Name: Richard Wright Sr103
Place: Rowan County, North Carolina
The gravestone for Richard's son, William, states his parents were R and N
Wright. Since the names Nancy and Ann were often interchangeable (I believe
Nancy would have been the nickname) I tend to believe that wife Ann,
mentioned in Richard's will, was indeed the mother of William, if not of all
his children. Some researchers state that he was married to Nancy Davis
but, so far as I know, no real evidence exists.
Will of Richard Wright Sr
In 2009 I received a several-generation copy of Richard
Wright's will, as recorded in the Rowan county clerk's office, from Michael
Wright of Jackson County, Indiana. The mark, at left, is taken from that. A
few months later, Shirley Gragg sent a copy she received from the North
Carolina State Archives. It is this document--most likely the original
entry--that Sandra Stanton refers to: "When the
[Rowan] county clerk had entered the will in the county records she or he
left out two lines. The original
will was finally uncovered at the NC Archives by a Wright researcher
from here in San Diego. Of course the son [Evans] that had been missed just
happened to be [our] ancestor."
I think we can be reasonably certain as to how the notion of Richard
Wright "middle initial" erroneously came about. It's too bad that so many
"genealogists" are so careless in their interpretation of documents..
The following trascription was lifted from Herbert Arkin's
website. It's in sore need of revision.
From the office of Clerk Superior Court, Rowan County, Salisbury, North
Carolina, in Will Book C, page 207.
In the name of God Amen. I Richard Wright Senr. of the County of Roan &
State of North Carolina being through the abundant goodness and mercy of God
tho weak in body Yet of a sound and perfect understanding & Memory do
constitute this my last Will and Testament, and desire it to be Received by
all as such. As for my burial I desire it to be decent without pomp or
State at the discretion of my dear Wife and as to my worldly Estate I will
and positively order that all my debts be paid. I give and bequeath to my
son Benjamin [Wright] Two hundred Acres of land lying on the Waters of Deep
River in Randolph County, Including the plantation whereon he used to live
& I give to my son Peter Twenty Shillings & I give to my Sons
Richard & William an Entry of land containing 226 Acres lying in
Randolph County on the Waters of Uary to be divided equally at their own
discretion. I give to my son Amus One hundred Acres of land including the
house wherein he now lives & the price of a new Saddle and Bridle &
I likewise give to my son William a feather Bed and
furniture & and I give to my son Evins a milch cow a feather bed and
furniture and the price of a good saddle and Bridle. I give to my son John
a cow and Calf or the Value thereof in Gold or Silver & I give to my son
Philburd a Horse Bridle and Saddle and a Cow and feather Bed and furniture
at the age of Twenty One . or at his Mothers discretion and this plantation
where I now live at his Mothers decease or Marriage and I give to my dear
and loving Wife Two hundred Acres of land lying on deep River where I
formerly used to live in Randolph County to sell at her discretion and
likewise all my moveable property that I possess and if she marries, two
thirds of the Estate is to be divided equal amongst the Children and if she
dies without marrying, the principle Estate is to be divided equal amongst
the all my children. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and
seal this third day of September; Anno Dom: 1784
Witness present Bis
The will was probated Feb 8, 1785 by Evans Wright and James Morgan Junr. His
widow, Ann, and William Wright qualified giving bond of 200 pounds with
James Morgan as security.
Richard X WRIGHT (Seal)|
Wm X Wright
Evins X WRIGHT
Richard Wright, Jr.
James MORGAN Junr.
