Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Samuel Bradford's Infamous Nephew!

Black Horse Tavern, Canonsburg, PA
One of the finest Bradford researchers I've worked with is Sue Sisk.  She has graciously shared much of her research online at: 

Excerpts from her forum about our Bradford ancestors' involvement in the Whiskey Rebellion are below.  Remember that the leader of the Whiskey Rebellion, David Bradford, was the nephew of our Samuel and Sarah Bradford, he being the son of Samuel's brother, James Bradford.  Thanks, Sue!

Mon  [Monongahela] Valley History Section 5
"The rebels next move was the most disastrous. They conspired to rob the mail because they wanted to find out what the dispatches going from Pittsburgh to Harrisburg and Philadelphia said about them. The plot was devised at the Canonsburg Tavern of Henry Westbay, called the Black Horse Tavern, and was carried out by William Bradford, cousin of David Bradford, and William Mitchell, hired by David Hamilton. 
They waylaid the mail carrier about 22 miles east of Pittsburgh near the present Route 51, took only the letters they were interested in, tied the carrier so that they would have time to get away. The mail was taken to Benjamin Parkison/Parkinson and then to Col Canon and David Bradford in Canonsburg. Although there was to be a meeting at Parkinson's Ferry in 17 days, Bradford became so incensed by the content of the letters that the militia was commanded to meet at the Mingo Church and proceed to Braddocks Field to march on Pittsburgh."

David Bradford of Whiskey Rebellion fame was the son of James and Jennet (Janet?) Bradford & Jennet.  James is the brother of our Samuel Bradford (father of our Rebecca Bradford.  Thus David is the cousin of our Rebecca Bradford, and it was her brother William, who helped steal the mail during the Whiskey Rebellion.  Here is what Sue discovered about James:

1 James Bradford Sr. b: Ireland d: 1811 Strabane, Twp, Washington Co, PA
. +Jennet [?] b: Ireland
........ 2 Thomas Bradford
........ 2 Agnes Bradford b: 02 January 1746/47 Elizabethtown, Essex Co,
NJ d: 17 July 1825 Washington Co, PA
........... +John McDowell b: 23 September 1736 Ballyrussell, Antrim, N.
Ireland d: 12 August 1809 Washington Co., PA
........ 2 Mary A. Bradford b: c. 1748 d: 22 January 1833 Washington Co,PA
........... +James Allison b: c. 1742 Antrim, Ireland d: 24 July 1820
Chartiers Twp., Washington Co, PA
........ 2 James Bradford, Jr b: 1752 d: 1801 Washington Co, PA 
........... +Elizabeth Gibson b: c. 1775
........ 2 David Bradford [leader of the Whiskey Rebellion] b: 1760 Maryland d: 1810 Louisianna
........... +Elizabeth Porter

Will Book 2, p. 326 - James Bradford Sr., Strabane Twp.
Dated: 28 Sep 1811
Probated: 1 Oct 1811
Executors: John Hays, David Reed
Witnesses: Nathaniel Caughey, Joseph Kerr
Beneficiaries: wife Agness; 
sons Alexander, Nathaniel, Hugh; daughters Margaret Husten, Mary Husten 
Account #H-53-1815

Will Book 1, p 428 - James Bradford Jr., Strabane Twp. (wife Elizabeth [Gibson])
Dated: 18 Dec 1800
Probated: 4 July 1801
Executors: wife, son William, son-in-law Richard Johnson
Witnesses: Samuel Whann, JohnColmery, William Brysland, Mary Brysland, 
Isabella Craighead
Beneficiaries: wife (not named); sons William, James, John, David, Thomas, George; 
daughters Jinny (Jane--wife of Richard Johnston), Mary
Note: Deed Book 1Y2 shows conveyance from James Bradford Sr. to James 
Bradford Jr. a tract of land in Strabane, 1790.
Account #B-31-1807

History of Washington Co., PA
James Bradford was a native of Ireland, who came to Washington in 1784, and obtained a warrant for a tract of land which was surveyed as " Montgomery," and contained three hundred and six acres, adjoining land of Robert Hamilton and Samuel Stewart. Several of his children had married and settled in the county prior to his coming. He lived on this farm till his death. On the 26th of December, 1788, he sold one hundred and ninety-one acres of the tract to his son James, who was afterwards one of the elders of Chartiers Presbyterian Church. His son, the Hon. John Bradford, of Bell Brook, Greene Co., Ohio, is still living at ninety years of age.

John Bradford, son of James Bradford Jr. and Elizabeth [Gibson];

"Mr. Fergus was born in Washington county, Pennsylvania, March 24, 1858, and is a son of Thomas P. Fergus, of the same county and state. The latter was born in 1832, was engaged in the calling of a farmer and in 1879 went into Missouri. His last years were spent in Anderson county, Kansas, where he died in 1888. He married Abigail Bradford, a daughter of John and Annie (Hamilton) Bradford, lineal descentants [sic] of the famous Massachusetts family of Bradfords. 

"John Bradford of this mention was a soldier in the war of 1812, was born in Pennsylvania and died near Dayton, Ohio. The children of Mr. and Mrs. John Bradford are: Elizabeth Friend, of Wyoming, Ohio, aged eighty-two years, still living; Margaret Service, of Dayton, Ohio, eighty years; Martha Jane Hamilton, Ft. Wayne, Indiana, seventy-eight years; Rev. D. G. Bradford, Springfield, Illinois, seventy-six years; James H. Bradford, Bellbrook, Ohio, seventy-three years: Ebenezer E. Bradford, Centerville, Ohio, seventy years; Annie C. Ewing, missionary in Cairo, Egypt, sixty-eight years; Abigail Fergus, Glenlock, Kansas, sixty-six years; Agnes Andrews, Bellbrook, Ohio, sixty-three years. 

