Sunset at Gowanus Bay

Sunset at Gowanus Bay
Sunset at Gowanus Bay, Henry Gritten, 1851

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Additions to Aaron W. Brewer

Just a note to point out a Comment left on October 9, 2017 to the post of February 24, 2015, "Unplaced: Aaron W. Brewer." The comment suggestions additional children for the couple, Aaron Brewer and Polly McFarland. These children are not found on the latest (and last) edition of the Brouwer Genealogy Database.

Although we know, through Y-DNA testing of a descendant, that Aaron W. Brewer is a direct descendant of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands, L. I., we continued to be stymied in discovering his complete ancestry back to Jan Brouwer. Any additional insight is welcome.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Adam Brouwer Descendants on the New YFull YTree v5.06

YFull has released their latest version of the YTree, this version being v5.06. Although no new branches have been identified, there are now seven members of the Adam Brouwer sub-group of the Brewer DNA Project who appear on the tree. This branch (subclade) of the YTree has been identified by YFull using the terminal SNP E-Y19643. The subclade is online here. YFull lists 17 additional SNPs that are unique to the subclade (18 total SNPs). The 18 are E-Y19643, E-Y19644, E-Y19645, E-BY6342/E-Y12019, E-Y12120, E-Y20121, E-Y20122, E-Y20123, E-Y20124, E-Y20125, E-Y20126, E-Y20127, E-A9482, E-A9483, E-A9484, E-A9486, E-A9487, E-A9488.

In addition, two of our members are identified as a sub-branch (subclade) of E-Y19643. They are identified by the terminal SNP E-BY6245. While the two share the above SNPs with those who are identified by E-Y19643 (etc.), the SNP E-BY6245 is unique to them and so sets the two off as a subclade. The two members are known to be first cousins, and therefore this common identifying SNP would have to have first appeared somewhere in their paternal ancestry between their grandfather who lived during the first half of the twentieth century and Adam Brouwer. But just where in that line, cannot be learned from the present data.

All members of this subclade are descendants of Adam Brouwer who was born at Cologne (a city in modern day Germany) sometime during the decade of 1610 to 1620. He served in Brazil as a soldier employed by the Dutch West India Company (WIC) in the early 1640s, and went from there to New Amsterdam probably in 1644. Adam Brouwer settled at Gowanus on the western edge of Long Island (now a neighborhood in the borough of Brooklyn in New York City) where he died in early 1692. His seven sons all left descendants. Adam Brouwer's ancestry, and the names of his parents, is not known.

Most of our members represented in the current YTree cannot (as of this writing) cannot identify their complete paternal lineage back to Adam Brouwer. However, we do know that they are descendants of Adam Brouwer based upon the results of Y-DNA STR marker tests comparing them to members who do know their complete paternal line back to Adam Brouwer. The seven who are found in the current YTree v5.06 represent the following Earliest Known paternal Ancestors (EKA):

YF10565 = Benjamin Brewer (1796-1885, PA, IN, m. Elizabeth Rony)
YF10057 = John Brewer (1796-1849, Broadalbin, NY, m. Elsie Mosher)
YF08704 = Benjamin Brewer (1755-1834, PA, KY, IN, m. Catherine Mellinger)
YF04988 = John G. Brewer (1795-1886, Greene Co. OH, m. Sarah Miller)
YF03732 = Adam Brouwer through his son Abraham Brouwer
YF08703 = Peter Brewer (1750s-1840/41, Hardin Co., KY from PA, m. Margaret Hobach)
YF05152 = Peter Brewer (1750s-1840/41, Hardin Co., KY from PA, m. Margaret Hobach)
(Nos. 6 and 7 represent the subclade E-BY6245 mentioned above and are first cousins)

Currently in the works are four additional members who are awaiting results and/or analysis. Of the four, two are descendants of Adam Brouwer's son Nicholas Brouwer, one is a descendant of Adam Brouwer's son Jacob Brouwer, and the fourth is a descendant of Mathew Brower/Brewer of Greene Co., Pennsylvania whose ancestry back to Adam remains unknown. With any luck the results and analysis of these four tests will be up online by the end of the year. The Project seeks additional descendants for testing.

The Y-DNA test used here is the Big-Y which is offered by Family Tree DNA (FTDNA). Analysis of the test results and placement on the YFull YTree is done by the company YFull which is independent of FTDNA. Current members and those interested in becoming new members are welcome to contact the administrators of the Brewer DNA Project for information on testing.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Dutchess County, New York, Probate Court Minutes, 1830-1866

The pursuit of BROWERs and BREWERs in the Dutchess County, New York probate records continues here with a look at the Minutes of the Surrogate's Court. Digital images of the Minutes Books are online at There are seven films covering the years 1830 to 1866, and eleven volumes. Links to the online images for each film are available on the Dutchess County Probate Records page.

Each volume has an alphabetical index at the beginning of the volume. No BROWERs or BREWERs are found in volumes 2, 3, 8, 10, or 11.

William C. Brower, page 253, June 6, 1832. Cornelius W. Brower, father of the deceased William C. Brower, presented a petition for Letters of Administration. Also petitions that Henry L. Jones be appointed guardian for Charlotte, William and George Brower, minors.

Cornelius W. Brower, page 1, 25 February 1846. Petition of Garret W. Brower and Jeremiah C. Brower for administration of he estate of Cornelius W. Brower. Widow Ann Brower renounced her right. Ares J. Vanderbilt and Cornelius Tanner appointed appraisers of the estate. Page 15, 2 June 1846. G. W. Brower and Jeremiah C. Brower, administrators, return an inventory. Page 40, 17 September 1846. Jeremiah C. Brower and Garret W. Brower, administrators petition for an order to notice creditors to present claims. Notice to be published in the Poughkeepsie Telegraph.

William W. Brower, page 20, 23 June 1846. Abraham Brower, guardian of Cornelia Brower and Susan Louise Brower, returned an inventory of the estate. Page 189, 3 August 1847. Abraham Brower, guardian of Cornelia and Susan Louisa Brower, returns inventories and accounts. Pages 286-87, 9 September 1848. Abraham Brower, guardian of Susan L. Brower and Cornelia Brower, minors, returns account of receipts and disbursements. Page 378, 5 June 1849. Abraham Brower, guardian of Cornelia and Susan L. Brower, infants, returns an inventory and account.

Robert Brower, page 21, 13 June 1846. Margaret Brower, widow, petitions for administration, that her brother John Simpson might be joined with her on the Letter of Administration. Granted. Sylvester Hughson and Nathaniel Hill appointed appraisers. Page 63, 19 Nov 1846. John Simpson, administrator, returns inventory.

William Brower, pages 75-76, 21 November 1844. Proving the Last Will & Testament of William Brower, deceased, late of Fishkill. Executors, Abraham Brower, Joseph Brower and William Baxter. John L. Tanner and Letty, his wife, and William Brewster and Susan E., his wife, also appear. Mentions that the will was not recorded and attested in the manner that is required by law.

Mary Brower and Clinton Brower, page 254, 19 May 1848. Margaret Brower, mother of said minors, petitions to be appointed their guardian until they arrive at the age of fourteen years.

Susan Brower, page 70, 9 July 1850. John L. Tanner and Letty his wife, being legatees mentioned in the last will and testament of Susan Brower, petition for probate of the estate. Page 93, 14 October 1850. Joseph Brower, son and legatee named in the will of Susan Brower, petitions to be appointed Collector for the estate. Page 190, 7 July 1851. Acknowledgment by the court that the will of Susan Brower was proved satisfactorily. Page 222, 17 October 1851. Matter of the petition of William Brewster and John L. Tanner regarding administration of the estate.

William W. Brower, page 50, 17 May 1850. Abraham Brower, guardian of Cornelia and Susan L. Brower, infants, returns inventory, accounts, etc. Page 247, 20 December 1851. "In the matter of William W. Brower, an infant," Abraham Brower, guardian returns an inventory and account of said estate.

Susan L. Brower, page 157, 23 April 1851. Susan L. Brower, a minor over age 14, petitions that John L. Tanner be appointed her guardian, until she arrives at the age of 21. Page 226, 24 October 1851. Petition of John L. Tanner for the administration of the estate of Susan L. Brower, deceased. Page 232, 11 November 1851. Reading and filing of the petition of William Brower general guardian of William Brower a brother of the deceased (Susan L. Brower). Page 350, 23 June 1852. A reading and filing of the petition of Abraham Brower, administrator of the estate of Susan L. Brower.

Cornelia Brower, page 232, 11 November 1851. Petition of Cornelia Brower, a minor over the age of 14, asking for John L. Tanner to be appointed her guardian.

Elisha Brewer, page 109, 14 June 1853. Petition of Henry H. Hustis, creditor of the deceased (Elisha Brewer) for administration on the estate. Order for citations for persons who have prior rights to appear on the 27th of July.

William W. Brower, page 151, 11 September 1853. Abraham Brower, general guardian, returns an inventory.

Adolphus D. Brower, page 338, 25 August 1854. Petition of Abraham Brower, son of deceased, for administration of the estate.

Adolphus D. Brower, page 188, 26 February 1856. Petition of Gilbert Dean, a creditor of the estate, requesting that the administrator of the estate, Abraham Brower, render an account of his proceedings. 

Abraham Brower, pages 264, 288, 359, 379. Unfortunately the filming is too dark. Page numbers and top portions of many pages are unreadable.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Dutchess County, New York "Missing Probates 1793-1868"

Among the Dutchess County, New York Probate Records found in the New York Proabte Records collection at is a film titled "Missing Probates 1793-1868." There are 820 images in this film. Lets go through them and see what we might find.

Beginning with image 12 is a List of the Estates found in the Probate Packets (numbers 1 to 34877). The list provides the Probate File Number and the name of the individual whose estate is being probated. Number 1 is Abraham Westfall. At image 18, the list starts over from the first page. Images 18-21 are duplicates of images 12-16 (image 17 is a title page and a dupe of image 11). The list is in numerical order, and the order pretty much is a chronological ordering of the estate files. Number 1, Abraham Westfall's is dated from 27 August 1793. A document in the file gives his date of death as 29 July 1793. So many of the earlier files will be for persons who were born during the colonial period. They can be a valuable source of otherwise missing genealogical data, and simply browsing through the pages of this list may be an efficient way of locating a specific probate file of interest.

Dutchess Co., NY "Missing Probates 1793-1868" p. 1. Lists the names of some of the earliest probate files on record. Image from

At image 33 I find a Noah Brower, no. 678, who was not noticed when the general index to the probate records was examined. To date I have not heard of, nor am I aware of a man named Noah Brower. Turning to the probate file itself, which begins with image 17 of Probate Packets 677-806 1/2, we find that the file is titled "Noah Brower," however the papers in the file all refer to him as Noah Brown. There is no man named Noah Brower.

Another who was not picked up in the general index search is Clinton R. Brower, file no. 2802, found on image 83. His file begins at image 681 of Probate Packets 2778-2834. In this case the name is correct. John Simpson was granted administration on the estate of Clinton R. Brower on 1 August 1861. Included in the file is the petition of Margaret Lee, mother of Clinton R. Brower (also dated 1 August 1861) which gives Clinton's date of death as 21 July. Mary S. Brower is mentioned as a sister of Clinton. The petitioners are of the City of Poughkeepsie.

Further searching finds that Clinton Brower, his mother Margaret Lee and sister Mary Brower, can be found on the 1860 U.S. census records in Poughkeepsie. They are in the household of Simeon W. Lee, who is apparently Margaret's second husband. As of this writing Margaret's maiden name, and the identity of her first husband, the father of Clinton R. and Mary S., a BROWER, had not been discovered. However, the post of September 17th tells us of the probate file of Robert Brower (no. 1900). His file names his widow Margaret, and children Mary Brower, Hamilton Brower and Clinton Brower, minors, "and an infant..." John Sampson and Margaret Brower are granted administration on 19 June 1846. Perhaps Margaret, otherwise unidentified, is a sister of John Simpson who also administered the estate of her son Clinton. Margaret's grave marker (Poughkeepsie Rural Cemetery) calls her Margaret Simpson. Margaret's previously unknown first husband can now be identified at Robert Brouwer/Brower/Brewer, son of Nazareth Brouwer/Brewer and his third wife, Deborah Wiltsie. Robert was born 30 June 1814, baptized at the New Hackensack Reformed Church on 21 July 1814, and mentioned in his father's will on 5 August 1817. He died 10 August 1846. Margaret and Simon Lee had children Townsend Lee (b. ca. 1851) and Emma S. Lee (b. ca. 1854). Hamilton Brower, mentioned in estate file of his father, is not listed with the family on the 1850 U.S. census. The last edition of the Brouwer Genealogy Database does show a spouse or children for Robert Brouwer, and it does not identify Margaret's maiden name or her husband. The two can now be linked, and a son Hamilton Brower added to the family.

