William C Bradley in the Pennsylvania, Wills & Probate Records

Part 2 of 2 – Cover Page & Will Papers

Amanuensis Monday[i]
Project Bradley-Hingston
Transcription by Don Taylor

Intro/source

Probate Record for William C. Bradley – Probate Date 16 Aug 1901, Philadelphia, PA, Case number 1405 – 10 images. Original data: Pennsylvania County, District and Probate Courts.[ii]

Document Image

Cover Page

No. 1405 1901
Estate of William C Bradley

Application for Probate and Letters Testamentary
Filed: Aug 16 A.D. 1901
Jacob Singer, Register

Fees
Letters Testamentary  $15.50

Certificate, 2                         1.00
=====
Paid                 16.50


Will Papers – Pages 2-4

Page 1 of 3

I, William C. Bradley, of the City of Philadelphia, in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Clerk being of sound mind, memory and understanding, do make my last will and testament in manner and form following:

I give, devise and bequeath unto my beloved wife, Emily Smillie Bradley, her heirs and assigns forever, all my property, real, personal and mixed, of what nature or kind soever, and wheresoever the same shall be at the time of my death.

And I do nominate, constitute and appoint my said wife sole executrix of this my last will and testament.

In witness whereof, I William C. Bradley the testator, have to this my will, written on one sheet of paper, set my hand and seal this nineteenth day of July, A.D., one thousand eight hundred and eighty seven.

Signed, sealed, published           }
and declared by the above         }       William C Bradley {SEAL}
named William E. Bradley         }
as and for his last will                }
and testament, in the presence  }
of us, who have hereunto sub-  }
scribed our names at his            }
request as witnesses thereto,     }
in the presence of the said        }
testator and of each other.        }

Charles M. C. Durlovow
Ed. J. Schofield
Jno. L. Davis


Page 2 of 3

Will of William C. Bradley

Philadelphia July 19, 1887


Page 3 of 3

City and County of Philadelphia, ss.

Personally came before me, Register of Wills, in and for the said city and county

William E. Bradley and Dr. D. Cameron Bradley who upon their solemn oath did say that at the request of the Executrix they did “well and truly, and without prejudice or partiality, value and appraise the Goods and Chattels, Rights and Credits,” which were of William C. Bradley deceased, “and in all respects perform their duties as appraisers to the best of their skill and judgement.”

Sworn and subscribed this 3th        }           William E. Bradley
Day of September 1901, before me.}           C Cameron Bradley, m.d.

Chat Irwin Deputy Register


Inventory and Appraisement of the Goods and Chattels, Rights and Credits, which were of William C. Bradley late of Philadelphia taken and made in conformity with the above deposition


Cash on deposit in Philadelphia Savings Fund of Philadelphia          $ 300=
Cash on deposit in Western Saving Fund of Philadelphia                     $ 360=
22 Shares stock American Bank Note Co. @ $56, per share                 1232=
                                                                                                                                     ——-                                                                                                                                                $1892=


Discussion

$1,892 in 1901 is the equivalent of $56,264.96 today.[iii]

Conclusion

We learned that William’s wife, Emily, and is two sons, William E., and Dr. Cameron Bradley were living.


Endnotes

[i] John Newmark started the “Amanuensis Monday” category in 2009 on his Blog,  Transylvanian Dutch  and many bloggers have followed suit using the tag. Google provides the following meaning for amanuensis: “A literary or artistic assistant, in particular one who takes dictation or copies manuscripts.”

[ii] Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Wills and Probate Records, 1683-1993 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015.

[iii] CPI Inflation Calculator http://www.in2013dollars.com/us/inflation/1901?amount=1892

 

Surname Saturday – Beardsley

Darling Line
By Don Taylor

Name Origin

According to Forebears, the surname “Beardsley” is a derivation of “Bardsley,” which was derived from being from a place, ‘of Bardsley.’ Bardsley is a parish between Ashton and Oldham, near Manchester. The American Bardsleys, and all the North English Bardsleys, and perhaps all the Beardsleys, hail from the Lancashire parish[i].

Ancestry suggests the name may be based upon an unidentified place, possibly in Nottinghamshire, where the surname is particularly common[ii].

Of course, I need to see things in order to understand the relationships of locations in England. Using Google Maps, I learned that Forebears puts the Beardsleys up near Manchester and Ancestry suggests a location 60 miles southeast of Manchester.  Oddly enouth, my Beardsley are from Ilkeston and Stratford-upon-Avon (50 and 90 miles from Manchester).

Locations of Beardsleys based on Forebears and Ancestry are in Gray and the locations of my wife’s Beardsley ancestors births. 

