Gregory Family


“...the origin...was Scotch”

    William Gregory (1742-1832) was the great-grandfather of Elisha Worthington Gregory. He “came out of North Carolina and founded the family some forty miles east of Louisville, where he is said to have opened a farm. His children were James and Elizabeth.... He came down into Kentucky immediately succeeding the Revolutionary War, in which he was a patriot soldier, for James Gregory...was born in the new state of Daniel Boone in 1787.”

    James Gregory (1787-1822) “grew up in the wilds of Kentucky and he married Nancy, a daughter of William and Nancy (Kirk) Clarks, old Virginia folks.... The issue of James and Nancy Gregory were: Caroline, Elizabeth, Joseph, William and Nancy.

    Joseph L. Gregory appears in the 1860 Census of McLean County, Kentucky as a 43 year old farmer, born in Kentucky about 1817. He married Emily (born 1818), one of three daughters of Thomas and Elinor Worthington, on October 6, 1836.

    Thomas Worthington (1786-1853) was born at Fort Vienna (now Calhoun, Kentucky), the son of William W. Worthington. “There is a tradition to the effect that his parents with two small daughters had a few weeks before gone to the Fort for protection from the Indians.” William Worthington’s will (probated in 1848) left 7,350 acres on Green River to his son. Thomas and Elinor (Barnes) married and “settled near Cypress Creek on a farm presented to him by his father.  He [Thomas]...was a preacher and also maintained a school in his neighborhood at his own expense. He died near Worthington’s [Methodist] Chapel in 1853.”

    William J. (born 1820), a brother of Joseph L. Gregory, was the subject of a biographical sketch published in 1906:  “...his education [near Louisville was] within the dark and gloomy walls of a windowless log cabin.  His old masters were Webster’s blue-back, Ray’s arithmetic and Smith’s grammar.... [Married Millie Grundy November 29, 1839]. The early years of his married life Mr. Gregory passed as a farmer...and growing yearly into the gospel work. Ill health forced him to leave wagon for Texas, crossing the Mississippi at Memphis and starting the journey October 13, 1852...and reached their future home...six miles west of Sherman, November 27.... After six years...[he] settled in the south part of Cooke county....”

    The 1860 census lists the children of Joseph and Emily Gregory (all born in Kentucky) as James H. (aged 19), William G. (17), Mary E. (15), Thomas W. (12), Joseph A. (10), Elisha W. (8), Samuel E. (5), and Emily B. (1).

    Elisha Worthington Gregory (1852-1926) married Patsy Kate Howard (1857-87).

Her parents were Levi and Mary. In 1897 other Howards of Kate’s family were writing from Thackerville, Indian Territory, to family in Robards, Kentucky. (A Gregory cousin in Kentucky didn’t know whether “Uncle Elisha was married before he went to Texas.”) When Kate Gregory died, she left two daughters and a five-year-old son, Alvin Thearon Gregory.

    Alvin Thearon Gregory (1882-1970) of Cooke County, Texas married Maudie Gertrude Bugg (1887-1938) of the same county on November 30, 1904. Their children were Gladys Maudie (1905-91), Auda Thearon (died aged five months in 1907), George Worthington (1908-92), Emma Dean (1909-99), Alvin Ray (1915-2002) and Wanda Lois (1921-99).

    J. Paul Gregory’s recollections were written from Kentucky in 1978:

    I am retired from The Louisville-Courier Journal. ...they went to Texas after the Civil War had ended but I think they had some trouble with gorillias [?] and was stopped.  For I often heard speak of going broke in [the] state of Mississippi when Pres. Lincoln freed their 1,000 slaves and [they] couldn’t cultivate their rich delta Land.  [After Thomas Worthington died in 1853, his widow took all their children to Mississippi, except three daughters, one of whom was Emily.]  Uncle Elisha and Uncle Joe [1849-1922] travelled to Texas but Uncle Joe returned.  [Their Uncle William had already reached Grayson and Cooke counties in Texas as early as 1852-58; he moved on to Denton and Wise counties in the years after the Civil War.] ...For many years they looked for Uncle James to return from the Civil War but finally gave up.  He had died in battle or starved in a Union Prison Camp.... Uncle Joe and Tom [1847-1923] told me a story of their Tennessee River bottom farm [in Kentucky, it] was [the] family residence near Kayler Creek.  Very tall men and boys and women pretty broad and good height...looked cooper and brown and he found out they has some Indian ancestry.  The men fished in the creek nearby and hunted too.... A few years after Uncle Joe’s death, Uncle Sam [1856-1934] married Uncle Joe’s widow [Nora Williams].... Uncle Tom’s wife was Mary Henry. ...of course their only son [was] killed by freight train. ...both them never got over Worth Gregory’s was told to me.  He and a bunch of boys were going to a grocery store about a quarter of mile from their school.  On their return to school, Worth was the slowest and was behind the group he was with and heard the train approaching the Railroad crossing, but Worth Gregory [1885-1902] didn’t make it and was hit by the engine and was badly mangled and crushed.... On [the] Farm Uncle Sam fed the horses and mules, milked the cows.  Uncle Tom was farm Foreman or manager, and Uncle Joe fed hogs from a farm wagon out in their field.... After a while old age caught up with them.... The farm fell to my father.  He was required by law to sell everything...big talk of the huge Gilbertsville dam.... In moved surveyors and all buildings were sold after the Tennessee Valley had all owners to come to County seat. ...taken seven years to construct.... My uncles’ and Father’s farms are very deep with water....

    Sources for the foregoing include:

    A Twentieth Century History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas, edited by B. B. Paddock.  (Chicago and New York: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), v. 1, pp. 680-81.

    History of Muhlenberg County, by Otto Rothert. pp. 19-21.

    1860 Census:  McLean County, Kentucky.  Bremen P.O. Family 829.

    DAR Patriot Index, p. 763.

    J. P. Gregory. Unpublished notes. Gilbertsville, KY (1979).