Saturday, February 6, 2016

Baptist Ancestors

I think there's a tendency to associate the Baptist Church with the Southern States. For the most part, this is just the case with my Baptist families. There is one notable exception.

Roger Williams is associated with the founding of Providence Plantation [Rhode Island] and religious tolerance. In 1639, he joined the Baptist Church. Eventually, Williams rejected that faith and became a "Seeker." Seekers considered all organized churches corrupt, and preferred to wait for God's revelation.

Thomas Gulley arrived in Virginia from England about 1750. Thomas' grandson, Willis, belonged to the Star of Little Flat Rock Baptist Church in Decatur Co., Indiana. Presumably, Thomas followed that faith as well. Thomas Gulley settled in Orange Co., Virginia. Son Enoch resided in Orange and Culpepper Counties in Virginia before moving to Elbert Co., Georgia in 1802 and Davidson Co., Tennessee around 1811. Enoch next made Madison Co., Kentucky his home [c1813-1828]. In 1828, Enoch and his sons Willis and Elias purchased land in Shelby Co., Indiana, where Enoch died in 1829. Willis Gulley moved from Shelby Co. to Decatur Co. in 1834. He spent the last half of the 1860s in Hendricks Co. and the first half of the 1870s back in Shelby Co. The Gulleys then returned to Decatur Co.

Although the Barlow family may have been Presbyterians back in England, they became Baptists after arriving in America. Thomas Barlow settled in Albemarle Co., VA by 1718. He brought up his children in the Particular Baptist Church. Son Henry resided in Caroline Co., VA before moving to Scott Co., Kentucky, where he died in 1814.

The Sumter family religion is listed as "unknown" on several websites. By association, they may well have been Baptist. Anna Sumter married Thomas Land, whose family had been members of the Episcopal Church. However, their son, John married into the Baptist Barlow family and granddaughter Elizabeth married Willis Gulley,  also a Baptist. The Sumters hailed from Hanover and Louisa Counties, VA.

The Virginia to Kentucky to Indiana migration marked the primary path for the Baptists.

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