Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Petition of Hendrick Brewer

Number 5 on the Abstracts of Early Monmouth County Court Papers, part 1, is the petition of Hendrick Brewer who is confined to the "goal" (jail) at Monmouth County for failing to pay debts.

This Hendrick Brewer is most likely the son of Hendrick Brouwer (1735-1802) and Abigail (Abigeltie) Hunt. Hendrick Brewer was baptized 12 February 1775, recorded in the register of the Dutch Congregations of Freehold and Middletown. He lived at Middletown, New Jersey. His wife was Ledia Hendrickson and the couple had four known children baptized between 1799 and 1814. The fifteen year time frame for only four children, with a gap of six years between the first and second, may be a sign that Hendrick and Ledia had other children that have not yet been accounted for. Hendrick is a descendant of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands, Long Island.

Among those listed as Hendrick's creditors are Benjamin Brewer and Benjamin Brewer, Jr. Assuming that the above identification is correct, then the two would be Hendrick's uncle and his son, who would be Hendrick's first cousin.

William Truax is appointed to oversee Hendrick's estate, and the petition is dated 17 March 1807.

5. The Petition of Hendrick Brewer, with my apologies for the first page appearing upside-down (just download the PDF and use your computer's tools to rotate the image).

See the posts of June 6, 2013 and December 6, 2011, for background on this series of posts. For details and source citations for Hendrick Brewer and the others mentioned above, please consult the Brouwer Genealogy Database website.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A Few Brouwer and Brower Death Notices from Westchester County and New York City, New York

This short list of death notices as transcribed from the Eastern State Journal, and published in Lives Well Spent: Westchester County Obituaries and Death Notices in the Eastern State Journal, May 1845 - April 1875, compiled by Elizabeth Green Fuller (Elmsford, NY: Westchester County Historical Society, 1994), was found in the collection of material gathered by William B. Bogardus. The document is a photocopy of page 86, scanned to a PDF and placed online.

The deaths found here are not included in the current edition of the Brouwer Genealogy Database, and therefore this is new material. They will be added with the next update. Three of the notices have been identified, one has a possible identification, and the remainder have not been identified with known individuals.

From the top, "Jeremiah Brouwer, formerly of Mt. Pleasant," who died 1 July 1849, age 73, at New York City, can be identified as the son of Theophilus Brouwer (1753-1818) and Maria Bogart (1755-1809). He was baptized on 24 June 1776 at the New York Reformed Dutch Church. Jeremiah Brouwer was married to Elizabeth Fisher, and among their children is a son Elijah H. Brower, whose wife, Jannetje (family not yet identified) is also among the notices as "Janette (Mrs. Elijah H. Brower) of New Castle," who died in New York, 31 December 1861 of consumption. Their son, Dr. Jeremiah Brower, died 20 July 1863 in a railroad accident on the Long Island Railroad at Jamaica, Long Island.

At the bottom is the notice of the death of a John Brower, "patriot of the Revolution," who died in New York on 22 August 1845, age 73. The age at death places his birth at about 1762, which would indicate that if he in fact did serve in the Revolutionary War (1775-1783) he would have done so during his teens. I have tentatively identified him as the Johannes Brouwer, baptized 21 August 1763 at New York, son of Jeury Brouwer (1728-1776) and Elizabeth Van de Water, who is mentioned in his father's will of 1776, but otherwise has not been traced. If correct, John (Johannes) would be a brother of the above mentioned Theophilus Brouwer.

The remaining entries have not been placed. They are a Rachel Ann (Mrs. George Washington Brouwer) who died 5 January 1853, age 32; Elizabeth Brower (colored) who died 5 July 1873 at Port Chester; Freddie G., the only child of Harvey and Nettie Brower; and an infant son of George Brower of Mamaroneck.

The Eastern State Journal was published out of White Plains, New York, and ran from May 1845 until 1918.

Brouwer and Brower, page 86 in Lives Well Spent... (1994).

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Record of Brewer Cemetery - Farmingdale, New Jersey

"Record of the Brewer Cemetery, Farmingdale, New Jersey," compiled by Constance Cornwell, is a typescript dated about 1946, and can be found at the New Jersey State Library. A photocopy of this typescript was included in the William B. Bogardus Collection, and a scanned PDF is now up online.

Record of the Brewer Cemetery - Farmingdale, New Jersey

The burials that are found in this cemetery are primarily from the 19th century, but it is apparent that the property was originally the family burial grounds of the family of Adam Brewer (1696-1768/69) of "Squancome, Shrewsbury Township." Adam Brewer, in his will dated 22 August 1768, sets aside one acre to be reserved for a burying ground.

