BRYANT, Robertson (1872)

Robertson Bryant decd,
Proven February 6, 1872,
[Page 419, Book F, Maury Co. Wills, State Archives, Microfilm Roll #184]

I Robertson Bryant of the County of Maury and State of Tennessee do make and publish this my last will and testament, hereby revoking and making void all other wills by me at any time made. Item 1st: I direct that my funeral expenses and all my just debts be paid as soon after my death as possible, out of any moneys that I may die siezed and possessed of or may first come into the hands of my executors. Item 2: I will that after my death my daughter, Francis D. Bryant, and my daughter, Missniah E. Bryant and Rowland E. Bryant, my son, shall each have one well furnished featherbed and clacking and bedstead. Item 3: I next will that after my death my executor shall sell at public sale on 12 months credit all my perishable and personal property, stock, and crop and farming utensils, household and kitchen furnishings, all sums under five dollars to be cash, the purchaser giving bond and good security the proceeds of which is to be equally divided between my daughter, Francis D. Bryant and my son Wm H. Bryant and Isaiah B. Bryant, Louisiana B. Neelley and Livinia L. Moore, Rowland E. Bryant and Misiniah E. Bryant, and my Grandson, Robertson B. Nolen. Item 4: I have given to my son Robert D. Bryant a liberal education and the use of a negro boy Rowland which I value to him at five hundred dollars of my estate already received by him and also I have given to my son Archibal S. Bryant the advantages of a good education and the use of a negro boy Albert, which I value to him at four hundred dollars already received by him as a part of my estate, and I have given to my daughter, Martha E. Jackson, the advantages of a good education and the use of a negro girl Mariah which I value to her at three hundred and fifty dollars as a part of my estate already received by her; there is no interest to be claimed off the three legatees last named for the amt they have already received until the final settlement of my estates. Item 5: I will that when my youngest child, Misniah E. Bryant, shall arrive at the age of twenty-one yrs that all my land shall be equally divided between all my children. But if said land cannot be satisfactorily divided I will that my executor shall sell it to the highest bidder after giving thirty days notice in the public news paper of the County and at other places in the neighborhood and I authorize my Executor to divide the land into lots if it is considered by him to be to the advantage of the legatees and the items of the sale be determined by my Executor and I hereby authorize and empower him to make the title to the land if sold by him and the proceeds to be so divided among all my children viz: Robert D. and Archibal S. Bryant’s children Raph and Archibal one share Francis D. Bryant and Mary J. Nolen’s son, Robertson B. Nolen, one share Wm H. Bryant, and Martha E. Jackson, Isaiah B. Bryant and Louisiana B. Neelley, Lavinia Lemon Moore and Rowland E. Bryant and Misniah E. Bryant that they be made equal in the final distribution of my estate, taking into consideration the advancements I have already made. Item 6: I will the Stock I own in the Nashville and Decatur Railroad is equally divided among all my children as above named and Grand children as above named, viz: Archibald S. Bryant’s two sons to receive one share and Robinson B. Nolen to receive one share. Item 7: I will that if any dissatisfaction should arise among my legatees about my will and the distributions I have made of my estate that my Executor shall call in 3 disinterested parties and lay the difficulty before them and there decision shall be a final settlement of the matter. But if any legatees should carry it to court of law or equity, I hereby disinherit them and will that they shall receive no part of my estate. Item 8: I hereby nominate and appoint Henry Harris Executor of this my last will and testament, this in witness where of and whereby set my pen this 19th day of February 1867.

Robertson Bryant, Esq.
Witnesses: W.A. Henderson
Williamson Denton

[Note: Bold and underline added for ease of locating names. And some punctuation has been added for ease of reading. All other spelling, punctuation and abbreviations have been left as contained in the original document.] Submitted by: Lucy Bryant Dunaway Zeier,

Biography: BRYANT, Thomas H.

