Search Results for: Bish

Bish, Althea Mary

Althea Mary Bish
b: ABT 1889
d:
Facts
  • ABT 1889 - Birth - ; Pennsylvania
  • Death - Y
  • 1910 - Residence - Marital Status: Single; Relation to Head of House: Daughter ; Connoquenessing, Butler, Pennsylvania, USA
  • 1910 - Residence - Marital Status: Single; Relation to Head of House: Daughter ; Connoquenessing, Butler, Pennsylvania, USA
Ancestors
   
?
 
 
Chester P Bish
1847 - 1934
  
  
  
?
 
Althea Mary Bish
ABT 1889 -
  
 
  
Peterson Gray
1813 - 1869
 
 
Mary Ann Gray
5 MAR 1847 - 19 FEB 1920
  
  
  
Sarah Calvin
1817 - 1890
 
Evidence
[S70]Ancestry.com, 1910 United States Federal Census (Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006).

Bish, Carlisle O

Carlisle O Bish
b: 16 AUG 1883
d:
Facts
  • 16 AUG 1883 - Birth - ; Pennsylvania
  • Death - Y
  • 1900 - Residence - Marital Status: Single; Relation to Head: Son ; Connoquenessing, Butler, Pennsylvania, USA
  • 1910 - Residence - Marital Status: Single; Relation to Head of House: Son ; Connoquenessing, Butler, Pennsylvania, USA
  • 1900 - Residence - Marital Status: Single; Relation to Head: Son ; Connoquenessing, Butler, Pennsylvania, USA
  • 1910 - Residence - Marital Status: Single; Relation to Head of House: Son ; Connoquenessing, Butler, Pennsylvania, USA
Ancestors
   
?
 
 
Chester P Bish
1847 - 1934
  
  
  
?
 
Carlisle O Bish
16 AUG 1883 -
  
 
  
Peterson Gray
1813 - 1869
 
 
Mary Ann Gray
5 MAR 1847 - 19 FEB 1920
  
  
  
Sarah Calvin
1817 - 1890
 
Evidence
[S70]Ancestry.com, 1910 United States Federal Census (Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006).
[S69]Ancestry.com, 1900 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004).

Bish, Chester P

Chester P Bish
b: 1847
d: 1934
Facts
  • 1847 - Birth - ; Pennsylvania
  • 1934 - Death -
  • 1900 - Residence - Marital Status: Married; Relation to Head: Head ; Connoquenessing, Butler, Pennsylvania, USA
  • 1910 - Residence - Marital Status: Married; Relation to Head of House: Head ; Connoquenessing, Butler, Pennsylvania, USA
  • 1920 - Residence - Relation to Head: Head; Residence Marital Status: Married ; Connoquenessing, Butler, Pennsylvania, USA
  • 1900 - Residence - Marital Status: Married; Relation to Head: Head ; Connoquenessing, Butler, Pennsylvania, USA
  • 1910 - Residence - Marital Status: Married; Relation to Head of House: Head ; Connoquenessing, Butler, Pennsylvania, USA
  • 1920 - Residence - Relation to Head: Head; Residence Marital Status: Married ; Connoquenessing, Butler, Pennsylvania, USA
Ancestors
   
?
 
 
?
  
  
  
?
 
Chester P Bish
1847 - 1934
  
 
  
?
 
 
?
  
  
  
?
 
Family Group Sheet - Spouse
PARENT (M) Chester P Bish
Birth1847Pennsylvania
Death1934
Marriage1872to Mary Ann Gray
Father?
Mother?
PARENT (F) Mary Ann Gray
Birth5 MAR 1847Madison Township, Armstrong, Pennsylvania, United States
Death19 FEB 1920 Connoquenessing, Butler, Pennsylvania, United States
Marriage1872to Chester P Bish
FatherPeterson Gray
MotherSarah Calvin
CHILDREN
FAlthea Mary Bish
BirthABT 1889Pennsylvania
Death
MCarlisle O Bish
Birth16 AUG 1883Pennsylvania
Death
FEtla Idale Bish
BirthOCT 1880Pennsylvania
Death
MFielding Gray Bish
BirthOCT 1875Pennsylvania
Death
MHerbert Earl Bish
BirthFEB 1890Pennsylvania
Death
MNorman Pliney Bish
BirthABT 1873
Death
FGrace Sarah Graham
BirthFEB 1878Pennsylvania
Death
Marriageto George Ormand Graham
Evidence
[S60]Ancestry.com, U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current (Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012).
[S70]Ancestry.com, 1910 United States Federal Census (Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006).
[S66]Ancestry.com, 1920 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010).
[S69]Ancestry.com, 1900 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004).
Descendancy Chart
Chester P Bish b: 1847 d: 1934
Mary Ann Gray b: 5 MAR 1847 d: 19 FEB 1920
Althea Mary Bish b: ABT 1889
Carlisle O Bish b: 16 AUG 1883
Etla Idale Bish b: OCT 1880
Fielding Gray Bish b: OCT 1875
Herbert Earl Bish b: FEB 1890
Norman Pliney Bish b: ABT 1873
Grace Sarah Graham b: FEB 1878
George Ormand Graham b: 1874 d: 1905

