Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Brewers in New Jersey During the Period of the American Revolution

2018 is the year that I, for once and for all, clear out the Brouwer, Brower, Brewer files on the old home desk top computer. It's a chance to spot things that may have been overlooked, and when such an item is found I'll place it online for any interested researcher to access. They'll be stored in a Google Drive account. In the past I had often placed docs and files online using RootsWeb FreePages. But after last year's take down of that website (down for a few months during the spring of 2017) and the difficulties RootsWeb is currently experiencing (just click on the Brouwer Genealogy Database link to the right and you'll get an explanation), I'll switch to the more reliable (and free so long as I don't exceed data limits) Google Drive. The Google Drive will be my only copy. I will no longer maintain a back-up or second copy. So once my Google Account is gone these files will disappear as well. I will no longer be a repository for all things Brouwer, Brower or Brewer. And so my advise is if you should happen to find a keeper, something that is useful to your own research, download it now. It will not be online forever. Now back to the subject of this post...

From the collection of material loaned to me by William B. Bogardus back in 2008-09, here is a page of Brewers found in Revolutionary Census of New Jersey - An Index Based on Rateables of the Inhabitants of New Jersey During the Period of the American Revolution, by Kenn Stryker-Rodda  (1986). This is a four page PDF. Please read the introduction found on the second page. The third page gives abbreviations used for the townships covered. New Jersey counties that are covered are Hunterdon, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, and Salem. The fourth page is the page that includes those named BREWER (also spelled BREWAR and don't ignore BREWEN and BRUEN, BREWIN and BRUIN).

My experience over the past 17 years of research on the Brouwer, Brower and Brewer surname, is that many of those who reach dead-ends with their lines do so around or just after the period of the American Revolution, and they do so with families that migrated to what was then the western frontier of the new United States. This specifically refers to families that "suddenly" appear in western Pennsylvania, western Virginia including what would later become West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky. I can also state that it has been my experience after years of researching not only Browers and Brewers, but also many other families with origins in colonial New York, New Jersey, and New England, that many (probably the majority) of those who did find their way to the western frontier of the new United States, did so from homes located in the western counties of New Jersey and adjoining counties of eastern Pennsylvania. Specifically I'm talking about Hunterdon, Somerset, Morris counties in New Jersey and Bucks and Northampton counties in Pennsylvania. So here now is a handy list of adult males, as well as a Hannah, a Mary, and a "widow," who were living in those counties in New Jersey that I just mentioned above.

There is little doubt in my mind that if your dead-end Brewer or Brower ancestor is found in western Pennsylvania, western Virginia, Ohio or Kentucky, his/her ancestor that is the link to your colonial period ancestry is very likely on this list.

Good luck, and I'd invite anyone who has found a viable link to share it with others by using the Comments field below.

A Map of Colonial New Jersey

From the website

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Kings County Genealogical Club Collections

In the post of December 12, 2012, I provided links to five documents (PDFs) of baptism and graveyard records published by the Kings County Genealogical Club from 1882 to 1894. I have since found that the entire collection is also available online at the HathiTrust Digital Library. Here is a link to the full collection, all in one document. PDFs of individual pages can be downloaded, however, only "Partner Institutions" can download the entire volume as one PDF. To my knowledge the volume is not currently available on the Internet Archives website. My own PDFs will remain online. They can be accessed and downloaded with the links below. However, I cannot promise that they will be there forever. Online institutions like the HathiTrust Digital Library and the Internet Archives will be around much longer than I will.

New Utrecht Tombstones, Kings Co. Genealogical Club vol. 1 no. 1

Flatlands Tombstones, Kings Co. Genealogical Club vol. 1 no. 2

Gravesend Tombstones, Kings Co., Genealogical Club vol. 1 no. 3

Old Bushwick Graveyard and Brooklyn Baptisms from 1660, Kings Co. Genealogical Club vol. 1 no. 4

Brooklyn Baptisms 1679 to 1719, Kings Co. Genealogical Club vol. 1 nos. 5 & 6

Good luck and enjoy.

Friday, December 29, 2017

The Adam Brouwer Sub-Group of the Brewer DNA Project at the End of 2017

As the year 2017 comes to a close, here is the status of the Adam Brouwer Sub-Group of the Brewer DNA Project, hosted by Family Tree DNA (FTDNA).

Haplogroup Assignments (by FTDNA) of the current members of the Adam Brouwer Sub-Group
 The Adam Brouwer sub-group now has 43 tested members. The above screenshot shows the Haplogroups assigned (by the testing company FTDNA) to each of the members of the sub-group. Haplogroups printed in Red are predicted, while those in Green are confirmed by testing. The names you see are Earliest Known Ancestors (EKAs) as entered by each of the individual members.

The predicted (red) haplogroups E-M35 and E-L117 are "equivalent," which is to say they are the same branch on the larger Y-DNA Tree. You can see this on YFull's public YTree. By YFull's calculations the haplogroup E-M35/E-L117, was formed 34,800 years before present (ybp). The estimate of the Time to Most Recent Common Ancestor (TMRCA) for those who are positive for the Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) M35 and L117, is 24,100 ybp. The SNPs that define the branch that would eventually include descendants of Adam Brouwer was formed during the Last Glacial Maximum during the Upper Paleolithic. Humans had yet to cross into North America. The ancient ancestor in which these SNPs first appeared likely lived in east Africa. Having occurred long ago, this is just the first step in the sequence that identifies the SNPs shared by descendants of Adam Brouwer.

The confirmed haplogroups, seen in green, are E-M78, E-V13, E-BY6201 and E-BY6245. All four were formed more recently in time. They are subclades of E-M35. E-M78, here on the YFull YTree, was formed 19,800 ybp, with the most recent common ancestor appearing about 13,400 ybp. This SNP is believed to have originated in either north Africa or in the Horn of Africa. See the E-V68 (of which E-M78 is a subclade) page at Wikipedia. 13,400 years ago, the direct paternal ancestor of Adam Brouwer was still in Africa.

E-V13 was formed still closer to the present, as calculated by YFull, about 7,600 ybp. E-V13 is the largest subclade of E-V68 (and of E-M78) and today is most frequently found in the Balkans. It may have first appeared in western Asia, perhaps in Anatolia or the Near East. E-V13 can be found on the same E-V68 page at Wikipedia. YFull's TMRCA for E-V13 is 5,100 ybp. It is conceivable that Adam Brouwer's direct paternal ancestor was living in Anatolia (now the location of the present day nation of Turkey) or the Near East (perhaps Egypt or the Levant). 5,100 years is still long ago. Perhaps 204 generations if we use 25 years as an average generation.

The remaining two confirmed haplogroups, E-BY6201 and E-BY6245, bring us to recent times. FTDNA's Big-Y test is the test that was taken that identified these SNPs. FTDNA does not provide an estimate as to when these SNPs were formed. To date we have 10 descendants of Adam Brouwer who taken the Big-Y test, and it is their test results that have identified BY6201 as a SNP common to all direct male descendants of Adam Brouwer. The SNP BY6245 was identified it two of the ten men tested, and we know that the two are first cousins. E-BY6245 is a subclade of E-BY6201. Of our ten tested descendants, seven have submitted their test data to YFull for further analysis. YFull uses E-Y19643 as the identifying SNP for our seven (E-Y19643 on YTree v5.08). E-BY6201 (FTDNA) and E-Y19643 (YFull) are in effect, "equivalent." YFull's estimate for the formation of E-Y19643 is 3,700 ypb, or about 1700 BCE (think the classical age, Homer and Ancient Greece). Their calculation for TMRCA (of the seven analyzed) is 400 ybp (think Henry Hudson's exploration in 1609 and the Mayflower crossing in 1620). We know that Adam Brouwer was born in Cologne, Germany, most probably during the decade of 1610 to 1620, also about 400 years ago. Descendants of Adam Brouwer can be identified through Y-chromosome tests that show a positive for the SNP BY6201 (or Y19643). [For more on how Adam Brouwer's direct paternal ancestors may have come to the area of Cologne from the area of the Balkans, I refer you to this piece by Richard Brewer from a few years back].

As mentioned, E-BY6245 is a subclade, a more recent SNP, of E-BY6201. YFull estimates that it was formed 400 ybp and estimated a TMRCA for our two positives as 375 ybp. However, YFull does not factor in what we know of the ancestries of the two positive test takers. As mentioned, we now that the two are first cousins. They have, using traditional genealogy research, identified their earliest known ancestor as Peter Brewer who was likely born during the decade of 1750-1760, or about 257 to 267 years ago. It is likely that this SNP (BY6245) was formed more recently than YFull's current estimate, and perhaps within only the most recent two or three generations. E-BY6245 likely was formed in the United States.

Descendants of Adam Brouwer on YFull's YTree v5.08 (December 2017)
Currently the Adam Brouwer sub-group of the Brewer DNA Project has ten members who have results from FTDNA's Big-Y test. We are awaiting the test results of four more. At the end of 2017, the Adam Brouwer sub-group has 43 members, with a 44th whose test results are pending. Of the 44, 25 can demonstrate through traditional genealogical research, a lineage back to Adam Brouwer. 17 others can identify some direct paternal ancestor with the surname BREWER or BROWER, but have yet to discover or confirm that ancestor's lineage back to Adam Brouwer. [There are an additional two members who, for different reasons, are not counted here].

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
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*. Weller's death certificate also gives his wife's complete name, Mary McCann Brower.
Weller P. Brower Death Cert. (Ingham Co., Michigan, download from
 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
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, 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
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 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, 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 (
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 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.