At long last, the results from the upgrade on my Luark cousin’s Y-DNA test to 37 markers came back yesterday. There are six matches. Three of them are with people with the last name of Ruark, with two of them being two step matches, and the other being a three step match. One of the remaining matches is a two step match with someone with the last name of Roark. The last two are a three step match with someone with the last name of Shenton and a four step match with someone with the last name of Thomas.
Of the three Ruark matches, only one has a family tree posted. The earliest ancestor is Timothy Ruark. His birthdate is unknown and he is listed as dying before 27 Sep 1813 in Pulaski County, Kentucky.
Using this information to check my autosomal test matches, I see that I have two matches that both trace back to a Stancil B. Rheuark (1804 – 1892). His father, is recorded as either M. or Nicholas Ruark, born in Brunswick County, North Carolina.
I’m especially curious to learn the known lineage of the Shenton match, as they are as close of a match as the Ruark matches are. In regards to DNA projects which contain the Ruark surname, I came across https://my.familytreedna.com/group-join.aspx?group=LowerDelmarva which looks to have three Ruark members listed in the results page, and https://my.familytreedna.com/group-join.aspx?group=Hoopers-Island which mentions an interesting tradition about an early Ruark settler marrying an Indian woman.
This will be very interesting to work on. Just as with the Wright DNA test, these results seem to call into question what some other researchers have posted. This time, it’s about the Lewark/Luark family not being related to the Ruark family. DNA seems to clearly show that at least one Lewark/Luark family is related to at least one of the Ruark families, as well as Roark possibly being a related family.
Although I had checked the Ohio Probate Records database at FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/) a couple months ago, I decided to take another look for anything I could find related to Hosea Wright. This time, I was able to locate a record of the appointment of administrators for his estate. The discovery is very exciting as it provides the thinnest of strings with which to tie Hiram Wright to Gabriel Wright.
The bible pages (http://glennfletcher.com/?page_id=460) which are supposed to be a record of the family of Hiram’s parents show that Hosea married Sarah Crews, which matches the name of Hosea’s wife recorded in the document I just found. The Hosea who is Gabriel Wright’s son is recorded in a couple books as having died in 1837 in Clinton County, Ohio, which matches the newly discovered document. The bible pages for Hosea Wright and Sarah Crews record them having a son, Hiram, who was born on July 1, 1807. As mentioned in a previous post here, this is not the same date of birth recorded on Hiram Wright’s headstone, but the source of the date on the headstone is unknown and the headstone does not appear to be contemporary to the time of his death. While none of this is absolutely conclusive, there is also nothing found which rules out the likely possibility that the Hiram Wright, who is my 4th great grandfather, is the grandson of Gabriel Wright.
In a related development, I received an email from a descendant of Hosea’s (with a line of descent other than through Hiram) tentatively agreeing to move forward with DNA testing. Their line has a solid paper trail leading back to one of the children of the Hosea Wright family recorded in the bible pages. A match with them would make the link back to Gabriel Wright an almost certainty for both of our lines, and would shift my focus to trying to discover exactly where the connection is between Gabriel and the Wright families of Long Island, New York, as indicated by the 37 marker DNA matches with my uncle.
While waiting to hear back from the direct descendants of Hosea Wright that I emailed regarding doing a DNA test, I’ve been searching for additional information on Gabriel Wright. It occurred to me that I had not yet recorded all of his grandchildren, and that by doing so perhaps some more clues to Gabriel’s life may be found. I decided to start with the children of Gabriel’s daughter, Sarah Wright and her husband, Nathan Cory. Nathan was one of the children of Joseph Cory and Phoebe Simpson, and Sarah’s sister, Rhoda, married Nathan’s brother, Stephen Cory. The Cory family was the subject of a genealogy book published in 1941 titled The Cory family : a genealogy : with brief records of many branches of the Cory family in America by Harry Harmon Cory. Since Nathan, Sarah, Stephen and Rhoda moved place to place along with the Gabriel Wright family, the book provides an opportunity for comparison against the historical timeline given in the published accounts of the Wright family. My hope is to be able to fill in some of the gaps in the timeline of Gabriel which I can then use to try to locate previously overlooked historical documents. I’ve only gotten started, but already the recording of birth dates and places of Sarah and Nathan’s children seems to be putting me on the path to accomplishing exactly what I had hoped for.
I was working on a post that would provide a summary of what I knew about Hosea Wright (Hiram Wright’s father), when I soon realized I did not have much information on his children. Besides Hiram, I basically had little more than just the names of the other children. This made me suspend the writing of my summary of Hosea, and start to look more closely at his children to see if any documents supporting the connections between them and Hosea could be located, which in turn might help with finding documents to support the connection between Hiram and Hosea.
Right away, this change in focus paid dividends, as I shortly thereafter came across an Ancestry member tree by the wife of a present day male direct line descendant of Hosea. I’ve sent a message to her to see if her husband would be agreeable to doing a Y-DNA test. While I wait to hear back from the tree owner, I will continue looking for additional information on Hiram’s siblings, but hopefully there may soon be testing underway to verify the lineage back from Hiram to Hosea.
