Friday, August 10, 2007

What happened to Henry Wright's siblings?

In the previous post I discussed how I found out more about the early life of my great-great-grandfather Henry Wright, including learning about his brothers and sisters. I have found that James and Mary Wright, who spent the majority of their lives in Acomb, had at least 10 children. In this post I shall discuss what I know about each of these.

1. John George Wright, baptised 6th April 1862. John George was the eldest child and was born in Dringhouses, that at different times existed in either the parish of St. Mary Bishophill or Holy Trinity Micklegate on the western border of York. This is the place that his father James Wright had also been born in. In 1871 I found him living with his parents at Poplar Villa in Acomb, but in subsequent censuses he wasn't living with them.
In the 1881 census he is staying with his grandparents, George and Eliza Benson (his mother Mary's parents), in Acomb. He is unmarried and working as a bricklayer's apprentice. (nb. see here for information on three children born 1885-1888).

I next find him in the 1891 census, living at 17 Beaconsfield Terrace, Acomb, working as a brickmaker. He has married an Annie Elizabeth who was born in Tadcaster, and had a daughter Mary Ellen. From the parish registers, I found that Mary Ellen was baptised on 9th Nov 1890 in Acomb, and her father was described as a brick manufacturer. He seems to have been doing fairly well as he had a live-in domestic servant, Eliza Hardcastle who was from Acomb. John George appears twice more in the records of Acomb in the trade directories of 1893 and 1895 where he is described as a brickmaker at the same address as the 1891 census. In March 1895, John George was a witness at the wedding of my great-great-grandfather Henry Wright in Acomb. I have not yet found any record of John George's marriage to Annie Elizabeth, so I am unsure as to her maiden name.

Between 1895 and 1901, however, he has moved address to Bridlington on the East Yorkshire coast about 55 miles away. In the 1901 census, they are living on what appears to be a wealthy street with music teachers, wine merchants and government officials, with all the houses having names. Their abode is Lansdown [sic] Villas No2, Archibald House, Freshfield, The Muck? (I can't quite read this word). John George is a bricklayer and they have no more children living with them. This is the last information I have on this family, though I'd love to know what eventually happened to them.

2. Eliza Anne Wright, was baptised on 31st July 1864 at All Saints Pavement, York. She is living wither her parents in Acomb in 1871 and 1881, but I have no information thereafter. She probably married around 1881-1891, but I haven't found her marriage record.

3. Jane Wright, was baptised on 27th May 1866 also at All Saints Pavement. She is living with her parents in Acomb in 1871, but not in 1881 despite only being 15. I cannot find her elsewhere in the census, so I wonder if she died, though I have not find her in any parish records or monumental inscriptions.

4. Henry Wright - my great-great-grandfather.

5. Mary Ellen Wright. Mary Ellen is the sibling of Henry that I know the most information, as my relatives grew up knowing their cousins in this branch and I have also been subsequently in touch with descendants of Mary Ellen. She was baptised on 5th March 1871 in Acomb, and appears aged 2 months living at Poplar Grove in the 1871 census. In 1881 she is living with them still at Poplar Grove and is at school.

By 1891, her parents had taken over running the Marcia Inn. This meant that at the census of 1891 Mary Ellen was listed as being the head of household back at Poplar Grove, the property the Wright family owned on Askham Lane, and is working as a market gardener. So she is probably running the farm as well as the house. She is living there with her two younger sisters, Flory Wright and Lucretia Wright (who is named Louise on the return), two farm labourers and a house servant. Also living in the house is a domestic nurse, Elizabeth Nelson, who is from York. She is obviously there to help the Wrights look after two patients - Glendaline Davies from Lancashire and Alexander Thomas from Bristol who is described as deaf and dumb. Both of these two are boarders who are 'living on own means', which probably means that they were the offspring of wealthy individuals who needed looking after as they had illnesses. I do not know why the Wright family got into the business of looking after sick children, it may have been for financial or charity based reasons, it would be very interesting to find out.

Very shortly after this census was taken, Mary Ellen Wright married Edward Atkinson on the 12th Nov 1891 at Newton Kyme, near Tadcaster. The father of Edward Atkinson is given as Robert Burrow Atkinson according to the IGI. According to the 1891 census Robert Atkinson was a retired ham and bacon factor (a dealer) who was originally from Whittington, Lanchashire. He and his family were living at 23 Blossom Street, York. Edward Atkinson was also a ham and bacon factor like his elderly father, but was born in York. I am unsure why they married out in Newton Kyme, and not in either Acomb or York.

The last documentary evidence
I have for Mary Ellen is the 1901 census, where she is living with her husband Edward, a provision dealer, at 23 Blossom Street. They are living with their children Betsy Alice (named after Edward's mother), Olive, Lawrence Guy and George B, all of whom were born in York. Indeed, the Atkinson family ran this provisions shop for a long time throughout the twentieth century.

6. James Wright, the namesake of his father, was baptised on the 10th November 1872 at Acomb. In 1891 he is a market gardener living with his parents at the Marcia Inn. In the 1901 census he is still living with his parents at Poplar Grove, but is now listed as a bricklayer and is unmarried. I don't know what happened to James Wright after 1901.

7. William Wright was baptised on 25th October 1874 at Acomb. He is listed as a market gardener in 1891 and is living at the Marcia Inn. In 1901 he is also still living with his parents but is working as a railway clerk. I don't know when William married or what happened to him after 1901.

8. Amy Wright was baptised on 15th June 1877 at Acomb and is living with her parents in the 1881 census. However, she died at a young age, as I found her monumental inscription in the churchyard of St. Stephen's:

"In loving memory of AMY, the dear and much beloved child of James and Mary Wright, born June 7th 1877 died December 6th 1883. Is it well with the child... It is well: Kings.IV.26"

9. Florie Wright was baptised on the 27th July 1879 at Acomb. She was living at Poplar Grove in 1881-1901, and was still unmarried by 1901. I don't know what happened to Florie after 1901.

10. Lucretia Wright was baptised in Acomb on 10th September 1882. She also was living at Poplar Grove in 1891 and 1901. I found from the churchyard in Acomb at the same grave as her sister Amy and her parents the following monumental inscription:

"Also LUCRETIA HUNT daughter of the above passed away 18th May 1940 aged 56 years."

I'm not sure why she would be burried in Acomb and not with her husband, but perhaps she had moved back to Acomb during the war. From the BMD indexes, I found that she married in 1910 to a John A Hunt which was registered in Gt. Ouseburn, which covers the Acomb area.

After discussing all of the children of James and Mary Wright, in the next post I shall discuss their lives.

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