Posted By:Diana McGinness
Subject:Re: Bryan Familes by J. R. Cooper, 1927 II
Post Date:May 15, 1999 at 19:19:08
Message URL:
Forum:Bryan Family Genealogy Forum
Forum URL:

as published in
Sunday, March 13, 1927

The Bryan Family of Fayette and Adjoining Counties

(Same Note: - Third of a series…)

The first of the kin of the Bryan family to explore Kentucky was Daniel Boone, the husband of Rebecca Bryan.

From the biography of Daniel Boone by Honorable Jesse Proctor Crump, one of his descendants, published in the ”Boone Family Book" the following statement are taken:

"Rebecca Bryan was born on January 9, 1739. Daniel Boone and Rebecca were married on August 14, 1756, by Squire Boone, who was then a Justice of the Peace for Rowan County, North Carolina." There children were:

Fourth Generation

60. James, born May 3, 1757
61. Isarel, born January 25, 1759
62. Susannah, born November 2, 1760
63. Jemima, born October 1, 1762
64. Levina, born March 23, 1766
65. Rebecca, born May 26, 1768
66. Daniel Morgan, born December 23, 1769
67. Jesse Bryan, born May 23, 1773
68. William, born June, 1775, died in infancy
69. Nathan, born March 2, 1781

It will be unnecessary to trace Boone's life here as it has been repeatedly written by historians and biographers.

Suffice it to say that, in 1773, Daniel Boone had decided to remove to Kentucky, several of the Bryans whose settlements were now sixty-five miles distant, also agreed to join him; and five other families in his own neighborhood engaged to join the expedition. The Bryan party numbered forty men. Some of them, from the valley of Virginia and Powell's Valley, were not to be accompanied by their families, as they preferred to go in advance and prepare homes before making their final move. But Boone and the other men of the Upper Yadkin took with them their wives and children. Most of them sold their farms, as did Boone.

Arranging to meet the Bryans contingent in Powell's Valley, Boone's party left for the west on September 25, 1773.

Proceeding on their journey, they were not molested, until the tenth of October, 1773, when they were approaching Cumberland Gap. The young me who were driving the cattle had fallen in the rear of the main body and were assailed by a body of Indians, and six of their number were killed, including James Boone, the eldest son of Daniel Boone.

This so discouraged the company that all except Boone and his family returned to their former homes, while Boone and his family retraced their steps forty miles and stopped at Blackmore's Fort on the Clinch River in Southwest Virginia.

It is to be regretted that the names of the Bryans and indeed all of the party were not preserved.

It will be noted that this start for Kentucky by Boone and his friends was made a year and a half before the treaty was made by the Hendersons with the Cherokees for a part of the territory.

In 1774, Daniel Boone and Michael Stoner, made their trip to Kentucky to warn the surveyors at the falls of the Ohio, and at other points, to return to the settlement on account of the Indian War then impending.

In March 1775, he helped to negotiate the treaty with the Indians, and, soon thereafter, with a company opened the road to Boonesborough. Having finished this in June, he returned to the Clinch and removed his family to Boonesborough. According to Boone, his wife and daughter were the first white women to sand on the banks of the Kentucky.

Some of the Bryans may have visited Kentucky in 1775, and we know that several of them were here in 1776. In the case of David Bryan and John C. Owings vs. Caleb Wallace, it is testified that James Bryan, John Bryan and Samuel Bryan saw the letters D.B. marked on an elm tree by John Bryan at the request of James Bryan.

This Samuel Bryan may have been Samuel Bryan, Sr., for Morgan Bryan and Samuel Bryan, Jr. and others were informed of the place in 1780.

Returning to North Carolina, we find in the deposition of Samuel Bryan in the case of his brother, Daniel Bryan, application for pension, dated August 21, 1833.

"Deposes that in the year 1776, the Cherokee Indians broke out in war… That his father, William Bryan, his brother, Daniel Bryan and himself, all were enrolled in the company of Captain John Johnston under command of General Griffith Rutherford…

That William Bryan was drafted…. That there were not enough arms in good repair, and that my father, William Bryan, and my brother, Daniel Bryan were gunsmiths… That General Rutherford ordered that they should stay at home and make and repair arms; which they did for the use of the army… Further that in 1780, during General George Rogers Clark's invasion of the Indian country, Daniel Bryan was appointed a hunter to provide food for the families… That after this deponent was persuaded by his mother and sisters to return to North Carolina and arrived there in the month of October."

