52 Ancestors: Week #2 --Henry Bryant

I am participating in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge put forth by Amy Johnson Crow of the blog No Story Too Small. If you aren't familiar with the challenge be sure to check out her blog.

It seemed logical to continue sharing about my Bryant ancestors since I started the challenge with a post about my 3rd great grandmother, Caroline Ellison Bryant.  If you missed that post here's the link:  52 Ancestors In 52 Weeks #1 Caroline Ellison Bryant

Henry Bryant was my 3rd great grandfather and the husband of Caroline Ellison Bryant. According to the death certificate, of one of his children, it appears he was also from Beaufort County, NC, like his wife. I believe he was born sometime around 1830 based on the data I found on the Federal Census. 

On the 1870 and 1880 Censuses, Henry's occupation is noted as a laborer. Now I have a hunch that my 3rd great grandfather may have been associated with the Atlantic Hotel when it was in Beaufort and then later when it was rebuilt in Morhead City. To see pictures of the rebuilt Atlantic Hotel, check out my post, The Atlantic Hotel In Morehead City. Now why do I think he may have been associated with the hotel?  Well this is why.

Source Information:  Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: 

This is the 1870 census which shows the Bryant family and enumerated just after them was the family of a George Taylor. George Taylor was a wealthy merchant of the area and was also the resident manager of the famous hotel in 1872, according to an entry I found in Virginia Pou Doughton's book, "The Atlantic Hotel."  I believe George Taylor actually was affiliated with the hotel much earlier.  

A man by the name of Captain Josiah Pender built the Atlantic Hotel in 1859 along the waterfront in Beaufort.  That same Josiah Pender I found listed on the 1860 census on page 23 of the Beaufort, Carteret, NC listing.

Source Information:  Ancestry.com. 1860 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. 
Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009. 

On the 1860 census, I found George Taylor on page 22 --one page before Josiah Pender. 

George was listed as G. W. Taylor here and his occupation was noted as "farmer & hotel keeper." I can't help but think that George Taylor was already associated with the Atlantic Hotel. These two individuals residing near each seems to me to be more than a coincidence, but I could be wrong.

The original Atlantic Hotel was completely destroyed by a hurricane that hit the coast of North Carolina in the early morning hours of August 18, 1879.  It was decided rather quickly that the new hotel would be built in Morehead City, NC so it would be less susceptible to damage due to storms.

This brings us back to Henry Bryant and why I think he may have been associated with this particular enterprise. On June 21, 1880, the new hotel opened and guess where the Bryant family had relocated to when you check the census of that year, that's right --Morehead City.  It would make sense that the family would move to where the opportunity for work presented itself. 

Image courtesy of Toa55/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Where there's opportunity, there's hope.

Henry Bryant died sometime before 1900 because his wife Caroline was listed as widowed on the census of that year. Whatever it was that Henry did to earn a living and take care of his family, it looks like he was successful at it. I wish I knew more about him, but at least I do know where he is at rest.

Image courtesy of Find A Grave
Bayview Cemetery, Morehead City, NC

Henry Bryant's grave is located just to the left of his wife's in this picture. Caroline Bryant's stone has so far survived. Unfortunately, I can't say the same for my 3rd great grandfather's stone but at least there is still a stone slab marking the place where he is buried.


  1. I think you may be on to something! Too coincidental.

  2. Good research...I think you are on to something. Great post!

  3. If you could find him listed in a city directory, it might list his place of employment.

    1. Great tip Kristin. I have only come across directories for Morehead and Beaufort that were from the 1950's and 1960's. I will keep looking though to see if they had any earlier ones.

  4. Our family was affiliated with that hotel according to my great uncle Frank L. Johnson, the son of Mamie CB Johnson.

    1. Hey we are related then. Are you on Facebook at all?


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