George Gray, #37 on “The Dunbar Prisoners” List

Every attempt has been made to ensure accuracy; please independently verify all data.

Published: 04 Dec 2014
Updated: 27 Oct 2016

Find his descendants and researchers here.

SPOW DNA Study:
Group 1-B, Haplogroup R-M269

George Gray, is believed to be a Scottish prisoner of war from the Battle of Dunbar at Dunbar, East Lothian, Scotland on 3 Sep 1650, arriving at Charlestown, Massachusetts Bay Colony on the ketch, Unity, in late December 1650. ~ Teresa

First Generation in the New World

1. GEORGE¹ GRAY, was born in Scotland about 1620 and died in Maine on 25 July 1693 and is buried at South Berwick, Maine. He married, at Kittery, Maine in July 1672, SARAH COOPER, the daughter of ALEXANDER COOPER, another Scottish prisoner of war, she was born at Kittery about 1656 and died sometime after 1698. She is buried near George in South Berwick, Maine.

Biographical Notes:
1. Will of George Gray listing his children as Robert, George, Alex and James, no mention of daughter Sarah in this will in 1693.
2. From Doreen Gray today (9 May 2016): “Also, still working on birthplace for George Gray. However, I do have a copy of a birth registry from the Scottish General Register Office. Records: George Gray, April 14,1620, parents Robert Gray and Mrgaret Maddr. Godfathers-Thomas Gray and Thomas Maddr. This George was shown to be from Lanark or the former Lanarkshire (Glasgow). He was shown to be christened at the Glasgow High Church. Still not 100% positive this is our 8x great grandfather. He fits the profile age for the army conscripts of Leslie’s Army-between ages 19-30. Still working on verification.”
3. “GRAY, George (-1693) & Sarah (_____), m/2 Francis HARLOW by 1698; Jul 1672; Kittery, ME (Berwick) {GDMNH 283, 310; Kittery 475}” From: Torrey’s New England Marriages Prior to 1700. (Online database. AmericanAncestors.org. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2008.) Originally published as: New England Marriages Prior to 1700. Boston, Mass.: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2015. PAGE 650
4. From: Alexander Cooper on Rootsweb:”A few years later, Cooper’s daughter Sarah married Scotsman George Gray, who paid his young wife’s fine “for breach of sabboth & for strikeing of Patience Everington.” ~ ” Scots for Sale: Scottish Prisoners in Seventeenth Century Maine and New Hampshire– Diane Rapaport, in “New England Ancestory”- Vol. 5, No.5/6, p. 26″
5. From: Robert Brown~
George and Sarah and possibly one or more of their children are buried behind a farmhouse off of Witchtrot Road where it intersects with Bennett Road. There are head and foot markers where they lay.

Children of George and Sarah (Cooper) Gray:
2. i.   ROBERT² GRAY, (George¹) b. at Kittery, Maine in 1672/1680; m. 1st ELIZABETH FREETLY; m. 2nd ELIZABETH GOODWIN.
2. ii.  GEORGE² GRAY, (George¹), b. in Maine in 1675; m. ELIZABETH HARLOW.
2. iii. ALEXANDER² GRAY, (George¹)
2. iv. JAMES² GRAY, (George¹), b. at Berwick in 1688; m. MARTHA GOODWIN.
2. v.  SARAH² GRAY, (George¹)

Second Generation

2. i.   ROBERT² GRAY, (George¹), was born at Kittery, Maine in 1672 (under nine months of George and Sarah being married). He married, first, ELIZABETH FREETLY. He married, second, ELIZABETH GOODWIN.

2. ii.  GEORGE² GRAY, (George¹) “George, in captiv. when his fa.’s will made, was to receive his mo.’s half at her death or mar. if he ret. Remaining in Montreal ‘for love of religion,’ 1702; dead s. p. in 1723.” From Family Search “George Gray Research” SEE: New England Captives Carried to Canada Between 1677 and 1760 During the French and Indian Wars: Volume 1 by Emma Lewis Coleman, Heritage Books, 1926 – 890 pages.

2. iii. ALEXANDER² GRAY, (George¹)

2. iv. JAMES² GRAY, (George¹), was born at Berwick in 1688. He married at Kittery, Maine, on 30 Aug 1711, MARTHA GOODWIN. “Marriages solemnized by Rev. Jeremiah Wise.” SEE: Berwick Marriages, page 310: Vital Records from The NEHGS Register. Online database. AmericanAncestors.org. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2014. (Compiled from articles originally published in The New England Historical and Genealogical Register.)

2. v.  SARAH² GRAY, (George¹)

SOURCES AND NOTES:

Torrey’s New England Marriages Prior to 1700. (Online database. AmericanAncestors.org. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2008.) Originally published as: New England Marriages Prior to 1700. Boston, Mass.: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2015.

Torrey’s New England Marriages Prior to 1700. (Online database. AmericanAncestors.org. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2008.) Originally published as: New England Marriages Prior to 1700. Boston, Mass.: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2015.

“George Gray married the daughter of Alexander Cooper. He was 47 and she was about 16 or 17.” ~ Paula Cummings
George Gray had four sons and one daughter: Robert, George, Alexander, James and Sarah.
“George Gray is my 8th great -grandfather. There is plenty of documentation that shows him arriving at the colonies on the Unity as a Scottish POW from the battle of Dunbar. His life in Scotland however, has proved to be much harder to find. Some researchers believe George was born April 14 1620 to Robert Gray & Margret Madirr. Others believe his father was James Gray. Documentation is scarce and difficult to find for that time period. Visited Scotland’s People Center and Historical Society of Edinburgh with one OPR to support the birth date of 4/14/1620 with a Robert and Margret M. listed as parents. Have hired a genealogist from Scotland to help in search. Resent report looks like links to the Grays of Broxmouth, which was within the Dunbar town boundaries. Estate was taken by Cromwell and used as headquarters before the battle. The battlefield is literally across the road and up a hill from the estate.” ~ Doreen and Gail Gray

George Gray can be found at the Old Berwick Historical Society online site:

“When these young and impoverished prisoners eventually obtained their freedom they stayed, joining the English founding families of a tiny settlement. Among these displaced Scotsmen were said to be Niven Agnew, James Barry, Alexander Cooper, Daniel Ferguson, William Furbush, William Gowen, Peter Grant, George Gray, David Hamilton, Thomas Holme, John Key, Alexander Maxwell, John Neal, John Reed, John Ross, John Taylor, William Thomson, and James Warren (from Downeast Ancestry, Vol. 9, No. 3).”

On 10 September 2016, M. H. Maggelet wrote:
“I haven’t been able to find anything linking our George Gray to a Glasgow birth (purportedly Robert Gray and Margaret Madir), much less any of the nobility of Scotland. I’m a descendent of George via my grandmother Grace Hurley, and her grandmother Nettie Philena Gray (daughter of Loring S. Gray and Philena S. Gray).
While there are tons of documents on the Gray’s of Scotland in online archives and Google Books, linking them specifically to George has proven to be problematic. There are numerous Robert Gray’s, James Gray’s, etc., in the historical records and listings ranging from parish birth and marriage records to legal proceedings (not to mention peerage).
There is evidence in early documents from Maine that he could read and write (in Scots English), while his last will and testament shows his mark.
So, the search for documentation continues. If indeed he has noble lineage, it would be quite fascinating.”

35 Responses to George Gray, #37 on “The Dunbar Prisoners” List

  1. Steve Day says:

    George Gray was my 8th great-grandfather. Every Gray and progeny in Hancock County, Maine are related to him.
    Steve Day

  2. Steve Day says:

    Absolutely!

  3. Doreen Gray & Gail Gray says:

    George Gray is my 8th great -grandfather. There is plenty of documentation that shows him arriving at the colonies on the Unity as a Scottish POW from the battle of Dunbar. His life in Scotland however, has proved to be much harder to find. Some researchers believe George was born April 14 1620 to Robert Gray & Margret Madirr. Others believe his father was James Gray. Documentation is scarce and difficult to find for that time period. Visited Scotland’s People Center and Historical Society of Edinburgh with one OPR to support the birth date of 4/14/1620 with a Robert and Margret M. listed as parents. Have hired a genealogist from Scotland to help in search. Resent report looks like links to the Grays of Broxmouth, which was within the Dunbar town boundaries. Estate was taken by Cromwell and used as headquarters before the battle. The battlefield is literally across the road and up a hill from the estate.

