Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Brower Burials in the Poughkeepsie Rural Cemetery

The list accessed by the link below is of persons named BROWER and BREWER who are buried in the Poughkeepsie Rural Cemetery in Dutchess County, New York. The list was extracted from the cemetery records and provided to William Bogardus in 1982. These are late 19th century and 20th century burials. The earliest burial date is 1858 (although there are two re-interments for persons who died earlier) , and the most recent burial is dated 1969.

Brower Burials in the Poughkeepsie Rural Cemetery

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Brouwer Burials at the Reformed Dutch Church of New York

The document linked below is from the William B. Bogardus Collection. It is an extract of persons named BROUWER and BROWER who were buried by the Reformed Dutch Church of New York. There are a handful of other names, primarily BOGARDUS and KIERSTED. Dates are from 1727 to 1804. The list was extracted from FHL film #0017777, item no. 3, "Burial Register of the Reformed Dutch Church of New York, 1726-1804," a handwritten transcript at the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, New York City.

Brouwer Burials at the Reformed Dutch Church of New York

Friday, December 21, 2012

New York Land Records, 1630-1975 at FamilySearch

FamilySearch recently placed online digital images of land and property records for all counties in the State of New York with the exception of Queens, Nassau and Franklin counties. The collection is arranged by county but there is no search capability. It is "browse-able" only. Fortunately, the indexes have been digitized as well.

New York Land Records, 1630-1975

In a number of past posts I have placed images of deeds and conveyances online. You can now access better quality images of the same documents at the FamilySearch website. Individual  images can be saved and downloaded to your own computer. As an example, here is a downloaded copy of page 1 from Lib. A of Kings County Conveyances.

Kings Co. Conveyances Lib. A, p. 1
This new collection will save on a lot of trips to the local Family History Center. And access is free.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Benjamin Brower - "The Embezzler Redeemed"

A few weeks back Mark Fortini sent me an e-mail with a link to a story about Benjamin Birdsall Brower (1776-1818). The three-part post was published at Past is, a blog page of the American Antiquarian Society in 2009.

In "The Embezzler Redeemed," by Doris O'Keefe, the author recounts how while attempting to confirm the death date for a certain Benjamin Brower of New York City, she discovered a interesting account of some prior criminal activity.

Benjamin Birdsall Brower was born on March 1, 1776, probably in the vicinity of Wappingers Falls in Dutchess County, New York. He was the son of Capt. Nicholas Brouwer (1747-1814) and Mary Birdsall; the grandson of Nicholas Brouwer (1714-1777) and Mary Dutcher; the great-grandson of Adolphus Brouwer (1692-1742) and Jannetje Verdon; the great-great-grandson of Nicholas Brouwer and Jannetje Caljer, and the great-great-great-grandson of Adam Brouwer and Magdalena Verdon. Benjamin B. Brower was married to Mary Rogers in 1799 and the couple had five children. Benjamin died on May 6, 1818 in New York City.

In 1803, Benjamin was accused, and apparently guilty of, embezzling $10,000 from his employer, the Manhattan Company. In Part 2, the author discovers Benjamin Brower's family. In Part 3, we have an unexpected ending.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

First Reformed Church Raritan (Somerville), N. J. Baptisms, 1745-1777

Baptisms in the First Reformed Church at Raritan, now Somerville, New Jersey, for the years 1745 to 1777 were published in the Somerset County Historical Quaterly, volume 3. A PDF created from scanned photocopies of the journal's pages is now available online.

First Reformed Church Raritan Baptisms, SCHQ, vol. 3 (1914).

Monday, December 17, 2012

First Reformed Church Raritan (Somerville), N. J. Baptisms

Organized in 1699, the First Reformed Church of Raritan, now in Somerville, New Jersey, was the first Reformed Dutch Church established in the Raritan Valley region. Beginning in the 1690s and through the first two decades of the 1700s, many families with roots in Kings County, Long Island, made the move to the Raritan area.

The baptism records for the church were published in the Somerset County Historical Quarterly beginning with volume 2, issue no. 1 in 1913. The first installment opens with a history of the church and his followed by the baptismal register beginning in the year 1699. Issue nos. 2, 3 and 4 of SCHQ volume 2 continue the records until May 27, 1744. A PDF of the scanned pages is now available online.

Raritan Baptisms (1699-1744), SCHQ v.2, 1913

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Marriages in the Village of Bergen

"Marriages in the Village of Bergen in New Jersey, Beginning in 1665," was originally published by the Holland Society in their Yearbook of 1914. In 1913, the Holland Society Yearbook contained the records of Baptisms in Bergen, and in 1915 the Yearbook included the Burials in Bergen. Collectively they became known as the "Bergen Books."

I have scanned my photocopies of the Marriages and they are now available online.

Marriages in the Village of Bergen in New Jersey, Beginning in 1665

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Daniel, Son of Adam Brouwer ???

The baptism record of Daniel, son of "Adam Brouwer and Aeltje Van der Beeck," dated May 7, 1678, was recorded at the Reformed Dutch Church of New York. For sponsors the records states, geen getúÿgen, or "no witnesses." This record can be found at New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, volume 8 (1877), p. 171, and in Baptisms from 1639 to 1730 in the Reformed Dutch Church, New York, Collections of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, Volume 2 (1901) at page 132. Since its publication the meaning, or interpretation, of this record has not been clear. It may be that the original record was in error, or it may be that 20th century researchers have simply misunderstood the record.

The first mention of this record, outside of the context of the original, was by T. G. Bergen, in his Early Settlers of Kings County, as published in NYGBR vol. 9 (1878), p. 129. Bergen writes, "Another Adam Brouwer, who married Aeltje Van der Beeck, and had a son, Daniel, bap. in N. Y. May 7, 1678." Bergen is clearly of the belief that the persons recorded as Daniel's parents are a married couple, and that the father, Adam Brouwer, is someone other than Adam Brouwer of Gowanus, L. I. Bergen is incorrect in his belief. The Adam Brouwer recorded here as father is the same Adam Brouwer of Gowanus, L. I. (who was married to Magdalena Verdon), and the Aeltje Van der Beeck, was the daughter of Maria Badie and Paulus Van der Beeck, was a half-sister of Magdalena Verdon, and was at the time of the baptism, married to Dirck Jans Ammerman. The couple recorded as parents in the baptism record of Daniel, were in fact, not married to each other.

The problem is next taken up by John Reynolds Totten in "Brouwer (Brower-Brewer) Family Notes," at NYGBR vol. 67 (1936), pp. 225-228. Totten devotes three pages to this question. To summarize, Totten notes that Bergen is in error in his assumption that Adam Brouwer and Aeltje Van der Beeck were husband and wife. He notes that if Adam Brouwer was the father of Daniel, then that fact is "not made clear by records elsewhere." (For example, Adam does not mention any son named Daniel in his will of 1692). Totten confirms that the "original" record was checked by two genealogists and that they confirmed that the transcribed version, as published by the NYGBS, was not in error. The possibility of a transcription error has been eliminated. Totten next entertains and dismisses the possibility that Daniel could be an illegitimate son of Adam Brouwer and his sister-in-law, Aeltje Van der Beeck. Finally he accepts the conclusion of his associate, Howard S. F. Randolph, who concludes that the original record must have been in error in that while Adam Brouwer is correctly recorded as the father, Aeltje Van der Beeck is incorrectly recorded as the mother and should have been recorded as a sponsor (or witness). This seems to be the interpretation of the baptism record that has prevailed and been repeated to date.

William J. Hoffman, in "Brouwer Beginnings," TAG 24 (1948): 170, simply states that the baptism record is in error, and refers the reader to Totten's article mentioned above. Hoffman apparently accepts the conclusion of Totten and Reynolds.

The three 20th century genealogists, Totten, Reynolds and Hoffman, may well be making two errors in reaching their collective conclusion. First, they assume that the recording of Adam Brouwer as a parent (the father) of Daniel is correct, and that the recording of Aeltje Van der Beeck as the mother, is incorrect. Frankly, they have no way of knowing whether this assumption is correct or not. It may well be that Aeltje Van der Beeck was correctly recorded as a parent, and that Adam Brouwer is in error. Reynolds notes, in his explanation, that Aeltje had a daughter (Catherine) baptized on 2 April 1677, and another (Annatje) baptized on 30 October 1681. Daniel was baptized on 7 May 1678, which is thirteen months after the earlier date and over twenty-nine months before the later date. Although the thirteen months between Catherine (2 April 1677) and Daniel (7 May 1678) is short, it is not biologically impossible. It also has to be remembered that these are baptism dates, and not birth dates. Although, it is true that in 17th century New Netherland/New York, children were regularly baptized within a few days of their birth, delayed baptisms were not unheard of. If Catherine was born even just two months prior to her baptism, it increases the possibility that Aeltje may have had another child. We can also consider the biological fact that some children are born prematurely. Reynolds' conclusion that Adam Brouwer was correctly recorded as the father and that Aeltje was incorrectly recorded as the mother, should not be accepted as final. But the reason for not accepting Reynolds' conclusion may lie with the second error.

