William Henry Wright.

History of the Wright family, who are descendants of Samuel Wright (1722-1789) of Lenox, Mass., with lineage back to Thomas Wright (1610-1670) of Wetherfield, Conn., (emigrated 1640), showing a direct line to John Wright, Lord of Kelvedon Hall, Essex, England online

. (page 1 of 12)
Online LibraryWilliam Henry WrightHistory of the Wright family, who are descendants of Samuel Wright (1722-1789) of Lenox, Mass., with lineage back to Thomas Wright (1610-1670) of Wetherfield, Conn., (emigrated 1640), showing a direct line to John Wright, Lord of Kelvedon Hall, Essex, England → online text (page 1 of 12)
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HISTO RY

OF THE

Wright Family

WHO ARE DESCENDANTS OF

SAMUEL WRIGHT (1722^1789)

OF LENOX, MASS.

WITH
LINEAGE BACK TO

THOMAS WRIGHT (1610^1670)

OF WETHERSFIELD, CONN.
(Emigrated 1640)

AND SHOWING A DIRECT LINE TO

JOHN WRIGHT, Lord of Kelvedon Hall

ESSEX, ENGLAND



Edited by
WILLIAM HENRY WRIGHT

AND

GERTRUDE WRIGHT KETCHAM



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1151718



Copyright, 1913, by
GERTRUDE WRIGHT KETCIIAM.



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Introduction

When we began the search for our ancestry in the
year 1902, we had little knowledge of anyone back of our
great-grandfather, Andrew Wright, of Shoreham, Ver-
mont (born 17G3, died 1833), and had no idea of the inter-
esting search that was to follow our first efforts in this
line, or of the length of time that might elapse before the
results now attained should be written out for the benefit
of generations to follow :

We wish to acknowledge the valuable assistance re-
ceived from various sources, and the kindly encourage-
ment of interested kinsmen. We will mention :

First, Rodney P. Wright of Cambridge, Mass., who
is descended from Sir John Wright of Kelvedon Hall,
Essex, England, and is the author of a history of his
branch of the Wright family. His help has been invalu-
able to us in many ways.

Second, W. Farmiid Felch, Editor of the Genealog-
ical column of The Hartford Times. He has given much
space to our queries and their answers, and many per-
sonal suggestions.

Third, James G. Taylor of So. Glastonbury, Conn.,
who is a descendant of the emigrant, Thomas Wright
(1639-40), has furnished many bits of interesting history.

Fourth, And there are many others, too numerous to
mention here, Avho have given their time to research that
we might have statistics and items of historical value
from various branches of the family.

Our great-grandfather, Andreio Wright, was a sol-
dier of the Revolutionary War, and came from Lenox,
Mass., to Shoreham, Vt., in 1785. There was a tradition
that his father or grandfather was a sea-captain, named
Samuel Wright, and that he died at sea. This tradition
was handed down in several branches of the family.



II I S T () IJ V O F T II E W K I G H T F A INI I L Y



Learning that the Addison County. Vermont, records
showed that Aiidrrw Wrifjht had applied for a pension
in 1832, we wrote to the Bureau of Pensions, Washington,
D. C, asking if the birth-place and parentage of Andrew
was given in his application, and received answer, dated
July 2oth, 1903, giving his military record, and these re-
marks : "Soldier's birth-place is not given, but he states
that before coming to Vermont, he had always lived in
Lenox, Mass.

We then wrote to the Town Clerk of Lenox, asking
for a record of birth, together with names of his brothers
and sisters, also of his father and mother. We received
answer, Aug. 15th, 1903, Avhich gave the names of An-
drew^s father and mother as Samuel and Mary Wright^
and the names and dates of birth of their children from
1757 to 1765, and of the children born to Samuel and
Mehitabel (second wife) from 1769 to 1780. A search for
the record of Samuel's death at this time was unsuccess-
ful, but later we found from other sources that he died
Oct., 1789, aged 67 years.

Mary, his first wife, died Aug. 18th, 1767, no age
given. There is no record, as far as Ave can find, of the
death of Mehitahel.

We learned that Samuel Wright of Lenox formerly
lived in Goshen, Conn., and the births of several of his
children are recorded there, some of whom are also re-
corded in Lenox. We account for this double record by
the fact that Samuel assisted in the organization of the
town of Lenox and was appointed its first Town Clerk,
and naturally made a record of his children's births there.

