Thomas Gardner (planter)
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|Died||1674 (aged c. 82)
Salem, Massachusetts Bay Colony
|Resting place||Harmony Grove Cemetery|
|Occupation||Overseer (Cape Ann settlement), Salem: Deputy to General Court, Land owner, Constable, Selectman/Juryman|
|Children||Thomas, George, John, Sarah, Samuel, Joseph, Richard, Miriam, Seeth|
Thomas Gardner[a] (c. 1592 – 1674) was an Overseer of the "old planters" party of the Dorchester Company who landed in 1624 at Cape Ann to form a colony at what is now known as Gloucester. Gardner is considered by some to have been the first Governor of Massachusetts, due to his being in authority in the first settlement that became the Massachusetts Bay Colony (into which was later subsumed the Plymouth Colony).
The area known as Cape Ann had been visited by the Plymouth group, who had obtained a Patent and had fished in the area known as Gloucester. These visitors from the south had built structures for salting and temporary housing. The Gardner-led group, who settled the area via another Patent, maintained themselves after their landing. Disagreements occurred between the Plymouth colonists and the "West Country" colonists over Patent conflicts. Roger Conant, a Plymouth colonist, was instrumental in working out a compromise between the parties, part of which was moving the Dorchester group away. The colony that had been planned for Cape Ann was doing well, having brought over adequate provisions and having had the proper skills, yet it was commercially unsuccessful because of the rocky, infertile soil and poor fishing in the area. In 1626, the Dorchester Company granted permission for Conant, who had arrived in 1625 from Plymouth via Nantasket, to assess the situation, to become the new Overseer, and to move the colony.
The first Great House in New England was built on Cape Ann by the planters. This house was dismantled on the orders of John Endecott in 1628 and was moved to Salem to serve as his Governor's house. When Higginson arrived in Salem, he wrote that "we found a faire house newly built for the Governor", which was remarkable for being two stories high.
Some of the Old Planters moved with Conant to the mouth of the Naumkeag River, now the North River. They first landed near the foot of present-day Skerry Street. Other members of the group returned to England or went south to Virginia. For a few years, the area was multicultural; the settlers had a peaceful relationship with Native Americans, who had been regular visitors to the area for generations. In the early years, the thatched cottages of the planters huddled along the bank of the river.
The new colony at Naumkeag proved to be successful and was named Salem in 1629. According to Conant, the settlement laid the foundation for the Commonwealth. Those following Gardner and Conant as leader were John Endicott and John Winthrop, respectively, as new planters. Thomas and Roger continued to be considered old planters, who got little recognition from the religious leaders, such as Francis Higginson. By the time of Winthrop, the influx into the area accelerated, resulting in Mass Bay outgrowing and annexing Plymouth. Gardner and his sons played several roles in the early development of the settlement. They did much of the early survey work in the area. Thomas also served on the court and oversaw highway work.
Thomas Gardner's origins are not clearly known. He may have been born in 1592 to Thomas and Elizabeth Gardner. His mother may have been the sister of Minister John White, who help found and fund the Dorchester Company that became the colony of Massachusetts Bay. According to Goff, Gardner may have been chosen through family ties to head the 1623 Cape Ann Colony, which was a "fishing station and saltworks" whose goal was to ship seafood to England.
Gardner had two wives; Margaret (c. 1589 – 1659) and Demaris UNK (c. 1597 - 28 November 1674), widow of UNK Shattuck. He had six sons with Margaret; Thomas, George, John, Samuel, Joseph, and Richard, and three daughters; Sarah, Seeth, and Miriam. In 1623, Gardner landed at Cape Ann with Margaret and the three sons, who had been born in England. A fourth son was born in 1624. He and the widow Shattuck had no children together. Gardner died on 29 December 1674 and is buried in Salem, Essex, Massachusetts.
The legacy of Thomas Gardner, from seven children is wide and varied. Some (small sampling) of Thomas' descendants are as follows, grouped by category and in chronological order by birth.
