If David's father Thomas was married to Janet Russell prior to
his marriage to Mary Ann, then David was baptised on the 18 Oct
1761 in the Paisley Low Church, Renfrewshire, Scotland. Otherwise
David's date of birth and place are not known.
David was a Merchant. See pages :- Court Cases, Newspapers,
His business addresses have been variously recorded as :-
Queen St, New York (Marriage notice 1785)
1791 - 216 Queen St, New York (NY Daily Gazette advertisement)
1794 - 1 Coleman Street Buildings, London (Kent's London
1802 - Old Jewry St, London (Holden's Directory 1802)
1810 - 17 Coleman St, London (Post Office Directory 1808, Holden's Directory 1809 &
& Woods Directory )
Recorded addresses :-
Islington, London? (Witness at sister Margaret's marriage at St.
Mary, Islington 1783)
Queen Street, New York, America (Marriage notice 1785, not
indicated whether it was his home or business address)
New York (N.Y. Directory 1786)
New York City East Ward, America (1790 Census)
Parish of St. Mary, Islington, London (son John's Baptismal
7 Highbury Tce, Highbury, London (Rate books 1797 & 1810, Bunhill Fields
Burial Book 1797 & 1800, sale of his effects in 1811)
David arrived in America from Scotland with his father & family in June 1771 aboard the Friendship [see St Andrews Society biography].
his father departed for London in 1779 he left David to finalize his business (Royal
Gazette advert 23 Oct 1779). David was then in business himself as a
Merchant 'Galbreath & Thomson" (Royal Gazette adverts
1782-1784). David departed for England late 1782, early 1783 (Royal
Gazette advert 25 Dec 1782). He was
a witness at his sister Margaret's marriage in London in July 1783. He then
returned to New York and again appears in adverts with Thomson in 1774.
29 Jun 1780
David Galbreath agt. David Campbell
Respecting the mode of paying a protested Bill of Exchange - Opinion delivered
The Police 29 Jun 1780 that W. (D?) Campbell should either replace the protested
Bill of £60 Sterling with 20pct damages with a Government Bill, sufficient cash
to purchase a Govern't Bill or give M (D?) Galbreath a Bill to his satisfaction.
[Earliest arbitration records of the Chamber of Commerce of the State
of New York, founded in 1768. Committee minutes, 1779-1792, printed from
original manuscript in the New York Public Library, with biographical
and other notes.]
A marriage notice appeared in the New York Independent Journal on
the 15 October 1785 :-
"Last Wednesday evening (12 October) was married, by the
Reverend Mr. Manning, President of the New Providence College,
Rhode Island, Mr David Galbreath, Merchant, in Queen Street, to
Miss Cornelia Stites, third daughter of Mr. John Stites, of this
city. From this match all possible felicity may be most justly
There is no indication where the marriage ceremony was conducted.
However the Rev. Manning was Cornelia's uncle, being married to
her father's sister Margaret.
James Manning was involved with Rhode Island College, Rhode
Island (renamed Brown University in 1804) , and it is quite
likely this is what is referred to above as New Providence
College, Rhode Island.
David appears in the New York Directory of 1786
under the heading of :- "A List of the Officers and Resident
Members of the St. Andrew's Society, of the State of New
York". Also shown as a member of the above Society was
David's brother-in-law Andrew Mitchell, who was married to
Cornelia Stites sister Margaret. "Uncle Mitchell" was
mentioned in the Gibraltar letters below.
An entry in Alexander Hamilton's Cash Book :-
8 Oct 1788 - David Galbreath - Opinion concerning certain public certificates
assigned by Benjamin Eyre. Inquiry at the Treasury &c. £3.4. By cash. ['The
Papers of Alexander Hamilton' ed. by Harold C. Syrett. pub 1962 by Columbia
David is listed as a Grand Jurors for 1788 in the records of the Quarter
('New York Court Records, 1684-1760' compiled by Kenneth Scott.
National Genealogical Society 1982.)
(Minutes of the New York Court of General Sessions of Peace - LDS film #497583)
"David Galbreath, at 224 Queen Street, and James Haydock, Junior, at
155 Walter Street, conduct respectable shops, but their offerings add
little to the general profusion."
: The Nation Capitol in 1789]
The 1790 New York census records the household of David Galbreath, see
'An Assessment of the Real and Personal Property of the East Ward of
the City of New York' made up 24 June 1791, records David thus :-
David Galbreaths - House - Queen St, 216 - Real Estate £1,800. Personal
Estate £700, Assessesd 16s. 0d. 4qr.
['New York Historical Society Collections, 1911']
He departed for England in July 1791, "yesterday sailed for Bristol, the
ship Bristol, ... In her went passengers ... Mr. David Galbreath, merchant, of
this city, his lady and family" (NY Daily Gazette 4 Jul
Before he left he sold his house. He had previously sold a New York property
in 1784, and been involved in other property transaction before and after his
departure (see properties).
