Ralph D. Shipp ~ Baker Family Updates

In Memory Of:

Ralph D. Shipp

Ralph D. Shipp, born 4 July, 1900; died 6 July 1996 at Boulder, Colorado. I lost a good friend when Ralph died. He was always willing to share his work, exchange ideas and to further research for any Baker, his family line or not. Few people are so willing to help others, to me, the way he was as a person was much more important than his work. He gave many people a great example to follow, me included.

When I started doing free family group sheet lookups of the newsletter vertical files, he was more than willing to help me with it. His files were open to me without a second delay. He felt like I do, that research should be affordable (free) to anyone with an interest in their family. Thanks to him, many of you recieved many Tennessee records without it costing one penny. (cost of a stamp for postage, but no fees)

Ralph was an editor of the Baker Family Newsletter Int. for many years, he was a member of the Boulder, Co Genealogical Society, and wrote 2 books:

Baker Family Records (covers the Linn Co, Mo Bakers)Gateway Press Inc. Baltimore, 1980

The Shipp Family Genealogy, Compiled by Ralph D. Shipp; Gateway Press, Inc. Baltimore 1975


He did find that some information in his Baker Family record book needed to be updated. I will list his last letter to me regarding the updates he was working on. We discovered that W.H. Baker, from Independence, Mo was in on the Baker Hoax, and his records may have doctored to show claim to the phony estate.

I will print out the chapter from Ralphs' book, and then his updates. I was given full permission, by Ralph, to publish any or all of his work, as I needed to help others. Please do not add this information where it can be sold.

I will also add the updated pages from Volume #5 & #6 of the Baker Family Newsletter Int. from researcher: Charles R. Clemson, PA. His work was added 1990 as an update to the Merritt Peterson genealogy: The Family of Jacob Baker 1731-1794. Please refer to this work, over Ralphs' older updates that are shown here!

Baker in The USA and Canada

Ralph Shipp knew much of this genealogy was wrong, after the book was published. But I feel this work does have leads that can be followed up, to help many continue research.

I did tell Ralph I thought W.H. Baker may have been used by the phony Baker Heirs' Association, although he was cited in the original court file as being part of the phony association. He died before the trial began...

But the work many are quoting is just not true; due to records being made to fit as many Baker family groups as possible... So use caution, and forget what is out there, and research other avenues, then? The brick walls will fall.

Crystal Jensen

Updates From Ralph D. Shipp:

Ralph D. Shipp Update

3rd Family Record and pages 23-25 for the W.H. Genealogy, in my book, A Baker Family Genealogy, 1980.

I have contracted a Mrs. Arnold Carver, Center Point, Iowa. She is a descendant of Mary Ann Baker a daughter of John Baker and Mary Reed. Following is a quote from her letter.

"My grandmother was a gr.gr.granddaughter of Col. Jacob Baker who was in the Rev. War. He served in the same regiment with his father, joining when he was 12 years old as a drummer. He served in the same regiment thru the entire war and then was given a land grant from the U.S. Govt. which later turned out to be the heart of Philadelphia, PA., which was the Baker Estate.

Col. Jacob Baker was a fur trader. He was born Aug. 25, 1731 he married Mary Breckline or Brett. He had a son John born Jan. 5, 1762 who married Mary Reitt born 1764. They had Mary Ann Baker who married Frederick Nigh. Their son Henry was my grandmothers father and he married Sarah Kennedy. They had 5 children.

I used to write the letters for my grandmother(she married John Reid, both born in Canada, later settled in Toddville, IA. where my dad was born.) These letters were to lawyers in Detroit who were working on the Baker Estate. My Dad and his sisters and brothers sent money to these lawyers and I remember my Dad and Grandmother went to Detroit to a meeting.

That was in 1921 or 22. Then in the late 1920ís the headlines in our paper were BAKERíS ESTATE A HOAX..."

Mrs. Carver sent me the name of Doloris Hill, Jackson, MI. I wrote to Deloris Hill and got the following information:

She sent me the children or Jacob Baker and Mary Breck-Brick Brickline, all names used.

