Ancestor Sketch – William Cameron Bradley

Bradley-Hingston Project
Bradley Line
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.It is often difficult to keep track of individuals with the same name. In the case of William Cameron Bradley, there were two William C. Bradley’s that lived in Philadelphia at the same time and two other William Bradleys that were born the same year as the William Bradley of interest in this research.

One method I use to help keep individuals straight is to use the “Notes” section for a person to remind me of those different people. For example, for my William Cameron Bradley I added the following:

         Do not confuse with William Bradley (b. 1839), father of Harry Bradley of Venango, PA.

         Do Not confuse with William Bradley (b. 1839) who died 11 Apr 1899 in Philadelphia, PA.

As I was researching, the notes remind me of ways to keep focused on the person I am researching.

Bradley-Hingston-2019 – BH #8

List of Grandparents

  • Grandfather: Arthur Wilson Bradley (1887-1938)
  • 1st Great-grandfather: William Cameron Bradley (1839-1901)
  • 2nd Great-grandfather: Joshua Bradley (1809-1874)

William Cameron Bradley (1839-1901)

William Cameron Bradley was born on 26 July 1839, just a few days after the start of the First Anglo-Afghan War when British forces captured the fortress city of Ghazni, Afghanistan. He was the oldest of four known children of Joshua and Margaret (Cameron) Bradley.

During the 1840 Census, he appears to have been living with his parents in Spring Garden, Philadelphia, PA. His father was working in the manufacturing and trades industry.

During the 1850 Census, his father is identified as a “machinist.” Two of his siblings had been born. I note that there is a five-year gap between William and his brother John, so there may be an unknown missing child born in 1841 or 1842. In any event, the family of five was still living in Spring Garden, Philadelphia, PA.

Young adult

During the 1860 Census, he was still living with his parents, three siblings and a woman, Sallie Carr, whose relationship to the Bradley’s is unknown at this time.  Joshua is still working as a machinist. The value of his real estate is about $6,000, and his personal estate is $500. Young William is working as a clerk. His three younger siblings are attending school.

In 1863, when the 23-year-old registered for the Draft (Civil War), he was living at 1323 Mount Vernon Street, and address that would stay with him most of his life.

The 1870 Census finds the 30-year-old living with his two sisters, Margaret and Emma.  He is working as a telegraph operator.  His sister Margaret is “keeping house” and his sister Emma is “without occupation.”


On 6 June 1872, William married Emma Smilley Earle.  The two of them had five children

William Apr 1873
David Cameron Mar 1875
Marian Nov 1877
Walter Cooper Apr 1879
Arthur Wilson May 1887

I note there was an eight-year gap between Walter and Arthur suggesting there may be one or two unknown pregnancies between 1880 and 1886.  However, the 1900 census indicates that Emma had five children and all five were living.


The 1880 Census indicates William and Emily are living with the four oldest children.  Living with them are two servants, 32-year-old Julia Grandly and 24-year-old Eliza Tagard, both from Ireland. William is a clerk and Emily is keeping house. This census also indicates they were living on Prospect Ave. I speculate this is the house at the corner of Evergreen and Prospect owned by William at the time of his death.

Sometime before 1898 the family moved to 1323 Mt. Vernon.  When Emily’s sister, Kate Earle Bixby died, the funeral services were held at the Mt. Vernon Street home.  Living there must have been frustrating.  In February 1898, people from the house across the street, 1322 Mt. Vernon, were arrested for running a house of ill-repute. William testified in court about the neighbors, but they were acquitted. Shortly after that, they moved to 608 North Seventeenth St.

The 1900 Census indicates that William and Emily were renting at 608 North 17th. William was a clerk in a chemical works and Emily was keeping house. Living with them are their five children (four are adults). Their sons include a mechanical engineer, a physician, and an art student. The fourth son, 13-year-old Arthur, is attending school. Marian is still single and living at home. With the family is a sister, Emma Bradley, and a sister-in-law Martha Earle. Finally, Mary McCrory, a servant of Scottish descent was living with them.

Death & Burial

William Cameron Bradley died on 6 August 1901 at his home at 608 North Seventeenth St. of “angina pectoris.” He was buried at Woodland Cemetery, Section H, Lot 251.

After his death, his estate was probated; his wife, Emily, was the executrix and the sole recipient of the sizable estate. It is interesting to note that he appeared to be renting the home at 608 North Seventeenth St. However, he still owned the property at 1324 Mt. Vernon and the property on the S.E. Corner of Evergreen and Prospect (400 Evergreen).

Events by Location

Philadelphia, PA – All events in William Cameron Bradley’s life took place in Philadelphia.

