NORTHERN NEW YORK
Genealogical and family history of northern New York: a record of the achievements of her people
in the making of a commonwealth and the founding of a nation.
New York: Lewis Historical Pub. Co. 1910.
Transcribed by Coralynn Brown
Several centuries ago when men, in order to distinguish themselves more readily, took surnames, many assumed the name of the art or craft at which they worked. "Wright" originally denoted a workman, an artificer, a maker, and was a designation usually applied to those who wrought in wood, as smith was applied to those who worked in metal. It is highly probable that almost every person bearing the name Wright as his original surname, is descended from an English ancestor who was an artificer. As the name could have been and was assumed ty any artificer who chose to do so, it follows that there may be numerous families whose origin is not identical. Hence, in this country, there are several lines of this name not of the same descent. The name appears early in the Colonial records, and has been borne by many distinguished citizens both in Colonial and recent times.
(I) Deacon Samuel Wright undoubtedly belonged to an ancient English family, but the place of his origin remains undiscovered. He was in Springfield, Mass. as early as 1639, being a member of the jury that year, and a proprietor as early as 1641. He removed to Northampton in 1655, and was a prominent citizen of that town, as he had been in Springfield. He was a deacon of the First Church in both towns, and served on important committees and in various offices. In the absence of the pastor he frequently conducted the religious services and was a regular exhorter in 1656-57. He was admitted a freeman April 13, 1648, and died while asleep in his chair Oct. 17, 1665.
His homestead in Northampton continued to be occupied by his descendants down to 1800. His wife, Margaret, survived him many years, dying July 25, 1681.
Benjamin, Samuel, Hester, Margaret, Lydia, Mary, James, Judah and Helped; some authorities mention a daughter Hannah, but there is some doubt about her and the first named, Benjamin.
(II) Samuel (2), son of Samuel (1) Wright, was born in England, about 1627, and was killed by the Indians in Northfield, Sept. 2, 1675. He had settled only two years previously in Northfield, having formerly resided in Northampton.
He married, Nov. 24, 1653, Elizabeth, daughter of Henry and Eulalia Burt, of Northfield. In 1684 she married (second) N. Dickinson of Hetfield.
Samuel, Joseph, Benjamin, Ebenezer, Elizabeth, Eleazer, Hannah and Benoni.
(III) Joseph, second son of Samuel (2) and Elizabeth (Burt) Wright, was born 1657, probably in Northampton, where he resided. He married, Nov. 6, 1679, Ruth Sheldon, of Northampton, botn Aug. 27, 1663, daughter of Isaac and Mary (Woodfore) Sheldon, pioneers of that town. She married (second) Samuel Strong.
Joseph Wright's children:
Joseph, Samuel, Ruth, James, Mary and Benoni.
(IV) Samuel (3), second son of Joseph and Ruth (Sheldon) Wright, was born about 1693, in Northampton, where he passed his life. He married, Dec. 19, 1717, Jemima King.
Charles, Jemima, Anna, Samuel and Josiah.
(V) Samuel (4), second son of Samuel (3) and Jemima (King) Wright, was born about 1730 in Northampton, and married (first) May 11, 1757, Penelope Leonard, probably daughter of Seth and Deborah Leonard of Northfield. He married (second) Nov. 11, 1772, Elizabeth Stevens.
Paul, Silas, Ozias and Esther.
(VI) Silas, second son of Samuel (4) and Penelope (Leonard) Wright, was born May 17, 1760 in Northampton, and resided many years in Amherst, Mass. In Feb. 1796, he removed from that town to Weybridge, Vermont, where he was engaged in farming, and died May 13, 1843.
He was a man of little education, but was possessed of sterling sense and was esteemed by his fellow citizens. He was a tythingman in Amherst in April, 1791; surveyor of highways in 1793, and constable the following year. He was a soldier of the revolution, serving in the Lexington alarm, April 19, 1775.
He married, Sept. 26, 1780, Eleanor, daughter of Isaac and Huldah (Burt) Goodale, of Amherst.
Samuel, Orinda, Lucretia, Eleanor, Silas, Daniel L. and Pliny.
