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Harris Family Histories

Baker Family History

The Baker family started out in Street, Somerset England. Thomas BAKER married Sarah CRANE in 1793 and their children were - Mary married John FOURACRES, Ann, Anna married Silas DURSTON, Sarah married John BEARNS, John married Mary ROOD, Jane, Elizabeth, Thomas married Harriet MOGG, Frances Jones & Harriet Ann.


Baker has been a household name in the Wimmera for more than a century. They have farmed at Jung, Pimpinio, Dooen, Wail, Blackheath, Nhill and Stawell and other surrounding areas.

The story starts over one hundred and fifty years ago when two Bakers died in England. It's hard to believe how much this event would affect the lives of people who would later be living in the Wimmera.

The two Bakers were John & Thomas. John was married to Mary ROODand they had four children with only one, John jnr living who married Louisa BATH. Thomas, who was John's brother, had been married to Harriet, nee MOGG, and had three children, John Thomas married Sarah WELSHMAN, James married Elizabeth MEAKER nee BIRD and Sarah married Herbert John ARTHUR.

The year following Thomas & Mary's death, John married Harriet. By the end of 1854 their family had swelled by another eight children, Stephen married Harriet ? and stayed in England, Joseph married Martha ALDERTON and lived in New Zealand, Mary married John WESTROP, Alfred married Charlotte Emma JACOBS, Matthew married Harriet MEAKER, Frances Maria married Thomas PENDLEBURY, Harriet Ann married Richard MILLS & Maria Odrie married Edward JACOBS.

Now if you've managed to follow this so far, you're doing well, but careful, it gets even more confusing.

In December 1852, South Australia received the first of the Bakers when their ship the "Sea Park" docked with John Thomas, wife Sarah and children, Emma 3, and infant Elizabeth. In 1857, two more ships arrived with almost the remaining Bakers on board.

Numbers had swelled even more by now and on the ship "Gilmore" were John and Harriet, Mary, Matthew, Alfred, Frances, Harriet Ann and Maria Odrie, John and Louisa with Emily, Sarah and Harry, Sarah and Herbert, with infant daughter Mary Ann. Sarah and Herbert also had another baby called Polly who was born and died on board ship.

On the other ship, the "David Malcolm", were James and Elizabeth with Julia and infant Harry and Elizabeth's daughter, Harriet MEAKER

John and Harriet's son Stephen was still in England and their son Joseph was in New Zealand. They also had an infant daughter buried back in England.

John jnr and Louisa had eight children, Emily married Edward STEPHENS, Sarah Jane married Peter TELFORDand Harry married Ann MAY, William Bath married Fanny WHEELER, Louisa, Lavinia who married William George KENNEDY, Albert married Emily GOODING & Sydney married Bertha Bernice HUTCHESSON. John Thomas and Sarah had ten children, Emma Welchman married John HATWELL, Elizabeth Ann married Thomas HUTCHESSON, Harriet Ann married Edwin Francis HARRIS, Thomas married Eliza Jane ELLIS, Joseph married Mary EASTICK, Mary Ann married Thomas BOOTH, Charles Welchman married (1) Maria MAY (2) Anna Matilda SCHMIDT, Eliza Welshman married Joseph William WILLS, James Welchman married Bertha Amelia SCHMIDT & Clara Florence Ada married Robert Frederick NEWTON. James and Elizabeth had two children, Julia married Mark WILKS, Henry, Harry married Susan BUTTON, Elizabeth married Alfred STRUDWICK & Maria married James JONES. Sarah & Herbert John ARTHUR had five chilren. Mary (Polly), Mary Ann married William PETERSON, Rebecca married John Thomas HALLand William Herbert married Eliza DUNN.


The Bakers lived in South Australia for about 20 years until the land in the Wimmera was thrown open for selection. Matthew and Alfred were the first to go to Victoria and so started the great invasion of the Wimmera by the Bakers.

