Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Mention of Aaron Brewer in a Monmouth County Deed, 1801

Item no. 16 of Abstracts of Early Monmouth County Papers, Part I, is a deed of land in Monmouth County bounded (in part) by land of the late Aaron Brewer, deceased.

The deed is for a parcel of land being conveyed by James Johnson and his wife, Ann. This couple would be the same James Johnson and Antje Van Dyk, who was first married to Pieter Brouwer/Peter Brewer, and who are the same three focused on in the post of September 17, 2013. In this deed, James Johnson and his wife, Ann, are conveying the property to Joseph Morris, Ephraim Buck, Nathaniel Dickinson (Wilkinson?), Job Throckmorton, Garret Morford (Monford?), Jonathan Heldrith, Hendrick Cock, William West, and James Reynolds. This group of individuals were trustees for the Methodist Episcopal Church, and the small plot of land was for use as a cemetery. The property is described as lying between the land of James Johnson and the land of Aaron Brewer, deceased.

16. Deed Mentioning Aaron Brewer

The file provided consists of an abstract of the deed, followed by photocopies of the complete deed made off of a microfilm reader. Unfortunately, the microfilm is a negative and is difficult to read. In addition, there is an error in the abstract. The person abstracting this deed added, in parenthesis, "(daughter of Aaron Brewer, dec'd)" implying that Ann, the wife of James Johnson, was a daughter of Aaron Brewer. She was not. That statement ("daughter of Aaron Brewer") does not appear in the deed. I, in turn, duplicated the error when I created the Abstracts of Early Monmouth County Papers, Part I, last year. I will reiterate here, that this is an error.

The Aaron Brewer in this deed, also known as Arie/Aris Brouwer/Brower, was a son of Jan Brouwer and Helena Van Cleef. He was probably born about 1724 to 1726 and is likely one of the two children that Jan and Helena had baptized on 21 June 1724 and 11 April 1726, who's names were not recorded in the register of baptisms at Freehold and Middletown. Aaron Brewer died just prior to 22 April 1800 when inventory on his estate was taken by James Johnston and Thomas Cooper. Aaron Brewer was married twice, his first wife, Neeltje/Ellen Cooper was the mother of all of his children. Among his children, was a daughter named Ann (Anna/Annie, Antje) who was born in January 1760 and married Samuel Johnson (not James Johnson). To complicate things just a bit more, Aaron Brewer's daughter Helena (or Lena), baptized in February 1756, married as her second husband, a James Johnston (Johnson). Helena's husband, James Johnston (Johnson) and the James Johnson who with wife, Ann (Van Dyk) are two different men. I don't doubt that the two James Johnsons are related, but just how has not yet been researched (possibly the former is a nephew of the later).

The deed, dated 14 February 1801, recorded 23 February 1801, is found in Monmouth County Deeds, Book M, page 257. (FHL film #592651).

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