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Samuel Wright UE (abt. 1740 - bef. 1783)

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Samuel Wright UE
Born about in British Colonial Americamap
Ancestors ancestors
Brother of
Husband of — married before 1769 [location unknown]
Descendants descendants
Died before [location unknown]
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Profile last modified 8 Feb 2020 | Created 3 Apr 2018 | Last significant change: 8 Feb 2020
00:11: Debbie (Martin) Lamb edited the Death Date and Status Indicators for Samuel Wright UE (abt.1740-bef.1783). [Thank Debbie for this]
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Based on the ages of his children, Samuel Wright, UE, was likely born around 1740. If he is the son of Gabriel Wright and Rebecca Buys, as seems likely, he was baptized as Samuel Ryt, 23 June 1736 in Fishkill, Dutchess, New York. [1]

Details of his marriage are not known, except that his wife's name was Mary. It is possible that he is the Samuel Wright who married Mary Walker in Morrisburg, New Jersey, 02 December 1765, or it may be coincidence that his brother Gabriel Wright and wife Deborah Ball by 1774 were also associated with this congregation. [2]

In the summer of 1783, Samuel Wright left New York with Mary and seven children, to come to Quebec, Canada, on the Camel, one of several ships that transported Loyalists to safety. [3]. (Note that New York may have simply been their point of departure, not place of residence.)

From the muster roles and related records in the Haldimand Papers, Mary Wright is listed on her own with the children in Sorel, Quebec, that year, and it is as a widow that she moves and settles near Kingston, Ontario.

The first confirmed records for Samuel Wright are the Loyalist land petitions of his daughters, Phoebe Wright Georgen (filed 29 Mar 1790), Sarah Wright Orser (filed 17 Apr 1790) and Elizabeth Wright Dafoe (filed 18 Apr 1792).

The family of Samuel Wright so far identified (there were likely other children) through land petitions includes:

  • Phoebe Wright, born about 1767, married Christopher Georgen in about 1785 in Kingston, Ontario;
  • Sarah Wright, born about 1769, married Gilbert Orser in about 1784; died 1845;
  • Elizabeth Wright, born about 1769, married Daniel Dafoe in about 1790; died 1845;
  • Mary Wright, married Henry Bartley;
  • Hannah Wright, married Arthur Youmans;
  • Samuel Wright, married Catherine "Kitty" Dougall; lived in Hallowell Township, Ontario.

Samuel Wright apparently died in about 1783, either en route to Canada or shortly after, and other records for the family include only Mary, also known as the Widow Wright UE, and the Widow Mary Wright, UE.

Research Notes

Much of Samuel's history is speculated at this time. However, there are proven DNA matches with Samuel's descendants and descendants of Gabriel Wright and Deborah Ball. This does point to a relationship, but that doesn't automatically mean that the relationship is through the Wrights. The best way to prove or disprove Samuel's ancestry is through y-DNA testing. However, at this time, a living male descendant of his that would be willing to take the test has not been found.

When researching Samuel Wright, you have to be very careful. There were many Wrights who were Loyalists and who came to Upper Canada after the Revolutionary War. This Samuel does not appear to fit into any other known Wright families. There was, in fact, more than one Samuel Wright who was a Loyalist.

It is unknown of he or Mary had any previous connection with anyone aboard the Camel.

All that is known for definite at this time that Samuel Wright and his family were aboard the Camel when it left New York in July 1783 and he was apparently deceased before 19 Nov 1783 when Widow Mary Wright was on a provisioning list in Sorel.

No records have yet been found related to Samuel's death or burial, nor the births of his children -- nor have his parents nor his birth date been confirmed.

The link between the Widow Mary Wright, UE, and Samuel Wright, UE, was first discovered through close analysis of Loyalist land petitions for those with the surname, Wright. The initial petitions for the three older daughters, Phoebe Wright Georgen, Sarah Wright Orser and Elizabeth Wright Dafoe, are almost identical in content, and all state as their basis for claim that their father is Samuel Wright, UE, Deceased.

One of Elizabeth Wright Dafoe's later land petitions also mentions improvements to the land of "Samuel Wright's Widow UE," in the District of Mecklenburg. Although no first name is given, only one land-owning Widow Wright at that time in Mecklenburg has been found; she held a four-lot farm in Kingston Township.[4]

The old United Empire Loyalist List[5] also includes the Widow Wright -- with her first name given as Mary, and her residence as Kingston, where she and several children turn up in muster rolls and other documents, including the Haldimand Papers.[6].

Sarah Wright Orser and her family provide further research clues. The Orsers -- or Ausers as written on the passenger list, sailed from New York on The Camel with the Wright family, and settled very near the Widow Mary Wright. In later years, Phoebe Wright Georgen also lived nearby, and she and her husband were the sponsors at the baptism of Sarah's eldest son, Samuel Orser, in 1790.[7].

Other researchers have concluded that the Widow Mary Wright UE of Kingston was the mother of Mary Wright (married Henry Bartley), Hannah Wright (married Arthur Yeomans) and Samuel Wright of Hallowell Township.[8]

The actual Loyalist land petitions of Hannah, Mary, and Samuel of Hallowall support this conclusion, as all list the Widow Mary Wright, UE, as their basis for claim, and officials approved their claims because the Widow Mary Wright was on the Loyalist list.

Further, the petitions of Samuel Wright of Hallowell and of Mary Wright Bartley specify that their mother, "Widow Mary Wright," lived in Kingston, before moving to Hallowell. (Mary Wright Bartley also provides the detail that her mother had by then re-married, to Abraham Peterson, thus leading to her move.)

Finally, officials stated on Mary Wright Bartley's petition that her father was Samuel Wright UE Deceased, thus tying this family together.

(Further research may clarify why the older daughters named their father as their basis for land claims, while the younger three named their mother. It's possible that this happened because more time would have passed by the time the younger three filed, and while Mary was alive and well then, their father may have been forgotten. As well, there were Samuel Wrights in other locations of Ontario who had been expunged from the lists, and perhaps they wanted to avoid that confusion.)

Next Steps

There are several Samuel Wrights and Gabriel Wrights, and It has taken considerable collaboration and research to get this far. More help is needed, and Y-DNA testing of a male descendant (on the straight male Wright line) of Samuel Wright would be invaluable to confirm the direct lineage of Samuel Wright and his family. The Wright surname Facebook group would love to hear from you.[9]


  1. Holland Society of New York; New York, New York; Hopewell, Fishkill and MarbleTown, Book 14. Accessed on Ancestry as U.S. Dutch Reformed Records in Selected States, 1639-1989.
  2. See History of the First Presbyterian Church, Morristown, N.J., available on Ancestry, Google Books, and
  5. Old United Empire Loyalists List [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 1997.
  8. Reid, William D. The Loyalists in Ontario: The Sons and Daughters of the American Loyalists of Upper Canada. Lambertville, NJ, USA: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1973.

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It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Samuel by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. Y-chromosome DNA test-takers in his direct paternal line on WikiTree: It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with Samuel:

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Samuel is 19 degrees from Peter Roberts, 13 degrees from Emma Smith and 13 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.