Genealogical and Family History
STATE OF MAINE
Compiled under the editorial supervision of George Thomas Little, A. M., Litt. D.
LEWIS HISTORICAL PUBLISHING COMPANY
[Please see Index page for full citation.]
[Transcribed by Coralynn Brown]
[Many families included in these genealogical records had their beginnings in Massachusetts.]
The surname Grey (or Gray), of the same class as Black, White, Green, etc., has been in use from the earliest times as a surname in Scotland and England. The Scotch (Scottish!) family is of reputed Anglo-Norman stock, and has been settled in Perthshire since about 1300. The family possesses the lordship of Gray. Numerous are the Grays in the Protestant section of Ireland. The Scotch (Scottish!!) family settled early in the seventeenth century in Ulster, and at the present time (1908) are numerous in the counties of Londonderry, Antrim and Down. The births of this surname in Ireland in 1890 numbered 117, of whom seventy were in the counties named.
(I) John Gray, the immigrant ancestor of this family, progenitor of such famous men as Professor Asa Gray, the noted botanist, of Harvard University, and Professor Arthur Latham Perry, of Amherst College, was born in Londonderry, Ireland. He was one of the signers of the petition to Governor Shute, of Massachusetts, signed by men of Londonderry and vicinity in 1718 asking for land to make a home in America. Most of these men came to New England in 1718 or soon afterward. The first and largest settlement was made at Notfield, later called Londonderry, New Hampshire. About this Scotch-Irish settlement a group of new towns came into existence through the energy and enterprise of the Scotch (Scottish).
Gray came to Worcester, Mass., with a colony of his people. They were not welcomed in that town, and many of them removed after a few years to found the town of Pelham, Mass., and settle in that vicinity. Gray remained in Worcester, but some of his sons went to western Massachusetts and to New Hampshire. He bought land in Worcester in 1718 and 1722-23. He died early.
1. John Jr.
6. Robert, mentioned below.
(II) Robert (1), son of John Gray, was born in Londonderry, Ireland, in 1697. He learned the trade of blacksmith. He came to Massachusetts with the early Scotch-Irish immigration, with his father and brothers, and located at Worcester. In a deed dated March 6, 1726-27, Robert Gray, who is called "husbandman" of Worcester, sold to Henry Lee of Worcester, yeoman, for thirty pounds, "the two-thirds part of all after divisions of land yet to be laid out in the northerly half part of Worcester and drawn by virtue of a three ten-acre right originally granted to Thomas Glezen (Gleason) the first and second divisions of land with the meadows already out upon the said right excepted and not sold in this present deed." Deed witnessed by his brother William Gray and neighbor Benjamin Flagg, and recorded at Cambridge, July 21, 1730 (v. 31, p. 456). This was probably a right owned by his father. In a deed dated Feb., 1733-34, Gray was called of Brookfield, but he must have returned to Worcester in a short time. In a deed dated June 5, 1734, of house and land at Worcester of Joshua Rice. He owned a half lot bought Sept. 8, 1732, seventy-seven acres on both sides of the French River of Worcester, adjoining land of Eleazer How and Gershom Rice, formerly owned by James and Jonathan Stinson (Stevenson), of Weston. He was called a blacksmith in that deed.
He married Sarah Willey, also of Scotch-Irish family, in 1718, and she was living in 1758. From the fact that a son was named Moses Willey Gray, her father was, it is thought, Moses Willey. Gray's will, dated Aug. 10, 1762, in Worcester, bequeathed to wife Sarah, children:
Molly Boyd, Sarah, Experience, Moses Willey, Samuel, Robert.
The consent to probate this will, with an apparently imperfect codicil was signed by Joseph, Robert, Moses, Andrew and Sarah Gray. The witnesses are John Young, William Young and Martha Young.
Robert Gray is called an "emigrant" in the early records of Worcester and achieved a positoin of prominence, owning a considerable estate, and living, as his inventory shows, as well as the best of the English settlers of that period. He was buried on the common near the Old South Church. The gravestone is buried over his grave and turf covers this stone as well as all others in this ancient burial place, to the disgrace of the city that turned the old graveyard into a loafing ground for tramps and a forum for socialistic and crack-brained Sunday orators. The inscription reads:
"Here lyes buried the body of Mr. Robert Gray, who died January 16, 1766, aged 69 years."
