Bradshaw Surname Genealogy
surname comes from the place-name Bradshaw primarily found in
Lancashire. Its original spelling was
the Old English brad meaning “broad”
and sceaga meaning “thicket” or
“grove.” It was first
recorded in 1246 for the William de Bradeshaghe who lived in a township
of that name within the
parish of Bolton-le-Moors (now part of Bolton) in Lancashire.
Bradshaw Resources on
- Bradshaw Families
Bradshaw families in England and Ireland.
- Bradshaw Genealogy
Bradshaws in Henrico county, Virginia.
The Bradshaw name has been mainly concentrated
in Lancashire, but has also occurred from an early time in Derbyshire
Bradshaw line in Bradshaw, a district of Bolton-le-Moors in
dates back to the 13th century. In
1298 William de Bradshagh and his wife
Mabel took possession
of Haigh Hall near
Wigan which was to remain
with their family for the next five hundred years.
to legend, Sir
William Bradshaigh returned from the wars in Scotland in 1324 after
away for ten years, promptly killed his wife’s new husband and made
barefoot and dressed in sackcloth to their home at Haigh Hall once a
the rest of her life.”
This account was made into a novel by Sir Walter Scott
and the event is still marked by Mab’s Cross on Wigan Lane. In
his absence from Haigh was due to his banishment by King Edward II for
part in a rebellion against the Earl of Lancaster.
There were later two lines of
Bradshaws derived from these earlier Bradshaws:
sometimes Bradshaw but styled
Bradshaigh from the early 1500’s, held Haigh Hall.
They were Catholic and Royalist in sympathy
but managed to survive the Civil War. Three
generations of the family were Wigan MP’s and baronets.
Their Haigh estate proved to be extremely profitable
for its coal mining. However, the last
of these Bradshaighs died in 1787.
other, Bradshaw, held Bradshaw Hall in Bradshaw. In
the 17th century these Bradshaws were
remarkable for their Puritanism in an area which was strongly Puritan. However, around this time their fortunes
began to decline and their manor was purchased in 1694 by Henry
Marple Hall in Cheshire, a nephew of the regicide John Bradshaw. Bradshaw Hall itself survived until 1948.
Derbyshire. Bradshawes were Foresters of Fee at Duffield
Frith in Derbyshire from the early 1400’s, as the following verse by
forest hath foresters of fee which partly hold their
services therein to do, as I do understand;
names be Bradborne,
Bradshaw, Bruckshaw, and the heirs of stone,
which at forest courts must be
with others many a one.”
Francis Bradshaw built Bradshaw Hall at Eyam around the
year 1611. His son George was a
merchant in Ireland. After his death in
1646, the story goes that his widow and daughter fled
the village at the onset of the plague in 1665 and never
returned. The Bradshaw line
in Derbyshire died
out in the next century.
Henry Bradshaw migrated from Derbyshire to Cheshire in the early
and acquired Marple Hall. His
grandson John Bradshaw
was the High Court judge
who presided over the trial of Charles 1 in 1649; his great grandson
Bradshaw purchased the Bradshaw estate in Lancashire.
Marple Hall was reputed to
be haunted by the ghost of a Cavalier who wooed the daughter of a
Bradshaw. The Cavalier drowned in the river below the Hall in
her window. The Hall ended up with Henry
Bradshaw-Isherwood and later with the writer Christopher Isherwood in
century before being demolished.
The 1881 Census. This census showed
that the county of
Lancashire accounted for almost 40% of all the Bradshaws in England. The name was particularly concentrated in
townships around Manchester such as Pendleton.
Bradshaws have been there since the 17th century and George
railway timetables was born there.
Bradshaws crossed the Irish Sea to Ireland.
Robert Bradshaw from Haigh Hall came to Tipperary in 1662 and
settled in Cullen. A recent book,Bob Bradshaw’s Wall describing the
Bradshaws who lived on Goat’s Lane in Tipperary, indicates that the
not died out there.
There were a number of Bradshaws in Ulster, starting with Captain James Bradshaw and
his wife Anne
in Drumnakelly, Armagh in the 1660’s.
Bradshaw arrived as a servant in Virginia on the Temperance
in 1621 and survived the Indian attack a year
later. However, Giles Bradshaw and his
family were killed at that time. Richard
apparently married twice and Bradshaw lines via Zachariah Bradshaw in
county, Virginia and Charles
Bradshaw in Madison county, Kentucky were said to have been
Meanwhile John Bradshaw, an indentured servant, came to Virginia in
worked and lived in Henrico county.
Bradshaws of this line were to be found along the James river in
became Goochland county and later spread across the South.
Bill Bradshaw, born
in Tennessee in 1826, came west at an early age and was in California
outbreak of the Mexican War in 1846. He
later caught the gold bug, first in California and then, together with
brother Isaac, as a pioneer in Arizona.
A contemporary described him in somewhat florid terms as follows:
one of nature’s most polished gentlemen and the brightest jewel in
collection of true born chivalry. He was brave, generous, eccentric,
simple truth a natural lunatic; in manly form and physical beauty,
muscular strength, a giant; in fleetness of foot and endurance,
died by his own hand in 1864. But he left
his name to the Bradshaw Trail in Arizona and Bradshaw City and the
Canada. Abraham Bradshaw, a descendant
of the early
Massachusetts settler Humphrey Bradshaw, came to Nova Scotia in 1759
his home in Lunenburg county. James
Bradshaw, a Loyalist from Connecticut, arrived with his three sons in
1783 and eventually got a land settlement in Fredericksburgh (now
John Bradshaw, originally from Ulster, also crossed from America to
Canada but not voluntarily. He
taken prisoner by Indians and brought there
and kept prisoner for some time. He was freed after taking an
oath of allegiance
and becoming a British subject. He
settled in Osnabruck (now South Stormont) in eastern Ontario.
If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for
further stories and accounts:
was the High Court judge
who presided over the trial of Charles I in 1648.
George Bradshaw was the 19th century English
printer and publisher best known for his series of railway timetables.
Bill Bradshaw was a pioneer of the
American Southwest in the 1850’s and 1860’s.
Bradshaw was the quarterback who won four Super Bowls with the
Steelers during the 1970’s.
Select Bradshaws Today
- 22,000 in the UK (most numerous
- 14,000 in America (most numerous in Texas)
- 10,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Australia)
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