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Bryant and Nelly

Bryant Bandy (1770's-1840's) is first mentioned in the 1809 Chester County, South Carolina will of John Wright (the name is spelled Bryan). Apparently, John Wright left land to his widow Susannah, and gave his son James the opportunity to rent the land from Susannah. Bryant was to have the right to rent the land if James chose not to rent the property, and the property was to be sold if neither wanted it. Bryant apparently did not rent the land as he is found in the North Carolina census for Burke County in 1810 (p. 122). Is Bryant related to John Wright? Individuals who are named in wills are often related to the deceased. In his will, John bequests to his two daughters “Elizabeth and Jemima” his “two negroe girls.” Possibly Bryant was married to one of John’s daughters.

This Bryant should not be confused with the Bryant, son of William, born in Tennessee in 1820. As noted, William and Jesse Bandy (William's father) had also spent time in both Chester County, South Carolina and Burke County, North Carolina. Bryant lived in Burke County at the same time as David Bandy (1760's-1850's). Burke County is adjacent to Lincoln County where George Bandy (1750-1822), son of Avy, lived (p. 384). Bryant, David, Jesse and their sons moved to adjoining Tennessee counties in the early to middle 1800's.

In Burke County, North Carolina in 1810, Bryant Bandy is listed as being between the ages of 26 to 44. Bryant is listed with two boys and one girl under age 10 and a woman between the ages of 16 and 25. Bryant cannot be found in the census of 1820. He had perhaps moved to east Tennessee as the 1820 census for that area is missing.

Bryant Bandy married Nelly Hix in Blount County, Tennessee on February 23, 1826[i], and they had moved to Knox County, Tennessee by 1830. In the 1830 Knox County census, Bryant is listed as being in his 50's and his wife (Nelly) is listed as in her 30's (p. 347). The fate of Bryant's first wife is unknown. Also living with Bryant and Nelly are four children, a girl under 5, and three boys, one each between the ages of 5-9, 10-14, and 15-19. Although the daughter may be Bryant and Nelly's, it is fairly likely that the sons are Bryant and his first wife's, but alternatively could be Nelly and her first husband's. The oldest son in the 1830 census may be William, listed below. Also living in Knox County in separate households at that time are Peter, Thomas (17-1632), and their families. Based on their ages, they too are thought to be the sons of Bryant and his first wife.

Available information suggests Bryant could have had as many as six sons, two listed in his household in 1810 (Thomas and an unknown son), one listed living in the same county in 1830 (Peter), and three living with him in 1830 (perhaps William and two unknown sons). As noted, however, the three younger sons could be Nelly's from her first marriage. There is little evidence of their fate. Information for the other three is presented below:

·In the 1830 Knox County, Tennessee census, Thomas Bandy, a neighbor of Bryant, is in his 20's living with a woman in her 30's (p. 347). Thomas Bandy married Elizabeth Yarnell in Knox County on August 17, 1829,[ii] and she is likely the woman listed in Thomas's household in the census of 1830.

A Thomas is listed in the census of 1840 in Hendrick County, Indiana is thought to be the Thomas who lived Knox County, Tennessee in 1830 (p. 4). Also listed in Hendrick County, Indiana in 1840 are Keren, a female in her 50's, and William, a male in his 60's (pp. 112 and 74 respectively). Their identities are unclear. Keren and William are both old enough to be Thomas' parents as Thomas is listed as being in his 30's, but they could also be aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.

In the 1850 Morgan County, Indiana census, Thomas' age is 44 and his birthplace in North Carolina tying the family to North Carolina in 1806 (p. 165). Thomas is listed with Elizabeth (aged 49) whose birthplace is also listed as in North Carolina. The children’s birthplaces indicate that Thomas and Elizabeth moved to Indiana sometime between 1832 and 1839. This early move is consistent with the Thomas listed in adjacent Hendricks County, Indiana in 1840 being the same Thomas. In 1850, they are listed with two children:

·· Joel Bandy (age 18, born in Tennessee)

·· Sasanah Bandy, probably Susanah, (age 11, born in Indiana).

·In the 1830 Knox County, Tennessee census, Peter Bandy is listed as being between the ages of 15 and 19 with 4 children (2 boys and 2 girls) under age 5, a female between the ages of 15 and 19, and another female in her 20's (p. 378). How many of the children, if any, are his is unknown. No other record of Peter, the women, nor the children can be found.

·The William Bandy (17-1642) who married Mary Ann Brown in Knox County on February 20, 1841 could be one of the sons listed in Bryant's household in 1830.[iii] A William (age 36) and Mary Ann Bandy (age 26) are listed in the Smith County, Tennessee Census for 1850 with four children. If Mary Ann's age is listed correctly, she is unlikely to be Nancy's mother. No record can be found of a previous marriage by William, nor is there a definite record of William in the 1840 census.


Another Williamin his 60's is listed in Hendricks County, Indiana along with Thomas in 1840 (pp. 74 and 4 respectively). The relationship, if any, between the two Williams is unknown.

The 1850 listing for William and Mary Ann in Smith County does raise an interesting question as to a link between William and Bryant and the Bandys who lived in Smith County at the time of the 1840 census. Although the others had all left by 1850, the group consisted of descendants of 1795 Richard's son Thomas or possibly Avy's Thomas.

Based on the 1850 Smith County, Tennessee census (p. 331) the children are:

·· NancyBandy (age 14)

·· LigaBandy (a male, age 9)

·· Sarah Bandy (age 3)

·· James Bandy (age 4 months)

A Bryant, spelled Briant, is found in the Anderson County, Tennessee census in 1840 (p. 28). His age is listed as in the 40's which is younger than the previous census, suggesting either a different Bryant or an error in recording the age. If his age were close to 40, he could have been the other son in the older Bryant's 1810 household. Bryant cannot be found after 1840.


[i]Byron and Barbara Sistler, Early East Tennessee Marriages, Grooms, vol. 1. Nashville: Byron Sistler & Associates, Inc., 1987, p. 16.

[ii]Sistler,op cit.

[iii]Sistler,op. cit.

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