Well, I've finally done it. I've begun the process for applying to Daughters of the American Revolution, http://www.dar.org So, on this military Monday I thought I'd share a little about my Revolutionary ancestor, Peter Baker of Littleton, Ma; New Ipswich, NH, Westmoreland, NH & Mt. Holly, VT.
I have a lot on this line & will work on getting it in an official registry format, but for now here are some basics for him & his military service which I had to write up to begin to prove his service, as he is not already registered with DAR. Unfortunately, aside from Peter's Revolutionary Service he doesn't appear to be a very stand up guy so to speak, which is what has delayed me in applying to DAR before, but I've decided maybe there is something that happened that I just don't understand yet - and I shouldn't be judging him. So, here I am.
Peter Wheeler Baker was born on 5 Sep 1755 in Littleton, MA as recorded in the Littleton town records. He died on 28 Feb 1828 in Vermont according to his Revolutionary pension file. His grave marker states "Mr. Peter Baker d. Nov. 25, 1827 age 72 y, "A Revolutionary Soldier". It is in Old Mechanicsville Cemetery, Mount Holly, Rutland, VT, USA. As you will note the death dates do conflict but further evidence points to this the being the same man. "Soldiers of the Revolutionary War who are buried in Vermont", only mentions the pension that Peter received. No burial information was indicated. Full Context of Vermont Pensioners, 1835 shows: County: Rutland Co., Name: Peter Baker, Rank: Private, Annual Allowance: 96 00, Sums Received: 950 87, Description of service: Massachusetts continental line, When placed on the pension roll: September 23, 1818, Commencement of pension: April 6, 1818, Age: 72, Laws under which inscribed, increased or reduced OR Remarks.: Died February 28, 1828.
Peter married Lydia Dudley of New Ipswich, daughter of Stephen Dudley and Lydia Harwood on 14 Nov 1783 in Littleton, Ma (LTR). Lydia was born on 11 Aug 1762 in Littleton, MA. They lived in New Ipswich, NH from about 1785-86 and sometime after that removed to Westmoreland, NH. They had several children and then Peter left the family, presumed runaway or dead as of 1799/1800. When that happened it is said the young children were split up and raised by different families. This is noted in The History of Westmoreland, NH. Their children were: Sally/Sarah, Asa, Polly, Larkin, Alden, & James. The Hon. Larkin Dudley Baker of Westmoreland, NH was my GGG Grandfather. Earlier in my blog archives I posted a picture of Larkin that I was able to receive from the Cheshire County Historical Society. I have information on almost all of the children of Peter & Lydia if anyone is interested in this line.
At one point, it seems Peter could have been declared dead, because her 2nd marriage to John Darling (his 2nd of 3) referenced in Chesterfield History states “Wid. Lydia Baker, of Wmd.” They married Nov 27, 1804. John died Mar 28 1824 age 73. Lydia and John had one child, Miranda Darling, m: 1822 Ebenezer Scott (son of Ebenezer Scott) via History of Chesterfield p.267 Lydia died on 9 Sep 1815 in Chesterfield, NH.
I haven't found any divorce, declarations of death, or guardianship papers for the children in Westmoreland or Cheshire County yet - but I have not given up yet either. I'm hoping there is something somewhere that fell between the cracks.
Peter turns up, rather out of no where 5 months prior to his 1818 application, apparently at his oldest daughter Sally Cole's house in Mt Holly, Vt. She had married Martin Cole. I have been unable to determine where he had been for the 18 years prior....
Peter is listed in the "Abstracts of Rev. War Pension File". The entry reads: "Peter Baker, S39178, Cont and MA Line, appl. 6 Apr 1818 Rutland City VT aged 62". The full pension file can be found on Heritage Quest, as well as Fold 3 - look up Rev War Pensioners for Massachusetts - try this link: http://www.fold3.com/image/12789099/?terms=peter baker#12789107/
The original Rev War Pension File for Peter has quite a bit of information. There is an 1818 application and then an 1820 follow-up. Here is some information that the papers show in case you can't get it.
