Biography of the Baird Family
Orange County, NY Biographies





THE BAIRD FAMILY. - Among the earliest settlers of the town if Warwick there came Francis Baird, prior to 1766. He was of Scotch or Scotch-Irish ancestry, and according to a tradition of the family he, or his father before him, sailed from Bally Castle, County Antrim; in the north of Ireland. This was a shipping port in that early date, and is just across from Scotland. A recent writer has said: "Francis Baird (never Beard) may have been Irish by nativity, but not by ancestry. The Bairds of Avondale were an ancient and powerful Berg Scots clan, and as long ago as the wild days of the struggles between Robert Bruce and John Baliol for the Scottish crown (1309), gave brave account of themselves on the side of the Lord of Lorne against the finally victorious Bruce. The name, originally (Norman-French) Bayard, was shortened into Baird by neighbors after the family passed into Scotland from France at a very early date. Francis was an offshoot and clansman of this stock."

He built the stone house on Main street in 1766.

Mr. Baird was a man of intelligence and comparative wealth. He was a signer of the non-importation pledge of 1775, and lived and died in Warwick in warm esteem.

He died in the latter part of 1799 or the first part of 1800, and left a will disposing of his property. His children were William Eagles, Samuel, John, Abia Francis, Anna and Margaret (wife of Joseph Walling).

The last named are the ancestors of the Walling family in this town.

William Eagles Baird married Sarah De Kay, a daughter of Thomas De Kay, and from this marriage were the following: Nathaniel Wheeler, Abia Francis, Fanny (married Blain), Mary (or Polly, married Thomas Hathorn Burt), Jane, Sally (married Nathaniel Pelton), Christine (married David Barclay).

The descendants of Nathaniel Wheeler Baird, who married Abigail Denton, reside principally in this town. They are: John Baird (married Mary De Kay), Julia (married Thomas E. De Kay), Samuel Denton (married Sarah Parks), Mary (married Ogden Howell), -Frances Amelia (married George W. Sanford, 1847), Sarah (married Thomas J. Taylor), William Henry (married Mary), Charles Roe (married Anna M. Jayne).

In 1819, William Eagles Baird, oldest son of Francis, built the stone house between Warwick and New Milford, which is still in excellent preservation and is owned by a descendant, William Parks Baird, a son of Samuel Denton Baird, deceased, who resides there with his mother, Sarah. The other descendants of Samuel D., who were also born here, are Samuel D., Jr., Nathaniel Wheeler, Susan (married Pierre Demerest), Fred J. and George M.

From:
The History of Orange County New York
Edited by: Russel Headley
Van Deusen and Elms, Publishers
Middletown, N. Y. 1908


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