Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Documents Relating to the Colonial History of the State of New York

Documents Relating to the Colonial History of the State of New York consists of four volumes edited by Berthold Fernow and published between 1877 and 1887. They are a continuation of the series Documents Relative to the Colonial History of the State of New York, as Fernow took over the work begun by E. B. O'Callaghan who died in 1880. Fernow's four volumes are numbers 12, 13, 14 and 15, and, for whatever reason, he also labeled them as "New Series" volumes 1, 2, 3, and 4. There is also a slight alteration in the series title where you will notice that Relative to (vols. 1-11) is substituted with Relating to.

Digital versions of all four can be found online at the Internet Archives website. See the "Links to Published Sources Available Online" page for direct links.

This post will be brief as I am not going to expand upon each mention of persons named Brouwer, Brower or Brewer found within the four volumes. The reason for this is that much of what is published in these four volumes by Fernow has been published again, later, in volumes that supersede Fernow's work. Berthold Fernow's work was not well regarded by Arnold J. F. van Laer, and later translators and transcribers of the early New York colonial records. Fernow was born in Prussia in 1837. He came to the U. S. and served on the Union side during the Civil War. Neither English nor Dutch were his first language. His work on translating the Dutch documents is often criticized, with one specific criticism being his anglicization of Dutch names. Most of what is found in Fernow's first three volumes (12-14) can be located in O'Callaghan's Calendar (parts one and two). Fernow reorganized the documents by geographical location and published them as follows:

Volume 12 is Documents Relating to the History of the Dutch and Swedish Settlements on the Delaware River (1877). This volume does not contain it's own index. Instead it is indexed in the subsequent volume 13. A better choice for these records is New York Historical Manuscripts: Dutch, Vols. 18 & 19, Delaware Papers (Dutch Period) 1648-1664 and Vols. 20 & 21, Delaware Papers (English Period) 1664-1682, translated and edited by Charles T. Gehring, and published in 1981 and 1977 respectively, and available in PDF format online at the New Netherland Institute website (use the links just provided).

Volume 13 is Documents Relating to the History and Settlements of the Towns Along the Hudson and Mohawk Rivers (with the exception of Albany) from 1630 to 1684 (1881). The index in this volume covers both volume 12 and 13. There are numerous other sources of published records from these areas, and we will consider some of them in future posts.

Volume 14 is Documents Relating to the History of the Early Colonial Settlements Principally on Long Island (1883). This volume is indexed. Here too, many records found here are also found elsewhere in various volumes published at later dates.

Fernow then followed with:

Volume 15, also referred to as "State Archives, Vol. I," and is titled New York in the Revolution (1887). The information in this volume is not found in O'Callaghan's Calendar. It probably should have been published as a stand alone work, rather than as part of the original series begun by O'Callaghan in the 1850s. It consists largely of the Proceedings of the Provincial Congress in New York, and of lists and rolls of the various military units from New York. It is certainly valuable for these lists. The volume includes an index.

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Sunday, September 27, 2015

Documents Relative to the Colonial History of the State of New York

The complete title of this series is Documents Relative to the Colonial History of the State of New York; Procured in Holland, England and France, by John Romeyn Brodhead, Esq., Agent, Under and by Virtue of an Act of the Legislature, Entitled "An Act to Appoint an Agent to Procure and Transcribe Documents in Europe Relative to the Colonial History of the State," Passed May 2, 1839, edited by E. B. O'Callaghan (Albany: Weed, Parsons and Company, Printers, 1853-1861). This is an eleven volume series, with ten volumes of records and an eleventh volume that serves as the index to the ten. Although the Dutch and French documents were translated by E. B. O'Callaghan, they are not included in his Calendar of Historical Manuscripts in the Office of the Secretary of State, Albany, N. Y. (since they were not found there we would not expect them to be)+.

There is a long introduction written by John Romeyn Brodhead beginning at page v. of volume one, which is worth reading so as to place these records in context. Of particular interest is the statement in the second paragraph informing us that records from the early administrations in New Netherland of Peter Minuit (1626-1632) and Wouter van Twiller (1633-1638) largely do not survive. So, knowledge of the happenings during the first fourteen years of settlement in New Netherland is very much limited. One glimpse into this early period is found at page xxxix of the Introduction. Here is a translation of a letter dated November 5, 1626, from P. Schagen, Deputy of the States-General to the Dutch Government. It tells of the arrival of a ship, the Arms of Amsterdam, from New Netherland, and provides some very brief insight into the situation on Manhattan Island.

All eleven volumes of this series have been made available in digital formats and can be found online through the Internet Archives website. I have created a page, "Links to Published Sources Available Online," where you will find convenient links to many of the published sources that have been featured in the posts of the past month or so. [This page is a PDF, feel free to download it]. Included here are the eleven volumes of this series, and of the continuation of the series which consists of volumes 12-15, edited by Berthold Fernow. They will be covered in a subsequent post. Meanwhile, in the first ten volumes there are three mentions of persons named Brouwer.

In Volume 1, (published 1856) at page 11, we find the first, and to my knowledge, only mention of the name, Pieter Clementssen Brouwer. He is found on a document titled, Grant of Exclusive Trade to New Netherland [From the Minute on a half sheet of paper, in the Royal Archives in the Hague; File: Loopende]. It is a petition from a list of men including, "Pieter Clementssen Brouwer, Jan Clementssen Kies, and Cornelis Volkertssen, Merchants of the City of Hoorn, owners of the Ship named the Fortuyn, whereof Cornelis Jacobssen May was skipper," petitioning the States General of the United Netherlands for an exclusive (although limited) right to access to lands in America between New France and Virginia, "between the fortieth and fort fifth degrees of Latitude, now named New Netherland..."* It is dated 11 October 1614. The exclusive right is allowed for four voyages and three years. Those who have made an effort to research the ancestry of Adam Brouwer, of Gowanus, L. I., have run across the name Pieter Clementssen Brouwer. Amateur genealogists (and here the description, genealogists, should be used loosely) from the early 20th century, arbitrarily and without evidence or reason, assigned Pieter Clementssen Brouwer as the father of Adam Brouwer. This incorrect assignment is apparently based solely upon the observation that the two (Pieter and Adam) had the same surname, Brouwer. No evidence, not even circumstantial evidence has been found to support this claim. All that is known of Pieter Clementssen Brouwer comes from this one document. In 1614 he was a merchant residing in Hoorn (in Noord-Holland, Netherlands) and that he was part owner of a ship called the Fortuyn, which had made a voyage to America under the skipper, Cornelis Jacobssen May. Adam Brouwer, on the other hand, was born in Cologne, Germany (see "New Insight into the Origins of Adam Brouwer").