April 1818 – application for pension
I, Peter Baker, of Mount Holly in the county of Rutland State of Vermont of the age of 62 years being duly sworn do declare depose & say with in December 1775 at Littleton in Massachusetts, I enlisted into Capt Samuel Gilbert’s Company in Col Prescott Rgm’t. of Massachusetts here to serve for one year. Went immediately joined my company at [Cambridge?] where we remained until the British army evacuated Boston, when we followed them to New York. [on March 17, 1776] First we went into winter quarters in the High Land in New York I believe about 3 miles north of West Point. I further say that whilst in said winter quarters, about a month before my time of service expired. I again enlisted into Capt Samuel Darby’s company in Col John Bailey’s Rgm’t. being the 2nd Rgm’t. Massachusetts [?] to serve for three years. Here I served in said company & regiment the full term of reenlistment except nine days which was allowed me to return home when I was discharged at West Point. I have lost my discharge, not considering it of any value. I was at the battle of Massachusetts [known as the Siege of Boston] and at the taking of Burgoine [Battle of Saratoga] I further say that I am a resident citizen of the U States – that I have resided in Mt Holly aforesaid about 5 months – that I am poor and from my reduced circumstances in life I am in need of assistance from my country for support –and further say not.
On another page, dated June 1820, he states he has “a pair of crutches upon which I am & have been crippled to walk for more than 3 years past & I am now more than Eight Hundred dollars in debt & have been obliged to depend upon the charity of my children for support until I receive my pension certificate. Signed, Peter Baker - Assets listed as a 1/2 dollar.
The term of the first enlistments was 2 years which fits perfectly with Dec 1775-Dec 77 in Gilbert’s Co. He reenlisted for 3 years in Dec 1777 and then was in Bailey’s. He may have been a volunteer at the march to Concord and at Bunker Hill but not sure and it doesn’t seem likely since I can’t find him listed anywhere.
He is not listed with Gilbert’s on Aug 1 1775, only his father (Lt) and brother (Prvt) were on that list. That regiment was at Bunker Hill (June 17 1775), His father and brother might have been at Bunker Hill, but no real evidence yet. His father died likely in service, for the same Company, in 1776 age 55, but the date or battle (if one) is unclear at the moment. It was either July 8 or February 20, Littleton says both dates.
In the book “An Historical Sketch of Littleton by Harwood, Joseph Jr, and sons Joseph and Peter are all mentioned on page 16 in relation to the War and Col Prescott’s, Capt Gilbert’s Company in the Continental Army which was probably organized after the North Bridge Battle as none of them are specifically mentioned as marching to Concord and Lexington. The Company that did march was Aquila Jewett’s Company.
Peter is noted as being in the “return of men at valley forge Jan 25, 1778.”, but he doesn’t personally mention being there in his application for pension. He does appear to be indicated on this Valley Forge site though. http://valleyforgemusterroll.org/Reg_2MA.htm
2nd Massachusetts Regiment at Valley Forge, Division: fourth, Brigade: 4th MA, History: Organized in 1775 at Roxbury from Plyouth County, Entered Valley Forge with 459 men, 297 fit for duty, left Valley Forge with 392 assigned & 226 fit for duty, Previous engagements, Siege of Boston, Defense of Canada, Lake Champlain, Trenton-Princeton, Saratoga, Defense of Philadelphia, Philadelphia - Monmouth. Staff Officers: Colonel John Bailey, Lt Colonel John Bailey, Major Andrew Peters, Company Commanders:
Judah Alden, 1st Lt Jacob Allen, Capt Ephrain Burr, Cap Samuel Darby, Cap George Dunham, Cap Hugh Maxwell, Capt Isaac Warren, Capt Seth Drew
Muster Roll at Valley Forge:
Personal Id MA 15473, Baker, Peter, Private, Rank Type: NCO, Brigade: 4th MA, State: MA, Regiment: 2nd MA, Division: 4th, Monthly Muster Rolls at Valley Forge: From Dec 1777 to June 1778
Enlisted Jan 1 1777; Borne Sept 9 1778.(This part is obviously entered incorrectly...)
Ancestry.com. Massachusetts soldiers and sailors of the Revolutionary War [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2009. Original data: Massachusetts soldiers and sailors of the Revolutionary War: a compilation from the archives. Boston, Massachusetts: Wright & Potter Printing Co., 1896-1908.
"Baker, Peter, Littleton. Return of men enlisted into the Continental Army from Capt Aaron Jewett's (3rd) co., Col. Jonathan Reed's (6th Middlesex Co.) regt., dated Feb 19, 1778; joined Capt. Samuel Darby's (2nd) co., Col. John Bailey's regt.; enlistment, 3 years or during war; also Private, Col. Bailey's regt.; Continental Army pay accounts for service from Jan. 1, 1777, to Dec. 31, 1779; also Capt. Samuel Darby's co., Col. Bailey's regt.; return of men in service at Valley Forge Jan. 25, 1778."
Amylynne (Baker) Murphy