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RI & England 


Gardners in Massachusetts
Comprising dates primarily between 1750 and 1850

James Gardner
came to Berkshire County, Massachusetts shortly after marrying Alice Spink in Rhode Island.  Both James and Alice were born in Rhode Island and their families had been there for several generations.  There are several possible origins for the Gardner/Gardiner name.  For more information about the name's origin, click here.  For information about the ancestors of James Gardner who came from Rhode Island and England, click here.

Berkshire County, Massachusetts, completely covers the western side of Massachusetts from the northern border with Vermont to the southern border with Connecticut.  The western border of Berkshire County is the New York state line.  The towns of Lee and Tyringham border each other and were established as townships between 1770 and 1780.  For maps of the towns as they stood in the late 1800s, see here here.  For general Berkshire County Genweb information, click here.  The Gardners owned lands in both townships and are listed as property owners on the maps listed at the Genweb site.  One of James Gardner's descendents apparently donated land to the Shakers living in Tyringham.  Here's is the Tyringham Shaker Census Information.  Additionally, James Gardner's property at the edge of town was used as a marker to delineate one of the early school districts.  Although the original school is no longer standing, one of Tyringham's original elementary schoolhouses still exists and is used as a town hall.

James Gardner was born 26 October 1745 or 1750 in Exeter, Washington, Rhode Island to Nicholas Gardner III and Dorcas Gardiner.  He married Alice Spink in about 1771 or 1772 and then they moved to the western Massachusetts county of Berkshire shortly thereafter.  James is rumored to have fought in the Revolutionary War. Alice Spink was the daughter of Benjamin Spink and Jane Wightman of Rhode Island.  Benjamin was born in East Greenwich, Rhode Island on 12 February 1712.  Jane was born in Exeter, Rhode Island.  James died  11 November 1816 in Tyringham.  For information about his gravesite, click here.  Alice died 19 February 1829 in Lee, Berkshire, Massachusetts.

The children of James Gardner (1745/50-1816) and Alice Spink (1746-1829) are:

  1. Varnum Gardner, b. abt 1772 in Lee, Berkshire, Mass.; md. Mahitable TUTTLE in July, 1794; d. 26 Feb. 1819.
  2. Lodewick Gardner, b. abt 1774 in Lee, Berkshire, Mass.; md. Hannah VALLET on 6 Dec. 1798 in Lee.
  3. James Gardner, b. abt 1775 in Tyringham, Berkshire, Mass.; md. Eliza or Elce
  4. William Gardner, b. 23 July 1777 in Lee, Berkshire, Mass.; md. Anne (Nancy) GRAVES about 1800
  5. Hannah Gardner, b. abt 1778 in Tyringham, Berkshire, Mass.; md. Levi CHURCH 2 June 1799 in Lee
  6. Betsey Gardner, b. abt 1780 in Lee, Berkshire, Mass.; md. Luther INGERSOLL 15 December 1798 in Lee
  7. John Gardner, b. abt 1781 in Lee, Berkshire, Mass.; md. Delia CHILD 22 Sep 1799
  8. Isaac Gardner, b. abt 1783 in Tyringham, Berkshire, Mass.; md. Lois
  9. Henry Gardner, b. 17 April 1785 in Tyringham, Berkshire, Mass.; md. Abigail STEDMAN; d. 28 May 1849, buried in South Lee Cemetery.  For his gravesite information, click here.
  10. Benjamin Gardner, b. abt 1787 in Tyringham, Berkshire, Mass.; d. 4 June 1810 in Tyringham; buried in Tyringham Cemetery.  For his gravesite information, click here.
  11. Clarisas Gardner, b. abt 1789 in Tyringham, Berkshire, Mass.
William Gardner, son of James Gardner and Alice Spink, married Anne (Nancy) Graves about 1800.  Anne is the daughter of Thaddeus GRAVES, Jr., and Amy BELTY, both of Tyringham.  Thaddeus had a brother named Phinehas, and some have thought that Anne was the daughter of Phinehas.  However, Tyringham vital records show Anne was the daughter of Thaddeus, Jr. and Amy.  William and Anne (Nancy) did not stay together after their son George was born.  For an interesting story of William's departure and return, click here.

