Ancestor Stories - Ray Family

John Wray, Brunswick Co, VA - Family and Will


  • July 7, 1726 - John Wray of Surry Co. rec'd land in Brunswick Co., N. side of 3 cr.; John Ray of Brunswick Co, land on S. side of Maherin River, source: Cavaliers & Pioneers, Vol 3
  • 13 Oct 1727 - Land Grant 195 acres on the side side of Maherin River, Brunswick Co, VA
  • 3-4 Feb 1734 - ( 1735) John Ray of St. Andrew's Parish, Brunswick Co, to Robert Hix, Jr. of same. For L 7 194 acres at White Oake on the great creeke above Christiana. John Ray. Wit: Clem Read, Francis, Thomas Jones. 6 Feb 1734 ( 1735) ack by John Ray. source: BRUNSWICK CO DEEDS (pg 152-54).
  • 9 Mar 1739 - Charles Kimball of Brunswick Co, planter to John Duke of same, Gent. for L40, 280 acres on north side of the Three Creeks...granted to John Ray 7 July 1726 and Frances,his wife, conveyed to Charles Kimball by deeds recored in Prince George Co. source: Vol 3 VA Genealogist
  • 15 October 1741 - Land Grant 400 acres on the head of Coldwater Run, Brunswick Co, VA
  • 30 July 1742 - Land Grant 398 acres on the head of Cold Water, Brunswick Co, VA
  • July 12, 1750 - John Ray Senr. of Meherrin Parish, Brunswick County to Nath1 Ray of same for natural love etc. towards said Nathaniel Ray and for 20 sh. by the sd Nathaniel Wray; 150 A. part of tract granted said John Ray July 12, 1750 Beg.on Colo Allens line to Walls line to Wessons line, to Beg. on both sides of great Creek ... source: Brunswick Deed Book 8
  • Nov. 24, 1765 - John Wray Senr of Meherrin Parish to John Wray Junr for natural love and affection and for 20 sh.; 127 A. in Mehrrin Parish; part of tract granted to John Wray July 12, 1750; Colo. Allen's line, Walls line.....
  • Feb. 23, 1767 - Nathaniel Ray of Meherrin Parish, Br. Co., to John Ray Senr of same for natural love and affection and 30 sh,; tract ofland - 5 0 A. in Meherrin Parish; part of tract of land granted to said Nathaniel Ray June 27, 1764; Beg. on the DeepBranch on Dunn's line, Allens line to Edwards corner to head of the Deep Branch to Beg....
  • 23 May 1774 - Will probated in Brunswick Co, VA
I believe that my GREAT GREAT GREAT GREAT GREAT GREAT GRANDFATHER IS JOHN WRAY of Brunswick County, Mehrin Parish, Virginia. John may have arrived in Brunswick Co from Surry Co, Va ca 1726. He may have attended church at St Andrew's Parish. Church records exist for St Andrew's Parish, Va State Archives, has anyone researched these? John Wray left a will in 1774 which identifies his children and wife and grandson Benjamin Wray to whom he left 50 sh. He recieved a Royal Land Patent 5/15/1722, on East side of Jeneto Creek, Brunswick Co, Virgina. John was a surveyor, in Brunswick Co, in 1739 and 1748. Information source: Brunswick Co, Va 1720- 1975 by Gay Nealse.

Carl Ray, is looking for information on this grandson, Benjamin Ray (1756-1841) who joined the Revolutionary Army at Wilmington, NC in the Spring of 1776. Carl knows that some of the Brunswick Co Va Wrays migrated south into North Carolina, Georgia & Alabama. According to Arline McGuire, Benjamin was the illegitimate child of Edy Wray (who married Jeremiah Mize). He was probably raised by this grandparents John and Frances Wray.

Family Group Report
John Ray / Wray and Frances Oher Bailey, his wife
Husband: JOHN WRAY
Birth: Circa 1700
Death: 23 May 1774 Place: BRUNSWICK, VA
Father: WILLIAM WRAY SR (1650-)
Birth: Circa 1720
Spouse: CULVER
Does anyone know who this was?
2. F Child: Edy Wray
Spouse: Jeremiah Mize
Marriage: 29 Apr 1789 Place: Brunswick Co, VA
3. F Child: MARY WRAY
4. F Child: Avis Wray named for her grandmother Avis Bailey. Proved in Henry Bailey's will. Spouse: Stephen Mize, son of James and Elizabeth Mize. Stephen signed his will on February 23, 1792.
5. M Child: JAMES R. RAY
6. M Child: Nathaniel Wray Sr.
7. M Child: John Wray Jr.
Spouse: daughter JARRETT
-------------------------------------------------- I need help on the Mize and Culver women. I don't have a clue as to what became of them.