Now began a search for the parentage of Samuel of
Lenox. One Samuel Wright, eldest son of Capt. Samuel
Wright, was born in Wethersfield, Conn., in 1722, but
there was no further record of him in that town and he
was believed to have settled elsewhere.

10



HISTORY OF T H K AV R I O II T F A M I I, Y

The town of Lebanon, Conn., gave us the records of
three Samuel Wrights, none of whom seemed to fit our
case; and for a number of years the search yielded small
returns. Then, remembering a visit to our family, about
the year 1863, bj^ some of the relatives from Ohio — and
having lost all trace of them — we determined to get into
communication with them if possible. Finally, in the
fall of 1908, after making inquiries among the nearest
relatives, we found there Avas an old photograph of one
of these cousins in the possession of our uncle Freeman
Wright's widow, with the address, Sidney, Ohio, on it.
We then wrote the Cit}' Clerk in that place, inquiring
about the family. Through him Ave were soon in com-
munication with them. They gave us much A'aluable in-
formation about their branch of the famih^ but were un-
able to give Samuel Wrighfs parentage as their old rec-
ords and A'aluable papers had some of them been lost in
moving and some destroA^ed by fire, but a "Short Memo-
rial of My Life," Avritten from memory by Gideon Wright
(son of Samuel Wright of Lenox and the ancestor of the
Ohio branch), gaA'e us some interesting history, and a let-
ter written by his brother Josiah in 1865 gives a good
account of the children in their father's family.

Our uncle, Freeman G. Wright^ visited the cousins in
Ohio in 1849 and brought home with him a record —
copied apparently from the one which Avas lost or burned
— of the earlier generations of our family. He died in
1900, before Ave began our search, and his family thought
the record had been loaned and lost. However, in the
summer of 1909 they found it in an old pocketbook
which had been stoAved aAvay in an old trunk containing
letters and papers of bygone years. Fortunately, this fur-
nished the "missing link" in our history, and reads liter-
ally as follows :

"The famil}^ of Jno. Wright taken for one, or the
first generation.

11



HISTORY OF TTTE WRIGHT FA M I L Y



''The sixth or seventh generation back was three bro-
thers that came from England in the time of persecution.
(Proof) A bed-staff retained by the oldest son.

"The fifth generation was a sea captain, the oldest of
the family. (Proof) The retaining of the bed-staff. He
died at sea, was brought to New London, Conn., and bur-
ied. He had five children, two sons and three daughters.
His name was Samuel.

"The fourth of the generation by the name of Samuel^
the oldest son of the sea captain, lived first in Wethers-
field, Conn., then moved to Lenox, in Mass. Had twelve
children; eight boys. Died and was buried in the latter
place sixty years ago next month, aged sixty-seven. Was
ten years old at the death of his father. His oldest son
was called Samuel. He was a farmer.

"The third in line by the name of Andt^ew, was the
fifth son. Was born in Lenox, Mass., March 11th, 1763,
and went to Shoreham, Vt., in the 23rd year of his age, in
May, and came back in the fall, and moved with his next
younger brother, Ebeneser, the next spring, to Shoreham,
Vermont."'

The second "link" is from the town records of Weth-
ersfield, Connecticut: '"''Capf. Samuel Wright^ Jr.., son of
SergH Samuel Wright, was born 1692/1693. Married
Ahigail, dau of Jonathan Goodrich, 2d Jan'y 1718. Their
children were :

Samuel, born May 28th, 1722.

Ahigail, born March 11th, 1724.

Rebecca, born Sept. 7th, 1726.

Lucy, born Jan. 26th, 1729.

Moses, born July 3rd, 1731."

The third "link" comes from the "Diary of Joshua
Hempsted of New London, Connecticut," in which we
have this item : '■'■Capt. Samuel Wright, from Barbadoes,
brought in dead, June 7th, 1732."

