Before we get to the subject, let's do a review. King Richard III of England was reburied on March 26, 2015. His remains were found on September 5, 2012 after careful analysis suggested where to begin a search. Because of genealogical work that had been done in 2004 to find descendants of Richard's sister, a DNA test was possible which confirmed that the remains were, indeed, Richard's.
This discovery, as would be expected, raised a lot of interest. Who else was related to Richard and how? To descendants of early (and later) immigrants, this type of research means a lot since some of the early entrants did have a documented past. As well, claims of all sorts have appeared on the scene.
So, a moment like this allows a review of what is known and not. As well, we can take a re-look at methods and their findings (to wit, NEHGS on the subject which was posted at the TGS FB site). In the case of the Thomas Gardner descendants, times like this help with motivating, hopefully, the necessary work to collect and to catalog all that has been written.
Some of that work might be exploring the use of modern techniques. To boot, though, these times renew the hope that more substantive material will be forthcoming (to wit, the Thomas and Margaret marriage notice).
--- The question? Did a Gardner knock Richard III on the head?
Before early 2013, there was a page on Wikipedia with the title of "William Gardner (knight)." It told the story of William who killed Richard III and who later married Helen Tudor. Then, their son was Stephen Gardiner who was said to be an ancestor of the Thomas of the TGS, Inc.'s concern. That page was taken down in February 2013 (the delete vote and comments); the main criticism was that the story was of a conflated figure.
Along with the "William Gardner (knight)" page, there was a Wyllyam Gardynyr (get it? Welch-izing the name) who was the same person written up in a story. These pages were there for awhile as I first ran across them in 2010 (when first getting started with the "Thomas Gardner (planter)" page). With the discovery of the remains, though, the discussions quickened (see Richard III Talk page).
Now, notice the criticism. The story of Wyllyam Gardynyr quoted the Wikipedia (sheesh, all over you find sites that just pick up Wiki material - many times not attributing the source) page (referred to, above, as now deleted). That's nice. Write up an encyclopedia article, then quote it as a source.
Well, in essence, the (historic) evidence (as of now) is lacking that a Gardner ancestor of Thomas was at Bosworth Field or that a Gardner was the wielder of whatever caused the demise of the King. There was a comment made to the "Historical Genealogy" post (first written in November 2010) in the time frame of November of 2014 (fairly recent) that says that the story is, at least, 30 years old.
So, there is still a whole lot to look at, in this and in other regards; re-addressing this topic, and similar topics, is on the plate. In the interest of putting Gardner Research on firm ground, we intend to consider all that has been studied and written up to this point. Future generations and researchers will benefit. Our task is to do it right (or, at least, get the effort started on a good road).
Remarks: Modified: 07/09/2016
04/03/2015 -- The question "Did an ancestor of Thomas help in the demise of Richard III?" has been added to the FAQ.
04/04/2015 -- This is not to say that Thomas did not have ancestors at Bosworth or any of the other battles that occurred during the War of the Roses. We are talking the period from the period from 1455 to 1485 which is 100+ years prior to Thomas' birth. Here are two good graphics that summarize the period.
- Wikipedia (War of the Roses) -- Summary of Events. Notice the Lancaster and York columns with battles and outcomes. Margaret of Anjou lost her son (Edward) and died in poverty. Others suffered fates (see beheaded list, section on England).
- Threetwoone.org has a nice graph based upon the relationship tree with links for battles and fates.
07/09/2016 - This year, we obtained further material.