Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

Friday, January 30, 2015

A Bit More on Eleanor Brewer and Michael Hawkins

Following up on the post of January 22, 2015, here is a bit more information regarding Eleanor Brewer (a.k.a. Lanny Brouwer/Brower) and her husband Michael Hawkins of York County, New Brunswick. As with the earlier post, what follows was received from Jaime Hawkins, who is interested in getting in contact with anyone who can shed more light on the correct identity of Eleanor Brewer's parents. Much of what follows was in reply to my question as to whether Eleanor Brewer and Michael Hawkins were married prior to arriving in New Brunswick, or whether they got married there, after their arrival. Did they come to New Brunswick together? Or separately?

First the family of Michael Hawkins and Eleanor Brewer:

I am fairly certain that John Michael was the first born and therefore the oldest child of Michael Hawkins and Leany (Eleanor) Brewer.
1.    John Michael Hawkins b.1786 m. Nancy Todd
2.    Sarah Hawkins b.1796 m. James Yerxa
3.    Margaret Hawkins b. ABT 1788-1789 m. Humphrey Pickard
4.    Stephen Hawkins(no known birth date)
5.    Mary Hawkins(no known birth date) m. Benjamin Blyther
6.    Martin Hawkins(no known birth date)
7.    Hannah Hawkins(no known birth date)
Possibly 8th child named George Hawkins b. 1808. I don’t believe George to be a child of Michael Hawkins as it is confirmed that John Michael Hawkins had a child named George W. Hawkins b. 1808. It’s entirely possible that father and son both had a child in 1808 and named them George, but unlikely in my view.

The only evidence I could find about John Michael Hawkins is below:
Christian Visitor, June 6, 1877, Saint John, New Brunswick:
d. At his residence, Mouth of the Keswick (York Co.) 22nd ult., John M. HAWKINS, age 91 years 9 days. This aged man died on the farm on which he was born. He was never known to have been out of this Province. He professed religion about 50 years since and was baptized by David HARRIS in connection with Benjamin YERXA, Esq. (now residing in Boston). He retained his faculties to the close of life. His funeral took place on 24th when a large number of relations and citizens assembled in the Baptist Meeting House, where a sermon was preached by Rev. B.N. Hughes. The services were participated in by Rev. J.E. Ruel and his remains interred in the old grave yard near the Parish Church.

The last official record I have found of Leany (Eleanor) Brewer is of land sale between Michael Hawkins and John Michael Hawkins 16 Jun, 1825 in Douglas, New Brunswick. Both Michael Hawkins and Leany (Eleanor) Brewer left their mark on the deed.

Michael Hawkins's first land petition was on May 1, 1788 in which he states he came to New Brunswick in the Spring Fleet of 1783. On that same day, May 1, 1788 he purchased his first plot of land from Lewis Fraser; Lot #2 on the Keswick River in Douglas, York County, New Brunswick. John Michael Hawkins we know was born in 12 May, 1786. Which means Leany Brewer was in her 4th, 5th, 6th month of pregnancy during the winter months so I am assuming wherever John Michael was born is where Laney already had been settled.

John Michael Hawkins died in Douglas, New Brunswick. So we can deduce he was born in Douglas and that Leaney and Michael lived in Douglas before the winter of 1785. So where were Michael and Leaney between June 1783 when they got off the ship until November 1785 when pregnant Leaney was getting settled for winter? Perhaps Leaney wasn't even on Michael's ship? The distance between Saint John & Fredericton is 111 km. Most probably they were situated in Saint John between June 1783 and May 1784. The journey north would have to occur in the summer and could have been between May 1784-Nov 1784, or May 1785-Nov 1785. I realize I am rambling at this stage but I am thinking about where to search for other possible recorded instances that pinpoint the location of where Michael and Leaney were before John Michael was born in 1786. We know they were married so where did they get married? 
Lastly, one interesting deduction is that Michael & Leany lived on Lewis Fraser's land for at least 2.5 yrs before Michael officially bought it in 1788 if the information in John Michael's obituary is true!

Once again, anyone with additional info or evidence for the parents of Eleanor Brewer, can contact Jaime Hawkins directly.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Who is Eleanor Brewer, Wife of Michael Hawkins

The following was received from Jaime Hawkins. I hope someone can help.

I was wondering if you could help me out? Perhaps you could post the below info on your Brouwer Genealogy Blog?

Looking for any information on Eleanor (Elinor)(Laney) Brewer born ABT 1763 in New Jersey, died ABT 1837 Douglas, New Brunswick, Canada. Eleanor was married to (John) Michael Hawkins, Loyalist from New Jersey born ABT 1750, died ABT 1845 Douglas, New Brunswick, Canada. 

Possible parents of Eleanor Brewer are:

1.    Adolph Brewer (Brouwer)
                         Born: ABT 1749-1750 Pookeepsie, Dutchess, New York, USA
·         Death: ABT 1799-1800 New Brunswick, Canada
2.    Isaac Adolphus Brewer
·         Born: ABT 1749-1750 Pookeepsie, Dutchess, New York, USA
·         Death: ABT 1799-1800 New Brunswick, Canada
3.    Adolf Brouwer
·         Born: ABT 1725 Hackensack, Bergen County, New Jersey, USA
·         Death: ABT 1779 Dutchess, New York, USA
1.    Martjen (Mary) Allen
·         Born: 01 Jan, 1741 Hackensack, Bergen County, New Jersey, USA
       Death: ABT 1832 Douglas, York County, New Brunswick, Canada
2.    Mary (Maria) Allen
·         Born: 04 Mar, 1755 Bergen County, New Jersey, USA
·         Death: ABT 1832 Douglas, York County, New Brunswick, Canada
3.    Elizabeth Lassing
·         Born: ABT 1733
·         Death: ABT 1785 
The confusion in my research stems from an old family paper found amongst James Hawkins, who was the grandson of Michael Hawkins. The paper reads as follows:

“Your grandfather died about 1845, about 95 years old; grandmothers name Eleanor Brower died about 1837, age 74 years.”

Thus if the information is correct we can place the birth of Michael Hawkins at about 1750. In Michael Hawkins’s Land Petition in New Brunswick he claims to be a Loyalist and a native of New Jersey. His wife Eleanor (Laney) Brewer (Brower) was born about 1763. Therefore, I would assume Eleanor’s parents should have been born before 1745. However, who her parents truly are is a mystery. There are lots of family trees out there that have different parents for Eleanor and with no critical thinking to the age because the majority of parents I am seeing on family trees for Eleanor has her father at 13 yrs of age. 

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated as this will help me solve the puzzle of who Michael Hawkins truly. Michael's parents are a mystery as well.


Jaime Hawkins

My input: We presently have Eleanor on the Brouwer Genealogy Database, as Lanny Brewer (wife of Michael Hawkins), and tentatively placed as a daughter of Adolf Brouwer (1725-1780) and Elizabeth Lassing (b. 1733). But this placement is based solely on the fact that Lanny appears in Keswick, New Brunswick, Canada, at the same time that known children of Adolf Brouwer and Elizabeth Lassing do. Of course we all know that simply appearing in the same place as another with the same last name does not prove a relationship. We're looking for proof as to who Eleanor/Lanny's correct parents are, whether they be Adolf and Elizabeth, or some other couple, perhaps one of those that Jaime has suggested.

Any help is appreciated, and please do so by contacting Jaime directly.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Nathaniel Brewer of Chatham County, North Carolina, Part II

Part II of Nathaniel Brewer, of Chatham County, North Carolina, will focus on Nathaniel2 Brewer (George1), his probable son of the same name, sometimes referred to as Nathaniel Brewer, Jr., and possibly also, referred to as Nathaniel Brewer, Sr., and his probable son of the same name, possibly at times referred to as Nathaniel Brewer, Jr. As noted in the post of January 20, 2015, Nathaniel2 Brewer (George1) is covered by Marvin T. Broyhill in his 1992 "working draft," at page 101 as is assigned the number G4. Broyhill covers Nathaniel3 Brewer (Nathaniel2, George1) on page 102 and assigns him the number G42. Nathaniel4 Brewer (Nathaniel3, Nathaniel2, George1) is not mentioned by Broyhill and he appears to be unaware of his existence. It should be emphasized that the relationship suggested here between the three Nathaniel Brewers is tentative, and has not been proved. No record of probate or estate settlement has been found for the older two Nathaniel Brewers, and so far no other document which explicitly states a relationship has been found.

