After a ton of research, my father has confirmed an old family legend: we are descended from William Bradford, the long-time governor of the Plymouth colony. Bradford was one of the many Puritan Pilgrims who came over on the Mayflower to escape religious persecution in England. He is credited as the first civil authority to formally recognize the Thanksgiving holiday. We all learned the story in elementary school ;-).

Here is how we are connected (all credit to my father, who did all of the research):

  • Governor William Bradford (b. 1590: Yorkshire, England) married Alice Carpenter (b. 1595: Somerset, England).
  • Their son Maj. William Bradford (b. 17 Jun 1624: Plymouth, Massachusetts) married Mary Wood (Atwood) (b. 1645).
  • Their son Ephraim Bradford (b. 1685: Plymouth, Massachusetts) married Elizabeth Brewster (b. 1690: Kingston, Massachusetts).
  • Their son Simeon Bradford (b. 28 Aug 1729: Kingston, Massachusetts) married Phoebe Whiton (b. 17 Mar 1736: Plympton, Massachusetts).
  • Their son Hosea Bradford (b. Jul 1773: Springfield, Vermont) married Hannah Wheeler Eastman (b. 7 Jan 1784: Bucksville, Ohio).
  • Their son Lester Bradford (b. 17 Jul 1809: Duns Pattent, Canada) married Elvira Thayer (b. 16 Mar 1816).
  • Their son Elbert Newton Bradford (b. 10 Aug 1835: Olmstead, Ohio) married Annie J. Dougherty (or Griswold) (b. Feb 1846: New York).
  • Their son Walter Ernest Bradford (b. 19 Aug 1879: Yoncalla, Oregon) married Myrtle Perry (b. 1880: Tyler, Washington).
  • Their son Norvin Ernest Bradford (b. 8 Oct 1903: Tacoma, Washington) married Verna Novella Houk (b. 26 Sep 1910: Woodworth, North Dakota).
  • Their son, Leslie Gene Bradford (b. 6 Jan 1932: Yoncalla, Oregon) married Betty Lou Coleman (b. 3 Oct 1932: Salem, Oregon).
  • Their son, Kenneth M. Bradford married Melinda.
  • Their son is me.

Pretty cool!