"Pages 275-276, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Allen and Woodson Counties, Kansas: embellished with portraits of well known people of these counties, with biographies of our representative citizens, cuts of public buildings and a map of each county / Edited and Compiled by L. Wallace Duncan and Chas. F. Scott. Iola Registers, Printers and Binders, Iola, Kan.: 1901"

John Bradford b.abt 1791 PA PA PA d.after 1880
s/o James Bradford & Elizabeth [Gibson]
Wife. Ann/Annie[Hamilton] b.abt 1795 PA d.after 1870
1830 Census Chartiers, Washington Co., PA pg.250
1840 Census Chartiers, Washington Co., PA pg.235
1850 Census Canton, Washington Co., PA pg.423 
1860 Census Sugar Creek, Greene Co., OH pg.31
1870 Census Sugar Creek, Greene Co.,OH pg.234
1880 Census Sugar Creek, Greene Co.,OH pg.380A&B (widowed, lives with son James H.Bradford)
Children of John Bradford & Annie [Hamilton]: 
1.Elizabeth Friend, of Wyoming, Hamilton Co.,OH, b.7-1818 PA 
1900 Census Springfield, Hamilton Co., OH pg.12
2.Margaret Service, of Dayton, Montgomery Co.,OH, b.6-1820 PA
1900 Census Dayton Ward 8, Montgomery Co.,OH pg.16B
3.Martha Jane, of Hamilton, Ft. Wayne, Allen Co.,IN, b.8-1822 PA
1900 Census Jackson, Huntington Co., IN pg.3
4.Rev. D. G. Bradford, of Springfield, Sangamon Co.,IL, b.12-1824 PA 
1900 Census Springfield Ward 5, Sangamon Co.,IL pg.5B (Minister)
5.James H. Bradford, of Bellbrook, Greene Co.,OH, b.8-1827 PA
1900 Census Sugar Creek, Greene Co.,OH pg.3B
6.Ebenezer E. Bradford, of Centerville, Ohio, b.7-1829 PA
1900 Census Washington, of Montgomery Co.,OH pg.2
7.Annie Catherine Ewing, a missionary in Cairo, Egypt, b.abt 1832 PA
8.Abigail Fergus, of Glenlock, Anderson Co.,KS, b.abt 1835 PA
9.Agnes Andrews, of Bellbrook,Greene Co.,OH, b.3-1838 PA (?Mary)
1900 Census Washington, Montgomery Co., OH pg.5B
Rev.D.G. Bradford, son of John Bradford and Annie [Hamilton:

"Rev. D. G. Bradford was the next pastor. He was ordained and installed April 8, 1856, and released October, 1857, when he became pastor of the Second Associate Reformed congregation of Allegheny City, Pa., and was released April 14, 1863, to take charge of the First Church of Monmouth, Ill., where he continued until 1867. Subsequently he joined the Presbyterian Church, and has filled several pastorates in it.
Margaret Boone, was the wife of the late Rev. D. G. Bradford, of Illinois, her death occurring while Rev. Mr. Bradford was preaching in Allegheny." 

Rev David G. Bradford b.12-1824 PA d. after 1900
s/o John Bradford & Annie [Hamilton]
1850 Census Canton, Washington Co., PA pg.423 (David 25, a student, living with parents)
1860 Census Allegheny Ward 2, Allegheny Co., PA pg.794 (U.P.Preacher)
1870 Census Knoxville, Knox Co., IL pg.296 (Minister)
1880 Census Princeton, Bureau Co., IL pg.268 B (Minister)
1900 Census Springfield Ward 5, Sangamon Co.,IL pg.5B (Minister) 
1st wife Margaret [Boone] b.abt 1830 OH d.after 1860
2ndwife Sarah [McClaughry] b.4-1879 IL m.8-22-1864 in Hancock Co.,IL
Children of David Bradford & Margaret [Boone]:
1.William B. Bradford b.abt 1852 PA
2.James E. Bradford b.abt 1856 PA
3.David M. Bradford b.abt 1858 PA
Children of David Bradford & Sarah [McClaughry]:
4.Ralph Bradford b.abt 1865 IL
5.Anna M. Bradford b.abt 1868 IL
6.Sarah D.Bradford b.4-1879 IL

William Bradford, (cousin of David Bradford), son of Samuel Bradford & Sarah Bradford:

b.1-8-1770 ?in Cecil Co.,MD d.10-19-1862 in Maysville, Mason Co.,KY 
s/o Samuel Bradford & Sarah [Bradford] 
William and [wife] Margaret [Margaret Parkinson, daughter of William Parkinson, a man who was also very instrumental in the Whiskey Rebellion] are both buried at Bradford Cemetery Lot "A" , Manchester, Adams Co.,OH
Was one of the original settlers on the lands in the Fox Military Survey No.401, 
on the Ohio River where he lived and died.
?1799 Tax List Lee Co.,VA (a David Bradford also)
1810 Census Brooke Co.,VA pg.678 (WV) 
1820 Census Sprigg, Adams Co.,OH pg.16
1830 Census Sprigg, Adams Co.,OH pg.77
1840 Census Sprigg, Adams Co.,OH pg.52
1850 Census Maysville, Mason Co.,KY pg.108
1860 Census Maysville, Mason Co.,KY pg.70 
(widowed, lives with widowed daughter Rebecca [Bradford] Carpenter)
b.1-8-1780 PA d.3-29-1852 in Maysville, Mason Co.,KY m.8-20-1799 
Possibly the daugter of Benjamin Parkinson & Margaret [Dickey]
(Benjamin Parkinson was in the Whiskey Rebellion also)
Children of William Bradford & Margaret [Parkinson]
1.EVELINE Bradford b.5-28-1801 d.1-1844 
2..CLARINDA Bradford b.3-12-1803 VA d.10-15-1870 
3..BENJAMIN Bradford b.8-20-1804 VA d.3-16-1868
Benjamin was a victim of the ill-fated steamer "Magnolia" The Magnolia Disaster
Benjamin, Nancy Ann, and daughter Margaret Parkinson Bradford 
are all buried at the Charter Oak Cemetery in Aberdeen, Brown Co.,OH
1840 Census Huntington, Brown Co.,OH pg.269
1850 Census Aberdeen, Brown Co., OH pg.90
1860 Census Washington, Clermont Co.,OH pg.466
4.DAVID Bradford b.6-1-1806 VA d.4-6-1879 in Sprigg twp., Adams Co.,OH
5.SAMUEL Bradford b.3-1-1808 VA d.3-19-1877 in Sprigg twp., Adams Co.,OH
6.SOPHIA Bradford b.11-27-1809 VA d.9-15-1903/1904 possibly Paris, Edgar Co.,IL
7.ELIZA Bradford b.9-1-1811 d.9-27-1843
8.SARAH “Sally” Bradford b.6-20-1813 OH d.5-2-1853 in Wayne, Montgomery Co., IN
9.JANE Bradford b.7-31-1815 OH d.12-29-1891
10.REBECCA Bradford b.8-13-1818 OH d.2-14-1898
11.MARY “Polly” Bradford b.10-29-1820 OH d.10-20-1868
12.MARGARET Bradford b.9-20-1824 OH d.6-8-1883 

