Andersons of Colonial N. Carolina

meant what they said, said what they meant

standing up to the crowd…

with 2 comments

David Gammon doesn’t like BS any more than I do… particularly when it comes to genealogy. I also add my friend Traci the Librarian… hell, they both have called me out on occasion, and rightly so. David, Jennifer from California and I have been “rooting out” what roots we can find on the Bryan family from Isle of Wight / Nansemond.

David just had to share this guy with me… this fella is a Clint Eastwood of genealogy in my book… “Go ahead, make my day”

…from 23 years ago…

I quote…


Sorry if my original post caused you any problems in documenting your genealogy.The Needham site didn’t work because they changed the address to the site.Also, my original post was not meant to be a serious documentation of Alice Needham.I had seen for months that the Bryan Research Group was claiming that it was an absolute fact that Alice MacLand married William Bryan.In my post I was playing devil’s advocate to find out how much information and proof this group really had.I put everything that is known or imagined about Alice Needham into my post, whether I believed it or not.I personally really doubt that Lady Alice Needham ever married William Bryan and she probably never existed.Not one document has ever been found that has both William Bryan and his wife’s names on the same document.What I found out is that this group has very little real information on the spouse of William Bryan, just a lot of opinions and assumptions.As you can see by Carla Tate’s answers to my post, she’s mostly just guessing.Your guesses or mine are just as valid as hers.Anyone that knows anything about the International Genealogical Index (IGI) knows that it is absolutely worthless for doing research in Isle of Wight and Nansemond Counties in Virginia.This index is what Carla was using to validate this line in Isle of Wight County.

I have been researching this MacLand connection for the last couple of years and there are some real problems with the 1705 John MacLand will in Isle of Wight Co., Virginia.It also doesn’t get any better even if you view the original will in its entirety, instead of just the will abstract.You are correct in mentioning the “t” at the end of the name making it Bryant.All members of this family line, from John Bryan of Nansemond Co. on down, have spelled their name Bryan.This is not getting picky, the descendants of this line are not related to the Bryant family.But that isn’t the biggest problem with the John MacLand will, the patriarch of our family, William Bryan, isn’t even mentioned in the will.I personally would never attach myself to a will where my ancestor wasn’t even mentioned.This is very sloppy genealogy.I have examined thousands of wills in my time and almost all wills where the spouse isn’t mentioned and the grandchildren received an inheritance, the spouse is dead.We all know that William Bryan lived long after 1705.

Many individuals using this will are attaching themselves to the children in the will without any documented proof.They are attaching to these children by name because they look like they may be William Bryan’s children, there is absolutely no proof or evidence that they are his children.I’ve seen Mary Bryant, mentioned in this will, with 4 or 5 different husbands even though no spouses are mentioned for the children of Alice Bryant.This is also a very poor genealogical practice, you never attach purely by name without documented evidence.This is very a dangerous practice with the Bryan family in that they named their children the same for generations, even in family lines which are very distantly related or not related at all.

Another problem with the John MacLand will, the original hand written will doesn’t even contain the name Needham.The name in the original hand written will is Woodham.I guess someone decided that Woodham and Needham are the same person, there’s no proof or evidence that they are, and started replacing the name Woodham with the name Needham in all of their subsequent transcriptions of the will.I guess people just see what they want to see.

Another final problem with this will, I found another family that claims they descended from the individuals that are named in the John MacLand will.This family actually has the surname of Bryant and came from Smithfield, Isle of Wight Co., Virginia.They’re family history is totally different than ours and they have different descendants named for the Bryant children named in the John MacLand will.They also use the original name in the will, Woodham Bryant.Now we have a conflict, two families claiming to be descendants from the same family with totally different and conflicting genealogies.They probably have a better claim to this family than we do, they’re surname is actually Bryant.

Albert Nason’s ideas presented here previously are probably closer to the truth than what I’ve seen so far.At least it’s based on real people who existed in history.So far, the assumptions I’ve seen concerning this Bryan families early history leave a lot to be
desired.This is also true of the early Bryan family history going back to Guy de Bryan in the 1200’s.This line back to Guy de Bryan has been pretty well proven to have been fabricated.There are at least a couple of Bryan’s in this line that have been proven to have died without male heirs.It’s very smart that you resolved to leave this family line open for discussion indefinitely on the books, I certainly have.

Kenneth Barker
Golden, Colorado”

One must assume you have your ducks in a row if you take on a guy like that…. smiling

He kind of slices throats in a nice way… ‘charming’ almost…


David asks an interesting question:

“I was idly reading some online posts.  Something came up I had not considered, but should have. John Macland’s will named daughter Alice, five Bryan grandchildren, and three Perry grandchildren.  It did not name a Perry daughter, And I had assumed she was dead. Someone wondered if Alice was the mother of all of them, having first married a Perry and second a Bryan.  I had not considered this. “

Written by anderson1951

April 24, 2023 at 6:43 am

Posted in Uncategorized

2 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. This horse I am beating remains dead admittedly, as I will remind all that the closest Bryan to anyone named Needham is ole Edward Bryan of 1620 fame. Him being contemporary with John Needham and the Worth Ray postulate that Edward or his son married a daughter of Needham and hence the name began being used in the family about that time. I am not directly descended from any of the Needham Bryan(t)s and not sure which one was the earliest on record, but that might be a starting point for further pontification. Just pontificatin’



    April 25, 2023 at 3:13 pm

    • I have failed miserably at finding any connection of Edward 1620 to the Bryans of Nansemond or Isle of Wight. In the same vein, only phantom vapors of a Needham have presented any evidence to base anything on. There is however, the perplexing proliferation of the name “Needham’.



      April 25, 2023 at 3:37 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: