lancasterwright – what’s that?

A wheelwright fashions wheels; a cartwright makes carts; a shipwright builds ships; an arkwright builds ships of biblical proportions; a playwright writes plays. What does a lancasterwright do?
Wright comes from Old English wryhta or wyrhta meaning worker. It might be related to the  Old Frisian wrichta and the Old High German wurhtio. There is a Dutch verb to work: wrochten. Dictionaries will usually tell you that a wright is a construction worker. (My old friend Mr. Square (aka M. Carré) from Bordeaux calls me M. Charpentier, the closest translation of the word into French.)
As a chip off the old block, I really am a worker, just like my father and his father before him. I should like to think of myself as an artisan, a constructor, a maker of things, a craftsman.
This lancasterwright makes Lancasters (those with the surname Lancaster) or rather, re-makes them from whatever evidence of their lives survives in records. You could call me a biographer if you prefer Greek etymology – someone who “graphs” (draws or writes) about the “bios” (lives) of Lancasters.
There is a suggestion that wrights tend to work with wood like carpenters, whereas smiths work with metal. (Why are playwrights wrights but wordsmiths smiths? I hope you don’t find my work wooden….) My Lancasters are not forged or welded together as fiction; they are sanded and polished from documents. (How appropriate that “documents” should derive from “documenti” in Latin, meaning “lessons” or “proofs”, associated with the verb “docere”, to teach.)
Lancaster is generally thought to derive from the settlement of that name, i.e. someone who came from Lancaster. “Lan” comes from Lune, a river in northwest England, the name of which is of Celtic origin meaning “healthy” or “pure”. The second part of the name “caster” is from the Latin “castra”, a camp or fort. So my ancestors were from a Roman fort on the side of the River Lune. Well, that’s the assumption. It seems likely enough. It is, however, the name of the royal house that ruled England in the first half of the 15th century, the heirs of John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster. The Duchy held lands across England, including the Honour and Forest of Knaresborough in Yorkshire. These lands lie in the valley of the River Nidd; and Nidderdale was the home of ‘my’ Lancasters. Is there a connection? I doubt they were related to the royal house (the DNA evidence points to a Celtic ancestry) but perhaps they worked for the Duchy as bailiffs or foresters. They certainly had connections to the Royal Foresters in the early 19th century. But that’s another tale….