Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Wilder Side of Life

My family research has yielded some fascinating results!

I've been able to uncover some amazing stories and bits of information about people from long ago....people I'm related to. Their stories are ones of victory, of strife, and of wood.

Wood?

Yup.

My grandmother on my father's side has the maiden name of Wilder. It's the same Wilder name tied to the very famous Laura Ingalls, the author of Little House on the Prairie. The Wilders have been in America for generations upon generations.

Oliver Wilder, my 7th Great Grandfather (1694-1765), married a lovely gal by the name of Mary Fairbanks, and they had a little Oliver - my 6th Great Grandfather. His dad (back to Oliver the 7th) had a rough go of it, watching his father (Nathaniel Wilder, 1655-1704) be murdered by indians during a raid on their farm. Oliver the 7th had a brother killed during yet another ambush, and he was almost murdered himself until he was able to take refuge in his farm's garrison house.

But what really struck me as wonderful is that we have an actual piece of North American history, still standing, just a few hours away.

Remember Mary Fairbanks? Her grandfather, Jonathan, is one famous dude. He built a house in 1636.

Why is that remarkable?

Because it's still standing. In Massachusetts.

This is the Fairbanks House, located in Dedham, MA. It's the oldest timber frame home in North America.
The image below is actually from a postcard from the 1920's, trying to bring tourism to Dedham.

To learn more about the Fairbanks House, there is an entire website dedicated to it.
That Jonathan guy? He's my 10th Great Grandfather.
Seems like he did a pretty great thing, wouldn't you say?