THOMAS H. BRYANT is a native of Maury County, Tenn., and was born August 15, 1839, and was reared on a farm. In 1861 he enlisted in Company F, Third Tennessee Regiment, under Col. J.C. Brown. He was captured at the fall of Fort Donelson and taken to Camp Douglas, where he was imprisoned seven months. He was then exchanged at Vicksburg and immediately rejoined the army. He participated in many battles and was wounded and captured at Raymond, Miss. After his release he again joined his command, stationed at Meridian, Miss. He was disabled there and came home on furlough, and was captured and paroled near the first of 1864. June 4, 1866, he wedded Emma J. Howard, born February 20, 1847, in Maury County. They have four children: James H., Hattie W., Frank L. and Bessie M. Mr. and Mrs. Bryant are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South and he belongs to the Democratic party. His parents, Edward and Elizabeth (Amis) Bryant, were both born in Granville County, N. C., in 1778 and 1797, respectively. The father was a farmer and miller. He was a soldier in the war of 1812 and was a Whig in politics. He died in 1867 or 1868, and the mother about 1885.

Source: History of Tennessee: From the Earliest Time to the Present; Together with an Historical and a Biographical Sketch of Maury, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson, Bedford and Marshall Counties. Nashville, Tenn: Goodspeed Pub. Co, 1886.

Biography: BRYANT, Andrew D.

ANDREW D. BRYANT, one of Maury County’s most enterprising citizens, was born in Franklin County, North Carolina, March 14, 1825, and is the son of John F. and Sarah W. (Amis) Bryant, who were born in 1790 and 1794, respectively. The father, John F., was the son of Roland and Mary (Hunt) Bryant, and Roland was the son of William Bryant, who was born in Ireland, John F. was a successful farmer, was married in 1814, and was the father of ten children. He died December 6, 1857, and his wife followed him to the grave in 1870. Our subject was reared on a farm and obtained a limited education in the country schools, and followed farming for eight years, in Dallas County, Ark. He then moved to Maury County, Tenn., where he now resides, engaged in farming and stock raising, in which he has been quite successful. He was married, January 4, 1852, to Sarah Hill, a native of Tennessee, born in June, 1828, and the  daughter of Isaac and Margaret (Steele) Hill. Isaac Hill was born in North Carolina, in 1800, and died in Marshall County, Tenn., in 1840. To our subject and wife were born eight children: James R., born 1854; Isaac H., born 1856; John F., born 1857; William T., born 1859; Ida R., born 1861; Andrew D., born 1863; Patrick H., born 1866, and Lizzie H., born 1869. Mr. Bryant has given his children a good education and has reason to be proud of them. In 1874 he was engaged in building two miles of railroad, and also built switch and station houses. In 1877 he engaged in the saw and grist-mill business. He took an active part in the Confederate service during the late war, enlisting in Company H, Fifty-third Regiment, and served two years. He was first lieutenant, and his captain being wounded at Fort Donelson, Mr. Bryant took his place as captain. Our subject was captured and taken to Indianapolis, Johnson’s Island, Camp Chase and at Vicksburg, where he was exchanged. He is an enterprising and successful farmer and stock raiser, and is highly spoken of by his many friends.

Source: History of Tennessee: From the Earliest Time to the Present; Together with an Historical and a Biographical Sketch of Maury, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson, Bedford and Marshall Counties. Nashville, Tenn: Goodspeed Pub. Co, 1886.

Biography: BECKETT, Capt. John W.

CAPT. JOHN W. BECKETT was born in Marshall County, September 2, 1836. and is the son of Samuel and Rebecca (Swan) Beckett. The father of our subject was born March, 1809, in North Carolina. He came to Tennessee and settled near Lewisburg, and engaged in farming, in which he was very successful. He was elected justice of the peace, which office he held for several years. He was also postmaster for some time. He was a member of the I. O. O. F. and a Democrat in politics. He belonged to the Methodist Episcopal Church South. Our subject received a good practical education in the country schools, and at the age of twenty-one began business for himself. In 1871 he wedded Mrs. Jane W. Bryant, whose former name was Gresham. Mrs. Bryant had by her first husband four children: Sebastian C., born in 1855 and died in 1862: Ralph G., born 1857; Sallie A., born in 1860 and died in 1865, and Arch S., born in 1862. In 1861 Mr. Beckett enlisted in Company C, Ninth Tennessee Regiment, and was elected orderly sergeant at the organization, and at the reorganization was elected first lieutenant and afterward promoted to captain.

