Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Search for Red Lion Sam Continues!

(Thanks to Brad Killian for this beautiful photo
Where did our ancestor whom we affectionately call "Red Lion Sam" come from and why can't we find  anything about his parentage?? This is a question that has puzzled many of us for decades, but which I will never give up pursuing!

About all we know of our Samuel Bradford is that he was born approximately 1690 and died in 1767. According to a few land records, he farmed and owned land along Dragon Creek in Red Lion Hundred, New Castle County, Delaware. From his will we learn that his spouse's name was Margret, and that his children were William, Jane and Sarah (our Rebecca Bradford Miller's mother). We still do not know the names of his parents or any siblings, and we do not know where his family came from.

There does not seem to be any connection between Red Lion Sam and several other Bradford's in the Delmarva area (Delaware, Maryland and Virginia). The following list of "unrelated" Bradford's is not exhaustive and I will try to list more in a future post, but thus far research has borne out no connection to the following known Bradford's:

1.     Samuel Bradford who is our Rebecca Bradford Miller's father. He lived in near Elkton, Cecil County, MD. We know he is of Scots-Irish origin and came from Northern Ireland . 
(Source: previous posts)

2.     The Bradford's associated with St. Stephen's Episcopal Church of Cecil County, Maryland. 
“List of Persons who helped build Bohemia Plantation Between 1735 and 1761”
 William Bradford, 1742
 Benjamin Bradford 1744
 Charles Bradford 1752 
 (all sons of the Anglican Rev. John Bradford)
(Source: Abstracts of Cecil Co., MD, Land Records 1734-1753,  p. 70:

3.     The Bradford's of Somerset County, Maryland  

4 .     The Augusta County, Virginia Bradford's 
 (Source: The Bradford's of Virginia, SLC# 929.273B727w)

5.     Abner Bradford who was born and lived many years in New Castle County, Delaware, and is actually a descendant of famous Gov. Bradford of Plymouth, Mass. Abner was born in 1758 in Brandywine Hundred, New Castle County, DE. He married Rachel Baldwin on 9 May 1777. They had a son named Eli who was born in 1779 in Wilmington, New Castle County, DE. This Abner Bradford died 2 March 1841, in Armstrong County, PA.

6.     William Bradford of Sussex County, Delaware.

If Red Lion Sam was indeed not related to any of the above Bradford's, our research might need to take a different direction. Here is an idea: If he and/or his parents were the immigrant ancestors, there is a chance that they arrived from across the Atlantic at the port of New Castle, since they settled nearby. Could Ship Passenger Lists hold the key to unlocking this mystery? I think it is worth a try, though unfortunately, this might be another "dead end" because according to the Historical Society of Delaware:

"Although thousands of immigrants came to the New World through Delaware ports [including New Castle], only a handful of passenger lists survive. These lists usually give the name of the ship and date of arrival but do not detail ages or towns of origin for passengers. The federal government began keeping lists of immigrants in 1820, but these are often fragmentary for the early years.

"For arrivals between 1600 and 1898, check P. William Filby's Passenger and Immigration Lists Index (CS43/F4791) and its supplements. Other books of passenger lists can be found under the subject heading SHIPS PASSENGER LISTS in the book catalog.

"For references to lists published in historical and genealogical journals, see Filby's Passenger and Immigration Lists Bibliography(CS43/F4791/B58)." (

But all leads are worth a try, so here is a new genealogy challenge for all of us: Checking the [albeit few] Ships Passenger Lists of Delaware for our Samuel Bradford of Red Lion Hundred. Good luck and please do report any findings to the blog. Thanks! - Donna

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.