Solomon Baker, William Baker, John Baker, Hugh Baker, John Baker

Solomon Baker of Gargatha and Worcester County

Solomon Baker (D1796)

Solomon Baker appeared before Ralph Justice in 1739 being charged and fined with being the father of a bastard child born to Leah White, a single woman. In the same hearing, he and brother William Baker were charged as being indebted to the churchwardens in the sum of 50. There is some chance that he married, perhaps Leah White, before he married Mary Dale.

Solomon Baker did not receive any inheritance of land from his father. Perhaps he knew this in advance, or the "heat" was too much because of his escapades near Gargatha. In any event, Solomon headed into Somerset County or Worcester County sometime in the 1740's. In September 1748, Solomon Baker patented GARGATHA just two miles north of where AYERS Branch intercepts the Pocomoke. It was just adjacent to James Bratten's TURKEY RIDGE, and just below Nicholas Gray's BEECH RIDGE. This would locate it less than a mile northwest of the cemetery in New Hope. And although on the west side of the Pocomoke, it was less than a mile from WHALEYS VENTURE. Today, this ruins of this location lie in the Pocomoke River near New Hope on a small island where the river divides in the upper reaches of the Pocomoke.

On March 16, 1747, Solomon Baker was deeded fifty acres of BUCK RIDGE by William Jones of North Carolina for 10 , and this property was located adjacent to BLACK SOYL. [The reader may remember that a William Jones had on several previous occasions been connected with Bakers of this family beginning with the very first Eastern Shore settlement, and then Hacks Neck.] Jones also assigned land to James Bratten at the same time, which confirms again that they were neighbors. In the Worcester Land patent records, BLACK SOYL is located off the western side of the Pocomoke River in an area then known as Rewastico Hundred.

Solomon Baker was very active in the St. Marten's Church, and it is from these records that we find so much about him and his family. In the period 1757-1765, he was a churchwarden, and a Vestryman. There are records of his purchasing materials to mend the windows, and records of his laying out the new pews. In 1757, Solomon and George Baker were both members of the St. Marten's Parish Church near Berlin, Maryland. Solomon sat in Pew #8, and brother George Baker in Pew #18. James Dale and Eli Dale were also active members and connected to various members of the Baker family.

In 1762, Solomon was paid 30 shillings to be the Sexton of St. Marten's. It even appears that Solomon was given the responsibility of tracking down a person who apparently owed money to the church, or a contractor with still to be completed work on the Prince George's Chapel, a Chapel of Ease for St. Marten's.

In 1767, as a Vestryman of Worcester Parish, Solomon Baker and other Vestry men, purchased some land from Jesse Gray, a portion of the 50 acre GRAY'S INVENTION. Solomon and the other Vestrymen, along with John Dagsworthy, purchased 100 acres of PATNEY'S INVENTION from Jesse and Ann Gray.

Solomon Baker married Mary Dale on June 4, 1741 and they were active in the St. Martens Parish Church. Mary was dead by 1752, but they had several children; Anne Baker (born February 3, 1741), Betty Mills Baker (born October 21,1746), Jonathan Baker (born September 11, 1749) , and Elisha Baker (born December 7, 1752). Perhaps Mary Dale died in childbirth with Elisha.

Solomon served with the Worcester County militia in 1748 under Captain John Evans along with Gamage Evans , Thomas Gray, John Bowen, William Bowen, Elias Evans, Archibald Evans, William Bowen Sr., William White, John Smith, Joseph Gray, Harrison Ayers, William Smith, Whittington Bowen, Charles Ratcliff Jr., John Mumford, Elisha Evans, and James Murray.

In 1753, both Solomon Baker and James Bratten received an inheritance from William Jones who had also assigned land to brother William Baker in 1748. Were they married to sisters? The inheritance was most likely a portion of the BLACK SOYL land patent which perhaps was broken into two parts at that time.

Solomon married Rachel Evans on December 12, 1754. She was the widow of Gamage Evans (D1754) and mother of Nelah Evans, wife of Salathiel Baker. In December of 1756, Solomon Baker and Rachel Baker administered the estate of Gamage Evans paying off the following debtors 202/15/6: Powell Paty, Alexander Mills, Caleb Tingle, Nath. Bradford, Andrew Gray, Joseph Jones, Samuel Powell, and Major John Purnell.

Gamage Evans was the son of Walter Evans who had Northampton, Virginia roots. Gamage's other daughter married Joseph Waters, descendant of the William Waters who had sold the property in Northampton to William Baker, constable, son of Hugh Baker. Solomon and Rachael's children were Levin Baker (August 25,1755) Ester Baker (Whaley) (December 31, 1758), and Solomon Baker (February 12,1761).

In the Worcester County Census of 1783, Solomon Baker was registered as owning GARGATHA and BLACK SOYL, both registered in Acquango Hundred (west side of the Pocomoke River). His sons, Solomon Baker and Levin Baker were both registered as living with him in Acquango Hundred. His immediate neighbors were Benjamin Davis (130 acres) and James Dale (130 acres.)

On March 8, 1786, Solomon Baker, James Waters, and Samuel Johnson were all listed as next of kin in the will of Levi Fall. There had been a relationship between the Bakers and Waters families since 1620s. Samuel Johnson descended from a Kent, England family that had relationships with the Bakers there, and had settled in Accomack, Virginia before migrating into Someret County.

In the census of 1790, Solomon Baker was living near Isaac Whaley, Thomas Blizzard, John Blizzard, Benjamin Davis, and Bolitha Truitt. He lived with three females and seven slaves. Son Solomon Baker Jr. also lived very near him, and next to Bolitha Bratten and the Blizzards.

