Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Unplaced: William Brewer (1826-1886) of Louisiana and Texas

William Brewer was born September 4, 1826 in Louisiana. He married Caroline Hillebrandt, a daughter of Christian Hillebrandt and Eurasie Blanchett, on January 3, 1850 in Jefferson Co., Texas. They had six children. William Brewer died May 30, 1886 and is buried in Little Saline Cemetery in Menard Co., Texas.

Two descendants of William Brewer, descendants of different sons, have participated in the Brewer DNA Project. The results of their Y-DNA tests clearly demonstrate that they, and therefore all of their direct male Brewer ancestors including William Brewer, are descendants of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands, Long Island. As of this writing traditional genealogical research as failed to discover William's ancestral line back to Jan Brouwer.

Thus far, the only specific clue to the identity of William's father is that he was born in New York, as stated on the 1880 census for William Brewer at Precinct 3, Kimble Co., Texas. There are, however, a few possible leads.

The first known record of William Brewer is his marriage record in 1850, at Jefferson County, Texas. In the early to mid 1830s there was a heavy migration of families from southwest Louisiana into eastern Texas (largely at the invitation of the Mexican Government). Among those immigrating were, at least two, different William Brewers. On 23 May 1835, the character of William G. Brewer, petitioning for land in Nacogdoches, was attested to by Radford Berry. On 9 Oct. 1835, the character of William T. Brewer, petitioning for land in Nacogdoches, was attested to by Radford Berry. On 20 Sep 1834, the character of William T. Brewer was attested to by Luis Procela Alc., who also states that William T. Brewer has a wife and two children. Texas gained its Independence in 1836. In 1835 a William Brewer appears on the tax rolls at Williams Settlement, Texas Territory. In 1836 a William F. Brewer is on the tax roll at Nacogdoches, Texas Territory. Nacogdoches County was created on 17 March 1836. In 1840 there are both a William Brewer, and a William T. Brewer on the tax lists of Nacogdoches County. In 1845 one William Brewer is taxed in Nacogdoches County. In April 1846 Nacogdoches County was divided into what would eventually become twenty different counties, among them Rusk County, Henderson County and Cherokee County. In 1846 there are both a William Brewer and a William G. Brewer taxed in Cherokee County, and William T. Brewer in Henderson County (as well as a William Brewer in Washington County). In 1846, there is also an Erasmus Brewer, taxed in Rusk County. It must be noted that this William Brewer named a son Erasmus, a name that is otherwise rare among Brewers anywhere. Texas became a State in the United States in 1845. The first U.S. Census covering Texas is in 1850. In 1850 there is a William Brewer, age 60 (b.1790) at Rusk, Rusk Co., Texas. He is the only person named Brewer in the household of William Elliott. His place of birth is recorded as "unknown" (all others on the sheet do have a specific place of birth recorded). No Erasmus Brewer is found in Rusk County, or in the entire State of Texas in 1850 (in fact there are only two adult men named Erasmus Brewer found in the entire U.S. in 1850. One in Virginia, the other in North Carolina).
Our William Brewer was born in 1826 and therefore a search was made of the 1830 and 1840 census records in Louisiana with the hope of finding a Brewer head of household with a son in the appropriate age brackett for the particular census year (0-5 in 1830; 10-15 in 1840). Of the few Brewers in Louisiana in 1830 and 1840, none had a son in this age brackett. Perhaps William's father was in (Mexican) Texas prior to 1830 (a small population of "squatters" from Louisiana were prior to formal land petiton records).
The search for William Brewer's parents has to begin with the above mentioned men. The question is, how or why, would a Brewer man, born in New York, find his way to the Louisiana Bayou region and eventually to east Texas? One Willam Brewer mentioned was born in 1790. If born that early he certainly would have been old enough to participate in the War of 1812. Could a Brewer man have been recruited for military service during the War of 1812, in the New York area, then find himself, because of his service, in Louisiana? An investigation into War of 1812 enlistments in New York and subsequent deployments has to be conducted. It is also possible that William Brewer's father found his way to Louisiana via the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. It is possible to travel from Pittsburgh, Pa. to New Orleans by water, without ever stepping foot on land. A number of families descended from Jan Brouwer of Flatlands were in the Ohio River Valley area circa 1800. Among them are Samuel Brewer, b. 14 Feb 1790, a riverman who worked on flatboats on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers and "was often away from home for long periods," according to descendants. There may have been other Brewers who made their living on the rivers and perhaps Samuel, or one other, while in Louisiana. As no male Brewer age 0-5 is found in Louisiana in 1830, perhaps William was born to a Louisiana woman by a Brewer man from elsewhere who did not remain in Louisiana.
(For source citations for the above statements please see William Brewer's profile at the Brouwer Genealogy Database Website. Clicking on William Brewer at the top of the chart will take you to his profile).

