Francis Baker, cooper of Yarmouth


Francis BAKER
1611 – 23 Jul 1696

* OCCUPATION: Cooper, surveyor of hwys
* BIRTH: 1611, Hertfordshire, England [1]
* DEATH: 23 Jul 1696, Yarmouth, Barnstable Co., MA [2]

Family 1 : Isabel TWINING

* MARRIAGE: 17 Jun 1641, Yarmouth, Barnstable Co., MA [9982]

1. +Nathaniel B. BAKER
2. +John BAKER
3. Samuel BAKER
4. +Elizabeth BAKER
5. +Daniel BAKER
6. +Thomas BAKER
7. +William B. BAKER
8. Hannah BAKER

According to the genealogy files so laboriously compiled by my Aunt Nibby in the pre-Internet dark ages, Francis Baker was the first direct ancestor on Pop’s side. He came over in 1635, although some of the details she had conflict with the ones on this website.

UPDATE: Had to update the link because the original page was on AOL Hometown and went away. And HOLY CRAP, Grandpa X10 Baker was a terror, but he’s better than one of my mom’s ancestors, who may never have paid off his debt from when he and his wife emigrated from England.


[3] Francis Baker was born in England in 1611. When 24 years old, he came to America in the ship “Planter”, Nic Trace, master, landing in Boston April 2 1635. He was described as a tailor (Hotten Ship List par. 45) and brought with him a certificate from the minister at Great St. Albans, Herfordshire, England, his last place of residence.

[4] His parents, are not actually known but it is thought to be one of two possibilities. First it is reported in the Colonial records that he was thought to be a brother of Nicholas and Nathaniel Baker. It is possible that he was a son of John and Margery Madestard Baker of Herfordshire, England. It is also possible that he is the son of Thomas Baker who was christened 7 July 1612 at St James Clerkenwell, London. The date agrees exactly. Thomas’s wife was Francis Ingram. They were married at St James Clerkenwell, 24 Aug 1592.

[5] June 1 1641, Francis Baker, cooper, was “admitted to dwell at Yarmouth, but not to have lands that are assigned formerly to others without their consent.” (Plymouth Colony Records, 2:17). Under this authority, he settled near Follens Pond, at the head of Bass River, in what was then Nobesussett Territory but now within the bounds of Dennis. At that time, the first white man’s house at Nobseussett was less than two years old. (Deyo’s History of Barnstable County, p. 536).

[6] He was married June 17, 1641, to Isabel Twining of Yarmouth, (Ply. Col. Ct. Rec. 2:19), daughter of William Twining. This is the first marriage of record at Yarmouth, it lasted 55 years. Their first child was born in Boston in 1642, They moved to Yarmouth, Barnstable County, Massachuesetts, before the second was born in 1645.

[7] He became an influential man in the colony. June 7, 1648, he was appointed surveyor of Highways in Yarmouth (Ply. Col. Rec. 2:124). In 1656 he was member of the jury (jud. Ct. Rec. 79). In 1658 he had a grant of 10 acres of land in Eastham, lying near to William Twining (Eastham Town Record 1:97). In 1659 Francis and Isabel were still living on this land but soon sold it to William Twining Jr. and returned to their Yarmouth farm. Here he spent the remainder of his life.

[8] He died in Yarmouth July 23, 1696, aged 85, probably the last of the first comers. His will, dated Mar. 4, 1692-93 was probated Dec. 8, 1696 (Barnstable Probate Record 2:30). His widow died May 16, 1706.

[9] The old house by the River where Francis and Isabel Baker reared their family of eight children has long since disappeared. The only dwelling now standing in that vicinity was built but a few years ago. It is believed to be on the former site of the Baker homestead. Numbers of old nails found in the grund indicate the spot where a blacksmith shop once stood, The Yarmouth town records describe Francis as a blacksmith, a cooper and a surveyor.

[10] Many of the early Bakers, as well as later ones, sleep in the old graveyard near the South Dennis depot, but the exact burial place of most of the first comers is a matter of conjecture. On an elevation near the old home site is an old burying-ground, surrounded by woods adn overgrown with shrubbery, but the names on the few stones standing there are associated with the early Quaker families who settled in the neighbourhood. About 1714, the first Friends Meeting House was built near this spot. We are told that Francis Baker “was times” (Swift’s History of Old Yarmouth); how he regarded those of the Quaker faith or how they regarded him we do not know, but one of the witnesses to his will was evidently a Quaker neighbor; his grandson, Samuel, was publicly censured for his leniency toward the sect (Swift’s History of Old Yarmouth) and others of his grandchildren married among them. And it may be that Francis Baker and his wife found resting place on the hill with their gentle neighbours, the Friends. (Possible burried in graveyard near So. Dennis R.R. Station).

[11] Within a few miles from where the first Bakers settled, – on both sides of Bass River and throughout the cape, – still reside many of that name. One branch of the family early removed to Maine and another to Connecticut – near Tolland – while others are fund in nearly every State in the Union.

[12] In his will of March 4, 1693, he mentions all of his children except Samuel, leaving it to be supposed that they were (except Samuel) all alive at that date.

[13] The Plymouth Colony Records at the Sturgis Library in Barnstable, Massachusetts gives a some insight into Francis as an individual.

