Saturday, February 4, 2017

Mrs. Mary Wright XVIII: A Case of Five Marys

So far there are five Marys to consider as the wife of James Wright of PA, MD & VA.

1) Mary Bowater, b. c1659 England, daughter of John Bowater, Sr. & his 1st wife, Ann Carter. No further information. This Mary has "creatively" been assigned as Mary Wright in a few family trees. In reality, she was not, in any way, shape or form, the wife of James Wright.

2) Mary Bowater, b. 3 Feb 1688/9 England, daughter of John Bowater, Sr. & his 2nd wife, Mary Maunder. Per the Stuart Baldwin TAG articles of 1997 & 2000, she was the wife of James Wright. Mary was born when her father was about 60 and her mother about 40. She went to Philadelphia in 1706 to reside near her half-brother Thomas [about 30-35 years Mary's senior]. Mary is clearly a candidate to be James Wright's spouse. Negatives: [a] A Mary Wright condemned her marriage contrary to discipline in 1708. That makes no sense for a Quaker who married a Quaker. [b] Mary Bowater and Mary Wright witnessed the marriage of William Pusey & Elizabeth Bowater in 1707.

3) Mary Bowater, b. 1685 Chester Co., PA, daughter of John Bowater, Jr. & Frances Corbett. She would have been #2's niece, although 3 years older. The 1685 birth year has often been given for Mrs. Wright. This Mary married Stephen Ailes in 1714. She could have easily been the Mary Bowater who witnessed the marriage of her sister, Elizabeth, in 1707.

4) Mary Davis, b. 2 Feb 1689/90 ENG, MD, PA?, daughter of James Davis & Margaret Jordan of Maryland. As discussed in an earlier post, James and Margaret were probably a match of "convenience" as parents of Mary Davis. Therefore, Mary Davis' parents should be recorded as 'unknown' at this time. Mary's birth is given as 2-12-1689 [12th month = Feb] in the Hopewell MM records. [1688/9 or 1689/90?] Some early sources state that Mary's maiden names was Davis; some that it may have been Davis. She remains a viable candidate for Mrs. Wright. Negatives: [a] Alleged parents. [b] Lack of documentation for maiden name.

5) Mary _______, b. 2 Feb 1689, place unknown, parents unknown. Several sources state that the maiden name of Mrs. Mary Wright is unknown. This choice is, by far, the safest bet!

Of the five possible Marys mentioned above, #1 & #3 can be eliminated. #2, #4 & #5 remain viable options. The arguments favoring Mary Davis are becoming weaker with more examination. Bowater and unknown are the stronger candidates.

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