Thomas Gardner

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Thomas Gardner, whose ancestry is unknown (or not traced here), was born at England, about 1592.1 He died at Salem, Essex Co., Massachusetts, 29 December 1674.1,2

Thomas married his unknown first wife at England, before 1614;1,3 he married (2) Margaret (…) at Nantucket Co., Massachusetts, before 1639;4,3 he married (3), as her 2nd husband, Damaris (…), say 1651. The ancestry of all three wives is unknown (or not traced here).1,3

A Nantucket tradition says he came from Sherborne, in the northern part of the County of Dorset, and that the former name of Nantucket (Sherburne) was given through the influence of his family. He may also have come from Hrust, Martock parish, Somersetshire. There is no question of the fact that they exercised considerable influence over the affairs of the town.

Thomas, the first of the Salem stock, came over in 1624 from Dorsetshire, England near which the name had flourished for more than three centuries He settled at Gloucester, Cape Ann, upon the grant of Lord Sheffield to Robert Cushman and Edward Winslow, under the auspices of the Dorchester Company and Rev. John White, with 13 others.

Thomas was the overseer of the plantation at Cape Ann, John Tilley was over the fisheries, and Roger Conant was soon appointed governor. However, they did not meet with great success and shortly left for Salem.

Thomas and his family moved to Naumkeag, or Salem, in 1626 where his descendants down to the present century still survive him. He was made freeman 17 May 1637, was a representative that year, and was also a member of the town council of Salem for a number of years.1

Family 1

NN (…) d. abt. 1636/37
  • Thomas Gardner1 b. say 1614, d. bef. 29 Nov 1682
  • George Gardner1 b. say 1616, d. 20 Aug 1679
  • John Gardner+1 b. abt. 1624, d. 6 May 1706
  • Sarah Gardner+1 b. abt. 1627, d. 5 Apr 1686
  • Samuel Gardner1 b. abt. 1629
  • Joseph Gardner1 b. abt. 1630, d. 19 Dec 1675
  • Richard Gardner+1 b. 1632, d. 23 Jan 1688
  • Miriam Gardner1 b. abt. 1635
  • Seeth Gardner1 b. 25 Dec 1636, d. 17 Apr 1707

Family 2

Margaret (…) d. say 1650

Family 3

Damaris (…) b. say 1600, d. 28 Nov 1674
This person was last edited on17 Dec 2017


  1. [S2281] Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620-1633, Volumes I–III, 3 vols. (Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1995), 2:731-37 (Thomas Gardner), further cited as Anderson, GMB.
  2. [S1191] Vital Records of Salem, Massachusetts, to the Year 1849, 6 vols. (1916-1925; reprint, Newburyport, Massachusetts: Parker River Researchers, 1988), 5:273, further cited as Vital Records of Salem.
  3. [S1872] Clarence Almon Torrey, New England Marriages Prior to 1700, 3 vols. (Boston, Massachusetts: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2011), 600, further cited as Torrey, New England Marriages (2011).
  4. [S60] Lydia S. Hinchman, Early Settlers of Nantucket(1934; reprint, Rutland, Vermont: C. E. Tuttle, 1980), 79-81, further cited as Hinchman, Early Settlers of Nantucket.