County Tyrone Ireland Genealogy Research

Official Website of the CoTyroneIreland.com Mailing List

 

The Wright Family in Ireland: Dr. Thomas Wright 1797-1877

By Julia W. Kramer
Written & Submitted by
Julia W. Kramer
julia.w.kramer[at]icloud.com
Formatted by
Jim McKane - jamckane@gmail.com

 

 An essay about my great-great-grandfather, Dr. Thomas Wright who came to America in 1820. His family were tenants of the Earl of Caledon and leased land in Kedew, Aghaloo Parish. The information comes form Irish records and from Dr. Wright’s autobiography written before his death in Cincinnati, Ohio at the end of the 19th century. Footnotes show the sources of information.

Dr. Thomas Wright, born 1797 near Caledon in Aghaloo Parish, County Tyrone married Sophia Huntington, daughter of Samuel Huntington and Bethiah Doggett in 1822 in Greensboro, Vermont.  They had 7 children:

1.  Noah Doggett Wright (1823-1893) m. Maria Ferris

2. Thomas Lee Wright (1825-1893) m. Lucinda Lord

3. Elizabeth Wright  (1827- 1889)  m. Charles Phillips

4. Samual Huntington Wright  (1829-1904) m. Sarah Maria Derby

5. Sophia Huntingon Wright (1829-m. Michael Williams

6. Mary Angelina Wright (1834-  m. 1. Richard Lord  ; 2 James Goodwin

7 John Eberle Wright   (1839-  ), m. Irene Parker



Dr. Thomas Wright, (1797-1877) never forgot his Irish childhood in the rural townof Kedew near Caledon in Aghaloo Parish, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. He carried with him to America the memory of the beauty, lushness and green of theWright farm as well as the memory of the times of economic hardship, constant unrest, rebellion and war that led him to emigrate to America in 1820.

CountyTyrone, Ireland Today

Thomas’s father, John Wright, was English and his mother, Elizabeth Lee, came from Scotland, possibly among in the 17th century “plantations” of English 


colonists in Ireland. Despite the fact that they were Presbyterians and not members of the (Anglican) Church of Ireland, John’s English birth and Elizabeth’s Scottish family surely still put them squarely on the side of England in the ongoing conflicts between the Kingdom of Ireland and Britain that raged during Thomas’ lifetime and long after, even today.

John Wright was a tenant of the Earl of Caledon, leasing 20 acres of productive farm land, a lease that generally ran for three generations. 1  Luckily, John and Elizabeth had six sons and two daughters, enough progeny to ensure that the landcould stay in the family. Their hopes were pinned on their oldest son and heir, Robert, born in 1784, as well as the “spares” in order: John (1786), Quintin (1788), George (1790), Alexander (1792) and Thomas (1797) Sisters Jane (1782) and Nancy (1795) could not inherit but, it was hoped, could make good marriages.

Being a faithful tenant of 20 of the 9000 acres owned by the Earl of Caledon promised a “comfortable” life which, apparently, was fulfilled for John and Elizabeth’s family. 2  Tenancy did not quite make John Wright “gentry” (“Esq”) but something close to it, a respected member of the community who was able to educate his children and prosper modestly.

Luckily for the Wrights and other tenant families ofthe Caledon Estate, the 2nd Earl of Caledon, Du Pre Alexander, who inherited the title in 1802, was considered by many to be a ‘really good resident country gentleman.” 3   A loyal address from the tenantry slludes to his ‘acts of liberality, munificence

 

 

 

 

 

1 1825. "Agahloo Parish tithe Appointment Book 1825."

2 Thomas Wright in his biography stated he grew up in comfortable circumstances.

3 "Landed families of Britain and Ireland: Alexander of Caledon House, Earls of Caledon." landedfamilies.blogspot.com


and kindness.” 4   Although often absent as governor of the Cape of Good Hope, this benevolent landlord built a flour mill in Caledonia and made many other improvements that turned the “mean” town into a lively market-town serving the entire area by the early 19th century. In later years, the subsequent Earl was served ably by his agent Henry Prentice, Esq.

