Search Results for: Gray

These Aren’t the Grays You Think They Are

I finally took the time a few weeks ago to think about something that’s been niggling at my brain for a while now–are the family portraits in The Gray Clan the right people? So many of us have looked at these photos as fact, yet given the dates and the history of photography, there’s no way these photos are connected to the right people.

I feel like the bearer of bad tidings with this post. For myself, I’ve grown accustomed to associating these photos with the ancestors in my mind as I’m researching. It’s a bit of a letdown!

A Timeline of Photography Relevant to the Early Grays

1826 or 1827: The first known photo was created in Burgundy, France and consisted of a very blurry view out a window.

1838: The first known photograph capturing a person is taken in Paris, France.

1839: The first photo of a person is taken in the United States.

Circe 1840-1841: Daguerreotype photography studios begin appearing in U.S. cities

Learn more about the history of photography in America on the Library of Congress’s website

The Gray Clan Photos

thomas and mary gray butler county pa

Thomas & Mary Gray
If the dates in The Gray Clan are correct, Thomas and Mary were both born about 1761. Mary died about 1830 and Thomas 1853. Based on those dates and the photography timeline above, there’s no way it’s Thomas and Mary in this photo.

 

james gray 1786-1868

James Gray
From The Gray Clan, “The above picture of James Gray, a ver old Daguerreotype, must have been taken about the time of his marriage. We are indeed fortunate to have these pictured faces of our old Pioneers.”

James was supposedly born in 1786, died in 1868 and was married sometime before 1813. Again, given the dates and history of photography, there’s no way this can be James Gray son of Thomas and Mary Gray.

 

william gray 1789-1867

William Gray
According to The Gray Clan, William Gray was born in 1789 and died in 1847 and gives his age in this photo as “about 30.” That would date this photo around 1819 and again that’s just not possible.

 

john gray 1791-1853

John Gray
John Gray was born around 1791 and died around 1853. That would make him at least 50 years old in this photo. Unless we have amazing genetics, there’s no way this gentleman is 50!

 

thomas gray 1799

Thomas Gray, Jr.
The Gray Clan states that Thomas Gray, Jr. is about 30 years old in this photo and this gentleman could very well be that age, but Thomas Gray, Jr. was born in approx. 1799.

A Theory as to Who These Photos Represent

Thanks to some very helpful people in the Genealogy – Dating Old Photographs group on Facebook, including two people with links to our Grays, I have a theory.

The photo we think of as Thomas and Mary is most likely from the 1860s. I believe this could instead be Thomas Gray, Jr. (1799-1876) and Elizabeth Craig Gray (1799-1866). If the photo was taken in the 1860s before they passed, they both would have been in their 60s which seems plausible ages of the people in the photo. Thomas and Elizabeth had eight children including a Thomas (1832-1864), James (1833-1865), John (1834-1853) and William (1840-1863). These could be the gentleman in the other photos, especially if these photos had been passed down through the same branch of the family.

There are also plenty of other Thomas, James, John, and William Grays among the branches of the family tree in the third generation and right time period.

I’d love to hear what you think. Comment below or send me an email. And I’d really love to find out if there’s an ancestor who still has any of these original photos!

Shorts, William Gray

William Gray Shorts
b: 1811
d: 1882
Facts
  • 1811 - Birth - ; Pennsylvania
  • 1882 - Death - ; Pennsylvania, USA
  • 27 MAR 1883 - Probate - ; Butler, Pennsylvania, USA
  • 1820 - Residence - ; Connoquenessing, Butler, Pennsylvania, United States
  • 1850 - Residence - ; South Butler, Butler, Pennsylvania, USA
  • 1870 - Residence - Residence Post Office: Butler ; Connoquenessing, Butler, Pennsylvania, USA
  • 1880 - Residence - Marital Status: Married; Relation to Head: Self ; Conoquenessing, Butler, Pennsylvania, USA
  • 1820 - Residence - ; Connoquenessing, Butler, Pennsylvania, United States
  • 1850 - Residence - ; South Butler, Butler, Pennsylvania, USA
  • 1870 - Residence - Residence Post Office: Butler ; Connoquenessing, Butler, Pennsylvania, USA
  • 1880 - Residence - Marital Status: Married; Relation to Head: Self ; Conoquenessing, Butler, Pennsylvania, USA
Ancestors
   
?
 
 
William Shorts
ABT 1787 -
  
  
  
?
 
