Bryan - Watts Family


Catharine Amanda Bryan
A Timeline
Catharine Amanda Bryan was born in Georgia, probably Houston County, on August 17, 1834. She was the second daughter born to my great-great-grandparents, Reddick Bryan and Elizabeth Regan. What I know about Catharine Amanda Bryan has been gleaned from conveyance records, census records, and a few documented and undocumented sources. The Bryan family moved to Northwest Louisiana in the late 1830s and settled near what was later known as Ringgold in the Parish of Bienville. At age 14, on August 9, 1849, Catharine Amanda Bryan married James C. Watts. 

In 1858, Catharine Amanda's father-in-law, Richard I. Watts, gave his entire estate, valued at over two thousand dollars to Catharine Amanda and his daughter, Lurany S. Ezell. Some land transactions and sales followed.

James C. Watts died before August 21, 1867. On documents found in his probate record, the earliest dated August 21, 1867, Catharine A. Bryan was listed as his widow and C. A. Watts was also listed as the "Natural Tutrix" of her children. Catharine's half brother, James Bryan, was listed as the "Under Tutor" for the minor children of James C. Watts. The children were listed as Edmund Bryan, Alice Elizabeth, Sarah Catharine, and Martha Caldwell Watts.

Catharine Amanda Bryan was referred to as "Amanda" and as "Manda" in family letters and other documents. Manda Watts was found in the 1870 census living with children, Edmond Watts-age 17, Alice Watts - age 13, and Martha Watts - age 4.  A daughter, Sarah Watts was living with Catharine Amanda's sister, Georgia Ann Frances Bryan Pitman Wimberly. Catharine Amanda remained close to her family as most of her neighbors listed on the census page were family members.

In 1873, Catharine Amanda Bryan Watts was listed in a conveyance record as the wife of J.B. Thomas and a resident of Bienville Parish.  Red River Parish marriage records show that a Amanda C. Watts married  G. B. Thomas on January 7, 1873. This matches the notes in my family bible. Catharine Amanda was recorded as "C. A. Bryan Watts Thomas."

On April 11, 1875, Amanda Watts was counted as present at a church meeting held at the Liberty Chapel in Bienville Parish. Most members of the chapel were descendants of Reddick Bryan and Elizabeth Regan, Amanda's parents. Also on the list were Mrs. Alice Huckaby and E. B. Watts, probable children of Catharine Amanda Watts.

In 1877, Mrs. C. A. Watts was listed on the membership list of  Pleasant Grove Church. A notation next to her name and many others, including Hammetts, indicate that they were being transferred to Davis Springs, a Methodist Church in Natchitoches. C. A. Watts was listed on the membership list of the Davis Springs Methodist Church in Natchitoches Parish in 1879. Her sister, Dollie Hammett, was also on that list. Dollie and her husband, Robert E. Hammett were active members of the church. Catherine Amanda was also listed as a member of the the church in 1881 as Mrs. C. A. Watts and in 1892 as Watts, C. Amanda.

I was not able to locate Catharine Amanda Bryan Watts Thomas on the 1880 census; however, a Mrs. Wetts was living with Catherine's sister, Dollie Hammett, and family in Natchitoches Parish. Mrs. Wetts was listed as a daughter, but the information about her birth in GA and that she was listed as a widow leads me to believe that she is probably Catherine Amanda.  In 1881, a conveyance record indicated that she was living in Natchitoches Parish.  Mrs. C. A. Watts was acting as attorney in fact for her daughter, "Mattie" Tolbert, signing a land transaction in Bienville Parish. Catharine Amanda's other children all signed this transaction. The daughters all had husbands who were mentioned in the conveyance record and authorized their wives actions.  No mention was made of Catharine Amanda's husband in this land transaction.  This, and her use of the Watts surname only two years after her marriage, lead me to believe that she did not remain married. Further research is needed to confirm this.

Catharine Amanda Bryan died on September 14, 1903 at age 69. This date was found a transcription of records found in Joseph B. Bryan's family Bible. Her name was written as "C. A. Watts" in the Bible.  I currently don't know where she died or where she is buried. I have not found a record of her on the 1900 census.



