BRYAN, Joseph, of PA, VA, Rowan Co NC, Bryan’s Station KY, and Jefferson Co KY

Joseph Bryan was born in Pennsylvania in 1720, a son of Morgan and Martha (Strode) Bryan.[1] He died before 4 Mar 1805 in Jefferson Co KY.[2]

Joseph was married first to Hester Simpson, while both were teenagers. Hester was from Co VA. Their only son Joseph was born ca 1737 in Shenandoah, Augusta or Frederick Co VA.[3]

Joseph married second Aylee Linville[4][5] about 1738 probably in Augusta Co VA.

Aylee was born about 1722, and died before 4 Mar 1805 in Jefferson or Shelby Co KY. The couple had ten children, born between 1739 and 1757 or later. Among these children were Rebecca, who later married Daniel Boone, plus three other brothers-in-law of Daniel’s—William, James and Morgan Bryan.

            Dorothy Ford Wulfeck’s book, Wilcoxson and Allied Families, 1958, p 29ff. states the following about Joseph Bryan:

“He moved from Winchester VA to Rowan Co NC, to Bryan’s Station KY by 1775, back to Rowan Co by 1777, then in 1791 visited KY and in 1798 moved to Shelby Co KY. Bryant’s Station is named for him. ‘Rev. John D. Shane interviewed George Bryan and the notes are preserved in Draper Mss 16 C 976. 9 Sh 18b. These notes give much information concerning the Bryan family and the explorations and settlements of Daniel Boone, but most importantly for readers of this book is Bryan’s list of those who migrated from North Carolina to Kentucky in 1775. (p. 10-11).’ The list includes several of his sons.”[6]

A group of Moravians visited Rowan county in 1771 and made these comments about Joseph Bryan: “Having preached at Bube’s, Soelle set out for Morgan Bryant’s (Jr.) reaching there before evening. The next night Soelle spent with William (Billy) Bryant, whose land lay along the Yadkin, on the south side, at the western curve of what is locally called The Bend. His wife had been baptised by Murphee. Their eldest son was a boy of fifteen or sixteen years…. Spent the night at the home of Joseph Bryant, ‘a polite and affable man,’ who cannot read, but is well-to-do. ‘I had not been in this neighborhood before; death reigns, (spiritually) and the people seem to have much of this world’s goods. Bryant himself was as yet without eyes or ears,’ (spiritually) but his wife made Soelle welcome, and the service, which was largely attended, was held by his spring in the shade of the trees…. Visited Roger Turner; also old Mr. Turner, the father, Thomas Bryant, William Bryant, James Forbush, reading the Soelle Memoir at each home. Spent the night with Morgan Bryant. (Jr.)”[7]

During the time Bryan was traveling from North Carolina to Kentucky and back to North Carolina again, he was summoned to sign an Oath of Allegiance to the new nation. This he signed on 7 Aug 1777 in Rowan Co NC.[8] A year later, he was not in the county.[9]

Because of his close connection with his son-in-law, Daniel Boone, Joseph Bryan and his family appear in many records. Both the Bryans and the Boones were often suspected of being loyalists during the Revolutionary.[10] Boone was actually tried for treason.[11] In many parts of the new United States, the differences between loyalists and patriots had more to do with local politics than with American patriotism. In North Carolina, the lowland planters, often wealthy slaveowners, wanted independence from Great Britain; the backcountry people often were more interested in not being subjugated to the interests of those rich North Carolinians on the coast. And in Kentucky, the British often promoted Indian attacks; when Daniel Boone was adopted by an Indian chief, the faraway State government sent judges to try him, judges who had no understanding of frontier issues.[12]

Bryan’s Station[13] was an early fortified settlement near present Lexington KY. It was founded in 1775-1776 by the Bryan brothers, Morgan, James, Joseph, and William, that is, this Joseph and three of his brothers. Also present were my ancestors James Forbis and James Forbis Jr, who married Joseph Bryan’s daughter Phoebe.[14] The fort withstood several Indian attacks, the most notable of which took place in August of 1782. None of my ancestors was present at that date.[15]

