Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

Friday, February 28, 2014

Hunterdon County, New Jersey, Taxpayers, 1778-1797

The William B. Bogardus Collection document labeled LAN HH-102, are pages of Brewers and Browers found on the Hunterdon County, New Jersey tax lists from 1778 to 1797. The source of the lists is T. L. C. Genealogy of Miami, Florida, 1990.

Hunterdon County, New Jersey Taxpayers 1778-1797

Hunterdon and neighboring Somerset Counties, New Jersey are tough ground for genealogical research of families from the 1700s. Church records are often sporadic, and the personal information recorded in the church registers is often incomplete or unclear. There are probate records, which are very valuable sources regarding families in Hunterdon and Somerset Counties, but not every estate was settled in a probate court. Often, heads of families dispersed there estate, during their lifetimes, through deeds and conveyances to their children. This approach allowed the family to avoid probate, and gave greater control to the property owner, while he was still living. Unfortunately, such deeds and conveyances were never recorded in county or town record books. The recording of deeds was not required, or complied with, until sometime after New Jersey became a state in 1787. These tax lists, although limited in the amount of information they provide, are valuable clues to the identity of persons who lived in Hunterdon and Somerset Counties during the 1700s.

I have no doubt that many of our incomplete Brewer and Brower lineages, of those descended from either Adam Brouwer of Gowanus, L.I., or of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands, L.I., have their missing links in the area of Hunterdon and Somerset Counties. We can probably also add Sussex and Warren Counties here as well. The names of the men named Brewer and Brower, on this list of taxpayers, are no doubt important links for some unplaced descendants. One name found here is, Mathew Brewer (Mathew Brewar, Mathias Brewer), who is known to be a genetic descendant of Adam Brouwer and was the subject of the post of September 11, 2013. Other given names found on the lists are Powal (Paul), Richard, Daniel, David, John, Samuel, Tevis (maybe Tunis?), William, Wright, and Henry. Other familiar surnames on these pages include, Britton and Brocaw (Brokaw).

Alphabetical lists like this one are valuable in helping us quickly locate an ancestor we are interested in. However, the original lists from which they were constructed are much more valuable and should be located and consulted whenever possible. The original lists were not organized alphabetically, but were rather organized more like the way a later period census record would be. That is, when an ancestor is located on one of the original lists, the persons who are listed before and after, and nearby him, are most probably neighbors living close by. During pre-industrial America, both colonial and post-Revolutionary War, people often found their spouses among their nearest neighbors. Inter-related families were usually found living in close proximity to one another. Tax lists, considered in their original form and context, can provide new possibilities for locating related families who in turn may provide the answer to missing links.

In addition to this list of taxpayers, there is a second file, "The Hunterdon Militia, 1792," which was collected from the Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey, vol. 9, nos. 2 & 3. Those named BREWER were extracted and here I see a "Phines" Brewer (perhaps Phineas) which may be the "Tevis" Brewer mentioned above.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Estate of Isaac Brower

File no. 40 from Abstracts of Early Monmouth County Court Papers, Part II, is from Monmouth County Orphans Court, Book L, pages 234-235.

No. 40, Estate of Isaac Brower

Isaac Brower, or Brewer, appears to have been the eldest son of David Brewer and Ann Morris. This would place him as a great-great-great grandson of Adam Brouwer of Gowanus, Long Island. Isaac was probably born about 1783 (no record of baptism has been found) and he apparently lived out his life in Monmouth County. His wife was named Margaret. Her family name has not yet been discovered. Input regarding her identity is welcome. Three sons of Isaac and Margaret have been identified. They are David Brewer, Morris Freeman Brewer, and Robert D. Brower (or Brewer). As of this writing only descendants of Robert D. Brower have been identified. Robert D. Brower was the father of Mary Elizabeth Brower (d. 1914) who married George Colville Smith, who was featured in the post of October 17, 2013.

The document found here is a request by Annaniah Gifford and his wife, Elizabeth, for the division of real estate formerly belonging to David Brewer, which had been devised to Isaac in his (David's) will. Elizabeth, the wife of Annaniah Gifford, was a daughter of David Brewer and Isaac's sister. Annaniah Gifford, and Margaret, the widow of Isaac Brewer, were granted administration on Isaac's estate on 1 July 1816. This document is from the April 1845 term, implying that 29 years after his decease, Isaac's estate, or at least that much that had been received from his father, had not been settled. The document is useful for identifying the family of Isaac's sister, Rebecca Brewer, who had died in 1839. She was married to Thomas Bullock and had six children. Rebecca and Thomas were divorced in 1829.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Aaron Brewer and Elazerus Brewer, United Empire Loyalists

Here is a page from The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada by the United Empire Loyalists, 1784-1884 (Toronto: Rose Publishing, 1885).

