Guide to the Gardner Family Papers, 1717–1960

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Research Library at the Nantucket Historical Association. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the internet.


The Gardner family of Nantucket descended from Richard and John Gardner, sons of Thomas Gardner, a planter who came from England to Salem, Massachusetts in 1626. Their descendants became captains of whaling ships, land owners and merchants. This collection includes correspondence, deeds and other land records, poems, financial and legal papers, wills, certificates, obituaries, research notes, genealogical materials, inventories, and other papers of family members, relating to many phases of Nantucket history.

Collection Details

Collection Number:
Gardner Family Papers
Gardner family.
1.75 linear feet, approximately 450 items
Nantucket Historical Association
Material is in English.

Information for Users

Restrictions to Access: No restrictions. Open for research.

Restrictions to Use: No usage restrictions.

Copyright Notice: Copyright is retained by the authors of items in this collection, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Preferred Citation: [identification of item], in the Gardner Family Papers, Nantucket Historical Association.

Acquisitions Information:

The items in this collection came to the Nantucket Historical Association from a number of different and unrelated sources.

Sensitive Materials Statement:

Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual’s private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the Nantucket Historical Association assumes no responsibility.

Subject Headings

  • Topical Term
    • Ship captains' spouses
    • Ship captains
    • Women social reformers.
    • Candle industry.
    • Whale–oil.

Biographical Information

The Gardner family of Nantucket descended from Richard and John Gardner, sons of Thomas Gardner, a planter who came from England to Salem, Mass., in 1626. Richard married his stepsister Sarah Shattuck, daughter of Demaris Shattuck. Sarah Shattuck Gardner was a devoted member of the Society of Friends, for which she suffered during her residence in Salem, before she and her husband moved to Nantucket in 1666 or 1667. John Gardner and his wife, Priscilla Grafton, soon followed. The two brothers were originally in the fishing business but also began accumulating property. Their descendants became sea captains, land owners, and merchants.

Scope and Content

Correspondence, deeds and other land records, poems, financial and legal papers, wills, certificates, obituaries, research notes, genealogical materials, inventories, and other papers of family members, relating to many phases of Nantucket history. Includes papers of Anna Gardner (1816–1901), teacher and social reformer, pertaining to her membership in local women’s and temperance organizations; Charles Gardner (1769–1848), ship captain and merchant, concerning whaling and sales of whale oil and candles; William Edward “Dr. Will” Gardner (1872–1965), Episcopal clergyman, historian, and author, detailing research on his memorials honoring various Nantucketers; Paul Gardner (1730–1823) and Paul Gardner Jr. (1755–1835) relating to land transactions; Charlotte Coffin (1820–1882), Elizabeth Chase (1766–1840), and Susan Gardner (1789–1879), documenting voyages on the Sarah Parker and other ships taken with their whaling captain husbands, economic difficulties faced as widows, and other family matters; and Gideon Gardner (1759–1832), pertaining to problems encountered by islanders during the War of 1812. Other family members represented include Asa Gardner, Elisha Pope Fearing, George Gorham, Grafton Gardner, Jared Gardner, and Jemima Worth Gardner.


Folder ¼ Abel Gardner: deed, 1754

Folder ½ Abigail Myrick Gardner: receipts and quitclaim, 1812–1855

Folder 1 Abigail Gardner Pinkman: letter to sister, undated

Folder 2 Anna Gardner: speech “Education”, undated

Folder 3 Anna Gardner: speech “Frances E. Willard”, 1889

Folder 4 Anna Gardner: speech “Mind Care”, undated

Folder 5 Anna Gardner: speech “French Revolution”, undated

Folder 6 Anna Gardner: speech “John Greenleaf Whittier”, undated

Folder 7 Anna Gardner: speech “Should Women Study Politics”, 1892

Folder 8 Anna Gardner: speech “25th Anniversary of the Nantucket Sorosis Club”, 1897

Folder 9 Anna Gardner: speech “Spinoza”, undated

Folder 10 Anna Gardner: speech “Teaching in Virginia”, 1865

Folder 11 Anna Gardner: speech “William the Silent”, undated

Folder 12 Anna Gardner: speech “Women and Politics”, 1898

Folder 13 Anna Gardner: speech “Women’s Christian Temperance Union”,  undated

Folder 14 Anna Gardner: essay “No One Lives for Himself Alone”, undated

Folder 15 Anna Gardner: lines commemorating the 1st National Women’s Convention, undated

