Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Brower and Brewer Indexed in Kings County, New York Will Books, 1850-1890

The linked document below is from the William B. Bogardus Collection. It is the pages containing those named BROWER and BREWER as found in Gertrude A. Barber, Index of Wills Probated in Kings County, New York: from January 1, 1850 to December 31, 1890. (New York: the compiler, 1949).

If you have access to it, this entire volume is available on HeritageQuest Online.

Brower and Brewer, Index of Wills Probated in Kings Co., NY 1850-1890

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Brouwer, Brower in Index to LOA, New York County from 1743-1875

This document, now online, consists of the pages covering the surnames BROUWER and BROWER found in Gertrude A. Barber, Index of Letters of Administration in New York County from 1743 to 1875, 6 vols. (New York: the compiler, 1950-51).

It came to me through William B. Bogardus, and his collection of Brouwer research material.

Brouwer, Brower in Index of Letters of Administration in New York County from 1743 to 1875.

The page is a PDF which can be easily downloaded.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Ontario, Upper Canada and Canada West Links

Below, and in the column at the right are a few links I've used for genealogy searches in the locations that are now within the present day Province of Ontario, Canada.

Prior to the close of the American Revolutionary War (1783) the land area that is now the Province of Ontario was within what was known as the Province of Quebec, a part of the British Empire in North America. The other British provinces in North America were Newfoundland, Rupert's Land, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, the thirteen Colonies that would become the United States, and East and West Florida. In 1783, by the Treaty of Paris, the British would lose the thirteen U. S. Colonies, who gained their independence, and East & West Florida, which were returned to Spain.

In 1791, the British established the Province of Upper Canada and the Province of Lower Canada. The prefixes, Upper and Lower, were given to the two new provinces based upon their orientation with respect to the St. Lawrence River which flows from the eastern edge of Lake Ontario, east and north, to the Gulf of St. Lawrence. "Upper" Canada is near the headwaters of the St. Lawrence River, or "up" river, while "Lower" Canada is "down" river from the headwaters. The Province of Upper Canada comprised much of present day southern Ontario. It bordered New York State and the northern shores of the Great Lakes. It was created to accept Loyalist refugees from the new United States. The Province of Upper Canada existed until February 10, 1841.

In 1840 the British Parliament merged the Provinces of Upper Canada and Lower Canada into the Province of Canada. The western portion of the new Province of Canada, being the area that was formerly Upper Canada, was known as Canada West. It was a separate political entity, had its own seats in the Assembly, and existed until July 1, 1867 when the Dominion of Canada was created with four provinces, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

As mentioned, Upper Canada was largely populated by Loyalist refugees from the American Revolution. Many of these Upper Canada pioneer families later had descendants who returned to the United States, many of whom settled in "upstate" New York, Michigan and Wisconsin. Reconstructing a line of ancestry that included a Loyalist family can often involve researching a generation or two (or more) in present day Ontario, Canada.

Archives of Ontario

Kawartha Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society

Ontario and Upper Canada Genealogy and History

Ontario Land Records at Olive Tree

Ontario Vital Statistics Project

Quinte Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society

Upper Canada Land Petition Records

West Lake Quaker Minute Books and Registers (Prince Edward County) Some Adolphustown Meeting records too.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Willem Brouwer, Lysbeth Drinckvelt: Further Update

The marriage of Willem Brouwer and Elizabeth Aertsen Drinckvelt occurred in November 1648 at the Grote Kerk in Breda, Noord-Brabant, Netherlands. An online posting of the marriage record can be found on the Digital Resources Netherlands and Belgium website. (In the column on the left you will want to scroll down to Noord-Brabant and then find Breda Church books and search under there, using BROUWER or DRINCKVELT). I first discovered this record with the aid of a posting at the Dutch-Colonies-L list at RootsWeb, posted in 2004 by Frans Gouverneur, "Brouwer-Drinckvelt/Rinckhout at Albany."

This was Lysbeth's second marriage. She was recorded as the widow of Cornelis van Hal. Her marriage to Willem Brouwer was therefore her second marriage and her later marriage to Jan Rinckhout, her third. Also found are the baptism records of twins, Arnoldus and Eva, 20 October 1649 (search using BROUWERS with an S, or DRINCKVELT).

In addition, there is a record of Willem Brouwer, schoenmacker (shoemaker) who is made a Poorter (Freeman) at Niekerk (Nijkerk) in 1643. This info helps to push back the estimated birth date of Willem Brouwer to (probably) in the decade between 1610 and 1620. The reasoning being that he would not have been able to master a trade until he was in his 20s or early 30s. As Lysbeth was already a widow when she remarried in 1648, we can make an educated guess that she was likely born prior to 1625.

