While researching her book (c1930) on John White, Founder of Massachusetts (An Uncle?), Frances Rose-Troup did an exhaustive study and biography. She, subsequently, published details in her book on the Massachusetts Bay Company and mentioned that "a few men being left there as early as 1623 by the fleet send out by the Western Merchants." Further, she said that these men met, the next spring, the Zouch Phoenix and other ships.
Reference: Rose-Troup, Frances (c1930) The Massachusetts Bay Company and Its Predecessors The Grafton press, New York, pg 11
In his 1935 book, Dr. Frank gave a listing of the passengers in 1624 (Zouch Phoenix). These were the names with the Gardner party.
- Thomas Gardner, Mrs. Gardner, George Gardner, Richard Gardner, Joseph Gardner (all either of Weymouth or of Martock, Somerset), ...
Larry Gardiner of Minnesota who is a descendant of Thomas Gardner of Salem through son, Richard Gardner of Nantucket, recently offered his thoughts on this, and a related, issue. We present Larry's remarks (consider these to be conjectural) here and will add commentary at some future point.
Francis Rose-Troup states the Dorchester Co. sent the ship "Fellowship" in the summer of 1623 to Cape Ann. Fourteen men were left at Cape Ann, and the ship returned to England. Thomas Gardner, the man in charge, would most likely be one of the 14 men left at Cape Ann.
The ship "Zouch Phoenix" arrived at Cape Ann in the Spring of 1624. Among the passengers listed were: Thomas Gardner, Mrs. Gardner, George, Richard and Joseph. My theory is the father is already at Cape Ann. The passengers are Thomas (the oldest son age 6), Mrs. Gardner (the mother & wife), George (the 2nd son age 4), Richard (the 3rd son age 3) and Joseph Gardner (an adult relative that accompanied the mother and children to Cape Ann, and then he returned to England).
As for John, the 4th son, born in 1624, the mother/wife was pregnant during the trip, and John was born at Cape Ann. From Thomas leaving in the Summer of 1623 to the Spring of 1624 - just under 9 months(?). This would solve the names of passengers.
By the time the 5th son Samuel was born in 1627, the family had moved to Naumkeag (Salem).
My theory on Rachel is the following. Thomas was the oldest child of (Thomas & Elizabeth White) if those were his parents. His brother Joseph was next, and he accompanied Thomas' family in 1624 - age abt. 23. Rachel was the 3rd child born abt. 1608. If she came to America at age 18, it could have been abt. 1626. She lived with brother Thomas in Salem. Married Mr. Noble in America. Their parents (Thomas & Elizabeth) have more children born in England. By the time all the children are old enough to travel to America, it would be 1626 plus.
Rachel may have been the oldest child of the family on the ship. The father died in 1635 abt. 70 years old. The wife Elizabeth returned to England with remaining children. Rachel was abt. 27 years old and married.
This would set up a rough timeline to explain that Thomas & Elizabeth did come to America, and that Thomas was buried in Salem. All of the family returns to England except Rachel who got married.
We have mentioned Rachel, as a possible sister of Thomas, before. The subject is definitely on our list of items to resolve. As well, there was an older Thomas Gardner who died in Salem early (1635). Has his identity been settled?
One question to answer would be when the great house (that which caught Endicott's eyes) went up (1623?, 1624?). If the former, did help the first winter?
Also, the Plymouth folks had been using the Cape Ann area. We will mention the incident (1625) that brought Conant's fame of preventing someone from thumping Standish on the head. Thomas was not a participant; it would be good to hear his opinion. So, he was there two years before Roger's arrival with Lyford and crew.
While researching, recently, I ran across a site devoted to Winston Churchill. There is a lot of the interest concerning his American side, through his mother, Jennie Jerome of Brooklyn. For me, their interest demonstrates that the families need to weigh in on this type of research.
Remarks: Modified: 08/29/2016
01/23/2016 -- Felt felt that Thomas' father came over, too.
08/29/2016 -- Cape Ann Retrospective.