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I intend to shamelessly count on the kindness of strangers to help me out here. I suspect that there will be a number of errors in this modest attempt to assemble known information on the BRADFORDs of Co. Louth. I also must apologize for the illogical font sizes that gremlins have inflicted on this page. Fixing it is beyond my skill set.
Sharon Oddie Brown September 30, 2008


BRADFORDs of Co. Louth – and their connections to Sir Thomas JACKSON


Margaret BRADFORD[1] was a feisty red head who threw a fistful of family land deeds into the fire. She was trying to stop to her husband, David JACKSON, from paying out more and more money in a vain attempt to win back all the lands that his father had gambled away. These were lands in County Carlow that had been granted to some long-dead JACKSON ancestor in Elizabethan times[2] and they were clearly dear to his sense of self, if not also key to the financial well-being of their young family. A particularly galling part of this story is that apparently, the deeds that Margaret burnt turned out to be only half the deeds –but they were the only ones that they knew about. One month later, a man from Cork showed up with the other half of the deeds. I haven’t a clue who he was, but together, they might have won the case.[3]


On the plus side though, I do want to thank Margaret BRADFORD and her family for the property of Urker coming into the JACKSON family at the time of her marriage (or so it is told). It is a property that leant some semblance of stability for the JACKSONs for well over a hundred years. Prior to living at Urker, the JACKSONs had lived at the neighbouring townland of Liscalgot where our earliest known ancestor, George JACKSON (1718-1782), had been appointed the master of a Charter School. This particular employment must have been quite a step down for him, a man whose roots were those of a landed family in County Carlow.


I am still trying to confirm many of the stories and dates of Sir Thomas JACKSON’s Co. Louth ancestors, and much more work still needs to be done. This piece will look only at the BRADFORDs of Co. Louth – and obviously only the ones I know about. In a few weeks, I plan to assemble my current research on the COULTERs. It is probable that both “our” BRADFORDs and COULTERs also had several Co. Monaghan and Co. Armagh connections, but the links to them still need to be verified and hence will be treated in a separate piece when I know more.


The interconnections of the various BRADFORD families resident in Co. Louth in the late 1700s and early 1800s (or at least leasing land there) are both complex and perplexing. Part of what I have been trying to do is to track land ownership[4] which often changed as a result of either a death or a marriage dowry. When it comes to a particular death, a will often improves our ability to learn more, but unfortunately not all our ancestors were prudent enough or well-heeled enough to execute a will. For those who did, many of these documents also went up in flames in the aforementioned Public Records fire.


When it came to marriage, people in the 1700s and 1800s, just as we often do today, tended to marry within their own economic class and also to marry people who already had other connections to them and/or to their family. In our times, these connections may be our place of work or study; in our ancestor’s times it was more likely to involve what your father did and where your family lived. Up until recent times in rural Ireland, next door neighbours often made excellent marriage prospects. Marriages with first cousins were much more frequent than today (after all, our far flung families mean we often have little contact with them). Apparently, the invention of the bicycle was a major advancement in DNA diversity.


Obviously, the mid-1700s were decidedly pre-bicycle days, so it comes as no surprise that John BRADFORD (1705-1789) and Barbara COULTER (1721-1795) – the parents of Margaret BRADFORD, - were not only the great-great-grandparents of Sir Thomas JACKSON, but were actually his great-great-grandparents twice over. How so? Well, their daughter Margaret JACKSON nèe BRADFORD  who was Sir Thomas’ great-grandmother on his father’s side had a brother, Thomas BRADFORD who was Sir Thomas’ great-grandfather on his mother’s side. A simple ancestry chart might help clarify:










William OLIVER


Elizabeth STEEL



Elizabeth BREAKEY




















Sir Thomas




We know next to nothing about these early BRADFORDs. My long deceased great-aunt, Blin BROWN (1886-1963) left notes telling us: "The Bradford's were Dutch & came to Ireland with Billie Orange. One member of that family was given the freedom of Drogheda City.[5]" Blin was known for some rather zesty accounts of our family history which she sent to her cousin, Mary WRIGHT nèe MENARY of Gilford Castle. For these, I remain eternally grateful. But they are also to be read with caution.


Certainly, there is evidence of BRADFORDs in Holland in the right time frame. One of the more famous ones, William Bradford 1590-1657, sailed on the Mayflower and became the governor of Plymouth[6]. He was part of a community of four hundred people from Britain who had moved to Leiden to lead lives dedicated to their Puritan beliefs[7]. He was from Yorkshire, which given the connection of the town of Bradford[8] to textile industries (and our Irish family’s involvement in the linen industry), may be the place to help us better understand the ancestral roots of Sir Thomas JACKSON.



However, if our BRADFORDs did come over with William of Orange, it would likely have been a few generations after the sailing of the Mayflower (probably in 1690, at the time of the Battle of the Boyne). If a BRADFORD ancestor did serve at the Battle of the Boyne, then he would still be about one generation before our first known BRADFORD from Co. Louth. I am guessing that we are still missing a link or two. Still, the shared connection of our Co. Louth BRADFORDs to a dissenting faith and coming from Holland does make me wonder if there might not also be a familial link to the Mayflower BRADFORDs.


