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Hoping someone will recognise the Wray family of Raymoghy / Raphoe.

Samuel Wray, of Raphoe (1772 - ca. 1840) fought in the Napoloeonic wars, losing his sight at the Battle of the Pyrenees.
After he died, his widow Elizabeth Dun (from Scotland), and their son William (born in 1820 at Sheskin, Raymoghy) emigrated to Pennsylvania.
Their other son, Samuel Alexander Wray, of Manorcunningham, married Rebecca Steen in 1838.
He was a tailor. In 1843 they were living in Slievebuck, Raphoe. In 1846, Sheskin, Raymoghy. By 1850 they were living in Derry, where Samuel was now a policeman - probably in the Londonderry Borough Police.

For unknown reasons, their youngest son William Wray emigrated - apparently on his own, in 1856, 10 years old - to Pennsylvania to live with his grandmother and uncle.
At 17, William enlisted in the US Marines during the Civil War. In the 1870's, he wrote to his brother Samuel Wray, offering to send him a ticket to come over to America.
By that time the father had probably died and Samuel, his wife Sarah Davis, his sister Margaret Jane Wray and their mother had moved to Port Glasgow, Scotland. Samuel didn't take him up on his offer, and William never saw the rest of his family again. He died aged 92 in 1939 in Pennsylvania, where his decendants still live today.

Only one of Samuel Alexander Wray and Rebecca Steen's children remained in Ireland - Catherine Wray, who married a William Hutchison and died in Coleraine in 1919.

The family switched frequently between Presbyterian and Church of Ireland. My ancestor, Margaret Jane Wray married first a William Douglas, then a William John McCarthy in a Catholic church in Derry, and finally remarried in the Church of Scotland.

Here's a link to what I have on Samuel Alexander Wray - you can browse his relatives from there.


Sunday 16th October 2016, 05:37PM

Message Board Replies

  • Welcome to Ireland Reaching Out and apologies for the delay in getting back to you.

    I hope someone with a connection to the family will be in touch. In the meantime, I wanted to invite you to add your ancestor's details to our XO Chronicles. You can learn more about it HERE and it might be another avenue to consider so that your ancestor's details can be seen by others. 

    It might be a good idea too, to keep an eye on the Early Birth and Marriage Index. It is updated regularly and if your ancestor doesn't appear now, they may in the future.

    Best wishes

    Clare Doyle

    Genealogy Support 

    Clare Doyle

    Tuesday 25th October 2016, 01:48PM
  • I have found one Wray family to date in researching Raymoghy, although they are not based in the parish. The census links to this CoI family can be found from this Wikitree profile.


    Tuesday 10th April 2018, 12:22PM
  • since that link did not work!


    Tuesday 10th April 2018, 12:23PM
  • Thanks. I notice the first names Alexander and Rebecca which were also frequently used in my Wray family. It's probably very difficult to trace a connection, though - I think I have found all the children and grandchildren of Samuel Wray, born around 1772. I'm sure all Wrays in Donegal were related ( see 'The Wrays of Donegal, Londonderry and Antrim'., Charlotte Violet Trench) one of the early planters had as I recall 12 sons - the book mostly tracesa the oldest son in each generation.


    Sunday 15th April 2018, 02:34PM