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Introduction / Eday and Papa Westray Grays / John Gray

John Gray and Ann Spence Sclater

John Gray (b. 16th November 1834), the son of John Gray and Janet Scott, was at home with his father at Swartmill in Eday at the time of the 1841 census. By 1851, he was a servant (aged 17) at Brunton, the home of John Peace and Jean Cooper. John Peace is described as a fisherman and farmer of 4 acres employing one labourer. That agricultural labourer was John Gray.

John married Ann Spence Sclater (b. 16th February 1830) from Sanday and they were staying in what was called "Street Houses" in Sanday in 1861, with their first son, also John Gray. Ann was a daughter of James Sclater and Barbara Miller.

John was a ploughman. He and Ann Sclater had six of a family, the earlier ones being born in Sanday and the later ones after they moved in to Kirkwall:

  • James Gray (b. 5th February 1862, Sanday). He died on 19th March 1912 in Sanday.
  • Peter Gray (b. 19th August 1864, Sanday)
  • Barbara Gray (b. 27th September 1867, Sanday) married William Flett. She died on 30th April 1944 in Kirkwall.
  • Janet Gray (b. 13th October 1871, Kirkwall)
  • George William Gray (b. 1st February 1874, Kirkwall)

The family were in Kirkwall by 1871 staying "Off Bridge St West" and the household included Ann's sister, Margaret Miller Sclater (b. 11th April 1815, Sanday).

1871 - Off Bridge St West, Kirkwall
Relation Age Born
John Gray Head 36 years Eday
Ann Gray Wife 40 years Sanday
John Gray Son 11 years Sanday
James Gray Son 9 years Sanday
Peter Gray Son 6 years Sanday
Barbara Gray Dau 3 years Sanday
Margaret Sclater Sister in Law 55 years Sanday

John worked at loading and unloading ships. In the 1871 census, he is described as a porter and in 1881 as a shore porter. The occupation of his son, James Gray, is given as shipping clerk in 1881. John and Ann stayed in the lower half of the town, being at 12 Bridge St in 1881, 15 Bridge St Close in the following census and had moved, but just as far as 7 Albert St by 1901. Their son, John Gray lived close by with his family.

James Gray was still living with his parents in 1901, aged thirty five. Both James and his father, who was sixty seven by then, are described as harbour porters. John and Ann's son, George William Gray was also living with them. He was twenty seven and his occupation given as a grocer's warehouseman.

John Gray died in Kirkwall on 23rd August 1901. Both John and Ann are interred in the kirkyard surrounding St Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall. Their son, James Gray was interred with them.

Erected In Loving Memory Of
John Gray
Who Died 23rd August 1901
Aged 67 Years
His Wife, Ann S Slater
Who Died 25th Feb 1907, aged 75 Years
Also Their Son, James,
Who Died 19th March 1912
Aged 50 Years.

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