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Robert James T Baker Sr


1. Robert (James) T. Baker , Sr.

Rober Baker lived in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania on Piqea Creek. He and his sons were gunsmiths in Lancaster, initially, and later in Virginia and North Carolina. They invented and developed the "Kentucky Rifle"
It was a "long rifle".

Robert Died in Pennsylvania, but his sons moved to Virginia and North Carolina. They moved to the Asheville area of North Carolina. Asheville is situated in western North Carolina, near the borders of Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee and geographically close to the Cumberland Gap.

Notes for Robert Baker from Delbert Collins:
Robert was born in 1655 Va. d. 1728 Lancaster County, Pa, where he was granted land and a gun boring mill for the manufacturing of firearms, the Pa rifle, by the King of England. Robert Baker being the first man in recorded history to design and manufacture the Pa rifle. At his death, his son Caleb kept up the tradition and later used to great effect in the American Revolution. The rifle was later known as the Hog Rifle and the Kentucky Rifle in Danel Boone's day.

Excerpts from GUNSMITHS OF LANCASTER County, PENNSYLVANIA by James B. Whisker: "Nearly all studies of the Pennsylvania-Kentucky long rifle assume this distinctively American rifle was invented in Lancaster County, sometime in the second quarter of the eighteenth century. We find a number of pre-Revolutionary War gunsmiths who may have made Pennsylvania-Kentucky long rifles. We have no idea what the early Baker files may have looked like, c. 1720. Lancaster County, was formed out of Chester County, an original County, of the Province of Pennsylvania, on May 10, 1729. Several of the Baker gunsmiths in the Pequea Valley, had worked and died before the formation of the County,."

"ROBERT BAKER (-1728)., gunsmith. Robert Baker was a gunsmith between 1717 and 1728 at the confluence of Pequea Creek and the Susquehanna River in Chester (now Lancaster) County,. In 1719 Robert Baker Took over the shop operated by his brother, Samuel Baker. Robert died intestate September 19, 1728, the Orphan's Court ordered an inventory of Robert's estate. It showed tools of the gunsmith and blacksmith. The total value of the tools in his gun barrel boring and gun shop was 295 pounds/10/7."

Editors Note: Based on all information found, I believe Samuel Baker & his brother Robert Baker were probably the first gun makers in America. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE stated that the Baker's invented the Pennsylvania-Kentucky Long Rifle. Unable to find the date of that article.

There is suppose to be a picture of the Baker gun in the book THE GREAT GUNS by Harold L. Peterson & Robert Elman copyright 1971. (this information came from: ndkelly@sahuaro.net(Nora N. Kelly).

The first record we find pf Robert Baker, is the administration of his estate dated September 13, 1728. Robert Baker, died without a will and his son Caleb Baker was appointed administrator of his estate; along with these original papers at the Registers Office at the Court House in Lancaster county is the Administrators Bond; an inventory, and the administrators accounts; the Bond was signed by the Administrator Joseph Higginbotham and Tobias Hendricks.

In a deed dated July 4, 1741 from Caleb Baker and wife Martha Baker, to Jacob Good it is stated that part of the land deeded by them had originally belonged to Robert Baker, father of Caleb, that upon his death his personal property "could not answer to satisfy his debts". The orphans Court ordered that it be sold to satisfy his creditors. whereupon the land was sold to John Cunningham on February 16, 1738 and upon February 17, 1938 he in turn sold part of this tract of 450 acres to Caleb Baker son of Robert.

Abner Baker in his "Life Book" states that his grandfathers two brothers, Andrew and Samuel also came to Virginia. Records in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania would indicate that there were other sons of Robert also.

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