You raise the important question, "Where did this story aboutJohn Standlee immigrating from England come from?"You got me doing some web surfing on the subject, and the story is suspiciously uniform in the several places it appears.I would guess it all goes back to a single source, and - if it really does - the question becomes "Is that source any good?"Have you asked around as to where these people got the story?
You are also right to "do your homework", so to speak, geographically.That part I think I can shed some light on.There certainly is a Bradford, PA.I'm somewhat familiar with the place, have actually been there a number of times, and - by a bizarre coincidence - even stand an outside chance of driving through there tomorrow!I am also fairly familiar with the settlement patterns of NW PA.I can say that while, yes, PA was a British colony back in the mid 1700's, I doubt that Bradford was founded until the early 1800's.If it was, there certainly would have been very few people living there.Most of the counties in NW PA weren't even carved out until 1800, and some not until the 1830s (if I remember correctly).
There are currently two places in England called Bradford, and one is located at a place that some might refer to as "Central England".Specifically, there is a Bradford, England in Yorkshire (which "translates", if you will, to "York County", a county which shares its name with its largest city).It is in West Yorkshire, which seems to be some sort of older political subdivision which may no longer be in use.Its geographical coordinates are approximately 53deg50'N, 01deg50'W.If you don't have a detailed enough map for it to show, its near Leeds.
Bradford is also apparently within a political division called a "district", of the same name.Bradford District is the 4th largest district in England, and has close to half a million people.
Interestingly, if you do a web search on "Yorkshire" and "Standley", some ancient (dating back to 1575) documents pop up that refer to a place called "Standley".There is no such named place in England currently, however.
Anyway, there at least IS a Bradford, Yorkshire, England.The suspicious thing about it is the way it is always referred to as "Bradford, Central England".That sounds to me like a single modern-day person simply looked it up on a map that had no county subdivisions on it, and thought it looked like it was near the middle of England.I can't imagine some 18th century record mentioning "Central England".
Well, that should be enough for one post.I hope to add another point or two in separate posts later.