These children were the same as what the W.H. Baker genealogy had except with a few differences in names.

She also sent me the Children of John Baker (son of Jacob Baker) and Mary Reed-Reit-Reitt-all names used.

1.John died infancy
2.Abraham, b.1786 the ancestor of Doloris Hill. in. 1st. Elizabeth Schell; 2nd. Frances Kurtz.
3.Mary Ann, b.1788; d. 1868; m. Fredrick Nigh; Mrs. Carver ancestor.
4.Susan, b.1790 d. 1871; in. Christian Schell
5.Jonathan, b.1792; d.1860; married Elizabeth Caber no children
6.Elizabeth; b.1793; d. 1880; m. Frank Teel
7.Phoebe, b.l796; d.l859; in. Simeon Teel
8.Jacob, b.1800; d.1872; in. Catherine Bennett
9.Michael, b.1804; d.1880; in. Mary Cober; 4 children

Deloris Hill also states in her letter: "John Baker, b.1762; died 1811 and his wife Mary Reed or Reit went to Ontario, Canada, about 1800 along with his widowed mother Nary Breck and with some of his brothers and sisters, settled in Markham Twp. York County, Ontario. This place is a few miles north of Tronto Ontario.

Ihe Bakers that settled in Ontario were mostly of the Dunkard Faith."

Several accounts listed Jacob, b. 1731 as a Drummer in the Revolutionary War, But I have been unable to find such a record.

One document that I have states that Jacob was the son of Capt. Samuel Baker b. 1711, Rev. War Vet. DAR# 756. I looked up the DAR #756. It didnt give any references to any of his children.

(See DAR-record below)

Another source said, Col Henry Baker (son of Samuel) died unmarried in PA. his will bequests his estate to his sister Elizabeth and his two brothers Jaoob (1731-1790) and to Peter. One brother died soon after arrival to America, others settled in Lancaster then to Somerset county, PA.

Jacob and family were issued a Land Warrant Aug. 1, 1780, Milford Twp. Somerset Co., PA.

Jacob was killed in an Indian attack in 1790 and in buried Beam Union Churchyard in Lincoln Twp. Somerset Co, PA. (Note from Ralph: I am not sure about this). Another source said, Jacob was killed on the way to Canada.

(NOTE: 2004... Jacob was NOT killed by Indians or on the way to Canada. See forum for info re: this Jacob Baker. He did not die in 1790....)

My folks did not get involved with the Hoax until 1917, when the heirs had a meeting in Detroit and I believe another meeting in 1918.

I remember my mother attending two meetings but did not contribute any money. My mother said, she heard of the Big Estate when she was a little girl.

(See Baker Hoax Pages that I have online CJ)

DAR Record# 756:

Miss Elizabeth M. Reed 73053 Born in Bethel, Ohio.

Descendant of Isaac Reed and of Jacob Baker. Daughter of Hillis N. Reed (b. 1841) and Anna S. Crouch (1844-1907) his wife, m. 1805.

Granddaughter of William Brown Reed (1810-1860) and Hannah E. Burke (1817≠1900), his wife, m. 1836.

Gr-granddaughter of John Reed (1783-1865) and Mahettable Kinnan (1789≠1874), his wife, married 1808.

Gr.gr-granddaughter of Isaac Reed and Margaret Baker (1763-1850), his wife. married 1782.

Cr-gr-gr.granddaughter of Jacob Baker and Mary Magdalena ___ , his wife, married 1755.

Isaac Reed (1757-1823) was a private in Capt. Cookson Longís Company, 2nd battalion, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania militia under Col. James Potter. In 1777, he signed the Oath of Allegiance. He died in Richmond, Iniana.

Jacob Baker (1731-1790) served as drummer, 1778, in Capt. Robert Mc Curdyís company, 7th battalion, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania militia, commanded by Col. John Boyd. He died in Somerset County, Pa.


I thought that this information was important enough to pass along to those that helped me so much in compiling the Baker Family Genealogy book.