The Earl, his comings and goings and “richly ornamented” mansion home was greatly admired by his tenants. There were “several large and elegant houses inthe neighborhood” and John Wright’s own manor house was much loved by Thomas who, when he prospered in America as a physician, built a replica he called “Ingleside” in Carthage, Ohio. Today, Caledon, a 3000 acre estate is still owned and occupied by the (7th) Earl of Caledon in an unbroken line from the 18th century.

liquisearch.com


It is hard to overestimate the power that a large landowner such as the Earl of Caledon had over the tenants such as John Wright. Not only must the Wrights payrent (in the form of produce, flax, wool? money?) the Earl and other large property owners in the area functioned as local government authorities, even as lawyers and judges to whom the tenants petitioned for favors and judgments. Members of the Grand Jury, a quasi government institution, these men presented public works proposals and budgets, presided over trials, appointed the dispensary doctors(Thomas Wright learned about this first hand, to his regret), even inflicted fines for minor offenses. It was lucky for tenants such as the Wrights that Du Pre Alexander was judged “munificent and kind” for there could be resentment and dissatisfaction that so much power and wealth was so concentrated. Catholics were excluded from membership in the Grand Jury before 1793 and the system did not become more representative until 1840 when grand juries were replaced by democratically elected Councils.

 

 

There is no indication that the Wrights resented the power that the wealthy landlords had over the tenants. There was too much else to worry about in the years 1782-1815 of the Wright children’s childhood — revolution in France, war between England and France, the Napoleonic wars. arguments between Britain and the Kingdom of Ireland over governance and territory, and quarrels between the Catholics and Protestants over emancipation. and civil rights. Raised in the midst of constant agitation and war, where “concealed rebellion” 5  often threatened to become manifest. The Wright children’s political and religious views were surely shaped by these quarrels and fears. In later life, Thomas displayed a fiery temper, a streak of righteousness, a lively interest in individual rights, and liberal views of politics and religion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 The Dublin Evening Post, March 1797, “there were certain parts of the North of Ireland in a state ofconcealed rebellion and that it is] wished that these places were rather in a state of open rebellion that theGovernment might see the rebellions and crush it.”


Thomas Wright was born into a particularly tumultuous and frightening time but, as a small child probably was more fascinated by the familiar sight of red-coated soldiers on the streets than any knowledge of the complicated relationships behind their presence. England had lost the American colonies but the French Revolution next door had not only abolished the monarchy and promoted social reform. but had produced Napoleon who was conquering Europe. The Revolution produced fear in England but fueled interest in Ireland in the possibility of liberal democratic reforms. This interest resulted in the formation of the Society of United Irishmen composed of Catholics, Presbyterians, Methodists and other “dissenting” religious groups organized with the intent of breaking with England with the help of France.

By 1796, shortly before Thomas birth, the French, with the support of the rebellious Irish attempted an invasion of Ireland but were turned back by bad weather, despite their numerical advantage. They tried again in 1797 and again failed. The Wrights never knew when there would be trouble close by, one like an armed encounter between Catholics and establishment Protestants in nearby County Armagh, These guerrilla type disturbances were often followed by swift retaliation such as the Insurrection Act in 1796 in which Habeas Corpus was suspended for all of Ireland. From March to October, 1797 (the year that Thomas Wright was born), the disarming of Ulster began with the government forming anarmed force (the Yeomanry) in which the Protestant tenants and townspeople were under the command of the gentry. The Yeomanry proved so brutal however, that many looked to France as an alternative to England. No household, especially in Northern Ireland escaped the harrowing uncertainty of these years and surely the Wright childrens' lives were shaped and influenced by all this agitation and taking of sides.

