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Introduction / Eday and Papa Westray Grays / John Gray / William Gray and Margaret Corrigall

William Reid Gray and Margaret Sinclair Fea

William Reid Gray was the second son of William Gray and Margaret Corrigall. William was born and brought up at Stackiegeo in Eday and can be seen there in each of the census from 1871 to 1891. He was 26 at the time of the 1891 census and described as a fisherman. His father was still alive and his occupation was crofter and fisherman.

He married Margaret Sinclair Fea (b. 12th September 1870), a daughter of James Fea and Mary Kemp and they subsequently lived at the Ruah on Eday. The Feas had come to Eday via Rousay from Stronsay.

The Ruah was adjacent to Stackiegeo, down by the shore in the South End of the island. It is a bit to the west, in the direction of the Sands O'Green.

William Gray and Margaret Fea had eight children:

  • William (Willie) Gray born on 4th February 1893; died 29th February 1968. Willie was a Farm Servant at Berstane (on outside Kirkwall), Greentoft (Eday), and Newark (Sanday) and served in the Seaforth Highlanders. He married Isabella (Bella) Stevenson and they had seven children.
  • James Fea Gray was born on 14th March 1894; died 18th August 1973 at the Ruah, Eday. James was the last Gray to live at Ruah, Eday.
  • Mary Kemp Gray was born on 1st December 1895. Mary married Angus McColl and they had two children They lived in Duror, Argyllshire.
  • Maggie Ann Gray was born on 23rd June 1897 and married Balfour Leigneer Craigie Rendall
  • Jemima (Mimma / Mimmie) Ross Gray was born on 6th August 1899. She married David Allan and had two children. Later she married Pat/Peter Shearer (no children). She died on 25th February 1982.
  • Samuel Gray was born on 7th August 1903. Never married. He died on 31st May 1936 (off Shapinsay in a boat going to hospital)
  • Jane Shearer (Jeannie) Gray was born on 13th July 1904. She died on 27th October 1995. Jeannie married John (Johnny) Sinclair Duncan Milne (1880 - 1966) in 1935. They had two children. Johnny was from Papay and farmed at Upperfield in St Ola. He also delivered coal for John Jolly, Coal Merchant in Kirkwall.
  • George Byres (Doddie) Gray was born on 26th May 1907. He married Annie Jean Harcus and they had two children. They farmed in Stenness in the West Mainland.

William had a large household at the Ruah, even by the time of the 1901 census as, in addition to the children already born, his mother in law and sister in law were also staying there.

Rowa [Ruah], Eday

Relation Age Occupation Born
William Gray Head 34 years Crofter Eday
Maggie Gray Wife 30 years Eday
William Gray Son 8 years Scholar Eday
James F Gray Son 7 years Scholar Eday
Mary K Gray Daughter 5 years Eday
Maggie Ann Gray Daughter 4 years Eday
Jemima Gray Daughter 2 years 52 years Eday
Mary Fea Mother in Law 77 years Aberdeenshire
Mary Fea Sister in Law 44 years Rousay

William stayed at the Ruah, where he died on died on 19th July 1942. Margaret Sinclair Fea died thirteen years later on 1st March 1955. They are interred in the Old Kirkyard in Eday.

In Loving Memory of
William R Gray
Dearly Beloved Husband
of Margaret S Fea
Who Died At Ruah 19th July 1942
Aged 75 Years.
Also the Above Margaret S Fea
who Died 1st March 1955
Aged 84 Years.

Erected By His Widow

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