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Nelda Vaughn
*For clarity, it should be noted that Philomath was originally called Woodstock.  Name had to be changed
in mid-1840s when a post office was approved though locals continued calling it Woodstock and this is
still the Woodstock District of the county.  It should also be noted that throughout these writings about
families, I will use abbreviations and often identify individuals by initials as writing of multiple people
with same first name is confusing and repetitive use of full names becomes cumbersome.  EX:  Robert
Cunningham Daniel may sometimes be RCD.  Links to documents or other sites provided at the end.

Ella Campbell Daniel (ECDB), was born September 11, 1846, daughter of Robert Cunningham Daniel and
Emily G. Milner Daniel.  She married November 8, 1865, James McCarter Bryan (JMB).  He was born
September 18, 1844, in Charleston, SC, the son of Jonathan Bryan, Jr. of Charleston, SC,  and Georgia A
Sneed Bryan of Washington, GA.  James apparently went by the name “Jimmie” as that is how he signed a
letter to his mother.  Ella was 19 and James was 21 when they married – 7 months after Lee’s surrender.  
James died October 13, 1907, in McDonough, GA, while visiting his brother-in-law, James Cicero Daniel.  
Ella died July 21, 1922 – age [not quite] 76 years.  Both are buried in Daniel Family Cemetery, Philomath,

QUESTIONS:  Several sites I have seen show Ella’s name as Eleanor - even the Find a Grave site, though her
tombstone only shows initials “E. C. Daniel Bryan”.  Where does the name “Eleanor” come from?  Yes, it is
“etched in stone” on the tombstone of her granddaughter Dorothy
Wright Normandy, and the name
“Elvianor” appears on the 1850 census which had other errors.  Does Eleanor appear on any  official
document?   She was not only called Ella, but Ella is listed 3 times in the RCD Family Bible for her birth,
marriage, and death.  Ella is the name listed on all legal documents I have found:  “Ella
Daniel Bryan” on her
will; “Ella C. Bryan” on their marriage license, on at least 3 deeds,  on her application for widow’s pension,
even in the law suit Walker vs Bryan.  NOTE: the marriage license used for Ella’s pension application was a
transcript (issued Oct 4, 1921) of the original license and shows the year as 1872 in error (should be 1865).  
That document is on a pre-printed form showing the year as 19__ (fill in the blank) with the 19 struck
through and 18 written above.  It was accompanied by a document signed L H Bacon, Ordinary, that states
this is a transcript of the original which remained in his office.  With 3 children born before 1872, what a
scandal it would have been in that era!   James and Ella had the following children:

  • Mary Antoinette (Nettie) Bryan:  born August 24, 1866 – died December 29, 1925.  She married
    Alexander Mathis in 1906 as his 2nd wife.  see link at end

  • Jonathan Bryan:  born July 19, 1869 – died November 15, 1941.   He married Fannie Hunter Brown
    as her 2nd husband.  see link at end

  • Benjamin Latham Bryan, Sr. :  born November 25, 1871 (year approximate) – died July 14, 1920.  He
    married Eleanor Shaw.  see link at end

  • Georgia Sneed (Daisy) Bryan:  born 1875- died 1923.   She married Corry William Wright.  see link at

  • Robert Cunningham Daniel Bryan:  born March 30, 1879 – died July 17, 1956.  He married Nellie
    Irene Barrow Pittard, his 2nd cousin.  Nellie, the granddaughter of Sophia Denton Milner Glenn.  
    Robert, the grandson of Emily G Milner Daniel.  see link at end

  • Harry Gordon Bryan, Sr.:  born January 19, 1882 – died May 28, 1955.   He married first Claudell
    Mansfield who died in 1919 of the Spanish flu.  He married second Lena Alford.  see link at end

  • George Samuel Bryan:   born August 2, 1884, died April 13, 1934 (unmarried).  He is buried in DFC.  
    The 1910 census shows he was living in Union Point, a boarder with the family of Joe Gee, and
    working as Assistant Post Master – his brother Benjamin being Post Master.  no link provided

  • Mary McCarter Bryan:  born April 10, 1888, died one month later on May 10, 1888.  Buried DFC.  no

