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Jesse C BRYAN

Jesse C BRYAN

Male 1784 - Yes, date unknown

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  • Name Jesse C BRYAN 
    Born 24 Jul 1784  South Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • This story was borrowed from the
      The Bryan Family Home Page-Descendants of Jesse Bryan of SC
      Updated March 12, 2010
      Bob Bryan14030 Starboard Drive
      Seminole, FL 33776-1201
      United States
      727-595-4521BBryan84@gmail.com
      This is a brief biography of my third great-grandfather, Jesse Bryan, Jr. He
      was born in the Marion District of SC in 1784, the son of Jesse Bryan, Sr. and
      Mourning Smith. He married Elizabeth Johnson about 1807 in SC and the marriage
      produced nine children who lived to adulthood. Elizabeth was the daughter of
      Samuel and Mary Johnson of Marion District, SC. The Bryan surname has many
      variant spellings including Bryant, Briant, and Brian but for uniformity, the
      "Bryan" variation will be used for all names in this article.

      W. W. Sellers wrote a book called The History of Marion County, South Carolina
      and in it, he describes the Jesse Bryan family. All the children of Jesse, Sr.
      and their spouses are listed and the author says that Jesse, Jr. "went west."
      That seems strange until we realize that Alabama and Florida were "the west" in
      the early 1800s.

      The Creek Indians who had occupied the land of South Alabama for hundreds of
      years had been defeated by General Andrew Jackson. A treaty was signed in 1814
      in which the Creeks surrendered all their land in what is now South Alabama to
      the United States. This opened up the land to white settlers however, many
      Indians continued to live in the area. The Alabama Territory, with the present
      day boundaries of the state, was created on March 3, 1817 and became the 22nd
      State in the Union on December 14, 1819.

      A few years later-probably around 1821-1822-Jesse left SC and traveled to West
      Florida and possibly Louisiana before settling near Rose Hill in Covington
      County, AL sometime in the 1820s. Family tradition holds that he knew Andrew
      Jackson and possibly served with him during the West Florida Indian Wars and
      thus became familiar with the area.

      During the 1824-1826 time period, Jesse was in West Florida. In a land
      transaction dated January, 1824, he identified his residence as West Florida. In
      1826, he was living in the area near Oak Grove (about 7 miles southwest of
      Laurel Hill) because he was named as a judge to oversee the elections held in
      October, 1826 to elect members of the Legislative Council for the Territory of
      Florida. This was designated as Barrows Ferry precinct because there was a ferry
      across Yellow River at that point near where Highway 2 crosses the river today.

      The family lived for a time near the lake that came to be called McDade's Pond
      and is now called Lake Jackson located at Florala, Alabama. When they first
      arrived, they were the only white settlers in the area. frame. According to a
      family story passed down by Jesse's daughter Elizabeth, they lived among some
      friendly Indians who would take the children hunting with them and show them how
      to hunt. They would indicate what time of the day they would return by pointing
      to the place in the sky where the sun would be when they got back. They told
      them stories of how an extinct race of giant Indians who hunted with spears once
      lived in the area. This might be dismissed as legend except for the fact that
      Brewer's "Alabama" makes note of a discovery of an Indian burial site on the
      Conecuh river that had giant skulls. They estimated that the size of the
      individual must have been 8 or 9 feet tall. Another similar story is told in
      The History of Walton County by John L. McKinnon. In 1861, the Walton Guards
      were stationed at The Narrows at Camp Walton near present day Fort Walton Beach.
      They discovered some huge mounds in the area and excavated some of them to find
      great skeletons of men in perfect preservation...they were mostly all giants and
      warriors, killed in battle. So maybe there is a grain of truth in the family
      legend!

      Elizabeth also told stories of panthers chasing some of the family as they were
      riding on horseback while they were in Florida.

      Jesse's sister, Mourning Bryan, married Jonathan Harrellson and they lived in
      south Walton County, Florida in the early 1820s before moving to Covington about
      1845.

      Jesse's father, Jesse, Sr., died in Marion, SC in 1822. However, his estate was
      not settled until 1845 because of a challenge to the will by family members.
      Jesse, Jr. received as his portion of the real estate settlement, two negro
      slaves. One was named Will and was valued at $250 with the notation that Jesse,
      Jr. took him when "he went west." A second slave named Simon was valued at $550.
      The two were valued at $800 and his portion of the real estate settlement was
      $601.40. Jesse Jr. paid the difference of $198.60 to other heirs.