A biography for William Bradford may be found in “The Holmes Tree” by Charles A. Noel, 1983. 
"According to Mr. Noel's research, William Bradford was a native of Cecil County, Maryland, but lived in Washington County for a number of years. A few years after their 1799 marriage, William Bradford (1770-1862) and Margaret Parkinson Bradford (1780-1852) moved to Brooke County, West Virginia. They built a flat boat in 1816 and moved downriver to an area now known as Manchester, Ohio, and purchased a farm about four miles up river from Aberdeen, Brown County, Ohio, where they built a brick house in 1822. 
Sometime in the 1840's they moved to Maysville, Mason County, Kentucky, which is across the river from Aberdeen , Ohio . William Bradford owned two slaves, both of whom were freed when the Civil War began. Both he and his wife are said to have been buried in the family plot on their farm located on Lick Skillet Road between Aberdeen and Manchester , Ohio . Mr. Noel further reported that attempts to find their graves have failed."

Below is probably the most fascinating reading I've seen about the Rebellion and William Bradford's involvement (remember, he is the son of Samuel and Sarah Bradford of Cecil County, MD, and thus our Rebecca's brother):

Jefferson College Historical Society (Canonsburg) 
Something About the Black Horse Tavern, William Bradford and Whiskey Insurrection Days 
"The Notes ( Jefferson College publication) is closely scanned by the writer every week whilst I note the changes in the old town, whose every alley, street and building and occupants were once so familiar in my boyhood days. The little brick school house on the bank of the creek and east of the mill, in which I learned to spell and read, has long since passed away. Nearly all the scholars of the school in that day, the Herdmans, McClellands, Ramseys, Templetons, McNarys, Innises, Watsons, Ritchies, Leathermans, Walkers, Kirks, Ballentines, Storments, Lewis, Hornish, and others too numerous to name, "have crossed the flood," and still I linger on these mortal shores.
I peer into every paragraph to note the names of those reported from week to week that have fallen in the strife. Even the business notes tell me that a new generation is ministering to the wants of the people, and hearts once so anxious to accumulate the things of earth are mouldering into dust. "One generation goeth and another cometh, but the earth abideth forever."
"And now you have a whole town on the south side of the creek. I remember well the Coleman residence and cooper shop and the house on what we called the college farm, owned and occupied now by the Blacks, once scholars of mine. I suspect when I wielded the birch, near meadow lands, were the only buildings between the creek and the Hill church. The meadow on the west side of the road, and between these two residences was the football ground where I witnessed and participated in many a friendly tussle for supremacy. The presence of a surgeon was not necessary on the grounds in those days. The game was decent but never dull. and during its progress grim death never gathered his sheaves.
"Since the early days the old has carved the hills and vales for new streets, and some of the old have taken new names. "Back" street once occupied largely by the "colored class," is now blooming and bowing as it has assumed the highsounding "Greenside avenue," whilst Sam Smith's peas, pears, pickles and pie plants have grown into palaces for prominent people with plenty of pelf, and his tanyard with its wealth of smells and smells of wealth, has given room to pious people singing, "All people that on earth do dwell, sing to the Lord with cheerful voice." Quite a change from sole-making to soul saving service.
Even Main street since it was bereft of its familiar "Market House," has put on airs and is now "Central avenue," and the historic "Black Horse" tavern, the scene of many an orgie, the seclusion of many a culprit, and the place of planning "ways that are dark and tricks that are vain," is to be razed to the foundation. When I last saw it three years ago it had even a repulsive appearance, as if clad in sackcloth and ashes for what had transpired beneath its then dilapidated covering. Within its walls in Whiskey Insurrection days the intercepted mail was opened and searched not for sordid gold, but to learn what report it carried to the government at Philadelphia concerning those engaged in the insurrection. 
William Bradford [again, Rebecca's brother], a relative of the writer, had procured the pouch near Greensburg and brought it to Canonsburg for inspection. What a tale this old "Black-horse" could unfold if to its crumbling walls speech were possible.
"After my graduation at Washington college in 1850 I taught a select school in Aberdeen , Ohio, opposite Maysville , Ky. , and boarded for a time in the family of Benjamin Bradford; a son of this same William Bradford and one of the wealthy and most highly respected citizens of the town. His father, this notorious William Bradford, was a large landowner in Braden county, Ohio , was esteemed quite rich for those times, lived in Kentucky , and loaned his money in Ohio . I occasionally saw him an old man, "leaning upon the top of his staff." At that time I had learned but little of the Whiskey Insurrection, knew nothing of the history of the Black Horse tavern, the interception of the mail, and was not aware that I was in the company of one of the men who dared to "holdup" Uncle Sam's mail coach, carry off the pouch to Canonsburg and rifle the bag. Had I known these things he would immediately have become an object of greater interest to me that he was. As old Dungee of Canonsburg seemed to be afraid even in his old age to confess that he had ever been a slave, so I suppose that William Bradford would have hesitated to make any free utterance as to what he knew of the "Black Horse" tavern, and his illegal handling of the mail. Away with the old "Black Horse" then to make room for a modern structure which shall never be the haunt of men who neither fear God nor regard men. D. G. Bradford."

