Elijah R. Wright
Minerva Gwin

Page Updated September 2016
following my research trip to Orange, Crawford, Harrison, and Washington counties, IN

Updated in Aug 2016
with speculations and a map in preparation for my trip to Orange County

Updated and color coded in Feb 2015

Updated several times in Jun 2013
  Updated Thanksgiving Weekend 2012

The updating of the numbering system used on this page has been completed. Generation 28 is my own;
27 is that of my parents; 29 is that of my children, etc.  --   John M. Gwin, Mar 2009

The reformatting of the name font and census data for this page has been completed. --John M. Gwin, Aug 2011

Return to Isham and Mary Canterbury Gwin Page

See Isham's farm in Crowson's Cove, Sevier Co., TN,
where Manerva was born and lived her first six years

1.  My 5th Cousin Jim Wall opened the door as my first contact into Minerva's parents' descendants.
2.  Census records accessed through Ancestry.com provided invaluable help in tracing family.
3.  My 4th cousin once removed, Doris Cooper Gyarmati, contacted us with information she had collected.
4.  Thanksgiving weekend 2012, while Googling descendants' names, I found the obituary of my 5th cousin Darlene Stalcup Gill and became Facebook friends with her husband, Dwayne Gill.
5.  In August 2016, I visited the Genealogy Department of the Stevens Memorial Museum at the John Hay Center in Salem, Washington Co., IN, where docent Jeremy Elliott and others helped me find material on the Unity Baptist Church where Tom and Polly (Gwin) Walker; her parents, and several of her siblings were once received into membership (see green box just below map, below).

An Outline of the Known Family

21.00--Mr. Wright m. Mrs. Wright (nee unk.)
22.00--Mr. Wright m. Mrs. Wright (nee unk.)

23.01--Mr. Wright m. Mrs. Wright (nee unk.)

23.02--Mr. Wright m. Mrs. Wright (nee unk.)

23.03--Mr. Wright m. Mrs. Wright (nee unk.)

23.04--Mr. Wright m. Mrs. Wright (nee unk.)

23.05--Mr. Wright m. Mrs. Wright (nee unk.)

23.06--Mr. Wright m. Mrs. Wright (nee unk.)


23.00--Elijah Wright m. Minerva Gwin

21.00--Richard Gwin m. Sarah Chesley
22.00--Isham Gwin m. Mary Canterbury
23.01--Polly Gwin m. Thomas Walker, Jr.

23.02--Elizabeth Gwin m. David Denton

23.03--William Gwin m. Susanna Beard

23.04--John Gwin m. Jane Walker
23.06--Isham Gwin II m. (Betsy Snowden/Mary Likens)
23.07--(Chesley?) Gwin m. unk.

23.08--Richard Walton Gwin m. Nancy Watkins

23.09--Nancy Gwin m. Squire Houston

23.10--Sarah Gwin m. William M. Houston
23.11--Minerva Gwin m. Elijah Wright
23.12--Mahala Gwin m. John B. Houston
Meet the seven (or eight?) known children of Elijah and Minerva:
24.01--Ruth Ann Wright 
(ca. 1829 - ca. 1860-70) m. Young Childers
24.02--Susan Wright (ca. 1831 - unk.)
m. unk.
24.03--Isom G. Wright (ca. 1832 - unk.) m1. Millie Childers, m2. Catherine Spiker
24.04--Mary Jane Wright (ca. 1833 - 1891) m. Charles Stalcup, m2. Henry Stalcup
24.05--Benjamin Wright (ca. 1836 - bef. 1870) m. Rebecca A. (nee unk.) ca. 1836
24.06--Bazle (Basil?) Wright (unk. - unk.) m. unk.
24.07--Leander (H.?) Wright (1839 - 1909) m. perhaps Ellen Crandall
(1845 - unk.)
m. Sarah A. Hammond

23.11--Minerva Gwin, b. 1807-1811 on her parents' 249-acre farm in Crowson's Cove, aka the Wear Valley, Sevier Co., TN; d. after 1850; bd. unk., but assumed to be buried on the Orange Co. family farm of her parents, Isham and Mary Canterbury Gwin, where she was living as a widow (with her children and mother) and was listed as head of household in 1850; m. 31 Jul 1827 in Orange Co., IN, to Elijah Wright (b. 1804?; d. betw. 15 Mar 1842 [the date he bought fr. his wife's sister and her husband--Sarah and William Houston--the SE quarter {160 acres} of T1S/R2E/S20 on the Orange/Crawford county line] and the 1850 census (see photo below where Minerva, 39, appears as a widow); bd. unk.; at least seven known ch.
[listed as Manervy Right, age 39 and b. in TN, in 15 Aug 1850 census of res. #33 of the Southeast Twp., Orange Co., IN]

