Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

Monday, June 23, 2014

A New Location for Abstracts of Early Monmouth Co. Court Papers

I'm sure many of you are aware that the RootsWeb Free Pages have been down for some time now. The source of this problem is with a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack on back on June 16th, which is addressed (to a degree) on the Blog site (June 17th). As of today (June 23rd) there still seems to be problems with's main website. There currently is an advisory banner at the top of the main page, and my own experience (today) is that the site is slow to respond. is a privately held, for profit company (it was formerly a publicly traded, shareholder owned, for profit company). Among the subsidies it owns is RootsWeb which it (or more accurately the original parent company, acquired back in 2000. Over the years has continued to support and provide free access to RootsWeb. The DDoS attack took down all sites maintained by which includes sites and pages hosted by RootsWeb Free Pages. As of today, seven days after the attack, RootsWeb is still down.

Unfortunately many of the documents and pages, not to mention the Brouwer Genealogy Database, are hosted by RootsWeb Free Pages. Many of the links found in the posts on this blog (since 2011) link to pages hosted by RootsWeb. Currently none of them can be accessed. In addition I cannot access the account maintenance page used to upload or change the files that are responsible for what you find online. The "Abstracts of Early monmouth County Court Papers," documents (PDFs) are among those that cannot be accessed. Since I am still working with this set of files (probably just one or two more posts regarding them), I have posted the three to a new location online (a Google Drive account). So for the the time, at least these three can now once again be accessed.

Abstracts of Early Monmouth County Court Papers, Part I

Abstracts of Early Monmouth County Court Papers, Part II

Abstracts of Early Monmouth County Court Papers, Part III

All of the links for the original files which have the scanned images of the original documents, are not effected by the problem at RootsWeb. They were, and still are, available through the Google Drive account. has been placing periodic updates on their Facebook page.

Longer term, I do have some concerns with the possibility that will drop RootsWeb. Recently the company did announce that they were "retiring" some services including, which is also still down. Although there has been no mention of this happening from, the recent events, both the announcement of the retirement of some services and the length of time it has taken to recover from the DDoS attack, does not evoke a sense of confidence. In do course, I may have to relocate many of the pages that were originally hosted by RootsWeb. In the meantime, if and when RootsWeb is back up, I would suggest that you download and save and PDFs that you might have a particular need for. The day may come when they will no longer be available online.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Deeds Involving William Brewer in Monmouth County

Here are two files from Abstracts of Early Monmouth County Court Papers, Part III pertaining to William Brewer of Monmouth County.

No. 55, Mott to Hoffmire Deed

No. 57, William Brewer to Hoffmire Deed

File no. 55 is from Monmouth County Deeds, Book G, page 43. It is a typed transcription of a deed (or indenture) dated 18 February 1721, in which Charles Mott of Hempstead, Queens County, Long Island conveyed to Samuel Hoffmire, Benjamin Hoffmire and William Hoffmire, of Middletown, Monmouth County, New Jersey, a 150 acre parcel of land adjoining Henry Tilton and Samuel Tilton and now in the possession of William Brewer, "made over unto me the said Charles Mott by Samuel Hoffmire deceased father of the said Samuel Hoffmire, Benjamin Hoffmire and William Hoffmire."

File no. 57 is from Monmouth County Deeds, Book H, pages 84-85. It is dated 13 May 1726 and is a photocopy of what appears to be the original indenture (its not a transcription). Here William Brewer of Middletown, Monmouth County, yeoman, and Mary his wife convey to the same Samuel Hoffmire, Benjamin Hoffmire and William Hoffmire, also of Middletown, Monmouth County. There is a very lengthy description of the property, and William Brewer signs the deed with his mark.

The William Brewer in the above deeds would be the Willem Brouwer, baptized 8 May 1687 at Brooklyn, a son of Jacob Brouwer and Annatje Bogardus. He is a grandson of Adam Brouwer of Gowanus, Long Island. His wife Mary, mentioned in the 1726 indenture, is Maritje Van Oort, or Van Noordt (Van Nord, Van Nort), who was a daughter of Goosen Van Oort and Maria Peek who were early settlers at Schenectady. Maritje was probably born in the early 1680s. No record of her baptism survives. She was first married to Pieter Hennion on 9 January 1700 at the Reformed Dutch Church in New York, and had two children with him. William and Maritje were married 19 May 1709 at the New York Reformed Dutch Church and had three children baptized there in 1710, 1712 an 1714. It appears that William then relocated his family to Middletown in Monmouth County, New Jersey soon after 1714. A daughter of Willem Brower was baptized by the Reformed Dutch Congregation of Freehold and Middletown in 1723. The child's name is not stated in the record. Two other sons, Jacob and William, believed to have been born between 1715 and 1720 are also included in the family. Further explanation regarding their placement will be reserved for a future post. For now, here is a Family Group sheet for Willem Brouwer/William Brewer and Maritje/Mary Van Oort.

Family Group Sheet: Willem Jacobsz Brouwer and Maritje Van Oort

Friday, June 6, 2014 to Retire Y-DNA and mtDNA Testing

On June 4th announced that it would be "retiring" some of their products. Among those being retired are their Y-DNA and mtDNA testing services. The tests will no longer be made available after September 5, 2014. will continue to offer an Autosomal DNA test. The announcement can be found on the blog page.

In response to this announcement, Family Tree DNA, the host company for the Brewer DNA Project, is strongly recommending that those who have tested with to transfer their Y-DNA and Autosomal DNA test results to Family Tree DNA. For more information on how to transfer and for Family Tree DNA's fee structure, please see the Y-DNA Transfer page at Family Tree DNA. Presently, a 33 marker transfer can be ordered for only $19. However, if you would like Family Tree DNA to provide you with a haplogroup prediction, or to match you with others who have already tested with Family Tree DNA, you will need to transfer an order an upgrade which is currently offered for $58. Please refer to the Family Tree DNA Y-DNA Transfer page for details.

At the Brewer DNA Project we would like to encourage all males named Brewer (Brower, Brouwer, Bruer, etc.) who have taken a Y-DNA test with to take this opportunity to transfer their Y-DNA test results to Family Tree DNA and to join the Brewer DNA Project. For more on the Brewer DNA Project please see our Goals Page, our News Page, and our Results Page. Should you have any questions about joining the Project please do not hesitate to contact us through the e-mail links available on the Project's Background page.