Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Records of the Dutch Congregations of Freehold and Middletown, 1800-1813

Baptisms recorded in the records of the Dutch Congregations of Freehold and Middletown from 1800 to 1813 were published in 1959 in the Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey, volume 34. The records now begin to include some birth dates. The first record, the baptism of Daniel, child of Daniel Covenhoven and Margaret Rezeau, is dated 30 November 1800. The last record is dated 18 April 1813, and is for the baptism of Mary Pelhemes, who was born 4 September 1810.

Records of the Dutch Congregations of Freehold and Middletown, GMNJ v.34 (1959)

Monday, January 28, 2013

Jeremiah Brower's Loyalist Claim (Jeremiah Brower, Part II)

As mentioned in the previous post, Jeremiah Brower, of Highgate, Vermont (Part I), remained loyal to the British Crown during the course of the Revolutionary War. In August of 1777, while living at Newtown, New York (then in Albany County), he was caught up in the action that took place at the time when Gen. Burgoyne's attempt to advance south from Canada was halted during the "Battle of Bennington." The consequences for Jeremiah, of being on the wrong side of history, was that he lost most, if not all, of his property. A list of Confiscated Estates in New York, included in New York in the Revolution as Colony and State vol. 2 (Albany: 1904), pages 253-258, includes the name of, Jeremiah Brower. Since no details are given in this list, there is no way to know with certainty as to whether or not the name listed is that of Jeremiah Brower of Highgate, Vermont. But if it is not, I do not know what other Jeremiah Brower it might pertain to, as none of the others of that name, at that time, were known to be Loyalists.

On 1 May 1786 at Bennington, Vermont, Jeremiah Brower, then of Hoosick, New York, filed a claim for compensation for losses suffered as a result of remaining loyal to the British Government during the Revolutionary War. His original claim is on file in London at the Public Records Office, and is found in "Nova Scotia bundle 24." This group of records has been filmed by the Public Records Office and is available through the Family History Library on film #366717, of American Loyalist Claims, 1730-1835. Here are three digital images of the pages that comprise Jeremiah's file.

[Unfortunately the local FHL center is small and does not have the equipment that can print an image directly from the microfilm as some larger and better funded centers do. As a result, the only way to copy an image is to take a digital photo. Ideally this should be done carefully with a camera mounted on a tripod and with the face of the lens held exactly parallel with the surface of the film screen (which is slanted on the reader). The cramped quarters at the local center make this difficult as well and so these images were captured using a hand held camera. To augment them I also have an album of images of numerous sections of the three pages available online. Feel free to download the images.]

Images - Jeremiah Brower's Loyalist Claim, 1786

The first image above has the names of the witnesses, or references, provided by Jeremiah Brower. They are Nicholas Brower and Charles Aylsworth, both of Newtown. It is not certain just who this Nicholas Brouwer is, but as he was an adult at the time the events Jeremiah described took place, and since he was living at sparsely inhabited Newtown, I suspect he may well have been a brother of Jeremiah Brower. Charles "Aylsworth" may actually be a Charles Elsworth, who is known to have been in that area from other records. The other two witnesses are Peter Thomas and Stephen Buys, both of "Cataragua" in Canada. Jeremiah's wife (in 1786) was Hannah Thomas, and the couple's eldest son was named Peter, so the thought is that Peter Thomas is somehow related to Hannah. Perhaps a brother, or maybe her father (more on her in a follow-up post). Stephen Buys may be a son of an Abraham Buys (a descendant of Ariaen Buys) who was apparently an early settler at Newtown as well. "Cataragua" would be Cataraqui, which after the Revolution was a settlement in Upper Canada where many Loyalist refugees leaving the new United States were sent. It is the site of the present day Kingston, Ontario.

The second image contains the bulk of Jeremiah's claim. Jeremiah makes the obligatory statement that during the Revolution he opposed the Continental Congress and aided his majesty's troops in America. That in August 1777 he lived at "Newtown upon the Half Moon Patten in New York," and that he joined Gen. Burgoyne's troops. After two months with the army, which included having his family with him, because of a lack of provisions, he looked to return home. Jeremiah was briefly imprisoned by the Americans and had his effects and property taken and/or destroyed. He was allowed to return to his property, but when he would not sign an oath of allegiance to the American cause, he was again driven off. Apparently he found refuge for himself and his family in Hoosick, New York. Hoosick, also in Albany County in those days (now in Rensselaer County) is on the east side of the Hudson River, and boarders the state of Vermont. The family of Mathias (Matthew) Brouwer, a descendant of Adam Brouwer through Adam's son Peter Brouwer, lived at Hoosick during this time. Mathias and Jeremiah would have likely been second cousins, and Mathias did serve with the Americans. Whether or not Jeremiah received some assistance from his cousin, is not known. Jeremiah then includes a list of items that were lost, including a negro man, and produce and products that include tobacco and flax. It's apparent that Jeremiah was more than a subsistence farmer prior to the Revolution.

In the third image we see that Jeremiah had his farm sold out from under him at "half price." Jeremiah asks for compensation and restates that he was "faithfully attached to his Majesties Government and did not directly or in directly during the unhappy dissentions oppose but assist his Majesties operations." His claim is signed (and this gives us a very good example of Jeremiah's signature) and witnessed by an Isaac Tishman at Bennington, Vermont.

It was at this time that Jeremiah headed north, down Lake Champlain, to what he probably believed was British governed, Lower Canada.

(Part III, Jeremiah Brower of Highgate, Vermont)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Jeremiah Brower (Brewer) of Highgate, Vermont (Part I)

It was the search for the ancestors of Jeremiah Brower, of Highgate, Vermont, a great-great-great-grandfather of Ruth Catherine Brewer, that first directed my attention to the numerous Brouwer families of colonial New York and New Jersey.

According to an entry in a ledger kept by his son, Jeremiah Brewer (1802-1898), Jeremiah Brower was born on 26 February 1738, and died on 13 March 1822. The location of his birth is not stated, but it is presumed that Jeremiah Brower died at, or near, Petersburg in Rensselaer County, New York. Jeremiah appears in records with his surname recorded as both, BROWER and BREWER. Descendants have adopted the BREWER spelling. While it is certain that Jeremiah Brower is a descendant of Adam Brouwer of Gowanus, Long Island (he would likely be a great-grandson), his precise descent from Adam Brouwer is less than certain. Based upon evidence gathered to date, Jeremiah Brower is tentatively placed as a son of Jurge Brouwer and Elizabeth Holmes. Jeremiah's placement as a descendant of Adam Brouwer is based upon genetic evidence, while his placement as a son of Jurge Brouwer is based upon an analysis of a few surviving records and simply the process of elimination.

Three descendants of Jeremiah Brower have participated in the Brewer DNA Project. Test results and a chart can be found at the Adam Brouwer Group DNA Results page of the Brouwer Genealogy Database. Y-DNA test results of the three participants leave no doubt that they, and therefore their direct male ancestors, the earliest known being Jeremiah, are descendants of Adam Brouwer. Furthermore, all three descendants carry the value 14 at marker no. 9 (allele 439), a mutation from the model value of 13, which is thus far only found among descendants of Adam Brouwer's son Nicholas Brouwer.

