It can be easy to get focused on direct ancestors, but siblings are often the key. Where your ancestor might not have left a record of parents, the sibling may have. A positive example of at least the potential of such a thing is our own James Bank Bradley who left his parents’ names on his tombstone. Anyone researching one of his siblings may not have been so fortunate. And James Banks parents are proving hard to find on much else. So if anyone can establish that their ancestor is James Banks’ sibling, then they know their ancestor’s parents.
With this in mind, and a genealogy trip to South Carolina in my near future, I am shifting my efforts to finding siblings of James Banks. Perhaps one of them left a will or something, or has one of the parents living with them in old age. In this search I may have stumbled upon something. James Banks’ married Mahaza Boykin. Mahaza had a sister, Zeno, who married a Benjamin Delaney Bradley. The two sisters named daughters after one another, indicating that they had a close relationship. It seems a very safe conclusion that Benjamin and James Banks are no less than cousins, and perhaps even brothers. In fact, James Banks moved his family to Alabama in the 1830s and moved them back to SC by the 1850 census. On this census, James Banks and Benjamin are living only six pages away from one another. This could be because their wives are sisters. But it may also be because of a close relationship between the men.
So I’m going to be researching Benjamin Bradley while I’m SC, hoping to find out something about his parents, and establish a sure connection between him and James Banks.
If you know anything more about Benjamin Delaney Bradley (especially about his birth, parents, or death date and location) please let me know by posting in the response section of this post.