Finding Your Folks: The Grays of Line Creek, Part 2

Judy Fowler Kilgore's picture

We continue this week with the story of the Gray family of the Line Creek area, written and submitted by Carol Hoyt of Kansas. Carol had said that Abraham and his wife had several children but we have information on only three, Nancy, Benjamin and Hosea. Carol's story continues:

"Nancy Gray (Abraham's daughter) was married to Franklin Sansom in Pike County on 15 Jan. 1850. Almost from the beginning they seem to have had some sort of marital issues. She was enumerated with her father in the 1850 census taken in August. By October, she was enumerated with her husband in Pike County. Abraham took great pains on his deathbed to make sure that Franklin Sansom was not able to get his hands on any of the Gray property. He willed Nancy's portion to her brother Benjamin to be held in trust for her. Abraham's estate settlement papers show that William Westmoreland served notice to Franklin Sansom that Hosea and Benjamin Gray were going to apply to the Coweta County Court of the ordinary for the purpose of proving Abraham's will. Nancy was enumerated with her brother in the 1860 census. She died in 1862 and is buried at County Line.

"Benjamin Gray (Abraham's son) married Catherine Kempson in 1862 in Meriwether County. Shortly after, he left to fight in the Civil War. He contracted typhoid fever and was sent home to die. He died in 1864 and is buried at County Line. Catherine did apply for a pension.

"Hosea Gray (Abraham's son) married first Sarah Frances Freeman, daughter of Henry Freeman, on 5 Feb. 1843. They had Nancy Jane Gray (26 July 1844-July 1854) and Benjamin F. Gray (13 Dec. 1849-1 April 1859). According to Hosea's biography in Memoirs of Georgia, he and Sarah actually had four children all deceased. Sarah and the children are buried in a cemetery on the old Rawls place. Hosea then married Susan Elizabeth Kempson (sister of his brother's wife) 22 May 1856 in Meriwether County, and they had the following children:

“(1) Rosana, born 16 March 1857, died 24 Feb. 1919, buried at County Line;” [Rosana is Carol's ancestor and we are saving her full family story for next week. - JK]

“(2) Oscar, born 6 Oct. 1858, died 17 Feb. 1935. My father (Julian Bishop) was always fascinated with Oscar. Apparently he was very eccentric and lived in the barn with his mule.

“(3) Leonidas Gray was born 19 March 1860, died 19 Oct. 1924; (4) Mollie Gray was born 23 Dec 1861 and died 27 July 1946. Mollie married John Hutchinson 23 Dec. 1886. She and the Hutchinson family were featured in a previous article.

“(5) Villular Gray was born 5 Feb 1864 and died 5 Oct 1866. Villular was accidentally shot when someone left a gun on the bed. The covers got caught in the trigger and when the baby pulled on the covers, the gun went off and she was killed. There is a grave on the old Gray place and a marker in the cemetery of the County Line Christian Church.

“(6) Lattimer Gray, born 3 Nov 1865 married Willie Hodnett. Their children were Wallace Gray, Lloyd Gray, Hosea Pickens Gray and Jules Gray. Lattimer died 14 Dec. 1944.

“(7) Hattie Gray was born 31 July 1868 and died 15 June 1930; (8) Rebecca Gray was born 3 Jan 1870 and died 15 Nov 1942; (9) Ida Gray was born 22 Aug 1871 and died 9 April 1949; (10) Lydia Catherin (Kate) Gray was born 27 Aug 1874 and died 29 July 1955.

“I've never heard Hattie, Rebecca, Ida and Kate referred to as individuals. It was the Gray girls or the aunts. In the 1930s they purchased their first car. On the way home, whoever was driving ran off into a ditch. They got the horses, pulled the car out and it was never driven again. It sat on blocks in the barn for years and was finally sold.

“Hosea's biography in Memoirs of Georgia says, “In those days it was customary for each man to assist his neighbor in rolling his logs in the early spring, previous to putting in his crops, and one season Hosea Gray assisted in this work for eighteen days. His school advantages were only such as the limited accommodations of those days afforded." Hosea did not fight in the Civil War. He owned a sawmill and was a quartermaster, providing supplies to the Confederate Army. According to a cousin, Lat Gray, he was a member of the Home Guard. Hosea was confirmed at Mt. Pilgrim Lutheran Church in 1870. He was in the same confirmation class as his son-in-law, Isaiah Washington Bishop, Rosana's husband. Both men probably joined the church at the insistence of their wives. Hosea was a mason of the royal arch degree.”

We'll interrupt Carol's story here and continue next week with the story of her direct ancestor, Rosana Gray Bishop, daughter of Hosea Gray and Susan Elizabeth Kempson. But I wanted to mention that I checked my Coweta map last week and found all those fractional lots owned by the Grays and the Westmorelands. They're “fractional” because they all front on Line Creek and extend northward, one after the other. Starting at the Meriwether-Coweta-Spalding line east of Haralson and continuing for about five miles up the creek, we find (in order) the lots of Reuben Westmoreland, Hosea Gray (three lots), Abraham Gray, two lots right at present-day Ga. Hwy. 16 that eventually fell into Kempson hands, next two lots owned by Robert Westmoreland, one owned by John Westmoreland, and one more owned by Robert Westmoreland. This brings us just a few miles east of Senoia. I found that information quite interesting.

Stories and family histories about your ancestors who lived on Atlanta's south side are always welcome. Send them to or Mail to The Citizen, P.O. Drawer 1719, Fayetteville, GA 30214. All letters and e-mails I receive are subject to being used in the column.

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