So far the earliest Wright identified in the Wrights of the Wabash Valley is Rev. Richard, b 24 Mar 1816, d 13 Jul 1889, my gg grandfather. But behind Richard stands a Brick Wall. His predecessors are totally unknown. DNA has proven valuable in finding that Richard was married twice (see blog of Monday, May 15, 2017, “A New Branch on the Tree”). Perhaps it can be used to help find Richard's ancestry.
What we really need is a yDNA test for one of Richard Wright's descendants by an all-male line, a descendant bearing the Wright name. But so far no Wright has stepped up to the plate. And with the absence of yDNA testing, we are forced to rely on autosomal DNA (atDNA) or mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) test results, less than ideal for tracing surnames.
I have joined the FamilyTreeDNA (FTDNA) Wright Surname Project, with participants testing for yDNA, atDNA, and mtDNA, hoping that information at that site will shed some light on Richard Wright’s ancestry. And I am looking, on FTDNA and Ancestry, for my atDNA matches with descendants or Wrights who lived in Maryland. And I have a third cousin doing the same. But "Wright" is a common name, with many matches, and family trees posted with DNA tests are not always trustworthy.
You can help. If you are a male descendant of Rev. Richard Wright and bear the Wright name, please consider taking a yDNA test. And do contact me. In the words of a past U.S. president, “tear down this wall!”