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Ancestry of Charity Bryant

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Surnames/tags: Bryant Booth
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Posted on Ancestry.com by user dawnawms on 2 September 2011

Ancestry of Charity BRYANT (Note: the contributor of this story grants permission for it to be attached to family trees by other researchers who descend from Charity Bryant).

Charity BRYANT married John BOOTH in Bedford County, Virginia on 25 Nov 1802 (marriage license on 22 Nov 1802). The consent for her to marry was given by Mary JACKSON. So who was Mary Jackson and how might she be related to Charity Bryant? Who are the Bryants or Bryans in Bedford County that are the right generation to be Charity’s parents? These are the questions to pursue in search of her parents.


Mary Jackson appears to be the widow of William BRYAN (deceased 1764). By 1766 she is remarried to Jarvis JACKSON and together they sell the estate left to her by William Bryan to a man in Amherst County. Amherst County is a neighbor county to Bedford County. In the book The Deeds of Amherst County, Virginia, 1761-1807 And Albemarle County, Virginia 1748-1763 by The Rev. Bailey Fulton Davis on page 95 the following transaction is shown:

Page 113. 1 Sep 1766. JARVIS JACKSON & MARY JACKSON, Bedford, to HENRY TRENT, AC, for 30 pds, 400 acres “boath” sides John’s Creek of the N side of Fluvanna. Lines: NICHOLAS DAVIS, crossing John’s Creek, RICH. & ROWLAND BURKS, “with the priviledges of Hunting, Haucking, Fishing, and Fowling.” (X) of MARY JACKSON

This deed corresponds exactly to the estate settlement record found in Bedford County Will Book 1, page 75. A transcription follows (items of greatest significance are highlighted):

Mr. Jervice Jackson To the Estate of William Bryans Dec’d.

To the Sale of William Bryan’s Personal Estate ………………….. £ 10” 18” 3

To …………………………………………D°…………………….. 0” 15” 8 ¾

To …………………………………………D°……………………..27” 19” 11

To 400 Acres of Land Sold in Amherst……………………………. 30” 0” 0

…………………………………………………………………….... 69” 13” 10 ¾

To a Mare Sold to Wm. Fowler ……………………………………. 1” 15” 0

£ 71” 0” 10 ¾

Pd. Contra………………………………………………………..Cr.

By paid Cornelius Thomas 11 to Joseph Goodwin 18/2…………… £ 1” 9” 2

By paid Edmd. Fair 6/6 a Secretarys Ticket 3/6 Clerks D° 14/10z… 1” 4” 10 ½

By paid George Anderson 15 to James Callaway 7/5 ½ …………… 1” 2” 5 ½

By paid David Wright £ 4” 16” 0 David Cox 11/………………….. 5” 17” 0

By paid John Bush 25/10 paid Clerk of Amherst 22/10……………. 2” 8” 8

By John Goodwin 3/1 Wm Fowler 25/. Wm Candler 6/…………… 2” 4” 1

By paid Charety Bryan £3” 8” 7 ½ By paid Clerk Shh. & Witnesses Costs

in Defending a Certain pet (petition) Sum of Charety Bryan……} 2” 3” 7 ½

By Nathaniel Davis 19/3 paid the Sheriff of Amherst 18/2…………. 1” 17” 5

By Costs at the Ven due…………………………………………… 0” 8” 9

18” 14” 0 ½

By 5PCt on Collecting & paying away 18…14…0 ½ ………………. 0” 18” 9

By Gallon of Brandy at the Sale……………………………………… 0” 5” 0

19” 17” 9 ½

By your Wifes part of Bryans Estate………………………………… 7” 7” 3 ¾

By Ballance Due Bryans Estate……………………………………… 44” 3” 9 ½

71” 8” 10 ¾

November 21st 1768

In obedience to an Order of Bedford County Court I have settled and Adjusted the

Accounts Current of the Estate of William Bryan Dec’d & find that Jervice Jackson

Owes the Orphens of William Bryans the sum of forty four pounds three Shillings

And nine pence half penny Current Money of Virginia

Isham Talbot

The fact that the Amherst deed is signed by Mary Jackson rather than signed by Jervice (Jarvis) Jackson adds weight to the scenario that she was the former Mary Bryan, executrix of William Bryan’s estate. More particularly, the statement in the document for Mr. Jervice Jackson which says “By your Wifes part of Bryans Estate” supports this theory.

So, if Mary Jackson was the former Mary Bryan, wife of William Bryan (deceased 1764), then how is she related to our Charity Bryant? Charity Bryant was born in 1779 (birthdate on her headstone is 14 Aug 1779 and the 1850 census also calculates her birth year as 1779). A birthdate of 1779 is fifteen years after William BRYAN died, so she can not be his daughter. But she could his granddaughter, with the two possibilities of fathers being 1) Elijah and 2) William. These two sons are listed in the will of William BRYAN below:

Bedford County, Virginia Will Book 1 pp.13-15 (transcription is faithful to original spelling)

In the Name of God Amen. I William Bryan Being Weake in Body but in my parfect Sences I make this my Last Will and Testament and in the Year won Thousand Seven hundred & Sixty Three I give and Bequeath unto my Beloved Wife Mary Bryan all my estate During her Widdowhood Excepting This Tract of land I now Live on and That I give to my son Elijah Bryan to him forever and Two Negroes I Leave won Wench Named Jane I Leave to my Wife till my son William Bryan Comes of Age and Then she and Her Increace to be Sold and Equally Divided Between my wife and Children & the Other wench Named Jude to be Sold if my Wife and Children agrees and the Money to be Equally Divided between my Wife and Children and the Estate above given to my Beloved Wife if She Marries I Desire may be Equally Divided and Leave my Wife Executor whereunto I have Set my hand and Affixt my Seal This first Day of December 1763.

