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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the English Bradford family come from? What is the English Bradford family crest and coat of arms? When did the Bradford family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Bradford family history?

The Bradford name has descended through the generations from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. Their name comes from having lived in or near one of the many places called Bradford in England, which were found in Wiltshire, Dorset, Somerset, Devon, Northumberland, and the West Riding of Yorkshire. The surname Bradford literally means broad ford.

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Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Bradford has undergone many spelling variations, including Bradford, Bradeford, Braidford, Bradforde and others.

First found in Yorkshire where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bradford research. Another 205 words(15 lines of text) covering the years 1206, 1590, 1657, 1624 and 1703 are included under the topic Early Bradford History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 85 words(6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bradford Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Bradford family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Bradford were among those contributors:

Bradford Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • William Bradford (1590-1657), of Yorkshire who arrived at Plymouth in 1621, aboard the Mayflower and, on the death of John Carver in 1621, was chosen leader of the Pilgrims, 2nd Governor of the Plymouth colony. His wife Dorothy died at sea, en-route to the Colony
  • Dorothy Bradford, aged 23, who died aboard the Mayflower at Cape Cod Harbor, Massachusetts in 1620 and believed to be buried ashore
  • William Bradford, who arrived in America in 1620
  • Henery Bradford, who landed in Virginia in 1624-1625
  • John Bradford, who was on record in Massachusetts in 1627


Bradford Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Mary Bradford, who landed in Virginia in 1701
  • Barby Bradford, who settled in Boston in 1716
  • John Bradford, who landed in New England in 1718
  • Mathew Bradford, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1729
  • Jacob Bradford, who arrived in Maryland in 1729


Bradford Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • William Bradford, who landed in America in 1803
  • Joseph Bradford, who landed in America in 1804
  • William I Bradford, who landed in New York in 1806
  • John Bradford, aged 24, arrived in New York in 1812
  • R Bradford, who arrived in New York, NY in 1812


Bradford Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • Elis Bradford, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Wm Bradford, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Abigail Bradford, who came to Nova Scotia in 1762
  • Mr. Benjamin Bradford U.E who settled in Charlotte County, New Brunswick c. 1783 he was part of the Penobscot Association
  • Mr. Benjamin Bradford U.E who settled in Canada c. 1783


Bradford Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Arthur Bradford arrived in Holdfast Bay, Australia aboard the ship "Canton" in 1838
  • David Bradford arrived in Holdfast Bay, Australia aboard the ship "Canton" in 1838
  • Hester Bradford arrived in Holdfast Bay, Australia aboard the ship "Canton" in 1838
  • John Bradford arrived in Holdfast Bay, Australia aboard the ship "Canton" in 1838


Bradford Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • D Bradford landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1842
  • Janet Bradford, aged 19, a housemaid, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Rakaia" in 1878

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  • Brigadier-General William Brooks Bradford (1896-1965), American Commanding Officer 1st Cavalry Brigade (1945-1949)
  • Brigadier-General Karl Slaughter Bradford (1889-1972), American Deputy President of War Department Manpower Board (1943-1946)
  • Chadwick Lee "Chad" Bradford (b. 1974), American Major League Baseball player
  • Melvin E. "Mel" Bradford (1934-1993), American conservative political commentator and professor of literature at the University of Dallas
  • Arthur Houston Bradford (b. 1969), American short story author and director of "Camp Jabberwocky", the longest running sleepover camp for adults with disabilities in the United States
  • David Bradford (1929-1995), professor of economics and public affairs at Princeton University
  • Edward Green Bradford II (1848-1928), American federal judge on the United States District Court for the District of Delaware
  • Robert Fiske Bradford (1902-1983), American politician, governor of Massachusetts (1947-1949)
  • Andrew Bradford (1686-1742), American printer in colonial Philadelphia, who published the first newspaper in Pennsylvania, in 1729
  • Charles "Avery" Bradford (1873-1926), American actor, director, and screenwriter

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  • Bradford Roots and Branches by Nancy Vashti Anthony Jacob.
  • Bradford: From the Mayflower and Plimouth Colony to Missouri with Related Families by Sophia Freeland Kennedy.
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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Fier et sage
Motto Translation: Proud and Wise.

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  1. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  2. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  3. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  4. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  5. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  6. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  7. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  8. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  9. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  10. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  11. ...

The Bradford Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Bradford Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 26 August 2015 at 22:15.

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