English: habitational name from any of the many places throughout England named Bradley, from Old English brad ‘broad’ + leah ‘woodland clearing’. Scottish: habitational name from Braidlie in Roxburghshire. Irish (Ulster): adopted as an English equivalent of Gaelic Ó Brolcháin.

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You can see how Bradley families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Bradley family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Bradley families were found in the USA in 1880. In 1840 there were 314 Bradley families living in New York. This was about 18% of all the recorded Bradley's in the USA. New York had the highest population of Bradley families in 1840.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Bradley surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

In 1940, Laborer and Maid were the top reported jobs for men and women in the US named Bradley. 16% of Bradley men worked as a Laborer and 7% of Bradley women worked as a Maid. Some less common occupations for Americans named Bradley were Truck Driver and Cook.

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*We display top occupations by gender to maintain their historical accuracy during times when men and women often performed different jobs.


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Census Records

There are 1 million census records available for the last name Bradley. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Bradley census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search US census records for Bradley

Passenger Lists

There are 99,000 immigration records available for the last name Bradley. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in the USA, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

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Draft Cards

There are 170,000 military records available for the last name Bradley. For the veterans among your Bradley ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all Bradley military records

Between 1942 and 2004, in the United States, Bradley life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1945, and highest in 1999. The average life expectancy for Bradley in 1942 was 50, and 73 in 2004.

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View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Bradley


An unusually short lifespan might indicate that your Bradley ancestors lived in harsh conditions. A short lifespan might also indicate health problems that were once prevalent in your family. The SSDI is a searchable database of more than 70 million names. You can find birthdates, death dates, addresses and more.