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James WRIGHT, Sr.

Male 1671 - 1759  (88 years)

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  • Name James WRIGHT 
    Suffix Sr. 
    Born 1671 
    Gender Male 
    History Member of the "70 Families" Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Will 14 Oct 1751  Frederick County, VA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Died 15 Jul 1759  Frederick County, VA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Probate 4 Mar 1760  Frederick County, VA Find all individuals with events at this location 

    • (1) Note by compiler: Some of the records relating to James WRIGHT and his descendants use "Quaker dates." See the following discussion in Berry, Ellen Thomas and Berry, David Allen, Our Quaker Ancestors: Finding Them in Quaker Records, Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1987, p. 67:

      Quakers . . . did not use names for days of the week or months of the year since most of these names were derived from the names of pagan gods. A date such as August 19, 1748 will never be found. Rather it would be written ?19th da 6th mo 1748.? Sometimes this will be written as 6mo 19da 1748. Why 6th month since August is the 8th month? The Quakers, along with everyone else in the American Colonies and England, did not begin using the Gregorian calendar until 1752. Under the Julian calendar the year began on March 25th; March was the first month and February the twelfth month. This is something of a problem when an event occurred in the months of January, February or up to March 25th, for then the date is given as 1748/1749.

      (2) Source: Janney, Samuel M., History of the Religious Society of Friends, Philadelphia, PA: T. Ellwood Zell, 1861, vol. 3, p. 487, quoted by Howard Kelly :

      Family Records of Hopewell

      Wright, James Sr b. 1671
      w. Mary 2 12 1689
      Mary 3 6 1708
      Hannah 24 1 1709
      Martha 14 2 1713
      Elizabeth 23 11 1714
      John 4 11 1716
      James 8 11 1718
      Thomas 14 1 1720
      Isaac 25 3 1723
      Ann 29 1 1725
      Sarah 15 3 1727
      Lydia 31 8 1730

      [Note by compiler: beginning with Mary, the wife of James WRIGHT, Sr., the first number after each person's name appears to the day, the middle number appears to be the month, and the last number appears to be the year, of that person's birth. For example, the birth date of Mary, the wife of James WRIGHT, Sr., appears to be 2 da., 12 mo. [February], 1689.]

      (3) Kerns, Wilmer L., Frederick County, Virginia: Settlement and Some First Families of Back Creek Valley?1730-1830, Baltimore, MD: Gateway Press, Inc., 1995, pp. 149-156:

      The Wright surname was well-known along frontier settlements in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia during the decades of the 1710s, 1720s and 1730s. James Wright (1676-1759), the progenitor, was a Quaker minister. Between 1716 and 1726, records show that he lived in a Quaker community called East Nottingham in Chester County, Pennsylvania. A boundary change later brought this settlement into Cecil County, Maryland. The Quaker Settlement at Nottingham dates back to 1702, when William Penn granted 500 acres (Lot No. 30) to 16 Quaker families.

      About 1727, James Wright and his wife Mary moved with Quaker friends and relatives to the Monocacy Settlement, which was in what was then Northern Prince George[']s County, Maryland, but now in Frederick County, Maryland. Two of the early Quaker settlers at Monocacy were Josiah and Henry Ballinger Jr., sons-in-law of James and Mary Wright. That settlement was located along the Monocacy River, about five miles south of Frederick, Maryland.

      In 1730, Virginia Governor William Gooch issued land orders for two settlements to be established in what was then Spotsylvania County, but became Orange County in 1734, and was later subdivided as Frederick County in 1738. The Wrights moved to the Ross-Bryan Settlement in Orange County, Va. in 1735. This was in the Opequon Creek watershed which drains into the Potomac River. Morgan Bryan and Alexander Ross settled seventy families prior to 1735. Although the grants were dated Nov. 12, 1735, it is believed that some of the settlers arrived on the land as early as 1730. Grants were not recorded in the patent books for all seventy families, which created a gap in information about early settlement.

