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This blog is used to share information that I find about the families that I am researching. To see these family names click on the tab above. Please feel free to contribute your stories or research and make comments, corrections, and ask questions.

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Saturday, January 4, 2020

The Bryan Puzzle, a study of the Bryan families living in Martin County, North Carolina during the 18th and early 19th centuries - compiled by Dr. Howard V. Jones

In June 2000, my father and I traveled to
Williamston to visit the Martin County
courthouse to view the deed records and get a
few specific records for Dennis and Howard.
This was my first time looking at courthouse
records. I was clueless and thankful the
women working at the courthouse were
so patient.
Reddick Bryan
As I began my search for my great-great-grandfather, Reddick Bryan, I was assisted by two very experienced, thoughtful genealogists. First, J. Dennis Bryant of Georgia who found Reddick Bryan in Martin County, North Carolina deed records. Second, Dr. Howard V. Jones of Iowa who was a descendant of a Martin County Bryan family. I never met either of these men, but through phone conversations and other correspondence, both showed me the importance of the exhaustive research needed to produce evidence-based conclusions. 

From Howard and Dennis, I also learned the value of land records and other documents found in deed books. And, they encouraged me to take my first genealogy trip to the courthouse in Martin County, North Carolina to find additional deed records.

In early 2000, through correspondence, I introduced Howard and Dennis. They shared documents and the next year, Howard sent me a wonderful 37-page document titled The Bryan Puzzle, a study of the Bryan families living in Martin County in the 18th and early 19th centuries. This document is a compilation of Howard's research and information shared with him. This is an invaluable tool if you are researching Bryans in North Carolina, especially near Martin, Halifax, and Edgecombe Counties.

Howard Vallance Jones
Using deed records and wills, Howard shows possible relationships of these Bryan families. Howard wrote that there is much speculation in this document and all should not be confused as fact. One example of the speculation is Howard placing Reddick as a son to James Bryan on page 19. This is not proven; however, Howard gives me a good place to begin my research. Look at the land records related to Reddick and his thought-to-be family. Researching these other Bryans, neighbors, or even witnesses on deed records may give me some new family information.

Howard asks questions and makes very helpful comments throughout this document. I use a copy of The Bryan Puzzle to make notes and add information when researching North Carolina Bryans. Download a copy of The Bryan Puzzle by clicking on this link. 

Dr. Howard Vallance Jones, Jr., 91, of Cedar Falls, Iowa, died May 17, 2013. Click here to see his obituary. 

If you want to know more about the families I research, click here to like my Facebook page where you will see each post and other genealogical finds. 

© 2020


Family photographs from the collection of Diana Bryan Quinn

The Bryan Puzzle, a study of the Bryan families living in Martin County, North Carolina during the 18th and early 19th centuries - compiled by Dr. Howard V. Jones, Jr.  Used with permission. 

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