Here’s my story about how I found “our” Irish Roots.
I had been researching my husband’s family tree for some time when I finally made an exciting break through. As far as I know, my Father-in-law did not know his grandparents. So, he didn’t have much of an idea of where they came from originally. So it was pretty thrilling when I found a direct connection to his Immigrant Ancestor from Ireland. Both my husband and his dad were surprised to hear that they are indeed Irish.
The first clue that I came across proving his Irish descent was on an 1881 Canadian Census record that I found on Ancestry.com. I was able to attach it to my husband’s 2x Great-Grandfather, William Wright. You can read more about William Wright on my previous post here.
In the screenshot below, William is listed on the census with his wife, Elizabeth Quirt and their son, David Arthur Wright.
From that clue I was able to trace the line back to his father (yet another David Wright) and his father before him…John Wright, who was born December 24th in the year 1796. This would be my husband’s 4 x Great-Grandfather.
Finally I had a record of immigration from Sligo, Ireland. Here’s the kicker… I seem to have misplaced that record. I know for certain that I had it saved on Ancestry and now as it is with Ancestry sometimes… poof!! It’s gone. So frustrating!!
It just goes to show that you should always print or save copies of what you find. Record your sources. I’m not sure why that record would just disappear but I am positive that I saw it. I wouldn’t have just came up with the name Sligo.
So, my next question that I need answered is this… Is John Wright actually from Sligo? Or is that just the port that the ship departed from? How and where do I continue with this search? Out of desperation I tried Google.
I was able to find some reference to Irish Immigration to the USA on Olive Tree Genealogy. This is a great website!! I found reference to John Wright aboard the Brig Juno from Sligo and now I had a date! He arrived in the port of New York on August 16th 1816. From there I found a clipping from the Irish-American newspaper “The Shamrock” dated August 17th, 1816.
So there he is… John Wright arriving in New York City on board the sloop MacDonough from New London, CT having been transferred there from the brig Juno from Sligo, Ireland ! I know that this is our John Wright because the dates all match up… at the time he would have been 19 years old and we find him 7 years later (1823) still in New York, marrying Sophia Draper. They had several children together before immigrating to Canada.
As it is with genealogy sometimes, I now find myself with even more questions than when I began… who is Mariam Wright? Who is Jane Wright? My assumption is that they must be sisters or perhaps a mother and a sister? It sure would be helpful if they had recorded ages on the passenger lists! There was also another “Wright” on the ship, a James Wright, but he is listed as coming from Newtownstewart, Ireland which is approximately 100 km from Sligo. Could he be a relative as well? Is it just a mere coincidence that John and Sophia’s first born child was also named James Wright? Or one of their daughter’s Jane Wright??? More research is obviously needed. Does anybody have any suggestions for me??? Perhaps a trip to Ireland is in our future!!
I am also curious as to what prompted the voyage to America? Why did so many young Irish men and women make the 56 day long journey across the Atlantic?
I clearly have so much more to learn. For now John Wright is my “brick wall” in the Wright Family Tree. So if anyone has any suggestions I’d love to hear from you!!
John and Sophia Wright are buried at Pioneer Cemetery in the Mount Forest area of Ontario, Canada. One day I hope to get there and pay our respects for their long journey that led us here to Canada.