By 1790 Joseph Bryan was again living in North Carolina: Salisbury Dist, Rowan Co NC, p 171: Joseph Bryan Sen, 2/0/2/-/4. Joseph Bryan Jr, the only son of his first marriage, was next door: 1/1/3/-/1. In the 1800 “Second Census of Kentucky,” Joseph Bryan Jr and Sr were in Jefferson Co KY, from a tax list. Joseph’s son-in-law James Forbis was in Green Co KY.[16]

The children of Joseph Bryan are as follows:

1. Joseph BRYAN. Born in say 1737 in Shenandoah, Augusta or Frederick Co VA, the only son of Joseph’s first wife, Hester Simpson. He lived near his father in Rowan Co NC in 1790 and in Jefferson Co KY in 1800. He is often identified as the Joseph Bryan who married Susannah Calloway and died in 1844 in Missouri, but in my opinon the dates don’t line up.


2. Rebecca BRYAN. Born on 7 Feb 1739, the first child of Joseph’s second wife, Aylee (Linville) Bryan. Rebecca died in St Charles Co MO, on 18 Mar 1813. About 1756 when Rebecca was 16, she married Daniel BOONE, son of Squire BOONE & Sarah MORGAN. Born on 2 Nov 1734 in Bucks Co PA. Daniel died in Charritte Village, St Charles Co MO, on 26 Sep 1820. They had the following children:

                        i.            Israel (1758-)

                        ii.            James (1759-)

                        iii.            Susannah (1760-)

                        iv.            Jemima (1762-)

                        v.            Levina (1766-)

                        vi.            Rebecca (1768-)

                        vii.            Daniel Morgan (1769-)

                        viii.            Jesse Bryan (1773-)

                        ix.            William (1775-)

                        x.            Nathan (1781-)


3. Martha BRYAN. Born on 19 Nov 1740. Martha died in Clark Co KY, after 1793. About 1758/1760 Martha married Edward BOONE, son of Squire BOONE & Sarah MORGAN. Born on 30 Nov 1740 in Exeter Twp, Berks Co PA. Edward died in Blue Licks KY, on 6 Oct 1780. They had the following children:

                        i.            Joseph (ca1760-)

                        ii.            Charity (1758-)

                        iii.            Jane (1762-)

                        iv.            Mary (1765-)

                        v.            George (1767-)

                        vi.            Sarah (1771-)


4. Samuel BRYAN. Born in 1742 in VA. Samuel married Polly ENOCHS. They had the following children:

                        i.            Samuel (ca1746-)

                        ii.            Morgan (ca1747-)

                        iii.            Margaret (ca1755-)

                        iv.            Nancy Ann (1766-)

                        v.            Susannah (<1776-)

                        vi.            Elizabeth (1776-)


5. Mary BRYAN. Born about 1745. About 1761 Mary married Cornelius HOWARD. Born ca 1740 in Anne Arundel Co MD. Cornelius died in Henderson Co KY, in 1826. They had the following children:

                        i.            Charity

                        ii.            Susannah

                        iii.            William

                        iv.            Cornelius

                        v.            Elizabeth

                        vi.            Joseph


6. Aylee BRYAN. Born about 1745. About 1769/1772, she married Joshua HOWARD in Rowan Co NC. Born ca 1735 in Frederick Co MD. Joshua died in Wilkes Co NC, ca 1814. They had one child:

                        i.            Abraham (1763-)


7. Susan BRYAN. Born in 1746. Susan married Benjamin HINKLE. Born on 29 Mar 1751 in Germantown, Philadelphia Co PA. Benjamin died in Lincoln Co TN, in 1827. They had the following children:

                        i.            Joseph (1778-)

                        ii.            Daniel (1779-)

                        iii.            Johannes (1782-)

                        iv.            Margaretha (1784-)

                        v.            Alexander (1786-)

                        vi.            Alexandria (1786-)

                        vii.            Susannah (1788-)

                        viii.            Barbara (1790-)

                        ix.            Phoebe (1792-)

                        x.            Nancy (1794-)

                        xi.            Benjamin (1796-)

                        xii.            Elizabeth (1798-)

                        xiii.            Samuel (1801-)

                        xiv.            Morgan B (1802-)


8. Eleanor BRYAN. Born about 1749. About 1767 or 25 Sep 1789, she first married Ephraim ADAMS in Rowan Co NC. Born in say 1740s. They had the following children:

                        i.            Aylee

                        ii.            Noah

                        iii.            Jacob

                        iv.            Wilah


In 1780 when Elenor was 31, she second married Josiah BOONE in KY.


