Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Corrections and Additions to the Family of Jacob Brouwer and Abigail Yerks

This correction and update of the family of Jacob Brouwer and Abigail Yerks comes via e-mail from John Brewer who is a descendant of the couple. John can be contacted by others researching descendants of Jacob Brouwer and Abigail Yerks, by e-mail.

Jacob Brouwer, a.k.a. Jacob Brower and Jacob Brewer, is a great-great-grandson of Adam Brouwer of Gowanus, Long Island. His direct Brouwer ancestry, starting with his father, being Johannes4, Samuel3, Matthys2, Adam1 Brouwer. The current edition of the Brouwer Genealogy Database (BGD) has Jacob Brouwer with a family of eight children, none of which are followed further. John's research adds two additional children, provides a birth and baptism date for Jacob's daughter Sarah/Sally, adds spouses for daughter Jenny and son John (who is new) and a family for the son John.

The two new children are sons John and Abraham. Their records of birth and baptism are found in the published records of the Old Sleepy Hollow Dutch Reformed Church [First English Record Book of the Dutch Reformed Church in Sleepy Hollow: Formerly the Manor Church of Philipsburgh, Now the First Reformed Church of Tarrytown. Tarrytown, N.Y.: Tarrytown Historical Society, 1931]. John is found at page 27, no. 106, born 20 August 1786, baptized 18 April 1787 with sponsors John Yorks and Susanah Fashie, his wife (the child's maternal grandparents). Abraham is at page 43, no. 431, born 1 December 1794, baptized 8 December 1796 (no sponsors recorded). This son John is the second son of that name for Jacob and Abigail and so it is assumed that the older child named Johannes, who was born and baptized in 1774, died young. In addition, Jacob's daughter Sally, the only daughter named in his will (dated 31 March 1815), was recorded in the Old Sleepy Hollow records as Sarah, daughter of Jacob Brewer and wife, with the birth date 14 July 1798, and the rather late baptism date of 23 June 1805 (page 60, no. 782 of the above cited publication).

From the above additions we now know that Jacob Brouwer and Abigail Yerks had ten children.

John adds a spouse for the daughter Jenny, who is likely the child, unnamed in the record, born in 1784. He is Joseph Hammond. In John's words, "In the FRB (First Record Book, Sleepy Hollow) on page 150, entry 2505 says "__________, daughter of Jacob Brower and Abigal Yorks, was born Feb. 10, 1784, and was baptized Sept. 18, 17__."  Penciled underneath in the book - I actually have in my possession copy 169 from the original printing - someone has written "Jane - Aunt Jennie Hammond".  I also have in my possession a copy of the burial register for the Brewer Family cemetery plot in Sleepy Hollow New York where I will be buried some day.  The register lists "Jane Hammond, sister of John Brewer senior" as being in grave no. 7 of the plot.  Unfortunately, the date of either her death or internment is not listed in the register and her name is not on the plot monument so I do not have anything that corroborates her birth date in the FRB, if in fact, the entry is for Jenny Brouwer.  I also found a listing for the burial of Joseph Hammond in the book called the Old Dutch Burying Ground of Sleepy Hollow published in 1926 in entry 117a on page 42.  In that listing it states that he married Jenny Brewer, so I assume that's where the name Hammond came from."

The second son named John, born in 1786, was married to Mary Smack on 24 December 1810 at New York City's Trinity Church  ["Records of Trinity Church Parish, New York City," New York Genealogical and Biographical Record Vol.67-93 (1936-1962), 79:220]. This couple had six children buried with them in the same plot in the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. From John, "My grandfather's notes state, 'Johannis or plain John Brouwer born in Van Cortlandt Manor Aug. 20th, 1786 came to New York where he married Mary Smack.'  This John Brewer is assumed to be the John Brewer listed in the burial register of the Brewer Family plot in grave 3.  His burial was recorded on 7 Dec 1877.  His birth and death years are listed on the monument as 1786 - 1877."

In addition, a memorial at Find A Grave, for the family of John Brewer, was added on May 3, 2010. The above couple, John Brewer and Mary Smack, can be found in the current edition of the BGD, however, John Brewer had not been placed in any known Brewer, or Brouwer family. The information brought to my attention by John leaves me with no doubt that he is the son of Jacob Brouwer and Abigail Yerks who was born in 1786.

Thanks again to John Brewer for the above corrections and additions to the family of Jacob Brouwer.

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