Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

Monday, April 23, 2012

Published Brouwer Accounts: Teunis G. Bergen

Teunis G. Bergen (1806-1881) was a son of Garret Bergen (1772-1845) and Jane Wyckoff (b. 1787). He was born at New Utrecht, Kings County, Long Island and lived at Bay Ridge in that town. He was a farmer and surveyor, attained the military rank of Colonel with the New York Militia, and served New Utrecht as Supervisor from 1836 to 1859. He was a U. S. Representative from New York's 2nd Congressional District for one term (1865-1867) and did not seek re-election. Genealogists and family historians know of him most for his work as a genealogist focused on the early families of Kings County.

Teunis G. Bergen is most noted for his lifelong work, The Bergen Family; or the Descendants of Hans Hansen Bergen... which was published in 1876. At the time of his death he left a manuscript which was subsequently published as Register in Alphabetical Order of the Early Settlers and Freeholders of Kings County, Long Island, N. Y., from its First Settlement by Europeans to 1700... which is available online at Google Books (Register of Early Settlers of Kings Co.). Teunis G. Bergen was not a descendant of any of the early Brouwer families of New Netherland, however, he does cover the Brouwer name in Early Settlers of Kings Co. This work is often used as an initial check when researching Kings County families. All claims found in it should be checked against reliable records as Bergen's work is known for errors.

His descriptions of the Brouwer families begins with Adam Brouwer on page 51 and continues to page 55. Among the errors are his statements that Adolphus Brouwer, who married Jannetje Verdon, was a son of Willem Brouwer and Elizabeth Simpson (Adolphus was a son of Nicholas Brouwer); his account of the family of Jacob Brouwer and Annetje Bogardus in which Bergen includes a daughter Elizabeth who married John Parcel (she was a daughter of Nicholas Brouwer), a daughter Hillegont baptized in 1697 (who is a daughter of Jacob's brother, Adam Brouwer), and a supposed son, Nicholas (for whom there is no known record); the inclusion of a Cornelius Brouwer of Dutchess County in the family of Jacob Brouwer and Petronella de la Montagne (the Cornelius Bergen was referring to was a son of Nazareth Brouwer and Anne Rozell); the placement of children, Matthys (bp. 1711) and Elizabeth (bp. 1713) in the family of Johannes Janse Brouwer, son of Johannes of Flatlands (the two siblings were children of Johannes Matthysz Brouwer and his wife Marritje Lamb, they were born in Westchester County and were baptized at the New York Reformed Dutch Church); and the claim that Adam Brouwer's son, Pieter Brouwer, married as a second wife, Geertruyd Jans, and as a third wife, Annetje Jansen of Flatlands (Bergen confuses and combines records of Adam Brouwer's son Pieter with that of Jan Brouwer's son, also named Pieter. The two were contemporaries). There are other errors, and as mentioned above, use this entire work of Teunis G. Bergen's with caution, and confirm all of his statements.

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