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O'Neal / Gray Family Photo Album
[Photographs courtesy of Debbie Gray Reilly]



Urias O'Neal & Marena Jane (Willis) O'Neal Family

Urias O'Neal, son of Urias O'Neal (1806-1848) and Margaret "Peggy" was born at Hatteras on Mar. 28, 1848, the same year his father died. In 1850 his widowed mother and 9 children were living at Cape Hatteras.  It is assumed that Margaret died before 1860 because 7 of the 9 children were living in the home of William Austin.  On Dec. 22, 1881 Urias married Marena Jane (Willis) Burrus, widow of Edmond Richard "Dick" BurrusUrias was appointed guardian of Marena's 2 young sons, Edward Blaine & Joseph Merritt BurrusUrias died at Hatteras on Dec. 16, 1912 and is buried in the A.J. Stowe Cemetery.

Marena Jane Willis, daughter of Timothy Willis (1811-1883) and Patsy B. Lewis (1815-1898), was born at Hatteras on Feb. 9, 1852.  She was 1st married to Edmond Richard Burrus at Hatteras on Dec. 21, 1871.  They had 2 sons: Edward & Joseph BurrusMarena's marriage to Urias O'Neal produced six known children: 1) Banister Blaine 2) Carrie Willis 3) Maude 4) Minerva 5) Marina Jane and 6) NaomiMarena died at Hatteras on Feb. 6, 1927 and is buried in the A.J. Stowe Cemetery.

Their Children



Banister Blaine O'Neal was born at Hatteras on Oct. 30, 1882 and died there on Oct. 2, 1902.  From a newspaper account he was either engaged or going with Miss Carrie J. Gaskins at the time of this death.  The Jan. 2, 1903 issue of The Economist in Elizabeth City said "Miss Carrie Gaskins was found after her disappearance.  Her brother-in-law was S.L. Dosher of the Weather Service.  Her sweetheart, Blaine O'Neill of Hatteras, died last October at Hatteras."  Carrie went on to marry Oliver Goodwin Styron in 1908.

Carrie Willis O'Neal was born at Hatteras on Feb. 21, 1884.  She married William Winston "Billy" Gray (1874-1948) at Hatteras on Mar. 8, 1903.  They had 7 known children.  Carrie died in Asheville, Buncombe Co., NC on Oct. 18, 1980 and is buried at Mountain View Memorial Park Cemetery in Black Mt., NC.

Maude O'Neal was born at Hatteras on Dec. 3, 1885 and died at Black Mt., Buncombe Co., NC on Oct. 12, 1987 just 2 months shy of her 102nd birthday.  She never married.  The Coastland Times newspaper account of her death read: Those who knew Maude O'Neal as a teacher and postmaster well remember that she feared no one or thing. She was a leader in her village, an independent woman of her time who fought many good fights in the interest of education and physical fitness. She was instrumental in getting a high school for Hatteras village in the 1920's after serving as a teacher there since 1907. In 1914 she became postmaster at Hatteras and in the 1920's she managed both jobs plus the extracurricular activity of teaching swimming to the village children..."

Minerva O'Neal was born at Hatteras on Apr. 1, 1888 and died at Oteen, Buncombe Co., NC Jan. 29, 1971.  She never married.  Her obituary reads: Veteran Army Nurse and Dare Native Dies - Minerva O'Neal, a native of Dare County, having the rank of Lt. Colonel in the US Army Nurse Corps, died at the age of 83 on January 29 in the US Veterans Hospital in Oteen after a long illness. Lt. Col. O'Neal was a World War I veteran, having served in France and Germany. After the war she served in the Philippines and held the job of Chief Nurse in several US Veterans Hospitals in the United States, retiring in 1946, and leaving her old home in Hatteras to live in Black Mountain.

Another early photograph and article appeared on page 1 in Elizabeth City's The Independent on Jan. 18, 1924. [from microfilm extracted by Kay M. Sheppard]

Marina Jane "Dina" O'Neal was born at Hatteras on Mar. 19, 1890.  She married Richard Baxter Dailey (1889-1966) at Hatteras on June 15, 1912 and they had 3 children.  Marina died on Dec. 16, 1983 and is buried with her husband in the Dailey Cemetery in Buxton, NC.

Naomi O'Neal was born Apr. 4, 1894 in Hatteras and died in Black Mt., NC on Apr. 25, 1977.  She never married.  She is buried at Mountain View Memorial Park Cemetery in Black Mt.  Her 1977 obituary reads: Miss Naomi O'Neal, 83, of Black Mountain, died April 25 in Black Mountain Nursing Home after a long illness.  A native of Cape Hatteras and a resident of Black Mountain for the past 30 years, she was a member of Friendship Presbyterian Church. Surviving are 3 sisters: Miss Maude O'Neal of Highland Farm Retirement Home and Black Mountain, Mrs. Carrie Gray of Black Mountain and Mrs. Dean [Dina] Dailey of Buxton; several nieces and nephews.  Graveside services were held April 27 in Mountain View Memorial Park.  The Rev. Norwood Myers officiated.


