More on the Richard Bryant Family of Stafford County Virginia

I have written an earlier article concerning Richard Bryant and his, according to the internet, wife Keziah Arroyah, said to be the daughter of Patawomek Chief, Wahanganouche. This article will further explore the Bryant family including the children who have been attached to these parents; Richard and Keziah. A special thank you to fellow researcher Kathie Forbes who has spent many, many hours hunting down documents for this research.  Many Internet trees state that there were four Bryant siblings, children of the above Richard and Keziah, Thomas, Richard, Martha, and Silent.  These four are real people who lived in the Westmoreland/Stafford/Richmond County area at approximately the same time, but there are no records which either suggest or confirm that they were related, much less siblings.

Richard and Keziah did they exist? Can we prove it?
There is nothing to be said about these two. There is no proof that they existed in their current form. Clearly, Richard Bryant of Stafford County had a father, but who he was is not known.  Wahanganouche may well have had many daughters, but again, who they are is not known, nor do we know who they married.

Also, it is important to note the evolution of the KaOkee story in this supposed genealogy. When KaOkee first hit the internet in the late 1990s she was said to be the daughter of Pocahontas and her Native American husband Kocoum. KaOkee as an adult married Englishman Thomas Pettus. They had several daughters, including one who married the Patawomeck Chief Wahanganouche. Keziah Arroyah is supposed to be the daughter of this pair according to many internet genealogy sites, including Multiwords.

A close scrutiny of this genealogy reveals a flaw that is impossible to overcome. There is no way that a daughter of KaOkee, who could not have been born until 1632/33 could have a child who was old enough to give birth to Richard Bryant in 1651. It is not humanly possible to squeeze in a second generation in that 18 year time span.

Because of this flaw, KaOkee's story is changing. There are now people claiming that she married not Thomas Pettus but Wahanganoche and that KaOkee is the mother of Keziah Arroyah. One of my readers recently made the same claim, KaOkee she said, did not marry Thomas Pettus, in fact claimed she never heard of Pettus. She says KaOkee married Arroyah Wahanganouche. So, even he is evolving. This different marriage cuts the whole Pettus family out of the Pocahontas line. The one thing that you can be sure of in this changing story is that there is absolutely no proof of any of it.

*Please note, that William Deyo never said that KaOkee was the mother of Keziah Arroyah. If you ask him, he will tell you that he has never made this claim.*

Let me start by stating that there is no documented evidence of a man by the name of Richard Bryant living in Virginia prior to 1652. After this time the name Richard Bryant begins to appear in the colonial records. Because the name appears in various counties, it seems likely that there was more than one Richard Bryant. We know that 'our' Richard, Richard Bryant of Stafford County, was born in 1651, based on his given age (39) during a 1690 deposition. We do not know if he was born in England or in Virginia. Several early Richard Bryan(t)s were:

1. Richard Briant who arrived in 1669 “Richard Briant to John Farnfield, 4 yrs. Virginia [1]

2. Richard Bryan brought in by Capt. Thomas Hackett before 1652. [2]

3. Richard Bryan brought in by Christopher Boor before 1654. [3]

However, there is no mention of wives or children and since these men were claiming their headrights, they would have been included if they too were transported.

Of course, there is no reason to believe that the father of Richard b. 1651 was also a Richard. There were plenty of Bryan(t)s who could be candidates. In fact there was a Henry Brian who a surgeon. We know that Richard was later called Dr. Richard Bryant [he was a practicing physician; estate accounts show payments to him for medical services] so perhaps he was the son of Henry Brian, Surgeon, who was recording headrights in 1655.

