Oviatt, Rockwell, Mather, Myers Ancestry:Information about Thomas Gardner
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Thomas Gardner (b. Abt. 1592, d. 29 December 1674)Thomas Gardner (son of Thomas Gardner and Elizabeth White) was born Abt. 1592 in England992, and died 29 December 1674 in Salem, Essex, MA992.He married unknown on Abt. 1614 in England992.
Notes for Thomas Gardner:
Reference: The Great Migration Begins
FIRST RESIDENCE: Cape Ann
REMOVES: Salem 1626
OCCUPATION: Innkeeper (Thomas Gardner, Sr., was repeatedly licensed during the 1660s to retail strong
drink, but in June 1667 the license was amended to allow him to sell only to "strangers" and not to townsmen
[EQC 3:339, 431, 4:36, 37, 161, 269, 397]).
CHURCH MEMBERSHIP: In list of Salem church members compiled in late 1636 [SChR 5].
FREEMAN: 17 May 1637 [MBCR 1:373].
EDUCATION: Signed his name to several petitions and inventories.
OFFICES: Deputy for Salem to the General Court, 26 September 1637 [MBCR 1:204].
Essex grand jury, 25 February 1641, 27 January 1643/4, July 1644 [STR 1:120; EQC 1:33, 57, 62]. Petit
jury, failed to appear and fined 29 June 1641 [EQC 1:26]; appeared 27 January 1642/3, 28 January 1646, 28
January 1647/8, 26 January 1648/9, 26 June 1649, 24 June 1651 (foreman), 29 June 1652, 28 June 1653, 6
March 1653/4, 13 June 1655, 27 November 1655, 30 June 1657, 29 June 1658 [STR 1:104, 146, 184, 186,
202, 216; EQC 1:44, 129, 153, 169, 229, 254, 283, 326, 408, 2:42, 71]. Jury, 27 August 1636, 27 June 1637
(foreman), 27 September 1639, 29 January 1640[/1] [EQC 1:3, 6, 12, 24]. Coroner's jury on Ralph Elwood,
August 1644 [EQC 1:71].
Salem selectman, 1635, 1637, 1642-6, 1650, 1655-6 [STR 1:13, 50, 113, 121, 128, 136, 143, 164, 182,
190]. Salem constable, 1639 [STR 1:88]. Salem fenceviewer, 1636 [STR 1:41]. Overseer or surveyor for
Salem highways 1637/8, 1639, 1642, 1643, 1649, 1655-8 [STR 1:67, 90, 117, 124, 158, 189, 191, 214].
Salem rater, 1639/40 [STR 1:97].
ESTATE: In the 1636 Salem grants Thomas Gardner had one hundred acres in the freeman's land [STR
1:20]. He was granted one acre of marsh on 25 December 1637, with a household of seven [STR 1:103].
He received a special grant by warrant, of one hundred acres in 1636 [STR 1:37]. When George Ingersoll
received a ten acre lot, it was land formerly of Mr. Gardner's and others, which they had resigned to the
town in favor of other land in March 1638/9 [STR 1:82]. Thomas Gardner was granted on 15 May 1639 a
bank of upland near Strongwater Brook, paying 5s. an acre [STR 1:88]. He was granted half a three-quarter
acre lot with Obadiah Homes, on land near the gate leading to the old mill, 20 March 1642/3 [STR 1:117]. He
was granted ten acres in Salem for a house near the old mill, 8 February 1643/4 [STR 1:123]. "Mr. Gardner"
was granted one acre of meadow on the north side of his farm, 31 August 1649 [STR 1:159]. "Mr. Gardner
requested for himself and those that now do or hereafter shall live at those ten acre lots end or side that they
may have the common land granted to them that lies at the foot of Mr. Read's hill to lie as common for their
joint use; this request is granted," 27 April 1654 [STR 1:176].
On 6 December 1671 Thomas Gardner of Salem, husbandman, sold to "Josiah Sothwick," for a valuable
consideration received thirteen years earlier, two acres in the North Field of Salem [ELR 4:85].
