The leek, Ceninen in Welsh, is a traditional emblem of Wales.
It is used here to symbolize this branch of the Wright family that eventually connects to the Griffith family that originated in Wales.
View a chart of these Griffith Collateral Lines.
This page does not try to be a comprehensive Wright family site, but rather hopes to offer in-depth information from a variety of sources about one short line leading down to Ann Wright2 who married James McCool. If a reader has documentable corrections or additions to this specific line, I would be very glad to hear from you via e mail to .
The Sources and Notes are together at the bottom of this page, or they can be accessed individually by clicking on the number in brackets.
Our earliest verified member in this family was James Wright1, born in 1671, and died 15 Fifth Month 1759 in Frederick County, Virginia. His wife Mary (Davis), was born 2 Twelfth Month 1689, and probably died shortly before 5 August 1764 when her will was probated. Mary was the daughter of James DAVIS and Margaret (JORDAN). [See an explanation of the National Genealogical Society's Numbering System used on this web page.]
James Wright lived in East Nottingham, Chester County, Pennsylvania, although a change in the boundary after Mason and Dixon made their survey and drew their line, later made it part of Cecil County, Maryland.
James was taxed in East Nottingham from 1718 to 1726 or 1727, after which the Wrights were among the first European families to move to the Monocacy Valley in what was then Northern Prince Georges County, Maryland, and is now Frederick County, Maryland. Two other early Quaker settlers there were Josiah and Henry BALLINGER Jr., sons-in-law of James and Mary Wright. They settled along the Monocacy River about five miles south of Frederick, Md.
An account book of Arthur BARRETT, a Quaker tailor and farmer in Nottingham, then Frederick County, has been preserved. It carefully records expenses for James Wright in 1723. Arthur Barrett sold to James the following items:
6 lbs fat (probably lard)
3 lbs flax
20 lbs bacon
1 days work
half-bushel of corn
suit of clothes
2 vests and 2 pare of britches for the lads
1 days work
2 bushels wheat
For those of us who complain that we are underpaid, it is salutary to examine these figures. A day's wages varied considerably from one and a half to two shillings. I don't know if this was a man's work both times, or the lower one was a boy or a woman. Harvest season may have commanded higher wages. Consider that a day's wages bought only 6 pounds of lard, while three pounds of flaxthat still needed a great deal of labor before it had been made into thread, let alone linencost two days' labor. Or, at the higher wage, one could buy two caps for a full day of work. Today we have gotten used to inexpensive clothing, thanks to very low wages paid to the overseas workers.
In 1730 Alexander ROSS and Morgan BRYAN headed a "company" to acquire land for a Quaker settlement west of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Soon a number of Friends families were settling near the Opeckon Creek. Virginia was not a Quaker colony, and the local court "indicted a Quaker for articles against the Established Church".
The new Friends settlement was in need of a meeting for worship. At a monthly meeting held at East Nottingham on 18 Third Month 1734 [OS] it was minuted, "Alexander Ross hath Proposed to this meeting on behalf of ffriends att Opeckon that a Meeting for worship may be Settled among'st them which is under ye Consideration & Care of this Meeting Untill a Suitable time to Give them a Visit." Things moved along and on 17 Sixth Month, Jeremiah BROWN, William KIRK, Joseph ENGLAND, and John CHURCHMAN were appointed to visit them. At a monthly meeting at East Nottingham on 21 Tenth Month they reported the visit had been made and "that they think it Would be of Service if a Meeting were Settled there, which this Meeting doth Acquiesce with, and Orders that it be Sent to ye Next Quarterly Meeting." Chester Quarterly Meeting approved on 10 Twelfth Month 1734/5, and the meeting for worship became official. Six months later Friends at Opeckon and Monoquacy requested permission to hold meetings for discipline, and 10 Ninth Month 1735 the Quarterly Meeting agreed and established them as a monthly meeting. The meeting was first called Opequon (with a variety of spellings), then Hopewell. [View an explanation of Quaker Dates.]
