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Long Island Surnames

Database archives of Long Island Genealogy containing 3,2361,199 people, 1,278,169 families, 176,455 sources and 265,138 notes

Ensign Thomas Baker

Male Bef 1618 - 1700  (> 81 years)

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  • Name Thomas Baker 
    Title Ensign 
    Born Bef 29 Sep 1618  Hothfield, Kent County, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 30 Apr 1700  East Hampton, Suffolk Co., LI, NY Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried May 1700  South End Burial Ground, East Hampton, LI, NY (The Village) Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Thomas1 BAKER, son of Thomas BAKER and Frances DOWNE, was born in Hothfield, Kent, England September 29, 1618.(1) Thomas died April 30, 1700 in East Hampton, Suffolk Co., LI, NY, Suffolk Co., LI, NY at 81 years of age.(2) He was interred May 1700 at the South End Burial Ground, in East Hampton, Suffolk Co., LI, NY, Suffolk Co., LI, NY.

      He married Alice DAYTON June 20, 1643 in New Haven, New Haven Colony, Connecticut.(3) Alice was born May 1620 in Ashford, Kent, England. Alice was the daughter of Ralph DAYTON and Alice GOLDHATCH. Alice died February 6, 1708/9 in Amagansett, Suffolk Co., LI, NY at 88 years of age.(4) She was interred February 1708/9 at the Amagansett Burial Ground, in Amagansett, Suffolk Co., LI, NY.(5) She was baptized May 21, 1620 at Saint Mary's Church in Ashford, Kent, England.(6)

      He was baptized October 11, 1618 at St. Margaret's Church in Hothfield, Kent, England.(7) He came from England in 1639 and was enrolled as a Free Planter at Milford, Connecticut, one of the original six towns of the New Haven Colony. He remained there for slightly more than a decade. In May 1650 he entered into an agreement with Daniel How [Howe] to purchase all of Howe's accommodations and rights at East Hampton, Suffolk Co., LI, NY, for the sum of 20 pounds, to be delivered on September 29, 1650. (East Hampton, Suffolk Co., LI, NY Town Records 1:4-5). On August 24, 1650 Thomas Baker paid the agreed purchase price and moved to East Hampton, Suffolk Co., LI, NY, Long Island where he lived for the remainder of his life.

      At the first election, Thomas Baker was chosen as one of four "Townsmen", who with the Constable, wielded considerable authority in ordering the affairs of the town. He was reelected to this post each succeeding year until 1662. On June 24, 1654, the Court confirmed Thomas Talmage and Thomas Baker as the military officers chosen by the Company raised for the defense of the town. (East Hampton, Suffolk Co., LI, NY Town Records 1:58). The town records of November 9, 1654 state: "It is ordered that Thomas Baker shall keep the Ordinary." (East Hampton, Suffolk Co., LI, NY Town Records 1:61). This license to operate a public house, which included the responsibility for dispensing "strong waters" in accordance with town regulations, was retained by him until 1673.

      He was a spokesman for East Hampton, Suffolk Co., LI, NY on numerous occasions. In March 1657/8 he was selected, with John Hand, to go to Connecticut to bring East Hampton, Suffolk Co., LI, NY under jurisdiction of that colony. In 1665 he was foreman of the first grand jury to sit in the Province of New York, in New York City. In 1666 he was chosen overseer, and in 1667 constable. On May 4, 1671 he was chosen with Rev. Thomas James to negotiate with the towns of Southhold and Southhampton concerning procurement of a charter. (East Hampton, Suffolk Co., LI, NY Town Records 1:337). People of the three eastern towns objected strongly to paying taxes unless they were levied by a General Assembly chosen by the people. In 1681 Captain Josiah Hobart and Thomas Baker were chosen to represent East Hampton, Suffolk Co., LI, NY to complain of the lack of a General Assembly. He was Justice of the Peace in 1675 and a patentee in both of the town patents. He was a prominent citizen of East Hampton, Suffolk Co., LI, NY and served in the town government, in various capacities, for nearly forty years.

      In 1639 He left England and settled in Milford (?) CT.
      His name first appears in this country in November 29, 1639 in the town records of Milford,CT. on the first page of that towns records " was allowed to be a free planter.
      Mr. Baker removed from Milford to East Hampton in the summer of 1650.
      {note: East Hampton was an independant commonwealth. The Duth at New Amsterdam gave up all claim to Long Island lying east of Oyster bay, by the Treaty of Hartford, 1650 }
      Thomas Baker was chosen a Townsman in at the first election. October 1650
      In October 1655 Thomas Baker was foreman of the first Grand Jury that sat in thr province of New York. A Indictment was returned against Ralph Hall and his wife Mary , for murder by witchcraft, upon which they were tried by a jury and found suspitions but nothing of considerable value to take away ther lives.[baker.GED]

      In 1639 He left England and settled in Milford (?) CT.
      His name first appears in this country in November 29, 1639 in the town records of Milford,CT. on the first page of that towns records " was allowed to be a free planter.
      Mr. Baker removed from Milford to East Hampton in the summer of 1650.
      {note: East Hampton was an independant commonwealth. The Duth at New Amsterdam gave up all claim to Long Island lying east of Oyster bay, by the Treaty of Hartford, 1650 }
      Thomas Baker was chosen a Townsman in at the first election. October 1650
      In October 1655 Thomas Baker was foreman of the first Grand Jury that sat in thr province of New York. A Indictment was returned against Ralph Hall and his wife Mary , for murder by witchcraft, upon which they were tried by a jury and found suspitions but nothing of considerable value to take away ther lives.Thomas Baker (b. 1618) was among the first settlers of East Hampton in 1650. According to a letter received 29 February 2000 from Barbara Rivers, Tamarisk, Church Lane, Hothfield, Kent, England, TN261E2.

      Hothfield is a village and civil parish in the Ashford District of Kent, England and is located north-west of Ashford town. The village is located to the south of the A20 road. To the north is Hothfield Common, 58 hectares (143 acres) of heathland and lowland valley bogs: a nature reserve managed by Kent Wildlife Trust. The medieval parish church is dedicated to Saint Margaret; it was rebuilt in 1598 after a fire.

      Earliest records suggest that the name ‘Hothfield’ is of Saxon origin from ‘heath’ meaning a place where wood has been felled. Hothfield is set in well wooded, agricultural countryside and an interesting variety of houses and farms surrounds (sic) the village. Hothfield Common, just off the A20, is a local nature reserve and a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest. There is a nature trail and many footpaths across the 143 acre common. Visitors can enter the common at any time, but are asked to treat the countryside with respect. (

      The 13th Century Parish Church of St Margaret is set high to the south of the village overlooking parkland and contains the 17th century Tufton Tomb. (

      Thomas was baptized Sunday, 11 October 1618 (St. Margaret Hothfield parish registers P195/1/1 [baptisms] and also archdeaconry transcripts: “11 October 1618 Thomas son of Thomas Baker.”) He had two brothers and three sisters. One sister and both brothers died before Thomas emigrated. We don’t know what happened to the elder and younger sisters of Thomas. Hothfield is near Ashford, which is not far from Maidstone in Kent. Maidstone was the first name for East Hampton. See New York Genealogical & Biographical Record, 34 (2007): 3, pp. 178-188.

      Thomas left England in 1639 and was enrolled as a Free Planter at Milford, Connecticut, one of the original six towns in the New Haven Colony. Milford was organized on 29 November 1639. A Genealogy of the Baker Family (F517) in the Southold Library, Southold, New York indicates that Thomas Baker may have landed in Boston and then gone to Milford in 1639. This is what the Dayton and Osborne families did. From a national study of in 1639, Bob Rivers believes the reason for emigration at this time was more economic and political than religious, though all three factors mattered. In 1640, the English Civil War began.

