Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

Monday, June 29, 2015

Three Brewer Records in Franklin County, Vermont, Probates

Links to digital images of estate records for three different persons named BREWER, found online in the Family Search collection, "Vermont Franklin County Probate Records, 1796-1921," have been added to this website's page titled, "Links to Image Pages at - Probate and Estate Records."

The records are regarding:

Calvin Brewer, and includes his will dated 24 July 1878. Calvin Brewer was born and lived most of his life in Tinmouth, Rutland Co., Vermont. He was a son of Jonathan Brewer and Lucy Royce. Details on this family can be found on the Brewer Families of New England website.

Joseph E. Brewer, of Berkshire, Vermont. There are two links here. One for the granting of administration on his estate, and the second his inventory. Joseph E. Brewer was born in 1834, son of John G. Brewer and Rhoda Heflon, and grandson of Jeremiah Brower/Brewer of Highgate, Vermont. Joseph E. Brewer died while a prisoner of war, during the Civil War, at Belle Isle Prison Camp in Virginia.

Samantha Brewer, of Swanton, Vermont. Administration on her estate was granted in 1861. Samantha Brewer was born about 1807, and was a daughter of Peter Brewer and Hannah Sanborn, of Highgate, Vermont and granddaughter of the above mentioned Jeremiah Brower/Brewer.

Both Joseph E. Brewer and Samantha Brewer can be found on the Brouwer Genealogy Database website.

Please use the above referenced page, Links to Images - Probate and Estate Record, to access the digital images at

PDF version of this post

Friday, June 26, 2015

Nehemiah Brower (1828-1915) of Middletown, New Jersey

Nehemiah Brower, of Middletown, Monmouth County, New Jersey, was born in November, 1828 (1900 U. S. census) and died in 1915. He was a great-great-great grandson of Adam Brouwer, of Gowanus, Long Island. Nehemaiah Brower was, in his time, a well known home builder in the area of Red Bank, New Jersey.

Hugh Brower, a descendant of Nehemiah Brower, has sent me a newspaper clipping from the Red Bank Register, October 1905, featuring the 50th wedding anniversary of Nehemiah and his wife, Amelia (Sewing) Brower.

Red Bank Register, October 1905
Hugh also sent a separate image of the photo in the article.

Red Bank Register, October 1905
As mentioned above, Nehemiah Brower was a noted home builder in the area of Red Bank, New Jersey. Found in the William B. Bogardus Collection was a piece from the Newsletter of the Middletown Township Historical Society, vol. 5, no. 3, June 1989, titled, "Nehemiah Brower, Locust Builder." Here is a PDF of that article: Nehemiah Brower, Locust Builder.

Some quick research using U. S. census records, and a few New Jersey vital records, tells us that Nehemiah Brower and his wife, Amelia Sewing, were married in 1855. They had eight children, five reached adulthood and three died young. The children were: George W. Brower, born 12 October 1857; a son (unnamed in the birth record) born in 1859, who I would assume was stillborn or died very soon after birth (as he was not given a name); Anne Elizabeth, born 18 September 1862, who apparently never married; Silas, age 5 in the 1870 census, but not found afterwards; Emma, died 10 December 1870, age 4; Amelia, age 9 in June 1880; Carrie, age 6 in June 1880; and Arthur, born in June 1876. 

Thanks again to Hugh Brower for passing along the article and photo.

PDF version of this post.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Brouwer Genealogy Database Update

The Brouwer Genealogy Database website has been updated. It has been over a year since the last update (May 16, 2014) and this may well be the final time that the BGD will be updated. Below I will discuss how future corrections will be handled.

Over the past year there have been a number of new participants in our Brewer Y-DNA Project. Also, as of a few months ago the Project's website was updated. A short summary of the new Y-DNA results follows. I anticipate elaborating on some in greater length in future individual posts.

John Brewer, born ca. 1786, died in December 1877, and buried in the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery at Tarrytown, New York. His wife was Mary Smack and they were married in 1810. A direct male descendant has taken a Y-Chromosome DNA test. The results show conclusively that he is not a descendant of either Adam Brouwer of Gowanus, L. I., or of Jan Brouwer, of Flatlands, L. I. The results match closest with that of a Y-DNA tested descendant of Abraham Brewer, of Chemung County, New York. A link to John Brewer can be found on the Unplaced page of the BGD. Work on John Brewer's descendants is not complete, but some are now included on the BGD.

Donald P. Brower, born 1 April 1802 at Poughkeepsie, New York, and died 14 October 1873 in Northfield, Summit County, Ohio, is thought to be a son of a Philip Brower who was an early settler at Independence, Ohio. Going into the test it was strongly suspected (by me) that the descendant's ancestor would be shown to be Adam Brouwer of Gowanus, L. I. The Y-DNA test proved otherwise. The tested descendant is not genetically related to descendants of Adam Brouwer, and as of this writing, does not have any matches with anyone who has tested with FamilyTreeDNA and has the Brower or Brewer surname. Donald P. Brower can also be found on the Unplaced page.

