Fall 2006

News from the matrix:

Mitch Duneier (Sidewalk, Slim’s Table) and Eric Klinenberg (Heat Wave) sqare off in this month’s American Journal of Sociology, and it’s “news” for the Chicago Tribune. Having finished my second read the of the two pieces, I’m convinced by Eric’s response that Mitch’s critique of his “social autopsy” is largely without merit and offers the laziest talking heads an opportunity to “blame the victim”–in this case, victims and families of victims of the 1995 Chicago Heat wave, for their deaths. Many will wonder why Mitch has spent resources poorly-half-replicating a study which has helped bring such a serious issue to attention, in a climate where our governments make clear their limited utility in cases of natural disaster.

Similarly, in “public sociology news,” we find a Chronicle article on Dana Fisher’s new book Activism, Inc. This is actually the first case in my memory where the (corporate) subjects of academic research have threatened a lawsuit arguing they had been deceived about the purpose of the study and that she did not protect subjects’ anonymity. While adjudicating the former claim requires access to paperwork neither side is releasing, the latter is resolved by the author who is able to quickly ascertain the subjects’ identities, and interview them for the piece.

In a second and final update about my former department, Harvard UP has released two chapters of Sudhir Venkatesh’s new book on underground economies.

Now, for MUCH MORE IMPORTANT stuff: here‘s a rockin’ new video, sure to be viral for 3 seconds. It’s called Tea Party. I only wonder if Smirnoff paid for it.

Finally, my Social Forces piece is out, although they seem allergic to sending me any mail, so I was forced to borrow a colleague’s copy, just so that I could see a hard copy. It wasn’t up on the website yesterday. Hopefully soon I can like you to it.

In the “real” world, I’m hoping to finally drop Ms. Mini off for good later today, weeks after the deadline, and a week after the body shop said they’d have her done. The new car needs a name and I’m open to suggestions. She may be a he, so I’m open to boys’ names.

Do you know that I’m a Lenny Bruce fan? Here’s a Time Mag piece that is long, but mostly right, and almost has the right spirit though not quite.

Ancestor Worship

Cleaning up my home office, I came across some research my father did on our ancestry. I suppose I’m of the age where this sort of thing has added significance. I’ve begun to cement the path of my life, and I wonder if it will meet my expectations, and what it shows of my character. I wonder, moreover, how my character reflects the values and lessons taught to me by my family. I seek answers to these questions in many places, and this is one of them.

My great, great, great grandfather, on my father’s side, was Peter Garland. He was born April 24, 1807, the eldest of nine children of Hugh and Sarah (Flanagan) Garland of the village of Augher, the parish of Clogher, “in the bushes of Tyrone” Ireland. Peter married Ellen Donaughy, daughter of Terence and Sarah Donaughy. Peter arrived in America in 1828 and settled in Charleston, MA. Their first child, Hugh, died at the age of five in 1837, but his brothers John and Peter survived. Ellen died at the age of 23, leaving Peter alone and illiterate, a consequence of British restrictions on education. Ellen is buried in Bunker Hill Cemetery, Row 9, Grave 6. Peter raised their three children alone, and worked as a stone mason, the trade he shared with his father. Peter remarried Catherine Ruddy but they had no children. Peter became an American citizen on January 15, 1851, in Boston, where he lived in Southie (on 80 A Street).

John, the eldest son, began working as a stone mason at the age of 14. At 27, he married Mary Healy, daughter of Maurice Nagle Healy (born to Thomas Healy and Ellen Nagle Healy from Killisane Townland near Castletownroche in the parish of Annakissa, County Cork, Ireland) and Ellen O’Keffe (daughter of John and Margaret O’Keefe, from Annakissa Parish). Maurice’s mother, Ellen Nagle (b. 1805) was related to Nano Nagle, first cousin to Edmund Burke, the great parliamentarian. Maurice and Ellen had five children, but only one, Mary Healy, survived. After marriage, John moved in with the Healy family, and he and his father-in-law, Maurice, became business partners in a stonemason’s company. John later became Treasurer of the Stonemason’s Union, and mason and principal assessor for the City of Boston. During the Civil War he moved to California to work, but soon returned to Boston. John and Mary had 11 children, the eldest of which, Peter Garland (b. 1861), is my great, great grandfather.

