Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Pieter Brouwer and Annetje Jans of Flatlands

Pieter Brouwer, was one of only two sons of Jan Brouwer and Jannetje Jans of Flatlands, Long Island, who had children and descendants himself. Pieter was baptized on October 22, 1660 at the New Amsterdam Reformed Dutch Church. The sponsors were Thomas de Karmen and Sara Sanders, two individuals who had no known family relationship to either of Pieter's parents.

Pieter was, like his father, a blacksmith, and lived his life at Flatlands. In September of 1687, Pieter Brouwer took the Oath of Allegiance at Flatlands as a native. His property there is mentioned in a May 14, 1697 conveyance between Alexander Sympson of Flatlands and Evah Van Sycklen, the wife of Ferdinand Van Sycklen, in which the property in Flatlands being sold was stated to be bounded by the property of Peter Brewer and "John the shoemaker." In a conveyance of March 18, 1697/98 between Garret Schenck and Stephen Coerte (Van Vorhees), the property in Flatlands that was sold was bounded by that of John Wyckoff and Peter Brewer. On April 23, 1700, Jan Brouwer of Flatlands conveyed to Pieter Brouwer of the same place, lands bounded by Cornelius Coerte, Martens Schenck, Roelof Schenck, Claes Pieters, Ferdinand Van Sycklen, and Roelof Martense. The previous day, April 22, 1700, Jan had conveyed all of his smith's tools to Pieter. The conveyances were acknowledged on November 17, 1702. In effect, what was happening here, was Jan Brouwer was transferring his property and business to his son Pieter Brouwer, who would then be responsible for Jan's care until his death.

Pieter's wife was named Annetje Jans. Nothing of her parentage or ancestry has been discovered. A thorough study of the families of the men listed in the deeds above, as neighbors of Pieter Brouwer, might lead to the discovery of Annetje's family. T. G. Bergen, in his Early Settlers of Kings County, mistakenly places Annetje as a wife of Pieter Brouwer, son of Adam Brouwer and Magdalena Verdon. The two men named Pieter Brouwer were contemporaries, although Adam Brouwer's son Pieter was about fourteen years older then the son of Jan Brouwer. Adam Brouwer's son Pieter did not live at Flatlands at any time during his life. This error was corrected in later published accounts by Totten and Hoffman. On December 23, 1706, "Antye Browers," was recorded with 23 acres in an assessment at Flatlands. As she, and not Pieter, was recorded as the property holder, it can be assumed that Pieter Brouwer was deceased by this date.

The marriage banns of Pieter Brouwer, young man, at New Amersfoort (Flatlands), and Annetie Jansen, also residing there, were published at the Flatbush Reformed Dutch Church on February 15, 1687. They may have had as many as eight children, but baptism records have been found for only one. Son, Hans, was baptized on October 30, 1695. The baptism was recorded in the Town records of Flatbush and was published in the 1998 Flatbush Church Records, translated and edited by David William Voorhees. The sponsors were Cornelis Willemse and Machiel Willemse, the later being Maghtel Brouwer, Pieter's sister and the wife of Cornelis Willemse (Willemsen). Hans was married to Nelke Goulder and lived in Monmouth County, New Jersey (last found there in 1731). All other children of Pieter Brouwer are assumed. As no baptism records have survived and since no estate settlement has been located for Pieter, there is no direct evidence that they are children of Pieter Brouwer. Reconstructing Pieter's family is based upon circumstantial evidence for a few, and simply guesses for others. With that said, the following are presumed children of Pieter Brouwer and Annetje Jans.

Lucretia, believed to be the eldest child and daughter, was born August 12, 1688. The date is from a Luyster family Bible record. She was married to Johannes Luyster in 1716 at Flatbush, in which she is stated to have been born at New Amersfoort (Flatlands) in the marriage banns. The couple lived in Monmouth County where she died in 1771, in her 83rd year. Her husband was a son of Cornelius Luyster and Sara Nevius. Among Lucretia's children are Peter and Anna (named for her parents) and Cornelius and Sara (named for Johannes' parents. Lucretia's placement in the family of Pieter Brouwer is certain. As the eldest daughter, her name Lucretia (a female take on Lucas) may be a clue to her mother's ancestry.

Daughter Jannetje, was likely the second child and second daughter. She would have been named for Pieter's mother (Jannetje Jans) and was likely born about 1690 give or take a year or two. She was married on October 29, 1713 to Jan Gerritsen from Jamaica, Long Island, a son of Gerrit Lubbertsen and Geertruy Willemse Van Boerum. The marriage banns, recorded in the Flatbush Church records, state that she was born at New Amersfoort (Flatlands). The couple's first son, Gerrit, was baptized at Jamaica on January 2, 1715. Sometime after that date the family moved to Fordham Manor in Westchester County, New York. Baptism records in that location are not in existence, and no other baptism records for children are known. It is believed that Jan and Jannetje also had sons, Jan, Tunis and Peter (see the Brouwer Genealogy Database for details and sources). On September 5, 1759, Jannetje and Jan were members of the First Reformed Church of Tarrytown (the Old Dutch Church at Sleepy Hollow). This is the last known record of the two. Jannetje is placed in the family of Pieter Brouwer based upon her place of birth as per her marriage banns.

