Thursday, August 09, 2007

Henry Wright of Acomb

In the previous post I discussed how the obituary in 1956 of my great-great grandfather Henry Wright had described how he was living on Front Street, Acomb, and had worked as a wagon builder at the local rail-works. I also knew from the baptisms of his four children, his own marriage certificate in Acomb in 1895 and the 1901 census that he had always worked as a joiner or wagon builder. The 1901 census stated that he was living on Front Street, Acomb, and in his obituary it mentioned that his family had farmed a large tract of land off Askham Lane, Acomb. His marriage entry had given his father's name as James Wright, a market gardener. A John George Wright was one of the witnesses and was probably a brother. It should be therefore fairly easy to find more local information on Henry Wright.

The early years of Henry Wright

The first search for Henry Wright was the 1891 census. Here, he was found at the Marcia Inn, on Front Street, Acomb, where his parents James and Mary Wright are the licensed victuallers. James Wright was born in Dringhouses, York, whereas Mary was born in York itself. Henry like his two younger brothers James and William was born in Acomb and is working as a market gardener. James Wright was described as a market gardener.

In the 1881 census, Henry's father is described as a brick manufacturer and a farmer of 80 acres, and is living at Poplar Grove, which is off Askham Lane. This census also reveals other siblings; Eliza Ann, Jane, and Mary Ellen, who are older than Henry, and Flory and Lucretia who were the youngest of the family. The oldest two children were born in York, with Mary Ellen being the first born in Acomb in 1871, suggesting that James and Mary Wright first came to Acomb as a married couple in that year. They appear to be a wealthy couple at this time as James is a farmer of 80 acres, and they are employing four servants, two in the house and two in the farm. There is also living at the house a Thomas Johnston a child of 10 years who was born in Scarborough and is described as being an imbecile from birth. I have subsequently found out that the Wrights used to take in mentally handicapped children from wealthy families who did not want to raise them themselves.

In the 1871 census, Henry is still living at Poplar Villa as it is described with his parents. James Wright is a farmer of 20 acres at this time and employs 2 servants, one in the house and one on the farm. On this census, there is the oldest child born to James and Mary Wright, John G. Wright who was born in Dringhouses like his father. This is John George Wright, the witness to Henry's wedding 24 years later.

Parish Records
To confirm some of these relationships, a search of the parish records of St. Stephen's, Acomb, found the baptism of Henry Wright, on 22nd October 1868 to James and Mary Wright of Acomb. James Wright is described as a farmer, as he is for the baptisms of his next four children born in Acomb, Mary Ellen, James, William and Amy, who was baptised in 1877. The last two children to be baptised were Flory and Lucretia in 1879 and 1882 where James Wright was described as a gardener or a market gardener. I also found the baptism in 1862 of John George Wright in Dringhouses, where James Wright is again described a gardener. On the IGI I found the baptismal entries of Eliza Anne Wright and Jane between 1864 and 1866 at All Saints Pavement, York, a parish in the centre of York. In the next post I shall discuss what I have found out about the later lives of Henry's brothers and sisters.

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