Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Will of Jeremiah Brower (Jeury Brouwer, 1728-1776)

Digital images of the will of Jeremiah Brower, better known as Jeury Brouwer, can be accessed online at this location.
Jeury Brouwer was born in 1728, the son of Jeury Brouwer and Elizabeth Hilton, and the grandson of Abraham Brouwer and Cornelia Caljer, and of William Hilton and Anna Brouwer. His paternal grandfather, Abraham Brouwer, and his maternal grandmother, Anna Brouwer, were siblings, both children of Adam Brouwer and Magdalena Verdon.
Jeury was first married to Jane Elsworth (15 Feb 1750, NY Reformed Dutch Church), the daughter of Theophilus Elsworth and Joanna Hardenbroek. They had three children, Jeremiah, Theophilus and Jane. His second marriage was to Elizabeth Van de Water (Banns 24 Sep 1757, NY RDC) daughter of Hendrick Van de Water and Annatje Skillman. They had ten children, five of whom lived into adulthood, William, Hendrick (Henry), Johannes (John), Elizabeth and Abraham. All of the above mentioned children are named in the will, as is his wife Elizabeth.
Jeury Brouwer, or Jeremiah Brower as he is styled in the will, was a merchant of New York City. At the time he wrote his will (8 April 1776) he was living at New Barbadoes in Bergen County, (then) East Jersey. He was relatively wealthy for his time and mentions a silver tankard, plate, and furniture in his will. Apparently, he had an interest or was involved in shipping. His eldest son, Jeremiah Brower, died in Charleston, South Carolina, having married Susannah Miller of that place. No doubt he was introduced to Charleston as a result of his father's shipping and trading interests.
Additional info regarding Jeury Brouwer/Jeremiah Brower can be found at the Brouwer Genealogy Database website.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Atlas of Historical County Boundaries

The changing of political boundary lines, especially those involving Counties in the United States, is something that needs to be considered whenever a researcher begins to look for records that pertain to some specific ancestor. For example, in 1900 Nassau County, New York was created out of Queens County. Therefore, if your ancestor lived in the Town of Hempstead at the turn of the 20th century (from the 19th), he/she would have began life living in Queens County, while ending it in Nassau County, all without ever having moved his or herself. Searching for records of the ancestor's birth or marriage would require looking at the records held by courts in Queens County. Then, when it comes time to look for death or probate records, the search would move to Nassau County. A deed for property purchased in 1899 should be found in Queens County, while a sale for the same property in 1901, might be recorded in Nassau County. Not knowing that Nassau County was created out of Queens County in 1900 could hinder your search strategy.
Political jurisdictions and boundaries have changed continuously throughout the history of the United States. This was especially true, and frequent, during the first half of the 1800s. Knowing where to look for records, depending on the time period in question, is the first step in a successful record search. Thankfully, there is a website, Atlas of Historical Boundaries (Newberry Library), that is easy, even fun to use, and indispensable for tracking down county formation and changes. Start by simply selecting a state from the map on the home page. The one I use most often is New York. At this individual state page you will find a number of different tools to use, some of which can be downloaded and used offline. My favorite is the Interactive Map. With New York you are taken to a map of the State with the current counties outlined in white and an overlay (outlined in black) of the counties as they existed on July 4, 1776. The tools to the right allow you to manipulate the map in any many different ways. The "Select Map Date" allows you to view the county boundaries of the state at any particular point in time. For exact dates regarding changes and county formations, the County Index page is indispensable. Just select a county and you'll find its entire history of changes that effected its boundaries. The Consolidated Chronology provides a time line for boundary changes statewide beginning, in the case of New York, in 1606 when charters were granted by King James I.
The Atlas of Historical Boundaries website is easy to use and is an extremely useful tool that all genealogy researchers should be aware of.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Hill Manuscript

The document known as the "Hill Manuscript" was produced in 1923 or 1924 by Fred Hill of Ontario, Canada. You will occasionally find reference to it in published accounts of both the descendants of Adam Brouwer and in reference to Anneke Jans. The document appears to be an attempt at recounting what was then considered to be the facts surrounding the claims to property in Manhattan that was believed to have once belonged to Anneke Jans (1605-1663). She was the widow of Roeloff Jansen (d. ca. 1637) and Dom. Everardus Bogardus (1607-1647).
I am bringing attention to the manuscript here because among its contents are a number of genealogies, most of which are terribly incorrect especially with regards to the earlier generations. However, genealogies of later generations (1800s to 1923) are probably more correct as they were related to Fred Hill by persons who in many cases were describing their immediate families. For this reason it may be a valuable tool for some. It can also serve as an interesting look at the atmosphere that surrounded all the hype and excitement surrounding the quest by many to "recover" their perceived share of the inheritance due the descendants of Anneke Jans.
Much of the descendant information that has some value involves the Hill family, who were descended from the couple Thomas Benjamin Hill and Jane Brouwer. It had been believed that  this Jane Brouwer, born about 1734, was a descendant of Anneke Jans through her granddaughter Annetje Bogardus and her husband, Jacob Brouwer. Jane Brouwer is not a descendant of this last couple. She is instead, a daughter of Nazareth Brouwer and Anne Rozell, and is descended from Adam Brouwer through his son Nicholas Brouwer, a younger brother of the just mentioned Jacob Brouwer. I have used the accounts found in the Hill Manuscript to produce a genealogical chart of the descendants of Jane Brouwer and Thomas Benjamin Hill. It is available online, and it comes with the caveat that I have not researched the accuracy of the accounts presented in the Hill Manuscript. I make it available simply as tool for anyone who is interested in further research of this branch of descendants of Adam Brouwer. It is essentially a "genealogical summery" in chart format of the Hill section of the manuscript.
I also have online PDF documents of the Hill Manuscript itself. It is broken up into seven parts and was created by scanning images of the manuscript's pages, which were mimeographed copies (remember that purple ink). The manuscript was on legal size paper (8x14). My scanner, however, only accommodates pages that are 8x11. As a result you will find "short" pages within the PDF documents. These are online in a Google Docs account and those interested are probably best off downloading each PDF to your own computer for easier and better viewing. Part 1 is very light and can be difficult to read. Parts 2 through 7 are darker and you should have no trouble with them. The copy that was scanned was obtained from William B. Bogardus.

Hill Manuscript Part 1: Contents, Trinity Church Story, House of Orange, Anneke Jans and her Farm
Hill Manuscript Part 2:  The Lawsuits
Hill Manuscript Part 3: Genealogy Section - Showers Connection, Van Every Connection, Scott Genealogy, Bogardus Genealogy
Hill Manuscript Part 4: Brower Connections, Genealogy of James Maxwell, Mathewson Genealogy, Daniel Brower of Brockville, Ontario
Hill Manuscript Part 5: "Quackenbus" Line, Webber, Hill
Hill Manuscript Part 6: Webber Genealogy, Brouwer or Brower Genealogy, The Estate of Robert Edwards, Information regarding the Law Cases against Trinity Church
Hill Manuscript Part 7: Law cases continued, List of Correspondants

A reminder: Please use the genealogy sections with extreme caution. They are largely incorrect, and parts are best described as fictitious. For titles of the best current published accounts regarding Anneke Jans, the story of the Trinity Law suits, and her descendants, please see the Bibliography page.

