|Virgil & Edna Wright, 50th Anniversary photo (1965)|
Virgil Lee Wright (1894-1972) was my maternal great-grandfather. What follows is an exploratory analysis of the biographical facts I have discovered about him.
1. Vital records
1.1. Birth certificate
Virgil was born July 6, 1894 in Orestes, Madison County, Indiana1. The State of Indiana began requiring births be recorded in 1907, however, many counties have records available going back to 1880. The W.P.A. index compiled for Madison County, Indiana did not list a birth record for Virgil.
1.1.1. Birth Notice in Newspaper
If Virgil's birth was recorded in a newspaper, I have not yet discovered it. The Alexandria-Monroe Public Library has editions of the local newspaper, the Tribune, only as far back as 1905.
1.1.2. Bible Record
I'm not aware of any surviving Bible record of the Wright family. My understanding of family lore was that the John Wright family Bible was purposely destroyed/burned by a daughter-in-law.
1.1.3. Baptismal Record
The Wright's were associated with the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), but I do not know if they were members at this time. I am not aware of any records of baptism for Virgil at this time.
1.1.4. Adoption Record
There is no indication that Virgil was adopted.
1.2. Marriage License
Virgil was married on June 19, 1915 in Alexandria, Madison County, Indiana to Edna Muriel Pierce1. I didn't realize I didn't have a copy of their marriage license from Madison County, but that's one of the reasons for working out this analysis. Will have to seek it out soon.
1.2.1. Marriage notice in newspaper
Searches of the local newspaper, the Alexandria Times-Tribune, have failed to locate a mention of the nuptials of Virgil and Edna.
1.2.2. Anniversary notice
Virgil and Edna's Golden Anniversary (50th) was mentioned in the Anderson, Indiana Daily Bulletin on June 16, 19652. There may be other newspapers that mention this anniversary as well.
1.2.3. Divorce decree
There is no indication that a divorce ever occurred, though a search of court records has not been completed.
1.3. Death certificate
Virgil died March 25, 1972 in Alexandria, Madison County, Indiana.3. He died at the Bradford Nursing home in Alexandria4. The cause of death was listed as hypostatic pneumonia3.
1.3.1. Obituary in newspaper
Virgil's obituary appeared in the March 27, 1972 edition of the Anderson Daily Bulletin and the Elwood Call-Leader. I need to obtain the date that his obituary ran in the Alexandria Times-Tribune.
1.3.2. Funeral home record
Virgil's funeral was conducted by the Karl M. Kyle Funeral Home. I need to try and find out if there exists a record of the funeral, which may contain information about cost, who paid for what, etc.
1.3.3. Tombstone photograph
Virgil's tombstone in the Park View cemetery in Alexandria has been photographed. It lists him as Virgil L. 1894-1972 and his wife, Muriel 1897-1968 is also listed; included is their date of marriage "June 19, 1915"5.
2. Census Records
2.1. Federal Census Records
2.1.1. 1930 Federal Census
On April 19, 1930, Virgil was enumerated in Monroe Township, Madison County, Indiana6, as Virgil Wright, married farmer, age 35, born in Indiana. His father was listed as born in Ohio and his mother born in Indiana. He could read and write and spoke English. He was renting his home and owned a radio.
2.1.2. 1920 Federal Census
On January 15, 1920, Virgil was enumerated in Monroe Township, Madison County, Indiana7, as Virgil Wright, married farmer, age 25, born in Indiana. His father was listed as born in Ohio and his mother born in Indiana. He could read and write and spoke English. He was renting his home.
2.1.3. 1910 Federal Census
On May 5, 1910, Virgil was enumerated in Monroe Township, Madison County, Indiana8, in the household of his father, John W. Wright. He is listed as Virgil A., age 15, at home, born in Indiana, a farmer, and attended school within the year. His father is listed as born in Ohio and his mother as born in Indiana.
2.1.4. 1900 Federal Census
On June 27, 1900, Virgil was enumerated in Monroe Township, Madison County, Indiana9, in the household of his father, John W. Wright. He is listed as Virgil L., age 5, at home, born in Indiana. Both of his parents are listed as being born in Indiana.
2.2. State Census Records
The State of Indiana conducted state census in 1853, 1857, 1871, 1877, 1883, 1889, 1901, 1913, 1919 and 1931. These however, were merely for the purposes of determining legislative apportionment.
2.3. Agricultural Census Records
I have not yet investigated these types of census records to see what information might be shed on the Wright farm.
3. Military Records
3.1. Draft Registration
Virgil registered for the draft during World War I on June 5, 191710. He is listed as medium build with brown hair and grey eyes. The card has his name listed as "Virgile Wright", born July 6, 1894, residing at Rural Route 19, Alexandria, Indiana. He was a self-employed farmer.
Virgil registered for the draft during World War II
3.2. Pension Records
Not applicable, as I have found no evidence that Virgil ever served in the military.
3.3. Service Records
4. Land Records
4.1. Deed Records
Deed records need to be thoroughly researched in Madison County, Indiana. All evidence indicates that Virgil's entire adult life was spent in Monroe Township, Madison County.
4.2. Plat map / county map
Madison County published a plat map in 1880, 1891, 1893, 1901, 1910, 1915, 1921, 1923, 1931 and 1940 that may be relevant to my search on Virgil and the Wright family.
5. Supplemental records
Supplemental records available to research for Virgil include county/city directories, court records and will and probate records. Searching these will be on my next "to-do list" research trip in Madison County at the library.
1. Freeman, Sandra, "John William Wright - Ellen King family group sheet." Compiled [n.d.]. Alexandria, Indiana, USA.
2. Golden Wedding article, Anderson Daily-Bulletin, Anderson, Indiana, USA, June 16, 1965, page 2.
3. Virgil Lee Wright, death certificate no. 1972-C068 (1972), Madison County Health Department, Anderson, Indiana.
4. Virgil Wright obituary. Elwood Call-Leader, Elwood, Indiana, March 27, 1972.
5. Park View Cemetery (Alexandria, Indiana), Virgil L. and Muriel Wright marker, photographed by Travis LeMaster.
6. Virgil Wright household, 1930 U.S. census, population schedule, Monroe Township, Madison County, Indiana, ED 48-46, SD 5, sheet 6A, dwelling 112, family 121, National Archives micropublication T626, roll 605.
7. Virgil Wright household, 1920 U.S. census, population schedule, Monroe Township, Madison County, Indiana, ED 122, SD 8, sheet 4A, dwelling 81, family 81, National Archives micropublication T625, roll 449, page 43.
8. John W. Wright household, 1910 U.S. census, population schedule, Monroe Township, Madison County, Indiana, ED 17, SD 8, sheet 11B, dwelling 259, family 259, National Archives micropublication T624, roll 364.
9. John W. Wright household, 1900 U.S. census, population schedule, Monroe Township, Madison County, Indiana, ED 96, SD 8, sheet 21B, dwelling 398, family 432, National Archives micropublication T623, roll 386.
10. Ancestry.com. World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918[database online]. Provo, Utah. Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2005. Original data: United States Selective Service Registration System. World War I Selective Service Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. Washington, D.C., National Archives and Records Administration. M1509, 4582 rolls. Imaged from Family History Library microfilm.
11. Ancestry.com. U.S. World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942[database online]. Provo, Utah. Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2007. Original data: United States Selective Service System. Selective Registration Cards, World War II: Fourth Registration. National Archives and Records Administration Branch locations: National Archives and Records Administration Region Branches.
This post was developed as part of the series relating to Building My 2011 Research Template, an attempt to systematically document and source the details of my ancestors' lives. Comments regarding this template and the conclusions draw in this article are welcomed.