The earliest records we have of our Texas Bryans is the birth of James Wesley Bryan born circa 1877 in Tarrant Co., Texas. We do not know who his parents were. If anyone knows who they were or has clues, I would be very interested. James was a gambling man. He left his sons with his wife's family around 1920. It is believed that he died in a flu epidemic in the 1930s.
Both of his sons came to California. First came Vernon and Gwen Bryan during World War II to the San Francisco Bay Area to do construction work. William Jennings Bryan and family came soon after to the Sacramento area. Gwen's brother, Durward Barmore and family, also came to live in the San Francisco area soon therafter.
When the descendents of these or other Texas cousins visit this web site, I would love to hear from you.
More on these lines will be coming to the pages soon. There is a lot online on this famous family, so this will not be an exhaustive account.
My connection to this family is still not certain. Samuel Bailey & Sarah Bryan, my ancestors, were mentioned in a number of Daniel Boone's documents. It is clear they were close. For more information on this click here.
Also included in this database is the ancestry of William Jennings Bryan, the populist politician from Nebraska and Presidential Candidate. I researched this line to see if I could find any links to our lost Bryan heritage [see above]. I could find NO CONNECTIONS to Texas, at all. However, I've kept the information, just in case future data might link them together in some way...
William Jennings Bryan came from an old American family. Two brothers, William and John Bryan, emigrated around 1765 to the Virginia Tidewater. "The American born Bryans who followed were hardworking and of medium prosperity. This writer finds no record of any of the lineage having been slave owners." [The Commoner: William Jennings Bryan. Charles Morrow Wilson. Doubleday & Co., Inc. Garden City: NY. 1970.]
"The Jennings family came from England, but just when it came no chronicler has ever been able to determine. We can, however, authentically go back to Israel Jennings, who was born about 1774. Originally New England colonists, his ancestor had braved the frontier, and Israel spent his youth in Kentucky." [The Life of William Jennings Bryan. Genevieve Forbes Herrick & John Origen Herrick. 1925.]