A new descendant of Adam Brouwer's son Nicholas Brouwer has been added to the project. Y-DNA test results confirm the descendant's ancestry to Adam Brouwer. He is represented by kit #396780. His ancestry, which includes a branch of the descendants of Nicholas Brouwer who settled in New Brunswick, Canada, can be found on the Nicholas Brouwer Chart page.

A new descendant of Adam Brouwer's son Pieter Brouwer has been added. The new line represents another descendant of Martin I. Brower (1847-1920) and can be found on the Pieter Brouwer Chart page. Kit #383189.

Pieter Brouwer (Peter Brower, Peter Brewer, Pieter Broer) is found at Duanesburg, New York from 1782 through 1803. His wife was Catrina Chrisler (Crisler, and other spellings). Prior to the testing of a direct male descendant Pieter Brouwer's ancestry was not known. The tested descendant's Y-DNA results clearly show that Pieter Brouwer is a descendant of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands, L. I. Although not completely proved, his most probable ancestry is found on the Jan Brouwer of Flatlands Chart page. Kit #386956.

George J. Brower was covered in the post of October 25, 2014. Here it was proposed that George J. Brower was a previously unidentified son of Nicholas Brouwer and Christina Weyman of New York City. Another descendant of this couple had already taken a Y-DNA test, and in the recent months upgraded his results to the 67 marker level. This new level of comparison solidifies the belief that George J. Brower is most probably (I would even say certainly) a son of Nicholas Brouwer and Christina Weyman. The descendants line (kit #360871) is now included on the Pieter Brouwer Chart page.

Another descendant of John Rose, and genetic descendant of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands, L. I. has been tested. The lineage is now included on the John Rose Chart page. Kit #353796.

John G. Brewer, of Miami, Greene County, Ohio was discussed in the post of July 10, 2014. The tested descendant, and therefore John G. Brewer are descendants of Adam Brouwer of Gowanus, L. I. A lineage chart has been added to the Adam Brouwer Group DNA Analysis page.

Regarding the submission of corrections from this time going forward - Back on November 1, 2014, I posted instructions on how to submit corrections to the BGD website to me. The procedure described on November 1, 2014 still stands, however, I would ask that you limit corrections to those that are already found online in the new edition of the BGD. Please do not ask me to add any additional lines of descendants or new families to this latest updated BGD. I have done this in the past, but can no longer do it going forward. Adding lines is a time consuming process that I no longer have the time for, nor the desire to so. Instead, I would ask you to place your own work, on the Brouwer/Brewer line or ancestry that you are concerned with, online in some format, yourself, and then send me a link to it, and I will create a link for it on this website and on the BGD website. I will continue to post corrections of importance here, on this website, and will add links to these pages on the BGD's "Log of Corrections" page. And again, please provide ample and suitable documentation and proof for any correction you suggest. You cooperation in this regard is appreciated. I, for one, would like to see more people take authorship and ownership of their own work and share it openly online with others. There are a lot of ways and formats in which to do this. You just gotta poke around online and I'm sure you'll find plenty of ideas on how to do this. (Please see JANUARY 1, 2016 below).

This update of the Brouwer Genealogy Database will be referred to as the June 22, 2015 edition. As I mentioned above, it will most likely be the last update. Previous editions have been archived by Internet Archive and can be found by using their Way Back Machine.

Good luck to all with your research on your Brouwer, Brower or Brewer ancestry!

July 12, 2015: The BGD was "re" updated. This was to add in a missing kit no. on the Pieter Brewer DNA Chart page. In addition data on Duryea family individuals and some Van Nuys individuals was added. The body of the website is now comprised of 749 pages covering 52,408 individuals. With regards to Brouwer Genealogy, I will for the most part be taking the remainder of the summer off.

October 8, 2015: Some more "technical" problems required the BGD to be updated once again. In addition, with this update, a new descendant of Adam Brouwer has been added to the Adam Brouwer DNA Analysis page. The descendant (kit #N142947, is a genetic descendant of Adam Brouwer as determined by comparison of his results with other Adam Brouwer descendants. However, his ancestry back to Adam Brouwer has not been discovered through traditional research. The descendant's earliest known paternal ancestor is John Brewer (1796-1849) of Broadalbin, Fulton County, New York.

JANUARY 1, 2016 - Please do not e-mail me directly with corrections or questions. Instead use the Comments section for any corrections or inquiries. Either use the Comments section for this post, or use the Comments section for some specific post that pertains to the subject of your correction or inquiry. Comments come to me for review prior to posting for any post that is more than one week old. This will cause a delay in the time it takes for your Comment to appear online. I will answer as time permits.

APRIL 4, 2016 - Corrections regarding John Brower (ca.1786-1877) mentioned above were posted.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Reviewing the Unplaced Genetic Descendants of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands, L. I.

I have been researching Jan Brouwer, of Flatlands, L. I., and his descendants now for roughly ten years. In addition the Brewer DNA Project has been in existence for about the same period of time. Of the Project's total of 239 members, thirty (12.5%) are included in the "Jan Brouwer/Hermans Group". Among the members there are a handful who can reliably trace their BREWER/BROUWER ancestry completely back to Jan Brouwer. However, there are many others who cannot. After ten years, I felt that this was a good time to consolidate what is known about the earliest generations of the descendants of Jan Brouwer (i.e. his sons and grandsons) and match that with what is known about all of his unplaced genetic descendants. The result is a twenty-three page document that I felt was best made available by placing it as a PDF online.

