Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Looking for Lincoln Part II: The Todd Connection

I found a second connection between the family of President Lincoln and the BAYLES family (Mother’s surname was BAYLES long ago). Actually, this connection is to Mary Ann Todd, his wife. There is a line of descendants of the immigrant BAYLES ancestors, John and wife Rebecca, that ends in a marriage connecting the BAYLES and TODD families.

I have found this an exciting line to trace and the BAYLESes of this line were very active in war and politics. They are not my ancestors. We do, however, share our nearest ancestors John Bayles, Jr. (b. 1642) and his wife Ruth Rusco.

Sources for this line of descent include The Bayles Families of Long Island and New Jersey, by Howard Green Bayles, Houston, 1944; Revolutionary War records; census records; newspaper articles; various state and county records; the letters of Gov. Ninian Edwards of Illinois; state and national legislature records, etc.

Among the descendants of John and Ruth is Platt Bayles who was an officer in the American Army during the Revolutionary War. His final rank is unproven but he reached the rank of Major and probably Colonel. He has also been reported to have been a General but I find no records of that. He died in 1778 at Valley Forge.

Phoebe Bayles, a daughter of Platt Bayles and his wife Phoebe Lewis, married Joseph Fairchild in 1791. The Fairchild’s had a daughter, Sarah Tennery Fairchild. Sarah married, Oct. 17, 1819, David Jewitt Baker, a Senator from Illinois who served in the United States Congress. David J. Baker filled a vacancy in the U.S. Senate in 1830 when John McLean died. Among the letters of Gov. Ninian Edwards of Illinois is one from Sarah T. (Fairchild) Baker suggesting that her husband could fill that seat in the Senate.

Sarah and David. J. Baker had several children including Edward Lewis Baker who served as U.S. Assessor until that position was abolished. He was then appointed by President Grant as the Counsel to Buenos Aires in 1873. In 1855, Edward Lewis Baker married Julia Cook Edwards, the daughter of Ninian W. Edwards, son of Gov. Ninian Edwards and his wife Elizabeth P. Todd, the sister of Mary Ann (Todd) Lincoln.

Thus, we have a long, eventful and winding path from John Bayles, British immigrant, to at last, a connection to President Lincoln by way of a marriage.

One last surprise. While working on this line I discovered that one of the descendants of Phoebe Bayles and Joseph Fairchild is comic actor Cornelius Crane “Chevy” Chase! That is another story.

I thank Harry Nelms for all of the additional research and help in tracing this line as together we searched for a Lincoln Connection.

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