Should all of the children of Thomas Gardner-159 be detached from his second wife, Margaret ____? [closed]

+3 votes
According to Robert Charles Anderson's Great Migration Begins article on Thomas Gardner-159, pages 731-737, Thomas's children were all by his first wife whose name is unknown. There is currently no profile for her on WikiTree. Right now all of his children are attached to his second wife, Margaret Unknown-197698, who may possibly have been Margaret Friar. Does anyone disagree that we should detach all of his children from Margaret Unknown-197698? Shall we leave them motherless, or is there a value in creating an Unknown Unknown profile as their mother?

Additional information found after I originally posted this message:    Is it possible we should leave them all as the children of Margaret Frier?
WikiTree profile: Thomas Gardner
closed with the note: Question semi-answered. Started a new post for more discussion
asked in Genealogy Help by Kay Wilson G2G6 Pilot (151k points)
closed by Darlene Athey-Hill
It looks that way.
UPDATE: Post-Anderson research appears to indicate that Margaret Frier was his first wife and mother of his children. See below.
I think that we have answered the question. At Margaret's profile, see the latest image ([ Research notes]) that quotes Felt (1827), Savage (around 1860s), Peirce (1881), and Hinchman (1896). Why these? There are more.

Well, they mention Margaret and Sherborne (Sherburne). The first is almost 200 years ago. And, Felt was quite thorough. The second is the middle of the century. Savage goes without comment. The third is from an illustrious Harvard family (love Charles Sanders Peirce and his logic and pragmatism). The fourth? Out of Nantucket. An old Folger guy talking about the early times.

So, if we take Sherborne, then we have our Margaret. The Gardner children in the area? There were several families. We can figure these out enough to firm up the basis.

Now, are all questions answered? No, but now we can update our question list and proceed to fill in the open spaces. And, add more questions with enhanced specificity (dealing with particularities - the Poli/Sci people came up with that).

In the meantime, I'm still writing this up various ways. However, may we settle this particular thing of the links? Just let them be with comments, perhaps? As we will be adding in more information about this couple as records become digitized. Too, there are people who have done this work. We need to gather information from them.

I think it's time we start a new G2G post for other discussions.  So I started one here

3 Answers

+2 votes
Best answer
Damaris was his last wife. Margaret (possibly Frier) was an earlier wife and possibly mother of his children. I am against detaching the children from her.
answered by Darlene Athey-Hill G2G6 Pilot (258k points)
selected by John M. Switlik
I agree, Darlene!
I am a little late to the game, but this is an open issue that could not be addressed by a book covering 1000s of people.

These are my earlier thoughts from 2012.

We want to reopen the query in the sense of origins for which there have been many proposals made.

Especially, it would be interesting to have a better understanding within the next five years.
Darlene, Thank you. We are definitely doing this research.

The PGM project is revisiting this profile. It would be great to finalize this, if it's possible.

I'd love an update from John Switlik. Basically, we're seeking to confirm that the Thomas Gardiner marrying Margaret Friar in Sherburne, Dorsetshire in 1617 is the same couple as those who emigrate to Salem, Massachusetts.

There is reference on this blog post that the Salem childrens' baptisms have also been found in Sherburne, but the S. parish records don't include that time period (as far as I can tell, anyway). 

Jillaine, my first pass at WikiTree was in 2014, basically to put that additional information (marriage) dealing with what I call the 'whence' issue at the Thomas profile. At the time, I was writing some articles pulling together my research notes from 2009 to that time (The Essex Genealogist - the first one corrected a prior article from the 1990s about the string of John Graves in Ipswich). Then, I heard from a bunch of Gardner families and dug in with one from the Philly area (of course, Quaker, coming in through New Jersey, had a ferry in that area) who had relations, we think, with the Salem crowd. That cut my teeth in looking at the old country, so to speak. And, I, recently, started to get more a more in-depth feel for the southwest. Interesting.

