THOMAS GARDNER,  was born in England about 1592. His place of birth has been given as being Sherborne, Co. Dorset, Eng. however Anderson ascribes his origin simply as the West Country of England. He died on 29 Dec 1674 in Salem, Essex Co., MA.

     There is a great deal of confusion concerning the wives of Thomas Gardner. Most older sources assign only two wives with the first, the mother of his children, given as Margaret Fryer. However Robert Charles Anderson in his highly respected "The Great Migration Begins" assigns three wives to Thomas as follows: the name of his first wife, the mother of all of his children is unknown. She came with him to New England, (while Anderson doesn't say when it probably wasn't when Thomas first arrived at the Cape Ann Colony, but later, after he had removed to Naumkeag (Salem)). Wife #1 died, probably in Salem, before 1639. Thomas  married (2) Margaret (_____) by 1639; and after her death married (3) the wid. Damaris (_____) Shattuck.[6]

   Thomas arrived first on Cape Ann in 1624, as part of the Cape Anne Colony, and removed to Naumkeag (Salem) in 1626. He was an innkeeper in Salem and was apparently literate as he signed his name to several petitions and inventories.[6] Tradition holds that Thomas was the Governor of the Cape Anne Colony, at least for a time.

  Farmer confused Thomas with his son Thomas Jr. and mistakenly stated that he came from Scotland. He says of him in part, "an overseer of the plantation at Gloucester 1624, and removed thence Salem, was admitted freeman 1636, representative 1637.." "united. with the Church 1639, freeman 1641, was a selectmen, and d. 1674. His last wife was Damaris Shattuck"[5/117]

" In ordinary affairs Roger Conant next to Endecott, was perhaps still the most important,,and held a more important position in the community than any of the other old Planters, though John Woodbury, Thomas Gardner and Peter Palfrey were sent as deputies to the General Court"[4]

Thomas was a selectman in 1636.[4]

"In 1640 Mr. Hathorne, Robert Moulton and Thomas Gardner furnished bulls to go with the Salem Herd at 20 shillings a season."[4]

"In 1658 Thomas Gardner was on a jury to hear complaints of a disorderly meeting at which two Quaker missionaries were present. Most of the people present were women. The Shattuck family was represented. Samuel Shattuck was fined and imprisoned. He was whipped in Boston where he was imprisoned."[4]


1. George Gardner, b. England, m. Hannah Shattuck [1] joined the Salem Church in 1637; selectman 1662. Hannah was presumably the "Hannah Gardner" who joined the Salem Church in 1639.[4]

2. John  Gardner, b. about 1624, poss. in Naumkeag (Salem, Essex Co, MA), and d. 6 May 1706 on Nantucket, Nantucket Co., MA[1]. He joined the Salem Church in 1643[4] He married Priscilla Grafton 20 Feb 1653/54 on Nantucket.[1]

3. Sarah Gardner , born about 1627, died 5 Apr 1686 at Beverly, Essex Co., MA. She married Benjamin Balch about 1650 as his first wife. He was the son of John Balch and Margery Lovett. Ch: Samuel, Benjamin, John, Joseph, Freeborn, Sarah, Abigail, Ruth, Mary, Jonathan, David.[1][6] Benjamin married (2) Abigail Clarke on 5 Feb 1688/9 in Marblehead (she d. 1 Jan 1690), and married (3) Grace Mallett on 15 Mar 1691/2.[6]

4. Samuel Gardner married Mary White[1] "born ab. 1627, freeman 1675, representative, 1681 and 1682."[5] Joined Salem Church in 1649.. selectman in 1676-77, and  "Capt. Samuel Gardner" selectman "1697".[4]

5. Joseph Gardner died on 19 Dec 1675. He married Anne Downing bef. Aug. 1656. She was born about 1634 and died on 19 Apr. 1713 age 79. She was the daughter of Emanuel Downing.[1][2] Joseph and Ann had no children. Anne Downing Gardner married (2) Governor Simon Bradstreet. He was at that time a man in his late 70's. They had no children.

     Joseph was involved in the civic affairs of Salem, holding a number of positions. He joined the Salem Church in 1649. He was also a large landowner, owning most of the land between St. Peter's St. and Brown St. in Salem.(4)

     In May, 1672, he was appointed Lieutenant in the Company of Salem Foot, under command of Capt. William Price.[1][3] Three years later in May the Salem Militia was increased to two companies and Joseph Gardner was appointed Captain of the 1st Co. of Salem Foot. During King Phillip's War he was appointed on 3 Nov. 1675 to command a company of men which was subsequently raised at Salem, Marblehead, Topsfield, Andover, Gloucester, Beverly and Lynn.[4] They mustered at Dedham Plain on 10 Dec. following with a total force of 95 then proceeded to Wickford. During the march they were involved in a number of incidents with groups of hostile Indians losing several men. He was killed storming a breech in the Narragansett's stockaid at Swamp Fort Dec. 19, 1675[5], And the manner of his death was described in Church's History of the War.

