In the course of New Hampshire’s history, perhaps the unluckiest family was that of Bradley. Were their untimely deaths the result of a curse, or did they simply have the bad luck of being in the wrong place at the wrong time?
It started with the progenitor of this prolific New England family–Daniel Broadley. He immigrated to the New World on 8 Apr 1635 on the ship, “Elizabeth,” of London first settling in Rowley and later in Haverhill, Massachusetts. On 13 Aug 1689 a small party of Indians appeared in the northerly part of this town, and killed him. But not before he married and his wife gave birth to his nine children.
Some of his immediate descendants received a similar sad fate:
— 1695: His eighth child, Isaac (b 1679/80 in Haverhill MA) was abducted by Indians in 1695 but escaped. He married and had ten children.
— 1696: His eldest son Daniel (b. 1662 in Rowley MA) was killed by Indians in March of 1696/97 in what was later known as the “Dustin Massacre.”
— 1718: His fifth child, Mary (b. Apr 1671 in Haverhill MA) was killed 3 Sep 1718 by Indians. She was married twice, her first husband being killed by Indians in 1704. She had 6 children.
— 1727: His second son, Joseph (b. 1664 in Rowley) died Oct 1727. Joseph’s wife Hannah (Heath) Bradley was captured not once, but twice by Indians and abducted to Canada. During one of these captivities her newborn child was killed by the abductors. Three other of their children were killed by Indians.
–His ninth child Abraham (b. March 1683 in Haverhill MA) moved to Concord [then called Rumford] NH, where he sired 11 children. He died probably of natural causes.
— 1746: His grandson (by Abraham) Lieut. Jonathan (b 1713 in Haverhill MA) died 11 August 1746 in Concord NH killed by Indians. He had married and had four children previously.
— 1746: His grandson (by Abraham) Samuel Bradley (b 1721 in Haverhill MA) was killed on the same day as his brother Jonathan, in Concord NH on 11 August 1746. He had married and had three children.
–His grandson (by Abraham) Lieut. Timothy Bradley (b. 1711 in Haverhill MA) married Abiah Stevens and had twelve children. Timothy and his wife died of normal causes. But such was not the fate for their children.
–1759: His great-grandson, (by gr-son Timothy, and son Abraham) Benjamin Bradley (b 1739 in Concord NH). He was one of Roger’s Rangers who perished after the St. Francis flight of Oct 1759. [SEE upcoming article about New Hampshire’s Lost Treasure: The Silver Madonna].
PS: This strange article is submitted as my contribution to the 4th Edition of Blog Carnival: Cabinet of Curiosities, hosted by Walking the Berkshires.