Welcome! I really enjoy exchanging information with people and love that this blog helps with that. I consider much of my research as a work in progress, so please let me know if you have conflicting information. 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 male 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, and John Howland.
Female Mayflower ancestors: Mary Norris Allerton, Eleanor Billington, Mary Brewster, Mrs. James Chilton, Sarah Eaton, and Joan Hurst Tilley.
Child Mayflower ancestors: Giles Hopkins, (possibly) Constance Hopkins, Mary Allerton, Francis Billington, Love Brewster, Mary Chilton, Samuel Eaton, and Elizabeth Tilley.

Monday, April 17, 2023

Patriot Ancestor: Shubael Baker b. 1741, of Yarmouth (now Dennis) and Harwich, Massachusetts

I grew up in Lexington, Massachusetts, and attended the Patriots Day parade annually, sometimes rising early enough for the re-enactment of the Battle of Lexington. Since then I sometimes get caught up in more modern day celebrations of Patriots’ Day—it’s a holiday from work, vacation week for the kids when they were younger, and the Boston Marathon. But today I’m thinking of my many times great grandfathers who served in the Revolutionary War—I have a handful although I have never had any of the lines approved by the DAR.

One of those Patriots is Shubael Baker, my fifth great-grandfather; others have joined DAR and SAR with Shubael Baker as their Patriot ancestor. He was born 11 November 1741 to Shubael and Lydia (Stewart/Stuart) Baker. He was born in Yarmouth, Massachusetts on Cape Cod, in the part of town called the East Precinct that became Dennis. 

On 15 November 1764 Shubael married Rebecca Chase in Harwich. Their marriage was the first performed by Rev. Nathan Stone. Rebecca was born 24 August 1747, the daughter of Richard and Thankful (Berry) Chase.

Shubael and Rebecca had 11 children and I descend from their daughter Rebecca/Rebecah, born 18 December 1770, who married David Howes. Some people give him a second wife Elizabeth, but Rebecca is named in his will so this seems unlikely.

Shubael was an officer in the militia rather than the Continental Army. Most Yarmouth militiamen served in town-based companies attached to Barnstable County regiments. When his company marched on the alarm on 19 April, the assumption has always been that they reached Marshfield, heard the battle at Lexington and Concord had ended, so returned home. Jack Duggan offers another possible scenario—that Marshfield, a south shore town where many residents had strong loyalist sympathies and where stood a small British garrison, was the destination all along in case those British soldiers went on the attack.

Information from Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors: Shubael Baker, Jr., of Yarmouth. Sergeant in Capt. Jonathan Crowell’s company, which marched on the alarm of April 19, 1775, service 3 days; also Ensign in Capt. John Nickerson’s (3d Yarmouth) company, Col. Joseph Vose’s (1st Barnstable Co.) regiment; list of officers of Massachusetts Militia; appointed 29 Sept 1775; also 2d Lieutenant, Capt. Nickerson’s (9th) company., 1st Barnstable Co. regiment; chosen by co. 11 April 1776; commissioned 21 April 1776; Capt. Nickerson’s co., Col. Nathaniel Freeman’s regiment, service 10 days, in Sept 1778; marched to Dartmouth and Falmouth on an alarm; also, Capt. Elisha Hedge’s company; marched on an alarm at Falmouth 13 Sept 1997; discharged 17 Sept 1779, service 5 days; company detached from militia. 

Regimental Orders, 21 October 1777, show Shubael’s leadership abilities: Lt. Baker to take command of Capt. Lewis' company, he being dismissed unfit for service; ... Oct. 25 [1777], Capt. Higgins, who had command of Capt. Lewis' company, being also sick, Lt. Baker was directed to take command of the company from Barnstable; and Capt. Higgins' company, consisting of men from Chatham, Wellfleet and Eastham were joined to Capt. Bang's company. 

Massachusetts Revolutionary War Index Cards to Muster Rolls 1775-1783: 

Lexington Alarm Roll: Shubal Baker Jr. sergeant, Capt. Jonathan Crowell’s Co, in response to 19 April 1775 alarm, from Yarmouth, 3 days, allowed 16 miles travel (vol 12, page 27)

List of Officers, Shobal Baker Jr., returned as sworn by officers appointed for that purpose 29 Sept 1775. Rank: Ensign, Capt. John Nickerson’s (3d Yarmouth) Co., Col Joseph Otis’s (1st Barnstable Co.) Regiment. (Vol 154, page 147)

List of Officers, Shubael Baker Jr., chosen in 9th (3d Yarmouth) co., 1st Barnstable Co. regiment of Mass. militia, as returned by Lt. Col. Enoch Hallet, dated Yarmouth 11 April 1776. Ordered in Council 20 April 1775, that said officers to be commissioned. Rank 2d Lieutenant. “Autograph signature.” (Vol 43, page 235)

A List of Officers, Shubael Baker Jr., as 2nd Lieutenant, 3rd co., of 1st Barnstable Co. regiment of Mass. Militia. Commissioned 21 April 1776. Capt. John Nickerson. (Vo. 28, page 109)

A List of Officers, Shubael Baker Jr. as 2nd Lieutenant, in 9th co., of the 1st Barnstable Co. Regt. Of Mass. Militia. Capt. John Nickerson. (Vol 28, page 31)

Muster and Pay Roll, Shubael Baker, rank of Lieutenant, of Capt. John Nickerson’s Co., Col. Nathaniel Freeman’s Regt, no town of enlistment, discharge or which town belonged given. Served 10 days. Service on an alarm at Dartmouth and Falmouth in Sept 1778. (Vol 21, page 142)

Muster and Pay Roll, Shubael Baker, rank of Lieutenant, Capt. Elisha Hedge’s Co., marched 13 Sept 1779, discharged 18 Sept 1779, service of 5 days. Company detached from militia for service at Falmouth on an alarm. (Vol 36, page 73)

Muster and Pay Roll, Shubael Baker, Lieutenant, of Capt. Elisha Hedge’s Co., Col. Freeman’s Regt, entered service 13 Sept 1779, discharged 18 Sept 1779, served 5 days, company detached for service at Falmouth on an alarm. Sworn to in Barnstable Co. Marched 52 miles (no mileage allowed). (Vol 36, page 67)

I haven’t found Shubael or Rebecca’s death records or burial information. Shubael died after (likely not long after) 20 October 1814 when he wrote his will. He was of Harwich, weak of body but sound of mind, named his wife Rebecca, his six sons (Michael had predeceased him) and four daughters.

I wrote a more complete sketch about Shubael here. . 

Sources Not Listed Above:

Burton N. Derick, Dennis Source Records, Volume 1: Church Records, 2004, Diaries of Rev. Nathan Stone

Shubael's will: Ancestry’s “Massachusetts, US, Wills and Probate Records, 1635-1991,” image 91, citing Probate Court, Barnstable County, Massachusetts, Probate Records 1686-1894

Soldiers and Sailors of the Revolutionary War,  A Compilation from the Archives prepared and published by the Secretary of the Commonwealth, Boston, 1899 

Jack Duggan, “Old Yarmouth’s Soldiers of the Revolution,” https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5696af0869a91ac18543a463/t/62d6fe02a138047aa857a8ed/1658256913324/OLD+YARMOUTH%E2%80%99S+SOLDIERS+OF+THE+REVOLUTION.pdf

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