      There is a brief entry for Thomas Baker in Susan Woodruff Abbott's Families of Early Milford, Connecticut, 1979. It reads, "Thomas Baker died in 1700. He married Alice Dayton who died 1708. He was admitted to the church in Milford 12 December 1643 and later dismissed to East Hampton, Long Island, 1650. A free planter in Milford with 3 acres and 2 rods for his home lot which is near West Main and West River Street. Children: Hannah bpt. 30 June 1650; John, died 1684 Milford."

      John may have been his brother, or an unrelated Baker.

      It is interesting to know that the term "blue laws," laws governing Sabbath observance, according to the Columbia Encyclopedia: Sixth Edition, 2000, was a term originally applied to the 17th-century laws of the theocratic New Haven colony; they were called blue laws after the blue paper on which they were written.

      "Free planters" were church members who had full civil rights. The first General Court held in Milford in November 1639 granted this status to 44 individuals. Thomas Baker was of this group. There were 10 more persons recorded immediately after, but not as free planters. This is inconsistent with Baker's not being admitted to church membership until 1643, but that's the way the record reads (Richard N. Platt, Jr. letter dated 18 February 2001). Mr. Platt, in the absence of any specific reason in the records, can only speculate that Thomas Baker was excommunicated and then readmitted over a dispute of some point of religious doctrine, later resolved.

      He married probably in New Haven, on 20 June 1643 (some say 1640), Alice, daughter of Ralph Dayton. The latter was to become another founder of East Hampton. Alice was born 22 May 1620 and baptized in St. Mary's Church, Ashford. Thomas and Alice were in East Hampton by 1650. (Phyllis Lohrum in her letter and notes [see ] writes, "'Mr.' Baker,' as he became known in East Hampton, was a foremost citizen of that town 'Milford.' He evidently married Alice in this country and they settled in Milford. He was called 'of Milford' when (10 May 1650) he bought East Hampton land holdings from Capt. Daniel How. This was four months before he was dismissed from the Milford Church to East Hampton, and is the reason we set the removal of both the Baker and Dayton families in 1650 rather than in 1649 as Mr. Edson C. Dayton (1931) stated in his book. In his East Hampton home Mr. Baker was Townsman in 1651, 1653, 1654, 1655, and 1657; second military officer, 1654; Magistrate, 1661, 1663; Deputy, February 1664/5; Patentee and Constable, 1667; Trustee, 1686; and Commissioner, 1688)." [East Hampton Town Records, Vol.1, p.4, 10, 32, 45, 58, 59, 88, 112, 140, 180, 187, 200, 225, 253, 255, 421; Vol. 2, p. 223; and Vol. 5, p. 554] For further records of the Baker family, reference should be made to Frank Baker, A Compilation of the Ancestry of Samuel Baker of Pleasant Valley, Steuben County, New York, Chicago, 1914. And important additions and corrections by Mrs. James T. Watts in The American Genealogist, Vol. 9, pp. 201-204 as well as other works included in this text.

      Many Long Island towns, such as Southold, Huntington, Smithtown, East Hampton, etc. were settled by people from the New Haven and Connecticut Colonies, and were considered to be part of them until New York later asserted its authority over the whole island. Nevertheless, Long Island remained a part of New England rather than uniting with the Dutch of Manhattan.

      From History of Milford, Connecticut: 1639-1939 copyright, 1939, compiled by the Milford Tercentenary Committee, Inc. a Federal Writers' Project of the Work Projects Administration for the State of Connecticut. Reprinted by Higginson Book Company, 148 Washington Street, P.O. Box 778, Salem, MA 01970 (978/745-7170):

      “Who were the first settlers in Milford? Where did they come from? During the reign of Charles I, increasing numbers of people were migrating to New England because they were no longer willing to accept the tenets of the established Church of England, and had been persecuted by the prelates of the English Church for their non-conformity.

      "Thomas Baker bought in May, 1650, the property of Daniel How(es). He kept the 'ordinary'; it is said that church services were held there until the first meetinghouse was built in 1653. The town paid him £0.01.06 each Sabbath to use the building. After the church services were moved, Thomas operated a tavern there that was first licensed on June 29, 1654. He was still licensed to operate a tavern there 1673. That place, overlooking the Village Green, was later in the Miller family, and is now owned by R. G. D. Douglas (as of 1953). In 1678 Thomas Baker gave land to Hannah and Ebenezer Leek. (Hannah was his daughter.) His holdings in 1683 were valued at £244.

      "He was spokesman for East Hampton on numerous occasions. From 1653 on, for several years, he served as magistrate, in the "Court of Three Men." In 1657 he was elected, with John Hand, to go to Connecticut to bring East Hampton under jurisdiction of that colony. In 1665 he was foreman of the first grand jury to sit in the Province of New York, in New York City. In 1666 he was chosen overseer, the next year constable. On May 4, 1671 he was chosen with the minister, Rev. Thomas James to treat with the towns of Southampton and Southold concerning the procurement of a charter. People of the three eastern towns objected strongly to paying taxes in support of a government unless taxes were levied by a General Assembly as an insupportable grievance. He was Justice of the Peace, 1675, and a patentee in both of the town patents. In early records most citizens were designated as "Goodman"; only a few, of which Thomas Baker was one, were termed 'Mr.'"

      These last two paragraphs are from East Hampton History Including Genealogies of Early Families by Jeannette Edwards Rattray (1953) and can be found in the East Hampton Library (L 974.725 R).

      No Will or administrative proceeding can be found settling his estate other than by a deed of gift which he made and acknowledged May 28, 1686, and which was recorded in the First Sessions Book, Suffolk Co., LI, NY, p.184 (old paging, 208). (Genealogy History, etc. by Charles A. Baker, 1963) (See file for Rich Houghton Gen Forum download 5/16/2001) No grave has been found for Thomas though there is a Baker family memorial in the Old South End Cemetery. His wife's gravestone in the Amagansett Cemetery was still legible in 1997.
      From Thomas's bible, referred to as the "Breeches" bible dated 1599, published in England, and available for examination in the East Hampton Library, Pennypacker Long Island History Room,

      "Thomas Backer (sic) was born ye 29 of September 1618. Alys ye wife of Thomas Backer was born ye 22 of May 1620.

      "Thomas Backer and Ales were married the 20 of June 1643, we came out of England in the year 1639.

      "Thomas Backer since deceased in the year of his age 82 in April the 30 in the year of our Lord Ano Dominy 1700.

      "Hannah being ye child of Thomas Baker was born to him ye 26 of June 1650.

      "Thomas being ye child of Thomas Baker was born to him ye 26 of July 1654.

      "Nathaniel being ye child of Thomas Baker was born to him ye 27 of December 1655. Nathaniel Backer decest
      February the 28, 1738/9 in the 84 year of his age.

      "Abigall ye daughter of Thomas Baker being ye child was born to him ye first of June 1658.

      "This book was given to me Nathaniel Baker the 14th of May 1700."

      "Breeches Bible" is a book-collectors' term for the Geneva Bible of 1560. The term derives from the reference in Genesis 3: 7 to Adam and Eve clothing themselves in "breeches" made from fig leaves.