9. Phoebe BRYAN. Born about 1750.[17] Phoebe died in KY in 1834-1840. On 10 Mar 1779, she married James FORBIS Jr, son of James FORBIS Sr & Hannah TURNER, in Rowan Co NC. Born in 1758. James died in Green Co KY, before 21 Apr 1834. They had the following children:

                        i.            Elizabeth (ca1781-)

                        ii.            Margaret (ca1783-1822)

                        iii.            Mary (ca1784-1850)

                        iv.            James (1787-)

                        v.            John (1789-1810)

                        vi.            Logan (1793-)

                        vii.            Sarah (1794-1822)

                        viii.            Ann (ca1795-)

                        ix.            Moses (~1796-)

                        x.            Joel (1802->1850)

                        xi.            Jesse (ca1806-1880)


10. John BRYAN. Born in 1753. On 17 Sep 1797 when John was 44, he married Elizabeth HINKLE in Surry Co NC. Born in 1776 in Rowan Co NC. They had the following children:

                        i.            Elizabeth (1798-)

                        ii.            Joseph (1800-)

                        iii.            Alice (1805-)

                        iv.            Charles Hinkle (1807-)

                        v.            John (1810-)


11. Charity BRYAN. Born ca 1757 in NC. On 8 Dec 1797 when Charity was 40, she married John DAVIS in Shelby Co KY.



© 2009, Kathy Alvis Patterson


[1]In the past, it was claimed that Martha’s family were related to the Justice involved in passing sentence of King Charles I; no evidence has been found. Similarly, Morgan Bryan was definitely not a descendant of Sir Francis and Lady Joan (Fitzgerald) Bryan. Publications like The Spear and the Spindle: Ancestors of Sir Francis Bryan (d. 1550), Kt., by T.A. Fuller, Bowie MD: Heritage Books, 1993, are misleading and frequently fantastic, as for example, claims that Morgan was born in Denmark.

However, see for the suspected parents of Martha Strode.

[2]Hazel Atterbury Spraker. The Boone Family. Reprint, Baltimore: 1977. Pages 504-512. Also, Scott Jolley, “On Joseph Bryan,” posted at Bryan Family Genealogy Forum, 9 Nov1999: To those who are somewhat confused on the issue of Joseph Bryan and his family I post the following info. I obtained this from Guy Bryan from his web site (don’t have the address). Hope it helps.

Joseph Bryan, described as a “tall rawboned man,” migrated from Virginia, where Rebecca Bryan was born, to the forks of the Yadkin in NC some time after the rest of the Bryan families, and settled about four miles from his father, Morgan Bryan. He was married twice and had eleven children, one son Joseph, by his first wife Hester Hampton, two sons and eight daughters by his second wife, Alee Linville. She was Rebecca Bryan Boone’s mother. He was living at Floyd’s Fork when he died in 1805.

