Andersons of Colonial N. Carolina

meant what they said, said what they meant

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John Bryan 1672, a curious patent

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This patent is not to be found in Nugent’s Cavaliers and Pioneers which caused some relief to my consternation and confusion when Jennifer from California found it by one of those horrid, tedious page by page searches. Several aspects of the patent and its subsequent re-patent 10 years later are becoming important for a better understanding of the immigrant John Bryant.

My theory of this guy assuming room temperature in 1680 is proving controversial and hard to swallow for my cohorts… and I am feverishly attempting to gather my notes and mount a defense … to “prove it, dammit”… so to speak. I get a kick out of this sort of thing…the bodies of deceased John Bryans are beginning to pile up (in my mind at least) so some ‘splainin’ is in order.

One important aspect of this patent of 1672 is that it relocates the immigrant from his lair at Indian Creek (since at least 1652) and moves him about eight mile or so southwest (and perhaps importantly) across the border from Nansemond to Isle of Wight. That is why so many records show up for this guy… otherwise he would have been hopelessly vaporized in the burned embers of the three Nansemond fires.

Also of import is the neighbor Thomas Mason…I am just beginning to figure him out.. I really can’t comment on him except to mention I have a “hunch” he married into the Bryant line. He shows up in too many deeds to be an idle bystander. He seems to be a contemporary of the old man… note that he received his 1000 acre patent in 1666… a few years before Bryan. Bryan will later begin to buy in to this land… as also will some descendants.

Below is the nitty gritty details of the two patents… again, finders credit to Jennifer Thornton.

Click the filename (in blue) under the image for a larger image to zoom…

The strange dotted line in the 1682 patent is just to draw attention to the errors present and in contrast to the original 1672 patent. There is just no way a “pretty” match is going to present itself on a map.

Now go back to the Post below this one and see if it might make more sense that a John Bryan died in 1680.

Note also that I mentioned a “testamentary deed”… my friend David Gammon turned me on to that term… likewise Traci the Librarian once scolded me (correctly so) for using the term “will” when I referred to a deed.

I noted in the prior Post that “a” John Bryan issued that “testamentary” deed to his son in 1725. It was written in the deed that the property did not become “owned” by the son until the death of his father and mother.

With that said, note the specifics of this deed of 1731:

Is it not clear to be seen that both the John Bryan (of 1725 deed AND his wife) are deceased by 1728… as is stated above when the son gave the land to his brother? The son could not dispose of the land unless his father was dead.

Now let me kill another John Bryan in 1710. At that date Needham Bryan “conveyed” 170 acres to James Nolliboy. (Needham’s brother John Bryan was involved… which just confuses the matter). The property being sold was noted in 1710 as “being formerly granted John Bryan Deced Bearing date …1682″.

This is where I get to eat some crow. Try as I might, I just cannot make a case for a John Bryan wedged in between one who died between 1680 and 1682 and his son who died in 1728.

Luckily I found instructions…

This is critical to understand… if I am correct that the immigrant died in 1680… then the person being referred to here in 1682 is his son. And he is also dead as is referenced “part of a patten of 344 acres formerly granted John Bryan Deced Bearing date…1682″. If my reasoning is flawed, it is the fuzziness surrounding the patent of 1682… the old man could not have “devised” it in 1682 if he was dead in 1680.

Here is the smoking gun…

Well… at least we have successfully proven the demise of the immigrant. However…that just sounds downright weird.

Written by anderson1951

March 2, 2023 at 10:35 am

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John Bryan, the immigrant, died 1680

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His grandson son John said so in a deed… 1725.

My reasoning…

Click the blue (filename) under the image for a larger page to zoom…

Written by anderson1951

February 26, 2023 at 12:54 pm

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some Gay questions…

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Click the blue filename below this image (gaynotes) for a full page to zoom…

Written by anderson1951

February 26, 2023 at 8:06 am

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a Chuckatuck church…

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I’ve been curious where the Chuckatuck Quaker church was. I’ve ran across the Quakers in that area numerous times in my searches but never found a good reference point… its just sorta there… somewhere.

I ran across this “escheat” patent for a guy named Billingsley. (an escheat is a grant of land which reverts to the state after a death with no heirs). In the description is a requirement for an acre to be set aside for a church. Since this date is 1672 it seems likely this may be for an Anglican church but “might” be for a Quaker church. Its a mystery for me and a curiosity. But then… there is no land description I can find… so I can’t map it. My only hope is to surround the patent and expose the land like that as a “void” to fill.

In any event, this guy piques my interest because he can evidently be tracked back to Holland… and here he is in little ole Chuckatuck. He is almost a celebrity!