[14] Extracts from the Plymouth Colony Records

[15] May 3, 1653 – “Wee Present Francis Baker, of Yarmouth, for retailing of wine contrary to order of Court”

[16] March 6, 1665 – “abusiue carriage to Francis Baker att the same time, they, the said Starr and Barnes, were sentanced by the Court to pay unto the said Baker, each of them, the sume of twenty shillings. And in reference unto the said Francis Baker and John Casley theire breache of the peace att the same time, they were fined by the Court, each of them, the summe of three shillings and four pence to the use of the collonie. And whereas Elisha Hedge hath given testimony that the said Baker and Casley were drunke att the same time, incase any concurrant testimony shall appeer to cleare up the truth thereof, they shalbe lyable to suffer the penaltie of the law for the same.

[17] June 8, 1655 – “Concerning complaint made by John Hall, of Yarmouth, against Francis Baker, of the same towne, for abusing Samuell Hall, his son, and seruant to the said Baker, by kicking of him and otherwise unreasonably stricking of him, the court haue ordered, that the said Samuell Hall shall bee and continew with his said father untill the next Court of Asistants; and then incase the said Baker shall come and complaine to the said Court, hee is to acquaint the said Hall wherwith, that soe hee may come with him, and they shalbee heard.”

[18] August 7, 1655 – “In the difference betwixt John Hall and Francis Baker about Samuell Hall, late seruant to the said Francis Baker, the Court ordered that John Hall shall pay unto the said Francis Baker the summe of eight pounds for the remainder of his seruants time unexpired, and the said Samuell Hall is to continuw with his father, and soe the contouersye is ended.”

[19] October 30, 1672 – “Francis Baker, of Yarmouth, complained against William Nacarson, of Mannamoicett, in an action of the case, to the damage of ten pounds, for that the said Nicarson neglecteth to pay him for six meat barrells, and for labour done seuerall times about pining of tarr barrells, and triming them, in yeare one thousand six hundred and seauenty. The jury find for the plaintiffe five shillinges damage, and the cost of the suite.”

[20] Text of the Will of Francis Baker – (Barnstable Probate Records, Book 2, Page 30)

[21] In ye Name of God Amen, I Francis Baker of Yarmouth in the county of Barnstable in New England being of disposing mind and memeory at this time Blessed be God. I do new meke and ordaine this to be my last will and testament in manner and form following:

[22] I bequeath my soul to God that gave it to me and my body to ye dust from whence it was in decent burial, and for that outward estate which God of his goodness hath given me: my will is and I do will and give to my Loving wife Iesball all my housing and Lands in ye Bounds of sd yarmouth both up lands and meadow Lands during her Natural Life, Also I do will & give unto my sd wife Iesball all my cattle and all my other movable estate for ye comfort of her Life, she my sd wife paying all my just debits and legases to my children here after mentioned

[23] I do will and give unto my Grandson Samuel Baker ye eldest son of my son Nathaniel two shillings …… unto my son John Baker five shillings …… unto my son Daniel Baker five shillings ……unto my son William Baker five shillings ….. unto my daughter Elizabeth Chase five shillings …… unto my daughter Hannah Pearse five shillings

[24] These aforesaid legases to be paid unto all and every of my children above named within one year after my decease: further my will is that what so ever of my mouvable estate and cattel shall remaine and not be expended neither by myself nor wife that after our decease ye remainder there of I do will and five unto my son Thomas Baker, and to my sd son Thomas Baker after my decease and ye decease of my wife Isball I do will and give all my housing orchards and lands and meadows what so ever unto him and his heirs forever I say to my son Thomas Baker his heirs and assigns forever, further I do ordaine nominate and appoint my loving wife isball and my son Thomas Baker executrix and executor to this my last will and testament where unto I have set my hand and seal this fourth day of march Anno Dom one thousand six hundred ninety two three.

[25] The mark of FB Francis Baker (Seal)

[26] Signed sealed and declared in presence of us
John Miller
John Okelia

[27] I Francis Baker do desire that my friends John miller and Thomas Bills boath of sd yarmouth woold be helpful with my executors for ye setling of this my last will as above expressed.

[28] John miller whose name stands as witness to this will made oath before Barnabas Lothrop esqr. Judg of Probate for ye county of Barnstable that he did see ye above named Francis Baker new deceased sign & seal & declare this to be his last will and testament and saw John okelia set his hand as witness to this will December ye 8th 1696: Examined and duly compared with ye original & entered December ye 10:1696:

[29] Attest Joseph Lothrop Regr.

[1] [SOURCE] Genealogical and family history of the State of Connecticut, (1911)
by William Richard Cutter, A.M.

[2] [SOURCE] New England Families – Genealogical and Memorials (1915)
by William Richard Cutter
third Series Volume 3

[9982] [SOURCE] Descendants of Francis Baker, by Bertha Winifred Clark, Boston 1951

Just because I can

I changed themes again, this time rather painlessly, so that I could add a Google Reader share widget to the left column. I’ll be customizing the various header images over the long weekend and perhaps softening the color scheme and changing font.

This theme is called Cutline and seems to work okay right out of the box. I have to add in my custom style stuff, but the photos page looks okay as – is.

I’ll be uploading a lot of pictures to Flickr from the East Coast trip and some backlog too.

But first we have to catch a matinée with Steve. Indy!!!1!

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