Where DId My Bradford Ancestors Live in Massachusetts? Part 1 Hannah Born 1838

As we come upon the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims, it strikes me that I’ve had ancestors living in Massachusetts all that time. I started working on where some of my Bradford ancestors lived here. This Blog will start to fill in some of the blanks.

Starting from My Most Recent Bradford Ancestor – Hannah T Bradford (1838-1889)

I don’t have a good photo of Hannah. She married Isaiah T Snell who is pictured here smoking a pipe:

Isaiah married Hannah Bradford in 1839 and Alice Besse in 1891. Depending on the date of this photo would depend if this is Hannah or not. I believe that this photo was taken from the Southern part of Snipatuit Road. Here is a map from 1879 showing where Isaiah and Hannah lived:

Isaiah’s father Otis sold him his house and Otis moved a little further North. Hannah and Isaiah probably moved to this house around 1868. Hannah died in 1889. At the time Hannah married in 1859, she was living in Wareham. Hannah was also born in Wareham to Harvey Bradford and Wealthy Hathaway.

Hannah in 1840

There will be some overlap here. Here is Hannah’s father Harvey Bradford, transcribed as Harry Brasford in the 1840 Wareham Census:

My thinking is that Harvey worked at an iron or nail factory in Wareham. Here is a transcription from FamilySearch:

For some reason, I would really like to know where the Bradford family lived in 1840. The assumption is that people who were enumerated near each other lived near each other. This should be the case more than not.

The key here seems to be that Harvey Bradford lived near Thomas Pierce. In 1850, there was a Thomas Pierce in the Census:

Thomas was 54 and was living near a Weghtinton and a Whitterman.

Here is Thomas in 1855 which is near the time of the 1857 Plymouth County Map:

He was a laborer, but these were the occupations of the people around him: farmer, miller and nailor. I can’t make out one of the occupations – probably an iron worker. Here is where I think that was in 1857:

On the left at the house of R. Hathaway is where Harvey’s wife Wealthy Hathaway grew up in Rochester. There were many iron works in the area. T Pierce on the map is probably Thomas PIerce and R Wrightington is probably the Richard Wrightington of the 1855 Census or Weghtington of the 1850 Census. Richard was a miller – likely at the nearby Grist Mill. Harvey may have worked the place marked as “Nail Mfy. & Grist M.” on what is now Paper MIll Road.

Here is  the 1840 Census summary:

This shows one person worked in agriculture and one in manufacture and trade. Wealthy had two small children at the time. Did she work in manufacture or did Harvey? I think that Wealthy’s father was a farmer, so perhaps she worked a farm and had the kids with her, or was it the other way around? Henry C Bradford was listed as a nailor in 1850 at age 17, so perhaps he followed in his father’s footsteps.

Papermill Road

Pierce and Wrightington are shown on what is today Papermill Road in Wareham.

This puts Harvey Bradford and family somewhere in the vicinity of the intersection of Papermill Road and Main Street.

A Wrightington/Taber Connection?

In 1850, there was a Cyrus Taber living in the house of Richard Wightington, the miller. This Cyrus was a sailor:

As opposed to two others in the household who were nailors. This Cyrus was apparently born about 1824. I note this because Henry C Bradford, the brother of Hannah Bradford married Rhoda Ann Taber believed to be born in Fairhaven in 1838. She was also believed to be the daughter of Cyrus Taber and Patience Votar.

Travel down the railroad tracks a few stops to Fairhaven in 1850:

Here is a household headed up by Samuel Taber. Henry Bradford’s future wife Rhoda is living there along with two other Cyruses. Also two of the Tabers are Mariners. Patience Taber is listed as having a nervous derangement. Are we confused yet? The 1850 Census didn’t give family relationships.

Adelaide Taber

Adelaide from Robert the Miller or ironworker’s (or sailor in 1860) house. She ends up marrying a 62 year old carpenter in 1877:

Her mother is given as Ruhamah D Taber:

Further down on the same page of marriage records:

Rhoda Bradford (originally Taber) marries William. This is his second marriage also. So Adelaide was Ruhamah’s daughter. Ruhamah then apparently marries Richard Wrightington:

I think I’m getting into some complicated stuff. Adelaide says she was born in Wareham.

Cyrus Taber Born About 1824

Cyrus dies single in Wareham in 1885:

However, his mother is ‘Rheuhama’ Hathaway. So now I need to amend my story. Ruhama Hathaway must have married Cyrus Taber and had at least two children. She then marries Richard the Miller. So not as wild as it originally looked.

Cyrus Taber the Elder

There are some court records of Cyrus:

There is no date on this, but it is listed between an 1820 and 1822 case.

I assume that Cyrus the elder was around at least until 1839 when daughter Adalaide was born.

Ruhama Hathaway Born 1801

Turns out I already have her in my family tree:

Ruhama had Hathaway’s on both sides. I descend from Simon Hathaway who was also a son of Arthur Hathaway.

The Fairhaven Tabers

Samuel Taber Born About 1787

I’m hoping I can tie the Wareham and Fairhaven families together somehow. Fortunately Samuel remarries:

We learn his father’s name at least. These two families are not coming together that easily.

Cyrus Taber, Mariner, Born About 1810

I found 10 trees at Ancestry for Cyrus and they all give Samuel as his father. Samuel’s parents were Amos Taber and Deborah Hammonds. It looks like I am unable to make an easy connection between the Taber’s of Wareham and the Taber’s of Fairhaven even though there is a Cyrus Taber in each of the two families.

