Ancestor Stories - Ray Family

Nathaniel Ray Jr.

Please note that there is both a Nathaniel Ray JR and SR in Brunswick Co, VA. We are unsure about some of the connections / facts listed.


  • Ca 1751 - Born Virginia, probably Brunswick Co
  • 1785 - Eldest known son, John X. Ray, born Virginia
  • 1787 - Listed on Brunswick Co, VA Tax List
  • 24 Oct 1789 - Nathaniel and William Ray signed petition regarding roads in Nelson Co, KY
  • 1794 - Served in John Caldwell´s Battalion, Mounted Volunteers Kentucky (source:
  • 7 April 1798 - 2nd known son, Hix Jones Ray, born Virginia
  • 1800 - Only 1 Nathaniel found on Brunswick Co, Virginia Tax List
  • 1800 - Son, Eaton Ray born in Virginia
  • 17 Jun 1801 - Son, Grief, born in Virginia
  • ca 1803 - Son, James, born Virginia (married Betsy Gibbs) Need Source
  • ca 1806 - Daughter, Elizabeth Ray (Hinton) born Virginia
  • Between birth of Elizabeth and 1810 - wife died [not listed in 1810 census]
  • 1810 - Enumerated in Lincoln Co, KY
  • 1812 - Likely Private in War of 1812, Roll Box: 233, Roll Exct: 602 (source:
  • September 1812 - Eldest known son, John X. Ray, enlisted in Lincoln County (Service war of 1812)
  • 1815 - Allen County, KY was formed from parts of Barren and Warren Counties.
  • between 1812 and 1820 - Moved to Allen County, KY
  • between 1810 and 1820 - married again [wife or older woman in 1820 census]
  • 1820 - Enumerated in Allen County, KY
  • before 1823 - daughter Amy Ray Battles died, only husband listed in estate
  • 1823 - Estate settled in Allen County, KY, see below [no wife listed]

Notes on Nathaniel Ray

From the Register of the Kentucky State Historical Society Volume 21, 1923 :

"1789, Oct. 24 - Petition of inhabitants of Nelson County [KY] that they are very inconvenient to an inspection and from the badness of the roads labor under many inconveniences in carrying their produce to market. They ask an Act to establish a warehouse and inspection on the Beech fork at the mouth of Cartwright's creek on the land of Richd. Parker." Among those signing the petition is Nathaniel Ray and William Ray. This could be either Nathaniel Ray Jr or Sr.

John Caldwell's Battalion, Kentucky Mounted Volunteers

From the Publication "Kentucky Ancestors" Source:

Kentucky militia activity flourished in 1793–94 during the final stages of the Northwest Indian War. Governor Isaac Shelby ordered the Sixth Regiment, Kentucky Militia into service between 22 April and 24 June 1793, with most of the companies, including detachments under Sgt. David Allen and Ensigns Thomas Davis and David Fuhrman, assigned to the Lincoln County frontier. Two other detachments under Lt. Jonathan Logan and Ensign Christopher Clark saw duty near Russell Creek in Green County. Two mounted units replaced the Sixth Regiment on the frontier from 23 September to 14 November 1793, including Lt. Col. John Adair’s Regiment of Cavalry—which mustered at Fort Washington (near present-day Cincinnati, Ohio) as part of the sublegion of Kentucky mounted cavalry under Maj. Gen. Charles Scott—and David Caldwell’s Battalion of Cavalry, Kentucky Volunteers. Lt. Col. Horatio Hall’s Regiment of Cavalry, containing a company led by Simon Kenton, the well-known frontiersman and colleague of Daniel Boone, also took the field during that time.

In mid-1794, as Maj. Gen. Anthony Wayne and the Legion of the United States assembled for the final campaign against the Western Indian Confederacy led by Shawnee war chief Blue Jacket, a full brigade of Kentucky militia mustered into service. From 10-14 July, Gen. Scott fielded six battalions of mounted volunteers under Majors John Caldwell, Nathan Huston, Notley Conn, William Price, William Russell, and Aquila Whitaker. Joined by several companies of mounted spies and scouts under Captains Ephraim Kibbey, George Shrim, and William Wells, the Kentuckians marched with Wayne’s Legion to the climactic battle of Fallen Timbers near Maumee, Ohio, on 20 August 1794, where Price’s battalion served as the vanguard of the advancing American forces.4 Following a decisive victory over Blue Jacket and his Native alliance, most of the Kentucky militia returned home and disbanded 21-26 October 1794.

"American Militia in the Frontier Wars 1790-1796"

Source: Google Books

American Militia in the Frontier Wars, 1790-1796

Muster Roll of Commissioned, Non-commissioned Officers adn Privates, Captain Jeremiah Briscoe's Company, Major John Caldwell's Battalion, Major Generatl Charles Scott's Command, July 8, 1794

Note there are 3 Ray men in this group: Nathaniel, William and Thomas.