Comment:  So we're related to some interesting people for sure!  What did our William and Rebecca think about the actions of her brother and cousin?  I know that in all the family stories that were handed down through my side of the family (I descend through William and Rebeca's son, Samuel Miller, who married Rachel Dawson), there was absolutely no mention of the Whiskey Rebellion.  I, however, withhold judgement and just find this whole episode intensely interesting.

I would suggest reading as much about the Whiskey Rebellion as you can in order to gain a better perspective about this fascinating, albeit little know, episode of American history.  I recommend The Whiskey Rebellion by William Hogeland.  An online source that mentions William Bradford is:

Thanks again to Sue Sisk for her ever-thorough research and for sharing it online for all of us to enjoy!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Still No Known Connection to Governor Bradford

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and are looking forward to a happy and prosperous New Year for 2017!

As DNA research continues to explode onto the genealogy scene, I try to check back now and then to the Family Tree DNA company's Bradford project page to see if there are any changes.  The link is:

Family Tree DNA Chart for the Surname of Bradford
As mentioned before in this blog, we belong to Group 4 where we see Rebecca's brother, William Bradford (#174469, b. 1770, Cecil Co. MD), and are thus not related to Governor Bradford of group 3, at least not through this line.

However, as you probably already know, our ancestry includes another, reportedly unrelated Bradford line through Rebecca's maternal grandfather, Samuel Bradford of Red Lion Hundred, Delaware.  Our "Red Lion Sam" was probably born around 1690 and died April 20, 1767 in Red Lion (Lyon) Hundred.

If you use the link above to view the entire Bradford DNA chart, you will see that this Samuel Bradford of Delaware does not appear on the chart.  Apparently no one of his line has submitted a DNA sample to Family Tree DNA.  

I have written to the administrator of this group in order to determine if they only test direct-line male descendants.  I will let you know the results.  Meanwhile, the more Bradford's who get their DNA test through Family Tree DNA, the better, as they seem to be the only company who is specifically studying the Bradford's.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Relationship Chart

Here is the best relationship chart I've seen.  Start at the red box and trace any direction to identify a relative. Sorry I couldn't get it any bigger, but hope it helps! - Donna

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Is Abner Bradford Related to Either of our Samual Bradford's?

Am still trying to determine if there is any connection between this Abner Bradford and our Samuel Bradford of Red Lion Hundred, Newcastle County, DE.  Research indicates pretty convincingly that this Abner's line goes back to Governor Bradford, and while I know that Samuel Bradford who is the father of our Rebecca Bradord is Scots-Irish and does not connect in any way to Gov. Bradford, we do have a second, unrelated Samuel Bradford [Rebecca's maternal grandfather, again of Red Lion Hundred] whom no researcher has been able to connect to any other Bradford line.

While I can find no relationship between Red Lion Sam and this Abner Bradford, I have also not been able to rule out a connection between them.

So let's all get to work and see if we can find if and how Abner Bradford and Red Lion Sam are related! There are so many online resources in this day and age that we should be able to either prove or disprove a connection.  Please post here or write me at the email above if you find ant connection, and I will too!

Friday, September 23, 2016

A Great Link For Genealogists

For those of you who use FamilySearch or just love genealogy, but need some technical guidance at times, here is a great link to the Riverton FamilySearch Library.  It contains handouts, guides, tips and other useful information.   I signed up for their Tip of the Week and really enjoy it.  Here's the link:''

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Planning a Genealogy Vacation? Leave Time To See The Region, Too!

Near the Village of Dunfanaghy, County Donegal, Ireland,
An Hour West of Ballindrait
What if you could actually walk the same streets as your great-great grandfather, or see the quaint little cottage where you grandmother was born?  Genealogy vacations are becoming more and more popular, and here is my dream version:

Now that we have identified the village of Ballindrait,County Donegal, Ireland, as where William Miller's grandfather, David, came from, my fondest dream is to visit there someday. But Ballindrait is an hour inland from the coast and I've been in love with the sea since childhood.  So after wrenching every last bit of genealogical information possible from the environs, I would be heading for places like Dunfanaghy (above) or  Brinlack (below) faster than you could sing "Danny Boy"!

Brinlack, County Donegal

Our daughter visited Ireland a few years back.  I got a call from her and she said, "Mom, I love you, but I'm never coming home!"  She, too, had become mesmerized by the west coast of Ireland.  Oh, how I want to pack my bags right now!

Sightseeing aside, to get the most out of a genealogy vacation, Gena Philibert-Ortega in a guest blog post for GenealogyBank says:  "...figure out what family history research can be done while you are there. Identify nearby libraries, archives, and museums and what resources they have. Make sure to exhaust online digitized items that you are able to access from home so as to not waste your time while you are there. Email librarians and archivists with questions about on-site research. You might even consider contacting a local genealogist in the area for a consultation, or to get help navigating repositories while you are there. There is a real benefit from working with someone who knows all of the ins and outs of an area and the repositories (source:

Also, advises that "As you do your research, fill in genealogy charts as completely as you can; scan non-digital family records and photos into your computer. Ensure all information is stored in one location or printed out so that you can access it during your trip" (source:

One other idea:  Try finding distant cousins while there.  They could be a treasure trove of family information.  Getting an Ancestry'DNA test is a great way to find these relatives.

