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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Gardner

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[This information is from Vol. IV, pp. 1703-1704 of Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs, edited by Cuyler Reynolds (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1911). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 929.1 R45. Some of the formatting of the original, especially in lists of descendants, may have been altered slightly for ease of reading.]

The early Gardners of Dutchess and Orange counties, New York, were descendants of Benoni Gardiner, of Rhode Island, died 1731. The record is not clear, but the prevalence of the names Stephen and Nathaniel in the family of Benoni and other facts taken in consideration lead to the conclusion that Benoni Gardiner was the eldest son of George Gardiner, died 1677, who was admitted an inhabitant of the Island of Aquidneck (Newport, Rhode Island), 1638. In 1642 was constable and senior sergeant; 1644 was ensign. His first wife was Herodias Hicks. His second wife, Lydia Ballou, died 1772. By both wives he had fourteen children.

(II) Benoni, eldest child of George and Herodias (Hicks) Gardiner, died 1731. By one record he is said to have been one hundred years of age, which is evidently erroneous, as he took the oath of allegiance, May 19, 1671, being then probably just come of age. In 1727 he calls himself ninety years of age, which is also improbable. In 1679 he and forty-one others of Narragansett signed a petition to the King praying that he would "put an end to the difference about the government thereof, which has been so fatal to the prosperity of the place." He owned land at Kingstown, Rhode Island, as several deeds testify. His wife, Mary, born 1645, died November 16, 1729, bore him sons, William, Nathaniel, Stephen, Isaac, and a daughter. Bridget.

(III) Stephen, son of Benoni and Mary Gardiner, was born 1685. There is no record of his marriage, but the records show that his father deeded him a dwelling house and orchard. His father was considerably over ninety years of age at death; his Uncle Henry nearly if not quite one hundred years old; the supposition is that Stephen married late in life and that Nathaniel is his son, Stephen being then fifty-four years of age.

(IV) Nathaniel, son of Stephen Gardiner, was born March 17, 1739. He settled in the town of Washington, Dutchess county, New York, where the name becomes Gardner, and is so used by his descendants. A deed dated April 4, 1792, given by John Thorn, of New Windsor, Ulster county, New York, "Gent." of the one part and Nathaniel Gardner of the town of Washington, Dutchess county, New York, "yeoman" witnesses the transfer of property to the latter from the former, consideration five hundred pounds. The land adjoined other lands of Gardner in the town of Washington. The deed was recorded May 9, 1792, and bears the signature of Robert H. Livingston. He married Eunice Sunderland, born October 28, 1738, and had issue.

(V) Stephen (2), son of Nathaniel and Eunice (Sunderland) Gardner, was born in the village of Millbrook, Dutchess county, New York, February 27, 1767. He was a lifelong resident and farmer of that section. He married, June 14, 1792, Mary Goodrich, born March 2, 1777. Children:

  1. Louis born May 26, 1793.
  2. Elizabeth, baptized April 6, 1795, married Isaac Wilsey, died June 25, 1873.
  3. Dorcas, born December 18, 1798, married Peter Van Alstyne, born 1802, died 1871; she died December 18, 1869.
  4. Cynthia, born May 2, 1800; married James Muler.
  5. Jefferson, of further mention.
  6. Melissa, born November 22, 1804; married Alexander McCoyd, died June 14, 1872; she died November 13, 1894.
  7. James Harvey, born June 19, 1810, died October 11, 1849; married Ann Hanks.

(VI) Jefferson, son of Stephen (2) and Mary (Goodrich) Gardner, was born April 17, 1802, in Dutchess county, New York, died in Troy, June 2, 1888. He settled in Troy when a young man and was ever after a resident of that city and one of the pioneers in collar manufacturing. Among other early collar makers of Troy was John W. White, who in 1839 was in business at 345 River street. In 1840 Jefferson Gardner became his partner. The following year the firm dissolved and Mr. Gardner removed to 42 King street, and continued in the same business. In 1851-52 Nathaniel Wheeler, of the firm of Wheeler, Wilson & Company, visited Troy for the purpose of having his newly invented sewing machine adopted by the collar makers. Alluding to the results of his visit, Mr. Wheeler said: "I particularly brought the attention of the manufacturers of collars and cuffs to the machine, most of whom shook their heads, doubting the practicability of stitching collars by machinery. Among my visitors was Jefferson Gardner, who seemed to be less skeptical, patiently investigated the subject and concluded to give the machine a trial." Early in 1852 several machines were sent to Mr. Gardner, who put them in practical operation in his factory. His tests were so satisfactory that he soon ordered more machines. This first introduction of sewing machines to collar making is due to Mr. Gardner's willingness to follow modern invention, and his application of the sewing machine to his business gave to collar manufacturing a new life that resulted in its marvelous growth. He married Mary Ann Wright, born in Troy, New York, September 2, 1807, died there May 27, 1892, daughter of John Wright, born at Inglesby Cross, Yorkshire, England, March 12, 1770, died in Troy, September 24, 1823; married Hannah Dawson, born in England, Christmas, 1768, died in Lansingburg (Troy), February 21, 1867, at the great age of ninety-nine years, having lived in the United States since 1804. Jefferson and Mary Ann (Wright) Gardner had twelve children, seven of whom are living and eight of whom are given:

  1. Hannah, married William Earl, of the famous Earl & Wilson collar firm.
  2. Mary Jane, of further mention.
  3. Richard H., married Anna Athol, and removed to Brooklyn, New York.
  4. Elizabeth, married John D. Benedict, and removed to New York City.
  5. Emma Frances, married LeGrand Benedict, and removed to Brooklyn, New York.
  6. Anson G., engaged in laundry business until his death at the age of thirty-three years.
  7. Harriet Louisa, married Edgar K. Betts.
  8. Jefferson W., married Catherine A. Keefe, and resides in Troy.

(VII) Mary Jane, daughter of Jefferson and Mary Ann (Wright) Gardner, was born March 11, 1832. She married James H. Nichols, born 1823, died November 21, 1890. She survives her husband and is now (1911) a resident of Troy, New York. Children:

  1. Helen, wife of James C. Bussey.
  2. Carrie, mentioned below.
  3. Jessie, wife of G. F. Brainard.
  4. Agusta, wife of P. W. Mackenzie.

(VIII) Carrie, daughter of James H. and Mary Jane (Gardner) Nichols, was born in Troy, New York, December 30, 1855. She married, September 3, 1872, Charles Kimball Gallup, of Coxsackie, New York. Children:

  1. Bessie, born August 4, 1873, died June 23, 1875.
  2. Rosslyn, born September 15, 1878, died January 24, 1884.
  3. Raymond, born June 23, 1886.
  4. Dudley Nichols, born October 4, 1894.

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