An American Family History


Mary Elizabeth Kessler Baker


A Dower is a provision for a wife's support should her husband die before her. Her dower right was the use of ? of her husband's estate. The dower was settled on the bride at the time of the wedding. A drowry was the property a bride brought to her marriage.

Shelby County, Ohio is in western Ohio and was formed in 1819 from Miami County.

Mary Elizabeth Kessler Baker was born about 1781 in Pennsylvania. Her parents were Henry and Barbara Kessler. She was christened on March 24, 1782 at St. Paul’s (Ziegler's) Evangelical Lutheran Church in York County, Pennsylvania. Her sponsors were Daniel and Elizabeth Ronolly (also Renolly).

She married Philip Baker on May 7, 1803 when she was twenty two years old. Their children and life together are described in detail in the section on Philip and Mary Elizabeth Baker. She moved to Ohio with her family about 1814. They were early pioneers.

She became a widow in 1828 when she was 47. She appeared in the 1830 census of German Township, Clark County, Ohio.

After Philip’s death, daughters Mary Rockel and Elizabeth Branstiter and their husbands filed a lawsuit and forced Mary Elizabeth to sell the family farm so that they could have their share. (Clark County, Ohio, October 3, 1830, Petition to Partition Daniel Branstetter et. al. vs. Elizabeth Baker et. al.)

After Philip’s death, Mary Elizabeth continued to live in German Township and appeared in the censuses of 1830, 1840, and 1850.

She died at age 88 on May 4, 1869 in Shelby County, Ohio. Elizabeth is buried with other family members in Glen Cemetery on State Route 47, southwest of Port Jefferson in Lot 2, Section B having been moved there from an older cemetery.

wife of Philip Baker
died May 4, 1869
at the 88 yr.
of age
Children of Henry Kessler and
Barbara Kenoyer
  • Catherine Kessler Smith
  • Henry Kesler
  • Simon Kessler
  • Barbara Kessler Peary
  • Mary Elizabeth Kessler Baker
  • John Kessler
  • Mary Magdalene Kessler Myers
  • Anna Maria Kessler Kemp
  • Clark County, Ohio was formed March 1, 1817, from Champaign, Madison and Greene Counties. The first settlement was in 1796. The inhabitants of German Township were German Lutherans who came from Virginia.

    St. Paul's (Ziegler's) Evangelical Lutheran Church was located in North Codorus Township in York County, Pennsylvania. It was organized in 1771. When the congregation came into being, the colonial era was near it's end and the spirit of independence was gaining momentum. The German farmers in Pennsylvania joined in.

    Children of Philip Baker
    and Mary Elizabeth Kessler
  • Elizabeth Baker Branstiter
  • George B. Baker
  • Mary M. Baker Rockel
  • Sarah A. Baker Hunt Bilger
  • William Baker
  • James Baker
  • Susannah Baker Ryman
  • Jacob Baker
  • Daniel Baker
  • Jefferson Baker
  • Buildings in Clark County, Ohio ranged from simple log cabins to sophisticated Italianate and Gothic Revival structures.
    American pioneers migrated west to settle areas not previously inhabited by European Americans.

    The first U.S. railroad opened in the 1830s. In 1869 the first transcontinental railway was completed.



    Colonial Maryland
    Colonial New England
    Colonial Virginia & West Virginia
    Quakers & Mennonites
    New Jersey Baptists
    German Lutherans
    Watauga Settlement
    Pennsylvania Pioneers
    Midwest Pioneers
    Jewish Immigrants

    ©Roberta Tuller 2023
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