Ryan Family

Before there was a Burke or a Diboll the main settlement in the area that became Burke was about 1-2 miles southwest of Burke at Pine Valley.  Shortly after the Civil War brothers Isaac Lawrence and John Ira Ryan left Copiah County, Mississippi and settled on farms near Pine Valley.  In 1866 they founded a church, Ryan’s Chapel Methodist Church, that has become a landmark in the area.  Ryan’s Chapel also has a cemetery that became the burial place for more Burke residents than any other.

Isaac and John Ryan

Isaac Lawrence Ryan was born about 1825 in Mississippi.  Isaac married Nancy Armedia Otis in 1846, and they had children Mary Emmaline (1847); George Lawrence (1849); William Riley (1850); Charles W. (1853); Green (1854); Sarah (1856); Elizabeth (1859); and Fannie (1862).  Isaac left Angelina County before 1880 and moved to Runge in Karnes County. He was still living in Karnes County in 1900, and he died at Georgetown, Texas in 1909.  Nancy died at Georgetown in 1876.

John Ira Ryan was born about 1826 in Mississippi and resided before the Civil War at Hazelhurst, Mississippi in Copiah County.  He married Mary Ann Otis, and they had children Charles Albert (1849); John Wesley (1850); Isaac Milton (1854); William Franklin (1857); Cornelia G. (1859); Mary Frances (1860); Henry Thomas (1862); Ann Lawrence (1865); and Emma Eugenia (1868).  John died in 1887 at Mission Valley, Dewitt County, Texas, and Mary died in 1907 in Angelina County. DeWitt County is adjacent Karnes County where Isaac lived after Burke. Most Ryans in the Burke area descend from John Ryan.

Isaac and John’s father John Jacob Ryan was born in Alabama.  His grandfather was Daniel Ryan who emigrated from Ireland to Savannah, Georgia about 1760.

Later Generations

Ken Ryan is the son of Collis Ryan, who was the son of Ira Ryan and brother to Geneva Ryan Watts.

Pete Ryan, who was known for his work with the Civil Air Patrol, was the son of W. T. (Theary) Ryan. Theary Ryan's father was John Ryan, the son of pioneer John Ira Ryan.

Wesley Ryan ran the store that was later operated by Jim Spears.

Cecil Ryan, was the son of Will Ryan, who descends from Riley Ryan, son of Isaac Ryan.


    1. 1880 Census, Angelina County, Texas, Page 18, Dwelling 158 (George Ryan)
    2. 1860 Census, Copiah County, Mississippi, page 161, Dwelling 1122 (Isaac Ryan)
    3. 1860 Census, Copiah County, Mississippi, page 99, Dwelling 679 (Isaac Ryan)