12



II I S T O r. Y OF THE W RIGHT F A ^I I L Y

A comparison of these records establishes the fact
that our Samuel of Lenox was the son of Scomuel the sea
captain, and that he was born in Wethersfield, Conn., in
1722. Referring to the memorandum made by F. G.
Wright during his visit to Ohio in 1849, we find: "The

fourth of the generation by the name of Samuel

died and was buried in the latter place sixty years ago
next month, aged sixty-seven.'' Sixty years prior to 1849
would give us the year of his death as 1789, and as he
was sixty-seven years old when he died, the date of his
birth must have been 1722, which agrees with the Weth-
ersfield record given above. There is also the statement
in the Ohio record that he was ten years old at the death
of his father, which agrees with the New London account
of the captain's death in 1732.

We found that his mother, Abigail Dickinson^ and
sister. Miss Rebecca Wright, were buried in Lenox, Mass.
Their grave-stones are still standing. The will of Miss
Rebecca, recently found, shows that she made her home
with her nephew Samuel. In Gideon Wright's "Memo-
rial," he gives his birth as April, 1775, and states: "My
father died in October and the spring I was fifteen (i. e.,
1790) I went to Shoreham, Vermont, to live with my bro-
ther Andrew." The probate records give the date of set-
tlement of Samuel's estate as January 5th, 1790. Samuel
Wright, Jr., Administrator.

Thus one account verifies the other, and from this
point we can trace our line back to Thomas Wright^ the
emigrant, 103^-40, by the Wethersfield Town Records,
Stiles "Ancient Wethersfield," and from other sources.

Records from England give a direct lineage from
John Wright (died 1551) to the birth of Thomas, 1610,
and this, in connection with the records in America to
the present time, completes our family history for a period
covering about four hundred years.

13



IITSTOHY OF T ir K W IJ I O TI T FAMILY



The following is a tradition that has been handed
down in the AVright family {Thomas Wright was doubt-
less one of the sons referred to) :

"Once upon a time, aAvay years in the past, three
strono- yonno- men were about to emigrate to America.
Their old father in bidding them 'good-by' said : 'I am
too old to go with you, but I am glad my sons can go.'
Then he took a shillalah and cut it into three equal parts.
or lengths, and gave one to each of his sons. 'Keep these,'
he said, 'in remembrance of the old home. When j-^ou
gi'ow old let each give to his oldest son, and let him give
to his oldest son, and so on. If there be no son, give to
oldest daughter.' "

Mrs. Steivart of Ohio, a descendant of Thomas
Wright and a grand-daughter of Gideon Wright, to whom
we are indebted for this tradition, has one of these pieces
of w^ood in her possession, of which she writes as follows :
"When my father (son of Gideon Wright) was on a visit
to his kin in Vermont, in the year 1852, or about that time,
he received from his aunt, Mary Hawley, one of these
pieces of wood. He brought it home to my grandfather,
who would have nothing to do with it, so it was given to
the oldest daughter, Albina ; now she is gone I have it in
my possession. I do not know the wood, it is dark red in
color, about one foot long and two inches in diameter. It
has been used as a rolling pin." We do not understand
how it happened to be handed down among the younger
children of Samuel of Lenox, instead of the family of
Samuel, Jr., the oldest son, but give the story as it came
to us.

We beg the kind indulgence of our readers, knowing
there are many imperfections in our work, and possibly
inaccuracies have crept in, but the records have been veri-
fied and as far as we know are correct. We have done all
in our power to make it interesting as well as instructive,
and hope future generations will be benefited b}'^ our
labors. By the Editors.

14



Chapter 1

THE WRIGHTS IN ENGLAND



Ahstraet from '"'■ History of the English Peofle^''
By John Richard Green.

"During the period including the years between
1485-1509, great events were transpiring in the world's
history. It was a time of war and treason and the reign
of King Henry VII was a stormy one. But great as were
the issues of Henry's policy, it shrinks into insignificance
if we turn from it to the weighty movements which were
then stirring the minds of men.

"The world was passing through changes more mo-
mentous than any it had witnessed since the victory of
Christianity and the fall of the Roman Empire. Its
physical bounds were suddenly enlarged. The discoveries
of Copernicus revealed to man the secret of the universe.
Portuguese mariners doubled the Cape of Good Hope
and anchored their fleets in the ports of India. Columbus
crossed the ocean and added a New World to the Old.
Sebastian Cabot, starting from the port of Bristol,
threaded his way among the icebergs of Labrador.

