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Revised: 30 Sep 2001
WRIGHT, John Jr. - b. circa 11 May 1781 in PA (?) - d. 27 Jun 1850 in Polk Co., MO
Pedigree

According to a family bible and to his tombstone inscription, John Wright Jr. was born on 11 May 1781. Census records always state he was born in Pennsylvania. He married Esther (also written Easter), also shown as being from Pennsylvania on census records, probably between 1804-1806. According to family tradition, her maiden name may have been Harsh. Her tombstone states she was born on 1 January 1790, so she would have been quite young, about 14, at the time of their marriage. According to a biographical sketch of their nephew, Robert Wright (he is a nephew because the sketch states that Robert stayed in Ohio, but the list of John Wright heirs shows their Robert living in Dallas County, Missouri), the Wrights were residents of Pennsylvania, "whence his father [Thomas Wright], a farmer, removed to Ohio in 1800." (History of Hocking Valley, OH, Inter-State Publishing Co., Chicago, 1883, p. 1010-1011)

There is a John Wright Jr. listed among Ohio Military Land Warrants of 30 December 1796 (too early for this John Wright Jr.), and in "Ohio Lands South of the Indian Boundary" a John Wright of Kent County, Maryland sold 250 acres in Fairfield county on 12 October 1800. This acreage is just south of modern Athens county in Meigs county. The patent for 4,000 acres in this area was issued on 26 March 1800.  There are also deeds in Trumbull County for a John Wright from Litchfield County, Connecticut, but this is the "wrong Wright."

The earliest references to a John Wright who could be the subject of this sketch are in the Indexes to Ohio Tax Lists of 1800-1810. A John Wright Jr. is listed on page 92 in 1806 (Trumbull), 58 in 1807 (Trumbull), as John Wright on page 49 and as John Jr. on page 9 in 1808 (Trumbull), on pages 19 and 332 in 1809 (Portage), and on page 36 in 1810 (Portage). The location of the holding is shown as "no township" or "mixed townships" except in 1806 when it is shown as being situated in the 6th collection district. There is one line for John Wright, Portage county, in the township of Ravenna on page 24. Even though no date is listed, it would have to be after 1808. It seems to me that there was a massive one-time land deed to a group of people in the early 1800's, John Wright among them, but I do not seem to have a record of that. By pure speculation, I imagine that John Wright Jr., his father, John Wright Sr., and his brothers David, Thomas and Joseph Wright bought land located in Portage County, Ohio; however, the deeds are recorded in both Trumbull and Portage counties because Portage County was organized 10 February 1807 from Trumbull County which in turn was organized from Jefferson and Wayne counties on 10 July 1800.

The earliest deed in Ohio which I can attribute to this group is a purchase by Thomas Wright of 150 acres in lot 59, township 3, range 8, on 22 November 1803. (Book 1, page 267). Then Joseph Wright purchased 156 acres in Shalersville township from Ralph Buckland on 11 February 1804 (Trumbull County, Ohio, Deed Volume G, p. 147). Joseph Wright is listed in this deed as being from Franklin in Trumbull County, and John Wright and John Wright Jr. are witnesses. Thomas made another purchase on 20 August 1804 of 54 acres in lot 53 from Benjamin Tappan (Portage County Deed Book 1, page 261).

The first land records which I can definitely attribute to John Wright Jr. are in Trumbull County Deed Book G, pages 231-232. These pages describe two deeds from Joseph Wright to John Wright Jr.

By the first deed, Joseph sells to John Jr. a tract which he bought from Benjamin Tappan on 1 April 1807 for $200 (Trumbull County, Ohio, Deed Volume H, p. 564). In this 1807 deed, David Wright was a witness, and a John Wright is listed as the Justice of the Peace. Then on 2 February 1808, John Wright Jr. bought for $500 fifty acres of land lying in Ravenna or township number 3 on the south side of lot number 54 in Ravenna, divided from the residue of the lot by a line run parallel with the south line of the lot exclusive of two acres in the southeast corner of the lot previously sold and all that part of lot number 53 in Ravenna which lies west of that part then held by John Wright Jr. and north of that part of the lot then held by Thomas Wright and of the south line of the township. Both Joseph and John are said to be from Franklin township in Trumbull County. The deed was signed in the presence of David Wright and Thomas Wright and was later transcribed from Trumbull County on 26 October 1819 (Trumbull County Deed Book G, pages 231-232). I emphasize that it states that John Wright Jr. and Thomas already held land adjacent to this parcel. The 1807 deed from Tappan to Joseph Wright states that the "two acres in the south east corner [were] heretofore sold to John Wright" and that lot 53 "lies west of that part heretofore sold and now held by John Wright and north of that part * * * heretofore deeded to Thomas Wright."  The land deed to Thomas is probably his 1804 purchase, but I have not yet found a deed for the land heretofore sold to John.

The second deed again lists both Wrights as being of the township of Franklin in the County of Trumbull. For $550 John bought 156 acres of land being lot number 46 in township number 4 in range 8 bounded north by lot number 47, west of lot number 55, south by lot number 45 and east by lot number 35. This transaction took place on 5 February 1808. It was also witnessed by David and Thomas Wright and was transcribed 26 October 1819.  The land was originally purchased by Joseph Wright from Ralph Buckland on 11 February 1804. (Trumbull County Deed Book G, pages 231-232)

The first land record from Portage County to mention John Wright Jr. is a deed of sale from him to Joel Baker on 20 September 1808. In this deed, John Wright is again recorded to be from the Township of Franklin in the County of Portage and the State of Ohio. For $300 (it seems he took a loss), he sold a parcel of land consisting of approximately 156 acres situated in township no. 4 in range 8, Shalersville Township, in the Connecticut Western Reserve known by the name of Middletown being lot no. 46 according to the original survey of the town bounded by lot no. 47 in the north and lot no. 45 in the south and by lot no. 55 on the west and lot no. 35 on the east. This record was received December 8 and recorded December 15, 1808. (Portage County, Ohio, Deed Book A, p. 35-36)

On 3 June 1809 John Wright Jr. of Franklin, County of Portage sold for $400 fifty acres of land in Ravenna in township no. 3 in the 8th range of the Connecticut Western Reserve to Thomas Wright. Again, it seems he took a loss in this transaction. This land is described as the south side of lot no. 54 in Ravenna divided by a line parallel with the north line of the lot and excluding two acres in the northeast corner of the lot previously bought by John Wright. (Where is the record of these two acres?) Also included was all of lot no. 53 in Ravenna which lies west of that part for which John held a bond for a deed and north of that part of the lot then held by Thomas Wright on the south line of the township. This deed is signed by John Wright Jun and Easter Wright Jun. One of the witnesses is also named John Wright. This record was received and recorded 23 December 1809. (Portage County, Ohio, Deed Book A, p. 119)

According to a later deed, William Tappan of Ravenna and John Tappan of Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts sold on 12 May 1810 for the sum of three hundred dollars received from John Wright Junior of Ravenna a tract of land lying in the south division of Ravenna described as lot number 55 together with the west part of lot number 43. The parcel is further described as being 42 chains 5 links on the north side 41 chains 55 links on the south side, 47 chains 51 links on the east side 47 chains 60 links on the west side containing 198 1/2 acres. Thomas Wright is a witness. The date in the actual deed is illegible, but it was probably after 12 February 1810. (Portage County Book A, page 151.)

In the 1810 Ohio tax record John Wright Jr. is shown to possess 198 acres in Township 3 of Portage County (lots 43 and 55) and 50 acres (lot 16?) (the descriptions were incomplete). (When was lot 16 sold?) (What happened to the John Wright from Litchfield County, Connecticut?) (What about 1810 census? It was probably reconstructed from tax lists, but what does it list?)

Between 1809 and 1810 John and Easter sold most of the land they held in Portage, moved with John Sr. to Athens/Hocking county and bought land from Thomas and Barbara Wright. One deed refers to John Wright as "our father." (See biography on John Wright Sr.)

On 13 April 1810, Thomas Wright of Ravenna bought several parcels from Elijah Wadsworth and Rhoda Wadsworth, his wife, of Canfield in Trumbull county for $2,000. The tracts were in the Ohio Company purchase. The entire transaction consisted of three lots, 785, 786 and 787, containing one hundred acres each in sections no. 20 and 21 in township 13 and range 16, section 26 in township 12 in the range 16 containing 640 acres, lot 25 in sections 20 and 21 containing 252 acres in township 12, 153 off the east side of lot twenty (six?), and lots 11 in sections 15 and 21 containing 260 acres township 12. Elijah's affidavit was taken in Franklin, Portage County on 13 April 1810. Rhoda's was taken in Canfield on 18 April 1810. The deed was recorded 4 June 1810. (Athens County Deed Book 1, pp. 211-212.)

