Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

Monday, August 27, 2012

New Jersey Probate Records at Family Search

Family Search has recently updated its database, New Jersey Probate Records, 1678-1980. Currently, this database is not indexed online and does not have a search feature. However, you can browse through the images which are broken down by County, and then by record type (see Monmouth County records, for example). My suggestion is to use the images in conjunction with the published series, Index of Wills, Inventories, Etc., In the Office of the Secretary of State, Prior to 1901, which are available online through Google Books.

New Jersey Index to Wills, Inventories, Etc. v.1 (Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cumberland, Essex Counties)

New Jersey Index to Wills, Inventories, Etc. v.2 (Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth Counties)

New Jersey Index to Wills, Inventories, Etc. v.3 (Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Warren Counties)

The information found in the published indexes (arranged by county and then surname) will allow you to narrow down the search to the county and the type of document, and will give you the document's file number. With this information you can now maneuver through the appropriate image screen in the Family Search database until you find the file you are looking for.

For example. In volume 2 of the New Jersey Index to Wills, Inventories, Etc., I went to the section for Monmouth County, and looked up Daniel Bennet (he is found on page 922). From the New Jersey Probate Records Counties Page, I select Monmouth County, which brings up the links to the various films that have been digitized. The entry for Daniel Bennet in the Index tells me to search for File 11183 M, which includes his will (signified by the W), dated 1850. In the list of links for Monmouth County I scroll down until I find Wills 1695-1900 no. 11100-11220 (which would include no. 11183 M). Daniel Bennet's file, no. 11183 M, begins at image 652. Finding this image was a matter of strategically working through the image numbers until I closed in on file no. 11183 M. It took me about five minutes to find the correct image. With a little luck it could happen faster, but it still beats ordering the film from the Family History Library, waiting a few weeks or more to be delivered to your local center, and then taking the time to visit the center to view the film. And you can download and save the images you need.


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Identifying the Wife of Isaac Bennet

As mentioned in the previous post, the Bennet family genealogy ("Descendants of Willem Adriaeszen") by Wilson V. Leldey (NYGBR vols. 93-95) contains numerous errors and problems. One problem, just solved, involves the identification of the wife of Isaac Bennet (no. 14 in the genealogical summery, found at 93[1962]:200, and 94[1963]:40). No record of baptism survives for Isaac, but he is believed to be a son of Adriaen/Arien Willemsen Bennet (no. 2) and his wife, Agnietje Jans Van Dyck. This placement is based upon Isaac naming his first son, Arie, who when baptized at Brooklyn had as sponsors the above mentioned "Arie Bennet and Angenietje, his wife."

At NYGBR 94(1963):40, Ledley states, "About 1697 he (Isaac) married Magdalena (Lena or Helena) ____, whose identity has not been established but whose surname may well have been Van der Koek." Ledley's basis for this guess is a deed dated May 5, 1701, in Kings Co., by which Isaac Bennet and his wife, Helena, convey to Michael Van der Koeck, 1/2 of a plantation located in Bedford, Kings County. The assumption here being that Isaac and his wife, Helena, were selling their half of an inherited piece of property, to her brother. It can now be shown that Helena (who also appears as Lena and Magdalena) was not a sister of Michael Van der Koeck, but was in fact a sister of Michael's wife, Sarah Joosten.

Digital images of the 1701 deed are now online (Isaac Bennet-Michael Van der Koeck Deed, 1701). The complete deed, which is located in Kings County Deeds Lib. 2, page 219 (re-transcribed version at page 291, FHL film #1413189) shows that the property being transferred was previously owned by "Joost ffranse," deceased. It is apparent that either Isaac or his wife, Helena, and either Michael Van der Koeck or his wife, Sara Joosten, were heirs of Joost ffrance (Frans, Fransen, Francis). Each of these couples owned half of the property, and the first couple, Isaac & Helena, were selling their half to the second couple, Michael & Sara (although Sara is not mentioned in the deed).

Magdalena, daughter of Frans. Joosten (sic, his given and surnames reversed), and Geertruid Aukes, was baptized on 2 November 1679 at Midwout, Long Island (Voorhees, Records of the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church of Flatbush, Kings Co., New York, Vol. 1, 1677-1720 [New York: HSNY, 1998], page 394).

