Article Number Twenty- Eight - The Baldwin Family Cont'd

Written by Joshua G. Borthwick and originally published
on April 21, 1883, in the Catskill "Examiner". Copy provided by the Durham Center Museum and retyped by Annette Campbell



A few things mentioned in the last sketch seem to require attention. I fear that the "curious fact" in regard to the remnant of the Baldwin family in this town will not be understood. The fact is this: that while the blood of the Baldwins is still coursing through the veins of several families in Durham, yet the Baldwin name is represented here by only Noah Baldwins  descendants, viz: Hezekiah, and Elizabeth, William and his family, and Lewis and his family---ten in all.  There are a few mistakes also, which ought to be corrected. Betsey Baldwin was 87 years of age at her death. Mabel Jones was the daughter of Seth Jones, not "Setty", as printed.  James J. Baldwin married Carrdace Beach, not "Caudace", and while Stephen Tibbals and Fanny, his wife, had five children, now only two---Hezekiah and Jonathan remain.  The mother is also dead.  In Sketch No, 26, it is said that Dwight Baldwin was the eldest son of Abiel Baldwin, Sr.  He was the son of Seth Baldwin, and a grandson of Abiel Baldwin, Sr.
 
Now we will turn to the history as commenced in Sketch No. 27.
 
Mehitable Baldwin was the tenth child of Noah Baldwin, Sr., and was born in Durham, Conn., June 22, 1776. She married  Luther Hayes, who was born in Middle Granville, Mass., in 1772.  They came to Durham, NY, early in the history of the town, and lived in the house now owned by K. Baker in the village. He was a tinware and hardware merchant, and by honest industry he acquired a competence.  He united with the Presbyterian church June 17, 1810.  He was chosen Elder in the church, and was installed Nov. 18, 1830. He was a faithful christian man. He became so feeble in his old age that he could not kneel down in prayer at family worship, and it was his custom to sit in his chair and thus offer his prayers while the family knelt about him. He died May 4, 1858, aged 86.  "Aunt Hetty", his wife, was a very cheerful, pleasant little woman, and an earnest, trustful christian. She united with the church in 1822, and died in 1860, aged 84. They had nine children, viz: Philo;  Eveline married  Lucius Hitchcock of Big Hollow. Luther, married twice, and now lives in Greenville. He has a son John Newton, who is a missionary to China.  Climera married Eli Spencer, and died in 1862. Newton F. married and removed to Gloversville. Harriett L.  married Nehemiah Ramsdell, of Norton Hill.  William B; Addison H. succeeded to his father's business and also to his office in the church; and was supervisor of the town, and was much respected. He married Evangela Everett, a sister of Capt. J. H. Everett, of Kingston, NY. In 1866 he removed to Kingston, and afterward to Catskill, where he died. His widow still survives. Vestina Z. married William Noble, of Roxbury, NY.
 
Rhoda Baldwin was the eleventh and youngest child of Noah Baldwin, Sr., and was born in Durham, Conn., about the year 1779. She married Constant Bushnell, of Saybrook Conn., and they came to Durham, NY., about the year 1800, and settled on land now owned by Mr. Fletcher Smith.  The house stood on the South side of the road, about ten rods S.E. of the residence of Mr. Dwight Hull.  They were members of the same church, and in 1815 they removed their membership to Sullivan, Madison county, NY. They afterward removed to Marshall, Mich.  We can give names of nine children, viz:  Sarah, Adah, Ruth, Lavinia, Rachel, Jonas, Linus, Andrew, and Noah.  There were other Bushnell's in the town at that time, but how they were related is uncertain. Calvin Bushnell, became a minister. Maria Bushnell married a Freer, and removed to Windham, and Reuben, Stephen and Wealthy Bushnell were all at one time residents of this town. 
 