James C. Watts


 James C. Watts was the son of Richard Ivey Watts and Sally Clements. I know only a little about James C. Watts. In 1849, he married Catharine Amanda Bryan.  James C. Watts and his wife have not been found in the 1850 census.  I have been told that he was Election Commissioner in 1857 in Ringgold. There were many Watts in Bienville Parish including at least one other James Watts.  Richard Ivey Watts and Sally Clements were the parents of about ten children. It is unknown how many of these children lived in Bienville Parish.

James C. Watts served in the 9th Infantry Regiment of the Louisiana Volunteers during the Civil War.  He joined Company C, the Bienville Blues, in 1861 and was discharged in 1862 as he was over 35 years of age. Georgia Ann Frances Bryan Pitman, sister of Catharine Amanda, referred to James C. Watts as "Jim Watts" in a letter to Spann Ragan in which she wrote " I had like to of forgotten to say to you Jim Watts was also in the Army.  He is in Virginia at Manassas.  His time will be out in June."  Also serving in the Bienville Blues were a Calvin J. Watts, John D. Watts, and Joseph Watts. Their relationship to James C. Watts is unknown. 

James C. Watts died prior to August 21, 1867, the earliest date found in his probate record.


Note:  While trying to sort through the Watts family, I found land that appeared to be deeded from Calvin Jones Watts and Edward Clay Watts of Lincoln Parish to Robert T. Watts of Bienville Parish in exchange for the care of their widowed mother, Harriet S. Watts (Harriet Brown wife of deceased, W.B.Watts) and widowed sister, Mrs. S. A. Mims (wife of deceased, W. D. Mims), both who resided in Bienville Parish. This deed indicated that Robert Turner Watts, Edward Clay Watts, Calvin Jones Watts, and Susan A.Watts Mims were siblings.

Note: Joseph T. Watts, of the 9th Infantry, Company C, died, of disease, on July 4, 1862 at Lynchburg, Virginia.




Children of Catharine Amanda Bryan and James C. Watts

The probate record filed on September 7, 1867, children of James C. Watts and Catharine Amanda Bryan were Sarah Catharine Watts, Edmond Bryan Watts, Alice Elizabeth Watts, and Martha Caldwell Watts.  Probate records and transcriptions of  conveyance records, letters, and other documents that were used as sources for this information can be viewed by clicking on the titles of the documents that are listed at the bottom of this page.


Edmund Bryan Watts

I have seen this child referred to as Edmond, Edmund, Edward, Edmond Bryan Watts and E. B. Watts. He was first found at age 17, on the 1870 census, living with his mother, "Manda" Watts.  Born in 1853, he was the oldest child of James C. Watts and Catharine Amanda Bryan.

In 1873, Catharine Amanda's brother, Tilman C. Bryan and his wife, Mildred R. Manning, sold a tract of land to the heirs of C. A. Bryan.  Edmund B. Watts and his sisters, Alice, Martha, and Sarah were listed as the heirs. The property was to be equally divided between the heirs. Joseph B. Bryan, brother of Catharine Amanda, and E. B. Watts were given control of the land until the youngest child became of proper age or before, if appropriate.  In 1881, this same land was sold to John L. Wimberly by the same persons listed above. However, on this record, Edmund B. Watts was written as Edward B. Watts.

In a letter written in 1914, Sally Bryan Hammett listed all of Reddick Bryan's living children and grandchildren. She wrote, "Aunt Manda has cousin Alice cousin Kate, and Mattie" indicating that by 1914, Edmund B. Watts had died.

In 1880, an Edmund B. Watts, age 27 was found on census page 614B in Bienville Parish. He and his wife, Martha, had four children listed; Frances A., James C., Sarah C., and Lucy T. Watts. Edmond Watts and Martha Wimberly are buried in the Wimberly Cemetery.  A picture of  the grave can be found on my page containing Bryan family cemetery photographs. 


Alice Elizabeth Watts

 Alice Watts was born in May of 1857.  In 1870, she was living in Bienville Parish with her mother, Manda Watts.  In 1873, she was listed as a heir of C. A. Watts on a Bienville conveyance record. This land was sold in 1881 and on that conveyance record she is listed as Alice Watts, wife of Green H. Huckaby. In 1880, Alice Huckaby, age 22, was living in Bienville Parish with her husband G. H. Huckaby and their children; Joseph, Amanda, and Martha. In 1900 she was again found in Bienville Parish.  She was living with her husband of 27 years and reported that nine of her eleven children were living.

