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Mary Alden Holmes Baker (1823-1868)

Voyage: multiple, 1850-1864

Ship: Manilus and Herald of the Morning

Mary Alden Holmes was born in Plympton, MA, the daughter of Spencer Holmes and Lucy Sampson. In 1842 she married Capt. Barker Baker of Duxbury. They had one daughter, Susan, in 1843, before Capt. Barker Baker died at sea.

In 1848 she married Capt. Otis Baker, Jr, (1819-1886) of Duxbury, MA-  the nephew of her first husband. She went on multiple voyages with him. In 1851 she gave birth to a son, Manilus, aboard the clipper ship, Manilus. Her daughter by her first marriage, Susan, died of consumption at sea in 1863 while the family was aboard the clipper ship, Herald of the Morning. While onshore, the Baker family lived on Main Street, Kingston near the Congregational Church. Their house no longer stands.

An unknown author of a note in the Dawes Family Collection described Mary’s life at sea, “Capt Baker who married his uncle’s widow took her to sea for years two of the children were born there Man was named for the ship he was on Magoun’s clipper Manlius and Sally his daughter & cousin died of TB on it.” This note mistakes the ship on which the daughter died. Also, no other of their children is recorded as having been born at sea or in a foreign port, either the author was mistaken, or the child’s birth was not registered correctly.

Mary Alden Holmes Baker died of consumption in 1868 at the age of 44. She is buried in Evergreen Cemetery, Kingston, MA.


Dawes Family Collection, DAL.MSS.004, Drew Archival Library

Mary Alden Holmes Baker (1823-1868). Private collection.
Source: “Yankee Ship Sailing Cards” by Allan Forbes and Ralph M. Eastman, State Street Trust Company, Boston, 1948. Drew Archival Library, DRHS.