There is a lot of misinformation out there about the John W. Ray and Joseph Ray families from Clarke County, Georgia.
John W. Ray (on some tax records spelled Wray) md to Elizabeth Nobles (sometimes spelled Noble) was not born in Shelton, Cheshire, England. All those they associated with came from the Carolinas or Virginia. There is no such place as Shelton, Cheshire, England. This misconception came from a book ‘Prominent Men of Utah’ published in 1913 and later this info was copied in a book ‘Builders of Early Millard County’ published in 1979. The person who wrote this didn’t know his early life very well and even said that John’s wife was Elizabeth Nuttall. This is incorrect and has led people down the wrong path trying to find who our ancestors really are.
John W. Ray did not die in 1822 nor is he the son or grandson or ggrandson of the Rays from Columbia County, Georgia. There was another family of Rays that lived in Lawrence County, Mississippi at the same time as John W. Ray. This other family was John Ray (sometimes spelled Rae) Sr., his wife Elizabeth Moore and their children: John, James, Nancy, William Alexander and Mary Martha. The John Ray Sr. family lived in Monticello, Lawrence County on the west side of the Pearl River.
John W. Ray family with wife Elizabeth Nobles and children: Jonathan, Anna L., Joseph, William, Elizabeth, John Alexander, and Edward lived on the east side of the Pearl River near White Sand Creek, (then) Lawrence County (now it is Jefferson Davis County) about 6 ½ miles SW of Prentiss. (See land and court records on eaglequestpro.com/share
Click on Searchy).
These were different families. John Ray Sr is the one who is reported to have died on 22 Aug 1822 not John W. Ray. We have probate records that show John W. Ray died before 27 August 1821. John Ray Sr. is the one who is a descendant of the Rays in Columbia County, not John W. Ray.
We have looked carefully at each of the family members of the Rays in Columbia County and they do not match with John W. Ray’s family. . . different wives, different children, living in different locations. See proof at web site mentioned. We have hired a professional genealogist from Georgia and she confirmed our findings. We have contacted the Rays from Columbia and read their book ‘Rays Now and Then’ which also confirms they are different families – none related as father, son, or grandfather, or ggrandfather to John W. Ray or his father Joseph Ray (wife Anna). John Ray Sr is the one who is related to the Columbia Co., Ga. Rays.
From the Rays in Mississippi we learned that family tradition has the father of Elizabeth Nobles (John W. Ray’s wife) as Jonathan Nobles. From land deeds, we found him living close to John W. Ray and wife Elizabeth Nobles in Clarke County in early 1800s. This is consistent in that the William Nobles and Stephen Nobles whom John W. and Elizabeth associated with were not her parents, but most likely her uncles. See professional Georgia Genealogist comments at: http://www.eaglequestpro.com/share/SearchDocs/index.php?mvardid=482
as other comments and documents on that site.
We feel we have proven the parents of John W. Ray as Joseph and Anna Ray. Who lived in Clarke County and Morgan Co., Ga. We found tax and land records that put John W. Ray living adjacent to Joseph and Anna in Clarke County on Freeman Creek just a few miles south of Bishop. Other friends and relatives were living close by … many of the same ones that moved with them (a short distance) to Morgan and then to Lawrence Co, Ms. It was pretty common to give lands and property to children when they married or before dying which would avoid court cost with wills. We know Joseph, before dying gave his other sons, Joseph Jr. and Robert the rest of the property he owned before dying. We also have copies of Clarke County court records that started in 1809 with a neighbor (Mr. Wright) who had defaulted on a loan he had got from Joseph Ray while he was in Clarke County. The first part of 1810 Joseph appeared in court, but in October only John W. Ray appeared and the court awarded him the money owed his father. (See web site for copies of records)
So I hope you can see the issues and can help in not only finding the right relatives, but keep the John W. Ray line correct.
Also...Some have thought that the Joseph Ray who was married to Anna (I will note him as Joseph (Anna) is the same as the Joseph that was married to Mary Jones (I will note him as Joseph (Mary) who was the son of Joseph Ray md to Nancy who lived in Columbia Co., Ga.
Joseph (Anna) was one generation older than Joseph (Mary)… they lived in different counties, they had different families and died in different locations.
Joseph (Mary) was born about 1773 and married Mary Jones about 6 Dec 1813 and lived in Columbia Co., Ga. Joseph (Mary)’s father, Joseph Ray who married Nancy died soon after 18 Mar 1805 and Nancy (mother of Joseph (Mary) died 30 January 1807 in Columbia Co., Ga.
Joseph (Mary) is not the Joseph Ray who married Anna (or Ann) who lived in Clarke and Morgan Co., Ga. The Joseph who married Anna (parents of John W. Ray) died in 1810 in Morgan Co. We have a court record that shows him alive in Feb 1810 and passed away before next court hearing in October 1810. Prior to 1808 he Joseph w/Anna and his family lived on Freeman Creek, south of Bishop until purchasing the ‘Family Mansion’ on Jack’s Creek a few miles away in what is now Morgan Co.
Different families. Please visit eaglequestpro.com/share and click on the Searchy to see documents of most of the above.
If you see any errors in the above, please let me know.
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