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THE STORY AS I KNOW IT
Lydia Hildreth was born about 1740. Her parents and place of birth are unknown.
On Nov 26, 1743 a David Hildreth a cooper of Middletown,
Monmouth Ct. NJ transferred land in Middletown to two sons.
They were also coopers, David Hildreth Jr. and Jonathan
Hildreth. Monmouth Ct, Deed Book H Pg 333. Any one
of these men could have been Lydia's father. Her youngest
son was named David. Certainly not conclusive but there
were no David's in the Baird family.
The Hildreth family had been part of the very early
emigrants from Long Island. Thomas Hildreth was in
the list of First Settlers o Ye Plantations found at the
Monmouth county library. He was of the on page 159 as part
of the early settlers of Southampton. LI. One May 10, 1649,
he was in a list of townsmen of Southampton along with William
Bowne. It is believed his grandson, David Hildreth
was born on Long Island 1675, but died in Cape May NJ. About
the time his was born, a large group from Long Island purchased
land in East New Jersey from the Indians and moved to Monmouth
County. David must have followed and made his way
south. I can envision a connection to the David of
Monmouth County, in 1743, but so far cannot prove it.
Much of this information is from The Chronicle, Nov 1980 issue, article BAIRD-BARTON HOUSE AND FAMILIES. The Chronicle is the newsletter for the Mt. Juliet-West Wilson Historical Society of Wilson County, Tennessee. The family she wrote of had settled in Monmouth County NJ. The Baird family were very active in their community and served in the Revolutionary War.
Lydia Hildreth married Zebulon Baird on April 1, 1765 probably in Monmouth County NJ. The Lyle Collection in the Monmouth County, NJ Historical Society gives his wedding date as April 11, 1762.
The Revolutionary Census of New Jersey by K. Stryker-Rodden show there was a Zebulon Baird in Freehold, Monmouth County 1778 – 1780. There were other Zebulons, but this Zebulon was the only one of fighting age. The other known two were 14 and 68 years old.
However, there are Rowan County NC court documents which were signed by Zebulon and Lydia. This strongly suggest that they left NJ before 1778. A part of Rowan County became Wilkes County.
Lydia and Zebulon migrated south with his family, stopping for time in Virginia, North Carolina, and then to Tennessee. In 1782 their daughter Sarah Baird married William Henry Blackburn in Fairfax county, Virginia. We assume that Zebulon was in that area at that time. William Blackburn served in the Continental Army from 1776 -1779. He headed west in 1781, seeking adventure. At Pittsburgh he volunteered and guarded public stores there for 7 months. It is possible that he met Zebulon Baird during the war.
The NC State Census 1784-1787 places Zebulon Baird in Wilkes County in Captain Thomas Farguson’s District. The Goodspeed History of Tennessee Counties places Zebulon in Wilson County on the headwaters of Stoner Lick Creek in 1799.
The family tradition stated that the Blackburns, Bairds, McChesneys and Asherst moved together with their families to North Carolina and then Tennessee and finally Caldwell County Kentucky. Their paths must have crossed and one family may have encouraged another to move on to the next spot. However, a study of the census records shows the families in different spots. In 1790 the Blackburn and Baird families were in Wilkes County NC. The Ashersts and McChesneys were in Surry County NC just to the east of Wilkes. The Ashersts moved to western Kentucky as early as 1797. The Blackburns or Bairds before those families moved to Caldwell county Kentucky nearly 20 years later. They may have known each other though. More understanding of the history of those western NC counties may shed light on how neighbors related to one another.
The 1784-1787 Wilkes Ct, NC Census shows the Zebulon
Baird family to have:
2 males 21-60
7 males under 21
The 1790 Wilkes county, North Carolina Census shows the Zebulon
Baird family to have:
3 males at or over 16 years old
4 males under 16 years old
While the Blackburns and Bairds lived in the same county, Wilkes in 1790, Zebulon moved his family to Wilson County, Tennessee in 1799. The Blackburns were there by 1808 when Zebulon bought land from William Blackburn. It also notes that Andrew and David Baird, sons of Zebulon purchased 340 acres in 1812 from their Dad. Andrew lived in a house that stood on a hill above the Ben Franklin Lake. The Baird Cemetery was near the house
The Chronicle, Nov. 1980 Issue, the Newsletter of the Mt.
Juliet – West Wilson Historical Society has an article
entitled Baird-Barton House and Families. This article
gives the history of Zebulon Baird and his family. It lists his
children to be
1. Sarah (Sally) Baird born about 1762 or 5, wed William Blackburn 1782, and died in 1826 in Wilson County.
2. William Baird born about 1766, died 1816. His 8 children moved to KY
3. John Baird
4. Zebulon Baird Jr., born about 1780, wed Clara Hunt in 1807
5. Eleanor (Nellie) Baird wed Stephen Barton in 1807
6. Andrew Baird born about 1786, wed Martha Hunt in 1814, Clara’s sister
7. Betty Baird wed a Smartt
8. Lydia Baird
9. David Baird born about 1788, wed Mary Wynn Avery
10. unnamed daughter.
The lists vary. The 1784 list suggests 8 sons, 1790 suggests 2 sons were on their own, but the list of children have 5 sons, and 5 daughters. It was not uncommon for children, even in their 20s to die of accident or illness or the census may be wrong.
Zebulon died June 30, 1826 according to the DAR
Patriot Index. His son Andrew was buried in the
Baird Cemetery, but we do not know where his father was buried.
The Index noted he was a "PS in North Carolina". It is not known
when Lydia Hildreth Baird, his wife died or where she is
If you know the answer please CONTACT US
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Maier_Associates: © Copyright 2013
Date created: 11/24/2003
Date Edited 7/12/2013