Evidence of three men named Nathaniel Brewer living simultaneously in Chatham County, North Carolina is found on the 1800 U.S. census returns in the Hillsborough District. The oldest of the three is found on page 156 and has a household of 3 males 10-15, 1 male over 45, 1 female 10-15, 1 female over 45.

Nathaniel Brewer 1800 Chatham Co., fourth from bottom (NARA via
The second Nathaniel Brewer is found in Chatham County on page 181, with a household of 2 free white males under 10, 1 f.w. male 26-44, 3 f.w. females under 10, 1 f.w. female 26-44.

Nathaniel Brewer 1800 Chatham Co., eighth from top (NARA via
The third, and youngest Nathaniel Brewer is found in Chatham County on page 173, with a household of 1 free white male age 16-25, 1 f.w. female under age 10, 1 f.w. female 16-25.

Nathaniel Brewer 1800 Chatham Co., second from bottom (NARA via
 From the above, it appears to me that there are three men, of different generations, named Nathaniel Brewer, in Chatham County, North Carolina in the year 1800.

Starting with the third, the youngest, Nathaniel Brewer and working backwards, he is found on the 1850 census in Chatham County, age 73, born in North Carolina, a farmer. In the household is a woman named Jenny St. John. Family relationship descriptions (wife, son, etc.) were not recorded on the census prior to 1880, so we do not know with certainty the relationship between the two. Nathaniel's age places him as born about 1777. In 1860, he is again found in Chatham County, age recorded as 85, born in North Carolina, with Jenne Brewer, age 84, "houseke(eper)". No doubt the same Jenny as 1850, but this time with the surname, Brewer. Nathaniel's age in 1860, places his birth at about 1775. The 1800 census above, records the youngest Nathaniel as age 16-25, which is in line with the 1850 and 1860 records. This Nathaniel Brewer can be found on the census in Chatham County in the years 1810, 1820, 1830 and 1840. The ages in each year are consistent with the Nathaniel of 1800. It is apparent that he had a family, but names of children have not yet been searched for, and a probate record or other settlement of his estate has not been searched for.

Assuming that the youngest Nathaniel Brewer is a son of the middle Nathaniel Brewer, and this Nathaniel was age 26-44 in 1800, therefore born between 1756 and 1774. Taking into account is supposed son's birth date we have to assume he was born towards the very earlier end of that range, so this Nathaniel Brewer was probably born about 1756.

Following the progression, and the assumption that the three Nathaniel's are father-son-grandson, the oldest Nathaniel, over age 45 in 1800, so born prior to 1755, was probably born about 1730, perhaps a bit earlier, perhaps a bit later, but certainly in line for the estimated birth date suggested for Nathaniel2 Brewer (George1).

Moving back to the 1790 census, we find only one man named Nathaniel Brewer as head of household in Chatham County. We would have expected to find two, but a search has only found one. The household consists of 2 free white males including head of household above 16, and 6 free white males under age 16. The column for females has a dash, which I interpret to mean none. Perhaps this is a combined household of the two older Nathaniel Brewers, with the youngest being one of the six males under age 16. Or, perhaps there are sheets missing from the 1790 returns in Chatham County. We can't say for sure.

Moving forward to 1810, there again is only one man named Nathaniel Brewer found as a head of household in Chatham County. His household consists of 1 free white male under age 10, 2 f.w. males 10-15, 1 f.w. male 26-44, 1 f.w. female under 10, 1 f.w. female 26-44, 1 f.w. female over 45. The male age 26-44, obviously the head named Nathaniel Brewer, can only be the third, or youngest of our three. A search of the entire United States in 1810 finds that there is only this one Nathaniel Brewer in the southern states (there are three in Massachusetts where the name is more common). Remember that the returns for Georgia and Tennessee in 1810 do not survive. Still, it appears that it is likely that both of the older two Nathaniel Brewers were deceased by 1810.

There are numerous records regarding men named Nathaniel Brewer found in Chatham County, North Carolina cited by Broyhill (1992 and 1996). Since the two older Nathaniels lived there as adults, at the same time, it is probably impossible to sort them all out and accurately assign them to each of the two men. Some records include the description, "Sr." or "Jr." but others do not. Since there were three men of this name, the middle Nathaniel could be described as "Jr." with respect to the older Nathaniel, and also may have been described as "Sr." with respect to the youngest Nathaniel. Sorting out the various land records (deeds) between the two older men is beyond the scope of this post, and there is little, if any, genealogical data in any of them anyway. However, there are three records that need to be mentioned.

Beginning with the earliest, Nathaniel2 Brewer (George1) inherited 250 acres in Brunswick County, Virginia, as per his father's will. What became of this property? The first record to focus on is one that has not yet been found. Diane Daniel has provided me with an index of deeds involving persons named Brewer found in Brunswick County, but the name Nathaniel Brewer is absent. Still, it would be helpful to find out what became of Nathaniel's inheritance. When, and to whom did he sell his land in Brunswick County? As noted in Part I, we first see the older Nathaniel in Chatham County in 1773, when he was obligated to sell land and other assets to cover a debt. The land was located in Chatham County, and so Nathaniel was established there by 1773.

The second record is a deed in Chatham County dated 12 April 1799. In earlier deeds, the Nathaniel Brewer (one of the first two) signed with his mark. In the earliest, the 1773 deed, the mark was the letter N. In later deeds, the mark was an X. In this deed we have Nathaniel Brewer selling 13 acres on the Haw River to Isaac Petty, and in this case Nathaniel signs (as indicated in Broyhill's abstract, Part II, p. 91) with his name. The deed is witnessed by Thos. Snipes and Nathaniel Brewer, who also (as indicated by Broyhill) signed his name. The original deed should be examined here, but it appears to me that the two younger Nathaniel Brewers were each able to sign their names, while the oldest signed with his mark, at first "N" and later "X". Perhaps all of the deeds in which the Nathaniel involved signed with a mark, belong to Nathaniel2 Brewer (George1).

The third record is the most important and an original has to be located. This record has genealogical value. Broyhill does not mention it in his 1992 "working draft," nor in his Part II supplement which includes the abstracts of records from North Carolina. Foy E. Varner, Jr., in Brewer Families of Southeast America (2003), brings our attention to this at page 331. He points to Ben R. Brewer's Long Brewer Line (1993), page 47. Here, Ben Brewer cites a court record from "Chatham Co. Pleas & Quarter, 1804," (and apparently later, "Chatham Co. Bk A, pp 356-365") in which William Littlejohn and George Allston, surviving partners of the Ralph McNair Co., recovered a judgement against Nathaniel Brewer, Sr., who before his death had fraudulently conveyed 126 acres on Drummond Branch in the County of Chatham, NC, to his son Francis Brewer, as sworn by them. Ben Brewer then adds, "Nathaniel Brewer died intestate, leaving the identified children listed here." Ben Brewer assigns this record to Nathaniel2 Brewer (George1) and lists as his children as, David (a mistake for Daniel) who is not recorded in this 1804 court record; Nathaniel Brewer, Jr.; Francis Brewer; Daniel Brewer; William Brewer; George Brewer; James Brewer; Patience Brewer (m. Charles Vickers); Lucy Brewer (m. John Mebane); Milly Brewer (m. William Morgan); Susannah Brewer (m. Charles Powell); and Nancy Brewer (m. Levi Powell). The original of this court record needs to be examined before we can determine to which of the two older Nathaniel Brewers it belongs. The names of the heirs must also be confirmed as it is clear from Ben Brewers list of children that he made errors (David for Daniel, followed by a second Daniel). The curious thing about this record is that Marvin Broyhill, in his Part II supplement, informs us that Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions for Chatham County from 1800 to 1805 are missing. The online catalog of the Family History Library seems to confirm this (see Minutes, 1774-1861). Note that film #590299 covers the years 1774-1800, while film #590300 covers the years 1805-1822. And, Sue Ashby's online transcription of the Minutes from 1797 to 1800, ends (at the bottom) with "The next film C.022.30002, begins with the May term of 1805. Do not know what happened to the records for the, 5 years between." So, it is a mystery as to where Ben Brewer found this record that he claims names the heirs of Nathaniel Brewer. We would like to hear from anyone who is aware of the location of this original record cited by Ben Brewer, which I believe had the date 6 April 1804.

