Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Rev. Thomas Brower, Will on file at Albany, 1721 (1727/28)

Digital images of the will of Rev. Thomas Brower can be found online.

The images were taken from Albany Wills AA-AB (1629-1802), FHL film #0481436.

Rev. Thomas Brower was minister of the Reformed Church at Schenectady, New York from 1715 to 1725 (Kelly, Schenectady Reformed Church Baptisms 1694-1811 (New York: 1987), page ii). The will was written in Dutch, however, Berthold Fernow, in his Calender of Wills on Albany (New York: 1896), page 16, provided an English abstract:
"Thomas Brower of Schonhectadee, minister of the Reformed Church. His church, Symon Cornelis, Engeltie, Helena, children of Gerrit Symonsen Veeder, Elizabeth, wife of Capt. Evert Banker, Annatie, wife of William Banker, receive personal property, brothers Rev. Theodoris Brower of Dalphin, Overyssel, and Rev. Gerardus Brower of Swoll, remainder. Executors Evert Banker, Gerrit Symonsen Veeder and Rutger Bleecker. Witnesses Stevanus Groesbeek, Abraham Meebie, and Cornelius Van Dyck."
The will was dated 24 November 1721 and proved 20 March 1727/28.

It does not appear, and is very unlikely, that Rev. Thomas Brower had any relation whatsoever, to any of the other Brouwer families already established in New York prior to his ministry at Schenectady beginning in 1715. As is evident from the will, Rev. Brower was not married, nor did he have any children. His two brothers mentioned were ministers in the Netherlands. As Swoll (Zwolle) and Dalphin (Dalfsen) are both municipalities within the province of Overijssel, for those so inclined to look, Rev. Thomas Brower's origins may be in Overijssel as well.
A Thomas Brouwer Banker (Bancker) was married to Anna Mebie on 2 November 1754 at the Schenectady church. They had four or five children baptized there in the following years. I have not taken the time to research Thomas Brouwer Banker's origins, but no doubt, he was named in honor of the former minister of the Schenectady Reformed Church. As noted in the abstract, Evert Bancker was one of Rev. Brower's executors.

In addition, a Thomas Harmenen Brouwer arrived in New Amsterdam in March 1662 aboard the ship De Trouw (The Faith) (O'Callaghan, Bailey, Lists of Inhabitants of Colonial New York..., page 170). He was a farmer from Sevenbergen (Zevenbergen) which is a city in the province of Nood-Brabant, near Breda. I have not been able to locate any further mention of this Thomas Brouwer in New Netherland. As with the Rev. Thomas Brower, there is no reason to suspect any relationship between Thomas Harmensen Brouwer and the other Brouwer families of New Netherland.

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