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Eliza Jane (Wilder) Thayer (1850 - 1930)

Eliza Jane Thayer formerly Wilder
Born in Malone, Franklin, New York, United Statesmap
Ancestors ancestors
Wife of — married 6 Sep 1893 in Spring Valley, Fillmore, Minnesota, United Statesmap
Descendants descendants
Died at age 80 in Lafayette, Lafayette, Louisiana, United Statesmap
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Profile last modified | Created 8 Nov 2008
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Notables Project
Eliza (Wilder) Thayer is Notable.

Eliza Jane Wilder was born on January 3, 1850 to James Wilder and Angeline Day. She was the sister of Almanzo Wilder, who married the famous author, Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Eliza became a school teacher while in Malone, New York. When the Wilders moved west from Malone, New York to Spring Valley, Minnesota, Eliza followed and taught in the Spring Valley school during 1877 and 1878. In 1879 Eliza accompanied her brothers Royal and Almanzo to De Smet, South Dakota where they each took claims. While tending to her claim, Eliza taught the school term which Laura Ingalls writes about in "Little Town on the Prairie." Later, she relocated to Washington D.C. where she became a "Governor Girl" working for the Department of Interior.

At the age of 42, Eliza Jane married Thomas Jefferson Thayer, a twice-married Spring Valley merchant with six children. In June of 1894, Walcott Thayer was born, named after his father Thomas, whom was nicknamed Wilder. In 1899, Thomas died, with his estate being left for Etta, a daughter from his second marriage. It was at that time when Rose, Laura Ingalls' daughter, stayed with Eliza to continue school in Crowley, Louisiana. In 1904, Eliza married Maxwell Gordon, whom she later separated from. Eliza Jane died in Lafayette, Louisiana and is buried there.[1]


  1. Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed 15 April 2019), memorial page for Eliza Jane Wilder Thayer Gordon (3 Jan 1850–1 Jun 1930), Find A Grave: Memorial #8377896, citing Lafayette Protestant Cemetery, Lafayette, Lafayette Parish, Louisiana, USA; maintained by M & K Fine (contributor 46603732).

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DNA Connections
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Eliza by comparing test results with other carriers of her mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known mtDNA test-takers in her direct maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share some percentage of DNA with Eliza:

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Rejected matches › Eliza WilderEliza Jane Wilder (1852-)

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Categories: Lafayette, Louisiana | Teachers | Notables