The marriage and addition of two children adds more clues to work with when trying to recreate the early household of Willem Brouwer and Lysbeth Drinckvelt. It is also known that Willem Brouwer, with a wife and three children came to New Netherland in 1655. In addition, it is known that their daughter, Elizabeth, who married Claas Andriesse de Graaf, named her first two children, Arnout (an equivalent of Arnoldus) and Eva. It's likely then that the three children who came with Willem and Lysbeth were Arnoldus, Eva and Hendrick (who was baptized in 1652 at Amsterdam), and that daughters, Elizabeth and Maria (married Isaac du Trieux and named her first daughter, Eva) were born, probably at Beverwijck, in the decade of 1655 to 1665 (no record of their baptisms has been found). It is probable that the twins, Arnoldus and Eva died before reaching adulthood, at Beverwijck. There is no confirmed further record of either, and Elizabeth and Maria named their own first children for their brother and sister.

In addition, as I look at this family more and more, the argument that William Brouwer (married Rebecca Vedder) is not a son of Willem Brouwer and Elizabeth Drinckvelt, gains more traction. At this point in time, I would have to describe William's placement as a son of Willem Brouwer and Elizabeth Drinckvelt as, at best, "possible." More on this, and William Brouwer (the younger) will be forthcoming in a future post.

Finally, in the Breda records mentioned above, there are also records for a probable brother of Elizabeth Drinckvelt, and we can take from her marriage record which gives her patronymic as "Aertssen," that she was the daughter of an Aert Drinckvelt.

Grote Kerk, Breda (by Celeste Hutchins)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Willem Brouwer, Lysbeth Drinkvelt Family, Update

In the post of March 21, 2012, I had mentioned that I was unable to confirm William J. Hoffman's claim that William Brouwer came to New Netherland in 1655 with his wife and three children. Richard Brewer has found, and sent me a link, with the passage I was looking for.

In Berthold Fernow, Documents Relating to the History of the Early Colonial Settlements Principally on Long Island, with a map of its western part, made in 1666. Documents Relating to the Colonial History of the State of New York, Vol. 14. (Albany, N. Y.: Weed, Parson and Company, 1883), on page 324 is found,

"We have given permission to William Brouwer, to go over with his wife and three children without paying passagemoney, on condition that he act as reader or comforter of the sick on board the "Waegh" until she arrives there but not longer. This for your information, Date as above" (which was 26 May 1655). By order of the Directors, A. B. De Deckere, jun.

The Waegh departed Amsterdam on 26 May 1655, and arrived at New Amsterdam on 13 Aug 1655.

The above cited reference can be found on Google Books: Documents Relative to the Colonial History of the State of New York: new ser., v. 3

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Somerset County Historical Quarterly: Contents

The Somerset County Historical Quarterly, edited by A. Van Doren Honeyman, was published from 1912 through 1919 (Eight volumes). It is a valuable journal for those researching families of Somerset County, New Jersey during the Colonial Period.

Among the items obtained with the collection of William B. Bogardus, is a complete list of contents for all eight volumes. These are photo copies of the original pages which I have scanned into a PDF and are now available online at my Google Docs page. Go to SCHQ Contents. On the left side of the webpage are drop down menus. If you access the File menu you can find the option to download the document to your own computer.

It can be difficult to find copies of these volumes, as the journal ceased publication over ninety-three years ago. Larger libraries will likely have them. Hunterdon House does offer copies for sale. Volume Eight can be found online at Internet Archives. It can be downloaded. Perhaps the other volumes are there as well, I have not checked myself. Individual articles can be ordered (for a small copying fee) from the Allen County Public Library's PERSI Catalog, accessible through a subscribing library or other institution at the ACPL's Heritage Quest website

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Family of Willem Brouwer and Lysbeth Drinkvelt

