Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

More Raritan Reformed Dutch Church Baptisms

Baptism records for the First Reformed Dutch Church at Raritan, now in Somerville, New Jersey, continued to be published in the Somerset County Historical Quarterly, volumes 5 (1916) and 6 (1917). Volume 5 covers the dates 10 January 1808 to 9 May 1824. Volume 6 covers the dates 15 May 1824 to 6 December 1837. The baptism records were published in all four issues of volume 5. However, in volume 6, the records only appear in issue nos. 1, 3 and 4.

Raritan RDC Baptisms, SCHQ vol. 5 (1916)

Raritan RDC Baptisms, SCHQ vol. 6 (1917)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Unplaced: Jacob Brewer of Chatham, Quebec

Jacob Brewer was probably born during the decade of 1785 to 1795, the location unknown, but probably either New York, New Jersey, or northern Vermont or perhaps, Lower Canada (today's Quebec). A descendant of Jacob Brewer has participated in the Brewer DNA Project (kit #75657), and the Y-DNA test results demonstrate that, without a doubt, the participant, and therefore his ancestor, Jacob Brewer, are descendants of Adam Brouwer of Gowanus, Long Island. Furthermore, the participant has a value of 14 at marker no. 9 (allele 439) which is a mutation shared (thus far) only by descendants of Adam's son Nicholas Brouwer. It is probable that the participant, and Jacob Brewer, are descendants of Nicholas Brouwer. However, the link from Jacob Brewer to Nicholas Brouwer, is presently unknown.

The only known record of Jacob Brewer is of his marriage to Lavinia Smith on 14 March 1815 at Chatham in Lower Canada, by Rev. Richard Bradford. The source for this record, as provided to me by the participant and descendant, was Grace D. McGibbon, Glimpses of the Life and Work of the Reverend Richard Bradford (Calgary: MacLeod, Letter & Printing Services, 1971) at page 167. Jacob apparently died in or about 1824, as his wife was remarried to Samuel Dodge either in that year or in 1825 (they had a child born in 1826). In between Jacob's marriage and Lavinia's second marriage, the couple had four known children: Chancy, born 1816; Jacob, born 1820; John A., born 1822 (ancestor of participant); and Thusia, born 1823. All presumably born at Chatham. (Lavinia was married a third time to John S. Donaldson in 1869).

Chatham, which today is the city of Brownsburg-Chatham in the Argenteuil provincial election district of the Province of Quebec, was first established in 1799. It was originally settled by Loyalists who left the American colonies after the Revolutionary War. It's location is a bit north and west of Montreal. It has been stated that the Smith family, to which Lavinia belongs, received land grants at Buckingham, Lower Canada in 1824, and Lavinia relocated there with her children and second husband. Buckingham is west of Chatham and north of the Ottawa River. Today it is part of the city of Gatineau. The fact that the first settlers at Chatham were former Loyalists from the American Revolution would support the idea that Jacob was (if born early enough) a Loyalist himself, or if born later, a descendant of a Loyalist who came to Lower Canada (or northern Vermont or New York) soon after the Revolutionary War.

We do not have an exact date of death for Jacob Brewer. We also do not have a date for his birth or an age at his death that would give us a clue as to when he was born. He was married in 1815, and if he was in his 20s when married, it would imply that he was born during the decade of 1785 to 1795. Thus far, no record has been found that would indicate exactly where he was born. Jacob's wife, Lavinia Smith (apparently also known as "Nina") died 18 September 1886 at Buckingham, Quebec. She is stated to have been born "ca. 1795" at Topsham in Orange County, Vermont (she was age 77 in 1871 on the Canadian census at Buckingham, Ottawa Centre, Quebec, as Elvina Donaldson). If about the same age as Lavinia when married, then we might suspect that Jacob was born around 1795 himself. Of course, he may have been older then his wife.

The Y-DNA test results (as mentioned above) of a descendant, match on 37 of 37 markers with two known descendants of Jeremiah Brower of Highgate, Vermont (kit #s 77803 and 188348). He matches on 36 of 37 markers with a third descendant. (A table is online at the Adam Brouwer DNA page). Many of the original settlers of the area at and around Highgate, Vermont, and their immediate descendants, did receive land grants and did settle in what was then Lower Canada (now the Province of Quebec). It might be suspected that Jacob Brewer of Chatham is then a son of Jeremiah Brower. Jeremiah did have a son named Jacob (born in 1782 in Albany Co., New York), however, we believe that he was married to Elizabeth Stickney, at Highgate, in 1802. Jacob and Elizabeth's whereabouts, after 1810, has not been found, and while it is conceivable that Elizabeth died, Jacob relocated to Chatham, and then married as a second wife, Lavinia Smith, no records or documents that support this scenario have been located. Since there is secondary, or circumstantial evidence, that other members of Jeremiah Brower existed, it is probable that (given the close genetic connection) Jacob Brewer of Chatham is a member of one of these families. To review, the possibilities for Jacob would be (1) Nicholas Brewer of Newtown, New York, who Jeremiah Brower cites as a witness in his Loyalist claim of 1786; (2) Isaac Brower/Brewer who was an adult in 1795 and was living at Missisquoi Bay where he took the oath of allegiance and is found in 1800 at Isle of Mott, Vermont, as Isaac Brauer, with a household that includes three males under age 10; (3) Jacob Brewer who was the husband of Hannah Brandigo/Brandige in 1808 as per her father's will. Jacob Brewer could well be a son of either nos. 1, 2 or 3, or he may be no. 3, in which case Lavinia Smith would be a second wife and Jacob would be somewhat older than her. As all three may well be closely related to Jeremiah Brower, the Y-DNA test results would fit well with one of these possibilities.

At this time, what we can conclude is that the ancestry of Jacob Brewer of Chatham is not known. We can conclude that he is likely a close relation of Jeremiah Brower of Highgate, Vermont, but he does not necessarily have to be a son, and is more likely a nephew or a close cousin. What is needed, is more documentation pertaining to Jacob Brewer. When did he arrive at Chatham? Are there land grants or deeds that pertain to him, or to another person named Brewer or Brower? Can a record of death or burial be located for Jacob? Any new information or insight is welcomed.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Early Baptisms at the Reformed Dutch Church of Harlingen, New Jersey

"Earliest Baptismal Records of the Church of Harlingen (Reformed Dutch) of New Jersey, 1727-1734," was published by William Jonas Skillman in the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, volume 40 (1909). The baptism register, which covers the years 1727 to 1734, is preceded by an introduction on the churches of the Raritan Valley in New Jersey which most researchers should find informative. At the time these baptisms took place, the church was not known as Harlingen, but rather as Sourland, or op de Millstone (the church beyond the millstone). The name, Harlingen, was adopted in 1766. There are apparently breaks in the records after 1734, and they appear to be sporadic until 1744. Publication of the baptisms was picked up by the Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey, volume 17 (1942), beginning with the year 1737.

Early Baptisms, Reformed Dutch Church, Harlingen, N. J., NYGBR v.40 (1909)

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Brower Tombstone Reading, Dutchess County, New York

The linked document consists of two pages of Brower tombstone readings excerpted from "Dutchess County, N. Y., Tombstone Readings," contributed by William L. Huffman, and published in Yesteryears volume 17, no. 67, spring 1974.

The tombstones are from burials in various cemeteries in Dutchess County. Most of the individuals were born in the mid to late 1700s or early 1800s.

Brower - Dutchess County Tombstone Readings, Yesteryears v.17 (1974)

Friday, February 22, 2013

Jeremiah Brower, Part VI: Jeremiah Brower and Margaret Hedickie, and Some Questions

The couple, Jeremiah Brower and Margaret Hedickie had two sons baptized, eight years apart, at the Dutch Reformed Church at Schaghticoke, which was then in Albany County, and is now in Rensselaer County, New York. Whether or not this Jeremiah Brower is one and the same with the Jeremiah Brower who later, with wife Hannah Thomas, had a daughter Polly baptized at this same church (1776), is not certain.

