WWI Veteran Allen Boston Bryant (1896-1973)
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WWI Veteran Allen Boston Bryant (1896-1973)

WWI Veteran Allen Boston Bryant (1896-1973)

Photo: Nadia K. Orton, December 30, 2012. All rightsreserved.

Surnames: Bryant (Suffolk/Nansemond County, Virginia); Evans (Isle of Wight County, Virginia); Hatton (Suffolk/Nansemond County, Virginia); Randall (Suffolk/Nansemond County, Virginia)

Forty-seven years ago today, World War I veteran Allen Boston Bryant, Sr., passed away in Suffolk, Virginia. He was seventy-seven years old. Allen was the son of George Cicero Bryant (1875-1951), and Mary Randall Bryant (1876-1951).1 I’ve traced Allen’s family roots to the late 1700s in Tidewater Virginia, and central North Carolina. Allen’s parents, George and Mary, and paternal grandparents, Boston Bryant and Fannie Hatton Bryant, are also interred in Oak Lawn Cemetery.

J. H. Colton Map of North Carolina, ca. 1855. Library of Congress. The areas representing Allen Boston Bryant’s ancestry, including Craven and Pitt counties, North Carolina, and Nansemond County, Virginia, are identified.

Allen enlisted August 1, 1918, and departed from Camp Upton, Long Island, New York, for France aboard the USS Santa Olivia, a cargo ship and troop transport constructed in 1918, on which he served as a cook.2 Allen left Bordeaux, France the following year, May 30, 1919, and arrived in Brooklyn, New York on June 10, 1919. Allen was released from service eleven days later, June 21, 1919, and returned to Suffolk, Virginia. In 1920, Allen was documented in a residence on Pine Street, Suffolk, working as a barber. The family household included his father, George Cicero Bryant, also a barber, his mother Mary, and sisters Georgie May, Nina, and Lillian.3

USS Santa Olivia, St. Nazaire, France. navsource.org

Allen married Miss Mary Eliza Evans, daughter of George Evans and Hattie Weaver, on April 26, 1938, in Norfolk, Virginia. They were the parents of Allen Boston Bryant, Jr., George Cicero Bryant, II, and Hattie M. Bryant.

Allen continued to work as a barber and fish merchant until his death on October 20, 1973.4 He was interred in Oak Lawn Cemetery on October 22, 1973. The T. E. Cooke Funeral Home of Suffolk, Virginia, handled the arrangements.5

  1. Per the marriage record, George Cicero Bryant, son of Boston and Fannie Hatton Bryant, and Mary Randall, daughter of George and Henrietta Randall, married on October 23, 1895, in Nansemond County, Virginia.
  2. Actor Humphrey Bogart also served aboard the USS Santa Olivia as a coxswain during this period.
  3. “1920 U. S. Census,” database with images, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 19 October 2020), Virginia, Suffolk (Independent City), Suffolk Ward 4, Dist. 0222, p. 17, citing, “Year: 1920; Census Place: Suffolk Ward 4, Suffolk (Independent City), Virginia; Roll: T625_1915; Page: 9A; Enumeration District: 222.”
  4. “U. S. Census 1930,” database with images, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 19 October 2020), Virginia, Suffolk (Independent City), Suffolk, Dist. 0007, p. 12, citing, “Year: 1930; Census Place: Suffolk, Suffolk (Independent City), Virginia; Page: 6B; Enumeration District: 0007; FHL microfilm: 2342217“; “U. S. 1940 Census,” database with images, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 19 October 2020), Virginia, Suffolk City, Suffolk, Dist. 122-11, p. 18, citing, “Year: 1940; Census Place: Suffolk, Suffolk City, Virginia; Roll: m-t0627-04330; Page: 9A; Enumeration District: 122-11.”
  5. “Virginia, Death Records, 1912-2014,” database with images, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 19 October 2020), certificate image, Allen Boston Bryant, Sr., 20 October 1973, no. 404, citing “Virginia Department of Health; Richmond, Virginia; Virginia Deaths, 1912-2014.”
Nadia Orton

Professional genealogist and public historian. Graduate of Duke University. President of the Sacred Grounds Project, Inc. Studying historic African American cemeteries and communities.

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