The three genealogists concluded that the original record was in error. What they did not consider was the fact that perhaps the original record was correct, and they were simply misinterpreting it. This issue, of Daniel, was recently brought up in a thread on the Dutch-Colonies List at Rootsweb. I believe that Renee L. Dauven, in her post of November 28, 2012, hit on the problem exactly. In citing another, known example, Renee raised the possibility that the original was not in error, but instead, Adam Brouwer and Aeltje Van der Beeck, were standing in as parents, for the actual parents, who for some reason were unable to be present themselves. In the example she cites involving the Romeyn family and a baptism in the Hackensack RDC in 1700. In the Romeyn example the persons standing in for the parents were family members (grandparents), but they were recorded in the official record as "parents," with no notation that they were in fact not the child's natural parents. It appears to me that in the case of Daniel, it is more likely that he was not a child of either Adam Brouwer or Aeltje Van der Beeck, but instead the two were standing in for Daniel's actual parents, who were unable to attend. So then, who might Daniel's parents be?

In earlier attempts to explain this problem I suggested that Daniel's parent's might be Adam Brouwer's eldest son Pieter Brouwer and his wife Petronella Kleyn. I noted that the given name of Daniel, is completely absent from all lines of descendants of Adam Brouwer with the exception of the lines descended from his son Pieter. The first known Daniel Brouwer to appear among the descendants of Adam Brouwer was Daniel, the son of Abraham Brouwer and Lea Demarest, baptized on 5 July 1719 at Hackensack. Abraham is a son of Pieter Brouwer, and it is possible that he named a later son (Daniel was his sixth son) for a deceased brother. The given name Daniel is not found in Lea Demarest's family, therefore there is no reason to suspect that her family is the source of the name. The first recorded baptism of a child for Pieter Brouwer and Petronella Kleyn is in 1682. However, it is known that they had at least three older children born between 1673 and 1680. It is possible for Daniel to be a fourth. But what is still needed is a reason for neither Pieter nor Petronella to be present at Daniel's baptism. For that, I can think of no explanation. Perhaps there is a better family for Daniel.

Aeltje Van der Beeck's sister, Catherine, was baptized on 10 September 1645. She would have been aged 32 on 7 May 1678. Catherine married Daniel Richaud on 26 August 1661 at the New York Reformed Church. The couple is known to have had four children (Catherine, Johannes, Anna Maria and Paulus) none of who have records of baptism, but who can be attributed to the couple through other means. Daniel Richaud was deceased by 5 October 1679 when marriage banns for Catherine, as his widow, were posted at Flatbush. Catherine was remarried to Pieter Corson on 19 November 1679 at Amersfoort (Flatbush Reformed Protestant Dutch Church Records, page 221, "Pieter Corsz, young man, with Catharina vander Beek, widow of Daniel Richauw; both born in New York and both residing under Brooklyn; with certificate from the bridegroom's father and married the 19th November at Amersfort."). There is a seventeen month gap between the baptism of Daniel on 7 May 1678 and the posting of Catharine's marriage banns on 5 Oct 1679. We do not know the exact date of Daniel Richaud's death. But, if he did die prior to 7 May 1678, then (1) Catharine would have a reason to name a son Daniel (to honor her deceased husband) and (2) there would be an explanation for the natural father being unable to attend his son's baptism. As children were traditionally baptized within a few days of their birth, a reason for Catherine's non-appearance at Daniel's baptism, may be that she had a difficult delivery and was for health reasons, physically unable to attend herself. It is noted that despite the fact that although Catherine was aged 34 when she married Pieter Corson, she is not known to have had any additional children. If it was apparent that the child (Daniel) himself was likely not to survive long, an urgency to have him baptized may have been the reason for recruiting Catherine's sister, Aeltje Van der Beeck, along with Adam Brouwer, to stand in as substitute parents at the baptism.

Granted, the scenario described above cannot be proved. In fact it suffers from the same problem that Bergen and Totten/Reynolds had with their conclusions, that is, there are no later records that might confirm the idea that Daniel is a son of Catherine Van der Beeck and her first husband, Daniel Richaud. However, I do very much doubt that Daniel is an actual son of Adam Brouwer and Magdalena Verdon. Magdalena, who was married in March 1645, was likely born in 1627, 1628 or 1629, making her age 18, 17 or 16 at her marriage. If correct she then would have been aged 51, 50 or 49 in 1678 when Daniel was baptized. I doubt this was likely. Magdalena's previous child (Nicholas) was baptized six years earlier in 1672. (I say this despite the belief of Harry Macy, Jr. in his 2011 article, "Some New Light on Aeltje Braconie and Maria Badie," NYGBR vol. 142, pp. 21-36, which argues that Magdalena may have been aged 13 or 14 when married in 1645, which I note would still make her aged 47 in 1678, relatively old for giving birth). The possibility that Daniel is actually a son of Catherine Van der Beeck, and posthumous son of Daniel Richaud, is in my opinion, more plausible.

Additional info and citations can be found at the Brouwer Genealogy Database website which, with the next update, will reflect the belief that Daniel is only a claimed son of Adam Brouwer and is a possible son of Catherine Van der Beeck.

For more on Catherine (Van der Beeck) Richaud, see George E. McCracken, "Catherine (Van der Beek) Richaud and Her Children," NYGBR vol. 94 (1963), pp. 235-241.

For the Romeyn baptism mentioned by Renee L. Dauven see, First Reformed Church (Hackensack N. J.). Records of the Reformed Dutch Churches of Hackensack and Schraalenburgh, New Jersey. New York: Collections of the Holland Society, 1891, at Hackensack Church Baptisms, page 83; child: Rachel; parents: Klaes Jansen Romeyn, Styntie Terhuyne; witnesses: Jan Berdan, Eva his wife.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Nicholas Brouwer and Jannetje Caljer

Nicholas, the son of Adam Brouwer and Magdalena Jacobs, was baptized at the New York Reformed Dutch Church on April 16, 1672. The sole sponsor was Ariaentie Scherps (who I have not yet identified). Nicholas is the youngest son, and youngest child of Adam Brouwer and Magdalena Verdon's fourteen children who reached adulthood.

William J. Hoffman devotes more coverage to Nicholas Brouwer and some of his descendants than he does with any other child of Adam Brouwer. This is largely due to the good deal of misinformation and incorrect statements that had been published in earlier years, a number of which place descendants of Nicholas Brouwer among the families descended from his brother Jacob Brouwer and his wife Annetje Bogardus. In The American Genealogist, Nicholas Brouwer is covered in volume 24 (1948), pages 161-169. Also relating to Nicholas Brouwer is Hoffman's "Brouwer Corrections," New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, volume 69 (1938), pages 172-179, which was followed up by, "Brouwer Notes No. II," NYGBR volume 72, pages 332-337.

An initial source of published misinformation regarding some descendants of Nicholas Brouwer can be credited to Anton Temple Gesner, Gesner Family of New York and Nova Scotia (Middletown, Conn.: Pelton & King, 1912). Problems in Anton T. Gesner's account were addressed by John Reynolds Totten in "Anneke Jans and her Two Husbands," NYGBR volume 56 (1925), pages 202-243, specifically at pages 235-237. Also of interest would be a reaction to Totten, by Gesner (and Totten's subsequent reply to Gesner) found in the Letters and Comments section of NYGBR volume 57 (1926), pages 81-84. Totten's account in "Anneke Jans and Her Two Husbands," while correcting Gesner's error, did create new errors, later corrected by Hoffman. While the Gesner Family of New York and Nova Scotia is useful for it's account of the later Gesner descendants, it should not be relied upon for their descent from Adam Brouwer.

Nicholas was probably the youngest child of Adam Brouwer and Magdalena Verdon. A child named Daniel, who was baptized at the New York Reformed Dutch Church on 7 May 1678, with his parents recorded as "Adam Brouwer and Aeltje Van der Beeck," may not have been a son of Adam Brouwer and Magdalena Verdon (there will be more on Daniel in a future post). In documents pertaining to members of the Adam Brouwer family, all Brouwer family members, with the exception of Nicholas, sign with a mark. Nicholas, however, signs his name. He may well have been the only literate member of Adam Brouwer's large family.

