Name: Henry BRAY
Given Name: Henry
Birth: ABT 1741 in Monocacy Hundred, Prince George's, Maryland, now USA
Death: 4 Jan 1812 (will) in , Chatham, North Carolina, USA
Burial: Jan 1812 Henry Bray Cemetery,, Chatham, North Carolina, USA 1|
Father: Henry BRAY b: 1705/1709 in of Monocacy Hundred, Prince George's, Maryland, now USA
Mother: Mary b: ABT 1709
Sarah YOKLEY b: ABT 1742 in of , Chatham, North Carolina, now USA
in , Chatham, North Carolina, USA
- John BRAY b: ABT 1762 in , Orange (now Chatham) , North Carolina, now USA
- Mathias (Josiah) BRAY b: ABT 1763 in , Orange, North Carolina, USA
- James BRAY b: ABT 1764 in , Orange, North Carolina, USA
- William E. BRAY b: ABT 1766 in , Orange, North Carolina, USA
- Henry BRAY b: 7 Apr 1768 in , Chatham, North Carolina, USA
- Mary BRAY b: ABT 1770 in , Chatham, North Carolina, USA
- Sarah BRAY b: ABT 1772 in , Chatham, North Carolina, USA
- Jesse BRAY b: ABT 1775 in , Chatham, North Carolina, USA
- Eli BRAY b: 28 Feb 1778 in , Chatham, North Carolina, USA
- Solomon BRAY b: ABT 1780 in , Chatham, North Carolina, USA
- Edward BRAY b: ABT 1782 in , Chatham, North Carolina, USA
- Title: 6.
Text: He was listed as Henry BRAY, Jr. in Chatham Co., NC records until 1794 when his father died, then he took on the designation Henry BRAY, "Sr." and was so listed in the estate settlement of William POE in 1799 and 1800. He died at the age of 70 years according to his grandson Eli BRAY (from an account written about 1876-1880).
Henry BRAY was probably born in Maryland around 1741, but although his sisters' christening records have been located in the 1730's in Monocacy Hundred, Maryland, no christening record has yet been found for Henry or for his brother Edward. Perhaps the parents had agreed to have the daughters christened in their mother's church but the sons in their father's religion. Henry moved with his parents Henry and Mary to Orange County, North Carolina in the early 1750's. Chatham County and Guilford County were both formed from part of Orange in 1771. Randolph County was formed from that part of Guilford County bordering Chatham in 1779. Henry Bray bought and sold large amounts of land in all of these counties. After 1779 his land holdings were in both Chatham and Randolph counties.
A granddaughter, Mahala Bray Brown, in a letter dated 20 Aug 1891, said that her grandfather Henry Bray Jr. served in the seven-year war (French & Indian War), which ended in 1763. The name Henry Bray also appears on the list of Chatham County militia in 1772. He was a private in Jeduthan Harper's Company, and is considered a "Patriot" in the D.A.R. files (however, it is uncertain just which Henry Bray this was, since there were several in Chatham Co. by that time). Henry BRAY is listed in the DAR Patriot Index because he sold corn & supplies in Chatham Co NC for the militia in 1787. He served as a Juror in 1775 in Chatham County, NC.
The names Henry and Edward Bray both occur in the list of "Regulators" who were involved in the North Carolina regulator rebellion (1764-1771) of western farmers just prior to the Revolutionary War. Henry and Edward signed the petitions and may have participated in the battle of Alamance. If they fought in the battle, they were undoubtedly the younger Edward and Henry (sons of Henry Bray and Mary Wilson) rather than the older Edward and Henry (who were age 60+). See http://www.uncpress.unc.edu/nc_encyclopedia/regulator.html and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regulator_movement for more about the "Regulator Movement".
Message by James W. Bray on the Bray Family Genealogy Forum (see http://genforum.genealogy.com/bray/messages/2259.html):
"I made several visits to our Bray ancestral cemetery in (near) Siler City, NC. It sits near the confluence of Brush Creek and the Rocky River. Since Henry Bray, d. 1812 is buried there and his grave site is marked with a headstone, I am assuming that this cemetery is probably the epi-center for the Bray "plantation". Prior to this Henry's death in 1812 this plantation consisted of 8,000 to 10,000 acres depending on the various deed books and documents you look at. Also, if you add up the acreage that he willed away to his children it adds up to somewhere around 8,000 acres.My feeling is that the land where Henry Bray d. 1812 is buried was probably continously occupied by Brays from 1760* to at least 1900. There are many Brays and related families buried in the cemetery as well as slaves. The slave cemetery is located about 50 feet from the main cemetery. When I was there several years ago, we counted at least 12 slave graves. This leads me to believe that the cemetery was part of the Bray 'plantation'." (end of quote from James Bray)
See description & exact location of the HENRY BRAY cemetery, and transcription of surviving gravestones, at http://cemeterycensus.com/nc/chat/cem191.htm (includes a "google maps" link to see it from an aerial view).