"This contact Avith new lands and new races of men
awoke the slumbering intelligence of Europe into activ-
ity. Books of voyages were written and widely read, and
at the very hour when the intellectual energy of the Mid-
dle Ages had sunk into exhaustion, the capture of Con-
stantinople by the Turks, and the flight of its Greek
scholars to Italy, opened to the people the science and lit-
erature of an older world. The Greek scholars were wel-
comed in Italy, and Florence, so long the home of free-

15



II I S -r O R Y O F T II E W R I G II T F A ai II. Y



dom and art, became the home of an intellectual revival.

"Italy's merchant ships brought manuscripts from the
East as their most precious freight. Foreign scholars
flocked over the Alps to learn Greek (which was the key
to the new loiowledge) from the Florentine teachers.
Grocyn, of Oxford College, was perhaps the first English-
man who studied under the Greek exile, Chalcondylas,
and on his return in 1491, delivered lectures in Oxford,
which mark the opening of a new period in the history of
England.

"Physical as Avell as literary activity awoke witli the
re-discovery of the teachers of Greece, and the continu-
ous progress of English Science maj?^ be dated from the
day when Linacre, another Oxford student, returned from
the lectures of the Florentine Politan to revive the older
tradition of medicine, by his translation of Galen.

"The printing-press was making books the common
property of all, and in the last thirty years of the Fif-
teenth Century, ten thousand editions of books and pam-
phlets are said to have been published throughout Europe.
All the Latin authors were accessible to every student
before the century closed. All the more valuable authors
of Greece were published in the twenty years that fol-
lowed."

About the time these events w^ere transpiring, there
was born in Brentwood, Essex, England, John Wright,
who was the earliest known progenitor of the family
whose history is contained in these pages. He was granted
a baronetcy June 20th, 1509, and was thus entitled to a
seat in Parliament. He was lord of Kelvedon Hall,
which he purchased in 1538. He died in 1551.

WRIGHT is a name derived from the Anglo-Saxon
"wryhta." Like the Latin word "faber," it means a work-
man of any kind, especially an artificer in wood or hard
materials.

From genealogical writings and town histories we

16



HISTORY OF THE WRIGHT F A IVI I L Y

have gleaned the following in reference to the family
characteristics :

''''The Wrights were a highly intelligent, studious
family; supporters of religion and good order, and earn-
est patriots in the Eevolutionary struggle." (From Hib-
bard's History of Conn., page 261.)

"Characteristic of the family are truth and honor.
'I would sooner accept the word of a Wright, than to be-
lieve most men on their oath.' Rare executive ability, a
strong sense of justice, firmness combined with courtesy
and affability are other traits, to which may be added
patriotism, military ardor, and a self-sacrificing spirit.
Length of years have been rewards for upright living, and
the Wrights have numbered many centenarians in their
ranks."

It is said of one of these old men, that when he had
reached the age of ninety years, he went out in the field
to work with younger men, and sat down and cried when
he found that he could not keep up with the others.

The first Wright of whom we have any record, was
John of Kelvedon Manor, Essex. England. He died
1551. His second son was Rohert of the Moat House, lord
of the Manor of Great and Little Ropers. His direct de-
scendant was Thomas^ whom we find clerk to the Gen-
eral Court at AVethersfield, Connecticut, in 1G43.

Wrights of Kelvedon, County Essex,
England

By Wm. Gilbert^ from Wills, Registers, Visitations, Etc.



(1) JOHN WRIGHT of Kelvedon, County Essex, Eng-
land (Will "A").

Married Olive (Will "B"), who died in 1560.

Purchased Manor of Kelvedon Hall in 1538.
Died Oct. 5th, 1551. Buried in Kelvedon Hatch
Church.

17



II I S T O n V <) F r H E AV R I G H T F A INI I L Y



CHILDREN

John Wright of Kelvedon Hall, married Joane

died Oct. 10th, 1563.
(2) Rohert Wright of Brook Hall (The Moat House),

married Mary, dau. of Robert Green of Navestock

Essex ; died Jan. 25th, 1587.
John Wright of Wright's Bridge, married Alice

Wood; died 1558.
John Wright of Bishops Hall, Wealdside; married

Joan Page; died 1587.
Katherine (married Green).
Alice (married Perkins).
Elizabeth (married Shepherd).

