Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Will of Maria R. Lefferts of Brooklyn, New York, 1857

A typed "extract" of the will of Maria R. Lefferts is available online.

This copy is from the William B. Bogardus Collection (Box 5, WIL WW-108). As with all abstracts, transcripts or "extracts," those interested in further research on this family should seek out the original documents at the Kings County Surrogate's Court.

Maria R. Lefferts, was born January 18, 1786 (as calculated from her age at death). She was a daughter of Adolph Brouwer and Aeltje Hulst, and is a descendant of Adam Brouwer. Maria died October 24, 1863, aged 77 yrs., 9 mos., and 6 days. She is buried at Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn (lot 9394, section 12). The middle initial "R" in her name appears in recorded after the death of her husband, and may well simply refer to his given name.

Maria Brower was married to Rem Lefferts on January 15, 1824 at the First Reformed Church at Jamaica, Queens County, Long Island. The couple lived in Brooklyn (in the 9th Ward on the 1850 and 1860 census) and there is no evidence that they had any children. Her husband, Rem Lefferts, was fifteen years her senior (born July 11, 1771 as calculated from death), and was apparently the only child of Barrent Lefferts who died shortly after writing his will on June 8, 1819. Rem's mother's name was Phebe (no effort has been made on my part to identify her to any further degree as of this posting). She outlived her husband but died before March 16, 1839 when Rem petitioned the Kings County Surrogate's Court for administration of his father's estate, stating that his father had died some 20 years previous and that he (Rem) was the only heir.

Maria's will is followed by four codicils dated April 12, 1858; January 31, 1860; September 16, 1863; and October 1, 1863. After her husband's death she apparently ended up as the heir to his property previously inherited from his father, and as surmised from the numerous codicils, was very much occupied with just how she was going to distribute this wealth in light of the fact that she and her husband had no heirs of their own. Her will mentions her living siblings as well as numerous nephews and nieces, and some others who have not (as of yet) been identified as having a family relationship to Maria. Among the institutions she mentions is the North Reformed Protestant Dutch Church on Clermont Avenue in Brooklyn. Perhaps a look at the church records for that church will provide baptism and marriage dates for the families of some of Maria's siblings.

Source citations for the above statements, as well as updates to the families of the siblings of Maria R. (Brower) Lefferts, will appear online with the next update of the Brouwer Genealogy Database

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