As I was putting this piece together, I came across an email:  I am descended from William Bradford, who came to the colonies after fighting for England in the Battle of the Boyne in Ireland in the late 1600s. Family lore says William's brother returned home to England after the battle, but William remained in Ireland for a short time. William came first to Pennsylvania, but then resettled in Orange Co., NC. He had at least 4 sons (or grandsons) who each married Hamiltons. One of these sons/grandsons was David Bradford, whose family later moved to western Tennessee (Lauderdale/Haywood Co. area).  No reply so far. Naturally, I have written to see if I can learn more - No reply so far. [9]


One of life’s ironies is that the BRADFORDs of Holland likely chose Ireland for a number of reasons: it was a place to start over when times were tough in Holland; a place where English was more likely to be spoken; also where they could practice their faith with a degree of religious freedom; and at the same time it was a place that seemed to have economic potential (thanks to a likely head start with a land grant for military service). Regrettably, three hundred years later, life for the BRADFORDs in Co. Louth seems not have matched their hopes. Bit by bit they left to live elsewhere. Today, there are no BRADFORDS included in the Irish telephone directory in Co. Louth.


A little over a century and a half ago, in 1849, there was a nine page list made of names of the victims and perpetrators of agrarian unrest. It reads like a “Who’s Who” of the extended BRADFORD-COULTER clan, mostly on the victim side[10].  Since the purpose of the list was to inform the British Parliament of the state of agrarian unrest, I would suspect class-based biases might have affected whose outrages were recorded and whose remained invisible (for example, the losses of the landless and impoverished). Although there are landlords included as victims on this list, most of the victims seem to have been tenant farmers with long-term leases.


It was not that our ancestors, who were mostly these lease-holding tenant farmers, were powerless in the mid-1800s (after all, they frequently occupied various legal and/or political offices such as juries and the Poor Law Board), but many of them were caught in a kind of “pig in the middle” game. The recent famine had been catastrophic, especially for those tenants who sub-let from the lease-holding farmers, and many of these tenants had no ability to pay even a portion of their rents. At the same time the leaseholders still had to remit rents to their landlords. Many of them teetered on the edge of losing all and some could only keep afloat because of the remittances from relatives who had emigrated to more prosperous lands. Those with both luck and prudence did survive, but not everyone was so blessed to have enough of either.



Not surprisingly, the anger and powerlessness of this time often turned into episodes of violence and some of this violence was directed towards some of the BRADFORDs. It seems that they had considerable wealth (at least relative to their neighbours), and yet it also seems that their political sympathies were with the tenant side of the ledger sheet. Obviously, I still have much to learn as this mix of circumstances perplexes me. A few examples:


·         It was recorded in the Return of Murders, Waylayings, Assaults … that in January and February of 1851 and in March 1852, a Thomas BRADFORD[11] received threatening notices. His townland is not given, but the locale where the complaint was lodged was Dundalk.

·         He was also probably the same Thomas BRADFORD of “Cairnbeg” who chaired a Tenants Rights meeting that attracted some 12,000 to 15,000 enthusiastic supporters[12].

·         Finally, he was also probably the same elderly Thomas BRADFORD who was assaulted at a political rally in 1865 and later had his lambs maliciously slaughtered[13]. It is possible that his wealth and his support of the Conservative candidate were part of the reasons why he was targeted.

·         At his death in 1872, this Thomas BRADFORD’s assets were valued at £9000[14]. If he had been financially under siege at the time of the famine, he had died as a farmer of some substance. That being so, how his Conservative support squared with his earlier support for Tenant Rights, I can’t say, but he wouldn’t have been alone in this shift in allegiances.


A snippet of family tree shows where I suspect that this Thomas BRADFORD fits in (I have highlighted his name as well as the names of two of Sir Thomas JACKSON’s grandfathers:


Descendants of John Bradford


    1   John Bradford b: 1705  d: 11 Apr 1789 in Cavananore, C. Louth

..  +Barbara Coulter b: 1721 in Cavananore, C. Louth  d: 14 May 1795

.. 2   Samuel Bradford b: Abt. 1739 in Likely Cavananore, Co. Louth  d: 27 Feb 1818

......  +Margaret Henry b: 1774  d: 09 Oct 1846

...... 3   Thomas Bradford b: 1797  d: 08 Jan 1872 in Carnbeg, Co. Louth

..........  +Margaret Wallace b: 1811 m: 1835 in Clonaleenan d: 04 Jul 1885 in Clarendon Street, Londonderry

...... 3   Barbara Bradford  

..........  +McRichards  

...... 3   John Bradford b: in Of Cavananore, Co. Louth 

...... 3   Mary Bradford b: in of Cavananore, Co. Louth 

..........  +Alexander Parker b: in of Dundalk m: 24 Jan 1834 in Carnbeg Lodge, Co. Louth

...... 3   Samuel Bradford   d: Aft. 1876 in of Carnbeg

.. 2   Thomas Bradford b: Abt. 1739  d: 20 Dec 1790 in Cavananore, C. Louth

......  +Elizabeth Breakey b: 03 Mar 1758 m: 27 Aug 1781 d: 1844 in Cavananore, C. Louth

...... 3   Mary Bradford b: in Of Cavananore, Co. Louth 

..........  +Thomas McCullagh b: Abt. 1786 in of Derryvalley, Co. Monaghan  d: 17 Jul 1849 in Derryvalley, Co. Monaghan

...... 3   Barbara Bradford b: 1783  d: 31 Mar 1865

..........  +William Donaldson b: 1768  d: 20 Nov 1815 in Freeduff

...... 3   Elizabeth Bradford b: 1785 in Probably Cavananore  d: 12 Jul 1825 in Probably Killynure

..........  +Benjamin Oliver b: Abt. 1765 in of Ennislare - possibly after birth m: Abt. 1806 d: 01 Jul 1831 in Killynure, Co. Armagh