In 1735 James and Mary Wright removed to the Ross-Bryan Settlement in what was then a greatly enlarged Orange County, Virginia, in the Opequon Creek watershed which drains into the Potomac River. James Wright and John LITTLER had 438 acres on the eastern slope of Apple Pie Ridge, about five miles north of Winchester. Later the tract was known as "Osceola". They were among the first settlers in "Opeckon". On 21 August 1738 James Wright and Arthur BARRETT (the tailor and farmer) witnessed a deed by Alexander ROSS conveying 396 acres out of his original 2,373 to John NICKLINE. James later witnessed Alexander's will, 24 Eighth Month 1748, probated on 7 December that year.
James Wright and George MATTHEWS were named representatives from Hopewell Meeting to Chester Quarterly Meeting, 13 Sixth Month 1739. It was a major undertaking to travel the distance to attend Quarterly Meeting, usually held at Concord. Eventually since it was held so often at Concord, Chester Quarter became known as Concord Quarter of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting.
James and Mary "both appeared in the ministry at Hopewell soon after its setting up, and by their lives and characters gained a reputation for steadfastly upholding the truth that has survived to this day. James traveled extensively in the ministry and was highly regarded among Friends." Translated, this means that both James and Mary were recognized by Friends as having gifts of ministry, and they were recorded as ministers.
European settlers had begun infiltrating the Shenandoah Valley in the late 1720s. They came west and south across Pennsylvania, crossed the Potomac near Mechlenburg (now Shepardstown), and on into the northern end of the valley. Three groups of Europeans came: German Protestants of various kinds, Scotch-Irish Presbyterians, and Quakers. The Valley, of course, was not uninhabited when they came. A map made about 1721 shows two Indian towns on the Potomac and an Indian trader's cabin on the mouth of the Monocacy. In a map made in 1736-37 of the Northern Neck of Virginia, these towns are marked "Shawno Indian Fields deserted". So although there may not have been permanent Indian residents in the Valley when European settlers arrived in numbers, it was a major north-south trail, and Natives frequently used the area. In 1738 Thomas Chalkley wrote "to the Friends of the monthly meeting at Opequon" exhorting them to keep friendly relations with the Indians. He used both an appeal to their higher ideals and a warning directed at their fears.
As nature hath given them and their forefathers the possession of this continent of America (or this wilderness), they had a natural right thereto in justice and equity; and no people, according to the law of nature and justice and our own principle, which is according to the glorious gospel of our dear and holy Jesus Christ, ought to take away or settle on other men's lands or rights without consent, or purchasing the same by agreement of parties concerned; . . .
Therefore my christian advice to you is, my dear friends, that the most reputable among you do with speed endeavor to agree with and purchase your lands of the native Indians or inhabitants. . . .
Who would run the risk of the lives of their wives and children for the sparing a little cost and pains? . . .
Consider you are in the Province of Virginia, . . . and the Virginians have made an agreement with the natives to go as far as the mountains and no farther; and you are over and beyond the mountains, therefore out of the agreement. . . . 
Europeans continued to come into the Valley. In 1738 the Virginia Burgesses divided the area west of the mountains into two counties: Frederick and Augusta. In 1743 courts were established at Frederick Town (now Winchester) in the northern part of the Valley, and in 1745 among the Scotch-Irish Presbyterians in Staunton, for Augusta County at the southern end of the Valley. For some twenty years the Natives respected the plowed fields and refrained from burning the prairie every autumn to make good grazing for the bison and deer. Trees began to grow up between the cultivated strips, the wildlife grew scarce, and the Indians became understandably restless.
Meanwhile the Wrights and other Quakers went about their lives, improving their fields and homes, carrying on the business of the meeting. One of the few records we have of them was their presence at Friends' marriages, at which every adult present signed the marriage certificate as a witness. On 12 Second Month [February] 1744 James Wright signed marriage certificate of John HIATT, son of John, of Opeckon, and Mary THOMAS, daughter of Evan, at Opekon.
