Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Brewers in New Jersey During the Period of the American Revolution

2018 is the year that I, for once and for all, clear out the Brouwer, Brower, Brewer files on the old home desk top computer. It's a chance to spot things that may have been overlooked, and when such an item is found I'll place it online for any interested researcher to access. They'll be stored in a Google Drive account. In the past I had often placed docs and files online using RootsWeb FreePages. But after last year's take down of that website (down for a few months during the spring of 2017) and the difficulties RootsWeb is currently experiencing (just click on the Brouwer Genealogy Database link to the right and you'll get an explanation), I'll switch to the more reliable (and free so long as I don't exceed data limits) Google Drive. The Google Drive will be my only copy. I will no longer maintain a back-up or second copy. So once my Google Account is gone these files will disappear as well. I will no longer be a repository for all things Brouwer, Brower or Brewer. And so my advise is if you should happen to find a keeper, something that is useful to your own research, download it now. It will not be online forever. Now back to the subject of this post...

From the collection of material loaned to me by William B. Bogardus back in 2008-09, here is a page of Brewers found in Revolutionary Census of New Jersey - An Index Based on Rateables of the Inhabitants of New Jersey During the Period of the American Revolution, by Kenn Stryker-Rodda  (1986). This is a four page PDF. Please read the introduction found on the second page. The third page gives abbreviations used for the townships covered. New Jersey counties that are covered are Hunterdon, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, and Salem. The fourth page is the page that includes those named BREWER (also spelled BREWAR and don't ignore BREWEN and BRUEN, BREWIN and BRUIN).

My experience over the past 17 years of research on the Brouwer, Brower and Brewer surname, is that many of those who reach dead-ends with their lines do so around or just after the period of the American Revolution, and they do so with families that migrated to what was then the western frontier of the new United States. This specifically refers to families that "suddenly" appear in western Pennsylvania, western Virginia including what would later become West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky. I can also state that it has been my experience after years of researching not only Browers and Brewers, but also many other families with origins in colonial New York, New Jersey, and New England, that many (probably the majority) of those who did find their way to the western frontier of the new United States, did so from homes located in the western counties of New Jersey and adjoining counties of eastern Pennsylvania. Specifically I'm talking about Hunterdon, Somerset, Morris counties in New Jersey and Bucks and Northampton counties in Pennsylvania. So here now is a handy list of adult males, as well as a Hannah, a Mary, and a "widow," who were living in those counties in New Jersey that I just mentioned above.

There is little doubt in my mind that if your dead-end Brewer or Brower ancestor is found in western Pennsylvania, western Virginia, Ohio or Kentucky, his/her ancestor that is the link to your colonial period ancestry is very likely on this list.

Good luck, and I'd invite anyone who has found a viable link to share it with others by using the Comments field below.

A Map of Colonial New Jersey

From the website http://www.teacheroz.com/colonies.htm

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