Mary Elizabeth Whisman was born in Missouri on January 6, 1840. She was the first child of John Washington Whisman and Ann Margaret King. Mary had five siblings: Julianna (1841-1924), Alameda Nancy (1844-1917), John Sutter (1846-1924), Joseph Palmer (1849-1931) and Frances Margaret Whisman (1851-1870).
Mary (age 16) married James Columbus Braly (age 23) on April 23, 1856, in Santa Clara County, California. They had eight children over the course of twenty-three years: Clark (1859-1927), Addison (1854-1926), Susan Isabell (1867-1950), Mary Elizabeth (1870-1950), Carrie Lee (1872-1929), John Claude (1875-1944), James Douglas (1879-1911), and Margaret G (1881-1910).
Mary's husband James died in Los Angeles on July 29, 1902. Mary died in Los Angeles over six years later on May 1, 1909. It is not know were they are buried.