Wednesday, October 08, 2008

George Wright, cabinetmaker?

You never quite know what you are going to find when surfing the net for your ancestors.

Recently, I did a 'Google' search for my ancestor, George Wright, and came across an article located at http://www.maineantiquedigest.com/stories/index.html?id=732 that mentioned George Wright who had a wife Elizabeth Robins, and died in Brown County, Ohio in 1853. This matched with my ancestry, so I quickly shot off an email to my relatives telling of the wonderful new lead.

This George Wright, was written up in a magazine called American Furnitue 2007 in an article about his work as the foreman for Joseph B. Barry & Son in Philadelphia. Apparently, George's cabinetry is in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and was purchased by such notables as George Washington, etc. Who wouldn't love that type of story? The article mentions that after leaving Philadelphia, George left for Pittsburgh before settling in Washington Township, Brown County, Ohio after 1826 and then dying there in 1853.

After I had hit the 'send' button, bells and alarms started going off in my head. Yes, the name was the same and the name of the wife was correct. Even the death dates were right for George Wright and Elizabeth. But other dates didn't seem to add up. For instance, their son, John (my ancestor) was born in Pleasant Township, Clermont County (now Brown), Ohio in 1814, from a number of sources. So how could George be in Philadelphia/Pittsburgh and in Ohio at the same time?

I think that this is a case of someone mixing up two George Wrights with similar geographically locations. I have tried to contact the authors at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, but have not heard back from them. I also responded to my family that I think this may have been a mistaken identity, but you know how the rumors and internet go - already this 'fact' will be a family legend, and I'm the one who spread it.

I am now going to focus on obtaining more information about 'my' George Wright, as well as obtain the original article. I've found the magazine online for around $60, but perhaps I can obtain a copy through interlibrary loan.
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