Richard Wright's Ancestry
Genetic genealogy has dispelled at least two Wright myths and have
brought us much closer to the truth of Richard Wright's ancestry. DNA has
disproved that he was a son of Daniel and Eleanor (Benton) Wright--a tidy
and long-accepted connection that is simply not correct. Likewise, DNA has
disproved that Richard was a descendant of William Wright, of the John
Washington family. On the other hand, it has shown that Richard was closely
related to Philbert Wright, baptized 1719 in Maryland, a son of Philbert
Wright and Esther Becraft. More information about the genetic evidence can
be found at Patrilineal Descendants of Philbert
Following is a county history biography of Grant Wright, the
transcription having been lifted from
http://www.geocities.com/macase1961/Briogra2.htm#grantf. See also the
article that Grant wrote about Richard's son, William
"CENTENNIAL HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, INDIANA ITS PEOPLE, INDUSTRIES AND
INSTITUTIONS" By Warder W. Stevens. With Biographical Sketches of
Representative Citizens and Genealogical Records of Many of the Old
Families. Illustrated 1916 B. F. Bowen & Company, Inc. Indianapolis,
GRANT F. WRIGHT, of Washington township, Washington County, Indiana, is of
pioneer stock and is one of the excellent farmer of this section. He was
born on July 3, 1868, on the farm where he now resides with his father,
PHILBIRD MARION WRIGHT. Philbird Marion Wright was born in September 17,
1832, and is the youngest of three children born to ELI and ELIZABETH
(BOWER) WRIGHT. Eli Wright was born on September 5, 1795, and was the son of
PHILBIRD and MOLLY (SEARS) WRIGHT. Philbird Wright was born on March 29,
1768, and was the son of RICHARD WRIGHT, who came to America from England in
the early days. He had five sons: WILLIAM, PHILBIRD, AMOS, RICHARD, JR., and
HUGH. Amos had five sons also, who were all ministers and noted for their
ability. Their names were JOHN, PETER, JOSHUA, LEVI and AMOS, JR. John
Wright was one for the forters at Ft. Hill, and one of his children, ELVIRA,
was born in the fort in 1813, and lived her entire life within sight of the
fort. She had three brothers and one sister; DAVID, RANSOM, JACOB and NANCY.
Jacob Wright preached the dedication sermon at Ft. Hill on October 1, 1860.
Philbird Wright, son of Richard Wright, who was the first of his family to
settle in America, married MOLLY SEARS and they located on the farm once
owned by HARRY DENNY but now in the possession of HENRY ROBERTS. Molly
(Sears) Wright was born on February 13, 1776. They were the parents of
eleven children: NANCY, born on February 13, 1794; ELI, September 5, 1795;
EVANS, July 18, 1797; SARAH, September 14, 1799; BARBARA, November, 1801;
ELIZABETH, November, 1803; KATHERINE, January 5, 1805; DELILAH, born on
February 10, 1809; JOHN, ABSALOM, CELIA (RATTS) and POLLY. The mother of
these children died on September 10, 1830 and her husband married ELIZABETH
BECK on November 15, 1832. Philbird Wright immigrated to Indiana from North
Carolina about 1809.
Eli Wright and his wife, Elizabeth (Bower) Wright were the parents of three
children: ADAM H., who died in 1901; CAROLINE, wife of JAMES BREWER, who
died in 1898, and PHILBIRD MARION. Eli Wright built and operated one of the
first grist-mills in the township. He died of cholera on June 14, 1833, and
his wife, in 1847. Philbird Marion Wright received his education in a log
school house, located about two miles south of Salem, Indiana, and later
became a school teacher. The school which he attended had a large fireplace
and the seats were split logs. His first teacher was PROF. JAMES G. MAY.
Philbird Marion married ELIZABETH WISEMAN in 1863 and they became the
parents of two children, CORA, who died in 1903 and GRANT, who now resides
with his father. The mother died in 1905. Philbird Marion Wright has lived
on his present farm for more than sixty years. His wife was born on August
21, 1831, in Washington county, Indiana, and was the daughter of JACOB and
POLLY (RATTS) WISEMAN. Her marriage was solemnized on May 28, 1863. Jacob
Wiseman was a native of North Carolina and it was there that he was married
to MARY MAGDALENE RATTS. He was a music teacher. They became the parents of
these children; JAMES, HENRY, NEWTON, MARY, ELIZABETH, SARAH, AMANDA,
MARGARET, MALINDA and several more who died in infancy.
Grant Wright was reared on the farm where he now lives with his father,
Philbird M. Wright, and was educated in the township schools. Also in the
graded school at Salem, Indiana, and in May's academy. He is an active
Democrat and a member of the Church of Christ at Ft. Hill Chapel. The farm
which he cultivates consists of two hundred and sixty-seven acres, fifty
acres of which are in timber. This farm is known as "Riverside Farm" and is
situated in an excellent location. Cora, the sister of Grant Wright, who was
born on September 22, 1872, and who died on July 2, 1903. During her
lifetime she was recognized as a writer of attainment and contributed to
many newspapers and magazines. She was a cultured writer and her death
interrupted what promised to be a career in field of literature.
