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Home: Regional: U.S. States: Georgia: Butts County

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JAMES GRAY Sr.-Butts County Pioneer
Posted by: Larry Knowles (ID *****3151) Date: March 30, 2002 at 10:49:26
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James and Elizabeth(Johnson)Gray were among the earliest settlers of Butts Co. The Grays were born in South Carolina, and migrated from the Abbeville area. Though most records are in Butts Co., James Gray bought land in original Henry Co. When Butts Co. was formed in Dec 1825, the new county line bisected this parcel. On the 1828 Butts Co. tax list, James Gray was listed in Capt. C. Mason's district. From the Allen Gray Family Bible, we learned that James Gray died June 30, 1830(see Note #1). The 1830 Butts Co. census listed his widow Elizabeth, and seven children. In January that year, another child, Mary Ann, had married Hardy Pace. Before that couple moved to Chambers Co. AL, a daughter Adeline F. Pace was born. Other Gray siblings were soon entrenched in Butts Co. Eldest son, Allen Gray(highest bidder-"on the Courthouse steps")purchased the Butts Co. portion of the above lot from his father's estate in February of 1833. On November 11, 1832, he had married Peletiah("Pelly")O'Nail, daughter of Zachariah O'Nail, still another Butts County pioneer. On December 10, 1835, Allen's sister-Sarah Gray, married Pelly's brother, Edward W. O'Nail, thus assuring the Gray lineage in that well documented family. In fact, all of Edward W. O'Neal's children are descendants of James Gray; as after Sarah's death, he married her niece, Julia Ann(Pace)Weaver, daughter of Hardy and Mary Ann Pace(above)-and widow, of James J. Weaver, who had died in the Civil War. On November 20, 1842, James Gray Jr. married Elizabeth Stroud of Henry Co. Another son, Andrew Gray evidently never married; he died about 1837 in Chambers Co. AL(apparently having moved there-near sister Mary Ann, and her husband Hardy Pace). In Butts Co. Allen Gray was made administrator of his Georgia property.

For some reason there was a delay in processing the James Gray Sr. estate. An inventory was not made until Sept 15, 1831. Soon after, widow Elizabeth posted a $1600 guardianship bond, with a Thomas Pair providing security. There are many records concerning the younger children of James Gray Sr. Three are generallly grouped together-Rachel, William, and Augustus Johnson Gray. Annual returns of the estate note expenses, tuition, etc. for these children. James Gray Jr. is mentioned in early records. On January 27, 1848, William Gray married Mary Lummus of Newton Co. He, and brother James Gray died in late 1857-both leaving small children. Rachel Gray married Wiley W. Williams. On the 1860 Henry Co census, her mother-Elizabeth Gray, was listed with the couple(her will was filed in Butts Co.-May 2, 1864). The Gray Family Cemetery[provided for in Allen Gray's will-on the land from his father's estate, #133/8D]is the likely burial site for many of these individuals(see Note #2). There are ten to twelve graves, only three are marked: Allen and "Pellytyre" Gray, and their son, Levi. Hardy Pace died in Chambers Co. AL in early 1839. On Jan 8, 1843 in Chambers Co., his widow Mary Ann married John D. Thompson, with whom she had two sons(James M. and John D. Thompson Jr.). After her second husband died, Mary Ann returned to Butts Co. where she posted a bond for the guardianship of Hardy Pace's orphans; William A., Adaline Frances, Mary Turner, and Julia Ann Pace. Adaline married John Skipper-May 14, 1847. Mary T. married John J. Weaver-Sept 4, 1851. William Pace married Juda A. Bond, Dec 30, 1858(he was killed in the Civil War). Julia Ann married James J. Weaver-Aug 7, 1860(she married E.W. O'Neal-Feb 21, 1867). Mary Ann (Gray)Pace/ Thompson died in early 1871. Widow-Juda Pace, Mary Weaver, Julia O'Neal and James M. Thompson are mentioned in a deed regarding Mary Ann's "homeplace". Johnson Gray never married. He is buried near his niece, Sarah Ann Moss(daughter of Allen Gray, and wife of Ben Moss(see Note #2, same source, Pg. 540).


#1) Mrs. Gladys Floyd of McDonough, GA. a descendant of James & Elizabeth Gray, had the family Bible. She kindly allowed me to carry it to the State Archive for copying. It contained genealogical data on five generations in her line of descent; including: Allen & Peletiah Gray's children, Peletiah's "O'Nail" siblings, and Allen Gray's parents(and several brothers).

#2) "Butts County Georgia Cemeteries", Butts County Genealogical Society, Wolfe Pub.-May 2000. Pg. 132.



Aaron O'Nail, Apr 19 1803
Rachel O'Nail, Feb 8 1806
Mary O'Nail, Jun 23 1808
Edward O'Nail, Oct 25 1810
Eveline O'Nail, Jun 25 1818
Peletier O'Nail, Jan 25 1815

Elizabeth Johnson, Nov 4 1787
died: Nov 3 1863

James Gray died: Jun 30 1830
(born: c.1785)

Sarah O'Nail died: Dec 9 1832
[A Sarah O'Nail was a charter member of nearby Sardis Baptist Church in 1823. Since Sarah's birth is not listed with the other children, it is believed that she is that woman; Zachariah's wife, and perhaps the mother of the listed children]

Note: The original family summary above, with minor revisions and additions, has been reformatted in "plain text" for this venue. The names and dates, just above, are the oldest entries from the Allen Gray Family Bible.

Larry C. Knowles, March 30, 2002


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