Cooper / Bryson / Ensley Family History Page

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Bryson Family

Our Bryson family has its roots in Northern Ireland. and Scotland, the Bryson's is said to have been from County Antrim, Ireland.  They migrated to Lancaster Co, Pennsylvania and then to the South and North Carolina.


William Bryson b. 1732 married Isabell Holmes. William is the first has moved to North Carolina from South Carolina.  William was a Revolutionary War veteran. The six of the sons of William Bryson also fought bravely in the American Revolutionary War.  The sons were John, James Holmes, Daniel, Andrew, Samuel and William.  They fought at Kings Mountain and Cowpens South Carolina.  They all survived the Revolutionary War. He eventually settled in Haywood County, near Barbers Orchard.


James Holmes Bryson, one of the six brothers that fought in the Revolutionary War.  James married Sara Countryman.


One of James Holmes Bryson sons was John W. Bryson. He married Ann Land and then Jane Poston. The lived in Cullowhee, NC.


William "Major Billy" Holmes Bryson, was the son of James Holmes Bryson and Ann Land. He established the first Post Office in Cullowhee, NC. In 1821, he married Magdaline Cunningham.  Of the eight sons born to Major Billy, six fought in Civil war for the Confederacy.  Two died while serving the Confederacy.  Son Samuel was captured while serving with the 62nd North Carolina Infantry.  He died as a POW at Camp Douglas Illinois.  George Washington Bryson died of disease while serving with Thomas' North Carolina Legion in Tennessee.  The other son that was not a soldier was John C. Bryson.  He enlisted, but resigned due to bad health. His son Samuel took his fathers place and died while serving with the Confederate Army.


George Washington Bryson married Elizabeth Conley. Lived on farm on Conley Creek, Whitier, NC.  George enlisted in the Confederate Army on July, 1862 in Quallatown.  He served with Thomas' NC Legion as a private in Company "F" known as "Conley's Sharpshooters".  He was soon promoted to Ordnance Sergeant and transferred to the Regimental Staff.  George was died of disease at Rogersville, TN.  Thomas' Legion was formed in western North Carolina consisting of White and Cherokee Indian Companies.


After the war George's widow, Mary Elisabeth Conley Bryson received a widows pension of $20.50 from the State of North Carolina.


During the war, Mary Elizabeth hired a young man who was to young to enlist to help with running the farm.  After George's death and the war was over, Mary Elizabeth married the young man named Isaac W. Fisher.  They had one son, George T. Fisher.


Pender Mack Bryson, son of George Washington Bryson and Mary Elizabeth Conley married Sarah Ensley in Jackson Co., North Carolina.  They had six children.  Pender Mack Bryson and several of his brothers moved their families from the Sylva, NC area to Arkansas.  Pender's brother James B. Bryson had homesteaded some land in Boone County, Arkansas and had taken a young wife from that area.  Sarah Ensley Bryson died in 1903 in Boone County, AR.  Sarah Ensley's parents were Wilson Coleman Ensley and Mary Ann Parris.  The Ensley and Parris families were very common in western North Carolina and intermarried with the Bryson family frequently.


Sarah had been suffering with Tuberculosis for many years.  Daughter Mary Artisha Bryson was removed from school and helped raise her brothers and sisters.  At least one sister, Bessie went to live with other relatives.


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