Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Hans Brouwer and Nelke Goulder

Hans, the son of "Piter Brouwer and Antie Brouwers" was baptized on October 30, 1695. The baptism is recorded in the Flatbush, Long Island Town Records, Vol. 1. It can be found in published form in Voorhees, Records of the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church of Flatbush, Kings County, New York, Vol. 1, 1677-1720 (New York: Holland Society, 1998) at page 449. The sponsors at the baptism were Cornelis Willemse and Machiel Willemse. Although Dutch women are usually recorded with their own maiden names or patronymics, there are many records in which they are recorded with their husband's surname or patronymic. This baptism record is an example of such a situation. It is likely that the Clerk for the Town of Flatbush, at the time the record was initially recorded, was of English ancestry. Here then, the sponsors are Maghtel Brouwer, sister to the father of the child, and her husband, Cornelis Willemsen. And Hans' mother, Annetje Jans, is recorded as "Antie Brouwers."

The name, Hans, can be a shortened form of the name, Johannes (Jan, John, Johan). However, it can also be a name in it's own right, distinct from Johannes. In the case of this Hans Brouwer, the second scenario applies, as he had a brother named Jan/John, who was born about 1698. We know that Dutch families of the colonial period usually named their children for members of their families (living and deceased). The name, Hans, does not appear to have come from the family of his father, Pieter Brouwer. The name Hans, may then be a clue to the family of Hans Brouwer's mother, Annetje Jans. Two prominent families found in Kings County during the 1600s, in which the name Hans, was common, are the Bergen and Van Norstrand families. The former are descendants of Hans Hansen, sometimes called Hans de Noorman (his wife was Sarah Rapalje), while the later is the name adopted by descendants of Hans Jansen, also known as Hans Hansen, and Hans van Norstrand (he was married twice, first to Reymerigh whose family name is not known and second to Janneken Gerritse). The second and third generations of these two families would have to be researched completely to see if Annatje Jans might have a place.

To my knowledge, the given name, Hans Brouwer, is not found anywhere else in colonial New York, New Jersey or Pennsylvania. This exact name does not appear to have been passed on to any descendants.

The wife of Hans Brouwer was Nelke Goulder. She was a daughter of Joseph Goulder (said to be born April 1, 1674) and a first wife whose name has not been discovered. This Joseph Goulder, a son of Joaeph Goulder and Neeltje Claese, married as his second wife, Hannah Daws, whose first husband was Derck Brouwer, an uncle of Hans Brouwer. Nelke would have been named for her paternal grandmother, Neeltje Claese. No record of baptism is found for Nelke. As her father was of English ancestry and got his start at Gravesend, Long Island, the fact that there is no baptism record for Nelke is not surprising.

Hans Brouwer and Nelke Goulder relocated to Monmouth County, New Jersey. The baptism records of four children are found in the records of the Reformed Dutch Congregations of Freehold and Middletown. Daughter, Anke, no doubt named for her paternal grandmother was baptized on September 11, 1720, with sponsor "Anke Browers," who must be Hans' mother, again recorded with her husband's surname. The next two children baptized are examples of some of the frustration that comes with the records of the Reformed Dutch Church in the various New Jersey congregations. In neither case is the child's name recorded. The first baptism we know to be a son, baptized on January 27, 1723, no sponsors recorded. The second, a child, with neither the name nor gender recorded, was baptized in September 5, 1725. Again, no sponsors recorded. Hans and Nelke's fourth child was named Jan, and was baptized on November 28, 1731. The sponsors were Jan Brouwer and Hilletie Van Cleefe, his wife. Jan Brouwer, the sponsor, was a brother of Hans, and his wife was more often recorded as Helena Van Cleef.

After the baptism of November 28, 1731, Hans Brouwer and Nelke Goulder disappear from the records. No further record of them is known, or at least has yet been identified. Hans' patronymic would have been Pieterszen (Pieterse, Peters, Petersen or Peterson) and it has been mentioned, although unsubstantiated, that Hans' descendants adopted that patronymic as a surname. However, the descendants did not come into age until the mid 1700s, and that is pretty late, and a couple of generations away, from adopting a patronymic as a surname. A thorough and complete research project of all families with the Peters/Peterson (and variants) surname, in New Jersey, during the 1700s would have to be conducted to determine if there is any validity to this claim.

It is very probable that the son Jan, baptized in 1731, is the John Brewer of Monmouth County who married Ann Hulse, also of Monmouth County, with a New Jersey license dated March 1, 1764. This couple's daughter, Neeltje, was baptized on January 22, 1767 at Freehold-Middletown. While no sponsors were recorded, it is likely she was named for Nelke Goulder, the wife of Hans Brouwer. Other children for John Brewer and Ann Hulse have not been identified, and the origins of Ann Hulse, or Hulsaart (as she is called in the baptism record of her daughter) have not been determined. The "greater" Hulse/Hulst/Hulsaart/Holst/Holsaert family does have roots in Kings County, Long Island.

There are numerous Brewer (and Brower) families found in Monmouth County, New Jersey through the 1800s, many of them have not been placed either as descendants of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands or of Adam Brouwer of Gowanus. Whether any of the unknowns descend from Hans Brouwer (through son Jan, or some other son as yet unknown) is certainly possible. DNA testing of known male descendants of Monmouth County, New Jersey Brewer and Brower families would certainly help.

Family Group Sheet

Hans Brouwer is no. 21 in Descendants of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands, L. I.

Also see Richard Brewer's Jan Brouwer Descendants - Pieter's Line

Source citations are found online 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.