On January 1, 1862, in Hartford, Connecticut, my great, great grandparents, William G. Gardner and Mary Ann Cummings were married. This was the second of four marriages for Grandpa Gardner, born Wilhelm Gotthartd Gaertnter in Kleiningersheim, Württemburg on 10 March 1833 to Alexander Gaertner and Christina Regina Bauer. He emigrated from his hometown, receiving permission to leave, in June of 1854 and arrived in New York City later that year. He settled in Connecticut. His first wife, Louise Kohler (married 3 July 1860) bore his his first child, William Fritz Gardner (6 May 1961), but would also bring about the death of Louise on 18 May 1861.
Grandpa and Grandma Gardner had four daughter: Phebie Ann (1862) [my great grandmother], Sophie J. (1866), Nellie Marie (1871), and Carrie (1881). As an explanation of the gap between the birth of great grandmother Phebie and her sister, Grandpa Gardner was serving in the Connecticut Troops of the Union Army during the American Civil War. He was at the Battle of Vicksburgh.
On 22 March 1866, Grandpa Gardner applied for U.S. Citizenship in the Superior Court, Bridgeport, Connecticut. Soon after the birth of fourth daughter, Carrie, the family removed to Ligonier, Indiana. It is there on 28 February 1889, Grandma Gardner passed away. Grandpa went on to marry and divorce wife number 3, Mary McConnell and then marry wife number 4, Margaret “Jennie” Broderick Boyd. Grandpa Gardner passed way 5 February 1913.