Thomas WRIGHT was born abt. 1833 in Clifton, Oxfordshire, England. He married Sarah KNIBBS 11 February 1861 in Deddington, Oxfordshire, England. He died 03 December 1915 in Clifton, Oxfordshire, England. Sarah KNIBBS, daughter of James KNIBBS and Mary Ann WILLS , was born bef. 02 August 1840 in Clifton, Oxfordshire, England. She died 21 September 1895 in Clifton, Oxfordshire, England.

Children of Thomas WRIGHT and Sarah KNIBBS are:
1. Hannah WRIGHT, b. bef. 21 April 1861
2. Thomas WRIGHT, b. bef. 12 June 1864
3. Henry WRIGHT, b. bet. July and September, 1865
4. Sarah WRIGHT, b. bef. 05 May 1867
5. Joseph WRIGHT, b. bef. 21 November 1869
6. Alice WRIGHT, b. bet. April and June, 1872
7. Mary Anne WRIGHT, b. bet. April and June, 1874
8. William WRIGHT, b. bet. July and September, 1875
9. Elsie May WRIGHT, b. bef. 14 October 1883

Marriage Notes for Thomas WRIGHT\Sarah KNIBBS:

Witness to the marriage was Sarah Knibbs, possibly her aunt.

Sarah and Thomas listed as of Clifton

Notes for Thomas WRIGHT:

I am extremely grateful to Jenny (Wright) Foster, who is descended from this same Wright line. Jenny has given me information going back a further couple of generations:
"In 1778 Joseph Wright married Susanna Burrows. They had four children, Thomas (who was Sarah Knibbs' father-in-law) b.1779, Benjamin b.1782 and two daughters, Mary b.1786 and Elizabeth b.1789. Jenny's great, great, great grandfather was Ben who married a Susan George in Cranfield Beds in 1810. She assumes that Ben suffered the fate of the second born son and the farm in Clifton would not support two families.
Thomas's son was born in 1805 and another Tom was born around 1834. I assume this was the Tom that married Sarah Knibbs but I think it may have been a second marriage for him. He had a younger brother, William. The next Tom was still a bachelor in the 1901 census."

Also, my thanks to Richard Wright, descended from William Wright who I believe is a brother of Joseph above. William Wright was born in 1787 at Higham Ferrers, Northamptonshire, England. He married Mary Wadsworth in 1802. They had 6 children:-
Frances b.1803, Mary (who married William Knibbs) b.1805, John b.1808, Sarah b.1810, Thomas b.1813, and Joseph b.1819. Richard who gave me this information is descended from Joseph. All of these children were born in Higham Ferrers.
Richard also tells me that most of his family between 1800 - 1915, appears to have worked in the shoe and boot trade and leather

Thomas' father was also Thomas Wright, a farmer.
The Return of Owners of Land, 1873 for Oxfordshire shows Thomas Wright as owning 57 acres of land at "Deddington". It shows a William Wrights as owning another 34 acres in "Deddington".

The 1851 census shows both this Thomas Wright who married Sarah Knibbs, his father Thomas Wright, and his grandfather Thomas Wright, all living at Clifton, Oxfordshire, England.
Firstly, Thomas and his father:
Thomas Wright Head Mar 45 Farmer 87 acres 2 labourers Oxon Clifton
Hannah Wright Wife Mar 44 Oxon Clifton
Thomas Wright Son 17 Labourer on Farm Oxon Clifton
William Wright Son 8 Scholar Oxon Clifton

then Thomas the grandfather:
Thomas Wright Head 71 Ag Lab Oxon Clifton
Elizabeth Wright Daur UnM Oxon Clifton

Thomas and Sarah appear at the 1861 census, living at Clifton, Oxfordshire, England. They were living with Thomas's parents and a younger brother:
Thomas Wright Head Mar 56 Farmer/120 Acres employs 2 men 1 boy Oxon Clifton
Hannah Wright Wife Mar 54 Oxon Clifton
William Wright Son UnM 18 Farmers Son Oxon Clifton
Thomas Wright Lodger Mar 27 Shepherd Oxon Clifton
Sarah Wright Wife Mar 20 Oxon Clifton
Hannah Wright Daur 1 mnth Oxon Clifton

