Fonds 405 - John Henry Gresham Bray family fonds

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John Henry Gresham Bray family fonds

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  • Multiple media

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Reference code

CA MED 405

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Dates of creation area


  • 1851-1993 (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

7 cm of textual records.
1066 photographs.
1 audio cassette

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Name of creator

(1876-11-16 – present)

Biographical history

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.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds consists of: a family geneology of the J.H.G. and Jemima (nee McKay) Bray family (1993); booklet entitled "Regulations for the Instruction Formations and Movement of Cavalry" (1851); research paper re: the McKay family entitled "People of the Little Bearskin", by Landon M. Modien (undated); cheque stubbs from the Range Stock Growers Association (1904-1911); blank invitation to attend a R.N.W.M.P. Veteran's Association meeting, issued by Inspector/Secretary Bray ([ca. 1920]); images depicting the Bray family and life in Medicine Hat at the turn of the century ; 1 audio cassette interview with Rod Crockford, grandson of J.H.G. Bray (1989).

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Gift of Donna Thane, via Adele Johnson, June 15, 1993, Mr. L.E. Cameron, September 19, 1973, Landon Modien, 1986, Vern and Adele Johnson, May 1970, and Mrs. W. (Myrtle) Newnham, June 13, 1975, Colin Bray, [ca.1965], and Elsie Bray, June 24, 1978. 0525 -- Unknown donor, 0898 -- Gift of Bray family via Jack Barrie's family (ca. 2000).


Language of material

  • English

Script of material

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There are no restrictions on access

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Finding aids

Associated materials

Biography files. M82.15.14 M84.1.44 M78.31.5 M82.2.4 M84.46.1 M86.22.1a-c M86.19.2 M93.26.1 Sanderson/Anderson d/b file.

Related materials


General note

Record No. M70.71; M73.102; M86.21; M88.57; M93.8; C37;P 0197; PC 0200; P 0270; P 0306; P 0327; P 0525.0259; P 0883; P 0898

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Esplanade Archives

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  • English

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