Note: The information below was copied from Ancestry.com. If you are a descendant of Annabelle Gray Wilson, this is how we are related to John:
Annabelle Gray Wilson (1907-2002) — Lott Doolin/Dulan Gray (1873-1930)– Coleman C. Gray (1819-1891) — Hezekiah Gray (~1774-1853) — to John Gray
John Gray and Ailsey Hyatt Gray immigrated to America in 1771 with five children.
John Gray (1735-1806) was on Duncan’s Creek of Enoree River, in what later became Laurens County by 1771. He obtained a warrent for 200 acres of land on the south fork of Duncan’s Creek and it was delivered to him in 1773.
Numerous Gray Revolutionary War service records are found in the SC State Archives. Also, there were several Loyalist Grays, and several John Grays served, but it is fairly easy to identify which John is which by their associates and localities. See Revolutionary War folder AA3049 also shown in S.E. S-502. Descendants have joined NSDAR in Washington, DC on his record.
John Gray’s home was burned by the Tories (Gray Family Journal, 1937). This researcher has heard the story many times: While John Gray was serving as a horseman in the SC Militia, his wife Ailesy came to the time of her fulfilment and her husband came home on leave of absence. He was tracked there by the Tory band who were followers of Bloody Bill Cunningham. They were infuriated because John has escaped into the woods in view of them. They entered the house where Ailsey was confined and plundered it of portable valuables. They scattered to the four winds the feathers of the bed, and only gave her enough time to grab the infant and a satchel of baby clothes. They then burned the house to the ground.
Ailsey died about 1795, and John married a second time to Rebecca Bishop, sister of Martha Bishop who was later the wife of Jesse Gray. Both were sisters of Nathan Bishop who married Manima Gray.
John Gray died probably in 1806. He is reputed to have had a life of integrity, initiative, industry, faith and conviction.
Since today is the 150th anniversary of the start of the War Between the States, I am publishing a quick post about those in the Wilson-Gray family who served in the military during this dark time in American history. As you may recall, this civil war began on Friday, April 12, 1861 when Confederate artillery opened fire on Fort Sumter, just off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina. Although many of our ancestors lived in South Carolina during Revolutionary War days, most moved west in the following decades.
There are no Union soldiers in our direct line that I’m aware of. We have several who served the Confederacy, none of whom were slave owners as far as I know.
Wilsons — Joel Fowler Wilson was the patriarch. He was 31 and the father of seven when the war broke out. Three more children were born between 1862-1865 making it unlikely that the Reverend served in the military at this time. However, his eldest sons Dixon L., Isom A. and Joel L. were old enough to have possibly served. More research needed.
Albert Pierce Mitchell and his brothers Whitman, George, and Ben served in the 30th Mississippi Infantry, Company D (Dixie Heroes). He was injured severely in the jaw during the Battle of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. His older brother Whitman came to his aid and was killed. Pierce was sent to a confederate hospital in Marietta, Georgia. On 24 November 1863 he was captured at the Battle of Lookout Mountain near Chattanooga, Tennessee and was imprisoned in Rock Island Barracks, Illinois. He was exchanged on 28 March 1865 and sent to Camp Lee near Richmond, Virginia. He returned to Attala County. (Read more about his brothers’ military service in an earlier post. [Albert Pierce Mitchell’s daughter, Leona Mitchell Wilson, is the mother of L.A., Roy, Frank, and Willie Wilson]
Grays — Annabelle Gray Wilson’s father, Lott Dulin Gray, and most of his siblings were born during or after the war but their father, Coleman C. Gray, might be the C.C. Gray listed in the National Park Service’s Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System among the soldiers in Perrin’s Battalion – Company H, also known as the Chicksaw Rangers, and/or the 8th Mississippi Calvary – Company E, also from Chickasaw County. Coleman might have had a brother, Lott (Lod) D. Gray, that also served. Much more research is needed.
Thompsons — Annabelle Gray Wilson’s maternal grandfather, John F. “Jack” Thompson, lost a leg in battle. His wooden prosthesis, shaped like a fork without the middle tine, is still in the family’s possession. I believe he was a member of the 31st Mississippi Infantry. Again, more research is needed.
Moving really upset my apple cart. Even though it’s been 18 months, so many things remain scattered and unorganized…including my family history information and photos. This site is really helping me mentally and physically get things straight. I found these recently (click to view them full-size):
I’ve started a virtual cemetery on find-a-grave.com that contain photos, transcriptions, locations, etc. of the Wilson-Gray family graves.
- Prospect Methodist Church Cemetery (Houston, MS) — including, Coleman C. Gray and his wife Nancy Morehead (Moorehead) Gray, their children Lott Dulan Gray, Belle Gray Houston, and Lenore Gray Sims, and Lott’s first wife Alice Madora Thompson Gray.
- Bethel Baptist Church Cemetery (Houston, MS) – including John F. “Jack” Thompson and his wife Anna Gordon Thompson, and their 10 year old daughter Annie Pearl, plus what is likely his first wife and their daughter Mary.
- New Albany (MS) Cemetery – William Ransom Wilson and his wife Leona A. Mitchell Wilson.
- Oakridge Cemetery (Clarksdale, MS) – Willie A. Wilson and his wife Annabelle Gray Wilson.
- Shady Grove Church Cemetery (Kosciusko, MS) – Albert Washington Mitchell and his wife Susan Cone Mitchell.
- Kosciusko (MS) City Cemetery (old section) – including Joel Fowler Wilson and his sons Dixon and Lemuel, also Frances Hines Mitchell Harper.
- Lee Memorial Park (Tupelo, MS) — Nancy Edna Gray Trussell and her husband James Earl Trussell.
- Caddo Cemetery (Joshua, TX) — Ellender Coker Wilson, wife of Joel Fowler Wilson, her son Isom Alexander Wilson.
- Greenwood Memorial Park (Fort Worth, TX) – Thompson Everett “Tip” Gray. Note: Tip was cremated and his ashes were scattered beneath the Turner Oak; there is no marker.
- Rose Hill Cemetery (Fort Worth, TX) – John Coleman Gray
- Masonic Cemetery (Pilot Point, TX) – Joseph Quitman Gray
- Ridge Park Cemetery (Itasca, TX) – Robert Benton Gray
- Itasca Cemetery (Itasca, TX) – Mollie Gray (metal marker)
(CLICK ON PHOTOS TO SEE FULL-SCREEN)
I found this postcard among some papers and photos Anna had given me. I wondered if it was her parents’ house so I wrote and asked her. Anna’s response is the last letter I received from her before she died in June 2002. She was 95.
“…I wish Edna was here to tell you about these early days of my family – she was old enough when our mother died to remember her very vividly. [Edna, Anna’s oldest sibling, was 6 years old when their mother died] This house is where we were living when my mother became ill and was moved to our Aunt Bell’s house [L.D.’s older sister, Belle Gray Houston] and died there. I was taken to my maternal grandparents’ and as you know lived there until I was seven. My father, Tip and Edna lived at Aunt Bell’s until he remarried. We visited back and forth but hardly knew we were brother and sisters – at least it was very confusing to me. My father had the grocery store and supplied both households. Back then, my grandfather grew everything on the farm so about all they needed from the store was sugar and flour, both bought by the barrel. We had apples all winter from the orchard – they were stored in a big box filled with sand – they were delicious, peaches were dried and other fruits canned. I don’t know how my grandmother did all she did and make all the clothes for the family. She never too tired or busy to read to me. I don’t think my father, Edna and Tip ever went back to this house…”