Thomas Gardner1 and crew came to Cape Ann in 1623/24 for the purpose of establishing a colony. In the area where they landed, there had been prior activity. One early settlement attempt that was related to the Popham colony did not pan out.2 The Plymouth crew from the Mayflower arrived in 1620 and had ventured into the area.3 They used Cape Ann for fish drying. A lot has been written about the early times. It was Rev. Hubbard who first mentioned Thomas Gardner and his role.4 Salem official records have a lot of material as do other towns in Essex County. One person who went through these records and transcribed the material was Sidney Perley.5 His work has been of tremendous importance to Gardner Research that has an on-going set of tasks related to documenting the early, and subsequent, eras as well as the people involved in establishment of the framework for the U.S.6   

1. See Cape Ann, Retrospective.
2. See Gardner's Beacon, Vol. III, No. 3.
3. See History of Cape Ann.
4. See History of New England.
5. See Sidney's Antiquarian.
6. See
Gardners and Gardners.
When Thomas Gardner1 and crew came to Cape Ann in 1623/24 and started their effort at establishing a colony, they found out quickly that the terrain was not suitable for farming and that the local waters did not produce much fish. The crew was successful, though, at maintaining their health by producing enough for their small crew.2 While England expected Roger Conant who came in 1625 to improve matters, this was not to be. Roger got permission to move to Naumkeag. It is thought that the group made landfall near Massey's Cove.3 Thomas is not recorded as going to Naumkeag. What happened? Most likely, he and Margaret stayed at Cape Ann with their kids in the house.4 When John Endicott came a little later, he saw them enjoying the house. It was torn down and moved over to what was then Salem (renaming of Naumkeag) on orders of John.5

1. See Cape Ann, Retrospective.
2. See No shadow over Thomas.
3. See Massey's Cove.
4. See Where was Thomas?
5. See (Not) far from idyllic.
Thomas Gardner1 came to Cape Ann in 1623/24 as an Overseer for a commercial effort that was to ship food back to England. The other person in charge was John Tylly2 who had responsibility for the fishing. Neither of the efforts were successful for reasons that we will study. Roger Conant was sent to Cape Ann to see if he could improve the situation but did not.3 A decision was made to move to a new area, called Naumkeag, which became Salem.4 When the 300th anniversary was celebrated, a pageant depicted this history.5 With the 400th coming up, we have several research areas to attend to. One goal is to get Thomas, and Margaret, more attention. Hence, we will research the early day quite thoroughly.6 Oh yes, on the shipping of foodstuff? It did not take long before New England was a prime exporter.

1. See Cape Ann, Retrospective.
2. See John Tylly.
3. See Gardner and Conant Families.
4. See Gardner's Beacon, Vol. II, No. 6.
5. See Pageant of Salem.
6. See Gardner's bridge.
The crew led by Thomas Gardner1 came into Cape Ann in 1623/24 with some provisions, however they were on their own. Since the colony was to provide produce and fish, their tools were for that purpose. Cape Ann was renowned for its fishing.2 Hence, fishing crews from Plymouth had built structures for drying fish in the area as they had regularly visited the spot. The Dorchester crew brought the material for building a house.3 Other structures put up the first year would have been the New England wigwam4 which was an adaptation of the one built by natives. It had an internal fireplace. Massachusetts is fairly far north and can have severe winters. In 1607, a party landed in what is now Maine at Popham and survived a winter with no casualties.5 Actually, they built a sea-going vessel while there that they sailed to Virginia. Ingenuity was not lacking. Not long after the successful establishment in the Salem area where the Cape Ann party moved in 1626, more people began arriving than resources could handle.

1. See Cape Ann, 1623
2. See Cape Ann, Retrospective.
3. See Thomas' house.
4. See The 1st Year.
5. See Gardner's Beacon, Vol. III, No. 3.
Thomas Gardner and Margaret Fryer Gardner1 arrived, with other families, at Cape Ann in 1623/24 for the purpose of establishing a colony whose goal was to ship foodstuff back to England.2 Our Society studies each of the families, as well as concentrating on Thomas and Margaret who had nine children all of whom had offspring except for Joseph who died in the Peaquot war.3 We are working on documenting the generations after Thomas and Margaret until 1900. Besides the genealogy, we have a cultural and historic focus in our work. Of their children, one son, Samuel, had a descendant who did research to support the 300th celebration that occurred 100 years ago.4 Dr. Frank was an active physician in the Salem, MA area. Too, he was a Major and Surgeon with the Salem Light Infantry. Also, Dr. Frank wrote two books on Gardner genealogy and published The Massachusetts Magazine for which he wrote a monograph for Regiments that were at the Siege of Boston at the outbreak of the War of American Independence.5

1. See Margaret, anew
2. See Cape Ann, 1623.
3. SeeGardner's Beacon, Vol. II, No. 1.
4. See Dr. Frank A. Gardner
5. See Regimental History Series, background ...
Thomas and the Dorchester crew were at Cape Ann in 16241 for the purpose of establishing a colony. Other than commerce, there were several reasons for leaving England.2 After the 1492 voyage of Columbus, exploration of the east coast had continued without stop. English ships traveled up and down the coast, mapped the area, looked for spots to fish or to settle. John Cabot's3 explorations for the English is an example. Cape Cod was visited and named as early as 1606 because of the plentiful fish found in the region. Settlement attempts were made at several points, from Maine (Popham Colony) down, with Virginia being a well-known survivor. Jamestown was founded in 1607. While Newfoundland found success very early, in 1588, there were other attempts. The effort at Roanoke Colony (North Carolina) ended in tragedy in the 1580s.    

1. See Cape Ann retrospective
2. See Plus or minus the arrival
3.See Gardner's Beacon, Vol. III, No. 1
Thomas Gardner was an Overseer of the "old planters" party of the Dorchester Company that landed, in 1624 at Cape Ann, to form a colony. The party landed at, what is now known as, Gloucester. Thomas is considered by some as the 1st Governor of Massachusetts,1 due to his being in authority in the first settlement that became the Massachusetts Bay Colony (which later subsumed the Plymouth Colony). Thomas, and his wife, Margaret Fryer,2,3 had nine children and many descendants.

1. See thomasgardnerofsalem.blogspot.com/2014/07/1st-governor.html
2. See thomasgardnerofsalem.blogspot.com/2012/11/how-many-wives.html
3. See Research Project (Sherborne,Dorset)