My Thomas Gardiner would have been born in about 1769 in County Armagh. I don't have an exact date of birth. I base this date on the age given for Thomas in the passenger list for the ship when he emigrated from Ireland. Given the other names on the list, Thomas did not bring a wife with him on the voyage. Nor does Thomas appear to have a wife in NY state in 1810. Although Thomas is not listed directly in the 1810 census, his brother Singleton is. Given the ages and sexes of the household members, it looks as though Thomas was living with Singleton's family. Later, after everyone is in Canada, the account of Thomas' nephew William (the son of Thomas' sister Anna Coyne) regarding the first school, indicates that Thomas was staying with his sister during the winter 1822-1823. I do not get the impression that Thomas was married at this time, though I suppose he could have had a wife and child somewhere else (since Luke would have been 4 at this time), but I find it hard to imagine that he would have left them for an entire winter, especially given how difficult the winters in that area of Canada were. Here is the relevant passage from William's description of the school (the source is online at http://www.elgin.ca/ElginCounty/CulturalServices/Archives/tweedsmuir/dunwich.html under the link for Vol 5, page 0244-0249):
Wiillam Coyne recalled the state of education in the early days of Dunwich Township. "Common schools for the children were with difficulty established amongst the early settlers of Dunwich. They had neither school house or teachers, and the want of a school was felt so sharply that when the chance of getting a teacher turned up in the person Thomas Gardiner, my uncle, who was a man of good education, and was spending the winter with us, Mrs. John Pearce, (or Aunt Fanny, as we called her) vacated her kitchen, a room of some sixteen feet square and the school was taught in it. This was the winter of 1822-1823, and it was the first school. I walked three miles, mostly through the woods and only a blazed trail at that, to attend it."
Singleton Gardiner establishes the town of Cashmere in Mosa township starting in 1824. Although I don't see Thomas mentioned in relation to this, he does end up acquiring land in Mosa by 1835 (assuming that there is not another Thomas Gardiner in Mosa, see the Upper Canada Land Petitions - http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/databases/upper-canada-land/001097-119.01-e.php?&person_id_nbr=26173&interval=20&&PHPSESSID=rbl2a7bk82ouafe982j7khjr02). So there is a Mosa connection.
My Thomas Gardiner could very well be Luke's father, but I just wish that I had some evidence of Thomas having had a wife and a child. Up until I saw your note, I'd always thought that Thomas was a life long bachelor.
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