Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Unplaced: John Brewer, Revolutionary War Patriot, of New Jersey and Pennsylvania

Back in January 2012 I began the process of creating posts devoted to "Unplaced" Browers and Brewers (see the post of January 7, 2012). I have also created a label named "Unplaced" which can be found in the column at the right of this page, under Labels. Use this link to view all of the posts that fall under this category. Among those covered so far, who are known to be descendants of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands, L. I. through Y-DNA testing of descendants, are William Brewer (1826-1886) of Louisiana and Texas, and Aaron W. Brewer (1828-1908) of Indiana and Illinois. It has been a while since I have added posts for other Unplaced Browers and Brewers, and I want to return to this starting with a John Brewer, who may also be a descendant of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands, L. I.

In 1818 John Brewer of Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, age 68, applied for a pension for his service during the Revolutionary War. In March of 1776 he enlisted in New Jersey and served under Capt. Anthony Sharp in New Jersey's 3rd Regiment (the "Jersey Blues") which was formed by Col. Elias Dayton in Essex County. He re-enlisted on February 4, 1777 and served with Flanigan's New Jersey Line. He took part in the Battle of Brandywine, Germantown and Monmouth. In September of 1820, John was age 71 and living in Lycoming Co., Pennsylvania when he amended a schedule of his property to his application. The above ages place John Brewer's year of birth as 1749 or 1750.

A D.A.R. application for a descendant of John Brewer is on file with the National D.A.R. I have not obtained the complete file, but mention of it, with a very brief (and incomplete) lineage can be found online (see John Brewer, Ancestor #A014118) at the DAR Genealogical Research System website. The filing member was Maude De Vee Tew Howard. This brief lineage gives John Brewer's date of birth as July 4, 1749 in Hunterdon County, New Jersey. He died December 12, 1822 at Selinsgrove, Union Co., Pennsylvania. (Union Co. was formed in 1813 from Northumberland Co. The borough of Selinsgrove is now in Snyder Co., which was formed out of Union Co. in 1855). The D.A.R. lineage includes a son, Matthew Brewer (1787-1849) who married Mary White. John Brewer's wife is named as Hannah Timpson (no vital dates supplied for her).

A John Brewer is found on the 1820 census at Loyalsock, Lycoming Co., Pennsylvania, although his age is understated if we assume that this record applies to this same John Brewer. The household consists of 1 male under age 10, 1 male age 10-15, 1 male age 26-44 (John would be over 45), 1 female under 10, 1 female age 10-15, and 1 female age 26-44. A second John Brewer is found in the same town with a household of 1 male age 16-25, 2 females under 10, and 1 female age 16-25  (clearly a much younger man, possibly a son?). In 1820, Mathew Brewer is found on the census at Charlestown in Penn, Union Co., Pennsylvania, with a household of 2 males under age 10, 1 male age 26-44, 1 female under 10 and 1 female age 26-44.

Jan Brouwer and Helena Van Cleef had a son Johannis baptized at the North Branch Reformed Dutch Church in Readington, Hunterdon County, New Jersey on December 26, 1749. Jan and Helena's sons Aris, Hendrick, Pieter and Benjamin, all much older then son Johannis, lived in Monmouth County, New Jersey. Johannis, however, has not been identified later in life.

Based upon the birth date and location given by the descendant of John Brewer (July 4, 1749 in Hunterdon Co.) and the baptism date of Johannis Brouwer (December 26, 1749 at Readington, Hunterdon Co.), and the fact that John Brewer enlisted in New Jersey with the 3rd Regiment, it may be that the two are the same individual. More evidence is needed to prove this, and any information or records regarding either John Brewer or Johannis Brouwer would be welcomed. Also, if a direct male descendant of John Brewer can be found, we would very much welcome his participation in the Brewer DNA Project.

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