James Banks Bradley

[Thomas]

Born: 10 Apr 1816 in Bradford, Kershaw Co, SC

Married: 2 Apr 1834 (probably) in Kershaw Co, SC to Mahaza Roxanna Boykin

  • Born: 17 Nov 1814 in South Carolina
  • Died: 21 July 1908 in Hartselle, Morgan Co, AL
  • Buried: Hartselle City Cemetery, Hartselle, Morgan Co, AL
  • N 34 27.179, W 086 56.178
  • Find-a-Grave: 39429011

Occupation: Planter (1850 census)

Died: 5 Sept 1880 in Hartselle, Morgan Co, AL.

Buried: Mt Tabor Methodist Church near Hartselle, Morgan Co, Alabama.

  • N 34 26.298, W 086 52.069
  • Coordinates accurate to 6 ft. Taken 9 Jul 2009.
  • Find-a-Grave: 33720972

Children:

  1. Sarah¬†Elizabeth “Betsy” Bradley (F, 1835, AL)
  2. Mariah C Bradley (F, 1837, AL)
  3. Lenora Florella Bradley (F, 1839, AL)
  4. Zeno Judson Bradley (F, 1841, AL)
  5. Thomas Madison Bradley (M, 1843, SC)
  6. Stephen Banks Bradley (M, 1846, SC)
  7. James Barefoot Bradley (M, 1848, SC)
  8. Mahaza M. Bradley (F, 1850, SC)
  9. Peter Cassidy Bradley (M, 1853, SC)

Narrative:

1820 Federal Census [SPECULATIVE] James Banks is not named (only heads of household were named), but since we have his birth date on his headstone, we know that he would be about 4 years old, and only one such person is in the house of Thomas Bradley on the 1820 census. The family is in Kershaw Co, SC.

1830 Federal Census [SPECULATIVE] once again finds James Banks numbered and not named. But again, there is one male the right age listed which we assume is James Banks. The family is still in Kershaw Co, SC.

1840 Federal Census James Banks is now the head of household (with heads only being listed. His family is in Montgomery Co, AL (but not in the city of Montgomery) and he is living next door to his father Thomas. The census reads as follows: Jams B Bradley; (1) Free White Male 15 to 19 years old; (1) Free White Male 20 to 29 years old; (3) Free White Females under 5 years old; (1) Free White Female 20 to 29 years old; (1) Male Slave under 10 years old; (1) Male Slave 10 to 23 years old; (2) Female Slaves 10 to 23 years old; (1) Female Slave 24 to 34 years old. This is a total of (11) members of his household. (4) are engaged in agriculture. It appears that both he and Mahaza are literate. This family composition is exactly what we would expect for James Banks with only one exception. The teenage boy is out of place. Even if he is 15 and James Banks is 29 they are still a bit close to be father and son. We have no record of James Banks having a son of that age either. In all likelihood this is a brother of Mahaza or some similar family relation.

1850 Federal Census shows James Banks and family living in Sumter Co, SC. The format of the census has changed. Each person in the family is now listed. It reads as follows: Jas B Bradley, 35 years old, male, Planter (occupation), born in South Carolina; Mahazey R Bradley, 36 years old, female, born in South Carolina; Elizth Bradley, 15 years old, female, born in Alabama, attending school; Mariah Bradley, 12 years old, female, born in Alabama, attending school; Leonora Bradley, 11 years old, female, born in Alabama, attending school; Zeno Bradley, 9 years old, female, born in Alabama, attending school; Thos Bradley, 7 years old, male, born in South Carolina; Banks Bradley, 4 years old, male, born in South Carolina; Jas Bradley, 3 years old, male, born in South Carolina.

Although not appearing on this census, a child was born to James Banks and Mahaza in 1850. It was a daughter named Mahaza M. Bradley who lived only about 5 weeks. This and other information on births and deaths in this family appears in the transcription from the James Banks Family Bible images below.

1860 Federal Census lacks first names and uses initials instead. It contains inconsistencies that are best considered errors. We have such a wealth of census documents for this family that it is not the other census that appear to be wrong, but this one. The errors will be pointed out as the document is described. The family is now in Lowndes Co, Alabama in the Hayneville area. It reads as follows: J B Bradley, 44 years old, male, Farmer, personal estate worth 500 (presumably dollars), born in South Carolina; M R Bradley, 45 years old, female, personal estate worth 500, born in South Carolina; Z J Bradley, 18 years old, female, born in Alabama; T M Bradley, 16 years old, male, born in Alabama (incorrect – he was born in SC); B S (initials are reversed) Bradley, 14 years old, male, born in Alabama (incorrect – he was born in SC); J B Bradley, 12 years old, male, born in Alabama (incorrect – he was born in SC); P B Bradley, 6 years old, male, born in Alabama; M C Logan, 22 year old female, born in Alabama; B Logan, 3 years old, female, born in South Carolina; B Logan, 1 year old, female, born in South Carolina. Despite the last name of Logan, these last three (what appears to be a young mother and her two young children) are listed as members of the household.

