Nielsen Hayden genealogy

Robert Ewing

Male Abt 1753 - Bef 1810  (~ 56 years)

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Generation: 1

  1. 1.  Robert Ewing was born about 1753 (son of Charles Ewing and Martha Baker); died before 1810.


    "There is no known marriage or children. In 1774 he served in the Bedford County Militia under Captain Buford. He is not mentioned in his brother William's will of 1810, so he is presumed to have predeceased him." [Alicia Towston, citation details below]

Generation: 2

  1. 2.  Charles Ewing was born about 1715 in Ulster, Ireland; died between 31 May 1770 and 24 Jul 1770 in Bedford County, Virginia.


    He is said to have been born in Coleraine, Londonderry, Northern Ireland. He was related in some way to Robert Ewing (~1718-1787), with whom he came to Virginia. Charles and Robert are recorded as having called one another "brother", which has led many to believe that they shared the same parents, but in fact what we actually know is that they were brothers-in-law, their wives (Robert's wife Mary Baker and Charles's wife Martha Baker) being sisters to one another. The earliest written account of their coming to America (set down shortly before his death by Nathaniel Ewing, 1772-1846, of Mount Clair, Knox, Indiana, and first published in the Louisville Courier-Journal on 28 Feb 1897) calls them only "two young men, cousins of my grandfather, Nathaniel Ewing"; had they been actual brothers, one would think this account would have said so.

    Charles Ewing and Martha Baker were GX5-grandparents of the American aviation pioneer, movie director, billionaire, and lunatic Howard Hughes, making Hughes and PNH sixth cousins once removed:

    Charles Ewing (~1715-1770) = Martha Baker
    Caleb Ewing (d. ~1780)
    Elizabeth Ewing (1779-1812) = Richard Montgomery Gano (1775-1815)
    John Allen Gano (1805-1887) = Mary Conn (b. 1807)
    Richard Montgomery Gano (1830-1913) = Martha Jane Welch (1832-1895)
    William Beriah Gano (1854-1913) = Jeanette de Lafayette Grissom (1857-1905)
    Allene Stone Gano (1883-1922) = Howard Robard Hughes, Sr. (1869-1924)
    Howard Robard Hughes, Jr. (1905-1976)

    (As a side note, the elder of the two men named Richard Montgomery Gano in the above was a son of John Gano (1727-1804), a Baptist minister and Revolutionary War chaplain who is widely, and almost certainly falsely, claimed to have baptized George Washington. The younger Richard Montgomery Gano (1830-1913) was a Confederate general from Texas in the Civil War.)

    From Clan Ewing of Scotland by Elbert William R. Ewing (citation details below):

    By no means least of the noted and splendidly influential families of our name were those founded by two brothers, Robert and Charles Ewing. All the evidence indicates and nothing disputes that they were close cousins of the other immigrants of our family. One tradition has it that they were born in Coleraine, Ireland; while another says they were born near Stirling Castle, Scotland, within the old clan bounds. Whichever be correct, it is certain they were near relatives to those who came from at least not far from Londonderry. A tradition, given me by Rowland D. Buford, of Bedford City, an aged man (in his eighty-sixth year at the time of his letter to me) who knew and respected their descendants, insists that they fled from Scotland because of some political difficulty, being staunch Covenanters who, no doubt, warmly espoused the cause of the Protestant claimants to the English throne. However, I am satisfied that they came, whether from Scotland or Ireland, because of the general unrest which prevailed in both countries, and which I have briefly narrated.

    An undisputed tradition says that on reaching America they visited their relations in Cecil County, Maryland, for a short time, and then pushed on for the new lands and broader opportunities in that section shortly to become Bedford County, Virginia, near where Samuel Ewing, James Ewing and other cousins then lived.

    The sketch of the Ewings left by Nathaniel Ewing of Mount Clair, Knox County, Indiana, and published in the Courier-Journal, February 28, 1897, after what I have elsewhere quoted continues: "Some time about the year 1735 or 1740 two young men, cousins of my grandfather, Nathaniel Ewing (the only son by the first wife of William Ewing, born in Scotland), came to America. Their names were Charles and Robert Ewing. Having gotten into an affray at a fair in Ireland they were so unfortunate as to kill a man, for which they were obliged to fly the country and came to my grandfather's, where they concealed themselves for a length of time until one of my grandfather's half brothers came from Virginia on a visit to his relations in Maryland. On his return they were put over the Susquehanna in the night and went with him to Virginia. It being a place less frequented by emigrants from Ireland than Maryland, and a proclamation having arrived offering a reward for their apprehension, their longer stay became dangerous.

