Margaret Jane Baker Stringfellow

I am trying to find the parents of my fifth great-grandmother, Margaret Jane Baker (wife of Robert Stringfellow). Little is known about her. In this post, I will analyze records and family trees I’ve found on the internet.

RECORDS RESEARCH – TIMELINE

1770 – Margaret is born around this year in North Carolina, according to the 1850 Davidson County, Tennessee census.

1811 – Robert Stringfellow, Captain 19th Regiment, commissioned August 22, 1811 (Source: Pioneers of Davidson County book on Ancestry)

1812 – 1814 – Robert Stringfellow is listed as a juror in the County Court Minutes, page 1880. (Source: Nashville Archives)

1825, July 4 – Guardianship index records list Jeremiah Baxter as the guardian of Mary, Nancy and Hiram Stringfellow. They are the younger children of Robert and Margaret. (Source: Nashville Archives)

1827, May 14 – Land register for Hiram Stringfellow, entry 643. Hiram and Richard are sons of Margaret. Margaret lives on the land Hiram now owns. Full text below.

Hiram Stringfellow for & in consideration of the sum of twenty five cents paid into the Entry Takers Office. Enters Twenty five acres of land in Davidson County on the south side of Big Harpeth on Leatherwood Creek beginning on Richard Stringfellows north east corner of a fifty acre tract, his mill tract. Running south and east to as to include the vacant land lying between Richard Stringfellows two tracts and to include the house where Margaret Stringfellow now lives. (Source: Tennessee, Early Land Registers)

1840 – Census – Margaret is likely living in the home of her son, Robert. There is a female age 70 – 79.

Name Robert H Stringfellow
Home in 1840 (City, County, State) Davidson, Tennessee
Free White Persons – Males – 5 thru 9 1
Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 14 1
Free White Persons – Males – 15 thru 19 2
Free White Persons – Males – 20 thru 29 1
Free White Persons – Males – 50 thru 59 1
Free White Persons – Females – 5 thru 9 1
Free White Persons – Females – 40 thru 49 1
Free White Persons – Females – 70 thru 79 1
Slaves – Males – Under 10 2
Slaves – Females – 24 thru 35 1
Persons Employed in Agriculture 12
Free White Persons – Under 20 5
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49 2
Total Free White Persons 9
Total Slaves 3
Total All Persons – Free White, Free Colored, Slaves 12

1850 – Census – Margaret is living alone.

Name Margaret Stringfellow
Age 80
Birth Year abt 1770
Birthplace North Carolina
Home in 1850 Davidson, Tennessee, USA
Gender Female
Family Number 817

WHO WAS JEREMIAH BAXTER?

Jeremiah Baxter was the appointed guardian of Mary, Nancy, and Hiram Stringfellow in the year 1825. Their father, Robert, had passed away, but their mother, Margaret, was still alive. An appointed guardian could help manage the money inherited by children until they were a certain age. Guardians can be family members, so I did some research on Jeremiah.

  • In 1811, he was on the Davidson County, Tennessee tax list. Two names away was Robert Stringfellow. We are able to establish that Jeremiah was a neighbor of the Stringfellows. The neighbor in between Robert & Jeremiah was William Harper. Through land deeds, I have established that William Harper lived on Leatherwood Creek in what is now Cheatham County, Tennessee.
  • In 1812, he was on the Davidson County, Tennessee tax list. He owned 266 acres and six slaves.
  • On the Davidson County, Tennessee 1820 census, Jeremiah Baxter is listed as being between the ages of 26 and 44. That is a large time span, giving him a possible birth year of 1776 – 1794.  He owned 10 slaves. There are no Stringfellows living close by.
  • In 1831, there is a Jeremiah Baxter living in Dickson County, Tennessee on the tax list. This could be the same man.
  • Jeremiah was the father of Judge Nathaniel Baxter. Source: History of Davidson County, Tennessee. — Read more about him here. Thanks, Google!
  • I conclude that Jeremiah was a wealthy man, who was a previous neighbor and friend of the Stringfellow family. He was a good candidate for guardian of the Stringfellow children. More research is needed, but I can’t rule out that he is also related.

FAMILY TREE RESEARCH

***It is important to note that none of these facts below have any sources cited that I’ve been able to find. 

Born February 22, 1771 in Kentucky or North Carolina
Parents were James Baker and Luscinda of Laurel County, Kentucky
Married Robert Stringfellow on March 3, 1789 in North Carolina or Davidson County, Tennessee
Some of her children claim to be born in South Carolina
Died February 23, 1858

DNA TESTING

My mother, my first cousin, and I have all taken Ancestry DNA tests. This CAN come in useful for finding unknown family branches, but here it is tricky since we are searching for a family so many generations back. My mother is Margaret’s fourth great-granddaughter, any cousins from this branch would be fifth cousins. That is too distant to find much info using DNA alone.


CONCLUSIONS

  • I don’t even know if Margaret’s name was Margaret Jane Baker! Where did the “Jane” and “Baker” names come from? I haven’t seen any sources.
  • I can’t find the marriage record for Margaret and Robert, even with the date listed on family trees I’ve found. I checked Davidson County, Tennessee records and the marriage is not recorded there.
  • I wonder if the birth/marriage/death dates came from an old Bible record? This seems most plausible, however, everyone has shared it with no sources so I haven’t been able to locate the original source.
  • Where was Margaret living after Robert died? I would like to find her on the 1820 and 1830 census.
  • It is very shaky to add James Baker and Luscinda as parents of Margaret. No connection has been proven.

If you are a Stringfellow or Baker descendant, I would love to hear from you! Please email me at downhomegenealogy@gmail.com.

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