James Wright signed the marriage certificate for his granddaughter Sarah BALLINGER, daughter of Josiah, deceased, of Opekan, and Evan ROGERS, son of John "of or near Back Creek", held at Hopewell on 15 Fourth Month 1749. Other Wrights who also signed as witnesses were Isaac, James, Thomas, Lydia, Sarah, Lucy, and Esther. James and Ann M'Cooll signed, along with four Rogers, three Ballingers, Joseph Lupton, and 21 others. James signed right below the groom's parents, perhaps because he was the bride's grandfather. Josiah Ballinger, the bride's brother, signed just below James Wright.
James Wright, Sr. signed the marriage certificate of Joseph LUPTON, son of Joseph of Opeckan and Rachel BULL, daughter of Richard on 17 Eighth Month 1750 at Isaac HOLLINGSWORTH's home in Opeckan. Thomas Wright also signed, for a total of 45 witnesses. 
James, Sr. signed the marriage certificate of John Lupton, son of Joseph of Opekon and Sarah FROST, daughter of John on 26 Sixth Month 1755 at Opekon. Thomas, Esther, and Mary Wright also signed, for a total of 27 witnesses.
Quakers moving into Opequon did not pay any Indians for their land. Apparently Hopewell Meeting did nothing in response to Thomas CHALKLEY's letter. After Braddock's disastrous defeat in 1755, however, the French encouraged their Indian allies to take action in the Shendandoah Valley. They did, with the settlers thrown into confusion, and some killed or their houses burned.
In the midst of this terror, no Friend lost a life, although some fled from their homes. Only one Quaker house was burned. Philadelphia Yearly Meeting's Meeting for Sufferings stood by to offer assistance to Friends who suffered losses either from Indians or for refusing to participate in the militia mustered against the Indians. At the Eighth Month 1757 monthly meeting two Friends were appointed by Hopewell Meeting to make a list of those who might need help. A few days later they submitted a list of ten families, including three headed by widows. The final entry on the list was:
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 And there May Be More for any thing we know at present Having But a few days to Enquire and if there was Some Trustee appointed to distribute ye Money According to the Nesesity of Each particular . . . . 
Philadelphia Yearly Meeting sent £50, of which £10 was specifically for the Wrights. The Meeting for Sufferings also wanted to know if it were possible to ascertain which Indians were the original owners of the land, and to pay them for it. Four months later Hopewell sent a more detailed report for each family unit including the age and gender of each child and the livestock lost. Thomas Wright's children: 1 daughter 9 yrs. old, a son 7 yrs, 1 daughter 5 yrs, 1 daughter 3 yrs, and 1 son 1 yr old. Isaac Wright's children: 1 son 7 yrs, another 5 yrs, a daughter 3, and a son about 5 months; James Wright Jr's children: 1 son 12, another son 10, a daughter 8 yrs, a son 3 yrs; Thomas Wright had 2 cows, 1 heifer lost, 2 mares & a horse, 1 colt, "not much Household Goods." Isaac Wright had 1 horse, "very little Household Goods." A report was appended of how much money was given to each. James Wright, Sr received the £10 earmarked for him; Thos. Wright, £3, Isaac Wright £3, and James Wright, Jr. £4.
But Hopewell ignored the question about paying the Indians for their land. So Philadelphia Yearly Meeting sent a delegation to do double duty: inquire into the possibility that the recent ravages were caused at least in part by land being unjustly taken from its original inhabitants, and also to see that the discipline was properly enforced. This latter was the result of a general reform and tightening of the discipline that began ca. 1755.
In 1758 when Western Quarter was set off from Concord Quarter, Hopewell Meeting became part of Western Quarterly Meeting. Friends were growing numerous enough and spreading farther and farther, so that in 1776 the meetings were reorganized and Hopewell became part of the new Warrington-Fairfax Quarter. In 1789-1790 this Quarter was transferred to Baltimore Yearly Meeting. Jumping ahead of ourselves, it is interesting to note that at the time of the 1828 separation in Baltimore Yearly Meeting, the majority of Friends in northern Virginia identified with the so-called Hicksites.