It appears that Ben Brewer was also unaware of the presence of the third, and youngest Nathaniel Brewer. Ben Brewer assigns this 1804 court record to Nathaniel2 Brewer (George1). Broyhill (1996), p. 91, abstracts a deed from Chatham County Deeds, L-11, dated 1 February 1800, as "Nathaniel Brewer (Beaver?) Senr. of Chatham Co. to Thomas Brewer of same for £80, a tract of land, 126 acres in Chatham Co., beginning at Isaac Pettys corner on Drummans branch...Pettys corner...Lutterloks line. Signed Nathaniel (X) Brewer (or Beaver?). Wit.: Thos. Snipes, Martha Snipes. Proved Feb 1800 by Martha Snipes." Since the Nathaniel Brewer of this deed signed with his mark, it may be that the assignment of the mysterious 1804 record to the older Nathaniel is the better choice. A discrepancy exits though in that in Broyhill's abstract of the deed, the grantee is a Thomas Brewer (and two of that name can be found in Chatham Co. in 1800), while Ben Brewer's account calls the grantee, Francis (no man named Francis Brewer is found in 1800). This mystery can only be solved by locating both the February 1800 deed and the April 1804 court record. I would add that the 1804 record may just as well have belonged to Nathaniel3 Brewer (Nathaniel2, George1) in which case some of the children listed on pages 47-48 of Long Brewer Line may well belong to the second Nathaniel Brewer. Both of the older Nathaniel Brewers appear to have been dead by 1810, both were living in 1800, and either one could have died by 1804.

The family of Nathaniel2 Brewer (George1) is not settled. We do not know the name of his wife, or wives. It appears that he had a son Daniel Brewer. He probably is the father of a son Nathaniel Brewer, as that name does not seem to appear in any other family of Brewers in Chatham County during the 1700s. He may be the father of Zion Brewer, who left North Carolina for Tennessee by 1805, is reputed to have been in Kentucky, and finally settled in Greene Co., Indiana. We know that Zion was in Chatham Co. between 1797 and 1802, and the land he sold in 1802 was in close proximity to the lands mentioned in other deeds involving Nathaniel Brewer. In fact he witnesses a deed for Nathaniel Brewer in 1801. He cannot be a son of Henry2 Brewer (George1) or Oliver2 Brewer (George1), both of whom settled in Chatham County. Until more convincing evidence is located, Zion Brewer is best placed, as Broyhill suggested, as a possible son of Nathaniel2 Brewer (George1).

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Brewer-Lanier Database

The Brewer-Lanier Database website has been launched. This new website is to be used as a resource and in conjunction with the Brewer DNA Project. Please be certain to read the introduction found on the "Main Page" under the date January 20, 2015.

Although the Database's primary focus is on descendants of George Brewer, of Brunswick Co., Virginia, many other "un-linked" persons with the name BREWER, found in the same locations in which descendants of George Brewer lived, are also included. Some of the "un-linked" are believed to be descendants, and probably some of them are. Perhaps future research, both traditional and through genetic genealogy, will link some of these individuals. Direct male descendants of the "un-linked" individuals are encouraged to join the Brewer DNA Project and take a Y-Chromosome DNA test, which may help to prove, or disprove, their place as a possible descendant of George Brewer.

What this Database is NOT:

The Brewer-Lanier Database is not an account of all the descendants of George Brewer and his two wives, Sarah Lanier and Alice (___). It is not intended to be a complete and final genealogy of George Brewer's descendants (although a professional quality genealogy of George Brewer's descendants is needed if someone out there is up to the task). Descendants of daughters will not be followed. The Database will be focused upon lines of descent from George Brewer for which we have a descendant providing Y-DNA test results through the Brewer DNA Project.

Some features of the Database:

Individuals found within the Database can be located either through one of the two Index pages - the Surname Index, or the Master Index. In addition, there is a Search link found at the top of every page comprising the Database. The Search feature will search the entire website (not just the page on which it is accessed from).

The Charts page starts with two charts.  One is titled, Descendants of George Brewer, of Brunswick Co., Virginia. Names on this chart that are high-lighted in light blue and underlined are links to the individual's complete profile in the database pages. Not all of those in this chart have yet to be included in the database. The second chart is the George Brewer, Descendant Chart (Box). This chart includes only the first four generations of descendants of George Brewer (George being generation number one). Spouses are not included on this chart. Descendants found on this chart have been confirmed through traditional genealogical research and are believed to be correct, although in some cases there are questions. Clicking on any name that is underlined in this chart will take you to that individual's profile page. It is hoped that this chart will be helpful to those who have not completed their connection back to George Brewer by providing a concise chart of known descendants of George Brewer through the earliest generations. If you can link to someone in the third or fourth generation, found on this page, then you will find your line back to George Brewer.

The DNA Analysis Page includes a table of Y-DNA results for those participants in the Brewer DNA Project who can prove a descent from George Brewer. We start here with three. Results for the full roster of Brewer DNA Project participants can be found on the Y-DNA Results page at the Brewer DNA Project website. The George Brewer Lineage Chart, includes the direct ancestries from George Brewer to those who are found in the table. The tested participants are identified by kit #, and will not be identified by name. Results and lines found on the Brewer DNA Project website page will be added to this page as pedigrees are proved. Only proved pedigrees will be included.

Of course we are looking to increase the number of lineages found on the George Brewer Lineage Chart page. We would ask that if you are currently a member of the Brewer DNA Project, and if you presently have a pedigree posted on the existing pedigree page hosted by the website, that you review and if needed update your pedigree and submit it to us by contacting the Brewer DNA Project. If you have tested with the Brewer DNA Project, are a match to others descended from George Brewer, but have not yet submitted a pedigree, please consider doing so, so that we can include you and your lineage in this chart and table. The more lines we can identify, the easier it should be for those who have so far been unable to complete their ancestry, to do so. If you believe, or can prove that you are a descendant of George Brewer, but have not yet taken a Y-DNA test, please consider joining by contacting us through the Brewer DNA Project main page.

Finally, the Brewer-Lanier Database website will be updated periodically as new lineages come in, or as new research dictates that it should be, although no more frequently than once a week. This will continue through the end of this calender year (2015). After that time I will no longer be actively maintaining the website through updates. This deadline will also include the other databases I maintain, including The Brouwer Genealogy Database, and this Brouwer Genealogy blog site. 2015 will be the last year for Brouwer Genealogy. If you have a lineage to add, a correction to what you currently find on the Database, or any research that will help others prove their ancestry back to George Brewer, please don't hesitate to contact us and send it in. You have until the end of this year to do so.

Good luck with your research.

Nathaniel Brewer of Chatham County, North Carolina, Part I

Nathaniel2 Brewer (George1) was named by his father in his will of 13 July 1741. Nathaniel was given two hundred and fifty acres of land lying on both sides of the old Roanoak Road. He also received a gun. Nathaniel Brewer is covered by Martin T. Broyhill in his "working draft", Brewer Families of Colonial Virginia, 1626-1776, (1992), at page 101, number G4. Broyhill assumes that Nathaniel is his father's fourth son and guesses at his birth date as "1710??" He suggests that his wife's surname may have been Davis. He also assigns three sons to Nathaniel, namely Nathaniel, Jr., Daniel and Zion. Broyhill adds some confusion to his account of Nathaniel by including some records that belong to a Nathan Brewer. It is important to remember, Nathan and Nathaniel are two different and distinct names. Foy E. Varner, Jr., Brewer Families of Southeast America, (2003), covers Nathaniel beginning at page 322.

