Bayly family history on the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address...

Today is the 150th anniversary of President Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.

Permit me the personal privilege of telling readers the site of Lincoln's address is special to Baylys since Lincoln spoke in Evergreen Cemetery (entrance pictured above). Lincoln's address was given less than a stone's throw from the Bayly family plot where our fathers Joseph Tate Bayly III, II, and I and their wives, as well as JTB I's father, John Bayly, and his wife Jean McQueen Bayly are buried.

My father was Joseph Tate Bayly IV, my eldest brother JTB V, my son is JTB VI, and my grandson JTB VII. So where did the name Joseph Tate Bayly come from?

Jean McQueen Bayly, mother of the first Joseph Tate Bayly, was Presbyterian minister Joseph Tate's granddaughter. Here's information on Joseph Tate. He was installed pastor of the Donegal Presbyterian Church on November 23, 1748, and served that congregation for 26 years, being one of the principals in the Donegal Schism.

Several Boyds (including Adam Boyd) are also ancestors who served as Presbyterian pastors in Donegal Presbytery of southeast Pennsylvania, and it's interesting that we trace our heritage from pastors on both sides of the New School/Old School controversy.

Here's information on our ancestor, Rev. Alexander Craighead, who on October 8, 1734, was licensed by the Presbytery of Donegal and sent to Middle Octorara, Pennsylvania, where he was the first pastor to serve this call. Here's more information on Craighead who authored the famous Mecklenburg Declaration and whose works Thomas Jefferson credited (read the editor's introduction) as sources for the Declaration of Independence.

Here are two sermons preached by Alexander Craighead which in 1743 were printed by Benjamin Franklin. The sermons demonstrate our strong Covenanter roots.

For information concerning the Baylys and the Battle of Gettysburg, see this account by Billy Bayly, son of Joseph Tate Bayly I. (Also this account of the battle surrounding the Witmer Farm and Bayly's Hill area.) 

As here in this battlefield pic on display when we last visited Gettysburg, Evergreen Cemetery's Gatehouse appears in many pictures of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.

Tim Bayly

Tim serves Clearnote Church, Bloomington, Indiana. He and Mary Lee have five children and fifteen grandchildren.



Awesome! Never knew this history of your family!

Interesting material about Gettysburg! You might be interested to know your ancestor Harriet Bayly is mentioned in Allen Guelzo's Gettysburg. It seems she discovered a young Confederate refugee at the farm on the 5th of July. He was a North Carolinian. She hid him, got him clothes, and eventually he ended up staying in the area, getting married, and buying a farm of his own. It's pages 467-468.

Dear John,

Didn't know Allen cited Harriet Bayly's account of the battle. It's an interesting account, mostly about the lengths she and her husband and son went to protect the pet horse of their daughter who'd died a short time before. Harriet argued with the Confederate greys—she was a vociferous abolitionist. Bayly's account, along with that of her son, William, are well-known among students of the battle.

For those interested, Harriet Bayly's account, "A Woman's Story: Three Days of Rebel Rule" was published in the Gettysburg Star and Sentinel on September 25, 1888. The Star and Sentinel version itself was a reprinting of the account as it appeared earlier in the New York Tribune. It's quoted extensively in Margaret S. Creighton's recent, The Colors of Courage: Gettysburg's Forgotten History: Immigrants, Women, and African Americans in the Civil War's Defining Battle (New York: Basic Books, 2005).

Of course, Harriet's account had never been forgotten. Many of us knew of it and those who have read it know that no one had to tell anyone to remember Harriet. Read the account and you'll see she was a typical Bayly woman whose mother likely never had to worry about her daughter's self-esteem. 

But where would the study of history be if we didn't have the black/women/queer studies folk pushing out "hidden voices" tripe keeping history departments and publishers across the U.S. solvent these past few decades.

The account of William Bayly, son of Joseph Tate and Harriet Bayly, was recently turned into a book by Deborah Hopkinson titled Billy and the Rebel (New York: Aladdin Paperbacks, 2005). The novel sticks quite close to Billy Bayly's original account.


As a newcomer to this blog and as a Christian who owes much to conservative Presbyterians of various kinds, I plan to come here more often.  It looks as if you have a goodly heritage!

Hi Tim,
My maiden name is Bayly and I'm fascinated to learn of the Baylys in the USA. We are based in East Anglia in the UK, specifically for my branch in Southend-on-Sea on the Thames Estuary. How did Baylys land in the States?

Yours, Coral Mula

>>How did Baylys land in the States?

Dear Mrs. Mula,

I'm sorry but  we haven't traced the Baylys back to the Old World, yet. We do have a few Old World dates and places for our ancestors, the Boyds and Craigheads, though. Here's some more information. (My son, Joseph, is Joseph Tate Bayly VI, so we pick up the line with Joseph Tate Bayly I.) If you find anything out, I'd appreciate knowing.


* * *

Joseph Tate Bayly I

son of

John Bayly/Jean (McQueen) Bayly


Jean (McQueen) Bayly

daughter of

John McQueen and Margaret (Tate) McQueen


Margaret (Tate) McQueen

daughter of

Rev. Joseph Tate (pastor from 1748 to 1777 of Donegal Church in Donegal Presbytery)


Margaret (Tate) McQueen

wife of

David McQueen


David McQueen

son of

John McQueen II (Covenanter who immigrated from Leith, Scotland, in 1685)


Rev. Joseph Tate

married on December 15, 1748

Margaret (Boyd) Tate


Margaret Boyd

daughter of

Rev. Adam Boyd (1692-1768), installed in 1724 as pastor of Upper Octorara (Presbyterian) Church


Rev.  Adam Boyd

married in 1724

Jane Craighead


Jane Craighead (Creaghead)

daughter of

Rev. Thomas Craighead (d. 1739) (who refused to serve communion to his wife and had charges filed against him for same). His father was likely Rev. Robert Creaghead, minister of Donoughmore in Ireland. He was from Dublin, Ireland. (John H. Wheeler, Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians [Columbus, Ohio: The author, 1884], p. 275)


Rev. Thomas Craighead was married to Margaret (?) Craighead.

Rev. Thomas Craighead and Margaret (?) Craighead as well as their daughter, Jane, also had a son, Rev. Alexander Craighead.

Rev. Alexander Craighead was licensed by the Presbytery of Donegal, October 8th, 1734, and was sent to Middle Octorara [Pennsylvania] . . . being the first to whom this duty was assigned. He was installed pastor at Middle Octorara Church, November 18 (or 13), 1735. A zealous promoter of the `revival,' he accompanied Whitefield while in Chester County; and they made the woods ring, as they rode, with songs of praise.

See below for more details:

I think Joseph and Heidi should name their next girl Jean McQueen...

Daniel, I think there’s a song about that… 

Add new comment