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Thomas Max DuCray

Death 14 Dec 1968 (aged 55)
Burial Grand Junction, Mesa County, Colorado, USA
Memorial ID 100022278 · View Source
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Thomas's great-grandparents were Nicholas and Françoise/Frances (née Petitjean) Ducray of Gondenans-les-Moulins, France and Meadville, Crawford County, Pennsylvania (see "HARDY PIONEER FAMILY" online).

His grandparents were Ann (née Waters) and Charles Celestin Ducray.

His parents were Linnie (née Harrell) and James Pierce "Percy" DuCray.

Tom was descended from Servois Ducay, one of the Ducray Nine, nine Ducray brothers who saved the life of the French King Henry IV ("Henry the Great," "Good King Henry") in the 1590s, and were rewarded with knighthood and villages. Servois' village was Gondenans-les-Moulins in Doubs, Franche-Comté, France. The family crest is a shield and swords, with nine arrows crossed in the shape of an asterisk representing the nine brothers.

Tom's paternal great-grandparents Nicholas Ducray (1785-1873) and Frances (née Jeanne Françoise Petitjean, 1795-1883) Ducray married 13 February 1822 in Gondenans-les-Moulins. In 1839, Nicholas and Frances emigrated with their nine children from Gondenans-les-Moulins to a farm they purchased at the southern tip of Lake Tamarack, near Meadville, East Mead Township, Crawford County, Pennsylvania. They had one more child born in Pennsylvania in 1841, Julius C. Ducray, the first of his Ducray line born in the United States. The family survived a perilous crossing from France to the U.S., including being shipwrecked on a sand island off of the coast of Newfoundland (see "HARDY PIONEER FAMILY Ducray" online).

From "HARDY PIONEER FAMILY Ducray" online: In 1839, Nicholas and Frances with their nine children left the port of Le Havre, France, aboard the ship Navire Marie, headed for a new home in Crawford County, Pennsylvania, where friends from France already had settled. The ship began taking on water near Newfoundland, and hoping to keep the ship afloat, passengers and crew threw everything overboard, including the Ducrays' chest containing $2,000 in gold and everything else they brought for their start in the United States. Despite all efforts, the ship foundered. Everyone aboard was shipwrecked on a sand island off of the coast of Newfoundland. After days without rescue, without food and fresh water, the ship's crew became crazed. A passenger François Poly overheard the crew planning to kill and eat Nicholas Ducray and one of his sons (possibly his eldest, 15-year-old Jean-Baptiste). François saved the lives of the Ducrays by hiding them buried in sand. To everyone's great fortune, all were rescued the following day by a passing ship. The Ducrays remained lifelong friends with Jean François Poly. The Ducrays had with them a simple wooden cross with an ivory carving of Jesus, that they credited for their fortune of surviving the perilous voyage. The Ducray family bought 80 acres southeast of East Mead Township (now Meadville), Crawford County, Pennsylvania, on the southern edge of Tamarack Lake; and later bought another farm on 72 acres located "2 miles south of Frenchtown and Route 27" and "on Route 441 near Boussons Corners." (An estate sale was listed in 1963 upon the passing of Nestor Ducray, grandson of Nicholas and Frances, son of Julius C. and Julia [née Grosclaude] Ducray. Nestor's sister Eva/Eve Mary Ducray Brunot passed away in 1967. The wood cross with ivory carving of Jesus brought with the family to America was kept by Eva, then passed to one of her children.)

Soon after settling in Crawford County, Pennsylvania, Nicholas became a trustee of Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Pettis, and donated an acre of land beside the church for use as the church's cemetery. Nicholas and Frances and many of their family and friends are at rest there, in Section B Lot 5. His last name was misspelled "Ducri" on the deed.

Nicholas and Frances's descendants (first generation) went to California, Oregon, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Ohio, Wisconsin, Montana, and Minnesota.

Nicholas and Frances had ten children, nine born in the family village in France:
1) Françoise Virginie/Frances Virginia born 1822
2) Jean-Baptiste/John B. Ducray
23 June 1824-1890 March 20
3) Celestine F. Ducray Bourquin
25 February 1826-1899 February 7 Connecticut
4) Augustus Ducray
27 September 1827-1895 May 12 Pettis
5) Claude Marie Ducray, later = Mary F. Wood
8 August 1828-1912 February 23
6) Jeanne Claude/Johanna/Jane
25 March 1831-
(Last record found: Jane was 18 in 1850 U.S. Census)
7) Jean Claude/John C. Ducray
2 June 1833-1875 April 6
8) Charles Celestin Ducray
29 April 1835-1925
9) Justin Ducray
31 January 1837-1914 December 24
Born François Augustin Ducray, known as
Augustus and Justin
10) Julius C. Ducray Meadville 1841-1925 Pettis
Julius was the first descendant of Servois Ducray
born in the U.S.




  • Created by: Carol Lynn DuCray
  • Added: 1 Nov 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 100022278
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Thomas Max DuCray (31 Mar 1913–14 Dec 1968), Find A Grave Memorial no. 100022278, citing Orchard Mesa Cemetery, Grand Junction, Mesa County, Colorado, USA ; Maintained by Carol Lynn DuCray (contributor 47454738) .