The children of William Gardner (1777) and Anne (Nancy) GRAVES are:

  1. William Gardner, Jr. b. 31 November 1801 (sic - the vital records list his birth as November 31st) in Tyringham, Berkshire, Mass.
  2. Ira Gardner, b. 6 May 1803, of Vernon, Oneida Co., New York; d. 30 March 1871.
  3. Harriet Gardner, b. 31 December 1804, of Vernon, Oneida Co., New York; md. Frederick Augustus MUNSON; d. after 1880 in Moultrie, Illinois.
  4. Elias Gardner, b. 2 Apr 1807, Vernon, Oneida Co., New York; md. Harriet SMITH 1    January 1826 in Lee, Berkshire, Mass. (Harriet was his first wife; for Elias' other wives, click here); d. 15  February 1890 in Annabelle, Sevier, Utah, buried in Glendale, Sevier Co., Utah.   
  5. George Gardner, b. abt 1809 in Tyringham, Berkshire, Mass.
Varnum Gardner, son of James Gardner and Alice Spink, married Mahitable TUTTLE in Berkshire County, Mass.  Their children are:
  1. Elisha Gardner, b. 28 Nov 1803, Lee, Berkshire, Mass.
  2. Benjamin Gardner, b. 5 Dec 1809, Lee Berkshire, Mass.
  3. Caroline Gardner, b. 16 May 1814
  4. Ira Gardner
  5. James Gardner
  6. Lophina Gardner
  7. Mehitabel Gardner
  8. Sabrina Gardner
James Gardner, son of James Gardner and Alice Spink, married a woman name Eliza, and their children include:
  1. Saphia Gardner, b. 23 Feb 1811 Tyringham, Berkshire, Mass.
  2. Angeline Gardner, b. 9 Nov 1812, Tyringham, Berkshire, Mass.
John Gardner, son of James Gardner and Alice Spink, married Delia CHILD, and their children include:
  1. Dellia Childs Gardner, b. 28 Jan 1801, Tyringham, Berkshire, Mass.
  2. Eliza Gardner, b. 12 Aug 1802, Tyringham, Berkshire, Mass.
  3. Celia Gardner, b. 14 Nov. 1804, Tyringham, Berkshire, Mass.
Henry Gardner son of James Gardner and Alice Spink, married Abigail STEDMAN and their children include:
  1. Maria A. Gardner, b. 1819, d. 22 Jan 1838; buried in South Lee Cemetery.  For information on her gravesite, here.
  2. William Gardner, b. 1 Oct 1805, Tyringham, Berkshire, Mass.
Elias Gardner, son of William Gardner and Nancy Graves, married Harriet Snow SMITH, daughter of James and Deborah SMITH of Lee.  James Smith died 17 Jun 1823 and Deborah died 1 Mar 1811. Harriet was the first wife of Elias, and she died just four years after their marriage.  For information on her gravesite in the South Lee cemetery, click here.  Elias married Amy PRITCHARD two years later.  Amy was born 14 Aug 1799 in Barrington, Mass., the daughter of Benjamin PRITCHARD of Nelson, Ohio.  For more information on Elias' wives, click here.

Elias and Harriet had two children:

  1. Walter Elias Gardner, b. 4 Jul 1828, Lee, Berkshire, Mass., md. 28 Apr 1847 to Martha Ann TUTTLE, d. 23 Jun 1886, Salem, Utah Co., Utah, buried 26 Jun 1886 in Salem, Utah Co., Utah.
  2. Harriet Elizabeth Gardner, b. 25 Sep 1829 in Lee, Berkshire Mass.
Elias and Amy had two girls in Massachusetts and then they moved to Ohio.  Their children are:
  1. Mary Gardner, b. 9 Apr. 1833, d. 12 Oct 1833.  There is a small gravestone in the South Lee Cemetery with the initials M.A. near Harriet Gardner's gravestone.
  2. Mary Amelia, b. 9 Sep 1834, Lee, Berkshire, Mass.
  3. Nancy Maria, b. 15 May 1837, Nelson, Portage, Ohio
  4. Henry Erastus Stanley, b. 5 Jul 1860, Nelson, Portage, Ohio
  5. Permilia F., b. 8 Jun 1843, d. 2 Nov. 1843.
Walter Elias Gardner and Martha Ann TUTTLE's descendants include Joseph Edward Gardner (1 Mar 1851-29 Feb 1910) and William Edward Gardner (5 Jun 1887 - 14 Jul 1975).

If you have questions about the references for this information, or if you're looking for further information, or if you have information to add, you may email me.


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