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Home: Regional: U.S. States: Virginia: Bedford County

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Identification of John Wright (Montgomery County)
Posted by: Robert Grant (ID *****4175) Date: July 04, 2008 at 07:49:31
  of 1954

Thanks to a suggestion from Roberta Horton, an identification has been made of John Wright (Montgomery County).

John Wright (Montgomery County) was a son of 1815 Joseph Wright of Bedford County and his first wife Elizabeth (Kemp) Wright and a grandson of 1763 Thomas Wright of Bedford County and Mary (_____) Wright.

The basis of that identification is as follows:

The Personal Property Tax Lists of Montgomery County, Virginia, list John Wright (Montgomery County) as a resident in Montgomery County from 1787 until 1839 when Pulaski County was formed from the part of Montgomery County in which John resided and then the Personal Property Tax Lists for Pulaski County list John Wright as a resident in Pulaski County until 1844 or 1845 when he probably died. Only one John Wright was listed in the Montgomery County Personal Property Tax Lists in those years, except for the following:
1)       In 1810 a John Wright (B.F.) was also listed with John Wright (Montgomery County,
2)       In 1816 a John Wright, Sr., and John Wright, Jr., were listed in the Joseph Reyburn List while John Wright (Montgomery County) was listed in the Cyrus Robinson List, the same list in which he had been listed as in 1815,
3)       In 1820 when a John Wright was listed in the John B. Goodrich List while John Wright (Montgomery County) was listed in the William Curren List,
4)       In 1821 when a John Wright, Sr., and John Wright, Jr., were listed in the John B. Goodrich List while John Wright (Montgomery County) was listed in the William Currin List.

Exceptions 2 and 4 are discussed more fully below.

The will of 1815 Joseph Wright dated February 21, 1815, and probated on September 11, 1815, at Bedford County, Virginia, Superior Court Book A/15 listed John Wright as one of his children. John Wright, the son of 1815 Joseph Wright, was allotted two parcels of land from the estate of his father: the first was Lot number 11 consisting of 200 acres in Franklin County allotted in the Division and Allotment at Bedford County W.B. 4/255 dated June 22, 1816, and the second parcel was Lot number 8 consisting of 15 acres in Franklin County allotted in the Division and Allotment at Bedford County W.B. 4/262 dated August 22, 1816. On November 5, 1816, at Franklin County, Virginia, Deed 7/559, John Wright of Montgomery County sold Lot number 8 to James Mays and on November 5, 1816, at Franklin County, Virginia, D.B. 7/560 John Wright of Montgomery County sold Lot Number 11 to James Mays. The significant reference in both deeds is to John Wright as of Montgomery County.

The only John Wright in Montgomery County in 1816 who could have been the grantor of these deeds was John Wright (Montgomery County), which identifies him as the son of 1815 Joseph Wright of Bedford County.

Two sets of evidence that pose potential contradictions of that conclusion need to be addressed.

