A guy named Guido

Before getting too far into a new Early New England Families Study Project sketch, I do some preliminary investigation. For example, if the family has already been treated in a sourced and reliable publication – such as a recent article in the Register – then there is no need to duplicate it. Also, if the couple did not have children, or did not have surviving children, then they fall outside the parameters of the project.

Other considerations include whether or not there are accessible (to me) records, and whether there are any major complications, such as identifying spouses and children, that warrant deeper investigation. With 30,000 marriages to be done, priority has to go to those with the best possible chance of getting published in my lifetime.

In the case of Guydo/Guido Bailey, of whom I had never heard, I soon found that a little treatment of his family was done by Mrs. John E. Barclay, F.A.S.G., in The American Genealogist (33 [1957]: 137–41). Her article is titled “The Randall-Leonard-Bayley Relationship,” and addresses the claim that Samuel3 Randall of Weymouth married Mary, daughter of Guido Bailey. Mrs. Barclay showed that Guido Bailey’s daughter Mary was still a single woman long after Samuel Randall was married to his wife, Mary, but she suggests that Randall’s wife could have been a step-daughter of Guido Bayley, whose second wife was Ruth (—) (Gurney) Bundy.

Since Mary Gurney would not have been one of Guido’s children, and she will eventually be discussed in the Great Migration sketch for her father, John Gurney, … I can gratefully state that this is “not my problem.”

Ruth had a daughter Mary Gurney by her first marriage, but Mrs. Barclay had not found proof for her hypothesis that she was the wife of Samuel Randall. Since Mary Gurney would not have been one of Guido’s children, and she will eventually be discussed in the Great Migration sketch for her father, John Gurney (who arrived in 1636) – not to mention that her mother’s second marriage has already been published in GM2, 1: 480–83, under John Bundy – I can gratefully state that this is “not my problem.”

What about the descendant angle? Guido Bayley did have five children by his first wife (who Mrs. Barclay says is unidentified although Torrey says his first wife was “Elizabeth ___ [?Marston]” – a complication to be straightened out), but three of those children, two boys and a girl, died unmarried. The other two girls did marry: Ruth to Ebenezer Hill and Elizabeth to James Harris, and it can be argued that Guido will have his chance to be discussed in his daughter’s sketches.

Then there is the consideration of available records. Mrs. Barclay mentions that the records for the Guido Bayley family are “most unsatisfactory.” Poor Guido died impoverished.

So, does Guido Bayley qualify for an Early New England Families Study sketch?

Yes. I have already spent more than four hours figuring out this much about his family, since there is no consolidated account in print for him, his wives, and children. In too deep now to back out now.

Besides, who can resist a guy named Guido?

Alicia Crane Williams

About Alicia Crane Williams

Alicia is the lead genealogist on the new NEHGS study project, Early New England Families, 1641-1700. Prior to joining the NEHGS staff, she compiled and edited numerous important genealogical publications including The Mayflower Descendant, the Alden Family Five Generations project, and the Harlow Family : Descendants of Sgt. William Harlow (1624/5-1691) of Plymouth, Massachusetts. Alicia has served as Historian of the Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants, Assistant Historian General at the General Society of Mayflower Descendants, and as Genealogist of the Alden Kindred of America. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Connecticut and a master’s degree in History from Northeastern University. In October 2016, Alicia was elected a Fellow of the American Society of Genealogists.

9 thoughts on “A guy named Guido

  1. “not my problem.”

    I have SO many of those. But how do you know until you’ve spent some time. I am in one of those rabbit holes right now trying to find my brick wall Ward ancestor. They’re everywhere, like ants at a picnic! I’m beginning to wonder if my gggrandfather really knew where he was born. I wish there was a data base for space ships that flew over Prince Edward Island. And unicorn families who lived there!

    1. Toni, dig the rabbit hole larger and resign yourself to identifying every Ward in PEI, then eliminate until you narrow down to a workable group of rabbits.

  2. Wonderful article. You are the best. I never miss reading the full post, as soon as i see your picture. I love “not my problem” I think I will apply that to my research. Since I last wrote a comment a few years back, I was working on my John Alden connection to the Mayflower. I come from a line never proven before. The great news is, I received my certificate in November. Now I am working on Richard Warren, who is in my same line. I hope to visit New england in the fall, and maybe I will get to meet you at the NEGHS, where I hope to do some research.Thank you for all your dedication to family history.

    1. Judy, great news on the Alden line! Unfortunately, I don’t work in the NEHGS library in Boston. I work from home in Plymouth thanks to the Internet. Downside is not getting to see people.

  3. A guy named Guido was my maternal grandfather’s best friend in high school and signed as witness on his marriage certificate. Since this Guido was of Italian heritage, the name was entirely natural. “Your” Guido seems to be cut from entirely different cloth, though, much like the aforementioned grandfather’s father, Vasco Christy. Where on earth did Vasco come from in a Scots Irish family???

    1. Pamela, indeed. Perhaps he was named in honor of the famous explorer Vasco da Gama? I don’t think there was a famous explorer named Guido, though.

      1. That’s the only association I know of, as well. Vasco’s wife had VERY definite ideas about names: her children were named Clyde, Clifford, Homer, Horace, Lloyd, and Mildred. However, she refused to use the “outlandish” name of Margaret selected for one of her granddaughters, instead calling her “baby”…until another daughter was born and given the much worse name of Mary Beth. My parents gave me no middle name, but she did; cards and a crazy quilt she made for me all bear the name Pamela Sue!

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