Friday, January 27, 2023

52 Ancestors - Week 465: #742 Samuel Gray (1682-1712) of Plymouth, Massachusetts and Little Compton, Rhode Island

Samuel Gray (1682-1712)  is #742 on my Ahnentafel List, my 7th great-grandfather, who married #743  Deborah Church (1677-1752) in 1699 in Little Compton, Rhode Island.

I am descended through:

*  their daughter, #371 Lydia Gray (1707-????) , who married #370 Joseph Ladd (1701-1748), in 1731
*  their daughter #185 Elizabeth "Betsy" Ladd (1735-1814), married #184 Benedict Oatley (1732-1821) in 1755.
*  their son # 92 Joseph Oatley (1756-1815), married #95 Mary Hazard (1765-1857) in 1781.
*  their son #46 Jonathan Oatley (1790-1872), married #47 Amy Champlin (1798-1865) in 1813.
*  their daughter #23 Amy Frances Oatley (1826-1864), married #22 Henry Arnold White (1824-1885) who married in 1844.
*  their daughter #11 Julia E. White (1848-1913) who married #10 Thomas Richmond (1848-1917) in 1868.
*  their daughter #5 Alma Bessie Richmond (1882-1962) who married #4 Frederick Walton Seaver (1876-1942) in 1900.
*  their son #2 Frederick Walton Seaver (1911-1983) who married #3 Betty Virginia Carringer (1919-2002) in 1942.
*  their son #1 Randall Jeffrey Seaver (1943-living)


1)  PERSON (with source citations as indicated in brackets):

*  Name:                     Samuel Gray[1–6]

*  Sex:                        Male

*  Father:                    Edward Gray 1623-1681
*  Mother:                  Dorothy Lettice 1633-1726

2)  INDIVIDUAL EVENTS (with source citations as indicated in brackets):

*  Birth:                      1682, Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States[1]

*  Death:                     23 March 1712 (about age 30), Little Compton, Newport, Rhode Island, United States[1,3-4]
*  Burial:                     after 23 March 1712 (after about age 30), Old Commons Burial Ground, Little Compton, Newport, Rhode Island, United States[4]

*  Probate:                  2 April 1712 (about age 30), will proved; Bristol, Massachusetts, United States[5–6]

3)  SHARED EVENTS (with source citations as indicated in brackets):

*  Spouse 1:                 Deborah Church 1676-1752
*  Marriage 1:              13 July 1699 (about age 17), Little Compton, Newport, Rhode Island, United States[1–2]

*  Child 1:                    Samuel Gray 1700-1764
*  Child 2:                    John Gray 1701-1702
*  Child 3:                    Dorothy Gray 1704-1740
*  Child 4:                    Joseph Gray 1706-1706
*  Child 5:                    Lydia Gray 1707-    
*  Child 6:                    Simeon Gray 1709-1742
*  Child 7:                    Ignatius Gray 1711-1712

4)  NOTES (with source citations as indicated in brackets):    

Samuel Gray was born in 1682 in Plymouth, Massachusetts, the son and last child of Edward and Dorothy (Lettice) Gray[1].  

He married Deborah Church (1677-1752) on 13 July 1699 in Little Compton, Rhode Island[1-2].  She was the daughter of Joseph and Mary (Tucker) Church of Hingham, Massachusetts.

Samuel and Deborah had seven children, all recorded in the Little Compton town records:

*  Samuel Gray (1700-1764), married 1721 Hannah Kent (1702-1769).
*  John Gray (1701-1702).
*  Dorothy Gray (1704-1740), married (1) Samuel Throop (1700-1726); (2) 1729 Ebenezer Hyde (1702-1742).
*  Joseph Gray (1706-1706).
*  Lydia Gray (1707-????), married 1731 Joseph Ladd (1701-1748).
*  Simeon Gray (1709-1742), married 1731 Ann Hide (1713-1773).
*  Ignatius Gray (1711-1712).

The Samuel Gray family resided in Musquosh Hollow in Little Compton[1].

Samuel Gray died on 23 March 1712 in Little Compton, Rhode Island[3-4].  He is buried in Old Commons Burial Ground in Little Compton.

Samuel wrote a will on 20 March 1712 which was proved in Bristol County, Massachusetts Probate Court on 2 April 1712.  The will says:

The Samuel Gray family resided in Musquosh Hollow in Little Compton.

Samuel Gray died testate, having written a will dated 20 March 1712, which was proved 2 April 1712[5-6].  
"In the Name of God Amen  The twentyeth day of March in the year of Our Lord one thousand seven hundred & twelve  I Samuel Grey of Little compton in the County of Bristoll in her Majesties Province of Massachusetts Bay in New England, yeoman, being very sick and weak in body but of perfect mind & memory Thanks be given to God therefore Calling to mind the Mortallity of my body and knowing that it is appointed for all men once to dye Do make & ordain this my Last will and Testament That is to say Principally and first of all I give & recomend my soule into the hands of God that gave it & my body I Recommend unto Earth to be buried in Decent & Christian mann-r at ye Discresion of my Exect-r, Nothing doubting but at the general Resurection I shall Receive the same by the Almighty power of God. And as Touching my worldly Estate wherew-th it has pleased God to bless me in this life I give & Devise & Dispose of the same in the following maner and form.

"Imp's.  I give and bequeath unto Deborah Grey my Dearly Beloved wife the Improvem't of my whole Estate both Real and personall for her own and her Childrens maintenance so long as she haves my name or Remaines my widow and do allso Constitute make & ordain Her and my beloved brother Thomas Grey Joynt Executors of this my last will & Testament. Item my will is y't if my wife after my decease do see cause to Marry again that then she shall have one hundred pounds Currant money of this Province payd to her out of my Estate and shall quit her Right, tithe, interest & ronrom [?] to & with any of the rest of my Estate.

"Item.  My will is that after my wives Marrying or Deceaseing the whole of my Estate Excepting the one Hundred pounds given unto her be divided among my Children in man'r and form following, viz.  I give to my Eldest & beloved son Samuel Gray three Hundred pounds.  Item I give to my Beloved son Simeon Grey one Hundred pounds.  Item I give to my Beloved son Ignatius Grey one Hundred pounds.  I give to my Beloved Daughter Dorothy one Hundred pounds.  Item I give to my Beloved Daughter Lidiah one Hundred pounds.

"Item  My will is that if my Estate be found worth more than Eight Hundred pounds after all my lawfull debts and funerall charges are payd that the Residue be equally divided between my two youngest son Simeon & Ignatius.

"Item My will is that my Execut'rs may when they see cause make sale of my Estate Either Reall or personall for money provided the principall be well served for my Children.

"Item  I do Constitute and appoint my Loveing friends Mr William Pabodie Cap't John Palmer & my Brother John Church to be Overseers of this my last will & Testament and do hereby oblige my Executors (if they sell my lands) to take the Advice & Consent of my overseers in Secureing & Improveing of the money.  And I do hereby Disallow, Revoke & Disannull all & every other former Testaments wills Legacies bequests & Executors by me in any wayes before named willed or bequeathed Rattifying & Confirming this and no other to be my Last will and Testament.  In Witness whereof I have set to my hand and seal the day and year above written.

"Signed sealed published & declared
by the said Samuel Gray as his last will                         Samuel Gray  (seal)
& Testament in the presence of us the
Edward Grey
Jonathan Hood
Richard Billings"

The inventory of the estate of Samuel Grey of Little Compton was taken by John Palmer, John Church and William Pabodie on 2 April 1712.  The inventory ran two pages and totaled 1,138 pounds, 9 shillings, 7 pence, including real estate of:

*   farm and buildings, orchard, fencing (850 pounds)
*   25 acres of outlands (26 pounds)

The personal estate included:

*   wearing apparel (11 pounds, 10 shillings)
*   feather beds, linen,
*  Chest, Table, Chairs and other furniture
*  2 Iron pots, 2 small brass kettles, 2 pewter plates, pots, beakers, plates, 3 porringers, etc.
*  1 pair of worsted combs, 3 pair old cards, 1 woolen wheel, 2 common wheel,
*  1 churn, 1 cradle, 1 cheese press, 1 warming pan
*  a chamber pot, 8 glass bottles
*  a plow, iron chains, iron bars, five hoes, 2 axes, cart wheels pitch forks, etc
*  a Negro man (18 pounds)
*  Silver money (12 pounds, 4 shillings, 7 pence), paper money (28 pounds, 10 shillings)
*  money due (5 pounds, 10 shillings)
*  25 bushels of Indian corn, a barrel and a half of beef
*  3 mares, 14 cows, 1 heifer, 5 two year old, 3 yearlings, 5 calves, 1 pair oxen, etc.

The inventory was presented to the Probate Court on 7 April 1712 and was approved on that day, and recorded on 28 April 1712[5-6].

No accounting was recorded in the Court of the legacies to the children of Samuel and Deborah Gray, who were all under age when Samuel Gray made his will and died.

On 3 June 1713, Deborah Throope, the late wife of Samuel Grey of Little Compton deceased, but the now wife of Danl Throope of Bristol stated that she had received the 100 pounds due her by the will of Samuel Grey, and that she quits her rights, titles, and interests in the estate of Samuel Grey.  It was recorded on 3 November 1713 by the Court[5-6].

The Accounts of Deborah Thrope (formerly Deborah Grey) and Thomas Grey, the executors of the estate of Samuel Grey, were presented to the Probate Court on 3 November 1713.  Additional debts were received, and a long list of small debts were paid out[5-6].


1. Benjamin Franklin Wilbour, Little Compton Families ( Little Compton, R.I.: Little Compton Historical Society, 1967), page 294, #6 Samuel Gray (1682-1712) family sketch.

2. "New England Marriages to 1700," online database with digital images, (New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2008, page 651, Samuel Gray and Deborah Church marriage entry, 13 July 1699.

3. James N. Arnold, Vital Record of Rhode Island, 1636-1850, First Series, Births, Marriages and Deaths : a Family Register for the People (Providence, R.I.: Narragansett Historical Publishing Co., 1891-1912), "Vol. 4, Newport County, Births, Marriages, Deaths, Little Compton Births and Deaths," page 119, Samuel Gray death entry, 23 March 1712.

4. Find A Grave, indexed database and digital image,  (, Old Commons Burial Ground (Little Compton, R.I.), Samuel Gray memorial # 28839554.

5. Bristol County [Mass.] Register of Probate, "Bristol County (Mass.) Probate Records, 1686-1880," American Ancestors (, Case 11298 (6 images), estate papers of Samuel Gray of Little Compton, 1712.

6. Bristol County, Massachusetts, Probate Court Records, "Probate Records, 1687-1916; Index, 1687-1926," FamilySearch (, on 199 FHL US/CAN Microfilm rolls; original records at Probate Registry, Taunton, Mass., Volume 3, Pages 88-90, Samuel Gray estate papers, on FHL Microfilm 0,461,882.


NOTE:  Amy Johnson Crow suggested a weekly blog theme of "52 Ancestors" in her blog post 
 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks on the No Story Too Small blog in 2014.  I have extended this theme in 2023 to 520 Ancestors in 520 Weeks.

Copyright (c) 2023, Randall J. Seaver

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