On 22 October 1810 John Wright Jr. is recorded as having purchased land from Thomas Wright. Both are listed as residents of the county of Athens and township of Ames in the state of Ohio. Athens was created from Washington county in 1805. For $400 he purchased tracts of land which were situated in the Ohio Company's purchase. These tracts were in township 13 in range 16, and consisted of lots number 785, 786, 787 in section no. 20 and 21 - each containing 100 acres. The general location of this land can be determined, but I do not know where the specific lots are situated. The tract was further described as one half of the aforesaid lots, beginning at the north end of the lots, then running a line through the lots south until it intersects the Hocking River. Also included were one third of the Mill seats that were on the river in the lots, and all the land south of the river. The lots were to be set apart for the use of the Mills. The line that ran from the north line ran through the center of the lots north and south. John Wright was to have the west (east?) side. It was understood that one half of the land south of the river was for the use of the Mills. The transaction also included the remaining tract of section 26 in range 16 and township 12 beginning at the northeast corner of that part of the section that is deeded to John Wright, senior, then running to the north-east corner of the section, then west to the northwest corner, then to the aforesaid deeded part of said section; then east to the place of the beginning; the whole to contain 317 acres. Additionally, 28 acres of land in fraction no. 25 in the southwest corner of the fraction and the northwest corner of section no. 20 in township 12. This deed was received 20 April 1811 and recorded April 22, 1811. (Athens County, Ohio, Deed Book 2, p. 30-31) Thomas Wright and Barbara Wright are the cosigners. It seems very likely that Thomas Wright is a brother to John Wright, Jr. The part deeded to John Wright, Sr. was sold by Thomas and Barbara Wright to John Wright, "our father."

On 6 July 1812, John and Easter Wright of Ames township in the County of Athens sold the land purchased from William Tappan in 1810 to Andrew Poe of Beaver County, Pennsylvania for $525. (Portage County Book 2, page 48.)

On 16 June 1818, J. Wright Jr. was granted 153.22 acres in the northeast corner of section 26 range 17 township 13.

John Wright Sr. purchased 15 acres in section 20 township 12 range 16 for $37.50 on 23 Jun 1818. (Hocking County Book A, page 40-41.)

On 5 August 1818, John Wright Sr. and Agnes/Nancy Wright, his wife, of Starr Township in Hocking County, deeded land to John Wright Jr. for $360. Hocking county was organized on 3 January 1818 from Athens, Ross and Fairfield. Greene and Starr townships were in Athens county prior to the organization of Hocking. The land was a parcel in section no. 26, township 12 and range 16, Starr Township, of the Ohio Company's purchase. The location was described as beginning at the southeast corner of section no. 26, then running north on the section line one half mile until it intersects the land that was then owned by John Wright Jr., then west 120 rods until intersecting the line of the land which John Wright Senior sold to Samuel Simcoe, then south 160 rods until intersecting the south line of the section, then east on the line to the place of the beginning containing in the whole 120 acres. (Hocking County, Ohio, Deed Book A, p. 50-51.) Thomas Wright and John Wright III testified to the deed.

The next deed is the sale of property by both John Wright Jr. and Esther his wife on 29 September 1818. For the sum of one thousand dollars, they sold to Peter Sanders a tract of land in Hocking County from the Ohio Company purchase in township 13, range 16. This was lot no. 785 and the east half of lot no. 786 in section no. 20 and 21 containing 150 acres, the plantation on which John Wright then lived, lot no. 786 to be divided north and south, this the center, with an exception. Since John Wright only owned one third of the mill seats and also because the land on the south side of the river was to be reserved for the use of the mill, the other two thirds belonging to Thomas Wright, therefore that two thirds of the mill seats and the land on the south side for the use of the mill was reserved. Thomas Wright was one of the witnesses. Once again, this land is difficult to locate because the location of the lots is not known. (Hocking County, Ohio, Deed Book A, p. 19-20)

John Wright Jr. is one of the four Wrights listed on the 1820 census for Hocking County. The listing shows four males under 10, one male between 10 and 16, one male 26-45, one female under ten and one female 16-26. One could hypothesize from these numbers that the children are David (ca 1806), Thomas, Harrison, Robert, an unknown and John Wright Jr. among the males and Esther and Nancy among the females. The other Wrights are John Wright Sr., listed with two people in the household over 45, Thomas Wright (the possible brother of John Jr.) and Charles Wright. There does not seem to be any circumstantial evidence linking Charles Wright with the rest of the Wrights.