    • teresahamiltonpepperrust says:

      Doreen and Gail, PLease allow me to add you to the page for George Gray! I will also add your comments to the NOTE section. How wonderful that you have hired a genealogist. Keep us informed.

    • Alice MacDonald Long says:

      Didn’t George Gray have a child named Robert? Did he have a son named James also? Somewhere I thought we learned that George Gray was from Lanark, Scotland. Alice MacDonald Long

    • M.H. Maggelet says:

      I haven’t been able to find anything linking our George Gray to a Glasgow birth (purportedly Robert Gray and Margaret Madir), much less any of the nobility of Scotland. I’m a descendent of George via my grandmother Grace Hurley, and her grandmother Nettie Philena Gray (daughter of Loring S. Gray and Philena S. Gray).
      While there are tons of documents on the Gray’s of Scotland in online archives and Google Books, linking them specifically to George has proven to be problematic. There are numerous Robert Gray’s, James Gray’s, etc., in the historical records and listings ranging from parish birth and marriage records to legal proceedings (not to mention peerage).
      There is evidence in early documents from Maine that he could read and write (in Scots English), while his last will and testament shows his mark.
      So, the search for documentation continues. If indeed he has noble lineage, it would be quite fascinating.

  4. Doreen Gray & Gail Gray says:

    Hi Teresa, Yes, please add us to George’s page! We have been to back to the “Mother Land” twice, in search of our roots. Absolutely love everything about her! Cannot wait for our next adventure. We have been working on ole George’s line for over five years. Lots of info about life here in the states, but very tough tracing his life up to the Battle of Dunbar. We were able to stand at the top of the hill overlooking the battlefield and it was an emotional moment for us both. Old Parish Records, deeds, etc, are a real treasure hunt, but so worth the effort. Thank you for all your hard work on this site and the many projects that help us all unite to trace our heritage.

  5. Doreen Gray & Gail Gray says:

    We have pictures of the monument commemorating the Battle of Dunbar and Doon Hill. Is there anyway we can post these pictures on the site? Thanks, DG

  6. Alice MacDonald Long says:

    It’s exciting for the descendants of George Gray who live in Maine to learn more about the Battle of Dunbar and the march to Durham, England followed by the trip to what is now Maine.

  7. DoreenGray says:

    Yes, George had four sons and one daughter as far as I can find. Robert, George, Alexander, James, Sarah.

  8. Robert James Brown says:

    I am a descendent of George Gray, through my grandfather Asbury Abner Gray aka Robert A Gray, of Stonington, Deer Isle, Me in Hancock County. I have been to the Battlefield at Dunbar (now appropriately a golf course) and have toured Durham Cathedral. Additionally I know where George and Sarah are buried in South Berwick, Me (with possibily several of their children). I love learning more about these people, so don’t hestitate to share or ask.
    I am will to supply my DNA if requested.

    • Paula Cummings says:

      I went to Maine and was taken on a tour brother someone from the historical society. Can you tell me where they are buried. I was told that there are stones behind the house that is on Georges land. I am a descendant of Robert. George is my 8th g grandfather my grandmother was Estelle Gray day of Lewis gray

      • Robert J Brown says:

        You are related to me then.

        The exact location of George’s and Sarah’s graves is hard to describe but is indeed on their land, behind a house, on the right hand side, and marked with a stone (off of Witchtrot Road). The OBHS took me there too, so they are very knowledgeable of the area. BTW–Sarah’s father Alexander Cooper was a SPOW also and owned land adjacent to George’s. He was some 30 years older than her…

        • Steven D Gray says:

          Robert ,I’m also an 8th down the line from George and Sara. My side migrated to Iowa in the 1860’s. We are trying to get to Maine in 2017 and see as much as we can . Who or what is OBHS and BTW .What would be the best way to see as much as we can. Thanks

    • Paula Cummings says:

      George is my 8th g grandfather also Robert, Joshua Reuben Reuben Ezra, Henry, Lewis, Estelle. Estelle was my grandmother. The strange thing is that I grew up in Saugus Ma. My fathers mother and her family lived in the Iron Masters house in Saugus in 1895-1905. I have been to South Berwick but the historical society could not tell me where George and Sarah were buried. I believe there are two head stones in the back of what was his property. Could you tell me where he is buried Thanks

  9. Alice MacDonald Long says:

    I’m a friend of Raymond Cowing Gray who’s descended from George Gray also. I did the research for him and convinced him to do his DNA a year or so ago. He doesn’t use the computer, but I’ll print off the information you gave about your ancestors also in Hancock County to share with him. I would highly recommend you at least do the 67 markers with Family Tree DNA. Sometimes you can get a discount through a group and it’s worth checking to see if they can offer one for you. Thanks.