Source: History of Tennessee: From the Earliest Time to the Present; Together with an Historical and a Biographical Sketch of Maury, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson, Bedford and Marshall Counties. Nashville, Tenn: Goodspeed Pub. Co, 1886.

Robertson Bryant Bible

Unless otherwise noted, all entries in the bible are clear and very legible.  Spellings are listed as found in the bible.  I would estimate that 3 different people (handwriting) made entries in the bible.   For accuracy, all transcribed entries have been independently proofread.  Transcription errors may, nonetheless, occur. 

In addition to the entries made for Robertson Bryant and his family, this antebellum bible lists 23 “Negros” births (no deaths or marriages are noted). These births range in dates from 1791 to 1859.  Several of these individuals (apparently) maintained the last name of Bryant as they can be found in the 1870 & 1880 census (for example, Major Bryant, Albert Bryant, Charlotte Bryant, and Zackeriah Bryant).  To my knowledge these births have not been published previously. 

The family record pages were, at one time, removed from the bible.  They were then re-sewn (by hand) together and placed back in the bible.  I would speculate that the pages were removed for needed proof in making applications for military (Civil War) pensions. 

As of 2005, this bible is in the possession of Robertson & Nancy (Amis) Bryant’s great-great-great granddaughter, Lucy Bryant (Dunaway) Zeier.  To my knowledge, the bible’s provenance is from Robertson Bryant:

1.       to his son, Isaiah Burney  Bryant (1834-1917),

2.       through his daughter, Cornelia Robertson (Bryant) Reavis (1869-1953),

3.       then to her daughter Emma Lucy (Reavis) Bryant (1891-1986),

4.      through (both) her daughters Cornelia Frances (Bryant) Freeland (1925 – present) & Marilyn Reavis (Bryant) Dunaway (1923 – present),

5.      to (currently) Lucy Bryant (Dunaway) Zeier (1954 – present).

 The bible is intact, but fragile condition as of 2005.  I believe the bible started its life in Maury County, Tennessee.  Not until the very latter part of the 20thcentury, did this bible ever leave Tennessee soil.

 Also, please see the transcribed will of Robertson Bryant (also located on this Web Page.)  His will mentions some of his children and grandchildren, as well as some of his slaves.  Even several years after the close of the Civil War (will was dated 1867), Robertson Bryant was bequeathing slaves to his descendants.

 I (Lucy) would like to correspond with others interested in this family.  I will be happy to share copies of the bible pages (either electronically or in paper format) with anyone who would like a copy.  Please contact me at:

 I would like to dedicate the posting of this bible to my mother, Marilyn (Bryant) Dunaway, and to my aunt, C. Frances (Bryant) Freeland.  While I never had the pleasure to know her in person, I would also like to dedicate this posting to Doris (Ketchum) Bryant (1919 – 2002).  All three of these ladies have been my inspiration and my partners in family history research and recordation.


Title Page:

 The Holy Bible, containing the Old and New Testaments:  Translated out of the Original Tongues;  Published by G. Lane & P.P. Sandford, New York (for the Methodist Episcopal Church); 1841; James Collord, Printer. 


Bring up Your Children in the Admonition of the Lord


Robertson Bryant was born Feb. 11th 1795 

Nancy Amis Bryant was born Sept 11th 1801. 