  
 
  
Thomas Gray Sr.
ABT 1761 - 1853
 
 
Margaret Gray
1796 - 13 JAN 1827
  
  
  
Mary James
ABT 1761 - ABT 1830
 
Family Group Sheet - Spouse
PARENT (M) William Gray Shorts
Birth1811Pennsylvania
Death1882 Pennsylvania, USA
Marriageto Mary D Dodds
FatherWilliam Shorts
MotherMargaret Gray
PARENT (F) Mary D Dodds
BirthABT 1816Pennsylvania
Death
Marriageto William Gray Shorts
Father?
Mother?
CHILDREN
MThomas Pressley Shorts
Birth15 JAN 1846Renfrew, Pennsylvania
Death17 MAR 1936Pittsburgh, Allegheny, Pennsylvania, USA
Marriageto Ella Jane Wade
MWashington G Shorts
Birth27 APR 1846Pennsylvania
Death22 JUN 1910Pittsburgh, Allegheny, Pennsylvania, USA
MCornelius Shorts
Birth7 SEP 1840Butler County, Pennsylvania
Death28 JAN 1931Tarentum, Allegheny, Pennsylvania, USA
FAnalena Shorts
BirthABT 1842Pennsylvania
Death
FEmma Shorts
BirthABT 1855Pennsylvania
Death
Evidence
[S1638]Ancestry.com, Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1967 (Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014).
[S1640]Ancestry.com, 1870 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009).
[S1641]Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1880 United States Federal Census (Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010).
[S1642]Ancestry.com, 1850 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009).
[S1639]Ancestry.com, Pennsylvania, Wills and Probate Records, 1683-1993 (Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015).
[S1643]Ancestry.com, 1820 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010).
Descendancy Chart
William Gray Shorts b: 1811 d: 1882
Mary D Dodds b: ABT 1816
Thomas Pressley Shorts b: 15 JAN 1846 d: 17 MAR 1936
Ella Jane Wade b: APR 1851
Clyde Pressley Shorts b: 14 MAR 1889 d: 13 SEP 1960
Catherne Viola Mccoy b: 16 JAN 1892 d: 5 NOV 1973
Beatrice Shorts b: 10 SEP 1914 d: 24 MAR 2000
Eileen Meryl Shorts b: 24 SEP 1920 d: 22 APR 1934
Eleanor Selena Shorts b: 1 SEP 1916 d: 7 JUN 1998
Lillian D Shorts b: NOV 1886
Mary E Shorts b: JUN 1884
Washington G Shorts b: 27 APR 1846 d: 22 JUN 1910
Cornelius Shorts b: 7 SEP 1840 d: 28 JAN 1931
Analena Shorts b: ABT 1842
Emma Shorts b: ABT 1855

Gray, Hannah

Hannah Gray
b: 1828
d:
Biography
Casey & McDonald
Facts
  • 1828 - Birth - ; Pennsylvania, USA
  • Death - Y
Ancestors
   
Thomas Gray Sr.
ABT 1761 - 1853
 
 
James Gray
ABT 1786 - 1868
  
  
  
Mary James
ABT 1761 - ABT 1830
 
  
 
  
 
 
Margaret Peterson
ABT 1790 - 1848
  
  
  
?
 

Gray, Infant Son

Infant Son Gray
b: 1883
d: 1883
Facts
  • 1883 - Birth -
  • 1883 - Death -
Ancestors
   
Peterson Gray
1813 - 1869
 
 
Milton J Gray
1854 - 3 DEC 1918
  
  
  
Sarah Calvin
1817 - 1890
 
Infant Son Gray
1883 - 1883
  
 
  
Phillip Crissman
17 MAR 1828 - 19 NOV 1924
 
 
Mary Agnes Crissman
31 MAR 1864 - 5 JUL 1949
  
  
  
 

Gray, Isaiah

Isaiah Gray
b: ABT 1844
d:
Facts
  • ABT 1844 - Birth - ; Pennsylvania
  • Death - Y
  • 1850 - Residence - ; East Connoquenessing, Butler, Pennsylvania, USA
  • 1860 - Residence - Residence Post Office: Petersburg ; Connoquenessing, Butler, Pennsylvania, USA
  • 1850 - Residence - ; East Connoquenessing, Butler, Pennsylvania, USA
  • 1860 - Residence - Residence Post Office: Petersburg ; Connoquenessing, Butler, Pennsylvania, USA
Ancestors
   
James Gray
ABT 1786 - 1868
 
   
  
  
Margaret Peterson
ABT 1790 - 1848
 
Isaiah Gray
ABT 1844 -
  
 
  
?
 