Geertruid Aukes, the mother mentioned above, was a daughter of Aucke Jansen (Van Nuys) and his first wife, Magdalena Pieterse. The will of Auke Jansen Van Nuyse, dated May 15, 1694, is abstracted in Abstracts of Wills on file in the Surrogate's Office, City of New York, Vol. 1, 1665-1707 (New York: Collections NYHS, 1892), pages 294-295, with corrections to Aucke's name and the names of others in the abstract, found in Volume 16 of the same series, at page 31. (The original is in New York Co. Wills, Lib. 5-6, page 255). In his will, Aucke Jansen leaves all his estate to his wife Geetie for life, and then to his children by his first wife (Magdalena) including, "the two children of Geetie Auke, deceased, procured by Joost Fransen, viz., Sara Joosten and Magdalena Joosten, for one share." It is established that Magdalena, baptized in 1679, the daughter of Joost Fransen and Geertriud Aukes, had a sister named Sara, although no baptism record for Sara has been located.

Geertruid Aukes, the mother of Magdalena (Lena, Helena) and Sara Joosten, was deceased by January 30, 1692, when banns for the marriage of her widower husband, Joost Franse and Annetie Joris (Rapalje) widow of Marten Reijers were posted (Voorhees, Flatbush Church Records, page 273).

Joost Franse was deceased by January 27, 1696, when the inventory of his estate was recorded for Reynier Aertse and John Auke. In this recording Joost Franse is described as "late of Bedford in Kings County" (Abstracts of New York Co. Wills, Vol. 1, page 277, abstracting Lib. 5-6, p. 166). On February 3, 1696, Benjamin Fletcher, Captain-General and Governor of New York, granted Letters of Administration on the estate of "Joost Francis of Bedford, late deceased by fire, leaving behind him a widow non compos mentis, and two children," to Reynier Aertse and John Auchine, "the next relations." Joost apparently had no blood relations in the New York area (other then his two daughters) and the two appointed administrators were a husband of Joost's deceased first wife's sister (Jannetje) and his deceased first wife's brother, Jan Aukes. Joost Franse is deceased in early 1696 and his real property, in Bedford, would then pass to his only two heirs, his daughters, Magdalena and Sara.

On February 15, 1699, banns were posted in the New York Reformed Dutch Church for "Michiel Van der Koeck, j.m. Uyt Zeelt (born at Zeeland), en Saertje Joosten, j.d. Van Breuckelen, de Eerste woonende, en twede op Betfort (born at Brooklyn, now living at Bedford). They were married in Brooklyn.

On June 9, 1700, Isaak, child of Isaak Bennet and Leena, was baptized at Brooklyn, sponsors Michael Van der Koek, Saartje, his wife (van der Linde, Old First Dutch Reformed Church of Brooklyn, New York: First Book of Records, 1660-1752, New York Historical Manuscripts: Dutch [Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1983], page 143).


On May 5, 1701, we have the above mentioned deed by which Isaac Bennet and his wife, Helena conveyed to Michael Van der Koeck, one half of a property in Bedford formerly belonging to Joost ffranse, deceased. This property would have passed to his legal heirs, which in 1696 were his only two children, daughters Magdalena and Sara (as stated in the 1694 will of Auke Jansen Van Nuys).


 On October, 26, 1702, Joost, child of Michiel van der Koek and Sara was baptized at Brooklyn, with sponsors Yzaac Bennet and Lena, his wife (van der Linde, Old First Dutch Reformed Church of Brooklyn, New York: First Book of Records, 1660-1752, New York Historical Manuscripts: Dutch [Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1983], page 147).

The wife of Isaac Bennet (no. 14) in Ledley's account of the Bennet family, can now be identified as Magdalena/Lena/Helena Joosten, daughter of Joost Fransen and Geertruid Aukes, and granddaughter of Aucke Jansen Van Nuys and his first wife, Magdalena Pieterse. Magdalena would have been named for her maternal grandmother (Magdalena Pieterse) and so was most probably Joost and Geertruid's first daughter. Her sister's name (Sara) may be a clue to the identity of Joost's mother. Joost Fransen's parents and origins are not known.

It should be mentioned that both of the given names, Magdalena and Helena, can be shortened to the same diminutive, Lena. It is not uncommon for women, born as Magdalena to be seen in later records with the name Helena, with the confusion/switch originating with the common diminutive of Lena.

Isaac Bennet and Magdalena/Lena/Helena Joosten had four sons baptized at Brooklyn. They were the above mentioned Arie in 1698, the above mentioned Isaac in 1700, also William in 1704 and Jacob in 1706. A fifth son, George, is attributed to the couple as he was an executor of his (likely) brother Jacob's will in Bucks Co., Pennsylvania in 1747, and by virtue of the fact that he was named, George, which in the Bennet family of this period equated to the Dutch, Joost, therefore he was named for Magdalena's father. Ledley claims two more "probable" children for Isaac and Magdalena: John ("b. abt. 1710) and Sophia ("b. ___). There is no basis for the inclusion of children John and Sophia in the family of Isaac Bennet. They should be removed from this family until, or unless, evidence that supports their inclusion can be found.

