Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Rebecca's Uncle James Bradford

County Down, Ireland

As we search for where Rebecca Bradford's father, Samuel Bradford, was from, a look at the records of extended family is proving helpful. In particular, information about
Samuel's brother, James Bradford, sheds light on the origin of this family. Below are references to James [in bold], the first being an article about James' son (Rebecca's cousin), the infamous David Bradford of Whiskey Rebellion fame:

"David Bradford, son of James, of David, of Samuel, an emigrant who settled on the headwaters of the Elk, Cecil County, Maryland (this descent to David is not positive, but reported only), m. Elizabeth Porter. His [David's] father, James Bradford, removed to Washington County, Pennsylvania, in 1773, with his wife, Ann Hamilton, where were b. James, David, Mary m. James Allison, and another daughter who married John McDowell. David Bradford d. in Louisiana. His wife Elizabeth d. September 9, 1831." (from William Egle's Notes and Queries of Pennsylvania, 1700s to 1800s, published 1894-1896).

Information about James' daughter [and Rebecca's cousin], Mary Bradford Allison (see above), appears in the following website, and seems to throw a slightly different light on the immigration issue. At:
http://www.saskatelwebsite.net/deham/allisonfamily.htm we read: "Mary Bradford, born about 1748 in Ireland, daughter of James Bradford and a sister to David Bradford, who is well known in connection with the Whiskey Insurrection of 1791. Mary immigrated with her family from Ireland to Cecil Co, Maryland, later moving to Washington Co, Pennsylvania. She is buried in Chartiers Hill Presbyterian cemetery near Cannonsburg, Pennsylvania." Other records indicate that another Bradford's in-law was from County Down in Northern Ireland. These groups bound by marriage tended to travel together, or at least meet up in the new country, another point in favor of the Bradfords being of Scots-Irish origin.
In analyzing the two references above, the second one about Mary Bradford suggests that her father, James, immigrated from Ireland as a married adult with his wife and children (including Mary). Did his brother, Samuel [Rebecca's father] come over at the same time? It is unknown. However, another record indicates that James lived in Elizabethtown, New Jersey for awhile, where his daughter, Agnes, married James McDowell (a young man who had also immigrated from Northern Ireland). Again, it is unknown if brother Samuel ever lived in New Jersey.

The first reference above, however, indicates that it was James' and Samuel's father, grandfather or great grandfather who was the immigrant ancestor [as a side note, admittedly, "the descent to David is not positive, but reported only"...more research is obviously needed here!]. Perhaps this does not conflict with the other information about James coming over as a married adult, in that several generations could have immigrated to America at the same time.

As ever, we are left with more questions than answers, but I am certain that Rebecca's father, Samuel Bradford, was of Scots-Irish origin, he or his ancestors having immigrated from beautiful Northern Ireland.
(picture above of County Down from: freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com)

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