(VII) Silas (2), second son of Silas (1) and Eleanor (Goodale) Wright, was born May 24, 1795, in Amherst, Mass., and died Aug. 27, 1847 in Canton, New York. He was an infant when the family removed to Weybridge, Vermont, and there began his education in the primitive country schools. He made the most of his opportunities, and at fourteen years of age became a student at Middlebury Academy and was often a winner of prizes for scholarship and effort. He pursued his educational course diligently, and at twenty years of age was graduated from Middlebury College. He immediately removed to New York state and studied law in the office of Henry C. Martindale, at Sandy Hill. He was subsequently in the office of Judge Roger Skinner, of the same place, and to maintain his independence engaged in teaching while pursuing his legal studies. After admission to the bar he began practice in Canton, N.Y., and in 1820 was appointed surrogate of St. Lawrence county. In January, 1819, he was admitted to practice before the supreme court of the state. 1821-22-23 he was town clerk of Canton, and in 1821 was appointed justice of the peace and commissioner of deeds. 1822 he organized a company of riflemen at Canton, of which he became captain, and was promoted to major, to colonel in 1826, and brigadier-general in 1827. In the last year he was appointed postmaster at Canton, and continued in that office until his removal to Albany.
General Wright was enthusiastic in military affairs, and was highly popular with the militia organization. It is said that no member of his company ever cast a vote against him when a candidate for any office. He was an uncompromising Democrat, but was ever a patriot, placing the interests of his country before those of his party. He was a member of the state senate, 1823-27, and the last year made a report on the financial policy which was subsequently rigorously pusued by himself and other governors. He was a member of congress, 1827-29, and during this service voted for a protective tariff and for the appointment of a committee to consider the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia.
From 1829 to 1833 he was a comptroller of the state of New York, and maintained his residence at Albany. Following this he entered the United States senate as the successor of William L. Marcy, and was a member of the committee on finance. He supported the Force Bill and Clay's Compromise Bill. He introduced the first Sub-treasury bill and this became a law. He defended President Jackson's removal of deposits from the United States Bank, and made a speech in opposition to Daniel Webster's proposition to recharter that institution. He opposed the receipt of petitions for the abolition of slavery, and also opposed the plan to distribute surplus federal revenues among the several states. He supported the independent treasury scheme of Martin Van Buren, the tariff of 1842, and the annexation of Texas. General Wright resigned his seat Dec. 1, 1844, to become governor of his home state, and continued in that office two years, being defeated for re-election in 1846. He opposed the calling of a convention to revise the state constitution, and vetoed an appropriation for canal improvements. During the anti-rent riots he called out the militia and declared Delaware county under martial law.
After his retirement he lived upon his farm in Canton, which he tilled with his own hands. It is said that there was seldom a time when he did not possess a good pair of working oxen, but the only horse he ever owned was one presented to him by his father soon after he settled in the practice of law at Canton.
After the completion of his term as governor he continued to exercise a powerful influence and wrote strong letters in opposition to the extinction of slavery and in favor of internal improvements by the national government. He refused several offers of cabinet positions and foreign missions. In the unprejudiced review of the present day (1910), Governor Wright is ranked among the ablest public men of the Empire State.
He married, Sept. 11, 1833, Clarissa, daughter of Captain Medad Moody, in whose family he made his home when he began practice at Canton.
Thomas Wright, immigrant ancestor, was born in England, Nov. 19, 1610, and came to America, settling at first probably at Watertown, Massachusetts. He was a member of the court of assistants before the government was established at Boston. He removed to Wethersfield, Conn., about 1639, and was granted a home lot of three acres there in 1640. His principal estate was an island in the Connecticut river called by the Indians Mannahannock, or Great Laughing Place. A part of his estate was owned by the family as late as 1900.
He was deputy to the general court in 1643; selectman 1658, and often on important committees. He was constable in 1668-69, and also served on the jury.
He brought with him from England a wife and five children.
He married (second), in May, 1647, Margaret Elsen, widow of John Elsen, who had been killed by the Indians in the Wethersfield massacre in 1637. She died 1670-71.
Children, all born in England, by first wife:
Ensign Samuel, born about 1634.
James, mentioned below.
Deacon Joseph, born 1639.
Lydia, married Joseph Smith.
(II) James, son of Thomas Wright, was a land owner in Wethersfield in 1657, and was the largest landowner on Great Island. He occupied the south end of the island, though he removed and resided for a time at Middletown, and is said to have been the first settler of Portland, Connecticut.
He died Dec. 24, 1728.
He married (first), Mary ____, who died Oct. 6, 1659; (second) Nov. 20, 1660, Dorcas, daughter of Jonas Weede. She died Dec. 24, 1692, and he married (third) Mary ____, who died Oct. 20, 1740, in her eightieth year.
Children, all by second wife:
James, mentioned below.
