Richard Wright (c 1726 – c 1784) – Where there’s a Will: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks

Transcription of probated will of Richard Wright, Sr., my 7th-great grandfather.

From the office of Clerk Superior Court, Rowan County, Salisbury, North Carolina, in Will Book C, page 207.  This particular copy is from “North Carolina Probate Records, 1735-1970,” digital images. FamilySearch (http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2015) > imgs 158-159; citing County courthouses, North Carolina.

(transcribed by Cathy Dempsey 12/29/2015; bolding, italicization and brackets are mine)

“In the name of God Amen.  I, Richard WRIGHT Senr. of the County of Rowan & State of North Carolina being through the abundant mercy and goodness of God tho weak in body Yet of a sound and perfect understanding & Memory do constitute this my last Will and Testament, and desire it may be Received by all as such as for my burial I desire it to be decent without pomp or State at the discretion of my dear Wife and as to my worldly Estate I will and positively order that all my debts be paid. I give and bequeath to my son Benjamin Two hundred Acres of land lying on the Waters of deep River in Randolph County, Including the plantation whereon he used to live & I give to my son Peter Twenty Shillings & I give to my Sons Richard & William an Entry of land containing 226 Acres lying in Randolph County on the Waters of Uary to be divided equally at their own discretion. I give to my son Amus One hundred Acres of land including the house wherein he now lives & the price of a new Saddle and Bridle & I likewise give to my son William a feather Bed and furniture & and I give to my son Evins a milch cow a feather bed and furniture and the price of a good saddle and Bridle. [This line bequeathing Evans is included in the copy existing at NC Archives, but NOT in the copy which Familysearch.org has.] I give to my son John  a cow and Calf or the Value thereof in Gold or Silver & I give to my son Philburd a Horse Bridle and Saddle and a Cow and feather Bed and furniture at the age of Twenty One or at his Mothers discretion and this plantation where I now live at his Mothers decease or Marriage and I give to my dear and loving Wife Two hundred Acres of land lying on deep River where I formerly used to live in Randolph County to sell at her discretion and likewise all my moveable property that I possess and if she Marrys two thirds of the Estate is to be divided equal amongst the Children and if she dies without marrying the prinsable [principal] Estate is to be divided equal amongst the all my Children. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this third day of September; Anno Dom: 1784

Witness present
 Wm X Wright His Mark                         Richard R WRIGHT (Seal)  His Mark
Evins X Wright His Mark 
Richard Wright
James MORGAN Junr.
Questions  12/29/2015

Benjamin is given 200 acres near Deep River in Randolph County – when does he sell or bequeath this land?  He dies in Marion County, Indiana, so there should be a deed transferring the land to a child, or a will, or a sale to someone else.

Why does Peter only get 20 shillings?
Note on 23 Sep 2019:  On 29 Jul 1783 Richard Wright assigned to “my son Peter” one of his own land grants for 200 acres.[1]

[1]“North Carolina, Land Grant Files, 1693–1960,” database with images, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 23 Sept 2019) > Randolph > 1-257 > image 1141 of 1343.

226 acres goes to Richard C Wright and his brother William.  What happens to this land?  Richard remains in the area to the end of his life, and Richard ends up living in Davidson County (formed from Rowan in 1822).  So to whom does he sell his share of the 226 acres? What about William?
Note on 23 Sep 2019:  226 acres of land in Randolph County is assigned to William Summers (a possible brother of Rebecca Summers, who married Evans Wright, one of Richard’s sons) by William Wright in 1787.  Could this be the same land as above? See:  https://www.ancestry.com/interactive/60621/44173_355605-00907/81611?

Amos is living on 100 acres at the time of the will, which is bequeathed him by his father.  Where is he living?  In Rowan?  Or in Randolph?

Richard’s wife gets 200 acres of Richard’s land in Randolph County where he used to live.  Which land is that?  Is it part of the 400 acres he used to have by Deep River?  When is it sold or transferred to other members of the family?  Does Richard’s wife have a will after he dies?

Richard’s son Philburd is given the land where Richard and his wife are currently living (in 1784) when Richard’s wife dies or remarries.  When does Philburd get this land, and what happens to it in the future?   [check Rowan County indexes for Philburd Wright grantee and grantor.  He would turn 21 in 1789.]

Mapping your DNA segments to your ancestors

Chr2_Wright

What is this picture telling us?  It is from a tool called DNA Painter (https://dnapainter.com/)  I am focusing on a specific set of segments on chromosome 2 on my mother’s side (hence the wide bar for chromosome 2 and the pink color for the chromosomes shown.)

