Ancestor Stories - Ray Family

John X. Ray and Isabella Foster Ray

Locations: Virginia; Allen Co, KY; Wayne Co, TN; Jackson Purchase, KY; Barry Co, MO John Ray was born in 1787, Virginia died: 1860-70 Barry Co., Missouri. His wife, Isabell Foster, was born in 1802, So Carolina and died 1860-70 Barry Co, Mo. John X is theoretically the brother that went with Hix on he trip down the Mississippi and came back via the Natvhez Trace. He was in th wsr of 1812, and married Isabell Foster in about 1821 or 22. He's not in Calloway reords until 1924.

More information is available on the Barry Co, MO website on this family.


  • 1787 - John Ray is born probably in Brunswick Co, VA
  • 1824 through 1848 John and Isabell can be found in Calloway Co, KY
  • 1830 - Wayne Co, TN census, #288
  • 1840 - Calloway Co, KY census
  • 1850 - Barry Co, MO census
  • 1860 - Barry Co, MO census


1830 - Wayne Co, Tenn 1830 census lists a John Ray #288 (John's younger brother Eaton lived in Wayne Co, TN)
1840 Calloway Co., Ky
1850 and 1860 Barry Co, Mo Census, National Archives record of Land Patent 22361, Springfield, Mo. Family record of the John Ray family passed down to Loyd M. Bishop.

1820 Wayne Co, TN Ray Families

Hicks J. Ray males 000100 females 00100

1830 Wayne Co, TN Ray Families

Eaton Ray males 21001 females 20001
John Ray males 11102001 females 02000001
Moses Ray males 100001 females 32001
Grievous Ray males 10001 females 10001

1840 Calloway Co, KY

John Ray #55

1850 Barry Co, MO Ray Families

House # 492:
RAY, John 63 male VA
Ray, Isabel 49 female SC
Ray, Elizabeth 25 female KY
Ray, George 21 male KY
Ray, John 15 male KY
Ray, Sarah 14 female KY
Ray, James 1 male MO
Ray, Maranda HENSON 20 female TN
Ray, Nancy 21 female KY
Ray, George 1 month male MO

House # 493:
RAY, Samuel 24 male KY
Ray, Caroline 22 female KY
Ray, Adaline 6 female KY
Ray, John 4 male KY
Ray, Elizabeth 3 female KY
Ray, Samuel 1 month male MO

Nathaniel F. Ray not listed in 1850.

1860 Barry Co, MO Ray Families - Shoal Creek Township

555. 543.
Samuel C. Ray, 33, Cabinet Maker, Kentucky, Male
Caroline Ray, 32, Domestic, Tennessee, Female
John H. Ray, 13, Kentucky, Male
Sanuel F. Ray, 10, Missouri, Male
James L. Ray, 8, Missouri, Male
Nancy C. Ray, 6, Missouri, Female

568. 556.
G. W. Ray, 32, House Carpenter, Kentucky, Male
Elizabeth Ray, 34, Domestic, Missouri, Female
Mary Isabell Ray, 7, Missouri, Female
Missouri, Ray, 6, Missouri, Female
John W. Ray, 5, Missouri, Male
Jas N. Ray, 4, Missouri, Male
Wm L. Ray, 3, Texas, Male
Sarah Ray, 1, Missouri, Female

571. 559.
John X. Ray, 73, Farmer, Virginia, Male
Isabella Ray, 58, Domestic, South Carolina, Female
Sarah G. Ray, 20, Domestic, Kentucky, Female
James A. Ray, 11, Missouri, Male
Adaline McGuffey, 16, Kentucky, Female
Sintha L. Ray, 6, Missouri, Female

572. 560.
John C. Ray, 23, House Carpenter, Kentucky, Male
Mary Z. Ray, 16, Missouri, Female

585. 573.
S. M. Ray, 24, Farmer, Tennessee, Male
Caroline Ray, 23, Domestic, Tennessee, Female
Margaret E. Ray, 5, Tennessee, Female
Wm A. Ray, 3, Missouri, Male
Mary A. Ray, 1, Missouri, Female

632. 621.
Wm Ray, 30, Farmer, Kentucky, Male
Elizabeth Ray, 20, Domestic, Missouri, Female
Mary J. Ray, 5 months, Missouri, Female

645. 633.
John Ray, 32, Physician, Kentucky, Male
Elizabeth Ray, 34, Domestic, Kentucky, Female
Charles Ray, 3, Missouri, Male
Arabella Ray, 1, Missouri, Female

653. 641.
Jas C. Ray, 29, School Teacher, Tennessee, Male
Margaret S. Ray, 30, Domestic, Tennessee, Female
Charlotte M. Ray, 3, Tennessee, Female
Jas V. Ray, 7 months, Missouri, Male

Land Patents

John Ray was granted a patent on 160 acres west of the Tennessee River, land described as the NW1/4 S33, T4 R1E. This land is now located in Calloway Co, Ky on the Marshall County border. According to the tax records, these Rays remained in Calloway Co from 1824 to 1848 when they moved to Missouri. John and Isabell's oldest children (Nathaniel and Samuel Ray) both appear on the tax rolls the year that they reached their majority. Isabell's name also appears in 1833 when she apparently acquired a horse that was subject to taxation.

After moving to Barry Co, Mo John Ray patented land in the NW part of the county near a town called Gadfly. He patented 40 acres of land from the US Government on 13 May 1857, described as the SW1/4 of the NW1/4 Section 24 Range 28 West. He is listed in the 1860 Barry Co, Mo census but not the 1870.

Hugh Keen and Loyd Bishop are probably the best authorities on this family.

