Rhode Island Reading Room
These documents are made available free to the public by the Rhode Island USGenWeb Project
This section contains articles of genealogical and historic interest on Rhode Island in general, from old Rhode Island books and newspapers. If you would like to contribute please e-mail me with information.

   The Gardiners of Narragansett, first generation, George

   The Gardiners of Narragansett, second generation, Henry 



 Archives  Most articles will also be placed in the Rhode Island USGenWeb Archives.

 The Gardiners of Narragansett, Being a Genealogy of the Descendants of George Gardiner the Colonist, 1638. (1919) by Caroline E. Robinson, 320 pages.

First Generation

(page 1) George GARDINER, the Colonist. In writing the history of a family whose first ancestor in America is found early in the seventeenth century, it is often necessary to discard many traditions cherished for centuries by descendants.  More especially is this so in the case of the GARDINER family, since their traditions cannot be substantiated by documentary proofs or the slightest documentary evidence. In an old Family Bible, a record made in 1790, over one hundred and fifty years after the name GARDINER is found in our Colonial records, and over one hundred years after George GARDINER's death, the statement is incorrectly made that the first ancestor of the family in Rhode Island was Joseph, a son of a Sir Thomas GARDINER, Knight, the birth and death assigned to him corresponding fairly well with the birth and death of the veritable George GARDINER (notes #1). George GARDINER was evidently an educated man and took an active part in the affairs of the Colony. He was admitted an inhabitant of Newport (notes #1a). In 1640 he was present "att the Generall Courte of election" and from that time until his death, about 1677, his name often appears in the State records.

In the Colonial records the name is spelled GARDNER, or GARDENER, until 1670, when we find it occasionally GARDINER.  After 1780 the name is indexed as "GARDNER" or "GARDINER". In Burkes' Commoners many families are given as GARDNER, and as many more GARDINER. But, as the family arms have a curious similarity, the evidence points to a common ancestor.



(page 2) Sometime, not far from 1640, George GARDINER married Herodias (Long) HICKS. She made the statement that she had been married to John HICKS, in London, without the knowledge of her friends, when between thirteen and fourteen years of age. Soon after coming to Rhode Island HICKS deserted her, going to New Amsterdam, or as he expressed it, "to the Dutch", taking with him most of the property left to her by her mother. Her marriage to George GARDINER was rather irregular in form, to say the least, consisting of going before some friends and declaring themselves husband and wife. (notes #3) As she was a Quaker, and a fanatic at that, cheerfully walking from Newport to Boston, with a young child in her arms, to receive a whipping at the post for her religious (?) beliefs, possibly because she would not consent to be married after any established forms.

According to her own account, George neglected her and would not provide for her numerous family. It may have been her pressing needs, and it may have been the superior attraction of John PORTER, with his great wealth in lands (he being one of the Pettaquamscutt Purchasers) and his promises to provide for her children, that awakened her religious (?) scruples about the legality of her marriage with George GARDINER. At any rate, she petitioned  the General Assembly for a divorce, which was granted, thus proving the legality of her marriage. (notes #4) John PORTER, having conveniently gotten a divorce from his wife, married Herodias and faithfully kept his promise, .....giving  large farms of several hundred acres to each of her sons, and possibly to her daughters, for the land of John WATSON, who married two of her daughters, joined the GARDINER lands.



George GARDINER married as a second wife, Lydia BALLOU, a daughter of Robert and
Susannah.

    Children of George GARDINER by his first wife, Herodias (Long) (Hicks)

(1) Not listed.
(2) Benoni GARDINER, was born before 1645, and died about 1731. He married Mary-----. Nothing has, as yet, has been trustworthily discovered concerning Mary's parentage.
(3) Henry GARDINER, was born about 1645, and died April 26, 1744. He married first, Joan------ and second Abigail, a daughter of Edward and Abigail (Davis) RICHMOND and widow of John REMINGTON.
(4) George GARDINER, was born -------and died 1724. On Feb. 13, 1670 he married Tabitha TEFFT, a daughter of John and Mary ("Barker"...a note written into book by hand) Tefft.
(5) William GARDINER, was born in 1651 (?) and married Elizabeth-------. He died in 1711.
(6) Nicholas GARDINER, was born 1654, and married Hannah-----. He died 1712.
(7) Dorcas GARDINER, was born about 1656, and married about 1675, John WATSON, who died in 1728.
(8) Rebecca GARDINER, was born -----, and married as second wife, John WATSON, who died in 1728. Rebecca was probably the infant "still at the breast" which her mother carried to Boston in 1658.
(9) Samuel GARDINER. (notes #18)



Children by second wife, Lydia BALLOU:

(10) Joseph GARDINER, married Nov. 30, 1693, Catherine HOLMES, a daughter of John and Frances (Holden) HOLMES. She married second Daniel WIGHTMAN.
(11) Lydia GARDINER, married April 4, 1689, married Joseph SMITH, a son of John and Sarah (Whipple) SMITH.
(12) Mary GARDINER, no record.
(13) Peregreene GARDINER ...no record.
(14) Robert GARDINER, died at Providence, RI in 1690. His will was proved April 28, 1690. It mentions his brothers, Peregreene and Joseph, also his father-in-law, i.e., stepfather.
(14) Jeremiah GARDINER, married, about 1711, Grace ---------.
 
