Maj. John Bradford

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John Bradford

Birthdate: (83)
Birthplace: Plymouth, (Present Plymouth County), Plymouth Colony (Present Massachusetts), (Present USA)
Death: December 8, 1736 (83)
Kingston, Plymouth County, Province of Massachusetts, (Present USA)
Place of Burial: Massachusetts, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Maj. William Bradford, Jr., Dep. Gov. of Plymouth Colony and Alice Bradford
Husband of Mercy Bradford
Father of John Bradford, Jr.; Abigail Sampson; Mercy Cushman; Lt. Samuel Bradford; Priscilla Chipman and 2 others
Brother of Lt. Thomas Bradford; Mercy Steele; Alice Adams; Hannah Ripley, M.D.; Meletiah Stevens and 3 others
Half brother of Ephraim Bradford; Lieut. Joseph Bradford; Melatiah Steele; Israel Bradford; Hezekiah Bradford and 3 others

Managed by: Brian Christman
Last Updated:

About Maj. John Bradford

Maj. John Bradford was born on 20 February 1651/2 in Plymouth, Plymouth County, Massachusetts. His date of birth has also been found as 20 Feb 1653. He served in the military as Major of Plymouth forces. He gave land for the minister's home, church, and school.. This included 11 acres of woodland for permanent use of the ministry. In 1687 John was a First Deputy from Plymouth to General Court. From 1689 to 1691 he was a Deputy to General Court. In 1708/9 he was a Selectman. In 1719 John was a Representative to the General Assembly in Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts. He died on 8 December 1736 in Kingston, Plymouth County, Massachusetts. He was buried after 8 December 1736 in Old Burying Ground, Kingston, Plymouth County, Massachusetts. Parents: Maj. William Bradford and Alice Richards.


John's home, built in 1675, is apparently still standing and can be seen from the railway between Boston and Plymouth. He was prominent in civic affairs, a representative to the First General Court at Boston, and helped to incorporate Plymouth as a separate town.

According to tradition, the Indians attempted to burn John's house during King Philip's War. The Major discovered the fire. He spied an Indian on Abrams Hill waving a blanket and shouting to his fellows, and shot him. But on approach, William could not find the body. After the war, the Indian met Bradford and showed him the scars of his wound.

John and his wife Mercy share common ancestors in Alexander Carpenter and Priscilla Dillon, who were the father and mother-in-law of Gov. William Bradford of the Mayflower.

"The children were christened as a family 1 March 1691. The will of John Bradford of Kingston, gentleman, dated 2 October 1732, proved 21 December 1736, names wife Marcy; grandson Robert Bradford, son of John Bradford deceased; son Samuel Bradford; daughter Alice Hearsy, wife of Joshua of Hingham; dau. Marcy Cushman, widow of Isaac Jr. late of Plimpton; dau. Pricilla Chipman, wife of Seth; five grandsons, James, Zadock, Samuel, Eliphalet and William, sons of William Bradford deceased; granddau. Hannah Bradford, dau. of William Bradford deceased; and wife and son Samuel and joint executors." --Evelyn Beran


Maj. John Kingston Bradford is a descendant of Charlemagne, Alfred the Great, William the Conqueror, Henry I, Sir William Marshall and Strongbow de Clare. He is also a descendant of Malcolm III, David I, and the ancient kings of Scotland.


John Bradford shares common ancestors with President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Vice President Levi Parsons Morton, Sen. Adlai Stevenson III, Jan Garrigue Masaryk (foreign minister of Czechoslovakia), Lt. Col. Ebenezer Sproat, Revolutionary War heroine Deborah Sampson, Gen. Henry Hastings Sibley (first Governor of Minnesota), Col. Robert Gould Shaw (portrayed in the film "Glory"), Commander William B. Cushing, Lt. Alonzo Cushing (Cushing's Battery), and Lt. Howard B. Cushing (Indian Fighter), Gen. Douglas MacArthur, Admiral Samuel Eliot Morison (Pulitzer Prize-winning historian), Rev. James Freeman (first Unitarian preacher), social reformer Rev. Everett Edward Hale (author of "Man Without A Country"), biographer Gamaliel Bradford, artists Norman Rockwell and Frederick Edwin Church, publisher Frank Nelson Doubleday, Roger Nash Baldwin (Founder of the ACLU), Phyllis Livingston Baker (Mrs. Fred Astaire), Daniel Hudson Burnham (Chicago architect and city planner), Noah Webster, genealogist James Savage, publishers G.P. Putnam and Sons and Hugh Hefner, Dr. Benjamin Spock, inventor George Eastman, and actors Charlotte Cushman, Humphrey Bogart, Clint Eastwood, Anthony Perkins, Christopher Reeve, and John Lithgow.

WARNING: Some show this couple married 5 Feb 1673/74. Some show his middle name as Kingston, which seems odd. It may be that somewhere someone called him John "of Kingston" and that somehow that was misinterpreted as a middle name that has been repeated in error. We haven't seen a primary source that lists his middle name as such. If anyone can clarify, please contact us.

Larry Overmire

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Maj. John Bradford's Timeline

February 20, 1653
Plymouth, (Present Plymouth County), Plymouth Colony (Present Massachusetts), (Present USA)
December 29, 1675
Age 22
Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts
December 10, 1679
Age 26
Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts
December 20, 1681
Age 28
Kingstown, (Present Washington County), Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations
December 23, 1683
Age 30
Plymouth, (Present Plymouth County), Plymouth Colony (Present Massachusetts), (Present USA)
March 10, 1686
Age 33
Plymouth, Plymouth Co., Massachusetts
April 15, 1688
Age 35
Kingston, Plymouth, MA
October 18, 1706
Age 53
Plymouth, Mass
December 8, 1736
Age 83
Kingston, Plymouth County, Province of Massachusetts, (Present USA)