HISTORY OF BIRTH; JAMES MASON GRAY
The day was September 11, 1939. The place, the "Salvation Army Women's Home" on Lake Magdelene in
Tampa, Hillsborough County, Florida.
A young woman in her mid-twenties travelled from Mt. Airy, North Carolina to the Salvation Army Women's
Home for unwed mothers where she would give birth to an infant son. The name of the young women as stated
on the birth record of her infant, which she filled out and signed, was Nina Lucille McCraw of Mt. Airy,
North Carolina. She recorded, as required, the name of the father as being "William Laughton Cameron
(middle name misspelled), age 29, marital status divorced, of Raeford, North Carolina". Supporting evidence
was recorded as to the names of his parents and family; his father being "Sam Cameron of Raeford, North
Carolina, brothers Alex and Charles (who was a lawyer and worked for the Governor), sisters being Nellie
and two others". The cost of confinement and treatment was borne and paid for by Nina Lucille McCraw herself;
a sum of $65.00.
After having the home officials contact a Baptist minister, who turned out to be Dr. Roy Mason of the
Central Avenue Baptist Church in Tampa, Florida, the young woman discussed with Dr. Mason the possibilities
of finding good Christian couples who would be willing to adopt a new born child. A number of couples were
found and presented to her, which were scrutinized, finally deciding on only two couples. One would adopt
"only" if the baby turned out to be a boy child. The other stated they did not care what sex it turned out
to be; they would accept either and raise it in a Christian atmosphere. After much consultation with Dr.
Roy Mason and Mr. & Mrs. James and Thelma Gray, Nina Lucille McCraw decided the Gray's would be best suited
and allowed to adopt her unborn child.
At 3:30 P.M. on the day of September 11, 1939 Nina Lucille McCraw gave birth to a healthy baby boy who
was promptly named James Mason Gray. Lucille met and became friends with the Gray's and shortly after
giving birth was discharged into the care of Mrs. Leo Eldridge of St. Petersburg, Florida. The baby was
turned over to Mr. and Mrs. Gray on September 28, 1939, but they were still officially responsible to
H. S. Glazier, guardian Ad Liten for the baby, until adoption became official.
There was a case brought before the Circuit Court in and for the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit, Hillsborough
County, Florida on April 21, 1941; wherin the final adoption approval was granted by the court for the
adoption of Nina Lucille McCraw's infant son by Mr. James Franklin and wife Thelma Mae Gray.
On February 3, 1944, for purposes unknown, an affidavit regarding the birth of Nina Lucille McCraw's infant
son was prepared and signed by Louise Greenwood, R.N., of the Salvation Army Woman's Home. That affidavit
was witnessed by Mrs. Alta Salisbury, Major, and Assistant Superintendent, Salvation Army Women's Home.
For what ever reason it was done, it provided additional evidence of the birth and confirmed the birth
records. It was officially notarized by Neel S. Yent, Notary Public.
Young James Mason Gray & Parents
My name is James Mason Gray and I am the birth son of
William Lochlyn Cameron of Vass/Raeford, North Carolina
and Lucille McCraw Samuels of Mt. Airy, North Carolina.
I was adopted at birth by Police Vice Detective James F.
Gray and Thelma Mae Gray of Tampa, Florida upon my birth
at the Lake Magdalene Home for Women in Tampa, Florida
on September 11, 1939.
My adoptive parents took me when I was born with no
reservations and raised me as their own son my entire
life. Today, my mother being 96 years of age, I am still
regarded as her first son. They saw that I was raised in
a loving Christian home, saw that I attend our Baptist
church every Sunday and instilled in me the values I would
need to become a productive adult. They even allowed my birth mother to be a part of my life from the
time I was born, which allowed me to get to know my grandfather, Arnie McCraw before he passed away.
No one could ever have been blessed with better or more loving parents. Due to their way of bringing
me up, I graduated from the University of South Florida, got married, raised two fine sons and became
an asset to my state as a leading historical researcher and writer. Though I may be by blood a Cameron
and McCraw, I will always cherish the Gray's as my parents and thank them for the life they gave
me and for what I have become.
I knew my mother all my life as I was growing up as a friend of the family, but never got to meet my
father before he died. I found him and the Cameron family two years after his death. I did, however,
through the postmaster in Vass, meet my Uncle John Cameron's wife Mattie Cameron in Raeford before she
Jim in 2004
died. I was also able to meet my half-brother Claude "Sonny" Cameron in Livermore, California
and my half-sisters (Mary Blue Catlin) son when he performed in a ballet show in Selma,
Alabama. I also met my half-sister Jane Cameron Williamson near Southern Pines.
I had two sons, James Franklin Arnie Gray (named after Grandfather Arnie McCraw
of Mt. Airy) and Heath Charles Maston Gray (named after Lucille's husband Charles).
James (Jay) had three daughters, Darian, Jayden and Alexander in Tampa Florida and
Heath (Mason) had one daughter, Taylor Cheyenne just north of Birmingham, Alabama.
I can provide information to insure the Cameron-McCraw-Gray family line will always
be available to future members interested in it for whatever reason. My documentation
is valid, I make no false claims and seek nothing from anyone. I provide it only in the event future
generations wish to trace the lineage to its destination.
Contact:James Mason Gray 11 Corndale Street Loganholme, Queensland Australia, 4129 Tel. #617-3806 5759
Jim, Your email address doesn't work.
Please contact Sabrina Whitney at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may be related.
Thanks, Myrtle Bridges email@example.com. 5-30-08
My birth father
William Lochlin Cameron
Sept. 17, 1906 - Aug. 21, 1971
My birth mother
Nina Lucille McCraw
Descendants of Samuel J. Cameron
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