It seems odd to me that William and his son were born so far apart. It makes me wonder if my data regarding their birthplaces is incorrect.  Additionally, I’m relying mostly upon the research of others for those specific locations (sources I’ve found only say they were born in England). In any event, I haven’t had a chance to research these individuals in depth yet. However, the Interregnum may explain the relocation.

Geographical

Worldwide there are approximately 12,390 people who bear the Beardsley surname.

It is most prevalent in the United State where over three-quarters of the people with the Beardsley surname live. Little Montserrat (a small island in the Lesser Antilles has the highest density of Beardsleys with 1 in 1,220 people having the surname.

Earliest Beardsley Ancestors

My wife’s ninth-great-grandfather, William Beardsley was born about 1604 in Stratford-on-Avon, Warwickshire, England. I, of course, like to imagine that young William Beardsley was named for William Shakespheare, a contemporary of the town of Stratford on Avon. Likewise, little William was about 12-years-old when Shakespeare died, so I speculate that William had seen, or at least knew of Shakespeare. William moved to Ilkeston, Darbyshire, England sometime before 1630 where he married Marie Harvie.

There, he had a son, Joseph Beardsley, who was born in Ilkeston, Darbyshire, England in 1635.

It was sometime before 1665 that William, Marie, and Joseph located to the Colonies and settled in Stratford, Fairfield County, Connecticut.

Flag of the United Kingdom
Immigrant Ancestor

The Interregnum of England took place from 1649 to 1660. (The between the execution of Charles I and the arrival of Charles II and the start of the Restoration[iii]. It was the time of Oliver Cromwell. More research is needed to know if they arrived in the Colonies before during, or after the Interregnum. In any event, it was a time of great upheaval in England and that chaos might have been the cause for leaving England for the new world.

So, both William and Joseph were immigrant ancestors from England.

Joseph married Abigail Phebe Dayton in Connecticut in 1665. They had a daughter, Hannah Beardsley, who is my wife’s seventh-great-grandmother.

My wife’s direct Beardsley ancestors:

  • Grandfather: Robert Harry Darling (1905-1969)
  • Great-grandfather: Rufus Harry Darling (1857-1917)
  • 3nd Great-grandmother: Elizabeth Jane Swayze (1818-1896)
  • 3rd Great-grandfather: David Swayze (1796-1850)
  • 4rd Great-grandfather: David Swayze (1762-1838)
  • 5th Great-grandfather: Amos Swayze (1739-1813)
  • 6th Great-grandfather: Mathias Swayze (1699-1728)
  • 7th Great-Grandmother: Hannah Beardsley (1671-1742)
  • 8th Great-Grandfather: Joseph Beardsley (1634-1712)
  • 9th Great-Grandfather: William Beardsley (1602-1661)

Known relatives.

Although I only have 11 Beardsley in my data, my records have identified 271 direct-line descendants of William Beardsley.

Sources:

Endnotes:

Donna Darling Collection – Part 46

Treasure Chest Thursday
Vaudeville
By Don Taylor

For this week’s Treasure Chest Tuesday, I’m looking at “DSCN1419” from the Donna Darling Collection. There were five items on this page.

Loew’s … On the Stage – Donna Darling The Scintillating Beauty in “Her Jewel Review” and two other big acts.

The accompanying movie was Constance Talmadge in “Her Sister from Paris.” There were many Loew’s Theatre’s, so it isn’t clear which of the 147 Loew’s theatres this one was[i].

The second and third clippings provide the answer. One is a long, thin page header which indicates, “London Evening Advertiser, Friday, February 26, 1926.” The other is an article, “At the Theatres,” which describes what was playing at Loew’s Theatre. Together, with the advertisement clipping, they show Donna played at the Loew’s Theatre in London, Ontario, from February 25th through the 27th, 1926.

Donna Darling Revue is one of the best dancing and singing acts seen at Loew’s for some time. All the girls are beautiful, and they can dance. Miss Darling proves her versality by appearing in four different roles, singing and dancing in each. A splendid selection of costume dances brings calls for many encores and on the whole the girls prove a huge success.

Further searching on Cinema Treasures, indicated there was a Loew’s Theater, which was built in 1924, existed in London Ontario.  I know that Donna played at the Capitol Theatre in Toronto, Ontario, from February 8th through the 13th, and at the Colonial Theatre in Detroit from February 28th through March 3rd, so her playing in London between them makes sense.

Sammy Clark, c. Feb 1926.

The fourth image was one of her dog. The photo was severely damaged over time and not worth trying to clean it up.

The final image was one of her husband, Sammy. It is a lovely photo that adds to my collection of Sammy photos. Long coat, hat, gloves, he looks so gangster from the 1920s. He clearly dressed in the style of the mid-1920s.

