About Joyceann Gray


Retired US Army, Award-winning Author, Independent Historian, and Genealogist 

Joyceann Gray a native of Brooklyn, N.Y.  She is the middle child of five children.   In 1980,  she entered the Army and spent the next 20 years excelling in her occupational specialties of communications, administrative management, and marketing.  While on active duty stationed at Fort Gordon, GA, she volunteered as the Director of the Heritage Unity Festival for Augusta, Ga. in 1996 and again in 1997. The festival was hailed as the largest festival to date ever in the Augusta-Richmond area bringing in over 15,000 people. The size of the first festival in 1996 was second only to the grand opening of the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta on the same day. The Festival presented over 500 performers and four active stages, 75 vendors, and 300 volunteers from the Fort Gordon community including the Deputy Commander offering opening remarks.   The Mayor of Augusta-Richmond, Larry E. Sconyers, declared 18 July 1996 “Unity Day” and on 20, July 1997 he declared “City-Wide Annual Unity Day.”     After retiring from the Army,  she went to work with her brother Bill and together they built a major Real Estate Teaching and Appraisal firm employing over 25 people in northern California. Mrs. Gray developed and taught an accredited appraisal course during this time. After retiring a second time, Mrs. Gray focused her attention on collegiate studies earning an Associate in  Business Administration, a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications, and a Master’s in Psychology.

Joycann’s historical and genealogical research began to take a more prominent role in her life in 2008 and the focus is primarily on her family movements from Virginia to Canada & Liberia. The research then began to spread from Kentucky and Tennessee to Kansas and from South Carolina, Kansas, and Canada to Nebraska. Her first book “Yes We Remember” covers the stories of achievements and legacies that her ancestors left for the present and future generations. 

“Our Dewitty”  her second book has been named one of the winners in the 2018 International AAHGS Book Awards Contest (IABA).     In this book, the focus is on the Women of her family,  friends, and neighbors who collectively established the longest-lasting Black Settlement in all of Nebraska. Conversations of what they might have had to say since largely their voice has not been heard in most all accountings of the Homesteaders.    Joyceann has presented a portion of her historical work during the AAHGS October 2015 Conference in Richmond, VA., and to the Middle Potomac History Researchers at the Josephine School Community Museum in Berryville, Virginia.  She recorded her research on the Hatter family, for E-Learning- Jim Surkamp Presentations for American Public University System. 

Many of the Black Homesteaders of Nebraska stories in her third book ‘Proofing the Claim’ are posted by the National Park Service on their website.

She accepted the call for contributing to Blackpast.org by submitting numerous articles on Black Female Ambassadors and other notable Black Doctors, Politicians, and Educators.


9 thoughts on “About Joyceann Gray

  1. Hello Mrs. Gray.

    I am an Adjunct Professor of Anthropology at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. My research specialty is historical archaeology and I am currently researching Audacious DeWitty and its citizens.

    I am particularly interested in locating the documents you used to fill out the history of Ann Walker, William’s mother. If you could give me any leads on this subject, I would really appreciate it. That is a subject that really interest me.

    I have discovered some documents that you may be interested in as well and would be more than happy to send copies to you. These include an 1871 Canada Census that lists William P. Walker in Raleigh, Kent, Ontario; birth records for his children Leesant Amoss in 1872, Corena [or Corenia] Arlean in 1874, Evy Ann Jane in 1876 in Raleigh, Kent, Ontario to Willaim P. Walker and Sarah C. Kersey; and an 1880 US Census record showing the family being in Dawson County, Nebraska. You might be surprised by these. As you can see, they change some of the dates and places listed in Walker’s biography. I also have copies of his homestead claims if you would like copies of those.

    Please let me know if I can be of any help to you. I think maybe we could help each other here.

    Best wishes,



  2. Mrs. Grey. Your Aunt Mrs. Hayes was my teacher at the Goose Creek school. She was also close friends with my Grand parents and used to come have dinner with us when they were visiting.


    1. Thank you for sharing that with me. Goldie Hayes was my grandmother, and I was only six when she passed, so any other memory I would really appreciate it. I’m trying to write a brook about her life. So please stay in touch.


  3. Ms Gray:
    My name is Benjamin Mchie, we are African American Registry, aaregistry.org. We are crafting an article on the Boyd Carter Cemetery and need a bit more information that you might have and be willing to share.
    Please contact us at info@aaregistry.org


  4. Ms. Gray–Your grandmother stayed at our house for 1 or 2 summers while in summer school at Chadron State College completing her bachelors degree. She stayed in one of my brother’s bedrooms since he was working on a ranch south of Merriman and gone for the summer. I worked on a ranch near home, so was home on the weekends. Your grandmother arrived in Chadron early Monday morning in time for classes and left for Valentine as soon as classes ended Friday afternoon. I saw her only a couple times when she came on Sunday evening. Her weekends must have been busy taking care of family.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Mrs. Gray,
    My name is Danielle. I have been researching my family history on my mother’s side. I was stonewalled when I got to my great great grandfather John Grant. Could not find anything on him all I was ever told was he came from the hills. Haven’t been able to find d where he was born his wife was the dtr of a slave and slave owner. When I ran across this information on Mulungeons the pictures reminded me of my gg grandfather. Would a dna test help identify this if so which would you recommend?


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