Gray

Early Grays

 Generation 1

John Gray Agnes
Born: near Larne, Antrim County, Ireland  
Died: November 21, 1751  

 

It is believed that John Gray and wife, Agnes migrated from England to Virginia between 1737 and 1742. John bought 203 acres along the James River in the Timber Ridge area. In 1746, the settlers at Timber Ridge built a log cabin to be used as a Presbyterian church. A list has been preserved of the men commissioning the first pastor in 1753. On the list appears the names: Samuel  Gray, Jacob Gray, and William Gray.  These were sons of John and Agnes. John Gray's will is dated April 23,1751 and lists as his heirs: Wife, Agnes, and children: Jacob, William, David, Joseph, Benjamin, Ann, Samuel, John, and Elizabeth. William was appointed guardian over Benjamin who was still a minor. After John's death, Agnes and children moved to NC.

 

John Gray and his son Samuel were among the inhabitants of the Virginia frontier who in 1742 petitioned Royal Governor William Gooch to appoint officers to raise militia for defense of the frontier settlements against Indians raids. The lands of John and Samuel Gray were located in what was known as the Borden Tract and on the northwest side of the Timber Ridge in present Rockbridge County (named for the Natural Bridge, which is one of Virginia’s most noted scenic attractions and which lies in Rockbridge County). The nearby town of Lexington became a center of education under the influence of those early Ulster Scots Presbyterians who populated the area.


 

Generation 2

 

Samuel Gray, son of John  Agnes "Nancy" McClung
Born: 1726 - Ulster, Northern Ireland Born: 1730

Died: 1775 - Old Tryon County (now Rutherford County), N.C.

Died: August 10, 1809

 

Samuel Gray was born 1720 in Ulster, Northern Ireland, and died 1775 in Tyrone County (now Rutherford County), NC. He married Agnes "Nancy" McClung. She died August 10, 1809.

Samuel lived in Augusta County, VA until 1765 when they sold their lands in the Borden Tract and moved southward. They were in Tryon County, N. C by 1769, when Samuel Gray entered his land grant for 300 acres on Broad River. (Tryon County was cut off from Mecklenburg County in 1762 and in 1779 was divided into present Lincoln and Rutherford Counties, the old Tryon records being placed at the courthouse in Lincolnton, N.C. The Gray lands thus fell into present Rutherford County in 1779.)

Samuel Gray made his will in Tryon County 22 Apr. 1775 proven “the next morning after 4th Tuesday of July 1775” (Tryon/Lincoln County Court Records, 1769-1782, pages unnumbered.) The will named his wife Agnes Gray and children: (1) John Gray; (2) William Gray, moved to Jefferson Co., TN; (3) James Gray (1755-1836), later known as Major James Gray, Revolutionary War officer (captain and major), serving from 1775 to the end of the war, married Jane McClure of Rutherford Co.; (4) David Gray; (5) Ann Gray; (6) “all the children” including son Joseph Gray, who was not named in the will because it appears certain that he was born after his father’s death. The executor was his son James Gray.

Samuel served in the military in 1744 in Muster Roll of Capt. John Buchanan. He died on 22 Apr 1775 in Tryon Co., NC.


 

Generation 3

 

William 'Ranger' Gray, son of Samuel Catherine McNabb
Born: 1757 - Augusta County, Virginia Born: 1766
Died: 1840  

 

From the book published in 1909:

 

Brinkerhoff's History of Marion County, Illinois:

 

Page 546

 

William Gray was born in North Carolina and moved to Maury County, Tennessee. He married a young lady by the name of McNabb in the year of 1776. Five sons were born to them, James, Joseph, William, John and Samuel. William was a soldier in the American Revolution and was also in the Indian wars of Kentucky and Tennessee. He was a farmer by occupation. He had one brother by the name of James Gray. William Gray died when about the age of eighty-three.