Interesting Note: There was also an Avas Wray/Ray who married Dennis MizeAvas Wray/Ray who married Dennis Mize. Amy / Avas could have been a granddaughter of John and Frances Wray / Ray. Dennis was probably the son of John Mize, born about 1750 who married Keziah (Cissey). John Mize was charged with 2 tithables in 1792, but only 1 in 1794. In 1794 Dennis shows up as a tithable.

The Mize and Ray family are woven together in and something of a challenge to figure out. There is a Mize internet site with a great deal of family history on it. Joel Mize site does list a Nathaniel Ray but I do not know how it ties to the Ray family.

Land Grants

URL: Patent Author Ray, John. grantee.
Title Land grant 13 October 1727.
Summary Location: Brunswick County.
Description: 195 acres on the side side of Maherin River.
Source: Land Office Patents No. 13, 1725-1730 (v.1 & 2 p.1-540), p. 207 (Reel 12).
System Number 000812096

URL: Patent Author Ray, John. grantee.
Title Land grant 15 October 1741.
Summary Location: Brunswick County.
Description: 400 acres on the head of Coldwater Run.
Source: Land Office Patents No. 20, 1741-1743 (v.1 & 2 p.1-566), p. 37 (Reel 18).
Part of the index to the recorded copies of patents for land issued by the Secretary of the Colony serving as the colonial Land Office. The collection is housed in the Archives at the Library of Virginia.
System Number 000812097

URL Patent Author Ray, John. grantee.
Title Land grant 30 July 1742.
Summary Location: Brunswick County.
Description: 398 acres on the head of Cold Water.
Source: Land Office Patents No. 21, 1742-1743 (v.1 & 2 p.1-674), p. 88 (Reel 19).
System Number 000812098

The Will of John Wray

Proved 23rd May 1774, Brunswick County, Virginia

In the Name of God Amen. I Jno Wray of the Parish of Maherrin in the county of Brunswick being weak of Body but of sound & perfect sense (?) & memory Praise be given to almighty God do make and ordain this to be my Last Well & Testament in the Name and form following first & principally I commend my soul unto the hands of God my Creator and my desire is for my Body to be Decently buried at the discretion of my Executors hereafter named. & as to my Worldly Estate wherewith it hath pleased God to bless me with I Dispose of as Followith after my Debts & funeral expenses are paid.

Item I Lend to my well beloved wife Frances Wray my best Feather Bed & furniture & my roane on ____ mare During her natural Life and then to be Divided as followeth.

Item I Give & Bequeath unto my son Nathaniel Wray one shilling.

Item I Give & Bequeath to my son Jno Wray one shilling.

Item I Give & Bequeath to my Daughter Rebeccah Culver one shillling and no more.

__ my will & Desire is that my Land wereon I now live shall be sold and all the residue of my Estate be it of what kind soever at publick sale and my daughter Mary Wray to be first paid Fifty shillings out of the money the Land sells for and Fifty shillings to my Grandson Benjamin Wray and the remainder to be Equally Divided between my well Beloved wife Frances Wray and the remainder of my children / to wit, my son James Wray and my Daughter ____ Mize & Edy Mize and at the Death of my said wife my Desire is that the Bed & furniture & mare be sold and equally divided among my three last mentioned children.

Also my will & Desire is if my Roane Mare should prove with Fold that my well beloved wife shall comply with my agreement with Jno Powell my neighbor & Deliver to him the said Powell the Foll of the said mare at one years old in good order for the consideration of Forty shillings to be paid by the said Powell to my Exors to be Equally Divided as before entioned & two Barrells of Corn to my wife towards the support of the said Fold I make my son James Wray my ___ & ___ executor of this my last will & testament whereof I have hereunto set my hand & seal this being the 11th day of May 1773.

Signed Sealed & Delivered
In the Presence of
Benj Johnson Jno Powell
John R Wray

At a Court held for Brunswick County the 23rd day of May 1774 This will was proved according to Law by the oaths of Benj Johnson & Jno Powell the witnesses thereto and ordered to be recorded and on the motion of James Wray the Exor therein named who made oath and ordered to be recorded and on the motion of James Wray the exor therein named who made oath and ordered to be recorded and on the motion of James Wray the Exor therein named who made oath thereto according to Law & together with Jeremiah Mize his security entered into & acknowledged his Bond in the Penalty of Two hundred pounds _____ as the Law Dirests certificate is granted him of obtaining a probate thereof in due form.


Peter Pelham

Source: Title Wray, John.
Publication 1774
Gen. note Part of index to Brunswick County Wills and Administrations (1732 - 1800)
Note pp. 204-205. Will, pro. 23 May 1774.
Note Will Book 4, 1761-1777 (Reel 21)
Subject - Personal Wray, John.
Subject -Geographic Brunswick County (Va.) Added Title Virginia wills and administrations.
System Number 000532426