Children, b. in Worcester:
1. Experience, born Aug. 12, 1730; married Thomas Cowdin.
2. Joseph, born Nov. 18, 1732.
3. Robert, born Dec. 23, 1734, mentioned below.
4. Molly, born Oct. 23, 1737, married Andrew Boyd.
5. John, born Sept. 17, 1739-40.
6. Sarah, born March 30, 1742.
7. William, born June 17, 1743.
8. Moses Willey, born Nov. 30 or Dec. 21, 1745; son Moses, born 1785, was father of Prof. Asa Gray, the eminent botanist.
9. Samuel, born April 23, 1748.
10. Thomas, born Aug. 10, 1750.
(III) Robert (2), son of Robert (1) Gray, was born in Worcester Dec. 23, 1734. He married Margaret _____. He settled in Worcester, where his father gave him land and to this he added by purchase. He was a substantial and respected citizen. He was a member of the Old South (First) Church.
Children, b. in Worcester:
1. Experience, born Aug. 16, 1761.
2. John, born Aug. 16, 1763; mentioned below.
3. Molly, born Jan. 23, 1766.
4. Thomas, born April 7, 1768, baptized April 17, 1768.
5. Sarah, born Feb. 18, 1770.
6. Robert, born March 29, 1772.
7. Betty, born Jan. 4, 1774.
8. Anna, baptized at Old South Church, March 24, 1776.
9. Lucy, baptized Sept. 6, 1778.
(IV) John (2), son of Robert (2) Gray was born in Worcester, Aug. 16, 1763. He removed to Paris, Maine, where he settled on a farm and where he died Aug. 30, 1841. His house lot was on Lot 4, owned in later years by Ebenezer Tuell.
He married, Jan. 11, 1790, Rhoda Andrews, daughter of David Andrews. She died at Paris, Nov. 10, 1841. She was the mother of fifteen children, b. at Paris.
1. John, born April 16, 1791; married Susan Austin.
2. Levi, born Feb. 15, 1793; married Betsey Harlow.
3. Lavinia, born Nov. 24, 1794; married Stephen Chandler.
4. Abiezer, born Sept. 13, 1796; married Charlotte Austin.
5. Naomi, born Oct. 12, 1798; married Ira Gardiner.
6. Orren, born July 4, 1800; married Sarah E. Young.
7. Robert, born April 6, 1802; married Betsey Ellis.
8. Ruell, born Feb. 2, 1804; married _____ Crockett.
9. Sewall, born April 12, 1806; settled in Mt. Vernon.
10. Arvilla, born Jan. 4, 1808; married Albert Fisher.
11. Alonzo, born Oct. 2, 1810; accompanied Fremont to California.
12. Learned, born Feb. 13, 1813.
13. Olivia, born Oct. 15, 1814; married Sullivan Andrews.
14. Elbridge, born Jan. 28, 1817; mentioned below.
15. Columbus, an attorney, born April 4, 1819; married Rebecca Gay; resided at Wilton.
All fifteen children lived to maturity.
(V) Elbridge, son of John (2) Gay, was born in Paris, Maine, Jan. 28, 1817, and died Sept., 1893. He was educated in the common schools there, and followed farming in his native town all his life, on what is known as the Lethbridge place. He was constable of the town and collector of taxes for several years.
He married Abigail Lethbridge, who was born in Paris, Dec. 10, 1815.
Children, b. in Paris:
1. James Madison, born April 1, 1837; died Dec., 1842.
2. Dexter, born June 28, 1838; died from wounds received in civil war; married Carrie Kneeland, of Prospect, Mass.
3. Salina, born Dec. 18, 1854 [trans note: must be 1844]; died Oct., 1860.
4. William L., born May 7, 1848; married Julia M. Morse; mentioned below.
5. Rhoda, born June 20, 1853; died June 28, 1853.
6. Mary K., born Sept. 18, 1854; married Frank Robbins.
7. Infant, born Dec. 14, 1856, died young.
(VI) William Lethbridge, son of Elbridge Gray, was born in Paris, Maine, May 7, 1848. He attended the public schools of his native town and during his youth worked on his father's farm. When but eighteen years old he entered the army, enlisting in Company F, Twenty-third Maine Regiment, Captain Bolster, re-enlisting in Company D, Thirty-second Maine, and served through the civil war to its close. He took part in the battles of Gettysburg and Spottsylvania, where he had the clothes stripped from his back by a shell, and in many other battles and engagements.
After the war he took up a farm in Aroostook county, and conducted it for about five years. The next ten years he spent on the homestead at Paris, and then moved to a small place on Paris Hill, and entered the employ of the Paris Manufacuturing Company and Mason Manufacuturing Company, continuing with the latter concern to the present (1908) time.
