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Friday, January 13, 2017

Friday's Photo: James Bryan - He Died Happy.

James Bryan
Feb. 9, 1816
August 24, 1884
I die happy.

James Bryan was born on February 9, 1815 or 1816* in North Carolina - probably Martin County.  He is thought to be the first child of Reddick Bryan and his first wife. His mother's name has been said to be Teletha or Lilitra and her last name is unknown. James had one younger brother from this union - Simeon Baker Bryan, born January 18, 1817. 

As a child James moved to Georgia and lived in Twiggs County. It is unknown if he moved prior to his mother dying of if she passed away in North Carolina. His father married Elizabeth S. Regan in 1821, a widow with two young boys. The family grew and in the late 1820s moved to nearby Houston County, Georgia. 

In late 1838, his family left for Northwest Louisiana. The family settled on land that would eventually be in the parish of Bienville. James married Alice Mary Wimberly on January 13, 1846. They adopted two children, Josie and John Terrell Bryan.  The children's biological parents were the siblings of James and Alice - Joseph Brown Bryan and Sarah Margaret Wimberly Bryan.

James served in the 55th Militia in Houston County during the Seminole Indian Wars in 1836 and was said to have served in some type of local reserves or home guard during the Civil War. 

James's physical features were described in his wife's application for a widow's pension from the Indian Wars. At age 20, he was described as being 5 feet 10 inches tall with a fair complexion, dark hair, and blue eyes.  His name is seen in letters and albums as Jim or Jimmie. James was active in his church and was a Mason. He was a life member of Mackey Lodge in Bienville Parish.  

James passed away on August 24, 1884 and is buried in the Wimberly Cemetery in Bienville Parish, Louisiana. He died happy. 

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*According to transcriptions of family information found in both Reddick Bryan’s and Joseph Bryan’s family bibles his birth year is 1815. However, his headstone and one other Bryan family bible indicates that he was born on February 9, 1816.


© 2017


Bailey, Ralph. Houston County, GA - Military - Indian Wars Capt Jesse Smith. USGenWeb Archives., n.d. Web. 11 Jan. 2017.  <>.

"Bryan -Simeon Baker." Bryan -Simeon Baker. 2008. Web. 11 Jan. 2017. <>.

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

Family photographs and documents from the Frye Family collection. Accessed June 6, 2016. Used with permission.

Family photographs and documents from the collection of Marguerite Cook Clark. Accessed April 28, 2014, September 14, 2014, and November 9 to 11, 2016. Used with permission.

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