The Baker's are another branch of Jim Schell's family tree. The following is an article from the March 2007 Issue of The Kentucky Explorer. I have added some photos, some links to Wikipedia articles and shown Jim's direct ancestors in bold print.
The Bakers of Leslie County, Kentucky, have an interesting and varied history in the United States of America. The following information has been gleaned from history, official documents, interviews, and even some from the Internet like ancestry.com. Once again, as in the article I did on the Joseph's of Leslie County, I must credit my wife, Pauline, who has spent too many hours to count in her research. I used her research plus mine, along with personal interviews to complete this article. I don't guarantee this is 100 percent accurate because memories fail, some individuals have axes to grind, and census takers have very poor penmanship. However, any information that is suspect has been excluded or explained in the article. If you find something you feel is suspect, I urge you to check it out yourself.
The story begins in Kent, England, in 1422 with the birth of John Baker. He later married Mary Hyde and had a son, Simon.
Simon Baker, born 1442 in Feversham, England, married Mary Broom and had a son, Jacob.
Jacob Baker, born 1475 married Abigail Baker and had a son, John, in 1496.
John Baker married Elizabeth Dinley and settled in Trentenden, Kent, England.
Their son, Christopher Baker, born in 1515 later married Dorythe Thomsone and had a son, George.
George Baker, born 1557 married Anna Swaine and had a son, Alexander Thomas Baker.
Alexander Thomas Baker, born in 1573 married Frances Briggs Pendleton, widow of Francis Pendleton and had seven children. They were: John, born 1600; Alexander Nathaniel, born 1607; Henry, born 1610; Alice, born 1611; Mary, born 1612; Ann, born 1613; and Winneford, born 1614. Upon Frances' death he married Alice Jervis but had no offspring with her.
Alexander Nathaniel Baker was born near London, England, in 1607. He married his wife, Elizabeth Ann Farrar or Flourney, in 1631, and during their marriage had 12 children. Elizabeth was born in London in 1632, and Christine was born in 1634. The remainder were born in America.
At some point in time, before leaving England, Alexander went into the cordage business and was quite successful. Cordage is rope and there was great need for it in the days of sail. Sails are attached to masts, spars, and braces by ropes, and then the masts themselves have to be held up by more ropes. A schooner or barque, considered small ships of the day, used thousands of feet of rope, and rope was always breaking and needing repaired or replaced. No ship would leave the harbor without a large supply of rope or cordage.
Alexander and his family departed England in 1635 on their own ship, the Elizabeth Ann (also known as The Elizabeth and the Lizzy Ann in documents). Besides his family, he brought Clemon Chapman and William Swayna, two of his employees at his Cordage Manufacturing Factory. His ship also held his equipment to set up his cordage business, and furniture for his friend, Kenelm Winslow, brother to Edward Winslow who had come over on the Mayflower. Kenelm had come to Massachusetts a few years earlier, and he will play a prominent part in the Baker history later on.
The Elizabeth Ann landed at Plymouth Colony, located just south of what is now Boston. He was greeted by William Bradford, a friend as well as governor of Plymouth Colony; however, they soon parted company due to irreconcilable religious differences. Baker was a Baptist and Bradford was more a Calvinist. Baker moved north to the Boston area and set up his cordage business and lived in that vicinity for the remainder of his life.
He sired ten more children with his wife, Elizabeth. They were: Alexander, born January 15, 1635; Samuel, born January 16, 1638; John, born June 20, 1640; Joshua, born April 30,1642; Hannah, born July 29, 1644; William, born May 15, 1647; Joseph, born April 8,1649; Sara, born May25,1651;Benjamin,born July 30, 1652; and Josiah, born February 26, 1654.
Alexander was quite successful and well-thought-of in the community He served as Clerk of the Market from March 1666 to March 1667. In 1674 he was discharged from taking further training with the militia because he owned his own weapons. He was made a constable in April 1676, and at that point in history few ordinary citizens served in offices of trust. Rather, those were restricted to men of property like Alexander. He and his family were accepted into the Boston Church on October 4, 1645, and all his children were baptized. It is not known if he sold his cordage business or branched out into making collars, but he is listed as a collar maker upon his death. These collars were probably leather collars for draft animals.
Alexander died between February 18, 1684 (the date of his last will), and May 1, 1685, (when the will was probated). He left seven surviving children. They were: John, Joshua, William, Josiah, Elizabeth Baker Watkins, Christina Baker Roberts, and Sarah Baker Wales. He left all of those five shillings, except William to whom he left the business because William had worked with him and learned the trade.
Samuel is the next progenitor of the Leslie County Bakers. I feel there is some controversy here. The records of the Boston Church shows a Samuel Baker dying at age seven, and he is not listed as one of the Alexander's heirs in the will. He could have predeceased his father. He could also have been disinherited. Samuel would have been 46 at his father's death. Additionally, there are in excess of 100 items quoting dozens of sources that place this Samuel as the son of Alexander Baker. Readers will have to choose, but remember; the Samuel written about in this article lived in Boston in the 1600s and is the progenitor of the Bakers in Eastern Kentucky.
