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.

Mary E. Bryner would grow up and wed Willard H. Morse (a nephew of step-father Patrick Burns) on 1 Jan 1901 in Lake County. We find Mary and Willard living in Cleveland on the 1910 census with none other than mother Helen L. Burns, uncle George F. Judkins (husband of Frances Amelia Bryant, Benjamin's sister) and cousin Frank G. Judkins and his family.

For even more proof, Frances Jane Dodge's Date Book (daughter of Sarah Bryant) includes the birth and death dates of "Helen L. Burns" and "Mary E. Morse" along with many other family members.

Benjamin Franklin Bryant was a stage coach driver (a rare profession). The same can be said for Sarah Bryant's husband Rufus Dodge. It's possible that either he and Benjamin were drivers together and he introduced Rufus to his sister Sarah or, the more likely scenerio based on census records, Rufus and Sarah married and sometime later Benjamin convinced Rufus it was a good line of work to get into and he took up the occupation.


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