[listed as Elijah R. Right, age 20-29, with one daughter age 0-4, with wife age 15-19, in the 1930 census of Orange Co., IN, and lvg. next door to Isom Gwin, age 60-69]
[listed as Elija Right, age 30-39, with 3 male children (two 0-4 and one 5-9), two female children (5-9 and 10-14), with two adult women (20-29 and 60-69), in the 1840 census of Orange Co., IN]
[Elijah is alive on 15 Mar 1842, the date he bought fr. his wife's sister and her husband (Sarah and William Houston) the SE 1/4 (160 ac.) of T1S/R2E/S20 on the Orange/Crawford co. line.]
[Elijah is not listed and presumed deceased in 15 Aug 1850 census of res. #33 of the Southeast Twp., Orange Co., IN.]
[John M. Gwin Note:  I've found two Elijah [Rights] of about the same ages in the 1830 census of Orange Co., IN. One is living next to Isom Gwin (this is ours, I'm quite sure) and the other is living two doors from Jonathan Wright.  I've also found an Elijah Wright on Findagrave.com, b. 1804 in KY; d. 28 Feb 1844; bd. Liberty Cem., Orleans, Orange Co., IN--Find A Grave Memorial# 67441965.  His parents are listed there as Jonathan Wright (1772-1838) and Sarah (nee Reed) Wright (1778-1840).  Granted, the dates of birth and death for this Elijah fit for him to be either Minerva Gwin's husband or the other Elijah, since she was born a few years after this Elijah and is listed as a widow in 1850, some six years after this Elijah's death. But because he is the son of Jonathan, I do not believe him to be our Elijah but the other.]

[JMG Note: I got Elijah's and Minerva's children's names from Isham's 1855 probate record; Elijah's first name is from Doris Gyarmati (see note in 1850 census chart below).
someone logged in Minerva's and Elijah's marriage date on this USGenNet website:
Wright, Elijah m. Crawford, Lucinda    08-05-1823
Wright, Elijah m. Grew?, Minira
The second entry above just HAS to be Minerva Gwin--THANK you to this unknown researcher and contributor!  (:-)
Further, if both of these Elijahs are the same person--and I believe they are--then he was married twice, Minerva being his second wife, the marriages being about four years apart.

Many more related marriages from this good website are listed in the outline below as well.]

Above is part of a page of the 1850 census of Orange Co., IN, comprising the names of 20 of my relatives, including Gggg-grandmother Mary Canterbury Gwin.  All four of the households listed are those of descendants of Isom and Mary Gwin.   My transcription of that page follows:

POB John M. Gwin Comments
33 33
Manervy Right 39 f
$600 TN Minerva Wright is the subject of this page
and Isom and Mary Gwin's 11th born.

Ruth Right 21 f

IN Isom's and Mary's grandchild

Susan Right 19 f

IN Isom's and Mary's grandchild

Benjamin Right 14 m

IN Isom's and Mary's grandchild

Leander Right 10 m

IN Isom's and Mary's grandchild

Elijah Wright 5 m

IN Isom's and Mary's grandchild

Mary Gwyn 80 f

VA Mary Canterbury Gwin herself
34 34
Richard Wright 24 m

IN Isom's and Mary's grandchild

Martha Right 22 f

IN Isom's and Mary's grandchild-in-law

Sarah Right 3 f

IN Isom's and Mary's great-grandchild

Thomas Right 6/12 m

IN Isom's and Mary's great-grandchild
35 35
David Denton 72 m farmer $50 VA Isom's and Mary's son-in-law

Elizabeth Denton 63 f

TN Isom's and Mary's second born
36 36
Thomas Denton 30 m farmer $200 IN Isom's and Mary's grandchild

