Abel Wright (1631 - 1725) MP

‹ Back to Wright surname

Is your surname Wright?

Research the Wright family

Abel Wright's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!

Share

Birthplace: Leverton, Lincolnshire, England
Death: Died in Springfield, Hampshire County (Present Hampden County), Province of Massachusetts
Occupation: deputy to the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony 1695
Managed by: Kenneth Dean FORTIE
Last Updated:

About Abel Wright

Birth: 10 JAN 1631 in England Immigration: BEF 1655 Residence: 1653/54 Springfield, Hampden, Massachusetts Residence: 1655 Springfield, Hampden, Massachusetts Event: Freeman 19 DEC 1690 Springfield, Hampden, Massachusetts Event: Milit-Serv Note: in the Indian Wars Occupation: deputy to the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony 1695 Death: 29 OCT 1725 in Westfield, Hampden, Massachusetts Burial: Springfield, Hampden, Massachusetts Savage 4:654 -- WRIGHT, ABEL, Springfield 1655, m. 1 Dec. 1659, Martha, d. of Samuel Kitcherel of Hartford, had Joseph, b. 1 Sept. 1660; Martha, 29 Nov. 1662; Abel, 25 Sept, 1664; Benjamin, 14 Mar. 1667; Hannah, 28 July 1669; Henry, 23 May 1671, d. young; Sarah, 8 May 1673; Mary, 9 Mar. 1676; Henry, again, 6 Jan. 1677; Samuel, 17 June 1679; Eliz. 18 Aug. 1682, d. June foll.; John, 21 Apr. 1685, d. soon; and Eliz. again, 22 Aug. 1687, of wh. ten liv. to be m. His resid. was on the W. side of the river, at that part of what is now Westfield, then call. Skipmuck, much expos. to the invasion of border enemies, and his w. was scalp. by the Ind. 26 July 1708, but liv. until 19 Oct. foll. and he d. 29 Oct. 1725, when he is call. lieut. and said to be 94 yrs. old; but wh. brot. him over the sea is unkn. Martha m. 8 Dec. 1681, Thomas Morley; Hannah m. 1690, Joseph Saxton, both of Westfield; Sarah m. 1694, Thomas Chapin; Mary m. 1698, Nathaniel Bliss; and Eliz. m. 1709, Ebenezer Dewey of Lebanon. Note: his tombstone record says: "Lieut. ABEL WRIGHT died October 29th, 1725, aged 94 years." Event: Misc DEC 1659 Springfield, Hampden, Massachusetts Note: had the 9th seat at the seating of the meeting house Occupation: appointed to consult with other towns of the county preparatory to presenting a position to the General Court that they might be permitted to pay their taxes in grain instead of specie NOV 1694 Springfield, Hampden, Massachusetts Residence: AFT 1696 Note: on the west side of the river, in the part of Springfield now called Westfield, then Skipmunk Society of the Colonial Wars ,p 819: WRIGHT, LIEUT. ABEL, 1631-1725. In Indian Wars. Deputy, Mass. Bay Colony, 1695. Anc. of Robert Abell, pp 89-90 1. LIEUT. ABEL WRIGHT, born in 1631; died Oct. 29, 1725; married Martha Kitcherel, Dec. 1, 1659. She died Oct. 19, 1708; daughter of Samuel and Martha Kitcherel. She was from Hartford. When Abel Wright came over the sea is unknown. He was located in Springfield in 1655. He was active in civil and Military service, and in 1695 was elected to the Generel Court, in 1696 he was one of several chosen to organize a new town on the west side of the river. His residence was on the west side of the river, at that part of what is now Westfield, then called Skipmuck, much exposed to the invasion of border enemies, and his wife was scalped by the Indians, July 26, 1708, but lived until Oct. 19, 1708. Dea. Samuel Wright of Springfield, 1639-40, and Thomas Wright of Wethersfield, Conn,, near Hartford, 1639, probably were his uncles. Children: Joseph, b. Sept. 1, 1660; m. Sarah Osborne. Martha, b. Nov. 29, 1662; m. Thomas Marlow. Abel, b. Sept. 25, 1664; m. Rebecca Terry. Benjamin, b. Mar. 14, 1667; m. Mary Chapin. Hannah, b. July 28, 1669; m. Joseph Saxton, Henry, b. May 23, 1671; d. young. Sarah, b. May 8, 1673; m. Thomas Chapin. Mary, b. Mar. 9, 1675; m. Nathaniel Bliss, Feb. 3, 1697. Henry, b. June 8, 1677; m.Hannah Bliss. A son was killed and his wife was captured at the same Indian uprising when his mother was scalped. His wife died soon after. Samuel, b. June 17, 1679; m. Mary Case. Elizabeth, b. Aug. 18, 1682; d. June 17, 1683. John, b. Apr. 21, 1685; d. soon. Elizabeth, b. Aug. 22, 1687; m. Ebenezer Dewey. Anc & Desc of Jonathan Abell, p 29 WRIGHT FAMILY: Mary Wright, who m.Nathaniel Bliss, was b. Mar. 9, 1675; dau. of Lieut. Abel Wright, who was b.in 1631; d.Oct. 29, 1725; m.Martha Kitcheral Dec. 1, 1659. Lieut. Abel Wright was located in Springfield in 1655. He was active in civil and Military service, and in 1695 was elected to the General Court. His wife was scalped by the Indians July 26, 1708 but lived until Oct. 19, 1708. Event: Misc 26 JUL 1695 Springfield, Hampden, Massachusetts Note: was one of a group requesting use of the stream and land to set up a corn mill|| 22 Genealogy of Lieut. Abel