Saturday, December 18, 2010

Lt. John Bryant of Plympton, Ma.

found online years ago....

There has been a persistant error by some of the early compilers in trying to identify Lt John Bryant of Plympton, Ma. who married Abigail, daughter of Stephen Bryant Sr of Plymouth, Ma with that of John Bryant Jr. the son of John Sr. of Scituate, Ma. It can now be shown that these two were two distinct persons, and the assumption that they were the same is in error.
Lewis Bradford, the town clerk of Plympton, 1812-1851 was partly to blame for this misunderstanding, for it was he who said in some of his notes, that Lt John Bryant of Plympton was the son of John Bryant Jr of Scituate, Ma. This error was taken as fact by those who compiled their genealogies by using the old Plympton records and the works of the early compilers. The use of this error has resulted in descendants of John Sr of Scituate, merging with the descendants of Stephen Sr of Plymouth, and I can find no evidence to show that this ever happened.
The Scituate town records show that John Jr and Mary (Lewis) did in fact have a son by the name of John. But, this John, according to records, lived in Scituate, married Mary Battellie, raised a family and died there on Jan. 20 1708 never leaving. On the other hand, the Plymouth and Plympton records do not show a John & Mary Battellie, but do show a Lt. John & Abigail Bryant, the daughter of Stephen Bryant Sr of Plymouth as being married and having issue being born there.
When one compares the Scituate records with that of the Plymouth and Plympton records, they will find the two Johns both married and having issue being born at about the same time. Lt John & Abigail lived in the western section of Plymouth, which in 1707 became incorporated as Plympton. Not having their own church until 1695, all birth were originally recorded in Plymouth, and later transferred over to Plympton records.
To further show that the two John's were not the same, we find in 1718, 10 years after the death of the so-called Lt John of Scituate, a Lt John of Plympton, selling his farm to his youngest son Benjamin, for a promissory note of 400 pounds. The John of Scituate did not have a son by the name of Benjamin.
It should be noted that this error was first pointed out in 1881 by William B. Lapham in his article "Lt. John Bryant of Plymouth", then in 1972 by Harold S. Bryant in his article on the poet, William Cullen Bryant, and again in 1983 by Robert C. Bryant in his edition of "John Bryant of Scituate, Massachusetts and his Descendants."

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