I will try to write, in my words, the way I see the movement of our branch of the Wright family in America.
William Robert Wright was the son of Robert Wright of Yorkshire, England. He became a member of the Methodist Church, at the age of 17 years, under the leadership(?) of John Wesley at the City Roads Chapel in London, England. John Wesley was a known leader of the Methodist Church.
We do not know if he was an only child, or if he had siblings or why he and his wife decided to come to America.
William Sr. married Hannah Collins at the City Roads Chapel and they had their first child in England in 1799. This first child was named Anna. Her married name was Saunders. She was later to care for E.B.Wright for a time after the death of his parents
William Sr., his wife, and daughter then came to New York in 1800 and had their second child Lucy in 1801. Lucy’s married name was Holderby.
They had 3 more children, Hannah 1803, Maria 1805, and Harriet 1807, while in New York, then moved to Richmond VA where William Jr. was born in 1807. Two of the girls must have died in infancy or in early youth as they were buried in NY.
It is no wonder the women of those days didn’t live too be a great old age- 1 child every other year! Harriet’s married name was McCormack.
Edward D. Wright was born in 1811, and Richard in 1813.
The Sr. Wrights had 2 more daughters, Martha 1813, and Sarah in 1815. Then they moved to Charleston, West VA.
There was 1 son John 1817, and Daughter Mary G.
1819, born in
The family then moved to the Ohio bottoms where the City of Huntington, W.VA is located.
Daughter Harriet McCormack died in 1831 in Huntington, W. VA at the age of 28 yrs.
I don’t know if the son William Jr. went alone to the West. One letter states
Richard died in the “West”, but in another Wm. Jr is asking about Richard’s whereabouts.
William Wright, Jr. moved out west and ended up in Greenville, IL. He met and married Matilda Ann White, the 5th child of Richard and Sarah White of Greenville. They were married in June of 1839.
They died within 6 wks. of each other, leaving a child under the age of one year. Wm. Jr. was 33 yrs at the time of death and Matilda was 19. I wonder why they died so young. Was it a disease, like typhoid or Cholera?
The child Edward Benson (or Benton) Wright (EB) was cared for by his Aunt Anna Wright Saunders. Asa and Anna Saunders, Wesley White along with Richard White were listed as guardians and administrators of William Jr’s estate. These are the things that I wonder about—How did Wm Wright Jr. manage to have an estate? Unless Matilda was given land from her father, who it appears was rather prosperous. Or had he homesteaded land and build an estate. He states in a letter to his brother Edward, dated 1837, that he is making 300 per term teaching school, but intended to pursue farming.
Anna Saunders cared for EB after Wm Jr’s death. She was living in Marine, IL. Is that where Wm Jr. was when he first came to the “west”? (Letter to Edward Wright from Marine Settlement 1837)
Upon receipt of the news of William Jr's death, in Oct.1820, father William Sr. and son, Edward departed for Greenville on Nov 16, 1640. They arrived in time for the sale of Wm. Jr.’s things. They returned to Huntington with some of Wm Jr.’s belongings on Dec 12, 1640.
How did they travel so much in those days? They traveled back and forth from W.VA. as if this were nothing. Did they have trains that early? How did they travel that distance in a month’s time? I guess if they had fast horses.
Father William Sr. and Hannah, along with daughter
Sarah and her husband
Wm Sr. and Hannah are buried in Greenville in Mt Gilead Cemetery, in Greenville, IL.
His paternal grandfather, Richard White, raised EB until grandfather’s death in 1851. Uncle Wesley White then raised him.
EB served in the Civil War, and married Martha Allen, of Greenville in Sept. of 1867.at the age of 28 yrs. I haven’t found proof of his Civil War Service.
EB and Martha Moved to Competition, MO. Martha’s father Henry Allen accompanied them.
I am too tired to try to figure any more of this out, for now. My typing has been reduced to “hunt and peck at it”.
This is my version derived from information found in copies of old letters in the family, my trip to Greenville and information from genealogical files there and conversations with Uncle Herbert and Uncle Ed Vermillion.
I am not writing this letter for any sort of publication, or all that struff. I have not proof read this, but my handy-dandy “spelling” checker, which usually gets me into more trouble than I want to go into here, says this is a readability level of 6.7!!
Whatever that means. How do I know? My brother got all the brains, and I don’t type well either. I just paint my dreams and hope someone out there likes what I did.
Patt. Patt is in the Line of William JR Wright
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