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Aug 05

Another John Bryan Family Photo

John & Hannah (Huey) Bryan family in front of their Jay County, Indiana, home (c1883)

This is another photo of the John and Hannah (Huey) Bryan family. This photo was taken in front of their home in Bear Creek Township, Jay County, Indiana. I believe this photo was taken on the same day as another photo of the John Bryan family that I blogged about a couple months ago. I have re-posted the other photo at the end of this blog.

The photo to the right shows the 7 Bryan children with spouses (if they were married) and some children. The other photo (end of this blog) is a close-up of John and Hannah and their 7 children and is the background photo of this website. If you look closely you will see that the women are wearing the same dresses in both photos. Both photos show John and Hannah sitting in their rockers, holding their massive Bibles.

The photo above was published in a recent Jay County Historical Society publication, When Grandpa Farmed. Joe purchased this 2 Volume set of books for me as a Christmas present last year. There was an article about the James family in Volume II and this photo was included with the article. From the article I learned that Mr. James, the contributor, and I share common ancestors—John and Hannah (Huey) Bryan. Mr. James descends from John and Hannah’s daughter Alta Jane Bryan and her husband Ernest Schmidt. I contacted Mr. James and we have been sharing information and photos. This is working out very well because he has several photos that I have never seen and I am able to supply him with information about the family.

Mr. James also shared this copy of a 16 x 20 pastel of John and Hannah (Huey) Bryan that  looks like it was made about the same time as the other two photos:

John & Hannah (Huey) Bryan, copy of 16 x 20 pastel

Mr. James thought the group photos were taken about 1880. I have been thinking about the photo taken in front of the Bryan home and studying it. My great-great-grandparents, William and Emily (Bryan) Reid were married in 1878 and they traveled to Kansas soon after their marriage. Their first two daughters, Pearl and Laura, were born in Kansas in 1880 and 1882. Their third daughter was born in Jay County March of 1884. The Reids would have been in Kansas from 1880-1882. Alta Jane was married in 1894 and she does not have a spouse in this photo. The photo was likely taken sometime between 1882 and 1894.

Everyone in the photo is dressed in their fine clothing. Even the children are dressed up. What could have brought everyone together for such an occasion? People dressed up for funerals and weddings. Could this possibly have been a wedding celebration?

I believe the photo in front of the Bryan home could have been taken as the Bryan family gathered to celebrate Byantha Bryan’s marriage to George Saxman on 28 September 1883. I also believe the two little girls on the far left are William and Emily Reid’s daughters, Pearl and Laura. That would mean that the little girl that is standing and holding her mother’s hand is my great-grandmother, Pearl (Reid) Brewster.

Mr. James was able to supply the names of most of the adults in the photo. I have been gathering information about John and Hannah’s grandchildren from census records and my theory just might be correct. I believe these folks are in the first photo, from left to right:

William Reid, holding daughter Laura; daughter Pearl Reid holding her mother’s hand, Emily (Bryan) Reid
Mary (Reid) Bryan and her husband Peter Bryan
An unidentified couple
George Saxman and Byantha (Bryan) Saxman
Lewis Bryan, s/o Mary (Bryan) & George Reid (standing in front of Byantha)
Hallet Bryan and his wife Mary (Chapman) Bryan (standing behind John Bryan)
Alta Jane Bryan and her brother William Riley Bryan (standing behind Hannah Huey Bryan)
Mary (Bryan) Reid and her husband George Reid
An unidentified woman standing at the far right

I am not sure about putting names with the children that are sitting in front of John and Hannah. There are a total of 9 children in the photo, 4 boys and 5 girls. However, by using census enumerations I can only come up with eight Bryan grandchildren in 1883. According to census records these would have been John and Hannah’s grandchildren in 1883:

Mary (Bryan) & George Reid married c1874; children: Lewis, age 8; Loraine, age 6
Peter & Mary (Reid) Bryan married in 1876; children: John, age 5; Irena, age 3
Hallet & Mary (Chapman) Bryan married in 1879; children: James, age 4; Riley “William”, age 1
Emily (Bryan) & William Reid married in 1878; children: Pearl, age 3; Laura, age 1½

Perhaps one of the younger children was born and then died between census enumerations. Or one of the children could have belonged to the unidentified couple. The unidentified person to the far right also looks like a fairly young woman.

Who is the unidentified couple? Perhaps they were Bryan, Huey, or Saxman relatives. We may never know who they were.

I have had a copy of the photo below for quite some time. The names under the photo are as I received them. However, Mr. James thinks that William and Hallet’s names should be switched, but he is not sure. I would appreciate hearing from anyone that can correctly name the Bryan children in this family photo.

John & Hannah (Huey) Bryan, children Emily, Peter, Mary, Hallet, Alta Jane, William Riley, Byantha (c1883)

We may never know for sure what occasion prompted these photos. I just know they are wonderful photos and I thank Mr. James very much for sharing family photos with me. He has given me permission to add them to this website, so look for more Bryan family photos here.

1 comment

  1. Brian Brewster

    Love this entry, so interesting. Note the different email address for us.

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