John Heritage Bryan III was born 1869 in Petropolis, Brazil, the 4th of 9 known surviving children (4 boys/5 girls) born to John Heritage Bryan Jr. and his wife, Margaret Eliza Henderson Outlaw.
He was the paternal grandchild of the Hon. John Heritage Bryan Sr. & Mary Williams Shepard of New Bern & Raleigh; and gr-grandchild of James D. Bryan & Rachel Heritage of New Bern, Craven Co, NC. He is a direct descendant of this family's patriarch William Bryan, the Englishman who immigrated to the Virginia Colonies ca. 1690. On his mother's side, she was the maternal grandchild of Dr. William Thomas MacKay Outlaw & Margaret Eliza Henderson of Bertie & Wake Counties, NC.
John's parents immigrated to Brazil in about 1866-67, part of a large exodus of Southern Confederates who relocated to Brazil after the Civil War at the invitation of Emperor Dom Pedro II. His place of birth is Petrópolis, also known as The Imperial City of Brazil, which is a town in the state of Rio de Janeiro, about 65 km from the city of Rio de Janeiro. It was in Petropolis where his parents first settled upon arriving in Brazil. John and 5 other siblings were born in Brazil.
After almost 20 years as ex-patriots, the Bryan family returned to the United States in about 1884 and settled once again in Raleigh. John III, who was about 15 years old when the family returned, spoke both English and Portugese and was a Brazilian citizen.
John died suddenly in September 1888 near Henderson, NC. He was only 19 years old.
The Bryan family would suffer great personal loss after that, as his father would die in 1891, and then both William Henderson Bryan and Henry Shepard Bryan died early deaths in 1892. The last surviving brother, Frederick, died in May 1898, also at age 19, and he and John share this headstone.
His widowed mother Margaret Outlaw Bryan continued to live in Raleigh with two unmarried daughters (Mary and Minnie) until her death in 1912. Minnie Bryan was the last surviving member of this family. She never married and died in 1952.