Witness present: Richard Callaway, Mary Bryan, John Bush

William Bryan B (his mark)

At a Court held for Bedford County Feby 28th 1764

The within Last will & Testament of William Bryan Deceased was Exhibited in Court & proved by the Oathes of Richard Callaway & John Bush and Ordered to be Recorded and on the Motion of Mary Bryan Executrix therein Named (she having first Taken the Oath) by Law Required & entered in Bond & Acknowledged the same with Securety for Due & faithful Execution of the said Last Will & Testament, Certifacate is granted her for Obtaining a probate Thereof in Due form of Law Teste Ben Howard. (Clerk of the Court)

The Bedford County, Virginia Order Book 3 (1763-1771) further identifies the underage children of William Bryan at the time of his death.

p. 475 Order: the Church Wardens bind out Margaret & William Bryan Orphans of Wm. Bryan Dec’d.

It appears the term “orphan” does not mean that both parents were deceased as Mary Bryan Jackson was still living at the time these court records were made. Indeed, Mary Jackson was still living in 1802 to sign the consent on Charity’s marriage. She was also listed in her husband Jervis Jackson’s will in 1802. Note: Jervis/Jarvis Jackson had a lot of children. They were mostly, if not all, from his first marriage to Helen or Helena LEE. This couple was married before or in 1758 in Goochland County, Virginia. Jervis does not include any of his step-children in his will, most likely because he probably felt like he settled with them after paying them what was due after the sale of William Bryan estate.


In 1764, Elijah Bryan was an adult son of William Bryan. No marriage record could be found for Elijah. The records in Bedford County, Virginia that show his name follow (listed chronologically):

(1763) Will Book 1 p. 13 Elijah BRYAN is listed as the son of William BRYAN

(1765) Deed Book 2 p.536 Elijah BRYANT is a witness to a deed for Ambrose Bramblett, along with Joseph Jackson and Susanna Jackson (note: Joseph was a son of Jarvis Jackson and Susanna was Joseph’s wife)

(1787) Tax List A Elijah BRYANT self 0 0 0 2 7

(1787) Deed Book 7 p. 702 Elijah BRYAN is grantee from William Gadde the grantor

(1790-1795) Order Book 10 p. 43 Elijah BRYANT qualifies as Constable

8 Nov 1793 marriage record Elijah BRYANT is witness for the marriage of Nance Bryant daughter of Patience Bryant. The record is signed by both Patience and Nance. Patience is typically a woman’s name but has also been found in records as a man’s name. The name Patience Bryan(t) does not show up in any other courthouse records.

(1795-1799) Order Book 11 p. 110 Elijah BRIANT “Ads Commonwealth”

12 Nov 1801 marriage record Elijah BRYANT is listed as the father of Polly Bryant

22 Nov 1802 marriage record Elijah BRYANT is NOT listed as the father of Charity

(1815-1820) Order Book 17 p. 237 Elijah BRYANT is exonerated from erroneously assessed delinquent taxes. (This record is important because it shows that Elijah would still have been living at the time that Charity got married. If she was his daughter he should have been the person giving consent for her to marry.)

NOTE: Campbell County, Virginia is another county near Bedford County. In 1803 there is an Elijah Briant that marries a Lucy Key. In 1806 there is an Elisha Briant that marries Ann S. Miller. Elisha Briant shows up on the 1810 census in Campbell County. These are different persons than the Bedford County Elijah Bryant.

It now appears that Elijah Bryant was not Charity’s father, though he was the right generation to be a possibility.

William BRYAN Jr.

This son of William BRYAN (deceased 1764) could have come of age, married, and had children by the year 1779. There are not any identifiable records to separate this William from another William Bryan, son of Ambrose BRYAN. These two Williams were of the same generation and very likely were cousins. There is no marriage record for either William Bryan(t).

Ambrose BRYAN

The Bedford County Order Books 1A (1754-1758) and 1B (1754-1761) have entries for Ambros/Ambrose BRYAN qualifying as Lieutenant and as Ensign and a few other court cases he was involved with. All entries are “one-liners” with no helpful details about his family. Order Book 2 p.25 mentions “Ambross BRYANT former surveyor.” In Order Book 3 (1763-1771) he is shown to have died before 1771. His widow Charity Bryan is “RECOG. DISCHGD” (p.218), perhaps this has to do with the note on the estate settlement of William Bryan dated 1768:

By paid Charety Bryan £3” 8” 7 ½ By paid Clerk Shh. & Witnesses Costs

in Defending a Certain pet (petition) Sum of Charety Bryan……} 2” 3” 7 ½

If this is related, then Ambrose died before 1768. Within the Order Books, individual entries are not dated and so it is difficult to determine dates of events. Mary Bryan qualified as executrix on page 89 (1764), but her children are not ordered bound out until page 475. Charity Bryan is discharged on page 218 and then her children that are to be indentured on named on page 322.

