England, Scotland, France
Origins of Name:
The surname of Bradley can be found in both the English and Scottish cultures. The first possible origin of the surname of Bradley is that it is a locational surname. This means that the surname of Bradley was often taken by the Lord or owner of the land from which the name derives. Others who may have take a locational surname are people who have migrated out of the area to seek out work. The easiest way to identify someone who was a stranger at that time was by the name of their birthplace. The original location from which the surname hailed was one of the many villages named Bradley throughout the country of England. The surname comes from the Old English Pre 7th Century word of “bradleah” which can be translated to mean a “broad clearing which was deemed suitable for agriculture. The surname of Bradley was common in the country of France, which changed the spelling of the surname to reflect: “Bradeleo,” “Breadelie,” and “Bradelea,” which all carry the same meaning of Bradley.
More common variations are: Bradeley, Bradly, Bradely, Broadley, Bradeley, Braidley, Briadley, Breadley, Braddley, Bradlley, Braedley, Braadley
The first recorded spelling of the surname of Bradley can be found in the country of England. One person by the name of William de Bradlai was mentioned in the document referred to as the Pipe Rolls of the County of Lincolnshire, and was named in the year od 1170. This document, the Pipe Rolls of Lincolnshire, was ordered, decreed, and written under the reign of one Kin Henry II, who was commonly referred to as “Henru Curtmantle,” “Henry Fitzempress” or “Henry Plantagenet.” King Henry II of England ruled from the year 1154 to the ear 1189. Other mentions of the surname of Bradley can be found throughout the country of England. One John de Bradley was mentioned as living in County Berwick in the year of 1296, and James Bradley, who was an astronomer from Bradley Castle. One John Bradley was married to Annis Whitby at the church of St. Dunstans in the East, which is located in Stepney, in the year of 1564. Those who bear the surname of Bradley can be found throughout the country of England.
The surname of Bradley can be found commonly throughout the country of Scotland. The one area in particular that has a large concentration of people who carry the surname of Bradley is the area of Roxburghshire.
United States of America:
Throughout the 17th Century, many people from Europe began to move to the United States of America to escape their home countries. Many European citizens were upset with the state off affairs in the country of their birth. The first settler to carry the surname of Bradley to the United States of America was one Richard Bradley, who landed in the state of Maryland in the year 1634. Those who bear the surname of Bradley can be found in large concentrations throughout the United States. The areas with the highest number of people who carry the surname of Bradley can be found in Massachusetts, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New York, Texas, and in Missouri.
Here is the population distribution of the last name Bradley: United States 153,679; England 36,152; Canada 12,444; Australia 11,800; South Africa 8,274; Northern Ireland 4,137; New Zealand 3,278; Ireland 3,046; Scotland 2,914; Papua New Guinea 1,743
Captain Willis Winter Bradley (1884-1954) who was a Naval officer, and was also a recipient of the Medal of Honor
William Warren “Bill” Bradley (born in 1943) who was a basketball player that is seen within the American Hall of Fame, who was also a Rhodes Scholar, and served as a U.S. Democratic Senator who served for three terms
Edward Rudolph Bradley (1941-2006) who was a broadcast journalist from America, who was most notably recognized for his twenty-six years of award-winning work on the CBS News TV magazine 60 Minutes
Milton Bradley (1836-1911) who was a draftsman from America, as well as being a lithographer and entrepreneur, who is most notably recognized for being the founder of the Milton Bradley Company, who are makers of family board games
Lieutenant George Bradley (1881-1942) who was an officer in the United States Navy, and who received the highest possible military decoration: the Medal of Honor
Major-General James Lester Bradley (1891-1957) who was the Chief of Staff for America in the 4th Army from the year 1940 to the year 1942