————–  Disclaimer  ————–


  • 1840 Census, NARA – Joshua Brady – Spring Garden, Ward 1, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. “United States Census, 1840,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : 8 September 2017). Citing p. 280, NARA microfilm publication M704, (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 487; FHL microfilm 20,555.
  • 1850 Census, NARA – Joshua Bradley – Spring Garden, Ward 4, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. “United States Census, 1850,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : 12 April 2016). Citing family 475, NARA microfilm publication M432 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration).
  • 1860 Census, NARA – Pennsylvania – Philadelphia, Philadelphia – Josh Bradey. “United States Census, 1860”, database with images, FamilySearch ( : 13 December 2017), Wm C Bradley in an entry for Josh Bradley, 1860. Enumerated on 5 July 1860.
  • 1870 Census, NARA – William Bradley – Philadelphia Ward 14 District 41, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Year: 1870; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 14 District 41, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: M593_1398; Page: 182B; Family History Library Film: 552897 – Source Information
  • 1880 Census, NARA – Wm C. Bradly – Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA. “United States Census, 1880,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : 21 August 2017), Wm C Bradly, 1880; citing enumeration district ED 458, sheet 527D, NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d), roll 1181; FHL microfilm 1,255,181.
  • 1900 Census – William Bradley – Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. “United States Census, 1900,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 30 May 2018), William Bradley, Philadelphia city Ward 15, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 268, sheet 4.
  • 1901-08-25 – Register Admits Wills to Probate. The Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) · 25 Aug 1901, Sun · Page 7 Downloaded on Mar 23, 2019 ., Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (
  • Find a Grave Memorial, Find a Grave, William Cameron Bradley – Memorial 157643237- No Image. Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed 22 March 2019), Citing Woodlands Cemetery, Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA; Maintained by Crypt Tonight (contributor 48494116).
  • Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Church and Town Records, 1669-2013,, Death – William C. Bradley 8 Aug 1901. Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records.
  • Pennsylvania, County Marriages, 1885-1950, Family Search, William C Bradley & Emilie S. Earle – 6 Jun 1872 – No Image. “Pennsylvania, County Marriages, 1885-1950,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : 28 November 2018), Wm C Bradley and Emile S Earle, 06 Jun 1872; citing Marriage, Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, various county courts and registers, Pennsylvania; FHL microfilm 1,765,398.
  • Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966,, Arthur Bradley – Died 5 Jan 1938.
  • Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Births, 1860-1906, Family Search, Marian Bradley – Birth 27 Nov 1877 – No Image. “Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Births, 1860-1906,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : 10 March 2018), Emily E. in an entry for Marian Bradley, 27 Nov 1877; citing Birth, Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, City of Philadelphia, Department of Records, Pennsylvania.
  • Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915, Family Search, Walter G. Bradley – Death – 13 Feb 1913 – No Image. “Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : 8 March 2018), William C. Bradley in an entry for Walter G. Bradley, 13 Feb 1913; citing cn 3986, Philadelphia City Archives and Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; FHL microfilm 1,421,367.
  • Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915, Family Search, William C. Bradley – Death – 6 Aug 1901. “Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : 8 March 2018), William C. Bradley, 06 Aug 1901; citing 3573, Philadelphia City Archives and Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; FHL microfilm 1,853,175.
  • Pennsylvania, Septennial Census, 1779-1863, Philadelphia Philadelphia Ward 14 1863 – Bradey. Pennsylvania, Septennial Census, 1779-1863 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2012.
  • Pennsylvania, Wills and Probate Records, 1683-1993,, William Cameron Bradley – 16 Aug 1901. Pennsylvania probate record; Probate Place: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • Philadelphia Times – 1896-05-06 – page 5 – column 2 – Died – Bixby (Bradley). Via NewspaperArchives.ComPhiladelphia Times, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • Philadelphia Times – 1898-02-11 – League Would Not Prosecute – Ref: William C. Bradley. See last paragraph.. NewspaperArchives.Com, Philadelphia Times, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • Philadelphia Times – 1901-08-25 – Page 9 – Register of Wills – admitted to probate the will of William C. Bradley. Philadelphia Times, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (NewspaperArchives.Com).
  • Civil War Draft Registrations Records, 1863-1865,, William C Bradley – Age 23. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; Consolidated Lists of Civil War Draft Registration Records (Provost Marshal General’s Bureau; Consolidated Enrollment Lists, 1863-1865); Record Group: 110, Records of the Provost Marshal General’s Bureau (Civil War); Collection Name: Consolidated Enrollment Lists, 1863-1865 (Civil War Union Draft Records); NAI: 4213514; Archive Volume Number: 1 of 11.

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