Kit # 1965. Nancy Wright b. ca. 1798-1802 KY + John McCorkle 1824 Greene Co, KY, to Clinton, Clay and Ray Cos. MO > Eliza Ann McCorkle, b. c1832 MO, d. 1874 Ray Co, MO, #1 Unknown Partner +1 Charles Davis. HVR1 Haplogroup H5  
HVR1 Mutations 16209C
HVR2 Mutations 263G

Copyright © December 2003, Revised 2007, 2013
Mary Fern Souder

Generation 1: Nancy Wright was born between 1798–1802 in Kentucky. Her husband, John McCorke, was some 20 years her senior, and had been previously married at least twice in Green County, KY. His first marriage of record was to Ann Spear on 13 January 1805, and his second marriage was to Patsy Redmond on 2 February 1815. Nancy married John McCorkle on 7 December 1824 in Green County. They named their children Lydia, John, Eliza Ann, William and Eanita “Nettie” McCorkle. John and Nancy Wright McCorkle moved to Missouri by 1826, but the first census on which they have been found is the 1840 census in Clinton County, MO. By 1850 they were in Ray County, MO.

Following is a lengthy analysis of prospective parents for Nancy Wright of Green County, KY. Because Nancy was about 22 years of age at the time of her marriage, and there is a chance that she may have been a young widow, the following families were researched:

SMITH: John McCorkle's bondsman for his 1824 marriage to Nancy Wright was Francis Smith. Francis Smith, female over the age of 45, was enumerated on the 1810 Green County, KY, with a daughter the age to be Nancy. Also, Francis Smith, male, married Elizabeth M. Smith on 29 October 1818 in Green County, KY. He is probably too young to have been Nancy Wright’s father, but may have been the been the bondsman for the marriage of John McCorkle and Nancy Wright. Neither Francis Smith has been located on the 1820 Green County, KY, census, or elsewhere in Kentucky in 1820. There were 19 Smith families in 1820 in Green County. Three had daughters who might have been Nancy: William Smith and two men named Samuel Smith.

JONES: James Wright married Nancy Jones on 6 March 1819 in Green County, KY. This couple has not been located in a separate household in 1820 in Green County, but a Larue County, KY, biography of their son, Josiah Wright, accounts for Nancy and James Wright after their marriage. Therefore, Nancy Jones who married James Wright must be eliminated as a possibility of being Nancy Wright who married John McCorkle.

A brief review of the other wives of John McCorkle may give a clue as to the identity of Nancy Wright, because often a widowed man married one of the late wife’s relatives. At the risk of providing family information which may be irrelevant, I will nonetheless summarize the data that has been collected.

SPEAR: John McCorkle, Jr., married Ann Spear [daughter of Samuel and Sarah “Sally” Spear, formerly of Augusta and Rockbridge Counties, VA] on 13 June 1805, in Green County, KY. The bondsman was John McCorkle, Sr., and Samuel Spear signed the marriage bond for his daughter. John McCorkle's father, Samuel McCorkle, was still alive at the time of this marriage, so one wonders why Samuel McCorkle did not serve as bondsman for his son. However, the designation of “Jr.” did not always mean that the man was the son of the “Sr.” It could also be used to simply distinguish between elder and younger men who shared the same given name. Alternately, perhaps Ann Spear was not the wife of this John McCorkle, and my John McCorkle was first married to an unknown woman with whom he had at least four children.

REDMOND: John McCorkle married next Patsy Redmond on 2 February 1815, and the bondsman was Thomas Redmond. Since Thomas Redmond was over the age of 45 on the 1820 census, it is presumed that he was Patsy's father. John McCorkle and Patsy Redmond had two known daughters, Nancy and Martha “Patsy” McCorkle. Redman is the most frequently used spelling in Green County, but Redmond is also found there. Both Patsy Redmond McCorkle and Nancy Wright McCorkle had grandsons in Missouri who were named Redmond. Might Nancy Wright have been a sister or cousin of Patsy Redmond?

John McCorkle died between 1851-1854. There are some very intriguing circumstances that need further exploration. The daughters of Nancy Wright McCorkle in Ray County, MO, were exceptionally close to their half-siblings, children of Patsy Redmond McCorkle. This may be explained because Patsy's Redmond’s children were raised by Nancy Wright. Further, one daughter of Patsy Redmond McCorkle married well. She was Nancy McCorkle, born 1816, who became the second wife of William "Andrew" Clevenger, a man of property. Nancy McCorkle Clevenger was in a position to help the impoverished daughters of Nancy Wright McCorkle, Eliza and Nettie McCorkle.

In searching the Redman / Redmond surname for Kentucky, there were none in Green County in 1810, but there were three in Adair County, which adjoins Green County. The 1810 Adair County census has been alphabetized, but the name of Richard Wright has been inserted next to Aaron Redman, and near Thomas Redman and Absolom Redman. This cannot be Richard Wright [Sr.], of the 1810 Green County, KY, but it is a similar match to the younger family within the 1810 Green County household of Richard Wright [Sr.].

