(1809-1884), who went by the name "Green," was born in 1809
in North Carolina. He had moved with his parents Henry and Martha Bray to
Mississippi after some Indian lands were opened up for settlement. Apparently
they had first settled in Greene County, Alabama for a few years, and here
Greenville Bray married Lavina Lucinda Smith (1814-1883); they took out their
marriage license on January 28, 1834. It is not known who her parents were,
but in the census of 1880 she stated that her mother was born in South Carolina
and her father was born in Scotland. Green Bray was a farmer in Mississippi.
He had owned a few slaves before the Civil War.
In this area of Mississippi many people were very
poorly educated, but the Brays could read and write. They read the Bible
in their home. The children each got at least a couple years of schooling. A
few of them were sent to school each year, and they passed the lessons on to
the others at home.
Green Bray and his wife Lavina had 16 children, two of whom later joined
the LDS Church and came to Utah on the train with their families in 1888. The
anti-Mormon sentiment was very strong in the South at that time, and the mob
actually drove them out, which really caused some bad feelings between the Brays
who went to Utah and the ones who stayed in Mississippi. The two brothers who
joined the Church were John Alexander Bray (1846-1908)
and George Washington Bray (1853-1922), the 7th and 11th children in their
parents' family. John Alexander Bray had married Irene Roland Berry in 1872,
and George Washington Bray had married Masina Alice McKnight in 1877.
John Alexander Bray's wife, Irene Roland ("Molly") Berry, also had family who
joined: her parents, two married brothers and their families, and a younger
brother and sister.
by Karen Bray Keeley
by Sandra Shuler Bray