Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Will of John E. Brewer of Monmouth Co., New Jersey, 1836

John E. Brewer, born 16 September 1754 (as per a Bible record) was a son of Elazerus Brewer and Frances Morris, and a grandson of Adam Brewer whose will was featured in yesterday's post. John E. Brewer died on 6 February 1837 and is buried in the Brewer Cemetery at Squankum, New Jersey. His wife was Constance (or Constant) Hulet (1761-1845), also buried at Squankum. His will was dated 9 July 1836 and was proved 15 March 1837. It is recorded under file 10324M in the Monmouth County Surrogate's Court and should be found on FHL film #548094. A transcript of the will was included in the William B. Bogardus Collection (Box 5, WIL WW-104). It is now online (Will of John E. Brewer). I have not verified this transcript myself and it suggested to researchers of this family that they seek out the original file.

John E. Brewer lived in Howell Township in Monmouth County, New Jersey. Howell had been created in 1801 from portions of Shrewsbury. A portion of Howell was set off as Brick Township in 1850 when Ocean County was created.

The will adds spouses for five daughters and helps to clarify some ambiguities that are currently on the Brouwer Genealogy Database website. His family will be updated and corrected with the next update. Besides mentioning his wife, Constance, John E. Brewer names two living sons, William and Adam, and one deceased son, Robert. He also mentions his grandson Webster Seabrooks, a natural son of son Robert, deceased. John E. Brewer apparently raised Webster, and requests in his will that his son William (who received the majority of the estate) continue to support and educate Webster. Although it is not entirely clear, it appears to me that Webster was an illegitimate child of Robert and a woman whose surname was Seabrook(s). Robert had died in 1825 and is buried in the Squankum cemetery. John's son Samuel, who was born 12 October 1787 (Bible record) is not mentioned in the will. I would say that it is likely that he died at an early age as well (no heirs of Samuel are mentioned in the will).

Of his daughters, John names Hester Corlies and her son John Corlies (John's grandson), but does not specify the given name of Hester's husband. Hester (a.k.a. Esther) was born 28 January 1782 (Bible). Daughter Frances (b. 10 March 1783, Bible) was the wife of John Vansele. Daughter Zelea (assumed to be the unnamed daughter born May 1789 in the Bible) was the wife of Joseph Brinley who was made an executor (along with John's son William). Daughter Mary (b. 19 January 1792, Bible) was the wife of William Warden. Daughter Rachel (who is not recorded in the Bible, but was aged 47 on the 1850 census at Howell, New Jersey) was the wife of Samuel Lippincott (age 55 in 1850).

Son William Brewer, who inherited the bulk of the estate, was given the responsibility of raising Webster, and who was made an executor, was born 5 September 1800 (Bible). He was married to Harriet (whose family name I have not yet identified) and is found on the 1850 census at Howell, New Jersey with six children, enumerated between the households of Samuel Lippincott (husband of his sister Rachel) and George Brewer (age given as 86, but should be 80), his uncle who died in 1851 and who's will of 1 December 1841, will be featured in the next post. Prior to finding both the wills of John E. Brewer and George Brewer, I had this William Brewer placed as a "probable" son of George. It is clear now that William is a son of John E. Brewer. George did not have a son named William.

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