Says that Henry Bray b. 1742, d. 7 Jan 1812, was the "first person buried in this cemetery", but his father Henry*, who died in 1794, may also be buried here....many of the earlier gravestones no longer exist.
*according to BROOKS AND KINDRED FAMILIES by Ida Brooks Kellam, 1950, when "Gentleman" Henry Bray (1705?-1794) first moved from Maryland to Orange (now Chatham) County, NC about 1754, he built his first residence in Matthews Township. Then about 1783 he moved to a place a mile or two south of the Brush Creek Baptist Church.So apparently when the younger Henry (1741-1812) reached adulthood and left home (about 1760?) he bought the property about a mile south of the Brush Creek Baptist Church and built his home there (where the old "Henry Bray Cemetery" is now located). It sounds like the elder Henry Bray (1705?-1794) left his first home and moved to his son's place about 1783, perhaps living in his son's home or another home nearby, until his death in 1794. So it is probably true that the locale of the Henry Bray cemetery is where the Brays lived continually from about 1760 to 1900 or so.
It is interesting that when the younger Henry Bray (1741-1812) died, he was in possession of so much property. His will shows this property included "GRANDFATHER'S OLD PLACE" as well as the "tract of land where EDWARD BRAY SR. used to live". I interpret "Grandfather" to mean his father Henry (1705?-1794), who would be his children's grandfather, and "Edward Bray Sr." to be his father's brother (who apparently sold his Chatham County land to Henry before moving away).
Will of Henry Bray, Chatham CountyThis will was published in "Bray Nostalgia" by Cheryl Clark in February 1986, volume 1, #3. It is the will of the Henry Bray who died in 1812, who was married to Sarah "Sally" Yokley. Note: spelling and punctuation have been updated for clarity. His 11 children appear to be mentioned from oldest to youngest in the will: John, Mathias, James, William, Henry, Mary, Sarah, Jesse, Eli, Solomon, Edward.
"In the Name of God amen, I HENRY BRAY, of the County of Chatham and State of North Carolina being of weak and infirm of body, but of perfect mind and memory, thanks be to God, calling to mind the mortality of my body and knowing that it is appointed once for all men to die, do make and ordain this my last will and testament. That is to say principally and first of all I give and recommend my soul into the hands of Almighty God that gave it and my body I recommend to the earth to be buried in a decent Christian burial at the discretion of my executors and as touching such worldly estate where with it has pleased God to bless me in this life I give and dispose in this following manner.
"I give and bequeath to SARAH BRAY my dearly beloved wife one Negro wench by the name of Biney also one Negro fellow by the name of Harry also one Negro boy by the name of Elisha, also one horse by the name of Buck and one mare by the name of Ball, bridle and saddle, two ploughs and gears, four hoes and two matticks and other articles such as is needful about farming, six head of cattle, six head of sheep and as many hogs as will be sufficient for her also the plantation where she now lives or as much of it as will sufficient for to support her also two beds and furniture also as much house hold furniture as she sees cause to keep.
"I give and bequeath unto my son JOHN BRAY one tract of land where his son Henry now lives, price seven hundred dollars, also one tract where the said JOHN BRAY now lives, two hundred and fifty acres. Price five hundred dollars also one Negro woman by the name of Cate, price two hundred and twenty five dollars, also one Negro boy by the name of Ephren, price three hundred dollars, also one hundred and fifty three acres and a half and half of the mill where JOHN LAMBERT has the other half, price one thousand dollars to him and his heirs for ever.
"I give and bequeath unto my son MATHIAS BRAY one tract of land where he now lives containing three hundred acres, price six hundred dollars also two tracts adjoining, price five hundred dollars, also tract of land where Thomas Younger used to live, price five hundred and twenty five dollars, also one Negro woman by the name of Plisent, price three hundred and seventy five dollars, also one Negro boy by the name of Jacob, price three hundred dollars, to him and his heirs for ever.
