Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

Friday, January 20, 2012

Wills of Daniel Brower (1719-1791) and Abraham Brewer (c.1745-1828)

Daniel Brouwer, baptized 5 July, 1719 at the Dutch Reformed Church at Hackensack, New Jersey, was a son of Abraham Brouwer (b. ca. 1675), and his wife Lea Demarest. Daniel was married to Marietje Koning and the family first lived in Bergen County, New Jersey, were at the Conewago colony in York Co. (now Adams Co.), Pennsylvania about 1774, and later settled at Harrodsburg in Mercer County, Kentucky. Records of Daniel find his surname spelled a variety of ways: Brouwer, Brouer, Brower and Brewer. One son, Abraham, who is most often found as Abraham Brewer, was also at Conewago and later at Harrodsburg, Kentucky. Both men left wills that have been recorded in the Will Books at Mercer County, Kentucky.
A transcript of both wills was found in the collection of Brouwer related material collected by William B. Bogardus. I have placed the wills of Daniel Brower and Abraham Brewer online in one PDF document. The transcriptions were made at the Mercer County Courthouse by the Maryland State Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), and are found in Volume 30 (1957-58), pages 180-182. Abstracts of a handful of deeds involving Abraham Brewer follow the wills.

No baptism record has been found for Abraham Brewer. He is mentioned in his father's will. He was married first to Sarah Van Orden before 1770 (first known child, Daniel, baptized 24 Aug 1770 at Schraalenburgh, N.J., sponsors being Daniel Brouwer and his wife Maria). Sarah was living in September 1809 as evidenced by a deed in Mercer Co. of that date, but was deceased by June 1817, when Abraham married his second wife, Mary Wells. Family Group sheets for both Abraham Brewer and Daniel Brower have been placed online. Additional info can be found at the Brouwer Genealogy Database website. The BGD website will be updated soon, and the profiles of both Daniel and Abraham will be modified.

It is very tempting to believe that the Abraham Brewer mentioned in the previous post of January 15, 2012, is the same man as the above Abraham Brewer, son of Daniel. He would be about the right age to be a father of Henry Brewer who was born in 1765 (and died in 1829 in Adams Co., Ohio). Abraham was known to have lived in Pennsylvania before relocating to Harrodsburg, Kentucky (three children baptized at Conewago in 1775, 78 and 81). His second wife was named Mary WELLS, while the mother of Henry Brewer has been claimed to be (without proof), Mary WILTS. Wells and Wilts are two names that might be easily confused by the 20th century researchers who are responsible for the "identification" of Henry Brewer's mother. If the two Abraham Brewers are the same man, then Henry Brewer's birth date of 1765 would be five years previous to the baptism date of Abraham's earliest known child (1770).
The main argument against the notion that the two Abrahams might be the same, is the fact that in his will of 1825, Abraham Brewer of Mercer County, Kentucky, does not mention any son named Henry. While it is true that not all children of a testator are named in every will, in this case Abraham Brewer does mention all of his other known living children, and as Henry Brewer was living in 1825, and would have likely been Abraham's eldest son, it is more likely then not that had Henry been a son of Abraham, he would have had some mention in his will.

Two descendants of Daniel Brower have participated in the Brewer DNA Project. A descendant of the above mentioned Henry Brewer has also participated. The Y-DNA test results clearly demonstrate that all three participants are descended from Adam Brouwer of Gowanus, L. I. Daniel Brower is descended from Adam Brouwer through Adam's son Pieter. The Henry Brewer descendant matches a Daniel Brower descendant on 36 of 37 tested markers. The participant matches another descendant of Pieter Brouwer (one who is not descended from Daniel) on the same 36 of 37 markers. It may be that Henry Brewer's connection to Adam Brouwer is through Pieter Brouwer. If so, then Henry Brewer's missing connection may be found among the grandsons of Pieter Brouwer. Although lines from other sons of Adam Brouwer cannot be ruled out, based upon the Y-DNA results that we have as of now, searching through Pieter Brouwer is a "best guess" for a starting point. (DNA results with pedigree charts for most participants can also be found online at the Adam Brouwer Group DNA results page).

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