Thorne & Bryan Genealogy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Last Page Activity: January 20, 2014         
James Colin BRYAN


Birth: 7 Dec ~1848    Place: Clayton, Ontario

Death: 22 Oct 1932 Place: Vancouver, British Columbia1,2

Burial: 25 Oct 1932 Place: Fraserview Cemetery. Fraser & 33rd Avenue, Vancouver and shares a headstone with Wilhelmina.

Father: Hugh O'BRIEN (~1798-1880)

Mother: Laura Ann TOOLEY (1816-1870)


First Spouse:   Ella MARSHAL3


Annie Jane (1874-)

Levi (1875-)

John [Johnnie]

James [Jim] Andrew (1880-)

James Colin Bryan 1850-1932

Second Spouse:   Jane CARSON3

Children:  None known



Third Spouse:   Emily [Emma] Jane BROWN 3

Birth: ............................ Place: Perth, Lanark County, Ontario4

Death: 25 May 1891 Place: Katepwa, South Q'applle, Indian Head, Sask

Father: Thomas BROWN (1825-)

Mother: Catherine HOUSECROFT (1822-)

Marriage:  Marriage: 11 Apr 188 by Rev J. B Edmondson 

Perth Courier article dated April 25 1884 is transcribed as: "At Almonte, on 11th inst, by Rev J B Edmondson, Mr James BRIAN, of Carleton Place, to Miss B J BROWN of Clayton."


Fred (1886-1969)

William [Bill] T. (1888-)

Oliver 'Lloyd' (1890-1930)

Click on image to enlarge transcribed articles from Perth Courier 1884 - Brian-Brown marriage. 
Brothers  L-R: James Colin Bryan and Levi Brian 

Fourth Spouse  Wilhelmina [Minnie] Hilda LIESKE

Birth: 1874 Place: Germany or Russia

Death: 8 Sep 1949 Place: Vancouver, British Columbia6

Burial: ............................ Place: Vancouver, British Columbia

Father: Friedrich LIESKE (1842-1908)

Mother: Wilhelmina [Minnie] ECHART (1843-1926)

Marriage: 10 Sep 1898  Place: Neudorf, Saskatchewan


Roy Clifford (1899-1986)

Stanley [Stan] Guy   (1901-1977)

Alva [Alvin] Edison (1903-1986)

Minnie Emma (1904-1904) - Born August 1904 and died Sept 27 1904

Ray Max (1906-1991)

Elmer Ira (1909-2000)

Pearl Eva (1913-1997)

Charles Leslie [Les] (1915-)

Ada May (1918-)


James Colin Bryan at age 75

Notes for James Colin Bryan


  • There is some confusion as to which year James Colin Bryan was born.   According to the 1851 census he was "3" years old. If they asked his age was on the day of Census taking (with his birthday on December 7), it may be that he was born in 1847.  If they asked what age he would be in the year 1851 and they answered "3" he would have been born in 1848.    The 1861 Canada census has him recorded as 12 years old, possibly making his birth year 1849.  The record upon his death in October 1932 told his age as  81, which  would have him born in 1850.    Because of children before and after him (Hugh Jr and Levi who is recorded as 10 on the 1861 census) 1847 or 1848 seem most logical.  
Click on image to enlarge. Canada Census 1851 for Darling Township, Lanark County - O'Brian household highlighted. 
Canada Census 1861 for Darling Township, Lanark County - O'Brien household highlighted. 

During James Colin Bryan's marriage to Emily, the Bryan family made their way from Ontario to Saskatchewan and the town of Indian Head. The description taken from Bill Bryanís writeup in Bridging the Past: Wolseley 1880-1990 says: "My mother and father (James C.) four half brothers and a half sister; Levi, Johnnie, Jim and Annie; two brothers Fred and Lloyd and myself came west to Indian Head in the spring of 1891." Emily was not well when the Bryan family left Ontario and she passed away two months after we arrived in Indian Head. Bill Bryanís writeup continues " The move from Indian Head wasn't easy. We children stayed at a halfway house for a day and night with the furnishings while father and the older boys went back to Indian Head for the animals. This halfway house, west of Wolseley, was vacant ........ There was an old frame building (24x 30) on our homestead which we lived in for two years before we were able to make any improvements."

See letter dated July 24, 1895  and  Land Grant File 127489.