A PDF with a genealogical summery of some descendants of William Brewer is online, along with an update.

We would welcome any information or records regarding William Brewer's possible ancestry.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Brouwer Families of New Netherland and New York

The following originally appeared as the title page for the "old" Brouwer Genealogy website, July 29, 2008. A revised version is found on the home page of the Brouwer Genealogy Database.

The Brouwer Families of New Netherland and New York

 Three distinct and unrelated Brouwer families are found in 17th century New Netherland/New York. Adam Brouwer who resided at Gowanus in Kings County on Long Island was progenitor of the largest of the three. He and his wife, Magdalena Verdon, saw fourteen children reach adulthood and have families of their own. Also found in Kings County, but living at Flatlands, was Jan (or Johannes) Brouwer. He and his wife, Jannetje Jans, had eight children with lines of descent having been found from three, two of them sons. The third family is that of Willem Brouwer and his wife, Elizabeth Drinkvelt. They resided at what was then known as Beverwijck and is today Albany, New York. This couple’s four children, two sons, and two daughters, all left descendants. The earliest generations descended from Willem are found primarily in the Albany and Schenectady, New York area. In all three families the surname is seen as Brouwer in the majority of records from the 17th and earlier decades of the 18th centuries. Later records, depending on whether they are found in predominantly Dutch communities or in English communities, generally show the surname spelled as either Brower (Dutch) or Brewer (English). You may also on occasion find the surname spelled in the German form of Bruer or Brauer. Present day descendants are found with either the Brower or Brewer spellings, and it is apparent that the original Brouwer spelling was lost to descendants of Adam, Jan and Willem beginning in the early 19th century. It is more likely that present day families, who do spell their name as Brouwer, can trace their ancestry to more recent immigrants from Europe to the United States or Canada. In addition to these three Brouwer families, those researching their Brower or Brewer origins today must also consider the possibility that they are descended from Hubert Brower who arrived at the Port of Philadelphia in 1726, or possibly from one of the many Brewer families of English origins who settled in both New England and in the southern colonies during the period before the American Revolution.


Call me slow, I was slow to pick up on the "Labels" feature provided by After searching for some info on a friend of mine's blog I began to appreciate just how useful the Labels feature can be. I created a handful of labels and went back and assigned them to the appropriate posts. A list, under the category "Labels," can be found in the column to the right. Each Label will bring up all of the posts, and only the posts, assigned that label. So, for example, if you click on the "Adam Brouwer and Descendants" label you will get all of the posts regarding Adam Brouwer and (or) any one descended from Adam Brouwer. I started small, there aren't many labels, and I may be adding a few more in the future.

Also, a couple of online reports have been updated. The Family Group sheet for Elizabeth Brouwer and Claas de Graaf has been updated simply to reflect my current view of Claas de Graaf's birth. The Descendants of Willem Brouwer and Rebecca Vedder for two generations has been updated to include info found since November 2011.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

New England Links

Although much of the migration of settlers in the American Colonies and later the United States moved from east to west, from New England to New York and New Jersey and on westward, there were some who migrated into New England from New York and New Jersey. My wife's fifth great-grandfather, Jeremiah Brower (Brewer), who was born in New Jersey, was one of the first settlers at Highgate, Vermont in the mid-1780s. Nicholas Birdsall Brower (1772-1838) lived for a time at Westport, Connecticut. Henry Brower, born in 1806 at Paterson, New Jersey, moved his family to Charlestown, Massachusetts. In fact, a handful of Dutch families are found in the Connecticut River Valley during the 17th century. Stoffel Van Sant, baptized in 1701 at Staten Island, settled at Hartford, Connecticut. His daughter Anne had an illegitimate son by Daniel Brewer, a descendant of one of the New England Brewer families. These are just a few. There were others.

Here are a few sources that I have used when conducting research in New England.

The Public Records of the Colony of Connecticut Prior to the Union with the New Haven Colony

Records of the Particular Court of Connecticut 1639-1663

Some Connecticut Records online

The Ancient Burying Ground of Hartford, Connecticut

Research Guide to Probate Records at the Connecticut State Library

Research Guide to Connecticut Probate Districts

New Hampshire State Papers

New Hampshire State Papers Index

Gateway to Vermont

Vermont Historical Society

Vermont Genealogy

Vermont Biographies Project

NorthEast Kingdom Genealogy

Genealogical Society of Vermont

Vermont Office of the Secretary of State - Vital Records

And of course there is, the website of the New England Historic and Genealogical Society which was founded in 1845. Access to most of the databases and resources onn this site requires a membership. In the past it has been a given that if you intend to do any serious research in New England, a membership to the NEHGS is a must. But now the NEHGS is quickly becoming the website to go to for research in New York as well. I'll have more on this in a future post.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Additional Info Regarding Claes de Graaf

In the post of April 12, 2012 I voiced skepticism to the claim by Jonathan Pearson that Claas de Graaf was born in 1628 and that his patronymic was Andriesse. I note that Pearson did not provide sources for these claims. The source for the birth date has been found, but there is a problem with it. In Early Records of the City and County of Albany, and Colony of Rensselaerswyck (1656-1675) Vol. 1 (Albany: J. Munsell, 1869) at page 224, we find on 22 February 1655 the deposition of Klaas Andriese [De Graaf] aged about twenty-seven years in a case brought by Steven Janse against a man named Harmen (surname not known) regarding an assault. This volume was compiled by Jonathan Pearson himself, and in the text the surname, De Graaf, is in brackets (as shown above). This is because Pearson is inserting the surname himself. The original text only calls the deponent, "Klaas Andriese." Pearson is assuming that this man is Claes de Graaf, and from here derives Claes's birth date as 1628. I believe Pearson is incorrect in this assumption, and that this man, "Klaas Andriese," is more probably Claes Andriese de Gojer/Goyer.

In looking for evidence as to the existence of men named Claes Andriesse (Andriessen, Andries, etc.) living at Beverwijck or Rensselaerswijck in the mid 1600s (1640 to 1670). I have only found one, and he appears to be Claes Andriese de Gojer. According to A.J.F. Van Laer in Van Rensselaer Bowier Manuscripts, being the letters of Kiliaen Van Rensselaer, 1630-1643...(Albany: Univ. of the State of New York, 1908), at page 31, Claes Andriesz came to New Netherland in 1644, from Hilversum in the Gooi or Gooiland, province of North Holland. In fact there are a handful of different men found in the records of Albany county during this same period found with the suffix, de Goyer (de Gojer) indicating that they came from the area known as Het Gooi. Claes Andriesse is named in a handful of records in the Deacon's Church Accounts for Beverwijck in the 1650s and 1660s. See Janny Venema, Deacon's Accounts, 1652-1674, Beverwijck/Albany (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Erdmans Pub. Co., 1998) where at pages 33, 35 and 38, Claes de Gojer is mentioned. On 2 March 1657, money was advanced to his children (p. 38). On 5 August 1662, f10 was given to Styntie Claes, the daughter of Claes de Goyer, deceased. Claes was alive on 25 Aug 1660 when he is listed among those owing a debt to Evert Noldingh [Early Records of the City and County of Albany and Colony of Rensselaerswyck vol. 3 (Albany: Univ. of the State of New York, 1918) originally authored by Pearson but revised and edited by A.J.F Van Laer, at page 36, see footnote which identifies him as "Claes Andriessen, from Hilversum, in the Gooi, hence called "the Goyer"]. Claes' daughter, Styntje (Stijn) is mentioned in April 1672, when she received aid from the Deacons at Beverwijck for her illegitimate child.

At this point I have still not found an original record that would confirm Jonathan Pearson assertion that Claes de Graaf was born in 1628 and that his patronymic was Andriesse. I believe Pearson confused Claes de Graaf with Claes Andriesz de Gojer. I would be most interested to hear from anyone who can demonstrate otherwise. (E-mail).

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Published Brouwer Accounts: William J. Hoffman

With respect to published research on the Brouwer families of New Netherland, particularly the family and descendants of Adam Brouwer of Gowanus, the work of William J. Hoffman conducted in the 1930s and 1940s represents the standard to which others are compared.

William John Hoffman was born on April 21, 1882 in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. After graduating from the Technical University at Delft in 1909 he came to the U. S. He was a mechanical engineer by profession and served on the New York Genealogical & Biographical Record's publishing committee from 1933 to 1941. He is most noted for his series of articles "An Amory of American Families of Dutch Descent" which appeared in the NYGBR from January 1933 to 1941. They have since been collected in a single volume edited by Francis J. Sypher and published in 2010 and bearing the same title as the series of articles. It is available from the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society. William J. Hoffman died on August 11, 1955 at Jamaica Plains, Massachusetts. A memorial article was published in the NYGBR, volume 87, no. 2 (Apr. 1956), page 78.

William J. Hoffman contributed three published articles on Adam Brouwer and some of his descendants. The first, "Brouwer Corrections," appears in NYGBR vol. 69 (1938) pages 172-179. This article corrects errors and omissions by John R. Totten in his 1933 article in the NYGBR on the Verdon family ("Verdon Family Notes," NYGBR vol. 64: 105-132). Addressed is the family of Jacobus Brouwer and Jannetje Van der Beek, where Jacobus was incorrectly identified by Totten as a son of Adolph Brouwer and Jannetje Verdon. Hoffman uses the technique of studying baptismal sponsors to place Jacobus as a son of Abraham Brouwer and Elizabeth Ackerman. Hoffman next presents evidence for further corrections and additions to the family of Adolph Brouwer and Jannetje Verdon and identifies their son, Jacobus, as the Jacob Brouwer who married Elsye Hitchcock in 1747. Hoffman also makes the argument for the placement of Nicholas Brouwer of Dutchess County, New York (he married first Mary Dutcher and second Sarah Drake) as a child of Adolph Brouwer and Jannetje Verdon, who are also shown to have had a son, Isaac (married Jacomyntje Quackenbos), and a daughter, Rachel Brouwer (married William Lawrence). Much of Hoffman's reasoning is based upon the belief that baptismal sponsors at the baptisms of Dutch children in the late 1600s and early 1700s were recruited from the immediate families of the parents of the child being baptized.

In 1941, Hoffman published "Brouwer Notes No. II" in NYGBR vol. 72 no. 4, pages 332-337. This article covers the ancestry of Johannes Brouwer who married Catharine Duryea. Hoffman demonstrates that previous claims placing Johannes as a son of Johannes Brouwer and Susanna Deroilet (Droilhet) were incorrect. Here, using wills, as well as the observation of baptismal sponsors, and the naming of children based on the tradition of naming first and second born sons and daughters for the children's grandparents, to conclude that Johannes is actually a son of Jacob Brouwer and his wife Jannetje Hartje.

"Brouwer Beginnings," is Hoffman's most comprehensive work on the descendants of Adam Brouwer of Gowanus. Hoffman refers to Adam Brouwer as "Adam Brouwer Berchoven, from Cologne, Germany," and covers the first three generations of his descendants with some diversions on specific lines for additional generations (most notably on John Henri Isaac Browere, baptized as John Henry Brower, son of Jacob Brower and Catherine Jeander, who was an American sculptor). This series of four lengthy articles appeared in 1947 and 1948 in The American Genealogist in volume 23, no. 4 (1947), pages 193-206; volume 24, no. 1 (1948), pages 23-32; vol. 24, no. 2, pages 96-102 and vol. 24, no. 3, pages 161-170. As mentioned above, it is to date, the most authoritative account of the family of Adam Brouwer that has been published in a major genealogical journal, or otherwise. I have placed online PDFs of the four articles that comprise the series.

Brouwer Beginnings v.23 no.4 (1947)

Brouwer Beginnings v.24 no.1 (1948)

Brouwer Beginnings v.24 no.2 (1948)

Brouwer Beginnings v.24 no.3 (1948)

William Hoffman followed up "Brouwer Beginnings" with "Brouwer Corrections and Additions" published in The American Genealogist in volume 30 (1954), pages 176-177. His corrections here pertain to the families of Aeltje Brouwer and Josias Drats (descendants called Drake); Abraham Brouwer and his second wife, Elizabeth (Gerritsen) Britten/Brittain; additions to the family of Sara Brouwer (daughter of Adam) and her second husband, Thomas Knight; and adds baptism records for three children of Adolphus Brouwer and Lysbeth Lassing.

In addition, William J. Hoffman deposited his "Brouwer Beginnings Manuscript Notes" with the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society (their collection has since been transferred to the New York Public Library). A few years ago I was in possession of a photocopy of this manuscript (courtesy of William B. Bogardus). I did not copy or scan digital images of the pages myself (it was lengthy), and am no longer in possession of the copy, having donated it to the Western New York Genealogical Society (now found on their stacks in the Grosvenor Room at the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library). Hoffman did not provide sources in this manuscript. In addition to the family of Adam Brouwer he also had notes on the families of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands and Willem Brouwer of Beverwijck. I went through the entire manuscript and you will find citations to it on the Brouwer Genealogy Database website.

With all of this it has to be mentioned that there are some errors in Hoffman's published accounts. The appearance of errors can only be expected to be found in the coverage of such a large collection of families named Brouwer. I dare say that errors can be found in many, probably the vast majority of published genealogies, including those found in the major genealogical journals. It's a reminder that each time each and everyone of us set out to uncover our own family ancestries, we should use the compiled published accounts as a guide, and we should take the time and make the effort to confirm all claims using the record sources, and we should question and reason out assumptions for ourselves. This applies to all published accounts, no matter how "authoritative" the article is said to be, and no matter how well regarded the author's reputation is.

With the Brouwer Genealogy Database website, and with future postings to this blog site, I hope to add to, and when appropriate, correct and/or question previously published accounts of the Brouwer families of New Netherland. In time I'd like to follow the families of Adam Brouwer of Gowanus, Jan Brouwer of Flatlands and Willem Brouwer of Beverwijck for five generations. In doing so, however, I have no illusions that my work will be a "final" genealogy (no such thing exists). Instead it will be something for others to build on (and no doubt, correct). The hope is that as time progresses, each contributing genealogist (whether professional or amateur) can build upon and improve what came before him or her.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Julia A. Brower's Will, 1875 (proved 1877)

The probate file of Julia Ann (Haynes) Brower, widow of Samuel C. Brower was discussed in the post of April 30, 2012. The file did not include a copy of the will. Her will is found in Kings County Wills, vols. 70-71, 1877-1878, which has been filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah and is available through Family History Centers. I have made digital images from this microfilm and the images (four of them) can now be found online with Julia Ann Brower's Probate File.

Her will was dated 22 December 1875, and was proved 27 November 1877 by the two witnesses, Oliver R. Dodd and William Osborne. A transcript follows:

"I, Julia Ann Brower of the City of Brooklyn, Kings County and State of New York, being of sound mind and memory do make, publish and declare this my last will and testament in manner following, that is to say, First I give and bequeath to my grandson Samuel C. Brower, son of William V. Brower, deceased, one hundred dollars to be paid by my executors hereafter named within two years after my decease.
Second, it is my will, that my said executors as soon after my decease as they deem proper shall sell my piano at public or private sale and divide the proceeds thereof , share and share alike, between my daughters Maria Ann Selleck, Eliza Ann Brown and Henrietta Thompson, or such of them as shall me survive.
Third, it is my will that all my household furniture both useful and ornamental as far as practicable be divided into four equal parts between my son Samuel C. Brower and my daughters Maria Ann Selleck, Eliza Ann Brown and Henrietta Thompson, provided they agree to such division and in case they cannot so agree I hereby direct my said executors to sell all such furniture at public or private sale and distribute the proceeds thereof between them share and share alike.
Fourth, I give, devise and bequeath all the rest, residue and remainder of my estate both real and personal and the proceeds thereof including a certain promissory note for sixteen hundred and fifty dollars made by George F. Dodd, and also a claim which I have against Charles F. Thompson, husband of my daughter Henrietta, for two thousand dollars to be deemed of the value of one thousand six hundred and fifty dollars, and two thousand dollars respectively, as follows, viz. to my son Samuel C. Brower, one fifth part, to my daughter Maria Ann Selleck, one fifth part, to my daughter Eliza Ann Brown, one fifth part, to my daughter Henrietta Thompson, one fifth part, and to Freeman Dodd and Samuel C. Dodd, children of my daughter Emeline J. Dodd, deceased, one fifth part, to them and every one of them and to their heirs and assigns forever.
Fifth, It is my will and I hereby direct my said executors in distributing my last aforesaid estate, to pay the share of my said daughter Henrietta, out of the said claim of two thousand dollars against her husband and not otherwise to that amount, and that they pay the share of Samuel C. Dodd and Freeman Dodd out of said promissory note for sixteen hundred and fifty dollars, and not otherwise, to that amount.
Sixth, I hereby authorize and direct my said executors at such time and place and in such manner as they shall deem best, to sell and convey all my real estate and to execute and deliver all instruments and writing necessary to the perfecting a good and valid title thereto and until such sale, to rent said real estate or any part thereof and collect the rents thereof to be distributed as part and parcel of my said estate.
And lastly, I hereby nominate and appoint my son-in-law Samuel C. Brown and his son, Melville Brown, executors of this my last will and testament, hereby revoking all former wills by me made.
In witness whereof I have here unto set my hand and seal this twenty second day of December, One Thousand Eight Hundred and Seventy Five."
      Signed, Julia A. Brower
Winesses: Oliver R. Dodd, 376 Dean St., Brooklyn and William Osborne, 376 Dean St., Brooklyn.

As mentioned in the earlier post, a descendant of Samuel C. and Julia Ann (Haynes) Brower has participated in the Brewer DNA Project. The test results confirm a descent from Adam Brouwer of Gowanus, Long Island.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Unique Jan Brouwer Genetic Marker Found

The following fist appeared online on May 10, 2011 on the original Brouwer Genealogy website.

Descendants of Jan Brouwer can be identified by a unique allele value of 7 at the DYS565 marker. Richard Brewer has added an article explaining this finding to the “Brewer Descendants of Johannes (Jan) Brouwer” website, titled, “Jan Brouwer descendants carry a unique DYS565 Allele Value.” Determining whether or not you as a descendant (or believed to be descendant) of Jan Brouwer have this marker, requires ordering the YDNA 67 marker test when signing up with the Brewer DNA Project.  Those who have already been tested at 37 markers are urged to upgrade to the 67 marker test.

Unique Jan Brouwer Genetic Marker Found: Results from extending the Y-DNA test to 67 markers in some members of the Jan Brouwer descendants has revealed that we have a marker value that is so rare that it is specific to identifying our own family branch within the larger haplogroup I2b1c. A very rare DYS565 Allele value of 7 repeats has been found in the Jan Brouwer descendants. This value defines a unique family branch within the major haplogroup I2b1c; a mutation that likely occurred in an ancestor living in the Belgium / Netherlands / Germany region 400 to 700 years before the present.  If two people share the allele value on this marker and are similar enough across the rest of the markers to share a common ancestor in a genealogical time frame, then they belong to the same family branch and everyone without the rare allele does not.” - Richard Brewer.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Brouwer Genealogy Database Update

The Brouwer Genealogy Database has been updated.

This update includes all updates, changes and additions to the family of Willem Brouwer and Lysbeth Drinckvelt and the families of their children Hendrick, Maria, Elizabeth, and claimed son William, that were mentioned in posts over the past couple of months.

There is also the addition of new data from a participant in the Brewer DNA Project. Y-DNA test results from the participant confirm, without a doubt, that he is a genetic descendant of Adam Brouwer. At the time of his participation the descendant was able to trace his Brower ancestry back to Samuel C. Brower (1847-1888) who lived in Brooklyn, New York. The Y-DNA test results assured us that he, and his earliest known ancestor Samuel C. Brower, were in fact descendants of Adam Brouwer, thereby greatly narrowing down the possible ancestors for Samuel C. Brower as we began to search for the missing lineage. Then with a little traditional genealogical research (locating burial records, census records and a probate file) we were able to connect Samuel C. Brower to his correct line of ancestry back to Adam Brouwer. This new line descends from Adam Brouwer through his son Pieter Brouwer, and the lineage has been added to the chart page for Pieter Brouwer. In addition, the participant (kit #207810) displays a mutation at marker no. 30 (allele 456) which is, thus far, new and unique among all participating Adam Brouwer descendants. The value of 18, contrasts with the modal value of 17 (when considering all Adam Brouwer descendants) and the value of 16, which appears in three participants who's complete ancestries back to Adam have yet to be determined. This mutation would have occurred somewhere in the participants line between his ancestor Samuel Brouwer (bapt. 18 Feb 1705, wife Maria Hartje) and the present. It may well be a defining mutation for this specific line, and it would be nice to see more descendants of Samuel Brouwer and Maria Hartje participate so that exact location of the mutation within the lineage can be determined. See the Adam Brouwer Group Y-DNA Test Results Chart. Also for the Adam Brouwer Group Results Chart, and the charts for ALL other Brouwer, Brower and Brewer groups, see the Y-DNA Chart page at the Brewer DNA Project.

Also, with this update, all persons, who I presently know of or have information on, surnamed Brouwer, Brower or Brewer (male and female) and who are known or believed to be descendants of Adam Brouwer, are now online. To be clear, this is not to say that all descendants of Adam Brouwer are now found on the BGD website. Far from it. This simply means that at this point in time, all I that I have to date, researched at home, is now available publicly. I still have many unplaced Brewers and Browers to add to the database and I hope to do that by the next update.

And finally, I would just like to mention that the newest descendant of Adam Brouwer just came into the world. Last night, at 10:08 pm our daughter gave birth to her second child, an eight pound six ounce baby girl. And so it all continues.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Published Brouwer Accounts: John Reynolds Totten

John Reynolds Totten (1856-1936) was editor of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record (NYGBR) from 1921 until his death. He was the first Fellow of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society. He served the NYGBS in many rolls from the time he first joined (1894) until his death. A tribute to John Reynolds Totten by Howard S. F. Randolph, as well as a photo, can be found in NYGBR 67:2 (1936): 101-102.

Totten also conducted genealogical research and published many articles. His most extensive project was a genealogy of the Thatcher family (his maternal ancestry). He also contributed research on the Christophers and Preston families of New England (his wives ancestors). Although he apparently had no New Netherland ancestry of his own, he did have an interest in the early Dutch families of New Netherland and New York, and beginning in the early 1920s contributed a number of articles and genealogies regarding related families. Of interest to Brouwer researchers are "Anneke Jans and Her Two Husbands" (NYGBR 56 [1925]: 202-243); "Verdon Family Notes" (NYGBR 64 [1933]: 105-132; "Van der Beek Family Notes" (NYGBR 64 [1933]: 229-243, 367-387; "Praa-Bennet Family Notes" (NYGBR 65 [1934]: 305-319, 66 [1935]: 58-67) and of course "Brouwer (Brower-Brewer) Family Notes" (NYGBR 67 [1936]: 103-110, 217-229) published posthumously.

John Reynolds Totten has to be admired for bringing a far more rigorous standard of proof and an insistence on source citation for all claims to the NYGBR then had existed prior to his time as editor. In April 1933 (Vol. 64, pp.133-138) a "List of Abbreviations to be used in Articles - On Old New York Families - Submitted for Publication in The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record," was adopted (the list was created by Totten's long time colleague Howard S. F. Randolph). These abbreviations would be used in articles appearing in the NYGBR for many years to come.

Totten's attention to detail resulted in some very long articles as evidenced by the range of page numbers given above. He could be rather winded in his explanations and when presenting his reasoning and arguments. Extensive footnotes were often used for digressions on related families. Economy of words was apparently not an issue in his time, and a typical annual volume (four issues) of the NYGBR (which they preferred to refer to as the RECORD) ran upwards of 400 pages or more. Compare that with annual volumes in the 1980s which ran about 250 pages, or today's issues which run about 310 pages per annual volume.

As mentioned above, "Brouwer (Brower-Brewer) Family Notes" was published posthumously. It follows the memorial to John Reynolds Totten which was published in the April 1936 issue of the NYGBR. Totten states that his purpose for the article was to provide an accurate accounting of the Brouwers descended from Anneke Jans Bogardus through her grand-daughter Annatje Bogardus and her husband Jacob Brouwer (a son of Adam Brouwer). Claims of descent from Anneke Jans through this couple is without a doubt the source of a large number of the incorrect Brouwer lineages that Brouwer researchers will come across even today. Totten's approach was to understand all of the Brouwers that appeared in colonial New Netherland, before trying to filter out those who were the actual children of Jacob Brouwer and Annatje Bogardus. This is an approach that can be used regardless of time or place and one that I endorse today. I've stated to many others who I've corresponded with (for example), "if you want to correctly know your specific Brewer family who settled in the Ohio River Valley in the early 1800s, then you have to first know all the Brewer families who settled there at that time." Totten's approach is a technique that requires a good deal of time and effort. But it works.

What is most notable about the "Brouwer Family Notes" article is that it marks the first time that a published account of New Netherland Brouwer families was accompanied by evidence in the form of source citations. And, in typical Totten fashion, his reasons and conclusions are thoroughly explained. You will not find this in Pearson or Bergen's 19th century work. Although there are some errors (corrected later by William J. Hoffman, who will be featured in a future post), spending the time to carefully read Totten's "Brouwer Family Notes," is time well spent.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Assorted Articles

As mentioned back in July 2011, the "old" Brouwer Genealogy website will be coming down next month. During the three years in which the previous website was active I had placed a handful of articles (some published, others not) that I had collected myself or received from fellow researchers, on the "Articles & More" page. Here now are new links for those articles.

Conewago Colony (PA) Baptisms 1769-1793, Honeyman, SCHQ 4 (1915)

Sarah (Kip) (Crane) Scudder, Diane Benelli (2007) (Author's unedited version. An edited version appears in NYGBR 138 (2007): 284-93)

Joseph Drake is not Josias Drake, Jr., Chris Chester (2008-09)

Town of Brower, Susan Speros, Historical Review of Berks County (Winter 2006-2007)

Jacob W. Brower (1812-1868), Surry County Genealogical Association Journal v.23 (2003)

Milton Brewer, Son of Stephen and Mary Malinda Brewer, Charles Wells (Jan 2010)

Summery of New Jersey Tax Records, Brewer/Brower, Charles Wells (Jan 2010)

Deliverance Brewer Family, Sharon Koslan, Ash Tree Echo v.20 (1985)

Brewer-Winney Accident, 1872, Alice Zetterstrom, Heritage Hunters v.13 (2005)

The Brewers of Braddock's Army, Judith Walls Harmon, KYOWVA Genealogical Society Newsletter v.28 (2005)

The Browers of Brower Township (North Carolina), Anonymous, Genealogical Journal

A Bold Experiment, John Henri Isaac Browere's Life Masks, David Meschutt, D.A.R. Magazine v.7 no.5 (May 1941)

Links for articles and research by Richard Brewer can be found in the column of links to the right.