|About Grays from Black Creek
My Interest in the past has not always been as great as it is now. Growing up in the south with
Civil War battlefields and Indian
names for places, I took a lot of that for granted. I bought my first house that stood in a
community of mill houses near the
square in my hometown. It was abandoned and condemned. When I started to remodel it I found it to be
much older than the
other houses with a two room timber frame at the center. I was hooked on the past. I was a backyard
archaeologist with shards of
china and old bottles surfacing with every rain. I started relic hunting and finding old trenches
from the civil war far removed from
Kennesaw Mountain. i found a line that brought me to the site of my Great Uncle's death in the
Battle of Gilgal church. I found that
family narrative was far from the truth. I started to collect information and was curious how my kin
had migrated from Virginia
and New England and ended up In Alabama and the Midwest. This is my effort to make sense of this.
My paternal family in America starts with my 4th Great grandfather William John Gray, b. 1754 in
Scotland, He died in Madison Ala.
in 1834. He was said to be the son of Lord Gray of Scotland and heir to that title. He was sent to
live in Boston because his father
feared for his firstborn son's life. William loved the New World and refused to go home. European
ancestry records show he lived
until 1807, when they declared him dead so his younger brother could take the family Title.This
could be an Ancestry bogus claim?
William fought under Daniel Morgan in the Revolutionary War, mustered out after Saratoga, then went
back in to pursue Cornwallis in South Carolina. After the war he settled in vicinity of Wahalla or
I found two Letters of Intrusion for him to go to Cherokee Nation after that area became part of
South Carolina. One in 1803 "to bring forage to crews surveying the Tennessee Line", Then another
for him and his son James to go to Franklin County Ga. According to a biography in the Huntsville
Gazette, He was living in Choctaw nation about 1810 near Muscle Shoals, trading in Mississippi.
My fathers family lived in northeastern Alabama in Cherokee, Dekalb, and Etowah Counties. Although i
wentthere when I was young, I had no idea of the history of the area before I started this search. I
will relate this in some storiesI have discovered as they tie to family members.
I really don't think my father knew who his family was beyond his grandfather. One of my aunts wrote
a list of allied families and
descendants and identified the Patriarch as a Wilder Gray, which could have been a Scottish version
of William mispronounced over
a few generations.
Another find for me was how many ancestors in both my parents families came to the Colonies in the
1600's and early 1700's. Founders of Virginia as well as New haven Connecticut in the early 1600's.
We also have Quakers from Pennsylvania represented.
I spent a lot of time in Western North Carolina recently and saw the same families there. I found
that the Adams family from Va. had moved into Old 96 district South Carolina well before the
Revolution. The Adams name is probably tied to Robert Adams who ran the Plymouth, a trading ship, as
early as 1607 to the Virginia colony. Roger Johns was a tobaccogrower who sponsored many
Adams as headright grants in the early years. The Adams family also were early colonists of Barbados
and Jamaica. The early Adams of Georgia and Edgefield County SC. may be related to the Virginia
Adams members that came from Barbados to Ga.before the Revolution.
I found the Brocks, Siniards and Lambs in what is now the Pisgah National Forest. Descendants of
Samuel Jordan, who spent time in prison in Jamestown rather than denounce the Quaker faith, still
live in Transylvania and Jackson Counties. They came from
This is not confirmed research, I am sorting out information about these family groups and the
conflicting information available.
If anyone has Additional Info or corrections I will be glad to hear from them. My resources besides
the web, have been Family
research rooms at the Transylvania library as well as the Bosse room at Wesleyan College in South
Carolina. Find a Grave has been very helpful to find place names and associations as well as to
follow family migrations.
Native America names are interspersed in some families, The major line is Brock where many claim
the Moytoy Cherokee line as Brocks, I have found a popular support for that that would give my
family a line back to Shawnee chief Powathan. This emerges in other lines as well. Right now I have
cut that off at Chief Redbird, Aaron Brock until I find out otherwise. There is another Brock
line that may indeed be cousins but came into the colonies at a later date. The key to this is
Katherine Napier, who married both a Brock, and an Adams. There are differing sources on that. At
some point I will have to pick or start an alternate tree to clean it up.
Early colonists were encouraged to take Native spouses and there are many in my Fathers family.
Almost every early colonist family has a claim to some Native ancestry. The ones who pushed farthest
into the early frontier are the least well documented. I found some of the ties through transcripts
of the 1834 Cherokee census and the 1825 Alabama Cherokee census. They do not give specifics of who
is who, but number of family members a blood percentage. (Full, Half, quadroon, or white, quadroon