MIL UU-34 Brewer UEL

The file is from the William B. Bogardus Collection, Box 5. The two Brewers listed here are Aaron Brewer and his father, Lazerus (Elazerus) Brewer. They are descendants of Adam Brouwer of Gowanus, L. I., and both have been addressed in earlier posts. From the list published in this book, it appears that while Aaron Brewer was an "Associated Loyalist," his father, Elazerus, was not. Aaron went to Canada in 1786, while Elazerus did not go until 1794. Perhaps Elazerus' motive for going to Canada, eleven years after the Revolutionary War ended, was to avoid problems with debts, that seemed to always hound him as evidenced by records found in the Monmouth County Courts.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Brouwer in Grenville Mackenzie's, "Families of the Colonial Manor of Philipsburg"

Found in the manuscript collection of the Westchester County Historical Society, is Grenville Mackenzie's, Families of the Colonial Manor of Philipsburg." The pages covering the family,"Brouwer - Brower - Brewer," are found in the William B. Bogardus Collection, in Box 5, labeled UNP PP-62.

UNP PP-63 Brouwer, Families of the Colonial Manor of Philipsburg

Mackenzie's manuscript (or typescript) has never been published and it is not easy to access. The Family History Library has not filmed the manuscript. In addition, Mackenzie's work has its limitations. He does not cite or provide any sources. More critically, it is known to contain errors. But then again, any 600 page work on genealogy is bound to have some. The Brouwer pages found in the above file are no exception, they do contain errors. Perhaps, some day there will be the opportunity to go through these pages one name at a time, but there isn't that time right now, and so I'll just point out one error, and one entry that is of interest.

On the second page is no. 35, Johannes, baptized 1687, son of William Brouwer and Elizabeth Simpson. That much is correct. Mackenzie, however, states that this Johannes married Mary Lamb. That's the error. The Johannes Brouwer who did marry Mary (Marritje) Lamb, was a son of Matthys Brouwer and Marritje Pieterse (Wyckoff). No record of baptism for this Johannes is found, but evidence that this placement is correct is found in the names of Johannes Brouwer and Mary Lamb's first son, Matthys, and their second daughter, Marritje (named for Matthys Brouwer and Marritje Pieterse). The second son, Alexander, and first daughter, Elizabeth, were named for Mary Lamb's parents, Alexander Lamb and Elizabeth Adriaense Konink.

Of further interest is no. 62, Nicholas Brouwer, found on the third page. Nicholas was baptized in 1707 at Breuckelen (Brooklyn) the son of Nicholas Brouwer and Jannetje Caljer. What became of this Nicholas Brouwer is not clear. William J. Hoffman, in "Brouwer Beginnings," TAG 24 (1948): 165, says "no further record" (a phrase that is often prematurely used in published genealogies, and should not be accepted as a final word). In 1851, a descendant of Nicholas Brouwer and Jannetje Caljer, testified in a civil court case that Nicholas (b. 1707) went to North Carolina. There is no evidence to support this, and why a descendant testifying in 1851 would claim this is not apparent.

In this manuscript, Grenville Mackenzie states that Nicholas (b. 1707), lived at Mile Square in Yonkers (in Westchester Co.) and had sons William (b. 1738) and Dennis. This is the first I have seen of such a claim. Mackenzie states that William married Elizabeth Dutcher. This statement is known from other sources. William Brouwer and Elizabeth Dutcher (Duyster) had a daughter, Lena, baptized at the Sleepy Hollow Dutch Reformed Church (Tarrytown) on 1 May 1765. The sponsor was Abraham Duister. It has been claimed (by an undocumented source and without sufficient proof) that William and Elizabeth also had a daughter named Rachel who was born 11 Oct 1767 in what is now Saratoga Co., New York. This would imply that William moved his family from Westchester Co., to (now) Saratoga Co., around 1766.
Jeremiah Brower, of Highgate, Vermont, lived at Newtown (which is in present day Saratoga Co.) in 1777, and in his Loyalist claim, mentions a Nicholas Brouwer as a witness (or reference). A Jeremiah Brouwer, assumed to be the same as Jeremiah Brower of Highgate, and his wife, Margaret Hedickie (Hegger) had sons named William and Abraham, baptized at Schaghticoke (in present day Rensselaer Co., but near enough to Newtown) in 1766 and 1774.

