Lt. Abel WRIGHT (1631 – 1725) was Alex’s 11th Great Grandfather; one of 4,096 in this generation of the Miner line.
Lt. Abel Wright was born 01 Jan (or Mar 1), 1630/31 in Leverton, Lincolnshire, England. His parents were not John Wright and Priscilla Byfield. He married Martha KITCHEREL on 1 Dec 1659 in Springfield, Mass. Abel died 29 Oct 1725 in Westfield, Hampden, Mass. He was buried in Peabody Cemetery, Springfield Mass.
Martha Kitcherel was born 4 Jan 1644/45 in Hartford, CT. Her parents were Samuel KITCHEREL and Martha CHAPMAN. Martha was scalped by the Indians, 26 July 1708 in Springfield, Mass. Alternatively, she lived until October 19 of that year.
Children of Abel and Martha:
|1.||Joseph Wright||1 Sep 1660
29 Oct 1687
|14 Jun 1736
Lebanon, New London, CT
|2.||Martha Wright||29 Nov 1662
|Thomas Morley (Marlow)
8 Dec 1681
|2 Jan 1740/41
|3.||Abel Wright||25 Sep 1664
16 Sep 1691
|4.||Benjamin Wright||14 Mar 1666/67 Springfield, Mass.||Mary Chapin
24 Jan 1693/94 Springfield, Mass.
|25 Dec 1704 Springfield, Mass.|
|5.||Hannah WRIGHT||28 Jul 1669 Springfield, Mass.||Capt. Joseph SEXTON
20 Nov 1690
Enfield or Lebanon, CT
|26 Nov 1742
|6.||Henry Wright||23 May 1671
|7.||Sarah Wright||8 May 1673
|8.||Mary Wright||9 Mar 1675
3 Feb 1697
|9.||Henry Wright||8 Jun 1677
24 May 1705
(killed by Indians)
15 Mar 1711
|21 Apr 1769 (Aged 92)|
|10.||Samuel Wright||17 Jun 1679 Springfield, Mass.||Mary Cass (Chase)
27 Nov 1710 Lebanon, CT
13 Dec 1727 Lebanon, CT
|17 Oct 1755
Norwich?, New London, CT
|11.||Elizabeth Wright||18 Aug 1682
|17 Jun 1683
|12.||John Wright||21 Apr 1685 – Springfield, MA||Died Young|
|13.||Elizabeth Wright||22 Aug 1687 Springfield, Mass.||Ebenezer Dewey
8 Nov 1709
Benjamin Skinner (Son of our ancestor Thomas SKINNER)
Abel appears on record in Springfield in 1655 while the town was still in its infancy Abel settled in that part of Springfield, then known as Endfield (now Enfield and Somers, Connecticut), where his name and that of his son Joseph are found as witnesses to a deed in 1715 from Daniel Miller to Thomas Jones, Hannah’s mother.
On Jan 2, 1655 Abel Wright was granted a home lot of three acres next to the Round Hill. Then again on Feb 13, 1656 he was granted twenty acres of land, formerly owned by Rowland Thomas, lying in the great plain called the Chicoppe Plain, overlooking the Connecticut River, provided he live there for five years. He lived here on the banks of the Connecticut River for 70 years, during which time he had other land grants in his name, until his death Oct 29, 1725 at the age of 94.
Lieutenant Abel represented his town at the General court, Boston, 1695 Lived at Westfield, Mass. in 1655
The colonial laws regulated the subject of extravagant dressing. In September 1673 the court recorded:
“Diverse women at Springfeild (sic) presentd at ye Courte in March last for that being of meane estate they did weare Silkes contrary to Law vixt Goodwife Labden (,) Goody Colton (,) Goody Morgan (,) Goody Barnard (,) Mercy & Hephzibod Jones (,) Hunters wife & Daughter & Abell Wrights wife, & warned to this Courte the six former app’ring in Courte they were admonisht of their extyravagancyes & dismist.”