We see Thomas and family in 1871, living at Clifton, Deddington, Oxfordshire:
Thomas Wright Head Mar 38 Farmer Clifton Oxon
Sarah Wright Wife Mar 30 Farmers Wife Clifton Oxon
Hannah Wright Daur 10 Scholar Clifton Oxon
Thomas Wright Son 4 Scholar Clifton Oxon
Sarah Wright Daur 4 Scholar Clifton Oxon
Joseph Wright Son 1 Clifton Oxon

Thomas and his wife Sarah appear in the 1881 census for England and Wales, living at Deddington, Oxfordshire.
Thomas Wright Head Mar 48 Farmer of 111 Acres Employing 2 Men 1 Boy Oxon Clifton
Sarah Wright Wife Mar 41 Oxon Clifton
Hannah Wright Daur 20 Oxon Clifton
Thomas Wright Son 16 Farmers Son Oxon Clifton
Sarah Wright Daur 14 Scholar Oxon Clifton
Joseph Wright Son 11 Scholar Oxon Clifton
Mary Ann Wright Daur 7 Scholar Oxon Clifton

The census identifies that he farms 111 acres and employs 2 men and 1 boy. I know that my grandfather George Levi Knibbs worked for Thomas at one time. This was too early for it to have been him, but I wonder if it was my great grandfather, Robert Knibbs (who was Thomas' father-in-law) and my grandfather's brothers William and James. All three were shown as farm labourers in 1881.

In 1891, the family was living at Clifton, Deddington, Oxfordshire:
Thomas Wright Head Mar 58 1833 Farmer Clifton Oxfordshire
Sarah Wright Wife Mar 51 1840 Clifton Oxfordshire
Thomas Wright Son S 26 1865 Farmers Son Clifton Oxfordshire
Sarah Wright Daughter S 24 1867 Clifton Oxfordshire
Polly Wright Daughter S 17 1874 Clifton Oxfordshire
Elsie Wright Daughter S 17 1884 Clifton Oxfordshire
Pelton Gibbons Son In Law Mar 34 1857 Teacher C M School Board London Sutton Surrey
Hannah Gibbons Daughter Mar 30 1861 Clifton Oxfordshire
Thomas P Gibbons Son 3 1888 Sutton Surrey
Percy W Gibbons Son 2 1889 Sutton Surrey
Stanley Gibbons Son 1 1891 Sutton Surrey

The following can be seen at the 1901 census, living at Clifton.
Thomas Wright 67 Oxford Clifton Oxfordshire Deddington Farmer
Sarah Wright 30 Oxford Clifton Oxfordshire Deddington House Keeper
Thomas Wright 35 Oxford Clifton Oxfordshire Deddington Farmers Son
Mary Wright 26 Oxford Clifton Oxfordshire Deddington
Elsie Wright 17 Oxford Clifton Oxfordshire Deddington

In 1911, we still see Thomas living at Clifton with three of his children, and still running the farm:
Thomas Wright Head Widr 77 Farmer Clifton Deddington Oxon
Thomas Wright Son S 46 Worker on Farm Clifton Deddington Oxon
Sarah Wright Daur S 40 House Keeper Clifton Deddington Oxon
Elsie May Wright Daur S 27 Dairy Work Clifton Deddington Oxon

Barbara Stacey remembers that when visiting her grandmother Elizabeth Knibbs (nee Markham) she would leave the train at Aynho railway station and walk up to Clifton village, popping in to see Sarah Wright at the farm. She also remembers watching the butter being churned in the dairy.

Amongst the employees working on Thomas' farm was George Levi Knibbs, my grandfather, and Thomas' nephew. George worked for Thomas between 1888-1895 and was given a glowing reference in 1895.

The house in the foreground is 1 Victoria Terrace, Clifton (click to enlarge) where the parents of Thomas Wright's wife Hannah lived.
The Chapel at the far end is St James Chapel. The land on which it is built was given by Mr Wright of St James Farm, Clifton, when it was built in 1851.