There is no record that the Wrights or their landlord, the Earl of Caledon, participated in this rebellion of the Irish Catholics and dissenters but many otherIrish Lords were sympathetic to the British and acted to suppress the rebels. “The tenants often noticed how he would drive around the countryside, “assuring


everyone of his countenance and protection”. 6  He advocated for the mounted cavalry to have 15-foot- long pikes and “Carabines” to face the rebels who had burned his fields and caused so much damage to his estate. Such a violent outlook on the rebels was not uncommon and exemplified the tension between the landowners and tenants.

The Irish Rebellion did have some results. The Act of Union was passed in 1801 that united England and Scotland and Ireland under the name of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, but the animosity between the Protestants(English) and the Catholics (Irish) remained to be refueled from time to time ever since.

6 Gerard, Francis,Picturesque Dublin: Old and New.Hutchinson and Co., 1898, p. 203


It would be another 15 years before the red-coats would disappear from daily life. Throughout Thomas Wright’s childhood, war with France and Napoleon on the continent drove the economy of Britain while killing thousands of its citizens. In time, several of the Wright boys wore the red-coats themselves.

Throughout all this upheaval, the farm work went on, the ploughing, the seeding, the harvesting, (flax, grain?) the tending of animals, raising of cattle and horses, the membership in the Caledon Farming Society and the showing off of produce and livestock at the county fairs. It was a life they liked. and understood. In later life, three of Thomas’ brothers, John, George and Alexander became farmers in Vermont while Quintin stayed on the homestead. Thomas himself was never without a small garden or farm in Ohio.

--A little after five o'clock, about seventy very respectable farmers, the Earl of CALEDON's tenantry, sat down to an excellent meal, which was served up in a style creditable to the hostess. HENRY L. PRENTICE, Esq., the worthy agent of the estate, occupied the chair.. 7

For the Wright family, it was Robert who went to war in what must have been a difficult time. Robert was the oldest son, the heir to the tenancy in Kedew, the farm with its lovely manor house and substantial farm buildings. There is no record of why he went nor the regiment in which he served. Or if his brothers also served. What is known is that Robert, age 27, fought beside Spanish and Portuguese soldiers against Napoleon’s army in the Peninsula War in 1811. It was on “the plains of Albuera” in Portugal that Robert died. 8

The battle commenced at nine o'clock and continued without interruption till twoin the afternoon when the enemy having been driven over the Albuera for the...

7 The following article transcribed from the Armagh Guardian 18 November 1845. By permission of the British LIbrary

8 Thomas Wright, Biography


...remainder of the day there was nothing but cannonading and skirmishing. It isimpossible by any description to do justice to the distinguished gallantry of the troops, but every individual most nobly did its duty and which will be well proved by the great loss we have suffered though repulsing the enemy and it was observed that our dead particularly the 57th regiment were lying as they had fought in ranks and every wound was at the front. from W.C.Beresford, Marshal and Lieu General. 9

Education was valued by the “gentry-like” families like the Wrights. and had been encouraged by the English since the Plantation days of the 17th century. The boys(and the girls?) probably attended one of the Royal Schools (Dungannon) where, by 1831, the curriculum was extensive and Classical. Fifteen years earlier, Thomas,

9 1811. "Albuora Battle."Belfast Commercial Chronicle.


who later went on to study medicine may have had a heavy grounding in: Logic, Euclid, Hebrew, Greek and Latin, Elocution, Versification and Composition as well as History, Mythology, Antiquities, Geography, Astronomy, English Grammar, Arithmetic, Fencing, Dancing and Drawing. 10  Were all of the Wright children exposed to this solid education?

Why did Thomas, the youngest child, aspire to further education and a profession? One cannot help wonder who John and Elizabeth were as parents of this sturdy brood who all, (except possibly for Jane who died of “dropsy) in an unknownyear. 11  Was it they or Thomas himself who pushed on to higher education? Or dida local doctor see the promise in the youngest Wright? Or did a wealthier landowner decide to finance a young man who seemed worthy? One of the most likely possibilities was that there was a serious shortage of doctors, most of whom were needed on the battlefields of Europe and the county felt the loss. Despite the fact that he had not studied any biology or physiology or anatomy, the fifteen year-old Thomas went off to Dublin in the fall of 1812 and enrolled in Apothecaries Hall, a school for apothecaries and budding doctors with a wholesale dispensary of medicines prepared in the spacious chemistry laboratory.

