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Baker, Hill, & related families in Cherokee Co AL
Keeler Cousins - Genealogy and Photo Album

I was intrigued by the nest of related families found in Cherokee Co AL land and census records, and so gathered some information to post here in hopes it may help others researching these surnames. I have more information on some of these families.


The names below are all found on 5 pages of "The Original Land Entries of Cherokee Co AL", published in Cherokee Co Heritage Vol IV, No. 3, July 1975 and Vol. V, No. 2, April 1976, copies sent to me by Mary Helen Walker, a descendant of Thomas Baker. Most of these people have connections by blood or marriage to the families of James BAKER and Mary HILL of Sevier Co TN.

Mary Hill, b. abt 1765 VA, d. abt 1845 Sevier Co TN, was the daughter of Joseph Hill, b. 1735 VA (prob Orange Co, parent co of old Frederick Co VA); d. 01 Feb 1807 Jefferson Co TN. She married in Staunton, Augusta Co VA, 28 Sept 1785, James Baker, b. abt 1759 VA; d. 1839 Sevier Co TN; his parentage is unproven at this time, though there has been much effort made to connect him to the Samuel Baker family in Hampshire/Hardy Co VA (now WV).

Names are arranged by order of appearance on the 1850 census of Cherokee Co AL:

1. JAMES DAVIS, born abt 1807 Jefferson Co TN; died after 1880 and bef. 25 Mar 1887 in Cherokee Co AL - son of Sarah HILL, (sister of Mary Hill Baker), and her first husband Thomas DAVIS. James married Malinda "Linda" LEWIS, born 1813 TN; died 14 Mar 1887 in Cherokee Co AL . His sister Jane married Jesse TAFF, and his sister Elizabeth "Betsy" married John C. HENDERSON. Believe Malinda was somehow related to the family of George Lewis and Deborah SPANGLER of Jefferson Co TN, but the connection has not yet been found.

Land entries for James Davis, Cherokee Co AL Tract Book, pg 101 - Section 17, Twshp 8 South, Rng 10 east - Nov 26 1844, # 8294, adjacent to Joseph Hill, Elijah Baker and Chrisman Lewis; Dec 11 1849, # 11429, adjacent to Elijah Baker, Chrisman Lewis and William E. Sparks.

1850 Cherokee Co Census,District 26, pg 2, Household # 29 -

James Davis, 43 M Farmer Tenn

Malinda, 37 F Tenn

Martha A., 17 F Tenn

John C., 15 M Farmer Tenn

Margaret, 12 F Tenn

Thomas L., 10 M Tenn

Jonathan N., 7 M Tenn


2. JOSIAH LEATH born 08 Jan 1810 Jefferson Co TN; d. 24 Apr 1893 Blanche, Cherokee Co AL. He married 07 Jan 1830 in Jefferson Co TN, Jane HILL, born 04 June 1812 Jefferson Co TN; d. abt 1856 Cherokee Co AL, daughter of John Hill and Margaret "Peggy" DOBKINS ( var. sp. DOBBINS). John Hill was a son of Joseph Hill SR, and the brother of Mary Hill Baker; Peggy was  probably the daughter of Reuben Dobkins and Elizabeth HOLEMAN. Reuben's father, Capt. John DOBIKIN/DOBKINS, witnessed the will of William Hill in 1748 Augusta Co VA. (see HILL page). Josiah and Jane migrated to Cherokee Co AL abt 1833. They had 9 children. Josiah remarried twice more and had at least 11 more children.  (some information from "The Leath ( Leeth/Leith) Family History, Vol I The Descendants of James Leath of the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, Down Through the Eighth Generation" by Leslie R. Waltman and Andrew L. Leath, 1995)

Original Land Entries for Josiah Leath in Cherokee Co AL - Section 18, Twsp 8 South, Rng 10 East, tract book page 101 - April 8, 1843, # 7069 ( two tracts), adjoining Griffith Black, Patrick B. Elliott and Wiley B. Taff; Jan 15, 1844, # 7820, adjoining entries for Patrick B. Elliott and Elijah Baker.

