I have had a string of good luck and amazing finds when it comes to genealogy. I will try not to bog it down TOO much with the detail, but I found a whole family that I had never found before.
I know tons and tons about my Cunningham family, but I am always finding more. But I delved into some in-laws to the Cunningham family. I knew my great-great-grandmother Cunningham was a Wright and she and her sister each married Cunningham family members. I knew the names of her brothers and sisters, but didn’t know anything about them except that I had a couple of pictures of “Uncle Jack Wright” that I assumed was her brother Jack Wright. I knew her parents names, but their information was very sketchy and had question marks by everything.
Last week I started Googling anything and everything. And search on all the genealogy sites to find more info. I am not really sure how the breakthroughs came through, but I did discover that Jack Wright was quite well know in Comanche County and owned the Jack Wright Saloon on the square. That was the spot where the infamous desperado John Wesley Hardin shot down the Deputy Sheriff of Brown County one night, leading to a manhunt and lots of frightened people in the community. I found where Jack Wright had died in New Mexico (which leads me on to find his son that was living in New Mexico at that time).
I also found one of my aunts from that family even though she was listed by her nickname “Polly” on her wedding license. A newspaper article called her by her married name and said she died in the home of her brother Capt. Jack Wright. That led me to find her real name and more.
But the most fun find was finding the grave of the mother of these children. I knew a year and knew that she might have died in Red River County or in Bell County. Luck finally led me to her grave online, but no picture, but I had a location.
On our return from a wonderful Thanksgiving, Mark got me to Belton and found the South Belton Cemetery, the oldest in the city, before it got dark. I knew it had about 400 graves, so I didn’t have high hopes of being able to find her grave and wasn’t even sure it was marked. I really didn’t want to be out there walking through graves for a long time when it was as windy and as cold as it was. But we got there and found a nice big map and legend of all the graves in this historic cemetery…alphabetized. I quickly found her name and then where the grave was. We did have to do some searching, but we at least knew we were in the right area. Then I spotted it. A nice big gray granite monument.
This adds dates I didn’t have and also firms up the detail that she died young and my great-great-grandmother was only 10 when her mother died and the younger sister only 5. So I still need to find out who took care of them after she died.
I surmised pretty quickly that this stone was not as old as her grave. Graves in 1855 usually weren’t marked like this. I was still puzzling this out when Mark figured out what the last line of the inscription really said. We could read, “She died as she lived, a christian mother.” But then it was odd… We laughed that it said “Put up with her son.” I tried to make it more of the Christian sentiment about “the Son.” But Mark realized, when he was editing the pictures, that it said, “Put up by her son.” I realized the TCW means Thomas Cooper Wright. He was only 14 when she died, so he obviously put this up much later.
I did some research on him and found out that he owned a livery stable in Temple and then went on to turn it into an undertaking business. Lots of access to the monument makers, he created a monument to his mother long after her death. I’m so glad he did!
Her husband preceded her in death in about 1850 and I do not know where he was buried. His name was John Wright and that is so common it makes it difficult to find. This cemetery didn’t begin internments until 1851 so I assume he was not buried here. He may have died in Red River County and then the family moved to Bell County. I don’t know. More research to be done.
I am freezing as he took this picture, but very happy and warm to have discovered this grave and more of my Texas roots.