This opens up some new possibilities that have not been considered before. Is Mackenzie correct about his placement of William Brouwer (b. 1738)? Could the Nicholas Brouwer of Jeremiah Brower's Loyalist claim be the Nicholas Brouwer baptized in 1707? Or did Nicholas (b. 1707) have a son named Nicholas (undetected by Mackenzie) who is the Nicholas of the Loyalist Claim? Are there two Jeremiah Browers? One being Jeremiah Brower of Highgate (married Hannah Thomas) and the second being Jeremiah Brouwer who married Margaret Hideckie and had sons, William and Abraham? And is this second Jeremiah Brouwer also a son (undetected) of Nicholas Brouwer (b. 1707)? Or, is the assumption that only one man named Jeremiah Brower existed, and he did in fact marry twice, but he is a son of Nicholas Brouwer (b. 1707) and not a son of Jurge Brouwer and Elizabeth Holmes as has been previously suggested? And further along, could Jeremiah John Brower and his presumed father John Brower, of Cass Co., Indiana, known to be genetic descendants of Nicholas Brouwer and Jannetje Caljer, somehow have there origins with this unsettled group of somehow related families?

The second son that Grenville Mackenzie assigns to Nicholas Brouwer (b. 1707) is named Dennis, and Mackenzie states that he married Anne Fowler. Dennis is not a name found in the early Brouwer family in Kings County. However, it is well known among the families living near Gowanus in the late 1700s, originating with Denyse Theuniszen (bapt. 1654). Could Nicholas Brouwer (b. 1707) have had a wife that was a descendant (probably a granddaughter) of Denyse Theuniszen? The Fowler Genealogy that ran for some years in the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record (see vol. 69, page 317), by Theresa Hall Bristol, also mentions that Dennis Brewer married Anne Fowler (daughter of Benjamin Fowler and Sarah Vincent). Bristol cites Bolton's History of Westchester County, Vol. 2, p. 734, for this statement.

Although MacKenzie's work does contain errors, it does suggest and open up some new possibilities for some of our unplaced 18th-Century Brouwer families.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Land Given by Adam Brewer to George Brewer

Abstracts of Early Monmouth County Court Papers, Part II, File no. 39, is from Monmouth County Mortgage Book G, pages 64-65.

No. 39, Land Given by Adam Brewer to George Brewer

The mortgage is dated 3 January 1825, and is between Jacob Harring and his wife, Margaret, of Howell, and Robert Evelman, of Shrewsbury. The document refers to land of Adam Brewer given to his son George Brewer.

"All these tracts of land given by will of Adam Brewer to his son George and his heirs namely that which which said Adam Brewer bought of William Burley as by his deed bearing date of 24 June 1745, and bought of Joshua Gifford dated 12 March 1746 and that bought of Peter Arnott dated 5 December 1746, except a small piece of meadow sold to John Brewer, and another small piece sold to George Brewer, sons of Elazerus, and now in the possession of David Harring."

The Adam Brewer mentioned is presumed to be the son of Jacob Brouwer and Annatje Bogardus. Adam Brewer settled at Shrewsbury, Monmouth County, New Jersey and joined the Quakers. He would be a grandson of Adam Bouwer of Gowanus, Long Island. His will was written 22 August 1768. Adam Brewer's son, Georger Brewer, appears to have died prior to 7 January 1788, when his son, George, was placed with Samuel Clark in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

During the colonial period recording deeds with the county, or some other jurisdiction, was not required. Most deeds were never recorded. When a transaction involving real estate was made the seller would give the buyer a deed which he would then hold on to, but not necessarily record with the town or county in which he lived. I have not found any of the land transactions mentioned above in the land records of Monmouth County, and this document may well be the only surviving record of them having taken place.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Miscellaneous Brower Material from William A. D. Eardeley

This file, labeled UNP BB-489, is from Box 5 of the William B. Bogardus Collection. It is eight pages of miscellaneous material found in the file of William A. D. Eardeley at the Queens Borough Public Library in Jamaica, Long Island.

