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Matthew Gray Sr. (1691 - 1758)

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Matthew Gray Sr.
Born in County Londonderry, Irelandmap
Ancestors ancestors
[spouse(s) unknown]
Descendants descendants
Father of
Died in Pelham, Worcester County, Massachusetts Colonymap
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Profile last modified 22 Mar 2018 | Created 8 Feb 2018
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Matthew Gray Sr was born in 1691 in Londonderry, Province of Ulster, Northern Ireland. [1]

He was born and grew up in a region where state-sponsored settlements were part of the Plantation (colonization) of the Province of Ulster in Ireland, which had begun in 1609. This scheme, instituted by James VI of Scotland when he became King of England, was intended to confiscate all the lands of the Gaelic Irish nobility in Ulster and to settle the province with Protestant Scottish and English colonists on confiscated land. [2]

Matthew was a fourth-generation Ulster Plantation colonist whose family had resettled to Ulster from Essex, England, in 1640. [1]

Both Ulster-Scots and resettled English weathered the turbulent relocation and colonization, but throughout the 18th century, considerable numbers of Plantation settlers began immigrating to the North American colonies. [2]

This immigration trend is consistent with Matthew Gray Sr's arrival in the Americas in 1718, accompanying his Ulster-born father, John Gray Jr. ,and also bringing his own son, Matthew Jr, age 8. [3, 4]

According to historian Charles Bolton, Matthew Sr’s father “John Gray had land laid out to him by the town's committee November 26, 1718” (page 187). [3]

Olton explains, "Cotton Mather had in mind very early that the emigrants from Ulster would be useful settlers on the frontier. In 1718 the village of Worcester could claim a position on the Massachusetts frontier, although it lay only forty miles from Boston. First settled in 1674, it was deserted in King Philip 's war, 1675, and again in Queen Anne 's war, 1702" (p 178). [3]

But the Ulster Presbysterians "came to act as a buffer against the Indians, and instead of welcome they received surly conversation from the few inhabitants who turned out to meet them (p. 179). [3]

After 1737, according to records reported by Bolton, "The lands now included in the town of Pelham were being opened for settlement, and on the 21st of January, 1738-39, John Stoddard arranged to settle a number of families ... such as were inhabitants of the Kingdom of Ireland or their descendants, being Protestants." Names included in this resettlement included John Gray Jr and Matthew Gray Sr" (page 184). [3]

Matthew Gray Sr passed away on 21 Sep 1758 in Pelham, Worcester County, Massachusetts Colony. [1]


1. Biographical Vitals, [1]

2. “Ulster-Scots” Wikipedia. [2]

3. Olton, Charles Knowles. Scotch Irish Pioneers in Ulster and America. Boston: Bacon and Brown, 1910. Reprint. Heritage Books, Bowie, MD, 1989. p. 187. Full digital text [3]

4. "U.S. and Canada, Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s.", database. [4]

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It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Matthew by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known yDNA or mtDNA test-takers in his direct paternal or maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with Matthew:

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Rejected matches › Matthew Gray (1691-1758)

Matthew is 18 degrees from Carroll Shelby, 25 degrees from Joan Whitaker and 12 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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