||Richard Gardner Sr. migrated to New England during the Puritan Great Migration (1620-1640).|
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There is a baptismal record of Richard Gardner, son of Thomas, on 20 July 1622 in Sherborne, Dorset, England.  This record is available for viewing on ancestry.com if you have a paid subscription (international required for U.S. accounts).
Richard arrived in Massachusetts aboard the ship Zouch Pheonix in 1624.  After a few years at Cape Ann, his family settled in Salem.
Richard's first grant of land was from Salem in 1642, a "10 acre lott nere Mackrell Cove next to Mr. Thorndike playne to be laid by the towne.," He retained possession of this lot until May 2, 1659 when he sold it to Samuel Corning. In 1643, he was granted 20 acres at Jeffrey's Creek. He sold this on Sep. 19, 1667 to John West. His dwelling house was on the eastern side of what is now Central Street, not far from the present corner of Essex Street. Richard sold his home on Aug. 25, 1667 to Edward Mould. He had a shop on the same lot, but he kept this for "my owne p'p'use."
On May 5, 1669, Richard Gardner, "late of Salem" sold to Edward Mould, fisherman, "All that my dwelling-house which I lately lived in," with shop etc., and all the ground "that I have adjoining thereunto, containing aboute sixteen rod or pole of ground."
In the County Court Records at Salem, Case No. 5 on the "28, 4th mo. 1664," Richard Gardner, defendant, Nathaniel Pitman plaintiff "in an action of trespass on the case for romeing upon ye plts ground fencing it and occupying it to his great damage." "The court doe order that this case in difference, be referred to ye selectmen of ye Towne of Salem, to be ended in a month, cost of court & all included, which was consented to by both pties."
In the record of the same session, Case No. 60, Richard Gardner and others "are convicted of theire absenting themselves from the publick ordinances."
Richard removed to Nantucket not long afterward and purchased land there at Wesko on Feb. 15, 1667 from John Bishop. On the next page is recorded a list of cattle ear marks; "Richard Gardner his mark, a swallows taile on ye left ear and a half penny under ye right."
Although Richard is called "of Salem" in a deed dated Aug. 25, 1667, the Nantucket Deeds record "Mr. Richard Gardner his house lot is that which was layd out to William Worth at Wesquo pon according to ye record & also a ten acre lot according to ye same record & also an acre & half more added to it" dated Feb. 15, 1667.
On Mar. 22, 1666-7, "At a Meeting of the Inhabitants a Grant was made to Richard Gardner, halfe Accommodacons, According to the Grants made to Seamen and tradesmen, upon condition that hee exercise himself as a Sea-man and that hee come to inhabit here with his family before the End of May -68- And after that his Entrance here not to depart the Island in Point of dwelling, for the Space of three years upon the Forfeiture of the Grant aforesaid."
In 1669, he received many additional land grants that included an acre for a mill and another acre of meadow.
On Feb. 13, 1672, Richard was chosen by the town to "proceed to New York with the town's fish and to act as the town's messenger or agent in such business of the town as shall be expressed in this order." The fist was sent as the town's tax to the Government at New York. At this time, Nantucket was a part of New York state. Resulting from this mission, an order from Gov. Francis Lovelace named the town "Sherborne upon Nantucket." This order was sent with other instructions on Apr. 18, 1673 by Mr. Richard and Capt. John Gardner. The fact that these two men brought this name from the Governor has led some to believe that it was their own request honoring their ancestral home near Sherborne in England.
Governor Lovelace commissioned Mr. Richard Gardner as Chief Magistrate of "Nantucket and Tuckanuckett." He also brought with him a license issued to his brother John and himself "to buy some land by the Sea Side or else where of the Indyan Natives." Richard's brother John was next selected Chief Magistrate in June 1680.
From W. C. Folger's article in the Nantucket Inquirer, dated Jun. 4, 1862, "Richard was a man of very good abilities, he was called long-headed by his brother John, from his sense of the profoundness of his Judgment. he held a prominent place among the people of the island, was at one time Chief Magistrate. His residence was about half way between the house of our present worthy Sheriff, (1862) and the Eliphalet Paddack house. It has been taken down many years and the locality is very much altered in its appearance. The Gardners owned formerly much of the land adjacent to and surrounding the Lily pond, extending beyond Gardner's Burial Ground and around the swamp on the North Shore Hill, also extending through Egypt (so called) to the present Town Hall, embracing some of the best meadows and grass lots on the island. A part of this territory was called Crooked Records from the lines of the survey not coming together. The Gardner family although not the first family to settle here have always been reckoned among the First Families of the Island. Richard Gardner Sen'r, and his brother Capt. John, exercised much influence in the community here while they lived and they died respected."
Richard Gardner married Sarah Shattuck, daughter of widow Damaris Shattuck who married Thomas Gardner Sen'r as his second wife. Since their eldest son, Joseph, was married in 1670, it is estimated that Richard and Sarah must have been married prior to 1652 in Salem.
Like nearly all of her Shattuck relations, Sarah was attached to the Society of Friends and suffered much in consequence. In the County Court Records at Salem, Case 57, "5th mo., 1658" "The wife of Richard Gardner was convicted of her frequent being absent from the public ordinances on the Lord's Day, fees of court, 30 shillings." She was brought before the court several times in the next few years, either for neglecting to attend the services at the First Church in Salem or for being present at a "Quaker Meeting."
In 1662, she was excommunicated from the First Church in Salem for attending the assemblies of the Friends.
He died "1st mo. 23rd, 1688" (Mar. 23, 1688). His widow died in 1724 in her 93rd year.
NOTE: But this Anderson entry is incorrect! He mis-read his source (TAG 30:168) and did not check the source that source used! (Nantucket Vital Records). Examination of TAG 30:168 (Anderson's source for the 1724 death) implies the 1724 death applies to Richard's wife Sarah (Shattuck) Gardner, not to Richard! And then, analysis of the (published) Nantucket vital records to which the TAG article refers finds this:
And on page 318 of the Nantucket vital records, we find:
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