The minute books and records of Hopewell Meeting were destroyed when William JOLLIFFE's home was burned in 1759. However one page of minutes had been copied and was elsewhere at the time, so we know that at the monthly meeting of 4 Second Month 1748 James Wright and Joseph LUPTON were appointed to a clearness committee to ascertain if William HOGE, Jr. and his sons William and Solomon, were clear to remove to Richland Meeting in Bucks County.
James is surprisingly difficult to find in the real estate and court records of the time, which often constitute the only information available outside of Friends records. Apparently James did not acquire a lot of land, perhaps, it has been suggested, he moved around from place to place, although I have not found evidence of this. His 438 acres in Opequon were held jointly with John LITTLER. Littler was much more of an entrepreneur than Wright. He kept a public house, a grist mill, and saw mill. He also had something like 1,332 acres in his own name. James rarely shows up in official records partly because as a Friend he would not swear an oath, and Virginia had no provision for an affirmation. James was not listed in the 1746 survey of "rental land", and in a record that year the 438 acres was listed only under John Littler.
It was written of him:
. . . James Wright, an elder of Hopewell Monthly Meeting, was one of the first settlers in that part of Virginia. He was a sober, honest man, grave in manners, and solid and weighty in his conversation. He was diligent in the attendance of his religious meetings, exemplary in humble waiting, therein, and of a sound mind and judgment. He was cautious of giving just offence to any one, and was earnestly concerned for the unity of the brethren, and the peace of the church. "He appeared," say his friends, concerning him, "for some time before his last illness, as one who had finished his day's work, and who was waiting for his change." He departed this life fifth month 15th, 1759, in the 83d year of his age.
In his will signed 14 Eighth Month 1751 James gave his son Thomas "the Home plantation, being 194 acres of my patent land." James made 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 was named executrix, and given possession as long as she lived. Evan ROGERS and James BALLINGER were bondsmen. The will was witnessed by Evan ROGERS, James BALLINGER, and Sarah Rogers. James died 15 Fifth Month 1759 in Frederick County, Virginia. The will was probated 4 March 1764. I don't know the cause of the delay.
A codicil to James Wright's will, dated 4 April 1753, mentioned 160 acres of land lying to the south side of the 194 acre tract; he also willed to his wife 300 acres "lately surveyed and lying by Thomas THORNBERRY upon Middle Creek". This adds up to a total of 654 acres, more than the 438 he had originally held with John Littler.
In Mary's will of 1764 only 100 acres was mentioned, bequeathed to her grandson Thomas, his father Thomas being dead. (This grandson Thomas was born 5 Seventh Month 1756 and later married Esther BROWN.) She made bequests to her children. The executors were Jesse PUGH and William PICKERING who entered into bond with James McGIN and Joseph BABB as sureties. Witnesses were Elinor ROGERS, Sussannah [sic] BEVAN, and Elizabeth PENNELL. Mary's will was probated 6 March 1764, and her estate was appraised on 7 August 1764 in Frederick County.
Children of James and Mary (__) Wright:
a) Ralph, b. 25/5m/1746;
b) Elizabeth, b. 15/10m/1746;
c) James, b. 1/12m/1748;
d) Ann, b. 25/10m/1750;
e) Susannah, b. 19/3m/1753;
f) Boyater, b. 13/9m/1755;
g) Micajah, b. 24/4m/1758.
a) Martha, b. 15/5m/1748; m. __ SHARP contrary to discipline; disowned 3/9m/1770.
b) Jonathan, b. 27/4m/1750;
c) Mary, b. 8/5m/1752;
d) Thomas, b. 1/7m/1756;
e) Hannah, b. 14/2m/1758; m. Isaac PAINTER contrary to discipline; disowned 3/9m/1770; reinstated 1/8m/1785.
f) Ruth, b. 6/2m/1759;
g) David, b. 14/3m/1763;
a) Hannah Pickering, b. 30/10m/1750;
b) John Pickering, b. 23/2m/1752;
c) Lidia Pickering, [sic] b. 11/7m/1754;
d) Jacob Pickering, (b. 10/12m/1756;
e) William Pickering, b. 22/2m/1759;
f) Jonathan Pickering, b. 14/4m/1761;
g) Mary Pickering, b. 25/7m/1763.
