Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Mathew Brower of Greene Co., Pennsylvania (Part III)

Part I of Mathew Brower of Greene Co., Pennsylvania provided some background on Mathew Brower, and made the point that through Y-DNA testing of a direct descendant it is clear that Mathew Brower is, somehow, a descendant of Adam Brouwer of Gowanus, Long Island. Part II covered the probable family of Mathew's wife, who still has not yet been satisfactorily identified. In Part III we can take a crack at reconstructing the family of Mathew Brower using the "diary" of his grandson, James A. Brewer, as a start. A rough, and incomplete, genealogical summery of Mathew Brower, covering what has been found of his children and grandchildren is now online.

As was mentioned in the earlier posts, James A. Brewer was born July 1, 1837, wrote his account of his family in 1898 at age 61, and died in 1918, at age 81. He was a son of Mathew Brower's son, Conrad Brewer, born in 1798 and died in 1854, when James was only age 17. James' mother, Rachel Anderson, lived until 1894. It is apparent from James A. Brewer's account that he did not know all of his father's siblings, all that well. He did know some of the later descendants, his cousins, and there are enough leads in his account to piece together what I think is a very probable picture of Mathew Brower's family.

James A. Brewer recalls seven children of his grandfather, "Mattavis Brower," as James calls him, however, he does not mention another, who is placed in Mathew's family another source. It has to be made clear that the reconstruction of Mathew Brower's family is based upon the recollection of descendants, none of who knew Mathew Brower first hand. Some supporting evidence has been found, but more would be welcomed.

James A. Brewer starts with his recollection of Mathew Brower's children by stating, "I understand that Charity was the oldest. She married a man by the name of Lake. They also lived near Siding Hill." From this it is likely that Charity would be the Charity Lake found on the 1850 U. S. Census at Belfast, Fulton Co., Pennsylvania. She is age 73, was born in New Jersey, and is the head of the household. This Charity Lake would very likely be the daughter, Charity, that James A. Brewer was referring to. Further research finds that her husband was James Hubbard Lake, born 30 September 1775, died 30 September 1824 and buried in the Tonoloway Primitive Baptist Cemetery (please see the rough descendant report for Mathew Brower and the Brouwer Genealogy Database for all source citations). Some online family trees (at have placed this John Hubbard Lake as a son of Jacobus Lake and his second wife, Arreantie Hubbard, of Monmouth Co., New Jersey. I am not so sure about this claim as a Bible record of Jacobus Lake's family, published in New Netherland Connections, vol. 4 (1999), page 19, makes no mention of a son named John Hubbard Lake. The record does mention Jacobus Lake's son, John Striker Lake, born in 1747, a son of his first wife, Styntje Strycker. At any rate, the Lake family in general, has it's origins in New Jersey and in Kings County, Long Island. The descendants of the Lake family progenitors who first settled at Gravesend in Kings County, followed a trail that many descendants of the first Kings County families did, that is, westward into New Jersey, and then into Pennsylvania. Charity died on 20 August 1857 in Fulton Co., Pennsylvania, and is buried in the same cemetery as her husband. Her birth date is stated as 8 September 1778, and assuming this is correct, we now know that Mathew Brower and his wife were married by 1778, which would be in agreement with their approximated birth years suggested in Parts I and II. As many families from this time still named children in honor of grandparents, it is possible that the name Charity could be a clue to the name of Mathew Brower's mother. The name, Charity, while English, is often found as a variation on the Dutch name, Grietje, which is a diminutive of Margrieta (Margaret). The association of the name Charity with Grietje has to do with pronunciation. The Dutch name Grietje, when pronounced in Dutch during the 1700s, would sound similar to the English name, Charity. Perhaps Mathew Brower's mother's name was Grietje, or Margrieta. Eleven children have been found for Charity Brewer and John Hubbard Lake, but their descendants have not been traced further.