On the 29 June 1820 (Hocking County, Ohio, Deed Book A, p. 151) and 25 June 1820 (Hocking County, Ohio, Deed Book A, p. 152-153), John and Ester sold and purchased land from Thomas and Barbara Wright. John sold to Thomas the northeast quarter of section 26 in an unnamed Township north of range 17 and purchased from Thomas 153.5 acres in section 25 township 12 and range 16.

On 23 August 1821, John and Ester sold 28 acres in township 12 range 16 in the southwest corner of section 25 and the northwest corner of Section 20. (Deed Book A, pages 232-233)

John purchased 100 acres in section 26 range 16 township 12 from Samuel Simco on 23 February 1822. (Deed Book A, pages 296-297)

John Wright appears as a Justice of the Peace in Starr Township, Hocking County as can be shown in a deed by Moses and Anna Bradford on 28 June 1823. (Hocking County, Ohio, Deed Book A, p. 362)

William W. Satterthwart and his wife Mary of Belmont County, Ohio transferred land to John Wright Junior on 13 January 1825 for $190. The land was a parcel made up of land in section no. 26 in Township 12 and range 16 beginning at the southwest corner of the section, then running north one half mile, then running east so far as to include 100 acres of the southwest corner of said section originally in the Ohio Company Purchase in Hocking County. (Hocking County, Ohio, Deed Book A, p. 514-515)

For $345.50, John and Easter Wright sold a parcel to Benjamin Aggleston on 24 November 1826. This tract was part of the Ohio Company's purchase in township 12 and range 16 commencing at the southwest corner of section no 26, then running north one half mile, then running east so far as to include 113 acres of the southwest corner of the section. (Hocking County, Ohio, Deed Book C, p. 367-368)

Fifty acres were granted to John Wright, assignee of Aaron Young, which had been in the name of Levi Barber. This was the north half of lot no. 788 in section 20 and 21 of Township 13 and range 16. A certificate of sale was granted to Aaron Young by the auditor of Hocking County Ohio for arrearages of taxes due from Levi Barber for state, county and school taxes for the years 1823, 1821 and 1825. This deed was recorded 18 November 1837 [sic]. (Hocking County, Ohio, Deed Book C, p. 608) It is difficult to place lots 785, 786, 786 and 788. They consist of 100 acres each and are contained in section 20 and 21. Each section is 640 acres. In other words, these four lots contain approximately one third of the available acreage in the two sections.

On 22 March 1827, John Wright is one of the administrators of the estate of George W. Smith; Jacob H. Lutz is the other administrator. This transaction involves the sale of lot number ten in the Town of Logan in Hocking County to John A. Smith. (Deed Book A, p. 64-66)

The 1830 census lists two Wrights in Starr Township. John Wright
 
males
  under 5 - 1 (Gustavus)
  10-15 - 2 (Robert, Harrison
  15-20 - 1
  20-30 - 1 (David)
  50-60 - 1 (John Jr.)
  80-90 - 1 (John Sr.?)
females
  under 5 - 1 (Sarah)
  5-10 - 1 (Minerva)
  15-20 - 1 (Nancy)
  40-50 - 1 (Esther)
  80-90 - 1 (once again, could by Nancy/Agnes)

The other Wright in Starr is William Wright. There are also three Wrights in Greene Township of Hocking County: Thomas Wright, Charles Wright and John Wright 3rd. (A John Wright 3rd of Greene Township was married 19 October 1829 to Elizabeth Tannehill according to the Hocking County marriage records. There are two children under 5 listed, and there are no other John Wright 3rd's. It seems highly probable that this is the same person. This is Thomas' son. Thomas Wright group sheet.)

