John Henry Gresham Bray (family)

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John Henry Gresham Bray (family)

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1876-11-16 – present


John Henry Gresham Bray was born in Bewdley, Worcestershire, England, on January 24, 1840. His father John Bray died when he was one year old; his mother, when he was nine. From that point onwards, he was raised by an uncle. John Bray joined the Army when he was 18, and served with the "Prince of Wales Own" 10th Royal Hussars, for 10 years, two of which he spent of the staff of the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII. John H.G. Bray emigrated to Canada in 1872, and joined the NWMP in 1873, eventually attaining the rank of Regimental Sergeant-Major of the Force. In 1882, he left the force and began ranching in the Pincher Creek area. He was called back to serve as a member of the Rocky Mountain Rangers during the Riel Rebellion in 1885. After the threat of warfare dissipated, John Bray returned to ranching before coming to Medicine Hat in 1892. He was employed as a Foreman for the Public Works Department of the N.W.T., and later was appointed Government Stock Inspector in 1896. John was instrumental in the establishment of the first stock association in Alberta, serving as their Secretary. This grew into what would become the Western Stock Growers Association. John H.G. Bray married Jemima (nee McKay), on November 16, 1876, at Fort Walsh. Jemima McKay was born in 1857, and was of Scots/Metis ancestry. She was the 6th child of Edward and Caroline (nee Cook) McKay, the McKay family being well known as "perhaps the most distinguished native family of Western Canada". All the children of Edward and Caroline had been well educated, which was noteworthy in that era, and particularly so for the McKay daughters. Jemima was also an excellent horsewoman, making many trips between Fort Walsh and Fort Macleod. John H.G. and Jemima Bray had 13 children: May "Flora", Elizabeth Anne "Bessie", Helen "Nellie", Henry Edward "Harry", Reginald Caroline "Clara", Colin, William, Lillian Rachel, Louis, Jemima Henrietta Gertrude "Etta", and Bertrand Louis "Bert", and his twin sister Bertha Louise. Extensive geneological notes outlining the descendants of John Henry Gresham Bray, can be found within the below listed documents.


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