Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Six Derck/Dirck Brouwers

Jan Brouwer and Jannetje Jans named one of their sons, Derck. The name which is also seen recorded as Dirck and Dirk, as well as Derick, is an equivalent of the English name, Richard. When encountering the name Derck (Dirck or Dirk) Brouwer (Brower/Brewer) during the course of researching in colonial New York or New Jersey, you can be near certain that the person with that name is a second, third, fourth or fifth generation descendant of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands, Long Island. The purpose of this post is to recognize the six men named Derck/Dirck Brouwer found in the first four generations of the Jan Brouwer family, and to review some records pertaining to men with this name.

1- The first known Derck Brouwer, a member of the second generation descendants of Jan Brouwer and Jannetje Jans, was born about 1666. He is no. 7 in "Descendants of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands, L. I.," and was the subject of the post of October 6, 2012. He married Hannah Daws and lived at Flushing and Jamiaca, Long Island as an adult and died sometime in either 1702 or 1703. Of the five known sons of Jan Brouwer and Jannetje Jans, Johannes, Pieter, Hendrick (twice), and Derck, only Pieter and Derck left children. Of Pieter and Derck, the given name, Derck/Dirck/Dirk, appears to only be found among the descendants of Derck.

2- Among the third generation descendants of Jan Brouwer and Jannetje Jans we find one Derck Brouwer. In 1738, on the muster roll for the Queens County militia, appears a man named, "Deric Brevar." In 1742, the property of "Derick Brewer," is described in deeds found in the Records of the Towns of North and South Hempstead, Long Island, New York (Vol. 8, pp. 294 and 429). This Derck Brouwer is not identified with any other records and it is not known if he left a family. As he was an adult in 1738 (on the militia roll), then he must certainly belong to the third generation of descendants of Jan Brouwer and Jannetje Jans. Placing him as a son of Derck Brouwer and Hannah Daws would imply that he was probably born between 1699 and 1703. (He is no. 31 in "Descendants of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands, L. I."). It is possible that this Derck Brouwer left descendants. However, none have yet been identified.

In the fourth generation of descendants of Jan Brouwer and Jannetje Jans, we have four men named Dirck Brouwer.

3- Dirck, the son of Jan Brouwer and Aegje Sprong was baptized on June 27, 1729 at Raritan, Somerset Co., New Jersey. His parents died when he was just three years old and he was apparently raised on Long Island by his great-aunt Cornelia, a widow of his great-uncle, Hendrick Brouwer. Dirck lived at Hempstead (then in Queens Co., now in Nassau Co.) in the part that would be known for a period of time after the Revolutionary War as "South Hempstead." His wife has been stated to have been named Annatie, or Hannah, and her surname may have been, Miller (I have no credible evidence to confirm that her name was Miller except that this has been stated by a descendant). He is no. 97 in "Descendants of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands, L. I."

4- Dirck, the son of Elias Brouwer and Helena Willemse, was baptized on August 15, 1732 at the Reformed Dutch Church of Harlingen, New Jersey (Montgomery Twp., Somerset Co.). He is no. 99 in "Descendants of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands, L. I." We do not know the name of the wife of this Dirck Brouwer and we cannot say with certainty that he even married or had children. At this point in time, based upon what limited evidence we have, we have reconstructed a family for this Dirck Brouwer (he may have appeared as Derick, Derrick or Richard BREWER in later records). The basis for this family begins with a descendant of David Brewer (no. 294 in "Descendants of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands, L. I.") who participated in the Brewer DNA Project, and had Y-DNA test results that confirm that he is a descendant of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands, L. I. In the direct BREWER lineage of this participant, is an ancestor named Jacob Jennings Warner Brewer (1815-1905), a grandson of David Brewer, who in his biography, written in 1899, stated that his great-grandfather was Derrick Brewer, "of Holland descent." David Brewer (the earliest confirmed ancestor for the participant) was born in 1762, and although he could be a son of either of the Dirck Brouwers, nos. 5 and 6, that follow, we presently place him as a son of this Dirck Brouwer based upon comparison of the Y-DNA results with other descendants of Elias Brouwer and Helena Willemse. Another factor that influences this placement is the appearances of the name, Elias, among descendants of David Brewer. These, believed, descendants of Dirck Brouwer had moved westward (and it was likely Dirck would made the first move) and were found in western Pennsylvania, Vriginia (in areas now a part of West Virginia) and Indiana. It is emphasized here that the descendants shown for Dirck Brouwer, as found in "Descendants of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands, L. I." are not certain. Further evidence, documentation, and the participation of other descendants in the Brewer DNA Project is welcomed.

5- Dirck Brouwer, the son of Pieter Brouwer and Susanna Titsoort, was baptized on September 11, 1743 at the Reformed Dutch Church at Readington, Hunterdon Co., New Jersey. He is no. 116 in "Descendants of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands, L. I." and his life as an adult has not been discovered. This Dirck Brouwer was probably born too late to be considered as the father of David Brewer mentioned above. It is not known if this Dirck reached adulthood. If he did, he could have moved westward into Pennsylvania, or he may have relocated to New York State. He has not been identified in records from New Jersey.