But first…on the other 10:
John “The Senator”: lived in Boston and partnered with his brother Joe in Gartland Brothers, a real estate and insurance company. He was a state senator and minority leader who invested in the motion-picture industry in its early days.
William: a life-long bachelor, was in the clothing business and served as a city cashier in Boston.
Joseph Augustine “The Broker”: graduated from English High School, was proud of the 12-room hour he built in Dorchester, was successful in business, and liked to play cards and travel. One of his sons with Harriet Grady Gartland, Francis Edward, was Director of the World Hunger Coalition, editor of Catholic Boy and Catholic Miss. A second son, Arthur Joseph, was known as the “Great Dissenter” as he took the minority position to fight de facto segregation in Boston schools.

Peter Garland was a Franklin Medal scholar at Boston Latin and a graduate of one of the first classes at Boston College. He taught French and Mathematics at Boston Latin and worked as a proofreader. He was the first Catholic headmaster of a public high school (in Southie). He Married Mary (Molly) Cowan (daughter of Bernard Cowan and Agnes McFarland) from Malone, NY) in 1888. Peter and Molly had four children: Edith Gartland, Agnes, Helen and Joseph.

Helen Frances Garland is my great grandmother. She married Hugh F. Lena, Sr., son of Patrick Henry Lenagh and Mary Elizabeth Lennon (daughter of John and Mary Lennon) from Belfast.

Of course, my mom’s side is equally interesting and we can trace parts of the family back quite a ways. For example, consider my great, great, great grandfather on my mother’s side, William Augustus Brooks Bangs (1840-1909). He seems to have descended from Edward Bangs, my shared ancestor with President George Bush. Edward “the Pilgrim” Bangs was probably born in 1591. He was one of the Purchasers and was on the 1632/3 freeman list. Edward came to the Colonies in 1623 on the Anne. He was one of those chosen to lay out the 20-acre lots in the 1627 division, along with William Bradford, Edward Winslow, John Howland, Francis Cooke and Joshua Pratt. With Myles Standish and others, Bangs was chosen in 1633 to divide the meadow in the bay equally, and was on committees to assess the entire colony for public costs. He died in 1678.

I’m not sure how yet, but there is an indication here that we are also descended from the Aldens. Captain John Alden was a Naval Commander of the Colony of Massachusetts Bay and a member of the Old South Church. He was accused of witchcraft in 1692, but escaped from captivity in Salem and was later acquitted. Elizabeth Alden was born in 1623 in Plymouth, the first white woman born in New England. She lived until she was 94.

My maternal grandfather’s side come from the Soisson and Bangs family. My great, great grandfather’s brother, George Henry Bangs (1831-1883) was general superintendent for the famous Pinkerton detective agency. His father was a newspaper editor in NYC during the Civil War.



Filed under Rumpus material aka archive

6 responses to “Fall 2006

  1. Tina’s kinda looking like the drag-queen version of herself, isn’t she?

  2. Doing some more research on the Cowans of Malone NY…. and Gartland is the name not Garland…unless you know something I don’t know!

  3. Jenn Lena

    No, you’re right Kathy–just a missed keystroke. Can’t wait to see what you find!

  4. Kyle O'Brien

    Hello there. I found this blog from a Google search looking for, in retrospect, more information on your ancestor and my person of interest, Arthur Gartland of the Boston School Committee. I researched his time as the “Great Dissenter” for my history thesis in undergrad, and, if you’d like, I’d be happy to share my paper with you! I can’t say it’s entirely complimentary, but it is objective. – Kyle O’Brien

    • Jenn Lena

      Hi, Kyle, I would love to read your paper! Can you send it to jcl42 [at] columbia [dot] edu? (That is a letter L and not a number 1 in the address.) Thanks much!

  5. Lorraine Wheeler

    That was a courageous stand for Arthur Gartland to take in the 60’s. I was wondering what happened to him. Later, he served on a citizen’s committee implementing a court ordered desegregation plan. At some point I take it he lost reelection to the School Committee. Thom Atkins the attorney who won the case was ultimately hired by the City of Boston for a time but ultimately left Boston. Probably no one’s nervous system could sustain as much venom as created in Boston at the time. Cheers to Arthur Gartland for standing up for what was right.

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