When Solomon's will was probated first in 1796 by Ann Baker , then again on August 1, 1797; his wife at that time may have been Anna Baker, but perhaps this was his unmarried daughter. His son Levin received GARGATHA and BLACK SOYL . Solomon's will was executed by his son Levin , and witnessed by Seth Whaley , John Dale , John Mitchell , and J. Ayers. Campbell Dale was a friend and possibly a relative and neighbor mentioned in one of the wills.

Solomon Baker had children by his several wives, but only mentioned Levin Baker, Ann Baker Williams, Ester Baker Whaley and her husband and son, John Baker, and Mary Betsy Baker of William. This could have been of William his brother, or possibly of a deceased son named William Baker.

A bond was made against the estate in 1797 by Levin Baker and Seth Whaley, and again in 1797. J. Ayers was a witness. This was probably James Ayers, son of Isaac Ayers and grandson of Laban Hill.

Jonathan Baker wrote his will in 1803, and it was presented on May 12, 1807, a bond on his estate was filed by Mary Baker. On May 12, 1807, Mary (Polly) Baker was the administrator of her husband's estate. She was his second wife and brought his estate into a bond in 1807. Witnesses to Jonathan's will in 1803 were William Kenneth and Mathias Warren. William Kenneth, Carpenter, lived in west Berlin on CROOKED LANE; the Kenneth name being connected to the same geographic area in Accomack, Virginia as early as 1680. Witnesses to the 1807 bond were Joshua Hickman and Joseph Truitt. Joshua Hickman lived at BEACHSYLVANIA with Laban Johnson, William Bratten, and John Postley. Joseph Truitt lived at the 90 acre BELFAST given to him by father William Truitt and located near BEACHSYLVANIA.


  • Elisha Baker (B1752).

    We have no information on this Elisha Baker, but another Elisha Baker's will was administered in Worcester County in 1873 by James Baker. We think he was the grandson of Elisha Baker (B1752).

    The Parkers. The Parkers were at Gargatha, Virginia. John Baker purchased in 1696 GARGATHA from a Parker. The Parkers settled in Sussex and Worcester. The Parkers were related to the Andersons from which the Bakers descend.
    The Waters. The Waters were involved with the Bakers back to Edward Waters of the Lynnhaven River. Waters had a young man named Adam Thorogood in his muster in 1624 from which the Thorogoods of Sussex descend. Adam's brother-in-law was a John Baker. The Waters name appears in most early Baker wills.
    The Masseys. The Masseys were in the Berlin area in the early 1700's, and Jonathon Baker and his son both married into the Massey family.
    The Schoolfields. The Schoolfields were connected to the various families back to the early 1700's in Virginia.
    The Donaways. I have found no Virginia connection between the Bakers and Donaways, but when they arrived in Maryland, it looks as if they tried to make up for lost time.
    John Donaway Sr.
    v John Donaway Jr. = Charlotte Baker (D/O William Baker (D1836)
    v Isaac Donaway (B1800) = Nancy Baker (B1803) (probably daughter of Archibald Baker (D1811)
    v Thomas Donaway (B1803) = Mary Baker (B1812) (probably daughter of Archibald Baker)
    v Joseph Donaway (1806-1874) = Mary Baker (B1810) (daughter of Salathiel Baker (D1822)
    vv Elizabeth Donaway = Nathaniel Baker
    vv Louisa Donaway = Joseph Baker
    v Harriett Donaway (Dec. by 1857) = Jonathon Baker (Dec. by 1850) (S/O Samuel Baker)
    vv Alexander Baker
    vv Elizabeth Baker
    vv Albert T Baker
    vv Peter Baker
    vv Parker Baker
  • Note: We found the grave sites of Joseph Baker and his wife Louisa Donaway at the Bethel Cemetary where we also found quite a few Donaway graves including that of Thomas Donaway.
  • Notes

    Eliz Williams born at St George's Parish in 1776 to John and Sarah Williams.
    George Bloxom in Accomac inherited A135 from his father Stephen and Nanna Bloxom in 1795.
    George Fisher married Elizabeth Waller in 1762. Another George Fisher lived in Accomac at A140 on the same property as Geo. Hack in 1793.
    It was located on the northside of TURKEY RIDGE, which was on the west side of the Pocomoke and had been sold to Henry Massey Today, it is an island in the swamps. A local native told me that he hunted on this land in the 1930s and the ruins of the farm were then visable.
    James Bratten served in the Somerset Militia under Captain Joseph Bratten in 1749. Other members of his unit were Daniel Selby, Issac Brittingham, Parker Selby, William Brittingham, John Richardson, and John Johnson. James was the son of William Bratten, and also served with Nath. Bratten, Wilson Bratten, and John Bratten (Son of William Bratten).
    James Wilkins lived in Lewes and married Ruth Dukes in 1770. Lived in the forest.
    John Clark married Martha Cureton in 1743 per the Quaker records.
    John Read purchased A125 from John Townsend.
    Order Book 1737-1739, page 170, 7/31/1739
    Solomon Baker's brother "Jon" was married to the daughter of Ralph Justice, and had been a neighbor to the Bakers of Gargatha.
    Solomon Baker's will was witnessed by John Dale, son of James Dale. Was he the brother of Mary Dale?
    This could possibly be Annie M. Taylor (1878-1923) buried in Evergreen Cem. in Berlin.
    William Jones was the son of Joseph and Temperance Jones, and most likely his wife's name was Elizabeth. He was a Captain in the 1749 Worcester County Militia. John Adams was his sergeant. The name William Jones continues to appear with the Bakers from William Jones who came to Virginia with John Baker in 1623 on the ship ANNE.
    Worcester County formed in 1742.