The above shows a separate picture of St James Chapel (click to enlarge)

The Deddington OnLine Web Site
tells us that the site of the Chapel of St James at Deddington (now a commercial building) was believed to have been given by Mr Wright of St James Farm, Clifton, when it was built in 1851.
I believe that this Mr Wright was Thomas' father. The chapel was consecrated on 10th June 1853. Because of declining congregations, it was closed in 1976, when the cross was given to Deddington Secondary School and, after that closed, to the Warriner School, Bloxham. The communion silver and linen were presented to the Bishop of Zaire, for use in his new cathedral in Boga.

Sources for Thomas WRIGHT:

  1. Oxfordshire Parish Register - Deddington,
  2. 1901 British Census,
  3. Cemetery Inscription, from a photo of Thomas' headstone 
  4. 1911 British Census,
  5. 1861 British Census,

Notes for Sarah KNIBBS:

Sources for Sarah KNIBBS:

  1. Oxfordshire Parish Register - Deddington,
  2. GRO England & Wales, GRO England & Wales gives 3Qtr1840 
  3. Cemetery Inscription, date taken from the headstone 
  4. 1901 British Census,

Notes for Hannah WRIGHT:

Hannah married a man named Henry Gibbons at Deddington, Oxfordshire, England on 4 Aug 1886:
GIBBONS Henry Pelton, 30, bach, schoolmaster, Sutton Surrey, s. John (deceased) lime merchant
WRIGHT Hannah, 25, sp., Clifton, d. Thomas, farmer
Wit: Henry George KNIBBS Sarah Wright
Note: Henry George KNIBBS was Hannah's 2nd cousin

The name "Pelton" is from Henry's mother's surname. His parents were John Gibbons and Ann Eliza Pelton, and they were married in the East London District, Middlesex, England during q4/1851. The 1881 census return states that he was born in Sutton, Surrey, and at that time, he gave his occupation as Certified School Teacher. He and his mother were living at 75 Lyndhurst Rd., Camberwell, Surrey.

We know that in 1891, Hannah, Pelton and their children were living or staying with Hannah's parents at Clifton. See under Hannah's father, Thomas Wright above for a complete listing of the household. Hannah and Pelton had 3 children at this time, and Pelton's occupation was given as 'Teacher C M School Board London'

This family appears in the 1901 census living at the California Hotel, Brighton Road, Sutton, Surrey:
Pelton H Gibbons Head Married 44 Hotel Proprietor Surrey Sutton
Hannah Gibbons Wife Married 40 Oxon Clifton Deddington
Thomas P Gibbons Son 13 Surrey Sutton
Percy W Gibbons Son 12 Surrey Sutton
Stanley W Gibbons Son 10 Surrey Sutton
Harry E Gibbons Son 9 Surrey Sutton
Muriel G S Gibbons Daur 6M Surrey Sutton
William H Brian Visitor Single 24 Commercial Clerk Oxon Banbury
Maud A Poole Servant Single 21 barmaid London Kings Cross
Edith Girling Servant Single 15 General Servant Domestic Surrey Cheam

The California Arms was built by Pelton Gibbons father, John Gibbons, in Sutton, Surrey in about 1859 and we can see from various census returns that for a while, it was run by Pelton and his wife Hannah. Whilst the "California" itself has disappeared, the name lives on by way of the nearby block of flats, California Court, and also the recent California Close development in Belmont village. There's also a road named Pelton Avenue.
I'm told that the Gibbons family built several properties in the area and two of them still carry the house names of "Clifton" and "Deddington", no doubt named after Hannah's place of birth.

It's also interesting to note that William H Brain was visiting the hotel at the time of the 1901 census and somehow or other was intoduced to and married Hannah's younger sister, Mary Ann Wright in April 1902.

The Belmont Local History website is highly recommended as a site to visit as it has fascinating facts and history about the Gibbons family, and the California Arms.

