Simon's Family History


The correct genealogy of Susannah BRASIER / BRASHER, wife of John STITES  


This new genealogy for Susannah has now been accepted by the New York Genealogical & Biographical Society who have published my findings in the Jan 2018 issue of it's journal "The Record". As such you should amend your tree and remove Luke as Susannah's father and replace him with Abraham Brasher & Elizabeth Dally. Read on below.

This paper follows on from my previous paper disproving the previously accepted theory that Susannah was the daughter of Luke Brasher and Judith Gasherie.

It has now been established that Susannah is the daughter of Abraham Brasher / Brasier & Elisabeth Dally / Daly, who was baptised on the 8 Jul 1739 in the Dutch Reformed Church of NY.

The first piece of evidence is the following from the bible of Johannes Stites :-

The date above is identical to the baptismal entry in the Dutch Reformed Church of New York.

Secondly is children's naming patterns. The Dutch people had a certain naming practice when naming their children. The first children were named after their grandparents, usually the first son being named after the paternal grandfather, the second after the maternal grandfather, the first daughter being named after the maternal grandmother and the second after the paternal grandmother. Sometimes the first son was named after the maternal grandfather, but regardless, the first children were named after their grandparents, thus giving invaluable clues to the given names of the next generation. []

Firstly lets look at the children of John Stites and Susannah Brasier / Brasher, John Stites being the son of John Stites & Margaret Hampton, and assuming that Susannah is the daughter of Abraham & Elisabeth :-
1st son named John - Paternal grandfather's name is John.
2nd son named Abraham - Maternal grandfather's name is Abraham.
1st daughter named Elizabeth - Maternal grandmother's name is Elisabeth.
2nd daughter named Margaret - Paternal grandmother's name is Margaret.
3rd daughter named Cornelia - Maternal / maternal great grandmother's name is Cornelia.
4th daughter is named Sarah - Paternal / maternal great grandmother's name is unknown.
5th daughter is named Mary - Paternal / paternal great grandmother's name is Mary.

A definite pattern emerges, especially with the first 4 children named after the grandparents as per the Dutch tradition. Also Cornelia is a generational name that continues through 3 centuries, assuming the lineage of Susannah as above :-

Cornelia Van Gelder b.25 Dec 1678
d. Cornelia b. 17 Aug 1717
g-d Cornelia b. 3 Apr 1738
gg-d Cornelia b. 6 Jan 1768
ggg-d Cornelia b. ca. 1799
gggg-d Cornelia b. 20 Mar 1822
ggggg-d Cornelia b. 1876

As can be seen the Cornelia name spanned 7 continuous generations through the Van Gelder, Daly, Brasher, Stites, Galbreath & Wingrove families, and may indeed go back further still into the Netherlands. Not only 3 centuries spanned but 2 continents with the last 3 above being born in London, England.

Some circumstantial evidence :-

  • Elisabeth Brasier (nee Daly / Dally) married for a 2nd time at the age of 68, to John Bogert. John Bogert died sometime between making his will in 1782 and its proving on the 9 Jan 1784. The will refers to his wife and a marriage contract between them. In 1879 John Stites and his wife Susannah sell a property to Cornelius J. Bogert, the son of the said John Bogert. Was Cornelius buying back a Bogert property from Susannah which she inherited from her mother and was part of her mother's marriage contract? 

  • In 1771 the firm of Brasher & Stites was trading in NY :-

    New York Journal - 23 May 1771

    As can be seen in the above newspaper clipping the partnership of Brasher & Stites involved John Stites and an un-named Brasher. However a clue to his partner is in another advertisement in the New York Journal on the 3 Dec 1764 re. a petition of gentlemen of New York which included a long list of signatories, including the names of Philip Brasher immediately followed by John Stites. Philip was the brother of John Stites' wife Susannah. Thus it seems most reasonable to assume that the firm of Stites & Brasher was John Stites & Philip Brasher, which further cements the relationship between John Stites & Susannah of the Abraham Brasher / Elisabeth Dally lineage.

I have more recently found the burial of Susannah in the Churchyard of St. John's Church at Elizabeth, New Jersey. It has been transcribed as Stiles, which often happens with the Stites surname (well documented transcribing error), however the other evidence on the grave stone confirms that it is Susannah :-
- Age of 59 years in June 1799, this matches her age exactly as she was born in July 1739.
- Her husband is Dr. John Stites.
- and on the same stone is her mother Elizabeth Bogart, formerly the husband of Abraham Brasier, nee Dally.
- Elizabeth, NJ, is where John & Susannah Stites resided.
['Inscriptions on Tombstones & Monuments in the Burying Grounds of The First Presbyterian Church & St. John's Church at Elizabeth, New Jersey, 1664-1892' by William Ogden Wheeler & Edmund D. Halsey. 1892]

Thus confirming that Susannah Brasher / Brasier, the wife of Dr. John Stites, is the daughter of Abraham Brasier and Elizabeth Dally.

And most recently - Andrew Trotter of Washington DC, is also descended from John Stites and Susannah Brasher. Andrew has some old family documents which include a deed by Phillip Dallie in 1713 (recorded New York 1715), and a legal document concerning Elizabeth Brasher. These documents would only come down the through family line of John Stites & Susannah Brasher if Susannah was the daughter of Abraham & Elizabeth.

Considering all of the above it is clear that the evidence now confirms that Susannah Brasier / Brasher, the wife of John Stites, as being the daughter of Abraham Brasier / Brasher & Elisabeth Dally / Dallie / Daly.  

  Simon Parker-Galbreath - with acknowledgments to Andrew Trotter & Joyce Bastasch.


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