Genealogy Update -- Murder Revealed! Name Change!

In recent weeks I had made a decision to put my focus on labeling/identifying photos in the properties of the digital photos and scanning photos.  This is an important task that I will regret not doing years from now if I do not get it done.  I need to do it while I have the help to identify names and locations.  I spent an entire week working on it when I was unexpectedly derailed last week by a new genealogy contact into one of my lines.

I spent the entire last week (May 8 - 12) in every spare moment analyzing information and updating the website.  I already had much of the information, as I had revealed in recent genealogy reports, but no time to get it on the website.  Lynnette also provided some information I did not have, such as the 1860 census that was misspelled.  Her communication and interest in the same line I have been working on was an awesome motivating factor for me to get to work.

As you will recall, I spent much time last summer piecing together an entire biography on my Great Grandpa James William Wright who I knew nothing more than a name and a birth date.  He was the only Great Grandparent I knew nothing about and as I studied, I learned the why.

Now his parents, Thomas Wright and Belle Edwards (as on his death certificate) have been my brick wall and in recent months I have made some great strides.  Last summer you may recall that I pieced together that Thomas is actually Nathaniel Thomas Wright.  I remember being excited to have put those puzzle pieces together.

In recent months, I put together that he has been married 3 times.  His oldest son is from his first wife, Martha Reeder.  I have a contact with his descendants that I am hoping may help to reveal information. She has provided a photo of the oldest son, John, and you can see it on the main page for this Wright family. Scroll down to see my Great Grandfather, James William, and scroll down even more to see their cousin, Richard, and you will note a strong family resemblance, especially in the nose.

Thomas's second wife, my Great-Great-Grandma Belle Edwards, had three children. The oldest, a daughter Aley, was named after her Grandma. She married, had 4 children, and died at the age of 32 in Flat River, Missouri.  The second daughter, Jesse, had one son who died at the age of 8 months, and then 8 months later, Jesse died of tuberculosis and the age of 21 years.  The third child is James William.  I am going to put up more information on his siblings as I have time.

Thomas's third wife was Margaret Duncan, whose first husband was Alfred Lynn, by whom she had children, and her second husband was a Rev. Freeman.  The Lynn children are the ancestors of my contact Lynette who is also interested in finding Thomas's death date.

My brick walls right now are Thomas's death date and anything at all I can find out about Belle Edwards, whose name is Louisa Isabelle Edwards.  I suspect Belle may have died in child birth, giving birth to James William, born in 1896.  Since the entire 1890 census has been destroyed, this timing makes it difficult to find information on Belle. Unable to find a death record makes it difficult to go backwards to learn her parents to find her before her marriage.

Thomas is found in two 1900 census and I wondered why.  It all came together when I learned that the Lynn children were involved in a murder, where one of the sons shot his sister's husband because the family would not leave the home.  This family environment would not be one in which Thomas would want his children to be, so we find his children living with their Uncle Daniel Boone Wright in the 1900 census.  I have studied this census for years and I often thought that maybe Thomas was having a hard time financially or with employment.  I would have dreamed that this murder would have been something in the family history.

As I study Thomas, I realize what a difficult life he seemed to have followed.  If indeed his first two wives died as I suspect, he would have been left raising the children.  I have learned that in the 1800's if a wife died, which was likely in child birth, the father quickly remarried to have someone to care for his children.  In this case, Thomas's family was always there for him as we see his brother Daniel Boone and his mother Aley often with the children. This family seemed to be very closely knit together.

In putting together the biography of Thomas, I discovered that what I thought was a third brother, Jason B, was actually a name change!  At first my thought was, "twins" and then I realized that Jason disappears from the records and Daniel Boone appears, both with the same birth year.  Daniel Boone is no where before a certain date and Jason is no where after a certain date.  It has to be a name change!

In addition, Daniel and Thomas Wrights' parents, John and Aley Wright, also have a new biography page.  I have more information on Aley going back more generations to analyze and get up on the website.  However, the key information with Aley for me is that she is born in French Village. Now, until a month or so ago I had no idea where French Village was until I took a ride through it when returning from Old Mines because my Dad's Dad's line has a residence there.  Now I find that my Dad's Mom's line has a residence there and I am becoming more and more intrigued to learn more about French Village.  Aley's father is from Virginia, and his father from Germany, but more on that another day.

John Wright is from Kentucky and I wonder if I can find out where that line goes back further.  This is the only information I have to date on going back further on this line.

There are a lot of maps on the biography pages and the more I research my family, the more I realize what great deep roots are in the same area of Missouri, from St. Louis to the counties just below, including St. Francois, Washington, Ste. Genevieve, Perry, and Iron.  Except for a few lines on my Mom's side that first were from Nebraska and South Dakota before coming to St. Louis, all of my lines seems to have settled very very early on in Missouri in these counties.  I feel more and more a deeply rooted proud Missourian.

Have fun reading!  All the biographies have supporting documents linked.

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