(III) James (2), son of James (1) Wright, was born in 1661, died Dec. 24, 1748. By deed and purchase he became the owner of nearly all of Great Island, built a house on it in 1710, where he resided.
He married, July 17, 1690, Mary Rose, who died Oct. 20, 1740, aged eighty, daughter of Daniel Rose.
Mary, Elizabeth, Daniel, Jacob, Hannah, Hezekiah (mentioned below), Abigail (died young), Rachel, Mary, Jeremiah, Sarah, Abigial.
(IV) Hezekiah, son of James (2) Wright, was born Dec. 10, 1701. He and his brother James were living on Wright's Island in February, 1732.
He married, in 1733 (probably second), Mehitable, daughter of Deacon Benjamin Talcott.
Children of first wife:
Hezekiah, mentioned below.
Children of second wife:
Isaac, Samuel and probably others.
(V) Hezekiah (2), son of Hezekiah (1) Wright, was born in Wethersfield in 1732, died in Waddington, New York in 1824. He was a soldier in the revolution, and in 1802 took up land in New York state and removed there, settling in Waddington. He was a farmer. He had three sons, two of whom were Chester and Hezekiah.
(VI) Chester, son of Hezekiah (2) Wright, was born in Wethersfield, and went to Waddington, N.Y. with his parents. He followed farming until 1858, when he removed to Iowa, where he died.
He married Polly Boyce.
Loomis S., mentioned below.
(VII) Loomis S., son of Chester Wright, was born in Waddington, New York, in 1810, died 1905. He had little opportunity for a school education, but by his own efforts secured a good education. He was a natural mechanic and built a foundry and machine shop in Wadddington, and was engage in business there for more than forty years. Later he bought a flour mill in Waddington, which he carried on for ten or twelve years, selling out in 1875.
He took an active interest in local affairs, and served as president of the village and in other town offices. He was town clerk for twenty-five years.
He was a strong Abolitionist.
He married, in 1840, Nancy A., born in Waddington 1819, died 1893, daughter of Jacob and Barbara (McClenathen) Reddington.
1. Dr. James H., surgeon in the civil war, and has practiced since in Natick, Rhode Island, and Worcester, Mass.; children: Harry and Grace.
2. Jacob KIng, died 1865.
3. George R.
4. John S., resides in Burlington, Vermont; married Hattie Chipman; children: John S., Frederick V., Sally S., Addie, Alice.
5. Edward, engaged in the railroad business in Los Angeles, California; married Ella Kingston; children: Nancy, Jacob, Edward.
6. George Reddington, mentioned below.
(VIII) George Reddington, son of Loomis S. Wright, was born in Waddington, N.Y. Feb. 22, 1846. He was educated in the Union Free School in his native town, and at the age of eighteen enlisted in Company D, Eighty-third New York Volunteers, July 24, 1863. He was mustered out at the close of the war, July 24, 1865. He was with the Army of the Potomac, and took part in the numerous engagements of the division.
At the close of the war he returned to Waddington, and in 1866 started in the hardware business, continuing successfully until 1886, when he sold out. He then traveled, selling hardware and agricultural implements, and has continued in that line of business to the present (1910) time.
In politics he is a Republican, and was overseer of the poor for eleven years, tax collector for five years, and United States consul for four years at Prescott, Ontario, Canada. He has served also as village trustee and on the board of education.
He is a member of Waddington Lodge, No. 393, Free and Accepted Masons.
He attends the Presbyterian church.
He married, Sept. 7, 1870, Sarah E., daughter of Thomas and Mary (Allison) Short, of Waddington.
1. Mary R.
2. John R., educated in the public schools and the Commercial College at Ogdensburg; entered the office of a mining company in Minnesota; enlisted in Company C, Eighth Illinois National Guards, and served through the Spanish war; is now (1910) manager for P. E. Myers, of Ashland, Iowa, state agents for the Lane Manufacturing Company, hardware; is member of Waddington Lodge of Masons; married Georgia, daughter of George C. Wilson, of Waddington.
3. Loomis G., engaged in business in Colorado.
4. Walter A., a druggist in Black River, Jefferston county, N.Y.; educated at Albany Medical College; member of Masons at Malone, N.Y.; married Leona Stear.
5. Harold C., U.S. postal clerk at Burlington.
6. Frances E., stenographer at Syracuse, N.Y.
7. Jessica L., manager of the telephone exchange at Waddington.
8. Bessie C., graduate of Potsdam Normal School; resides at the family home.
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