"A" The Will of John Wright of Kelvedon Arch : Essex.
Register Thomder 117 and Register Bastwick.
(Both copies examined.)
In the name of God Amen ; 25 Sept, 1551. of Kelly-
don Essex, Yoeman. Beying in bode feble and
weak yet of pfect mynde make my will, etc. Soul
to God. Body to be buried within the Chancell of
Kellydon Church. To poor mens box 20/- To the
parish of Southweld 40/- and to the ten poorest
parishes about me 20/- each. To my loving wife
(not named) 40 marks by the yere to be paid of
my lands by my four sons equally — £6, 13, 4 each.
And the best end of my house of Kelvedon Haule
at her choice. Also to her my household stuff and
100£, 20 kyne and a gelding. To each daughter
(not named) £13, 6, 8. To every godchild 6/8, and
to every godchild of my own childrens 20/-. To
Kelydon Strete toward the reparation of the way
£3, 6, 8. To mending the way to the Common
£3, 6, 8. To the reparation of Geedy Hall Lane
40/-. To my eldest son John Wright and his heirs
Kelydon Hall, Weldsyde Knights, Hubbords

18



HISTORY OF THE WRIGHT F A :M I I. Y

Land with the two houses in Brentwood and
Layndon. To Robert Wnght and his heirs,
Ropers in Brook Street, and house meadow and
orchard in Brook Street, Smythes land, Powres
wherein now gladden dwelleth with Fyners, Bur-
necks Land and Webbs. To my son called Myddle
John I give all the land I have in Havering and
houses and millers house and a tenement in Chil-
derditch wherein Gibbes doth dwell. To my son
called Young John I give Bishops Hall, Wilchins
Pownde Mead, Welde Lyes, Bulffandes and Dich-
ars in Ramsden Bellhouse and Trays. To John
Wright son to my son John the younger, all my
land in Xavestock. To John Wright son to my
son John the elder, a tenement called Dry woods.
To John Wright son of my son Robert^ a tene-
ment called Argents. To every child (if any) of
my childrens children 20/- apiece. To each serv-
ant 6/8.

Executors : Sons John the elder and Robert.

Overseers: Sons, middle and .young John (note mid-
dle John is here styled "''John Wnght of Wrights
Bridge").

Witnesses: Thomas Wood, clerk (I. E. parson) Rob-
ert Sheparde, John Symonde, and Thomas Lyt-
man.

Proved 21 November 1551 at Stapleford Abbotts by
the two Executors named. (Register Bastwick
states it was j^roved at Brentwood but agrees in
the date.)

"B" The Will of Olive Wright of Kelvedon.

Original Will examined at Somerset House. London,
by William Gilbert, on January 17th, 1910, there
being no registered copy.
In the Xame of God, Amen. 22 June 1560.
19



HISTORY OF THE WRIGHT FAMILY

Olyve Wryght of the parish of Kelvedon, County
Essex, sick of bod}^ but whole of mind. Soul to
God. To be buried in the chancel of Kelvedon
Church. To the reparation of that church £4.
Ditto South Weald Church 40 3/4-. To poor £5
at burial and £5 at the months mind. 30 3/4- a
year for twenty years after my decease to the poor
people of Kelvedon and South Weald equally. To
Katryne my daughter £5. To Richard^ Thomas^
Reignold^ Parnell^ and Elizabeth Green 40/- each.
To Mary Green 13/4. To Olyjfe her daughter
20/- and to every other one of Katrynes children
now living 6/8. To Olive ^ daughter of my son
Robert Wright 20/-. To Katherine, Dorothy and
Thomas Wright, his children 20/- each. To Joan
daughter of John Wright of Kelvedon 40/- and
to Thomas his son 20/- and to his other two chil-
dren (not named) 6/8 each. To Olive and Dor-
othy, daughters of John Wnght of the Bridge,
my son last deceased, 20/- each, and to John, Rob-
ert and Agnes his children 13/4 each.
To Kathryne Green my daughter three chestes and
a cupboard, etc.

To Alice Perhyns my daughter £5, and to each of
her children 20/-.

To Elizabeth Shepherd my daughter £5.
To William Oivtred 20/- and to his tAvo sons now
living 20/- each.