In Volume 2 (1858), page 249, the name of Jan Brouwer is found on a petition, bearing the date 5 September 1664. This the time when the English took control of New Netherland from the Dutch. The petition is under the title, Remonstrance of the People of New Netherland to the Director-General and Council [From the Copy in the Royal Archives at the Hague; File, West Indie]. It is a petition signed by many of the male inhabitants of New Amsterdam, directed to Director-General Stuyvesant and his Council, describing the hopeless situation in attempting to defend New Amsterdam against an English invasion, and of the dire consequences should they even attempt a defense. They ask Stuyvesant and the Council to accept the "generous" terms of surrender offered by the English. As we all know, Stuyvesant complied with the request. By my count there are 94 men signing the petition. Among them is a Jan Brouwer. The signer may be one of two men named Jan Brouwer. The first is Jan Brouwer, of Flatlands, L. I., who may well have first lived on Manhattan Island prior to settling at Flatlands. He had four children baptized in the New Amsterdam Reformed Dutch Church between 1658 and 1665, including sons (both named Hendrick) on 14 November 1663 and 14 January 1665, ten months prior to and four months after the date of this petition. The second could be Jan Gerritsz Brouwer, who had a daughter Lucretia baptized at the New Amsterdam church on 2 April 1656, about seven and a half years prior to the date of this petition. We know that Jan Gerritsz Brouwer was back in Amsterdam on 17 November 1666 when he had a son baptized in the Reformed South Church of Amsterdam. But when he actually left New Amsterdam for (old) Amsterdam is not certain.

In Volume 9 (1855), covering documents in Paris, in a footnote on page 1019, is mention of "Jacob Brouwer, an Indian trader," who was "barbarously murdered at the falls on the Oswego River, in the spring of 1730, by an Onondaga Indian." The footnote cites "N. Y. Council Minutes, XVL, 28." The footnote is to a letter of 10 October 1730 from M. de Beauharnois to Count de Maurepas, which includes "intelligence respecting what passed at Orange, between the English and the Iroquois." Specifically there is reference to "the death of an English or Dutch man who had been killed at Chouaguen, last Spring." This Jacob Brouwer was a son of Hendrick Brouwer and Marritje Borsboom, and a grandson of Willem Brouwer and Lysbeth Drinkvelt.

*The 40th north latitude runs through Trenton, New Jersey, and the 45th north latitude runs through northern New York State just south of the boarder with Canada.

+Correction (Sept. 28, 2015) some documents are also found in O'Callaghan's Calendar, and do appear in other published volumes in the New York Historical Manuscripts Series.

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Friday, September 25, 2015

Calendar of Historical Manuscripts, Part II, English Manuscripts, 1664-1776

Calendar of Historical Manuscripts, in the Office of the Secretary of State, Albany, N. Y., Part II, English Manuscripts, 1664-1776, edited by E. B. (Edmund Bailey) O'Callaghan, was published in 1866. As the title implies it covers the colonial period of New York during the period under English rule. This volume is approximately twice the length as Part I, which covered the much shorter Dutch period. Digital versions are available online.


Please refer to the post of September 20, 2015, for references to background on E. B. O'Callaghan and his efforts to catalog and archive the early records of New York. I would also suggest reading the preface to this volume which begins on page vii. 
The surnames Brewer, Brouwer and Brower can be found in the index. Found here are: Peter Brower (p. 80), Peter Brewer (161, 542), Richard Brewer (268, 328, 346, 347, 353, 357, 359, 400), Nicholas Brouwer (364, 748), Jacob Brewer (542), Jurian Brewer (542), Corn's. Brower (693), David Brewer (823), Abraham Brower (833).

At page 80 we find, "Evidence on which Peter Brower was bound over to answer at the Gravesend sessions for an assault on Gerrit Croesen." The date is 1 September 1679, and no doubt this is connected to the confrontations between Adam Brouwer and Gerrit Croosen found in Books of General Entries of the Colony of New York, 1664-1673. The complete account would be found in O'Callaghan's Volume 28, Governor Andros. 

At page 161, under the date of 17 September 1687 is, "Indictment against Arian Ryerse of Flatbush, Kings county, and Aras Janse, Rine Aranse, Joseph Hegeman and Cornelius Barnse, for breaking into the house of Peter Brewer." This is found in Volume 35, Governors Dongan and Andros. This record pertains to Pieter Jansz Brouwer, the son of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands, L. I.

A Richard Brewer is found with eight entries. At page 268 (referring to Volume 42, Earl of Bellomont, p. 174) date of 19 Apr 1699 is "Petition. Charles Ashfield, Richard Brewer and Henry Holland, lieutenants, relative to their pay."
At page 328 (Vol. 49, Governor Cornbury, p. 132), 8 July 1704, "Petition. Richard Brewer, lieut. of one of the companies posted at Albany, for the payment of the rent of a house hired by him."
At page 346 (Vol. 51, Governor Cornbury, p. 87), 19 March 1706, "Order. Johannes Schuyler, mayor of Albany, to provide quarters for lieut. Richard Brewer, of H. M. independent company."
At page 347 (ibid, p. 100), 9 April 1706, "Letter. John Schuyler to lieut. Richard Brewer, relative to a house he had hired for him."
At page 353 (Vol. 52, Governor Cornbury, p. 42), 1 May 1707. "Account. Lieuts. Henry Holland and Richard Brewer, for house rent."
At page 357 (ibid, p. 136), 1 May 1708, "Petition. Lieut. Richard Brewer, of the garrison at Albany, in relation to his house rent."
At page 359 (Vol. 53, Governors Cornbury, Lovelace, etc., p. 181), 11 October 1708, "Petition. Lieut. Richard Brewer, one of the executors of the will of Thomas Sharpe, late gunner to the fort at Albany, for the pay due said Sharpe."
And at page 400 (Vol. 57, Governor Hunter, p. 15), 5 December 1711, "Letter. Richard Brewer to secretary Clarke, requesting a captain's commission in the next expedition to Canada."
It is clear from that the eight references above all belong to one man named Richard Brewer. It is apparent that he was a professional soldier, and served as a Lieutenant in the colony for at least 12 years from 1699 through 1711. Whether or not he was married, whether or not he had descendants, or what became of him is cannot be learned from these accounts alone. The records here tell us nothing of his ancestry and link him to no family relations. There is nothing in these accounts that would lead us to suspect that he is in any way related to any of the early Brouwer families of New Netherland.

At page 364, in Volume 53, President Schuyler and Lieutenant-Governor Ingoldesby, p. 87, dated 28 May 1709, "Petirion. Nicholas Brouwer of Kings County, for permission to use the waters of Gouwanes for a mill he is about to erect there." This would be Nicholas Brouwer, son of Adam Brouwer, who with his brother Abraham, had ownership and operation of the property and mills at Gowanus after their father's death.

At page 542, in Volume 73, Lieutenant-Governor Clarke, date of 12 Jan 1741 is, "Receipt. Henry Dow, for the original bond in the case of Jacob and Peter Brewer, to Jurian Brewer." It is not possible to give an exact identification of the three mentioned based on this abstract alone. The full record would have to be consulted, however, this volume was lost in the 1911 New York State Capitol fire (see below). No doubt the three, Jacob, Peter and Jurian, are descendants of Adam Brouwer, of Gowanus, L. I.

At page 693, from Volume 86, Lieutenant-Governor De Lancey, p. 84, under the date of 6 October 1758, "Petition. Cornelius Brower, of New York, for the appointment of a judge to try a suit for land brought by him against the rector, etc., of Trinty church, New York." This could be the first suit brought by descendants and supposed descendants of Anneke Jans Bogardus, in their attempts to claim the property she once owned in lower Manhattan. This Cornelius Brouwer was baptized on 14 October 1713, and was a son of Sybrandt Brouwer and Sara Webber, and a grandson of Jacob Brouwer and Annatje Bogardus. He was a great-grandson of Adam Brouwer, and was a great-great-grandson of Anneke Jans.

At page 748, from Volume 92, Lieutenant-Governor Colden, p. 130, dated 8 November 1764. Nicholas Brower, along with more than twenty others, gave a deposition "in relation to the charge of maladministration against Mathew Dubois." A bit more research would be needed to be certain, but I would suspect that this deposition was made by Nicholas Brouwer (1714-1777), who primarily lived at Wappingers Falls in Dutchess County. He was a son of Adolphus Brouwer and Jannetje Verdon, and a great-grandson of Adam Brouwer, of Gowanus, L. I.

At page 823, from Volume 100, Governor Tryon, p. 64, dated 28 January 1774, with the note "Westchester Co.," "Letter. William Sutton, coroner, to gov. Tryon, informing him of the death of David Brewer, who fell from his horse; that the deodand (the horse) may be given to the widow." Without knowledge of the widow's name, it is difficult to determine just who this David Brewer is, and to whom this entry belongs as long been a mystery. Candidates could be 1) David Brouwer, bapt. 16 January 1707 at Hackensack (son of Abraham Brouwer and Lea Demarest), but this is not certain as this David may have been alive and living at Gravesend, L. I. as late as 1783; 2) David Brouwer, bapt. 14 May 1738 at Readington (son of Elias Brouwer and Helena Willemse) for whom we have no other identifiable records; or 3) some yet undiscovered or identified man named David Brewer.

At page 833, from Volume 101, Governor Tryon, pp. 100-101, dated 29 August 1775, "Will. Abraham Brower, of the city of New York, blacksmith." I have checked my database and searched a bit online, and have not been able to locate a complete copy of this will. It is not on file with the New York Surrogate's Office as one would expect it to be. Why it is found in the papers of Gov. William Tryon (Governor of New York from 1771 to 1780) is not apparent. Identifying who this "Abraham Brower, of the city of New York, blacksmith" is, is difficult without first examining a copy of the will. That, however, may not be possible. O'Callaghan's Calendar tells us that it is found in his Volume 101 of New York Historical Manuscripts. On March 29, 1911, the New York State Capitol Building was destroyed by fire, and many original documents and records were lost with it. An accounting of the damage can be found in the 94th Annual Report on the New York State Library, published in 1913. Digital versions are available online at Internet Archives. We can find what damage was done to O'Callaghan's New York Historical Manuscripts on page 19. We are told here that volume 101 was among the 22 volumes that are "fragmentary or in very poor condition." I'm afraid that finding and examining this will may not be possible. As for a guess as to which Abraham Brower this will may belong - one possibility is that it may be that of Abraham Brouwer, bapt. 21 October 1733 at Schraalenburgh, son of David Brouwer (mentioned in the above paragraph) and Jannetje Hartje. This Abraham Brouwer married Antje Nix by 1759 and had eight children baptized in Bergen County, New Jersey, the last seven at the Paramus Reformed Church, between 1759 and 1776. The baptism record of the last child, Jacobus, 16 June 1776, tells us that Antje was a widow*. The date given by O'Callaghan for the document is 29 August 1775, but we do not know if this is the date of the will, the date it was proved or probated, or the date it was recorded. The sticking point with this suggestion is that the testator was "of the city of New York," while Abraham and Antje clearly lived at or near Paramus, New Jersey, about ten miles from most points on Manhattan Island. Other men named Abraham Brouwer should still be considered.

Regarding the 94th Annual Report on the New York State Library - I would also recommend this post at "Steven WarRan Research" from February 11, 2012. For more on the fire see this page at the New York State Library website.

*Randolph, Howard S.F. and Russell Bruce Rankin. Paramus, Bergen County, New Jersey, Reformed Dutch Church Baptisms, 1740-1850. Rhinebeck, NY: Kinship, 1935, reprint 1992, p.65. Brower, Widow Antje; Jacobus; Wit.: Abram J. and Santje Vanderbeeck.

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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).

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Calendar of Historical Manuscripts, Part I, Dutch Manuscripts, 1630-1664

The complete title is Calendar of Historical Manuscripts in the Office of the Secretary of State, Albany, N. Y. It is the work of E. B. (Edmund Bailey) O'Callaghan, and was published in 1865 and 1866, in two parts. Part I, published in 1865, is a calendar of manuscripts from New York's Dutch period of 1630 to 1664. Part II, published in 1866, is a calendar of manuscripts from the English period, covering the years 1664 to 1776. The work is often referenced simply as Calendar. This post focuses on Part I. Digital versions can be found online at Internet Archives.


E. B. O'Callaghan was the archivist for the State of New York when, in about 1850, it took up the task of organizing and assuring the preservation of the records and papers found in the Secretary of State's office in Albany. In essence what he did was gather the records together, reorganize them, and bind them in new volumes. His reorganization and the titles bestowed upon the volumes he created are the framework for the later complete translations by A. J. F. van Laer, Charles T. Gehring, and others, published in series under the titles "New York Historical Manuscripts: Dutch," "New York Historical Manuscripts: English," and "New Netherland Documents". Part of O'Callaghan's effort was the creation of a calendar of the documents which serves us today as a convenient, "one stop," place to search for documents relating to any one specific person or event from the New Netherland period. For details on just what O'Callaghan did, how he went about doing it, and the history of the records and papers, it is suggested that you consult Arnold J. F. van Laer's, Translation and Publication of the Manuscript Dutch Records of New Netherland, With an Account of Previous Attempts at Translation (1910); Charles T. Gehring's Introduction (2010?) to the New York Historical Manuscripts: Dutch and New Netherland Documents series, and to the introduction in Laws and Writs of Appeal (New Netherland Document Series, Vol. 16), translated and edited by Charles T. Gehring (1991), starting at page xix.

