Bryan Family Bible – Just the Facts Ma’am

JackwebbbbigseptembermanI looked for a clip from the old Dragnet television show with Detective Joe Friday saying the most famous line from the series: “Just the facts Ma’am.” I couldn’t find one.

It turns out that Friday, as portrayed by Jack Webb, never said those exact words. What Friday actually said in an early episode is “All we want are the facts.” Parodies of the Dragnet series popularized the phrase. Never happened. We just thought it did.

What does Dragnet have to do with the Bryan Family Bible anyway? Well, let me explain…

Most of my posts about the Bryan Family Bible have been attempts to analyze handwriting or intentions or understand circumstances. I’ve been using facts, but making guesses. As I was preparing yet another post, I realized that I already disagree with something I wrote in one of my previous posts.

What do I do about that?

Well, today, what I do about that is offer just the facts in the form of my transcription of what is written in the Bible. No speculation. No analyzing. No attempt to understand the mindset of the writer. No guessing – except for interpreting handwriting.

Just the facts, Ma’am!

(click to enlarge Bible pages)


Page 1
Jesse James Bryan died Nov. 13-1918. Age 31. In France. Died with the Flu.

Page 2
Family Record Births

James W. Bryan was born June 28th 1856.
Rosa Hoskins was born Jan 2th 1869
William F. Bryan Was born September the 6th 1885    1885

Jesse James Bryan was born July 4th 1887.
Georgia Anna Bryan was born Oct 16th 1888.
Henry Ward Bryan was born Feb. 4th 1890.
Frances Jane Bryan was born Sept 18th 1891
Daniel Webster Bryan was April 1th 1893
Della Mae Bryan was born April 2th 1895
Nancy Luella Bryan was born Oct 17th 1896
Thomas Wesly Bryan was born March 14th 1898
Sarah Alice Bryan was born Oct 2th (or 5th?) 1899
Mamie Myrtle Bryan was born Sept 12th 1901
Lewis Marion Bryan was born Jan 18th 1904
Edna Lelia Bryan was born June 15th 1905
Nellie Ruth Bryan was born Aug 30th 1909
Hattie Rosa Bryan was born Feb 3 1912


Page 3

Family Record

William Wesley Bryan Died Dec 4th 1856.
Eliza Ann Bryan Died Oct. 27th 1858
George Washington Bryan Died Jan the 3th 1864
George L. Bryan Died August the 2nd 1878
Uncle John W. Bryan Died April. 1th  1909
Sarah Bryan Died October 27th
October 27th .1914 on Tuesday morning 11 am (?)
Joe Bryan died Nov 13 1918 with flew in france.
Next is an erasure which looks like: John W Bryan Died April 1 19??

Page 4

Family Record

George Washington Bryan and Sarah Stokes were married. June 9th 1842
Mary. H. Bryan and James C. Moddrell were married July 24th A.D. 1861
James W. Bryan and Rosa. L. Hoskins was Married April 17th 188?


Page 5

Family Record  Births

Charley Jefferson Bryan was born Dec 23th 1885
George Washington Bryan was born April 1st 1819
Sarah Stokes was born August . 26th 1821
Mary Hester Bryan was born December. 3rd . 1843
Nancy Jane Bryan was born June 20th . 1845
John Franklin Bryan was born Sept 10th. 1846
George Larkin Bryan was born April . 6th. 1848
Thomas Jefferson Bryan was born October 23rd. 1849
Jones Marion Bryan was born. August 10th 1851
William Wesley Bryan was born. June 3rd. 1854.
James Washington Bryan was born. June 28th. 1856
Eliza A. Bryan was born Oct 27th. 1858
Samuel David Bryan was born Nov 22 A.D. 1861
Sarah Elizabeth Bryan was born February the 27th AD 1864
Mary Marinda Bryan Was Born October the 20th
20 of Oct 1881                 1881   1881
Charley Jefferson Bryan Was born Dec 23rd. 1885

At the top of the next page:
Tom Bryan


No record of information on the page above.


Back cover of Bible:

Sarah Bryan was born August 26 1821
Sarah  ?  6 ch of Rom
George Washington Bryan was born April the 1 1819
John M Cooper and Nancy Jane Bryan was Married April the 15 1869 AD
(I had to insert breaks beyond this point for formatting)
George L. Bryan and Hannah Gant was married July the 31 1870
Marion Bryan and Lucinda Camern was married June the 5 1873 AD
Samuel D. Bryan and Mrunda  (Miranda) Cuningham Was Married 3 (or 30) of March
AD 1880

Stay tuned for the next episode of The Bryan Family Bible: Can’t Leave Well Enough Alone.

Related Posts:
Treasure Chest Thursday – Bryan Family Bible
Bryan Family Bible – The Best Laid Plans
Bryan Family Bible – To Honor a Life
Treasure Chest Thursday: George Washington Bryan Wrote Here … I Think

Sepia Saturday – Umbrellas for Rain, Shine, or Romance

Sepia Sat july 13, 2013Sepia Saturday provides bloggers with an opportunity to share their history through the medium of photographs. Historical photographs of any age or kind become the launchpad for explorations of family history, local history and social history in fact or fiction, poetry or prose, words or further images.

