1747 - 1813
||James WRIGHT, Sr. |
||16 August 1747
||10 July 1775
||Litchfield,Litchfield Co,CT 
|Civil War Veteran, 5th Company of the 7th Regt. |
||5 January 1777 
|Continental Army-5th Regt |
||20 October 1813
||Harpersfield,Ashtabula Co.,OH 
- The origins of James Wright are confusing; the evidence contradictory. His pension file contains pages from the Wright family bible, submitted as proof of the marriage of James Wright and Elizabeth (Lee) Wright. The birth date of James Wright is given as August 16, 1747 in the bible. This family bible record was apparently made by him. Pension Record of James Wright, No. W9038. However the Daughters of the American Revolution show the year of his birth as 1740. D.A.R. Honor Rolls, National No. 39305. It is assumed that the bible record, being an original source, is correct. Perhaps the D.A.R. received its information from a prospective member who estimated the date of James Wright's birth.
That he was born in England seems beyond dispute. Affidavits in support of his wife's pension application describe him as an "Englishman by birth" and an "Old Country man." Pension Record of James Wright. A letter from Mrs. Jennie Browning to the U.S. Pension Office, dated January 30, 1902, states that James Wright was born in London, and "came to America when a child." Mary (Wright) Kurila of Madison, Ohio related a family tradition that the first Wright to come to America was kidnapped from England and brought over as a small boy.
An inquiry addressed to the "Boston Evening Transcript," November 11,1931, Inquiry No. 2489, raises a possible relationship between JamesWright and the family of one Samuel Wright of East Haddam,Connecticut. The inquiry states, in part:
"Samuel Wright, born 1722, married Dec. 29, 1744, Mariah _____, widow of John Shaw, and daughter of _____ Knowles. Children: James, born 1745; Jonathan, 1746; Simeon, 1750; Mary; Sarah; Samuel, born 1753, married Rebecca Dixon. Can anyone place this Samuel Wright, or give any further data of his children? There was a James Wright born 1745, who went to Litchfield, Conn. . . ."
This Samuel Wright has not been identified as having any relationship with the various Wright families living in New England in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The James Wright referred to in the inquiry as having gone to Litchfield is undoubtedly the subject James Wright, although the 1745 birth date is at variance with that recorded in his bible. It is possible that Samuel Wright and Mariah (Knowles) (Shaw) Wright of East Haddam were his parents, and brought him to America as a child.
There are facts indicating the existence of a close relationship between the Samuel Wright family of East Haddam and the James Wright family of Litchfield. Only the birth of Samuel Wright, Jr., youngest child of Samuel and Mariah's six above-listed children, is recorded in the vital records of East Haddam. The birth date given is June 28, 1753. The absence of earlier entries indicates that Samuel and Mariah Wright moved to East Haddam about 1753, bringing the five older children with them. If we accept the family bible's birth date for James Wright as August 16, 1747, he would have been a small boy when brought to East Haddam in 1753. This would be consistent with the family tradition.
The children of James Wright were: James, Elizabeth, Eunice, John, Martha, Mary, Thomas Lee, Huldah, Samuel, and Solomon. The names James, Mary, and Samuel are duplicated in the two families. Also, the East Haddam records give the name of Samuel Wright's wife as "Martha," not "Mariah," at Samuel Wright, Jr's. birth. If her name was Martha, it would be a fourth name duplication. In addition to these first generation duplications, Samuel Wright, Jr. had a daughter, Eunice (Vital Records of East Haddam), and Jonathan Wright (son of Samuel Wright., Sr.) had a daughter, Huldah (Vital Records of Litchfield). James Wright, Jr. also had a son, Jonathan.
The first Jonathan Wright, son of Samuel Wright, Sr., later moved to Litchfield just as did James Wright. Jonathan Wright married Leah Bissell, April 6, 1767 at Litchfield. Litchfield Vital Records, vol. 1, p. 165. James Wright was married at Litchfield in 1768. Also, a Sarah Wright married a John Benson at Litchfield, October 13, 1772. Vital Records of Litchfield, vol. 1, p. 155. They were married by the Reverend Judea Champion, the same minister who had married James Wright four years before. This Sarah Wright may have been the Sarah listed in the inquiry as a daughter of Samuel Wright, Sr. of East Haddam.
These coincidental facts, while indicating a possible parental relationship between James Wright and Samuel Wright, Sr. and Mariah or Martha Wright of East Haddam, are not conclusive. They indicate a need for further research regarding English immigrants to America in the years immediately preceding 1753.
The first definite record of James Wright is his marriage at Litchfield in 1768. He may have arrived at Litchfield several years before, and he continued to live there until at least 1790.
James Wright served as a private in the Revolutionary Army from July 10, 1775 until his discharge December 19, 1775, serving five months and nine days in the Fifth Company of the Seventh Regiment raised by the order of the Connecticut General Assembly. This service was performed under Captain Nathaniel Tuttle and Captain Eli Catlin. He reenlisted January 5, 1777, and served until January 1, 1780; serving two years, 11 months, and 26 days in the Connecticut line, in the Fifth Battalion, under Captain Eli Catlin and Colonel Philip R. Bradley.