Edmund Bailey O'Callaghan (1797-1880) (Wikimedia Commons via IHM)


The Calendar is indexed and there are entries for four different men named Brouwer found there. 

Entries for Adam Brouwer can be found at pages 32 (twice), 34, 94, 245 and 372. The entries on pages 32, and 34 are found in their entirety in Register of the Provincial Secretary, New York Historical Manuscripts: Dutch, Vol. 2. The entry at page 94 is found in Council Minutes, 1638-1649, New York Historical Manuscripts: Dutch, Vol. 4.

The entry for Adam Brouwer found at page 245 is from Volume 10, Council Minutes, 1661-1665, which has not yet been translated and published by the New Netherland Research Center (see page III of Introduction). This is a petition by "William Williamsen Bennet, Thomas Verdon, Adam Brouwer and Adriaen Willemsen, coheirs of Thomas Vardon (sic) praying that Paulus van der Beeq, husband of said Vardon's widow, may be obliged to account for their paternal estate." The widow being spoken of here is of course Maria Badie, who was first married to Jacob Verdon (not Thomas Vardon), secondly to Willem Adriaensen, and thirdly to Paulus van der Beeck. The "coheirs" here are Thomas Verdon and Adam Brouwer, the husband of Magdalena Verdon, children of Maria Badie's first husband, and William Willemsz Bennet and Adriaen Willemsen (Bennet) children of Maria's second husband. They are asking Maria's third husband for their share of the inheritance attributed to her first husband. The entry here is listed with the date 1 March 1663. As mentioned, we do not yet have a modern translation of this entire petition in print.  In The Minutes of the Orphanmasters of New Amsterdam, 1655 to 1663, by Berthold Fernow (digital editions online at Internet Archives), pages 229-230, with a date of 8 February 1663, is "Adam Brouwer, Tomas Verdon and Arien Willemsen appearing produce an extract from the Record or Resolutions of the Court of Breuckelen, dated January 24, 1663, and having been referred by said Court to this Board, as the extract shows, they request that Master Paulus be ordered to let them have their fathers property..."The Orphanmasters decision is that the persons and property involved are not within their jurisdiction and the petitioners are told to take the matter to the Director General and Council of New Netherland. Also relating to this matter is a deposition of Maritie Tomas (this being Maria Badie recorded with her patronymic) dated 15 February 1663. An annotated transcription by Wilson V. Ledley can be found in his series on the Bennet family, "Willem Adriaense Bennet of Brooklyn, N. Y., and Some of His Descendants," New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, vol. 93, no. 4 (Oct. 1962), pages 196-197. Space prevents a complete transcription here, but the deposition is interesting in that Maria states that her house was burned and destroyed "in the war with the savages about 19 years ago." That would be about 1644, the year Adam Brouwer likely came to New Amsterdam. Maria describes her remaining estate after the destruction, and this includes a "Bouwery (farm) and valley at Gouwanes, and a lot and a house on Beaver Street in New Amsterdam, also a "handmill" with belongings sold by her husband Paulus van der Beeck to Albert Pietersen Molenaer (miller), and so on. The deposition was taken by Wal van der Veen. The author, Wilson V. Ledley, gives is source as "OM:II:33-34." This would be Berthold Fernow's The Minutes of the Orphanmasters of New Amsterdam, 1655 to 1663 (Vol. II, 1907) which includes Minutes of the Executive Boards of the Burgomasters of New Amsterdam and The Records of Walewyn Van Der Veen, Notary Public, 1662-1664. Digital versions can be found online at Internet Archive. See pages 33-34 for the translation transcribed by Ledley. Maria Badie's deposition is not cataloged in O'Callaghan's Calendar.

The entry for Adam Brouwer found on page 372 is the patent he received for his lot on Manhattan Island. It is dated 8 February 1647, and the full translation is found in Land Papers, New York Historical Manuscripts: Dutch, Vols. GG, HH & II.

There is an entry for Jan Brouwer at page 67. This is the court case (19 May 1639) in which Jan Brouwer sued George Homs (Holmes) for a debt. It is found in Council Minutes, NYHM:Dutch, Vol. 4.

Philip Hendricks Brouwer is found on page 304. Philip Hendricksen Brouwer lived at Beverwijck (now Albany) and was mistakenly presumed to be a brother of Willem Brouwer (below) by Jonathan Pearson. Philip Hendricks Brouwer's is known for having accidentally killed Claes Cornelissen Swits. This entry dated 15 November 1663, is a letter from Vice-Director La Montagne (Jean de la Montagne) to Director Stuyvesant, in which a request is made to the "magistrates to pronounce judgement on Philip Hendricksen Brouwer, for the murder of Claes Cornellissen Swits." This letter is found in Correspondence, 1663-1664, Vol. 15, which has not yet been translated or published (see page III of Introduction).

Entries for William Brouwer can be found at pages 175, 185, 281, 322, 323 and 324. The entries on pages 175 and 185 are found in Council Minutes, volume 8, which has not been translated and published. At page 175, with a date of 27 Sep 1656, is an order, on a complaint by the fiscal, for William Brouwer, shoemaker, to "pay duty on Russia leather, etc., imported by him, and to make a pair of shoes for the fiscal." (A "fiscal" would be equivalent to a treasurer). At page 185, date of 20 April 1657, is "Proceedings and judgment in the city court, in the case of William Brouwer, attorney for Jan le Febre vs. Adriaen Vincent. We won't know the particulars of this case until a complete translation is published.

The entry at page 281 is found in Correspondence, 1654-1658, New Netherland Document Series, Volume 12, translated by Charles T. Gehring and published in 2003. A PDF version has been placed online by the New Netherland Institute. Here we find the full translation at page 62. In the post script of a letter from the Directors of the West India Company to Petrus Stuyvesant, dated 26 May 1655, is "We have here given permission to Willem Brouwer, to go over with his wife and three children without paying passage money, on condition he act as reader or comforter of the sick on board the Waegh, until arrival there, but no longer." This is the record that gives us the date of Willem Brouwer's emigration to New Netherland. It tells us that his wife and three of his children came with him, and we can infer from the letter, that Willem Brouwer was literate.

