Bryan Family Bible – Family Relationships Explained

Photographs and a transcription offer the names and dates for births, deaths and marriages found in the Bryan Family Bible. But how do the people in these long lists relate to one another?

The Bible belonged to George Washington Bryan and Sarah Bryan nee Stokes.
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George and Sarah had eleven children, listed in order below the birth entries for George and Sarah.
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Below the birth entry for Sarah Elizabeth Bryan, the youngest child of George and Sarah, are entries for two children born to Samuel David Bryan (ninth child of George and Sarah) and his wife Miranda Bryan nee Cunningham – Mary Marinda and Charley Jefferson.
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James Washington Bryan was the eighth child born to George and Sarah. He married Rosa Hoskins in 1884. James Washington Bryan’s birth is recorded on the page above. It is recorded again at the top of the other Births page along with his wife, Rosa Hoskins.

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The list of births recorded below James and Rosa are their fifteen children. They take up the whole page!

The Deaths page records the deaths of George Washington Bryan and Sarah Bryan nee Stokes (entries 3 and 6). Also recorded are the deaths of their children William Wesley, Eliza Ann, and George Larkin (entries 1, 2, 4). Uncle John W. Bryan refers to John Wesley Bryan, George Washington Bryan’s brother.

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Joe Bryan (entry 7) is a grandson of George and Sarah, and the son of James Washington Bryan and Rosa Bryan nee Hoskins. His death is recorded a second time on an otherwise blank page. There he is recorded with his given name, Jesse James Bryan. He apparently went by the nickname Joe.
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The Marriages page lists only three marriages – that of George Washington Bryan and Sarah Stokes, followed by the marriages of two of their children – Mary Hester and James Washington.

Other marriages are listed on the inside of the back cover. At the top of the page, the births of George and Sarah are listed again. These are followed by the marriages of four of their children, Nancy Jane, George Larkin, Marion (Jones Marion), and Samuel David.

There is no entry for the marriage of my great-grandmother, Sarah Elizabeth Bryan, the youngest child of George and Sarah. Sarah Elizabeth Bryan married Thomas Franklin Hoskins in 1884. As far as I know, Thomas Jefferson Bryan and John Franklin Bryan never married. George’s and Sarah’s other two children – William Wesley and Eliza Ann – died in infancy or childhood.

I think that accounts for everyone whose name appears on these pages.

The front cover and the first few pages are missing from the Bible. It is possible that additional information was recorded on the inside of the front cover as it was on the back cover. That is something we will never know.

The Bryan Family Bible ended up in the possession of my mother after both of her parents had died. Before that, it was apparently in the possession of her father, Thomas Hoskins, son of Sarah Elizabeth Bryan and Thomas Franklin Hoskins.

Sarah Bryan nee Stokes died in 1914 at the age of 93. The 1885 Iowa State Census shows Sarah living on her farm with three of her unmarried sons – John, Thomas, and James. By 1900, she was living with James and his wife Rosa and is listed as still living with themin the 1910 census. Sarah’s belongings, including the family Bible, surely went with her when she moved in with James and Rosa.

It makes sense, then, that the Bryan Family Bible remained in the possession of James and Rosa Bryan after Sarah’s death and that the births of their 15 children are recorded in its pages.

My mother remembers going with her father to visit his aunt, Rosa (more commonly called Rose), when my mother was a little girl. Perhaps Rose, who died in 1955, passed the Bible on to my grandfather, Thomas Hoskins Jr.

Related posts:

Treasure Chest Thursday – Bryan Family Bible
Bryan Family Bible – The Best Laid Plans
Bryan Family Bible – To Honor a Life
Bryan Family Bible – George Washington Bryan Wrote Here – I Think
Bryan Family Bible – Just the Facts, Ma’am
Bryan Family Bible – A Strand of Hair that Matches Mine 

Bryan Family Bible – A Strand of Hair That Matches Mine

One of the fun things about going through an old Bible is finding little items tucked in between the pages. The Bryan Family Bible contained a few such treasures. I’m sharing just one of them today – a strand of blonde/light brown hair wrapped with a piece of thread.


I wonder who saved this little strand of hair and who the hair belonged to? I think I’m pretty safe in assuming that it belonged to a member of the Bryan family – perhaps one of George’s and Sarah’s children. Maybe it belonged to my own great-grandmother, Sarah Elizabeth Bryan, or to one of George’s and Sarah’s grandchildren.

A while back I was going through one of my stacks and came across this envelope.
DSCN3194That’s my handwriting from many years ago. I don’t remember saving a sample of my hair in an envelope, but here is what was inside.
DSCN3196 - Version 2These look like they are just about the same color, don’t they?
DSCN3196And just to make it abundantly clear how closely they match since the lighting in the picture above makes the hair look redder than it really is, here they are together and closer to the actual color of the hair samples.

A pretty close match, especially the darker parts of my hair, even if I don’t have the best photography skills to prove it.

It is kind of awesome to find a strand of hair tucked away in an ancestor’s Bible that is over 150 years old – and have it match your own hair. I think we may be related.

Related posts:

Treasure Chest Thursday – Bryan Family Bible
Bryan Family Bible – The Best Laid Plans
Bryan Family Bible – To Honor a Life
Bryan Family Bible – George Washington Bryan Wrote Here – I Think
Bryan Family Bible – Just the Facts, Ma’am



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