Archive for the ‘Wright’ 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

Read Full Post »

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

Read Full Post »

As recounted earlier, my paternal roots go back to the founding of the New England colonies with six lines to The Mayflower, ancestors on the second and third ships, The [mis]Fortune and The Anne, the Winthrop Fleet, etc. As a result it was relatively (npi) easy to find books and other resources that documented my early lineage. Resources such as the New England Historic Genealogical Register, the Great Migration series, the Mayflower books, etc. My direct immigrant ancestor, Deacon John Wright, had an early write-up in the NEHGR, Volume 37, pages 76-83 (Jan 1883).

I will at some point do a Family Friday write up on Deacon John Wright (1601-1688), my 9th great-grandfather. He was present in Charlestown, Massachusetts in 1630 but I did find one book in the Salem, Mass. Public Library that had him in Salem in 1628. I just can’t put my hands on that note right now. That would put him with Endicott, I believe. I am surprised that John is not included anywhere in the Great Migration series.

So with all that available, I had a good start on doing a 10 generation study. In fact I had so much data that I felt it necessary to set a boundary for my research. I decided to cut it off “at the water’s edge,” choosing not to do too much tracing back to the mother country, Great Britain. Besides, the “all world” access package with Ancestry was a bit pricey, opting instead for a NEHGS research membership.

Up until The Presidential Project, I was pretty much able to stick with my scope restriction. I was about half way to completing my 10 generation chart. I did do a little bit of Royal trace-back when the data was right there, but stuck to the direct lines. I should add that on my mother’s side, she goes back to Early Colonial Canada and there is a wealth of research available there too. So you can see I had my hands full and the Atlantic seemed like a decent barrier to keep me focused.

I was also going to stick with my scope restriction for TPP but that darned Surname Alarm was just ringing too loud for me to ignore. Once I found The Peerage, scope was cast off and I was running down European Royalty to beat the band. But even there, I tried to set a stopping point because it was a lot – and I mean a lot – of data entry. I decided that I would stop with my 30th great-grandparents and save the first millennium for another day. That is only a couple of billion ancestors to track down.

Well, that lasted for about a week when I was finding common surnames amongst generation 33 and would need to go back a generation or two to see if there was a common ancestor. That has me running back as early as the 800’s with a hint there is even earlier data available. I have also resigned myself to enter in all the children as I have found many cross-connections 3 or 4 generations down the line.

For me the bottom line is that it’s beneficial to set some scope boundaries when planning my research. But as with any rule, it is made to be broken, especially when there is a good reason to do so.

Tomorrow’s installment: Credit where credit is due

Read Full Post »