I am heading to Letcher county this weekend. I am going to attend two more reunions: one for the Wrights and one for the Potters. The Potters I have attended a couple of times over the years. This Wright group is for the descendants of our oldest known Wright relatives Joel and Susannah Wright. I saw it listed in the Kentucky Explorer and thought I would try to go. Last weekend cousin Lois attended the reunion for Brandy Jack Mullins' descendants. Yesterday she called and is going to come to the Wright reunion.
I had only read about it in the Explorer so I assumed it was just at one of the shelters like the Potters is. I tried to find that magazine and of course, I could not. I started googling and found the notice for last year's announcement. I found two telephone numbers. One was disconnected and boy did I hit paydirt with the second. I wanted to get the details for myself and to pass along to Lois.
I met my cousin Nell. She is Nell Wright Blumel. She and her husband Ben split their time between a home near Canton, Ohio and one in Florida. She asked how I was related to Joel and Susannah. I told her thru their son Joel Ellis down to my grandmother, Cora Wright and thru their daughter Nancy Ann down to my grandfather, James Mullins. I have a double dose of Wrights. She comes down thru Andrew Jackson Wright, then George Washington Wright, then Thomas Benton Wright and her father is Wilburn "Wil" Wright.
We had a great conversation. I learned that she had found the parents of Joel. Now notice i didn't say Joel Martin. Her theory is that he may actually be Joel Ellis. Now I am on the lookout for records and whether they give an actual middle name for Joel.
I want to wait and tell you more of the story I have learned about Joel and his family until after the reunion and and I talk more to Nell, but I did want to share this family in a nutshell.
Joel's parents were William and Margaret Wright. Margaret's last name is possibly Ellis which would be where all the Ellis descendants came from. Joel had a brother named William and a sister named Elizabeth "Betsy".
William's parents were James Wright and Margaret "Peggy" Malcolm. He had three siblings: Margaret, John and Eleanor. James' father was William Wright. Margaret, the mother, was the daughter of John Malcolm and Margaret Webster. Margaret was born in 1698 in Scotland. Her parents were George and Margaret Webster. She had a brother name George Malcolm. John Malcom's parents were James Maalcome and Eleanor "Helen" Gibson. They were born and died in Perth, Scotland in the cities of Culross (James) and Auchterander (Eleanor). James' parents were Jhone Maalcome and Janet Dukisone. Janet was from Culross and Jhone died there, but was born in Kinfauns, Scotland. Jhone's father was William Maakcom.
I always thought the Wrights were English.
In talking to Nell a second time we found that we shared other lines. Her Andrew Jackson Wright was married to Harriet Adams who was the daughter of William Adams and Christina Crace. Christina is the sister of my gggg-grandmother. Their daughter, Elizabeth Crace married Benjamin Bentley.
Nell's George Washington Wright was married to Harriet Elizabeth Addington who was the sister of our great grandmother Malinda Addington who married John Martin Bentley. She told me so many things about the Addingtons and the Kilgores.
Nell's Thomas Benton Wright was married to Sarah Vanover. Sarah Vanover was the sister of Nickotie Vanover who married William Jesse Wright, my great grandfather.
We seem to be connected all over the place. I had a such a good conversation with Nell and learned a lot. I will share more when I have the facts all sorted and my ducks in a row, but she has certainly opened a whole new area for research on the Wrights and the Addingtons.
Here is what Nell told me about the Wright reunion. It started about 12 years ago when she couldn't find a reunion for Joel and Susannah's descendants. People discouraged her saying no one would come, but there were about 70 people at that first reunion. Over the years they have had as many as 120 in attendance. They do register folks because they come from all over the country. They have their meeting in the Lodge at the Breaks Park in Virginia. This year's program will have us registering about 9 and mixing til about 11. They have a program with entertainment. This year Andy Owens, a worldclass bluegrass performer and descendant of Devil John Wright will be there. Also, Bill Owens will be giving us some information about the Children's School in Kentucky. Then there will be a candlelight remembrance for those Wrights who have passed away since the last reunion. A buffet dinner comes next. It has proved easier to pay for the dinner so no one is cooking or trying to come up with a dish when they have traveled so far. The afternoon is a mixer so we can mingle and talk. Sounds like a great day to me. And who cares if it is 90 degrees outside or if it rains.
Nell said the gas prices and economy have hit hard and is affecting a lot of folks who would normally fly or drive in from all over the country for this reunion. Also, there were a lot of deaths and there is a lot of sickness in the people who have attended in the past. The registration number is only about 40 this year. I am so glad I found this reunion.
I get to meet Lois in person who I feel like I have known for years and Nell, my newest cousin. What a great day!!!!