The entries found in the Calendar at pages 322, 323 and 324, are all found in Fort Orange Court Minutes, 1652-1660, New Netherland Documents Series, Volume 16, part two, translated and edited by Charles T. Gehring, published by Syracuse University Press in 1990 (PDF version online courtesy of the New Netherland Institute). The three entries for William Brouwer were organized by O'Callaghan in his Volume 16, part 3, and they pertain to a petition signed by a number of men, including William Brouwer, regarding the regulating of trade with the Indians; a complaint against William Brouwer, Volkert Jansen and Jan van Aken for employing an Indian to "bring other Indians to sell their furs to them"; and a complaint against a number of men, including William Brouwer, "for going to the woods or employing Dutchman as brokers to trade there with Indians." Along with these three entries there are other records involving Willem Brouwer in Fort Orange Court Minutes, 1652-1660, and they will be covered in a future post.

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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Records of the Town of Jamaica, Long Island, 1656-1751

Records of the Town of Jamaica, Long Island, New York, 1656-1751. edited by Josephine C. Frost, consisting of three volumes, was published by the Long Island Historical Society in 1914. Digital copies can be found online at Internet Archives.




Although located within the political jurisdiction of Dutch New Netherlands, and called Rustdorp (prior to the English takeover in 1664), Jamaica was a predominately "English town," and the first settlers were all of English ancestry. The first record appearing in volume one is dated 18 February 1656, and here Daniel Denton is "chosen to write & enter all acts and orders of public concernment of ye Town and is to have a daie's work a man for ye said employment." The first votes taken by "ye Town," order that "whosoever shall fell any trees in ye highways shall take both top and body out of ye highway;" declare a bounty of fifteen shillings for every wolf killed; and make the statement, "Likewise it is agreed upon by ye Town that whereas they have the Little plains by purchase and patent within their limits to maintain their rights & privaleges in ye said place from any such as shall goe to deprive ym off it & soe to make use off it as they shall se cause."

In the opening pages, house lots were granted to Robert Coe and his son Benjamin Coe, Nicolas Tanner, Abraham Smith, John Eazer, Samuel Smith, Morace Smith, and William Thorne, in the west quarter. In the north quarter lots were granted to Andrew Messenger, Samuell Matthews, Thomas Wiggins, Richard Chasmore, Richard Harker, Richard Everet, Henry Townsend, Richard Townsend, John Townsend and John Roades. So as you can see, the first inhabitants of the Town of Jamaica, located within Dutch New Netherland, all had English names. However, within a few decades names belonging to families of Dutch, Scandinavian, French and German origin; names more often associated with New Netherland, can be found in the Town of Jamaica records. In time the population of "Dutch" families was large enough to warrant the establishment of a Reformed Dutch congregation, and although the exact date of its formation is not known, surviving baptism records begin with the year 1702. They were published in the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record beginning with volume 105, no. 1 (January 1974), and continuing in each subsequent issue into volume 107 (1976).

Only one person named Brouwer appears in the three volume set. While the indexes for volumes one and three do not include the surname Brouwer (or any variation), volume two includes three mentions of "John Brower," and "Johannes Bruer."

At page 375 of volume two is a list of those contributing to the support of a minister. It bears the date of 1 January 1693/94. The list is dominated by English names, but also found on it is John Brower, who is followed by John Hareson (a transcription error for Hanson) and Steven Courtt. The three are the only "non-English" names on the list and they are the last three listed.

At page 439, "Johanas Bruer," is found on a rate list for the town dated 3 February 1708/09. John Hanson and Tunis Hanson, are also on this list. Following, on page 440, is a rate list dated 4 February 1708/09, which again includes Johanas Bruer, along with John Hanson, Hanss Bargin (Bergen) and Tunis Hanson.

The records above can only belong to Johannes Brouwer, son of Jan Brouwer and Jannetje Jans of Flatlands, Long Island. He was baptized on 26 May 1658 in the New Amsterdam Reformed Dutch Church. Adam Brouwer of Gowanus, Long Island had no son named Jan (John), and is oldest grandson with that name (Jan, son of Pieter Brouwer, bapt. 1685 at New York), was living at Newark, New Jersey when banns for his marriage to Antje Mandeville were posted at Hackensack, New Jersey, on 10 April 1708.

The "John Hanson," found on the rate lists, and contributing to the upkeep of the minister in 1693/94, would be Jan Hansen, son of Hans Hansen and Sara Rapalje, whose descendants took on the surname, Bergen. "Tunis Hanson," and "Hanss Bargin," were two of his sons. As laid out in the post of October 8, 2013, I believe that Annetje Jans, a.k.a. Antje Berge, was also a daughter of Jan Hansen. She was married in 1687 to Pieter Brouwer, brother of the John Brower/Johanas Bruer found in Jamaica.

"Steven Courtt," the other "non-English" contributor found on the list of 1 January 1693/94, would be Stephen Coerten Van Voorhees, a son of Coert Stephensz Van Voorhees and Marritje Gerrits.

Johannes Brouwer (John Brower/Johanas Bruer) died in the fall of 1712. In his will dated 1 September 1712, he is stated to be "of Hempstead, Long Island." He is styled as "Johannes Brewer," in the will, which was proved 13 October 1712. Johannes' wife was Sara Willems, and they were not known to have had any children. None were named in the will and Johannes left his property to his wife, and then to his own brothers and sisters after Sara's death.

While there are no deeds or land records found for Johannes Brouwer in the Jamaica records, there are a number involving Hans Bergen and Tunis Bergen. They are found in volume three and are indexed under the name "Bargin," which apparently is how the English speaking clerk recorded their surname. There are also quite a few for John Hanson/Hance/Hans/Hanse found in both volumes two and three.

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Sunday, September 13, 2015

Van Rensselaer Bowier Manuscripts

The complete title is, Van Rensselaer Bowier Manuscripts, Being the Letters of Kiliaen van Rensselaer, 1630-1643, and Other Documents Relating to the Colony of Rensselaerswyck. This work was translated and edited by Arnold J. F. van Laer. It was published in 1908 by the University of the State of New York, Albany.

A brief description of the Van Rensselaer Bowier Manuscripts can be found on the New Netherland Institute's website. The link labeled, "Translation" will take you to a digital copy of the book in PDF format. It is over 900 pages and may take a few minutes to completely upload to your screen. Once it has, I have found that the best way to utilize the book is to download it to my computer and open it offline. Here is a direct link to the PDF:


Digital copies in PDF and with options for other formats can be found elsewhere online, for example at the Internet Archives, and at Google Books. Since the book was published prior to 1927, it is in the public domain. For those who wish to have a physical book, used copies and reprints can be found for sale online at the websites of various booksellers. Just do a search.
There is one person named Brouwer found in this volume, and a second person referred to as de Brouwer (the brewer), an appellation that should not be confused for a surname.

