GRAY family from West Lothian, Scotland in 1830
To Edinburgh, Scotland in 1905, then to Canada
A Case Study in Scottish-Canadian Genealogy
By Taylor Kennedy

December 1, 2010:

Thanks to Taylor Kennedy for the following detailed example of how to trace your Scottish ancestors in Canada.

Hi Al
Bytown or Bust in general is mainly Irish origins. On the weekend I was completing information on Cheryl's great
grandfather who sailed from Scotland in 1905. I tracked this family online throughout Scotland. At first it was 
difficult but once I saw a pattern on naming places and referring to a Parish map it became very easy.
... Taylor

Tracking family can be challenging at times, in particular overseas and especially when the foreign Governments make things complicated. The utilization of census reports is a useful tool however as stated by "Unfortunately, we are unable to display the accompanying images of this census at present, despite extensive negotiation with the General Register Office for Scotland. Permission from them has not, as yet, been forthcoming. For this reason, and to enable you to continue with your family history research, Ancestry has heavily transcribed the Scottish Census records to ensure you have access to all key areas of information contained within this collection." I have maintained the information integrity as I travelled through the Parish's in Scotland to find Richard Gray's great grandparents and where his family originated from. In the pedigree lineage, I can safely say his grandfather was James Gray born in the year of 1830 in Dalmeny, West Lothian, Scotland. Now either his parents had died or moved before the 1841 census but I could not locate him through 1100 people with a surname "GRAY" in this area. I pick him up in the 1851 census, married and living with his Aunt and Uncle John & Jane Taylor on the Dunmore Ross farm in Airth, Stirlingshire. James Gray's wife given name is Jane and they have a son John T. Gray born 1851 in Airth, Stirlingshire. They were classed as Nephew, Niece and nephew to the Taylor's which didn't specify who the actual blood relative was. I returned to the 1841 census to see the Taylor family 10 years earlier and Jane Neill was 11 years old living with them and Jane Taylor's surname may have been Neill and in saying that, Jane Neill Jr. married James Gray November 17, 1850 in Airth, Stirlingshire. James and Jane Gray remained on the farm until 1856 and moved to Larbert, Stirlingshire, where James became an Iron Works labourer. Son William Gray was born in 1857 in Larbert, Stirlingshire making them a family of 6, two boys and two girls. Living on Carron Street. The next two children born were Richard in 1861 and Thomas in 1864. James left the Iron industry for some reason shortly after and moved the clan to West Lothain, Parish of Abercorn, Scotland. The last 2 children were born in this county, Sarah in 1867 and Alexander in 1871. James was now an Agricultural labourer living on the Stading Manerston Farm with a wife, 3 girls and 5 boys. The family in brief is as follows; GRAY, James b. 1830, Dalmeny, West Lothian, Scotland - married 17 Nov 1850 GRAY nee Neill, Jane b. 1830, Airth, Stirlingshire, Scotland - married 17 Nov 1850 GRAY, John T. b. 1850, Airth, Stirlingshire, Scotland GRAY, Mary b. 1853, Airth, Stirlingshire, Scotland GRAY, Jane b. 1855, Airth, Stirlingshire, Scotland - married Mr. Peden in Fifeshire GRAY, William b. 1857, Larbert, Stirlingshire, Scotland GRAY, Richard, b. 1861, Larbert, Stirlingshire, Scotland - Mary Dearden's father-in-law GRAY, Thomas b. 1864, Larbert, Stirlingshire, Scotland GRAY, Sarah b. 1867, Abercorn, West Lothian, Scotland GRAY, Alexander b. 1871, Abercorn, West Lothian, Scotland Richard Gray married Jane Allen, daughter of David Allen and Jane Clark. She was born in Larbert, Stirlingshire in 1861 and married circa 1879 in Larbert, Stirlingshire and one son was born there, James Gray born 1880, then the family moved to Mid Lothian, Edinburgh, St. Cuthberts Parish, lived on Darly Road, Whites Buildings. By the time the 1891 census was filled out, the family relocated to 25 Maxwell Street, now renamed as Duff Street. Joining the family were George born 1883, Jane born in 1885, Joan in 1887 and Richard in 1889. The family moved to 2 Roseburn Street in Edinburgh, in 1891 and had one more member added to the family, who was Mary in 1892. The first born, James Gray who was born in 1880, must have died before the 1891 census as he is not listed with the family. In brief the family in 1901 is as follows; GRAY, Richard b. 1862, Larbert, Stirlingshire, Scotland - married circa 1879 GRAY, nee Allen, Jane b. 1862, Larbert, Stirlingshire, Scotland - married circa 1879 GRAY, James b. 1880, Larbert, Stirlingshire, Scotland - died before 1891 