This insertion of Wright next to Redman suggests that there may have been a connection between the two families before Patsy Redman and Nancy Wright married John McCorkle.

The 1820 Green County, KY, census has enumerated Thomas Redman, over age 45, of Campbellsville Twp., and Will Redman, age illegible, but he appears to be young. Thomas Redman lived in the vicinity of Thomas Spears and Thomas Wright in Campbellsville Twp. The young family of Will Redman lived next door to John Smith, who appears to have a young wife the correct age to be Nancy.

WRIGHT: There were only two Wright families in Green County, KY in 1810. One was headed by Samuel Wright, age 16–25, who had a daughter the correct age to be Nancy. The other was headed by Richard Wright whose household consisted of an older couple, a younger adult female, and a younger couple who had children. This household was made up of following: Males: 1 over age 45, 1 age 26–44, 1 under age 10; Females: 1 over age 45, 1 age 26–44, 1 age 16–25, 1 age 10–15, and 1 under age 10. The ages of the youngest two females accommodate a child who might have been Nancy Wright.

A search of census records for 1820 Green County, KY, has located six Wright families, and barring a census error in 1820, only one had a daughter the correct age to be Nancy Wright. This was Thomas Wright of Campbellsville Township, over age 45. He lived near Thomas Spears, brother of Ann Spears, and John and Samuel Harding.

In 1820, Richard Wright, age 26–44, lived near the McCorkles. In fact, the McCorkles were not listed on the Ancestry.com index, and I found them by accident because they are on the same page as Richard Wright, in Campbellsville Township. However, this Richard Wright family cannot be the same family as enumerated in 1810, unless Richard was the younger male within the 1810 household of Richard Wright [Sr]. This younger Richard Wright's daughter was a bit too young to be Nancy.

There were two more men were named Thomas Wright in 1820 in Green County. Thomas Wright, over age 45, of Summersville Twp., had a daughter a bit too young to have been Nancy. A younger Thomas Wright age 16-25 (too young to consider), and Sampson Wright, age 26-45, also lived in Summersville Twp. Sampson's oldest daughter was also a bit too young to have ben Nancy.

Josiah Wright, over age 45, of Greensburgh Twp., had a female in the home the correct age to be Nancy, but since there was another adult male there over age 45, he may have been married to the female age 16-26. There were a total of six children under the age of 16 in this household. Josiah Wright married Elizabeth McCormas in 1803.

This concludes the heads of households with the Wright surname in 1820 Green County, KY. The young Thomas Wright has to be eliminated as a prospect as the father of Nancy Wright because of his youth. He is probably the Thomas Wright who married Lucinda Shofner in 1819.

After John and Nancy McCorkle’s 1824 marriage, based on the birth places of their five children, they must have immediately moved to Missouri. Although they have not been located on the 1830 census, they were enumerated in 1840 with all five of their children and his two children by Patsy Redmon. Three of his assumed children by Ann Spear were also in Clinton County, but married during the 1830's so were not in the 1840 household.

There were numerous Wright families in a three-county area in Missouri where the McCorkles lived. One strong possibility for a relationship was Thomas Q. Wright, born ca. 1795, and his wife, Lucinda Shofner, who had married in Green County, KY, in 1819. In 1850, Thomas and Lucinda lived in Clay County, MO, two households away from the Clevenger family, into which one of Patsy Redmond's daughters had married. This Wright family traces its' roots from Thomas Wright, b. ca. 1733 in Orange County, VA, through his son, Thomas Green Wright, born 1754 in Culpepper County, VA. Lucinda Shofner's mother was Elizabeth STONE, and there were several Stones living in the vicinity of the McCorkles in Missouri. By 1860, Thomas Wright had died, but Lucinda still lived in Clay County near the Clevengers.

The scant evidence that has been located concerning the Richard Wright who lived in Green County suggests that he was linked to the Wrights of Culpepper County, VA.

Another Wright family on the 1860 Clay County, MO, census, was that Francis Wright, age 37, born in KY. He lived two doors from John and Robert McCorkle, first cousins of John McCorkle who married Nancy Wright. I do not know the pedigree of this Francis Wright, but there is a Wright family from Amherst and Lancaster Counties, VA, headed by Francis E. Wright who made his will in 1767. His son, Moses Wright, died in 1833 in Adair County, KY. This Moses Wright married second Nancy Jefferson, and had five children. One was a Nancy Wright and another was James Wright, mentioned above, born 1798 in Harden County, KY, who married Nancy Jones in 1819 in Green County, KY. There are several descendents of the elder Francis E. Wright with the given name of Francis, and with Francis Wright of 1860 Clay County, MO, being so near the McCorkles, this suggests that further research into the family of Francis Wright of Clay County might be helpful.

