May 18, 2013

The Family Connection To Benjamin Franklin Bryant

At this point you might be saying, You just weaved this lovely story of the daughters of Harriet Bryant in your last post, but you haven't made any mention of son Benjamin Franklin Bryant and you said he is related to the family! Well... you're right. I haven't made any direct mention of Benjamin, because there is no direct evidence (that I have found). Benjamin left home early and never left a census record or any obvious clues of his relation, not even in an obituary or death record... but his daughter did, and so did his niece!

Helen Lorina Bryant was born 14 April 1847 in what conflicting records believed to be Madison, Lake, Ohio (1850 census says OH, death record says NY) to parents Benjamin Franklin Bryant and Elizabeth Gilbreath.

Helen Lorina married William Henry Harrison Bryner in Lake county 25 Dec 1869. On the 1870 census we find Harrison and Helen living with Harrison's mother and siblings 3 doors down from Helen's grandmother Harriet Platt in North Ridgeville (Their last name was written Briner here & also 2 doors from aunt Helen Bryant-Wallace & 9 doors from aunt Sarah Bryant-Dodge).

Harrison and Helen then move back to Painesville to be near Helen's family. Sadly, Harrison Bryner dies there 23 Nov 1879, a month after Helen gives birth to their daughter Mary E. Bryner. On the 1880 census Helen  is listed as the owner of her farm, living with daughter Mary Bryner, parents "Frank & Elizabeth Bryant", and brother Edward.

Helen Lorina would marry a 2nd time to Patrick Burns on 28 Jun 1893 in Lake County.

The Harriet Bryant-Platt Family

UPDATED 21 Sep 2013:
Harriet was born, to parents unknown, in New York state 06 Feb 1802. This is where she eventually marries William Bryant around 1820. Their only known son Benjamin Franklin Bryant was born 15 Jul 1822, followed by four daughters Harriet M. Bryant born about 1823-4, Sarah C. Bryant born 2 Apr 1827, Frances Amelia Bryant born 23 May 1832, and Helen Augusta Bryant born Oct 1834.

It is believed that after Frances Amelia's birth in 1832, the Bryant family picked up and moved to Ohio, most likely along the border of Pennsylvania in Trumbull county (I believe this because future censuses report that Helen was born in Ohio & her son Charles notes she was born in Petersberg, Mahoning, Ohio. It should be noted that Mahoning County did not exist until 1846 when it was formed from Trumbull & Columbiana Counties.)

William Bryant dies sometime between 1832-1840, when and where is unknown, but the 1840 census places the Bryant family in Warren, Trumbull, Ohio, so it is believed he dies in Warren, but again, officially unknown for now...

On 25 Sept 1840 a man named Comfort Starr Husted completes the application for intended marriage to Harriet M. Bryant in Warren. The document states that Harriet M. is 17 years old and that her mother has given permission to marry (He signs the application Comfort S. Husted). On 31 Dec 1840 Comfort and Harriet are married by a Justice of the Peace in Warren (which leads me to believe they were probably at the county courthouse).

Comfort Husted and Harriet M. had a son together named William H. Husted (middle name believed to be Hart) in 1841, probably still in Trumbull County, Ohio (OH is noted on 1850 census).

May 17, 2013

The Date Book

In 2012 my mother discovered a date book tucked away in a desk my parents had received from my paternal grandmother. Knowing I had become the family historian of sorts, she passed it along to me, certain I'd be interested.

The first page of that little book explained it was a gift from Helen Christian to her grandmother Frances Jane Dodge-Christian, who was the daughter of Sarah Bryant-Dodge.

Frances (or Frankie as she was known) used the book to catalog a vast majority of the birth dates and death dates of her existing family, and it seems a close friend or two as well. Her daughter Mona kept up this practice for a few years after Frankie's death, adding entries of her own to the book.

I spent weeks confirming names written in the book and matching them against my database. When I came to a name I didn't recognize I jotted the information down and started my own research into that person, finding what I could about their family, spouse and parents to see if any names were familiar.

This little book has helped me begin to deconstruct a brick wall that has been troubling me for years... Who was Sarah Bryant-Dodge and why don't I know anything about her family?