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Broadwell Name Study

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Surname/tag: Broadwell
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How to Join

The project is currently open, so anybody can edit, but to collaborate please contact the project leaders Rob Neff and L. Sauls or post a comment/question at the foot of the page. Thanks!

Even without officially joining, you can add any of your Broadwell profiles to the project by putting this template into the bio section: {{One Name Study|name=Broadwell}}


This is a One Name Study to collect together in one place everything about the Broadwell surname and the related variants of that name. The spelling has been surprisingly consistent since the 1600's, but rarely Broadwill, Brodwell, even Brawdwell have been seen, other variants may exist. The hope is that other researchers like you will join our study to help make it a valuable reference point for people studying lines that cross or intersect.

Family Overview

The Broadwells come from the Tewkesbury area, in Gloucestershire, England. William Broadwell who died in 1689 is the first Broadwell known to be in the American colonies, first mentioned in 1677 in New Jersey (apparently moved there from Connecticut). Two daughters of Richard Broadwell, a Quaker, also crossed the ocean, recorded in Philadelphia County of Pennsylvania by 1685. No sons are known to be in Philadelphia so the Broadwell name was not preserved in Pennsylvania.

The Broadwell family in New Jersey helped settle Elizabethtown (now Elizabeth, basically a suburb of New York city). They married into the Lindsley family, who had helped settle Newark, New Jersey.

Of William's descendants, one group went north into New York state, another group went to Ohio (before it was a state) and then Illinois (right at the beginning of statehood). By now there is likely a Broadwell or Broadwell descendant in all 50 states.

Brushes with History

There are several Revolutionary War veterans (good claims, but not yet verified), as well as a father-in-law (Major Joseph Lindsley) who may have met with George Washington; later Norman Broadwell argued a case against Abraham Lincoln; two Broadwell houses near Cincinnati are in the historic registry, Moses Broadwell built one of the oldest surviving brick structures in Illinois. The grandson of Moses laid out a town called Broadwell in Illinois, on historic Route 66. An even smaller town of Broadwell exists in Athens county, Ohio.

On the infamy side, Dick Broadwell was a member of the Dalton Gang in Kansas, and killed in October 1892, while attempting to flee a bank robbery. Three other members of the gang died immediately, Dick was able to get out of town on horseback, but succumbed a short distance away.

Samuel Morse (of telegraph and Morse code fame) is a distant cousin, thru William I's wife Mary Morse.

A Broadwell descendant, William H. Parsons was a Colonel and possibly Major General in the Civil War for Texas, briefly a state senator before being appointed by Ulysses S. Grant to a post in the federal government. His half-brother Albert Parsons was apparently not a Broadwell descendant, but deserves perhaps an honorary shout-out - he served in the Confederate Army, then apparently had a change of heart. He helped former slaves register to vote, and got threatened and beaten for his efforts. Albert then moved to Chicago and was involved in labor unions and speaking at rallies. Although not present at the Haymarket Riot, he was convicted of inciting the crowd and was hanged.

Task List

In no particular order:

  • Was Edward Broadwell really the father of William Broadwell? Can we go farther back?
  • Who really was/were the wife/wives of William Broadwell III?
  • Getting actual records from the National Archives or other proof of American Revolution ancestors, including: Moses, William IV, Samuel, Simeon, and Jacob
  • Also tracing the Lindsley/Lindly/Linsey line as the two families intersect several times while in northern New Jersey.
  • We're missing Broadwells who migrated to NY. The Andrew Broadwell book (see resources) could be useful for that.
  • Also missing some Broadwells that stayed in the Cincinnati region, and a couple that pop up down south, such as the "famous steamboat captain James Broadwell", who was involved in the "Great New Orleans Kidnapping Case".
  • What is the ancestry of Judge James Bradwell? He was born in England, he and his wife were very interesting people, see his Wikipedia entry. Why did they go from England to Utica NY, to Jacksonville IL (both towns where Broadwells lived), unless seeking out Broadwells?
  • Was William B. involved in the Oklahoma Land Rush, as a son's find-a-grave record claims?
  • Broadwells in the Oklohama Census of 1890 need to be incorporated into the tree.
    • 3/3/18 added, but not connected.
  • Fit in miscellaneous people like Lewis and unconnected Broadwells already on WikiTree.
  • Fra Broadwell Dana sounds interesting


