Research: Thomas Wright

My 3x great uncle Thomas Wright was born in 1881 in Burton Pidsea, East Yorkshire. He was the second youngest of 4 known children; Timothy (1878-1950), Mary Ann (1879-1966), Thomas (1881-1937) and Charles (1885-1960). Their parents were Thomas and Isabella Wright (nee Thompson).

At the time of the 1881 census, Thomas, who was recorded as being an infant under 12 months old, was living with his parents and 2 siblings on Nancy Row in Burton Pidsea. It appears that there was also a 33 year old Nurse called Frances Borrel living with the family. She also has the abbreviation S.M.S next to her occupation, which stood for Subsidiary Medical Services, which means that Frances may not have had any formal qualifications or training to be a Nurse.

In 1891 Thomas was living with his parents and siblings in Burton Pidsea. He was just 10 years old.

In 1901 Thomas was 19 years old. He was living with his parents in Burton Pidsea. Thomas was recorded as being a Carrier, which was also the occupation of his father. Thomas at this time was working for his father. The photograph below shows the cart that Thomas Sr. and Jr. used during their time as Market Carriers.

The Wright’s Market Carrier Cart

According to one of Thomas’ grandsons, who later took over the Carrier business, it used to take 5 hours to get to Hull from Burton Pidsea, using the horse and cart and probably including some stops along the way. This seems like a very long time, especially since we are used to driving the same distance (approximately 11.3 miles) in about 20 minutes. The roads back in Thomas’ day were very different to the roads that we are familiar with today, meaning that the driver would have been driving slower than usual, in order to account for the condition of the roads. It was very easy for a horse to stumble or for the cart to fall over. A horse and cart on today’s roads would probably do this journey in about 3 hours at an average speed of about 4 mph, which would be about double the speed that they would have been travelling in the past.

On 26th July 1910, Thomas Wright married Annie Medforth in Burton Pidsea. Charles was 29 years old and Annie was 21. I haven’t currently got a wedding photograph, but the photographs below do show the couple.

The couple went on to have 6 known children; Edith Mary (1910-1922), Charles Henry (1912-1996), George Thomas (1918-1946), Ronald (1919-1947), William Leonard (1925-2008) and John Edward (1929-2017).

On the 1911 Census, Thomas was living with his wife, Annie, and first child, Edith, on Blacksmith Row in Burton Pidsea. He was recorded as being a Farm Labourer. Thomas’ house on Blacksmith row consisted of 3 rooms (including the kitchen, but not including possible sculleries, landings, lobbies, closets and bathrooms).

The image below shows the signature of Thomas. The 1911 census was the first census record, in which residents filled out the form themselves, meaning that we can see our ancestor’s handwriting and signatures. Notice that Thomas wrote “Jr.” (Junior) at the end of his name, as his father also shared the name.

As previously mentioned, Thomas did work for his father as a Market Carrier, but the family business was passed down to Thomas’ son Charles Henry Wright, after my 3x great grandfather Thomas Sr., and Thomas Jr. both passed away. Charles Henry carried the business on and eventually passed the business down to his son. The photograph below shows all three of them on a part of their land in Burton Pidsea, working as Agricultural Labourers.

Charles Henry’s son told me that the younger generation of Wrights only ever took over the business after the older generation had passed away and they didn’t really work for their fathers whilst they were still actively working. This may have been because there could have been only one cart?

Charles, Thomas Sr. and Thomas Jr. Wright (3 generations) in Burton Pidsea, East Yorkshire.

Thomas sadly passed away on 18th June 1937 in Burton Pidsea aged 56 years old. I am unsure of what Thomas died as a result of. He was later buried at St. Peter and St. Paul’s Church in Burton Pidsea.

Please contact me if you know anything else about Thomas Wright and his family, as I would love to learn more about him.

Thank you very much for reading,


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