Meredith New Hampshire Doll Maker Barbara Annalee (Davis) Thorndike (1915-2002)

Barbara Annalee Davis was born in Concord New Hampshire in 1915.

About 1934, she began to design dolls and doll clothing.  Her first dolls were marionettes.  The doll clothing was sewed onto the poseable doll, and were intended for display.  Originally she sold them through the New Hampshire League of Arts and Crafts.  In 1941 She married Charles “Chip” Thorndike, the son of a Boston physician.  They lived in Meredith New Hampshire.

Her company, Annalee Mobilitee Dolls, Inc., which was incorporated in 1954, has become one of the country’s premier makers of collectible dolls.  “Annalee” selected a theme, from skiiers and holidays to events and professions, and then she would create a collection of dolls (usually animals such as mice, bears and rabbits) surrounding that theme.

An exhibition celebrating Annalee Davis Thorndike’s gift of dolls and personal memorabilia to the New Hampshire Historical Society was on view at the Museum of New Hampshire History during 2000 and 2001. The exhibition focused on her early career and work promoting New Hampshire tourism.

On Sunday April 7, 2002 Annalee Mobilitee Dolls, Inc. creator and founder Barbara  Annalee Davis Thorndike passed away at her home in Meredith, New Hampshire, surrounded by her family at the time of her passing.  She was 87 years old.


Read more about her story.

-Santa dolls subject of lawsuit- (Dec. 11, 2003)

Annalee Thornidike bio – Wikipedia


Thomas Davis, son of James & Elizabeth (Payne) Davis, b. 20 Sep 1750 in Farmington or Dover NH, d. –; m. Joanna “Jann” Keating. She was b. 6 May 1754. One source states that he was of the first settlers of Farmington NH.
Children of Thomas & Joanna (Keating) Davis
1. Daniel Davis, b. 14 Sep 1774 in Farmington NH
2. John Davis, b. 11 Apr 1776 in Farmington NH
3. Elizabeth Davis, b. 3 Nov 1777 in Farmington NH
4. Mary Davis, b. 25 Jun 1779 in Farmington NH
5. James Davis, b. 25 Feb 1781 Farmington NH; m. Rachel Hilliard.
6. Anna Davis, b. 6 Aug 1782 in Farmington NH
7. Moses Davis, b. 20 Jul 1784 in Farmington NH
8. Richard Davis, b. 22 Jun 1786 in Farmington NH
9. +Ephraim Davis, b. 18 May 1789 in Farmington, Strafford Co. NH
10. Susanna Pain, b. 02 Apr 1792 in Farmington NH
11. Betsy Pain Davis, b. 11 Sep 1794 in Farmington NH
12. Cutter Davis, b. 30 Apr 1797 in Farmington NH

=====Next Generation=====

Ephraim Davis, son of Thomas & Joanna (Keating) Davis, b. 18 May 1789 in Farmington, Strafford Co. NH, d. 9 May 1871 in Conway NH; m. 9 July 1815 in Conway NH to Sarah “Sally” Emerson, dau of Michael/Micah & Elizabeth (Meserve) Emerson.  She was b. 14 July 1797 in Haverhill MA and d. 4 Sep 1843 in Conway NH, age 46 yrs 1 mo, 20 days.  They are both buried at Davis Hill Cemetery in Conway, NH. He resided at the homestead in Farmington NH until of age, then engaged in the cattle business with his brother. He finally bought a farm in Conway where he lived for forty years. He served as selectman and in other town offices, a Whig. They had 11 children.
Children of Ephraim & Sarah (Emerson) Davis:
1. Stephen M. Davis, b. abt 1818 in Conway NH; d. 9 Mar 1894 in Conway NH; farmer; buried Rochester NH; m. 16 Jun 1844 in Conway NH to Mary E. Haselton.
2. Jacob E. Davis
3. Harriet A. Davis
4. +Charles W. Davis, b. 17 Dec 1827 in Conway NH
5. John G. Davis, b 10 January 1837 in Conway NH. In 1854 he began learning the watchmaker and jeweler trade in Concord NH. [see biography]; he m. 26 Aug 1865 at Alfred Maine to Mary S. Littlefield, dau of Eliab and Susan Littlefield of Boston.
6-11, born and died before maturity.

