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My first impression, based only on seeing his photograph, was that he may have been stern.  Yet, his youthful look suggests that he wasn’t too stern or serious.  As with most photos, I was motivated to learn more.


Michael was born on January 1, 18161 to John and Joanna (Fitzgerald) Bradley probably in Pickaway County, Ohio. When Michael was 23 he married 17 year old Leah Glick on August 8, 1839 in Fairfield County, Ohio. The Bradley’s and Glick’s became a family five years earlier when Michael’s brother, Henry, married Leah’s sister, Mary.

By 1845 Michael, his wife and children had moved to Miami County, Indiana. They were  “…in the virgin forest, and, in true pioneer fashion, carved out a home…”.2 Perhaps that home is what their daughter, Mary Kissman, called their first small cabin. Later they purchased more land and built the Bradley homestead, which “stood on the rise in the ground on the south side of County Road 255 about a mile and a quarter south of the Wabash River and not far from the Wabash county line”.3

In about 1852 Michael took a trip to Ohio where his aging parents lived.  He escorted his parents, John and Joanna, in their move from Ohio to Miami County, Indiana. They lived on Michael’s property in their own home until John’s death in 1860.  At that time Joanna moved in with Michael’s family in the “big house” until her death 4 years later.3

The Bradley’s were Lutheran and Michael was a democrat.3 He and his wife had at least 12 children and their memories illustrate that he was a caring and responsible man.  His daughter Mary said “he was a kind father and a good neighbor.”3

Now, when I look at Michael’s photo, I see someone’s son and father.  A person who was kind and helpful.  If you have evidence, family tradition or photos to add to Michael’s story I would love to hear from you.

Michael Bradley was my biological 3rd great grandfather on my father’s side.


  1. Find A Grave. Find A Grave. http://www.findagrave.com: accessed 23 February 2014.
  2. Duncan, L. Wallace. History of Montgomery County, Kansas. Iola, Kan.: Press of Iola Register, 1903. 438+.
  3. Hallard, Shelly, “Foor Family Genealogy Website,” www.foorgenealogy.com, 11 Jun 2008; accessed February 23, 2014.

No Story Too Small offered a challenge: have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor. 
Each of my posts for this challenge will include in the title “52 Ancestors Challenge” and will have the tag of 52Ancestors.