Thomas Bradley

[parents unknown]

[Please keep in mind that most of this page is speculative in the extreme. I’m not sure the census reported below are our Thomas. Here is what we know for sure: Our Thomas was married to a Sarah and they had a son named James Banks Bradley in 1816 in Kershaw Co., South Carolina. Both Thomas and Sarah were born in South Carolina. That’s it. These bits of info come from two sources. First is James Banks’ headstone, and the second is James Banks’ 1880 census. Everything else is a best guess that I’m recording on this page in order to help guide our research.]

Born: later half of 18th century, South Carolina

Married: before 1816, (likely Kershaw Co) South Carolina, Sarah Banks [last name not yet documented]

  • Born in South Carolina, late 18th, early 19th century.
  • Died [unknown date and location]
  • Buried [unknown location]

Occupation:

Died: [Unknown date and location]

Buried: [Unknown]

Children:

  1. James Banks Bradley (M, 1816, SC)
  2. Daughter (F, c.1816-1820 [speculation based on 1830 census])
  3. Daughter (F, c.1816-1820 [speculation based on 1830 census])
  4. Daughter (F, c.1821-1825 [speculation based on 1830 and 1840 census])
  5. Son (M, c.1825-1830 [speculation based on 1830 and 1840 census])
  6. Son (M, 1831-1835 [speculation based on 1840 census])
**I believe that by setting the 1820, 1830, and 1840 census records side by side you get a very consistent picture of the family. Each census has the heads of household aging at the same (expected rate). The single son in 1820 (aged appropriately in 1830) is joined by 3 sisters and a brother by 1830. In 1840, this son, now living next door and married, is host to his oldest younger brother. The oldest 2 sisters are marriage age and gone, the youngest sister is still at home with Thomas. And there is a new younger brother. All persons who appear in these census are the right age relative to the previous census. Since they are using age ranges, this is not as meaningful, but because the ranges change (on one census it might be 16-25, but on the next 30-39), it narrows the range over time, making it harder to make them fit unless they are the same households. If they are indeed the same household, then all we need to do is prove that this Thomas is ours. I believe we can do that through four circumstances. First, James Banks is born in 1816 in Kershaw Co, SC. There is only one Thomas Bradley in Kershaw Co in 1820. Second, the James B Bradley living next door to this Thomas in 1840 has three girls under 5 which is precisely the case for our James Banks in 1840. Third, we know our James Banks was the son of a Thomas based on his headstone. Fourth and finally the Thomas on the 1840 is old enough to be James Banks’ father.

Narrative:

1820 census shows him as the head of household living in Kershaw Co, South Carolina with (1) Free White Male 0-10 years old; (1) Free White Male 26 to 44 years old; (1) Free White Female 16 to 25 years old; and (1) Free White Female 45 years old and upwards. (1) person is engaged in agriculture. No slaves are listed.

***Why do I believe this is our Thomas on the 1820 census? Because James Banks’ headstone says he was born to Thomas and Sarah in 1816 in Kershaw Co, SC. I have looked through the entire census record for Kershaw Co in 1820 and this is the only Thomas listed as a head of household. As such, this Thomas has a son under the age of ten. This is completely consistent with the narrative of James Banks’ tombstone.***

1830 census shows him as the head of household still living in Kershaw Co, South Carolina with (1) Free White Male under 5 years old; (1) Free White Male 10 to 14 years old; (1) Free White Male 30 to 39 years old; (1) Free White Female 5 to 9 years old; (2) Free White Females 10 to 14 years old; (1) Free White Female 20 to 29 years old; (2) Male Slaves under 10 years old; (4) Female Slaves under 10 years old; (2) Female Slaves 10 to 23 years old; (1) Female Slave 24 to 35 years old; (1) Female Slave 36 to 54 years old. This totals (17) members of Thomas’ household.

***Why do I believe this is our Thomas on the 1830 census? Because this is still the only Thomas Bradley in Kershaw Co, SC. And the family picture we see here is completely consistent with the 1820 Thomas, only with the addition of more children. IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE, however, that because the only name given is the head of household, and because large age ranges are used instead of specific ages, that confusing two different families because they have the same head of household name is not to be ruled out.***

1840 census shows Thomas as the head of household living in Montgomery Co, Alabama (this census is for outlying areas of the county, not the city of Montgomery). In his household he has (1) Free White Male 5 to 9 years old; (1) Free White Male 40 to 49 years old; (1) Free White Female 15 to 19 years old; (1) Free White Female 40 to 49 years old; (2) Male Slaves under 10 years old; (1) Male Slave 36 to 54 years old; (3) Female Slaves under 10 years old; (1) Female Slave 10 to 23 years old; (2) Female Slaves 24 to 35 years old. This is a total of (13) members in his household. (5) are engaged in agriculture. It looks as though it indicates that there are (2) white members of the household over 20 years old who cannot read or write.

***Why do I believe this 1840 census is our Thomas? Because his next door neighbor is James B. Bradley. Furthermore, Thomas Madison Bradley, son of James Banks, enlisted in 1861 at Selma, Lowndes Co (just west of Montgomery), establishing a family connection to the area.***

If (and that’s a big if) we have correctly identified Thomas Bradley on these three census, then a comparison of the ages indicates that he was born sometime between 1791 and 1794. In 1820 he appears to have one son under 10 (presumably James Banks, born in 1816), a wife (Sarah, born between 1801 and 1804), and an older woman, perhaps his mother or mother-in-law, living with him. In 1830 he has an additional son under 5 years old and three daughters probably between the ages of 5 and 12. The two oldest daughters may be twins since they would be younger than James Banks, who is only twelve on this census, but they are listed as 10 and older. This squeezes all three of them into a pretty tight space. It’s speculation, but should be kept in mind that Thomas may have had twin girls born in 1820 right around the time of the previous census. In 1840 his youngest son is still with him, but James Banks has moved out (he appears after Thomas on the census) as have Thomas’ two oldest daughters. The youngest girl is still with him, however, as is Sarah. Also, all indications are that he was engaged in agriculture throughout the period from 1820 to 1840.

Documentation:

Photos

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s