Early Baker Family History

The Baker family has been listed as the first permanent white settler in what is now (1997) Beaver County, Pennsylvania. Recent records and research, however, indicate that the Bakers may have been preceded in the area by the Levi Dungan Family by some two (2) years. Should this be found to be true, there appears no doubt that the Baker Family was second.

George Peter Baker was born in Germany. Historians list a number of towns or areas as the Baker residence as follows: a resident of Alsace Lorraine, Bavaria, and, in the Ruhr Valley some 3 miles West of Strasbourg. Of those particulars we have no definitive answer. However, on Monday, September 25, 1753, the Ship Peggy, having sailed from Rotterdam, The Netherlands, and commanded by Captain James Abercrombie, landed at the Port of Philadelphia. On passenger list 204B and 204C was the name of GEORGE BAKER. From the period August 25, 1751 to October 1, 1754, the passenger lists of Germans entering the Port of Philadelphia records thirteen Bakers but only one (1) GEORGE BAKER. In fact, during the year 1753 nineteen ships carrying Germans entered the Port of Philadelphia but among the passenger lists there was only one (1) GEORGE BAKER.

The continental immigrants entering the Port of Philadelphia were required to take oaths of allegiance to the British Crown, and later, oaths of abjuration and fidelity to the laws of the province. There were a total of three lists relating to the passengers. One was kept by the captains of the ships, the Oath of Allegiance and the Oath of Abjuration were signed in the courthouse in Philadelphia, and the Clerk of Council copied the signatures into the minutes of the Council and these were published by the state under Colonial Records. Records indicate that "The Oath of Allegiance lists contained only the signatures of the adult males". This fact offers the explanation as to why the names of GEORGE BAKER's children were not listed.

According to Baker family records, George Peter Baker had five (5) children. Three of his sons accompanied him to America, namely George Baker, Jacob Baker and Peter Baker. His forth son Henry and daughter Elizabeth remained at home and some historians indicate their arrival in America some 5 years later, although this has not been clearly verified. Nor does the family have any record of the children's mother.

These were educated men and fluent in several languages. George Baker, the father, and son Peter were surveyors and stone masons. Jacob was a cabinet maker and "a man versed in the LAW", while son George was the "handy man" and a "dreamer".

Son George, having come to America with his father, met and married an English girl of "exceptional talent and beauty" by the name of Elizabeth Nicholson. Her wedding dress was fashioned in England and family legend says it was "of the finest materials and workmanship". They were married at a fashionable church wedding in the City of Philadelphia. Precise records are insufficient concerning the wedding date. Some say "3 months after arriving in America" and others place the date between 1758 and 1761. Conclusions drawn are: since in these early days families were started very soon after the wedding, and since documents indicate their first son Michael was born in 1760 (month and day not know), researchers have placed the wedding date more accurately in 1759 or early 1760 (based on Michael's birth).