Was Jennie Lydia Elizabeth Bryant Cherokee or Chotaw and what was her real name?

+5 votes
My third grandmother was Lydia or Jennie Bryant from Sharon, Jones County, MS.  She was Native American or possibly part African American.  She was born around 1811 in MS.  Jennie walked the "Trail of Tears" but it must have been under a Native American name.  She was rumored to be friends with the LaFlore's and Talking Warrior.  She had a first child D.M. is all I have. She left Oklahoma with (a rumor) Tom McCauley, who was a California outlaw and later fought with General Bryant.  She went to Virginia with him and met Thomas Cleveland Bryant, cousin of General Edward Bryant.  Bryant followed her to MS and they married there in 1847 (record).  She and Bryant owned two or three thousand acres of land that included the Sandersville.  The land was later taken or sold to form the Reservation at Bok Homa.  Help.  This is my brick wall.
WikiTree profile: Jackie Yaggi
in Genealogy Help by Jackie Yaggi G2G1 (1.3k points)
The 1850, 1860, and 1870 U.S. census records in Jones, Mississippi list Thomas C. and  Lydia Bryant.  The 1850 census includes a 7-year old daughter, Virginia, born in Mississippi, so unless Lydia was a second wife they were married before 1847.  Thomas homesteaded two parcels of land, in Jones County, 40 acres in 1860 and 120 more in 1861. Everyone is listed on the census as white.  If Lydia was Native American she would have been Choctaw since the Cherokee never lived in Mississippi.  There are pre-Removal Choctaw census records, but you’d need to know her family name.  The ‘Tom Mccauley’ story sounds pretty sketchy.  The outlaw Tom apparently went to California in the Gold Rush, but where he came from is unknown.
I know I messed up on the marriage date.  It says white on all the census, but she was Native American and he was part.  I don't know how to find her family name.  Some say it was Temples, but I can't find her in Mississippi, Oklahoma, or Virginia.  Thanks for letting me know my date on marriage was wrong.  J. Yaggi
I found land records where William Temples, Baleem Corley, and Franklin P. Corley bought her land in the Pauling land office.  She owned a complete Tract beside the land of Mos eeh nah Tubbe.  I don't know why, but was told was a wedding present even though she got married 1837 to Bryant.  I cannot find a DNA connection to Temples so the two boys at Temples were someone other than his.  I keep getting matches for Cauley's, Corley's and others, but none for Temples.

Free people of color in that era and area (Virginia/Appalachia)and referred to as "the dark people "  were Melungeon.


This family lived on former Choctaw lands in Mississippi.
Thanks so much
She was a Apache Choctaw Sepulvado or Bison.  I still have not found her to collaborate this.  I am looking for her and husband if she has one.

Thanks, Jackie
Jennie was actually black or mostly black.  You could not see it because she got away with it on all the census.  I found where her son Needham was taking care of the inheritance after Thomas died because he hired a lawyer, Pendelton in Alabama.  That lawyer was contacted by the Bryant's and they took everything from Jennie because her and her sons had black blood.  It was later sold by a grandson from Jennie and Thomas's daughter along with twenty slaves.

2 Answers

+2 votes
Best answer
I’m not having any luck finding Lydia/Jennie on any Choctaw lists.  The vast majority of  Choctaw were Removed to Indian Territory in 1831.  There is a list of those who wished to stay and also a list from 1855 of those who did stay, and a 1902 list of Mississippi Choctaw. I don’t find Lydia or any of the three families people connect her to - Cauley/Corley, Temple/Temples, and Bryant.  I think the assumption that the William Temples who is listed with the Bryant family is Lydia’s son by an earlier marriage is not correct.  William’s son Lorenzo married Lydia’s daughter, Virginia Bryant and he wouldn’t have been able to marry his aunt.
by Kathie Forbes G2G6 Pilot (530k points)
selected by Jackie Yaggi
I don't find her either.  She did not buy the land.  Baleem Corley bought part, Franklin Corley bought part, and William Temples bought some of it. Then William gave it to her as a late wedding present, so they say. I saw the record where he gave it to her.  Thanks Jackie
I found a will where her son Needham Bryant was trying to get his, his sister, and their mother's inheritance and hired a lawyer to help.  The lawyer then put 20 slaves up for sale with out consulting the family and later told Needham that Thomas made a will in Virginia and that the family here could do nothing about it because they had black blood along with the Native American.  So they lost the land that was their mother's because of their color.
Where did you find the will?  And where did you find that she had a son named Needham?  There is no son listed by that name in census records.  There is an alleged son, Needham Temple(s) but it appeared he died in the civil war and Lydia's husband, Thomas C. Bryant did not die until Mar 1880.  Also, in an earlier post you mention having a marriage record for Thomas and Lydia...where did you find it?  Also, where did you get information that she had a child with initials D M?
I was wrong about the will, wrong Needham temple, but she did have a son Needham and a son William.  I got the other information online from message boards.  Just floating rumors.  I think that the m was maybe for Moss, but I cannot find the D.  

     Needham and William are her sons by someone else.  I don't know who, but I have a lot of Corley, Cauley, McCauley's, and Cawley's in my bloodline and that is the only place they could have come from.  Jackie
+2 votes
I will see what I can find on various Choctaw lists.  There are lists of Choctaw who gave up their citizenship and stayed in Mississippi, a list of Choctaw East of the Mississippi from 1855, and lists of mixed-blood Choctaws.  Anyone you find on a BLM land record was white, buying the land that was taken from the Choctaw.
by Kathie Forbes G2G6 Pilot (530k points)
She wasn't white, I am sure.  She may have been part African American.  My grandmother called them the dark people and would have nothing to do with them.
Thank you so much for your help.  She could be anything.  I just wish I knew who she was and where she came from.  THANK you all for the help.  Jackie

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