Of John and Harriet's children by their marriage, Stephen & Harriet had two known children. Alfred and George. Joseph & Martha had ten children. Robert, Alfred, Harriet, unknown, Frederick Joseph, Ada, Martha, unknown, Sarah & Carrie. Mary married John WESTROP and stayed in Mt. Gambier and had two known children. John married Thomasin JENKINS & Sarah Jane married Joseph William BAKER (no relation). Matthew and Harriet had eight children. Charlotte Ann married William WHEELER, Ellen married Thomas HARDING, Angelina Ellen married William George Dike ELLIS, Hannah married William THOMAS, Emma Jane married John McEwan McRAE, Martha married David Francis EASTICK, Harriet Ann married James COCK & Alice Elizabeth married Charles WYNNE, Alfred & Charlotte had twelve children. Annie married (1) William LODWICK (2) Joseph NATTRASS, Walter married Sarah Ellen (Nellie) ADAMS, Frank Gilbert married Myrtle Lillian GIBBINS, Edmund married Mary Mercy ADAMS, Albert Ernest married Bessie May BODEY, Emma married Dick Bray WHITE, Alfred married Ada CAUDWELL, Matthew married Ethel Elizabeth SMITH, Esther Susan married David Richard MADDERN, Arthur Joseph married Margaret Annie LAWSON, Herbert Andrew married his cousin Alice Victoria Maude BAKER, Stanley Egbert married Myrtle Louise COCKS & Theresa Alice Beatrice married Alfred Norman GROSS. Frances & Thomas PENDLEBURY, had twelve children. John Thomas married (1) Isabella MERRILEES (2) Jean Smaw CHRISTIE (3) Catherine CROMBIE, Charlotte Ellen married George Henry PENDLEBURY, Elizabeth Anne married Thomas St.Clair, Francis married Jack T NASH, Isaac married Edith Elizabeth RIDGEWAY, Alice Lavinia married William James HALL, Harriet married William James CARTER, Mary Alice married William James DAVIS, Peter William married Louisa HOBSON, Walter Joseph married (1) Annie Catherine BARRY (2) Eva REEVES, Charles Matthew married Margaret ADAMSON & Thomas Albert Standing married Nellie Louisa WAGALAND. Harriet & Richard MILLS had five children. William Henry married Catherine Hannah EXELL, Ann married Henry EXELL & Charlotte Ann married Edward BODEY, and Maria Odrie & Edward JACOBS, lived at Mt.Gambier and had ten children. Albert Edward married Annie OATES, Florence Matilda, Gilbert Harold, Laura Mary married Robert Cauldwell JOHNSTON, Alfred James married Mabel Elizabeth DOUGLAS, Hazel Una married Wilhelm Johann Heinrich RUVOLDT, Olive Hilda Irene married Theodore Arthur LACK, Mabel Agatha married Arthur Alfred KILSBY, Arthur Andrew married Myrtle Helen ARTHUR & Linda Maude.

There are Bakers now live at Pimpinio, Wail, Portland, S.A. Nhill, Jung, Bleak House, Horsham, N.S.W., W.A., Sailors Home, Geelong, Dooen, Tarranginnie, Blackheath, Stawell, Propodollah, Diapur.


Joseph BAKER enrolled in the Army on 29th October 1855. He left England on the "African" on 29th January 1861 and arrived Auckland New Zealand on 8th June 1861. His army rank number was 95 rank 2/c. He was discharged at Auckland on 17th February 1867. Joseph married Martha ALDERTON 2nd April 1863 in Otahuhu, Auckland New Zealand. Their children were - Son, c1863, Robert 1866 Parnell married Elizabeth Ann SPARKS, Harriet Ann (Tottie) 1869 married Abraham CLEGG, Alfred George 1871 Parnell married Elizabeth Eliza STEEL, Frederick Joseph 1875 Auckland married Flora Kate CAMPBELL, Ada 1877 married a Mr. DIXON, Lillian Martha 1879 Auckland married Oswald Charles ALLEN, male 1881, Sarah 1883 & Carrie 1886. Joseph was in a hospital only for three months before he died. It seems he was taking numerous strokes that paralysed his right side and effected his ability to speak or to take any interest in anything. His condition worsened and after a fresh attack of the paralysis on April 26 1893, he died the following day. He had been visited by his family repeatedly while in the hospital. Information supplied by Gordon & Yvonne Douglas Gordon, son of Maud Ivy the youngest daughter of Robert & Elizabeth Baker.