Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Jan Brouwer and Jannatje Jans of Flatlands, Long Island

Jan (or Johannes) Brouwer is the third of the three progenitors of New Netherland Brouwer families to be profiled. The other two were Willem Brouwer of Beverijck and Adam Brouwer of Gowanus. My account here will be brief and instead I will refer you to pages authored by Richard Brewer (Administrator of the Brewer DNA Project) who certainly has done more research, put in more thought, and has a better understanding of Jan Brouwer  then anyone else I know of.

Jan Brouwer and his wife Jannetje Jans, along with their eldest child (daughter Jannetje) came to New Amsterdam in 1657. He was a blacksmith, and after a few years residing in New Amsterdam, settled at Flatlands (as it was called after the English takeover), or Nieuw Amersfoort (during Dutch rule), on Long Island. This area today is a neighborhood in the Borough of Brooklyn. Jan Brouwer's origins in (presumably) the Netherlands has yet to be discovered. The identity of his parents is not known. The marriage banns of his daughter Jannetje state that she was born in Amsterdam, although no record of her baptism has been found in the Reformed Dutch Churches there. His date of birth can be estimated at about 1632, possibly a bit earlier. Jan was living on 17 November 1702, at Flatlands, when he confirmed the terms of a deed to his son Pieter. He may have died soon after that event. His wife, Jannetje, had died in 1683.

Jan Brouwer and Jannetje Jans had seven (possibly eight) children. A Family Group sheet is available online. Of these children, sons Johannes, Pieter, and two successive sons named Hendrick,  have baptism records in the Reformed Dutch Church of New Amsterdam/New York. The eldest child, daughter Jannetje, mentioned above, was married in June 1677 to Theunis Janszen (Amack) and is placed in this family based upon her appearance as a sponsor for a child of Derck Brouwer. There are no surviving records of baptisms for children Derck, Aris and Maghtel, who were probably born after Jan had relocated to Flatlands. Derck and Maghtel are placed in the family because of relationships (deeds, baptism sponsors) with other members of the family. The son named Aris has to be described as "possible." He is included as a son by Teunis G. Bergen in his account of the Brouwers in Early Settlers of Kings County. However, no independent record or mention of Aris has ever been found by contemporary researchers. If Bergen did have evidence of Aris, then it apparently disappeared some time during the interceding one hundred and twenty some odd years since Bergen did his work.

As mentioned in the post of June 6, 2012, a genealogical summery of the descendants of Jan Brouwer for three generations was published in the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record vol. 138 (Oct 2008). This published account is your basic "hatch, match and dispatch" genealogy typical of genealogical journals today. For those who would like to gain much more insight into the life of Jan Brouwer, I refer you to the pages authored by Richard Brewer:

Brewer Descendants of Johannes (Jan) Brouwer (Main page)

About Johannes (Jan) Brouwer 1632-1702 where you will find a link, "Jan Brouwer Historical Narrative" which I believe you will find both interesting and informative in a number of ways.

Descendants of Jan Brouwer

I also should note that I do have online a five generation genealogical summery for Jan Brouwer. I do caution that it is subject to corrections, additions and updates and is not a final word. The Brouwer Genealogy Database would include any new info or corrections, and Jan Brouwer can be most easily found through his link on the Progenitors Page.

As of this writing, twenty descendants of Jan Brouwer have participated in the Brewer DNA Project. In addition, Richard Brewer as a good deal of background regarding Jan Brouwer's Haplogroup (I2b1c). In addition to descendants with the surname Brewer, others with the surname Rose and Embody, have "matched" the Y-DNA signatures of Jan Brouwer descendants to a high enough degree that it is felt that they may well be descendants of Jan Brouwer too. But more on that in future posts.

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