Saturday, 23 November 2013

Surname Saturday - Wright

Surname Saturday is a regular blog post in which I will discuss the origins and geography of the surnames which appear in my own family tree.

This week's surname is WRIGHT.

Variants: Right, Rite, Wraight, Wraighte, Wrate, Wreight, Wrighte, Write or Wryght

Wright is an occupational surname for a person who made things. "Wright" is derived from the Old English wyrhta or wryhta meaning a craftsman. There were different kinds of wrights depending on whether the craftsman had a speciality craft such as:
  • Wheelwright - a person who makes wheels
  • Shipwright - a person who builds boats 
  • Playwright - a person who makes or writes plays

Wright is the 13th most common surname in the UK and the reason behind this is most villages would have had a "wright" - a local village handyman, who was talented at making things with his hands.

In 1891, 14% of the Wright family's were located in Yorkshire, 14% in London and 13% in Lancashire.

As it is a common surname, it is not a surprise that this surname appears in at least two different families in my family tree:

  1. My great, great grandmother, Mary Wright, married George Presswood. She was born c1838 in Elksley, Nottinghamshire but I know very little about her background or family...more research to be undertaken.
  2. Another of my great, great grandmothers was a Wright (see photo below). Born Lucy Ann Wright she married William Thompson in Leeds. She was the daughter of a groomsman named John Wright and the family originated from the Church Fenton & Ulleskelf area but they also lived in Harrogate, Knaresborough, Chapel Allerton, Leeds and Garforth areas.

My great, great grandparents, William & Lucy Ann, and
 their 3 eldest children, Harold, Cyril & Alice (my great grandmother) Thompson

Information from:
Family tree magazine 131 - Anthony Adolph - July 2013

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