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Bradsher Families in America

Updated August 10, 2008

About Our Family Research

Researching the BRADSHER surname has been a journey of more than 35 years. It is a particularly difficult name to pin down, because of its similarity to so many other well-known surnames--Bradshaw, Brasher, Brashear, Bratcher--to name a few.

In the past few years, however, I have come to believe that it is a unique surname originating in the British Isles. There are many instances of the BRADSHER name there up into the 1900s. I recently found a man in the census in Illinois in 1900 who was born in England and there was no mistaking the spelling for anything other than BRADSHER.

Our earliest traceable ancestor, John BRADSHER, came to what is now Person County, NC in the 1750s to take up a Granville land grant on the South Hyco River at present-day Bushy Fork, NC. He came from Maryland and there are several theories about who he was. The Dollarhide family came at the same time and other Bradsher families. They lived in Orange Co. just across the Person Co. line. These two other families showed up in the 1830 Person Co. census and then moved on possibly to South Carolina and then to Alabama.

Most Bradshers still live in North Carolina, but there are other concentrations in Arkansas, Tennessee, Missouri, Michigan and other places. All the ones with whom I have had contact trace their lineage to Person County, N.C.

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