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Searching For The Wrights Of Oyster Bay

Oyster Bay residents may be able to help solve a local mystery that spans centuries. One famous Revolutionary-era Oyster Bay resident is currently a dead end in genealogical research, but someone out there probably has DNA that would match, and tie together two loose ends of Oyster Bay history.

Much is known about the early history of Oyster Bay, such as how it was settled by a small group of Quaker families who came here from Cape Cod and how those families started a prosperous settlement which has thrived to this day. But in the Wright family, a connection has been lost between those early settlers and their descendants who spread far and wide across America in the succeeding years.

Today, genealogists are trying to put the pieces back together and to find out which Wrights are descended from the family of brothers Peter and Nicholas Wright of Oyster Bay; in some cases their search is rewarded with documentation, written in spidery handwriting and viewed on microfilm or online and in other cases, genealogists from times past have written up their family histories and documented their connection to Oyster Bay. However, not everyone is fortunate enough to find resources like this. This is where DNA testing comes in to fill in the gaps.

There are Wright families living today in Oyster Bay who are likely descended from the original Wright settlers. Those trying to make the connection would appreciate it if someone among them would assist family historians all over America by taking a Y-DNA test, and thus provide a benchmark result for the Oyster Bay Wrights.

The most accurate DNA test to follow a family name line is a Y-DNA test taken by a man who bears the surname. The Y-DNA from all men descended from the same family line will closely match no matter which branch of the family they are from or how many hundreds of years have passed since their ancestors were closely related.

The author of this article has taken up the challenge of solving the mystery of her family’s roots spurred on by the desire to share this with her nonagenarian father who has spent most of his life on the opposite shore of Long Island Sound  in Connecticut. After tracing her Wright line back to Captain Peter Wright (b. 1740 Hempstead, Long Island) she has reached what genealogists term a ‘brick wall’ where no further written documentation is known to exist. Captain Peter Wright is a well-known figure in American Revolutionary times and he is reported to have had as many as 16 children, although only 11 or so are documented. His descendants are many but his ancestry is unknown.

 Circumstantial evidence points to his father being Joseph Wright of the Oyster Bay Wrights. Unfortunately, Joseph died before Peter was born, although Joseph’s will mentions that his wife is carrying a child. Was that child Captain Peter? This is where Y-DNA testing can help. A Y-67 DNA test has been taken by this author’s brother as the Y-DNA carrier of her branch of the Wright tree. The results are posted on the website of the Wright DNA Project www.wright-dna.org. Test 235938 in the bright pink section sits with other results, but none so far are from a documented Oyster Bay Wright descendant. So the search is on to find a direct male line descendant of Peter or Nicholas Wright of Oyster Bay who can trace his lineage. Such a tester will help to solve not just one but two genealogical mysteries, the second one being whether or not the Wrights who settled Oyster Bay and Flushing are related.

If there is someone among the Wright descendants interested in taking the test, please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to discuss how to go about this. A swab of cheek cells is all that is needed to solve this mystery and the privacy of the tester is maintained during testing. Further information about genealogical DNA testing can be found here: www.dnaexplain.com/publications/pdfs/dnatestingforgenealogybasics5-19-09.pdf

The first direct paternal line tester to come forward with a verifiable line to the Oyster Bay Wrights will be eligible for a free DNA test.

News

On Saturday, July 5, Building J on the Western Waterfront was opened to the public for a free concert of classical music played by talented youth in the Oyster Bay Music Festival. The acoustics in the large metal shed were lively as the backdrop of the Ida May, a wooden oyster dredge under construction, lent artisanal flavor to the rich stew of mostly sea-related musical selections. People sat on stacks and benches of freshly milled wood or stood in the cavernous space. They soaked in beautiful solos, duets and trios that combined voice, piano, flute, cello and violin. Frank M Flower & Sons provided fresh oysters that engaged the palate, and representatives from Steinway & Sons gave a quick overview of how their pianos are made, relating several aspects of their meticulous process to the construction of the Ida May.

Last week was one of Oyster Bay’s biggest, most anticipated summer events, the Italian American Society’s St. Rocco’s Festival. Returning to its usually spot in Fireman’s Field on Shore Avenue, the festival was filled with amusement rides, live music, and great food and company.

“We come every year to St. Rocco’s with friends,” said Laura Regan of East Norwich. “The rides and awesome food make it a lot of fun.”


Sports

Oakcliff’s intensive training program provided a high level of competition last weekend at the U.S. Women’s Match Racing Championship in Oyster Bay.

This year, the teams selected for the event were highly ranked through the United States, and several of the competitors are past and current Oakcliff trainees, including Elizabeth Shaw, Kathryn Shiber, Madeline Gill, and Danielle Gallo.

A total of 11 members of St. Dominic Track Team (grades 1-8) recently medaled at the Nassau-Suffolk CYO Championship Finals at Mitchel Field. In the finals, the athletes competed against the finalists from all three regions, representing more than 2,500 athletes from 23 other parishes.

In addition to the student athletes’ success, the track coaches were honored as well. St. Dominic CYO Track coaches Phil Schade (grades 1-3), Julie and Mike Keffer (grades 4-6) and Rich Cameron (grades 7-8) were selected by peer coaches in their region for the NSCYO Team Sportsmanship Award. The Saint Dominic CYO track program, in its second year, has already proven to be a force to be reckoned with and the young runners are among the best on Long Island.


Calendar

OB Band Concerts

Wednesday, July 23

Music Under The Stars

Friday, July 25

Annual Chicken BBQ

Saturday, July 26



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com