      The Geneva Bible was one of the results of the persecution under "Bloody Mary" (1553-1558). Several of the Protestant reformers had fled to Geneva, Switzerland, the home of Beza, the Biblical scholar, and of Calvin, the theologian. Geneva was a free city, politically and religiously, dominated by Calvinism, the "cradle of the Reformed Faith." There had been no translation for 20 years, and the 5 revisions issued in the reign of Henry VIII were practically the work of two men, Tyndale and Coverdale. These scholarly exiled reformers, with Cloverdale, who was then living in Geneva, John Knox, and others desired a translation corrected strictly by the Hebrew and Greek, and which might be brought up more to the new standards of scholarship, and might have more of a Protestant flavor.

      The New Testament appeared in 1557, and was probably the product of one man, William Whittingham, an Englishman of great learning, and related to Calvin by marriage. It was a revision of Tyndale's (1525), with an introduction by Calvin. It was the first to use the division of the text into verses. The version of the entire Bible appeared in 1560, the work of English exiled reformers, assisted by Beza, Calvin, and possibly others. The Old Testament was based mainly upon the Great Bible (1539), and the New Testament upon Whittingham's. All were revised from a careful collation of Hebrew and Greek originals, with the use of Latin versions, especially Beza's, and the standard French and German versions. It was dedicated to Queen Elizabeth, who had assumed the throne in 1558, "In bold and simple language, without flattery or reserve." It used the verse divisions and italics, and was the first to omit the Apocrypha. The type was changed from the black letter to the simple Roman type, and the book was small and handy. The explanatory notes were concise and sensible, somewhat Calvinistic in creed and government, but without controversial bitterness.

      When the Geneva Bible appeared in England (1560), Queen Elizabeth accepted the dedication, but was cautious. She was interested in the Renaissance more than the Reformation, and wished to be careful to favor "neither Papist nor Gospeller." She desired to be Queen of England, not of any party. Yet the Geneva Version, being so much better than the Great Bible, and backed by the names of the great reformers, Knox, Calvin, Beza, and others, became very popular in England, especially among the common people. She gave silent consent to its distribution and use. It was issued as late as 1644 (33 years after the first King James Version of 1611), and ran through more than 160 editions.

      Nathaniel inherited his father's property. He was referred to as "Capt." or "Esq."
      There is evidence that there may have been a John Baker who died in 1684 in Milford, New Haven, Connecticut. Could this possibly be Thomas’ older brother, John, born before 20 Jan 1613, child of Tamsen (Bredger) and Thomas, born about 30 November 1578? John is more probably from a different family.

      In May 1637, the Hector sailed from London to Boston with an earlier group of Puritans led by the Rev. John Davenport and Theophilus Eaton of London. Five weeks later, another ship, name unknown, sailed with a Hertfordshire group led by the Rev. Peter Prudden. Both groups stayed in the Bay Colony for almost a year, but both desired to set up their own colony. Thus, in 1638 the Prudden group sailed with the Davenport/Eaton group and founded the New Haven Colony. (Hannah Baker, daughter of Thomas Baker born 1618, was baptized by Rev. Peter Prudden.) The Prudden group, however, wished to have a separate colony. While in New Haven, Prudden preached in Wethersfield and added some new recruits. Some Massachusetts Bay people had also adhered to the Prudden group when they went to New Haven. A group from Dorchester had joined, as did one from Roxbury. Thomas Baker is listed as part of the Roxbury group, according to the History of Milford, Federal Writers Project, W.P.A., 1939. Thus Milford was settled by Mr. Prudden's followers from Hertfordshire and from various towns in New England. Milford was a separate independent colony until it joined New Haven in 1643. Title to the region was based solely on the purchase of the land from the Paugusset Indians and not upon any grant from the English Crown. Among the original Milford settlers known to be of this company were Edmund Tapp, James Prudden, William Fowler, Thomas and Hannah Buckingham, Thomas Welch, Richard Platt, Henry Stonehill, and William East, all from Hertfordshire. The new arrivals stayed in the Massachusetts Bay Colony for almost a year, and were considered such desirable colonists that efforts were made to induce them to settle there permanently. (p. 2)

      Davenport and Prudden, however, desired to establish their own colony, and when the potentialities of the region at the mouth of the Quinnipiac River in Connecticut were verified by an expedition made in August 1637, by Eaton and several others of the Davenport Company, they decided that was the place to found their colony. Seven of Eaton's group stayed through the winter to hold the territory for the others. In April 1638, Peter Prudden and a number of his followers sailed with the Davenport group from Boston, bound for the Quinnipiac. (p. 3)

      From April 1638, to the fall of 1639, the Prudden group was a part of the New Haven Colony. A separate allotment, known as the Hertfordshire section, was granted to them. They cleared the land, built houses, and planted crops.

      During the summer of 1638 Mr. Prudden preached at Wethersfield, and there attracted a devoted following, many of whom wished to found a new settlement where he would be their pastor. This crystallized the movement to found a separate colony among the Hertfordshire group in New Haven.

      Of the original settlers of Milford, Thomas Tapping (Topping?), Robert Treat, John Sherman, Thomas Tibbals, John Fletcher, George Hubbard, Richard Miles and Andrew Benton were Wethersfield recruits. Zachariah Whitman, Benjamin Fenn, and Thomas Sandford, from Dorchester, Massachusetts, and John Astwood, John Peacocke, THOMAS BAKER, Jasper Gunn, John Burwell, and Thomas Uffot from Roxbury, joined the Prudden group and went to the mouth of the Wepawaug. The Milford Colony was thus a settlement of Mr. Prudden's followers, recruited from towns in England and New England where he had preached, and held together by personal devotion to their leader.

      INFORMATION COMPILED BY JOHN JARDINE - RE: THOMAS BAKER as found in Charles A. Baker's Genealogical History, 1963. Available at the East Hampton Library Long Island Collection, East Hampton, Suffolk Co., LI, NY:
      "On the Baker search I find as follows: In 1677/8 the town of Milford decided to make "A Transcript of the most Nessisary Things Contyned in the two fformer Books," and in consequence the two earliest books of town and land records are not in existence. The transcript, which was made about 1878, is now the earliest volume in existence. In this book, p. 1, under date of November 20, 1639, the name of Thomas Baker appears in a list of "Those persons whose names are here under written are allowed to be free planters hauling for the present liberty to act on the Choyce of Publique officers for the Carring of Publique Afaires in the Plantation."

      "Thomas Baker's name does not appear on p. 4 in a list of those having houselots in November 1643, but his is the tenth in a long list of homelots giving the description of bounds and the number of acres, dated 28 December 1646, and he also had land in an allotment described as "Adding Plains the North Shott." These descriptions of holdings of land are spread between pp. 77 and 94 in this volume.

      “The above appears to be the only important references to Thomas Baker in the record of the town of Milford. If there are casual references to him, as for example in the description of the bounds of the land of other proprietors, they can only be located by carefully reading the book through page by page, for it is not in print and has no complete name index. Such a reading would probably require two full days,” estimated Charles Baker (1963).

      The records of the First Church of Milford are complete from the year 1639. There is a very full record of admissions and baptisms, and some deaths, but strangely enough no marriages were recorded until a very much later date; no marriages at all until long after 1700. On p. 2, in the list of admissions, Thomas Baker is entered as admitted on 12 December 1643, and after his name is written "excommunicate 11 January 1645, received again 11 January 1647, dismissed to East Hampton September 1650." The baptismal records begin in 1640, but the only record found (p. 5) is "Hannah Baker, dau. of Thomas, bapt. 30 June 1650.

