Saturday, August 27, 2011

Gardiner Family-In Which I Think about Being a Lady

This post begins with Elizabeth Gardiner, 7x great-grandmother, supposedly born around 1658, Easthampton, Long Island, NY to David Gardiner.  I couldn’t find records on Elizabeth for her birth or baptism dates, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist somewhere, just that the birth year can’t be confirmed here.  I did find her marriage to James Parshall in 1678 in American Marriage Records Before 1699 by William Montgomery Clemens.

Elizabeth’s father, David, was born in 1636 in Saybrook, CT but married in London.  His wife was the widow Mary Harringman supposedly, as there is a record of a marriage in the parish register from St. Margaret's in London, England.  However, from my research, I could find no proof that the David Gardiner of the parish record was my David Gardiner and according to a query on rootsweb, there are no NY records that mention even his wife’s first name. 

He died suddenly while on a trip to Hartford and he is buried there.  The inscription on the gravestone is interesting to me:

HERE LYETH THE
BODY OF MR. DAVID
GARDINER OF GARDINER’S ISLAND
DECEASED JULY 10
1689 IN THE FIFTY
FOURTH YEAR OF HIS
AGE.  WELL, SICK, DEAD
IN ONE HOURS SPACE.
ENGRAVE THE
REMEMBRANCE OF
DEATH ON THINE
HEART WHEN AS THOU
DOEST SEE HOW
SWIFTLY HOURS
DEPART
Born at Saybrook April 29 1636
The first white child born in
Connecticut


Wow.  Well. Sick. Dead. In one hour's space.  Wish I knew more of the story there.

David’s parents were Lion Gardiner and Mary Deurcant. Lion was born in England in 1599 and eventually traveled to Holland as an officer and engineer in the English Army.  He met and married Mary Deurcant, a native of Holland.  Lion, my immigrant Gardiner, arrived with his wife in 1635 and settled in Saybrook, CT, where he commanded the fort. In 1639 the family moved to Gardiner Island, purchased by Lion from the Indians, establishing the first settlement in NY.  Lion died in 1663 and is buried in Easthampton, Long Island.

Wikipedia has a very interesting page on Gardiner Island.  It’s been owned by the (my!) family for almost 375 years.  Maybe my brother has right to claim the 17th Lord of the Manor of Gardiner’s Island—or maybe I’ll make a grab for Lady of the Manor.  Can’t wait to tell my husband he could be my consort.

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