A Tentative Identification Of The Parents Of 1792 John Wright Of Fauquier County
Since Charles Hoppin published his works in 1919, 1923, and 1932, the accepted ancestry of 1792 (year of death) John Wright of Fauquier County, Virginia, (place of death) has been as the son of 1729/30 John Wright of Fauquier County and Dorothy ( ) Wright and the grandson of 1713 Francis Wright of Westmoreland County and Anne (Washington) Wright. However, as set forth in my February 8 posting, recent Y-DNA results preclude 1792 John Wright from being the son of 1729/30 John Wright or the grandson of 1713 Francis Wright. The Y-DNA of 1792 John Wright is from Haplogroup R1b1 and the Y-DNA of 1729/30 John Wright and 1713 Francis Wright is from Haplogroup J2.
The consequence of this new evidence is to leave the identity of the parents of 1792 John Wright of Fauquier County in question. The following offers a tentative identification of those parents as John Wright (Westmoreland County Overseer) and (Williams) Wright. There is no documentation yet found that directly makes this identification. The evidence is circumstantial, but that circumstantial case seems promising.
Charles Hoppin in his works discussed John Wright (Westmoreland County Overseer) as follows:
“John Wright, The Overseer, Of Westmoreland, 1659-1734.
He petitioned the court of Westmoreland, 25 January, 1691, to know “the bounds of his land on upper Mochotik and also that his father in law Rice Williams Thirds may be laid out.” [Court “Order Book 1690-1698,” page 26.] At the same session (on the next page of the record), in the case of the King vs. Wright, he was charged to wit: “John Wright, overseer to Mr. Gawin Corbin for rideing abt, drinking & revelling in tyme of Divine Service.” On March 21, 1691-2, the proprietary of the Northern Neck granted to him, “John Wright of Washington parish,” one hundred and seven acres of land upon “Machotick dam,” etc., formerly held by Joseph Hadnutt, deceased, escheated to said Wright. [Northern Neck Grants, volume 1, page 142, Land Office, Richmond, Virginia.] He deposed on November 26, 1701, that he was “aged about forty-two.” [Westmoreland “Deeds and Wills No. 3,” page 15.] On June 30, 1709: “Ordered Virlandoe Wright, daughter of John Wright of Upper Machotique, mark of Cattle & Hoggs be Recorded.” [Westmoreland “Orders &c. 1705 to 1721, page 126.] On July 23, 1715, “Robert Hammett & John Wright both of Washington parish presented by the grand Jury for Retailing Liq Contra’y to Law,” etc. [Westmoreland court “Orders &c. 1705 to 1721,” page 272 dorso.] The unhappy end of this John Wright is indicated by the entry, on March 28, 1734, on page 136 dorso of the said book, to wit: “John Wright a very ancient man petitioning this Court to be levy free, and it appearing that he was an Object of Pitty, It is therefore considered that he be hereafter Exempt from paying any future public tax or levy.” The names of all of his children are not recorded in direct connection with his name; but the records of Aaron and William Wright, some of which are too unfortunate for further reference, leave little or no doubt as to their parentage. Charles Wright of Westmoreland, later of Prince William county, against whom nothing discreditable is found recorded, may have been an estimable son of John Wright the overseer, though recorded proof thereof is lacking; so one may accord to this Charles Wright the benefit of any doubt.”
The first piece of circumstantial evidence relates to John Wright the Overseer’s daughter Virlandoe Wright mentioned above. On October 18, 1731, at Prince William County, Virginia, D.B. B/64 Vellender Greenin appointed John Wright, Gentleman, her attorney in fact to acknowledge her right of dower in 200 acres of land sold by her husband Owin Greenin:
"Know all men by these Presents that I Vellender Greenin the Wife of Owin Greein of the Parish of Hanover in the County of Pr. Wm. Doe Constitute and appoint Jon. Wright Gent to acknowledge my right of Dowrey and thirds at the Common Law of in to Two hundred acres of Land Sold by my Said Husband unto William McBee and his heirs for Ever relation thereto being had it doth and may fully and at Large Appear and for so Doing this shall be his Sufficient Warrent as witness my hand and Seal this Eighteen Day of Obr Anno Domini 1731
Signed Sealed and De- Vellender V Greenin
livered In the Presence her mark and Seal
of us Tested by Owin
Greenin, Thos :T Dunigan
At a Court Continued & held for Prince William County the Twenty first Day of october 1731
The Within Power of Atturney from Vellender Greenon to John Wright was Proved by the oaths of the Witnesses thereto admitted to Record
Catesby Cooke Cl Cur."
The female given names of Virlandoe and Vellender are both sufficiently rare and sufficiently similar that this power of attorney was probably from Virlandoe Wright, the daughter of John the Overseer, after her marriage to Owen Greenin. 1792 John Wright of Fauquier County was the only "John Wright Gentleman" in Prince William County in 1731, so the power of attorney had to be to him. Powers of attorney were generally given to a trusted relative. This makes it likely that 1792 John Wright of Fauquier was related to Virlandoe/Vellender (Wright) Greenin. The two were of a similar age. 1792 John was born before October 2, 1700, and Virlandoe was old enough in 1709 to have a mark recorded but young enough to be unmarried. Given their similar ages, the most probable relationship would be as siblings, which would make 1792 John Wright a son of John Wright the Overseer.
The second piece of circumstantial evidence is based on similarity of residence. The power of attorney set forth above indicates that Virlandoe/Vellender (Wright) Greenin resided in 1731 in Prince William County. 1792 John Wright of Fauquier County purchased 236 acres of land from Jeremiah Darnall and his wife Catharine Darnall on March 23, 1740, at Prince William County, Virginia, D.B. E/170 in a part of Prince William County that became Fauquier County.. Charles Hoppin identified Charles Wright as a possible son of John Wright the Overseer and Charles Wright purchased 250 acres of land on Occoquan Creek on September 28, 1741, at Prince William County, Virginia, D.B. E/468 in a part of Prince William County that became Fauquier County. This set of common residences suggests a move of related parties from Westmoreland County to Prince William County.
The third piece of circumstantial evidence is family naming patterns. Parents often named one of their sons after the father, so it would be likely that John Wright (Westmoreland County Overseer) would have a son John. No other John Wright has been identified as a possible son of John Wright (Westmoreland County Overseer), which means that 1792 John Wright could fill that role.
The fourth and final piece of evidence is a common connection to another family through marriage. As set forth above, the Westmoreland County Court Order identified the wife of John Wright the Overseer as (Williams) Wright, the daughter of Rice Williams. The wife of 1792 John Wright’s son 1789 John Wright of Surry County, North Carolina, was Ann (Williams) Wright. The connection of John Wright the Overseer to the Williams family in Westmoreland County and the son of 1792 John Wright to the Williams family in Fauquier County indicate a connection between the two Wright families involved with the Williams families.
For these reasons 1792 John Wright of Fauquier County was possibly the son of John Wright (Westmoreland County Overseer) and (Williams) Wright. Further research will be required to confirm this identification and I welcome comments and additional evidence that either supports or contradicts this tentative identification.
Robert N. Grant
15 Campo Bello Court
Menlo Park, CA 94025
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