Saturday, March 16, 2013

Surname Saturday ~ Wright of Woburn, Massachusetts

John Wright was another early settler at Woburn, Massachusetts, like many of the other ancestors I’ve been writing about these past months. It is unknown when he arrived from England and he first lived at Charlestown.  In 1640 he signed up for the new parish which became Woburn, and  was settled by many families from Charlestown and Malden.  In the early Woburn records he was a selectman and a deacon.

John Wright married Priscilla, the daughter of Reverend Richard Byfield.  Reverend Byfield had fourteen children, and named the Wright grandchildren in his will.

Some sources for researching John Wright:

There is a sketch of John Wright in the book The Ancestry of Eva Belle Kempton, Volume II: The ancestry of Amanda Spiller 1823 – 1873, by Dean Crawford Smith and Melinde Lutz Sanborn,  Boston: NEHGS, 2008 on page 366 – 395.   I used the Charlestown and Woburn Vital Records, Torrey’s New England Marriages Prior to 1700, the book The History of Woburn, and the Lancaster, Massachusetts records for the Sawyer family records.

There is a website that outlines a branch of the Wright family that went to Canada. 

My Wright genealogy:

Generation 1: John Wright, son of John Wright and Jane Belchenden, baptized on 15 September 1601 at St. Dunstan’s, West Peckham, Kent, England, and died 21 June 1688 in Woburn, Massachusetts;  married about 1627 in England to Priscilla Byfield, born about 1610 and died 10 April 1687 in Woburn, Massachusetts.  Six children.

Generation 2: Sarah Wright, born 16 Feb 1652 in Woburn; married on 2 January 1678 in Concord, Massachusetts to Joshua Sawyer, son of Thomas Sawyer and Mary Platts alias Gawkroger.  He was born 13 March 1655 in Lancaster, Massachusetts, and died 14 July 1738 in Woburn.  Seven children.

Generation 3:  Mary Sawyer m. Robert Convers
Generation 4: Susanna Converse m. Caleb Simonds
Generation 5: Ruth Simonds m. Andrew Munroe
Generation 6: Luther Simonds Munroe m. Olive Flint
Generation 7: Phebe Cross Munroe m. Robert Wilson Wilkinson
Generation 8: Albert Munroe Wilkinson m. Isabella Lyons Bill
Generation 9: Donald Munroe Wilkinson m. Bertha Louise Roberts

Copyright 2013, Heather Wilkinson Rojo


  1. Hm. My sister used to live in Woburn. And another Charlestown, in SC, was where my early ancestors settled. Probably many Charles Towns exist!

  2. Hm. My sister used to live in Woburn. And another Charlestown, in SC, was where my early ancestors came to settle. Probably many Charles Towns exist from these times.

  3. Do you have a scan of the John Wright sketch? I searched for the book and it's not available.

    1. Sorry, I don't have a sketch. You can contact NEHGS for a copy. Is it available through They have many books on microfilm, and are working on digitizing their collections for online use.

  4. Does this family include Benjamin and his son Noah, my DAR kin? Myrtle Pietsch

    1. Yes Benjamin was a grandson of Deacon John Wright. As follows:
      John Wright III 1630-1714
      Josiah Wright 1674-1746
      Benjamin Wright 1724-1798
      Noah Wright 1763-1849

  5. Myrtle, I don't know if your DAR patriots Benjamin and Noah Wright are part of this family. I don't have records past the first few generations since my lineage daughtered out so early.

  6. HI My wright line is John Wright brother to Sarah Wright. John Wright married Abigail Warren.

  7. not sure how are family ties in with this family. I would love to find out , my mother is Judith Emma Maclaren Caldwell daughter of James Roderick Maclaren | F3008 Group Sheet
    Helen Barker | F3008 Group Sheet

  8. Hello cousin! My line is John, Joseph, John, John, John, David, David, Henry, William, Forrest, Allen, Philip. I wonder if there is an English Origins DNA study.

    1. You can check with the different DNA companies for the surname WRIGHT. Or see if there is a WRIGHT family association.