Sally...maybe some of my NC family will touch base with your NC connections. My research has just begun so I can only go back to a Willis Gay who died ?in Johnston County in 1825. Perhaps he was the father of Willis Gay who married "Crecy" Faulk between 1832-1835 and became parents to 8 children: Willey (married Dupree Howell), Lucinda, Thomas, Harriet, Meranda (known as Raney, married a Pittman and later Albert Dail), Elizabeth, Katherine, and Willis Williamson Gay (my husband's grandfather). Willis married Mary Snipes before 1877 and they became parents to 4 children prior to her death. He later married Dorcas Deaver aka "Darles" or "Darkin"....they had one daughter, Clara, who died at age 6 months. Willis died in Wayne County, NC October, 1943. Do any of these names connect with your tree. I sure hope they do!!