Wright, of Springfield, Mass. (1881): Lieut. Abel Wright was found among the early settlers of Springfield, Massachusetts, in the Connecticut Valley, who spent a mature life of seventy years there, from 1655 to 1725, when he died at the advanced age of ninety-four years. Where he came from or who were his parents, I have been unable to ascertain. There were other Wright settlers in the colonies before him in Eastern Massachusetts,-- as Capt. Richard Wright, at Lynn, in 1630; Robert Wright, at Woburn, in 1641; Robert Wright, at Boston, in 1648, according to Dr. Savage, in his Genealogical Dictionary, besides others in various places of a later date than the above named. And at Wethersfield, Conn., below Hartford, there was a Thomas Wright as early as 1639, who had quite a family. Also Dea. Samuel Wright was au early settler at Springfield about the same year, 1639-40, who had a family of eight children, all named; but no Abel among either of these families is given in their records. It is possible, if not most probable, that these last two settlers, so near each other, were brothers and from the date of their family records, uncles to Abel Wright who might naturally have followed in the wake of his kinsman to Springfield, at the age of twenty-four years where he is found in January, 1655. Hence I can safely begin his record at that date, and shall endeavor to follow his line of posterity for several generations, according to authentic information obtained by much labor, from both town and family records. Although the town had been settled in 1686, it was still in its infancy when our Abel appeared on the stage, to claim a place among his fellow men. I give two or three extracts from the town records of Springfield, which I made in November, 1868, that read as follows: "Jan. 2, 1655,--There is granted to Abell Wright, a home lot containing three acres in the land next ye Round Hill." And Feb. 18, 1656, again: "It is granted to Abell Wright an amount of Twenty (20) acres which had formerly Come into the hand of Rowland Thomas, lying in ye great plain over ye great river, called Chickuppy plain, provided he continues five years in town." And it seems in the sequel that he came to stay, as he did for seventy years. Again says the record: "March 18, 1660, --There is granted to Thomas Bancroft Abell Wright, John Lumbard and Richard Sikes, a parcel of land lying on the west side of ye great river over against ye long meadow below George Colton's: which land hereby granted, lyeth between two brooks, and it is to run westward from ye river to a hill about 40 rods westward ;--Thos. Bancroft to lie next to the Southermost brook, Abell Wright next toward the north, John Lumbard next to him, and Richard Sikes next to him :They four sharing thereof equally in three-score acres of land, if there be so much there ;--or if there be not so much they are to divide the piece equally amongst them, lying as above expressed." --See Record of Deeds, vol. i. p. 203. Various other grants of land, to the number of sixteen in all, from 1655 to 1695, as well as several to his sons Joseph and Abel, Jr., are on the town records also. In those primitive times the farmlng was on a smaller scale than we see now, and hence the few acres allotted to each settler in these grants. Contemporary with Abel Wright were such men as Col. John Pynchon, Samuel Terry, John Bliss, Thomas Root, Robert Ashley, Hugh Dudley, Thomas Sewall, Obadiah Miller, Eliezer Holyoke, John Holyoke, James Osborne, Nathaniel Pritchard and Thomas Gilbert; with Deacons Samuel Chapin, Samuel Wright (until 1657, when he removed to Northampton, and died there Oct. 17, 1665, when asleep in his chair), Jonathan Burt, Benjamin Parsons, John Hitchcock and James Warriner, and Rev. PELATIAH GLOVER from 1659 to 1692, and Rev. SAMUEL BREWER from 1694 to 1725, and onwards to 1733, when the last pastor died; all these in the First Congregational Church. "Feb. 23, 1662. In the order of Seating persons in church, , Abell Wright is put in the ' eighth seat' with Mr. -- Horton, John Bag, Joshua Riley and Lyman Beaman. And Samuel Terry in the 9th seat with four others." According to the Springfield Records that I saw and handled in 1863, the following facts are shown: ABEL1 WRIGHT married Dec. 1, 1659, Martha Kitcherel, daughter of Samuel K. of Hartford, Conn., and lead a family of thirteen children, of whom ten married (see names below). He was a citizen of some note, both in the civil and military service of the town. In 1695 he was elected to the "General Court," and in May, 1696, Dea. Burt and Lieut. Abel Wright were chosen to answer a petition of the people on the west side of the river asking to become a separate parish and procure a minister of their own. In 1708, July 26th, Indians came upon the town and despoiled his family, scalping his wife, who died in consequence on the 19th of October following. They also killed an infant of his son Henry, and captured his wife, who died soon after. But this venerable ancestor lived until 1725, for his tombstone record says: "Lieut. ABEL WRIGHT died October 29th, 1725, aged 94 years." His children were as follows: 2. i. JOSEPH, b. Sept. 1, 1660, and m. Sarah Osborne. ii. MARTHA, b. Nov. 29, 166'2; m. Thomas Marlow. 