Monday, January 12, 2009

My Great Grandfather Richard L. "Dick" Gray, from Alabama and Texas

My maternal great-grandfather Richard L., nicknamed "Dick" Gray, was born on August 23, 1853 in Alabama to James Malachi (1830-1922) and Henrietta E. Williams Gray (1828-1897). Dick's family came to Antrim Community in Anderson County, Texas about 1848-1849. His father served in the Confederate States of America Army for four years as a Private in Company K, 22nd Texas Infantry, from 1861-1865.

Dick's life began in Alabama, but he lived about the last 60 years of his life in Houston and Anderson Counties in east Texas as a farmer, mostly in the rural area southwest of Palestine and Elkhart, in a community called Antrim where he and his wife Mary raised their nine children.

By 1870, Dick moved with his family to Houston County, Precinct 5, near Grapeland, Texas. The nearest post office was at Crockett, Texas. Dick, 17, was a farmer, along with his father, James Malachi Gray, 45,  his older brother, John Williams Gray, 19, and younger brother, Benjamin "Bennie" S. Gray, 15. His youngest brother, James Frank Gray, was 10. The father's real estate was valued at $500.00 and personal estate was valued at $200.00.

Nancy Smith Williams (1810-1870), 59, born in Alabama, also lived with the family in 1870. She was Richard L. Gray father's mother-in-law. Her daughter was Henrietta E. Williams Gray. The Williams family arrived in the Antrim Community about 1850. 

In 1877, Dick, 24, married Mary Ellisor, 18, whose parents were Joshua Malachia (1833-1876) and Lucy Ann Chaffin Ellisor (1837-1908). By 1880, Dick, still a farmer, 26, moved with his wife Mary, 21, and two daughters, Linnie, 1, and Mary Etta, 6 months, to Anderson County near Elkhart, Texas to Antrim Community.

By 1900, Dick, farmer, 47, lived at Elkhart, Texas in District 8 Enumeration District, Justice Precinct 2, Voting Precinct 5, with his wife Mary and children, Linnie, 19, James, farm laborer 16, John Edward, farm laborer, 13, Luna Lenora, 10, Ethelinda, 8, Richard Lusky, 6, Bennie C., 3, and Nora Azalee, 1. Dick stated he was unemployed for 4 months. Daughter Mary Etta was not listed in the US 1900 Census.

By 1910, Dick, farmer, 56, lived with his wife Mary, and daughters Luna Lenora, public school teacher, 20, Ethelinda, 19, Richard Lusky., farm laborer, 17, and Nora Azalee, 16.

I am indebted to second cousin Ivey Maurice Brinson, whose grandmother was Linnie Gray Simpson and whose great-grandfather was Richard L. "Dick" Gray.

Ivey Maurice Gray's grandmother and my grandfather, Richard "Lusky" Gray, were older sister and younger brother. Maurice shared the photographs of Dick, Mary Gray, and their descendants and information about the Antrim Community and School in Anderson County, and Antrim Cemetery in Houston County, Texas that he, his sister, and father helped to maintain for many years.

The story here is not documented with citations. However, correct and proper citations are located in my Ancestry Family Tree as well as in Legacy Family Tree. I photographed many Antrim Cemetery headstones in July, 2008.




The home of Richard L. "Dick" and Mary Ellisor Gray, no known date, Antrim Community, Anderson County, Texas. From left to right: Richard L. "Dick" Gray, John Edward (known as John Ed) Gray, unidentified, and Robert "Rob" Little


Headstones of R. L. Gray (August 23, 1853-February 7, 1917 or 1920) and Mary Gray (December 30, 1858 or 1859-1943) at Antrim Cemetery  Houston County, Texas. 











Left photograph: Richard "Lusky". Gray, (1893-1978), my grandfather; John Edward "Ed" Gray (1886- ), Gramma Mary Ellisor Gray (1858 or 1859-1943), Mary "Etta" Gray (1880-1950), "Luna" Lenora Gray (1889-1971), Ethelinda "Ethel" Gray (1891-1965, and "Nora" Azalee Gray (1898-1964).


Center photograph: Jasper Simpson (1861-1942) and his wife Linnie Gray Simpson (1878-1924), Ivey Maurice Brinson's grandmother, on their wedding day in 1900.

Right photograph: "Luna" Lenora Gray, Richard "Lusky" Gray., my grandfather, and Ethelinda "Ethel" Gray, no known date.










Antrim Community School Children in 1920, Anderson County, Texas. Fourteen of the children were mine and Ivey Maurice Brinson's ancestors.

Note: I recall my mother, Opal "Murriel" Gray Hollingsworth and her sister, my aunt Nora "Azalee" Gray Snow talking about their Gray relatives and calling them by these names: Aunt (pronounced "Aint") Etta, Aunt "Aint" Ethel, and Uncle Ed. I recall when I was a child that I visited most of these relatives, but did not realize the significance of asking questions about their lives. The only one I know to ask now is my second cousin Ivey Maurice Brinson, whose mother told him many stories about his Gray ancestors.

1 comment:

  1. You made my day.Please let me know more.I have finally mellowed with age and want my 2 sons and grandkids to no about thrir heritage.Yours Truly, Gary Simpson address>837 ACR 2915 Palestine,Tx. 75803 Cell#903-391-4836>Home# 903-538-2819>>Email/ garysimpson50@yahoo.com

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