1850 census Cherokee Co AL, District 26, pg 3, Household # 33

Josiah Leath, 40 M Clergyman Tenn

Jane, 38 F Tenn

Abigail C., 19 F Tenn

Nancy C.,17 F Tenn

James H.,13 M Ala

Hetty L., 10 F Ala

John A.,7 M Ala

Mary I., 4 F Ala

George B., 1 M Ala


3. WILEY B. TAFF, born 28 Feb 1806 Jefferson Co TN; d. ? Cherokee Co AL - son of George W. Taff and Sarah WILEY. Wileys wife was Eliza Ann ____. There are many connections between George W. Taff's family and the Hill/Baker families: James Taff was married to Hannah HILL, youngest daughter of Joseph Hill Sr, and the sister of Mary Hill Baker; Elizabeth Taff was the first wife of James Gilbert Baker, a son of James Baker/Mary Hill; and Jesse Taff was married to Jane DAVIS, daughter of Thomas Davis and Sarah Hill.

Original Land Entries for Wiley B. Taff, Cherokee Co AL tract book pg 101 - Section 18, Twsp 8 South, Rng 10 East - May 7 1842, # 5893 (two tracts), adjoining Griffith Black and Josiah Leath, and other entries for himself; Dec 10, 1846, #9297, adjoining Elijah Baker, and other entries of his own; Jan 3, 1848 # 10244 and 10245, adjoining Elijah Baker, Patrick B. Elliott and Josiah Leath; Jan 18 1851, # 12922, between other entries for himself.

1850 Census Cherokee Co AL, District 26, pg 3, Household # 34

Wiley B. Taff, age 44, Farmer, born Tenn

Eliza Ann, age 39, born Tenn

Mary L,age 12, born Ala

Sarah C.,age 10, born Ala

Mahala Ann, age 7, born Ala

George M., age 1, born Ala


4. THOMAS BAKER- born 26 Dec 1793 Jefferson Co TN; died 05 June 1872 Cherokee Co AL, son of James Baker and Mary HILL. He married 09 April 1818 in Jefferson Co TN, (1) Nancy COWAN, born abt 1799 TN; died 08 May 1833 in Jefferson Co TN. He married 23 June 1835, probably in Jefferson Co TN, (2) Sarah Dorothy "Sary Dorthy" RUNNELS/REYNOLDS, daughter of Stephen. Sarah died 19 Jan 1863 in Cherokee Co AL. Thomas married (3) Sarah "Sarey" ALLEN on 11 June 1864 in Cherokee Co AL.

Land Entry for Thomas Baker in Cherokee Co AL Jan 1, 1845, # 8356, Section 30 of Twshp 7 South, Rng 10 East, adjacent to entries for Daniel K. Rawlings (1843) and Jonathan Mashan (1854). Other names on this page include Thomas M. King (1853), George W. Baker ( 1881), Nathan S. Rawlings ( 1845) and James A. Hill (1891).

Land Entry for James C. Baker (1830-1858), Thomas's son -Dec 5, 1855, # 17198, Section 31, Twshp 7 South, Rng 10 East. Entries either side of James are blank. Other names on this page include Thomas M. King (1853), Lemuel J. Standifer (1852), Thomas B. Davis (1854) and Samuel J. Davis (1908).

James died in 1858 at age 27.

1850 Census Cherokee Co AL, District 26, pg 3, Household # 40

Thomas Baker, 56 M Lawyer Tenn

Sarah, 53 F Tenn

James C., 19 M Farmer Tenn

William M., 18 M Farmer Tenn

Elizabeth Hill, 33 F Tenn

Freeling-Hison (Hill), 3 mos, M ALA

Additional notes: Elizabeth Hill believed to be Thomas's first cousin, the daughter of John Hill and Margaret "Peggy" Dobkins. Elizabeth Hill is listed in the Thomas Baker family Bible as born May 1, 1815; died June 19, 1868 ( which would actually make her 35 in 1850). John Hill's daughter, who was the twin of Reuben (d. 1835), had the same birthdate, and there's no concrete information so far that rules her out as being the Elizabeth in Thomas's household. Freeling Hison Hill's birthdate is given in the Bible as Mar 7 1850. Listed as "Freeland" on 1860 census. The Bible also records a child "Lewisia Hill" as born Oct 5 1840 ( sp"Louisa" on census). Both of these children may have been Elizabeth's (though possibly illegimate); there are no other Hill names in the Bible connected to them. Louisa married John M. DAVIS and they are both in Thomas's household in 1860; I don't know where she was in 1850, as she is not included on the census for Thomas's household.