"I believe that Elizabeth was next oldest. She married Abraham Hendershott." Researching this lead yielded nothing, but the additional statement by James A. Brewer, "Isaac B. Hendershott of Otley, Iowa, is a grandson, and Dr. John Thomas Hendershott of Monroe is also their grandson," provided the breakthrough. Elizabeth was not married to an Abraham Hendershott, but instead married a Peter Hendershot. Isaac Brice Hendershot was born in 1834, and his brother, John Thomas Hendershot, was born in 1842. They were contemporaries of James A. Brewer, and he knew them personally. They were sons of Thomas Hendershot, born 2 February 1803, who administered the estate of his father, Peter Hendershot, on 24 October 1827. The Hendershot family traces its origins in America to Michael Hennechutt (Henneshit, Hinnschutt, Hinneshid, etc.) an immigrant from the Palatinate who came to New York in 1710 and then settled on the Millstone River in Hunterdon Co., New Jersey, as did other German Palatinates, including, Conrad Emery.
Elizabeth's husband, Peter Hendershot's place among the descendants of Michael Hendershot has not been determined. There is a Genealogy of the Hendershot Family in America, by Alfred E. Hendershot, self-published in 1961. It is, however, incomplete and contains errors, one of which combines the Peter Hendershot of Greene Co., Pennsylvania (husband of Elizabeth Brewer) with a Peter Hendershot who lived and died (1837) in Sussex Co., New Jersey. This second Peter Hendershot had a wife named Sophia Elizabeth, who is incorrectly identified as "Sophia Elizabeth Brewer." Sophia Elizabeth's family name is not known. No evidence has been found to verify that she is a Brewer.
In 1830, three years after her husband's death, Elizabeth Hendershot is enumerated as a head of household on the U. S. Census at Center, Greene Co., Pennsylvania. As the female, aged 40-50, she would be born between 1780 and 1790, and probably closer to 1780 as her son Thomas was born in 1803. She has not been found post 1830, but her son Isaac Henderhot, in his household at Center, Greene Co., Pennsylvania in 1840, includes a female aged 50-60, which could be his mother, Elizabeth. Five sons have been identified for Elizabeth, but there may also be daughters as the 1830 census includes three younger females in Elizabeth's household. A date or place of death has not been found for Elizabeth.

"I believe John was the next child, he was married to a girl by the name of Batholomew. He was a blacksmith by trade. He moved in an early day, sometime about 1830, to Val Pariso, Porter County, Indiana. He had several children four of whom were called John, Jacob, Isaac and Elizabeth. I knew John and Elizabeth." James A. Brewer goes on to tell us that Elizabeth was married to a man named Ault and lived at Winterset, Iowa. The older John Brewer relocated there as well and James A. Brewer saw them in the spring of 1858. Census records finds Mathew Brower's son John B. Brewer at Richhill, Greene Co., Pennsylvania in 1820. In 1840 he is in Porter Co., Indiana (no township specified on the census). In 1850 he is in Dallas Co., Iowa, age 57, born in New Jersey, blacksmith, in the household of John Brewer, age 24, born in Pennsylvania, who I would assume to be his son. On the 1856 State census of Iowa he is at Union, Madison Co., Iowa, age given as 61, born in New Jersey, blacksmith. Finally in 1860, John B. Brewer is in Winterset, Madison Co., Iowa, age 66, birthplace recorded as New York, farmer. James A. Brewer states that John died "in the early sixties" (1860s), and he is not found on the 1870 census. The daughter, Elizabeth, has been found in Winterset, in 1860. She was married to Washington Ault and in 1880 they were at Victoria, Rice Co., Kansas. She had at least eight children, and died 26 Apr 1890 at Westmoreland, Pottawotomie Co., Kansas, and is buried in the Westmoreland Cemetery. The son John was in Madison Co., Iowa in 1860 and 1870, and in 1880 is at Doniphan, Hall Co., Nebraska, which is in step with James A. Brewer's account. John's wife's name was Esther and they had at least six children. James A. Brewer also mentions sons Isaac and Jacob for the elder John Brewer and states that they went to Winterset as well. I have not yet attempted to trace them. The given name of John Brewer's wife has not been found. James A. Brewer gives her surname as Bartholomew. It appears that John was married twice and his second wife was named Rebecca, who first appears with him on the 1856 census. She had previously been married to a man named Allison and probably had daughters Delinda, Tilda and Phebe by her first husband, who are enumerated in the 1856 census with the Brewer surname. A bit more research is needed to sort out the details of John Brewer's extended family.