Nathaniel Brewer was not the fourth son of George Brewer as suggested by Broyhill. He most probably was the youngest son, and was a son of George Brewer's second wife, Alice (___). Nathaniel Brewer was most likely born about 1730, give or take a few years on either side. The first record found for Nathaniel is dated 11 Feb 1773, a deed in Chatham County, whereby Nathaniel Brewer of Chatham County, sold 100 acres and some animals and household articles, to satisfy a debt owed to an outfit called Richard Kennon & Co. Nathaniel signed this deed with his mark, "N". To put this into perspective, this first record of Nathaniel appears over ten years after the earliest record belonging to any other son of George Brewer is seen. That record being the 1762 grant in which Oliver Brewer acquired 700 acres in Chatham County. It also appears over twenty years after the last confirmed record for Nathaniel's brother, Lanier Brewer, is seen, that being a 1752 attachment in Brunswick Co., Virginia by Charles Collier against the estate of Lanier Brewer who had left the county. It is difficult to see how Nathaniel can be anything other than the youngest son of George Brewer. He was certainly born after most, if not all, of his older half-brothers had already reached adulthood.

Nathaniel Brewer's sons Daniel (confirmed) and Zion (suspected) are covered first. Nathaniel's son and namesake, Nathaniel3 Brewer (Nathaniel2, George1) will follow. The earlier research conducted by Broyhill (1992), and by Ben R. Brewer (Long Brewer Line, 1993), and commented on by Varner (2003), was incomplete, and was missing a critical piece of information. The Nathaniels will require more explanation, and so will be considered last.

Nathaniel Brewer's son, Daniel, is established by a deed dated 5 August 1774, in which Elnathan Davis of Chatham County sold to Daniel Brewer of the same, fifty acres, in Chatham County, on Dry Creek, whereon "Nathaniel Brewer, father of said Daniel Brewer, now lives." Daniel Brewer was apparently only a year or two old at this time, as indicated by later records. It has been conjectured (Broyhill, p. 101; Varner, p. 323) that Elnathan Davis was a grandfather of Daniel Brewer. If this was the case, then perhaps Nathaniel Brewer was living on his father-in-law's land, and for whatever reason, his father-in-law wished that the land not go to Nathaniel, his son-in-law, but rather to his grandson, Daniel Brewer. This is certainly possible, but research into Elnathan Davis and his family would have to be done before a picture of his relationship to Nathaniel and Daniel Brewer can become clear.* In a deed dated 26 Jan 1788, Nathaniel Brewer of Chatham Co., sold to Henry Lutterlok, merchant of the same place, the fifty acres purchased in the 1774 deed. In this second deed, Daniel Brewer is called "now an infant of fifteen years or thereabouts." Nathaniel Brewer signs with his mark, this time, an "X". It appears that Daniel Brewer was born about 1773. In a deed dated 1 August 1793, Daniel Brewer of Chatham County, planter, conveyed to the same Henry Lutterlok, the same property his father, Nathaniel Brewer, had conveyed in 1788. In 1793, Daniel was apparently now of legal age (over 21) and this deed simply confirms the deed his father made in 1788 when Daniel was still a minor. Nathaniel Brewer was a witness to this deed, signed with an "X" and proved the deed in the August 1793 court session. Daniel Brewer is not found as a head of household on the 1790 U.S. census, and he would not expected to be found as one. In 1800 he is found as a head, in the Hillsborough District, Chatham County, North Carolina with a household of  1 male under 10, 1 male 16-25, 1 female 16-25. Daniel Brewer is not found in Chatham County in a search of the 1810 U.S. census. In fact, in a nationwide search of the 1810 census, there are no heads named Daniel Brewer found in any southern state, although a large number of returns from 1810, especially in the south, are lost. He is not found in a cursory search of the North Carolina Estate Files. To date, no participant in the Brewer DNA Project has claimed a descent from Daniel Brewer, and therefore no further research will be conducted at this time. I suspect, however, that Daniel Brewer left descendants.

 Zion Brewer is suggested as a possible son by Broyhill (1992), page 102 (No. G-43). His birth date is guessed at as "1778??" and it will be shown that this guess by Broyhill was pretty close. Proof that Zion is certainly a son of  Nathaniel2 Brewer (George1) comes up short. Zion Brewer is not found as a head on the 1790 census, and he would not expected to be as he was only about age 16. He is also not found as a head of household on the 1800 census. On 12 January 1801, Zion (Sion) Brewer witnessed a deed whereby Nathan Shugart of Chatham Co. conveyed to Nathaniel Brewer, Jr., of the same place, land in Chatham Co. "Brewers Corner," was mentioned as one of the bounding properties. "Abram Cook's line," is also mentioned. On 2 March 1802, Zion Brewer, of Chatham Co., conveyed to Abraham Cook, for 57 silver dollars, land "in Chatham lying on the North side of Dry Cr waters of Haw River, beginning at Powells corner...Abraham Cooks entered 14 Jan 1797 by Zion Brewer" (Broyhill's abstract in Part II [1996], p. 96). Henry Brewer, signing with an "X", witnessed this deed. In 1805, Zion Brewer is found on the tax roll in Grainger County, Tennessee. Grainger Co. is in northeast Tennessee and was formed in 1796 out of Knox and Hawkins Counties. Zion has not been found on the 1810 census, but much of the returns from Tennessee are lost for that year. He is also not found in 1820, but again, all of eastern Tennessee is lost for that census year. Although not (as of this writing) found in 1830, Zion Brewer is found in 1840, in Greene County, Indiana, with a household of 1 free white male under 5, 2 f.w. males 20-29, 1 f.w. male 50-59, 2 f.w. females 20-29, 1 f.w. female 30-39, 1 f.w. female 60-69, 3 persons employed in agriculture. On 12 October 1850, Zion Brewer, age 77, born in North Carolina, is enumerated in District 40, Greene County, Indiana. In the household is Polly (perhaps Patty) Brewer, age 77, born in North Carolina, presumably his wife. They are enumerated between the households of Sarah Brewer, age 50, born in North Carolina, a widow, with a family, and Harlan Brewer, age 35, born in Kentucky, with a family. In 1860, Zion Brewer, age 87, born in North Carolina, is in Highland, Greene Co., Indiana, with Mary Brewer, age given as 82, born in North Carolina. Zion likely died during the decade of the 1860s, and is buried in Calvertville, Greene Co., Indiana. The gravestone gives Zion's birth date as 12 June 1774. A later Zion Brewer (1842-1927) is also buried in Calvertville, although in a different cemetery. There is a Zion Brewer who died in Christian Co., Kentucky on 24 September 1854, age 36 (b. ca. 1818), his parents are recorded as Phillip and Mariah Brewer. He had married Margaret Long on 16 August 1839 in Christian County. I have also noticed numerous records for men named Phillip Z. Brewer and later, William Z. Brewer in Nelson County, Kentucky records. There is not the time to follow up on them now, but I suspect that a diligent researcher should have no trouble compiling a record of descendants of Zion Brewer. Perhaps a descendant can be found who is interested in joining the Brewer DNA Project.

As stated above, Zion Brewer has not been confirmed as a son of Nathaniel2 Brewer (George1). The two deeds in Chatham Co., North Carolina, in which he appears, indicate that he could be, but are not conclusive. He may have been a son of Nathaniel, but he may also have been a cousin, although not a son of Henry2 or Oliver2 Brewer, both of Chatham County. Zion may also have been a grandson of Nathaniel2 Brewer. In the following post we will consider the Nathaniel Brewers of Chatham County.

*A cursory internet search finds that Elnathan Davis (1739-1821) was a Baptist minister in the Haw River area before establishing a church in Pickens Co., South Carolina. I suspect that those interested in reconstructing the family of Elnathan Davis will, with some effort, be successful.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Younger Sons of Oliver Brewer of Chatham County, North Carolina

The post of January 15, 2015, covered the three (believed to be) older sons of Oliver2 Brewer (George1), of Chatham County, North Carolina. This post will cover Oliver Brewer's three (believed to be) younger sons, Henry, Christopher, and George.

