I reunite identified family photos that I find in antique shops and second hand stores with genealogists and family historians. If you see one of your ancestors here and would like to obtain the original, feel free to contact me at familyphotoreunion [ at ] yahoo [ dot ] com. I hope you enjoy your visit!
~The Archivist

Monday, April 16, 2012

Lasso the Moon: The Other Mary Bailey, Vermont or New Hampshire, Circa 1893

When I hear the name "Mary Bailey," I can't help but think of Donna Reed's character in It's a Wonderful Life. I don't think the fictional Mary Bailey is going to be the only Mary Bailey we hear about on this particular search.  No, Sir-ee, I expect we're going to find a whole mess of Mary Baileys in the censuses. 

There's no other identification on this photograph other than a pencil note on the back, "Mary Bailey, friend of Mum's."  The photographer is Charles F. Bracy who had not one, but three studios at the time this photo was taken:  one in Woodsville, N.H., another in Wells River, VT and a branch studio in at Lake Morey in Fairlee, VT.   

Bracy appears to have been in business from the mid-1870s to about 1910.  But I think we can date this by Mary's attire to the 1890s.  I can't see the width of her sleeves, but the shoulders seem to indicate somewhere around 1893.

As expected, I found way too many M.B.s to make an in-depth search worthwhile.  The difficulty, once again, is that we don't know if Bailey is a maiden or married name.  We have three geographic areas, a very common name, a non-existent 1890 census, and not much to go on at all.  Sigh.

George Bailey:  What is it you want, Mary? What do you want? You want the moon? Just say the word and I’ll throw a lasso around it and pull it down. Hey. That’s a pretty good idea. I’ll give you the moon, Mary.

Me, I'd settle for a birth date. 

*** For my regular readers:  I'll be moving to a M-W-F posting schedule over the spring/summer, beginning April 16  and will resume my normal schedule (Mon. through Sat.) in September.  I hope you keep stopping by!*** 


  1. That birthdate is under a rock on the moon. :)

    She appears to be about 20ish to me. So her birth year might have been about 1873.

    Its a very long shot, but in find-a-grave, I see only this Mary Bailey in the region, born about that time...


  2. Wouldn't it be great if it was her? I tried to find some more info on Mary Corey Bailey...I was hoping I could find a photo to compare with. Didn't find much at all :-(
    I had a look at some of the Ancestry photos for Mary Bailey...there sure are a lot of them!