Wednesday, April 05, 2023

The Wren Family

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Chat GPT tells me our Wren family can be traced back to the 16th century in England, with records indicating that the family had significant wealth and social status in the country. The direct ancestors of Sir Christopher Wren can be traced back to his great-grandfather, Sir Christopher Wren (1558-1623), who was a wealthy merchant and lord mayor of London.

Sir Christopher Wren, the famous architect, was born in 1632 to parents Christopher Wren and Mary Cox. He had two sisters, Susan and Anne, and a brother, Matthew. Wren's father was also named Christopher and was a high court judge in London.

Wren attended Oxford University, where he studied mathematics, astronomy, and physics. After completing his studies, he began working as an assistant to the famous architect, Sir John Denham. Wren quickly gained a reputation for his innovative designs and engineering techniques, and was soon appointed Surveyor of Works to the Crown, a prestigious position that put him in charge of overseeing the construction and renovation of royal buildings.

Wren's personal life was marked by tragedy, however. His first wife, Faith Coghill, died in childbirth in 1675, and his second wife, Jane Fitzwilliam, also died in childbirth in 1680. Despite these personal setbacks, Wren continued to work on many important projects, including the design and construction of St. Paul's Cathedral, which took over 30 years to complete.

Wren had three children: Christopher Wren Jr., a physician; Gilbert Wren, a barrister; and Jane Wren, who died in infancy. None of Wren's children followed in his footsteps as an architect or scientist, but they all had successful careers in their own right.

The Wren family's connection to America can be traced back to the early 17th century, when the first Wren settlers arrived in Virginia. These early settlers included Colburt Wren, who arrived in Virginia in 1650, and William Wren, who arrived in Virginia in 1665. While there is no direct evidence to suggest that these settlers were related to Sir Christopher Wren, they may have been distant cousins or otherwise connected to the Wren family in England.

Over the centuries, the Wren family has continued to make significant contributions to American society, with notable descendants including Shadrack Wren, a successful businessman and abolitionist; John Wren, a highly successful advertising executive; and many others who have made their mark in fields ranging from science and technology to politics and the arts.

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