All religion in earlier times played a much greater part in the lives of folks than it does now.....some, more than others.The Quaker faith was one that influenced most every aspect of daily life.... many times it determined where people lived, why they moved and where they moved.Apparently your folks started out in Chester County, Pennsylvania, so that would be a good place to start your reading.
James Wright (father of Ann Wright McCoole) was originally from Chester Co, PA, and a member of the New Garden MM where he was appointedthe meeting recorder in 1721.He lived in East Nottingham twp, where he paid taxes from 1718 through 1726.In 1701 he married Mary Bowater of Manoaken, MD,.James’ wife is often thought to be a Mary Davis, but this seems to havebeen disproven by Stewart Baldwin in "The American Genealogist", July/Oct. 1997 issue. Marywas a Bowater based on multiple pieces of evidence. Mary Wright's birthdate is listed in Feb. 12, 1689 in Hopewell Quaker records. This is off by a 1 day from being Mary Bowater's actual birthdate in English records if the 1689 date is interpreted as 1688/1689. As an orphaned young woman, Mary Bowater was received on certificate from England to live near her brother, Thomas in the Philadelphia Monthly Meeting records dated 28 4th month 1706. This is the only time she is mentioned in this country under her maiden name. By 26 11th mo 1708/9 in Philadelphia records Mary condemned her marriage as contrary to discipline. This record coincides with the estimated marriage date for Mary and James Wright. Although the Quaker records were destroyed for the time period of their marriage, later marriage records of Mary and James Wright's children include many Bowater relatives as witnesses and do not include any Davis relatives. Mary and James Wright were also listed in the relatives column for her brother, Thomas Bowater's daughter's marriage. Lastly, they have a grandson named Bowater.).
Sometime after 1727, when James was released from the position of recorder for the New Garden MM, the family moved to the Monacacy River area of Frederick Co, Md, but was in Orange Co, VA (now Fredrick) by 1736, when he signed a petition to build a road.He received a Fairfax grand for 161 acres adjacent to his son James Wright, Jr., and 194 acres, located on Va 739 (Apple Pye Ridge), and Highway 672 (Braddock’s Rd) about 4 miles North of Winchester, Va.His will was proved in Frederick Co in March of 1760,. I, James Wright of Opeckan in the county of Frederick and colony of Virginia being aged, but of a sound and well diposing mind and memory do make this as my last will and testament hereby revoking and disanulling all other wills that have heretofore been made or done by me. First, my will is that my body be decently buried and all my just debt and funeral charges I leave to be defrayed at the discretion of my executrix hereinafter mentioned. Secondly, I give bequeath and demise unto my son Thomas Wright the land plantation wheron I now dwell with all the buildings and improvements and appurtenances thereunto belonging the which I bequeath and demise to the proper use and behoff of him, his heirs and assigns forever, it being 194 acres of patent land and he to be in full possession therof during his natural life. I also give and bequeath unto my wife all my goods and chattels and all my personal estate wither for a comfortable maintenance during her life or else to dispose among her children as in discretion she shall think fit or when and where she shall think fit only paying to our ten children each of them five shillings Virginia currency viz: John, James, Isaac, Lydia Wright, Mary Ballinger, Hannah Ballinger, Martha Mendenhall, Elizabeth Matthews, Ann McCool, and Sarah Pickering. Lastly, I ordain and constitute my loving and well beloved wife, Mary Wright, sole executrix of this my last will and testament witness my hand and seal, dated Opeckan aforesaid this 14th day of this 8th month, October, 1751. Signed: James Wright Be it further remembered that I would have no appraisement upon my goods. Be it further remembered that there is 160 acres of land lately surveyed at the south side of the above said tract 60 whereof I add to the side tract lying along the said land the which I demise as above to my son Thomas Wright, this before sealing acknowledgement. In the other 100 acres I leave to my wife's disposal after my decease as also the 300 acres lately surveyed lying by Thomas Thornburgh, upon Middle Creek. Signed: J. Wright I would have no appraisement upon my goods, witness my hand and seal this 30th day of April, 1753.Wife Mary died before1764 whenher will was proved.THE HISTORICAL RECORDS OF OLD FREDERICK COUNTY VA,by Kerns says “Wright, James b 1675 d 15th day 5th mo, 1759, Frederick Co, Va.James was a Quaker minister.His wife Maryand he were among the first settlers in Opeckon Settlemant, in 1735, Old Orange Co, Va.”