Google Maps places the Brewer cemetery in Howell Township (which is incorrect, the cemetery is physically in the Borough of Farmingdale). It is located on Lakewood-Farmingdale Rd. (Rte 524). Howell Township was created out of Shrewsbury Township in 1801. In 1903 the Borough of Farmingdale was formed out of Howell Township.

A map of Monmouth County, New Jersey from the 1770s (exact date unknown) is online courtesy of Rutgers Special Collections and Archives. This map has few details, but Shark River is labeled along the right side of the map (enlarge the image to see this). On the modern Google map (pan out) it can be seen that the Brewer cemetery is about five miles directly west of Shark River. Although a scale is not included on the 1770s map, it appears probable that the cemetery might be in the general location of what is marked as "Squancom Bridge."

The cemetery transcriptions include numerous surnames other than BREWER. Some are related to the Brewers by marriage. Of the Brewers, the oldest burials are of John E. Brewer (1754-1837), his wife, Constant (Hulet), and George Brewer (1770-1851). John E. Brewer and George Brewer were brothers, sons of Elazerus Brewer and Francis Morris. The few other Brewer burials are members of their families. This group of Brewers are descendants of Adam Brouwer of Gowanus, Long Island.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Complaint of Elias Brewer, Junior

Document no. 4 in Early Monmouth County Court Papers part 1, is a complaint brought forward by Elias Brewer, Junior, against Joseph Vronk (or Vrenck), the constable for the Township of Middletown. You will have to download this PDF and use your computer's tools to rotate it for better viewing.

4. Complaint of Elias Brewer Junior

Elias Brewer's complaint is that Joseph Vronk (or Vrenck, the surname here is not clear) attempted to extort money from members of, what appears to be, the John Brewer, Junior, household. The Brewers mentioned are John Brewer, Junior, Matthias Brewer, Anne Brewer, Elizabeth Brewer, Patience Brewer and Elias Brewer. No relationships are specifically stated. Although not stated, I would assume that they lived in Middletown, as it was the constable of that Township who is involved here. It is not clear as to where these Brewers fit in among the families descended from either of the two Brouwer progenitors, Adam Brouwer of Gowanus, or Jan Brouwer of Flatlands, Long Island. Both of these Brouwer progenitors had descendants who lived in Monmouth County, New Jersey at the time this complaint was recorded. Based upon the fact that the complainant's name is Elias Brewer, we have to first suspect that this group of Brewers are descendants of Jan Brouwer. We also have to suspect that either one or both of two men named Elias Brewer who were featured on earlier posts may somehow be associated with this group of Brewers. Elias Brewer (posted on October 31, 2012) was married to Elizabeth Palmer, and Elias E. Brewer (posted on November 15, 2012) are the two that I am referring to. The court record is dated 19 March 1806, and includes Elias Brewer's signature. Any information or original records concerning any of the above mentioned Brewers would be welcomed.

For an introduction to this series of postings see the posts of June 6, 2013 and December 6, 2011.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Monmouth County Orphans Court; William Williamson and David Brewer

The two files linked below are documents recorded at the July 1820 term of the Monmouth County Orphans Court at Freehold, New Jersey. The documents were received from William B. Bogardus. Please refer to the post of June 6, 2013 for an explanation to their origins.

The papers help to reconstruct two late 18th and early 19th century families of Monmouth County. The first document, William Williamson, division of real estate, names the living children of William Williamson, and also names the children of his deceased daughter, Jane (Williamson) Brewer. William Williamson, a son of David Williamson and Geertje Voorhees (as identified by William J. Hoffman in his manuscript notes regarding the various Brouwer families) was married to Helena Brower, a daughter of Aris (Aaron) Brower and Neeltje (Eleanor) Cooper. She was a descendant of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands, Long Island. The daughter Jane, who was deceased when the issue of the distribution of the real estate of William Williamson came before the Monmouth County Orphans Court, was married to Cornelius Brewer, a son of Benjamin Brower and Maria Lane. He was also a descendant of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands (Benjamin was a younger brother of the above mentioned Aris Brower, both being sons of Jan Brouwer and Helena Van Cleef). The document names William Williamson's other living children, including two married daughters. Baptism records for the children are found in the register of baptisms for the Dutch Congregations of Freehold and Middletown.

The second document is an application of David Brewer, one of the orphaned heirs of William Williamson. The "application" or petition asks the court to direct a division of the property of William Williamson. It states that David Brewer is one of the children of Jane Brewer, deceased, a daughter of WilliamWilliamson, deceased. Also named in the application are David's siblings, Gilbert, William, Johnston and Elizabeth Brewer. As mentioned above, their father was Cornelius Brewer (Brower) and he was alive as late as 1850, when he is found on the U. S. Federal census at Atlantic, Monmouth Co., New Jersey as the head of a household that included his second wife, Lydia, his son David Brewer, and daughter Elizabeth Brewer.

