I welcome your help in my attempt at reconstructing our ancestor's life, in order
to learn his parentage. Seems like each time we find a possibility and share it or discuss it online ; there are those
who forward it on and on as if it were proven. To the best of my knowledge we do not yet know who James Gardner's parents
were. A few excellent researchers formed good theories and shared them with us.
In an effort to learn about the places where James Gardner resided which he mentioned
in his military pension questionnare, I read about early Sussex Co NJ.* A second James Gardner near the same age
lived and died there in 1838.[Early newspaper pdf on NJ Genweb]. In 1810 Sussex Co NJ has a James Gardner who lives
near a Wilson family. I'm told our James was previously married to a Rachel Wilson [theory
of Don Gardner] although I a thinking this could be the aforementioned James Gardner who died there.
There exists census records of James Gardners and Gardiners in the Virginia Counties
of Shenandoah and Montgomery. But again it is hard to know for sure exactly when he resided in each location, although
he does state in his pension application in 1844 that he had lived in Grayson which became Carroll Co Virginia, for 25 years.
Cousin, Jill Newman shared a story of James Gardner's parentage although I no longer have record
of her source: "John Gardner was lost at sea around New York State or on way back to England. John Gardner from England
married Luzelle (maiden name unknown) from France. John Gardner died at sea right after his son, James was born. "
A gentlemen sent me this possible theory of James Gardner's parents: His parents may have been John
Gardner and Christianna Finch of Scotchtown, Orange County, NY.
I did my best to research this possibility which led me to another one; that either John and
Christianna or their son John Jr who married a Hutchings and died at sea near NJ USA east coast while serving in the Militia.
This would match Jill's story somewhat. I found one such account from the book entitled ,The Michael Shoemaker
Book by Williams T. Blair , printed in 1929. It recalls a John Gardner who drowned in the Hackensack River and
was a Colonel in Ann HawkHay's Regiment of The Orange County, New York State Militia.
And why am I adding this note? In the hope that whomever takes up the search for finding and
proving our ancestor's lineage will have our collective notes on the subject and so that others will realize that we do not
yet know regardless of what some have added onto their websites.
*Sussex Co NJ "But it was neither cows nor scenery that brought the first Europeans
to Sussex. They were Dutchmen from what is now Kingston, New York, who found copper on the rocky mountain slope just north
of the Delaware Water Gap, sometime in the 1640's. As they took the ore back along the mountains, they developed a 140-mile
thoroughfare linking the Pahaquarry copper mine with Esopus (Kingston, New York)."
"Scarcely 600 people lived in the whole Sussex region in 1750 when settlers began to grumble about going all
the way to Morristown for court business. There were no towns, no major plantations, and little economic value in the vast
area when the colonial legislature created Sussex County on June 8, 1753.""On the eve of the Revolution, in 1775, the freeholders
boldly announced that Sussex County would no longer pay the salaries of Royal judges.
The war itself passed Sussex by except for supplies which came from both the fields and forges of the northern
county. The county also contributed Bonnell Moody, a well-known Loyalist spy who hid out in a cave near Springdale.""The economy
of the county suffered considerable during the war due to high assessments levied to pay for the war. Toward the end of the
war and shortly thereafter their was an influx of big landholders."
Excerpted from: History of Sussex County, NJ
on New Jersey GenWeb
Deborah Wood 2010