After careful study of this information it appears to me that W.H. Baker placed the names of George W., Bolin, Angeline, and Elizabeth Baker in the Baker Genealogy just to interest the descendants to pay money to the lawyers to have their name added to Baker Estate. And that our Baker's were not the children of John Baker (son of Jacob) and Mary Reed.

This makes me wonder if the wife of William McCollum was Angeline. In all my Kentucky research I have never ran across the name of Angeline.

I did find listed in Madison Co. KY Marriages by Elizabeth Prather Ellsberry: Marriage of Nancy Baker to William McCollum, Sept.22,1799, (Could Angeline and Nancy be the same person,)

I would like your comments on this new information,


Ralph D. Shipp

=== 2004: Ralph sent this letter out to those that bought his book. I had found out that Jacob Bakers' DAR record was based on "flawed info" from the old Baker HOAX, and that the McCullom/McCullum Genealogy also suspect. (Baker Hoax Genealogist, W.H. Baker, from Independence, MO did the Baker genealogy, and one on the Linn Co, MO McCulloms, which several paople used to join various vanity organizations)

One word of warning: A DAR record is NOT solid proof. Especially on those family groups involved in the Baker Hoax.

W.H. Baker Created Baker and McCullum Charts For The Hoax

Baker Genealogy was compiled by W.H. Baker, probably in the 1930ís. This genealogy only gives names and dates, no places. There is no documentation given. Although there is the statement, Names, and dates are those taken from old family Bibles, many family trees, monuments, and wills along with many old documents.

Put on file and recorded, it does not say where it is put on file and recorded. And no record of this has been found.

(NOTE: This genealogy is floating around various libraries, and can be found in many vertical files.

IT IS NOT ACCURATE! W.H. Baker, from MO was in on the Baker Hoax; also one McCollum from Linn Co, MO. W.H. made charts for both the Baker and McCullum/McCollum families to use to claim the phony estate)

This genealogy was created for fleecing USA Bakers to donate to process a phony Baker Estate, Philadelphia PA.

It is thought that this W. H. Baker was a lawyer and that he lived in Independance, MO. (Yes, he did live there, and died before the Baker Hoax Trial, of which 24 people were convicted of fraud due to the Baker Hoax.)

This genealogy states that the name was first Becker who lived in Germany. The first immigrant to America was Jacob Becker born 1709 in Germany. He came in 1727 to the state of PA, where he had his name changed to Baker.

Jacob Baker first married Mary Magalene and second married Mary Brick. A number of children was born, the eldest son being John Baker, b. 5 Jan.1862. He married Mary Reed or Reid. It is said that John Reed was the father of Mary Reed.

The children of John Baker and Mary Reed were: George W., Bolin, Angeline, Elizabeth, and perhaps others.

See PART I, Chap.5, for complete information on this family.

No record of where John Baker and wife Mary Reed were born and married. Also no record of where Johnís children were born. Although a later researcher said that he thought Johnís children were born near the Russell Co., VA, Courthouse. This statement has not been proven.

It seemed that the early Bakers purchased a great deal of land apparently near Philadelphia, PA. This land was passed on within the family without proper Estate procedures. After several generations had owned the land, it was to be sold or otherwise disposed of.

It was found that the new owners could not obtain clear title to the property because proper legal documentations had not been obtained. So an effort was made to try to locate the missing heirs of the Baker Estate so that clear title to the property could be obtained.

So in the early 1930ís some people came to Linn Co.,MO, to locate the heirs of this Baker Estate. They used the Baker Genealogy compiled by W. H. Baker as proof that the descendants of George W. Baker, Bolin Baker, and Angeline (Baker) McCollum were the missing heirs of this Baker Estate. And for a sum of money they would do this research, go to court to put their names in the pot for the great amount of wealth that was to be stowed upon the heirs of the Baker Estate.

So there was a great interest and activity of the people of Linn Co.,MO, to prove their Baker ancestry so that they could share in this large Baker Estate.

