Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

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)

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