Ella was a student at the Philomathean Collegiate Institute (aka Reid Academy, formerly an all-boys
academy) in January term 1858 (11 years old).  She was 17 when her father died December 1, 1863, and
when her mother died just seven months later June 30, 1864.  On March 14, 1864, while her mother was
still living, $200 was paid from RCD’s estate to E J Irvin for four months board in Ella’s behalf @ $50 per
month.  QUESTION: Where was this?  Why?  In the 1860 census, Washington, Wilkes County, GA, there is
an Elizabeth J. Irvin, wife of Isiah T. Irvin, Attorney.  Is this the E J Irvin with whom Ella boarded for four
months?  (See JMB-ECDB-MISC)  

James McCarter Bryan served in the Confederate Army from September 12, 1862, and was at the surrender
at Appomattox, VA.  Included with the pension application of Mrs. Ella C. Bryan, his widow, found in
Georgia Archives Virtual Vault, was James’ enlistment documentation which shows that he enlisted
September 12, 1862, in Irvin’s Artillery in Washington, GA and served until April 1865.  On his enlistment,
he wrote that he was 17 years and 11 months old (he would turn 18 in 6 days).  James’ mother signed for
consent in the case of a minor – his father had died in 1859.  The Recruiting Officer declared him qualified
“to perform the duties of an able-bodied soldier”.    Also on the enlistment:   “This soldier has hazel eyes,
light hair, light complexion, is five feet 8 inches high, 12 Sept 1862.”    Surrendered “April 1865 Appomattox
Court House, Va.”  James wrote a letter to his mother November 24, 1864, from “Near Petersburg,
Virginia”.  It was retrieved by Harry Gordon Bryan III from a dumpster in 2006 following the death of
Blount Gallaspy, the widower of James' granddaughter, Claudelle
Bryan Gallaspy.  (See JMB-ECDB-MISC,
[Pension at Georgia Archives]

I had been curious as to how James, a young man from Charleston, SC, would meet Ella Daniel, a young lady
in the small village of Philomath, GA.   James’ grandfather, Archibald Henderson Sneed, had moved from
Granville Co, NC, to Wilkes Co, GA, where Georgia Sneed was living when she and Jonathan Bryan, Jr,
married 9/29/1843.  They then lived in Charleston, SC where James was born and where Jonathan Bryan,
Jr., died in 1859.  It seems Georgia and family then moved back to Wilkes Co, GA, since James enlisted in
Irwin’s Artillery, Washington, GA, at age 17, and mother gave her consent.  In James’ letter to his mother in
1864, he writes:  “You seem to feel perfectly safe in Washington”.   And he writes “Your dinner dining must
have been delightful. I know I would have enjoyed myself if I had only been there. Particularly as she was
there”.  Who is “SHE”?  Perhaps James and Ella met while Ella was boarding 4 months with E J Irvin in the
spring of 1864.   James also mentions Bill  and John Ficklen, writing that John will be leaving for home and
that he (JMB) “will write by him”.  The 1860 census for Washington, GA, shows a family named Ficklen with
sons named John (age 14) and William (age 16 – same age as James in 1860). In light of the above (JMB’s
enlistment in Wilkes County (GA), his letter referring to his mother’s safety in Washington, etc), it seems
obvious that Georgia
and her 3 sons were living in Wilkes prior to beginning of war and during it.

Ella’s brother James Cicero Daniel (JCD) also served in the Confederate Army.  Although JCD and JMB
served in different companies, they were both at the surrender at Appomattox according to Ella’s pension
application for widows and according to JCD’s own pension application.  JMB died October 13, 1907, in
McDonough, GA, while visiting his brother-in-law, JCD.  Perhaps there was a friendship between them by
end of war if not before the war started, and James and Ella met through her brother.  

James and Ella married November 8, 1865, only seven months after the surrender at Appomattox, VA,
April, 1865.  Within two weeks prior to their marriage, clothing for Ella and special foods were paid from
RCD’s estate suggesting they were purchased in preparation for their wedding.  Similar items do not appear
as having been purchased from RCD’s estate any other time.  The marriage certificate shows that John W
Reid, M.S. officiated the marriage ceremony.  (see JMB-ECDB-MISC)
[AR, Q-453; Equity & Appeals, Book D, page 81]