Although graduates of Apothecaries Hall could practice as doctors as well as apothecaries, young Thomas apparently aspired to a more wide ranging and scientific education at the already world wide celebrated Royal College o fPhysicians and Surgeons in Glasgow. He was sixteen years old. Surely his Scottish mother and relatives still in Scotland applauded or helped him make this decision.

The Royal College had been educating physicians and surgeons from the 17th century and had earned its reputation as a leader and innovator. Thomas spent an intensive five months studying anatomy (dissecting cadavers stolen from graveyards) obstetrics, and chemistry before returning to Caledon with an

10 “Royal School Dungannon,” in Drogheda Journal of Meath and Louth Advertiser, July 9, 1831,

11 Samuel Crafts. Wright Genealogy of Wright Family.


University of Glasgow Medical School

 

appointment as assistant to Dr. John Crozier who was in charge of three dispensaries in Counties Tyrone, Armagh and Monaghan. 12

The dispensaries in which young Thomas worked had been around since the 18th century, founded first by a law in 1765. Different from infirmaries, voluntary and“fever “ hospitals, asylums and later, workhouses, the dispensaries had no beds and the doctors operated from a small house or on foot or horseback, traveling to treat the sick. Staffed by a doctor, usually a surgeon, an apprentice or two and midwives,  the dispensaries dispensed medicines, (some even had herb gardens) and were the

12 Thomas Wright.Biography.


out patient clinics of their day. The young Thomas, just 16, and fresh from his minimal courses in Glasgow was soon plunged into a world where poverty was rife and disease ubiquitous. Thomas surely helped with delivery of babies at a time when births were numerous, risky and dangerous as well as giving smallpox vaccinations and treating multiple illnesses like cholera and typhus with bleeding, purging and leeches, morphia, quinine and medicinal herbs.

This assignment to Dr. Crozier was a plumy political one, requiring the approval of members of the Grand Jury of each county, and the board of managers for each institution, powerful local organizations that had responsibility for, among other things, the funding and upkeep of local institutions such as hospitals, infirmaries, asylums and dispensaries and for the appointments of doctors. Thomas’ father John Wright, may have curried the favor of his landlord, the Earl of Caledon, who, as a leading property owner and member of the Grand Jury, was responsible for securing this coveted position for John’s son. 13  This apparently favored relationship between tenant and landlord was so important to Thomas that he mentioned it in his autobiography many years later in Ohio. a place that had no history of Earls who owned vast lands. or a landed gentry that controlled community affairs. A sample advertisement for a dispensary:

Ardee Dispensary. The Commiittee for managing the Ardee Dispensary hereby give notice that an Election for a Medical Attendant for the institution will take place on Friday the 18 January 1829. The candidates are required to adhere strictly to the qualifications named in the former Advertisement. 14

The year 1816 (the “Year of No Summer”) was very difficult, not only for Crozierand Wright and their patients but throughout the world. There was indeed, endless winter throughout the summer months, evidently caused by a volcano eruption halfway around the world. Ireland was hard hit. Crops failed, people starved and, succumbing to typhus, died in the thousands. War veterans staggered home and

13 Thomas Wright, Biography.

14 Dublin Evening Post, January 08, 1828.


faced unemployment. How Drs Crozier and Wright survived the epidemic while on the front line of care, is remarkable. Many other doctors did not.

Despite their heroic effort during the epidemic, Dr. Crozier lost this political appointment in 1817, along with his young apprentice. 15  Older more experienced battle tested surgeons were returning home,  demanding their old places from their neighbors who were now on the Grand Jury or the board of managers of the dispensaries. Years later Dr. Wright was still angered by this exercise of political power by the property owners and other elites.