The name Baldwin can probably be traced further back in history than any other modern name.  It is claimed by several nationalities: English, French, Italian, German and Danish.  It seems however, to have originated in Flanders as early as the year 864.  The first Count of Flanders married Judith, the daughter of Charles the Bald, of France. His first name, it appears, was Baldwin, and he was surnamed Bras de Fer (Iron Arm).  He died in 879, and his successors were called Baldwin II, III, IV, V, and so on until we reach Baldwin IX, who became the first Emperor of Constantinople after her subjugation in the fourth Crusade.  He was succeeded by his nephew, Baldwin II.  Their united reign lasted from 1204 to 1261. Baldwin seems to have been a favorite name among the Crusaders---a sort of kingly title given to the rulers.  Where Jerusalem was captured by the Crusaders in 1110 there were five successive kings of that city who wore that name as a title---from Baldwin I to Baldwin V, and from the years 1110 to 1187. After the Conquest of England in 1066 by the Normans under the command of William the Conqueror, the name occurs frequently in that country. Even William himself married Matilda, the daughter of Baldwin V., one of the Earls of Flanders.  Surnames, however, were not used in England at this early date. The first mention of Baldwin as a surname was in 1198, when Robert Fitz Baldwin was spoken of as owning land in Bucks Co., Eng.  In 1204  Michael Fitz Baldwin, in 1254 John Baldwyn,  in 1342 Richard Baldwyne, and in 1445 John Baldewyn are spoken of land owners. In 1545 Sir John Baldwin died at Aylesbury, Bucks Co, Eng.  He was Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas, and a very wealthy man.  He left most of his property to two of his grandsons, Thomas Packington and John Burlacy, perhaps the original of the present name Lacy.
And now, according to the best information obtainable, we come to the history of the ancestors of the Baldwins in Durham, NY, of whom we have been writing. We are indebted to Mr. C.C. Baldwin, of Cleveland, OH, for a large portion of the history already given as well as for what remains. In 1552 there were two brothers, Richard and John Baldwin, living in Dunbridge, Bucks Co., Eng. It is thought that they were nephews of Sir John Baldwin, but that is uncertain as yet.  Richard died in 1552, and Ellen, his wife, died in 1566. They had three sons and four daughters.  His son, Richard was a weaver, and died in Cholesbury, Bucks Co., in 1633. His wife's name was Isabelle. He had three sons, Timothy, Nathaniel, and Joseph and four daughters, Mary, Hannah, Christina, and Sarah.  After their father's death the three sons emigrated to America and settled in Milford, Conn., in the year 1639.  They were members of a large colony, many of whom were Baldwins, who bought lands of the Indians in Milford that year.  One of their number, Sylvester Baldwin, died on ship-board June 21, 1838. His son Richard settled in Milford and was the ancestor of Mr. C.C. Baldwin, above referred to.  Of Timothy and his descendants but little is known at present. Nathaniel was a cooper; married first Abigail Camp and second Mrs. Joanna Westcoat.  He died in 1650.  His descendants are very numerous, and several of them reached high positions in life.  Moses was pastor of one church on Long Island fifty years.  Abraham was a chaplin in the Revolution, member of the Georgia Legislature, member of Congress and U.S. Senator from Georgia.  John C. Baldwin, of Orange, NJ, was a very benevolent man. It is said his benefactions amounted to $800,000. His brother Henry P., was Governor of Michigan and U.S. Senator (We had the pleasure of an introduction to him at his home in Detroit in 1872).  Henry, of Erie, PA, was M.C. and Judge of the U.S. Supreme Court.  Heber was a brigadier-general in the late war. Joseph G. was a member of the Alabama Legislature and Judge of the Supreme Court of California.  Alexander W. was appointed Judge of the Supreme Court of Nevada by Andrew Johnson.  Cyrus was a member of the Mississippi Legislature, and died in the Confederate Army.
 
Joseph Baldwin, the youngest brother of Timothy and Nathaniel, was the first American ancestor of the Baldwins of this town.  He was one of the first settlers of Milford, Conn., and was a free planter, which means that he was a church member, and consequently was permitted to vote and to take part in the general government of the colony. He was married three times. His first wife was Hannah _____,  his second, Isabel Northam,  and the third, Elizabeth Warriner. He died in 1684. He had nine children:  Joseph, Benjamin, Hannah, Mary, Elizabeth, Martha, Jonathan, David  and Sarah.
 
Jonathan, his son, was born Feb 16, 1649, married Hannah Ward.  His second wife was Thankful Strong, daughter of Elder John Strong and Abigail (Ford) Strong. (See Sketch No. 5) He had thirteen children: Jonathan, John, Joseph, Hannah (died young), Daniel, Joshua, Abigail, Hannah, Martha, Ebenezur, Noah, Phebe and Ezra.  One of his descendants, Rev. William C. Fowler, LLD, is the author of "History of the Town of Durham, Conn", from whom we have received much information.
 
Ezra Baldwin was the youngest son of Jonathan and Thankful Baldwin and was born in Sept. 1706. His wife's name was Ruth ____.  About the year 1743 he removed to Durham, Conn., where he died in 1782. He had ten children:  Abiel, Sr., of whom we have already written, Phebe, Ebenezer, Ezra, Noah, Sr., of whom we have already written, Ruth (died young), Amos, Elnathan, Reuben, and  Ruth.  This brings us out of the wilderness to the place of beginning, and it gives us ten generations, to wit: 1. Richard of Dunbridge, Bucks Co, Eng.  2. Richard, his son.  3. Joseph, his son, settled in Milford Conn. 4. Jonathan, his son.  5. Ezra, his son, settled in Durham, Conn.  6. Abiel and Noah, his sons.  7. Their children who settled in Durham, NY.  8. Their children.  9. Their children.  10. Their children.  The descendants of Joseph Baldwin (who came from England in 1639) now number 2,879, according to C.C. Baldwin, of Cleveland, Ohio.

 Home            Table of Contents        Borthwick Papers Home Page

History of the Towns Home Page    Townships Home Page