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.

11 May 2014

Lelia Edenbeck and Thomas B. Gray

I thought I'd post about a mother with lots of children for Mother's day. This is Lelia and Thomas Grays' wedding picture. I got this picture from Bob Caruso, who gave me permission to share. His mother, Martha Elizabeth Gray had this picture. Martha is a daughter of Lelia and Thomas.

Thomas Gray was born in Mecklenburg, VA, near the Brunswick County border. Lelia was born in Brunswick, VA. Thomas Gray was the youngest of 9 children of John Gray and Sarah Elizabeth Jones. Lelia was the daughter of Sarah Ann Tudor and Charles Edenbeck. Sarah Tudor grew up near the Grays in Mecklenburg. Sarah also had a previous marriage to Wyatt Floyd. Sarah and Wyatt had a daughter named Mattie Floyd. Wyatt died in the Civil War, in the Spotsylvania Courthouse battle, and is buried at the Spotsylvania Confederate Cemetery. After Wyatt died, Sarah lived with her parents awhile, then married Charles Edenbeck. So Lelia and Mattie are half sisters. Charles Gray, (Thomas' older brother), married Mattie Floyd, in 1881, in Mecklenburg, VA. Mattie and Lelia's mother Sarah Tudor died about the time that Charles and Mattie married. Lelia's father remarried and lived in Brunswick, VA. Charles and Thomas Gray's parents both died in the 1890's. The family farm went to Jimmy Kidd and his wife Nannie Gray. Jimmy Kidd went to the mill to work, to get cash save the family farm. So after John Gray and Sarah Jones died, all the children and their spouses deeded the land to Jimmy and Nannie for a small amount of money. Then all the rest of the Grays left Mecklenburg and Brunswick and moved to Danville, VA. When they first moved there, Danville  wasn't an incorporated city yet, so they show up in Pittsylvania County records, under the Danville area. (In Virginia you can't be in a city and a county at the same time. Once you enter a city, you leave the county. So when Danville became a city, they were no longer in Pittsylvania County, but in Danville city instead.)  I'm not sure if it was after Sarah Tudor died, or when the Grays all moved, that Lelia went to live with her sister Mattie Floyd Gray. Martha Gray Moseley, Louisa Gray Lynch, Charles Gray, Rebecca Dolly Gray Taylor, Frank Gray, and Thomas Gray (not married yet) and their families all traveled to Danville, VA in the mid 1890's. They are all together, some sharing the same house on the 1900 Census. Charles is in the same house as his sister Dolly and her husband in 1900.

Lelia was the mother of 13 children:
1) an infant boy, Feb 1898
2) Ethel Gertrude Gray
3)  infant Harvey James Gray 1900
4) Marvin Meachum Gray
5) Margaret Gray
6) Percy Cornela Gray
7) Thomas B Gray Jr
8) Mary Lelia Gray
9) Paul Stafford Gray
10) Catherine Ruth Gray
11) Martha Elizabeth Gray
12) Robert Edenbeck Gray
13) John Jordan Gray

Lelia was widowed in 1929, at the age of 51. She died just 14 days before she turned 100, on 20 Sep 1977. (She was born 4 Oct 1877) I'm thankful to have this picture of Lelia and Thomas. I'm the oldest of 14 children. My parents had 12 then adopted 2. People ask me what my mom is like and what she looks like. Here we can see Lelia, young and before she started the adventures of being a mom. I'm sure she saw a lot of interesting things and had some great stories to tell. She got to see farming and city life grow. From farm wagon and train rides to cars. From telegraphs and notes home to the telephone. Large families are never boring. I love being a part of a big family. I also appreciate mothers of large families for all their hard work, flexibility, inventiveness, resourcefulness, and lots of love to all their children and grandchildren.

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