After receiving the updated Wright DNA results, I sent emails to the seven matches my uncle had at the 37 marker level. I have heard back from three of them now, and they are each proving beneficial in their own way. One match in particular, though, was just what I was seeking as the next step in the verification of my lineage back to Gabriel Wright.
The most recent common ancestor I share with this match happens to be Hiram Wright, which is precisely the point in the lineage where I had felt confident the existing paper trail was strong enough to substantiate the connection. This DNA match now validates the lineage back to Hiram is indeed correct, leaving me just two generations removed from Gabriel. I next need to substantiate that Hiram is the son of Gabriel’s son, Hosea. There seems to be reasonably solid evidence, via at least three different books, demonstrating Gabriel had a son named Hosea, but adding to the challenge in making the connection between Hiram and Hosea will be the fact that there were multiple men named Hosea Wright in the same area at the same time (Ross County, Ohio from the early to mid 1800s). Unless I discover that one of the remaining DNA matches is also a descendant of either Gabriel or Hosea, I will continue to seek out a direct descendant of either of them for testing, and will outline the case of the multiple Hosea Wrights in an upcoming blog post.
As before, should anybody reading this know of any of direct line male descendants of either Gabriel or Hosea, who would be willing to do a DNA test, please ask them to get in touch with me. Providing their paper trail lineage doesn’t have any discrepancies, I would be willing to help pay for the cost of the testing. Thanks in advance.
As prompted by the new Wright line DNA results from my uncle’s test, I’m reviewing the line from my uncle back to Gabriel Wright. The paper trail going back to William Riley Wright (my maternal 2nd great grandfather) is very solid. His obituary lists his parents as Joseph and Nancy Wright, and a half brother as Talbert Gragg [Tolbert Gragg]. Based on census records, I feel quite confident the correct parents of William have been located. Making the connection from Joseph Wright back to Gabriel Wright is not as straightforward, however. It is in these couple of generations that I’m trying to doublecheck to see if there could be any possibility of an incorrect father/son pairing having taken place in previous research. One of the first things that jumps out at me is something that has caused me concern in the past.
Hiram Wright’s father is attributed as being Hosea Wright, son of Gabriel Wright. While I have yet to locate any documents directly supporting this relationship, there is circumstantial information which supports it. There are copies of bible pages (http://glennfletcher.com/?page_id=460) which record the name and births of the children of Hosea Wright and Sarah Crews. They had a son, Hiram, who is listed as being born 1 Jul 1807. The Hiram Wright who is believed to be the father of Joseph Wright has a headstone (http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=40533145) on which his birthdate is inscribed as 1 Feb 1805, although the headstone does not look contemporary to the time of his death (11 Jul 1890). Why the discrepancy? While errors on headstones are not unheard of, this is certainly something to examine further to make sure these two Hiram Wrights are indeed the same person.
My plan is to see if any documents can be found to substantiate either of these dates, or the parents of Hiram Wright. If a death certificate can be located, it would hopefully provide answers to both his birthdate and his parents. I will also be seeking additional direct Wright male descendants of the line for further DNA test comparisons to verify the lineage is correct. Should anybody reading this know of any of these descendants, please ask them to get in touch with me.
The upgraded DNA results I received yesterday for my uncle in the Wright line have proven to be quite a revelation. For quite some time, I have believed that our Wright line is descended from Gabriel Wright (died 20 June 1803 in Ross County, Ohio). This is based on the work of other researchers, historical records, and biographies of Gabriel contained in a few books. One of the books (Four Revolutionary soldiers and their descendants : Alexander Sleeth, Gabriel Wright, David Smith, John Hacker by Eloise M. Roberts) relates a family legend about Gabriel being descended from a Scottish clan leader with the surname of MacGregor, and coming to America to live under the disguise of a new surname of Wright.
As I learned more about Gabriel during the course of my research, I began to doubt the accuracy of the Scottish clan story, but I still thought it likely that the family originated in Scotland or Wales. These new DNA test results have turned that belief on it’s head. It turns out my uncle very closely matches (35 and 36 of 37 markers) several Wrights who are descended from Wright ancestors that were located in Flushing, Queens, New York City around the late 1600s. This will necessitate a full review of our lineage going back to Gabriel. Either Gabriel was not from Scotland/Wales. as I had thought, or somewhere in the line I have the wrong father/son combination.
I’ve been meaning to start a blog about my genealogy research efforts for some time now. What better day to finally follow through than on the day I received Find A Grave info regarding my Stone line 4th great grandparents, as well as upgraded DNA results for two of my family lines (Wright and Lewark/Luark) which will likely cause a rethinking, and possible rewriting, of the family history.
I’m not a prolific writer by nature, so it will be a real test of my discipline to keep this blog going. Several articles I’ve read, however, cite a blog as being one of the best ways to document and share one’s genealogy research, as well as make connections with new cousins. My goal is to stay focused on maintaining this blog with regular updates, although I anticipate these updates to occur every few days rather than every day. Welcome, and thank you for joining me on my journey.