...... 3   Margaret Bradford b: 1786  d: 17 Aug 1874

...... 3   Andrew Coulter Bradford b: 1788  d: 10 May 1847 in Cavananore, C. Louth

.. 2   Margaret Bradford b: Abt. 1739 in Cavananore, C. Louth  d: Jan 1820

......  +David Jackson b: Aft. 1755  d: 13 Feb 1796

...... 3   John Jackson b: 1780  d: 20 Jun 1817

..........  +Elizabeth McCullagh b: 1788 m: 1811 d: 12 Mar 1880 in Urker Lodge, Crossmaglen, Co. Armagh

...... 3   Margaret Jackson b: 1783  d: 1810

..........  +Thomas McKee   d: Bef. 1809

......  *2nd Husband of Margaret Jackson:  

..........  +John Seawright  

...... 3   Barbara Jackson b: 1783 

..........  +Thomas Stephens   d: 1829 in Crossmaglen



In the family tree above, I have highlighted his name in turquoise. Andrew Coulter BRADFORD (1788-1847) of Cavananore was the only son of Thomas BRADFORD[15] & Elizabeth BREAKEY and was also  a great-uncle to Sir Thomas JACKSON (his grandmother Elizabeth BRADFORD was Andrew’s sister). In 1832 he lived at Cavananore and had a freehold at Mybane AKA Moybane, Parish of Creggan valued at £50.00 (although his name does not show up in the 1828 Tithe Appointment Books). He died unmarried, which is likely part of the economic reason that the JACKSONs became involved in the estate of Cavananore[16]. His will of 1847[17] was contested by his sister, Barbara DONALDSON nèe BRADFORD, of Dublin.



Sorting out all the BRADFORDs is like sorting sand from salt – tedious and probably impossible to fully succeed. Part of the dilemma is that they used a limited range of names for their children. Hence, if a male in this family was not named “Thomas”, then “Samuel” was the next good bet. Wendy Jack has been a godsend at making sense of much of this. After a review of the news clippings and other records of the 1850s, she notes that at first they:


… simply referred to Samuel Bradford, but for those items I found during the period 1866-1870, references to Samuel Bradfords included the terms senior, junior, of Cavananore, or of Carnbeg. At first I thought we were dealing with three Sams: Samuel senior of Cavananore, Samuel junior (whom I thought may have been the son of Sam snr), and Samuel of Carnbeg. Then I realized that the senior and junior terms were not being used in the modern, largely America manner to indicate a father-son relationship, but in a manner I have come across before in Scottish records, to distinguished between the elder and younger of two people of the same name from the same locality.


As a result, I believe we have references to the following two people:


Samuel Bradford senior of Cavananore - son of Samuel Bradford and Margaret Henry; no birth or death dates known, but probably born around 1795-1805; the last mention I have of him is in the report of a court case on 21 May 1870.


Samuel Bradford junior of Carnbeg - nephew of the above, and son of Thomas Bradford and Margaret Wallace; again, no known birth date but probably born circa 1836-1840; this is the Sam who leased Cavananore from the trustees of the estate of Andrew Coulter Bradford; in one of the news items it says he was the cousin of Andrew, but he was actually a first cousin, once removed, as his father and Andrew were first cousins.


Again, just so we all stay oriented, here is a snippet of family tree with the names of the two Samuel BRADFORDs  highlighted:


Descendants of Samuel Bradford                       


 1   Samuel Bradford b: Abt. 1739 in Likely Cavananore, Co. Louth  d: 27 Feb 1818

..  +Margaret Henry b: 1774  d: 09 Oct 1846

.. 2   Thomas Bradford b: 1797  d: 08 Jan 1872 in Carnbeg, Co. Louth

......  +Margaret Wallace b: 1811 m: 1835 in Clonaleenan d: 04 Jul 1885 in Clarendon Street, Londonderry

...... 3   Charlotte Bradford b: 1848  d: 22 Sep 1882 in Carnbeg, Co. Louth

...... 3   Eleanor Bradford  

..........  +John Wood  

........... 4   Maud Margaret Roberta Wood b: 03 Mar 1875 in Co. Louth, Ireland 

........... 4   Edwin Wood  

........... 4   Arthur Wood  

...... 3   Elizabeth Bradford  

...... 3   Frances Bradford b: 1856  d: 05 May 1870

...... 3   Jane Bradford   d: Aft. 1899

..........  +Francis Robinson b: in of Everton, Liverpool m: 22 Sep 1863 in Presbyterian Church, Dundalk

........... 4   Frances Robinson  

...............  +John Maxwell McMaster b: 1855 

........... 4   Georgina Robinson  

...............  +Walter Lewis  

...... 3   Samuel Bradford b: Bet. 1836 - 1840 in Probably Carnbeg  d: 28 Jul 1915 in Janeville, Dunleer, Co. Louth[18]

..........  +Sarah Louisa Wilson  m: 29 Apr 1885 in Garvary Church of Ireland, Parish of Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh

........... 4   Margaret Bradford  

........... 4   Florence Louisa Bradford  

...............  +Robert Myles[19]  m: 24 Apr 1912 in Cooke Centenary Presbyterian Church, Parish of Knockbreda, Belfast

...... 3   Thomas Bradford b: 1844  d: 23 Sep 1899 in 6 Alexandra Terrace, Londonderry

...... 3   Margaret Bradford b: 1839 

..........  +John William Ellison  m: 21 Jun 1864 in Presbyterian Church, Dundalk