Ledley also states that Isaac, "first moved his family to the vicinity of New Brunswick, New Jersey, and about 1731, to Bucks County, Pennsylvania." While it appears that his sons, Isaac, William, Jacob and George, did relocate to Bucks County, there is no direct evidence that points to Isaac himself as having made the move. Ledley also assigns Issac a second wife, Sarah, stating that they stood as sponsors at a baptism in Bucks County in 1732. Verification for Ledley's statements regarding Isaac has not been found. We do know that Isaac and Lena witnessed a baptism in 1705 at Brooklyn for Angenitje, the daughter of Jacob van Dooren and Marijtie (who was Isaac's sister). Records for Isaac, after this date, must still be located.

With the identity of Isaac Bennet's wife is now assured, other questions regarding Isaac's complete family and his whereabouts after 1705 can be pursued.


Friday, August 24, 2012

Maria Badie, New Netherland Matriarch

Maria (Marie, Marritje) Badie, was the only known child of Aeltje Braconie and Thomas Badie. She was the mother of Magdalena Verdon, and mother-in-law of Adam Brouwer. Maria was married three times, had thirteen children, and seventy-seven known grandchildren. She is the ancestress of tens of thousands of descendants and as such is arguably one of the more important matriarchs of early New Netherland.

Maria Badie (Marie in French, Marritje in Dutch, she is also recorded with her patronymic as, Mary Thomas), and her mother Aeltje Braconie (whose name also appears as BRACKNOENGIE, and other variations, including one record as "Eli Braconie") have been covered in several published accounts. In 1934 John R. Totten, published "Aeltje Braconie-Baddie-Cool-Bredenbent Family Notes," New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, vol. 65, pages 234-245. This account primarily deals with Maria's mother, Aeltje Braconie, and lays out eleven pages of instances where she, or one of her three husbands, appears in the New Netherland records. It is a very useful account of essentially abstracts of the records in which Aeltje appears. There is no genealogical summery. Totten also makes the error of assuming that Aeltje Braconie and an "Eli" Braconie were two different people. Totten refers to Maria as "Mary Baddie." Start with this article if you are new to researching this family.

In 1933, Totten had previously published (NYGBR vol. 64, pages 105-132) "Verdon Family Notes." In this account, Totten introduces some primary evidence and produces a chart of the descendants of Aeltje Braconie, and a genealogical summery of the descendants of Maria Badie's first husband, Jacob Verdon.  The article includes a chart of Aeltje Braconie's descendants. In this chart Totten makes the error of assigning three children to Aeltje and her second husband, Cornelis Lambertsz Cool. This couple had no children. Cornelis' three children (Aeltje, Aechtje and Lambert) were by a first wife whose identity has not been discovered. This was not apparent to Totten in 1933. Maria Badie was Aeltje Braconie's only known child. Totten's other errors (regarding descendants) in "Verdon Family Notes," were later corrected by William J. Hoffman. (Hoffman, in "Brouwer Beginnings," refers to Maria as "Marie Thomasdr Badie," TAG 23:194).
It should also be noted that during the colonial period the Verdon surname underwent some interesting alterations, a result of consonant switches due to local pronunciation and phonetic spelling by those who wrote the records. Today, descendants of Jacob Verdon have surnames as varied as Verdon, Fardon, and Pardon (along with numerous other variations created by vowel changes, such as e to a, a to e, o to e, e to i, etc.).

"Van Der Beek Family Notes," (NYGBR vol. 64, pages 229-243 and 367-387) was also published in 1933 by Totten. This thirty-four page account covers the descendants of Maria Badie and her third husband, (Mr.) Paulus Van der Beeck. The couple had six children, five of whom had descendants. The genealogical summery is to the fourth generation with the children of the fifth generation listed. Much of this genealogy appears to be sound, but as is always the case, researchers today should search out for themselves the source records that were used to compile the genealogy.

