGS finally showed up, or were to, this year (pre virus) - annual meets in April in DC) since I started doing this work. Being a newbie to the US (2nd gen grandmother, and 3rd gen grandfather on one side, a little further back on the other), I can only assist.

And, research related to systems (general, where the computer is a tool) and their use has been my focus. I tell people with respect to this work, I have no vested interest beyond truth - wait, what is that?

Hearsay, may very well, has some grain of truth in it. Hence, I think that Felt talked to someone who had the opportunity to see the record books (before Xerox, cameras, and the lot) or someone who had known someone ... If the children in the Will are in order by birth, then Thomas was younger than his ('purported') sister, Margaret. 

On Savage: "the soul of integrity," and says" "It is curious that James Savage, the most eloquent of men when his soul was stirred to its depths, should now be particularly honored merely as an acute antiquarian . ... His hatred of iniquity sometimes blazed out in a fury of wrathful eloquence which amazed those who specially esteemed him as a prodigy of genealogical knowledge, and even disturbed the equanimity of those who chiefly knew him as the most valued and trustworthy of friends."  Wikipedia article (quoting E. P. Whipple)

2 Answers

+3 votes
I've added two entries from the Sherborne Online Parish Clerk's site to Margaret's profile, giving links to volunteer-transcribed marriage records for Margaret & Thomas and for Walter Frier & Grace Mullins. These are duplicative of the preexisting sources, but they give people the option of linking to online transcripts.

I'm a direct descendant and am strongly in favor of connecting Margaret with Walter & Grace as her parents.  I find the circumstantial case convincing.

John, have you found anything that suggests birth dates for Walter or Grace (anything better than estimates based on their likely age at the time they married)?  They're too early to show up in the transcribed (thus far) Sherborne OPC records.  -- And do you want to create profiles for them, or would you like me to do that, estimating the DOB for each?
by Christopher Childs G2G6 Mach 1 (10.1k points)

Heres a sharing link to Walter's will. https://www.ancestry.co.uk/sharing/21902812?h=685a5d&utm_campaign=bandido-webparts&utm_source=post-sharemodal&utm_medium=copy-url

You have his date of burial, is it necessary to include a birth date for him? 

Christopher, please do (with respect to Walter and Grace). I am still getting my WT sea legs. ... One thought was that there must have been some Friar (Frier/Fryer) research being done just as Gardner Research has been doing for Thomas (actually, all things Gardner). We got news of the marriage record back in 2014, but I have been trying to close up a few research gaps since then (in the usual part-time mode - with the virus, it looks like a mostly indoors winter - so, that means more work on this). So, I was going to pause and look at that family.

BTW, with NEHGS having their (computer-based) tree now, can we expect PGM use of WT to continue for a while? It looks like it links to the pre-existing approach.

Everyone, I'm a newbie and not a descendant. But, I see that there has been a lot of work over the decades, including about three generations of attempts using computers (always in a flux). Myself, I want to curate that as we see progress in more than what we learn of families; it's a type of historical trace (remember, this stuff is only a few decades old; we know less than we think - oh yes, expect philosophical asides, now and then).
Giving at least an estimated DOB in a profile seems a better choice than leaving the data field empty (which also might invite unhelpful input).

We do know that most first marriages, though by no means all -- the working assumption certainly is that this was a first marriage for both Walter and Grace -- involved a groom in his early to mid-twenties, and a bride of at least eighteen, and close (one side or the other) to twenty.  So those averages give us a reasonable place to start, with "about/uncertain" checked in the status indicator.
John -- if I understand your question correctly -- PGM is a WikiTree Project and so is wedded to this site.  Whatever NEHGS does, we pay serious attention to, but the intent of PGM is to ensure that Great Migration emigrants are accurately presented _here_.

I'll try and explain why I dislike estimated ages .It's basically because 1O years out on each of two or three  generations can cause huge problems. Suddenly nothing fits when real dates are found and you end up with children born after parents deaths

 Whatever you decide to do, most women in this period, in England, did not marry early.. On average (and that of course is a problem because of variation) your estimate would be well below the average for ages for first marriages

 Research using  data from parish registers  e.g.Wrigley, 

https://www.jstor.org/stable/2173980?seq=1 I think anyone can see it by signing in.

found that the average age of first marriage is much later than often assumed.  Data from 13  English parishes for 1600-49  found an average age of marriage of 28.1 for men and 25.6 for women The age distribution is of course wide but to give a few examples:  only 199/1000 women were married at the age of 20 and under ; 30/1000 were under 18 when they married but 47/1000 were aged 30. 

The cited text on JSTOR requires either an institutional affiliation or an upgraded (paid) membership, so I can only see the preview page, but I'll take your word for the average ages you quote.  Whether using 20 or 25 as a likely age for brides, and 23 or 28 for grooms, I still regard it as preferable to have something in the data field for DOB.  Frankly, I wouldn't create a profile without it.

The cumulative error range you suggest would apply when coming forward in time if we did not have good data for the following generations -- but here, we do.  So practically speaking, the issue is what may happen if we try to go further back.  But frankly, since I can't imagine anyone proposing the creation of profiles further back without _some_ believable data to anchor them, I don't see a real-world problem.

I.e., let's suppose we find some credible marriage record for believable parents for Walter or Grace, and anchor a parental profile (or two) in that information.  Using the same formula I propose using for Walter and Grace, we would be unlikely to be farther off the mark with said parents than we were with their offspring.  [BTW I don't think I've ever created a parent's profile absent their birth and/or marriage record, and instead based solely on the birth date of a presumably-eldest child; if I did, then I'd certainly have to agree that I'd be introducing a very wide window of uncertainty.]