 
Ellen Gray
ABT 1820 -
  
  
  
?
 
Evidence
[S288]Ancestry.com, 1860 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009).
[S187]Ancestry.com, 1850 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009).

Gray, James

James Gray Jr.
b: 1816
d:
Biography
Piketon, Ohio
Facts
  • 1816 - Birth - ; Pennsylvania
  • Death - Y
  • 1850 - Residence - ; East Connoquenessing, Butler, Pennsylvania, USA
  • 1860 - Residence - Residence Post Office: Petersburg ; Connoquenessing, Butler, Pennsylvania, USA
  • 1870 - Residence - Residence Post Office: Jasper ; Camp Creek, Pike, Ohio, USA
  • 1880 - Residence - Marital Status: Widower; Relation to Head: Self ; Camp Creek, Pike, Ohio, USA
  • 1850 - Residence - ; East Connoquenessing, Butler, Pennsylvania, USA
  • 1860 - Residence - Residence Post Office: Petersburg ; Connoquenessing, Butler, Pennsylvania, USA
  • 1870 - Residence - Residence Post Office: Jasper ; Camp Creek, Pike, Ohio, USA
  • 1880 - Residence - Marital Status: Widower; Relation to Head: Self ; Camp Creek, Pike, Ohio, USA
Ancestors
   
Thomas Gray Sr.
ABT 1761 - 1853
 
 
James Gray
ABT 1786 - 1868
  
  
  
Mary James
ABT 1761 - ABT 1830
 
  
 
  
 
 
Margaret Peterson
ABT 1790 - 1848
  
  
  
?
 
Family Group Sheet - Spouse
PARENT (M) James Gray Jr.
Birth1816Pennsylvania
Death
Marriageto Ellen Gray
FatherJames Gray
MotherMargaret Peterson
PARENT (F) Ellen Gray
BirthABT 1820Pennsylvania
Death
Marriageto James Gray Jr.
Father?
Mother?
CHILDREN
MIsaiah Gray
BirthABT 1844Pennsylvania
Death
FClarissa Gray
BirthABT 1847Pennsylvania
Death
FElizabeth G Gray
BirthABT 1849Pennsylvania
Death
Evidence
[S288]Ancestry.com, 1860 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009).
[S131]Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1880 United States Federal Census (Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010).
[S122]Ancestry.com, 1870 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009).
[S187]Ancestry.com, 1850 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009).
Descendancy Chart
James Gray Jr. b: 1816
Ellen Gray b: ABT 1820
Isaiah Gray b: ABT 1844
Clarissa Gray b: ABT 1847
Elizabeth G Gray b: ABT 1849

Gray, Jane

Jane Gray
b: 1829
d:
Facts
  • 1829 - Birth -
  • Death - Y
Ancestors
   
Thomas Gray Sr.
ABT 1761 - 1853
 
 
John Gray
1791 - 1853
  
  
  
Mary James
ABT 1761 - ABT 1830
 
Jane Gray
1829 -
  
 
  
?
 
   
  
  
?
 

Gray, Jeremiah

Jeremiah Gray
b: 1821
d: 1851
Facts
  • 1821 - Birth - ; Pennsylvania, USA
  • 1851 - Death -
Ancestors
   
Thomas Gray Sr.
ABT 1761 - 1853
 
 
James Gray
ABT 1786 - 1868
  
  
  
Mary James
ABT 1761 - ABT 1830
 
Jeremiah Gray
1821 - 1851
  
 
  
 
 
Margaret Peterson
ABT 1790 - 1848
  
  
  
?
 

Gray, John W.

John W. Gray
b: 1821
d:
Facts
  • 1821 - Birth -
  • Death - Y
Ancestors
   
Thomas Gray Sr.
ABT 1761 - 1853
 
 
John Gray
1791 - 1853
  
  
  
Mary James
ABT 1761 - ABT 1830
 
  
 
  
?
 
   
  
  
?
 

Gray, Julia Ann

Julia Ann Gray
b: 1816
d: 1832
Facts
  • 1816 - Birth -
  • 1832 - Death -
Ancestors
   
Thomas Gray Sr.
ABT 1761 - 1853
 
 
William Gray
ABT 1789 - ABT 1847
  
  
  
Mary James
ABT 1761 - ABT 1830
 
Julia Ann Gray
1816 - 1832
  
 
  
?
 
   
  
  
?