Bish, Etla Idale

Etla Idale Bish
b: OCT 1880
d:
Facts
  • OCT 1880 - Birth - ; Pennsylvania
  • Death - Y
  • 1900 - Residence - Marital Status: Single; Relation to Head: Daughter ; Connoquenessing, Butler, Pennsylvania, USA
  • 1900 - Residence - Marital Status: Single; Relation to Head: Daughter ; Connoquenessing, Butler, Pennsylvania, USA
Ancestors
   
?
 
 
Chester P Bish
1847 - 1934
  
  
  
?
 
Etla Idale Bish
OCT 1880 -
  
 
  
Peterson Gray
1813 - 1869
 
 
Mary Ann Gray
5 MAR 1847 - 19 FEB 1920
  
  
  
Sarah Calvin
1817 - 1890
 
Evidence
[S69]Ancestry.com, 1900 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004).

Bish, Fielding Gray

Fielding Gray Bish
b: OCT 1875
d:
Facts
  • OCT 1875 - Birth - ; Pennsylvania
  • Death - Y
  • 1900 - Residence - Marital Status: Single; Relation to Head: Son ; Connoquenessing, Butler, Pennsylvania, USA
  • 1900 - Residence - Marital Status: Single; Relation to Head: Son ; Connoquenessing, Butler, Pennsylvania, USA
Ancestors
   
?
 
 
Chester P Bish
1847 - 1934
  
  
  
?
 
  
 
  
Peterson Gray
1813 - 1869
 
 
Mary Ann Gray
5 MAR 1847 - 19 FEB 1920
  
  
  
Sarah Calvin
1817 - 1890
 
Evidence
[S69]Ancestry.com, 1900 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004).

Bish, Herbert Earl

Herbert Earl Bish
b: FEB 1890
d:
Facts
  • FEB 1890 - Birth - ; Pennsylvania
  • Death - Y
  • 1900 - Residence - Marital Status: Single; Relation to Head: Son ; Connoquenessing, Butler, Pennsylvania, USA
  • 1910 - Residence - Marital Status: Single; Relation to Head of House: Son ; Connoquenessing, Butler, Pennsylvania, USA
  • 1900 - Residence - Marital Status: Single; Relation to Head: Son ; Connoquenessing, Butler, Pennsylvania, USA
  • 1910 - Residence - Marital Status: Single; Relation to Head of House: Son ; Connoquenessing, Butler, Pennsylvania, USA
Ancestors
   
?
 
 
Chester P Bish
1847 - 1934
  
  
  
?
 
  
 
  
Peterson Gray
1813 - 1869
 
 
Mary Ann Gray
5 MAR 1847 - 19 FEB 1920
  
  
  
Sarah Calvin
1817 - 1890
 
Evidence
[S70]Ancestry.com, 1910 United States Federal Census (Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006).
[S69]Ancestry.com, 1900 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004).

Bish, Norman Pliney

Norman Pliney Bish
b: ABT 1873
d:
Facts
  • ABT 1873 - Birth -
  • Death - Y
Ancestors
   
?
 
 
Chester P Bish
1847 - 1934
  
  
  
?
 
  
 
  
Peterson Gray
1813 - 1869
 
 
Mary Ann Gray
5 MAR 1847 - 19 FEB 1920
  
  
  
Sarah Calvin
1817 - 1890
 
Evidence
[S116]Ancestry.com, Pennsylvania, Marriages, 1852-1968 (Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2016).