Henry3 Brewer (Oliver2, George1) is named in his father's will dated 14 October 1791. He is one of the sons, along with William and Christopher, who are to divide the land "of the North side of Wards branch," between themselves. On 9 July 1823, "Henry Brewer, son of Oliver Brewer dec'd, of Randolph Co., North Carolina, to Thomas Farrar of Chatham for $300. All my distribution share of Father Oliver Brewer dec'd that is in my mothers hands at this time and at the death of my mother, consisting of negros and also all my distributive share of my mother Rebecca Brewer at her death, consisting of negros, cattle, horses and hogs, household and kitchen furniture, money, monies or whatever it may consist in."* The mention in his father's will and the deed of 1823, clearly establish that Henry was a son of Oliver Brewer, and that Henry's mother was Rebecca. It also establishes that Henry was living in Randolph Co., North Carolina in 1823.

Marvin T. Broyhill in his 1992 "working draft," covers Henry Brewer at page 97, and assigns him the number G23. Foy E. Varner, Jr., in his 2003, Brewer Families of Southeast America, begins his discussion of Henry Brewer at page 276. As Broyhill points out, in addition to Oliver's son Henry, George1 Brewer, named a son Henry, who in turn named one of his son's, Henry. Broyhill also suggests that John2 Brewer (George1) also had a son Henry, and although this claim is not so certain, we do have evidence that there were more than a few men named Henry Brewer living in North Carolina, and in Tennessee and Kentucky during the time that Henry3 Brewer (Oliver2, George1) was alive. Some, but certainly not all, are descendants of George1 Brewer, of Brunswick Co., Virginia. Sorting out the numerous records in which there appears a Henry Brewer, will not be easy, and has to be done carefully.

The Henry Brewer that we are interested in has been established as residing in Randolph Co., North Carolina in 1823. Randolph County was created in 1779 out of Guilford County, and is directly west of Chatham County which was created in 1771. A move from Chatham to Randolph County was not that great of a move in terms of distance, yet there were not many BREWERs found there on the census records from 1790 to 1850. In 1790 there are two, Howell Brewer and John Brewer. In 1800 there are two, Henry Brewer and Edward Brewer, in addition to six BROWER households including Jacob Brower (see the post of June 4, 2012). In 1810 there is Henry Brewer and William Brewer. The 1820 U.S. census records for Randolph County do not survive (they were destroyed or lost). In 1830 we have two Edwards (Sr. & Jr.) and a Betsey Brewer, age 30-39, with two males age 5-9. In 1840 there is one Edward Brewer, and Elizabeth Brewer, still age 30-39, with two males 15-19, and one female age 5-9. In 1850 there are households headed by O. C. Brewer and Edward C. Brewer (grandsons of Edward Brewer from the post of January 15th), Alfred Brewer (age 29), as well as a number of households named BROWER.**

Starting with the 1800 U.S. census there are two records of interest. A Henry Brewer is enumerated in the Hillsborough District, Chatham Co., North Carolina, with a household of one male 16-25, and two slaves. Gideon Kirksey and William Kirksey are enumerated on the same sheet. In the same year, in Hillsboro District, Randolph Co., North Carolina, is a Henry Brewer with a household of  2  free white males under 10, 1 free white male 16-25, 1 free white female under 10, 1 free white female 16-25.*** In 1810 a Henry Brewer is enumerated in Randolph County with a household of 1 free white male under 10, 2 f.w. males 10-15, 1 f.w. male 26-44, 3 f.w. females under 10, 1 f.w. female 10-15, 1 f.w. female 16-25, 1 f.w. female over 45. The 1820 U.S. census for Randolph County does not survive, and so cannot be consulted, and in 1830, no man named Henry Brewer is found in Randolph County.

Henry Brewer, 1800 U.S. census, Hillsboro, Randolph Co., NC (NARA via

On 17 November 1796, Henry Brewer of Chatham Co., sold to Wm. Kirksey of the same, 50 acres on the north side of the Haw River. Back in 1780, Gideon Kirksey had purchased land from North Carolina that was described as adjoining land of Oliver Brewer, on Wilkinsons Creek, and in a second transaction on the same day (April 1) purchased land adjoining Henry Brewer on the north side of the Haw River. The Henry Brewer of this 1796 deed is more likely Henry3 Brewer (Henry2, George1).

On 12 December 1795, Nathaniel David of Pendleton, South Carolina, sold to Henry Brewer of Randolph County, North Carolina, 50 acres in Randolph County, on the Uwarie (sic) River.**** This was the first of a series of five deeds in which Henry Brewer of Randolph Co. was acquiring land on the Uwharrie River. The grantors in these deeds were James Patterson (13 Dec 1796, 200 acres), John Sheets (4 Mar 1806, 179 1/2 acres) and Edward Carrell (two deeds of 3 Oct 1811, 93 acres and 96 acres). In addition, there is a North Carolina land grant of 200 acres in Randolph Co., on the waters of Big Creek. According to Broyhill's abstract in his Part II supplement (page 131), this grant was entered 3 Nov 1796, although the abstract is not clear and the original record should be consulted. Henry Brewer appears on the tax roll in Randolph Co. in 1813, in "Rushes District," with 388 (sic) acres and one poll. He appears on the tax list in 1818 in "Capt. Michael Rushes district" with 368 acres on Uhary, and one poll. On 18 January 1820, Henry Brewer of Randolph Co., sold three tracts of land on the Uwharrie River to Ezra Beckerdite. The first tract was 179 1/2 acres acquired from John Sheets. The second tract was 96 acres from Edward Carroll adjoining John Sheets. The third tract was 93 acres on the south side of the Uharie (sic), near a large branch, bounded by John and Frederick Sheet's corner, and John Sheet's line. Total of 368.5 acres. Assuming all of the deeds belong to only one man named Henry Brewer, it appears that he still owned the 200 acres he was granted (likely the 200 bought of Patterson), and the original 50 bought of Nathaniel David (his first two purchases). Then in 1823, we have the above mentioned deed, whereby Henry Brewer, of Randolph Co., son of Oliver Brewer, dec'd, sold to Thomas Farrer, of Chatham Co., for $300, all his share of his father's estate now in the hands of his mother, Rebecca Brewer.

Although the period that the above records covers, spans about 28 years, there is no evidence that would lead one to believe that there were two different men named Henry Brewer. Only one man of the name appears on the two surviving census records of 1800 and 1810, and only one man of the name appears on the tax rolls of 1813 and 1818. We have to conclude that the Henry Brewer of Randolph County was the son of Oliver2 Brewer (George1). From the 1810 census it appears that he did have children, one son and two daughters, born between 1795 and 1810. They have not been identified. Henry is not found on the 1830 census in Randolph County. He may have left the area, although there is a Betsey Brewer, age 30-39 (b.1790-1800). In 1840, and Elizabeth Brewer (also age 30-39) is found in Randolph County. Although too young to be the mother of Henry's presumed children of 1810, she may have been a second wife who was widowed by 1830. Needless to say, more accurate records, possibly later deeds, need to be located. No record of probate or estate settlement has yet been found for Henry Brewer in Randolph County.

From the above, it appears that Henry could have been born around 1775 (first deed in 1796). He may have been close in age to his brother William who was covered in the post of January 15, 2015. If this estimate of his birth is correct, then we must assume that his mother, Rebecca, was older than the age 26-44 she is said to be in 1810. Rebecca may have been born in the decade of the 1750s, and it is still likely that she was a second, younger wife of Oliver Brewer.