In politics Mr. Gray is a Republican, and in religion Universalist. He is a member of William K. Kimball Post, G.A.R.
He married in 1866, Julia Matilda Morse, born July 10, 1850, daughter of Carleton Morse, of Woodland, Aroostook county, Maine, and of Dixmont.
1. Dexter W., born May 26, 1868.
2. Walter L., born Jan. 24, 1870.
3. Roscoe, born April 10, 1873.
4. Charles A., born April 12, 1878.
5. Carlton, born Jan. 5, 1880; died Feb. 16, 1903.
6. Carrie A., born Sept. 18, 1883.
7. Ralph E., born Jan. 4, 1890.
8. Marion I., born Aug. 10, 1897.
(VII) Walter Llewellyn, son of William Lethbridge Gray, was born in Paris, Maine, Jan. 24, 1870. He attended the public schools of his native town and Hebron Academy (Maine) and Colby College, where he was graduated in the class of 1895. During the next three years he was a teacher in the Bridgton high school, studying law at the same time in the office of James S. Wright, of South Paris, and later in the office of George A. Wilson. He was admitted to the bar Feb. 18, 1899, and began the practice of his profession in association with Judge George A. Wilson, of South Paris, under the firm name of Wilson & Gray. This partnership continued until the death of Judge Wilson in 1906. Since then Mr. Gray has had no law partner. He has been highly successful in his profession and has held many positions of honor and trust in the community.
He was superintendent of schools in Paris in 1895-6-7-8; representative to the legislature in 1905, serving on the committee on legal affairs while in the legislature. He was appointed referee in bankruptcy for Oxford county, Feb. 13, 1906. In politics he is a Republican. He is a member of Paris Lodge, No. 94, F. and A. M.; of Oxford Chapter, R. A. M., of Norway; of Oriental Commandery, K. T., of Bridgton, and of Kora Temple, Order of the Mystic Shrine, of Lewiston. He also belongs to Hamlin Lodge, Knights of Pythias. He is past master of the Masonic lodge, and has been elected to the various chairs in the other orders. He is a member of the college fraternity, D. K. E. of Colby College.
He married June 14, 1899, Madge Shirley Wilson, daughter of George A. and Annie L. (Blake) Wilson, of Paris.
The pages of history are brightly starred with the names of members of the Gray family who were very successful along many lines of work for the good of humanity. The stars which mark such names as that of our famous botanist, Dr. Asa Gray, are large and radiant. Their radiance and cheer was gladly hailed in many far-off places. Whoever has marked the many pilgrims who stand by such graves as that of Dr. Gray in Mount Auburn, or that of the author of "Elegy of the Country Chuchyard," understands fully that no multiplied years with their shadows can ever change, except to make brighter, the light which these men of heroic mould gave to their day and generation.
One of the prominent Gray families of the Pine Tree State was directly descended from Edward Gray, of Plymouth, Mass., who first married Mary Winslow, the daughter of John and Mary (Chilton) Winslow. A family of a sturdy origin was early on the banks of the Kennebec river, while the Grays of Topsham, Maine, and vicinity, claim a Scotch=-Irish ancestor of noblest type. But what ever the ancestry of these various Gray families, all are characterized by a deep religious spirit, an aptitude for many kinds of worthy work, and the diligence to follow their chosen labor with a result which means work in which all men can trust. Though never office seekers, they have been given important places of trust in the communities where they have dwelt, and their faithful discharge of every duty placed before them has been like that on the articles which they wrote, or business blocks or cosy homes which they builded.
(I) Isaac Gray moved from Windham, Maine, to Naples, Maine, in 1824, and died in that town Dec. 30, 1850. He was a man of great industry and uprightness of character. Though a very successful farmer, he had much skill in the use of tools.
He married Mary Jordan, who died at Naples July 5, 1852, aged sixty-nine years.
1. Isabella Gray, who diied at Naples, Maine, July 28, 1844, aged twenty-six years and nine months.
2. Arthur Gray.
(II) Arthur, son of Isaac Gray, was born at Windham, Maine, Nov. 28, 1822, died at Westbrook, Maine, Dec. 28, 1884. He was educated in the schools of Naples. He learned the carpenter's trade early in life, and became very successful in his work. With the exception of a short time which he occupied in farming, his life was spent as a carpenter and builder. He gave his whole time and care to all work which was entrusted to him.