      Jesse was a prosperous farmer and accumulated considerable wealth for his time.
      He purchased a total of at least 660 acres of land in the county in the 1830s-
      primarily from federal land sales at the minimum established price of $1.25 per
      acre. By 1850, he had 11 slaves and was the owner of a 300-acre plantation
      having 100 acres of improved land. He owned livestock valued at $875 which
      included 9 horses, 1 mule, 8 working oxen, 24 milk cows, 70 other cattle and 100
      head of hogs. In 1850, his plantation produced 700 bushels of Indian corn, 2
      bales of ginned cotton of 400 pounds each, 100 bushels of potatoes and other
      produce. By 1860, the value of his real estate was $3000 and his personal estate
      value was $18,275, which included the value of his 14 slaves.

      The Bryans are said to have constructed the oldest water mill in the Rose Hill
      community. Located on Stewart Mill Creek four miles northeast of the old Rose
      Hill School, it was built about 1830. The rocks, parts of the old wheel, and
      parts of the old house could still be seen as late as 1950. Jesse served as
      Justice of the Peace for Beat No. 4 (Rose Hill) in 1836 and again in 1844. He
      was Vice Justice of the Peace in 1837. In 1843, his home was established as one
      of the voting precincts in Beat No. 4, Covington County. Jesse was probably
      instrumental in persuading his nephew, Elder Giles Bryan, to leave his home in
      the Marion district of SC and exercise his gifts of ministry in the new
      settlements. Giles became a very well-known Primitive Baptist Preacher in
      Covington and Coffee Counties, Alabama.

      The children of Jesse Bryan and Elizabeth Johnson married into many of the
      pioneer families of Covington county whose names are still prominent in the area
      today. The children were:
      1. Celia, born 6 Feb 1808 in SC, died 5 Dec 1889, married William Hardy Dannelly
      about 1825.
      2. Sarah, born 18 April 1810 in SC, died after 1866, married first Thomas Elijah
      Chesher about 1830 and after his death about 1837, she married Bennett J.
      Boyett, Sr. Their son, William Burl Boyett, fought in the Civil War and was
      wounded in the Battle of Peach Tree Creek in Atlanta. I am descended directly
      from William Burl Boyett through his daughter Mary Jane who married Andrew
      Jackson Bryan; their son Jesse Oscar is my grandfather.
      3. Tempie, born 20 April 1812 in SC, died 5 June 1890, married Alfred Holley in
      1835. Alfred Holley was the sheriff in Covington county from 1844-1847 and a
      state legislator prior to the Civil War. Although he owned 12 slaves in 1860, he
      was opposed to secession. During the war, Alfred Holley fled to Pensacola and
      aided the Union forces but his wife Tempie and two of their children remained in
      Covington County. Most of their possessions were confiscated by the Confederate
      forces. After the war he moved to Milton, Florida with his family and later to
      Pensacola, where he operated a general merchandise store until his death in
      1885.
      4. Mary "Polly", born in 1813, died after 1860, first married John B. Sasser
      about 1835. After his death in 1843, she married William Peoples.
      5. Elizabeth, born 20 September 1814, died 13 June 1907, married William M.
      Sasser in 1832. He was the brother of John B. Sasser who married Mary Polly.
      6. Jesse Oliver, born 5 Jan 1818, died 18 June 1900, married Sara Ann Boyett in
      1843. Their son (my great-grandfather), Andrew Jackson Bryan, married his first
      cousin once removed-Mary Jane Boyett (see #2 above).
      7. Avy, born 9 Jan 1820, died 15 June 1885, married Emmanuel Boyett about 1838.
      8. Susan, born 25 July 1826, died after 1870, married John Boyett about 1841.
      9. Telatha, born 30 Sep 1831, died after 1870, married William G. Williams, Sr.
      about 1848.

      Four of the children married Boyetts, all of whom came from Georgia and who were
      possibly siblings or cousins, but the exact relationships have not been
      established. In addition to the families mentioned above, later descendants
      married into the Cauley, Butler, Prescott, Henderson, Harrellson and many other
      well-known families.

      Jesse died sometime between 1860 and 1870. Elizabeth lived with her daughter
      Telatha after the death of Jesse and died between 1870 and 1880. Family
      tradition records that Jesse's slaves carried his body over the fields to the
      burial grounds on his property. Those burial grounds later came to be known as
      the Williams Cemetery or Williams Burying Grounds after the property was left to
      Jesse's daughter, Telatha and her husband, William Green Williams. As of 2002,
      the cemetery is abandoned and the land is planted in pines. It is located in the
      SE corner of section 24, Township 6N, Range 17E, about a quarter mile west of CR
      43. Wooden markers mark a few graves and many more are identifiable by sunken
      areas. In addition to Jesse and his wife Elizabeth, others buried there are:
      William Green Williams and his wife, Telatha Bryan Williams; William Lloyd
      Butler, Sr. and probably two Butler infants; Roger and Nancy Moody who died Sep
      12, 1841 and Feb. 8, 1837, respectively; Roan Spicer and his wife Carolyn E.
      Thompson Spicer, members of the Chandler family and slaves of the neighboring
      families. An effort is presently underway by the descendants of these families
      to place an appropriate marker to identify the cemetery and those buried there.

