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Michael Cayley Working Notes on Profiles

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Working Notes on Profiles

John Ferguson Baker

Middle Name

There appears to be no evidence for him having a middle name Ferguson. Middle names were extremely rare in this period.

Wife Mary Woodward????

I have not found a good source for the marriage to Mary Woodward. But there is a record for a marriage of a John Baker and Mary Woodward in Nottinghamshire in 1800 - https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NJCK-1PN.

Mary Woodward is currently shown as dying on 8 January 1707. Her supposed husband John Ferguson Baker is given a Quaker burial record, so one would expect her to be a Quaker. There are two Quaker burial records on Ancestry for a Mary Baker in 1707:

  • 23 April 1707, South Somerset Monthly Meeting, England no other details. April may be the Quaker fourth month, ie June - that's the sort of mistake one often finds on the main genealogy websites - record on Ancestry
  • a Mary Baker wife of Jonathan has a Quaker burial record at Leominster, Herefordshire with death date of 28 November (9th month) 1706

John Baker looks as if he emigrated to Pennsylvania - see below. A Mary Baker is listed in Chester County, PA in the late 17th century. A Mary Baker is listed in Friends’ records in Chester County, Pennsylvania in the late 17th century. See Ancestry search results.

Birth and Death Place

John Baker is shown as having been born and died in Edgemont, Shropshire. There is a place called Edgmont, Pennsylvania, on the borders of Chester and Delaware Counties, which is consistent with a Mary Baker being found there in the late 17th century and also with various sources naming a John Baker there. The Shropshire place is now spelt Edgmond, though Edgmont was a variant spelling in the 17th century. See Quaker burial record referred to in next para.

There is a Quaker burial record for a John Baker of Edgmont who died on 25 April (2nd month) 1672 and was buried at the Friends' Burial Ground, Shrewsbury, Shropshire: FindMyPast. The Quaker record gives no further details.

John Baker of Pennsylvania

  • History of Chester County, Pennsylvania, with genealogical and biographical sketches, by John Smith Futhey and Gilbert Cope, pub. Louis H Everts, Philadelphia, 1881, p. 469, Internet Archive. “BAKER, John, of Edgmond, in Shropshire, England, came to Philadelphia and died soon after, in the year 1685, leaving four daughters – Rebecca, Mary, Dorothy and Sarah. The records of Chester Monthly Meeting show that a Mary Baker married William Coeburne in 1686; a Dorothy Baker married Philip Yarnall in 1694; and a Sarah Baker married Charles Whitcre in 1687.” The next entry refries to a Joseph Baker, brother of this John, who settled in Edgmont Township [Chester County] and married someone called Mary.
  • The Bakers of Edgmont. There is an image part of one page from a book called “The Bakers of Edgmont” - Edgmont again refers to the Chester County place - on Ancestry. I have no further detail about the book. This starts mid-sentence and reads: “some brothers and sisters who came to Pennsylvania in 1684. A member of the family from Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, who visited England and made some investigations there, came to the conclusion that the above John Baker was born in 1598, and was the son of Sir Richard Baker, born 1568, died Feb. 18, 1645. Of this we have no satisfactory evidence: and the stench is too long from 1598 to 1684, when some of the supposed children of John were young and unmarried women. These children were as follows…” It then lists as the supposed children John Baker “who married in England but lost his wife before or during the voyage, and was perhaps sick when he landed in Philadelphia, where he made his will”; Joseph Baker who married Mary [surname unknown] in England and settled in Edgmont; Mary who married William Cobourn on 2 April 1686; Hannah who married Frances Yarnall in 8th month (October) 1686 and settled in Willstown township; Sarah who married Charles Whitaker of Ridley township in May 1687.
  • Colonial families of Philadelphia by John W Jordan, Volume II, Lewis Publishing Company, 1911, p. 1083 - Internet Archive - includes the following:
"Philip Yarnall.... married, April, 1694, Dorothy, daughter of John Baker, who with his brother, Joseph, and sisters, Mary, who became wife of William Coburn in 1686, Hannah, who married Francis Yarnall, and Sarah, who married Charles Whittaker, came from Edgmont, Shropshire, England and died in Philadelphia, leaving a will dated March 12, 1680-1, proved August 31, 1683. The Baker family were the first settlers in Edgmont township [Pennsylvania], which was named for their old town in Shropshire. John and Joseph and their three sisters, above named, were children of John Baker, of Edgmont, Shropshire, a prominent member of the Society of Friends, on whose records the date of his death is given as 2mo. (April) 25, 1672. He was born in 1598, and is said to have been a son of Sir Richard Baker, born 1568, died February 18, 1645-6."
  • A History of Delaware County, Pennsylvania by Henry Graham Ashmead has more information on the Pennsylvania Baker/Yarnall families but not their English origins: see Settlers of Edgmont

Profile for John Baker d. 1685

There is a profile for John Baker d. 1685 - Baker-39838. This gives his father as Robert, whose will gives fairly strong evidence that he was the father of John d. 1685 in Pennsylvania and his siblings, and that sources quoted above are wrong. But the death date of 25 April 1672 looks to me as if it may be a confusion with John Baker who definitely died on that date. No source seems to be given for Robert's death date, and I have asked a question about this in a comment on Robert's profile.

Tentative Conclusions

  1. John Baker did not have a middle name Ferguson.
  2. There may well be confusion with a John Baker who married a Mary Woodward in 1800.
  3. There are two John Bakers linked to the Edgmont area of Shropshire - one who was buried there in 1672, who may have been a son of Sir Richard Baker 1568-1645/6, and the other, who died in Pennsylvania in 1685. The Bakers of Edgmont appears to confuse father and son.
  4. There seems to be a conflict of sources as to whether the father of John Baker d. 1685 was John d. 1672 or Robert. Robert's profile gives a convincing argument that he was the father and that earlier sources were wrong.
  5. A Joseph Baker of Edgmont, Shropshire brother of John d. 1685 seems to have married Mary, LNAB unknown, in England and emigrated to PA in 1684. It is just conceivable that this may be the origin of the idea that a Baker of this period from Edgmont, Shropshire married a Mary Woodward.




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