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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

Serving Oyster Bay and the rest of Long Island since 1990, Periwinkles is an Oyster Bay business on Audrey Avenue that assists with event planning, staging and staffing and catering a multitude of different events. Periwinkles was started by Pat Spafford, who was encouraged to take her passion and make it a career.

 

“I was raising a family and doing this part-time,” said Spafford. “One of my clients encouraged me to make it full-time. Most of my clientele was from Oyster Bay so I settled here. I have a huge affection for the people and the place. It’s great that I have been successful here for so long.” 

On Sunday, Sept. 21, the only place to be for lovers of local music is the Homestead in Oyster Bay, where a full day of live music is planned at GlenFest featuring 25 different performances. The lineup includes big names like Richie Cannata to Sea Cliff mainstays Kris Rice and Chicken Head to up-and-comers like Matt Grabowski and Lisa Vetrone.

 

GlenFest is the brainchild of Dave Losee, 53, of Glen Cove, who plays in the Crosstown Blues Band.

 

“I had this idea for a festival years ago, and when I finally nailed down a date, people are coming out of the woodwork to be a part of it,” says Losee.


Sports

Former football coach and NFL player Bill Curry recently brought a wealth of experience, knowledge and history to a wide audience of student-athletes and coaches at Hofstra University for a lesson on diversity, tolerance and respect in high school athletics.

 

Director of the NYS PHSAA Sportsmanship Committee and Manhasset High School Athletic Director Jim Amen Jr. established the summit and invited Curry as keynote speaker.

Amen Jr. and Section VIII Executive Director Nina Van Erk introduced Curry to a crowd representing more than 37 local high schools.

Hard work paid off for local athletes Christine Grippo of Locust Valley, Kelly Pickard of Oyster Bay, Bernadette Winnubst of Locust Valley, Steven Quigley of Bayville, Catherine Soler of Oyster Bay, Maria Elinger of Oyster Bay, and Armand D’Amato of Oyster Bay Cove, each of whom won awards in a field of some of the best triathletes from all of Long Island and beyond in the 27th annual Runner’s Edge - Town of Oyster Bay Triathlon, held in and around Oyster Bay’s Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park on Saturday morning, Aug. 23.

Grippo earned top honors in the women’s 30-34 age group with a time of 1 hour, 17 minutes, 36 seconds. Pickard (1:17:39) scored first among the women in the 35-39 age group. Winnubst scored in 1:38:48 to earn third place honors in the Masters Athena Weight Division. Quigley earned the second place award in the Masters Clydesdale Weight Division in 1:23:23. Soler (1:29:12) scored 5th among the women in the 20-24 age group. Ehlinger (1:39:23) was the 4th place award winner in the women’s 55-59 age group. D’Amato (1:42:44) earned top honors in the 70-74 age group.


Calendar

MSA Party - September 17

West Shore Rd. Update - September 18

Harbor Beach Cleanup - September 20


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