Descendants of Griffin R Wright

by Will Johnson, Professional Genealogist


This page written and copyright 2008-10 by Will Johnson, professional genealogist.

Griffin R Wright

Early life

Griffin R Wright was born 1812/1813 in South Carolina (age 37 in 1850), possibly to Solomon Wright and his wife Annie who may have been a MOORE.  Griffin Wright married Malinda Ballentine Chapman TUCKER.  She had been born Jul 1815 (obit Jan 1898 stating "82y 6m") in Stokes County, North Carolina to James Tucker and his wife Edith Chapman White.  The proof that Malinda was the daughter of James Tucker is his will signed 19 Aug 1856 proven 9 Nov 1865 in Lincoln County, Tennessee — where he names her first among his children and there calls her "Malinda Wright".  On her own will, which she wrote when she was "76 years of age", she writes her name as "Malinda Ballentine Wright".

Griffin and Malinda married probably about 1835 somewhere in Tennessee, possibly in Lincoln County, because by 1836, he is being taxed in District 6 of Lincoln County, Tennessee.  A Griffin Wright was a private during the "Seminole Wars".  There were three Seminole Wars, but if this is our Griffin, it must refer to the one dated 1835-1842.

Malinda's parents were in Lincoln County by 1836, but how much sooner, is not yet clear.  An article in the magazine "Lincoln County Pioneers" by Jane Warren Waller Vol. 13, #2, page 49, "Death taken from the Fayetteville Observer Aug. 26, 1875" states : "[James Tucker and Mrs E.C. Tucker] ...They were married in North Carolina August 14th, 1814, moved to this State in the fall of 1823, professed religion soon after and united themselves with the C.P. Church and lived and died in the faith."

So this would tell us that they were somewhere in Tennessee by the end of 1823. The first time I can pin them in Lincoln County specifically is from this website by Julia Molitz, showing the members of the Mt. Hebron Church at Norris Creek (now Belleville, Lincoln County, Tennessee): "Edith Tucker joined on 3 Jul 1836 joined by "Recommended", dismissed by "Death".

James and Edith's sons William and John were married in Lincoln County in 1838 and 1839 so it's likely the whole family was there by 1839 at the latest.  Either coming with their parents, or moving there shortly afterward.



Griffin and Malinda had the following children, in the order given below, all born in Tennessee, apparently all in Lincoln County, Tennessee:
  1. Edith Chapman Wright 1838 married firstly to Thomas Washington Duncan on 3 Oct 1854 either in Arkansas or in the Indian Territory (now Oklahoma); and married secondly William C Martin in California;
  2. James Solomon Wright 1839, never married;
  3. Annie Moore Wright ~1840, married a "Mr Hamlin" or Hamblin, Hamblen, most likely in or near Benton County, Arkansas, and she died by 1898;
  4. John Elliot Wright 1841 married first in California to Mary Ellen M L Lowe and secondly C Van Lindt;
  5. William Tucker Wright 1844 married Mary Elizabeth Burrow;
  6. Thomas Jefferson Wright 1846 married Laura Josephine Bourland;
  7. George Washington Higgins Wright 1848 married firstly to Mary Ellen Redwine and secondly Lavina V S Geurin;
  8. Elizabeth Randall Wright ~1850 married Elkanah Archibald "Kana" Richards.


Middle life

Several of Malinda's siblings and her parents were members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church at Norris Creek in Lincoln County, Tennessee.  In 1853, several of these got a letter of dismissal, so they could rejoin the same church in the area to which they were going.

Sometime between 1850 and 1854 the entire family left Lincoln County and moved to the Arkansas/Texas/Indian Territory area.  Griffin and Malinda's eldest child, Edith, married on 3 Oct 1854 and went with her husband to California.  For some time the family apparently lived in Benton County, Arkansas -- Griffin R Wright's name appearing on a few land deeds there, on land near John Tucker who was certainly his brother-in-law.  There was a C.P. church in Benton County here.  On 7 Mar 1859, Griffin R Wright, for $110 bought from Thomas Denton of Benton County, the land at SW 1/4 of SE 1/4 of S22 and the NW 1/4 of the NE 1/4 of S27 in T21N-R34W.  These two parcels touch and form a rectangle.  Meanwhile this BLM entry shows John Tucker in 1854 had purchased land just two sections away.


Later Life

Griffin likely died in Arkansas, possibly in Benton County, Arkansas where he last appears in 1862.  In 1870 Malinda appears on the Benton County, Arkansas census that year without him.  By 1880 Malinda has relocated, with some more of her family, near her daughter Edith in Paskenta, Tehama County, California.  Malinda died 18 Jan 1898 in Red Bluff, Tehama County, California, where her probate names all of her children.  She was buried at Oak Hill cemetery where she has an extant tombstone stating her dates as "1814 - 1898" (see tombstone at this link)

Malinda left a will in Tehama County where she calling herself "...of the age of seventy six" (so apparently just after her son James died without issue), divides her estate seven ways -- to each of her five surviving children, and then to the heirs of her two deceased daughters Annie and Elizabeth.  She names the children of Elizabeth but not of Annie, and add a note that "...if my deceased daughter Annie has no heirs living..." so apparently Malinda does not know.


