Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Family of Matthys Brouwer and Marietje Pieters (Wyckoff)

Matthys Brouwer was baptized on 30 May 1649 at the New Amsterdam Reformed Dutch Church, the son of Adam Brouwer. His mother was not recorded on the baptism register. The absence of the mother's name from the baptismal records was the norm during the period in which Matthys was baptized. Sponsors were Matthys and Barentje Molenaers, a married couple, for whom no family relationship has been discovered with either Adam Brouwer or Magdalena Verdon. Matthys Molenaers was likely a close friend of Adam's, and it appears that Adam may have named his second son for his friend. Matthys is no. 3 in William J. Hoffman's "Brouwer Beginnings," The American Genealogist 23 (1947): 202-204. "Brouwer Beginnings" does not carry descendants further than Matthys' children.

Matthys would have grown up at Gowanus, Long Island, and in early 1673, when he was not quite 24 years old, married Marietje Pieterse, a daughter of Pieter Claesen and Grietje Cornelise Van Ness. Descendants of Pieter Claesen adopted the surname, Wyckoff (with many variations in spelling). Her father Pieter is himself not found in records with the name Wyckoff, and Marietje, as well, is not seen with the surname (the Wyckoff surname, however, is often attached to her patronymic in modern published accounts). The marriage banns for Matthys and Marietje, published at the Reformed Dutch Church at New York on 26 January 1673, read, "Matthys Brouwer, j.m. Van N. Jorck, en Margrietje Pieters, j.d. Van N. Amersfort." This tells us that Matthys was born in New York City (at the time of his birth the city was of course New Amsterdam), and Marietje, who is erroneously called "Margrietje" in the published record (where the error occurred, with the original or with a later transcription, cannot be determined), was born at New Amersfoort, which was also known as Flatlands in Kings County on Long Island. The Wyckoff Family in America (1950 edition), page 13, claims that she was born at Beverwijck (later Albany, New York), and that accounts for the fact that no baptism record for Marietje has been found (church records for Beverwijck/Albany prior to 1683 are lost). Later records always refer to her as, Marietje, and the name Margrietje is not seen in any record other then the marriage bann.

Matthys and Marietje began their married life at Brooklyn, where Matthys can be found on the assessment list of 26 September 1683. In 1706 they began appearing as sponsors for baptisms of grandchildren at the First Reformed Church of Tarrytown, a.k.a. "the Old Dutch Church of Sleepy Hollow," in Westchester County, New York. On 18 April 1716, both Matthys and Marietje are listed as church members at Tarrytown. They no doubt finished out their lives in that area.

Matthys and Marietje are given eleven children. Of these seven can be confirmed by baptism records. Son, Peter was baptized at New York in 1676. Hendrick at New York in 1679. Daughter, Willemyntie at Brooklyn in 1682. Aeltje at Flatbush in 1684. Maritje at New York in 1686. Annetje at New York in 1689. And, daughter Willemtje (the second) at Brooklyn in 1693. In addition to these seven, four others have been identified by other means. Daughter Magdalena is named in the will of Adam Brouwer (her grandfather) as the "oldest daughter" of Matthys. She was probably born in 1673 and was Adam Brouwer and Magdalena Verdon's first granddaughter (and was named for her grandmother). Son Samuel Brouwer, probably born about 1677 (he was married by 1695) is identified based upon the fact that Matthys and Marietje stood at sponsors for two of Samuel's children (1706 and 1708), on the fact that Samuel named his first son Matthys (for his father, as would follow tradition), and because Samuel, who was also a member of the Tarrytown Church, stood as sponsor for a number of other grandchildren of Matthys and Marietje (they would be Samuel's nieces and nephews, children of his siblings). Son, Johannes (born about 1691, married by 1711) is placed in the family for the same reasons as Samuel (i.e. baptismal sponsorships, named first son Matthys). Daughter Jannetje (born about 1695) was married on 1 August 1726 to John Pell in the Lutheran Church of New York City. The record of her marriage states that she is a daughter of "Mathias Brouwer, deceased." Of his eleven children, eight are known to have married. Of the eight, children have thus far been found for seven (children for Jannetje have thus far not been found). Of the three for who no marriage has been verified, it is known that the first Willemytje had to have died prior to 1693 when a new born daughter was named in her honor. Sons Peter and Hendrick remain mysteries. No records, other than their baptisms, have been confirmed for either one. T. G. Bergen states in his Early Settlers of Kings County (page 54) that Hendrick went to Raritan (in New Jersey), married Elizabeth and had a son named Adam. That a Hendrick Brouwer lived in the area of Raritan is not disputed. But he was much more likely a son of Adam Brouwer (brother of Matthys) and his wife, Marretje Hendrickse. Records for Westchester County in the early 1700s are scarce. However, the Tarrytown Church records are available. With that in mind it has to be noted that neither Peter nor Hendrick appear among the sponsors at the baptisms of their sibling's children. If living in Westchester county, they most likely would have. Either Peter and Hendrick left the area at an early age, or they died prior to reaching adulthood. But the book should not be closed on either one, yet. It should also be noted that Matthys did not name a son for his father, Adam. He did name his eldest daughter, Magdalena, for his mother. While the eldest son, Pieter, was named for Marietje's father (Pieter Clasesen), the couple did not name a daughter for her mother, Grietje.

Unfortunately, Matthys did not leave a will, and no estate settlement has been found for either himself nor his wife. If they existed, such documents would certainly have been helpful in discovering the fate of sons Peter and Hendrick. The lack of records for an estate settlement is not too unusual for persons who lived in Westchester County at the time that Matthys and Marietje did, as few actually owned land (most were tenants on "Manors"). It is known that Matthys was deceased by 26 July 1726 when he stated as such in his daughter Jannetje's marriage record. Marietje was living on 26 September 1725 when she was a sponsor at the baptism of her grandson Mattheus Vos. It is likely that Matthys was actually deceased by this date, for if he were alive he would have likely been a sponsor for his namesake as well.

Descendants of Matthys Brouwer with the BROUWER, BROUWER or BREWER surname would have to be descendants of either son Samuel, of which there may be quite a few, or through son Johannes, which if any, would likely be fewer in number. Johannes had at least one son who is known to have had children (although no confirmed grandsons have been found). Thus far, no confirmed descendants of Matthys Brouwer have participated in the Brewer DNA Project, and therefore we do not yet know of any Y-DNA mutations that might distinguish descendants of Matthys from descendants of his brothers. We would love to see a confirmed descendant join the project!

A summery of the family of Matthys Brouwer and Marietje Pieterse is now online.

Details and source citations can also be found at the Brouwer Genealogy Database website.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Because of spamming issues, all submitted comments are moderated. Your comment is appreciated, but it will not appear online until it has first been reviewed. All relative comments will be sent through. Comments of a commercial nature will be blocked. It may take as little as a few hours or as long as a few days for submitted comments to appear online. Please do not resend the same comment. Thank you.