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When and Why Did This Research Happen

Pauline McGee Massey is the one individual that created the desire in my life to find my Great-Grand Father. She supplied the information that helped us towards creating of the Brinley database.

Back in the early '70's when we worked together their were no computers as we know them now. The libraries did not have any photo copy machines nor computers. Thus much of what Pauline passed on to us was given to us from memory of the older family members and what she had been told as a child. While some of the information proved in later years to not be correct, Pauline always told me to 'correct the record' if anything was found that was not right.

Pauline always stated John Brinley, father of the Jefferson County, Missouri Brinley's was married to Mary Sweeney. She based this on the fact his wife's name was Mary and the Sweeney's were witness on some papers. While this didn't prove out as he was married Mary House, Martha (my wife) and myself decided to go see her in the Spring of 1982 as she had always told us if we found something very important, please let her know.

She was in bed with cancer and we knew this would be our last time to visit with her. We drove from the St. Louis area to Wichita, Kansas to visit her.

While we where there I told her I did not think John Brinley was married to Mary House, and why. In her always gracious way she said "Clyde, correct the record".

This was the one thing that caused me to continue working on the family tree these 45 years. What started out as a search for three previous generations has grown into a database of over 12,000 Brinley's and related members.

I hereby dedicate our work to the memory of Bertha Pauline Massey (1910-1982)

One of the first things we did when we started working on the family was to go to one of my aunts.  She said "Clyde our family came over on the Mayflower".

Martha and I went straight to the St. Louis library to get a list.  We were so excited but it was short lived.  There wasn't anyone with the name of Brinley on the Mayflower and there wasn't any names that were even close to Brinley. 

As time went on, we discovered we weren't even English but our fore fathers wrote and spoke German.  On the Ship, Two Sisters, which arrived in Pennsylvania 28 Aug 1750 was a Johann Jacob Braun and Matheus Brundle which appear to be our first settlers to this country.  When individuals came to this country there was normally a ship list when they left Germany - Destroyed during WWII.  The German Historical group made copies of all papers and stored them in a large building in England.  It burnt down.  The ship captain's should have made a list of who was on the ship but none has been found.  When they landed in Pennsylvania and entered this country they were indexed.  Normally they signed the papers themselves, but it appears both Jacob and Matheus spoke and wrote German.  When the immigrants could not read or write English the clerks entered their names as they heard them, thus Braun and Brundle was entered.

The oldest tomb stone is of Jacob Brinley, married to Eve Hoke.  The tomb stone shows him born in 1721 and died in 1785.

Most of you reading this descended from Jacob however there was another Brinley in Pennsylvania at the same time, which was Mathias Brinley.  We know from DNA testing they were related,  one or more generations before they were born.  Mathias had a son Mathias and Jacob had a daughter of Barbara, who married.  Thus the Jefferson County, Missouri Brinley's descend from both Jacob and Mathias.

Currently we are going back through our database, checking each individual and adding dates etc. that was not available when we started this project.  We plan to release a new publication as soon as possible.

It would be appreciated if you could forward any family information you may have. so it can included into the Brinley Data Base to cb@brinley.net

Clyde Brinley