Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Court Appearences for William Brewer in Monmouth County

The final five files from Abstracts of Early Monmouth County Court Papers, Part III, those being numbers 58 through 62, all deal with a man named William Brewer.

No. 58, William Brewer in the Court of Common Pleas. (My apologies here as two of the pages in the PDF are upside down). This is a case at Freehold in which William Brewer, late of Monmouth County, is ordered to appear on 10 April 1735 to answer to a complaint of Jacob Janeway and John Broughton, merchants, for a debt of seventeen pounds.

No. 59, William Brewer, Trespass, 1735. This file dates from the October 1735 term at Freehold. Here William Brewer, late of Monmouth County, yeoman, is to answer to Jacob Janeway and John Broughton on charges of trespass.

No. 60, William Brewer, Trespass, 1734. (Again, the pages in this file need to be flipped). This case is from the January 1735 term at Freehold, in which William Brewer, late of Monmouth County, is to answer to a charge of trespass filed by Aaron Lowgada (or Longada, the name is not familiar to me), merchant, from 4 November 1734.

No. 61, William Brewer of Readington, New Jersey, Debt. In this case Casparus Vanostrandt (Van Nostrandt) files a complaint against "William Brower otherwise called William Brewer, of Readington in the County of Hunterdon, yeoman, in the custody of Bernardus Verbryck, High Sheriff of Monmouth County." The case centers on a debt of fifty pounds, eight shillings, incurred by William Brower/Brewer on 15 December 1733 at Freehold.

No. 62, Casparus Vanostrandt v. William Brower. This file appears to be dated from the October 1735 term at Freehold. It is a second complaint by Casparus Vanostrandt against William Brower, in custody of Bernardus Vanbryck, High Sheriff of Monmouth County. The case is in regard to a debt of twenty-eight pounds due for smith work performed by Casparus Vanbryck for William Brower.

It is impossible to say with certainty whether the above five cases relate to one man named William Brewer/Brower, or if there are two different men of the same name. I suspect the former, that this is one man. The cases all involve events from the same short period (December 1733 thru October 1735), and in the first three William Brewer is called "late of Monmouth County" (implying that he used to live there but no longer does), and in the last two, William Brower ("sometimes Brewer") is called of Readington, Hunterdon County, but the transactions in which he incurred debts to Casparus Vanostrandt took place in Monmouth County. I'm left with the impression that William Brewer/Brower left Monmouth County and moved to Readington in Hunterdon County, about 1734 or 1735.

It is also not possible, with certainty, to say just who this William Brewer is. However, the only known man named William Brewer found in Monmouth County at this time would be Willem, the son of Jacob Brouwer and Annatje Bogardus, baptized on 8 May 1687 at Brooklyn. As mentioned in previous posts, Willem married Maritje Van Oort, and moved to Middletown, Monmouth County, where he is generally seen as William Brewer. The last record we have for William in Monmouth County is a deed dated 13 May 1726, in which William and his wife Mary, sell to three Hoffmire brothers, land in Monmouth County. On 19 June 1746, William Brower conveyed to Jacob Brower, of Mansquan in Monmouth County, land in Monmouth County. This deed does not state William's current place of residence.

Although this is subject to change in the event that more and clearer evidence appears, I would say that the above cases imply that Willem Brouwer/William Brewer of Middletown, relocated to Readington in Hunterdon County about 1734 or 1735. No date of death, or final settlement of estate, has yet been found for Willem Brouwer/William Brewer.

This post concludes the exercise of making available the original files from which "Abstracts of Early Monmouth County Court Papers" was constructed. Thanks again to William B. Bogardus who originally provided me with the pages, and to any unknown or unmentioned correspondents of his who first provided Bill with the pages.

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