Select Page

Doings on the 15th

Beware the ides of March, so the saying goes.

The 15th of March was a day of foreboding, forever marred by the soothsayer’s warning to Julius Caesar in 44 B.C.1

15FebBut February 15th?

That’s after the ides — the 13th2 — and there’s no great Roman story to go with that date.

Just a family story.

A story that might make you wonder about this date, beyond the ides of February.

Because, you see, it was on the 15th of February that Nancy Baker gave birth.

And it was on the 15th of February that Nancy Baker died.

And it was on the 15th of February that Nancy Baker’s child died.

It would be a tragedy — a terrible story — a story perhaps too hard to tell — if these had all been the same Nancy Baker.

It might be too hard even if these events had all occurred in the same year.

As it is, it is just one of those family oddities, that these things all happened on the same day to members of the same family who happened to share the same name.

The Nancy Baker who gave birth was the daughter of Thomas Baker and Susannah Wiseman. She was born 27 March 1812 in Burke County, North Carolina.3 In 1831, she married William McKinney,4 by whom she had two daughters. After his death, she married Hodge Garland,5 and Susan Catherine Garland was the child born on the 15th of February, in 1846, in Yancey County, North Carolina.6

The Nancy Baker who died was the aunt of the Nancy who gave birth. Born to David Baker and his first wife, Mary Webb, on 31 December 1786 in Burke County, North Carolina,7 she married her cousin Jonas Davenport on 17 February 1806 in Burke County.8 She bore 10 children that we know of between 1808 and 1830, and died on 15 February 1882 in Mitchell County, North Carolina.9

And the Nancy Baker whose child died was a cousin — her father Henry Baker was David’s older brother. She was born 1 January 1790 in Burke County,10 married William Wakefield in Burke County on 4 January 1819,11 and bore six children that we know of. She died in Caldwell County, North Carolina, in 1850,12 and it was her second son, Robert R. Wakefield, who died on 15 February 1900, in Caldwell County.13

Three different Nancy Bakers. Three different February 15ths in three different years spanning more than half a century in time.

Just a family story…



Did you notice…?

Thirteen footnotes.

Hmmm… Maybe there’s something to this ides of February thing after all…


  1. N.S. Gill, “Beware the Ides of March! Julius Caesar and a Look at the Romans’ Ides of March,” Ancient/Classical History ( : accessed 14 Feb 2014).
  2. Wikipedia (, “Roman calendar,” rev. 13 Feb 2014.
  3. Elma W. Baker, The Rugged Trail, Vol. II (Dallas, TX: p.p., 1973), 31 (citing a Bible Record of Sophenora Davidson of Muenster, TX).
  4. Burke County, N.C., Marriage Bond, 5 May 1831, North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh.
  5. See 1850 U.S. census, Yancey County, North Carolina, population schedule, p. 432-433 (stamped), dwelling 689, family 724, Hodge R. Garland household; digital image, ( : accessed 20 Mar 2007); citing National Archive microfilm publication M432, roll 649.
  6. Email, Hayden Street, to author, 21 Jul 2009.
  7. Baker, The Rugged Trail, at 23 (citing Bible Record of Charlie Baker, Bakersville NC).
  8. Vineyard and Wiseman, William Wiseman and the Davenports (Franklin, NC: Genealogy Publishing Service, 1997), 58.
  9. Ibid.
  10. Email, Carol White to author, 14 Nov 2005.
  11. Burke County, North Carolina, marriage bond, Robert Wakefield and Nancy Baker, 4 Jan 1819, North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh.
  12. Email, Carol White to author, 12 Nov 2005.
  13. Fairfield Cemetery, Caldwell County, North Carolina, Robert Rufus Wakefield marker; digital image, Find A Grave ( : accessed 14 Feb 2014).
Print Friendly, PDF & Email