Friday, December 16, 2011

William Brewer/Brower (Willem Brouwer) of Middletown, Monmouth Co., New Jersey

This posting describes changes to the families of Pieter Jansz Brouwer and his wife, Annetje Jans, and to the family of Willem Jacobsz Brouwer (William Brewer) and his wife, Maritje van Oort (Van Nort/Van Note).
The records of the Dutch Congregations of Freehold and Middletown record the baptism, on 5 May 1723, of "A daughter" of Willem Brower. The name of the child, as well as the name of the mother, are not recorded. No sponsors or witnesses are recorded (GMNJ 23:11). Previously, this Willem Brower was placed in the family of Pieter Jansz Brouwer (a son of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands) and Annetje Jans. This was done simply as a best guess, and in hindsight it is very clear that there is no evidence Pieter Jansz Brouwer and Annetje Jans ever had a son named Willem, nor is there any reason to suspect that they might have had one. This previous incorrect placement can now be corrected.
The deed records that were recently abstracted (see the post of December 12, 2011) helped fill in the missing details as to who this Willem Brower, who had a daughter baptized at Freehold-Middletown, more likely is. In 1725, William Brewer of Middletown sold land to William Leeds, and signed with his mark. In 1726, William Brewer of Middletown, and Mary, his wife, sold land to Samuel Hoffmire, Benjamin Hoffmire and William Hoffmire, and signed by the same mark as in 1725. In 1746, William Brower sold land to Jacob Brower of "Mansquan" in Shrewsbury Township, property along the river (setting aside fishing rights), and signed by the same mark as found in the 1725 and 1726 deeds. In 1720, the earmark of William Brewer was recorded at Middletown (Stillwell's Miscellany vol. 2, p. 209), and in 1721, the property of William Brewer was described in a deed from Charles Mott to the same Hoffmire brothers mentioned above (abstracts posted on December 12, mentioned above). It follows that the William Brewer/Brower of Middletown in 1720, 1721, 1725, 1726 and 1746, was the same William Brower whose daughter was baptized in 1723 at the Freehold-Middletown Congregation.
Willem Brouwer, the son of Jacob Brouwer and Annetje Bogardus, was baptized at the Old First Dutch Reformed Church of Brooklyn on 8 May 1687. On 19 May 1709, at the Reformed Dutch Church of New York, he married Marritje van Oort, daughter of Goosen van Oort and Maria Peeck, and widow of Pieter Hennion (the record calls her Maria Hennion). They had three daughters, Annetje, Lucretia and Catharina, baptized at New York between 1710 and 1714. In addition, they stood as witnesses for six baptisms (between them, once together) at the New York Dutch Church during this same period. After 1714, neither William nor Mary are found in the New York Dutch Church records. It's likely they went to Monmouth County, New Jersey at this time. The 1726 deed mentioned above involves both William Brewer and his wife, Mary. No other known William Brouwer from this period was married to a woman named Mary. William's younger brother, Adam Brewer, also settled in Monmouth County (at Shrewsbury) at this time. The William Brower who had a daughter baptized at Freehold-Middletown in 1723, was mistakenly placed in the family of Pieter Jansz Brouwer. It is now clear that this William Brower is the same as the Willem Brouwer who married Marritje van Oort. The Family Group Sheet for Pieter Jansz Brouwer has been corrected, as has the Descendant Chart for Jan Brouwer of Flatlands.

The question now is, who is the Jacob Brower who purchased land from William Brower in 1746? In the post of December 9, 2011, the abstracts placed online include a 1808 deed of Jacob Croxson who sells land in Shrewsbury that he in part, inherited from his grandfather, Jacob Brewer. Adam Brewer (mentioned above, brother of William) is not known to have had a son named Jacob. Although there is no direct evidence to support it at this time, it is my belief that the Jacob Brower of Shrewsbury mentioned in the 1746 deed, and the Jacob Brewer mentioned in Jacob Croxson's deed of 1808, are the same man, and he is most likely a son of William Brower and Marritje van Oort, probably born in Monmouth County, New Jersey between 1715 and 1725. Jacob in turn probably had a daughter (not yet discovered) who married a Croxson (given name not yet known) and had a son Jacob Croxson. It must be emphasized that records confirming the just mentioned hypothesis have not been located, and for now it can only be regarded as a possible scenario.
Thanks to William B. Bogardus for sharing the documents he collected and for his thoughts on this matter. The present edition of the Brouwer Genealogy Database does not yet reflect this new information. It will not appear online at the BGD until that site is once again updated (which may not happen for a couple of months).

Still unaccounted for are: the William Brewer of Amwell, Hunterdon Co., New Jersey, whose estate was administered on 31 January 1730 (granted to James Chambers), AND, the William Brewer of Readington, Hunterdon Co, New Jersey, who appeared as a debtor before the Monmouth County Court of Common Pleas in 1735 (see Abstracts part 3 Nos.58-61).

Monday, December 12, 2011

Miscellaneous Records Pertaining to Brewers and Browers in Monmouth Co., N.J., Part 3

Abstracts of Early Monmouth County Court Papers, Part 3, can now be accessed online. The abstracts here cover one document regarding the BRUERE family, three documents regarding Holsart, Huls and Hulse (which may or may not pertain to Brewer relations, but I had access to them so they were included), and eight documents regarding men named William Brewer or Brower. Again, copies of the original documents had been received from William B. Bogardus in 2009.
The documents regarding William Brewer/Brower deserve expanding upon. The documents pertain to TWO different men named William Brewer or William Brower. The first three (Nos. 55, 56 and 57) pertain to a William Brewer who resided at Middletown in Monmouth County. He signs two of the deeds in which he is the grantor, by his mark (which is fairly unique and distinguishable). The next five entries (Nos. 58, 59, 60, 61 and 62) pertain to a different man named William Brewer, who resided at Readington in Hunterdon County, but apparently had business dealings with men in Monmouth County. The cases involve his debts to Jacob Janeway, John Broughton and Casparus Vanostrandt. One hearing includes a document which this William Brewer signed with his name (and not a mark), evidence that the two William Brewers of these records are two different men.
More on both of these men will follow in subsequent postings.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Miscellaneous Records Pertaining to Brewers and Browers in Monmouth Co., N.J., Part 2

Abstracts of Early Monmouth County, New Jersey Court Papers, Part 2, can now be found online. The documents, nos. 26 thru 50, probably pertain to descendants of Adam Brouwer. One exception to this is No. 49, which pertains to members of the Bruere family of Upper Freehold in Monmouth County. The Bruere family is unrelated to the families named Brewer, Brower or Brouwer found in New Jersey during the same time period. In this particular document their surname was rendered as "Brewere." As mentioned in the previous posting, these documents were received from William Bogardus a couple of years ago. They cover persons named Brewer or Brower who are found in the Court and Land records of Monmouth County, New Jersey from the mid 1700s to the mid 1800s. Of particular interest to me are Nos. 45 and 46, which indicate that a Jacob Brewer purchased land in Shrewsbury in 1755, and had grandchildren named Coxson. I have not yet identified this Jacob Brewer, but I will be looking into the East New Jersey and Monmouth County Deed Books that are mentioned in the coming months.
Most, if not all, of the references and records mentioned in the abstracts have been filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, and can be locate using their online Library Catalog, and can be rented for viewing at one of their numerous Family History Centers located throughout the country. A determined researcher should have no problem locating and viewing filmed copies of the complete original documents.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Miscellaneous Records Pertaining to Brewers and Browers in Monmouth Co., N.J.

A few years ago I received a number of documents from William B. Bogardus. They are largely photocopies of original court records and in some instances transcriptions were made. The collection can best be described as a set of court records and deeds pertaining to various persons named Brewer or Brower, found in Monmouth County, New Jersey. The period of time is largely from the late 1700s through the early 1800s, although there is one deed, a conveyance from John Johnston to Elias Brewer, dated 1725. Bill had arranged the documents into groups based upon is best assumption as to whether the principal person involved was descended from Jan Brouwer of Flatlands, L.I., or from Adam Brouwer (there are also a few smaller groupings). After a couple of years I have finally gotten around to reviewing the documents and have begun writing abstracts of varying lengths for each of them. The first group, "Part 1" are those documents that most likely pertain to descendants of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands, L.I. A number of his grandchildren were among those Kings County, Long Island families who made a move to Monmouth County, New Jersey during the early years of the 1700s. The PDF is available online:
Abstracts of Early Monmouth County, N.J. Court Papers, Part 1, papers likely pertaining to descendants of Jan Brouwer.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Brouwer Genealogy Database - Updated

The Brouwer Genealogy Database website has been updated. Of particular note are changes to the descendant charts found on the Charts page. Gone are the old, cumbersome, box charts which sprawled out across the screen requiring continuous scrolling both up and down and left and right. They have been replaced with indented descendant charts which have been compressed and can be expanded or collapsed at any point along the chart by each user as per their own liking or interests. Please Note: Unfortunately the expand/collapse feature does not work with all operating systems. For example, it does work on my computer using a 32 bit version of Microsoft XP and the Fire Fox browser. However, it does not work on my computer using the new 64 bit version of Microsoft 7 (with the Fire Fox browser) or on my MacBook using the new Lion OSX (with either Fire Fox or Safari). The charts can still be viewed on all of the operating systems mentioned, and links to individual profiles are operational.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Monmouth County, New Jersey Estate Proceedings Index

Now available online with this link are digital images of pages concerning those named BREWER or BROWER taken from the index to estate proceedings in Monmouth County, New Jersey. Images are from FHL film #801963, Estate Index A-C, 1800-1969.
To find FHL filmed records of the various Will, Letters of Administration, Inventories, etc. Books, start on this page at the Family History Library Catalog website.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Arent Brouwer of Stone Arabia, NY -Will dated July 10, 1793

Digital images of the last will and testament of Arent Brouwer of Stone Arabia, Montgomery County, New York, can be found online.

