I don't think it's time to give up, just when things have gotten interesting. I do think that the physical proximity between Rachel and my 4th great grandfather (Leonard Sale -- the one you couldn't remember -- but that's OK) is strongly suggestive of a family relationship.
Where did the information come from that Rachel was born in Maryland?I've really never thought to look for Sales there.I have several colonial Maryland ancestors (all Western Shore people), but haven't noticed the name in Maryland, at least in the areas where my folk lived.
Let's assume that your Rachel is the daughter of a brother of the William Sale who widow Nancy is on that 1790 census you mentioned, maybe said brother would have died in Maryland.Is it too much to dream that there might be some estate paperwork somewhere that would confirm the assumed relationship?
There were lots of Sales in Caroline County, but I don't remember a Rachel as among the various orphans listed in the order books.(Unfortunately, everything BUT the order books perished, so it's tough knowing exactly what's going on at any given point.Still, it's a lot better than King & Queen county, where not so much as a single order book survived the Civil War.)
I'll try to remember to look up the Sale family the next time I go to the Md. State Archives in Annapolis.
It's probably in Mrs. Absher's book, but I forget.Where did the Gray family come from before Wilkes Co.?