The RAY family line comes to me through my father, Sam Rhapherd BREEDLOVE, and through his grandfather, Sam Paisley RICHARDS. Sam Paisley RICHARDS' mother was Lucy Ann RAY, a great great granddaughter of James RAY.
The earliest known ancestor on this line, and probably the immigrant ancestor, was James RAY, born about 1715, and probably in Ireland but of Scottish ancestry. [COMMENT-1] He and his wife whose name is unknown lived in Pennsylvania where at least two children were born, and came to North Carolina. He probably died in Orange County, North Carolina, where he had lived for many years.
A letter written May 23, 1979, from a Pennsylvania researcher whose signature looks like Clyde L. GRIFF, states the following history of the community to which James RAY belonged:
...they all came to this area from Ireland in early 1720's. It was James LOGAN, who was a sort of land agent for PENNS' who directed these people to come into our area, first as a buffer against the Maryland claims, and next he had some rights for this land. The Susquehanna River represented the western boundry line as there was agreement with Indians, not to settle on the other side. Col. fRENCH came up in 1720's and 1730's to burn cabins of people who squatted on the western side of the river.
We have letters from LOGAN to people in area who had complained that he sold land to Germans (six: These so called Scotch-Irish came in group from Donegal in Ireland and by late 1720's had Rev. James ANDERSON as their Presbyterian Minister and so many lived in West Conestoga Township of Chester County by 1722/23 the tax records called it West Donegal or West Conestogo or Donegal. It was these people who hated Germans, and it was to these people that LOGAN wrote and said he nevr sold land to Germans, only to them, that they had a SONDERLUST and sold out and moved on. This migration path was accross from present day Harrisburg and it went by Hogestown to leTort's Spring, present day Carlisle, last outpost for years. From here you are on your own. Road was called the Conestoga Road and ran all the way to present day Roanoke, Virginia and the Donegal Society was born because of this movement of Presbyterians from Donegal Presbyterian Church. I am historian of our society, which is over sixty years old....
We have searched for titles and deeds, and found nothing about your line. Nothing to prove your William RAE was born in 1743 on River Susquehanna....
William RAY, Sr., in the pension application quoted later stated that he was born on the Susquehanna June 11, 1743. Land matching his description was purchased by James RAY March 16, 1742, being 150 acres "on the west side of the Susquehanna in the county of Lancaster in Tyrone Township". Other RAY purchases in Lancaster County during this time period were 200 acres bought by Hugh RAY on August 1, 1735, 40 acres bought by John RAY October 14, 1743, 30 acres bought by Joseph RAY December 12, 1748, and 100 acres bought by John REAH May 18, 1749.
Orange County, North Carolina, was formed in 1752. It would appear that James RAY was there even before the county was formed. There is an indenture made in March of 1749 honoring an agreement between Henry McCULLOCH, Esquire, Benjamin HILL and Abraham McCULLOCK, gentlemen and James RAY made June 12, 1747, and conveying to James RAY 350 acres on the south side of Little River in the County of Granville. This land would have been in Orange County after the formation of the county. In 1756 James RAY was granted 240 acres by Lord GRANVILLE and in 1763 received another 325 acres of land, all on or near Little River.
James RAY was a part of the Granville County Regiment of Militia on a muster roll dated October 8, 1754. [COMMENT-2] He appeared on the 1755 tax list, showing one white poll and no black polls. He qualified for Grand Jury to be held there in the town of Eno March 1, 1754. He again qualified for Grand Jury in March of 1758 and June 2, 1759, which was to be held at Corbin Town. He was to attend as a juror in Corbin Town September 11, 1759, and he was sworn to Grand Jury August 3, 1760.James RAY was the father of five sons:
| John RAY, Esquire, was born about 1740, in Pennsylvania. He married first Sarah MILLER, who died about 1800 and second, on July 1, 1805, Sally CLARK, and he died in 1829. His first wife, Sarah MILLER, was a sister of his brother Joseph's wife, and was the mother of all ten children. John RAY, Esq., was a justice of the peace for many years. His children were |
|William RAY, Sr., the second son, was born June 11, 1743, on the Susquehana River, probably in Donegal County, Pennsyl-vania. He married Mary STAGG, and this family is described in the following section.|
|Joseph RAY was born in North Carolina about 1750; he married Lydia MILLER, March 21, 1771, and died 1781, killed in the Revolutionary War. His widow never married and was a mid-wife in Smith County, Tennessee. They were the parents of five children, two of whom died before 1837, apparently without issue. The others were |
|James RAY, Jr., was born in North Carolina about 1740, married Jayne __, and moved to Jackson County, Tennessee. He may have gone to Tennessee as early as 1783 when 640 acres near French Lick, Davidson County, Tennessee was granted to a James RAY. His will was made in 1810 and proved in 1816. Their children were |
|Robert RAY was born in North Carolina, married Anice __, moved to Caswell County, North Carolina, and died 1786.|
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William RAY, Sr., son of James RAY, was born June 11, 1743, on the Susquehana River, probably in Donegal County, Pennsyl-vania. In North Carolina he married Mary STAGG, the daughter of Thomas STAGG and wife Judith __ of Orange County, North Carolina. William RAY, Sr., died about 1834, being at least ninety years of age, in Orange County and probably was buried at the Little River Cemetery there.
