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Saturday, March 28, 2015

Was Terrell Bryan born in 1836 or 1837? Do the Math!

Yesterday, I posted the photo of Terrell Bryan's funeral and, this morning, I added the following update to the post. 

Note: On the cemetery marker, the funeral notice, and obituary, Terrell's birth year is 1837. His death certificate also gave a birth year of 1837. The informant was a grandson, McNeil Wylie. However, both Terrell Bryan's family bible and his father's family bible give Terrell a birth year of 1836. 

Terrell was born on November 17th, but documents conflict as to whether it was in the year 1836 or 1837. All of my trees and Internet postings give Terrell a birth year of 1836. Do I need make changes? 

The year of 1837 was found in four places - the funeral notice, obituary, death certificate, and cemetery marker. All probably from the same source and all recorded very close to Terrell's death. 

The year of 1836 was found in a transcription of Reddick Bryan's bible. Reddick was the father of Terrell.  The bible was published in 1824 and transcriptions found in DAR records that were submitted in 1950. 

Terrell's birth date of November 17, 1836 is found in his family bible published in 1870. 

On November 19, 1909, the Stephenville Tribune published an article about Terrell celebrating his 73rd birthday on November 17th. This would give him a birth year of 1836. 

Census records gave estimates of Terrell's birth year as 1835, 1836, and 1837. The 1900 census specifically asks the month and year of birth. Terrell's was reported as November 1836. 

According to the 1900 census, Terrell and Harriet Bryan both reported to be born in 1836. 

Terrell was found on the 1920 census living with his daughter, Dollie Wylie, and family in Coke County, Texas. This family was recorded on the census on January 17, 1920. Terrell was reported to be 83 years old and as his birthday was not until November 17, his birth year would be calculated as 1836. 

I calculated ages on
census records and
the death certificate
age using the
Easybee Age Calculator
Remembering that he was also said to be 83 years old on his death certificate in May of 1920, I took a second look. On the death certificate, his birthday was written as November 17, 1837 and his age was reported to be 83 years, 5 months, and 30 days old at his time of death.  If his age was correct, his birth year would have to be 1836. If born in 1836, Terrell Bryan was exactly 83 years, 5 months, and 29 days old when he died. The county clerk didn't do the math. 

Early on, I determined that information recorded during an ancestor's lifetime usually proves to be more accurate than those dates recorded at or after an ancestor's death. Keeping that in mind and noting the incorrect math calculations on Terrell Bryan's death certificate, I am sticking with 1836.  


© 2015

Family photographs and documents from the collection of Diana Bryan Quinn.

Louisiana Bible Records (1950). Reddick Bryan Bible Transcription. 
Louisiana DARGRC report S1v25.

Stephenville Tribune [Stephenville] 19 Nov. 1909: Microfilm

"Texas, Deaths, 1890-1976," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 28 March 2015), Death certificates > 1920 > Vol 027-031, certificates 013276-016435, Apr-May, Dallas-El Paso counties > image 2888 of 3369; State Registrar Office, Austin. 

"United States Census, 1850," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 28 March 2015), Louisiana > Bienville > Bienville parish > image 59 of 89; citing NARA microfilm publication M432 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).

"United States Census, 1900," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 28 March 2015), Texas > Erath > ED 65 Justice Precinct 1 (all southeast of r.r. excl. Stephenville city) > image 23 of 41; citing NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).

Year: 1880; Census Place: Precinct 1, Erath, Texas; Roll: 1302; Family History Film: 1255302; Page: 119A; Enumeration District: 206

Year: 1910; Census Place: Stephenville Ward 2, Erath, Texas; Roll: T624_1550; Page: 16B; Enumeration District: 0017; FHL microfilm: 1375563

Friday, March 27, 2015

Friday's Photo: Masons Attended Terrell Bryan's Funeral in Stephenville, Erath County, Texas

Terrell Bryan
I could have titled this post Terrell Bryan had a Masonic Funeral Service, but wanted to attract the attention of Erath County researchers. I received a copy of a copy of this photo 14 years ago; however, didn't know who had the original.  In September, I visited a second cousin once removed who showed me the original and allowed me to scan it at high resolution so that most of the faces could be easily seen.  

This photo was taken in West End Cemetery, Stephenville, Erath County, Texas at the funeral for my great-grandfather, Terrell Bryan. There are no markings on the photo, but when enlarged, the stone already in place reveals that it was the cemetery marker for Terrell's wife, Harriet Louisa Albritton Bryan. 

