Capt/Rev Andrew Baker

The following was borrowed from the Avent Family website. [Comments & corrections in brackets are mine–Bill Baker]

Descendants of the Baker and Avent families are still in Harnett Co, Virginia. Peter was there after leaving Brunswick Co VA, and not all his family came with him. I think the older ones such as Isham stayed in VA. Andrew Baker was from VA and probably met Elizabeth in Brunswick Co VA. I have not connected him with the Harnett Co Bakers, but have always believed it is the same family especially since so many of Peter’s children were there.

Andrew Baker Jr., born 1749 in Grayson Co, VA

He was a Captain in the Revolutionary War. [I think he was actually a private and a chaplain. Towards the end of  the war, by congressional mandate, he began receiving pay equivalent to a captain’s as did all of the chaplains. But Andrew never rose above the rank of private as far as I can document. My fellow yellow group Bakers disagree. –BB]

He settled at Osborn’s Station on New River, in what was Wilkes County, now Ashe County, NC. It was here he probably met and married Elizabeth Avant. [Other websites and sources show that Andrew first married a young woman whose name I’ve forgotten (will look up). For some reason (the house fire?), that marriage only lasted a year. In those sources, he then married Elizabeth Avent. Let me say that I have not yet seen any verification/documentation on this, so I’m very dubious.]

Both Andrew and his wife, Elizabeth, were baptized in the settlement by the Rev. William Hammond. Several of their children were born while living at Osborne’s Station. After leaving Osborne’s Settlement, he and his family moved to Grayson Co., VA.

Andrew Baker laid claim to a tract of land he called “Peach Tree Bottom” in Grayson Co, VA in 1752. Andrew Baker was the first to lay claim at “Peach Tree Bottom”. His orginal claim was for 4400 acres. But, after he was ran out by the Indians in 1752, Doctor Thomas Walker, came in and surveyed Andrew’s land, for Loyal Land Company. This Walker’s claim was dated March 16, 1753. I think Andrew had to buy back part of his own land. At any rate he ended up with only 1000 acres of his land, at “Peach Tree Bottom”, in Grayson County. (I have a feeling he was after the iron deposits there.) It was there that he became the pastor of the “Fox Creek Baptist Church”. [Actually, we believe the Peach Bottom land was settled by Rev Andrew’s father, whom we’ll call “Andrew Baker Sr”  or “Old Andrew Baker” for now.]

It appears that Andrew pastored this church off and on for about sixteen or eighteen years, rotating between this church and the Brier Creek Baptist Church, in Wilkes Co, NC. Records show that the Rev. Andrew Baker was a pastor at the Brier Creek Church, in Wilkes Co, from June 25, 1790 to February 22, 1794. He then left this church and was gone about six years. He returned and became pastor of Brier Creek Church once again and was there from 1800 to May of 1802. He then returned to the Fox Creek Church in Grayson County. It was there that his daughter Martha married Eli Davis, on April 3, 1806. They were married by her father, the Rev. Andrew Baker.

Andrew Baker, after leaving the Fox Creek Church, moved to Lee Co, VA. Here he became the pastor of the “Thompson’s settlement Baptist Church”. This church was located about 7 miles southeast of Jonesville. This was just a few miles from the “Blackwater Settlement”, the popular stopping off place for the Bakers, Bolins, and Osborns on their way to Kentucky. It was there that Andrew Baker died in 1815, and was buried in Robert Clark Cemetery, on Wallings Creek, in Lee Co., VA.

The children of Andrew Baker Jr. and Elizabeth Avent were:

Solomon Baker b. April 13, 1770
Henry Baker b. August 14, 1774
Andrew Baker b. February 18, 1777
Joseph Baker b. April 8, 1779
James Baker b. January 27, 1782
John Baker b. August 15, 1784
Nancy Baker b. January 10, 1787
Elijah Baker b. May 8, 1789
Martha Baker b. October 27, 1791

More on Rev. Andrew Baker

—Submitted by Carol Wyatt –

Andrew Baker b. 1749 age stated in the bible record belonging to Grace Witt Brockman, of Houston, TX a descendant of Martha Baker Davis, dau. of Rev. Andrew Baker.

Andrew Baker was a Private under Capt. Isaac Ruddles during the Revolution (from Collins History of KY). [Here is where the confusion about his rank comes from. Isaac Ruddles was a regular captain in the army. Andrew held the “regular army” rank of private, and of course he was a chaplain. He remained a private throughout the war, but after the war, his chaplain pension was equal to that of a captain as mandated by congress. His pay in the last part of the war was also equivalent to that of a regular army captain. Something similar to this tradition still exists today in US armed forces.  Andrew’s grave marker confuses the issue: “Captain” is on the wrong line. It was meant to go with Ruddles, but appears to be with Andrew’s name. –BB]

Andrew Baker was a Baptist Minister and served as Chaplain of his Company in the Rev. War. He was a great preacher of the Frontier Settlers. He was one of the very first settlers of New river in the new County of Ashe, N.C. abt. 1769 {sic}(called Wilkes County NC Ashe Co. made 1799)

Rev. Andrew Baker was was a Chaplain, a good whig, a great influence, eminence for morality, of the Baptist religion. —Drapers MSS. 12DD 51 (8)-52 (1)

He moved around among this area starting Churches and Pastoring Churches. Rev. Baker was one of the ablest, wisest and most successful ministers in Wilkes County, N.C. and adjacent parts of Virginia. —History of N.C. Baptist A.G. W. Paschal

Some of the Churches in which he preached and pastored were:

Eaton’s Church constituted Dec. 16, 1790 by Ministers who assisted Rev. Petty and Rev. Andrew Baker. Eaton’s Church was a continuation of Dutchman’s Creek Church which was broken up during the Revolution period. It was started on the same site in the former Surry County, now Yadkin County, North Carolina.

