John H Baker
In 1635 Alexander Baker, a ropemaker and Puritan member of the Church of England, emigrated to Massachusetts Colony with his wife, Elizabeth, two daughters, and a few of his employees. Alexander’s father was barber surgeon to King James, and he wrote or translated many medical works. Alexander’s grandfather served as barber surgeon for Queen Elizabeth. Indeed, Alexander’s lineage can reliably be traced back to Thomas Baker, a cloth producer and politician from 15th century Kent who bought and lived in Sissinghurst Castle (above) in Cranbrook, Kent.
Alexander’s son, Joshua, left Boston and became an early landowner in the New London/Groton area of Connecticut on both sides of what today is known as Baker Cove. Two hundred years later, the Baker family lived there still. John H Baker, a mariner who served as ship’s carpenter, was born there. Although in later years he listed his birth year as 1823, it is possibly that he was born in 1831 and grew up in Groton, by the port of New London County, Connecticut into a mariner family: his father, Humphrey, was also a ship’s carpenter. John was on ship’s that sailed out of New London in 1850 and 1860, but his whereabouts between then and 1869 are a mystery.