    "Some time after their arrival in Prince Edward County a new settlement was founded further back, in what is now called Bedford County, near the Peaks of Otter. They joined the adventurers and finally settled there and married sisters, daughters of Mr. Baker, a Presbyterian minister, and lived there until death. They both left large families, who are now settled in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Missouri, some of whom I have seen, viz.: Baker Ewing, Young Ewing, Samuel Ewing and Finis Ewing. The last is a Presbyterian clergyman and resides in Missouri. I mention the family on account of their having become so numerous in the western country and to show the connection between them and my family."

    Exhaustive investigation leads me to the most decided opinion that the "affray at a fair" and its result is an error. Mr. Buford, who never heard of this fair story, was quite confident that the "trouble," whatever it may have been, was nothing other than a mere "political matter" which resulted in no physical encounter. He lived in the county where both Robert and Charles spent the most of their distinguished lives; and so had a better opportunity to know their pre-American history than had Nathaniel Ewing whose article was published in the Courier Journal. All the facts, aside from Nathaniel's statement, indicate that at that day Robert and Charles could have been as readily located where they settled in Virginia as had they re mained in Cecil County.

    That they had committed no grave crime in early life, even in the heat of an unpremeditated encounter, the prominence of their later lives attests. [...]

    Charles Ewing, whose will is dated May 31, 1770, and which was probated in Bedford County, Virginia, July 24, 1770, was the same splendid type of citizen as his brother, Robert. This is not mere theory. Nor is it simply family tradition. The positions these two brothers filled as well as those held by their children after them and the testimony of such men as R. D. Buford, who knew their neighbors and who spent years studying the family records of his county, furnish us undisputed proof.

    This Charles, the immigrant, and his son, Charles, were the only Ewings of that Christian name in all that part of Virginia in their day, so far as I can learn. So it is the more easy to identify them.

    Charles married Martha Baker about 1744. Martha (daughter of Caleb Baker and Martha Brooks) died after 24 Jul 1770. [Group Sheet] [Family Chart]

  2. 3.  Martha Baker (daughter of Caleb Baker and Martha Brooks); died after 24 Jul 1770.


    According to Alicia Towster (citation details below), they were probably married in Amelia County, Virginia.

    1. William Ewing was born between 1745 and 1749; died in Apr 1810.
    2. Caleb Ewing was born between 1747 and 1753; died about 1780.
    3. Mary Ewing was born about 1750; died after 1790.
    4. Charles Ewing was born between 1750 and 1753; died after 3 Feb 1808.
    5. 1. Robert Ewing was born about 1753; died before 1810.
    6. Samuel Ewing was born before 1755 and 1760; died before 1792.
    7. George Ewing was born between 1765 and 1769; died on 31 Dec 1838; was buried in Bartleson Family Cemetery, Wayne County, Kentucky.
    8. David Ewing was born between 1765 and 1769; died between 1811 and 1820.
    9. Martha "Patsy" Ewing was born about 1766; died after 1810.

Generation: 3

  1. 6.  Caleb Baker (son of Robert Baker); died between 6 Feb 1754 and 29 Apr 1754.


    Like his father, he may have been born in England or northern Ireland. He appears to have worked with his father as a gunsmith in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania from about 1719 to 1741.

    In 1719 he is listed in a Conestoga, Pennsylvania tax assessment list as of age; so is his younger brother Samuel. If Samuel was therefore born no later than 1698, 1696 seems a good guess for Caleb.

    That he was a son of Robert Baker, gunsmith of Lancaster county, is proved by multiple surviving documents. A good collection of them is here.

    "He is referred to as 'Rev. Caleb Baker,' but the writer has found no evidence that he was a minister of the Gospel. Captain Abner Baker, in his 'Life Book,' refers to him as 'a farmer.'" [Joseph D. Eggleston, citation details below.]