Here is a Wikitree link for some background and then my stuff to poke and prod around…

Click the (blue) filename below the image to get a larger view.

Written by anderson1951

February 23, 2023 at 9:29 am

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Edward Bryan 1620

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Shrivenor in the comments brought up this enigmatic character. There really is no story to tell about him… other than he lived through some heady times and was in the company of some early “movers and shakers” … of which, more later. To set the table, he shows up as a headright in a patent for Edward Waters. Headrights were “footnotes” of Virginia history… from a practical research point of view they were just hard to read phantom afterthoughts, soon forgotten, of how a real colonist managed to grab some free land. But in this guy’s case, mention is made of “when” he arrived and on what particular ship. So for that reason I got sucked in to researching him. There is no “there” there as those obnoxious Clintons were so fond of saying.

What I find interesting about Edward Bryan is that he is surrounded by all the qualities “necessary” of another Edward Bryan I find on the Chowan River in North Carolina about a century later. (meaning the 1620 Edward had access to learn the skills of the mercantile business). Not so for the later Edward. In 1720 or so things heat up in NC in the trader/merchant business and trade begins earnestly between the Colony and the Bermuda and Bahamas Islands. (Gateway to English ports)

How the hell did Edward Bryan from Nansemond learn how to sail a ship to Bermuda? Unless I am totally off base, Edward Bryan from the Chowan River married the daughter of Hodges Council also from Nansemond. The guy did not just pop up unexpectedly as an experienced Captain… he grew up in the sticks. Seamanship has to be learned and experienced, if you screw up you die or your crew mutiny and throw you overboard.

Also totally unexpected in my research of the Nansemond Bryans is that John Bryan, who received a patent in 1652, had the wherewithall to arrange for at least three indentured servants… and it seems these were “legitimate” servants (meaning he seems to have actually paid for their passage).

So my radar is abuzz that there might be connections between the 1620 Bryan and the 1652 guy. The indentures indicate a track to Bitton , England. So, like the Wizard of Oz, the man behind the curtain is pulling some levers… I just don’t know who the man behind the curtain is.

My initial impression was that John Bryan 1652 had numerous sons who crossed into North Carolina and in that usual American Experience… sought rather successfully to make their fame and fortune. Now I think it possible that some relatives from England came over and added some “juice” to the recipe. Who was this Lewis Bryan from Bitton that John Bryan 1652 brought over?

 “The following bound to John Brian, planter, to serve in Virginia: Lewes Brian of Bitton, Glos, yeoman for 4 yearsJohn Ballard of Bitton for 6 years…” 15 August 1659 (p. 432, citing the Bristol Record Office, Bristol, England)

  “John Boulton of Bitton, Glos, bound to John Brian, planter, to serve 4 years in Virginia.” 24 August 1659 (p. 433, again citing the Bristol Record Office, Bristol, England)

While this Lewis Bryan, indentured servant, in 1659 (possibly born say 1639 if he was 20 when he came over) is interesting in that he could have been a relative of John Bryan 1652 he really is just an enigma. I can’t imagine a son being indentured. So, from my point of view for now, this servant is just an odd footnote to a routine family breakdown of father and sons.

Back to the 1620 Edward…

As I’ve said, this guy seems to drop off the radar after the 1623 report of the “Livinge and the Dead” after the Indian Massacre. My brief look at his neighbors 2 miles below Blunt Point on Waters Creeke (shown on my historival USGS map as “Watts Creek”) shows convincingly that he was in the company of Captains and seamen. I’ve just barely researched these guys… perhaps something might turn up if any maritime records can be found. I’m curious if he became a seaman himself? Perhaps he split his time between England and Virginia… never putting down roots but keeping contact with Virginia kin? Interesting theories in my mind.

An interesting link for some historical background of the early years of Virginia…

Here is how I dissected the Edward Water’s patent…

Edward Waters will 1630…

Written by anderson1951

February 17, 2023 at 7:11 am

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John Bryan study

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A Jno: Bryan was one of three headrights for Robert Saven in his patent of 1653. Curiously, John Bryan had received his own patent in 1652. I’m not sure what to make of this. By my map calculations these people were only a few miles apart and each in Nansemond. The John Bryan with the patent of 1652 renewed his patent in 1664 – this was not unusual; a sort of grace period was allowed for a colonist to establish himself before having to pay his “rent”. The fact that the headright of Robert Saven shows up a year after the patentee of the same name does not bother me that much logistically… it can easily be the same man. It forms a basis to reasonably conclude that John Bryan was imported to Nansemond “around” 1652 or so. He did not “have” to be an indentured servant to Robert Saven; other arrangements might have been made we are not privy to.

