Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

Friday, July 5, 2013

Children of Peter Brewer and Hannah Sanborn: George G. Brewer

George G. Brewer was born about 1809, most certainly at Highgate, Vermont. His middle name was Gardner and he can be found in records as "Gardner G. Brewer." A descendant of George G. Brewer has participated in the Brewer DNA Project and the results of his Y-DNA test match those of other descendants of Adam Brouwer and more closely, those of Nicholas Brouwer (son of Adam) and Jeremiah Brower of Highgate, Vermont (presumed grandson of Nicholas Brouwer). As he was born "too late" to be a child of Jeremiah Brower, George G. Brewer is placed in the family of Peter Brewer and Hannah Sanborn. It is conceivable that George G. Brewer could be a son of one of Peter Brewer's brothers, however, since these families all appear to have removed themselves from the Highgate, Vermont area during the earlier part of the 1800s, it seems prudent to consider George as more likely a son of Peter.

On 25 May 1843, G. G. Brewer was one of the witnesses to a deed by which Peter Brewer of Highgate, Vermont conveyed land in Highgate to Schuyler Brewer of Highgate, Vermont. The other witness was Jacob Brewer, who was called "J. P." (Justice of the Peace).

On the 1850 U. S. Federal census, George Brewer, age 41, born in Vermont, is enumerated at Berkshire, Franklin Co., Vermont with Charlotte Brewer (age 41), Mary Brewer (17), Conrad Brewer (12), Hannah Brewer (12), Peter Brewer (8), Allen Brewer (4), Albert Brewer (4) and Charlotte E. Brewer (1). John G. Brewer is enumerated on the same census sheet, but it is not likely that he was George G. Brewer's father. John G. Brewer was a brother of Peter Brewer, and was born in 1792. His own son named George was born in 1818. Berkshire, Vermont is the second town east of Highgate (the town of Franklin is between them) and also boarders Canada.

George G. Brewer was married to Charlotte Barr who was born about 1809 in Vermont, and probably at Highgate. No record of their marriage has been found but it appears that they were married around, or just before 1830. A son, Sebastian Brewer, who appears to be the eldest child, was born about 1830. Charlotte was most likely the daughter of Conrad Barr and his wife Elizabeth Weaver. I have not researched the Barr family thoroughly enough to state this with certainty, but the fact that George and Charlotte named a son Conrad, is highly suggestive that Charlotte had a father (or brother) named Conrad. We know that George did not, and the given name Conrad is extremely rare among the descendants of Adam Brouwer. As of this writing, I know of no other descendants of Adam Brouwer, named, Conrad. The Barr family came to the Highgate, Vermont area from New York's Hudson Valley just after the American Revolution. The family was apparently among the German immigrants from the Palatinate who came to the Hudson Valley during the mid 1700s. Charlotte died in 1860 and is buried in Richland Center Cemetery, Richland County, Vermont.

Sometime between 1850 and 1860 George G. Brewer moved his family from northern Vermont to Richland County, Wisconsin. He was one of many heads of households to abandon the crowding and less fertile conditions of northern New England for the wider spaces and better farming lands available in the Midwest. George remained at Richland for the rest of his life and died there on 13 July 1886. He is buried in the Richland Center Cemetery.

It is believed that George and Charlotte had eleven children. Although I have not been able to find evidence for a claimed son named Jeremiah, born about 1831, or for a son named John, born about 1835. My initial information on George G. Brewer and his descendants comes from Karen Brewer Sims who did the initial research. Some of her sources, however, were second hand accounts prepared by others. Most of Karen's work is certainly correct and reliable, but the two sons, Jeremiah and John, do need to be vetted further. George and Charlotte's descendants did remain in Richland, Wisconsin well into the 20th century. As mentioned above, a descendant, through George's son Albert, has participated in the Brewer DNA Project. As my own work on researching George's descendants is limited, and rather than go through them individually here, I will simply provide a Family Group sheet with source citations, and a link to what research I have located for his descendants on Ancestry.com. Details can also be found on the Brouwer Genealogy Database website.

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