Well, I'm inspired!  I'm going to start my family history trip piggy bank soon.  And maybe we'll meet over stacks of histories at a local Irish library...or possibly while beach-combing in Derrybeg!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Our Miller's and Their Relatives in Early Somerset County, Maryland

When our Miller ancestors came from County Donegal, Ireland to America, they first settled in Somerset County, the most southerly (and swampy) county in Maryland.

In 1684, a John Miller (wife Isabel) acquired 300 acres known as “Enlargement” from John Emmett and his wife Hanna (see source below).  I believe this John is a relative of our ancestor, David Miller, probably a cousin.

"Enlargement” was situated on the east side of Chesapeake Bay about 1 ½ mile south of the Pokomoke River. (Somerset Co. Deeds, Liber L 1, p. 442.)

The first record of David Miller (father of our Abraham Miller and grandfather of our William) is in 1688 when David buys a parcel of land in Somerset County named “Spalding” (or Spaulding).  In the same year David Miller and the “Emitt’s” obtain cattle marks from
the court.  And in 1689 David's father-in-law, Ninian Dunlap, is mentioned in a Somerset County court record. While the exact location of Spalding is unknown, it is reasonable to assume that it was not too far from "Enlargement" (I'm still looking for the original land record regarding "Spalding."  If anyone has the link to it, I would truly appreciate it).

Our Miller's stayed in Somerset County about 8 years before moving north, presumably to find better farmland.

The following is from a GenWeb online article which might explain other reasons they wanted to move north.  Though it's dated several years after they left the area, I don't imagine things were much different when our Miller's lived there.

"This county [Somerset] lies very low, and the many rivers and creeks that empty themselves into the Chesapeake Bay abound in marshes, to a considerable extent. I was once led to believe it was one of the most unhealthy counties in the world; but from what cause I know not. It appears to have more aged people in it than I am acquainted with... The manner of those people living, is nearly as follows. They rise before the sun, and generally drink one or two drams, that is, one half peach or apple brandy, the other water with honey and sugar, and eat a piece of biscuit, then breakfast on cold meat with homony and as much coffee or tea as fills up the remainder of the stomach. The most of those persons I am acquainted with, and they generally labor (although not bound to do so, for they in general have pretty good) from breakfast to dinner, which is about 2 or 3 o'clock, they then dine upon good substantial food, such as beef, mutton, turkey . . . . . . those who live near the water, have a great plenty of shell and other fish. Their drink is cyder or strong toddy, perhaps no people drink less water. They smoak tobacco before and after dinner, which is their meal and retire to bed about 8 or 9 o'clock. It is requested by the writer of this, that some gentlemen will take the trouble of examining their several counties to see whether as great a number of aged persons can be found in two hundreds thereof, throughout" (emphasis added).  Source:


The John Miller listed above (born 1674) is said to have been in the “St. Martin’s area” by 30 March 1686.  He patented tracts Brent Marsh and Partner’s Contentment with Abraham Emmett [our David Miller's brother-in-law].  He was constable for Bogerternorton Hundred.  Sons: (1) John b. 1695, d. 1750; and (2) Joseph born 1700.  Below is a transcript of the original land record where John buys "Enlargement":