William Winston  & Carrie (O'Neal)  Gray Family

William Winston Gray & Carrie (O'Neal) Gray

Shack Bullies - March 29, 1915

William W. "Billy" Gray in later years

William Winston "Billy" Gray, son of Banister B. Gray (1842-1916) and Britania F. Scarborough (1844-1876), was born June 19, 1874 at Avon, NC.  He was 1st married to Ida Williams (1874-1898) in Avon on May 13, 1897 and to them was born one daughter, Rosa Bellve Gray in Sept. 1898.  Ida died in November of that same year, possibly from complications of childbirth.  Rosa's grandfather, Banister, and his 2nd wife, Sarah Elizabeth (Gray) Gray helped raise Rosa until William W. Gray married for the 2nd time to Carrie Willis O'Neal [shown in the photo above and also in the above O'Neal family].  Billy & Carrie had 7 children.  Billy died at Black Mt., Buncombe Co., NC on Jan. 12, 1948.

William's 8 Children

Rosa Bellve Gray was the daughter of William and his 1st wife, Ida WilliamsRosa was born Sept. 17, 1898 in Dare Co., NC.  She married Thomas L. Littlejohn c1922.  Rosa died in Winston-Salem, Forsyth Co., NC of pneumonia and complications from childbirth.  She is buried in Salem Cemetery in Winston-Salem.

Blaine Banister Gray was born Nov. 25, 1905 in Avon, NC and died July 31, 1989 in Winston-Salem, NC.  He married Mamie Lee Patrick (1905-1996) in York, York Co., South Carolina on Nov. 30, 1923.

William Earl Gray was born Oct. 21, 1907 in Avon, NC and died Oct. 12, 1992 in Elizabeth City, Pasquotank Co., NC.  He married Rebecca Moore Austin (1909-2000) in Hatteras on July 4, 1931.

Carrie Irene Gray was born at Hatteras, NC on Feb. 7, 1910 and died there Jan. 3, 1912.  She was listed as Irene Gray, age 2 months, in the 1910 census.

Harry Barnes Gray was born in Hatteras, NC on Mar. 8, 1915 and died in Oteen, Buncombe Co., NC on Oct. 30, 1970.  He married Delores "Dottie" Safford (1927-2009).  Harry enlisted in the Army Air Corps on Dec. 30, 1941 at Charlotte, NC.

Kermit Urias Gray was born at Buxton, NC on Mar. 4, 1917 and died Aug. 12, 2001 in Winston-Salem, Forsyth Co., NC.  Kermit served in the US Coast Guard during WW II.  On. Feb. 25, 1942 he and several other Hatteras Coast Guardsmen sailed from Reykjavik, Iceland on the USS Stratford bound for the United States.  Kermit is buried at Mountain View Memorial Park Cemetery in Black Mt., NC.

Walter Lee "Buster" Gray was born Nov. 13, 1918 and died in Korea on Sept. 5, 1950.  He served in the Coast Guard for 3 years then joined the Army.  He enlisted in Richmond, VA on Mar. 19, 1941 for the Panama Canal Dept. in the Infantry Division.  In 1950 he was listed as MIA or KIA in Korea.  From a 1943 newspaper account, this was apparently not the first time that Walter had been Missing in Action.  He had been a POW in Germany from Feb. 17, 1943 until July 21, 1945.

The Dare County Times ran this account on Mar. 19, 1943 --Word has been received by Mr. & Mrs. Billy Gray of Black Mountain, N.C., from the War Dept. that their son, Staff Sgt. Walter L. (Buster) Gray has been missing in action on the North African front since Feb. 13. Walter served 3 years in the U.S. Coast Guard aboard the cutter Mendota and after being discharged joined the Army and was one of the first to be sent to Africa. Mr. & Mrs. Gray are natives of Dare County. Mrs. Carrie Gray is from Hatteras and Mr. Gray from Avon. After having a break down in health they moved to the mountains where they now live. They have 4 sons serving in the armed forces: William E. Gray (CB Mate), Kermit U. Gray (GM 2/c) are serving in the U.S. Coast Guard and Walter L. Gray and Harry B. Gray are serving in the U.S. Army.

Walter married Margaret Irene Atkins of Buncombe Co., NC in 1946.

Carolyn Arvilla Gray was born in Black Mountain, NC on Oct. 20, 1923.  She married Leonard "Kay" Richards (1921-2000).  From the above photo it appears she might have been in the Navy Nurse Corps.  If anyone has further information on Carolyn Gray Richards please drop me a line.



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2011 Kay Midgett Sheppard