I have just ran across the website of Stephen Ballard where he has dug up some info where that John Bryan apparently transported a couple of “servants” which do not fit on my radar screen. This just rattles my cage. This even causes me to spit out completely unnecessary and irritating analogies.

First my map to orient the actors in this play and then Stephen’s take on the happenings from his point of view…

Stephen Ballard’s take:

“John Bryan’s activities in the Virginia colony are worth noting.

John Bryan patented 168 acres on Indian Creeke, a branch of Nansemum river, joining to patent of Mr. John Garrett, running for length north butting on line of William Storey & c. 15 October 1652,3  Transfer of 4 persons: William Scott, Grace Harris, John Merr, Anne Stonewall.4   He renewed this patent on 17 August 1664.5

Jon Bryan was named a headright in a patent taken by Robert Saven for 150 acres in “Nanzemond County” on 11 June 1653,6

John Bryan patented 200 acres in Upper Norfolk County on 18 March 1662,7 , at south side of the west branch of Nancimond River, lying at south side of Indian Creek, running by Mr. Wm. Denizens &c.  Renewal of patent dated 20 March 1659.8

Jno. Bryan patented 200 acres in Upper Norfolk County, 18 March 1662,9 south side of the west branch of Nancimum River on both sides of the Indian Creek, running by Mr. William Densons line &c.  Renewal of patent dated 20 March 1659.10  He sold this tract to John Moore, who renewed a patent for it on 11 March 1664.11

John Bryan renewed a patent dated 15 October 1652 for 168 acres on the Nansemond River at Indian Creek.12  Seven years later, on 15 August 1659, we see that John Ballard and Lewis Brian, both of Bitton in Glocestershire, were bound to “John Brian, planter, to serve in Virginia: Lewes [Lewis] Brian of Bitton, Glos, yeoman, for 4 years; John Ballard of Bitton, Glos for 6 years.”  On 24 August 1659, “Jon Boulton of Bitton, Glos, bound to John Brian, planter, to serve 4 years in Virginia.” Wilson, p. 433.

We do not find John Bryan claiming John Ballard as a headright.”

Myself, Jennifer from California and David Gammon have been slowly and meticulously gathering notes on these Bryan fellas. We have mostly concluded that Lewis Bryan was the son of John Bryan 1652 so this puts a wrinkle in our ironing… (Lord I do seem to have a problem with these irritating analogies).

Meanwhile, we are on the hunt! to verify these indentured servants… or dismiss this as utter nonsense… whichever. Let loose the hounds… (groan).


In the comments it has been suggested that one of the Bryans used an image of an “anchor” in conjunction with his signature. Of course a tale like that is just TOO much to pass up. Jennifer had previously spied that “strange” mark and we discussed it… she going so far as to work up several comparisons… alas, we came to the conclusion he was indeed illiterate and just got a kick out his weird “mark”. Jennifer seems pretty adamant with her opinion… I just go along to get along…

Written by anderson1951

February 15, 2023 at 9:31 am

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Chuckatuck, Nansemond, Virginia

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I’ve been checkin’ the place out… if you have seen the movie “Fried Green Tomatoes” you get a glimpse of my mindset. The old woman in the movie remembers the early days of her childhood and then finds herself an old woman who has to face the reality that time has passed her by and the past has been replaced. I am such a sucker for those types of movies.

The struggling little Historical Society in Chuckatuck is pressing on much like we genealogists who keep lifting up rocks to uncover little gems about the old people of the old times. I never tire of it… I burn out once in a while, only for a while, but I always return to the hunt. Such is the case now… a few of us are researching the Bryans of Nansemond and in the course of that research I have found myself in the area of Chuckatuck and am attempting to better map the old patents and the old folks. (I’m talking about the FIRST folks to own the land… white folks of course mostly, but there was quite a bit of intermingling going on …the Indians just got shoved aside, but I’m sure most of you are familiar with that bit of history). The modern Nansemond Indian Tribe are in the area trying to resurrect a bit of their history.

I find it fascinating to open Google Earth and zoom in and travel around these areas and get a bird’s eye view. In my case I have open a topographic map from the early 1900s where I am laying out a rendition of the old Colonial Patent descriptions to where I can best figure out where and when the old folks actually settled and lived. I zoomed in to that area of Chuckatuck Creek and compared it to some old language I found in the description of the actual patent. I find it unnerving at times to how accurate I can get… a case in point is the old Chuckatuck Grist Mill.