"This Indenture made the Ninth day of June in the Second year of the Reigne of William & Mary of England King & Queene Scotland ffrance & Ireland^ defenders of the Prodestant Religion And in the year of our Lord God one Thousand Six hundred & Ninety Betweene John Emmitt & Hannah his wife of Somerset County in the Province Maryland of the one Part And John Miller resident in y Said County & Province of the other Part Witnesseth That wherease the Rt: honr:ble Charles Lord & Proprietary of the Province of Maryland & Avalon Lord Baron of Baltemore &c by his Deed of Graunt undr: the great Seale used in the Said Province of Mary(land) for granting of Land there bearing date at the Citty of St: Maryes the first day of June in the 12th:year of (the) Dominion &c Annoge: Dom: one Thousand Six hundred Eighty and Seaven for the Consideration there-  thereto mentioned Did grannt unto the Said John Emmett a Certaine Tract of Land Called the enlargement Scituate Lieing & being on the east Side of Chesepeake bay and on the Southeast Side of Pocomoke river about one mile & a halfe off the river beginning at a Corner hiccory belonging to A mulbery Grove from thence North thirty degrees west one 
hundred perches to a marked white oake Thence east Thirty degrees North Sixty perches to another white oake marked Thence South thirty eight degrees east one hundred Sixty Seaven perches to a marked white oake thence South thirty four degrees west three hundred & eighty perches thence North fifty four degrees one hundred and four perches binding upon George Truitts Land to a white oake marked thence North thirty Six degrees east binding upon Mulbery Grove to the first hiccory Containing & layd out for three hundred Acres more or Lesse according to Certificate of the ~ Survey thereof taken & returned into the Land office at the Citty of St: Maryes bearing date the Eighteenth day of September Annoqe. Dom: 1684 & there remaining upon record for three hundrerd acres as aforesaid Together wth: all rights Proffitts bennefitts & Priviledges thereunto belonging royall mines excepted To have & to hold the said Tract of Land to him the Said John Emmett his heires & assignes for Ever undr: the rents and Services in the Said Grannt reserved relacon there unto being had more fully & more at large it may & doth appear Now this Indenture further Witnesseth That the Said John Emmitt and Hannah his wife for divers good Causes & valuable Considerations them thereunto moveing but more especially for & in Consideracon of Seaven Thousand pounds of Tobacco unto them in hand paid by the said John Miller before Sealing & delivery hereof the receipt whereof & of every part and parcell thereof the said John Emmitt & hannah his wife doth hereby acknowlege and thereof doe fully freely Clearly & absolutely acquitt exonerate & discharge the Sd. John Miller his heires executrs: & administrators for Ever by vertue of this Indenture have given granted bargained & Sold enfeofed & Confirmed And by these presents doe give grant bargaine Sell enfeofe and Confirm unto him the Said John Miller his heires & assignes for ever all that Tract of Land before mentioned Called the enlargement Scituate and bounded as aforesaid Together with all the rights proffitts bennefitts & appurtenances thereunto belonging Royall Mines excepted To have and to hold the same & every part & parcell thereof to him the said John Miller & to the only proper use & behoofe of the Sd: Miller his heires executors: administrators: & assignes for Ever without any Mortgage Condition redemption use or Limitacon to recall alter Charge or determine the Same The rents & Services due to the Lord or Lords of the fee alwaies excepted & foreprized And the Said John Emmett and Hannah his wife for themselves theire heiress executors administrators & assignes doe Covenant promise & grant to and with the Said Jno: Miller his heires executrs: admrs. & assigness & to & with Every of them by these presents in Manner & forme following That is to Say That they the Said John Emmett and Hannah his wife now are & both of them is and Standeth Lawfully ~ possessed and Interrested of and in the Said Tract of Land Called the Inlargement with all wholy & Singularly appurtenances thereof And that they the sd: Jno: Emmitt & hannah his wife have good right full power & Lawfull Authority in themselves to give graunt bargaine aliene Sell Convey assigne enfeoff & Confirme the said Land & pr:misses with the and Every of the appurtenances unto him the Sd: Jno: Miller his executrs: administratrs: & assignes in manner and forme as aforesaid And that he the said Jno: Miller his heires executors administrators & assignes Shall & Lawfully may from time to time and at all times for Ever hereafter standmp amply perfectly firmly Lawfully and effectually Seized and possessed of and in the premisses and the appurtenances And Shall or may peaceably and quietly have hold occupy possess the Land aforesaid Called enlargement Together with all wholly and Singularly the ~ Commodities hereditaments and appurtenances thereof in any wise appertaining without the Lawfull Lett Suit trouble interuption or disturbance of any person or persons whatsoever And also free & Clear & freely & Clearly acquitted exonerated & discharged or otherwise Sufficiently & well Saved & kept harmless of and ~ from all and all manner of former & other bargaines Sales guifts Graunts Leases estates rights Tyles Joyntures Dowers fines forfeitures mortgages Statutes recognizances Judgemts: execucons Rents ~ Annuities Charges Burthens Incumbrances whatsoever had made done or Suffered or to be had made ~ done or Suffered by the Said John Emmitt or hannah his wife or either of them their or either of their heires Executors administrators or assignes A by any other person or persons whatsoever And also that they the Said John Emmit or Hannah his wife or the heires executors administratrs: or assignes of either of them Shall & will from time to time and at all times hereafter at the reasonable request & at the only Cost & Charges in the Lawe of the said John Miller his heires executors administrators or assignes make doe acknowledge execute & Suffer or Cause to be made done acknowledged executed & Suffered...... all & every such further & other Act & Acts thing & things device & devices assurance & assurances in the Law whatsoever for the further & more ffull perfect "  (Source:

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

New Land Record Found--David Miller to Son, Abraham Miller

Here is part of the land record of Newcastle County, Delaware, wherein On 1 Feb. 1730, land is deeded from David Miller (of the "County of Newcastle") to his son, Abraham (our William Miller's father). It's 300 acres south of White Clay Creek in Newcastle County, DE. David Miller had originally purchased this land from Robert French ("of the town of Newcastle"), deed dated 20 April 1703.
David Miller does this "for the good will and natural affection which he bears unto his son Abraham Miller" and passes to him "one-half of the aforementioned tract of land [thus 150 acres]...", including any buildings, etc. All this was done "in the presence of Thomas, John and James Armitage."

I've estimated the birth of Abraham to be around 1710, so this would make him about 20 years old. No wife of Abraham is mentioned in this record (a very common practice as I have seen in other deeds from this source), so it looks like his father deeded this land to him when Abraham was a young single man.  

This record also firmly establishes that the Miller's were in Newcastle County, Delaware in 1730.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Miller-Bradford Pedigree and Brick Walls

Now and then I like to add a pedigree to the blog so we don't get lost in who we are talking about (sorry it's a little fuzzy):

This chart shows where the work is cut out for us:  

  1. Finding the parents of  Rosannah Roddy
  2. Finding the parents of Samuel Bradford (1727-1782)
  3. Finding the parents of Samuel Bradford (1705-1767) and of his wife, Margret.

I hope you will join me in trying to break through these research "brick walls"!!

In addition, I have only shown William and Rebecca's son, Samuel (and his wife, Rachel Dawson) in this chart.  Now and then I write about Samuel and Rachel, but I would be happy to add posts about William and Rebecca's other children if any of you would like to email me stories and pictures about them!  The same goes for information about Samuel and Rachel Dawson's many children.  It would be wonderful for all of us to find out more about our "cousins."  Thank you!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Did William Serve in the Revolutionary War?

I have had this copy of a military document for many years, but I can find no proof that this is our William Miller.

To begin with, there is no indication of which part of Maryland this person is from.  According to Wikipedia, the 3rd Maryland Regiment was organized on 27 March 1776 of eight companies from Anne Arundel, Prince George's, Talbot, Harford and Somerset Counties of the colony." From everything we know about our William, at this point in time he owned property and lived in Cecil County, Maryland.  I also have records proving that an unrelated William Miller lived in Harford County at this time.

Additionally, according to Wikipedia, this regiment served from 1776 until 1783. We know from an extract of Cecil County marriage records that our William married Rebecca Bradford on 13 June 1778.  While this marriage date does not preclude military service, I think it is unlikely that our William, 46 years old when married, was serving at this time of his life.

