Ancestor Sketch – Arthur Wilson Bradley

52 Ancestors – Week 2018-23
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.It is interesting to encounter the event that suggests the rule. Arthur Wilson Bradley’s probate is probably an example of what not to do. On the other hand, it might be a great example of karma reaching out from the grave and making things better for the abused. Family oral history says that Arthur was a mean and abusive man. His wife, Magdalen [i], suffered with him for 27 years.  Then in March of 1937, the two divorced.  The following month Arthur and Rose Taucett took out a marriage license.  I can’t find any evidence that Arthur and Rose married, however, later in 1937 Arthur did marry again, this time to Alice M. Kneipp. Arthur died the following January (1938). Apparently, Arthur didn’t change his will when he remarried. In any event, his first wife, Magdalen became the Executrix for his probate and received $5000 in personal and $3000 in real estate holdings from the estate. Well, good on her, that the abused wife received the estate.  On the other hand, I’ve long heard, if you don’t want the ex to get your stuff, update your will.

Bradley-Hingston 2018 – Ancestor #4

List of Grandparents

  • Grandfather: Arthur Wilson Bradley
  • 1st Great-grandfather: William C. Bradley

Arthur Wilson Bradley (1887-1938)

Arthur Wilson Bradley was born 23 May 1887 in Philadelphia, the fifth child of William C and Emily (Earle) Bradley.

William and Emily Bradley’s known children

Name Birth
William C. Bradley Apr 1873
David C Bradley Mar 1875
Marion Bradley Nov 1877
Walter C Bradley Apr 1879
Arthur Wilson Bradley May 1887

The long, eight-year, gap between Walter and Arthur suggests there may be additional siblings, heretofore unknown.  However, I expect to be able to know more when I research his parent’s lives further.

Thaddeus Stevens School promoted Arthur to Central High School in 1902.

Boys Central High School, Philadelphia, 1904 – Source: Hidden Philadelphia via Wikipedia

He then graduated from Central High School in 1906 with a Bachelor of Arts.


The big news the day Arthur turned 21, on May 23, 1908, was about a big storm that hit the area. Tornado and cloudburst struck Camden, which flooded the streets and tied up traffic. In Philadelphia, the Old Christ Church was struck by lightning, as was the steeple of the Baldwin Memorial Presbyterian Church in West Philadelphia.  On the political scene, Senator Foraker, of Ohio, attacked President (Theodore) Roosevelt for declaring that the “colored soldiers discharged without honor by him [Roosevelt] in connection with the ‘shooting up’ of Brownsville were in the same class with the assassins of Presidents McKinley and Garfield.”[ii] [Good on Senator Foraker.]


On April 4, 1910, the 22-year-old Arthur married 20-year-old Magdalen Polk Taylor. The two had three children.  The young couple had three known children:

Name Birth
Christian Bradley 1911
Miriam Bradley 1912
David Tasker Polk Bradley 1918

Immediately after their marriage they lived with Arthur’s widowed mother, Emily, her spinster sister, Emma, and Arthur’s brother, William. Also, in the household was a 22-year-old Irish immigrant servant. They lived at 4073 Powelton Ave. That address does not appear to exist today. Arthur was working as a Linotype Operator, an occupation he would have for many years.

Image of a linotype machine.
Linotype Machine – h Century by James Penny Boyd, page 590, via Flickr

Sometime before 1915 the couple moved across the Delaware River to Pennsauken Township, New Jersey. The couple moved back to Philadelphia before 1917 and were living on Verree Road when Arthur registered for the draft. His physical description was given as medium height, slender build, gray eyes, and light hair.

On 27 September 1919 eight-year-old Christian was hit by a truck while playing in the street; he died.

The 1920 Census shows the family, living on Verree Road. Residing with Arthur, Madeline, and the two children (Miriam & David) is a 17-year-old maid from Bohemia named Frances Corbel.

Arthur’s mother died in 1927 and in 1928 Arthur sold his mother’s house and property at 57 West Greenwood Avenue in Lansdowne to Elizabeth Bradley Belcher.

The 1930 Census indicates that Arthur gave up linotype operations and moved to the country to work a truck farm. They lived out in Warminster, on Davisville Road. By the way, the word ‘truck’ in “truck farm” does not refer to a truck used for transportation, rather it comes from the old French word troquer, which means “barter” or “exchange.”[iii]

Death & Burial

1937 was an awful year in many ways. First, in March 1937, Arthur and Magdeline divorced. In April, Arthur received a marriage license to marry Rose Taucett. That marriage does not appear to have occurred. However, later in the year he married Alice M Kneipp. Arthur was very sick during the latter part of the year because he died from bladder cancer on 5 January 1938.

Arthur’s death certificate indicates he was buried at Mount Vernon Cemetery in Philadelphia. I have been unable to find a marker for him. This cemetery is closed, locked up, apparently abandoned, and sadly overgrown. There is a video on Vimeo that shows the state of the cemetery in 2016 – Heartbreaking.

Mt Vernon Cemetery from nilkin67 on Vimeo.

Further Actions / Follow-up

  • Find a copy of the 1906 Central High School, Philadelphia, Penn., yearbook and look for Arthur’s interests and photo.
  • Find Arthur’s burial location and possible stone at Mount Vernon Cemetery.
  • Get copy Arthur’s will from Bucks County.

————–  Disclaimer  ————–


  • 1900 Census (FS), Family Search, 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.
  • 1910 Census (FS), Family Search, 1910 Census – Emily E Bradley – Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. “United States Census, 1910,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 30 May 2018), Emily E Bradley, Philadelphia Ward 24, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 513, sheet 6A, family 122, NARA microfilm publication T624 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1982), roll 1398; FHL microfilm 1,375,411. Accessed 29 May 2018.
  • 1915 New Jersey state census, population schedule, Arthur W Bradley – Pennsauken Township, New Jersey. “New Jersey State Census, 1915,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : 15 March 2018), Arthur W Bradley, Pennsauken Township, 1 district, Camden, New Jersey, United States; citing sheet #12B, household 282, line #77, New Jersey State Library, Trenton; FHL microfilm 1,465,511.  Accessed 1 Jun 2018
  • 1920 Census (FS), Family Search, Arthur W. Bradley – Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. “United States Census, 1920,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 29 May 2018), Arthur W Bradley, Philadelphia Ward 35, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States; citing  ED 1238, sheet 1A, line 30, family 7, NARA microfilm publication T625 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1992), roll 1637; FHL microfilm 1,821,637. – Accessed 29 May 2018.
  • 1930 Census (FS), Family Search, Arthur W Bradley – Warminster, Bucks, Pennsylvania. “United States Census, 1930,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 30 May 2018), Arthur W Bradley, Warminster, Bucks, Pennsylvania, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 75, sheet 10B, line 82, family 251, NARA microfilm publication T626 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2002), roll 2008; FHL microfilm 2,341,742. Accessed 29 May 2018.
  • Bristol Daily Courier, Bristol, Pennsylvania ( 09 Mar 1937, Tue · Page 4 – Divorce – Anson W. Bradley Magdalen P. T. Bradley.

  • Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Church and Town Records, 1669-2013, Ancestry.Com, Marriage – Arthur Wilson Bradley & Magdalen Polk Taylor. Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records; Reel: 242.
  • Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966, Ancestry.Com, Arthur Bradley – Died 5 Jan 1938.
  • Pennsylvania, Wills and Probate Records, 1683-1993, Ancestry.Com, Arthur Wilson Bradley – 1938. Orphans Court Records, 1683-1866; Index, 1683-1958; Author: Pennsylvania. Orphans’ Court (Bucks County); Probate Place: Bucks, Pennsylvania
  • Pennsylvania, Wills and Probate Records, 1683-1993, Ancestry.Com, Arthur Wilson Bradley – Case Number 37383. Wills, 1713-1906; General Index, 1682-1939; Author: Bucks County (Pennsylvania). Register of Wills; Probate Place: Bucks, Pennsylvania.
  • Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1902-05-29, Page 6 – Central High School – 15th Sec.}
  • Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1906-06-15, Page 4 – “HIGH SCHOOL BOYS ARE GIVEN DEGREES” – List of Graduates – Bachelor of Arts—Classical Course—… Arthur Wilson Bradley, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (
  • Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1937-04-03 – Marriage License – Arthur W. Bradley & Rose Taucett.
  • United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 , Family Search, Arthur W Bradley “United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : 13 March 2018), Arthur W Bradley, 1917-1918; citing Philadelphia City no 34, Pennsylvania, United States, NARA microfilm publication M1509 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,907,756. Accessed 30 May 2018.


