Context: Gardner Questions, Gardner Research, What's new

This FAQ contains questions for which a standard answer is appropriate. The sources for the answers results from nine years of research.


12/27/2023 -- We are summarizing our position. See the WikiTree Profile for Thomas for discussions and details. We will deal with two Profiles until we can show that there was one person. If there were two, we still need further information on both. ... Note: when I started this work, there as an adage -- U.S.ers were to worry about things here (get it right); at the same time, we were to leave things over the pond to the Brits. ... Okay, technology has changed. The work of AOL and others to digitize is paying off. ... In the meantime, in 2024, we will update everywhere to point to the "Two Thomases" thoughts of WikiTree's Great Migration Project. And, we can rewrtie the stories with sources. About time, anyway as Dr. Frank's books are 100 years old. Too, media has changed. We can pay attention to that and demonstrate interesting and valid ways to get information presented. Let's say, 1624-2024 is on hold; we still have the 250th for many. Turns out that loads of loyalists were around. So, let's hear from that side of the fence. ... There is no end to the things that could (ought to) be done. 

05/05/2023 -- We put a comment on each page with respect to reconfiguration. The only changes deal with pre-1630. Was Thomas here and went back? Was there another Thomas? Research is the answer.  

03/15/2023 -- We need to let this new information sink in. There are many more questions to replace those that might be answered. The FAQ will be updated. Does the gap (three years) between the birth of John and Samuel allow time for participation in the activity of the Dorchester effort at Cape Ann? Too, could Thomas Gardner not being in the "old planter" list indicate his status of having left after being at Cape Ann? Associated with this would be: what was the status of Margaret and the kids (Thomas, George, Richard, and John) while Thomas was away from Sherborne? Did the bap record for John indicate a delayed report by Thomas after he (or even they) got back?  ... There will be more questions.

03/14/2023 -- See this post: New not old planter (updates to the FAQ pending

  • Who was Thomas? He is from Sherborn, Dorset as is Margaret Fryer. Was he involved with Dorchester Company's effort at Cape Ann? We know the children who were born in Sherborn. Seeth was born in Salem, MA. ... (prior content) He came with his family to Cape Ann under the auspices of the Dorchester Company for the purpose of establishing a commercial effort at fishing and crop production. See the Wikipedia page on Thomas.  
  • Who was his wife? According to the view, Thomas had two or three wives. Our use of two wives, from the beginning of our research, agreed with that of Dr. Frank and others (How many wives?). In 2014, John Cook discovered a record of the marriage of Thomas Gardner and Margaret Fryer. As well, he found her parents and baptism records of the olderest sons.  
  • Did Thomas and Margaret have children? Thomas and Margaret had nine children who grew to adulthood. Of these, eight had children, too, who are the ancestors of very many descendants (The kids). 
  • Do they have prominent offspring? A list of descendants is being compiled and verified (Descendants). 
  • Who was the Gardner author (Dr. Frank A. Gardner)? Through much research, we have accumulated information about Dr. Frank on WikiTree (see his WikiTree Profile). We will continue to feature Dr. Frank (the Gardner author). TGS, Inc. was founded by first cousins of Dr. Frank who share the same Gardner lineage. 
  • Whence came Thomas and his family? We can say definitely that it was Sherborn. Their children were baptized there, except for Seeth. ... (prior content) That is an interesting question that has been of much interest for a few centuries (and many generations). Our Whence page is an early look. The above-mentioned marriage record was found in Sherborne, Dorset. Details of their journey to New England remain to be discovered.   
  • Was Thomas the 1st Governor? Nope. ... (prior content) Inter-family discussions did cause this subject to appear in print (1st Governor). This was quoted by Dr. Frank without attribution to the source.   
  • Is Thomas of Salem related to Thomas of Roxbury? There were several Thomas Gardners in New England (A Thomas here and a Thomas there). Too, the co-founder of TGS, Inc. is a descendant of both. See the sourced ahnentafels of Benjamin B. Gardner (descendant of Thomas of Salem) and Susan Charlotte Graves Gardner (descendant of Thomas of Roxbury). 
  • How do the various Gardner families relate? At the time of Thomas, there were several families in New England. Some of these may have been related (Gardners and Gardners). 
  • Did Thomas have a sister who came over?   Some researchers have shown that Rachel Gardner Noble was Thomas' sister. This question is being studied via Gardner Research
  • Who was the first to mention Thomas? Hubbard said Thomas was here, for at least a year. ... (prior content) Rev. Hubbard talked to the principals who were with the early crews that were pre-Winthrop. He finished his manuscript in 1680. This manuscript was not published until the early 1800s and came close to being destroyed (Gardner's Beacon, Vol. I, No. 3General History of New England ... (pg 106) ...). 
  • Where is Thomas buried? Thomas was buried at his favorite place on his land which was used also as a burial ground by others. In the 1840s, those graves were moved. Our intent is to identify where Thomas is and to get it marked (at the least) for the 400th (Where is Thomas?). The remains of Thomas, with others on Gardner Hill, was left where he was. Stones were moved over to Harmony Grove Cemetery. A few of those withstood the move, say that for Seeth. Most did not and are piled somewhere. At the burial site, though, the road was cut through. So, the remains? Well, moved to God only knows. Or, if the burial was away from the road, it is beneath some structure. Lots to think about. Reflect on. How to proceed into this mire? 
  • Was this a common problem? While looking at options with regard to identifying the  grave of Thomas we discovered that many graves have been lost in Essex County Massachusetts.
  • What is the 400th? Gloucester's was this year, 2023. ... (prior content) According to Dr. Frank's books, Thomas and his crew came over in 1624. Other researchers use 1623 since there was activity in the Fall of that year (400th, again). 
  • Who was Rev. John White? The Rev was the principle motivator for the Dorchester Company's effort. Some have claimed that there is a relationship between the Reverend and Thomas. For now, the question is open and being studied further (Rev. John White, further). 
  • What is the Thomas Gardner Society, Inc.? Our "About us" page provides some background material and a brief discussion of purpose and mission.  
  • DNA? We have had a few posts on the subject and one article which was a review type. One post started a collection of sources. We looked, recently, at the results of one test by a Thomas descendant. It compared to what was reported via FamilyTreeDNA (look for 'gardner, 1591'). We have heard from several interested persons on the subject and will open a regular line of communication and discussion.  
  • How might I support the Thomas Gardner Society, Inc.? See instructions on the "Contact us" page for submitting contributions for support.   
  • Did an ancestor of Thomas help in the demise of Richard III? The story has been around awhile though parts of its source is unknown (Richard III and a Gardner). 
  • ...


08/12/2018 -- Besides the record of the marriage of Thomas and Margaret, we know her parents and have records for the earliest kids born in Sherborne. In terms of graves, Thomas, with others on Gardner Hill, was left where he was. Stones were moved over to Harmony Grove Cemetery. A few of those withstood the move, say that for Seeth.

09/22/2018 -- There has been a lot found out the past few years that might not be incorporated in these answers. We will have a post on research and changes when we start to update this.
06/24/2019 -- Updating all of the questions so that we can report in Gardner's Beacon, Vol. IX, No. 2.

10/22/2019 -- Added in something about DNA. 

05/05/2023 -- New information from church records in Sherborn have us examining the early years, again. 

12/27/2023 -- Put link to WikiTree's Profile for Thomas with comments. 

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