Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Johannes Brouwer and Hendrick Brouwer, sons of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands, L. I.

Johannes Brouwer, the eldest son of Jan Brouwer and Jannetje Jans, was baptized on May 26, 1658 at the New Amsterdam/New York Reformed Dutch Church. The sponsors were Nicholas Velthuysen and Grietje Jans. His younger brother, Hendrick, was baptized on January 14, 1665 at the same church. Here the sponsors were Albert Leenartszen and Ariaentie (whose surname or patronymic was not recorded). Of the four sponsors, none have been shown to have a family relationship to either of the parents, Jan Brouwer or Jannetje Jans.

Johannes, the elder of the two brothers, was married to Sara Willemse on September 2, 1683, with the marriage banns published at the Flatbush Reformed Dutch Church on August 12, 1683. Sara has been identified as a daughter of Willem Gerritsen and his wife Mary (surname not known) of Amersfoort (Flatlands), Long Island. Johannes Brouwer is found at Gravesend, Long Island in 1687 when he took the Oath of Allegiance. In 1688 he was a schoolmaster and reader at the Flatlands Reformed Church. He had been preceded in that position by Willem Gerritsen (Van Kouwenhoven) and was succeeded in 1691 by Pieter Tull. In 1693 he sold his house and garden lot at Gravesend to Stoffel Langestraat. When Johannes wrote his will on September 1, 1712, he was a resident of Hempstead in Queens County, New York. In his will he leaves his wife, Sarah, all of his estate, and then leaves it to his own brothers and sisters after her death. No children are mentioned. The will was proved on October 13, 1712.

Hendrick Brouwer, was the second son of Jan Brouwer and Jannetje Jans who was given that name. A younger brother named Hendrick had been baptized on November 14, 1663 at the New York Reformed Dutch Church. The sponsors here were Pieter Symonszen and Debora Jans. Again, no relationship has been found between the two sponsors and the parents. The first son Hendrick certainly died in infancy, and this Hendrick was named in his honor. Hendrick Brouwer's wife was named Cornelia. Her surname (or a patronymic) has not been discovered. Hendrick took the Oath of Allegiance at Flatlands in 1687. In 1698 he is found on the census at Flatlands with a household of just one man. He therefore, married Cornelia after 1698. No record of their marriage has been found. Cornelia is mentioned as Hendrick's wife in his will dated September 12, 1738. At the time, Hendrick was living at Hempstead in Queens County, and his wife was left his estate until his "cousin John Brewer, son of John Brewer" attained the age of 22 years, at which time Cornelia was to retain one-third of the estate and the remainder was to go to "cousin John Brewer." In Hendrick's time, the term "cousin," was used more loosely then it is today. It was often used to describe person who, today, we would refer to as a nephew or niece. The "John Brewer," who received the property, was Jan Brouwer, baptized on March 20, 1726 at Jamaica, Long Island, the son of Jan Brouwer and Aegje Sprong. Hendrick was the brother of his heir's grandfather, Derck Brouwer. "John Brewer" the heir, was Hendrick's great-nephew. This identification is collaborated by information I found in the collection of correspondence received from William Bogardus. Jan Brouwer, the father of Hendrick's great-nephew "John Brewer" had himself died six years before Hendrick in 1732. According to the notes of an ancestor of William Bogardus' correspondent, Cornelia, the widow of Hendrick Brouwer, raised Jan Brouwer's three children. Of the three, "John Brewer" would have been the eldest. Hendrick and Cornelia had no children of their own. The three (possibly four) children of Jan Brouwer and Aegje Sprong were no doubt raised as their own by Hendrick and Cornelia, and by Cornelia herself after Hendrick's death. Hendrick died by October 4, 1738, when his will was proved.

As can been seen from the above, neither Johannes nor Hendrick, two of Jan Brouwer and Jannetje Jans' four sons to reach adulthood, had children.

Johannes and Hendrick can be found as nos. 3 and 6 respectively in "Descendants of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands, L. I."

Source citations can be found at the Brouwer Genealogy Database website. 

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