 

 

Generation 4

 

Joseph Gray, son of William Gray Agnes Denton
Born:  
Died: 1844  
 

From the book published in 1957:

 

Kinmundy: Railway to Thruway, 1857 - 1957

 

Page 10

 

In 1828 three Gray brothers came from Tennessee, James, Joseph and William. James settled on section 10 acquired more land in section 15 and other sections. He was the first J. P. in the township and filled that position till his death in 1835. This farm was known as the Harvey Gray place and was the scene of many wiener roasts in the 1910-20 era, when it was occupied by Luther Davis family. It is now the property of Lewis O'Dell, principal of Alma-Kinmundy High School. Sons of James Gray were James Harvey and Isaac D. both married Hanna girls. The Robert Hanna family went to Kentucky from South Carolina in 1820 and in 1848 came to Marion County. The youngest son, David was the grandfather of Dr. Dwight Hanna who is president of the Centennial board. A descendant of Isaac and Dovey Elizabeth Gray is Jesse George, also of Centennial board.

 

From the book: 1881 History of Marion and Clinton Counties, Illinois

Page 46

In the same year (1828), three brothers, James, Joseph and William Gray, arrived here from Tennessee. In 1829 William built a hewed log cabin near Abner Stewart's dwelling, and the same still stands, being used for a stable by the widow Coleman. About 1833 William Gray removed to Randolph Co., Missouri. James Gray was the first Justice of the Peace in this (Kinmundy) township. He filled the office till the time of his death, in 1835, and his brother, Joseph, from that time till he died. James Gray, left a widow and a family of eight children. She died in 1844. The two youngest children, James H. Gray, and Isaac D. Gray, still survive, and are highly esteemed citizens of the county. The former occupied the old homestead, where he has resided fifty-three years; reared a family of five children, and become by industry and economy one of the wealthiest men in the county. The latter, born here just half a century ago, lives near his brother and has a family of five children. Joseph Gray, one of the three brothers, improved several tracts of land here and was one of the early prominent citizens. His son, John H. Gray, was several years Justice of the Peace, and for a while was one of the County Judges.

Joseph Gray died on his farm in 1844, leaving a family of nine children, only one of whom (William) is now living. He resides on a farm north-west of Kinmundy.

 

From the book published in 1909:

 

Brinkerhoff's History of Marion County, Illinois:

Page 716

J. H. Gray was the son of Joseph and Agnes (Denton) Gray, the former a native of Tennessee and the latter a French woman. They married in Tennessee and came to Marion County, Illinois, in 1820, settling near Kinmundy. They died near the above named place. To them were born the following children: Rev. James D. Gray of the Methodist Episcopal Church; John H. Gray; Samuel Gray; Abner Gray; William Gray; Martha Jane; and Joseph. (Martha and Jane could be separate children)

Generation 5

John Henry Gray, son of Joseph Nancy Mann Eddington
Born: October 15, 1815 - Wilson Co., TN Patoka, Illinois
Died: September 2, 1878 - Marion Co., Ill 1906

 

From the book published in 1909:

 

Brinkerhoff's History of Marion County, Illinois:

 

Page 572

 

John H. Gray was born October 15, 1815, in Wilson County, Tennessee, and he came to Marion County, Illinois, in 1828 to engage in farming. He left the farm in 1859 to engage in the mercantile business in Patoka, in which town he built the first house. During the drouth of 1854 he went to the northern part of the state and bought corn to send into Marion county, and people from all the surrounding country came to him to buy corn.  He was a public man and became widely known. He was an Associate Judge for two terms before the county was laid out in townships. He was Justice of the Peace for many years and administrator for many estates.  He was one of Marion County's most prominent and popular men in his day. He was still in the mercantile business when he died in 1878.

 

Nancy Eddington Gray was born six miles southwest of Patoka in 1819, and she passed to her rest six miles from where she was born in 1904, after a long and useful life, being a woman of beautiful Christian character. She was the daughter of John and Lucy (Nichols) Eddington, both of whom died when about eighty-seven years old.

 

Page 716

 

J. H. Gray was born in Maury County, Tennessee, in 1817, and died in Patoka, Illinois, September 2, 1878. His wife was born in Clinton County, Illinois, October 27, 1819, and she died in 1905. J. H. Gray, a farmer, was the son of Joseph and Agnes (Denton) Gray.

