Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Update on Florence Belle Wright

I wrote earlier about Florence Belle Wright. I told you I had seen her listed over and over as the child of William Jesse Wright and Elizabeth Moore. She was born in 1878. In the 1880 census she was not with Jesse and his second wife, Mary Brummett, nor was she with Elizabeth who was back living with her parents and a son who carried the Wright name, but was not Jesse's child. I found Florence in every census except 1880.

I found her death certificate and it said her parents were William Wright and Elizabeth Wright. Most of the time a death certificate lists the maiden name of the mother, but not always, depending on who the informant was. In searching more and discussing this with cousin Lois, I found that Florence Belle was the daughter of William A. Wright and Elizabeth "Blackhawk" Wright.

William was the grandson of Joel Martin and Susannah Wright. His parents were Samuel & Elizabeth "Betsy" Adams Wright. William married at least three times and may have had relationships with several other women. His first wife was Arta M. Potter. She was the daughter of John Boone Potter and Susannah "Sookie" Sanders. William was seeing Elizabeth while he was married to Arty. She was pregnant before William and Arta divorced. The child was said to be "base born" meaning she was illegitimate. Arta only had one daughter with William, a Mary F. Wright. She remarried to George Howell after the divorce and in the 1880 Census she had had a second child with George named Martha.

William was with Elizabeth in the 1880 census. There is a two year old in the family, but she is listed as Mary. I don't know if this is Florence or if she really had an earlier birth date. The reason I wonder about her date is the base born information. The marriage date I have for William and Elizabeth is 1875. If she were born in 1878 she would not have been considered base born. The stories I heard about Florence were that she was conceived while "Blackhawk was stealing William from Arty."

Florence and Cordelia, another daughter of William and Elizabeth, were very close. Relatives that Lois knew told her the base born story and that Cordelia was Florence's sister. It does make the death certificate correct. It's still that 1880 census which doesn't have her anywhere as Florence. But having discussed this in depth with Lois, I feel sure that the research she did on this family places Florence as William A. and Elizabeth "Blackhawk" Wright's daughter.

Florence married our Joseph Leonard Hall's brother George Washington Hall. Another mystery solved.

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