Dr. Amos Aray was born on the 11th of August, 1829 in Pittsfield, (Washtenaw County), Michigan, U.S.A. He was the son of James and Ann Aray. His father was a farmer and Dr. Aray had a younger sister named Harriett.
Dr. Aray studied medicine at the University of Michigan until 1854. He continued his studies at the Eclectic Medical School in Cincinatti, Ohio from 1854-1855.
In 1856 Dr. Aray moved to Chatham and opened his medical practice. According to the 1861 Canadian Census, Dr. Aray was single and living in the Town of Chatham. Dr. Aray was regarded as an eloquent speaker in the community. He spoke on a number of medical topics and gained recognition within the black community in Chatham.
Sometime during the American Civil War (1861-1865), Dr. Aray returned to the United States and was hired by Dr. Martin R. Delany to do medical exams for black Union soldiers. According to the 1868 and 1867 Nashville Tennessee Business Directory, Dr. Aray was practicing in Nashville and resided at 186 S. Summer. The 1876 Nashville Business Directory records Dr. Aray’s office as 48 Cedar and according to the 1878 Nashville Business Directory Dr. Aray’s residence was located on Shaftsbury Ave., near Jackson Street.
According to the 1880 United States Census, Dr. Aray was married to Leonora Estelle Ball and they were living in Clarksville, Montgomery County, Tennessee. She was born near Cincinnati, Ohio on the 1st of January, 1852. Her parents, John and Elizabeth Ball were farmers. She had an older brother named Clayton and 3 younger siblings; John, Ella and Frank.
Dr. and Mrs. Aray had 5 children. Their daughter Leonora Aray was born in Tennessee in March of 1874, Ella Aray was born in 1875, Langston Aray was born on the 29th of June 1876 in Nashville, Tennessee, Nellie Aray was born in December of 1889 and Arthur Aray was born in Clarksville, Tennessee on the 2nd of November, 1881.
Dr. Aray died on the 4th of May, 1885 and he was buried at Earlington Cemetery, Earlington, Hopkins County, Kentucky, U.S.A.
After the death of Dr. Aray, Mrs. Leonora Aray lived in Cincinnati for a time, before moving to Ypsilanti, Michigan. She appears on the 1920 census as living at 612 Monroe Avenue. Her occupation was listed as a public school teacher and her son, Langston lived next door with his wife Grace.
Mrs. Aray died at her residence on the 23rd of June, 1924. She was buried at the Highland Cemetery in Ypsilanti, Michigan.
Reference: The Black Abolitionist Papers, Volumn II, Canada, 1830-1865
*Dr. Martin R. Delany is also featured on the Chatham-Kent Physician Tribute website.