      "I (John Jardine, who may have been a genealogist hired by Charles A. Baker) concluded from the above that Thomas Baker lived in Milford from 1639 to 1650. He was called "of Milford" when he first bought land in East Hampton on 10 May 1650 (East Hampton Town Records, printed, Vol. 1, p.4). He seems to have no child born before 1650, unless there were stillborn children." There is no town record of births in Milford earlier than 1653.

      "The above records confirm in every particular the statements made in the Bible record, even to the fact that Thomas Baker first appeared in 1639 and had no child baptized until 1650. (Baker, 1963)
      Further notes and excerpts are from a book entitled The Ancestors of Samuel Baker, published in 1914 by Frank Baker. There is a copy in the New York Public Library; The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society; and, the East Hampton Library.

      "Thomas's baptism was registered at Canterbury (29 September 1618). His parents were Thomas Baker and Frances Downe. She was his second wife and they were married 30 November 1615. Since Thomas Baker’s father, Thomas Baker (born 1595) was only 20 years of age when he married Frances Downe 30 November 1615, it is doubtful he had a previous wife. Baker is a common name in Kent. (Kirwin corrective note: yet at St. Margaret’s Church, Tamsen, wife of Thomas Baker is buried February of 1614/1615. Thomas had married Tamsen at St. Michael's Smarden, 22 January 1605/06 and his correct birth date is about 30 November 1578, not 1595. )

      "The people of Kent had inherited an independence of thought and life acquired by their connection with the outside world. In other parts of England, land descended to the oldest son while in Kent all sons inherited alike. In the town of East Hampton, lands were held in free and common like East Greenwich, Kent. The town was laid out on the model of Maidstone. Every man was required to attend town meetings making it a true democratic government. Taxes were paid in wheat, Indian corn, hides, whalebone, etc."

      "Thomas Baker held all honors which could be given a citizen during his long life of 82 years. His name first appears in public record at Milford, Connecticut on November 29, 1639, on the first page of the first book of records for that town. He was then a free planter, a member of the Church, and had contributed to the purchase of the land and the expense of settling the plantations. Merchants in New Haven and elsewhere consigned goods to him and he bought and shipped whale oil, their most important export. He was foreman of the first Grand Jury that sat in the province of New York. He was an Ensign in the Militia and a Magistrate. When in Connecticut, he was elected as Assistant to the Governor and was regularly returned every year as a Commissioner to the General Court of Connecticut. Whether dealing with Indians, Dutch, or English, his name is found along with several others as a manager and representative of the people. He was a steady supporter of the early church. Before its building was erected, meetings were held in his own residence. (Family Tree Maker, Family Archives, Volume 17, #1538, Broderbund Software, Inc., Banner Blue Division.)

      In Volume 13, #0349 it is recorded that this Thomas Baker was an Ensign with East Hampton troops to New Netherlands in 1654 before becoming a Magistrate. The source for this is "Ancestry of Family of Alfred Russell and Caroline Harrison of North Branford, Conn." by Alfred Lovell Russell. This booklet is to be found in the Russell file folder of the Family Files as compiled by Adele Pyle Spitzer Sanford. The files, as of 1997, are in the possession of her daughter, Suzette Spitzer Dedman King in Tucson, Arizona. [See ]

      The following is from Frank Baker (1914) text at East Hampton Library:

      "The early New Haven marriage records have been lost. Births, marriages and deaths were not recorded either in the East Hampton town records, or in the church records, until Nathaniel Huntting came in 1696 as successor to Mr. James, who had been the minister since the first settlement of the town in 1649.

      "Rev. George Rogers Howell, author of a History of Southampton, had been contemplating for some years before his death in 1899 a History of East Hampton with Genealogies. Among his papers were a large number of East Hampton Genealogies.

      "In the Baker Genealogy was the following entry in Mr. Howell's handwriting:

      "Thomas Baker came from Ashford, County of Kent, Eng. born September 29, 1618, died April 20, 1700, married Alice Dayton June 20, 1643, who was born May 22, 1620, and died Feby. 4, 1709.

      "A careful search among Mr. Howell's papers was made for his authority for the statement that Thomas Baker came from Ashford, but none was found. The town of Ashford, as it is now known, is of comparatively modern growth. In Saxon days it was not Ashford but the neighboring village of Great Chart that was the place of importance, but in the reign of King Alfred, Great Chart was laid waste by the Danes and out of the ruins of that place Ashford grew. Shakespeare, in Henry VI, (part II) makes the Duke of York say:

      'I have seduced a headstrong Kentish man,
      John Cade of Ashford,
      To make a commotion as full well he can,
      Under the title of John Mortimer'

      "Ashford had long before 1600 fairs, a market, a court of record and now has a population of 13,168. Hothfield is a village three miles from Ashford with a population of 353, but each place has a church. The Ashford Church, St. Mary's is mentioned in Domesday Book (sic), and the Hothfield Church, St. Margaret's, (A letter from St. Margaret's, photocopies of records, and photos are in ) was rebuilt by Sir John Fogge in the reign of Edward IV (28 April 1442 – 9 April 1483). The parish registers of both parishes since 1560 have been preserved, and in the Archdeaconry Court at Canterbury is a register of Kentish Wills since 1449. In the register of the Ashford parish church no baptism or death is recorded, which can be said to refer to our ancestor, Thomas Baker. While there are many Baker Wills at Canterbury there is none that mentions the Thomas Baker who left England in 1639. The parish register of Hothfield (St. Margaret's) and the transcript of that register at Canterbury contain the following entries:

      '1614/15 Feby 10 Tamsen (Thomasine) wife of Thomas Baker buried.
      1615 November 30 Thomas Baker and France (sic) Downe married.
      1618 October 11 Thomas son of Thomas Baker bapt.'

      "The baptism of Thomas Baker so recorded was only 12 days after the date of the birth of our ancestor as entered by him in his Bible. The above entries tend to prove that our ancestor, Thomas Baker, was the son of Thomas by his second wife, Frances Downe, and that he was baptized in the parish church at Hothfield October 11, 1618. Mr. Howell's memorandum, it will be noticed, does not state that he was born or baptized at Ashford, but that he came from Ashford. He may have removed to Ashford before he came to America, or may have named Ashford because it was a place well-known, and Hothfield a small place near Ashford." (Frank Baker, 1914, p. 5-6)

      Continuing from Baker (1914) "The name of Mr. Thomas Baker first appears in any public record in Milford, November 29, 1639, on the first page of the first book of Records of that town, as one of those who were on that day, 'allowed to be free planters, having for the present liberty to act in the choyce of officers for the carrying on of public affayres in this plantation.' (Lambert, p. 89) The Milford Church was gathered at New Haven, August 22, 1639, and shortly after the settlers took their way through the wood to Milford; and being without the jurisdiction of any town or colony, they proceeded to organize a little self-governing republic. At their first General Court November 20, it was 'voted and agreed that the power of electing officers should be in the Church only, and that the persons so chosen should be from among ourselves'; and 'that they should guide themselves by the written Word of God until such time as a body of laws should be established.' (Ibid. p. 92) The fact that Thomas Baker was thus enrolled as a free planter of Milford shows not only that November 29, 1639, he was at Milford, but also that he was then a member of its church qualified to take part in the communion service, and had contributed to the purchase of the land and the expense of settling the plantation. A meetinghouse was built in 1641. It had special seats for guards and a place near them for their muskets. The men sat apart from the women, and there was a gallery for slaves. The following is an extract from the town records of February 7, 1643: 'By the Brethren and inhabitants of Milford it is agreed that a foot way to the meeting house shall be allowed and maintained with convenient stiles from the west end. The stiles to be maintained by Mr. Nicholas Camp at the west end and by Bro. Thos. Baker at the meeting houses, for the outside stiles and for the inner fences each man shall maintain his stile in the most convenient place and the passage over Little Dreadful Swamp on John Flutter's Lot shall be by a long log hewed on the upper side.' (New England Magazine, November 1889, p. 271)

      "Thomas Baker's House Lot at Milford was #10 on the Plat of 1646--a corner lot diagonally across the street from the First Congregational Church. (Lambert, p.93) In 1889 in commemoration of the 250th anniversary of the settlement of town, a Memorial Bridge was built at Milford with 'Memorial Blocks' for the names of the founders of Milford, upon one of which is inscribed the names of

      Obit 1700

      (A picture of this bridge is on file.)
      "January 11, 1645, Thomas Baker was excommunicated from the Milford Church, and received into the church again January 22, 1647. September 1650 he was dismissed by the Milford Church to East Hampton.

