Robert Gray, one of my 4x great grandfathers, has always been rather a fascination for me. He was identified by my fourth cousin (at least his son was many years ago) when he took a trip to Etton and environs in order to put the finishing touches on his book about our mutual families in Westminster and London Townships around London, Ontario. When I was at the Family HIstory Library in Salt Lake City I photographed many many records for Etton and Holme in the Wolds as well as Cherry Burton. Later I borrowed the Parish Registers for a number of parishes in this area at the Family History Library. Slowly I was able to put together the Gray and in earlier days the Grey family at Etton when they emigrated but going back through Holme on the Wolds then Cherry Burton and perhaps Kilnwick all in the East Riding of Yorkshire and very close together. The earliest record I have attached myself to is that of Robert Grey baptized 28 May 1686 at Kilnwick son of yet another Robert Grey. For a number of generations all of the males in my direct line are Robert but there are a number of other forenames as they have families of four or five in a number of generations.
The Gray men were husbandmen/yeoman farmers as far back as I could trace in the tax records. Robert Gray (junior) married at Cherry Burton 6 Jun 1771 to Jane Hilton baptized two children Ellen 1 Dec 1771 and Robert 4 Aug 1774 at Holme on the Wolds but he does not appear in the Land Records at Holme on the Wolds. He is likely the son of a Robert given he is referred to as Robert Gray junior in his marriage lines. There is a Robert Gray in the land records of Cherry Burton where I believe that the present Robert Gray was born/baptized 4 Oct 1739 son of Robert Grey/Gray and Ann Stephenson. Robert Grey and Ann Stephenson were married 2 Jul 1734 at Cherry Burton and thus far Robert, their son, is the only one that I have found baptized by them.
I do find a William Stephenson as a land owner/occupier there however. Noting that by 1820 William Stephenson is no longer listed. Perhaps a clue would be to find the baptism of Ann Stephenson and will check out Find My Past.
Ann Stephenson baptized 17 Feb 1712 at Bainton daughter of John (Bainton is 3.6 miles from Holme on the Wolds and 7 miles from Cherry Burton).
This is the only baptism that I find in the vicinity and not a lot of baptisms for Ann[e] Stephenson using the name variants for both the forename and surname.
Baptism of the son of this Robert Gray at Holme on the Wolds
Family Lore and my cousin George DeKay established that the Robert Gray junior who emigrated to Canada circa 1832 was the son of Robert Gray and Elizabeth Cobb. They married 13 Jan 1806 at Lund near Beverley (Elizabeth's parish). That Robert Gray was known to have been baptized at Holme on the Wolds from family history written by George DeKay (Carling Beverley Gray Hildred West Mason and their descendants: Pioneer Families of London Township Middlesex County, Ontario, published privately by George P. DeKay (A pictorial, historical and genealogical record) 1976 at Hyde Park near London, Ontario, Canada. I have a copy of this book.
I verified all the dates and places listed by George in this book and the London Township books later published by The London Township History Book Committee in two volumes. Volume 1 A Rich Heritage 1796 - 1997 ISBN 096896060X and volume 2 Families past and present ISBN 0968960618.
Does Cherry Burton figure in the history of my Gray family? I did copy all the land records and Robert Gray is listed in those land records as a proprietor. He is known to have died in 1808 and been buried at Etton in 1808 where my 2x great grandfather Robert Gray junior was baptized in 1810. Does not finding any other Gray families in the immediate area mean this is my Robert Gray baptized at Cherry Burton. Those thoughts need to be answered as speaking with my cousin he was not, at that time, convinced that the Robert Gray baptized in 1739 at Cherry Burton was the Robert Gray buried at Etton in 1808.
A cropped map of an original image of the East Riding of Yorkshire:
You can see Cherry Burton with Etton above it then South Dalton and immediately above that Holme on the Wolds and then Lund above that parish. Above Lund is Middleton on the Wolds and than Bainton.