a) John Rogers, b. 25/8m/1757; d. 30/6m/1778;
b) Robert Rogers, b. 5/7m/1760;
c) David Rogers, b. 1/5m/1764; d. 20/6m/1778;
d) Evan Rogers, b. 5/5m/1767;
e) Owen Rogers, b. 1/9m/1769;
f) Lydia Rogers, b. 28/5m/1773; d. 27/6m/1778;
g) Sarah Rogers, b. 1/8m/1775;
Ann Wright2, tenth child and next to youngest daughter of James and Mary Wright, was born 29 First Month 1725 in Chester County, Pennsylvania. She died 7 April 1801 in Back Creek. Ann married twice, first to James McCool, and second to Thomas Pugh.
About 1735 Anne came with her parents to the Shenandoah Valley. At age 17 she married James McCool, whose family had originally come from Londonderry/Derry in Ulster, Ireland, migrating through Delaware to the Quaker settlement of Back Creek in the 1740s. James and Ann settled near the site of the present village of Gainesboro.
James McCool was in bad health when he wrote his will 9 Second Month 1751 and died soon after. In spite of some secondary, family history reports, he was not killed by Indians. Ann inherited all his goods and personal estate.
About two years later Ann married Thomas PUGH (1731-1798), eldest child of Jesse and Alice (MALIN) Pugh. One story says they fled the French and Indian Wars in 1756, going first to Orange County, North Carolina and then to South Carolina, but the dates don't compute. During the Indian unrest in 1759, when Hopewell Meeting was asked to send a list of sufferings to Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, Thomas Pugh's children were listed as 1 daughter 13 years old, a son 11 years, a son 9 years, a daughter 7, a son 6 years, a daughter 3 years and another daughter 2 years. The ages and genders don't seem to match Ann's family too accurately. It may be that whoever entered the data was doing it hastily, from memory, and was off a bit here and there. Thomas's losses included "one Horse & Mare, 3 Cows, lost, 2 Cows & 2 Mares but little Household Goods".
The fact that they were in Virginia in 1767 and 1768 is proved by their signatures on marriage certificates. Ann and Thomas Pugh signed the marriage certificate of Edward BEESON, son of Edward and Martha Beeson, and Jane PUGH, sister of Thomas and daughter of Jesse and Alice Pugh, on 21 Ninth Month 1767 at Back Creek. John (age 22) and Martha M'Coole (almost age 18), Ann's children, also signed it. Ann Pugh and her son John MaCoole signed the marriage certificate of Richard FAWCETT, son of Richard, and Mary PICKERING, daughter of Samuel, at Hopewell on 21 Fourth Month 1768. Ann and Thomas Pugh, and John M'Coole signed the certificate of marriage for Mordecai WALKER and Rachel BARRETT, daughter of William, at Hopewell on 21 Fourth Month 1768. It seems a bit unusual that there were two marriages on the same day, at the same meeting house, of non-siblings.
Thomas Pugh, with his unnamed wife and children: Gabriel, Jane, Alice, Elizabeth, Ann, and Lydia, moved from Hopewell Meeting to Bush River with a certificate of removal dated 1 Fifth Month 1769. This was six years after the end of the war.
They returned to Pughtown in the Shenandoah Valley. On 2 Sixth Month 1777 Thomas Pugh and his wife Ann and their four youngest children Jean [sic: Jane?], Ann, Lidia, and Rachel received a certificate of removal from Bush River to Hopewell. In all Ann had seven children with Thomas, in addition to her five with James McCool.
Ann Pugh signed the marriage certificate for Henry SMITH and Martha Smith on 30 Fifth Month 1782 at Hopewell, and on 7 Fifth month 1788 at Back Creek, the certificate for Josiah ROGERS and Alice BROCK.
