People become interested in their ancestors generally out of curiosity, but then it is gratifying to be able to prove that such ancestors had a part in the beginnings of our country, and to have such proof accepted by a patriotic society such as the DAR or SAR. As I have said before, finding such proof of relationship in Monroe Co. records is difficult, but not impossible, and to prove this point, I would like to share this information on the line of John Baker, a Revolutionary Soldier, whose descendants lived in Monroe Co.
Mrs. Lenore Ingram Gormastic of Martin's Ferry, Ohio, is a descendant of this soldier, and while she knew about him, and believed that he was her ancestor, she had no proof for one generation. We found the proof in the records of the Monroe Co. Common Pleas Court.
John Baker came to this country in 1740 from Prussia. He landed in Philadelphia, and in 1760 married a lady by the name of Elizabeth Sullivan. He later moved westward to a spot below Wheeling, W.Va. on the Ohio River, where he founded Baker's Fort. This is now in Marshall Co. W.Va., about one mile below the mouth of Captina Creek, which flows into the Ohio river near the boundary between Belmont and Monroe counties. During the Revolution, he served in Va. militia units at Redstone Old Fort (now in Pa.) under Col. Silas Hedges. This service has been accepted by the DAR.
After the close of the Revolution, the Indians continued to attack the frontier settlements in a last ditch effort to keep the white men from encroaching on their hunting grounds and in 1787, Capt. John Baker was defending his fort in company with the Wetzels, when he met his death.
The Indians appeared on the opposite bank of the Ohio River, evidently seeking an opportunity to kill the whites who had taken refuge in the fort. Baker fired and killed an Indian, and the other Indians, pretending they were frightened, scattered and ran in different directions, leaving their dead brother on the ground. Baker, seeing that his shot had proved fatal, and being somewhat daring, suggested to the Wetzels that they cross the river and examine the dead Indian. When they reached the other side, the Indians resumed the attack, resulting in the death of John Baker. The Wetzels recovered the body, and carried it back across the river for burial at the fort.
Capt. John Baker and his wife, Elizabeth Sullivan were the parents of the following children:
John Jr. was killed at the Battle of Captina in May, 1794, and an account of this is given in Hardesty's History on page 205. Capt. Abram Enochs was also killed in this engagement.
The deed records show that Martin Baker's wife was Sarah, and Hardesty's History states that he died in Monroe Co. in 1857. Isaac Baker married Ruth Brock, and he died in 1865 and she in 1844. Their son, John Nelson Baker was born in Monroe Co. Mar. 8, 1823 -- see Hardesty's History -- biographical accounts, page 9.
Mrs. Gormastic's grandfather was Rath Ingram or Ingraham, who was born in 1845, a son of Oliver Ingram, Jr. and Sara Baker. Oliver Ingram was drowned in Duck Creek near Harriettsville in 1843, three months before the birth of his son, Rath. According to family tradition and stories in her family, Mrs. Gormastic believed that Sara Baker Ingraham was the daughter of Jacob and Mary Steen Baker, but she could not prove this point in her lineage, and it was the one item she needed. Jacob Baker married Mary Steen June 23, 1798 and this record can be found in Jefferson Co. Both are buried at Calais.
Both were living in Seneca Township in 1850, and all the Baker family knew of the Indian battles and the death of Capt. John Baker at Baker's Fort. Jacob Baker related these stories to his daughter, Sara, who in turn told her grandchildren. Sara Baker Ingraham was born in 1810 and died in 1900 and is buried at the Fairview Cemetery in Jackson Co., W.Va. The information handed down in this manner included the story that Jacob Baker was often bothered by nightmares and would wake up screaming that the Indians were going to attack. When he died, a pound of gunpowder in a horn, was buried with him, as per his last request.
With the burning of many records all proof of this relationship between Jacob Baker and Sara was presumed lost, however, in Record Book 18, page 362, in the Court of Common Pleas, we found a record of Jacob Baker's will, which had been re-entered in the records of a civil suit. It shows that Jacob made his last will and testament on the 13th day of Nov. 1852, and died in 1861, that he owned the NE 1/2 of S.11, T.7, R.7, which he ordered divided into four equal lots by running lines north and south across this quarter section, and he left these equal lots to his sons, Henry, John, Jacob and Andrew.
He also bequeathed items to his daughters: ELEANOR MARTIN, SARAH INGRAHAM, MARGARET BAKER, ELIZABETH REYNOLDS, and to his grand-daughter, Mary Ann Stephens, daughter of his daughter, Elizabeth Reynolds. Therefore, with this record, Mrs. Gormastic was able to prove beyond doubt, that she was a descendant of this Revolutionary Soldier, John Baker.