Mary ‘s will;I, Mary Wright, of Frederick County in the Colony of Virginia, being aged and sickly but of a sound and well disposing mind and memory do make this my last will and testament hereby revoking and disanulling all other wills that have heretofore been made or done by me. First, my will is that my body be decently buried and that all my just debts and funeral charges that I leave to be defrayed at the discretion of my executors hereafter named. Secondly, I give and bequeath and demise to the proper use and behalf of him the said Thomas Wright his heirs and assigns forever. Thirdly, I give and bequeath all and singular of my wearing apparel unto my seven daughters, vis., Mary, Hannah, Martha, Elizabeth, Ann, Sarah, Lidia to be equally divided among them. Fourthly, I give and bequeath to my daughter Sarah Pickering, one brass mortar. Fifthly, I give and bequeath unto my son Thomas Wright all and singular of my stock and household goods. I also will that what money remains after my decease, from the land sold on Middlefork is to be equally divided among my ten children, vis. James, Isaac, Mary Hannah, Martha, Elizabeth, Ann, Sarah, Lydia and John. Lastly, I ordain and constitute my well beloved daughter, Mary Ballinger, Jesse Pugh and William Pickering sole executors of this my last will and testament as witness my hand and seal this 5th day of the 8th month, 1760. Signed, sealed and acknowledged by the said Mary Wright to be her last will and testament in presence of us. Signed: Mary Wright Witness: Elizabeth Powell, Elinor Rogers, Susanna Bevin. (This was proved March 6, 1764 in Frederick Co., VA)
I'm including, here, another portion from my own family tree, as I, too, am related to James and Mary Wright.....
Rachel Pugh Jenkins(Thomas, Jesse, Thomas, Ellis)[my several times great grandmother] was the daughter of Thomas and Ann Wright McKoole Pugh.Thomas (Jesse, Thomas, Ellis) was born 11-16-1731 in Pa .Thomas bought land in the Frederick Co area as early as 1758, and sold 93 acres in 1763 to Lydia Malin,This was a time of much unrest in of our country, and the French and Indian War raged along the borderlands of our country.Many from this area of Va sought refuge across the mountains,but some went further south to escape the frequent raids and killings that were taking place.In May of 1769, Thomas and Ann, with children Gabriel (Ann's son by her first thusband), Jane, Alice, Elizabeth (Betty), Ann and Lydia received a certificate of membership to the Bush River mm, in Newberry co, in S. Carolina.Their certificate is dated 1769-6-3, andthe Bush River records have the following birthdates; Alice 7-20-1754; Bette 9-6-1755; Sarah 3-8-1758; Ann 7-20-1764; Lydia 3-16-1767; Rachel 2-15-1770.I believe that Rachel was the only child born while the family was in NC..While there, though,Betty married John Jay, of Berkeley Co, SC..The family moved back to Va and were againaccepted into the Hopewell MM of Frederick Co, on June 2, 1777.Thomasdied in Frederick Co, Va in 1789.His willlists wife Ann Pugh and John McCoole as executors, and daughters Rachel, Jane Denny (husband Walter); Lydia Pugh; Ann Dillon; Elizabeth and Sarah Rogers.(Rachel’s mother, Ann Wright had first been married to a James McCool of Back Creek, near Opekon, and his will was recorded9th 2nd Mo 1751.“To well beloved wife Ann McKool, all goods and personal estate and all property to be used in bringing up our small children.”The witnesses were James Wright andMary Wright , Ann’s parents...James McKool was killed by Indians during the French and Indian War, of the 1750s and left wife Ann with the following children; John b. 1745, Mary, born in 1747, Martha b. 1749, James b 1747, andGabriel, b 1751.These children are listed in NORTHERN NECK GRANTS, by Gray.
Thus, the path my family took was from Chester County, as original emigrants in the late 1600s....down the Shenandoah Valley, to Frederick Co....some stayed, while some moved further south to escape Indian attack during the French and Indian War....those returned and resettled in both Va and what is now Hampshire Co, WV.Then, in 1803, my own line moved to Belmont County, Ohio and helped, with others from the Hopewell meeting, establish the first Quaker meeting west of the Appalachian Mts....In Colerain twp...called the Concord meeting, probably for the original Chester County meeting that the family had belonged to originally.Many Friends who had moved south found slavery became a problem to them....not only for moral reasons but very economic ones, too.Quakers were, by this time, not allowed to own slaves, and so found it impossible to compete with slaveowners....and, as Ohio was a free state, or one that disallowed slavery, it became a prime place for southern Quakers to move to....my own family moved there in 1803, the time of statehood.
So, this all should give you a good idea of how one's religion influenced much, if not everything, in the lives of Quakers.