Simon's Family History

  

NINTH GENERATION

John STITES Esq. / Snr. was born on 5 May 1705.1

In 1729 he would appear to be the administrator of his mother's estate "Administration granted to John Stites", although it doesn't actually give the relationship [New Jersey Wills - Oct 1729, Lib. B., p.358].  Her place of residence is shown as Elizabeth Town, so this may be about the time the family moved from Springfield.

On March 13 1749/50, at a meeting in Newark, John Stites was selected as one of three arbitrators in a land dispute.
['The Municipalities of Essex County, New Jersey, 1666-1924', pg 85, Lewis Historical Publishing Co., 1925.]

1 Nov 1751 - John Stites was one of eight signatories of the corporation of Elizabeth Town, to a written address of welcome to Governor Belcher, who had been obliged on account of his health to remove the seat of Government from Burlington to Elizabeth Town.
['Genealogical and memorial history of the State of New Jersey' Lewis Publishing, NY 1910, pg.21.]

John  is recorded in the List of Freeholders in Elizabeth Town, Essex County, New Jersey on 1 Sept. 1755. ['New Jersey Historical Proceedings' Second Series, Vol XIII, p.25, Et. seq.]

John had a long association with the Scotch Plains Baptist Church, NJ. (see Scotch Plains page)

Witnesses of the Will of Benjamin Little, proved 20 June 1760, were John Stites snr., Margaret Stites and John Stites jr. [New Jersey Wills 1751-1760]

In 1764 John Stites was shot whilst undertaking duties as an Alderman. See newspaper article.

Brown University.
John was associated with the establishment of New Providence College, Rhode Island or Rhode Island College, now Brown University.
[see page Brown University]

At the Philadelphia Baptist Association meeting held at New York from 10-12th of October 1769, include in the names of the messengers enrolled were John Stites as a Layman, and John Gano as a minister (his son-in-law). (See also Scotch Plains page)
[Minutes of the Philadelphia Baptist Association]

He was an executor of the will of his brother Elijah Stites and also guardian of his children (New Jersey Wills - 9 Nov 1767, Lib I, p.173). As executor was involved in a Supreme Court case in 1771 over money owed to his brother's estate (see transcript).

He was an Alderman of Elizabeth Town and an active worker in the cause of independance.
['History of Union County, New Jersey' 1897.]
He was one of the Elizabeth Town representatives at the Provisional Congress of New Jersey which met at Trenton on the 23 May 1775.
['History of Elizabeth, New Jersey' by Edwin F. Hatfield, 1868.]
 He is also variously quoted as being the Mayor of Elizabeth Town.
['The New England Magazine' Jan 1886 Vol IV No. 1, pg's 1-12 - 'Brown University' by Reuben A. Guild.]

John appears in the August 1781 Tax List (pg 10) for Springfield, Essex County, New Jersey.

It appears he suffered financial loss during the War of Independence. The Connecticut Farms area where he lived was a scene of battle. Reuben Guild mentions this financial loss in his book on Brown University.

He died on 21 Apr 1782. He is interred in the old Springfield Cemetery, known as the "Revolutionary Burial Ground" :-
"As one enters the cemetery from Morris Avenue the most conspicuous stone is a large tablet, five feet long, two and half feet wide and six inches thick. This is supported by four pillars that stand two feet from the ground. under this are laid the remains of John Stites, son of the first William, and his widow. On this tablet can be deciphered the following :
Here lies interred ye body of John Stites, Esq., who departed this life April ye 21st, A.D. 1782, in the LXXVI [N.B. 76] year of  his age. He lived beloved and died lamented by church and state." 2nd wife Margaret, d. Sep 16, 1784, in 69th year.
In proximity to this tablet is the gravestone of John Stites's first wife, Abigail, who died in 2 Dec 1734, aged 29, and dau. Abigail, d. Jan 13, 1734, aged 2mths.
['History of Union County, New Jersey' 1897.]

Photos by Dan Silva - Acknowledgments to findagrave.com

His will was proved in 1782.

1787 - The Records of the Baptist Church at the Scotch Plains in East New Jersey in the year of our Lord 1737
The heirs of John Stites Esq. and their representative via Dr. Hezekiah Stites, Dr. John Stites, Rev. Dr. Manning, Rev. John Gano and Mrs. Abigail Woodruff, made a compliment of the use of their father's pugh (pew?) to Mr. Van Horne & his successors in the pastoral care of this church under certain restrictions for which see a more particular account in records of Trustees Vol. 1 pag.

It would appear from the tax list that he may have moved to Springfield in the last few years of his life, although he still owned lands at Elizabeth Town at his death  :-
"salt meadow situate, lying and being in Elizabeth Town meadow formerly belonging to John Stites Esquire deceased and which was devised by the said John Stites Esquire to his sons Hezekiah Stites and John Stites" Deed 1799. 
His main farm was at Connecticut Farms, five miles from Elizabeth Town, sold after his decease. 
See newspaper advert.

He was married to :-

1. Abigail Rushmore?, born about 1705, died 2 Dec 1734 (see above gravestones). There has been statements that she of Long Island and was the sister of Hannah Rushmore the wife of Thomas Thompson sen. However I have seen no documentary proof of this.

children of this marriage were :-
child i. Mary born 31 Sep 17281, died 1781. Married Woodruff.
child ii Hezekiah born 2 Apr 1730.1
child iii Abigail born 15 Nov 1734.1

2. Margaret HAMPTON was born on 18 Feb 1715 in Elizabeth Town, NJ, USA. She was buried on 16 Sep 1784 in Springfield, NJ, USA. Mathias Denman's Cemetery.

Her estate was administered on 20 Oct 1784 by James Manning of Providence, Rhode Island, and John Gano and John Stites of New York State. Fellow bondsman Jonathan I. Dayton of New Jersey (Lib 26. p502.)

Children of this marriage were :-

child i.  Sarah STITES born 22 Jun 1737.1 Married Rev. John Gano.
child ii.  Margaret STITES born 16 Oct 1740.1 Married Rev. James Manning.
child iii.  Dr. John STITES. born 25 Apr 1743.1
child iv.  Abigail STITES born 25 Jun 1745.1 Married Isaac Woodruff.
child v. Richard STITES born 8 Nov 1747.1 Died 26 Sep 1776.
child vi. Chloe STITES born 8 Jan 1749.1 

Sources

1. "Old Family Bible" of Johannes Stites. (NYG&BS Record 27:166)

Other pages re.
John Stites snr

Brown University

Newspapers

Property
Mortgage 1

Mortgage 2
Mortgage 3

Scotch Plains Baptist Church

Tax rateables



 

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