52 Ancestors 2015: #4 Submit Wilder and I were both born May 21st…

Week 4, Closest to your birthday — Not too much to think about here. What ancestor has the birthday closest to yours? (I mean in terms of month and day, not the year 😉 )

The only direct line ancestor that shares my birthday is Submit Wilder – born 21 May 1766 in Hingham, MA – died  in Pembroke, Maine –  my 5th great grandmother.

Submit Wilder was the sixth born child on May 21, 1766 and the fourth daughter of thirteen children to Isaac Wilder and Letitia Chubbuck. She grew up in the house her great-great-grandfather Edward Wilder had built in Hingham, coming of age during the Revolutionary War.

Edward Wilder House

Edward Wilder House

Edward Wilder House

Edward Wilder House

On January 15, 1787 according to Massachusetts Town and Vital Records, Submit married Abner Gardner who had served as a drummer in Captain Jacob Pool’s company, Colonel Jacob’s Plymouth County regiment. He enlisted in July of 1780 at age 15 and served until October of that year, sworn in to reinforce the Continental Army at Boston. Abner also shared Edward Wilder as an ancestor – he was Abner’s great-great-grandfather as well, through his son Captain Jabez Wilder. Submit descended from Edward through his son Isaac. So, yes, Abner and Submit were third cousins.

In September of 1787, Abner and Submit’s first child was born in Hingham, Massachusetts – Lydia. Likely the reason for the January wedding. The next recorded, living child came five years later in Dennysville, Maine. At first I was wondering why such a long span between births – but if Abner received a revolutionary war land grant and they moved to Maine to settle, it would have taken them time to carve a home out of the wilderness.
Abner was born in 1793, Rachel (my fourth-great-grandmother) in 1796, Caleb in 1801, Sophia in 1804 and Jarius in 1807.

The Hingham migrants were attracted to eastern Maine by their fellow townsman General Benjamin Lincoln, patriot of the Revolution, who became a Maine “proprietor,” purchasing with two partners in 1786 almost 50,000 acres of timberland that now make up the towns of Dennysville, Pembroke, and Perry. Lincoln later bought out the other owners and offered 100-acre parcels to officers and soldiers who had served under his command if they would bring their families, settle the area, and populate it with the workforce he needed for his business. The descendants of many of the Hingham families are still here with the names Sprague, Cushing, Wilder, Hersey, Gardner, Reynolds, Smith, Kilby, and Benner. –About Lubec Maine

Abner Jr – Submit and Abner’s son, marries and settles in Dennysville as well – with a family of ten children as of 1850. This has thrown off the data for Abner Sr. a few times due to the lack of specific names in the census prior to 1850.

Somewhere I have a note that Submit and Abner died in Pembroke, Maine – which does not mean they moved. In 1832, Pembroke was set off from Dennysville and named “Pembroke”.

The arches from the old Iron Works, ca 1832. They have survived all these years with no mortar. The huge pipe in the left arch was part of the pennstock for generating electricity. | Photo by Frederick Gralenski

Called Pennamaquan by the Passamaquoddy Indians, the area was settled about 1774 as part of Dennysville. It was set off and incorporated on February 4, 1832 by the legislature, which named it after Pembroke in Wales, a community with a history of wooden shipbuilding stretching back to the Middle Ages. With one of the finest harbors in Maine, Pembroke too became a shipbuilding center. Vessels were constructed here as early as 1825. By 1859, when the population was 1,712, there were seven shipyards operating. Most schooners constructed here were used either by the coasting trade or fisheries. – Wikipedia

Rachel, the child that I descended from – married Theophilus Wilder – Her second and third cousin.

I cannot find Abner Sr. or Submit in the 1850 census or the mortality schedules, but considering they’d be in their mid 80s it is likely they are both dead by that time. Just shy of 200 years after Submit was born on May 21st…I was born on May 21st.


Submit Wilder (1766 – 1850) is your 5th great grandmother
 Rachel Gardner (1796 – 1875) daughter of Submit Wilder
 Mary Ann Wilder (1828 – 1905) daughter of Rachel Gardner
 John Milton Roberts (1858 – 1939) son of Mary Ann Wilder
 Hazel Pearl Roberts (1900 – 1990) daughter of John Milton Roberts
 Helen Adelaide Reynolds (1920 – 2003) daughter of Hazel Pearl Roberts

About T.K. Eldridge

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