 

In the fall of 1817, Thomas, now 20 years old, returned to the University of Glasgow to complete his medical training. 16  The courses, rigorous and demanding, included medical theory and practice, chemistry, materia medica(medicines), anatomy, surgery and obstetrics. The professor Dr Wright remembered most was Dr. John Burns, author of a number of textbooks and an authority on abortion and midwifery. Young Wright studied obstetrics under Dr. Burns and later spent one semester at the Hospital and Lying In infirmary in Glasgow. 17

At the end of three years of rigorous study with all the latest medical information and innovations for which the University of Glasgow was known, Thomas Wright received a “diploma of Bachelor of Surgery.” 18  It was a prestigious degree from a well-regarded and up-to-date medical institution, a degree that should have opened doors for Wright in Ireland but, because of the harsh times and loss of jobs to the

 

 

 

15 Ibid.

16 Thomas Wright. biography

17 University of Glasgow.Letter to Julia Kramer, 1985. Transcript to Dr. Wright’s courses.

18 Ibid


older returning battle surgeons, forced him to seriously consider emigrating to America.

Thomas was surely influenced in his decision to leave Ireland by the fact that three of his older brothers (John, George and Alexander) and one sister (Nancy) were already in America by the time he received his Bachelor’s degree in 1820. 19  These siblings were among the many thousands who fled Ireland during the difficult years of 1816-1818. The Typhus epidemic had killed thousands and many more thousands were starving because the potato crop had failed. Added to this woe was the downturn in the economy with the end of the Napoleonic wars at the battle of Waterloo in 1815. The veterans staggered hone to find few jobs available and money scarce. In a preview to the far larger famine caused by the potato blight in 1846, many Irish, including the Wright brothers and sister, emigrated to America, leaving only Quintin (d.1872) and their father, John (d.@1841), to manage the family farm and lease in Kedew, near Caledon. 20  Thomas, who had long ago discarded the idea that he become a farmer like his father and brothers, decided to join them in Vermont.

Why exactly did these brothers leave? Certainly there were hard times but John(Jr), was now the eldest son, in line to inherit the tenancy, a coveted role in the family. He was a new father. of Alexander W. Wright, born in 1813. Yet, his next child was not born until 1820 when he and Catherine were living in Vermont, a gap between births that was unusual for that time. Were there other children born between Alexander and Samuel? Did one or more die in the typhus epidemic that took so many children and parents from 1816-1818? The death of children and thefailure of the crops could be enough to make a young family have the courage to move. It is a possible explanation.

19 1820 United States Census. Vermont.

20 Griffith’s Valuation, .Valuation of Tenements: Parish of Aghaloo, town of Kedew. Quintin Wright isoccupier of about 10 acres leased from Earl of Caledon. House offices and land. Next door is a William Wright (his son?) also lesssee of Earl of Caledon. . Assessment of Wright's land 25 (pounds?) Caretakers land is 150 valuation. Wrights other neighbors are Jane Vanny Patrick Coogan, WilliamMcGonigle, Moses Wilson, Robert Phair, the caretaker and Jane Hoey.


How father John and mother Elizabeth felt about the departure of so many their children to America. is unknown, nor is the extent that the hard times in Ireland had hit this family. One suspects that there was, indeed, much suffering.

Who was this young Thomas Wright? What was there about this youngest son that made him so different from his parents and siblings? He was a slight man in stature but apparently had a fiery temper, a strong moral center with ambition, intellect and drive, all of which he showed in later life. Who had financed what was probably an expensive education at Apothecaries Hall and the University Glasgow? And who indeed would finance his passage to America? John Wrigh twas a well-off farmer, but he was only a lessee in perpetual debt to the Earl of Caledon. Youngest sons usually did not count for much in a large family, but here was Thomas with the best education of all the Wright children and now inpossession of a profession that could support himself.

