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More on the Bryants of Adair County, KY

The Bryants are a very old and historic Adair County family
  • Roots of many of the Bryants in and near Joppa on Russell Creek
  • When Zion School was 'the college'
  • Zion campus where some of Adair County's first brick buildings are located
  • Bryant family and connection to Zion Baptist Church
  • A homeplace cemetery where few gravestones are legible
  • Robert Jefferson Bailey: last of Bryant family to live on John Bryant homeplace

By E.H. Lepiarczyk

I think that Mr. Ray Bryant's grandfather, William Bryant, may be the son of either of two brothers of my second-great-grandfather, Daniel Bryant (ca. 1803-1891).

I am acquainted with Mr. Bryant's granddaughter, Marsha Corbin Bennett, who works in the bank at Columbia. Perhaps she can inquire about the great-grandfather of her grandfather, Mr. Bryant.

William, a popular name, is also a popular name in the Bryant family. Subsequently, it is not easy to determine identities of ancestral family members at times. The Bryant family, although not as prolific in the Adair County population numbers as the Burton family, is a very old and historic Adair County family.

Most Bryants of Adair County are descendants of my third-great-grandfather and third-great-grandmother, notable pioneer Adair Countians, John Bryant (ca. 1760-ca. 1841) and Elizabeth Bryant (ca. 1765-ca. 1854).

John and Elizabeth lived in Adair County in the late 18th century along Russell Creek even before the county was established from Green County!

Joppa was the post office for members of my Bryant family in the early 20th century. The old John Bryant family homestead is located in the proximity of Vince Pfefferman's farm.

Like many of the early pioneers, graves for members of my Bryant ancestral family are on the old homeplace. Only one family member has a legible monument, my mother's second cousin, William Otha Bailey (ca. 1883-ca. 1888). William is the uncle of my third cousin, Janet Gail Cabbell.

I have not visited the Bryant family cemetery for some years now. I think Paul Dickens' heirs presently own the ancestral property where the Bryant Cemetery is located. John Bryant never had a pension, but it is said that he was militarily engaged during the War of the American Revolution.

My great-grandmother, Mary Margaret Bryant Grider (1846-1936), attended Zion School. For her generation, she referred to Zion School as 'the college'.

Residents of the community were particularly proud of its landmarks, Zion Baptist Church and Zion School.

These were the first very few brick public buildings in Adair County, outside of Columbia, during the 19th century.

Members of John and Elizabeth Bryant's family attended Zion Baptist Church. My aunt, Nona Marie Grider Cook (1924-1996), was a teacher in Zion School! This may have been her first school where she taught in the early 1940s.

Most Bryants today live away from where our early Bryant ancestors lived in the once known Joppa community. My mother's second cousin, Robert Jefferson Bailey (1889-1954), was the last of my family members to live on the old John Bryant homeplace in the 1920s.
RELATED: For photo by Scott Bennett which includes his 93-year-old grandfather, Ray Bryant, Click Here.

This story was posted on 2007-01-05 02:57:15
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