There is no official answer to that question that I could find. There are many different theories as to who (or what) that may be.
James Lord Pierpont (1822-1893)–related to the J.P. Morgan of corporate finance fame–wrote and published the song under the title “One Horse Open Sleigh.” Although it is now associated with Christmas, it was meant for the American Thanksgiving holiday. There is a plaque in the center of Medford Square in Medford, Massachusetts that claims it as the “birthplace” of “Jingle Bells.” And, apparently, it is thought that the song was inspired by the town’s sleigh races during the 19th century.
All this and still no answer to “Who is Miss Fanny Bright?” BUT, on December 5 and 6 at 7:30 you can hear Belhaven folks sing “Jingle Bells” among many other favored Christmas songs. You may even hear (as has been sung before):
“A day or two ago
I thought I’d take a ride
And soon, Miss Bettye Quinn
Was seated by my side.”
It will make you smile! Make plans to attend the 82nd Belhaven Singing Christmas Tree this year. And, go ahead and make your gift to The Belhaven Fund for Student Scholarships in order to receive your very own commemorative Singing Christmas Tree Ornament.