Gardner Surname Genealogy
surname Gardner derived from the northern French
gardin and was introduced to Britain after
the Norman invasion of 1066. It was an
in medieval times was a very
important one. He was responsible for
the kitchen garden, which provided almost the only source of fresh food
herbs, and hence played a critical part in maintaining the health of
household. The use of the word gardener,
referring to someone who tended ornamental lawns and flower beds, was a
application.That may not be the only derivation.
Other sources have claimed that the name
was derived from the Saxon words gar,
meaning “a weapon,” and dyn
meaning “sound or alarm,” combined with the termination
Gardner Resources on
- Gardiners Island
A 400 year history.
- Luke Gardiner of Maryland
The family of Luke Gardiner.
- Gardner DNA Project
sightings of the surname in 1273 placed it in
eastern England – Geoffrey le Gardener in
Oxfordshire, Ralph le Gardiner in Huntingdonshire,
and William le Gardiner in Lincolnshire.
Eastern England. Oxfordshire has
sometimes been cited as a possible origin
of the Gardiner surname. Various de
and Gardiners were recorded in the county in the mid-13th century. William Gardiner, born there in 1451, was a
merchant before enlisting as a mercenary in the campaign of Henry
Tudor. It was said that he slew Richard
III with a pollaxe at the Battle
of Bosworth Field in 1485.
horse was trapped in
the marsh where he was slain by one of Rhys Thomas’ men, a commoner
Other early Gardiners
hailed from Suffolk. Their numbers included:
- Sir Richard
who became Lord Mayor of London in 1478. He grew up in Exning
- Stephen Gardiner who served as
Lord Chancellor in the 1550’s during the reign of Queen Mary. He
St. Edmunds where his father John was a cloth merchant.
Robert Gardiner who held the post of Lord
Chief Justice of Ireland in the early 1600’s. He came from the
village of Shimpling.
The Tudor writer William Camden, referring of Stephen Gardiner, averred
that “his name was not Gardener as the English pronounce it, but
Gardiner with the French accent and therefore a gentleman.”
Osbern Gardiner, probably a Norman knight, was recorded at Oral manor
in Wigan parish in Lancashire in the 12th century. Legend has it
that he joined the Second Crusade and won his crest at Acre in 1191 by
chopping through the shoulder of a Saracen who was about to kill
Richard the Lionheart. Later Gardiners were to be found at Otley
and nearby at Pilling and Garstang. Whether Sir Osbern himself
antecedent of subsequent Gardiners in Lancashire, Yorkshire, or even in
Scotland is based more on speculation than on proven fact.
Aldringham Hall near Ulverstone in Lancashire was the seat of one
Gardner family for nigh on five hundred years. Gardners in fact
became quite numerous in Lancashire. Hugo Gardner was a burgess of Liverpool in the early
1600’s. His descendant Edmund Gardner
founded England’s first timber firm in 1748 for the import of hardwoods. The business prospered. Joseph
Gardner helped develop Blundellsands as
a well-to-do suburb of Liverpool during the 19th century.
By the end of the 16th
century the Gardner name was also in the west country – in
Gloucestershire primarily but also in Somerset and Devon.
The shortening of Gardiner to Gardner began in the 17th century,
perhaps earlier in Lancashire. By the time of the 1881 census the
Gardner/Gardiner ratio in England was about 70/30, which is roughly
what it is today.
Gardiner name in Scotland dates from the 15th century. The
best-known Gardiners were those at Bankton House near Edinburgh.
Captain Patrick Gardiner had been killed fighting abroad in Germany in
the 1690’s. His son James became a Colonel in the British army
and he also died in combat, this time at Prestonpans in 1745 fighting
against Bonnie Prince Charlie. The battle took place very near
Bankton House and he died of his wounds within sight of his own home.
Ireland. Gardner or
Gardiner is an English implant, found either in Dublin or the Ulster
from Lancashire commanded a company within the walls of Londonderry in
the siege of 1689. His grandson Allen from Coleraine joined
the British navy and attained the high rank of Admiral during the
Luke Gardiner was probably of English origin, although he was described
as a “sturdy parvenu of Irish descent.” He was a successful land
developer in Dublin in the early 18th century, contributing much to the
Georgian look of the town. His Gardiners later became Viscount
Mountjoy and the Earl of Blessington. However, the first Earl
squandered his inheritance and died in Paris in 1829 at the age of 46.