  • National Archives Applications for headstones for military service. Broadwells are on pp. 551-560 (2 pages each). This implies Broadwell is a rare name, since there are nearly 2000 entries from Brisbois, Charles to Brown, Edward, and only 5 are Broadwells.
  • Broadwell overview as a story, starting in 1600's colonial America, following my branch to Ohio and Illinois, with brief descriptions of other interesting Broadwells.
  • Broadwell Family of Clinton County, New York, by Andrew Broadwell, 1962
  • Early Settlers of Sangamon County (Springfield, Illinois) early history - all the Broadwell family tree in this book has been entered into Wikitree.
  • First Settlers of Passaic Valley, all the Broadwell information in this book has been entered, except Polly/Hannah, which Mary is she really the daughter of? Also could be more in-law information in the book.
  • First Settlers...another link
  • New Jersey wills
  • Baxter Broadwell and family migration from New Jersey -> Ohio -> Illinois, including role at Fort Amanda in the War of 1812.
  • "The Broadwells of Clayville and their Roots, vol III", published by Sangamon State University
  • Clayville History and the Moses Broadwell house
  • Space page with many New Jersey Sources

  • Login to edit this profile and add images.
  • Private Messages: Contact the Profile Managers privately: L Sauls, One Name Studies WikiTree, and Rob Neff. (Best when privacy is an issue.)
  • Public Comments: Login to post. (Best for messages specifically directed to those editing this profile. Limit 20 per day.)

Comments: 8

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Sorry, but I forgot my complimentary close concerning the last posting about my ancestor, John S. Broadwell not James S. Broadwell.


Phil Ostrander

posted by Philip Ostrander, Jr.

I would like to find out information about the date of birth and death concerning my 5th or 6th great grandfather, James S. Broadwell. I have seen birth dates including: 1796, 1800, or 1806 from various websites. Who knows which is correct? I was able to establish that he married Margaret Reynolds (1809 - 1840) and that his parents were: Aaron Broadwell (1779 - 1858) and Sarah Seeley who was born in 1775.


posted by Philip Ostrander, Jr.
HI, Philip,

Welcome to WikiTree!

I did a search in FamilySearch family trees for your James. I found the parents you give for him; they supposedly had a son John who married a Margaret Reynolds, but John had no sources whatever. Given the lack of sources, I would say this family is very possibly not correct, but I did not attempt to sort it out. I would not copy anything from it without further research. https://www.familysearch.org/tree/person/details/KHQP-N5L

I also found a James Broadwell, b 1814, whose wife's name was Margaret, living in Ohio with two children. This family had enough sources that I believe the group is correct, but James had no parents attached to him, and no maiden name is given for Margaret. https://www.familysearch.org/tree/person/details/L8CK-NKJ

If I were you, I would re-evaluate what I have based on my sources...

I am moving this question to G2G, so more community members will see it; it's likely that others will have more to contribute.

posted by L Sauls
Thanks, Sauls. I've been meaning to look into it, but haven't done so yet. Did you also look under John S. Broadwell? See Philip's follow-up note above.
posted by Rob Neff
You're welcome, and Yes. John is the correct name.
posted by L Sauls
Hi Philip,

I moved your question to G2G. You can find it here.

posted by L Sauls
I have added the Broadwells from the 1890 Oklahoma Census, with as many sources as showed up on Family Search for Darthulia, but they still need to be connected to the larger tree.
posted by L Sauls
Hi R., Thanks for starting this study! I would like to join -- one of my grandmothers was a Broadwell whose line goes through Ohio back to New Jersey.

Happy New Year!

posted by L Sauls