Willem Brouwer, is one of the three principal progenitors of families named Brouwer who are found in New Netherland and who left descendants. His wife was Lysbeth Drinkvelt and their son Hendrick was baptized on 9 May 1652 at the Oude Kerk (Old Reformed Church) at Amsterdam in the Netherlands. He was in New Amsterdam by the fall of 1655. On 11 October 1655, at New Amsterdam, Willem Brouwer was among those summoned by the Court Messenger to come forward for the voluntary contribution and taxation required by a resolution passed that same day. William was listed as excused. William J. Hoffman, in his Brouwer Manuscript Notes (formerly held by the NYGBS) states that "Willem Hendrickz Brouwer with his wife and three children arrived in de Waegh, August 13, 1655, to act as comforter of the sick and reader. Hoffman cites Colonial Manuscripts XIV:324. I have been unable to confirm this. A reconstructed online account of this ship's voyage can be found on the Olive Tree website (Waegh), but no mention of Willem Brouwer is found on this page. Willem is mentioned in legal proceedings at New Amsterdam in 1655 and 1656 and in 1657 he was in the vicinity of Beverwijck (now Albany, NY) when he bought a brewery at Greenbos (Greenbush) from Cornelis Cornelisz and Jan Witmond, which he sold to Cornelis Van Nes and Jan Oothout in 1664. He is mentioned in the Fort Orange (Albany) records on three occasions in 1660 and in a case of default in November 1660 at New Amsterdam. On August 31, 1661 at Beverwijck, Goosen van Oort bound himself to work for Willem Brouwer as a journyman shoemaker. During the period of 1664 through 1666, Willem Brouwer can be found in the accounts of the Deacons at Beverwijck, receiving charity in the form of small amounts of money and staples such as beans, butter and lard. In 1666 he pawned his stockings to repay a debt. He died in late July or early August 1668. On August 3, 1668, the Deacons at Beverwijck paid for his burial, and on December 29 1668, his widow, Lysbeth Brouwer, petitioned the court asking to be excused from paying her husband's debts.

Willem Brouwer's parents, and his origins in Europe, have not been discovered. He is often assigned the patronymic, "Hendricksz" (as William Hoffman did in his manuscript notes) but there is nothing yet discovered that would confirm his father's name as Hendrick. The fact that Willem named a son Hendrick, and that a man named Philip Hendricksz Brouwer appeared in Beverwijck at about the same time as Willem, is not proof that Willem had a father named Hendrick.

The picture that we take from the above is that Willem Brouwer had a rough go of it during his relatively short time of about thirteen years in New Netherland. He was in possession of a brewery for some years, although he apparently knew the trade of a shoemaker. He tried his hand at trading, apparently without the authority to do so (lawsuits brought against him in 1660), and appears as a defendant in a number of suits regarding debt. During the last years of his life he was receiving assistance from the Church at Beverwijck.

Of his wife, we know her name as Lysbeth Drinkvelt from the baptism record of her son Hendrick, and from an occasion in 1695 when she appeared as a sponsor at the baptism of her son Hendrick's daughter, Elizabeth. She was burdened with her husband's legacy of debts after his death, and Lysbeth herself is found in the Deacon's accounts receiving assistance. She remarried to Jan Rinckhout, a baker, and widower of Eva Jeurians. Apparently her luck with Jan was no better. He is stated to have become a recluse, who died alone in a hut on his farm in Schenectady. On September 4, 1697, "Elisabeth Brinckfelt," wife of Jan Rinckout, with letter from N. Albany, joined the Reformed Dutch Church at New York. In 1702, Lisabet Rinkhout, was a sponsor at the baptism of Johannes, son of Symon Groot and Geertruy Janse Rinkhout (possibly her daughter from her second marriage) at Schenectady. This is the last record we have of Lysbeth.

Willem Brouwer and Lysbeth Drinkvelt are believe to have had four children. Of them, only Hendrick is confirmed with a record of baptism (see the March 3, 2012 post). Daughter, Elisabeth, who married Claas Andriesz de Graaf, and daughter, Maria, wife of Isaac du Trieux (Truax) are most probably daughters, but son, William Brouwer, who married Rebecca Vedder and was an early settler of Stone Arabia, New York, and was first assigned to this family by Jonathan Pearson in 1873, is less certain. All three will be covered in future posts.

A Family Group sheet for Willem Brouwer and Lysbeth Drinkvelt is online. Source citations for the statements found above can be found in the profiles of Willem Brouwer, Lysbeth Drinkvelt and Jan Rinckhout at the Brouwer Genealogy Database website. Look them up in the index or access Willem from the Progenitors page.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Published Brouwer Family Accounts: Prof. Jonathan Pearson

Two of the earliest published accounts of Brouwer families found in New Netherland/New York are available in two works by Jonathan Pearson, Genealogies of the First Settlers of the Ancient County of Albany from 1630 to 1800 (first published in 1872), and Contributions for Genealogies of the First Settlers of the Patent and City of Schenectady, from 1662 to 1800 (first published in 1873). An online version of the later can be found at Genealogies of the First Settlers of Schenectady. In addition, the NEHGS has at their website, American Ancestors, a searchable database of this volume titled, First Settlers of Schenectady, from 1662 to 1800.

