Week 31: 52 Ancestor 52 Week Blog: The Tale of the Two Nancy Bryan’s….

Week 31: August 2, 2014

The Tale of the Two Nancy Bryan’s…

Who is the real Nancy Bryan married to my John Bryan (RS) from Franklin County, Georgia?

A imagequestion every Bryan researcher has asked about our John Bryan (RS).

After years of research, and with the help of others insight – I now know that Nancy Bryan (1) is not the Nancy Mayes Bryan (2) who was born 1790 Ga. and died 1876 OK. It doesn’t help having the four of them sharing such common names as John and Nancy – making it even more difficult, but I have not given up the search of my Nancy’s (1) maiden name.

I hope to clear up some of the confusion, with info found on another site of a fellow researcher. If you search this line, check out his site for more info:
Michael Parks http://www.bauer.uh.edu/parks/genealogy/tjbryan.htm

The Nancy Bryan (No.1 – bc 1760/70) of my John Bryan (RS) of Franklin County, Georgia is the one in the 1825 will of John Bryan and the same one living next door to son Hetto/Ittar Bryan in Gwinnett Co., Ga. in later census. She is the Nancy (No. 1) married to the Rev. War (RS) soldier John Bryan, (1750/60 -1826). She is the elusive Nancy that I have no maiden name for. I strongly believe she is NOT Nancy Mayes.


Ittar Bryant

1784 Franklin Co. formed.
1787 John Bryan’s Revolutionary War land grant in Franklin Co., Ga.
1793 John Bryan (RS) received headright grants in Franklin Co., Ga.
1796 Jackson Co., formed from a large portion of Franklin Co., Ga.
1818 Habersham, Gwinnett, Hall Co. formed from Franklin Co., Ga.
1825 Gwinntt Co. will listing a Nancy Bryan (No. 1), wife of John Bryan (RS)
1827 Land Lottery in Gwinnett County shows draws for Nancy Bryan (1) widow of Rev. War Soldier:
1830 Gwinnett County, Ga. census: Nancy (1) born S. C. (adjacent to Ety Briant) She is listed age 60-70, one male child age 10-15, plus 2 slaves.
1830 Gwinnett County, Ga. census: Itar (living next to Nancy ( 1), age 30-40, one female child less than 5, one female age 20-30, plus one slave.
1832 Joel Mayes Bryan and mother Nancy (2) Mayes Bryan move to Indian Territory, Ok.
1840 Gwinett County, Ga. census: Nancy (1) born S.C., age 60-70; (adjacent to Ittar Briant from the 1825 will) Both last names spelled Briant on this census.
1850 Dekalb County, Ga. census: We did not find Nancy (1) listed but did find son Hetto/Ety/Ittar/Ittlac.

The 1825 will references the Gwinnett County land of John Bryan (RS); the 1830 Gwinnett Co., census lists Nancy Bryan (t), born circa 1770/1780 (No. 1), widowed wife of John, and her son Ittar/Hetto on adjacent property in Gwinnett. The subsequent transaction deeds seem to indicate 8 legatees of the will (thus perhaps 8 children) – although I have accounted for only six deeds; John Jr., Elizabeth, James, Tarence, Ittar, Thomas.


John Bryan (RS) listed on roster

Besides Illac (Hetto/Ittar/Ety/Illac) and Thomas that were listed in the will of John Bryan (bc 1750/60 -1826), land records indicated other children of James; Tarrence; John Jr.; and Elizabeth; (Mrs. Ransom Cain).

john joel mayes

Joel Mayes Bryan 1809-1899

The “Rebecca Bryan” on deeds as a witness is most likely Joel Mayes Bryan’s wife (Rebecca Wright) who signed as witness with husband in John Bryan Jr.’s (Joel’s father) acquisition of his sister Elizabeth Bryan Cain’s share of their father’s estate (John Bryan RWS) in 1831. Many of us first thought that she also was one of John Bryan’s children, but now know that she was the wife of Joel Mayes Bryan (1809 Ga.-1899 OK.). Joel Mayes Bryan is a son of John Bryan (Jr) and Nancy (2) Mayes Bryan, and grandson of John Bryan (RS), not his son.

The Rebecca Wright (1814 Indian Territory -1882 Mayes, OK.) who married Joel Mayes Bryan is a quarter blooded Cherokee of the Wolf Clan.

