Welcome to our new web site!  

As you can see, we have moved, restructured, made contact with more researchers and are eager to start a new generation of research!

The stories on our site are well researched, documented, submitted and accepted not only for their content but assuredly for the moral structure in which they are presented. We do not see the need to use crude words to describe anyone in our articles and there is no intention on our part to malign or be biased. In fact, if you properly research these families, you would find it a near impossible feat to "take sides" since these families are so intertwined by blood kinship.

Our stories are not fictional but a matter of history which have need to be told... and told precisely as they happened. We chose each writer to represent their branch of the family and if not directly descended from, they are closely related to the original people in their narrative. We diligently searched for family genealogist to recruit their help in making the accounts accurate. This was done purposely to obtain the most honest and precise accounts possible; not just from our version but from all those involved. There is no doubt this makes for better knowledge of the facts as they originally occurred. Each of our writers have submitted their story entirely in their own words which were then printed unedited. We are simply recording their stories, leaving it to our readers to interpret and understand the truth. Our writers have not accepted hearsay but have backed up their narratives with documented records to dismiss the unfounded disinformation that has recently appeared online.  There are great stories to be told, of the real life struggles of living breathing people, who laughed and loved, cried and fought, to make what was sometimes the ultimate effort to maintain a respectable standard of life. It would be of no good, not worth printing, if they are not honestly revealed. 


Documented facts are a strong sword!


And we do welcome your input. We invite you to write us if you have something to add or correct.


Nancy Wright Bays  &  Patty May Brashear

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 Our Writers:


Benjamin Luntz has investigated and documented impressive articles for us and has authored several books on the feuds.  In the last year Ben has begun DNA research of the family which has disproved more of the myths concerning relationship of other Wrights. Genetic Genealogy

Ben was born and raised in Letcher county, Kentucky. He is an educator and physics instructor and obtained his Masters and his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Kentucky. He is the youngest son of the late Dr. Benjamin F. Wright (1891-1969) and the late Hazel Iris Adams (1919-1969). Dr. Benjamin F. Wright was a physician and surgeon and, during the latter part of his life, the political boss of Letcher county. Presently, Ben Luntz is teaching physics in Lexington, Kentucky.

Ben is truly dedicated and has the most wonderfully infectious laugh.  A meeting is never boring when Ben is there.


A Special thank you to Rhonda Robertson and Nancy Clark Hays for their time, efforts and "surprise guest appearance" at our research meeting at Breaks Interstate Park; for making data and material available to us; for just being our friends; for having fun together.  We would be hard put to do without the efforts of these two women, in the research field and in friendship. They are exceptional ladies; both are well known authors in their own right and their historical research with Wise County Genealogy.


Rhonda Robertson is the past editor of a Wise County, Virginia publication, the "Appalachian Quarterly" and active with the Wise County, Virginia Historical Society. Rhonda has published numerous genealogy books.  She and her brother Tim are organizers of many of the huge events in the county, such as the Civil War re-enacted battle in the streets of the town of Wise of the "Capture of Gladeville, The Battle of Cranesnest".

Nancy Clark Hays    {formerly Nancy Clark Brown}   is also a published writer and has been active in an assortment of genealogical assignments. Nancy has been committed to special focus projects such as Archaeology, "Special Interest Tombstones", Appalachian Legends, Native Americans, to name just a few.

Rhonda and Nancy have contributed greatly to our work and are a pleasure to traipse the mountains with.


Judi Wolfe , aka Judia Johnson Wolfe was born and raised in Big Stone Gap, Virginia. She started hunting and shooting at the age or 3 years and is still a gun enthusiast! Her love of history and family history came from her maternal grandfather Jonah Banks and his obsession with the Banks Family Bible. His recounting of the adventures of and with Bad Talt Hall and about Devil John Wright started a lifelong passion for genealogy.

Judi is related closely to Talton Hall and has proved to be impossible to do without. She has quick become a good friend and is an established researcher in her own right. Her grasp of Talt's personal home-life as related through her family has allowed us to see Talton in a light we would never have seen otherwise. And, who else would leave Wolfe Mountain in North Carolina to make a home in Kentucky where she can better research?



Linda Potter Whitt is the great grand daughter of Reuben & Hulda (Wright) Potter and has given us great insight on his untimely death. Linda Kay Potter Whitt born 1944 in Paris, Logan County, Arkansas. She grew up in Flatwoods, Greenup County, Kentucky and graduated from Russell High School with degrees from Western Kentucky University and  Morehead State University.  She married W. Cooper Whitt in Ashland, Kentucky. She taught in Private and Public School Systems for 30 years.  She also taught and worked with the Presidential Classroom, Washington DC.  She and Cooper have raised two boys and have six grandchildren.  They have lived in Frankfort, Kentucky for 38 years and now that she and her husband are retired they winter in Bradenton, Florida   Linda enjoys research, family history, books, television, and all things furry.

We get twofold research with Linda's knowledge since Linda has both a Wright and a Potter ancestor.  Linda has done exhaustive research on Reuben & Hulda, and is currently looking into matters concerning Reuben's family. Linda has searched decades to clear the mysteries concerning Reuben Potter and Lafayette Bentley's death. I doubt if there is anyone that has more information, both personal and public, of the Potter family in general and in particular the life and death of Reuben Potter.




Barbara Lee Austin Giacomelli  has combined her writing abilities and photography. Now you can really 'see' the story, thanks to Barbara's great pictures. Barbara is  the Great Great Granddaughter of Margaret Jane Austin and Devil John Wright. Barbara attended Chico State California and now holds a BA in English with a teaching credential  from Chico State University of California.  She presently teaches high school English and history and has a passion for helping students learn to be better writers and readers.


Three years ago Barbara discovered a love for genealogy while researching her Great Grandfather Mack Jessee Austin/Wright and has had two of her family stories published in the Austin Families Genealogical Society of America.  Barbara's research will cover the Austin Family, specifically the family of Margaret Jane Austin.


Barbara has lived all her life on the west coast in Southern Oregon and Northern California. She has three children and six grandchildren. We don't fault Barbara for living away from the beautiful hills of Eastern Kentucky, since she did travel all the way across the country to see where her ancestors lived.



Jay Potter

I have enlisted Jay's help with information on several lines. He is a talented Family Historian and Photographer.

Jay was born in Pike county Kentucky near Shelby Gap and presently lives in Pike County.  He married Eva D. Johnson Potter and they have a daughter Tiffany Potter Howard who now resides in Winchester, Kentucky.  After attending Eastern Kentucky University, Jay received an Associate degree and became employed for Kentucky Power Company where he worked for 30 years before retiring in 2001.  His hobbies include Genealogy, Rock and mineral collecting and taking pictures of nature. 

Ira Mullins of the Mullins family massacre was his Great Great Uncle and Clifton Branham was a distant cousin.  One interesting fact is that three of his Great Great Grandparents were Potters and all were the children of Benjamin Potter the son of Abraham Potter, born 1745.




Judy Bock has begun what we hope will be only the beginning of articles for us on the Taylor family. Judy is the Great, Great Granddaughter of Marshall Benton "Doc"  &  Nancy Booth Taylor. She was raised in Kansas City, Kansas and presently lives there with her husband Gary Bock. Judy & Gary are the parents of three children, Kevin, Tonya and Amy and the Grandparents of six grandchildren, Alyssa, Alex, Ashley, Cody, Kyle & Dalton.  Judy works with Home Daycare, her occupation for 34 years.




The material on this website holds a copyright  2010 by Nancy Wright Bays &  Patty May Brashear


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