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Gardiner Surname Origin

This name may be derived from the same roots as Gairden. It is probably, however, the same as Gardener, the orthography having been changed. Camden says,'Wise was the man that told my Lord Bishop (Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester) that his name was not Gardener as the English pronounce it, but Gardiner, with the French accent, and therefore a gentleman.' The principal family of the Gardiners in this country derive their descent from Lion Gardiner, a native of Scotland, who served under General Fairfax in the Low Countries as an engineer. He was sent to this country in 1635, by Lords Say and Sele, Brooke, and others, to build a fort, and make a settlement on their grant at the mouth of the Connecticut river. He built the fort at Saybrook, which name he gave to it after the names of his patrons Lords Say and Brooke. His eldest son, David, born at Fort Saybrook, in 1636, was the first white child born in Connecticut. He afterward bought from the Indians the island in Long Island Sound, called by them Monchonack, and by the English the Isle of Wight, paying for it, as the old records say, a black dog, a gun, and some Dutch blankets. He removed there with his family, and gave it the name of Gardiner's Island. The island still remains in the possession of the family, having descended in a direct line from Lion Gardiner.

Source: An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names With an Essay on their Derivation and Import; Arthur, William, M.A.; New York, NY: Sheldon, Blake, Bleeker & CO., 1857.

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