Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Aaron Brewer Mortgage

Item no. 10 from Abstracts of Early Monmouth County Court Papers, is a mortgage agreement between Aaron Brewer of Shrewsbury and Thomas Henderson of Freehold. The agreement, dated 13 December 1790, is found in Monmouth County Mortgage Book B, pages 233-234. The image is not of the original document but rather of a transcription of that document. I have not reviewed the original and so cannot attest to the accuracy of the transcription. Needless to say, any one researching Aaron Brewer is advised to locate the original themselves.

No. 10 Aaron Brewer Mortgage

The Aaron Brewer of this document, also known as Aris Brower, is probably a son of Jan Brouwer and Helena Van Cleef, and is a descendant of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands. Aaron/Aris was probably born around 1724-1726 and was married twice. On 21 June 1724, and on 11 April 1726, Jan Brouwer and Helena Van Cleef had two children baptized. The records, which are found with the Reformed Dutch Congregations of Freehold and Middletown, do not record the child's name or gender. Either one may well be Aaron Brewer (see GMNJ 22:12, and 22:43). Aaron was first married to Neeltje (or Elenor) Cooper and had seven known children born between 1756 and 1767. His only known son was named John, and his eldest known daughter was named Helena, which leads us to place Aaron as a son of Jan Brouwer and Helena Van Cleef. His second wife was Martha Stillwell. His will dated 7 April 1800, was proved 13 June 1800, although the inventory of his estate was taken on 22 April 1800, and he probably died just a few days before that date.

The mortgage describes property owned by Aaron Brewer. Although the transcription isn't specific as to just which party is taking a mortgage from the other, I would assume that since it is Aaron's property that is being described, it is he who is taking a mortgage from Thomas Henderson.

What might be noted here is that Adam Brewer, a grandson of Adam Brouwer of Gowanus, also settled at Shrewsbury, New Jersey, and had descendants living there into the late 1700s as well. Here is an example of two families with a shared surname, living in the same town at the same time during the colonial and recent post colonial period, who are not even remotely related.

Additional details and source citations regarding Aaron Brewer/Aris Brower can be found on the Brouwer Genealogy Database website.


  1. Hi Chris,
    Thanks for all of the information on Aaron Brower/Brewer. The following may add a little more to him. I have that John A. Brower/Brewer was the son of Aaron Brower and Neeltje Cooper. He was married to Deborah Erickson. Here is Deborah's father's will:

    1806 Dec 4, ERRICKSON, John, of Monmouth Co.:

    Wife Lois,beds and bedding and new wagon.

    Son John, my pine lands and Mill(after the decease of my wife); he paying to my daughter, Deborah BREWER L100.

    Daughter Jerusha GIBERSON L100.

    Son Daniel, plantation where we now live, he paying to my 2 daughters , Suzanor VENNOT (VANNOTE) and Jedidah BARKALOW each L100: also 8 acres at the head of the pond and my light wagon and gears.

    Deed to be made to Enoch GIBERSON for lot of land sold to him.

    Residue of real and personal estate to be sold and divided between sons John and Daniel.

    Executors:wife Lois ERRICKSON

    Son _____ ERRICKSON

    Witness: Samuel THROP.
    Edward CLAYTON Jr.

    Thomas ERRICKSON Jr.

    Proved Jan 15 1807.

    1807 Jan term of ORPHANS COURT: CITATION:

    Whereas the testator John ERRICKSON ,failed to designate which son was to be an executor to his will, son John ERRICKSON disclaims all right to serve as executor being convinced his brother Daniel was intended.

    1807 Feb 7 Daniel ERRICKSON being duly sworn as executor.

    File 8714 M

    1. Thanks very much Carole. I believe you have identified the wife of John A. Brewer, son of Aaron Brewer and Neeltje Cooper, as Deborah, the daughter of John Errickson of Monmouth County, New Jersey (who was previously only known as Deborah ____). We'll have to see if we can find more info on the complete family of John Errickson.


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