                      End of First Generation



NOTES

Note #1  (page 201) "The veritable George GARDINER".
In a publication entitled "No 2, Gardiner, Me., Historical Series, Silvester GARDINER, by Henry Sewall WEBSTER, Gardiner, Maine, 1913," are found the following statements:

There have been many distinct families bearing the name of GARDINER, both in England and in this country. According to recent researches conducted by Hon. Asa Bird GARDINER, of New York City, that to which Silvester GARDINER belonged is derived from "Sir Osbern GARDINER, Knight Primus filius, Lord of the Manor of Oral on Douglas River in Wigan Parish, West Derby Hundred, County Palatine, of Lancaster." He was born about 1128, in the reign of Henry I. The family is of Anglo-Saxon origin, but is, "by intermarriage, also descended from several distinguished Norman families, whose progenitors' names are inscribed in the Battle Abby Roll of the Knights of William the Conqueror."

Two branches of the family are known to have emigrated to America in Colonial times. Richard GARDINER belongs to a younger branch. He was one of the "adventurers" who came over with Sir Francis WYATT, Governor of Virginia, in 1621. He was in Virginia in 1627. None of his descendants are known to be now living. George GARDINER and two of his younger brothers, Edward and Robert, were representatives of the elder line, and all finally settled in what is now the State of Rhode Island.

George GARDINER was baptized February 15, 1599/1600, and was married to Sarah  SLAUGHTER, at St. James Church, Clerkenwell, London, March 28 1630. He sailed in the ship "Fellowship" of Bristol, and arrived in  Boston June 29, 1637. In October, 1638, he was residing on Aquedneck Island, R.I. ...In 1662 he acquired by deed from one of the Narragansett sachems, a tract measuring five by one and one-half miles in the "Narragansett Country" ...Benoni, third son of George and Sarah GARDINER, was born in London in 1636 or 1737, and was therefore an infant at the time of the emigration.

Note #1a (page 201)  "An Inhabitant of Newport in 1638"
George GARDINER was fifth in a list of fifty-nine men admitted on the first of the 8th month, 1638, "to be Inhabytants of the Island now called Aqueedneck".  "At the Generall Quarter Court" held at "Niewport" 17th of the 10th month, 1639, he was one of six "admitted and embraced as Freemen into this Body Politike." ....R.I. Col. Rec I, p. 95.

Note #2 (page 201)     "Thomas of Roxbury"
The fact that George GARDINER, of Newport, had no descendant named Thomas, among his ten recorded sons and thirty-one grandsons, seems to militate with this theory.
The mother of President John Adams was a descendant of Thomas GARDINER, of Roxbury.

Note #3 (page 202)   "Husband and wife"
"Robert STANTON being called before the court, and being asked whether he could informe the Court whether hee knew that ever George GARDENER and Horod, his reputed wife, were ever married according to the custom of this place; to which hee answered that hee knew noe other marriadge, but onlye one night being at his house both of them did say before him and his wife that they did take one the other as man and wife." ....R.I. Col. Rec II, pp 99, 100.

"Dr. LUSHINGTON, in the case of a marriage in New South Wales, declared that, when there has been a 'fact of consent between two parties to become man and wife,' such is 'sufficient marriage to enable me to pronounce, when necessary, a decree of separation' ...Scotland. The chief point of distinction, as compared with English law, is the recognitiion of irregular marriages above noticed.... A marriage may also 'be constituted by declarations made by the man and woman that they presently do take each other for husband and wife'... Such a marriage is as effectual to all intents and purposes as a public marriage." Encyc. Britannica, Marriage (9th ed.) XV, p. 567.

"Yett, nevertheless, it is hearby to be understood that any persones now living within the confines expressed in our late Charter given by his Majesty to the Colony, and are reputed to live together as man and wife by common observation or account of there neighbours before this act was passed, shall not come under any of the censures, fines or penaltyes in any of the fore premised acts or orders in this present (order) concearning marriages contained or espressed, however there may have been some neglect of the due observation of the rules and directiones to that end therein contained and prescribed; ...neither shall the children of such be reputed ilegittimate, but all such reputed marridges fomerly made and not hitherto detected, or complained against by a due processe of law, or already by the Assembly disannulled or punished, shall be, and are, by the authority of this Assembly deemed to be good, firme and authentick to all intents and purposes." Law of Marriage, May, 1665. R.I. Col. Rec. II, pp 104/105.

Note #4 (page 202)   "The legalilty of her marriage"
In the absence of a reference, it does not seem possible to verify this statement as to the granting of a divorce to George GARDINER and Herodias. The record of it has not been found in the Colonial Records.


