has anyone found a will for this William Bryan(t)? died 1789 in Salem, Botetourt, VA

+3 votes

There's a lot of guesswork around this William Bryan(t) and another William Bryan - Bryan-1413 (some guesswork being that Bryan-1413 is a son of Bryan-102).

Maybe the will could shed some light on both of them.

Cheers, Liz

update - December 4, 2013: When I posted this question, William Smith Bryan was Bryan-102. He's not anymore. Closest I can find him now is as a new profile merged into Bryan-102, which is now the WikiTree ID for Morgan Bryan, born 1671. I'm more confused now than ever!

Found the profile I believe I originally asked the question about. It was Bryan-1217, which has since been merged away into profiles that were merged away... http://www.wikitree.com/index.php?title=Bryan-1217&diff=prev&oldid=7246080 shows it as it was first created.  And at this point, I'll leave this Bryan line to his descendants!

WikiTree profile: Morgan Bryan
in Genealogy Help by Liz Shifflett G2G6 Pilot (466k points)
edited by Liz Shifflett
Posted 3 book links. Validity needs to be checked. May not be a will.

Thanks Michael.

  • The two source links require Ancestry.com membership, so nothing for me there
  • The "Morgan his grandson" link just showed me the book, no information in the book available.
  • The link in your bulletin board post to a Boone book did not include a will for this William.
  • Notable Southern Families has the following on William Smith Bryan, which makes it seem like death location for Williams Smith Bryan given in his profile is wrong and the will on file in Botetourt VA is for his son William:

About 1745, William Bryan and his sons, James and David, either a son or a brother but thought to be a brother, died 1767, wife Elizabeth, removed to the Staunton River in Roanoke County. They with others, were the first white settlers in that locality.

William Bryan settled at the place called Lake Springs, where he died at the age of 104 years (1685-1789), and David at Big Lick both near Roanoke City. ...

Old William Bryan is in one of the first deeds of Spotsylvania County, but always spoken of as Orange County. His son, William, lived in then Augusta County, though his home was down on the Roanoke near Salem (now Roanoke County), and his will is now on file in Botetourt County. ...

Will of William Bryan, of Roanoke, in Botetourt Gounty, wife Elizabeth (second wife), sons, William, James and John; daughter, Catherine Gole. Augusta Gounty Records, Vol. I, p. 61. [scan error for "Gounty" left, in case "Gole" was error for "Cole"]

I can't tell whose will this is an abstract of, as I didn't see a date. I also can't tell whose second wife was Elizabeth. Full transcription not included.

Ooh I fell into this Bryan mess trying to sort out Campbell County lines. That will belongs to William, son of William Bryan-2620 There appear to be two William Bryans (not including the son) and much research has them conflated. If you check William Jr.'s DAR record, you can see that his daughter Catherine married a John Cole and that he secondly married Elizabeth Phillips.

Thank you Carrie!

1 Answer

+3 votes
Best answer

No will however looks like the land was given to 2 of his sons prior to 1771:

page 223
Bryan vs. Lewis and Johnston--O. S. 303; N. S. 108--Bill, April, 1820, by James Bryan, Jr., of Botetourt. Prior to 1771 Wm. Bryan owned 400 acres on Roanoke River, near Salem , and divided it between his sons, William and James, who entered 190 acres adjoining and patent issued in name of James, 16th February, 1771. James sold out all to Andrew Lewis, 28th March, 1788, who sold to his brother William . James moved to Mason County. Wm. Bryan, Jr., died July , 1806, testate, devising his interest to his son, orator . James, Sr., had a son Andrew. Wm. Lewis sold to Dr. John Johnston and moved to Alabama. Will of William Bryan of Roanoke in Botetourt County. Wife, Elizabeth; sons, William , James,
John; daughter, Catherine Cole, wife of John Cole; grandson , Wm. Cole. Dated 27th June, 1805. Recorded in Botetourt,
October, 1806.
William and wife Margaret lived at Ballyroney Co. Down, IR . They were Presbyterians and when they left for America they carried with them a document from their church dated 17 April 1718. STORY - William and Margaret Bryan sent their son, John Andrew into the woods to cut a stick to make a handle for a hook used in weaving, and he was arrested for poaching. After much trouble and espense, his fathe r got him clear, and immediately sailed for America, where , as he said, "timber was free and there were no constables ". (from" Notable Southern Families", p. 40)
It is not known for certain how many children were born in IR and made the sailing with their parents. For sure John Andrew Bryan was born in IR sometime before 1717.
William and Margaret first settled in Pennsylvania, then West New Jersey and later moved to VA. William Bryan is listed many times in deed , Records, etc. in Agusta Co. VA. Reco rds, including disposition of land to his sons.

Possible virus(http://familytreemaker.genealogy.com/users/d/o/u/Connie-Douglas-WILSONVILLE/WEBSITE-0001/UHP-0717.html)Possible virus


Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish Settlement in Virginia:

Extracted from the Original Court Records of Augusta County, 1745-1800, Volume 1 (Google eBook)


by M Lechner G2G6 Mach 6 (61.8k points)
selected by C E

thanks so much! that's helpful (and I'll be exploring the link too... not the one flagged possible virus though)

So, now I'm looking for two wills:

Will of William Bryan of Roanoke in Botetourt County. Wife, Elizabeth; sons, William, James, John; daughter, Catherine Cole, wife of John Cole; grandson , Wm. Cole. Dated 27th June, 1805. Recorded in Botetourt, October, 1806.

Will of William Bryan, died 1789 in Salem, Botetourt, VA.

Cheers, Liz

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