James Bradley was born in Lisbane, parish of Upper Badoney County Tyrone, Ireland about 1804. He studied at the Bishop’s College in Londonderry, and came to America in October of 1825. He attended Mount St. Mary’s College in Emmitsburg, Maryland and was ordained to the priesthood on 25 September 1831. He served about as pastor of Ebensburg, Pennsylvania and in 1832 he became pastor at Newry, Pennsylvania and would remain in that position until his death 51 years later in 1883. In his early years as a priest, his congregation was far flung and he would travel many miles by horseback to minister to his flock, saying Mass and attending sick calls. His parishioners, primarily Irish immigrants, included farmers and the men who built the railroads of western Pennsylvania.
The parishioners at Newry held appear to have held Rev. Bradley in great respect. In honor of the 50th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood, a bell was commissioned. The bell still hangs in the steeple of the church at Newry.
There’s a simple way you can make your ancestor’s timeline more interesting and more useful. Add hyperlinks!
If you’re like me, your timelines probably include dates when your ancestor appeared on a census, when he showed up in a city directory, when he was naturalized, in addition to when he was born, married and died. I also like to throw in every newspaper article I can find about my ancestor.
I try to save images of these documents to my computer, either in a jpg or a pdf file. Then when I create a timeline in Excel I can link to the image of the document.
I’ll admit, I’ve looked at these documents many times, but once in a while something pops out that I hadn’t noticed before or that I hadn’t really focused on. And I find that the organization of a timeline gets my brain processing information in a different way than if I’m looking at a stack of papers in a file/ Looking at these images in the context of a timeline might just help me make new discoveries in the old documents.
Right click on a cell where you want to link to a document image. A dropdown menu of options including “Hyperlink” will appear.
Select a file from your computer and click “OK.” That’s all there is to it. Next time you hover over that cell, click when the pointing finger icon appears and you’ll see the document. Easy peasy.
This makes a simple way to share information about an ancestor with your family. Send them a timeline and the image files and they can see what their ancestor was up to.
Whose timeline will you hype up first?
A cousin recently sent me some probate records from Lunenburg County, Virginia. Included among them were some wills and inventories. One was the inventory of the personal property of my third-greatgrandfather, Jeremiah Gee who died 8 December 1857.
“Inventory, [illegible] & appraisement of the personal property & Estate of Jeremiah Gee decd made this the 28th day of December 1857:
Richmond 850.00 $3500.00
Ann & child Henry 900.00
Liza & child Louisa 850.00
Will 750.00 $3350.00
Miranda & child John 800.00
Mary Jane 300.00
Rilla worth nothing more than a maintenance 000.00 $2700.00”[i]
Who was Rilla? According to this inventory she was worth nothing. Less than an ox cart, valued at $8. Less than one of his sheep valued at $1.50 each. Less even than one of the 27 hogs valued at $1 each.
I know nothing about Rilla, other than her name from this inventory. Did she have children and grandchildren? When she held them in her lap, when she sang to them, when she touched them - did they see her as worth nothing? I hope to do some more research to find out more about Rilla.
I struggle with the history of my family and the history of a culture that saw human beings as items of property worth $1,000 or $850 or $250. I struggle even more with the idea that one of them was worth nothing.
I can only strive to do my part to make the world a more equal and just place. I do this in the name of Rilla.
[i] “Inventory of Jeremiah Gee,” Virginia Circuit Court, Lunenburg County, Virginia. Inventories book F2, page 315
Mary Kircher Roddy is a genealogist, writer and lecturer, always looking for the story. Her blog is a combination of the stories she has found and the tools she used to find them.