3. iii. ABEL., b. Sept. 25, 1664; m. Rebecca Terry, Sept. 16, 1691, and had thirteen children. 4. iv. BENJAMIN, b. March 14, 1667; m. Mary Chapin in 1694; had three children. v. HANNAH, b. July 28, 1669; m. Joseph Saxton, Nov. 20, 1690, and had seven children :-- Gershom3 b. 1691; Hannah,3 1692; Joseph,3 1694; .Mindwell,3 1696; David,3 1700; Ezekiel,3 1704; and Charles,3 1708, at Enfield. vi. HENRY, b. May 93, 1671, and d. young. vii. SARAH, b. May 8, 1673; m. Thomas Chapin, Feb. 15, 1695, and eleven children. She died July 96, 1770, aged nearly 98. viii. MARY, b. March 9, 1615; m. Nathaniel Bliss in 1698. 5. ix. HENRY, 2d, b. June 8, 1677; m. Hannah Bliss, May 24, 1705. 6. x. SAMUEL, b. June 17, 1679; m. Mary Case, of Lebanon, Nov. 27, 1710. xi. ELIZABETH, b. Aug. 18, 1689, and d. June 17, 1653. xii. JOHN b. April 91, 1685, and d. soon. xiii. ELIZABETH, b. Aug. 29, 1t,87; m. Ebenezer Dewey, of Lebanon, Nov. 8, 1709, and had Elizabeth,3 b. Oct. 7, 1710,and Ebenezer,3 Jr., b. Jan. 24, 1719. Genealogy of Geer Family, p 160 ABEL WRIGHT, (Lieut.), of Springfield, Mass., was born in 1631; died 29 October, 1725, in his 94th year; married Martha Kritchwell, 1 December, 1659. She died 19 October, 1708. He served in the Indian Wars, and was deputy to the General Court, Massachusetts Bay Colony, in 1695 Colonial & Continental Ancestors, pp 219-220 ABEL1 WRIGHT was born in or about 1631, and settled at Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1654, when he was about twenty-four years old. He was granted on January 30, 1655, one acre on condition that he remained at Springfield for five years and on January 2, 1656, a home lot of three acres. At the seating of the meeting house of December, 1659, he was in the ninth seat, and in that of February, 1662/3, in the eighth seat. On February 19, 1661: "Liberty is granted to Abell Wright to build on his land bought of Wm Branch on ye West side of ye great River." When William Pynchon gave œ200 toward building a new mill in February, 1665, on condition that the town should bear the rest of the expense, the townspeople were called upon to contribute to the town's share, and Abel Wright undertook to do three days' work on the mill. At a town meeting on May 15, 1669, Wright was one of the "4 psons who were prsent most of ye day yet not attending to theire call, & being also absent some tyme after," the townsmen, "for theire neglect Judge ym to pay 6d a piece to be added to theire next Towne Rate." He received many grants of land from the town, and must have acquired in all about a hundred and fifty acres. In 1668 he was granted forty acres of land at Worronoco (Westfield, Massachusetts), on condition that he lived there for five years. There is no evidence that he actually lived at Westfield. He was appointed on a committee in 1695 and 1696 to draw up the objections of the town to the desire of the people of the west side for a separate minister and he seems then to be identified with the eastern part of Springfield. On December 1, 1659, at Springfield, he married MARTHA2 KITCHEREL, who died October 19, 1708, after having been captured and scalped by the Indians at or near Springfield on July 26, 1708 (see KITCHEREL). Wright was again absent from the town meeting, and again fined 6d in March, 1681/2. He was a member of the committee to run the boundary line between Springfield and Hadley, Massachusetts, in August, 1686, and in 1689 on a committee to lay out highways. He was appointed selectman on May 21, 1689, and again on December 3, 1697, in each case to serve the ensuing year. In 1688 when land was granted him he was called "ensign," and in 1691 he was called "lieutenant," although no record of his commission has been found in the Massachusetts Archives. He was a member of a board appointed to arbitrate land differences in 1692, and in January, 1695, was one of six men to ask for land on which to set up a corn mill. In November, 1694, Lieutenant Abel Wright and Henry Chapin were appointed to consult with other towns of the county preparatory to presenting a petition to the General Court that they might be permitted to pay their taxes in grain instead of specie, and in January, 1694/5, he was one of those to draw up the petition. In 1699 he was granted liberty to