Arent Brouwer was baptized 29 March 1718 at the First Dutch Reformed Church at Schenectady, New York, the son of Willem Brouwer and Rebecca Vedder. His paternal grandparents were Willem Brouwer and Lysbeth Drickvelt. His maternal grandparents were Arent Vedder and Sarah Groot. Arent Brouwer, who has also been recorded as Aaron Brower, never married and had no children of his own. His lengthy will mentions his siblings and his nephew and nieces, the children of his siblings. It is an important instrument for reconstructing the family of Willem Brouwer and Rebecca Vedder, and the families of their children. Arent's will serves as an important example of why researching all members of a family, even the unmarried ones without descendants, is a step in conducting genealogical research that should not be ignored.

For a genealogical summery  see Descendants of Willem Brouwer for two generations.

Better quality digital images of Arent Brouwer's will can be found online at in "New York Probate Records, 1629-1971," Montgomery County, Wills, volume 1, page 90.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Update on the Jonathan Brewers of New England

In the September 20, 2011 post I brought up the discovery that Col. Jonathan Brewer (1725/26-1784) did not marry as his second wife, Dorothy Fowle. She, instead, was married to another man named Jonathan Brewer, who had not yet been placed among the New England Brewer families. I now believe that the Jonathan Brewer, who married Dorothy Fowle, was a son of Moses Brewer (1728-1760), and a nephew of the above mentioned Col. Jonathan Brewer.
Jonathan Brewer died before 23 August 1793, when proceedings on estate began in Middlesex County, Massachusetts. Images of the documents from his estate file (no. 2557) can be found online. The papers mention only two children, both minors, and both daughters, Polly and Betsey. Birth records for the two have not been found in the Massachusetts vital records. His wife is not mentioned by name, however, the "widow Brewer," is mentioned in one document. The piece of evidence that would connect Jonathan Brewer to Moses Brewer is a line in the inventory of the estate refering to "money paid Ebenezer Colburn by William Baldwin, executor of the estate of Moses Brewer, deceased." There is also an entry for money paid by John Fowle to Ebenezer Colburn for Jonathan Brewer's house in Watertown. See image no. 6.
Previous editions of the Brewer Families of New England Database, had shown Moses Brewer with a son, Jonathan Brewer, who resided in Tinmouth, Vermont, and died there in 1817. Placing the Jonathan Brewer, who married Dorothy Fowle and who died in 1793, as a new found son of Moses Brewer, now forces us to find a new family for the Jonathan Brewer of Tinmouth, Vermont. An educated guess might be that he is a son of Col. David Brewer (b. 24 Dec 1731), but further research is required.
The Brewer Families of New England database has been updated.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Research links for the State of New Jersey

The Dutch were the first to settle in what is now New Jersey, at a location they called Pavonia, later to become Bergen, New Jersey. After the English takeover of New Netherland in 1664, New Jersey consisted of two provinces, East Jersey and West Jersey. The two were united into one province in 1702 and counties began to be formed. On December 18, 1787, New Jersey officially became a state, being the third state to ratify the U. S. Constitution. Present day New Jersey is divided into 20 counties. For an overview of county formation in New Jersey see, Counties of New Jersey.

Below are links for websites that would be beneficial to anyone conducting genealogical or historical research in New Jersey. In the future I will feature blog posts specific to certain individual New Jersey Counties.

New Jersey GenWeb Project

New Jersey State Archives

New Jersey Historical Society Archives

New Jersey Department of Health (obtaining vital records)

New Jersey Colonial Marriages (a search tool)

New Jersey Church Records at Olive Tree Genealogy

Calendar of New Jersey Wills at Internet Archive

Index of Wills, inventories, etc. in the Office of the Secretary of State Prior to 1901, Vol. 1

Index of Wills, inventories, etc. in the Office of the Secretary of State Prior to 1901, Vol. 2

Index of Wills, inventories, etc. in the Office of the Secretary of State Prior to 1901, Vol. 3

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Willis Brewer of North Carolina and Ohio

Willis Brewer first came to my attention while examining the correspondence of William B. Bogardus regarding Brouwer, Brower and Brewer families. A number of his correspondents were of the belief that Willis Brewer, who was said to have been born in North Carolina, was a descendant of Adam Brouwer of Gowanus, Long Island. Specifically, the claim was that Willis Brewer was a son of Jacob Brouwer (bpt. 1707) a son of Sybrant Brouwer of New York City, a great-grandson of Adam Brouwer, and a great-great grandson of the fabled Anneke Jans. This notion is undoubtedly incorrect. It was likely spawned sometime during the late 1800s or early 1900s during one of the great drives to recruit all manner of persons named Brewer or Brower with the hope of cashing in on the imaginary fortune due the heirs (and supposed heirs) of Anneke Jans. These efforts created numerous false lines of ancestry. The claim that Willis Brewer of North Carolina was a son of Jacob Brouwer of New York City, is only one of the more fantastic assertions.

I have placed online, Some Descendants of Willis Brewer of North Carolina and Ohio. The document comes with the caveat that the first generation descended from Willis Brewer, his children, is speculative. No documentation has been found that supports this group as a family other than the claims of some descendants and the fact that they are located in close proximity to each other in Ohio during the early part of the 1800s. The genealogy from the children's generation on down, however, appears to be reliable. I would certainly be interested in hearing from anyone who has verifiable evidence of Willis Brewer's ancestry and an account of his family, as well as the name of his wife. His wife, by the way, is not mentioned by any of the descendants who corresponded with Bill Bogardus.

Spending time on the descendants of Willis Brewer was necessary in that the families lived in Ohio at some of the same locations as other Brewer and Brower families. Some of these other families are descended from Adam Brouwer, others form Jan Brouwer of Flatlands, and others still from other unrelated Brewer families. A result of this effort yielded two more corrections to the descendants of John Brewer of Scioto County, Ohio. Both involve John Brewer's son Charles Brewer (wife Elizabeth Keating). It had originally been stated that Charles was found on the 1830 census at Jackson, Pike Co., Ohio. He was not. This record belongs to another man, a Charles Anderson Brewer, who appears to have had sons Charles and William D. Brewer, both found in Pike County up until 1870. This family may have had it's origins in Virginia. If they are related to any of the other above mentioned Brewer families, that relationship is as yet unknown. The second correction involves the claimed son of Charles Brewer and Elizabeth Keating named James Brewer. Early compiled (and unreliable) accounts of the John Brewer of Scioto Co., Ohio family gave Charles a son named James who in turn married a woman named Margareth (her surname not stated). There are records for a couple named James Brewer and Margaret Clark who were married in 1837 in Pike Co., Ohio. This couple was undoubtedly confused for the couple called "James Brewer and Margareth." The James Brewer who married Margaret Clark, and for whom records do exist, is apparently a son of Enoch Brewer of Jackson, Ross and Pike Counties, Ohio, a believed son of Willis Brewer.

The above mentioned corrections, and info regarding the Willis Brewer descendants will be added to the Brouwer Genealogy Database website with the next update.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Brewer, Brower, etc. In New Jersey Probate Records

The State of New Jersey, Index of Wills, Inventories, Etc. in the Office of the Secretary of State, prior to 1901, is a three volume set. From the William B. Bogardus Collection we have those pages which contain persons with the names Brewer, Brower, etc. The indexes are arranged by counties. PDF files are available online at the following links:

Volume 1: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cumberland,  and Essex counties

Volume 2: Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex and Monmouth counties

Volume 3: Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset and Union counties

There are no Brewers, Browers, etc. found in Salem, Sussex or Warren counties, or in the index to unrecorded or Prerogative Wills, or in the addenda.

In addition I have extracted all of the Brewer, Brower, etc. entries found in the New Jersey Calendar of Wills, 1670-1817, into one document which has been placed online.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Amasa Brower and Andrew Brower of Atlantic County, New Jersey