The marriage banns for "Niclaes Berckhoven, j.m., op Breukelen met Jannetie Callier, j.d., op Boswijke," were published at the Flatbush Reformed Dutch Church on 15 September 1692. This is the only record in which Nicholas is found with the surname, "Berckhoven." His wife, Jannetje Caljer was a daughter of Jurian Caljer and Lysbeth Cornelis (van der Hoeven), and was probably born at Kinderhook, on the Hudson River in New York, about 1674. Her sister, Cornelia, was the wife of Nicholas' brother, Abraham Brouwer. At the time of their marriage she was living at Bushwick, Long Island, and the couple are found on the census there in 1698 with a household of 1 man, 1 woman, 1 child and 1 apprentice.

After the death of his father, Nicholas and his brother Abraham purchased the entire interest in the Gowanus Mill property from their siblings and from their mother. During the first decade of the 1700s, Nicholas built a second mill on the property which would be known as the "New Mill" or the "Yellow Mill." In 1710, Nicholas and his wife, Jannetje, and Abraham and his wife, Cornelia, signed indentures that described each parties holdings at Gowanus. In 1712, Nicholas and Jannetje sold their lands to Abraham and Cornelia. Nicholas had also been pursuing other real estate interests. Apparently, as early as 1702, he purchased property at Wappingers Creek in Dutchess County, from the van Courtlandt family and from a Peter Lawson. In 1714 he is recorded as dividing land with Samuel Vail in Westchester County. In 1718 and 1719, when described as "of Westchester County, miller," Nicholas purchased a number of parcels in the City of New York from Elizabeth Bruce, from Margaret LaRoux, and from Gertie Luertze, all widows. The lots were on, or adjacent to, Orange Street, and William Street. On 26 May 1719, Nicolaas Brouwer and Jannetje Coljer, his wife, of the Manor of Fordham, were members of the Reformed Dutch Church of New York City. On 1 April 1726, Mary Sinclair, bought from Nicholas Brouwer and Jannetje, his wife, a lot in the East Ward of New York City. Nicholas was involved in other deeds regarding New York City property, including property on Pine Street bought of William Nazareth (his brother-in-law) and Jan Vigne, later owned by William Vesey, the Rector of Trinity Church. What is apparent from the conveyances mentioned above, is that Nicholas and Jannetje relocated to Fordham Manor in Westchester County during the decade of 1710 to 1720, and probably remained there for the remainder of their lives.

It appears that Nicholas and Jannetje had seven known children. There are records of baptism for five of the children.
- The eldest, Adolphus, named for his paternal grandfather, Adam Brouwer, was baptized on 15 October 1693 at Brooklyn. Sponsors were Adam Brouwer (Nicholas' brother) and Maddalentje Brouwer (Magdalena Verdon, Nicholas' mother).  Adolphus was married to Jannetje Verdon, daughter of Jacob Verdon and Femmetje Westervelt, granddaughter of Thomas Verdon and Barbara Imbroeck, and great-granddaughter of Maria Badie and her first husband, Jacob Verdon. Adolphus was also a great-grandchild of Maria Badie, and the couple, Adolphus Brouwer and Jannetje Verdon, were second cousins. It is this Adolphus that was initially, incorrectly, stated to be a son of Jacob Brouwer and Annatje Bogardus, by Anton T. Gesner. Adolphus and Jannetje had ten children and lived the majority of their life in Bergen Co., New Jersey.
- Lijsbet (Elizabeth) daughter of Niclaas Brouwer and Jannetje, was baptized on 18 June 1699 at Brooklyn. Sponsors were Cornelis Caljer and Geertruit Caljer, brother and sister of the child's mother. She was certainly named for her maternal grandmother, Lysbeth Cornelis van der Hoeven. Lysbet Brouwer married John Parsell on 16 May 1715 at the New York Reformed Church. There are four known children, baptized at New York between 1719 and 1726. There may have been others. This family should be researched further.
- Jurje (Jurge), son of Niclaas Brouwer and Jannetje, was baptized on 30 March 1701 at Brooklyn. Sponsors were Jurie "Case" and Lena Nazaret. Jurje was named for his maternal grandfather, Jurian Caljer, who was no doubt the sponsor mis-recorded as Jurie "Case." The second sponsor was Helena Brouwer, wife of William Nazareth and sister of Nicholas the child's father. Jurge, also called Jeremiah, married Elizabeth Holmes on 25 September 1720 at the New York Reformed Dutch Church. Elizabeth was very likely a daughter of George Holmes and Anneken Caljer, who was a sister of her husband's mother, Jannetje Caljer. Jurje/Jeremiah Brouwer and Elizabeth Holmes, were first cousins. Jurge lived for sometime in Somerset Co., New Jersey. There are two confirmed children for Jurge and Elizabeth, and very probably, at least two others that can be identified, for a total of four likely children.
- Son, Cornelis, was baptized at the New York Reformed Dutch Church on 18 April 1705. Sponsors were Jan Hendricks and Marytje Coljer. The later is most likely a sister of Jannetje Caljer. The former, Jan Hendricks, has yet to be identified. Cornelis Brouwer was married twice. His first wife was Hannah Hilton, daughter of Anna Brouwer and William Hilton. Cornelis and Hannah were first cousins. They were married on 18 December 1725 at the New York Reformed Dutch Church. It appears that they had one son, Nicholas, who married Maria Boom in 1757 and lived at Albany, New York. Hannah did not live long, and Cornelis was married to his second wife, Mary De Roselle, in about 1730. They had one daughter, Hannah, who married Edmund Turner of Westchester County, and later New Marlborough and Plattekill in Ulster County, New York. Cornelis apparently did not live long himself after his second marriage, and it has been stated that Mary De Roselle was married to David Demarest (son of John Demarest and Deborah Heyet) in about April 1732. This entire family is somewhat unsettled and will be explored more fully in a future post.
- Nicolaas, son of Nicolaas Brouwer and Jannetje, was baptized at Brooklyn on 16 March 1707. Sponsors were Joris Homs (a.k.a. George Holmes) and Lena Douscon (Dawson). Joris Homs, the Dutch version of George Holmes, was a brother-in-law of Jannetje Caljer. Lena Douscon's relationship to the family has not been determined. No marriage for this Nicholas has been found, and he has not yet been identified with certainty in any other record. Hoffman, in "Brouwer Beginnigs," simply states, "no further record" (TAG 24:165). A descendant of the father, Nicholas Brouwer, claimed (in the later half of the 1800s) that Nicholas, the son, went to North Carolina. This has not otherwise been proved, and while there was a known man named Nicholas Brower in North Carolina, in the 1700s, he was more likely a descendant of Hubert Brower, an immigrant from the Palatine to Pennsylvania in 1727.
There are two additional children for Nicholas Brouwer and Jannetje Caljer, for whom baptism records are not found.
- Magdalena Brouwer was married to Joost Vredenburg on 26 June 1725 at the New York Reformed Dutch Church. She was likely the second daughter born to Nicholas and Jannetje, and was named for her paternal grandmother, Magdalena Verdon. Magdalena and Joost had two children baptized at New York, their names being Nicholas and Jannetje. A third child, Isaac, named for Joost's father, Isaac Vredenburgh, was baptized at Hackensack. Magdalena was a sponsor at baptisms for children of her brother Adolphus (wife Jannetje Verdon) and sister Lysbeth (husband John Parsell) in 1725 and 1726. The son Isaac was baptized in 1730, and this family needs further research beyond that date.
- The last child of Nicholas and Jannetje is somewhat controversial in that there is no known direct record for him. In other words, there is no first hand account of him. His identity comes from the word of descendants. Nazareth Brouwer is stated to have been a son of Nicholas Brouwer and Jannetje Caljer, and he was married to a woman named Anne Rozell. If so, he was likely born between 1702 and 1710, probably at Gowanus, Long Island. There are five children claimed for the couple, Nazareth Brouwer and Anne Rozell, for whom there are records, albeit few. The appearance of the given name, Nazareth, in later generations, gives credence to the existence of this initial man named Nazareth Brouwer. He was no doubt named to honor Nicholas Brouwer's brother-in-law, William Nazareth. I know of no other 17th or 18th century family in New York, New Jersey, or all of New England, in which this given name appears. The lack of a first hand account can be explained by the likelihood that Nazareth probably live as short life (possibly dying in his thirties) and that he likely lived in Westchester and/or Dutchess County during the first half of the 1700s when few people living there owned land (most were tenants on manor farms) and few records survive. The stated children of Nazareth Brouwer are: Cornelis Brouwer who married Mary Archer and lived at Poughkeepsie (had ten children, including a son Nazareth); Jane, or Jannetje Brouwer, married Thomas Benjamin Hill, and had four children including Nazareth Brouwer Hill; Lana Brouwer, for whom a marriage and further record has not been discovered; Charles Brouwer, married Jane Ryder, and had a daughter Ginny Brouwer who was the first wife of her first cousin Nazareth Brouwer (son of Cornelis Brouwer and Mary Archer); and Nazareth Brouwer, who married Bridget Pells and left a will dated 10 September 1787 which names a son John Brouwer. Despite the lack of direct proof of the first Nazareth Brouwer's existence, it is difficult to reconcile and place the families just mentioned without him. I would certainly welcome hearing from anyone with hard proof of Nazareth Brouwer's existence.