    "By 1743 there were several Scotch-Irish settlers in the Prince Edward area. The suit of Samuel Wallace vs. Caleb Baker brought a number of neighbors from the Buffaloe Settlement as witnesses for the litigants." [Herbert C. Bradshaw, citation details below.]

    Caleb married Martha Brooks in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Martha died between 20 Apr 1759 and 8 May 1759 in Prince Edward County, Virginia. [Group Sheet] [Family Chart]

  2. 7.  Martha Brooks died between 20 Apr 1759 and 8 May 1759 in Prince Edward County, Virginia.


    Said to have been a daughter of Rev. John Brooks and Margaret Osbourne.

    "Martha (Brooks) Baker's will was made April 20, 1759, and proved May 8 of that year. The inventory of her estate shows 2 Bibles; one Testament; one Papist and Protestant; one Thomson's Explication of the Shorter Catechism; one Thomson's Orphan's Legacy; one Young Man's Companion." [Eggleston, citation details below.]

    The Thomson referred to is John Thomson (1690-1753), Presbyterian minister of Pennsylvania and Virginia. Discussing the question of whether Thomson was the author of Orphan's Legacy, his biographer John Goodwin Herndon cites the above inventory of Martha Baker, and notes that "a careful recheck of that inventory shows that the word 'Thomson's' does not appear in the record before Orphans."

    Herbert C. Bradshaw's "The Settlement of Prince Edward County" (Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 62:448, 1954) also refers to this inventory, and calls Martha Baker a "daughter" of John Thomson. This is presumably an error. Thomson had a daughter Mary who married a Robert Baker, Jr. (d. 1759) in Lancaster County (possibly a son of PNH ancestor Robert Baker who died in Lancaster County in 1728), and another daughter Elizabeth who married a Samuel Baker (d. 1759); the Rev. Thomson is said to have died in the house of the latter Baker. But there appears to be no proof that Martha Baker, wife of Caleb Baker, whether or not she is the woman whose inventory contained one or more works by the Rev. Thomson, was one of his daughters.

    1. 3. Martha Baker died after 24 Jul 1770.

Generation: 4

  1. 12.  Robert Baker died in 1728 in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.


    From England (or perhaps northern Ireland), he settled in Lancaster County by about 1719. He was a gunsmith at the confluence of Pequa Creek and the Susquehanna River. Died in 1728, date said to have been 19 September.

    Said to have been married to a Susanna Packer. This is almost certainly a mistaken reference to the Susanna Packer who married a Robert Baker of Chester County, Pennsylvania in 1709, herself often said to be a daughter of TNH 7XG-grandparents Philip Packer and Hannah Sessions. The Robert Baker who married this Susanna Packer appears to have lived from 1686 to 1760.

    From Arms Makers of Colonial America, citation details below:

    Robert Baker acquired 250 acres on Pequa Creek, Mayhill Township, Lancaster County. Robert died intestate. On 17 February 1738, John Cunningham was appointed by the Lancaster County Orphan's Court to administer Robert's estate. On 23 October 1739, he granted the land to Caleb Baker.

    From Herbert C. Bradshaw, "The Settlement of Prince Edward County." Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 62:448, 1954:

    The second major stream of migration consisted of Scotch-Irish settlers from Pennsylvania. These people, who were Scotch in nationality, had the Irish hyphenated as a result of a sojourn of approximately a century in Northern Ireland. They had been settled there by James I to repopulate a land desolated by the armies of Queen Elizabeth I. There they had prospered until economic discrimination by the English government cut off the market for their goods, and severe depression followed. Many migrated to Pennsylvania, where they settled on the frontier. Indian troubles made life precarious there, so many took again to the weary road and sought a haven in the "back parts" of Virginia.

    About 1735 two Scotch-Irish settlements, both under the leadership of John Caldwell, were made in Southside Virginia, one on Cub Creek in Brunswick (now Charlotte) County, the other on Buffalo River in Amelia (now Prince Edward) County. The Scotch-Irish for the most part moved in companies and made their homes in a settlement, for the threefold purpose of mutual protection against the rigors of the wilderness, of maintaining social contacts, and of convenience for religious worship.

    1. 6. Caleb Baker died between 6 Feb 1754 and 29 Apr 1754.