Folder 16 Anna Gardner: fugitive pages of manuscript, undated

Folder 17 Anna Gardner: poetry, undated

Folder 18 Number not in use

Folder 19 Anna Gardner: letters–in, 1894

Folder 20 Arthur Gardner: papers, 1896, 1921, undated

Folder 20 ¼ Barzillai Gardner: letter, 1785

Folder 21 Benjamin Gardner: letter and receipt, 1814–1825

Folder 21 ¼ Benjamin A. Gardner: letter, 1840

Folder 21 ½ Benjamin F. Gardner: warrant, 1832

Folder 22 Charles Gardner, Capt.: letters out, 1812–1821

Folder 23 Charles Gardner, Capt.: letters in, 1818–1819

Folder 24 Charles Gardner, Capt.: bills and business papers, 1808–1882

Folder 25 Charlotte Coffin Gardner: journal, 1852–1855

Folder 25 ½ Crispus Gardner: accounts of death, 1805

Folder 25 ¾ Ebenezer Gardner: sale of land, 1724

Folder 26 Ebenezer Gardner: biography, 1859

Folder 27 Edith Gardner: teacher’s certificate, 1884

Folder 28 Edmund Gardner: letters out, 1807–1872

Folder 29 Edward Gardner: receipt, 1850s

Folder 29 ½ Eliphalet Gardner: legal documents, 1784

Folder 30 Elisha Pope Tearing Gardner: writings, 1904–1911

Folder 31 Eliza B. Gardner: letters, 1824–1835

Folder 32 Eliza Way Joy Gardner: “The History of Kitty Victoria Whitford”, 1864

Folder 32 ½ Elizabeth Gardner Sisson: will of Isaac Sisson, 1832

Folder 33 Elizabeth Chase Gardner: letters out, 1824–1825

Folder 33 ¼ Francis Gardner: deed and bill, 1799, 1854

Folder 33 ¾ George Gardner: will, 1825

Folder 34 George Gardner: deed, 1833

Folder 35 George Gorham Gardner: letters out, 1824–1825

Folder 36 Gideon Gardner: bill and letters, 1759, 1832

Folder 36 ¼ Gideon Gardner: letters, 1795–1805

Folder 36 ½ Gideon Gardner: notes on the War of 1812, 1876

Folder 37 Grafton Gardner: will and deeds, 1787, 1789

OP-87/2 Grafton Gardner: deed, 1829

Folder 38 Capt. Grafton Gardner: letters out, letters in, indenture, 1802–1829

Folder 39 Capt. Grafton Gardner: receipt bills, 1793–1815

Folder 40 Capt. Grafton Gardner: account books and receipts bills, 1815–1824

Folder 41 Capt. Grafton Gardner: receipt bills, 1825–1838

Folder 42 Capt. Grafton Gardner: receipt bill settling estate, 1839–1856

Folder 42 ¼ Hannah Gardner: deed, 1846

Folder 42 ½ Ichabod Gardner: deed, 1822

Folder 43 Jared Gardner: will and financial papers, 1816–1852

Folder 44 Jemima Coffin Gardner: deed, 1837

Folder 45 Jemima Worth Gardner: letters of complaint, undated

Folder 45 ½ Jeremiah Gardner: will, 1777

Folder 46 Jethro Gardner: settlement of estate, undated

Folder 46 ½ John Gardner: letters out, 1747, 1781

Folder 47 John C. Fremont Gardner, copie de lettre, 1821

Folder 47 ½  John Gardner: request of payment, 1800

Folder 48 Capt. John J Gardner: receipts, 1848–1856

Folder 49 John M. Gardner: financial papers,  1822, 1825, 1846–1847

Folder 50 John M. Gardner: receipt and bills, 1848–1850

Folder 51 John M. Gardner: receipt and bill, 1852–1856

Folder 52 Joseph Gardner: will, 1743

Folder 53 Latham Gardner: deed, 1800, 1804, 1826

Folder 54 Libni Gardner: deed, 1742–1816

Folder 54 ¼ Lydia Gardner: poem and receipt, undated

Folder 54 ½ Lydia Gardner: deed, undated

SV-87/1 Lydia Gardner: Record of Deaths, 1819-1855

SV-87/2 Lydia Gardner: Record of Deaths, 1819-1870