In Jefferson Co KY Will Book I, Page 158, we find a copy of his will, dated 20 November, 1804 and probated 4 March, 1805: “In the name of God, Amen. I, Joseph Bryan of the County of Jefferson and State of Kentucky, being weak in body but of sound and perfect mind and memory, blessed be Almighty God for the same, do make and publish this my last will and testament in manner and form following (that is to say) after my lawful debts are settled. I give and bequeath unto my beloved wife Alee, a gray mare, a bed, and furniture, and thirty dollars, either cash or property. I also give and bequeath to my sons Samuel, Joseph, and John Bryan the sum of fifty dollars each, either cash or property. I also give and bequeath to my youngest son John Bryan one Negro man named James and all the farming tools. I also give and bequeath unto my daughters Martha Boon and Rebecca Boon, the sum of twenty dollars each, either cash or property. I also give and bequeath unto my other daughters, Mary Howard, Susannah Hinkle, Aylee Howard, Phebe Forbis, and Charity Davis the sum of fifty dollars each, either cash or property. I also give and bequeath unto my daughter, Elenor Adams, a Negro woman named Jean. I also give and bequeath unto my grand-daughter, Aylee Adams, one Negro girl named Sarah. I also give and bequeath unto my grand-son Noah Adams, one Negro boy named Sapio. I also give and bequeath unto my grandson Jacob Adams, one Negro boy named Bob. I also give and bequeath unto my grandson, Wilah Adams, a Negro girl named Lotty. And I do hereby appoint my two sons Joseph and John Bryan, Executors of this my last will and testament, hereby revoking all former wills and testaments by me made.  In witness Whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this twenth day of November in the year of our Lord one thousand and eight hundred and four.”

Signed Joseph Bryan, Witnesses:  Edward Cox, Senior, David Enochs, Ephraim Hampton

[3] Spraker, loc cit.

[4]Called Alice in Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish Settlement In Virginia Extracted from the Original Courthouse Records of Augusta County, 1745-1800. Deed Book No. 7, page 339. Page 219.–3d June, 1755. Joseph Bryan and Alice to Jacob Chrisman, of Frederick, £150, 500 acres purchased by Joseph from Wm. Linvil and part of 1500 acres purchased by Linvil from Hite, &c., on Linvil’s Creek, cor. to land in possession of Thomas Linvil.

[5] I have a manuscript copy of several pages of a Linville book, which gives her the following ancestry: John3, Richard2, Thomas1. Joseph Bryan was a neighbor of the Linville family, as seen in this record: Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish Settlement Deed Book No. I. “Additional Members of the Executive Committee, p 256,” Page 143.–15th August, 1746. William Linwell and Elenor, his wife, to George Bowman, of County Frederick, £100 Pennsylvania currency; 500 acres purchased of Jost Hite & Co. on Linwell’s Creek; line of Joseph Bryan (in his possession); Wm. Linwell’s mark ( ); Elinor Linwell’s mark ( ). Witnesses, Gabriel Jones and Benj. Johnston. Acknowledged, 20th August, 1746. These deeds are more are summarized in Cecil O’Dell, Pioneers of Old Frederick Country, Virginia, Heritage Books, 2007, page 76, online at GoogleBooks.

Also in the same source, from Deed Book I, page 257. Page 135.–20th August, 1746. William Linwell to Joseph Bryan, £12xxx 500 acres on Linwell’s Creek between William, and land in possession of Thomas Linwell, part of 1,500 acres granted by McCay & Co. Acknowledged, and dower released by Eleanor, 20th August, 1746.

[6]Published by Commercial Service, 1958. Original from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Digitized Mar 14, 2008, seen at GoogleBooks.

[7]“Records of the Moravians in N.C.” Editorial compilation from Soelle Diary.

[8]Rowan Co NC Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions, 1773-1800, C.085.30004, Vol. 4, p 118: “Appeared in Consequence of a Citation James McMahon, Joseph Bryan, James Forbush, George Wilcockson, David Johnston, Joseph Wolfskill, Charles Vandivear and John Bryan upon Suspicion of being unfriendlay to this State and no positive charge appeared against them, The Court ordered that they take and Sign the Oath prescribed by Act of Assembly.” Signatures follow: James McMahon, David Johnston, Joseph Bryan, James Forbis, George Wilcockson, Joph Wolfskill, Charles Vandivear, John Bryan. NSDAR Patriot A016264; Service: VIRGINIA [sic];  Rank: PATRIOTIC SERVICE; Birth:  (ANTE) 1720 CHESTER CO PA; Death:  (ANTE) 4 Mar 1805 JEFFERSON CO KENTUCKY; Service Source: LYMAN DRAPER, THE LIFE OF DANIEL BOONE, P 434; Service Description: 1) ONE OF THE FOUNDERS OF BRYAN STATION KY.