Did Thomas first try to find a job in a dispensary or hospital in Ireland or had helong ago decided to go to America as soon as he he received his degree? How did his father and mother feel, watching one son die at war and four others leave home with little chance of ever seeing them again? And what of Quintin, the one child who remained ? Did he too wish to spread his wings or was he the son most tied tothe land, to his parents and to Ireland? Quintin was living in Kedew in 1847 and next door was a William Wright possibly his son. 21  Quintin maintained his mother’s links to Scotland by being an agent for the Bank of Scotland.

One way to financing a voyage to America was to sign on as a ship’s surgeon. Finding a job as a ship’s surgeon was probably not difficult. All emigrant ships —there were many leaving Belfast at this time—were required to have a surgeon aboard, not only to monitor and treat those who were ill but to be responsible for the cleanliness and sanitary aspects of the ship. One thing that medicine did know

21 Ibid.


at this time was that many people in close quarters difficult to clean bred disease, the one catastrophe besides shipwreck about which all dreaded.

How did the freshly-minted doctor choose the newly built “Prince of Waterloo?”Was he watching the Belfast News for announcement of ships and sailing dates and the magic words,”……This vessel will carry an experienced surgeon…” 22  Did this one advertising a date of spring sailing and advertising “berths and staterooms look promising?

This beautiful ship [The Prince of Waterloo”] is now lying at Mr Wm Ritchie’s Quay where Passengers and Shippers may view her, and converse with the Captain (James Gray) . . . ‘every Berth is in a Stateroom and the entire is fitted up ing a style superior to any ever seen in this Port. …. For passage and Freight, please apply to Deal and Charleton. 23

The “Prince of Waterloo” (there were several ships named “Waterloo” in this period, honoring Admiral Nelson, and the battle of Waterloo that ended the Napoleonic Wars) One of these “Waterloo” ships was a convict ship, that was shipwrecked on its way to Australia, was brand new, having been built in Aberdeen, Scotland by Alexander Hall & Sons, Ltd, one of five shipbuilders in Aberdeen at that period. Completed in 1815, the 600 ton ship was made of woodwith 1 deck, 3 masts, ship rigged, a standing bowsprit, carvel built, square stern, no galleries with a male bust figurehead. 24  The ship had made at least one trip to America, to Virginia in October 1816 and had just returned from a trip to Canadain January 1820. 25

22 IED Surgeons of Emigran Ships Document ID 9612214. Newspapers (Extracts) Linenhall Library of Emigrans Ship.: the Northern Herald. Belfast November 9 1833; CMSIED 9612214

23 Aberdeen Built Ships.www.aberdeenships.com

24 Ibid.

25 Irish Emigration Database.www.dippam.ac.uk


By March 17, 1820, the ship was cleared to sail on the “first fair wind after first April.”26” Captain James Gray had his surgeon, not a “shop boy” that other surgeons often were - apprentices without much experience - but a degreed doctor, one experienced in blood letting and delivering babies and with knowledge of medicines of the day for the fevers and dysentery, even, heaven forbid, an outbreak of typhus. The doctor examined all 300 passengers before they boarded while exporters of goods were given advice and assistance by M’Robers and M’Lean, Merchants of Quebec. The “Prince of Waterloo” under a “fair wind” sailed from Belfast headed for Quebec int the end of March 1820. Dr. Wright carried his textbooks and all his important medical papers (later lost in in a flood on the Ohio River) as well as memories of a special childhood in a place he never forgot.

The trip across the Atlantic took 35 days, during which the doctor was busy watching over the passengers, many of whom were poor, illiterate and without understanding of nutrition and cleanliness practices. Dr. Wright did not keep a ship’s journal, or at least one that has survived, but another surgeon’s records of a

26 Irish Emigration Database.The Belfast Newsletter, Friday, 17 March 1820www.dippam.ac.uk/ied/records/47026


trip of five years later from Ireland to Quebec describes a similar trip,.” This ship, the Albion carried 700 passengers rather than 300, passengers who were apparently less affluent than the passengers on the Prime of Waterloo, the ship with “berths and staterooms.”