From Queen Anne's Parish Records, Prince George's Co., MD
975.251 K22b Prince George's Co., Church Recs., MD, Vol. 1
Philbert RIGHT md. Ester BYCRAFT 3 Dec 1712
Judy Unsicker says on Rootsweb that
...they had a son Philbert bapt. 1719. R.W. Barnes' (1989)
"Baltimore County Families 1659-1759" lists a Philburd Wright (no dates) who
had sons Richard and Philbert, both of whom served in the Revolutionary War
and moved to NC. Philbert moved to Orange Co., NC2 and Richard
d. ca. 1786 in Rowan Co. NC.
Barnes, or one of his research associates, misinterpreted the information
from their source, the 1970 reprint and revision of the 1949 "Revolutionary
Soldiers Buried in Indiana" by Margaret R Waters. After studying the entry,
I see that the misreading is understandable. Frankly, the article is a
mess. But a careful parsing of the following paragraph reveals that the
father of Philburt Wright Sr and Richard Wright Sr is actually not
WRIGHT, PHILBURD - p. 37
Philburd Wright, Junior, was the son of Philburd Wright, Sr., who was
b. in Baltimore Co., Md; went in 1762 to Orange Co,. N.C. (part later called
Randolph Co.) with his (Sr.'s) bro., Richard Wright, Sr. (Richard Wright,
Sr., also born Baltimore Co., Md; d. 1786, Rowan Co., N.C.; had a son
Philburt Wright, b. 1768, who mov. to Cumberland Co., Ky.; then to
Washington Co., Ind., where he made affid. for pens. appl. 1832 of his bro.,
William Wright, "Roster" p.391). Philburd Wright. Jr.'s chn.: Joshua
(disappeared 1815, New Orleans); Caroline Delilah m. John Summey; Sarah m.
John Fontz; Mary m. John Beard; Noah b 8-30-1784, Randolph Co., N.C.; d.
7-11-1863, Perry Twp., Marion Co., Ind.; Susannah Parr, d. 10-9-1842 (dau.
of Arthur & Mary Morgan Parr, natives of Rowan Co., N.C.); Levi b.
6-12-1790, N.C.; d. near Salem, Washington Co.,Ind.; m. Sarah Wright, b.
8-31-1797, d. 8-19-1834 (cousin; dau. of William & Elizabeth (Morgan)
Wright; William a Rev. sold.; "Roster" p.391); Joel b. 2-5-1795, Randolph
Co., N.C. (or born 2-5-1793, Stokes Co., N,C.); d. 4-9-1828; m. 9-10-1812,
N.C., Sarah Birely, b. 4-30-1789, d. ae. 76; Jesse m. Mary Brown; Elizabeth
m. James Rains; Aaron m. Ruhama Sellers; Eli (liv. Wayne Co., Ind., 1893;
mar., & a son). Noah Wright to Jeffersonville, Ind., 1808; back to N.C.
a yr.; to Washington Co., Ind., 1810; in 1831 to Marion Co., Ind., &
sett. in Perry Twp. Levi Wright to Ind. 1810 & sett. near Salem, Ind.
Joel Wright to Ind. Terr. 1813 with parents; in Nov. 1815, Joel sett. on W.
fork of Whitewater in (now) Wayne Co., Ind.; to Washington Twp., Marion Co.,
Ind, Dec. 1821. REF: "Ind. Mag. of Hist.",
v.36, pp.160-161: Pict. &
Biog. Mem. of Indpls. & Marion Co." (1893) pp. 243-244; Sulgrove--"Hist.
of Indpls. & Marion Co., Ind." (1884), p. 628.
Margaret Waters was good enough to cite her sources. Unfortunately, each
of them is secondary.
J. Campbell says on GenCircles that a "Philbert Wright transported to
Va./Maryland in 1663." No source noted. I found this entry from Filby's
Passenger and Immigration Lists.
Wright, Phil n.a.; VA 1663
In turn, Filby cites Nugent's "Cavaliers and Pioneers," Vol 1, page
WALTER GRAINGER, 2000, acs. in the freshes of Rappa. Riv., beg. on S. side
of the River about 4 mi. above Nanzimum Towne &c. 26 Sept. 1663, p. 365,
(396). Granted to Mr. Thomas Purefoy 13 Mar. 1655, by him assigned to Tho.
