Mayflower Descendants: Who’s Who, Part 18

Introduction: In this article, Melissa Davenport Berry continues her series on Mayflower descendants, focusing on Dr. Robert Henry Bradford. Melissa is a genealogist who has a blog, AnceStory Archives, and a Facebook group, New England Family Genealogy and History.

Today I continue with my series “Mayflower Descendants: Who’s Who” with a focus on the lineage of Dr. Robert Henry Bradford (1871-1931) of Utah, a descendant of Mayflower passengers William Bradford, Alice Carpenter, John Howland, Elizabeth Tilley, and William Brewster.

Photo: Robert Henry Bradford, professor of mining and metallurgy at the University of Utah. Courtesy of the Utah Historical Society.
Photo: Robert Henry Bradford, professor of mining and metallurgy at the University of Utah. Courtesy of the Utah Historical Society.

Lineage:

  • Robert Henry Bradford
  • Rawsel Bradford and Jane Gardner
  • Jehial/Hail Bradford and Abigail Sprague
  • Joel Bradford and Typhena Smith
  • Simeon Bradford and Phoebe Whiton
  • Ephraim Bradford and Elizabeth Brewster, daughter of Wrestling Brewster
  • William Bradford II and Mary, widow of John Holmes
  • William Bradford and Alice Carpenter

Robert’s lineage is referenced along with two other Utah residents, W. Karl Hopkins and George A. Eaton, in this 1920 Salt Lake Telegram article.

An article about Robert Bradford, Salt Lake Telegram newspaper article 19 December 1920
Salt Lake Telegram (Salt Lake, Utah), 19 December 1920, page 13

This article reported:

“Laboring in Utah’s educational system are three direct descendants of signers of the Mayflower pact on board the Mayflower in Provincetown harbor, Cape Cod, November 11, 1620, according to an announcement made by Professor B. Roland Lewis of the University of Utah, chairman of the Pilgrim tercentenary celebration in Utah. These are Professor Robert H. Bradford of the department of metallurgy of the University of Utah, who is the ninth descendant of William Bradford, second governor of Plymouth Colony…”

In 1967 the Patriot Ledger published the discoveries made by archeologist Dr. James Deetz in Kingston, Massachusetts. Dr. Deetz worked with Henry Hornblower and several students over a three-week period in June and July of 1966 excavating the home site of William Bradford II, son of William Bradford (the second governor of Plimoth Colony).

An article about William Bradford II, Patriot Ledger newspaper article 4 October 1967
Patriot Ledger (Quincy, Massachusetts), 4 October 1967, page 21

The project was sponsored by the Pilgrim Society, John Howland Society, and Plimoth Plantation.

Among the 1,000 artifacts unearthed was a grave marker stone believed to be for Ephraim Bradford, the great, great grandfather of Robert H. Bradford. Ephraim occupied the land after his father, William Bradford II, died.

This article reported:

“On one small stone the following initials, barely legible, were detected: EB FRVR BS. Dr. Deetz surmises that the EB stands for Ephraim Bradford, son of William Bradford II; the FRVR for “forever,” and the BS for some pretty little lass whom Ephraim had eyes for.”

(After reviewing the genealogy chart, I surmise that the BS may be the Bradford sons who died in infancy.)

Ephraim died in Kingston on 7 February 1746. His wife Elizabeth (nee Brewster) Bradford died in 1741. They had 11 children, leaving many descendants.

The Pilgrim Hall Museum has a sampler signed “Elizabeth Brewster, her sampler” – Ephraim’s eventual wife.

Photo: Elizabeth Brewster sampler. Courtesy of Pilgrim Hall Museum
Photo: Elizabeth Brewster sampler. Courtesy of Pilgrim Hall Museum, 75 Court Street, Plymouth Massachusetts: “Elizabeth Brewster of Kingston, born 1690, a great-granddaughter of Pilgrim William Brewster. The sampler is dated to the early 1700s. Its long and narrow shape is 17th century, but it includes the newer style of alphabets, numerals, and a very narrow border all around. The sampler is made of wool thread worked on linen. The use of wool thread was very rare. The colors, indigo blue and madder pink, are bright and relatively unfaded.”

A file on Familysearch.org noted more family history written by Robert Bradford, son of Sylvester Bradford:

Simeon Bradford, son of Ephraim Bradford and Elizabeth Brewster, married Phoebe Whiton, and their son Joel Bradford had a son Jehial (Hail) who married Abigail Sprague. They were members of the Mormon Church.

Their son Rawsel Bradford married Jane Gardner. They in turn were parents to Robert Henry Bradford.

Photo: Rawsel Bradford (1833-1897), sixth generation from William Bradford, married Jane Gardner. In 1933, a celebration marking the 100 years of the births of pioneers Rawsel and Jane was held in Utah. The number of living descendants of this line in that year: 24 grandchildren, 131 great grandchildren, and 45 great, great grandchildren. Courtesy of the Utah Historical Society.
Photo: Rawsel Bradford (1833-1897), sixth generation from William Bradford, married Jane Gardner. In 1933, a celebration marking the 100 years of the births of pioneers Rawsel and Jane was held in Utah. The number of living descendants of this line in that year: 24 grandchildren, 131 great grandchildren, and 45 great, great grandchildren. Courtesy of the Utah Historical Society.

In 1904 Robert was offered a great opportunity to utilize his skills in metallurgy, as published in the Salt Lake Telegram.

An article about Robert Bradford, Salt Lake Telegram newspaper article 20 May 1904
Salt Lake Telegram (Salt Lake City, Utah), 20 May 1904, page 10

In 1905 Robert became Bishop of the Center ward of Salt Lake City, Utah (Church Chronology: A Record of Important Events Pertaining to the History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, p. 23).

In 1916 the Salt Lake Telegram reported that:

“Dr. Bradford resigned recently [as Bishop of the Center ward]… in order to devote his entire time to work at the University of Utah.”

An article about Robert Bradford, Salt Lake Telegram newspaper article 5 April 1916
Salt Lake Telegram (Salt Lake City, Utah), 5 April 1916, page 12

Robert married Nettie M. Davis, born to Albert Westley Davis and Jane Lambson. They had five children. Nettie was active in the Church relief fund programs and all the children were involved in education, and active in the community.

In addition to his work in the church and in academia, Robert coauthored three books: The Reactions of the Ziervogel Process and Their Temperature Limits; Metallurgical Treatment of the Low-Grade and Complex Ores of Utah: A Preliminary Report; and The Chloride Volatilization Process of Ore Treatment.

Stay tuned for more on Mayflower descendants!

Note: Just as an online collection of newspapers, such as GenealogyBank’s Historical Newspaper Archives, helped tell the stories of Robert Bradford, they can tell you stories about your ancestors that can’t be found anywhere else. Come look today and see what you can discover!

Recent Articles in This Series:

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