The Wrightington/Hathaway Connection

It looks like there was more of a Wrightington/Hathaway connection. In fact, there could be a story here. Ruhamah Hathaway born 1801 was originally the wife of Cyrus Taber the blacksmith from Wareham and Middleborough. He apparently dies and Ruhamah marries Richard Wrightington probably sometime in the 1840’s. Harvey Bradford is living next to or near Richard Wrightington in 1840. Perhaps he worked with Richard or for him at that time and/or prior to this time.Harvey marries Wealthy Hathaway who is a second cousin to Ruhamah.

Summary of Hannah T Bradford Snell’s Living Places

I have that Hannah was born in Rochester in 1838. This is based on her death record. A court case from 1835 names Hannah’s parents Harvey and Wealthy Bradford as being of Rochester.

Apparently, the family moved back and forth. I believe that Harvey worked in the nail or iron business in Wareham. Wealthy’s father Joseph Hathaway had died in 1815, so it may be that they lived for a time with Wealthy’s mothder at the Hathaway house. Or it is possible that Harvey helped work the Hathaway farm at this time.

In 1840, the Census has the family in Wareham. Based on my look above, they could have lived in the area of Paper Mill Road and Main Street. Wareham. They possibly lived near Richard Wrightington who at different times was listed as a miller, an iron worker or a mariner.

Harvey’s death was listed as being in Rochester, but this was based on his burial at Sherman Cemetery.

G.R. 7 is the Sherman Cemetery. Another possibility is that Harvey could have been buried elsewhere but a monument erected at this cemetery later. Hannah would have only been about 2 at the time of her father’s death if I have her birth correct.

In 1850, when Hannah was 11, she was living in Rochester. This was probably the High Street Hathaway House:

Hannah was living with her brother, mother, single Aunt Priscilla and grandmother Experience Cowing Hathaway. Here is says that Hannah was born in Wareham, so this is different than what I said above.

Hannah’s grandmother Experience died in March 1855. At the time of the 1855 Massachusetts Census taken on 20 September 1855, Hannah and her mother Wealthy were living with Mercy Snow.

In 1850, Mercy Snow was living at the house of Nicholas Snow, so this is likely the same house. Nicholas was likely her brother. Mercy was the single daughter of Nicholas Snow and Hannah Dexter.

In 1859, 20 year old Hannah marries. She and her mother are with Isaiah Snell in 1860:

The Census was taken on July 7, 1860. On July 15th, Otis Harvey Snell is born. Isaiah is listed between Gammons and Rounseville, so if the enumeration was taken in order, the family should have been living on Rounseville Road:

Isaiah appears to be listed as a shoe maker.

In 1865, Hannah may have been living in the same place. My records seem to indicate that Isaiah bought his father’s house in 1868, but I may be off. It appears that Hannah and Isaiah moved out of the house they were in because I still see Lydia Pierce and John King between Rounseville and Gammons. I’ve taken the 1865 Census and put the number of enumeration next to the house when I could identify it. I assumed, based on the numbering that Otis Snell was still living at Snipatuit Road:

One interesting thing was that I saw Henry Bradford, Hannah’s brother enumerated between family 16 and 18. That would put them possibly in the house listed as J.L. Braley. I listed Blackmer wrong as 34. That should be 35. That could mean that Hannah and Isaiah were living in the Bolles house or in the area. However, I didn’t identify families 37-41 on the map. These were:

  • Roxana Ashley (B Ashley on the map?)
  • Samuel B Staples, Wheelwright
  • Paul Ricketson, Farmer
  • William F Sherman, Mariner
  • Abraham Spooner, Laborer

By 1870, the family was definitely in the house that Otis Snell used to own. Ironically, Otis bought the Snow house where Hannah was living in 1855:

The above is from an 1879 map. E.M. Bumpas, blacksmith is enumerated next to the Isaiah Snell family in the 1870 and 1880 Censuses. Hannah died in 1889. I assume at the above location.

Summary and Conclusions

  • It is a little difficult to figure out where ancestors lived, but it can be rewarding
  • If an ancestor owned their land, that land may be traced through the Registry of Deeds. If not, there is some more guessing involved. The use of the census plus maps helps in that case.
  • Finding where an ancestor lived is helpful for the genealogy. It also adds color to the life and may bring about connections or lead to more information.
  • While looking for where Hannah Bradford lived, I found a clue to where her brother Henry Bradford may have lived.
  • After moving about in her early life quite a bit perhaps due to her father’s early death, Hannah settled down to the South part of Snipatuit Road once she married.




2 Replies to “Where DId My Bradford Ancestors Live in Massachusetts? Part 1 Hannah Born 1838”

  1. Hi Joel wondering if you have anymore research on William Bliss Allen that married Rhoda nee Taber Bradford
    Hoping to connect William Bliss Allen to our William Bliss Allen who was an America Whaler that came to Western Australia abt 1850 he married Mary Ann nee Walker Warner and had George Bliss Allen 1854 and Henrietta Avis Allen 1852
    And then left abt 1855 to return to massachusetts
    Look forward to your reply

    1. Hi Tricia,

      It sounds like you have a lot more than I have. That is very interesting. I think that there is a Taber genealogy book that I saw one time at the Fairhaven Library. I don’t know if you are familiar with it. I called my local library to see if they had it but they didn’t (Elizabeth Taber Library!).


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