Baker #3586

English St George flag animationAlexander Baker (1607-1685)

Born in England.  Arrived in Boston, Massachusetts from England on the ship Elizabeth & Ann on 14 May 1635 and

English St George flag animationElizabeth (maiden name unknown – not Farrar) (1611-1685)

Born in England.  Arrived in Boston, Massachusetts from England on the ship Elizabeth & Ann on 14 May 1635.

Baker #3586

Alexander Baker and his wife, Elizabeth,  arrived in Boston, Massachusetts from England on the ship Elizabeth & Ann on 14 May 1635.  Elizabeth‘s ancestry is unclear,.  Although many sources identify her as “Elizabeth Farrar”, this is probably not correct.  For many years records have circulated linking Alexander Baker of Boston to an Alexander Baker of Clifford’s Inn, London who married Elizabeth Farrar, (also spelled as Flourney or Flurnoy).  Recent research has proven that we are dealing with two separate couples.
Alexander Baker was born abt 1607 in England.  He died between 18 Feb 1684/5 (date of will) and 11 May 1685 (date of probate) in Boston, Massachusetts.  Alexander married Elizabeth in about 1630, she was born about 1611 in England.They had the following children:
  1. Elizabeth Baker was born in 1632 in England.  She married Thomas Watkins in about 1652 in Boston, Massachusetts. (first known child born 27 Nov 1652, Boston).
  2. Christian was born in 1634 in England.  Christian married Simon Roberts on 18 May 1654 at Boston.  Simon was christened on 23 Mar 1638 in Saint Peter, Sheffield, Yorkshire, England.  They were the parents of 7 known children named John, Simon, Samuel, Joseph, Elizabeth, Ann and Joseph.
  3. Alexander was born on 15 Jan 1635/1636 possibly in Gloucester, Massachusetts.  He was christened on 5 Oct 1645 in First Church, Boston.  He died before 1685 as he is not listed as being alive in his fathers will.
  4. Samuel was born on 16 Jan 1637/1638 possibly in Gloucester, Massachusetts.  He was christened on 5 Aug 1645 in First Church, Boston.  He died before 1685 as he is not listed as being alive in his fathers will.
  5. John was born on 20 Jun 1640 possibly in Gloucester, Massachusetts.  He was christened on 5 Aug 1645 in First Church, Boston.  He was still living in 1684/5, but nothing further is known of him.
  6. Joshua was born on 30 Apr 1642 possibly in Gloucester, Massachusetts.  He was christened on 5 Aug 1645 in First Church, Boston.  He died on 27 Dec 1717 in New London, Connecticut.  Joshua married Hannah Tongue, daughter of George Tongue and Margery Poole, on 13 Dec 1674 at New London, Connecticut.  Hannah was born on 20 Jul 1654 at New London.  She died on 1 Dec 1713 at New London.  They were the parents of 9 known children named Elizabeth, Joshua, Alexander, John, Sarah, Hannah, Benjamin, Mercy and Patience.  Mary Baker, granddaughter of Joshua Baker and Hannah Tongue, was the mother of Gen. Ethan Allen.
  7. Hannah was born on 29 Sep 1644 possibly in Gloucester, Massachusetts.  She was christened in Oct 1645 in First Church, Boston.  She died in 1716.  Hannah married John Alger before 1679 at Boston.  They were the parents of at least one known child named John.
  8. William was born on 15 Mar 1647 at Boston.  He was christened on 18 Apr 1647 at Boston.  William married Eleanor before 1669 at Boston, and their first known child, Elizabeth, was born 29 Mar 1669.  They were the parents of 5 known children named Elizabeth, Alexander, Sarah, William and William.
  9. Joseph was christened on 8 Apr 1649 in Boston.  He died before 1685, as he is not listed as being alive in his fathers will.
  10. Sarah was christened on 25 Mar 1651 at Boston.  Sarah married Jonathan Wales in 1685.  (Eldest known child born 19 Jan 1687/8, three years after Sarah is called Wales in her father’s will).  They are the parents of at least one known child named Elizabeth.
  11. Benjamin was born on 16 Mar 1652/1653 at Boston.  He was christened on 27 Jan 1653 at Boston, and he died before 1685, as he is not listed as being alive in his fathers will.
  12. Josiah was born on 26 Feb 1654/1655 at Boston.  He was christened on 4 Mar 1654/1655 at Boston.  He died on 19 Jun 1729, also at Boston.  Josiah married Mary Crosse daughter of John Crosse and Mary before 1680 in Boston.  They are the parents of 7 known children named Alexander, Elizabeth, Mary, Mary Hannah, Josiah, Katherine and Mary.

The following information is mostly taken from the “Baker Ancestors” website (copyright 2007, Lisa Baker):

According to John James Babson in the History of the Town of Gloucester, Alexander Baker was the owner of a house and land and may have for a short time been an early resident, prior to the time he lived in Boston (see page 61).  Alexander Baker is included on a list of early settlers who were known to be residents or proprietors of Gloucester from the time of its permanent settlement to the close of 1650.  However no distinction is made to what year during that time they first arrived.