Amasa Brower (1809-1880) and Andrew Brower (1804-1877) are both found at Galloway in Atlantic County, New Jersey throughout the mid-1800s. Both are sons of a man, or men, named John Brower, although their ancestries beyond their father(s) is not known. It is suspected that they are brothers, but presently that suggestion is not supported by any direct evidence. Andrew did name a son, Amasa, and as this is a very unusual name among families named BROWER, it could be a suggestion that Andrew named a son for his brother.
Death records for both men are available at Trenton, New Jersey. Copies have been provided for me by Ellen H. In the death records for both Amasa and Andrew, the father is recorded as John Brower, however, in the case of Amasa, his mother is called, Lovinia, while in Andrew's case, his mother is called, Mary. It may be that Amasa and Andrew were half brothers, or it may be that there was an error made in the recording of the mother's name for one of the men. Death certificates and records are not error free.
A clue to the possible ancestry of the two men may line with the names of two of Amasa's children. He names a son, Vincent, and a daughter, Hester. The name, Vincent, is another one of those names that is rare among BROWERs and BROUWERs. However, the one family in which it is found, and in which the name, Hester, is also found, is with the family of Cornelis Brouwer (1713-1768) and his wife, Hester Bodine (b.1715), a daughter of Vincent Bodine and Heyltje Smith. This Cornelis Brouwer is a descendant of Adam Brouwer through his son, Jacob Brouwer and his wife, Annatje Bogardus. This couple did name a son, Vincent Brouwer (b.1739) who has not been traced any further. The possible continuity of the unusual name of Vincent may suggest that Vincent Brouwer (or possibly one of his brothers) is the direct ancestor of Amasa Brower and Andrew Brower (if so, Vincent would likely be a grandfather).
Any insight or information that would be helpful in determining the ancestry of Amasa and/or Andrew Brower would be appreciated.
In the meantime, I do have brief descendant charts available online for both Amasa Brower and Andrew Brower. If a direct male ancestor, with the surname BROWER, can be found for either Amasa or Andrew, I would recommend their joining the Brewer DNA Project. A Y-DNA test will be able to determine whether or not the participant is a descendant of Adam Brouwer.
Amasa Brower's house in Galloway, New Jersey still stands. A photo was provided to me by Ellen H. and I have placed it online. The house had been moved at some point during the past century and is now preserved as an historic house.
The photos and images of the death records mentioned above can be seen online in the Amasa Brower photo album.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

More Websites for Brewer-Lanier Researchers

The Brewer Family History website, focused on Brewer-Lanier research was highlighted in my blog posting of August 1, 2011. As I mentioned then, the largest number of Brewer descendants who have participated in the Brewer DNA Project are members of the Brewer-Lanier group, descendants, or probable descendants, of George Brewer and Sarah Lanier who lived in Virginia. Many early descendants are found in North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, and I suspect, later on in many other states, north, south, east and west. Here, I would just like to add a few more links that may be useful for anyone who has come to this website while searching for their Brewer ancestors.

Brewer Researcher , Brewer Genealogy in Wayne and Lawrence County, Tennessee, the website of James H. Brewer.

Brewer Researcher blogspot, A forum for the achievement for more accurate genealogical records.

The "White" Family of DeKalb and Fulton Counties, Georgia, Terry White. Descendants of Jacob "Jake" White of Chatham Co., North Carolina and Franklin Co., Georgia, have been shown to be genetic descendants of George Brewer.

Research Notes  of the White-Brewer Genealogy, also by Terry White

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Nazareth Brouwer (1756-1817)

Nazareth Brouwer was born 26 October 1756 in Dutchess County, New York, the son of Cornelius Brouwer and Mary Archer, and a great-great grandson of Adam Brouwer. He lived at Poughkeepsie in Dutchess County, New York and was married three times. His will dated 5 Aug 1817, mentions his wife Deborah, his grandson Nazareth Taylor, and his under age children all by his third wife. Digital images of the will are available online. The images are, unfortunately, a bit blurry, especially when enlarged. There are two pages to the will and there are three copies of the second page (hopefully one is better than the others).
Nazareth's first wife was Ginney Brouwer (they were first cousins) and they had seven children. His second wife was Catharine Halley, a widow. No children by the second marriage. Nazareth married third, Deborah Wiltsie, a daughter of John Wiltsie and Jane Luckey. Nazareth and Deborah had eight children, giving Nazareth a total of fifteen known children. A family group sheet for Nazareth Brouwer and his three wives is available online.
Among the children of Nazareth Brouwer is Col. Henry Brewer (1804-1880). Henry was married to Rebecca DuBois and lived at Enfield in Tompkins County, New York. A chart of his descendants is online. Among this couple's three children is William Henry Brewer (1828-1910) a graduate of Yale College and an accomplished scientist and naturalist of the late nineteenth century. He was a professor of natural science at Washington College in Pennsylvania in 1858, and after the death of his first wife and their only child, he agreed to work on the first geological survey of the State of California. A preview of the journal of William H. Brewer, Up and Down California in 1860-1864 (University of California Press, 2003) can be found at Google books. Mount Brewer, a 13,576 foot peak in California's Sierra Nevada was named for William Henry Brewer.

Mt. Brewer
 A larger image of Mt. Brewer has been saved online and can be viewed here.
Barbara (Johnson) Smith, a descendant of Col. Henry Brewer and Nazareth Brouwer, has aided me in compiling the descendants of Col. Henry Brewer.

William H. Brewer at California Native Plant Society

 November 7, 2011 Update: A PDF copy of the will of Nazareth Brouwer (Brewer) can now be found online among the William B. Bogardus Collection.

Monday, October 31, 2011

A Bibliography of Research in Pre-Revolutionary New York and New Netherland

Research in Pre-Revolutionary New York and New Netherland, A Bibliography, by Sharon L. Brevoort, Genealogical Society of Washtenaw County, Michigan (2001), is a webpage that offers hundreds of titles, sources and web links that would be helpful to anyone researching families in colonial New York and New Netherland. The page is organized into twenty-five categories, such as "Church, Cemetery, Vital Records," "Research Guides, "Lifestyle," etc. Included are numerous Family History Library films, with their film numbers, which can then be quickly and easily accessed at the Family History Library Catalog webpage, using the "film/fiche search" option. Many of the titles listed, such as Minutes of the Orphanmasters of New Amsterdam, can now be found online at Google Books and/or at Internet Archives.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

New Links Page for the William B. Bogardus Collection

The William B. Bogardus page, previously found on the old Brouwer Genealogy website, has been discontinued. It is no longer viewable on the internet. The documents have been re-located to a Google Docs. account, and links to each can now be found at a new location at the Brouwer Genealogy Database website.
It is possible that over the winter months I will be adding a few more documents to this collection.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Brower and Drake extracts from some Ulster Co., N.Y. Churches, 19th Century

The baptism and marriage records involving persons named Brower, Brewer and Drake, were extracted from FHL film #0529192 which contains records transcribed from several churches in Ulster County, New York by Kenneth E. Hasbrouck. The PDF document can now be found online, here.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

1609 The Forgotten History of Hudson, Amsterdam and New York

Published online in 2009 by the Henry Hudson 400 Foundation, "1609 The Forgotten History of Hudson, Amsterdam and New York," by Geert Mak and Russell Shorto, is a short pamphlet covering the events of 1609 and the legendary voyage that brought Henry Hudson to New York harbor, and a concise review of the early events that initiated the transformation a fledgling settlement at the tip of Manhattan Island into humankind's most unique city.  It can be viewed online and can be reached via this link.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Calvin W. Brower, Memoir

The memoir of Calvin W. Brower had previously been made available as a compressed PDF on the William B. Bogardus Collection page of the old Brouwer Genealogy website. The document, as a PDF, has now been placed online at Google Docs. It is a large file and so it must be downloaded in order to be viewed. Please use this link to access the document. The download button is at the top right corner of your screen.
Calvin Wheeler Brower was born January 3, 1841, the son of John Brower and Elizabeth Schofield of Pinegrove, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. He is a descendant of Hubert Brower. Data on Calvin W. Brower, his family and ancestors, can be found on the Brouwer Genealogy Database website.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Samuel Brewer of New York City, Will, 1815

Digital images of the will of Samuel Brewer of New York City, dated 1815 (New York County Surrogate's Court v. 15, p.205) have been placed online.
Identifying this Samuel Brewer had an unexpected outcome. Samuel lived in New York City and in Westchester County, New York. The name, Samuel, is very common among the descendants of Adam Brouwer, and a number of them lived in the greater New York City area. This Samuel Brewer, however, is not one of them. He is not descended from Adam Brouwer, nor is he a descendant of one of the other New Netherland Brouwer families. This Samuel is a New England Brewer, a descendant of John Brewer who was at Cambridge, Massachusetts during the first half of the 17th century. Samuel is a son of James Brewer, born 1740 in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, and his wife Hannah Lee. The couple lived in Westchester County, New York prior to the Revolutionary War (James Brewer, a physician, was killed in 1780, apparently by accident, by fellow Patriots). James Brewer, his family and some descendants, can be found on the Brewer of New England website, and a descendant chart has also been placed online.
I would not be surprised if some of the other unplaced Brewers, found in New York, eventually are found to be of a New England ancestry, rather than a New Netherland ancestry.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Three Books about New Netherland and Dutch New York

I recently received an e-mail from Richard Brewer (administrator of the Brewer DNA Project) with a forwarded e-mail that he had received from Tom Brewer (a participant in the Brewer DNA Project).
Tom Brewer recommended The Island at the Center of the World, by Russell Shorto (2005: Vintage). Shorto's account, which draws upon the large volume of early Dutch records that have been translated over the past decades by Dr. Charles Gehring and others, was a national bestseller when first published.
Richard Brewer adds to this, Dutch New York: The Roots of Hudson Valley Culture, edited by Roger Panetta (2009: Fordham University Press). This book, with numerous illustrations and photos, is a collection of thirteen essays contributed by various writers, and was a companion book to the 2009 exhibition commemorating Henry Hudson's 1609 voyage that brought him up the river that now bears his name.
To the above two mentioned books, I would like to add, The Colony of New Netherland: A Dutch Settlement in Seventeenth-Century America, by Jaap Jacobs (2009: Cornell University Press). In this book the author studies the original Dutch records (not relying on the translations) and describe a wide ranging overview of life in the New Netherland Colony. It too, is very readable (320 pages) and one that I consider a must for anyone researching their early New Netherland ancestors.
All three are in print and are available from major online booksellers.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Adam Brouwer Source Documentation: A Bibliography

"Some Documentation Pertaining to Adam Brouwer, immigrant and early resident of Brooklyn; and as pertains to the use of the name "Berchoven" by some of his children," compiled by William B. Bogardus in 1997, was originally available online at the William B. Bogardus Collection page of the old Brouwer Genealogy website. It can now be found online at my Google Docs page.

