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Ancestors & Descendants of Gilbert L. Gray of Grand Manan Island New Brunswick

Generation No. 1

1.WILLIAM1 GRAY was born Abt. 1728 in Peekskill, Westchester County, New York1, and died August 02, 1824 in Springfield, Belleisle Bay, King's Co., New Brunswick2.He married (1) UNKNOWN SHERWOOD3 Abt. 1760 in Long Island, NY4.She was born Abt. 1735 in New York4, and died Abt. 1780 in Westchester County, NY5.He married (2) LAVINIA PURDY Abt. 1782 in Peekskill, Westchester County, NY.She was born Abt. 1754 in New York, and died January 02, 1825 in Springfield, Belleisle Bay, King's Co., New Brunswick.


Gilbert L. wasthe first name of the first settler by the name Gray at Grand Manan. Research I have performed in the past has not proved without a doubt that the Grand Manan Gilbert Gray was the son of the William Gray of Kings Co., but my findings (more on this later)suggest it is highly probable he was the Gilbert Gray mentioned as a son in the Will of William Gray of King's Co., NB.I have received a 50+ page paper from Kevin Gray of Simsbury, CT on the Descendants of William Gray.We find that a Gilbert Gray was the 6th child of William Gray, born in 1772.The compiler of the paper, Jean Bluhm of Chehalls, WAcontinues with the following:"He married Love Sprague...William and John Sprague, Jr.(sic - should read Sr.) and Mrs Love Sprague were associates of William Hutchinson and Isaiah McCarthey who drew a block grant on Salmon River in Upper Settlement 1785.Love is an aged widowed mother of William & John Sprague, Sr.. A John Sprague was living at Darling Island 1783 with wife and family. He left and joined Capt. Hutchinson,applying for a grant farther N (orth) in Kings's Co....I feel Love Sprague must be related to the woman by the same name, may be a grand daughter...."The paper then lists 4 children:Ebben,George, Darius and Ruth Gray.The latter married Nelson Small....." These are all too familiar names for Grand Manan Gray Family researchers.

The only logical reason that Gilbert Gray would come to Grand Manan to live is so his wife, Love Sprague, could live near her parents.We have therefore determined another child for John Sprague, Sr. 

There were no Gray Families enumerated for the 1821 Census of Grand Manan, yet there was a marriage for Hannah Gray and Asa Morse a few years before the census. In most situations this would mean that person died before the census, but in this case we find Gilbert Gray purchased land on Grand Manan in 1824, found hisname on the 1831 tax assessment list for Grand Manan and we find that Gilbert L. Gray sold his Grand Manan property in 1832.These are the only records found for Gilbert on the Island to date.According to the PANB Crown Land Grant Database a Gilbert Grayreceived a 400 acre grant on12/14/1815.The Land wasin Wakefield, York Co., NB. See Grant book Volume1, page 79, Grant #815. There were 2 memorials in Gilbert's namewritten in 1813/4 . At that time he was He was living in Wakefield, York County, NB. Gilbert sold 200 acres of his grantin 1817 and 200 acres in 1819. At the time of these deeds Gilbert was living in Springfield, Kings Co., NB.Our window of opportunity to prove our Gilbert was the son of William was decreased by the fact Gilbert did not receive land from his father through his will.Instead he received 12 pounds & 10 shillings.If he had received land through his father's Will, it would have traceable. However what makes it probable is that William Gray's Grant was in the Parishof Springfield.In 1795 (#715) and again in 1796 (#720) Gilbert petitioned for land in Springfield along with James, Justus and Abraham Gray.I assume Gilbert and Abraham did not received either of the lots they applied for, i.e., there was no Crown Land Grant found for them at this time frame. James andJustus did however receive two hundred acres land in Springfield on Belleisle Bay. I searched Charlotte County, NB for petitions & grants for Gilbert Gray but found none.

Before moving on. Let me throw some conjecture at you. It looks like although some of the offspring of William Gray made it big time, Gilbert was one who didn't.In 1815 Gilbert had 400 acres and was living and working his new grant in Wakefield, York County. Two years later, he was back in Springfield selling off his Grant.It is my conjecture that Gilbert fell on hard times and was living with his father. His father died on August 2, 1824 and left Gilbert 12+ pounds. Gilbert not having any land moved to Grand Manan and used 10 of those pounds to purchase his land in Grand Manan on October 7, 1824 or just shortly after his father's death. It could also be that Gilbert had left King's Co. for Grand Manan prior to his father death and was living with a relative(most likely his father-in-law, John Sprague, Sr.) and used his inheritance money to buy his Grand Manan Land. Of these two possibilities the later makes more sense since we have records of his children getting married at Grand Manan before 1824.

Gilbert sold his Grand Manan landin 1832. It is not known if he left the Island at that time.

See Notes - More about Gilbert Gray for abstracts of his Land acquisitions and sales.

Information about the early GrayFamily in Kings Co., NB comes from Kevin Gray whose email address is:< kgray@hartfordlife.com>. Kevin states that Captain William Gray was a Loyalist. While Captain Gray did notserve in the military because of his age anda large family,he did sign a loyalist petition and lost his farm, in Westchester,NY due to his loyalty to the Crown.

Kevin states in his email that there is a copy of William Gray'swill,along with probate Records,petitions for Crown Land Grants, extensive records in regards to his claims for damages due tohis loyaltyand can all be found at the PANB in Fredericton.. My research to date at the PANB was strictly to find facts for Gilbert Gray. 

There has been no exhaustive research done in Grand Manan for the Gray Family.I have looked atCharlotte Co. Probate Records and there were none for any person(s) named Gray.I checked land transfers through 1838 for Charlotte Co. and found only two records.It is probable there are other records to be located and checked for any reference to the Gray name.In 1813 Gilbert stated he had a wife and seven children. The number of children of Gilbert found on GrandManan Island was seven. There are no birth certificates for the seven Gray offspring found at Grand Manan. The seven suggested offspring of Gilbert Gray are assigned on a name,place & date situation. Since there was no other Gray to settle on Grand Manan Island, I have no problem assigning the seven children to Gilbert. It should be noted that the youngest daughter,Elizabeth,was born after 1813. So there were eight children. The first child was married before Gilbert brought his family to Grand Manan.

This genealogy is focused on The Gray line. See other genealogies posted at this web site for the collateral lines e.g.,Small, Sprague & Morse, etc.


William Gray had two wives. The Bluhm paper states that Janet Hill was William Gray's frirst wife. At the same time Jean recognized that Janet Hill has not been proven as William Gray's first wife.The second was Lavinia Purdy. However Ruth Whitehead writes: ..."I have a copy of a letter written June 18, 1904 from Springfield, Kings(County)

- - - by Dr. J. H. Gray. I just found this letter..."."This is about William GRAY, Loyalist, born in Long Island, New York.""His first wife was the daughter of Justus Sherwood of Peekskill and sister of the mother of the late Justus S. Whetmore, Shipbuilder of Clifton by whom he had six children, namely Henry, Justus, Abraham, James and Gilbert and one daughter, Elizabeth that married a man by the name of McCown and moved to Ontario.William's first wife died in New York.He then married a widow Sperry whose maiden name was Purdy of New York. By this marriage he had six children, namely Charlotte, Lydia, Lavinia, Sarah, Ann and Charles." This researcher believes that Sherwood was the first wife.


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