Maria Badie's second husband was Willem Adriaenszen, whose descendants adopted the surname (reason unkown) of BENNET (variations Bennett and Bennit). According to Wilson V. Ledley, Totten had prepared a manuscript on this branch of the family but never published it (Totten died in 1936). W. V. Ledley picked up on Totten's manuscript, consulted the manuscript of Andrew D. Chidsey, and the self published account of the family by Andrew J. Provost in his "Early Settlers of Bushwick," and compiled "Willem Adriaense Bennet of Brooklyn and Some of his Descendants," which, beginning in 1962, ran in eight consecutive issues, concluding in 1964 (NYGBR Vol. 93, pp. 193-204; Vol. 94, pp. 34-41, 107-114, 156-169, 205-213; Vol. 95, pp. 10-27, 155-165, 204-207). The series covers (for the most part) five generations. While Ledley's account published in the NYGBR seems at first glance to be authoritative, it does contain numerous errors that are only found with closer examination. Just recently I have had the opportunity to correspond and collaborate with two excellent and critical researchers who have a good deal of experience with the families of colonial New Netherland, New York and New Jersey. Together we have been able to identify a number of incorrect assumptions, placements, and even misreadings of original records in Ledley's account of the Bennet family. As of now, I'd say that the Ledley account needs a complete re-evaluation. The Bennets of the colonial period were a large and complicated family with many repeats of given names in the same generations. A re-work of Ledley's account will take time, but it needs to be done. For now all I can suggest is to use Ledley's account with caution. Look to verify every claim. Unfortunately, some of the errors (citing Ledley specifically) have been repeated in later articles published in the NYGBR, even as late as 2001 and 2010.

More recently, Harry Macy, Jr. (former editor of the NYGBR) has added new information on Maria Badie, her mother, Aeltje Braconie, and second husband Willem Adriaeszen. In "Origins of Some New Netherland Families," NYGBR vol. 123 (1992), pages 21-22, Macy uses entries in the Van Rensselaer Bowier Manuscripts (1908) to identify Willem Adriaeszen's origins (prior to coming to New Netherland) as "Elseneur" identified as Helsingör in Denmark. In 2011, Macy's article, "Some New Light on Aeltje Braconie and Maria Badie," NYGBR vol. 142, pp. 21-36, uses some "re-discovered" information to calculate Maria's birth year as "say 1612," and to identify her place of birth as probably Liège, in present day Belgium. Her first husband, Jacob Janszen Verdon, was from La Rochelle, France. The author also clarifies Totten's confusion over the identity of "Eli" Braconie (who is Aeltje herself, and not some relation as was surmised by Totten). The article hypothesizes that Magdalena Verdon, eldest child of Maria Badie and wife of Adam Brouwer, was married to Adam at the early age of thirteen years, which is certainly possible. Macy's account includes a genealogical summery, and offers a very plausible account of the early life of Aeltje Braconie and her daughter, Maria Badie.

Aeltje Braconie, like her daughter, Maria Badie, was married three times. The two (mother and daughter) were among the earliest settlers to arrive at New Amsterdam. There is no surviving record of their passage, but as Maria's daughter Magdalena Verdon is stated in her marriage record in 1645, to have been born in New Netherland, they would have had to have been there in the late 1620s (say 1625 to 1630, and quite possibly in 1628). Aeltje's first husband, the father of Maria, was Thomas Badie. He is simply known from the fact that Maria appears in records with the surname, Badie, and with the patronymic, Thomas. From this it is concluded that Maria's father, hence the husband of Aeltje Braconie, was "Thomas Badie." There are no direct records, or evidence of him otherwise. Macy, in his 2011 account, suggests that Aeltje came to New Netherland with her first husband and that he died there in the 1630s. Aeltje's second husband was Cornelis Lambertszen Cool. No marriage record exists but evidence for it is from a 1644 agreement in which Aeltje is called, "Aeltjen Brackongne, widow of the late Cornelis Lambersen Cool." There were no children from this marriage (Cornelis had three known children from a prior marriage). Her third marriage was recorded in the Reformed Dutch Church of New Amsterdam  records. The banns dated 4 September 1644 for her intended marriage to Willem Bredenbent, call her a widow of "Cornelis Lamberts." Willem Bredenbent, who like Adam Brouwer, was from Cologne, was a bachelor at the time of the marriage. There were no children from this marriage. Aeltje and Willem wrote a joint will in 1670, she is mentioned as a member of the Brooklyn RDC (from Gowanus) on 19 November 1679, and is believed to have died just prior to 8 April 1681.

My own genealogical summery of the families of Maria Badie and her three husbands is available online. This will be updated in the future to cover three generations. Bennet family corrections will be forthcoming (as time permits) as well.

The Families of Maria Badie and Her Three Husbands

And as usual, please refer to the Brouwer Genealogy Database for source citations. (The site is to be updated soon).