      We can only speculate about many aspects of the life of Jesse Bryan, Jr. We have
      no photos or physical description of him. But, he most likely had a fair skin
      with a florid complexion and reddish hair much like many of his descendants. He
      was near 80 years old when he died, a ripe old age by the standards of the time
      in which he lived, and he died a wealthy man. He was a true pioneer. He left his
      home in South Carolina to come to a wild and unsettled area, bringing his young
      family with him. By 1820, Jesse and Elizabeth had seven children with the oldest
      being only twelve. Their eighth child, Susan, was born in 1826, probably near
      Oak Grove which is about 7 miles southwest of Laurel Hill. Transportation was by
      horseback, horse/mule/oxen-drawn wagon or walking. Roads were little more than
      Indian trails and there were no bridges over the creeks and rivers. Here in the
      year 2002, we can only imagine the primitive living conditions (by our
      standards) they must have had. Yet, they came and thrived in the new area. It
      makes me appreciate the hardy stock from which we come! The descendants of Jesse
      Bryan, Jr. and Elizabeth Johnson number in the thousands and I'm proud to be one
      of them.

      Bob Bryan
      22 May 2002

      Sources: US Census, Tombstone inscriptions, Bureau of Land Management Records,
      Covington County Land Records, and the research of Gus and Ruby Bryan of Opp,
      Alabama who were the pioneers in researching the Bryan family in the Covington County area.
    Gender Male 
    Cemetery FindaGrave Memorial 
    Link
    Census 1830  Covington County, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Census 1850  Covington County, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Census 1860  Covington County, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Died Yes, date unknown 
    Buried Williams Cemetery, Covington, Alabama, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I6310  Black Oliver
    Last Modified 29 Sep 2017 

    Father Jesse BRYANT,   b. 1755, Prince Georges Parish, Georgetown District (historical), South Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 7 Nov 1822, Marion County, South Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 67 years) 
    Mother Mourning SMITH,   b. 1758, Prince Georges Parish, Georgetown District (historical), South Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1 Apr 1843, Marion County, South Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 85 years) 
    Family ID F156  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family # Elizabeth JOHNSON,   b. Abt 1790, South Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Children 
     1. Celia BRYAN,   b. 6 Feb 1808, South Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 5 Dec 1889, Coffee County, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 81 years)
     2. Sarah BRYAN,   b. 18 Apr 1810, South Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     3. Tempie BRYAN,   b. 20 Apr 1812, South Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 5 Jun 1890, Escambia County, Florida Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 78 years)
     4. Mary Polly BRYAN,   b. Abt 1813, South Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Bef 1870  (Age ~ 56 years)
     5. Elizabeth "Betsy" BRYAN,   b. 20 Sep 1814, South Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 13 Jun 1907, Covington County, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 92 years)
     6. Jesse Oliver BRYAN,   b. 5 Jan 1818, South Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 18 Mar 1900, Rose Hill, Covington County, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 82 years)
     7. Avy BRYAN,   b. 9 Jan 1820, South Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     8. Susan BRYAN,   b. 25 Jul 1826, Florida Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     9. Telatha Elizabeth BRYAN,   b. 30 Sep 1831, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Bef 1880  (Age < 48 years)
    Last Modified 20 Jul 2018 
    Family ID F4348  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 24 Jul 1784 - South Carolina Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsCensus - 1830 - Covington County, Alabama Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsCensus - 1850 - Covington County, Alabama Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsCensus - 1860 - Covington County, Alabama Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - Williams Cemetery, Covington, Alabama, USA Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Sources 
    1. [S149] 1830 United States Federal Census, 1830 US Census; Census Place: , Covington, Alabama; Page: 233; NARA Series: M19; Roll Number: 3; Family History Film: 0002330.

    2. [S151] 1850 United States Federal Census, Year: 1850; Census Place: , Covington, Alabama; Roll: M432_4; Page: 150A; Image: 310.

    3. [S152] 1860 United States Federal Census, Year: 1860; Census Place: , Covington, Alabama; Roll: M653_7; Page: 478; Image: 480; Family History Library Film: 803007.