Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Sir James Wright, last Colonial Governor of GA

One of the research projects that I have resumed this year, has been my work with several other genealogists and historians on the ancestry, marriage, and children of Georgia's last Royal Governor, Sir James Wright (1716-1785).

Although I had researched the genealogy of most of Georgia's governors, I had not gotten into the colonial ones. I first got into the Wright story in 2003 and again in 2005 with my friend and fraternity brother, James F. Cook, Ph.D., who wrote the book The Governors of Georgia. The question was, how many children did Gov. Wright have.

In 2007 this came up again, this time with Mary Bondurant Warren of Athens asking the questions due to her series of books on the Governor and Council Journals of Colonial Georgia that she is now about to finish up the volume for 1781. We added Pat Kruger of Charleston SC into the mix for her help on the SC records, where Wright spent his "formative years," as his father was Chief Justice there and Wright married there in 1742. Most recently we have added Greg Brooking, an historian who is working on his Ph.D and plans to write his dissertation on Gov. Wright, which we hope will eventually become a book, long overdue.

One of the issues is Gov. Wright's burial spot in Westminster Abbey in London. It is apparently now (2010) covered up by a temporary snack area or so we have been told.

We have explored the connections of Wright's wife, Sarah Maidman, and her death in 1764 when the ship she was on from Savannah to England sank, with all lost. We have continued to explore the issue of the number, names and history of their children.

With the Internet we have been able to research and prove a lot about them without ever leaving home, at least I have. It is quite amazing what is out there to be found online. You can even purchase and have it downloaded online actual documents from the British National Archives at Kew (formerly called the PRO). We have even been able to get Gov. Wright's will via that process.

So if anyone out there has any real information on Wright's family, or is related--we know there are descendants in South Carolina of Gov. Wright's---get in touch, preferably directly by e-mail above, as I don't often check things on this blog, see previous post.


  1. Welcome to the Geneabloggers family. Hope you find the association fruitful; I sure do. I'm fairly new, as well, and have found it most stimulating, especially some of the Daily Themes.

    Keep telling your ancestor stories!

    Dr. Bill ;-)
    Author of "13 Ways to Tell Your Ancestor Stories"

  2. My oral ancestor story is Sir James was my distant Grandfather. I was born in Savannah, Ga where a city square is named for him, Wright Square. My greatgrand father was James Washington Wright of Bulloch County, Ga commonly know as the Ivanhoe area. While I have not been able to confirm the connection via, I beleive it to be true. I have read online there were as many as nine children from Sir James but can only find five names. Will you please identified exactly which children you have discovered with names & DOB?
    Kindest regards,
    William Harrison in South Florida

  3. I am related to William and have been told the same story since birth. I have been trying to find the descendents of James Wright for some time as well. James Washington Wright is my great great grandfather. Would you mind sending me the same information? The furthest back I have been able to find is the information listed under the Wright-O'Neil-Harvey-Williams thread here

    We have been trying to find the missing link between William Wright b1781 d1839 (md Sarah O'Neal also b1781) and Governor Wright. The two mentioned here I believe are also buried in the Ivanhoe cemetery.

    David Wright in Atlanta, Ga

  4. I wonder if you are referring to James
    Washington Wright Son of James Wright and Elizabeth Cribb of South Carolina Chester District. James Washington "Wash" Wright b. abt 1842 d. abt 1823 Aribi GA Crisp Co. Wife Elizabeth Failes and children Stephen Wright1869 – Thomas Wright1872 – Willie Wright1874 –Oscar Wright1877 – John Embry Wright1877 – 1959Catharine Wright1880 –Katie L Wright1881 –Boodie, Buddy, Laster, "Uncle Boo" "Uncle Bud" Wright1883 – 1952 , Fannie Melissa Wright1884 – 1960, Gus Mobley Wright1887 – 1958, Sudie Wright1891 . If this is your family line then we are related because James Washington Wright was my Great Grandfather, Grandfather, Gus Wright. I am now searching for parents of James Wright who left his plantation in S.C. to wife Elizabeth and children in his will.

  5. In reading the above responses a year or more late, I think Callie has the information that might help the men listed above her. There are no males named WRIGHT since 1860 who descend from Gov. James Wright, his brother Robert who died in 1750s heirs were two daughters. etc. I can't write it all up here.

  6. what happened to Gov Wright's Brother Charles? i know it was said he went to Jamaica during the revolution but does anyone know if he ended up back in the states? died in Jamaica or somewhere else??