Learning about what happened in the past can be interesting, beneficial and difficult. Memories of events fade, records are lost, etc. However, it is beneficial and interesting to record memories for future years in a record that will last through the ages for our descendants. It is important to “Engaging the Current Generations: The Key to Our Family’s Future”.
The McCray Family is very fortunate in this regard for we are able to trace our roots to the year 1865 when Anderson McCray was born – two years after the Emancipation Proclamation (document that freed the slaves) was signed and the same year that the Civil War ended. Anderson was born to Ben and Lucy McCray on July 9 1865 and like so many others during that period, did not know his birthplace because his father was a slave and later a sharecropper. Anderson lived near Brooklyn, Georgia and later moved to Chattahoochee County, Georgia (Cusseta).
He was joined in holy matrimony on December 25, 1887 to Mary Clark, the daughter of Ivery and Sarah Clark. Mary was born on August 18, 1869 in Chattahoochee County, Georgia. The union of Anderson and Mary McCray brought forth thirteen (13) children: Viola McCray Robinson, Valonia McCray Baker, Amzie McCray Williams, Estella McCray Harris, Fred, Johnnie “Fonzie”, Joe Lee, Willie C., Fannie McCray Thomas, Jim, Ben, Ollie McCray Perry, and Annie Pearl McCray Buckner.
Anderson and Mary were first members of Sweet Home Baptist Church and later joined Kingsville Baptist. They lived and reared their children in Chattahoochee County (Cusseta, Georgia). According to Ocie Dean, one of the grands, “Our fore parents were very religious people”. Thus they heeded the words of God concerning the commandments “And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” ( Deut. 6:7).