Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

Monday, April 30, 2012

Julia Ann Brower - Probate File

Julia A. (Haynes) Brower's estate was presented for probate in Kings County Surrogate's Court on November 27, 1877. Images of the probate filed can be accessed through Family Search in their database, "New York, Kings County Estate Files, 1866-1923." I have downloaded and placed the images online as well - Julia Ann Brower Probate File. The Probate File does not include a copy of her will. According to Gertrude Barber in "Index of Wills Probated in Kings County," Julia Ann's will is found in Kings County Wills, Book 70, page 322. The Will Books for Kings County have been filmed by the Family History Library, and Book 70 is found in film #877139. [New York Surrogate's Court, Kings County, Wills]. In time this will be acquired.

Julia Ann's maiden name, Haynes, is identified as such by William J. Hoffman in his "Brouwer Beginnings Manuscript Notes." I have not had the opportunity to verify this and Hoffman did not provide a source for the claim. She was married to Samuel C. Brower, born 22 Feb 1800 and baptized on 17 March 1800 at Trinity Church in Manhattan. He was a son of Nicholas Brouwer and Christina Weyman, and is a descendant of Adam Brouwer through Adam's son, Pieter. Recently a descendant has participated in the Brewer DNA Project and results of the Y-DNA test confirm his descent from Adam Brouwer.

In 1863, Mrs. Julia Ann Brower purchased Lot 14371, section 70 at Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn. She was buried there on 12 October 1877. Many members of her family are buried in this lot, including her mother-in-law, Christina (Weyman) Brower on 19 June 1869, her son Samuel C. Brower on 3 November 1888 (who was also executor of Julia Ann's will), son William V. Brower on 11 February 1866, and daughter Maria (Brower) Selleck, her husband Jesse Selleck, and other Selleck family descendants. By using the information found in the probate file and the burial information, followed by additional checking of census records and a few vital records found at Family Search, I was able to put together a preliminary genealogical summery for the family of Samuel C. Brower and Julia Ann Haynes. The family lived in Brooklyn. [Family of Samuel C. Brower & Julia Ann Haynes].

One source I found particularly helpful in this case, was the New York State Census for 1875. This is available online through Family Search. The census date is just two years prior to the probate hearing, and finding the names of heirs from the probate files in the 1875 census records, opened the door to finding additional descendants and to clarifying some uncertain issues. I suspect that the family is not complete and I would welcome and additional info and/or corrections. [E-mail]

One particular question of interest is still out there. Three generations of Samuels in this family have the middle initial of "C" which apparently stands for Cluse (Clues, Clews or Clewes). There is found, in New York City, a man named Samuel Clews, who on 26 May 1800 was married at the German Reformed Church to Ann, the widow of Nicholas Simmonds. Samuel Clews died on 12 September 1807 in New York City, "after a lingering illness." I have found little else on this man, but would not be surprised if the Samuel Cluse Browers, descended from Nicholas Brouwer and Christina Weyman, were for some reason named for him.

I would like to thank the descendant of Samuel C. Brower who participated in the Brewer DNA Project and shared his test results and pedigree information with us. He has helped to add another line of descent from Adam Brouwer, and hopefully the new information will aid others in discovering their lineages as well.

Details and source citations for those mentioned above will be available online at the Brouwer Genealogy Database with the next update.

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