Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

Monday, April 30, 2012

Julia Ann Brower - Probate File

Julia A. (Haynes) Brower's estate was presented for probate in Kings County Surrogate's Court on November 27, 1877. Images of the probate filed can be accessed through Family Search in their database, "New York, Kings County Estate Files, 1866-1923." I have downloaded and placed the images online as well - Julia Ann Brower Probate File. The Probate File does not include a copy of her will. According to Gertrude Barber in "Index of Wills Probated in Kings County," Julia Ann's will is found in Kings County Wills, Book 70, page 322. The Will Books for Kings County have been filmed by the Family History Library, and Book 70 is found in film #877139. [New York Surrogate's Court, Kings County, Wills]. In time this will be acquired.

Julia Ann's maiden name, Haynes, is identified as such by William J. Hoffman in his "Brouwer Beginnings Manuscript Notes." I have not had the opportunity to verify this and Hoffman did not provide a source for the claim. She was married to Samuel C. Brower, born 22 Feb 1800 and baptized on 17 March 1800 at Trinity Church in Manhattan. He was a son of Nicholas Brouwer and Christina Weyman, and is a descendant of Adam Brouwer through Adam's son, Pieter. Recently a descendant has participated in the Brewer DNA Project and results of the Y-DNA test confirm his descent from Adam Brouwer.

In 1863, Mrs. Julia Ann Brower purchased Lot 14371, section 70 at Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn. She was buried there on 12 October 1877. Many members of her family are buried in this lot, including her mother-in-law, Christina (Weyman) Brower on 19 June 1869, her son Samuel C. Brower on 3 November 1888 (who was also executor of Julia Ann's will), son William V. Brower on 11 February 1866, and daughter Maria (Brower) Selleck, her husband Jesse Selleck, and other Selleck family descendants. By using the information found in the probate file and the burial information, followed by additional checking of census records and a few vital records found at Family Search, I was able to put together a preliminary genealogical summery for the family of Samuel C. Brower and Julia Ann Haynes. The family lived in Brooklyn. [Family of Samuel C. Brower & Julia Ann Haynes].

One source I found particularly helpful in this case, was the New York State Census for 1875. This is available online through Family Search. The census date is just two years prior to the probate hearing, and finding the names of heirs from the probate files in the 1875 census records, opened the door to finding additional descendants and to clarifying some uncertain issues. I suspect that the family is not complete and I would welcome and additional info and/or corrections. [E-mail]

One particular question of interest is still out there. Three generations of Samuels in this family have the middle initial of "C" which apparently stands for Cluse (Clues, Clews or Clewes). There is found, in New York City, a man named Samuel Clews, who on 26 May 1800 was married at the German Reformed Church to Ann, the widow of Nicholas Simmonds. Samuel Clews died on 12 September 1807 in New York City, "after a lingering illness." I have found little else on this man, but would not be surprised if the Samuel Cluse Browers, descended from Nicholas Brouwer and Christina Weyman, were for some reason named for him.

I would like to thank the descendant of Samuel C. Brower who participated in the Brewer DNA Project and shared his test results and pedigree information with us. He has helped to add another line of descent from Adam Brouwer, and hopefully the new information will aid others in discovering their lineages as well.

Details and source citations for those mentioned above will be available online at the Brouwer Genealogy Database with the next update.


Sunday, April 29, 2012

Historic Cemeteries of Oyster Bay

A few years ago I downloaded a pamphlet in PDF format that was created by the Town of Oyster Bay's Supervisor's Office. I've had it in my files ever since, just came across it again today, and thought that perhaps some others might get more use out of it then I did. Not that it's not useful. It's a terrific pamphlet. It would be nice if every town had one. Personally, I just haven't had the need to work on research in Oyster Bay all that much.

Historic Cemeteries of Oyster Bay

The guide states its purpose as, "to be of assistance to genealogical and historical researchers in determining the locations of the historic cemeteries within the pre-1920 boundaries of the Town of Oyster Bay and to serve as a guide to where transcription records can be found." The first part of the guide lists the cemeteries alphabetically by location. The brief description gives location, dates, and some family names, as well as published sources of inscriptions. This is followed by an alphabetical index that assigns each cemetery a number, and lists the municipality where it is located. There is a section on available inscription records and published sources. Finally there is a Cemetery Index which contains several thousand names, listed alphabetically, of persons buried in these cemeteries. Each name includes a date of death and a cemetery number which corresponds to the numbers on the alphabetical index of cemeteries. There are a handful of persons named Brower, but no persons named Brewer, in the index. Anyone working on genealogical research in Oyster Bay will recognize many of the other names found in the index.