The first set of evidence is the listing of John Wright, Sr., and John Wright, Jr., in the 1816 and in the 1821 Montgomery County, Virginia, Personal Property Tax Lists mentioned above. These John Wrights were father and son and can be traced from Frederick County to Rockbridge County to Bedford County to Montgomery County and then to Russell County, Virginia. The marriage record of John Wright and Martha McLaughlin was dated on January 23, 1810, at Rockbridge County, Virginia. The 1813 Personal Property Tax List for Bedford County listed John Wright and John Wright, Jr., on April 12, 1813, in the Northern District. The 1814 Personal Property Tax List for Bedford County listed John Wright, Sen., and John Wright, Jr. in the John Wharton or Northern District. As set forth above, the 1816 Personal Property Tax List for Montgomery County, Virginia, listed John Wright, Sr., and John Wright, Jr., in the Joseph Reyburn List. The 1820 Census for Montgomery County, Virginia, listed John Wright, Sr., age 45 or older, and John Wright, Jr., age 26 to 45. The 1821 Personal Property Tax List for Montgomery County, Virginia, listed John Wright, Sr., and John Wright, Jr., in the John B. Goodrich District. The 1850 Census for Russell County, Virginia, listed John Wright, Sr., age 65 and born in Frederick County, Virginia, with wife Pastey, age 60 and born in Rockbridge County, Virginia. This is clearly John Wright, Jr., and his wife Martha (McLaughlin) Wright of the 1810 Rockbridge County marriage record. Their oldest child in the household was listed as George Wright, age 22 and born in Russell County, Virginia, indicating their move to that county by about 1828. The marriage record of Paris Wright and Mary _____ in 1845 in Wise County listed his parents as John Wright and Martha McLaughlin. The 1850 Census for Russell County, Virginia, listed Parris Wright and his wife Polly Wright immediately adjacent to John Wright, Sr., and Parris's age as 28 and born in Montgomery County, Virginia, which is consistent with John Wright, Jr.’s listing in the 1821 Montgomery County, Virginia, Personal Property Tax List. This trail of records makes clear that the John Wright, Sr., and John Wright, Jr., of the 1816 Montgomery County, Virginia, Personal Property Tax List were a different family from that of 1815 Joseph Wright of Bedford County and simply happened to reside in Montgomery County from 1816 to about 1822 during their migration from Frederick County to Rockbridge County to Bedford County to Montgomery County and to Russell County, Virginia. Therefore, neither of these John Wrights could have been the grantor of Bedford County Deeds 7/559 and 7/560.

The second set of evidence that needs to be addressed is several listings in the Franklin County, Virginia, Personal Property Tax Lists of a John Wright, son of J. Wright. The 1804 Personal Property Tax List had “John Wright J son”, the 1805 List had “John Wright JS”, the 1806 List had “John Wright J son”, and the 1807 and 1809 Lists had “John Wright Jur”. These listings might have been referring to John Wright, son of 1815 Joseph Wright, which would then place that John Wright in Franklin County at the same time John Wright (Montgomery County) was listed as resident in Montgomery County. When Sorting Some Of The Wrights Of Southern Virginia, Part I: 1763 Thomas Wright of Bedford County was written, there was no other possible John Wright who was a son of a J. Wright known to reside in Franklin County other than John Wright, the son of 1815 Joseph Wright of Bedford County. However, later research based on information provided by Nathan Murphy established that 1845 John Wright of Franklin County had a son 1848/50 John Wright of Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, who married in 1805 and resided in Franklin County until 1810 and then moved to his land in Muhlenberg County which he had purchased in 1809. This information is set forth in Sorting Some Of The Wrights Of Southern Virginia, Part III: 1809 William Wright Of Franklin County. The result is that the “John Wright J son” of those Franklin County Personal Property Tax Lists was 1848/50 John Wright of Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, and not John Wright (Montgomery County) and there is, therefore, no inconsistency in the listings.

The conclusion seems fair that John Wright (Montgomery County) was the son of 1815 Joseph Wright of Bedford County and grandson of 1763 Thomas Wright of Bedford County. As will be set forth below, this John Wright was born before 1766 and probably between 1760 and 1765 and, therefore, would be 1815 Joseph Wright’s son by his first marriage to Elizabeth (Kemp) Wright.

A male Wright descendant of 1763 Thomas Wright of Bedford County has participated in the Wright DNA Project and is Kit 42281 and his Y-DNA sequence is posted at http://www.wright-dna.org/dna/OtherResults.html under 1763 Thomas. A male Wright descendant of Smith Wright (Pulaski County), a probable son of John Wright (Montgomery County), has agreed to participate in the Wright DNA Project. If his Y-DNA matches that of Kit 42281, then this identification of John Wright (Montgomery County) will be confirmed.

I will be happy to exchange information on these various Wright families with other interested researchers.

Robert N. Grant
15 Campo Bello Court
Menlo Park, CA 94025
RNGrant@grantandgordon.com


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