The above two documents are numbers 2 and 3 as abstracted in Part 1 of Early Monmouth County Court Papers. Some details on the above mentioned families can be found at the Brouwer Genealogy Database website. They are not complete and I anticipate updates to the families in the future.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Children of Peter Brewer and Hannah Sanborn: Daughters Samantha, Martha and Rozilla

Among the ten presumed children of Peter Brewer and Hannah Sanborn of Highgate, Vermont are three daughters, Samantha, Martha and Rozilla. Little is known of the three and two did not marry. As a consequence it was decided to cover them in one brief post.

The eldest of the three, Samantha, was born about 1807, certainly in Highgate, Vermont. She is found on the 1850 census as "Samontha Bruer," age 43, born in Vermont, enumerated at Swanton, Franklin Co., Vermont in the household of Richard Moore, aged 57, a farmer. Also in the household is one Clarenda Stevens, age 19, possibly a sister (or relation) of Cynthia Perlina Stevens, the wife of Schuyler Brewer, and sister-in-law of Samantha. Relationships between members of a household and the head were not recorded in 1850, and no occupation is recorded for Samantha. She died 25 June 1861 and is buried besides Peter and Hannah Brewer on the family property in Highgate, thus the presumption that she was a daughter of Peter and Hannah. No evidence has been found for a marriage or children.

Martha Brewer is stated to have been born 7 January 1815 at Highgate, and died 20 October 1875 at St. Armand, Brome County, Quebec, Canada (just north of the boarder from Highgate, Vermont). The vital dates given here are from the research of others and I have not been able to confirm them with independent records. By 1838, Martha was married to John J. Reynolds who was born about 1813 in Canada (probably just north of the boarder with Vermont). The couple is found on the 1850 census at Highgate, Vermont, with Martha aged 35, John Reynolds, age 37, a farmer, and (presumed) children Martha M. Reynolds, age 12; Mary R. Reynolds, age 8; John W. Reynolds, age 6; and Phebe S. Reynolds, age 5. All four are stated as born in Vermont. The household is enumerated next to Jacob Brewer (recorded as Jacob Bruer). In 1861 the family is found at Missisquoi, Canada East (1861 Census of Canada). John is recorded as "P. Reynolds," but the other members of the household, wife Martha, and three children, Mary, John and Phebe, confirm that this is the correct family. The oldest daughter, Martha, had married Otis C. Freeman about 1857 and were also enumerated at Missisquoi. In 1871, Martha, but not her husband, is found on the census of Canada at St. Armand East, Missisquoi, Quebec, Canada, in the household of her son-in-law and daughter, Otis and Martha Freeman. Two sons have been found for Martha M. Reynolds and her husband, Otis Freeman. Hubert Freeman was born about 1862 and Warren Freeman about 1871. In 1901, Martha (Reynolds) Freeman, as a widow, is found at St. Armand. The family has not been traced any further, and marriages for the remaining three children of Martha (Brewer) Reynolds, Mary, John and Phebe Reynolds, have not yet been found. Sources for this additional data, which supersedes the current edition of the Brouwer Genealogy Database, can be found on at Martha Brewer.

The youngest daughter of Peter and Hannah Brewer was Rozilla V. Brewer, born about 1818, most certainly at Highgate. She is known only from an account of her burial. Rozilla died 21 August 1841, age 23 years, and his buried at Highgate. An early transcription of her gravestone records, "Rozilla V. Brewer, daughter of Peter & Hannah Brewer." There is no evidence that she married or left children.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Deed: Benjamin Brewer and wife to Daniel Williams

In December 2011, I abstracted a number of loose documents that I had received from William B. Bogardus. The pages were photo copies of documents pertaining to persons named Brouwer, Brower or Brewer that were found in various Monmouth County, New Jersey court files and record books. They had been photocopied and collected by a correspondent of William B. Bogardus and given to me by Bill in 2008. In December 2011 I placed online links to PDFs of the abstracts I made. Access to the PDFs is via the posts of December 6, 2011; December 9, 2011; and December 12, 2011. I have now begun the process of scanning each of the photocopied documents into PDFs, and I will make them available online, one at a time, via individual posts on this blog site. The PDFs themselves will be stored in Google Drive. This is a laborious and time consuming process, and as there are a lot of pages, it will be completed slowly, at my pace, as I have the opportunity to work on it. Please do not ask me in advance for any of the documents mentioned in the abstracts of December 2011. They will all be out in due time. Please be patient. All of the blog posts pertaining to this project will be given the label, "Monmouth Co Court Papers." Please check the blog site periodically for the specific documents that may interest you.

The first set to worked on will be those found in "Part 1." The documents here pertain to descendants of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands, Long Island and the abstracts were placed online on December 6, 2011.

Document 1 is a deed from Benjamin Brewer and Mary, his wife, of Shrewsbury, to Daniel Williams, dated 8 March 1799. It was originally found in Monmouth Co., Deeds, Book L, page 437. This Benjamin Brewer (or Brower) would most certainly be the Benjamin, son of Jan Brouwer and Hillitje (Helena) Van Kleef (Van Cleef) baptized on 19 Feb 1738 (Reformed Dutch Congregations of Freehold and Middletown). His wife was Maria Lane and they were married on 16 Jan 1767 at Shrewsbury, New Jersey. We have five known children for Benjamin and Maria (Mary) but have not yet located a date of death for either of them. Benjamin would be a great-grandson of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands, Long Island.

1. Deed Benjamin Brewer - Daniel Williams

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Incorrect Published Accounts: Genealogical and Family History of Southern New York

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries the publication of large volumes covering genealogies and family histories for numerous families became popular. Today, all of use who have some experience in researching pre-1850 families understand that many of these volumes contain errors and incorrect accounts, and we use them with caution. As none of these volumes provide evidence or source citations for their claims, each genealogy or family history presented as to be re-researched by present day genealogists and family historians to validate the accuracy, or to find the errors, in these earlier works. The Brouwer, Brower and Brewer families with pre-1850 ancestries in America are among those found with incorrect accounts that were published in the late 19th and early 20th century works. Unfortunately, many of these lines were then repeated by later family researchers and some are still repeated today. It is important to point some of them out.

One such incorrect account can be found in Genealogical and Family History of Southern New York and the Hudson River Valley, Volume II, compiled under the editorial supervision of Cuyler Reynolds (New York: Lewis Historical Publishig Co., 1914). A digital copy can now be found at Google Books. On pages 951 to 953, this work covers "BROWER," and the error here involves the ancestry of John Brouwer, or Brower, who married Catherine Duryea on 23 March 1769 at the New York Reformed Dutch Church. (A PDF of the pages in question, courtesy of the William B. Bogardus Collection, has been placed online).

In the large volume compiled under the supervision of Cuyler Reynolds (he most certainly did not do the research) the BROWER segment begins with Adam Brouwer of Gowanus, Long Island and correctly identifies his son Jacob Brouwer (married Annatje Bogardus), grandson Jacob Brouwer (married Pieternelle De La Montagne) and great-grandson Johannes Brouwer (married Susanna Drujlet). The work correctly states that this last couple had a son Johannes born (but actually baptized) on 2 December 1747 (New York Reformed Dutch Church). The segment then incorrectly states that this Johannes Brouwer married Catherine Duryea. Johannes Brouwer, the son of the last correct couple mentioned, Johannes Brouwer and Susanna Drujlet (Droilhet), did not marry Catherine Duryea. Instead, he was married to Perkins Lambert (who's ancestry has not been identified) on 12 March 1769 at the New York Reformed Dutch Church. This couple (Johannes Brouwer and Perkins Lambert) then had five known children baptized at the New York Reformed Dutch Church between 1769 and 1776.

John (Johannes) Brouwer/Brower, the husband of Catherine Duryea, was the son of Jacob Brouwer (bapt. 1 May 1709, NY RDC) and Jannetje Hartje (bapt. 16 January 1711, Tappan RDC). He is a descendant of Adam Brouwer through Adam's oldest son, Pieter Brouwer, and not through Adam's son Jacob Brouwer as claimed in Genealogical and Family History of Southern New York and the Hudson River Valley. 

A published correction of the early incorrect ancestry of John (Johannes) Brouwer, can be found in William J. Hoffman, "Brouwer Notes No. II," New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, volume 72 (1941), pages 332-337. There is no surviving record of John Brouwer's baptism, and here Hoffman uses baptismal sponsorships and the will of John I. Brower to correct the parentage of John (Johannes) Brouwer who was misidentified in the 1914 account compiled under the supervision of Cuyler Reynolds. Hoffman makes it clear at he end of his article that he is certain of his identification of the parents of John Brouwer, the husband of Catherine Duryea. I have found no reason to dispute Hoffman's conclusion.

John Brouwer (also recorded as John Brower, called John I. Brower in his will, and sometimes referred to as Johannes Brouwer) was an upholsterer and lived in New York City. He died on 12 April 1823, "aged 73 years," according to the New York Evening Post. His will dated 14 May 1822, was proved 14 April 1823.

Family Group Sheets for Adam Brouwer, Jacob Brouwer and Pieter Brouwer have previously been placed online. We'll now add to them the Family Group sheets for Jacob Brouwer & Petronella de La Montagne; Jacob Brouwer & Jannetje Hartje; Johannes Brouwer & Susanna Droilhet; Johannes Brouwer & Perkins Lambert; and John Brouwer & Catherine Duryea.

Additional details and source citations can be found with the individual entries for each of the above at the Brouwer Genealogy Database.