Babson states according to town records “the first ordering, settling, and disposing of lots, was made by Mr. Endicott and Mr. Downing, commissioners, 2d month, 1642”.  How many people were then here is not known: but at this time, the settlement assumed more consequence, from the arrival of Rev. Richard Blynman (or Blinman) with several families from Plymouth Colony; and it was, at a court in May in that year, by the simple form of incorporation then used, established as a plantation and called Gloucester.

In her research for early records of Gloucester, Lisa Baker ran across Charles Olsen, who wrote the Maximus Poems, a project that was to remain unfinished at the time of his death.  An exploration of American History in the broadest sense, Maximus is also an epic of place, Massachusetts and specifically the city of Gloucester where Olson had settled.  Dogtown, the wild, rock-strewn centre of Cape Ann, next to Gloucester, is an important place in the Maximus Poems.  What an odd place to find Alexander Baker, but there he was.  The following is from the Maximus Poems and a guide to the Maximus Poems of Charles Olsen by George F. Butterick (see the unpublished “Done Fudging Gulls”) which begins:

If Savage is right Alexander Baker can be taken as the earliest person to put himself here after Stage Fort.

The following is taken directly from the Maximus Poems, (sections in quotes) Olsen writes: Thursday Sept 14th 1961:

“Elicksander Baker, on the River Bank Above Done Fudging 16-THIRTY-FIVE and to: FORTY-FIVE, his age 28 to 38, and having by wife Elizabeth in those years 5 children – certainly the earliest known births in Gloucester (except for Conant children, Woodbury? Balch? Stage Fort 1623/4 to 1626/7-Alexander, born Done Fudging Jan 15, 1635/6 (the father and mother having arrived at Boston in mid-summer, aboard the Elizabeth & Ann, Capt. Roger Cooper, with first children Eliz age 3 and Christian age 1) thus Alexander Baker II possibly 1st child born at Gloucester among the persons of the incorporation of the Town”.

He refers to the next children born as:

“Samuel, January 16, 1637/38; John, June 4, 1640; Joshua (from whose blood Ethan Allen*), born Gloucester April 30th 1642 – just about day Endecott & Downing divided Gloucester up – and Hannah, September 29, 1644; sometime after her birth and before October 4, 1645 (date the mother and father are admitted Boston Church) the Bakers sold out at Done Fudgin, to George Ingersoll, from Salem (Ingersoll was still in Salem, date his fathers will, 1644”)

In 1646, there is a record of George Ingersoll purchases of Baker’s land along the Annisquam near the Harbor.

Olsen continues “One has then a placement; a man & family was on the River just above the Cut by 1635. And for 10 years. Also probably his neighbor Stephen Streeter may have been there that early?  In any case as goodmen Baker & Streeter the two get referred to in jointure the moment the Town is found; and curiously, their adjoining property is picked up from them by another pair equally holding together Gloucester for similar 10 years, Ingersoll and Kenie, though each leave Done Fudging quickly for the Harbor; each is possessed of a front on Fore street, & the water, by 1647 (Dec.)”

“Baker thus fixes occupation of Cape during least known years between 1st settlement and incorporation as Osmund Dutch does the “fisherman” of the Harbor front: his letter to wife Grace is – from Cape Anne as nauta or sailor – July 18th, 1639 and Abraham Robinson Thomas Ashley (whose property Widow Babson bought up at his bankruptcy 1642) and William Browne show – via shallop – as down there on the Harbor before June 1641 – and “fishermen” specifically (Thomas Lechford, Notebook, page 406)”

“Add William Southmeade or Southmate as possessing Thompson fishery stage Duncan’s Point and therefore probably here as early at Dutch (and Thomas Millward AND you have a handfull who are hidden handfull from which fell the later life as though they were… yes

Elicksander Baker
Goodman Streeter
Osmund Dutch
William Southmate
Thomas Millward
Abraham Robinson
Thomas Ashley
William Browne
and definitely the ministerial student Thomas Rashleigh, traveling from the Divinity School which Harvard college was 1639 to hold service on Curtis Square (where R R cuts between Burial Ground and hill) so more parson by Baker and Streeter?”

In the summer of 2010 Lisa Baker visited Gloucester and copied pages of the town records pertaining to Alexander Baker. Below are those entries:

Volume 1 page 12: Given unto Mr. Richard Blynman by the commisioners 2 mo 1642, 8 acres of upland having the highwa (sic) on the one side and running from his house unto the Rocks southeast and on the other side to Thomas Wakley’s fence. Also 12 acres of marsh upon the west side of the Amesquam (sic) river bounded to the norward (s9c) with the cove that runs up to Mr. Bruens marsh and on the southward with another piece of marsh of Mr. Bruen and 2 arces of marsh of Thomas Skellins which was primarily given to Steven Streeter and Alexander Baker. The said marsh is bounded from a Rock lying on the upland from the marsh of Mr. Bruen and so to the nearest part of the first creek.

