THE STORY AS I KNOW IT
John Baird was born in 1665 in Liberton Midlothian, Scotland. His parents are suggested to be John Baird and Janet Bannatyne. This was from an on line cousin. We will try and get source documentation. Lothian is the area on the south side of Edinburgh. Liberton is on the A7 road going from Edinburgh to Dalkeith to the Southeast near the intersection of A720. Today it is part of greater Edinburgh.
We have a page copied from an unidentified book. The page heading is "First American Bairds". It gives the story of John Baird who emigrated from Aberdeen, Scotland on the "Exchange". The ship was under the command of Captain James Peacock, Master. The ship arrived at Staten Island about December 19, 1683.
One of the stories of Baird, Beard and Bard Families that John rescued Mary Hall from a wrecked ship near Perth Amboy and married her in 1684. If this is true she probably died soon after for his first child is not born until 1700. Nothing further is known about Mary Hall
In Book A page 155 from the State Archives in Trenton NJ are listed the names of the people who were deported from Scotland and registered December 5, 1684. John Baird is there with four years' of service.
Colonial New Jersey, a History by John E. Pomfret contains a chapter entitled Province of East NJ 1609-1702 refers to the colonization of East Jersey. The Scottish proprietors seized the opportunity to colonize East Jersey and it was regarded as a Scot undertaking. About 1681/2 Robert Barclay, became a well-known Scottish Quaker speaker and apologist inspired the dream of a Scottish colony. By 1683 Charles II was persecuting the Presbyterians. That coupled with poor economic conditions caused a heavy Scottish migration. Robert Barley died in 1690 and the religious persecution ended as did the Scottish emigration to East Jersey. "Most of the emigrants were Calvinist from East Scotland and Edinburgh...."
John Baird fit that pattern. But another clue is in Scotus Americanus by William R. Brock. He confirms the colonizing efforts noted above but adds that in 1683 there was a failed Arglye revolt against James Vii & II. This left a number of prisoners in the hands of authority. Barclay applied for them to be transported to East New Jersey. John being 17 or 18 at the time and a committed Presbyterian, could well have been involved in such a revolt.
As soon as his time of service was up, he began to buy land. The Colonial History of the State of NJ 1664 - 1703 note the following deeds:
May 10, 1688 Robert Barclay had received all of East Jersey for the headright of 14 people, including John Baird.
June 24, 1688 Robert Barclay sold to John Baird of Monmouth County 100 acres at Topenemus
Dec. 8, 1685 Thomas Warne sold to John Baird 150
acres that was south of his 100 acres so he now had at
least 250 acres.
One story related in First American Bairds was that John Baird and an Indian dwelt in a cave near the Topenemus brook. This is another story to suggest that he was not married after his time of service was up. Eventually he built his homestead there and at least 3 generations lived on the land. It is near the town of Marlboro.
All writings say that John Baird married a second time to Mary Bedent and that she is mother to his children. There seems to be no documentation of their marriage. However, the first known child of John's was born in 1700. So we will assume that John married Mary Bedent about 1699.
John and Mary Baird had at least five sons. They probably
had daughters, which have not been noted in the
histories. The sons were:
1. Andrew Baird born 1700, wed Sarah and died in Monmouth Ct 1773
2. John Baird Jr. born 1707, wed Avis Bowne, died in Monmouth 1747.
3. David Baird born 1710, wed Sarah Compton, died in Monmouth 1801
4. William Baird born 1713, wed Tabitha, died 1793 died in Northumberland County, Pennsylvania.
5. Zebulon Baird born 1720 wed Anna Smith and died in Monmouth 1804
Rachel Baird wed Daniel Logan of Monmouth on October 24, 1747. From the NJ Archives marraige records. She could be a daughter of John and Mary or a granddaughter.
There is mention of Mary Baird Sr, wife of John, in the church activities in 1734 and 1736. History of Old Tennent by Symmes. Nothing more seems to be known of her.
John Baird Jr. was buried in the old Topenemus
Cemetery. It was on the site of the original St.
Peter's Episcopal Church. When his father John Baird
Sr. died 8 years later, he too was buried there. The
cemetery no longer exists.
BAIRD, BRANDON, CONNELLY and LOCKE ,Families of Western North Carolina and Their Descendants by Billie Ann McDonald Goldwire/1992 (privately printed)
This family can be considered one of "good genes" and the founding father of the family led the way by living nearly 90 years. On his tombstone in Topenemus was the following inscription:
who came from Scotland
in 18th year of his age, A.D. 1683
died April 1755
aged about 90 years, and of an honest character.
If you know the answer please CONTACT US
Maier_Associates: © Copyright 2001
Date Last Edited: 1/3/2001