The document is free to download, in fact I recommend that those interested do just that. There are numerous links embedded in the document and it is easier to access them from the downloaded PDF. Using this method a new window will open when a link is selected. I also realize that large numbers of footnotes can be distracting and can hamper the reading experience, so I have chosen to try and limit the number and present them as endnotes. Source citations for the genealogical statements made can be found on the Brouwer Genealogy Database website, and are not included in the endnotes. The endnotes that are included are important to the document and I suggest that the reader not ignore them. 

Presently, the document is a bit out of sync with the current edition of the Brouwer Genealogy Database which was last updated on May 16, 2014*. In the thirteen months since the last update we have had a number of new participants taking Y-Chromosome DNA tests with the Project, and the data from their tests, and the accompanying lineages are not found in the May 16, 2014 edition. The Brouwer Genealogy Database will be updated within the next week or so, and once it is, this document will be in line with what is found in the database.

My intention with this document is to provide suggestions on the placement of all of the unplaced genetic descendants of Jan Brouwer among is known descendants. This is done based upon the best, known, genealogical evidence available at the time of the writing (June 2015) in conjunction with the data obtained from Y-DNA testing of Jan Brouwer's descendants. As of now, various placements can be described as "most probable", "probable", "possible", and so on, and in general they range in degree from what I would call "tentative" to "speculative." None of them have been fully proved to the extent that meets modern day genealogical research standards. Hopefully the day will come when they can be proved, but that, I leave to others. I am not a descendant of Jan Brouwer. And I have limited time available for continuing research on his descendants. Please use the document as a source of suggestions and possibilities, and as a guide for locations on where to look for confirming evidence and documentation. That is how this document can best be used. And if you do make a new find, or prove a link, PLEASE share it with others in an open and easily accessible way.

As mentioned, you are free and encouraged to download and save the document to your own computer or device for your own use. You are also free to share it with others. However, if you do use it for any work of your own, whether that be publishing your own genealogical work in whatever format, or adding documents and files to one of the numerous online "Family Tree" accounts (like or you are expected to give proper attribution to me, the author. That can be as simple as a link to this blog post.

Good luck with your continued research into the descendants of Jan Brouwer of Flatlands, L. I.

Chris Chester
June 19, 2015

Link for a PDF of this Post

*The Brouwer Genealogy Database has now been updated (June 22, 2015).

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

New Genetic Genealogy Page

A new Page, "Genetic Genealogy" has been added to this website. The link can be found in the column on the right under "Pages."

On this page are found links to websites and webpages that should be of help to those who wish to learn more about genetic genealogy.

We have had a handful of Brewer DNA Project members take the Big-Y test offered by FamilyTreeDNA, and then follow up with analysis of their results by YFull. This has allowed us to place descendants of Jan Brouwer, of Flatlands, L. I., and George Brewer, of Brunswick, VA, on the YFull Experimental YTree. Links to the current placement of those descendants are also included on the new Genetic Genealogy page.

As more members of the Brewer DNA Project take the Big-Y test and follow through with analysis at YFull, links to their positions on the Experimental YTree will be added. If any current members of the Brewer DNA Project have already taken the Big-Y and have had analysis and placement by YFull, and would like to be included with a link, please e-mail me with your identifying SNP and the name of your earliest known Brewer/Brower (etc.) ancestor, and I will add a link.

We would especially like to see some descendants of Adam Brouwer take the Big-Y test and follow through with analysis at YFull.

I hope you find the links useful. More will be added as they are found.

PDF version of this post

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The Revolutionary War Pension File of Ambrose Brewer

Ambrose Brewer of Moore County, North Carolina, and later of Hawkins County and Hancock County, Tennessee, applied for a pension due for his service during the Revolutionary War. His application was made in 1855, when he believed he was about 101 years old.

Ambrose Brewer, Series M805, Roll 118, File R1182. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administraion (NARA). The images were downloaded from

PDF version of this post

July 28, 2015: Foy Varner has provided this annotated transcription of Ambrose Brewer's Revolutionary War Pension file in PDF format. Thank you, Foy.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Four New Pages Added to Brouwer Genealogy

Four new "Pages" have been added to this webiste. Their links can be found in the column on the right side of this webpage under Pages.

The four new pages are each a page of links to images found on the FamilySearch website. As I'm sure most of you know, many of the digital images of original records placed online by FamilySearch are not indexed. There is no search tool available for locating any one specific record, or mention of any specific person within a record. And so, on the four new pages you will find links to the digital image for some specific record or index page. Additional links will be added to the pages as I come across records or index pages that would be of interest to Brouwer-Brower-Brewer researchers.

The pages are:

Indexes to Land Records

Individual Land Records

Indexes to Probate and Estate Records

Individual Probate and Estate Records

Although this is starting off small, more links will be added as time goes on, so check them periodically.