John Bright (1640-1880’s) of England

Caleb BRIGHT (Caleb BRIGHT,SR., Henry BRIGHT, JR., Henry, John) was born 10 Apr 1800 in North Carolina. He died 10 Oct 1864 in Tazewell, Illinois and was buried in Antioch Cementary, Tazewell Co, IIllinois.
Caleb married Keziah BENNETT on 20 Oct 1825 in Clinton, Ohio. Keziah was born 4 Jan 1804 in Clinton, Ohio. She died 20 Dec 1876 in Tazewell, Illinois and was buried in Anitioch Cem. Tazewell Co, IIllinois.
They had the following children:

Caleb Jr., Charles, Levi and Isaac Bright

M i. Alfred BRIGHT was born Mar 1839.
F ii. Bathemy BRIGHT was born about 1826.
M iii. John F. BRIGHT was born about 1828 and died 21 Feb 1853.
F iv. Elizabeth E. BRIGHT was born about 1830.
M v. Harvey BRIGHT was born 4 Jul 1834 and died 28 May 1887.
M vi. Isaac or Jack BRIGHT was born about 1835 and died 5 Nov 1864.
F vii. Mary BRIGHT was born about 1836 in Tazewell, Illinois.
Mary married Benjamin F. VAWTER on 29 Sep 1856 in Tazewell, Illinois.
M viii. Charles BRIGHT was born about 1840 in Tazewell, Illinois.
Charles married Rachel E. MCDERMED on 22 Jan 1863 in Tazewell, Illinois.
M ix. Levi BRIGHT was born about 1842.
M x. Caleb Jr. BRIGHT was born about 1848 in Tazewell, Illinois.
Caleb married Martha Ann DENNY on 27 Nov 1866 in Tazewell, Illinois

Theresa Dern

As you probably know by now, I have been corresponding with your wife, Joan about your ancestor, Caleb Bright, allegedly born in NC. I think it’s quite likely that Caleb Bright was born in either Pasquotank or Currituck Co. and was either the son or grandson of the first Caleb Bright, born before 1749 . He was a son of Henry Bright, Jr., of Pasquotank Co., who died in 1749 and left a will naming his wife, Elizabeth and eight children, including Caleb. One careful researcher in North Carolina reported that this first Caleb Bright allegedly moved to Lower Norfolk Co., VA and married there and had three children: Abbie, Caleb and Armstrong Bright. There was an orphan record indicating that several of his children fell under guardianship there as follows:

17 Aug 1780–Abbie Bright, Caleb Bright, Armstrong Bright, orphans of Caleb Bright–guardian Thos. B. Clark, Secured by William Willson, Sr. and Epaphroditus Butt in the sum of £10,000.

15 Feb 1787–Armstrong Bright– Guardian Bennett Armstrong with security William Willson in the sum of £100.

The only other information that I have about this family is that Armstrong Bright is mentioned in several wills in Lower Norfolk Co., VA later on.

As I mentioned to Joan, the name Caleb Bright is uncommon, and I haven’t seen it mentioned in any other early records in North Carolina. Especially if you know that your ancestor Caleb Bright’s father was also named Caleb, I think it’s probable that this family at some point moved back (?) to Virginia, just across the border from Pasquotank County, NC.

I think that you should search the Census indexes in VA and NC from 1790 forward to try to find a Caleb Bright. Also, I think it’s likely that your ancestor was perhaps a grandson, rather than a son of the first Caleb. I say this because of the dates involved. We know that Henry Bright, Jr. died in 1749; his son Caleb would have been more than 50 years old by 1800. He could have been the father of your ancestor, born in 1800, but it seems a little less likely than if there was another intervening generation. There could have been three generations of Caleb Brights.

I believe that this family can trace its heritage to John Bright, born in England about 1640, and migrated to Virginia in 1658, according to ship passenger lists. He began buying property in the 1660s in Lower Norfolk Co., VA and died sometime in the 1880s. He had three sons: John, Henry and Richard, all three of whom migrated down to northeastern NC. I believe that your direct line descends from Henry, Sr., then through Henry, Jr., Caleb etc.

Madelyn Larkin


One thought on “John Bright (1640-1880’s) of England

  1. RE: John Bright (1640-1880’s) of England

    The child listed under Caleb Bright & Keziah Bennett, named Elizabeth E. Bright,
    is my 2nd great grandmother. In the old mouse-eaten Bible of my grandmother Mary Leona Morris, she had entered her name as “Liz Brit” wife of “Grindy Sparo”. It took me some
    30+ years to trace them down.

    Elizabeth Ellen Bright
    born: 28 Dec 1829 Tazewell County, Illinois
    died: 11 Nov 1856 Delavan, Tazewell County, Illinois
    married: 18 Sep 1848 Tazewell County, Illinois
    buried: Antioch Cemetery, Tremont, Tazewell County, Illinois
    spouse: Felix Grundy Sparrow

    Felix Grundy Sparrow
    Son of Elias Sparrow & Nancy Barker
    born: 25 Mar 1825 Russelville, Logan County, Kentucky
    died: 20 Aug 1898 Hopedale, Tazewell County, Illinois
    burial: unknown – probably Antioch Cemetery

    1 Margaret Ellen Sparrow
    2 Lovina Isabelle Sparrow (17 Jun 1848 – 15 Jul 1914)* (My great-grandmother)
    3 Benjamin Levi Sparrow (24 Aug 1850 – 13 Apr 1909)
    4 John Louis Sparrow born abt 1853 – died unknown
    5 Emily Louisa Sparrow (7 Jun 1854 – abt Dec 1899)

    Robert L Bailey

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