From the work of Michael Parks on Nancy and John’s son Hetto/Ety/Ito/Ittar Bryan:
“The Lost Connection to “Ito” and the 1850 Dekalb Georgia Census. My father used to speak of an ancestor named “Ito” on the Bryan side of our family. The use of the spelling “Ito” is only my interpretation of my father’s words. It sounded like a long letter “E” followed by the word “toe.” E-TOE. It was nowhere written down. Now for the STRETCH – how do we show that the “Ittar” Bryant is the same as “Hetto” Byant on the 1850 Dekalb Co. Census. In the 1825 will, it was written as “Ittar,” but the census takers spelled it more phoetically. If this “Ittar” who is adjacent to Nancy (No. 2) on the 1830 Gwinnett Co. census is a son of John Bryan, then I feel that she was the wife of John Bryan Jr.” Got more on this Ittar Bryan, see Michael Parks web page on the spelling of the name of Ittar Bryan(t).

John Bryan Jr. is on the Franklin Co. tax list (To be listed on the tax list generally meant he was of age (age 21) to own land. That would make him born circa. 1786 or before.
The John Bryan Jr. (c.1786) who married Nancy Mayes (No. 2) is on the 1820 and 1830 Habersham census.
Elizabeth Bryan (1787) married Ransom Cain.
James Bryan (1791) is well documented in Lumpkin county GA. and Habersham Co. appearing in many land transaction.
Tarrence Bryan (1795) married Polly Shade (1) then Elizabeth Patterson (2). He transferred his share of John Bryan’s estate to brother James in 1837. The deed transfer stated “my father John Bryan.” (More on Tarrence Bryan can be provided by descendant Margie von Marenholtz.)
Hetto/Ittar (1801) is mentioned in the 1825 will of his father, John Bryan (RS).
Thomas Bryan is mentioned in the 1825 will of his father John Bryan (RS).

Nancy Mayes (No. 2) married to John Bryan was born circa 1790 – about the same time as my James Bryan (b. 1791) so this clearly rules her out as being James mother. Actually my John Bryan would be her father in law – as she married his eldest son, John Bryan Jr. It’s written that they only had one child, Joel Mayes Bryan. If true, the 1820 Census of Habersham County shows a John Bryan with a wife and one male child age 10-15 years of age. (Most likely this is John Bryan Jr. with wife Nancy Mayes and son Joel Mayes Bryan.)

If you follow the time frames of the Two Nancy’s – it pretty much proves that Nancy Mayes Bryan (No. 2 – b. 1790 Ga. d. 1876 OK.) cannot be the mother of Elizabeth Bryan Cain (bc.1787), John Jr. (b.1790), James (b.1791), Tarrence (b.1795-1885 Polk, AR.), Thomas or Hetto/Ittar/Ety/Illac (b.1801 d. 1870 Fulton Co., Ga) as she was not born when Elizabeth was born – and only a child herself when the others were born. Only Joel M. Bryan b. 1809 could be her son. My Nancy (No. 1) is about fifteen years older than Nancy No. 2.

I conclude that Nancy Mayes is the daughter of John Mayes (1770-1803) and Charlotte Samuel Mayes and was NOT married to my John Bryan (RS) who served in the Revolutionary War – but WAS instead married to his son John Bryan Jr.

John Bryan (RS) real wife Nancy (Nancy 1) was born between 1770 and 1780
Joel Mayes Bryan’s mother Nancy Mayes (Nancy 2) was born in 1790

I believe the Mayes name to be of Indian nationality or part of. Joel Bryan Mayes was listed as the founder of Mayes County, OK. This is documented in the Oklahoma Historical Society’s Chronicle of Oklahoma, Vol. 15, pg. 58. This area was Indian Territory.

house built by joel mayes bryan ok

House built by Joel Mayes Bryan in OK.

