The William Bradford Family Tree is one of the more sought-after family trees from Colonial America.
Bradford arrived in Plymouth Colony with the Pilgrims and then became governor of the new colony when John Carver died. His book, Of Plymouth Plantation, gives a first-hand account of the Plymouth colony and the families that resided there and what happened to them.
William would marry twice and have a total of four children.
His first wife, Dorothy May, tragically died in Provincetown when she accidentally fell off the Mayflower and drowned. The couple had one son, John Bradford.
William's second wife was Alice Carpenter Southworth, a widow. They were married at Plymouth Colony on August 14, 1623.
Two sons, William Bradford and Joseph Bradford, and one daughter, Mercy Bradford, were born into the second marriage.
Alice had married first Edward Southworth, a say-weaver of Leyden, on May 28, 1613, in Leyden. Edward was born in 1590, the son of Thomas Southworth and Jane Mynne of Wells in Somersetshire.
Edward and Alice had two sons, Constant, and Thomas Southworth. The Southworths and William lived in Heneage House on Dukes Place in London for about a year before the Mayflower sailed, so were probably well acquainted.
Edward died by 1621, probably in Leyden, after the Mayflower sailed. Two years later, Alice left to join William in the new world.
William Bradford's Children
At a time when infant death rates were extremely high, Bradford's children lived to adulthood.
John Bradford was born about 1618 in Leyden, Holland, and died just before September 21, 1676, in Norwich, New London County, Connecticut. When William Bradford and his wife Dorothy left Holland for the new world, John Bradford was left behind in Leiden, Netherlands. It was perhaps 20 years before he joined his father and the other family members he had never met in Plymouth Colony.
William Bradford Jr was the firstborn son born to William and Alice in 1624. He had 10 children with his first wife (John, William, Thomas, Alice, Mercy, Hannah, 'Melatiah,' Samuel, Mary, and Sarah), a son Joseph with his second wife, whose identity has not been proven, and 4 sons with this third wife, Mary Wood or Atwood, widow of John Holmes. He would become the Lt. Governor of Plymouth.
Mercy Bradford, the daughter of Governor William Bradford and his second wife, Alice (Carpenter) (Southworth) Bradford, was born before May 1627, as she is mentioned in the Division of Cattle. She married Benjamin Vermayes (Fearmayes) in 1648. They had no children. She most probably died before May 1657. Her parents and her husband survived her. The estimated date of her death was determined by the probate settlement records of her parents and husband.
Joseph Bradford is the youngest son of Gov. William Bradford and Alice (Carpenter) (Southworth) Bradford. He married Jael Hobart, the daughter of Rev. Peter Hobart, and his wife, Elizabeth (Ilbrook) Hobart. He resided in Plymouth. He has been described in contemporary records as a "planter" and "innhoder" with a license to serve liquor. There were three children were born into this marriage, Joseph, Elisha, and Peter. Elisha is the only child mentioned in his father's will and the only one known to have left children.
William Bradford Family Chart
- William Bradford (1559 - 1591)
- Alice Hanson (1562 - 1597)
- Dorothy May (1597 - 1620)
- Alice Carpenter (1589 - 1670)
- John Bradford (1618 - 1676)
- William Bradford Jr (1624 - 1704)
- Mercy Bradford (1627 - 1657)
- Joseph Bradford (1630 - 1715)
- Margaret Bradford (1585)
- Alice Bradford (1587 - 1607)
- Agnes Briggs (1594 - unknown)
- Robert Briggs (1597 - unknown)