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Bushfield Family History

Bushfields in 18th Century America

To date, I have accumulated information on FIVE Bushfields in America between 1776 and 1799:


THOMAS BUSHFIELD is listed as a Private from New Jersey serving in the Revolutionary War; cited on page 527 of "Official Register of Officers and Men of New Jersey in the Revolutionary War".

The Census Index for Colonial America, 1607-1789 lists:

Census Index -- U.S. Selected Counties, 1790, lists: JAMES BUSHFIELD is listed on NY's 1790 Census: This gives us at least TWO new 18th Century ancestors to figure out, two who predated the arrival of Samuel, William and Isabella by at least a couple of years. There is, however, always the chance that they were brothers, cousins, etc. of 1792 Samuel, William and Isabella described in detail below.

SAMUEL BUSHFIELD is prominently featured on page 259 of the "History of the County of Westmoreland, Pennsylvania, with Biographical Sketches of Many of Its Pioneers and Prominent Men", L. H. Everts & Co., 1882. This volume is available in many public libraries. Samuel was a brick manufacturer and apparently owned a brick factory in Pittsburgh in the early 1800s.

Samuel was from Maguiresbridge, Ireland (County Fermanagh), Ireland. He married Catherine Taylor of County Cavan, Ireland and they had seven children, six of whom survived their father at the time of his death in 1832:

  1. George Taylor Bushfield (b. 10/9/1791, drowned 12/28/1822, m. Katherine Kern)
  2. Samuel B. Bushfield (d. after 1834)
  3. Isabella Jane Bushfield (d. 1835, m. Joseph Woods; also lived in Indiana)
  4. Rebecca Bushfield (d. after 1834, m. Joseph M. Phillips)
  5. Margaret Bushfield (d. after 1834, m. William Robinson)
  6. Susanna Bushfield (d. after 1834, m. Charles Ramsey)
  7. Joseph M. Bushfield (d. after 1834)
Samuel Bushfield and his wife Catherine Taylor came to America from Ireland in 1792, landed in New York, went to Lancaster County, PA, and settled in Greensburg, PA in 1799. Samuel Bushfield, his wife, JACOB KERN, his wife SUSANNA, and JOHN KERN and his wife were founders of the first Methodist Church in Greensburg.

The Bushfields and the Kerns' lives were apparently quite tightly intertwined, at least until 1817 when Jacob Kern "moved West".

The Kerns moved to Switzerland County, Indiana in 1817. Many members of the Kern clan are listed in "Switzerland County, Indiana Cemetary Inscriptions (1817-1985).

George Taylor Bushfield (eldest son of Samuel) married one of Jacob Kern's daughters, Katherine Kern, on 2/7/1811. Their first child, James Spielman Bushfield, was born in Greensburg, PA on 10/6/1812. George Taylor Bushfield, his wife and child left PA and joined her father's family in Southeastern Indiana, "where they all settled as farmers." {See Encyclopedia of Pennsylvania Biography by John W. Jordan, LL.D., Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1915, Vol. V, p. 1567.}

George and Katherine had a total of six children:

  1. James Spielman Bushfield (1812-1888); m. Isabella Best; died in Pittsburgh, PA
  2. Louisa Bushfield (m. Elisha Bennett 8/8/1837)
  3. Mary Jane Bushfield (m. Erlem Bratney 11/24/1845)
  4. Susannah Bushfield (m. Allen Summers 4/23/1843)
  5. Catherine Bushfield (b. 1816)
  6. Samuel May Bushfield (b. 9/9/1821); m. Elizabeth Eleanor Summers 2/22/1844; d. 9/9/1821 in Clark County, Indiana
"In crossing a creek on the ice, it gave way, and George Taylor Bushfield was drowned, December 28, 1822. His father, Samuel Bushfield, then went to Indiana and brought the eldest son, James S. Bushfield, home with him, raised and educated him and put him in business with his uncles, Samuel and Joseph, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, also made him superintendent of his brickyard, located where Twenty-eighth and Smallman streets now are." {Ibid.} James was only 10 years old when his father died. The youngest Bushfield child, Samuel May Bushfield, was 1 year old.

Six years later, Katherine Bushfield married Rev. Cornelius Ruddell, 25 years her senior. Katherine was only 30 when George died. She and her second husband moved to Jeffersonville in Clark County, Indiana, and later had one child of their own, Jacob Ruddell.

Elder Samuel Bushfield died in 1832; his wife Catherine survived him and lived until 12/28/1856. A 22-year "Orphans Court" proceeding ensued when Samuel died and was apparently resolved after Catherine's death, the final court action having been in February of 1856.

WILLIAM BUSHFIELD, brother of the above elder Samuel Bushfield, was also a brick maker and builder. By 1828, this William was living and working as a builder in Shelbyville, Indiana. William and his wife Elizabeth Nelson Bushfield had six children:

William Bushfield's descendants are very carefully detailed in a 1959 book written by Mrs. Louis Bushfield (now deceased), entitled, "THE McKEEVERS AND ALLIED FAMILIES OF WEST MIDDLETOWN, WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA". This book is available on microfilm from your local Church of Latter Day Saints Family History Center. They will probably have to order the film from Salt Lake City and you can expect to wait about four weeks for the film. There is also a nominal charge. If you suspect you may be descended from William Bushfield, it is absolutely worth the wait!

ISABELLA BUSHFIELD, the sister of the above Samuel and William Bushfield, came to America with her brothers in 1792 from Ireland. Isabella is said to have married a "Graham" and to have settled in Virginia. Nothing more is known of her at this time. I hope that through this website we can uncover something more about her fate.

Samuel May
If you are interested in the BUSHFIELD line, let me invite you to join our e-mail discussion group dedicated to this surname. You can learn more about surname discussion groups by visiting Rootsweb's Mail List page or, if you are familiar with them, just send the following one-word message: 


(that's the whole message; no signatures; no subject line) to

Elizabeth Eleanor
Summers Bushfield

Bushfield Points of Interest to come....

  • Bushfields' Arrival from Ireland 1775-1792
  • Bushfields in Pennsylvania
  • Bushfields in Southern Indiana
  • Bushfields in Canada
  • Bushfield/Ruddell Connection
  • Bushfields Around the World
  • Bushfield Family Photo Album



    Bushfield Links

  • Clark County, Indiana GENWEB page
  • Indiana GENWEB page
  • Cyndi's List of Genealogy Sites on the Internet
  • Family Tree Maker Online
  • Yahoo's Genealogy Search Engine
  • Genealogists' Web Pages Index
  • Falls of the Ohio Heritage Page -- Indiana History
  • If you would like to share information on the BUSHFIELD, KERNs or RUDDELLs (RUDDLEs) in Southern Indiana, please E-mail me at:

  • BTW, to date, I've found approximately 50 Bushfields in the U.S., 50 in Canada, 2 in Scotland and 3 in Australian. I've had no luck finding any in England or Ireland. If you have any ideas on tracking them down, please e-mail me.

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    Interested in checking out e-mail discussion groups? I recommend you visit:

    Rootsweb (my favorite)
    Liszt Directory of E-mail Discussion Groups
    List Server Help Page Genealogy Listservers, Newsgroups & Special Homepages
    Publicly Accessible Mailing Lists (genealogy and otherwise)

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