In Harry F O’Beirne’s 1892 The Indian Territory; Its Chiefs, Legislators and Leading Men, p. 103. “Joel Bryan Mayes was named for his cousin, Joel Mayes Bryan, who was the only son of John Bryan and Nancy (Mayes) Bryan. Joel Mayes Bryan was born in Bates County, Georgia on Oct. 2, 1809. He came to the Indian Territory in 1832 and built his home seven miles of Stilwell, Adair County, Oklahoma in 1838. He later sold this saltfarm in 1883. Joel Mayes Bryan later operated the Salt Works at the old Union Mission for many years and died on August 7, 1899 (Find a Grave lists Aug. 8, 1898). He is buried in the family cemetery on the old Bryan farm southeast of Pryor, a farm owned and occupied by his son. (Oklahoma Historical Society’s Chronicles of Oklahoma, Vol 15, No. 1 March 1937. Pg. 58)

salt licks Joel mayes bryan

Joel Mayes Bryan operated the salt works at Union Mission

After the last dated land relinquishment’s of land belonging to John Bryan (RS) in 1830/31, we have Joel Mayes Bryan and mother Nancy (2) immigrating to Indian Territory (Oklahoma) in 1832.

I have not researched this, but the relinquishment deed (Recorded Habersham Co., Ga. Deed Bk. LL, pg. 13) of James Bryan signing to Joel Mayes Bryan in 1830 – did Joel Mayes Bryan sell this land in 1832 when he moved to Oklahoma? Another twist and turn to research – at some point!

I conclude that Nancy Mayes is the daughter of John Mayes (1770-1803) Charlotte Samuel Mayes and was NOT married to my John Bryan (RS) who served in the Revolutionary War – but WAS instead married to his son John Bryan Jr.


Response to Week 31: 52 Ancestor 52 Week Blog: The Tale of the Two Nancy Bryan’s….

Margie von MarenholtzAugust 4, 2014 at 1:45 pm

VERY, VERY NICE! Great Job! I had never found a spouse for John Bryan, Jr. I’m sure all the records we need were in some burned out courthouse – LOL. Thanks for all the great digging 🙂

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14 Responses to Week 31: 52 Ancestor 52 Week Blog: The Tale of the Two Nancy Bryan’s….

  1. VERY, VERY NICE! Great Job! I had never found a spouse for John Bryan, Jr. I’m sure all the records we need were in some burned out courthouse – LOL. Thanks for all the great digging 🙂

  2. Hello, great work. I was wondering if you know how a John Bryant born 1785-1795 who is found first in Madison County, GA at it’s forming (1811) and resided their until 1857 (likely his death) might fit in? He had a son named John Pinkney Bryant who married a Virginia Cooper in Madison Co. GA.

    I’m unsure if my John is related, though of interest I had my uncle (a paternal Bryant descendant) Y dna tested and he matched someone who seems to descend from a John Bryant (also born about 1785) who moved from South Carolina to Giboson County, Tennessee, he seems to be the son of a Lucy Bryant, someone who was at least part Cherokee and had a reservation granted to her in Northern Georgia.

    What is of interest is a descendants of hers/his were accepted into the Cherokee Nation and some moved into it (in OK, though they didn’t move west during the trail of tears period) and a specific descendant, a Hanna Belew Flippin had a trial and was removed from the Cherokee Nation via a trial. Apparently her lawyer might have been a Joel Mayes Bryant:

    I’m guessing one (or a descendant of one) mentioned in your article?

    Could be a coincidence but makes me wonder if they were related (both descending from Cherokee Bryants). I’m unsure how my Bryant line relates to that line other than I dead end in Northern Georgia with my John Bryant (so many John Bryant(s) out there!) and the proximity of Madison County to Franklin has made me wonder if there’s a relation somewhere, Madison was partly from Franklin.

  3. Sabrina Whitney says:

    I live and work for the state of Georgia. We have 159 counties. There is no Bates County in Georgia at present, and I was not able to locate any history of a Bates Co Ga. Could this possibly be a typo in your blog?

    I believe we may have spoken before. I suspect one of my ancestors to be among the unnamed children in the John Bryan will of 1825. I would like to know more about that John Bryan if you have time to speak about it.

  4. Katy Snyder says:

    Hi there, I came along your blog from Ancestry; I’m a descendant of Fatima “Faney” Bryan and West Walker…

    Check out this map of Cherokee “land” from 1822, if he was born in 1809 then the area was definitely still inhabited by Native Americans. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cherokee_County,_Georgia#/media/File:Cherokee1822.jpg

  5. MaryLynn McCloskey says:

    I think that you have finally found the parents of my Docia Dianna Bryan- John Jr. and Nancy Mayes! She was born 1821 Georgia and married William Prather in 1838 Franklin. William is listed next door to John in the 1840 census.

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