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.

17 August 2011

John Gray married Ann Purdy in Ireland

(click to view full screen)
My ancestor John Gray immigrated from Ireland in July 1838. The immigration record stated his wife was Ann, his daughter was Elizabeth, age 3, last residence Queen's county, Ireland. John Gray's family immigrated with Nicholas Purdy's family. The two families also settled near eachother in Mecklenburg, VA. I am very thankful my friend and relative Hobson Scott Wright found this record, and sent me a copy.

A friend that visited Ireland was told that people who lived in Queens county, were often there to save up for their passage to the United States. Other Irish families (Purdy, Joyce) in the Brunswick, VA area had stated they from northern Ireland area (Armagh), so Queens county didn't really make much sense any more, as to where John Gray would be from. We now know, that John Gray married Ann Purdy in Armagh, Ireland. We do not know how or if she is related to Nicholas Purdy. John Gray and Nicholas Purdy show up in records in the Seagoe Parish, in Armagh County, Northern Ireland.  It is most likely the economic collapse of the linen industry in Armagh in 1837 that led John Gray and Nicholas Purdy to immigrate to the United States.

Elizabeth Gray, was the daughter of John Gray and Ann Purdy. She was born in Ireland, immigrated to Mecklenburg, Virginia as a toddler (age 3), and later married Washington Clary in 1857. After Ann Purdy died, John Gray married his neighbor Sarah Elizabeth Jones. John and Sarah had 9 children, one of which was my ancestor, Alginon Gray. John Gray and Ann Purdy's marriage record is attached. Click to view full screen.

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