William RAY, Sr., fought in the Revolutionary War as described in his pension application. The application follows:
On the 29th day of June, A. D. 1833 personally appeared before me, William H. HALL, one of the Justices of the Peace in and for the county aforesaid, William RAY senr resident of the county and State aforesaid, aged 90 years on the 11th day of June 1833 who after having first been duly sworn according to law, doth on his oath, make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefits of the Act of Congress passed June 7th 1833.
That he entered the service of the United States under the following named officers and served as herein stated:
In the year 1776 declarant was duly appointed Captain of a company of militia in the county of Orange & state aforesaid, which company consisted of drafted men, for three months, and he marched his said company from the Town of Hillsboro NC to Fayettville, NC then called Cross Creek. Declarant's company was attached to a regiment commanded by Col. MOORE. Gen. CASWELL was the commanding General. Declarant served out the Term of three months as a Captain for which his said company was drafted. He did not receive a written commission as captain.
The declarant was a Militia Captain in the County of Orange aforesaid during the whole of the Revolutionary War and was generally engaged in pursuance of instructions given by superior officers, in drafting men and delivery of them at the Town of Hillsboro NC. In addition to the tour of three months for which he served in the capacity of captain as aforesaid, he performed two other tours of three months each commanding militia companies as captain, & was on each occasion duly appointed to the captaincy, but did not receive in these cases, a written commission.
One of the Said Tours he performed in the year 1781, which commenced as soon as the capture of Hillsboro NC by the Tories took place. The declarant marched his company from Hillsboro to Lindly's Mills in Orange County the day after the battle with the Tories at that place. He was in pursuit of the Tories. In this Tour Genl. BUTLER and Col. MABANE were his superior officers. In the same year of 1781 before the capture of Hillsboro as aforesaid, the Declarant as captain as aforesaid, marched a company of drafted militia from Hillsboro on a tour of three months duty to the Yadkin River in NC and there joined General BUTLER's Brigade. The ____ returned was, when Lord CORNWALLIS was pursuing Genl. GREEN's army from South Carolina into North Carolina.
The declarant performed a great deal of other military duty during the Revolutionary War but on account of his advanced age & want of memory, he cannot pretend to specify the details of his service. He remembers the three tours of three months each, above set forth, but he cannot remember the circumstances and details of them further than he has stated. He is very deficient in memory and is not enabled to give a more precise account than the above, of his service. The general results of his having performed three tours of duty as a Captain of the militia and having served under the officers aforesaid and by having been engaged in that duty & the additional one of drafting and delivery of soldiers as above set forth is actually impressed on his memory but most of the accompanying circumstances have passed from his recollection. He was born on the Susqueanna in the State of Pennsylvania on the 11th June 1743. He hath no written account or records of his age. He was moved ______ North Carolina, ____ eighteen months old and has resided in said county and state ever since.
He knew Captain William LYTLE, Major TATUM and Colonel Archibald LYTLE who were Continental officers.
The declarant always volunteered his service and knows of no person by whom he can prove his service except William CUMMINGS of Hillsboro. He hath no documentary proof of his service. He duly relinquishes every claim whatever to a pension or annuity except the present and declares that his name is not on the pension roll of the agency of any state. He is known to John HANKS, a clergyman, Rankin McKEE and Alexander C. HALL, residents of his county.
Sworn to and subscribed before me.
Wm. H. HALL, JP William hisxmark RAY (Seal)
William RAY was a J.P. on May 2, 1765, when John DUNNAGAN was appointed Constable in his room. William RAY signed as security for Joseph ALLISON for a tavern on August 7, 1764. William REA purchared land in neighboring Rowan County, North Carolina, December 15, 1755, for forty pounds, being 320 acres on both sides of Fourth Creek. [COMMENT-3]
William RAY signed the petition and was an Orange County freeholder in the December 10, 1776 election described in the section concerning Hugh WOODS.
In 1778 William RAY owned property in the New River Basin of North Carolina, assessed value of 99 pounds.
By 1780, Ashe County had established settlers, and for example William RAY, who had built a mill and John BAKER who had previously built a pounding mill. [COMMENT-4]
There is a power of attorney from Elias ALLRED July 23, 1791, appoint-ing William RAY of Orange County, North Carolina, to receive final settlement certificate of Charles GAZETEY re Revolutionary War service.
In 1792, Orange County, North Carolina, certified administration of the estate of Christopher CORONER, deceased, to William RAY, Esq. [COMMENT-5]
The federal direct tax of 1816, as assessed in Orange County, North Carolina, was assessed against Charles DUNNIGAN, Little River, 216 acres, $444 value; Alsey DUNNIGAN, Little River, 79 acres, $158; Dicey DUNNIGAN, Little River, 244 acres, $500 (This would be Dicey CARRINGTON DUNNAGAN, widow of Sherid (Sherwood) DUNNAGAN, Sr., and my ancestor through the WILLIAMS/ANDERSON/BREEDLOVE route; Timothy DUNNIGAN, Little River, 563 acres, $1,100; John RAY, Sr., Little River, 500 acres, $2,400; William RAY, Sr., Little River, 192 acres $400 (my ancestor through the RAY/RICHARDS/BREEDLOVE line, described in this section); Joseph RAY, Little River, 301 acres, $913; Thomas RAY, Little River, 192 acres, $800, probably my ancestor, a son of William RAY, Sr., and described below; Capt. John RAY, Little River, 436 acres, $1,508; Capt. John RAY as Executor for George RAY, Little River, 420 acres, $1,500; James RAY, Little River, 104 acres, $616; William RAY (of William) Little River, 200 acres, $450; John RAY (of William) Little River, 200 acres, $500; Thomas BARLOW, Little River, 96 acres, $200 (my ancestor, see later section); Ashley DUNNAGAN, Eno, Orange County, 50 Acres, $200. [COMMENT-6]
The will of William RAY, Sr., reads as follows:
In the Name of God, Amen. I William RAY, Sr., of the County of Orange and State of North Carolina, being of Sound mind and Memory thanking God for the Same and Calling to mind that man was Born to die, do make & publish this my Last will and Testament setting aside all others heretofore made by me at any Time whatever-------
Item 1, It is my will and desire that all my Just debts & Funeral Charges be paid out of my Estate.
