Ancestor Stories - Ray Family

James Buchanan Ray, My great grandfather

James, Mary and Lew


  • 31 July 1856 - Marshall County, KY Born to James Carroll Ray and Lucinda Attilla Wade Ray
  • 1860 - I can't seem to find the census but I think that James Carroll Ray was in Tennessee in 1860.
  • 1870 - Enumerated in Marshall Co, KY with Grandfather Hix Jones Ray, age 14, farmer
  • 1880 - Enumerated with parents and siblings in Smiths, Marshall County, KY
  • 22 Feb 1893 - Married Mary "Maggie" Nance in Marshall Co, KY
  • prior to 1900 Census, son Tommie died.
  • 1900 - Enumerated in Oak Level, Marshall County, KY Census
  • 1910 - Enumerated in District 3, Marshall County, KY Census
  • Moved to Arkansas and lived with Mary's brother's family Leondius Nance
  • 1919 - Mary died in Little Rock, Arkansas; burial location unknown
  • 15 June 1922 - died possibly in Texas, location unknown

Family Group Information

Birth: 31 Jul 1856 Place: Marshall, KY
Death: 15 June 1922 Place: Texas?, source daughter Ruby Ray Blackhurst
Father: James Carroll Ray (1820-1893)
Mother: LUCINDA ATTILLA WADE - 202 (1825-1901)
Marriage Information
Marriage: 22 Feb 1893 Place: Marshall, KY
Birth: Aug 1872 Place: MARSHALL CO, KY
Death: 31 Jul 1919 Place: Little Rock, Camden, Arkansas
Buried: Camden, Arkansas Cemetary Unknown
Mary's Parents
Mother: LUCY Bluitt
Birth: Dec 1893 Place: Marshall, KY
Death: Circa 1902, burial location unknown but could be either Ray Cemetary or Oak Level Cemetary
2. M Child: THOMAS RAY
Birth: 1897
Death: Circa 1898, chocked on a piece of corn
Birth: Feb 1900 Place: Marshall, KY
Death: 1980 Place: Detroit, MI
Burial: 1980 Place: Detroit, MI
Spouse: Opal NICHOLS
4. M Child: Lew Wade Ray
Birth: 2 Dec 1902 Place: BENTON, Marshall, Kentucky, USA
Death: 23 Apr 1960 Place: Cincinnati, Hamilton County, Ohio
Burial: 27 Apr 1960 Place: Forest Lawn Cemetery, Detroit, MI USA
Occupation: At Time Of Death, Baggage Clerk, Railway Express
Spouse: Maurine
Divorced: 9 Apr 1931
Spouse: Emma Malvina Cook Ray Mann
Marriage: 25 Dec 1935 Place: Metropolis, ILLINOIS
Divorced: 19 Aug 1943
Spouse: Mary
Divorced: Prior to Lew's death
5. F Child: RUBY RAY
Birth: 1907 Place: Marshall, KY
Spouse: Clyde Chambers

James Buchanan Ray and his family moved to the Camden, Arkansas area from Kentucky. Mary's brother and family had relocated to Arkansas for a time. Mary had a bad heart and died in a hospital in Little Rock. My great Aunt Ruby told me that James died in Texas but Texas is unable to find anything on him. The kids were left behind in Arkansas after "Maggie's" death.
MY GREAT GRANDMOTHER. "Maggie" died in 1919 and is buried in Camden, Arkansas. Shortly after her death, her husband left Arkansas and moved to Texas where other relatives were located. Ruby, the youngest, lived with her brother, Elmer. Lew enlisted in the Navy. "Maggie" must have been a seamstress, or at least owned her own sewing machine and taught Ruby some of the basic skills of sewing. This skill followed Ruby throughout her life.
Medical: Had a heart attack.

Research: Death Certificate. Anna Ray told me about the fate of the children as she had been told by her mother-in-law, Opal Nicholson Ray and some of the stories that Ruby had told her.
Divorce decree, Madison County, Illinois 7 Mar 1943
Mary Nances' parents were: WILLIAM AND LUCY Bluitt NANCE. I have other information on these Nance family members for anyone who is interested. The NANCE family seemed to follow the same migration path that the Ray family followed. Nance's went from Virginia to Wayne Co, Tennessee and to the Jackson Purchase Area of western Kentucky.

I am interested in finding the cemetary that James Buchanan Ray is buried in. Ruby was sent to Vashti, a girl's boarding school in Georgia, after her mother's death. Lucy Nance was born in Georgia, according to the 1910 Marshall Co, Ky census record for Mary and James Buchanan Ray. This could account for Ruby going to school in Georgia after her mother passed away. Ruby thought that James Buchanan Ray died in Texas. Apparently other family members lived in Arkansas and Texas.

Census Information

  • 1860 - Father, James Carroll Ray is enumerated in Henry County, TN with wife, Lucinda, daughters Malinea, Martha, Melissa and sons Allen, William, Thomas, James B, and Willis
  • 1870 - Father, James Carroll Ray is Enumerated in Marshall County, KY
    James C Ray 48; Lucinda Ray 44; Susan L Ray 25; Wilburn W Ray 21; Malisa E Ray 19; Willice Ray 11; John M Ray 9; Alie C Ray 7; Rosie Ray 3; James Buchanan Ray is enumerated with his grandfather Hix Jones Ray.
  • 1870 - Grandfather Hix Jones Ray is enumerated in Marshall County, KY with 2nd wife, Lenora; daughter Almira; and grandson James Buchanan Ray.
  • 1870 - John Riley Ray lives between Hix and James Carroll Ray.
  • 1880 - Enumerated in Smiths, Marshall County, KY with parents and siblings
    James C. Ray age 59; Lucinda Ray age 54; Susan E. Ray age 35; Malissa E. Ray age 29; James B. Ray age 23; Aelexander Ray age 16; Rosa C. Ray age 14; Mary E. Ray age 8; William Brazell, grandson, age 23
  • Before 1900 Census, Son, Tommie, baby died
  • 1900 - Enumerated with wife Mary, sons George and Elmer in Oak Level, Marshall Co, KY, appears to live in household with William and Lucy Nance, Mary's parents and next door to his widowed mother, Lucinda Ray.
  • 1910 - Enumerated with wife, Mary, sons Elmer and Lew; daughter Ruby; sister Martha Ray who is listed as divorced.
  • 1920 -