|Everything must have a beginning. The Bryant heritage began when the Normans introduced the name of Breton origin to England in 1086 AD. Like all surnames Bryant has experienced a variety of different spellings throughout the centuries beginning with Briendus De Scal (1086 Ad) and changing into four different spellings in the one family from 1767 to 1780 as shown in the baptismal register of the Parish of St Hilary, Cornwall, when the children of John and Mary Bryant were baptized and their third son Alexander, being the only child to carry the present spelling of the surname, BRYANT.
It is believed that our Bryant forebears came to Cornwall from Ireland and without doubt our forebears lived and worked in the Parishes of St Hilary and St Perranuthnoe, Cornwall, their abodes being in the villages and hamlets of, and surrounding St Hilary and Goldsithney where they married into other village families.
Bryant men were mainly typical Cornish tin and copper miners all their working lives, Joseph (b1816), ending his working career as a silver lead miner at St Teath, Cornwall.
Three of his five sons emigrated to Australia and became very prominent in gold mining. Five of his daughters also came to Australia, making a total of eight emigrants, leaving six in Cornwall of whom only one daughter and one son predeceased him. Joseph Bryant married Anna FORD and had fourteen children. Robert Ford Bryant, eldest son of the family was pushing rail trucks in the mines at nine years of age. His two brothers, Joseph and Benjamin also started work in Cornish mines at ten years and their wages were 10 shillings per month but academical education in their adulthood in Australia enabled them to achieve a high proficiency as mine captains, mining engineers, mine managers and consultants and eventually, for Robert Ford and Joseph Bryant, mine ownership.
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