The will of "Thomas Gardner of Salem" was written 7 December 1668 and proved 29 March 1675 by
witnesses Robert Pease and Samuel Goldthwaite [EQC 6:31]. "Weighing the uncertainty of man's life, I do
therefore in the time of my health, make this my last will" giving to "my wife Damaris" all the estate she
brought with her "according to our agreement" and £8 a year paid by my six sons provided she give up her
dower in my housing and lands; to "my daughter Sara Balch" £15; to "my daughter Seeth Grafton" £15; to
"my daughter Mirian [sic] Hills two daughters, Miriam Hill, & Susanna Hill," to each of them £5 at age
eight~een or marriage; to "my sons George and John Gardner" salt meadow valued at £20; to "my sons
Samuel and Joseph Gardner" the other part of my salt meadow; residue divided in seven equal parts, two
parts to my son Thomas, he paying "his mother in law forty six shillings by the year," the other sons to
receive one part each and pay their mother-in-law twenty-three shillings a year; sons George and Samuel
Gardner executors; "my loving friends Mr. Joseph Grafton and Deacon Horne" overseers [EPR 2:423-24].
The inventory of the estate of "Mr. Thomas Gardner, taken 4:11m:1674" by Hilliard Veren, Sr. and John
Pickering totalled £274 16s., including real estate valued at £201: "an old dwelling house with about 10 acres
of land adjoining with the orchard, fences &c.," £31; ten acres of ground in the Northfield, £27; about 100
acres of upland and meadow, £100; about 20 acres of land lying in the woods, £3; and about 2 3/4 acres of
salt marsh lying above the mill," £40. The inventory also included "2 old barrels of guns" valued at 5s. [EPR
Following Thomas Gardner's probate, at the November 1677 term of Essex court his sons George ("now
of Hartford, Connecticut") and Samuel sued John Pudney of Salem, husbandman, over a farm let to Pudney
by lease dated 1 March 1672[/3] and described as Gardner's
now dwelling house in Salem, with all his land in Northfield, about 20 acres, also his 10 acres of meadow ...
for seven years from Apr. 15, 1672 at £11 per year, and two barrels of cider, said Gardner furnishing the
cask, of which £4 were to be paid in wood at 8s. per cord, 40s. in butter and cheese, with one firkin of
butter, 40s. in pork, and the remainder in corn. Said Pudney was not to remove any muck, and Gardner
reserved the right to take the meadow near Needham's if he so desired [EQC 5:356].
On 2 September 1678 Lt. George Gardner, late of Salem & now of Hartford, merchant, and Samuel
Gardner of Salem, mariner, joint executors of the last will of Mr. Thomas Gardner deceased, sold to John
Swinnerton of Salem, physician, "all that part of the estate that said Gardner died possessed of and which the
said executors have power to sell," including a dwelling house and ten acres in the North Field, another ten
acres in the North Field, about an acre of upland by the Strongwater Brook, a farm containing one hundred
acres of upland and meadow, and twenty acres of upland and meadow [ELR 5:3].
BIRTH: About 1592 (deposed aged about sixty-nine 26 November 1661 [EQC 2:320]).
DEATH: Salem 29 December 1674, "husband of Damaris."
MARRIAGE: (1) By about 1614 _____ _____; she probably died in Salem in 1636, perhaps at the birth of
youngest child Seeth (see COMMENTS below).
(2) (prob.) By 1639 Margaret _____, who joined the church at Salem 24 March 1639/40 [SChR 8]. (See
TAG 30:156 for discussion of claims she was Margaret Friar.)
(3) Damaris (_____) Shattuck. She was the "widow Shattock" when she joined the Salem Church 2 July
1641 [SChR 11]; she died Salem 28 November 1674, one month before her husband. (See TAG 30:165-68
for discussion of this woman and her many connections to the Pope and Gardner families.)
With first wife
iTHOMAS, b. say 1614 (adult 1637 when he received a grant from Salem [STR 1:52];
eldest son with a double share in his father's will); m. (1) by 1643 _____ Hapscott[?] [TAG
26:108, 30:157-58]; m. (2) by an unknown date Elizabeth Horne, daughter of JOHN HORNE
[TAG 26:108, 30:158-99].
iiGEORGE, b. say 1616 (adult when "bretherin" Thomas and George Gardiner were given
ten acres in Salem 8 November 1637 [STR 1:59]); made free 27 December 1642 [EQC 1:48]);
m. (1) by 1644 Hannah _____; m. (2) by 1654 Elizabeth (Freestone) Turner, bp. Horncastle,
Lincolnshire, 17 October 1619, daughter of Richard and Margery (Freestone) Freestone, and
widow of Robert Turner, shoemaker, of Boston; m. (3) after 1663 (inventory of her previous
husband [Manwaring 1:242]) Elizabeth (Allen) Stone, widow of Rev. SAMUEL STONE. (For
the identity of these three wives we follow the work of George E. McCracken [TAG
iiiJOHN, b. about 1624 (d. Nantucket 6 July 1706, aged 82 years); m. 20 February 1653/4
Priscilla Grafton [NanVR, citing "William C. Folger genealogical records in the possession of
the Nantucket Historical Association"; this marriage probably took place in Salem].
ivSARAH, b. about 1627; m. about 1650 as his first of three wives Benjamin Balch, son of
vSAMUEL, b. about 1629 (deposed June Term, 1680, aged "about fifty years" [EQC
7:389]); m. (1) before 1658 (eldest child b. Salem 5 August 1658) Mary White, daughter of
John and Elizabeth (Herbert) White [NEHGR 150:193-95]; m. (2) Salem 2 August 1680
Elizabeth _____ Paine.
viJOSEPH, b. about 1630 (about 16 in 1645/6 when he is anticipated in the train band
[EQC 1:92]; near adult in 1649 [STR 1:157]); m. Ann Downing, daughter of Emmanuel
Downing. She m. (2) 6 June 1676 SIMON BRADSTREET [Hale, House 518].
viiRICHARD, b. about 1632 (d. Nantucket 1724, aged 92); m. about 1652 Sarah Shattuck,
daughter of his stepmother Damaris (_____) (Shattuck) Gardner [TAG 30:168].
viiiMIRIAM, b. about 1635; m. by 1657 as his first wife John Hill. He m. (2) Salem 26
August 1664 Lydia Buffum.
ixSEETH, bp. Salem 25 December 1636 [SChR 16]; m. (1) Joshua Conant, son of
ROGER CONANT [TAG 30:156-57]; m. (2) 1 December 1659 John Grafton, son of Joseph
ASSOCIATIONS: Banks states without authority that Gardner might have come from Hurst, Martock parish,
Somersetshire [Topo Dict 143], and other origins have been claimed. An origin in the West County for
Thomas Gardner is certain, but the name is common and none of the suggestions made to date has a firm
George McCracken suggested that the unusual given name of the Gardner's last child, Seeth, was an
indication that in previous generations there had been a marriage to someone with that surname [TAG
Both McCracken and Moriarty take the question of the connection between the Gardners and the Popes to
task, but admit that the "relationship of the Pope and Gardner and Shattuck families is certain; the mode not
yet plain" [TAG 30:164-6].
In the painful June 1677 tangle over the burial of John Pudney's child on Mr. Gardner's hill, Pudney
appealed a judgment of Major Hathorne's, mentioning the "kinship of Major Hathorne and said [Samuel]
Gardner" [EQC 6:284]. This was probably a reference to the recent marriage of the Major's son to Samuel's
daughter, and not an ancestral clue.
COMMENTS: "Mr. John Tylly and Mr. Thomas Gardener were employed as overseers of that whole
business [of the plantation at Cape Anne]; the first with reference to the fishing, the other with respect to the
planting on the main land, at least for one year's time" [Young's First Planters 23].
In the Salem land grant of 1637 Thomas Gardner received acreage for a household of seven. His sons
Thomas and George were already old enough to receive grants of their own and be considered separate
households. Seven younger children of Thomas Sr. were still under age and presumably residing at home,
which would make a household of eight. One or more of the children could have been serving in another
family, but this accounting raises the possibility that Thomas did not have a wife living in 1637. This
hypothesis is supported by the admission to church membership of a Margaret Gardner on 24 March
1639/40; had she been with Thomas Gardner since his arrival in New England, we would expect that she
would appear in the list of church members compiled in late 1636 at the reorganization of the church.
Consequently, we propose that Thomas Gardner had three wives, the first of them of unknown name, who
died at the birth of the youngest child, Seeth, whose baptism is one of the first recorded in late 1636.