Fanny M. Denton 30 f

UNK Isom's and Mary's grandchild-in-law

Rebecca Denton 9 f

IN Isom's and Mary's great-grandchild

Joel Denton 7 m

IN Isom's and Mary's great-grandchild

Isom Denton 5 m

IN Isom's and Mary's great-grandchild

Cynthia Denton 3 f

IN Isom's and Mary's great-grandchild

Liza Ann Denton 8/12 f

IN Isom's and Mary's great-grandchild

          It is this very document that has led us to the following speculations. 
1.  First of all, we know that Isom and Mary disposed of (most likely sold) their 249-acre plantation in Crowson's Cove--today's Wear's Cove--Sevier Co., TN, and moved to Indiana. 
2.  We have believed all along that he must have reinvested the money from the sale of his farm and bought land in Indiana.
3.  From his will, we also know that Isom died in December 1830, some 20 years before this census.
4.  From the record books of Providence Church located near today's Fargo, Greenfield Township, Orange Co., IN, we know
     a.  that the church was founded 7 Aug 1819,
     b.  that on 4 Sep 1819 Isom was called to preach at Providence from El Bethel,
     c.  that by 2 Oct 1819, Isom had accepted the call, moved to Providence, and been chosen to served as moderator at their business meeting on that day, and
     d.  that Isom is mentioned as serving as moderator at the meetings held on the first Saturdays in Nov, Mar, May, Aug, and Oct 1821; Feb, Mar, Apr, and May 1822; and Mar 1826.
5.  From the record books of Unity Church record books, we know that
     a.  "Isom Gwinn" and "Mary Gwinn" were received into fellowship at Unity Church in "Sept. 1825 by letter" where they remained until they were dismissed "by death".
     b.   "Elijah Wright" and "Manerva Wright" were received into fellowship at Unity Church some ten years later in "Jan. 1835 by letter" where they remained, Elijah until he was dismissed "by death" and Manerva until an unstated date and time.
4.  Because he left Providence Primitive Baptist (click here, scroll to page 46), the church he helped found and for which he served over ten years as its first pastor, and because we cannot find his or his wife's grave in the cemetery of that church, we speculate that they are buried on the land he bought. 
          We know that his wife Mary was listed in the 1850 census as "blind" and speculate that daughter Minerva, also a widow, moved "back home" sometime before this census to care for her aging mother, as shown here.  Because the land is listed as Minerva's and its value as $600, we also speculate that Mary must have given/sold the farm to Minerva.  We also speculate that David and Elizabeth Gwin Denton, whom we know moved to Indiana with Isom and Mary, must have bought their land abutting Isom's and Mary's, and now in their old age and living alone, have given/sold most of it to their son Thomas.  Finally, we speculate that if we can find Isom's and Mary's deed to this land and ascertain the land's location, we'll find their graves.
          Now we see that the above paragraph's text (reduced in size and in italics) may not be the case at all.  It now appears that the quarter section (160 acres) of land (the SE 1/4 of section 20, T1S and R2E) was sold by William and Sarah (Gwin) Houston to Elijah R. Wright, Minerva (Gwin) Wright's husband, in 1842.  We know that Elijah died before the 1850 census, since Minerva is listed there as a widow. 
          We also know that this same 160-acre parcel of land was sold by Charles M. and 24.04--Mary J. Stalcup on 15 Apr 1854 to 24.03--Isom G. Wright, husband of Millie Childers Wright, Mary Stalcup's older brother.
          So IT SEEMS TO ME TO BE JUST AS PLAUSIBLE to speculate that in 1850, Minerva and her kids were living on their own farm--i. e., this same 160-acre quarter section of Sect. 20--and that they took in Minerva's 80-year-old mother, Mary Canterbury Gwin, to live with them.  IF THIS IS THE CASE, however, we still do not know what happened to Isham's and Mary's farm.  It also means that Isham and/or Mary could be buried on their own farm or on Elijah's and Minerva's farm.
--John M. Gwin     

     In August 2016, in preparation to visit this property, I used two online maps to create the map below.  To get to the 160-acre SE quarter of section 20 purchased by Elijah Wright on 15 Mar 1842 and perhaps  still owned by Minerva Wright at the 1850 census, (T1S/R2E/S20, SE 1/4), from Valeene, take 725 S to the northeast 2.3 miles to 575 E, which take to the right 0.6 miles to 775 S.  Turn left on 775 S and stay on the blacktop for an estimated 2.5 miles, turning left at the tee onto 950 S.  A quarter mile later, the blacktop angles to the northeast for about a block.  THIS ANGLE MARKS THE CENTER OF SECTION 20 AND THE NE CORNER OF THE WRIGHTS' 160 ACRES.  The blacktop continues along 950 S to the Crawford Co. line, marking generally the northern boundary of the Wright property.
      The county line drops due south, forming the eastern boundary of their property.
      Meanwhile, returning to the angle marking the NE corner, a dirt road (750 E) drops due south for a half mile, forming the western boundary to the property. 
      Then another dirt road (1000 S) goes due east for almost a quarter mile, forming the western end of the southern boundary to the property.  This road angles to the SW, then returns to its basically eastern direction to the Crawford Co. line.

        In speculating where on this property the family in 1850-1860 might have buried family members, it seemed to me that higher ground would be preferable to lowlands where the creek could flood.  So, using an online topo map, I sketched in the two highest points on the property: the smaller knob at the 750-foot elevation on the north side of the NW 1/4, and the larger ridge at the 800-foot elevation on the southern side of the SE 1/4.  The former appears to be cleared land north of the residence, while the latter appears to be forested land away from dwellings.  My plan is to first ask the locals if they know of any graves on the property.  In the event they do not, I plan to get permission to search both of these higher elevations.


1.  A Samuel McGhee sold it to William Houston, husb. of 23.10--Sarah (Gwin) Houston, on 19 May 1831.

2.  Wm. and Sarah (Gwin) Houston sold it to Elijah R. Wright , husb. of 23.11--Minerva (Gwin) Wright, on 15 Mar 1842.  Sarah and Minerva are sisters, daughters of Isom

        Sometime between 1842 and the 1850 census, Elijah Wright dies.

        In that 1850 census, Minerva Gwin Wright, his widow, is living with her blind, 80-year-old mother, Mary Canterbury Gwin, but it is not clear if Mary has moved in with Minerva on THIS land or if Minerva and family have moved into her mother’s house on Mary’s and Isham’s land somewhere else.

3.  Somehow, between the 1850 census and 15 April 1854, the date of the sale in #4 below--and we have no documentation of this--Elijah's and Minerva's daughter, Mary Jane, and son-in-law, Charles M. Stalcup, came into possession of the property.  Perhaps Minerva died; perhaps she became unable to handle her own affairs; we just don't know.

4.  Keeping the land in the family, Charles M. and 24.04--Mary J. Stalcup sold it to 24.03--Isom G. Wright on 15 Apr 1854.