Wright is an occupational surname originating in England. The term 'Wright' comes from the circa 700 AD Old English word 'wryhta' or 'wyrhta', meaning worker or shaper of wood. Later it became any occupational worker (for example, a shipwright is a person who builds ships), and is used as a British family name. Wright is also an anglicized version of the Scots Gaelic clan name "MacIntyre" or "Mac an t-Saoir", meaning "Son of the Wright", or "Son of the Carpenter".
The word Carpentier, now Carpenter, was introduced into England in 1066 and slowly replaced the traditional name and meaning of wright. Wright is the sixteenth most common surname in England. Its use as an occupational title continued until the mid-19th century. Its occupational use was often combined with other words such as in wheelwright or playwright. In Ireland, the native Gaelic Mac an Cheairt sept of County Mayo occasionally changed their name to Wright. This is a literal translation meaning, "son of the right or righteous".
By Dean Hanley