improve the trees "he hath Alredy Boxed, about 7 or 800." In 1695 he was deputy to the General Court from Springfield. In May, 1698, Wright and Jonathan Morgan were granted the use of a stream for a saw mill, and Wright was appointed to lay out highways in 1699. A committee was appointed February 28, 1706/7, of which Lieutenant Wright was a member, "to consider of such orders & By Laws as have been formerly made & to prepare to show ym at ye next Town meeting & also to draw up other orders & by Laws as may be profitable for the Town to present as aforesd to ye Town the next May to be approved of & rendered binding to al the Inhabitants of this town: according to act Title Townships." On December 23, 1707, Wright was one of the five trustees appointed to value all taxable property in the town. On October 22, 1708, he presented a petition to the General Court, stating that he had been driven from his house by the enemy, his wife had been scalped, and his clothing carried away, and that he had supplied provisions to the soldiers pursuing the enemy, and asking for relief. He died at Springfield, October 29, 1725, in his ninety-fourth year. Event: Misc 19 FEB 1661 Springfield, Hampden, Massachusetts Note: was granted permission to built on some land he had bought on the west side of the river|| "Liberty is granted to Abell Wright to build on his land bought of Wm Branch on ye West side of ye great River." Event: Misc FEB 1665 Springfield, Hampden, Massachusetts Note: volunteered to contribute three days' work toward the building of a new mill Event: Misc 15 MAY 1669 Springfield, Hampden, Massachusetts Note: was fined 6d for missing part of the town meeting Occupation: a member of a committee to draw up the objections of the town to the desire of those living on the west side to have a separate minister 1695/96 Springfield, Hampden, Massachusetts Event: Misc MAR 1681/82 Springfield, Hampden, Massachusetts Note: was again fined 6d for being absent from the town meeting Occupation: a member of the committee to run the boundary line between Springfield and Hadley AUG 1686 Springfield, Hampden, Massachusetts Occupation: a member of a committee to lay out highways 1689 Springfield, Hampden, Massachusetts 16 Occupation: was appointed to serve as selectman the following year 21 MAY 1689 Springfield, Hampden, Massachusetts Occupation: was once again appointed to serve as selectman the following year 03 DEC 1697 Springfield, Hampden, Massachusetts Occupation: a member of a board appointed to arbitrate land disputes 1692 Springfield, Hampden, Massachusetts Event: Misc JAN 1695 Springfield, Hampden, Massachusetts Note: was one of six men to ask for land on which to set up a corn mill Event: Misc JAN 1694/95 Springfield, Hampden, Massachusetts Note: was one of those to draw up the petition about the requested change in tax payment Event: Misc 1699 Springfield, Hampden, Massachusetts Note: was granted liberty to improve the trees "he hath Alredy Boxed, about 7 or 800" Event: Misc MAY 1698 Note: was granted the use of a stream for a saw mill Event: Misc 1699 Springfield, Hampden, Massachusetts Note: was appointed to lay out highways Occupation: a member of a committee "to consider of such orders & By Laws as have been formerly made & to prepare to show ym at ye next Town meeting & also to draw up other orders & by Laws as may be profitable for the Town to present as aforesd to ye Town the next May to be approved of & rendered binding to al the Inhabitants of this town: according to act Title Townships" 28 FEB 1706/7 Springfield, Hampden, Massachusetts Event: Misc 1688 Note: was referred to as "ensign" Event: Misc 1691 Springfield, Hampden, Massachusetts Note: was referred to as "lieutenant" Event: Misc 23 DEC 1707 Springfield, Hampden, Massachusetts Note: was one of the five trustees appointed to value all taxable property in the town Event: Misc 22 OCT 1708 Springfield, Hampden, Massachusetts Note: presented a petition to the General Court, stating that he had been driven from his house by the enemy, his wife had been scalped, and his clothing carried away, and that he had supplied provisions to the soldiers pursuing the enemy, and asking for relief Marriage 1 Martha Kitcherel b: 04 JAN 1644/45 in Hartford, Hartford, Connecticut Event: Misc 26 JUL 1708 in Springfield, Hampden, Massachusetts Note: were subjected to an Indian attack in which Indians scalped Martha (who later died of her wounds), captured their son Henry's wife (Hannah Bliss, who also died soon after) and killed Henry and Hannah's infant son Married: 01 DEC 1659 in Springfield, Hampden, Massachusetts, or, Hartford, Hartford, Connecticut American Marriage Records Before 1699 KITCHEREL, Martha and Abel Wright, 1 December 1659, Hartford, Conn. Sources:

Title: New England Historic and Genealogical Record: Genealogy of Lieut. Abel Wright, of Springfield, Mass., Volume: Vol. 35 (Jan. 1881), 74-82 Author: Wright, Stephen Publication: reprinted in Genealogies of Connecticut Families, Vol. III, pp 610-618, on Broderbund CD #179 Title: Genealogical Dictionary of First Settlers of New England, Volume: Vol. 4 Author: Savage, James Publication: Genealogical Publishing Company, Boston, 1860-1862 Page: p 654 Title: Direct Descendants of Abell Wright, Lt., Recipient: Alice Raven, Author E-mail: Herbert Arkin Author: Herbert Arkin Publication: 25 Jul 1998 Title: The Associated Families of Gregory D. Maxfield and Laura Isela Flores, Url: http://web3.pacifier.com/~gregdm/ Author: Gregory D. Maxfield Title: Monk Family Pedigree, Url: http://mum202-2.musm.ttu.edu/genealogy.htm Author: Richard Monk Page: (says 1 Mar 1659, but son Joseph b. 1660) Title: One Branch of the Abell Family Author: Abell, Horace A. Publication: Privately Printed, Rochester, 1933 Name: GenealogyLibrary.com Page: pp 89-90 (1631) Title: Ancestors and Descendants of Jonathan Abell Author: Abell, Horace A. Publication: Privately Printed, Rochester, 1933 Name: GenealogyLibrary.com Page: p 29 (1631) Title: Genealogy of the Geer Family Author: Geer, Walter Publication: Tobias A. Wright, New York, 1914 Page: p 160 (1631) Title: Our Colonial and Continental Ancestors. New York: The de Forest Publishing Company, 1930 Author: de Forest, Louis Effingham Publication: The de Forest Publishing Company, New York, 1930 Page: pp 219-220 (in or about 1631) Title: Monk Family Pedigree, Url: http://mum202-2.musm.ttu.edu/genealogy.htm Author: Richard Monk Title: New England Historical and Genealogical Register: List of Freemen, Volume: 3, Pages: 39 Author: Paige, Lucius R. Publication: New England Historical and Genealogical Register. vol. 3, 1849., 1849 Page: p 39 Title: General Register of the Society of Colonial Wars, 1899-1902: Constitution of the General Society Published by Authority of the General Assembly Author: Society of Colonial Wars Publication: General Assembly of the Society of Colonial Wars, New York, 1902 Name: GenealogyLibrary.com Page: p 819 Title: The Chapin Genealogy, Containing a Very Large Proportion of the Descendants of Dea. Samuel Chapin, Who Settled in Springfield, Mass. in 1642 Author: Orange Chapin Publication: Metcalf & Company, Northampton, 1862 Page: p 312 Title: The Cooley Genealogy: The Descendants of ENSIGN BENJAMIN COOLEY an early settler of Springfield and Longmeadow, Massachusetts; and other members of the family in America Author: Mortimer Elwyn Cooley Publication: The Tuttle Publishing Company, Rutland, VT, 1941 Name: GenealogyLibrary.com Page: p 449 Title: History of Hadley: Excerpts detailing losses in Indian raids, Url: http://vader.castles.com/ftprints/, Pages: 175-177 Author: Sylvester Judd Publication: Springfield, MA, Original Date, 1905 Title: American Marriage Records Before 1699 Author: William Montgomery Clemens