6- Dirck Brouwer, son of Jacob Brouwer and Marike (surname not known), was baptized on May 29, 1737 at Readington, Hunterdon Co., New Jersey. He is no. 107 in "Descendants of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands, L. I." and his life as an adult has not been discovered. On January 4, 1769, administration on the estate of a Derrick Brewer of Somerset Co., New Jersey, was granted to John Dunn of Somerset Co. The fellowbondsman was Edward Higgins of Middlesex Co. The estate was very small, consisting of a "wheel and a grub hoe," and including balances due Derrick, amounted to two or three pounds. This Derrick Brewer was probably unmarried, with no heirs, and may still a have been a young man. He may have hired himself out as a laborer to local farmers. This Dirck Brouwer would have been aged 32 in 1769. I have placed this record of estate administration with him, but honestly, there is no certain way to determine if this is correct. This estate record could apply to either Dirck Brouwer no. 4 or no. 5 above (no. 4 would have been aged 37, while no. 5 would have been aged 26). If the estate record does not apply to this Dirck Brouwer, then he too may have reached adulthood, and may well have moved westward into Pennsylvania, or to New York State.

The following records pertaining to men named Derck Brouwer (and variants) do not contain enough genealogical information to assign them with absolute certainty to any of the above. However, we can make some educated guesses.

A- As mentioned above under no. 2, Derck Brouwer, a "Deric Brevar" (interpreted to mean Derick Brewer) was on the 1738 muster roll of militia for Queens Co., New York. The source for this record is New York Colonial Muster Rolls, 1664-1775 (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2000), v. 1, p. 576. This record cannot pertain to Derck Brouwer, no. 1, as he was deceased, and it cannot pertain to nos. 3, 4, 5, or 6 as they were all too young to enlist in 1738. This record then becomes the identifying record for a Derick Brewer who is otherwise unknown. After estimating a reasonable time frame for his year of birth, then assuming he is a descendant of Jan Brouwer based upon his name, "Deric," we place him as a son, based upon both his given name and the fact that he lived in Queens County, as a son of Derck Brouwer, no. 1.

B- In 1742, the property of a "Derrick Brewer," is mentioned in a Queens Co. deed. Source for this record is "Jan Brouwer of Flatlands and Descendants," New York Genealogical and Biographical Record Vol. 138 (2007), page 259, which cites Benjamin D. Hicks, Records of the Towns of North and South Hempstead, Long Island, N. Y. 8 volumes, (Jamaica: Long Island Farmer Print, 1904), vol. 8, pages 294 and 429. (As of this posting I have not had the opportunity to view the original of this record myself). As with record "A" above, this must pertain to Derck Brouwer no. 2, based upon the year in which the record is dated (Derck no. 1 is deceased, while Dircks nos. 3, 4, 5 and 6 are too young).

C- On March 15, 1759, a Dirck Brouwer enlisted in the Kings County militia. His age was given as 26, height 5' 7 1/2", light complexion. Source is the above mentioned New York Colonial Muster Rolls, vol. 1, p. 901. The age here, 26 years in 1759, would imply that this record belongs to Dirck Brouwer, no. 4, who was born in Somerset County, but may well have returned to his family's origins in Kings County, Long Island by 1759. However, if that were the case, then he would likely not be the father of David Brewer who was born in 1762 in New Jersey and who moved westward. It may be then that this record belongs to Dirck Brouwer, no. 3. Although the age is understated by three years, the location is a better fit, as Dirck (no. 3) was known to have lived his adult life on Long Island (in Queens County which adjoins Kings County).

D- On January 4, 1769, administration on the estate of "Derrick Brewer" of Somerset Co., New Jersey was granted to John Dunn of Somerset County. Source is Honeyman, Calender of New Jersey Wills, Administrations, Etc., Vol. 4, 1761-1770. Documents Relating to the Colonial History of the State of New Jersey, First Series, Vol. 33 (Somerville, N. J.: The Unionist-Gazette Assoc., 1928), page 57. This is an abstract of File no. 356R. I have viewed the entire file, which is available on FHL film #0562751. The file is incorrectly titled, "John Dunn, Adm. Estate of Adam Brewer." There are two documents in the file, one being the inventory of the estate of "Richard Brewer, dec'd of Somerset County," the other being the appointment of John Dunn as administrator for the estate of "Derrick Brewer." No other persons named Brouwer or Brewer are mentioned in the file, and there is no clue to any family for Richard/Derrick Brewer. As mentioned above in no. 6, I have tentatively placed this record under Dirck Brouwer, bapt. in 1737, son of Jacob Brouwer and Marike. It could just as easily be assigned to Dirck Brouwer no. 5, the son of Pieter Brouwer and Susanna Titsoort, baptized in 1743. There really is no way to settle this with the known information available at this time.