"I give and bequeath unto my son JAMES BRAY one tract of land containing four hundred and forty five acres where he lives, price nine hundred dollars, also one tract of land where EDWARD BRAY Sr. used to live, containing two hundred and seventy five acres, price four hundred dollars, also one hundred acres adjoining the other containing one hundred acres, price one hundred dollars, also one Negro woman by the name of Hannes, price three hundred and seventy five dollars, also one Negro boy by the name of Duke, price three hundred dollars, to him and his heirs for ever.
"I give to my son WILLIAM BRAY one tract of land containing one hundred and sixty five acres where he lives, price six hundred and fifty dollars, also one tract adjoining the other one hundred and ten acres, price two hundred and twenty dollars, also one tract of land beginning at the head of a glade known by the name of, "The Big Glade", down said glade to the road that leads from JESSE BRAYES to JOHN SILERS thence East to Smith?s line thence North Round for to connect the store place, price five hundred and fifty dollars, also one Negro woman by the name of Diley, price three hundred and seventy five dollars, also one Negro Girl name of Nancy, price one hundred and twenty five dollars, also one Negro man by the name of Joe, price four hundred and seventy five dollars to him and his heirs for ever.
"I give and bequeath unto my son HENRY BRAY one tract of land where he now lives containing six hundred and forty acres, price eight hundred dollars and two tracts where he used to live and GRANDFATHERS old place, price seven hundred dollars, also one Negro woman by the name of Chelse, price three hundred and seventy five dollars, also one Negro boy by the name of Jurden, price one hundred and twenty five dollars, also two tracts of land adjoining his other tract where he now lives containing three hundred and forty acres, price seven hundred dollars to him and his heirs for ever.
"I give and bequeath to my daughter MARY LAMBERT, three notes principle, one thousand dollars interest thirty six dollars, also one tract of land where BENJAMIN JOHNSON now lives, price four hundred dollars, also one Negro woman by the name of Jude, price three hundred dollars, also two Negro girls by the names of Luck and Phiney, price three hundred dollars.
"I give and bequeath unto my daughter SARA WELCH, one tract of land where she now lives, for her lifetime, lying on the Herdon branches beginning at a rock near the ford of the branch then up the branch to the fork then up to the North fork to the ford then along to the road to the ford of a small branch, then up the branch to another ford, then North to the East and West line of ___ tract running East including the Burr place containing five hundred and eighty acres, price seven hundred dollars, the right of said land to remain in the hand of the executors to be made to the heirs of her body, but to remain in possession of the said SARAH and MICHAEL HER HUSBAND for her lifetime and then to disinherit to her heirs, also one Negro girl by the name of Agge, price three hundred dollars which shall remain in the power of the executors to lend to the said SARAH and MICHAEL HER HUSBAND (during) her lifetime except bad abuse and if so to be taken and hired and the money to descend to her heirs at her decease, also the said Negro to descend to her heirs at her decease, one tract adjoining the ___ other lands containing two hundred acres, price seventy five dollars, also a part of the tract where I now live beginning at lanes line a little below the old bridge that is on the south prong of Little Brush Creek running down said creek until it comes near the saw mill, then excepting one acre of land the most convenient for the mill yard and privilege for a road through to the said mill now for the balance of the rest look above for the lift - The rest and then to the creek and then with the various courses of the creek to Gillilands line, then south with said line to the corner pine then east to Hardens Branch to a rock. The first station of the above mentioned tract of five hundred and eighty acres then up the branch with the varying courses of the other tract to the North corner then West to Lanes Corner, then North to the creek and the beginning, price seven hundred and fifty dollars, all rights and privileges withheld from her and her husband until the death of her mother and then privilege given to her, for her lifetime and to descent to the heirs of her body, also I give to her son HENRY, one mare which is to be in the power of the executors to prevent any defraud or sale of the said mare until the said HENRY shall come of age, but that she shall have the use of the said mare until the said HENRY is of age, price sixty five dollars, which is to be reduced out of her part of the estate and the balance of her part to make her equal with the rest of my heirs is to be paid in good property and money.
"I give and bequeath to my son JESSE BRAY one tract of land where he now lives, containing two hundred and fifty acres, price twelve hundred dollars, also part of another tract lying between his other tract and WILLIAM BRAYES line, price four hundred and fifty dollars, also one Negro man by the name of Dave, price four hundred and fifty dollars, to him and his heirs for ever.
"I give and bequeath to my son ELI BRAY one tract of land and Mills containing four hundred and eight acres, price eleven hundred dollars, also one tract adjoining the other ___ two hundred and thirteen acres, price three hundred dollars, also one Negro man by the name of George, price four hundred and fifty dollars, also one Negro girl by the name of Betty, two hundred dollars to him and his heirs for ever.
