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Updated September 4, 2006

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Abner Ryan was born in 1825, birthplace: Tennessee (possibly Campbell County, Sullivan County or Washington County). His father was from Pennsylvania according to data provided by Abner or a family member in response to the question in an 1880 census record taken in Washington County Tennessee. Information on the names of Abner's Father and Mother was listed as "unknown" in the 1880 census record and remain unknown by his family and heirs to this day. Today, the Ryan Family has no further information on the names of Abner's parents, their birth places, or other origins. An 1850 census record entry shows that Abner had two brothers, John and Samuel Ryan.

Abner married Harriett Estep (of Virginia) and they initially lived in Sullivan County according to data from an 1850 census record. Abner and Harriett had eight (8) children: Thomas Cawood (a/k/a "Caywood")Ryan, William H. Ryan, Lavina (a/k/a "Lee-Venia" or "Lu-Venia") E. Ryan, Mary A. Ryan, Amanda C. Ryan, Hannah C. Ryan, Margaret Ryan, and James ("Jimmy") H. Ryan. Jimmy died at the age of fourteen in 1889.

According to data provided in the 1880 census records, Abner indicated that he was a Blacksmith in response to a question about his occupation. At the time of the 1880 census, the Ryan family today believes Abner and Harriett were living with their eight children in an area of Washington County Tennessee called "Horse Creek." On November 21, 1882, Abner purchased thirty-five (35) acres of land on Sinking Creek in Washington County Tennessee from Nathan and Mary Baines evidenced by a deed recorded by his heirs in August 1966. This homestead remained in the Ryan family until 1985. Daisy Alice Ryan (a/k/a "Allie"), Abner's granddaughter and the daughter of Thomas Cawood Ryan, lived on the homestead property since birth until 1985 when she and the family sold the property. Allie died in 1988. For reasons unknown to this day, Allie often referred to the homestead property on Sinking Creek as "Red River."

Abner Ryan died on March 16, 1885. The Ryan family believes he is buried in "Range Cemetery" within a short distance from the homestead he purchased. The Range Cemetery today is located on private agricultural land in an area that is overgrown and not maintained as a cemetery. The Ryan family has not been able to locate any grave markers identifying the final resting place of Abner and Harriett (Estep) Ryan.


Timothy A. Ryan
Great, Great Grandson of Abner Ryan
Washington, DC
September 2006 (Revised)

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