Posts Tagged ‘Bull Run’

Surname Saturday: Trafford

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

benjamin_l_trafford_ny_times_24december1883Here’s what I think I’ve learned so far about my TRAFFORD ancestors.

1. Dean Richardson

2. Roberta Matthews Knapp

3. Roberta Trafford Matthews born 05 July 1907 in Leonia, Bergen, NJ; died 19 September 1987 in Emmaus, Lehigh, PA

4. Sarah Caroline Trafford born 21 April 1868 in Manhattan, NY; died 27 March 1933 in Springfield, Hampton, MA

5. Benjamin Trafford born 5 August 1835 in NY; died 23 December 1883 in Little Silver, Monmouth, NJ

6. Abraham Trafford born 31 December 1804 in NJ; died 27 August 1871 in NJ

7. Samuel Trafford born 1750 in Shrewbury, Monmouth, NJ; died 22 June 1806 in Shrewsbury, Monmouth, NJ

8. Samuel Trafford born 1725 in Monmouth county, NJ

Some of the later data we have is from Historical and genealogical miscellany: data relating to the settlement and settlers of New York and New Jersey, Volume 4 by John Edwin Stillwell.

The Benjamin Trafford obituary shown here was published in the New York Times on 24 December 1883. It’s the first genealogy document I encountered relating to my ancestors. My wife found it on microfilm at the BYU Genealogy Library shortly after our marriage. It’s fair to say that my interest in genealogy and family history dates back to that experience.

I’m particularly fond of this sentence from the obituary:

He amassed a fortune, but through his generous habits and high living, coupled with disastrous speculation, he lost his property and had recourse to journalism as a means of gaining a livelihood.

We were later blessed to gain access to a marvelous collection of correspondence between Benjamin and his wife Cecelia during Benjamin’s various Civil War enlistment periods. My mother has in her possession a trunk that Benjamin supposedly carried with him during the war.

Family lore indicates that the Trafford name was originally de Trafford on the other side of the Atlantic. I’ve yet to uncover any evidence documenting this speculation, though it certainly seems plausible and I haven’t tried particularly hard.

I’d love to hear from any one with Traffords among their ancestors who could help me make the de Trafford connection. I’d also be interested in receiving help locating the “work on military tactics” mentioned in the obituary that Benjamin is supposed to have authored.