Family Group Information

bd. 1787, VIRGINIA
dd. abt 1868, Barry Co, MO

Nathaniel F. Ray b: 6 Mar 1823 Ky m: Mary A Frasure 4 Feb 1855 in Barry Co, Mo. Nathaniel was most probably born in Calloway Co, Ky. Researcher Loyd Bishop has been unable to locate him on any census after 1840 when he is with his father in KY. The Barry Co, Mo marriage records lists a marriage for him 1855. Nathaniel died the year he married. The Missouri Digital Archives lists a land patent for N. F. Ray.

Series Township School Land Patents
Volume L
Page 46
Reel Number s00191
Certificate Number
Land District
Type of Land Township School Land
Name of Purchaser Ray, N.F.
County Barry
Date of Purchase
Township 21
Range 28
Land Section 16
Parts of Section North East Fourth of the North West quarter
Acres 40
Hundreth of Acres
Price Per Acre $1.28
Cost $51.20
Date of Certificate 12/19/1856

N. F. Ray's name appears on family records belonging to Loyd.

Elizabeth Amy Ray b:1825 Ky m: Sep 5, 1850 to William B Jameson. (According to researcher Dorothy Thomas). But Researcher Loyd Bishop believes that Elizabeth married Roland C. McGuffee in Calloway Co, Ky. This Elizabeth is the dau of John & Isabell because there is an Adeline McGuffee, age 16, living with the latter couple in the 1860 census. In 1850 there is an Elizabeth listed with the ray family in Barry County. John & Isabell's child, Elizabeth would be a little older than the Elizabeth listed in the census. Therefore, Loyd believes that the Elizabeth listed is George W. Ray's wife and not his sister. They were probably newly married. Elizabeth, dau to John & Isabell, married in Callowy Co, Ky to Roland McGuffey on 17 Mar 1844. In the 1850 Barry Co census, listed with Samuel C. Ray and Caroline Ray is Adaline ______, 6 years old. The last name is unreadable, but may be Mahaffy. In 1860 Adaline is listed with John & Isabell Ray and is 16 years old. Roland and Elizabeth are not found in 1850 Calloway or Barry Co census. Adeline's parents probably died and she moved to MO with her grandparents.

Samuel C Ray b:1826 Ky m: Caroline Foster in 1845 d: 1870. Caroline Foster and Samuel Ray had children: John, Elizabeth & Samuel

George W. Ray b:1829 Calloway Co, Ky m: Elizabeth Russell 1851. Family legend says that George was killed during the Civil War activity in SW MO. Evidence was found that indicated that George was not a civilian when he was killed, but rather a member of the Missouri State Guard and was killed in action during the Battle of Wilson's Creek near Springfield, Mo. His name was mentioned in the United Confederate Veteran's 10th reunion in Joplin, Mo, 26-27 Sep 1906 as being a casualty of the war. There is some confusion added to this story by a 1861 tax list which shows the Ray's as favoring the UNION. Most believe that Ray's were Confederates. The youngest child was a baby when George died, since the children were farmed out it is difficult to identify all of them. James M. Ray lived with Mary I and Franklin Porter in 1880, but what happened to him after that is uncertian. Loyd is searching for the marriage record of George and Elizabeth. The record was not recorded in Barry Co, Mo. Records of Newton and McDonald Co do not exist for the 1850 time period. There is also no record in Calloway Co, Ky. >Learn more!

Nancy Haney Ray b:7 Jan 1830 Ky m: Francis Marion Henson 1849 Carroll Co, Arkansas d:Sep 23, 1899 Hot Springs, Arkansas

John Casey Ray b:Jan 6, 1836 Calloway Co, Ky 1st m: Apr 20,1859 Mary Zilda Starkey (divorced) 2nd m: Nancy Jane King May 10,1874 Sherman,Grayson Co, Texas Co "D" 1st Reg. Texas Cavalry d:28 Aug 1915 Drumright Creek, Ok Buried in Mars Hill Cem, Pottawatomie, OK

Sarah "Sally" Green Ray b: 15 Dec 1837 Ky

James A. Ray b: 22 Apr 1849 Barry Co, Mo m: 2 Jan 1876 in Jasper, Mo to Mary Z (Starkey) Ray - divorced wife of brother John. d: Feb 17,1910 Granby, Newton Co, Mo.

Pioneers of Six Bulls, LDS Microfiche #6019138, Vol 21 of the Grandy Mo Cemetery records. Death certificate of James states that he was born in Washburn, MO, a town south of Cassville in Barry Co, Mo. His parents are listed on the certificate as John X. Ray and Isbel Foster. His occupation was listed as a miner, lived in Granby, Newton Co,Mo and married the divorced wife of his brother John Casey Ray.

Cemetery Information

Check the Barry County, MO website.

From Goodspeed Publishing, "History of Tennessee - Lawrence, Wayne, Perry, Hickman and Lewis Counties"

The original copyright 1886, identifies a John Ray as an earily settler to Lawrence County. Lawrence County belongs to the natural division know as the Highland Rim, the higher lands lying from the ne to the SW. The book states that the first settlements were on Big Buffalo River, near the crossing of that stream near the Columbia and Waynesboro Turnpike, 1815. The settlers came chiefly from North Carolina and among them was John Ray. I note this information because so many of you like me, think that some of the Brunswick Co, Va Rays may have gone over the border to North Carolina. This book further states "that several persons received either military grants or occupants' grants about 1820:...John Ray..."

I can't say that this is the right John Ray but offer to you as a tidbit.

Dorothy Thomas, a wonderful genealogy cousin, provided a great deal of information during my early research years. While she is no longer with us, Dorothy's family traces back through Nancy Haney Ray.