      Pioneer James Wright was born in 1676, probably in England, and died on the 15th day, 5th month, 1759, in Frederick County, Va. His will was written on the 14th day, 8th month, 1751 and it was probated on March 4, 1760, in Frederick County. James' wife was named Mary, whose maiden name has not been proven. Her will was probated on the 5th day, 8th month, 1760, and her estate was appraised on Aug. 7, 1764, in Frederick County.

      James Wright was a Quaker spiritual leader along frontier settlements. He served as one of the first elders at Hopewell Meeting, a Quaker church which was organized in 1734 at Clear Brook, Frederick County. During a period of Indian warfare, James and Mary Wright were driven from their land. The Clerk of Hopewell Meeting wrote, "Our ancient Friends James Wright and his Wife are much reduced, being driven from their Habitation and are unable to labour for a Livelyhood." Relief money was sent from the Philadelphia Meeting to Hopewell Meeting, ". . . to be used for the relief of our aged Friends, James Wright and his Wife."

      It is evident that Wright did not accumulate large acreages of land, as he moved from frontier-to-frontier. In fact, his Opequon grant for 438 acres was made jointly between James Wright and John Littler. Because Wright was somewhat mobile in his ministry, it is difficult to trace his movement on a year-to-year basis.

      Wright and his family were driven from their home by Indians during the French and Indian War. Therefore, it is unlikely that he developed his land to the extent that other settlers did in the Opequon Creek Settlement. Wright was rarely mentioned in county records, because Quakers would not swear oaths as witnesses. When a survey of "rental land" was accomplished in Frederick County in 1746, Wright was not listed as a landowner; although he was a joint-owner. An analysis of the records revealed that the 1735 Bryan-Ross grant for 438 acres was listed under the name of John Littler when that particular record was made in 1746.

      The 1735 "Opeckon grant" from Bryan and Ross stated that Wright and Littler were from ". . . our Mannor of East Greenwich, in the County of Kent . . . in free and common sociage [soccage] and not incapite [in capite] or by Knight's Service." It is presumed that the County of Kent was in Maryland or Delaware. [Note by compiler: this grant stated that King George II, not Bryan and Ross, were from the ?Mannor of East Greenwich, in the County of Kent;? and the ?County of Kent? was in England, not Maryland or Delaware.] The land grant to Wright and Littler was described as being about a mile southwest of Giles Chapman's and Samuel Bond's lands. Wright researchers believe that this land was on lower Apple Pie Ridge, now in Frederick County. More than likely, a subsequent grant was issued to Wright, which was located on lower Apple Pie Ridge. John Littler received an additional 448 acres which adjoined Giles Chapman. Also, John Littler's northwest line was a common boundary with Alexander Ross's 2,373 acre grant.

      In Wright's 1751 will, he gave son Thomas his patent land, consisting of 194 acres. James' wife, Mary, was to have possession of the land as long as she lived. But, in her 1764 will, only 100 acres of land was mentioned, and this was willed to her grandson, Thomas, who was a son of Thomas and Esther (Hiett) Wright. Grandson Thomas Wright was born on the 5th day, 7th month, 1756 and he later married Esther Brown. Further research about this land is still being conducted.

      In a codicil to his will, dated April 4, 1753, James Wright mentioned 160 acres of land lying on the south side of the 194-acre tract. Furthermore, he willed to his wife, Mary, 300 acres "lately surveyed and lying by Thomas Thornberry upon Middle Creek."

      The children of James and Mary Wright were:

      1. Mary Wright was born in the 6th month, 3rd day, 1708, in Chester County, Pa., and died in the 10th month, 24th day, 1800, at Back Creek, Frederick County. She married Josiah Ballenger Sr., who was a son of Henry and Mary (Harding) Ballenger. Josiah was born in 1697, in Burlington County, N.J., and died in 1748, in Frederick County. Josiah and Mary were among the seventy families who constituted the Opequon Settlement, as it was defined in 1735. His grant was for 500 acres, and he shared a cornerstone with the Hollingsworth family, located in or near the present site of Winchester.

