Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday :: John Bray

John Bray is my one and only Revolutionary War ancestor who made it to Indiana. He is my 4th Great-Grandfather and is buried in McKay Cemetery, Craig Township, Switzerland County, Indiana.

John was born on April 28, 1761 probably in Maryland or Virginia to Henry and Cathryn Bray. According to other researchers, John's wife was Nancy Morgan, reportedly a sister of Nathan Morgan who also lived in Switzerland County. However, I have found no evidence to support those claims.

According to his pension record affidavit, John enlisted in 1777 in “Romley” Hampshire county, Virginia under Captain William Voss of the 12th Virginia regiment. He served three years and was honorably discharged at Yorktown, Pennsylvania by colonel Morgan. He was wounded in the battles of Brandywine (Delaware), Monmouth (New Jersey) and Stony Point (New York) and also participated in many other skirmishes.

In December 1784, John received a bounty land warrant for 100 acres of land for his three years of service and, with his father and several other siblings took up residence in what was then Nelson County, Virginia (it became Nelson County, Kentucky in 1792).

His first son, John Bray Jr. was born about 1787 so it has been assumed that he married his first wife about 1786 in Nelson County, Virginia but no record of the marriage has been found. It has been assumed that his first seven children were by this wife (presumed to be Nancy Morgan).

John and his children removed to Switzerland County, Indiana at about the time Indiana became a state (1816). On April 15, 1820 in Gallatin County, Kentucky (just across the Ohio River from Vevay) John was married to Mrs. Elizabeth Coones. They would have three (or four) children, the last one born just four years prior to John's death on June 10th 1832 at the age of 71.

John's will, dated June 26th 1832, names his beloved wife Elizabeth and children: the youngest son George Bray got the land. His three oldest sons (John, Daniel, and Samuel Bray) each received one dollar. The three oldest girls (Jane Ray, Elizabeth Cotton, and Nancy Culver) also received one dollar. The three younger girls (Pelina, Amealy, and Sophia Bray) were each given one bed and bedding.

George, Amelia, and Sophia were the children of his wife Elizabeth and perhaps, so was Pelina. We have no record of what became of her.

Much more information on John Bray as well as his siblings and children, can be found in my database on WorldConnect.

1 comment:

hoosierplew said...

John Bray is my six-times great grandfather through Jane Bray, thanks for posting the photo of his headstone and the story of how he acquired the land in Switzerland County. My five-times great grandfather Edward Ray married Jane and purchased 80 acres of Switzerland County land adjacent to John's.