RICHARD WILEY RAY, 1830-1912

Biography

Richard Wiley Ray was my second-great-grandfather on my paternal side. Today would have been the 103rd anniversary of his passing in 1912.  He was born in Hardeman County, Tennessee in July of 1830. I have not found his family listed on any census yet for 1830 or 1840. His occupation was that of most in the area, a farmer of poor means. He married my second-great-grandmother Martha Ledbetter in 1851 in Wayne County, Tennessee. She was the daughter of James P. Ledbetter and Martha Meadows. It was not until 1870 that they showed up in the census for McNairy County, Tennessee where their daughter Lucy Ray would meet and marry Robert Declave Kendrick, my paternal great-grandfather in 1881. She would bear him one child, James Lacy Kendrick in May of 1884. After her death James Lacy Kendrick was raised between the homes of her sisters Caldonia Ray-May and Florence Ray-James.

1860 U.S. Federal Census

August 23rd, 1860 Census in Seventh Civil District in Dyer County, Tennessee lists R W. Ray, age 29, born in Tennessee. Enumerated with him is his wife, M L., age 26. R W’s occupation is listed as farmer. Their personal estate is valued at $70.00. He is also enumerated with his children, E E E, age 5, N H. C., age 2.

Source Citation: Year: 1860; Census Place: District 7, Dyer, Tennessee; Roll: M653_1248; Page: 360; Image: 126; Family History Library  Film: 805248.

1870 U.S. Federal Census

August 9th, 1870 Census in Tenth Civil District in McNairy County, Tennessee lists Richard W.Ray, age 43, born in Tennessee. Enumerated with him is his wife, Martha L., age 35. Richard’s occupation is listed as farmer and Martha’s occupation is listed as keeping house. Their personal estate is valued at $200.00. Richard, Martha and Nancy are listed as cannot write.He is also enumerated with his children,Nancy H. C., age 12, Martha E., age 9, Lucy F., age 6, and Margarett F., age 3.All of his children are born in Tennessee with the exception of Margaret F.,who was born in Kentucky.

Source Citation: Year: 1870; Census Place: District 10, McNairy, Tennessee; Roll: M593_1549; Page: 314A; Image: 633; Family History Library Film: 553048.

1880 U.S. Federal Census

June 3rd, 1880 Census in Tenth Civil District in McNairy County, Tennessee lists Wiley Wray,age 52, born in Tennessee with both parents listed as born in Tennessee.Enumerated with him is his wife Martha L, age 46, born in Tennessee. Wiley’s occupation is listed as a farmer and Martha’s occupation is listed as keeping house. He is also enumerated with his children, Nancy H. C., age 21, Martha E.,age 19, Lucy F, age 16, Margaret F., age 12, Zilpha, A, age 9. All of his children are born in Tennessee with the exception of Margaret F., who was born in Kentucky. His children Nancy H.C., Martha E. and Lucy F. was listed as having attended school within the census year.

Source Citation: Year: 1880; Census Place: District 10, McNairy, Tennessee; Roll:1268; Family History Film: 1255268; Page: 142C; Enumeration District: 125.

1900 U.S. Federal Census

June 25, 1900 Census in Tenth Civil District in McNairy County, Tennessee lists Richard W.Ray, age 69, born July 1830 in Tennessee with both parents listed as having been born in Tennessee as well. Enumerated with him is his wife, Martha, age 68, born in Jan 1832, in Tennessee. Richard W. and Martha will have been married for 49 years this year. The marriage produced seven children with only four children still living. Richard’s occupation is listed as farmer and he was without work for a period of three months in the census year. He and his wife Martha are listed as being able to read and write. They own the home they are in on their farm. Farm schedule is number 189. They are also enumerated with a boarder named Sarah Tolbert, age 34.

Source Citation: Year: 1900; Census Place: Civil District 10, McNairy, Tennessee;Roll: 1586; Page: 12A; Enumeration District: 0083; FHL microfilm: 1241586.

1910 U.S. Federal Census

May 14, 1910 Census in Tenth Civil District in McNairy County, Tennessee lists R. Wiley Ray,age 79, born in Tennessee. Enumerated is his wife Martha, age 76, born in Tennessee. R. Wiley and Martha would be married for 59 years this year. It is their only marriage.There were seven children born to this union and only four children are living as of this point. R. Wiley’s occupation is listed as farmer on a farm. Farm schedule is number 249. R. Wiley and Martha owned their home on their farm. R. Wiley is listed as able to read but not able to write. Martha couldn’t read or write. Also enumerated with them is their daughters. Dona May,age 52, born in Tennessee, and widowed having had no children.  Florence James, age 43, born in Kentucky, also widowed but having two children with none living.

Source Citation: Year: 1910; Census Place: Civil District 10, McNairy, Tennessee;Roll: T624_1511; Page: 14B; Enumeration District: 0143; FHL microfilm: 1375524.

1912 Death Record and Burial Information

On February 16th,1912 R.W. Ray at the age of 80 years and 7 months passed away in Stantonville, McNairy County, Tennessee. He was born in Bolivar, Hardeman County, Tennessee.His cause of death was listed as Dropsy. He was in life a farmer. His last known attending physician was E.G. Sanders. At the time of his death he was still married to his wife.

Source Citation: Tennessee State Library and Archives; Nashville, Tennessee; Tennessee Death Records, 1908-1959; Roll #: 20.