The surname of BRADLEY is a common English surname now widely distributed throughout Ireland, although it is most frequently found in Ulster. While some Bradley families will be descendants of English settlers many Irish Bradleys will descend from the sept O'Brollachain, whose name was anglicized both as O'Brallaghan and Bradley. The sept was seated near the borders of County Tyrone, County Donegal and County Derry whence a branch emigrated southwards and established itself in County Cork. Ireland is one of the earliest sources of the development of patronymic names in northern Europe. Irish Clan or bynames can be traced back to the 4th century B.C. and Mac (son of) and O (grandson or ancestor of) evolved from this base, the original literal meaning of which has been lost due to the absence of written records and linguistic ambivalences which subtly but inexorably became adopted through usage. Genealogists and lexographers accept that the patronymic base does not refer to a location, quite the contrary. The use of the prefix 'Bally' (town of) attaching to the base name, identifying the location. The base root was also adopted by people residing in the demographic area without a common ancestor. These groups called 'Septs' were specially prevalent in Ireland. The first Normans arrived in Ireland in the 12th and 13th centuries to form an alliance with the King of Leinster. Under Elizabeth I in the 16th century, settlers from England established themselves around Dublin, then under English control and Presbyterian Scots emigrated to Ulster, introducing English and Scottish roots. Edward Bradley (1827-89) was the English author and clergyman, born in Kidderminster. He was educated at Durham University, and wrote facetious descriptions of Oxford life. An eminent member of the name was Omar Nelson Bradley (1893-1981) the American soldier born in Clark, Missouri. He was a graduate of the US Military Acadamy at West Point, and he entered the army in 1915, and served in World War 1. A brigadier in 1941. In 1944 he commanded the US Forces at the Normandy invasion, and later the US 12th Army Group through France. He became the first permanent chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff between 1949 and 1953. He published his war memoirs 'A Soldier's Story' in 1951, and an autobiography 'General's Life' in 1983.
The arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Confirmed to William Bradley, 30th April, 1608.
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