Gray family papers
New Search | Return to Search Results

Gray family papers

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center. 130 West Paces Ferry Road, Atlanta, GA 30305. 404.814.4040.
Creator: Gray, Alson W., 1889-1918
Creator: Gray, Alson, 1799-1880
Creator: Gray, Cecil Robbins, 1890-1944
Creator: Gray, Donnan, 1893-1955
Creator: Gray, Elizabeth Crawley Irwin, b. 1829
Creator: Gray, Gilbert Robbins, 1824-1891
Creator: Gray, William A., 1860-1948
Creator: Lovelace, Eva
Title: Gray family papers
Dates: 1839-1917, undated
Quantity: 0.84 linear ft. (2 document cases)
Identification: ahc.MSS593

Biographical/Historical Note

Dr. Gilbert Robbins Gray (1822?-1891) was born in Guilford County, North Carolina, to Reverend Alson Gray (1799-1880) and his wife, Bethiah (1801-1872). He had two brothers, William F. Gray (b. 1826) and James A. Gray (b. 1840), and a sister, Martha L. Gray (b. 1837). Gilbert was a member of the Virginia legislature and Virginia state chairman of the Republican Party in the 1870s. He was a doctor before the Civil War, and then left the profession to become a farmer and tobacconist. Gilbert married Elizabeth (Crawley) Irvine (b.1829) in 1859. Elizabeth Crawley had two brothers, Albert "Berry" A. Crawley and Anderson "Banks" Crawley, and cousins, Pattie and Betty Claughton. Elizabeth and Gilbert had one son, William Alson Gray (1860-1948), who was also in the tobacco trade as a leaf tobacco dealer. William married Mary Elizabeth Willingham (1869-1949) and had three sons: Alson W. Gray (1889-1918), Cecil Robbins Gray (1890-1944), and Donnan Evans Gray (1893-1955).

Scope and Content Note

This collection is composed of correspondence, bills and receipts, schoolwork, and printed materials regarding the Gray family. Correspondence includes that of Gilbert and Elizabeth as well as Gilbert's parents, Alson and Bethiah; his son William; and William's children, Alson, William, and Donnan. Others letters in this collection are written by Elizabeth's cousins, Pattie and Betty Claughton, and Albert "Berry" A. Crawley, her brother. Also included are letters to and from Donnan's friends, including his girlfriend, Eva Lovelace. There are bills and receipts from Gilbert Gray's medical practice: documents pertaining to the transportation and storage of tobacco; household bills; loans; and a bond certificate issued by the Confederate States of America. Most of the legal documents are handwritten and are land transactions, work contracts, taxes, and a marriage contract as well as a signed oath to rejoin the Union and an 1864 exemption from service because of his medical practice. Printed materials include clippings from newspapers and magazines, fliers on political matters in Virginia, documents about the pricing of tobacco, and Gilbert Gray's obituary.


This collection is arranged alphabetically according to titles supplied by staff.

Index Terms

Gray family--Correspondence
Gray, Alson W., 1889-1918
Gray, Alson, 1799-1880
Gray, Cecil Robbins, 1890-1944
Gray, Donnan, 1893-1955
Gray, Elizabeth Crawley Irwin, b. 1829
Gray, Gilbert Robbins, 1824-1891
Gray, William A., 1860-1948
Guilford County (N.C.)
Halifax County (Va.)
Halifax County (Va.)--Genealogy
Hampden Sidney College.
Marriage proposals--Virginia
Mullins (S.C.)
Political candidates--Virginia
Political clubs--United States.
Political parties--Virginia
Tobacco workers--United States--History.
Tobacco--United States.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Gray family papers, MSS 593, Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, undated

Description Control

This collection was reprocessed in 2012.


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

Unpublished manuscipts are protected by copyright. All requests to publish, quote, or reproduce must be submitted through the Kenan Research Center.

Related Material

All visual arts materials have been separated from the collection and are unprocessed. Please contact an archivist for access to these materials.

Container List




11Advertisements, 1868-1910, undated
2Booklets, 1889, 1891, undated
3Business, tobacco trade, 1859-1914, undated
4Clippings, 1864-1887, undated
5Correspondence, 1840-1849
6Correspondence, 1850-1859
7Correspondence, 1860-1869
8Correspondence, 1870-1879
9Correspondence, 1880-1889
10Correspondence, 1890-1899
11Correspondence, 1900-1915



21Correspondence, undated
2Legal documents, 1855-1892, undated
3Education, 1839-1912, undated
4Political materials, 1889-1911
5Receipts, 1833-1849
6Receipts, 1850-1859
7Receipts, 1860-1869
8Receipts, 1870-1879
9Receipts, 1880-1889
10Receipts, 1890-1899
11Receipts, 1900-1917
12Receipts, undated
13Soap and dye, instructions and advertisements, undated