Alice died in 1942. She and her husband are buried in Old Castor Cemetery.


Sarah Catharine Watts

Sarah Catharine Watts was born in March 1860. In 1870, Sarah Watts was living with her Aunt, Georgia Ann Frances Bryan Pitman Wimberly.  Elastus Stewart is found on the same census page. Elastus Stewart and Sarah Catharine Watts were married around 1875.  I find it interesting that their first child was named James Pitman Stewart. James Pitman was the first husband of Georgia Ann Frances Bryan. He was killed in action during the Civil War. In 1880, Elastus Stewart and his wife "Katie" were living in Bienville Parish with their children James and Sarah.

In 1900, she was listed as Sarah C. and six children were living in the home; Sarah E., Thomas E., Alice C., John H., Martha "Mattie Lou," and Mary Lou. Sarah and Elastus reported that they had been married 25 years and that all seven of their children were living. In 1910, the Stewart family was living in Bienville Parish. Sarah was again listed as "Kate."  Three of their seven children remained living in the home. Sarah died on March 10, 1932 in Bienville Parish, Louisiana.



Martha Caldwell Watts

Martha Caldwell Watts is the youngest child of James C. Watts and Catharine Amanda Bryan. Census records indicate that she was born in February of 1866.  I have also seen her name written as Martha Watts, Mattie Watts. Martha Cauldwell Watts, Mattie S. Watts and Mattie L. Watts.  In 1870, she is listed as living with her mother "Manda" Watts.

In 1873, Catharine Amanda's brother, Tilman C. Bryan and his wife, Mildred R. Manning, sold a tract of land to the heirs of C. A. Bryan.  Edmund B. Watts and his sisters, Alice, Martha, and Sarah were listed as the heirs. The property was to be equally divided between the heirs. Joseph B. Bryan, brother of Catharine Amanda, and E. B. Watts were given control of the land until the youngest child became of proper age or before if appropriate.  In 1881, this same land was sold to John L. Wimberly by the same persons listed above; however, this time, Martha was listed as Mattie L. Watts, wife of Jeff D. Tolbert of Natchitoches Parish. Mattie did not sign the record. She gave power of attorney to her mother, C. A. Watts who signed the transaction.

In 1880, a Martha Watts was living with the James C. Penny/Perry family in Bienville Parish. Her position was listed as a servant. In 1880, Jeff Tolbert was a laborer on the farm owned by E. E. Hammett, son of Robert E. Hammett and Dorothea "Dollie" Bryan. Dollie was a sister to Catharine Amanda Bryan. Mattie married Jeff D. Tolbert between June of 1880 and June of 1881.  In 1900, Mattie Tolbert was living in Natchitoches Parish with her husband, Jeff D. Tolbert. They had been married 18 years and reported that 7of 10 children were living. Children listed on the 1900 census were one daughter, Mary Ann and sons, Marion, Doty, Leon, Fitz-hugh, Burnett, and Earnest.

The Louisiana Statewide Death Index, 1900-49 at listed a Mattie W. Tolbert, age 69, who died on December 8, 1934 in Caddo Parish, Louisiana.



Conveyance Records, Letters, and Other Documents at this site that mention Catharine Amanda Bryan and her family


Click to view.

Donation - Richard I. Watts to Catharine Amanda Bryan Watts and Lurany S. Watts Ezell  - 1858
Deed - Mildred Manning to Heirs of C. A. Bryan (to wit - Watts children) - 1873
Deed - Watts Heirs to John L. Wimberly and Power of Attorney given to C. A. Watts - 1881

Letter from Georgia Ann Frances "Fannie" Bryan Pittman to Spann Ragan - 1862


Letter from Sallie Bryan Hammett to Lizzie Ragan of Brownwood, GA - 1914

Membership List for the Liberty Chapel in Bienville Parish

The Bryan Family Bible 

Bryan Family Cemetery Pictures

My Bryan Family


Tutorship of the minor children of James C. Watts



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