Saturday, October 8, 2011


A new web page has been set up to provide access to the images that were previously found on the Images page of the old Brouwer Genealogy website. The new page can be accessed from either the column to the right under "Brouwer, Brower, Brewer Links," or from the main page of the Brouwer Genealogy Database website. The new page provides an index, of sort, with links to the image albums which are stored on Google's photo pages. The "Image" page formerly found on the Brouwer Genealogy website has now been removed and is no longer accessible.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Brewer/Brower found in New York State Vital Records Index

Back in October 2009 I began the project of searching the New York State Vital Records Index for those with the surname Brewer or Brower. Compressed PDFs were posted to this webpage, which will become unavailable by June 2012. The original documents are now available as stand alone webpages (no longer compressed) and links can be found in the column to the right under "Brewer/Brower, New York State Vital Records Index." Unfortunately I have not had the time to add to these pages since last winter, and nothing new is being added with this post. I do hope to get back to them sometime during the coming winter months.
In addition to the lists of Brewers and Browers extracted from the indexes, there were compressed PDFs for a handful of death certificate that I had obtained. Once the old page (and website) are discontinued these certs will cease to be available online.
For background on these records, and how to obtain them, please see New York State Vital Records Index Information & Instructions.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Brouwer Burials in Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, New York

Brouwer Burials in Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, N. Y. can now be found online at a new location. This document, as a compressed PDF, was originally online and available from the William B. Bogardus Collection page of the old Brouwer Genealogy website. The document can now be viewed directly online from a location at Google Docs. This list was apparently compiled by William J. Hoffman and includes burials up through the mid 1800s. It does not include later 19th century or 20th century burials and therefore should not be considered a complete survey of all the Brouwers buried at Green-Wood Cemetery.

Green-Wood Cemetery is now a National Historic Landmark, and has a website. It was founded in 1838 and is located in what is now the Greenwood Heights section of Brooklyn. The main entrance (pictured above) is at 500 25th Street (at 5th Ave.). Many persons who were living in Manhattan during the 1800s were buried at Green-Wood Cemetery. Paul Goldberger, architect critic for The New Yorker, writing in the New York Times (Nov. 17, 1977) stated, "it is the ambition of the New Yorker to live upon the Fifth Avenue, to take his airings in the Park, and to sleep with his fathers in Green-Wood." Many "notable" persons, including President Theodore Roosevelt, are buried there.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Jacob Brewer of New York City, Will dated 1815

Digital images of the will of 1815 will of Jacob Brewer can be found online. Jacob was baptized 22 August 1744 at the First Reformed Dutch Church at Tarrytown in Westchester County, New York (the Old Sleepy Hollow Dutch Church). He was a son of Johannes Brouwer and Elizabeth Conklin, and a descendant of Adam Brouwer. Jacob was married to Abigail Yerks. The family lived in Westchester County and in New York City.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Notes, Research, Reports

The "Notes, Research, Reports" page, found at the old Brouwer Genealogy website, has been relocated and now a a new URL. It can now be found here. The old page has been removed from the Brouwer Genealogy website.
At the right, in the column of links on this website, is the heading, "Notes, Research, Reports." Here are some, but not all, of the links that are also found on the new page mentioned above. The "Alternate site with additional links," found in this column, will also take you to the new page.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Jacob Brouwer (b. 1710), Will dated 23 October 1781

Digital images of the will of Jacob Brouwer (1710-1781-84) have been placed online. Jacob Brouwer, baptized 24 September 1710 in Brooklyn, was a son of Jacob Brouwer and Petronella de la Montagne; a grandson of Jacob Brouwer and Annetje Bogardus; and a great-grandson of Adam Brouwer and Magdalena Verdon, and of Willem Bogardus and Wynnetje Sybrants. Jacob was married to Maria de Lanoy and they had ten children. The family lived in New York City, although during Revolutionary War, the family relocated to Kakiat in Orange County. It was there, "in the fifth year of American Independence" (1781), that Jacob Brouwer wrote his will. The will was proved in New York County, on 5 April 1784. It can be found in New York County (Surrogate's Court) Wills, vol. 36, pages 336-339. (Note: this is a later day copy of the original will).

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Brewer Families of New England

The website, Brewer Families of New England, has been updated. An important change in the database is the discovery that Col. Jonathan Brewer (1725/26-1784), a commander at Bunker Hill, did not marry as a second wife, Dorothy Fowle. This incorrect claim has appeared in published accounts of this family dating back to the late 1800s. I was recently contacted by Jean Brewer, who kindly provided documentation, to support the fact that Col. Jonathan Brewer could not have been the Jonathan Brewer who married Dorothy Fowle on 30 Dec 1772 at Watertown, Massachusetts. Col. Jonathan Brewer made his will in 1783, and in it he appoints his wife Frances (Buckminster) as executor. Frances outlived Jonathan by 39 years, and died at Woodstock, Vermont on 27 March 1823, age 84 years (Vermont Vital Records). The question now is, who is the Jonathan Brewer who did marry Dorothy Fowle in 1772? Is he another Jonathan Brewer who already is known? Or is he a yet undiscovered Jonathan Brewer? Research continues.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Church records published in the Somerset County Historical Quarterly

The Somerset County Historical Quarterly (SCHQ) was published from 1912-1919. During this period it published transcribed and translated records of the various Reformed Churches found in, or associated with, Somerset County, New Jersey and the surrounding area. I have a list of the records, and the issue in which they were published, available online.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Battle of Long Island, by Alonzo Chappel, 1858

The Battle of Long Island, or more appropriately, The Battle of Brooklyn, took place on August 27, 1776 and was the first battle of importance in the American Revolutionary War following the Declaration of Independence. The most intense fighting, which took place around the Brouwer family mill, was depicted by Alonzo Chappel in 1858.

Battle of Long Island (1858)

 This image, as well as a photograph of Alonzo Chappel (1828-1887), can now be found at a new location.

The Battle of Long Island, as it has traditionally been called, or more appropriately, The Battle of Brooklyn, was fought on August 27, 1776. An excellent, current account of the battle can be found in John J. Gallagher, The Battle of Brooklyn, 1776 (De Capo Press, 2001). Much of the fighting took place around the tide mills owned by the Brouwer family at Gowanus. On orders of the retreating Gen. George Washington, the mills and all their stores were burned so as not to fall into the hands of the British. Many later day accounts of the battle refer to the mill property as "Freake's Mill," which is not completely correct. At the time of the British attack, the mill properties were owned by the families of brothers, Abraham and Jeremiah Brouwer. It was only in 1798, that John C. Freeke became owner after purchasing the property, and rebuilt mills, from Adolph Brouwer (d. 1827). In 1818, descendants of Abraham and Jeremiah Brouwer petitioned the U. S. Congress in an effort to gain compensation for the losses which resulted from the British attack and the subsequent burning of the mills.
I have placed online a transcription of the 1818 testimony regarding the heirs petition, transcribed by Lily Martin in 2007.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Will of Rev. Cornelius Cozine (1718-1786)

Images of Rev. Cornelius Cozine's will are now at a new location. Rev. Cornelius Cozine was born at Bushwick, Long Island, the son of Jacobus Cosynse Cozine and his wife Aeltje. He lived in Kings County until 1754 when he sold his property and moved to Somerset County, New Jersey. He is mentioned as "of Somerset County" in 1768 when he was one of the appraisers for the inventory of the estate of Pieter Van Nest of Somerset County. Soon afterwards, Rev. Cornelius Cozine became the minister to the congregation at the Conewago Colony, then in York County (now Adams Co.), Pennsylvania. His first wife was Antie Staats, daughter of Pieter Staats, and his second wife has been identified as Maria Koning, widow of Stephen Van Orden, who married as her third husband, David Demarest. (See Barbara Terhune, on Dutch Colonies List Serve at Rootsweb, January 5, 2011, for the identification of Maria/Mary Koning).
The images of the will were provided by Barbara Hilyerd. Her transcription can be found in the footnotes for Rev. Cornelius Cozine's profile on the Brouwer Genealogy Database website.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Brouwer Genealogy Database has been Updated