5. JOSEPH HILL, b. abt 1816 TN; - His land entries neighbor those of James Davis, Elijah Baker and Chrisman Lewis, and he is on census in 1850 Cherokee Co AL. Believe this may be the Joseph Hill that was the son of James Hill and Margaret Cowan. Anyone with more information, please contact me.

Land Entries for Joseph Hill- Cherokee Co AL tract bk pg 101 -Section 17, Twshp 8 South, Rng 10 East - Jan 25 1844, # 7834, adjacent to James Davis, Chrisman Lewis and Elijah Baker, also Isaac W. Faulkner (from KY, no connection known); Nov 3, 1845, #8483, adjacent to Isaac W. Faulkner and Elijah Baker.

1850 Census Cherokee Co AL,District 26, pg 54, Household #739

Joseph Hill, 34 M Farmer Tenn

Charlotta, 30 F SC

James A., 7 M Ala

William C., 5 M Ala

Jonathan M., 3 M Ala

Martha J., 1 mo. F Ala


6. CHRISMAN ANDERSON LEWIS, born 30 July 1812 Jefferson Co TN; died 21 Apr 1888 Cherokee Co AL - Son of Gabriel Lewis and Deborah SPANGLER. He married 18 July 1839 in Jefferson Co TN, Ann "Annie" WEBB, born 12 Nov 1814 Jefferson Co TN, died 15 July 1896, Cherokee Co AL, daughter of Thomas Webb and Nellie MCMURTRY. Chrisman's brother Andrew Jackson "A.J." Lewis was married to Elizabeth BAKER, daughter of Martin Caswell Baker and Elizabeth WEBB. Annie Webb was a double cousin to Elizabeth Webb; Martin was a son of James Baker/Mary Hill.

Land Entry for Chrisman Lewis- Cherokee Co AL, Tract Book, pg 101 Section 17, Twsp 8 South, Rng 10 East - Dec 11, 1849 # 11430, adjoining entries for James Davis, Joseph Hill, and Elijah Baker.

1850 Census Cherokee Co AL, District 26, pg 56, Household #764

Chrisman Lewis, 37 M Blacksmith Tenn

Ann, 35, F Tenn

Abigail, 10, F Tenn

Anderson, 9, M Tenn

Sarah, 7, F Tenn

Margarett, 6, F Ala

Lonny ? T., 3, M Ala

George, 8? mos, M Ala


7. ELIJAH BAKER, b. abt 1810/11 TN, d. bef 1870 Wood Co TX. Elijah's proximity to the connected families in Cherokee Co AL is indicative of a relationship to James Baker/Mary Hill and he was thought to have been a son of George Baker and Margaret Miller and therefore James Baker's grandson. BUT new information from DNA testing of descendants of both James and George is that George Baker was NOT related to James Baker at all. So this leaves us with the puzzle of who was Elijah Baker ? Was he related to James ? Or perhaps he really was related to George and just knew the James Baker/Mary Hill family and made the migration to Alabama with them ?  Information (from Jim Baker and other sources) regarding George's son Elijah is that he was born abt 1810/11 in Jefferson Co TN and married on 18 Dec 1830 in Jefferson Co TN, Mary HENDERSON. (Marriage Bk. of Jefferson Co.,TN #2312). ( there are also Henderson marriages to  other HILL & DAVIS kin; this is a family I am looking into for more information).  A male descendant of Elijah's willing to be tested would go a long way toward solving this mystery. In the meantime I am leaving the information on Elijah on this page.

In the 1850 census for Cherokee Co AL, pg 57, Elijah Baker is 39 yrs old, with wife Mary, and his household immediately precedes that of Joseph Baker, whom I believe was the son of James Baker/Mary Hill. Elijah and Mary migrated to Wood Co TX before the 1860 census and he died before 1870. There is a possibility that Elijah's first name was James.