What is known of this couple comes solely from two records. Willem, son of (J)eremia Brouwer and Margarita Hedickie, born 11,7br (September), was baptized in October of (presumably) 1766. This record is published in the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, volume 60, no. 2, page 127. The year for this baptism, as printed in the NYGBR is given as October 1776 which consists of a group of seventeen baptisms (nos. 664 to 680). However, the preceding group of  baptisms were dated June 1766, while the group of baptisms following are dated June 1767.  In looking over the collection of baptism records from the Schaghticoke church, it is apparent that baptisms were conducted twice a year, in the months of June and October (there are exceptions but this is the general pattern). Other then this instance where the year is recorded as 1776, all other records are in sequential order by date. Although I have not had the opportunity to check this against the original records, I believe that it is apparent that in this situation the year 1776 was a typographical error for 1766, and my assessment is that Willem was born 11 September 1766 and baptized in October 1766. The sponsors at the baptism were William Penier and Elisabeth Hooper (neither of whom have been researched further).

Abraham, son of Jeremia Brower and Marget Hegger (Hidickie), born 1 February 1774, was baptized in that year, the exact date not given. Abraham's record is one of the few in which no sponsors are recorded. (NYGBR vol. 60, no. 4, p. 360).

No other records have been found or identified as pertaining to this couple, Jeremia Brouwer/Brower and Margarita/Marget Hedickie/Hegger/Hidickie. Margaret, in fact, is not even included in the extensive index of names to the NYGBR that was compiled and published by Jean Worden in the 1990s.

Of interest is the appearance of a William Brewer and an Abraham Brewer on the 1798 assessment list at Plattsburgh, Clinton Co., New York. Plattsburgh, New York is on the western shore of Lake Champlain, directly across the lake from Alburgh, Vermont where Jeremiah Brower was enumerated on the 1790 (1791) U. S. census (in 1800 he was at Highgate, Vermont). William Brewer (Bruwer?) can be found on the 1800 U. S. census at Plattsburgh (Platts Borough), New York, with a household of 1 male under 10, 1 male 26-44, 2 females under 10 and 1 female 26-44.

William Brewer, 1800 US census, Platts Borough (Plattsburgh), New York
Abraham is not found on the 1800 U. S. census at Plattsburgh, and neither William or Abraham are found there in later years.

In an indenture dated 1 February 1800, Rachel DeLong of Amsterdam, Montgomery Co., New York, widow and Lawrence Delong and Elizabeth his wife, Isaac Delong and Julia his wife, Abraham Delong and Electa his wife, Jacob Delong and Eunice his wife, all of Plattsburg in the County of Clinton and State aforesaid, also William Brewer and Hannah his wife, and James Delong all of Amsterdam aforesaid on the first part, and John Pierce of Plattsburg aforesaid on the second part...for consideration of the sum of fifteen hundred dollars...have conveyed...a certain Trace or parcel Land lying and being situate in the Town of Plattsburgh aforesaid being the west half of Lot number thirty nine in the allotments of Beeckman Patent...
The William Brewer in this deed has not been placed among the known Brouwer, Brower or Brewer families. His wife, Hannah (or Annatje) DeLong, was baptized on 29 August 1773 at the Reformed Dutch Church at Hopewell, Dutchess County, New York, the daughter of Peter DeLong and Rachel Lewis. William Brewer and Hannah DeLong had eight children born between 1793 and 1812, and Hannah died in 1813. By 1815, William was married to Asenath Hatch and they had five children born between 1815 and 1823. William Brewer is found on the 1810 U. S. census at Amsterdam, New York. In 1820, there are two men named William Brower found in Amsterdam, New York, both over the age of 45, and both with large households (one with nine persons, the other with eleven). In 1830 there are no men named William Brewer or Brower found at Amsterdam, New York. In 1840, William is enumerated at Copley, Summit Co., Ohio, with a household of nine persons. In 1850, William Brewer, age 80, born in New York, is at Copley, Ohio, with his wife, Asenath Brewer, age 68, and two daughters, Electa and Sarah, both born in New York. William Brewer died on 18 March 1856, age 86 and his buried at the Copley Cemetery.

All that is mentioned above is simply a group of facts that can be documented (see the profiles for each, with source citations, at the Brouwer Genealogy Database). We can add to this collection the mentions in previous posts of Isaac Brower (February 2, 2013), and Jacob Brewer, husband of Hannah Brandigo/Brandige (February 13, 2013), and with all of this, we have a list of questions still to be answered:

1- Is the Jeremiah Brower who married Margaret Hedickie (last known child in 1774, baptized at Schaghticoke), and the Jeremiah Brower who married Hannah Thomas (first known child in 1776, baptized at Schaghticoke) the same person? Common name, and same location at roughly the same time, coupled with the fact that no other known men named Jeremiah Brower have left evidence that they were in the area of Schaghticoke in the 1760s or 1770s, might lead us to conclude that they are. However, we still need that elusive piece of evidence that could link these two families with certainty.

2- Are the brothers William Brower and Abraham Brower, baptized in 1766 and 1774 at Schaghticoke, the same William Brewer and Abraham Brewer who appear on the same assessment list at Plattsburgh, New York in 1798?

3- There is an eight year gap between the baptism records of William (1766) and Abraham (1774). Were other children, unrecorded, born to Jeremiah Brower and Margaret Hedickie? Could the Isaac Brower/Brewer who appears with Jeremiah Brower on the 1795 roll of those who took the oath of allegiance, be an unrecorded son of Jeremiah Brower and Margaret Hedickie born between the years of 1766 and 1774?

4- Who is the Jacob Brewer who was married to Hannah Brandigo/Brandige, as mentioned in the will of Hannah's father, William Brandige? We believe that Jacob Brewer, born in 1782, son of Jeremiah Brower and Hannah Thomas, was married at Highgate to Elizabeth Stickney in 1802. Did Elizabeth die early on, and did her widower husband, Jacob Brewer, then marry Hannah Brandigo? Or, is this Jacob Brewer some other relation to Jeremiah Brower (a brother, nephew, or cousin)? Where did Jacob Brewer and Hannah Brandigo live, and what became of them after 1808?

5- Who are the members of Jacob Brewers household as recorded on the 1810 U. S. census at Highgate, Vermont? There was one male under 10, one male 10-15, one male 15-26 (presumed to be the head of household, Jacob Brewer, age possibly understated), two females under 10, one female 10-15, and one female 15-26. Could some of these persons (presumably children of Jacob) actually be children that have since been attributed to the family of Jeremiah Brower and Hannah Thomas?

6- Is the William Brewer who married Hannah DeLong, whose family had property in Plattsburgh, New York, the same William who was assessed there in 1798?

7- And finally, what did become of all those mentioned above? What actually became of Jeremiah Brouwer and Margaret Hedickie's sons William and Abraham? What became of Isaac Brower/Brewer? Did any of them leave descendants who are searching for their ancestral Brower or Brewer connection today?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

GENO 2.0 Results with Regards to Hannah Thomas, wife of Jeremiah Brower

What is known of Hannah Thomas' origins (as well as some speculation) was presented in the post of February 13, 2013 (Jeremiah Brower Part IV). It was mentioned in the post that there was speculation among descendants that suggested that Hannah Thomas may have been Native American, probably a member of the Mohawk or Oneida tribes. My wife is a direct descendant of Jeremiah Brower and Hannah Thomas. They are 5-great-grandparents in relation to my wife, meaning that my wife is seven generations removed from Jeremiah Brower and Hannah Thomas.

This past fall the GENOGRAPHIC 2.0 Project was launched by the National Geographic Society. The Project offers a DNA test that analyzes Y-DNA, mtDNA and Autosomal DNA, then presents the participant with a regional makeup of his or her ancestry. The project presents the test results to the participant in three categories: "Who Am I," "Your Maternal Line," and "Your Paternal Line." The third, "Your Paternal Line," analyzes the results of Y-DNA testing and therefore is only available to males. In the case of my wife's results, the other two categories, "Who Am I," and "Your Maternal Line," both fell in line with what we had expected. Her matrilineal ancestry can be traced to Ireland, and the test results gleaned from her mtDNA test confirmed that she belongs to a sub-clade of  mtHaplogroup H that is found in it's highest frequency among people from Northern Ireland. The results we were most interested in were those found under "Who Am I."

