The Bryson Ancestors — On the Edge of New Frontiers tells the story of the interrelated families and descendants of Hugh and Nancy Davidson Bryson. The book starts with the Bryson and Davidson families who lived in Mecklenburg County, NC during the last half of the 1700s. The book then traces their descendants as they moved westward when new frontiers were opened.
After studying this line for about fifteen years, including multiple trips to North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and other states to dig out original documents, it has been possible to clearly identify the children of Hugh and Nancy Bryson. This task was difficult because earlier researchers had published inaccurate information. Finding and examining an 1823 lawsuit (involving an inheritance dispute) in Maury County, Tennessee, involving all of Nancy Davidson Bryson’s surviving children and all of her surviving Davidson nephews and nieces, clearly led to new information and provided solid answers regarding their relationships. Hugh’s son, James Bryson (1772-1852), moved to Maury County, Tennessee about the time of the start of the big lawsuit. He remained there during the trial and continued to live in Maury County until his death in 1852. The research clearly established that James Bryson was the son of Hugh and not the son of the Brysons of Surry County, North Carolina and later Sumner County, Tennessee, as some have stated.
Many of the early Bryson and Davidson siblings moved in early 1800s to the frontiers of Tennessee and Alabama.
The book contains information on the descendant families as well as the historical context of the times, including early colonial life, the revolution, the struggles with Indians, the problems of transportation and frontier hardships, the Civil War, and the conflicts of the 20th century. Historical events are woven in with genealogical information.
The book is heavily illustrated with full-color copies of original documents, including enhanced and customized maps, land transactions, wills, guardianship papers, lawsuits, military records, and newspaper clippings. There are also many photographs of tombstones and cemeteries, family portraits and vintage pictures. Documentation is provided through the use of extensive footnote references.
This book also covers related families of Bryson, Davidson, Doak, Doherty, Lay, Matthews, McKibbon, Parsons, Patterson, Powers, Shearer, Taliaferro, and others.