tradition of the Quaker church continued within my ancestors until 1935 when my
great-grandmother, Elizabeth Baldwin died.
the two brothers, John Baldwin of Makefield township, Bucks co., PA, made his
first known appearance in the records at his first marriage in England, in 1697,
to Jennet Hartley. The couple received a certificate to move to America in 1698,
and the fact that Jennet (Hartley) Baldwin was still alive after the trip to
America is proven by her presence as a witness to the 1700 marriage, in America,
of Robert Heaton to Jennet’s cousin Grace Pearson, who had in turn witnessed
the Baldwin-Hartley marriage in England a few years earlier (and would also
witness John Baldwin’s second marriage a few years later). It would seem that
Jennet (Hartley) Baldwin did not survive for long after that, and a few years
later, John Baldwin married for a second time to Ann Scott, by whom he was
ancestor to a large percentage of Quaker Baldwins in the midwest.
parentage of the brothers is more difficult to document, and direct proof of the
relationship has not yet been found. However, it is almost certain that they
were the sons of John Baldwin of Wheatley, in Pendle Forest, who will be called
“John Baldwin Sr.”, to distinguish him from the immigrant, and whose death
on 25 twelfth month [February] 1718/9 was recorded by the Marsden Monthly
Meeting. It is probable that their mother’s name was Bridget. The evidence for
that is as follows:
birthdates of the three daughters of John Baldwin Sr. match well with the
probable birthdates of the immigrants John and William Baldwin.
Baldwin Sr. was said to be “of Gisborn” (i.e., the parish of Gisburn, co.
York), and the 1855 biography of the immigrant William which appeared in The
Friend (see below) gives his birthplace as “Gisbourn”.
same biography of William Baldwin states that he was born “of parents
professing the truth” (i.e., Quakers), thus verifying that his parents were
members of the Society of Friends.
records of the Marsden Monthly Meeting show only three Baldwins in a generation
older than the two immigrant brothers, of whom two, Anthony and Margaret,
brother and sister, both left wills which suggest that they had no children.
This leaves John Baldwin Sr. as the only reasonable candidate for the father who
appears in the Marsden records.
residence of “Wheatley” given for John Baldwin Jr. at his first marriage is
the same as the residence given for John Baldwin Sr. in his death record.
immigrant William Baldwin and Elizabeth (Baldwin) Topper were prominent signers
of each other’s marriage certificates.
removal certificate of William “Balwin” to America refers to his parents as
being living (“... his aged parents whom he leaves alone, ...”), and the two
most prominent signers of that certificate were John “Balwin” and Briget “Balwin”.
(William’s brother John was already in America, and was therefore certainly
not the man of that name who signed the certificate.)
none of these pieces of evidence gives direct proof of the relationship,
together they make an extremely strong case that John Baldwin Sr. was the father
of the two immigrant brothers. Indeed, the words “whom he leaves alone” in
William Baldwin’s removal certificate indicate that his parents lived near him
(i.e., in Pendle Forest), and we would then expect them to have been members of
the Marsden Monthly Meeting. Thus, the lack of any other reasonable candidates
for the parents of John and William Baldwin in the Marsden records has strong
weight. The parentage of John Baldwin Sr. remains unknown, and the name is too
common to identify him among possible baptisms in the area without additional
information. One possible clue is presented by two other Baldwin members of the
Marsden Monthly Meeting who have no proven connection to John Baldwin Sr.,
Anthony and Margaret Baldwin, both of whom left wills. Although the possibility
remains that they represent a red herring, they still need to be investigated.
For an account of Anthony Baldwin and Margaret Baldwin, and transcripts of their
Falsely Claimed Parents for John Baldwin of Bucks, County Pennsylvania
unpublished sources, such as the Ancestral File database, have provided
John Baldwin (husband of Ann Scott) with incorrect parents, easily proven to be
false. These errors have arisen from incorrect identifications with different
men named John Baldwin. The two false sets of “parents” which have been
offered for John Baldwin are:
John Baldwin of Bucks co., PA, who md. 19 10mo. [Dec] 1689, Sarah Allen.
Francis Baldwin of Chester co., PA, who md. Cicely Coebourne.
of these couples did have a son named John, but in both cases the alleged
identification of the son named John with the John Baldwin who married Ann Scott
is false. In addition to the fact that the first of these couples is
chronologically impossible, we can note that both of these couples were earlier
immigrants to America, whose children were born in America, and therefore their
sons cannot reasonably be identified with an individual who was married for the
first time in England in the 1690’s. In addition to that, both of the John
Baldwins who were born to the above two couples can be readily identified with
other men. For the correct identification of the John Baldwins who were sons of
these two couples, see Frank C. Baldwin, The Baldwins From Virginia Westward (Oak
Park, IL, 1985), pp. 4, 56.
Richard N. Fox
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