Volume 1 page 29: 3 mo 1649 James Avery, 6 acres upland at hed (sic) of Little River to be laid out. 3 acres of marsh in Chedacco next to Silvestes Evelleth and by the side of Skellins marsh the one end butting on a fresh runn. He bought of Henry Felch 3 acres of upland one acre joining to the house he bought of him which lyes (sic) next to the Lott that was James Smith and 2 acres of upland lying at the head of Goodman Streeters lott (sic) and betwixt Will Meades and Goodman Bakers and bounded with the common.

Volume 1 page 36: 24 of 8 mo 1651: James Smyth hath sold is Lott (sic) which given him by Mr. Endicott & Mr. Douning which weare (sic) commission appointed by the General Court to order the affairs of Gloucester for that yeare (sic) It lyeth (sic) next to the lot that was Elicksander Backers (Alexander Baker) now in the possession of Thomas Skellins and teh nearest house lot to the beach on Anesquam (sic) butting the common on the east and on the north to flech.

Volume 1 page 323: 25 Jan 1703/4 William Sargeant claims two common rights, one for Streeter house and one for Elicksander Baker house which her bought of Thomas Skellins.

In Babson’s History, page 169, Stephen Streeter is an early settler who may have preceded the settlers of 1642, as Mr. Blyman’s (Rev. Blinman) grant includes lot “primarily given” to Streeter, (and Alexander Baker).  Streeter had a house here, but did not remain in town long after its permanent settlement, for in 1644, he was residing in Charlestown.

In A Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England Savage mentions that a land grant given to the Rev. Richard Blinman was the same land that had been previously offered to Alexander Baker.  The area being at the inner edge of the Cut, where a ledge rises quite abruptly on the bank of the Annisquam being called “Dunfudgin”.  When a boat was brought through the Cut, the crew had to fudge it along with poles.  As soon as they reached the deeper water, however, with broader steeragway, they could ship their poles and hoist their sail, they were done fudging.

On 4 Oct 1645 Alexander Baker and his wife Elizabeth were admitted to the Church in Boston.  The following day 5 Oct 1645 five of Alexander’s children were christened in the same church.  According to the Town Records of Boston Alexander Baker was listed as a freeman 6 May 1646 and was listed as the Boston Clerk of the Market 11 March 1666/7, Constable 24 Apr 1676. On 30 April 1678 Alexander Baker of Boston was freely discharged from attending upon ordinary trainings he keeping arms according to the law.

On 21 Jan 1674/5, Capt. John Hull confirmed the sale of land adjoining Alexander Baker’s property to John Man and Alexander Baker by Hudson and Sarah Leveret of Boston.

In his will, dated 18 Feb 1684/5 and proved 11 May 1685, Alexander Baker of Boston, collarmaker, being in the seventy ninth year of my age … God having bestowed twelve children on me and my dearly beloved wife Elizabeth, and enabled me by his blessing of my labors in my calling to bring the most of them to trades and see them settled & disposed of into a married condition, seven of them being yet alive, bequeathed to my children, i.e. John, Joshua, William, Josiah, Elizabeth Watkins, Christian Roberts and Sarah Wales” 5s each; residue (except the workshop, tools, and three or four feet of ground from the shop bequeathed to my son William whom I have brought up to my trade) to my well beloved wife Elizabeth Baker, she to be executrix.

Sources:

1. First Church of Boston, Massachusetts: Birth and Baptism Records1630-1868
2. Boston Town Records
3. Boston Births, Baptisms, Marriages and Deaths 1630-1699
4. Records of the Governor and Company of the Massachusetts Bay in New England 1628-1686
5. Boston Probate Records
6. Suffolk County Deeds
7. The Original Lists of Persons of Quality John Camden Hotten
8. The Baker Family Records, J. Montgomery Seaver, American Historical-Genealogical Society, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
9. History of the Town of Gloucester, John James Babson

The eldest child of Alexander and Elizabeth, who accompanied them on the voyage was Elizabeth Baker.  She was three years old in 1635.  Also on board was Elizabeth‘s sister, Christian (one year old).  Not much is known about Thomas Watkins, the man who married Elizabeth Baker.  I have found no reference to a primary source to indicate his date or place of birth, as he does not appear on any list of ship passengers, and no record of his birth appears in the available records of Boston, Massachusetts, where he was a resident by 1652 (the date of his marriage to Elizabeth).

The births of the children of Thomas and Elizabeth are recorded from 1653 to 1670.  Thomas was made freeman of Massachusetts on 30 May 1660[1].  There are also indications that he was a tobacconist by profession.  Deeds of Boston indicate that he purchased a tavern (the Hancock Tavern) from a Robert Brecke of Dorchester in 1653, which he owned until 1679, when he sold it to a James Green of Boston[2].

The lineage of Elizabeth (Farrar?) and Thomas Watkins is continued under the heading of Thomas Watkins (1629-1689) and Elizabeth (1632-1689).

 


[1] The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Volume 21

[2] Old Boston Taverns and Tavern Clubs by Samuel Adams Drake (W. A. Butterfield, Boston, 1917), p. 94.

 

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