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WILLIAM BRAY was born about 1828 in Bradford, Devonshire, England. Bradford is located within Torridge local authority area. Historically it formed part of Black Torrington Hundred and it falls within Holsworthy Deanery for ecclesiastical purposes.
On 24 April 1850, William's marriage to ELIZABETH MAYNE was solemnised in the Parish of Bradford, in the County of Devon. William was aged 22; Elizabeth aged 17. Residence at the time of marriage is Bradford. Fathers' names: WILLIAM BRAY, carpenter; ELIAS MAYNE, carpenter. They were married in the Parish Church according to the rites and ceremonies of the United Church of England and Ireland.
William left for the goldfields in Buningyong, Victoria, Australia in about 1855. Buninyong was the first inland town in Victoria and the centre of the Ballarat district.
William could not write; he used his mark when acting as informant for births and deaths. Elizabeth and William's children are:
WALTER JOHN BRAY born 24 January 1851 in Bradford; died before 1854 (unsubstantiated)
JOHN BRAY born before 1854 in England; died aged 13 months before 1854 (unsubstantiated)
NORA GRACE BRAY born 5 October 1852 in Bannawell St, Tavistock, Devon. In 1857, she arrived in Australia with her mother aboard the 'Maldon'. It is likely she married WILLIAM H ROWE in 1876 in Albury, NSW, Australia; they had two children, JOSEPHINE M E ROWE in 1877 and ISAAC P M ROWE in 1879. Nora had an underactive thyroid, which caused her to lose her hair, so she wore a wig. She died in 1933 aged 81 years in Newington Asylum, Sydney, NSW, Australia. The asylum was set up for women who could not fend for themselves and did not have any family.
JOHN WALTER BRAY was born about 1854 in Plymouth, Devonshire, England. In 1857, he arrived in Australia with his mother aboard the 'Maldon'. He married AGNES THOMSON HIGGINS on 19 Jun 1893 in Georgetown, Etheridge, colony of Queensland, Australia. He and Agnes had 7 children. He died in Sunnyside Private Hospital, Murwillumbah, NSW, Australia on 23 April 1924.
WILLIAM BRAY was born 16 May 1858 in Black Lead, District of Buningyong, VIC, Australia; he died in 1859.
MARY ELIZABETH BRAY was born 27 August 1859 in Black Lead, District of Buningyong, VIC, Australia; died 1860
WILLIAM BRAY was born 16 November 1860 in Black Lead, District of Buningyong, VIC, Australia.
MARY ELIZABETH BRAY born 3 February 1862 in Black Lead, District of Buningyong, VIC, Australia; died 1862
ELIAS BRAY born 5 November 1863 in Black Lead, District of Buningyong, VIC, Australia; died 1864
THOMAS JAMES BRAY born 24 September 1865; he possibly married CATHERINE COOK in 1889 in Albury, NSW, Australia
ALFRED BRAY born 7 March 1870 Black Lead, District of Buningyong, VIC, Australia; died 9 April 1870 at age 4 weeks; cause of death was enteritis.
In 1850 Williams was a carpenter and he was still a carpenter in 1858. By 1860, his occupation is listed as miner. He is still a miner in 1870 when his last son, Alfred is born. On his son John Walter's 1893 marriage certificate, his profession is listed as licenced victualler. He was a publican for the George Hotel, Dean Street, Albury. The hotel name may have changed to 'Criterion' well after his death. On William's death certificate his occupation is listed as labourer.
William died at age 53 in 1881. The cause of death is noted as suffocation and an inquest was held. He is listed as having been 26 years in the colony. When he died, he left his hotel in Dean Street, Albury to his son, John Walter Bray. His father is listed as William BRAY, carpenter, and his mother as MARIA (formerly BRAY). In the 1851 England census there is a William and Maria Bray living at 88 Fore Street, Bradford. William Bray (senior) was born about 1794 in Poundstock, Cornwall and Maria about 1802 in Beaworthy, Devon.
ELIZABETH MAYNE was born in Bradford, Devonshire, England about 1832. She was known as BETSY MAYNE and was christened on 30 DEC 1832 in Bradford, Devon, England. Her father was ELIAS MAYNE and her mother, MARY. Elizabeth's sister was FANNY RODD MAYNE; she was christened on 27 FEB 1831 in Bradford, Devon, England.
In 1841 Elizabeth was 8 years old. There is a BETSEY MAYNE (age 8) listed in the 1841 England census. At this time, she and FANNY MAYNE (age 10) are living with Joseph and Mary STIDWELL (both aged 30) in Black Torrington, Holsworthy, Bradford. JOSEPH STIDWELL married MARY MAYNE on 07 APR 1836 in Bradford, Devon, England. It is possible Joseph is related to Elizabeth's mother as her mother may be MARY STIDWELL RODD; however this is as yet unsubstantiated. Mary Mayne may also be related to Elias Mayne.
Elizabeth was married on 24 Apr 1850, in Bradford, to WILLIAM BRAY, a carpenter. Elizabeth's occupation at this time is servant. Her marriage certificate lists her father as ELIAS MAYNE, a carpenter. FANNY ROD MAYNE is listed as a witness on the marriage certificate.
Elizabeth and William's son, WALTER JOHN BRAY, was born 24 January 1851 in Bradford. The 1851 census was taken on the night of 30 March 1851. According to the 1851 England census, there is an Elizabeth Bray, carpenter's wife, listed as the Head of the household at 90 Fore Street, Bradford. Her son Walter Bray is one month old. Mary Stidwell, spinster (age 46), is listed as a lodger. It appears that William Bray, her father-in-law, is living at 88 Fore Street. FANNY ROD MAYNE is a servant living with a family in Bradford.
In 1852 Elizabeth is living at Bannawell Street in Tavistock, Devon. It is here, on 5 October, that her daughter NORA GRACE BRAY is born. It is evident that Elizabeth could not write, as she signed her children's birth certificates with her mark [x].
Presumably, Elizabeth and William had a son JOHN BRAY before 1854, as later children's birth certificates list a John as having died at age 13 months.
Her son, JOHN WALTER BRAY was born about 1854 in Plymouth, Devonshire, England (according to his marriage certificate). He died 24 April 1924, Sunnyside Private Hospital, Murwillumbah, NSW, Australia.
In July 1857 Elizabeth arrived in Victoria, Australia with her two children, John and Nora. She was an assisted immigrant on board the 'Maldon'.
After her arrival in Australia, Elizabeth lived with her husband and family in Black Lead, Buninyong, Victoria. This was part of the gold fields. Life was very tough.
Elizabeth and William bore and lost a number of children while living in Blacklead.
WILLIAM BRAY was born 16 May 1858 and died in 1859. According to his birth record, issue at the time are 3 living (presume this is John Walter, Nora Grace and William) and two deceased. One of whom may have been his brother Walter and the other his brother John.
The informant for William's birth is FANNY CROCKER of Blacklead. Fanny Crocker is Fanny Rodd Mayne's married name. Fanny and her husband John arrived in Australia as assisted British immigrants aboard the 'Thames' in 1855. Their first child was born at sea. This means that Fanny arrived in Australia two years before Elizabeth. The other Australian births for Fanny and John Crocker are: 1858 Hannah CROCKER born in Black Lead - mother's name listed as Fanny Rodwrayne; 1860 John Thomas CROCKER born in Linton - mother's name listed as Rod Fanny Main; 1862 Emily CROCKER born in Linton - mother's name listed as Fanny Rodd Mayne.
Elizabeth and William's other children are:
MARY ELIZABETH BRAY born 27 August 1859 (issue at the time 3 living, 3 dead); died 1860
WILLIAM BRAY born 16 November 1860 (issue at the time 3 living, 4 dead)
MARY ELIZABETH BRAY born 3 February 1862; died 1862
ELIAS BRAY born 5 November 1863; died 1864
THOMAS JAMES BRAY born 24 September 1865 (possibly married Catherine Cook in 1889 in Albury, NSW, Australia)
ALFRED BRAY born 7 March 1870; however, by the time his birth was registered he had died on 9 April 1870 at age 4 weeks; cause of death was enteritis.
Elizabeth is living in Albury, New South Wales at the time of her husband William's death in 1881. Anecdotally, she returned to England after his death in order to collect an inheritance; however, she died before this occurred.