The Devon and Dorset Link
When I started to take an interest in the history of my family I did not know where to start. I knew that most of my paternal family lived around Battersea, South London or nearby Wandsworth. I knew my father Wyndham Philip had been born in Lambeth and from stories he had mentioned I knew my Grandfather, Grandmother and Great Grandparents had come from there as well. The first stop was the Lambeth Archives.
I was pleased to find that they had a dedicated family and local history department with helpful staff and most helpful of all. was a full set of the LDS IGI index CDs. I discovered that my Great Grandmother Emma Gray nee Bagwell had died in June 1908 of Brights disease and exhaustion in Lambeth and her husband James Gray had passed away a month Later in the brook street workhouse infirmary in Kennington Lambeth but was surprised to find that James had arrived in Lambeth about 1861 from Honiton Devon with his father Wyndham Gray his Mother Ellen Gray nee Stocker and all his siblings as well as Emma Bagwell who was a distant relative and also born in Honiton
Lambeth housing in the late 1800s early 1900s
This is Belville Rd School Battersea S.W 11where I started at the age of 5 in 1948 until I was nearly 12. Also our daughter Nicola started here in 1972. When we were teenagers I used to attend a youth club held at the school every night and that is where I met my wife Sylvia in 1958
Above is my Great Grandmother Emma Gray nee Bagwell and my Great Grandfather James Gray. James was born in Honiton Devon in 1861. His father was Wyndham Gray born 4th March 1836 in Thornford Dorset and his mother was Ellen Gray nee Stocker born 9th December 1841 in Honiton Devon. Emma was born 3rd October 1861 in Honiton Devon. her father was Nathan Bagwell a Sawyer born 2nd August 1822 in Honiton on Otter and her mother was Mary Banbury born 1828 in Honiton
St. Michaels Honiton where Wyndam and Ellen would have married 22nd May 1859
Wyndham Philip Gray
Although I was surprised to find that Wyndham and James Gray had come to Lambeth from Honiton in Devon, I was even more surprised to find that Wyndham had been born in a small village just outside of Sherbourne Dorset Called Thornford. We owned a small touring caravan so off we went for a holiday near Dorchester where the Dorset Archives are held. We spent a couple of days trawling through the records and found that we could trace the Grays back to an unmarried couple called Abel Moore and Mary Gray. Mary Gray was baptised Molly but always known as Mary even in the Records. Abel Moore Had first married Mary Ryall in 1792 and they had 2 children James Moore and Edmund Moore. Mary then died and Abel then married Sarah Hannam in 1801. (Sarah was the Sister of Mary Gray’s Mother Elizabeth Hannam) and they had 3 children Abel, Arthur and William Moore. Sarah,(Abels second wife) then dies in 1809. The following year in 1810 Mary, who was the niece of Abel’s late wife, gives birth to Thomas Gray who is described in the Parish record as the Bastard son of Abel Moore and Mary Gray. Abel and Mary then went on to have another 10 children all described in the parish records as Baseborn or Bastard children of Abel Moore and Mary Gray. Later on some of Abel and Mary’s children after marrying and having large families of their own Emigrated with their families to Australia and some later generations of Gray’s followed them.
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This is Samson Charles Gray, AKA Charles, son of Henry Gray and Charlotte Gould born 1843 in Thornford but followed his Uncles and cousins to Australia. He married Ann Sophie Loader on the 18th March 1871 in Norwood South Australia and he died in 1897 in Albury N.S.W Australia. Charles and Sophie had 10 Children who were all born in N.S,W. Australia
This is the Grave of Thomas and Hannah Gray (Nee Hunt) who were both born in Thornford but emigrated to Australia in 1849 on the Duke of Roxborough with their 8 surviving children and lived in Woodhouselee Goulburn N.S.W. Thomas died oct 1869 and Hannah died in April 1897 and they are both buried in the Pejar cemetary in N.S.W.
This is St. Mary Magdelene Parish church at Thornford where most of the early Gray’s and Moores would have been Baptised,Married and buried,
And on to Australia and down to Lambeth London.
In the 1881 census Philip is aged 3 and is living with his family at 6 New Wellington Terrace Luscobe St. Lambeth RG11/0605 Folio 36 Page 2 1901 census Philip is living with his widowed Mother at 14 Luscombe St and is aged 23 his occupation is News vendor and is working for himself Philip emigrated to Australia Joined Australian Army 1/11/1916 Pte Gray Philip 6581 2nd MG Brigade Returned to Australia 1/5/1919
This is Philip Gray born 1878 in Lambeth son of Wyndham Gray and brother of James Gray