[i] Madeline and Magdalen are used interchangeably in various documents. I have settled on using Magdalen because that is the spelling of her name on her tombstone marker.

[ii] The Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) · Sat, May 23, 1908, Page 1, Via

[iii] Internet:  Online Etymology Dictionary: Truck (n.2) and Truck (v.1)

Surname Study – Vinson – Halifax County, NC – Part 4

Surname Saturday
By Don Taylor

During Part 3 of this study, I examined the Vinson family of Halifax County, North Carolina during the 1850 Census. This week I step back to the 1840 Census.

1840 Census

The 1840 Census contained the name of the head of the household, the location of the home in 1840, and the number of individuals in the household in various age groups. A search for Vinson in Halifax County, North Carolina yielded four Vinson families. Based upon my research of the 1850 through 1880 Censuses, I would expect to find the following individuals

  • A household that includes Elizabeth Vinson (age 55) and would including 23-year-old John and 15-year-old Nancy.
  • A household that included Robert Vinson (age between 10 and 16).
  • A household that included Littleberry Vinson (age 24 or 25).

Burket Vinson

The Burket Vinson family consists of three males and two females. It is the only family that fits the Elizabeth Vinson family line.

  • 1 Male 60 to 69         Burkett Vinson
  • 1 Male 20 to 29         John Vinson (Age 23)
  • 1 Male 15 to 19         <unknown>
  • 1 Female 50 to 59     Elizabeth Vinson (age 55)
  • 1 Female 15 thru 19 Nancy Vinson (age 15)

It is possible that Robert is that male from 15 to 19.

Peter Vinson

The Peter Vinson family consists of three males and two females.

  • 1 Male 40 to 49         Assumed to be Peter Vinson
  • 1 Male 10 to 14         Possibly Robert, age 10 to 16.
  • 1 Male 5 to 9              unk
  • 1 Female 30 to 39     Presumed to be Peter Vinson’s wife.
  • 1 Female 5 to 9          unk

Laban Vinson

The Laban Vinson family consists of three males and four females

  • 1 Male 70 to 79         Assumed to be Laban Vinson
  • 1 Male 15 to 19         Possibly Robert, age 10 to 16.
  • 1 Male 5 to 9
  • 2 Females 50 to 59    1 is presumed to be Laban’s wife.
  • 1 Female 15 to 19
  • 1 Female 10 to 14

It is possible that Robert Vinson, Age 10 to 16, is the male shown above.

Robert Vinson

The Robert Vinson family consists of two males and two females.

  • 1 Male 50 to 59         Assumed to be Robert Vinson
  • 1 Male 20 to 29         Possibly 23 year old John
  • 1 Female 50 to 59     Possibly 55 year-old Elizabeth
  • 1 Female 15 to 19.    Possibly 15 year old Nancy

It is also possible that Littleberry, age 24 or 25 is the Male 20 to 29 identified in the Census.


None of the 1850 Census households can be traced with certainty as being one of the 1840 Census households. This is disappointing but not unexpected. With that decision, I feel confident I must find some other kinds of documents to determine the family units of the Vinson families of Halifax County, North Carolina. The 55-year-old Elizabeth could be the wife of Burkett or Robert.

I believe I have exhausted the Census records for now, so I must continue my study using alternate (non Census) records. The ultimate purpose of the census work for this study was to know enough about the families involved so that Birth, Marriage, and Death Records will have a context and make sense.

Vinson Families in Halifax County 1850 thru 1880.