Samuel Baker was born January 16, 1638, in Boston. He married Eleanor Winslow in Marshfield, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, on December 29, 1656. She was the daughter of Kenelm Winslow. Samuel and Eleanor had ten children by their marriage. They were: Kenelm, born 1657; Lydia, born 1659; Elizabeth, born 1661; Alice and Eleanor, twins, born 1663; Mary, born 1667; Ellen, born 1669; Alexander, born 1671; Thomas, born 1673, and William, born 1675. Eleanor died on August 27, 1676, at the age of 39.
The following year on February 21, 1677, Samuel married Patricia Barstow Simmons. They had four children by their marriage: Eleanor, born 1679; the earlier child must have died; Samuel, born 1680; Josiah, born 1682; and Thomas, born 1684. Samuel died in 1714 and is buried in Marshfield Cemetery located outside of Boston.
An added footnote concerns the Winslow's. Eleanor's Uncle Edward came over on the Mayflower and became governor of the colony. The Winslow House still stands in Boston. Eleanor's father, Kenelm, came to the colony in 1633. It was his furniture that Alexander Baker transported to America on the Elizabeth Ann. Their children later married.
William Baker, Sr., born in 1675 is the next in the line of the Leslie County Bakers. He married Mary Corbie, born November 13, 1691, in East Haddam, Connecticut, November 13, 1710. At some point after their marriage they moved to Chester, Pennsylvania, where their children were born. They were: Thomas, born January 8, 1711; William Jr.; Hannah; Josiah; Mary; and Frances. At some point in time he moved to Orange County, Virginia, and some sources say he served in the Virginia House of Burgesses. He died in 1748.
Thomas Baker, grew up in Virginia and met and married Dorothy Davenport of Hanover County, Virginia, 1734. She was born November 2, 1716, and was the daughter of Martin and Dorothy Glover Davenport. Note: Naming a daughter after the mother must have been a custom of the Davenport family as will be seen later. Their marriage produced 13 children. They were: William, born 1735; Thomas II, born 1737; Mary, born 1739; Martin, born 1741; Cortia, born 1743;-Josiah, born 1745; Henry, born 1747; David, born 1749; Dorothy, born 1751; Richard, born 1753; James, born 1755; John, born May4, 1758; and Charles, born 1762.
Thomas and his wife lived in both Virginia and North Carolina or at least had a North Carolina connection. Yet when the Revolutionary War started he was in Virginia. He and his sons were active in the Revolutionary War. Although Thomas didn't serve, he made gunpowder for the Army. At least three of his sons' actively served. Captain Richard Baker, Captain John Baker, and Corporal David Baker crossed the Delaware with General Washington to fight the Hessians at the Battle of Trenton. There were many casualties on both sides, one of which was Captain Richard Baker. He had been killed on December 26, 1776. The remaining two survived the war, but Thomas didn't. His gunpowder factory exploded, and he died in Culpepper, Virginia, on January 10, 1777, just two weeks after Richard's death. He probably hadn't received word yet which was a blessing.
Soon after Thomas' death, his wife, Dorothy, along with her sons, James, Charles, and John, moved to Morgantown, North Carolina. It is John Baker who is next in line for the Leslie County Bakers. He met his future wife there, and shortly thereafter married Elizabeth Ann Norfleet, who was the daughter of John and Elizabeth Reddick Norfleet of Chowan County, North Carolina.
John and Elizabeth Ann (called Nancy) were married around 1777. Their children were John, Jr.; Thomas; Isaac; Nancy; William; Ann; Lucinda; Robert; James; Wilson; and Joseph. John was a captain in the 77th North Carolina Regiment joining on November 28, 1776. As stated previously he was with Washington on Christmas Day when they crossed the Delaware. In the North Carolina list of Revolutionary soldiers, it shows that he was granted a patent on 1,462 acres of land because he served 32 months. In 1811 he took his family to Kentucky and ended up in the Cutshin area in what is now Leslie County.
John Baker, Jr. was born around 1777 in New River, Ashe County, North Carolina. He married twice and had a large family. His first wife was Sarah Alpha, born in 1778. His second wife was Chloe McIntosh, daughter of Roderick McIntosh and sister of Rory. She was born in the Scottish Highlands in 1773 and came to America with her family in 1782. They had ten children. She and John, Jr., moved to Bakersville, North Carolina, in the early 1800s.
About 1809 or 1810 John, Jr.; his son, Wilson; and Roderick "Rory" McIntosh traveled on packhorses to Kentucky looking for places to settle. Rory staked out a piece of property in what would later be known as McIntosh Creek in then Perry County, but later Leslie County. They returned to North Carolina to report to their respective families. The following year the Baker family, the McIntosh family, and several others sold their land in North Carolina, bought supplies, and left for Kentucky. Their livestock lived off the wild grass, clover, and pea vine found along the trail. The families lived on game, and the supplies they carried with them.
