Richard Gardinar's origins are uncertain. He may have been the man baptized 12 February 1582 at Harwich, co. Essex, England, into a family that was associated with Mayflower master Christopher Jones. Or he may have been the Richard Gardinar of Holy Trinity, Guildford, co. Surrey, whose family appears to have ties to Mayflower passenger William Mullins.
Governor William Bradford, writing in 1651, states that Richard Gardinar became a seaman, and died at sea or in England. The last conclusive reference to Richard Gardinar comes in a letter written by Emmanual Althem in May 1624:
And he hath sent me word that he will provide me a sufficient man for master, notwithstanding Richard Gardinar hath earnestly requested it, claiming it as his due by place, but some say not by sufficiency. I will say no more concerning him because I know you shall understand it by others.