Conclusion

February 25-27, 1926 – Loew’s Theatre, London, Ontario – Donna Darling in “Her Jewel Revue” added to Donna’s list of performances.

Actions

  • Research Loew’s Theatre in London, Ontario and write about her show there and the theatre.

Sources

[i] Internet: Cinema Treasures – Search for Loew theatres. http://cinematreasures.org/theaters?q=Loew&status=all

William C Bradley in the Pennsylvania, Wills and Probate Records

Part 1 of 2 – Cover Page & Will Papers

Amanuensis Monday[i]
Project Bradley-Hingston
Transcription by Don Taylor

Intro/source

Probate Record for William C. Bradley – Probate Date 16 Aug 1901, Philadelphia, PA, Case number 1405 – 10 images. Original data: Pennsylvania County, District and Probate Courts.[ii]

Document Image

Cover Page

No. 1405 1901

Estate of William C Bradley

Application for Probate and Letters Testamentary

Filed: Aug 16 A.D. 1901
Jacob Singer, Register

Fees
Letters Testamentary  $15.50
Certificate, 2                        1.00
=====
Paid                    16.50

Will Papers

In the Matter of the Probate of the last Will and Testament of William Cameron Bradley Deceased.

The Petition of Emily S. Bradley respectfully showeth that she is the Executrix named in the last Will and Testament of William Cameron Bradley dated 19th day of July A. D. 1887. That said William Cameron Bradley was a resident of Philadelphia County, State of Pennsylvania, and departed this life at number 608 North 17th Street, Philadelphia in the County of Philadelphia and the State of Pennsylvania on Tuesday the 6th day of August A. D. 1901 at 5 o’clock A.M.

The said testator was possessed of personal property to the value of $1992.00 and of real estate (less incumbrance) to the value of $8000.00 as near as can be ascertained, situated as follows: House and lot, S.E. corner Evergreen and Prospect Avenues, Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, Penn, and house and lot at 1323 Mt. Vernon Street, Philadelphia, Penn.

Therefore, the said Emily S Bradley respectfully applies for Probate of the said last Will and Testament and for Letters Testamentary thereon.

Dated August 16th A. D. 1901.

[s/] Emily S. Bradley

Discussion

This document confirms several other documents, including the date and place of death for William C. Bradley. It also indicates that William owned two properties at the time of his death.  The house at 1323 Mt. Vernon Street is no longer in existence. The current building at that address was built in 1965[iii].

However, the house at the S.E. Corner of Evergreen and Prospect Avenues in Chestnut Hill Philadelphia is still there. Its current address is 400 Evergreen and according to Trulia, it was built in 1860[iv]. Today it looks like:

The 1900 Census indicated he lived at 608 North Seventeenth. At that time, he lived in an extended family consisting of him, his wife, five children, a sister, a sister-in-law, and a servant.


ENDNOTES

[i] John Newmark started the “Amanuensis Monday” category in 2009 on his Blog,  Transylvanian Dutch and many bloggers have followed suit using the tag. Google provides the following meaning for amanuensis: “A literary or artistic assistant, in particular ,one who takes dictation or copies manuscripts.”

[ii] Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Wills and Probate Records, 1683-1993 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015.

[iii] https://www.trulia.com/p/pa/philadelphia/1323-mount-vernon-st-philadelphia-pa-19123–2017206294

[iv] https://www.trulia.com/p/pa/philadelphia/400-e-evergreen-ave-philadelphia-pa-19118–2089898661

 

Interview with Melissa A. Johnson, CG®

As an “official blogger” at the New England Regional Genealogical Conference (NERGC 2019), I had the opportunity to interview one of the conference speakers.  I plan to attend two of Melissa Johnson’s lectures, and thought it would be nice to know more about her and some of her thoughts about genealogy.

Melissa Johnson, CG®

Melissa is a professional genealogist specializing in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania research, using DNA test results, genealogical writing, forensic genealogy, and lineage society applications. Her presentations at NERGC 2019 include:

F-104: Demystifying Genealogical Terminology (Beginner)
F-117: Go Paperless! Organizing Your Genealogical Research (All Levels)
S-121 Writing Your Family History (Workshop, Intermediate)

Questions:

Don:    Your website indicates that you specialize in lineage society applications. What do you think are the most significant benefits of becoming a member of a lineage society?

Melissa:           I am not a member of any lineage societies, so I can only speak to the reasons why my clients want to join them. Most of my clients want to become involved in society. Whether it’s the DAR, SAR, Descendants of the Founders of New Jersey, or another group, there are volunteer positions and different types of events that people can become involved in. Some of my other clients want to document their ancestral lines and the people who qualify them for membership in the society, So, in terms of the benefits, it really depends on the person. If I were ever to join a lineage society, I would do it mostly to have my lineage on record for future generations.

