Baker #2592

John Baker (1633-1695)

Probably born in England.  Arrived in Massachusetts before 1654 and

Susanna Martin (1633-1714)

Probably born in England.  Arrived in Massachusetts before 1654.

Baker 2592Virtually nothing is known of the English origins or early years of my ancestor, John Baker (I) of Woburn, Massachusetts or his wife, Susannah Martin.  They were both probably born in England in the early 1630s, and the date and circumstances of their arrival in New England (prior to 1654) are unknown.  The few facts that I have were reported in the work of Savage (Volume I, p. 96) [1].  The following unusual entry is made without comment or explanation, leaving the interpretation to the reader: JOHN of Woburn was… sentence[ed] to be whip[ped] and to m[arry] Susanna Martin (the inflict[ion] of the latter p[ar]t of the punish[ment] being on 28 May 1654).  One supposes this to mean that John (I) had impregnated Susanna and was sentenced by the court to marry her as his “punishment”.

The children of John Baker (I) and Susanna Martin are listed as follows: (1) John Baker (II), see below; (2) Mary, born 22 Feb 1656; (3) Joseph, born 15 Jun 1657 and died soon thereafter; (4) another Joseph, born 1 Feb 1660; (5) Susanna, born 15 Mar 1662[2], died soon thereafter; (6) another Susanna, born 12 Apr 1663; a son, born 8 Mar 1664 died soon thereafter; (7) Samuel, born 21 Apr 1665; (8) Benjamin, born 24 May 1667; (9) James, born 10 Jun 1670; (10) Jonathan, born 2 Apr 1674 and (11) William, born 18 Aug 1679.

John Baker (II) was born 25 Mar 1654, in Cambridge, Massachusetts and died about 1722.  He married Hannah Polley, daughter of George Polley and Elizabeth Winn on 18 Oct 1682.  Hannah was born 28 Jun 1663 and died 28 Mar 1731, both at Woburn, Massachusetts.

Great Swamp Fight Memorial South Kingston, Rhode Island, was the site of the last stand of the Narragansett Indians in King Philip’s War against the Colonists – In 1906 a rough granite shaft about 20 feet high was erected by the Rhode Island Society of Colonial Wars to commemorate this battle. Around the mound on which the shaft stands are four roughly squared granite markers engraved with the names of the colonies, which took part in the encounter, and two tablets on opposite sides of the shaft give additional data.

John Baker is mentioned in the record of 16 men who banded together as part of the Narraganset Expedition (1675) and he also fought in the “Great Swamp Fight”[3] of 19 Dec 1675, as reported in a book on King Phillip’s War by Bodge[4] and a history of Woburn, Massachusetts by Sewell[5].  He was wounded in that battle.   For John‘s (II) service in King Phillips War, he was given a grant of land in Narragansett Township #4 (now Greenwich, Massachusetts).  This is clearly established by a deed of his grandson, also named John Baker (IV), found in vol. 48, page 338 of the Bristol County, Massachusetts Deeds dated 31 Oct 1745.  It states:

John Baker of Rehoboth, Yeoman, in consideration of ye fatherly love which I do bare towards my eldest son, William baker, of ye same town. I, ye, John Baker hath one equal right or shear of land which fell to me in the Township #4 laid out in ye county of Hampshire and given to said soldier for thar good service done for ye province in ye Narrow Gansett War in ye year 1675 by my father John Baker being his eldest son and only surviving male heir the aforset right of land fell to me, unto my son william Baker all and every of my undivided right of land yet to be laid out in any part of ye Township afforsed.

In 1700, Massachusetts Bay Colony voted to pay £10 and an annual pension of £4 to John Baker (II) of Swansea, Massachusetts[6]. To obtain this pension, John had to write a series of letters describing his military service.  There is a lot of information in these letters.  In one letter[7] he relates:

The petition of John Baker of Swanzey in the county of Bristol in ye province of Massachusetts Bay, your petitioner was borne at Cambridge and brought up at Woburn, where I lived till I was a man and was in the former Warr with ye Indians. I was impressed into ye County of service against said Indians, I was sorely wounded in a fight at Narraganssett at ye Fort. I sold what I had at Wooburne and removed to Swansey, from wence I was impressed againe by Capt. Brown, now in the late wars with ye Indians, being late in ye year and cold. I was wounded at ye Narragansett Fort, my arms being broak by shott and ye shott went thru pt of my body below my shoulder. I was sent to Road Island to ye doctor. When I was able, my father detached me hom, gott so much of a cure as I learned ye trade of weaver. I have spent all I have in ye world, my father dead my mother a poor widow.

In 1687, John Baker (II) and his family moved from Woburn, Massachusetts to Swansea, Massachusetts, where he was, once again, pressed into service.  The “Plymouth Colony Records” indicate that on 14 Aug 1689, Swansea was to furnish 4 men for the Church Expedition against the Indians.  On 28 May 1690, Swansea also furnished 3 men to be sent to Albany, New York, and on 5 Jun 1690 Swansea furnished 7 men for an expedition into Canada.  These same records indicate that John Baker (II) participated in the first two battles[8].

