Sunday, June 3, 2012


Lanark, Scotland

DNA testing in genealogy is a fairly new and exciting way to trace your ancestry. In our decades-long hunt to trace the origins of our Bradford ancestors, a DNA study I found sheds much light on our history!

Go to: You may first note that the green section includes ancestors and descendants of Gov. Bradford of Plymouth. Sadly, I don’t see any indication that either of our Bradford’s (Rebecca’s father, Samuel Bradford, or Rebecca’s maternal grandfather, Samuel Bradford) fall into any of these categories.

However, it is exciting to see that we are represented in the blue section. If you scan down to near the bottom of that section, you will see two entries for the same man: William Bradford, born in 1770 in Cecil County, Maryland. This is our Rebecca Bradford’s brother! So it looks like allied lines trace back to Lanark, Scotland. This area is approximately 25 miles SE of Glasgow, in the lowlands of Scotland.

This “tracks” well with what we know of Rebecca’s father. He and his brother, James, came from Northern Ireland, but history teaches us that the Ulster Plantations were populated mainly with the lowlanders of Scotland.

This also fits well with what my grandfather always said. He claimed his Bradford’s were originally “from Glasgow.” With Lanark being only 25 miles away, that does not seem an unreasonable claim.

More research into primary records is needed, of course, but if I were a betting person, I would put money on Lanark, Scotland as our Bradford ancestors 'original homeland.

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Note: Sadly, it seems that a direct male descendant of our other Samuel Bradford, Rebecca’s maternal grandfather, did not participate in the study. So the origins of our “Red Lion Sam” from New Castle County, Delaware remain a mystery. Let’s hope this mystery is solved soon!

Lanark Today

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  1. Oops!! Thanks to one of our long-time, wonderful, and eagle-eyed members for catching my error. The William Bradford in the DNA list is, of course, Rebecca's brother, not her son. Thanks Chalmers!! Will go correct that as soon as I can figure out Blogger's new editing system!

  2. Alright, that's it - we'd better plan a trip to Lanark! Not that I'm complaining. :)


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