Home Contacts
Main Sections:
Westray Grays
Papa Westray Grays
Eday Grays:
    John Gray
    Margaret Gray
Barbara Allan:
    Westray Allans

Site Maps:
Westray Grays
Papa Westray Grays
Eday Grays
    John Gray
    Margaret Gray
Westray Allans

Related Websites:

Other website:
The Glasgow Orkney and Shetland Benevolent Society
Introduction / Westray Grays / George Gray and Margaret Seatter / George Gray and Jean Reid / Robert Gray and Christian Harcus / William Gray and Margaret Hewison

William Gray and Janet Craigie

William Gray (b. 23rd July 1842) was the second son of William Gray and Margaret Hewison. He was born and brought up with the family at North Hammar in Westray.

He was eighteen at the time of the 1861 census with the occupation of slate quarrier. A number of the family had involvement with this type of work at one time or another during their lives. Both William's father and his uncle, George Gray, were described in census as masons. George Gray is described in the 1851 census as a master stonemason with an apprentice, presumably his son (and William's cousin), Robert Gray. The uncle's occupation was still given as mason in 1861.

He married Janet Craigie (b. about 1848) from Backarass, the daughter of John Craigie and Mary Logie, on 11th March 1870. William and Janet were at Backarass with Mary's mother and their first child at the time of the census, the following year.

They were to have ten children but unfortunately many were to die young:

  • William Gray b. 12th October 1870 who died on 7th April 1897, aged twenty six. William was a merchant seaman.
  • Mary Jane Gray b. 31st August 1873 who died on 14th November 1898, aged twenty five. She worked as a domestic servant.
  • Thomas Gray b. 4th October 1875 who died on 3rd February 1917, aged forty one. Thomas was also a mason.
  • Margaret Gray b. 20th August 1878 who died on 28th April 1905, aged twenty six
  • James Gray b. 1st March 1881 who died on 16th July 1883, aged two
  • Isabella Gray b. 28th February 1883 who died on 21st May 1897, aged four
  • James Gray b. 25th February 1885 who married Mary Drever
  • John Gray b. 11th April 1886 who died on 7th April 1900, aged thirteen
  • George Gray b. 8th June 1889. George was still with the family at Brandies at the time of the 1901 census.
  • Jessie Gray b. 18th November 1893 who died on 4th September 1908, aged fourteen

The family moved from Backarass, where their first three children were born, to North Hammar. This was presumably around the time that William's brother, Robert Gray, moved from the family house at North Hammar to Mill House. William took over farming the eight and a half acres there.

Around 1882, the family moved to Brandies where his uncle, George Gray stayed, his uncle apparently moving to North Hammar. William continued as a farmer although his occupation given in the 1901 census was farmer and mason.

Tuberculosis claimed the lives of at least six of their children. They lost three children between April 1897 and November 1898. Eight of their ten children were to die at Brandies.

William Gray died at Brandies on 28th September 1917, aged seventy five, just seven months after his son Thomas Gray. The cause of death was given as apoplexy.

Printer Friendly Version Return to top of page