Even after David returned to London in 1791 he continued to do business in America. In later
deeds involving the land David is variously described as "of New
York", "late of the City of New
York Merchant", "of London". See property
page. There is an entry in the 1792 New York Directory for :"Galbreath
& Elmes, merchants, 30 Queen St". It is likely that he made a number of trips between New York and
London, both before and after his move to London. He is recorded as returning to
NY from England in 1789, probably combining business with a family visit [see
article 3 Apr 1789]. The partnership "Galbreath & Elmes"
traded until 1802 when it was disolved [see newspaper
articles from 1792-1802].
However they appear to have resurrected their partnership as they
are shown shipping cotton from New Orleans to Liverpool in 1810 (see
Chancery case in 1811 below).
In 1806, a Mr. Galbreath, a merchant from London, was castaway on the Abaco Islands, in the Bahamas
- see full article.
Thomas Elmes, David's business partner in his land deals, was witness to a Statutory Declaration in
1810 for David's son Thomas (see Thomas
On the 7 March 1811 David's household furniture and effects were
sold at auction by a Trustee, presumably David was bankrupt. [see newspaper
article of 1811]
On the 29 April 1811, David Galbreath & Thomas Elmes were the
defendants in a Chancery case in London concerning
their claim for insurance on the loss of 500 bales of cotton. Whilst I
don't have the final outcome the documents it didn't look good for David
in the documents I have.
It appears that David became bankrupt, possibly as a result of the
loss of a large shipment of cotton worth by my estimated at roughly
£6,000 (based on bales and cotton price), together with the insurance claim mentioned
17th Aug 1811 there appeared a notice in the London Gazette asking for
creditors to lodge accounts for a final dividend. [see newspapers]
1811 is also the year that David ceased to appear on the Land Tax
assessments of his long time residence in Highbury Terrace, Highbury. And
as can be seen in 1812 in his letters to his son John (see below), David
was reduced to selling shirts etc. in Gibraltar.
On 10 Apr 1811, David and his son Thomas came to New York on the ship Hercules
from Liverpool on their way to New Orleans, probably on business. David
must have then departed on his own, most likely returning to London before
turning up in Gibraltar at the beginning of 1812 [see
St Andrews Society biography].
His son Thomas died on his way from New Orleans to New York in Sept
[see St Andrews Society biography].
death and also Elmes, are mentioned in David's letter
from Gibraltar to his son in London in 1812.
David died in early February 1812 in
Gibraltar (Spain) whilst on a business trip and was interred at Southport
(Southport Ditch Cemetery later known as Trafalgar Cemetery
- Mr Johnstone's letter to son John).
following letters from Gibraltar to London survive confirming the nature of the trip and
his death & burial :-
6 Jan 1812 - from David to his son John.
10 Feb 1812 - from David Johnstone to James Dunsmure.
11 Apr 1812 - from David Johnstone to David's son John.
(Thanks and acknowledgement to Kay Clarke for providing the above
The letter from David to John tends to indicate that business may not have
been well by 1812. After David's death there was some dispute over property in America as
evidenced from a newspaper article in Kentucky in
Two letters from his son John to his sister Cornelia Wingrove in 1834
& 1835 show an
estrangement in the family as well as continuing interest in reclaiming
"lost" American properties or assets, presumably dating from David's
He was married to Cornelia STITES on 12 Oct 1785 in America.
STITES was born on 6 Jan 1768 in America.
1796 - Letter to her sister Maria.
She was buried
on 26 Jun 1800 in Bunhill Fields, London (see Burial
book & M.I.'s).
GALBREATH was born on 16 June 1787 in New York and was baptised on 12 July
1787 in the First Presbyterian Church, Wall St, New York. She was buried in the
same church on 18 August 1789 with the Register notation - "aged 2
years 2 months 2 days".
ii. Thomas GALBREATH was born on 17 December 1789 in New
York and was baptised on 28 January 1790 in the First Presbyterian Church, Wall
St, New York.
Thomas made the
following Statutory Declaration in
New Orleans on the 11 October 1810 "...solemnly swear ...he is a native citizen of the United
States of America....been born in the City of New York..."
Thomas death was reported in 'The Laidies' Miscellany' or 'The Weekly Visitor',
New York issued on 26 Oct 1811 . "On the 8th of Sept. on board the brig Cannon
on his passage from New Orleans to this place, Mr. Thomas Galbreath in his 22nd
year, the eldest son of Mr. David Galbreath of London". Also mentioned in the above
mentioned letter of 6 Jan 1812 from father David to another son John. (ack. to Kay
iii. John Stites
GALBREATH was born on 19 Sep 1791 in Islington,
Middlesex. He was baptised on 6 Nov 1791 in Islington Lower St
Independant. He was buried on 4 Jun 1843 in Bunhill Fields,
iv. David GALBREATH was born about Jan 1797.
He was buried on 18 Aug 1797 in Bunhill Fields, London.
v. David GALBREATH was born after 1797 and
died in 1826.
vi. Cornelia GALBREATH was born about 1799.
She died on 25 Jan 1877 in Camden Town, London.
There are no doubt other children we are not aware of that were born in London
between 1791 and 1797.
Other pages for
Census - NY - 1790
6 Jan 1812
10 Feb 1812
11 Apr 1812
Property & Deeds
St. Andrew's Society