||Thomas Gardner III migrated to New England during the Puritan Great Migration (1620-1640).|
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Note: Do not merge the Gardner family of Roxbury with the Gardner family of Salem. If there is a connection between these two families, it is England, not in America.
There is a baptismal record of Thomas Gardner son of Thomas on 8 Mar 1617 in Sherborne, Dorset, England. 
Thomas was first mentioned in the Town Records of Salem in 1637 when "it is ordered that Tho. Garner Junor shall have 5 acres of land for a great Lot." Over the course of his life, he received many land grants from the town.
Thomas became a member of the First Church in Salem in 1639. He was admitted as Freeman of the Massachusetts Bay Colony on Jun. 2, 1641.
In 1649, he along with his brothers, George, Samuel and Joseph, were ordered to survey and measure from the meeting house to a meadow along the river Westerly from Salem and were allowed a portion of the meadow "for theire paynes."
In 1670, he was chosen to serve on the "Jury of Trials" and in the following year, he was a member of the Grand Jury.
In 1671, Thomas bought a dwelling house from John and Hannah Buttolph which bordered land owned by Joseph Gardner and Samuel Gardner.
On May 3, 1672, Thomas Gardner, "cordwinder," bought of John Grafton and Seeth, his wife (sister of Thomas Gardner, Jr.) for 10 pounds, a piece of land containing 26 rods.
There are many land transactions made by Thomas Gardner, Junior (see the Essex Registry of Deeds, books 3 & 4) as well as appearing in the County Court Papers as a witness to land records and administration of wills.
Thomas Gardner, Junior, made his home on a lane known as Higginson Square which was situated on the east side just off the Main Street. The estate was occupied by his widow after his death and later by his son, David.
Thomas kept a merchandise store and the 10 pages of inventory made at his death show that he also sold shoes which would account for his being referred to as "shoemaker" and "cordwinder" in the records. He also owned a ketch which he used in the cod-fishing industry.
Thomas died in 1682 and the "worshipfull William Browne and Bartholomew Gedney Esq. and assistants, Granted power of the administration of all & singular, the chattels goods & estate of Mr. Thomas Gardner deceased who dyed intestate unto Mrs. Elizabeth the relict & widow of the said Thomas Gardner & to his Sonn Mr. Thomas Gardner, whoe are to bring an inventorye of the estate soe farr as they cann" etc. They gave bonds to the amount of 500 pounds.
The following document was presented to the court on the "28th, 9mo. 1682:" "Whereas Mr. Thomas Gardner is returned to this court, and joined with his mother in law Mrs. Elizabeth Gardner, administrator to the estate of his father Mr. Thomas Gardner deceased his estate & both bound in 500 pounds bond, to administer according to law ct. & it sufficiently appeering, to this court, that the said Thomas Gardner did object agst his standing any further obliged, by bond then to returne an inventory to this court, which accordingly he have don upon his oath given (together with the sd Elizabeth): this court doe free the said Thomas Gardner from his said bond ct."
As the estate was found to be "insolvent & not sufficient fully to satisfy the creditors" the following action was taken, "And this court doe desire & Impower Mr. John Hathorne & Mr. Hilliard Veren that as Elizabeth ye relict & administratrix of Mr. Thomas Gardner deceased, may stand in need of necessary supply for time to com till the court doe setle the estate or take further order she may by the advice of the aforenamed Hathorne & Veren, have releife & necessary supply out of the said estate."
The inventory, as mentioned, contained a large quantity of dry goods, books, clothes, etc., and included his dwelling house and land and his ketch, totaling 464:11:00. Debts were enumerated amounting to 439:05:00 and funeral expenses 22:05:00. The inventory was sworn to in court at Salem on "28, 9mo. 1683" before Hilliard Veren, Clerk and was witnessed by Jno Pilgrim and Wm. Hirst.
Thomas married twice. His first wife was named Hannah and she is found in the records when she united with the First Church in Salem in 1649. Their children were; Mary, Thomas, Eliza or Elizabeth, Abigail, Bethia, Hannah and Jonathan.
His second wife was named Elizabeth and it is believed that her maiden name was Horne. Their children were; David, Susanna and Dorcas. Elizabeth, widow of Thomas, died intestate and although she lived in the home once owned by her husband, she did not own it at the time of her death as no real estate was included in the inventory, returned by John Horne and Henry West. The estate was settled on April. 15, 1695.
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