In 1911, we see this family living at The Cottage, Brighton Road, Sutton, Surrey:
Pelton H Gibbons Head Married M 54 Refreshment Contractor Sutton Surrey
Hannah Gibbons Married (24 years) F 50 Clifton Peddington
Stanley W Gibbons Son Single M 21 Minicipal Engineer Sutton Surrey
Harry E Gibbons Single M 19 Unemployed Sutton Surrey
Grace S Gibbons Daughter Single F 10 School Sutton Surrey
Thomas Pelton Gibbons Son Single M 23 Mechanical Engineer Sutton Surrey

Hannah died aged 67. Her husband Pelton died during q4/1935 aged 79 in the Surrey Mid. East District

Sources for Hannah WRIGHT:

  1. 1901 British Census,
  2. FreeBMD,
  3. Oxfordshire Parish Register - Deddington,

Notes for Thomas WRIGHT:

I don't know if Thomas ever married but see that he was still single in 1911.

Sources for Thomas WRIGHT:

  1. Oxfordshire Parish Register - Deddington,
  2. 1901 British Census,
  3. 1911 British Census,

Notes for Henry WRIGHT:

Sources for Henry WRIGHT:

  1. GRO England & Wales,
  2. Oxfordshire Parish Register - Deddington,

Notes for Sarah WRIGHT:

Barbara Stacey (Sarah's cousin's daughter) remembers visiting Sarah at the farm and distinctly remembers that Sarah had an incredibly loud voice. As far as I'm aware, Sarah never married.

Sources for Sarah WRIGHT:

  1. Oxfordshire Parish Register - Deddington,
  2. 1901 British Census,
  3. 1911 British Census,

Notes for Joseph WRIGHT:

In 1891, we see Joseph living at Pelton Villas, Brighton Road, Sutton, Surrey, lodging with Ann Eliza Gibbons, the mother-in-law of his sister, Hannah:
Ann Eliza Gibbons Head Wid 76 Living on her own means London Cripplegate
Henry Jones Lodger Mar 28 Baker Cheam Surrey
Ann Jones Lodger Mar 23 Kent Brockenham(?)
Joseph Wright Boarder UnM 21 Railway Clerk Oxfordshire Clifton

Interestingly, Pelton ((the name of where they were living) was the maiden name of Ann Eliza Gibbons, Joseph's sister Hannah's mother-in-law who he was living with, also, the Christian name of Hannah's husband.

Joseph married Eleanor Ann Barker at Epsom District, Surrey during q3/1899.

He appears in Banstead, Surrey in the 1901 census, working as a Railway Clerk. He was living with his parents-in-law at Warren Farm, Banstead, Surrey:
Joseph Barker Head Widower 56 Farm Bailiff Bratoft(?) Linc
Mary Jane Barker Niece S 16 Housemaid Domestic Chalterer(?) Camb
Joseph Wright Son in Law M 31 Clerk Railway Clifton Deddington Oxon Surrey Banstead
Eleanor A Wright Daur M 28 Bourne Linc
Thomas J Wright Grandson 4 months Belmont Surrey
Mary A Endorby Cousin S 29 Burgh Linc
Sydney Edlin Wid 51 Labourer on Farm Harefield Middlesex
Henry Hardy S 28 Labourer on Farm Marston Kent
Joseph Rebell M 30 Labourer on Farm Hayes Kent
Rose Rebell Wife M 28 Labourer on Farm Bromley Kent
Grace Rebell Daur 8 Bromley Kent
Thomas Parker M 58 Labourer on Farm Norwood Surrey
Mary A Parker Wife M 56 Labourer on Farm East Molesey Surrey
Thomas Parker Son S 16 Labourer on Farm Epsom Surrey
Arthur Bishop S 32 Labourer Agric(?) Dorking Surrey
William Bishop S 19 Labourer Agric(?) Dorking Surrey
William Eacott S 50 Labourer Agric(?) Weston Berks
Henry Williams S 50 Labourer Agric(?) Newport Isle of Wight
Mark Collins S 63 Labourer Agric(?) Horsham Sussex
John Learney(?) S 50 Labourer Agric(?) Ireland
Patsey Bryan M 50 Labourer Agric(?) Kingstown Ireland
Carny(?) Bryan S 21 Labourer Agric(?) Kingstown Ireland
Thomas Watt S 44 Labourer Agric(?) Co Dublin Ireland

We know from an address found in the address book of Howard Ernest Roberts of Connecticut, that Joseph Wright and his wife lived for some time at 4 Bletchingley Road, South Merstham, Surrey, England, which is where they were living at the time of the 1911 census return:
Joseph Wright Head Married M 41 Accountants Clerk Oxon Clifton Deddington
Eleanor Ann Wright Wife Married (11 years) F 38 Lincolnshire Bourne
Thomas Joseph Wright Son M 10 School Surrey Belmont
Harry William Wright Son M 8 School Surrey Banstead
Kathleen May Wright Daughter F 1 Surrey Merstham

Joseph was a nephew of Howard Ernest Wright's grandfather, James Knibbs who emigrated to Connecticut in the 1850's.