      "May 10, 1650, he entered into an agreement with Daniel How (Howe) for the purchase of all of Howe's 'Accommodations at East Hampton, with howsings, orchards, fencings, land and meadow--withal what he now possesses and what is or may belong to him with relation to his lot as his right to his settleing there,' for the sum of twenty pounds to be paid on September 29th, when possession was to be given. (1 East Hampton Records, pp. 4-5)

      "The settlement of East Hampton was begun in 1649, by Daniel Howe and six others. The lands comprising the town, containing thirty-one thousand acres, were purchased April 29, 1648, by Governors Eaton of New Haven and Hopkins of Hartford, from the Indians, for certain articles of the value of 13£. 4s., 8d., and the contract was assigned to the inhabitants of East Hampton. The lands were divided among the original settlers in the proportion each had advanced of the purchase money. These settlers were the 'proprietors' of the town, and, as in many towns in New England, were a distinct body from the rest of the inhabitants. In 1652 the proprietors numbered thirty-four, most of whom were entitled to a thirteen 'acre' lot, some to a twenty 'acre' lot, and two, one of whom was Thomas Baker, to a twenty-one 'acre' lot. From this it is not to be understood that each proprietor was entitled only to the number of acres mentioned in his lot, but that he was entitled to such a proportion of the lands of the town--the entire tract--as his thirteen 'acre' lot, twenty 'acre' lot, or twenty-one 'acre' lot, bore to the entire number of 'acres' comprised in the thirty-four lots. The 'acres' mentioned in the lots of the original proprietors were in later years called 'acres of commonage.' At first home lots averaging eight or ten acres were set apart to each proprietor, and the remainder of the land was allotted from tine to time in varying proportions from acre for acre or less, to three, four, five and ten acres for each 'acre' of the original lot or 'are of commonage.' The result was that the lands of each proprietor, when set apart to him, consisted of widely scattered parcels. Book A., p. 18 1Easthampton Records, 434, contains the lands of Thomas Baker as follows:

      'The record of the allotment to Mr. Thomas Baker, containing a one and twenty acre lot and plain with all privileges and appurtenances belonging to such an allottment as follooweth (sic):
      'Imprimis The house lot with the addition containing twelve ares more or less, bounded, etc.
      2 Five and one-half acres on the great plains.
      3 Eleven and a half acres of the East Plains.
      4 Nine and a half ares of Woodland.
      5 A second home lot containing six acres.

      "And so on, describing, in all, twenty-one parcels of land containing from one to thirty one acres, all of which were allotted to him by virtue of his ownership of said 'one and twenty acre lot.'

      "The greatest allotments were made after his death, in 1706-8-10-36-39-40 and 47. That of 1736 was ten acres for one 'acre of commonage.'

      "For an account of the 'Common Lands of East Hampton.' see the introductions by Judge Henry P. Hedges to Vols. 1 and 4 of the Records of East Hampton, reprinted in Hedges' East Hampton, Gardiner's Chronicles of East Hampton, and an article on the 'Common Lands of East Hampton,' by John Franklin Jameson of Johns Hopkins University in Magazine of American History, April, 1883:

      'Since 1748 the Common Lands have been neither extensive nor important. They are regarded as still belonging to the heirs of the old proprietors, but the trustees of the town have long been allowed to manage and sell them, turning the slight proceeds into the town treasury. Almost the last tracts were recently sold, and before long all remnants of the Common Land system will have disappeared from East Hampton, except perhaps one. Certain of the highways were early declared to be subject forever to common pasturage by the proprietor, and now, though the Common Lands are gone, it is generally supposed that a direct descendant of one of the old proprietors may permit his cow to feed by the road-side, while a newcomer may not.' (Magazine of American History, April 1883, pp. 253-4)

      "The town of East Hampton, settled in 1649, in 1653 built and thatched a church. Tradition locates that church on the east side of the present burying ground, opposite to and west of the house lot of Lyon Gardiner, (Note: Lyon was the son of Lion Gardiner the first proprietor of Gardiner's Island.) and also on the east side of the street lived William Hedges. On the west side of the street there lived Thomas Baker and Thomas Osborn, and all within one-fourth of a mile of that church as a centre.

      "Jonathan T. Gardiner, descendant of the Lyon; Jonathan Baker, descendant of that Thomas; Joseph S. Osborn, descendant of that same Thomas Osborn, are a committee chosen by their fellow-townsmen to procure the publication of the Ancient Records of their town. They have invited the writer, a native of their town, and a descendant of the same William Hedges, to prepare an introduction to such publication.
      "When Thomas Baker removed from Milford to East Hampton in the summer of 1650, East Hampton was an independent commonwealth. The Dutch at New Amsterdam gave up all claims to that part of Long Island lying east of Oyster Bay, by the Treaty of Hartford, 1650. There was no written compact until 1655, when the following was entered into and signed by all the freemen of the town:

      'Forasmuch as it hath pleased the Almighty God by the wise dispensation of his providence so to order and dispose of things that we the inhabitants of East Hampton, are now dwelling together, the Word of God requires that in order to maintain the peace and union of such a people, there should be an orderly and a decent government established, according to God, to order and dispose, as occasion shall require. We do therefore, sociate and conjoin ourselves, and successors and such as shall be adjoined to us at any time hereafter, enter into combination and confederation together to maintain and preserve the purity of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ which we now possess as also the discipline of the church which according to the truth of said Gospel, is now practiced among us, as also in our civil afairs to be guided and governed by such laws and orders as shall be made according to God, and which, by the vote of the major part, shall be in force among us. Furthermore, we do engage ourselves by this combination to stand to and maintain the authority of the several officers of the town in their determinations and actions, according to their orders and laws, that either are or shall be made, not swerving therefrom.' (I Thompson's History of Long Island p. 301)

      "The men of East Hampton at this time did not exceed forty in number but the 'litel (sic) commonwealth,' in the words of its own records, has an interest for historians and students of government out of all proportion to its size and numbers. No declarations were made, no resolutions passed, but they organized a government which was in fact a pure democracy and adopted a compact in which no power or source of power other than the 'acepted inhabitants' of the town was recognized.

      Continuing from Frank Baker, 1914: "This is the record of the first election, October, 1650: 'At a cort of election houlden ye first Tuesday of October there are chosen foure men with the Cunstable for ye ordering of ye affaires of ye Towne.' (1 East Hampton Records, p. 7)

      "This committee for 'ye ordering of ye affaires of ye Towne' was a prominent feature of the government of the town up to 1665. Their number varied from three to seven and they are called in the records 'Townsmen,' the 'Three' or the 'Seven' Men--the 'Committee,' and sometimes magistrates. The 'accepted inhabitants' in General Court assembled exercised the power of government, made laws, tried causes, elected officers, admitted or excluded inhabitants, established an army, admitted Wills to probate, made treaties, levied taxes, built a church, employed preachers and teachers. The 'Townsmen' with the constable sat as magistrates for the trial of causes with a few exceptions, with the right of appeal to the General Court, and also exercised the powers now vested in supervisors, trustees or selectmen.