America. Probably the
first Gardner to arrive in America was Richard Gardener, a seaman
on the Mayflower in
1620. But he died that year or soon after without issue.
Other Gardiners and Gardners followed, mostly into New England.
early Gardner arrivals there have a large and distinguished descendant
- Thomas Gardner who came to Cape Ann in 1623 with his first wife
Margaret and their three sons. He is considered by some to have
been the first Governor of the Massachusetts Bay colony. He was
buried on Gardner Hill in Salem. Prominent Gardner descendants
have been Thomas
Gardner the patriot who fell at Bunker Hill in 1775 and the
businessman Jack Gardner whose wife founded the Isabella Stewart
Gardner Museum in Boston.
- and Lion Gardiner from Scotland who came to Boston in 1635 and
then settled in Long Island. He acquired Gardiners Island off Long Island
in 1639 and this island has remained with his family ever since.
Among his Gardiner descendants were New York state senator David
Gardiner, whose daughter married President Tyler; and Winthrop
Gardiner, the 14th proprietor of Gardiners Island who married the
Norwegian figure skater and actress Sonja Henie.
Two other notable early New England families have been:
Gardiners of Rhode
Island. George Gardiner came to Newport
in 1638 and was one of the early settlers of Rhode Island.
George had thirteen children by two
wives. A grandson John Gardiner was a
Deputy Governor of the colony. Gardiner
has been the preferred spelling
in Rhode Island. They jokingly referred to the “blind Gardners”
(those without an
“i”) as those who left Rhode Island and spelt their name differently. The family history was recounted in Caroline
Robinson’s 1919 book The Gardiners of
of Nantucket. They were seafarers who
became a well-known whaling family. Their
forebear was Thomas Gardner from Hampshire who had come to
1624 and settled in Nantucket in 1673. He
remained on the island for the rest of his life, sailing
their port until his death in 1706. Later
Gardners intermarried with other early families of Nantucket – the
Macys. Their whaling heyday was the early 1800’s. Captain Edmund
Gardner recounted many of his whaling adventures in his Journal.
Gardner moved from Boston to Nova Scotia in the 1760’s after the defeat
French. His descendants at Liverpool
were shipbuilders and privateers on the British side in the
Gardner was one of a number of Scottish Gardners who left
their homes near
Glasgow for a new life in Canada in the 1820’s. Many
of these Gardners were converted to the
Mormon faith. In fact 24 Gardners made
the journey from Warwick in Canada to Salt Lake valley in 1847.
South Africa. James Gardner from Kirkcaldy in Scotland came
to the Eastern Cape in the 1830’s as a soldier before staying on as a
engineer. Two of his wives died there
because of the harsh conditions and he himself was murdered in the
1850’s. His children were found
wandering in the bush and were taken into missionary care.
The eldest son Charles married and became a
farmer in Barkly East in the Eastern Cape.
Australia and New Zealand. Among the Gardners arriving there during the
19th century were:
Scotland who was transported to NSW in 1818 for the crime of “the sale
spiritous liquor.” On getting his ticket
of leave, he was engaged in the building of The
Scotch Thistle Inn at Blackheath.
Gardner who came with his family from
Fermanagh in Ireland to NSW in the early 1840’s.
Gardners families from Hampshire – George
and his wife Harriet in 1853 and John and his wife Jane in 1856 – who
NSW on an assisted passage scheme. The
documents suggest that the Gardners could neither read nor write.
Gardner and his wife Margaret from Scotland who came to New Zealand in
1862 and settled in Glorit outside Auckland at the Mataia
homestead. Their descendants are still living there.
the Gardner family from Kent
came to New Zealand in stages between 1876 and 1883.
Gloucestershire had enlisted in the Royal Navy as a young man and seen
a number of trouble spots around the world.
after his arrival in Australia in 1861, he joined the Newcastle
Naval Brigade where he rose to the post of commander, retiring after
years of service as one of the oldest officers in the Australian Naval
Reserve. In 1916 he presented the city
of Newcastle with an Anzac memorial monument for the fallen at Gallipoli.
If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for
further stories and accounts:
was an English-born judge who was a trusted political advisor to both
Elizabeth and James I and held the office of Lord Chief Justice of
Erle Stanley Gardner
was an American writer best
known for his Perry Mason detective stories.
Ava Gardner was a well-known Hollywood actress
of the 1940’s and 1950’s.
Select Gardners/Gardiners Today
- 62,000 in the UK (most numerous
- 58,000 in America (most numerous in California)
- 39,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Australia)
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