"I give and bequeath to my son SOLOMON BRAY his equal part of my estate with the rest of my heirs only that there shall be a reduction of three hundred dollars which is to be paid to his DAUGHTER POLLY that he had by his WIFE HANNAH, the daughter of PETER CRAVEN of Randolph County, the said three hundred dollars to be left in the hands of my executors until the said POLLY shall arrive at lawful age and then due to her and also a reduction of the debts due from him to my estate. I give unto the said SOLOMON one Negro man by the name of Caster at the price of four hundred and fifty dollars in part payment of the above sum one half of the balance to be paid in cash and the other half to be paid in property when legally demanded of my executors.
"I give and bequeath to my son EDWARD BRAY two thousand dollars out of my whole estate, to be paid when collected and called for and if the said EDWARD BRAY should die without a lawful heir, I desire this money should be equally divided among my heirs. My desire is that the remainder part of my estate to be so divided as to make their sums equal except EDWARDs, also it is my desire that the property that I left to my wife at her decease shall be equally divided among my heirs.
"Again I do hereby nominate and appoint my sons HENRY, JESSE and ELI my whole and soul executors of this my last will and testament also reasonable allowance to be made to them for their trouble and if any dispute should arise it to be left to one magistrate and two or three free holders to state the same in witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and fixed my seal this fourth day of January 1812.
HENRY BRAY (Seal)"
Signed and sealed,
In the presence of Isaac Johnson
A. Lane (Abner Lane)
Chatham County Recorded in Book A page 198
Thomas Vaugh -- Clerk
Descendants of this Henry BRAY who have taken a y-DNA test have received results showing exact or nearly exact DNA matches with descendant of a Job BRAY b. 1826 in Lancashire, England (see http://www.ybase.org/full.asp?RecordID=RCJQ4)....further research shows that this Job BRAY was christened 26 Mar 1826 at the Cathedral in Manchester, Lancashire, England, son of Daniel and Ellen BRAY; they were listed in the 1841 England census at Regent Road, Salford, Lancashire, where Daniel was a rope maker. Daniel BRAY in turn was christened 1 July 1804 at the same Cathedral, son of Job BRAY and Martha. Daniel BRAY married Ellen BENTLEY 15 Nov 1824 in the same Cathedral. Daniel's father Job BRAY was probably born about 1774, and may have been the same Job BRAY b. abt. 1770, son of Daniel BRAY b. 1735, son of Thomas BRAY b. 1702 as listed on the following website: www.faulkner-history.fsnet.co.uk/Bray_Files/The_Bray_Story.doc (not proven to be the same Job BRAY but it seems quite likely that he may have moved from Wiltshire to Manchester, Lancashire by 1804 since he was a clothworker, and Manchester was the up-and-coming place for the clothworking industry). Almost certainly Henry BRAY (b. ca. 1705) and Thomas BRAY (b. ca. 1702) had a common ancestor not too many generations further back, probably in the 1600's in England. Job BRAY's family in England should be further researched as they may provide a connection to the immigrant ancestor of Henry BRAY of Chatham Co., NC. The matching DNA is quite significant. Descendants of both Henry and Job BRAY show y-DNA of haplogroup I1 with the "modal haplotype" being Anglo-Saxon (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I1a -- under Haplotypes & Modal, the Anglo-Saxon I1-AS modal haplotype shows numbers very close to the Bray numbers). The "Anglo-Saxon" modal type is identical or nearly identical with the Norman type from Normandy. So from the DNA alone, it cannot yet be determined whether our Henry BRAY was descended from an Anglo-Saxon of Old England, or from a Norman lord who invaded with William the Conqueror in 1066 (the well-documented Sir William de BRAY), or even from a German, a Dane, or a Dutchman (the "Anglo-Saxon" modal haplotype of I1 also being common in north Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, and the old Norman regions of France). Probably in the future, as DNA databases grow and technical advances are made, DNA of Henry BRAY's descendants may indeed be very helpful in further pinning down Henry BRAY's geographical origins and distant family tree. Help the database grow -- FREE dna tests are available from http://www.smgf.org/ (no results will be sent to you, but results can be obtained from their online y-chromosome database). See also http://www.familytreedna.com/public/Bray&fixed_columns=on (remember, our BRAY family being of Scotch, Irish, or Viking origin is not proven and seems very unlikely.....see http://www.rootcellar.us/bray).