........... 4   Unnamed Ellison b: 23 Dec 1865 in The Manse, Castlebellingham, Co. Louth 

........... 4   Unnamed Ellison b: 11 Mar 1869 in Carnbeg, Dundalk, Co. Louth 

...... 3   Mary Anne Bradford b: 1839 

..........  +John Ellison  m: Aft. 1885

...... 3   Sarah Bradford b: 1846  d: Aft. 1899

...... 3   John Wallace Bradford b: Abt. 1851  d: 02 Jan 1867 in probably Carnbeg, Co. Louth

...... 3   Robert Dickie Bradford b: 1856 

..........  +Annie Unnamed  

........... 4   Bernard Bradford  

.. 2   Barbara Bradford  

......  +McRichards  

.. 2   John Bradford b: in Of Cavananore, Co. Louth 

.. 2   Mary Bradford b: in of Cavananore, Co. Louth 

......  +Alexander Parker b: in of Dundalk m: 24 Jan 1834 in Carnbeg Lodge, Co. Louth

.. 2   Samuel Bradford b: Bet. 1795 - 1805  d: Aft. 1876 in of Carnbeg


Now, if we take Wendy Jack’s suggestion as a starting point, that Samuel Bradford senior of Cavananore is the son of Samuel Bradford and Margaret Henry and that Samuel Bradford junior of Carnbeg is the son of Thomas Bradford and Margaret Wallace, then here’s how the various bits of information start to sort themselves out[20]:


Samuel Bradford senior of Cavananore son of Samuel Bradford and Margaret Henry:


  • In 1870, a Samuel BRADFORD[21] of Cavananore had already been a Poor Law Governor for 20 years (therefore his first term began in 1850)[22]
  • It would seem that he lost his seat in an election in 1870, as did all the previously elected Governors who were Protestant, and they were succeeded by a Catholic group of governors.
  • Now, if he was “of Cavananore”, I would have assumed that he lived there. He doesn’t show up in the Griffiths Valuations (1864) as being connected with a house in Cavananore (only as the lease-holder of about 12 acres). The two houses of significant worth were both owned by Hugh O’Callaghan[23]. The one assessed at £10.0.0 was leased to Thomas BRADFORD and Mary Jane OLIVER lived in the one assessed at £23.0.0.
  • Just to confound us, Samuel BRADFORD’s will has his residence as “of Carnbeg”, but perhaps he had moved to be with his brother Thomas BRADFORD who by now was also “of Carnbeg” (but was also possibly “of Cavananore” before then)[24]. There is a Thomas BRADFORD who was residing at Carnbeg at the time of Griffiths valuations in a house valued at £14.0.0, but what is most intriguing is that the lease for this house is held by Rev. David DAVIDSON, the husband of Jane COULTER (the line of COULTERs connected to the famous botanist). Since Samuel BRADFORD’s grandmother was Barbara COULTER, it does make me even more curious about how the two COULTER lines tie in together. More work is needed.


Samuel Bradford junior of Carnbeg the son of Thomas Bradford and Margaret Wallace:


  • In 1872, a Samuel BRADFORD purchased lands at Ballynahattan (probably owned by Rev. Owen O’Hare – who owned it at the time of Griffiths Valuations) and Sportmans Hall (at the time of Griffiths Valuations, it was leased by Thomas BRADFORD – likely the father of this Samuel - from the Earl of Roden)[25]. The purchase prices for these two properties were considerable: £1,560 & £6,000 respectively. Significantly,  the acreage for the Ballynahattan transaction was identical to the acreage up for sale in 1900  when Sir Thomas JACKSON served as the representative of the residuary legatee named in the will of Andrew BRADFORD (in the matter of the Estate of Samuel BRAFORD).
  • In 1874, Samuel BRADFORD of Carnbeg was once again a Poor Law Governor[26] (I don’t know which of the two Samuel BRADFORDs lost in 1870, or if the results of the 1870 election were overturned or whether a subsequent election re-instated him).
  • In 1874, Samuel BRADFORD gave evidence at a trial which resulted in a Mr. M'Ardle turning against him and subsequently attacking him in the press. M’Ardle “commented particularly upon his advocacy of the tenants' rights, even though he was an acknowledged Conservative in politics”.[27]
  • In 1878, when Samuel BRADFORD was a member of the Board of Governors, the Board had to decide on an increased salary for the veterinary officer and they resorted to a political tactic that was deeply criticised.[28]
  • In 1879, a Samuel BRADFORD jun., the incumbent PLU governor, won re-election[29]. As Wendy Jack noted, the “jun” was likely to distinguish him from his Uncle Samuel BRADFORD who had served on the board for at least 20 years. His election was contested by a Mr. Maxwell who protested to his handling of the salary increase for a veterinary officer.[30] Nonetheless, he was re-elected chairman[31]. He was also chair when a motion to reduce the salaries of all the officers of the union by 7½ per cent was carried[32].  This motion was not supported by the Local Government Board and Samuel BRADFORD had to take the fight to higher levels of government[33].
  • Samuel BRADFORD sued Edward CARLTON, proprietor of the Dundalk Herald for libel and won £5 in damages.[34] He was described at the trial as: a gentleman tolerably independent in means, holding a considerable tract of land, was deputy vice-chairman of the Dundalk Union, and occupied a good social position in his native locality. 
  • In 1880, a Samuel BRADFORD of Carnbeg was listed as one of the hundred largest ratepayers in Co. Louth[35]. He also allowed the tenants on his estates a reduction of 15 per cent on the half-year's rent due last November.[36] In this year, he was also appointed Commission of the Peace[37].
  • In 1881, the Samuel BRADFORD who was a PLU Governor initiated legal action against the Belfast Harbour Commissioners for damages to a vessel that he owned (with David LOCKHART – also a PLU Governor)[38].
  • Also in 1881, his renovations at Dowdall’s Hill farm, which cost £1,400 were praised at great length and it was noted that he farmed at Carnbeg and used Dowdalls Hill for hay & grass with room for 60 cattle in sheds[39].
  • In 1882, a Samuel J BRADFORD (quite likely not necessarily the same one as any of the above) seems to be under heavier financial weather as he is recorded as paying rent of £12 0 0 and yet still being £ 51.2.2 in arrears[40]. It may be that he over-extended himself on the renovations at Dowdalshill (if he was the Samuel BRADFORD, son of Thomas BRADFORD & Margaret WALLACE).
  • In 1882, Charlotte BRADFORD of Carnbeg died at Carnbeg, at age 34 - a spinster. She was the youngest surviving daughter of Thomas BRADFORD & Margaret WALLACE. Letters of Administration were granted to her brother Samuel BRADFORD of Carnbeg with effects of Effects £1,088 10s. 11d.
  • Interestingly, also June 1882, a Robert Dickie BRADFORD of Derry passed final exams for double qualifications in Medicine & Surgery. Royal Colleges of Physicians and Surgeons, Edinburgh[41]. This may be the same Robert Dickie BRADFORD who was a brother of Samuel BRADFORD - or he may be a relation of another Robert Dickie BRADFORD of Carnbeg who in Feb 1861 passed the same double qualification in both Medicine & Surgery at Edinburgh[42]. NOTE: There is also a mention of a Robert Dickie BRADFORD L.R.C.P & S. Edin., medical officer at Skirlaugh Poor Law Union[43].
  • In 1887, Samuel BRADFORD of Carnbeg was included in the list of valuers nominated by the Irish Commission for aiding County Court Judges for Ulster. His relative, Alexander DICKIE (1831-1896) of Rochdale was also on the list[44].  This was probably a convenient job for him since it seems that he was also behind in his rent[45].
  • In 1888, Land Commission rendered their decision about Cavananore and Samuel BRADFORD got a reduction of ₤60 a year on his rent; but he was not satisfied and appealed to the superior Court; so the case was to be tried over again[46]. He was clearly in financial straits and was still behind in his rent[47].
  • In 1889, Samuel BRADFORD J.P. was sued by Eliezer GILMORE, Rev. William REID and Thompson BROWN (as trustees of the lands of Cavananore) for loss and damage sustained by his cutting down and converting to his own use twenty-seven trees, which grew along the avenue leading to the mansion or dwelling-house in said lands.  Damages were laid at £50.[48]  At the time, Samuel BRADFORD held various parts of townlands both as an owner and as a tenant. He had taken a twenty-one years' lease of the mansion and lands of Cavananore, in February, 1876 which were owned by the Trustees, although he was the owner in fee of lands adjoining (probably the other part of Cavananore). The jury found for the plaintiff, and assessed the compensation at 10s per tree, or £26 in all, with costs. This legal battle was frequently referred to by Eliza JACKSON when she wrote to her son, Sir Thomas JACKSON.
  • In 1890, Samuel BRADFORD as a tenant & The Trustees of the Estate of Andrew Coulter BRADFORD as landlords had the judicial rent for Cavananore reduced from £247 to £185. Samuel BRADFORD also lost his case against the trustees of Cavananore, and this judgement was confirmed by the Court of Appeal.
  • In 1891, Samuel BRADFORD of Carnbeg successfully sued Newry Town Commissioners for 8 shillings worth of market tolls concerning flax sold at Carnbeg.
  • In 1898, the trustees holding the deed for Cavananore (Rev. William REID, Eliezer GILMORE, and Thompson BROWN) and the estate of Samuel BRADFORD sought documents from Eliza JACKSON[49].
  • In January 1891[50], Samuel BRADFORD lost his part of Cavananore when it was seized by the courts.



It seems that there were considerable disparities in fortunes amongst the Co. Louth BRADFORD families of the 1700s and 1800s. Knowing how success and failure play out in families, this should come as no surprise. Some pups fight to the top of the pile, some retreat. Some are treated well, some badly. Some have luck, others don’t.


  • On April 11th 1888 a Thomas BRADFORD was convicted of stealing cattle from Peter HUGHES. This crime was not considered to be “agrarian” in nature, rather more a crime committed for monetary gain (and obviously not successful at that!). The unfortunate Thomas pleaded guilty at Dundalk Quarter Sessions, 30th April 1878 and was sentenced to four months imprisonment with hard labour.


It is also possible that some of the BRADFORDs, who were singled out for threatening notices and such, were targeted for reasons other than land based grievances. For example, several of the Dundalk BRADFORDs appear in the records as pawnbrokers (which part of the BRADFORD tree they fit into, I have yet to unpuzzle)[51]:








1825 Nov



44, 376

£4,753 10 6


1834 Nov




£826 14 9

Since declined business

1834 Sept



27, 943

£2,585 9 7


1834 Sept




£2,701 3 4[52]



I don’t know if he was one of the pawnbrokers or a farmer like so many of the other Samuel BRADFORDs, but there is another Samuel BRADFORD who died June 16, 1838. From the probate of his will and a few other bits, I have been able to put together a tentative family tree.  SEE: Posted probate on my web site. I suspect that this line of BRADFORDs are connected to the tree of BRADFORDs posted above. It is also possible that the first known ancestors in each of these two BRADFORD trees were brothers.