SV-87/3 Lydia Gardner: Record of Deaths, 1870-1880

Folder 55 Lydia Barnard Gardner: letter, 1821

Folder 55 ¼ Mary Jenkins Butlers: deed and will, 1791, 1798

Folder 55 ½ Matthew Gardner: marriage certificate, 1898

Folder 55 ¾ Obed Gardner: will, undated

Folder 56 Oliver C. Gardner: receipts, 1817

Folder 57 Paul Gardner: notes on land transaction, undated

Folder 58 Paul Gardner: land transactions, 1780–1808

Folder 59 Paul Gardner Jr.: notes on land transfer, 1796–1807

Folder 60 Paul Gardner Jr.: land transactions, 1792–1799

Folder 61 Paul Gardner Jr.: land transactions, 1800–1809

Folder 62 Paul Gardner Jr.: land transactions, 1810–1819

Folder 63 Paul Gardner Jr.: land transactions, 1820–1821

Folder 64 Paul Gardner Jr.: land transactions, 1822-1824

Folder 65 Paul Gardner Jr.: land transactions, 1825–1829

Folder 66 Paul Gardner Jr.: land transactions, 1830–1833

Folder 67 Paul Gardner Jr.: deed, 1801

Folder 68 Prince Gardner: complaint to court of common pleas, 1805, 1837

Folder 68 ½ Richard Gardner: indenture, 1718

Folder 68 ¾ Richard Gardner: 7 acre grant plan, undated

Folder 69 Sarah B. Gardner: papers, 1824, 1851

Folder 69 ½ Sarah Mooer Gardner Cathcart: will, undated

Folder 70 Silas Gardner: deed of sale,  1795

Folder 70 ½ Solomon Gardner: deed, 1743

Folder 70 ¾ Stephen Gardner: instrument of protest, 1797

Folder 71 Susan A. Gardner: teacher’s certificate, 1866, 1891

Folder 72 Susan Gardner: letters, 1824–1827

Folder 72 ½ Timothy Gardner: deed, 1834

Folder 73 Thomas Gardner: deed, 1799

OPF-87/1 Thomas Gardner: Navy appointments, 1868–1878

Folder 73 ½ Uriah Gardner: act against the estate, undated

Folder 74 William C. Gardner: deed, 1858

OP-87/1 William Edward Gardner: diploma, 1895

Folder 75 William Edward Gardner: papers, 1903–1960

Folder 76 William Edward Gardner: research notes, memorials on Dr. Rey Gilpatrick, 1942–1943, 1960

Folder 77 William Edward Gardner: research notes and memorials on Frederick Sanford, 1862

Folder 78 William Edward Gardner: research for The Clock that Talks, 1952–1954

Folder 79 William Edward Gardner: research on Walter Folger Jr., 1949–1954

Folder 80 William Edward Gardner: research on Walter Folger Jr., 1949

Folder 81 William Edward Gardner: notes on Walter Folger Jr., 1949

Folder 81 ½ William E. Gardner: How We Can Help the New Rector of  St. Paul Church, 1944

SV-87/4 William E. Gardner: “Locations, Maps, and Studies” scrapbook, circa 1940

Folder 82 William F. Gardner: note of passing, 1876

Folder 82 ½ Zenas Gardner: deed, 1829

Folder 83 Unidentified members of the Gardner Family: papers, 1774–1856

Items Separated

  • OP-87/1-2
  • OPF-87/1
  • SV-87/1-4

Processing Information

Processed by Thomas Perich, June 2022. Finding aid by Ashley Miller, July 2022.

Materials in this collection were digitized with support from Connie and Tom Cigarran.

The Nantucket Historical Association preserves and interprets the history of Nantucket through its programs, collections, and properties, in order to promote the island’s significance and foster an appreciation of it among all audiences.

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