Where and when Nicholas and Jannetje died is not known with certainty. The last record identified for both is the deed of 1 April 1726 in which they sell a New York City lot to Mary Sinclair. A descendant, testifying in a court case in the early 1850s, stated that Nicholas died in 1749, and that he had outlived all of his children. The despondent, however, also stated that he left only one heir, a granddaughter named Hannah who married Edmund Turner. This second statement is, of course, not true, and since the lawsuit was seeking to claim a supposed inheritance, the witnesses testimony has to be considered suspect. The distance in time, 100 years, also casts doubt over the testimony. No settlement for an estate of Nicholas, or Jannetje Brouwer is found in Westchester Co., New York Co., or Albany Co. probate records. It is likely that Nicholas lived out his later years in either Westchester County or New York City, or both. A search for additional records, between the years 1726 and 1749, should be conducted, especially in Westchester County.

The Family of Nicholas Brouwer and Jannetje Caljer

Additional info and source citations can be found on the Brouwer Genealogy Database website.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Kings County Tombstone Inscriptions and Brooklyn Baptisms

In 1882 and 1888, the Kings County Genealogical Club published transcriptions from graveyards in Bushwick, Flatlands, New Utrecht and Gravesend, Long Island. In 1888 and 1894, Baptism records, as transcribed by Teunis G. Bergen, were also published. At some time during the past fifty years these photocopies of these published volumes were collected by William B. Bogardus. I have scanned the pages to PDFs and they are now available online.

There are very few Brouwers found among the graveyard transcriptions, however, there are numerous other Kings County families represented and certainly they will be of use to anyone researching Kings County families in general.

The Brooklyn baptism records should be used with caution. There are some errors within them. Teunis G. Bergen translated and transcribed these records in (I assume) the 1860s or 1870s. They have since been superseded by the far superior translation and transcription by A. P. G. Jos van der Linde for the Holland Society, and published by the Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc. in 1983. Whenever researching Kings County families, the van der Linde translations should be used. A copy of the book, however, can be difficult to find. It is out of print and used copies for sale can be expensive (see listing at Amazon). Some libraries have copies, but that can be hit or miss. The large Buffalo and Erie County Library does not have a copy. However, I did find a very small rural library in Spencerport, New York, that did have one. So, check your local library. Hopefully someday this terrific collection, published under the collection title, "New York Historical Manuscripts," is digitized and made available online (even for a fee) as e-Books.

New Utrecht Tombstones, Kings Co. Genealogical Club vol. 1 no. 1

Flatlands Tombstones, Kings Co. Genealogical Club vol. 1 no. 2

Gravesend Tombstones, Kings Co. Genealogical Club vol. 1 no. 3

Old Bushwick Graveyard and Brooklyn Baptisms from 1660, Kings Co. Gen. Club vol. 1 no. 4

Brooklyn Baptisms 1679 to 1719, Kings Co. Genealogical Club vol. 1 nos. 5 & 6

My suggestion is to download and save these files to your computer.


van der Linde, A. P. G. Jos. Old First Dutch Reformed Church of Brooklyn, New York: First Book of Records, 1660-1752. New York Historical Manuscripts: Dutch. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1983.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Rachel Brouwer and Pieter Hendricksen

Rachel Brouwer, probably the youngest daughter of Adam Brouwer and Magdalena Verdon, was likely born before 1672 at Gowanus, Long Island. No record of her baptism has been found, but she is named in her father's will dated January 22, 1691/92.

Rachel Brouwer is covered by William J. Hoffman in "Brouwer Beginnings" at TAG 24 (1948): 169. The account is the briefest of all of the children of Adam Brouwer (essentially one sentance), and the reason for this is simply that very little has been discovered regarding Rachel.

On 5 June 1698, Rachel married Pieter Hendrickszen at the New York Reformed Dutch Church. The banns dated 27 May 1698 read, "Pieter Hendrickszen, j.m. Uyt Vrieslandt, en Rachel Berckhoven, j.d. Van't lange Eylt., beyde wonende alhier." Translated, this tells us that Pieter Hendricksen was born in Friesland and Rachel was born on Long Island, neither had been previously married, and both were living in New York. Rachel is recorded with the Berckhoven surname.

On 22 January 1699, the couples only known child, Engeltje, was baptized at the New York Reformed Dutch Church. The record lists the parents as "Pieter Hendrix and Rachel Brouwer." Sponsors were "Niclaes Brouwer and Magdalena Brouwer, wed." They would be Rachel's brother and her mother, Magdalena Verdon. Thus far, no other children have been located for the couple.

In September 1676, a Pieter Hendricke was on the tax roll at New Amersfoort (Flatlands), Long Island, assessed with 1 poll and 1 horse. In 1683, Pieter Hendricksen, with 1 man, 3 cows, 1 horse, 1 of 2 years, was assessed at New Amersfoort. On 2 March 1684/85, Jan Theunison and Pieter Hendricksen, carpenters, were deposed at Flatlands to testify on the behalf of Hendricke Strockels, widow of "Mister Hainelle" (Michiel Hainelle), that they witnessed Mr. Hainelle, "sickly in his house and lying before the fire," declare his last will. This Pieter Hendricksen is, however, a different man of the same name. He was married to Catharina Jans, and they were both members, from New Amersfoort, of the Flatbush Reformed Church in September 1678.

Rachel had appeared as a sponsor at the baptisms of three of her sibling's children. All three appearances were prior to her marriage to Pieter Hendrickszen. On 14 May 1693, along with her brother Nicholas Brouwer, she was a sponsor for Willemtje, daughter of Matthys Brouwer and Marietje Pieters, at Brooklyn. On 29 March 1696, Rachel, and her brother Adam, were sponsors at the baptism of Helena, daughter of William Nazareth and Helena Brouwer. On 27 December 1696, Rachel, with Arien Claessen, witnessed the baptism of Hillegont, daughter of Adam Brouwer and Marretje Hendrickse. Rachel is referred to as Rachel BROUWER in all three records.

The 1699 baptism record of daughter, Engeltje, is the last certain record thus far discovered for both Rachel and Pieter. When searching for Engleltje in later records, it must be kept in mind that she could be recorded either with her patronymic, as Engeltje Pieters, or with her father's patronymic, as Engeltje Hendricks or Hendricksen. On 31 May 1718, an Engeltje Hendrickze, j.d., van New York, married Pieter van den Burg, j.m. van New Jersey, at the New York Reformed Dutch Church. A daughter, Rachel, was baptized for this couple at the New York Reformed Dutch Church on 11 February 1719. The sponsors were Ykabod Burned and Elizabeth Reed, two individuals who do not immediately shed any new light on possible relations. No other record for this couple is found in the New York Dutch Church. New York probate records provided no additional leads. It is likely that Pieter van den Burg's wife is Engeltje, the daughter of Rachel Brouwer and Pieter Hendricksen, but more evidence is required to declare that thought to be certain. Searches will have to be conducted further afield, in New Jersey and in Westchester and Dutchess Counties, New York. A remove to the West Indies may also be possible.