John Caldwell Roster


Tax List

1787 Brunswick Co, VA

acct'ing of the name of every white male tithable over 21 years - Nathaniel Ray JR., self, 1
# white males between 16 & 21 years - 0
# slaves over 16 - 0
# slaves under 16 - 1
listing of horse, cattle & carriages - 6

1787 Brunswick Co, VA - Other Ray Families

Name charged with 1 2 3 4 5
Ray, Rueben self 0-0-0-1-5
Ray, James self 0-1-2-3-9
Ray, John self 1-0-0-6-15
Ray, Bruxton
John Ray

1800 Brunswick Co, KY

Wray, Nathaniel w. males 16+ 1; horses 3, Negroes 16+ 0, Negroes 12 - 16 0

1800 Brunswick Co, KY - Other Wray Families

WRAY, Baxter
    w. males 16+ 1; horses 3, Negroes 16+ 0, Negroes 12 - 16 1
Wray, John
    w. males 16+ 1; horses 3, Negroes 16+ 0, Negroes 12 - 16 1
WRAY, Tabitha
    w. males 16+ 1; horses 4, Negroes 16+ 0, Negroes 12 - 16 0
WRAY, Reubin
    w. males 16+ 0; horses 2, Negroes 16+ 0, Negroes 12 - 16 0


1810 Lincoln Co, KY

Nathaniel Ray
Free White Males Under 10: 1 [James]
Free White Males 10 to 15: 4 [Grief, Eaton, Hix, John]
Free White Males 45 and Over: 1 [Nathaniel Ray Jr]
Free White Females Under 10: 1 [Probably Elizabeth Hinton]
Free White Females 10 to 15: 1 [Probably Amy Battles]
Numbers of Slaves: 1
Number of Household Members Under 16: 7
Number of Household Members Over 25: 1
Number of Household Members: 9
Note: The age for John does not match up as he was about 23 - 25 in 1810. It would appear Nathaniel Ray Jr was a widow in 1810.

1820 Allen County, KY

Nathaniel Ray
Enumeration Date: August 7, 1820
Free White Males - 16 thru 25: 2 [James, Grief]
Free White Males - 26 thru 44: 2 [John X., Eaton], Hix married Ruth and enumerated in Wayne Co, TN
Free White Males - 45 and over: 1 [Nathaniel Ray Jr.]
Free White Females - 16 thru 25: 1 [either Elizabeth or Amy]
Free White Females - 26 thru 44: 1 [a new wife]
Foreigners not naturalized: 2 [this may be a mis-translation, please see film]
Free White Persons - Over 25: 4
Total Free White Persons: 7
Total All Persons - White, Slaves, Colored, Other: 7

1820 - Allen Co, KY Other Ray Families

  • William Ray 100010 - 02001
  • Noah Ray 100100 - 20100
  • Baxter Ray 000100 - 20100 [later another Baxter Ray can be found in Calloway County, KY living near Hix Ray]
  • Jer M Ray 000010 - 10100 slaves:0002 - 0000

Nathaniel Ray Jr. Estate - Deed Transfer:

Allen Co, Ky Court House deed book c 1797 1823

This indenture made and agreed on, this 20th of August between John Ray, James Battles, James Ray, Hix Ray, Eaton Ray, David Hinton, and Elizabeth Hinton, his wife of the County of Allen and State of Kentucky of the one part and Bryant Hood and William Hood the same county and State ______ of the other part ________
said John Ray, James Battles, James Ray, Hix Ray, Eaton Ray, Grief Ray, David Hinton and Elizabeth Hinton his wife and in consideration of the sum of seven hundred dollars ______ in hand the rest when of is freely acknowledged hath bargained sold released and confirmed and by these presents hath granted again sell and convey unto the ______ Bryant Hood and William Hood their heirs and _____ forever all that ____ or ____ of land lying an d being in the above mentioned county and state of Kentucky on the waters of ____ fork and bounded as following beginning at two white oaks and dogwood running at 53e179 poles so two dogwood thence s3ye179 poles so a ____ thence at 27n179 to have and whole in any wise appertaining there rights encumbrances and appuntinances thereabouts belonging John Ray, James Battles, James Ray, Hix Ray, Eaton Ray, Grief Ray heirs and ______ relinquish all right ___ ___ or in ___ ___ so the said land and premises, and will warrant and agreed the same against themselves heirs ____ and all other person or persons. Whatsoever in fee simple _______

Our hand and affix our seals the date ____ above mentioned.

attest (by mark)

William W Person
John Ray
Attest Robert Johnson
James Battles
Solomon Milloby
J Ray
Nathan Reason
Hix Ray
Eaton Ray
Grievous Ray

Kentucky Allen County S.

I the clerk of the county of Allen in the state of Kentucky certify that the within deed from John Ray, James Battles, James Ray, Hix Ray, Eaton Ray, Grievous Ray and David Hinton to Bryant Hood and William Hood was processed ____ in my office ont the 26th day of April 1824 and ____by the oath of Robert Johnson and Solomon Milloby ____ ____ there is to be the act and deed of the Grantor, and the same _____. David Walker