[9]Jo Lynn White, “Salisbury District State Docket, Superior Court, March Court 1778,” pages 1280-1281 in Rowan Co NC Records. “March 6th. The venire: Rowan …[included] 5. Joseph Bryan.” In the list of those “failing to appear… Joseph Bryan.” Also, a deed witnessed by Joseph Bryan Sr and Joseph Bryan Jr from James Forbes and his wife, Hanna, for 250 acres to Robert Brothers. Book 12, p 246, Oct 4, 1788, Rowan Co, NC. Proved Sept 17, 1791.

[10]John Mack Faragher , Daniel Boone: The Life and Legend of an American Pioneer, Macmillan, 1993, p 203.An informal but interesting statement was published on the topic at by “John K. Bryan” <> , [BRYAN-L] Morgan Bryan’s sons 
, 12 Aug 2000.

[12]Two interesting books related to this era are John Buchanan, The Road to Guilford Courthouse: The American Revolution in the Carolinas, 1999, and Robert Morgan, Boone: A Biography, 2008.

[13]Occasionally called Bryant’s Station. See for a photo of the historical marker at the site.

[14]Wulfeck, op cit. “Rev. John D. Shane interviewed George Bryan and the notes are preserved in Draper Mss 16 C 976. 9 Sh 18b. These notes give much information concerning the Bryan family and the explorations and settlements of Daniel Boone, but most importantly for readers of this book is Bryan’s list of those who migrated from North Carolina to Kentucky in 1775. (p 10-11).” The list includes James Forbis and his two sons, James and William.

[16] Second Census of Kentucky 1800 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2006. Original data: Clift, G. Glenn. Second Census of Kentucky, 1800. Baltimore, MD, USA: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2005, pages 38, 100.

[17]Many of the birthdates seem to this writer to be as many as ten or more years too early. If Aylee had her first child in 1739 at the possible age of 16, she could have had children in 1770 or even later.

Published on March 29, 2009 at 2:41 am  Comments (6)  

The URI to TrackBack this entry is:

RSS feed for comments on this post.

6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I am researching my family: Charles Bryant, son of Joseph J. Bryant 1840, son of G.W. Bryant 1811 and Nancy Spence 1812, whose father and mother were Daniel Bryant 1795 and Nancy Plummer 1791. I am comming up blank; no Bryants are listed in Virginia born to the name Daniel 1795. However, there are George Bryan 1775 NC, and James Bryant 1739 Ky. Is there a data base that could help me? Any information is greatly welcomed. Thank you for your time. Wayne C. Bryant Jr

    • I do not know where you looked for sons of a Daniel Bryan/Bryant. I do not think there is any complete list, so just because you didn’t find him yet doesn’t mean he wasn’t there.
      Also, no, I do not know of any database, beyond just searching every website you can find. Try, as well as, plus look for other Bryan researchers. Good luck.

  2. Read (online) the full text of the Boone family

  3. Researching Harriet, Richmond and Sam Bryant of Harrison, County, KY 1840-1850

  4. I believe my ancestor is William Grant who married Elizabeth Boone sister so Daniel Boone. My John Grant I believe may have been the grandson of William Grant. Many believe it but I cannot find a paper trail. If you know of Willliam Grant and his marriage of Elizabeth Boone please contact me. My John Grant lived in Berks Co, Pennsylvania. Thank you so much, Sarah Scott

  5. I am researching the Boren (originally Boreing) family of Maryland, the Carolinas, and westward. Sometime around 1750 a few of them left Maryland, supposedly accompanying Christopher Gist, Jr to the Yadkin, NC. I have found a sparse few records in Orange County NC. I have found records that the younger Morgan Bryan’s daughter Susannah married Bazel Boren. I descend from John Boren b 1780 South Carolina who migrates by way of KY to Lawrence TN (1830s) to Itawamba MS. I am trying to connect John back to his Carolina family; I believe his father is another John b about 1760 in the Carolinas who is enumerated in Pendleton District in 1790. I’m trying to get some focus on the Borens in the Carolinas from arrival c. 1750 to departure from the Carolinas after 1790. Appreciate any insights that you could share. Cathy LAltrelli

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

%d bloggers like this: