Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

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.


  1. Do you have a marriage record for John G. Croy and Susannah of Vermont and New York c.1800-1830? Any other information? Thank You, CJ Croy

  2. I have not found a marriage record for John G. Croy. And I have not researched the family any further. I would suggest starting with the Highgate Town Records, Vol. 1 which begins in the 1790s. Images are available online at (FHL film #005463970). They are not indexed and you will have to go through them page by page looking for mentions of John G. Croy. Links do not operate in the Comments field, so copy and paste this url to your address bar - Or, go to the FamilySearch Catalog (under Search) and conduct a search using the above film number.


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