Mary Elizabeth (Bryan) Allen, 1872-1962 [RG2952.AM]


RG2952.AM: Mary Elizabeth (Bryan) Allen, 1872-1962

Papers: 1920-1962
Lincoln, Lancaster County, Neb.: Genealogist
Size: 2.0 cu.ft.


The precise date of the arrival of the first Bryan from Ireland remains unknown, but it was before the Revolutionary War. The family has been traced back to 927 A.D. in Ireland, and about 1600 in America. Silas Lillard was born in Virginia at the original Bryan home in America. He was married to Mariah Elizabeth Jennings on his 30th birthday at Walnut Hill, Illinois. He served for 8 years in the Illinois Senate and a 6 year term in the Circuit Court at Salem. Three children, Virginia, John, and Hiram died in infancy. William Jennings Bryan was the fourth eldest living son born March 19, 1860, then Charles Wayland (former Governor of Nebraska, 1923-1925 and 1930-1935), born in 1867, three others and the youngest, Mary Elizabeth born in 1872, were born in Salem, Illinois.

Mary Elizabeth received her early schooling in Salem and later attended the University of Nebraska. On June 28, 1898 she was married to Thomas Stinson Allen (U.S. District Attorney for Nebraska, 1915-1921, and a prominent Lincoln attorney), and moved to Lincoln where she lived until her death on April 25, 1962. She was the last relative of William Jennings and Charles Wayland Bryan living in Nebraska. She was survived by a nephew, William Jennings Bryan, Jr., of Laguna Beach, California.

For a more complete account of the Silas Lillard and Bryan family in America, see the Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, Volume 42, 1949, pp. 57-79.


This collection consists of 3 boxes of manuscript material and oversize material arranged in two series: 1) Genealogical Data and 2) Printed Material and Clippings. The bulk of the material relates to the efforts of Mrs. Allen to collect genealogical information about the Bryan and related families. Also included are clippings about her, her father, and her husband.

Note: For photographs, see the photo component [RG2952.PH].


Series 1 – Genealogical Data, 1920-1942

Box 1

  1. Bryan family correspondence
  2. Jennings family correspondence
  3. Lillard family correspondence
  4. Davidson, Logan, McClure families correspondence
  5. Freeman family correspondence
  6. Woods family correspondence
  7. Allen family correspondence
  8. Miscellaneous correspondence

Box 2 (Notes and Notebooks)

  1. Bryan-Lewis Families
  2. Bryan Family
  3. Bryan (Maryland Branch)
  4. Bryan (Biographies)
  5. Bryan (Virginia marriages)
  6. Bryan-Boone-Lillard
  7. Bryan-Lillard
  8. Bryan-Lillard-Jennings
  9. Bryan-Asher-Jennings
  10. Bryan-Lillard
  11. Jennings Family
  12. Jennings Family
  13. Jennings Family
  14. Freeman Family
  15. Woods Family
  16. Davidson-Logan-McClure
  17. Davidson
  18. Lillard Family
  19. Logan
  20. Related Families: Von Puhl, Barbour, Bland and Randolph

Box 3

  1. Notes on Family History
    Chart of Bryan Family to Mary E. Bryan Allen (see oversize)

Series 2 – Printed Matter and Clippings

Box 3

  1. Owen, Ruth (Bryan) – Clippings
  2. Bryan, William Jennings and Charles Wayland – Clippings
  3. Miscellaneous printed matter (prepared for scrapbook)

Volume (oversize)

  1. Scrapbook about William Jennings Bryan
  2. Scrapbook of Cuming County, Nebraska, history (not family related)

Subject headings:

Allen, Mary Elizabeth (Bryan), 1872-1962
Allen-Bryan Family
Asher-Bryan Family
Bryan, William Jennings, 1860-1925
Bryan Family (Silas Lillard)
Cuming County (Neb.) — History
Davidson-Bryan Family
Freeman-Bryan Family
Jennings-Bryan Family
Lillard-Bryan Family
Logan-Bryan Family
McClure-Bryan Family
Woods-Bryan Family

WFS 10-1963
10-28-1972 Revised DDS/pmc
01-11-2010 Revised TMM

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