Welcome! I really enjoy exchanging information with people and hope this blog will help with that. Some of the surnames I'm researching:

Many old Cape families including Kelley, Eldredge/idge, Howes, Baker, Mayo, Bangs, Snow, Chase, Ryder/Rider, Freeman, Cole, Sears, Wixon, Nickerson.
Many old Plymouth County families including Washburn, Bumpus, Lucas, Cobb, Benson.
Johnson (England to MA)
Corey (Correia?) (Azores to MA)
Booth, Jones, Taylor, Heatherington (N. Ireland to Quebec)
O'Connor (Ireland to MA)
My Mayflower Ancestors (only first two have been submitted/approved by the Mayflower Society):
Francis Cooke, William Brewster, George Soule, Isaac Allerton, John Billington, Richard Warren, Peter Browne, Francis Eaton, Samuel Fuller, James Chilton, John Tilley, Stephen Hopkins, John Howland.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Edward Gray and Mary Winslow and Dorothy Lettice of Plymouth, Mass.






Edward Gray was born about 1623 in England (possibly Stapleford, Tawney, Essex, but I haven't found a source for this). He is my 9th great-grandfather on my grandfather Arthur Washburn Davis’s side.

He arrived in Plymouth ca 1643 and became a merchant, among the wealthiest men in Plymouth Colony. Theodore Burbank wrote that there are stories Edward and his brother were “smuggled” out of England by relatives who wanted their inheritance and that he was a descendant of King Henry I of France.

Edward did business on Main Street in Plymouth, between Leyden and Middle Streets.
Depiction of Leyden Street in Plymouth (source: preservemasshistory.com)


He married Mary Winslow in Plymouth on 16 January 1650/51. Mary was the daughter of John and Mary (Chilton) Winslow and a niece of Governor Edward Winslow. Mary Chilton was a Mayflower passenger.

Edward and Mary had had six children:
1.      Desire, born 06 November 1651, married Nathaniel Southworth
2.      Mary, born 18 September 1653
3.      Elizabeth, born  11 Feb 165_ (last digit worn, probably 5, 6 or 7), married Seth Arnold
4.      Sarah, born 12 August 1659, married Samuel Little
5.      John, born 01 October 1661, married Joanna Morton
6.      Anna

The births of the first five children are recorded in Plymouth Vital Records. Anna is known as a child as she is listed in Edward’s 1684 detailed land division amongst his heirs. 

Mary Winslow Gray died at Plymouth before December 1665.

Edward married, second, Dorothy Lettice on 12 Dec 1665. She was the daughter of Thomas and Ann (maiden name unknown) Lettice. Edward and Dorothy had six children:
1.      Edward, born 31 January 1665/66, moved to Tiverton, Rhode Island
2.      Thomas, married Anna Little and Phebe ____, moved to Little Compton, RI
3.      Samuel, moved to Little Compton, RI
4.      Susanna born 15 October 1668, married John Cole
5.      Rebecca, m. Ephraim Cole
6.      Lydia, b. 12 Marcy 1677/8, married Caleb Loring 

Edward and Susanna’s births are recorded in Plymouth Vital Records. 
 
I descend from his son John as well as his daughter Susanna.

Edward was involved in many land transactions, particularly with land in what would become Little Compton, Rhode Island. Here is a handful:

Mayflower Descendant, vol. 10:
18 Dec 1655, Edward Gray of New Plymouth, Planter, sold to Benjamin Eaton of Plymouth, land bordered by Edward Dotey and Samuell Cutbert, being the same lands Edward bought of Samuell Cutbert containing about 20 acres, the house upon the land that was built by Edward Gray with the bedstead, doors, shelves and such "flowring." Eaton to pay him 11 pounds sterling, with some to be paid in wheat and Indian Corn. Edward Gray signed with his mark. Benjamin was to take possession of the house and land the next September 1656.

Mayflower Descendant, 1909, vol 11:
10 Oct 1657, Mr. John Winslow sometimes of Plymouth in New England gent, for a valuable sum already paid by Edward Gray of Plymouth, planter, house and land at Plain Dealing in Plymouth, bounded by Jonathan Shaw and Samuel King, and all the orchards and outhouses, woods, trees, fences, meadows, all the "boards shelves Dores lockes and glase in and belonging unto the said house." Mrs. Mary Winslow, wife of John Winslow gave her consent.

Mayflower Descendant, 1914, vol 16:
20 July 1661, Robert Ransom of Plymouth, planter, granted land already paid for by Edward Gray of Plymouth, planter. Land Ransom purchased from Benajah Pratt, land commonly called the Purchase Land at Accushena Coaksett and a home lot of 20 acres between lots of William Spooner and Samuel Cutbert.

Mayflower Descendant, vol 17:
6 Aug 1662, Robert Lee, shoemaker, of Plymouth for sum already paid by Edward Gray of Plymouth, planter, land at Punckateesett and places adjacent, upland and meadow. Samuel Sturtevant, Francis Billington, John Dunham Jr., William Spooner, Edward Doty, and James Shaw, also acknowledged that Edward Gray paid them for their shares in this land.

Mayflower Descendant, vol 17:
11 Aug 1662, Edward Gray of Plymouth, was paid by John Winslow of Boston, merchant, for eight shares of land in that tract of land which is belonging to the Town of Plymouth aforsaid, laying against Rhode Island, known by the name Punckateesett; seven shares that Edward bought from Robert Lee, Samuel Sturtevant, Francis Billington, John Dunham Jr, Edward Dotey, William Spooner and James Shaw. Then it goes on to say that John Winslow sold the eight shares to Edward Gray.

Mayflower Descendant, 1985, vol 35:
15 Aug 1664, Josias Wampatucke Sachem and (Wucksanuskett?) Squaw Sachem for a valuable consideration sold to Thomas Prence, Capt. William Bradford and Edward Gray of Plymouth "all our lands at Namassakett that is to say on the western side of the said Namassakett River from Packauke necke to (Naskacett?) brooke all alonge by the side of the said river and westward up to the meddows sould formerly to the Major belonging to Packauke necke." Reserving 8 acres for themselves to be set out by Edward Gray at some convenient place along the river.

Mayflower Descendant,1985, Vol 35:
10 July 1665, Edward "Graye" of New Plymouth, yeoman, for one heifer and 14 pounds sterling, sold to Robert Latham of Bridgewater 15 1/4 acres of meadow on Winnatucksett River or Brook, in Plymouth, lying between the meadow of Jacob Cooke and John Cobb. All 3/4 of an acre to be laid out by Robert Latham at or near a place called Monponsett Pond or else at Winnatucksett Meadows, to make up 16 acres of meadow which Edward formerly bought of Mr. John Winslow now of Boston.

Edward died at Plymouth in June 1681. He is buried at Burial Hill.
Edward Gray, Sr
Edward's gravestone at Burial Hill (source: findagrave.com)


Edward’s stone, the oldest on the Hill, is of dark, compact slate and has an iron hood which protects the edges from water and frost. By its side is a wooden slab bearing the legend, "The Grave of Edward Gray, June, 1681."  The inscription on the stone is as follows:--

Here Lyeth ye Body
of EDWARD GRAY
Gent Aged About
52 years & Departd
this life ye Last of
Old postcard of Burial Hill
June 1681

Sources Not Listed Above:
Robert Sherman, Mayflower Families, Volume 15: James Chilton, Richard Moore, 1997.
Eugene Stratton,  History of Plymouth Colony It's History and People, 1986
Theodore Burbank, A Guide to Plymouth's Historic Old Burial Hill, Salty Pilgrim Press, Millis, MA, 2006

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