Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

Monday, October 30, 2017

Untangling Two Pulaski Browers

The current Brouwer Genealogy Database (BGD) includes an entry for Pulaski W. Brower, a son of Lot A. Brower and Cynthia Sage. The profile of Pulaski W. Brower's family includes a wife, Mary (___) and two children, Willie and Hattie. Although Pulaski W. Brower did have a wife named Mary, the two children shown belong to a different man also named Pulaski Brower who also had a wife named Mary. This post sorts out the two Pulaski Browers and serves as a correction to the entry on the BGD.

As seen here, our original Pulaski W. Brower can be found on the 1850 U. S. census at Cherry Valley, Ashtabula Co., Ohio in the household of Lot A. Brower.
1850 U.S. census, Cherry Valley, OH (image NARA download from Ancestry.com)
Although he is also recorded as Pulaski W. Brower on the 1860 U. S. census (L. A. Brower household, Lenox, Ashtabula Co., Ohio), on later records he is recorded as Weller P. Brower. The record of Weller P. Brower's death was made in Ingham Co., Michigan. It names his parents as Abraham Brower (Lot A. Brower's "middle" name) and Cynthia Sage. It dates of birth and death as April 17, 1848 and Jan 15, 1920 (incorrectly transcribed as Jun 15, 1920 on Ancestry.com)*. Weller's death certificate also gives his wife's complete name, Mary McCann Brower.
Weller P. Brower Death Cert. (Ingham Co., Michigan, download from Ancestry.com)
 The Michigan County marriage record of Myrtie Brower and Michael J. Cavender (dated 24 Nov 1903, Jackson County) gives her parents as Weller Brower and Mary McCann. Myrtie was born at Bunker Hill, Michigan and was age 18, living at Stockbridge, Michigan at the time.
Marriage of Myrtie Brower & Michael J. Cavender (Jackson Co., MI, download from FamilySeach.org)
With the name of a daughter, places where she was born and lived, and knowledge of Pulaski W. Brower's alternate name (Weller P. Brower) we can find his family on U. S. census records in 1880 at Bunker Hill, Ingham Co., Michigan (his name incorrectly transcribed as Willis Brower on Ancestry.com), and in 1900 and 1910 at Stockbridge, Ingham Co., Michigan (transcribed as Welles P. Brower and Wellas P. Brower respectively). In addition to Myrtie (Myrtle D. Brower), Weller and Mary (McCann) Brower had a son Burney E. Brower (also recorded as Berney Brower) who married Esther G. Miller at Stockbridge in 1905.

The above Pulaski W. Brower, a.k.a. Weller P. Brower, is therefore NOT the Pulaski Brower found on the 1880 U. S. census at Medina, Lenawee Co., Michigan, as is shown on his current BGD profile. The two children listed here (Willie and Hattie) are not children of Pulaski Weller Brower and Mary McCann.

The 1880 U. S. census record of a Pulaski Brower at Medina, Michigan, instead belongs to Pulaski Thorpin Brower and his wife, Mary Gavett. Willie (William Claud Brower) and Hattie (Hattie Mae Brower) are this couple's children. This second Pulaski Brower is found on the 1850 U. S. census at Medina, Lenawee Co., Michigan, age 2, in the household of William W. Brower.
1850 U.S. census Medina, Michigan (image NARA, download from Ancestry.com)
Pulaski Thorpin Brower is recorded as Palaski Brower in 1860 at Medina, Michigan in the household of Wm. Brower (the poor quality image is mis-transcribed by Ancestry.com as "Alaski Brown"). The 1880 U. S. census record mentioned above shows him as Pulaski Brower at Medina, Michigan, with wife Mary, son Willie, age 2, and Hattie, age 8 mos., relationship not recorded, but her record of death gives her parents as Thorpin P. Brower and Mary Gavett (Michigan Death records, 1867-1950, at Ancestry.com, image not available). The Michigan marrige record of William C. Brower (to Nettie May Kerney) records his parents as "Torphy" Brower and Mary Gavett.
William C. Brower Marriage (no.3745). Michigan Marriage Records (Ancestry.com)
The death records (Michigan) of Hattie Mae Wheeler (1950) and William C. Brower (1942), record their father as Thorpin P. Brower. William C. Brower's Social Security application gives his parents as Thorpinn P. Brower and Mary Gavett. I have not found direct records for Pulaski Thorpin Brower past 1880. A member contributed tree at Ancestry.com give his date of death as 1 June 1883 at Woodbridge, Hillsdale Co., Michigan, but it does not supply documentation. Mary Gavett's death is stated as 13 Apr 1900 at Camden, Hillsdale Co., Michigan, but again no supporting documentation.

While Pulaski Weller Brower's ancestry is known, Pulaski Thorpin Brower's is not, but there are some leads. Pulaski Weller Brower is a 4th great grandson of Adam Brouwer of Gowanus, L. I. He is the son of Lot Abraham Brower (Cynthia Sage), grandson of Abraham Brower (Phylothia Webster), great grandson of Matheus Brower (Annetje Ouderkerk), 2nd great grandson of Jacob Brouwer (Maria Bovy), 3rd great grandson of Pieter Brouwer (Pieternella Kleyn) and 4th great grandson of Adam Brouwer and Magdalena Verdon. Descendants of Pulaski's grandfather, Abraham Brower, have taken Y-DNA tests, the results of which confirm their place among the descendants of Adam Brouwer.

Pulaski Thorpin Brower's parents (from the U.S. census records) were William W. Brower and Ruth A., who can be identified by further research as Ruth A. Mosher. William W. Brower was born ca. 1812 in New York. Ruth A. Mosher was also born in New York. They were in Michigan by 1843 where their eldest known child, son Rianza B. Brower was born. William W. is found only at Medina in Lenawee County and he is last found there on the 1880 U. S. census. Also at Medina through this period is a George W. Brower whose age is given as 46 on the 1850 U. S. census, but as 50 in 1860, 57 in 1870 and 71 in 1880. All four census records agree on George's place of birth as New York. I suspect (and this is just that at this time, a suspicion) that William W. Brower and George W. Brower are brothers, and sons of William Brower and Rebecca Sprague who lived at Fishkill, Dutchess Co., New York, and had eight children including sons William (b. 28 May 1812, d. 18 Aug 1884), and George W. (b. 18 Feb 1803). The source for these dates is an unconfirmed family account provided to William B. Bogardus some years ago (see source 6 on William Brower's BGD profile here). It is claimed by this source that William Brower (husband of Rebecca Sprague) is a son of Jacob Brouwer and Elsie Hitchcock. Although I have yet to find a record linking William to his claimed parents (Jacob and Elsie) I have a hunch this placement may be correct. It is a connection that could benefit from the attention and research of some interested reader out there. The aforementioned Jacob Brouwer is a descendant of Adam Brouwer, a great grandson. Jacob is a son of Adolphus Brouwer (Jannetje Verdon), and grandson of Nicholas Brouwer (Jannetje Caljer).

*Pulaski Weller Brower's widow, Mary, filed a claim for a Civil War pension on March 31, 1920, so her husband had to have been deceased by that date and could not have died in June of 1920. Weller P. Brower had enlisted on 22 Feb 1865, as a musician in Company D, Ohio 196th Infantry Regiment.

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 FamilySearch.org. 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 FamilySearch.org 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 FamilySearch.org


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 Ancestry.com, "U.S., Dutch Reformed Church Records in Selected States, 1639-1989."


FamilySearch.org 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.