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Gray family papers

Identifier: ahc.MSS593

Scope and Content

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.


  • 1839-1917, undated


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Unpublished manuscipts are protected by copyright.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.

Administrative/Biographical History

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).


0.84 linear ft. (2 document cases)



System of Arrangement

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

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, undated

Separated Materials

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

Description Control

This collection was reprocessed in 2012.
Laura Starratt
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center Repository

130 West Paces Ferry Road
Atlanta GA 30305