The Nine Children of William & Lucy Ball Bradley: the Mystery of the name L.M.R.

William Bradley (1796 to 1858) and his wife Lucy Ball Bradley (1798 to 1872) had nine children, seven boys and two girls with seven born in Lee, Massachusetts and the last two in Wellington, Ohio. Lucy’s sister Amanda Ball married William’s brother Eli Bradley and they had seven children. The Ball sisters were two of eleven children of Captain Nathan Ball (1768 to 1856) and Fear Chadwick Ball (1778 to 1855) both of Lee, Massachusetts.

In other places I have discussed two of their sons, Henry Martin Bradley and Nathan Ball Bradley. Their youngest child was named L.M.R. Alonzo Bradley who was born in Ohio on November 5, 1843 and died at the age of 19 in Chicago on March 19, 1863. Try as I might over the years I have not been able to discover what the initials L.M.R. stand for. L.M.R. Alonzo’s brother Frederick E. Bradley named his son L.M.R. as well. He was born in Chicago on August 31, 1863, just 4 months after his uncle and namesake died.

Was L.M.R. some type of military rank since L.M.R. Alonzo died in 1863 during the Civil War at the age of 19? However, everywhere else in the Bradley Genealogy of 1898 Henry points out the Civil War service of any relative. He refers to the Civil War as the “War of the Rebellion”.

Could it be an abbreviation for a latin name, such as Lucius Maximus Rufus which would translate “light, greatest, red-haired”? Was it a place name? The L and M could stand for Lee, Massachusetts but what about the R? Maybe the answer lies back in the history of the Ball family. L.M.R. Bradley (the nephew) was the older brother of Kate Arnold Bradley Benton, the novelist.

Another possibility is that Nathan Ball Bradley named his two sons Elemar and Frederick after his brothers. The name Elemar was misspelled in the Genealogy as Elemer. Could it be the same name as L.M.R.? If you say the initials L.M.R. it comes out very close to Elemar and may account for the misspelling as Elemer. Why would Henry misspell the name of his brother Nathan’s oldest son?

I welcome your ideas and speculation as to what these initials meant. Oddly in the Cartes de Visite Photographs album there are three photographs identified as being of Elemar Bradley (born 1858), son of Nathan Ball Bradley, the first has him dressed as a girl, the second dressed as a boy, and the third when he is older.

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