Bryan Family 18th Century

Joseph H. Bryan was the first born son of Morgan Bryan and Martha Strode and the first Bryan to be born in Colonial America. He was born June 1, 1720 in Chester County, Pennsylvania.

In 1734 Morgan Bryan purchased a tract in present day Berkeley Co, WVA and there he settled with his family.

In 1748 Morgan Bryan moved himself and his large family to North Carolina where he made his home near the south bank of Deep Creek and was one of the first known white men to move into the area. He was one of the most prominet settlers in northwestern North Carolina.

Joseph Bryan migrated from Pennsylvania to Virgina along with other Bryan families. He lived along Bryant branch creek next to his brother William in what is now Farmington, NC. He moved from Virgina to North Carolina after the rest of the Bryan families.

He settled about four miles from his father, Morgan Bryan. He was married twice and had eleven children, his first wife Hester Hampton, and his second wife, Alice “Alee” Linville.

Indications are that Joseph then moved south from the Shenandoah Valley to Augusta County with his father and the rest of the family in about 1746, where he married his second wife Alice. He remained here after Morgan Bryan and family moved to North Carolina in 1748, probably because of his new family ties. It is believed, however, that his two daughters, Martha and Rebecca went to North Carolina with their grandparents and lived with them until both were married. It is believed that Joseph and Alice lived in Virginia until about 1755 where their first two children, Samuel and Joseph Jr., were born, and then decided to join the rest of the Bryan Family in North Carolina. Once in North Carolina, Joseph settled in what is now Davie County and seems to have prospered.

He was described by George Soelle, a Moravian minister who preached in many parts of the County, as a “well-to-do polite and affable man who cannot read, but well-to-do.”

By this time much of his family had moved to Kentucky, and even at the age of about 78 undertook his last big venture. After about 43 years in Davie County where the family was born and grew up, in 1797, he with his brother Samuel, visited Ky., and in 1798, he rented Well’s Station in Shelby County from Enoch M. Boone. In a year or so he and his family, two sons and a son-in-law, bought land on Floyd’s Fork, in Shelby County, and settled there. He and Alice moved to Kentucky in 1798 where the two of his sons and son-in-law had established large plantations. He acquired an estate of about 14,000 acres at Floyd’s Fork, Shelby County.

Joseph Bryan was the father-in-law of Daniel Boone.

Bryan’s Station, the fortified settlement near present Lexington, Kentucky. was founded in 1775–1776 by the Bryan brothers, Morgan, James, Joseph, and William, that is, this Joseph and three of his brothers. Also present was James Forbis and his son James Forbis Jr, who later married Joseph Bryan’s daughter Phoebe.

Joseph participated in his brother William’s Kentucky land venture during the Revolution.

1773 — Boone’s and Bryans. Daniel Boone and Rebecca Bryan Boone’s son James Boone dies on the first attempt to settle Kentucky. Second of two groups of wagons ambushed.

1775 — Founding of Boonesborough. Wilderness Trail Blazed through Cumberland Gap.

1776- Declaration of Independance

1777- All but three stations in Kentucky were abandoned by the spring of 1777. Harrodsburg, St. Asaph’s Station, and Boonesborough remained. Bryan Station, Lees Towns, McClellan’s Station, and Hinkston’s Station were disbanded and 200–300 people left Kentucky altogether.

During the time Joseph Bryan was traveling from North Carolina to Kentucky and back to North Carolina again, he was summoned to sign an Oath of Allegiance to the new nation. This he signed on August 7th 1777 in Rowan County North Carolina. A year later, he was not in the county.

1778- Boone is captured by a Shawnee huting party. Seige of Boonesborough, Sep 7, 1778 — Sep 18, 1778

1779 — Reclaiming of Bryan Station

1780 — death of Col. William Christopher Bryan, May 7, 1780 (47)

1782 — Seige of Bryan Staton and the Battle of Blue Licks

William Bryan planned to return to Kentucky in the spring of 1778. He did not go. Perhaps he was dissuaded when Rebecca Bryan Boone and her children, left Boonesborough, following the capture of Daniel Boone by the Shawnees under Blackfish.

In the spring of 1779, however, Col. William Bryan returned to Bryan’s Station in the company of his brothers Joseph, Morgan, Jr., and James and several of their sons.

They built more cabins and began a stockade to enclose an area about thirty yards square.

William’s eldest son, Samuel, and his brother-in-law, William Grant, brought their wives and children to the station that spring, and others of the Bryan-Boone clans arrived in Boonesborough.

After planting crops, William and his brothers returned to the Yadkin to ready their families for the trip.

In the fall, Bryan led a caravan of several hundred people along Boone’s Wilderness Road into Kentucky. A participant later described the scene as “like an army camping out,” with wagons strung out over half a mile along the narrow trace. They were unable to draw together at night for protection and unable to build fires for fear of attracting Indians. It was the largest single migration into Kentucky at that time.

Upon arrival, the party dispersed to various stations. At Bryan’s, the men continued to enlarge the stockade and add more cabins. Many of them were two-family houses facing the center of the enclosed area with their thick rear walls an integral part of the palisaded perimeter.

The stockade did not completely enclose the houses within for nearly a year and the two-story corner blockhouses were not completed for some time.

Bryan and his cofounders all had two-acre lots at the station.

In October 1779, four land commissioners arrived in Kentucky from Williamsburg and began making the rounds of the several stations and small forts to process land claims. They arrived at Bryan’s Station in January 1780. To add to the discomfort of short rations and the snow and ice of an unusually severe winter, William and his brothers learned that most of the land they had claimed lay within a survey completed a year earlier on behalf of land speculators in Virginia.

