Written by Linda Durr Rudd
Written by Linda Durr Rudd
Lela Coleman, Sandra Craighead, Cynthia Crump, Anthony & Bettie McDaniel Neal
James Scott, Art Thomas, and Nathaniel Thomas
The Bryant family was a well known and respected African American family in Jefferson and Franklin Counties around the Union Church, Meadville-Veto areas. They can be traced back to the 1830s. The male progenitor of the Bryant family was John Coleman Bryant who was born sometime between 1795 and 1800, somewhere in Mississippi. Prior to Emancipation, many African American slaves were commonly known by their owners' surname. This family used the surnames Coleman, Mack, McDaniel, surnames associated with their former owners. After Emancipation, the family settle on Bryant and McDaniel as surnames for the family. John, and his youngest son Robert chose Bryant as this was the surname of John's father, and his eldest son James chose the surname of his and his mother's last slave owner, McDaniel.
John was the slave of William Daniel Coleman, Sr., and his wife Cassandra Caraway. John lived on the Coleman's plantation near Union Church, working as a field hand. John was in good health but not physically able to do heavy manual labor. John was known as a good hoe hand, was not much of a plough hand as he had a rupture which required he wear a truss.
James H. McDaniel, also a slave owner of the Bryant-McDaniel family, visited the Coleman Plantation to examine and prescribe medication for the Coleman family and their slaves. Medical bills show that Dr. McDaniel treated John for medical conditions not disclosed in the medical billing.
NOTE: A truss is a supportive device usually consisting of a pad with a belt, worn to prevent enlargement of a hernia. A hernia (rupture) is usually noticed as a lump, commonly in the groin or the umbilical areas.
John's first wife was CHLOE MCDANIEL. Chloe was probably a slave of John McDaniel of Veto, Franklin County, MS. Chloe died prior to 1836. John and Chloe had at least one daughter.
ANN MCDANIEL was the daughter of John Coleman and Chloe McDaniel. She was born about 1830, probably on the McDaniel Plantation. Ann was named on John McDaniel's 1857 deed of gift along with three of her children; Simon, Chloe and Minerva. Ann's husband was CHARLES BEAL. The children were: Henry, Simon, Charles, James, Daniel, Davenport, Peggy, Chloe, and Minerva. Ann Beal died June 25, 1920 in Eddiciton, Franklin County, MS.
John's second wife ELIZABETH MCDANIEL, also known as Lizzie, was born about 1813 in Virginia. She was purchased by John McDaniel of Veto, Franklin County, MS, about 1834. John and Elizabeth were given the permission of their owners to marry when Elizabeth was about 23 years old. John, with permission of his owner, would visit Elizabeth every Sunday on the McDaniel Plantation.
John's owner, William Daniel Coleman, Sr., died January 28, 1851. The slaves were to be divided among William's wife and children. Neil McCormick, a future son-in-law, became the guardian of William's four minor children and the 14 slaves, one of which was John Coleman. William and Cassandra Coleman's children were: Lavinia Angeline Coleman who married Neil McCormick May 13, 1852, Erastus B. Coleman, William Daniel Coleman, Jr., Daniel S. Coleman, Elias Coleman, and Rowena Coleman. William's 1853 probate records show that John who was appraised at $600 was given to William's daughter Rowena.
During the Civil War, William, Jr., and his brother Daniel served with Company D, 33rd Mississippi Infantry, better known as the "Franklin Guards." The Franklin Guards were formed in Franklin County and the Coleman brothers enlisted May 02, 1862 at Grenada, Yalobusha County, MS. John Coleman Bryant was sent as a body servant to William D. Coleman and Charles Coleman Earls was sent as a body servant to Daniel Coleman. Daniel died August 23, 1864, of disease in a Georgia hospital. Daniel's body servant Charles returned home to Jefferson County. William was wounded at the Battle of Peachtree Creek, GA, July 20, 1864, where he lost a limb. According to the Coleman's family oral history, John Coleman Bryant retrieved the wounded William from the battlefield, nursed him back to health and returned him home to his family.