UNP BB-489 Misc Brower Material, W. A. D. Eardeley

There are a number of files labeled as "UNP" which in Bill Bogardus' system stands for Unpublished. I will not be able to post the vast majority of it online. Much of it was material that was collected by Bill's correspondents from the past, and I am not at liberty to make it available without direct permission from them. In the past, back when I first received this collection, I did make the mistake of placing a few of these such files online. Soon, I was asked by the original creators of them, to take them down, and to no include their names. This case is a bit different in that William A. D. Eardeley was a well known genealogist during his time, he is now deceased, and much of this was created in the early years of the 20th-century.

This file contains a handful of unrelated handwritten notes, and some copies of newspaper clippings. Of the Browers mentioned in the pages, some are descendants of Adam Brouwer of Gowanus, while others are descendants of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands, L. I.

I have not made an effort to identify some of the persons mentioned on these pages. Instead I'll open it up to any readers of this post. If anyone can provide more insight into any person mentioned in this document, please pass it on to your fellow readers either through the comments section below, or through an e-mail to me.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

John Brewer and Adam Brewer, Debtors

File no. 38 from Abstracts of Early Monmouth County Court Papers, Part II, is the case of John Brewer/Brower and Adam Brewer, debtors in Monmouth County.

No. 38, John Brewer, Adam Brewer, Debt

The case is recorded in the Monmouth County Court of Common Pleas and dates from April and June 1815. Britton Cook of Monmouth County is owed $1000 from John Brewer and Adam Brewer, and his request is for the sheriff to bring them before the court. John Brewer is referred to as both John Brewer and John Brower in the record. At one point he is called John E. Brewer. Adam is referred to only as Adam Brewer. All of the parties are from Shrewsbury and Howell Townships in Monmouth County.

I would assume that the John E. Brewer is a son of Elazerus Brewer (1730-1820). Elazerus Brewer's son John E. Brewer was born 16 September 1754 and died 6 February 1837. His wife was Constant Hulet/Hewlett, and they had ten children. In the case of John, the middle initial, E., is most likely a reference to his father's name, Elazerus. It is not a middle name in the same sense of how we think of middle names today. The practice of giving children middle names was not common in the 1700s.

Elazerus Brewer also had a son named Adam Brewer, but he died on 30 May 1775, and cannot be the Adam Brewer named in this case. The Adam Brewer mentioned here is more likely John E. Brewer's son, Adam Brewer, who was born 19 May 1785 and was named in his father's will of 9 July 1836. I have not researched this Adam Brewer any further and at this time do not know of a wife or children.

Details and source citations for the above mentioned can be found on the Brouwer Genealogy Database website.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Brewers from Michigan in the Civil War

File MIL MM-144 from Box 5 of the William B. Bogardus Collection contains two pages photocopied from Michigan in the War (Michigan. Adjutant-General's Dept., 1882).

MIL MM-144 Brewer, Michigan in the War

There are four men named Brewer listed on the pages. One of them, Melvin Brewer (1831-1864), a descendant of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands, L. I., achieved the rank of Lt. Colonel, and died from wounds received at Winchester, Virginia, 19 September 1864 (he died on the 25th of September). In 2011, Richard Brewer (Administrator of the Brewer DNA Project) created a website, "The Civil War and Lt. Col. Melvin Brewer." The site should be of interest to descendants of Jan Brouwer and to those who are interested in Civil War history.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Revolutionary War Period Bible, Family and Marriage Records

This file from the William B. Bogardus Collection, labeled MIL RR-103, is pages from Helen M. Lu and Gwen B. Neumann, Revolutionary War Period: Bible, Family and Marriage Records Gleaned from Pension Applications, volumes 3, and 4 (1981).

MIL RR-103 Brewer, Revolutionary War Bible Family Marriage Records

There are photocopies of four pages in this file. The Brewer families covered are from New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Ohio, North Carolina, Virginia, Kentucky, and Maryland.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Revolutionary War Soldiers in Kentucky

"Revolutionary Soldiers in Kentucky," is labeled as MIL KK-72 in the William B. Bogardus Collection. The photocopied pages are from Revolutionary Soldiers in Kentucky, containing A Roll of the Officers of Virginia Line who received Land Bounties; A Roll of the Revolutionary Pensioners in Kentucky; A List of the Illinois Regiment who Served under George Rogers Clark in the Northwest Campaign, Also A Roster of the Virginia Navy, compiled by Anderson Chenault Quisenberry, from various sources (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1982).

