Edward Wilder is my 8th great grandfather – twice – and 9th great grandfather once.
Edward’s son, Isaac had Thomas, who had Isaac, who had Submit Wilder. She married Abner Gardner and their daughter Rachel married Theophilus Wilder (1787-1865).
Edward’s son John had Isaac who had Bathsheba Wilder who married her cousin, Zenas Wilder – their son was Theophilus Wilder (1787 – 1865) who married Rachel Gardner.
Edward’s son Jabez had Theophilus who had Zenas Wilder who married his cousin Bathsheba.
“After Thomas of Shiplake’s death, Martha was thought to have sold the Shiplake property to her eldest son, John. After disposing of her effects, Martha and her youngest daughter, Mary, left Southampton in 1638 and sailed to New England on the Confidence. According to family tradition, Martha’s two younger sons, Thomas and Edward, and her daughter Elizabeth had previously sailed for either the Massachusetts Bay Colony or Plymouth Colony earlier in 1638. No existing record identifies the ship, date of departure, or destination.
Martha and Mary settled in Hingham, where they were reunited with Elizabeth and Edward. Hingham granted land to Martha and Edward. Martha remained a widow and died in 1652. Elizabeth married Thomas Ensign in Hingham. Mary’s subsequent history was unknown to Reverend Wilder, but later sources proved that Mary married Joseph Underwood, settled in Watertown, and left children. Edward married Elizabeth Eames, daughter of Anthony Eames, about 1650; the couple had four sons and seven daughters. Edward lived in Hingham until he died on October 18, 1690.”
The first Wilder recorded in history was Nicholas, a military chieftain , in the army of the Earl of Richmond at the battle of Bosworth in 1485. It is believed that he came originally from Germany and joined the Earl of Richmond in France and landed in England during the battle at Milford Haven. In 1497, King Henry the 7th gave to Nicholas a token of his favor – a landed estate (Sulham) with a coat of arms. From that time to 1777, the family was born at Shiplake House – the family residence. In 1777 Henry Wilder, the heir of Sulham and the Rector of Sulham Parish, sold Shiplake and moved the family to Purley
Hall, a palatial residence. The Wilders still reside at Purley Hall and some US family members have visited the residence in Southern England. (Note: The Egerton estate is Tatton Hall in Knutsford in Northern England and the family also is tied to Henry the 7th). Shiplake House was deeded to John (Nicholas’son) in 1525. The 4th inheritor was Thomas until his death in 1634.
As was the custom of the time, when Thomas died, his widow Martha Biggs Wilder sold Shiplake House, presumably to her eldest son John who was the heir of Sulham. It is believed she sent her children – Thomas, Elizabeth and Edward to the new colonies to protect them from religious persecution as they feared the return of the Papacy. Many at the time left for New England where they would be free to worship in their simple way even though the new land would be a great adjustment to their once luxurious lives. Once her affairs were in order, Martha and her daughter Mary left Southampton in 1638 aboard the ship Confidence. She landed in Hingham where records show the town made grants of land to Martha and Edward. It is also noted in the Wilder Chapbook from the Washburn Museum that Edward was granted land in Hingham following his service in King Philip’s War. Edward lived with his mother until she died in 1652.
1. Edward1, the ancestor of all who have borne this surname in Hing. and vicinity, had his first grant of land here, containing ten acres, the 8th of Oct. 1637, “in a place as convenient as can be discovered.” He subsequently received other grants from the town, including a track situated next to that given to his mother, the wid. Martha Wilder,* in 1638, which was located at or near the junction of main and Pleasant Sts., and inc. the est. now owned by heirs of Fearing Loring, deceased. He also owned all the land between Tower’s Bridge and Wilder’s Bridge, and, without doubt, was one of the earlier planters of this locality. His w., whom he prob. m. ab. 1650, was Elizabeth, dau. of Anthony Eames, Senr, of Mf’d. She outlived him, and d. 9 June, 1692. He d. intestate 18 Oct. 1690, having been stricken suddenly with malignant fever. Elizabeth, his wid., and s. Jabez were appointed adm’s. “Farmer.” Freeman 29 May, 1644, and in 1667 selectman. Dec. 1, 1675, he was one of the sixteen “Hingham soldiers impressed into the country service.” at the outbreak of Philip’s War. He resided on Main, between High and Friend Sts., on the est. purchased of Samuel Ward.