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Brower-Langdon Genealogy

"Brower Genealogy, 1615-1884, and Langdon Genealogy, 1625-1876," is an unpublished manuscript by William Applebie Daniel Eardeley, dated 1923. It is available at the Queens Borough Public Library. A copy was included in the William B. Bogardus Collection and a PDF is now online at Google Docs. Please be advised that the file is large, 0.7MB, and is not available for preview. It must be downloaded to be viewed.

Brower-Langdon Genealogy

William A. D. Eardeley (1870-1935) was a graduate of Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut (1897), an Episcopal Minister, and first president of the fraternity Alpha Chi Rho. He is most noted as a genealogist and abstracter/transcriber of various genealogical records. The "Eardeley Collection" is housed at the New England Historic Genealogical Society. Among the most popular databases at the AmericanAncestors.org website is "Abstracts of Wills in NY State, 1787-1835," which is primarily, bot not entirely, created from Eardeley's abstracts.

The "Brower Genealogy and Langdon Genealogy" is focused on the Brower families found at, what is today known as, the "Five Towns" area, on the south shore of Nassau County, Long Island, within the Town of Hempstead. The "Five Towns" are actually the villages of Lawrence and Cedarhurst, the hamlets of Woodmere and Inwood, and "the Hewletts" (which includes Woodsburgh, Hewlett, Hewlett Bay Park, Hewlett Neck and Hewlett Harbor), all of which are within the Town of Hempstead. This area was settled early on by descendants of Jan Brouwer (1726-1795/96) and Hannah Abrams. This Jan Brouwer is a great-grandson of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands. The descendants found in the "Five Towns" area are found with the surname spelled, BROWER. Not all BROWERs found within this area between the 1700s and 1900 have been placed, and therefore it is possible that some, albeit few, descend from other Brower families. 

It must be pointed out and emphasized that Eardeley's manuscript contains numerous errors. This fact caused me to hesitate at making it widely available. I ultimately decided, however, that it would benefit Brouwer researchers to point out, not only reliable accounts and manuscripts, but erroneous ones as well. Recognizing mistakes is an important part of genealogical research. I will not attempt to cover the errors in the manuscript, except one, which must be pointed out. On page 27, Eardeley incorrectly places Jan Brouwer who married Aegje Sprong (who Eardeley also incorrectly believes is a woman named Aegje Colyer) as a son of Jacob Brouwer and Annatje Bogardus, and a grandson of Adam Brouwer and Magdalena Verdon, which he is not. This Jan Brouwer was baptized 9 June 1695 at Flatbush, Long Island, and was a son of Derck Jansz Brouwer and Hannah Daws, and a grandson of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands and his wife, Jannetje Jans.

Another item of interest is found on page 31. Here Eardeley provides birth dates for the children of Adam Brewer of Shrewsbury, Monmouth County, New Jersey and his (first) wife, Deborah Allen. These dates have since been widely repeated and accepted as the birth dates of Adam Brewer's children. But, please note the source. Eardeley writes that they are from a "Bible record," from a "lady in Freeport, Long Island" (Freeport is also in the Town of Hempstead near the "Five Towns"). Eardeley, himself, is frustrated by the fact that there are two copies of the dates from this "Bible record," and he has not been able to locate and view the original himself. William J. Hoffman in "Brouwer Beginnings" (TAG 24:27-28) uses the wills of Adam Brewer and his mother-in-law, Elizabeth (Hulett) Allen (wife of George Allen) to identify the children of Adam Brewer. He does not mention the "Bible record," nor does he provide birth dates for Adam Brewer's children. Hoffman makes brief mention of the "Cropsey notes" at the Long Island Historical Society. He notes how the list of children in the "Cropsey notes" are not in sync with the list of children in the wills. Adam Brewer of Shrewsbury will be covered in more detail in a future post. For now, I felt it was important to highlight, what appears to be, the source for the foundation of the family of Adam Brewer of Shrewsbury. It cannot be described as a reliable source. I would be very interested to hear from anyone who has viewed or knows the actual location of this "Bible record," quoted by Eardeley.

It is probable that much of Eardeley's account of the later generations descended from Jan Brouwer and Hannah Abrams is accurate, or close to it. However, anyone researching this group should make the effort to seek out confirming records before accepting any of it as fact. The "Langdon Genealogy" begins on page 53. I cannot comment on the reliability of this part of the manuscript as I have not thoroughly researched the Langdon family myself.

Once more; take the time to verify every statement in this manuscript before accepting them as fact.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Brower & Brewer: Encyclopedia of American Biography

Here is a collection of eight biographies of men named Brower or Brewer found in the Encyclopedia of American Biography, by Winfield S. Downs (this was a multi-volume series).