Looking at the Gray family in this area and extracting their information.
The burial at Cherry Burton of Robert Gray 20th May 1808 names him as a Farmer aged 70 years from Etton parish giving him a birth year of 1738. In 1809 from this same parish of Etton the burial of Robert son of Robert and Elizabeth Gray 14 Mar 1809 2 years of age buried at Cherry Burton from Etton. This is an older brother to my Robert. Why would Robert Gray choose to bury his son at Cherry Burton and can we take from the burial of the older Robert Gray that they are the same family?
There is another Robert Gray baptized to Robert Gray a shopkeeper at Bainton 19 Nov 1731 so was this Robert Gray a shopkeeper at Bainton the farmer buried in 1808 from Etton. Robert Gray a trader and husbandman of Bainton buried a daughter Jane 11 Jul 1773 which I feel eliminates this other possible Robert Gray from my family line.
There is another Robert Gray buried at Cherry Burton son of Stephen and Rosamond Gray 13 May 1774. Is he perhaps the Stephen Gray son of Robert Gray baptized 8 Apr 1712 at Cherry Burton? That Robert Gray baptized five children in total at Cherry Burton:
Robert baptized 28 May 1708
Stephen baptized 8 Apr 1712
William baptized 28 Jun 1714; buried 23 Sep 1715 at Cherry Burton
Ann baptized 10 Apr 1719
Mary baptized 17 Feb 1725
There was a Robert Gray buried at Cherry Burton son of Stephen and Rosamond 18 May 1775.
There was a Robert Gray buried 30 Nov 1780 at Great Driffield and his will states that he was a gent leaving his will which was probated in 1779 (eliminated as the Robert Gray baptizing children at Cherry Burton as he was a yeoman farmer although his will might be interesting to read and can be purchased online at Find My Past).
There was a Robert Gray whose will was probated 24 Aug 1809 of Bainton (450 pounds). Also helping to separate out the Robert Gray baptized at Bainton from the Robert Gray baptized at Cherry Burton.
Robert Gray married Elizabeth Cobb 13 Jan 1806 at Lund Near Beverley. This was my Robert Gray. Elizabeth Cobb was of the parish of Lund.
Looking at Stephen Gray and he was born 1750 and died 1798 at Cherry Burton. The burial register shows him to be of Bishop Burton and 48 years of age when he was buried 11 May 1798.
There was a Stephen Gray buried at Bainton, a bachelor, 18 Apr 1830. The marriage of Stephen Gray and Rosannah Gray both of the Parish of Garton was soleminized 22 Dec 1746.
The marriage of Stephen Gray and Rosamond Smith was soleminized 6 Apr 1774 at Beverley.
This could be the descendants of Stephen Gray brother to Robert Gray baptized at Cherry Burton in 1712. I have followed it through out of curiosity. The naming of his son Robert is interesting.