Richard in the records

Westmoreland County was the parent county of Stafford; there is no one named Bryant found in the Westmoreland County Records, 1658-1661 (abstracted and compiled by John Frederick Dorman)

A Richard Bryant witnessed a deed in Old Rappahannock County Nov 2 1674 [4]

Records of Indentured Servants Northumberland County VA 1650-1795 compiled by W. Preston Haynie: 19 Nov 1673 Whereas Joane Jasper, servt to Mr Jno Farnefold doth say she is wth child by Rich: Bryant, It is orderd yt ye sherr: take ye sd Rich: into safe custody until he gives bond for his future good behaviour.  18 Nov 1674 says the child has since died. [5]

1686 Richard Bryant was a witness to a land deed in Old Rappahannock County. [6]

5 Mar 1690/1 Richard Bryant and John Rowley received a grant of 385 acres of land in Stafford County.

In November of 1690 Anne and Richard Bryant witnessed an agreement between widow Martha Foley and her new husband William Burton.

May 10 1692  …sold unto ye said Wm. Fitzhugh his heires two hundred acres of lande sold to me ye said Richard Bryant by Malachy Peale Merchant by Deed 7th of September 1685 granted to ye said Malachy Peale by Jonathan Randall late of this County deced by Will in writing under his hande and seale bearinge date 20thNovember 1683 and purchased by ye said Randall of Capa. Wm. Heabeard of ye aforesaid County by Deed bearinge date ye 10th day of April 1678 bounded beginning at a Corner marked red oake standing in ye line of land of Richard Rosier & beinge alsoe a Corner tree of a line that divideth this lande & ye lande belonging to ye lande of John Gardiner deced extending from year said oake….  [7]

This indenture made betwixt Wm. Fitzhugh of Stafford County of ye one part and Richard Bryant of aforesaid County Dr. Wittnesseth this 30 day of March 1692 that said Wm. Fitzhugh hath lett to farme two hundred acres of land in Passbetanzy Forres ….. Consideration of ye Rents hereafter mentioned dureinge ye term of ye naturall lives of Richard Bryant and Richard Bryant sone of ye said Richard Bryant & Nathaniel Bryant sone of ye said….[8]

Will of William Fitzhugh …to my son John Fitzhugh the land I bought of Doctr. Richd. Bryant lying in Paspetanzy fforest containing 200 acres now being leased to Doctor Bryant…..[9]

Will of Simon Thomasin, 9 June 1700:  … give that piece of land the forrest of Pass[apatanzy] by   congee land which I bought of Danl. Mackarty to my son John Thomasin… I give my land bought of Dr. Richard Bryant which was taken out of the Motes [Motts] land on the branches of Rhappahannock & joining to the land of Thomas Ellzey which is out of the same patent of Mots to be divided….[10]
Above records from Virginia County Court Records
Deed and Will Abstracts of
Stafford County, Virginia
1689-1693    Deed Book D - Part II
Edited and published by Ruth and Sam Sparacio,  McLean, VA 1989