E- A Richard Brewer is found on the Personal Property Tax Rolls in Frederick County, Virginia in 1783 (1 male over age 24). He is also there in 1788, 1789, 1792, 1793, 1794, 1795, 1796, 1797, 1798 and 1799. Source for these records is the "Personal Property Tax Lists, 1782-1850 for Frederick Co., Virginia", FHL film #s. 2024544 thru 2024548. This data was provided to me by Charles Wells. A John Brewer is found on the same lists, and no persons named Brewer are found there after 1799. These tax roll records most probably pertain to whoever the father of David Brewer, mentioned under Dirck Brouwer, no. 4, actually is (for now we are assuming he is Dirck Brouwer no. 4).

F- John Brewer of Perry Twp., Fayette Co., Pennsylvania was granted a pension for his service during the Revolutionary War. In his application for his pension he states that he entered service near Winchester, Virginia (in Frederick Co., Virginia), and that he served as a substitute for his father, Richard Brewer. At the time he was a resident of Fredericks, Virginia and was aged 16 years. John states that her served twice, each for a period on 18 months, and was at the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown. The date John first enlisted is not given. It is stated that he was age 16, and so had to have been born between 1760 and 1765 to have served during the Revolution (1776-1783). Independent research on the Brewers of western Pennsylvania, provided to me by Marie Fawcett and Nita Pugh, give John's date of birth as March 25, 1761 or 1762. He died on June 7, 1848 as per his widow's petition to continue receiving John's pension. Assuming that the correct year of is birth is 1761 or 1762, and assuming that his father, Richard Brewer, was aged between 18 and 40 years old when John was born, then we can say that John's father, Richard, was born sometime between 1721 and 1744. It is very likely that the John Brewer and Richard Brewer in this record are the same John and Richard Brewer in record "E" above, as there just were not a lot of people living in the area of Winchester, Virginia at the time of the Revolution (and a good percentage of them had roots in New Jersey). Dirck Brouwers nos. 3, 4, 5 and 6 all fall within the age range for John's father, Richard Brewer. If we stay with the theory that Dirck Brouwer no. 4 is the father of David Brewer, then the Richard Brewer found in this pension application would most likely be Dirck Brouwer no.4, and John Brewer and David Brewer would be brothers.

G- On January 31, 1779, George Washington Brouwer, son of Richard Brouwer and Mary Blann, was baptized at the Schenectady, New York Reformed Dutch Church. This same couple, had a son Petrus baptized at Schenectady in 1782, and a daughter Helena baptized at the Helderbergh Reformed Dutch Church at Guilderland, New York in 1787. In addition, a son of Derick Brewer and Maria Blain, named Derick, born on May 1, 1790 in New York (probably in Albany County) was baptized at the Helderbergh Church on April 17, 1795. Derick, later called Richard, along with his brother Peter, relocated to Florence, Huron County (later Erie Co.), Ohio, where late in his life he was celebrated as an early pioneer. A descendant of this Richard Brewer (b. 1790) has participated in the Brewer DNA Project and his results confirm that this Brewer line descends from Jan Brouwer of Flatlands. They also match the descendant of David Brewer (mentioned under no. 4 above) on 37 of 37  markers. The father, Richard Brouwer, also recorded as Derrick Brewer (baptism record), and Richard Brewer (census records), would have been born prior to 1759 (assuming he was aged 20 or older when son George Washington Brower was baptized). In an 1889 tribute to the son Richard Brewer (b. 1790) it was stated that Richard's father (Richard Brouwer) had fourteen children. We know of only four of them, and it may be that George Washington was not the first. The elder Richard is found on the 1820 census in Delaware Co., New York. He is not found on the 1830 census. It is conceivable that the elder Richard Brower was born as early as the 1740s, or even the 1730s (in which case he would have been in his 80s in 1820). The October 19, 2012 version of "Descendants of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands, L. I." places Richard Brouwer (the father of the children in the baptism records above) as a son of Dirck Brouwer (no. 4 above and no. 99 in the document). This was based upon the fact that the descendant who participated in the Brewer DNA Project matched on 37 of 37 markers with the descendant of David Brewer. However, revisiting this now, I have concerns with the belief that Dirck Brouwer no. 4 was in Fredericks Co., Virginia prior to the Revolution, while Richard Brower is first found in the area of Schenectady and Albany, New York. It is possible that Richard Brower is either Dirck Brouwer no. 5 or Dirck Brouwer no. 6 above (it is also noted that Richard Brower named a son, Petrus (Pieter). At this time I believe it is prudent to remove Richard Brouwer (formerly no. 292) from the family of Dirck Brouwer (no. 4 above and no. 99 in "Descendants of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands, L. I.").

Source citations can be found at the Brouwer Genealogy Database website. Any changes mentioned above will be reflected with the next update.

What should be taken away from this exercise is that there is a lot of play between the various men named Derck, Dirck or Richard Brouwer with regards to where unplaced descendants of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands, L. I. can fit. The various Dirck Brouwers, especially nos. 4, 5 and 6, can be juggled about to fit various circumstances as envisioned by various compilers. At this time different compilers can very easily come up with different scenarios, all of which are viable. The bottom line is that much more detailed information, in the form of actual records (as opposed to family tradition) has to be collected before any "correct" genealogy can be agreed upon.



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