Second Generation

(Page 5 #3) Henry GARDINER, 2 (George 1), was born in 1645, according to his own testimony as to member ship of Church of England, in Narragansett, in March, 1738, calling himself "about ninety-three". Jeffery WATSON, in his diary, under the date April 28, 1744 says, "I was at the burial of Uncle Henry GARDINER. It was adjudged by old people that he was about one hundred years old, as he was a man grown in the Indian War (1675). In 1665 George GARDINER's wife declared she had lived with him twenty years.

Notes #9 (page 203)

"Lived with him 20 years" The only date in Horod Long's petition to his Majesty's Commissioners and by them reffered to Gov Benedict Arnold, is 1640, about which time she said she came to Rhode Island, "not long after" which she parted from her husband, John HICKS, and joined George GARDINER. Henry GARDINER, their second son, might well have been born in 1645.)

In 1679 he signed , with others, a petition to the King. In 1638 he was Constable, and in 1688 was on the Grand Jury. In his will, proved May 5, 1744, he gave his wife Abagail a "pacing mare", three of the best milch cows, six good ewes, negro wench, bed and other household furniture. To sons Henry and Ephraim, equally, a farm of two hundred acres in Westerly, at age. To grand son Henry, son of William deceased, eighty or ninety acres in Westerly, at age. To son Henry "half of my money, lands, horses, cattle and etc. To son Ephraim the other half. Also all property not disposed of to Henry and Ephram. He mentions grandaughter Hanner POTTER, wife of Thomas, and grandaughter of Dorcas GARDINER, daughter of Ephraim.

He married Joan ------, by whom he had no children.

Mr. J. Warren GARDINER, in one of his valuable historical papers, gives the first wife of Henry GARDINER, 2, as JOAN GREENE, daughter of John of Quidnesset.

Although no daughter of John GREENE is given by Mr Ray Greene HULING in his
genealogy of John GREENE, in the Narragansett Hist. Register (Oct 1883, 137-144,) yet the statement is not unlikely. (See AUSTIN's Genealogical Dict. of R.I. page 89) where a Joan is mentioned. The five sons of John GREENE, of Quidnesset, were a little younger than Henry GARDINER, and if there were a daughter, who would have been a suitable age to be his wife, and might naturally have been named Joan, after her mother. Probably J. Warren GARDINER had seen John GREENE's will before the fire at Wickford in 1870.)

After her death he married Abigail widow of John REMINGTON and daughter of Edward and Abigail (DAVIS) RICHMOND. She was born 1656 and died in 1744.

"He married Abigail"
Abigail REMINGTON was the mother of Mrs William GARDINER, the mother of Mrs. Dr.  Mac SPARREN. The Dr. in his Diary (Sept 30th and Oct 4th 1744) speaks of the death of his wife's grandmother, at the great age of eighty-eight years.)



Children of Henry GARDINER and his Second Wife.

23--Henry, (born 25 Feb 1691, and died in 1768), he married first 4 Aug, 1710 Desire HAVENS, and second Catherine DAVIS.  (Page 203, Notes #12, "Died in     1768) Thr Narragansett Parish Registerk, under July 1768, records: "On the     16th Saturday night died Mr. Henry GARDINER (son of Henry of Newport), one of   the Parish of St. Paul's.... And the said Mr GARDNER was buried in his own     ground without ceremony, and having only five or six men attending his     Funeral by reason of the Malignancy of the Distemper and Fever whereof he     died.")

24--Ephram GARDINER, (born Jan 17, 1639) Married 28 April 1713, Penelope ELDRED He died 10 April 1774. She died 11 April 1774 in her 80th year.  (Page 203, Notes #13, "Died April 10, 1774."  The Naragansett Register, under 1774 records, "On friday the 8th of April Col Ephraim GARDNER... was siezed in his field with an Apoplexy; and on Sunday the 10th died and on Wednesday the 13th he was buried". No allusion is made to Mrs GARDINER's death on Monday the 11th, as noted in the text, nor to her burial.)

25--William GARDINER, (born 27 Oct 1697, and died before 1732) married June 12, 1718, Margaret ELDRED, a daughter of Capt. John ELDRED.

26--Hannah GARDINER, (born 4 Aug 1703 married Thomas POTTER. (Page 204, Notes #14. "Thomas POTTER. Capt. Thomas POTTER, of South Kingston, was born 8 Feb 1695/96, being the son of Thomas and a grandson of Ichabod POTTER. If he married Hannah, she must have died previously to 31 Dec 1730, when the Narragansett Register records that he was married to Hannah GARDINER, daughter of Henry GARDINER, Jr., as so a niece ofannah in the text, although only nine years her junior, having been born about 1712.)


These documents are made available free to the public for non-commercial purposes by the Rhode Island USGenWeb Project. Donated by Polly Fitt-Jones <pollylouise@sprynet.com>
Mail   If you have a (pre-1922) contribution from a Rhode Island book or newspaper you would like to share, please send me an e-mail with the publication title, author, and publisher. Thanks. 
http://www.rootsweb.com/~rigenweb/articles.html