When Ann's daughter Rachel Pugh married Michael JENKINS of Hampshire County, Ann attended the marriage and signed the certificate along with her sons John and James, and daughter-in-law Elenor McCoole. The marriage took place at the Back Creek meeting house on 11 Fourth Month 1787.
Ann wrote her will, which was probated May 4, 1803.
Know all men by these presents that I ANN PUGH of Frederick County, Commonwealth of Virginia being infirm, but of a perfect and sound mind, memory, understanding and calling to mind the mortality of the body do make and constitute this my last will and testament in form and manner following. First I recommend my soul into my saviours hands and my body to the earth to be buried in a decent like manner. First I will that all my debts and funeral charges be paid and discharged by Walter Denny. And secondly I will and bequeath to Walter Denny and Jane, his wife the tract of land whereon I now live for and during their natural lives and after their decease to go to . . . . .the heir of the said Jane Denny to be willed to them as . . . . . . think proper either by willing it all to one or dividing it amongst them with their paying the sum of money herein mentioned. I also will my black horse to the said Jane Denny. Thirdly I will and bequeath to my daughter ELIZABETH JAY $5 to be paid to her by Jane and Walter Denny. Fourthly I will and bequeath to my daughter ANN DILLON $5 to be paid to her by Jane and Walter Denny. Fifthly I will and bequeath to my daughter RACHAEL JENKINS a . . . . . .or part of a tract of land joining B. Fisher and John McCoole which I have Walter Denny's title bond for to her, her heirs and assigns forever. And lastly I constitute and appoint my son in law WALTER DENNY and JANE DENNY my executor and executrix of this my last will and testament revoking and disannulling all former wills by me heretofore made. Ratifying this and no other to be my last will and testament. In witness hereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 25th day of the second month 1797. Witnessed by John McCoole, William Adams and Jacob Taylor.
Children of James and Ann (Wright) McCool:
a) Catherine McCool, m. Meredith DARLINGTON;
b) Ann McCool, m(1) __ Darlington, m(2) __ LEWIS;
c) Eleanor McCool, m. __McWHORTER;
d) Martha McCool, m. 25 May 1812 John WEAVER and was disowned;
e) Lewis McCool, m. 22 Sept 1808 Nancy WEAVER and remov to Clinton Co., Ohio;
f) Olivia McCool, m/ 17 Jan 1811 Jacob WEAVER and was disowned;
g) John McCool, Jr., m(1) Sarah BURKE; m(2) 3 Oct 1822 Cassandra DENT; 1809 he was disowned for fighting and neglecting mtg, joined Methodists; inherited his father's plantation. 
a) Grace McCool, d. 1772, m Henry Mercer BABB 10 Nov. 1796 by Episcopal priest;
b) Gabriel McCool, inherited his father's land;
c) Mary McCool, d. 9 July 1805, m Anthony BELL 29 May 1800 by Methodist min;
d) Ann McCool, m 22 Apr. David DARLINGTON;
e) James McCool III;
f) Charity McCool;
g) Thomas McCool.
Children of Ann (Wright) McCool and her second husband, Thomas Pugh:
To continue the story of this family, go to the McCool page.
The leek, Ceninen in Welsh, is a traditional emblem of Wales, from whence came the Griffith family.
It is used for this branch of the Wright family, even though they are clearly not Welsh, because they become a collateral line to the Griffiths.
View a chart of the Collateral Lines that marry into the part of the Griffith Line that is featured on this web site. These are the other collateral lines that will eventually be included here in connection with the Griffith family (not all of them have been posted as yet): Balderston, Bancroft, David, Davis, Duck, Faulkner, Ferree, Griffith, Hackney, Harlan, Heald, Janney, John, Jones, Lewis, McCool, Smith, and Warembauer.
If you have additions or corrections to this web page, I would be delighted to hear from you. Contact me via e mail at .
Go to the index of other lines that are included in this website (not all of them have been posted yet).
Go to the Paxson home page.
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View the index of other lines that are included in this website.
If you have additions or corrections to this web page, I would be delighted to hear from you. Contact me via e mail at .
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