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Last Update: 30 Oct 2003

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In June of 1998, I had the chance to sit down and talk with Jess Copeland about our family. Jess was married to Ruby White, daughter of Alfreta Bryant and Jackson White, Sr. For a while, Alfreta lived with Jess and his wife giving him the opportunity to learn some things about her life. He had many warm and interesting memories of her. For the record, Jess was 95 years old at the time of the interview but his mind was sharp and his humor always present. Regrettably, he passed away in March 2000 after a full life in the love of his family.
      Alfreta Bryant was born on 29 February 1864 in Campbell County, GA (now part of Fulton County on the southwest side of present day Atlanta). Her mother was Martha Elizabeth Henderson, the daughter of Samuel Henderson (Jr.) (born c.1814 – died 1862) and Mary Stewart Henderson (born c.1820 – died a. 1900). Although she is occasionally recorded as Elizabeth, she is much more commonly found listed as "Lizzie" Bryant. There is some indication that the family might have come from Macon County, GA.
      Although we know that Alfreta’s father was named Bryant; there is some confusion about his first name. Alfreta’s 1955 obituary (presumably written by someone who would know) lists him as "Hugh" Bryant. But based on the 1860 Campbell County, GA Federal Census it would seem likely that he was actually William Bryant. There is also some evidence to indicate that in either case, Alfreta’s father may have used the nickname: "Leroy". He is found in the 1879 Nashville City Directory under that name.

The following article written by Virginia Bivin appeared in a Nashville Newspaper in February 1952

“Nab him by the coattails, but look before you leap.”  So advises a modern great-great-grandmama of 22 “official” birthdays and with 100 living descendents who believes in looking around for your man and then leaping.

                Mrs. Jack B. White, Sr., who will celebrate her “22nd” birthday February 29th, is just as modern as a jet plane when the conversation gets around to latching onto a man during Leap Year.  But she’s old fashioned as a horse and buggy when it comes to having lots of chilluns, grand, great and even a great-great.

                To be exact, she has 40 grand-children, 50 great-great-grandchildren and one great-great-granddaughter, with another great-grandchild expected in a couple of weeks.  Her own children number nine sons and five daughters.  Six sons and three daughters are still living.

                Despite her 88 winters, Mrs. White appears to be mighty pert and spry.  She’s proof of her firm belief that having lots of children around will keep you young.  This alert head of a great big family kinda hankers after the boys.  Sixty-two of the 100 “kids” are boys.  In fact, she’d like for all the babies in her family to have been boys.  But since things didn’t work out exactly that way, she does the next best thing – instructs the gals as they grow up to latch onto a good man.

                Mrs. White will celebrate her birthday with her family clan gathered at her knee Leap Year Day at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Jesse Copeland, 1127 Stratford Ave.  What with a family reunion every year as a birthday present and hosts of gifts from 100 “kids” ranging from 66 years to infancy, Mrs. White can’t really think of anything she needs.  But, with a twinkle in her clear grey eyes, she quips cheerfully that she’s looking forward to a belated birthday gift in a couple of weeks when her 51st great-grandchild puts in an appearance.  “Little girls are nice but boys are even better.”  Mrs. White has had five new great-grandchildren since last October.

                This young-for-her-years lady keeps up a keen interest in the news of the day and, until recent years, crocheted and did other handwork.  She used to travel a good bit, especially visiting members of her family in Florida during the wintertime.

                A member of Third Baptist Church since a young girl, she was active in church affairs until recent years.  A native of Macon County, GA., Mrs. White moved here at about the age of three.  Her father, Hugh Bryant, took part in the fighting near Atlanta during the War Between the States.  Her mother was the former Elizabeth Henderson.

 

Henderson Family, Campbell County, GA

Bryant Family, Campbell County, GA

Stewart Family, Campbell County, GA

Henderson Family in the Civil War

Battle of Atlanta, July 1864 U.S. Civil War

General W.T. Sherman's Reply to the Mayor of Atlanta, 1864

Henderson / Bryant Family in Nashville, TN after the Civil War

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