Looking at the land records for Cherry Burton (Rental costs and then monies for use of the Church on the image but I am recording just the monies for use of the Church below):
Roger Gray 1793 1 shilling
Robert Gray 1793 1 pound 7 shilling 1 halfpence
Roger Gray 1798 2 pence
Robert Gray 1798 1 pound 1 shilling
Roger Gray 1799 2 shillings
Robert Gray 1799 2 pounds 1 pence
Robert (probably Roger but written thus) Gray 1800 14 shillings 8 pence
Robert Gray 1 pound 4 shillings
Roger Gray 1801 1 shilling 6 pence
Robert Gray 1801 12 shillings 2 pence
Roger Gray 1804 4 shillings 2 pence
Robert Gray 4 shillings 7 pence 1 farthing
Roger Gray 1805 3 pence
Robert Gray 1805 3 pounds 4 pence
Roger Gray 1806 6 pence
Robert Gray 1806 6 shillings 1 pence
Roger Gray 1808 3 pence
Robert Gray 1808 2 shillings 4 pence
Roger Gray 1809 3 pence
Robert Gray 1809 4 shillings
Roger Gray 1810 3 pence
Robert Gray 1810 4 shillings
Roger Gray 1811 9 pence
Robert Gray 1811 1 shilling
Roger Gray 1815 6 pence
Robert Gray 1815 8 pence
Roger Gray 1816 3 pence
Robert Gray 1816 4 pence
Roger Gray 1817 3 pence
Robert Gray 1817 4 pence
Robert Gray 1818 6 pence
Robert Gray 1819 4 pence
Robert Gray 1820 4 pence
Robert Gray 1824 6 pence
Robert Gray 1826 4 pence
There are no Gray families at Holme on the Wolds in this time period paying rates and Robert is listed as a husbandman at the baptisms of his two children at Holme on the Wolds. Now what of Etton where Robert (my 3x great grandfather) baptized his children? I am not sure why I do not have the records for Etton? Did I check them in 2008? I would have thought so as I knew that Robert was from Etton. According to my records I did look at the land tax assessments for Etton 1787-1832. I think at some point I will borrow this film once again from the Family History Library.
Looking back to my early blogs:
The Hearth Tax for East Yorkshire has a number of Gray entries:
Forename Surname Mem Ref. Wapentake / Hundred Constabulary / Ward
Geo: Gray m. 38 Harthill Bainton Beacon Great Driffield and Little Driffield (Great Driffield)
Jon: Grey m. 38 Harthill Bainton Beacon Great Driffield and Little Driffield (Great Driffield)
Rd: Grey m. 38d Harthill Bainton Beacon Great Driffield and Little Driffield (Little Driffield)
Rd: Grey m. 38d Harthill Bainton Beacon Great Driffield and Little Driffield (Little Driffield)
Rich: Grey m. 39 Harthill Bainton Beacon Middleton on the Wolds
Yorkshire, East Riding, Hearth Tax Return, 1672L (E179/205/504) and Kingston Upon Hull, Hearth Tax Return, 1673L (E179/205/505)
It is interesting to see all the entries from Great Driffield (my Harland family was there).
There is a baptism 28 May 1686 at Kilnwick for Robert Grey son of Robert Grey as there doesn't appear to be a Grey/Gray family at Cherry Burton in this time period. Is this the Robert Grey buried 8 Aug 1736 at Cherry Burton whose son Robert was baptized 28 May 1708 at Cherry Burton. He himself was buried 13 Nov 1780 at Cherry Burton (married to Ann Stephenson 2 Jul 1734 at Cherry Burton). Only one child baptized to this couple at Cherry Burton thus far found Robert Gray baptized 4 Oct 1739 at Cherry Burton and likely buried there 20 May 1808.
To add a little extra to that support there is a Jane Hilton buried 13 Sep 1824 from Etton to Cherry Burton. Robert Gray (junior, rechecking the original image I had missed this the first time through giving evidence that his father Robert was still living in 1771)) married Jane Hilton 6 Jun 1771 at Cherry Burton. But more on the Hilton family in next weeks 52 Ancestor Challenge.
Ancestry of Robert Gray
1. Elizabeth BLAKE
2. Helen Louise PINCOMBE (b 18 Oct 1916) - Westminster Township Middlesex County Ontario
3. John Routledge PINCOMBE (b 10 Sep 1872)- Lobo Township Middlesex County Ontario Canada
4. Grace GRAY (b 22 Mar 1839) - London Township Middlesex County Ontario Canada
5. Robert GRAY (b 3 Nov 1810) - Etton Yorkshire England
6. Robert GRAY (b 4 Aug 1774) - Holme on the Wolds Yorkshire England
7. Robert GRAY (b 4 Oct 1739) - Cherry Burton Yorkshire England
8. Robert GRAY (b 28 May 1708) - Cherry Burton Yorkshire England
9. Robert GRAY