Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

Friday, February 24, 2012

Unplaced: Aaron W. Brewer

Aaron W. Brewer was born 5 March 1828 in Greene Co., Ohio (obituary). He died on 21 May 1908 at Tuscola, Douglas Co., Illinois. A descendant of Aaron W. Brewer has participated in the Brewer DNA Project and the results of his Y-DNA testing demonstrate that the participant, and therefore his Brewer ancestors, are descendants of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands, Long Island (participant's pedigree).

Aaron W. Brewer was married to Eliza Jane Nelson on 13 March 1851 in Madison Co., Indiana. They had four children born between 1851 and 1861, and moved to Tuscola, Douglas Co., Illinois before the 1870 U. S. Federal census was taken. A chart of some descendants has been made available online.

It is probable that Aaron W. Brewer is a son of the couple, Aaron Brewer (c.1787-bef Jul 1860) and Polly McFarland (b. c. 1787) who were married in Harrison County, Kentucky in 1812 and are found at Xenia in Greene Co., Ohio at about the time that Aaron W. Brewer was born. This parent to child relationship is currently lacking proof, and we would be very interested in hearing from anyone who can supply additional information and/or proof. For more on the descendants of Aaron Brewer and Polly McFarland please see this document. [October 10, 2017: This document is now somewhat outdated (and the e-mail address provided is obsolete). Please see the Comment of Oct. 9, 2017 below. For those with access to I do have some info on Aaron Brewer posted there. The comment below adds children for Aaron and Polly (McFarland) Brewer].

The Y-DNA test results also show us that the participant is closely related to a descendant of Stephen Brewer (1772-1860/64) who married in Harrison County, Kentucky, in 1811, to Mary Melinda Whitsett. The two participants match on 37 of 37 markers and share the same mutation at marker no. 34. (Stephen Brewer pedigree). It is likely the two (Aaron W. Brewer and Stephen Brewer) are closely related, possibly, nephew and uncle. No doubt they both came to the Ohio River Valley region, from New Jersey, via the greater Frederick/Berkeley Cos., Virginia area.

Information on Aaron W. Brewer (and the others mentioned) can be found on the Brouwer Genealogy Database website.  Additional information and any clues, or knowledge of Aaron W. Brewer's ancestry would be welcome. (Please use the Comments section below).

This post was updated November 25, 2015.

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  1. I have been enjoying your marvelous BROUWER web blog. It is wonderful to find documented information. That has become a rarity in the world of genealogy.
    My ancestor is Celinda McFarland BREWER, born 7 May 1806, in Kentucky. She married 15 Sep. 1829, in Greene Co., Ohio, to James Anderson BROWDER (1807-1877) and they moved to Darke Co. where they lived the rest of their lives. She died in 1896 in Madison Co., Indiana, though.

    What my grandmother never made any secret about, was the fact that Celinda McFarland Brewer [Browder] was born out of wedlock. My grandmother knew the name of her parents, but I needed confirmation. I had a hard time tracking down her parents. What turned the tide was just plain dumb luck. Indiana didn't require death certificates till the 20th century. On a lark, I wrote to the courthouse in Anderson, Indiana, though, to see if they had anything. What I got back as a complete death certificate with names of both of her parents! Apparently since she was from out of state, someone wanted to cover all the bases, and recorded her information at the courthouse.

    1896, Jan. 18, Indiana, Madison Co., date of filing of death certificate of “Celinda Browder, died 14 Jan., age 90, widowed, by J.H. Heall, M.D. (no date of birth); born in Ky.;
    father Aaron Brewer of Ky., mother Mary McFarland.”

    While some things in the 19th century can never be proved with primary source documentation, I am using this death certificate as proof of who her parents were. I have not located a death certificate in Ohio, but her headstone is in the Holsapple Cem., Wabash Twp., Darke Co., Ohio. Given that Celinda was 90 years old, it must have been important that she make the trip to visit in Madison Co., Ind.

    This is another child that you can add to the family of Aaron BREWER (1786-1850+).

    Other children of Aaron BREWER (1786-1850+) and Mary McFARLAND are:
    Amanda Brewer (1818-1897) married George Fasnaught, of Madison Co., Ind.
    Isaac Newton Brewer (1827-1888+) married Frances, of Madison Co., Ind.

    I also believe I have identified 3 more sons of Aaron BREWER (1786-1850+):

    Joseph Washington Brewer (1812-1889) married Lucinda Bogart, of Berrien Co., Mich.
    Stephen Brewer (1819-1894) married Rhoda Cowen, of Berrien Co., Mich.
    John Brewer (1822-1902) married Martha Finch, of Mich. & Wisc.
    There was also “M. Bruer” married 1847 in Berrien Co., Mich., to E. Benis, who I am still researching.

    Corinne Hanna
    Atlanta, Michigan

  2. Corinne, Thank you very much for this comment. Your additional info should be helpful to others researching this family. I would encourage them to contact you directly. Please note that I have amended this post slightly - see the bold type above. Should you, or anyone else, have more to add in the future please feel free to use this comments section, or if you'd like to add a longer write-up, contact me at and we can consider placing it online as a post with attribution to you. As of this reply, Aaron Brewer's paternal line back to Jan Brouwer is still a mystery. Thanks again.


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