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THE OLIVER FAMILY



How the Oliver Family ties into the Bryan Family
Gloria Mae Oliver married George William Bryan in 1945, Memphis Tennessee. The OLIVER family has been traced back to 1700, Athol, MA. Listed below is a descendancy chart on Gloria from the Oliver line. (For a complete history on the Oliver Family, please see the first page of this web site).

William Oliver, b. 1700 - Ireland, m. Ann _______
Robert (Robart) Oliver, b. 1735, Athol, MA, m. Lydia Gray
Andrew Oliver, b. 1771, Athol, MA, m. Mary Polly Nichols
Loyal Oliver, b. 1794, Bridport, VT., m. Margaret Weeks
Orris Oliver, b. 1818, Champlain, NY, m. Martha Forbes
George L. Oliver, b.1864, Guilford, MN, m.Emma Dickmann
George F. Oliver,b.1897, Guilford, MN, m. Frances Peterson
Gloria M. Oliver, b.1927, Zumbro Falls, MN, m. George Bryan
Kathryn C. Bryan, born 1948, Mpls., MN


The Olivers were of Scotch-Irish descent, originating in Scotland. Some time in the 1600's the Oliver family left Scotland, most likely due to religious persecution there and immigrated into Northern Ireland, Province of Ulster (near Londonderry). In 1718, William Oliver (above) along with his brother Lancelot and most likely his parents and other siblings immigrated to America. They settled in Boston, MA for a short period of time, but again met with religious persecution, they quickly spread througout Massachusetts. Some of the towns they settled in were Barre, Pelham, Leiceister, Colrain and Oakham. Looking in the town history books for the above towns, there were many Olivers from this Ireland line in Massachusetts and they, in turn, had many, many descendants. From Boston Family History, Timeline 1645-1749 concerning the Irish who arrived in Boston, MA: 1700: 599 Irish names can be found in New England. The Massachusetts General Court passes a law forbidding any Catholics to be present in the Colony under penalty of life imprisonment. 1717-1720: 2,600 Scotch-Irish from Ulster arrive in Massachusetts. The Governor complains about the public burden caused by "so many people from abroad, especially those that come from Ireland." The Massachusetts General Court tells the Irish immigrants that they must leave the Colony within seven months. Once this proclamation was announced, many of the Scotch-Irish and Irish immigrants left the Colony of Massachusetts for other parts of the country; the Olivers among them. William Oliver was part of a company that was formed at Hatfield, MA in 1735 to trek through the wilderness to form a new settlement called Pequoig in the upper corner of the state of Massachusetts. The name of the town would later be changed to Athol. William, along with other families arrived in the spring of 1735 and staked out land. One by one these settlers began building shelter, often erecting one home and quickly moving on to another. William & Ann had with them on the journey through the wilderness, 3 sons, 2 daughters and another on the way. Robert (Robart) was born either shortly before his arrival in Athol or the year they arrived there. Once settled, 3 other children were born to them.

Robert grew to adulthood, met and married Lydia Gray. The Grays were also of Scotch-Irish descent and had immigrated through Ireland to the US about the same time. Robart & Lydia were married in Pelham, MA (where the Gray's resided) in 1759. Most of their lives were spent in Athol, with the exception of about 10 years, when they traveled to Bridport and St. Albans, VT. Robart was granted land in Vermont due to his service in the Revolutionary War. How long he actually lived in Vermont is uncertain, but land records show him deeding and selling land from 1785-1795. Robart & Lydia had 1 daughter and 8 sons. Four sons would die at a young age, 1 in 1766 and 3 more in January of 1774. Robert died in 1795 after returning to Athol and is buried in the Old Burying Ground there, along with several of his brothers. It is not known WHERE Lydia died or WHERE she is buried.

Andrew, son of Robart & Lydia, arrived in Champlain, NY about 1807 and settled there. He married Mary "Polly" Nichols in Vermont and had a large family of 4 sons and 4 daughters. Andrew died in Champlain, NY in 1841 & Polly in Champlain 1849.

Loyal Oliver, son of Andrew was born in Bridport, VT in 1794. He was about 11 years old when he arrived in Champlain with his parents. About 1816, he married Margaret Weeks and they were the parents of many children, only 3 have been documented at this time. Margaret Weeks Oliver died in 1839, leaving Loyal with many children to raise. He remarried a woman by the name of Elizabeth and moved to Lacolle, Canada in 1850. Before he left, he deeded his land in Champlain to his son Orris and wife Martha. Loyal died at the grand old age of 80 in Lacolle, but was returned to Rouse's Point, NY for burial. He is buried in the Maple Hill Cemetery at Rouse's Point.

Orris Oliver was the son of Loyal & Margaret. He was born in 1818, Champlain, NY. He married Martha Forbes and they had 11 children, 10 of whom made it to adulthood; one child died in infancy in New York. In 1857, Orris and Martha heard of great farm land in Minnesota, packed up their large family and traveled by covered wagon to Wabasha County. Two more children were born to them after their arrival in Minnesota, one of them my great-grandfather, George Loyal Oliver. Orris spent the remainder of his days farming in Wabasha, watching his children grow to adulthood and was witness to many, many grandchildren born into his family. Orris died in 1885 and is buried in the Guilford Cemetery, Wabasha County, MN - alongside his "Martha", who died in 1897.

The son of Orris and Martha was George Loyal Oliver, born right in the middle of the Civil War, in Wabasha County. Several of his brothers were off fighting in the War when he was born. He married a woman by the name of Mary Marshall but it was a short-lived marriage and no known children were born from that union. In 1896 he married a lovely young lady by the name of Emma Dickman, who resided in Hammond, MN, a small neighboring town. This union produced 3 sons and 4 daughters (2 daughters died in infancy). George Loyal spent the remaining years of his life living in the Town of Guilford and is also buried in the Guilford Cemetery. He died in 1941 and Emma died in 1959, buried alongside of him.

George Forbes Oliver, my grandfather, was born in 1897, Guilford Township at the family homestead. His middle name was given in memory of his Grandmother Martha, who also died in that year. George married Frances M. Peterson in 1926 and they had the following children: Dorothy (prior marriage), Gloria, MaryAnne and George, Jr. This family moved to Minneapolis in the 1940's, purchased a farm in Moose Lake, MN and a HOTEL! In the 1960's, George semi-retired sold the Soo Hotel and moved permanently to the farm. He died in 1982 in Nisswa, MN, while living with his daughter, Gloria. Frances died in 1979 in Moose Lake. They are both buried in the Moose Lake Cemetery.

Gloria Mae Oliver Bryan, my mother, remains active and resides in Nisswa, MN. Nearly 75 years old, she still works part-time at Department store in Brainerd and spends a lot of time with her children, Thomas (Topeka, Kansas) , Kathryn (Mpls) and Stuart (Buffalo, MN.). George died in 1990 and is buried at Fort Snelling in Mpls.


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