Brier Creek Church, Wilkes CO. 1781-1794; 1800 to 1802;

Lewis Fork Church, Wilkes Co., 1792-*1794;

Cedar Island later Ausburn, still later, Fox Creek Church in Grayson CO. VA;

Sinclair’s Bottom Church in Washington Co. Va.;

Providence Church, 1805 in Yadkin CO., N.C. are among Churches in which Rev. Andrew Baker served.

The last church that Rev. Andrew Baker was in was the Thompson Settlement Baptist Church, Lee County, VA. near Jonesville, VA. This church is still in existence today.

Thompson Settlement Church Minutes

Oct. (3rd) Third, Saturday A. D. 1811 – received Rev.Andrew Baker and his wife sister Elizabeth Baker by letter

Oct. (3rd) Saturday, A. D. 1814—secondly appoint Rev. Andrew Baker the delegate to the Association.

June 12, 1812—Rev. Andrew Baker became Pastor of the Church—Church Records,

On the Sabbath, the 23rd. day of April. A.D. 1815 a remarkable occurrence was transacted by Elder Andrew Baker who baptized James Gilbert and Matilda Randolgh, the wife of William Randolph, in the Loan Branch, a tributary stream of Walling’s Creek, James Gilbert was the last male he baptized in his life.

The Sabath, the 24th day of Sept., A. D. 1815 —Was a remarkable day in the memory of several persons, for on this day old father Andrew Baker expired after some days of sickness, aged 66 years. He lived 22 weeks after he had baptized James Gilbert and Matilda Randolph. His remains were buried in Robert Clark’s Cemetery South West of Jonesville, Lee Co. Va.

Elder James Gilbert was born in Giles Co. VA. A.D. 1787. He was baptized by Elder Andrew Baker 23rd. day of April, A. D. 1815. He deceased at Sneedville, on Oct. 3rd. Sat. A.D. 1815.

Notes on Andrew Baker

Research by Mrs. H. L. Brockman; told to us on Aug. 25, 1938 by cousin Newt Click and Cousin Ellen Click, near Sneedville, TN.:

Elizabeth Avant (or Avent) was of French Huguenot descent, from an aristocratic family, and when she married our great-great grandfather, Rev. Andrew Baker, her people disinherited her and told her never to return home; she said that she never would until they sent for them both. After many years, the Avants sent for Elizabeth and her husband to come and see them in their old age. Rev. Baker told his wife if she would not cry when she went home that he would send to a big seaport town (Wilmington?) and buy for her the nicest dress they could find. She promised and got the dress, but when she came in sight of the old home of her parents she burst into tears.

When Rev. Baker was first married, he was a fiddler for dances (before he became a preacher). One night he and his wife left their children at home and went off to a dance and stayed all night; when they returned they found their house burned up, along with their children. He never went to another dance and became converted and a preacher. There are several versions of this story–one is that he left his wife and children at home. The mother laid down with a headache and the little girl playing by the fire caught her dress afire and burned to death, before they could put it out.

A descendant, Mrs. Meorle, (Lewis) Ramsey says that she has a letter in her possession telling of Andrew and his wife going to a party and three of their children burning up in their house, while they were gone. She also has the old Andrew’s bible. (1975). Her address is Mrs. Lewis Ramsey, Rt. 1, Sneedville, TN. 37869.

In 1765 or 1768 Andrew Baker settled and made improvements on land under the Loyal CO., now in Grayson CO. VA. Several years afterwards he sold to Jeremiah Harrison who also removed to and lived on the land for some time and then sold to James Mulkey, who also settled and lived on the land and then sold to James Blevins, father of Orator John B. Blevins, 1772, James Blevins, then moved to the land where he resided until his death in 1801. In 1790 James Newell made an entry on the lands. Geo Reeves deposes that Andrew Baker was the first settler on the land in 1768. Copy of survey of 100 (4400) acres (known as the Peach Bottom) surveyed for Peter Jefferson, Thomas and David Meriwether and Thos. Walker, 16th March 1753 [SOURCE – From Chackley’s records of Augusta CO., VA. Col. IX. P. 143. “Blevens” (Blevins) v. Newell, O.S. 174. N.S. 62 Bill, Sept. 27, 1805.]

They have it that Andrew Baker married Elizabeth Avant who was born Sep. 12, 1753 at Burnswick Co. VA.

Family of Elizabeth Avant

The will of Peter Avent recorded in Northampton Co, NC Book I, p. 216, proved Sept. Court 1779, shows Elizabeth Baker daughter of Peter Avent. Peter m. 1st Any Massie; Ch: William, Isham, Joseph, Thomas, Sarah, Elizabeth (Baker), Lucy (Truelove), Rebecca, Mourning (dau.), Peter m. 2nd. Mary Tomlinson. No Ch.