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The Story as I know it

John C. Ray was born March 12, 1810 in Kentucky, probably in Washington County (now Marion County). I don't know where I found his birth date.  The year matches the 1860 Ky Census noted below. His parents were Joseph Ray II, and Peggy Rutter The Livingston County Historical Societies, History and Families has the Ray family story under Charles Ray.  It states that Joseph moved to Washington County with his parents and wed Peggy Rutter in 1797.  They moved to Livingston County KY  in 1815 and lived on Sandy Creek near Burna.

From the will of Joseph Ray , the family had standing in the community, a substanial farm and a number of slaves.  John was probably third born in a family of nine children, with only one known daughter. 

On January 7, 1835, John married Zerelda Culdwell in Caldwell County, KY, the neighboring county to Livingston County.  From Kentucky Pinoeers and their Descendants, lla Earle Fowler, page 303 and from the Ky Archieves and Libraries, we have a copy of the marriage licence.

John took his family to Missouri sometime between 1838 and 1843. We find him on the 1850 Macon County Missouri Census, District 52.  It reads as follows:
John Ray age 45, Farmer value of property $300, born KY
Zerelda, age 34, born KY
Catharine, age 12, born KY
David, age 7, born MO
Mary Z, age 2, born MO.

John's father, Joseph Ray died in November of 1855. The extensive farm and holdings were divided between his sons. The will assigned John Ray guardianship of the youngest son Edmond R. In case John died then son Alfred Ray would act as guardian. The will notes that "Edmond is frequently in an unsound state of mind".  John moved his family back to Livingston County Kentucky to take over the family farm. Livingston County Ky Wills page 157

The 1860 Kentucky Census, Livingston County, Smithland:
John Ray age 50, born in Kentucky
Zerelda 44, born in Kentucky
David C .17, born in Missouri
Mary Z. 12, born in Missouri
Roberta F. 9, born in Missouri
Frances Russell 9, born in Missouri
E.R. Ray 37, born in Missouri - insane

So from this we know that John and Zerelda had  at least five children:
1.  Catharine Ray born 1838 in KY.  She wed Eliazar. G. Leeper Oct. 10,1854.  from Kentucky Marriage Records  1852-1914
2.  David C. Ray born 1843 in Missouri
3.  Mary Z. Ray (probably Zerelda),  born 1848 in Missouri
4.  Roberta Fredonia Ray born 1851 in Missouri, wed Mansfield Burgess
5.  Francis Russell Ray born 1851 in Missouri, twin to Roberta.

According to my notes, John Ray died Sept. 22, 1868 in Livingston County.  His wife died two years later.  They are buried in Lower Leeper Cemetery.  Their tombstones read

John C. Ray   12 mar 1810   22 Sept 1868

Zerelda Ray, wife of J.C.   1 Jan 1816    20 Sept 1870


If you know the answer please CONTACT US.

                                      1.  Get deed for the Ray farmland


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ast Saved on: 7/16/2011