Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

Sunday, December 15, 2013

"The Goods and Chattles" of William Brewer

"The Goods and Chattels" of William Brewer is No. 28 as found in Abstracts of Early Monmouth County Court Papers, Part II. It is a handwritten document and according to notes found in the margins by the person who originally procured the copy, it is from the Monmouth County Archives, Court of Common Pleas, 1768. The file is a PDF and you will have to download the file so it can be rotated (and this will have to be done twice as the second page is upside down. Sorry, but sometimes the scanning software seems to have a mind of its own).

No. 28, The Goods and Chattels of William Brewer

I have not taken the time to transcribe the entire document, but it can be seen on the fourth line down that this William Brewer was the son of Adam Brewer, of the town of Shrewsbury. He is specifically referred to as "William Brewer, otherwise called, William Brower," in the document. It appears that the issue being addressed here is a debt of sixty pounds owed by William Brewer to Samuel Wardell.

William Brewer, the son of Adam Brewer and Deborah Allen, was said to have been born 9 May 1722 at Shrewsbury. This date is from a Bible record that I have not personally seen, but was said to exist in the earlier part of the 20th century. (This record is, to my knowledge, first reported by William Applebie Daniel Eardeley in his manuscript, "Brower Genealogy 1615-1884 and Langdon Genealogy 1625-1876," written in 1923. It has since been repeated elsewhere). William's parents were Quakers and so no baptism records for their children are found, and this claimed Bible record is all we have for birth dates for Adam and Deborah's children for now. William's mother, Deborah Allen, was a descendant of George Allen who came to Weymouth, Massachusetts in 1635, and settled at Sandwich, Massachusetts. His grandson of the same name, George Allen, was born in 1672 at Sandwich, Massachusetts, and came to Shrewsbury, New Jersey as a young man. At Shrewsbury he married Elizabeth Hullett, and they are the parents of Deborah Allen.

William Brewer was married to Sarah Allen. She was a daughter of Jonathan Allen and Mary Corlies, and a descendant of Ralph Allen who died at Sandwich, Massachusetts in about 1659. Ralph Allen's son Jedediah Allen, relocated from Sandwich, Massachusetts to Shrewsbury, New Jersey, along with other Quakers, and he is the grandfather of William Brewer's wife, Sarah Allen. Proof of some family relationship between George Allen and Ralph Allen has not been discovered. The principal source for the Allen families of Shrewsbury is Charles Carroll Gardiner's, "George Allen of Sandwich, Massachusetts," (1941), which was published in his series, "Genealogical Dictionary of New Jersey," originally published in the Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey, and later published in book form in, Genealogies of New Jersey Families, From the Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey (2 Vols.), (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1996). Robert Charles Anderson, Great Migration, Immigrants to New England, 1634-1635, Vol. 1, A-B, (Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, online at, 1999), has a sketch of George Allen, and includes, in the "Comments," segment, a discussion of two men named Ralph Allen. Anyone interested in researching the Allen families of Shrewsbury is advised to begin with these two sources.

William J. Hoffman, in his "Brouwer Beginnings" manuscript notes, lists six children for William Brewer and Sarah Allen. These are sons, Adam Brewer (if he married, the name of his wife is not known), David Brewer (wife Ann Morris, see the previous post), John Brewer (wife Miriam Allen, who is a descendant of Ralph Allen), and a daughter, Mary Brewer (married James Pearce). I listed four, after mentioning that Hoffman had six, but the other two, a son Peter and a daughter Hannah, are less certain. It may be that they were confused for other Brewers of the same given names who also lived at Shrewsbury. I prefer not to include them unless further evidence is located (Hoffman did not list sources in his manuscript notes). A date of death for William Brewer has not been found, but he is mentioned in his father's will dated 22 August 1768.


  1. are the children of William Brower and Sarah Allen proven to be true? Because I had a death date of William Brower to be 1753 in ancestry but I am related to John his son who was said to be born 1761 so I thought there might be an issue with the dates. If this is the case this would link me to all of the correct people I need proving me to be related to this whole family.

  2. William Brewer/Brower, son of Adam Brewer and Deborah Allen was living on 22 August 1768 when his father wrote his will. He could not have died in 1753.
    William was said to have been born 9 May 1722 (unconfirmed Bible record). The date of his death has not been discovered. He married Sarah Allen, 25 March 1751. Four children are known: Adam, David, John and Mary. Please see the Brouwer Genealogy Database for what is known regarding William and his children ( You will have to use the Master Index or Surname Index to find a direct link to William Brewer.


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