Publication: Biblio. Co., Pompton Lakes, NJ, 1926

Repository:

Name: Ancestry.com

Title: Genealogical Dictionary of First Settlers of New England, Volume: Vol. 3

Abbrev: Genealogical Dictionary, vol. 3

Author: Savage, James

Publication: Genealogical Publishing Company, Boston, 1860-1862

Repository:

Name: Ancestry.com

Page: p 33

Title: Ancestors of Sarah Elaine Anderson, Url: http://www.familytreemaker.com/users/a/n/d/Greg-A-Anderson/index.htm

Abbrev: Ancestors of Sarah E. Anderson

Title: One Branch of the Abell Family

Abbrev: One Branch of the Abell Family

Author: Abell, Horace A.

Publication: Privately Printed, Rochester, 1933

Repository:

Name: GenealogyLibrary.com

Page: pp 43, 89-90 (date only)

Title: Our Colonial and Continental Ancestors. New York: The de Forest Publishing Company, 1930

Abbrev: Colonial and Continental Ancestors

Author: de Forest, Louis Effingham

Publication: The de Forest Publishing Company, New York, 1930

Page: pp 219-220 (Springfield) -------------------- "Genealogy of Lieut. Abel Wright, of Springfield, Mass." by Rev. Stephen Wright, of Glen's Falls, NY (NEHGS, 1881 pp. 74-75):

"Lieut. Abel Wright was found among the early settlers of Springfield, Massachusetts, in the Connecticut Valley, who spent a mature life of seventy years there, from 1655 to 1725, when he died at the advanced age of ninety-four years. Where he came from or who were his parents, I have been unable to ascertain. There were other Wright settlers in the colonies before him in Eastern Massachusetts-- as Capt. Richard Wright at Lynn in 1630; John Wright, at Woburn in 1641; Robert Wright at Boston in 1643, according to Dr. Savage, in his Genealogical Dictionary... And at Wethersfeld, Conn., below Hartford, there was a Thomas Wright as early as 1639, who had quite a family. Also Dea. Samuel Wright was an early settler of Springfield about the same year, 1639-40, who had a family of eight children, all named; but no Abel among either of these families is given in their records. Abel Wright married Dec. 1, 1659 Martha Kitcherel, daughter of Samuel K. of Hartford, Conn., and had a family of thirteen children, of whom ten married...

In 1708, July 26th, Indians came upon the town and despoiled his family, scalping his wife, who died in consequence on the 19th of October following. They also killed an infant of his son Henry and captured his wife who died soon after..."

Our colonial histories tell us that the first of the colonists in Massachusetts were the Pilgrims who established the town of Plymouth. They were followed a few years later by the Puritons who founded Salem, Beverly and Boston, farther north. Manyo f these early Puritans found the wilderness and the rough, rocky land about them undesirable for raising their crops and cattle. Also, as in most of the early colonies, there was political and religious dissension among them.

A small group of the Puritans, led by William Pynchon and others, left their mother colony on the coast and ventured into western Massachusetts until they reached the broad, fertile valley of the Connecticut river. Here, in the 17th century, they founded the towns of Springfield, Northampton, Hadley, Ware and Deerfield.

