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William Gray

Eric Trudgill    -    3 February 2013

According to the gypsiologists the William Gray who claimed to have been born in New Wimpole, Cambsabout 1794 was a close friend of the famous Elijah Boswell and, like Elijah, a polygamist. In fact William seems to have been only a bigamist, and perhaps only briefly so, in the 1820s. As we saw last month he fathered by James Mobbs’ wife, Bethiah, William Gray, baptised in Ancaster, Lincs in 1822, and probably Cornelius and Righteous Gray, baptised in Elkesley, Notts in 1827, christening the first of these just three days before he christened Hannah Gray, close by in Ingoldsby, Lincs, the first of at least twelve children he was to haveby Bethia’s sister, Tabitha Smith, (baptised in Cropwell Bishop, Notts in 1803 daughter of Wisdom and Hannah), Hannah being followed by Sidney, Eldery, Charlotte, Messiah, Bethiah, Alexander, Mary, Kalias, Josiah, Caly and Harrodine.

WilliamGray, baptised in 1822,married in Normanby by Spital,Lincs in 1841Salome Ellen Boyling, baptised in Scampton, Lincs in 1823 daughter of George and Joyce. They had the following children: Elias Gray, christened in ClaxbyPluckacre, Lincs in 1843, who married Sarah Smith; Drusilla Gray, christened in Ingham, Lincs in 1847, who married first Walter Smith (son of William and Selina) andsecond, and much later, Patrick Campbell; Lucy and Esther Gray, born in Yorkshire about 1850 and 1852; Joyce Gray, christened in Bradford St Peter, Yorks in 1857, who married first Heenan Heron son of Moses in Monk Bretton, Yorks in 1874, and second William King; and lastly, at least as far as I know, Mary Ann Gray, born in Yorkshire about 1863.

Hannah Gray, baptised in 1822, married Josiah Smith, baptised inWaltham, Leics in 1815 son of Ambrose and Sophia. They had the following Smith children: Eunice and Sophia, born in Yorkshire about 1838 and 1840; Sidney and Messiah, christened in Handsworth, Yorks in 1846 and 1848; Hawthorn, christened in High Hoyland, Yorks in 1851; Arkles/Hartless, christened in Carleton nr Pontefract, Yks in 1853; and Napthali, christened in S Kirkby, Yorks in 1856.

Sidney Gray, baptised in N Wheatley, Notts in 1824, married first Violet Brown/Smith (baptised in Ruskington, Lincs in 1826) daughter of Francis and Rosetta: they had Uriah (Joseph), christened in Thorpe Hesley, Yorks in 1846, who married his cousin, Sophia Smith daughter of Moses; Delenda, christened in Claxby nr Normanby, Lincs in 1848; Maria, christened in Barrow upon Humber, Lincs in 1850, who married Thomas Wallhead in 1868; Messiah, born in Lincolnshire about 1853, who married Mary Ellen Tuplin in 1873; and Elizabeth, christened in Cabourne, Lincs in 1856, who in 1872 marriedher cousin, Joshua Smith,son of Moses and Eldery. His first wife having died in 1858, Sidney marriedEdingale Smith, daughter of Sidney and Jane, in MktRasen, Lincs in 1873: they had William Thomas, born in Tuxford, Notts in 1865, who married Martha Key in 1889; Mary Jane, christened inMktRasen in 1867, who in 1887 married Joshua Smith,son of her cousin Thomas (son of Moses and Eldery); Thomas Arthur, David, and George Edward, christened in MktRasen 1869-73, David marrying Sylvia Mobbs daughter of Moses and Lucy in 1908, and George Edward marrying Sarah Ann Key in 1890 ; and Sophia, born in Lincolnshire about 1875, who in 1891 married James Mobbs, son of Moses and Sylvia.

ElderyGray, baptised in Essendine, Rutland in 1824, married Moses Smith (baptised in Harby, Leics in 1816 son of Thomas and Sylvia) in Wickenby, Lincs in 1846. They had the following Smith children: Thomas, christened in Saxilby, Lincs in 1840, who married Sophia Smith daughter of Dennis and Eleanor in 1861; William, christened in Corringham, Lincs in April 1842; Sophia, christened in Harby, Leics in October 1842, who married her cousin, Uriah (Joseph)Gray son of Sidney; William, christened in Scampton, Lincs in 1845; Emma, born in Lincolnshire about 1846, who married in 1874 Palistia Boswell/Smith son of Elijah and Alice; Sarah, christened in Willoughton, Lincs in 1849, who married first William Elliott, and second in 1879 George Major son of Thomas; Joshua, christened in Bishop Norton, Lincs in 1851, who married his cousin, Elizabeth Gray daughter of Sidney; Louisa, christened in Nettleham, Lincs in 1855; Rabbi, christened in Nettleham, Lincs in 1857, who married in 1874Deloreni Boswell daughter of Elijah and Alice; Walter, christened in Reepham, Lincs in 1860; and Rainie, christened in Lincoln St John in 1864 and buried in Lincoln St Nicholas in 1865.