The children of Ambrose BRYAN are listed in the Order Book 3 as James, Josiah, and William BRYAN. Since Ambrose did not have a will, it is possible that only his younger children were identified in the order book. Only the younger children of William BRYAN were named in the order book (Elijah was not named), so Ambrose could have had older children as well. In Order Book 4, which only included the year 1772, Charity BRYAN, “widow of Ambrose Bryan” was summoned to show why administration of Ambrose Bryan’s estate should or should not be granted to Samuel Hairstone (p.8). The results of that case were not noted in future records.

Ambrose BRYAN was also of the generation that was too old to be our Charity Bryant’s father, plus he died before 1779. But then, he could be her grandfather. His wife’s name was Charity, and thus our Charity could be a namesake. But it is also possible that Charity BRYAN senior could have been a great-aunt to our Charity.

One more known Bedford County BRYAN of the older generation was James BRYAN. Order Book 4 (1772) says Jane BRYAN is summoned to accept or reject administration of James Bryan’s estate (p.40) and in Order Book 3 (1763-1771) the Church Wardens are ordered to bind his children out, namely Benjamin, Mary, and Liddy (p.427) and later (p.695), Mary and Lidda are again ordered to be bound out (the record says “William’s children” but that was an error and should have said “James’ children”).

Lastly, there are deed records in the 1760’s for the names John and David BRYAN besides Ambrose A. and William BRYAN. John and David could be adult children of the older BRYAN generation or they could belong to that generation as well.

The deed records of BRYAN/BRYANT grantees and grantors for the 1770’s include: John, Andrew Morrison, and William. The 1780’s include Elijah and James.

Another Order Book record of interest follows:

Order Book 6 (1774-1782) page 133 (this transcription spells out a lot of abbreviated words)

John BRYAN appeared in consequences of his recognition for begetting a Bastard child in the Body of Mary Ann Franklin whereupon is Ordered that he give Security for keeping the said child off the parish upon which the said BRYAN acknowledged himself held firmly Bound in the Sum of £50. to John Tinnie (illegible few words) in the Sum of £25 for the purpose affixed to be Security.

The illegitimate child of John BRYAN and Mary Ann FRANKLIN was born between 1774-1782. Charity Bryant’s birthdate falls in that time period. The gender of the baby was not provided in the records.


John BOOTH and Charity BRYANT had several children. The names of their children were William, Judith (Judy), Nancy, Anderson, and John. These are all names that are prevalent in the BOOTH line. John BOOTH was the son of William BOOTH. John’s mother’s name was Judith. John had siblings named Nancy and Anderson. He also had a brother named Elijah. (Their son William named one of his children Elijah, more likely after Elijah Booth, but possibly after Elijah Bryant, who could have been related to Charity.) In all, the names for their children appear more to have come from the Booth side. However, Charity could have been naming the first son after her father, as well.


In the end, after reviewing all the available court records for Bedford County, Virginia, any of the below scenarios for Charity’s parentage are possible. No one should add parents to her lineage based on these notes, because they are inconclusive as to who her parents were. Indeed, the possibilities have only been expanded!

The one thing that is certain is that she is NOT the Charity Bryant born in 1881 in Massachusetts, as some researchers have put in their family trees. Our Charity Bryant was definitely born in 1779 in Virginia.

Here are the scenarios:

1) She is the grand-daughter of William & Mary BRYAN. The widow, Mary, later married Jervis JACKSON. Since Mary JACKSON gave the consent for Charity to marry and not Charity’s father, then we are deducing that Charity’s father died before Nov 1802.

A.) She is the daughter of William Jr., the younger of the two known sons of William Bryan, Sr. Records for William Jr. are just too sketchy to confirm him as her father.

B.) She is the daughter of Elijah. This is less likely as he would probably have been the person to give consent to her marriage since he was still living.

2) She is the grand-daughter of Ambrose & Charity BRYAN.

A.) Her father is one of the sons listed in the order book: James, Josiah, or William.

B.) Her father is an unidentified son of Ambrose that was not listed in the above order book record because he had already "come of age" at the time of his father's death.

3) She is the grand-daughter of James & Jane BRYAN through their son Benjamin or an older unidentified son.

4) She is the illegitimate child of John BRYAN and Mary Ann FRANKLIN. John’s father could have been Ambrose, James, or someone else.

5) She is the daughter of any of the other BRYAN(T)s in Bedford County that were listed in deed records and tax lists during the 1770’s and 1780’s that have not already been named above, namely: Andrew Morrison BRYAN and David BRYANT.

6) She is the daughter of Patience BRYANT, who was alive in 1793 but may have died by 1802.

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