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Born in Shellman, Georgia, Baines was the third daughter of Jordan (1863–October 23, 1921) and Amelia "Amy" (Daniel) Baines, who were married in Terrell County, Georgia on January 1, 1887. She recalled that her earliest memory was that of a car ride to Canada.
Baines later married Sam Conly at a "very young age" and had a daughter, Annabelle, born in 1909, who died of typhoid fever at age 18. In 1920, Gertrude Conley was recorded in the 1920 census as living in Hartford, Connecticut. She later moved to Ohio, where she worked as a maid at Ohio State University, before moving much later to California. Baines lived at the Western Convalescent Home in Jefferson Park, Los Angeles until her death. She lived on her own until she was 105. According to MSNBC.com, she enjoyed "simple pleasures" of eating a diet of bacon and eggs, and watched shows like The Price Is Right and Jerry Springer.
Baines was a daughter of a man born into slavery and granddaughter of Peter and Avey (or Avie) Ann Bains, former slaves.
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September 8, 2009
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