Context:  Annals/Research 

Sherborne, Dorset
Notes (02/29/2024)
-- We have been updating status with regard to news from overseas. Too, like everyone else, our attention was drawn to generative means, not formerly seen. So, we'll have a multi-pronged set of tasks this year and going forward. Restructuring is on the task list.

Notes (03/20/2023)
-- Not at "Square one" by any means. We will be adjusting the "What we know?" and the FAQ posts as we go along. 

Notes (03/13/2023)
-- Finally got back to WikiTree. Here is a summary: New not old planter. Need to assimilate this before determining how to adjust our research goals.
-- Split out material related to Thomas Gardner and Margaret Fryer and their sons who were born in Sherbourne, Dorset, UK.

Note (11/02/2020) -- Added baptism of son, Richard 1622). Grace mentioned in Walter's Will. Added baptism of son, John (Dec 1624) - need to study this as the family was supposedly in New England.

Note (10/24/2020) -- The year of Covid19 has been the reality since March of this year, brought to full attention due to shutdowns though coverage of the pandemic started in January. We'll a Gardner's Beacon issue soon and will continue this theme in our work.

Note (10/21/2019) -- The Thomas Gardner Profile on WikiTree will be updated with respect to origins and departures. This does not mean that the research need has gone or that the subject has been closed. We will continue our work in this and other related areas.

Note (09/25/2018) -- Added in images for the marriage of Walter Friar and Grace Mullins who are the parents of Margaret. Too, an image from the will of Walter Friar shows that he mentions Margaret, however it was in 1610 which was before her marriage to Thomas Gardner.

Note (08/01/2018) -- This topic will be studied further via an effort using WikiTree. See Thomas Gardner (abt. 1591-1674). The study is under the auspices of the Puritan Great Migration project (original comment).

--- original content from 2014 ----

Early on, during the time of Gov. Lovelace (later part of the 1600s), Richard and John Gardner went to see the Gov. in New York (NY). At the time, Nantucket was under NY rule. The two Gardners brought back instructions for Nantucket: Richard was to be in charge; the (main) town was to be called Sherborne.1 Later, Nantucket removed itself from NY control and took Massachusetts as its overlord. The Sherborne town had that name until sometime in the early-1800s.

In the late 1890s, Hinchman's book about Nantucket and its people mentioned that there was a strong tradition on the island about the origins of the Gardner family.2 In the book, too, there was a listing of the many stories that have been told about the Gardner origins. There have been many authors who mentioned that John had commented about Sherborne being the place whence came his parents. John and his brother convinced Gov Lovelace of such.1

In his 1907 book, Dr. Frank mentions the Sherborne tradition in his writeup about one son, Richard.3 In 1933, Dr. Frank did not add to the information but neither did he retract it. What did he know?

One has to ask, why was this issue not resolved? The Great Migration team postulated in a manner that has arguable points.


In 2014, Chimper Cook found records posted on-line from Sherborne, Dorset. In these, there are baptismal records, marriage records, Wills and more.

Briefly, a marriage record for Thomas Gardner and Margaret Frier is at Sherborne. Too, baptismal records for boys with the right names are found. The records for baptisms for the family stop which could indicate that the family moved.

The passenger listing for the Zouche Phoenix said that Thomas and his family (wife, George, Richard, Joseph) may have been from Martock, Somerset which is a stone's throw from Sherborne, Dorset.

We now have an active project looking at this subject. We will start with Sherborne records and branch to other areas, as necessary. Too, we will collect the sum total of the tales presented over the years; along with this survey will be taking notice of the plethora of sites that deal with this family.

The below table shows snapshots from related books and from the Sherborne records, in chronological order.

1896 Hinchman, L.S.

1907 Frank A. Gardner, M.D.
Thomas Gardner planter

Note: Order of birth for the older boys, according to Great Migration is: Thomas (say 1614) and George (say 1616). John was born after the migration. Joseph and Richard were born later, in Salem. Order, according to Dr. Frank is: Thomas, George, Richard, John, Samuel, Joseph, then the girls.
1 - New York records; Banks, C.E. (1911) The History of Martha's Vineyard
2 - Hinchman, L.S. (1896) Early Settlers of Nantucket, Chapter X 

3 - Gardner, Frank A., M.D. (1907) Thomas Gardner (Planter)                          
See for additional information.