1.      Robert D. Bryant was born Jan. 28th 1819.

2.     Mary J. Bryant was born Oct. 10th 1820.

3.     Frances D. Bryant was born Aug. 10th 1822.

4.     Archibal S. Bryant was born Feb 20th 1824.

5.     Ann R. Bryant was born Feb 9th 1826.

6.     Martha E. Bryant was born Apl 13th 1828.

7.     William H. Bryant was born May 20th 1830.

8.     Minerva E. Bryant was born July 3rd 1832.

9.     Isaiah B. Bryant was born March 5th 1834.

10. Louisania B. Bryant was born July 20th 1836.

11.  James Alonzo Bryant was born Sept 21st 1839.

12. Lavinia Lemon Bryant was born Feb 25th 1842.

13. Theophilus Compton Bryant was born November 26th 1844 (lighter ink, but still legible).

Joseph T. F. Jackson was born 19th Jany. 1828. (this is their son-in-law who married their daughter, Martha E. Bryant)

Rowland Edward Bryant was born July 12th 1847.  (while not numbered like the other children, Rowland was child #14)

Misniah Euginia Bryant was born 24th July 1850.  (Misniah was child #15) 



Marriage is Honourable in all. 

Mary Judith Bryant was married to Milton B. Nolen, 27th Aug. 1843. 

Martha E. Bryant was married to Jos. T. Jackson on 10th Feb. 1847. 

Robert D. Bryant was married to Martha C. Jackson on the 29th Decr. 1849. 

Archibal S. Bryant married to Jane W. Gresham Jan. 11th 1855. 

William H. Bryant was married to Aseneth McConnell Nov. 12th 1857. 

Louisania B. Bryant was married to W.S.L. Neelley Nov. 15th 1860. 

Lavenia Lemmon (listed as Lavinia Lemon under births) Bryant was married to Robert H. Moore April 17th 1866. 

I. B. Bryant was married to Emma L. Fry Sept 20th 1866. 

Robertson Bryant was married to Nancy Amis Febry 19th 1818. 

Misniah E. Bryant was married to Wm. Caskey Decmber the 22nd 1870. 



Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord. 

Minerva Emaline Bryant departed this life March 20th 1833.  Aged 8 months & 14 days. 

James Alonzo Bryant departed this life Sept 13th 1840.  Aged 11 months & 22 days. 

Mary Judith Nolen died 29th of April 1844. 

Ann Robertson Bryant departed this life Sept. 26 1860. 

(next two entries are light and somewhat difficult to read) 

Archibal S. Bryant was killed in battle at Perryville KY the 8th of Oct 1862. 

Theophilus C. Bryant died at Fort Deleware 26 July 1864 (then in darker ink) of Smallpox. 

Nancy Bryant, wife of Robertson Bryant died 6th Sept 1868 Aged 66 years 11 mo. & 25 days. 

Robertson Bryant died the 2nd day of Feb 1872.  Aged 76 years 11 months 21 days.

Robert D. Bryant died April 28th 1871. 

Frances D. Bryant died Apr. 27, 1906. 

I. Burney Bryant died July 10, 1917. 

Emma Fry Bryant died May 28, 1928. 


Family Record Negros. 

(These blank pages were not originally part of the published bible.  They must have been added by Robertson Bryant.) 

Negro Mima [could also be Mirna?] born 24th Sept. 1791. 

Negro Jerry born 13th April 1813. 

Negro Zack born 16th Nov. 1814. 

Negro Julia born November day 1816. 

Negro Green born 19th June 1822. 

Negro Mary born 10th Oct. 1824. 

Negro Rachael born 23rd April 1833. 

Negro Maria born 5th Sept. 1838. 

Negro George Harvey born 30th March 1840. 

Negro Sarah born 2nd June 1840. 

Negro Hannibal born 25th March 1844. 

Negro Rowland Iverson born 5th June 1845. 

Negro boy Albert was born July 24th 1848. 

Negro girl Caroline was born February 5th 1849. 

Negro Boy Henry Matthews born 22nd Nov. 1850. 

Negro Girl Charlotte was born 16th March 1851.

Negro boy Jacob was born August 1st 1851. 

Negro boy Colonel was born July 18th 1853. 

Negro Boy Major was born August 29th 1853. 

(Next entry is readable, but extremely light) 

Negro Girl Ruth was born September 8th 1855. 

Negro Girl Mina was born August 22nd day 1856. 

Negro Boy Edmund was born May 23/57. 

Negro Girl Betty was born August 11th in the year of 1859.


End of Bible entries. 

© 2005 by Paulette Carpenter; all rights reserved.

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