Welcome! I really enjoy exchanging information with people and hope this blog will help with that. I am not an expert and I consider most of my research as a work in progress. Some of the surnames I'm researching:

Many old Cape families including Kelley, Eldredge/idge, Howes, Baker, Mayo, Bangs, Snow, Chase, Ryder/Rider, Freeman, Cole, Sears, Wixon, Nickerson.
Many old Plymouth County families including Washburn, Bumpus, Lucas, Cobb, Benson.
Johnson (England to MA)
Corey (Correia?) (Azores to MA)
Booth, Jones, Taylor, Heatherington (N. Ireland to Quebec)
O'Connor (Ireland to MA)
My Mayflower Ancestors (only first two have been submitted/approved by the Mayflower Society):
Francis Cooke, William Brewster, George Soule, Isaac Allerton, John Billington, Richard Warren, Peter Browne, Francis Eaton, Samuel Fuller, James Chilton, John Tilley, Stephen Hopkins, John Howland.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Francis Baker and Isabel Twining of 17th century Yarmouth, MA

Francis Baker was born about 1611 in St. Albans, Hertfordshire, England. He came to Plymouth Colony on the ship Planter in 1635. He was called a tailor on the passenger list, a common subterfuge by which many skilled artisans left England. His parents are not known.

Francis married Isabel Twining 17 June 1641, probably at Plymouth. Isabel was the daughter of William and Ann (____) Twining. Some sources have her as the daughter of William Twining Jr., but that’s inaccurate.

Francis was permitted to dwell at Yarmouth in June 1641. He lived at what became the Mayfair area in Dennis, at the head of Kelley’s Bay on Bass River and near Follins Pond. His original neighbors were Thomas Folland, Gabriel Whelden and William Twining.
Follins Pond, Dennis source: Wikipedia

The family is believed to have been Quakers, as were many of their neighbors in the Mayfair area. Swift wrote that Francis was “not in full accord with Puritan notions.”

In 1653 he was in court for "selling wines without license." On 8 June 1655 John Hall of Yarmouth complained that Francis Baker was abusing his servant Samuel Hall, who was John Hall’s son, by kicking him and unreasonably striking him. The court took Samuel away, putting him in the custody of his father and the father was to pay Baker 8 pounds for Samuel's remaining term. There is no record of Francis being warned or fined.

In 1659 he was living in Eastham on 10 acres "lying upon Poche" by the land of his father-in-law William Twining. He soon sold the land and returned to Yarmouth where he was a copper and later a blacksmith. He served the town as surveyor of highways and on the jury. (Note that Nancy Thacher Reid writes that he never left Yarmouth.)

Francis Baker wrote his will on 4 March 1692/3. Isabel is named as “Jesball,” and he leaves her his house and lands (meadow and uplands) at Yarmouth, his cattle and moveable goods during her lifetime. He left five shillings to each of his children John, Daniel, William, Elizabeth Chase and Hannah Pearse. He left two shillings to his grandson Samuel, the eldest son of his son Nathaniel. All other real estate and moveable goods to go to his son Thomas. Thomas and widow named executors.

The inventory was taken on 24 November 1696 by Benjamin Gage (signed by a mark) and Isaac Chace and sworn to 8 December, 1696 by Thomas Baker of Yarmouth. The real estate, housing lands and meadow and orchard, had a value of £30.

Francis Baker died 23 July 1696 at Yarmouth at age 85, the last of the “First Comers” to pass on. He and Isabel had been married 55 years. Isabel died 16 May 1706.

The Baker homestead was not sufficiently large enough to accommodate the growth of this family and the second generation settled in the area near the present day Ezra Baker School where West Dennis and South Dennis merge, and northward and eastward along the shore of Grand Cove.

Francis and Isabel had eight children: Nathaniel, John, Elizabeth, Samuel, Daniel, Thomas, Hannah, and William. My information on the Baker children is not complete.

Nathaniel married and had three sons Samuel, Nathaniel and Silas. I’ve seen conflicting information on his wife/wives. Some sources give his wife as Desire (perhaps Gray) and others give Mary Pierce as his first wife, Desire as second. Nathaniel died December 1691 in Yarmouth.

John Baker married Alice Pierce, daughter of Abraham. They had seven children: Jonathan, Isaac, Mary, John, Bethiah, Elizabeth, and Sarah. They raised their family in Yarmouth. I believe he served in King Philip’s War, despite his Quaker religion.

Elizabeth married John Chase and they had eight children: Sarah, Desire, John, Thomas, Jeremiah, Isaac, William, and Jonathan.

Samuel married Martha ____ and had Martha, Daniel, Hannah, and Sarah. I believe he also served in King Philip’s War. Have read his children relocated to Swansea.

Daniel married Elizabeth Chase and had Joseph, Daniel, Samuel, Abraham, Elisha, Hannah, Thankful, Tabitha, and Elizabeth. Daniel served in King Philip’s War. He built a house in Dennis, now the oldest one standing in town and known as the Judah Baker house.

Thomas married Bersua (Lewis?) and had Mary and Thomas. He seems to have also served in King Philip’s War.

William Baker married Mercy Lawrence and lived at Yarmouth. They had 12 children: Mercy, William, Dorcas, Experience, Judah, Elizabeth, Josiah, Johanna, Patience, Elisha, James, and Thankful. He also served in King Philip’s War.

Hannah married Abraham Pierce and lived at Plymouth. Children: Abraham, John, Samuel, and Isaac.

I have many Baker lines and descend from siblings Nathaniel, Elizabeth, John, William, and Daniel.


