Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Brower-Langdon Genealogy

"Brower Genealogy, 1615-1884, and Langdon Genealogy, 1625-1876," is an unpublished manuscript by William Applebie Daniel Eardeley, dated 1923. It is available at the Queens Borough Public Library. A copy was included in the William B. Bogardus Collection and a PDF is now online at Google Docs. Please be advised that the file is large, 0.7MB, and is not available for preview. It must be downloaded to be viewed.

Brower-Langdon Genealogy

William A. D. Eardeley (1870-1935) was a graduate of Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut (1897), an Episcopal Minister, and first president of the fraternity Alpha Chi Rho. He is most noted as a genealogist and abstracter/transcriber of various genealogical records. The "Eardeley Collection" is housed at the New England Historic Genealogical Society. Among the most popular databases at the website is "Abstracts of Wills in NY State, 1787-1835," which is primarily, bot not entirely, created from Eardeley's abstracts.

The "Brower Genealogy and Langdon Genealogy" is focused on the Brower families found at, what is today known as, the "Five Towns" area, on the south shore of Nassau County, Long Island, within the Town of Hempstead. The "Five Towns" are actually the villages of Lawrence and Cedarhurst, the hamlets of Woodmere and Inwood, and "the Hewletts" (which includes Woodsburgh, Hewlett, Hewlett Bay Park, Hewlett Neck and Hewlett Harbor), all of which are within the Town of Hempstead. This area was settled early on by descendants of Jan Brouwer (1726-1795/96) and Hannah Abrams. This Jan Brouwer is a great-grandson of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands. The descendants found in the "Five Towns" area are found with the surname spelled, BROWER. Not all BROWERs found within this area between the 1700s and 1900 have been placed, and therefore it is possible that some, albeit few, descend from other Brower families. 

It must be pointed out and emphasized that Eardeley's manuscript contains numerous errors. This fact caused me to hesitate at making it widely available. I ultimately decided, however, that it would benefit Brouwer researchers to point out, not only reliable accounts and manuscripts, but erroneous ones as well. Recognizing mistakes is an important part of genealogical research. I will not attempt to cover the errors in the manuscript, except one, which must be pointed out. On page 27, Eardeley incorrectly places Jan Brouwer who married Aegje Sprong (who Eardeley also incorrectly believes is a woman named Aegje Colyer) as a son of Jacob Brouwer and Annatje Bogardus, and a grandson of Adam Brouwer and Magdalena Verdon, which he is not. This Jan Brouwer was baptized 9 June 1695 at Flatbush, Long Island, and was a son of Derck Jansz Brouwer and Hannah Daws, and a grandson of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands and his wife, Jannetje Jans.

Another item of interest is found on page 31. Here Eardeley provides birth dates for the children of Adam Brewer of Shrewsbury, Monmouth County, New Jersey and his (first) wife, Deborah Allen. These dates have since been widely repeated and accepted as the birth dates of Adam Brewer's children. But, please note the source. Eardeley writes that they are from a "Bible record," from a "lady in Freeport, Long Island" (Freeport is also in the Town of Hempstead near the "Five Towns"). Eardeley, himself, is frustrated by the fact that there are two copies of the dates from this "Bible record," and he has not been able to locate and view the original himself. William J. Hoffman in "Brouwer Beginnings" (TAG 24:27-28) uses the wills of Adam Brewer and his mother-in-law, Elizabeth (Hulett) Allen (wife of George Allen) to identify the children of Adam Brewer. He does not mention the "Bible record," nor does he provide birth dates for Adam Brewer's children. Hoffman makes brief mention of the "Cropsey notes" at the Long Island Historical Society. He notes how the list of children in the "Cropsey notes" are not in sync with the list of children in the wills. Adam Brewer of Shrewsbury will be covered in more detail in a future post. For now, I felt it was important to highlight, what appears to be, the source for the foundation of the family of Adam Brewer of Shrewsbury. It cannot be described as a reliable source. I would be very interested to hear from anyone who has viewed or knows the actual location of this "Bible record," quoted by Eardeley.

It is probable that much of Eardeley's account of the later generations descended from Jan Brouwer and Hannah Abrams is accurate, or close to it. However, anyone researching this group should make the effort to seek out confirming records before accepting any of it as fact. The "Langdon Genealogy" begins on page 53. I cannot comment on the reliability of this part of the manuscript as I have not thoroughly researched the Langdon family myself.

Once more; take the time to verify every statement in this manuscript before accepting them as fact.

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