When spring came, the Shawnees took the warpath in greater numbers than ever to avenge raids on their villages conducted the previous fall by nearly three hundred Kentucky militia including some of the younger Bryans.

Several settlers were killed in scattered Indian raids, including sixteen-year-old William Bryan, Jr. A few weeks after his son’s death, William “Billy” Bryan was mortally wounded when his hunting party was ambushed. He died shortly after making a will dated 23 May 1780.

Disheartened, by the deaths, the Bryans began the long trek back to the Forks of the Yadkin in early autumn, returning, as Daniel Bryan later put it, “from the troubles of Kentucky to the troubles of North Carolina.”

Daniel also recalled that his arrival in Rowan County with his widowed mother found the man who had bought their Yadkin farm but had not yet paid for it “anxious to give it up, that he might get rid of the difficulties of the British and Tories and return to Virginia. We traded to him the pack horses that we had returned to Carolina on for the truck and corn. . . .”

Mary Boone Bryan stayed on the old Yadkin Bryan Settlements farm until the fall of 1785. With her son Daniel and his family, she moved back to Kentucky to occupy her brother Daniel Boone’s farm on Marble Creek, Fayette County. She died in Kentucky in 1819.

Daniel Boone’s had a surverying business in Kentucky which employed his nephews sometimes to help him measure lots.

Joseph H. Bryan, father of Rebecca Bryan Boone, and his son John Bryan left Bryan Station with Mary Bryan Boone widow of Col. William Christopher Bryan in 1780 and returned to remain in the Bryan Settlements in Rowan County North Carolina. Joseph’s brother Samuel served the British cause and his other brothers with the American revolution.

He died early in 1805 at age 85 in Jefferson County, Kentucky and left a will dated 20 Nov. 1804 in which he names his second wife and all of his surviving children

Charles Hinkle Bryan is born in 1807.

“The family most closely associated with the redoubtable Daniel Boone, and that one whose exploits most nearly parallel those of the picturesque explorer, was the family of Morgan and Martha Strode Bryan. So much has been written concerning the kindly and nomadic Boone, that his neighbors and kinsmen, the Bryans, might well be forgotten men, but for some scores of prideful descendants who, from generation to generation, continue to recount the adventures of their forefathers, and recall the role they played in the westward march of empire.Colleagues in the difficult and dangerous enterprise of settling Kentucky, the lives and fortunes of the two families are so inextricably interwoven that some genealogists have, for the sake of convenience, treated them as one.” — Edward Bryan. Bryan, A Pioneer Family.

Joseph Bryan was described as a “tall rawboned man, an old man” by Col. Samuel Boone.

Children of Morgan Bryan and Martha Strode Bryan

Children of Morgan Bryan (1671–1763) and Martha Strode

Joseph Bryan (1720–1804) m. 1) Hester Simpson, 2) Alice/Aylee (Alee) Linville (1722–1807). Joseph H. Bryan — Eldest son, co-founder of Bryan Station, signed oath to the new nation of the United States in 1777.

Samuel Bryan (1721–1800) m. Masmilla Simpson. Lt. Col. Samuel Bryan — who served with distinction as a Loyalist colonel during the war, was tried and sentenced to death but exchanged for a rebel officer. In spite of the bitterness that persisted long after the Revolution, Samuel’s personal stature was such that he was allowed to retain most of his property in the Bryan Settlements. He continued to live on the Yadkin until his death in 1798. At least one of his Tory sons moved to upstate New York after the war. Captain Samuel Bryan

James Bryan (1723–1807, St Charles Co, MO) m. Rebecca Enochs. James, who also helped found Bryan’s Station, became a widower in 1770. His six small children were raised by niece Rebecca Boone and her husband, Daniel. James died in Kentucky in 1807; most of his children went to Missouri in 1800 with their uncle Daniel and his party of Boones, Bryans, and other relatives.

Mary Bryan (1725–1741) m. Thomas Curtis (?-by 1776); 2) George Forbes

Morgan Bryan, Jr. (1729–1794) m. Cassandra Miller

John Bryan (1730–1780) m. Elizabeth Frances Battle. Farmed land in the Bryan Settlements his life. Captain John Bryan’s Death — March 1782 — Randolph County, North Carolina. Captain John Bryan killed by Col. David Fanning

Elinor Bryan (1729-?) m. William Linville. Eleanor Bryan Linville, whose husband, William, and son John were killed by Indians while hunting in the Blue Ridge Mountains in 1766, did not remarry; she left the Yadkin area with her married children after the Revolution and died in Kentucky in 1792.

William Bryan (1734–1780) m. Mary Boone (1736–1819), sister to Daniel Boone. William Christopher Bryan — declined the king’s commission as lieutenant colonel and instead organized and led the establishment of Bryan’s Station (1775–79)

Thomas Bryan (1735–1790). Thomas, youngest of the children, shared his brothers’ interest in Kentucky and is believed to have fitted out one of Daniel Boone’s early expeditions. He saw service in the Rowan County militia prior to the Revolution and is thought to have had strong Loyalist sentiments. Thomas inherited his father’s Deep Creek property but sold it to his brother William and was living elsewhere in the Settlements at the time of his death in 1777. One of his sons seems to have been killed in the war as a Tory officer. Captain Thomas Bryan or Colonel Thomas Bryan

Martha Bryan (1742) m. Stephen Gano



Children of Joseph Bryan

Daughters of Joseph Bryan

Martha, Rebecca, Elenor, Mary, Susannah, Phoebe, Alice.

Sons: Samuel, Joseph Jr. ,

John Bryan - youngest child. Married Elizabeth Hinkle. Had issue.