The Town of Oyster Bay is on Long Island, in the State of New York. It is one of the three towns found in present day Nassau County. The other two being Hempstead and North Hempstead. Prior to 1899, when Nassau County was created, Oyster Bay was within Queens County. The town was first settled in 1632 and in 1639, the West India Company made the first purchase of land there. The early settlers included both Dutch and English families and the Township of Oyster Bay was formerly created in 1687. During the Revolutionary War it was under British control.

Oyster Bay (U.S. Census image)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Brewer Families of New England: Update

The Brewer Families of New England Database website has been updated. A new DNA Analysis page has been added. This addition became possible by the participation of our first known descendant of one of the New England Brewer families in the Brewer DNA Project. I would like to thank the descendant for his participation and hopefully this will encourage other descendants of New England Brewer families to participate as well.

The participant is a descendant of John Brewer (1621-1646) who was at Cambridge and Sudbury, Massachusetts. Very little is known of John Brewer. He lived a very short life, dying at age 24 or 25 if the statements as to his birth and death dates are correct. His wife's name was Ann, and they had two known children, daughter Hannah who was married to Daniel Goble and then to Ephraim Roper, and son John Brewer, who married Elizabeth Rice and through whom all direct male descendants of the progenitor descend. Among John Brewer's descendants is U.S. President Calvin Coolidge.
The participants haplogroup subclade was predicted (by Family Tree DNA) to be R1b1a2. The Haplogroup R1b is the most frequently found Y-chromosome haplogroup in Western Europe. The subclade R1b1a2 (defined by the presence of SNP marker 269) is found in particularly high concentrations in Scotland and south-eastern England, and especially in north-western Ireland. It has certainly been assumed that John Brewer came to Massachusetts from the British Isles, and now the Y-DNA testing of a descendant is in agreement with that belief. The participation of additional descendants of John Brewer in the Brewer DNA Project would be helpful in confirming these results.

We would also like to see descendants of all of the other progenitors of New England Brewer families participate as well. Please see the Brewer DNA Project website for details on how to join the project.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Published Brouwer Accounts: Teunis G. Bergen

Teunis G. Bergen (1806-1881) was a son of Garret Bergen (1772-1845) and Jane Wyckoff (b. 1787). He was born at New Utrecht, Kings County, Long Island and lived at Bay Ridge in that town. He was a farmer and surveyor, attained the military rank of Colonel with the New York Militia, and served New Utrecht as Supervisor from 1836 to 1859. He was a U. S. Representative from New York's 2nd Congressional District for one term (1865-1867) and did not seek re-election. Genealogists and family historians know of him most for his work as a genealogist focused on the early families of Kings County.

Teunis G. Bergen is most noted for his lifelong work, The Bergen Family; or the Descendants of Hans Hansen Bergen... which was published in 1876. At the time of his death he left a manuscript which was subsequently published as Register in Alphabetical Order of the Early Settlers and Freeholders of Kings County, Long Island, N. Y., from its First Settlement by Europeans to 1700... which is available online at Google Books (Register of Early Settlers of Kings Co.). Teunis G. Bergen was not a descendant of any of the early Brouwer families of New Netherland, however, he does cover the Brouwer name in Early Settlers of Kings Co. This work is often used as an initial check when researching Kings County families. All claims found in it should be checked against reliable records as Bergen's work is known for errors.

His descriptions of the Brouwer families begins with Adam Brouwer on page 51 and continues to page 55. Among the errors are his statements that Adolphus Brouwer, who married Jannetje Verdon, was a son of Willem Brouwer and Elizabeth Simpson (Adolphus was a son of Nicholas Brouwer); his account of the family of Jacob Brouwer and Annetje Bogardus in which Bergen includes a daughter Elizabeth who married John Parcel (she was a daughter of Nicholas Brouwer), a daughter Hillegont baptized in 1697 (who is a daughter of Jacob's brother, Adam Brouwer), and a supposed son, Nicholas (for whom there is no known record); the inclusion of a Cornelius Brouwer of Dutchess County in the family of Jacob Brouwer and Petronella de la Montagne (the Cornelius Bergen was referring to was a son of Nazareth Brouwer and Anne Rozell); the placement of children, Matthys (bp. 1711) and Elizabeth (bp. 1713) in the family of Johannes Janse Brouwer, son of Johannes of Flatlands (the two siblings were children of Johannes Matthysz Brouwer and his wife Marritje Lamb, they were born in Westchester County and were baptized at the New York Reformed Dutch Church); and the claim that Adam Brouwer's son, Pieter Brouwer, married as a second wife, Geertruyd Jans, and as a third wife, Annetje Jansen of Flatlands (Bergen confuses and combines records of Adam Brouwer's son Pieter with that of Jan Brouwer's son, also named Pieter. The two were contemporaries). There are other errors, and as mentioned above, use this entire work of Teunis G. Bergen's with caution, and confirm all of his statements.


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Family of William Brouwer and Rebecca Vedder

William Brouwer (Brower) lived at Schenectady and was later one of the first settlers at Stone Arabia on the north side of the Mohawk River. He is stated by Jonathan Pearson in Contributions for the Genealogies of the First Settlers of the Patent and City of Schenectady, from 1662-1800 (1873), page 28, to be a son of Willem Brouwer of Albany. Although Pearson does not provide any proof for this statement, it has been largely followed by others, including descendants, since Pearson's work was published. There are, however, good reasons to believe that William Brouwer of Schenectady and Stone Arabia, is not a son of Willem Brouwer of Albany (whose wife was Lysbeth Drinckvelt) as claimed by Pearson.

We do not have a record of baptism for William Brouwer. If he is a son of Willem Brouwer and Lysbeth Drinckvelt, then he would have had to have been born in 1668 or 1669 at the latest, as Willem Brouwer (the supposed father) was buried on 3 August 1668 at Albany. The elder Willem Brouwer did not leave a will, nor have any subsequent estate or land records been found that would link the younger William Brouwer to the elder as a son or descendant. William Brower (as he is styled in his will) cannot be a son of Hendrick Brouwer (1652-1706/7), himself a son of Willem Brouwer and Lysbeth Drinckvelt. Hendrick did have a son named Willem, however, he was baptized 30 January 1704, and the William Brower that we are concerned with was married by 1712.

"William Brower of Stone Raby," left a will dated 10 February 1757. It was proved before the Albany Surrogate's Court on 15 February 1765. A transcript of the will is now available online. This places William's death between February 1757 and February 1765 (probably closer to the later when the will was probated), which would imply that if he was in fact born in 1668 or 1669, William lived to somewhere between 88 and 96 years of age. This age is certainly possible, but would be quite unusual for the period of the early 1700s in the Mohawk Valley area where William lived.
William was married to Rebecca Vedder. There is no surviving record of their marriage, however, their first known child was baptized at Schenectady on 21 June 1712. Rebecca herself was baptized on 25 October 1691 at Albany. She was a daughter of Arent Vedder and Sara Groot. A marriage date of 1711 is reasonable, as Rebecca would have then been aged 20. If William was born in 1668 or 1669, then he would have been 22 or 23 years older then his wife. Although possible, this age difference would be unusual. It may be that William was born closer to 1690.

William Brower and Rebecca Vedder had nine children. The first eight were baptized at the Schenectady Reformed Church (the ninth child, Angentia is proved by William's will, and was probably born at Stone Arabia before a church was established there). Any one who has spent time studying colonial Dutch families is familiar with the traditional naming pattern whereby a couple will name the first son for the paternal grandfather, the second son for the maternal grandfather, the first daughter for the maternal grandmother, and the second daughter for the paternal grandmother. In the family of William Brower and Rebecca Vedder, the first four children, which happen to be two boys and two girls, are named (in order of birth) Johannes, Sara, Arent and Catharientje. (See the Family Group sheet). As mentioned above, Rebecca was a daughter of Arent Vedder and Sara Groot, and as we can see, the second son is named Arent, while the first daughter is named Sara. If we accept "what is good for the goose is good for the gander," then it would follow that the first son, Johannes and the second daughter, Catharientje, were named for William's parents. Could it be that William Brower is actually a son of a couple, Johannes and Catharientje Brouwer?