Included are:
George Ellsworth Brower (Justice, New York)
Wilson Stewart Brower (Merchant, Public Official, Paterson, New Jersey)
Will Austin Brewer (Lumber Business, Saginaw, Michigan)
George Allen Brewer (Industrialist, Alabama)
Lester Reid Brewer (Pharmacist, Atlanta, Georgia)
Charles Brewer (Bank President, Boston, Massachusetts)
Willis Brewer II (Lawyer, Plantation owner, Alabama)
Russell Roy Brewer (Paper Industry, Cleveland, Ohio)

The twenty-nine page collection of excerpts, now a PDF, was in the William B. Bogardus Collection, Box 5, BB-BIO 156.

Brower, Brewer, Encyclopedia of American Biography

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Brower & Brewer: National Cyclopedia of American Biography

Biographies of William Henry Brewer and Egmont Giles Brower can be found in the National Cyclopaedia of American Biography. William Henry Brewer is found in volume 8, page 561. Egmont Giles Brower in volume 24, page 65.

The photocopied and scanned pages are found in one PDF now online. They are from the William B. Bogardus Collection, Box 5, BIO BB-156.

Biographies of William Henry Brewer and Egmont Giles Brower

William Henry Brewer was featured in the post of November 3, 2011.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Walter O. Brewer, Chillicothe, Ohio

This biography of Walter O. Brewer of Chillicothe, Ohio, is from the Citizens Historical Association, Indianapolis newsletter of May 9, 1942.

Walter O. Brewer was born in 1858 in Ross County, Ohio, a son of Pinckney Brewer and Bertha Fromm, and a grandson of Harvey Brewer and (___) Huffman. I have not traced this family's origins and he is currently not found in the Brouwer Genealogy Database.

The document is from the William B. Bogardus Collection, Box 5, BIO BB-129.

Walter O. Brewer of Chillicothe, Ohio

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Update: William B. Bogardus Collection

Late in 2008, William B. Bogardus of Wilmington, Ohio, who for 50 years has researched and studied the descendants of Anneke Jans, and for nearly as long the various Brouwer families of New Netherland and their descendants, transferred to me, the majority of his correspondence and records regarding Brouwer research.

The material consisted of eight banker boxes, about twenty-five linear feet, of material. I spent three months during the winter of 2008-9 going through all of the material and scanning about half of it for future use. The material was returned to Bill in the spring of 2009 and he currently has it in storage with the hope of finding a library or genealogical society who would be interested in accepting it for their archives.

The material that comprised the collection could be separated into three "classes" or types of documents. One consisted of records and accounts of numerous persons named Brouwer, Brower and Brewer that can be found in a wide array of published sources such as genealogical journals, town and county histories, and published vital and probate records. Much of this class of information can be located by anyone willing to do the leg work it takes to do so. And much of it can even be found now, online. Bill has to be commended for the amount of time, travel and expense he put into accumulating this aspect of his collection. Gathering it all into one location, before the era of the internet, was an heroic feat.

A second class of documents consisted of unpublished works such as manuscript notes, compiled genealogies, and collections of material gathered by others. This class of documents also was acquired at the expense of a great deal of time, effort and cost.

The third class would be the personal correspondence that Bill had with numerous "Cousins" as he preferred to call them, most of whom contacted Bill seeking help in discovering their correct line of Brouwer ancestry. Here, Bill has to be commended for the amount of time he spent reading and answering, in a time before e-mail, all of these numerous correspondents. Often, back and forth correspondence took place over a number of years. Many, in fact a very large number of the correspondents, had incorrectly assumed that they were descended from Anneke Jans. While the first two types of documents mentioned have been helpful (sometimes by simply directing me where to find the original source for myself), the third type, the personal correspondence, was largely (to me) disappointing. Here I was hoping to find a good deal of original family documents covering Brouwer families of the past. I was looking for hings like unpublished Bible records, personal and family memoirs, perhaps unrecorded wills and deeds, items that might have been passed down from generations past. While I did find one or two such documents, the vast majority of the correspondence material consisted of family group sheets and lineages compiled by the various correspondents. There were some, but it was a rare exception when one with appropriate source citations was found. While these accounts are useful for filling in current, largely twentieth century generations, they are mostly useless as material for connecting to the generations of the 18th and 17th centuries. There are just too many errors in the sheets compiled by the correspondents, and anything that is prior to the generations in which the correspondent lived, as to be checked against appropriate vital, estate and other records that are found elsewhere and would be a part of any complete and responsible genealogical research. While I read through all of it, I only ended up scanning about twenty-five percent of the correspondence. In total, I probably scanned and saved about half of the material Bill had lent to me.