Item 2, I give & Bequeath to my son James RAY one Negroe Boy, Named Isaac.
Item 3, I Give & Bequeath to my daughter Jane HOPKINS the sum of Fifty dollars.
Item 4th, I Give & Bequeath to my Son William RAY, 1 Bed & furniture.
Item 5th, I Give & Bequeath to my daughter Sally RHEW the Sum of Fifty dollars.
Item 6th, I Give & Bequeath to my Son John RAY, three Negroes to wit Fillis, Polly & Tunssy.
Item 7th, I Give & Bequesth to my two Grandsons James RAY of Thomas and John RAY of Thomas Five dollars each and my four other Grand Children of Thomas RAYs, dec., to wit: William, Rebecca, Charles & Bogan One dollar each.
Lastly I will that all the Estate owned by me at my death, Real & personal be held on a Credit of Twelve months by my Executor and after paying the Expenses of my Estate & the Legacies heretofore named the Surplus of money that may Remain on hand if any Is to be Equally Divided between my heirs each to Share & Share alike. I Constitute & appoint Richison NICHOLS Executor of this my Last will & Testament, in Testimony whereof I have set my hand & Seal this 13th day of February, 1833
The signature, spelled REA, is in his handwriting. The top part of the instrument, in someone else's handwriting, says RAY. Richison NICHOLS, who was appointed Executor, was their family lawyer.
William RAY, Sr., and his wife Mary STAGG were the parents of the following children:
| Capt. James RAY, born in 1765 in Orange County, North Carolina, married Janet ALLISON. He died February 6, 1837. His children were deceased before he made his will, leaving his property to grandchildren. His children were |
| William RAY, Jr., was born in 1772, in Orange County. He married Mary (Polly) McGEE on April 10, 1794. William RAY, Jr., died in 1848. He was evidently very eccentric. His wife and sons moved away to Illinois many years before his death. He left a good-sized estate and a reputation for business shrewdness. His sons were |
| John RAY, Sr., was born about 1776 in Orange County, North Carolina. On January 4, 1801, he married Mary (Polly) Dunnagan, probably a cousin, the daughter of Charles Dunnagan and Alicia STAGG, described in the following section. John RAY, Sr., died in 1856, and she died in February of 1857. Their children were |
|Jane RAY HOPKINS was born in Orange County, North Carolina about 1778. On March 1, 1794 he married Eliza HOPKINS. She died in or before 1841. Eliza HOPKINS, who married Sally RAY listed in the previous family was probably her son.|
|Sally RAY RHEW was also born in Orange County, North Carolina. She married John (?) RHEW, and died before 1841.|
|Thomas RAY, the youngest son of William RAY, Sr., and Mary STAGG, was born about 1778, in Orange County, North Carolina, and married Mary Ann (Polly) WOODS. They are more fully discribed in a later section. [COMMENT-7]|
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Thomas STAGG and his wife Judith __ were the parents of Mary STAGG RAY, the wife of William RAY, Sr., who with her husband is described in the preceeding section. He died about 1787 in Orange County, North Carolina.
From the Orange County Land Records, book 3, page 51, dated February 26, 1787:
This indenture made this 26th day of Feb. in year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty seven between William RAY who intermarried with Mary STAGG, daughter of Thomas STAGG by Judith STAGG his wife; George LAWS Jr. who intermarried with Susanna STAGG, dau. of Thomas; Lazare TILLEY who intermarried with Elizabeth STAGG, dau. of Thomas; Charles Dunnagan who intermarried with Alicia STAGG, dau. of Thomas; Moses LEATHERS who intermarried with Sarah STAGG, dau. of Thomas; and Judith STAGG, dau. of Thos. STAGG by Judith his wife, co-heirs of said Thomas STAGG, deceased, all of Orange County and Judith, widow and relict of said Thomas STAGG, deceased and mother of afore-said Mary, Susanna, Alicia, Elizabeth, Sarah and Judith STAGG, co-heirs aforesaid for and in consideration of the sum of 66£ lawful money of NC to him in hand paid before the record whereof we the said William RAY (et al) doth hereby acknowledge thereof doth exeronate, acquit & discharge the said Judith STAGG, her causes and consideration hath given granted, sold Alienated and convey and confirm land situate lying and being in the county of Orange and state aforesaid on the southwest side of flat River called and known by the name of STAGG's Old Raw Ground, adjoining the land of Wm. JOHNSTON, deceased and Richard BENEHAN supposed to contain in the whole 66 acres...."
The deed goes on to convey the land to William RAY, one of the sons-in-law and my ancestor, described in the preceeding section.
