Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

Monday, November 25, 2013

Unplaced Brewer of Western Pennsylvania and Westward

This post continues the post of November 16, 2013, "Some Unplaced Brewers of Western Pennsylvania and Kentucky." Examined here are four BREWERs, in two groups. They are John Brewer and Samuel Brewer of Perry, Fayette County, Pennsylvania, sons of a Richard Brewer; and David Brewer, son of a Dirck Brewer, and Elias Brewer, of Menallen and Redstone, Fayette County, Pennsylvania. David and Elias are suspected to be brothers, and both moved westward from Fayette County in the very early 1800s. As of now, there is no evidence that supports the possibility that all four (John, Samuel, David and Elias) are brothers. Currently they must be treated as separate families. Information found on the current edition of the Brouwer Genealogy Database regarding the above mentioned is partially incorrect and will be changed with the next update. The links provided for each of the four will take you to a page at where additional descendants have been researched.

- John Brewer was born 25 March 1761 (location not certain) and died 6 June 1848 at Perry Twp., Fayette County, Pennsylvania. He served during the Revolutionary War, in the place of his father, Richard Brewer, while living at Winchester, Frederick Co., Virginia. He had a younger brother named Samuel Brewer. His wife was Mary Martin and they were married on 22 Nov 1790 at Winchester, Virginia. John and Mary had six children, four daughters named Martha, Elizabeth, Mary and Sarah, and two sons, Richard and John. We know all of this from the Revolutionary War pension file of John Brewer, which also includes the petition of his widow, Mary, who died in July 1860. The file for John Brewer's Revolutionary War pension application can be found at Heritage Quest online. However, the file that is available there is incomplete. has the complete file, which includes an additional 60 pages over and above what is available at Heritage Quest. The additional 60 pages are referred to as "unselected pages," and it is within these pages that we discover John's brother Samuel, and the names of his children, including his daughter's husbands.
     The current addition of the Brouwer Genealogy Database places John Brewer as a possible son of Dirck Brouwer (bapt. 15 Aug 1732) and as a brother of Elias Brewer (b. 1755) and David Brewer (b. 1762). I believe it is prudent to change this. John Brewer, and his brother Samuel Brewer, are sons of a man named Richard Brewer. However, this Richard Brewer may not be the same as Dirck Brouwer, who is possibly the father of Elias Brewer and David Brewer. Evidence that John Brewer is a brother to Elias and David, has not been found. John and Samuel Brewer remained in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, while David and Elias left for West Virginia and Ohio, and finally Indiana. The given names David and Elias are not found in John's family or among his immediate descendants.
     I have begun tracing descendants of John Brewer through the use of Thus far it can be stated that John's son, John Brewer (wife, Elizabeth) had descendants, and there may be a few direct male descendants living today. His son Richard is less certain. Although named in the pension file (John's original application was from 1831, while his wife's requests date from 1849), no other record has been located for him. He does not appear as a head of household in any census in Fayette County from 1810 through 1850. It is possible, however, that Richard and his own family was enumerated in the household headed by his father. For example, the 1840 census (Perry Twp.), in which John Brewer is head of household, includes a male aged 60-70, who would be John (with his age understated by ten years) but  also includes a male age 40-50, a female 30-40 (in addition to a female 60-70) and numerous children below age 20 who can not be children of John. The 1850 census includes a Mary Brewer, age 42 (so born about 1808) with five children (John, Richard, Mary, Sarah, and Aaron) born between 1828 and 1845. This Brewer family (which is not headed by a male) is enumerated in the household of Isaac and Sarah (Brewer) Gary. Sarah (Brewer) Gary, was Richard's sister. I suspect that this family belongs to Richard, but have been unable to locate them with certainty after 1850.
     In John Brewer's Revolutionary War pension file, is a letter from a Mrs. M. N. Amsburgh of Newark, Licking Co., Ohio, dated October 30, 1876. She is inquiring into land that she believes was granted to John Brewer, and states that her mother (name not given) was John Brewer's daughter. She calls her grandfather, "John Andrew Brewer," and suggests that when looking for him, his name might be "in German."
     The fact that John Brewer's father's name was Richard, could imply that he is descended from Jan Brouwer of Flatlands, and that was assumed with the earlier placement of John as a brother of Elias and David Brewer. That may still be the case. But, he may be only be a cousin to Elias and David, and not necessarily a brother. And still, John (and his father, Richard) may not be descended from Jan Brouwer at all. Hopefully a descendant can be found who will be interested in taking a Y-DNA test. That may well be the last hope available for correctly discovering the ancestry of John Brewer.

- Samuel Brewer, is a brother of the above, John Brewer. Samuel died in October 1849 at Perry, Fayette Co., Pennsylvania, age stated as 76, therefore he was born about 1773, and would be about 12 years younger then his brother. Samuel can be found on the U. S. census in Fayette County in 1810, 1820 and 1830 at Washington Twp., and in 1840 at Perry Twp. His death is recorded on the U. S. Census Mortality Schedule for 1850. Samuel was deposed in May 1849 for Mary Brewer's request for a widow's pension. Although he does not state that he was John's brother, is is called such by others in other documents in the file. Samuel signed his deposition with a mark (X). Samuel Brewer's wife was named Nancy Murphy and nine children have been found including five sons named, Jacob, Henry, Richard, John, and Samuel. A tenth child, who would be an eldest son named Aaron (b. 15 May 1797), is also claimed to be son of Samuel Brewer. Thus far, descendants have been found for the sons, Jacob, Henry and Richard, and it is hopeful that a living direct male descendant can be found and will be interested in Y-DNA testing. An unconfirmed source has stated that Samuel was "possibly" born in Lancaster Co., Pennsylvania.