Charlotte Gray, baptised in Askham, Notts in 1826, married Thomas Smith (baptised in Teigh, Rutland in 1814 son of Thomas and Sarah) in Nettleham, Lincs in 1856. Her groom was a half-brother of Eldery’s husband, Moses Smith. And her witness, Salome Smith, was, I believe, her sister, the Salome Gray, born about 1828, who married first Thomas Brown and then Jeremiah Boswell/Smith (baptised in Babworth, Notts in 1832) son of Elijah and Alice. Charlotte and Thomas Smith had no children, and I’ve traced only two children of Salome, the Mary Ann Brown, born about 1850 who married in 1877 Henry Boswell/Smith son of Elijah & Charlotte, and the Hannah Smith christened in W Retford, Notts in 1859daughter of Jeremiah and Salome, who married (jointly with her half-sister in 1877) her cousin twice over, Adam Boswell/Smith son of Jeremiah’s half-brother, William,by Bethiah, the next daughter of William and Tabitha Gray.

Messiah Gray, baptised in Saxilby, Lincs in 1830, married a Marina (born in Cheshire) and had a Sinfire, christened in Stannington, Yorks in 1852, a Sarah Ann, born in Yorkshire about 1859, and a Cornelius, christened in Sykehouse, Yorks in 1865.

BethiahGray, baptised in Eakring, Notts in 1832, married William Boswell/Smith (baptised in Gamston, Notts in 1827 son of Elijah and Charlotte), and had the following Boswell/Smith children: Adam, born about 1850, who married Hannah Smith daughter of Salome; Gehazi (male), christened in Owston Ferry, Lincs in 1854; Adelina, christened in Tuxford, Notts in 1857, who married her cousin, Thomas Boswell son of Adam and Jane; Elijah, christened in Haxey, Lincs in 1859; Riley, christened in Wellow, Notts in 1862; William, christened in Nunburnholme, Yorks in 1864, who married, as a widower, in 1897 Martha Cunningham, the widowed daughter of Sistance and Clementina Charlotte; and Lucy, christened in Haxey, Lincs in 1876.

Alexander Gray, baptised in Harmston, Lincs in 1834, was buried in Waddington, Lincs in 1853 “aged 19”, and doesn’t seem to have had any children. This was surely also the case with KaliasGray, baptised in Saxilby, Lincs in 1838, since he’d presumably died before William and Tabitha gave his forename to the child they christened in 1847. In between Alexander and the first Kalias came Mary Gray, baptised in Welton by Lincoln in 1836. Mary married Magnus Boswell/Smith (baptised in Longford, Derbyshire in 1834 son of Elijah and Alice) in Fledborough, Notts in 1859, and had the following children: Albert, born in Lincolnshire about1860; Magnus, christened in Harworth, Notts in 1862; and Palistier, christened in Tuxford, Notts in 1866.

Josiah Gray, baptised in Welton by Lincoln in 1840, doesn’t seem to have had any children, but William and Tabitha’s CalyGray, baptised in S Carlton, Lincs in 1847, married Eva Boswell (baptised in S Ferriby, Lincs in 1851 daughter of Elijah’s son, Riley, and Levanci Charlotte), and had the following: Joseph, born in Lincolnshire about 1871, who married AgnesSowarsby in 1897; Mary, born in Kings Lynn, Norfolk about 1873; Isaiah, christened in Lincoln St Swithin in 1876 (son of Joseph and Eva); Albert, christened in Coningsby, Lincs in1878; Kala, born in Lincolnshire about 1880; and William, born in Worksop, Notts about 1883.

And finally HarrodineGray, baptised in Pontefract, Yorks in 1852 (whose forename reflects his father’s Cambridgeshire roots), married Maraniel Boswell/Smith, baptised in Scotter, Lincsin 1854 daughter of Okey (son of Elijah and Alice) and Maraniel Smith (daughter of Sidney and Jane), and had the following children: Albert Edward and Alberta born about 1881, John born about 1894, Ellen Smith christened in Goole, Yorks in 1896 daughter of Harodine and Meraniel, and Rose Ann and Noah born about 1898 and 1904/

Copyright © 2013 Eric Trudgill