Terrell Bryan died in Bronte, Texas in Coke County at the home of his daughter, Dorothy Elizabeth Harriet "Dollie" Bryan Wylie.  His funeral took place on May 18 at West End Cemetery.

Terrell's son, Redic E. Bryan was not a Mason so is not pictured in the photos. It is unknown if any son-in-laws, grandchildren, or other relatives are in the photos. 

Terrell was a Master Mason and he belonged to Stephenville Lodge No. 267 in Texas.  I would think that most or all of these men pictured were from that lodge. 

I know very little about Masonic history or procedures, but did find information about Masonic Burial Services that detailed the expected dress of Masons at a service. Each Mason was expected to wear his apron, a suit, hat, white gloves, and a piece of evergreen should be pinned on the left lapel of his suit jacket. The Master of the Lodge stands at the head of the casket. The Holy Bible, Square and Compasses should be covered with crepe.

Terrell Bryan belonged to a Woodmen of the World Lodge, also referred to as a Woodmen Camp, in Stephenville, Texas.   His cemetery marker resembles a tree trunk and encircled on the emblem are the words Woodmen of the World.

Note: On the cemetery marker, the funeral notice, and obituary, Terrell's birth year is 1837. His death certificate also gave the birth year of 1837. The informant was a grandson, McNeil Wylie. However, both Terrell Bryan's family bible and his father's family bible give Terrell a birth year of 1836. 

Card of Thanks found in Terrell Bryan's Bible


© 2015


Family photographs and documents from the collection of Diana Bryan Quinn.

Funeral photo from the collection of Richard Warner. Used with permission. 

"Masonic Burial Servic." Masonic Official Monitor Texas: Masonic Burial Service. Web. 28 Mar. 2015.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Friday's Photo: Myrtle Davis of Phillipsburg, New Jersey

In an album, Myrtle Davis was written below this photo.
There were no markings on the back of the photo. 

Myrtle Davis was also written under this photo.
This appears to be a younger photo of Myrtle.
She has a ribbon pinned to her dress
AND on the back of the photo what looks like
Northfield, Mass. Two letters that might
be "o" and "r" are covered. 

My grandmother, Edith Giddens Davis, had two photos of Myrtle Davis in her album.  Although my grandfather was a Davis, Myrtle isn't related. She was a friend of my grandmother and/or other Giddens family members in Phillipsburg, New Jersey. 

A Google search as well as searches at, Find a Grave, and GenealogyBank, indicate that Myrtle Davis is probably the daughter of William Davis and Annie Hendershot. 

William worked at the Warren Foundry in Phillipsburg, New Jersey. About 1921, his daughter, Myrtle, married Furman P. Bartholomew who also worked at the Warren Foundry. 

It appears that Myrtle and most of her family remained in Phillipsburg. Myrtle, Furman, and three of their children are buried in the Belvidere Cemetery in Warren County, New Jersey. 

Mr. and Mrs. Davis are standing across the street from a business
named T. D. Keyser. If the year is about 1917, then they are
probably standing in front of a garage owned by
T. D. Keyser in Worcester, Pennsylvania. A few years later,
Keyser opened a garage in Kulpsville, Pennsylvania. By the
1920s Keyser was selling Chevrolets in Lansdale, Pennsylvania. 

A third photo, found in the album and labeled Mr. and Mrs. Davis 1917, could be Myrtle's parents; however, the Giddens family knew at least one other Davis in the area. Ellsworth Davis was a friend of my grandmother's brother, Charles "Charlie" Giddens, and Mr. and Mrs. Davis could his parents.   Charlie and Ellsworth made national news, in 1909, when they tried stuffing a cannon with dynamite for a Fourth of July celebration. Click here to read about their brush with death.


© 2015


"Furman Bartholomew."  Web. 8 Mar. 2015. <>.

"Myrtle Bartholomew." The Morning Call. 14 July 1993. Web. 8 Mar. 2015. <>.

Quinn, Diana. "Monday's News: Dynamite." Moments in Time, A Genealogy Blog. 2 July 2012. Web. 8 Mar. 2015. <>.

"T.d. Keyser, 90, Early Dealer For Chevrolet." 15 Jan. 1987. Web. 8 Mar. 2015. <>.

"William Davis." Find A Grave - Millions of Cemetery Records and Online Memorials. Web. 8 Mar. 2015. <>

Year: 1920; Census Place: Phillipsburg Ward 6, Warren, New Jersey; Roll: T625_1073; Page: 8B; Enumeration District: 177; Image: 423