Click to access Nov-2010-newsletter-Chuckatuck-Creek.pdf

Me… being a curious sort of animal, read the description of the Mill on the Chuckatuck website as “Bartlett’s Mill”. No its not, I thought, it was Bradley’s Mill dammit!… let’s get the facts straight. (I’m easily outraged over historical accuracy). (smiling). Here is the first patent I found and dissected:

This patent had a name… that was unusual: Rainsworth Further reading revealed it was the Grandfather of this Bradley who actually received the first patent in 1643… from some earlier guy named Humphry Sconne. Damn, I again thought (I have no idea why I cuss when I think) this Sconne guy damn near had to fight off the Nansemond Indians to get his patent “of two parcels” in 1638.

I further investigated this mystery and came up with a patent for this Bartlett fella… (by this time I am firmly in the corner of Brantley and very suspicious of this Bartlett character) his patent was so “sketchy” and riddled with legalese that I cannot even draw it. What IS explained in the patent is that the old Grampa Bradley had partnered with this Bartlett fella. I think in the end it is obvious that Grampa Brantley won out. And rightly so I might add… although I am not exactly sure why I think that.

The bewildering patent… a real headscratcher…

In any event…I hope I have set the record straight that old man Henry Brantley probably built the mill… not that interloper Bartlett.

an afterthought… If you look at either of the maps above you will note the Godwin Millpond. I am pretty sure that when old man Bradley first rubbed his hands together in anticipation of building his grist mill… that pond did not exist. He had to figure out HOW and where to build the DAM before the mill. (which is why these early mills had to be approved by the community of his neighbors… who might not like having “their” yards flooded so “he” could grind up some corn).

Another aside…

Written by anderson1951

February 14, 2023 at 6:23 am

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a new Page … Anthony Lewis

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I’m trying out a new style and experimenting with the layout…

See if this hint helps to view the page and more easily zoom in… my readers know I am all about the maps…

Written by anderson1951

February 10, 2023 at 8:27 am

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a Bryan Study, Morattock River

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Including Bridgers Creek and Uraha Swamp. My main focus with this map is a question: Is this James Bryan the man who hailed from Isle of Wight / Nansemond?

I will include a link to a prior Post…

The son in law of that James Bryan was Richard Braswell. He had a son William, who importantly, was not included on his will, because…well, he was dead’rn a doornail. My hunch is that the William Braswell shown on my map is “that” Wm Braswell, which would make him the grandson of James Bryan of IOW / Nansemond. Got it? good… I barely can keep up.

That “simple” question I am asking can clear up some questions several of us are actively researching at the moment.

Also are the other Bryans who need to explain themselves pronto…


A look at the will and witnesses for clues…

Aaron Drake does not leave a will I can find and his whereabouts were unknown in 1731…

a John Mack Daniel is a mystery… (I thought this may be a son of Daniel McDaniel on Uraha Swamp)

a dead end for now…


A sidenote…

Note the patent for Hester Kerby… this gal almost gave me whip lash… I have a couple patents for her and her husband near modern Hertford County and Northampton… indeed, there is a Kirby’s Creek, just to drive the point forward. What and why might they move… also, a woman usually could not patent land in her name unless she was a widow or single (as Traci the Librarian tells me). The I noticed that Rich Square was near by… perhaps there is a Quaker tale to be found here?

Also note the patent for Hardy Council… this guy obviously descends from the Isle of Wight Councils… what interests me is that he appears to be an Indian Trader. He also has a patent just north of the Meherrin Indian tract of land noted on the Moseley map of 1733. Just Google “moseley map 1733” and a great link pops up for the map…well worth the effort. I will soon be uploading my recent work on this overall Chowan “Precinct” map… stay tuned.

Now my obligatorye rants, as I am want to do…

Note the usual castletrash pigs feeding at the trough, Thomas Pollock and his associate William Maule. These guys are the exact same type of government toadies as we have today… Nothing has changed in 300 freaking years. They just nonchalantly fill their pockets with whatever loot they can get there slimy little hands on… in this case land. See Nancy Pelosi…good god that woman gets my goat. I could go on but I will spare you…

Written by anderson1951

January 28, 2023 at 7:29 am

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Richard Braswell’s patent 1706…

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The odious Philip Ludwell was appointed to “setel” the boundary dispute betwixt Virginia and North Carolina in 1710. Ludwell was pretty much a pompous Horse’s Ass in my opinion… but don’t let that deter you from enjoying his shenanigans along the border at that time.

The account involving his interaction with Richard Braswell can be found below on page 35.

Here is where Braswell was living in 1706…

I am really curious what the old Indian women thought of Ludwell after he “gave them strict charge to tell only the truth”. He knew how to handle old Indian women. The ass was forever telling everyone he made contact with to only tell him the truth. He had a very low opinion of North Carolinians… but Virginians seemed to be somewhat satisfactory in his book.

Just for Sh*ts and Giggles, substitute “Republicans” for North Carolinians…

Written by anderson1951

January 27, 2023 at 5:28 am

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