Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Aaron Brewer to Ann Brewer, Letter of Attorney

Item no. 23 in Abstracts of Early Monmouth County Court Papers, Part I, is a document in which Aaron Brewer, of the City of New York, appoints his wife, Ann Brewer, of the said City of New York, his "true and lawful attorney."

No. 23. Aaron Brewer to Ann Brewer, Letter of Attorney

There are two documents in this file.

The first, a "Letter of Attorney" which was written and sworn to in New York, was dated 7 March 1817, and was recorded, in Monmouth County, New Jersey, on 3 March 1820. Aaron Brewer signed with his mark. In the authorization he mentions, "all the lands and tenements situate in the County of Monmouth, State of New Jersey, which formerly belonged to the father of the said Ann Brewer and which her mother died in possession of and which I am intitled unto or interested in as the husband of the said Ann Brewer."

In the second document, which is dated 13 April 1819, at New York City, Ann Brewer, who signs with her mark, appoints Alexander Fairley of New York City, grocer, as her "lawful attorney and substitute of Aaron Brewer."

Presently, I do not have an identification for this Aaron Brewer or for his wife Ann. As of this post I do not know of a couple found in other records, who I could state to be identified with the couple in these documents. There are three records that may relate to this couple, and in the document itself there may be one additional clue.

- The Reformed Dutch Church of New York records the marriage of Aaron Brewer and Nancy Morrison on 28 April 1799 (Purple, Samuel S. Records of the Reformed Dutch Church in New Amsterdam and New York; Marriages from 11 December 1639 to 26 August 1801. [Bowie, MD: Heritage Books, reprint 2003, original 1890 NYG&BS], page 276). The name, Nancy, was once a common nickname for the name, Ann (although it is less so today).

- The 1800 U.S. Federal census records an Aaron Brower in the 1st Ward of New York City (Manhattan) with a household of 1 male age 16-25, 2 females under 10, and 1 female age 16-25.

Aaron Brower, 1800 NYC 1st Ward (NARA, image downloaded from

- The 1810 U.S. Federal census records an Aaron Brewer in New York City's 5th Ward, with a household of 1 male age 26-44, 1 female age 10-15, and 1 female age 26-44.

Aaron Brewer, 1810 NYC 5th Ward (NARA, image downloaded from
The documents were recorded in Monmouth County in 1820, but no persons named Aaron Brewer (Brower), or Ann Brewer (Brower), or Nancy Brewer (Brower) are found heading households in New York City. Census records for New Jersey in the year 1820, no longer exist.

In addition, on the document itself, at the top, and apparently when it was recorded in 1820, is written the name, Elizabeth Stout. Those familiar with Monmouth County families will recognize the surname, STOUT. Perhaps there is some relationship between Elizabeth Stout and Aaron Brewer, or his wife, Ann.

Any further knowledge or insight regarding Aaron and Ann Brewer is welcome. Feel free to use the comments option below.

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