Another possible lead that must be followed up on, is the baptism of Rachel, the daughter of Pieter Hendriks and Machteltje Zabrisco (Zabriskie), at the New York Reformed Dutch Church on 15 February 1741. The sponsors for the baptism were John Dyer and Maria Dyer, j.d. (Maria was a young unmarried woman). John Dyer was the third husband of Christina Davids/Hendricksen, the daughter of Helena Brouwer and her first husband David Hendricksen. Maria Dyer was John and Christina's daughter, born in 1721. Rachel Brouwer was Christina's aunt. A daughter, Elizabeth, baptized in 1735 at New York, carried the name of Machteltje's mother, Elizabeth Romeyn. It is likely that the second daughter, in this case named Rachel, would be named for Pieter Hendrick's mother. Rachel Brouwer then has to be considered as a possible mother of this Pieter Hendricks. (Machteltie, daughter of Jan Zaboriscoo and Elizabeth Romeyn, was baptized at Hackensack, New Jersey on 9 November 1710. The family name is standardized as Zabriskie, and there is no additional insight into Machteltje's husband found in George Olin Zabriskie's extensive genealogy of the family published in 1963. No evidence of Rachel Brouwer and/or Pieter Hendricksen has been found in the Hackensack Church records).

Rachel Brouwer's and Pieter Hendricksen's sudden disappearance from all records, after the 1699 baptism of their daughter, is certainly frustrating. No mention of them is found in the New York probate records. It is possible that both died at early ages, but it is also possible that the couple moved to a location where records are scarce. Westchester County, in the first few decades of the 1700s, is a possible location that meets this later description. A move to the West Indies is also a possibility. Some of the children of Helena Brouwer and William Nazareth made such a move. Any possible leads found by readers are certainly welcome.

The Family of Rachel Brouwer and Pieter Hendricksen

Source citations and additional details referred to above will be updated with the next edition of the Brouwer Genealogy Database.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Abraham Brouwer of Gowanus, Long Island

Abraham Brouwer, a son of Adam Brouwer and Magdalena Verdon, was born sometime prior to 1667, probably at Gowanus, Long Island. No record of baptism has been found for Abraham. He is mentioned in his father's will of January 22, 1691/92, and he appears on the September 1687 Oath of Allegiance at Brooklyn as "Abram brouwer, native." It is his appearance on this list, as independent from his father, that leads to the likelihood that Abraham was born prior to 1667.

William J. Hoffman covers Abraham Brouwer in "Brouwer Beginnings" at TAG 24 (1948): 96-101. Hoffman's profile of the family includes children and many grandchildren. There are, however, some errors.

As of this posting, one descendant of Abraham Brouwer has participated in the Brewer DNA Project. The Y-DNA test results confirm the participant's descent from Adam Brouwer. The participant's lineage is a bit unique in that it the only line of Adam Brouwer descendants found (so far) that re-located to eastern Massachusetts during the mid-1800s, a time when most migration from New York was westward. We are always looking for new Brouwer descendants interested in joining the Brewer DNA Project.

Abraham Brouwer was married to Cornelia Caljer, with banns dated 6 February 1692, recorded at the Flatbush Reformed Dutch Church. Cornelia was a daughter of Jurian Caljer and Lysbeth Cornelise van der Hoeven. There is no record of her baptism and she was probably born about 1676 when her family lived in the vicinity of Kinderhook which is in present day Columbia County, New York, along the Hudson River between New York City and Albany. The Caljer family later lived at Bushwick in Kings County. Cornelia's sister, Jannetje, married Abraham's brother, Nicholas Brouwer, and the two families operated the Gowanus Mill, established by Adam Brouwer, until about 1712 when it appears that Nicholas sold his share to his brother Abraham. The marriage of Abraham Brouwer and Cornelia Caljer took place at about the time that Adam Brouwer died, and the Flatbush record records Abraham as "Abraham Adams Berks," a recognition of the "Berckhoven" surname his father seemed to adopt in the later years of his life. In later records Abraham is recorded with the surname, Brouwer. The marriage banns record Cornelia as "Cornelia Halsijen." It is not clear how "Halsijen" is derived from "Caljer" other then human error in the original recording. Abraham and Cornelia are found as sponsors/witnesses at a number baptisms for children of both Brouwer and Caljer siblings. Cornelia is sometimes recorded with her husband's surname, BROUWER.

Abraham Brouwer is found in a number of deeds recorded at Kings County. In many of them his wife, Cornelia, is named as well. From the deeds we can get the general picture that, from the time of Adam Brouwer's death, Abraham and his brother Nicholas, began jointly acquiring property owned by their siblings, and others, in the immediate vicinity of the mill. There are also a handful of recorded agreements, or contracts, between the Brouwers and immediate neighbors regarding water rights. In 1710 the two Brouwer-Caljer couples create two indentures by which all of the accumulated property is legally divided between the two families. Then in 1712, Nicholas and Jannetje sell their Gowanus property to Abraham and Cornelia. Twenty years after the death of Adam Brouwer, his son Abraham was the sole Brouwer in possession of the Gowanus Mill property. In 1737 Abraham, in two separate deeds, conveyed the mill property to his two sons, Jeury and Abraham.

The last mention of Cornelia is on 23 August 1728, when she is recorded as a witness for the baptism of her granddaughter, Cornelia, the daughter of Jannetje Brouwer and Johannes Burger. Cornelia (Caljer) Brouwer was deceased by 1 September 1732, when her widowed husbanded made a pre-marital agreement with his soon to be second wife, Elizabeth (Gerritsen) Britton, widow of Nathaniel Britton, late of Staten Island. Elizabeth was a daughter of Jan Gerritsen and Elisabeth Gysberts. She had six children with her first husband, Nathaniel Britton. Abraham and Elizabeth had no children.

Abraham Brouwer and Cornelia Caljer had six known children. There are baptism records for four, and they were born between the years 1695 and 1706.
1- Lysbeth (Elizabeth) daughter of Abraham Berckhoven and Cornelia Caljers was baptized at the New York Reformed Dutch Church on 19 June 1695. Sponsors were Joris Horn (Joris/George Homs/Holmes) and his wife Annetje Caljers, a sister of Cornelia's. Elizabeth married Jacobus Bennet, a son of Jan Willemsz Bennet and Aeltje Wynants. Elizabeth and Jacobus were 2nd cousins, their common ancestor being Maria Badie. The couple had seven children. Wilson V. Ledley in his long account of the Bennet family (NYGBR 93-95 [1962-1964] at 95:24) mistakenly identifies Elizabeth as a daughter of Nicholas Brouwer and Jannetje Caljer. William J. Hoffman's "Brouwer Beginnings" account, which pre-dated Ledley by sixteen years, had Elizabeth's identification correct.
2- Machdalena (Magdalena), daughter of Abram Brouwer and Cornelia Brouwer, was baptized at Brooklyn on 21 March 1695. Sponsors were Nicklaes Brouwer and Jannetje Brouwer. Here, the sisters Cornelia and Jannetje, are both recorded with their husband's surnames. Magdalena was married twice. The first marriage was to Jan Frederic Reyn (Rein) on 20 April 1717 at the New York Reformed Dutch Church. The couple had three known children, Cornelia, Jan and Helena. Magdalena's second marriage was to John Turner (Tourner), who was deceased by 1749. Magdalena is also recorded as "Lena" and "Helena," and there is certainly more waiting to be discovered regarding both of her husbands and descendants.
3- Marytie, daughter of Abram Brouwer and Cornelia, was baptized at Brooklyn on 12 March 1699. Sponsors were Cornelis Caljer and Margrietie Pieters. Cornelis Caljer was a brother of Cornelia, but Margrietie Pieters is not found among the known spouses of immediate family members, and remains unidentified. Marytje married first, Hendrick Van Leeuwen on 4 August 1718 at the New York Reformed Dutch Church. He is called, "Henry Lyon," in the marriage record. They had four children. Her second marriage was to William Tucker, and a son William, was baptized on 27 August 1731 at New York. Marytje's third marriage was to Jacob van Giesen on 6 January 1734. She is recorded as "Maria Tukker" in the record of the New York Reformed Dutch Church. A likely daughter of the third marriage was Russchen van Giesen, who married Moses Mettes. Baptism sponsorships help to tie this family together.
4- Abraham, son of Abraham Brouwer and Cornelia was baptized on 15 December 1706 at Brooklyn. Sponsors were Isaac Hendrickse and Magdaleentje Blauw. Isaac Hendrickse identification or relationship to the Brouwer or Caljer families is not apparent. Magdaleentje Blauw, is possibly Lena, the wife of Frederick Blauw, and possibly the Magdalena Caljer who was a sister of Cornelia Caljer (this is not certain, but this identification does seem to be very likely). Abraham married Sara Kimber and the couple had eight children. Two children are identified by baptism records and Abraham's will dated 29 September 1755, identifies the others. William J. Hoffman covers Abraham at TAG 24 (1948): 98, but is in error when he states that Abraham's son Abraham, married Maria Losier, and when he states that Abraham's son Jury, "probably married Maria Tideman." These two brothers, Abraham and Jury, were the two who were in ownership of the Gowanus mill property when it was destroyed during the Battle of Brooklyn in August 1776. They did not marry Maria Losier and Maria Tideman, respectively, but instead were married to sisters, Mary Elsworth and Anna Elsworth, daughters of William Elsworth and Rebecca Stillwell.

