Ancestor Stories - Ray Family

Grief Ray / Grievous Ray


  • June 17, 1801 - Born Brunswick Co, Virginia
  • ca 1825 - Married Mariah Branch
  • 1830 - enumerated Wayne County, Tennessee Census. #312, 10001-10001.
  • 9 Dec 1839 - 640 acres in Red River County given to Grief no. 316
  • 1840 - no census record found
  • 15 Nov 1841 - Survey for Grief Ray of 640 acres Robertson Co, TX no. 316
  • 5 Jan 1843 - 640 acres in Robertson County given to Grief no. 316
  • 17 Feb 1846 - 640 acres patented in Robertson County, Texas
  • 1846 - Texas Census
  • 1846 - Poll List in Burleson County, Texas
  • 1847 - Burleson Tax List
  • 1850 - enumerated in Burleson and Brazos, Burleson, Texas
  • 1860 - enumerated in Williamson Division, Williamson, Texas post office Cross Roads
  • 1870 - enumerated in Travis Co, Texas.
  • 1880 - enumerated in Travis Co, Texas
  • 1891 - Died and buried at Burleson-Rogers Cemetary near Hornsby's Bend

Land Records

I am pretty confused about the land grants or patents.


1830 Wayne County, TN

Name: Grierons Ray [Gievons Ray] 
Home in 1830: Wayne, Tennessee
Free White Persons - Males - Under 5: 1
Free White Persons - Males - 20 thru 29: 1
Free White Persons - Females - Under 5: 1
Free White Persons - Females - 20 thru 29: 1
Free White Persons - Under 20: 2
Free White Persons - 20 thru 49: 2
Total Free White Persons: 4
Total - All Persons (Free White, Slaves, Free Colored): 4

1840 Unknown location

1846 Complied Census of Texas

Burleson County, Texas

1850 Burleson and Brazos, Burleson, Texas

  • Geaious Ray, age 49 born 1801, VA, farming
  • Mary, age 42, born TN
  • John, age 21, born TN
  • Elizabeth, age 19, born TN
  • Lucretia, age 17, born TN
  • James, age 15, born TN
  • Thomas, age 3, born Texas

1860 Williamson Division, Williamson, Texas post office Cross Roads

  • G Ray, age 59, born ca 1801, Virginia
  • Maria Ray, age 52
  • J R Ray age 25
  • L Ray, age 22
  • J R Ray, age 20
  • J T Ray, age 13

1870 Travis County, Texas

  • Griveons Ray, age 69, born 1801, born VA
  • Maria, age 64, born 1806, born TN
  • Elizabeth, age 25, born 1845, born TN
  • Lucrecia, age 24, born 1846, born TN
  • Thomas, age 23, born 1847, Texas

1880 Travis County, Texas

  • G. Ray, age 79, born ca 1801, VA, father born Scotland, mother born Ireland
  • M. Ray, age 72
  • E. A. Ray, age 34
  • L. Ray, age 32
  • T. J. Ray, age 30

1900 Census Justice Precinct 6, Pecos, Texas (Fort Stockton, Pecos, Texas)

  • Thomas Ray, age 51, born Oct 1848, Texas, father born VA, mother born TN
  • Lucretia Ray, age 66, born June 1833, Tennessee, female, sister
  • Elizabeth, age 69, born Feb 1831, Tennessee, father born VA, mother born TN, sister

Family Group Summary

  Birth Date: 17 Jun 1801
  Birth Place: VIRGINIA
  Death Date: 28 June 1891
  Death Place: TX
  Spouse: Mariah BRANCH, 9 March 1808 Tennessee - 21 April 1887 Travis County, Texas
  Marriage Date: Circa 1825
  Marriage Place: Wayne Co, Tennessee


  • John Wesley Ray
  • James Roswell Ray
  • Elizabeth Amy Ray, born 2 Feb 1831 died 15 Jan 1903, buried Tamarisk Cemetery, Grandfalls, Ward County, TN
  • Thomas Jefferson
  • Lucretia Ray
  • Melissa Ray

Most of this information provided by researcher:
Carl Ray, 404 Navajo Lane, Kingsport, Tennessee 37664

The Story of Grief Ray

Researched by Loyd Bishop

Anyone is directly descended from Grevious, they are eligible for the Sons or daughters of the Republic of Texas. He did have land grands from the Republic. I can send them if you want. Loyd

Grievous is found on the 1830 Wayne County, Tennessee Census, he married Mariah Branch in that county ca. 1825. In 1835 he received a land grant of 640 acres in Milam County, Texas. He is listed in the 1850 Burleson County census, the 1860 Williamson County census, and the 1870and 1880 Travis County census. His children were: John Wesley Ray (had a son John W. Ray, Jr., who lived in Austin, TX); James Roswell Ray (moved to New Mexico and had a son named Henry); Elizabeth Amy Ray; Thomas Jefferson Ray (buried at Roswell, NM); Lucretia Ray; and Melissa Ray. Neither of the latter two girls ever married. (Information provided by Carl Ray, Kingsport, TN 37664.)

