Interesting. I still wonder how they got to north central Texas. I wonder if J R Walkup or spencer Smith had anything to do with their move? Did you ever get that article by J R Walkup about his early experiences in Texas? I thought I remembered you saying you had ordered it.
I think if you can study those deed and probate records from Union Parish, Louisiana then you might find the answers to some of the questions.
I heard from a lookup request today for John Gray in Union Parish. There is apparently no marriage record for a John Gray and Lilly. Just the one from 1852 when he married Sarah Phillips. There are a couple of others from the 1880s that are surely not the same John Gray.