Another observation is based around the custom that sponsors for children are often found within the families of the parents. And we can see that in the cases of the children of William Brower and Rebecca Vedder, many of the sponsors are members of Rebecca's family. These include her parents and some of her siblings. None of the sponsors, however, are from the (previously accepted) family of William Brower. Having mentioned this, a caveat must be stated. William and Rebecca's children were baptized between 1712 and 1734. We know that the elder Willem Brouwer was deceased in 1668. Lysbeth Drinckvelt last appears in a record (as a baptismal sponsor) in 1702. Hendrick Brouwer, who lived in Schenectady, died in 1706 or 1707. Maria Brouwer, a supposed sister, was last known to be living in 1706. The reason why none of the just mentioned did not appear as sponsors may be simply that they were deceased when William's children were born. Elizabeth Brouwer, also a supposed sister, was said to have died in 1728, and as she lived in Schenectady, it would be expected that she would appear as a sponsor of at least one of William's children, yet she does not. We can also add the observation that Hendrick, Elizabeth and Maria, the three supposed siblings of William, all had children baptized at either Schenectady or Albany. If William were a sibling, and born in 1668 or 1669, then he certainly would have been available to appear as a sponsor for one, or more, of the children of his supposed siblings. Yet, he does not appear. While none of this is conclusive, it does lead to the belief that William, although living at Schenectady during the same period as Hendrick, Elizabeth and Maria, may not have in any way been a relation to them.

As mentioned above, William Brower was one of the early settlers at Stone Arabia, on the north side of the Mohawk River, in present day Montgomery County, New York. In a deed dated 1 September 1734, "William Brouwer of Schonaghton (Schenectady)" purchased from "Barhanardus Van Diere" of Bergen County, New Jersey, and a long list of men whose origins were immigrants from the German Palatinate (see a transcript of the deed now online), lot numbers 11, 82 and 84 at "Stone Rabpie" (Stone Arabia) in the County of Albany. Stone Arabia was largely settled by German Palatine immigrants. Could William Brower himself have been an immigrant from the German Palatine, with no other family connection in the American colonies?

Although possibly remote, there is another possible couple who could be parents of William Brower. Pieter Brouwer, baptized 23 September 1646, at the New Amsterdam Reformed Dutch Church, is a son of Adam Brouwer of Gowanus and his wife, Magdalena Verdon. Despite having grown up at Gowanus on Long Island, Pieter Brouwer was no stranger to the Albany and Schenectady areas. His wife, Petronella Uldrickse Kleyn, lived at Albany. The couples two eldest sons, Uldrick and Abraham were both born at Schenectady. Baptism records for the two do not exist, however, the marriage records for both of them state their place of birth as Schenectady. Uldrick is estimated to have been born about 1673 and Abraham about 1675. The couples third child, Magdalena, was likely born by 1680. Again, there is no record of baptism for her, but she was married with banns dated 23 Oct 1697 to William Stegge. The banns state that she was born in Brooklyn. Baptism records for Pieter's children Vrouwtje (1682 at New Utrecht) and Jan (1685 at New York) do exist. There is then a seven year gap between Jan and the next recorded baptism, that for daughter Cornelia on 13 March 1692 at Brooklyn. (See a Family Group sheet for Pieter Brouwer). During that seven year period, Pieter is recorded on the Oath of Allegiance in September 1687 at Brooklyn, and in 1690 he was among those called for militia service at Albany. Pieter did have a brother named William, and the name is not uncommon among the descendants of Adam Brouwer. Could William Brower of Schenectady and Stone Arabia be an undocumented son of Pieter Brouwer and Petronella Kleyn? (Note that the fact that William did not name any of his children, Pieter or Petronella, is a strike against this idea).

