I puzzled a while before choosing a topic for the B genealogy post. So many possibilities, burials, boatmen, baptisms, births, brick walls, Bibles….. As the A post was fairly generic, I think we’ll go for something more personal this time. Let’s have a quick look at a surname in my tree: still lots of choice from Back at the beginning through to Byrne. The one I have the most of is Bradley, with around 50 of them in my tree. This won’t be surprising to anyone who knows me, as it was my maiden name.
Going in a direct line back through the male line I have Bradleys as far as my 5th great grandfather, Thomas Bradley, with some degree of certainty. His son, also Thomas, was a Lincolnshire man born in a small village in the north of the county on the south bank of the Humber estuary. Somewhere between 1792 and 1794 the family moved to live about 10 kilometres further west in Whitgift a village on the banks of the Ouse, close to where it meets the Humber estuary. My 3rd great grandfather, Francis was the last of four children to be born to the family in Whitgift.
Francis and his widowed mother both show on the 1841 census return. Francis was married with three children by this point, and that one census return shows three generations of my Bradley line – Francis and his wife, Charlotte (3x great grandparents), his mother Jane (4x great grandmother) and William, born 1935, my 2x great grandfather.
William, like so many in that area, earned his living as an agricultural labourer. He married in 1858 and his wife had four children, of whom three lived to adulthood.William lived to the age of 67 and died of heart disease.
His elder son, John (great grandfather) became a railway porter, and sometime between 1889 and 1891 he and his family moved to Selby, where John continued to work on the railways. In 1911 John recorded on the census return that he had been married 22 years, and eight children had been born into his marriage, of whom 7 survived , and all were still living at home. Francis (grandfather) the eldest son was also working on the railway by that point. George died of lung cancer in 1929, leaving his widow to survive another 9 years. By the time he died, he had six grandchildren, one of them Francis’ son, my dad, born 1917. Then there was me………………