Sunday, May 2, 2010

Jane Gardiner 1838 - 1869

Jane, Ann Gall and Matilda, no order
Jane or Jean married a major in the Crimean War, William Stewart. They were stationed in India for 7 years. She was a nurse to the soldiers. It is said they called her the Second Nightingale. They had two children and in while in India she died of cholera.

Jhansi 25 Aug 1869

Dear Mr. Gardiner

It is with much pain that I take on myself the sad duty of making you acquainted with the death of your daughter, Jane. She died on the 17th of this month of cholera after about 24 hours of illness. She had previously been much weakened through her too assiduous labors among the sick women of the regiment (and) through the anxieties connected (with the illness of her child who died) three days before her. I saw her twice during her illness. The first time she was quite sensible although s (coarsely) able to speak and seemed pleased with such ministrations as I was able to offer her.

You will be pleased to learn that there was no woman in the regiment more respected than hour daughter was. It is felt and said by everyone that there is not a woman in the regiment left who is capable of filling her place as hospital matron. We all feel her loss very much. I do so especially, for during the last seven years she has been my warmest and closest friend.

She has left two children behind her. For the present these are being cared for. What is to become of them ultimately has not been decided. Stewart says that if you are still at home he will come home with the regiment in the beginning of next year, but that if you have all gone to America as you were talking of doing, he will volunteer to the 92 highlanders where his sister is and continue in this country. Will you therefore kindly send out word at once whether you will be at home in April next, that Stewart may know what (to do),

Trusting that this letter will reach you safely

I am
With Christian sympathy
Yours faithfully

Hugh Drennan
Chaplain 93 Highlanders

William returned from India with 2 of Jane's children.


I have seen the name of Robert and Alfred Gardiner’s oldest sister spelled two ways; i.e. “Jane” and “Jean”.  Betty Harris spelled it “Jean” and I think Clarence Gardiner may have as well.

In the 1851 Scotland Census, it is spelled “Jane”.  This is the only census where I was able to find her name.  It would be nice if someone could find her in the 1841 or 1861 census.  (There is a challenge for all of you.)  She would have been married to William Stewart in the 1861 census.  That said, the census is probably one of the worst places to find a correct spelling.

In Alfred Gardiner’s family Bible (maybe it is Book of Mormon, I don’t remember) her name is spelled “Jane”.  But underneath, it looks like someone wrote “Jeanne”.

Reverend Hugh Drennan, the chaplain for the 93rd Highlanders in India, referred to “Jane” Gardiner Stewart as his best friend.  He wrote her name as “Jane Stewart” when submitting information on the births and deaths of her children.  While it is possible that he never asked “Jane” how she spelled her name, I would be surprised if she didn’t know how he spelled her name and approved of it.

The only place where I was able to find a record of how she spelled her own name is on her marriage certificate.  She signed her first name as “Jane”.  That was the deciding factor for me.  So I believe the majority of the evidence supports the spelling as “Jane” not “Jean”.  However, if you have additional information, please share it.  I want the records to be as accurate as possible.

Most of my information is based upon Dawn James’ research.  She did a wonderful job researching Jane Gardiner Stewart.

Attached is a story from Betty Harris.  In my opinion she misspells Jane Gardiner Stewart’s first, maiden and married name on the first page.  But on the second page she only misspells Jane’s first name.  I don’t know whose handwriting is on the documents.