Descendants of William Bradford


    1   William Bradford   d: in of Ravensdale, Ballymascanlon, Co. Louth

..  +Ann Unnamed b: 1766  d: 14 Aug 1837

........ 2   Rose[53] Anne Bradford b: Abt. 1806  d: 10 Sep 1853

............  +William McCullagh b: 1805 in of Dundalk m: 06 Nov 1832 in Co. Louth d: 22 Sep 1864

................... 3   Anna McCullagh b: Abt. 1839  d: 25 Dec 1855

................... 3   William Henry McCullagh b: Abt. 1844  d: 09 Mar 1871 of Mount Riley, County Louth

................... 3   Jane McCullagh b: Abt. 1836  d: 18 May 1870

.......................  +Unnamed Farquharson  

................... 3   Sarah McCullagh b: Abt. 1841  d: 09 Jul 1900

........ 2   John Bradford  

........ 2   Isaac Bradford  

........ 2   Henry Bradford b: Abt. 1798  d: 11 Jan 1835

........ 2   Samuel Bradford   d: 09 Jun 1838, of Cavananore

............  +Barbara Maxwell b: Abt. 1804  d: 05 Mar 1831

................... 3   William Jocelyn Bradford b: Abt. 1827  d: 14 Aug 1869 in Killowen

................... 3   Barbara M Bradford  

........ 2   William BRADFORD d. 21 Apr 184, Late of Lochanmore, County Louth. He died a bachelor with effects under £1,500.


Thanks to Brendan Hall, we have available the transcriptions of1822 registered freeholders[54] and two BRADFORDs are mentioned.

  • The Andrew BRADFORD of Cavananore was the aforementioned Andrew Coulter BRADFORD.
  • The Alexander BRADFORD of Collon was probably the Rev.Alexander BRADFORD and given the geographic proximity, he may have been related to the Samuel BRADFORD of Janeville. The burial memorial at Collon Graveyard[55]:
“Here rests | the Body | of | FRANCES ANNE BRADFORD |

Awaiting the promise | of eternal life | which is | in Christ

Jesus | obit Jany 16th, 1808 | AETAT 69 |

Also the mortal remains of her son | the REV. ALEXANDER

BRADFORD, A.M. | For many years curate and afterwards |

Vicar of the Parish of colon | Zealous in the discharge of

His duties | as a Minister of the Gospel | Unwavering in his

Friendship and | generous to all who stood in need | He died

Deeply lamented on the 30th day of May, A.D. 1822.”


In terms of ruling Alexander BRADFORD either in or out of familial connection with Sir Thomas JACKSON, I can’t yet say.




  1. In the 1901 England Census, there is mention of a Robert D. BRADFORD of Co. Louth, b. abt 1858.A William James BRADFORD was born 27 May 1869 at 827, Barronstown, Louth. His mother was Margaret BRADFORD. No father was recorded. SOURCE: LDS.
  2. Because of an earlier reference to a Dr. Robert Dickie BRADFORD of Carnbeg (likely born about 1830s), I would not be surprised if the following BRADFORD also had Carnbeg roots (other commentaries are critical of him being a divisive character):
    • BRADFORD, ROBERT 1941-1981 Robert Bradford was born in Limavady, County Londonderry, where his family were evacuated in the Second World War. They returned to the Donegall Road area of Belfast when he was three years old. He left school at the age of fifteen to train as a professional footballer. He was, for a short period, on the list of Sheffield Wednesday, but returned to Belfast and played full-back for Glenavon and Distillery, and later for Queen's University, Belfast. He resumed his education at the age of seventeen and attended Edgehill College which was attached to Queen's University. He was ordained a Methodist minister in 1963. He joined the Unionist party and the Orange Order and was elected to Westminster as the Official United Unionist candidate for South Belfast in 1974. He was re-elected eight months later with a large majority and was again re-elected in 1979. He was in favour of the death penalty. He devoted much time to the social needs of his constituents. He was shot dead at a community hall.[56]
  1. Subscribing to the Topographical Dictionary of Ireland by Samuel Lewis in 1837 was a Bradford, John, Esq., Cavananore, Dundalk, co. Louth
  2. Subscribing to A Treatise of the Laws of Nature [1672] by Richard Cumberland, were:
    1. The Rev. Mr. Alexander Bradford.
    2.  Mr. William Bradford.
    3. Mr. Graham Bradford.



I am by no means finished, but this represents the sum total of both my knowledge and my ignorance. I look forward to hearing from others and receiving the benefit of correction (my email link is at the top right hand side of the page).

Sharon Oddie Brown. September 29, 2008.

[1] Sir Thomas JACKSON’s great- grandmother, Margaret JACKSON nèe BRADFORD (1739-1820) was born at Cavananore, Co. Louth and married David JACKSON some time before 1780.

[2] Amy LLOYD’s recollections: Margaret Bradford, a violent tempered red- haired woman, who, disgusted at the money being spent to get back the Mt. Leinster property, burnt all the Title Deeds.

[3] Conversation with Eilie RYDER & Thomas JACKSON May 2007.

[4] PRONI Freeholder records are posted on my web site.

[5] Handwritten undated notes. I suspect pre-1940.

[6] SOURCE: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1E1-Bradfd1590.html William Bradford 1590-1657, governor of Plymouth Colony, b. Austerfield, Yorkshire, England. As a young man he joined the separatist congregation at Scrooby and in 1609 emigrated with others to Holland, where, at Leiden, he acquired a wide acquaintance with theological literature. For hisancestors see: http://homepages.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~decann/genealogy/bradford-dwb/

[7] Mayflower. Nathaniel Philbrick. Penguin Books. 2006.