In politics he was one of the sturdy Democrats who worked faithfully for the idea in which he believed. His conscientious political work was so much admired by all his townsmen that he received many votes from those who did not agree with him in many ways, whenver he was a candidate for office. He served his town as selectman for a number of years, and held other offices, discharging his duty in each in the most careful and painstaking manner. It was with deep regret that his townsmen saw him move to Westbrook, Maine, in 1872, as he had lived in Naples over twenty-four years.
Mr. Gray married, March 4, 1849, Margaret Wyer, born at Orr's Island, Maine, Feb. 26, 1822; she is a woman of great acitivity and of excellent memory for one of her years. She was the daughter of James S. Wyer, of Orr's Island, Maine, and of Elizabeth (Dunning) Wyer, of Harpswell, Maine, and thus a descendant of two of the strongest old families of Harpswell. She was descended from the Wyer ancestor who came from Scotland to Charlestown, Mass., at an early date.
1. Valentine, born Dec. 12, 1849, is foreman in a paper mill at Livermore Falls, Maine; is married and has three children.
2. Windsor Gray, died young.
3. Alvah, died at ten years.
4. Minot Dunning, born Feb. 26, 1857, conducts a paper machine at Berlin, New Hampshire; married Ellen Josephine Babb, born at Newton Center, Mass., Dec. 25, 1858; three children.
5. Arthur Ethelbert, a contractor, painter and paper-hanger at Cumberland Mills, Maine; married Mary Ellen Smith, born at Pembrooke, Maine, March 21, 1861; two children.
6. George Brinton McClellan, mentioned below.
(III) George Brinton McClellan, son of Arthur and Margaret (Wyer) Gray, born in Naples, Maine, Oct. 9, 1863, resides at Westbrook. He studied in the schools of Naples and North Bridgton, and in Westbrook high school. At the age of sixteen years he learned the carpenter's trade, and commenced working with his father, thus doing his tasks in the most faithful and conscientious manner, which won the praise of all that knew him. When he began to build houses for sale he found ready markets for all such work. He is now (1908) a well-known contractor and builder, under the firm name of Gray & Hewston.
In politics he is a Democrat. In 1894 he was elected to the Westbrook board of aldermen, serving three terms. For two years he was chariman of the board of assessors. In 1905 he was appointed collector and treasurer of the city of Westbrook, and has held this office ever since. He is a man held in the very highest esteem by all his townsmen.
He is a Mason, being a member of the lodge, chapter and council of Westbrook. Is also a member of the Red Men Lodge, of the Golden Cross, and of the Modern Woodmen of America. He is a very faithful member of the Methodist Episcopal church in Westbrook, being its treasurer and one of the trustees.
Mr. Gray married, June 8, 1889, Amy Farland Garland, born at Shirley, Maine, Feb. 12, 1868, and studied in the schools of Shirley and Westbrook. She is the daughter of Washington Garland, deceased, and Frances E. (Winslow) Garland, who now resides at Westbrook.
1. Marcia Evelyn, born Westbrook, Dec. 19, 1890.
2. Albert Leroy, born Westbrook, Nov. 24, 1894.
This is an English family, the earliest representative of whom was George (1) Gray, who came from England to Stark, Maine, prior to the revolutionary war. He there resided and reared a family.
(II) George (2), son of George (1) Gray, was born 1785 and died 1868. He took an active part in the development of the section of Maine in which he resided, and was honored and esteemed by all with whom he was brought in contact.
He married Margaret Dinsmore, born 1794, died 1869, and they reared a family of eleven children.
Joshua, Calvin, William D., Rachel, Edwin, Betsey, Gardner, Rebecca, Benjamin D., Paulina D. and Albina.
(III) Joshua, eldest son of George (2) and Margaret (Dinsmore) Gray, was born at Stark, Maine, Nov. 14, 1814, died in Gardiner, Feb., 1901. In 1844 he came to Gardiner and engaged as clerk for two years for a firm composed of Bradbury T. Dinsmore, of Anson, Richard and William Clay, Charles and George Moore, lumber manufacturers, and later purchased the interest of George Moore in the sawmill. In 1848 Richard Clay died and the firm was dissolved, the business being purchased and carried on by the firm of Henry T. Clay & Company. Mr. Gray purchased an interest in what was first an oakum, then a starch mill, and later converted into a shingle and clapborad mill, and business was condcted under the firm name of Gray & Townsend; the mill was destroyed by fire. About that time the firm of J. Gray & Company was formed, composed of Joshua Gray, John Frost and Bradbury T. Dinsmore, who leased on the river below the railroad a steam mill, which was burned after being operated for a period of four years. His special business, however, was that of lumbering, and in this industry he was acknowledged leader in his section of Maine. He purchased in 1870 what was known as "dam number two," paying for the same twenty-two thousand dollars. He immediately rebuilt and enlarged the plant, and in 1876 admitted his son George into partnership under the firm name of J. Gray & Son, and in 1890 another son, Charles H., was admitted as a partner and the style of the firm became Joshua Gray & Sons, which obtains at the present time (1908), although the senior partner is now deceased.