Richard’s will
Will dated April 5, 1703, probated May 15, 1704
Will of RICHARD BRYANT. I Richard Bryant of Stafford County in Virginia being sick and weak of body .. give unto my son NATHANIEL BRYANT one horse colt that came of the mare called Black Bess & one cow & calf when he shall arrive to age of twenty one .. give unto my son RICHARD BRYANT all my land which I enjoy in Virginia his Mother having her life holy upon the Plantation where I now live as long as she lives .. give my son Richard Bryant all my wearing cloathes and my books and medicines & the mare called Fox and my bridle & saddle & the ffeather bed I purchased when I was a batchelour and the furniture belonging thereto and that he shall be free the Christmas day after he is 18 and for himself then to receive his legacys and if his mother again and he and her Husband cannot agree then for my son Richard Bryant to remove to the Plantation where SAMUEL BURTON liveth on it is my will Samuel Burton hath lived there four years rent free but it is my will if Samuel Burton lives there any longer to pay 450 pounds of Tobacco for rent & the Quit-rents for 100 acres of land having neither paid Quitrents nor planted the orchard according to bargain and that he shall live no longer there but till my son RICHARD BRYANT shall at year at 18 .. give my daughter ANN BRYANT the mare Phillis that runs with the mare Phoenix & one cow & calf to be delivered when she shall arrive to the age of eighteen years .. give my Daughter SYLENT BRYANT the next mare colt that shall fall from any of my mares .. and one cow & calf when she arrive at the years of 16 .. give to my daughter SUSANNAH BRYANT the next mare cult that shall fall from any of my mares .. and one cow & calf when she shall come to the age of 16 .. & 4 yews & a ram .. I give unto my daughter ELIZA. ELKIN 480 pounds of Tobo. which ABRAHAM DIPREE turned into my land for building RICHD. ELKINS Tobo. House the said Tobo. to buy her a Gown & Petticoat with .. it is my will that Richard Elkin should buy his son RICHARD ELKIN my grandsou a mare of 3 years old and enter it upon the records in lieu of the Martinico mare he lost of mine .. and I hope the Worshipful Court will see it performed .. it is my will Richard Elkin should have 2 yews and a ram to be delivered at six years old to put him to school .. my will my son in law WILLIAM REDMOND if he will shall live upon the Plantation whereon his Mother lives seven years rent free or upon the Plantation where SAMUEL BURTON now liveth .. my will the land I give to my son Richard Bryant if he should dye without issue to fall to my son NATHANIEL BRYANT and if my son Nathaniel Bryant dye without issue then amongst my daughters .. my will my son Richard Bryant should have one large iron pot & pothooks one chest that which is commonly called mine two pewter dishes four plates & half dozen new spoons one frying pan .. it is my will that my wife be solely Exectx. to all the rest & residue of my goods and chattels .. this fifth day of April Anno 1703.
Presence John Creek, Richd. Bryant
Diana x Smith, Rebecca x Owen
The above will was produced in open Court by the oaths of Dyana Smith and Rebecca Owen witnesses thereto subscribed who declared they saw John Creek an Evidence thereunto subscribed witness the same and a probate thereof is granted to ANN BRYANT Exectx. she giving security WILLIAM BURTON & JOHN ROWLEY became securities & with her signed Bond accordingly and was ordered sd Will
should be recorded Recorded 15th die May 1704.
Willm. Fitzhugh Cl Court

The children of Ann and Richard Bryant
Ann had a son William Redmond, born of her first marriage. Together they had six children:
Eliza(beth) who was married in 1703 (born about 1783)
Nathaniel - not yet 21 (not born before 1682)
Richard - not yet 18  (not born before 1685)
Ann - not yet 16 (not born before 1687)
Sylent - not yet 16 (not born before 1689 if listed in birth order)
Susannah - not yet 16 (not born before 1691 if listed in birth order)

Who was Ann Bryant?
Almost nothing is known about Ann. She was a widow when she married Richard Bryant around 1680 and had a son William Redmond. She was probably born around 1655. According to many on the internet her father was Henry Meese. There is absolutely no reason to believe this to be true. Henry Meese was active in Maryland beginning in about 1655. He did not move to Virginia until after 1660 when he bought land from Thomas Pettus.

Thomas Bryant - was he Richard's brother?
As with Richard there are multiple Thomas Bryants in Virginia. We believe that the Thomas who most people claim as his brother was the Thomas who died in 1717 leaving a wife named Eleanor. There was a second Thomas Bryant who lived in the Richmond area who was married to a woman named Elizabeth. The Thomas who married Eleanor was born about 1640-42 based on a 1663 land deed and birth of children. It is certainly possible that he was an older brother of our Richard. But he could just as easily be related to the Richard who witnessed a land deed in Old Rappahannock County in 1674, or related to none of the many Bryants in the area.

‘Cavaliers and Pioneers’ lists two Thomas Bryans who were imported, one in 1652, one in 1655. It seems unlikely the Thomas married to Eleanor is either of these men since they would likely have been born in the 1630’s, not the 1640’s. There were two concurrent Thomas Bryan(t)s in Richmond County  the one married to Eleanor, and another, one married to Elizabeth [11].

Thomas and wife Eleanor:
Their children: Margaret, 22 July 1693
George 12 May 1699

Thomas and wife Elizabeth:
Their children:
Thomas b 12 July 1688
Mary b 28 May 1695

And a third, later, Thomas Bryant, possibly the son of Thomas and Elizabeth above:
D. 10 Feb 1726/7 - 7 Jun 1727 m. Elizabeth (N) d. 1739-44).  Sons:  Robert, James, Fauntleroy, Peter and Charles named in will.
Bryant, Charles son of Thomas and Elizabeth Bryant b 16 Dec 1719

And a fourth, married to a woman named Mary, the parents of William, born 14 March 1715

Thomas in the Records:

14 Mar 1663  Land Grant  Thomas Bryar[Bryan]  Rappahannock County [extinct]
300 acres adjoining the land of Charles Grimes

2 Oct 1685  Deed from Alexander Newman to Robert Palmer, describes land “beginning at a Spanishe Oake in the line of Mr. Thomas Bryant…”

7 July 1686 “I Thomas Bryant… have sold unto the sd Thomas Bryant, Junr, his heires one hundred acres of land ...being part of a Pattent of Three hundred acres of land to me the sd Thomas Bryan Senr granted bearing date the 14th day of March 1663….”

5 Dec 1688 Old Rappahannock County Court Orders
Ordered that Thomas Bryant Senr make personal appearance at the next Court held for this County to answer the Informacon made against him for fornication otherwise judgement pass

2 Jan 1688
Ordered that Tho. Bryant Senr make his personal appearance at next North side Court held for this County to answer the Information had against him fornication and that his Servant Woman, Ellinor, appeare at the sd North side Court there to make Oath upon the Holy Evangelists who is the true Father of the late bastard child borne of her body.  (This servant woman, Elinor, is said by some to be an Indian woman without any proof. Her identity is unknown.)

That's all there is.There are mentions in the court records of various issues with Indian servants, so if this Ellinor was Indian it would most likely have said so in the record.  (On this same court date about five other men were in court for impregnating women not their wives, there is no reason to believe that any of these women were Native American women.)

This Thomas appears to be the man who died in 1717, leaving a wife named Eleanor and two sets of children,. I can't tell from the court order whether 'late bastard' meant late as in 'recent' or late as in 'dead'.  Thomas and Eleanor had six children, he already had four or five by his first wife.  Was the widow Eleanor the Servant Woman Eleanor?  Maybe, since neither seems to have showed back up in court.  Eleanor died before Thomas' will was settled, his youngest daughter, Mary, was named administrator.

On Wikitree 'Our' Thomas has been conflated with a Thomas Bryan, son of Thomas Bryan who immigrated from Ireland. They use the same wife and death in Farnham Parish.

Silent Bryant -  was he a brother?
Silent Bryant's birth date is unknown. A thorough reading of all the deeds, wills, and order books from Old Rappahannock and Essex counties revealed a total of four mentions of a male Silent Bryant.

Virginia County Court Records  Deed & Will Abstracts of Essex County, Virginia 1694-1695 and a second volume, 1697-1699
Edited and Published by Ruth and Sam Sparicio, McLean, VA 1991

November 1694  To Silent Bryant for six wolves heads by pitt & one by gun              2000 Tobacco
September 1695  To Silent Bryan for four wolfs heads by pitt                                      1200
11 July 1698  Order for admcon. Is granted to Grace Bryant on ye Estate of her deced Husband, Silent Bryant...
same date, Grace Bryan, Ffra. Taliaferro, Jno. Taliaferro are held and firmly bound ….  The condition of the above obligacon is such that if the above bound Grace Bryan, Admrx. Of Silent Bryant, deced, do make a perfect inventory….”

The only thing that possibly connects Silent Bryant of Old Rappahannock County to Richard Bryant of Stafford County is the name Silent. Richard named a daughter Silent. He does not appear to have any children who survived him.

Martha Bryant- was she a sister of Richard and was she really a Bryant?
We know very little about Martha, supposed sister of Richard, Thomas, and Silent. She did name two sons Bryan and Richard. After the death of her first husband she was made Administratrix of his estate. Anne and Richard Brian were witnesses. See below.