 Christopher3 Brewer (Oliver2, George1) is named in his father's will of 14 October 1791. With his brothers William and Henry he was to divide all "the land of the North side of Wards Branch." During the May 1796 term of the Chatham Court, Christopher Brewer, chose as his guardian, John Croe (Crow) who posted a bond with John Ferrington. Unless things were different in North Carolina, my understanding and experience with guardianship rules from other locations, was that upon reaching the age of 14, a minor could chose his or her own guardian. Prior to 14, a guardian was assigned by the court. Christopher Brewer would have turned 14 by May 1796, so he was born sometime between June 1781 and May 1782. Christopher Brewer is not found as a head of household on the 1800 U.S. census. On 14 March 1807, Christopher Brewer of Chatham Co., sold to Wm. Kirksey for £50, a tract in Chatham Co. "belonging to the orphans of Oliver Brewer that is part of the tract of land where sd Brewer lived last, beginning on east side of Wilkersons Cr on waters of Haw River." This was Christopher's share of the land he inherited from his father. In 1810, Christopher Brewer is found on the U.S. census in Chatham Co., North Carolina with a household of 4 free white males under 10, 1 male free white 26-44, 1 free white female 16-25. He is enumerated next to Rebecca Brewer, who is most likely his widowed mother. Although Rebecca can be found on the 1820 census in Chatham County, Christopher has not been found as a head of household. But at the November 1822 term of the Court of Common Pleas and Quarter Sessions, $90 worth of goods and chattels of Christopher Brewer were sold by the Sheriff to cover a debt owed by Christopher to Vincent May. Christopher Brewer is found on the 1830 U.S. census in Pittsboro, Chatham Co., North Carolina with a household of 1 male 5-9, 1 male 15-19, 2 males 20-29, 1 male 40-49, 1 female under 5, 2 females 10-14, 1 female 40-49. A Henry Brewer (likely Henry3 Brewer (Henry2, George1) is enumerated on the same census sheet. Christopher Brewer is on the 1840 U.S. census in Chatham Co., with a household of 1 free white male 15-19, 1 f.w. male 30-39, 1 f.w. male 60-69, 1 f.w. female 10-14, 1 f.w. female 50-59, 1 f.w. female 80-89, 1 person employed in agriculture, 3 persons over age 20 who cannot read and write. His age in this census is overstated. He is one household away from Jemima Brewer, with Nancy Williams between them.

Christopher Brewer has not been found post 1840. The date and place of his death has not been discovered. He was clearly married and had children, including sons, but their identities and that of any descendants have not yet been found. As of this writing no probate record or estate file has been found in Chatham County for Christopher Brewer. Broyhill in his 1992 "working draft," Brewer Families of Colonial Virginia, 1626-1776, covered Christopher Brewer at page 98 and assigned him No. G24. There is little here. Varner, in Brewer Families of Southeast America (2003) covers Christopher Brewer on page 284. The account here is short, and there is no mention of the census records stated above.

George3 Brewer (Oliver2, George1). Marvin T. Broyhill (1992) covers George Brewer at page 95 and assigns him No. G21. He guesses his age at "1760??" and places him as Oliver Brewer's oldest son. This is very much incorrect. George Brewer was obviously Oliver Brewer's youngest son and was not born until about 1783 or 1784. Foy E. Varner, Jr. (2003) covers George Brewer beginning at page 257, and picks up right away on Broyhill's error.

Of Oliver Brewer's children, his son George is mentioned first among children in his 1791 will. Oliver devised his plantation and land to his wife, Rebecca, and it was then left to George upon Rebecca's death. When it came time to list his children for the purpose of equally dividing the residue of his estate, George was listed last among the sons. In May 1797, the court at Chatham County, appointed John Crow as George Brewer's guardian. George Brewer was under age 14 in May 1797. In February 1798 and again in February 1800, John Crow was required to return his account regarding his guardianship of George Brewer, which tells us that George was still likely under age 18 in 1800.

George Brewer is not found as a head of household on any U.S. census record. He died in 1806, in his early twenties leaving a widow, Jemima, and two children, John and Rebecca. Administration on George Brewer's estate was granted to his widow, Jemima, and John Sparrow, in November 1806. James Smith and Joseph Brantly were sureties for the bond. On 13 November 1806, Thomas Farrer posted his bond as guardian of John Brewer. Also, James Smith, William Edwards and John Ferrington were ordered to lay off and allot one years provisions to the widow, Jemima Brewer. On 10 December 1806 Jemima Brewer and John Sparrow submitted an account of the sale of the goods and chattels of George Brewer, deceased.

Broyhill suggests that Jemima's family name may have been Sparrow, and he may well be correct but further evidence needs to be located. In addition to the fact that John Sparrow was a co-administrator of George Brewer's estate, on 20 January 1822, in the accounting of John Sparrow's own estate, $10.67 was paid out to Jemima Brewer. Jemimia outlived her husband by at least 54 years and there is no evidence that she remarried. On the 1860 U.S. census she is found in the Eastern Division of Chatham County, as Jemimie Brewer, age 73, in the household of Hamilton Williams. Her real estate is valued at $1000 and her personal estate at $5000. Hamilton Williams was the husband of George and Jemima's daughter, Rebecca Brewer. He was born about 1808 and inventory on his estate was filed in 1863. Hamilton and Rebecca had at least seven children, the youngest known born about 1832, as found on the 1850 and 1860 census records. Rebecca is age 45 on the 1850 U.S. census, so born about 1805. She is not found in the household on the 1860 census and so is presumed to have died prior to it's taking (7 July 1860). Proof of Rebecca as a child of George and Jemima is found in a deed dated 13 December 1829, in which, "Hamelton Williams & Rebecah his wife of Chatham Co. (convey) to John Brewer of same for $100, 1/3 of an undivided tract of land willed to George Brewer dec'd by his father Oliver Brewer in Chatham Co. on the West side of ___ Branch, 58 acres." Jemima was also found on the 1850 U.S. census, in the household of Hamilton and Rebecca Brewer, as "Mimay Brewer," age given as 60. In 1830 she was found as the head of a household of 1 female under 5, 1 female 10-14, 1 female 30-39, 1 female 40-49, 1 female slave under 10.

George and Jemima Brewer's son, John Brewer, was probably born about 1804. As mentioned above, Thomas Farrer was appointed his guardian in November 1806. In 1829, he bought his sister's 1/3 of their inherited estate. He is probably the male under age five, found on the 1810 U.S. census in the household of his grandmother, Rebecca Brewer. It is probable, but not yet proved, that he is the John Brewer found on the 1850 U.S. census in Lower Regiment, Chatham County, age 46, a farmer with real estate valued at $2100. His (presumed) wife's name on this census is Aisley, and she is age 50. They (presumably) have four daughters, Mary (age 26), Rebecca (24), Sarah (18) and Permelia (16). He is enumerated next to the household of Abel Brewer who is age 68. The 1860 U.S. census gives us the household of John S. Brewer, in the Eastern Division, Chatham Co., with an age too difficult to decipher although the second digit is a 4. His wife is called "Aley" and she is age 60. They are followed by Mary (age 27), Rebecca (26), Sarah (23) and Permelia (21). Same names as the 1850 census, but clearly a large error in their recorded ages. The middle initial "S" in John S. Brewer, could certainly stand for Sparrow. In 1870, John Brewer, age 67 (b. ca. 1803) is found at "Pittsboro Road North Side," Chatham County. In the household are "Ailsey" Brewer, age 70, Mary Brewer, age given as 38, Permelia Brewer, now age 27, Sarah Brewer, with age as 26, plus Fanne Brewer (23) and Charles Brewer (18). As of this writing the family has not been located in 1880, and additional research is needed to confirm the connecting of George and Jemima's son, John, to the John Brewer of the 1850, 1860 and 1870 census records.

Additional data and source citations will be found online in the Brewer-Lanier Database when it is launched. Those interested in a timeline of Randolph County might wish to look at "Notes on the History of Randolph County."

*Broyhill, Marvin T. The Brewer Families of Colonial Virginia, 1626-1776: Supporting Documentation Part II. (Estill Springs, TN: Brewer Researcher, 1996), page 103. Chatham Co., NC Deed Abstracts 1772-1840. Z-110.

**The Brower families of Randolph County, North Carolina were descendants of Hubert Brower, who arrived at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1726 from "Nenwild in the Palentine. Two of his grandsons, Christian Brower and Adam Brower, sons of Hubert's son John Brower, migrated to Randolph Co., from Chester Co., Pennsylvania in roughly 1783 and 1788 respectively. The BROWERs were more numerous in Randolph Co., than were the BREWERs.

***The Hillsborough/Hillsboro District was a census district that in 1800 covered Chatham, Randolph and Orange Counties. The present day town of Hillsborough is in Orange County, and neither Chatham nor Randolph have a town by that name. In 1800 you will find Brewers enumerated in all three locations: Hillsborough District, Orange Co., Hillsborough District, Chatham Co., and Hillsboro District, Randolph Co.

****The Uwharrie River runs north to south along the western edge of Randolph County, adjacent to present dayDavidson County which had been created out of Rowan County in 1822. It flows into the Pee Dee River. (See this map).