Beginning at page 166 is a "Certificate of purchase from the Indians of land on the west side of the Hudson River from Smacks Island to Moenemin's Castle and of tract of land on the east side opposite Castle Island and Fort Orange." The date is given as August 13, 1630. Footnote 31 tells us that this certificate is the first purchase for Kiliaen van Rensselaer of land from the Indians in the vicinity of Fort Orange. The Indians are named as Kottamack, Nawanemit, Abantzeene, Sagiskwa and Kanamoack. Kiliaen van Rensselaer, himself, never came to his colony in North America. The certificate is signed by Peter Minuict, Director (Peter Minuet, who at the time was Director of the New Netherland Colony), Pieter Bijlvelt, Iacob Elbertsz Wissinck, Ian Ianssen Brouwer, Sijmon Dircks pos, Reynier Harmansen (this at page 168). 

The Ian Ianssen Brouwer listed above is Jan Jansz Brouwer, relatively well known today as having been a mariner and the captain of the ship d'Eendracht, that made trips to and from New Netherland during the earliest years of the colony. On page 170 he is mentioned simply as, Jan Brouwer, in a letter from Sijmon Dircxz pos to Kiliaen van Rensselaer. Sijmon Dircxz pos writes, "I would also recommend to your honor my cousin dirck Joosten, who is now coming home as mate with Jan Brouwer, since he is a good, upright young man."

Jan Brouwer is again found at page 272, this time in a letter from Kiliaen van Rensselaer to Wouter van Twiller, dated April 23, 1634 (begins at page 266). Wouter van Twiller was Director-General of New Netherland at this time, having replaced Peter Minuet in 1633. Van Twiller was a nephew of Kiliaen van Rensselaer (Wouter's father's sister was Kiliaen van Rensselaer's wife). The long letter is primarily Van Rensselaer warning Van Twiller about those at home who are against him, followed by some advise on how to keep is job. Once again, Jan Brouwer, is referred to in the context of a ship's captain.

Please note: there is no evidence that the ship captain, Jan Jansz Brouwer was in any way related to any of the early New Netherland progenitors bearing the surname Brouwer (that is to say, he is not related to Adam Brouwer of Gowanus, Jan Brouwer of Flatlands, or Willem Brouwer of Beverwijck).

Jacob de Brouwer is found at page 839, in the section titled, "Settlers of Rensselaerswyck, 1630-1658." This section has been published separately as Settlers of Rensselaerswyck, 1630-1658, Excerpted from the Van Rensselaer Bowier Manuscripts,with Index to Biographical Notes. It is a short (54 page) pamphlet of brief biographies of those found at the Colony of Rensselaerwyck* from 1630 (the year of it's founding) to 1658. It is arranged chronologically and Jacob de Brouwer is listed under the year 1649, with the brief entry: "received apparently in 1649, permission to build on a hofstee (lot), next to Mr. hogens [de Hooges], for which, from 1650 to 1652, he is charged with a rent of f16 a year."

As with Jan Jansz Brouwer, there is no evidence that links Jacob de Brouwer with Adam Brouwer of Gowanus, Jan Brouwer of Flatlands, or Willem Brouwer of Beverwijck.

Map of Rensselaerswyck, ca. 1632 (Wikimedia commons)
 *There is some debate as to the correct name and spelling of Van Rensselaer's colony. Arnold J. F. van Laer used the spelling RENSSELAERSWYCK with an S after the root, Rensselaer. Some believe that the inclusion of the S is incorrect, and the correct name and spelling is RENSSELAERWYCK, without the S, or even more correctly as RENSSELAERWIJCK, which would be the Dutch spelling (substituting IJ for Y).

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Thursday, September 10, 2015

Curaçao Papers, 1640-1665

Curaçao Papers, 1640-1665, translated by Charles T. Gehring. A description and brief introduction is online at the New Netherland Institute's website. Here it is described as Volume 17 of the Dutch Colonial Manuscripts at the New York State Archives. I believe it is considered to be volume 17 of the New Netherland Document Series, which is the name used for the continuation of the New York Historical Manuscripts series which began with Arnold J. F. van Laer's translations. If the categorization and titles given to all of these translations and publications is confusing to you (and indeed it does seem unnecessarily complicated) I would refer you to the Introduction published by the New Netherland Institute. Curaçao Papers, 1640-1665 was published in 1987 by Heart of the Lakes Publishing, Interlaken, NY, and used copies can be found for sale online. However, asking prices (as of this post) are high ($275 to $441). Fortunately there is digital version available in PDF from the NNI. Unfortunately, it does not include the introduction or an index.

Below the description of this volume are three links. The first is to a digital copy (PDF) of the published translation by Charles T. Gehring. The second link is to a transcription by Jacob Schiltkamp done in 1987. The third link will take you to the digital images page at the New York State Archives website. Here is a direct link for the translation:


Besides an index, this online PDF edition also does not include the introduction. That can be found separately online, as a PDF, here:


Whether or not anyone named Brouwer is found in this work is not known to me. I have not read through the entire volume. Of interest though, to those researching Adam Brouwer, is a paragraph found in the separately published introduction. On page 2 of the Introduction is a narrative describing events taking place in around the island of Curaçao during the first half of the 1640s. Here we find, with regards to the year 1644: 

     "During the first week of April, while Stuyvesant was lying siege to the fort on St. Martin, approximately 450 West India Company fled to Curaçao from the Maranhao region of Brazil. This exodus was prompted by the fall of Sao Luis, the major city in the Maranhao, on the 28th of February. Most of the men in this contingent were soldiers under the command of David Adam Wiltschut, the former military commander on Curaçao. Stuyvesant must have been overwhelmed when he returned to Curaçao, minus one leg, to find 450 new mouths to feed. The islands were already short of provisions because of the expedition to St. Martin and Wiltschut had brought none with him from Brail. Stuyvesant resolved the crisis by sending the majority of the soldiers to Willem Kieft, director of New Netherland, to assist in his campaign against the Indians."

We of course know from Adam Brouwer's Power of Attorney to Geurt Servaessen, dated 21 February 1645, that Adam Brouwer had gone to Brazil in 1641, as a soldier employed by the West India Company, and was stationed at Fort St. Louis (Sao Luiz), and since he is in New Amsterdam by early 1645, it is most certain that Adam Brouwer experienced the events described above.

