This interesting surname is of early medieval English and French origin, and is from occupational name derived from the Middle English and Old Northern French "gardin", garden, itself a diminutive of the Germanic word "gard", an enclosure. The function of the "gardinier", or "jardiniere" in modern French, of medieval times was an important one, since he was responsible for cultivating edible produce in an orchard or kitchen garden, what, in modern parlance, would be a market gardener. The use of the word "gardener", referring to one who tends ornamental lawns and flower beds is a much later application. Richard Gardiner was listed as a seaman aboard the "Mayflower" (1620), which sailed for the New World. One Peter Gardner was one of the first emigrants to the New Virginia Colony in April 1635, leaving London on the "Elizabeth" under Mr. William Staggs. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William le Gardinier, which was dated 1199, in the "Pipe Rolls of Rutland", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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