James A. Brewer continues with, "William, I believe was the next (fourth) child of my grandfather. I understand that he lived at one time near Koshocton, Ohio." I have not been able to identify a William Brewer near Coshocton, Ohio, who belongs in this family with certainty, but here is where it gets interesting. James A. Brewer did not include in his account, a son named Jacob Brewer. Jacob Brewer is stated to have been a son of Mathew Brower in the published account found in History of Vigo and Parke Counties. Jacob Brewer, who was born 22 September 1790, died in Coshocton Co., Ohio in 1866. His son, also named Jacob, was living in Coshocton with a family in 1860. I'm left wondering if James A. Brewer simply mis-remembered Jacob Brewer as William Brewer. Jacob Brewer was married to Cassandra McDonald in 1812 and had ten children, many of who have been traced by descendants including Kevin Hildebrant who had contacted me with info on them a few years ago. Answering the question as to whether or not Jacob Brewer (1790-1866) is in fact a son of Mathew Brower could be answered if a direct male descendant can be found to participate in the Brewer DNA Project.

James A. Brewer's account of Mathew Brower's son, Mathew, is also brief. "Mathew was probably next. I think he was a farmer. I saw him once when he returned to Pennsylvania to see my father. I was at that time a small boy. He lived near Worster, Ohio." It was probably in the 1840s when James A. Brewer saw his uncle Mathew. A Mathew Brewer is found on the 1820, 1830, 1840 and 1850 census records at Congress, Wayne Co., Ohio. Congress is a village in Wayne Co., Ohio, north of the township of Wooster in the same county. The 1850 census records Mathew as age 64 (b. ca. 1786), born in Pennsylvania. He has a wife, Rebecca, and (probably) three children, Amos, Abigail and Socrates. I don't doubt that there were others and additional research is needed on his descendants.

"Conrad Brewer was the next (sixth) child. He was my father..." James A. Brewer relates plenty of details regarding his father, mother and siblings, and it all can be corroborated with other research and records. Conrad Brewer, the first of that given name among the descendants of Adam Brouwer, lived his entire adult life in Greene Co., Pennsylvania. He was born in 1798 and died in 1854 and is buried in the South Ten Mile Baptist Church Cemetery. His wife was Rachel Anderson and they had four children born between 1830 and 1837. All married and the three sons, John, Mathew and James A., left descendants.

The last child of Mathew Brower was daughter, Mary, who by later census records was born about 1801 in Maryland. Sideling Hill, also called Side Long Hill, referred to by James A. Brewer as "Siding Hill," is a narrow mountain ridge in the Appalachian Mountains, located in Washington Co., Maryland, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. Washington Co., Maryland is adjacent to present day Fulton Co., Pennsylvania which in Mathew's time was Bedford County. Bethel Twp. is in the southern portion of Fulton Co., and borders Maryland. Taking into account Mary's belief that she was born in Maryland, would lead us to conclude that the Mathew Brower family lived right on the Pennsylvania-Maryland line in what is now Belfast, Fulton Co., Pennsylvania.
James A. Brewer writes about Mary, "She never married but had one child who was called David H. Brewer. Willam Sam Harvey was his father." From cursory research it appears that the Harvey family was prominent in the early affairs in the area of Greene County and were leaders in the Baptist church. Mary is found in census records right through to, and including, 1880 at Richhill, Greene Co., Pennsylvania. Her son David H. Brewer was born in 1827, was married twice, first to Martha Burns and later to Mary Jane Cathers. He lived in Greene Co. at Richhill and was a wheelwright, cabinet maker and farmer. He had nine children, eight by his first wife and one by his second. Although his descendants carry the Brewer surname, any males who might take a Y-DNA test will find that they do not carry the Brouwer Y gene. If James A. Brewer's claim that William Sam Harvey was David's father is correct, then descendants of David H. Brewer would find close matches with males with the surname, Harvey.

This concludes what has been found and is known regarding Mathew Brower of Greene County, Pennsylvania. The participation of a direct male descendant in the Brewer DNA Project has been absolutely valuable, and is the only evidence that we have that tells us that Mathew was a descendant of Adam Brouwer of Gowanus. The descendant's participation is greatly appreciated. It could be helpful if other descendants of Adam Brouwer's son Nicholas Brouwer, who have already joined the Brewer DNA Project, would upgrade their tests to the 67 marker level. This might help us narrow down possible lines of ancestry for Mathew (and other unplaced Brouwer ancestors) back to Nicholas and Adam. And, of course, new participants are always welcomed. Accumulating more data on known descendants, will help us to sort out the numerous lines of descent from Adam Brouwer with a higher degree of certainty, and hopefully will help us close the missing links.

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