Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Floyd Wright

I am working on my Wright family tree trying to get as much together as I can so that I can share it with them at the Wright reunion this coming June. When I first started they were very helpful to me. I went to a reunion not knowing a soul by sight and only knowing the names of those no longer with us. When I mentioned that I was interested in the family tree, one of my cousins went straight to his car and got out a copy of a book he had handwritten and xeroxed of the Wright family tree. Considering that just my questions about how to organize my work on the Bentley side had been totally ignored, I was amazed at how generous and kind this cousin -- a stranger-- was to me. I want to take something back when I go this year.

I am able to look at the original copies of the census records. It makes all the difference in the world to research. Before we had to travel great distances, or buy transcripts etc. And then... geesh some of the transcriptions. It's bad enough when the folks who made the original records made mistakes or wrote down things to the best of their knowledge, but some of the transcribing is just atrocious. I have Hayes family down as Hays, Haze and Hase. But my grandpa Otho is very plainly written in as Otho but was transcribed as Otto, Orthum, Otum, anything but Otho. I think it was just because the name was not familiar to them. They just made up something and went to the next line. I had to look for the neighbors around my grandpa Joshua Mullins to find him in the 1930 census. They have him as Jashus. The writing was very clear, but you won't find him by searching Joshua.

Anyway, I wasn't writing about census records, but what I found in them on Floyd Wright. I was filling in the information as I could on each child of Joel Martin and Susannah Wright. They are the oldest proven Wrights we have in our line. There are two schools of thought about them. One is that they were living under another last name in North Carolina. Something happened and they left the area and took new names. Two people in the Sunderland Pioneer Recollections books made references to knowing Joel Wright and living near him in North Carolina, but that he was under another name which began with a C. I have tried all kinds of ways to follow the C name but so far nothing. The other is that that is trash and Joel is the son of Solomon & Rachel Pickering Wright. I don't have any proof that this is so, but I have gathered all I can on Solomon and Rachel just in case there is a link found in the future. So I suppose there is a third answer, which is we just don't know.

Joel and Susannah is where I start. I was working on their son, Andrew Jackson Wright, and his wife Harriett Adams. When I got to their son, Andrew Monroe Wright who was married to Eunice Hawkins I found Monroe in the 1900 census having been married for 12 years. They had had six children but only 3 were living. The oldest was named Floyd. He was 9 years old.
In 1910 he was 18 and single, living with his parents. In 1920 he was 26, divorced and living with his parents. In 1930 he was 36, single and living with his parents.

I went looking for him and found that in June, 1917 he registered for the draft for WWI. He was described as tall, stout, blue eyed and light haired. He listed his occupation as a miner, but said he was currently unemployed due to being in prison in the Boyd County Jail where he was filing out the registration document. So in 1920 he was living with his parents after serving time in jail. I kept searching and found he must have married a second time. He had a son Floyd who was a corporal in the marines and served in Korea. Floyd, Sr.'s death certificate says that he spent the last seven months of his life in a veteran's hospital. He had served from February 1918 through July of 1919 in the army.

It made me wonder what he did that put him in jail and what his time in the service did for him. I haven't figured out who his first wife was. It had to have been a very short marriage since he was in jail in 1917 then spent most of the next two years in service. In 1920 he was shown as divorced and living with his parents. His son was born in 1932. That makes me think that it was from a second marriage that this son came. His wife, Gladys Eloise Coleman, was divorced, too. Her parents were Mary Ratliff and David Coleman. She was born in 1911. Her mother died when she was two years old. I found her in the 1930 census living with her uncle Nelson. She was listed as divorced having married at age 17. It was shortly after 1930 when Floyd and Gladys had to have married and had Floyd Jr. I guess the 1940 census would tell if that marriage lasted or if the fact that he was married when he died meant he had had another marriage.

Things like this make me wonder, but that's another story.

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