As indicated by the deed, the children of Thomas STAGG and wife Julia were as follows:
|Mary STAGG RAY, wife of William RAY, Sr., described in the preceeding section|
|Susanna STAGG LAW, who married George LAW, Jr.,|
|Alicia STAGG Dunnagan, who married Charles Dunnagan,|
|Elazabeth STAGG TILLEY, who married Lazare TILLEY,|
|Sarah (Sally) STAGG LEATHERS, who married Moses LEATHERS, [COMMENT-8] and|
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The youngest son of William RAY, Sr., and wife Mary STAGG was Thomas RAY, born about 1778 in Orange County, North Carolina. He married Mary Ann (Polly) WOODS, Sept. 23, 1800, in Orange County. Her father Hugh WOODS was bondsman. Hugh WOODS and his wife Mary Dunnagan are described in the following section. Thomas RAY died March 26, 1817, and all of his five sons moved to McNairy County, Tennessee, in the 1840's. Mary Ann (Polly) WOODS RAY may have been older than Thomas according to the census, and after his death may have married second James McPHERSON on September 11, 1823. Mary Ann RAY did marry him on this day, but it may or may not be the same person.
The 1800 census of Orange County, North Carolina, at page 593, shows Thomas near two of his three brothers and his parents: William RAY, Jr., 2 males under ten, 1 male 26-45, 1 female 26-45; William RAY, Sr., 1 male over 45, 1 female under ten, 1 female 26-45, 1 female over 45, 5 slaves; Thomas RAY, 1 male 16-26, 1 female 26-45, 5 slaves; James RAY, 1 male 10-16, 1 male 26-45, 1 female 10-16, 1 female 26-45, 1 female over 45, 2 slaves.
On the Orange 1810 County census the family is more widely separated. James RAY appears at page 123, Capt. James RAY is at page 174, James or John is at page 176, John is at page 160 and another at page 128, John, Jr., is at page 112, Joseph is at page 160, William, Sr. is at page 114, and William at page 173. I don't know where Thomas is.
The names of all five sons can be located on the 1850 McNairy County, Tennessee, census. William RAY, Sr., mentioned the names of all the children of his deceased son Thomas RAY in his will dated January 13, 1833.
The sons of Thomas RAY and wife Mary Ann (Polly) WOODS were:
|James RAY, who was born August 10, 1801, in Orange County, North Carolina, and who married Nancy BARLOW, December 13, 1827, in Orange County. They are described more fully in a later section.|
| William RAY, who was born in 1805, in Orange County, North Carolina, and who on December 31, 1832, married Maria/Mary Ann BARLOW, a sister of Nancy who as the wife of William's brother James my ancestor and of Lucreita, wife of another brother, Charles RAY. William died between 1857 and 1860. Their children were |
|Rebecca RAY DALLY (?) was born in 1807, Orange County, North Carolina, and she may have married John DALLY in 1823.|
| John RAY was born in 1810 in Orange County. He married Nancy __, and they were the parents of|
| Charles RAY was born in Orange County, North Carolina, about 1810 and married Lucreita BARLOW, sister of James' wife Nancy BARLOW and William's wife Mary Ann BARLOW on February 5, 1836. Their children were |
| Richard Bogan RAY, the youngest of the five brothers, was born February 20, 1813, in Orange County. He married Elizabeth RAY October 23, 1833. Bogan died December 27, 1890 and is buried in Walter's Chapel Cemetery which was once in Prairie County, Arkansas, and is now in Loneoke County. Others in my family buried in this cemetery include Thomas Allen RICHARDS, who married a niece of Bogan RAY's and is my ancestor, described in the RICHARDS page, and Nancy BARLOW RAY, Bogan's sister-in-law and my ancestor, described in a later section. Children of Bogan RAY and his wife Elizabeth RAY include |
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The name of Hugh WOOD(S), whose daughter Mary Ann married Thomas RAY, often appears in Orange County, North Carolina, records. His wife was Mary DUNNAGAN, daughter of Sherod DUNNAGAN, Sr., and Dicey CARRINGTON DUNNAGAN, his wife. I am descended from Sherod and Dicey DUNNAGAN through both my mother and father, this line leading to my father. The fascinating stories of this family are set out on the DUNNAGAN Page. The date of birth of Hugh WOODS is not known; he died about 1794, in Orange County. Mary died between October 2, 1820 and November, 1822, Orange County, North Carolina.
Hugh WOOD was on the jury in the trial of an inquest concerning Henry WEBB who was murdered at 11:00 P.M. on Thursday, September 28, 1758 by three unidentified men who beat him in the head with clubs. The In-quest was at St. Matthew's Parish, Orange County, North Carolina. [COMMENT-13]
In preparation for the Fourth Provincial Congress which was to convene at Halifax, North Carolina, in November 1776, an election was called in Orange County for the fifteenth of October to elect the county delegates. Landowners arrived from all over the county, which at that time included not only present day Orange County but also Alamance, Caswell, Person and most of Durham Counties. The voting was never completed. The experience of the majority of the would-be voters is described in their petition to the Provencial Congress:
We have been unjustly, violently and tortiously prevented from exercising that right [the right to vote].... We attended at Hillsboro all the day on the fifteenth of October in order to vote for Delegates to represent the said County [Orange], but that we found it impossible to go into the Courthouse where the Clerks and Inspectors were taking the Poll without great danger of bodily hurt, by reason of the Riot and Tumult which prevailed in and about the Courthouse.