Census 1830 Wayne County, Tennessee, 1840 he is in the Republic of Texas and not enumerated in US census, 1850, Burleson County, Texas, 1860 Williamson County, Texas, 1870 he is in Travis County, Texas, as he is in 1880. According to the latter census, his father was born in Scotland, and his mother in Ireland.

Williamson County Texas County Clerk Records, Deeds. Book 10, page 145 filed, 11 November 1865, confirms the names of Grevious's children.

State of Texas Know all men by these presents that we Grevious Ray and Maria Ray Wife of said County of Williamson Grevious Ray of said county and state in consideration of the love and affection

we have for our Children Elizabeth Amy Ray, Lucretia Ray and Thomas Ray and the further consideration of one dollar to us paid by said Elizabeth Amy, Lucretia & Thomas and the further inducement that we already have given our eldest Daughter Melissa Ann Barton (formerly Melissa Ann Ray) and our eldest Sons John Ray & [James] Roswell Ray their portion of our property, have by these presents do give grant and convey unto said Elizabeth, Lucretia and Thomas Ray the following described property and all the property we have of every character real personal and mixed.

The real estate having five tracts or parcels of land; and one tract of three hundred and twenty Acres of land patented by Grevious Ray assignee of Thomas J. Bird lying in Williamson County the said tract being our homestead on which we at this time reside; another tract of 320 acres also in said county of Williamson patented by G. Ray assignee of Daniel Hawkins lying about two miles East or NE of the homestead being half of a 640 certificate in name of said Daniel Hawkins; another tract of 200 acres more or less lying in Milam County on waters of Brushy Creek on part of the headright league of John Guthrie; another being the headright of said Grevious Ray for 640 acres the said tract being situate in Tarrant county; and also a tract of 640 acres of land in Nueces County being patented by G. Ray assignee of Michael Dugan.

The above tracts are more particularly described the Thomas J. Bird tract, the Daniel Hawkins tract, the G. Ray headright, and the Michael Dugan tract in the patent respectively to which reference is made for more accurate description the 200 acre tract of the John Guthrie WR(?) is described in deed from Geo. Haden & wife to the said G. Ray to which deed reference is made for description; and the following personal property is the principal; part of personal property herein conveyed viz our stock of horses about twenty head branded B and our stock of cattle containing about two hundred branded in the same brand (B) & marked on under half crop in the right ear to have and to hold with them the said Elizabeth Amy, Lucretia, and Thomas their heirs and legal representative forever and that no mistake may arise in the construction of this instrument from want of a perfect description of the land or complete inventory of the personal property or for any other cause it is our intention herein to convey our entire property without any reservation or limitation whatever to the said Elizabeth Amy Ray, Lucretia Ray, & Thomas Ray (the words given once to wife in testament before signing)

In witness whereof we hereto set our hands this 11th day of November AD 1865.


A. S. Walker
Grevious Ray
R. W. Marrow
Maria Ray

State of Texas Personally appeared the undersigned Authority County of Williamson Grievous Ray and Maria Ray his wife to me well known to be the individuals described in and who executed the writing and forgoing conveyance and they acknowledge to me that they executed the same for the uses, purposes and considerations therein stated and that the same is there act and deed and the said Maria Ray Wife of the said Grevious Ray having been examined by me privately and apart from said husband and having the said conveyance fully explained to her, she, the said Maria Ray, acknowledged the same to be her act and deed and she had willingly signed and delivered the same and that she wished not to retract it.

In testimony whereof I have witnessed and set my hand and seal of office in Georgetown on this 11th November 1865

A. W. Murrow Clerk
C C W C Texas

The Sad Tale of Lucretia, Elizabeth Amy and Thomas Ray

Though not famous, their deaths made headlines all over the USA Lucretia and her Sister Elizabeth Amy Rayy were victims in a sensational murder case in Pecos County just across the river from Grandfalls where they are buried.

Elizabeth and Lucretia were maiden sisters living with their brother Thomas Ray on a cattle spread in Pecos County. Elizabeth Amy Ray was poisoned by her nephew Robert Ray along with her sister Lucretia. They, and their brother Thomas Jefferson Ray.

Apparently, the nephew was attempting to speed up his inheritance of the Pecos County Ranch. Realizing his plot had failed when his uncle survived, Robert was attempting to escape. The Mitchell County Sheriff caught up with Robert in Colorado City, Texas, where to escape justice for his crime, he took some of the poison himself and died. Uncle Thomas, indeed, survived the poisoning attempt, later residing in Roswell, New Mexico where he died in 1930.

Where Robert is buried has not been found, the news stories are not entirely clear about that. Born in 1870, he was the son of John Wesley Ray, and grandson of John W. Ray who was from Salado, Texas, where died in 1926 at 100 years-old. If Robert was interred at Salado, his grave is not listed on Find A Grave--nor is it in Colorado City, Texas. Family would not have been likely to have marked his grave to keep curiosity seekers away.

The girls and their brothers lived in Texas before it became a state; having moved from Tennessee with their father Grevious, an original patentee in the Republic of Texas. Grevious Ray is buried in Austin, Texas.