In the application papers of Daniel Bryan for pension, there appears: "Daniel Bryan deposes that in the spring of 1779, he with his father, his brother, Samuel Bryan, and others, came to Kentucky and erected a small fort at Bryan's Station, where his brother remained with his family… He returned to North Carolina with his father, William Bryan, to assist him to remove his family to Kentucky, which he did in the fall following and settled at Bryan's Station were a number of others settled the same fall, 1779, and enlarged the station."

The application of George Bryan for pension recites: (February 24, 1834, Nicholas County, Kentucky) "George Bryan, who said he was born in North Carolina, Rowan County, on February 15, 1758 - that he was placed on the muster roll at the usual age in the company of Captain John Johnson - In the spring of 1776, came to Kentucky and made corn at the place where Bryan's Station was erected. On the last of July, same year, returned home."

"I, George Bryan, volunteered my services under the command of Colonel Joseph Williams and in the company of Captain Samuel Moseby, both of Surrey County, North Carolina, to march and join the Virginia army under the command of Colonel Christian. March against Indians, burned 14 towns, destroyed corn.

While there, I, George, with others, were out spying, and bringing in cattle and horses.

Army returned in November or December, making a tour of three months and some days. We were dismissed. (Statement was proved by Joseph Moseby.)

Second, sometime in 1778, I, George Bryan, was drafted in company of Captain John Johnston, I hired a substitute for 18 months.

Third, in spring of 1779, came to Kentucky. Settled where Bryan's Station was afterwards erected. Raised some corn that summer. Built a small fort there, then returned to North Carolina to assist my father's family in moving to Kentucky, who landed at the place where Bryan's Station now is, in the month of December following.

I, George, was shortly after enrolled in the company of Captain William Hogan. We then commenced erecting and enlarging the fort, to fortify us from the British and Indians. (The above statement was proved by Daniel Bryan.)

Fourthly, we were numbered in three classes. I, George, being appointed to the command of the first class, being a good woodsman and hunter, in spying and hunting. At one time going up the Kentucky three days alone, in pursuit of Indian signs and horses. Got one horse. Sometime in march 1780, I, George, with five others went on a tour as far as Laurel River, about 90 miles from Bryan's Station. Found a great many Indian signs making towards the settlements of Kentucky. We traveled day and night to get in. When we arrived at Boonesborough on the Kentucky River, some of the Indians, having gotten there ahead of us, had killed Colonel Galloway and taken one Negro man prisoner. We then continued to Bryan's Station, by traveling the greater part of the night. A small party of Indians were within a few miles of the station. Had killed William Bryan, Jr. The next day, I, George, with my brother, Joseph, set out in search of signs. Found they had taken some horses. We pursued the trail of one Indian. We got so near him that he discovered us and made his escape in the cave being on foot. In the month of May, the Indians stole seven horses…. We took their trail and pursued them, we took the horses. On 23rd of same month, May, I, George, with others, fell in with a party of Indians near the Great Crossing of Elkhorn Creek. We killed four, one of them by a ball from my rifle.

The engagement was warm for 15 or 20 minutes, when both parties gave way, except their commander and myself…. He fired at me and run. I pursued, he halted. I fired and fell. I got his scalp, gun, ammunition, breast plate and so forth. I then returned to my company. We lost one may killed and two wounded. They lost four killed and six wounded. The same party of Indians had on that date wounded three of our hunters, before we made the attack on the one of which died of his wound after a short time. We then returned to the fort, bringing in the dead and wounded - being out two days and one night, without eating or sleeping. In June, a part of Indians, about 60 in number, attacked Grant's Station. About 40 in number, including myself, mounted our horses and went to their relief.

We formed a line, made into the fort and dispersed them, finding two men and one woman killed.

During the time of service in 1779 and 1780, I, George Bryan, brought in 34 horses, which were lost from the station supposed to have been taken by Indians. Fifthly - in the month of August, 1789, I, George Bryan, being under the necessity of having horses, for which I gave 875 acres of land near Lexington…. This ending my service in Kentucky, having served three months in the spring of 1779, in erecting and enlarging the station.