The scene inside the Courthouse was described by William McCAULEY, an Inspector of the Polls:
When the day came the polls opened and when there were about forty or fifty votes taken a young boy came to give his vote. I asked him if he had any land that he claimed or a house or any property. He told me no. I told him I believed the Congress had not given him, or such as him, a right to vote. Upon that, three or four of TATE's men who appeared said, 'Let every freeman give a vote.' I told them that if it was agreeable to Congress and agreeable to them it was to me. In a few votes more came another little boy, which I being not satisfied, I spoke to the Bench and a few of them said it would be no election. Then I spoke in general to the people and told them if they did not keep in better order it would be impossible to take the poll on account of the throng. It was all to no purpose. After some time Col. Wm. MOOR stood up in the Bench and said that this was the day the Congress had appointed for the election, hoping they would keep order for after sundown no more could give a vote. A few more votes were taken, but those who had voted kept the others back and we were obliged to get the Books of the Polls and withdraw from the Courthouse and no more votes were taken. The sun was still about an hour and a half or two hours high.
The list of freeholders of Orange County who were entitled to vote, as determined by the Provincial Congress in response to the petition, included John WOODS, John RAY, William DUNNIGAN, Robert WOOD, and Hugh WOOD.
Hugh WOODS' will reads as follows:
I, Hugh WOODS of the County of Orange and State of North Carolina, do make and Ordain this my last will and Testament as followes, to wit, I will that all my Just debts and funeral Charges may be paid, as speedily as may be after my decease by my Executrix and Executor, hereinafter named. I give and bequeath to my sons Joseph & Elihugh WOODS my land and plantation on Little River where I at present reside, to be divided as follows, that my son Joseph WOOD is to have all the land that lies on the North side of the River and my son Elihugh to have that part whereon I now live being on the South side of said River and so will that the River shall be a line between my son Joseph WOOD and my son Elihu WOOD to them and their heirs forever, I give and bequeath to my son John WOOD at my decease and the decease of my wife Mary WOOD, One Negro, fellow Called Harry, his lifetime and then to descend to his heirs forever, I give and bequeath to my Daughter Susannah, wife of James FAUCET, one Negro fellow Called Will and a Negro Girl Called Judith. To her and her heirs forever, I give and bequeath to my son Joseph WOOD One Negro fellow Called Sam to him and his heirs forever, I give and bequeath to my Son Elihu One Negro fellow called David to him and his heirs forever. I give & bequeath to my Daughter Sarah WOOD One Negro Girl called Joan to her and her heirs forever. I give and bequeath to my Daughter Elizabeth One Negro Girl Called Sheillie, and at my decease and the decease of my wife One Negro Boy called Abram to her and her heirs foever. I give and bequeath to my Daughter Mary Ann WOOD One Negro ____ and her Increase to her and her heirs forever. I give and bequeath to my Grand Son Hugh RIGGS, son of George RIGGS & Rebeccah his wife One Negro girl ____ ___ to him and his heirs forever, reserving one half of her incrase to Milly Daughter of the said Rebeckah RIGGS & sister to the said Hugh to descend to her and her heirs forever, but provided the Negro should have no increase, I will that the said negro Eda shall be the joint property of the said Hugh and Milly share and share Alike, but if the said Hugh should depart this life before he arrives to lawful age my will is that his share of the said negro or other increase shall be the property of the above said Milly WOODS my Grand Daughter her and her heirs forever and in Case the said Child Milly should die in her minority, I will that the said negro or other increase shall descend to her lawful heirs, I give and bequeath to my son Joseph, Elihu and Sarah, the following Negroes Called & Known by the names of Hannah, Luke and Jack to ___ them or their Respective heirs forever Share and Share alike, after my decease and the decease of my wife. I do further give and bequeath to my Grandson Hugh RIGGS and Horse Creature and Bed. I do further give and bequeath to my Daughters Susannah, Sarah, Elizabeth, Mary Ann, and Grand Daughter Milly all my stock of Horses Cattle Hogs Sheep and household furniture share and share alike. Provided nonetheless that the said Land & Plantation and the above named Negores to wit Hannah, Luck, & Jack and Huny with the said live stock and they are hereby set apart and reserved for the sole use & benefit of my Beloved wife Mary WOOD during her natural life, if she should survive me, all my working Tools and Utinsils of husband I give to my Sons Share and Share alike after the death of my wife if she should survive me. I nominate and appoint my beloved wife Executrix, my son-in-law James FAUCETT Executor of this my last will and Testament and I do hereby Revoke and disannul all and every will heretofore by me made. In Witness whereof I have hereon set my hand and seal this 18th day of January, 1794.
Signed sealed published and declared by the said Hugh WOOD the Testator of and for his Testament and last will in the presence of us who have at his request set our hands and seals. Daniel TURRANTINE, James GRIMES, Hugh MONTGOMERY ____.
An abstract of Mary WOOD's will, found at Book E, Page 26, Orange County Wills, 1800-1850, follows.
Mary WOODS, widow of Hugh who died 1794. Dated 2 October 1820, proved November 1822. Daughter - Susannah FAUCETT. Grand daughter - Rebecca P. RAY, daughter of Thomas RAY and his wife Mary. Grand daughters: son John WOODS and 2 daughters Susannah and Peggy. Great grand daughter - Mary Mecia (?) WOOD, daughter of my grandson Timothy WOOD. Daughters, Elizabeth WOODS, Mary Ann RAY. Executor, son Joseph WOODS, friend Robert WALKER. Witnesses: William DUNAGAN, Eli WOODS, William BALDWIN.
