Mourning Bray

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Mourning Bray (Burgh)

Also Known As: "Pettus"
Birthplace: New Kent County, Virginia
Death: January 6, 1711
Williamsburg, James City County, Virginia
Immediate Family:

Daughter of William Burgh, of Chuckatuck and Elizabeth Burgh
Wife of James Bray, II and Thomas Pettus, of "Littletown"
Mother of Col. Thomas Bray; Elizabeth (Bray) Allen Smith Stith; Angelica Baker and Elizabeth Pettus
Sister of Elizabeth Jordan and Margaret Jordan
Half sister of John Billingsley; George Billingsley and Henry Billingsley

Managed by: Amy Nordahl Cote
Last Updated:

About Mourning Bray

Married twice:

1) Thomas Pettus, married c1680 (source needed)

2) James Bray, married 26 October 1693, York County, Virginia (Stanard's Notes, Virginia State Library, cited in The County Court Note-book, Volumes 1-5.)

Source for date of death: Bruton Parish Register.

Maiden name BURGH (not GLENN)

According to a message by William PETTUS on the Pettus family Genforum page: "I should point out to those who have been told or read that Thomas [PETTUS] married Mourning GLENN, my research has proven the name Glenn to be a complete fabrication dating back at least a century. Mourning was the daughter of William BURGH of Chuckatuck, Upper Norfolk County, Virginia, and Elizabeth BILLINGSLEY, a widow. Mourning's supposed last name is only one of numerous fabrications I have found over the past 38 years." (see

In this record dated August 12, 1687, her surname was PETTUS and she was a widow. George Billingsley was one of her half-brothers from her mother's first marriage to John Billingsley.

A deed in Prince George's County, Maryland, enrolled 22 Apr 1725 (folio 627):

From: Thomas JORDAN, planter of Chuccatuck, Nansemond County, Virginia, and Elizabeth his wife and Mourning PETTUS of James City County, widow


"George BILLINGSLY, late of Chuccatuck, deceased, by his will dated 21 Dec 1681 bequeathed Margaret BURGH, his sister, a parcel of land on the Patuxent River called "Billingsly's Point" of 500 acres; part of "Pottern" of 700 acres granted to Maj. John BILLINGSLY deceased; at her death the land went to her sisters, Elizabeth and Mourning; for a certain amount of money sold to Thomas HOLLYDAY of Calvert County, merchant.

(signed) Tho. JORDAN (seal), Elizabeth JORDAN (seal), Mourning PETTUS (seal)

Witnesses: Thomas CLASON (mark), James CARR (mark)

Signatures sworn to before Nathaniel BACON 12 Aug 1687"

Mourning Bray was a quick-tempered woman, judging from court records.

Robrt. Bell, affedavit relating to ye Complaint of Charles Rossett, Svt. to Mr. James Bray:

That some time in Octobr. Last ye said Rossett had a new * * * shirt, a pr. of leather britches, 1 pr. of shoes, 1 old flanell westcot, wch. is all ye Clothing has been allow'd him since ye year 1704, and this Depot. saith that he has lain on ye ground by ye * * * * side all this winter, saveing about one month or there abouts, he had a bed and two blankets, beine allowed him in his sicknes, and some little time after his recovery; and further saith, that he heard ye sd. Rossett say he had bin to Complain to a Majistrate a bout a week past, and that he had acquainted his Mistres of ye same, and this Depot. did likewise here his Mistress say he had told her of ye same, but att ye same time orderd him to take ye sd. Rossett and strip him naked and give him thirty-one Lashes on his bare back, which accordingly he did, and after ye Executing ye sd. ordr, this Dept heard his Mistris say : now you may goe to Justis Marable and Complain agin.

Sworne before us feb. 28th, 1705/6


To which is appended the following :

James City County ff: being y" 26th Day of ffebry., I being Constable for that part of bruton parish in ye County above menconed, I went to serve a summons on MTM Mourning Bray,

To which is appended the following :

James City County ff: Teusday, being ye 26th Day of fFebry., I being Constable for that part of bruton parish in ye County above menconed, I went to serve a summons on Mrs Mourning Bray, wife of James Bray, By vertue of a Complt of a man servt to ye sd Mourning, that was made to Capt. George Marable, for Ill usage to ye sd. st. by name Char. Roffett, Being at ye sd. Bray's house, and had done what I was Comanded by Justice Marable, she made answer ye Marable might have had more mantd than to have sent a summons to her, and yet if Mr Bray, meaning her husband, had been at home, he Dare not have done it — but Threatening if she was a man how she would handle Marable.

Thursday being by ord. aforesd. att ye house aforesd., to serve a warrant on Mourning Bray, to Bring her, ye sd. Mourning, before Justice Marrable & Justice Brodnax, or some other of her Majestye's Justices of ye peace, which she refufing, saying yt her Daughter was gon out with her sadle, and yt she Could not Ride any but her owne hors, and shewing her a horfe, when she aleaged she had none, her answer was that she would not Lett her people go to play or be Idle for a f * * t, and that Marrable might have more manners, and further she would not go on foot so far for Marrable, and farther saith not.

Sworne before us Feb. 28, 1705/6.


Calendar of Virginia State Papers and Other Manuscripts ..., Volume 1, edited by William Pitt Palmer, Sherwin McRae, Raleigh Edward Colston, p. 99

[On March 5, James Bray was ordered to pay the court five pounds for contempt, as his wife could not be legally compelled to pay the five pounds, being a "feme covert." "Mourning did appeale from the sd. judgemt. but was refused itt by the sd. Court."]

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Mourning Bray's Timeline

New Kent County, Virginia
Age 21
Age 30
New Kent County, Virginia
Age 32
Williamsburg, Virginia
Age 34
James City County, Virginia, United States
January 6, 1711
Age 51
Williamsburg, James City County, Virginia