A few days ago, I came back to WikiTree, in earnest. I need to change from my roll-your-own method (a bounce from the 'ancestrydot' experience) and am looking at alternatives. There have been lots of changes the past couple of  years (some have even perturbed people); many have been debating how we ought to go now. Then, 'rootsweb' had a glitch last year. But, lo and behold, WikiTree has attracted the professional genealogists.

Too, I love the 'wiki' approach, however my protocol sense still needs some tuning ;>).

My thought, yesterday, was that we need a project (I'll have to learn how to do this). About 2016, I shifted my focus from Thomas (specific - as my wife also has Thomas of Roxbury in her tree) to all things Gardner (Dr. Frank's 1933 book expanded on the list) as I have heard from all of the Gardner families, so far. I wrote about the ship that wrecked off of Oregon in 1860 (the gold fever); it was owned by a descendant of George of RI who was a Boston merchant (it carried Caribbean booze out of Boston around the Cape to San Francisco - then, it was seen in New Zealand, ostensibly to pick up supplies for the miners).

If there were a project, we could pull together all of the stories that have accrued. Plus, get all of the references in the books over the years, together. I already have started this (Hubbard, Farmer, Felt, et al) in blog posts. But, too, John (son) mentioned Sherburne (I saw that in a book at the Essex Institute but did not remember the name). He and  Richard, at least for a bit, got something on Nantucket renamed, thus. The uproar caused a switchback (nothing new under the sun).

Too, my Gardner colleague from the Philly family has a slew of material some of which we'll publish this fall.  

As an aside, the John Graves were conflated due to the coming forward mode of research following the Vital Records. Say, things like the Sr and Jr mention at different parts of time can confuse. I solved this by working back from extant people to that point. Then, the Johns were easy to split as we had more records.

Same goes for comparing with Dr. Frank's work.

To me, the same goes for this piece of the puzzle. Actually, I have found things just by looking at collateral families. In one recent case, a note was made that someone was in Nebraska (mid-1800s) out of Massachusetts. I was able to trace out the in-between points, fortunately; though, there are some missing pieces that can be handled via an indirect method.

Such an august family as the Peirce one of Harvard had Thomas with his father (same story told at the Dorset site -  the elder Thomas came over and went back). That's why I started with just doing a sweep of stories (with a timeline). Some are far-fetched (I document the issue on the blog when I see it). Others have something behind them; interpretation is a part of human culture and history, albeit technology is now exacerbating the whole thing (keeps life fun).

For all of the stories (pulled together), we could document the pros and cons. Or, even just look at the source of the 'rumor' (belief?, wish?, whatever). Nothing to hide. Give people their spot in the sun. In other words, do a full documentation.

But, plenty of people have tried to untangle this knot. I talked briefly with Doug R  to see if he had interest (of course) when I saw him at a DC talk. That marriage mention had been found on a recently transcribed record.

I'm for agreeing on some interim state and then go full-bore into the search, documenting as things go along. That is why I mentioned five years, as 1623 is coming up then.

One open issue for us at TGS, Inc. was where to work outside of the FB closed group and the current mode of and the blog. I'm going to use WikiTree, as the past two days have been really effective (so much more to do).

How do (ought) we do a Thomas Gardner project?

John, thanks for coming back. 

You could certainly start something like  one-name study, but that might be broader than you want.

Or you could start something like a sub-project of the existing Puritan Great Migration project-- we could do it as a beta-- i.e., working forward particular PGM lines... Anne B and I are co-leaders of the PGM project and would be happy to have you.

Yes, the wiki-way is not the roll-your-own way, and much has changed here-- in large part to help improve the quality of profiles. Projects, like PGM, are one way we do that.  But we have a huge backlog and very few active volunteers on the project. Your recent post to the profile came to our attention (we have a watchlist of all the PGM immigrants-- or most of them). 

And it's clear this profile needs to be updated.  It SEEMS like you've found details that are "post-Anderson" -- and I'd like to see the profile appropriately updated. I just seek confirmation that the Sherburne records you found are for those of the immigrant. It seems like it's the list of children's baptisms that could nail this (i.e. be a match to the immigrants' children), but I don't see those records.

Once we have confirmation, I'd like to merge the two Margarets into one Margaret Friar.

