Bryson Families
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Genealogies of Bryson Families from the Bryson DNA project.
This page is being compiled in conjunction with the Family Tree DNA project, in particular the Bryson families. (The Bryson DNA page, or alternate DNA page.) Alan Bryson has done a wonderful job compiling the information from the various DNA tests. This page is still in its infant stages. Please contact me if you have additions, corrections, or comments.

There are several distinct haplogroups in the Bryson DNA project. Most are haplogroup "R1b" which is most likely Celtic in origin, either British, Irish, or French. The B4 and B7 are in haplogroup "I" which is Scandinavian in origin, quite likely Viking. The B8 haplogroup is "R1a" which is also indicative of Viking ancestry.

The purpose of this page will be to give some basic information about the earliest known ancestors of the families who have already been tested. A second page will give known information about other early Bryson individuals and families, currently not directly connected to any of the Bryson families who have been tested in the DNA project. Many of the families are well identified on other websites and these have been linked.

B1 - William Bryson b. 1724 Northern Ireland, married Isabella Holmes.  There are sources stating William was the son of William Bryson and Elizabeth Countryman. Please see Marty Grant's commentary on the source of this claim and its error. Marty Grant's webpages on this family are very complete and thorough. Family tradition states this family may have originally come from Scotland. The close genetic link to a known Bryson family in Scotland may support that. William was, according to family tradition, born in County Antrim, Ireland. He came to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania and married Isabella Holmes in the 1740s.  William and his family left Pennsylvania in the early 1760s and settled in Rowan County, North Carolina (now Iredell County) where they remained until about 1789 when they moved to Pendleton District, South Carolina. The 1790 census is the last record found for him.  Known children for William Bryson and Isabella Holmes:
1. James Holmes Bryson born 1740-50, died 1830-40, married Sarah Countryman.
2. John Bryson, born before 1755, died 1824, married Jane Malone(y).
3. William M. Bryson, born about 1750, died 29 Sep 1817, married Susannah Bogle.
4. Andrew Bryson, born about 1752, died 5 May 1835, married Agnes Naill, unknown, and Sally ____.
5. Samuel Bryson, born about 1754, died 1835, married Martha Boyle (or Bogle).
6. Daniel H. Bryson, born Jun 1756, died 26 Mar 1844, married Jane (Jenny) ______, and Martha Morrow.

B1a - James Bryson, born about 1825. He left Northern Ireland long after William (B1) and also came to Pennsylvania, apparently only a few years before the Civil War. James was a weaver by trade, and was a Methodist, in contrast to the usual Presbyterianism of most Ulstermen. (Interestingly, Samuel Bryson of the genetically related B1c lineage, was also a weaver and was a Methodist before converting to LDS.) James' family remained in the Philadelphia area for about a century until a great-grandson, Harold, moved to California in 1958. The only known descendants of this line are Harold's son and 3 grandsons. (From Paul Bryson, Sep 2009.)

B1b - Andrew Malcolm Bryson born 1823, Edinburgh, Scotland. Descendants live in the area near Durham, England. There is a strong family tradition that the ancestors were originally Huguenots who fled to Scotland to escape persecution. (Actually, the William line has a strong tradition that they were French Huguenots, persecuted for their Protestant faith, who fled to Britain and eventually migrated to Scotland and later Ulster. The name was originally spelled Brisson, but eventually came to be spelled "Bryson" because the latter was a common and long established name in Scotland. Note that Andrew's line, B1b, also asserts Huguenot origin. The fact that the same tradition was maintained on opposite sides of the Atlantic by 2 genetically related families who haven't seen or heard from each other in approximately 300 years, STRONGLY argues for its truth. Paul Bryson, Sep 2009.)

B1c - John Bryson, born about 1750, near Lisburn, County Down, Northern Ireland. He was married to Jane Bradshaw and had the following children, this information from family records only.
1. Hugh Bryson, born about 1780, Banbridge, Down, Ireland, died about 1859.
2. Mary Bryson
3. Jane Bryson
4. John Bryson, born 1779 Dromore, near Lisburn, County Down, Northern Ireland. John was married to Margaret Cowan, though no marriage record has been found. [The marriage of John Bryson and Margaret Cowan in 1809 in St. Mary's, Carlisle, Cumberland, England has been determined NOT to be for this couple, as there were Bryson and Cowan families common in that parish.] John served in the British Army, residing at the Chelsea Hospital in 1825. Though the actual origin of this John Bryson is still shrouded in some mystery, the positive conclusion of the DNA testing, does prove the Bryson ancestry generally, though not specifically. John and Margaret had only 1 son, Samuel Bryson, who joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Ireland, as did his mother. They both eventually went to Utah, settling in Bountiful, Utah, just north of Salt Lake City. See more on this family.