In the February Term of court 1645/6 "Mr. Thomas Gardener discharged from training when his sixth son
comes in" [EQC 1:92]. Men were required to train from the age of 16 to 60, and this implies that last son
Joseph was approaching 16 in 1645/6, placing his date of birth about 1630.
"The wife of Thomas Gardner Sr." was fined for frequent absence from the public ordinances on Lord's
days, along with a number of other Quakers, November Term 1660 [EQC 2:265]. This was merely the
beginning of a long string of such fines and official harassment that eventually convinced several of the sons
to move with their families away from Salem. Thomas Gardner Sr. is never named as having absented
himself from public worship, and history is silent on his opinion of the matter.
When John Pudney's child died in 1677, he went with others to "Mr. Gardner's Hill," took down some
fence bars, and dug a grave. Samuel Gardner came on horseback and ordered them off his land. Gardner had
the grave filled in, but Pudney came back and succeeded in burying his child. The resulting suit at the June
Term 1677 was appealed all the way to the Court of Assistants, which, after a jury trial, found for Pudney
[RCA 1:110]. The case produced a deposition by William Trask, who said
that for these twenty-seven or twenty-eight years the land where John Pudney buried his child had been a
usual burying place for so many as would make use of it for that purpose and he never heard that old Mr.
Gardiner hindered any from burying their dead there, but he said at several funerals, `friends and neighbors,
do not bury your dead by such a young tree for I do desire to be buried there myself.' According to
deponent's knowledge, said Gardiner was buried there himself, and the draw bars that Pudney was sued for
taking down stood on the town's land several feet, Mr. Gardiner having removed them several feet about five
years since into the town's land. He further testified that for twenty-eight years the inhabitants of the town,
as long as there were any great trees upon the land, cut the trees and carried away the timber without any
molestation, and all the neighbors looked upon it as common land [EQC 6:284].
Thomas Gardner paid John Pickering six pounds for some indeterminate service either to the town or to
himself in March of 1638/9 [STR 1:84]. Thomas Gardner's bull was set out to stud in the town herd in 1640
for a fee of 20s. [STR 1:99]. Gardner was chosen one of the commissioners to calculate damage done by
cattle in Richard Ingersoll's lot 12 July 1642 [EQC 1:42]. Gardner was one of those who was to receive the
corn for John Moore in 1643 [STR 1:120]. Mr. Gardner's new building is mentioned in the Salem town
minutes of 30 7mo 1644 [STR 1:133].
Thomas Gardner was one of the seven influential men who advanced Hilliard Veren as the new clerk of
courts, when "he that was last chosen thereunto is now removed to the eastward" [June Term, 1658, EQC
Thomas Gardner Sr. took the inventory of William Bacon 26 September 1653 and provided the same
service for Bacon's widow, Rebecca Bacon, two years later [EQC 1:323, 413]. He proved the will of
Thomas Trussler at the June Term, 1654 and took his inventory 5 June 1654 [EQC 1:356-7]. He took the
inventory of Henry Bullock, Jr., 10 January 1656 [EQC 2:49]. He was appointed administrator of the New
England estate of his son-in-law Joshua Conant, who died intestate in England [EQC 2:190-1, November
Term, 1659; 2:217]. With William Robinson, Thomas Gardner testified that John and Daniel Southwick had
settled the division of their father Lawrence's estate [June Term, 1660, EQC 2:217]. Gardner also took the
inventory of Lawrence Southwick's estate [November Term, 1660, EQC 2:263]. He took the inventory of
William Cantlebury of Salem 25 June 1663, and probably was the Thomas Gardner who took the inventory
of Ralph Tompkins of Salem 12 November 1666 [EQC 3:83, 379].
More About Thomas Gardner:
Church: 1636, Salem, MA.
Education: Signed name.
Freeman: 17 May 1637, Salem, MA.
Migration: 1624, England - Cape Ann - Salem.
Occupation: Salem, MA.
Probate: 29 March 1675, Salem, MA.
Will: 07 December 1668, Salem, MA.
More About Thomas Gardner and unknown:
Marriage: Abt. 1614, England.992
Children of Thomas Gardner and unknown are:
- +Sarah Gardner, b. Abt. 1627, of Salem, Essex, MA992, d. 05 April 1686, Beverly, Essex, MA992, 993.