GRAY, George b. 1883, Edinburgh, Mid Lothian, Scotland GRAY, Jane b. 1885, Edinburgh, Mid Lothian, Scotland GRAY, Joan b. 1887, Edinburgh, Stirlingshire, Scotland GRAY, Richard b. 1889, Edinburgh, Mid Lothian, Scotland - married Mary Dearden GRAY, Mary b. 1892, Edinburgh, Mid Lothian, Scotland Be aware the above birth years are approximated by age in the census, for example Richard b. 1889 above was actually born April 20, 1888. On May 8th, 1905 or there about, Richard Gray and family boarded the S.S. Sicilian, railway #2723 and sailed from Glasgow to Canada, arriving at a Port of Quebec on May 17, 1905 and from there made the way to Toronto, residing in York South, Swansea. On the ship docket, Richard Jr. occupation was classed as a Mason and upon arriving in Toronto became a Motorman. Five years later Richard Gray and Mary Ann Dearden married on December 15, 1910. Sister, Mary Gray was a witness and in March of the following year, contracted Typhoid fever and with a second contributory cause of Toxaemia, she passed away on March 19, 1911 at the age of 19 years. The death registration # 035240. She was a house worker and lived on Elizabeth Street in Swansea. From the 1911 census for Ontario, York South, Swansea, District 138, page 22, the father Richard Gray, age 50, labourer for Bolt Works, born April 1860 and his wife Jane Gray, age 50 with no occupation and born January 1860. Three children remain with them and they are George Gray, age 29, labourer for Bolt Works, born June 1881, daughter Jane aka Jean, age 27, labourer for a Rubber Company, born May 1883 and daughter Joan Gray, age 25, a Dressmaker working out of the house, born May 1885, all from Edinburgh, Scotland. This census was taken in April of 1911, one month after Mary died. The address is listed as Lot 38 and son Richard Gray and Mary Ann Dearden are living on Lot 39, in Swansea, York South. The final family event that took place in 1911 was the marriage of Jane Gray a.k.a. Jean who was 27 years in age. She was living at 184 Dowling Avenue, Swansea and married CHARLES HORATIO FOX WIGGINS, age 28 years old, a shoemaker, son of William Joseph Wiggins and Bessie Florinda Hastings. His residence at the time of the marriage was 39 Sheridan Avenue, Toronto. The witnesses were Charles siblings. There is no record of George marrying but there is a George Gray born in Scotland June 24, 1881 who enlisted in WWI and next to kin was his wife Mrs. George Gray of 93 Tecumseh Street, Toronto. I don't know if this is the son of Richard Gray and Jane Allen but the year and month of his birth is the same. I think for the purpose of record, I will add him along with his brothers Attestation Paper information in the event he is the son of Richard Gray and Jane Allen. Canada has arrived at the beginning of WWI in 1915 and the call for all able bodies to enlist and fight for freedom and country, both men and women. Richard Gray, a motorman, felt it was his duty to take on the challenge for his new country and enlisted after much discussion with his wife and friends, enlisted on July 19, 1915 for the Overseas Expeditionary Forces, regimental number 135490. Born in Edinburgh, Scotland on April 20th, 1888, his next of kin was his wife, Mary Gray, residing at 122 West Lodge in Toronto. Richard was 27 years old, stood 5' 7 ½" with an expanded chest of 37", the range being 4" from rest. His complexion was dark, eyes brown and hair was Auburn. His distinctive mark was his appendicitis scar. Consider fit for duty by Captain John Graham, Medical Officer at the Toronto Armouries.
Richard Gray is on the right in Uniform, WWI. Richard Gray, wearing kilt in WWI
Richard was a TTC Streetcar driver that he obtained after coming home from the war. He was headed south on Bathurst for the lakeshore loop. The brakes failed and there was an accident to happen within minutes. He assisted all of his passengers to the back of the streetcar and he returned to the front to try to avoid the collision some how. He died later in the day from his injuries. Age was 32 years old. Ironically he went through the war without a scratch. His profession was Motorman and worked for the Toronto Street Railway company. The records show that he died at Toronto Western Hospital. No autopsy was performed. The coroner was George W. Graham of 255 Avenue Road. The Undertaker was W.H Bickley of 913 Yonge Street. From the Ontario Archives : Newspaper archives for the Toronto World N96, from the front page of February 02, 1920, Monday morning news. HEADING _ _ MOTORMAN DIES FROM INJURIES Sub heading - - George (Richard) Gray, Driver of Car Which Jumped Tracks, Passes Away!!!! Motorman George (Richard) Gray of the Queen car which skidded from the rails at Queen and Bathurst streets Saturday morning and collided with a