  • Elizabeth Vinson       (b. 1784-1785)
  • John Vinson                (b. 1816-1817)
  • + Lenora [Vinson]   (b. 1817-1818)
    • Virginia Vinson          (b. 1844-1846)
    • Elizabeth Vinson       (b. 1846-1847)
    • Susan Vinson             (b. 1847-1849)
  • + Ellenor [Vinson]    (b. 1824-1825)
    • James W. Vinson        (b. 1851-1852)
    • Benjamin I. Vinson    (b. 1854-1855)
    • Joseph Burkhead Vinson       (b. 1857-1858)
    • Ellen B. Vinson           (B. 1860-1861)
  • Nancy Vinson                       (b. 1824-1825)


  •  Robert Vinson (b. 1824-1830)
  • + Martha, [Vinson] (b. 1828-1829)
    • John H. Vinson           (b. 1850-1851)
    • Thomas L Vinson       (b. 1853-1854)
    • Albert L. Vinson         (b. 1855-1856)
    • Turner Vinson           (b. 1858-1859)
    • Laura E “Lizzie” Vinson (b. 1865-1866)


  • Littleberry Vinson      (b. 1815-1816)
  • + Fannie [Vinson]     (b. 1820-1821)
    • Laura Vinson (b. 1845-1846)
    • J. Robert Vinson (b. 1847-1848)
    • + L. N. Vinson (b. 1853-1854)
      • C.R. Vinson, (b. 1871-1872)
      • Fannie Vinson, (b. 1872-1873)
      • B. H. Vinson, (b. 1873-1874)
      • Emmett Vinson, (b. 1876-1877)
  • + Elizabeth [Vinson]   (b. 1815-1816)
    • Littleberry Vinson (b. 1857-1858)
    • William Vinson (b. 1859)






Donna Darling Collection – Part 29

Globe Theatre
Treasure Chest Thursday
By Don Taylor

Donna Montran – Ill and Injured

The Donna Darling Collection has a page that included four little clippings. None of the four were dated. Elsewhere on that scrapbook page are articles regarding Donna’s playing at the Cosmos Theater in Washington DC in March. (More about that in another post.)

ILL AND INJURED [Transcript]

“Ill and Injured” – Donna Darling Collection

“Dave Kramer (Kramer and Boyle dislocated his knee in stepping out of an automobile. The team were forced to cancel the last half of last week as a result. (April 21)”

“Bill Vidocq. Keith agent, has returned from Lakewood and is back on the fifth floor of the Keith Exchange.

“Illness beset the Donna Montra [sic] and Bathing Girls Revue last week twofold when Juva Marconi dislocated her hip while dancing, causing her confinement in the Lankanau Hospital, Philadelphia. Later in the week Miss Montran, the prima donna of the company, underwent a nose and throat operation in New York.

[Globe Theatre, Philadelphia, May 16]

Illness Strikes Donna

“Donna Montran, who with her Bathing Beauties was forced to cancel some time through the necessity of an operation recently, has fully recovered and opens at the Globe theatre, Philadelphia, for a return engagement, May 16.”

[Ann Troy]

Ann Troy joins

“Ann Troy, dancer, has replaced Juva Marconi in the Donna Montran and her Bathing Beauties act.”

[Donna Takes Summer Off]

Bathing Beauties closes for summer

“Donna Montran closed her Bathing Beauties act last week and will rest up for the summer. She will appear in production next season.”


  1. In April 1920, Donna was still performing with “Chin-Chin” in Maryland.
  2. In March 1921, Donna was performing “Donna Montran and her California Bathing Beauties.”
  3. By April 1922, Donna had changed her stage name to “Donna Darling.”

So, we know that “ILL AND INJURED” must be referring to 1921.

  Birth, Marriage & Death CollectionApril 21 was the last half of the week of April 17 to 23. That means that Juva Marconi must have dislocated her hip sometime around April 17 to 19 and that Donna must have gone to New York for her surgery about 20th or 21st.

In Clipping 2, we learn the Donna and her Bathing Beauties opened at the Globe Theatre, Philadelphia on May 16.

In Clipping 3, we learn that Ann Troy replaced Juva Marconi in the show.

In Clipping 4, we learn that the show closed for the summer. It is unclear when that occurred.