Before using this tool, I had already gotten my DNA tested, as had both my parents, 2 of my siblings, and numerous known 1st, 2nd and 3rd cousins.  (Second cousins share a pair of great-grandparents; third cousins share a pair of great-great grandparents.)  In addition, I’ve already worked on determining who is the Most Recent Common Ancestor (MRCA) between my DNA match and me, using census records, vital records (marriage, birth, death), land deeds, and so on.

Based on my “paper” research and my DNA matches, each cousin (represented by a single color bar, except for cousin K in purple who has two bars) matches me, matches my mom, and matches each other.  This is known as triangulation (if A = B and B = C, then A = C) and is indicative of a shared ancestor (or ancestors) at some point back in time.  The paper research points to Richard Wright and his wife Ann (maiden name unknown) being the MRCA for all of us.

For some of the cousins above, the MRCA couple for them and me is Anna Patsy Wright and her husband Philip Copple (key = turquoise).  For other cousins, the MRCA couple is Richard Wright and his wife Ann (maiden name unknown) (key = orange).  Anna is the granddaughter of Richard and Ann, so in actuality, the segments assigned to her are segments she inherited from Richard or Ann.  (Thus, all the turquoise segments could in fact be colored orange.)

The point of using both turquoise and orange is to show that some of the people who match me are also descendants of Anna Wright, and other cousins (whose MRCA with me is Richard and Ann, rather than Anna and Philip) are descendants of someone other than Anna – specifically, from one of her paternal uncles or aunts.  (If they had descended from one of Anna’s own siblings, then the MRCA would not have been Anna’s grandfather but instead her father Amos Wright.)

Cousin K is being highlighted in purple to emphasize K’s two segments shared with me.  (If I were keeping to the color coding, one segment of K’s would be chartreuse, and one would be turquoise.)

Notice how the segments seem to be staggered; their starting ends line up.  These represent crossover points, here indicated by the vertical dark lines.  Since I inherited the entire segment from my maternal grandmother, it’s more likely these crossovers occurred sometime in the past, and represent segments inherited by her from different ancestors on the Wright line.

Chr2_CrossoverMarkings

The teal segments, representing matches who have a Wright ancestor from Buncombe County, North Carolina, are unexpected matches.  Meaning, my maternal Wright line has no (apparent) tie to Buncombe County, NC –that’s too far west of where “my” Wright line lived.  That being said, because they match me and match the other cousins who are known to be Patsy Wright’s descendants and/or Richard Wright descendants, they must be relatives.  Our common ancestor likely goes back further than Richard – the fact that the segments are shorter than the others would seem to confirm that assumption.  (That being said, due to the randomness of DNA inheritance, there is not always a correlation between length of segment and distance of relationship.)

Chr2_SegmentAssignment

The as-yet-unknown ancestor segment is in chartreuse, and represents the segment of chromosome 2 from the first crossover (vertical line) to the second crossover.  I’ve labeled it “Waymire or Wright” in the legend, as it likely relates to my Wright line, and cousins who share this segment have Waymire/Wehmeyer ancestors in their tree.  And that matters because the Waymire and Wright families lived right next door to each other in Randolph County, NC circa 1770’s.  It’s the tiniest of clues to go on, and may not be accurate; more research, and more cousins tested, is needed to solve the puzzle.

The red arrow points to the “Richard Wright and Ann” segment.  What’s important to mention here is that I call it the “Richard Wright and Ann” segment because that’s as far back as I can determine.  Therefore, it’s a convenient label.  However, it may not actually have been inherited through the Wright line.  If the segment was passed down through Richard, but he inherited it from his mother, then it would technically be a “Becraft” segment, as Richard’s mother was Esther Becraft.  If the segment was passed down through Richard’s wife Ann, it wouldn’t be a Wright segment at all – but we don’t have a surname for Ann, so it’s easier to label this segment on chromosome 2 as a “Wright” segment.

The fun of mapping segments, though, is that it assists you in quickly figuring out how your DNA match may be related to you.  If I get a new match tomorrow, say, on MyHeritage, and they match me maternally on one of the segments shown above, I know they are related to me through my Wright line, and how far back is really the only question.  I don’t need to consider any of my other maternal ancestors.

Mapping can be done at a much closer level – assigning your 4 grandparents to segments of each of your chromosomes (1 – 22, and the X). You’ll need your siblings to test with you.   I will cover that in a later post.