For the time being I consider Willem Brouwer/William Brower to be a "claimed" son of Willem Brouwer and Lysbeth Drinckvelt, but in my best judgement, based upon what is known, I'd have to say that it is more likely then not that William is not a son of Willem Brouwer and Lysbeth Drinckvelt. The possibility that he is a son of Pieter Brouwer and Petronella Kleyn does exist, but as of now, there is no proof. It is also possible, and this may be the most likely scenario, that William Brower of Schenectady and Stone Arabia, is completely unrelated to any of the other Brouwer families found in colonial New York. It appears likely that all known records for those mentioned above have been discovered, and from them we cannot come to any definite conclusion. There is, however, one last attempt at an answer that can be made. Comparative DNA testing of a direct male descendant of William Brower and Rebecca Vedder, with that of a direct male descendant of Hendrick Brouwer (a known son of Willem Brouwer and Lysbeth Drinckvelt), will tell us whether or not William and Hendrick are related. We already have DNA test results from a number of descendants of Pieter Brouwer (see Adam Brouwer Group DNA test results). Results from testing a direct male descendant of William will tell us immediately whether or not William is descended from Pieter.  Any interested direct male descendants of either William or Hendrick can contact me via e-mail, or simply join the Brewer DNA Project.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Family of Maria Brouwer and Isaac du Trieux (Truax, Truex)

Maria Brouwer was probably born between 1655 and 1665 at Beverwijck (now Albany, New York). She is probably a daughter of Willem Brouwer and Lysbeth Drinckvelt, although without a record of baptism or estate proceedings for Willem or Lysbeth, the relationship cannot be stated with complete certainty. Other then the fact that Maria lived at Albany and Schenectady, New York, the only other circumstantial evidence that links her to Willem and Lysbeth, is that Maria had children named William, Elizabeth and Eva (the later name belonging to a known daughter of Willem and Lysbeth Brouwer). At best we can only say that, Maria is probably a daughter of Willem Brouwer and Lysbeth Drinckvelt.

Maria married Isaac du Trieux before 1683 as their first known child, Abraham, is stated to have been born in that year (H. S. F. Randolph, "The House of Truax," NYGBR 57 (1926): 337). The first recorded baptism of a child of Maria Brouwer and Isaac is that of son, William, 23 May 1686 at the Albany Reformed Church. The published record gives William's father's name as "Isaac Tjercks" and his mother's name is not recorded. A published account of the family can be found in the above referenced, "House of Truax," by Howard S. F. Randolph, which appeared over several issues in the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record in volumes 57 and 58 (1926 and 1927). The family is believed to have consisted of eight children, with confirming baptism records for five. Three children, Abraham, Eva and Maria, are presumed children of Maria Brouwer and Isaac du Trieux. Descendants are found with the surname TRUAX or TRUEX. A Family Group sheet is online.

Isaac was baptized on 24 April 1642 at the Reformed Dutch Church at New Amsterdam, as "Jsaacsen" son of Philip du' Trieux. His mother's name is not recorded. It has long been assumed that Isaac is the son of the elder Philip du Trieux who came to New Netherland in 1624 aboard the Nieu Nederlandt, commanded by Cornelis Jacobszen May. This makes the du Trieux/Truax/Truex families one of the first families to have settled in New Netherland. There is some uncertainty as to whether Isaac is in fact a son of the elder Philip and his second wife Susanna du Chesne), or of Philip's son, also named Philip, who was baptized at the Walloon Church at Leiden on 10 Feb 1619, a son of the elder Philip's first wife, Jacqueline Noiret. Surviving records cannot settle this question, and until or unless more specific evidence is presented, the belief that Isaac was a son of the elder Philip and brother to the younger, will be accepted.

There is no record of Isaac's death, nor is there an account of an estate settlement. In 1706 his widow, Maria obtained permission from the trustees of Schenectady to sell 8 morgens of land from the "second flat." Therefore, we know that Isaac died in, or before, 1706. This is also the last known record for Maria. She does not appear as a sponsor for any children of her presumed siblings, Hendrick and Elizabeth.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Family of Elizabeth Brouwer and Claas de Graaf of Schenectady

Elizabeth Brouwer is most likely a daughter of Willem Brouwer and Lysbeth Drinckvelt of Beverwijck (now Albany, New York). There are very few records that survive regarding Elizabeth. There is no surviving record of her baptism and her father did not leave a will. Her placement as a daughter of Willem Brouwer and Lysbeth Drinckvelt is based solely on circumstantial evidence that revolves around baptismal sponsorships.

Elizabeth Brouwer was married to Claas de Graaf. There is no surviving record of their marriage or banns. The earliest baptism record for any of their children, is that of son Isaac who was baptized 4 August 1691 at Albany. One of the sponsors was Lysbeth Rinkhout (the above Lysbeth Drinckvelt recorded with the surname of her second husband). It appears that the couple had six children prior to Isaac for whom no record of baptism survives. See the family group sheet for Elisabeth Brouwer and Claas de Graaf, for source citations.

Much of what has been accepted as the current make-up of the family of Elizabeth Brouwer and Claas de Graaf comes from Jonathan Pearson, Contributions for the Genealogies of the First Settlers of the Patent and City of Schenectady, from 1662 to 1800 (published in 1873, hereafter as First Settlers of Schenectady). The family is found on page 54. Unfortunately, Pearson did not provide sources for his conclusions. His account does have contradictions, and we are left today with some questions, with regards to Claas de Graaf, the identity of his father, his birth date, and two of his claimed children.

Jonathan Pearson refers to Claas de Graaf, with a patronymic, calling him Claas Andriesse de Graaf. This implies that Claas was the son of a man named Andries de Graaf. Pearson does not cite a record in which Claas is found with this name, and in the few records that I have found in which Claas is mentioned, is name is given only as "Claas de Graaf," or "Claas Graven" (or some variation thereof). I have yet to see the patronymic, Andriesse, in a record. We are left with the question as to where Pearson found, or came up with, the patronymic, Andriesse.

Pearson also gives a year of birth for Claas as 1628, and a year of death as 1697. For the year of birth, he apparently cites "Deeds, 2:88; Albany Co. Recs., 234" (this found in his account of Claas in History of the Schenectady Patent in the Dutch and English Times (Albany: J.W. McMurray, 1883): 107). Perhaps this record provided Pearson with the patronymic? In 1697, Elisabeth Brouwer was recorded on the census at Schenectady as a head of household with "no man, one woman, and seven children." As Elizabeth is recorded as the head, it is near certain that Claas was in fact deceased in or before 1697.

When Willem Brouwer came to New Netherland, he boarded a ship at Amsterdam with a wife and three children. If we accept the three children who boarded as Arnoldus, Eva and Hendrick, all of who have baptism records in the Netherlands, it is then apparent that Elizabeth was born in New Netherland after her parents arrival and probably between the years of 1655 and 1665. It appears that she had children born between the years 1680 and 1696 (a sixteen year span) and this range of childbearing years would be consistent with a woman's birth year range of 1655 to 1665. With Claas being said to have been born in 1628, this places him anywhere from 27 to 37 years Elizabeth's senior! All the more reason to question Pearson's claim as 1628 for a birth year for Claas.

Pearson leaves us with two more problems. In First Settlers of Schenectady he assigns two younger children to this family. They are Rebecca, born 28 February 1701, and Claes, born 4 August 1709. Both of these dates of birth are significantly past the year (1697) in which their father is stated to have died. No source is mentioned for either birth date, and I have found no record of baptism for either of the two claimed children. If these two individuals, Rebecca and Claes, did exist, then they cannot be children of Elizabeth Brouwer and Claas de Graaf.

The family of Elizabeth Brouwer and Claas de Graaf has questions that are still open one hundred and thirty-seven years after Jonathan Pearson's first published account of the family. I would be very much interested to hear from anyone who can provide documented evidence that supports Pearson's claims for Claas as having the patronymic, Andriesse, and/or the birth year of 1628. I would also be interested in seeing additional evidence supporting the existence of the children, Rebecca and Claes.
Please use the comment field below, or e-mail me.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Brower: Ohio Wills and Estates to 1850

Here is a short list of Browers found in Carol Willsey Bell, Ohio Wills and Estates to 1850: An Index (Columbus, Ohio: C. W. Bell, 1981). The names were extracted by William Bogardus and this document is from the William B. Bogardus Collection.

Brower in Ohio Wills and Estates to 1850

Carol Willsey Bell's work can be found in the Family History Library Catalog, and is available in both microfilm and microfiche editions (film #1035679, item 5; fiche #6051289. In addition, the catalog has a link to an online edition. In my own experience with this link I found that it took a relatively long time to download the online copy, which is  large PDF.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Brewer: Index to Kentucky Wills to 1851

From the William B. Bogardus Collection, BREWER pages from Index to Kentucky Wills to 1851: Testators, compiled by Ronald V. Jackson, Gary R. Teeples and David Schaefermeyer (1977) is now online.

