The Gardners of Swansea – Emma Borden’s Surrogate Family

18 Apr

(Recycled from 2010)

Long  before Emma Borden abandoned her sister, Lizzie, in late May of 1905, she had very close ties to many Gardners in Swansea, Ma.   But after she split from Lizzie, some of those Gardners  became a surrogate family to her.

The progenitors of those that Emma would embrace, socialize with, attend major family events, and help financially in trusts and her will, are those in the oval picture below (click it to enlarge).

The births, marriages and deaths of these people were recorded in William  Gardner’s family bible:

Why were these people and their children, and even some of their children’s children important to Emma?  Well, the  genealogical link was addressed in this blog post.

If you’re interested, study the names and who married who….there’s more to come about events she attended.

The direct line of Henry Augustus Gardner is the most important – and closest – to Emma.   Much of the information I have obtained was from his estate records and from direct descendants.

As for Lizzie, well she was pretty much written off by these Gardners around early 1897 due to two hugely embarrassing incidents to this quiet, salt of the earth, family entrenched group.

Lizzie had her servants, dogs and a few loyal friends.

But Emma had family.


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3 responses to “The Gardners of Swansea – Emma Borden’s Surrogate Family

  1. Beverly Patt

    April 21, 2011 at 8:22 AM

    And what were those two embarrassing incidents? Something regarding her relationship with that actress friend?


    • phayemuss

      April 21, 2011 at 11:01 AM

      The two incidents was the paper reporting she was engaged to a “Swansea school teacher” (later word came out it was Orrin Gardner, who was mortified. The other was the 1897 scandal that a warrant had been issued for her shoplifting in Providence. It was Preston Gardner that got her out of that mess.

  2. Nancy Parry

    November 3, 2011 at 2:32 AM

    Hi there Faye i am enjoying your page very much reading mostly about emma trying to figure out her address in new market and wondering if the house is still standing,i live in rochester nh not far from there and was thinking of going there to look around wondering if you have any info on the address and such thank you so much and keep doing what your doing i to am a Lizzy fan thank you Nancy parry


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