1664-1668, 1689-1690
Pub. By Ruth and Sam Sparacio, McLean, Va., 1987
"Martha Folio the widow and relict of Thomas Folio late of this County deced" dated 9 Sep. 1690
PAGE 169

This Condicon made ye Second yeare of their Majties Reige KINGE WILLIAM & QUEEN MARY between MARTHA FOLIO Widow and Administratrix of her Husband THOMAS FOLIO of ye one party and WILLIAM BURTON of ye other party both of Stafford County Wittnesseth that the said WILLIAM BURTON doth grant & promise with ye said MARTHA before Matrimony to pay to her Children as they come of age as follweth. To my Sonne BRIAN FOLIO one gun sent to his Father out of Englande, one younge Mare, one Cow & Calfe or with Calfe betweene three yeares old & Six, and to be delivered him at Sixteene yeare of age that is to say that if hee lives with us till he is one & twenty to Run on from Sixteen to one & twenty,to my Sonne JOHN one gunne one Mare one Cow & Calfe in ye like manner as his Brother BRIAN too my Sonne THOMAS one Mare, one Cow and Calfe to my sonne RICHARD one Mare one Cow & Calfe and these my Sonnes to have thier porcons like in my Sonne BRIAN att Sixteen if they live with us if not till the yeare one & twenty to my Daughter ANNE one Mare one Cow & Calfe to be delivered all ye years of Sixteen or married and I ye said WILLIAM BURTON doe binde my self my heirs to ye pformance off all ye premises abovedsaid as Wittness or handes and Seales ye Fifth day of November 1690.
In presence of us


Recorded in ye County Court of Stafford November 8th 1690

Is it possible for Richard, Thomas, Silent and Martha. Yes. Thomas was clearly older by some years, but it is certainly possible that he was a brother to the other. Richard was a witness for Martha after the death of her husband. He could have been her brother or her brother-in-law. She did name a son Brian, which might indicate that was her maiden name. It is important to note that these relationships are based on circumstantial evidence only.


[1]  Coldham, Peter Wilson. The Bristol Registers of Servants Sent to Foreign Plantations, 1654-1686. Baltimore, MD, USA: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1988, 258.

[2] Nugent, N. Marion. (19341999). Cavaliers and pioneers: abstracts of Virginia land patents and grants, 1623-1800. [1st ed.]. Richmond: Press of the Dietz Print Co., 284

[3] Nugent, N. Marion. (19341999). Cavaliers and pioneers: abstracts of Virginia
 land patents and grants, 1623-1800. [1st ed.]. Richmond: Press of the Dietz Print Co., 304.

[4] Deed Abstracts of Old Rappahannock County, Virginia (Part II of 1672-1676 Transcript)  Deeds, Wills No. 5 (Part II) 4 February 1673/4 - 10 May 1676) Edited and published by Ruth ad Sam Sparacio, McLean, VA 1989.

[5] W. Preston Haynie, Records of indentured Servants, Northumberland County VA 1650-1795,(Bowie, MD, Heritage Books, 1996).[Virginia County Court Records

[6] Deed Abstracts of Old Rappahannock County, Virginia (Part II of 1672-1676 Transcript)  Deeds, Wills No. 5 (Part II) 4 February 1673/4 - 10 May 1676) Edited and published by Ruth ad Sam Sparacio, McLean, VA 1989.

[7] Deed and Will Abstracts of Stafford County, Virginia 1689-1693    Deed Book D - Part II
Edited and published by Ruth and Sam Sparacio,  McLean, VA 1989

[8] Deed and Will Abstracts of Stafford County, Virginia 1689-1693    Deed Book D - Part II
Edited and published by Ruth and Sam Sparacio,  McLean, VA 1989

[9] Deed and Will Abstracts of Stafford County, Virginia 1689-1693    Deed Book D - Part II
Edited and published by Ruth and Sam Sparacio,  McLean, VA 1989

[10] Deed and Will Abstracts of Stafford County, Virginia 1689-1693    Deed Book D - Part II
Edited and published by Ruth and Sam Sparacio,  McLean, VA 1989

[11] [Richmond County, [Virginia Marriage References and Family Relationships 1692-1800, F. Edward Wright and Records of North Farnham Parish 1663-1814 Compiled and Published by George Harrison Sanford King]

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