In a previous blog post, I mentioned some of the discoveries concerning my ancestor, William H. Bryan.

Until 2002, one of the brick walls concerning William H. was this – why did he transact so much business with the Hickman and Harland families, and why was a Harland (and not one of the sons of William H.) the executor of his estate in 1861.  Then, several discoveries were made

  • all but 2 of his sons were living in Simpson County, Kentucky, in 1860 – one of these two sons was not well, and the other “took care of” his mother after the death of William H.
  • a letter was found which explained the relationships between the Hickman’s, Harland’s, and Bryan’s

The letter that was found was amazing – this letter was found among the belongings of the Lewis family – Lewis was the maiden name of the wife of a Hickman, and their son married the sister of another William Bryan (that was living in nearby Danville, KY, close to William H.).  This Lewis was researching the Hickman family, and a daughter of William H. had written a letter to him, explaining the relationships.

So, this brick wall was torn down – William H. Bryan was related, by blood, to William Bryan (of Danville, KY).  And, the children of this William Bryan married Hickman’s and Harlan[d]’s.  And, the William Harland that was the executor of the estate was someone whom William H. had transacted much business.

As one can imagine, this discovery created a BIG hole in the brick wall – one that had been sought for so many years.  However, one never really knows when one may come across the one item that has been missing!