Bathurst car, died Saturday night in the Western Hospital. Gray was driving a westbound car and nearing the crossing, he applied the brakes but the car skidded 50 feet, rearing the platform of a northbound Bathurst car from the tracks. Estella Wilson: 40 Niagara Street, a passenger on the Queen car, was cut about the face with glass and about 25 other passengers were shaken up. Gray had both legs broken and was injured internally when he was crushed against the motor of the car. His condition grew serious at 9 o'clock Saturday night and at 9:30 he died. Gray was a returned man and lived at 124 Paton Road. His presence of mind in pushing Miss Wilson back in the car from the front vestibule probably prevented her from being more seriously injured. Grays body was removed to the morgue, and an inquest will be opened this evening. Please note the paper called him George but his name was Richard and I inserted it above.
Richard Gray was buried with the Military in Prospect Cemetery, in Section 7, Plot # 649. Inscription reads: 74th Battalion In Loving Memory Of Corp. R. Gray Wounded and Gassed 1917 Died Jan. 31, 1920 Age 32 years
George Gray, possible brother to Richard, enlisted on June 29th, 1915 for the Overseas Expeditionary Forces, regimental number A453041. Born in Scotland, June 24, 1881 and his next to kin was his wife, Mrs. George Gray residing at 93 Tecumseh Street in Toronto. He was 34 years old, stood 5' 8" with an expanded chest of 34 ½", range was 2 ½". His complexion was fair, eyes blue and hair was brown. There were no distinctive markings. There is no record for a death of this George through the Veterans Association so we can conclude he was a returned soldier. The next family event took place in 1925. Richard Sr. Gray, wife Jane Allen and daughter Joan Gray sailed to Scotland on the XXXXX S.S Letitia arriving in Glasgow July 11, 1925 and heading to see Jane Peden, Richards's sister in Dumbarnie, Largo, Fifeshire. The visit was for a month and on August 26th, 1925 the family sailed from Glasgow on the S.S. Athenia, Volume 12, and Page 71. They arrived in Quebec September 6th, 1925. Richard was 64 years old, his wife Jane was the same age and daughter Joan, the dressmaker was 39 years old and single. Their abode was listed as 84 Runnymede Street in Swansea. They obtained their passports from Ottawa on May 18, 1925. Richard was #88437, Jane was #88085 and Joan was #86354. This would be the last trip for Jane Allen as she passed away August 3rd, 1930. Jane was 69 years, 6 months and 9 days old when she passed. She was sick from July 26th with Hemplyra for 7 days and Cardio Syncope 2 days. Residence was listed as 82 Runnymede Road, Swansea and was at the residence for 20 years and in Canada for 25 years. Her father was listed as DAVID ALLAN and her mother as JANE CLARK. Jane was buried in Park Lawn Cemetery on August 6th, 1930, section "E", Lot #2, Tier 32. Her death registration number was 040754 and she was born January 25, 1861.
Note: Corp'l Richard Gray is listed here, he is actually buried in Prospect Cemetery Richard Gray, Grave Marker
Here is a site great for the Parish Maps in Scotland -- The maps are good and you can follow the family through the census, where they were born, to final spot in the 1901 census.
The coloured area on the map below (Map 1) are the areas of the early Gray Clan as described above Richard Gray, Map showing origins in Scotland
Map 2 -- Detail of Internal Movement of the Richard Gray family in Scotland Richard Gray, Map showing origins in Scotland
May 14, 2011: We have replaced the previous photo of the SS Sicilian which was shown below, with a correct picture of the Sicilia, c. 1905. The new photo comes from the Norwegian Heritage Web Site Our new web page at www.bytown.homekidsships.htm will discuss the identification of various ships bearing the same name but at different times: Hi, Think you’ve got the wrong Sicilian at the bottom of your page The one in your picture was built about 1948. For the 1905 trip the one you want is at It was an Allan Line ship – Allen Line and all its ships merged into Canadian Pacific about 1909 but the merger wasn’t made public until about 1917. Most obvious differences are Allan’s Sicilian had a quite low bridgework and a near vertical bow. The name “Sicilian” implies nothing, Allan had several ships of the same style and just liked naming them after places; Parisian, Austrian, Manitoban, Brazilian, Polynesian, etc. All the best, ___________________________ Thanks to this researcher from the U.K. who wishes to remain anonymous. S.S. Sicilian, Scotland to Canada in 1905 S.S. Letitia and S.S. Athenia, Scotland to Canada in 1925 Source for international Steamship Pictures is ... Taylor Kennedy

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