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Rea-Ray-Wray Genealogies
Posted by: Daniela Moneta (ID *****6718) Date: December 09, 2011 at 06:52:13
  of 1752

Dear Rea Genealogists,

Joesph C. Rhea and Daniela Moneta are the new project administrators for the Rea-Ray-Wray DNA project at Family Tree DNA (FTDNA). We both are researching our families and volunteer at FTDNA to help others with their research and answer questions about DNA testing. Daniela has Wray ancestors going back to Thomas Wray born 1776 probably in Rockingham County, Virginia. Thomas later migrated to Monroe County, VA (now West Virginia) where he married Rachel Neal of Bedford Co, VA. The couple with their 14 children then moved on to Gallia County, Ohio. Thomas's descendants spread out across the country and ended up in Missouri, Louisiana, and other states. Joe has Rhea ancestors from Roscommon, Ireland. His most distant ancestor was John Ray born there in 1720. John had four brothers, James, William, Thomas, and Joseph. These five brothers emigrated to the Philadelphia area and then down to Virginia and North Carolina, four settling in or near Orange County, NC. Little is known about Thomas, but he is believed to have settled in Eastern Tennessee. Descendants are known to have settled in Virginia, Kentucky, and Indiana.

We would like to extend an invitation to join our newly merged Rea and Wray DNA projects at Family Tree DNA. We now have 139 participants and call ourselves the Rea-Ray-Wray DNA project. This project includes all variations of the surname. This is an excellent time to join as Family Tree DNA is having their annual holiday sale. This special sale ends on December 31st. Go to to order a kit. Also, check out our Rea-Ray-Wray home page to see the names of the most distant ancestors of those in our project, go to When there, click on Y-DNA Results in the blue bar in the upper part of the page, then select Classic. Here you will see that we have Wray lines from Scotland, Ireland, England, Germany, and other counties; as well as, many from the United States going back to the early 1700s. Very soon, we plan to launch an alternate DNA website that will have detailed information about the ancestors of our participants. A blog is planned for early 2012.

While the specific goals and objectives for each of our participants may vary, we are all interested in gaining answers to genealogical questions that cannot be answered through conventional research. DNA testing is a very powerful tool. When used in conjunction with paper trail evidence, it can provide us with answers to some very important questions. DNA can tell us whether or not two or more poorly documented Rea families living in the same area at the same time are related. It can also bring surprising results, such as connecting two Rea lines that were before believed to be unrelated!! For those participants matching DNA with someone who can trace his lineage back to the 1700s or even 1600s or before, it is an incredible experience.

It you have any questions about how DNA testing can help you with your genealogical research, don't hesitate to contact us.

Daniela Moneta,
Joseph C. Rhea,
Project Administrators for Rea-Ray-Wray DNA

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