We also need an estimated marriage year for Thomas and Damaris. Both the Margaret profiles have a 1674 death year that needs checking.

The 'roll-your-own' refers to the software and technical approach. That differs from content management which has always been oriented toward sources. I have done a score of applications to heritage groups just to 'prove' (in a sense) the work. I'm still getting my sea legs here but will be running along soon enough.

Thanks for the offer of help. Let me look more closely at those profiles. Margaret (or any former spouse) would have died before Thomas married Damaris. I sort of target the Mary Dyer event (1660), as I am sure that Thomas witnessed that one as well as was aware of the former ones where she was warned.

I like the beta having worked process and technical solutions for decades (related to major operational systems).

I know that the PGM has more people to handle, but what the MC group has done with their Base Camp Trails got my attention. What puzzles me is that I have not seen anything related to strength of the profile. I was bopping along some nodes of the MC graph. Then you hit one that is suspect. How is the casual reader to do any type of assessment? I saw the 'flag' in my own mind (and made the decision to check out this issue).

Sorry, I tend to look at foundation'al issues.

BTW, I would like to see the descendants pushed down to two generations or so. Son Samuel only has son Abel (well, he is buried with Thomas in Harmony Grove Cemetery) mentioned.
I have been blogging decisions as I go and pointing to research pages. Here are the details that I was referring to in 2014. It has images from the records that we can go back to.

I was just getting ready to get back to this after modifying the format somewhat on our website.
I do have the original records from 2014 (on our server). Will back them up to the cloud.
Baptismal records are for Thomas, George, Richard and John, in that order. John's was December of 1624.

There was a Walter Friar and Grace Mullins who married about the time to be Margaret's parents.

How people coming along to profiles know to what extent the profile is accurate should be evident from the quality of the sources found there.

That's the primary focus of the PGM project-- to get profiles of GM-era immigrants accurately sourced. We follow Anderson until more recent, quality research updates Anderson. Looks like you might have some of that.

We have a lot of work to do, but have made great progress with a small handful of volunteers. Much more is still needed. Anything you can do to help is appreciated.

So, getting out of the Quora mode, here is a brief list that might drive some goals/tasks. Remember: be gentle, I'm a WikiTree newbie.

1. Organize images from the 2014 search (source, provenance - John Cook pulled these out and sent them to the TGS, Inc.) with the snaps that show the content's pertinence (say, the marriage, Thomas Jr's bpt notice).

2. Search for more of the same (additional digitization in the meantime?). Sherborne, in particular. Perhaps, broader.

3. Review the material (new and old) and, starting from RCA's GMB, assess so as to determine its usefulness. To wit: relates to Thomas and Margaret?; how (John's record says 1624; he was born here?); anything additional on motivations (Dorchester Company, etc.)?

4. Write a summary of positions (the pros and cons).

5. Decide and document.

6. Per usual, continue work on the 'whence' (and other) issues.

How to proceed? Sub-project? Who drives (I'm learning the ropes)?

Myself, I will be blogging about this effort from the Thomas Gardner Society, Inc. viewpoint. Too, I have started entering profiles of those who were mentioned in the articles that appeared in The Essex Genealogist and the Gardner Annals (all sourced) and will complete those as I can (say, how long does one wait to hear from the profile owner?).
I think the first step is to confirm (or disprove) that Thomas and Margaret (and kids) of Sherborne are the same as the Massachusetts family.

Do the baptisms of their children in Sherborne align with the names, order and ages of the Gardner children in Massachusetts? Is there any evidence of Thomas and Margaret in Sherborne after the known migration of the PGM immigrant? I.e., can we say that there is no evidence of the family in Sherborne after the known migration of the Massachusetts family?

Then, is there a will of either Walter Friar or Grace (Mullins) Friar that refers to a daughter Margaret [Gardiner]?

And of course if you'd like to work the descendants down a few generations, by all means, please do so. That is beyond the scope of the PGM project, which focuses on making accurate the immediate family of immigrants.