Sources for Joseph WRIGHT:

  1. 1891 British Census,
  2. Oxfordshire Parish Register - Deddington,
  3. 1901 British Census,
  4. 1911 British Census,

Notes for Alice WRIGHT:

Sources for Alice WRIGHT:

  1. GRO England & Wales,
  2. Oxfordshire Parish Register - Deddington,

Notes for Mary Anne WRIGHT:

Also known as: Polly

In the 1891 census return, Mary was listed as Polly, so I presume that was how she was affectionately known in the family.

From the Banbury Beacon, Saturday 26 April 1902:
CLIFTON. Marriage of Miss M. A. Wright. On Tuesday week Clifton was all astir in consequence of the marriage of Miss M. A. Wright, third daughter of Ur. Thomas Wright, of St. James’ Farm, to Mr. W. H. Brain, of Belmont, Surrey, eldest son of Mr. George ...


Mary Ann married William Henry Brain at Deddington, Oxfordshire, England on 15 Apr 1902:
BRAIN William Henry, 25, bach., postmaster, Belmont, Sutton, Surrey, s. George, seedsman
WRIGHT Mary Ann, 28, sp., Clifton, d Thomas, farmer
Wit: Elsie May WRIGHT Thomas Wright

Mary's husband can be seen living in Banbury before they married:
William Brain 22 London Lambeth Oxford Neithrop Post Office Assistant

William was born in q2/1877 in Banbury but was living at Sutton, Surrey at the time he married Mary. His parents were George and Isabella Brain. In 1881 they were living at 34 Bridge St., Banbury, Oxford, England.

It's interesting to note that in 1901, William was staying at the California Arms public house/hotel at Sutton, Surrey, run by his future wife's sister Hannah and her husband Pelton Gibbons.
The Post Office & General Store, just a few doors down the road from the California Arms, was taken over by William Henry Brain and Mary Ann, we think at some time in 1901/02.

The Belmont Local History website is highly recommended as a site to visit as it has fascinating facts about the shop/post office that was run for several years by William Brain and his wife Mary.

We can see Mary and her husband in 1911, living at Murswell Lane, Silverstone, Towcester, Northamptonshire:
William Henry Brain Head Married M 34 Carpenter Oxon Banbury
Mary Brain Wife Married (9 Years) F 36 Oxon Clifton
Margaret Roughton Boarder Single F 24 School Mistress Northants Kettering
Ellen Wilkins Boarded Single F 19 School Mistress Leicester Loughboro

I believe that Henry and Mary may well have had a son named George W Brain, born in Towcester District during q3/1912.

Sources for Mary Anne WRIGHT:

  1. GRO England & Wales,
  2. Oxfordshire Parish Register - Deddington,

Notes for William WRIGHT:

Sources for William WRIGHT:

  1. GRO England & Wales,
  2. Oxfordshire Parish Register - Deddington,

Notes for Elsie May WRIGHT:

The following was discovered in the address book of Howard Ernest Roberts in Connecticut (1885-1961), between the names and addresses of Miss Sarah Wright and Mr & Mrs Joseph Wright, which I take to be Elsie May's sister and brother.
Mrs William J Richardson

Elsie May Wright would have been a neice of Howard's grandfather James Knibbs who emigrated to Connecticut in the mid-1850's.

The above entry in Howard's address book allowed me to find that Elsie May Wright married a man named William J Richardson during q2/1922 at Woodstock District, Oxfordshire.

Sources for Elsie May WRIGHT:

  1. Oxfordshire Parish Register - Deddington,
  2. 1911 British Census,