The remaining two children of Abraham Brouwer and Cornelia Caljer do not have baptism records that have been located. They are Jannetje and Jury, and were both likely born between 1700 and 1705, between the 1699 baptism of Marytje and the 1706 baptism of Abraham.
5- Jannetje Brouwer was married to Johannes Burger by 1725. They had ten children baptized at the New York Reformed Dutch Church, the first (Johannes) on 29 September 1725, and the last (Elizabeth) on 2 March 1746. The couple's eldest daughter was named Cornelia, while the second son was given the name Abraham. Johannes Burger, baptized on 5 December 1701 at New York, was a son of Johannes Burger and Helena Pauluse Turck. Johannes (Jr.) and Jannetje's first son was named Johannes and the second daughter was named Helena, in the classic Dutch naming custom of the time. Abraham Brouwer and Cornelia Caljer were sponsors for three of the Burger children, while Jannetje and her siblings had multiple occasions when they stood as sponsor at the baptisms of their sibling's children. The placement of Jannetje Brouwer, wife of Johannes Burger, in this family is certain.
6- The final child of Abraham Brouwer and Cornelia Caljer is Jeury Brouwer. His placement in the family is confirmed by recorded deeds beginning with the 1737 deed by which his father conveys Jeury half of the mill property. He was probably older then his brother Abraham, and was named for Cornelia's father, Jurian Caljer. Is name Jeury, which is also seen as Jury, Jurian, and Jurge was anglicized to Jeremiah (or Jeremias) in the Brouwer families. The name is found only among the descendants of Adam Brouwer's sons Abraham and Nicholas, and the name owes its origins to Jurian Caljer, the father-in-law of both Abraham and Nicholas Brouwer. Jeury Brouwer (probably born between 1700 and 1705) was married twice. His first marriage, to his first cousin Elizabeth Hilton (daughter of Anna Brouwer and William Hilton) occurred on 15 January 1726 at the New York Dutch Church. They had eleven children, but baptism records have not been found for any of them (the records of the Brooklyn Dutch Church, post 1719, are lost). The children are identified by Jeury's will of 18 September 1754, which was not proved until 4 February 1784. On 24 October 1747, recorded in the Flatbush Reformed Church records, Jeremias Brouwer, widower, married Charitie Stillwell, young woman. There is no record of any children for Jeury and Charity. Charity (Geertje, when written by a Dutch hand) has not been identified in the Stillwell family of the greater New York City area. However, on 2 November 1757, a Thomas Stillwell of New York City, sold land in Flatbush to Jurry Brouwer of Brooklyn, miller. This may be a first clue to Charity's identification.
Charity's own will was written on 9 May 1787 and was proved 8 March 1790. At the time she lived at Goshen in Orange County, New York, and styled herself as "Charity Brouwer, widow of Jeremiah Brouwer, late of Kings County on Nassau Island." She leaves a number of legacies to numerous persons, one of whom is Theophilus Brouwer, grandson of "my said late husband." Among her other beneficiaries are "my sister Mary Sickles" (possibly another clue to the identity of Charity's Stillwell family); to "Charity Tedemun" (Tideman); to Elizabeth Whitney, wife of Abijah Whitney (Elizabeth was a daughter of Charity's step-daughter Sara Brouwer and her husband Christopher Elsworth) and William Elsworth and Jeremiah Elsworth. Hoffman (at TAG 24:100) identifies the "Charity Tedemun" in the will as the Charity Brouwer who married Abraham Tiederman at the Lutheran Church at Loonenburg (Athens), New York, and believes her to be a daughter of Jeremiah Brouwer and Charity Stillwell. On the first point he is correct, but on the second point he is in error. Charity Brouwer was a daughter of Juey Brouwer and Anna Elsworth, and a granddaughter of Abraham Brouwer and Sara Kimber. Charity Tidemon is mentioned as an heir in the 1818 petition to Congress initiated by Mary (Elsworth) Brouwer. Apparently Hoffman was unaware of this document. It is very valuable for understanding this complicated family more correctly.
The multiple Brouwer - Elsworth marriages also cause some confusion. It might be best to list them here.
-Abraham Brouwer (b.1739) son of Abraham Brouwer & Sara Kimber, married (lic. 18 Oct 1758) Mary Elsworth, daughter of William Elsworth & Rebecca Stillwell.
-Jury Brouwer (b. 1738-1748) son of Abraham Brouwer & Sara Kimber, married (lic. 28 Dec 1763) Anna Elsworth, daughter of William Elsworth & Rebecca Stillwell. (Jury did not marry Annatie Bennet as suggested by Ledley at NYGBR 95:159).
-Cornelia Brouwer, daughter of Jeury Brouwer & Elizabeth Hilton, married (lic. 29 Oct 1761) Thomas Elsworth, son of William Elsworth & Rebecca Stillwell.
-Jeury Brouwer (b. 1728) son of Jeury Brouwer & Elizabeth Hilton, married on 15 Feb 1750, Jane Elsworth, daughter of Theophilus Elsworth & Johanna Hardenbroek.
-Sara Brouwer, daughter of Jeury Brouwer & Elizabeth Hilton, married (lic. 16 Feb 1759), Christopher Elsworth, son of Willem Elsworth & Rebecca Stillwell. (Their daughter Elizabeth Elsworth married Abijah Whitney, and is named in Charity (Stillwell) Brouwer's will).
The above mentioned Rebecca Stillwell is a daughter of Thomas Stillwell and Catrina Duryea. It may be that Charity Stillwell was her sister, and a daughter of this couple as well. However, this has not yet been proved.

Of the eleven children of Jeury Brouwer and Elizabeth Hilton, we know of marriages for nine of them. Cornelia, Jeury and Sara are mentioned above. The eldest son Abraham was the Abraham Brouwer who married Mary Losee at Rombout, Dutchess Co., New York in 1757. Hoffman had mistakenly identified this Abraham as the son of Abraham Brouwer & Sara Kimber (see above). At TAG 24:100, Hoffman states that Jeury Brouwer's son, Abraham, married Mary Elsworth. This is incorrect as well, and in essence, Hoffman had the two contemporary Abrahma Brouwers switched with regards to their marriages. Abraham Brouwer (son of Jeury Brouwer & Elizabeth Hilton) was first married to Barbara Stellingwerf, a daughter of Pieter Stellingwerf and Femmetje Bennet. Abraham left a will dated 13 February 1797 and had three children by Barbara Stellingwerf and four by Mary Losee.
Jeury and Elizabeth's son William Brouwer (named for his maternal grandfather William Hilton) married Meclitta van Duyn, a daughter of Gerrit van Duyn and Altie van Nostrand. They had five children. Hoffman has this marriage correct.
Son, Adolph Brouwer (d. 19 July 1827) married Aeltje Hulst, daughter of Anthony Hulst and Altie van Duyn. Hoffman also has this correct. Adolph purchased the ruined mill property from the other heirs in 1785, rebuilt the mill, and sold the property to John Freeke in 1798.
Of Jeury Brouwer and Elizabeth Hilton's daughters, Annatje married Henry Taylor and had two known children, Charity Taylor and Jeremiah Brower Taylor. Daughter Maria Brouwer married Cornelius Bennet and had three known children, Abraham, Cornelius and Jacob. There is a nine year gap between Maria and Cornelius' marriage in 1757 and the baptism of the first known child in 1766, so undoubtedly there were others. This may be a home for some unplaced Bennets of the late 1700s. Marriages have not yet been found for daughters Elizabeth and Lena, both of who were mentioned as unmarried in Jeury Brouwer's will of 1754 (proved in 1784).

Abraham Brouwer, the original subject of this post, was last recorded on 18 February 1739, when he and Elizabeth, his wife, were sponsors for the baptism of his grandson, Abraham, son of Abraham Brouwer and Sara Kimber, at New Utrecht. No record of probate or settlement of estate has been found for Abraham, and one was not necessary as he had previously conveyed his property to his sons Jeury and Abraham by deeds in 1737, and had provided for his second wife, Elizabeth (Gerritsen) Britton, in their agreement of 1732. By 1739, Abraham Brouwer would have been approaching his mid-seventies.

It is believed that Adam Brouwer first began building the mill property at Gowanus sometime in the late 1640s or 1650s. He died in early 1692 and had been overseer of what has been claimed as  Long Island's first grist mill for roughly 45 years. Abraham oversaw the operation from 1692 until 1737, also a period of 45 years.  The mill remained with Brouwer descendants until 1798, another 61 years.

The Children and Grandchildren of Abraham Brouwer and Cornelia Caljer 

Details and source citations can be found at the Brouwer Genealogy Database website. Some corrections and changes found during the course of writing this post will be online with the next BGD website update.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Sara Brouwer and Her Four Husbands

Sara Brouwer, a daughter of Adam Brouwer and Magdalena Verdon, was probably born about 1668 at Gowanus, Long Island. No record of baptism has been found. She is named in her father's will dated January 22, 1691/92. Sara was married four times, but children are only known from her (third) marriage to Thomas Knight.

Sara Brouwer is covered by William J. Hoffman in "Brouwer Beginnings" at TAG 24 (1948):96. The account is very brief and incomplete. Hoffman's profile of Sara includes three marriages and one child. In actuality, Sara was married four times, and had three known children. Hoffman does not venture a guess as to Sara's date of birth and lists her as the tenth child of fifteen for Adam Brouwer and Magdalena Verdon, implying that she was older than her siblings Anna and Abraham. Sara was more likely younger than the two. In "Brouwer Corrections and Additions," TAG 30 (1953):177, Hoffman updates the list of children and adds the fourth husband.

Sara's first marriage was on 13 July 1684 and is recorded in both the records of the New York Reformed Dutch Church and in the records of the church at Flatbush. The are dated 28 June 1684. They read, "Theunis Janszen, j.m. Van Vlissingen, en Sara Brouwers, j.d. Van de Guijanes, d'Eerste woonende alheir en tweede op de Guijanes." Theunis Janszen was born at Vlissingen, which is Flushing, but whether the Flushing in Queens Co., Long Island, or the Flushing in the Netherlands is meant, is not clear. At the time Theunis was a resident of New York (New York record), while Sara was born and residing at Gowanus. Neither were previously married and the marriage took place at Brooklyn (Flatbush record). There is very little else found regarding Theunis Janszen. He witnessed the baptism of Christina, daughter of Helena Brouwer and her first husband, David Hendricksen, on 13 July 1684 at New York, and witnessed the baptism of Jan, son of Pieter Brouwer and Petronella Kleyn on 21 March 1685, also at New York. An assessment at Brooklyn in September 1676 lists a Theunis Jansen with 3 polls, 3 horses, a horse of 2 years, 2 oxen, 4 cows, 4 cows of 3 years, 4 cows of 1 year, 2 hogs, and 23 morgens of land and valley. A September 1683 assessment, also at Brooklyn, lists Teunis Jansen with 2 horses, 5 cows, 6 cows of 2 years, 3 cows of 1 year, 4 sheep, 1 poll, 20 morgens of land (a morgen is approximately two acres)*. Sara's husband, Theunis Janszen, should not be confused with Theunis Janszen (Amack) who married Jannetje Brouwer, a daughter of Jan Brouwer and Jannetje Jans. This Theuins Janszen was assessed in September 1683 at New Amersfoort (Flatlands). No children have been found or identified for Sara Brouwer and Theunis Janszen. The date of his death is not known and a record of the settlement of his estate has not been found. He was, however, deceased by 23 September 1692, when Sara remarried.

The Flatbush Reformed Dutch Church records list the banns of "Thomas Smit, j.m., met Sara Brouwer wedue van Tuenes Jansen, beijde woonende tot Bruekelen," with the betrothal date of 23 September 1692. This record tells us that Thomas Smit (Smith?) had not been previously married, that Sara was the widow of Theunis Janszen, and that both were living at Brooklyn. No other record for Thomas Smit has been identified. This fact has prompted some researchers to consider whether or not the original marriage record was in error and that Thomas Knight (Sara's third husband) was intended. I first found this consideration while reading through correspondence given to me by William B. Bogardus in 2008. One of Bill's correspondents raised the question but when he later had the original Flatbush records inspected, concluded that the original recording did state Thomas' surname as SMIT. The transcription and translation as published by David William Voorhees in Records of the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church of Flatbush, Vol. 1, 1670-1720 (New York: Holland Society, 1998), pp. 276 and 277, also give his surname as SMIT. As there is no evidence that would indicate that Thomas Knight had previously been known as Thomas Smit, we can only conclude that Thomas Smit and Thomas Knight are two different men. Thomas Smit was likely deceased by 1698 and there are no known children for Sara Brouwer and Thomas Smit.

Sara was married to Thomas Knight by 12 August 1698. That is the date of a deed in which the sons, and husbands of the daughters of Adam Brouwer sell their interests in the Gowanus Mill property to their brothers Nicholas and Abraham Brouwer. This deed was not recorded and I do not know where the original, if it still survives, would be found today. Teunis G. Bergen first mentioned it in a segment of his "Early Settlers of Kings County," as published in the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record vol. 9 (1878):128. The deed, as reported by Bergen, lists the husbands of the Brouwer daughters as "Barent Van Tillburgh, Matthys Cornelisse, Jesaies Dreax, William Nazareth, William Hilton, Thomas Knight and Pieter Hendrix." No marriage record for Sara Brouwer and Thomas Knight has been found, and it is five years between the 1698 deed and the first recorded baptism of a child.
Rachel, daughter of Thomas Nigt and Sara, was baptized on 27 April 1703 at Brooklyn. Witnesses were Tomas Davids and Sara Dreafs. The later would be the 19 year old daughter of Aeltje Brouwer and Josias Janszen Drats, and the former may be a son of Helena Brouwer and her first husband David Hendricksen. If so, he was probably about 20 or 21 years old. Rachel was married to Johannes Linde by 1735. On 29 January 1735, their son, Johannes, was baptized at the New York Reformed Dutch Church, sponsors Jacob Brouwer, Jr., and Sara Brouwer, wife of Samuel Broek (Rachel's mother, and the child's grandmother). Other children have not been located and the couple may have been married much earlier as Rachel would have been aged 32 in 1735.
Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Nyts and Sara Brouwers, was baptized at the New York church on 23 May 1705, sponsors Jacob Swaan and Christina Elson. Jacob Swaan's relationship to Sara or Thomas is not apparent. Christina was the daughter of Helena Brouwer and David Hendricksen, and wife (at the time) of John Ellesson (Elson, Ellison?). Christina was the child, Elizabeth's first cousin. Elizabeth married, probably about 1725, Nicholas Bennet. Their son, Nicholas, was baptized on 5 July 1726 at New York, sponsors Samuel Broeks and Sara Broeks (Elizabeth's mother and her fourth husband). Nothing further has yet been found regarding the family of Nicholas Bennet and Elizabeth Knight, and if there is any relationship between Nicholas and the large Bennet family of Kings County (relations of the Brouwers) it is not apparent. It is conceivable that Nicholas is from a branch of a New England Bennett family. Hoffman spells his name with two Ts (BENNETT) while the baptism record spells it with one (BENNET).
The third child of Sara Brouwer and Thomas Knight is a son, Samuel Knight. No record of baptism has been found, but on 19 July 1723, he married Alida Berry at the New York Reformed Dutch Church. The records states, "Samuel Nyts, j.m. V. Breukelen, met Alida Berry, j.d. V. Akkinsak, beide woonende alheir" (Samuel Knights, young man born in Brooklyn with Alida Berry, young woman born at Hackensack, both living in New York). Samuel and Alida had five children baptized at the Old Dutch Church at Kingston (Ulster Co.) between 1724 and 1735.
A published account of descendants of Thomas Knight and Sara Brouwer can be found in Settlers of the Beekman Patent by Frank J. Doherty, in volume 7 beginning at page 634. There are some problems with this account in that it adds a number of assumed or supposed children and grandchildren, one of which will be addressed below. According to Doherty, Samuel Knight (or Knights) settled at Beekman in Dutchess County by 1739, and is found there through 1759. After that date there is no trace of him.
On 7 May 1695, Thomas Knight bought of Jurian Hendrickse Bries, a house and lot in the village of Brooklyn, and kept a tavern. In 1708, Sara Knight (Sara Brouwer) and Martha Brouwer (Martha Boulten, wife of William Brouwer) were indicted by the grand jury for false swearing with regard to a riot which occurred at the tavern kept by Thomas Knight. The charges were dismissed when no one appeared to testify against them. Thomas Knight's land is mentioned in a deed of 7 May 1708 in which William Brower and his wife Martha, sold their house and garden lot in Brooklyn to Cornelius Sleght. Thomas Knight's lot bounded the lot William and Martha sold. The two mentions in 1708 are the last records found thus far for Thomas Knight. No settlement of his estate has been located and it is not known when he died. The deed books of Kings County should be checked further.

