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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Along The Dragon

Land Record mentioning Samuel Bradford of Red Lyon Hundred
Above is a portion of a 1740  New Castle County, Delaware land record which mentions "Red Lion Sam" (Samuel Bradford, the maternal grandfather of our Rebecca Bradford Miller).  You can see the "Saml. Bradford" mentioned at the beginning of the 6th line down.  This is the document mentioned in a previous post wherein William Carpenter and his wife sell 113 acres in the Dragon Swamp area to our Samuel. While this doesn't help us "break through the brick wall" and move a generation further back, it is very interesting to see these centuries old documents naming our very own ancestors!

For furthers discussions about Samuel and this interesting piece of land, just put "Dragon Swamp" in the search box to the right.

If anyone would like the full land record, it's in Ancestry or you can email me at the address in the right-hand column.

An Evening Ride Along the Dragon

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Where Did Red Lion Sam Come From??

Worcester County, MD

As you may know, we have hit a "brick wall" with "Red Lion Sam" - Samuel Bradford, maternal grandfather of our Rebecca Bradford and cannot locate the names of his parents or where he is from.

Here is information about some Miller's and Bradford's extracted from Worcester County, Maryland 1783 Tax Assessment records.  We need to investigate these clues to see if they contain any connection with our Red Lion Sam.

Though he died in 1767, perhaps his family of origin is the same as one of the persons listed below. If any of us do research on these clues, let's share our findings with everyone via this blog or the email listed to the right. Thanks!
Maryland State Archives
(Assessment of 1783, Index)
Worcester County
MSA S 1437

Isabella Miller. Enlargement, pt, 110 acres. WO Buckingham and Worcester p. 9. MSA S1161-11-7. 1/4/5/54
John Miller. Troy Town[??], 169 acres. WO Buckingham and Worcester p. 8. MSA S1161-11-7. 1/4/5/54
John Miller. Partners Content, 500 acres. WO Buckingham and Worcester p. 8. MSA S1161-11-7. 1/4/5/54
Elisha Bradford. WO Buckingham and Worcester p. 1. MSA S1161-11-7. 1/4/5/54
Isaac Bradford. Saint Martins Desart, pt, 48 acres. WO Buckingham and Worcester p. 2. MSA S1161-11-7. 1/4/5/54
James Bradford. WO Queponco p. 1. MSA S1161-11-11. 1/4/5/54
John Bradford. Golden Neck, 50 acres. WO Buckingham and Worcester p. 13. MSA S1161-11-7. 1/4/5/54
Levin Bradford. WO Buckingham and Worcester p. 2. MSA S1161-11-7. 1/4/5/54
Samuel Bradford. Mulberry Grove, pt, 145 acres. WO Boquetenorton p. 1. MSA S1161-11-6. 1/4/5/54
Samuel Bradford. Morris' Security, 146 acres. WO Boquetenorton p. 1. MSA S1161-11-6. 1/4/5/54
Samuel Bradford. Truitts Harbour, 100 acres. WO Boquetenorton p. 1. MSA S1161-11-6. 1/4/5/54
Solomon Bradford. Solomons Purchase, 112 acres. WO Queponco p. 1. MSA S1161-11-11. 1/4/5/54

Solomon Bradford. Sandhill, 61 acres. WO Queponco p. 1. MSA S1161-11-11. 1/4/5/54

Saturday, September 5, 2015

How Our Ulster Ancestors Named Their Land In America Could Provide Invaluable Clues!

In this interesting online article, two names of interest to our family history pop up - one a person and one a place:

Ulster Names on the Land
When land was patented in Maryland with a deed to the original owner, he gave his property a name. Many names are prosaic. Robert King, Gentleman, one of these Ulster Scots, called his 300 acres "Kingsland." Others preferred a memory of home. Wallaces had "Castle Finn," "Kirkminster" and "Camp." Caldwells called their tracts "Ballybuggin," "Desert" and "Clonlett." The Polks used "Ballendret," "Raphoe," "Moanen" and "Denegall" as well as "Polk’s Folly." Ninian Dunlap chose "Monyn." The Owens family used "Ballyshannon" and the Alexanders "Rapho." These emigrant families settled in Manokin Hundred of Somerset County together with McKnitt and Strawbridge families and others. Many of the names they gave their new homes are from townlands near Lifford. Magdalen Polk, wife of Robert Polk, for instance, inherited the townland of Moneen in the parish of Clonleigh (Lifford), Co. Donegal and left it in her will to one of their sons. The Polks were ancestors of U.S. President James K. Polk.

Ninian Dunlap is William Miller's grandfather's father-in-law (so if you're from my generation, Ninian is your 5th great-grandfather!

The place name of Lifford is the area in Northern Ireland where our Miller's hailed from.

This entire article is very interesting and very pertinent to our ancestry, and I encourage you to read it (see link above).

Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Amazing FamilySearch

If you love family history, I hope you will all sign up for an absolutely free, no strings attached FamilySearch account (see link below). This is an amazing collection of billions of names and it would be rare not to find at least one line of your family there (in fact, I can promise you that William and Rebecca (Bradford) Miller are there!), but of course you can look up all your lines, not just them.

It's pretty user-friendly and there is lots of help available when you click on "Get Help" (top right). If you sign up for an account and can't get your questions answered and have any trouble navigating the site, also please feel free to email me at the address to the right and I would be happy to help you.

Just last week in under an hour, I helped a friend find all of her great-grandparents, and we extended a couple of her lines back several generations in colonial Virginia!

It's lots of fun and I can't encourage you enough to sign up. Again, it's completely free, no one will contact you, and your name and information isn't shared with any other organization.  

Wishing you a wonderful summer and lots of fun learning more about your family history!



Friday, July 17, 2015

The Search For Red Lion Sam Continues

Samuel Bradford, (known as Red Lion Sam in this blog) was born around 1690 and died in 1767.  He was the maternal grandfather of our Rebecca Bradford Miller. This far we have been unable to find out anything about his parents or where he came from. We only have his New Castle County, Delaware will and some land records (see previous posts).

Research into his son, William Bradford, has not provided many clues to his father's life, other than William attended a Presbyterian Church (possibly indicating the family was Scots or Scots-Irish).  William's will below does not extend our information about his father Samuel, but it does seem to indicate that William and his wife, Elinor (spelling unsure; later spellings included Eleanor) Bradford were able to sign this document in their own handwriting, and not just make a mark. To me this indicates that they both had received some degree of education, and that their respective parents must have been of a class that could afford such education.

Was Red Lion Sam a well-to-do tobacco farmer, or a merchant, or both? How did his daughter, Sarah, come to know the other Samuel Bradford in her life, her future husband, who definitely was Scots-Irish?

For more information about Red Lion Sam's land holdings, use the search box to the right and put in "Dragon Swamp."  Interesting...but again not containing any clues as to his parentage or place of origin.

I hope can all join me in finding the origins of our elusive Red Lion Sam!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Silas Miller Family Bible

I descend through William and Rebecca Bradford Miller's son, Samuel Miller, and then through Samuel's daughter Amy. However, several of our blog followers descend through Samuel's son, Silas Miller and his wife, Hannah Abrahims.  Hence I thought I would publish this wonderful page from their family bible.  Silas and Hannah's second son was named Samuel Enoch Miller, so I am wondering if he went by Enoch and if the family bible was passed onto him (see right column). Can anyone shed light on this? If anyone is interested in seeing other pages, please email me at the address to the right.


Monday, June 22, 2015

More Bradford DNA Information

Here is a screen shot from the Bradford DNA page.  The “Wm. Bradford” at the bottom of Group 4 who was born in 1770 in Cecil County, MD, is our Rebecca Bradford’s brother.  The listed family origin of Scotland is not in conflict with the known fact that Rebecca’s progenitors spent time in Northern Ireland; rather, it corroborates it since most of the people of the Ulster plantations originally came from Scotland.

In looking at Group 3, it is obvious that Rebecca’s paternal family is not related to Gov. Bradford.  It is also interesting to note that the original family name may have been Braidwood, something other pre-DNA researchers have speculated. 

Adam Bradford, who has spearheaded this amazing DNA project and to whom we are deeply indebted, descends from the other Group 4, R-Z8 member, the Samuel Bradford who died in Worcester County MD, in 1811 or 1812.  I believe Adam’s ancestry is as follows:
   1. Samuel Bradford, d. 1811/12 Worcester County, MD
   2. Adam Bradford, b. 16 Apr 1775 Worcester County, MD
   3. Isaac Neely Bradford, b. 12 Nov 1805, Bradfordsville, KY
   4. Samuel Vance Bradford b. 11 May 1846, Relfe, MO
   5. William Henry Bradford, b. 20 July 1882, Waynesville, Missouri
I have to admit that I am woefully ignorant on how to read these DNA charts.  I have written to Adam Bradford about the significance of the two different groups (R-Z8 and R-M269) in the the last column of Group 4 and a couple of other questions.

However, as mentioned above, it does seem obvious that our ancestry through Rebecca Bradford's paternal line goes back to Scotland, not Plymouth.

However, all of us who descend through Rebecca also descend through her maternal grandfather, [the other] Samuel Bradford of Red Lion, Delaware, who of course does not appear on this DNA chart.  Thus far we know nothing about his background, so I suppose there is still a slight chance that we may discover ties to the most famous of Pilgrims!

As ever, if there is any male Bradford descendant of “Red Lion Sam,” I would be thrilled to help pay for the DNA test to try to discover  the origin of our most elusive ancestor!