The children of Hugh WOODS and his wife Mary Dunnagan include the following, as reflected by the wills:
|Mary Ann (Polly) WOODS RAY, wife of Thomas RAY, who is described in the preceeding section,|
|Susannah WOODS FAUCETT, wife of James FAUCETT,|
|Sarah WOODS, and|
|Rebeckah WOODS RIGGS, wife of George RIGGS, and mother of Milly RIGGS and George RIGGS. [COMMENT-14]|
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James RAY, the eldest son of Thomas RAY and his wife Mary Ann (Polly) WOODS, was born August 10, 1801, in Orange County, North Carolina. He married Nancy BARLOW, daughter of Thomas BARLOW and wife Lucretia (Lucy/Luecy) HARGUS, December 13, 1827, in Orange County, North Carolina. Thomas BARLOW and his wife are described in the following section. James died April 27, 1867, in McNairy County, Tennessee, and is buried in Prospect Cemetery there. Nancy was born April 1, 1805, in Orange County, North Carolina and died October 11, 1871, buried in Walter's Chapel Cemetery, Prairie County, Arkansas. Now that cemetery is in Loneoke County.
The family is shown on the 1850 McNairy County Census, page 19: James RAY, 48, Farmer, North Carolina; Nancy RAY, 45, North Carolina; Lucy RAY, 21, North Carolina; Rebecca RAY, 19, North Carolina; Thomas RAY, 17, North Carolina; William RAY, 15, North Carolina; Mary RAY, 13, North Carolina; Samuel RAY, 11, North Carolina; John RAY, 5, North Carolina; and Lucy BARLOW, 68, North Carolina. Lucy BARLOW is the mother of Nancy BARLOW RAY, described in the following section.
The 1860 McNairy County Census, on page 421, shows James WRAY, 59, Farmer, North Carolina; Nancy WRAY, 3(?)5; William C. WRAY, 24, school teacher; Mary D. WRAY, 23; Samuel P. WRAY, 21, farm laborer; John J. WRAY, 14. Next door is the T. A. RICHARDS family, which would be the eldest daughter, Lucy Ann RAY and her husband, Thomas Allen RICHARDS, described in the page on the RICHARDS family.
Sam Paisley RAY was named for an Orange County North Carolina Presbyterian minister. I assume the family were members at the Little River church. "After Cross Roads was united with Hawfields in the service of a pastor, Eno, which had at first been its partner, was united with Little River, which became a distinct congregation about this time, under the charge of Rev. James H. BOWMAN, in the year 1794. In the great revival of 1802, and onwards, he gathered a goodly number into his two churches. His ministry closed in 1815. His successor was Samuel PAISLEY, half-brother of William PAISLEY and son of an Indian captive, who commenced his labors here in 1816. In 1821 the congregations were blessed with a revival of religion that brought numbers into the church. After some years of service, Mr. PAISLEY left them, and is now ministering in Moore County, a member of the Fayetteville Presbytery." [COMMENT-15]
In 1850 the Cumberland Presbyterians erected a house of worship of brick in the center part of the town of Purdy, McNairy County, Tennessee. [COMMENT-16] Another source indicates that the Purdy Cumberland Presbyterian Church was organized by the Rev. Wm. M. DUNAWAY August 19, 1851, with 69 members. Many of these members transferred from Mt. Zion and Mt. Vernon Presbyterian congregations in the county. Another congregation in the county was Pleasant Ridge, which at one point had 51 members, and it is known that the James RAY family were members of this congregation. The James RAY family moved to McNairy County about February, 1848. This is a church where the RAY family were active members. Church minutes for that congregation on March 21, 1869, mentions the following persons as being present: R. YOUNG, Moderator; Elders L. A. RICHARDS, C. A. RICHARDS, J. J. ROY (sic); and H. S. HUDSPETH. Elder T. A. RICHARDS adjourned the session. I don't know who L. A. RICHARDS is since I doubt it's Lucy Ann RAY RICHARDS. C. A. would be Chesley Allen RICHARDS, and I believe J. J. ROY is John J. RAY. Elder T. A. RICHARDS would be the Rev. Thomas Allen RICHARDS, my ancestor, described on the RICHARDS page. Minutes of September 21, 1869, reflect the presence of the RICHARDS and RAY families just as heavily, while they are absent in September, 1870, consistent with the report that the family moved on January 1, 1870.
The Civil War of course had a tremendous impact on this family. Their son, Sam Paisley RAY, described the war from a soldier's point of view in the following letter: [COMMENT-17]
Fort Wright Randolph Tenn July 25th 1861 Dear Father Mother brother and Sisters. I seat my self this good night to drop you a few lines to let you know that I am in good health at this time hopeing when these few lines comes to hand they may find you all like blest I haven't any thing much to wright our regiment and John wrights is a going to leave here to morrow or next day we will go to east tennessee or to masouria one we don't know which we will go to memphis first and get our uniform I am wiling to go any where and fight for our homes and our wrights none of you neadent to wright any moore until I wright you agane I will wright as soon as we git whare we are a going I receieved a letter from Chesley and tomas when Froke Smith got back the only letters I have receieved in two months nearly it was the first that I have got from thomas. I think you all have treated me a little bad since I have .... I have done my part in wrighting if we go to east tennessee I will come by home and sta 3 or 4 days and if we go to masouria I don't now when I can come thomas Barlow is well and sends his love to you all Buck is well and sends his love to you all John RAY and Tom Wagoner is well and also sends their best respects to you all it is giting late I must close so fare well fore a while.....give my love to all of my connection after receieving a good portion for your selves yours as ever....