I looked through my photographs and could only find pictures of me with an umbrella, so my offering for the prompt today will be all about me…

This first picture was taken outside Charles’ and Abbie’s Place – a gas station/grocery store/cafe owned by my grandparents. They lived on the property and I also lived there with my parents as a baby and toddler. The picture shows part of the lot beside and behind the business, including two small houses, a water pump and a picnic table.

On a sunny summer day my umbrella was for protection from the sun rather than rain.


I’m a little older in the next picture. No rain on this day either. I think I am standing outside the house of my other grandparents – Tom and Eveline Hoskins. It looks like a neighbor’s house in the background, although the driveway that would be on one side of their yard is not there, nor is the hedge that would be on the other side of the yard, so I am a little confused.

This picture feels like fall to me, so I’ll venture a guess that I received a new purse, coat, hat, gloves and umbrella for my October birthday.


I am one of those people who thinks that a rainy day is wonderful if you can stay at home and listen to the rain and thunder outside while you read and drink tea, or sit on your porch and watch the rain.

In 1966, my 13-year-old self thought that this song by The Hollies was very romantic. I fantasized about finding true love under an umbrella at a bus stop, just as depicted in the lyrics.

When I was in college a deluge caught me across campus from my German class and without an umbrella. I couldn’t afford to miss class that day and I arrived soaked to the core; made squishing noises as I walked across the old wooden floor to my desk; and a puddle formed on the floor under my chair as my hair and clothing dripped and dripped. I had just started dating my future husband, who was also in my German class. I didn’t know whether to be angry or embarrassed that he didn’t seem to recognize me.

So much for adolescent fantasies.

On this very hot sunny day in Texas where drought plagues us again this year, I invite you to sit in the shade of an umbrella or enjoy a rainy day as you read what others have prepared for Sepia Saturday.

Sepia Saturday – Eveline’s Changing Penmanship

I’ve been thinking a lot about handwriting recently because of the time I am spending with the Bryan Family Bible. In my most recent post about it, I made a case for identifying one of the writers as my 2nd great grandfather, George Washington Bryan.

Also, I’ve started “collecting” ancestor signatures. I got the idea from Jana Last at Jana’s Genealogy and Family History Blog, where she added a page for ancestor signatures and said she got the idea from another family history blogger. I love how we can steal share great ideas!

I haven’t added my ancestor signatures page to Abbie and Eveline yet because I only have a couple of signatures ready. I took a look at it this morning and realized I should add dates to those signatures before I publish them. So … I started looking at papers … and you know … got side-tracked … and so here I am deciding that I’ll spend a little time looking at how my grandmother’s handwriting changed over the years.

Because our handwriting does not stay the same over time.

In fact, sometimes mine changes in the same paragraph. I have a couple of different ways that I form some letters and, who knows why, but I’ll write the letter one way in one sentence and a different way in the next sentence. Sometimes my handwriting is really neat. Sometimes it’s sloppy. Sometimes the slant changes too – perhaps it has something to do with my mood?

It does make the identification of handwriting tricky.

I’m pretty good at identifying my grandmother Eveline’s handwriting. I was exposed to her writing for many years. But there are windows of time that her handwriting doesn’t look as I remember it.

Here are samples I might or might not recognize.
Coates, Eveline signature abt 1916-1918 cropCoates, Eveline writing sample 1916-1918

I don’t have a date on the above, but they are from a school paper – a book review of “The Mill on the Floss”. I’m thinking maybe she was about 17 years old. It is the earliest signature I can find among her papers. I might recognize the larger sample as hers, but maybe not the signature by itself.

Grandma signed a teacher contract in 1920. The capital E here isn’t anything like the one above! Maybe she was trying to demonstrate the cursive style that a teacher was expected to use at that time – wanting her bosses to know she could write like a teacher should.
Coates, Eveline. signature Teacher Contract 1920 crop

By 1923, Grandma was married so, of course, her signature changed a bit then.
Coates, Eveline signature teacher contract 1923 crop

Here is a sample from 1934.
Coates, Eveline signature 1934

I don’t really have any writing samples that I can date as being in the 1940s-1950s, so I’ll skip to this sample from 1975 – a letter she wrote to my parents and sisters (I was already out of the house). It looks very familiar to me.
Coates, Eveline writing sample 1975

I am lucky to have quite a few letters that Grandma wrote to me. She would have written more if I had been better about writing to her! This sample is from December of 1983 and Grandma was a just couple of months away from her 84th birthday. When writing to me, she didn’t sign her name, of course….
Coates, Eveline writing sample 1983

… except when she began to age and those little mini-strokes began to chip away at her memory. Then she would sometimes sign her letters “Eveline” instead of “Grandma.” And she sometimes complained that her eyesight was dim.
Coates, Eveline writing sample 1986

As age and dementia marched on sometimes she wasn’t sure who I was, but she always answered my letters. Her handwriting became less like what it had been. This letter from March of 1987 is the last letter I have from her.
Coates, Eveline writing sample 1987 last letter

If all I had to go by were samples of handwriting from Grandma at age 17-20 and age 87, I don’t know that I would recognize them as being written by the same person.

But here they are. And I don’t have to guess. I know who wrote them.

sepia sat july 6 2013I didn’t intend to participate in Sepia Saturday this week. But, unlike most weeks, the prompt itself is a plaque rather than an old photograph. So I’ll stretch the prompt idea to include the words my grandmother put on paper – memorializing a bit of her life.

Please visit other Sepia Saturday participants and see what they have prepared for today’s prompt.