On 18 September 1830, John purchased 640 acres in range 13, township 7, section 15 as the assignee of John Brown and Dwight Jarvis. This township was part of Athens County until approximately 1850 when it was transferred to Morgan County. (Athens County, Ohio, Deed Book __, p. 299) Further investigation may show which John Wright purchased this land.

In the September term of 1837, John Wright bought a parcel from the estate of George W. Tallmadge of Portage County (Laura M. Tallmadge Administratrix) located in Hocking County. He bid $281 for the southeast quarter, section no. 31 of township no. 12 and range no. 16 of the Ohio Company's Purchase containing 160 acres situated in the Township of Starr. The deed was witnessed 1 June 1839. (Hocking County, Ohio, Deed Book D, p. 670)

On 18 August 1838 John and Easter Wright sold two parcels of land. One was sold for the consideration of $60.01 to Eliphlet Edwards. This land was 28 1/4 acres in a tract in the Ohio Company purchase, township 12 and range 16 commencing at the northwest corner of section no. 26, then running 113 poles east, then south 49 poles, then west to the section line, then north on the section line to the beginning. (Hocking County, Ohio, Deed Book E, p. 60)

The second deed was a parcel to Humphrey Jones which again consisted of 28 1/4 acres of the Ohio Company's purchase for $60.01. This parcel was in township 12 and range 16 beginning at Eliphlet Edwards' southwest corner in section no. 26 which is 40 poles from the north west corner of the section south on the west line of the section, then running east 113 poles on Edward's line, then south 40 poles, then west to the the section line, then north on the section line 40 poles to the beginning. This was recorded 25 February 1839. (Hocking County, Ohio, Deed Book D, p. 500)

The 1840 census shows five Wright families in Hocking County. Two newcomers are Franklin Wright in Greene Township and Joseph Wright in Washington Township. They seem to be already established families with children over 10; therefore, it seems unlikely that they are related to the original group. John Wright is listed on page 161 in Starr Township as follows:
 
John Wright
  males
    5-10   2 (Irwin (ca
    10-15 1 (Gustavus
    15-20 1 (Harrison,
    50-60 1 (John Jr.)
  females
    5-10   2 (??)
    10-15 1 (Sarah (ca
    15-20 1 (Minerva)
    50-60 1 (Esther)

Thomas Wright and William Wright are also still listed in Green Township.

On 13 March 1841, Robert Wright sold lot 99 in the town of Logan to John Wright for the sum of $50. This was recorded 3 April 1841. (Hocking County, Ohio, Deed Book F, p. 43) (Is this the son selling to his father or the nephew?)

On 9 October 1841, Eran Julien sold Lot no 6 in the town of Logan to John Wright for $300. This was recorded on 15 October 1841. (Hocking County, Ohio, Deed Book F, p. 200-201) This is the last known land transaction by John Wright in Ohio. It is known that part of the Wright clan moved to Polk County Missouri prior to 1840. According to History of Hocking Valley, OH, Inter-State Publishing Co., Chicago, 1883, John Wright was the postmaster at Starr post office until 1846, and according to History of Polk Co., Goodspeed, 1889, he entered land in 1845 in T 33 R 21.

There are the following patents for "John Wright" in Polk County, Missouri:  on 10 April 1843, Patent #662 for 80 acres in the E 1/2 of NE 1/4 of Section 31 Township 33 Range 24; on 1 September 1848, Patent #337 for 80 acres in the W 1/2 of SW of Section 29 Township 33 Range 24; on 1 September 1848, Patent #338 for 80 acres in the E 1/2 of SE 1/4 of Section 30 Township 33 Range 24. There are two patents that were issued to "John Wright" after the date of death of listed on the tombstone. There were issued on 16 December 1850, Patent #10107 for 40 acres in the SE 1/4 NE 1/4 of Section 24 Township 33 Range 21; and on 1 December 1853, Patent #13095 for 80 acres in the NW 1/4 NW 1/4 of Section 11 Township 33 Range 22.

