February 3, 2014

Allen H. Ray, 1859 - 1936, Wake County, NC

My 2nd great grandfather on my maternal side, Allen H. RAY was born on 11 Nov 1859 in Johnston County, North Carolina, as the fifth child of James A. RAY and Martha Sarah (Sallie) GREEN. I'm curious to know how be got from Johnston County to the north end of Wake County in New Light, NC.

He had at least six siblings:

  1. Sadus/Sardi
  2. John
  3. Wesley G
  4. James Wiley
  5. William Aaron
  6. Sarah A.
When he was 26, Allen married Martha Hawkins PEARCE,daughter of George Wesley PEARCE and Elizabeth Caroline PERRY, on 03 Dec 1885 in Wake County, North Carolina. Their first child, Elizabeth, was born about a year later.

Allen shows up on all the right census records:

  • 1860: North Western District, Wake County, age 9 months.
  • 1870: New Light, NC at age 10 
  • 1880: New Light, NC at age 20. He was still single and living with his parents.  
  • 1890:  Census burned. Bummer.
  • 1900:  New Light, NC at age 40. This time he shows up with a wife and kids.  
  • 1910: New Light, NC at age 50. 
  • 1920: Apparently the family moved on down the road to Brassfield in Granville County, NC. He was 62. 
  • 1930: He had moved back to New Light, age 70. 

Allen H. RAY and Martha Hawkins PEARCE had five children:

  1. Elizabeth RAY, born  24 Dec 1886 in Wake County. She died on 18 Apr 1928 in New Light at age 40 in childbirth. She married Eugene Narron ALLEN on 02 Jul 1904 in Wake County. These were my great grandparents. 
  2. Mary Frances RAY born 13 May 1889 in Wake County. She died 14 Dec 1939 in Youngsville, Franklin County, NC. She married Johnnie O'NEAL in 1908 at her father's home.
  3. James Arthur RAY born 11 Oct 1893 in Wake County. He died on 22 Jan 1957 in Wake County.
  4. Arthur I RAY born about 1895 in Granville County. He died on 22 Jan 1957 in Wake County.
  5. Loretta Jessie RAY born on 30 May 1907 in Wake County. She died on 07 Feb 1992 in Wake County at the age of 84. She married William Graham O'NEAL on 11 Jan 1926. 

Grandpa Allen worked all his life as a farmer. He probably spent a life time farming someone else's land however, I can't find any record that he ever owned land in Granville or Wake County.

Allen died on 26 Oct 1936 in New Light at the age of 76 of heart failure. His wife was 64 when Allen died. She lived another 17 years without him.

Allen is buried in the Smith-Perry Cemetery (also called the Smith Family Cemetery) in Wake Forest, NC. It is located at the corner of Purnell Road (SR 1909) and Hinton Road (SR 1916).  His son James and wife Beulah are also buried there with their son Woodrow, who died in infancy in 1918. 


  1. My great-grandfather was Allen Ray. His youngest child, Loretta Jessie was my grandmother. I was raised in Raleigh, but have lived in Wake Forest for 25 years. We
    are distantly related! My mother is Liberty O'Neal , daughter of Loretta and William Graham O'Neal. Connie S. Flynn

  2. A new cousin! I love that! We should chat - I love to collaborate and share!

  3. Wesley G Ray is my great great great grandpa. reckon you're kin with me too, lol. according to a software program that i have, there are about 100,000 people between me and my great great grandpa, so yep, we got lots of kin.