Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

Friday, November 11, 2011

Amasa Brower and Andrew Brower of Atlantic County, New Jersey

Amasa Brower (1809-1880) and Andrew Brower (1804-1877) are both found at Galloway in Atlantic County, New Jersey throughout the mid-1800s. Both are sons of a man, or men, named John Brower, although their ancestries beyond their father(s) is not known. It is suspected that they are brothers, but presently that suggestion is not supported by any direct evidence. Andrew did name a son, Amasa, and as this is a very unusual name among families named BROWER, it could be a suggestion that Andrew named a son for his brother.
Death records for both men are available at Trenton, New Jersey. Copies have been provided for me by Ellen H. In the death records for both Amasa and Andrew, the father is recorded as John Brower, however, in the case of Amasa, his mother is called, Lovinia, while in Andrew's case, his mother is called, Mary. It may be that Amasa and Andrew were half brothers, or it may be that there was an error made in the recording of the mother's name for one of the men. Death certificates and records are not error free.
A clue to the possible ancestry of the two men may line with the names of two of Amasa's children. He names a son, Vincent, and a daughter, Hester. The name, Vincent, is another one of those names that is rare among BROWERs and BROUWERs. However, the one family in which it is found, and in which the name, Hester, is also found, is with the family of Cornelis Brouwer (1713-1768) and his wife, Hester Bodine (b.1715), a daughter of Vincent Bodine and Heyltje Smith. This Cornelis Brouwer is a descendant of Adam Brouwer through his son, Jacob Brouwer and his wife, Annatje Bogardus. This couple did name a son, Vincent Brouwer (b.1739) who has not been traced any further. The possible continuity of the unusual name of Vincent may suggest that Vincent Brouwer (or possibly one of his brothers) is the direct ancestor of Amasa Brower and Andrew Brower (if so, Vincent would likely be a grandfather).
Any insight or information that would be helpful in determining the ancestry of Amasa and/or Andrew Brower would be appreciated.
In the meantime, I do have brief descendant charts available online for both Amasa Brower and Andrew Brower. If a direct male ancestor, with the surname BROWER, can be found for either Amasa or Andrew, I would recommend their joining the Brewer DNA Project. A Y-DNA test will be able to determine whether or not the participant is a descendant of Adam Brouwer.
Amasa Brower's house in Galloway, New Jersey still stands. A photo was provided to me by Ellen H. and I have placed it online. The house had been moved at some point during the past century and is now preserved as an historic house.
The photos and images of the death records mentioned above can be seen online in the Amasa Brower photo album.

2 comments:

  1. Hi Chris,
    I've found Browers in 1830 in Galloway Twp, Gloucester Cty, NJ. I found a John Brower, b. 1771-80 and an Abm (Abraham?) Brower, b.1781-90. In 1840,listed in Galloway Twp, Atlantic Cty, NJ are a John Browns, Andrew Browers and a Mace (Amasa?)Browns. (Looking at the census page, the handwriting clearly looks like Browers to me). Do you have any record of a John Brower with a brother Abraham? I'm helping a friend with her family tree and we've hit a brick wall at John Brower because of the lack of available census records prior to 1830. I hope to find out where Port Republic, NJ old birth records are kept. Maybe I can see them to shed some light on this.

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  2. Vicki, As you might have suspected, there are many, many individuals named John Brower and Abraham Brower, including some brother combinations. Off the top of my head I cannot pick one pair out that meets your description. If you haven't already, you may want to consult the Brouwer Genealogy Database website and scroll through all of the John and Abraham Browers to see if you find one that might have some potential to research further. The best course, however, would be to start with the earliest known Brower ancestor and begin a search in the probate records and the property records (deeds) in the location where you know that person lived. As you know, census records prior to 1830, in New Jersey, were lost. The census prior to 1850 doesn't tell us much anyway, and for the period in which you are searching (early 1800s) the best sources for genealogical info in New Jersey are probate and land records.
    A link for the Brouwer Genealogy Database website can be found in the column at the right, fifth link down from the top. Hope this at least gets you started.

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