      2. Hannah Wright was born in the 1st month, 24th day, 1709/1710, in Chester County, Pa., and died in North Carolina. She married Henry Ballenger Jr., who was born in the 8th month, 5th day, 1695, in Burlington County, N.J. and died in the 5th month, 4th day, 1774, in North Carolina. His parents were Henry and Mary (Harding) Ballenger Sr. In 1751, Hannah and Henry Jr. moved to Cane Creek, N.C.

      3. Thomas Wright was born in the 1st month, 11th day, 1711, in Chester County, PA., and he died at a young age.

      4. Martha Wright was born on the 2nd month, 14th day, 1713, and died on the 28th day, 10th month, 1794, in Berkeley County. She was a Quaker minister for 62 years, and her son, John Mendenhall III, was a minister. Martha married John Mendenhall Jr., who was a son of John and Susanna (Pierson) Mendenhall Sr. John Jr. died in Old Frederick County, Va., in 1771. The writer does not know the exact composition of their family unit.

      5. Elizabeth Wright was born in the 11th month, 23rd day, 1714/5 and died in 1790, in Frederick County. She married George Matthews, who was a son of Oliver Matthews. They were active Quakers who lived at Monocacy Valley, Maryland. George died before 1761.

      6. John Wright was born in the 11th month, 4th day, 1716/7, in Chester County, Pa., and died in 1789 or 1790, in Newberry County, S.C. He married Rachel Wells, who was a daughter of Joseph and Rachel Wells, of All Hallows Parish, Ann[e] Arundel County, Md. Rachel was born on March 27, 1720, in Ann[e] Arundel County, and died Dec. 23, 1771, in what is now Newberry County, S.C. Rachel was a Quaker minister. John and Rachel lived in Prince George['s] County, Md., where they were associated with the Monocacy Meeting until about 1749 when they moved to Orange County, N.C. . . .

      7. James Wright Jr. was born in Chester County, Pa., in the 11th month, 8th day, 1718/19. He remained in the Monocacy Settlement until shortly after 1750, when he moved to Frederick County, Va. They moved across the Blue Ridge Mountains during the French and Indian War, and returned to Frederick County in 1762. Occasionally researchers confuse him with his father, bearing the same name. James Jr. married a woman named Lucy, and they had nine children. Apparently they moved to Guilford County, North Carolina.

      8. Thomas Wright was born in the 1st month, 14th day, 1720/21, in Chester County, Pa., and died May 18, 1765, in Frederick County. Thomas married Esther Hiett, daughter of George and Martha (Wakefield) Hiett, in 1747. Esther was born in the 4th month, 1st day, 1731, in Lancaster Pa., and died March 6, 1778, in Frederick County. After Thomas' death, Esther married second to Robert Haines. . . .

      9. Isaac Wright was born in the 3rd month, 25th day, 1723, in Chester County, Pa., and died circa 1773, in Frederick County. An inventory of his personal estate was filed in the Frederick County Court in 1778. Isaac married Sidney Rogers, daughter of John and Ellen (Pugh) Rogers, circa 1749. Isaac was disowned by the Quaker Church in 1764. After his death, Sidney married second to Isaac Pickering on March 8, 1780 at Back Creek, and they moved to Solebury Township, Bucks County, Pa. They had seven known children.

      10. Ann Wright was born in the 1st month, 29th day, 1725, in Chester County, Pa., and died at Back Creek, Frederick County, Va., April 7, 1801. She first married James McCool, who was born about 1710 and died in Back Creek Valley in 1751. James and Ann had five children. After his death, Ann married second to Thomas Pugh, son of Jesse and Alice (Malin) Pugh, circa 1753. Ann had seven children by the second marriage. Thomas Pugh was born on the 16th day, 11th month, 1731, and died in 1798. They lived near Gainesboro, in Frederick County.

