Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Unplaced: Elias E. Brewer/Brower of Marlboro, New Jersey

Elias E. Brewer (or Brower) lived at Marlboro, Monmouth County, New Jersey. He died on June 22, 1855 and is buried in the Old Brick Church Cemetery in Marlboro. His age on the 1850 U.S. Federal census is given as 67 years. No record of birth or baptism has been located for Elias E. Brewer, and the identity of his parents is not known. A descendant has participated in the Brewer DNA Project and from his Y-DNA test results we are certain that the participant, and therefore all of his known direct male Brewer/Brower ancestors including Elias E. Brewer, are descendants of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands, Long Island.

Elias E. Brewer's wife was Elizabeth. There is some uncertainty regarding her maiden name. The index card for her application for a pension as a widow of a soldier in the War of 1812, records her maiden name as "More." This same index card gives Elias and Elizabeth's marriage date as May 26, 1810. A published account, Brick Church Memorial, 1699-1877, The days of old and their commemoration, by Theodore W. Wells (1877) gives her maiden name as "Myers." Elizabeth died on February 17, 1879 (age 87yrs 3mos) and her New Jersey State Death Certificate records her mother as "Mary Jefris," but does not name a father.

Elias and Elizabeth had eight or nine children whose dates of birth were recorded in a Family Bible record. The eldest child, a daughter Anne, is questionable as her date of birth is given as May 8, 1810, which is two years prior to the date of marriage supplied by Elizabeth in her pension application (the application may be the document in error as it was created long after the marriage took place, or as the index card is a transcription, there may have been an error in transcribing). If we accept Anne, then Elias and Elizabeth had nine children born between the years of 1810 and 1828. Marriages are known for six of the children and at least four of them, sons John, Jacob C., William Ede, and Isiah, had descendants.

Elias is found on the 1830 and 1840 Federal census at Freehold, Monmouth Co., New Jersey (census records prior to 1830 for New Jersey are lost). The 1840 census refers to him as "Elias E. Brewer." In 1848, Marlboro was formed as a Township by an act of the New Jersey Legislature, created from a part of Freehold. On the 1850 Federal census, Elias E. Brewer, age 67, is enumerated with Elizabeth in Marlboro Township. They are enumerated next to Benjamin D. Brewer, a son of Isaac Brewer and Styntje Van Brunt (Isaac may be a son of Elias Brower and Elizabeth Palmer).

As mentioned above, Y-DNA testing of a descendant confirms that Elias E. Brewer is a descendant of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands. The fact that his given name is Elias, tells us that he most likely is a descendant of Jan Brouwer's son, Derck Brouwer. The fact that Elias appears to have spent his entire life at Marlboro, New Jersey tells us that he more then likely is closely related to the other Brewer families found there. There is probably three generations between Elias E. Brewer and Derck Brouwer, and it may be that Elias Brower and Elizabeth Palmer constitute one of the generations. But, at this time, this is merely an educated guess. Additional records are sought and we would welcome hearing from anyone who can add provide more information.

Thanks to Hank Graham for providing important details and records pertaining to Elias E. Brewer and his family, and thanks to the descendant who participated in the Brewer DNA Project. The participation of additional descendants would be welcomed. Details and source citations can be found at the Brouwer Genealogy Database website, a link to a chart and profile of Elias E. Brewer is found on the Unplaced page. An e-mail address for contacting Hank Graham can also be found there.

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