Friday, February 22, 2013

Helen Gristy O'Bryan... only a Name

Helen Gristy was born January 21, 1814 in Nelson County, Kentucky, the daughter of James Gristy and Ann “Nancy” Miller. She was 4th child born to them and spent her early years in Nelson County, where her parents were early Catholic Kentucky settlers from Maryland, both being of early American lineage.

At some point, around 1830-1840, the Gristy family relocated to Scotland County, Missouri, where many other Kentucky families, and relatives of the Gristy family had moved.

On September 20, 1841 Helen was married to Thomas O’Bryan, the son of William & Elizabeth (Kincheloe) O’Bryan.

Marriage record for Thomas O'Bryan & Helen Gristy
Helen & Thomas remained in Scotland County their entire married lives and had 7 children: Josephine, James, John, George, Sarah, Henry, and Helen Alice (my Great-Great Grandmother)
Helen O’Bryan died about 1866. She was buried in the Mudd Settlement Catholic Cemetery (later Sacred Heart), many years ago, a cemetery transcription was completed and it is note that her stone was broken, and today only a remanent remains.
Unfortunately, little is known about Helen and her life – few records survive today and there is no known photograph to exist.

It has been difficult to creat a story of Helen's life... she was born 199 years ago... and lived in early American settlements, the areas of which are still very rural today. I've tried hard over the last 20 year for Helen to be more than 'just a name'.... a difficult effort.

Thomas O’Bryan went on to remarry and later moved to Kentucky, info regarding his death is still unknown.

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