BREWER in Index to Kentucky Wills to 1851

There are no BROWERs in this index. All are recorded with the surname BREWER. We do know that the two from Mercer County, Abraham and Daniel, are descendants of Adam Brouwer. As easterners of Dutch ancestry migrated to the Ohio River Valley area in the years after the Revolution, we do find a tendency towards an "Americanization" of surnames. Those descended from Adam Brouwer of Gowanus and Jan Brouwer of Flatlands, who moved west of, say, central Pennsylvania, are more likely to be found with the surname, BREWER, rather than BROWER.

In addition to descendants of Adam Brouwer and Jan Brouwer, the Ohio River Valley received migrants descended from German Pennsylvania families named BROWER (BRUER), from southern families named BREWER and from New England BREWER families. Finding a BREWER ancestor in Kentucky in the early 1800s does not guarantee he was a descendants of one of the New Netherland Brouwers. Finding documentation suitable for proving a connection from an ancestor in Kentucky back to the families of New Netherland can be very difficult and frustrating. More often then not, the evidence simply does not exist. In such cases, DNA testing if direct male BREWER descendants may be the only way to determine, or narrow down, a researcher's correct ancestry. See the Brewer DNA Project.  

Family Search has made available an un-indexed (browse only) database of Kentucky Probate records. These are images of documents. I believe it is not yet complete and would expect more to be added in the future. Kentucky Probate Records, 1792-1977.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Two Brewers in Richmond County (Staten Island) Wills

Over the course of time I have found very few references to persons named BREWER or BROWER in Richmond County (Staten Island), New York. There are mentions of two Brewers in the probate records at the Surrogate's Court at St. George, Staten Island. Abstracts can be found in a typescript titled, "Wills of Richmond County, N. Y., 1787-1863, originals on file Surrogate's Office, St. George, Staten Island, New York," compiled by Frances S. Fast in 1941. A copy of the pages pertaining to Brewers taken from this typescript was included in William B. Bogardus' collection, and it is now online:

Wills of Richmond County, N. Y. by Frances S. Fast

The first mention is in the will of Ann Robbins, widow of Robert Robbins of New York City, deceased. Ann's will was dated 29 August 1844 and proved 18 September 1847. She died on 30 September 1846. In her will she leaves her property at Castleton and Southfield (both on Staten Island) to her daughter, Christiana Ann, the wife of Benjamin P. Brewer. In addition, Benjamin P. Brewer is appointed as the only executor of the estate. The probate hearings record (among others) the children of Benjamin P. Brewer and Christiana Ann, naming them as Daniel R. Brewer (of age), Benjamin, Robert, Ann, Caroline, Andrew J. and John N. Brewer. This Benjamin P. Brewer would be Benjamin Prince Brower, born 2 May 1801, son Nicholas Birdsall Brower and Ruth Prince. Benjamin is a descendant of Adam Brouwer. n 1860 he was Post Master of the the New Brighton Office on Staten Island.

The second mention is the will of Samuel Brewer who died 3 December 1861 at Westfield, Staten Island. His will is dated 25 September 1861 and was proved 12 February 1862. He leaves his estate to a Sarah Carlock "as long as she stays unmarried." On her death or remarriage, the estate is to go to the children of his brother, Hastings Brewer, except a watch, which is to go to Abraham Riker Kelsey. The probate hearing also records sister (sisters?), Mary Eltting, Hannah Smith, Maria Mayhew, Eliza Edwards, Sarah Brewer, and sons of Thomas Brewer, deceased, names unknown, and brothers Hastings Brewer, Henry and William. Determining just who this Samuel Brewer was took a little digging, which started with finding Sarah Carlock on the 1860 census. She was age 55, living in Westfield, Richmond Co., New York, as a housekeeper in the home of "James" Brewer, age 64, born in England. Perhaps James was a brother of Samuel, or perhaps he is Samuel with his name erroneously recorded as "James." In 1850, Sarah Carlock, age 45, was living with Samuel Brewer, age 59, born in England, in Ward 12, New York City, New York. In the household was a Mary Brewer, age 61, and adults John Carlock, James Carlock, George Carlock and Henry Carlock. In searching for Hastings Brewer, the only one found, was living in 1860 in Southfield, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. He was age 49, born in England. This Hastings Brewer had married Fedilia Bunnell on 11 September 1842 at Harwinton, Connecticut. The 1860 census includes, Fedilia and six children aged 4 to 16 years. The family can be found at New Marlborough, Berkshire County, Massachusetts in 1850, 1870 and 1880. Hastings Brewer's death is recorded in the New Marlborough Town Records, the date being 27 December 1890. So, it appears that the Samuel Brewer who left a will in Richmond County, New York, was an immigrant to the U. S. from England sometime during the first half of the 1800s. He was not a descendant of either Adam Brouwer of Gowanus or of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands. Likewise, the Hastings Brewer of Berkshire County, Massachusetts, is not a descendant of one of the New England Brewer families who are found that county throughout the 1800s. As for Sarah Carlock, she apparently was a widow prior to 1850. In 1880 she is found enumerated as "mother" in the household of Robert Carlock, age 53, blacksmith, in New York City.

