Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Elias Brewer and Mary Cadwallder Marriage Record

The marriage of Elias Brewer and Mary Cadwallder is recorded in the Friends Westland Monthly Meeting minutes, 1785-1811. The record, which is no. 14 in the image below, was recorded under the date of 28 March 1790. The Westland Meeting was located in Washington County, Pennsylvania.

Elias Brewer - Mary Cadwallder Marriage (via
 This record was only recently found using, and it adds some new information.

Elias Brewer's ancestry is not known. He is believed to be, and most likely is, a descendant of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands, Long Island. We have not yet had a direct male descendant of Elias Brewer come forward to undergo Y-DNA testing, which would confirm or disprove this belief, but we do have the Y-DNA test results of a descendant of David Brewer (kit #163954), who is believed to be Elias Brewer's brother (see this chart which assumes that David is a son of Derck Brouwer, which also has not been proved). David Brewer and Elias Brewer are both found on the 1800 U. S. census at Redstone, Fayette County, Pennsylvania, which was the location of a Friends (Quaker) Meeting at that time. The given name, Elias, is also a strong indication that this Elias Brewer is a descendant of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands, as that given name was very common in the early generations of Jan Brouwer's descendants through his son Derck Brouwer who's wife was Hannah Daws, a daughter of Elias Daws.

The new information is found in the very first sentence which states that Elias Brewer was a widower. We had previously known that Elias Brewer was married to Mary Cadwallder, and eight children have been identified for them. That Elias had an earlier marriage adds some new possibilities in our attempt to place other unplaced descendants of Jan Brouwer. Some who have had descendants participate in the Brewer DNA Project with Y-DNA testing can be found here.

Late in 1805 Elias, still living in Fayette Co., Pennsylvania, was granted land by the Steubenville, Ohio land office (section 6, township 11, range 7). This was Short Creek in Harrison Co., Ohio and Elias was discharged from the Friends Meeting there in August of 1807. He is believed to have moved to Belmont Co., Ohio in 1813, and on the 1820 U. S. census he is found at Perry, Tuscarawas Co., Ohio. Eventually, Elias moved to Washington Co., Indiana, where he died in October 1842 in his 87th year (he is buried in the Old Smedley Cemetery). Assuming that his age at death is correct, we have that Elias was born about 1755. This would place him at about age 35 when he married, as a widower, Mary Cadwalder in 1790. His marriage at this rather late age does leave plenty of room for Elias to have had a long marriage to a previous wife. This, in turn, leads to the possibility that Elias had children by that first wife who have not yet been identified.

We would like to find a direct male descendant of Elias Brewer who is willing to join the Brewer DNA Project and take a Y-DNA test so that the belief that Elias is a descendant of Jan Brouwer can be confirmed (or rejected). Assuming that Elias is in fact a descendant, and assuming that he is in fact a brother of David Brewer (b. 1762, m. Euphema Warner), it is probable that Elias is a great-great grandson of Jan Brouwer, and is a grandson of Elias Brouwer and Helena Willemse. The fact that Elias was a widower in 1790, at the age of about 35, opens up the possibility that he may have been previously married for as many as fifteen years, and may have had as many as seven or eight children previous to 1790 who have not been identified. Considering the number of unplaced persons named Brewer who are found in the early 1800s in locations like Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois and in the midwest in general, perhaps some of them can eventually be traced to Elias Brewer and his first wife.

The Brewer DNA Project would love to hear from any descendants of Elias Brewer.

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