Regarding who drives: this is a collaborative site. The projects try not to over-drive, but work with folks most familiar with the research/families. Project goals drive work pertinent to those profiles under the care of the project, and I've just stated above the project goals for this particular profile. I'd like to align our goals with yours for mutual benefit-- an accurate set of profiles updated with the most recent quality research. 

Looks like Helen Ford is finding some of these records on See Margaret Friar's profile. Thanks Helen.

John, I'm liking your recent blog, listing all the records. Would be awesome if they were linked to either the originals and included full citations.  Could you also add the marriage record you found of Walter Frier and Grace Mullins?

Assuming this couple/family disappeared from Sherborne around 1627, I think you've found the emigrating family!

On Margaret's page, I put the marriage of Walter and Grace plus the baptism of Margaret. I will extend that table that I started.

Jillaine, there is a will of Walter Friar online at the National Archives site:  Will of WALTER FRIAR Yeoman of Sherborne Dorset; 10 NOVEMBER 1610; PROB. 11/116.  I haven't purchased it.  You can preview it (with their logo all over it, which makes it very hard to read).  I can see that he mentions daughters Elizabeth, Margaret, and a third one I can't decipher; sons Ambrose, Richard, Thomas.  See here:

Since his will was in 1610, his children were young (therefore unmarried and so surname is Friar).

Darlene, Jillaine, I have a copy. It mentions Margaret, his daughter, and other children; however, it was before she was married to Thomas. I will put a snap on her page like with the marriage of Walter/Grace and Margaret's baptism.

Pending, updating this table to be more complete as we have the baptism of Richard and John to add. 

I just found out that FamilySearch has some of these old records, too. Is ancestry[.]com cornering the market? 

I have an ancestry[.]com account ('twas my first venture into this stuff - 2009) but am not allowed to read this without bellying up to the bar, so to speak.

So, we could get more information about this family.

There is no record after the GMB time; so, if this is the family, how did Thomas link up with Rev. John White's effort?
Well, I can email you copies of the records if you'd like.  I see both Richard's and John's baptism records, again at  Richard son of Thomas bapt. 20 Jul 1622; John son of Thomas bapt. 7 Dec 1624.  Also, there is son Samuel's bapt. also on 18 Jul 1627.  My records have Samuel married to Mary White, but since Samuel isn't my direct line, I haven't researched the White line, but she might have been Rev. White's granddaughter through his son John. . .
Samuel is the line that I started with. I notice that his profile needs some work. Only one child is mentioned.

Mary's father was John White. He married Elizabeth Herbert, the daughter of the Mayor of Northampton. John died, and Elizabeth married George Corwin. So, Mary was 1/2 sister of Jonathan Corwin and 1/2 aunt of George Corwin.

There are several witch connections in Ann's tree; they are of interest, mainly, due to the number in the tree. But, that's a couple of generations, later.

BTW, thanks for the offer. I have the baptisms up to John.

Thanks for the tip off about the UK search method. I saw a rule early: Americans should take care of their side; leave that over the pond to the Brits. Must have been due to all of the wrong stories from a century or so (plus or minus a few decades) ago.
So . . . how do we know that 'our' Thomas was the Thomas that came in 1624?  As I just showed, we have a baptism of a John son of Thomas on 7 Dec 1624, and a Samuel son of Thomas on 18 Jul 1627 . . .  And then there are no more baptisms for children of Thomas after that.
Darlene, Good question. Back to RCA GMB, Samuel, after Sarah, was born in 1629 (estimated). John was born 1624. So, there or here?

Interesting. We ought to have a new question about this. Except, is the issue of Margaret settled, yet?

It may be time to revisit the passenger list and other sources.

Endicott mentions Thomas as being here in 1629.

Along with this? Some say two Thomas Gardners came over.  Father and son. And, much more, of course.

There is also George  bapt  1 jan 1619 (1619/20). Father is an insertion and not clear but possibly Thomas.

Re relationship to John White of Dorchester. The populace at Sherborne were very happy to move into the Abbey Church when the monks were thrown out by Henry V111 

Nevertheless, during the 17th  century David Underdown ( the 'biographer" of 17th C  Dorchester) suggests that Sherborne was the "least puritan town in the entire west country" Sherborne was strongly royalist during the civil war .