 

 

 

The children of John H. Gray and his wife are as follows: James D. Gray, was in Company F, One Hundred and Eleventh Illinois Volunteer Infantry; Capt. A. S. Gray, lives in Patoka, Illinois; Mary E. Gray, is the wife of William D. Newman; Thomas Benton Gray, was clerk for Col. James S. Martin during the civil war; Jane Gray, deceased; Amanda Gray, deceased; Henry Gray, deceased; Samuel Gray, died in infancy; Albert Gray, deceased; Alfred Gray, deceased; Sarah Gray, deceased; Hattie Gray, lives in Memphis, Tennessee; Emma Gray, deceased.

 

Generation 6

 

James Gray was the son of John H. Gray and Nancy Eddington

The family on the 1850 census. District 11, Marion County, Illinois

 

 (View census image)

 

Name

Age

Gender

Race

Occupation

Birthplace

John Gray

34

M

W

Farmer

Tennessee

Nancy

31

F

W

 

Illinois

James

13

M

W

 

Illinois

Abner

11

M

W

 

Illinois

Mary 9

F

W   Illinois
Thomas 7 M W   Illinois
Maria 5

F

W   Illinois
Amanda 3

F

W   Illinois

Joseph

1

M

W

 

Illinois

 

The family on the 1860 census. Patoka Township, Marion County, Illinois

 

(View census image)

 

Name

Age

Gender

Race

Occupation

Birthplace

John Gray

44

M

W

Merchant

Tennessee

Nancy

41

F

W

 

Illinois

James

23

M

W

 

Illinois

Abner

21

M

W

 

Illinois

Mary 19

F

W   Illinois
Thomas 17 M W   Illinois
Jane (Maria?) 15

F

W   Illinois
Amanda 13

F

W   Illinois

Joseph

11

M

W

 

Illinois

Alfred

6

M W   Illinois
Sarah

3

F W   Illinois
Harriet

1/12

F W   Illinois

 

The family on the 1870 census. Patoka Township, Marion County, Illinois

 

(View census image)

 

Name

Age

Gender

Race

Occupation

Birthplace

John H. Gray

53

M

W

Merchant

Tennessee

Nancy

51

F

W

 

Illinois

Sarah

13

M

W

 

Illinois

Harriet

10

M

W

 

Illinois

 

James and Martha Virginia "Mattie" Gray on the 1870 census. Note: this is not proven to be the correct family. If it is, the census taker put Martha Virginia's name down as 'Virginia' and James' age is 2-3 years off.  The names and ages of the children do match perfectly.  Patoka Township, Marion County, Illinois

 

(View census image)

 

Name

Age

Gender

Race

Occupation

Birthplace

Gray, James

30

M

W

Farmer

Illinois

- Virginia

23

F

W

Keeping House

Illinois

- Mary B.

8

F

W

 

Illinois

- Wm. H.

3

M

W

 

Illinois

      - Flora

1

F

W

 

Illinois

 

Nancy M. (Eddington) Gray, on 1880 census with her granddaughter, Mary B. (James and Mattie Gray's daughter). 

(View census image)

Name

Age

Gender

Race

Occupation

Birthplace

Father’s Birthplace

Mother’s Birthplace

Gray, Nancy M.

63

F

W

Keeping House

Illinois

Tennessee

Tennessee

      - Mary B.

18

F

W

Unemployed          

Illinois

Illinois

Tennessee

By 1900, Nancy M. (Eddington) Gray is living with her son, Abner, in Patoka Village in Marion County, Illinois. 

(View census image)

Name

Relation

Race

Gen

Month

Year

Age

Marital

Status

Birthplace

Gray, Abner S.

Head

W

M

Dec

1838

61

M

Illinois

Nancy M. (jun)

Wife

W

F

Dec

1842

57

M

Illinois

McConnell, Frank

G Son

W

M

April

1883

17

 S

Illinois

Nancy M.

Mother

W

F

Oct

1819

80

 WD

Illinois

 

Direct ancestors are in RED

 

Sources:

Gray Family and Allied Lines

1881 History of Marion and Clinton Counties, Illinois

Brinkerhoff's History of Marion County, Illinois