| Israel Baird was born on March 8, 1800 in Asheville, North Carolina, the son of Bedent Baird and Mary Ann Welsh Baird. He owned and operated an 800 acre farm which encompassed the entire Beaver Lake area, two miles north of downtown Asheville. He married Mary Ann Tate (10/12/1805 – 07/19/1877) on April 4, 1825 at Morganton, Burke County, North Carolina. Her father was Judge Samuel Tate of Bedford County, Pennsylvania. According to Tate family traditions, the family originated in France, with the surname LeTete. They were French Huguenots who fled France at the time of the Massacre of St. Bartholomew’s Day in 1572.
They settled in what is now Londonderry County, Ireland. Mary Ann’s grandfather, Samuel “Rock” Tate married Elizabeth Caldwell, a Scotch-Irish girl and they sailed to Philadelphia in his ship and purchased large tracts of land. He then demonstrated his regard for independence by serving during the American Revolution. Although her grandfather subsequently moved to Augusta County, Virginia, Mary Ann’s father remained in Pennsylvania. Mary Ann’s mother, Elizabeth Alexander Tate, was the daughter of Joseph Alexander, a
captain in the Revolution.
In 1838 Israel Baird acquired some 40 acres of land on the west side of North Broadway Street and built a two story brick house located in the southwest corner of Cherry and Broadway. During his lifetime, he was active
in the Methodist Church on the western side of Church Street in Asheville (now Central United Methodist Church).
Israel and Mary Ann Tate Baird had 11 children:
1. Susan Adelia Tate Baird, (04/19/1826 – 02/17/1915), she married the overseer of her father’s farm Daniel Reynolds (03/10/1809 – 01/21/1878) on October 10, 1844. Ten children.
2. William Bedent Baird, (04/06/1828 – 11/27/1905), who married a widow, Cynthia Alice Harris Carter (07/20/1852 – 06/26/1900), on February 3, 1887. Five children.
3. Mary Sophronia Baird, (02/11/1830 – 1898), who married James M. Craigmiles on May 30, 1848. They moved to Madison County, North Carolina in the 1880s. Six children.
4. Dr. James Samuel Taswell Baird, (10/23/1831 – 04/22/1913). On August 19, 1857 he married Sarah Louis L. Abbott (01/04/1840 – 09/05/1895), in Roane County, Tennessee. Ten children.
5. Margaret Jane Baird, born 1835. She married Augustus S. Merrimon (09/15/1830 – 11/14/1892), on September 14, 1852 in Asheville, N.C. He was a North Carolina Superior Court Judge, served 6 years as a U.S. Senator and
Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court in Raleigh, N.C. [see Heritage I, article #63]. Three children.
6. Emma Elizabeth Baird, (1837 – 02/11/1875). Records reflect she died in Williamtown, Kentucky and never married.
7. Harriet Newell Baird, born 10/27/1838. She married Nathaniel Atkinson, in Cleveland, Tenn. on Feb. 2, 1858. He was duly admitted as an attorney at the February 1868 term of Buncombe County Superior Court. In 1879-1880 he served as a member of the N.C. House of Representatives from Buncombe County. Ten children.
8. Annie Baird, (01/17/1842 – 02/11/1842).
9. Julia Matilda Baird, (11/28/1842 – 08/28/1858). She died while at home on vacation from college.
10. Catherine Hardy Baird, (09/16/1844 – 1882). She married Fletcher Sarah Hayne Reynolds (01/30/1834 – 07/19/1892), son of Rev. John Reynolds and nephew of Daniel Reynolds, on November 12, 1868. Seven children.
11. Charles Israel McDowell Baird, born April 9, 1847 and married on Sept. 29, 1868 to Jennie E. Harrison in Jefferson County, Tennessee. Four children.
Israel Baird died on December 16, 1848, in Asheville at the age of 48.
He and wife Mary Ann were buried on the east side of Church Street under the present Presbyterian church.
from Heritage II, article #32, p. 87
Sources: The Heritage of Burke County 1981, published by the Burke County
Historical Society, P.O. Box 151, Morganton, N.C. 28655, pages 421-423.
Israel Baird Family Bible, kept by Mr. Ralph Baird Woodcock, of Corvallis,
Oregon. Miss Susan J. Corcoran, P.O. Box 968, Roswell, GA 30075, descended
from William Bedent Baird. A History of Buncombe County, N.C. by Foster
Sondley. Western North Carolina a History, by John Preston Arthur