Charles F. Swift, History of Old Yarmouth; comprising the present Towns of Yarmouth and Dennis from the Settlement to the Division in 1794:  With the History of Both Towns to 1876.  Yarmouth Port, MA:  The Historical Society of Old Yarmouth, 1975 reprint.

Nancy Thacher Reid, Dennis, Cape Cod from Firstcomers to Newcomers, 1639 – 1993, 1996

Clarence Almon Torrey, New England Marriages Prior to 1700,

Library of Cape Cod History and Genealogy, The Baker Family of Yarmouth, Descendants of Francis, No. 73, CW Swift Publisher, Yarmouthport, MA, 1912


  1. I am a descendant of Francis Baker from son Daniel S Marking

  2. Thanks for your comment. Have you found anything on Daniel's death? I've read he died after 1713, possibly in Rhode Island, but no source.

  3. Anonymous said...Hello,
    I'm trying to find out information on Jeremiah Kelley (1766-1854) and Hannah Gilman they married and had a daugher names Susannah Kelley (1816-1848). Jeremiah and Hannah would be my 4th great grandparents, and I would love to find out who their parents were, but haven't had much luck so far finding out more about them. I would love to hear from anybody who has the information about this family.

  4. I have a huge ancestry tree and seems William Twining was my 11th great grandfather. I cannot verify all the facts of the people in my tree but it is public under melindahoward206 and is astonishly huge!

  5. I am a decendant of Francis Baker. My family is buried all over Yarmouth ,south yarmouth and Plymouth

    1. I am a descendant as well. Hello cousins. Francis, Elizabeth Chase, William Chase, Job Chase, Zenas Chase, Hulda Eldredge, Hulda Bassett, valentine Bassett, Hulda Bourne

    2. Hi Dennis, there are a lot of old Cape surnames in your line of descent! Chris

  6. I believe Francis would be my 10'th or 11'th great grandfather.

    1. Hi Brian: that s an amazing amount of Bakers to research! Chris

  7. Yeah it took just a couple days for me to track things back to him. I'm a descendent of Francis's son Daniel, and his son David.

  8. Correction Daniels son Joseph.

  9. According to a family geneology, I am descended from Francis Baker from a line that settled in Michigan early 1800's. My mother was that last of her line without cousins or sibilings. I am trying to confirm several parts of this geneolgy. If anyone can help with this project please post

    1. My name is Jon Koeze and I wrote the above despite the fact that its says Anonymous. My Mothers name is Carol Jean Baker.

  10. Thank you for your history of Francis Baker, the writing and the research, and thank you for sharing this!

    I am a great-grandson of Alfred Landon Baker (1859 Lynn, MA-1929 Chicago, IL) a descendant of Francis Baker (Francis, John, Isaac, Richard, David, Isiah, Benjamin, Addison, Alfred).

    The bits of history I can contribute begin with Benjamin Baker (b. 1809), fourth great grandson of Francis Baker (b. 1611). The rest of my knowledge comes from Florence W Baker’s history in the Cape Cod. If anyone has an interest in the line descending through Benjamin, please contact me. Also, of course I would be very interested to learn more of Benjamin’s ancestors back to Francis.

    Bruce Barker
    Toronto Canada

  11. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  12. Not sure where my post went but Francis is my 11th great grandfather on my mother's side. (Francis Baker > Daniel Baker > Samuel Baker > Judah Baker > Barnabus Baker > Barnabus JR > Rueben Baker > Allen Baker > Ephraim Baker > Albro Allen Baker > Russell Baker ( Free Mason, & my Great-Gramps) > Donald Everrett Baker (My Papa) - My mother Julie Baker was Donald's youngest daughter :) VERY awesome history to this family line packed full of some very unique members. I have a TON of family hand written genealogy from his side of the family with plenty of family stories. Nice article. Thank you for sharing :) http://trees.ancestry.com/tree/76477823/family

    1. Thanks, Laura, for sharing your long Baker line. Chris

  13. wonderful research! Thanks Cousin!

  14. Thank you for your collection of information. Frances was my eighth great grandfather. It has been wonderful to read your collection of information as well as how you have tracked the lineage from England. Thank you, you just made my New Year special.

    1. Thank you, John, for your nice note! Chris

  15. Thank you for your research! I just found out that Francis Baker is my 9th great-grandfather and I had no idea that my family history is part of first families history! Very cool to be able to trace back all the way to England. My lineage is from his son William and William's son Josiah. This group migrated to NY then WI and MN based on what I have in my ancestory tree. Wow!!

    1. Congrats on your great discovery! Interesting your family line ended up in WI and MN. Chris

  16. Genealogy.Com states that Francis Baker's parents were Nicholas and Mary Baker.

    (b. 1574, d. April 04, 1631)
    Nicholas Baker was born 1574 in Farmingham, Suffolk, England108, and died April 04, 1631 in Framlingham, Suffolk, England1

    1. Posted by Keith Graham, direct decendant of Francis Baker, 10 generations.

    2. Thanks, Keith. Is there a source given for Nicholas and Mary as Francis' parents? Chris

  17. Thankful I found this site. Francis is my 9th great grandfather. Stemming from his son Daniel, then to Abraham, etc. I noticed above mention of Nicholas Thomas Baker & Mary Francis Ingram, yes they are parents of Francis Baker and there is a source on ancestry.com.

    I am curious to know if the will of Francis Baker was signed with a wax seal. And if it was, the image would be of great importance to me.

    Sincerely, William Baker