The Brouwer Genealogy Database website has been updated. Among the additions are a second grid chart for Y-DNA test results for those descended from Jan Brouwer. Titled, "Jan Brouwer - Alternate Y-DNA test results" it is found on the same page as the original Jan Brouwer grid chart. This second chart simply breaks down the participants by surname. Among, the descendants is a new surname, HERMANS. This participant is NOT a descendant of Jan Brouwer, however, he likely shares a common ancestor with the Jan Brouwer descendants who lived, perhaps, 700 or more years ago. He is identified as a distant cousin of the Jan Brouwer descendants by the unique value of 7 at allele DYS565. For more on this unique trait of Jan Brouwer descendants, and distant cousins, please see Richard Brewer's online article, "Jan Brouwer descendants carry a unique DYS565 Allele Value."
I have added two new BREWER progenitors to the Progenitors page. Jacob Brower is new to the BGD website. He was born in Prussia in 1763 and was in Montgomery Co., Pennsylvania by 1780 when he fought during the Revolutionary War. He applied for a pension in 1832 as a resident of Mifflin Co., Pa. Some have suspected him to be a descendant of Hubert Brower, however, there is no evidence to support this and his own claim as having been born in Prussia should lay to rest any suggestion that he was descended from Hubert Brower who came to Pennsylvania in 1726. Despite his late arrival, Jacob Brower does appear to have left many descendants, especially in Pennsylvania.
The second person added to the progenitors page is Henry Brewer, who is not new to the BGD website. He can also be found on the DNA Analysis page. Henry was born ca. 1735, lived in Bedford Co., Pa. and died in 1799. Descendants are found in Monongalia Co., W.V. and Darke Co., Ohio. A descendant has participated in the Brewer DNA Project, and results demonstrate that Henry and his descendants are not in anyway related to descendants of either Adam Brouwer or Jan Brouwer.
We would still very much like to find confirmed descendants of Hubert Brower to participate in the Brewer DNA Project. It would be very helpful for future research to have established a Y-DNA signature for the descendants of Hubert Brower.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Will of Abraham Brouwer, 1725

Abraham Brouwer, born about 1675 at Schenectady, New York, was a son of Pieter Brouwer and Petronella Kleyn. He was married to Lea Demarest and resided in Bergen County, New Jersey. Images of his will, written in 1725 and proved in 1736, are now available online at a new location. His wife, Lea Demarest, was a daughter of Jan Demarest and Jacomina de Ruine. After Abraham's death, she remarried to Roelof Lubbertsz Westervelt. Abraham and Lea had ten children, all baptized at the Dutch Reformed Church at Hackensack, New Jersey.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Some Bridgewater, New Jersey Inhabitants in 1777

"Inhabitants of Bridgwater...Suffered to a Very Great Degree,"was published in the Somerset County Genealogical Quarterly in 1983. Included is a brief description of the period in 1777 when Gen. George Washington and his 9000 man Continental Army made the Bridgwater area their temporary home, depleting the area of its resources. Soon after, some inhabitants drew up a petition requesting compensation for their losses, and presented it to the New Jersey Assembly in March 1778. A list of the petitioners, along with their signatures is included. A link will be left in the links column under "New Jersey Research."

You can now either receive this Blog via e-mail, or subscribe using a feed reader. These options can be found towards the bottom of the column to the right. Scroll down.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Brewer, Brower, Brouwer Marriages

Back on March 3, 2011, I had made available compiled lists of marriages involving persons named BREWER, BROWER and BROUWER in all 50 States and the Canadian Provinces. These were placed on the William B. Bogardus Collection page at the old Brouwer Genealogy website (which will disappear from the web by June 2012). I have added the eight PDF files for this collection to my Google Docs account and have made them available for public access. A link for each file is found at the end of this blog.
In working with this documents myself, I have found that they are very useful for quickly finding a marriage date and location for any particular individual I happen to be working on at the time. The drawback to them is that they do not provide the original source for the record shown. I strongly recommend that anyone using this lists, use them as lead or direction for locating the original record or source. I have also noticed that there also some errors with the names given and that they are not complete. For example, I have found in another source, a few marriages in Ohio for Brewers who do not appear in these lists. I would also recommend that anyone researching Brewer marriages also check what is available at the new Family Search Website. The Family History Library is continuously adding new databases to their collections, and as I mentioned, I have found a few marriages in the Family Search databases that are not found in this collection.
The Links:
Brewer Marriages Index Cover Sheet
Brewer Marriage Index AL to ID
Brewer Marriage Index IL to LA
Brewer Marriage Index LA to MS
Brewer Marriage Index MS to NY
Brewer Marriage Index NY to RI
Brewer Marriage Index RI to WY
Brewer Marriage Index Canadian Provinces NB, NS, ON, PQ

I would also note that this Blog site is now searchable. A search application can be found at the right, above the column of links. The search feature also extends to many of the linked sites. For example, your search results will include findings on the Brouwer Genealogy Database website, etc.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Hillsborough Reformed Dutch Church, Somerset Co., New Jersey

The Hillsborough Reformed Dutch Church was organized in 1755 and was located at Millstone in Somerset County, New Jersey. An article giving a brief description of the church and its available records appeared in the Somerset County Genealogical Quarterly vol. 1 (1983). Marriages for the years 1782 to 1785 were also included (43 total, if I counted correctly). I have placed a copy of the article in a Google Docs account and a link is provided at the right under "New Jersey Research."

Friday, September 2, 2011

Jan Bouwer of Flatlands; Descendants Update

Both the journal report and the descendant chart for Jan Brouwer have been updated (links found to the right under Notes, Research, Reports). The principal change is that John Rose has been dropped from both documents. The reason for this is that after a review of the current information and evidence that I have for John Rose, I felt it was too speculative to assign him even a "possible" place within the descendants of Jan Brouwer. Previously, he had been suggested as a son of Derck Brouwer (b.1737).
We do know that John Rose is a genetic descendant of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands, L. I. Descendants of John Rose, through a number of his sons, are clearly close relations of numerous descendants of Jan Brouwer, as has been demonstrated by Y-DNA testing (see Jan Brouwer Group DNA Results). However, because we do not yet have enough traditional genealogical data on John Rose, and because the mutation rate and timing found in Y-DNA results is too random to obtain a narrow enough degree of relationship between those who have been tested, to be useful, it is presently not possible to state with a high enough degree of certainty where John Rose may fit in among the Jan Brouwer descendants. More traditional genealogical evidence, on both John Rose, and many of his Brouwer/Brewer cousins, is needed before anything more than a guess can be ventured. In addition, I am of the belief that the current database of Jan Brouwer descendants in the Brewer DNA Project, is just too small to be of use in trying to place any one ancestor. At this time, I strongly believe that it would irresponsible to try and assume even a possible placement for John Rose other then to say that he is a descendant of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands. The previous editions of the above mentioned journal report and descendant chart had the potential to be misleading, even with the stipulation of "possible" attached to John Rose's parental relationship. It was therefore necessary to update the documents.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Brouwer Mill Conveyances

The following first appeared on the Brouwer Genealogy website on March 29, 2011.

At sometime during the 1650s, Adam Brouwer established the first tide mill on western Long Island at Gowanus. After his death in 1692, two of his sons, Abraham and Nicholas, acquired full control of the property from their siblings. They added to the property, built a second mill, and negotiated water rights with their nearest neighbors. By 1710, Nicholas and his wife sold their share in the property and operation to his brother Abraham. In 1737, Abraham, conveyed the property and mills to his two sons, Abraham, Jr. and Jurie. The property remained with the two brothers, and their heirs, through the Revolutionary War. On August 27, 1776, during the Battle of Brooklyn, the mills and their stores were destroyed by the retreating patriots on orders of Gen. George Washington, so as not to fall into the hands of the British. The Brouwer families fled across the East River to Manhattan Island and most spent the remaining years of the war in Dutchess County or in Bergen County, New Jersey. In 1785, with the mills still in ruins, Adolphus Brouwer, grandson of Adam, bought the mill property, and all the timbers and material that had been gathered to rebuild the mills, from the remaining heirs of Jeremiah Brouwer. In the deed the selling heirs were careful to include a stipulation that they would still have rights to collecting oysters, from the highly regarded oyster beds of the streams on the property. In 1798, having rebuilt the mills, Adolphus Brouwer sold the property and operation to John C. Freeke. After roughly 150 years of continuous ownership, the mill property at Gowanus no longer was owned by a Brouwer.

