Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Books of General Entries of the Colony of New York, 1664-1673

New York Historical Manuscripts English: Books of General Entries of the Colony of New York, 1664-1673, edited by Peter R. Christoph and Florence A. Christoph, was first published in 1982 by the Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., Baltimore. Physical copies can be purchased online through the New Netherland Institute's online store, or through other online retailers (see links provided by Google Books). As of this writing the former option is the cheaper of the two.

The note at the beginning of the volume informs us that while the other volumes in the published, New York Historical Manuscripts series, are arranged based upon O'Callaghan's Calendar of Historical Manuscripts, and have been assigned volume numbers, the Books of General Entries... was "assembled from several series of New York colonial archives. They are contemporary with the records in Administrative Papers of Governors Richard Nicholls and Francis Lovelace, 1664-1673 (NYHM, Vol. XXII), but have no equivalent volume number."

Found in the index are entries for three men named Brower (without the u between the o and w). Adam Brower is found at pages 188, 300, 332, 370, 378, and 385. Arnould Brower is found at page 255. Lambert Brower is found at page 255.

Starting with Lambert and Arnould Brower. This entry takes place, "At Fort James in New Yorke on the Island Manhatans in America this 22th day of May in the 21th yeare of his Majesties Raigne Annoque Domini 1669." Then the initials "Fr. L." (Francis Lovelace, at the time Governor of New York). Followed by "There were like passes given to those underwritten, onely the Clause (to return againe) excepted" [note: for "onely" read only]. This is followed by sixteen entries including Lambert Brower and Arnould Brower. Here is the entire list, as printed in the volume:

1.   Cornelis Hendricks for himselfe, his wife and 5 children
2.   Goose Vigne
3.   Maritje Peters
4.   Mr. Peter Claerhout and his daughter
5.   Johannes Baker
6.   Peter Jansen Boer with his wife and 3 children
7.   Peter Jansen
8.   Denis Isaacsen with his wife and 3 children
9.   Neeltje Janssen and 2 children
10. Theunis Jacobsen
11. Lambert Brower
12. Arnould Brower
13. Henry Cousturier
[  ] Reyert Jacobsen
[  ] Cornelia Schelluyne and 5 children
[  ] John Tysen Goes

The persons listed here are being granted passports to travel from the port at New York to Holland. There are others who are granted passports as well, however, those on the list above are not being granted passes to return. Those who are granted passports, with a "return clause" are Henry Ramming, Mr. Christoffee Hooghland, and Mr. Francis Boone.

The Lambert Brower and Arnould Brower on this list are children of Willem Brouwer and Lysbeth Drinkvelt. Both were baptized in the Netherlands and would have been two of the three children who came with their parents to New Netherland in 1655 (see the post of Sept. 20, 2015). The third would have had to have been Hendrick, baptized in 1652, and who we know remained at Albany where he died in 1707. A daughter, Eva, baptized in 1649, most probably died prior to her family's emigration in 1655. Lambert Brower and Arnould Brower were baptized in 1653 and 1649 respectively, and would have been aged 15 and 19 in May 1669. Thus far I have found no further record of either in New York. As their passes did not include the "return clause" it is likely that they remained in the Netherlands (or perhaps ventured elsewhere). It may be that both established themselves as adults in the Netherlands, and perhaps had families. In other words, there may be descendants of Willem Brouwer and Lysbeth Drinkvelt, early settlers at Beverwijck (Albany, New York), found in the Netherlands or elsewhere. Perhaps some are living today. So here is something for Willem Brouwer researchers to follow up on. It may prove to be an interesting search.

Adam Brouwer (spelled Brower) is found on six pages (188, 300, 332, 370, 378, 385). At page 188 is "An Order for Adam Brower of Breucklyn do grinde for all persons without Exception or distinction." The date is 16 November 1668. The order is in response to a complaint by the Constable and Overseers of the Town of Breuckelen (Brooklyn) as well as some inhabitants, that Adam Brower, the owner and operator of the grist mill, was not grinding corn for some based upon "very frivolous pretences." It appears that Adam Brouwer could be petty when he wanted to be. The matter had first been taken up at the court at Gravesend, who apparently wanted to revoke Adam Brouwer's right to operate a grist mill. Governor Lovelace refers the case back to the Gravesend court, orders Adam Brower to grind for those on a first come first serve basis, and instructs the constable and overseers to report back to him if the problem continues.

