Copyright © Janice Tracy, Mississippi Memories

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Baldridge Family in Mississippi

Francis Baldridge was born circa 1751 in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, the son of John and Rebecca Clark Baldridge. He married Elizabeth Turrentine, born circa 1759 in western Pennsylvania, the daughter of Alexander Turrentine. The Turrentine family, like the Baldridge family and numerous other Scotch-Irish families, immigrated to Pennsylvania in the early-mid 1700's and later migrated to North Carolina, as land opened up for settlement there.

Many of the Scotch-Irish families living in Orange County, NC belonged to the Little River Presbyterian Church, and it is likely the Turrentine and Baldridge families attended church there, as well. Francis served as a private in the North Carolina Continental Army and fought in the Revolutionary War. According to records available, Francis earned 24 specie, plus interest, for his service in the war.

Francis and Elizabeth, according to "Methodism in Mississippi," had ten children, five boys and five girls, between 1777 and 1801, with several children being born after they migrated to the Mississippi Territory. Other accounts indicate they may have had eleven or twelve children, with possibly one who remained behind in North Carolina or one or more dying during early childhood. The actual number of children remains somewhat unclear, but the names below are documented in North Carolina and early Mississippi Territory records:

John, b. February 8, 1780, Orange County, NC
Alexander, b. circa 1782, Orange County, NC
Mary, b. circa 1784, Orange County, NC
Deborah Spence, b. circa 1788, Orange County, NC
James, b. circa 1791, Orange County, NC
Francis, b. 1793, Orange Co., NC
Daniel, b. 1797, place of birth is uncertain
Sarah Jane, b. 1799, Jefferson County, MS
Samuel, b. circa 1800

Alexander and Samuel are believed to have served in the War of 1812, possibly in the Mississippi Territory Militia.

Available records indicate that Sarah Jane, Deborah Spence, and James all died in Jefferson County, Mississippi. John Baldridge died in Carroll County, Mississippi and is buried in Enon Chruch Cemetery, near Carrollton, Mississippi.

Daniel Baldridge was married, first, to Sibbell Forman, on December 19, 1822, in Jefferson County, Mississippi. She was born circa 1800. It is possible that Sibbell died early in the marriage. On March 15, 1832, in Madison County, Mississippi, Daniel married his second wife, Harriett Atwood, born circa 1815. Daniel Baldridge and Harriett Atwood Baldridge had six children. One of their children, Martin Van Buren Baldridge, married Huldy Catherine Smith, born in North Carolina. Martin and Catherine had several children, one of them a daughter named Claudia Mae Baldridge. She married Ed Branch on December 21, 1896, and their only son, Clark Commander Branch, was born on August 9, 1899. Clark Commander Branch was my paternal grandfather. "Granny Claudie," as we called my great-grandmother Branch, died in Goodman, Mississippi and is buried in Hillcrest Cemetery.

More than two hundred years had gone by since the Baldrige/Baldridge family first emigrated from Ireland to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

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