B2 - John Bryson, born 1690, Ireland.

B2a - John Bryson, born 1737, Scotland

B3 - Elisha Levi Bryson, born abt 1789, North Carolina. This line is an example of the power of DNA testing. Though his pedigree shows him to be a descendant of William Bryson (B1) there is no genetic connection. He does have a close connection to the Hooper family, and there were connections between the families. Obviously at some point there was an adoption or similar situation resulting in this branch of the family using the Bryson surname with no genetic connection to the Bryson family.

B4 - Jesse Bryson, born 26 Nov 1796, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. As noted above, this family is from the haplogroup "I", which is separate and distinct from the other Bryson families tested to this point. [This Jesse son of John Bryson according to Ronald Howell Bryson's book, p. 46.]

B4a  - James Henry Bryson born 1816 in Pennsylvania, probably Philadelphia. He was married to Emma, possibly Emma Cooper, daughter of Henry Cooper. Children: (from 1850/60 censuses) James H. born 1843, Margaret  born 1845-6, William L. born 1847.  

B5 - Edward Bryson, born 1804 Ireland. Edward went to Scotland and then to Canada. Sons are Neil, Donald, and Angus.

B6 - Bryson Brothers, born about 1800, Northern Ireland. The four brothers, Adam, Robert, William, and James, and their sister, Ann, went to Nova Scotia about 1825. The test results are close to B1, but not confirmatory at this point. Additional information about these Bryson brothers can be found in the book "Musquodoboit Pioneers:  A Record of Seventy Families, their Homesteads and Genealogies, 1780-1980," 2 volumes, by Mrs. Jennie Reid, Hantsport, Lancelot Press, 1980.  Adam Bryson, page 187; James Bryson, page 195; Robert Bryson, page 202; William Bryson, page 210; and Ann Bryson Hogan, page 399.  Each section has an extensive list of known descendants of each of the siblings.  This work has been published in full on the Nova Scotia GenWeb site.  This makes it easily searched for any references to the Bryson or Hogan families.  Thanks to Rebecca Bryson, a descendant of James Bryson, for making this work known to the project.

B7 - Brisson. No other information available at this time, except in haplogroup "I", the same as B4.

B8 - Rene Brisson, born about 1635, St. Xainte, La Rochelle, Aunis, France. He emigrated to L'ange-Gardien, Montmorency, Quebec, Canada, where he died 26 Nov 1698.

B9 - William Bryson, 1797-1885, Lanark, Scotland. Married to Jannett Riddle. Son John Bryson born 1819, died 1902, Lanark, Scotland. John Bryson was married in Chicago, Illinois in 1853. See note on the Bryson DNA site for information about "Niall of the Nine Hostages."

B10 - Thomas Bryson, born about 1798, Derry/Londonderry, Northern Ireland. Listed in the tithe applotment list of 1826 as Breeson.

B11 - Alexander Bryson, born 1751 Northern Ireland. Emigrated to America about 1767. Served in the Revolutionary War.  Married Elizabeth Miller 16 Mar 1785 in Berks County, Pennsylvania. Built a small grist mill near Mt. Chestnut, Pennsylvania. Later moved to Delaware County, Ohio. Information on this family from information posted by Merrily King on Rootsweb. (Outdated e-mail address.) Only 8 children listed in Ron Bryson's book, does not include Margaret or Anna/Nancy, and birth order it is different.
1. Joseph Bryson, born 27 Apr 1786, Dauphin Co., Pennsylvania, married Margaret Dodds
2. Mary Bryson, born about 1788, Pennsylvania, married David Black.
3. Tasy Bryson, born about 1789, Pennsylvania, married William Shanbar.
4. Richard Bryson, born 1790, Butler Co., Pennsylvania, married Rebecca.
5. James Bryson, born 1792, married Anna. Died in a boating accident on the Mississippi River.
6. Margaret Bryson, born abt 1794, Pennsylvania, married John Dodds.
7. David Bryson, born 1795, Pennsylvania, married Sarah Stevenson
8. Jane ( Ron Bryson also has Virginia) Bryson, born 10 Feb 1797, Pennsylvania, married Nathaniel Stevenson, Jr.
9. Elizabeth Bryson, born abt 1804
10. Anna (Nancy) Bryson