EDIT: 3 July 2013 – Having decided to make a determined effort to find Elizabeth and Mariah, I was re-reading these notes and realized Mariah has been under my nose all along. She is the MC Logan in the census above! We know from other records that her middle initial was “C”. She would also have been about 22 years old in this census. Knowing her married name I am now on the hunt and hopefully will have results to show soon.

1870 Federal Census shows James Banks living in Lowndes County as the head of household and a Farmer. However, the three others living with him are all hired. The census reads thusly: James B Bradley, 57 years old, male, white, farmer, value of personal estate is 200, born in South Carolina; John Loughman, 50 years old, male, white, day laborer, born in Ireland, both parents of foreign birth; Clarrissa King, 45 years old, female, black, domestic servant, born in Alabama; Edward Johnson, 14 years old, male, black, domestic servant, born in Virginia. At the time of this census Stephen, James, Peter, and Mahaza are living in Bradford Springs, Sumter Co, SC.

Not long after this 1870 census, we believe James Banks moved from Lowndes Co, AL to Morgan Co, AL. The Hartselle community was established about his time. In The History of Morgan County by John Knox, on page 142, it says that the first cotton gin in Hartselle was operated by James Bradley. More research will need to be done to prove it, but I believe this is either James Banks or his son, James Barefoot. James Barefoot moved to Morgan Co about this same time from Sumter Co, SC.

1880 Federal Census shows James Banks living with James Barefoot. Barefoot is the head of household. I will only describe the James Banks entry here. See the James Barefoot page for a complete description. The family is living in Morgan Co, AL. His entry reads: John B Sr, White, Male, 66 years old, Father of Head, Married, Can read, but cannot write, born in SC as were both his parents. Please note that Mahaza is living in the same neighborhood with their son Peter and right next door to their son Stephen. Please see the 1880 census description under Peter to find out more.

To summarize, James Banks Bradley was born to Thomas and Sarah in Kershaw Co, SC in 1816. He lived with his parents up to 1830 at least (and probably until he married). In 1834 he married Mahaza R. Boykin, probably in SC (since this was her birthplace as well). Since Elizabeth was born in Alabama in around 1835, it appears they pretty quickly moved to the Montgomery Co area. Since Zeno was born about 1841 in Alabama, and Thomas was born about 1843 in South Carolina, we can narrow their return to SC (where they appear on the Sumter census in 1850) to 1841 to 1843. However, by the 1860 census, they had returned to Alabama. This time they lived in Lowndes Co. During the 1870 census the family was in Sumter Co, SC, but James Banks was living apart from them in Lowndes Co, AL. By 1880 James Banks and Mahaza had moved in with their sons, James Barefoot and Peter Cassidy (respectively) and were living in Morgan Co, Alabama with Stephen nearby as well. James Banks died in 1880 just about 10 weeks after the 1880 census was taken. He was buried at Mt Tabor Methodist Church near Hartselle, Morgan Co, AL.

The following entry is found in a little book of collected records from the Mt. Tabor Methodist Church:

  • Peter C. Bradley, joined Sept 1890, transferred membership to Falkville (no date)
  • Mrs. Sallie E. Bradley, joined Sept 1890, transferred membership to Falkville (no date)
  • Mrs. Mahaza Bradley, joined Sept 1890
  • Robert B. Bradley, joined Sept 1890 by certificate, transferred membership to Falkville (no date)
  • Miss Mahaza A. Bradley joined Sept 1890 by certificate, transferred membership to Falkville (no date)

This record, then, shows Peter (son of James Banks) and his wife and two children (age 13 and 11 here) joining Mt Tabor Methodist Church with Peter’s mother, Mahaza in 1890. Peter and his family moved their membership to Falkville (just a few miles south of Hartselle) at some future date.

Mahaza appears on the 1900 census in the household of Stephen in Hartselle, Morgan Co, AL. She died in 1908 and was buried at Hartselle City Cemetery. Attempts to find a death certificate have been fruitless. There is nothing on record in the Morgan Co Archives or with the State Department of Public Health.

The fact that James Banks was buried at a Methodist church may point to denominational affiliation. This could be helpful in searching church records for vital statistics. This is strengthened somewhat by the fact that James Barefoot named one of his sons John Wesley (presumably named for the founder of methodism) and Mahaza and Peter’s family were members at Mt Tabor Methodist.

The discovery of James Banks and Mahaza’s burial places is described by Jennie Merritt in her own hand in one of the below images.

Documentation:

Photos


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