Ancestor Stories - Ray Family

William Wray and the Whitson Connection - a rebellous American

William WRay, Sr. b: ca 1650 transported to Va. May 23, 1671 ( or before) wife: Mary Whitson, d/o John Whitson and Anne Spencer Whitson.

Anne Spencer Whitson was the daughter of Captain Robert Spencer who came to Virginia and lived in Surry County, Virginia at the head of Crouches Creek. He was married twice and Anne was by his second wife Jane, last name unknown. John Whitson was a Baconian who was hanged for participating in rebellion of 1676. He was hung as a traitor to the King by the Royalist Governor William Berkley. John Whitson with Bacon and his men were fighting for many of the same ideals as Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence one hundred years later. John Whitson aquired land in Surry Co, Va Oct. 23, 1690 & was a Colonial soldier, Surry Co, Va. Nov 1701.

William Wray's will was filed in Surry County, VA on October 20, 1731. The will book is badly damaged and a copy of the will and this information was provided to me by another researcher, Arline McGuire. (Arline's common ancestor is John Wray, who left a will in Brunswick Co, Va, 1774 and his son James.)

Likely children of William WRAY and Mary WHITSON:
John WRay, Sr. b. ca 1695 d: 1774, Brunswick Co, Va
William WRay, Jr. b. ca 1700 m: Anne
Frances Wray

Some guess work is involved connecting William to John Wray / Ray. But the ties from John Wray down to me are pretty concrete. John, William and Frances each received adjoining land patents in Brunswick County, VA. The will of William Wray Sr. lists William Clary as a witness along with Richard Parker. Wm. Pittman, his brother-in-law, was appointed executor since his three sons were not living in Surry - it would have been diffcult for them to be administrators of the will. Again, please check with Arline McGuire.