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Bulford Family in Luzerne County, Pa.


The earliest I've found mention of the Bulford name in Luzerne County is in 1814 when John Bulford "late of Ct." and George Chahoon of Wilkesbarre purchased land in Newport from John and Phebe Stivers. This land was later transferred to John Bulford's son, Albon, also of New Haven. In 1815 John purchased land in Exeter township from William Knap of Susquehanna county. In 1816 deeds once again identify John as being of New Haven, Ct.
Cpt. John Bulford served in the Revolution he was a private in Capt. Granger's Company 2nd Regiment, Ct., 1777. Cpt. John and Olive Bulford are buried in the Grove St. cemetery, New Haven, Ct. After Olive's death in 1821, Cpt. John married December 8, 1821 Mrs. Sarah (Ransom) Barney.
Albon Bulford was born in 1790. He came to the Wyoming Valley early on to invest in the coal at Newport. It was here that he met Mary Bailey Johnson, the orphaned daughter of Jacob Williamson and Mary (Bailey) Johnson. Polly as she was called, was a ward of her first cousin, Zebulon Butler, Jr. Isaac A. Wightman was given responsibility for settling the estate of her father.
Albon Bulford and Mary Johnson were married by Noah Wadhams on October 13, 1816 at Plymouth, Luzerne county. They later moved to New York City. In 1820 census they are found in the first ward with their three children, Lord, John Jacob and Olive Ann. There was an outbreak of Yellow Fever in 1822 and it is assumed that this is when the family moved. When Albon and Mary sold land on Union St. in Wilkesbarre in 1822 his occupation was noted as innkeeper of Jersey City, New Jersey. In 1826 they had moved to New Haven, Connecticut. Albon died there, intestate, on September 8, 1829. After the death of Captain John Bulford in 1830, Mary and the three children returned to the Wyoming Valley.
Mary Bulford taught school at Huntsville. She married second Phineas Nash Foster, son of Edward and Lowly (Nash) Foster, on March 4, 1835 at Plymouth. The family later moved to their home on Sutton Road. P.N. and Mary Foster had one son, Charles Dorrance Foster born November 25, 1836.
Lord Butler Bulford went west to seek his fortune. He died unmarried prior to 1860. Little more is know of his life.
Olive Ann was born August 17, 1817. She married, late in life, to a widower, Ira Mandeville. They had no children. Olive died October 26, 1898 and is buried at Hollenback cemetery.

John Jacob Bulford was born in New York City on June 16, 1819. He married January 12, 1846 Rachel DeLong, daughter of Jonas and Catharine (Shafer) DeLong. "Judge" Bulford was a justice of the peace, blacksmith and farmer. He also was a partner in the firm of Hatfield and Co. which conducted a general store at Dallas. His home was near Foster Street in the center of Dallas.
The Lehigh Valley Railroad ran through his property. When the first passenger train came through the area on September 12, 1887, Rachel Bulford was struck and killed by the train. John Jacob Bulford died November 4, 1897. They are both buried at the Rice cemetery in Dallas. There is no marker on the graves. John Jacob Bulford's will provided properties for each of his three sons. He also set aside property in Dallas for each of his grandchildren.
John and Rachel Bulford had five children according to the family Bible. Samuel Ransom, Nash Foster, Mary (born May 31, 1853; died October 1, 1853), Benjamin Franklin, Charles (born May 21, 1859; died November 17, 1859) and John Howard (born August 28, 1868; died November 29, 1875). Three sons survived to adulthood.
The eldest son, Samuel Ransom Bulford was born January 27, 1847 at Kingston township. In 1870 he married Jeannette Hoover born 1851, daughter of Michael and Elizabeth (Cox) Hoover. The 1900 census indicates they had nine children, I only have names for eight. John Bulford had a home build for Sam and his family on Church Street.
1. Lillian died young, before June 1880. She was buried at Rice cemetery but the Bulford gravestone was removed when she was reinterred at Woodlawn cemetery.
2. William born March 12, 1874 at Penfield, Pa. He married January 18, 1895 Minnie Hunsinger, daughter of William and Jemima (McCall) Hunsinger. Billy Bulford had a livery stable in Wilkes-Barre and sold mules used in the mines. He died April 24, 1930 and is buried at Woodlawn. They had no children.
3. Joseph was born June 30, 1876. He married September 4, 1900 Amanda Mission. Joe was a blacksmith. He died January 30, 1948 and is buried at Evergreen cemetery. They had three children.
4. Rose was born February 6, 1878. She married May 27, 1896 to R. Ward Chapin. Rose died April 22, 1897, soon after having their only child, a daughter.
5. Nora was born May 4, 1880. She first married Paris Bealer. Their daughter, Minnie was born in 1899. They divorced in 1900. On October 7, 1903 Nora married Fred K. Riley. They had no children. Nora died June 22, 1952 and is buried at Wardan cemetery.
6. Estella Gertrude was born April 7, 1883. She married January 9, 1900 William M. Reynolds of Wyoming County. They had four children and moved to Norwich, New York. Stella died October 11, 1962.
7. George M. B. was born July 24, 1885 at Huntsville. He married January 1, 1906 Edith Francis Nulton, daughter of Jacob and Lucinda (Husted) Nulton. They had four daughters and one son. George had a farm supply business. He died April 27, 1975 and is buried at Evergreen cemetery.
8. Myrtle was born November 21, 1886. She married June 26, 1908 Fred J. Rineman, born in Kansas. They had two sons who did not marry. Fred had a Dairy farm on Sutton Road and raised horses. Myrtle died September 29, 1972 and is buried at Woodlawn.

The second surviving son of John and Rachel Bulford, Nash Foster, was born July 4, 1850 in Dallas township. He bought land and began to farm in Lake township. He married August 6, 1876 to Augusta Snyder born January 3, 1860 to Reuben and Mary Ann (Davis) Snyder. "Fos" and "Gussie" as they were called, had nine children.
1. Josephine was born in 1877. She married at Norwich, New York to Joseph Frantz, born 1863 in Germany. They had eight children. Josephine died June 22, 1920 and is buried at Maple Grove cemetery.
2. John Franklin was born October 15, 1878. He married April 6, 1909 Blanche E. Owens. Blanche was a daughter of Charles and Elizabeth Owens of Wyoming county. They had twelve children and moved to West Virginia where he worked as a blacksmith. He died June 18, 1965 and is buried in Red Rock, West Virginia.
3. Sarah Maude was born at Loyalville March 10, 1881 . She married January 12, 1901 Charles Wilbur Moss who had come alone from Texas to do lumbering for the mines. They had a family of three sons and two daughters. Sarah died in 1963 and is buried at Marsh cemetery, Wyoming Co.
4. Annie M. "Margie" Bulford was born June 7, 1882. She married Philip H. Snyder, a widower born in Ross twp. June 6, 1873. They lived near Hunlock Creek and had three sons and two daughters. Annie died in 1928 and is buried in Susquehanna, Pa.
5. Mary Ann Bulford (my great grandmother) was born at Loyalville December 8, 1887. She married Oliver William Cobleigh on June 6, 1905. He managed Posten's farm at Huntsville then in Hanover township. The Cobleighs had three daughters and one son. They later moved to Monroe County where Mary died February 4, 1976. She is buried at Maple Grove.
6. Clara Bulford was born November 8, 1890. She married October 24, 1908 Philip Frederick Dodson, son of William H. And Lucinda (Sorber) Dodson. They lived at Muhlenburg and had three children. Clara died March 27, 1965 and is buried at the Marvin cemetery.
7. Laura was born November 9, 1890. She married first Hugh Fuller, son of Columbus Jackson and Laura (Banker) Fuller, on March 8, 1912. They had two sons. After his death in 1915, Laura married Frederick Harris. They had no children. After Fred's death in 1929, Laura married John J. Rice, son of Andrew and Catherine (Atkinson) Rice born in Cambridge, Mass. Laura died June 21, 1954 and is buried Memorial Shrine cemetery.
8. Rachel Gertrude was born December 18, 1898. She married January 16, 1915 Herbert Baer, son of Melville and Antoinette (Bilby) Baer. They had one child who died very young. They moved to the Chester, PA area where they divorced. She later married Harry Levey. They had two sons. Rachel died in Virginia December 4, 1978.
9. Corey Oliver was born September 29, 1901. For many years he was caretaker of Maple Grove cemetery. His wife was Lela Kester Smith. Corey died April 22, 1982.

The youngest surviving son of John and Rachel, Benjamin Franklin Bulford was born October 20, 1855 in Dallas. B. Frank married August 31, 1887 to Ellen Martha Duckworth born February 21, 1869, daughter of Philip and Catherine (Anthony) Duckworth. They had five children.
1. Ella Adelaide was born July 19, 1888 at Dallas. She married May 5, 1909 James H. Breckenridge. They had one daughter. After his death, Ella married August 27, 1927 Olie L. Harvey, son of Siras and Ada (Meeker) Harvey. They had no children. Ella died April 7, 1977 and is buried at Mt. Greenwood cemetery.
2. Ruth May was born December 16, 1889. She married June 17, 1914 William A. Hazel, son of William and Mary Jane (Maddocks) Hazel. They had one daughter. Ruth died in childbirth May 8, 1915 and is buried at Mt. Greenwood cemetery.
3. Ruby Catherine was born November 16, 1896 in Dallas township. She married June 19, 1924 Clarence Ransom Elston, son of George P. and Etta (Delay) Elston. They had one son and one daughter. Ruby was Bulford family historian for many years and organized the first family reunion. Ruby passed away in State College, Pa. on January 30, 1998 and is buried at Lehman.
4. Victoria Maude was born March 30, 1897 at Dallas twp. She married April 15, 1916 Gustav Robert Splitt, son of Emil and Emily (Huske) Splitt of Germany. They had one son and one daughter. Victoria died December 31, 1947 and is buried at Lehman.
5. Richard Arthur was born in Dallas township December 15, 1899. Arthur, as he was called, died January 16, 1916 in Dallas township. He is buried at Mt. Greenwood cemetery, Kingston Twp.
Most of my Bulfords remained in the Back mountain area.

During the search for my roots in the Wyoming Valley I found another Bulford line centered in the area of Pittston and Lackawanna county. So far I've been unable to link this line to my own.
Walter Bulford was born in England August 18, 1846. He married Annabelle Patterson. About 1870 the family came to this area. They had four sons.
1. Sidney married Ruth Williams. I have found mention of a daughter.
2. Thomas married Mame Merrifield. They had two sons and two daughters. After Mame's death he married second Eva H. Hopkins in 1924.
3. Harry Emerson married May 12, 1902 Mary Elizabeth Morgan and had one son.
4. Walter Bulford married June 30, 1920 Elizabeth M. Cushing, daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth (Hopkins) Cushing of Scranton.
With the generosity, openness and hospitality of others and a great deal of notes taken by family through the years; I've been able to map the past with a little persistance on my part.


Some Related Photos

Bulford Church

Photo of 1918 Bulford / Nulton Family Reunion

George and Edith Nulton Bulford

Eunice and her Grandmother Reynolds

Mason Reynolds

One Bulford Family Reunion

Mary Jane (Hoagland) Foster

Florence Foster Jenkins

Possibly Lord Bulford

Sterling Rineman


Pat's BULFORD Ancestors in Pictures



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Copyright © 1998 Patricia Krivak
Updated 20 July 2008