      11. Sarah Wright was born in the 3rd month, 25th day, 1727, probably in Monocacy Valley, Frederick County, Md., and was alive in 1789. She married William Pickering, son of Samuel and Mary (Scarborough) Pickering, in 1749. William was born in the 1st month, 1st day, 1727, and died January 10, 1789, in Frederick County. The Pickerings were members of the Hopewell Monthly Meeting. . . .

      12. Lydia Wright was born in the 8th month, 31st day, 1730, in Monocacy Valley, Prince George County, Md., and died on June 27, 1778, in Hampshire County, Va. She married Owen Rogers, son of John and Ellen (Pugh) Rogers, a Quaker pioneer in Hampshire County. They lived near Bear Garden Mountain, and seven children were born to the union. After Lydia's death, Owen married second to Mary Roach, on Nov. 29, 1780, at Fairfax Meeting, which is located in present-day Loudoun County, Va.

      (4) O'Dell, Cecil, Pioneers of Old Frederick County, Virginia, Marceline, MO: Walsworth Publishing Company, 1995, pp. 186-188:


      James Wright (b. 1671) was appointed by the New Garden Monthly Meeting to be recorder of the Minutes and Marriage Certificates in 1721. He was released from the position on the 28th day, 7th month (September) 1728. He was taxed in East Nottingham Township, 123 Chester County, Pennsylvania from 1718 to 1726. Sometime after 1727 (and his release in 1728), James moved to the Monocacy River area of Frederick County, Maryland.

      In 1707, James married Mary Davis of Manoaken, Somerset, Maryland (daughter of James and Margaret Jordan Davis of Maryland). James and Mary?s children were:

      Mary Wright (b. 3 August 1708), married Josiah Ballenger, 1727;

      Hannah Wright (b. 24 March 1709), married Henry Ballenger, 18 August 1726;

      Thomas Wright (b. 1711, died young);

      Martha Wright (b. 14 April 1713, d. 28 October 1794), married John Mendenhall;

      Elizabeth Wright (b. 23 January 1714), married George Mathews (son of Oliver Mathews), 4 August 1731 (Nottingham Monthly Meeting Marriage records);

      John Wright (b. 4 January 1716/17), married first wife Susanna ?, 4 May 1731, second wife Rachel Wells (daughter of Joseph and Margaret Wells);

      James Wright Jr. (b. 8 January 1718/19), married first wife Luce (Lucy), married second wife Phebe ?, two children;

      Thomas Wright (b. 14 March 1720/21), married Esther Hiatt, 1747;

      Isaac Wright (b. 23/25 May 1723), married Sidna ?;

      Ann Wright (b. 29 March 1725), married James McCoole, 1742;

      Sarah Wright (b. 15 May 1727), married William Pickering, 1749;

      Lydia Wright (b. 31 October 1730), married ? Mathews and Owen Rogers.

      James Sr. was in Orange County, Virginia by 1736 when he signed a petition to build a road 125 and was living on the 194 acres received from his son-in-law Josiah Ballenger on 10 August 1744. . . . On 7 November 1754, he received a Fairfax grant for 161 acres. . . . On 23 September 1756, he received another Fairfax grant for 308 acres adjacent Captain George Hobson, James Wright Jr., William Smith and John Mills. . . .

      James Sr. was deceased by 4 March 1760 when his will was proved in Frederick County, Virginia Court. He willed his son Thomas the 194-acre home place which would devolve to him following the death of his mother. He also willed Thomas the 160 (161)-acre adjacent grant land. On 1 August 1763, his wife Mary sold the 308-acre grant land on Middle Creek to Enos Ellis for 100 pounds. Mary was deceased by 6 March 1764 when her will was proved in Frederick County, Virginia. She left 100 acres to her grandson Thomas (son of Thomas and Esther Wright).

