Hi! I'm looking for any information about my great great grandfatherm Joseph Burchard Stites who was born in about 1825 in Cape May, New Jersey (possibly). I don't know a lot about him except that his father (name unknown) died (year unknown) was a "sea fearing man who drowned off some forigen port, possibly off the coast of South America" (year unknown).
Sometime after his father died, he was made an apprentice by his oldest brother named John to a man with the last name of AYERS who was bassed out of Philadelphia (First name unknown. Year of when and for what Joseph was apprenticed for are also unknown). In the contract, Joseph was to be an apprentice until the age of 21 and was not supposed to be taken out of Philadelhia, but was taken to Illinois, despite his protests. His oldest brother, John, did not (or would not) help him. This caused much bitterness and as a result, Jospeh lost contact with his family. We don't know anything aboput his family, even the names of his parents and other brothers and sisters.
If anyone has any information, please let me know. This has been a huge mystery for many generations and I would love to end the mystery soon and be able to connect Joseph to the famous "Dr. John".
Mary Hannah Stites