=====Next Generation=====

Charles W. Davis, son of Ephraim  Sally (Emerson) Davis, was b. 17 Dec 1827 in Conway NH, d. 28 Feb 1910, age 83 yrs 2 months 11 days, of apoplexy.  Painter. He married 13 Apr 1853 in Weare NH to Helen M. Boynton, dau of Nathaniel & Martha “Patty” (Curtis) Boynton.  She b. 9 Apr 1828 in Weare, NH, and d. 16 Jun 1914 in Concord NH.
1860 United States Federal Census > New Hampshire > Merrimack > Concord Ward 6
Charles W. Davis 32 M Carriage Painter 2000/3000 NH, b. abt 1828]
Hellen M. Davis 32 F NH
Edward B. Davis 6 M NH
Hattie E. Davis 5 F NH
Henry P. Davis 1 M NH
Nathaniel Boynton 68 M Carpenter NH
Martha P Boynton 61 F Mass
John G. Davis 23 M Jeweller NH
U.S. Census > 1870 United States Federal Census > New Hampshire > Merrimack > Concord
Davis, Charles W. 42 M W Car Painter 3000 1200 NH
Davis, Helen M. 42 F W keeping House NH
Davis, Edward B 16 M W at school NH
Davis, Hattie E 14 F W at school NH
Boynton, Kathanan? 75 M W no occupation NH
U.S. Census > 1880 United States Federal Census > New Hampshire > Merrimack > Concord > District 173
Davis, Charles W. W M 52 car painter NH NH NH
Davis, Helen M W F 52 wife housekeeping NH NH NH
Davis, Edward B. W M 26 son dentist NH NH NH
Directories & Member Lists > City Directories, 1890 Census Substitute > New Hampshire > Concord > 1889 > D
Davis, Edward B., dentist, 88 North Main, rm 8, house 39 Washington (see page 52)
Davis, Charles W., painter, C. & M.R.R. shop, house 10 Monroe
Children of Charles W. & Helen M. (Boynton) Davis:
1. +Edward B. Davis, b. 2 April 1854
2. Hattie E. Davis, b. 19 Sep 1855
3. Henry P. Davis, b. Dec 1858
4. Saddie J. Davis, b. July 1867, d. July 1868

=====Next Generation=====

+Edward B. Davis, son of Charles W. & Helen M. (Boynton) Davis, b. April 1854, d. aft 1900. He married 12 Dec 1883 in Concord NH to Annie L. Emerson, dau of Daniel W. & Sarah (Smith) Eaton.  She b. Aug 1854 in West Newbury, MA. He was a dentist in Concord New Hampshire.
1900 United States Federal Census > New Hampshire > Merrimack > Concord Ward 4 > District 152
Davis, Edward B. Head W M Apr 1854 46 married 17 yrs NH ME NH Dentist
Davis, Annie L. wife F W Aug 1854 45 Married 17 yrs 2 ch 2 living MA MA MA
Davis, Elizabeth E. dau F W May 1888 12 single NH NH NH at school
Davis, Emerson son W M Feb 1890 10 single NH NH NH at school
[Swedish servant]
Children of Edward B. & Annie L. (Emerson) Davis:
1. Elizabeth E. Davis, b. May 1888 in NH
2. +Emerson Davis, b. Feb 1890 in NH