Land Entries for Elijah Baker - Cherokee Co AL Tract Book ppg 101,102 - Twsp 8 South, Rng 10 East - Section 17 Jan 31 1848 # 10384, adjoining entries for James Davis, Joseph Hill, Chrisman Lewis. Also borders entries for Isaac W. Faulker and Wm. E. Sparks. Adjoining the previous entry at the SW corner and immediately south of Chrisman Lewis is another tract with no # "To State Aug 11 1848, then to Elijah Baker"; Section 18 Feb 4, 1848 # 10403, adjoining Wiley B. Taff; Feb 27, 1849 # 11022 adjoining Patrick B. Elliot and Wiley B. Taff; Feb 27 1851 # 5978 Mil. Act 1847, adjoins entry for Wiley B. Taff; Section 19 Nov 6, 1849, # 11294, adjoining at the sw corner Joseph H. Baker.

1850 Census Cherokee Co AL, District 26, pg 57, Household # 774

Elijah Baker, 39 M Farmer Tenn

Mary, 37, F Tenn

Thomas H, 18 Farmer Tenn

Rachel, 16, F Tenn

John C, 14, M Tenn

Elizabeth, 12 F Ala

George C, 9 M Ala

Amanda, 6 F Ala

Joseph P, 3 M Ala

[ additional notes: Mary is a widow in the 1870 and 1880 censuses in Wood Co TX. Rachel Baker m. Oliver Wesley SHOEMAKER 1853 in Cherokee Co AL; John C. Baker never married, reservist Co. 9, 12th Brigade in the Civil War; George C. Baker married 1) Nancy _____, and 2) Cornelia SMART; also on roster for Co. 9, 12th Brigade Reserves Wood Co TX in Civil War; Elizabeth Baker m. John Marshall ROBERTS 13 Sept 1860 Wood Co TX; Amanda and Joseph Powell Baker both died young; the eldest son Thomas H., doesn't appear to have migrated with the family to Texas; he may have stayed in AL, but I have not located him so far.]


8. JOSEPH BAKER- born abt 1800-1802 Jefferson Co TN ( age 50 in the 1850 census, but only 58 in 1860, gives b.d. as 1801 in 1880) ; Joseph's household in the 1850 Census for Cherokee Co AL immediately follows the household of Elijah Baker. I am convinced this man was the son of James Baker/Mary Hill, and my conclusion is supported by the connections to his neighbors in Cherokee Co, including Griffith Black, who was his neighbor in 1830 Sevier Co TN, also. I do not yet have the info for the 1840 census in Cherokee Co, but I believe Joseph left Sevier Co for Alabama before 1838.

In data posted to Genforum in 1999,  Bruce Baker states that James's son Joseph was the same man as found in the 1840 and 1850 censuses for Jefferson Co TN and that he married Sabilla ____. The only Joseph Baker in the 1840 census in Jefferson county was abt 10 yrs younger than the one in the 1830 census of Sevier County. This Joseph Baker, age 20-30, found in the 1840 census for Jefferson Co was the son of George Baker and Margaret Miller; he is also on the 1850 census for that county with wife Edah (Ailey) and children. The other Joseph Baker in the 1850 census for Jefferson Co is age 45, born NC, wife "Sally", which is a logical nickname for Sabilla or Savilla (her maiden name was HISLEY). This Joseph Baker is buried in the family plot of Isaac Baker in Beth-Car Cemetery Jefferson Co TN. ( information from Jim Baker). There is no known relationship of Isaac Baker to James Baker, therefore its very unlikely that this man was James's son.

Land Entry Cherokee Co AL- Tract Book, pg 102 - Joseph H. Baker - Section 19 of Twsp 8 South, Rng 10 East, Jan 17, 1851 # 12911, adjoining entries in the 1840s & 50s for Elijah Baker, Griffith Black, John T. Culpepper, Solomon C. Smith (entries for Solomon Smith, Assignee, dated April 8 1843 # 7111; four tracts ajoining Joseph Baker and Griffith Black. Solomon Smith is not on the 1840 or 1850 census index in Cherokee Co, AL and so far I have not been able to find more information on him.

1850 Census Cherokee Co AL,District 26, pg 57, Household # 775

Joseph Baker, 50 M Farmer Tenn

Elizabeth, 50 F Tenn

Charles, 21 M Tenn

Jane, 20 F Tenn

George, 12 M Ala

Samuel, 10 M Ala

Household # 776

William Baker, 24 M Farmer Tenn

Elizabeth, 22 F Tenn

[additional notes: Joseph Baker, age 79, b. 1801 TN, both parents born in VA, is found on the 1880 census for Twshp 7 Cherokee Co AL, pg 260C. In his household are Sarah J. Baker, listed as daughter, but possibly a daughter-in-law, age 40 born TN, both parents born TN; and George P. Baker, age 20, born AL, listed as grandson, father born TN, mother AL. Next door is George Baker, age 34, b. 1846 AL, wife Amanda A., 32, children Amanda, age 7, and Birter (maybe Birtie/Bertie/Bertha?), age 5. Believe this George was probably also a grandson of Joseph. Need more information.]