Sara's fourth husband was Samuel Broek (Brook, Brooks). No record of marriage is found but they were married by January 1723/4 when Sara Broek signed her mark in behalf of her son Samuel Night. Samuel and Sara Broek were sponsors at the 1726 baptism of Nicholas Bennet. Sara was likely past reproductive age at the time she married Samuel Broek (Brook), no children are known for the couple, and what further became of them has not been discovered. Sara is last mentioned as "Sara Brouwer, huis vrouw van Samuel Broek," on 29 January 1735 at the baptism of her grandson, Johannes Linde at New York.


Hendrick, or Henry, Van den Burg (Vanderburg and other spellings) was a son of Dirck Van den Burg and Rymerth Janse was probably born about 1693 (he was under age in 1709 but married by 1713). His wife was one, Maria Magdalena Knight, and their first known child, Anna Maria, was baptized at the New York Reformed Dutch Church on 12 April 1713. The couple had six other children baptized at Poughkeepsie in Dutchess County, and at the New York Lutheran Church between 1716 and 1734. Henry's will dated 12 Jan 1738 (proved 18 Oct 1750) adds five more children for a total of twelve. Hendrick Van den Burg and Maria Magdalena Knight are of some significance and interest because of the fact that they are ancestors of U.S. Presidents Gerald R. Ford and George H.W. and George W. Bush. I have been contacted by a number of people, and I found the same in the correspondence of William B. Bogardus, with the thought that Maria Magdalena Knight was a daughter of Sara Brouwer and Thomas Knight. If correct, this would imply that Adam Brouwer was also an ancestor of the three U.S. Presidents. The Settlers of the Beekman Patent volume mentioned above, includes "Magdalena" Knight, among the supposed children of Sara Brouwer and Thomas Knight. The "coincidental" evidence cited (by correspondents of both myself and Bill Bogardus) is, first, the probability that Maria Magdalena Knight was born (if married by 1713) in the early 1690s, a time when Sara could have been married to Thomas Knight (of course the first conclusive record of Thomas Knight's marriage to Sara Brouwer is not found until 1698). The second "coincidental" piece of evidence is the belief that she was named Magdalena for her (supposed) grandmother, Magdalena Verdon. The following should be made clear. Henry Van den Burg's wife was not given the name Magdalena. She was given (as evidenced by the baptism record of her first daughter) the name Maria Magdalena. There is a difference. She was clearly not named for Magdalena Verdon, but rather was named, as so many girls were, for Mary Magdalene, the famous disciple of Jesus. Evidence against the placement of Maria Magdalena Knight as a daughter of Sara Brouwer can be found with the fact that she never appears as a baptism sponsor among any of the many baptisms found in the extended Brouwer family during the years 1700 to 1740. She does, however, appear as a sponsor in baptisms that are related to her husband's extended family. There is no single record that would tie Maria Magdalena Knight to any member of the Thomas Knight family. Knight is a very common surname of English origin. There are many unrelated families named Knight found in colonial America, and linking them based upon nothing the common surname is a mistake usually made by those new to genealogical research, and not by those who publish extensive genealogies like Settlers of the Beekman Patent, and the inclusion there of Maria Magdalena in the Thomas Knight family is unfortunate. For the record, Maria Magdalena Knight is not a daughter of Thomas Knight and Sara Brouwer and Adam Brouwer, is not an ancestor of Presidents Ford and the two Bushes.

*Note: Subsequent research has concluded that the Teunis Jansen recorded on the 1676 and 1683 Rate Lists at Breuckelen is Teunis Jansen Covert, and not Teunis Jansen the first husband of Sara Brouwer (added September 7, 2013).

Sara Brouwer and her Four Husbands

See the Brouwer Genealogy Database for additional info and complete source citations.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Family of Anna Brouwer and William Hilton

Anna Brouwer, a daughter of Adam Brouwer and Magdalena Verdon, was probably born about 1666 at Gowanus, Long Island. A record of baptism has not been found for Anna. She is named in her father's will dated January 22, 1691/92. At the time was was not yet married.

William J. Hoffman, in "Brouwer Beginnings," covers Anna Brouwer and William Hilton at TAG 24 (1948):169-170. The account is relatively brief and mentions that Anna is possibly the Annatie Hilton who died at Albany on February 25, 1748. No source is given for this date. The 1756 census at Albany does list a "widdow Hilten," who, if not Anna, is otherwise unplaced as Anna's three sons, Richard, Jacobus and William, were all living in that year. No attempt is made to discover the origins of William Hilton, and Anna is covered as the 14th child of Adam Brouwer. She was more likely the tenth child.

Anna was a witness to the baptisms of children of three of her siblings. In 1687 she witnessed the baptism of Jan, son of Jesaijas Dreets and Aeltje Brouwer, at Brooklyn. In 1690, she was witness to the baptism of Lysbeth, daughter of Willem Nasarets and Helena Brouwers, at New York. And in 1709, she witnessed the baptism of Maria, daughter of Willem Brouwer and Martha, at Brooklyn.

Anna was married to William Hilton on 6 April 1693 at the Albany Reformed Dutch Church. The record reads, "William Hilte, wid. of Sara Ebb, and Antje Berkove, of N. Y." Although the record tells us nothing of William's origins, it does inform us that he was a widower and his first wife was named Sara Ebb. Attempts to identify her, either in New York or New England, have thus far yielded no leads. Anna, in this record, is found with the surname, "Berkove" (Berckhoven) a name that Adam Brouwer used for the first and only time in his 1692 will. The record also tells us that Anna was from New York City.

Ann and William lived at Albany, New York and had eight children baptized at the Reformed Dutch Church between 1693 and 1708. In most of the records Anna is recorded with the surname, Berckhoven (or some variation thereof). In the last two baptisms, 1705 (Jacobus) and 1708 (William), she is recorded with the surname, "Barko." Of all of Adam Brouwer's children, Anna is recorded with the most times with the Berckhoven surname. The 1708 baptism, appears to be the last time it was used (for any of Adam's children). Of all the sponsors recorded for Anna's children, none are immediate family members (Hoffman points this out in "Brouwer Beginnings"). None appear to have any family relationship with William Hilton either. Most of the sponsors have family names that would be familiar to anyone who has researched the early Albany, New York families. Of the eight children, seven reached adulthood, and six are known to have married and had children. Descendants can be found, using the Albany records, well into and through the 1700s. Daughter Mary (baptized in 1698) appears as a sponsor in two baptisms in 1722, when she would have been aged 24. She appears to be single at this time, and a marriage for her has not yet been located. Two of the daughters married Brouwer cousins. Hannah (1695) married Cornelis Brouwer, son of Nicholas Admasz Brouwer, while Elizabeth (1703) was married to Jeury Brouwer, son of Abraham Admasz Brouwer.

William Hilton's origins have not been discovered. His profile at the "People of Colonial Albany Live Here" website, states that he was from Leeds, Yorkshire, England and came to the American colonies in 1686 at the age of 21, apparently as a soldier. In 1697 and in 1700 he was a private in Capt. Richard Ingoldsby's company of Grenadiers. His year of death is given as 1749. The webpage, however, does not provide detailed verifiable sources or citations for the statements. Anna also has a brief profile posted at the PCALH website.

There is a large Hilton family found from a very early date in New England, where three (apparent) brothers, William, Edward and Richard Hilton settled. William Hilton was there as early as 1621, and Edward Hilton is considered to be the first permanent settler in New Hampshire (at Dover). The early generations of descendants are primarily found along the northern New England coast in New Hampshire and Maine. One descendant, a William Hilton, was a noted mariner, navigator and explorer. He is the Hilton for whom Hilton Head, South Carolina is named. The given name, William, is common in the family, however, no connection between this large family and our William Hilton of Albany, New York, has been established.

The Family of Anna Brouwer (Berckhoven) and William Hilton

Additional info and source citations for Anna Brouwer and William Hilton can be found at the Brouwer Genealogy Database website. Some research on the Hiltons of New England (William, Edward, Richard and descendants through the 17th century) is available there as well.