Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Corrections to the descendants of Aris Brower/Aaron Brewer of Monmouth Co., New Jersey

The current version of the Brouwer Genealogy Database contains errors in the accounts of a few of the descendants of Aris Brower, a.k.a. Aaron Brewer. He was married to Neeltje Cooper and lived in Shrewsbury, Monmouth County, New Jersey. Aaron Brewer's will was dated 7 April 1800 and was proved 13 June 1800. Inventory on his estate was taken 22 April 1800, which tells us that he died sometime between the 7th and 22nd of April in 1800.

Carole Leishman, was kind enough to send me an e-mail pointing out the errors and providing sources for the proof. One of which was the will mentioned above. Although I was already aware of it,  I had clumsily read and misrepresented it on the BGD website. In need of correction are the spouse of Aaron's daughter Antje/Anna and the list of her children. The current BGD shows Antje married to James Johnson. This is incorrect. Antje was married to Samuel Johnson, which is clearly stated in her father's will. Antje's sister Helena was married to James Johnson (as her second husband). The family of Antje Brower and James Johnson, as presently shown, is incorrect, and clearly belongs to another man named James Johnson, Jr. who was of Howell, New Jersey in 1803, when he wrote his will (he did have a wife named Anna, but she cannot be Antje Brower). Antje's correct husband is Samuel Johnson (as was stated in the will). The James Johnson who was married to Antje's sister Helena is a different man then the James Johnson, Jr. of Howell (with will of 1803 and wife, Anna). The correct family of Samuel Johnson and Antje/Anna Brower, as pointed out by Carole, is found in Intestates and Others from the Orphans Court Books of Monmouth County, New Jersey, 1785-1906, on page 84, where on 10 November 1850, Aaron Johnson (son of Samuel Johnson) petitioned the court for the division of his deceased father's real estate. The long list of heirs mentioned in the file provides proof for the children, and some grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Samuel Johnson. (The above cited source can be accessed at, although a subscription is required).

The corrected families can be found on the updated version of "Descendants of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands, L. I." Aris Brower/Aaron Brewer is no. 76 in this document. His daughter Antje/Anna is no. 246. The BGD website will include the updates when it is next updated. The chart, "Jan Brouwer of Flatlands, L. I." has also been revised and updated.

Thank you, again, to Carole for bringing this error to my attention. Corrections to the existing BGD are always welcome, but please include verifiable source citations that I can check myself, as Carole did in this case. Too many times I receive e-mails from folks informing me of an "error" in the BGD, but they neglect to send any proof for their "corrections." Often I find that these cases involve old unproven and erroneous claims of descent from Jacob Brouwer who's wife Annatje Bogardus was a granddaughter of Anneke Jans. If you do have a verifiable correction to bring to my attention please do not hesitate to contact me. However, if what you may believe is an error cannot be proved, then please hold off until, or unless, you can verify your belief. What you find on this website and on the BGD website is not all my doing. I've received a good deal of input, corrections, additions and suggestions from others. All of the assistance I've received is truly appreciated. Thank you.

And since this post has to do with the family of Aris Brower/Aaron Brewer, can anyone provide an identification for the parents of his first wife, Neeltje Cooper?

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