      On 20 July 1762, James Wright Jr. and his wife Lucey sold the 270-acre grant land on Middle Creek (adjacent to his father?s grant) to Dougall Campbell for 100 pounds. By 31 August 1765, they had moved to North Carolina as evidenced by the Quaker New Garden Monthly Meeting. The children of James Jr. and Lucey were: Ralph (b. 25 May 1746), Elizabeth (b. 15 October 1747), James (b. 1 December 1748), Ann (b. 25 October 1750), Susanna (b. 19 March 1753), Boyater (b. 13 September 1755), and Micajah (b. 24 April 1758).

      Thomas Wright and his wife Esther's children were: Martha (b. 15 May 1748), Jonathan (b. 27 April 1750), Mary (b. 8 May 1752), Thomas (b. I July 1756), Hannah (b. 14 February 1758), Ruth (b. 6 February 1759) and David (b. 14 March 1763).

      Isaac Wright received two Fairfax grants on Back Creek and Isaacs Creek, both surveyed on 28 November 1751. On 2 August 1762, he and his wife Sidna/Sidney sold both grants to Robert Rutherford and Joseph Jones. The grants are north of U.S. Highway 522 on Frederick County Highway 600, about eight miles northwest of Winchester, Virginia.

      John Wright and his wife Rachel (with children William, Mary, Joseph, Margaret, Charity, Rachel, John Jr. and Susannah) moved from Frederick County, Maryland to Berkeley County, South Carolina within the boundaries of Bush River Quaker Monthly Meeting in Newberry County, South Carolina. Berkeley County (96th District) consisted of the present-day counties of Newberry, Laurens, Abbeville, Greenwood, McCormick, Edgefield and Saluda. On 10 October 1768, son John married Jemima Hayworth and daughter Susannah married Isaac Hollingsworth on 12 December 1772; both weddings were held in Berkeley County, South Carolina.

      The children of James McCoole and his wife Ann Wright were: Mary (b. 27 November 1743), John (b. 10 August 1745), James (b. 12 December 1747) Martha (b. 31 October 1749) and Gabriel (b. 17 August 1751 ).

      (5) Frederick County, Virginia, Hopewell Friends History [database online], Orem, UT:, 1997:

      In the State Land Office at Richmond are to be found recorded in Book 16, pages 315-415, inclusive, the patents issued to the settlers who came to the Shenandoah Valley under authority of the Orders in Council made to Alexander Ross and Morgan Bryan. All bear date of November 12, 1735, and recite that the grantee is one of the seventy families brought in by them, and excepting location and acreage, are alike in wording and conditions, and are signed by William Gooch, Lieutenant-Governor of the Colony at that time. . . .

      These patents were issued under the seal of the colony and were grants from the Crown, free of any obligation of feudal services to the Fairfax family, who claimed the land as lords proprietors of the Northern Neck of Virginia. The sixth Lord Fairfax, who later established his home at Greenway Court near Winchester, instituted many suits against early settlers in the Shenandoah Valley, but it does not appear that any Friend who claimed under Ross and Bryan was ever ejected from his land.

      Although it is specifically stated that seventy families have been "by them brought in to our said Colony and settled upon the Lands in the said Order mentioned," only thirty-six patents issued to thirty-four grantees have been found. The names of these grantees are here given, together with sundry information gathered from the minutes of various Friends' meetings, from the records of the counties of Orange and Frederick in Virginia, and Chester County, Pennsylvania. . . .

      John Littler and James Wright, 438 acres, lying on the eastern slope of Apple Pie Ridge, about 5 miles north of Winchester. This tract has latterly been known as "Osceola."