Abel Wright, our first know Wright ancestor in America, appears on record in Springfield in 1655 while the town was still in its infancy. (New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Vol. ***V, 1881, p. 74) He was 24 years old at that time. Where he came from or he names of his parents, is not recorded. Undoubtedly he came from England. There were weveral other Wrights from England in the early colonies before him in eastern Massachusetts, and it is possible, if not probably, that he was related to one or more of them.

This early Springfield settlement was an agriculture and trading center. An entry in the town records there, dated Jan. 2, 1855, reads: "There is granted to Abell Wright a home lot containing three acres in the land next ye Round Hill." And again, on Feb. 13, 1856: "It is granted to Abell Wright an amount of Twenty (20) acres which had formerly Come into the hand of Rowland Thomas, lying in ye great plain over ye great river, called Chickuppy plain, provided he continue five years in town."

It was soone evident that Abel had come to stay, for again reads the record: "March 13, 1660, There is granted to Thomas Bancroft, Abell Wright, John Lumbard and Richard Sikes, a parcel of land lying on the west oside of ye great river over against ye long meadow below George Colton's, which land hereby granded, leth between two brooks, and it is to run westward from ye river to a hill about 40 rods westward; Thos. Bancroft to lie next to the Southermost brook, Abell Wright next toward the north, John Lumbard next to him, and Richard Siikes next to him; they four sharing thereof Equally in three-score acres of land, if there be so much there; or is there be not so much they are to divide the piece equally amongst them, lying as above expressed." (Record of Deeds, vol. i, p. 203) Various other grants of land to Abel, from 1655 to 1695 are on the town records.

Our Abel married, on D1 Dec. 1859, Martha Kitcherel, of Hartford, Connecticut, daughter of Samuel Kitcherel and Martha (Chapman( Kitcheral. Abel and Martha had 13 children, all born in Springfield.... (all listed with spouses)

Our Abel soon made a place for himself among these early settlers of Springfield. He became a Lieutenant in the militia, and was aactive in the religious and civic affairs of the town as well as the military. A record of the First congregational Church reads: "Feb. 23, 1662. In the order of Seating persons in the church, Abell Wright is put in the 'eigth seat' with Mr. Horton, John Bag, Joshua Riley and Lyman Beamsn."

Springfield, with its exposed frontier location, had early experienced sporadic Indian attacks which the settlers had drivien off without difficulty. In early 1675, the Indians in that locality were relatively peaceful and friendsly, while north of them the hostile Chief, King Philip, with his united tribes, were making murderous attacks on other settlements. Evidently this beliggerent Wampanoag Chieftain had not yet contacted the local tribes, or perhaps Springfield was not considered important enough to destroy.

Now, however, at midnight on the 14th of October of that year, a solitary horseman from nearby Windsor came riding fast into town. He dismounted, and quickly awakened the townspeople. "The Indians are coming!" he told them. "You will be attacked at dawn!" (Henry Morris, "History of the First church in Springfield.")

Most of the town's protecting troops had been sent north to join the forces under Pynchon. Now, the others hurridly barricaded themselves in the various garrison houses, loaded their muskets, and stood watch at the peepholes in the walls. They waited. Had it been a flase alarm?

The Indians did attack at dawn. And this time they came in a horde, thundering their horses' hoofs among the houses, whooping frenziedly, shooting their flame-tipped arrows. They found the garrison houses too strongly defended to attack. Compariatively few of the settlers lost their lives. But the abandoned houses were easy. pery. Some 30 houses and 25 barns, with their contents, were burned to the ground. And then suddenly the Indians were gone, as quickly as they had come.

These were the events and times during which our Abel and Martha lived in this frontier outpost. Even more unfortunate hardships and tragedies were soon to befall them.

After springfield was nearly destroyed, the people were discouraged and many spoke of abandoning the settlement altogether. A few actually left, but the greater part of the inhabitants, encouraged by the sympathy and aid of the colonial government, determined to ramain. Abel and his family were among the latter.

Springfiled was quickly rebuilt.

Again, the records disclose, that abel in 1695 was elected a Representative to the General court. And in May, 1696, the Deacon Burt and Liert. Abel Wright were chosen to answer a petition of the people on the west side of the river asking to become a separate parish and procure a minister of their own.