- David Brewer, was born in 1762 in New Jersey, and died by 4 August 1853 in Jennings Co., Indiana. The year and location of his birth is taken from the 1850 U. S. census taken at Geneva, Jennings Co., Indiana. Prior to living at Geneva, David had been at Tyler County, Virginia (now in West Virginia), and previous to that at Menallen and Redstone, Fayette Co., Pennsylvania. A direct descendant of David Brewer has taken a Y-DNA test with the Brewer DNA Project, and the results demonstrate that the descendant, and therefore David Brewer, are descended from Jan Brouwer of Flatlands, Long Island (see #163954). David Brewer's ancestry back to Jan Brouwer, however, has not been proved by traditional genealogical research. He has been placed tentatively as a son of Dirck Brouwer, baptized in 1732, a son of Elias Brouwer and Helena Willemse. This tentative placement is based upon the fact that David's grandson, Jacob Jennings Warner Brewer (1815-1905) left a memoir in which he states that his great-grandfather (who would be David's father) was named Derrick Brewer, and he was of "Holland descent." Coupling this with the knowledge that Elias Brouwer and Helena Willemse, in addition to naming a son Dirck, also named a son, David, leaves us with the opinion that the best placement for David Brewer is as a grandson of Elias Brouwer and Helena Willemse.
     David Brewer's wife was Euphema Warner, and they were members of the Big Redstone Baptist Church in Franklin, Fayette Co., Pennsylvania, in 1791. David Brewer is found on the 1800 census at Menallen, Fayette Co., Pennsylvania, and in 1810 he is at Elizabeth, Ohio Co., Virginia. David Brewer and his wife are believed to have had eight children, and named his sons, Benjamin, Samuel, Jacob and Elias. Research on David Brewer's descendants was first conducted a number of years ago by Nita Pugh and Marie Fawcett. They had given me their research and I have tried to confirm and possibly expand upon it. Their work was conducted prior to the days when many records from varied locations like western Pennsylvania, Virginia/West Virginia, Ohio and Indiana were easy to locate in one place, and online, as they are today. Some descendants can be found on the Brouwer Genealogy Database website, and I've begun using the resources at to update and locate additional descendants. The current edition of the BGD, includes John Brewer and Samuel Brewer (above) as possible brothers of David Brewer. Although John and Samuel Brewer's father was named Richard (the English equivalent of Dirck), I believe it is prudent to separate John and Samuel from David, until more evidence (including Y-DNA evidence) can be found to confirm a relationship between the three. The next updated BGD will separate John and Samuel, from David.

- Elias Brewer, died in October 1842 at Washington Co., Indiana, age 87, which places his birth at about 1755. Elias is found at Menallen, Fayette Co., Pennsylvania in 1790 with a household of one male over the age of 16 and one female. He had married Mary Cadwalder on 29 September 1790 at the Westland Monthly Meeting in Fayette County. Elias and Mary were Quakers. In 1800 Elias was at Redstone in Fayette Co., and in 1805 was granted land in Steubenville, Ohio. Elias Brewer's movements have been traced through Quaker Monthly Meeting records and U. S. census records. He was in Harrison Co., and Tuscawaras Co., Ohio, before reaching Vernon Twp. in Washington Co., Indiana. As with David Brewer (above) initial research on Elias Brewer was conducted by Nita Pugh and Marie Fawcett. Additional and confirmatory research continues at Elias Brewer is tentatively placed as a brother of David Brewer (above). The basis, is simply based on the fact that they both appear on the 1800 census at Menallen, Pennsylvania (the census is, unfortunately, recorded alphabetically, rather than in order of household visited). Unlike David Brewer, we have not yet heard from a direct male descendant who would like to take a Y-DNA test. Such a person could help to determine whether or not this tentative placement is correct. Elias, is however, named ELIAS, and that fact in itself gives a high probability that he is a descendant of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands, L. I. Elias had eight children, but only two sons, named Richard and John. The naming of a son, Richard, gives us the possibility that Elias' own father was named Richard, which is the English equivalent of Dirck. Elias' son John Brewer (or John Cadwalder Brewer) was also a Quaker and was apparently married three times. John had at least three sons, but one died at age three. Perhaps descendants can be found from one of the other two, whose names were Morris W. Brewer and Jason W. Brewer. Elias' son Richard Brewer died in 1877 in Washington Co., Indiana. He apparently had three sons, Edmund Brewer, Elisha Brewer and Walter Brewer, and perhaps a living male descendant can be found among their descendants.

Any direct male descendants of any of the BREWERs described above, who is interested in confirming their BREWER ancestry through a Y-DNA test, can contact us through the Brewer DNA Project.

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