Third, answer to questions: I lived in Rowan County, North Carolina, part of my time and balance of my time in Fayette County, Kentucky. Bourbon and Nicholas Counties, were I now live."

Signed George Bryan

In giving these depositions, we go a little ahead of our story and will return to North Carolina for the migration.

In the fall of 1778, Daniel Boone left Boonesborough for North Carolina to visit his family, whom he had not seen for several months. He spent the greater part of the following year in inspiring emigrants and securing volunteers for service in Kentucky.

According to Samuel Boone's pension application, they left Rowan County, September 15, 1779, and arrived in Boonesborough in October of the same year.

This was probably the largest company which had come to Kentucky at one time up to this date, and the station at Bryan's in the spring of 1780 contained more families than any other station north of the Kentucky River. A partial list would be as follows:

The family of James Bryan, Sr. (7)
Morgan Bryan's family (9)
His son, Joseph and family (6)
His son, James, Jr. and family (5)
John Bryan, Sr. and family (4)
William Bryan and family (11)
His son, Samuel, and family (4)
Sarah Boone Wilcoxon and family (10, probably more)
William Grant, Sr. and family (11)
Three Forbis families (15, estimated)
Three Hogan families (15, estimated)
Wilson Hunt
William Tomlinson
David Hunter
Matthew Caldwell
James Wasson
Casper Karsner
David Jones
John Burger
John Smith
James Power
John Burger
John Hower, Sr.
John Hower, Jr.
Nicholas Reagin

Fourteen families, just how many in numbers cannot be stated definitely.

There must have been many more families, as Bradford says in his notes that there were forty cabins there.

On the 10th of January, 1780, the first entry or claim of land was made by William Bryan as assignee of William Havilan, wherein he claimed a settlement and preemption to a tract lying on the north side of the North Fork of Elkhorn, and on both sides of the Shawnee trace made by Captain Holder's men in going to the nation which claim was allowed by the court, 400 acres for the settlement and the preemption of 1000 acres adjoining. On page 120 of the Certificate Book, and following the claim of Sarah Bryan for a settlement of 400 acres and preemption of 1000 acres, lying on the south side of North Elkhorn, about two miles from said creek, including a large well spring, and William Bryan's former claimed spring, by raising corn in 1776, proof was made and the court allowed the claim for a settlement of 400 acres and a preemption of 1000 acres adjoining. This is the mysterious Sarah added to the list of Morgan Bryan and Martha Strode's children by Dr. J. D. Bryan of St. Louis. To being with, she was not a Bryan, but had married a Bryan, which one of the Bryans, we hope to discover later.

Samuel Bryan, son of William, located his tract on the north side of Elkhorn on David Jones' fork, four miles northeast of Bryan's Station. This would be near or on the Bourbon County line and north of the L&N Railway.

George Bryan (2nd), son of Morgan, located his claims for 1400 on the head of Cane Run, about five miles from Bryan's Station, which would locate it somewhere along the Newtown Pike.

Joseph Bryan, Sr. claimed a settlement and preemption on North Fork of Elkhorn, joining Audleys Paul's and John Ware's east-line, by raising corn in 1776. The court allowed him 1400 acres as claimed.

Morgan Bryan, Sr. claimed a settlement of 400 acres and preemption of 1000 acres lying on the second small fork that comes in the North Fork of Elkhorn, adjoining Samuel Meredith's west line, by raising corn in 1776. On page 125 of Certificate Book is shown that William Bryan claimed a settlement and preemption to a tract adjoining Adam Stephens on the east and Ward on the south, between the head waters of Elkhorn and Hickman, including a large spring, by raising corn in 1776. The claim was granted and was afterwards surveyed for Daniel Bryan as heir at law of William Bryan deceased.

On January 12, 1780, page 129, Samuel Bryan by William Bryan, claimed a settlement and preemption , lying on west course from Spottswood Dendrige's land about 2 miles from North Fork of Elkhorn, by raising corn in 1776. Claim allowed.

David Bryan by James Bryan, claimed 1000 acres preemption, lying on the branch of Elkhorn, about four [miles] southwest of this place my marking and improving in 1776. Claims allowed for preemption of 1000 acres to include the above location to the land in case of Bryan vs. Wallace.