      James Wright was taxed in East Nottingham, Chester County, Pa., from 1718 to 1726 inclusive, after which time he probably removed to the Monocacy Valley in what is now Frederick County, Md. He was a distinguished minister of Friends, and with certificates from Hopewell Monthly Meeting travelled widely in the exercise of his ministry. He sustained much loss at the time of the French and Indian War, and with his wife Mary was the object of much concern of the Meeting for Sufferings in Philadelphia, which issued instructions that one-fifth of the money sent at that time for the relief of Friends in the ravaged district "be lay'd out for the Use of our aged Friends James Wright & his Wife." At the same time the clerk of Hopewell Monthly Meeting refers to them as follows: "Also our Antient Friends James Wright and his Wife Are Much Reduced Being driven from their Habitation and are unable to Labour for a Livelyhood."

      The will of James Wright was probated March 4, 1764. He leaves to his son Thomas "the Home plantation, being 194 acres of my patent Land." He makes bequests to his sons John, James Jr., and Isaac, and to his daughters Lydia Wright, Mary Ballinger, Hannah Ballinger, Martha Mendenhall, Elizabeth Matthews, Ann McCool, and Sarah Pickering. His wife Mary is named executrix, who entered into bond with Evan Rogers and James Ballinger as bondsmen. The will was witnessed by Evan Rogers, James Ballinger, and Sarah Rogers.

      The will of his wife Mary Wright was probated March 6, 1764, and made bequests to her children, leaving the home plantation to her grandson Thomas, his father being dead. Witnesses, Elinor Rogers, Sussannah Bevan, and Elizabeth Pennell. The executors were Jesse Pugh and William Pickering, who entered into bond with James McGin and Joseph Babb as sureties.
    Person ID I9967  Frost, Gilchrist and Related Families
    Last Modified 29 Dec 2018 

    Family Mary DAVIS,   b. 2 Feb 1689,   d. Bef 6 Mar 1764, Frederick County, VA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age < 75 years) 
    Married 1707 
     1. Mary WRIGHT,   b. 3 Aug 1708, Chester County, PA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 24 Dec 1800, Frederick County, VA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 92 years)  [natural]
     2. Hannah WRIGHT,   b. 24 Mar 1710, Chester County, PA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Aft 1759, Guilford County, NC Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age > 50 years)  [natural]
     3. Thomas WRIGHT,   b. 11 Mar 1711, Chester County, PA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Youth Find all individuals with events at this location  [natural]
     4. Martha WRIGHT,   b. 14 Apr 1713, Chester County, PA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 28 Dec 1794, Berkeley County, VA [now WV] Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 81 years)  [natural]
     5. Elizabeth WRIGHT,   b. 23 Jan 1715, Chester County, PA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1790, Frederick County, VA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 74 years)  [natural]
     6. John WRIGHT, Sr.,   b. 4 Nov 1716, Chester County, PA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Bef 7 Jun 1790, Newberry County, SC Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age < 73 years)  [natural]
     7. James WRIGHT, Jr.,   b. 8 Jan 1719, Chester County, PA Find all individuals with events at this location  [natural]
     8. Thomas WRIGHT,   b. 14 Mar 1721, Chester County, PA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 18 May 1765, Frederick County, VA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 44 years)  [natural]
     9. Isaac WRIGHT,   b. 25 May 1723, Chester County, PA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt 1773, Frederick County, VA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 49 years)  [natural]
     10. Ann WRIGHT,   b. 29 Mar 1725, Chester County, PA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 7 Apr 1801, Frederick County, VA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 76 years)  [natural]
     11. Sarah WRIGHT,   b. 25 Jun 1727, Prince George's [now Frederick] County, MD Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Aft 10 Jan 1789  (Age > 62 years)  [natural]
     12. Lydia WRIGHT,   b. 31 Oct 1730, Prince George's [now Frederick] County, MD Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 27 Jun 1778, Hampshire County, VA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 47 years)  [natural]
    Last Modified 29 Dec 2018 19:11:43 
    Family ID F4689  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart