Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

Friday, July 31, 2015

Southern Campaigns Revolutionary War Pension File Transcripts

Foy Varner recently sent me the following link to a very useful website administered by Will Graves.

Here are found transcripts of Revolutionary War pension applications filed by men who served during the Revolutionary War in the South. There are hundreds of such transcripts found on this page, created by Will Graves and others. Included is the transcript of Ambrose Brewer's application, transcribed by Foy Varner. There links for eleven men named Brewer found on this page. They are:

Ambrose Brewer (Moore Co., NC; Hawkins Co., TN) - R1182 [Images of pages are also online].

Barrett Brewer (Charlotte Co., VA; GA; Montgomery Co., AL) - S32131

Edward Brewer (Chatham Co., NC; Randolph Co., NC) - R1183

Henry Brewer (NC, Christian Co., KY & Wilson Co., TN) - S39213

Henry Brewer (Berkeley Co., VA; Adams Co., OH) - S42093 [Note: Henry Brewer is a genetic descendant of Adam Brouwer of Gowanus, Long Island].

Isaac Brewer (Chatham Co., NC; Talladega Co., AL, mentions of VA and GA) - R1185

Jesse Brewer (Halifax Co., NC) - W5872 [Includes names and birth dates of his children].

John Brewer (Winchester, VA; Fayette Co., PA) - W3652 [Suspected to be an unplaced descendant of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands, Long Island. See the post of June 19, 2015 and the linked document found on that post].

William Brewer (Chatham Co., NC; SC; Blount Co., TN) - S3085

William Brewer (Prince William Co., VA; Henry Co., KY) - S30885 [Born in St. Mary's Co., MD in 1744].

William Brewer (Halifax Co., NC) - S41458

Please use the links found on the Southern Campaigns Revolutionary War Pension Statements & Rosters page to access PDFs of transcripts for the above Revolutionary War veterans.

Thank you to Foy Varner for the link, and to Will Graves for the website.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Brewer Branches on YFull's Experimental Y Tree

YFull is a company that analyzes data received from advanced Y-Chromosome DNA tests administered by various companies including the results for those who have taken the Big-Y* test with FamilyTreeDNA. To date, the Brewer DNA Project has had fifteen members take the Big-Y test. Most of these fifteen have taken the next step and have ordered an analysis of their Big-Y test data with YFull.** YFull's analysis of many individual tests allows them to identify SNPs that any one tested individual shares with others, and to identify SNPs that are unique to each tested individual. By comparing similarities and differences YFull has created what it calls, The Experimental YTree. This is essentially a genealogical tree of the male Y-Chromosome.

Members of the Brewer DNA Project who have taken the Big-Y test and have had analysis done by YFull have been placed on the Experimental YTree in the following locations (follow the links):

  • Descendants of Jan Brouwer, of Flatlands, L.I., defined as haplogroup I-Y7214. [Four descendants have been tested and analyzed].
  • Descendant of Adam Brouwer, of Gowanus, L.I., defined as haplogroup E-V13. [To date only one descendant (id:YF03732) has taken the Big-Y test. We hope for others to take the test so that this haplogroup may be further refined].
  • Descendants of George Brewer, of Brunswick Co., VA, defined as haplogroup I-Y15031. [Four descendants have been tested and analyzed].
  • Descendant of Ambrose Brewer, of Moore Co., NC and Hawkins Co., TN, defined as haplogroup R-DF13. [To date only one descendant (id:YF03733) has taken the Big-Y test. We hope that other descendants will follow].
  • Brewer Family originating in Gloucestershire, England ca. late 15th century, defined as haplogroup I-Y15575. [We currently have only one member of this family who has tested on any level with FamilyTreeDNA (id:YF03562). In other words, the tested individual does not match any other tested individual with the surname BREWER. We hope that others will be found who are interested and willing to join the project].
One feature of the Experimental YTree is that you can begin with the current defined haplogroup and work your way back up the Y-tree, one haplogroup at a time, to the beginning. On each of the linked pages above, you will find at the top, a horizontal row of haplogroups beginning with "Home" on the far left (black characters on white background). Starting with the furthest haplogroup at the right, you can use your cursor to click on each haplogroup which will take you back in time to the next branch back on the male Y-Chromosome Tree. In addition, estimates are provided for when each haplogroup was formed, and for a "time to most recent common ancestor" (TMRCA) for those in each group. For example, haplogroup I-Y15575 (the Gloucestershire, England family), was formed 4000 ybp (years before present), and the common ancestor our member has with the other individual in this haplogroup lived 3400 ybp. [Caveat: it has to be remembered that these figures are estimates, and that overtime, as more individuals are tested and their results analyzed and compared to others, these estimates will change. In addition, new defining SNPs for individual haplogroups will be identified, and eventually the YTree will have more branches and become more refined. Years before present, will also become better defined and more exact].

We would ask any of the other members of the Brewer DNA Project, who have already taken the Big-Y test, who have not yet submitted their data files to YFull for analysis and placement on the Experimental Y-Tree, to consider doing so. If you have any questions you can contact either of the administrators of the Brewer DNA Project (either Richard Brewer or myself) using the e-mail links found on the Brewer DNA Project's main page. In addition, we would ask other members of the Project, who have previously taken the Y-DNA tests that identify STR values, to consider taking the Big-Y test and to follow through with analysis at YFull.

*For more on the Big-Y test you are referred to some of the links found on the Genetic Genealogy Page.

**As of this writing YFull charges $49 for access to their results, billed after the analysis is completed. For a bit more on YFull please see Richard Brewer's, "An Application of FTDNA's Big-Y Test to Our Brewer DNA Project," pages 14-19.

This post as a PDF

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Links to Brower and Duryea in Kings County Will Books

New direct links for some Brower and Duryea wills recorded in the Kings County, New York Will Books have been added to the page, “Links to Image Pages at – Probate & Estate Records.” Added are the following:

Abraham4 Brower (Jeury3, Abraham2, Adam1), Will dated 13 February 1797.

Abraham E.5 Brouwer (Everhardus4, Jacob3, Jacob2, Adam1), Will dated 8 December 1831.

Adolphus4 Brower (Jeury3, Abraham2, Adam1), Will dated 30 April 1825.

Charity Brower, widow of Jeury3 Brouwer (Abraham2, Adam1), Will dated 9 May 1787.

John5 Brower (Isaac4, Adolphus3, Nicholas2, Adam1), Will dated 8 October 1803.

Since I have recently been looking at some Duryea families with regard to a few relationships with Brouwer families, I have included the following Duryea/Duryee wills:

Charles2 Duryea (Joost1, SimonA du Rieu), Will dated 4 December 1751 (this will is recorded in New York County).

Charles4 Duryea (Jacob3, Charles2, Joost1, SimonA du Rieu), Will dated 14 March 1795.

Charles T.4 Duryee (Theunis3, Charles2, Joost1, SimonA du Rieu), Will dated 30 September 1799.

Jacob3 Duryee (Charles2, Joost1, SimonA du Rieu), Will dated 11 August 1796.

Johannes3 Duryea (Charles2, Joost1, SimonA du Rieu), Will dated 3 March 1780 (the will is recorded in New York County, and Johannes/John was living in Somerset County, New Jersey at the time the will was written).

Joost3 Duryea (Abraham2, Joost1, SimonA du Rieu), Will dated 2 July 1793.

Please use the “Probate & Estate Records” page for links to the images. FamilySearch is, apparently, now requiring that you sign in, in order to view the images. If you do not have an account with FamilySearch, you will have to create one. The account is free.

Fortunately, the Kings County Will Books have been indexed. Links to the images of the first page of the indexes for each of Kings County, Wills, volumes 1 though 4, has been added to the “Indexes to Probate & Estate Records” page.

I would also note that the will books found here are not the originals. They were copies made in 1911 (see page 439 of Lib. 1). As we all know, errors can be created whenever a document is copied or transcribed. But, probably the biggest loss is that we are unable to view the original signatures of the testators and witnesses.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Three Brewer Records in Franklin County, Vermont, Probates

Links to digital images of estate records for three different persons named BREWER, found online in the Family Search collection, "Vermont Franklin County Probate Records, 1796-1921," have been added to this website's page titled, "Links to Image Pages at - Probate and Estate Records."

The records are regarding:

Calvin Brewer, and includes his will dated 24 July 1878. Calvin Brewer was born and lived most of his life in Tinmouth, Rutland Co., Vermont. He was a son of Jonathan Brewer and Lucy Royce. Details on this family can be found on the Brewer Families of New England website.

Joseph E. Brewer, of Berkshire, Vermont. There are two links here. One for the granting of administration on his estate, and the second his inventory. Joseph E. Brewer was born in 1834, son of John G. Brewer and Rhoda Heflon, and grandson of Jeremiah Brower/Brewer of Highgate, Vermont. Joseph E. Brewer died while a prisoner of war, during the Civil War, at Belle Isle Prison Camp in Virginia.

Samantha Brewer, of Swanton, Vermont. Administration on her estate was granted in 1861. Samantha Brewer was born about 1807, and was a daughter of Peter Brewer and Hannah Sanborn, of Highgate, Vermont and granddaughter of the above mentioned Jeremiah Brower/Brewer.

Both Joseph E. Brewer and Samantha Brewer can be found on the Brouwer Genealogy Database website.

Please use the above referenced page, Links to Images - Probate and Estate Record, to access the digital images at

Friday, June 26, 2015

Nehemiah Brower (1828-1915) of Middletown, New Jersey

Nehemiah Brower, of Middletown, Monmouth County, New Jersey, was born in November, 1828 (1900 U. S. census) and died in 1915. He was a great-great-great grandson of Adam Brouwer, of Gowanus, Long Island. Nehemaiah Brower was, in his time, a well known home builder in the area of Red Bank, New Jersey.

Hugh Brower, a descendant of Nehemiah Brower, has sent me a newspaper clipping from the Red Bank Register, October 1905, featuring the 50th wedding anniversary of Nehemiah and his wife, Amelia (Sewing) Brower.

Red Bank Register, October 1905
Hugh also sent a separate image of the photo in the article.

Red Bank Register, October 1905
As mentioned above, Nehemiah Brower was a noted home builder in the area of Red Bank, New Jersey. Found in the William B. Bogardus Collection was a piece from the Newsletter of the Middletown Township Historical Society, vol. 5, no. 3, June 1989, titled, "Nehemiah Brower, Locust Builder." Here is a PDF of that article: Nehemiah Brower, Locust Builder.

Some quick research using U. S. census records, and a few New Jersey vital records, tells us that Nehemiah Brower and his wife, Amelia Sewing, were married in 1855. They had eight children, five reached adulthood and three died young. The children were: George W. Brower, born 12 October 1857; a son (unnamed in the birth record) born in 1859, who I would assume was stillborn or died very soon after birth (as he was not given a name); Anne Elizabeth, born 18 September 1862, who apparently never married; Silas, age 5 in the 1870 census, but not found afterwards; Emma, died 10 December 1870, age 4; Amelia, age 9 in June 1880; Carrie, age 6 in June 1880; and Arthur, born in June 1876. 

Thanks again to Hugh Brower for passing along the article and photo.

PDF version of this post.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Brouwer Genealogy Database Update

The Brouwer Genealogy Database website has been updated. It has been over a year since the last update (May 16, 2014) and this may well be the final time that the BGD will be updated. Below I will discuss how future corrections will be handled.

Over the past year there have been a number of new participants in our Brewer Y-DNA Project. Also, as of a few months ago the Project's website was updated. A short summary of the new Y-DNA results follows. I anticipate elaborating on some in greater length in future individual posts.

John Brewer, born ca. 1786, died in December 1877, and buried in the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery at Tarrytown, New York. His wife was Mary Smack and they were married in 1810. A direct male descendant has taken a Y-Chromosome DNA test. The results show conclusively that he is not a descendant of either Adam Brouwer of Gowanus, L. I., or of Jan Brouwer, of Flatlands, L. I. The results match closest with that of a Y-DNA tested descendant of Abraham Brewer, of Chemung County, New York. A link to John Brewer can be found on the Unplaced page of the BGD. Work on John Brewer's descendants is not complete, but some are now included on the BGD.

Donald P. Brower, born 1 April 1802 at Poughkeepsie, New York, and died 14 October 1873 in Northfield, Summit County, Ohio, is thought to be a son of a Philip Brower who was an early settler at Independence, Ohio. Going into the test it was strongly suspected (by me) that the descendant's ancestor would be shown to be Adam Brouwer of Gowanus, L. I. The Y-DNA test proved otherwise. The tested descendant is not genetically related to descendants of Adam Brouwer, and as of this writing, does not have any matches with anyone who has tested with FamilyTreeDNA and has the Brower or Brewer surname. Donald P. Brower can also be found on the Unplaced page.

A new descendant of Adam Brouwer's son Nicholas Brouwer has been added to the project. Y-DNA test results confirm the descendant's ancestry to Adam Brouwer. He is represented by kit #396780. His ancestry, which includes a branch of the descendants of Nicholas Brouwer who settled in New Brunswick, Canada, can be found on the Nicholas Brouwer Chart page.

A new descendant of Adam Brouwer's son Pieter Brouwer has been added. The new line represents another descendant of Martin I. Brower (1847-1920) and can be found on the Pieter Brouwer Chart page. Kit #383189.

Pieter Brouwer (Peter Brower, Peter Brewer, Pieter Broer) is found at Duanesburg, New York from 1782 through 1803. His wife was Catrina Chrisler (Crisler, and other spellings). Prior to the testing of a direct male descendant Pieter Brouwer's ancestry was not known. The tested descendant's Y-DNA results clearly show that Pieter Brouwer is a descendant of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands, L. I. Although not completely proved, his most probable ancestry is found on the Jan Brouwer of Flatlands Chart page. Kit #386956.

George J. Brower was covered in the post of October 25, 2014. Here it was proposed that George J. Brower was a previously unidentified son of Nicholas Brouwer and Christina Weyman of New York City. Another descendant of this couple had already taken a Y-DNA test, and in the recent months upgraded his results to the 67 marker level. This new level of comparison solidifies the belief that George J. Brower is most probably (I would even say certainly) a son of Nicholas Brouwer and Christina Weyman. The descendants line (kit #360871) is now included on the Pieter Brouwer Chart page.

Another descendant of John Rose, and genetic descendant of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands, L. I. has been tested. The lineage is now included on the John Rose Chart page. Kit #353796.

John G. Brewer, of Miami, Greene County, Ohio was discussed in the post of July 10, 2014. The tested descendant, and therefore John G. Brewer are descendants of Adam Brouwer of Gowanus, L. I. A lineage chart has been added to the Adam Brouwer Group DNA Analysis page.

Regarding the submission of corrections from this time going forward - Back on November 1, 2014, I posted instructions on how to submit corrections to the BGD website to me. The procedure described on November 1, 2014 still stands, however, I would ask that you limit corrections to those that are already found online in the new edition of the BGD. Please do not ask me to add any additional lines of descendants or new families to this latest updated BGD. I have done this in the past, but can no longer do it going forward. Adding lines is a time consuming process that I no longer have the time for, nor the desire to so. Instead, I would ask you to place your own work, on the Brouwer/Brewer line or ancestry that you are concerned with, online in some format, yourself, and then send me a link to it, and I will create a link for it on this website and on the BGD website. I will continue to post corrections of importance here, on this website, and will add links to these pages on the BGD's "Log of Corrections" page. And again, please provide ample and suitable documentation and proof for any correction you suggest. You cooperation in this regard is appreciated. I, for one, would like to see more people take authorship and ownership of their own work and share it openly online with others. There are a lot of ways and formats in which to do this. You just gotta poke around online and I'm sure you'll find plenty of ideas on how to do this.

This update of the Brouwer Genealogy Database will be referred to as the June 22, 2015 edition. As I mentioned above, it will most likely be the last update. Previous editions have been archived by Internet Archive and can be found by using their Way Back Machine.

Good luck to all with your research on your Brouwer, Brower or Brewer ancestry!

July 12, 2015: The BGD was "re" updated. This was to add in a missing kit no. on the Pieter Brewer DNA Chart page. In addition data on Duryea family individuals and some Van Nuys individuals was added. The body of the website is now comprised of 749 pages covering 52,408 individuals. With regards to Brouwer Genealogy, I will for the most part be taking the remainder of the summer off.