The Grays in the Highlands Part 3: Contributions From Rev. Joseph C. Brown

1799 Sutherlandshire ScotlandThis is the third installment of Chapter 2 of The Gray Clan with my research notes, questions and thoughts added. If you read something here and have a correction or additional information, I am all ears!

This third part of Chapter 2 contains information on pages 7-10. All of this information was provided by the Rev. Joseph C. Brown, first president of the American Branch of the Thomas Gray’s. The content in italics is the original text from the book. My notes and research will appear below it and start with [KG].

Here are links to the other published portions of this series:
The Grays in the Highlands Part 1: The Memories of Thomas Gray
The Grays in the Highlands Part 2: Leaving Their Beloved Skibo, Scotland

If interested, I’ve created a document where you can view/read the full text of Chapter 2 without my research notes.

We are impressed to insert some findings, which are a contribution of the Rev. Jos. C. Brown, 1st President of the American Branch of the Thomas Gray’s: Notes taken from the Scottish Antiquary Vol. VIII, IX. These are entitled:

GRAY OF SKIBO and Over Skibo, in Parish of Creich, Sutherlandshire.

The Family of Gray of Skibo is stated by Sir Robert Gordon, (History of Sutherland), to descend from Lord Gray of Foulls.

Lord Gray of Foulls was Andrew Gray, only son and heir of Sir Patirck, Master of Gray. He died 1513-1514, having married as second wife, Elizabeth, daughter to John Stewart, Earl of Athole. By his first wife, his son was John Gray of Culmaly, and by his second, Patrick Gray. (First wife’s name unstated.)

The second son of Lord Gray, having slain the constable of Dundee, fled to Ross, where he acquired lands, circa 1456. His descendant John Gray, in the time of Adam Gordon, 14th Earl of Sutherland, 1515 & 1514 to 1537, settled in Sutherland entering the service, first of Robert Stewart, then of Andrew Stewart, Bishops of Caithness.

From Bishop Andrew, John Gray obtained as reward for his many services rendered to the bishops, the feu of the lands of Culmaly, Kirkton, Rogart and Cuttle. He afterward exchanged Culmaly and Rogart with the Earl of Sutherland for Sordell or ‘Swordell’, Creich and the rest of the Church lands in the Parish. The Earl afterward named him as “Heritable Constable of the Castle of Skibo” and gave him the feu of the lands of Nether Skibo and others.

Recorded that in 1529 a feud arose between Bishop Andrew and Sutherland Baird of Duffius. The latter was killed. Then follows an account of how Alexander Gray, Vicar of Far was carried off to Duffis Castle, and was finally freed by the intervention of John Gray of Culmaly.

It seems that the second son of Lord Gray of Foulls was Andrew, as mentioned above, and that he married —– and had two sons, the one bearing the name of Andrew and the other Alexander, which doubtless is the one mentioned above, because he became the Vicar of Far. He in turn had a son James Gray living about 1514.

Alexander Gray mentioned above, was Chaplain of the Chapelry of Kinnold, in the Cathedral Church of Caithness, 1534(?) and from 1529 to 1559 Vicar of Far. In 1544 he settled his lands of Auchinlovy, in the Diocese of Caithness on John Gray of Culmaly and his male issues, with the remainder to Patrick, brother of John and his male issue.

NOTABLE THAT THE GRAY FAMILY SPREAD rapidly and obtained much Church preferment. Sir Thomas Gray was Vicar of Rosemarkie in 1546.

William Gray was Minister of Assynt, 1576.

William Gray was treasurer of Caithness, 1577-1820 (?)

Master James Gray was preacher at large, 1649, and William his son was preacher at Clyne.

The Grays of Arball and Newtoun and various other families, derive their origin from the Grays of Skibo.

————

[KG] You can download what I believe to be this same book from Archive.org, A Genealogical History of The Earldom of Sutherland by Sir Robert Gordon. I haven’t had a chance to read the full book yet, but there are quite a few mentions of the Gray surname.

LORD GRAY OF OVER SKIBO

Alexander, second son of George Gray III of Skibo by Jane Gordon of Embo. By a disposition dated Skibo, June 15, 1694, Sasine on it Jan. 7, 1695, George Gray, writer of Edinburg, heritable proprietor of the lands of Over Skibo, disposed of them to Alexander Gray (brother of Robert Gray of Skibo) and Anna Munroe, his spouse conjunct fee and their heirs. Witness Robert Gray of Skibo; James Gray of Pitachgussie; Robert Gray commissary of Sutherland. His children were John and Jean.