American patriots (and military)
- Capt John Gardner (c. 1620, son) – On crew for first survey of the Merrimack River for Gov. John Winthrop (1638), Chief Magistrate (1680–82 & 1684), Nantucket, Massachusetts
- Capt Joseph Gardner (c. 1620s, son) – King Philip's War casualty (his widow married Simon Bradstreet). Joseph was killed in the Great Swamp Fight on December 19, 1675. He was captain of a Salem company. His widow, Ann (Downing) Gardner, is noted for an agreement (early prenuptial agreement) that she got Governor Simon Bradstreet, Jr, to sign before they got married.
- Ruth Gardner (c. 1660s, granddaughter through George) - wife of John Hathorne
- John Gardner (c. 1680s, great-grandson through George) – Captain – Salem Company, French-Indian War[b]
- Jonathan Gardner (c. 1720s, 2nd great-grandson through Samuel) – Commander of a privateer, French-Indian War, Commander of Minutemen, American Revolution —Described by William Bentley thusly: A most useful Citizen, of amiable temper, inflexible integrity, and a sober friend to all useful, social & religious institutions.
- Benjamin Balch (c. 1730s, through daughter, Sarah) – first Chaplain, Continental Navy
- Nathaniel Gorham (c. 1730s, through son, Richard) – Signer of US Constitution
- Samuel Gardner (c. 1730s, through son, George) – in-law of one of the consignees (Richard Clarke) of the tea thrown in Boston Harbor
- Ebenezer Gardner (c. 1740s, through son, Thomas) – American Revolutionary patriot (Col. Benjamin Foster's Regiment), builder of the Gardner House, Machias, Maine
- Gideon Gardner (c. 1750s, through son, Richard) – Whaler from Nantucket, U.S. Representative, Gardner Island namesake
- William Balch (c. 1770s, through daughter, Sarah) – first Chaplain, U.S. Navy. His father was first chaplain of the Continental Navy; his grandfather had been a chaplain in the Royal Navy.
- Samuel Knapp Gardner (c. 1780s, through son, Samuel) – Mariner, captured in War of 1812, held in Dartmoor (HM Prison) His 3rd great-grandfather, Edward Woodman, was a member of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts.
- Rebecca Gardner (c. 1780s, through son, Samuel) – wife of Captain John Allen who died, in 1814, POW, Dartmoor (HM Prison)
- Lucretia Coffin Mott (c. 1790s, through son, Richard) – early abolitionist, feminist, and co-founder of Swarthmore College
- Emily Lee (c. 1800s, through son, Richard) – wife of U.S. Civil War General Daniel Tyler
- George Pollard, Jr. (c. 1791, through sons, Richard and John) - Captain of the Essex and the Two Brothers
- Elizabeth Cabot Blanchard (c. 1800s, through son, George) – wife of Robert Charles Winthrop
- Edwin M. Stanton (c. 1810s, through son, Richard) – Secretary of War, American Civil War
- William Crowninshield Endicott (c. 1820s, through son, Samuel) – Secretary of War in the Administration of President Grover Cleveland
- Ebenezer Gardner Goldthwaite (c. 1820s, through son, Samuel) – son of Rebecca Gardner, served Andrew's Sharpshooters, 22nd Regt, Massachusetts Volunteers
- Charles Jackson Paine (c. 1830s, through son, Thomas) – Union General, American Civil War.
