Copyright © Janice Tracy, Cemeteries of Dancing Rabbit Creek.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

John Baldridge, War of 1812 Veteran



Several months ago, I wrote a series of posts on Attala County Memories about the Baldridge family. In those posts, I discussed this family's migration from its native Ireland to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and later into Mississippi. After John Baldridge (the immigrant) died in the late 1700's, his widow and children began their migration through the colonies, living first in Orange County, North Carolina, then in Tennessee, and later, in Mississippi. Family legend has it that a few Baldridge men married women of Native American heritage during their migrations from Pennsylvania into the Mississippi Territory. Other stories about Baldridge men say they fought side by side with Native Americans during some of the Indian wars in Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi. After The Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek was signed, some of these Mississippi families moved to Indian Territory. But before leaving the state for what later became Oklahoma, many members of this family had lived in an area that eventually became Carroll County, Mississippi. My great-great-great-grandparents, Daniel Baldridge and Harriett Atwood, were among those who stayed behind. Today, very few Baldridges remain in Mississippi, while large numbers of the descendants of those who went to Indian Territory now reside in the State of Oklahoma.

The tombstone pictured above is that of my great-great-great-great-grandfather, John Baldridge, grandson of John Baldridge, the Irish immigrant who lived in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and father of Daniel Baldridge. John Baldridge was born on February 8, 1780, in Orange County, North Carolina. He married Jane Owens, his first wife, on September 20, 1804, in what later became Jefferson County, a few years after he arrived in the Mississippi Territory. The couple became the parents of 11 children. Jane died on May 14, 1830 in Yazoo County, Mississippi. On June 1, 1836, John married again, this time to Nancy Cheek Marble, in Grenada, Mississippi. Nine children were born during John's second marriage to Nancy. My Baldridge line descends from John's marriage to Nancy.

John died on February 18, 1860 in Carroll County and is buried in Enon Methodist Church Cemetery, south of Carrollton, near Coila, in Carroll County, Mississippi. As his grave stone states, John Baldridge was a veteran of the War of 1812, having served in McMath's Company of the NY Militia. Although it seems odd at first glance that someone who lived in the Mississippi Territory would have served in the New York Militia, the reason is a logical one: the Baldridge and McMath families had been related for many years through marriages that occurred in Pennsylvia, and John Baldridge simply answered a call to service from one of these relatives.

After John Baldridge's death in 1860, Nancy Cheek Marble Baldridge outlived her husband by 52 years. She died on March 7, 1908 and is buried in Madison County, Mississippi.

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