Sam Paisley RAY was killed in the Battle of Shiloh on April 6, 1862, a battle fought within the hearing of his family at home. His sister, Lucy Ann RAY RICHARDS named her child born April 9, 1862, in McNairy County, Samuel Paisley RICHARDS, and it was for this man, his grandfather, that my father Sam R. BREEDLOVE was named.
An article about John J. RAY, the youngest brother, was written for his 101st birthday: "RAY was born in Orange County, N.C., but lived the early part of his life in Tennessee. He still recalls the roll of the cannon in the battle of Shiloh, 15 miles from his home. And he recalls that the Union army took all his family's horses. The family moved to Arkansas after the War Between the States, and in 1876 RAY came to Texas, settling near Dublin."
After the death of her husband, on January 1, 1870, Nancy RAY, son John and daughter, Polly, left Tennessee, taking the train at Corinth, Mississippi, to Memphis, Tennessee. [COMMENT-18] Then the family went by boat down the Mississippi River to the mouth of the White River and up the White River to Des Arc, Arkansas, to visit her son Tom who lived on a farm in the Walter's Chapel Community near Carlisle, Arkansas. This was the same year Nancy's daughter Lucy Ann RAY RICHARDS and her family moved to Collin County, Texas, then back to Des Arc, Arkansas. This is described more fully on the RICHARDS page.
A letter from John J. RAY, Jr., dated October 23, 1971, describes the early life of his father:
When John was 13 months old, the family moved to McNary County, Tenn. Their farm was on Oxford Creek, about 7 miles south of Purdy, then the county seat. The county seat was later moved to Selma, about 3 miles from the farm. They lived there until December 31, 1869. James RAY had died on April 27, 1867. Tom had married Molly J. ROBINSON on February 6, 1861 and moved to Arkansas. Dr. Will RAY had also moved to Arkansas. Tom returned home from the Southern Army, wounded, and died in a year or so.
Another paragraph of this letter I find interesting because of a line through my mother, Alma Ellen ANDERSON BREEDLOVE, in which her ancestor Richard BULL (II) lived in Orange County, North Carolina, the same county the RAY family came from there: "Mrs. [Nancy BARLOW] RAY, John and Polly had dinner the first day in Des Arc at Mrs. BULL's home. Mrs. BULL was a cousin of Mrs. Tom RAY [Molly J. ROBINSON RAY]. it was here that John met Alice Lefton, on January 4, 1870. He married her in the same home January 9, 1872." While we're talking about wives who married into the family being kin, it does illustrate the way in which these families moved in groups and knew each other, maintaining ties with people from the same county many miles further west.
The children of James RAY and wife Nancy BARLOW were as follows:
|Lucy Ann RAY RICHARDS, wife of the Rev. Thomas Allen RICHARDS, was born May 27, 1829, in North Carolina (probably in Orange County.) She and Thomas Allen married March 20, 1852, in McNairy County, Tennessee, and this family is described more fully on the RICHARDS page.|
| Susan Rebecca (Becky) RAY RICHARDS, born in Orange County, North Carolina, November 19, 1830, married Chesley A. RICHARDS, a half-brother of Jim RICHARDS, her sister Polly's husband. These two families, as well as John J. RAY, their brother, moved with Lucy Ann RAY RICHARDS to the Cottonwood Community near Dublin in Erath County, Texas, and are more fully described on the RICHARDS page. Becky died March 27, 1898. Their children were |
|Thomas (Tom) B. RAY was born in 1833 in Orange County, North Carolina. He married Mollie J. ROBINSON February 6, 1861. He was a school teacher and died a few years after the Civil War. They lived in Prairie County, Arkansas.|
|William (Will) C. RAY was born October 28, 1834, in Orange County and was a doctor. The 1880 Erath County Census shows him with C. A. RICHARDS and shows his profession as dentist. He died May 24, 1908, and is buried in Walter's Chapel Cemetery, Loneoke County, Arkansas.|
| Mary Doak (Polly) RAY RICHARDS, born December 28, 1836, in Orange County, married Jim RICHARDS, a half-brother of Chesley A. RICHARDS. This family also moved to Erath County, Texas, and their children were |
|Sam Paisley RAY was born in 1839 in Orange County. He never married and died April 6, 1862 at the Battle of Shiloh as stated above in this section.|
| John Jasper RAY, born September 2, 1846, in Orange County, North Carolina, lived to be 105 years of age, dying May 7, 1952 in Fort Worth. He moved to McNairy County when 13 months old. He married Alice LEFTON January 9, 1872, and lived in Prairie County, Arkansas, Erath County, Texas, and Tarrant County, Texas. He was post master at Dublin for about five years, holding that job until "The Republicans stopped my pay." Their children were|
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Thomas BARLOW married Lucretia (Lucy/Leucy) HARGUS, December 26, 1796, in Orange County, North Carolina. Since Lucy was 80 in 1860, she was about 16 at her marriage. The children of Thomas BARLOW and Lucy included Nancy BARLOW, wife of James RAY, described in a previous section of this chapter. Thomas BARLOW died before 1850***, owning Orange County real estate at the time of his death. Since one of his daughters married in 1796, it may very well be that the property sale from which the date of 1875 is derived was a great deal after his death.