- Charles Francis Adams II (c. 1830s, through son, Richard) – Union General, President of Union Pacific Railroad
- Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr (c. 1840s, through son, Thomas) – American Jurist (with his father, members of the Dudley-Winthrop family)
- Stephen Minot Weld, Jr. (c. 1840s, through daughter, Sarah) – General, American Civil War hero
- Arent S. Crowninshield (c. 1840s, through son, Samuel) – admiral of the United States Navy, Civil War
- Adolphus Greely (c. 1840s, through daughter, Sarah) – American Polar explorer, recipient of the Medal of Honor
- George William Coffin (c. 1840s, through son, Richard) – Commander of 'Alert', Greely Relief Expedition
- Francis Cabot Lowell (c. 1850s, through son, George) – longtime United States federal judge
- Henry Cabot Lodge (c. 1850s, through son, George) – American Senator
- Charles G. Dawes (c. 1860s, through daughter, Sarah) – 30th Vice President of the United States
- Augustus Peabody Gardner (c. 1860s, through son, George) – Distinguished Service Medal (United States), Spanish American War
- Alice Hathaway Lee Roosevelt (c. 1860s, through son, George) - 1st wife of Theodore Roosevelt
- Edith Kermit Carow Roosevelt (c. 1860s, through son, Richard) - 2nd wife of Theodore Roosevelt
- Chase A. Clark (c. 1880s, through son, John) – Governor of Idaho.
- John Henry Balch (c. 1890s, through daughter, Sarah) – United States Navy, World War I, Medal of Honor, Lieutenant, World War II
- Pierpont Morgan Hamilton (c. 1890s, through son, Samuel) – Medal of Honor winner
- Endicott Peabody (c. 1920s, through son, George) – the 62nd Governor of Massachusetts from January 3, 1963 to January 7, 1965
- John Forbes Kerry (c. 1940s, through son, George) – Vietnam War, United States Senator, presidential candidate in 2004 election, Secretary of State 
- Jonathan Gardner (c. 1690s, through son, Samuel) – his Great Pastures became Salem Woods
- John Lowell Gardner I (c. 1800s, through son, George) – grandnephew of Col Timothy Pickering, East Indies trader, ship fleet owner (Barque, Brig, Clipper, Steamship)
- Rowland Hussey Macy (c. 1820s, through son, Richard) – founder of Macy's
- James A. Folger (c. 1830s, through son, Richard) – founder of Folger's
- Henry Clay Folger (c. 1850s, through sons, Richard and John) – head of Standard Oil of New York, founder of the Folger Library
- George Swinnerton Parker (c. 1860s, through daughter, Sarah) – founder, Parker Brothers
- William Coffin Coleman (c. 1870s, through son, John) – founder of Coleman Company
- Juliet Pierpont Morgan (c. 1870s, through son, John) – daughter of J. P. Morgan
- Harold M. Stratton (c. 1870s, through son, Richard) – founder of Briggs & Stratton
- Alfred Winslow Jones (c. 1900s, through son, Samuel) – created first hedge fund
- Sarah Gardner (c. 1630s, daughter) – wife of Benjamin Balch (son of John Balch, old planter))
- Mary Gardner (c. 1660s, through son, Richard) – wife of Jethro Coffin
- Timothy Folger (c. 1700s through son, Richard) – studied the Gulf Stream with his cousin, Benjamin Franklin
- Abel Gardner (c. 1700s, through son, Samuel) – his grandparents (Israel and Elizabeth (Ha(w)thorne) Porter) led the effort to save the life of Rebecca Nurse. Elizabeth's grandfather, Major William Hathorne, had come on the Arbella with John Winthrop.
- John Gardner (c. 1770s, through sons, Samuel and George) – builder of the Gardner-Pingree House
- Nathaniel Bowditch (c. 1770s, through son, Thomas) – autodidactic mathematician
- Mayhew Folger (c. 1770s, through son, Richard) – rediscovered Pitcairn Islands in 1808
- Nathaniel Ha(w)thorne (c. 1800s, through sons, Thomas and George) – American author, descendant of John Hathorne.
- Ezra Cornell (c. 1800s, through son, Richard) – founder of Cornell university
- Charles Sanders Peirce (c. 1830s, through son, Thomas, and daughter, Seeth) – philosopher and mathematician
- John Lowell Gardner II (c. 1830s, through son, George) – John's wife founded Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
- Phillips Brooks (c. 1830s, through son, Richard) – author of a well-known carol.