Thursday, January 15, 2015

The Older Sons of Oliver Brewer of Chatham County, North Carolina

This post will cover the sons of Oliver2 Brewer (George1). Oliver Brewer, of Chatham County, North Carolina was a son of George Brewer, of Brunswick County, Virginia, and most probably George's second wife, Alice (___). As a reminder, and to those who are new to this series of posts, the objective is to identify provable pedigrees for participants in the Brewer DNA Project who believe they are descendants of George Brewer, of Brunswick County, Virginia. Participation in the Project is open to all direct male descendants who are interested and willing to take a Y-Chromosome DNA test. We encourage those who have researched their Brewer ancestry to join, and we also suggest that current members review, and if needed, update their current pedigrees which are currently posted online at

The sons of Oliver Brewer will be considered in the order of how I believe they were born, oldest to youngest. This order will differ from that presented by Marvin T. Broyhill in his 1992 "working draft," Brewer Families of Colonial Virginia, 1626-1776. It is strongly suggested that researchers also consult Foy E. Varner, Jr.'s, Brewer Families of Southeast America (2003).

Edward3 Brewer (Oliver2, George1) is covered by Broyhill at page 98 (No. G26), and by Varner at page 287. Edward Brewer served out of Chatham Co., North Carolina during the Revolutionary War, and applied for a pension in 1834 while living in Randolph Co., North Carolina. He gave his date of birth as 19 October 1762, and he is the only son of Oliver Brewer, and I believe, the only grandson of George Brewer, for whom we have a specific date of birth. In his application file is an inquiry from a Mrs. C. J. McCombe of Gastonia, North Carolina, dated 1919, in which she states that she has spoken with a granddaughter of Edward Brewer, who stated that Edward was an aid to Gen. George Washington, and that he married a daughter of George Washington's sister, who she thinks was named Mary Strickland. Needless to say, the George Washington connection is fiction (Edward, who signed deeds with his mark X, could not be an aid to any officer, and George Washington's only sister Elizabeth (known as Betty) was married to Col. Fielding Lewis, and not to a Strickland). A search of the surname, STRICKLAND, on the 1790 census in North Carolina finds a Jacob Strickland in Guilford Co., a few of the surname in Sampson Co., but none in either Chatham or Randolph Counties. The identity of Edward's wife as Mary Strickland, should be questioned and not accepted without more conclusive evidence.

Edward Brewer witnessed a deed in Chatham Co. in February 1786 in which George Brewer and Mary Brewer sold to William Thetford. On 2 January 1787, Edward bought 36 acres of land on the Haw River in Chatham Co., from his cousin Hubbard Brewer. On 1 January 1795, Edward sold this land to William Edwards. Edward is found on the 1790 U.S. census in Chatham Co. with a household of 2 males under 16, 1 male over 16, 2 females. In 1800 he is found in Randolph Co., North Carolina with a household of 2 males 10-15, 1 male 26-44, 3 females under 10, 1 female 10-15, 1 female 26-44. He is not found on the 1810 census in Randolph Co., but is on the tax roll there in 1812 and 1813 with 200 acres and 1 poll. In 1816, Edward bought 100 acres of Josiah Reaves, a tract on the "waters of Glady Fork of Bever Dam Creek." He is on the tax roll in 1818, again with 200 acres and 1 poll. The 1820 U.S. census for Randolph County does not survive, but Edward is found in 1830, in Regiment 1, Randolph Co., as Edward Brewer, Sr., with a household of 1 male age 60-69, and 1 female age 60-69. Edward Brewer, Jr. is enumerated one household away with William Russell in between. In 1840, Edward Brewer is found in the Southern Division, Randolph County, with a household of 3 males under 5, 1 male 5-9, 1 male 15-19, 1 male 30-39, 1 male 50-59, 1 male 70-79, 1 female 5-9, 1 female 10-14, 1 female 15-19, 3 females 20-29, 1 female 50-59, 6 persons employed in agriculture. As the younger Edward Brewer is not enumerated separately, it is assumed that the 1840 profile is that of a combined household, or put more simply, the elder Edward living with his son and his family. Numerous "Family Trees" found online give Edward's death as 24 March 1845, but, in true internet form, none provide a source. Edward does not appear on the 1850 U.S. census.

From the 1790 and 1800 census records it does appear that Edward could have had two sons. Only one has been identified, and that is Edward Brewer, Jr. (above) who is later found in 1850, in the Southern Division of Randolph Co., age 60, in the household of O. C. Brewer (age 35). Here Edward is enumerated as "Canney" Brewer, and it appears that his full name was Edward Cannon Brewer. Perhaps the name Cannon is a clue to the correct identity of Edward Brewer, Sr.'s wife. In 1860, Edward Brewer, age 73, is in the Southern Division, Davidson Co., as the head of a household, a shoemaker, with Mary Brewer (age 37), Melinda G. Brewer (18), James M. Brewer (12), Joseph A. Brewer (9). All born in North Carolina. The 1840 census implies that Edward, Jr. had a large family and the others listed in 1860 may be grandchildren. Perhaps Mary is a widowed daughter-in-law and the others are her children. The 1860 census does not specify relationships and so those interested should pursue these names further. Two sons have been identified for Edward Jr. The O. C. Brewer of 1850 was Oliver C. Brewer, b. ca. 1815 who is found with a family in Randolph Co. in 1860, 1870 and 1880, the last on the town of New Hope. The other son is Edward Cannon Brewer, who according to his North Carolina Death Certificate was born 3 November 1820 in Randolph County, and died 21 December 1911 in Troy, Montgomery Co., North Carolina. His death certificate records his father as "Eddy" Brewer and his mother as "Connie Lassy." Others (undocumented) have claimed her surname to be Lacy or Lang. She would be the wife of Edward Brewer, Jr., and was apparently deceased before 1850.

 Oliver3 Brewer (Oliver2, George1) is covered by Broyhill (1992) at page 98 (no. G25) and by Varner (2003) at page 284. Broyhill guesses at Oliver's birth date as "1758??" which is too early. He does not name a wife nor does he suggest children. Oliver Brewer is found on the 1800 U.S. census in Hillsborough, Chatham Co., North Carolina with a household of of 2 males under 10, 1 male 10-15, 1 male 26-44, 1 female under 10, 2 slaves. This suggests that Oliver was age 26-44 in 1800 and so was born between 1756 and 1774. Assuming that Oliver is his father's second son (after Edward), then "born 1764 or 1765" might be a better guess. The 1800 census record also implies that Oliver had a family. However, that what became of that family has not yet been discovered. Oliver's descendants have not yet been identified in later records.

On 13 August 1792, Oliver Brewer, Jr., of Chatham County, sold to Oliver Brewer, Sr., of the same place, for £85, a tract of land on the north side of the Haw River, beginning at Edward Brewer's corner...containing 80 acres*. Oliver Brewer is found in a handful of records in Chatham County between the period of 1792 and 1796 regarding such things as road work, jury assignment, and being appointed a "patroller." It is noted that the 1800 census enumeration does not include a free white female of adult age. This may be an error on the census recorder's part, or it may be that whoever Oliver's wife was, had died prior to the taking of the 1800 census. The official enumeration day for this census was 4 August 1800. But then, on 23 September 1800, we have a deed in which "Oliver Brewer and Sarah his wife of Chatham County," sold to George Brewer of the same place, for £300, 152 acres of land on the north side of the Haw River. This record might imply that the 1800 census was in error. Either that or, Oliver and Sarah were married between 4 August 1800 and 23 September 1800, or, we have a situation of two men named Oliver Brewer. This last possibility is doubtful. On 16 August 1799, Oliver entered a land grant of 95 acres in Chatham County, and on 10 August 1801 that land was sold to George Brewer. Oliver's wife is not named in this last deed. In May 1807 there is recorded a bill of sale between Oliver Brewer and Bartholomew Lightfoot, to Elisha Stedman. This is the last entry for Oliver Brewer in Chatham County. He is not found there on the 1810 or 1820 census. There is no Oliver Brewer found in any southern state in 1810, though records for Georgia do not survive. The same is true for 1820, although the census for the eastern Districts in Tennessee do not survive. No will, record of probate, or record of estate settlement for Oliver Brewer has been found in Chatham County. What became of him, and any descendants, has not been discovered.