Pieter's son, Jan Brouwer, was married to Helena Van Cleef by 1724. No marriage record has been found, but the couple's first child was baptized at Freehold-Middletown in Monmouth County, New Jersey, on June 21, 1724. Neither the name nor sex of the child was stated in this record. A baptism of a second child on April 11, 1726 was similar in that neither a name or sex is recorded. One of these records may belong to a presumed son Aris (Arie, Aaron) who married Neeltje Cooper, lived at Shrewsbury in Monmouth County, and had children named Helena and John. Baptism records for nine other children of Jan Brouwer and Helena Van Cleef are found in the records of the Freehold-Middletown, Harlingen, Readington and Raritan reformed Churches in Monmouth, Hunterdon and Somerset counties, New Jersey. On November 28, 1731, Jan witnessed the baptism of Jan, son of Hans Brouwer and Nelke Goulder (Freehold-Middletown). Jan is placed in the family of Pieter Brouwer and Annetje Jans based upon this baptism and based upon the fact that he named two sons (one dying young) Pieter. No daughter named Annatje has been found, but one of the nameless children baptized in 1724 and 1726, could have had that name. Helena Van Cleef is believed to  be the daughter of Isbrandt Van Cleef and Jannetje Vanderbilt, although neither of these two given names (Isbrandt and Jannetje) appear among the children of Jan and Helena.

Possible daughter, Annatje, was married to Abraham Lane, by 1730. Their first known child, a daughter Jannetje, was baptized at Harlingen on April 15, 1730. Abraham was a son of Adriaen Lane and Martynetje Hendrickse Smock. A. Van Dorn Honeyman in his account of the Lane family (Somerset County Historical Quarterly Vols. 2, 3 and 4 [1913-1915]), places a "supposed" son named Adriaen, "who must have died young," in the family. This seems to have been a common technique for compiling families by earlier researchers such as Honeyman. That is, specifically in this case, the compiler notes that Abraham's father was named Adriaen, and then assumes that Abraham "must have" named a son for his father, even though no record of such son exists on it's own. Annatje and Abraham had children baptized in the Harlingen, Readington, Rariatn, Marlboro and Freehold-Middletown Reformed Churches. Abraham Lane of Middlesex Co., New Jersey left a will dated September 11, 1760, in which he names his wife, Hannah, and children Rebecca, Hannah, Mary, Jane, Lucretia and Abraham. Annatje also appears in records with her name recorded as Hannah and Johanna. There is admittedly no evidence, direct or circumstantial, to warrant her placement as a child of Pieter Brouwer and Annatje Jans. She is placed here as a possible daughter based upon the observation that she does not seem to fit into any other Brouwer family of the period, whether they be descended from Jan Brouwer of Flatlands or Adam Brouwer of Gowanus. She did name a daughter, Anna, but there is no record of her naming a son, Pieter. (The account of the family of Abraham Lane and Annatje Brouwer, found at the BGD website, will be adjusted with the next update of that website).

Pieter Brouwer, of Shrewsbury, Monmouth County, New Jersey is presumed to be a son of Pieter Brouwer and Anantje Jans. He was married to Antje Berge, but there is no record of any children. Peter and his wife were members of the Freehold-Middletown Congregation in 1731. He died intestate before September 22, 1759, when administration on his estate was granted to his widow, Anne. James Harkinson, Thunis Amack and John Hans, Jr. were bondsman. As with Annatje above, their is no direct or circumstantial evidence that helps us place Pieter in the family of Pieter Brouwer and Annatje Jans. It is largely based upon there being no other family to place Pieter in.

Hendrick Brouwer, married Rachel de Bon and had a daughter Sara baptized at Harlingen on October 25, 1727. The witnesses were Rachel Crom and Margaret Crom, which does not provide any clue to Hendrick's relationship to a Brouwer family. On August 3, 1766, a Hendrick Brewer witnessed the will of Johannes Luyster of Middletown, New Jersey. Johannes was a son of Lucretia Brouwer and Johannes Luyster mentioned above. We honestly do not know exactly who this Hendrick Brewer was. He may or may not have been the Hendrick Brouwer who married Rachel de Bon. The possibility that Hendrick is a son of Pieter Brouwer and Annatje Jans exists, but there currently is no known evidence to support the notion. He may well be a descendant of Adam Brouwer of Gowanus.

In May 1734, a Catherine Brewer (with Peter Johnson) witnessed the baptism of Lucretia Lane, daughter of Abraham Lane and Annatje Brouwer, at Harlingen, New Jersey. Based upon this, it is possible that Catherine was a sister to Annatje Brouwer. If we assume that the placement of Annatje as a daughter of Pieter Brouwer and Annatje Jans is correct, then Catherine would be a daughter of Pieter Brouwer and Annatje Jans as well. The placement, however, must be described as "possible." It is possible that Catherine had some other relationship to Annatje, and so this placement is weak.

While the placement of Hans Brouwer in this family is certain, and while I am comfortable with the placement of children Lucretia, Jannetje and Jan as very near certain children, the children Annatje, Pieter, Hendrick and Catherine mentioned above, can be at best described as possible, and better evidence is desired. It should not be ruled out that they might belong to other Brouwer families, descended from either Jan Brouwer of Flatlands or Adam Brouwer of Gowanus.

A Family Group sheet for Pieter Brouwer is online. He is found as No. 4 in Descendants of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands.

No confirmed direct descendants of Pieter Brouwer have yet participated in the Brewer DNA Project. We would love to find one, especially one descended from son Hans Brouwer, as he is the only child of Pieter for whom a baptism record exists. Including a descendant's Y-DNA data in the database we know have would be a welcome addition and may help us place some of the other unplaced descendants of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands.

For corrections to this post, please see the post of September 15, 2013

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