George Wray
Stefan Bielinski

George Wray was an British army artilleryman and ordnance clerk who came to America during the Seven Years War.

He married Catharina Ten Broeck in 1765. The marriage produced at least three children who probably were baptized in New York City. His wife was a member of the Albany Dutch church but Wray was a communicant and support of St. Peter's Anglican Church in Albany.

His background and her family connections enabled Wray to acquire extensive real estate in Albany, in more rural regional settings, and later in other colonies as well. Although based in Albany in a comfortable second ward home, Wray often was in the Indian country trading and repairing guns. He maintained his ties to the British service through Sir William Johnson and as a contractor at several frontier outposts. At the outbreak of the war, he was identified as a British adherent and fled to New York leaving his wife and family in Albany.

Albany leaders knew he would not return and listed "Catharine Ray" as the owner of Wray's property on the assessment rolls for 1779. From New York City, travelled around North America on British army business. By the 1780s, he had founded a settlement on lands he had patented at Fort Ann. He apparently had given his estranged wife his power of attorney for she was able to sell some of his Albany property.

Wray prospered in the new Washington County. In 1790, his household in the Westfield district included eleven men, a boy, five females, and seven slaves. He reportedly took another women there as his wife.

In 1789, he was named Fort Ann town clerk. Over the next decade, he served several times as town supervisor.

George Wray filed a will in March 1803. He died in October 1804. His tombstone is in Fort Ann, New York where he spent much of the last two decades of his life.



the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of George Wray is CAP biography number 6945. This profile is derived chiefly from community-based resources. He may have been born in England about 1728! Biographical information assocoiated with the "George Wray Papers" at the William L. Clements Library complicates sorting out his life.

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first posted: 7/30/03