Humphrey Baker – Family History
Humphrey Baker was born May 4, 1713 in Old Swinford, (now Stourbridge), Worcester, England and died about 1793 in probably Madison County, Kentucky. His wife was Anna.
Humphrey was baptized shortly after at St. Mary’s church. He left England and came to America in 1729 at the age of 16 as an indentured servant to William Burge. He lived in the Prince Georges Co. Maryland area. After serving his term of indenture he removed to Virginia and was the first permanent settler in the present day Washington County, Virginia. Washington County was taken from Augusta County, Virginia. He is listed in “Virginia Colonial Militia, 1651-1776” as a Captain from Augusta County.
In 1742 Humphrey was in the area on the southern edge of the Broden tract, which extended southwestwardly below the present city of Lexington. He was a member of Captain McDowell’s company of militia. This company was engaged in the first major clash between the settlers and Iroquois in December 1742 near Balcony Falls of the James River.
Humphrey was the first frontiersman on the Woods River, later called New River, in 1745. He settled at the Buffalo Pound, a major Indian crossing on the river and across from the settlement of Indian Trader Samuel Stalnaker. In 1746 he was one of the 22 settlers named to clear the first road in the area from the North Branch of the Roanoke River to New River on through the area where Blacksburg was built.
Humphrey received on May 18, 1750, the first deed for land on the western waters for the Buffalo Pound tract deeded from John Buchanan. That same year he was appointed constable for the Buffalo Pound-Draper’s Meadow area. He was now 39 and the father of three sons, Thomas, John and George.
In 1752, he moved to future Washington County, Virginia where 436 acres was surveyed for him on April 9, 1753, on Stalnakers Creek, today’s Hutton Creek,near the present town of Glade Spring. The land which lay on both sides of the creek included the path over Walker Mountain to the North fork of the Holston and beyond and northwest of Stalnaker, who had settled on Indian fields in 1750. This made Humphrey the western most settler at the time. Stalnaker only had a lease “to crop” for his trading post settlement. Historian J. Allen Neal in his bicentennial history of Washington County, Virginia incorrectly concluded that the Stalnaker settlement was “west of that of Baker” that Hutton Creek was Stalnaker’s Creek and Baker’s Creek was the stream that follows the Smyth-Washington County line. Actually, Stalnaker’s Creek, Baker’s Creek, and the present day Hutton’s Creek, are one and the same, depending on which period of history is being considered. The survey from patents and deeds confirm it. For many years after 1752, the Baker settlement was the farthest outpost of the frontier.
In 1753, Humphrey was among the 20 heads of families named to clear the first road from the head of the Holston to Stalnaker and the Baker settlement.
In May, 1755, the Shawnee began their attacks on the western most Holston frontier attacking Humphrey Baker’s settlement and wounding his daughter Mary. A month later Stalnakers was attacked. By now, Humphrey and Anne’s family included in addition to sons Thomas, John and George, a new son, Robert who was born in 1754. Humphrey and his son Thomas who married during this period served in the frontier militia during the French and Indian War. In 1756, Humphrey, now 56, returned with his family to his land in future Washington County. The gap in Walker Mountain to the North Fork of the Holston was called Baker’s Gap,now known as McCall Gap.
In 1788 Humphrey Baker sold his property and by 1792 resided in Madison Co, KY. The last record we find of Humphrey Baker is in 1793 age 80 years old.
Humphrey and Anna Baker’s Children
1. Thomas Baker was born about 1737, location unknown, and died September 29, 1814, in Estill Co., Kentucky. Thomas made his will the day before he died, listing children: Jacob Baker; the heirs of Joseph Baker; Humphrey Baker; William Baker; the heirs of Thomas Baker Jr.; and daughters, Betsy Nix, Polly Bell, Sally Hubbard, and Caty Baker. At this time it is unknown who Thomas married or her/their names. Thomas participated in the French/Indian Wars with his father Humphrey in 1759. Thomas served in Lord Dunmore’s Was in 1774 along with his younger brothers, John, George and Robert Baker. Thomas was wounded at the Battle of Point Pleasent (West Virgina). Thomas, along with brother John Baker were under the command of Capt. William Campbell from Fincastle Co. VA.
2. Mary Baker was born about 1739. She was wounded in the Shawnee Indian attack of 1755 and survived.
3. John Baker was born about 1740-1745. He was a soldier in Dunmore’s War of 1774 from Fincastle Co. in Capt. William Campbell Company. He was listed on the Baker settlement records in 1772 with his father, and brothers, Thomas, Robert, and George.
4. George Baker was born between 1740-1750 and was a soldier in Dunmore’s War of 1774 from Fincastle Co, VA in Lt. William Edmundson’s Company. He had adjacent property to Humphrey in Washington Co,VA and later resided in Campbell Co, TN on Jellico Creek.
5. Francis Baker was born before 1754. He had adjoining land NW of Humphrey’s, and we know Humphrey’s son George had adjacent property NE of Humphrey’s, later to be called McCall’s Gap
6. Robert Baker was born 17 January 1754. Robert Baker fought in the Revolutionary War. He later became a Methodist minister and, with his family, was instrumental in exploring new territories in VA, TN, KY and MO. Robert Baker served in many battles including as a seargent the Battle of Kings Mountain (or King’s Mountain.), where he was wounded in his leg. He died in Montgomery Co, MO 6 August 1834. A note must be made that many have incorrect information about Rev. Robert Baker on their web sites. DNA has proven his was the son of Humphrey Baker. This family line on the site is correct. See full transcribed copy of Robert Baker’s original R/W Pension application.
7. Alexander Baker was born before 1761 and resided in Washington Co, VA until 1786. He was on the 1782, 1783, 1785 & 1786 census of Washington Co. VA along with our elder Humphrey Baker