On 26 July 1708, seven or eight Indians rushed into the house of Lt Abel Wright of Skipmuch (Skepmuck, later to become the present town of Westfield) in Springfield, and killed two soldiers, Aaron Parsons of Northampton and Benjah Hulbert of Enfield; scalped the wife of Lt Wright, who died Oct 19; took Hannah, the wife of Lt.Wright’s son Henry, and probably slew her; killed her infant son Henry in a cradle and knocked in the head of her daughter Hannah, aged 2 years, in the same cradle; the latter recovered.
The attack on the Wright family was part of Queen Anne’s War (1702–1713), the North American theater of the War of the Spanish Succession fought between France and England in North America for control of the continent. The War of the Spanish Succession was primarily fought in Europe. In addition to the two main combatants, the war also involved numerous Native American tribes allied with each nation, and Spain, which was allied with France.
The war was fought on three fronts:
- Spanish Florida and the English Province of Carolina were each subjected to attacks from the other, and the English engaged the French based at Mobile in what was essentially a proxy war involving primarily allied Indians on both sides. The southern war, although it did not result in significant territorial changes, had the effect of nearly wiping out the Indian population of Spanish Florida, including parts of present-day southern Georgia, and destroying Spain’s network of missions in the area.
- The English colonies of New England fought with French and Indian forces based in Acadia and Canada. Quebec was repeatedly targeted (but never successfully reached) by British expeditions, and the Acadian capital Port Royal was taken in 1710. The French and Wabanaki Confederacy sought to thwart New England expansion into Acadia, whose border New France defined as the Kennebec River in southern Maine. Toward this end, they executed raids against targets in Massachusetts (including present-day Maine), most famously raiding Deerfield in 1704.
- On Newfoundland, English colonists based at St. John’s disputed control of the island with the French based at Plaisance. Most of the conflict consisted of economically destructive raids against the other side’s settlements. The French successfully captured St. John’s in 1709, but the British quickly reoccupied it after the French abandoned it.
New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Vol. ***V, 1881, p. 74)
Abel Wright, our first known Wright ancestor in America, appears on record in Springfield in 1655 while the town was still in its infancy. He was 24 years old at that time. Where he came from or the names of his parents, is not recorded. Undoubtedly he came from England. There were several other Wrights from England in the early colonies before him in eastern Massachusetts, and it is possible, if not probably, that he was related to one or more of them.
This early Springfield settlement was an agriculture and trading center. An entry in the town records there, dated Jan. 2, 1655, reads: “There is granted to Abell Wright a home lot containing three acres in the land next ye Round Hill.” And again, on Feb. 13, 1656: “It is granted to Abell Wright an amount of Twenty (20) acres which had formerly come into the hand of Rowland Thomas, lying in ye great plain over ye great river, called Chickuppy plain, provided he continue five years in town.” It was soon evident that Abel had come to stay, for again reads the record: “March 13, 1660, There is granted to Thomas Bancroft, Abell Wright, John Lumbard and Richard Sikes, a parcel of land lying on the west side of ye great river over against ye long meadow below George Colton’s, which land hereby granded, lyeth between two brooks, and it is to run westward from ye river to a hill about 40 rods westward; Thos. Bancroft to lie next to the Southermost brook, Abell Wright next toward the north, John Lumbard next to him, and Richard Siikes next to him; the four sharing thereof equally in three-score acres of land, if there be so much there; or is there be not so much they are to divide the piece equally amongst them, lying as above expressed.” (Record of Deeds, vol. i, p. 203) Various other grants of land to Abel, from 1655 to 1695 are on the town records.
Our Abel married, on 1 Dec. 1659, Martha Kitcherel, of Hartford, Connecticut, daughter of Samuel Kitcherel and Martha (Chapman( Kitcheral. Abel and Martha had 13 children, all born in Springfield….Our Abel soon made a place for himself among these early settlers of Springfield. He became a Lieutenant in the militia, and was active in the religious and civic affairs of the town as well as the military. A record of the First congregational Church reads: “Feb. 23, 1662. In the order of seating persons in the church, Abell Wright is put in the ‘eigth seat’ with Mr. Horton, John Bag, Joshua Riley and Lyman Beamsn.”
Springfield, with its exposed frontier location, had early experienced sporadic indian attacks which the settlers had driven off without difficulty. In early 1675, the indians in that locale were relatively peaceful and friendly, while north of them the hostile Chief, King Philip, with his united tribes, were making murderous attacks on other settlements. Evidently this beligerent Wampanoag Chieftain had not yet contacted the local tribes, or perhaps Springfield was not considered important enough to destroy. Now, however, at midnight on the 14th of October of that year, a solitary horseman from nearby Windsor came riding fast into town. He dismounted, and quickly awakened the townspeople. “The indians are coming!” he told them. “You will be attacked at dawn!” (Henry Morris, “History of the First church in Springfield.”) Most of the town’s protecting troops had been sent north to join the forces under [John] Pynchon. Now, the others hurridly barricaded themselves in the various garrison houses, loaded their muskets, and stood watch at the peepholes in the walls. They waited. Had it been a false alarm? The indians did attack at dawn. And this time they came in a horde, thundering their horses’ hoofs among the houses, whooping frenziedly, shooting their flame-tipped arrows. They found the garrison houses too strongly defended to attack. Comparatively few of the settlers lost their lives. But the abandoned houses were easy prey. Some 30 houses and 25 barns, with their contents, were burned to the ground. And then suddenly the indians were gone, as quickly as they had come. These were the events and times during which our Abel and Martha lived in this frontier outpost. Even more unfortunate hardships and tragedies were soon to befall them. After Springfield was nearly destroyed, the people were discouraged and many spoke of abandoning the settlement altogether. A few actually left, but the greater part of the inhabitants, encouraged by the sympathy and aid of the colonial government, determined to remain. Abel and his family were among the latter. Springfield was quickly rebuilt. Again, the records disclose, that Abel in 1695 was elected a Representative to the General court. And in May, 1696, the Deacon Burt and Lieut. Abel Wright were chosen to answer a petition of the people on the west side of the river asking to become a separate parish and procure a minister of their own. The farm and residence of Abel and Martha was still on the exposed west side of the river, near a place bearing the indian name of Skepmuck, later to become the present town of Westfield. Apparently at least one of their sons, Henry, lived nearby with his own family. On 26 July 1708, indians again came upon the town and its outlying farms. After they had gone, Martha was found lying unconscious in the yard beside their ransacked house. She had been scalped. Martha lingered on until the 19th of October of that year, then died of her wounds. The indians also had killed in this attack an infant of Abel’s son, Henry, and captured Henry’s wife, who died soon after. Henry and his wife, Hannah, had been married only three years before. This then, was the life of our Abel. And yet this venerable ancestor, despite his hardships and tragedies, lived until 1725. His tombstone, in the old Pine Street Cemetery in Springfield, reads: “Lieut. Abel Wright died October 29th, 1725, aged 94 years.” His second son, Benjamin, was the next of descent in our line. He was born circa 1631 in England. He was the son of John Wright and Jane Richall. Abel Wright married Martha Kitcherell, daughter of Samuel Kitcherel and Martha Chapman, on 1 December 1659 at Hartford, Connecticut. Abel Wright died on 29 October 1725 at Springfield, Massachusetts.
“Genealogy of Lieut. Abel Wright, of Springfield, Mass.” by Rev. Stephen Wright, of Glen’s Falls, NY (NEHGS, 1881 pp. 74-75):
“Lieut. Abel Wright was found among the early settlers of Springfield, Massachusetts, in the Connecticut Valley, who spent a mature life of seventy years there, from 1655 to 1725, when he died at the advanced age of ninety-four years. Where he came from or who were his parents, I have been unable to ascertain. There were other Wright settlers in the colonies before him in Eastern Massachusetts– as Capt. Richard Wright at Lynn in 1630; John Wright, at Woburn in 1641; Robert Wright at Boston in 1643, according to Dr. Savage, in his Genealogical Dictionary… And at Wethersfeld, Conn., below Hartford, there was a Thomas Wright as early as 1639, who had quite a family. Also Dea. Samuel Wright was an early settler of Springfield about the same year, 1639-40, who had a family of eight children, all named; but no Abel among either of these families is given in their records. Abel Wright married Dec. 1, 1659 Martha Kitcherel, daughter of Samuel K. of Hartford, Conn., and had a family of thirteen children, of whom ten married…
1. Joseph Wright
Joseph’s wife Sarah Osborne was born 8 Feb 1667 in Windsor, Hartford, CT. Her parents were John Osborne and Ann Oldage. Sarah died 24 Nov 1673 in Hartford, Windsor, CT.
New England Historical and Genealogical Register for January, 1881. This information is from the Genealogy of Lieut. Abel Wright, of Springfield, Mass. By Rev. Stephen Wright, of Glen’s Falls, N.Y.
… He must have followed his younger brother, Abel, to Lebanon, Conn., about 1708, as a petition of his to the town authorities is on record there, dated Dec. 13, 1708, asking for a grant of land near Abel Wright’s first division, “because the enemy had spoiled and carried away much of his estate” at Springfield; which was granted him Dec. 17, 1708. How long he continued at L(ebanon) we are unable to say.
2. Martha Wright
Martha’s husband Thomas Morley (Marlow) was born 29 Jun 1664 in Bottesford, Lincolnshire, England. His parents were Marmaduke Morley and Mary Brewer. Thomas died 8 Jan 1712 in Glastonbury, Hartford, CT.
Thomas Morley also spelled Morlow, Marlow, and Marlo, in different records, whose parentage and ancestry are uncertain, was married 8 Dec 1681, by John Pynchon of Springfield, Mass., to Martha Wright, born 29 Nov 1662, died at Glastonbury, Conn., where her estate was inventoried 2 Jan 1741.
In 1686 he was granted land at Pochasic, now a part of Westfield, Mass., to which he subsequently added by purchase, and was admitted to the church in Westfield 18 Nov. 1702. His wife and daughter Martha were baptized at the church 10 June 1683. Thomas died at Glastonbury, Conn., in Jan. 1712, leaving a will mentioning wife and children.
Thomas Morley Will 1711 , Glastonbury, CT
Inventory. £191-02-08. Taken 30 January, 1711-12, by Samuel Smith, Thomas Hale, Sen., and Thomas Morley, Jr.
Will dated 23 Jan 1711/12: I, Thomas Morley, Sen., husbandman, of Glastonbury, do make this my last will and testament: I give unto my wife Martha my entire estate with full power to make a will and to dispose of what estate is left at her decease to all the children equally, except Mary, to whom I have given her portion, and I do but give her one shilling more. Also, it is my will that my son Abell shall have ten pounds more than any of the rest of my children. I appoint my wife sole executrix.
Witness: Samuel Smith, Sen., Thomas Morley, Jr., Abel X Morley.
Court Record, Page 46–4 February, 1711-12: Will approved. Thomas Morley, son, and Thomas Wickham, son-in-law, appealed to the Superior Court.
3. Ensign Abel Wright
Abel’s wife Rebecca Terry was born 5 Dec 1673 in Springfield, Hampden, Mass. Her parents were Samuel Terry and Anna Lobdell. Rebecca died 2 Jun 1745 in Lebanon, New London, CT.
Abel & Rebecca Wright had 13 children: 4 born in Springfield, Mass. and 9 born in Lebanon, Ct. They moved to Lebanon, CT., about 120 miles SE of Springfield, Mass., about 1700—maybe following her father and thus avoiding the Indian raid in Springfield in 1708 that killed Abel’s mother and sister-in-law. Several of Abel’s brothers and sisters followed him to Connecticut. before and after 1708. From 1702 to 1717 he gradually acquired 949 acres of land. He was able to leave large tracts of land to his children, some before he died. He died June 2, 1742 and was buried in Lebanon. Rebecca died later.
4. Benjamin Wright
Benjamin’s wife Mary Chapin was born 1668 in Springfield, Hampden, Mass. Her parents were Henry Chapin and Bethia Cooley. Mary died 13 Jan 1708 in Springfield, Hampden, Mass, the year of the Indian raid—unsure of any connection to her death), leaving two small children, Ben (11) & Henry (8).
5. Hannah WRIGHT (See Capt. Joseph SEXTON‘s page)
8. Mary Wright
Mary’s husband Nathaniel Bliss was born 26 Jan 1671 in Springfield, Hampden, Mass. His parents were John Bliss and Patience Burt. His grandparents were Thomas Bliss and Margaret Hulings. (See John BLISS’ (1561 – 1617) page for more about that family) Nathaniel died 12 Mar 1751 in Lebanon, CT
9. Henry Wright
Henry’s first wife Hannah Bliss was born 16 Nov 1678 in Springfield, Hampden, Mass. Her parents were John Bliss and Patience Burt. His grandparents were Thomas Bliss and Margaret Hulings. (See John BLISS’ (1561 – 1617) page for more about that family) . Hannah was killed by Indians 26 Jul 1708 in Springfield, Hampden, Mass.
Henry’s second wife Sarah Root was born 27 Jul 1683 in Westfield, Hampden, Mass. Her parents were Thomas Root and Mary Spencer. Sarah died 4 Apr 1739 in Westfield, Hampden, Mass.
Henry followed his brother Abel Jr. to Lebanon, Ct abt 1700-03; married and lived there a while, then he made the unfortunate decision about 1707 to return to Springfield, Mass. Hannah was captured in the Indian raid of July 1708 and died soon afterwards; Henry Jr (6 mos. old) was killed. He married second Mar 15, 1711 to Sarah Root (6 ch); m 3rd Elizabeth ? (d 1738); he died Apr 21, 1769 (92 yrs old).
10. Samuel Wright
Samuel’s first wife Mary Cass (Case or Chase) was born 20 Jul 1691 in Roxbury, Suffolk, Mass. Her parents were Ebenezer Cass and Patience Draper. Mary died in Lebanon, New London, CT.
Samuel’s second wife Ann Loomis was born 1706 in Lebanon, New London, CT. Her parents were Joseph Loomis and Hannah Marsh.
Samuel must have followed his brother Abel to Lebanon, as the records show a deed of two hundred acres of land from Josiah Dewey and William Clarke to Samuel Wright, dated January 30, 1702. Little more can be said of him than to give the names of his children, and that he married, Dec. 13, 1727, Anna Loomis, of L(ebanon), and that he lived at Norwich a while.
13. Elizabeth Wright
Elizabeth’s first husband Ebenezer Dewey was born 20 Feb 1673 or 31 Aug 1679 in Springfield, Hampden, Mass. Ebenezer died died Dec 1711 in Lebanon, New London, CT.
Elizabeth’s second husband Benjamin Skinner was born 30 Jan 1681 in Malden, Mass. His parents were Thomas SKINNER and Mary PRATT. He first married Elizabeth Dixon 3 Nov 1712 Lebanon, CT. Benjamin died 2 Jun 1750, Hebron, CT.
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Came across your website in researching my Sexton ancestors. Really like the way you’ve organized your information! Cheers – Jeanee T
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I am also a descendant of Lt. Abel Wright
I am a direct descendant of Abel through his son Benjamin. There are many Wrights in my town by way of 3 brothers who received a land grant for service in the War of 1812 and came here with their mother. We have a historical cemetery.