William P. BRYANT was born December 25, 1826 in Habersham Co., GA to parents who were both born in GA. Nothing is known of his life from birth until he enlisted in the U. S. Army at Calhoun, McMinn Co., TN in November, 1847, to serve in the Mexican War. He left from Athens and was sent to Mexico, where he served at Vera Cruz, Natural Bridge, and San Juan, according to his pension record. March 14, 1850 he married Icie Ann McCarty, daughter of William and Amilda Looney McCarty of Bradley Co., TN. He is listed as a blacksmith on the 1850 Census in Bradley Co. with Icie Ann, an Elizabeth BRYANT, 17, and Daniel FOSTER, 21, blacksmith in his household. The 1860 Census shows him in Bradley Co. as a blacksmith with an estate valued at $15,000. In his household were wife, Icie Ann, 26, James W. Bryant, 9; William McCarty Bryant, 7; Timothy Edward Bryant, 5; Amilda Bryant, 2; John Lee Bryant, 5/12, and Lucinda KNIGHT, 30. In January, 1862, Icie Ann died. On April 2, 1863, William married Malissa J. Alexander, daughter of Hamilton Lorenzo and Amanda Adalaide Alexander. The 1870 census has him still listed as a blacksmith with an estate of $30,000. In his household were wife, Malissa, 24; James Bryant, 19; William Bryant, 17; Timothy Bryant, 15, Amilda Bryant, 12; John Bryant, 9; Nannie (Adelaide) Bryant, 4; McClatchey (Alexander) Bryant, 2; Lizzie (Aiken) Bryant 7/12; and Lucinda KNIGHT, 40. 1870 was also the year William built a large, two-story brick home in Charleston, which is still in use today and is very close to the Charleston exit on I-75. He and his family attended Hennegar's Chapel Methodist Church close to Charleston, as did the McCartys and Alexanders. In 1877 William was named guardian of Malissa's nephew Charles ROSS and neice Mary ROSS, children of Malissa's sister Susan ALEXANDER, who had been married to A.J. ROSS. On November 10, 1879 Lizzie Aiken Bryant, 10, died of diptheria and was buried in Hennegar's Chapel Cemetary. On the 1880 census William' household consisted of Malissa, 34; John, 20; Nannie, 14; Mack, 12, Elizabeth, 6/12; Charles ROSS, 19; Mary ROSS, 9; and Cindia NIGHT, boarder, 50. By 1900 William listed his occupation as farmer and stated that he owned his farm clear of mortgage. Living in his houehold were Malissa, 54; and Elizabeth, 20. Elizabeth later married Charles ITZEL and operated an antique shop on Ocoee Street in Cleveland for many years.
William P. Bryant died October 23, 1906 and Malissa died August 20, 1912. They are buried in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church Cemetary in Charleston, and Lucinda KNIGHT is buried next to them. William P. Bryant has not yet been definitely linked to any of the N. GA Bryant or Bryan families. He and both of his wives seem to have followed the naming patterns of their culture, and by this token, his father's name would have been James and his mother's Elizabeth. The Elizabeth Bryant on his 1850 census is unidentified, as is Lucinda Knight, but it seems likely that both were relatives. The initial "P" possibly stands for POSEY.
Any information about N. GA>TN migrations 1826-1847, forges in McMinn and Bradley 1840-1880, and BRYANT families in N. GA and in TN 1800-1850 would be appreciated, along with information about families KNIGHT, ROSS, AIKEN, MCCARTY, ALEXANDER, POSEY, and MCCLATCHEY. I'll be happy to share information.