(Just a word about ancestry, in the UK funding for archives is from local authorities and because they are used by relatively few people they are a good target for cuts.Dorset History Centre licences popular records to ancestry .The originals don't have to be produced so less risk of damage. Meanwhile, the centre stays open and people like me can access less popular records.)

Doesn't Anderson say that the Salem man emigrated about 1624? That would pose a problem if Thomas was still baptizing children in 1627 in Sherborne.
Jillaine, yes. But, there were two Gardiners married after 1613 and one Gardner. Plus, there were older Gardner couples who could still be having children. Lots of Gardners (just like over here). We would have to match up the kids with the couples.

The naming of the children is interesting, though.

About 1624, a party came in 1623 and overwintered (read this in one of the older reports). Thomas might have been with that group. It may have been his son who was with his mother on the 1624 boat.

A write-up on the Dorchester Company (out of Dorset) said that Thomas came over and went back and was buried in England (this was in the bio of Rev John and about his sister).  

At least, we know there was a Margaret Friar who is of the right age and married a Thomas Gardiner. Evidently, one of the many researchers who were poking around a hundred years ago (plus) ran across that (and the attribution was rubbed out by rumor).

I would like to have a chance to review and summarize what we know now (versus what had been the state of things a week ago) and get back with you. WikiTree shines.
+2 votes
Something doesn't make sense, if you go to the Biography it tells us that his first wife was Damaris (.           ) Mrs Shattuck then in the Synopsis it tells us that his will was written before Damaris died and names his children but then goes on to state that Damaris died a few months before he died!  If I remember correctly Damaris might have been a Sibley!  My records are in storage so going off memory on the Sibley surname!  

If the children do not belong to Margaret Fryer(Frier) they should not be listed under her!  Just My Opinion!
answered by M Lurvey G2G Crew (980 points)
The biography says Thomas Gardner's first wife was ____, and that Damaris was his third wife. The article you refer to is about Thomas's son Richard, who married the daughter of Damaris, Richard's stepmother. That article says that Damaris was Thomas Gardner's second wife. The question we need to resolve is not about Damaris. The question is whether Thomas Gardner was married to two women before Damaris, or one. Some people believe the first wife of Thomas Gardner was Margaret Frier, and that she was the mother of his children, and that Damaris was his second wife. They found some information in 2014 that indicates that Thomas and Margaret Frier were married in Sherborne in 1617, that they had children together in Sherborne prior to immigrating in 1624, then had more children in Salem. Some people, including Robert Charles Anderson in the Great Migration Begins, believe that Thomas married an unknown woman in England, had children with her in England and later in Salem, and that she died about 1636. Then Thomas married Margaret ____, and had no children with her. After Margaret ___ died, Thomas married Damaris as his third wife. Currently there are two wives attached to Thomas, Margaret ____ and Damaris, with all of his children attached to Margaret ____. But his biography says there were three wives and the children should be attached to the first wife, Unknown Unknown. I think one option we have is to leave things as they are, and put an explanation near the top of the biography saying that until further research is done by the Thomas Gardner Society, we don't know if there were two wives or three.
Thank you. I put in a comment, finally, below.

I like WikiTree.
+2 votes
I really, really hate to complicate matters, but I don't see any mention in other answer threads of the fact that the Sherborne record cited by the Thomas Gardner Society ( also shows the marriage of Thomas Gardiner to Edith Webber on September 13 1613. Does this not also have to be taken into consideration?  Or am I missing something?  (Wouldn't be the first time...)

This is a piece of my ancestry and I would _love_ to have it cleared up.
answered by Christopher Childs G2G5 (5.7k points)

Jillaine, re: Gardner children baptised between early 1600-1617, I come up with several. Name in ( ) is parent listed.