The conveyance images are now found at a new web location: Brouwer Mill Conveyances 1737 ; Brouwer Mill Conveyance 1785; Brouwer Mill Conveyance 1798.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Common Surname, Common Location

In the course of working on the descendants, and trying to discover the correct ancestry of John Brewer of Scioto County, Ohio, I have been reminded of the pitfall of assuming that all persons with the same surname, who are then found in the same general location, are not necessarily related. Original records for John Brewer are very few in number, yet compiled accounts of John Brewer's family, and ancestry, have been in circulation among interested descendants for over 100 years. Much of these accounts were based upon the work of early researchers, most of them motivated by either seeking membership in D.A.R. or trying to show a descent from the fabled Anneke Jans and her imaginary fortune. I have  reviewed these early compilations, and used them to get an initial start on John Brewer. It now has become apparent to me that in at least two cases, sons were assigned to John Brewer, based solely on the fact that they had the surname, BREWER, and because they were found in the same county as either John Brewer or some of his descendants.
The first case is that of Jacob Brewer, who was possibly born about 1782 (based upon the date he was married). A record for the marriage of Jacob Brewer and Mary Rinley (called INLEY in most accounts) is found in Scioto County, Ohio in 1807. No other record for Jacob Brewer has been located, and most importantly, he is not named in an 1818 deed by which some of the heirs of John Brewer sold their interest in his property in Scioto County. It is apparent that Jacob has been included as a son of John based solely on the fact that he was married in Scioto County.
In the second case, claimed son William Brewer, who lived for much of his adult life in Vermilion County, Illinois, was included as a son of John Brewer, yet no record has been found to link William to John. As with Jacob, William is not mentioned in the 1818 deed. Other descendants of John Brewer did live in Vermilion County during the same period in which William Brewer lived there (mid 1800s). However, so did a number of other Brewer families. Just looking at the 1850 census for Vermilion County, Illinois, I have counted at least three, possibly four BREWER household, who have no known family relationship with each other. In addition, a published biography of William Brewer's son, John W. Brewer, describes William as having come to Vermilion County from Indiana (not Scioto Co., Ohio) and that William's father (also named John Brewer) lived his last years in Miami Co., Ohio (not Scioto Co.).
Relying upon a common surname and being found in the same location, can at times, point to a family relationship between the two persons n question. However, in such situations either the surname is very rare or uncommon, and the location contains a very small population with many intermarriages. The surname, BREWER, and the location of both Scioto Co. circa 1807, and Vermilion Co. circa 1850, do not fit the conditions just mentioned. As soon as the Ohio Valley region opened up (after the Revolutionary War) many families from the east moved in and through. Included among them were numerous families named BREWER. These Brewers had their origins variously with Adam Brouwer, Jan Brouwer, Hubert Brower, Henry Brewer of Bedford Co., Pa., and some of the Brewer families originally found in Maryland and Colonial Virginia. The new comers crossed paths and lived in the same counties, even the same townships, as each other, all while possessing a common surname, but not a common ancestry.
I believe the earlier researchers of John Brewer of Scioto County, Ohio, made an error when including Jacob Brewer and William Brewer as sons. Until now I have propagated that error myself by including the two in accounts of John Brewer's descendants that I have placed online. The online accounts of John Brewer, the Family Group Sheet, Descendant Chart, and Descendant Report, have now been updated and all previous editions are superseded. Both Jacob and William Brewer are no longer included as sons of John Brewer. Links for the three can be found at the right under Notes, Research, Reports. Expect them to be updated again, once more descendants are included.

Update of September 15, 2011: Richard Brewer, has pointed out that Jacob Brewer is mentioned in the settlement of the estate of Meshack Plowman (file 4718, Scioto Co. Probate Court). Apparently, John Brewer's sons, Edward, Charles and Jacob, had previously sold their shares in John's property. Therefore, Jacob is a son of John Brewer. There remains no mention of a son named William. See Richard Brewer's account of John Brewer for more.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

In Search if the Eponymous Brewer, Illinois

In Search of the Eponymous Brewer, Illinois, a story and photographs by Glen Brewer, highlights a little train depot near Danville, Illinois known as Brewer. Glen Brewer is a descendant of John Brewer of Scioto Co., Ohio. His participation in the Brewer DNA Project has helped us greatly in our efforts to track down the correct ancestry of John Brewer.
I've used Glen's webpage to add a new category to the links column at the right titled, Brower/Brewer Americana. If you have websites involving Browers or Brewers that you believe may interest others and might be appropriate for this category, please send along a link to me at

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Iconography of Manhattan Island

The Iconography of Manhattan, by Isaac Newton Phelps Stokes, was published in six volumes between 1915 and 1928. It records the important events of Manhattan Island from the sixteenth to early twentieth centuries. Volume 1 starts with the period of discovery, follows with the Dutch and English Periods, then the Revolutionary Period, and covers events up to 1811. Volume 2 contains the Manatus Maps, the Castello Plan, as well as Dutch Grants. Volume 3 focuses on the period of industrial development and the Civil War. Volume 4 takes us back to the Period of Discovery, The Dutch Period, The English Period, and the Revolutionary Period. Volume 5 continues the Revolutionary Period and follows with the War of 1812, the Period of Invention, the Period of Industrialization, and the Civil War. Finally, Volume 6 contains addenda, original grants and farms, bibliography and index.
Many larger libraries have copies in their stacks or in their rare book collections. Amazon sells the entire six volume set for $750. Digital versions of all six volumes are available online from Columbia University Digital Collections. Links to each of the six volumes can be found in the column to the right.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Jan Brouwer and John Brewer of Scioto Co., OH Updates

The Descendant Journal Report for Jan Brouwer has been updated.  It has been expanded to cover five generations. A link can be found at the right, under Notes, Research, Reports. Please make note that the placement of some individuals within this report are tentative and have not been proved. One such descendant is John Brewer (no.119 in the report). John's placement here is based upon the comparison of Y-DNA tests submitted by descendants of John Brewer and by descendants of Jan Brouwer. Y-DNA analysis for use in genealogical research has been a evolving field. New tests and methods of interpretation of results has been changing rapidly, and may continue to change in the future. The results we have, at the Brewer DNA Project, represent a relatively small sample of descendants. More participants are needed, and we ask any direct male descendant of Jan Brouwer, or any male who believes he may be a descendant to join the Brewer DNA Project. The Y-DNA test results of confirmed descendants can be of great value to those still looking for their correct connection. Can you help?
The Five Generation Descendant Report for John Brewer of Scioto Co., Ohio has also been updated. In addition, I have added a Descendant Chart of six generations of descendants of John Brewer. As with the Jan Brouwer report, these two documents are not complete. Bob Scott, a descendant of John Brewer through his son Edward Brewer, has been very helpful in filling in details regarding Edward's children. His taking the time to contact us and willingness to share information is greatly appreciated. Input from other descendants is also welcome. If you can add or make corrections to the reports, we'd be appreciative to hear from you. If you are a direct male descendant of John Brewer, please consider joining the Brewer DNA Project.
Like John Brewer, another descendant of Jan Brouwer whose placement is tentative is John Rose (no. 299 in the Jan Brouwer report) who for now, I have penciled in as a son of Dirck Brouwer (no. 116). Past additions of this report (and info found on the Brouwer Genealogy Database website) has conjectured that John Rose might be a son of one Elizabeth Rose of Hunterdon Co, New Jersey, who was brought before the Court of Common Pleas in Hunterdon County in 1772, charged with fornication. It was previously thought that the man who fathered Elizabeth's child (sex of child not known) may have been a Brouwer. Recent research in Hunterdon County by Marg Bond, a descendant of John Rose, has found that the father of Elizabeth's child was Jacob Quick, and was not a Brouwer man at all. The theory that John Rose could be a son of Elizabeth has now been dropped. We still have John Rose penciled in here because we do know, through Y-DNA testing of numerous descendants, that John Rose is somehow a descendant of Jan Brouwer. How, or why the surname, ROSE, was acquired is still a mystery that has not been solved. Any input from other descendants would be welcome. A Family Group sheet for John Rose can be found online. DNA results with links to charts can be found on the DNA Analysis page of the Brouwer Genealogy Database website under Jan Brouwer Group DNA results. Please note that the BGD website is in need of updating and that should occur sometime within the next few weeks.