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Monday, September 7, 2015

Land Papers, Vols. GG, HH, II, 1630-1664

Land Papers: Volumes GG, HH & II, in the series New York Historical Manuscripts: Dutch, is transcribed and edited by Charles T. Gehring. It was published by the Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., Baltimore, in 1980. The volume can be purchased directly from the New Netherland Institute's website.

A brief description can be found on the NNI website. The volume also has an introduction that is a valuable source of background information for the records within. It is suggested that the time be taken to read it. The published book is available as a free PDF via the link provided at the bottom the page at the NNI website.


There are two mentions of Adam Brouwer in this volume. They are found at pages 48 and 124.

At page 48 is a translation and transcription of the patent granted to Adam Bouwer on 7 February 1647, by Willem Kieft, then the General-Director of New Netherland. The patent is identified as GG 167, and the published version reads as follows:

     "We, Willem Kieft, etc... have given and granted to Adam Brouwer a certain lot for a house and garden out of the lot of Hendrick Jansz which was laid out by the surveyor on 2 June 1644; it estends in front along the road from the east and 9 rods, 2 feet, 2 inches and 7 grains; on the west side 6 rods to the rear of the house along a fence; further on as the fence runs 2 rods, 9 feet, 2 inches; on the west side the length to the rear of the lot is 5 rods, 6 inches; the breadth in the rear or on the north side is 3 rods, 8 feet, one inch and 2 grains; on the east side in length next to the lot of Willem Bredenbent 9 rods, 7 feet, 3 inches and one grain; amounting in all to 61 rods, 5 feet, 8 inches and 3 grains, with the express conditions etc...
     Done at Fort New Amsterdam, 7 February 1647. It is excepted that Hendrick Smith shall have the privilege of passing over the land of Adam Brouwer until the aforesaid Adam shall build on the road and no longer."

The patent mentions two others by name. Willem Bredenbent, Adam's immediate neighbor, was married to Aeltje Braconie in New Amsterdam on 4 September 1644. Aeltje Braconie was the mother of Maria Badie, and the grandmother of Adam Brouwer's wife, Magdalena Verdon. The marriage of Willem Bredenbent and Altje Braconie, as recorded in the New Amsterdam Reformed Dutch Church register, reads as follows: 

"Wilhem Bredenbent, j.m. Van Ceulen, en Aeltje Braconie Wede Van Corn. Lamberts"

From this record we can see that like Adam Brouwer, Willem Bredenbent was born at "Ceulen," which is Cologne, a city in present day Germany. Aeltje Braconie was the widow of Cornelis Lambertsen (Cool). The father of Maria Badie was Thomas Badie, who had been Aeltje's husband previous to Cornelis Lambertsen. Willem Bredenbent was (at least) Aeltje's third husband. This was Willem's first marriage.

The second individual named is mentioned first as "Hendrick Jansz," and later as "Hendrick Smith." They are one and the same. Hendrick Jansen was a locksmith, and the records of New Amsterdam record him variously as Hendrick Jansen (Jansz), as Hendrick Jansen Smit (Smith), as Hendrick Smit (Smith) and as Hendrick Jansen van Jeveren. Adam Brouwer purchased is lot from Hendrick Jansen on 21 February 1645, less than a month before he (Adam) married Magdalena Verdon. We will have more on Hendrick Jansen Smit (Smith) van Jeveren, in a future post.

Adam Brouwer's name appears a second time at page 124. This is a conveyance from Adriaen Keyser to Abram Pieterse Molenaer (a molenaer or molenaar is a miller. Did Adam Brouwer, later a miller himself, learn this trade from Abram Pieterse?). The conveyance states that Adriaen Keyser, former commissary of the West India Company, sold by virtue of his power of attorney, to Abram Pieterse, two houses located on Broadway, "heretofore purchased from Abram Pieterse by Paulus Leendertsen when he was quartermaster for the Company, and thereafter sold by the aforesaid Keyser to the highest bidder for the Company's account; located between Jan Jansen Cuyper and Gerret Molenaer; it is in breadth on the street 4 rods, 4 feet; in the rear along Adam Brouwer's lot 4 rods; in length on the north side 7 rods; on the south side 5 rods, 4 feet, 3 inches, etc." The conveyance is dated 15 October 1653. It is identified as II 54. It appears that Adam Brouwer's property backed up to the property described in this conveyance, and that Adam was still living on Manhattan Island in 1653.

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Sunday, September 6, 2015

Brewer, Brouwer and Brower in the Index to Dutchess County, Ancient Documents

Just placed online is a newly created index of those with the surnames BREWER, BROUWER and BROWER, plus two with the surname BRUA, extracted from an index for "Ancient Documents" in Dutchess County, New York.


This index, and the files that are being indexed, are found online at FamilySearch.org in their collection identified as "New York, Probate Records, 1629-1971, Dutchess, General Index 1721-1862 no 1-15181 A-K." These are digital images of indexes filmed at the Dutchess County, New York court house in 1973 by the Genealogical Society of Utah, and cataloged as FHL film #931616.

The files are found by their file numbers, which seem to follow a chronological order, meaning lower numbers represent files with older dates. The files are in the group of filmed documents titled, "Ancient Documents." Digital images of the files can be accessed at the FamilySearch.org website on the page designated as "New York, Probate Records, 1629-1971, Dutchess." There is no search feature for these images. Finding each individual file must be done manually by working your way through the appropriate film, and locating the first page for specific file can be a bit time consuming and tedious. When I did a search for one file, I found that the first pages for the files, which has the file number, was oriented sideways on the screen. In addition, many pages within the file were oriented upside down. The content of each file appears to vary widely. The amount of genealogical data or material may be small or found to be none at all, depending on the file. If, however, you do recognize a name in this index that may be an ancestor, it certainly is worth making an effort to locate the entire file. A link to the index has been placed in the column on the right side of this page, under Pages. It is a PDF document and you are free to download it for use offline.

The post of August 7, 2013 featured the file found for Matthew Brewer. That should give you a flavor for the type of information found in a file. As mentioned above, the subject matter for each file is varied.

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Friday, September 4, 2015

Council Minutes, 1655-1656

Council Minutes, 1655-1656, transcribed and edited by Charles T. Gehring, was published in 1995 by Syracuse University Press as Volume VI of the New Netherland Document Series. A PDF version can be found online at the New Netherland Institute's website.


A physical copy can be purchased from the NNI through their online bookstore, for $55 (as of the date of this post).

This volume includes a short biography (page vi) of Charles T.Gehring, which should be of interest to anyone who spends much time engaged in researching the families and history of New Netherland. The introduction to the records (page xiii) is also a must read. It will provide some insight into the location and formation of local (regional) jurisdictions within New Netherland. Knowledge of  how New Netherland was governed is valuable background for genealogists and family historians attempting to interpret events that effected the lives of their ancestors. 

