The Pray Family and the Civil War

Waterville

Canal boat Legal Tender passing through Waterville, Ohio, 1904 (http://www.ohiomemory.org/cdm/ref/collection/p16007coll33/id/301)

The extended Pray family of Waterville, Ohio has the distinction of being one of the founding families of the region, and when it came time to answer the call to fight in the Civil War, a number of Pray family members went off to battle, and the above timeline relates all their correspondence back home to family, friends, and loved ones as those still in Waterville would have seen it.

John Lansing Pray Junior (1839 - 1911) would be the only one to make it back to Waterville after serving in the Union Army, living to the age of 71 and buried in Wakeman Cemetary in Waterville. John was the grandson of John Pray (1783-1872), the founder of Waterville.

Dr. Welcome Pray came to Ohio in the mid 1830s and two of his children died in service to the Union Army. Paris Lorenzo Pray (1845 - 1864) died of disease in Nashville where he is buried. James Fisher Pray (1843 - 1864) was killed in action on September 1, 1864 at Jonesboro. In recognition for James' service, the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) post in Waterville was named in his honor.

The letters and photographs seen here were scanned at the Waterville Historical Society located in Wakeman Hall in Waterville, Ohio. The original documents can be seen in the reading room in their archive.

The full collection of letters and documents can be accessed through Ohio Memory.

James Fisher Pray Records Cited

"United States General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934", database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QJDG-5KVH : 13 March 2018), James F Pray, 1888.

"United States Census, 1850," database with images, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MXQ2-2QD : 12 April 2016), James F Pray in household of Welcome Pray, Waterville, Lucas, Ohio, United States; citing family 1848, NARA microfilm publication M432 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).

"United States Census, 1860", database with images, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MCG7-JVN : 13 December 2017), James Pray in entry for Jas Cravin, 1860.

"Captain W. B. Pugh letter to Doctor Welcome Pray, September 8, 1864"
Ohio Memory, Toledo Lucas County Digital Collections (http://www.ohiomemory.org/cdm/ref/collection/p16007coll33/id/109161)

Paris Lorenzo Pray Records Cited

"Find A Grave Index," database, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QVVH-DS18 : 13 December 2015), Paris L Pray, 1864; Burial, Nashville, Davidson, Tennessee, United States of America, Nashville National Cemetery; citing record ID 3198833, Find a Grave, http://www.findagrave.com.

"United States Census, 1850," database with images, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MXQ2-2Q6 : 12 April 2016), Paris G Pray in household of Welcome Pray, Waterville, Lucas, Ohio, United States; citing family 1848, NARA microfilm publication M432 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).

John Lansing Pray Records Cited

Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 17 December 2018), memorial page for John Lansing Pray, Jr (17 Feb 1839–26 Jun 1911), Find A Grave Memorial no. 44579467, citing Wakeman Cemetery, Waterville, Lucas County, Ohio, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave (contributor 8).

Ohio. Division of Vital Statistics. Death Certificates and Index, December 20, 1908-December 31, 1953. State Archives Series 3094. Ohio Historical Society, Ohio.

The National Archives at Washington, D.C.; Washington, D.C.; Record Group Title: Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs, 1773 - 2007; Record Group Number: 15; Series Title: U.S., Civil War Pension Index: General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934; Series Number: T288

The National Archives at Washington, D.C.; Washington, D.C.; Special Schedules of the Eleventh Census (1890) Enumerating Union Veterans and Widows of Union Veterans of the Civil War; Series Number: M123; Record Group Title: Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs; Record Group Number: 15; Census Year: 1890

The Pray Family and the Civil War