of Plympton, Ma.

There has been a persistent error by some of the early compilers in trying to identify Lt. John Bryant of Plympton, Ma., who married Abigail, daughter of Stephen Bryant Sr. of Plymouth, Ma., with that of John Bryant Jr., the son of John Sr. of Scituate, Ma. It can now be shown that these two were two distinct persons, and the assumption that they were the same, is in error.

Lewis Bradford, the town clerk of Plympton, 1812 to 1851, was partly to blame for this misunderstanding, for it was he who said in some of his notes, that Lt. John Bryant of Plympton, was the son of John Bryant Sr. of Scituate, Ma. This error was taken as fact by those whom compiled their genealogies by using the old Plympton records and the works of the early compilers. The use of this error has resulted in the descendants of John Sr. of Scituate, merging with the descendants of Stephen Sr. of Plymouth, and I can find no evidence to show that this ever happened.

The Scituate town records show that John Sr. and Mary (Lewis) did in fact have a son by the name of John. But, this John, according to the records, lived in Scituate, married Mary Battellie, raised a family and died there on Jan 20, 1708, never leaving. on the other hand, the Plymouth and Plympton records do not show a John & Mary Battellie, but do show a Lt. John and Abigail Bryant, the daughter of Stephen Bryant Sr. of Plymouth as being married and having issue being born there.

When one compares the Scituate records with that of the Plymouth & Plympton records, they will find the two Johns both married and having issue being born at about the same time. Lt. John and Abigail lived in the western section of Plymouth, which in 1707 became incorporated as Plympton. Not having their own church until 1695, all birth were originally recorded in Plymouth, and later transferred over to the Plympton records.

To further show that the two John’s were not the same, we find in 1718, 10 years after the death of the so-called Lt. John of Scituate, a Lt. John of Plympton, selling his farm to his youngest son Benjamin, for a promissory note of 400 pounds. The John of Scituate did not have a son by the name of Benjamin.

It should be noted that this error was first pointed out in 1881 by William B. Lapham in his article, “Lt. John Bryant of Plymouth”, than in 1972 by Harold S. Bryant in his article on the Poet, William Cullen Bryant, and again in 1983 by Robert C. Bryant in his edition of “John Bryant of Scituate, Massachusetts and his Descendants”.

I have included a SURNAME INDEX to help you find whom you want to locate. Have fun and if you find any errors please let me know. Your more than welcome to add to what I have here or to fill in some of the missing blanks.

Surname Index

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