Finally, our William is listed in the National Patriots Index, p. 470, National No. 300007, National Archives: "Miller, Wm.: b 2-22-1732  d 1814  m Rebekah Bradford  PS MD."  A letter from a fellow researcher, Ann Curnow, notes that PS stood for "Patriot Service" and meant civilian service.

If anyone has further information to prove this is our William Miller, it would be great if you could comment below or email at the address to the right.


Wednesday, February 10, 2016


At the Maryland DNA project website - - it looks like some of our Bradford ancestors are definitely listed, including a fascinating new piece of information.  The first listed William Bradford and David Bradford are brothers to our Rebecca Bradford Miller, and the information listed with them is already known.  However, the first entry is Samuel Bradford, Rebecca's father, and here is where we get that new information:
Samuel Bradford was born in 1727 in Ireland, and he did marry Sarah Bradford. The startling new information is that he is listed as dying in Fauquier County, Virginia!!

It has puzzled many of us that we have never known where Samuel died.  There is no record of him dying in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, which is where his wife, Sarah, moved to with their daughter, Rebecca, her husband, William Miller, and their children around 1782.  We have also never been able to find any death record for him in Cecil County, Maryland, which is where the family lived for many, many years before moving west.

If Samuel did go to Faquier County, why did he go without his family? When did he go there and when did he die there? This opens up a huge new avenue of research for us!

My grandfather, Allen Miller Charpier, contended that his "grandfather Bradford" lived out his years on his "plantation in the Shenandoah Valley."  While Faquier County is not included as part of the Shenandoah Valley, it is very close by and is, as can be seen in the picture below, certainly as beautiful.  I  never put any credence in this story because there was just no indication to this effect in the records, but as we all know, DNA is turning the genealogy world upside down.  It may have just done so to our Bradford research!

I hope you will join me in searching out the records of Faquier County, Virginia.  Please email me or post to this blog if you find anything. Thanks!
Faquier County, VA

Thursday, December 10, 2015

A Newly-Found Document For William Miller - Pennsylvania, Tax and Exoneration, 1768 - 1801

When William and Rebecca (Bradford) Miller left Cecil County, Maryland, they moved to Fayette County in southwestern Pennsylvania.  A couple of records led me to believe that they first lived in Franklin Towship.

A new record (new to me, that is), the index to "Pennsylvania, Tax and Exoneration, 1768 - 1801" lists the names of not only William Miller (1st page, 2nd name), but also his mother-in-law, Sarah Bradford (second page, 6th up from bottom), and her son, David Bradford (2nd page, 3rd from the top) as living in Franklin Township.  We know from census records that Rebecca's mother and brother David did move out to Fayette County with their family, so this record supports that fact.

Later they would move to near Connellsville in Dunbar township (perhaps to be closer to their boat-building business on the Youghigheny River, if indeed the boat-building legend is true), but it looks like they started their new life in Franklin Township as these tax rolls indicate. Sadly, it can't be determined from this record which year this is for, but we believe the families moved to Fayette County around 1782. [See research note below].

IMPORTANT RESEARCH NOTE:  Fayette County records mention a different William Miller whose wife's name was also Rebecca.  He is totally unrelated to our Miller's and was born in 1782 (our William was born in 1732).  It is difficult to distinguish which William Miller is being referred to in some records of a later date.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

A Great New Book - A Great Christmas Present Idea!

Here is an excerpt from an excellent blog by Denise May Levenick on April 28, 2015 on the site.  She has some awesome ideas on what to do with all those boxes of old photos that we all have!!  I can't wait to get her book! 

From the new book How to Archive Family Photos by Denise May Levenick, The Family CuratorHow-to-Archive-Family-Photos-Cover-web
How many photos are stuck on your smartphone? The tremendous growth of digital photography is a mixed blessing for family memories. Instead of one roll of film that might last through an entire vacation, with today’s digital photos there’s no extra cost in snapping multiple images in the effort to capture the “perfect shot.” The trade-off for all these extra photos is, well, extra photos. Hundreds and thousands of extra photos.
If you’re drowning in digital images, here’s help with 5 Fast Tips to Control Digital Photo Chaos from my new book How to Archive Family Photos: A Step-by-Step Guide to Organize and Share Your Photos DigitallyI get a lot of questions about organizing and archiving digital photos at my blog The Family Curator and when I speak on preserving and digitizing keepsakes. You’re not alone if you feel overwhelmed by the task of organizing and preserving your digital photos.
We’re taking more pictures than ever before, especially with smartphone cameras that have largely replaced point-and-shoot models. And unfortunately, organizing and backing up photos isn’t nearly as fun as taking pictures. The result?
• Digital photos on smartphones, tablets, computers, flash drives, SD cards, and external hard drives, but you can’t find the picture you want,
• Duplicate photos scattered across your devices,
• The dreaded “Out of Memory” warning on your smartphone,
• Complicated and inconsistent file names make organizing files a dreaded chore,
• Sharing photos through email and photo projects is time-consuming and laborious.
Digital photography can be enjoyable and manageable. Get a head start on organizing your own photo collection and moving from photo chaos to control with these 5 Fast Tips to Control Photo Chaos:
1. Collect Your Photos in ONE Location
Scattered digital files create confusion and result in unnecessary duplication. Decide where you will store your photos and set up a simple, yet organized folder structure to hold your photos. One of the easiest systems to manage is to use an External Hard Drive as your Photo Library. Images can be transferred to a new system when you upgrade your technology, and backed up to a Cloud service or second external hard drive for safekeeping.
2. Celebrate Your Digital Birthday
Pick a meaningful date in the near future – a birthday, anniversary, or first of the month – and vow to make that date your Digital Birthday. On that date, copy ALL the photos on your various digital devices to your computer and make a backup to an external hard drive or a cloud service like or Shutterfly’s From this date forward, make regular or automated backups of your photos and rest easier knowing that you have digital copies in case of smartphone or hard drive failure.
3. Digitize Oversize Photos
It’s hard to fit a large antique print on the standard-size glass bed of a scanner. That’s when I set up my digital camera, set the resolution to maximum megapixels, turn off the flash, and snap multiple photos from different angles. When paired with a tripod and automatic shutter release, a digital camera can become a do-it-yourself copy station that speeds up digitizing scrapbooks, photo albums, and oversize photographs.
4. Plan Photo Books with a Project Board
Whether your goal is a family history book or a photo book of your summer vacation, you’ll save time by planning ahead with a project board that reminds you of photos needed and design ideas. If you’re missing pictures of people, places, or events, think about using alternatives such as maps, census images, or advertising images. A project board can also help you compare prices and features from different photo book websites, and serve as a record sheet for ordering more books.
5. Try Something New
The popularity of digital photography has sparked new products and new ways to enjoy your family and genealogy photos. You’ll find easy, free online photo editors, mobile apps to help you create 5-minutes on your smartphone (no kidding!), and automated tagging and sorting services that make photos fun again. Turn your photos into giftwrap or wall paper with online fabric printing service Spoonflower. Create a quick and easy thank you photo book in five minutes on your iOS or Android smartphone with the Mosaic mobile app.