The typescript mentioned above is available through the Family History Library, FHL film #860323, items 2-4.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Quebec, Lower Canada, Canada East, Eastern Townships

Below are some links that may be of help when researching ancestral lines that spent some time in the region that in the past was known variously as Lower Canada and Canada East, and today is the Canadian Province of Quebec.

The St. Lawrence River region was first explored by Jacques Cartier in 1534, and French settlements began to take hold in the area in 1609. This area, claimed by the French and known as New France, reached its peak in the first half of the 1700s. In 1763, the territory was ceded to Spain and Great Britain. It was at this time that the Province of Quebec, as a part of the British Empire, was founded.

In 1791, Lower Canada and Upper Canada were created (see the March 28th post). Lower Canada lived on as a political entity until 1841 when it was combined with Upper Canada to form the Province of Canada. What was formerly Lower Canada was, as of 1841, known as Canada East.

The 1867 act of Confederation divided the Province of Canada into the Provinces of Quebec and Ontario. Land purchases and Acts of the Canadian Parliament in subsequent years added more territory to the Province of Quebec, and today, it is the largest Canadian Province in terms of area. It is the second largest in terms of population.

The majority of the settlements and population during the colonial period and the post American Revolutionary War period was found along the St. Lawrence River and in the areas of close proximity to the American Colonies, later the United States. Many Americans who were Loyalists during the Revolution found new homes in Lower Canada after 1783. In addition, Lower Canada (later Canada East) received immigrants from the British Isles, especially from Ireland. During the 1800s the second largest ethnic population in the province, after the French, were the Irish.

The "Eastern Townships," refers to the area (within present day Quebec) lying south of the St. Lawrence River and north of the border with the U. S. states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and New York. This area was settled by both Loyalist and non-Loyalist families from the American Colonies in the years following the American Revolution.

Archives of Quebec

Eastern Township Archives

Eastern Township Research

Frampton Irish

Hemmingford Historical Archives

Lower Canada Land Petitions

Missisquoi County Genealogy Research

Missisquoi Museum

Notarial Archives - Quebec

Projet GenWeb du Quebec

Quebec & Eastern Townships Genealogy Research

The links above, along with a few links to some specific cemetery transcriptions, can be found in the column of links to the right.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Abstracts of Wills for Queens Co., New York, 1787-1850

Here is another selection from the William B. Bogardus Collection.

Brower and Brewer in Abstracts of Wills for Queens Co., NY, compiled by Ray C. Sawyer.

This is a large file of thirty pages. You may want to download it, which can be done from the drop-down file menu in the top left corner. The pages here contain abstracts that include persons with the surname BROWER or BREWER. There are many other names found on these thirty pages and therefore those researching families in Queens County, New York may find some other useful information.

The pages come from Ray C. Sawyer's four volume typescript titled Abstracts of Wills for Queens County, New York. Volume 1 (1936) covers 1787-1813. Volume 2 (1937) covers 1813-1828. Volume 3 (1937) covers 1828 to 1843. Volume 4 (1938) covers 1843 to 1850. Heritage Quest Online does not have these volumes available, and I have been unable to find another online location for the complete set. They are available on microfilm from the Family History Library on film #0860322. This film also contains other items regarding probate, burial and gravestones in Rensselaer County, New York.