Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

Friday, March 15, 2013

Update: Willem Adamsz Brouwer

Willem Brouwer, the son of Adam Brouwer and Magdalena Verdon, was first covered in a post of September 2, 2012. Then, I raised the possibility that Willem may have had a third (or fourth) wife, she being Neeltje Thomas, baptized at New York in 1691, a daughter of Urbanus Thomaszen and Maria Schouten. This was based upon the baptism record of her son Willem, which took place on 26 August 1713 at the New York Reformed Dutch Church. The record reads: Willem, child of Willem BROUWER and Neeltje Thomas. It was then theorized that the younger Willem Brouwer married Lea Maas. The search for the parents of Lea Maas led to the conclusion that Neeltje Thomas did not marry Willem Admasz Brouwer. Rather she married a man named William Brown, whose name was miss-transcribed or miss-recorded as BROUWER in a couple of records. The majority of other records regarding this couple, including two important wills, record his name variously as BROWN, BROUN, BROUWN and even BRUYN.

Mike Morrissey gets the credit for bringing to my attention the will of Arnout Hendrickse of New York, dated 25 April 1743 and proved 11 April 1749 (New York Co. Wills Lib. 16, p. 414, abstracted in Abstracts of Wills on File in the Surrogate's Office, City of New York (Vol. IV, 1744-1753), page 212. In his will, Arnout Hendrickse names his daughter Leah, wife of William BROWN, and appoints her as his executor. After reviewing marriage and baptism records of the family of Arnout Hendrickse it became clear that Lea, who went by the name of Lea MAAS, was the daughter of Arnout/Arent Hendricks and Geertje Claes and was baptized on 12 August 1716 at New York. She is a younger member of the rather complicated family which incorporates the names URBANUS, THOMAS/THOMASEN (from which the surname MAAS is derived), SCHOUTEN and HENDRICKS. They are intermarried with the BENNET and VERDON families.

Thomas Thomasse (brother of Neeltje Thomas) in his will dated 11 January 1746 and proved 7 June 1750, found in New York Co. Wills Lib. 17, p. 174 and abstracted in Abstracts of Wills on File in the Surrogate's Office, City of New York (Vol. IV, 1744-1753), page 288, mentions his sister Neeltje Thomas, formerly wife of William Brown and late wife of Cornelius Conners, and names her children by both husbands. Her son, William Brown is among them, and he, along with his mother, and his cousin Barbery (daughter of Jan Schoute Thomasse, deceased) are made executors.

The search for records regarding the above families continues, but what has been found thus far is ample evidence to conclude that the idea that Willem Adamsz Brouwer married Neeltje Thomas as his third (or fourth) wife, was incorrect. The online summery of Willem's family has been revised. The Brouwer Genealogy Database will reflect these changes and provide more sources when it is next updated.

Thanks to Mike Morrissey for directing me to the pertinent records and to Liz Johnson for insight into the name, Maas, and other help.

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