The surname Brower is found in the index. There are records naming an Eduard Bronje, an Edward Brower, an Eduward Borus, and an Edward Brouse. They all refer to the same Edward. Whether or not Edward's correct surname was Brower, or something closer to Bronje, Borus or Brouse, is not apparent from these records alone.

At pages 40 and 41 is the "Discharge of William Bouwne and Eduard Bronje as guardians of John Ruckman." The date is 5 May 1655. Both William Bouwne and Eduard Bronje are described as inhabitants of Gravesend.

At pages 63 and 64 is a "Letter containing the nomination of officers from Gravesande for the council's approval." The letter is dated 19 July 1655. It announces the choice of "William Bowne, William Wilkins & Edward Brower for our Magistrates and John Morris for schout," for the inhabitants of Gravesend, and asks for confirmation. It was subscribed by Deborah Moody and John Tillton, "cleck in behalfe of the Rest" (which I would assume means the other inhabitants of Gravesend. The reply from the "lord director general" and councilors of New Netherland writes the names of the four men as, Willem Bount, Willem Wilkens, Eduward Borus, and Jan Mourits.

At pages 278 and 279, under date 24 March 1656, John Tillton, clerk at Gravesend, again submits on behalf of the inhabitants there, their choices for Magistrates as "William Boune, William Willkins, and Edward Brouse." Also for John Cooke as shout.

As it turns out, the man found in the above records, is actually named, Edward Brown. And it was not all that difficult to discover this. The History of Long Island..., Volume II (New York: Gould, Banks & Co., 1843) by Benjamin Franklin Thompson, at page 177 has a list of inhabitants at Gravesend in 1656. The only Edward among the group is Edward Brown (the name is listed here twice). This volume can be found online at Internet Archive. The variations in his name, found above, are simply examples of the fact that spelling was not standardized in the 1600s, that the Dutch clerks and scribes spelled phonetically and had particular difficulty with non-Dutch names, and also of the difficulty in reading, transcribing and translating these old documents that were created some 350 or so years ago. [William Bouwne/Bowne/Bount/Boune, was William Bowne who came to Gravesend from Salem, Massachusetts where he was a freeman in 1637.]

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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Adam Brouwer Documents at the New York State Archives Digital Collection

Digital images of the original documents that were transcribed and included in Register of the Provincial Secretary, 1642-1647, New York Historical Manuscripts: Dutch, Volume 2, can be viewed online at the website of the New York State Archives, in their Digital Collections. They can be found with a simple search using "Adam Brouwer." Here are direct links to each:

     Assignment by Adam Brouwer to Geurt Servaessen of his claim on the West India Company. This is document 141a, found at pages 290-291 of Register of the Provincial Secretary, 1642-1647. You can see here that it is crossed through, i.e. canceled, and replaced by the following document.

     Power of Attorney from Adam Brouwer to Geurt Servaessen to collect wages due from the West India Company. This would be document 141b, found at pages 291-292.

     Document 141c is the Contract of Sale from Hendrick Jansen to Adam Brouwer of a house and garden on Manhattan Island. It is found at pages 292-293. This, and the above two documents are dated 21 February 1645. They are the very first records that we have for Adam Brouwer, not only in New Netherland but also anywhere. No documentation has yet been found for Adam Brouwer in Europe.

     Power of Attorney from Adam Brouwer to Govert Loockermans to receive money due him by the West India Company. This is document 149j and is found at pages 341-342. The date here is 21 September 1646, so apparently Geurt Servaessen was unsuccessful in obtaining for Adam Brouwer, his past due wages. Govert Loockermans is well known to many who study the early inhabitants of New Netherland. Govert Loockermans, Correspondence and Papers can be accessed online at the New Netherland Institute website. There are a few links here for those seeking to learn more, including a translation by Wim Vanraes; a transcription by Janny Venama, and a companion piece to the collection by Willem Frijhoff.  Govert Loockermans was married to Marritje Jans (second marriage for both). Marritje was a daughter of Tryntje Jonas, and sister of the "famous" Anneke Jans, the supposed heiress to the valuable Trinity Church property, and falsely claimed as an illegitimate heir of William the Silent, Prince of Orange, by 19th and 20th century fortune seekers. Anneke was first married to Roelof Jansen, and secondly to Dom. Everardus Bogardus. We don't know if Govert was successful in getting Adam Brouwer his overdue paycheck. I wonder if he ever received it.

Clicking on each of the digital images at the New York State Archives website will open up the image in a new window. There is a magnification tool available so each can be viewed in detail. The documents can be downloaded (they are .png files) however, the resolution is not that great and detail is lost when the downloaded image is magnified. The online image works better. Viewing the images leaves me with a taste for just how difficult the process of transcribing and then translating these documents was (and is, as the work continues). I'm left with a sense of appreciation of the talent, and gratitude for the work of Arnold J. F. van Laer, for that Charles T. Gehring, and the others who labor at the task of making 17th century New Netherlands available to the rest of us.

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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Council Minutes, 1652-1654

New York Historical Manuscripts: Dutch, Volume 5 is Council Minutes, 1652-1654. This volume was published in 1983 by the Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., Baltimore. The Council Minutes were translated and edited by Charles T. Gehring. There is an index. A physical edition of the book is available for sale on the New Netherland Institute's website for only eight dollars (as of the date of this post, and it is not clear if the book is hardbound or softcover). There is also a digital version in PDF format that can be downloaded from the NNI website.


Adam Brouwer is found in two entries in the book. At page 15, under the date of 12 February 1652 is:
     "Adam Brouwer, plaintiff, against Machiel Janssen, defendant; the plaintiff demands proof that he had grain to sell, because he, the defendant, would have said so, and that he, the plaintiff, would have taken it from the mill." Which is followed by, "The director and council order the plaintiff to prove that the defendant said so, or to pay the defendant's expenses."

At page 18, under the date of 4 March 1652 is an incomplete entry (parts missing or unreadable) presented as:
     "[        ] Kristman, plaintiff, against Adam Brouwer for [        ] of £43," followed by, "The director and council order Adam Brouwer to pay in [  ] days."

Although there is nothing of genealogical significance in either of the above two entries, we can at least learn from the first that Adam Brouwer was engaged in milling by 12 February 1652. The Michael Jansen in the same record is likely the progenitor of the Vreeland family, which is the surname that his children are found with. His wife is variously recorded as Fytie Hertmans, Fytie Hartmans, Feytie Hermans and Fytie Wessels. She would appear to have been a daughter of a Hertman/Herman Wesselszen. I have no guess as to who the "[       ] Kristman" is in the second record.

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