The group reached the North Fork of the Kentucky River in 1811. They hurriedly made camp and that night John, Jr., and Chloe's son, Isaac, was born. The families had planned to go farther, but fever and sickness struck many, and they decided to stay as a group until all were able to travel. They cleared four acres near present-day Hazard, planted crops, and built temporary shelters. It took two years for all to get well. By that time some families decided to stay in that area, but most of the Bakers and McIntosh’s moved on. One of the Baker boys was said to have built a cabin in what is now Hazard, and it became the first boardinghouse there. Later, the Hurst Hotel was built on that spot.
Some settled in Cutshin and on McIntosh Creek. John, Jr., and Chloe settled on First Creek in Perry County, but later moved to Cutshin. Besides Isaac, and not necessarily in the order of birth, they had Wilson, John Jackson, Rebecca, Elizabeth (Betsy), Nancy, Mary Polly, Jane (Jenny), Rachel, and Sarah “Sally." John Jr. was murdered at age 66 in an unusual manner. On the night of March 8, 1843, white sleeping alongside the riverbank, two of his slaves chopped off his head with an axe. The two slaves were hanged at Cutshin. John, Jr., is buried in Leslie County.
John Jackson Baker, born in Burke County, North Carolina, June 13, 1792, met and married Mary "Polly" Campbell. She was born at Wallens Creek, Ashe County, North Carolina, in 1795. She was the daughter of John Campbell and Mary Polly Couch. They married in Clay County, Kentucky, February 22 1816, and had nine children. They were Elizabeth and Virginia, born 1818; Nancy, born 1820; Christopher, born 1821; Sarah "Sally," born 1824; Wilson, born 1825; John Jackson, Jr., born 1826; Larkin, born 1827; and Henderson born 1828. (NOTE; Wilson Baker's daughter Nancy, born 1857 married Nick Schell. This is where the connection to Jim's family name is made.)
After a divorce John Jackson married Rachel Fields on May 8, 1833, in Perry County. Rachel, born in 1808 in Clairborne, Tennessee, was the daughter of John Fields and Eliza Bailey. John and Rachel had ten children together. They were William, born 1831; Polly, born 1834; James, born 1936; Abby, born 1838; Lucinda, born 1841; Rachel and Tabitha "Berth," born 1845; Rebecca, born 1847; Nancy, born 1849; and Russell, born 1854. John died June 1887 on Cutshin Creek, Leslie County, Kentucky, at the age of 95.
It is from the offspring of John, Jr's children that many of the Bakers of Leslie and Perry Counties have sprung. To aid The Kentucky Explorer's readers, the following is furnished:
Isaac married Elizabeth (Eliza Jane) Griffith; Wilson married Polly Combs, then Sarah Sally Fields; John Jackson married Mary Polly Campbell, then Rachel Fields; Rebecca married Adam Campbell, then Elijah Campbell; Elizabeth married William Campbell; Nancy married Roderick McIntosh; Mary Polly married Isaac Campbell, then Roe Campbell; Jane married Henry Feltner; Rachel married James Testical Campbell; and Sarah (Sally) married William Begley.
One interesting note: Mary Polly married Chloe McIntosh's brother, Roderick "Rory" McIntosh, who was 21 years older than she, and she had four more children by him. They were: Susan, Margaret, Peggy, James, and Mary Polly. That makes the children of both marriages half-brothers and sisters. It gives them common great aunts and uncles as well as grandparents.
This takes the Baker line far enough forward to allow anyone interested to research their particular line. The Perry County Library at Hazard has an extensive section on the early settlers of both Perry and Leslie Counties. I encourage anyone interested to include this facility in their research endeavors because my wife, Pauline, had done considerable research into my family tree.
John Jackson Baker, Jr., son of John Jackson continues the Baker line. He was born February 18, 1826, in Perry County, Kentucky. He married Sarah Maggard, born February 10, 1835, who was the daughter of John Benjamin Maggard and Sarah Maggard. They married about 1854. Their children were William, born 1854; Henry, born 1856; Sarah, born 1860; Polly, born 1862; Nancy, born 1864; and Rebecca, born 1866.
William Baker, a farmer on Wooton's Creek, was married three times. His first wife was Mary Polly Cornett. She was the daughter of Archibald Cornett and Juda Isaac. Wilson and John Jackson Baker continue the Baker line. Isaac married Eliza Jane or Elizabeth Griffith in 1828. Children by that marriage were John, David, Manerva, William, Cyhthia, Martha, Henry, and Maggie. Wilson married Polly Combs, but research has failed to show any children from that marriage. He then married Eliza Jane Fields and together they had Mary, Jackson William, Polly, Roderick, Jane, John, Rachel, and Robert.
David R. Caudill
3382 Clover Road
Bethel, OH 46103