I realized quickly that I’d have to “think outside the box” to learn about my ancestors. I LOVE to interview people, and listen to stories about "the older days" when life seemed a little slower and simpler. I study USGS maps, plats, read chanceries, look for long forgotten cemeteries and try to help preserve memories people share with me. This blog is ad free, so it's easier to focus on sharing stories. Feel free to sign the guestbook, or join the FaceBook group. Even if we aren't related by DNA, I'd still love to hear about your research efforts and family stories. I am interested in posting (to this blog) stories relevant to the Mecklenburg-Brunswick families.

23 February 2009

John Gray from Ireland

In honor of St. Patrick's Day coming soon, I wanted to write about my Irish grandpa, John Gray. John Gray immigrated 27 July 1838. My friend Hobson is also a descendant of John Gray and found this record. In Ancestry.com's index, John is listed as Gery, rather than Gray. My friend found John, by searching for Nicholas Purdy. And it turns out that John Gray & Nicholas Purdy traveled together (with their wife and children) from Ireland, and remained neighbors the rest of their lives. It also turns out that Ancesty's immigration index goofed, with a slight typo. Hobson went to the National Archives and found John Gray spelled correctly on the record. My friend was also able to visit Ireland last year and went to search more for our John Gray gr...grandpa. Unfortunately he discovered that records pre-1840 are scarce there, even in the archives. The immigration record said John Gray was from Queen's county Ireland and that he was a weaver. But Hobson was told that doesn't necessarily mean John was really from Queen's county. Because a lot of people moved to Queen's county to save up money for their passage. The immigration record only stated where they last lived. John was listed as age 35, his wife Ann was 30, and their daughter Elizabeth was 3 years old. Ann died soon after arriving to America, and settling in Mecklenburg, VA. Later, John Gray married his next door farm neighbor, Sarah Elizabeth Jones. One of John Gray and Sarah Jones youngest children, Alginon Gray, is the father of Fannie Gray pictured on this blog page.

We are still searching for Anne's maiden name. And we're also searching for a connection between Nicholas Purdy and John Gray besides being friends and neighbors for decades. Because in this time and place, neighbors married each other.

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