Tuesday, August 4, 2015

c1886 Cabinet Photograph of Mary Ann (Chesney) Baker of Maryland, Illinois & Iowa; wife of Rev. Jacob Baker.

Note of February 6, 2017:  Make sure to check the comments section for family information provided by a descendant.

Circa 1886 cabinet photograph of a woman identified on the reverse as Mary Ann (Chesney) Baker, wife of Rev. Jacob Baker.  She was born in Maryland but was living in Iowa at the time of the photograph.

This photograph is owned by friend Bernadette, who relayed it to me in the hopes of reuniting it with family.

The reverse of the photograph is a family historian's dream, though there are a few discrepancies from the information found online.


Mrs. Mary Ann Chesney - Baker wife of Rev. Jacob Baker, born at Havre de Grace, Md. Feb. 1st 1812 - Died Mar 1 1894.  Daughter of Thomas Chesney & Hannah Chesney (ne Mitchel), Sister of Kent; Franklin; Jno E.; Eliza & Sarah.  Mother of O. H.; Geo. E.; Jno. F.; Mary C.; H. C.; E. R.; W. F.; and S. S. 
Married Dec 16th 1829 at Brownville [Brownsville], Ind - Lived there 10 yrs Lived 10 yrs at Abingdon, Ills & Forty-one years  4-1/2 miles N E of Sidney, Iowa, Fremont Co.  Buried in the Parsley Cemetery in same grave with husband to whom she had been married sixty four years.  Age 82 - Great Piety.  Portrait taken at age 74.

From brief online research, hopefully correct:  [corrections and additions requested]

Some online references have Mary Ann (Chesney) Baker's birth date as February 2, 1812, but the date on the photograph and the Iowa Cemetery Records agree on the date of February 1, 1812.  Whether Mary Ann's mother's maiden name was Mitchel or Mitchell, I'm not sure, as most references have it as Mitchell.  From what I've been able to determine, the other children of Thomas and Hannah (Mitchel or Mitchell) Chesney were:
  1. Kent Mitchell Chesney (1809-1892) - "Kent"
  2. John Edward Chesney (1815-1901) - "Jno E."
  3. James Benjamin Franklin Chesney (1818-1894) - "Franklin"
  4. George Chesney (1818-?)
  5. Hannah Eliza Chesney (1824-1908) - "Eliza"
  6. Sarah Candace Chesney (1824-1895) - "Sarah"
On December 16, 1829 at Brownsville, Indiana, Mary Ann married Jacob Baker, son of George and Elizabeth (Shriver) Baker.  Jacob was born January 16, 1806 in Washington County Virginia.  He and Mary Ann lived in Indiana and Illinois before, about 1853, pursuing a claim on 160 acres near Sidney, Iowa, in Fremont County, where they lived for the rest of their lives.

Their children:  please let me know if I've missed one
  1. Orlando Harrison Baker (1830-1913) - "O. H."
  2. George E. Baker (1832-1874) - "Geo. E."
  3. John Franklin Baker (1837-?) - "Jno. F."
  4. Mary Candace Baker (1840-1916) - "Mary C." - See the comments section for more information on Mary and her descendants
  5. Henry Chesney Baker (1843-1917) - "H. C."
  6. Erasmus Richard Baker (1846-1916) - "E. R."
  7. Wilbur Fiske Baker (1849-1935) - "W. F."
  8. Samuel Schwartz Baker (1855-1914) - "S. S."
Read an account of the family's trek from Illinois to Iowa in 1853 here.

If the dates listed on the Find-a-Grave index are correct, Rev. Jacob Baker and wife Mary Ann (Chesney) Baker died within a day of each other in early March 1894.  They're buried in the Parsley Cemetery at Sidney, Iowa, as is their son Erasmus Richard Baker.

If you have corrections and/or additions to the information above, please leave a comment or contact me directly.


  1. Mary Ann Chesney is my 3rd Great Grandmother. Her daughter, Mary Candace Baker, is my 2nd great grandmother. Mary Candace Baker married Joseph Brackney on Nov. 18, 1855 in Sidney, Iowa. Their son, Clinton Erastmus Brackney, is my great grandfather. He married Maggie V. Jackson, Dec. 8, 1886, in Fremont, Iowa. Maggie and Clinton lost 9 children who were stillborn or miscarried. My grandmother, Musa Gazelle Brackeny, born 1888, died 1935, was their only child to survive. She married Earl Jordan Logan on January 21, 1909 in Polk County, Iowa. My dad, Jack B. Logan, born March 13, 1926, was the youngest. He died in June 2006.

    1. Thanks for taking the time to comment! I'm amending the post to give readers a heads up to check the comment section for more information. By the way, did you notice any errors in what I wrote - I'd like to correct them if you found some.

  2. Mary Ann is my 2nd gr-grandaunt, the sister of my gr-gr grandfather, Kent Mitchell Chesney My mother, Ruth Mary Chesney, is the gr-granddaughter of Kent Mitchell Chesney. This branch of the Chesney family moved into Kansas near Ft. Leavenworth, abt 1855. They were anti-slavery and probably moved from Illinois to Kansas as "Free Staters".

    Mary Ann's mother was Hannah Mitchell. All spellings of "Mitchell" that I have seen for this family have the double "l", including probate, land, and military records, as well as tax rolls that go back as far as 1703 and a 1776 colonial census of Baltimore, Maryland.

    Do you still have this photo?

  3. Yes, the photograph is available. Please check my blog in the right column near the top - my email address is under Inquiries.