James Wright's lengthy absences resulted in difficult times for his young family during the Revolutionary War period, as was described many years later by his son, James Wright, Jr.:
". . . the first time that I remember of my Father's going in to the war that he was drafted and was gone several months and that he came home in the night Remember getting up to see him I Remember that soon after my father came home that he said that he sould Enlist and did Enlist I have always had the impression that it was for three years that he Enlisted I well Recollect that after he had ben gone I should think more than a year and a half that he came home on a short furlough I Remember that I retturnd from the field a picking Blackberries and found my father in the house he stayed but a short time at home I Remember of his comeing home at another time and had to travel all night to be able to return in time I remember that there was a committy appointed in the town to provide for the familys of those that there fathers were in the war and that this committy came to my Mothers and drew us a quarter of beef and left me the sled to draw up wood on I always understood that he served three years as an Enlisted soldier under Colonel Bradley Both by my father after he left the army and at the time that he was in the war I was never personally acquainted with Col Bradley according to the best of my recollection my father returned from the service in Col Bradleys Regiment in the winter of 1780 My Mother received letters occasionally at one time there came a report that my father was killed but it was soon contradicted by a letter received from my father by my Mother in 1790 I was married and moved in to the town of Cornwell the town adjoining Litchfield Connt I there became acquainted with Col Herman Swift he told me that my father had ben a good soldier under him"
He appears with his family in the 1790 federal census for Litchfield. He and his family are listed in the 1800 federal census for Colchester.
Harpersfield and Jefferson are neighboring communities, on each side of the Delaware-Schoharie County line. James Wright worked four days on the highway at Jefferson in 1803, together with James Wright, Jr. who worked three days. This work was probably performed in payment of taxes.
James Wright was a resident of Jefferson on October 5, 1804, when he purchased 200 acres in the Connecticut Western Reserve at Richfield (now Harpersfield), Trumbull County (now Ashtabula County), Ohio. This land was purchased from Alexander Boyd of Middleburgh, Schoharie County, New York. The purchase price was $400. James Wright soon moved with his family to Ohio, where he lived until his death.
The will of James Wright, subsequently probated in Ashtabula County,reads as follows:
"For the Love of God Amen the ninteenth day of November in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eleven, I James Wright of Harpersfield in the County of Ashtabula and State of Ohio farmer being weak in body and by the goodness of God of sound mind and memory bringing to mind the mortality of the body and knowing that it is appointed to man once to die, Do make and ordain this my last will and testament in maner following that is to say first I do resign my body to its dust to be decently buried at the Discretion of my Executors in honer of a glorious resurection through the merits of Jesus Christ at the last Day and I resign my soul to God to give it Imp_______ F do give and bequeath to my beloved wife Elizibath all the Landed property I may die possesd of during her own life with the use of one yoke of oxen one milks cow four sheep with increse of the same and also all the farming utensels with the houshold furniture that houshold furniture to be disposed of as she shall think proper it is to be noted that at my Death all of the Cattle sheep horses hogs and all other property shall be Eaqualy Devided among the hiers following to wit To my son James and my Daughter Elizabeth, _____ to her two daughters, John, Marthe, Mary, Thomas, Samuel, Huldy, Solomon, Each of the above named heirs at my wifes desesd shall have Each one to have an Eaqual share of all and singular the property my said wife shall dispose of except the property that my son Solomon has by his own industry gained. it is my will that the said property shall not be considered in the division of the said estate and let it be noted that after my lawful depts shall be paid out of my estate. Lastly I do consitute and appoint my son Thomas and my son in law Daniel Bartholomeu my only and sole Executors of this my last will and testement and I do heareby rittanly disalow revoke and Disanul each and every other will testement bequath and legacy resitifying and confirming this and no other to be my last will and testement In Witness whereof I have hereupon to set my hand and seal the day and year first above writen and in the Thirty sixth year of the Independence of the united states of America."
||16 June 2005 |
||Elizabeth LEE, b. 19 December 1749, Litchfield,Litchfield Co,CT , d. 20 January 1841, Harpersfield,Ashtabula Co.,OH  |
||13 December 1768
|>||1. James WRIGHT, Jr., b. 6 October 1769, Litchfield,Litchfield Co.,CT , d. about 1855, Harpersfield,Ashtabula Co.,OH |
|>||2. Elizabeth WRIGHT, b. 28 May 1771, Litchfield,Litchfield Co.,CT , d. 4 November 1793, Harpersfield,Otsego Co.,NY |
| ||3. John WRIGHT, b. 17 February 1773, Litchfield,Litchfield Co.,CT , d. after 1841, Coshocton Co.,OH |
|>||4. Martha WRIGHT, b. 24 February 1775, Litchfield,Litchfield Co.,CT , d. 19 August 1834, Ashtabula Co.,OH |
| ||5. Mary WRIGHT, b. 18 March 1777, Litchfield,Litchfield Co.,CT |
| ||6. Thomas Lee WRIGHT, b. 24 September 1783, Litchfield,Litchfield Co.,CT , d. 24 March 1863, Perry,Lake Co.,OH |
|>||7. Huldah WRIGHT, b. 18 June 1786, Litchfield,Litchfield Co.,CT , d. 8 January 1878, Geneva,Ashtabula Co.,OH |
| ||8. Samuel WRIGHT, b. 29 November 1787, Litchfield,Litchfield Co.,CT , d. 7 October 1828|
|>||9. Solomon WRIGHT, b. 20 August 1794, Litchfield,Litchfield Co.,CT , d. 13 August 1878, Ashtabula Co.,OH |
||Family Group Sheet