John and Nancy Sumner Ray's House, Burningtown, NC
About 1990, my sons Adam and Rocky went to Franklin, N.C., to Thelma Welch Swanson's apartment and she gave us a tour of Franklin, N.C., focusing on the Ray family.
She took us to the Burningtown Community of Macon County. where our ancestors John Ray (1813-1903) and his wife Nancy Sumner (1817-bef 1885) lived. John was born in Ashe County, N.C., and Nancy was born in Buncombe County, N.C. On the 1850 Census John Ray was listed as a wagon maker.
They are buried in unmarked graves in Burniningtown Baptist Church, just a few miles up the road north from Franklin.
They had eleven children. Their daughter Emeline Ray (1846-1925) married William A. Hunter. They are buried in the Carmel Church Cemetery, just west of Woodstock, Ga.
It has been handed down that John and Nancy Ray disapproved of Emeline courting William A. Hunter. She had to slip out a window and meet him.
I wonder which window Emeline crawled out of to keep her rendezvous and elopement.
John Ray's house was at the foot of a hill with their pasture across the street. I said "was" because the house was destroyed by fire about 2014.
Cecil Baldwin (1895-1992)
When Thelma Swanson carried us to the house Cecil Baldwin, a nice elderly bachelor, lived there alone. Cecil is also a direct descendant of John and Nancy Sumner Ray.
Rocky and Adam in front of one of the outbuildings of what used to be John Ray's farm.