My 5x-great-grandfather, Jesse P. Wright, was born according to the 1850 census, in North Carolina in 1768. The identity of his wife is not known for sure; I suspect he may have been married more than once. Various internet genealogies claim his wife was Louvicie Grant, a half-Cherokee. The problem is, no one named Wright is included in the 1851 or 1852 censuses of Cherokee Indians East of the Mississippi in Gilmer co. GA, which makes me doubt that Jesse's wife (whatever her name) was Cherokee at all.
The only real clue I have about Jesse's wife is that at least three of their children (Harrison, Nancy, and Narcissa) listed their mother's birthplace as South Carolina on the censuses.
In 1818, Jesse was one of the jurors on the case of the dower of Polly Stillwell in Haywood co., NC, so he was resident there at least as of that year. I checked the 1815 Haywood co. tax list, but I can't find him on there.
Jesse's first certain census appearance is in 1820 Haywood county. He already has a large family, with a wife and 7 children. In 1830 the Wrights are still resident in Haywood county, but at some point around 1835 they appear to have packed up and then moved to Gilmer county, Georgia, where Jesse is living in 1840 and 1850.
Another researcher identifies Jesse Wright in the 1810 Cabarrus co. NC census. But having looked at the census page, I don't think the surname is Wright at all. It actually appears to be Whitaker, and as a Jesse Whitaker married in Cabarrus county the year before, I have to think that's him.
There IS a Jesse Wright on the 1810 Warren co. NC census who may be my Jesse. This man is missing from the 1811 Warren co. NC tax list, so he likely left the county. This Jesse Wright would seem to be identical to the Jesse Wright who married Mary Findley in that county in 1796.
Who are all of Jesse P. Wright's children?
Jesse has 15 known children who I believe are reasonably attributed to him, born between about 1805-1833. However, it seems like we're missing one older son (Jesse has 5 boys under 10 in 1820, and only four of that age range are identified). William A. Wright married Arminda C. Orr in 1856 in Gilmer co. GA. Given the time and place, it seems likely he's another of Jesse's sons.
Who is the father of Eleanor Wright's son?
Eleanor Wright, under her married name Eleanor McDowell, has a household of her own in 1840 Gilmer co. GA. Ten years later, she's using her maiden name and living with her Wright relatives, including father Jesse. She has a young son named Ephraim Tyra Riddle -- not McDowell, and there's no evidence of a marriage to anyone named Riddle. On her son's death certificate, his father is given as "Do Not Know" but his mother is given as "Miss Ellen Wright". Interestingly, Eleanor's sister Caroline married Lewis Riddle in 1842. Was Lewis or a male relative of his also the father of Eleanor's son?
Who's Elizabeth Riddle living with the Wrights in 1850?
17-year-old Elizabeth Riddle, born NC, is also living in Eleanor's household. At first I thought maybe she was a stepdaughter, but when I realized Eleanor had never married whoever the father of Ephraim Tyra Riddle was, I realized something else was going on. Is she a sister of Caroline's husband Lewis Riddle? Some other relative?
What happened to Jesse's daughter Elizabeth?
Elizabeth married Abner Waldroup in 1834 in Haywood county. I can't find any trace of Abner in 1840 or after, nor any trace of Elizabeth.
When and where did Jesse die?
In 1850, Jesse is living with several of his adult children. He is already in his early 80s, and he does not appear in 1860. When did he die? Did he leave a will?