  10. Patrick T Brown says:

    I am a grandchild of Asbury Abner Robert Gray as well a younger sibling of Robert J Brown above. I am in the middle of reserve arching the history. In times of struggles I remind myself of the trials & tribulations George Gray endured.

  11. Jennifer Gray says:

    I’m just starting to research my family tree and this website was a very exciting find! George Gray is my 9th Great Grandfather.

  12. Margaret Maguire says:

    Hello! Finally tracing my Gray roots and amazed how far back it goes! George Gray is my 9th Great Grandfather- my Great Grandmother was Lelia E. Gray, daughter of Walter P. Gray both of Deer Isle, Maine. Anyone know how the branches connect?

    • Alice MacDonald Long says:

      I helped a male friend with his Gray genealogy and encouraged him to do his DNA. His ancestors were part of the Hancock County, Maine Gray line also. There are 3 published Gray genealogies that are in the Ellsworth, Maine library and probably also in the Maine State Library in Augusta. I would search there first to see if your line has been published – if not, you should be able to connect back there. If I can help you Margaret, please contact me at alicelong@gwi.net.

  13. Paula Cummings says:

    when was lelia born did she marry a McGinn from Bosotn

    • Margaret Maguire says:

      Yes! Lelia was born in 1896 and married William E. McGinn, they lived in Lynn, MA and raised three daughters (including my grandmother).

      • Paula Cummings says:

        I am sorry I haven’t sent you that information but my computer died. I can mail it to you or the computer is being fixed now. My son took it to Massachusetts and I live in New Hampshire

  14. Paula Cummings says:

    I have two of the gray books. Will send you the info in the second one on Thurs.
    I grew up in Saugus

  15. cheryl bowman says:

    I have always been fascinated by my ancestor George Gray. My mom was Evelyn Gray from Brooksville. Her parents were Hermon and Lottie Stevens Gray. I am hoping to take a trip to Scotland next summer. Could anyone suggest where to visit for Gray family sites. Lanark? Thank you

  16. DOROTHY N. McKenney(Makane ) Chapman says:

    McKenney -McKinney DNA results have been submitted to John Cleary director of the Indentification project in Scotlamd. Our family has a listing of eleven generation from The Scottish Prisoner John MacKane. We are missing the name of John’s wife and would be most grateful for help. John is mentioned as being at The Saugus Ironworks after arriving in the Ship John and Sara. After serving his indentured time he settled in Scarborough Maine. Fought in the attacks on the Garrison there. When the settlements were destroyed he was sent to Salem ,Ma. His children returned to Scarborought in later years

  17. Robert Brown says:

    I would start here, where George is said to be born: Lanark

    See:
    https://www.geni.com/people/George-Gray/6000000000977426585

    WHATEVER YOU LEARN, PLEASE DOCUMENT AND SHARE.

  18. GEORGE A GRAY says:

    Hi,

    I’m also a George Gray, a 7th great-grandson of George. My wife and I will be in Maine from Oct 9 to 15 and hope to visit South Berwick on Sunday, Oct 9. We will visit the
    Saw Mill in Berwick and the Old Berwick Historical Society museum. We will also visit the State Library in Augusta.

    I’m particularly interested in obtaining sources that provide solid links for George to my great-great grandfather, James Gray of Dover-Foxcroft (b. 1806). Others’ family trees have the lineage: George(b 1620-1625)….James (b. abt 1677, York)….James(b. 1716, South Berwick)….Jonathan(b. 1753. Berwick)….Jonathan(b. 1775, South Berwick)…James (b. 1806, Penobscot or China).

    I’d appreciate any helpful hints at exploring my genealogy while in Maine.

    George Gray
    Portola Valley, CA

    • Hi George! would advise you to contact the other descendants to see what they might know. Try Robert Brown as he and his wife recently visited the area. They may have some tips for you. Collaborating with your distant cousins is the way to go.

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