Thursday, March 2, 2017

Found! The parents of James Bryant

James Bryant has been a brick wall for many years.  First, he does not appear in any census with his parents and secondly, he had real problems making up his mind how old he was.  The person who is probably him in 1880 is listed as age 10, in 1900 his birth month/year is July 1861 and he is 49.  In 1910 he is 37 (so born 1873), in 1920 he is 50 and in 1940 he is 68.  He's not been found yet in 1930.  His death certificate, with information provided by his son-in-law states he was born on 2 July 1873.  He does not appear in the SSDI and having died in 1942, I had always assumed he never had a social security card.  However, it turns out he is in the Social security claims index so I sent for his original SSDI, which gives his date of birth as 2 July 1868 and more importantly, gives his parents as Irving Bryant and Elizabeth Hamlin.

There is no Irving in the 1870 census, but there is I Bryant age 25 with his wife E age 24.  There is no marriage record for them in Crawford county so her surname cannot be confirmed.  They have 3 children, a daughter H.E., age 6, a son C age 7, and a daughter J age 2.  It would be better if names were on here.  There are several errors as to children's sex in this census, so this could be James despite the F.  In 1880, there are no female Bryants who were born about that year, but there are two males, one of whom is James.

In 1880, James is living with John and Sarah Stripling Sandefur.  I am pretty sure this is the correct James since Sarah had a relatively unusual name (Sarah Willie) and he named his oldest daughter that.  He also married John's youngest sister.

Irwin, who is also shown as Ruben Irwin on some family trees, and Elizabeth both disappear from the censuses after 1870, which increases the odds that the apparently orphaned James in 1880 is their child.  More work needs to be done but at least there appears to be a path forward now.

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