Male-line descent

Griffin R Wright by his only known wife Malinda Ballentine Chapman Tucker, had eight children, three girls and five boys, all born in Lincoln County, Tennessee.  The exhaustive male descents from Griffin are:
  1. James Solomon Wright born 22 Nov 1839, died without issue
  2. John Elliot Wright born 27 Aug 1841
    1. John Albert M Wright born Feb 1879, died without issue
    2. James Dow Wright, born 9 Mar 1881
      1. James Dow Wright, Jr born 27 Sep 1910, died 1937 without known issue
  3. William Tucker Wright born 2 Sep 1844
    1. Harvey Edgar Wright born 22 Jun 1868, died without male issue
    2. James Napoleon Wright born 23 Dec 1873, died without male issue
    3. Robert Lee Wright born 27 Dec 1874
      1. Carl Marrs Wright born 27 Dec 1900, died without issue
      2. Jesse Wright born abt 1901 died 1981 Dallas, Texas
        1. Delmar Wright
        2. Leon Wright
      3. Orville Arnel Stewart born 19 Feb 1902, raised as a Stewart, but a Wright by blood, status unknown
      4. Ferrel Wright born 17 Mar 1903
        1. Donald Wright living 1970 somewhere in California
      5. Forrest Wright born 17 Mar 1903 Fayetteville, Arkansas, married 1924 to Mamie Sterling; living 1952 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; died 3 Jan 1975 Cedar Rapids, Iowa (obit)
        1. Robert Wright living in 1975 in Cedar Rapids
          1. Michael Wright
          2. William Wright
          3. James Wright
        2. Johnnie Dale Wright married Nada Stull about 1952/53; living in 1975 in Grants Pass, OR
          1. John David Wright
        3. William Fred Wright living in 1975 in Cedar Rapids
          1. William Forest Wright
      6. Lester Wright born 12 Apr 1905 may have died single
      7. Loy Wright born 12 Apr 1904, died without male issue, living in 1977 in Tule Lake, California
      8. Leo John Wright born 2 Feb 1908 status unknown, living in 1977 in Fayetteville
      9. Cecil Wright born 5 May 1909 died without issue 1977 in Prairie Grove, Arkansas (see his obit)
      10. Virgil Ray Wright born 8 Jun 1913 living in 1977 in Antioch, California
        1. Robert P Wright born 7 Feb 1956
      11. Kenneth Carrol Wright born 26 Oct 1916 at Rhea's Mill, AR; married Lucy Drane 1942; living in 1977 in Jal, New Mexico; moved to Odessa, Texas in 1988, where he died 1999 (see his obit)
        1. Kenneth J Wright living in Odessa in 1999
        2. Kendale Wright living in Midland in 1999
        3. David George Wright living in Newport News in 1999
        4. Calvin C Wright living in Odessa in 1999
    4. John William Wright born 4 Jun 1878
      1. Leo John Wright born 28 Feb 1902, died 1973, obit in Fresno County, CA
        1. Kenneth Lynn Wright born 4 Dec 1932, living in 1976 in Visalia, CA
      2. Glen Willis Wright born 2 Sep 1918
        1. Kory Wright
        2. Kurt Wright
        3. Glenn Allen Wright born 3 Nov 1941
    5. Fred A Wright born 27 Jan 1886
      1. John A Wright born ~1912
      2. William Wright born ~1914
      3. Glendale Wright born Dec 1918
    6. Earl Wright born 3 Dec 1887, died without male issue
  4. Thomas Jefferson Wright born 22 Jul 1846
    1. Ernest Wallace Wright born 1 Jan 1881 status unknown
    2. James Elliot Wright born 27 Apr 1883
      1. J E Lyle Wright born ~1904 status unknown
    3. Thomas Bennett Wright born 29 Apr 1887
      1. Everett Jefford Walker Wright born 12 Sep 1911
        1. known to have three sons but their names not known to me
      2. Harold Bell Wright born 13 Apr 1915 status unknown
      3. Marvin J Wright born ~1923
    4. Arthur Elbert Wright born 14 Jul 1891
      1. Raymond Elliott Wright born 8 Dec 1924
        1. William Wright born 22 May 1950, died 7 Jan 1973 status unknown
        2. David Wright
  5. George Washington Higgins Wright born 5 Sep 1848
    1. John Griffin Wright born 17 Feb 1881, died without male issue


Filling in some unknowns

Thanks for writing this will. I can fill in some of your unknown for Griffin's male descendents. William Tucker Wright had a son Robert Lee Wright -actually Robert E Lee Wright that had a son named Forest. You have Forest listed as staus unknown. Forest died in January of 1976 in Cedar Rapids, IA. He married Mamie Sterling on December 24, 1924. He had 3 surviving male children, Robert Wright, Johnnie Dale Wright and William Fred Wright. Robert had three sons (Micheal Wright, William Wright, and James Wright), Johnnie Dale had one son (John David Wright - which happens to be me) and William Fred had one son (William Forest Wright).

Anonymous - 13 Apr 2010

Thanks for your updates. You must have an interest in genealogy in order to have found this page. I wonder if you or one of your male Wright cousins would be interested in doing the Y-DNA test. We haven't so far found any living Wright males, off Griffin! That's why I wrote this.

Will Johnson - 13 Apr 2010