One daughter, being identified as Lucy RAY of Tippah County, Mississippi, signed by a mark (+) an instrument written about April 15, 1876, appointing James WEBB of Hillsboro, North Carolina, attorney, to collect "...any sum of money due me from the estate of my father, Thomas BARLOW deceased, late of Orange County...." Witnesses were J. P. RAY and Thomas A. HUNT. Others involved in the sale of the land were George F. BOWLS of McNairy County, Tennessee, who on May 10, 1875, appointed James WEBB of Orange County, North Carolina, attorney, to receive any monies due from the sale of the real estate of said BOWLS' grandfather, Thomas BARLOW, deceased, and grandmother, Lucy BARLOW, deceased, both of said Orange County, North Carolina The "portion I am entitled to receive is a equal 1/4 of the interest of my mother Ruth BOWLS formerly Ruth BARLOW and she was a daughter of the said Thomas BARLOW and Lucy BARLOW and the said Ruth departed this Life more than 20 years ago and left Surviving her 4 Heirs of which I am one." [COMMENT-20]
A related instrument records that "Mrs. L. A. RICHARDS, C. A. RICHARDS and S. R. (his wife), W. C. RAY, J. T. RICHARDS, and M. D. (his wife) and John J. RAY - all of Erath County, Texas, 28th of February, 1887, appoint C. E. PARISH of Orange County, North Carolina, Attorney, to receive the amount due the heirs of Nancy RAY, deceased."[COMMENT-21] These would be Lucy Ann RAY RICHARDS, Chesley Allen RICHARDS and his wife Susan Rebecca RAY RICHARDS, William C. RAY, Jim T. RICHARDS and Mary Doak (Polly) RAY RICHARDS, his wife, and John J. RAY, all children and sons-in-law of Nancy BARLOW RAY.
There are two Thomas BARLOWs on the Orange County, North Carolina, census for 1800. The first one, which I assume is this ancestor, is listed on page 165, showing 1 male over 45, 1 female under 10, 1 female 26-45, and 2 slaves. The second could be a son or other younger relative and has 1 male under 10, 1 male 16-26, 1 female under 10, and 1 female 16-26. On the 1810 census, they are in Orange County on pages 117 and 176.
The records would indicate that Thomas BARLOW and his wife Lucinda HARGUS BARLOW had four daughters:
|Nancy BARLOW RAY, the wife of James RAY, who is described in a preceding section;|
|Lucreita (Lucy) BARLOW RAY, who married Charles RAY, brother of James RAY, as described above;|
|Mary Ann BARLOW RAY who married William RAY, brother of Charles and James, as described above; and|
|Ruth BARLOW BOWLS, who died before 1855 and who was the mother of four children including George F. BOWLS of McNairy County, Tennessee.|
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The parentage of Thomas BARLOW, who was born married Lucretia HARGUS December 26, 1796, in Orange County, North Carolina, is not known to me, although the BARLOW family had been in the county for some time.
Thomas BARLOW and Robert BARLOW were among the inhabitants on a list of taxables dated 1750 in the North Carolina State Archives, Stack File #C.R. 044.701.23. Others who were listed included Hugh WOOD, John DUNAGAIN, and Thomas DUNAGAIN. [COMMENT-22]
American Continental POW's captured at Charleston and Camden who enlisted in the British Army included William BARLOW, Orange County, North Carolina, size 5'4", age 26. He was held prisoner on board the ship Success Increase. [COMMENT-23]
In 1778, Eliphelett BARLOW owned real property in the New River Basin of North Carolina, prior occupant John BARLOW. Another tract was owned by John BARLOW, Sr. John BARLOW, Jr. was shown as chain bearer on the survey of it.[COMMENT-24]
In 1786 there is a John BARLOW in Wilkes County North Carolina and a William BARLOW in Duplin County, North Carolina, the census information indicating as follows:
|Head of House||WM21-60||WMu21,o60||WF||BLACKS12-50||BLACKSu12,o50|
There are a lot of BARLOWS on the 1790 census of North Carolina.
John BARLOW married Betsey NICHOLS June 7, 1792, Orange County, North Carolina.
In Purdy, McNairy County, Tennessee where three of Thomas BARLOWs four daughters lived with their husbands, the RAY brothers, a record reflects that "The early school teachers of Purdy were Barrett LOCK, James CORNER, Andrew McKEE, David A. STREET, R. D. MILLER, Isaac SELF, Alvy JOHNSTON and BARLOW. [COMMENT-25]
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The parents of Lucretia (Lucy/Leucy) HARGUS BARLOW, wife of Thomas BARLOW are not known. Since Lucretia married in December of 1796, it can be assumed that she was born probably between 1770 and 1780, with an age range of sixteen to twenty six at marriage. Some clues to identify her family can be gleaned from Orange County Records. The names HARGIS and HARGUS are the same family, since at this point in time spellings were not always fixed. I would suggest the possibility that Lucy had brothers named John and Samuel. John HARGIS, born 1771 in Orange County, North Carolina, married Sarah DOUGLASS 1795 in Caswell County, North Carolina. He died in Tennessee. [COMMENT-26] Samuel HARGIS married Nancy McMUNN January 24, 1794 in Orange County, North Carolina.
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