      "Thomas Baker was chosen a townsman at the first election. October 1650, and each year thereafter until 1662. January 23, 1651, he, Robert Bond and John Mulford authorized by East Hampton, and Captain Thomas Topping and others, authorized by Southampton, made a treaty between the two Governments, 'for the setlinge of a firme peace to be maintayned and keept at all tymes and from tyme to tyme hereafter upon the termes underwritten.' (I East Hampton Records, pp. 8-9) November 9, 1654, it was 'ordered that Thomas Baker shall keep the ordinary,' and at a later date the General Court 'ordered yt noe man shall have libertie to sell strong waters but such as are Deputed thereunto by the towne, and also such as are Deputed thereunto by the towne, and also such as are apoynted for yt and they shall keep an xact and Just measure for to sell the same by & farther they shall not sufer younge people yt are under other mens Government to bee in their house at unseasonable times in the night contrari to their masters or parents knowledge or leave & alsoe such soe Appoynted shall not sufer above half a pint to be sould or drunke among 4 men and soe portionable to yt quantities according vnto the number of psons but in case a stranger come in he may have libertie to have one quarter of A pint if ye man yt is appointed to sell the same doe se yt his nede doth call for it & yt it may be for his comfort.' (I East Hampton Records p. 153)
      "In 1657, a charge of witchcraft was preferred against Goody Garlick, wife of Joshua Garlick, an inhabitant of East Hampton. As the custom was in cases to be tried before the General Court, the evidence was taken in depositions before the 'townsmen,' one of whom was Mr. Thomas Baker, all of which were recorded at length in town records.

      "Speaking of this case, Gardiner, in his Chronicles, says, (p. 4): 'It was a cause of great excitement and the charge was attempted to be sustained by numerous afffidavits (sic). No less than five men and eight women deposed to facts, which, in their estimation, constituted the crime of witchcraft, of which Mrs. Garlick was accused. The malignant eye, the sickness and death of cattle, the languishment and decease of children, the torments of the pricking of pins, the infliction of pains upon the well and sick, the blasts of the atmosphere by droughts, and unseasonable frosts upon the growing corn, and the extraordinary medical effects produced by simples in the cure of the sick, were all subjects of accusation. The usual accompaniment of apparitions, black cats and harlequin devils, which had alarmed and tormented the subjects of witchery, were not omitted. Much debate arose in the General Court, before which the charge against Goody Garlick had been made as to the manner of proceeding in the case. The statute of the 5th of Elizabeth against witchcraft was not accessible to them, and there being no demonological jurisconsult among the magistrates, they determined by a majority vote to refer the case to the judicial tribunals of Hartford. These tribunals had arraigned and executed a witch in 1647, and having thus had practical knowledge were, in the opinion of the General Court, competent to sit in judgment upon Goody Garlick. The following is the order of the General Court made March 19, 1657-8: ‘It is ordered and by a major part of the Inhabitants of this Town agreede vpon yt Thomas Backer and John Hand is to go vnto keniticut for to bring vs vnder their government according vnto the terms as Southampton is, and alsoe to carie vpp Goodwife Garlick yt she may be delivered up vnto the authorities there for the triall of the cause of witchcraft which she is suspected for.’ A letter said to be in the handwriting of Governor Winthrop shows the disposition that was made of the case by the General Court of Connecticut:

      ‘And ye meantime did take ye case which was presented from you into serious considerations, and there hath passed a legall tryle thereupon; Whereupon though there did not appear sufficient evidence to prove her guilty, yet we cannot but well aprove and commend the christian care and prudence of those in authority with you in searching into ye case accordinge to such just suspicion as appeared.

      ‘Also we think it good to certify yt is desired & expected by this Court yt you should carry neighbourly and peaceably with out just offense to Jos. Garlick and his wife & yt yy should doe ye like to you. And ye charge wee conceive and advise may be justly borne as followeth: yt Jos. Garlick should bear the charge of her transportation hither and return home. 2ndly yt your towne should beare all their own charges at home & the charge of their messengers and witnesses in bringing the case to tryall here and their return home-—he Court being content to put ye charge of ye tryall here upon ye County’s account. (1 East Hampton Records, p. 8)

      “In 1653 the English, under Lord protector Cromwell (1599-1658), were at war with the Dutch and it was reported in the colonies that the Dutch were inciting the Narragansetts to cut o the English. The commissioners of the United Colonies met at Boston in April 1653, to consider the situation, and voted that five hundred men should take the field ‘if God called the colonies to make war against the Dutch.’

      “East Hampton was on the frontier; her Indians greatly outnumbered the English; the dreaded Narragansetts, then and until their fort was stormed at the ‘Great Swamp fight,’ more than twenty years later, the most powerful tribe in New England, were only across the sound.

      “The record made by the men of East Hampton in that time of peril is full of interest to their descendants. There was among them no thought of retreat; they made no call upon others for protection, but at once began to prepare for war. Their first step was to provide a military code. Connecticut, in 1650, had enacted a code of laws, drawn by Roger Ludlow, known as ‘The Body of Laws,’ and the military code of that Body of Laws was adopted by East Hampton on April 5, 1653, when her freemen in General Court assembled, ordered ‘yt the order in the body of Lawes about Militarie afaiers shal stond in force with us.'

      “April 15th, the General Court ordered ‘yt there shal be a watch and a ward for the watch, that 2 shall watch every night and for ward one is to ward every day.’

      “April 26th it was ordered that ‘noe Indian shall come to the Towne unless it be upon especiall occasion and none to come armed because that the Dutch hath hired Indians against the English.’
      ‘May 6th it was ordered, ‘yt a firkin of powder and shott equivalent shall be sent for to Coniticut and men shall make pey eyther in Wheat, Butter or cheese at Goodman Clark’s at the River’s mouth at Mickelmas,’ and also that ‘every man shall apeare at the meetinge forthwith upon any alarum made upon penalty of paigne ten shillings, the alarum beinge one gun and the beat of the drum.’

      ‘May 9th it was ordered ‘yt noe man shall goe forth of the towne to worke or stay in other towne or place without acquainting two of the three men at the least and have liberty from them, upon penalty of painge of 40s for every daye’s absence.’

      “In July New Haven and Connecticut, pursuant to the majority vote of the Colonial Commissioners called on Massachusetts for her quota of the five hundred troops. Governor Endicott declined to honor the call. New Haven and Connecticut then sent agents to England to petition Cromwell to send ships and troops to aid them in fighting the Dutch and to command Massachusetts to take part in the war. Cromwell sent four ships and a few troops, which were at Boston June 1, 1654, and the colonies were called upon for troops, Connecticut for 200, New Haven for 133 men.

