Who were Maryland Immigrant Richard Gardiner's (b1592) parents?

+3 votes
The book Gardiner Generations and Relations by Thomas Richard Gardiner says Richard Gardiner's parents were Thomas Gardiner and Ellen Smyth.   This line also descended from William Gardiner and Helen Tudor.

There are other sources that say otherwise.    Who were his parents?

Thanks in advance for your assistance.
WikiTree profile: Richard Gardiner
in Genealogy Help by

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In terms of 'gateways,' the Gardiner book is not in a preview mode being from 1991, so we cannot read on-line. But, the description mentions William and Helen. 
The Magna Carta project is using Douglas Richardson's book at the basis. Any Plantagenet, or other, would need something similar. So, this link points to the pages of Richardson's book that we can see (in a preview mode). Page 370 has Ellen and William. Then, their son Thomas is shown to not have descendants. 
However, William had brothers: Richard, Robert, and John. So, that might be the place to start; no doubt, some work has already been done.
Our (TGSoc.org) interests are several (which includes All Things Gardner), however one is Thomas Gardner of Salem, in particular. We face the same 'whence' issue. And, lots of people would like to see some resolution during the 400th (this would be about the 3rd attempt). At least, Felt told us his wife.  
If you can find a copy of "Gardiner: Generations and Relations" use it with extreme caution.  It is wrong on many points of the Gardiner ancestry and the first few generations in Maryland and there are a depressing number of "facts" in it that were fabricated by the author.

2 Answers

+2 votes
The answer is that no-one knows where Richard came from.  There was a contemporary Catholic priest from Cheshire named John Gardiner alias Garnett who may be connected.

The ancestry in "Gardiner: Generations and Relations" has been disproved over and over again, most notably by officials at the College of Arms in 2009.  The tree itself is a combination of misunderstood and misinterpreted data, combined with a depressing amount of total fabrication.

The child baptised at Bermondsey in 1592 was dead before 1597, most probably in 1592 when there was an epidemic at Bermondsey.  His mother wasn't Ellyn Smyth at all but Frances Skipwith.  Sir Thomas Gardiner is the authority for this from documents he prepared in 1623 and others dating from about 1598.  From the tree in the book the author of "Gardiner: Generations and Relations" was aware of these documents but chose to think he knew better that Sir Thomas Gardiner.

A typical piece of misinterpretation in the book is that the marriage to Elizabeth Hame is a completely unconnected event.  The fabrication is that it happened at St Martin in the Field or Peckham.  It didn't.

Elizabeth Hame did marry a man named Richard Gardiner (at Ockham in Surrey) but she lived her life in the nearby parish of Cobham, Surrey, and she and her husband died there and are buried there.
by William Good G2G Rookie (260 points)

Appreciate the note of caution. 

I have been at this about ten years now and have heard from about all of the Gardner families. Plus, I have run across many tales. To me, the mode ought to be to pull together all of these stories (and their books) into a site that covers the Gardner controversies, pro and con. 

I have done several blog posts along that line. This is an example: Whence, again

The benefit? Well, I had to work these things out on my own as I went along (several papers, in fact). All of the time, I run into more stuff or some re-iteration which perturbs matters further. So, the web? Yes, it's turned into crap, actually. Creating work is another way to look at it. 

One solution? What I propose is to cover the basis so that people can go and see these types of things with some added commentary about the situation and, perhaps, motivation. Actually, it ought to be as complete as possible. And, I think that it's interesting seeing how attitudes and stories changed. Some of these go way back to the early 1800s. And, are now finding there way into the internet. 

Case in point. One author wrote wrong. Did a correction. Then, he published, again. I just noticed that the earlier work is available on the internet now. I'll get the specifics, as this is a particular interest. 

Note that Richardson (quoted above) and his peers have plenty of retractions and second-guessings going on. Actually, the work here on WikiTree, say the Magna Carta trail project, is a very good example of something being done, very well, with technology that was not available before. 

So, I like the 'caution' approach as suppression would never work. And, then, flagging and comment. 

If you are interested in the Gardiners I have made a habit of posting my own discoveries on my website.


Thanks for the link. On relooking at my blog, I see that I ran into a review of TRG's book (1991) in 2016. Put it on the stack. At that site, there is also reference to RWB's British Roots of Maryland Families (1999) and other sources.  

I titled the post "Bosworth and more" since that was a theme opened when I ran across some controversy on a Wikipedia page way back in the beginning of my work. 

My contribution is having no preconceived notion about what is right with regard to Gardners. Many families came over to New England. And, history left us with several persons who seem to want to be of the 'tabula rasa' nature, albeit that doesn't give us leeway to paint the picture as we like. Hopefully, we can stay consistent in relaying what is known, though some conjecture ought to be allowed within agreed limits. 

I have tried to approach the matter as an historian, which means always check the primaryevidence.  The annoying thing with "Gardiner: Generations and Relations" is that when you look for the original evidence, half the time it doesn't mean what T. R. Gardiner interpreted it to mean, and the rest of the time it isn't there at all.  He actually made it up!
Mustn't forget anthropology and some of the other social views. Technology has allowed a mess to arise and spread itself around; cleaning up will be possible, albeit, a whole lot of work will be involved plus continual maintenance. Not unlike the need for infrastructure and its proper care. Aside: WikiTree reigns.
+2 votes
The origins of Richard Gardiner are unknown; Jasper Tudor, Duke of Beford, was said to be father, by a Welsh woman called Myfanwy, of an illegitimate daughter, Helen or Ellen, who married a William Gardiner, grocer of London (the only known son of this William by Ellen is Thomas Gardiner, who entered Westminster Abbey as a monk; William Gardiner and Ellen Tudor were not as is often stated the parents of Stephen Gardiner, bishop of Winchester, nor were they parents of another William claimed to be an ancestor of Richard Gardiner of Maryland).

Richard Gardiner, the Maryland colonist, is my 11th great-grandfather; I went over some of the claims re his ancestry at one point several years ago and found them to be entirely bogus and unsupported.
by C Handy G2G6 Pilot (189k points)
The only reference to a son of William Gardiner and Ellen Tudor is to Thomas Gardiner, Prior of Tynemouth, see "Heraldic Visitation of the Northern Counties in 1530 by Thomas Tonge, Norroy King of Arms" (Durham 1863) page 36.  The name of Ellen's mother doesn't seem to have been mentioned until the 19th century.  Perhaps most importantly is that Jasper Tudor never acknowledged Ellen as his daughter.

Of the three people suggested as sons of William Gardiner and Ellen Tudor, being Thomas of Tynemouth, Stephen of Winchester and William of Bermondsey, they all had quite different coats of arms, which means they were probably not related at all.  The only one who laid claim to the royal arms was Thomas of Tynemouth.
Thanks for this. Need to dig into Richardson's sources (see link at the top).

What happened to the old adage, seen when I first started (where was that?)? That is, on this side of the pond, we ought to focus; then, let those over there handle their side.

Richardson told me, brief meeting in DC, that he works a lot in a virtual mode. I might add, from a position near the west coast (not that space matters, in this case). Interesting, I thought.
A surprising number of primary source records are digitised and available from the UK's National Archives for a fee (including wills); in this instance he was able to determine the children of William and Ellen Gardiner because of a legal action brought by the siblings of Thomas Gardiner, who had entered Westminster Abbey as a monk, to recover his portion of their father's estate.

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