Don:    Your bio mentions that you specialize in “forensic genealogy.” What exactly is forensic genealogy?

Melissa:           Forensic Genealogy is genealogy as it pertains to the law. For example, if someone dies without a will, researching to identify their next of kin, would fall under forensic genealogy. So would any type of genealogical research that is part of a civil or criminal case. Also, research to move forward with a process that changes your legal status, such as dual citizenship, is categorized as forensic genealogy. Obtaining dual citizenship makes you a citizen of another country because it changes your legal status. Another example is a person who is applying to become a member of a federally-recognized Native American tribe. That process changes a person’s race (and thus, their legal status).  All those types of research fall under forensic genealogy. The use of DNA in genealogy can also fall under forensic genealogy—for example, if an individual seeks to identify their biological parents after an adoption (a legal process) took place.

Don:    Interesting. It makes me wonder if all genealogists shouldn’t endeavor to treat their research as a forensic genealogist, in that they should approach their research as if they have no personal interest in the results or the findings.

Melissa:    That can be a good approach. It is always good to go into a research project without any bias, but it’s often hard to do that when it’s our own family and when we think we know something about an ancestor we’ve heard it so many times before. It’s also good to treat all of your research as seriously as a forensic genealogist would. Our reports, affidavits, and exhibits are often brought before a court, so you always want them to be your absolute best work. All researchers should make sure that they are meeting the Genealogical Proof Standard.

Don:    DNA testing for genealogical purposes is now very popular in the genealogy field. There is much discussion about DNA testing; my question is, when should a person not test?

Melissa:    DNA test results can be very difficult to understand for a beginner, and can sometimes include surprising results. It is essential to understand what a DNA test can and can’t tell you. That involves knowing and understanding that a DNA test can reveal previously unknown relatives. There have been many cases where a person who took a DNA test found out that they were adopted, or that the man who raised them was not their biological father. Likewise, there may have been individuals adopted out of a person’s biological family. Those individuals might take a DNA test and show up in your results; they might not know about you, and you might not know about them. There are always going to be surprises, so it’s good to understand this before deciding to take the test. Also, everyone should be very clear about what the testing company does (and doesn’t) do with DNA test results. Everyone should read the “terms and conditions” or “terms of use” for each website or third party tool to make sure that they fully understand where their DNA information is going and how the company is going to use it. So, to answer the question about when a person should not test,” I would say it is when they don’t fully understand what information a DNA test will provide, don’t want to know about any unexpected relationships, or are uncomfortable with the terms and conditions of a particular testing company.

Don:    I am the illegitimate son of an illegitimate daughter of an illegitimate daughter. As such, I firmly believe that the truth is always better than lies or confusion. I know many people say they don’t want to know the truth if it disagrees with their current world view. Today, many genealogical ethicists seem to promote only sharing findings if they don’t “hurt” anyone. What are your thoughts about that issue?

Melissa:    Many people are being provided with new information, especially as a result of DNA testing. Some of the surprises I mentioned, such as finding out that one or both parents is not biologically related, could surprise many parties—the child, the parent, the parent’s spouse, the parent’s other children—for example.  Each scenario is different and there are many viewpoints and feelings to consider, and if there isn’t a cut-and-dry sort of answer in terms of making these findings public information. It depends on the situation. It’s always good for a researcher to take a step back, look at all the parties involved, and think about how the news might impact everyone. There are lots of ways to share new findings—publicly and privately within a family, published formally or informally, or published with pieces of information redacted. The impacts on all living people should be considered.

Don:     What do you think is the best, or most desirable, way to preserve genealogical work for future generations?

Melissa:    Writing up your research is definitely the best way. This can be done in many different ways. Some people have blogs with tons of information about their family. Blogs are great because they’re searchable, and someone who is searching for their great-great-grandfather can find that distant cousin’s blog and connect with them. You can also write up your research more formally—some genealogists have written several volumes of books on specific families. There are also other options—researchers can write a short article about an ancestor or an interesting problem for a genealogy magazine. Writing also doesn’t have to be formally published—it can be placed in a file in your local historical society. Writing is the way to go, no matter the format you choose. recommend that everyone writes up some part of their research for future generations. On Saturday at NERGC, I’ll be teaching a workshop that talks about options for how to write up your research.

Don:    Excellent. I’m looking forward to it. Your workshop is on my list of things to attend at the conference. I appreciate your participating in this interview. Thank you so much.

Melissa A. Johnson, CG® is a professional genealogist and can be reached through her websites: www.johnsongenealogyservices.com and www.newjerseyfamilyhistory.com.