I loved reading about Debbie’s family and her heritage in our last blog! I could smell the wonderful Italian food and imagine the large family gatherings. It made me think how this country is made up of many stories, each rich in their own past.
Following Debbie’s lead, I wanted to share my family’s story. What you will learn is that I am born and bred in Hamden, Connecticut, went to the University of Connecticut, and now live in Brookfield.
My husband, Les, enjoys his ancestry.com subscription, and has been able to find my relations back to William Eure born 1483 in England, but I will start my story a bit later.
The first ancestor we could find who stepped foot on American soil was Francis Bradley, at the age of 12. He arrived on the boat the Hector in Branford/New Haven in 1637. Francis is not listed on the passenger list, but other research shows he was a passenger. He lived in New Haven and worked for Governor Theophilus Eaton of the New Haven colony until 1660 when Francis moved to Fairfield.
The balance of my knowledge of the Bradley family comes from my application to the Children of the American Revolution (C.A.R.). You are probably more familiar with the Daughters of the American Revolution (D.A.R.) which, if eligible, someone joins at the age of 18 years or older.
According to my application, going back nine generations, the first Bradley born in the new world was John Bradley in 1670 in Greenfield Hill. Four generations remained in Greenfield Hill until Alson Bradley was born in 1813 in Roxbury, he married Hannah Sturtevant from Bridgewater.
To be eligible to join these societies, an ancestor needed to assist in America’s independence from England. My ancestor was Seth Bradley. He joined the Continental Army near New York on the Westchester border under General Wooster.
I am the middle of five children. I love that a brother lives near Greenfield Hill, in Fairfield and I have settled so nearby Roxbury, Bridgewater and the Westchester border. When I was in my early teens my grandparents (members of the D.A.R. and S.A.R. – Sons of the American Revolution) drove my sister and me to a C.A.R. event at the Congregational Church of Brookfield. Who knew at that time I would meet my future husband at UCONN, who was from Brookfield, and that I would become a longtime member of that church!
You may have noticed that I am named after the Bradley family. This is a long-time tradition of using last names as middle names. My own children are Alexander Buck, named after his paternal grandmother, Christopher Lincoln, my maternal grandfather, and Andrew Davies, named after my father. They have always thanked me for not giving them the middle name Purdy after my great-grandfather!
I am grateful to my family for their history of service. I try to aspire to continue to make my part of the world a better place. While my children were young, I volunteered at their schools and scouts, later participated in many church committees, and now sit on the Brookfield Board of Selectman in my third elected term. I am also on the Brookfield Lions Club Board of Directors and helped start the Thrift Shop at the Congregational Church of Brookfield. All of this in my spare time after my full-time job as an Insurance Broker with Matson Financial Advisors where I work with many area companies on their health insurance needs.