Thomas Wilder

* Born: 1584, Shiplake, Oxfordshire, , England
* Marriage: Martha Higgs Jan 1619
* Died: 23 Oct 1634, Shiplake, Oxfordshire, , England

He is referred to as "...of Charlestown". It is believed he moved to Lancaster, MA. in 1648.
Thomas Wilder, 11113,(1), of Shiplake, Oxon, son of John Wilder, 1111, see page 4-8, and Margaret, proprietor of the Sulham estate in Berks Co., England. ( 5 miles NW Reading, population 72 ). The Sulham Estate Grounds contain the Episcopal Church, (Church of England), where there are many memorials to the Wilder family. There is an extensive list of marble tablets and markers in the walls, floor and grounds. The church was built by the Wilders, the Rectors coming generally from the Wilder family also proprietors of the Sulham Estate in Berks, England.

Thomas Wilder who married Martha and is, through his widow and their children, Thomas, Edward, Mary and Elizabeth, the head of the American line of the Wilders.

From the book,"English Origins of New England Families", by Gary Boyd Roberts, it reads as follows; "On the Thames, four and a half miles North East of Reading, is Shiplake, whence came the widow Martha Wilder and her daughter Mary, to join other children in New England".

Thomas Wilder of Shiplake, married Martha (last name unknown), Neither Rev. Moses Hale Wilder, Justin E. Wilder nor Dr. Edwin Milton Wilder were aware of Martha's maiden name. The family name "Higgs" for Martha has been advanced in the past, especially in tabulations of early Mormons, plus others. More recently, in 1984, Grenice Disher hired a professional genealogist in London, England to investigate the origins of Martha with specific instructions to look for evidence linking her to the Higgs family. After some ten months of extensive research, it was concluded Martha's maiden name of Higgs could not be confirmed. Colleen Nielson, a Wilder descendant and careful researcher, quotes Savage's Genealogical Dictionary, page 373, and the History of Hingham, Massachusetts, LDS Family History Library, book 974.48/H1 V2h Vol. 2, and the LDS Archival Record as her sources to support her acceptance of Martha's maiden name as Higgs.

Thomas Wilder of Shiplake died in 1634. This community is on the west bank of the Thames, three miles from Henley, Oxfordshire. H. E. Wells-Furby of Shiplake College wrote Justin Wilder that the Plowden family owned the only substantial property there from 1560 until 1689. Rev. Wilder must have confused Shiplake with Nunhide when he wrote that the heirs from the son of Nicholas until 1777 were born at Shiplake. He also confused this man with his uncle, Thomas of Sulham. The residence at Shiplake must have been a small one, or if his wife was related to the Plowdens it may have been at Shiplake Court.

Justin Wilder, in his book, listed these early ancestors as shown in the records obtained by Col. Wilder and confirmed by information sent by the latest Sulham heirs from their family records. However, the Bodleian Library at Oxford, England has the will of Thomas Wilder of Shiplake, Oxon, Yeoman dated January 19, 1618 which mentions his sons Isaac, Mathew and Abraham, his daughters Elizabeth and Marie, his brother Richard, his sisters Alice and Elizabeth and his wife Martha. They also have court rolls showing that he received several small pieces of property as a fine in 1613 and deeds showing that his widow sold part of his lands on July 7, 1620 "under the provisions of her late husband's will." This may have been another family in the same community.

Berry, in his "Pedigrees," says that Thomas succeeded John at his father's death, and that his heir apparent was his son of Nunhide, who was living in 1681, and probably died in 1688. Martha Wilder left Shiplake in May, 1638, for the colonies. One strong presumption is that Martha was the widow of Thomas, who died in 1634, and that Thomas, of Charlestown, was the son of Martha and the brother of Edward: it follows that they had an older brother, John, who was the heir of Thomas, and that all five who had emigrated were his children: and until this is shown by proper evidence to be incorrect, we shall assume that they were all of one family. Thus the children of Thomas and Martha seem to be: John, Thomas, Elizabeth, Edward and Mary.

Book of the Wilders 

Thomas married Martha Higgs, daughter of Griffin Higgs and Sarah Payne, in Jan 1619. (Martha Higgs was born in 1592 in Shiplake, Oxfordshire, , England and died on 20 Apr 1652 in Hingham, , MA.)

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