To Robert Wright my son a chest.
To John Wright my son of Wealdsyde a pot, and
to John Omfrey and Mary his children 40/- each
and to Anthony and Dorothy 20/- each and to his
two youngest children (not named) 6/8 each.
To John Wr^ight of Kelvedon my son a table and
to his children John, Robert and Dorothy 20/-
each.

20



HISTORY O r T H E W R I G IT T F A M I T. Y

To John son of Robert Wright 20/-.

To daughter Katheri?ie, my bed.

To Olive Combers my god-daughter 20/-.

To Joh?i Omjrey and Mary Wright two silver

spoons each.

To Alice Stace, widow of Weald Church Gate

20/-.

Residue of goods to be distributed amongst the

poor of Kelvedon, Weald and Navestock.

Executors : John Wright of Wealdsyde, and John

Green of Navestock, 20/- to each of them.

Overseers : John Wright of Kelvedon and Robert

Wright 10/- to each of them.

Witnesses : Paull Spence curate of Kelvedon, John

Chesson, Thomas Nevell.

Duodecimo die mensis prefati (Oct 1560) pro-

batum fuit testm Olavi Wright nuper de Kelydon

def juram to Execator Quibus commissa fuit ad-

ministraco, etc. Jurat ad sea dei evangelia. (Act

Book I, folio 17.)



(2) ROBERT WRIGHT, son of John (1) and Olive
Wright (Will "C").

Married Mary, daughter of Robert Green of Nave-
stock, Essex.

He lived at Brook Hall (The Moat House), Brook
St., South Weald.

He died Jan, 25th, 1587, and was buried in South
Weald Church.

CHILDREN

John Wright, died without issue.

Robert Wright, baptized June 30th, 1542; died
young.

Katherine Wright, baptized March 20th, 1544. Mar-
ried William Kent, Nov. 28th, 1565.

21



TI I S T O R Y () 1'^ r HE WRIGHT FAMILY

Olive Wright^ married Richard Thresher, Oct. 19th,

1563.
Dorothy W light, married John Hatch, May 28th,

1566.
(3) Thomas Wright of Brook Hall (The Moat House).
Married Roberdye Pake.



'C" The Will of Eohcrt Wright of Brook Street Arch :
Essex Register Draper Folio 149.

In the name of God Amen ; 17 January 1587.

I, Rohert Wrighte, of Brooke Streate in the parish
of South Wealde in the County of Essex, yoeman,
whole of mynde, etc. Doe make my last will, etc.
Soul to God and body to be buried within the par-
ish church of South Wealde.
To Ma?'y, my wife, all my lands and goods, for
her natural life, and after her decease my son
John Wrighte shall enter in and upon the same
and I appoint my said son to be Executor,
(No witnesses named.)

Proved February 22d, 1587, by John Wrighte (Act
Book 3, folio k).



(3) THOMAS WEIGHT, son of Robert (2) and Mary

Wright.
Married Roherdye Pake, and lived in Brook Hall

(The Moat House).
He was buried Oct. 21st, 1617. She was buried Nov.

17th, 1603.

CHILDREN

(4) John Wright of Brook Hall (The Moat House),

baptized Sept. 13th, 1577 ; buried May 30th, 1640.
Robert Wright, baptized Jan'y 2nd, 1570-1. Mar-
ried Ann .

22



I



HISTORY O F T II E W R I (! H T F A M I L Y

William Wright, baptized Oct. 22d, 1578.
Matthew Wright.

Mary Wright, baptized March 20th, 1568.
Olive Wright, baptized Feb. 28th, 1569.
Joane Wnght, baptized Jan. 1st, 1571-2.
Thomazine Wright.



<4) JOHN WRIGHT, son of Thomas (3) and Roher-
dye Wright.
Married Grace, daughter of Henry Glasscock, of
High Easter Parsonage, Essex. Lived at Brook


1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

Online LibraryWilliam Henry WrightHistory of the Wright family, who are descendants of Samuel Wright (1722-1789) of Lenox, Mass., with lineage back to Thomas Wright (1610-1670) of Wetherfield, Conn., (emigrated 1640), showing a direct line to John Wright, Lord of Kelvedon Hall, Essex, England → online text (page 1 of 12)