Dr. Frank A. wrote the following over 100 years ago: Various writers, including Rev. Joseph B. Felt, have stated that her maiden name was Fryer (or Friar), but the writer has thus far failed to find the authority for this statement.
Today, we can announce that the "authority" may have been discovered. That is, Rev. Felt may have been correct; even though, we do not know how (from whom?, etc.) he got the information (early 1800s) for his assertion.
Where was this authority found? In the records of the Sherborne parish. Attached is an image from the record of April 1617 that shows Thomas Gardiner and Margaret Frier marrying on the 28th. Not only do the records show this, they have the following: the birth records of Thomas, Richard, George, and John; Wills of interest; and more, We have Margaret's parents: Walter Friar and Grace Mullins. And, there is a record that may show Thomas' parents: Thomas Gardner and Christine Saule.
All this information was discovered within the last week by a researcher, John Cook of Minneapolis, who only recently (comparatively) completed his link to Thomas Gardner through son Richard. He had written with queries about what we knew about the origins of Thomas. We had a discussion of the "whence" issues (also, what we know).
Too, we mentioned John Gardner's push to get Gov. Lovelace to allow the use of the name of Sherborne on Nantucket. Part of this tale came to us by the Folger family. There was opposition on Nantucket to the re-naming, of course.
Now, speaking of Sherborne, you can find the marriage of Thomas and Margaret on this list of marriages in the parish from 1600 to 1619.
Sherborne will be a focus of concentrated work, for awhile. Some of the records have been transcribed. OPC Dorset has a nice starting page.
To recap the issues, a little, we can start with the Two Wives. Earlier viewpoints accepted that there had been two wives following Felt and others. Recent work (NEHGS) called that notion into question. As in, the modern claim was that Margaret was not the mother of the children. Granted, the NEHGS work mainly used already existing sources.
But records are expected to settle these types of arguments. With the Internet and records being digitized and indexed, we can expect that a lot more material will be coming around that can be scrutinized to firm up what we know (or to raise more issues).
In this case of this marriage and the related families, expect that more information will be provided as we go along with respect to provenance of the sources, the methods used for search, the actual before and after view related to the transcription, and more.
Too, one task will be to follow what was known or thought through the years which provides us somewhat of a trace.
Finally, a closer tie needs to be made between the Thomas and Margaret of the marriage with the kids who were born shortly thereafter.
Remarks: Modified: 07/12/2015
09/25/2014 - Sherborne? Well, for one, capital of Wessex so it was the main stomping ground of Alfred the Great. ... Also, we need to get more material about John's knowledge (learned from his parents). I do remember seeing a book in Salem (at the Essex Institute) that mentioned Sherborne. It had "Captain John" in the title.
09/26/2014 Added Thomas, Jr. to the list of births. The firstborn, of course. ... About Felt, he had access to Rev. Hubbard's work and notes. Was it there that he saw this? Or, being only 150 years removed (closer than we are), perhaps, some scuttlebutt was around and about. ... The key item is that the information comes via son John.
10/03/2014 -- Comment posted to WikiTree (Thomas Gardner).
10/13/2014 -- Tabula raza, and more, will be of concern.
07/12/2015 -- Okay, turtle speed. But, we get there. Announcing a new project: Sherborne, Dorset. No doubt, it is about time. When finished with the data collection and analysis, we will present the strongest story (the prerogative of the family) that the facts, and abductive reasoning, will support. As such, we hope to demonstrate some very much needed research viewpoints.