The farm and residence of Abel and Martha was still on the exposed west side of the river, near a place bearing the Indian name of Skepmuck, later to become the present town of Westfield. Apparently at least one of their sons, Henry, lived nearby with his own family.

On 26 July 1708, Indians again came upon the town and its outlying farms. After they had gone, Martha was found lying unconscious in the yeard beside their ransacked house. She had been scalped.

Martha lingered on until the 19th of October of that year, then died of her wounds. The Indians also had killed in this attack an infant of Abel's son, Henry, and captured Henry's wife, who died soon after. Henry and his wife, Hannah, had been married only three years before.

This then, was the life of our Abel. And yet this venerable ancestor, despite his hardships and tragedies, lived until 1725. His tombstone, in the old Pine Street Cemetery iin sSpringfield, reads: "Lieut. Abel Wright died October 29th, 1725, aged 94 years."

His second son, Benjamin, was the next of descent in our line.1 He was born circa 1631 at England. He was the son of John Wright and Jane Richall. Abel Wright married Martha Kitcherell, daughter of Samuel K Kitcherel and Martha Chapman, on 1 December 1659 at Hartford, Connecticut.1 Abel Wright died on 29 October 1725 at Springfield, Massachusetts.

-------------------- At the age of 24, Lt. Abel Wright appears in Springfield, Mass. Here he builds his home, marries, raises a family, was a prominent citizen and spent 70 years in Springfield, until his death in 1725.

Records verify that Deacon Samuel Wright settled about the same year. It is very possible and likely that they are brother's. If true, proof has shown a connection to the Wright Brother's through Samuel Wright.

First Congregational Church records of Springfield, Mass. states Samuel Wright, (Abel's brother) died 17 Oct 1665 when asleep in his chair.

The First Congregational Church records show that Lt. Abel Wright was put in the eighth seat. In the year 1669, Miles Morgan and Jonathan Burt were stationed up i ye gallery to check on disorders of the youth and young men in time of God's worship. In discussing the matters before the Hampshire Courts, the colonial laws regulated the subject of extravagant dressing and our Hampshire court was awake to its duty. The County Court first took notice of this class of offences by summoning before it the selectment of all towns for not assessing "forbidden apparel" at it's full value, and this not leading to a reformation the extravagant women were duly proceeded against under the colonial law. In many cases, when women were summoned before the court on the charge of wearing silks or finery, their husbands were forced to apologize for their absence. It was a very difficult thing to bring women into court. In September 1673, it is recorded: Labden Goody Colton, Mrs. David Morgan, Goody Barnard, Mercy and Hephzibod Jones, Hunters wife and daughter and Abell Wright's wife and warned to this Court the six former appling in Court they were admonisht of their extravagancies and dismissed.

Three years later the following people were presented by the Grand jury to the Court at Northampton, March 26, 1676, some for wearing silk and in flonting manner and attire for long hair and other extravegancies, contrary to honest and Labor Order and Demeanor not becoming a wilderness state at the Profession of Christianity and Religion. In the list of offenders were the following: Henry Rogers and his wife, Lidia Exile, Hanah Morgan Gilburt, Hannah Leonard, Nathaniel Bliss, Thomas Stebbins and his wife, John Bakers wife, Jonathank Stebbins, Henry Chapin, Corp. Holyoke, Mary and Sarah Colton, Sarah Cooley, Meriam Mericke, Sarah and Mary Dumbleton.

view all 22

Abel Wright's Timeline

1631
January 10, 1631
Leverton, Lincolnshire, England
1659
December 1, 1659
Age 28
Hartford, (Present Hartford County), Connecticut Colony
1660
September 1, 1660
Age 29
Springfield, Hampden, Massachusetts
1662
November 29, 1662
Age 31
Springfield, Hampden, Massachusetts, USA
1664
September 25, 1664
Age 33
Springfield, Hampden, Massachusetts
1667
March 14, 1667
Age 36
Springfield, Hampden, Mass
1669
July 28, 1669
Age 38
Springfield, Hampden, Massachusetts, USA
1673
May 8, 1673
Age 42
Springfield, Hampden, Massachusetts, United States
1674
September 3, 1674
Age 43
MA
1677
1677
Age 45
Springfield, Hampden, Massachusetts