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Bibby Family History

This is my shortest family history.  The original family name is Bibby but got changed to O’Connor by Father Bibby.  Some of the children later changed their names back to Bibby.   I had to research both versions for all my evidence.

I know my Charles Baker married Maria O’Connor.  I know Maria’s siblings but still can’t figure out the parents.  The story is interesting.

Neal Ekengren - 2018

Father Bibby


Father Bibby is born in New Jersey in the early 1800’s.

I have researched quite a bit in Ohio and New Jersey and nothing is matching up for me yet.  Maybe someday.

Oral history from Eleanor Baker………...

A son was born about 1800 to Mrs. Bibby and when perhaps 14 years of age his wealthy mother bound him out to a shoe maker so he could learn the trade.  This man was to have absolute control of this boy until the boy became of age 21.  The boy did not like the way he was treated so he ran away sometime before becoming of age.  To play safe so the man could not find him, he changed his name to OÇonnel [note: O’Connor mostly].  Years passed he was industrious and saved money.  During the years he married and raised a family of four girls and three boys.  Two of the boys became shoemakers and the youngest became a doctor that locationed in Philadelphia.  My grandfather built a boot shoe factory and was doing well when the building was burned at about a total loss.  He became discouraged and drifted into a decline in health.  Before his death he confessed to his wife that his real name was Bibby instead of OÇonnel.  That his mother was wealthy and that his children should be entitled to a legacy from her estate.  Two of the children changed their names to Bibby.  The oldest daughter and the youngest son,   Walter E. Bibby.  None of the others received any thing from the estate.  My mother married under the name of OConnel.  She corresponded with the two shoemakers living in Ripley, OH when Isaac a boy.  I remember my mother receiving a letter from her brother Jimmie writing in a poetry style to let my mother know that her sister Elizabeth was the only poetry writer in the family.  

Father Bibby marries and they have at least 6 children including our Maria Emma ancestor.  The children are all born in the Cincinnati, Ohio area.

Father Bibby is a shoemaker.

1856 - Williams' Cincinnati directory lists 2 shoe makers.

Thomas O'Connor boot maker 3rd and Congress
Michael O'Connor shoe maker 25 E. 5th

Maria Emma Bibby


1853 - Maria Emma Bibby born in Cincinnati, Ohio.  She is known as Maria Emma O’Connor most of her life.  

1856 - Maria is probably in Ripley, Brown County, Ohio.  Her younger brother was born here and this is also where she is later employed.

Pioneer settlers of Ripley were mostly of Scotch and Irish descent. In the 1840-1850's a large influx of German immigrants settled in Ripley as the landscape reminded them of their German homeland.

This narrative fits with Charles Voight from Germany marrying our Anna O’Connor.

1870 - Age 17 - Maria is a servant in the McNish household in Ripley, Ohio.  Her brother Walter Bibby is also a laborer in this household.  Oral history says she is an orphan.

Brother Walter Bibby becomes a doctor and moves to Philadelphia.  

1876 - Scientific American, The Division of Poisons. By Walter E. Bibby.

1887 - The American Journal of Obstetrics and Diseases of Women and Children - experiments on tuberculosis

1891 - Walter becomes a drug addict and dies of an overdose just a few months after our Maria has died of tuberculosis.  Did Walter get depressed after his life research to cure tuberculosis failed to help his dead sister?

He makes quite the sensation in the newspapers for a few days.

Dr. Walter E. Bibby, waa found dead yesterday on the bare floor of the kitchen.  His body was nude and lay in the midst of filth. Bending over his lifeless form was his wife, once considered the most beautiful woman in Frank ford. The body of the dead doctor was covered with scars, and beside him was a tiny syringe that told the sad story of his degradation and death.

1873 - Maria marries Charles Edward Baker in Albert Lea, Freeborn County, Minnesota.  She marries as O’Connor.  

Oral history says she moved to Minnesota to live with her sister Anna Amelia Voight who we know lives here.

1889 - Maria wants a divorce.  

Freeborn Newspaper……..

Mrs. Maria Baker through her attorney W.C.McAdam has commenced a suit against her husband C.E.Baker for divorce and alimony alleging cruel and inhuman treatment.  The wife has taken the girl and gone visiting and the husband is unable to find her although he has made diligent search.  He has a farm of 100 acres and is in well-to-do circumstances.

Maria is described by some as an aristocratic lady and didn't like the difficult pioneer life.

1890 - Age 37 - Maria dies of tuberculosis.  She is buried in Graceland Cemetery.

Sister Anna Amelia Voight is still living in Albert Lea at this time.  Anna has married Charles Voight who is from Germany.  Our Baker families are intermarried with these Germans.

The Baker Family History begins after this