Though we still do not know  how they met, it is evident that James, his mother and brothers were living in
Washington, GA, so he and Ella did not live far apart.  Now I wonder about James’ parents.  How did a man
(Jonathan Bryan, Jr., born 8/18/1814) from Charleston, SC, meet and marry (9/29/1843) an 18-year-old
young woman (Georgia A Sneed, born 5/29/1825) in Wilkes County, GA
?  (see JMB-ECDB-MISC)

James’ father, Jonathan, had died in 1859 leaving Georgia and 3 sons ages @ 14, 4, and 2.  After the war,
James married Ella in 1865.  Jonathan’s brother, Richard Latham Bryan, lived in Columbia, SC, and owned a
bookstore to which he later added a printing business.  In 1868, Richard’s wife, Isabel, died, leaving him
with 3 children ages @ 9, 7, and 2.  By 1870 census, Georgia and her 2 younger sons, Daniel Latham Bryan
and Thomas Smith Bryan, had moved to Columbia to live with Richard and his 3 young children where
Georgia was to keep house and oversee the children.  Georgia died in Columbia in 1885.  She and her
husband, Jonathan, were first buried in  Old Third Central Presbyterian Church Cemetery which no longer
exists; the internments along with the headstones were moved to Riverview Memorial in Charleston, SC.

Of the 3,639 acres of land from the Robert C Daniel estate, Ella purchased acreage for $4,965 at the
division of property January 3, 1870.
[E&A-D, 114]   The acreage site or the amount of acres was not
identified.  However, in the deed from ECDB to Samuel Lumpkin indentured January 7, 1881, it reads 850
acres for $850 as
“the same being a part of the tract purchased by [Ella] from the Administrator of Robert
C. Daniel deceased, and her title to same appears of record in the Clerk’s Office of Oglethorpe Superior
Court in the decree found in Book D of Equity and Appeals pages 118, 119, & 120”.
 (October 1875 term of
[Deed Book  Y pg 312]  

Then, on November 3, 1885, Ella purchased the same land from Samuel Lumpkin for $250.
 [Deed Book AA, pg
 My observation:  During this era, it seems that outright deeds were implemented for less than value of
land and the land later bought back suggesting property used as collateral for a loan.  Given the amount of
acreage she “sold” for $850 and bought back for $250, I wonder if Ella’s deed to Lumpkin was, in effect,
collateral for a loan rather than an outright sale – perhaps she had been making payments and the $250 was
the final payment.  Had she defaulted, Mr. Lumpkin would have the land.  That’s speculation – guess we’ll
never know for certain.   In December 1879, James rented to Lucius A Walker a portion of Ella’s land for

use in
1880, later extended for 1881, in exchange for certain crops.  This seems to be the only land Ella
owned at the time, so it overlapped the sale to Lumpkin.  In fall of 1881, Lucius A Walker filed law suit
against James, as trustee for his wife, Ella C Bryan, and against William D Pittard, as constable for the
district.  The case revolved around JMB’s renting to Walker a piece of land belonging to Ella, and payment
by Walker was to be made from the crops he produced.
[Deed Book AA, page 91; E&A, Book E, 64-77] (see JMB-ECDB-
MISC, see Deeds)  

According to E&A Book D, the land for RCD’s estate (3,639 acres) was purchased by five of his children on
January 3, 1870, but payments were not made at the time of sale.  The acreage was not identified, just the
amount to be paid.  Based on her will, the land Ella acquired at that time was the 850/860 acres, more or
less, that is sandwiched between Hwy 22 and the Woodville Road
- later surveyed out to be 809 acres.  She
later (1910) acquired the RCD home place with 16 acres on south side of road plus 84 acres across the
road.   She purchased that total of 100 acres from Ida Pope
Binns Daniel (second wife of John Daniel) and
John’s son R A Daniel and John’s son-in-law Walter Arnold.  (see Deeds and Wills)

The Equity and Appeals Book D, pages 63-120 shows items purchased at the RCD estate sales as well as the
land divisions/purchases.  Items purchased by “J M Bryan” at the RCD estate sales included:  baby carriage;
beds and bedding; bureaus; hat rack; split bottom chairs and parlor chairs; sofa; curtains, shades, and
fixtures; carpets & rugs; 2 calves, 2 mules, 2 sows, 2 bulls; bushels of corn, wheat, and peas; thousands of
pounds fodder.   (A more complete list can be found at JMB-ECDB-MISC)

next page
James McCarter Bryan and Ella Campbell Daniel
Update October 2020