At page 300, "An order for levying a fine of five hundred guilders on Adam Brouwer's estate." There are no further details here. What was the reason for the fine? There is no date. It is found following an entry dated 11 September 1669, but is followed by an entry dated 15 July 1669 (so, not in chronological order). The source given is "O2:537 from mss index." The abbreviation "O2" refers to "General Entries, 1665-1669. A manuscript volume, known also as "Orders, Warrants, Letters," Vol. 2, at the New York State Archives" (see page xvi). Again, the reason for the fine is not known (perhaps it had to do with the order of 16 November 1668 (above). Five hundred guilders was not a small sum in 1669.

At page 332 is, "Execution against the estate of Adam Brouwer." Again, no further description or explanation. No date, but it is in sequence (based on source description) between items dated 15 April 1670 and 21 April 1670. The source given is "A:508 from mss index." The abbreviation "A" refers to "General Entries, 1669-1671, in the manuscript volume, Court of Assizes Records at the New York State Archives." I would think that this was the execution of the order given previously on page 300.

At page 370, with the date of 18 August 1670, is "A passe for Jan Jansen de Jones to Goe for England and Holland in Mr. Cousseaus ship." This is a pass for Jan Jansen to travel "in the Ship Fort Albany of New Yorke whereof is Merchant and Owner Jaques Cousseau bound for England and Amsterdam in Holland." Then follows, "The like Passe was Graunted to theise persons," with the list:

Cornelys Jansen van Zeland with his wife and 2 children
Teunis Hillebrant van Dickhuysen with his wife and sonne
John Misrol his wife and Child
Adam Brower
Barent Reynertsen
Monsieur Gabriell Minielle
Mr. Frans Boone
Gerrit Gybertsen
Gerrit Cornelyssen
Rupert Roeloffsen
Hartman Wessells
Gabriel Herbin
Isaack Staets
Nellety Williams

The source is "A:586." Then at page 378 is, (A:602) "List of persons aboard the ship Fort Albany"with the notation, "partly from A:586." This is the same list as above, but with some added info regarding Monsieur Gabriell Minivielle and Mr. Francis Boone. Adam Brower is on this list but there is no date. The previous document (A:601) is dated 24 October 1670.

Whether or not Adam Brouwer actually made a trip to Europe is not certain. The entry found on page 385 (source given as A:616) provides us with some doubt, as this entry is dated 19 November 1670. It is described as "Declaration that the assigned payments for damages by Adam Brouwer and Gerrit Croosen cancel each other out." Adam Brouwer and Gerrit Croosen apparently had some type of disagreement/confrontation that involved physical assaults. There are a few gaps (missing words) in the published transcription, and of course the "legalize" of that day is not always that easy to "translate." But it appears that Gerrit Croosen had assaulted Adam Brouwer's wife (Magdalena Verdon, although her name is not recorded here). Adam Brouwer was awarded ten pounds as compensation. The assault occurred in 1669 (complete date missing) and the sum Gerrit was to pay had been suspended for one year. In the meantime, Adam appears to have committed trespass and caused damages to Gerrit Croosen, and for this Gerrit was awarded ten pounds from Adam. And so, the two fines canceled each other out.

The question then is, was Adam Brouwer present in New York when this declaration by the Governor was rendered on November 19, 1670? If so, then he could not have been on the ship Fort Albany which appears to have sailed for Europe on or about October 24, 1670. We can add to this the fact that Adam's son Nicholas was baptized on 16 April 1672 at the New York Reformed Dutch Church. Assuming he was baptized within a few weeks of his birth, as was customary at the time, Nicholas would have had to have been conceived probably in July of 1671. If Adam Brouwer did make a trip to Europe, leaving at the end of October in 1670, he would have had to have been back in New York by July 1671. The jury is still out on whether or not Adam Brouwer ever made a trip to Europe.

"View of New Amsterdam (now New York) ca. 1670" via Heritage Newfoundland & Labrador From Frank C. Bowen, The Sea: It's History and Romance to 1697, vol. I (London: B.F. Stevens & Brown, 1924-1926) 269. Original in Arnoldus Montanus, De Nieuwe en Onbekende Weereld, of Beschrijving van America (Amsterdam: 1671).

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