Richard Watson Gilder was born on February 8, 1844, in Belle Vue, Bordentown, New Jersey. The earliest Gilders in America had come, as he believed, from Kent via Barbados, and settled probably in Delaware. It is known that his great-grandfather was a farmer of that state. His grandfather, a “measurer” of Philadelphia, was chairman of the Board of Builders of Girard College. His father, William Plenry Gilder, was a minister of the Methodist Church who is said to have done some earlier editorial work in Philadelphia, and who at the time of Richard’s birth was conducting the Belle Vue Female Seminary at Bordentown. His mother, Jane Nutt, was the daughter of a major in the War of 1812.