"Mr. Church spying Capt. Gardiner of Salem amidst the Wigwams at the  east end of the Fort, made towards him; but on a sudden while they were  looking each other in the face, Capt. Gardiner settled down, Mr. Church  stepped to him, seeing the blood run down his cheek lifted his cap and  calling him by name, he looked up in his face but spake not a word, being mortally Shot through the head."[7]

6. Seeth Gardner was b. 25 Oct 1636 at Salem, Essex Co., MA and was baptized on 25 Dec. 1636 in Salem. She died on 17 Apr.1707 in Salem. Savage indicated she married Joseph Grafton, however another source states that she married (1) Joshua Conant and (2) John Grafton on 1 Oct. 1659 in Salem.[1]

7. Miriam Gardner was born in  about 1632, Salem and died in about 1664 in Salem, she married John Hill.[1][Vitals not sourced so regard as tentative dates only]


9. Thomas Gardner Jr. [4][5], joined the Salem Church in in 1637; selectman 1682; with his brother John was the most heavily involved in the family shipping interests. The family had "financial interest" in the Ketches 'Mary' and 'Expectation' about 1689.[4]

    RICHARD GARDNER b. England, d. 23 Jan. 1688/89 Nantucket, Nantucket Co., Ma.; m. SARAH SHATTUCK in 1652 Salem, Essex Co., MA. She was born in about 1631 to 1632 and died in 1724 on Nantucket Island. Her father has been given variously as Samuel Shattuck, John Shattuck and unknown. Her mother was DAMARIS (_____).

Joined the church at Salem in 1643.[4]



2. Joseph Gardner was born at Salem, Essex Co., MA and died on Nantucket, Nantucket Co., MA. He married Bethiah Macy on 30 Mar 1670 on Nantucket. She died on Nantucket. She was the daughter of Thomas Macy.[1/V2 p229]

3. Richard Gardner Jr. was born on 23 Oct 1653 in Salem, Essex Co., MA[1/V1 p230]. He married Mary Austin on 30 Mar 1670 at Nantucket.[8/Bk1 p2] She married his brother John Gardner as her (2) husband.

4. John Gardner was born on 23 Oct 1653 at Salem, Essex Co., MA. He married Mary Austin on 17 may 1674 as her second husband.

5. Deborah Gardner was born on 12 Feb 1657/58 in Salem, Essex Co., MA and died in 1712 on Nantucket[1] She married (1) John Macy on Nantucket. John was born on 14 Jul 1655 at Salisbury, Essex Co., MA. He was the son of Thomas Macy and Sarah Hopcot.[1/V2 p299} Deborah married (2) Stephen Pease on Nantucket.[9/p67]

6. Damaris Gardner was born on 21 Jun 1662 at Salem, Essex Co., MA.[10]

7. James Gardner was born on 21 May 1664 in Salem, Essex Co., MA. He married Mary Starbuck, the daughter of Nathaniel Starbuck and Mary Coffin, He married Patience Folger who died on Mar 1717/18 on Nantucket, the daughter of Peter Folger and Mary Morrill as her second husband. She had previously been married to Ebenezer Harker who died in North Carolina. [See  "New England Marriages Prior to 1700", p. 352, 363 for order of marriages]

8. Miriam Gardner was born on 14 Jun 1665 at Salem, Essex Co., MA. and died in 1702. She married John Worth on 22 Sep 1684 on Nantucket.[1/V2 p229}

9. Nathaniel Gardner was born on 16 Nov 1669 on Nantucket and died in 1713. He married Abigail Coffin on Nantucket, the daughter of James Coffin and Mary Severence.

10. Hope Gardner was born on 16 Nov 1669 on Nantucket and died on 11 Oct 1750. She married John Coffin in 1692 They moved from Nantucket to Edgartown on Martha's Vineyard.[11/p56]

11. Love Gardner was born on 02 May 1672 on Nantucket Island. She married James Coffin as his second wife. James had first married Ruth Gardiner on 19 Mar 1691/92 on Nantucket Island. She was Love Gardiner's first cousin, the daughter of John Gardiner and Priscilla Grafton.[12]

     SARAH GARDNER b. abt. 1650 Salem Essex Co., Mass., d. 14 Dec. 1729, Nantucket, Nantucket Co., Mass.; m. ELEAZAR FOLGER 1671 Nantucket, Nantucket Co., MA. Eleazar was the son of PETER FOLGER and MARY MORRILL.

  1. James Savage, "A Genealogical Dictionary of New England" V.2 p. 228-230

  2. New England Historic and Genealogical Register, v.38, p. 199

  3. Mass. Colony Records, V5 p.517

  4. James Duncan Phillips, "Salem In the 17th Century"

  5. John Farmer, "Register Of The First Settlers Of New England", p. 117

  6. Robert Charles Anderson, "The Great Migration Begins," Vol. 2, pp 731-737, NEHGS, Boston, 1995.

  7. Benjamin Church, "Diary of King Philip's War, 1675-76"

  8. "Nantucket Town Records"

  9. "Macy Genealogy"

  10. Lydia S. Hinchman, "Early Settlers of Nantucket" pp. 78-79, 260

  11. Allen Coffin, LL.B., "YE COFFIN FAMILY", p. 56, 1962

  12. Florence B. Anderson, "A Grandfather For Benjamin Franklin"

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