"Who Am I" takes into account the entire genetic make up of the individual. This means that the mtDNA and Y-DNA (males only) results are considered along with the test results of the participants Autosomal DNA. After years of compiling my wife's ancestry, we know that the majority of her ancestors have roots in the British Isles, and in the northern European countries of Germany, France (northern), and the Netherlands. And true to form, here the results pointed to a primarily Northern European ancestry (44%). Specifically, she had the most similarity with the populations of Great Britain and Germany. Coming in second and third among the defined regions (the GENO2.0 project breaks the world's population into nine regions), were Mediterranean (38%) and Southwest Asian (17%). Having a similarity with these two groups help to describe the path her ancestors took before arriving in Northern Europe. We were hoping to see a small percentage of Native American ancestry, as this could add some credence to the belief that Hannah Thomas was a Native American. But here, nothing registered. There was nothing in the final results as presented by GENO2.0 that would indicate a Native American ancestor.

There is, however, a caveat that must be considered. Everyone of us inherits 50% of our DNA from each of our two parents, who are one generation in the past. From each of our four grandparents, two generations back, we inherit 25%. Eight great-grandparents each provide 12.5%, while sixteen great-great-grandparents each contribute 6.25%. From our thirty-two great-great-great-grandparents we receive 3.125%. And from sixty-four great-great-great-great-grandparents, who are six generations in the past, we receive 1.5625% of our DNA. The caveat is, GENO2.0 does not report amounts below 2%. (They state that they do not have enough data, at this time, to report lower frequency results). Everyone's DNA make up is most influenced by the most current generations, and beyond six generations the amount contributed to anyone's DNA make up is relatively insignificant. In our case, the ancestor we were interested in, Hannah Thomas, is seven generations in the past (great-great-great-great-great-grandmother). The percentage of DNA inherited from Hannah Thomas, and found in my wife, would be only .78125%. If we consider the possibility that Hannah Thomas was less then "full-blooded" Native American, the amount of Native American DNA that would be found in her great-great-great-great-great-granddaughter could be as little as .390625% (or less) of her total DNA make up. These percentages are just too low for GENO2.0 to report on at this time. (This may change as more participants join the wider project and more data can be collected and analyzed).

In conclusion, we participated in the GENO2.0 project with the hope that we might get a hint as to whether or not my wife had a small percentage of Native American ancestry. Since Hannah Thomas is the only one of her hundreds of ancestors who has raised any suspicion of Native American ancestry, we had hoped the results would be conclusive one way or the other as to whether or not Hannah was a Native American. But, we did not get our wish. While the test results cannot support a Native American ancestry in Hannah, the fact that the percentage of her (potential) Native American DNA, surviving today in her 5great-granddaughter, is too small to measure with confidence, prevents us from stating that it is not possible that Hannah Thomas was Native American. In short, the results for this specific question are inconclusive.

While testing another descendant who has a shorter interval between themselves and Hannah Thomas (six or fewer generations) could work, the more certain method to implement would be to find a direct matrilineal descendant (which could even mean a son of a female direct matrilineal descendant) to take a mt-DNA test. Results of such a test of a subject who meets this description should be more conclusive. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Brower Extracts: Presbyterian Church at Wappinger Creek, Dutchess Co., New York

This handwritten transcription of Brower and Brewer (and some others) found in the records of the Presbyterian Church at Wappinger Creek, Dutchess County, New York, is from the William B. Bogardus Collection, Box 7, Uncatalogued Items, no. 22.

There are fourteen pages of extracts here. I have not had the opportunity to incorporate or include them in the Brouwer Genealogy Database. That will have to be a future project. Page 12 is upside down, sorry about that, you'll just have to download the document and use your computer's tools to invert it.

The original source or sources for the extracts is not stated in the manuscript (unless I overlooked it). As the other manuscripts of extracts were taken from records filmed by the Family History Library, I suspect the source or sources to be the various filmed records of the Presbyterian Church at Wappingers Creek, found in the FHL online catalog. Users of this manuscript are of course advised to check them against the original sources.

Wappinger Creek, often written as Wappingers Creek (I believe that the spelling without the final S is technically the correct one), is in Dutchess County, New York and runs from Thompson Pond and empties in the Hudson River at New Hamburg. The first Brouwer to purchase land in the area was Nicholas Brouwer (b. 1672) son of Adam Brouwer of Gowanus, Long Island. His grandson, Nicholas Brouwer (1714-1777) established mills at Wappinger Falls, and became something of an early New York land baron by acquiring thousands of acres in scattered locations, including the areas of the present day sites of Ballston Spa, in Saratoga County, and Chenango Point, later to become the City of Binghamton in Broome County. Just prior to the Revolutionary War, Nicholas was among those who received a patent on about 75,000 acres of land in what is today, New York's Adirondack Park (I believe that the patent was voided by the new, New York State, after independence was won). Nicholas Brouwer (who will have to be profiled in a future post in more detail) had a large family of thirteen children, however, many of those found in the Presbyterian Church at Wappingers Creek records are not immediate family members.

One family, found in the records, that needs to be mentioned is that of Elias Brower (or Brewer) and Sophia Kimball. Elias was born on December 1, 1800, and is believed to be a son of William Brower and Rebecca Sprague. William Brower's ancestry is not known, and it is not known with any certainty whether this family descends from Adam Brouwer of Gowanus, L. I. or from Jan Brouwer of Flatlands, L. I. The descendants of the later have a repetition of the given name, Elias, in numerous families. What information I have collected on the families of William Brower and Elias Brower can be found on the Brouwer Genealogy Database website. Much of it is taken from secondary sources, including notes and conclusions of some earlier researchers. A lot of it needs to be verified with more acceptable sources and what you presently find on the BGD should not be considered as final.

Brower - Presbyterian Church, Wappingers Creek, New York

Monday, February 18, 2013

Brower Marriages and Baptisms, Methodist Episcopal Church, New York City

This handwritten document is of Brower and Brewer marriages and baptisms in the records of the Methodist Episcopal Church of New York City. The sheet is from the William B. Bogardus Collection, Box 7, Uncatalogued Items. Dates are from 1785 to 1864, and there are a few extracts with surnames other than Brower or Brewer. Some will be added to the Brouwer Genealogy Database with the next update (the number of records extracted prevents me from entering them all on the BGD in the near future).

The extractions are taken from FHL film #s 0017779 to 0017782, Methodist Episcopal Church (New York, New York), "Records of the Methodist Episcopal Church, New York, New York, 1785-1893," 13 Volumes, handwritten transcripts, New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, New York City.

There are thirteen volumes of records in this filmed collection. The last few pages of William Bogardus' extracts include an outline of the records that are found in each volume. There are a lot of extracts here, and among them may just be the one you are looking for.

Brower and Brewer extracts, Methodist Episcopal Church, New York City

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Family of Jeremiah Brower & Hannah Thomas Continued (Jeremiah Brower, Part V)

Part IV of Jeremiah Brower of Highgate, Vermont covered his wife, Hannah Thomas, and four of their children, Polly, Peter (more on Peter in the future), Jacob and Nicholas. Part V begins with daughter Sarah Brewer.