Jonathan Pearson was born in 1813 at Chichester, New Hampshire and died in Schenectady, New York in 1887. He graduated from Union College at Schenectady in 1835, and was a Professor of Chemistry and Natural History there for most of his adult life. The history and genealogies of the families of the Schenectady and Albany, New York area were subjects that he devoted a tremendous amount of his time to. He was an early contributor to both the New England Historic and Genealogical Register and the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record. In addition to the above two mentioned works, he published numerous other volumes on the early records and histories of Schenectady and Albany. For a short biography, written during his time, see Sketch of the Life of Professor Jonathan Pearson, by Rev. George Alexander. A another account is found in "Necrology," NEHGR vol. 43 (1889), page 437.

In the first of his two works, First Settlers of Albany (to shorten the title), Pearson's summaries of the BROUWER families can be found on pages 27 and 28. He profiles the following: Phillip Hendrickse Brouwer, brewer; Willem Brouwer; Hendrick Willemse Brouwer of Schenectady; Jacob Brouwer and Maria Bovie; Nicolaas Brouwer and Marytie Boom; Matheus Brouwer and Annatie Ouderkerk; Cornelis Brouwer and Elizabeth Visbach; Nicolaas Brouwer and Sarah Drake; Johannes Brouwer and Maritje DeWeaver; Cornelis Brouwer and Cathalyntje McManny; Gerrit Brouwer and Antje Seger; Willem Brouwer and Mary Marschalk. The accounts are very brief and it should be noted that (as with many early published accounts of Colonial families) there are errors. With the exception of mentioning that Hendrick Willemse Brouwer was a son of the Willem Brouwer profiled immediately before him, Pearson does not make any attempt to link these various Brouwer couples. Among this list are descendants of both Willem Brouwer of Beverwijck and Adam Brouwer of Gowanus, L. I.

In his second work (which we'll call First Settlers of Schenectady) Pearson again covers Phillip Hendrickse Brouwer, brewer; Willem (Hendrickse?) Brouwer, referred to as "perhaps brother of the last" (meaning Phillip Hendrickse); Hendrick Brouwer, "son of last" (meaning Willem); then adds, Willem Brouwer, "son of Willem of Albany"; Cornelis Brouwer, "son of Hendrick"; Hendrick Brouwer, "son of Hendrick"; Pieter Brouwer, "son of Hendrik"; Harmanus Brouwer, "son of Willem" (meaning the second Willem profiled); Hendrick Brouwer, "son of Cornelis"; Gillis Brouwer, "son of Pieter"; Richard of Albany and Mary Blann (Blean); Pieter of Albany and Catrina Chrisler; William of Albany and Mary Marschalk (also profiled in First Settlers of Albany); Matheus of Albany and Sarah West; Cornelius, "son of Hendrick" and Jannetje Demorest; Rev. Thomas Brouwer, third minister at Schenectady; Pieter, "son of Gillis" and Ann Catharine Stevens; Gillis, "son of Pieter" and Ellen (Helen) Vrooman; Abram Giles, "son of Giles," graduate of Union College, 1859. These profiles are found on ages 27-29. In addition, there are a number of female Brouwers, who can be found in the profiles of their various husbands, listed under their husband's surnames (use the indexes to locate them).

As with all published accounts of colonial period families, I use works such as Jonathan Pearson's First Settlers of Albany and First Settlers of Schenectady as "guides." I take down the information as presented by the author, and then look to confirm or contradict it by consulting the actual baptism, marriage, death and burial, probate and estate records, and land records that might be available.

Jonathan Pearson (1813-1887)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Atlantic Canada Links

Many families found in Colonial New York and New Jersey at the time of the American Revolution had members who remained Loyal to the British Crown. And many of them settled in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia at the end of the war. Tracing descendants and searching for ancestors in Canada can be a challenging experience for us living in the U. S. Here are some links for websites I've found useful for research in the Atlantic Canadian Provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia have been added to the links column at the right. Scroll down, they're just below "Book Sellers."

Sites for Ontario (Upper Canada) and Quebec (Lower Canada) to be added in future posts.

The sites added:

Black Loyalists of Nova Scotia

The New Brunswick Land Company, Settlement of Stanley and Harvey, N. B.

New Brunswick Provincial Archives

The 1851 New Brunswick Census, a searchable webpage

Nova Scotia Archives

The Upper St. John River Valley

Thursday, March 8, 2012

New York State Archives Website

The New York State Archives was established in 1971. The physical archives are in Albany, New York, and they also have a Website.