The first clue considered when determining Jeremiah's place among the descendants of Adam Brouwer, is his very name, Jeremiah. In the Adam Brouwer family the name Jeremiah is clearly an English variation on the name Jurge (Jurrie, Jurian and even Jorge). We know that this given name was introduced into the Adam Brouwer family through the marriages of two of Adam's sons, Abraham and Nicholas, to sisters Cornelia and Jannetje Caljer, daughters of Jurian Caljer. During the colonial period, this name (including the English derivation of Jeremiah) is only found in the Adam Brouwer family among those descended from either Abraham or Nicholas. The Y-DNA results mentioned above, in which participants descended from Jeremiah have the value 14 at marker no. 9, provides us with the likelihood that Jeremiah is a descendant of Nicholas Brouwer, rather than his brother Abraham.

Among the children of Nicholas Brouwer are four known sons. The eldest son, Adolphus, married his second cousin Jannetje Verdon, and their family of ten children born between 1714 and 1739 is fairly well documented. There is no son named Jurge, Jurian or Jeremiah among them. Nicholas' son Cornelis, was married twice, but died at the young age of 27, leaving what appears to be two children, a son Nicholas and a daughter Hannah. There is no evidence that Cornelis had a son named Jurge, Jurian or Jeremiah. Nicholas' son Nazareth, as mentioned in an earlier post, is a bit of an enigma. However, what of his presumed family that can be pieced together, does not appear to include a son named Jurge, Jurian or Jeremiah. Nicholas's youngest son, named Nicholas, born in 1707, has not been located in later records as an adult. Until one is found, he cannot be considered. This leaves Nicholas' son, Jurge, who with his wife Elizabeth Holmes, did have a son named Jurrie baptized on 7 January 1733 at Readington, New Jersey. Jeremiah Brower is said to have been born 26 February 1738, which obviously conflicts with the baptism date of the son Jurrie. For Jeremiah to have a place in the family of Jurge Brouwer, either he is the same as the son Jurrie baptized in 1733, and the birth date recorded eighty-nine years later, in 1822, by his son, is in error (certainly possible), or the son Jurrie died as a young child, and Jeremiah is the second of his name in the family and a baptism record has gone missing. Either way, the family of Jurge Brouwer and Elizabeth Holmes appears to be the best choice, and some additional evidence that retraces Jeremiah's life prior to his appearance at Highgate leads us there.

History of Franklin and Grand Isle Counties, Vermont (Syracuse: D. Mason, 1891) states that Jeremiah Brewer, Joseph Reycard, John Hilliker and Thomas Butterfield, were the first settlers of Highgate, Vermont, arriving there about 1786 or 1787. Jeremiah can be found on the 1790 U. S. Census (actually taken in 1791 in Vermont, after becoming a state) at Alburgh (then Chittenden Co.), Vermont. Alburgh and Highgate are neighboring towns located in the very northeast corner of Vermont at the international border with Canada, and on the eastern shore of Lake Champlain. Jeremiah's name is found in the earliest records of the town of Highgate, and the majority of the earliest settlers there were from eastern New York State (Dutchess County and Albany County), were largely Loyalists during the Revolutionary War, and made the relatively simple trip by water, down Lake Champlain into what they probably believed was English governed Lower Canada.

On 13 March 1786, Jeremiah Brewer, of Hoosick, New York (then in Albany County) filed a memorial with the British Government seeking compensation for loses incurred as a result of remaining loyal to the Crown during the Revolutionary War. In his petition, which was signed by Jeremiah at Bennington, Vermont, he states that in August 1777, he was living with his family at "Newtown upon the Half Moon Patten." Today, this Newtown, is a hamlet in the Town of Halfmoon in Saratoga County, New York. In Jeremiah's time, it would have been a relatively sparsely populated settlement within Albany County. In his petition, Jeremiah lists as his witnesses, Nicholas Brewer and Charles Aylesworth, both of Newtown, and Peter Thomas and Stephen Buys, both of Cataraqui in the Province of Canada.

Jeremiah Brewer (Jeremy Brewer) is found on the tax lists of the Half Moon District in Albany Co., New York in March and October 1779. A Nicholas Brewer is found there as well. In 1776, Jeremiah's daughter Polly was baptized at the Reformed Dutch Church at Schaghticoke in Albany County. In 1781, his son Peter was baptized at the Gilead Evangelical Lutheran Church at Center Brunswick in Albany County. Son, Jacob, was baptized there in 1782. An undated list of members of the Gilead Lutheran Church from this period records the names of "Jere. Brower, Han, Brower, Davis Brower, and Annetgen Brower" (none of whom have been identified, but may be members of the family of Matthew Brouwer of Hoosick). Conklin Mann, writing in 1950 in "John Concklin of Flushing and Rye, New York" (The American Genealogist, vol. 26, pages 240-241, states, "In 1748, Newtown covered the section lying along the Hudson River north of Half Moon and south of Saratoga. Today, Newtown is a small farming section a mile or more west of Mechanicsville, Saratoga County. Most of the fifty or more families that comprosed Newtown were on leased land. Their meager records are scattered through the Hudson Valley Lutheran Churches, the Schaghticoke Dutch Church and the Albany and Schenectady Churches. A high percentage of the families were from the Hudson Valley manors (including those in Westchester County) and Orange County, and an equally high percentage were Loyalists in the Revolution." Jeremiah was probably in the Newtown area as early as 1766. In October 1766, Willem, son of Jeremiah Brouwer and Margaita Hedicke, was baptized at Schaghticoke.

So, what might have brought Jeremiah Brower to the area of Newtown in Half Moon in the years prior to the Revolution? In his 1950 article, Conklin Mann profiles Joseph Concklin on pages 242-243. Joseph was born in Westchester County in 1708, and in 1760 enlisted with the Westchester Militia, serving in Capt. Jonathan Haights Company. Joseph Concklin was later, in 1776, living at Newtown. Jeremiah Brower, Junr., age 22, joined this same company. As recorded on the muster rolls (New York Colonial Muster Rolls, 1664-1775, vol. 1, page 938) Jeremiah was a miller, born in New Jersey. He was one of two men (the other being Thomas Gray) who while serving in Capt. Philip Verplank's Company, was detached, and probably sent north to serve in the Albany County area. It is possible that a number of men, Jeremiah included, initially from Westchester County were introduced to the area in or around Half Moon through their military service around 1760.

It is the description of Jeremiah Brewer on the Westchester County Muster Roll, that helps to connect him as a likely son of Jurge Brouwer. First, he is called "Jeremiah Brewer, Junr.", implying that his father had the same name. Second, he was age 22, and with the roll having the date of 22 April 1759, would mean that he was born between 22 April 1736 and 22 April 1737. Third, he was born in New Jersey. While the age is off by a year when compared to the date provided by Jeremiah's son in 1822, these three descriptive elements taken together, better describe a son of Jurge Brouwer, who lived at Rocky Hill, New Jersey in the 1730s, rather than a son of one of the other sons of Jurge's father, Nicholas Brouwer.

A brief outline of Jeremiah Brower's life prior to his arrival in northern Vermont, might be written as something like this: Jeremiah is born in New Jersey (at Rocky Hill) in 1738 (or 1737). His father, Jurge Brouwer's family (that being the family of Nicholas Brouwer and Jannetje Caljer) had a presence in Westchester County (at Fordham Manor) and in New Jersey (both at Rocky Hill in Somerset Co., and in Bergen County). In 1759, while living in Westchester as a miller (a family occupation for this branch of the Brouwers) Jeremiah enlists with the Militia during the Seven Years War (1756-1763) which in North America was referred to as the French and Indian War. Jeremiah was likely detached from his Westchester company and sent north (to where the fighting was). Here, he was given the opportunity to become familiar with the larger Albany County area, and apparently settled (after his service) at Newtown in the Half Moon District. During the Revolutionary War, Jeremiah remained loyal to the British Crown and as a consequence lost his property. Immediately after the Revolution, Jeremiah, along with others from Albany County headed north, down Lake Champlain into the area known generally as Missisquoi Bay, and settled at what would become Highgate, Vermont.

(Part II will continue with Jeremiah's Loyalist Claim).

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Records of the Dutch Congregations of Freehold and Middletown, 1788-1800

Baptisms for the years 1788 to 1800 in the records of the Dutch Congregations of Freehold and Middletown were published in the Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey in volume 33 (1958).
The records begin with the baptism of Elizabeth, child of John States (Staats) and Agnis Aamack, on 19 June 1788, and end with John, child of William Wykhoff and Nelly Van Mater on 20 August 1800.

Records of the Dutch Congregations of Freehold and Middletown, GMNJ v. 33 (1958)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Freeholders in Somerset County, New Jersey, 1753

A year or two back I had placed online a re-write of the lists of Freeholders in Somerset County, New Jersey in 1753. They had originally been published in alphabetical arrangement in 1942, by Russell B. Rankin, in the Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey, volumes 17 and 18.

The previously posted re-writes:

Bedminster Twp., Somerset Co., 1753

Bridgewater Twp., Somerset Co., 1753

Eastern Precinct, Somerset Co., 1753

North Precinct, Somerset Co., 1753

Western Precinct, Somerset Co., 1753

Here now is a PDF of the scanned original pages from the Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey, volumes 17 and 18:

18th Century Freeholders in New Jersey, GMNJ vols. 17-18 (1942)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Jurge Brouwer and Elizabeth Holmes

Jurge Brouwer, a son of Nicholas Brouwer and Jannetje Caljer, was baptized on March 30, 1701. The record as found in the register of the Old First Dutch Reformed Church of Breuckelen lists the witnesses as Jurie Case, which is likely an error for Jurie Caljer, the child's maternal grandfather, for whom he was named, and Lena Nazaret, who would be Helena Brouwer, an aunt of the child and sister of the father, Nicholas Brouwer. At the time of his birth, Jurge's parents were most probably living at Gowanus. As a child, Jurge most likely lived, and grew up, at Fordham Manor, then in Westchester County (now in Bronx County), and in New York City on Manhattan Island. He is one of seven known children of his parents. In later records his name is recorded as Jurrie Brower and Jeremia Brouwer.

"Jeremia Brouwer and Elisabeth Holmes" were married at the New York Reformed Dutch Church on September 25, 1720. The identity of Elizabeth's parents and her ancestry cannot be stated with absolute certainty, however, it is most probable that she is a daughter of George Holmes and Anneken Caljer and a descendant (great-granddaughter) of George Holmes who came to Virginia in the 1630s and had settled on Manhattan Island later in that decade. If this placement is correct, then Jurge and Elizabeth would have been first cousins, their mothers having been sisters. Jurge Brouwer is covered in William J. Hoffman's "Brouwer Beginnings," at TAG 24 (1948): 164, where Hoffman references Stokes, Iconograhy of Manhattan Island, vol. 6, page 172, for a description of Elizabeth's family. Now this referenced work does not mention Elizabeth specifically, however, it does provide a description of George Holmes (known to the Dutch as Joris Homs) and it provides a starting point for constructing the descendants of George Holmes.

George Holmes was in Virginia by August 1635 when Capt. John West, Governor, with consent of Council, conveyed 150 acres in the County of James City to George Holmes, and conveyed an additional 50 acres to his wife Rebecca Homes (sic). He was granted another 200 acres in 1636, and 350 acres more in 1637. All of this apparently on account of George Holmes bringing others (servants) to the colony. In 1635, Gov. West had commissioned George Holmes to lead a group of men to take possession of the fort on the South River (later the Delaware River) that had been abandoned by the Swedes who had first settled there. The Dutch Government at New Amsterdam quickly countered this move and easily captured the English led by Holmes, who were brought back to New Amsterdam. Manhattan Island apparently impressed George Holmes and in Novemeber 1639, he and Thomas Hall, "tobacco-planters in partnership," were granted land at Deutel Bay along the East River. "Deutel" Bay, or Turtle Bay was a cove on the east side of Manhattan Island. The topography has long since been altered since the 1600s, and the area is the present day site of the neighborhood called Turtle Bay between 43rd and 53rd Streets and east from Lexington Ave. to the East River. The United Nations and the Chrysler Building are two landmarks of the area today. Having settled there in 1639, George Holmes and Thomas Hall, are considered to be the first men of English ancestry to have made Manhattan Island their primary residence.

Turtle Bay in 1853, George Hayward. NYPL Digital Gallery

 What became of George Holmes' wife, Rebecca, in Virginia is not clear, but by 1640 his wife was a woman named Jeen, a widow of Jan Jemptingh, whose maiden name is not known. Jeen and her first husband had one son, Jan, born about 1636, location not known, and Jeen had five known children by George Holmes. The eldest, Priscilla, was baptized on May 27, 1640, at the New Amsterdam Reformed Dutch Church. The couple's youngest known child, Jan, or John, was baptized on April 21, 1652 at the New Amsterdam Church. John Holmes (Jan Homs) was married to Magdalena Jans (her family not known) by 1676. Their son George Holmes (Joris Homs) was baptized on March 13, 1676 at the New York Reformed Dutch Church and was married to Anneken Caljer on August 22, 1695 at the same church. They are probably the parents of Elizabeth Holmes, the wife of Jurge Brouwer. Although there are records of baptism for three children of George Holmes and Anneken Caljer (Magdalena in 1696, Jannetje in 1701 and Jan in 1704) none has been found for Elizabeth. She is placed in this family based on the fact that since she was married in 1720, she likely was born around 1700 to 1704, and there is no room for her in the other Holmes families descended from the first George Holmes. In 1721, Elizabeth witnessed the baptism of Maria Forth, daughter of Helena Caljer and James Forth. Helena Caljer was herself baptized in 1699, and a witness for her baptism was George Holmes (recorded as Joris Hoorn) the probable father of Elizabeth. The inter-marriages and relationships between the Brouwer, Caljer and Holmes families, make this placement for Elizabeth the best choice, pending any new information.

Some Descendants of George Holmes, Immigrant to Virginia and Early Settler on Manhattan Island

Jurge Brouwer and Elizabeth Holmes had two children for whom records of baptism have been found. Jannetje was baptized on 20 May 1722 at the Dutch Reformed Church at Hackensack, Bergen County, New Jersey. Sponsors were Nicholas Brouwer and Jannetje, his wife. They were Jurge's parents and the child, Jannetje, was certainly named for her paternal grandmother. A son, Jurrie, was baptized on 7 January 1733 at the Reformed Dutch Church at Readington, Hunterdon Co., New Jersey. No sponsors were recorded. No records for either Jannetje or Jurrie (Jurge/Jeremiah) have been located for them as adults.

Between 1730 and 1737, Jurge (the elder) was living at Rocky Hill in Somerset County, New Jersey. On 15 January 1730/31, as Jurrie Brouwer, he witnessed the will of Abraham Reuters, who lived in the house of the widow Christina Elrington at Rocky Hill. On 17 January 1736/37. Jurrie Brower witnessed the will of Lewis Moore, merchant, of Rocky Hill, and on 24 January 1736/37, he was one of the appraisers of Lewis Moore's estate. This is the last record found for Jurge Brouwer. No record of his estate has been found, and what became of him after 1737, when he was only age 36, has not been uncovered. The last appearance recorded for Elizabeth is the 1733 baptism of her son Jurrie, mentioned above.

In addition to the two children, Jannetje and Jurrie, for whom baptism records are known, two additional children are tentatively placed in the family. They are Jeremiah Brouwer/Brower/Brewer (1738-1822) of Half Moon, New York and Highgate, Vermont, and Nicholas Brouwer/Brower of Newtown, New York in 1786. Reasons for their placement here will be expanded upon in a future post.

The Family of Jurge Brouwer and Elizabeth Holmes

Please consult the Brouwer Genealogy Database for source citations.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Follow Up on Marytje Brouwer and John Munro

In a follow up to the post of January 14, 2013, "Some Unexpected Descendants of Willem Brouwer of Beverwijck," Carole Leishman sent me a bit more information regarding Marytje Brouwer, John Munro and their children. Carole states that the following was found in the Brouwer File at the Schenectady Historical Society in June, 2006. "A Letter from a Loyalist Wife," was deposited with the Schenectady Historical Society (possibly in 1976) by Richard and Elizabeth Hubert*. Richard was a descendant of Marytje Brouwer and John Munro through their daughter Marie Charlotte Munro.

"Addressed: John Munro Esz. Montreal
My dear John
I hope when you receive these few lines they may find you in good health. Your Dear Childern are all well, as for myself I am in a poor state of health and very much distresst. I must leave my house in a very short time, and God knows where I shall get a place to put my head on, for my own relations are my greatest enemy's, the mills they have had a long time in their possession -- likewise all your tenents houses and lands--They have distressed me beyond expression. I have scarcly a mouthfull of bread for myself or Childr for heavens sake my dear Mr. Munro send me some relief by the first safe hand. Is their no possibility of your sending for us, if their is no method fallen upon we shall all perish, for you can have no idea of our sufferings here, let me once more intreat you to try every method to save your family - my heart is so full it is ready to break--adew my Dearest John may God Almighty bless preserve and protect you, that we may live to see each other is the constant prayers of
Your affectionate tho afflicted Wife
Mary Munro
P.S. The Childer send love to You
fo 33 MG 21, volume B214, Page 35)

Along with the letter the Huberts sent a brief biography, which among other things, states that Mary (Marytje) and her children were permitted to join John Munro in Montreal, Canada in October 1778. They list the sons of John Munro and Mary Brouwer as Hugh, Cornelius, Henry, John, and William Johnson, and the daughters as Cornelia Pat(t)erson, Christine Mount, and Charlotte deLotbiniere. The Huberts also mention that the gravestones of John and Mary Munro were relocated to the United Empire Loyalist Shrine in the yard of Trinity Anglican Church in Riverside Heights, Morrisburg, west of Cornwall and just west of the Upper Canada village. "Their earthly remains lie under the newly created St. Lawrence seaway."

With respect to the fate of Loyalist wives who remained at home while their husbands were away during the Revolutionary War, those interested in further reading might try Janice Potter-MacKinnon, While the Women Only Wept: Loyalist Refugee Women in Eastern Ontario (McGill-Queen's Press, 1995)

Thanks to Carole Leishman for passing this along.  

*Update March 27, 2014 - John Gearing, author of the forthcoming, Schenectady Genesis, Vol. 2, 1760-1798, by e-mail, informs me that the Huberts did not deposit the original letter of Mary (Brouwer) Munro with the Schenectady Historical Society. The Huberts had submitted a transcript of the letter to a "Connecticut genealogy society several decades ago," who in turn published the transcript in an issue of their newsletter. It was a copy of the Hubert's published transcript that was found in the Brouwer File at the Schenectady Historical Society. The original letter is located in the British Archives, and a microfilmed copy of the original is found in the Canadian Archives. The Schenectady Historical Society now has a photocopy of the microfilmed copy from the Canadian Archives which was provided by John Gearing. Thank you to John Gearing for the clarification. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Readington, N. J. Reformed Church Baptisms

The baptism records of the Readington Reformed Church were published in the Somerset County Historical Quarterly beginning with volume 4, number 2, in April 1915. They continue through volume 5 (1916), volume 6, nos. 1, 3 and 4 (1917), volume 7, nos. 2, 3 and 4 (1918), and end with volume 8, nos. 1 and 2 (1919). The Somerset County Historical Quarterly ceased publication with volume 8 in 1919. The baptisms start in 1720 and end in 1837.

The Readington Reformed Church was originally known as "The Church over the North Branch," or the "North Branch Reformed Dutch Church," and was first organized in 1717 or 1718. The first pastor was Rev. Theodorus Frelinghuysen. During the course of its history there have been several buildings that were used by the congregation, not all of them at the same physical location. The current church is in Readington Township in Hunterdon County, New Jersey. There is a church cemetery and about 2300 interments are posted at the Find-A-Grave website.

I have a PDF of scanned pages from volume 4 (1915) which covers the years 1720 to 1752.

Readington Reformed Church Baptisms, SCHQ v. 4 (1915)

It is recommended that you download the file.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Some Unexpected Descendants of Willem Brouwer of Beverwijck

Willem Brouwer and his wife, Lysbeth Drinkvelt, came to New Netherland in 1655. They were first at New Amsterdam but soon relocated to the settlement of Beverwijck which later became Albany, New York. Hendrick, their eldest son for whom descendants are known, was baptized in 1652 at Amsterdam and died early in 1707 at Schenectady, New York. Hendrick's son Cornelis, baptized in 1704 at Schenectady, left a will dated 13 August 1765, which was proved on 3 December 1767. In his will he mentions his daughter Marytje, and her husband, John Munro, a merchant of Albany.

Until just a couple of weeks back I had not spent any time researching the family or descendants of Marytje Brouwer and John Munro. As of then, the only child I had identified for the couple was a son Cornelius, who was baptized on 16 October 1768 at the Schenectady Reformed Church, sponsors being Hendrick Brouwer and Cornelia Brouwer (brother of Marytje and her mother, Cornelia Barheit). Then I received an e-mail from Janko Pavsic who pointed out to me that among the descendants of Marytje Brouwer and John Munro were some prominent members of Quebec politics and society during the 19th century, including a Prime Minister and some Mayors. Janko provided me with a chart that he placed online - Van den Bergh, Albany, New York, which features two of John Munro and Marytje Brouwer's children, and a few descendants of note. This provided a start, and Janko was helpful with other leads and translations. Over the past two weeks I've learned of the interesting story of John Munro and Marytje Brouwer and of some of their descendants. Much of this may not be new to anyone who has had an interest in the family, as much of it can be found in published accounts online and in print. In all cases, however, the correct ancestry of Marytje Brouwer, seemed to be unknown, or was not considered.

"John Monro of Scotland and Maria Brouwer of Schdy, were married with license," at the First Reformed Church of Schenectady, New York on 6 April 1760. It is believed that he was born in 1728, the son of Hugh Munro of Fyrish Fowlis in Alness, Scotland, and his wife, Christiana Munro. He came to the American colonies in 1756 and served during the Seven Years War (French and Indian War in North America). He is stated to have married first, in 1758, Jane Caldwell, and had a son, Hugh (there is a marriage license in New York, though I have found no record of Hugh's birth). The Schenectady church record does not refer to John as a widower at the time he married Marytje (as Dutch church records usually do). Therefore it is possible that this marriage may belong to a different man named John Munro.

After the Seven Years War, John received large grants of land and amassed over 11,000 acres in the Albany area. He was an Elder in the Presbyterian Church at Albany and served as Justice of the Peace for the City and County of Albany. Soon he received additional land in Shaftsbury, Vermont. Beginning in the 1740s, the colonial provinces of New York and New Hampshire had both laid claim to, and issued grants for land, in what later would become the State of Vermont. John Munro, as a "Yorker," would become personally involved in disputes with his New Hampshire neighbors. The conflicts came to a head in the early 1770s when the New York Supreme Court declared the New Hampshire land grants invalid. In response, Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys began attacks against the "Yorkers" in an attempt to drive them out. John Munro was certainly among the targets, and he was leader of the party that attempted to capture the Green Mountain Boy, Remember Baker, in 1771, an episode that has been widely written about, and in which John Munro nearly lost his life. (The issue of the Vermont lands was not completely settled until Vermont was admitted as a State in 1791).

When the Revolutionary War broke out, John Munro declared himself a Loyalist and was appointed Captain of the 1st Battalion of the King's Royal Regiment in New York. By 1781 he was stationed in Montreal, placed in charge of providing for Loyalist refugees. After the Revolutionary War his family joined him in Canada, his Vermont properties were confiscated, and he later received a partial compensation from the British Government. The family settled at Matilda Twp. in Upper Canada. It was a destination for many Loyalist families who previously lived in the Mohawk River Valley region of New York. John Munro become known as "Hon. Capt. John Munro."

There appears to be some myth and (probably later day) fabrication around Marytje Brouwer. Some (undocumented) online accounts have referred to her as "of a prominent Dutch family descended from Admiral Hendrick Brouwer." Of course this is incorrect and completely unsubstantiated. Hendrick Brouwer (1581-1643) was a Dutch navigator and explorer and an administrator for the Dutch East India Company (VOC). He never came to North America. His travels took him primarily to the East Indies and to Chile in South America. Baptism records and probate records prove beyond a doubt that Marytje was a daughter of Cornelis Brouwer and a great-granddaughter of the immigrant, Willem Brouwer. During his life, Willem was a shoe-maker and a sometimes trader, although, apparently an unsuccessful one. He died insolvent in 1668 at Beverwijck. There is no evidence of any maritime interest or activity on the part of Willem Brouwer, something you might expect if he were in fact the son of an important Admiral and figure in the VOC. Willem has nothing in common with the fabled Admiral Hendrick Brouwer, with the exception that they both possess the same surname.
A second curiosity regarding Marytje are accounts in which she is called, "Marie Talbot Gilbert Bruère. Her baptism record of 15 October 1738, simply calls her, "Marytje" (Kelly, Schenectady Reformed Church Baptisms, 1694-1811 [Rhinebeck, NY: Arthur C. M. Kelly, 1987]. page 57, no. 1258). Of course, anyone familiar with colonial Dutch families knows well that Dutch parents did not give their children middle names. As will be seen, Marytje's daughter married into a prominent French Quebec family, one in which multiple "middle names" was common. It appears to me that later day descendants, possibly starting with her daughter, Marie-Charlotte Munro (in her marriage record) bestowed this more elaborate name "Marie Talbot Gilbert Bruère" upon Marytje. Where the name, Gilbert, comes from is evident. Marytje's mother, Cornelia Barheit, was a daughter of Johannes Barheit and Catherine Gilbert. However, the choice of the name,"Talbot," has thus far eluded explanation. Perhaps Marie Charlotte Munro was unsure of the identity of her mother's father, and, for some reason, believed his surname was Talbot. It of course, was not.

Marytje Brouwer and John Munro have been stated to be the parents of six children. With some help from Janko, I have thus far found five. The previously known son Cornelius, as mentioned above, was baptized in 1768. He, along with his brother Henry, were granted lots in Matilda Twp., Upper Canada, in 1797. A daughter Christian Munro, married Philip Mount in 1786 at St. Gabriel's Presbyterian Church in Montreal. A son John Munro is found on lists of Loyalists who served with the New York Royal Rangers, where is is listed as "a son of Capt. John Munro."
Daughter Marie Charlotte Munro was probably born in the decade of the 1770s, either in Albany County, New York, or at Shaftsbury, Vermont. In 1802, as the widow of Paul Denis, she married Michel-Eustache-Gaspard-Alain Chartier de Lotbinière, the 2nd Marquis de Lotbinière. He was the Seigneur of Vaudreuil, Lotbinière and Rigaud, all in the present day Province of Quebec. The couple had six children, five daughters and one son. Three daughters reached adulthood and left descendants.
The eldest, Marie-Louise-Josephte (b. 1803) inherited the Seigneury of Vaudreuil and married Robert Unwin Harwood. They were the parents of ten children. He served in the legislatures of Lower Canada and of the Province of Canada. Two sons served as Mayors of Vaudreuil and a grandson as Mayor of Rigaud.
Daughter, Marie-Charlotte (b. 1805) inherited the Seigeury of Rigaud and married William Bingham, the son of William Bingham (1752-1804) of Philadelphia, a delegate from Pennsylvania to the Continental Congress, and a U. S. Senator from 1795 to 1801. The city of Binghamton, New York, is named for the elder William Bingham. Marie-Charlotte and her husband lived in Montreal before moving to Paris, France where they divorced. She died in London in 1866 and of her five children, three daughters married French Counts.
Julie-Christine (b. 1810) inherited the Seigneury of Lotbinière, and married Gaspard-Pierre-Gustave Joly in1828 at Christ Church in Montreal. The couple lived at Lotbinière. Born in Switzerland, his family settled at Épernay in Champagne province of France. He was a businessman and an early amateur daguerreotypist and often traveled to France and the Middle East. He is credited with being the first person to photograph the Acropolis at Athens, and other ancient monuments. They had three children, among them, Henri Gustave Joly de Lotbinière (1829-1908) who became the fourth Premier of Quebec in March 1878. He was later the seventh Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia.

(Much of the info above began with a web search of John Munro which led to his Wikipedia entry and continued using source links provided there both to other websites and other Wikipedia entries. A search at Google Books and at Heritage Quest led to info on the sons of John Munro. Janko Pavsic provided some additional vital data translated and transcribed from records in his possession. I have been able to confirm some, and find others, with searches at, especially in their "Quebec Vital Records and Church (Drouin Collection)" database which has links for images of the original records. Source citations will be included on the next update of the Brouwer Genealogy Database. Although the families of the children of Marytje Brouwer and John Munro are not complete, it will offer a start from which anyone interested can further extend the research).

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Records of the Dutch Congregations of Freehold and Middletown, 1777-1788

Records of the Dutch Congregations of Freehold and Middletown continue in the Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey, with volume 32 (1957). The record consist entirely of baptisms and begin with the baptism of Elisha, child of Elisha Shepherd and Aeltje Smack on 4 May 1777 (which would be the last date recorded in the records found in volume 31). They end with the baptism of Lena, child of Andrew Clark and Henrica van Cleef on 16 June 1788.

Records of the Dutch Congregations of Freehold and Middletown, GMNJ v. 32 (1957)

Friday, January 11, 2013

Records of the Dutch Congregation of Freehold and Middletown, GMNJ v. 31

After volume 26, the Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey began publishing only two issues per year, combining nos. 1 and 2 into a January issue, and nos. 3 and 4 into a July issue. The publication also took a break from the Freehold and Middletown records and did not resume their publication until volume 31 in 1956.

Volume 31 begins with three baptisms from 1767  and four from 1768 which were attributed to the pastorate of Rev. Reynard Erickzon. This is followed by a marriage register covering the years 1736 to 1746. Next is a register of communicants beginning with 1737, through to 1747, then 1750 and 1752. A brief overview of the Pastorate of Rev. Benjamin DuBois, 1764-1818, including a mention of the partisan controversy that occurred during his first few years, is followed by the baptismal register under Rev. DuBois. This begins with the baptism of Antje, child of John Schenk and Neeltje Bennet on 14 December 1766 and continuing until 10 January 1773, with Gerret, child of Jacob Amack and Geertje Covenhoven. Next comes a register of baptisms conducted on 16 September 1770 by Dom. Isaac Rysdyk in the Middletown congregation. This group of six baptisms includes the birth dates of the children. There is a list of five members received into the congregation by Dom. Rysdyk, which includes Henricus Brouwer and Antje Brouwer. The baptismal register of Rev. DuBois resumes with the date 21 January 1773 (Joost, child of Jacobus Springstein and Cornelia Voorhees) and ends with 4 May 1777 (Gerret, child of Koert Schenck and Sarah Voorhees).

Records of the Dutch Congregations of Freehold and Middletown, GMNJ v. 31 (1956)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Update regarding William Hilton

The family of Anna Brouwer and William Hilton was profiled back on December 1, 2012. At the time it was mentioned that William Hilton's origins were unknown but that one website (The People of Colonial Albany Live Here) stated that he was from Leeds in Yorkshire, England, and that he came to the American colonies in 1686, age 21, as a soldier.

Last week I received an e-mail from Steve Hahn with some evidence of William Hilton's origins. As previously mentioned, the marriage banns of Anna Brouwer and William Hilton were published at the Albany Reformed Dutch Church on 6 April 1693. In the record, Anna, is called "Antje Berkove," while William is recorded as "William Hilte, widr. of Sara Ebb." Finding the record of William's first marriage would be a first step in tracing his origins. Steve directed me to the marriage record of "Wm Hilton and Sarah Hebb," which took place on 23 November 1685 at St. James, Duke's Place, in London, England. The record, with a digital image of the original, can be found at in the "London, England, Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-1812" database, and can be located using either "Wm Hilton" or "Sarah Hebb" as search terms. The record is found at the very bottom of the right hand page in the image below.

Wm Hilton-Sarah Hebb marriage, 1685 (download from

As mentioned above, the PCALH website gave the statement that William Hilton was born at Leeds in Yorkshire. The website has not provided evidence for that claim and when I contacted the site creator a few years ago, I was unable to get specifics, with regards to sources, from him. Steve has now directed me to the birth and baptism record of William Hilton, son of William Hilton, recorded at St. Peter in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. Here, William's birth date is given as 25 September 1661 and his baptism date as 2 October 1661.

William Hilton, Birth & Baptism record (Downloaded from
This record is also found at in the database titled, "West Yorkshire, England, Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1512-1812," and can be found by searching for "William Hilton." The record is the second line under "October 1661," in the image above. There are a few more baptism records for children of the elder William Hilton, although I have not taken the time to download them as of yet. A mother is not named in the records.

The records pointed out to me by Steve, coupled with the statement at the PCALH website that William Hilton was from Leeds is a promising start to identifying the origins of William Hilton. William's profile at the PCALH website states that he was age 21 in 1686, which places his year of birth as 1664 or 1665, slightly inconsistent with the above birth and baptism record. Of course, most of us know and realize that statements of age can often be in error. What is needed in the case of William Hilton, however, is to locate some document or record that links the William Hilton of Albany, New York, with the William Hilton who married Sarah Hebb in London, and (more importantly) documents or records that link the William Hilton married in London, with the William Hilton born at Leeds. Perhaps there are probate or court records regarding the William Hilton family of Leeds that can be located and may provide some supporting evidence. Perhaps there is a record of enlistment, or a muster roll that would demonstrate that William Hilton from Leeds and/or London, was sent to the English colonies in America.

Thanks very much to Steve Hahn for bringing the records regarding William Hilton to our attention. We would welcome hearing from anyone with further proof that links the William Hilton (Hiltons?) of Albany, London and Leeds.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Records of the Dutch Congregation of Freehold and Middletown, 1758-1766

The Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey, volume 26 (1951) continues the records of the Dutch Congregations of Freehold and Middletown by covering baptisms beginning with 26 January 1758 (Jan, child of Andreas Voorhees and Antye Sutfin) and ending with 7 September 1766 (Joannes, child of Joannes Van der Veer and Maria Stryker).

The records for this period appear to be more complete and consistent then for the earlier years. The mothers are almost always listed and are recorded with their full surnames or patronymics. Many of the baptisms also record sponsors, and spelling of names is more in line with generally accepted modern day renderings of family names.

Records of the Dutch Congregations of Freehold and Middletown, GMNJ v. 26 (1951)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Records of the Dutch Congregation of Freehold and Middletown, 1741-1758

Records of the Dutch Congregations of Freehold and Middletown (Monmouth Co., New Jersey) continue in the Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey with volume 25 (1950). The baptism dates run from 24 May 1741 to 14 March 1758.

Records of the Dutch Congregation of Freehold and Middletown, GMNJ v. 25 (1950)

Monday, January 7, 2013

Peter's Blog and His List of Surname Websites

A few days back, Peter from the Netherlands, sent me links to his blog pages and a request to include "Brouwer Genealogy" on his list of blogs devoted to Dutch surnames. The list is quite long, and many of the bloggers are from the U. S. and Canada. You may well find blogs for other Dutch names that you are researching on this list. It looks to be a convenient way to contact others with the same research interests and so I though it was deserving of a mention here. Since "Brouwer Genealogy" was added to the list, just a few days ago, I have received a few inquiries from persons in the Netherlands. My hope is that some Brouwers in the Netherlands, Germany and elsewhere might be motivated to join the Brewer DNA Project. Perhaps one of these days we can present day descendants whose DNA profile matches that of some of our Brouwer descendants living in the U. S. and Canada.

The links are arranged alphabetically by title, but there is a brief description which lists the surnames that each blogger is researching, so take your time when going through it.

Dutch Ancestors at Peter's Blog

Peter's Home Page (lots of other interesting stuff)

Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Will of Elias Brower of Aquackanonk, Passaic Co., New Jersey, 1852

The will of Elias Brower of Aquackanonk, Passaic Co., New Jersey, written 23 October 1852 and proved 22 March 1853, is found in Passaic Co. Will Book A, file 407P. Digital images, found online at the FamilySearch database, "New Jersey, Probate Records, 1678-1980," are provided below.

The given name, Elias, is very common among the descendants of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands. The name's origins in the Jan Brouwer family can be attributed to Elias Daws, the father-in-law of Jan Brouwer's son, Derck Brouwer. In correspondence I have with researchers trying to place Browers found in New York and New Jersey, I usually emphasize that if they encounter the given name Elias in the family, then the family almost certainly descends from Jan Brouwer. There are, however, exceptions to every rule. This Elias Brower is the exception.

 Elias was born 22 August 1808, the son of Johannes Brouwer (John Brower) and Geesje White. He is a descendant of Adam Brouwer of Gowanus, Long Island. Elias' paternal grandparents were Jan Brouwer and Aeltje Smith, who had previously named a son Elias who was born 11 April 1773 and baptized at Aquackanonk on 16 May 1773. The name Elias likely came into this line of Brouwers via the Smith family. There was an Elias Smith in the Aquackanonk area in the 1700s and he is likely a relation of Aeltje's. There are a number of Smith-Brouwer marriages, but I have not had the opportunity to work out the details on the complete Smith family.

Elias Brower's will, dated 23 October 1852, mentions his wife Eliza, and states that she is a "relict" of John Fulton. It also names "our two children" Margaret and John, and Mary Ann Fulton, a daughter of Eliza by her first husband, John Fulton. The executors were Eliza and James Vanness. Elias died on 9 March 1853. His death is recorded in the New Jersey vital records. It states that he was a widower, so Eliza may have died between the time Elias wrote his will and Elias' own death. I have not been able to locate her on the 1860 census. The family is found on the 1850 census at Aquackanonk, with the household consisting of Elias, age 43, a wood farmer; Eliza, age 34, born in Ireland; and Margaret, age 4. The son, John, is not recorded so perhaps he was born after the taking of the 1850 census but before Elias wrote his will. I have not been able to identify him in later records with certainty.

We know from the will that Eliza had a daughter, Mary Ann Fulton, by her first husband, John Fulton. There is a marriage record for Mary Ann Fulton, daughter of John Fulton and Eliza, to Jackson Ripey in January 1864 at Paterson, Passaic Co., New Jersey. Mary Ann's age is given as 20 years, placing her birth at about 1844. We now know that Elias Brower and Eliza were married sometime between 1844 and 1850. Elias, however, is found on the 1840 census at Aquackanonk, and his household consists of one male age 5-10, one male 20-30 (Elias), one female under 5, and one female 20-30 (presumably his wife). This census record implies that Elias may have been married prior to his marriage to Eliza, and may have had two older children. If so, neither were named in the will (unless "our child" John, is actually a son from a first wife). Adding to the confusion is the marriage record of Margaret Fulton, daughter of John Fulton and Eliza, to John Daniel, on 1 September 1860. Margaret's age is given as 18, placing her birth at 1842. The family of John Daniel/Daniels and Margaret can be traced easily. Birth and death records are found for six children and the 1870 and 1880 census records show that the couple had a total of eight children and lived at Wayne, Passaic Co., New Jersey. When recorded, Margaret's maiden name is given as Fulton. It seems unusual that Eliza would name two daughters, born so close to each other (Margaret Fulton in 1842, Margaret Brower in 1846), and as only one Margaret is found on the 1850 census, it may be that Margaret Brower, called "our child" in his will, is actually Margaret Fulton, Eliza's daughter by her first marriage. The family of Elias Brower, despite finding his will, is still unsettled.

Elias Brower Will, 1853 (1)

Elias Brower Will, 1853 (2)

Elias Brower Will, 1853 (3)

Elias Brower Will, 1853 (4)

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Records of the Dutch Congregation of Freehold and Middletown, 1735-1741

The Records of the Dutch Congregation of Freehold and Middletown (Monmouth Co., New Jersey) covering the years 1735 to 1741 were published in volume 24 (1949) of the Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey.

Records of the Dutch Congregation of Freehold and Middletown, GMNJ v. 24 (1949)

The records begin with a clarification from the editor regarding the list of names that were published at the end of volume 23. The baptism records begin on page 46 (issue no. 2) and the first couple of dates appear to be out of sequence. The last date found on the records as published in volume 23 was 17 August 1735, that being the baptism of Neeltje, daughter of Syrynus Van Metere and Abigail Lefferse. The first baptism in volume 24 is that of Barbaraa, daughter of Petrec Heggens and Jannetie Tyse with the date June 23, 1736 printed under Barbara's name. This is followed by the baptism of Petrus, son of Pieter Voorhese and Arriantje Nevius, with the date March 10, but no year stated. The year 1735 then follows with one baptism dated 10 December (Henrikus, son of Jan Brouwer and Hilletje Van Kleef). The year 1736 follows and the remainder of the record appears to be in order. Volume 24 ends with the baptism of Gysbert, son of Johannes Hindrikson and Sarah Moesier, dated 26 April 1741.

Friday, January 4, 2013

The Will of Cornelius Brower of Schenectady, New York, 1767

Cornelius Brouwer (Brower/Brewer) was baptized on 30 January 1704 at the First Reformed Church of Schenectady, New York. He was the son of Hendrick Willemsz Brouwer and Maritie Pieterse Borsboom, and the grandson of Willem Brouwer and Lysbeth Drinkvelt, and of Pieter Jacobse Borsboom and his wife Grietje.

Cornelius (or Cornelis) was married to Cornelia Barheit on 27 June 1730 at Schenectady. She was a daughter of Johannes Barheit and Catherine Gilbert, and was baptized at Albany on 6 October 1706. Her mother, Catherine Gilbert was the daughter of John Gilbert and Cornelia van den Bergh.

Cornelius Brouwer and Cornelia Barheit had three known children whose baptisms are found in the records of the First Reformed Church of Schenectady. Hendrick (19 October 1731) married his first cousin, Maria Brouwer (daughter of Hendrick Brouwer and Elizabeth Van Eps) in 1764. Catharina (31 March 1734) married first, Gerrit van Antwerpen in 1752, and second John Richy. Marytje (15 October 1738) married John Munro, a noted Loyalist during the Revolution. They settled at Matilda in Dundas County, Upper Canada (Ontario) after the Revolutionary War.

Cornelius Brouwer's will, dated 13 August 1765, was proved 3 December 1767. It is on record at Albany, file AB 79. In the will he styles himself as "Cornelius Brewer of Schenectady, Albany County," and mentions his wife, Cornelia; son Hendrick Brewer and his heirs; grandson Gerrit Van Antwerp and his heirs; grandson Cornelius Rickey, under the age of 21; and daughter Mary, wife of John Monroe of Albany, merchant, and her heirs.

Cornelius Brower, Will 1765 (1)

Cornelius Brower, Will 1765 (2)

Cornelius Brower, Will 1765 (3)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Records of the Dutch Congregations of Freehold and Middletown, 1723-1735

The Records of the Dutch Congregations of Freehold and Middletown continue in the Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey with volume 23 (1948). The first entry, the baptism of "A daughter" of Willem Kouwenhoven would bear the date of 21 April 1723 (the last date found in the records published in volume 22). The last record is dated 17 August 1735. The baptism record is followed (on page 93) by a "list of Church members." This is corrected when the records continue in volume 24, which explains that the list is "actually a group of signatures." Nonetheless, the signatures belong to persons who were members of the church at Freehold.

Records of the Dutch Congregation of Freehold and Middletown, GMNJ v. 23 (1948)

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Families of Thomas Verdon and his son, Jacob Verdon

Thomas Verdon was the eldest son of Maria Badie, and only known son of her first husband, Jacob Verdon. Thomas was born in New Netherland (probably on Manhattan Island) and likely between the years of 1626 and 1634. It cannot be stated with certainty whether he was older, or younger, then his sister, Magdalena Verdon, the wife of Adam Brouwer. He was apparently named for his maternal grandfather, Thomas Badie.

The Verdon family was covered by John Reynolds Totten in "Verdon Family Notes," New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, volume 64 (1933), pages 105-132. There are errors in Totten's work, particularly with regard to the Brouwer descendants of Thomas's sister, Magdalena Verdon.

Thomas Verdon was married three times, but left only one known child, a son Jacob. Thomas Verdon's first wife was Barbara Imbroeck (or Van Imbroeck). Her parentage and year of birth are not known, although she is probably a sister of Gysbert Van Imbroeck (husband of Rachel de la Montagne). A physician, Gysbert Van Imbroeck is titled as "Mr." in New Netherland records, and his given the title "Dr." by James Riker in his Revised History of Harlem (1904), p. 785. Jacobus, the (only) child of "Thomas Verdon and Barber Inbroeck," was baptized on 19 March 1656 at the New Amsterdam Reformed Dutch Church. The sponsors were Mr. Paulus Van Der Beeck, Mr. Gysbert Van Inbroecht, and Aeltje Braconye. Barbara Imbroeck was deceased by 18 December 1658, when Paulus Van der Beeck appeared before the New Amsterdam Orphan Masters representing her son, Jacob.

Thomas Verdon married his second wife, Jannetje Claes Bonen in June 1659. The banns, published at the New Amsterdam Dutch Church on 1 June 1659 describe him as the widower of "Barber Imbroeck," and Jannetje as the widow of "Tobias Toemszen." This was Jannetje's third marriage. She had previously been married to Urbanus Luyers, and then in 1649, to Tobias Theuniszen ("Toemszen" being an error in the above mentioned marriage record). Jannetje had three children by each of her first two husbands but none by Thomas Verdon. She was deceased by 12 April 1696 when banns were published for Thomas' third marriage.

On 26 April 1696, Thomas Verdon married as his third wife, Elsje (Ytie) Jeuriens. It was her third marriage as well. She was the widow of Theunis Ten Eyck (Theunis Theuniszen Denyck) who was her second husband.  Elsje's first husband was Ditlof Cleaszen van Doorn (they had five children). She had been baptized on 24 April 1661 at the New Amsterdam Reformed Church, the daughter of Jeurian Janszen and Harmentje Jans. Elsje was considerably younger than Thomas (by 30 years or more) yet had already been married twice herself. After Thomas Verdon's death, Elsje married for her fourth husband, Pieter Jansen Boeckholt. There were no children of Thomas Verdon and Elsje Jeurians.

Thomas Verdon, with his second wife, Jannetje Claes, became members of the Brooklyn Reformed Dutch Church on 25 December 1661 with an attestation from the New Amsterdam Church. His half-brother, Willem Willemszen Bennet and his wife, Gertrude Van Mulheym, became members on that same day. In 1664 both Thomas Verdon and Willem Bennet were two of the three nominees from Gowanus for the positions of elder and deacon at the Brooklyn Dutch Church. Thomas is found on the rate list at Brooklyn on 26 September 1683 with 8 morgens of land. He is on the census dated "about 1698," at Brooklyn, with one man, two women and four slaves. He appears in church records as a sponsor for numerous children at New York, Brooklyn and Flatbush, including the baptisms of four children of his step-daughter Neeltje Urbanus and her husband Thomas Franszen. No will or other settlement of his estate has been located, but Thomas Verdon was deceased by 21 November 1699, when his widow remarried. Thomas left one known child, a son Jacob, of his first wife, Barbara Imbroeck.

As mentioned previously, Jacob Verdon was baptized in 1656 at the New Amsterdam Reformed Dutch Church. On 17 March 1678 he married Femmetje Willemse Westervelt, the daughter of Willem Lubbertsen Westervelt and Dirckyen Roelofse. According to the Genealogy of the Westervelt Family (1905) she was baptized on 29 April 1658 at Meppel in the Province of Drenth in the Netherlands. Her father came to New Netherland in 1662 aboard the Hope with a wife and six children. He was described as an "agriculturist from Meppel," and his brother, Lubbert, with a wife and four children were aboard the same ship. Willem Lubbertsen Westervelt was deceased by 1 September 1697 when his wife made her will (proved 22 August 1704). Despite the fact that the couple had nine children, the will only mentions one son, Abraham, who received "all lands, etc."

Jacob Verdon and Femmetje Westervelt had ten children. Baptism records are found for Barbara (1680), Willem (1682), Thomas (1683), and Maria (1685) in either the Brooklyn or Flatbush Reformed Church records. The remaining children are known from Jacob's will which was dated 30 April 1740. The will was proved 17 March 1743, and at the time Jacob was living at Schraalenburgh in Bergen County, New Jersey. He styles himself, "Jacob Fardon of Scrallinburgh in Bergen County, yeoman." The will was recorded in New York (Lib. 15, p. 188). His children are mentioned as. "eldest son Thomas," "daughter Mary" and her husband Frans Vanderburgh, "daughter Jannettie wife of Adolphus Brouwer," "daughter Femmettie wife of Barent Bloom," "daughter Dericke wife of Andries Westervelt," and "my three sons "William, Jacob, and Johannes." The fact that Thomas, called the "eldest son" in the will, was baptized in 1683, after the baptism of son Willem in 1682, implies that Willem died young and a second son named William was born after 1683. Also mentioned in the will is "son Jacob Bennitt." He was the widower of the eldest daughter, Barbara Verdon who predeceased her father. Jacob's wife, Femmetje Westervelt is not named in the will. She had died in 1728.

The descendants of Thomas Verdon and Jacob Verdon are found with a wide variety of surnames. In addition to the early name, VERDON, we find FERDON, FARDON, and PARDON, as well as variations featuring vowel switches from O to E, and E to I. The variations in the first letter of the surname (V to F to P) can be attributed to the wide range of language and dialects spoken in colonial New York and New Jersey, and the phonetic spelling that clerks and ministers employed when writing down their original records.

The Brouwer Genealogy Database has just been updated and newly included is a descendant chart for Thomas Verdon covering five generations. The links will take you to individual profiles where source citations and additional info can be found. The chart is certainly not complete and there are numerous persons named Verdon, Fardon/Ferdon and Pardon/Perdon who are also included on the BGD website whose ancestry from Thomas Verdon has not yet been determined. They are included in the index pages.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Records of the Dutch Congregations of Freehold and Middletown

Families of Dutch ancestry from Kings County, Long Island first began settling in Monmouth County, New Jersey in the 1690s. By 1709 they were in significant enough number to require the services of their own minister. The Reformed Congregation of Freehold and Middletown was established in 1709. The first minister was Joseph Morgan, who was born in 1671 at Preston, New London Co., Connecticut, the son of Lt. Joseph Morgan and Dorothy Parke. He was enrolled with the Yale College graduating class of 1702, and served as minister at the Second Church of Greenwich, Connecticut and preached at Bedford in Westchester County, New York before coming to Monmouth County, New Jersey. In 1696 he was married to Sara Emmons, daughter of John Emmons (Emons/ Emans) and Sara Anthonise Janse (van Salee), a daughter of Anthony Jans van Salee and Grietje Reijners, early at New Amsterdam and the earliest settlers of Gravesend, Long Island.

The records of the Reformed Dutch Congregations of Freehold and Middletown were published in the Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey (GMNJ) beginning in 1947 with volume 22. They were continued through volume 38. Volume 22 provides a brief introduction, gives a list of the first church officers and members, and includes the baptisms recorded from 20 October 1709 to 21 April 1723. The records are not as complete as, for example, the records of the New York Reformed Church for the same time period. Some may find them a bit frustrating as there are many records in which the mother is not recorded or the child's name and sometimes gender, are not given. Many of the records do not list the witnesses/sponsors. However, they are all we've got, and when using them along with the New Jersey Probate records and Land Records, we can accurately reconstruct many of the colonial Dutch families of Monmouth County, New Jersey.

I have scanned my photocopies of the pages from the GMNJ and will place them online beginning with volume 22 below. It is suggested that you download the PDF for your own use.

Records of the Dutch Congregation of Freehold-Middletown, GMNJ v. 22 (1947)

For a bit more, and source citations for Rev. Joseph Morgan, please find his profile at the database, Descendants of Alice Freeman Thompson Parke by using one of the indexes.