[8] ENCYCLOPEDIA OF BRITAIN City in West Yorkshire which from the Middle Ages was an important centre for the woollen and textile trades, though the rapid growth of the town dates only from the 19C (one of the first steam-powered mills was installed here in 1798).

[9] Incidentally, it is interesting how much things stay the same for so long in the minds of some and the same fervour fuelled old hates. In 1984, Ian Paisly preached a sermon that included: That is why they attacked the Rev. Robert Bradford and brutally murdered him, because they saw him as part of the Protestant Ascendancy. The Battle of the Boyne - Why it must be fought again today A Sermon preached by Dr. Paisley in Martyrs Memorial Free Presbyterian Church on July 8th 1984 NOTE: Rev. Robert BRADFORD was a Unionist MP and an ardent Orangeman who was murdered for sectarian reasons.

[10] EPPI A RETURN of the number of Murders, Waylayings, Assaults, Threatening Notices, Incendiary Fires, or other Crimes of an Agrarian Character, reported by the Constabulary within the Counties of Louth, Armagh, and Monaghan, since the 1st day of January 1849; distinguishing by Name the Persons Murdered and Waylaid; also stating the Numbers Arrested for each Offense; whether Informations have been Sworn in the Case, and the Result of any Trial of the same”

[11] Thomas BRADFORD. I cannot conclusively prove this, but I suspect that this was the Thomas BRADFORD (1797-1872) of Carnbeg who was also probably the same Thomas BRADFORD who married Margaret WALLACE, had twelve known living children and was a 1st cousin twice removed of Sir Thomas JACKSON (which means he was in the same generation as Thomas’ grandparents).

[12] 1850 July 5 Anglo Celt

[13] Belfast Newsletter July 20, 1865 & September 12, 1865. The unfortunate gentleman, whose only crime was that he was a staunch supporter of the Conservative candidate, was abused in a frightful manner, and at present lies in a very precarious condition.

[14] Freeman’s Journal and Daily Commercial Advertiser. May 2, 1872.

[15] Thomas BRADFORD was also the twin brother of Samuel BRADFORD who married Margaret HENRY.

[16] SEE: http://www.thesilverbowl.com/documents/TABLES/COULTER-BRADFORD-Cavananore.html for a timeline of Cavananore & BRADFORD/COULTER involvements.

[18] Thanks to Pete Shermerhorn, I now know that Janeville is located in the townland of Knockdinnin, just 2 miles
west of Dunleer. He also passed on: The Buildings of Ireland website has a nice article on the house, with some history, detailed description and photo.  And, with the coordinates given, you can locate the building exactly on Discovery Map 36. 

SEE:  http://www.buildingsofireland.ie/niah/search.jsp?type=record&county=LH&regno=13901829

Interestingly, in the Clergy of Armagh there is a reference to Rev. Alexander BRADFORD died May 1822, Tombstone Collon. Early records tie Janeville to Collon.

[19] A Mary Lyons [Coach House, Lees Court, Matfield, Tonbridge, Kent TN12 7JU] (who married 2nd, 16 Oct 1947, Robert Bradford Myles, MC, of Carnbeg, Dundalk, Co Louth.

SOURCE:  http://www.rootsandleaves.com/family/Burke's/INGE.html

[20] The BRADFORDs were frequently in the news. In time, I will post more news clippings in their entirety as soon as I can find the time, but for now I hope that a table-synopsis will suffice. See table on web site.

[21] In the PRONI Freeholder records, he has a £20 freehold at Cullyhanna, although he lived at Cavananore.

[22] Belfast Newsletter, April 30, 1870. A case was heard on vote rigging by people opposing his candidacy.

[23] Hugh O’Callaghan. He was from Culloville and married Eliza WALDRON. SOURCE: Freemans Journal February 25, 1830 COLEMAN   V Rev Dr On the 22nd inst, by the Very Rev Dr COLEMAN VG, Hugh O'CALLAGHAN of Culloville, co Armagh Esq to Eliza eldest daughter of Thomas WALDRON Esq of Inn's Quay. He shows up in the 1828 Tithe Appointment books in the townland of Monagilla and Glassdrumaghy near Culloville, but is not there at the time of Griffiths. John Donaldson in "Account of the Barony of Upper Pews" (1838) mentions: The village consists of only a few detached houses, among which is a house belonging to Hugh O'Callaghan, Esq., who now lives somewhere contiguous to Dublin, but keeps this house and farm in his own hands.

[24] The Belfast News-Letter (Belfast, Ireland), Tuesday, January 9, 1872; Issue 55221 BRADFORD - Jan. 8, at his residence, Carnbeg, near Dundalk, Thomas Bradford, Esq., aged 72 years.

[25] Belfast Newsletter, March 10, 1879.

·         Lot 4 - Part of the lands of Ballynahattan, containing 101a. 0r. 21p. statute measure, and producing a net annual rental of £65 6s.  Tenement valuation, £103.  Sold to Mr. Samuel Bradford for £1,560.

·          Lot 6 - Part of the lands of Sportsman's Hall, Balriggan, and Moorland, containing 127a. 0r. 27p. statute measure, and producing a net annual rental of £256 13s. 1d. Tenement valuation, £177 15s.  Sold to Mr. Samuel Bradford for £6000.

[26] Belfast Newsletter, November 4, 1874.

