Sunday, January 29, 2017

Mrs. James Wright XII: interpreting a Will

The will of John Beals has been cited as 'proof' that James Wright's wife was Mary Davis.Beals' will was made 7 Dec 1726. He was of Chester  Co., PA. I n the will he made bequests to  James Wright and "his kinswoman" Mary Davis.

The interpretation here is that the Mary Davis, kinsman of John Beals, was the wife of James Wright.
This could be the case, but a few yellow flags are waving here.

1)  The Wrights may have just relocated to Frederick Co., MD  by that time. They still could have been named in the will in any case.

2) "my kinsman Mary.Davis" is a curious phrasing considering James and Mary had been married for nearly 20 years. Why not Mary Wright, formerly Davis? Or Mary Wright? Or Mary Davis now the wife of James Wright?

3) Mary Wright of Philadelphia - Mary Wright, in 1726, was a resident of Chester Co., PA (or Frederick Co., MD), not Philadelphia. Why give the wrong residence?

Was John Beals referring to Mary Davis Wright or another Mary Davis?  My feeling is that Mary Davis of Philadelphia was another person entirely. I could be misreading the document, but it's just to iffy to suit me.

Note: "The Beals Family" (bill Putnam) suggests that Mary Davis could possibly be a married sister of John Beals. This seems reasonable. Mary Davis could also have been a cousin or other relation.

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