Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Freehold and Middletown Freeholders in 1748 and 1755

Back on October 20, we looked at the list of Freeholders at Shrewsbury, Monmouth County, New Jersey in 1748 and 1755. The list came from the Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey, which had in previous issues published the lists for Freehold, Middletown and Upper Freehold. The list for Freehold is found in volume 16 (1941), beginning at page 83, and it includes a short introduction about the lists of Freeholders in Monmouth County for the years 1748 and 1755 which pertains to the previously posted Shrewsbury list as well.

Freeholders at Freehold, New Jersey, GMNJ 16 (1941)

The list of Freeholders at Middletown is found in volume 17, no. 1 (1942) beginning at page 13.

Freeholders at Middletown, New Jersey, GMNJ 17 (1942)

Notably absent from both lists are any persons named BROWER or BREWER. We do know that there were BROWERs and BREWERs in, or in the vicinity of Freehold and Middletown during the mid 1700s. We know this from a few records of baptisms that appear in the records of the Reformed Dutch Congregations of Freehold and Middletown, although the majority of these baptisms are found either previous to 1748, or a few years after 1755. One specific case that is worth mentioning is Elias Brewer (recorded as Lias Brewer or Brewen) who was a resident of Middletown on 27 January 1753, when a marriage license was issued to him and Elizabeth Palmer of Shrewsbury. Elias does not appear on the 1755 list at Middletown, and no person named PALMER appears on the Shrewsbury list. Elias and Elizabeth had daughters Marya and Catharina baptized at the Reformed Dutch Church at Freehold and Middletown in 1764 and 1767 respectively.

It's clear from the fact that Elias Brewer is absent from the lists of Freeholders that he was not a land owner in Monmouth County. The fact that the first baptism of a child of Elias is from 1764, eleven years after his marriage, might also suggest that he and his family was, for the years between 1753 and 1764, living elsewhere.

There is, on the Freehold list (on page 87) a "Rowliff Schank: Brewer" in 1748, and a "Rulif Scank Brewer" in 1755. This Freeholder's name would be Roelof Schenck, and his occupation was, brewer. The occupation was apparently included to distinguish him from "Rowliff Schank: Carpenter" in 1748.

The lists are certainly of value to those researching families, other than BROWER or BREWER, in Freehold and Middletown. Those familiar with the many of the other families will certainly recognize names that tie back to King County, Long Island, and are inter-married, or otherwise associated with some BROWER and BREWER families.

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