James Baxter, Sr. (1769-1828) is my maternal 4x great grandfather, born 6 June 1769, possibly in County Tyrone, Ireland. James’s parents may have been Daniel Baxter and Mary Tudor. James died 31 August 1828 in Jefferson County, Indiana. Let me admit right away that until about ten years ago I had NO IDEA I had any Irish ancestors. I need to learn about researching early Irish records, but so far I don’t know anything about working with records in Ireland; therefore, my narrative of James’s life begins after he immigrated to the United States.
One of the reasons this James Baxter interests me is because I believe I’ve found a huge error in the records for him that allowed his descendants to use him as an ancestor for their Daughters of the American Revolution lineage applications. I don’t believe this James Baxter served in the Revolutionary War, and I would like to see his DAR patriot file corrected and closed, pending further evidence that would show his service. Simply put, I think they have the wrong James Baxter. As someone in the DAR genealogy department said to me, “Some of our older applications, perhaps due to more difficulty in getting ahold of some records, are not as precise.” Well, based on the applications that I ordered for James from the DAR–these “older applications”–to say that they’re “not as precise” is an understatement. I don’t think there was fraud involved with the older applications; however, I think, at the very least, these applicants were looking at the information with a “hopeful eye.”
Here is a bare bones biography of James Baxter, Sr., to provide context. It is believed that James Baxter was born to Daniel Baxter Sr. in County Tyrone, Ireland in 1769. Sometime around 1785 he immigrated to America with his brother Daniel and settled in Carlisle, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania where he was married in about 1792 to Rebecca Riddle.
James and Rebecca can be followed in the records by mapping the births of their children: Daniel Baxter, born 1794 in Pennsylvania; Nancy Baxter, born 1799 in Pennsylvania; William Baxter (my 3x great grandfather), born 1804 near Dayton, Montgomery County, Ohio; James Baxter Jr., born 1810 near Dayton, Montgomery County, Ohio.
The pertinent federal census for 1810 for Montgomery County, Ohio has been lost; however, James and Daniel Baxter appear in the 1811 tax list for Dayton Twp., Montgomery County, Ohio.
In 1814, James Baxter’s brother Daniel died in Montgomery County, Ohio. James and Rebecca were Daniel’s heirs. They last appear in Montgomery County, Ohio in 1815, and then next appear in land records for Monroe Twp., Jefferson County, Indiana in 1816.
James last appears in 1827 on a Jefferson County tax assessment list for Lancaster Township. The farm he owned would later (but not until 1842) become part of Monroe Township, an important fact when looking for James’s descendants.
James died on 31 Aug 1828 in Jefferson County, Indiana and was buried at Craig Cemetery. James’s headstone survives and has recently been cleaned and repaired. James wrote a will, leaving his farm to his namesake, James Jr. His children Daniel, William, and Nancy and his wife Rebecca are also mentioned in the will.
Here’s this limb of my family tree:
Getting Started in Irish Genealogy