- Francis Ellingwood Abbot (c. 1830s, through ...) – American philosopher
- Frederic Ward Putnam (c. 1830, through ...) – American naturalist
- Lilla Cabot Perry (c. 1840s, through son, George) – American artist
- Elizabeth Gardner Amory (c. 1840s, through son, George) - grandmother of Dorothy Winthrop Bradford
- Endicott Peabody (educator) (c. 1850s, through son, George) – headmaster for Franklin D. Roosevelt and Theodore Roosevelt at Groton School
- Anna Parker Lowell (c. 1850s, through son, George) – wife of Abbott Lawrence Lowell
- Elliott P. Joslin (c. 1860s, through son, Samuel) – founder of Joslin Diabetes Center
- William Sydney Porter (c. 1860s, through son, Richard) – author
- Robert Frost (c. 1870s, through son, George) – four Pulitzer Prizes for Poetry
- Charles Austin Beard (c. 1870s, through son, Richard) – historian, co-founder of The New School
- Julian Lowell Coolidge (c. 1870s, through son, George) – chairman of the Harvard University Mathematics Department
- Gilbert Hovey Grosvenor (c. 1870s, through daughter, Sarah) – first editor of the National Geographic Magazine
- Charles Austin Beard (c. 1870s, through son) - historian
- Erle Stanley Gardner (c. 1880s, through son, Richard) – author, creator of Perry Mason
- Ezra Pound (c. 1880s, through son, Richard) -- poet
- Frank A. Gardner MD (c. 1880s, through his son, Samuel) – Physician and Historian. Member of Essex Institute, Old Planters Society, Old Salem Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution. Among his great-grandparents were Mary (Ayer Parker) and Samuel Wardwell.
- Edmund Wilson (c. 1890s, through son, George)-- man of letters
- C. W. Grafton (c. 1900s, through daughter, Seeth) – Attorney, Author.
- Esther Williams (c. 1920s, through son, Richard) – American swimmer and movie star
Degrees of separation
Through his second wife Damaris, Thomas' influence could be expanded through the shrinking world argument. Damaris was the widow of (unknown first name) Shattuck. Their son Samuel was an active Quaker. Thomas' stepchildren's descendants include, for example, Nathaniel Gorham (1738-1796), John Marshall Harlan (1833-1911), Thomas Stearns Eliot (1888-1965), and Sandra Day O'Connor (1930- ).
Thomas was buried on Gardner Hill aka Gardner Burying Ground near present-day Boston Street and Grove in Salem. His daughter Seeth and his grandson Abel are also buried there. Abel's wife, Sarah Porter Gardner, whose mother was the sister of John Hathorne, was buried with her husband. The remains of Thomas and many others were moved from the old burial ground to Harmony Grove Cemetery in the 1840s. A 1692 map of the area shows that the Gardner Burying Ground was in close proximity to Harmony Grove which was incorporated in the 1840s.
- Alternately spelled "Gardiner, Gardener"
- The Gardner Memorial book details descendants of son, George"
- Gardner 1907, p. 6.
- Mackenzie 1912, p. 279.
- A Brief Post-Pilgrim History of Cape Ann (via cape-ann.com)
- Fiske 1899, p. 92.
- Goff 2009, p. 24.
- Felt, J.B. (1827) Annals of Salem W.&S. B. Ives
- Goff 2009, p. 21.
- Higginson 1891.
- Anderson 1995, p. 731/732 (Offices).
- Anderson 1995, p. 731.
- Gardner 1907, p. 4.
- Goff 2009, p. 19.
- Gardner 1933.
- Browne, G.W. (1906) "The Merrimack River: Story of its First Survey" Granite State Magazine, Vol. 1, p 133 (via Google books)
- Gardner 1907, p. 92.