These Baker and McCullum families had migrated to Linn Co.,MO, from Clay Co.,KY, in the 1830ís and 40ís. The families were large and much intermarrying was done in each generation until it seemed that most everyone in Linn Co. were related in one way or another. As one person wrote to the compiler, it was a real mess.

It seemed to be nothing but a hoax. Just a way to make some easy money.

A number of the older Bakers and McCollums made affidavits giving their family history the same as was in the W. H. Baker genealogy. But all these old affi≠davits are suspect because they do not give documentary evidence; just what the writer believes and remembers.

The compiler believes that John Baker and Mary Reed may be the parents of our George W. Baker, but he does not believe that John Baker was the son of the German immigrant Jacob (Becker) Baker. He believes that George W.Bakerís ancestry was of English origin, not German.

Chapter 5 of A Baker Family Genealogy

CHAPTER 5 from Ralph's Book: A Baker Family Genealogy and Allied Families Dunn, Gourley, Russell, Published 1980, by Gateway Press, Baltimore, Maryland.

Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 80-68119

205-John Baker, His Ancestry and Descendants

This Ancestry and Descendants of John Baker and Mary Reed (Reid) was taken from a Baker Genealogy, compiled by W. H. Baker.

W. H. Baker states at the beginning of this genealogy that names and dates are those taken from old family Bibles, many family trees, monuments, and wills along with many old documents. These are put on file and recorded. Note: No one has ever found where this has been filed and recorded.

JACOB BAKER, b. 1450; m. Abigail _____ Issue: Simon, Abigail, Azra, Nathinal, Peter, John, RICHARD

RICHARD BAKER, b. 1478; m. Rebecca _____ Issue: Richard, Joseph, Jacob, Hannah, Martha, JOHN

JOHN BAKER, b. 1510; m. Clemintine _____ Issue: Felix, Anna, Simon, John, JACOB, Martin.

JACOB BAKER, b. 1540; m. Mary Collins Issue: Richard, Charles, Sarah, Thomas, Catherine, Martain, Jenneth, PETER, George, Jacob.

PETER BAKER, b. 1570 Issue: GEORGE.


GEORGE PETER BAKER, b. 1657; d. 1735 (lived and died in Germany); m. Christian Dillion, d. 1731. Issue: Henry, John, Joseph, Bastian, Gertrant, JACOB, Peter, Elizabeth, George, Rachel, William

JACOB BAKER, b. 1709 Issue: JACOB

JACOB BAKER (BECKER), b. 1731, Struttsburg, Germany; m. 1st. Mary Magalene; m. 2nd. Mary Brick.

Jacob had his name changed from Becker to Baker in Pennsylvania when he immigrated to America.

He was a brother of Colonel Henry Baker, who invested in Philadelphia, New York City, and New York State real estate.

Issue: BAKER

1.Catherine, b. lO Aug. 1759; m. George Poceler

2. (205) JOHN, b. 5 Jan. 1762; m. Mary Reed or Reid

3.Margaret, b. l5 Jan. 1764; m. Isaac Reed

4.Benjamin, b. 7 Dec.1765; m. Sarah Morningstar

5.Michael, b. 9 Jan.1768; m. Margaret Bocher

6.Jacob, b. 3 Dec.1770; m. Mary Loar

7.George Henry, b. l2 May l772; m. Mary Walker

8.Johnathon, b. 29 Mar. 1774

9.Elizabeth, b. Mar.1776; m. John Shaffer

10.Mary Ann, b. 25 Dec. 1777; married John Morningstar

11.Joseph, b. 1779; m. Catherine Niswonger

12.Samuel, b. lO Oct. 1783

13.Emanuel, b. l3 Jan. 1788; m. Miss Horner


Descendants of 205-John Baker and Mary Reed (Reid)

ISSUE: BAKER 3rd. Gen.