Thomas Wilder became quite prosperous and was made a freeman* in Charlestown in 1651. He moved his family to Nashawena (now Lancaster) where he was a town leader until his death in 1667. Mary married a man in Plymouth. In 1639 Elizabeth Wilder married Thomas Ensign of Scituate and they settled in Duxbury. Edward settled in Hingham and as a good Christian took his freeman’s* oath as soon as he turned 21. There is much information on the ancestors of the Wilders through 1875 in The Book of
the Wilders but for our family we will follow a direct line from Edward Wilder, the immigrant to Calvin Robert Wilder as of this date.
*freeman – at first I thought this could be a freemason but I found a definition in Merriam-Webster that states “one having the full rights of a citizen” which makes a lot of sense as they were immigrants.
The immigrant Edward Wilder married Elizabeth Eames in 1652. (I noted that he married the year his mother died.)
One of his sons, Jabez Wilder was a farmer in Hingham. He was born in 1658 and married Mary Ford of Marshfield.
A son of Jabez, Theophilus Wilder(1) was also a farmer in Hingham and married Mary Hersey in 1732.
Their son Theophilus (2) was born in 1740 in Hingham. He married Lydia Cushing in 1762. He was constable there in 1768 and also served as Captain of the Hingham Company in the Revolutionary War. He was present at Yorktown when Cornwallis surrendered. After the war he moved his family to Perry, Maine. Among his sons was Bela Wilder (brother to Theophilus (3)) born in 1776 who married Hannah Lewis. They in turn had sons named Bela and Lewis.
Our line continues in Maine from Theophilus (3) who was born in Hingham in 1766 and died in Pembroke, Maine in 1836. His first wife Mary Bridges died in 1801. They had no children. His second wife was Hannah Waterman Lewis, daughter of Theodore French and Mehitable Lewis. They were farmers in the Pembroke area in Maine – some records show them in Perry – the two towns are adjacent with Perry being just a bit closer to the coastline. They had 12 children including Robert born July 14, 1802 and Isaac born Feb.10, 1813.
At the end of the War for Independence, The Treaty of Paris(1793) vaguely defined the northeastern boundary of the United States. Lumbermen from both Maine and New Brunswick, Canada would go up the Aroostook River to cut pine along the banks. As the population grew in northern Maine, there was confusion as to whether this land belonged to Maine or New Brunswick (a British Dominion once the French were forced from Acadia). By the 1830’s problems developed between rival gangs of lumberjacks and one American was seized by the Canadians. This caused friction with Britain. Maine raised forces to prepare to fight “The Aroostook War” but the sides were persuaded to submit the measure to a commission. In 1842, Sec.of State Daniel Webster met with the British Foreign Minister, Baron Ashburton and the matter was resolved in the Webster-Ashburton Treaty establishing the northern boundary of Maine.
Prior to the Treaty, both Canada and Maine built up troop numbers for the “The Aroostook War” (aka Pork and Beans War, Lumberman’s War and Northeastern
Boundary Dispute). U.S. infantry was sent from the Hancock Barracks in Houlton to Fort Fairfield. There Isaac Wilder worked on the new barracks. Once the Treaty was signed in 1842, the area was opened for settlements and Isaac was in the area. It is said that Isaac “chopped his way” up the Aroostook River and built a saw mill on the falls of Salmon Brook. Others had taken up land further downstream so Isaac became the first resident of the new village. In 1843 he persuaded his brother Robert to move his family to Salmon Brook from Perry. A handful of other families came with them. With Robert came his sons Benjamin Cushing Wilder and Robert Waterman Wilder. This small band of settlers plus Canadians who had already settled along the Aroostook organized as the Salmon Brook Plantation in 1851.