MIL KK-72 Revolutionary Soldiers in Kentucky

There are three men named Brewer found in the pages.

In Christian County is Henry Brewer who served in the North Carolina Line, and was age 74 on either March 31, 1820, or July 5, 1819, therefore born in the mid 1740s.

In Henry County is William Brewer, who served as a private with the Pennsylvania Line. On July 30, 1834, he was age 90, therefore born about 1744.

In Mercer County is Samuel Brewer, private, who also served with the Pennsylvania Line. On February 1, 1833, he was age 77, therefore born about 1756. Samuel Brewer was described in the post of November 16, 2013.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Some Browers and Brewers During the American Revolutionary War

There is a large number of men named Brewer and Brower who served on the Patriot side during the American Revolutionary War. File MIL RR-46 from Box 5 of the William B. Bogardus Collection, is two pages from Historical Register of Officers of the Continental Army During the War of the Revolution, April 1775 to December 1783, by Francis B. Heitman (Washington: The Rare Book Shop Pub. Co., 1914)

MIL RR-46 Brewer, Officers of the Continental Army

There are three Browers found on page 123. The first, Andrew Brower (Massachusetts) is a bit of a puzzle, as I do not know of any Browers in Massachusetts at the time of the Revolutionary War. His name may be in error for Brewer, or even for Brown. There is, however, an Andrew Brower, who on 2 May 1763, had a daughter, Rachel, baptized in the Lutheran Church in New York City. Andrew's wife was named, Alge, and I do not know where, or even if, he fits in among the known Brouwer/Brower families of New York City.
The second, Brower is  Garret Brower (New York), and he would likely be the son of Abraham Brouwer (1717-1792) and Aefje Van Gelder. Garret lived in Dutchess County, was married to Mary La Foy, and died prior to 4 February 1796.
The third Brower, is Henry Brower (Pennsylvania), Ensign in the 3rd Pennsylvania, 25 Aug 1779. I have not been able to determine who this Henry Brower is, although Henry/Henrich Brewer/Brauer, who was living in Bedford Co., Pennsylvania in 1773, may be a possibility.

The second page of this file, lists a number of men named Brewer from Massachusetts, as well as a Jonathan Brewer (New Jersey) who was a 2nd Lieutenant with the 3rd New Jersey, 29 November 1776, and a Captain Lieutenant (sic) with the 4th Continental Artillery, 14 March 1777. He was taken prisoner at Germantown, exchanged, and resigned in February 1779. I have not identified this Jonathan Brewer.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Index to Mexican War Pension Applications

The file labeled MIL II-18 from Box 5 of the William B. Bogardus Collection, is pages from Index to Mexican War Pension Applications, transcribed by Barbara Schull Wolfe (Indianapolis: Heritage House, 1985).

MIL II-18 Index to Mexican War Pension Applications

There are a number of Brewers in this index and a handful of Browers. FamilySearch has a page devoted to this type of record, US Mexican War Pension Records. FamilySearch also has a searchable database, United States Mexican War Pension Index, 1887-1926.

Of further interest might be Mexican War Veterans: A Complete Roster of the Regular and Volunteer Troops in the War Between the United States and Mexico, from 1846 to 1848; The Volunteers are Arranged by States, Alphabetically, by W. M. Hugh Robarts (Washington, D.C.: Brentano's, 1887).

The Mexican War, or Mexican-American War, as I have always known it by, took place from 1846 to 1848. It began after the United States annexed the Republic of Texas, which had won its independence from Mexico in 1836. The U. S. victory added territory that would become the states of California, Nevada, Utah, most of Arizona, and parts of New Mexico and Colorado. The Mexican-American War produced many of the Generals and military officers that would lead the campaigns of the U. S. Civil War, fourteen years later. The U. S. Army consisted largely of volunteers during this war. While only about two percent of those who served were killed during fighting, over fourteen percent died from other causes, primarily disease. The overall casualty rate was about 22% (American War and Military Operations Casualties: Lists and Statistics).

Mexican War Veterans of 1846 (C.L. Swartz 1903), at Portal to Texas History