Context:  Annals/Research 

Sherborne, Dorset
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 Jones 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

October 1591
Baptism of Thomas Gardiner

June 1598
Baptism of Margaret Frier

father of Margaret was Walter Frier

April 28, 1617
Marriage of Thomas Gardiner and Margaret Frier

March 1618
Baptism of son, Thomas

January 1620
Baptism of son, George

1622 Richard
1624 John


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.