We donít know how or when James Colin Bryan first met Minnie, but after six years of being a single parent, on September 10, 1897 in the Zion Lutheran Church in Neudorf, Saskatchewan, James Colin Bryan married Wilhelmina [Minnie] Hilda Lieske.
A letter dated November 28, 1932 from R. W. Sterzer, Pastor of Zion Lutheran Church, Neudorf, Sask. states, "Certification of marriage between James Bryan & Wilhelmine Lieske, Sask. Marriage: September 10, 1898.  This certifies, that James Bryan, farmer of Summerberry, Sask., and Wilhelmine Lieske, spinster of Neudorf, Sask., were united in marriage on the 10th day of September 1898 by Rev. M. Ruccius. Witnesses were: Max Lieske and Fr. Krueger. According to No.6 of the Marriage Register of Zion Lutheran Church of Neudorf, Sask., November 28th 1932R. W. Sterzer, Pastor of Zion Church". The letter was then embossed with the seal of the church. 

Minnie's marriage to a James Colin, a man twice her age,  instantly made her the mother figure for a family of seven children ranging in age from twenty-one to seven years old. 
  • Bill Bryanís writeup in Bridging the Past: Wolseley 1880-1990 states "In 1900 father bought a Case threshing outfit (28x46) with self feeder and straw carrier that was powered with 12 horses. The horses went around and around a wheel and this produced the power to run the machine. We threshed for all the neighbours."
Excerpt from the Centennial Book covering Summerberry. 
  • In 1911, James C. help to set Bill up on his own farm on NW 14-17-9-2. He gave him four horses and helped him build a house.



  • James moved his family to Lulu Island which situated between South Vancouver and Richmond on the delta of the Fraser River and considered prime farm land. The following year, 1920, he sold the farm on Lulu Island and with the proceeds of that farm and the farm in Saskatchewan, he bought approximately 22 houses to rent out, plus a private hospital, and moved into the house at 4148 Gladstone, South Vancouver, BC. He now assumed the role of landlord and along with his sons they repaired and painted the rental properties. Les Bryan, James Colinís youngest son acquired a strong dislike for a paint colour similar to "battleship gray" which James C. bought in bulk and painted most, if not all, of his rental properties. Ray became an experienced carpet layer and turn that knowledge into his own company.
Photo right: 
Home of James & Winnie Bryan
and family
4148 Gladstone Street, South Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Bryan family left to right:  

Elmer, Pearl, James Colin Bryan (father), Les, Spot (the dog), friend (in doorway), Ada (on knee) Wilhelmina (mother), (goat on fence), Alvin

  • His son, Les, remembers his favourite picture, which hung on the wall of the dining room, was of the Statue of Liberty.

  • His son, Les, told that his dad's preferred hot beverage was green tea.

  • His son, Les, told of how the family would gather together for dinner in the dining room.  Everyone would stand by their chairs until father entered and sat in his seat at the head of the table.  There was little talking at the table and the children didn't speak until they were questioned by their father.

  • The youngest child, Ada, a delicate child, not in good health, was father's favourite, relayed son, Les (a couple of years older than Ada).  If I got into trouble with dad he would come after me with a switch and I would hide under Ada's bed.  Ada would cry and plead with him to leave her brother alone and most often he would give into her pleas.

Picture marked "Willie & Dad Bryan"


  • James C.ís son, Stan, set up farming in Saskatchewan, but for the first years he spent the winters in Vancouver with the other family members in the house on Gladstone.


  • Later, James and the remaining at home family members moved to 7037 Duff Street. It was here, in a wood shed at the side of the house on October 22, 1932, James Colin Bryan, at the age of 81 suffered a fatal heart attack.  He was discovered by son, Les Bryan (16 years old at the time).   He is buried at Fraserview Cemetery. Fraser & 33rd Avenue, Vancouver and shares a headstone with Wilhelmina.


Bryan residence at 7037 Duff Street

Further information for James Colin Bryan (click on blue print to link to described information)

1. "Certificate of Registration of Death Province of British Columbia.

2. B13145, GSU 1952656.

3. Peggy Bryan, notes and verbal

4. Bunny Sainas, Sharon Shepherd and Susanne Simpson

5. "Interview with Les Bryan," Les Bryan, Sherrie Bryan, prior to June 2001.

6. Death Registration Archives -- for Wilhelmina Janes, B13202, GSU 2032572.

7. R. W. Sterzer, Pastor of Zion Lutheran Church, Neudorf, Sask., "Certification of marriage between James Bryan & Wilhelmina Lieske"

8.  Summerberry's Centennial stories