& Robt. Elliot, sons of Anth. Ellyott & renewed in their names 25
Nov. 1658, by them deserted & granted sd. Grainger by order of court
dated herewith & due for trans. of 40 pers: 20 negroes; James Trew, Jno.
Jordan, Phil. Wright, Roger Pillips, Jervis Salmon, Fra. Plowman, Fra.
Fisher, Wm. Mead, Emil. Umpton, Sarah Waite, Tho. Carier, John Card, Step.
Rogers, Charles Smart, Jno. Sims, John Mahew, Rich. Hollis, Eliz. Tatler,
Tho. Jones, Jno. Taylor.
I have no opinion as to whether "Phil. Wright" can or should be read
Philbert Wright instead of Phillip Wright. But, until we have a better idea,
it's only worth noting. Regardless, if there really was a Philbert Wright
who arrived in 1663, he'd have probably been too old to have been Richard
Wright's father. Could he have been his grandfather? If so, we'd have
something like this.
Philbert Wright?, trans 1663?
Philbert Wright, m 1712
Philbert Wright Amos Wright Richard Wright, d 1784/5
bapt. 1719 |
Philbert Wright Philburd Wright William Wright
Filbert Wright Jr Eli Wright
Philbird M Wright
Both the genetic and genealogical record indicate that Richard was
260. Richard WRIGHT (c1730-1784/85)
520. Philbert RIGHT
521. Easter BECRAFT (1695-)
1042. Peter BECRAFT (1657-1716)
2084. Peter BECRAFT (1619-)
2085. Margret CANSFIELD
4168. George BECRAFT (c1572-)
4169. Rosamund HULTON (-1624)
Correspondent, Shirley Gragg, pointed out the following entries to me,
This may have been Philbert and Esther's family as of 1722:
Ann Right Born October 11, 1713
Peter Right Born March 31, 1717
Philbert Right Born September 04, 1719
Rebecca Right Born 1722
To my knowledge, primary source material doesn't exist showing that the
Philbert Wright of Orange county, NC and Richard Wright were even brothers.
However, the name Philbert as a forename is rare. It wouldn't surprise me
if it existed only among this particular family of Wrights. But there is
some hope to the extent that it's possible to determine through genetics
whether Philbert Sr and Richard Sr were brothers. As per the Waters
extract, above, Philbert (married Elizabeth Reagan) had the following sons:
Joshua, Noah, Levi, Joel, Jesse and Aaron. Certainly, there are still some
Y chromosomal representatives alive today. Any potential candidate should
contact the Wright Surname DNA
See Patrilineal Descendants of Philbert Wright for more information.
1. Pennsylvania Archives, Second Series, Published under the direction of
Matthew S Quay, Secretary of the Commonwealth. Edited by John B Linn and Wm
H Egle, MD., Vol VIII. Harrisburg, 1878.
2. According to "Some Neglected History of North Carolina" by William
Edwards Fitch (1905), a Philbert Wright of Orange county, NC signed the 9th
Regulator advertisement in 1768. Fitch's source was "Colonial Records of
the State of North Carolina, Vol VII, pp. 733-737."
3. Ann's father, William Allen Magee IV, is the source of much of
the information she has--all of it found in a Wright family bible, once in
the possession of the Baird Family of Norfolk and Richmond, VA.
4. A May 2008 email from Robert Grant points out that this William Wright (born
1809) was not of the John Washington/Francisw Wright line line: 1792 John
Wright of Fauquier County, Virginia, was not the son of 1729/30 John Wright
of Stafford County, Virginia, or the grandson of 1713 Francis Wright of
Westmoreland County, Virginia. We found one documented descendant of 1713
Francis Wright through his second son 1741 Richard Wright of Westmoreland
County and one partially documented descendant of 1655 Francis Wright of
Yorkshire County, England, the grandfather of 1713 Francis Wright. Their
haplogroup is J2, which is different from 1792 John Wright's haplogroup of
R1b1b2. This is set out at the Wright DNA Project with listings under 1792
John and 1540 John for the two lines.
All original portions ©
Michael Cooley, OrbitInternet.net -