Archive for the ‘Family Fridays’ Category

This article is part of a series journaling my progress with what I call The Presidential Project. The first article was posted on 25 May, 2017 and can be found here: Back to the Blog and you can read forward to today.
Thursday, June 15, 2017

I was originally going to write for Thursday about my immigrant ancestors and the ships that brought them to America, but I realized that my data needs a little more cleanup in that respect, so I am deferring the subject to a later date. But that work suggested the following update. Consider this a Family Friday extra 🙂

I wrote about Deacon John Wright (1601-1688) last Friday. He is my direct paternal 9th great-grandfather and an immigrant to America from England. As I work with this blog, I am realizing there is much more to learn about John and am considering moving him up on my to-do list.

As I said on Friday, many secondary sources place John and his wife Priscilla in Charlestown, Massachusetts in 1630. That suggests he was part of the Winthrop Fleet migration but his name appears on no passenger manifest that has been found to date. I did find once source stating he was part of the fleet, but it requires supporting documentation.1

John first appeared in official records in 1640: “John, a first settler of Woburn, ]Mass.,] subscribed the “town orders” (at Charlestown) Dec. 18, 1640; selectman of Woburn, 1645-47, 1649-58, 1660-64, 1670, 1680-81; commissioner of the rate, 1646, 1671; deacon of Woburn church from Nov. 10, 1664, to his death.”2 A thank you to William R Cutter, esq., the town librarian of Woburn Massachusetts for his research into the town founders! There is a linear foot of papers on the Wright family in the Woburn Public Library awaiting my review. Some day …

Interestingly enough, John is not mentioned in The Great Migration series nor does he appear in the 1638 land records of Charlestown. One possible explanation is that he arrived after 1638 or, if the other sources that place him there in 1630 are correct, then it is likely he arrived as a servant, perhaps indentured. I wonder if a household census or survey exists for the 1630’s.

My curiosity is up and I will need to work this further. More to come at a later date.

Next Installment: Family Friday: The Family Food

1“Carr-Harris – History & Genealogy” by Carr-Harris, Gordon Grant Macdonnel, (Printed in 1966 for private circulation) Wright Pt I – App I p 1 Woburn [Mass.] Public Library, special collection, Call number: G2 C31C

2“Wright Family of Woburn, Mass.” By William R. Cutter, Esq., Librarian of the Public Library, Woburn, Mass. New England Historic Genealogical Register, Jan. 1883, Vol. 37, p. 76

(c) 2017 Philip G Wright, all rights reserved

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This article is part of a series journaling my progress with what I call The Presidential Project. The first article was posted on 25 May, 2017 and can be found here: Back to the Blog

My direct immigrant ancestor was Deacon John Wright (1601-1688). He was in Charlestown, Massachusetts as early as 1630 (multiple sources). But this article is not about him directly.

There are several write-ups for John on the internet about him and there was a web site dedicated to him and spouse Priscilla directly, www.wrightfamily.ca, but it seems to be off the air. If anyone knows the operator please let him know I would be happy to pick up the baton. Hmmm, maybe a future article about succession planning.

I found another nice write-up that has promising leads, here. And (distant, 9th, 1x removed) cousin Heather Wilkinson Rojo did a “Surname Saturday” article about John, back in 2013, here: Surname Saturday ~ Wright of Woburn, Massachusetts. I am going to write about her Nutfield Genealogy blog tomorrow because I am so impressed.

So what do I mean about “The Wrong Wright?” Everybody loves to have illustrious ancestors in their family tree, especially in a direct line of descent. There was such an illustrious Wright living in England with descendants in the right time-frame: Sir John Wright (1488-1551) of Kelvendon Hall. You will find many family trees in the popular places, such as Ancestry.com, showing a link, sometimes direct, to Sir John. I have not found one with a legitimate source to prove the connection.

Well, the last name matches, but Wright is almost as ubiquitous as Smith. John was a common Christian name in both of the lines of descent,  but there is nothing unique about that. But other than those similarities, I see no evidence supporting a link. Sir John’s descendants were “toffs”; my John was a tanner by trade. My John is from county Kent; Kelvendon Hall is in the adjacent Essex county. Not an impossible geographic distance, but distance back then meant a lot more than it does now.

To be honest, my Scope restriction has kept my research into English Origins pretty limited. I chose not to cross the pond but rather concentrate on lines of descent from my immigrant ancestors. Way down on the to-do list is to participate in a DNA surname study, which I think is the best bet in making the direct connections to the early Wrights, barring the luck of stumbling upon decent records from the 16th and 17th centuries.

So for now, Sir John Wright of Kelvendon Hall is the Wrong Wright.

Next Installment: Nutfield Genealogy

(c) 2017 Philip G Wright, all rights reserved

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You have probably heard the expression “My Sainted Aunt!” The Oxford Dictionary defines it as “an exclamation expressing surprise or disbelief.” It also says it is a dated, informal British phrase. Well, little did I know how appropriate that expression would turn out to be for my little project. Dated? Given I’m rooting around in the 11th century, that fits. But imagine my surprise (and a touch of disbelief) when I discovered the wife of my 28th great-grandfather, Malcolm III, the King of Scotland in 1058, is an honest-to-goodness Saint. Saint Margaret of Scotland, my 28th great-grandmother.

There is a very nice write-up in Wikipedia, here, on Saint Margaret, also known as Margaret of Wessex.  I was up to my ears in Norman ancestors so it was nice to find the tie to my Anglo-Saxon roots.

220px-StMargareth_edinburgh_castle2Saint Margaret was canonized by Pope Pope Innocent IV in 1250 “in recognition of her personal holiness, fidelity to the Roman Catholic Church, work for ecclesiastical reform, and charity.” Her feast day was moved to June 10th by Pope Innocent XII and moved again in 1969 to November 19th, the anniversary of her death.

I won’t repeat the Wikipedia article in this entry, but if you are curious, I recommend not only reading the article linked above, but also doing a search on Saint Margaret of Scotland. 389,000 results return including photographs of her stained glass window in St Margaret’s Chapel, Edinburgh. In the images returned by that search, there are even coloring pages for the great grandchildren, here, for example.

Saint Margaret is also venerated as a saint in the Anglican Church. There is actually a store-front Anglican Church a mile or so down my street. Looks like I need to go talk to the pastor. Meanwhile, may the great-grandchildren start coloring and send some artwork to grammy.

Tomorrow’s installment: a review of The Peerage.

Note for the family members:

I’ve started a major genealogical research project and felt compelled to blog about the experience. It is and will be a journal of my experience, primarily technical and giving me the chance to “think out loud.” Pretty boring stuff for most of you. But I did want to set aside one day a week to highlight our family history.

Relatively yours, Phil

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