Please see the notes above on William's older brother Robert for information on William's involvement in an abduction in 1836.
It is possible that William, his wife and young family emigrated to Canada in the mid-1840s. Patricia Scott from Ontario, Canada, a great-great-granddaughter of a William Bartridge (sic), has written to say that her Bartridge great-great-grandfather and his wife, Bridget A. McDermott, both Irish-born, settled in what is now modern Ontario with two children, Catherine (born abt 1840) and Robert (born abt 1843). Although Patricia doesn't have a county of origin for her ancestors and although my William appears to have had four rather than two living children by the time the Bartridges went to Canada, the rarity in Ireland of the Bertridge surname and its variants, along with the fact that Patricia's William married a Bridget A. MacDermott (it is thought that ours may have married a Bridget or Anne or Catherine MacDermott) and the fact that both Patricia's William and our William had children named Catherine and Robert around the same time, make me think the two families might well be the same.
If this is indeed the case, here is a summary of the information Patricia has kindly provided on her Bartridge family:
Her great-great-grandfather William Bartridge was, based on his age given on his death certificate, born in 1809 (whereas ours is believed to have been born about 1813) and Bridget, his wife, was born between 1820 and 1822. After their arrival in Canada they lived in Aylmer, Quebec (now in Ontario) where it is known that William was working as a gardener in 1851. He and Bridget had five more children in Canada: Elizabeth Anne, Cecilia, Mary Jane, Theresa and William Augustin.
I have added much of Patricia's information to the website, with cautions until a connection with Co. Leitrim is established. Patricia has many more details on her family, and Bartridge/Bertridge researchers are very welcome to contact her with information or enquiries at email@example.com. And if anyone can help with proof of a Leitrim connection to the family I would be delighted if you would email me at Helen@HelensFamilyTrees.com.
Note: Based on Patricia's information, I searched the Canadian census collection on the FamilySearch website for Bartridges and came across the followng information from 1881 for a Bartridge household in Carleton, Ontario (transcribed data only, actual image not available):
William Bartridge, aged 43, farmer, born Ireland, ethnic origin Scottish
Ann Bartridge, aged 45, born Ireland, ethnic origin Scottish
William Bartridge, aged 22, farm labourer, born Ontario, ethnic origin Scottish
It is unlikely that William Bartridge senior from the census is our William as his age and that of his wife do not fit in at all with those of our William and Briget/Anne/Catherine (although the age of the younger William ties in perfectly with that of our William and Bridget/Ann/Catherine's son William who was born in February 1859). Furthermore our William was widowered by 1971 and, although he remarried, his second wife's name was Mary, not Ann. However, if the William from the census is in fact our William, then the Scottish origin is interesting.