[27] Belfast Newsletter December 17, 1879

[28] Belfast Newsletter December 17, 1879

[29] Belfast Newsletter March 27, 1879.

[30] Belfast Newsletter December 17, 1879 Mr. Maxwell had been put up as a protest against the course pursued by Mr. Bradford in the matter of the increase of salary, and he went into a narrative extending over many years respecting the plaintiff's conduct, especially in reference to his alleged desertion of the Conservative party and his support of Mr. Chichester Fortescue as candidate for the representation of the county, and Mr. Bradford's conduct in taking the chair at a meeting to protest against an eviction a a place called Dromen, near Dundalk.  It had been the habit occasionally for military races to take place over a course known as Dowdall's Hill, the property of Mr. Bradford; but the officers of the Scots Grays this year determined, for reasons known to themselves, to change their proceedings to the Maze.  On the 5th April Mr. Carleton wrote an article, in which he charged Mr. Bradford with being churlish in demanding, in addition to the cost of putting the course into order, a sum of £50, and alleged that this illiberality had resulted in depriving the people of Dundalk of the sporting to which they had been accustomed.  This was utterly untrue, and its falsity was brought to the notice of the defendant by a letter from Captain Ross, secretary to the Scots Greys regimental race committee, which he published, but appended to it a commentary as follows:- "We regret very much indeed being led into making the statement pointed out by Captain Ross.  We had no reason to doubt the bona fides of our informant; and we are glad to find out that, although Mr. Bradford does not meet our approval in political or workhouse affairs, he was not guilty of discourtesy to the officers." 

[31] Belfast Newsletter April 1, 1879.

[32] Belfast Newsletter April 15, 1879.

[33] Belfast Newsletter May 20, 1879. Resolved - That having taken into consideration the letter of the Local Government Board of the 10th inst we regret to find they still decline to approve of our resolution of the 14th ult, reducing the salaries of the several officers of this union; we delegate and appoint Mr E Tipping, J P; Mr J F Booth, and Mr S Bradford, to proceed to Dublin and hold an interview with the Local Government Board in the hope that they may, even now see their way to assent to the proposed reduction, and thus obviate the painful necessity of our calling the attention of the House of Commons to the matter and asking them for redress

[34] Belfast Newsletter December 17, 1879

[35] EPPI Enhanced Parliamentary Papers on Ireland 1801 – 1922 http://www.eppi.ac.uk/eppi/digbib/home 1884-85 Vol. 67. 219 Return of Names of Hundred Largest Ratepayers in each County in Ireland

[36] Belfast Newsletter February 4, 1880.

[37] Belfast Newsletter February 18, 1880.

[38] Belfast Newsletter March 29, 1881.

[39] Belfast Newsletter September 10, 1881.

[40] This amount in arrears was extinguished by the land commission. EPPI Enhanced Parliamentary Papers on Ireland 1801 – 1922 http://www.eppi.ac.uk/eppi/digbib/home

[41] Edinburgh Medical Journal p1130.

[42] The Medical Times Gazette p. 200

[43] Kelly's Directory 1909

[44] Belfast Newsletter October 14, 1887.

[45] Letter from Eliza Jackson. August 10, 1887.  Cousin Sam was not able to pay the May rent this time; he has got to the 20th inst. to do it. Probably he will take advantage of this new land act, to break his lease and have the land revalued. We have not seen the last of the rascality of Uncle Bradford’s trustees yet. And a letter October 31,1887 Did I tell you that Sam Bradford has put Cavananore into the Land Court, with a view of having the rent reduced? That man has wrought us one annoyance; but he can do nothing more that the Lord permits; and his time will come. Of course the Trustees will make the best defence they can.

[46] Letter from Eliza JACKSON Feb 14 1888.

[47] Letter from Eliza JACKSON May 2 1888. Cousin Sam has paid no rent for two terms. He is said to be greatly embarrassed; and I would not be surprised if he would make an offer to sell Cavananore to you. If he does so, beware of him, for he is a kittle customer, and I would not wish him to be enriched at your expense. He has not left a tree worth cutting on C.nore that he has not cut and sold; like the dishonourable fellow that he is.

[48] Belfast Newsletter November 1, 1889.

[49] 1898 February 5th Samuel BRADFORD Land Case.

[50] Letter from Eliza JACKSON January 19th 1891. This letter is worth reading in its entirety for its splendid sense of outrage.

[51] EPPI Enhanced Parliamentary Papers on Ireland 1801 – 1922 http://www.eppi.ac.uk/eppi/digbib/home 1837-1838 Vol 17 677 Pawnbrokers in Ireland.

[52] I don’t understand why there were two entries with differing numbers.

[53] The name of “Rose” BRADFORD  is interesting. The Griffiths Valuation shows a Rose GILMORE and a Rose COULTER. Also, Eliza JACKSON in her letters to her son Sir Thomas JACKSON kept referring to a “Rose”

[54] "A List of Registered Freeholders of the County of Louth, 1822, Consisting of the Baronies of Ardee, Ferrard, Louth, Upper and Lower Dundalk", printed in Dundalk by James Parks in 1822 and presently in the County Louth Reference Library, Dundalk. Other Freeholder lists are also available there, as well as in the National Library of Ireland in Dublin. SEE: http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~fianna/county/louth/loufree1822.html  


Given Name

Place of

Situation of


Registry Place






Rt. Hon. John Foster

Collon 11/08/1817









Upper Dundalk


[55] Journal of the Association for the Preservation of the Memorials of the Dead in Ireland Vol. 4. FHL# 1279252



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