Page 130, John Bryan, Sr., claimed 1400 acres lying on Huston's Fork of Licking at Buffalo Crossing - by raising corn in 1776. Claim allowed and certificates issued and delivered to Stephen Trigg [one of the Commissioners]. James Bryan, Sr. claimed a settlement and preemption on head of South Fork of Elkhorn where Mr. Douglas began a large survey that includes part of Hickman Creek by raising corn in 1776. The claim was granted by the court and certificates issued for 1400 acres.

James Bryan, Jr. claimed a settlement and preemption lying on Can Run adjoining Maxwell on south and McConnell on the east including a big spring on north side of Cane Run, by raising corn in 1776. Claim allowed and certificate issued for 1400 acres. There was a contest over part of this land some 20 years later between the heirs of Francis Patterson and John Bradford assignee of James Bryan, Jr.

On page 144, Morgan Bryan, Jr. claimed a preemption of 400 acres lying on Boone's Creek, adjoining John Floyd on the north, by making settlement in the month of April, 1779. Claim allowed. This Morgan was son of Morgan, Jr., and brother of George, Joseph, Sr., so called, and James, Jr. There were several other Bryans who secured lands, who were probably related as of affiliated families. The following entered their settlement certificates January 17, 1780, viz:

George Bryan
James Bryan, Jr.
James Bryan, Sr.
Morgan Bryan, Sr.
Sarah Bryan
William Bryan

All of these entries were made in Book R, Jefferson County on April 27, 1780. The same parties with the exception of Sarah Bryan, entered their preemptions of 1000 acres. This would look as if they were working as a unit. On this letter date, Morgan Bryan, Jr., also entered his preemption of 400 acres.

In the next number, will be given the names of the other Bryans and who they were, or supposed to be, life at Bryan's Station during 1780; the founding of Boone's Station.

as published in
Sunday, March 20, 1927

The Bryan Family of Fayette and Adjoining Counties

(Same Note: - Fourth of a series…)

In regard to the other Bryans who claimed lands at the same time as the descendants of Morgan Bryan, there are some who may be traced to his brother, William, and possibly others who cannot be identified as yet.

On page 188, Certificate Book, William Bryan, heir at law of David Bryan, claimed a preemption of 400 acres, which was allowed. He was probably the son of David Bryan and Elizabeth, who afterwards married Colonel John Bowman.

Page 124, Daniel Bryan claimed a preemption of 400 acres adjoining Israel Grant on the northeast, by making settlement in April 1779. This is located in Clark or Bourbon Counties and on examination of the records, there may disclose who this Daniel was.

On page 257, the heirs of Daniel Bryan by Isaac Hite lying on Jessamine Creek, adjoining John Williams and Adam Stephens to include an improvement made by Isaac Hite, 1400 acres allowed. Isaac Hite was one of the pioneer settlers. He was related to the Bowmans as their father, George Bowman, had married Mary Hite.

Boone's Station

It is probable that Boone's Station was started shortly after the arrival of Daniel Boone with his large company of emigrants from North Carolina in October 1779. The laws of Virginia, passed in that year, appointing a Commissioner's Court for adjustment of the claims of settlers and others for lands in Kentucky. The formation of the counties of Lincoln, Jefferson and Fayette and the fixing of a state price for lands, all were an incentive for new settlers to come to this region. Daniel Boone, having been appointed one of the officers of the new County of Fayette, it became necessary for him to remove his residence in some place within the bounds of Fayette County.

Accordingly, a number of those who came with him, commenced on the work of establishing a station in a suitable location selected by Boone. This was on the Madison Military survey and about one-fourth of a mile of the present village of Athens.

His brother, Edward Boone, who had married Martha Bryan, with his family of children, was one of those who took part in the work.

The children of Martha and Edward were:

70. Mary Boone
71. George Boone
72. Joseph Boone
73. Sarah Boone
74. Jane Boone
75. Charity Boone

Edward Boone as related in the "Boone Family Book," was killed by the Indians in the fall of 1780.

The widow, Martha, bought land nearby and continued to reside here until her death.