9. GRIFFITH BLACK - married Clerrissa (Clarissa?) BIRD, perhaps related to Jacob Bird, who was a neighbor to Griffith Black and the Baker households in Sevier Co TN in 1830. "Griffie" Black lived on Flat Creek and was an immediate neighbor of Joseph Baker and James Baker (household included James Baker/Mary Hill and James Gilbert Baker/Elizabeth Taff) in the 1830 Sevier Co TN census, and he is still Joseph's neighbor in Cherokee Co AL on the 1850 census.

In the 1830 census for Jefferson Co TN, Robert BLACK, age 50-60, is in the household next to that of Thomas Baker, Joseph's brother. Robert's wife was Nancy COCHRAN and their daughter Elizabeth Black was married to James HILL, brother of Mary Hill Baker, as his second wife. A relationship to Griffith Black is suspected but unproven at this time.

Original Land Entries for Griffith Black Cherokee Co AL, tract book ppg 101-102 -Twshp 8 South, Rng 10 East - Section 18- May 25, 1844, # 8041 (two tracts) adjoining entries made for Josiah Leath and Wiley B. Taff in the 1840s, as well an entry for Nancy E. Partlow dated in the 1890s; Section 19 - May 31, 1847, # 9672, adjoins entries for Solomon C. Smith, Joseph H. Baker, John T.(Tyler) Culpepper, John P. Culpepper ( the Culpeppers were from SC, and came to Cherokee Co via McMinn Co Tennessee; John Tyler's wife was named Melvina Baker, but she is listed as born (abt 1813/14) in VA in all census records found for her, so there is probably no relationship to our Baker family.)

1850 Census Cherokee Co AL, District 26, Pg 58, Household #777

Griffith Black, 45 M Farmer Tenn

Clerrissa, 44, F Tenn (handwritten "Clerrifsa", style of the first s written like an f)

William C., 21 M Stoan (sic) Mason Tenn

John, 16 M Tenn

George H, 15 M Ala

Mary, 13 F Ala

Susan, 11 F Ala

Frances M, 9 M Ala

Simon, 7 M Ala

Daniel, 5 M Ala

Elijah, 1 M Ala

Enoch, 1 M Ala

(additional note: Clarissa "Clearicy" died 09 Mar 1883 and Griffith died 22 Dec 1888 in Howell Co MO. )


10. PATRICK B. ELLIOTT, born 1804 TN - married in Jefferson Co TN on 12 Jan 1834, Mahala COWAN. His wife Mahala may have been related to Nancy Cowan that married Thomas Baker, a son of James Baker/Mary Hill, and/or to Margaret Cowan, the first wife of James Hill, son of Joseph Hill SR. Margaret was the daughter or John Cowan and Leah LEWIS.  Research has not located Nancy's family so far, and this could be a lead on that. Although I do not have information on Patrick's family at this time, there was a William Elliott who married Mariam Leath, an aunt of Josiah Leath, and therefore believe it likely that Patrick and William were somehow related, although William had no known son by that name. There was a George Elliott on the 1830 census in Jefferson Co TN living close to some of the connected families. Will continue to research this.

Original Land Entries Cherokee Co AL, tract bk page 101 -Section 18, Twshp 8 South, Rng 10 East - Jan 31 1849, # 10967, adjacent to entries for Josiah Leath, Elijah Baker; Feb 1 1849, # 10970, adjacent to entries for Josiah Leath, Elijah Baker and Wiley B. Taff.

1850 Census Cherokee Co AL, District 26, pg 60, Household #822

P.B. Elliott, 46 M Farmer 1500 Tenn

Mahala, 41 F Tenn

Minerva J., 14 F Tenn

John, 12 M Tenn

Joseph, 11 M Tenn

George, 10 M Ala

Samuel, 9 M Ala

Theodrick, 6 M Ala

Marthulus? A., 3 M Ala

Patrick S, 1 M Ala