      “Notice of this request reached East Hampton by way of Connecticut. It was the settled policy of the men of East Hampton to do nothing in haste, which could be put off for reflection and consideration. And so on that day they did not determine what their answer to Connecticut should be, but with characteristic prudence and foresight they took steps to prepare their soldiers for active service. On that day it was by the General Court ordered ‘yt the Military officer or officers at all tymes when they see need hath power given them to call out any man or soe many men to employ them and command them upon such dutyes and occasions as from tyme to tyme and at all tymes they shall see needful for the Defence and good of the tyme and place. *** The military officers that are chosen by ye Company namesly, Thomas Talmage and Thomas Baker, are confirmed by the Court.’ Thomas Talmage was lieutenant and Thomas Baker was probably sergeant or possibly ensign. (1 East Hampton Records, p. 57)

      “On June 29th the freemen of East Hampton again assembled in General Court deterined what should be their answer to Connecticut’s request for troops by this resolution: ‘Having considered the letters that came from Connecticut wherein men are required to assist the power of England agaist Duch we doe thinke ourselves caled to assist the sd power.” (Id. p. 58)

      “Before the fleet sailed from Boston peace was concluded between Cromwell and the Dutch, and so the Army of East Hampton, ten, fifteen, possibly twenty strong, with their arms and that ‘firkin of powder and Equivalent of Shott,’ under Lieutenant Talmage and Ensign Baker, as not called upon to march away to take ship for New Amsterdam to ‘assist the power of England against the Duch.’

      “May 3, 1658, a treaty or compact was entered into between the General Court of Connecticut and Lyon Gardiner, Thomas Baker and John Hand in behalf of East Hampton, whereby East Hampton was placed under the jurisdiction of Connecticut (3New York Documents Colonial History, p. 27). By its terms two magistrates were to be chosen at the General Court of Election of Connecticut in May of each year, from three freemen of East Hampton who were to be nominated by the town, and the magistrates so chosen were to be magistrates of the General Court of Connecticut as well as magistrates for the administration of justice. The General Court of Connecticut was then composed of Magistrates chosen by the General Court, and Deputies chosen by the towns, but the agreement of union made no provision for the election of Deputies from East Hampton. This agreement continued in force until the Conquest in 1664.

      “On May 20, 1658, Thomas Baker was by the General Court of Connecticut elected one of the magistrates of that Court, and re-elected in 1659-60-61-62. (2 Palfrey’s New England, p. 638; Trumbull’s Connecticut, pp. 233-35-39-49.)

      “April 20, 1662, Charles the Second granted to Governor Winthrop and his associates the “Great Charter” of Connecticut—a charter as free and democratic in its spirit and provisions as any constitution of modern times. The General Court consisted of a Governor and twelve ‘Assistants’ to be chosen by the General Court, and Deputies chosen by the towns. On October 9, 1662, this charter having been received, a new election was held and Thomas Baker chosen one of the Assistants, and re-elected in 1663. (Trumbull, pp. 250-257; 2 Palfrey, p. 638)

      “The inhabitants of the Eastern towns, upon learning of the granting of the Connecticut charter, were desirous, either that they should be recognized as a part of Connecticut, a local government under that province established, and a Patent for their lands secured, or that a Patent might be obtained from the King, making out of the towns of East Hampton, Southampton and Southold an independent corporation or commonwealth.

      “The following orders of the General Court of East Hampton relate to the matter mentioned:
      ‘November 26-62. It is Joyntly and fully agreed that Mr. Tho Baker Mr. Tho James Mr. Lion Gardiner Mr. Rob. Bond Mr. James Mulford Tho. Tomson & Tho Chatfield shall goe to Southampton the next sedond day to compound a difference between us and Capt. John Scott Esq. And Mr. John Ogden about Meantiquit and doe hereby engage to ratify and confirm what our Comitti shall conclude upn, and alsoe wee doe impower this our Comitte to Joyne with Southampton and Southold about a patten grant.

      “January 28-63. At a town meeting it is ordered that ‘John Straton & Jeremy Meachen shall be Committees for the next above written, instead of Mr Bond and Mr Mulford to Joyne with Mr Backer & Mr James to act with Southampton and Southold Comittes as above sd.’ Some agreement for a Patent seems to have been made, probably with the Government of Connecticut, for orders as to how the one hundred and fifty pounds to be paid for their Patent were to be raised were made February 23 and March 23, 1664. On April 26, 1664, the following order was made:
      ‘At a towne meetinge the towne doth desire those men that doe goe to hartford to debate together and with the neighbor Plantatcons for the things of mutuall Consernement betwne Hartford and us for our further settlement but to conclude of nothing as understanding that the Govenor will come over or a Committee from the General Court.’
      “In May, 1664, the General Assembly of Connecticut declared that they claimed all of Long Island, as one of the adjoining islands expressed in the charter ‘except a precedent right doth appear approved by His Majestie’ and appointed Magistrates in each town and Commissioners to settle the English Plantations under their Government. (1 Thompson, p. 114)

      Charles II in 1662 granted a charter to Connecticut. Connecticut united with the New Haven Colonies in 1664. Before this time there was a Particular Court. This court went out of existence when Connecticut and the New Haven Colonies joined. The Particular Court was succeeded by the Quarter Courts or County Courts and by the Court of Assistants. This is detailed in the Records of the Particular Court of Connecticut (Call Number: F91.C7 Vol. 22). There is no author. The Records of the Particular Court of Connecticut (1639-1663) were published by the Connecticut Historical Society and the Society of Colonial Wars in the State of Connecticut, Hartford 1928. A few pages "down-loaded" are in the .

      In History of Southold (1640-1740), at the Southold Library (p. 45), Whitaker indicates that Thomas Baker was an early settler of Southold.

      "His is the first in the list of residents of East Hampton who in 1660 bought the title of Montauk from the widow and son of the Chief of Manhanset (Shelter Island). In this list are also the names of Jeremiah Meacham and George Miller, who had been previously inhabitants of Southold” (p. 49).
      “In fact, 12 March, 1664, and before this declaration was made, Charles II had granted to his brother James, Duke of York, a Patent for the country between the Connecticut and the Delaware, and the adjoining Islands. An expedition was at once sent against New Netherlands under the command of Col. Richard Nicoll, who was appointed Governor by the Duke, and to him on August 27, 1664 Governor Stuyvesant formally surrendered the Province. Governor Nicoll at once entered negotiations with Governor Winthrop of Connecticut for a settlement of the boundaries of the respective provinces, with the result that Connecticut gave up all claim to Long Island and obtained for its western boundary a line only twenty miles east of the Hudson. The people of the Eastern towns most reluctantly assented to the transfer from the Connecticut to the Duke’s Government, and from the time of such transfer until the Revolution of 1688, which deprived the Duke of York, then James the Second, of his throne, they were most earnest and persistent in their efforts to escape from his dominion. Their reasons are abundantly shown by the records of the towns and of the province. They were Englishmen and brought with them the doctrine that it was the right of every Englishman to participate in the making of laws by which he was governed, and that taxes could be imposed upon the people with their consent by their representatives in a general assembly. The right of Englishmen, so fully recognized in the Charter of Connecticut in 1662 and in the Charter of Rhode Island granted shortly before, found no recognition in the Duke of York’s Patent. That Patent made no provision for a General Assembly, or for any voice of the people in the Government. The Governor, with the advice of his council, had the exclusive power of legislation, and he alone had the power to appoint public officers, including justices.