- Gardner, Frank A., MD  Thomas Gardner Planter and Some of his Descendants, Essex Institute, Salem, Massachusetts (via Google Books)
- (1905) The Diary of William Bentley, D.D. The Essex Institute (via google.com)
- 'Descendants of John Balch'. First Reunion. (via archive.org) – F.A. Gardner in attendance
- Hinchman 1901, p. 171.
- Dunn, Anthony T. 'The Gardners of Massachusetts: An American Legacy' (via Micmacfarm.com)
- William Balch (via balchipedia.wikidot.com)
- Hinchman, L.S. (Compiler) (1901) Early Settlers of Nantucket (2nd ed) Ferris & Leach p. 161 (via archive.org)
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- Paine, SC (1912) Paine Ancestry via Google Books
- Balch, G.B. (1897) "Genealogy of the Balch families in America" E. Putnam, Salem, MA p. 310 (via archive.org)
- (2013) 'The story of two cousins' "Gardner's Beacon Vol. III, No. 2" (via Thomas Gardner Society, Inc.)
- Schley, Winfield S Commander, US Navy  1884 Greely Relief Expedition Washington Printing Office (via American Libraries)
- 'ENGLAND'S PRESENT TO AMERICA.; THE STEAM-SHIP ALERT FOR THE GREELY SEARCH EXPEDITION', 4/23/1884, New York Times.(via NYT Archives)
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- New England Historical Genealogical Society. 'Bush and Kerry related'. (via notablekin.org
- 'A Short History of Salem Woods'. (via Friends of Salem Woods)
- Macy, S.J. (1868) Genealogy of the Macy Family from 1635-1868 p. 245 (via Google books)
- Hinchman 1901, p. 161.
- Hinchman 1901, p. 258.
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- Henry Clay Folger Biography Folger Shakespeare Library
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- Rantoul, R.S. (1881) 'Memoir of Benjamin Peirce' "Historical Collections of the Essex Institute" pages 172, 175 (via Google books)
- George Gardner Family Papers 1659–1900. (The Massachusetts Historical Society)
- Gardner Family Papers 1772–1915. (The Massachusetts Historical Society)
- Higginson, T.W. (1900) The alliance between pilgrim and puritan in Massachusetts Salem, MA (via google.com)
- Hugh Cabot Family "Cabot family. Papers, 1786-1945: A Finding Aid" Harvard University Library (via OASIS)
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- Coolidge-Lowell Family Papers 1757-1923 (via Massachusetts Historical Society)
- Daniel Hovey Association (1913) The Hovey Book Press of L.R.Hovey p. 214 (via archive.org)
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- Hinchman, L.S. (Compiler) (1901) Early Settlers of Nantucket (2nd ed) Ferris & Leach p. 280 (via Google books)
- Switlik, J.M. (2014) "The Trials of the Wilson Family" The Essex Genealogist Vol 34, Number 3 (Aug 2014)
- Hobbs, W.H. (1902) Kimball-Weston Memorial Private printing p. 11 (via Google books)
- Reitwiesner 2010, p. William Shattuck.
- Thomas Gardner Society, Inc. "Where is Thomas? II" (via google)
- Anderson, Robert Charles (1995). The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620-1633. New England Historic Genealogical Society. ISBN 9780880820448.
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- Gardner, Frank (1933). Gardner memorial : a biographical and genealogical record of the descendants of Thomas Gardner, planter, Cape Ann, 1624, Salem. Higginson Genealogical Books. ISBN 9780740425905.
- Goff, John (2009). Salem's Witch House: A Touchstone to Antiquity. The History Press. ISBN 9781596295193.
- Higginson, Thomas (1891). Life of Francis Higginson, First Minister in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Dodd, Mead, & Co., New York.
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- Higginson, TW . The Alliance between Pilgrim and Puritan in Massachusetts. Old Planters Society address. (Officers pg 19, Member list pg 21)
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- Salem Preservation, Inc Newsletter. Reporting historic preservation developments in the greater Salem area.
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