Notes from Ada Arvilla Hamley Pearsall

Originally posted at in early 2008.
Last night, after I finished moving all the pictures to their new home, and writing my story about Ann Owram, I went to my e-mail to find a letter from Ray Todd Knight.

He is a descendant of the Wright family through Francis Wright, daughter of Thomas P. Wright and Ann Owram-Wright (from his note, I believe he is Thomas and Ann’s great, great, great grandson). He sent, with his letter, a copy of some notes from Ada Arvilla Hamley – Pearsall and a couple of photos, including the one below.

Ada was a first cousin of William Orum Wright, my great grandfather. I have seen her middle name spelled differently as either Arville and Arvilla. I have left the spelling as written by Ray.


William Henry Hamley & Francis Wright-Hamley and family

Ada would be the girl on the far right of the photo

Notes from Ada Arvilla Hamley Pearsall

Grand Mother Wright was Ann Oram before she married Grand Father Thomas P. Wright. They must have married around 1835. She was born in Lankashire, England and was one half Irish. Her grandfather was from Ireland, her mother English.

Thomas P. Wright lived in the old Wright Estate near Manchester, England. I think his father’s name was also Thomas. He married Nellie Pinington. They had three children, Thomas P., Allen, and Annie. They went to school in Manchester, where they had sand boxes to learn to make their letters.

Our Grandfather and Grandmother had five daughters and three sons. First two daughters born in England. The first one died. Her name was Libbie, and they named their second daughter Libbie also. I have no dates anyway. There was Libbie, Mary Ann, Thomas, Will, Allen, James, Fanny, and Frank by a second marriage.

I think they must have moved to America around 1840 and lived in Waukegon, IL, near Chicago. I think most of the children were born there, but later moved to Ripon, WI, where mama was born.

Elizabeth (Libbie) married John Holbrook and their children were Ellen, Fanny, Eliza, Clara, Thomas, John and Joel. She, Libbie, married in WI when mama was only a baby and moved to Salt Lake City, Utah. I guess she had a harder life and more experience then any of them. She was only 16 when she left WI and moved by ox team. They went with the Mormons, but they weren’t Mormons themselves, but went with them for protection as there would be great chains of wagons and had a Dr with them. Of course, it was a terrible long journey and Libbie got her hip broken along the way. They lived in Salt Lake City for several years and then moved to Salmon City, Idaho. Then, one year the indians were so bad they had to live in a stockade for protection. She lived to be over 80. Her name should be mentioned in the history of Idaho, as she, with some other women, made all by hand the flag of Idaho when it was admitted as a state.

Mary Ann married a Haugh, lived in Ohio and had two daughters, Emma and Bertha.

Allen married a Hunt, also lived in Ohio and had one son, Leon.

Thomas married Rosina Knespd and had two daughters, Nellie and Grace. Nellie married Jake Ellis, Laud McFarland.

Will Wright married Flora Rarndon. Their children were Thomas (Tom), Bertha, Eva, Willie and Libbie (twins), and Clara. They lived in Ohio, then came to Tennessee some time back, then moved back to Ohio.

Uncle Jim married Emily Skinner of WI. Their children were Harvey, Albert, Alice, James, Martha and Nettie. They lost two babies.

Fanny married William Henry Hamley and had Ada Arvilla, Charles Andrew and Franklin.

Uncle Frank by Grandfather’s second marriage married Elizabeth Miller and had two children, Nathan and Louise.

Uncle Tom and Jim moved to South Dakota and took claims along about 1874. Later Uncle Jim moved to Tennessee.

Ada Arvilla Hamley Pearsall

I do know Ada was in communication with my great-grandparents. I have a letter from her to them from the 60’s, and my grandmother has mentioned her when we have talked about the history of the family.

It’s also nice to finally find out where the wrongly stated Rarndon maiden name for my great great grandmother came from. I don’t know that Ada actually made the mistake or if it was made by the person reading her handwriting (if these notes weren’t typed). Ada’s handwriting in the letter I have is difficult to read. and I can see how someone could make that mistake.

I don’t know if Ada was right about Flora and William living in Ohio, moving to Tennessee and moving back to Ohio. From what I have found they married and lived in Tennessee and relocated to Norwalk in about 1911.

Another thing that is interesting in the notes is the statement “Thomas P. Wright lived in the old Wright Estate near Manchester, England. I think his father’s name was also Thomas.” According to the British History Online website there was a Thomas Wright residing in Manchester during the early part of the 1800s whose occupation was Philanthropist. This does play into my theory that we are descended from this Thomas Wright line. (In 2008, I have found that was wrong. It appears, according to the 1841 England census, that there was no Wright Estate. Thomas and his father were wire weavers, living in very common circumstances in 1841. Thomas’ father was William Wright.)


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