Copyright © Janice Tracy, Mississippi Memories

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Legacy of John T. Baldridge, born in Orange County, NC

John T. Baldridge, a veteran of the War of 1812, was born on February 8, 1780, in Orange County, North Carolina, the son of Francis Baldridge, who served in the Revolutionary War, and his wife, Elizabeth Turrentine. One of the ten children born to his parents, John migrated with his family to the Mississippi Territory circa 1802, in what later became known as Jefferson County, and was shown on the Petitioners List in that same year. On September 20, 1804, John T. Baldridge married Nancy Jane Owens, born September 1, 1788. John and Nancy Jane would become parents to eleven children.

Still a young man, John served in the War of 1812, and when lands opened up in the area that later became Carroll County, Mississippi, John moved his large family there. Along the way, on May 15, 1830, less than a year after the birth of their youngest child, Nancy Jane Owens Baldridge, died in Yazoo County, Mississippi. The names of the children born in Jefferson County, Mississippi, to John and Nancy Jane are shown below:

1. Mary "Polly" Baldridge, b. April 22, 1806

2. Tabitha Baldridge, b. May 23 1809
3. Rev. James Wesley Baldridge, b. March 18, 1811

4. Sarah "Sally" Baldridge, b. April 5, 1813
5. Jane Baldridge, b. May 6, 1815
6. John T. Baldridge, Jr., b. April 12, 1817
7. Thomas Alexander Baldridge, b. May 10, 1819
8. Elizabeth Baldridge, b. March 22, 1823
9. Francis Baldridge, b. April 10, 1824
10. William Baldridge, b. December 23, 1825
11. Jane Adaline Baldridge, b. August 28, 1829

John Baldridge remained a widower for 6 years. On June 1, 1836, he married his second wife, Nancy Cheek Marble, the young widow of Stephen Marble, in Grenada, Mississippi. Nancy, who was born in Kentucky on December 28, 1812, not yet 24 years old, already had two young sons, Thomas Marble and James Marble. Although there was a large difference in the ages of John and Nancy Baldridge, in addition to the fact that John aldready had eleven children from his previous marriage, theirs was a union that would continue until John's death and would produce nine more living children.

According to the U. S. Mortality Index of 1860, John died on February 18, 1860, just 10 days after his 78th birthday. The cause of death was shown to have been "palsy."

John T. Baldridge, son of a Revolutionary War veteran and a veteran himself of the War of 1812, was laid to rest in Enon Church Cemetery, south of Carrollton, Mississippi, near where he had lived for more than two decades.

Names of the children born to John T. and Nancy Baldridge, including my paternal great-great-grandfather, William M. Baldridge, are listed below.

1. Calvin W. Baldridge, b. February 7, 1837
2. Wesley C. Baldridge, February 25, 1839
3. Martha Ann Baldridge, b. February 4, 1841
4. Ira Byrd Baldridge, b. February 8, 1843
5. William Martin Baldridge, b. December 25, 1844
6. George W. Baldridge, b. February 7, 1847
7. Benjamin L. Baldridge, b. March 21, 1849
8. Mary Frances Baldridge, b. March 21, 1851
9. Elizabeth, b. September 5, 1854

For over a decade prior to her death on March 7, 1908, Nancy Cheek Marble Baldridge would live with her daughter, Martha and her German-born husband Conrad Smith and their children in Beat 5, Camden, Mississippi. According to the U. S. Census of 1900, my great-great-grandfather, William Martin Baldridge, and his wife, Huldah Catharine Smith Baldridge, lived next door, and other Baldridge relatives also lived nearby.

In neighboring Attala County, in the community of Newport, Mississippi, William's daughter, Claudia Mae Baldridge and her husband, Edward Arthur Branch, lived with their five children, a son and four daughters. Their son would later become my paternal grandfather, Clark Commander Branch.

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