The Harding family is mentioned above because one Lydia Harding married John Wright in 1800 in Green County, KY. This is the earliest Wright marriage listed in Green County. Some people in this family have placed Lydia as the daughter of Capt. John Harding, born ca. 1717 in Providence County, RI, and died 1783 in Green County, KY, whose wife was Sarah Mary Moss. However, Lydia Harding, daughter of Capt. John Harding, was born ca. 1762. It seems more likely that Lydia who married John Wright in 1800 was the daughter of John Harding, Jr. Nancy Wright McCorkle named her first daughter “Lydia,” and her first son “John.”

A brief note should be inserted here to say that in 2013 a great great grandchild of Nancy Wright McCorkle took a Family Finder test through FamilyTreeDNA. Five persons with ancestors named Harding or Hardin have significant matches with the participant, and Harding is the only surname they have in common. This suggests that Nancy Wright does descend from a Harding, and she is the right age to have been a daughter of Lydia Harding and John Wright who married in 1800 in Green County, KY.

Since we already know the HVR-1 and HVR-2 mitochondrial DNA signature of Nancy Wright (listed in the chart of the top of this study), it would be instructive to obtain Full Mitochondrial Sequence results from this participant and from proven maternal descendants of Sarah Moss, Lydia Elkins, Lydia Robertson, and Nancy Hayes, all of whom have been alleged in some of the 99 Trees posted on Ancestry.com as of 2013, to have been the mother of Lydia Harding who married John Wright!!

In summary, in addition to further DNA testing, the following possibilities are offered as suggestions for future research in positively identifying the parents of Nancy Wright who married John McCorkle:

  1. Daughter of Samuel Wright or Richard Wright of 1810 Green County, KY
  2. Daughter of Thomas Wright of 1820 Green County, KY
  3. Daughter of John Wright who married Lydia Harding on 27 June 1800 in Green County, KY
  4. Daughter of Josiah Wright in 1820 Green County, KY [less likely]
  5. Daughter of Mrs. Francis Smith of 1810 Green County, KY
  6. Sister of Francis Smith who md. Elizabeth M. Smith in 1818 Green County, KY
  7. Daughter of John Smith or two men named Samuel Smith of 1820 Green County, KY
  8. Sister of Thomas Q. Wright who married Lucinda Schofner on 22 March 1819 in Green County, KY, and later lived in Clay County, MO, near the cousins of John McCorkle.

John McCorkle died between 1851-1854, but Nancy Wright lived until after 1870. In 1870, Nancy Wright McCorkle lived next door to her married step-daughter, Nancy McCorkle and husband William "Andrew" Clevenger. In the Clevenger household were five orphan children of Andrew's daughter, Nancy Clevenger, by his first wife, Dorcus Garner. Nancy Clevenger had married William J. McCorkle, son of Robert McCorkle (first cousin of John McCorkle) and Lydia Tyler Forest. Nancy Wright McCorkle herself raised several natural grandchildren born to her two daughters, Eliza Ann and Eanita McCorkle. They each had three natural children.

Generation 2: Eliza Ann McCorkle, daughter of John and Nancy Wright McCorkle, was born ca. 1832 in MO. Eliza had her first of three natural children when she was about 15 years of age. She had two daughters and one son before marrying the recently immigrated Charles Davis, born 1836 in Yorkshire, England. The marriage occurred in 1856 in Clinton County, MO, when Eliza was about 24 years old and Charles was about 20 years old. (Charles served in the Union Army in the Civil War and his pension application gives pertinent family information).

Generation 3: Elizabeth “Bettie” McCorkle, natural daughter of Eliza Ann McCorkle, was born 1 March 1853 near Smithville in Platte County, MO, and died 31 July 1904 in Kansas City. She married Thomas Johnson Brooks on 4 December 1970, and they were the parents of nine children.

I am deeply indebted to the following persons who have collaborated with me during the past three decades: Rev. Louis McCorkle, Joyce T. Colwell, Marie Lewis, Fannie McCorkle Wagner, Katherine Edwards, Opal Armstrong, Josephine Tell, Joe and Mary McMillen, Mrs. John (Dana) Waldron, Roberta Hesterberg, Sue Ellen Grippando, John Hale Stutesman, Jr., Dave Woody, Roger and Sherry McCorkle, Clarence McCorkle, Cynthia Lucy Beach, Rev. Darrell McCorkell, Charles D. Musser, Jimmie L. Courtney, Juanita R. Peterson, Nancy L. Smith, Jack McCorkell, Linda Hardwicke, Inez Line Wharf, Mrs. George (Jane) Lederman, Mrs. Jewell (Virginia) Mills, Sibil Barnes Coke, Katherine Cummins, Ben Alburtis, Robert P. Addleman, and Barbara Wright.

Participant # 1965 is a member of Haplogroup H, the most common haplogroup in Western Europe.

Matches as of June 2013:

Last Updated on 6/1/2013
By Wallace W. Souder