What I learned:

  • Donna and her Bathing Beauties, including Juva Marconi, must have been playing in Philadelphia or somewhere near Philadelphia the week of 17 April 1921. Possibly the Globe Theatre.
  • Donna went to New York for nose and throat surgery about 20 April 1920.
  • Donna and her Bathing Beauties “returned” to the Globe theatre on May 16.
  • Donna and her Bathing Beauties closed sometime after May 16 for the summer.

Consequent to the above, I have updated the Donna Montran Timeline to include the following:

  • April 17, 1921 – Unknown Theater near Philadelphia (Possibly the Globe Theatre).
  • May 16, 1921 – Globe Theatre, Philadelphia, PA – Donna Montran and her Bathing Beauties.
  • Date unknown [May, June, or July 1921] – Donna Closed the Show for the Summer.

Surname Saturday – Swayze

Darling Line
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.Name Origin

Swayze is a variant of the English name Swasey. The meaning of the name is unknown; however, the Dictionary of American Family Names suggests it possibly is “an Anglicized form of Dutch Swijse(n), variant of Wijs ‘wise’.”


Today, the greatest number of people with the Swayze surname live in the United States—Texas in particular. The greatest frequency of the Swayze surname occurs in Canada with one in 51,568 people in Canada having the surname. [i]

Back in 1880, the greatest number of people with the Surname Swayze lived, by far, in New Jersey. Stepping back to 1840, the greatest concentration of Swayze’s were also in New Jersey. At that time, 58% of the Swayze’s in the United States lived in New Jersey. [ii]

Earliest Ancestors

Flag of the United Kingdom
Immigrant Ancestor

My earliest known Swayze ancestor is my wife’s 9th great grandfather, John Swayze. He was born before 1600 in England. His son, John Swayze (1619-1706) is my wife’s Swayze immigrant. John (Jr.) was born in England, however, arrived in the Colonies before 1649 when he married Catherine Kinge, in Salem, Mass. John left Massachusetts and located in Suffolk County, New York. His son, Samuel, Grandson, Mathias, and great-grandson, Amos were all born in New York. Amos’s son, Amos (1767-1839) was the last of the New York Swayze’s in my wife’s line. Amos’s son David was born in New Jersey and is a patriot. He “Volunteered when 14 years old under Capt. Abraham McKinney and Lt. Beavers. He marched to Newark then to New York.”

David, the patriot, moved west, to Ohio. David’s son, David was born in New Jersey, moved to Ohio, then located further west and north to Kalamazoo, Michigan, where he died. All of David Swayze’s (1798-1850) children were born in Ohio. However, he located from Ohio to Michigan in June 1840, right after the census was taken.  His daughter Elizabeth Swayze, my wife’s second great-grandmother, is the last of the Swayze line of my wife’s. She married Rufus Holton Darling in 1848.

Eight Known Direct Swayze Ancestors

  • #25[iii] – Elizabeth Jane Swayze (c. 1818—1896)
  • #50 – David Swayze (1796-1850
  • #100 – David Swayze (1762-1838)
  • #200 – Amos Swayze (1739-1813)
  • #400 – Mathias Swayze (1699-1728)
  • #800 – Samuel Swayze (1653-1736)
  • #1600 – John Swayze (1619-1692) – Immigrant
  • #3200 – John Swayze (bef. 1600)–1686.

Famous Relatives.

Photo of Patrick Swayze
Photo by Alan Light [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Patrick Wayne Swayze is my wife’s 9th Cousin. Patrick Swayze was an actor known for Dirty Dancing and Ghost.

Apparently, John Cameron Swayze was related to Patrick Wayne Swayze, so that would make him a cousin to my wife as well. John Cameron Swayze was a news commentator during the 1950s. He may be best known as the spokesman for Timex where he used the tagline, “It takes a licking and keeps on ticking.”


My records currently have 355 direct-line descendants of John Swayze identified, which is nearly 13% of my Howell-Darling Research.


[i] – Swayze Surname Meaning & Statistics – See:
[ii] Amazon.Com – Swayze Family History – See:
[iii] Ahnentafel Numbering system – See:

Don Taylor Genealogy – Privacy Policy

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