Genealogical and Family History
STATE OF MAINE
Compiled under the editorial supervision of George Thomas Little, A. M., Litt. D.
LEWIS HISTORICAL PUBLISHING COMPANY
[Please see Index page for full citation.]
[Transcribed by Coralynn Brown]
[Many families included in these genealogical records had their beginnings in Massachusetts.]
William Cullen Bryant, who was of this family, cast an undying halo over the name. The Bryants were a vigorous, strong-constitutioned, hard-working , hard-headed, long-lived race. They were inclined to be retiring, not seeking for public honors or political preferment, but loved the quiet of their own firesides. They were warm in amity, strong in enmity, quick to resent a wrong or insult. They were naturally given to the peaceful pursuits, but arose like men to the defence of the Union when it was imperiled.
(I) Stephen Bryant was, it is claimed, in Plymouth colony as early as 1632, and purchased land there in 1643. He was propounded as a freeman in 1653, and admitted July 6, 1654. He was constable of Duxbury in 1654, surveyor of highways in Plymouth 1658, and a juryman in 1660.
He married Abigail, daughter of John Shaw, of Plymouth.
Abgail, John, Mary, Stephen, Sarah, Lydia and Elizabeth.
(II) John, eldest son of Stephen and Abigail (Shaw) Bryant, was born in Plymouth, April 7, 1650. The given name of his wife was Sarah.
John, James, Ruth, Sarah, Joanna and George.
(III) John (2), eldest son of John (1) and Sarah Bryant, was born in Plymouth, Sept. 1, 1678, and was undoubtedly that John Bryant who was in Scarborough, Maine, called by the Indians Owascoag, a place of green grass. The evacuation of Scarborough in 1690 was owing to the Indian and French troubles, and the rehabilitation took place in about 1702, from Lynn, Mass. Others followed as peace was restored. In the lot were this John Bryant and his cousin David, from Plymouth.
John made his will in Scarborough Oct. 12, 1759, and says therein:
"Being sensible that I cannot continue long in this life by reason of the hurt I have this day received in my body." He lived a year beyond this, his will being probated July 7, 1760, and the estate inventoried three hundred and thirty-four pounds. The baptismal name of his wife was Mary.
Mary, Susan, Temperance, Eleanor and John.
(IV) John (3), only son of John (2) and Mary Bryant, was of feeble constitution, for he made his will in August, 1757, and died in the following October, preceding his father, whom he appointed executor of his will. His wife, whose Christian name was Elizabeth, predeceased her husband.
Samuel D. and Bartholomew.
(V) Bartholomew, youngest son of John (3) and Elizabeth Bryant, was born in Scarborough, July 11, 1737. He received forty acres of land by his father's will. A great droughth occurred in Scarborough in 1761, destroying the crops, and the inhabitants became uneasy, a great depletion in the population ensuing. Batrholomew was among those who helped found the town of Machias, in Washington county, Maine. His name was on the petition to the general court for the incorporation of the town. The inhabitants had previously petitioned Nova Scotia for a charter without avail.
He married Ellen Brookins, of Scarborough.
Joseph, Thomas, Samuel, Stephen, Patience, Martha, Hannah, Rebecca, Lydia and Sarah.
(VI) Joseph, eldest son of Bartholomew and Ellen (Brookins) Bryant, was born in Machias, Maine; married (first) Lydia Beal, (second) a Miss Plummer.
Children of 1st wife:
Sarah, Otis, Olive, Laura, Elmira and Asa.
(VII) Otis, eldest son of Joseph and Lydia (Beal) Bryant, was born in Machias, and was a ship-builder. He married Sarah Kilton, of Jonesborough, Maine, and was the father of George R.
(VIII) George R., son of Otis and Sarah (Kilton) Bryant, was born in Machias, and was a mill man. He married Lois M. Davis.
John R. J., (who was in the civil war); Eldridge H; Franklin; George W., (who was in the civil war); Edwin R.; Elmira; Freeman R. and Rilda C.
John R. J. Bryant was in the U. S. navy in the civil war. In 1863 he was a sailor on a merchant ship which was captured by the rebel privateer "Calhoun." The prisoners were given their choice of going to a rebel prison or joining the rebel navy. They accepted the latter alternative, and were stationed on the Mississippi river. At the capture of Fort Jackson by Farragut he, with others of the Union prisoners, took the opportunity to mutiny. They ran up a white flag. The captain of the privateer shot the Union man who pulled down the rebel flag and hoisted the flag of truce. The rebel captain was shot by the Union prisoners.
(IX) Hon. Eldridge Heman, eldest son of George R. and Lois M. (Davis) Bryant, was born at Machias Aug. 17, 1843. He received a limited education, and when seventeen years old enlisted in Company H, Ninth Maine Regiment, as corporal. They were sent to Washington, D.C., thence to Hilton Head, Port Royal, and Charleston, South Carolina. They took part in the siege of Fort Sumter, and Corporal Bryant was awarded one of the United States medals "For gallant and meritorious service in the siege of Sumter in August, 1863," presented by Major-General Gilmore in command. In the spring of 1863 they regiment came back to Hilton Head, and ws in the brigade formed by General George C. Strong, taking part in the siege of Morris Island. They were also in the army of the James, under General B. F. Butler, at the storming of Petersburg, and at the capture of Fort Fisher. Corporal Bryant's time having expired, he enlisted at Block Island, and was at Drury's Bluff, where he was wounded in the side, having previously been shot in the foot before Petersburg. Corporal Bryant was with his regiment at the capture of Wilmington, N. C., was stationed at Magnolia, that state, and was at Raleigh, N. C. at its occupation by General Sherman. He was mustered out with his regiment in July, 1865, at Raleigh, as lieutenant, having been commissioned lieutenant in the spring of 1864.
After the war he went to Chicago, and was employed as a journeyman carpenter. Returning to Machias, about 1867, he bought out the sash and blind factor of G. Harris Foster. In 1883 he was appointed special deputy in the custom house at Machias, and was made collector of the port of Machias by President Harrison. In 1901 he was appointed postmaster of Machias by President McKinley, receiving a reappointment at the hands of President Roosevelt, which position he still fills to the general satisfaction of the public.
Lieut. Bryant is a member of Harwood Lodge, No. 91, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, of which he is past master; of Washington Chapter, No. 16, of which he is past high priest; of St. Elmo Commandery, Knights Templar, No. 18, of which he is past eminent commander, and also a member of Delta Lodge of Perfection. He was one of the charter members of Bradbury Post, Grand Army of the Republic, of which he is past commander, and has been one of the council of administration of the Dept. of Maine, Grand Army of the Republic. He is a Republican and has filled all the important town offices. He and his family attend the Methodist church, and he is treasurer of the society.
Mr. Bryant was married to Nettie, daughter of Jephenih and Catherine (Waso) Allen, of Addison, Maine.
Carl Harris, Mildred Eva, Myron Eldridge, Leonard and Richard Fanker.
They are all pupils in the public schools of Machias.