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  • ID: I00710
  • Name: Marlin GARDNER
  • Sex: M
  • Birth: ABT 1802 in ,Worcester,MA
  • Burial: Palo,Linn,IA
  • Occupation: physician
  • Death: 14 APR 1860 in Palo,Linn,IA
  • Note:
    Birth info conflicting, from Bowdish Genealogy 1799, from 1850 IL census 1802, from 1856 IA census
    1804, from burial record in Palo, IA, June 1806. Marriage #1 from Hardwick, Worcester Co, MA Vital
    Records Marriage #2 from Kane Co, IL records Death info also conflicting, but we have followed
    tombstone in Palo Cemetery.

    Reference to Dr. [Marlin] Gardner in Milford Town History: Extract from Ezra Stevens, Early History of the Town of Milford and Other Partsof Otsego Co. from 1773 to 1903, compiled about 1906 but never published until recently. Available on the Internet at <>:

    "In 1831 Dr. Gardner located In Portlandville & remained there until 1841. Dr. Gardner was Bottanic & very skillful in his profession. His practice was so large he gained an enviable reputation among professional men. In several cases where the Allopathlc professors had failed &given up their patients Dr. Gardner raised them almost from the grave.His reputation as skillful diagnosis was superior to all others. Dr. Joel Thorn became a celebrated Physician who was one of students. Dr. Ezra W. Spafford was also one of his students. Dr. Spafford stood as high as any man in the medical profession in the country. He was a great practitioner & the medical profession lost one of their very best when he died.
    Dr. Gardner embarked in the mercantile business & was unsuccessful inhis undertaking & likely to fail, left his family, procured a young girl, left the State and never returned."

    Ancestry of Marlin Gardner (23 Aug 2003)
    Robert C. Newman (

    It looks like, after over thirty years of searching, that we can now tentatively put together an ancestry for Dr. Marlin Gardner! This depends on several guesses, but each of them seems to be reasonably warranted.

    Marlin Gardner, as best we can tell, was born 1802-04 in Massachusetts (see the 1820 census for his mother, Sarah ___ Gardner Gilbert in Hardwick, MA, where the only other person at home is a male aged 16-18;this is consistent with other, somewhat variable, census information). He married Clarissa Ruggles at Hardwick 7 Feb 1821, and they subsequently had seven children while living in Otsego Co, NY, before Marlin ran off with Sybil Bowdish and had another seven children (in PA, IL and IA) before his death in Palo, IA, 14 Apr 1860. We have lots ofmaterial on Marlin, as you know.

    Regarding Marlin’s ancestry, we have long known that there were only two other Gardner marriages in the Hardwick, Worcester Co, MA Vital Records before 1850, and no Gardner births or deaths listed. The marriages (including Marlin’s) are:
    Sarah Gardner to Lemuel Gilbert, 3 Nov 1816;
    Roxana Gardner to Anson Ramsdell, 1 Mar 1820
    Marlin Gardner to Clarissa Ruggles, 7 Feb 1821.
    We initially guessed that Marlin, Roxana and Sarah were siblings, butthe census listings for Sarah have her born 1770-75, while the tombstone and death record for Roxana have her born about 1800. Besides, Roxana’s death record (MA Archives, vol 249, page 315, line 15) lists herparents as Benjamin and Sarah Gardner, and her birthplace as Coleraine, an earlier spelling for Colrain, MA (then in Hampshire Co, now inFranklin Co). It appears, then, that Sarah Gardner is the mother, and Marlin and Roxana are siblings.

    The Vital Records of Colrain, MA to 1850 show no Gardner births, marriages or deaths. There is only one Gardner in any of the censuses there, Preserved Gardner, in the 1790 census. The 1800 census for nearlyall the US was lost in a fire, however, so we may be missing some important information there. A short, early history of Colrain in the DARLibrary in Washington, DC, does mention a “Mr. Gardner,” whose landadjoined a proposed site for a church building on the west side of the North River (which, however, was never built). The census entry for Preserved Gardner, lists one male over 16 (himself, presumably), two under 16 (presumably his sons), and three females (presumably his wife and two daughters). We have evidence from later census records and webpostings re/ a Preserved Gardner in Jefferson Co, NY in 1820, 30, 40 and 50, that one of the two sons in this 1790 census is Preserved, Jr. We are guessing that the other is Benjamin (Roxana and Marlin’s father). A warranted guess, but not proved, and the crucial guess in making the following connection.

    Preserved is not exactly a common name, though it does show up in oneof my three first-name books (George R. Stewart, American Given Names[Oxford, 1979]). It is said to be “a rarely used name in early New England.”

    An internet search on “Preserved Gardner” yields several hits in the proper time-period, all of which appear to be one individual. In Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors in the War of the Revolution, vol 6, page 275, Preserved Gardner is listed as a Sergeant in “Capt James Walsworth’s company, Col Elisha Porter’s (Hampshire Co) regiment; engaged 22 Jul 1779, discharged 27 Aug 1779; service, 1 mo 11 days, travel included, at New London, Conn.” Colrain is in Hampshire Co, MA In Connecticut Soldiers, French and Indian War, 1755-62, page 243, Preserved Gardner is listed in the 3rd company, 1st regiment of Connecticut, under Phineas Lyman, colonel and captain. Several websites list a Preserved Gardner born 29 July 1742 in New London, Connecticut, who would bethe right age for service in both wars and as a head of household in the 1790 Colrain census.

    But this Preserved Gardner born in 1742 has a known ancestry, as may be seen in several websites and books on the descendants of George Gardner of Rhode Island. None of these that I have seen so far follow the line of Preserved beyond himself. The following in extracted from D. Hodges Gardner, Ancestry of Daniel Gardner V and Mary (Hodges) Gardner (1915), which I located in the DAR national library.

    George Gardiner of Newport, Rhode Island; immigrant; b. England; d. Newport, 1677; md. Horodias (Long) Hicks. She md. (3) John Porter. Children b. Newport:
    à Benoni, d. 1732; md. Mary ___.
    Henry, d. 1744; md. (1) Joan ___; md. (2) Abigail Remington.
    George, d. 1724; md. Tabitha Teft.
    William, d. 1711; md. Elizabeth ___.
    Nicholas, d. 1712; md. Hannah ___.
    Dorcas, md. John Watson.
    Rebecca, md. John Watson.
    He md. (2) Lydia, dau. Of Robert and Susannah Ballou, of Newport. Children of second wife, b. Newport:
    Samuel, md. Elizabeth ___.
    Joseph, md. Catharine Holmes.
    Lydia, md. Joseph Smith.
    Robert, b. 1671, d. 1731.

    Benoni Gardiner, of King’s Town, Narragansett (RI), eldest son of George Gardiner; b. after 1640; d. 1731 [sic]; md. Mary ___. Children b.Kingston.
    à Stephen, b. 1667; d. 1743; md. Amey Sherman.
    William, b. 1671; d. 1732; md. Abigail Remington.
    Nathaniel; md. Mary ___.
    Isaac, b. 2687; md. Elizabeth Davis.
    Bridget, md. Job Sherman.

    Stephen Gardner, of Gardner’s Lake, Connecticut (between Colchester, Salem and Bozrah in New London Co), eldest son of Benoni Gardner, b. 1667; d. Gardner’s Lake, 9 Feb 1743; md. 1700, Amey, dau. of Benjamin and Hannah (Mowry) Sherman, of Portsmouth, RI. Children b. Kingston.
    Amey, b 13 June 1701.
    Lydia, b. 10 Oct 1702; md. John Jenkins.
    Stephen, b. 24 Feb 1704; md. Frances Congdon.
    Benjamin, b. 18 Apr 1706; md. Content ___.
    Peregrine, b. 24 Jan 1707; md. Susanna Robinson.
    à Daniel, b. 14 Dec 1709; md. Bathsheba Smith.
    Sarah, b. 25 Oct 1711; md. Samuel Davis.
    Hannah, b. 2 May 1713; md. Samuel Rogers.
    Mehitabel, b. 22 May 1715; md. John Congdon, Jr.
    Abigail, b. 9 July 1717; md. Richard Smith.
    David, b. 28 June 1720; md. Jemima Gustin.
    Jonathan, b. 18 Apr 1724; md. (1) Mary Haughton; md. (2) Abiah Fitch.

    Daniel Gardner, of Gardner’s Lake; fourth son of Stephen Gardner, b. 14 Dec 1709; d. Gardner’s Lake, 31 May 1755; md. 1735, Bathsheba, dau.of James and Elizabeth (Rogers) Smith, of New London, CT. Children b.New London.
    Bathsheba, b. 20 Oct 1736; md. John Way.
    Daniel, b. 9 Oct 1738; md. Elizabeth Clark.
    à Preserved, b. 29 Jan 1741[/42].
    William, b. 20 Mar 1743; md. Sarah Randall.
    Stephen, b. 25 Apr 1745.
    Anna, b. 7 Sep 1748.
    James, b 19 Nov 1750.
    Selvester, b. 29 Apr 1753.
    Elizabeth, b. 2 July 1755; md. Daniel Wylie.

    The book also gives the ancestry from the immigrant for Amey Sherman and Bathsheba Smith.

    So, if our guesses are correct, the descent is: George(1), Benoni(2),Stephen(3), Daniel(4), Preserved(5), Benjamin(6), Marlin(7).

    Another source we found (genealogical column of the Boston Evening Transcript, 31 Oct 1928, item #7676), provides ancestry for Anne Wells, who md. Preserved Gardner 19 May 1763.

    Well, this is where we are at the moment. I am not sure whether it will stand up or not. But you are welcome to scout around and see whatyou can find confirming or refuting this line, or adding details.

    Father: Benjamin GARDNER
    Mother: Sarah UNKNOWN

    Marriage 1 Sybil BOWDISH b: DEC 1817 in Milford,Otsego,NY
    • Married: 06 APR 1855 in ,Kane,IL
    1. Has No Children Angeline GARDNER b: 1849 in Blackberry,Kane,IL
    2. Has Children Ann Elizabeth GARDNER b: 1848 in Blackberry,Kane,IL
    3. Has Children Olive Diantha GARDNER b: 07 MAR 1842 in Franklin,Venango,PA
    4. Has Children Sidney Marlyn GARDNER b: 23 APR 1857 in Palo,Linn,IA
    5. Has Children Sybil Nancy GARDNER b: 07 JUN 1844 in Franklin,Venango,PA

    Marriage 2 Clarissa RUGGLES b: 18 MAR 1801 in Hardwick,Worcester,MA
    • Married: 07 FEB 1821 in Hardwick,Worcester,MA
    1. Has No Children Albert Leander GARDNER b: ABT 1840
    2. Has Children Artemas Ai GARDNER b: 03 JUN 1833 in Milford,Otsego,NY
    3. Has Children Benjamin Otis GARDNER b: 1830 in Milford,Otsego,NY
    4. Has No Children Olive GARDNER b: ABT 1823
    5. Has Children Oscar Leroy GARDNER b: 08 JUL 1838 in Milford,Otsego,NY
    6. Has Children Sarah Jane GARDNER b: FEB 1826 in Otsego Co,NY
    7. Has Children William Wallace GARDNER b: BET SEP AND OCT 1836 in Milford,Otsego,NY

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