Retired English professor unravels family history - The Explorer: News

Retired English professor unravels family history

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Posted: Wednesday, December 11, 2013 4:00 am

He had written articles, poetry and English literature, but nothing was more meaningful than his most recent published work of “The Wrights of Vermont”, which delves into revealing the unknown history of his ancestors.

“My sister and I had been interested in my father’s Vermont family for a while,” said 87-year-old Ted Wright. “What is interesting about his family is revealed in the book, but my father just never really talked much about it and that’s one of the things that first made me curious.”

Wright’s journey of writing began more than 50 years ago when he wrote his first book about English and American literature. Having first graduated from Columbia College and then receiving a Ph.D in English from the University of Berkley, Wright went directly into teaching for the next 35 years at the University of Kentucky, Tennessee and Minnesota. Realizing he had time to write as well as teach, Wright went on to have six more books published.

Wright’s most recent book, released in July, tells the story of his dad’s side of the family. The writing of the book was a journey within itself, taking 10 years to complete. Through Internet research, small town libraries and handwritten letters, Wright and his sister Norma pieced together the hard facts as well as the emotional ties the family members had to each other. 

What Wright found the most fascinating during his research was the discovery of his grandfather’s five sisters, who he didn’t even know existed.

“The first thing I had to do was identify them and through learning more about them I felt like I really got to know them,” said Wright. “It was fascinating. I was able to find who got married, had children and if any of them worked. Unraveling history is so much fun.”

Wright is hoping to publish a sequel to his book “The Wrights of Vermont” that will shed light into the life of his own family. All of his books are available on the Kindle and Amazon.

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