Simon's Family History


The Narrative of Judith Gasherie

A Translation of a Narrative of Judith Brasher / Brasier, nee Gasherie, Widow of Luck Brasher / Brasier, Born 1700, Written in the 66th Year of her Age.

(An Abridged version of the original, the majority of the text from 1724 was mainly taken up by Judith's religious life and convictions.)

[From the original documents held at the Yale University Library - Colgate Family Papers - Manuscripts & Archives - MS#144]

This is a short narrative of God's forbearance over me a poor sinner born in the year 1700, on the 25th of April, named Judith, and baptised in the Reformed Church.

My Father's name was Stephanus Gashrie [Gasherie], a Resident of Kingston or Esopus. My Mother the Lord took from me when I was a child of two years and nine months of age with a little brother nine months old. Thus fell to the bringing up of our exceedingly loved and dear grandmother Judith Gashrie [Gasherie].

My Father left me wholly in her hands she being a widow of over seventy years of age who had abandoned her lands and authority at the time of the great persecution in France in the days of King Louis XIV, on account of her faith in the Lord Jesus.

Hence she with many people left her fatherland, travelling from one kingdom to another arriving alone to the shores of this part of the world where my grandmother took up her residence with another family located there, where these two families alone could converse together, the people of the locality speaking the Dutch language. My father learned the Dutch language and being qualified took the position of precenter, chorister and schoolmaster in the Reformed Church, and served the Dutch congregation in that place. The above mentioned man, his wife and children with whom my grandmother, my father and his family resided, were taught by him prayers and singing in the French language.

In the year 1707 my father married a second wife, which made my beloved grandmother very sorry and caused her to leave us after giving me her blessing. She removed to New York and took up her residence with a niece who she had brought out of France. 0h how wretched were my days; in all my misery, and sufferings I could not inform my father of my need, of which he saw little. My father had a large school and a very wicked wife who on all occasions vexed him very much : he had brought upon himself and his children these troubles. The full time of my sufferings under my very exacting step-mother were ten years.

In the year 1717 I left my father and he gave me his blessing. I started on my travels and came here to New York, travelling with the Captain and his negro, and no women with us, the expectation of my heart being great.

In the year 1723, after I had resided six years in New York led me to the marriage state and gave me as husband Luck [sic. Luke or Lucas] Brasher. My husband brought me to his mother's dwelling who received me as a child, and she has been the first cause of my husband's giving his heart to me. In 1736 the Lord took away my husband, my best friend, who I believe has entered into the heavenly rest, after a consumptive sickness of five years and a half's suffering in body and soul. He departed on the 26th day of April aged 39 years, after our living together thirteen and a half years in the marriage state and after providing for me and his two minor children, they being minors, the one a daughter seven years of age, and the youngest a son sixteen months old, who were very near to my heart.

I am now in the 66th year of my life, and in the evening of my days: my natural strength is departing
The 8th day of May is my birthday. ------ 1700. 
Married with my husband ----------------- 1723. 

[Judith's religious life and convictions]

In the year 1724 I began to attend the customary catechising with the congregation of the Reformed Church, and scripture texts to answer which I failed to do. In the year 1741 I became a scholar of the United Brethren. In the year 1750 I was received as a member of the community of United Brethren, and in the same year the Saviour gave me the grace to become a member of the Brotherhood by the will of God under the ministry of Brother Rice.

Simon's Notes
This is the first evidence that Judith's grandmother actually came to America with her two sons. Previously it was not known whether she had died or remained in England when the sons emigrated to America.

The date her mother died was previously unknown, new information.

It was not previously known that her father Stephen re-married. The question is where? It is not recorded in the Kingston or NY Dutch Churches. Did he return to England or France to marry a 2nd time?

On her widowhood Judith only mentions two children. From the Genealogical notes of Luke or Judith we find that these two were Elizabeth [1729] and Abraham [1734], with rest of the children having died died as per the notes.

Judith contradicts herself re. her date of birth. At the beginning she says the 25th of April, and at the conclusion she says the 8th of May. She was recorded as being baptised on the 20th of May 1700.

  Simon Parker-Galbreath - July 2011


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