Sara, the daughter of Jeremias Brewer and his wife Hanna, was baptized on 17 July 1785 at the Gilead Evangelical Lutheran Church at Center Brunswick, New York. Her date of birth is given as 6 April 1785. The sponsors were the parents. (The source for the Gilead Lutheran Church baptisms has been: Royden Woodward Vosburgh, editor, Records of the Gilead Evangelical Lutheran Church at Center Brunswick, in the Town of Brunswick, Rensselaer County, New York. New York: New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, 1913), FHL film #1421097). Sarah was likely the last child of Jeremiah and Hannah to be born before their move to the Missisquoi Bay area.
Sarah Brewer was married to Peter Stinehour on 4 April 1802 at Highgate, Vermont. The marriage is recorded in the Highgate Town Records. Peter was born on 25 December 1778, most probably in Dutchess County, New York. He was a son of George Stinehour and Gertruy Halenbeck (some undocumented online accounts have identified her as Charity Van Allen). In the case of the Stinehours we are fortunate in that in 1802, George Stinehour recorded the birth dates of his thirteen children in Highgate Town Records book. George is then linked to Dutchess County by the record of the baptism of his daughter Catharina (parents: Georg Steinhower and Gretruijt Halenbeek) at the German Reformed Church of Rhinebeck, at Red Hook in Dutchess County, on 26 February 1786. Her birth date, as recorded at Highgate, is given as 16 January 1786. George Stinehour is stated to be one of the first settlers at Highgate, arriving there in 1787 (a year after Jeremiah Brower). He is found on the 1790, 1800, 1810 and 1820 U. S. census at Highgate. He died at Cowansville, Lower Canada (now Quebec) on 26 February 1844. On 19 October 1795, Jeremiah Brewer, Isaac Brewer, Peter Stinehour and George Stinehour (listed in sequence) all took the oath of allegiance to the British Crown at Missisquoi Bay.
Peter Stinehour is found on the U. S. census in 1810, 1820, and 1830 at Highgate. He has not been located in 1840, but in 1850 he is found at Akron, Summit Co., Ohio, age 73, born in New York, enumerated in the household of his son Robert Stinehour (age 38, born in Vermont). Unfortunately, Peter, unlike his father, did not record the birth dates of his children in the Highgate Town Records. The family of Peter Stinehour and Sarah Brewer has not been completely verified, but a tentative list of children include sons William, Robert and John, daughter Martha Diana, who married Robert Clark at Highgate on 15 June 1826, and daughter Mahala, who married Moses Cline at Highgate on 2 April 1820. Census records imply that there could be more children.
Sarah is presumed to have died before 1850, as she has not been located on the U. S. census of that year. Peter was a live in 1850, age 73, but has not been located afterwards.

Susannah Brewer, presumed daughter of Jeremiah Brower and Hannah Thomas, was married to John Walker at Highgate, Vermont on 4 November 1810. No record of birth or baptism has been found and it is presumed that she was born after the family came to Missisquoi Bay, probably around 1790. Portrait and Biographical Record of Kalamazoo, Allegan, and Van Buren Counties, Michigan (1892), page 371, makes the claim that John Walker was the son of James Walker, a Scotsman who came to the American Colonies and fought on the American side during the Revolutionary War. It also states that John Walker and his family lived at Stanbridge, Lower Canada, soon after his marriage, and "remained there for 14 years." None of this has been corroborated, and the family is found at Champlain, Clinton Co., New York on the 1820 and 1830 U. S. census; at Saranac, Clinton Co., New York on the 1840 U. S. census and (without Susannah) at Beekmantown, Clinton Co., New York on the 1850 and 1860 U. S. census. The 1850 and 1860 census records respectively give John's age as 64 and 78, and his birth place as Canada. He is not found after 1860. Susannah, who is not recorded with John on the 1850 census, is presumed to have died during the decade of the 1840s. Exact dates of death and burial locations have not been found. Four children are believed to have been identified. Son Harry, born in 1811 at Highgate, was married twice and lived at Martin Twp., Allegan Co., Michigan. Son, Ferdinand, born in 1817, in Canada, moved with his wife and children from Saranac, New York to Waupaca County, Wisconsin around 1858. Daughter, Rosilla, who was born about 1819, was married to a Peter Turner for some time. They were at Beekmantown, New York in 1850, with her father enumerated in their household. Daughter, Mary, born about 1820, was married to Phelix Lewis, and John is enumerated in their household on the 1860 census at Beekmantown.

John George Brewer, also recorded as George Brewer, was born on 5 February 1792 at Highgate. His birth date is calculated from his age at death, 71 years, 1 month, 24 days, on 29 March 1863. On 9 April 1812 he married Rhoda Hefflon at Highgate. Rhoda, born about 1795, was a daughter of William Hefflon who came to Highgate from Rhode Island and is first found in the records there in 1803 when he bought land from Abel Baker. Rhoda died on 18 June 1858. On 2 February 1813, he is called George Brewer, of Westford, Chittenden County, when he purchased land in Highgate from Peter Brewer. The property is described as "my right in the interest estate property" (Highgate Deeds, vol. 6, p. 44). George is found on the U. S. census at Highgate in 1820, on the Grand List in 1821, as John on the Grand List in 1824, 1825 and 1826, and on the 1830 U. S. census, also as John Brewer. In 1840, he is recorded as Jno. G. Brewer at Berkshire, Franklin Co., Vermont (Berkshire is on the Canadian border, just east of Highgate). He is there as John G. Brewer, age 56, in 1850, and as John G. Brewer, age 68, enumerated in the household of his son Lester Brewer, in 1860. John George Brewer and Rhoda Hefflon are believed to have had seven children, Hiram Danforth Brewer, Mary Melissa Brewer, George C. Brewer, Lester Brewer, Joseph E. Brewer, Eper B. Brewer, and an unidentified daughter (1820 census).

Martha Brewer, probably born between 1795 and 1801 at Highgate, is assumed to be a daughter of Jeremiah Brower and Hannah Thomas. She was married to Adam Stone on 11 March 1816 at the Anglican Church in St. Armand, Lower Canada. The marriage record calls her, "Martha Brewer of Stanbridge, spinster, and of minor age." The meaning of the phrase, "of minor age," could vary from location to location, with regards to just what age constituted a minor. Whether she was under the age of 18, 21, or even 25, is not certain, and despite the fact that she was a "minor," neither of her parents are mentioned in the record. The witnesses were Margaret Stone and George Stone. Martha died in February 1868 at North Stanbridge, Quebec, and is buried in the Farnham West Methodist Church cemetery. She and Adam Stone had nine children born between the years of 1819 and 1842. Her placement as a daughter of Jeremiah Brower is based solely on her surname and location. Further confirmation of this placement is needed.

Jeremiah Brewer was born 23 August 1802 at Highgate. He was married to Mahala Croy in July 1834 in Rensselaer Co., New York, probably near Petersburg. Mahala Croy was a daughter of John G. Croy and his wife Susanna, who were living at Highgate, Vermont in 1800. John's will, dated 3 May 1837 and proved 2 November 1837 in Rensselaer County, mentions (among others) his daughter Mahala Brewer. On 11 April 1839, Jeremiah Brewer of Petersburgh, Rensselaer County, bought land in Petersburgh from Rensselaer Brimmer and his wife, Martha. The land was part of the "home farm," which John G. Croy, deceased, had leased from Jacob Brimmer and George Brimmer. In 1840, Jeremiah is found as a head of household on the U. S. census at Petersburg, Rensselaer County, with a household of 1 male under 5, 1 male 5-10, 1 male 30-40, 1 female under 5, 1 female 20-30 and 1 female 30-40. By 1850 the family had moved to Wisconsin and Jeremiah and Mahala, and their family are found on the U. S. census records at Albany, Green County, Wisconsin in 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Jeremiah died at Albany, Wisconsin on 11 September 1898, and Mahala died in March 1891. The couple had four known children, John Wesley Brewer, Peter Wellington Brewer, Hannah Mahala Brewer and George Washington Brewer, all of who remained in Green County, Wisconsin. It was a ledger book once owned by Jeremiah Brewer, and handed down through descendants, in which the birth and death dates of his father, Jeremiah Brower, were recorded. History of Green County, Wisconsin (1884), page 660-661, has a brief biography of Jeremiah Brewer, stating that he was an early settler at Albany, Wisconsin, arriving there in 1844. It mentions that he was born in Franklin County, Vermont and in 1819, left the state for Rensselaer County, New York, where he was a farmer at Petersburg. In 1819, Jeremiah would have been aged 17, and whether he moved to Petersburg on his own, or with his father who would have been about age 81, is not clear.

Serring Brewer, probably born in 1803 (age 58 on the 1860 U. S. census) is known to be a son of Jeremiah Brower based on the fact that he was a brother of Jeremiah Brewer (1802-1898). He was probably Jeremiah and Hannah's youngest son, and does not appear to have ever married. In 1860 he is in Albany, Green Co., Wisconsin, enumerated in the household of his brother Jeremiah Brewer. In 1870, an S. Brewer, age 69, but place of birth not stated, is enumerated in the "County Poor House," at Mt. Pleasant (Albany P. O.), Green Co., Wisconsin. There is no trace of Serring after this date. A photograph of Serring, holding a young nephew (or grand-nephew) has been passed down through descendants of his brother Jeremiah. The original is still in possession of descendants and I received a digital copy from Karen Brewer Sims, who received it from Carol Scherer, a descendant of Jeremiah Brewer and Mahala Croy.

Serring Brewer (date uncertain, courtesy of Karen B. Sims)

Eliza Maranda Brewer, born about 1805 (age 83 at death), died in 1888 at Sutton, Brome Co., Quebec, has been stated to be a daughter of Jeremiah Brower and Hannah Thomas by descendants. If so, Hannah, would certainly have been in her late forties, pushing fifty, when Eliza Maranda was born. It may be that she was in fact a granddaughter, but certain evidence either way has not been uncovered. Eliza Maranda Brewer was married to Henry Sweet on 12 July 1832 at St. Armand East, Lower Canada. The couple had seven children and lived at Sutton where Henry died in 1853. He had previously been married to a woman named Louise and had two children by her. It is believed that Eliza was first married to Griffin Martin on 12 July 1820. If so, she would have been only age 15 or 16. On 27 March 1862, Eliza "Maragret" married John Coapland at Grace Anglican Church in Brome Co., Canada East. Among Eliza and Henry's children is Caroline F. Sweet, born 9 November 1833 at Sutton. She married Joseph E. Brewer in 1854, a son of John George Brewer and Rhoda Hefflon. Joseph died in a Confederate prison camp at Richmond, Virginia in 1863, and Caroline married William Seale in 1866. Among their descendants is Maj. Avis Watkins, who has to be credited as the first researcher to compile a comprehensive record of Jeremiah Brower, and whose work laid the foundation for all research that followed.

Maj. Avis Watkins, U.S.W.A.C. (courtesy Earle Q. Watkins)

 Part VI will consider the family of Jeremiah Brower and Margaret Hedickie/Hidickie/Hegger.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Some Brower and Brewer Marriages and Baptisms You May Have Missed

Among the collection of material relating to families and persons named Brouwer, Brower and Brewer accumulated by William B. Bogardus, are a few pages of extracts taken from various churches in, or in the vicinity of, New York City. When going through them I found a few persons who were already known by other records, and can be found on the Brouwer Genealogy Database, but the majority are new names. Although I have not made an attempt to place them within the currently known Brower and Brewer families, they will be added to the BGD when it is next updated. In the meantime I am placing online the original transcribed/extracted material. They are hand written pages I've identified the original source they were taken from (which of course should be consulted by anyone using these pages, to confirm accuracy). Of the three documents being placed online today, two are from the Mariners Church in New York City, and the third is from the Prebyterian Church at Caldwell, Essex Co., New Jersey.

Brower and Brewer Baptisms by Rev. Henry Chase at the Mariners Church, New York City. This handful of baptisms, all of which took place during the first half of the 19th century, were extracted from FHL film #0017777, item 1, Henry Chase and Mariners Church (New York, New York),  "Register of Baptisms with Birth Dates, 1822-1853," hand written records, New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, New York City.

Brower and Brewer Marriages by Rev. Henry Chase at the Mariners Church New York City. Although the page of extracts does not state the original source, in light of the above item, I believe that they were taken from FHL film #0017785, item 5, Henry Chase and Mariners Church (New York, New York), "Marriage Register of Henry Chase, Minister of the Mariners Church, New York City, 1823-1853," hand written records, New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, New York City.

In the case of the above marriage records, the residence of the bride and groom are given, most having lived in either New York City (meaning Manhattan) or Brooklyn, although there is one couple, Robert White Brewer and Huldah Matilda Worhtley, from Red Bank, Monmouth County, New Jersey. A few of the entries also record the place of birth of the bride and groom.

Marriage Records, Presbyterian Church, Caldwell, New Jersey. There are a handful of Browers in this page of extractions. In addition, those with the surname Casted, Kestead, Kistead, Kester, Kierstead, Kastead were also extracted. The extractions came from FHL film #s 0946632 and 0946633, Plume Beach, "Genealogical Collection," manuscript, New Jersey Historical Society, Newark, New Jersey.

Hopefully someone will find a missing date or location among this small collection. I found a few. The pages were originally found in the William B. Bogardus Collection, Box 7, Uncatalogued Items.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Draper Manuscript Collection

Yesterday, Family Search, on their blog page, announced that the Draper Manuscript Collection was now available online. Here's a link to their blog post. The Draper Manuscript Collection would be of interest to anyone studying the migration and settlement of their ancestors into the greater Ohio River Valley region. Of course we know of numerous Brewer and Brower ancestors who migrated into the region covered by the present day states of Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana, as well as West Virginia, just prior to, during and immediately after the American Revolutionary War. Many of their lineages back to their roots in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania have been difficult to reconstruct. Perhaps there are some clues to be found in this vast collection. Unfortunately the Draper Manuscript Collection is not searchable, however, the very fact that a digital version is now available online, free of charge, is very welcome news.

United States, Draper Manuscript Collection, 1740-1892

More about the Draper Manuscripts from the Wisconsin Historical Society

The Services and Contributions of Lyman Copeland Draper

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Family of Jeremiah Brower and Hannah Thomas (Jeremiah Brower, Part IV)

It has to be stated from the beginning, and clearly, that the ancestry of Jeremiah Brower of Highgate, Vermont is not, and probably never will be, known with certainty. The belief that he is a son of Jurge Brouwer and Elizabeth Holmes is only a best guess, and will have to remain that way unless some yet unknown and undiscovered piece of evidence emerges that tells us precisely who Jeremiah's parents were.

The same can be said about the family, or families of Jeremiah Brower. There is a lot of missing information, incomplete evidence and gaps when it comes to reconstructing the wife, or wives, and children of Jeremiah Brower. Therefore, from the beginning, it must be stated that the proposed reconstruction of the family of Jeremiah Brower is tentative, and that further evidence for many statements is needed and desired.

Jeremiah Brower of Highgate, Vermont was probably married at least twice. That he had a wife named Hannah Thomas is certain, as evidenced from the baptism records of three children in Albany County, New York, and the fact that they appear in Highgate, Vermont. This post will address the children of Jeremiah Brower and his wife Hannah Thomas.

Hannah Thomas is identified as the wife of Jeremiah Brower from the baptism records of three of her children, Polly, Peter and Jacob. Hannah's parentage and ancestry has not been discovered. In his Loyalist claim, Jeremiah gives as a witness to the events that took place in 1777, a Peter Thomas, now of Cataraqui. Jeremiah and Hannah's eldest son was named Peter, and it may be that this Peter Thomas is a brother to Hannah. This Peter Thomas is found on the provisioning lists at Township 2 in Cataraqui (later called Ernestown) on 7 October 1784 with a family of one man, one woman, one boy under 10 and one girl under 10. The 1786 provisioning list at Township 2 adds a second girl under age 10 to the family of Peter Thomas. In 1796 he is living at Ernestown, Lennox & Addington Counties, Upper Canada, a United Empire Loyalist. Peter's wife has not been identified, but William D. Reid, The Loyalists in Ontario (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1973), page 317, gives Peter the following children (THOMAS): William of Ernestown; Mary, married Jacob Hartman; Elizabeth, married Israel Amey; Dorothy, married Archibald Carscallen; Robert, of York, Ontario in 1820 (present day Toronto); Peter, married Ann Bernard, of Ernestown; and Hannah, married David Daly. Checking Upstate New York in the 1760s, by Florence Christoph (Camden, Me: Picton Press, 1992), finds no persons named Peter Thomas. There are other men with the surname Thomas: Abrie Thomas at Schenectady in 1766; Ezekiel Thomas at Kinderhook in 1766; James Thomas at Kinderhook in 1766 and 1767; John Thomas at East Camp in 1766; John Thomas on the Albany Co. militia roll in 1760, age 25, from Kinderhook; William Thomas, on 1760 militia roll, age 23, born in England, living at Livingston. In April 1777, a Peter Thomas was a deserter from the Massachusetts 13th Regt. However, he was from Pownalborough, Massachusetts, which is now Wiscasset in Lincoln County, Maine, and it is very doubtful that this could be our Peter Thomas.
Oral tradition that has circulated among some descendants of Jeremiah Brower has suggested that Hannah was a Native American. That is certainly possible in that Jeremiah settled, apparently in the 1760s, in an area of New York that had few settlers of European ancestry, but was in the heart of Mohawk territory. There is no doubt that many colonial period settlers in this area had Native American wives, however, proving that any one specific wife was in fact a Native American is difficult at best. One argument against the possibility that Hannah was a Native American (likely Mohawk or Oneida) would be the fact that her presumed brother, Peter Thomas, was settled as a United Empire Loyalist at Cataraqui, and was provided for by the British (Canadian) government. This might imply that Peter Thomas was more likely of European ancestry, rather than a Native American (or possibly that he was of mixed ethnicity). The surest way to determine whether or not Hannah Thomas was a Native American, would be for a direct female descendant (or the son of a direct female descendant) to have an mtDNA test. Results from such a test could tell us whether Hannah was of Native American ancestry (at least on her maternal side).

The first known child of Jeremiah Brower and Hannah Thomas was a daughter, Polly. She was baptized at the Schaghticoke Dutch Reformed Church (then in Albany County, New York) in 1776. The baptism record gives her date of birth as 13 August 1776. The parents are recorded as "Jeremia Brower and Hanna Thomas." No sponsors or witnesses are recorded. The Schaghticoke records were published by William Burt Cook in the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, volumes 59 to 64 (1928-1933). Cook, on occasion, included notes in the margins, and for Polly's entry he writes, "see nos. 666 & 869. Had by his wife Petrus, b. May 27, 1779, bap. Brunswick." Polly's record is found at volume 61, page 182, and the two earlier numbers referenced by Cook refer to the baptisms of Willem and Abraham Brower, sons of Jeremia Brower an Margarita Hedicke. (This family will be handled separately in a following post). Unverified sources, meaning genealogies compiled by others in the 20th century, have stated that Polly was married to an Abraham Brower, and that she died in 1862. I have never seen an independent record that supports this claim, nor do I know the original source for it. We would like to find further evidence that supports the statement that Polly Brower married an Abraham Brower, and we would like to find out just who this Abraham Brower was.

Petrus, the son of Jeremias Brower and Hanna, was baptized at the Gilead Evangelical Lutheran Church at Center Brunswick (now in Rensselaer County), New York on 29 December 1781. His birth date is given as 27 May 1779, so he was two and a half years old when baptized. The sponsors were the parents. Peter was married to Hannah Sanborn and lived his entire adult life and died at Highgate, Vermont. His family will be described separately in a future post.

Jacob, the son of Jeremias Brower and Hanna, was baptized on 2 June 1780 at the same Gilead Evangelical Lutheran Church as his brother, Petrus. Jacob's date of birth is recorded as 20 May 1782, and the sponsors were again, "the parents." On 22 May 1802, Jacob Brewer and Elizabeth Stickney were married at Highgate, Vermont by Matthew Sax, J. P. The marriage is recorded in the Town Records of Highgate, but later transcribed index cards of vital records are conflicting in giving Elizabeth's name as either Stickney, or Putney. Assuming she is a Stickney, Elizabeth's parentage is not certain, however, she may be a daughter of Joseph Stickney and Mehitable Sawyer of Dorchester, Grafton Co., New Hampshire. This couple, according to The Stickney Family (Matthew Adams Stickney, 1869), page 185, this couple had a daughter named Betsey (deceased by 1867), and had a son Joseph Stickney who relocated to Highgate, Vermont. This placement needs further verification.
Jacob Brewer is found in the Town Records of Highgate in 1803 and in 1804 when in a deed with James Wilson, he is called, "of Alburgh." Jacob Brewer appears on the Grand List at Highgate in 1805, 1806, and 1807. In April 1809 he witnessed a deed of Hercules Lent to Levi Stone at Highgate. On 7 April 1809, Jacob Brewer of Highgate leased from Herman Allen of Colchester, Vermont, 100 arcres on lot no. 26. On 1 May 1809, at Swanton, Vermont, Jacob Brewer and Robert Kent, both of Highgate, sold to Andrew Bostwick, the whole of lot no. 3 in the first division of lands at Highgate. As Jacob Brower, he appears on the 1810 U. S. census at Highate with a household of 1 male under 10, 1 male 10-15, 1 male 16-25, 2 females under 10, 1 female 10-15, 1 female 16-25. In 1810, Jacob would have been aged 27 or 28, so assuming we are talking about the same Jacob Brewer, his age was understated on the 1810 census. There is no record of Jacob Brewer (or Brower) in Highgate after 1810. If the children enumerated in the 1810 census are Jacob's, he then had five children all born between 1802 and 1810 that have not been accounted for. No probate record is found for Jacob at Highgate or in Franklin County, but such records are rare for this period and place. It is conceivable that the family moved north into the Eastern Townships area, or moved west into New York State. The Erie Canal, on which construction began in 1817 and was finished in 1825, is often said to have "emptied Vermont." Many Vermonters took advantage of the new canal to move to far more productive lands in western New York State, and many eventually moved on to become early settlers in Michigan and Wisconsin. Jacob Brewer, then in his thirties or early forties, could have taken this opportunity himself.
There are "Family Trees" posted online at that give Jacob a second wife, Lavinia Smith, having married on 14 March 1815 at Chatham, Argenteul, Lower Canada. Although a descendant of this couple has confirmed his ancestry from Adam Brouwer of Gowanus through Y-DNA testing, I have found nothing that would indicate that Jacob Brewer (son of Jeremiah Brower and Hannah Thomas) is the same man who married Lavinia Smith (this unplaced Jacob Brewer will be considered in a future post).
Adding some confusion is the will of William Brandigo/Brandige of Alburgh, Grand Isle County, dated 21 September 1808 (Grand Isle Probate Vol. 1, p. 200). In his will he gives to his "daughter Hannah Brewer, wife of Jacob Brewer," one dollar. William Brandigo/Brandige is found at Alburgh in 1790 and 1800, but the 1800 census only records one female aged 26-44, who is presumably his wife Mary who is also named in the will. It is not known where his daughter Hannah and her husband Jacob Brewer lived, as it is not stated in the will. But if they lived at Highgate, and if Jacob is a different man then the Jacob who married Elizabeth Stickney (we do not have a date of death for Elizabeth) then it is not certain which Jacob Brewer the above mentioned deeds and Grand List entries and census records belong to. On 5 July 1800, Jeremiah Brower and Jacob Brower were admitted as associates at Barnston Twp. (Missisquoi, Lower Canada). In July 1800, Jacob Brewer, the son of Jeremiah Brower would have just turned age 18. This Jacob Brewer who was admitted as an associate is more likely an older man. He could be the husband of William Brandigo/Brandige's daughter Hannah, or perhaps he is the Jacob Brewer who later married Lavinia Smith. At this time, not enough is known to state specific conclusions, but it could be that there were two or more men named Jacob Brewer living in the greater Missisquoi Bay area at the beginning of the 1800s.
Further information on, and what became of Jacob Brewer, and the names of his children, is desired.

Nicholas Brewer is believed to be a son of Jeremiah Brower and, presumably, Hannah Thomas. Nicholas was married to Caty Proper on 8 March 1804 at Highgate. The marriage is recorded in the town records. There were a number of families headed by men named Proper found in Highgate in the early town records and on the 1800 and 1810 census. Among them, a James Proper has a female in his household on the 1800 census who would be of Caty's likely age. The name of James Proper is recorded between those of Peter Brower and Jeremah Brower on the 1801 Grand List at Highgate. Nicholas Brewer, himself, first appears on the Grand List at Highgate in 1805, and is there in 1806 and 1807. Based upon the date of his marriage and his first appearance on the Grand List, I would estimate that Nicholas was born about 1784 (but see below). In December 1807, Herman Allen of Colchester sold to Nicholas Brewer of Highate, 50 acres in lot no. 81 in Highgate. The following day, Nicholas sold this same lot to Abraham Aseltine of Highgate. Nicholas signed the deed with his mark. On 17 February 1813, Nicholas Bewer of Highgate conveyed to Jacob Tysel of Highgate, land called lot no. 81, 50 acres, in Highgate (the fact that this is the same lot Nicholas sold in 1807, suggests that he perhaps bought it back from Aseltine at some later date. There was a good deal of this "flipping" in the early Highgate records). Nicholas Brewer is recorded as a Freeman at Huntsburgh, Franklin Co., Vermont in September 1815. He has not been found as a head of household on the 1810 census in Vermont.  In 1808, Nicholas had a daughter, Jane, baptized at the Anglican Church at St. Armond Ouest in the Eastern Townships (now in Brome Co., Quebec, just north of Highgate, Vermont). On 18 December 1815, Nicholas Brewer, Caty Brewer, Huldah Brewer, Jane Brewer and Jeremiah Brewer, now residing in Huntsburgh, were ordered to "depart the town," and were served a warrant to do so by the town constable. What became of the family is not known with certainty, however, a Nicholas Brewer appears on the 1820 census in Wayne County, Michigan, with a household of one male under 10, 1 male over 45, 1 female 10-16, 1 female 16-26, 1 female 26-45. The makeup of this family (one male and one female adult, one male child and two female children) matches that of the Nicholas Brewer family that was asked to leave Huntsburgh. The 1850 U. S. census finds a Jeremiah Brewer, age 37, born in Vermont, at Livonia, Wayne Co., Michigan. Jeremiah, with a wife named Elizabeth, and later with a son William J. Brewer (born about 1869 and likely adopted) are found in Onondaga, Ingham Co., Michigan in 1860 and 1870. In both cases, Jeremiah, a blacksmith, was born in Vermont. Jeremiah Brewer died on 17 February 1870 in Ingham County. The names of his parents are not recorded on his death record. This circumstantial evidence all points to the likelihood that the Nicholas Brewer family found it's way to Wayne County, Michigan by 1820. Searches of the 1830, 1840 and 1850 census have thus far come up empty with regards to Nicholas. In the past couple of years many vital records for Michigan have been made available online at FamilySearch and at These records need to be revisited for further clues to whatever happened to Nicholas Brewer and Caty Proper. It is also critical to emphasize that it is not proved that Nicholas is a son of Jeremiah Brower. No birth or baptism record has been found for Nicholas. He does appear in Highgate at the right time, and despite the fact that Highgate had a small population from 1790 to 1810, it is still possible that Nicholas was not a son of Jeremiah. What is needed, is a definitive account of his age. Stating that he was born "about 1784" is based upon the assumption that Nicholas is a son of Jeremiah and that he was married as a young man in 1804. It is within the realm of the possible that Nicholas was older when he married Caty Proper, and that he simply did not come to Highgate until about 1804, when he marries Caty and first appears on the Grand List. In this case, Nicholas may actually have been a brother, or a nephew of Jeremiah Brower. The placement of Nicholas Brewer as a son of Jeremiah Brower of Highgate is a best placement based upon what is known as of now.

The children of Jeremiah Brower and Hannah Thomas will be continued in Part V.

(Also see: GENO 2.0 results)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Baptism Records of the Second River Dutch Reformed Church

The Second River Dutch Reformed Church, later known as the Belleville Reformed Church, was organized in 1697 and is located in the present day township of Belleville in Essex County, New Jersey. The Second River, for which it was initially named, is a tributary of the Passaic River.

The baptism register for the years 1727 to 1794 was published in the Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey, volumes 3 and 4 (1928/29). In actuality the records run continuously from 1727 through 1741, then are followed by a gap, resuming in 1748 and running to 1759 (some records are out of sequence during the 1750s). From this point on the records are very thin, often out of sequential order, although it appears that every year up to 1794 is represented. No background information, history, or list of ministers was provided with the publication of the baptism register.

Second River Dutch Reformed Church Baptisms, GMNJ vols. 3-4 (1928-29) has a searchable database of baptisms, births, marriages and membership of the Second River Dutch Reformed Church for the years 1794-1848. (A paid subscription is required to access this database).

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Who is Elias Brewer of Burlington Co.? And Who is Rebecca Wickers?

A license to marry was granted in New Jersey on 25 September 1786, to Elias Brewer of Burlington County, and Rebecca Wickers (Wickars)*. Posting the bond of five hundred pounds was Elias Brewer (presumably the groom) and John Shreve, both of Burlington County. The witness was Herbert McElroy.

Frustratingly, no other record of this couple has been identified. There are numerous men named Elias Brewer (Brower and Brouwer) found in colonial New Jersey and New York, all of whom are most likely descendants of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands, Long Island. This particular Elias Brewer, however, has not been placed, or located, among the descendants.

Identifying Rebecca Wickers has proved to be even more difficult as I have been unable to locate even another mention of her surname, whether spelled Wickers or Wickars, in available records of colonial New Jersey. This road block has lead me to consider that perhaps her surname was recorded, or later transcribed, in error. Could Wickers somehow be an error for Vickers? There were Vickers families in the Middletown and Shrewsbury areas of Monmouth County, New Jersey during the 1700s. Researching them has prompted me to place online what little I have been able to gather (see links below). The hope was that Rebecca would appear in a Vickers family, but so far, that has not happened.

What became of Elias and Rebecca after their marriage is also unknown. No hint as to their ages at the time of their marriage is given in the license record. Were they a couple, in their 20s, getting married for the first time? Elias apparently had enough property or was well established enough to have his bond excepted. Was Elias a bit older, maybe in his 30s? Could Elias and Rebecca have been an older couple, perhaps a widower and a widow? Could this marriage have been a second marriage for one or both? With nothing else to grab onto, there are many open questions.
Those who research in post-colonial New Jersey are well aware that the valuable census records (even if they only list heads of households) for the years 1790, 1800, 1810 and 1820, in New Jersey, are lost to the ages. The census records absence really hinders the search for Elias and Rebecca. Neither of the two have been identified in probate records, which for New Jersey, have been abstracted up to 1817. A more tedious search of land records and later probate records will have to be conducted. In the meantime, I would ask anyone reading this post, who knows of additional, verifiable, records or information regarding Elias Brewer and Rebecca Wickers, to please either share them with us through the Comments field below or by directly e-mailing me.

*Nelson, William. Documents Relating to the Colonial History of the State of New Jersey. Volume XXII, Marriage Records, 1665-1800. Archives of the State of New Jersey. First Series. Volume XXII. Paterson, N. J.: Press Printing and Publishing Co., 1900, page 32. This published account simply serves as an index. In 1999, Patricia M. Bergener, published online additional information not included in the 1900 Archives' publication. This information included the names of persons posting bonds and acting as witnesses. Her documents were hosted by USGenWeb Archives, and were accessed through the following page: NJ GenWeb Archives, Statewide files-Marriage Records. The links to the actual documents, however, have since been broken.

Vickers of Monmouth County, New Jersey (The family includes ancestors of U. S. President Richard M. Nixon).

Joseph Vickers of Middlesex County, New Jersey

Thursday, February 7, 2013

First Reformed Church, Raritan (Somerville), New Jersey, Baptisms 1788-1807

Baptisms recorded at the First Reformed Church of Raritan covering the years 1788 to 1807, were published in the Somerset County Historical Quarterly, volume 4 (1915). A complete set in the form of a PDF created from scanned copies of the pages can now be accessed online.

First Reformed Church, Raritan (Somerville) Baptisms, SCHQ v. 4 (1915)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Brewer's Mill on Cataraqui Creek

I recently came upon these images while searching online for some general information on Cataraqui.

Brewer's Lower Mill - view down the Cataraqui Creek and clearing made for the Rideau Canal, 1829

The lock at Lower Brewers nearing completion in 1831

View on the Cataraqui Creek, Brewer's Upper Mills in the background, 1830
All three are water color paintings by Thomas Burrowes. According to his Wikipedia entry, Burrowes was a Captain with the Corp of Royal Sappers and Miners, and worked as a surveyor and overseer during the construction of the Rideau Canal in Ontario, Canada. He was also an artist, and documented the work, as well as scenes of the area, in water color paintings.

The location known as "Cataraqui" was a settlement for displaced Loyalists after the American Revolutionary War. It is today, Kingston, Ontario, in southeastern Ontario, across the St. Lawrence River from Clayton, Jefferson Co., New York.

According to History of the Rideau Lockstations, the mills referred to as "Brewer's Mills," were built by a John Brewer who had obtained water rights in 1819 and had mills built by 1826. They were located on Cataraqui River. The webpage states that John Brewer, due to financial difficulties, quit the mills in 1831, and left Canada. I suspect that this John Brewer is the son of Aaron Robbins Brower (or Brewer) and Elizabeth Cooper (Loyalists originally from New Jersey) born 24 April 1787, probably at Kingston. His wife was Ann Warner, and a descendant has participated in the Brewer DNA Project. The results demonstrate that he is a descendant of Adam Brouwer of Gowanus, Long Island.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

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

It was at the time that Jeremiah Brower filed his claim for loses suffered as a result of his loyalty during the Revolutionary War, that he apparently moved his family to the area of Highgate, Vermont. The present day town of Highgate is in Franklin County, Vermont, in the northwest corner of the state, bordering Quebec, Canada. The Canadian towns directly across the border are St. Armand East (which includes Frelighsburg), St. Armand West (which includes Philipsburg), Stanbridge and Dunham. Researching any family from Highgate involves research in these bordering Canadian towns. In 1786, when Jeremiah Brower, with Joseph Reycard, John Hilliker and Thomas Butterfield, first settled there, the area was simply known as the Missisquoi Bay, and the political boundaries between Vermont, New York State, and Canada, had not yet been officially established. (Here is a simple map of the present day Missisquoi Bay area. Highgate is just north of Swanton. The Rock River is near Highgate Center). The Missisquoi Bay area, historically the home of native Abenaki people had caught the interest of some from the American colonies prior to the Revolution, but the influx of permanent settlers began with Loyalists immediately after the war. The area in Canada just north of Vermont became known as the Eastern Townships.

Jeremiah is found, as "Jeremiah Brewer," on the 1790 U. S. Census at Alburgh, Vermont, with a household of 3 males over the age of 16, 2 males under 16, and 3 females. At the time, Alburgh was in Chittenden County, on the "tongue" of land that protrudes into Lake Champlain from the north.  (Highgate is the town directly east of Alburgh). That Jeremiah was living on the "Vermont side of Alburgh" (nearest to Highgate) can be reckoned from a little known quirk of the 1790 census that was explained in an article by David Kendall Martin, "A 1790 Census Anomaly," published in the New England Historic and Genealogical Register, volume 152 (1998), pp. 69-81. In 1790, when the first U. S. Federal census was conducted, Vermont was not a state. It was still an independent Republic. The borders between the Republic of Vermont, the Eastern Townships of Canada, and New York State, were still in dispute in 1790 at the time the U. S. census was conducted. At this time, New York claimed the land on both sides of Lake Champlain, and part of what was to become Alburgh, Vermont, was considered by New York to be the town of Champlain in Clinton County, New York. In 1790, New York conducted it's recording of the households, including those living at Alburgh. The official boundaries were settled and Vermont became a state on 4 March 1791. Land east of Lake Champlain, previously claimed by New York, was now under the jurisdiction of the State of Vermont, which conducted it's "1790" census in 1791. The result of this is that some heads of households were recorded twice on the 1790 census, once by New York, and again by Vermont. Those heads who are found twice can be deduced to have been living on land west of what New York considered to be its eastern boundary. Since Jeremiah is only found once, in the 1790 census as taken by Vermont (actually taken in 1791), we know that the location at which Jeremiah originally settled, was east of New York's claimed boundary of 1790. In 1791, both towns were small. Only seventeen households were at Highgate, and while Alburgh was a bit larger, there were still only about 88 households.

Alburgh, Vt., 1790 U.S. Census (NARA, image from

Highgate, Vt, 1790 U.S. Census (NARA, image from
In July of 1795, Jeremiah Brower of Missisquoi Bay petitioned the British government in Lower Canada for 1200 acres of land in the Township of "Clapham or Farnham." (Farnham is in present day Brome-Missisquoi Regional County Municipality, PQ).

Jeremiah Brower, petition for land at Clapham or Farnham, July 1795

In October of the same year, Jeremiah Brower, and Isaac Brower, both of Vermont, signed the oath of allegiance (to the British Crown) at Missisquoi Bay. Who this Isaac Brower was has not been discovered, but he is listed immediately before Jeremiah, and they are followed by Peter Stinehour and George Stinehour. George and Peter Stinehour were father and son. Peter married Jeremiah Brower's daughter Sarah. The Stinehours came to Highgate from Dutchess County, New York and George is found on the 1790 (91) census at Highgate. (More on Isaac to follow in Part IV).

Oath at Missisquoi Bay, 1795 (p.1)

Oath at Missisquoi Bay, 1795 (p.2)

On 22 March 1796, Jeremiah Brower sold land in Alburgh to Oliver Barker of St. Armand, Lower Canada. The property is described as Lot no. 1 and contained 110 acres. It was bounded on the north by the province line, west by the Lake or Missisquoi Bay, south by the property of younger Wilson, and east by Lodwick Stiles. The deed was recorded in the Town Records of Highgate on 19 December 1801.

On the 1800 U. S. census, Jeremiah "Bruer" is enumerated at Highgate, Franklin Co., Vermont, with a household of 1 male under 10, 2 males 16-25, 1 male over 45, 1 female under 10, 2 females 10-15, 1 female 16-25, and 1 female over 45. It may be that this count describes a double family in that one of the males aged 16-25, and the female aged 16-25, may be Jeremiah's son Peter and his wife, who do not appear separately on the census. Both Jeremiah Brower, and Peter Brower, are recorded (in succession) on the General List at Highgate of 1800.

On 5 July 1800, both Jeremiah Brower and Jacob Brower, were admitted as associates at Barnston Twp., Lower Canada. Also admitted were George and Peter "Steinhower." (If this is correct, Barnston is within the present day town of Coaticook, Quebec, in the Coaticook RCM, far east of Highgate and north of present day Norton, Essex Co., Vermont. The original source was, but no longer is online. It cited Canada Archives Reel #C-2493).

The 1801 Grand List of Highgate records, in succession, the names of William Proper, Peter Brower, James Proper and Jeremiah Brower.

In 1803, Jeremiah Brower was granted land at Potten, Lower Canada. Potten is located on the Canada-Vermont border, a bit east of Highgate and directly north of the town of North Troy, Orleans Co., Vermont. On 4 September 1806, Jeremiah sold this land to Philip Ruiter of St. Armand, Lower Canada. This 1806 deed is the last record located for Jeremiah Brower. If his stated death in 1822 is correct, then he lived for another 16 years, yet he is not found on the 1810 or 1820 census records in Vermont or New York. It may be that he was living in Lower Canada (perhaps on the Clapham/Farnham land) during this period. His sons Peter and Jacob are both found in 1810 at Highgate, and Peter is there in 1820. None of the counts in any of these census records indicates that another adult male (other then the listed head) is living in the households.

(Additional source citations can be found on the BGD website. Part IV will focus on the family of Jeremiah Brower).

(To Part IV)

Friday, February 1, 2013

Records of the Dutch Congregations of Freehold and Middletown, GMNJ v. 35 (1960)

The records of the Dutch Congregations of Freehold and Middletown continue in the Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey, volume 35 (1960) with baptisms beginning with 13 April 1813 (the last date found in the records as published in GMNJ v. 34). That baptism is of Samuel and Jacob, sons of Benjamin Brower and Jemima Trafford. Samuel was born on 15 April 1810, while Jacob was born on 10 February 1813. The baptism register continues to 22 March 1818 with Teunis Du Bois, son of Peter Vandoorn and Catherine Du Bois.

Following the baptism is a marriage register beginning with the year 1765 and running to 1781.

Records of the Dutch Congregations of Freehold and Middletown, GMNJ v. 35 (1960)