After the Civil War, John remained with the Coleman family. Elizabeth and the children remained with the McDaniel family until 1866 when they moved to be with John on Widow Cassandra Coleman's place near Union Church. The Bryant family struggle with their new freedom. Elizabeth hired the girls to families in the community for their board and clothing. Robert, the only son living with his parents, was hired for wages. John and Elizabeth worked for Cassandra Coleman for one half of the crops made and gathered by John.
Elizabeth moved back to the McDaniel farm the years 1867 and 1868, returning back to Jefferson County in 1869 to reside on the Malcolm Buie's place. In 1871, the family all worked together to pay $12 and one bale of cotton for 80 acres of land purchased in Union Church.
This is the 1870 household of John and Elizabeth using the McDaniel surname, the only census record for John. In the household was John's wife Elizabeth and their children. Two of John's grandchildren, Simon and Minerva were also in the household. They were living near Malcolm Buie.
1870 - Jefferson County, Union Church, MS - Page 17
Jno McDaniel, 75, farm laborer
Elizabeth, 65, farm laborer
Robert, 21, Emily 18, Martha, 16, Manda, 14, Simon, 11, Minerva, 15, Viola Buie, 8
John Coleman Bryant's health deteriorated and his work was limited to cording wood. He eventually became house bound and suffered with dropsy which was swelling often caused by kidney or heart disease. His legs and ankles were swollen and the family bathed his feet with mullein tea. He died April 05, 1875, and is buried in the Robinson Cemetery in Jefferson County near his former slave owners. His epitaph reads; "Farewell John Bryant, Tho Lost to Sight to Memory Dear."
Elizabeth remained on her land throughout the remainder of her life with her daughter Martha and various grandchildren. Elizabeth's 1905 will bequeathed to Martha the family hard earned 80 acres of land. Elizabeth died September 12, 1912 in Union Church of dropsy of the heart. She is buried in the Hickory Block Church Cemetery in Union Church. Her epitaph reads; "She Died as She Lived, Trusting in God."
John and Elizabeth's children continued their legacy. Two sons served with the United States Colored Troops. The sons enlisted using the surname Mack because this was short for their owner's surname, McDaniel. Their young master Dr. James McDaniel was known as "Jim Mack," and they knew their family would recognize them by the surname Mack.
1)PRIVATE JAMES "MACK" MCDANIEL, also known as "Jim Mack," was the first of eight children born to John and Elizabeth. James would chose to use the McDaniel surname, passing the surname to his descendants. He was born about 1840 in Franklin County, MS, on John McDaniel's plantation where he was a slave. James' wife AMANDA was the slave of Dr. James H. McDaniel, the son of John McDaniel. Dr. McDaniel purchased Amanda in Natchez, MS, about 1856 or 1858, maybe at the Forks of the Road Slave Market. Dr. McDaniel was a Justice of the Peace and he insisted that all his slaves have a marriage ceremony administered by him. James and Amanda were married on the McDaniel Plantation according to Amanda, "three years before the War commenced." After the wedding ceremony, the slave couple had a wedding supper among the slaves.
James left the plantation in 1864 going to Natchez, MS, to join the United States Colored Troops, leaving behind his wife and two children. He enlisted with Company E, 58th Regiment, United States Colored Infantry on September 05, 1864, the same day his brother Daniel enlisted. James was about 24 years old at enlistment. He was described as 5 feet 8 and a half inches tall. He was a stout, robust man with black hair and eyes. As with most of the men who served during the Civil War, James suffered measles, pneumonia, bronchitis, acute diarrhea, constipation, and fevers. He was discharged at Vicksburg, Warren County, MS, on April 30, 1866.
After returning home to his family, James and family moved to Malcolm Buie's place in 1866 where Amanda, James' wife, was the Buie's cook. James worked for Dr. Gray and he would visit Amanda on Sundays. James and his family lived on Mr. Mitchell's place and Alex Davis' place before purchasing their own 120 acres of land near Union Church.
James was diagnosed with kidney disease known as Brights Disease by Dr. J. J. McLean in 1868 or 1869, and Dr. Clark diagnosed him with diabetes in 1867 or 1868. James remained healthy looking and survived kidney disease much longer than Dr. McLean expected. James suffered with backaches, bladder and urination problems. Amanda would saturate his back with liniment and coal oil. He worked hard to provide for his family, hiring others to do the hard labor he could not do. At the time of his death, James was in the process of buying additional land. Special Examiner F. T. Dennis of the United States Pension Board copied this statement from Amanda's bible; "James McDaniel died May 02, 1887 aged 49 yrs, 10 months - sick 2 weeks, in bed 2 days." James died of Brights Disease.
James and Amanda had a total of 12 children, 10 children survived to adulthood. They were: Margaret b. 1863 , Ellen b. February 1865, Mary b. February 1868/1870, William b. December 1868, twins Reed and Luberta b. May 15, 1871, John b. May 05, 1872, Preston April 15, 1877, Cameron b. May 01, 1878, and Melvin b. September 01, 1880. Elizabeth Bryant, James' mother, was the attendant or midwife at the birth of each child.
The last six children each received $2 monthly from their father's pension because they were all under the age of 16 at the time of his death. Amanda received her widow's pension of $12 monthly. Amanda died May 26, 1893, was buried in the family cemetery. Amanda's brother-in-law Robert Bryant became the guardian of Cameron and Melvin, the two children who were under 16 at the time of their mother's death.
James and Amanda's descendants are all over the United States and continue to use the surname McDaniel.
2)PRIVATE DANIEL "MACK" BRYANT was the son of John and Elizabeth. Daniel was born about 1845 in Franklin County, MS, on John McDaniel's plantation and he lived in the same house with his mother. Daniel ran away from the McDaniel's plantation in 1864 to serve with Company E, 58th Regiment, United States Colored Infantry. He enlisted September 05, 1864, in Natchez, MS. He was described as 5 feet 7 inches tall with black hair and eyes and dark copper complexion. He was about 19 years of age when he enlisted. Daniel sent money, a watch, and shoes home to help support his family. Too embarrassed to see Mr. McDaniel when he came to Natchez for business, Daniel would send the gifts by his brother-in-law Israel Etta to give to Mr. McDaniel, and McDaniel would give the gifts to Elizabeth. Daniel died February 06, 1865, of bronchitis and pneumonia following measles at a Natchez hospital. He did not leave a wife nor children. His mother applied for dependent mother pension which was approved. Beginning July 1885, Elizabeth received $8 monthly and $12 monthly from March 1886 and to continue during dependence, unless she should again marry. Elizabeth did not remarry, received her dependent mother pension until her death.
John and Elizabeth's other children were:
3)MARY BRYANT was the daughter of John and Elizabeth Bryant. She was born about 1846 in Franklin County on the John McDaniel Plantation. Mary married ISRAEL ETTER who was born about 1828. Israel served with the United States Colored Troops. After the Civil War, Mary and Israel lived in Natchez, Adams County, MS, and had three children: Amarlia also known as Annie Retta b. April 05, 1869, John b. July 14, 1866, and Wallace b. December 07, 1871. Israel died March 04, 1872 in the home of John and Elizabeth Bryant. After Israel's death, Mary Etter married another solider of the 58th Regiment, GRANVILLE COX, April 03, 1879 in Adams County, MS. Read more about Mary Bryant-McDaniel Etta Cox, Civil War widow of two soldiers.
4)JOHN ROBERT BRYANT was the son of John and Elizabeth Bryant. Robert was born April 06, 1850, and raised in Franklin County, MS, on the John McDaniel's farm. Robert left the legacy of a slave narrative recorded for the Federal Writer's Project in which he briefly shares about his life. Read Robert's slave narrative.
Robert married AMANDA PRITCHARD GOFF, daughter of Thomas Pritchard. She was born about 1851 in South Carolina. Amanda married Sam Goff February 13, 1869, in Copiah Co., MS. She married Robert Bryant February 18, 1871, in Jefferson Co., MS. Robert and Amanda had several children: Artemis b. 1872, Adelaide b. 1873, Lynch b. 1877, Melissa b. 1879, Ulysess S. b. 1880, Lora E. b. 1884, Carrie b. 1887, Thomas W. b. 1890, Frizee Elena b. 1892, and Mamie Jane b. 1895.
In addition to the occupations listed in the narrative, Robert assisted the men of Union Church and the neighboring village Caseyville, who served with the Colored Troops, with their applications for pensions.
Robert died May 11, 1942. Amanda died February 03, 1933. Both died in Brookhaven, Lincoln County, MS. They are buried in Crump Chapel Cemetery in Brookhaven.
5)EMILY BRYANT was the daughter of John and Elizabeth Bryant born about 1851 in Franklin County, MS, on the John McDaniel Plantation. Emily was six years of age when John McDaniel sold her to his son James for one dollar. Emily married ATLAS CRUMP, son of Sam Crump, November 21, 1872, in Jefferson County, MS. The couple's children were: Daniel b. 1873, Mary Ivory b. 1875, Margaret b. 1876, Louanna b. 1879, Alonzo b. 1882, James b. 1886, Lilly b. 1886, Sammie b. 1891, Martha b. 1892, and Johnnie b. 1893. Atlas died June 28, 1924 and is buried in Brookhaven, MS, in the Crump Chapel Church Cemetery.
7)ANGELINE BRYANT may be the daughter of John and Elizabeth Bryant. Angeline is grouped with Elizabeth and her known children on John McDaniel's 1857 deed of gift. Elizabeth testified that she and John had three sons and five daughters. Nothing more is known about Angeline.
8)AMANDA BRYANT was the daughter of John and Elizabeth Bryant. She was born about 1857 in Franklin County, MS, on the John McDaniel Plantation. Amanda Bryant married DOCK COLEMAN April 23, 1879, in Jefferson County, MS. Dock was born about 1857 to Cupit and Lucinda Coleman. Lucinda and her children were the slaves of Daniel Buie of Caseyville, Copiah County, MS. Amanda and Dock had one child Bryant Coleman born in 1879, the same year Amanda died. Dock and Bryant are in the 1880 household of Eizabeth Bryant.
Dock married Augusta Stewart about 1884. Dock and Augusta's children were: Henry, Rosa, John, Ed, Mary, Ina, Rosetta, Quincy, Frances, Luneta, Dock, Jr., Fannie, and Lucinda. Dock died after 1930 and Augusta died April 05, 1932 in Harrison, Jefferson County, MS.
JOHN MCDANIEL was born March 25, 1784 in North Carolina, and died January 27, 1885 in Franklin Co., MS, buried in the McDaniel Cemetery in Franklin County, MS. He married Elizabeth Hutchins October 02, 1810 in Georgia. The couple had one son, James H. McDaniel born about 1824 in Franklin County, MS, and a daughter Susannah E. McDaniel. James was also a physcian who treated the William Daniel Coleman family and the family's slaves prior to the Civil War. Genealogy information from Herman L. Woods' Web Page
John McDaniel owned 28 slaves in 1850, and he owned 38 slaves in 1860 per the slave schedules of Franklin County, MS.
This is the probable John McDaniel he came to Mississippi with Richard T. Coleman and was the guardian to Richard's son William Daniel Coleman.
WILLIAM DANIEL COLEMAN's father Richard T. Coleman and a Mr. McDaniel came to Mississippi together about 1806. Richard obtained a marriage license and married a Miss Anne Pate in Washington, Adams County, MS. The couple had the following children: William Daniel Coleman, Richard T. Coleman, Inama Coleman, and Elvira Coleman. Richard died when the children were very young. William Daniel chose John McDaniel as his guardian. Information provided by Art Thomas, direct descendant of William D. Coleman.
William Daniel Coleman was born May 28, 1813 in Franklin Co., MS, and died January 28, 1851 in Jefferson Co., MS. He married Cassandra Caraway May 28, 1835 in Franklin Co., MS, daughter of Adam Caraway and Sarah Alford. Cassandra died March 29, 1903 in Jefferson County, MS. The couple's children were Lavinia Angeline Coleman, Erastus Bryant Coleman, William Daniel Coleman, Jr., Daniel S. Coleman, Elias Coleman, and Rowena Coleman.
The 1850 Jefferson County slave schedule does not record William nor his wife Cassandra as slave owners. William's 1851 probate records named 14 slaves which were to be given to his wife and children. Per the 1860 Jefferson County Slave Schedule, William's widow Cassandra Coleman owned 22 slaves.
William and Cassandra's daughter Lavinia Angeline Coleman married Neil McCormick.
NEIL S. MCCORMICK was born about 1826 in North Carolina, son of John Carmichael McCormick and Barbara Smith. Neil's parents moved from North Carolina to Monroe County, MS, in 1832, and lived there for about a year, and then moved to Jefferson County, MS, near Union Church, and purchased a large tract of land. Information provided by Nancy Brister, collateral descendant of Neil McCormick. - Descendants of Duncan and Katherine Carmichael McCormick
Neil first married Lavinia Angeline Coleman, May 13, 1852 in Jefferson County, MS, daughter of William Daniel Coleman and Cassandra Caraway. Lavinia's father died in 1851, and Neil became the guardian of Lavinia's minor siblings: William, Jr., Daniel, Elias, and Rowena, and their 14 slaves. Per the 1860 Jefferson County Slave Schedule, Neil owned 8 slaves of his own. He sold one of those slaves Cate to Archibald Smith of Jefferson County, MS, in March of 186?.
Lavinia died September 03, 1856, and is buried in the Union Church Cemetery. Neil married twice more, once to Catherine Patterson August 13, 1857, and Effie Ann Buie November 11, 1863, both in Jefferson County, MS.
By 1880 and after the deaths of two wives, Neil had moved to Louisiana. Neil gave a affidavit in the federal military pension case of Daniel Mack, in 1888, from Bayou Chicot, Evangeline Parish, LA. Neil's death date is not known.
Granville Cox's Federal Military Pension Records
Daniel Mack's Federal Military Pension Records
James Mack's Federal Military Pension Records
Elizabeth Bryant's Will - Jefferson County Chancery Court Case Number: 1543 - Microfilm Number: 12263
Charles Coleman's Confederate Pension Application - Microfilm Number: 4703
Daniel S. Coleman's Compiled Service Records of Soldiers - Mississippi, Microfilm Number: 828
William D. Coleman's Compiled Service Records of Soldiers - Mississippi, Microfilm Number: 828
William D. Coleman's Probate Records - Provided by Art Thomas
John McDaniel's 1857 Deed of Gift
Slave Narrative of Robert Bryant
Ann Beal's Death Certificate - MS1920-10881
Simon Beal's Death Certificate - MS1915-18056
Amanda Pritchard Bryant's Death Certificate - MS1933-2592
Robert Bryant's Death Certificate - MS1942-7883
Minerva Beal Clark's Death Certificate - MS1919-9085
Bryant Coleman's Death Certificate - MS1929-19753
Atlas Crump's Death Certificate - MS1924-10745
Charles Coleman Earl's Death Certificate - MS1928-20391
Oral History of Art Thomas, Direct Descendant of William D. Coleman
Hickory Block Church Cemetery Records by James Scott and Nathaniel Thomas
The Afro-American Family History of the McDaniel Family: Mississippi Origin, Franklin to Jefferson County
by Anthony M. Neal, Sr.
1850 Slave Census - Franklin County, MS
1850 Federal Census - Franklin County, MS
1860 Federal Census - Franklin County, MS
1860 Slave Census - Franklin County, MS
1860 Slave Census - Jefferson County, MS
1860 Federal Census - Jefferson County, MS
1870 Federal Census - Adams County, MS
1870 Federal Census - Franklin County, MS
1870 Federal Census - Jefferson County, MS
1880 Federal Mortality Census - Jefferson County, MS
1880 Federal Census - Jefferson County, MS
1880 Federal Census - St Landry, Parish, LA
1900 Federal Census - Jefferson County, MS
1910 Federal Census - Jefferson County, MS
1920 Federal Census - Jefferson County, MS
1930 Federal Census - Jefferson County, MS
Old Time Disease
The Free Dictionary - Medical Dictionary
Family History and Genealogy Records
Most records were found at Mississippi Department of Archives and History
Remembering Their Names