The Archives are home to more then 200 million documents related to the history of New York State from the 1600s to the present. Needles to say, there is a tremendous amount of genealogical information to be found in these records. They have also partnered with to provide free access to various New York State records (users will have to create a free account at See New York.

The Document Showcase page is a feature that highlights specific topics and changes with time. It is accessible with a link from the Home page. The current topic is American Indians in Colonial New York. Among the digital documents that can be accessed is a 1644 declaration of Cornelis Cornelissen, Jan Hageman, and others testifying how the Indians set fire to and destroyed the house of Jochem Petersen Kuyter.

I have also used the Pathfinder Tool  which is a very helpful guide on how to locate naturalization and probate records.

There is a lot to explore on this website including photographs, an online catalog for the e-Library and much more.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Additional Links

You will now find in the column of links on the right side of this webpage, a new category titled, "Additional Links." This is just a catchall grouping of links that were formerly found on the old Brouwer Genealogy Research Links webpage, which as mentioned last year, will disappear in a few short months. The links are for websites that are varied in nature, all of which I have found useful and/or interesting. In future posts I may take the time to highlight some of them.

Scroll down, the grouping is towards the bottom.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Hendrick Brouwer of Schenectady, New York, Will, 1706

Digital images of the will of Hendrick Brouwer of Schenectady, New York, are available online.

Hendrick Brouwer's will was dated 12 December 1706. In the will he calls himself, Hendrick Brower of Schaennectady; names his wife, Maritje, who is to receive all of his estate; mentions his wife's son, Benjamin, by a former marriage; and mentions his son, Johannis, the eldest son, who is to receive ten pounds for his birthright. The other children of Hendrick Brouwer are not named. The will was brought before the Inferior Court of Common Pleas in Albany, New York on 8 June 1710 by Philip Livingston on behalf of Maritje Brower the widow of Hendrick Brower, deceased. It was proved at the New York County Surrogate's Court on 20 May 1711. The images found online are from the Albany Court's files. The original was written in Dutch, and the the last (fifth) image is a typed English translation (obviously done many years later). The images were taken from FHL film #0824735, Albany Wills AB:6. It can also be found in New York Co. Wills, v.8, page 618 (FHL film #0874517). The abstract that is found in Abstracts of Wills on File in the Surrogate's Office, City of New York, Vol. II, 1708-1728, Collections of the New York Historical Society (New York: the Society, 1893), page 57, might leave you with the impression that Benjamin was a son of Hendrick. He was not. Benjamin was a son of Hendrick's wife, Maritje Pieterse Borsboom, and her first husband, Teunis Carstensen. Benjamin was later known as, Benjamin Van Vleck.

Hendrick Brouwer was baptized on 9 May 1652 at the Oude Kerk (Old Reformed Church) at Amsterdam. He would have come with his parents to New Netherland as a small child. History of the Schenectady Patent in Dutch and English Times (Albany: 1883), page 100, states that he owned a lot on the east side of Church Street, beginning at a point 108 feet north from the church lot and extending probably to Front Street. Pearson, in First Settlers of Schenectady, page 27, states that the will was proved (first?) on 16 February 1707/08, and states that he was deceased before 10 March 1707.

Hendrick Brouwer and Maritje Pieterse Borsboom had eight children whose records of baptism can be found in either the Schenectady or Albany Reformed Dutch Church records. Of them, daughter, Elizabeth (1695-1783) never married. Daughter, Eva (1702-1747) married Johannes Dellamont and had eleven children. Son, Pieter (1697-1758) was married to Lena Fonda and had three known children. Son, Cornelis (1704-1765/67) married Cornelia Barheit and had three known children. Son, Hendrick (1706, living in 1765) married Elizabeth Van Eps and had four known children. Son, Jacob was baptized in 1700 and was murdered in the spring of 1730, "at the falls on the Oswego river, by an Onondaga Indian," leaving no known family. The sons, Johannes (bapt. 1693 and mentioned as eldest in his father's will) and Willem (bapt.1704) have not been identified in later records as adults. It is possible that they died at early ages, prior to marrying or having families, or it may be that some of the records pertaining to men named Johannes/Jan/John Brouwer or Willem/William Brouwer found in the first half of the 1700s, belong to these sons. The existence of possible descendants for both Johannes and Willem, remains open.

Family Group Sheet for Hendrick Brouwer and Maritje Pieterse Borsboom