=====Next Generation=====

Emerson Davis, son of Edward B. & Annie L. (Emerson) Davis, b. 2 Feb 1890 in Concord NH; m. by 1916 to Dorris F. Ladd, dau of Fred Norton & Carrie T. (Sleeper) Ladd, and grand dau of William Dudley & Mary Ann (Emerson) Ladd of Concord NH. [a direct ancestor of this Ladd family, built the Ladd-Gilman House  She b. Oct 1890 in Concord NH. He was a confectionary manufacturer in Concord NH
Ladd Gilman House
Concord Directory
DAVIS, EMERSON, Batchelder & Co. 14 North Main Street, h 10 Monroe, see page 15
World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 > New Hampshire > Merrimack County > 1 > Draft Card D
Emerson Davis
10 Monroe St. Concord NH
DOB: 2 Feb 1890, in Concord NH
Manager, Grocer Retail, proprietor Concord NH
married, wife & child
blue eyes, light hair, medium height & build
signed June 5, 1917
1920 United States Federal Census > New Hampshire > Merrimack > Concord Ward 4 > District 70
Davis, Emerson Head M W 29 married NH NH NH Manufacturer Confectionary
Davis, Dorris F. wife F W 29 married NH NH NH
Davis, Barbara A dau F W 4-4/12 single NH NH NH
Davis, Rose M. daughter F W 1-9/12 single NH NH NH
U.S. Census > 1930 United States Federal Census > New Hampshire > Merrimack > Concord > District 16
Ladd Fred N  M Head 12,000 M W 70 married at age 26 NH NY NH  President, Savings Bank (b Jan 1859, m. abt 1887. Carrie J. b Aug 1862)
Ladd, Carrie wife F W 67 married at age 23 NH Canada NH
Bassett, Leoris dau F W 39 married at age 23 NH NH NH
Bassett Joseph son in law M W 48 married at age 24 MA MA MA Proprietor Wayside Carriage?
Davis, Barbara A. grand dau F W 15 single NH NH NH
Davis, Rosemary grand dau F W 12 single NH NH NH
Davis, Marilyn ggrand dau F W 8 single NH NH NH
Sleeper, Laura, mother F W 86 married at age 24 NH NH NH
1920 United States Federal Census > New Hampshire > Merrimack > Concord Ward 5 > District 71
Ladd, Fred N. Head M W 60 M NH NY NH Banker Banking
Ladd, Carrie J. F W 55 married NH Canada NH
Ladd, Phyllis B. dau F W 15 single NH NH NY
Children of Emerson & Dorris (Ladd) Davis:
1. +Barbara Annabelle Davis, b. 1 May 1915 in Concord NH
2. Rosemary “Rose” Davis, b. 27 Mar 1918 in Concord NH, d. 18 June 1997 in Marietta GA; m. 14 Feb 1942 in Concord NH to Charles Wilder Moses, son of Lester & Fannie (Wilder) Moses. He was b.  26 Dec 1915 in Lancaster NH, and died 12 Mar 1993 in Marietta, Cobb Co., Georgia.
3. Marilyn Davis, b. abt 1922 in Concord NH; m. 23 Nov 1945 in Concord NH to William Alfred Gardner, son of Frederick A. & Grace (Russell) Gardner.  He was b. abt 1920 in Gorham NH; res. Albuquerque, N.M.

=====Next Generation=====

Barbara Annalee Davis was born in Concord, New Hampshire  1 May 1915. Annalee passed away after a short illness in her home, on April 7, 2002. Buried 9 Apr 2002 in Meredith NH (Boston Globe). She married 19 Apr, 1941 in Concord NH to Charles “Chip” Thorndike, son of Robert J. & Anna L. Thorndike. He b. 2 Feb 1914 (newspaper says 1912) in Boston MA, and died April 2009 in Meredith NH . Charles & Barbara settled in Meredith, New Hampshire. Her doll company was legally incorporated in 1954 as Annalee Mobilitee Dolls.
Children of Charles & Barbara A. (Davis) Thorndike:
1. Charles “Chuck” Thorndike, served as president of Annalee Mobilitee Dolls Inc.
2. Townsend “Town” D. Thorndike, owner of Townsend Design Studios; m. Karen –. Has two sons, Eric and Shane; res. N. Sandwich NH

[Updated March 2016]

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2 Responses to Meredith New Hampshire Doll Maker Barbara Annalee (Davis) Thorndike (1915-2002)

  1. Sabrina Farmer says:

    I was curious about the doll I have. Made in 95 signed by Chuck Thorndike. Bunny rabbit with floral dress. She also has the a pin that states Annalee Doll Society 1994 – 1995. I also have the male rabbit also signed by Chuck Thorndike. Could you give me Any information on these dolls as I cannot find anything online. Worth, etc. Thank you!

  2. Pingback: Celebrating New Hampshire Women Through History | Cow Hampshire

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