In the nearly three years since I had the collection I have been gradually adding bits of it online in an effort to make it available to others. As I do so I have, and will continue to, highlight each with a posting on this blog page. Each of these posts have, and will be flagged with the label, "Wm. B. Bogardus Collection." (Labels are found in the column of links to the right). In addition a page has been created at the Brouwer Genealogy Database website titled, William B. Bogardus Collection. The links provided there will take anyone interested to the document that was found in the collection and has since been placed online. These documents are available through my Google Docs account or my Free Pages account at RootsWeb. They will remain online so long as these two services remain free. Should these services ever discontinue or begin to charge for their use, then the documents will likely be taken down. So take advantage of them while they are here and available. The internet is a terrific vehicle for sharing, but one never knows how long any single aspect of it may last.

When he turned his collection over to me, Bill decided that he would no longer be researching and pursuing the Brouwer families of New Netherland and their descendants. He had once hoped to publish compiled genealogies of the descendants of Adam Brouwer of Gowanus and of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands. Instead he has chosen to focus his attention on completing a compiled genealogy of the descendants of Anneke Jans, which will be titled, Dear Cousin II. It is expected to cover seven generations of descendants of Anneke Jans and her two husbands, with some coverage of the eighth generation. Bill hopes to have this published and available in sometime in the next few years. Back in 1996 he published, Dear Cousin, A Charted Genealogy of the Descendants of Anneke Jans Bogardus (1605-1663) to the 5th Generation.

My own intention is to have the remainder of the documents that were scanned, reviewed and those deemed of value, placed online by the end of this calendar year. I will make a concerted effort to do this as, quite frankly, I'd like to move on to other things. Primarily, I'd like to complete research on the first five generations of descendants of Adam Brouwer of Gowanus, Jan Brouwer of Flatlands and Willem Brouwer of Beverwijck, and to make available all material and data I have accumulated on persons named Brouwer, Brouwer and Brewer, found in colonial New York, New Jersey, New England and Pennsylvania, and those with colonial roots in these locations who are found in the United States up to the period of 1850 to 1900. This I hope to accomplish in the next two years, at which time I hope to conclude my own research on these families, and on Brouwers (etc.) in general.

I think I speak for many when I say, Thank you Bill for all you have done in continuing and contributing towards a better understanding of the Brouwer families of New Netherland and their descendants.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Brouwer and Brower Biographies & Memorials from Holland Society Yearbooks and de Halve Maen

From the Collection of William B. Bogardus, pages selected from various volumes of the Holland Society Yearbooks, and the Holland Society's publication, de Halve Maen, featuring biographies and memorials of members named Brouwer and Brower. They are collected into one PDF which is online: Brouwer and Brower Biographies and Memorials from Holland Society Yearbooks and de Halve Maen. The opening note card provides volume and page numbers. I believe that the first nine (up to 1927) are from the Holland Society Yearbooks, while the last four (beginning 1955) are from de Halve Maen.

Included are the following:
John Brower (1822-1896)
Abram Giles Brower (1840-1907)
Theophilus Anthony Brouwer (1827-1911)
Bloomfield Brower (1840-1912)
William Wallace Brower (d. 1912)
William L. Brower (photo, 1913)
David Brower (1842-1916)
Abraham Thew Hunter Brower (1850-1927)
Frank D. Brower (d. 1955)
Henry Wyckoff Brower (1880-1970)
Ogden Brouwer (1882-1971)
Percival S. Brower (1888-1972)

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.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Brewer: New Marlborough, Massachusetts Vital Statistics

The Town of New Marlborough is in Berkshire County, Massachusetts. Berkshire County is the western most county in the state and it borders the states of New York, Vermont and Connecticut. A number of BREWER families are found there beginning in the mid 1700s and through the 1800s. Most are descended from the New England Brewer families that originated in the eastern, coastal region of the state. Hastings Brewer, however, is one who was born in England, came to Connecticut and then settled at New Marlborough. His brother Samuel Brewer was residing at Staten Island, New York when he wrote his will.

Vital statistics at New Marlborough were recorded by the Town Registrar. The books have been filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah and are available on microfilm (#0250275). As of this posting they are not found on the Family Search website. The records, including images, are available at the AmericanAncestors.org website. Membership in the NEHGS is required to view the images there.

Extracts of BREWERs found in the birth, marriage and deaths are now available online. Researchers should use the extracts as a starting point and should always seek out the original to confirm accuracy.

