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).

What happens to Mr. Husted is unknown but it's believed he dies within a year or two. It's not know for certain, but a Harriet Husted marries a William Fowler in 1844 (an intention to marry is found on 18 Apr, but no record of marriage). This is the last record for both a Harriet Husted or Fowler and William Fowler. I have found no trace of them after this date, its possible they died in some kind of accident or that Harriet dies in childbirth in the coming years.

Mother Harriet will remarry Melzar Platt in 1843. An intention to marry is filed 31 Jan 1843 in Trumbull County, Ohio and Harriet and Melzar are wed in Rome, Ashtabula, Ohio on 04 Feb 1843 (Rome is 26 miles north on the main road out of Warren).

After marriage, probably in late 1843 or early 1844, Melzer and Harriet move to Pulaski, Lawrence, Pennsylvania (still along the OH-PA border) where we find them on the 1850 census. I believe this time frame because an old (sadly unsourced) family tree notes that Sarah C. Bryant marries her husband Rufus Dodge in Sharon, Mercer, Pennsylvania on 11 Jun 1844. The most telling about this note is that the center of town for Sharon is only 10 miles north of Pulaski.

Now onto this 1850 census I've referenced... In 1850 we find Melzer and Harriet in Pulaski, PA along with Harriet's children Helen Bryant and Frances Amelia Bryant. Harriet's nephew William H. Husted (written here as Houston) is also living with the family, which is why I'm lead to believe daughter Harriet M. died.

Frances Amelia would leave home and in about 1851 marry another man unknown to the family, this one was Mr. Wilsdorf. Based on lack of records, this marriage likely occured in Pulaski or Sharon, PA.

Most likely 1853-1854, daughter Helen Augusta marries William S. Wallace, probably in Pulaski or Sharon, PA as well, and the couple moves to North Ridgeville, Lorain, Ohio by 1855 when their first child is born. In total, they raise a family of 3 sons and 4 daughters.

Sometime before 7 May 1856 the Platt-Bryant family moved to Springfield Township (sometime seen as Petersberg) in Mahoning County, Ohio when Melzer wins a contract bid to become Postmaster General. Melzer would run mail Tuesdays and Thursdays for the Petersberg-Columbiana route in a position he would hold for the next 5 years.

On the 1860 Census, Melzer and Harriet Platt are living in Springfield, Mahoning, Ohio with nephew William H. Husted, now 19, (again under Houston). By this point, it seem Mr. Wilsdorf has passed away and daughter Frances Amelia and her two daughters Harriet A. and Frances J. Wilsdorf are also living with the family. (It should be noted, both of Harriet Platt's daughters Frances and Sarah named their first daughter Harriet A., and their second daughter Frances J., Sarah's children were Harriet Adaline and Frances Jane, I would expect the same for Frances Amelia's children.)

And speaking of Sarah, about 13 houses down (on the census) daughter Sarah Bryant is living with husband Rufus Dodge and their daughter Harriet Adaline.

On the 27 Apr 1867, Melzer Platt passes away (I would assume this is still in Mahoning County, but I have no proof yet), because on the 1870 census the families have relocated to (North) Ridgeville, Lorain, Ohio to join the Wallace family. Here a widowed Harriet Platt is living next door to daughter Helen Wallace and 6 doors down from daughter Sarah Dodge & her family.

I believe the relocation took place in mid 1867, because on 30 May 1868 daughter Frances Amelia marries George Franklin Judkins (Frank) in Lorain County (presumably North Ridgeville).

Harriet Platt died in Elyria, Lorain, Ohio on 13 Mar 1876 at the age of 74 years, 1 month, 7 days. I believe since she died in Elyria, that she died under the care of daughter Helen Wallace who had moved to Elyria with her family between the 1870 and 1880 censuses.

After Harriet's passing, the girls would go their separate directions. Eldest daughter Sarah Dodge and her family would stay in North Ridgeville until Sarah's passing on 18 Jan 1897 when husband Rufus would move in with his daughter in Cleveland. Frances Amelia Judkins moved to Cleveland with her family shortly after Harriet's passing and lived there until her death on 26 Feb 1893. And youngest daughter Helen and her family would stay in Elyria until her passing on 10 Sep 1903.

Nothing has been found of William H. Husted after leaving home. The only record to surface is of his death on 29 May 1869, and that was only found in family records believed to be complied by Sarah Dodge and daughter Frances Christian. Also noted on this list are all the Dodge daughters, Harriet & Melzar Platt, Frances Judkins, and Adela H. Wilford

NOTE: An obituary for Helen Bryant-Wallace's son Lewis from 16 Feb 1893 in page 5 of the Elyria Weekly Republican mentions in attendance "Uncle Frank Judkins, and family, of Cleveland" confirming the family relations and marriages are accurate.


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