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Introduction / Westray Grays / George Gray and Margaret Seatter / Robert Gray and Marion Meal / William Gray and Ann Sandison

Robert Gray and Eliza Muir

Robert Gray was the only known son of William Gray and his wife Ann Sandison, and was baptised in Westray on 31st March 1816. He became a fisherman, and married Eliza Muir (born in Sanday about 1811, daughter of David Muir and Margaret Linklater) in Westray on 17th November 1838. They are known to have had the following children:

  • Margaret Gray, born 7th December 1840 who married Alexander Anderson
  • Ann Gray, born 6th October 1843
  • Mary Gray, born 29th July 1847

In the 1841 census, Robert and Eliza were at Gorn, Westray, with the infant Margaret. Robert died on 30th October, 1846, according to his father's death registration. In the 1851 census, his widow Eliza was still at Gorn with her two younger daughters, and Margaret was in Kirkwall with her maternal grandfather, David Muir. The middle daughter, Ann, died at Gorn on 12th January 1856, at the age of 12 years, and no further information has been found for the youngest daughter, Mary.

Margaret Gray was a servant in Kirkwall in the 1861 census, and gave birth to an illegitimate son, Peter Gray, on 2 October 1863. His birth registration gives Peter's surname as Gray, but all other records found for him use the surname Corrigal.

Margaret's whereabouts at the time of the 1871 census has not been established, but in the 1881 census she was in Newcastle with her husband, Alexander Anderson, a seaman (age 31, a British subject born in Sweden), and their daughter Margaret Anderson, age 7 (born in Newcastle). Also in the household was an aunt, Margaret Rendall (a widow, age 69, born in Orkney).

The 1871 census of Kirkwall shows Eliza Gray, a widow, born in Sanday about 1811, living in Catherine Place with her grandson, Peter Corrigal, age 7. Note that the Orkney Family History Society census transcription shows Eliza's age as 38 rather than 58 and the grandson as Robert rather than Peter.

In 1881 Eliza, age 68, and Peter, age 17, an apprentice chemist, were living in High Street, Kirkwall.

In the 1891 census, Eliza and Peter were found in the Anderson household in Newcastle.

1891 - Newcastle on Tyne
Relation Status Age Occupation Born
Margaret Anderson Head Married 49 years Seaman's wife Scotland
Margaret Anderson Dau Single 17 years Draper's apprentice Newcastle
Peter Corrigan Step Son Single 27 years Chemist's assistant Scotland
Eliza Gray Mother in law Widow 78 years Scotland
Margaret Rendale Aunt Widow 78 years Scotland
Edward Newman Boarder Single 33 years Confectioner Sutton?

The "Free BMD" web-site shows a death registration in Newcastle in 1898 for Eliza Gray, age 88.

The census of England in 1901 shows Peter Corrigal, age 38, a chemist and shopkeeper, living at Elswick (near Newcastle) with his wife Jane and son Peter, age 4. The two Margaret Andersons, mother and daughter, were still in Newcastle. The mother was listed as "wife", not "head", although her husband was not present, and the daughter, by this time 26 years old, was listed as a draper's assistant.

No further records have been located for this family.

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