If we found only a death date for a parent of either Walter or Grace, and used only that as an anchor for a profile, then, again, your general point about a widening error range would certainly be more relevant... however, I find it hard to imagine creating a profile based solely on a death date.  I suppose one could do it using a contemporary average-age-at-death and calculating an estimated DOB from that.  I just don't think I've seen that done, and I'd raise an eyebrow (or more) if I saw it happening with a PGM profile.

There is some merit in leaving things blank if we don't know a date, however, given some notion of tagging (like the 'uncertain' one in WT), then would we know that it's an estimate? Comments could be put to document the reasoning.  

Anyone reading posts in the NEHGS blog dealing with generational span? Example (Mayflower 5th gen). 

Back to Friar, it's good that we can look at the family in more depth. 

Helen, interesting study. The demographics on this side of the pond would have differed, quite a bit, due to the stresses of that time, such as that expressed by Ann Bradstreet when she saw the reality of Salem. Coming forward and based upon what I have seen of the frontier life (western expansion) and its influence on people's lives, the situation was very similar, two hundred years later. 

It's great that WT allows 'about', 'before' and 'after' for date. Is this usage encouraged?

I use before and after a great  deal. I wish we had 'floruit'  field or a range of dates, particularly  for earlier profiles.

I get the impression that there was a great deal of difference between age at first marriage in England and in America during this period.  As you say, very different pressures.When land was held by very few, you needed to make sure of security to support a family. I think that particularly applied to the 'middling classes'.  There's  a whole lot of literature on the Western European Marriage Pattern. wikipedia

But we are diverting!

The Sherborne register starts in 1558, it's indexed on ancestry but I wouldn't trust the index. It needs plodding through page by page to see if Walter or Grace's bsptism can be found.

Walter's will was proved at the principal ecclesiastical  court for Southern England  (Canterbury). If one will is found, often other family members made wills. Many wills were  proved in the  relevant local ecclesiastical court. Sherborne was a 'peculiar'  administered by Salisbury so will be found with  Wiltshire wills. https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/Court_of_the_Peculiar_of_the_Dean_of_Salisbury

But if the Friars came from many  neighbouring villages, then the  will would have been proved in Dorset, so  there are  three archives that could  hold useful wills for other members of Friar,  Mullins or Gardner families. They are  all on ancestry (sorry no time to do the plodding at present) Another thought is to search the Dorset History Centre catalogue. There are a lot of Sherborne records  Most  is not  online but the catalogue entry  can be useful.

( another distraction, I live very near to Sherborne and love the town.Have you googled it? if not have a look at some of the photos online; Apart from the windows, I  doubt the Abbey and surrounding buildings  have changed much.).

Helen, Thank you for the information. I hope to do some of that plodding (after all, was not there a joke on Nantucket about the Gardners, as 'silent and plodding' - compared to Coffins and another family) to get the feel of the data. 

Dorset looks like a great place. Haven't been there yet. Sherborne? Alfred the Great's hangout (at least when the Danes were looking for him)? So, everyone, English started there ;>)?

I wonder what records at Sherborne School (St. Aldhelm started it) might tell us. I read (need to find the source of that quote) that Richard and John Gardner were considered to be quite well-educated. That would have been attained through their folks. 

BTW, I just did some plodding this summer in the context of the US 'frontier' which has lots of special cases. It dealt with browsing through images versus turning sheets of paper. We have it too easy.
0 votes

I waited a bit to write this, but there is something to discuss.

In the images of the baptism of sons, Thomas (Mar 1617) and George (Jan 1619), please note the month/year recorded.  

Fine. Now go look at the marriage of T&M. It was April 1617.


Ann and I say, so what? Before their time? My response? Thomas did not cowtow to the Church until 1637. That is long after he arrived. It was mainly, in my opinion, to protect his children. Then, of course, he was elected to go to Boston and play tiddly-winks with Winthrop and buddies with Hathorne. One time was enough, according to history. 

This is anthropological, not political

by John M. Switlik G2G2 (2.9k points)
edited by John M. Switlik
Hi John

The order  was marriage then first son Thomas baptised  11 months later. (you can see this if you follow the order in the register)

Prior to 1752, England and her Colonies used a calendar where the legal year changed on lady day; 25 March. The year 1617 therefore began on 25 March 1617 and ended 24 March 1617 the following year.  The next day was  25th March 1618. Historians usually adopt the practice of writing the year as it would be  if the year changed in January. This is also the correct way to enter it in the data boxes. To avoid confusion, it's a good idea to use 'double dating in the bio.

Marriage: 28 April 1617  ( 1617 in data box)

Thomas: Baptism 8 March 1617/18 (1618 in data box)

George:1 Jan 1619/20 ( 1620, in data box)
Helen, thank you. I was looking at registers (U.S. frontier - 200 years later) this summer where they just inserted things as they got the data. Say, a roving preacher getting back, months later, to where the church records were kept.

So, we're good to go; if Richard is in there, that would be peachy. John needs a little more study.

Did a little checking, recently.

  • Richard is there as son of Thomas. So, we have these baptisms: Thomas (8 Mar 1617), George (1 Jan 1619), Richard (20 Jul 1622).
  • Walter's Will mentions his wife, Grace. 
  • John (7 Dec 1624) ... meaning? ... 
  •  ... 

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