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Search for the Binney girls.

Probably back in my early 20’s I recall asking my dad what he knew about our family history. Unfortunately he knew very little about the family prior to their arrival in Canada from England in 1912. He did know of a few family stories though. One such story was that we were related to a New York music publisher named Gray and that he had two daughters that were movie stars. My dad had gone down to New York in the 1950’s and was met by one of the family.

I decided to dig into this to see if I could figure out who this was and their connection to the family. I started with my great grandfather Philip Field’s siblings, there were 12 of them. After working through each one of them I had two possibilities, Harriet Field and her sister Edith Jane Field. They had both emigrated from England to New York and were living in the same household as Herbert Willard Gray a music publisher. After a little more digging I managed to locate a marriage record in England for Harriet Field and H. W. Gray. I also discovered that H.W. Gray was also my 2nd cousin from our Goodale side of the family. HW Gray and Harriet had 5 children, all boys with one daughter so not likely to be the two girls I was looking for.

I then found H.W. Gray in the 1920 US census with a new wife, a Gertrude Miles Gray with two daughters, Constance and Frederica Binney. I did a quick Google search and I found many results for a Constance and Faire Binney. So my next question, are they the same individuals. A passenger list provided me with the answer. I found a passenger list for Constance Binney, an actress which included her birth date and address in New York. They matched! Mystery solved!

Next I decided to see if I could locate any of my Gray family in New York. I started to research the families of those 5 Gray children and found some phone numbers for an H.W. Gray. I then started to call them and left messages on a couple answering machines. The messages included that the person I was looking for had served in the US Navy aboard a specific ship. About an hour later I received a call from an H.W. Gray, who served on the same ship and his grandparents were Herbert Willard Gray and Harriet Field. He knew about Constance and Faire Binney, his grandfather H.W. Gray had married their mother Trudy Miles Binney and they had lived in Manhattan. Since then we’ve exchange lots of information and have reconnected the families.

Constance Binney Star
Ron at Constance Binney's Walk of Fame Star

Constance and Faire Binney were famous movie stars, on the same level as Mary Pickford, John Barrymore and made their mark in stage and silent films (18 silent films for Faire, and 16 for Constance). I have yet to see any of their work but will keep looking to see if a video appears online. I have seen Faire in a 1950’s TV episode.

Constance married three times but never settled down and as far as I know does not have any descendants. Constance received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame which I was lucky enough to visit recently.

Faire was married twice, and settled down to raise a family. She was married to Sering Dunham Wilson and they had three children, two girls and a boy. Faire also briefly returned to acting in the 1950’s with appearances in “Monkey Business” 1952 with Cary Grant and Marilyn Monroe, “Love Nest“ 1951, “Dream Wife“ 1953 and Television.

I have recently connected with Faire Binney’s daughter, and grandchildren and we are now starting to fill in some of the missing details.




Family Connection 
Step cousins and cousins. 
Cousin H.W. Gray was married to Trudy Miles Binney Gray and Trudy's 1st cousin Sally Miles was married to H.W. Gray's son, Donald H. Gray.

Owner/SourceRon Field
Date22 Apr 2017
Linked toConstance 'Connie' Binney; Frederica 'Fritzi' Gertrude Binney

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