The Brandegees: More Early History

Moving beyond Stiles, there is a second early twentieth century source on the Brandegees: William Richard Cutter. The following is from his book New England families, genealogical and memorial; a record of the achievements of her people in the making of commonwealths and the founding of a nation, published 1913; volume 4; pp. 1574-6.

You can read it online here, and here; the complete .pdf is here.




The surname Brandegee BRANDEGEE is spelled also Brundig, Brandig, Brandish, Brandiger, Brondigee, Brandigat, Brandisley, Brondish and Boundikee, and all these spellings are found relating to John Brandigee, who was in Wethersfield as early as 1635. He was doubtless of English birth, though the name is possibly German or Dutch originally. He died before October 27, 1639, the date of the inventory of his estate. He left a widow and five children. It is believed that he was killed by the Indians in the massacre of 1637. He was at Watertown for a short time before coming to Wethersfield and was a freeman there. His widow Rachel married Anthony Wilson.

John Brandegee, probably a son, was a settler in Rye, New York, and signed the declaration of loyalty to Charles II., July 26, 1662, spelling his name Brondish, but in January, 1663, he spelled his name Brondig. He was the first town clerk of Rye ; was deputy to the general court in 1677 and 1681 ; died in 1697. In the accounts of those days he is called “Stout Old John Brundig.” He was in 1662 one of the original proprietors of Manursing Island, Rye, and of Poringoe Neck. He left four sons, John, Joseph, David and Joshua, and they have had many descendants in Westchester county, New York.

(I) Jacob Brandegee, believed to be son of John and _____ (Brock) Brandegee, of Rye, grandson of “Stout Old John Brundig,” of Rye, settled in Stepney, in the town of Wethersfield. According to family tradition he ran away from home. He is said to have been born in 1729 and to have come from Nine Partners, New York, to Great Swamp when thirteen years old. He was by trade a weaver, and at one time kept a store in Great Swamp Village, now Berlin. He married, at Newington, Connecticut, October 11, 1752, Abigail Dunham. He owned the covenant in the Newington Church, July 27, 1755. In later life he was engaged in the West India trade, sailing vessels from Rocky Hill, and died at sea on a return voyage from Guadaloupe, March 25, 1765. His widow married (second) Major Eells, son of Rev. Edward Eells, of Upper Middletown, Connecticut, now Cromwell. She died January 25, 1825. Children, recorded at Kensington: Elishama, born April 17, 1754, mentioned below: Rhoda, October 5, 1756, died April, 1781 ; Persis, August 31, 1758: Abigail August 31, 1760, died 1820: Mary, December 18, 1763. died 1764: Jacob. January 4. 1765.

(II) Elishama, son of Jacob Brandegee, was born at Berlin, Connecticut, April 17, 1754. He was also a sea captain and engaged in the West India trade and had a store at Berlin. He was a soldier in the revolution, enlisting- in the Second Company, Second Regiment, under Captain Wyllys. He was recruited in Middlesex county and took part in the battle of Bunker Hill, after which he was detached and assigned to Captain Hanchett’s company, September 1. 1775, taking part in the Arnold Expedition against Canada. After the assault on Quebec he was taken prisoner. [Note: As a participant in the Arnold Expedition, and a subsequent British prisoner, he doubtless would have known Col. Timothy Bigelow. –LSL] The Second Regiment was organized under Colonel Wyllys as a continental regiment. He married. March 10, 1778, Lucy (Plumb) Weston, widow of Jeremiah Weston. daughter of Samuel and Patience (Ward) Plumb. She died February 1. 1827; he died February 26, 1832. Children, born at Berlin: Jacob, November 11, 1779: Lucy, July 15. 1781 ; Elishama, mentioned below : John, November 19. 1786; Sarah Milnor, August 2, 1793. died 1809.

(III) Elishama (2), son of Captain Elishama (i) Brandegee, was born at Berlin, Connecticut. November 5, 1784, died April 10, 1854. He married (first) October 14, 181 1, Emily Stocking, born 1792, died June 7, 1833, descendant of George Stocking, who came to Hartford with Hooker in 1636; (second ) November 28, 1835, Amna Booth Mygatt. born March 8, 1798. He was a large land owner and conducted a store on Main street. Berlin, near where the Town Hall now stands. He conducted a prosperous business, people coming from all the neighboring towns to purchase goods at his store : it was like the large department store of today, because everything was to be found there, groceries, dry goods and medicines, ploughs, and also the post office. Twice a year he went to New York by stage coach to replenish his stock and most of his buying of dry goods was done on Pearl street. His daughter, Julia Brandegee, says, ‘I remember the markings on the different drawers, silks, satins, laces, fine shawls and dainty-colored red slippers. Our ancestors loved finery. He ran two thread factories and .some of the spools of blue thread are still in existence. In the yard just south of his home stood a mulberry grove, and from the silk worms which were fed on the leaves, his mother spun some beautiful silk. There is an old red silk dress in the family which was woven about 1786, probablv some of the first silk made in this country.” He was a man of excellent ability and very public spirited. Children, born at Berlin: 1. Jacob Sheldon, born September 9, 1812: married Sarah Hinsdale. 2. Elishama, mentioned below. 3. John, born August 25, 1S16: married Mary Ann Bulkeley. 4. Camillus Marius, April 20, 1820, died May 5. 1821. 5. Marius, March 8, 1823; married Catherine A. Fountain. 6. Henry Justus, July 29, 1831 ; married Sarah Kipp MIiller. 7. Sarah Elizabeth, May 24, 1833 ; married Danford Newton Barney. Child of second wife : 8. Julia Sophia, born October 28, 1836: lives in Farmington.

(IV) Dr. Elishama (3) Brandegee, son of Elishama (2) Brandegee, was born at Berlin, January 14, 1814, died February 17, 1884. Dr. Brandegee attended the Cheshire Academy and the Simeon Hart Academy of Farmington and graduated from Yale College in the class of 1833. He studied medicine in the Yale Medical School and received the degree of M.D. He also attended lectures at a medical school at Castleton, Vermont, from which he also graduated. For about two years he was engaged in practice at St. Louis, Missouri, but at the end of that time returned home, on account of his father’s ill health, and from 1841 to within eight weeks of his death, was in active practice in Berlin. He was one of the ablest physicians of his day in this section and enjoyed a large practice, extending throughout Berlin, East Berlin, Westfield, Newington, Rocky Hill, New Britain, Beckley, and Kensington.

In 1850 Dr. Brandegee purchased from Joseph Booth the house built by his father for the teachers of the Northington Academy, which was at one time a flourishing institution. Dr. Brandegee remodeled the house and made it one of the most attractive residences in the town. He took a keen interest in public education and was a staunch friend of the public schools. He was a prime mover in establishing a public library. He was a lifelong student, making a specialty of botany and ornithology. In politics he was in later years a Republican, and he held the offices of assessor and treasurer of the school board of Berlin. Fie was a consistent and faithful member of the Congregational Church of Berlin. He was modest and retiring in disposition but attracted many friends and wielded a great influence in the community.

He married, April 28. 1841, Florence Stith, of Petersburg, Virginia, born at Florence, Italy, November 8, 1822, died at Berlin, Connecticut, December 28, 1901, daughter of Major Townshend and Katherine (Potter) Stith. Her father was a soldier in the war of 1812, and was minister to Tunis in Monroe’s administration. Children: 1. Daughter, born and died February 14, 1842. 2. Townshend Stith, served in the civil war in the First Connecticut Regiment ; resided at San Diego, California, now at Berkeley, California ; a civil engineer and an expert botanist ; married. May 29, 1889, Mary K. (Layne) Curran. 3. Charles, served in the Fifth New York Zouaves in the civil war ; lived in the west for some years, but returned to Farmington, Connecticut, and was town clerk, now town clerk and judge of probate. He married Mabel Daggett, of Somerville, Massachusetts, daughter of John G. and Augusta L. (Warner) Daggett; child, Hilda, born April 12, 1887. [Note: For more on Charles’ experience during the Civil War see the excellent book by C. Livingstone, Charlie’s Civil War, available here.–LSL] 4. Florence Stith, resides at Berlin. 5. Robert Boiling, an artist, educated in Paris, having a studio in Farmington : married, March 17, 1898, Susan Lord, of Northampton, daughter of Joseph and Lucy (Meech) Lord; children: Robert Lord, born December 31, 1898; Paul Montague, September 24, 1908. 6. Emily Stocking, resides at Berlin. 7. Katharine, resides at Berlin. 8. Henry Melville, died January 28, 1893, in Helena, Montana, unmarried ; buried in the Maple cemetery, Berlin. 9. Edith Victorina, died November 22, 1863. 10. Horace Stocking, died March 29, 1864. 11. Arthur Latimer, married, December 7, 1905, Grace, daughter of Joseph and Lucy (Meech) Lord. 12. Edward Newton, a real estate dealer at Helena, Montana ; married, October 26, 1899, at Helena, Montana, Harriet R., daughter of Francis and Hannah Pope ; children : Florence Pope, born October 30, 1902 ; Harriet Stith, January 14, 1907.

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