On the Albion, seventeen passengers ranging in age from 2 to 32 were vaccinated against smallpox, and in only three of these cases did the vaccination fail. As for midwifery, three babies were born, all healthy, despite one labor lasting 24 hours. In addition, there were many placed on sick list and the ship’s surgeon made the following general report:

Many of the children were very weakly on embarking - undernourished and having just recovered from sickness [typhus?]. the change of diet received somesevere bowel complaints. 4 were fatal. The Surgeon comments that it was difficult to get the parents to pay proper attention to them…..the emigrants were extremely indolent and dirty. …there were 3 births but from their ‘extreme poverty and indolence’ the families had no clothes for the babies. The Surgeon supplied them with ‘calico, flannel and some old linen for that purpose. 27

The “Prince of Waterloo” ship and passengers and cargo arrived in Quebec after an uneventful trip of 35 days, on May 14. 1820. 28  This was the only arrival of the “Prince of Waterloo” in Quebec in the spring of 1820, so we can be certain that Thomas Wright was aboard. 29

Thomas soon made his way through St. Lawrence from Quebec to Montreal, toSt. Jean by cart and by river to the port at Burlington, Vermont. From there, Thomas traveled north to Craftsbury and Greensboro, a beautiful town on Lake Caspian. John, Robert and Alexander Wright were settled in Greensboro as

27 Medical and surgical journal of the Albion. ADM101/76/2. National Archives UK.

28 The Ships List. www.theshipslist.com/ships/Arrivals/Canada1820.shtml

29 Thomas Wright. Biography. He states he arrived in Canada in the spring of 1820.


farmers. 30  Before too long, Dr. Wright had allied himself with the local doctor, (perhaps he already knew there was a place for him ) Dr. Samuel Huntington, treating local patients. He soon began a courtship with Dr. Huntington’s daughter Sophia. They were married in 1822 and a long and eventful and prosperous life in America began, a life that ended years later in Carthage, near Cincinnati, Ohio where he became a well-known and respected doctor. He and Sophia were survived by 7 of their 8 children (my great grandfather, Samuel Wright was one of them, and many grandchildren (my grandfather, Howard Wright one of them) and great-grandchildren, their Irish heritage long forgotten.

Dr. Thomas Wright

 

30 1820 United States Census. Greensboro and Craftsbury, Vermont


Epilogue

What of Thomas Wright’s brothers who lived in Vermont awaiting his arrival in 1820? John, the oldest brother, (1786-1862) was married to Catherine,(1795-1870), Their first child, Alexander had been born seven years before the second, Samuel. Since this gap was unusual, one suspects other children inbetween died, perhaps in the typhus epidemic in Ireland. John and Catherine had five other children, all born in Vermont: Samuel Wright, Hannah Padgett Wright, Eunice Todd Wright, Mary Wright Young and Henry Wright. John and Catherine lived and farmed in Greensboro, Vermont where they are buried together. in Greensboro Cemetery. Hannah married Thomas Robinson and moved to Canada where he was a farmer; Eunice married John Mooney and also moved to Canada.

George Wright was also in Craftsbury, Vermont as a farmer, but died, unmarried in 1822, shortly after Dr. Thomas arrived.

The third brother was Alexander Wright (1782-1859). He was married to Mary(1794-1861). They had four children: Nancy, William, Alexander and Ellen. Alexander was a farmer in Barton, Orleans County, Vermont.




Thomas Wright's autobiography is actually an interview with him and published  in the Biographical Encyclopedia of Ohio of the Nineteenth Century.



Thomas Wright's obituary was published in the Cincinnati Lancet and Observer,  Vol. XX March 1877



Sophia’s Story by Julia Wood Kramer, is at the Ohio HIstorical Society (now Ohio Connections). Copyright 2002