See more of this excellent article at:

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

County Londonderry
A book listed at the site gives us a glimmer of hope of someday finding where some of our Bradfords came from.  The book is:

Scots-Irish Origins, 100-188 A.D.; Genealogical gleanings of the Scots-Irish in County Londonderry, Ireland.  Part Two – The Plantation of Londonderry, c.1600-1670
(By Bob Forrest, B.A Hons; Economic and Social History (Queen’s University, Belfast). 65 pages + 3 maps + 1 illust.)

"In this book are the names of many Lowland Scots who migrated to Londonderry during the seventeenth century. These early settlers can be considered to be the founding fathers of the Scots-Irish in the region. One hundred years later, after the first colonies of British settlers were established in both Virginia and Londonderry, the descendants of Ulster planters began to emigrate in increasing numbers to the colonies of New England, Pennsylvania, Virginia and the Carolinas. Between 1718 and the War of Independence, half a million Scots-Irish left Ulster for the British colonies in North America. Many of their forbears can trace their origins to the early period of British settlement in county Londonderry. Surnames can provide much useful insight, if not proof, of family origins in Ireland..."  [Source:]

Bradford is including in this list of surnames.  There is no proof that this is our Bradfords, but at least there is precedent for finding the name in Ulster. I have seen the Bradford name mentioned in a few other records of other Ulster counties. 

While we know where Rebecca Bradford's Scots-Irish  father was from from County Donegal, we still have almost no clue as to the origins of her maternal grandfather, Samuel Bradford of Red Lion Hundred, Delaware.

As I have written before, the one clue we have is that Red Lion Sam's son was buried in a Presbyterian church yard (Old Drawyer's Church in Odessa, Newcastle County, Delaware), and that was the predominant religion of the Scots-Irish. Just the fact that the family was living in that region of America is a clue, as many Scots-Irish settled there.  Samuel's will gives no clue as to where he is from, nor do the land records wherein he is mentioned.  Taking all this into consideration, plus the fact that there are very few records extant for the Scots-Irish in Ulster, finding Red Lion Sam's origins is going to be very difficult, but hopefully not impossible!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Headstone:  William Miller Died 1814 In His 82nd Year.
Our progenitor, William Miller, moved his family to Fayette County in southwestern Pennsylvania in the early 1730's. He lived in Dunbar township for some time, and for sure in his later years till his death in 1814.

If he was, as is rumored, involved on boatbuilding, this was a perfect place, as Dunbar township bordered the Youghiogheny River which fed into the Monongahela, the important waterway supplying Pittsburgh.

"Blessed by an abundance of natural resources, Fayette County developed progressively into a manufacturing economy, using its two prominent rivers to move local goods throughout the region and into the markets of Pittsburgh.  Small riverboats were an essential part of moving settlers and goods to various markets.  Boats at this time were mostly single-trip vessels to be dismantled at their destination point, with the exception of keelboats, which were pushed upstream by men setting poles into the mud and shoving the boats along." (source:

Dunbar Township
This map is unfortunately unclear (I will try to get a clearer copy), but it shows that a William Miller owned property in the upper right-hand curve of the "Yough" (the locals' name for the Youghiogheny River), a perfect place to build boats for this booming industry.

Here is another supporting article

Boat Building

Boat building was a unique part of Fayette County’s history and economy in the 1800s.  Riverboat towns were economic and cultural hubs of the boat-building craft.  Some of the boat-building centers in Fayette County were home to craftsmen recognized for their skill as far away as New Orleans In fact, shipyards on the Monongahela grew to a scale of production that exceeded both the Ohio and Allegheny Rivers The second steamboat in history, The Comet, was built in Brownsville, Fayette County in 1813.  Another steamboat, the Enterprise, built in 1814 in Brownsville, was the first to go on power from Brownsville to New Orleans and back again.  Brownsville continued to operate a successful boat-building industry for more than a century and was the first and most important center for steamboat building on the Monongahela.  Accessory industries flourished to feed the boat-building economy during the early to mid 1800’s.  (Source: 

And finally, here is an except from a Fayette County history book that even connects the name Miller with boatbuilding.
From Fayette County History Book
I believe that our William Miller might be part of this boat-building enterprise and hope that future research will actually prove that this is the case. As ever, if you have thoughts, information, pictures, etc. about William and his family, to share with all the rest of us, that would be wonderful. Thanks!
Along the Dunbar Trail, Fayette County, PA