Jun 10

The John Bryan Family Photo

John & Hannah (Huey) Bryan. Children: Emily, Peter, Mary, William Riley, Alta Jane, Hallet, Byantha.

This photo may look familiar to those of you who have been following my blogs and looking at my website. It is the background photo of this website, a photo of the John and Hannah (Huey) Bryan family. The photo was taken in Jay County, Indiana, very likely on the family farm in Bear Creek Township. I do not know when the photo was taken. I featured John and Hannah’s tombstone in my last Tombstone Tuesday blog.

In the photo John Bryan and his wife Hannah (Huey) are seated in their rockers holding their massive family Bibles. Seven of their eight children are standing behind them. They are, left to right: Emily Ellen, Peter, Mary, William Riley, Alta Jane, Hallet, and Byantha. Their eighth child, Jackson, died 2 Jul 1868.

John Bryan lived in Bear Creek Township in Jay County, Indiana. According to John’s will his 80 acre property was the East 1/2 of the SE quarter of Sec 34, Twp 24, Range 14 East. All of John and Hannah’s children were born in Jay County. Below is some information about those in the photo:

John Bryan (15 August 1824-19 April 1900) and wife Hannah (Huey) Bryan (19 January 1830-19 February 1901). They married 20 April 1848 in Jay County.

Emily Ellen (8 May 1856-24 Jun 1940) married William W. Reid 30 Jun 1878 in Jay County (Vol. D:442). William passed away in 1905 and Emily married Abraham C. Bisel 20 Dec 1913 in Jay County (Vol. 9:99). Emily and William were the parents of Pearl Reid, my great-grandmother. Pearl married Philip Brewster and their daughter Gertrude married Carl Miller. Gertrude and Carl were my grandparents.

Peter J. Bryan (22 May 1851-27 Jan 1914) married Mary A. Reid in 1876. They had the following children: John, Rena, Della, Edward, Emma, and Jesse.

Mary E. (5 Oct 1849-bef 1940) married George Reid. They had the following children: Eva, Lewis, and Manuel.

Hallet B. (24 Feb 1853-1936) married Mary Chapman 6 Sep 1879 in Jay County (Vol. D:557). They had the following children: James, Riley “William”, Lawrence B., Clarance, and a child that died in infancy, buried in Limberlost Cemetery, Jay County.

Alta Jane, (30 Sep 1866-bef 1940) married Ernest C. Schmidt 11 Aug 1894 in Jay County (Vol. G:494). They had the following children: Clarence and Mary R.

William Riley (27 Oct 1854-25 Jan 1893).

Byantha (5 Mar 1864-bef 1940) married George Saxman Jr. 28 Sep 1883 in Jay County (Vol. E:439). They had the following children: Alta Leana, Hannah Callie, John W.P., Mary G., Lela A., Jacob W., Orva L.J., Caroline, Arthur, and Kenneth B.A.

Some of this information was obtained from the booklet, the Seventh Annual Reunion of the Descendants of Christian and Hannah Whiteman. This booklet has been a valuable source of family information. The reunion was held 27 August 1908 at J.W. Whiteman’s Grove, four miles northeast of Bryant, Indiana. Christian Whiteman was one of my Revolutionary War ancestors and this booklet outlines his descendants. Christian’s second wife was Hannah Huey. One of their daughters was Mary, who married Isaac Huey. Mary and Isaac had a daughter Hannah, who married John Bryan.

Seventh Annual Reunion, Descendants of Christian & Hannah Whiteman, 1908. (first 3 pages)

Here is another source of information about the John Bryan family:

History of Blackford & Jay Counties, Indiana, 1887, by Lewis, p. 899: John Bryan, one of the leading citizens of Bear Creek Township, where he successfully follows farming pursuits, is a native of Coshocton County, Ohio, born August 15, 1824.  His parents, Peter and Mary (Huey) Bryan, were formerly residents of the State of Pennsylvania.  They had a family of eight children, of whom our subject was the second child.  When he was quite small he was taken by his parents to Licking County, Ohio, and later to Fairfield County, and from there the family subsequently removed to Allen County, in the same state.  John Bryan grew to manhood in his native state, being reared on a farm and educated in the common schools and by study at home.  In 1847 he came to Jay County, Indiana, where he has since made his home, and is now the owner of eighty acres of as good land as the county affords.  He has a good residence, surrounded by shade and ornamental trees, a large, commodious barn and other improvements, and his land is very productive and under fine cultivation.  Mr. Bryan was united in marriage, April 15, 1848 [sic], to Miss Hannah Huey, a daughter of Isaac Huey, born January 19, 1830, in Fairfield County, Ohio, and came to Indiana with her parents in 1836.  To them have been born eight children, seven still living–Mary E., born October 5, 1849; Peter J., born May 22, 1851; Hallet B., born February 24, 1853; William R., born October 27, 1854; Emily, born May 8, 1856; Jackson, born March 22, 1858; Byantha, born March 5, 1864; Alta Jane, born September 30, 1866;  Jackson is deceased.  Politically Mr. Bryan is a Democrat.  He is a worthy and consistent member of the Disciple church, and is a zealous worker in the Sabbath School.

Look for more information about the Bryan family next week.


  1. Linda (Lawrence) Ellsworth Mettie

    My sister told me that she had a email from you. What a great site! My sister is Susan (Lawrence) Hartman. We are related through the William Reid & Emily Bryan. Our grandmother is Zorpha. I have worked on this only on and off, but now that I have retired plan to spend mor time on my genealogy. Do you have the picture of Emily Bryan with all of her daughter’s ? I have all of my letters, Ill have to find out how sent me the stuff I have had for years. It may have been on of our Aunt’s. I knew if I read your e-mail I would get hot on this again! One small ? Are you LDS? I am that is why I asked. Thanks for the boost. Thanks Linda ( [email protected] )

    1. Karen

      Hi Linda! Nice to hear from you again. I believe we corresponded a few years back. Yes, I have a photo of Emily with all her daughters. I would love to share information and photos with you and your sister. I will e-mail you and we can work out the details. No, I am not LDS. I just enjoy researching family history! Karen

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