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Introduction / Eday and Papa Westray Grays / John Gray

William Gray and Margaret Corrigall

William Gray was staying with his widowed father, John Gray, at Cocklehouse in Eday in 1861. He was then 22 years old.

He married Margaret Corrigall, the daughter of John Corrigall from Unigarth in Sandwick in the West Mainland of Orkney, sometime in the early 1860s. There is no record of their marriage in Eday and it is not known how a Gray from Eday met and married a Corrigall from Sandwick. There would have been very little communication between the island and the West Mainland parish.

William Gray and Margaret Corrigall had five children who were all born in Eday:

  • Ann Grey b. 19th September 1863 who married John Drummond
  • John Grey b. 28th December 1864. John never married and stayed at Stackiegeo with his youngest sister. He died there on 19th June 1929.
  • Mary Grey b. 13th June 1868. She never married, stayed at Stackiegeo with her brother John Gray and died on 4th October 1927.

William was clearly married and they had their first daughter before his father died in 1864. He and his family stayed at Stackiegeo in the South End of Eday and can be seen there from the 1871 census. Like his father, he was a fisherman and crofter.

Margaret Corrigall died on 23rd February 1900 while William Gray lived for another 19 years, dying on 5th April 1919 at the age of eighty years. A gravestone in the old kirkyard in Eday records the deaths of William and Margaret, James Gray (William's brother) and William and Margaret's daughter, Mary Gray.

Erected By William Gray
In Memory of His Beloved Wife
Margaret Corrigall,
Who Died 23rd Feby 1900
Aged 64 Years
Also His Brother James Gray
Who Died 3rd April 1869
Aged 27 Years
Also the Above William Gray
Who Died 5th April
And His Daughter Mary Gray
Who Died 4th October 1927, Aged 59 Years.

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