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Asahel Wright (1778) and Eunice Wasson VT/NY

Replies: 9

Re: Asahel Wright (1778) and Eunice Wasson VT/NY

Posted: 1265046967000
Classification: Query
Hi June,

By 1850 there was every sort of religious ilk in America doing all sorts of things that make it a little risky to predict a family's religious background based on where they lived and what faith they professed in 1800. Having said that, we know that because the population of New England was started by a huge number of Puritan and Separatist immigrants from fairly well defined regions of England at a very early time, the entire New England area was saturated first with Congregationalist churches. Probably for the first 50 to 75 years of settlement in New England that was the only type of church congregation you would find. So, nearly all of the New England towns in MA, CT, VT, NH & NY settled by English before the beginning of the French and Indian Wars, one of the very first orders of business for the community was to build a church building and settle a minister and they were overwhelmingly of the Congregationalist mentality. Most of these people had VERY strong ideas about what the acceptable form of worship was (simple and reverent), and how church governance should be conducted (by themselves) and what the form of association between themselves and other churches in New England should be (mutually independent, but cooperating). They all perceived their religious "archenemies" to be the "corrupt" Church of England and the Catholic religion, in particular.

In my descendant family, the immigrant father was educated at a Cambridge University college in England designed to produce Puritan ministers. He never went so far as to be an ordained preacher, but, as a deacon in both of his Congregationalist churches, he preached the Word to the people when there was no settled minister in attendance. He also quarreled with some members and the minister of his first congregation in Springfield, MA such that in 1654 he and 30 other families of that community went up the Connecticut river 30 miles and founded Northampton, MA and started their own Congregationalist assembly. We do not know exactly what the quarrel was about, but it no doubt centered on "splitting hairs" regarding some proposed changes in the form of worship or governance of the Springfield church. Yes, their religious views were strict, in that regard.

But the core of their faith rested on salvation by grace, repentance and forgiveness so that they could forgive great sins among themselves, such as adultery, theft, and swindling (with administration of appropriate punishments), but to have one of their own marry a Catholic or Church of England spouse was, for well over a century, an unforgivable sin in nearly all of those families that would result in the offender being dis-owned by the father, if not expelled and banished from the community forever.

Then later the Methodist ministers came from England to New England and reached out to the small settlements on the frontiers of New England who were without any churches. This was a time when people whose families had been long settled in New England were starting to expand to the frontiers in great numbers after the end of the French and Indian Wars. To a Congregationalist family, the Methodist form of worship and message of salvation was close enough to the simple form of Congregationalist worship to be acceptable when there were no Congregationalist alternatives available. The Methodist preachers were also acceptable substitutes because they were itinerant. That meant there was little danger that their form of worship would supplant the eventual assembly of a Congregationalist church that was the communities' eventual goal to establish as soon as enough people could be gathered to the community. To a frontier Congregationalist family with no settled Congregationalist preacher within easy riding distance, hearing the word from an itinerant Methodist preacher in a rough cabin was better than not hearing the Word at all.

This Congregationalist bent for your husband's ancestor also speaks of a non-Welsh origins for your family. Most of the Welsh who came to America were Methodists or Quakers before they arrived.

Frank Lloyd Wright is always talked about as being of Welsh origins, but his Welsh ancestry was actually on his mother's side of the family, not on male side. Rumors of your husband's Welsh ancestry may be similarly based.

In any case, I strongly urge your husband to participate with the rest of us in developing this genetic genealogy database for the Wright surname. It is painless, private and relatively inexpensive, and holds the potential to blast away your brick walls in getting past the dearth of paper documentation in Western Massachusetts, Vermont and NY for the decades between 1720 and 1810.

If his test results come back in Haploid group E1b1b1a2, we will be talking much more in the future. That will mean he, like me and about a half dozen other men in the database, is a Kelvedon Hatch Wright descended from either Deacon Samuel Wright of Springfield (1606? - 1665) & Northampton, MA or the Deacon's third cousin, Thomas Wright of Wethersfield, CT (1610 - 1670). In that case, we can be of some real help to you.

If his test results come back any other haploid, my hope for you is that he matches someone who is actively researching that family group and can help you figure out how your husband's line fits in.

Again, Good Luck.
Mike Wright
SubjectAuthorDate Posted
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familiesacros... 1264462677000 
MichaelWright... 1264550762000 
junej48 1264774412000 
MichaelWright... 1264803271000 
junej48 1265029053000 
MichaelWright... 1265046967000 
junej48 1265056281000 
tacieholyoak 1502721554000 
grannytoad 1362963211000 
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