Select Baker Surname Genealogy
Baker and Baxter come from the Middle English bakere, meaning “to bake” and is an occupational name. The Baker name has been mainly found in the south of England, the Baxter name mainly in Scotland and to some extent in the north of England.
The German equivalent is Becker, the Dutch Bakker.
Select Baker Resources on The Internet
- Chromicles of the Family Baker
Bakers in Kent and Sussex.
- Humphrey Baker. Humphrey Baker in Virginia.
- The Pamunkey Bakers. Bakers of Virginia and North Carolina.
- The Conrad Becker Family. Beckers/Bakers of York county, Pennsylvania.
- Baker DNA Project. Baker DNA.
England. Baker is predominantly an English surname, the Scottish equivalent being Baxter. The earliest Baker families were to be found in Kent and East Sussex:
- the first and oldest were the Bakers of Battle, beginning with John Baker in 1375.
- then, dating from 1490, were the Bakers of Sissinghurst who prospered in the wool trade at Cranbrook. Sir John Baker of this family was known as Bloody Baker for his association with Queen Mary. There were also the Bakers in Mayfield.
- while the Bakers of Brookland in the Romney Marshes were said to have included John Baker who emigrated to Virginia in the 1620’s.
The Baker name also emerged in the west country. There were Bakers from East Devon who were recorded as MP’s for Lyme Regis in 1369 and 1407. James Baker was a talented shipbuilder from Culmstock in Devon who was entrusted by Henry VIII in the early 1500’s to build warships. His son Matthew Baker became one of the most renowned Tudor shipwrights. In 1711 this family, then clothiers, purchased the Buckland estate near Taunton. Bakers meanwhile continued to live in Culmstock.
Bakers from Durham acquired Crook Hall near Newcastle in 1635. The Baker surname by then had spread across the country. But the Baker distreibution did still retain a southern focus iin the 19th century.
Ireland. Thomas Baker came to Ireland in 1641 after the Irish Rebellion of that year and settled in Tipperary. Although he died the next year, his descendants acquired the estate of Lismascue in 1705 and William Baker was High Sheriff of Tipperary in 1726. Limascue House, rebuilt by the Bakers in 1813, now operates as a bed and breakfast.
Some Bakers were originally Beckers and Huguenot refugees who had first arrived in Ireland in the early 1700’s. They were to be found at Adare in Limerick and Portarlington in Laios.
America. There were many early Bakers to New England, the first probably being Edward Baker who came with Winthrop’s fleet in 1630 and settled in Lynn, Massachusetts. There followed:
- Alexander Baker from London and Francis Baker from Hertfordshire, on different ships in 1635. Alexander settled in Boston (later Bakers moved to Fairfield, Connecticut), Francis in Yarmouth.
- while Thomas Baker from Kent arrived in 1639 and was one of the founders of Milford, Connecticut. A number of his descendants migrated to Westfield, New Jersey in the early 1700’s.
Richard Baker, a Royalist at the time of the English Civil War, had fled first to Barbados with his family and then in 1680 came to South Carolina. He was the first of the Bakers of Archdale Hall. The last of the line, Dr. Richard Bohun Baker, survived the Charleston earthquake of 1886 and died at the house in 1901.
A branch of the family had taken up land in Georgia in the 1750’s. John Baker was a colonel in the Georgia militia during the Revolutionary War, distinguished himself, and, as a result, Baker county in Georgia was named after him.
Robert Baker came to America around 1728 and was a trapper and Indian trader in Path valley, Pennsylvania. He was also a gunsmith, as were his sons, and they made what was called the PA rifle or the Kentucky rifle in Daniel Boone’s day.
Many Bakers in America have been of German origin, the German Becker or Becher becoming Baker. The most famous of these Beckers/Bakers was Jacob Baker, a surgeon in George Washington’s army who supposedly left a fortune. However, these Baker riches turned out to be a hoax. Conrad Becker had arrived from Germany in 1739 and settled in York county, Pennsylvania. His sons were all Beckers. But the grandsons of his line that moved to
Ohio and Indiana became Bakers.
Select Baker Miscellany
If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for
further stories and accounts:
Select Baker Names
Sir John Baker of Sissinghurst in Kent served as Chancellor of
the Exchequer under Henry VIII. Later he was known as Bloody
Baker for his service to Bloody Queen Mary.
Jim Baker of Scots-Irish roots was one of the colorful frontiersman of the Old West.
Benjamin Baker was an eminent Victorian civil engineer, most known for his design and building of the Forth Bridge in Scotland.
Sir Samuel Baker was a Victorian big game hunter and explorer of the Nile and the interior of central Africa.
Josephine Baker, an African American singer and dancer, made her name in Paris in the 1920’s and 1930’s.
James Baker from Houston in Texas was Chief of Staff for both President Reagan and Bush.
Select Bakers Today
- 105,000 in the UK (most numerous in Merseyside)
- 160,000 in America (most numerous in Texas)
- 82,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Canada)
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