  • Avis - 6 Apr 1611 (Giles)
  • George - 1 Jan 1619 (Thomas)
  • Edith - 7 Feb 1601
  • Edward - 24 Dec 1602
  • Robert - 25 Nov 1602
  • Edward - 21 Apr 1603
  • John - 7 Mar 1604 (Robert)
  • William - 3 Aug 1604
  • William - 21 Sep 1606
  • Barbara - 16 Feb 1612 (Egidy - didn't look at orig. prob. Edith)
  • Jane - 2 Oct 1616 (Oliver)
  • Thomas - 4 Jul 1604
  • Anne - 28 Feb 1617 (John)
  • Thomas - 8 Mar 1617 (Thomas)
  • Robert - 9 Apr 1608 (Robert)

While we're on a roll, let's add in a few Gardner burials in the timeframe in Sherborne with relative mention in record in ( ):

  • Ambrose - 20 Oct 1599
  • John - 6 May 1571 (Jane)
  • Julian - 24 Apr 1571
  • Thomas - 14 Nov 1606 (transcription says Carlos as family; definitely not Carlos; I think it perhaps says Edith)
  • Edward - 8 Dec 1607 (Thomas) - I'm not positive the deceased is Edward. It's blurry & could well be Thomas or ...
  • Agnes - 27 Jan 1634
John -- of Jane -- d. on the exact day that a John is shown as marrying a Joan??

That is too weird.
Ah -- different century.  But still a little bizarre.

With regard to multiple Thomas Gardner's in that time period, we have this marriage of 5 Sep 1579.  What do you think the name is of the wife? (You have to have an ancestry subscription to view).  The ancestry transcriber shows her name as Xpiane Sanle (obviously wrong).  On, they show the wife as Christian Soule.  I agree it could well be Soule, but I don't see 'Christian'.  Hope others have a subscription and can look and voice an opinion.

On a side note, it's nice to get some 'action' on this family.  I posted with regard to having the wills almost 4-1/2 years ago.  So I am happy to see John Switlik on the scene now!  smiley

I think that "Xpiane" does translate to "Christiane" -- "X" has historically been an abbreviation for "Christ".  I actually had a friend, years back,  named Xia -- spoken as "Kia" -- whose formal name was "Christina".

I must say it never occurred to me to save signature time by translating my own name to "Xopher", but it's a thought.

It is Christian, it uses a form of chi rho  from the Greek for the start. ( used often for Christopher as well)

 example  here  (pdf advice for reading secretary hand)

Thanks, Helen!  Potentially a _very_ helpful document...
Christopher woke me up early this year.

No complication. I am a newbie, so I fell back to the position of looking at what other researchers have done over the years. And, I have been collecting these little bits for nine years now (loads of stacks of bits).

Lots of Gardners and others must have poked around or paid someone to do so. But, sloughing through documents is not easy. So, we now have indexing, after transcription. Both of those can introduce noise, too, albeit minor.

At least, we do not have the case of those phony deals that caused so much problem. Dr. Frank did good work (I'm not biased by the first cousin statue ;>). His Massachusetts Magazine work was great and needs to be lifted to awareness (another story).   

However, having the focus of being as right as possible is real nice, especially with a tool like WikiTree. So far, seems wonderful.  

Today, I pointed out the Felt reference to Margaret Friar. That was 1827. I want to take that back further. As, he heard it from somewhere.

Case in point. I just looked at a family that has a link to New England and one expressed such back in 1960s. I have shown the line, but it required a slew of work done by others and just pulling them together. That's part of the fun. But, the family had passed down the knowledge. This type of thing just might emerge with the internet.

Think of it as some analog of the gene (actually, it is the real meme - something to discuss). We can talk genes at sometime (technical issues).

So, to me, we know Sherborne due to John (the son) mentioning it (that is the early reference - Folger and others confirmed). Now, the Margaret and Friar? Felt was when we were feeling our oats after 1776 and 1812. A whole bunch of Americans hung out in Europe. That's why I keyed off of the Peirce family (love Charles Sanders) who was an example. They mentioned Margaret Friar.

Everyone, science does not 'prove.' The best we can so is strengthen our position. I really believe that, finally, we can do that (to a good point) and celebrate 400 in five (assuming the 1623 layover).

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