Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Changes to the Family of David Brewer and Jane Woodward

David Brewer is a great-grandson of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands, Long Island. He was a son of Elias Brouwer/Brewer and Phebe Lucas, and was baptized on 23 January 1774 at the Dutch Reformed Church at Schaghticoke, New York. Scott Kraus, one of the authors of the 2007 article titled, "DNA Analysis: Adam Brouwer Berckhoven, Elias Brouwer of New Jersey, and John Brewer of Ohio," published in the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, vol. 138, no. 4, has researched and updated the family of David Brewer.

David Brewer was married to Jane Woodward, probably in 1794, and they lived at Kortright and Davenport in Delaware County, New York, and at Oneonta, Otsego County, New York. Using land records from Delaware County, New York, now available as digital images online at Family Search, Scott has been able to confirm one, previously supposed, son of David Brewer, and has been able to identify three others.

Previously, a Peter Brewer was suspected as a son of David Brewer and Jane Woodward. That suspicion has now been confirmed with a deed dated 9 January 1837, in which Peter Brewer of Davenport, New York, sold to Jonathan Brewer, also of Davenport, a portion of the home lot that once belonged to David Brewer (since deceased). In the deed, Peter Brewer, describes himself as a son of David Brewer. (Delaware Co., New York Deeds, v. 19, pp. 625-626).

Three other deeds located by Scott, identifies three additional sons for David Brewer. They were named Ensign, Jarius and Phineas. On 16 August 1837, Ensign Brewer, of Davenport, sold to Emeline Blanchard, of Davenport, his rights, title, interest, etc., in the real and personal estate of his late father, David Brewer, of Davenport. (Delaware Co., NY Deeds, v. 41, p. 58). Emeline was a daughter of David Brewer, who had married Erastus Blanchard. On 20 September 1838, Jarius Brewer, of Davenport, sold to Erastus Blanchard, of Davenport, his rights, title, interests, etc., in property of his late father, David Brewer. (Delaware Co., NY Deeds, v. 41, 59-60). And, on 5 March 1842, Phineas Brewer, of Franklin, Delaware Co., NY, quit claimed to Erastus Blanchard, of Oneonta, his interest in the property of his late father, David Brewer. (Delaware Co., NY Deeds, v. 82, p. 536).

Using other records, including U. S. Army Enlistments and an Index to Guardianships, found on, Scott had been able to provide approximate birth dates for Ensign and Phineas. Ensign was born in about 1815, and Phineas about 25 February 1821. Jarius Brewer was born about 1818 as he was aged 32 on the 1850 U. S. census at Oneonta, New York.

In addition, a son named Albert, had previously been included in the family of David Brewer. This was based upon undocumented family trees found online. No record has been discovered of this son Albert, and therefore he has been removed from the family. Also, a look at the 1810 and 1820 U. S. census records for David Brewer (at Kortright in 1810 and Davenport in 1820), indicate that there were other members of the household who have not yet been identified. Whether these unidentified individuals are children of David, or whether they are other persons, cannot be determined from the limited information that the census records of 1810 and 1820 provide.

The next update of the Brouwer Genealogy Database (which will not take place for a few months) will reflect the changes mentioned above. In the meantime, both the descendant chart, and the journal report for Jan Brouwer have been updated. (Jarius Brewer is found in the current edition of the BGD, although he is not linked to any parents, as none were known prior to Scott Kraus' research).

The discoveries mentioned above are illustrative of the value in searching land records for evidence of family relationships in locations where no direct birth or baptism records are available. In this case, the deed books for Delaware County, New York are now available online at Family Search. There is no search engine for the images. Specific pages have to be located by browsing through each deed book. The process can be a bit tedious, but having the images available online, at any computer, is certainly better than ordering a film from Salt Lake City and waiting for it to arrive for viewing at a local Family History Library center. I'm looking forward for even more records and images to be made available online by the FHL.

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