There is a record of a marriage bond in Knox Co., Tennessee, date 10 January 1804, for the marriage of an Oliver Brewer and Polly Henderson. An image of the record is online at Family Search. Oliver Brewer signs his name to this bond, and his fellow bondsman, Jeremiah Brooks, signs with his mark. Back in Chatham County, the Oliver Brewer of the 1792 deed signed with his mark, an X, while (as per Broyhill's abstract) the Oliver Brewer of the 10 August 1801 deed signed his name. A copy of this last deed should be obtained for a confirmation that Oliver did sign it, and for a possible comparison with the signature of the Oliver Brewer who was married in Knox Co., Tennessee in 1804.

William3 Brewer (Oliver2, George1) is covered by Broyhill (1992) at page 96 (no. G22), while Varner (2003) begins a lengthy discussion at page 261. Researchers are cautioned that because William Brewer was such a common name in the region where the descendants of George Brewer are found, that assigning records to particular individuals can be difficult and inexact. Broyhill guesses William's birth date as "1770??" and names his wife as Nancy (___). At page 96, Broyhill cautions that this William is not the William who served during the Revolution, filed a pension application (S3085) and later is found in Blount Co., Tennessee. He is correct on that account. The William Brewer of the Revolutionary War file S3085 was an uncle of Isaac Brewer, who by his own statement was a son of a Howell Brewer, and filed an application for a pension (R1185) from Talladega Co., Alabama. Isaac will be covered in a future post. Varner acknowledges the difficulty in sorting out the various William Brewers, and includes a long list of records regarding men named William Brewer, in reference to varied locations, that need to be sorted out. If one focuses on the records pertaining to immediate area of the Haw River where Oliver Brewer raised a family, we can narrow them down to see who our William Brewer was. Sorting out the many William Brewers is a task that is ideal for applying the principle of Occam's razor. In other words, assume as little as possible. In the case of this William Brewer we need to make only one assumption, that is, he remained close to the place he was born.

There is a William Brewer recorded on the 1790 census in Chatham County, with a household of 1 free white male over age 16, and 6 free white females, however, he is not Oliver's son named William. Although the census is recorded alphabetically by first letter of last name, the William on the census is found with other Brewers who lived in the Bear Creek area of Chatham County.** William's father, Oliver, is found on the 1790 U.S. census in Chatham County on the sheet (also somewhat alphabetical) that covered the Haw River area of the county. Oliver's son, William, is not found as a head of household in 1790.
Brewers on the 1790 U.S. census in the area of Bear Creek, Chatham Co., NC (NARA, via

Brewers on the 1790 U.S. census in the area of Haw River, Chatham Co., NC (NARA, via
William is mentioned in his father's will of 14 October 1791, which gave "my sons namely William Brewer & Henry Brewer & Christopher Brewer all the land of the North side of Wards Branch to be equally divided between the three William part to joyn William Edwards line..." In August 1793, in Chatham Co., a William Brewer was remitted of one poll "he being under age." Although the location is not exact enough to ensure certainty, this is likely Oliver's son William. In November 1796, William Brewer and Oliver Brewer, with Elnathan Davis and Jesse Welt were appointed "patrollers" in Capt. Haile's and Capt. Lacy's Districts. On 4 February 1797, William Brewer, of Chatham Co., sold to William Kirksey, of the same place, 35 1/2 acres on both sides of Wilkerson's Creek on the north side of the Haw River. The land adjoined the land of William Edwards and was likely the land that William had inherited from his father (Henry Brewer had sold land in the same location to William Kirksey, in November 1796. On, or about, 18 May 1798, William Brewer bought (apparently) 36 acres from William Edwards on the north side of the Haw River. Ownership of this land had to be clarified in a long contract which demonstrated that this land had been bought by William Edwards from Edward Brewer, who had bought it from his cousin Hubbard Brewer, who had inherited it from his father, Henry Brewer. William Brewer is found on the 1800 U.S. census in Hillsborough, Chatham Co., North Carolina, with a household of 1 male under 10, 1 male 16-25, 2 females under 10, 1 female 16-25. Here, William is recorded as aged 16-25, and when the other records that pertain to him are considered, it is likely that William3 Brewer (Oliver2, George1) was born about 1775.

William Brewer's wife was Nancy (___). Here I am in agreement with Broyhill. Their children were a son Wesley, and daughters Candice, Rebecca and Nancy. The family is consistent with that found on the 1800 census mentioned above, save one daughter who was probably born between 1800 and the time William died, apparently late in 1806. During the November 1806 term of the Court in Chatham County, administration on the estate of William Brewer was granted to Nancy Brewer, his widow, and to John Sparrow.*** The bond was  £1000, and James Smith and Joseph Brantly were sureties. In November 1810, Nancy, widow of William Brewer, petitioned the Court of Chatham County for the distribution of her dower rights. This file can be found online in "North Carolina Estate Files." In the file, Nancy's children are named as Miley (later corrected to Wesley), Rebecca, Nancy (Nancy the widow being guardian for the three) and William Horton and his wife Candice. The court is asked to divide the remainder of the lands of William Brewer among them. The lands are described as lying on the north side of the Haw River, "one tract for thirty six acres, and one for sixty nine and a half more or less of all which lands the said Nancy is entitled to dower." The matter moves to the next session of the court, a jury is summoned to lay off the lands, and in May 1811, the lands are divided among Wesley Brewer, Rebecca Brewer, Nancy Brewer and William Horton and his wife, Candice.

Division of land to the heirs of William Brewer, 1811 (FamilySearch, NC Estate Files, Chatham Co.)
A Nancy Brewer is found as a head of household on the 1820 U.S. census in Chatham County, with a household of 1 male 10-15, 1 male 16-25, 3 females 16-25, 1 female over 45. 2 persons engaged in agriculture. This record, however, more likely refers to Nancy, the widow of Sampson Brewer, who died in 1806 or early 1807, and found among the Bear Creek group of Brewers (a Jeremiah Brewer is enumerated on the same sheet). William and Nancy's daughter Candice was married to William Horton and they are found in 1850 in Lower Regiment, Chatham Co., North Carolina. Candice is age 59 which places her birth as about 1791. Her husband was considerably older, age 83 in 1850. He wrote his will in 1839, names his wife Candice, his brother Benjamin Horton, and a number of children. There can be no doubt that Candice was not William Horton's first or only wife. The placement of his children with regard to who their mother was will require further research. William Horton's will was proved 2 February 1852 in Chatham County.

William Brewer's only son was Wesley Brewer. In the short amount of time put into the effort, I have not been able to identify him on later records. Land records in Chatham County for later dates than those abstracted by Broyhill will have to be searched. His complete name may have been John Wesley Brewer (it became popular to name children for this founder of Methodism), and there is a memorial at Find A Grave for a John Wesley Brewer which may be a possible starting point for further research.****

The remaining three sons of Oliver Brewer will be covered in a separate post.

*It has to be remembered that at third Oliver Brewer, Oliver3 Brewer (Henry2, George1), was living in 1778 and may have been present in Chatham County during the period in which records and deeds naming an Oliver Brewer are found. Accurate identification of just which Oliver Brewer is found in each record can be tricky, and may never be certain.

**The Brewers of the Bear Creek area in Chatham County are believed to be descendants of Nicholas2 Brewer (George1) and will be covered in a future post.

***The original Letters of Administration have not been located. This information comes from Broyhill (1996) Brewers of Colonial Virginia, Supporting Documentation Part II, p. 118, who gives as his source, Chatham Co., NC, Court Orders, vol. not specified (either 4 or 5), p. 115.

****This memorial is of interest because John Wesley Brewer is stated to have been born in North Carolina in 1790. His wife is Lois Smith, and we know that a Smith family did live in very close proximity to the Brewer families on the Haw River. Three children are listed and one is named Nancy, and another Rebecca, two names found in the family of William and Nancy Brewer. John Wesley Brewer died in 1850 and is buried in Bond County, Illinois, where he came by way of Kentucky.