The children of John Baker (II) and Hannah Polley are listed as follows:

  1. Hannah, born 5 Dec 1683 and died in infancy.
  2. Another Hannah, born 3 Aug 1685.  On 12 Apr 1709 she appeared before the General Court for having an illegitimate child by John Pearce of Swansea, Massachusetts[9]. They did not marry.  She subsequently married Phillip Walker.
  3. John Baker (III), see below.
  4. Joseph

John Baker (III) was born 27 Jun 1687 in Woburn, Massachusetts and died about 1767.  On 17 Jun 1714 he married Susanna Wood, who was born 1 Mar 1687 and died 15 Jun 1748.  Except for vital details, little is known of them.  The children of John Baker (III) and Susanna Wood are listed as follows[10]: Born in Swansea: (1) William, born 18 Aug 1715; (2) Susanna, born 3 Feb 1718 married Israel Cornell; (3) John Baker (IV), see below; (4) Hannah, born 18 Dec 1722 married Elisha Cornell; (5) Nathaniel, born 9 Jul 1725; Born in Rehoboth, Massachusetts: (6) Bathsheba, born 16 Feb 1729; (7) Penelope, born 9 Sep 1731; (8) Joseph, born 14 Oct 1734 and died 1735; Benjamin, born 1737 and (9) Rebecca, born 12 Mar 1740 married Ebenezer Talbot.

John Baker (IV) was born 26 Aug 1720 and died 1764. On 3 Jun 1753 he married Hannah Mason, who was born 4 Feb 1728 and died 4 Feb 1798.  Their son, Reuben Baker, was born 30 May 1758 in Rehoboth, Massachusetts and died 19 Oct 1811 at Ft. Ann, New York.  On 8 Jan 1783 he married Lydia Mason[11], who was born 4 Jul 1765 in Swansea, Massachusetts and died 17 Sep 1812 at Ft. Ann, New York.  Reuben Baker served as a Private in the Massachusetts troops of the Continental Army during the War for Independence[12].

The daughter of Reuben Baker and Lydia Mason is Lydia Baker, born 1788.  Due to the significant intermarriage in this branch of the family tree, Lydia Baker has only at most 46 ancestors going back five generations, instead of the theoretically “correct” number of 62 ancestors.  In 1806, she married Loren Hamlin, who was born in 1784 in Sharon, Connecticut and died 15 Nov 1843 in Rupert, Vermont.  In 1845, Lydia married (2nd) Titus Sheldon, and census records indicate her dwelling in Rupert, Vermont with Titus in 1850.  Lydia died in Rupert, Vermont in 1851.

The lineage of Lydia Baker and Loren Hamlin is continued under the heading of James Hamlin (Hamblen) (1606-1690).

[1] James Savage. Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England, showing three generations of those who came before May 1692 on the basis of Farmer’s Register (published with two supplements in 4 volumes, 1860-1862).

[2] Savage reports the date as “1652”, but this is surely a typographical error.

[3] The “Great Swamp Fight” was a critical blow to the Narragansett tribe, from which they never fully recovered. Another battle, also known as the “Great Swamp Fight”, occurred in 1637. This was the last engagement of the Pequot War and took place on the site on modern-day Fairfield, Connecticut.

[4] George M. Bodge. Soldiers in King Philip’s War, containing lists of the soldiers of Massachusetts Colony, who served in the Indian War of 1675-1677 with sketches of the principal officers and copies of ancient documents and records relating to the war (Boston, Massachusetts: printed for the author) 1891.

[5] Samuel Sewell. The history of Woburn, Middlesex County, Mass. from the grant of its territory to Charlestown, in 1640, to the year 1860 (Wiggin and Lunt) 1868.

[6] Acts and Resolves of the Province of Massachusetts Bay (p. 248, 638 & 639).

[7] Letter dated 29 May 1700 From John Baker (II) and addressed to Richard Earl of Belamont and the General Court.

[8] Source: Records of the Colony of New Plymouth In New England, VI.216, VI.232.

[9] Source: Records of Court Sessions Swansea, Massachusetts: 1702-1714,  page 157.

[10] Representative Men and Old Families of Southeastern Massachusetts: Containing Historical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens and Genealogical Records of Many Old Families  (Chicago: J.H. Beers & Company) 1912.

[11] Lydia is the great granddaughter of Isaac Sampson (1667-1742), discussed under the heading of Samson Mason (1625-1676), and Reuben is Isaac’s great grandson.  This makes them 2nd cousins, and they are also 3rd cousins through Sampson Mason (1625-1676) and Mary Butterworth (1629-1714).

[12] SAR #33356 (Application of Ray Cursons Neal accepted 5 Dec 1919, New York State Society).


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