Monday, August 8, 2011

John Brewer of Scioto County, Ohio

John Brewer of Scioto County, Ohio died by May 1808. Very little is known regarding his life, and only a few official records exist that can be attributed to him with any degree of confidence. More is known regarding his descendants and I have placed a tentative descendant report for John Brewer online. A link can also be found at the right under, Notes, Research, Reports.
It is known that John Brewer is a genetic descendant of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands, Long Island. This was discovered through Y-DNA testing of confirmed descendants of John Brewer who were compared with known descendants of Jan Brouwer. Details on this were reported in the October 2007 issue of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, in "DNA Analysis: Adam Brouwer Berckhoven, Elias Brouwer of New Jersey and John Brewer of Ohio," by Richard Brewer, Scott Kraus and William B. Bogardus. Testing was done through the Brewer DNA Project. What is still not known is John Brewer's correct, direct ancestry, back to Jan Brouwer.
We continue to search for evidence that will link John Brewer and his descendants to the larger family of descendants of Jan Brouwer, and would be very interested to hear from any who may be able to supply additional information.
Descendants of John Brewer of Scioto Co., OH covers what is presently known regarding the descendants of John Brewer. It is likely incomplete and may include errors. Please use it a a guide to further research and not as a completed genealogy.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

New England Historical and Genealogical Society (NEHGS) and American

The New England Historical and Genealogical Society (NEHGS), founded in 1845, is the oldest and most respected genealogical organization that exists. For much of its history the NEHGS was focused on genealogical research in New England. However, in recent years the NEHGS has greatly expanded its interests to beyond New England, especially to New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia. This is reflected most obviously in the changing of the name of their website from to
Those researching their New Netherland ancestries should not ignore the NEHGS and the new website. Over the past few years the NEHGS has added to its database collection, back issues of New Netherland Connections (NNC), The American Genealogist (TAG), Pennsylvania Genealogical Magazine (PGM), and most recently, the first five volumes of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record (NYGBR or simply, the RECORD). Other new additions are Abstracts of New York County Wills, 1662-1801 and Haring, Clark, Denton, White, Griggs, Judd, genealogical notes of these early, related, New York families by Peter H. Judd, author of More Lasting than Brass.
Although there are a few Free Databases available, access to the majority of the website is limited to members. An annual, individual membership is $75, and as I have been a member for some years now, I will not hesitate to say that is the best value among genealogical memberships (whether to societies or online services such as that you will find. This is especially true now that they have expanded widely past the New England region.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Origins of Adam Brouwer

In 2008 I authored an article titled, "New Insight into the Origins of Adam Brouwer." It was published in New Netherland Connections, volume 13, number 4 (Oct-Nov-Dec 2008), and can be found online here, and through the link, "Origins of Adam Brouwer," found in the right hand column of this page. (May 15, 2018 - New Link for "Origins of Adam Brouwer", and a second link at Internet Archives).
If you search online, you will find numerous claims that Adam Brouwer was the son of either a man named Pieter Clementsz Brouwer, or a separate man named, Frans Sijmonsen Brouwer. Both claims have no basis in fact and have no documented or published records that even hint at such a possibility. They are simply wrong. The claim that Pieter Clementsz Brouwer is a father is most certainly an attempt by some "researchers" to link Adam Brouwer to some sort of "noble" or privileged family, something that Adam Brouwer was in no way a member of. "New Insight into the Origins of Adam Brouwer," takes on these assumptions by carefully considering the actual records that Adam Brouwer did leave behind. It also challenges the notion that his full name at birth was "Adam Brouwer Berckhoven," an idea that also has little basis in fact.

Certainly of equal interest, to the descendants of Adam Brouwer, is Adam's "Deep Ancestry," that being his origins prior to the period of readily available records. We know from the Y-DNA testing of numerous descendants that Adam Brouwer belongs in the Haplogroup known as E-V13, also referred to a E1b1b1a2. This Haplogroup is rare among European men today, and has it's largest concentration in the Balkans. An interesting theory into Adam's "Deep Ancestry," is presented by Richard Brewer, administrator of the Brewer DNA Project, and is found online at Adam Brouwer's Haplogroup, E-V13. A link can also be found at the right.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Brewer Family History Website

PLEASE NOTE: As of a check of August 28, 2018, the Brewer Family History Website appears to have been removed. Many of the links below no longer work. Links to the Brewer DNA Project, do work.

 As mentioned in the previous post (Brewer DNA Project), the largest number of individuals who have participated in the Brewer DNA Project have been found, genetically, to belong to the group which has come to be known as "Brewer-Lanier." A separate website has been established for individuals who are descendants of George Brewer and Sarah Lanier, or believe they may be descendants. The website is titled Brewer Family History Website and a link can also be found in the column to the right. The website is maintained by David Brewer.
One highlight of this site that I would like to point out is the FTDNA Project Page. Here, users can find links to pedigrees of those who have participated in the Brewer DNA Project. There is also information on the family of George Brewer and Sarah Lanier. Y-DNA data for those who have participated in the Brewer DNA Project can be found at the Brewer DNA Project's Y-DNA Results page. Scroll down to "Lanier-Brewer" (color code: light blue). The haplogroup for descendants is I1d.
Among the genetic descendants of George Brewer and Sarah Lanier are numerous persons with the surname WHITE. Terry J. White has researched this group and their connection to the Brewer descendants of George Brewer and Sarah Lanier, and has published some of his findings online at The White Family of DeKalb and Fulton Counties, Georgia. Also see, Research Notes of White-Brewer Genealogy, by Terry J. White.
All of those who descend from, or believe they may descend from George Brewer and Sarah Lanier are encouraged to join the Brewer DNA Project. Those who can prove their ancestry to the original couple through traditional genealogical research are especially asked to join. Your proved lines of ancestry, coupled with your Y-DNA data, can be help build up a database which in turn will help others discover their correct Brewer ancestry. See the Join Request page for information on how to join the project.

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Brewer DNA Project

The Brewer DNA Project, hosted by Family Tree DNA, was initiated in 2006 by Grant Johnston, who was researching a descendant of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands. Today it is administered by Richard Brewer (also a descendant of Jan Brouwer) and co-administered by Chris Chester (author of this blog, whose wife is a descendant of Adam Brouwer).  The project is open to ALL persons surnamed BREWER, BROWER, BROUWER, BRUER and any other variation that may exist. Participation in the Y-DNA aspect of the project requires a male participant with one of the above mentioned surnames. Any female BREWERS (etc.) who are interested in testing their BREWER genetic ancestry would need to recruit a close male relation, preferably their father, or a brother, but if that is not possible, an uncle or first cousin would work.
Although those of us who are involved in the administrative aspect of the Brewer DNA Project are primarily concerned with descendants of the early New Netherland BROUWER families, a large number of participants are BREWERS or BROWERS who are descended from many other ancestors who are not at all related to the New Netherland BROUWERS. Currently the largest "group" of participants belong to the group we refer to as "BREWER-LANIER." This group has it colonial origins in Virginia and gets its name from the progenitor couple, George Brewer and Sarah Lanier. A website dedicated to research on this group as been established and can be found here.
Richard Brewer has established a website focused on the descendants of Jan Brouwer titled, "Brewer Descendants of Johannes (Jan) Brouwer," which was featured in an earlier blog posting. In addition, Richard has created the website, "Genetic Descendants of Adam Brouwer Berckhoven," for those descended from Adam Brouwer. I have created the "Brouwer Genealogy Database" website, and the "Brewer Families of New England" website, which are databases of info, facts, sources and opinions that I have accumulated on thousands of persons descended from the early New Netherland and New England colonial families as well as many others who are not related to these groups.

The Brewer DNA Project has been successful in helping place a number of participants who prior to joining were unsure of their Brewer (etc.) ancestry. It has also helped to disprove a number of incorrect lineages that were assumed by many descendants as correct in the past. The article, "DNA Analysis: Adam Brouwer Berckhoven, Elias Brouwer of New Jersey, and John Brewer of Ohio," published in the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, Vol. 138 (Oct. 2007) and authored by Richard Brewer, Scott Kraus and William B. Bogardus, was made possible by participants in the Brewer DNA Project.

We continue to seek out and encourage all those interested and active in researching their BREWER, BROWER, BROUWER, etc. ancestry to join the project. Those who can document their ancestry back to one of the original colonial progenitors are especially valuable in that their results can serve as a comparison to help others who are still unsure of their complete ancestral line. In addition, I would especially like to see confirmed descendants of Hubert Brower (immigrant to Philadelphia, Pa. in the early 1700s) and confirmed descendants of the New England families founded by Daniel Brewer of Roxbury, Mass.; John Brewer of Cambridge and Sudbury, Mass.; and Thomas Brewer of Glastonbury, Conn., join the project so that DNA signatures for these important progenitors can be established. If you would like to join, please see the "Join Request" page, or contact either myself or Richard Brewer Hank Graham or one of the co-administrators through the e-mail addresses provided on the main page of the Brewer DNA Project.

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