Samuel Boone, another brother of Daniel's, also made his home at the station during the years of danger from the Indians. He had quite a family, as shown by records of the Circuit Court, entered several years later. His children were Elizabeth, who married ______White; Leah Boone, who married ________House; Sarah Boone, who married ___________Montgomery; Levi Boone; Hannah Boone, who married Robert Frank; Mary Boone, who married Leonard K. Bradley; Rebecca Boone, who married Roger Jones; Squire Boone, Thomas Boone, killed by Indians at Blue Licks; Samuel Boone, Jr.

It has been difficult to find just where he lived after leaving the Station, but court papers show that I was on a part of Charles Morgan's 1300 acre survey on Boone's Creek some two or three miles north or northeast of Boone's Station, where he died in 1807 or 1808.

Another of the families, who made their headquarters at Boone's Station, was William Scholl, two of whose sons later married into the Boone - Bryan families and will be more fully treated there. During the heavy snows and cold weather in the first part of 1780, there was little trouble from the Indians.

When the snow disappeared and the weather grew warmer, the Indians began their incursions.

Samuel Bryan's pension statement, omitting the first part of it, and beginning with 1779 says:

"In March, 1779, the said Bryan states that he removed from North Carolina to Kentucky, where he arrived in April, and in July, enrolled himself under Captain John Holder, and continued as a guard until July 1780."

In the latter part of the month, he "volunteered under Captain William Hogan to march against Shawnee Indians in a regiment commanded by Colonel Benjamin Logan, who marched his regiment from Boone's Station to the mouth of Licking, where he was joined by General George Rogers Clark, who had ascended the Ohio River from Louisville with about 300 regular troops of the Virginia line, and 400 Virginia militia under the command of Colonel Linn. General Clark crossed the Ohio River where Cincinnati now is and camped at that place. After defeating the Indians, burning their towns and fort and destroying their growing corn, they returned to Kentucky. This service continued 16 days when he was dismissed at Boonesborough. That in September, he removed with his family to North Carolina, where he arrived in October, and in November following, enlisted in the State Minute Service, under Captain James Stinson against a party of Tories, which had been raised by one of Colonel Fannon. Captain Stinson's company consisted of 350 mounted rifleman. This company marched from Salisbury, where they had been rendevoud [sic] on to the waters of Deep River, where they received intelligence of Fannon being in that part of the country with the Tories under his command.

Whom Captain Stinson immediately pursue, having been joined by Captain Kannada and some other forses [sic]. But Fannon, having dispersed his men and made his escape, this expedition ended, having lasted about one month and a half.

That [he] has no documentary evidence except a certificate for a horse furnished and his discharge by his Captain Stinson, which are hereunto annexed."

This is to certify that Samuel Bryan, Jr. has served a tower of duty, in
the public service as light horseman in my company, under command
of Colonel Isaacks [sic] and is now discharged by order.

Boonesborough, Kentucky County James Stinson, Captain
July 6, 1779 Captain

This is to certify that Samuel Bryan put one bay horse into county
servis [sic] prased [sic] to 150 pounds.

Certify by me John Holder, Captain

Daniel Bryan, in his pension application, deposes: He enlisted in company of Captain William Hogan and served 46 days. On the 10th day of March, 1780, his brother, "William Bryan, was killed by Indians, who surrounded Bryan's Station, killed two men and wounded one; stole a number of horses and killed their cattle. We killed three of their party, one of whom fell by a ball from my wife. These wounded not know. The Indians killed and wounded five or our men. My father, William Bryan, was one of the wounded, and who died of his wounds on the 8th day after.

The later, his mother, brother Samuel Bryan's family, and four sisters moved back to North Carolina to the same farm moved from."

Daniel Bryan

The foregoing statements by Samuel and Daniel Bryan, as well as the one by their cousin, George Bryan, gives an idea of conditions at the Station during part of the year 1780.

They show coming to Kentucky and their return to North Carolina in the fall of 1780. Also, that Samuel was in service up to January 3, 1782.

We follow these with the statements of some who remained. The first is the statement of another cousin, Daniel Wilcoxon, who recites in his pension application dated December 17, 1832. "Aged 78 years, the 13th day of March next, born in the County of Rowan, NC on March 13, 1755. In fall of 1778, in September, volunteered as a private in said County of Rowan, NC, in the camp of Captain John Holder, which company was ordered to come to Kentucky to guard and defent [sic] Boonesborough. And said company remained at Boonesborough." In the first of July, 1779, when he was ordered to Bryan's Station at which place he remained in service until the fall of 1783 being four years in service at that place; three years of which time he was lieutenant, first in Captain William Hogan's Company, second in Captain Robert Johnston's Company, the father of Colonel Richard M. Johnston. In whose company he, the said Wilcoxon, remained until the fall of 1783, when he was discharged. He, the said Wilcoxon, resided in Woodford County, Kentucky, from the time he left Bryan's Station, until twelve years since, when he removed to Shelby County where he now lives.