This list as given by W.H. Bakerís Genealogy:

1.George W., b. 29 Mar. 1778; m. Esther Robertson

2.Bolin, b. l6 Apr. 1784; m. Elizabeth Bunch

3.Angeline, m. John C. McCollum


5. Abey or Elizabeth, born 1805; d. 1859; married Stokley Bunch

Other children given by another researcher:

6.Abraham 7.Mary Ann 8.Susan 9.Johnathan 10.Phobe 11.Margaret

12.Michael, b. l6 Apr. 1809/1810; d. 24 Jan.1894, Morgan Co.,IN; m. Lydia, b. 3O Dec. 1813, Morgan Co.,IN; d. 2l Sept. 1891

The compiler is not sure that John Baker and Mary Reed are the parents of George W. Baker who married Esther Robertson and Bolin Baker who married Elizabeth Bunch.

There is a lack of documentary proof. However, there are many facts which make the compiler believe that it may be true.

It has been assumed by the Baker families for over 100 years that George W. and Bolin were brothers. The Linn Co.,M0, history of 1882 gives reference to George W. Baker and Bolin Baker as being brothers.

Blithe Baker, a grandson of Bolin, wrote his family history from memory in 1912. He says, "Great grand≠fatherís name was John Jacob Baker."

See PART III-Descendants of Bolin Baker and Elizabeth Bunch

There are a number of Baker and McCollum family affidavits made during the missing heirs of the Baker estate hoax.

These affidavits gave the parents of George W. Baker as John Baker and Mary Reed. But they gave no documentary evidence. Just that the writer believed the facts to be true.

The compiler believes that John Baker, who married Mary Reed, was not a descendant of the Jacob (Becker) Baker and Mary Brick, as stated in the W. H. Baker Genealogy.

He believes that this John Baker was related to the other Baker families that were living in Wilkes Co., NC, and that John Baker was of English descent and not German.


A History of Vaughan Township: Two Centuries of Life in the Township by George Elmore Reaman, Vaughan Township Historical Society (1971) 8vo xiv+346 pp. Illus from photos and line drawings.

Mr. Reaman wrote many articles and several books on this region of Canada. The Vaughan Twp Hist. Society has some of his work on file.

Note: Niagara Falls, Canada was where the Canadian Baker Hoax centered...

Baker Family: Two Century Farms

In 1800 Jacob and Mary (Breck) Baker, with eight children and sixteen grandchildren, left Somerset Co, PA to join the migration from that country to Canada.

Jacob became lost along the way and it was feared he was taken by the Indians. His widow, and the family waited for two years at Black creek, not far from Niagara Falls. Then, in 1802, the widow and six of her children and some of the grandchildren came to York County.

In 1816 one of the grandchildren, Jonathon, (1792-1860) bought lot number 11, Concession 2. He married Elizabeth, the daughter of Nicholas Cober. He cleared the land, built a log barn in 1822 which is still in use, and a log house, replacing it with the present brick house in 1853. Jonathon died in 1860, having no children.

The farm was carried on by his nephew, Johnathon Baker Jr., and his son Jesse, his grandson Amos, and great-grandson Paul Baker. There is still 100 acres of hardwood bush on this Century Farm.

Jesse's son Isaac, built a leather shop on the farm which has served the community since 1930. Before that Isaac did harness and repair work in the home workshop.

The West part of Lot 13, Concession 2, has also been continuously family owned since 1829. Another of the grandchildren from Pennsylvania, Jonathons' brother, Michael, and his wife, Mary, another daughter of Nicholas Cober, farmed there.

Then it was farmed by their son, Jonathon, and then by Michaels' daughter, Eve and her husband, Ben Brillinger. It has since been owned by Jonathon's son, George, and his son, John A. Baker.

The buildings were put up at the east end of the farm, because a given road used to go through this block.

The house is of log, built in 1829. In 1910 the buildings were moved forward, close to Dufferin Street. The City of Toronto has plans to construct a large water reservoir on this Century Farm.

There have been a numbr of other Baker farms, among them Lot 9, Consession 3; and Lot 14, Concession 3.

On the page of this publication is a picture of a conestoga wagon, one of 2 that is preserved in Ontario. This wagon said to be the one that carried Jacob Baker and his wife, 8 children, and 16 grandchildren, from Somerset Co PA to Vaughan Twp, Canada.

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