He was one of the original directors and president of the Oakland Manufacturing Company, manufacturers of doors, sash and blinds and hard pine lumber. For many years he was a director, also president, of the Kennebec Log Driving Company. He was one of the organizers of the Oakland National Bank, of Gardiner, serving as president from 1871 until his death. Mr. Gray's fellow citizens early perceived that the clear judgment and unswerving honor constantly apparent in the management of his own affairs would be invaluable in the public service, and accordingly in 1867 he was made a member of the city council of Gardiner, alderman in 1868, and in order to fill a vacancy was the same year appointed mayor, being re-elected in each of the three ensuing years; while mayor he was twice chosen to the state senate, serving in 1869-70. As a mayor he was popular, and with his good business judgment his administration was one which witnessed many needed improvements made in his municipality, for which the citizens of later years were much indebted.
Mr. Gray married, June 25, 1849, Ploma Morrill, daughter of Ephraim Currier, of Norridgewock, Maine. Mrs. Gray died in Gardiner, 1904.
1. George, born Nov. 22, 1850, mentioned below.
2. Fred, born May 9, 1852, educated in the public schools and Tufts College, pursued a course of civil engineering, located in Indianapolis, Indiana, where he has since followed that profession.
3. Charles H., born Oct. 4, 1858, mentioned below.
4. Harriet C., born Aug. 17, 1862, educated in the common schools, Oread Institute, Worcester, Laselle Seminary, and a private school conducted by a Miss Pratt; married Benjamin B. Clay, of Gardiner, Maine; now residing in Boston, Mass.
(IV) George (3), eldest son of Joshua and Ploma M. (Currier) Gray, was born in Gardiner, Maine, Nov. 22, 1850. He attended the public school of his native place, worked in his father's sawmill up to the time he was eighteen years, and then, although a minor, was made a partner with his father, the firm name being J. Gray & Son, and as the other son, Charles H., came into the firm it became J. Gray & Sons, which firm became widely known throughout the state of Maine, as well as in more remote sections of New England. George had charge of the mills, and Charles H. the office, and both being practical men the business of the firm increased constantly with the passing years. The mills of the firm were destroyed by fire April 23, 1906, and since that time they have been extensively engaged in lumber operations in northern Maine in addition to looking after their real estate holdings in Gardiner, which are both extensive and profitable. After the death of his father, George Gray succeeded him as president of the Oakland Manufacturing Company, and director of the Oakland National Bank and the Oak Grove Cemetery Company.
Mr. Gray is a member and trustee of the Universalist church, serving as president of the board of trustees, a charter member of Knights of Pythias of Gardiner, and is a staunch adherent to the principles of the Republican party.
Mr. Gray married, Sept., 1874, Fannie S., born in Gardiner, Maine, daughter of Benjamin F. and Rosilla (Hutchinson) Johnson.
Frank L., born Jan. 1, 1876, educated in the public school, held a clerical position for about five years in the firm of J. Gray & Sons, and in 1904, in company with Guy A. Hildreth, established the Gray-Hildreth Company, dealers in grain and produce, purchasing the good-will, stock and plant of the Bartlett-Dennis Company. Mr. Gray serves as the managing partner, and they are now in receipt of an extensive and profitable trade.
He is a member of various bodies of the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, including the Mystic Shrine.
Frank L. Gray married, Dec., 1903, Ethel W. Fleck, who was a teacher in the schools of Augusta.
George born Jan. 1, 1905.
Robert, born Dec. 2, 1907.
(IV) Charles Henry, son of Joshua and Ploma M. (Currier) Gray, was born at Gardiner, Maine, Oct. 4, 1858. He was educated in the public schools of his native place, was engaged as clerk in his father's business, was received as a partner in the firm in 1890, continuing until the present time, as narrated in the sketch of his brother, George Gray.
Like his father, he has taken an active part in politics and has been closely identified with every interest and issue of the Republican party, both state and national. He has served on and is secretary of the city committee, member of the county committee and in numerous ways advanced the intersts of his party, always standing firm for good government. He is the treasurer of the Gardiner Public Library , and one of the directors of the Gardiner high school.