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Zebulon Baird
was born January 28, 1744. He was born in Monmouth, New Jersey. His parents were John Baird and Avis Bowne. Much of this information is from The Chronicle, Nov 1980 issue, article BAIRD-BARTON HOUSE AND FAMILIES. The Chronicle is the newsletter for the Mt. Juliet-West Wilson Historical Society of Wilson County, Tennessee. The family she wrote of had settled in Monmouth County NJ. The family had lots of Johns and Zebulons. They were very active in the community and served in the Revolutionary War.

Zebulon married Lydia Hildreth on April 1, 1765. The Lyle Collection in the Monmouth County, NJ Historical Society gives his wedding date as April 11, 1762.

Very little is known about Lydia. She was born about 1740 but her parents are unknown, as is her place of birth.

The Revolutionary Census of New Jersey by K. Stryker-Rodden show there was a Zebulon Baird in Freehold, Monmouth County 1778 – 1780. There were other Zebulons, but this Zebulon was the only one of fighting age. The other known two were 14 and 68 years old.

However, there are Rowan County NC court documents which were signed by Zebulon and Lydia. This strongly suggest that they left NJ before 1778. A part of Rowan County became Wilkes County.

Zebulon difinitely  migrated south with his family, stopping for time in Virginia, North Carolina, and then to Tennessee. In 1782 his daughter Sarah Baird married William Henry Blackburn in Fairfax county, Virginia. We assume that Zebulon was in that area at that time. William Blackburn served in the Continental Army from 1776 -1779. He headed west in 1781, seeking adventure. At Pittsburgh he volunteered and guarded public stores there for 7 months. It is possible that he met Zebulon Baird during the war.

There are apprently deeds with Zebulon and Lydia's signature in Rowan County NC.  They most likely predate the following deeds in Wilkes County. Part of Rowan County became Qilkes County in 1780.  I have no specific information about the Rowan County time.  If you do, let me know the details.  I'll be glad to add it to the story.

The NC State Census 1784-1787 places Zebulon Baird in Wilkes County in Captain Thomas Farguson’s District. The Goodspeed History of Tennessee Counties places Zebulon in Wilson County on the headwaters of Stoner Lick Creek in 1799.

The family tradition stated that the Blackburns, Bairds, McChesneys and Asherst moved together with their families to North Carolina and then Tennessee and finally Caldwell County Kentucky. Their paths must have crossed and one family may have encouraged another to move on to the next spot. However, a study of the census records shows the families in different spots. In 1790 the Blackburn and Baird families were in Wilkes County NC. The Ashersts and McChesneys were in Surry County NC just to the east of Wilkes. The Ashersts moved to western Kentucky as early as 1797. The Blackburns or Bairds before those families moved to Caldwell county Kentucky nearly 20 years later. They may have known each other though. More understanding of the history of those western NC counties may shed light on how neighbors related to one another.

The 1784-1787 Wilkes Ct, NC Census shows the Zebulon Baird family to have:
2 males 21-60
7 males under 21
5 females

The 1790 Wilkes county, North Carolina Census shows the Zebulon Baird family to have:
3 males at or over 16 years old
4 males under 16 years old
5 females
no slaves

In April  1788 Zebulon Baird bought 190 acres from William Isaacs in Wilkes County for 200 pounds.  The land lay on both sides of the Elk River.  It was witnessed by Brent Baird and Andrew Baird.   Wilkes County Deed Book B, page 399.

According to Abstracts of Wilkes County Land Grant Files # 919  Zebulon Baird received Grant No. 916 dated May 18, 1789 for 300 acres of land on the Head of Howards Creek adjoining the County line.   Recorded in Book no. 72, page 178.  It further sates that the Chain Carriers were Jno Baird and John Morison, Surveyed by William Johnson.

In 1790 Zebulon Baird bought 210 acres from Andrew Tate for 240 pounds.  It was located in Wilkes County on the Yadkin River at the mouth of  Baker's Creek to "the top of the mountain".  Wilkes County Deed, Book B1 page 212.  I have a copy of the deed.

Both the Blackburns and Bairds lived in Wilkes County in 1790. Zebulon Baird then moved his family to Wilson County, Tennessee in 1799. The Blackburns were there by 1808 when Zebulon bought land from William Blackburn. It also notes that Andrew and David Baird, sons of Zebulon purchased 340 acres in 1812 from their Dad. Andrew lived in a house that stood on a hill above the Ben Franklin Lake. The Baird Cemetery was near the house.  Ben Franklin Lake is just south of Rt. 40 near Rutland

The Chronicle, Nov. 1980 Issue, the Newsletter of the Mt. Juliet – West Wilson Historical Society has an article entitled Baird-Barton House and Families. This article gives the history of Zebulon Baird and his family. It lists his children to be
1. Sarah (Sally) Baird born about 1762 or 5, wed William Blackburn 1782, and died in 1826 in Wilson County.
2. William Baird born about 1766, died 1816. His 8 children moved to KY
3. John Baird
4. Zebulon Baird Jr
., born about 1780, wed Clara Hunt in 1807
5. Eleanor (Nellie) Baird
wed Stephen Barton in 1807
6. Andrew Baird born about 1786, wed Martha Hunt in 1814, Clara’s sister
7. Betty Baird wed a Smartt
8. Lydia
9. David Baird born about 1788, wed Mary Wynn Avery
10. unnamed daughter.  This is probably Annie Baird who married Jacob Spickard about 1805, probably in Wilson Ct. Tennessee.  The descendants of this couple continue there to this day.
11.  Joseph is listed in some souces.

The lists vary. The 1784 list suggests 8 sons, 1790 suggests 2 sons were on their own, but the list of children have 5 sons, and 5 daughters. It was not uncommon for children, even in their 20s to die of accident or illness or the census may be wrong.

Zebulon died June 30, 1826 according to the DAR Patriot Index. His son Andrew was buried in the Baird Cemetery, but we do not know where his father was buried. The Index noted he was a "PS in North Carolina". It is not known when Lydia his wife died or where she is buried.


If you know the answer please CONTACT US

    1. When and where was Lydia born and who were her parents?
    2. How did Sarah Baird and William Blackburn meet?
    3. Get Tenn Census for 1800, 1810. 1820
    4. Get NC and Tennessee court / land records on the family.
    5. Where was Zebulon buried?
    6. When did Lydia die?
    7. Get his Rev. War service record.


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