There is one land deed in Polk County Missouri where John Wright is the purchaser from Benjamin F. and Jennelly Tirey on 10 September 1849. All are said to be of the state of Missouri and County of Polk. For the sum of $855, John Wright purchased the southeast quarter of section no. 24 in township no. 33 of range no. 21 west containing 160 acres, the east half of the southeast quarter of section no. 25 township no. 33 range no. 21 west containing 80 acres, the southwest forty of the southeast quarter of section no. 25 township no. 33 range no. 21 west containing forty acres and the south west quarter of the northeast quarter of section no. 24 in township no. 33 and range no. 21 west containing forty acres, for a total of 360 acres. (Polk County, Missouri, Deed Book C, p. 313)

John and Esther are listed on page 34 of the 1850 census in Polk County Missouri as follows:
 
Name Age Sex Occupation State of Birth
Wright John 69 M Farmer Pa
Esther 59 F   Pa
Sarah 22 F   Ohio
Gustavus 22 M Farmer Ohio
Irwin 20 M Farmer Ohio
Jackson 17 M Farmer Ohio

(What happened to the two females 5-10 listed on the 1840 census?) The family of David Wright is also listed on this census. This helps to confirm that Nancy, Harrison, Robert, Thomas, Homer and Minerva were all elsewhere when John Jr. died.

The last record dealing with John Wright Jr. is a dispute entitled Jackson J. Wright v. Ezekiel Wilkenson, & Nancy his wife, Thomas Wright, Robert Wright, William Wright & Minerva Wright, his wife, Easter Wright, Defendants. (Probate records of Polk County, Missouri, Volume B, p 443-445). (There must be other court records concerning this action because it states that the parties have come again into Court and that notice had been made three times. Also, I have not been able to locate the Oswen Independent, published in this state (Missouri, I assume).)

In conjunction with this, there is a list of heirs of John Wright, deceased.

Robert Wright residing in Dallas County Missouri
David Wright residing in Polk County Missouri
Nancy Wilkinson residing in Dalis County Missouri
Homer L. Wright residing in Hocking County Ohio
Harrison Wright residing in Hickry County Missouri
Manervia Wright residing in Hocking County Ohio
Sarah Wright residing in Polk County Missouri
Gustavies A. Wright residing in Polk County Missouri
Joseph Jackson Wright residing in Polk County Missouri
Irvin D. Wright residing in Polk County Missouri
Thomas Wright residing in Dallis County Missouri

Easter Wright and administratrix being duly sworn makes oath that to the best of her knowledge and belief the above and for___ list contains the names and places of Residence of the heirs of John Wright, decd, and that she will make specified inventory of the estate of said John Wright deceased and faithfully execute the same, pay the debts and legal ___ for as the assets will extend and the law directs under just accounts and faithfully perform all things required by law touching such administration.
sworn to and subscribed Ester Wright
this day of September 1850

John and Esther left eleven children. David Wright married Margaret Wilkinson on 17 September 1832, Nancy Wright married Ezekial Wilkinson on 17 September 1835 and Minerva Wright married William W. Wright on 23 February 1843 according to Hocking County marriage records. Minerva died 16 June 1862 and is buried in Old Logan Cemetery, Hocking County, Ohio. Sarah A. Wright married Henry J. Gordon on 17 June 1851 in Polk County, Missouri. Lillie Wright's history relates "Ervin Wright lived in Springfield, Missouri and was in business and politics. Bob, Tom and Jack moved to Texas when they were young men and became ranchers there and quite wealthy. One of their sons was an oculist in Kansas City, Missouri about the year 1909." I wonder if "Texas" actually refers to Dallas county because Robert and Thomas are listed as residents of Dallas county in the list of John Wright heirs. Robert Wright married Mary Magee on 5 December 1839 in Hocking County. The 1860 Polk County census shows Irwin Wright, age 26, as a butcher, and Jackson, age 23, still with his mother, Esther, age 71. Gustavus left the county between 1850 and 1860. (I have never checked on the others in Dallas (most records prior to 1867 burned) and Hickory counties, Missouri, nor those who stayed in Ohio, nor have I looked in Texas.)

John Wright Jr.s' final resting place is in Gorden Cemetery which is a small family plot located on the Gorden family farm in Polk County, Missouri. A deeply chiseled tombstone still stands with the inscription "John Wright born May 11 1781 died June 27 1850." In Bolivar City Cemetery, there is a tombstone for Esther Wright. On it is inscribed "Esther Wife of John Wright born Jan 1 1790 died Aug 12 1866."