John Gray, Second of Over Skibo. He served as heir general to his father Alexander Gray of Over Skibo, Oct. 20, 1741. He married Katherine, daughter of Duncan Fraser of Achnagairn. Their children were Alexander, Christian and Katherine.

Alexander Gray the Third of Over Skibo, served general to his father, Dec. 22, 175. There were two sasines, 1, Oct. b, 1764 in favor of Hugh Munroe of Teannich for the lands of Nulintoun of Alness. 2. Sept 20, 1776 in favor of George Ross for lands of Tarness and Pradlestoun, parts of the borough of Commertz. He married Rebecca MacDonald, May 1767. Their children were; Alexander and Janet.

Alexander the Fourth of Over Skibo, was heir special to his father Feb. 1, 1779. On May 18, 1779 on a precept from Chancery a Sasine was made to the same effect. He was the head of the firm of Gray and Agilvy. Army Agents of London. He married Mary Susanna only daughter of Richard Wainhous. Their children, Allen, Caroline, Harriet, Susanna. Alexander Gray, dying without legitimate male issue, the Estate of Cromarty in virtue of settlement to George Ross, (mentioned hereinafter) devolved upon Katherine Munroe, third of Calcairn and second wife of Hugh Ross of Glastullich, she being grandchild of Jean Ross (Sister of George) by her husband Robert Kirke of Dornoch. Much litigation ensued before Mrs. Ross came into possession of her claim, the opposer of her claim being an illegitimate son of George Ross.

(The above statement and disposition may have something to do with the of the property of George Ross by his will which proved in London, 1786. The most important items of that will are contained in the following account which was taken from the same general account in the “Scottish Antiquary.”)

WILL OF GEORGE ROSS OF CROMART and of Conduit St. Middlesex.——- Alexander Gray and John Agilvy of Spring Garden, upon trust, to realize all, etc. in Surry and Middlesex, West Indies, etc. To call in all monies due upon the lands of Over Skibo, still in Alexander Gray’s possessions. (Mortgages, etc. to pay off 30,000 lbs. Deducting 3000 lb for the lands of Over Skibo.)

These; to the trustees named in the marriage articles of Alexander Gray my nephew and Susanna his wife. The Trustees are to lay out any residue of monies in the purchase of lands in the County of Cromartz or adjacent counties. Then follows directions to payment of such invested monies-for factors to manage such Estates. (Following this statements of certain amounts to a large number of people.)

He desires his Nephew Alexander Gray and his other trustees to carry on all necessary improvements, expending nearly 200 lbs, attending to planning for plantations, enclosures to hedges, —- “I desire Mr. Gray to be at the expense of carrying on my poor Orphan Nephew Master George Gordon’s education; that he consult Dr. Ross under whose care I put him, as to the profession his genius leads him etc., —— (Flatters himself as to his disposition, etc.) “I have lived for many years, leaving to Mr. Gray to cause to mark the spot of my internment, etc., — Proved in London 1786.

———-

[KG] I have yet to research any documentation for this information and I believe there may be typos in some of the person and place names.

(This all must be in -or about the time of the bitter persecution which arose in Scotland, both Religious and Political, which resulted in the Gray’s leaving their Scotland home and emigrating to the new America. Further certified information must come from some unbiased history of the Religious movement.)

———-

We note these notes seem to be rather fragmentary, and of course we do not prove definite connection with the Gray’s who came to America. But as we read these items, the names, etc., we have the feeling that here are the men and women who are the forebears of the Gray’s we know so well here.

Signed J.C. Brown. Minister.

[KG] If anyone has additional thoughts or research to back up any of this information in relation to Thomas Gray, I’d love to hear from you!

The Grays in the Highlands Part 1: The Memories of Thomas Gray

Skibo Castle, Scotland

Chapter 2 of The Gray Clan gives us insight into the area of Scotland which is claimed to be the homeland of Thomas and Mary Gray. When reading this chapter, and the book in general, we need to do so with the eyes of a skeptic. While the book was compiled with the best of intentions and the best information available in the 1930s-1950s, we don’t have record of all of their sources. In genealogy, you don’t trust someone else’s tree and information unless you can see the source work and confirm it yourself.

The information included on the descendants of Thomas’ eight children I believe to be true. When you start getting into the family connections on the other side of the pond, I begin to have niggling doubts. The first time I picked up this book after inheriting it, I thought, wow, my kids are descendants of the owners of a castle and a true Laird! Then I started reading up on Skibo Castle, its history, and its Gray inhabitants and the doubts began. My hunch is that there are elements of truth to the family stories, but that Thomas was not heritage heir of Skibo Castle. I think he could have likely been relations of those Grays or felt a strong connection to the estate. More on this in coming posts.

Chapter 2 is about ten pages in length and contains a lot of information that would be overwhelming in a single blog post. I am transcribing and breaking this information up into four posts over the coming weeks and adding my research notes and thoughts. The research is ongoing. If you read something here and have corrections or additional information, I am all ears! It’s going to take the work of a clan to solve the mystery of where Thomas Gray was born and lived!

This first part of Chapter 2 contains information on pages 2-5. The content centered in italics is the original text from the book. I’ve tried to keep the text, spellings, grammar and punctuation as close as possible to how it was originally written. My notes and research will appear below it and start with [KG].

Here are links to the other published portions of this series:
The Grays in the Highlands Part 2: Leaving Their Beloved Skibo, Scotland

If interested, I’ve created a document where you can view/read the full text of Chapter 2 without my research notes.

Said old Thomas Gray, “Our Race ran strong. For many, many Centuries. We came into Northern Scotland with the Normans. We held our homes, because we loved them, and the Mountains were so rough and full of sly caves which made defense easier. Don’t think we did not fight, and fight with valiant courage, there were many calls when the ‘watch-fires’ would flare and the urgent call would sound. Then we drappit everything and hasted, well knowing that many brave lads would never return, but we drove back the invaders and held our homeland.”

(Away back in the Roman occupation of Northern Brittany, now known as Scotland, there came an invasion of the Celtic & Aryan people. We are interested in the section North of the Firth-o-Forth. These invaders soon gained predominance over the Romans, non-Aryans, the combined people occupying most of the Country North of the Forth and Clyde estuaries, called Caledonia by the people of Rome, the inhabitants termed Caledonians. The descendants of these people were later called Picts, and were the predominant inhabitants in North Britain at the beginning of the 6th Century. The Firth-o-Forth formed in Pertshire by the junction of two streams-Duchray & Dhu-abt, one mile West of Aberfoyle, from the River flows East, forming for a considerable part of its course the boundaries of Stirling and Perth. Winding on, a series of curves, known as Links of Forth and expanding soon into the Firth-o-Forth, a very important Harbor, the country rising North of this, in high Mountains, with much grazing land within, almost every glen has its Lake, and every Mountain hollow filled with a stream of water, or a Spring. Truly an ideal place for a strong determined group of people to hold forth and defy invasion or capture.)

[KG] It’s important to note here before going into the next paragraph for those not familiar with the geography of Scotland, the Firth of Fourth and Perth are in the southern half of Scotland. Skibo in County Sutherland is in northern Scotland and reading on to the next paragraph it could seem as if tHess were the same place.

The group of people long after known as ‘Grays’ lived here for many centuries, the old land seat known as far back as 980 A.D. Much later known as ‘Skibo’-this comprising a very large section, in Mr. Andrew Carnegie’s time covered over 33,000 acres. The description of this ancient home and the nostalgic longings for the ‘auld hame’ filled the days of the lonely old man, Thomas Gray, Sr. and gives us our most authentic facts concerning the truth of the Gray claims. This coupled with Court Records and family records taken from old Bibles, etc. prompt us to give this story to the world. We do so, uniting the best of his tales, without apologies, to known History.

[KG] From the research I’ve done so far the Grays did not come to the area known as Skibo, County Sutherland or County Ross until circa 1456. The Grays were feued the land (Skibo) by the Earl of Sutherland in 1560. I believe the 980 A.D. date may refer more to the Grays coming to the Perth and Stirling areas of Scotland.

The Scottish Antiquary, Vol. VIII, IX gives us a very fine early story of the Grays of Skibo descendants from Lord Gray of Foulls, who was Andrew Gray, Lord Gray, only son and heir of Sir Patrick, Master of Gray. He died Feb. 1513-14. He had married as second wife, Elizabeth, daughter of John Stewart, Earl of Athole. Their son was Patrick Gray. (The first wife, name unknown) had a son John Gray. It seems that through the Stewarts, the Bishops of Caithness secured a hold upon the Estate. This History runs through many generations, the account of which may be read in prominent Libraries, we find that Sir Patrick, Master of Gray who died in 1513, was twice married, his son Andrew Gray was, (Lord Gray of Foulls.)

[KG] You can now read the account of Gray of Skibo and Over Skibo from The Scottish Antiquary online.

The records run along for the next 200 years, seeming to be copied from what we might call Court Records. Giving Titles, many names, some dated and some not. But with the account of Robert Gray, the seventh of Skibo, baptized at Dornoch 1731, not stating when he died, the narrative of the succession of the lines of Grays seem to have a definite break in the years between 1731 and the time old Thomas Gray came to the “New Westmoreland” settling in 1792.

[KG] I have yet to come across these records in my research. It’s on the search list! We do know, however, that Skibo passed out of the heritage lines of Grays in 1744 or 1745. Wikipedia (for whatever it’s worth) does mention Robert Gray as the last heritage owner of Skibo. I’ve found bits and pieces on Robert’s family line, but no mention of a son (heir) named Thomas. More research to do on him, could he have been a grandson of Robert’s heir? Not sure the dates would work out right for that. It is interesting to note that they lost the ancestral home around the time of the Jacobite rising of 1745 and Battle of Culloden. I would love to find sources and see if this was related to the political upheaval during that time period.

There is a break, here, in the story confirming the family stories, and perhaps due to the political and religious persecutions prevalent at that time. If we had the account of Robert Gray’s death, the Seventh of Skibo, we might come quite a bit nearer to 1792, it was close to the time of the bitter persecution which arose and resulted in so many leaving Scotland for-Ireland-and more friendly shores.

[KG] The Highland Clearances following the Jacobite rising of 1745 most likely account for our ancestor’s emigration (again, this is a hunch). Since they were able to emigrate as a family of six before 1800 it indicates that they must have had some wealth and weren’t of the poorest crofters.

Said old Thomas: “The Grays were gentlefolk, above the average or common folk, their men were chosen for the King’s guard on account of their height. I guess the King wanted to hide’ Here the old man chuckled. “They had a gift of song which came to some with a most powerful voice. They were forced to leave the old Castle home, rather than to compromise with conscience.”

Again and again he would repeat, like the refrain to a loved song, “Mother Mary (Mary James Gary) died and was buried by the steps of the old White Oaks Springs Church-Brick-, a child by her side. Bury me the same way; no big stones; just a row of creek stones around the grave, like Mother’s.”

Said he; “The Grays were good warriors, when they knew themselves to be in the right, they were tall, well built, broad of shoulder, small at the waist, tapering, like a good wrestler.” And, speaking again of the gift of song in the families, he would say; “Guess auld Tammas-the-Rhymer must hae been ane ‘o’ ours.” Then his grief would come over him and he would say; “Mother Mary was sick such a great pain. They buried her by the steps of the old Brick Church, that she loved, at White Oaks Springs. Young William, a gentle lad by her side. ‘Bury me the same way’ just like mother.”

His memories of the ancient glories of Scotland, and the regret that it was torn asunder were strongly mixed with the hard experiences of the years in the land of his adoption. Education common to that day, was principally the need to read and write and figure, with some little advancement. The word of mouth, from elder to youth, was sufficient to keep History-and-love of Country, alive and glowing, but as ‘necessity is the mother of invention’ he was far from being illiterate. Women were taught to write their names and read their Scriptures, not much more.

How he received the information, we know not, but he could tell the early History of his native land, knew that the remains of a great Military Camp or Post, was located beside the Tweed, before the day and death of St. John, The Divine. The Caledonian Ruler was Calgacus. (A.D. 81) The first notice of Newstead Abbey was 190 A.D. A great fortified Camp there was called Trimontium. They had Celtic customs, then, the culture was far above the savages. Pits existed there for 600 years. The Kings being succeeded, not by sons, but, by the sons of the Ruler’s Mothers, sisters or Aunts. His oft-repeated words; “How can we do our part in the future, if we do not find the strong foundation in the dealings and doings of the past.”

He recalled the Salmon fishing, the trout streams, the old moat around the castle, the old stone ‘prayer-house’ built by the waterfall Achinduich, which was built in the occupancy of the Grays. Whether before the fall of Castle or during the period in which they lived in isolated parts of the Estate, was never disclosed, not remembered.

[KG] I’m guessing the fall of the castle they refer to here is 1744/1745 when they lost their heritable rights to Skibo. This is a good 16-17 years prior to Thomas’ birth. The fact that it’s mentioned that “they lived in isolated parts of the Estate” makes me believe that Thomas was not born at Skibo Castle itself, rather somewhere on the grounds of the estate (a vast area including several villages). I have doubts regarding the waterfall Achinduich. In a County Sutherland genealogy group I asked about this waterfall and was told by another genealogist who lives in the region that Achinduich was part of the Skelbo estate, not Skibo.

His traditional descent of the Family traced the race as far back as 960 AD when the Normans made invasions in Northern Scotland. A group of hardy men settled in the section north of Dornoch Firth and Lock Shin, shut in and protected by the natural Mountains of that section, they resisted invasions and held possession forcibly. Following definite History after 1060, we know that family names were not used until some time after that, he knew that our people were Grays, who owned and held the Skibo section, now owned and held by the Heirs of the late Andrew Carnegie.

The land or holdings then comprised what is now known as Sutherland County and much of, perhaps all of Caithness. The Leader of the group was ‘Laird’ or Lord Gray, his men ‘Gray’s men’ who lived in Villages and settlements nearby, holding common interests, and fighting each others battles. In a measure, this is responsible for the great number of Grays coming from Scotland.

[KG] The first sentence of the second paragraph is almost definitely incorrect if they are referencing Skibo. I have yet to come across any documentation that Skibo was the seat of Sutherland and/or Caithness, especially not during the years of the Grays. Skibo would have been part of the Earl of Sutherland’s holdings, but the Grays would not have been “Laird” of that entire area. As far as I can tell from my research, they would have been landowner or held the “tack” for the Skibo estate area circa 1560-1744. I don’t know that the Grays of Skibo would have been referred to as “Laird” or Lord Gray. I’m still researching and learning about the heirarchy of the clans, estates and landownership in Scotland during that time period. Here are two articles to learn more about the Highland clan system:

http://www.scotclans.com/scottish-clans/the-clan-system/
http://www.scotland.org.uk/history/clan-system

The only traces of the Skibo Castle that remained, when Mr. Andrew Carnegie, the Steel Magnate of Pittsburgh, PA bought these holdings, was the ancient Yew trees, the remains of the hedge, certain geological traces of the moat that surrounded the Castle, these with the old stone ‘Prayer-Chapel’ (this was restored by Mr. Carnegie, its location not far from Bonar Bridge, where there is a waterfall of great beauty,) in the Scottish Antiquary, Vol. VIII. IX named before, we find some items on the Grays of Skibo and over-Skibo in the Parish of Creich, Sutherlandshire, Scotland. Stating that the holdings were divided through the marriage of one Andrew Gray to Elizabeth Stewart whose generations were responsible for the Estate passing into the hands of the ‘Bishops of Caithness’ Mr. Carnegie may or may not have bought all of the Caithness Estate.

[KG] Again, this ‘Prayer-Chapel’ near a waterfall is mentioned, however this time as being close to Bonar Bridge which is approx. 6 miles from the first location mentioned. The location of Bonar Bridge is known to be within Skibo estate grounds to that time. It is more likely that this is the location of the waterfall. Would love to find out if there is a waterfall near Bonar Bridge and if this prayer chapel or its ruins do still exist.

Thomas Gray, the Poet Laureate, was also of our race. Though born in England, son of a certain Phillip Gray. And his wife, Dorothy Antrobus Gray. In his Life History we find, p. 438 of the Appendix, a note telling us that, quote: ‘Sir Egerton Brydges informs us that Grays Arms are the same of those of Lord Gray, of Scotland, who claims a relationship with him, (Masons Memoirs, Vol IV. VV.) and as the present Earl Gray’s” –Mitford.

[KG] I’m hesitant to claim this Thomas Gray (Thomas the Rhymer) yet. The claim seems tenuous based on the Gray Arms and that Lord Gray, of Scotland, claims a relationship with him. I think we must first verify that we are truly relatives of the Grays of Skibo first.

Stay tuned for Part 2. Would love to hear your thoughts and comments!

The Gray Clan: The Book & The Beginning

the gray clan book cover

A few years ago we inherited The Gray Clan from Irene Gray, my husband’s paternal grandmother. Life was busy, we moved twice, and it got buried in a box. Last year when we were unpacking boxes in our new home I came across it again. I’ve always had an interest in genealogy and in my single days did quite a bit of research on the paternal side of my family, the Thomas Boyle Clan. Here was another Thomas from the British Isles reaching out to me to be researched. I read the book cover to cover, put it back on the shelf, life got busy, and another year passed.

I’m not sure what caused me to pull out The Gray Clan book again this year, but I did, and this time I’m not letting go. How much time I have to devote to researching the family will ebb and flow, but I hope to keep it going even if it’s only 30 mins. a week while my daughter is at dance class, or while I’m waiting on my hair color to process as I write this post from the salon.

I’ve created this website as a place for other Gray Clan researchers to connect, a place for family members to learn about their ancestors, to get those ancestors out of books stored away in dusty boxes, and to expand upon the amazing genealogical work that went into the original book. I can’t even imagine researching all of this in the 1930s & 1940s pre-internet and pre-computer. Hats off to those original family historians! Their work will not be forgotten.

So, here’s my plan. Again, how long it takes is anybody’s guess.

First, computerize the information from The Gray Clan. I’m going enter the information into my genealogy software and upload it to this site to create an online tree that everyone can access. If you’ve been entering this same info and have a GEDCOM file you’re willing to share, let’s talk!

As I work my way through the book I’m going to create blog posts from some of the information that is in story format. I’ve noticed that some information on specific subjects or people is spread apart in different sections of the book or added in the addendum. They didn’t have word processors when this was compiled, who can blame them?! In my blog posts, I hope to bring together some of this disjointed information, add new info as I research, and note questions the info raises.

Eventually, I’d like to create a .pdf version of the original book that can be easily shared with other family members and genealogists. And some day in the distant future create the second edition.

Now, I leave you with the first installment of transcribed info the preface from The Gray Clan, published by The Thomas Gray Clan of Butler County, Pennsylvania in 1951. Compiled by Mrs. Grace Sarah (Bish) Graham.  I’ve tried to transcribe it here as it appears in the book, although I did fix a few obvious punctuation and formatting errors.

The following pages are submitted to the members of the Thomas Gray Clan in America. We know that it is not perfect. We know that we have been compelled to be silent on behalf of some 200 members that we only know as “Oh yes! John had two sisters, one was married and had several children, John was married also, Marjorie is such a nice girl.”

Just who(?) is Marjorie and to whom was His sister married, and what are the names of the children? (Of course, these are all hypothetical names.) Perhaps we were unable to achieve the right contact. We apologize, for the sake of the history, and the future folks who will vainly search for Marjorie.

We are glad and proud that we have been able to secure the certified records of well over 3000 members. And have over two hundred and a quarter names on the Honor Roll, of those who wore the uniform of their country. Here, too, we feel that we do not have a complete roster, neither of name nor branch, also rank. It has been very difficult to secure proper information.

OUR MOTIVE. For pursuing this endless labor, in face of almost unsurmountable difficulties, sometimes. There may be those who wish to know that motive.

It began years since, trying to fulfill a sacred promise to a lonely homesick old couple, who braved the wilderness of a new country, in order to secure a comfortable, happy secure dwelling place, free from oppression and tyranny.

We are ready, now to declare that we have succeeded, beyond our most hopeful expectations. We have had many happy hours, when lists of whole families, have come to us (out of a clear sky) making our families one complete unit, instead of separate individuals.

Many good friends have passed on into the beyond-we honor their memories. We cherish their expressions of goodwill and appreciation for the work we have accomplished. We should like to name them all. That would make such a large volume that it would be most impractical.

Feeling most deeply, the loss of many of these loyal friends and helpers, we do wish to express our loyalty and grief at the passing of that outstanding man, Norman P. Bish. Teacher, organizer, Christian friend and gentleman, his work for the Gray Clan will be long remembered all over the United States wherever the members of our group live.

We are happy to state that almost without exception, our people, as a matter of course, exemplify the old Thomas Gray’s oft-repeated motto “Keep ‘e’s feet out ‘o’ the diert.” (Not always speaking of common mud.)

“Brevity, IS the soul of wit.” So. Without superfluous comment, I submit to you, the MEMBERS of the GRAY CLAN. These records as they now stand.

Grace Sarah (Bish) Graham -223p36- 5th gen.
Historian.