Susan Brower, file no. 4296 is found on image 118. Although not found in the index, she is the same Susan Brower who is file no. 2141 (post of September 16th). She is Susannah Green, who was the wife of William Brower (1753-1841). Susan died 2 June 1850, age 74y 9m 26d, which calculates to a date of birth of 7 August 1775, making her 22 years younger than her husband. Perhaps William had a previous wife? Susan and William had six known children. Three of her grandchildren, children of her son William W. Brower (1800-1835), named Susan Louisa Brower, Cornelia (Caroline) Brower, and William Brower, are named in her will (Dutchess Co. Wills Q:383). Her probate file, as well as the file of her son Abraham Brower (post of September 16th), adds the son William W. Brower to her family. William W. Brower's parents are not identified on the current Brouwer Genealogy Database. His date of birth given on the BGD of 9 March 1804 was calculated from his age at death (died 25 June 1835, age 31y 3m 16d). However, a newly found baptism record for William, gives his birth date as 9 October 1800. He was baptized on 31 May 1801 at the Fishkill Dutch Reformed Church. Susan Brower's probate file no. 4296 adds a granddaughter, Althea Brewster, daughter of Susan Eliza Brower (deceased) and William Brewster.

Fishkill RDC Baptisms, Book 14A, p. 135. William Brower is the twelfth entry from the top. Image from, "U.S., Dutch Reformed Church Records in Selected States, 1639-1989." only provides images of probate files up and including file number 5889. The list page with this number is at image 156, so images 117-156 of this film contains the names of all those for whom images of probate files are presently available online. The list continues up to file number 34876, found at image 809. There are a total of 820 image pages, and some of the remaining pages are titled "Numbers Missing in Estates Filed."

Monday, September 18, 2017

BREWER in Dutchess County, New York Probate Packets

For background on this resource please refer to the post of September 16, 2017. This post picks up from the previous post by covering those recorded with the surname BREWER. The index for those whose surnames begin with Bre begins at page 85 of the General Index for probate records. The abbreviations used below are the same as those used in the September 16th post. For abstracts of the earlier wills see the post of September 10, 2017.

Cornelius Brewer (Index p. 85) File Box no. 3079; Will Book B:575

Nazareth Brewer (Index p. 85) No File Box; Will Book E:347. (See the post of November 3, 2011).

Joseph L. Brewer (Index p. 85) File Box no. 347; LOA B:215.

Elisha Brewer (Index p. 85) No File Box; Orders 6:109 (see image 231, line 8).

Mahala Brewer (Index p. 85) File Box no. 5853; Will Book Y:135; Proof Y:136; LT 10:140; PD 12:276; Inv. Mar 14, 1870; OAC 12:414.

As of this post images of packets (file boxes) are only available for those up to no. 5889. Nos. 5890 and above are not presently available online. Images of Will Books are available only up through Volume 15.

Thomas Brewer (Index p. 85) File Box 8833; LOA 15:396; AO 19:475.

Daniel W. Brewer (Index p. 86) File Box 21960; Will Book 18:532.

Charles Brewer (Index p. 86) File Box 25068; Will Book 21:198; Proofs 8:238; LT 36:467; PD 45:895.

William H. Brewer (Index p. 86) File Box 28243; LOA 39:142; AO 48:890; BR 12:539; OAC 48:890; Transfer Tax 2:480.

Clarence W. Brewer (Index p. 86) File Box 33124; LOA 44:65; AO 52:960; BR 14:662; Transfer Tax 3:451.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

BROWER in Dutchess County, New York Probate Packets

A large collection of Estate records for Dutchess County, New York can be found online at These records go beyond what is found in the Will Books and include the estate settlements for many individuals who did not leave a written will. And a few may contain wills that may not have been recorded in the County Will Books (see William Brower below). The Probate Files (or packets) are found on the Dutchess County page of the "New York Probate Records, 1629-1971" collection listed as "Probates 1793-1868 packets (no.)-(no.)." They are indexed in the General Index series which is found on the same webpage.

The General Index for surnames A-D to the Probate Packets is online and the page for surnames beginning with Bro begins here (image 246). The link associated with the index page will take you to the image of that page. The link associated with the Filing Box number will take you to the first page, usually the cover, of the Filing Box. These Filing Boxes or Packets can be large, containing dozens of pages. The time needed to go through each to extract relevant genealogical information is not available as of this writing, and so I leave it to interested researchers to explore them on their own. The tedious work of locating them within the FamilySearch collection has been done for you if you use these links. Some entries include the locations of other documents.

Abbreviations: LT = Letters Testamentary; LOA = Letters of Administration; OP = Orders for Publication; PD = Probate Decree; AO = Administration Orders; BR = Bonds Recorded; Inv. = Inventory; OAC = Orders to Advertise for Claims.

Note that two images are used for each entry. Image 246 covers all of the left side of page 89 and part of the right side, while image 247 covers part of the left side 89 and all of the right side. Page 90 is covered by images 248 and 249. Page 91 is covered by images 250, 251 (a dupe of 250) and 252. Page 92 is images 253 and 254 (255 is a dupe of 254). Not all of what is indexed is included below, so please consult both images for the locations of additional documents.

Garrit Brower (Index p. 89). Will Book D:100. No File Box. See the Sept. 10, 2017 post.

William C. Brower (Index p. 89). Filing Box no. 1398. (The Appointment of Guardians for his children is found in Minutes 1:253).

William W. Brower (Index p. 89). Filing Box no. 1503. LOA 1:362.

William Brower (Index p. 89). Filing Box no. 3876. PD 4:75. Will (not recorded in Will Books)

Cornelius W. Brower (Index p. 89). Filing Box no. 1897. LOA 3:468. Inv. June 2, 1845. OAC 4:40.

Robert Brower (Index p. 89). Filing Box no. 1900. LOA 3:474. Inv. Nov. 9 1846.

Susan Brower (Index p. 89). Filing Box no. 2141. Will Book Q:383. LOA 5:455. PD 5:190.

Susan L. Brower (Index p. 89). Filing Box no. 2130A. LOA 5:265. AO 5:232.

Adolphus D. Brower (Index p. 90). Filing Box no. 2292. LOA 5:416.

Abraham Brower (Index p. 90). Filing Box no. 5131. Will Book U:487. LT 8:63. OP 1:576. PD 9:288. Inv. Mar 7, 1861. OAC 9:379.

As of this posting only packets (filing boxes) through the year 1868 (no. 5889) are available for viewing online. I have included below information for those whose estates were settled post 1868. The Will Books through Volume 15 (1903) are available online.

Henry Brower (Index p. 90). Filing Box no. 7151. LOA 12:379. Inv. April 30, 1874. OAC 15:490.

James C. D. Brower (Index p. 90). Filing Box no. 6836. Will Book 2:33. LT 12:226. PD 15:219.

Peter Brower (Index p. 90). Filing Box no. 6941. Will Book 2:170. LT 13:12. PD 16:313.

Nellie Brower (Index p. 90). Filing Box no. 8044. LOA 13:527. AO 17:141. Inv. Jan 17, 1875. OAC 17:141.

Jane A. Brower (Index p. 91). Filing Box no. 10654. LOA 17:509. OP 1:516. AO 22:681. OAC 22:681.

Joseph Brower (Index p. 91). Filing Box no. 10802. LOA 18:472. AO 24:515. OAC 24:515.

Sylvester W. Brower (Index p. 91). Filing Box no. 14872. LOA 22:378. AO 29:689. Inv. Mar. 29, 1892. OAC 29:689.

Sarah Brower (Index p. 91). Filing Box no. 15239. Will Book 12:64. LT 23:27. PD 30:93. Inv. Oct. 17, 1893.

Cordelia Brower (Index p. 91). Filing Box no. 16566. LOA 25:357. AO 33:551. BR 2:295.

Ella A. Brower (Index p. 91). Filing Box no. 16777. LOA 25:447. AO 33:755. BR 2:355.

Martin V. B. Brower (Index p. 92). Filing Box no. 17188. Will Book 14:143. LT 25:255. PD 34:51.

James Brower (Index p. 92). Filing Box no. 17186. Will Book 14:232. LT 25:304. PD 34:161. OAC 34:162.

Jeremiah C. Brower (Index p. 92). Filing Box no. 17573. Will Book 14:415. LT 26:81. PD 34:347. Inv. Jan 31, 1899. OAC 34:348.

Margaret Brower (Index p. 92). Filing Box no. 18181. LOA 27:449. AO 36:705. BR 3:232.

Caroline S. Brower (Index p. 92). Filing Box no. 18790. Will Book 16:474. LT 28:239. PD 37:342. OAC 37:343.

Benjamin W. Brower (Index p. 92). Filing Box no. 21468. Will Book 18:282. LT 31:208. PD 41:145.

A few additional 20th century BROWERs can be found in images 256 through 260. Images of Will Books vol. 16 and later are not currently available online. Those indexed with the BREWER surname will be covered in a separate post.