Daniel Wilcoxon

On November 17, 1832, John Mitchell, in his affidavit recites: Aged 67 years. That he became well acquainted with Daniel Wilcoxon in spring of 1780, at the Fort, then called Bryan's Station. The succeeding summer said Wilcoxon went on a tour of duty with affiant [sic] under command of Captain William Hogan to the Indian towns in General Clark's expedition.

Further states that he was generally employed from that time until the year 1783 on various scouting parties and expeditions against the Indians in Kentucky. He also states he acted as lieutenant at the said Bryan's Station. He was at the seige of the station and in various engagements with the Indians during that time.

John Mitchell

While the strife of warfare was going on and danger on every side the young people were not dismayed and at last three weddings took place at Bryan's Station during the summer of 1780. The parties were George Bryan (32) and Elizabeth Reagins; Israel Grant and Susannah Bryan (50), and one other.

There were no surveys made in Fayette County under the certificate granted by the Commissioner's Court until late in 1782, for the reason that the surveyor named for the county did not arrive until that time.

From the time he opened his office, business was brisk, beginning in 1783, the Bryans started having their surveys made and in improving their lands.

Of Morgan Bryan's family, who came to Kentucky, the oldest seems to have been James (30). His family consisted of a wife and three children, who came in the fall of 1779. The name of his wife is not given; their three children were:

76. Morgan Bryan
77. James Bryan
78. Sarah Bryan

After the entry of his land, sometime in 1780, he made contract with John Bradford, the printer of the first newspaper in Kentucky, and quite a realtor for those days, to prove up and secure title to his lands for which he was to give one half of the lands so secured.

In the fall of that year, he returned to North Carolina with his family.

Morgan Bryan, Jr. (29), who entered his land on waters of Boone's Creek, married Millie (Mildred) Simpson in 1781.

She was probably the daughter of Gilbert Simpson, one of the early Kentucky settlers. Morgan, Jr. was somewhat of a rover, trying the Cumerland and Green River counties and later settling in Shelby County. They had a number of children, a complete list of which has not yet been obtained. Among them were

79. Morgan
80. Tolliver
81. Anna
82. A daughter, who married Green Spiers
83. Dan, who married Jack (Jane?) Spires
84. A daughter, who married Jack Pierce

Joseph Bryan (31), who is called Joseph, Sr., in the Fayette's records, was born about 1751, as at his death in 1830, he was in his eightieth year.

He married, in North Carolina, Esther _________ (probably Hampton) in 1772. His home in Fayette County was on the Bryan dirt road - now pike about six miles east of Lexington. They were the parents of ten children, viz:

85. Enoch Bryan
86. George Bryan
87. David Bryan
88. Sarah Bryan
89. Morgan Bryan
90. Ezekiel Bryan
91. William Bryan
92. Joseph Bryan
93. James Bryan
94. Mary (Polly) Bryan

The names of these children are gathered from a suit in the Fayette Circuit Court, in settlement of the estate. Filed January 13 1846. The papers in this suit are in file number 1137. In this suit, Enoch Bryan, is one of the executors of his father, Joseph Bryan's will. (See Will Book 1-388)

That his mother, Esther, died in Missouri in 1834. That the heirs living in Missouri were Morgan Bryan, Ezekiel Bryan, James Bryan's heirs, and John Power and wife.

That the heirs in Kentucky were George Bryan, Enoch Bryan, William Bryan, Mary (Polly) White, Joseph Bryan, and David Bryan.

After writing the foregoing, I received through the courtesy of the Honorable Jesse P. Crump, of Kansas City, MO, a large collection of manuscript and photostat copies of Kentucky papers, in the Wisconsin historical collection.

In the next number, we will endeavor to connect these papers with the Fayette records, so that, if possible, we may get the correct history of the Bryan family.