Brewers Found in New Marlborough, Massachusetts Vital Statistics

Friday, August 3, 2012

Ruth Catherine Brewer (1911-1976)

Ruth Catherine Brewer was born May 3, 1911 in Rochester, New York, a daughter of Walter E. Brewer and Edna M. Hooper. She is a descendant of Adam Brouwer of Gowanus, Long Island.

Ruth is my wife's paternal grandmother. She is the principal reason for my interest in the genealogy and history of the Brouwer families of New Netherland and their descendants. It was the search for Ruth's ancestry, which began about twelve years ago, that got this whole ball rolling. It has resulted in the collection of tens of thousands of pieces of data (fact and fiction) on thousands of individuals named Brouwer, Brower, Brewer, etc. and myriad of associated families. The Brouwer Genealogy Database, this blog page, and the numerous documents placed online, are my attempt at organizing the raw data, making it easier for me to view, review and catch possible inconsistencies and potential errors. Most importantly, it allows me to share it all with others researching their own ancestors. It is also an example of how quickly researching just one ancestry can spiral into much more then just researching one's own direct line.

For the record, and most people do not realize this when they first contact me, I am not a descendant of Adam Brouwer. I am not a descendant of any person named Brouwer, Brower or Brewer. In fact I'm not a descendant of any person who lived in colonial America. My own ancestors all came to the United States as immigrants between the years 1883 and 1914. They were from Italy, Germany, Poland and Sweden. It is my wife who has the colonial American heritage. Outside of a few lines descended from mid 19th century immigrants from Germany and Ireland, all of her ancestors can be traced to colonial New England, New Netherland/New York/New Jersey, and even New France. I began researching her ancestry in 2000, and as is suggested to everyone who is first starting out in genealogical research, I started with the present and worked my way back in time.

Ruth's parents and grandparents were known to my wife's father and his sister. They even had photographs of them. But beyond that they knew nothing, not the names of Ruth's great-grandparents, or even where they lived. New York State began requiring the recording of vital records (birth, marriage, death) in 1881. Federal census records began recording all individuals in 1850. Using the just mentioned sources it was simple to trace Ruth's grandfather, Josiah B. Brewer, born in 1858 at Highgate, Vermont, back through his father, Schuyler Brewer (1813-1887), to Ruth's great-great grandfather, Peter Brewer who died at Highgate, Vermont in 1844. Here is where it became difficult.

As Peter died in Vermont, and was easily found there on the census records back to 1810, and as his last name was BREWER, I first assumed that his roots were in Massachusetts. At the time (in 2000) I had never even heard of the Brouwer families of New Netherland, New York and New Jersey. In Massachusetts I found a number of individuals named Peter Brewer, largely in the area of Framingham. But all could be accounted for, and none seemed to have made a move to Vermont. Exhausting all possibilities in Massachusetts, I went back to the Peter Brewer I knew to try and learn more about him.

An early transcription of Peter Brewer's grave-marker (it has since been obliterated) gave his age at death as 65 years. This would place his year of birth as 1779. But where? The earliest record I had of Peter at this time was the 1810 census record. The next logical place to search would be the 1800 census. The 1800 census did not turn up a Peter Brewer. However, it did turn up a Jeremiah BRUER. I also checked the Highgate Town Records. There I found Peter BROWER on the General List of 1800, right along with Jeremiah BROWER. In the same year, recorded as Peter BREWER, he had the ear-mark of his livestock recorded, and as Peter BROWER, witnessed the will of Lawrence Croy. It was apparent that in the very small town of Highgate, Vermont in 1800, Peter and Jeremiah were somehow related. And it was clear that the surname's BREWER, BROWER and BRUER were freely used interchangeably. Peter wasn't a BREWER from Massachusetts after all. He was a BROWER from elsewhere. Concluding that Peter was Jeremiah's son would come easily enough. The problem of now tracing Jeremiah Brower's ancestry would prove to be much tougher. That search will continue in a future post. (See Jeremiah Brower, Part I, January 26, 2013).

Chart of the Ancestors of Ruth Catherine Brewer - each name is linked to the individual's profile.

Ancestors of Ruth Catherine Brewer - Ahnentafel format

In 1933, Ruth Catherine Brewer married Warren Alfred Beeman of Rochester, New York. They had three children and were divorced in 1958. Ruth died in 1976, from cancer, and is buried beside her parents in the cemetery at Waterloo, Seneca Co., New York. Her grave is unmarked.

Ruth Brewer & Warren Beeman