      “In February, 1665, Governor Nicoll issued a proclamation for a ‘General Meeting’ of two deputies, ‘the most sober, able and discreet persons,’ from each town, to be elected by the freemen to convene at Hempstead the last day of February to the end that ‘he might receive their best advice and information in discharge of hs trust and duty to settle good and known laws in the Province.’ Thomas Baker was elected one of the Deputies from East Hampton to this Hempstead General Meeting. (1 Thompson, p. 132)

      “A Code of Laws prepared by the Governor was submitted to the Deputies. They suggested certain amendments, some of which were adopted by the Governor, and the assurance given that any reasonable amendment, offered by any town at the Session, and by the Justices at the Assizes, should receive consideration. This Code of Laws, known as the '‘Duke’s Laws,’ remained in force until 1683 when the first Colonial Assembly met. The Deputies remonstrated against the assumption of all power, especially that of making laws and appointing justices, by the Governor, but were told by the Governor that if they '‘would have greater share in the government than that provided for in the Charter, they must go to the King for it.’ The Constable and Overseers became the local authorities in place of the ‘Townsmen’ and tried causes under five pounds. The Justices of the Towns in the Riding composed the Court of Sessions, and in that Court the Governor, Members of the Council, Secretary or High Sheriff, could sit, and any one of them who was present presided. The Court of Assizes was held in New York and was composed of the Governor, his Council and the Justices.

      “The contest of the people of East Hampton against the Government so placed over them by royal charter alone, began at once, and in that contest Mr. Thomas Baker took a leading part.

      “February 9, 1665, Six Deputies were chosen by East Hampton to meet with Deputies from Southampton and Southold ‘to consider of the best way whereby we might procure a redresse of such grievances as are at present upon the Plantacons both with respect of the foundations of this Government, viz., that we might have Deputyes to act in behalf of the several towns, as alsoe concerning the Laws themselves and their late amendments, as they are called.’ (1 East Hampton Records, p. 241) The people of the three eastern towns refused to elect Constables and Overseers, because the law creating those offices was made by the Governor—not by the people or delegates chosen by the people, --and on April 19, 1666, Governor Nicoll wrote them this letter:
      ‘The Governor to Ye High Sheriffe, Capt. Topping, and Mr. John Mulford, Touching Ye Inhabitants of South Hampton, East Hampton, and South Hold.

      ‘Upon advice from Southton and East Hampton that neither the Inhabitants of these two towns, nor ye Inhabitants of Southhold, have made Choyce of Constable and Overseers, at ye time appointed by Law, towards the orderly management of such particular Township in their private as well as in ye publick concerns, of this his Royall Highnesse the Duke of Yorke’s Government, I am not a little moved agst ye close and seditious practices of some who secretly distill into ye hearts of his Maties good subjects, such refractory and mutinous humours, as tend to ye disturbance and breach of the lower Establish’t, but I am much more troubled to hear that such wicked designes should have such a Gen’all Influence upon those three Townes, contrary to the Duty they owe to his Ma’ty, whose Crown and dignity, wisdom & Power, I must and will assert, not only against his publique, but his private Enemyes. I am willing to believe better of the good Inhabitants of Southhold, having heard that the delay of choosing the Select-men formerly hath hapned in those parts, however, my present directions are positive, that you sumon ye Inhabitants of Southhold together and shew them where the Law doth enjoyne ye eleccon of a constable and four New Overseers, for the year ensuing, in their Town. And further, that I have taken notice of their Neglect, contrary to Law, and therefore that they are, by these presents required at that very mention to proceed to an election of a Constable and Overseers according to Law, otherwise, I shall be necessitated to declare against the dissenters therein, as mutinous condemners of ye Lawes Establish’t, and disturbers of the peace of this Governm’t, and shall (with God-s assistance) proceed agst any or every person according to Law, in those cases provided.’
      Signed by Rich’d Nicolls at ffort James in New York, ye 19th of April 1666.”
      (14 New York Documents Colonial History p. 577) (Frank Baker, p. 12)

      “At the Hempstead Assembly in 1665, Long Island, Staten Island and probably Westchester were erected into a shire, called Yorkshire. The towns now in Suffork County comprised the East Riding of Yorkshire.” (Frank Baker, p. 14)

      East Hampton, incorporated by patent under Governor Nicoll 13 March 1666, was confirmed by Governor Dongan 9 December 1686. It was recognized as a town 7 March 1788. The trustees named in the patent were John Mulford, Thomas Baker, Thomas Chatfield, Jeremiah Concklyn, Stephen Hedges, Thomas Osborne, Sr., and John Osborne. The first settlement--in fact the first English settlement in the state--was made on Gardiners Island in 1639 by Lyon Gardiner. Settlement in the western part of the town was commenced in 1648 on lands purchased from the Montauk Indians by a company of English families from Lynn, Massachusetts. In December 1653, they adopted the laws of Connecticut and from 1657 to 1667 they were united with that colony.
      (Suffolk County Historical Society Register, Vol. III, No. 4, March 1978, pp. 62.)

      In the East Hampton Library there is a copy of Frank Baker’s work detailing for the descendants of Thomas Baker the high regard in which Mr. Baker was held, and his high principle that by the Law of England no power but the people can tax the people. (Frank Baker, p. 17) This work includes the names we read of in the Baker Genealogy: Hedges, Hand Talmage, Mulford, etc.

      “Of his private life and character less can now be learned. He was a farmer and like the other farmers of East Hampton in his day paid more attention to horses and cattle, sheep and goats than to the raising of grain. He was an innkeeper, licensed by the town in 1654, and by Connecticut
    Person ID I7013  Ackerly
    Last Modified 8 Jan 2018 

    Father Thomas Baker,   b. Abt 30 Nov 1578, Bethersden, Kent Co., England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1646, Eng Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 67 years) 
    Relationship natural 
    Mother Frances Downe,   b. 1594, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt 5 Apr 1647, Hothfield, Kent County, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 53 years) 
    Relationship natural 
    Married 30 Nov 1615  St. Margaret's Church, Hothfield Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • A record for the marriage of Thomas Baker and Frances Downe exists at St. Margaret's Church, Hothfield. See Hothfield file for copy. "We resent Thomas Baker and his wife for being married at Hothfield without a licence from the Ordinary or banns published in this church."

      The Hothfield History book shows Thomas Baker and Frances Downe married, 30 November 1615 (Parish Register). If this was in the Advent season, it was within the time excepted from marriage. The times excepted were--from Advent Sunday until 8 days after Epiphany; from Septuagesima until 8 days after Easter; from Rogation Sunday until 8 days after Whitsuntide." The Centre for Kentish Studies, Sessions House, County Hall, Maidstone, Kent ME 14-1XQ shows this Hothfield record (P191 1/1).

      The first day in Advent varies between the end of November and the beginning of December (depending on the date of Easter) so it varies each year. Epiphany, Septuagesima and Rogation all follow.

      We do not know whether Thomas and Frances Baker were punished. It must be remembered that in 1600 people were punished or called to account for every minor deed, i.e., just not attending Holy Communion at Easter, etc.
    Family ID F2715  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Relationship unknown 
    Mother Frances Downe,   b. 1594, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt 5 Apr 1647, Hothfield, Kent County, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 53 years) 
    Relationship natural 
    Married 16 Nov 1618  England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F2716  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Alice Dayton,   b. Bef 21 May 1620, Ashford, Kent County, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 4 Feb 1708, East Hampton, Suffolk Co., LI, NY Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age > 87 years) 
    Married 20 Jun 1648  Milford, CT Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Date is in Thomas Baker's bible given to the East Hampton Library by Mary Baker Hedges as reported in Baker and Allied Families, by Harry J. Baker II, 1961 available through the Genealogical Society of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 1961, (929.273 B171bhb film #858671, Item 11).
     1. Nathaniel Baker,   b. 22 Dec 1655, East Hampton, Suffolk Co., LI, NY Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 28 Feb 1737, East Hampton, Suffolk Co., LI, NY Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 81 years)  [natural]
    Last Modified 8 Jan 2018 
    Family ID F2536  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

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